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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-14595 May 31, 1960
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE GREGORIO MONTEO, !"#$, Co!%& o' F(%)& I*)&a*+$, ,a-.oa*#a C(&y a*" Ba)(/a* C(&y, MA0OR LERO0 S.
BRO1N, 2ETECTI3E OA4UIN R. POLLISCO, PATROLMAN GRACIANO LACERNA alias2O2ONG, PATROLMAN MOHAMA2
HASBI, SPECIAL POLICEMAN 2IONISIO 2INGLASA, SPECIAL POLICEMAN HA2ARATIL, SPECIAL POLICEMAN ALO, a*"
OHN 2OES, respondents.
Acting City Atty. Perfecto B. Querubin for petitioner.
Hon. Gregorio Montejo in his own behalf.
C. A. S. Sipin, r. for the other respon!ents.
CONCEPCION, J.5
This is a special civil action for certiorari , with "an!a"us and preliminar in!unction, a"ainst #on. $re"orio Monte!o, as %ud"e of the
Court of &irst 'nstance of the cities of (amboan"a and Basilan, and the defendants in Criminal Case No. )*+ of said court.
'n the petition herein, which was filed b the prosecution in said criminal case, it is praed that, pendin" the final determination thereof, a
writ of preliminar in!unction issue, en!oinin" respondent %ud"e from proceedin" with the trial of said case, that, after due hearin", the
rulin"s of respondent %ud"e, re!ectin" some evidence for the prosecution therein and not permittin" the same to propound certain
-uestions, be set aside, that said respondent %ud"e be ordered to admit the aforementioned evidence and permit said -uestions, and
that .enator Roseller /im be declared, contrar to another rulin" made b respondent %ud"e, dis-ualified b the Constitution from
appearin" as counsel for the accused in said criminal case. .oon, after the filin" of the petition, we issued the writ of preliminar
in!unction praed for, without bond.
'n their respective answers, respondents alle"ed, in substance, that the rulin" complained of are in conformit with law.
Respondents /ero .. Brown, Maor of Basilan Cit, 0etective %oa-uin R. Pollisco, Patrolman $raciano /acerna 1alias 0odon"2 and
Mohamad #asbi, .pecial Policemen 0ionisio 0in"lasa, Moro 3a4an, #ad!aratil, Moro Alo and several %ohn 0oes, are char"ed, in said
Criminal Case No. )*+, with murder. 't is alle"ed in the information therein that, durin" Ma and %une, 5678, in the sitio of Tipo9Tipo,
district of /amitan, Cit of Basilan, Maor Brown :or"ani;ed "roups of police patrol and civilian commandoes:, consistin" of re"ular and
special policemen, whom he :armed with pistols and hi"h power "uns:, and then :established a camp:, called sub9police head-uarters <
hereinafter referred to as sub9station < at Tipo9Tipo, /amitan, which was placed under his command, orders, direct supervision and
control, and in which his codefendants were stationed, that the criminal complaints were entertained in said sub9station, in which
defendant Pollisco acted as investi"atin" officer and e=ercised authorit to order the apprehension of persons and their detention in the
camp, for das or wee4s, without due process of law and without brin"in" them to the proper court, that, on or about %une >, and 7, 5678,
one 3o4an Awalin Teba" was arrested b order of Maor Brown, without an warrant or complaint filed in court, and then brou"ht to, and
detained in, the aforementioned sub9station, that while on the wa thereto, said Awalin Teba" was maltreated, pursuant to instructions of
Maor Brown, concurred in b Pollisco, to the effect that Teba" be mauled until such time as he shall surrender his "un, that, once in the
sub9station, Teba", whose hands were securel tied, was sub!ected, b defendants /acerna, #asbi, Pollisco, 0in"lasa, and other special
policemen, to further and more severe torture, in conse-uence of which Teba" died, that, in order to simulate that Teba" had been 4illed
b peace officers in the course of an encounter between the latter and a band of armed bandits of which he formed part, the bod of
Teba" was brou"ht, earl the ne=t mornin", to a nearb isolated field, where defendant #asbi fired twice at said dead bod from behind,
and then an old %apanese rifle, supplied b Maor Brown, was placed beside said bod, and that, in furtherance of the aforementioned
simulation, a report of said ima"inar encounter, mentionin" Teba" as the onl member of a band of armed bandits whose identit was
4nown, was submitted and respondent #asbi caused one of his companions to shoot him on the left arm.
0urin" the trial of said criminal case, respondent %ud"e re!ected the followin" evidence for the prosecution therein?
5. #$hibit A < A report of Capt. &. $. .arrosa, Commandin" @fficer of the PC 0etachment in Basilan Cit, who investi"ated the case,
showin" that on %une 7, 5678, he and /t. Clemente Antonio, PA&, found nine 162 detainees in the Tipo9Tipo sub9station. This was part of
the chain of evidence of the prosecution to prove that persons used to be detained in the aforementioned sub9station b the main
respondents herein, without either a warrant of arrest or a complaint filed in court.
+. #$hibit C < /etter of Att. 0oroteo de $u;man to the officer in char"e of the sub9station, dated %une >, 5678, in-uirin" as to the
whereabouts of Awalin Teba", who, accordin" to the letter, was arrested in his house, b policemen, on %une >, 5678. Capt. .arrosa too4
possession of this letter in the course of his aforementioned investi"ation.
A. #$hibits G, G%&, G%' an! G%( < These are the transcript of the testimon of Teba"Bs mother, before the Cit &iscal of Basilan Cit,
when she as4ed an autops of the bod of her son.
>. #$hibits to ) < Consistin" of the followin", namel? a s4etch of the sub9station, pictures of several huts therein, indicatin" their
relative positions and distances, a picture depictin" how the bod of Teba" was ta4en from a camarin in the sub9station, a picture
showin" how Patrolman #asbiwas shot b a companion, at this re-uest, and a picture, E=hibit T, demonstratin" how Maor Brown
alle"edl "ave the %apanese rifle, E=hibit 3, to #asbi, to be planted beside Teba"Bs bod.
Althou"h referred to b 3a4an Carnain, Arit, /ianson, Cona Amenola, and Asidin, in the course of their testimon as witnesses for the
prosecution, these e=hibits were not admitted in evidence, which were presented to show how the were able to observe the movements
in the sub9station, the same bein" -uite small.
7. #$hibits * 1a +barong+2 and *%& 1a scabbar!2 < Amenola said that these effects were "iven to him b Maor Brown in the latterBs office,
and that he then saw therein the %apanese rifle, E=hibit 3, which was later placed beside the dead bod of Awalin Teba".
). #$hibits ,,, ,,%&, --, , .. an! // < These show that on April +8, 5678, 3a4an Callapattoh and &ernande; 1Pilnandi;2 e=ecuted
affidavits admittin" participation in a "iven robber, that an information therefor 1E=h. CC2 was filed a"ainst them on Ma +, 5678, with the
municipal court of Basilan Cit 1Criminal Case No. 5**>2, and that, in compliance with warrants for their arrest then issued, the were
apprehended and detained in the sub9station, thus corroboratin" the testimon of prosecution witness 3a4ans Amenola, Carnain Asidin
and Arip to the effect that Callapattoh and &ernande; 1Pilnandi;2 were to"ether with them, in the aforementioned sub9station, when Teba"
was maltreated and died therein, on %une >, 5678, as well as confirmin" PolliscoBs statement, E=hibit TT958, before the Cit &iscal of
Basilan cit, on %une +5, 5678, admittin" that &ernande; was in the sub9station on %une 7, 5678, on account of the warrant of arrest
adverted to. Throu"h the e=hibits in -uestion the prosecution sou"ht, also, to bolster up its theor that Callapattoh and &ernande;
disappeared from the sub9station after Teba"Bs death, because the main respondents herein ille"all released them to prevent them from
revealin" the circumstances surroundin" said event.
*. #$hibits 00, 00%&, an! MM < These are s4etches of a human bod and pictures purportin" to show the points of entrance, as well as of
e=it, of two 1+2 bullets wounds found on the bod of Teba". Respondent %ud"e re!ected these e=hibits and did not allow 0r. Rosalino
Rees, Chief of the Medico9/e"al .ection of the National Bureau of 'nvesti"ation, to answer -uestions as4ed b the prosecution, to
establish that the tra!ectories of said bullets wounds were parallel to each other, which, the prosecution claims, would have been
impossible had Teba" been alive when he sustained said wounds..
8. Respondent %ud"e sustained, also, the ob!ections to certain -uestions propounded to said 0r. Rees, to show that the in!uries
sustained b Teba" in the lar"e intestines must have been inflicted when Teba" was dead alread, and did not allow 0r. Rees to draw
lines on E=hibits '' and MM, indicatin" the connection between the points of entrance and those of e=it of said wounds.
6. #$hibits 1, 1%&, 1%' < These are records of the office of the Cit &iscal of Basilan Cit showin" that the %apanese rifle, E=hibit 3, two
rounds of ammunitions and one empt shell were received b said @ffice from the Police 0epartment of Basilan Cit on %une 5*, 5678.
These e=hibits were presented to show that said rifle tallies with the description thereof "iven b prosecution witness Cona Amenola, in
his affidavit, dated %une 5>, 5678, when said weapon was still in the possession of respondent Pollisco, and hence, to establish
AmenolaBs veracit.
/i4ewise, the followin" rebuttal evidence for the prosecution were re!ected b respondent %ud"e, vi;?
5. #$hibits 22 to 22%3 < These are dail records of events of the police department, /amitan 0istrict, Basilan Cit, includin" the Tipo9
Tipo re"ion. The do not mention the 4illin" therein, b the police patrol, of an outlaw on %une 7, 5678, thereb contradictin" the reports
1E=hs. 5+ and 5+9A2 of respondent Pollisco and #asbi about it. Respondent %ud"e did not allow the record cler4 of the Cit &iscalBs office
to identif said e=hibits, upon the "round that it was too late to present him althou"h when the e=hibits were mar4ed b the prosecution it
reserved the ri"ht to identif them as part of official records.
+. #$hibits PP, QQ to QQ%( < Respondent Pollisco had testified that on %une >, 5678, #ad!i Aisa in-uired about one Awalin, that he told
Aisa that Awalin was ta4en b Maor Brown to the seat of the cit "overnment, and that he 1Pollisco2 su""ested that 0atu Dndin" be
advised not to worr, because there was no evidence a"ainst Awalin. To impeach the veracit of Pollisco, the prosecution presented the
e=hibits under consideration, for the same show that one 0on" Awalin 1who is different from Awalin Teba"2 was apprehended on Ma +*,
5678, and released on bail on %une +A, 5678, that Pollisco could not have truthfull informed Aisa on %une >, 5678, what 0on" Awalin
had been ta4en b Maor Brown to the seat of the cit "overnment and that there was no evidence a"ainst him, for he was then a
detention prisoner, and that Pollisco could not have had in mind, therefore, said 0on" Awalin as the Awalin about whom Aisa had
in-uired. 'ndeed, E=hibits TT95A to TT95) show that, testifin" before the Cit &iscal, respondent Pollisco said that he twice ordered
Patrolman /acerna on %une >, 5678, to brin" Awalin Teba" to him 1Pollisco2 for investi"ation.
A. #$hibits SS to SS%4 < These are the testimonies before the Cit &iscal, of defense witness Mohammad .ali who, on cross
e=amination b the prosecution, denied havin" "iven it. Thus the predicate therefor was established b the prosecution which sou"ht
thereb to impeach .aliBs veracit.
>. #$hibits 55, 55%& to 55%'6 < These are the testimonies, before the Cit &iscal of the main respondents herein, who "ave a different
stor before respondent %ud"e. The prosecution thus sou"ht to impeach their veracit as witnesses in their own behalf, after lain" down
the predicate in the course of their cross e=amination.
7. #$hibits 77, 77%& to 77%( < These are sworn statements made b defendant #asbi before the Cit &iscal. The were presented in
rebuttal, after lain" down the predicate, to impeach his testimon in court.
). E=hibits RR, RR95, EE and EE95 < Fith these e=hibits the prosecution tried to rebut PolliscoBs testimon to the effect that prosecution
witness /ianson Arip had a "rud"e a"ainst him, he 1Pollisco2 havin" char"ed him with theft in the Cit &iscalBs @ffice. 't appears from said
e=hibits that AripBs affidavit, implicatin" Pollisco, was dated %une 8, 5678, whereas PolliscoBs affidavit char"in" Arip with theft, was dated
%une +G, 5678, so that said statement of Arip could not have been influenced b PolliscoBs subse8uent act.
'n contrast with the severe and ri"orous polic used b respondent %ud"e in dealin" with the aforementioned evidence for the
prosecution, petitioner herein cites the liberalit with which the lower court admitted, as evidence for the defense, records of supposed
achievements of the Tipo9Tipo sub9station 1E=hibits 6 to 69$, 5G to 5G9', 5* to 5*9C, 56 to 569A, +G to +G9' +5 and ++2, a con"ratulator
communication 1E=h. +>2, and a letter of commendation to a peace officer assi"ned thereto 1E=h. *2, includin" an article in the Philippine
&ree Press 1E=hs. +A and +A9A2.
Dpon a review of the record, we are full satisfied that the lower court had, not onl erred, but, also, committed a "rave abuse of
discretion in issuin" the resolutions complained of, in re!ectin" the aforementioned direct and rebuttal evidence for the prosecution, and in
not permittin" the same to propound the -uestions, alread adverted to. 't is obvious to us that said direct and rebuttal evidence, as well
as the aforementioned -uestions, are relevant to the issues involved in Criminal Case No. )+*. Althou"h it is not possible to determine
with precision, at this sta"e of the proceedin"s, how far said e=hibits ma affect the outcome of that case, it is elemental that all parties
therein are entitled to a reasonable opportunit to establish their respective pretense. 'n this connection it should be noted that, in the
li"ht of the alle"ations of the amended information in said case and of the records before us, the issue of the "uilt or innocence of the
accused therein is bound to hin"e heavil upon the veracit of the opposin" witnesses and the wei"ht attached to their respective
testimon. #ence, the parties should be allowed a certain latitude in the presentation of their evidence lest the ma be so hampered that
the ends of !ustice ma eventuall be defeated or appear to be defeated. The dan"er of leadin" to such result must be avoided,
particularl in cases of the nature, importance and si"nificance of the one under consideration.
Fith respect to the -uestion whether or not .enator Roseller /im ma appear as counsel for the main respondents herein, as defendants
in said criminal case, the Constitution provides that no .enator or Member of the #ouse of Representatives shall :appear as counsel ... in
an criminal case wherein an officer or emploee of the $overnment is accused of an offense committed in relation of his office ... 1Art.
H', .ec. 5*, Const. of the Phil.2. The issue, therefore, is whether the defendants in Criminal case No. )*+ are :accused of an offense
committed in relation: to their office.
A mere perusal of the amended information therein readil elicits an affirmative answer. 't is alle"ed in said amended information that
:/ero .. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has or"ani;ed "roups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consistin" of
re"ular policemen and ... special policemen, appointed and provided b him with pistols and hi"h power "uns: and then :established a
camp ... at Tipo9Tipo,: which is under his :command, ... supervision and control,: where his codefendants were stationed, entertained
criminal complaints and conducted the correspondin" investi"ations, as well as assumed the authorit to arrest and detain persons
without due process of law and without brin"in" them to the proper court, and that, in line with this set9up established b said Maor of
Basilan Cit as such, and actin" upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Teba", who died in conse-uence
thereof.
't is apparent from these alle"ations that, althou"h public office is not an element of the crime of murder in abstract, as committed b the
main respondents herein, accordin" to the amended information, the offense therein char"ed is intimatel connected with their respective
offices and was perpetrated while the were in the performance, thou"h improper or irre"ular, of their official functions. 'ndeed, the had
no personal motive to commit the crime and the would not have committed it had the not held their aforesaid offices. The co9
defendants of respondent /ero .. Brown, obeed his instructions because he was their superior officer, as Maor of Basilan Cit.
The case of Monllito 9s. Hilario an! Crisologo, 6G Phil., >6, relied upon b respondent %ud"e, in overrulin" the ob!ection of the
prosecution to the appearance of .enator Roseller /im, is not in point, for, as stated in the decision therein?
&rom the alle"ations of the information it does not appear that the official positions of the accused were connected with the
offense char"ed. 'n fact, the attornes for the prosecution stated that the motives for the crimes were personal with political
character. 't does not even appear, nor is there assertion, that the crimes were committed b the defendants in line of dut or in
the performance of their official functions. 1Emphasis supplied.2
.uch is not the situation obtainin" in the case at bar.
Fherefore, the rulin"s complained of are set aside and reversed and respondent %ud"e is hereb en!oined to admit the aforementioned
direct and rebuttal evidence for the prosecution, as well as to permit the formulation, of the -uestions alread referred to, with costs
a"ainst the respondents herein. 't is so ordered.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-66075 A8%(/ 15, 1997
NATI3I2A2 CORPUS, AURORA FONBUENA, OSIE PERALTA, CRESENCIA PA2UA, 2OMINA2OR BAUTISTA, LEOLA NEOG,
EPIFANIO CASTILLEOS AN2 E2GAR CASTILLEOS, petitioners,
vs.
TANO2BA0AN OF THE PHILIPPINES, FISCAL UAN L. 3ILLANUE3A, R., AN2 ESTEBAN MANGASER,respondents.
Si"plicio M. Se9illeja for respon!ent #. Mangaser.
R E . @ / D T ' @ N

CORTES, J.:
Petitioners Natividad Corpu;, Aurora &onbuena, %osie Peralta, Cresencia Padua, 0ominador Bautista and /eola Neo" were members of
the Citi;ens Election Committee of Caba, /a Dnion in the %anuar AG, 568G elections, petitioner Epifanio Castille!os was 0irector of the
Bureau of 0omestic Trade and petitioner Ed"ar Castille!os was then a candidate and later elected maor in the same election. Private
respondent Esteban Man"aser, an independent candidate for vice. maor of the same municipalit sent a letter to President &erdinand E.
Marcos char"in" the petitioners with violation of the 56*8 Election Code, specificall for electioneerin" andIor campai"nin" inside the
votin" centers durin" the election. @n instruction from the Commission on Elections 1C@ME/EC2 the Re"ional Election 0irector of .an
&ernando, /a Dnion, conducted a formal investi"ation and on .eptember +6, 5685 submitted its report recommendin" to the C@ME/EC
the dismissal of the complaint. @n @ctober +6, 5685, private respondent Man"aser formall withdrew his char"es filed with the
C@ME/EC statin" his intention to refile it with the Tanodbaan. @n November +), 5685 the C@ME/EC dismissed the complaint for
insufficienc of evidence.
.ubse-uentl the assistant provincial fiscal started a preliminar investi"ation of a complaint filed b Man"aser with the Tanodbaan
a"ainst the same parties and on the same char"es previousl dismissed b the C@ME/EC. The C@ME/EC /e"al Assistance @ffice
entered its appearance for the respondents 1e=cept 0irector Epifanio Castille!os and Ed"ar Castille!os2 and moved for dismissal of the
complaint. The motion was denied. The TAN@0BA3AN assertin" e=clusive authorit to prosecute the case, stated in a letter to the
C@ME/EC Chairman that a lawer of the C@ME/EC if not properl deputi;ed as a Tanodbaan prosecutor has no authorit to conduct
preliminar investi"ations and prosecute offenses committed b C@ME/EC officials in relation to their office. 1Rollo, p. 5G+2 A motion for
reconsideration was denied. #ence, the present petition for certiorari and preliminar in!unction. This Court after considerin" the
pleadin"s filed and deliberatin" on the issues raised considered the comment of the .olicitor $eneral an Answer to the petition and
considered the case submitted for decision.
'n the landmar4 case of the ,e esus 9. People 1No. /9)5668, &ebruar +8, 568A, 5+G .CRA *)G2 this Court dealt with the followin"
-uestion of first impression relative to the rival claim of !urisdiction over election offenses committed b public officials?
Fhich of these entities have the power to investi"ate, prosecute and tr election offenses committed b a public officer in
relation to his office < the Commission on Elections and the Court of &irst 'nstance 1now the re"ional trial court2 or the
Tanodbaan and the .andi"anbaanJ
This Court re!ected the assertion that no tribunal other than the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over offenses committed b public officers
and emploees in relation to their office, thus?
The "rant to the C@ME/EC of the power, amon" others, to enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of
election and the concomittant authorit to investi"ate and prosecute election offenses is not without compellin" reason.
The evident constitutional intendment in bestowin" this power to the C@ME/EC is to insure the free, orderl and honest
conduct of elections, failure of which would result in the frustration of the true will of the people and ma4e a mere 'dle
ceremon of the sacred ri"ht and dut of ever -ualified citi;en to vote. To divest the C@ME/EC of the authorit to
investi"ate and prosecute offenses committed b public officials in relation to their office would thus seriousl impair its
effectiveness in achievin" this clear constitutional mandate.
&rom a careful scrutin of the constitutional provisions relied upon b the .andi"anbaan, Fe perceived neither e=plicit
nor implicit "rant to it and its prosecutin" arm, the Tanodbaan, of the authorit to investi"ate, prosecute and hear election
offenses committed b public officers in relation to their office as contradistin"uished from the clear and cate"orical
bestowal of said authorit and !urisdiction upon the C@ME/EC and the courts of first instance under .ections 58+ and
58>, respectivel, of the Election Code of 56*8.
An e=amination of the provisions of the Constitution and the Election Code of 56*8 reveals the clear intention to place in the C@ME/EC
e=clusive !urisdiction to investi"ate and prosecute election offenses committed b an person, whether private individual or public officer
or emploee, and in the latter instance, irrespective of whether the offense is committed in relation to his official duties or not. 'n other
words, it is the nature of the offense and not the personalit of the offender that matters. As lon" as the offense is an election offense
!urisdiction over the same rests e=clusivel with the C@ME/EC, in view of its all9embracin" power over the conduct of elections.
F#ERE&@RE, inasmuch as the char"e of electioneerin" filed a"ainst the petitioners had alread been dismissed b the C@ME/EC for
insufficienc of evidence, the petition is hereb "ranted and the complaint filed b private respondent bein" investi"ated anew b the
Tanodbaan char"in" the petitioners with the same election offense, 0'.M'..E0.
.@ @R0ERE0.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No). 111771-77 No:$-.$% 9, 1993
ANTONIO L. SANCHE,, petitioner,
vs.
T;$ Ho*o%a./$ HARRIET O. 2EMETRIOU <(* ;$% +a8a+(&y a) P%$)("(*# !"#$ o' R$#(o*a/ T%(a/ Co!%&, NCR, B%a*+; 70, Pa)(#=,
T;$ Ho*o%a./$ FRAN>LIN 2RILON <(* ;() +a8a+(&y a) S$+%$&a%y o' !)&(+$=, O3ENCITO R. ,U?O, LEONAR2O C. GUI0AB,
CARLOS L. 2E LEON, RAMONCITO C. MISON, RE0NAL2O . LUGTU, a*" RO2RIGO P. LOREN,O, &;$ /a)& )(@ %$)8o*"$*&) (*
&;$(% o''(+(a/ +a8a+(&($) a) -$-.$%) o' &;$ S&a&$ P%o)$+!&o%A) O''(+$=, respondents.
Mario #. 2ng:i:o an! Marciano P. Brion, r. for petitioner.
5he Solicitor General for respon!ents.

CRU,, J.:
There is probabl no more notorious person in the countr toda than Maor Antonio /. .anche; of Calauan, /a"una, who stands
accused of an unspea4able crime. @n him, the verdict has alread been rendered b man outra"ed persons who would immediatel
impose on him an an"r sentence. 3et, for all the pre!ud"ments a"ainst him, he is under our Constitution presumed innocent as lon" as
the contrar has not been proved. /i4e an other person accused of an offense, he is entitled to the full and vi"ilant protection of the Bill
of Ri"hts.
.anche; has brou"ht this petition to challen"e the order of the respondent !ud"e denin" his motion to -uash the informations for rape
with homicide filed a"ainst him and si= other persons. Fe shall treat it as we would an other suit filed b an liti"ant hopin" to obtain a
!ust and impartial !ud"ment from this Court.
The pertinent facts are as follows?
@n %ul +8, 566A, the Presidential Anti9Crime Commission re-uested the filin" of appropriate char"es a"ainst several persons, includin"
the petitioner, in connection with the rape9sla of Mar Eileen .armenta and the 4illin" of Allan $ome;.
Actin" on this re-uest, the Panel of .tate Prosecutors of the 0epartment of %ustice conducted a preliminar investi"ation on Au"ust 6,
566A. Petitioner .anche; was not present but was represented b his counsel, Att. Marciano Brion, %r.
@n Au"ust 5+, 566A, PNP Commander Re= Piad issued an :invitation: to the petitioner re-uestin" him to appear for investi"ation at
Camp Hicente /im in Canluban", /a"una. 't was served on .anche; in the mornin" of Au"ust 5A,566A, and he was immediatel ta4en to
the said camp.
At a confrontation that same da, .anche; was positivel identified b Aurelio Centeno, and .P@ ''' Hivencio Malabanan, who both
e=ecuted confessions implicatin" him as a principal in the rape9sla of .armenta and the 4illin" of $ome;. The petitioner was then placed
on :arrest status: and ta4en to the 0epartment of %ustice in Manila.
The respondent prosecutors immediatel conducted an in-uest upon his arrival, with Att. .alvador Panelo as his counsel.
After the hearin", a warrant of arrest was served on .anche;. This warrant was issued on Au"ust 5A, 566A, b %ud"e Enrico A. /an;anas
of the Re"ional Trial Court of Manila, Branch *, in connection with Criminal Cases Nos. 6A95+>)A> to 6A95+>)A* for violation of .ection
8, in relation to .ection 5, of R.A. No. )*5A. .anche; was forthwith ta4en to the C'. 0etention Center, Camp Crame, where he remains
confined.
@n Au"ust 5), 566A, the respondent prosecutors filed with the Re"ional Trial Court of Calamba, /a"una, seven informations char"in"
Antonio /. .anche;, /uis Corcolon, Ro"elio Corcolon, Pepito Cawit, Baldwin Brion, %r., $eor"e Medialdea and (oilo Ama with the rape
and 4illin" of Mar Eileen .armenta.
@n Au"ust +), 566A, %ud"e Eusta-uio P. .to. 0omin"o of that court issued a warrant for the arrest of all the accused, includin" the
petitioner, in connection with the said crime.
The respondent .ecretar of %ustice subse-uentl e=pressed his apprehension that the trial of the said cases mi"ht result in a
miscarria"e of !ustice because of the tense and partisan atmosphere in /a"una in favor of the petitioner and the relationship of an
emploee, in the trial court with one of the accused. This Court thereupon ordered the transfer of the venue of the seven cases to Pasi",
Metro Manila, where the were raffled to respondent %ud"e #arriet 0emetriou.
@n .eptember 5G, 566A, the seven informations were amended to include the 4illin" of Allan $ome; as an a""ravatin" circumstance.
@n that same date, the petitioner filed a motion to -uash the informations substantiall on the "rounds now raised in this petition. @n
.eptember 5A, 566A, after oral ar"uments, the respondent !ud"e denied the motion. .anche; then filed with this Court the instant petition
for certiorari and prohibition with praer for a temporar restrainin" orderIwrit of in!unction.
The petitioner ar"ues that the seven informations filed a"ainst him should be -uashed because? 52 he was denied the ri"ht to present
evidence at the preliminar investi"ation, +2 onl the @mbudsman had the competence to conduct the investi"ation, A2 his warrantless
arrest is ille"al and the court has therefore not ac-uired !urisdiction over him, >2 he is bein" char"ed with seven homicides arisin" from
the death of onl two persons, 72 the informations are discriminator because the do not include Teofilo Al-ue;a and Ed"ardo /avadia,
and )2 as a public officer, he can be tried for the offense onl b the .andi"anbaan.
The respondents submitted a Comment on the petition, to which we re-uired a Repl from the petitioner within a non9e=tendible period of
five das.
1
The Repl was filed five das late.
6
The Court ma consider his non9compliance an implied admission of the respondentsB
ar"uments or a loss of interest in prosecutin" his petition, which is a "round for its dismissal. Nevertheless, we shall disre"ard this
procedural lapse and proceed to discuss his petition on the basis of the ar"uments before us.
5he Preli"inary 0n9estigation.
The records of the hearin"s held on Au"ust 6 and 5A, 566A, belie the petitionerBs contention that he was not accorded the ri"ht to present
counter9affidavits.
0urin" the preliminar investi"ation on Au"ust 6, 566A, the petitionerBs counsel, Att. Marciano Brion, manifested that his client was
waivin" the presentation of a counter9affidavit, thus?
Att. Brion, %r.?
KFLe manifest that after reviewin" them there is nothin" to rebut or countermand all these statements as far as Maor
.anche; is concerned, Fe are not "oin" to submit an counter9affidavit.
AC.P (uMo to Att. Brion?
=== === ===
N. .o far, there are no other statements.
A. 'f there is none then, we will not submit an counter9affidavit because we believe there is nothin" to
rebut or countermand with all these statements.
N. .o, ou are waivin" our submission of counter9affidavitJ
A. 3es, our honor, unless there are other witnesses who will come up soon.
3
Nonetheless, the head of the Panel of Prosecutors, respondent %ovencito (uMo, told Att. Brion that he could still file a counter9affidavit up
to Au"ust +*, 566A. No such counter9affidavit was filed.
0urin" the hearin" on Au"ust 5BA, 566A, respondent (uMo furnished the petitionerBs counsel, this time Att. .alvador Panelo, with copies
of the sworn statements of Centeno and Malabanan, and told him he could submit counter9affidavits on or before Au"ust +*, 566A. The
followin" e=chan"e ensued?
AC.P (uMo?
&or the record, we are furnishin" to ou the sworn statement of witness Aurelio Centeno Ro=as and the
sworn statement of .P@A Hivencio Malabanan An"eles.
0o ' understand from ou that ou are a"ain waivin" the submission of counter9affidavitJ
Att. Panelo?
3es.
AC.P (uMo?
.o, insofar as the respondent, Maor Antonio .anche; is concerned, this case is submitted for resolution.
4
@n the other hand, there is no support for the petitionerBs subse-uent manifestation that his counsel, Att. Brion, was not notified of the
in-uest held on Au"ust 5A, 566A, and that he was not furnished with the affidavits sworn to on that date b Hivencio Malabanan and
Aurelio Centeno, or with their supplemental affidavits dated Au"ust 57, 566A. Moreover, the above9-uoted e=cerpt shows that the
petitionerBs counsel at the hearin" held on Au"ust 5A, 566A, was not Att. Brion but Att. Panelo.
The petitioner was present at that hearin" and he never disowned Att. Panelo as his counsel. 0urin" the entire proceedin"s, he
remained -uiet and let this counsel spea4 and ar"ue on his behalf. 't was onl in his tard Repl that he has suddenl bestirred himself
and would now -uestion his representation b this lawer as unauthori;ed and inofficious.
.ection A, Para"raph 1d2, Rule 55+ of the Rules of Court, provides that if the respondent cannot be subpoenaed or, if subpoenaed, does
not submit counter9affidavits, the investi"atin" officer shall base his resolution on the evidence presented b the complainant.
%ust as the accused ma renounce the ri"ht to be present at the preliminar investi"ation
5
, so ma he waive the ri"ht to present counter9
affidavits or an other evidence in his defense.
At an rate, it is settled that the absence of a preliminar investi"ation does not impair the validit of the information or otherwise render
the same defective and neither does it affect the !urisdiction of the court over the case or constitute a "round for -uashin" the
information.
6
'f no preliminar investi"ation has been held, or if it is flawed, the trial court ma, on motion of the accused, order an investi"ation or
reinvesti"ation and hold the proceedin"s in the criminal case in abeance.
7
'n the case at bar, however, the respondent !ud"e saw no
reason or need for such a step. &indin" no arbitrariness in her factual conclusions, we shall defer to her !ud"ment.
uris!iction of the 2"bu!s"an
'nvo4in" the case of ,eloso 9. ,o"ingo,
9
the petitioner submits that the proceedin"s conducted b the 0epartment of %ustice are null
and void because it had no !urisdiction over the case. #is claim is that it is the @ffice of the @mbudsman that is vested with the power to
conduct the investi"ation of all cases involvin" public officers li4e him, as the municipal maor of Calauan, /a"una.
The @mbudsman is indeed empowered under .ection 57, para"raph 152 of R.A. )**G to investi"ate and prosecute, an ille"al act or
omission of an public official. #owever, as we held onl two ears a"o in the case ofAguinal!o 9. ,o"agas,
9
this authorit :is not an
e=clusive authorit but rather a shared or concurrent authorit in. respect of the offense char"ed.:
Petitioners finall assert that the information and amended information filed in this case needed the approval of the
@mbudsman. 't is not disputed that the information and amended information here did not have the approval of the
@mbudsman. #owever, we do not believe that such approval was necessar at all. 'n ,eloso 9. ,o"ingo, 565 .CRA. 7>7
1566G2, the Court held that the @mbudsman has authorit to investi"ate char"es of ille"al or omissions on the part of an
public official, i.e., an crime imputed to a public official. 't must, however, be pointed out that the authorit of the
@mbudsman to investi"ate :an Kille"alL act or omission of an public official: 1565 .CRA at 77G2
isnot an e$clusi9e authorit but rather a shared or concurrent authorit in respect of the offense here char"ed, i.e., the
crime of sedition. Thus, the non9involvement of the office of the @mbudsman in the present case does not have an
adverse le"al conse-uence upon the authorit the panel of prosecutors to file and prosecute the information or amended
information.
'n fact, other investi"ator a"encies, of the "overnment such as the 0epartment of %ustice, in connection with the char"e of
sedition,
10
and the Presidential Commission on $ood $overnment, in ill9"otten wealth cases,
11
ma conduct the investi"ation,
5he Arrest
Fas petitioner .anche; arrested on Au"ust 5A, 566AJ
:Arrest: is defined under .ection 5, Rule 55A of the Rules of Court as the ta4in" of a person into custod in order that he ma be bound to
answer for the commission of an offense. Dnder .ection + of the same Rule, an arrest is effected b an actual restraint of the person to
be arrested or b his voluntar submission to the custod of the person ma4in" the arrest.
Application of actual force, manual touchin" of the bod, phsical restraint or a formal declaration of arrest is not, re-uired. 't is enou"h
that there be an intent on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other and an intent onthe part of the other to submit, under the belief
and impression that submission is necessar.
16
The petitioner was ta4en to Camp Hicente /im, Canluban", /a"una, b virtue of a letter9invitation issued b PNP Commander Re= Piad
re-uestin" him to appear at the said camp for investi"ation.
'n Babst 9. ;ational 0ntelligence Boar!
13
this Court declared?
Be that as it ma, it is not idle to note that ordinaril, an invitation to attend a hearin" and answer some -uestions, which
the person invited ma heed or refuse at his pleasure, is not ille"al or constitutionall ob!ectionable. Dnder certain
circumstances, however, such an invitation can easil assume a different appearance. Thus, where the in9itation co"es
fro" a powerful group co"pose! pre!o"inantly of ran:ing "ilitary officers issued at a time when the countr has !ust
emer"ed from martial rule and when the suspension of the privile"e of the writ of habeas corpus has not entirel been
lifted, and the !esignate! interrogation site is a "ilitary ca"p, the same can be easil ta4en, not as a strictly 9oluntary
in9itation which it purports to be, but as an authoritati9e co""an! which one can onl def at his peril. . . . 1Emphasis
supplied2
'n the case at bar, the invitation came from a hi"h9ran4in" militar official and the investi"ation of .anche; was to be made at a militar
camp. Althou"h in the "uise of a re-uest, it was obviousl a command or an order of arrest that the petitioner could hardl he e=pected to
def. 'n fact, apparentl cowed b the :invitation,: he went without protest 1and in informal clothes and slippers onl2 with the officers who
had come to fetch him.
't ma not be amiss to observe that under R.A. No. *>A8, the re-uisites of a :custodial investi"ation: are applicable even to a person not
formall arrested but merel :invited: for -uestionin".
't should li4ewise be noted that at Camp Hicente /im, the petitioner was placed on :arrest status: after he was pointed to b Centeno and
Malabanan as the person who first raped Mar Eileen .armenta. Respondent (uMo himself ac4nowled"ed durin" the Au"ust 5A, 566A
hearin" that, on the basis of the sworn statements of the two state witnesses, petitioner had been :arrested.:
Fe a"ree with the petitioner that his arrest did not come under .ection 7, Rule 55A of the Rules of Court, providin" as follows?
.ec. 7. Arrest without warrant< when lawful. < A peace officer or a private person ma, without a warrant, arrest a person?
1a2 Fhen, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actuall committin", or is attemptin" to commit an
offense,
1b2 Fhen an offense has in fact !ust been committed and he has personal 4nowled"e of facts indicatin" that the person to
be arrested has committed it, and
1c2 Fhen the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escapes from a penal establishment or place where he is
servin" final !ud"ment or temporaril confined while his case is pendin", or has escaped while bein" transferred from one
confinement to another.
't is not denied that the arrestin" officers were not present when the petitioner alle"edl participated in the 4illin" of Allan $ome; and the
rape9sla of Mar Eileen .armenta. Neither did the have an personal 4nowled"e that the petitioner was responsible therefor because
the basis of the arrest was the sworn statements of Centeno and Malabanan. Moreover, as the rape and 4illin" of .armenta alle"edl
too4 place on %une +89%une +6, 566A, or fort9si= das before the date of the arrest, it cannot be said that the offense had :in fact !ust
been committed: when the petitioner was arrested.
The ori"inal warrantless arrest of the petitioner was doubtless ille"al. Nevertheless, the Re"ional Trial Court lawfull ac-uired !urisdiction
over the person of the petitioner b virtue of the warrant of arrest it issued on Au"ust +), 566A a"ainst him and the other accused in
connection with the rape9sla cases. 't was belated, to be sure, but it was nonetheless le"al.
Even on the assumption that no warrant was issued at all, we find that the trial court still lawfull ac-uired !urisdiction over the person of
the petitioner. The rule is that if the accused ob!ects to the !urisdiction of the court over his person, he ma move to -uash the
information, but onl on that "round. 'f, as in this case, the accused raises other "rounds in the motion to -uash, he is deemed to have
waived that ob!ection and to have submitted his person to the !urisdiction of that court.
14
The Court notes that on Au"ust 5A, 566A, after the petitioner was unlawfull arrested, %ud"e /an;anas issued a warrant of arrest a"ainst
Antonio /. .anche; in connection with Criminal Cases Nos. 6A95+>)A> to 6A95+>)A* for violation of R.A No. )*5A.
15
Pendin" the
issuance of the warrant of arrest for the rape9sla cases, this first warrant served as the initial !ustification for his detention.
The Court also adverts to its uniform rulin" that the filin" of char"es, and the issuance of the correspondin" warrant of arrest, a"ainst a
person invalidl detained will cure the defect of that detention or at least den him the ri"ht to be released because of such
defect. B Applicable b analo" to the case at bar is Rule 5G+ .ection > of the Rules of Court that?
.ec, >. =hen writ is not allowe! or !ischarge authori>e!. < 'f it appears that the person alle"ed to be restrained of his
libert is in the custod of an officer under process issued b a court or !ud"e or b virtue of a !ud"ment or order of a court
of record, and that the court or !ud"e had !urisdiction to issue the process, render the !ud"ment, or ma4e the order, the writ
shall not be allowed, or if the !urisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be dischar"ed b reason of
an informalit or defect in the process, !ud"ment, or order. Nor shall, anthin" in this rule be held to authori;e the
dischar"e of a person char"ed with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines or of a person sufferin" imprisonment
under lawful !ud"ment.
'n one case,
16
the petitioner, sued on habeas corpus on the "round that she had been arrested b virtue of a %ohn 0oe warrant. 'n their
return, the respondents declared that a new warrant specificall namin" her had been issued, thus validatin" her detention. Fhile
frownin" at the tactics of the respondents, the Court said?
The, case has, indeed, become moot and academic inasmuch as the new warrant of arrest complies with the
re-uirements of the Constitution and the Rules of Court re"ardin" the particular description of the person to be arrested.
Fhile the first warrant was un-uestionabl void, bein" a "eneral warrant, release of the petitioner for that reason will be a
futile act as it will be followed b her immediate re9arrest pursuant to the new and valid warrant, returnin" her to the same
prison she will !ust have left. This Court will not participate in such a meanin"less charade.
The same doctrine has been consistentl followed b the Court,
17
more recentl in the 7"il case.
19
5he 0nfor"ations
The petitioner submits that the seven informations char"in" seven separate homicides are absurd because the two victims in these cases
could not have died seven times.
This ar"ument was correctl refuted b the .olicitor $eneral in this wise?
Thus, where there are two or more offenders who commit rape, the homicide committed on the occasion or b reason of
each rape, must be deemed as a constituent of the special comple= crime of rape with homicide. Therefore, there will be
as man crimes of rape with homicide as there are rapes committed.
'n effect, the presence of homicide -ualifies the crime of rape, thereb raisin" its penalt to the hi"hest de"ree. Thus,
homicide committed on the occasion or b reason of rape, loses its character as an independent offense, but assumes a
new character, and functions li4e a -ualifin" circumstance. #owever,b fiction of law, it mer"ed with rape to constitute an
constituent element of a special comple= crime of rape with homicide with a specific penalt which is in the hi"hest
de"ree, i.e. death 1reduced to reclusion perpetua with the suspension of the application of the death penalt b the
Constitution2.
't is clearl provided in Rule 55G of the Rules of Court that?
.ec. 5A. ,uplicity of offense. A complaint or information must char"e but one offense, e=cept onl in those cases in which
e=istin" laws prescribe a simple punishment for various offenses.
Rape with homicide comes within the e=ception under R.A. +)A+ and R.A. >555, amendin" the Revised Penal Code.
The petitioner and his si= co9accused are not char"ed with onl one rape committed b him in conspirac with the other si=. Each one of
the seven accused is char"ed with havin" himself raped .armenta instead of simpl helpin" .anche; in committin" onl one rape. 'n
other words, the alle"ation of the prosecution is that the "irl was raped seven times, with each of the seven accused ta4in" turns in
abusin" her with the assistance of the other si=. Afterwards, their lust satisfied, all seven of them decided to 4ill and thus silence
.armenta.
Ever one of the seven accused is bein" char"ed separatel for actuall rapin" .armenta and later 4illin" her instead of merel assistin"
the petitioner in rapin" and then slain" her. The separate informations filed a"ainst each of them alle"e that each of the seven
successive rapes is comple=ed b the subse-uent slain" of .armenta and a""ravated b the 4illin" of Allan $ome; b her seven
attac4ers. The separate rapes were committed in succession b the seven accused, culminatin" in the slain" of .armenta.
't is of course absurd to su""est that Mar Eileen .armenta and Allan $ome; were 4illed seven times, but the informations do not ma4e
such a su""estion. 't is the petitioner who does so and is thus hoist b his own petard.
5he Allege! ,iscri"ination
The char"e of discrimination a"ainst the petitioner because of the non9inclusion of Teofilo Al-ue;a and Ed"ardo /avadia in the
informations must also be dismissed.
Fhile the prosecutin" officer is re-uired b law to char"e all those who in his opinion, appear to be "uilt, he nevertheless cannot be
compelled to include in the information a person a"ainst whom he believes no sufficient evidence of "uilt e=ists.
19
The appreciation of the
evidence involves the use of discretion on the part of the prosecutor, and we do not find in the case at bar a clear showin" b the
petitioner of a "rave abuse of such discretion.
60
The decision of the prosecutor ma be reversed or modified b the .ecretar of %ustice or in special cases b the President of the
Philippines.
61
But even this Court cannot order the prosecution of a person a"ainst whom the prosecutor does not find sufficient evidence
to support at least a pri"a facie case. The courts tr and absolve or convict the accused but as a rule have no part in the initial decision
to prosecute him.
The possible e=ception is where there is an unmista4able showin" of a "rave abuse of discretion that will !ustif !udicial intrusion into the
precincts of the e=ecutive. But in such a case the proper remed to call for such e=ception is a petition for "an!a"us, not certiorari or
prohibition.
66
Moreover, before resortin" to this relief, the part see4in" the inclusion of another person as a co9accused in the same case
must first avail itself of other ade-uate remedies such as the filin" of a motion for such inclusion.
63
At an rate, it is a preposterous contention that because no char"es have been filed a"ainst Al-ue;a and /avadia, the char"es a"ainst
the petitioner and his co9accused should also be dropped.
uris!iction of the San!iganbayan
The petitioner ar"ued earlier that since most of the accused were incumbent public officials or emploees at the time of the alle"ed
commission of the crimes, the cases a"ainst them should come under the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan and not of the re"ular courts.
This contention was withdrawn in his Repl but we shall discuss it !ust the same for the "uidance of all those concerned.
.ection >, para"raph 1a2 of P.0. No, 5)G), as amended b P.0. No.58)5, provides?
.ec. >. uris!iction. < The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise?
a2 E=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
152 Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt
Practices Act, Republic Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code?
1+2 @ther offenses or felonies committed b public officers and emploees in relation to their office,
includin" those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or comple=ed
with other crimes, where the penalt prescribed b law is hi"her than prision correccional or imprisonment
for si= 1)2 ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG. . . . 1Emphasis supplied2
The crime of rape with homicide with which the petitioner stands char"ed obviousl does not fall under para"raph 152, which deals with
"raft and corruption cases. Neither is it covered b para"raph 1+2 because it is not an offense committed in relation to the office of the
petitioner.
'n Montilla 9, Hilario,
64
this Court described the :offense committed in relation to the office: as follows?
KTLhe relation between the crime and the office contemplated b the Constitution is, in our opinion, direct and not
accidental. To fall into the intent of the Constitution, the relation has to be such that, in the le"al sense, the offense cannot
e=ist without the office. 'n other words, the office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such
as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to .i=, Title .even, of the Revised Penal Code.
Public office is not of the essence of murder. The ta4in" of human life is either murder or homicide whether done b a
private citi;en or public servant, and the penalt is the same e=cept when the perpetrator. bein" a public functionar too4
advanta"e of his office, as alle"ed in this case, in which event the penalt is increased.
But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element, and even as an a""ravatin" circumstance, its
materialit arises not from the alle"ations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from
the manner of the commission of the crime
There is no direct relation between the commission of the crime of rape with homicide and the petitionerBs office as municipal maor
because public office is not an essential element of the crime char"ed. The offense can stand independentl of the office. Moreover, it is
not even alle"ed in the information that the commission of the crime char"ed was intimatel connected with the performance of the
petitionerBs official functions to ma4e it fall under the e=ception laid down in People 9. Montejo.
65
'n that case, a cit maor and several detectives were char"ed with murder for the death of a suspect as a result of a :third de"ree:
investi"ation held at a police substation. The appearance of a senator as their counsel was -uestioned b the prosecution on the "round
that he was inhibited b the Constitution from representin" them because the were accused of an offense committed in relation to their
office. The Court a"reed. 't held that even if their position was not an essential in"redient of the offense, there was nevertheless an
intimate connection between the office and the offense, as alle"ed in the information, that brou"ht it within the definition of an offense
:committed in relation to the public office.:
As Chief %ustice Concepcion said?
't is apparent from these alle"ations that, althou"h public office is not an element of the crime of murder in abstract, as
committed b the main respondents herein, accordin" to the amended information, the offense therein char"ed
is inti"ately connecte! with their respective offices and was perpetrated while the were in the performance, thou"h
improper or irre"ular, of their official functions. 'ndeed the had no personal motive to commit the crime and the would
not have committed it had the not held their aforesaid offices. The co9defendants of respondent /ero .. Brown, obeed
his instructions because he was their superior officer, as Maor of Basilan Cit. 1Emphasis supplied2.
Fe have read the informations in the case at bar and find no alle"ation therein that the crime of rape with homicide imputed to the
petitioner was connected with the dischar"e of his functions as municipal maor or that there is an :intimate connection: between the
offense and his office. 't follows that the said crime, bein" an ordinar offense, is triable b the re"ular courts and not the .andi"anbaan.
Conclusion
As above demonstrated, all of the "rounds invo4ed b the petitioner are not supported b the facts and the applicable law and
!urisprudence. The must, therefore, all be re!ected. 'n conse-uence, the respondent !ud"e, who has started the trial of the criminal cases
a"ainst the petitioner and his co9accused, ma proceed therewith without further hindrance.
't remains to stress that the decision we ma4e toda is not a decision on the merits of the criminal cases bein" tried below. These will
have to be decided b the respondent !ud"e in accordance with the evidence that is still bein" received. At this time, there is et no basis
for !ud"ment, onl uninformed con!ecture. The Court will caution a"ainst such irrelevant public speculations as the can be based onl on
imperfect 4nowled"e if not officious i"norance.
F#ERE&@RE, the petition is 0'.M'..E0. The respondent !ud"e is 0'RECTE0 to continue with the trial of Criminal Cases Nos. 5G55>5,
5G55>+, 5G55>A, 5G55>>, 5G55>7, 5G55>) and 5G55>* and to decide them with deliberate dispatch.
.@ @R0ERE0.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 71163-65 No:$-.$% 9, 1990
CARLITO P. BON2OC, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE SAN2IGANBA0AN AN2 THE HONORABLE TANO2BA0AN, respondents.
/oren>o G. 5i"bol for petitioner.

NAR3ASA, J.:
.ection > 1para"raph A2 of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G), as amended, provides in part that
1
C
'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with public officers or emploees,
includin" those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations,they shoul! be trie! jointly with sai! public
officers or e"ployees.
Fhether or not compliance with this re-uirement is mandator in ever instance, and is indeed so essential as to cause the
.andi"anbaan to lose !urisdiction over a specific criminal case in the event of its non9fulfillment, is the main issue presented b the
special civil action of certiorari at bar. The issue is raised in the conte=t of the undisputed facts hereunder narrated.
Two 1+2 emploees of the Central Ban4 < Manuel Halentino and %esus Estacio < and nine 162 private individuals, were char"ed with
several felonies of estafa thru falsification of public !ocu"ents in three 1A2 separate informations filed b the Tanodbaan with the
.andi"anbaan on April 57, 568+. The actions were doc4eted as Criminal Cases Numbered 76>6 to 7675. The were assi"ned to the
.econd 0ivision of the .andi"anbaan.
Before the prosecution rested its case, the Tanodbaan filed with the .andi"anbaan on Au"ust +A, 568>, another set of three 1A2
indictments, this time a"ainst Carlito P. Bondoc 1Assistant Mana"er of the $reenhills Branch of C'T'BANC2 and Ro"elio Hicente, also a
private individual, char"in" them with the same crimes involved in Cases No. 76>6 to 7675 as principals by in!ispensable cooperation.
The actions a"ainst Bondoc and Hicente were doc4eted as Criminal Cases Numbered 6A>6 to 6A75. The were assi"ned to the Third
0ivision of the .andi"anbaan.
Bondoc moved to -uash the informations on %anuar A, 5687 on the basic theor that as a private individual char"ed as co9principal with
"overnment emploees, he should be tried !ointl with the latter pursuant to .ection > 1para"raph A2 of P0 5)G), as amended, supra,
hence, the separate proceedin"s commenced a"ainst him were invalid, for lac4 of !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over the offenses
and his person.
The Third 0ivision denied BondocBs motion to -uash, b Resolution dated &ebruar ++, 5687.
6
't ruled that 1a2 the !oint trial of private
individuals and public emploees char"ed as co9principals, dealt with in the cited provision of law, is not a !urisdictional re-uirement, 1b2
BondocBs theor would practicall ma4e the CourtBs :!urisdiction over a private individual char"ed as co9principal, accomplice or
accessor with a public officer or emploee dependent upon such private individual: 1as b evadin" service of le"al processes until :!oint
trial is no lon"er feasible:2, and 1c2 it is the intention of the law, manifested in the same .ection >, :to avert split !urisdiction 1and2 thus
avoid multiplicit of suits.:
Bondoc moved for reconsideration on March >, 5687. #is motion was denied b Resolution dated March +8, 5687. #owever, in order to
obviate his ob!ection to a separate trial, which was the principal basis of his motion to -uash, the Third 0ivision, in the same resolution,
referred BondocBs cases 1No. 6A>6 to 6A752 to the .econd 0ivision for consolidation with Cases Numbered 76>6 to 7675.
3
But b that time, the trial of Criminal Cases No. 76>6 to 7675 had been terminated. The .econd 0ivision thus resolved, on %une >,
5687,
4
to den the proposed consolidation of the actions and to return Criminal Cases No. 6A>6 to 6A75 to the Third 0ivision. 'n its
Resolution, the .econd 0ivision also made the followin" observation, to wit?
'n @ur resolution dated April 6,5687, Fe accepted the transfer of these cases and directed the accused and counsel to
ascertain the advisabilit of havin" them consolidated and !ointl tried with Criminal Cases Nos. 76>6 to 7675 which have
been previousl ordered reopened. #owever, at the hearin" held on April 5, 5687, counsel for accused Ro"elio $. Hicente
manifested that there is no possibilit of the instant cases bein" consolidated with Criminal Cases Nos. 76>6 to 7675 or
the adoption of prosecutionBs evidence adduced in said cases, as well as the fact that said accused has a pendin" motion
for reinvesti"ation with the 5ano!bayan ...
@n receivin" the criminal cases bac4 from the .econd 0ivision, the Third 0ivision set the cases for arrai"nment and trial on Au"ust 5 and
+, 5687.
@n %une +), 5687, Bondoc filed with this Court the petition for certiorari and prohibition at bar.
#e ar"ues that the .andi"anbaan acted with "rave abuse of discretion in see4in" to tr him separatel from the Central Ban4
emploees?
5. 'n accordance with the clear phraseolo" of para"raph A, .ection >, P0 5)G), it is re-uired that heshall be tried !ointl
with the "overnment emploees involved in the same offenses, namel? Manuel Halentino and %esus Estacio, the
lan"ua"e is mandator, the re-uirement !urisdictional.
+. Bein" mandator and !urisdictional, the provision should be "iven a strict construction, citin" American authorities,
5
to
the effect that if mandator provisions prescribed b law are not followed, the proceedin"s to winch the relate are ille"al
and void.
A. .ince the .andi"anbaan is a special court, with !urisdiction over special cases which are removed from the !urisdiction
of re"ular courts, and since the "overnin" law allows onl one appeal from its !ud"ments of conviction and therefore the
defendantBs chances of eventual ac-uittal is thereb lessened, the law creatin" said .andi"anbaan should be sub!ect to
strict interpretation because in dero"ation of "eneral !urisdiction and of ri"hts of individuals.
6
>. 'n sum, before the .andi"anbaan ma lawfull tr a private individual under P0 5)G), the followin" re-uisites must be
satisfied?
a2 he must be char"ed with a public officerIemploee, and
b2 he must be tried !ointl.
@therwise, ordinar courts should have !urisdiction. An other interpretation would render the provision in -uestion
Buseless, meanin"less and nu"ator.
7. The Third 0ivision itself reco"ni;ed the need for a !oint trial when it referred his cases to the .econd 0ivision for
consolidation.
). .ince a !oint trial was then alread impossible, said mandator and !urisdictional provision can no lon"er be complied
with, therefore, the .andi"anbaan cannot e=ercise !urisdiction over the offense and the person of the petitioner.
*. Dnder these circumstances, the petitioner has a ri"ht to be tried b civil courts where his chances of ac-uittal are
"reater considerin" that therein, there are at least two levels of appeal.
8. The prosecution should have amended the informations in Criminal Cases No. 76>6 to 7675 to include Bondoc as
additional accused 1this bein" onl an amendment in form2, then it could as4 for suspension of the proceedin"s, so the
evidence can be re9introduced as a"ainst Bondoc.
6. &inall, the onl public emploee char"ed in Criminal Cases 76>697675 is !anitor9messen"er, Estacio. The other Central
Ban4 emploee, Halentino, had alread been dischar"ed as a state witness. #e 1Bondoc2 was bein" made to stand trial in
the .andi"anbaan simpl because an :errand bo: in the Central Ban4 has also been accused of some complicit in the
crime.
The .olicitor $eneral, for his part <
52 brands as absurd the petitionerBs ar"ument that the .andi"anbaan ma ac-uire !urisdiction onl b a !oint trial, this bein" contrar to
the rule that in criminal cases !urisdiction of the person is ac-uired b his arrest 1or voluntar submission to the Court2, and over the
offense, b the filin" of the indictment, and
+2 asserts that .ection > 1A2, P0 5)G) merel prescribes the procedure when a private individual is char"ed with a public officer or
emploee, once !urisdiction is ac-uired, it is not lost b procedural error 1Ramos, et al., v. CB, >5 .CRA 7)7, 0io-uino v. Cru;, et al., 55)
.CRA >752.
.ection > of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G) vests the .andi"an9baan with e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over specific crimes and, as the
.andi"anbaan has pointed out, supra, provides a"ainst split !urisdiction as re"ards the civil liabilit arisin" from the crime. 't declares
that the .andi"anbaan shall have<
E=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
152 Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act,
Republic Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code,
1+2 @ther offenses or felonies committed b public officers and emploees in relation to their office, includin" those
emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes, where the
penalt prescribed b law is hi"her than prision correccionalor imprisonment for si= 1)2 ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG.
't also declares that <
An provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrar notwithstandin", the criminal action and the correspondin" civil
action for the recover of civil liabilit arisin" from the offense char"ed shall at all times be simultaneousl instituted with,
and !ointl determined in the same proceedin" b the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate courts 1also vested with
!urisdiction over crimes committed b public officers and emploees2, the filin" of the criminal action bein" deemed to
necessaril carr with it the filin" of the civil action, and no ri"ht to reserve the filin" of such civil action separatel from the
criminal action shall be reco"ni;ed, Provided, #owever, That where the civil action had heretofore been filed separatel
but !ud"ment therein has not et been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the .andi"anbaan or the
appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate court, as the case ma be,
for consolidation and !oint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be considered
abandoned.
Now, the crime with which Bondoc is char"ed as co%principal by in!ispensable cooperation with the Central Ban4 emploees above
mentioned 1Halentino and Estacio2<in each of the three 1A2 indictments a"ainst him is the comple= felon of estafa thru falsification of
public !ocu"ents under Article 5*5
7
in relation to Articles A57
9
and >8
9
of the Revised Penal Code.
The crimes are :offenses or felonies committed b public officers and emploees in relation to their office,: in confabulation and
conspirac with him 1Bondoc2 and other private persons. The penalt prescribed b law for each of the three offenses is hi"her than the
penalt set out in .ection > of P0 5)G) above cited, i.e., prision correccional or si= ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG.
10
Each offense is
therefore within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
't is indisputable that the .andi"anbaan ac-uired !urisdiction of the offenses char"ed in the informations a"ainst Bondoc and his co9
accused, based on the nature of the crimes as described in the indictments and the penalt prescribed therefor b law. Also
incontrovertible is that the .andi"anbaan ac-uired !urisdiction of the persons of the accused throu"h their arrest b virtue of a warrant,
or voluntar submission to the CourtBs authorit.
't is true that the law re-uires that Bondoc and Hicente, as private individuals char"ed as co9principals with public officers or emploees,
:be tried !ointl with said public officers or emploees.: $iven the peculiar circumstances of their cases, i.e., the 1Bondoc and Hicente2
were not investi"ated and indicted until lon" after the criminal proceedin"s a"ainst their co9principals had commenced, and the latterBs
cases had alread been submitted for decision when BondocBs and HicenteBs own cases came up for trial9the -uestion that now raises is
whether or not the declaration of the .andi"anbaan that it was no lon"er possible or le"all feasible to tr them !ointl with the
"overnment emploees accused of the same offenses, had the effect of causin" the .andi"anbaan to lose !urisdiction over BondocBs
cases, and whether or not, as a conse-uence, those cases became co"ni;able b the re"ular courts and should be transferred thereto
for trial and ad!ud"ment.
't must at once be evident that the seemin" impossibilit of a !oint trial cannot and does not alter the essential nature of the crimes in
-uestion, as felonies perpetrated b public officers or emploees in confabulation with private persons. 't should be as obvious, too, that
assumin" it is correct to construe the law in a strictl literal sense, the indicated course of action would be to insist on holdin" a !oint trial
re"ardless of whatever circumstances ma appear to ma4e such a !oint trial inappropriate, inconvenient, unfeasible. Thus, for instance,
the cases in the .econd 0ivision, althou"h alread submitted for decision, should be reopened to allow for the consolidation of BondocBs
cases with those of the defendants therein, and the reception of evidence a"ainst and for Bondoc. 'ndeed, even in the e=treme
hpothesis of appeal havin" alread been ta4en b BondocBs co9accused, the course of action dictated b a literal construction of the
provision on !oint trial is the remand of the appealed case to the .andi"anbaan so that the !oint trial ma be conducted.
To construe the law in the manner indicated, however, would be unreasonable, if not absurd 1what of the case, for instance, where the
accused public officers or emploees have alread been convicted and have appealed, or are alread servin" sentence, or have been
ac-uitted2, and settled is the rule that courts should not "ive a statute a meanin" that would lead to absurdities,
11
"eneral terms of a
statute should be so limited in their application as precisel to avoid absurdities, and it will alwas be presumed that the le"islature
intended e=ceptions to its lan"ua"e which would avoid conse-uences of this character.
16
The provision in -uestion should thus be read
as re-uirin" that private individuals accused in the .andi"anbaan, to"ether with public officers or emploees, must be tried !ointl with
the latter unless the attendant circumstances have made impossible or impracticable such a !oint trial, as in the cases at bar, in which
event the trial of said private persons ma proceed separatel from the public officers or emploees whose own trials have been
concluded.
Besides, there is nothin" so sacrosanct or important about a !oint trial as to !ustif a radical deviation from ordinar, orderl court
processes in order to have it, or as to affect the ver !urisdiction of the Court re-uired to conduct it. The evidence of the .tate or of the
accused does not become wea4er or stron"er whether presented at a !oint or separate trial, the ri"hts of the accused are not enhanced
or diluted b the character of a trial as !oint or separate, the procedure prescribed in either situation is essentiall the same. 'ndeed, it is a
"au"e of the importance of a !oint trial, in the ees of trial attornes and of the law itself, that there are as man lawers movin" for a
separate trial as there are, for a !oint trial, and that courts are "ranted the discretion, in cases where two or more accused are !ointl
char"ed with an offense, to order separate trials instead of a !oint trial, on motion of the fiscal or an accused.
13
&urhermore, it is not le"all possible to transfer BondocBs cases to the Re"ional Trial Court, for the simple reason that the latter would not
have !urisdiction over the offenses. As alread above intimated, the inabilit of the .andi"anbaan to hold a !oint trial of BondocBs cases
and those of the "overnment emploees separatel char"ed for the same crimes, has not altered the nature of the offenses char"ed,
as estafa thru falsification punishable b penalties hi"her than prision correccional or imprisonment of si= ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG,
committed b "overnment emploees in conspirac with private persons, includin" Bondoc. These crimes are within the e=clusive,
ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. The simpl cannot be ta4en co"ni;ance of b the re"ular courts, apart from the fact that even
if the cases could be so transferred, a !oint trial would nonetheless not be possible.
As to BondocBs onl other ar"ument, that his cases should be transferred to the re"ular courts because he would there have two levels of
appeal 1i.e., the Court of Appeals, and then the .upreme Court2, unli4e in the .andi"anbaan where his appellate recourse is onl one, to
the .upreme Court, it suffices to point out, as the .andi"anbaan has, that the matter has lon" since been laid to rest, in ;une> 9.
San!iganbayan.
14
F#ERE&@RE, the petition is 0EN'E0 for lac4 of merit, with costs a"ainst petitioner.
.@ @R0ERE0.
T#'R0 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No. 116033. F$.%!a%y 66, 1997E
ALFRE2O L. A,ARCON, petitioner, vs. SAN2IGANBA0AN, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES a*" OSE C. BATAUSA, respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
PANGANIBAN, J.5
0oes the .andi"anbaan have !urisdiction over a private individual who is char"ed with malversation of public funds as a principal
after the said individual had been desi"nated b the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue as a custodian of distrained propertJ 0id such accused
become a public officer and therefore sub!ect to the "raft courtOs !urisdiction as a conse-uence of such desi"nation b the B'RJ
These are the main -uestions in the instant petition for review of respondent .andi"anbaanOs 0ecision
K5L
in Criminal Case No.
5>+)G promul"ated on March 8, 566>, convictin" petitioner of malversation of public funds and propert, and Resolution
K+L
dated %une +G,
566>, denin" his motion for new trial or reconsideration thereof.
T;$ Fa+&)
Petitioner Alfredo A;arcon owned and operated an earth9movin" business, haulin" Pdirt and ore.Q
KAL
#is services were contracted b
the Paper 'ndustries Corporation of the Philippines 1P'C@P2 at its concession in Man"a"o, .uri"ao del .ur. @ccasionall, he en"a"ed
the services of sub9contractors li4e %aime Ancla whose truc4s were left at the formerOs premises.
K>L
&rom this set of circumstances arose
the present controvers.
P= = = 't appears that on Ma +7, 568A, a Farrant of 0istraint of Personal Propert was issued b the Main @ffice of the Bureau of 'nternal
Revenue 1B'R2 addressed to the Re"ional 0irector 1%ose Batausa2 or his authori;ed representative of Revenue Re"ion 5G, Butuan Cit
commandin" the latter to distraint the "oods, chattels or effects and other personal propert of %aime Ancla, a sub9contractor of accused
A;arcon and, a delin-uent ta=paer. The Farrant of $arnishment was issued to accused Alfredo A;arcon orderin" him to transfer,
surrender, transmit andIor remit to B'R the propert in his possession owned b ta=paer Ancla. The Farrant of $arnishment was
received b accused A;arcon on %une 5*, 5687.Q
K7L
Petitioner A;arcon, in si"nin" the PReceipt for $oods, Articles, and Thin"s .ei;ed Dnder Authorit of the National 'nternal Revenue,Q
assumed the underta4in"s specified in the receipt the contents of which are reproduced as follows?
P1'2, the undersi"ned, hereb ac4nowled"e to have received from Amadeo H. .an 0ie"o, an 'nternal Revenue @fficer, Bureau of 'nternal
Revenue of the Philippines, the followin" described "oods, articles, and thin"s?
Cind of propert 999 'su;u dump truc4
Motor number 999 E5+G9++6768
Chassis No. 999 .P(D7G95**+>>G
Number of CE/ 999 )
Color 999 Blue
@wned B 999 Mr. %aime Ancla
the same havin" been this da sei;ed and left in 1m2 possession pendin" investi"ation b the Commissioner of 'nternal Revenue or his
dul authori;ed representative. 1'2 further promise that 1'2 will faithfull 4eep, preserve, and, to the best of 1m2 abilit, protect said "oods,
articles, and thin"s sei;ed from defacement, demarcation, lea4a"e, loss, or destruction in an manner, that 1'2 will neither alter nor
remove, nor permit others to alter or remove or dispose of the same in an manner without the e=press authorit of the Commissioner of
'nternal Revenue, and that 1'2 will produce and deliver all of said "oods, articles, and thin"s upon the order of an court of the Philippines,
or upon demand of the Commissioner of 'nternal Revenue or an authori;ed officer or a"ent of the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue.Q
K)L
.ubse-uentl, Alfredo A;arcon wrote a letter dated November +5, 5687 to the B'ROs Re"ional 0irector for Revenue Re"ion 5G B,
Butuan Cit statin" that
P= = = while ' have made representations to retain possession of the propert and si"ned a receipt of the same, it appears now that Mr.
%aime Ancla intends to cease his operations with us. This is evidenced b the fact that sometime in Au"ust, 5687 he surreptitiousl
withdrew his e-uipment from m custod. = = = 'n this connection, ma ' therefore formall inform ou that it is m desire to immediatel
relin-uish whatever responsibilities ' have over the above9mentioned propert b virtue of the receipt ' have si"ned. This cancellation
shall ta4e effect immediatel. = = = .Q
K*L
'ncidentall, the petitioner reported the ta4in" of the truc4 to the securit mana"er of P'C@P, Mr. 0elfin Panelo, and re-uested him to
prevent this truc4 from bein" ta4en out of the P'C@P concession. B the time the order to bar the truc4Os e=it was "iven, however, it was
too late.
K8L
Re"ional 0irector Batausa responded in a letter dated Ma +*, 568), to wit?
PAn analsis of the documents e=ecuted b ou reveals that while ou are 1sic2 in possession of the dump truc4 owned b %A'ME ANC/A,
ou voluntaril assumed the liabilities of safe4eepin" and preservin" the unit in behalf of the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue. This is clearl
indicated in the provisions of the Farrant of $arnishment which ou have si"ned, obli"ed and committed to surrender and transfer to this
office. 3our failure therefore, to observe said provisions does not relieve ou of our responsibilit.Q
K6L
Thereafter, the .andi"anbaan found that
P@n 55 %une 568), Mrs. Mariln T. Calo, Revenue 0ocument Processor of Revenue Re"ion 5G B, Butuan Cit, sent a pro"ress report to
the Chief of the Collection Branch of the surreptitious ta4in" of the dump truc4 and that Ancla was rentin" out the truc4 to a certain
contractor b the name of @scar Cueva at P'C@P 1Paper 'ndustries Corporation of the Philippines, the same compan which en"a"ed
petitionerOs earth movin" services2, Man"a"o, .uri"ao del .ur. .he also su""ested that if the report were true, a warrant of "arnishment
be reissued a"ainst Mr. Cueva for whatever amount of rental is due from Ancla until such time as the latterOs ta= liabilities shall be
deemed satisfied. = = = #owever, instead of doin" so, 0irector Batausa filed a letter9complaint a"ainst the 1herein Petitioner2 and Ancla
on ++ %anuar 5688, or after more than one ear had elapsed from the time of Mrs. CaloOs report.Q
K5GL
Provincial &iscal Prete=tato Montene"ro Pforwarded the records of the complaint = = = to the @ffice of the TanodbaanQ on Ma 58,
5688. #e was deputi;ed Tanodbaan prosecutor and "ranted authorit to conduct preliminar investi"ation on Au"ust ++, 5688, in a
letter b .pecial Prosecutor Raul $on;ales approved b @mbudsman 1Tanodbaan2 Conrado Has-ue;.
K55L
Alon" with his co9accused %aime Ancla, petitioner A;arcon was char"ed before the .andi"anbaan with the crime of malversation of
public funds or propert under Article +5* in relation to Article +++ of the Revised Penal Code 1RPC2 in the followin" 'nformation
K5+L
filed on
%anuar 5+, 566G, b .pecial Prosecution @fficer Hictor Pascual?
PThat on or about %une 5*, 5687, in the Municipalit of Bisli", Province of .uri"ao del .ur, Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of this
#onorable Court, accused Alfredo /. A;arcon, a private individual but who, in his capacit as depositorIadministrator of propert sei;ed
or deposited b the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue, havin" voluntaril offered himself to act as custodian of one 'su;u 0umptruc4 1sic2 with
Motor No. E5+G9++678, Chasis No. .P(D 7G95**+>>G, and number CE/9) and was authori;ed to be such under the authorit of the
Bureau of 'nternal Revenue, has become a responsible and accountable officer and said motor vehicle havin" been sei;ed from %aime C.
Ancla in satisfaction of his ta= liabilit in the total sum of E'$#T3 T#@D.AN0 E'$#T #DN0RE0 T#'RT3 @NE PE.@. and 76I5GG
1P8G,8A5.762 became a public propert and the value thereof as public fund, with "rave abuse of confidence and conspirin" and
confederatin" with said %aime C. Ancla, li4ewise, a private individual, did then and there wilfull, 1sic2 unlawfull and feloniousl
misappropriate, misappl and convert to his personal use and benefit the aforementioned motor vehicle or the value thereof in the
aforestated amount, b then and there allowin" accused %aime C. Ancla to remove, retrieve, withdraw and tow awa the said 'su;u
0umptruc4 1sic2 with the authorit, consent and 4nowled"e of the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue, Butuan Cit, to the dama"e and pre!udice
of the "overnment in the amount of P8G,8A5.76 in a form of unsatisfied ta= liabilit.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.Q
The petitioner filed a motion for reinvesti"ation before the .andi"anbaan on Ma 5>, 5665, alle"in" that? 152 the petitioner never
appeared in the preliminar investi"ation, and 1+2 the petitioner was not a public officer, hence a doubt e=ists as to wh he was bein"
char"ed with malversation under Article +5* of the Revised Penal Code.
K5AL
The .andi"anbaan "ranted the motion for reinvesti"ation on
Ma ++, 5665.
K5>L
After the reinvesti"ation, .pecial Prosecution @fficer Ro"er Berbano, .r., recommended the Pwithdrawal of the
informationQ
K57L
but was Poverruled b the @mbudsman.Q
K5)L
A motion to dismiss was filed b petitioner on March +7, 566+ on the "round that the .andi"anbaan did not have !urisdiction over
the person of the petitioner since he was not a public officer.
K5*L
@n Ma 58, 566+, the .andi"anbaan denied the motion.
K58L
Fhen the prosecution finished presentin" its evidence, the petitioner then filed a motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence which
was denied on November 5), 566+, Pfor bein" without merit.Q
K56L
The petitioner then commenced and finished presentin" his evidence on
&ebruar 57, 566A.
T;$ R$)8o*"$*& Co!%&F) 2$+()(o*
@n March 8, 566>, respondent .andi"anbaan
K+GL
rendered a 0ecision,
K+5L
the dispositive portion of which reads?
PF#ERE&@RE, the Court finds accused Alfredo A;arcon /eva $D'/T3 beond reasonable doubt as principal of Malversation of Public
&unds defined and penali;ed under Article +5* in relation to Article +++ of the Revised Penal Code and, applin" the 'ndeterminate
.entence /aw, and in view of the miti"atin" circumstance of voluntar surrender, the Court hereb sentences the accused to suffer the
penalt of imprisonment ran"in" from TEN 15G2 3EAR. and @NE 152 0A3 of prision "ayor in its ma=imum period to .EHENTEEN 15*2
3EAR., &@DR 1>2 M@NT#. and @NE 152 0A3 of ?eclusion 5e"poral. To indemnif the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue the amount
of P8G,8A5.76, to pa a fine in the same amount without subsidiar imprisonment in case of insolvenc, to suffer special perpetual
dis-ualification, and, to pa the costs.
Considerin" that accused %aime Ancla has not et been brou"ht within the !urisdiction of this Court up to this date, let this case be
archived as a"ainst him without pre!udice to its revival in the event of his arrest or voluntar submission to the !urisdiction of this Court.
.@ @R0ERE0.Q
Petitioner, throu"h new counsel,
K++L
filed a motion for new trial or reconsideration on March +A, 566>, which was denied b the
.andi"anbaan in its Resolution
K+AL
dated 0ecember +, 566>.
#ence, this petition.
T;$ I))!$)
The petitioner submits the followin" reasons for the reversal of the .andi"anbaanOs assailed 0ecision and Resolution?
P'. The .andi"anbaan does not have !urisdiction over crimes committed solel b private individuals.
''. 'n an event, even assumin" ar"uendo that the appointment of a private individual as a custodian or a depositar of
distrained propert is sufficient to convert such individual into a public officer, the petitioner cannot still be considered a public
officer because?
DAE
There is no provision in the National 'nternal Revenue Code which authori;es the Bureau of 'nternal Revenue to constitute private
individuals as depositaries of distrained properties.
DBE
#is appointment as a depositar was not b virtue of a direct provision of law, or b election or b appointment b a competent authorit.
'''. No proof was presented durin" trial to prove that the distrained vehicle was actuall owned b the accused %aime Ancla, conse-uentl,
the "overnmentOs ri"ht to the sub!ect propert has not been established.
'H. The procedure provided for in the National 'nternal Revenue Code concernin" the disposition of distrained propert was not followed
b the B.'.R., hence the distraint of personal propert belon"in" to %aime C. Ancla and found alle"edl to be in the possession of the
petitioner is therefore invalid.
H. The B.'.R. has onl itself to blame for not promptl sellin" the distrained propert of accused %aime C. Ancla in order to reali;e the
amount of bac4 ta=es owed b %aime C. Ancla to the Bureau.Q
K+>L
'n fine, the fundamental issue is whether the .andi"anbaan had !urisdiction over the sub!ect matter of the controvers. Corollar to
this is the -uestion of whether petitioner can be considered a public officer b reason of his bein" desi"nated b the Bureau of 'nternal
Revenue as a depositar of distrained propert.
T;$ Co!%&F) R!/(*#
The petition is meritorious.
Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
't is hornboo4 doctrine that in order P1to2 ascertain whether a court has !urisdiction or not, the provisions of the law should be in-uired
into.Q
K+7L
&urthermore, Pthe !urisdiction of the court must appear clearl from the statute law or it will not be held to e=ist. 't cannot be
presumed or implied.Q
K+)L
And for this purpose in criminal cases, Pthe !urisdiction of a court is determined b the law at the time of
commencement of the action.Q
K+*L
'n this case, the action was instituted with the filin" of this information on %anuar 5+, 566G, hence, the applicable statutor
provisions are those of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b P.0. No. 58)5 on March +A, 568A, but prior to their amendment b R.A. No. *6*7
on Ma 5), 5667. At that time, .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G) provided that?
P.EC. >. uris!iction. 99 The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise?
1a2 E=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
152 Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code,
1+2 @ther offenses or felonies committed b public officers and emploees in relation to their office, includin" those emploed in
"overnment9owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes, where the penalt prescribed b law is
hi"her than prision correccional or imprisonment for si= 1)2 ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG? PR@H'0E0, #@FEHER, that offenses or
felonies mentioned in this para"raph where the penalt prescribed b law does not e=ceed prision correccional or imprisonment for si= 1)2
ears or a fine of P),GGG.GG shall be tried b the proper Re"ional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal
Circuit Trial Court.
= = = = = = = = =
'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or emploees, includin" those
emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said public officers and emploees.
= = = = = = = = =.Q
The fore"oin" provisions une-uivocall specif the onl instances when the .andi"anbaan will have !urisdiction over a private
individual, i.e. when the complaint char"es the private individual either as a co9principal, accomplice or accessor of a public officer or
emploee who has been char"ed with a crime within its !urisdiction.
Azarcon: A Public Officer or A Private Individual?
The 'nformation does not char"e petitioner A;arcon of bein" a co9principal, accomplice or accessor to a public officer committin" an
offense under the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction. Thus, unless petitioner be proven a public officer, the .andi"anbaan will have no
!urisdiction over the crime char"ed. Article +GA of the RPC determines who are public officers?
P=ho are public officers. %% &or the purpose of applin" the provisions of this and the precedin" titles of the boo4, an person who, b
direct provision of the law, popular election, popular election or appointment b competent authorit, shall ta4e part in the performance of
public functions in the $overnment of the Philippine 'slands, or shall perform in said $overnment or in an of its branches public duties as
an emploee, a"ent, or subordinate official, of an ran4 or classes, shall be deemed to be a public officer.Q
Thus,
P1to2 be a public officer, one must be 99
152 5a:ing part in the performance of public functions in the "overnment, or
Perfor"ing in said $overnment or an of its branches public !uties as an e"ployee, agent, or subor!inate official, of an ran4 or class,
and
1+2 That his authorit to ta4e part in the performance of public functions or to perform public duties must be 99
a. b direct provision of the law, or
b. b popular election, or
c. b appointment b competent authorit.Q
K+8L
$rantin" arguen!o that the petitioner, in si"nin" the receipt for the truc4 constructivel distrained b the B'R, commenced to ta4e part
in an activit constitutin" public functions, he obviousl ma not be deemed authori;ed b popular election. The ne=t lo"ical -uer is
whether petitionerOs desi"nation b the B'R as a custodian of distrained propert -ualifies as appointment b direct provision of law, or b
competent authorit.
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Fe answer in the ne"ative.
The .olicitor $eneral contends that the B'R, in effectin" constructive distraint over the truc4 alle"edl owned b %aime Ancla, and in
re-uirin" the petitioner Alfredo A;arcon who was in possession thereof to si"n a pro for"a receipt for it, effectivel Pdesi"natedQ petitioner
a depositar and, hence, citin" 7.S. 9s. ?astrollo,
KAGL
a public officer.
KA5L
This is based on the theor that
P1t2he power to desi"nate a private person who has actual possession of a distrained propert as a depositor of distrained propert is
necessaril implied in the B'ROs power to place the propert of a delin-uent ta= paer 1sic2 in distraint as provided for under .ections +G),
+G* and +G8 1formerl .ections AGA, AG> and AG72 of the National 'nternal Revenue Code, 1N'RC2 = = =.Q
KA+L
Fe disa"ree. The case of 7.S. 9s. ?astrollo is not applicable to the case before us simpl because the facts therein are not
identical, similar or analo"ous to those obtainin" here. Fhile the cited case involved a ju!icial deposit of the proceeds of the sale of
attached propert in the hands of the debtor, the case at bench dealt with the B'ROs administrative act of effectin" constructive distraint
over alle"ed propert of ta=paer Ancla in relation to his bac4 ta=es, propert which was received b petitioner A;arcon. 'n the cited
case, it was clearl within the scope of that courtOs !urisdiction and !udicial power to constitute the !udicial deposit and "ive Pthe depositar
a character e-uivalent to that of a public official.Q
KAAL
#owever, in the instant case, while the B'R had authorit to re-uire petitioner A;arcon
to si"n a receipt for the distrained truc4, the N'RC did not "rant it power to appoint A;arcon a public officer.
't is a=iomatic in our constitutional framewor4, which mandates a limited "overnment, that its branches and administrative a"encies
e=ercise onl that power dele"ated to them as Pdefined either in the Constitution or in le"islation or in both.Q
KA>L
Thus, althou"h the
Pappointin" power is the e=clusive prero"ative of the President, = = =Q
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the -uantum of powers possessed b an administrative a"enc
formin" part of the e=ecutive branch will still be limited to that Pconferred e=pressl or b necessar or fair implicationQ in its enablin"
act. #ence, P1a2n administrative officer, it has been held, has onl such powers as are e=pressl "ranted to him and those necessaril
implied in the e=ercise thereof.Q
KA)L
Corollaril, implied powers Pare those which are necessaril included in, and are therefore of lesser
de"ree than the power "ranted. 't cannot e=tend to other matters not embraced therein, nor are not incidental thereto.Q
KA*L
&or to so
e=tend the statutor "rant of power Pwould be an encroachment on powers e=pressl lod"ed in Con"ress b our Constitution.Q
KA8L
't is true
that .ec. +G) of the N'RC, as pointed out b the prosecution, authori;es the B'R to effect a constructive distraint b re-uirin" Pan
personQ to preserve a distrained propert, thus?
P= = = = = = = = =
The constructive distraint of personal propert shall be effected b re-uirin" the ta=paer or an person havin" possession or control
of such propert to si"n a receipt coverin" the propert distrained and obli"ate himself to preserve the same intact and unaltered and
not to dispose of the same in an manner whatever without the e=press authorit of the Commissioner.
= = = = = = = = =Q
#owever, we find no provision in the N'RC constitutin" such person a public officer b reason of such re-uirement. The B'ROs power
authori;in" a private individual to act as a depositar cannot be stretched to include the power to appoint him as a public officer. The
prosecution ar"ues that PArticle +++ of the Revised Penal Code = = = defines the individuals covered b the term RofficersO under Article
+5*
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= = =Q of the same Code.
K>GL
And accordin"l, since A;arcon became Pa depositor of the truc4 sei;ed b the B'RQ he also became a
public officer who can be prosecuted under Article +5* = = =.Q
K>5L
The Court is not persuaded. Article +++ of the RPC reads?
P2fficers inclu!e! in the prece!ing pro9isions. %% The provisions of this chapter shall appl to private individuals who, in an capacit
whatever, have char"e of an insular, provincial or municipal funds, revenues, or propert and to an administrator or depositor of funds
or propert attached, sei;ed or deposited b public authorit, even if such propert belon"s to a private individual.Q
P/e"islative intent is determined principall from the lan"ua"e of a statute. Fhere the lan"ua"e of a statute is clear and
unambi"uous, the law is applied accordin" to its e=press terms, and interpretation would be resorted to onl where a literal interpretation
would be either impossible or absurd or would lead to an in!ustice.Q
K>+L
This is particularl observed in the interpretation of penal statutes
which Pmust be construed with such strictness as to carefull safe"uard the ri"hts of the defendant = = =.Q
K>AL
The lan"ua"e of the
fore"oin" provision is clear. A private individual who has in his char"e an of the public funds or propert enumerated therein and
commits an of the acts defined in an of the provisions of Chapter &our, Title .even of the RPC, should li4ewise be penali;ed with the
same penalt meted to errin" public officers. Nowhere in this provision is it e=pressed or implied that a private individual fallin" under
said Article +++ is to be deemed a public officer.
After a thorou"h review of the case at bench, the Court thus finds petitioner Alfredo A;arcon and his co9accused %aime Ancla to be
both private individuals erroneousl char"ed before and convicted b Respondent .andi"anbaan which had no !urisdiction over
them. The .andi"anbaanOs ta4in" co"ni;ance of this case is of no moment since P1!2urisdiction cannot be conferred b = = = erroneous
belief of the court that it had !urisdiction.Q
K>>L
As aptl and correctl stated b the petitioner in his memorandum?
P&rom the fore"oin" discussion, it is evident that the petitioner did not cease to be a private individual when he a"reed to act as
depositar of the "arnished dump truc4. Therefore, when the information char"ed him and %aime Ancla before the .andi"anbaan for
malversation of public funds or propert, the prosecution was in fact char"in" &Go 8%(:a&$ (*"(:("!a/) without an public officer bein"
similarl char"ed as a co9conspirator. Conse-uentl, the .andi"anbaan had no !urisdiction over the controvers and therefore all the
proceedin"s ta4en below as well as the 0ecision rendered b Respondent .andi"anbaan, are null and void for lac4 of !urisdiction.Q
K>7L
1HEREFORE, the -uestioned Resolution and 0ecision of the .andi"anbaan are hereb S#5 A.'0E and declared
ND// and H@'0 for lac4 of !urisdiction. No costs.
SO OR2ERE2.
EN BANC
DG.R. No. 169096. a*!a%y 60, 1999E
PANFILO M. LACSON, petitioner :). THE EHECUTI3E SECRETAR0, THE SAN2IGANBA0AN, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR, THE 2EPARTMENT OF USTICE, M0RNA ABALORA, NENITA ALAP-AP, IMEL2A PANCHO MONTERO,
a*" THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
ROMEO M. ACOP a*" FRANCISCO G. ,UBIA, R., petitionersintervenors.
2 E C I S I O N
MARTINE,, J.5
The constitutionalit of .ections > and * of Republic Act No. 8+>6 S an act which further defines the !urisdiction of
the San!iganbayan @ is bein" challen"ed in this petition for prohibition and"an!a"us. Petitioner Panfilo /acson, !oined b petitioners9
intervenors Romeo Acop and &rancisco (ubia, %r., also see4s to prevent the San!iganbayan from proceedin" with the trial of Criminal
Cases Nos. +AG>*9+AG7* 1for multiple murder2 a"ainst them on the "round of lac4 of !urisdiction.
The antecedents of this case, as "athered from the partiesO pleadin"s and documentar proofs, are as follows?
'n the earl mornin" of Ma 58, 5667, eleven 1552 persons believed to be members of the .uratong Baleleng "an", reportedl an
or"ani;ed crime sndicate which had been involve in a spate of ban4 robberies in Metro Manila, were slain alon" Commonwealth
Avenue in Nue;on Cit b elements of the Anti9Ban4 Robber and 'ntelli"ence Tas4 $roup 1ABR'T$2 headed b Chief .uperintendent
%ewel Canson of the Philippine National Police 1PNP2. The ABR'T$ was composed of police officers from the Traffic Mana"ement
Command 1TMC2 led b petitioner9intervenor .enior .uperintendent &rancisco (ubia, %r., Presidential Anti9Crime Commission S Tas4
&orce #aba"at 1PACC9T&#2 headed b petitioner Chief .uperintendent Panfilo M. /acson, Central Police 0istrict Command 1CP0C2 led
b Chief .uperintendent Ricardo de /eon, and the Criminal 'nvesti"ation Command 1C'C2 headed b petitioner9intervenor Chief
.uperintendent Romeo Acop.
Actin" on a media e=pose of .P@+ Eduardo delos Rees, a member of the C'C, that what actuall transpired at dawn of Ma 58,
5667 was a summar e=ecution 1or a rub out2 and not a shoot9out between the .uratong Baleleng "an" members and the ABR'T$,
@mbudsman Aniano 0esierto formed a panel of investi"ators headed b the 0eput @mbudsman for Militar Affairs, Bienvenido
Blancaflor, to investi"ate the incident. This panel later absolve from an criminal liabilit all the PNP officers and personnel alle"edl
involved in the Ma 58, 5667 incident, with a findin" that the said incident was a le"itimate police operation.
K5L
#owever, a review board led b @verall 0eput @mbudsman &rancisco Hilla modified the Blancaflor panelOs findin" and
recommended the indictment for multiple murder a"ainst twent9si= 1+)2 respondents, includin" herein petitioner and intervenors. This
recommendation was approved b the @mbudsman, e=cept for the withdrawal of the char"es a"ainst Chief .upt. Ricardo de /eon.
Thus, on November +, 5667, petitioner Panfilo /acson was amon" those char"ed as principal in eleven 1552 informations for
murder
K+L
before the San!iganbayanAs .econd 0ivision, while intervenors Romeo Acop and &rancisco (ubia, %r. were amon" those
char"ed in the same informations as accessories after9the9fact.
Dpon motion b all the accused in the 55 informations,
KAL
the San!iganbayan allowed them to file a motion for reconsideration of the
@mbudsmanOs action.
K>L
After conductin" a reinvesti"ation, the @mbudsman filed on March 5, 566) eleven 1552 a-$*"$" informations
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before
the San!iganbayan, wherein petitioner was char"ed onl as an accessor, to"ether with Romeo Acop and &rancisco (ubia, %r. and
others. @ne of the accused
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was dropped from the case.
@n March 79), 566), all the accused filed separate motions -uestionin" the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, assertin" that under
the amended informations, the cases fall within the !urisdiction of the Re"ional Trial Court pursuant to .ection + 1para"raphs a and c2 of
Republic Act No. *6*7.
K*L
The contend that the said law limited the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan to cases where one or more of the
:8%(*+(8a/ accusedQ are "overnment officials with .alar $rade 1.$2 +* or hi"her, or PNP officials with the ran4 of Chief .uperintendent
1Bri"adier $eneral2 or hi"her. The hi"hest ran4in" 8%(*+(8a/ accused in the amended informations has the ran4 of onl a Chief 'nspector,
and none has the e-uivalent of at least .$ +*.
Thereafter, in a Resolution
K8L
dated Ma 8, 566) 1promul"ated on Ma 6, 566)2, penned b %ustice 0emetriou, with %ustices /a"man
and de /eon concurrin", and %ustices Bala!adia and $architorena dissentin",
K6L
the San!iganbayan admitted the amended information
and ordered the cases transferred to the Nue;on Cit Re"ional Trial Court which has ori"inal and e=clusive !urisdiction under R.A. *6*7,
as none of the principal accused has the ran4 of Chief .uperintendent or hi"her.
@n Ma 5*, 566), the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor moved for a reconsideration, insistin" that the cases should remain with
the San!iganbayan. This was opposed b petitioner and some of the accused.
Fhile these motions for reconsideration were pendin" resolution, and even before the issue of !urisdiction cropped up with the filin"
of the amended informations on March 5, 566), #ouse Bill No. ++66
K5GL
and No. 5G6>
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1sponsored b Representatives Edcel C. /a"man
and Neptali M. $on;ales '', respectivel2, as well as .enate Bill No. 8>>
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1sponsored b .enator Neptali $on;ales2, were introduced in
Con"ress, definin"Ie=pandin" the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan. .pecificall, the said bills sou"ht, amon" others, to amend the
!urisdiction of the San!iganbayan b deletin" the word PprincipalQ from the phrase Pprincipal accusedQ in .ection + 1para"raphs a and c2 of
R.A. No. *6*7.
These bills were consolidated and later approved into law as R.A. No. 8+>6
K5AL
. The law is entitled, PAN ACT &DRT#ER 0E&'N'N$
T#E %DR'.0'CT'@N @& T#E SA;,0GA;BABA;, AMEN0'N$ &@R T#E PDRP@.E PRE.'0ENT'A/ 0ECREE N@. 5)G), A.
AMEN0E0, PR@H'0'N$ &DN0. T#ERE&@R, AN0 &@R @T#ER PDRP@.E..Q 't too4 effect on &ebruar +7, 566*.5A b the President
of the Philippines on &ebruar 7, 566*.
.ubse-uentl, on March 7, 566*, the San!iganbayan promul"ated a Resolution
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denin" the motion for reconsideration of the
.pecial Prosecutor, rulin" that it Pstands pat in its resolution dated Ma 8, 566).Q
@n the same da,
K57L
the San!iganbayan issued an A00EN0DM to its March 7, 566* Resolution, the pertinent portion of which reads?
PA'&$% %ustice /a"man wrote the Resolution and %ustice 0emetriou concurred in it, but .$'o%$ %ustice de /eon, %r. rendered his
concurrin" and dissentin" opinion, the le"islature enacted Republic Act 8+>6 and the President of the Philippines approved it on &ebruar
7, 566*. Co*)("$%(*# &;$ 8$%&(*$*& 8%o:()(o*) o' &;$ *$G /aG, !)&(+$) La#-a* a*" 2$-$&%(o! a%$ *oG (* 'a:o% o' #%a*&(*#, a)
&;$y a%$ *oG #%a*&(*#, &;$ S8$+(a/ P%o)$+!&o%F) -o&(o* 'o% %$+o*)("$%a&(o*. !)&(+$ "$ L$o* ;a) a/%$a"y "o*$ )o (* ;()
+o*+!%%(*# a*" "())$*&(*# o8(*(o*.
= = = = = = = = =
ICo*)("$%(*# &;a& &;%$$ o' &;$ a++!)$" (* $a+; o' &;$)$ +a)$) a%$ PNP C;($' S!8$%(*&$*"$*&)5 namel, %ewel T. Canson, Romeo
M. Acop and Panfilo M. /acson, a*" &;a& &%(a/ ;a) *o& y$& .$#!* (* a// &;$)$ +a)$) S in fact, no order of arrest has been issued S &;()
+o!%& ;a) +o-8$&$*+$ &o &aJ$ +o#*(Ka*+$ o' &;$)$ +a)$).
PTo recapitulate, the net result of all the fore"oin" is that b the vote of A to +, &;$ +o!%& a"-(&&$" &;$ A-$*"$" I*'o%-a&(o*) (* &;$)$
+a)$) a*" .y &;$ !*a*(-o!) :o&$ o' 4 G(&; 1 *$(&;$% +o*+!%%(*# *o% "())$*&(*#, %$&a(*$" L!%()"(+&(o* &o &%y a*" "$+("$ &;$
+a)$).M
K5)L
KEmphasis suppliedL
Petitioner now -uestions the constitutionalit of .ection > R.A. No. 8+>6, includin" .ection * thereof which provides that the said law
Pshall appl to all cases pendin" in an court over which trial has not be"un as of the approval hereof.Q Petitioner ar"ues that?
Pa2 The -uestioned provision of the statute were introduced b the authors thereof in bad faith as it was made to precisel suit the
situation in which petitionerOs cases were in at the San!iganbayan b restorin" !urisdiction thereover to it, thereb violatin" his ri"ht to
procedural due process and the e-ual protection clause of the Constitution. &urther, from the wa the San!iganbayan has foot9dra""ed
for nine 162 months the resolution of a pendin" incident involvin" the transfer of the cases to the Re"ional Trial Court, the passa"e of the
law ma have been timed to overta4e such resolution to render the issue therein moot, and frustrate the e=ercise of petitionerOs vested
ri"hts under the old San!iganbayan law 1RA *6*72
Pb2 Retroactive application of the law is plain from the fact that it was a"ain made to suit the peculiar circumstances in which
petitionerOs cases were under, namel, that trial had not et commenced, as provided in .ection *, to ma4e certain that those cases will
no lon"er be remanded to the Nue;on Cit Re"ional Trial Court, as the San!iganbayan alone should tr them, thus ma4in" it an e$ post
factole"islation and a denial of the ri"ht of petitioner as an accused in Criminal Case Nos. +AG>* S +AG7* to procedural due process
Pc2 The title of the law is misleadin" in that it contains the aforesaid PinnocuousQ provisions in .ections > and * which actuall
e=pands rather than defines the old San!iganbayan law 1RA *6*72, thereb violatin" the one9title9one9sub!ect re-uirement for the
passa"e of statutes under .ection +)152, Article H' of the Constitution.Q
K5*L
&or their part, the intervenors, in their petition9in9intervention, add that Pwhile Republic Act No. 8+>6 innocuousl appears to have
merel e=panded the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan, the introduction of .ections > and * in said statute impressed upon it the
character of a class le"islation and an e$%post facto statute intended to appl specificall to the accused in the .uratong Baleleng case
pendin" before the San!iganbayan.Q
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The further ar"ued that if their case is tried before the San!iganbayan their ri"ht to procedural
due process would be violated as the could no lon"er avail of the two9tiered appeal to the San!iganbayan, which the ac-uired under
R.A. *6*7, before recourse to the .upreme Court.
Both the @ffice of the @mbudsman and the .olicitor $eneral filed separate pleadin"s in support of the constitutionalit of the
challen"ed provisions of the law in -uestion and prain" that both the petition and the petition9in9intervention be dismissed.
This Court then issued a Resolution
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re-uirin" the parties to file simultaneousl within a *o*$@&$*"(./$ period of ten 15G2 das from
notice thereof additional memoranda on the -uestion of whether the sub!ect amended informations filed in Criminal Cases Nos. +AG>*9
+AG7* sufficientl alle"ed the commission b the accused therein of the crime char"ed within the meanin" .ection > b of Republic Act
No. 8+>6, so as to brin" the said cases within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
The parties, e=cept for the .olicitor $eneral who is representin" the People of the Philippines, filed the re-uired supplemental
memorandum G(&;(* the none=tendible re"lementar period.
The established rule is that ever law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionalit, and to !ustif its nullification there must be a
clear and une-uivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and ar"umentative one.
K+GL
The burden of provin" the invalidit of the law
lies with those who challen"e it. That burden, we re"ret to sa, was not convincin"l dischar"ed in the present case.
The creation of the San!iganbayan was mandated in .ection 7, Article E''' of the 56*A Constitution, which provides?
ISEC. 5. The Batasan" Pambansa shall create a special court, to be 4nown as San!iganbayan, which shall have !urisdiction over
criminal and civil cases involvin" "raft and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed b public officers and emploees
includin" those in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office as ma be determined b law.:
The said special court is retained in the new 1568*2 Constitution under the followin" provision in Article E', .ection >?
IS$+&(o* 4. The present anti9"raft court 4nown as the San!iganbayan shall continue to function and e=ercise its !urisdiction as now
or hereafter ma be provided b law.Q
Pursuant to the constitutional mandate, Presidential 0ecree No. 5>8)
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created the San!iganbayan. Thereafter, the followin" laws
on the San!iganbayan, in chronolo"ical order, were enacted? P.0. No. 5)G),
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.ection +G of Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6,
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P.0. No. 58)G,
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P.0. No. 58)5,
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R.A. No. *6*7,
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and R.A. No. 8+>6.
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Dnder the latest amendments introduced b S$+&(o* 4 o' R.A. No. 9649,
the San!iganbayan has !urisdiction over the followin" cases?
P.EC. >. .ection > of the same decree KP.0. No. 5)G), as amendedL is hereb further amended to read as follows?
P.EC. >. %urisdiction S The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise $@+/!)(:$ o%(#(*a/ !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
Pa. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where o*$ o% -o%$ o' &;$ a++!)$" a%$ o''(+(a/)
o++!8y(*# &;$ 'o//oG(*# 8o)(&(o*) (* &;$ #o:$%*-$*&, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, a& &;$ &(-$ o' &;$
+o--())(o* o' &;$ o''$*)$5
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade R+*O and hi"her,
of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors,
en"ineers, and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso!, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit
department heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine Arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 @fficers of the Philippine National Police while occupin" the position of provincial director and those holdin" the ran4 of senior
superintendent or hi"her,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress or officials thereof classified as $rade R+*O and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686,
1A2 Members of the %udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade R+*O or hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.
I.. O&;$% o''$*)$) o% '$/o*($) G;$&;$% )(-8/$ o% +o-8/$@$" G(&; o&;$% +%(-$) +o--(&&$" .y &;$ 8!./(+ o''(+(a/) a*" $-8/oy$$)
-$*&(o*$" (* S!.)$+&(o* a o' &;() )$+&(o* (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$(% o''(+$.
I+. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568).
'n cases where none of the accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar $rade R+*O or hi"her, as prescribed in the said
Republic Act )*78, or militar and PNP officers mentioned above, e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper
re"ional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case ma be, pursuant to their
respective !urisdictions as provided in Batas Pa"bansa Blg. 5+6, as amended.
PThe San!iganbayan shall e=ercise e=clusive appellate !urisdiction over final !ud"ment, resolution or orders of the re"ional trial courts
whether in the e=ercise of their own ori"inal !urisdiction of their appellate !urisdiction as herein provided.
:The San!iganbayan shall have e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over petitions of the issuance of the writs of "an!a"us,
prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, in!unctions, and other ancillar writs and processes in aid of its appellate !urisdiction and over
petitions of similar nature, includin" 8uo warranto, arisin" or that ma arise in cases filed or which ma be filed under E=ecutive @rder
Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568)? Pro9i!e!, That the !urisdiction over these petitions shall not be e=clusive of the .upreme Court.
PThe procedure prescribed in Batas Pa"bansa Blg. 5+6, as well as the implementin" rules that the .upreme Court has promul"ated and
ma hereafter promul"ate, relative to appealsIpetitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall appl to appeals and petitions for review
filed with the San!iganbayan. 'n all cases elevated to the San!iganbayan and from the San!iganbayan to the .upreme Court, the @ffice
of the @mbudsman, throu"h its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, e=cept in cases filed pursuant to
E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568).
P'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or emploees, includin"
those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said public officers and emploees in the
proper courts which shall e=ercise e=clusive !urisdiction over them.
= = = = = = = = =.Q 1Emphasis supplied2
.ection * of R.A. No. 8+>6 states?
P.EC. *. 5ransitory pro9ision. @ T;() a+& );a// a88/y &o a// +a)$) 8$*"(*# (* a*y +o!%& o:$% G;(+; &%(a/ ;a) *o& .$#!* a) o' &;$
a88%o:a/ ;$%$o'.M 1Emphasis supplied2
The San!iganbayan law prior to R.A. 8+>6 was R.A. *6*7. S$+&(o* 6 o' R.A. 7975 provides?
P.EC. +. .ection > of the same decree KPresidential 0ecree No. 5)G), as amendedL is hereb further amended to read as follows?
P.EC. >. uris!iction S The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise $@+/!)(:$ o%(#(*a/ !urisdiction in all +a)$) involvin"?
Pa. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials
occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the commission of
the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade R+*O and hi"her,
of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors,
en"ineers, and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso!, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit
department heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine Arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"h ran4,
1e2 PNP +;($' )!8$%(*&$*"$*& a*" PNP o''(+$%) o' ;(#;$% %a*JN
1f2 Cit and Provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress or officials thereof classified as $rade R+*O and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade R+*O or hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.
P.. O&;$% o''$*)$) o% '$/o*($) committed b the public officials and emploees -$*&(o*$" (* S!.)$+&(o* a o' &;() )$+&(o* (* %$/a&(o*
&o &;$(% o''(+$.
P+. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
P'n cases where none of the principal accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar $rade R+*O or hi"her, as prescribed in the
said Republic Act )*78, o% PNP o''(+$%) o++!8y(*# &;$ %a*J o' )!8$%(*&$*"$*& o% ;(#;$%, o% &;$(% $O!(:a/$*&, $@+/!)(:$ L!%()"(+&(o*
&;$%$o' );a// .$ :$)&$" (* &;$ 8%o8$% %$#(o*a/ &%(a/ +o!%&, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court,
as the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdictions as provided in Batas Pa"bansa Blg. 5+6.
PThe .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive appellate !urisdiction on appeals from the final !ud"ments, resolutions or orders of re"ular
courts where all the accused are occupin" positions lower than "rade O+*,O or not otherwise covered b the precedin" enumeration.
= = = = = = = = =
P'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or emploees, includin"
those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said public officers and emploees in the
proper courts which shall have e=clusive !urisdiction over them.
= = = = = =.Q 1Emphasis supplied2
.ection * of R.A. No. *6*7 reads?
P.EC. *. Dpon the effectivit of this Act, all criminal cases which trial has not be"un in the .andi"anbaan shall be referred to the proper
courts.Q
Dnder para"raphs a and c, .ection > of R.A. 8+>6, the word P8%(*+(8a/Q before the word PaccusedQ appearin" in the above9-uoted
.ection + 1para"raphs a and c2 of R.A. *6*7, was "$/$&$". 't is due to this deletion of the word PprincipalQ that the parties herein are at
lo""erheads over the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan. Petitioner and intervenors, relin" on R.A. *6*7, ar"ue that the Re"ional Trial
Court, not the San!iganbayan, has !urisdiction over the .ub!ect criminal cases since none of the 8%(*+(8a/ accused under
the a-$*"$" information has the ran4 of .uperintendent
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or hi"her. @n the other hand, the @ffice of the @mbudsman, throu"h the
.pecial Prosecutor who is tas4ed to represent the People before the .upreme Court e=cept in certain cases,
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contends that
the San!iganbayan has !urisdiction pursuant to R.A. 8+>6.
A perusal of the afore-uoted .ection > of R.A. 8+>6 reveals that to fall under the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan,
the followin" re-uisites must concur? <1= the offense committed is a violation of 1a2 R.A. AG56, as amended 1the Anti9$raft and Corrupt
Practices Act2, 1b2 R.A. 5A*6 1the law on ill9"otten wealth2, 1c2 Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code 1the law
on briber2,
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1!2 E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5>, and 5>9A, issued in 568) 1se-uestration cases2,
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or 1e2 other offenses or felonies
whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes, <6= the offender committin" the offenses in items 1a2, 1b2, 1c2 and 1e2 is a public official or
emploee
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holdin" an of the positions enumerated in para"raph a of .ection >, and <3= the offense committed is in relation to the office.
Considerin" that herein petitioner and intervenors are bein" char"ed with murder which is a felon punishable under Title H''' of the
Revised Penal Code, the "overnin" provision on the !urisdictional offense is *o& para"raph but 8a%a#%a8; ., .ection > of R.A.
8+>6. This para"raph b pertains to Po&;$% o''$*)$) or '$/o*($) whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public
officials and emploees mentioned in subsection a of K.ection >, R.A. 8+>6L in relation to their office.Q The phrase Pother offenses or
feloniesQ is too broad as to include the crime of murder, provided it was committed in relation to the accusedOs official functions. Thus,
under said para"raph b, what determines the San!iganbayanAs !urisdiction is the o''(+(a/ 8o)(&(o* or %a*J of the offender S that is,
whether he is one of those public officers or emploees enumerated in para"raph a of .ection >. The offenses mentioned in para"raphs
a, b and c of the same .ection > do not ma4e an reference to the criminal participation of the accused public officer as to whether he is
char"ed as a principal, accomplice or accessor. 'n enactin" R.A. 8+>6, the Con"ress simpl restored the ori"inal provisions of P.0.
5)G) which does not mention the criminal participation of the public officer as a re-uisite to determine the !urisdiction of
the San!iganbayan.
Petitioner and intervenorsO posture that .ection > and * of R.A. 8+>6 violate their ri"ht to e-ual protection of the law
KAAL
because its
enactment was particularl directed onl to the .uratong Balelengcases in the San!iganbayan, is a contention too shallow to deserve
merit. No concrete evidence and convincin" ar"ument were presented to warrant a declaration of an act of the entire Con"ress and
si"ned into law b the hi"hest officer of the co9e-ual e=ecutive department as unconstitutional. Ever classification made b law is
presumed reasonable. Thus, the part who challen"es the law must present proof of arbitrariness.
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't is an established precept in constitutional law that the "uarant of the e-ual protection of the laws is not violated b a le"islation
based on reasonable classification. The classification is reasonable and not arbitrar when there is concurrence of four elements,
namel?
152 it must rest on substantial distinction,
1+2 it must be "ermane to the purpose of the law,
1A2 must not be limited to e=istin" conditions onl, and
1>2 must appl e-uall to all members of the same class,
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all of which are present in this case.
The challen"ers of .ections > and * of R.A. 8+>6 failed to rebut the presumption of constitutionalit and reasonableness of the
-uestioned provisions. The classification between those pendin" cases involvin" the concerned public officials whose trial has not et
commenced and whose cases could have been affected b the amendments of the San!iganbayan !urisdiction under R.A. 8+>6, as
a"ainst those cases where trial had alread started as of the approval of the law, rests on substantial distinction that ma4es real
differences.
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'n the first instance, evidence a"ainst them were not et presented, whereas in the latter the parties had alread submitted
their respective proofs, e=amined witness and presented documents. .ince it is within the power of Con"ress to define the !urisdiction of
courts sub!ect to the constitutional limitations,
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it can be reasonabl anticipated that an alteration of that !urisdiction would necessaril
affect pendin" cases, which is wh it has to provide for a remed in the form of a transitor provision. Thus, petitioner and intervenors
cannot now claim that .ections > and * placed them under a different cate"or from those similarl situated as them. Precisel,
para"raph a of .ection > provides that it shall appl to Pall cases involvin": certain public officials and, under the transitor provision in
.ection *, to Pall cases pendin" in an court.Q Contrar to petitioner and intervenorsO ar"uments, the law is not particularl directed onl to
the .uratong Baleleng cases. The transitor provision does not onl cover cases which are in the San!iganbayan but also in Pa*y
+o!%&.Q 't !ust happened that the.uratong Baleleng cases are one of those affected b the law. Moreover, those cases where trial had
alread be"un are not affected b the transitor provision under .ection * of the new law 1R.A. 8+>62.
'n their futile attempt to have said sections nullified, heav reliance is premised on what is perceived as bad faith on the part of a
.enator and two %ustices of the San!iganbayan
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for their participation in the passa"e of the said provisions. 'n particular, it is stressed
that the .enator had e=pressed stron" sentiments a"ainst those officials involved in the .uratong Baleleng cases durin" the hearin"s
conducted on the matter b the committee headed b the .enator. Petitioner further contends that the le"islature is biased a"ainst him
as he claims to have been selected from amon" the )* million other &ilipinos as the ob!ect of the deletion of the word PprincipalQ in
para"raph a, .ection > of P.0. 5)G), as amended, and of the transitor provision of R.A. 8+>6.
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R.A. 9649, while still a bill, was acted,
deliberated, considered b +A other .enators and b about +7G Representatives, and was separatel approved b the .enate and #ouse
of Representatives and, finall, b the President of the Philippines.
@n the perceived bias that the San!iganbayan %ustices alle"edl had a"ainst petitioner durin" the committee hearin"s, the same
would not constitute sufficient !ustification to nullif an otherwise valid law. Their presence and participation in the le"islative hearin"s was
deemed necessar b Con"ress since the matter before the committee involves the "raft court of which one is the head of
the San!iganbayanand the other a member thereof. The Con"ress, in its plenar le"islative powers, is particularl empowered b the
Constitution to invite persons to appear before it whenever it decides to conduct in-uiries in aid of le"islation.
K>GL
Petitioner and intervenors further ar"ued that the retroactive application of R.A. 8+>6 to the .uratong Baleleng cases constitutes
an e$ post facto law
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for the are deprived of their ri"ht to procedural due process as the can no lon"er avail of the two tiered appeal
which the had alle"edl ac-uired under R.A. *6*7.
A"ain, this contention is erroneous. There is nothin" e$ post facto in R.A. 8+>6. 'n !alder v. "ull,
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an e$ post facto law is one S
1a2which ma4es an act done criminal before the passin" of the law and which was innocent when committed, and punishes such
action, or
1b2 which a""ravates a crime or ma4es it "reater that when it was committed, or
1c2 which chan"es the punishment and inflicts a "reater punishment than the law anne=ed to the crime when it was committed,
1d2 which alters the le"al rules of evidence and receives less or different testimon than the law re-uired at the time of the
commission of the offense in order to convict the defendant.
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1e2 Ever law which, in relation to the offense or its conse-uences, alters the situation of a person to his disadvanta"e.
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This Court added two more to the list, namel?
1f2 that which assumes to re"ulate civil ri"hts and remedies onl but in effect imposes a penalt or deprivation of a ri"ht which
when done was lawful,
1"2 deprives a person accused of crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection
of a former conviction or ac-uittal, or a proclamation of amnest.
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#$ post facto law, "enerall, prohibits retrospectivit of penal laws.
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R.A. 8+>6 is *o& a 8$*a/ law. 't is a substantive law on
!urisdiction which is not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the /e"islature which prohibit certain acts and establish
penalties for their violations,
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or those that define crimes, treat of their nature, and provide for their punishment.
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R.A. *6*7, which
amended P.0. 5)G) as re"ards the San!iganbayanAs !urisdiction, its mode of appeal and other procedural matters, has been declared b
the Court as not a penal law, but clearl a procedural statute, i.e. one which prescribes rules of procedure b which courts applin" laws
of all 4inds can properl administer !ustice.
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Not bein" a penal law, the retroactive application of R.A. 8+>6 cannot be challen"ed as
unconstitutional.
PetitionerOs and intervenorOs contention that their ri"ht to a two9tiered appeal which the ac-uired under R.A. *6*7 has been diluted
b the enactment of R.A. 8+>6, is incorrect. The same contention has alread been re!ected b the court several times
K7GL
considerin"
that the ri"ht to appeal is *o& a *a&!%a/ %(#;& but statutor in nature that can be re"ulated b law. The mode of procedure provided for in
the statutor ri"ht of appeal is not included in the prohibition a"ainst e$ post facto laws.
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R.A. 8+>6 pertains onl to matters of
procedure, and bein" merel an amendator statute it does not parta4e the nature of an e$ post facto law. 't does not mete out a penalt
and, therefore, does not come within the prohibition.
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Moreover, the law did not alter the rules of evidence or the mode of trial.
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't has
been ruled that ad!ective statutes ma be made applicable to actions pendin" and unresolved at the time of their passa"e.
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'n an case, R.A. 8+>6 has preserved the accusedOs ri"ht to appeal to the .upreme Court to review -uestions of law.
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@n the
removal of the intermediate review facts, the .upreme Court still has the power of review to determine if the presumption of innocence
has been convincin"l overcome.
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Another point. The challen"ed law does not violate the one9title9one9sub!ect provisions of the Constitution. Much emphasis is
placed on the wordin" in the title of the law that it PdefinesQ theSan!iganbayan !urisdiction when what it alle"edl does is to Pe=pandQ its
!urisdiction. The e=pansion in the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan, if it can be considered as such, does not have to be e=pressl stated
in the title of the law because such is the necessar conse-uence of the amendments. The re-uirement that ever bill must onl have
one sub!ect e=pressed in the title
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is satisfied if the title is comprehensive enou"h, as in this case, to include sub!ects related to the
"eneral purpose which the statute see4s to achieve.
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.uch rule is severall interpreted and should be "iven a practical rather than a
technical construction. There is here sufficient compliance with such re-uirement, since the title of R.A. 8+>6 e=presses the "eneral
sub!ect 1involvin" the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan and the amendment of P.0. 5)G), as amended2 and all the provisions of the law
are "ermane to that "eneral sub!ect.
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The Con"ress, in emploin" the word PdefineQ in the title of the law, acted within its powers since
.ection +, Article H''' of the Constitution itself empowers the le"islative bod to P"$'(*$, 8%$)+%(.$, and a88o%&(o* the !urisdiction of
various courtsQ.
K)GL
There bein" no unconstitutional infirmit in both the sub!ect amendator provision of .ection > and the retroactive procedural
application of the law as provided in .ection * R.A. No. 8+>6, we shall now determine whether !*"$% &;$ a//$#a&(o*) (* &;$
I*'o%-a&(o*), it is the San!iganbayan or Re"ional Trial Court which has !urisdiction over the multiple murder case a"ainst herein
petitioner and intervenors.
The !urisdiction of a court is defined b the Constitution or statute. The elements of that definition must appear in the complaint or
information so as to ascertain which court has !urisdiction over a case. #ence the elementar rule that the !urisdiction of a court is
determined b the alle"ations in the complaint or information,
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and not b the evidence presented b the parties at the trial.
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As stated earlier, the multiple murder char"e a"ainst petitioner and intervenors falls under .ection > Kpara"raph bL of R.A.
8+>6. .ection > re-uires that the offense char"ed must be committed b the offender in relation to his office in order for
the San!iganbayan to have !urisdiction over it.
K)AL
This !urisdictional re-uirement is in accordance with .ection 7, Article E''' of the 56*A
Constitution which mandated that the San!iganbayan shall have !urisdiction over criminal cases committed b public officers and
emploees, includin" those in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, P(* %$/a&(o* &o &;$(% o''(+$ as ma be determined b
law.Q This constitutional mandate was reiterated in the new 1568*2 Constitution when it declared in .ection > thereof that
the San!iganbayan );a// +o*&(*!$ &o '!*+&(o* a*" $@$%+()$ (&) L!%()"(+&(o* as now or hereafter ma be provided b law.Q
The remainin" -uestion to be resolved then is whether the offense of multiple murder was committed (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$ o''(+$ of the
accused PNP officers.
'n People vs. #onte$o,
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we held that an offense is said to have been committed (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$ o''(+$ if it 1the offense2 is
Pintimatel connectedQ with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official functions.
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This
intimate relation between the offense char"ed and the dischar"e of official duties P-!)& .$ a//$#$" (* &;$ I*'o%-a&(o*.M
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As to how the offense char"ed be stated in the information, .ection 6, Rule 55G of the Revised Rules of Court mandates?
P.EC. 6. Cause of Accusation. S The acts or omissions complained of as constitutin" the offense must be stated in ordinar and concise
lan"ua"e without repetition not necessaril in the terms of the statute definin" the offense, but in such form as is sufficient to enable a
person of common understandin" to 4now what offense is intended to be char"ed, and enable the court to pronounce proper
!ud"ment.Q 1Emphasis supplied2
As earl as 567>, we pronounced that Pthe factor that characteri;es the char"e is the a+&!a/ %$+(&a/ o' &;$ 'a+&).Q
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The real nature
of the criminal char"es is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law
alle"ed to have been violated, &;$y .$(*# +o*+/!)(o*) o' /aG, but b the a+&!a/ %$+(&a/ o' 'a+&) in the complaint or information.Q
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The noble ob!ect of written accusations cannot be overemphasi;ed. This was e=plained in %.S. v. &arelsen?
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PThe ob!ect of this written accusations was S &irst, To furnish the accused with such a description of the char"e a"ainst him as will
enable him to ma4e his defense, and second, to avail himself of his conviction or ac-uittal for protection a"ainst a further prosecution
for the same cause, and third, to inform the court of the 'a+&) a//$#$" so that it ma decide whether the are sufficient in law to
support a conviction if one should be had. I* o%"$% &;a& &;() %$O!(%$-$*& -ay .$ )a&()'($", 'a+&) -!)& .$ )&a&$", *o&
+o*+/!)(o*) o' /aG Ever crime is made up of +$%&a(* a+&) and (*&$*& &;$)$ -!)& .$ )$& 'o%&; (* &;$ +o-8/a(*& G(&;
%$a)o*a./$ 8a%&(+!/a%(&y o' &(-$, 8/a+$, *a-$) 1plaintiff and defendant2 a*" +(%+!-)&a*+$). 'n short, &;$ +o-8/a(*& -!)&
+o*&a(* a )8$+('(+ a//$#a&(o* of $:$%y 'a+& and +(%+!-)&a*+$ *$+$))a%y &o +o*)&(&!&$ &;$ +%(-$ +;a%#$".Q 1Emphasis supplied2
't is essential, therefore, that the accused be informed of the facts that are imputed to him as I;$ () 8%$)!-$" &o ;a:$ *o
(*"$8$*"$*& J*oG/$"#$ o' &;$ 'a+&) &;a& +o*)&(&!&$ &;$ o''$*)$.M
K*GL
Applin" these le"al principles and doctrines to the present case, we find the amended informations for murder a"ainst herein
petitioner and intervenors wantin" of )8$+('(+ 'a+&!a/ averments to show the(*&(-a&$ %$/a&(o*P+o**$+&(o* between the o''$*)$
+;a%#$" and the "()+;a%#$ o' o''(+(a/ '!*+&(o* of the offenders.
'n the present case, one of the eleven 1552 amended informations
K*5L
for murder reads?
PAMEN0E0 'N&@RMAT'@N
PThe undersi"ned .pecial Prosecution @fficer ''', @ffice of the @mbudsman hereb accuses C#'E& 'N.P M'C#AE/ RA3 AND'N@,
C#'E& 'N.P ERF'N T. H'//AC@RTE .EN'@R 'N.P %@.E/'T@ T. E.ND'HE/. 'N.P R'CAR0@ $. 0AN0AN .P@> H'CENTE P.
ARNA0@, .P@> R@BERT@ &. /AN$CAD@N, .P@+ H'R$'/'@ H. PARA$A., .P@+ R@/AN0@ R. %'MENE(, .P@5 F'/&RE0@ C.
CDARTER@, .P@5 R@BERT@ @. A$BA/@$, .P@5 @.MDN0@ B. CAR'N@, C#'E& .DPT. %EFE/ &. CAN.@N, C#'E& .DPT.
R@ME@ M. AC@P, C#'E& .DPT. PAN&'/@ M. /AC.@N, .EN'@R .DPT. &RANC'.C@ $. (DB'A, %R., .DPT. A/MAR'@ A. #'/AR'@,
C#'E& 'N.P. CE.AR @. MANCA@ ''', C#'E& 'N.P. $'/ /. MENE.E., .EN'@R 'N'.P. $/ENN 0DM/A@, .EN'@R 'N.P. R@/AN0@
AN0D3AN, 'N.P. CEA.AR TANNA$AN, .P@A F'//3 NDA., .P@A C'CER@ .. BAC@/@0, P@+ N@RBERT@ /A.A$A, P@+
/E@NAR0@ $/@R'A and P@+ A/E%AN0R@ $. /'FANA$ of the crime of M!%"$% as defined and penali;ed under A%&(+/$ 649 o' &;$
R$:()$" P$*a/ Co"$ committed as follows?
PThat on or about Ma 58, 5667 in Ma%(a*o Ma%+o) A:$*!$, 4!$Ko* C(&y, Philippines and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court,
the accused C#'E& 'N'.P. M'C#AE/ RA3 AND'N@, C#'E& 'N.P. ERF'N T. H'//AC@RTE, .EN'@R 'N.P. %@.E/'T@ T. E.ND'HE/,
'N.P. R'CAR0@ $. 0AN0AN, .P@> H'CENTE P. ARNA0@ .P@> R@BERT@ &. /AN$CAD@N, .P@+ H'R$'/'@ H. PARA$A., .P@+
R@/AN0@ R. %'MENE(, .P@5 F'/&RE0@ C. CDARTER@, .P@5 R@BERT@ @. A$BA/@$, and .P@5 @.MDN0@ B. CAR'N@
all &aJ(*# a":a*&a#$ o' &;$(% 8!./(+ a*" o''(+(a/ 8o)(&(o*) as officers and members of the Philippine National Police and +o--(&&(*#
&;$ a+&) ;$%$(* a//$#$" (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$(% 8!./(+ o''(+$, conspirin" with intent to 4ill and usin" firearms with treacher, evident
premeditation and ta4in" advanta"e of their superior stren"ths did then and there willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl );oo& %@E/
AM@RA, thereb inflictin" upon the latter mortal wounds which caused his instantaneous death to the dama"e and pre!udice of the heirs
of the said victim.
PThat accused C#'E& .DPT. %EFE/ &. CAN.@N C#'E& .DPT. R@ME@ M. AC@P C#'E& .DPT. PAN&'/@ M. /AC.@N, .EN'@R
.DPT. &RANC'.C@ $. (DB'A, %R. .DPT. A/MAR'@ A. #'/AR'@, C#'E& 'N.P. CE.AR @. MANCA@ '' C#'E& 'N.P. $'/ /. MENE.E.,
.EN'@R 'N.P. $/ENN 0DM/A@, .EN'@R 'N.P. R@/AN0@ AN0D3AN, 'N.P. CEA.AR TANNA$AN .P@A F'//3 NDA. .P@A
C'CER@ .. BAC@/@0, P@+ A/E%AN0R@ $. /'FANA$ +o--(&&(*# &;$ a+&) (* %$/a&(o* &o o''(+$ as officers and members of the
Philippine National Police are char"ed herein as a++$))o%($) a'&$%-&;$-'a+& for +o*+$a/(*# &;$ +%(-$ ;$%$(* a.o:$ a//$#$" b amon"
others 'a/)$/y %$8%$)$*&(*# &;a& &;$%$ G$%$ *o a%%$)&) -a"$ "!%(*# &;$ %a("+o*"!+&$" .y &;$ a++!)$" ;$%$(* a& S!8$%:(//$
S!."(:()(o*, Pa%aQaO!$, M$&%o Ma*(/a on or about the earl dawn of Ma 58, 5667.
PC@NTRAR3 T@ /AFQ
Fhile the above9-uoted information states that the above9named principal accused committed the crime of murder Pin relation to
their public office, there is, however, *o )8$+('(+ a//$#a&(o* o' 'a+&) that the shootin" of the victim b the said principal accused
was (*&(-a&$/y %$/a&$" to the dischar"e of their official duties as police officers. /i4ewise, the amended information does not indicate
that the said accused arrested and investi"ated the victim and then 4illed the latter while in their custod.
Even the alle"ations concernin" the criminal participation of herein petitioner and intervenors as amon" the accessories after9the9
fact, the amended information is va"ue on this. 't is alle"ed therein that the said accessories concealed the crime herein9above alle"ed
b, amon" others, falsel representin" that there were no arrests made durin" the raid conducted b the accused herein at .uperville
.ubdivision, ParaMa-ue, Metro Manila, on or about the earl dawn of Ma 58, 5667.Q The sudden mention of the a%%$)&) made durin"
the %a(" conducted b the accusedQ surprises the reader. T;$%$ () *o (*"(+a&(o* (* &;$ a-$*"$" (*'o%-a&(o* &;a& &;$ :(+&(- Ga) o*$
o' &;o)$ a%%$)&$" .y &;$ a++!)$" "!%(*# &;$ I%a(".M Forse, the raid and arrests were alle"edl conducted Pat .uperville
.ubdivision, Pa%aQaO!$, Metro ManilaQ but, as alle"ed in the immediatel precedin" para"raph of the amended information, the shootin"
of the victim b the principal accused occurred in Mariano Marcos Avenue, 4!$Ko* C(&y.Q #ow the raid, arrests and shootin" happened
in two places far awa from each other is pu;;lin". A"ain, while there is the alle"ation in the amended information that the said
accessories committed the offense Pin relation to office as officers and members of the 1PNP2,Q we, however, do not see the intimate
connection between the offense char"ed and the accusedOs official functions, which, as earlier discussed, is an essential element in
determinin" the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan.
The strin"ent re-uirement that the char"e be set forth with such particularit as will reasonabl indicate the e=act offense which the
accused is alle"ed to have committed in relation to his office was, sad to sa, not satisfied. Fe believe that the mere alle"ation in the
amended information that the offense was committed b the accused public officer in relation to his officeQ is not sufficient. That phrase is
merel a+o*+/!)(o* o' /aG, not a 'a+&!a/ averment that would show the close intimac between the offense char"ed and the dischar"e
of the accusedOs official duties.
'n People vs. Ma"allanes,
K*+L
where the !urisdiction between the Re"ional Trial Court and the San!iganbayan was at issue, we ruled?
P't is an elementar rule that !urisdiction is determined b the alle"ations in the complaint or information and not b the result of evidence
after trial.
P'n 1People vs. = #onte$o 15G8 Phil )5A K56)GL 2, where the amended information alle"ed
/ero .. Brown, Cit Maor of Basilan Cit, as such, has or"ani;ed "roups of police patrol and civilian commandos consistin" of re"ular
policemen and = = = special policemen, appointed and provided b him with pistols and hi"h power "uns and then established a camp = =
= at Tipo9tipo which is under his command = = = supervision and control where his co9defendants were stationed, entertained criminal
complaints and conducted the correspondin" investi"ations, as well as assumed the authorit to arrest and detain persons without due
process of law and without brin"in" them to the proper court, and that in line with this set9up established b said Maor of Basilan Cit as
such, and actin" upon his orders his co9defendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Teba" who died in conse-uence thereof.
we held that the offense char"ed was committed in relation to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while the were in the
performance, thou"h improper or irre"ular of their official functions and would not have been committed had the not held their office,
besides, the accused had no personal motive in committin" the crime, thus, there was an intimate connection between the offense and
the office of the accused.
PDnli4e in #onte$o, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 577)+ and 577)A in the court below do not indicate that the accused
arrested and investi"ated the victims and then 4illed the latter in the course of the investi"ation. The informations merel alle"e that the
accused, for the purpose of e=tractin" or e=tortin" the sum of PA7A,GGG.GG abducted, 4idnapped and detained the two victims, and failin"
in their common purpose, the shot and 4illed the said victims. Fo% &;$ 8!%8o)$ o' "$&$%-(*(*# L!%()"(+&(o*, (& () &;$)$ a//$#a&(o*)
&;a& );a// +o*&%o/, and not the evidence presented b the prosecution at the trial.Q
'n the aforecited case of People vs. #onte$o, it is noteworth that the phrase committed in relation to public officeQ does not appear
in the information, which onl si"nifies that the said phrase is not what determines the !urisdiction of the San!iganbayan. Fhat
is +o*&%o//(*# is the )8$+('(+ 'a+&!a/ a//$#a&(o*) in the information that would indicate the close intimac between the dischar"e of the
accusedOs official duties and the commission of the offense char"ed, in order to -ualif the crime as havin" been committed in relation to
public office.
Conse-uentl, for failure to show in the amended informations that the char"e of murder was intimatel connected with the dischar"e
of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the offense char"ed in the sub!ect criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within
the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the Re"ional Trial Court,
K*AL
not the San!iganbayan.
1HEREFORE, the constitutionalit of .ections > and * of R.A. 8+>6 is hereb sustained. The Addendum to the March 7, 566*
Resolution of the San!iganbayan is REHER.E0. TheSan!iganbayan is hereb directed to transfer Criminal Cases Nos. +AG>* to +AG7*
1for multiple murder2 to the Re"ional Trial Court of Nue;on Cit which has e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over said cases.
SO OR2ERE2.
EN BANC
DG.R. No). 160691-93. O+&o.$% 1, 1999E
EOMAR C. BINA0, petitioner, vs. HON. SAN2IGANBA0AN <T;(%" 2(:()(o*= a*" &;$ 2EPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AN2 LOCAL
GO3ERNMENT, respondents.
DG.R. No. 169136. O+&o.$% 1, 1999E
MARIO C. MAGSA0SA0, FRANCISCO B. CASTILLO, CRISTINA 2. MABIOG, REGINO E. MALAPIT, ERLIN2A I. MASANGCA0 a*"
3ICENTE 2E LA ROSA, petitioners, vs. HON. SAN2IGANBA0AN, HON. OMBU2SMAN a*" (&) PROSECUTOR 1EN2ELL
BARERRAS-SULIT a*" STATE PROSECUTORS ERIC HENR0 OSEPH F. MALLONGA a*" GI2EON C.
MEN2O,A, respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
>APUNAN, J.5
Pursuant to .ection >, Article E''' of the 56*A Constitution, Presidential 0ecree No. 5>8) created an Anti9$raft Court 4nown as the
.andi"anbaan. .ince then the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan has under "one various chan"es,
K5L
the most recent of which were
effected throu"h Republic Act Nos. *6*7
K+L
and 8+>6.
KAL
Fhether the .andi"anbaan, under these laws, e=ercises e=clusive ori"inal
!urisdiction over criminal cases involvin" municipal maors accused of violations of Republic Act No. AG56
K>L
and Article ++G of the
Revised Penal Code
K7L
is the central issue in these consolidated petitions.
'n $.R. Nos. 5+G)8598A, petitioner %e!omar Bina see4s to annul, amon" others, the Resolution of the .andi"anbaan denin" his
motion to refer Criminal Case Nos. +5GG5, +5GG7 and +5GG* to the Re"ional Trial Court 1RTC2 of Ma4ati and declarin" that the
.andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over said cases despite the enactment of R.A. No. *6*7.
'n $.R. No. 5+85A), petitioner Mario C. Ma"sasa, et al. assail the @ctober ++, 566) Resolution of the .andi"anbaan, reversin"
its @rder of %une +5, 566) which suspended the proceedin"s in Criminal Case No. +A+*8 in deference to whatever rulin" this Court will
la down in the Bina cases.
The facts, as "athered from t he records, are as follows?
G.R. No). 160691-93
@n .eptember *, 566>, the @ffice of the @mbudsman filed before the .andi"anbaan three separate informations a"ainst petitioner
%e!omar Bina, one for violation of Article ++G of the Revised Penal Code,
K)L
and two for violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56.
K*L
The
informations, which were subse-uentl amended on .eptember 57, 566>, all alle"ed that the acts constitutin" these crimes were
committed in 568* durin" petitionerOs incumbenc as Maor of Ma4ati, then a municipalit of Metro Manila.
Thereafter, petitioner moved to -uash the informations. #e contended that the si=9ear dela from the time the char"es were filed in
the @ffice of the @mbudsman on %ul +*, 5688 to the time the informations were filed in the .andi"anbaan on .eptember *, 566>
constituted a violation of his ri"ht to due process. Arrai"nment of the accused was held in abeance pendin" the resolution of this
motion.
@n March +6, 5667, the .andi"anbaan issued a Resolution denin" petitionerOs motion to -uash. PetitionerOs motion for
reconsideration, which was opposed b the prosecution, was li4ewise denied b the .andi"anbaan. The resolution denin" the motion
for reconsideration, however, was issued before the petitioner could file a repl to the prosecutionOs opposition to the motion for
reconsideration.
'n the meantime, on March A5, 5667, the prosecution filed a PMotion to .uspend Accused Pendente /ite.Q The .andi"anbaan, in a
Resolution dated April +7, 5667, "ranted the motion and ordered the suspension of petitioner for ninet das from receipt of the
resolution. The court ruled that the re-uisites for suspension pen!ente lite were present as petitioner was char"ed with one of the
offenses under .ection 5A of R.A. No. AG56
K8L
and the informations containin" these char"es had previousl been held valid in the
resolution denin" the motion to -uash and the resolution denin" the motion for reconsideration.
Petitioner thus filed before this Court a petition for certiorari,
K6L
to set aside the resolution denin" his motion for reconsideration,
claimin" that he was denied due process when the .andi"anbaan ordered his suspension pen!ente lite before he could file a repl to
the prosecutionOs opposition to his motion for reconsideration of the resolution denin" the motion to -uash. 'n a Resolution dated April
+8, 5667, the Court directed the .andi"anbaan to, amon" other thin"s, permit petitioner to file said repl.
After allowin" and considerin" petitionerOs repl, the .andi"anbaan, on %une ), 5667, issued a Resolution reiteratin" the denial of
his motion for reconsideration of the denial of the motion to -uash. @n the same da, the .andi"anbaan issued another resolution
reiteratin" the order suspendin" petitioner pen!ente lite.
Meanwhile, R.A. No. *6*7, redefinin" the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, too4 effect on Ma 5), 5667.
K5GL
@n %une 5A, 5667, petitioner filed before the .andi"anbaan a motion to refer his cases to the Pproper courtQ for further proceedin"s,
alle"in" that when the two Resolutions, both dated %une ), 5667, were issued b the Anti9$raft Court, it had alread lost !urisdiction over
the sub!ect cases. The .andi"anbaan, in a Resolution dated %ul >, 5667, denied petitionerOs motion, holdin" thus?
There is no -uestion that Municipal Maors are classified as $rade P+*Q under the compensation T Position Classification Act of
5686. .ince, at the time of the commission of the offenses char"ed in he above9entitled cases, the accused Maor %e!omar C. Bina was
a Municipal Maor, althou"h in an actin" or interim capacit, the .andi"anbaan, has, under .ection > 1e2 7, ori"inal !urisdiction over the
cases therein filed a"ainst him. The alle"ation that Maor Bina ou"ht to have been classified with a salar "rade lower than $rade P+*Q,
because at the time of the commission of the offenses char"ed he was paid a salar which merits a "rade lower than $rade P+*Q does
not hold water. 'n 568) when the herein offenses were committed b the accused, the Compensation T Position Classification Act of
5686 was not as et in e=istence. &rom the ver definition of he ver Act itself, it is evident that the Act was passed and had been
effective onl in 5686. The $rade classification of a public officer, whether at the time of the commission of the offense or thereafter, is
determined b his classification under the Compensation T Position Classification Act of 5686. Thus since the accused Maor %e!omar
C. Bina was a Municipal Maor at the time of the commission of the offenses and the Compensation T Position Classification Act of
5686 classifies Municipal Maors as $rade P+*Q, it is a conclusion beond cavil that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the accused
herein.
As of %ul 5, 5686, when Republic Act No. )*78 too4 effect, Municipal Maor %e!omar C. Bina had be"un receivin" a monthl salar of
P57,58G.GG which is e-uivalent to $rade P+8Q under the salar scale provided for in .ection +* of the said Act. Dnder the 'nde= of
@ccupational .ervices, the position titles and salar "rades of the Compensation T Position classification sstem prepared b the
0epartment of Bud"et and Mana"ement pursuant to .ection ) of Republic KALct No. )*78, the position of Municipal Maor had been
classified as $rade P+*.Q
K55L
@n %ul *, 5667, petitioner filed the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus -uestionin" the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan over Criminal Case Nos. +5GG5, +5GG7 and +5GG*. #e praed, amon" others, that the Court annul and set aside? 152
the Resolution of the .andi"anbaan dated %une ), 5667 reiteratin" the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the motion to -uash,
1+2 the Resolution of the same court also dated %une ), 5667 reiteratin" the order suspendin" petitioner pen!ente lite, and 1A2 the
Resolution of the .andi"anbaan dated %ul >, 5667 denin" the motion to refer case to the RTC. Petitioner also as4ed that the Court
issue a temporar restrainin" order preventin" the suspension and arrai"nment of petitioner. The Court on %ul *, 5667, resolved, amon"
others, to issue the temporar restrainin" order praed for.
@n %ul 5>, 5667, petitioner filed an PAddendum to Petition 1To allow the introduction of alternative reliefs2,Q prain" that, should this
Court hold that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the cases, the criminal cases filed a"ainst him be dismissed !ust the same on the
"round that the lon" dela of the preliminar investi"ation before the @mbudsman prior to the filin" of the informations, deprived him of
his ri"ht to due process, and that, moreover, there was no probable cause to warrant the filin" of the informations.
G.R. No. 169136
Petitioner Mario Ma"sasa is the Maor of the Municipalit of .an Pascual, Batan"as. .ave for petitioner Hicente dela Rosa, all of
Maor Ma"sasaOs co9petitioners are officials of the same municipalit.
'n a complaint dated April 5), 566>, Hictor Cusi, then Hice9Maor of .an Pascual, Batan"as, char"ed petitioners alon" with Elpidia
Amada, %ove C. Baba"o, and Bri"ido #. Buhain, also officials of .an Pascual Batan"as, with violation of R.A. No. AG56, as
amended. The complaint char"ed the respondent municipal officials of overpain" Hicente de la Rosa of T0R Construction for the
landscapin" pro!ect of the .an Pascual Central .chool. This was doc4eted in the @ffice of the @mbudsman as @MB9596>95+A+.
'n a Resolution dated %une 5>, 5667, $raft 'nvesti"ation @fficer /ourdes A. Alarilla recommended the filin" of an information for
violation of .ection A1e2 and 1"2 of R.A. No. AG56, as amended, a"ainst petitioners with the .andi"anbaan. 0irector Elvis %ohn ..
Asuncion concurred in the resolution, and Manuel C. 0omin"o, 0eput @mbudsman for /u;on, recommended approval of the
same. The resolution was approved b then Actin" @mbudsman &rancisco A. Hilla with the followin" mar"inal note?
Authorit is "iven to the deput @mbudsman for /u;on to cause the preparation of the information and to approve the same for filin" with
the proper court.
K5+L
@n Au"ust 55, 5667, an 'nformation for violation of .ection A 1e2 and 1"2 was filed a"ainst petitioners and %ove C. Baba"o, not with
the .andi"anbaan per the %une 5>, 5667 Resolution, but with the RTC of Batan"as Cit. The information was si"ned b a /ourdes A.
Alarilla, the same $raft 'nvesti"ation @fficer who recommended the filin" of the information with the .andi"anbaan.
'n the meantime, a "roup denominated as the Concerned Citi;ens of .an Pascual, Batan"as filed a complaint before the
@mbudsman a"ainst petitioners, and Elpidia Amada and Bri"ido Buhain, with violations of R.A. No. AG56. The complaint also alle"ed,
amon" others, the overpricin" of the landscapin" pro!ect of .an Pascual Central .chool. The case was doc4eted as @MB9G96>9G5>6.
'n a Resolution dated %ul +*, 5667, $raft 'nvesti"ation @fficer Ernesto M. Nocos recommended the filin" of an information char"in"
petitioners with violation of .ection A1e2 and 1"2 of R.A. No. AG56, as amended Pwith proper court.Q The resolution, which was
recommended for approval b Nicanor %. Cru;, @'C90eput @mbudsman for /u;on, and approved b @mbudsman Aniano A. 0esierto,
adopted the findin"s and conclusions in the resolution in @MB9596>95+A+ that the landscapin" pro!ect was overpriced.
@n &ebruar 6, 566), another 'nformation for violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56, as amended, was filed a"ainst petitioners for
the overpricin" of the landscapin" pro!ect, this time before the .andi"anbaan. The information was subse-uentl amended on Ma 5*,
566). E=cept for the date the alle"ed crime was committed, the information char"ed essentiall the same inculpator facts as the
information filed in the RTC. The case was doc4eted in the .andi"anbaan as Crim. Case No. ++A*8.
@n %une 5, 566), the accused filed with the .andi"anbaan a motion to -uash the information in Crim. Case No. ++A*8 on the
followin" "rounds? that the .andi"anbaan had no !urisdiction over the case, that the accused were char"ed with the same offense in
two informations, and that the proceedin"s in the .andi"anbaan would e=pose petitioners to double !eopard. The .andi"anbaan
denied the accusedOs motion to -uash in a Resolution dated %une +5, 566). The court, however, suspended proceedin"s in the case
until the .upreme Court resolved the -uestion of the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction involved in the Bina petition.
Meanwhile, on %une *, 566), Prosecutor Eric Mallon"a filed a motion before the RTC to refer the R.A. No. AG56 case pendin"
therein to the .andi"anbaan, ar"uin" that under R.A. No. *6*7 the .andi"anbaan, not the RTC, had !urisdiction over the case. @n
%ul A, 566), the RTC issued an order holdin" in abeance the resolution of the motion to refer the case since the issue of !urisdiction
was pendin" before the .andi"anbaan.
Bac4 at the .andi"anbaan, the prosecution, on %ul +>, 566), filed a motion for reconsideration of the .andi"anbaanOs @rder
dated %une +5, 566). @n Au"ust +, 566), filed their own motion for the reconsideration of the same order. @n @ctober ++, 566), the
.andi"anbaan "ranted the motion for reconsideration filed b the prosecution and set the case for arrai"nment. Petitioners moved for a
reconsideration of the @ctober ++, 566) Resolution orderin" their arrai"nment, which motion was denied on &ebruar 5*, 566*.
@n &ebruar +*, 566*, the accused filed the present petition.
@n @ctober 5, 566*, the Court resolved to issue a temporar restrainin" order to prevent respondents from further proceedin" with
Crim. Case No. +A+*8 of the .andi"anbaan.
The petition raises the followin" issues?
I
#ad the .andi"anbaan been ousted of its !urisdiction over the case of municipal maor after the passa"e of Republic Act No. *6*7,
coupled with the filin" earlier of an information for the same offense before the Re"ional Trial Court havin" territorial !urisdiction and
venue of the commission of the offenseJ
II
Are the respondents @mbudsman and the prosecutors estopped b laches or waiver from filin" and prosecutin" the case before
respondent .andi"anbaan after the filin" earlier of the information in the proper court, thereafter repudiatin" it, see4in" another court of
the same cate"or and finall to respondent courtJ
III
Fhether or not the filin" of two 1+2 informations for the same offense violated the rule on duplicit of informationJ
I3
Fhether or not the trial to be conducted b respondent court, if the case shall not be dismissed, will e=pose the petitioners who are
accused therein to double !eopardJ
3
Dnder the circumstances, are the respondent @mbudsman and the prosecutors "uilt of forum shoppin"J
K5AL
@n @ctober ), 566*, the Court resolved to consolidate $.R. No. 5+85A) 1the Ma"sasa petition2 with $.R. Nos. 5+G)8598A 1the
Bina petition2.
'n resolvin" these consolidated petitions, the Court shall first address the common -uestion of the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction.
I
The Court rules that it is the .andi"anbaan which has !urisdiction over the sub!ect cases.
The informations a"ainst Maor Bina were filed in the .andi"anbaan on %ul *, 566>, pursuant to Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G),
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as amended b Presidential 0ecree No. 58)5,
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the pertinent provisions of which state?
.EC. >. uris!iction. 9 The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise?
1a2 E=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
152 Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code,
1+2 @ther offenses or felonies committed b public officers and emploees in relation to their office, includin" those emploed in
"overnment9owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes, where the penalt prescribed b law is
hi"her than prision correccional or imprisonment for si= 1)2 ears, or a fine of P),GGG.GG, PR@H'0E0, #@FEHER, that offenses or
felonies mentioned in this para"raph where the penalt prescribed b law does not e=ceed prision correccional or imprisonment for si= 1)2
ears or a fine of P),GGG.GG shall be tried b the proper Re"ional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal
Circuit Trial Court.
===.
@n Ma 5), 5667, R.A. No. *6*7 too4 effect. At this time, Maor Bina had not et been arrai"ned in the .andi"anbaan. @n the
other hand, R.A. No. *6*7 was alread in effect when the information a"ainst Maor Ma"sasa et al., was filed on Au"ust 55, 5667 in
the RTC of Batan"as Cit.
.ection + of R.A. No. *6*7 amended .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G) to read as follows?
.ec. >. uris!iction. 99 The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupin"
the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the commission of the
offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade P+*Q and
hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, en"ineers,
and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso!, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit
department heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade P+*Q and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act
of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade P+*Q and hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.
b. @ther offenses or felonies committed b the public officials and emploees mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation to
their office.
c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
'n cases where none of the principal accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar "rade P+*Q or hi"her, as prescribed in the
said Republic Act No. )*78, or PNP officers occupin" the ran4 of superintendent or hi"her, or their e-uivalent, e=clusive !urisdiction
thereof shall be vested in the proper Re"ional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
as the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6.
===.
Fhile the cases a"ainst petitioners were pendin" in this Court, con"ress enacted R.A. No. 8+>6, a"ain redefinin" the !urisdiction of
the Anti9$raft Court. This law too4 effect, per .ection 5G thereof, on &ebruar +A, 566*, fifteen das after its complete publication on
&ebruar 8, 566* in the ournal and Malaya, two newspapers of "eneral circulation.
As further amended b .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6, .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G) now reads?
.EC. >. %urisdiction. 9 The San!iganbayan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupin"
the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at he time of the commission of the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the position of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade P+*Q and
hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, en"ineers,
and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso!, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit department
heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 @fficers of the Philippine National Police while occupin" the position of provincial director and those holdin" the ran4 of senior
superintendent or hi"her,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the office of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations.
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade P+*Q and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act
of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of he Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade P+*Q and hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.
b. @ther offenses or felonies whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public officials and emploees mentioned
in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation to heir office.
d. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568).
'n cases where none of the accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar "rade P+*Q or hi"her, as prescribed in the said
Republic Act No. )*78, or militar and PNP officers mentioned above, e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper
re"ional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case ma be, pursuant to their
respective !urisdictions as provided in Batas Pa"bansa Bl". 5+6, as amended.
Petitioners contend that the do not come under the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan because?
152 At the alle"ed time of the commission of the crimes char"ed, petitioner municipal maors were not classified as $rade +*.
1+2 Municipal maors are not included in the enumeration in .ection >a152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7.
1A2 Con"ressional records reveal that the law did not intend municipal maors to come under the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction
of the .andi"anbaan.
A
'n support of his contention that his position was not that of $rade +*, Maor Bina ar"ues?
@@@. T;$ *$G /aGF) +o*)()&$*& a*" %$8$a&$" %$'$%$*+$ &o )a/a%y #%a"$ );oGD)E a* (*&$*&(o* &o .a)$ &;$ )$8a%a&(o* o'
L!%()"(+&(o* .$&G$$* &;$ Sa*"(#a*.aya* a*" &;$ %$#!/a% +o!%&) o* 8ay )+a/$. G%a"$) a%$ "$&$%-(*$" .y +o-8$*)a&(o*. T;$
$))$*+$ o' #%a"$) () 8ay )+a/$). T;$%$'o%, 8ay )+a/$) "$&$%-(*$ #%a"$).
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Maor Bina, thus, presented a Certification
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from the Cit Personnel @fficer of Ma4ati statin" that petitioner as maor received a
monthl salar of onl P5G,*6A.GG from March 568* to 0ecember A5, 5688. This amount was supposedl e-uivalent to $rade ++ under
R.A. No. )*78.
Maor Ma"sasa, for his part, submitted a similar Certification
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from the Municipal Treasurer of .an Pascual, Batan"as, statin"?
= = = that the basic monthl salar received b Mario C. Ma"sasa, Municipal Maor of .an Pascual, Batan"as with .alar $rade +* is
E/EHEN T#@D.AN0 E'$#T #DN0RE0 TFENT3 E'$#T PE.@. 1P55,8+8.GG2 per month as of November A, 566A e-uivalent onl to
$rade +7, .tep 7 of RA )*78, the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686.
.ection >>>152 1$radKeL +*2 of RA )*78 is not as et implemented due to bud"etar constraints. This certification is issued to Maor
Mario C. Ma"sasa this AGth da of Ma 566) at .an Pascual, Batan"as for whatever le"al purpose andIor purposes it ma serve.
The Court does not subscribe to the manner b which petitioners classif $rades.
The Constitution
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states that in providin" for the standardi;ation of compensation of "overnment officials and emploees, Con"ress
shall ta4e Pinto account the nature of the responsibilities pertainin" to, and the -ualifications re-uired for their positions,Q thus?
The Con"ress shall provide for the standardi;ation of compensation of "overnment officials, includin" those in "overnment9owned or
controlled corporations with ori"inal charters, ta4in" into account the nature of the responsibilities pertainin" to, and the -ualifications
re-uired for their positions.
Corollar thereto, Republic Act No. )*78
K+GL
provides in .ection + thereof that differences in pa are to be based Pupon substantive
differences in duties and responsibilities, and -ualification re-uirements of the positions.O 'n short, the nature of an officialOs position
should be the determinin" factor in the fi=in" of his or her salar. This is not onl mandated b law but dictated b lo"ic as well.
Consistent with these policies, the law emplos the scheme 4nown as the P"radeQ defined in Presidential 0ecree No. 687
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as
includin"
=== all classes of positions which, althou"h different with respect to 4ind or sub!ect matter of wor4, are sufficientl e-uivalent as to level
of difficult and responsibilities and level of -ualification re-uirements of the wor4 to warrant the inclusion of such classes of positions
within one ran"e of basic compensation.
K++L
The "rade, therefore, depends upon the nature of oneOs position 99 the level of difficult, responsibilities, and -ualification
re-uirements thereof 99 relative to that of another position. 't is the officialOs $rade that determines his or her salar, not the other wa
around.
't is possible that a local "overnment officialOs salar ma be less than that prescribed for his $rade since his salar depends also on
the class and financial capabilit of his or her respective local "overnment unit.
K+AL
Nevertheless, it is the law which fi=es the officialOs
"rade.
Thus, .ection 8 of R.A. )*78 fi=es the salar "rades of the President, Hice9President, .enate President, .pea4er, Chief %ustice,
.enators, Members of the #ouse of Representatives, Associate %ustices of the .upreme Court, as well as the Chairmen and Members of
the Constitutional Commissions. .ection 8 also authori;es the 0epartment of Bud"et and Mana"ement 10BM2 to Pdetermine the officials
who are of e-uivalent ran4 to the fore"oin" officials, where applicableQ and to assi"n such officials the same .alar $rades sub!ect to a
set of "uidelines found in said section.
&or positions below those mentioned under .ection 8, .ection 6 instructs the 0BM to prepare the P'nde= of @ccupational .ervicesQ
"uided b the Benchmar4 Position prescribed in .ection 6 and the factors enumerated therein.
To determine whether an official is within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, therefore, reference should be
made to R.A. No. )*78 and the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices, Position Titles and .alar $rades. .alar level is not determinative. An
officialOs "rade is not a matter of proof, but a matter of law of which the Court must ta4e !udicial notice.
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As both the 5686 and 566* versions of the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices, Position Titles and .alar $rades list the municipal
Maor under .alar $rade +*, petitioner maors come within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. Petitioner maors
are Plocal officials classified as $rade R+*O and hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686,Q under the catchall
provision, .ection >a172 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7. More accuratel, petitioner maors are PKoLfficials of the
e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade R+*O and hi"her, of the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686,Q under .ection >a152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7.
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B
Petitioners, however, ar"ue that the are not included in the enumeration in .ection >a152. The invo4e the rule in statutor
construction e$pressio unius est e$pressio alterius. As what is not included in those enumerated is deemed e=cluded, municipal officials
are e=cluded from the .andi"anbaanOs e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction.
Resort to statutor construction, however, is not appropriate where the law is clear and unambi"uous.
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The law is clear in this
case. As stated earlier, .ection >a152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7, spea4s of PKoLfficials of the e=ecutive branch
occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade R+*O and hi"her, of the compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686.Q
The Court fails to see how a different interpretation could arise even if the plain meanin" rule were disre"arded and the law
sub!ected to interpretation.
The premise of petitionersO ar"ument is that the enumeration in .ection >a152 is e=clusive. 't is not. The phrase Pspecificall
includin"Q after PKoLfficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade
R+*O and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686Q necessaril conves the ver idea of non9e=clusivit of the
enumeration. The principle of e$pressio unius est e$clusio alterius does not appl where other circumstances indicate that the
enumeration was not intended to be e=clusive,
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or where the enumeration is b wa of e=ample onl.
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'n Conra!o B. ?o!rigo, et al. 9s.
5he Honorable San!iganbayan C-irst ,i9isionD, supra, the Court held that the catchall in .ection >a172 was Pnecessar for it would be
impractical, if not impossible, for Con"ress to list down each position created or will be created pertainin" to "rades +* and above.Q The
same rationale applies to the enumeration in .ection >a152. Clearl, the law did not intend said enumeration to be an e=haustive list.
.hould there be an doubts as to whether petitioner maors are under the cate"or of $rade +*, .ection >>>1d2 of the /ocal
$overnment Code settles the matter?
The municipal maor shall receive a minimum monthl compensation correspondin" to .alar $rade twent9seven 1+*2 as prescribed
under R.A. No. )*78 and the implementin" "uidelines issued pursuant thereto.
'n the CourtOs Resolution in ?o!rigo dated %ul +, 5666 denin" the motion for reconsideration, we treated the above provision as
Pconfirmator of the .alar $rade assi"ned b the 0BM to Municipal Maors.Q
C
Petitioner Bina cites previous bills
K+6L
in Con"ress dealin" with the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. These bills supposedl sou"ht
to e=clude municipal officials from the .andi"anbaanOs e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction to relieve these officials ,especiall those from the
provinces, of the financial burden brou"ht about b trials in Manila.
The resort to con"ressional records to determine the proper application of the law in this case is unwarranted in this case for the
same reason that the resort to the rule of inclusio unius est e$pressio alterius is inappropriate.
Heril, the interpretation of the law desired b the petitioner ma be more humane but it is also an elementar rule in statutor
construction that when the words and phrases of the statute are clear and une-uivocal, their meanin" must be determined from lan"ua"e
emploed and the statute must be ta4en to mean e=actl what it sas. 1Baranda v. $ustilo, 5)7 .CRA *789*76 K5688L2. The courts ma
not speculate as to the probable intent of the le"islature apart from the words 1Aparri v. CA, 5+* .CRA +AA K568>L2. Fhen the law is
clear, it is not susceptible to interpretation. 't must be applied re"ardless of who ma be affected, even if the law ma be harsh or
onerous. 1Nepomuceno, et al. v. &C, 55G Phil. >+2. And even "rantin" that e=ceptions ma be conceded, the same as a "eneral rule,
should be strictl but reasonabl construed, the e=tend onl so far as their lan"ua"e fairl warrants, and all doubts should be resolved in
favor of the "eneral provisions rather than the e=ception. Thus, where a "eneral rule is established b statute, the court will not curtail
the former nor add to the latter b implication 1.amson v. CA., 5>7 .CRA )7> K568)L2.
KAGL
Thus, in ?o!rigo, petitioners therein ar"ued in their motion for reconsideration?
= = = that the inclusion of Municipal Maors within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan would be inconvenient since the witness in their
case would come from Ba"uio Cit and .an Nicolas, Pan"asinan. This, accordin" to petitioners, would defeat one of the purposes of
R.A. No. *6*7, that is, the convenience of the accused.
The Court, in denin" the motion for reconsideration, held, amon" others, that?
The le"islature has nevertheless chosen the mode and standard b which to implement its intent, and courts have no choice but to appl
it. Con"ress has willed that positions with $rade +* and above shall come within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan and this Court is
dut9bound to obe the con"ressional will.
Petitioner Bina also -uotes the .ponsorship .peech of .enator Roco, statin"?
.ince &ebruar 56*6, when the .andi"anbaan was established up to the present, the Court has been confronted with the problem of
those accused who are of limited means who stand trial for Rpett crimes,O the so9called Rsmall frO 99 the baran"a officials, &;$ -!*(+(8a/
o''(+(a/) a*" $-8/oy$$), postal cler4s and letter carriers and the li4e 99 who are involved with Rnic4el9and9dimeO cases and mone9
related cases such as malversation, estafa and theft. ===
=== === ===
.enate Bill No. 5A7A modifies the present !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan )!+; &;a& o*/y &;o)$ o++!8y(*# ;(#; 8o)(&(o*) (*
Go:$%*-$*& a*" &;$ -(/(&a%y 'a// !*"$% &;$ L!%()"(+&(o* o' &;$ +o!%&.
KA5L
't is not clear, however, whether .enator Roco meant that all municipal officials are e=cluded from the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan. 'n an case, courts are not bound b a le"islatorOs opinion in con"ressional debates re"ardin" the interpretation of a
particular le"islation. 't is deemed a mere personal opinion of the le"islator.
KA+L
.uch opinions do not necessaril reflect the view of the
entire Con"ress.
KAAL
2
&rom the fore"oin" discussion, it is clear that the cases a"ainst petitioner Bina cannot be referred to the re"ular courts under
.ection * of R.A. No. *6*7, which provides?
.ec. *. Dpon effectivit of this Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not be"un in the .andi"anbaan shall be referred to the proper
courts.
'n construin" the correct import of .ection *, it ma be helpful to refer to the "uidelines in determinin" !urisdiction laid down
in Beng>on 9s. 0nciong?
KA>L
The rule is that where a court has alread obtained and is e=ercisin" !urisdiction over a controvers, its !urisdiction to proceed to the final
determination of the cause is not affected b new le"islation placin" !urisdiction over such proceedin"s in another tribunal. The e=ception
to the rule is where the statute e=pressl provides, or is construed to the effect that it is intended to operate as to actions pendin" before
its enactment. Fhere a statute chan"in" the !urisdiction of a court has no retroactive effect, it cannot be applied to a case that was
pendin" prior to the enactment of the statute.
R.A. No. *6*7, b virtue of .ection *, belon"s to the e=ception rather than the rule. The provision is transitor in nature and
e=presses the le"islatureOs intention to appl its provisions on !urisdiction to Pcriminal cases in which trial has not be"un in the
.andi"anbaan.Q To this e=tent, R.A. *6*7 is retroactive.
.uch a transitor provision is not peculiar to R.A. No. *6*7, similar provisions are found in other laws reallocatin" the !urisdiction of
the courts.
KA7L
There is no reason wh .ection * of R.A. No. *6*7 should be an different.
The term Pproper courts,Q as used in .ection *, means Pcourts of competent !urisdiction,Q and such !urisdiction is defined in .ection >
of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7. The former should not be read in isolation but construed in con!unction with the latter.
The term Pproper courtsQ as used in .ection *, therefore, is not restricted to Pre"ular courts,Q but includes as well the .andi"anbaan,
a special court. 'f the intent of Con"ress were to refer all cases the trials of which have not be"un to the re"ular courts, it should have
emploed the term Pproper re"ular courtsQ or Pre"ular courtsQ instead of Pproper courts.Q Accordin"l, the law in the third para"raph of
.ection > P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7, uses the term Pre"ular courts,Q not Pproper courtsQ?
The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive appellate !urisdiction on appeals from the final !ud"ments, resolutions or orders
of re"ular courts where all the accused are occupin" positions lower than salar "rade P+*,Q or not otherwise covered b the precedin"
enumeration. KDnderscorin" supplied.L
Construed thus, the effects of .ection * ma be summari;ed as follows?
5. 'f trial of cases before the .andi"anbaan has alread be"un as of the approval of R.A. No. *6*7, R.A. No. *6*7 does not appl.
+. 'f trial of cases before the .andi"anbaan has not be"un as of the approval of R.A. No. *6*7, then R.A. No. *6*7 applies.
1a2 'f b virtue of .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7, the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over a
case before it, then the case shall be referred to the .andi"anbaan.
1b2 'f b virtue of .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7, the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over a
case before it, the case shall be referred to the re"ular courts.
The trial of the cases involvin" Maor Bina had not et be"un as of the date of the approval of R.A. *6*7, conse-uentl, the Anti9
$raft Court retains !urisdiction over the said cases.
'n an case, whatever seemin" ambi"uit or doubt re"ardin" the application of .ection * of R.A. No. *6*7 should be laid to rest b
.ection * of R.A. No. 8+>6, which states?
.ec. *. Transitor Provision. 9 This Act shall appl to all cases pendin" in an court over which trial has not be"un as of the approval
hereof.
The latter provision more accuratel e=presses the le"islatureOs intent and in an event should be applied in this case, R.A. No. 8+>6
havin" superseded R.A. No. *6*7.
'n Panfilo M. /acson 9s. 5he #$ecuti9e Secretary, et al.,
KA)L
The Court e=plained the purpose of the fore"oin" provision.
= = = it can be reasonabl anticipated that an alteration of K.andi"anbaanOsL !urisdiction would necessaril affect pendin" cases, which is
wh it has to provide for a remed in the form of a transitor provision. = = =. The transitor provision does not onl cover cases which
are in the .andi"anbaan but also in Pa*y +o!%&.Q = = =. Moreover, those cases where trial had alread be"un are not affected b the
transitor provision under .ection * of the new law 1RA 8+>62. KEmphasis in the ori"inal.L
The possible disruptive effect of the amendments to the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction on pendin" cases was, therefore, not lost on
the le"islature. Con"ress has, furthermore, deemed the commencement of the trial as the crucial point in determinin" whether a court
retains a case pendin" before it or lose the same on the "round of lac4 of !urisdiction per the provisions of R.A. 8+>6. The law obviousl
does not want to waste the time and effort alread devoted to the presentation of evidence if trial had alread be"un. @n the other hand,
not much disruption would be caused if the amendment were made to appl to cases the trials of which have not et to start.
The ramifications of .ection * of R.A. No. 8+>6 ma be stated as follows?
5. 'f trial of the cases pendin" before whatever court has alread be"un as of the approval of R.A. No. 8+>6, said law does not appl.
+. 'f trial of cases pendin" before whatever court has not be"un as of the approval of R.A. No. 8+>6, then said law applies.
1a2 'f the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over a case pendin" before it, then it retains !urisdiction.
1b2 'f the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over a case pendin" before it, the case shall be referred to the re"ular courts.
1c2 'f the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over a case pendin" before a re"ular court, the latter loses !urisdiction and the same shall be
referred to the .andi"anbaan.
1d2 'f a re"ular court has !urisdiction over a case pendin" before it, then said court retains !urisdiction.
Thus, under both R.A. Nos. *6*7 and 8>+6, the .andi"anbaan retains !urisdiction over said cases.
II
Petitioner Bina avers in his Addendum to Petition that his ri"ht to speed disposition has been violated b the inordinate dela in the
resolution of the sub!ect cases b the @mbudsman.
Article ''' of the Constitution provides that?
.ec. 5). All persons shall have the ri"ht to a speed disposition of their cases before all !udicial, -uasi9!udicial, or administrative bodies.
The constitutional ri"ht to Pa speed disposition of casesQ is not limited to the accused in criminal proceedin"s but e=tends to all
parties in all cases, includin" civil and administrative cases, and in all proceedin"s, includin" !udicial and -uasi9!udicial hearin"s.
KA*L
#ence, under the Constitution, an part to a case ma demand e=peditious action on all officials who are tas4ed with the
administration of !ustice.
KA8L
#owever, the ri"ht to a speed disposition of a case, li4e the ri"ht to speed trial,
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is deemed violated onl when the proceedin"s is
attended b ve=atious, capricious, and oppressive delas, or when un!ustified postponements of the trial are as4ed for and secured, or
when without cause or !ustifiable motive a lon" period of time is allowed to elapse without the part havin" his case tried.
K>GL
E-uall
applicable is the balancin" test used to determine whether a defendant has been denied his ri"ht to a speed trial, or a speed
disposition of a case for that matter, in which the conduct of both the prosecution and the defendant is wei"hed, and such factors as the
len"th of the dela, the reasons for such dela, the assertion or failure to assert such ri"ht b the accused, and the pre!udice caused b
the dela.
K>5L
The concept of speed disposition is a relative term and must necessaril be a fle=ible concept.
K>+L
A mere mathematical rec4onin" of the time involved, therefore, would not be sufficient.
K>AL
'n the application of the constitutional
"uarantee of the ri"ht to speed disposition of cases, particular re"ard must also be ta4en of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each
case.
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'n 5ata! 9s.San!iganbayan,
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the Court held that the len"th of dela and the simplicit of the issues did not !ustif the dela in the
disposition of the cases therein. The Pune=plained inactionQ
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of the prosecutors called for the dismissal of the cases a"ainst petitioner
Tatad.
'n Al9i>o 9s. San!iganbayan,
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the Court also ruled that there was no violation of the ri"ht to speed disposition. The Court too4 into
account the reasons for the dela, i.e., the fre-uent amendments of procedural laws b presidential decrees, the structural
reor"ani;ations in e=istin" prosecutorial a"encies and the creation of new ones b e=ecutive fiat, resultin" in chan"es of personnel,
preliminar !urisdiction, and the functions and powers of prosecutin" a"encies. The Court li4ewise considered the failure of the accused
to assert such ri"ht, and the lac4 of pre!udice caused b the dela to the accused.
'n Santiago 9s. Garchitorena,
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the comple=it of the issues and the failure of the accused to invo4e her ri"ht to speed disposition
at the appropriate time spelled defeat to her claim to the constitutional "uarantee.
'n Ca!alin 9s. P2#AAs A!"inistrator,
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the Court, considerin" also the comple=it of the cases 1Pnot run9of9the9mill varietQ2 and the
conduct of the partiesO lawers, held that the ri"ht to speed disposition was not violated therein.
'n petitioner BinaOs case, the Court finds that there was no undue dela in the disposition of the sub!ect cases. The proceedin"s
conducted before the @ffice of the Tanodbaan, and later with the @ffice of the @mbudsman, ade-uatel e=plains the len"th of the dela?
5. That on %ul +*, 5688 Bobb Brillante filed with the @ffice of the Tanodbaan an affidavit9complaint char"in", %e!omar Bina,
.er"io .antos, Roberto Chan", 0elfin Almeda, Nelson 'ras"a, Nicasio .antia"o, &eliciano Basam, Maria Chan, Romeo
Barrios, A;ucena 0ia;, Hir"ilio Clarete, $odofredo Marcelo, Armando .an Mi"uel, .alvador Pan"ilinan and %ohn 0oes of the
followin" offenses? 1a2 Massive Malversation of Public &unds, 1b2 Multiple &alsification of Public 0ocuments, 1c2 Dsurpation
of @fficial &unctions, 1d2 Hiolation of Election /aw, and 1e2 Hiolation of .ec. A1e2 of R.A. AG56.
5.5. BrillanteOs complaint was based on the initial findin"s and observations of the C@A on the e=amination of the cash
and accounts coverin" transactions from April 5, 568* to %anuar >, 5688 and Post9Audit of .elected Accounts for the
last -uarter of 568* of the Municipalit of Ma4ati contained in its Report dated %anuar 55, 5688. The C@A furnished
the Tanodbaan a cop of this report on Au"ust 5, 5688 upon re-uest of the latter.
5.+. 'n the letter of the C@A transmittin" a cop of the report, the Tanodbaan was informed that this C@A audit report of
%anuar 55, 5688 is not et released since the Maor of Ma4ati was "iven thirt das within which to e=plainIclarif the
findin"s in the report and is sub!ect to chan"e or modification dependin" upon the e=planationIclarification to be
submitted b the Maor of Ma4ati. Because of this information from the C@A the preliminar investi"ation was held in
abeance until the submission of the final report.
5.A. @n March 5, 5686, the first part of the &inal Report on Audit of Ma4ati was received b the @ffice of the @mbudsman
and was transmitted for purposes of the ensurin" preliminar investi"ation to the Tanodbaan which received the same
on March ++, 5686.
5.>. This first part of the &inal Report contained the fifteen 1572 adverse findin"s, above elsewhere stated as the basis of
Bobb BrillanteOs complaint.
5.7. Eleven 1552 C@A auditors participated in the documentation and analsis of its findin"s and preparation of the final
report.
5.). The first part of the final report was followed b a .upplemental Report on &indin"s No. 5 and A. This .upplemental
Report is dated %ul A, 5686.
+. After securin" machine copies of the voluminous documents supportin" the C@A findin"s, Pros. Mar"arito $ervacio,
Chairman of the Panel of Prosecutors, issued the correspondin" subpoena directin" the respondents to submit their
respective counter9affidavits.
+.5. 'n compliance with the subpoena, Maor %e!omar Bina submitted his counter9affidavit on Ma 58, 566G, Marissa
Chan, &eliciano Bascon, Nicanor .antia"o, %r. on %une 56, 566G, Renato Manri-ue on %une >, 566G, Alfredo '"nacio on
%une ), 566G, Roberto Chan" on Au"ust +*, 566G. &eliciano Bascon submitted his .upplemental Affidavit on
November ++, 566G.
+.+. Thereafter, clarificator e=aminations were conducted on .eptember +*, 566G, @ctober +), 566G, November 8, 6,
5>, ++, 566G.
A. @n %anuar 57, 5665 Maor %e!omar Bina submitted a cop of this Petition for Certiorari in $.R. No. 6+A8G which he and
the municipalit of Ma4ati filed with the .upreme Court a"ainst C@A Chairman, Eufemio 0omin"o and the Commission on
Audit, with a manifestation that said petition is submitted to support BinaOs stand as re"ard C@A &indin" No. 6 aforestated.
>. @n April +, 566+ respondent Marissa Chan filed an affidavit containin" alle"ations incriminatin" %e!omar Bina,
7. Dpon bein" ordered to comment on the said April +, 566+ affidavit of Marissa Chan, %e!omar Bina submitted his comment
thereto on April AG, 566+.
). @n Au"ust >, 566A, the 'nvesti"ation Panel submitted to the 0eput .pecial Prosecutor its Resolution disposin" the
preliminar investi"ation of the case.
).5. @n Au"ust 5G, 566A the said Resolution was approved b the .pecial Prosecutor, who forwarded the same and the
entire records to the @ffice of the @mbudsman for review andIor final action.
).+. @n Au"ust 5), 566>, the Review Panel of the @mbudsman submitted to the latter its review action for approval.
).A. @n Au"ust 56, 566>, the @mbudsman approved some of the recommendations of the Review Panel and directed the
preparation and filin" of the informations.
K7GL
&urthermore, the prosecution is not bound b the findin"s of the Commission on Audit 1C@A2, it must rel on its own independent
!ud"ment in the determination of probable cause. Accordin"l, the prosecution had to conduct it s own review of the C@A
findin"s. %ud"in" from said findin"s, we find that the cases were sufficientl comple=, thus !ustifin" the len"th of time for their
resolution. As held b the .andi"anbaan in its Resolution dated March +6, 5667 denin" the Motion to Nuash?
+. Ten char"es are involved in these cases and the prosecution, unable to rel on the raw findin"s of the Commission on Audit
in 57 reports caused the investi"ation and e=amination of thousands of vouchers, parolls, and supportin" documents
considerin" that no less than the Chairman of the Commission on Audit, assisted b a team supervisor and 5G team
members had to ta4e part in the conduct of a final audit consistin" of evaluation and analsis of the initial findin"s in the 57
raw reports, the cases must have involved complicated le"al and factual issues which do warrant or !ustif a lon"er period of
time for preliminar investi"ation.
===
7. 'n the TATA0 case, the preliminar investi"ation was resolved close to three 1A2 ears from the time all the counter9affidavits
were submitted to the Tanodbaan, notwithstandin" the fact that ver few documentar and testimonial evidence were
involved. 'n the above9entitled cases, the preliminar investi"ation of all ten 15G2 cases was terminated in merel two 1+2
ears and four 1>2 months from the date Maor Bina filed his last pleadin", on April AG, 566+.
K75L
Petitioner claims that the Resolution of the .andi"anbaan orderin" his suspension pen!ente lite is unwarranted since the
informations char"in" him were not valid. This contention, however, must fail in view of our pronouncement that there was no dela in
the resolution of the sub!ect cases in violation of his ri"ht to speed disposition. Accordin"l, the informations in -uestion are valid an
petitionerOs suspension pen!ente lite must be upheld.
&inall, whether or not there is probable cause to warrant the filin" of the sub!ect cases is a -uestion best left to the discretion of the
@mbudsman. Absent an "rave abuse of such discretion, the Court will not interfere in the e=ercise thereof.
K7+L
Petitioner in this case has
failed to establish an such abuse on the part of the @mbudsman.
III
#avin" ruled that the criminal case a"ainst petitioners in $.R. No. 5+85A) is within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan, the Court will now dispose of the followin" issues raised b them?
152 The .andi"anbaan was ousted of its !urisdiction b the filin" of an information alle"in" the same facts with the Re"ional
Trial Court.
1+2 Respondents are estopped from filin" an information before the .andi"anbaan considerin" that the had alread filed
another information alle"in" the same facts before the Re"ional Trial Court.
1A2 The filin" of the information before the .andi"anbaan constitutes double !eopard.
The Court tac4les these ar"uments successivel then deals with the -uestions of duplicit of information and forum shoppin".
Petitioners invo4e the rule that Pthe !urisdiction of a court once it attaches cannot be ousted b subse-uent happenin"s or events,
althou"h of such character which would have prevented !urisdiction from attachin" in the first instance.Q
K7AL
The claim that the filin" of the
information in the .andi"anbaan was a Psubse-uent happenin" or eventQ which cannot oust the RTC of its !urisdiction.
This rule has no application here for the simple reason that the RTC had no !urisdiction over the case. %urisdiction never attached to
the RTC. Fhen the information was filed before the RTC, R.A. No. *6*7 was alread in effect and, under said law, !urisdiction over the
case pertained to the .andi"anbaan.
Neither can estoppel be successfull invo4ed. &irst, !urisdiction is determined b law, not b the consent or a"reement of the parties
or b estoppel.
K7>L
As a conse-uence of this principle, the Court held in 1a"ora 9s. Court of Appeals
K77L
that?
't follows that as a rule the filin" of a complaint with one court which has no !urisdiction over it does not prevent the plaintiff from filin" the
same complaint later with the competent court. The plaintiff is not estopped from doin" so simpl because it made a mista4e before in
the choice of the proper forum. 'n such a situation, the onl authorit the first court can e=ercise is to dismiss the case for lac4 of
!urisdiction. This has to be so as a contrar conclusion would allow a part to divest the competent court of its !urisdiction, whether
erroneousl or even deliberatel, in dero"ation of the law.
't is true that the Court has ruled in certain cases
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that estoppel prevents a part from -uestionin" the !urisdiction of the court that
the part himself invo4ed. Estoppel, however, remains the e=ception rather than the rule, the rule bein" that !urisdiction is vested b law.
K7*L
Even in those instances where the Court applied estoppel, the part estopped consistentl invo4ed the !urisdiction of the court and
activel participated in the proceedin"s, impu"nin" such !urisdiction onl when faced with an adverse decision. This is not the case
here. After discoverin" that a similar information had earlier been filed in the RTC, respondents promptl as4ed the trial court to refer the
case to the .andi"anbaan, which motion was followed b a motion to resolve the previous motion. There was no consistent invocation
of the RTCOs !urisdiction. There were no further proceedin"s after the filin" of the information save for the motion to refer the case
precisel on the "round of lac4 of !urisdiction, and the motion to resolve the earlier motion. &inall, the trial court had not rendered an
decision, much less one adverse to petitioners.
.econd, petitioners cannot hold respondents in estoppel for the latter are not themselves part to the criminal action. 'n a criminal
action, the .tate is the plaintiff, for the commission of a crime is an offense a"ainst the .tate. Thus, the complaint or information filed in
court is re-uired to be brou"ht in the name of the PPeople of the Philippines.Q
K78L
Even then, the doctrine of estoppel does not appl as
a"ainst the people in criminal prosecutions.
K76L
Hiolations of the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, li4e attempted murder,
K)GL
is a public
offense. .ocial and public interest demand the punishment of the offender, hence, criminal actions for public offenses can not be waived
or condoned, much less barred b the rules of estoppel.
K)5L
The filin" of the information in the .andi"anbaan did not put petitioners in double !eopard even thou"h the had alread pleaded
Pnot "uiltQ to the information earlier filed in the RTC. The first !eopard never attached in the first place, the RTC not bein" a court of
competent !urisdiction. There can be no double !eopard where the accused entered a plea in a court that had no !urisdiction.
K)+L
The
remed of petitioners, therefore, was not to move for the -uashal of the information pendin" in the San!iganbayan on the "round
of !ouble jeopar!y.
K)AL
Their remed was to move for the -uashal of the information pendin" in the ?5C on the "round of lac: of
juris!iction.
K)>L
The contention that the filin" of the information in the .andi"anbaan violated the rule a"ainst duplicitous informations is patentl
unmeritorious. That rule presupposes that there is one complaint or information char"in" not one offense, but two or more
offenses. Thus, Rule 55G of the Rules of Court states?
.ec. 5A. 0uplicit of offense. 9 A complaint or information must char"e but one offense, e=cept onl in those cases in which e=istin" laws
prescribed a sin"le punishment for various offenses.
Non9compliance with this rule is a "round for -uashin" the duplicitous complaint or information under Rule 55*?
.ec. A. $rounds. 9 The accused ma move to -uash the complaint or information on an of the followin" "rounds?
= = =
1e2 That more than one offense is char"ed e=cept in those cases in which e=istin" laws prescribe a sin"le punishment for various
offenses,
= = =
#ere, petitioners are faced not with one information char"in" more than one offense but with more than one
information char"in" one offense.
The Court does not find the prosecution "uilt of forum9shoppin". Broadl spea4in", forum shoppin" e=ists when, as a result of an
adverse opinion in one forum, a part see4s a favorable opinion 1other than b appeal or certiorari2 in another, or when he institutes two
or more actions or proceedin"s "rounded on the same cause, on the "amble that one or the other court would ma4e a favorable
disposition.
K)7L
Fe discern no intent on the part of the .tate, in filin" two informations in two different courts, to P"amble that one or the
other court would ma4e a favorable disposition.Q
@bviousl, respondents "ot their si"nals crossed. @ne set of officials, after investi"atin" a complaint filed b the Hice9Maor of .an
Pascual, Batan"as char"in" petitioners of overpricin", filed the information for violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56 in the
RTC. Another set of officials investi"ated another complaint from the Concerned Citi;ens $roup accusin" petitioners of, amon" others,
overpricin" the same pro!ect sub!ect of the previous complaint. &indin" probable cause, the second set of officials instituted the criminal
action, char"in" the same offense and alle"in" essentiall the same facts as the first, this time in the .andi"anbaan. /ater learnin" of
the procedural fau$ pas, respondents without undue dela as4ed the RTC to refer the case to the .andi"anbaan.
1HEREFORE, the consolidated petitions are hereb ,0SM0SS#,.
&'R.T 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No). 166697-99. a*!a%y 19, 6000E
CRESCENTE 0. LLORENTE, R., petitioner, vs. SAN2IGANBA0AN a*" PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
PAR2O, J.5
The case before the Court is a special civil action for certiorari
K5L
assailin" the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over the criminal cases
a"ainst then municipal maor Crescente 3. /lorente, %r. for violations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended.
Petitioner Crescente 3. /lorente, %r. was elected municipal maor of .indan"an, (amboan"a in 5688 and 566+. @n Ma 8, 5667, he was
a candidate for con"ressman, second district of (amboan"a del Norte, and was dul elected.
@n Au"ust ), 566A, the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor
K+L
filed with the .andi"anbaan an information
KAL
a"ainst Crescente 3. /lorente, %r.,
municipal maor of .indan"an, (amboan"a del Norte, PI."t. %uanito Caboverde and %ose 0 for violation of .ection A 1e2, Republic Act
No. AG56, as amended, committed as follows?
:That on or about %une 5+, 5686, in the Municipalit of .indan"an, (amboan"a del Norte, and within the !urisdiction of this
#onorable Court, accused Crescente 3. /lorente, %r., Municipal Maor of .indan"an, (amboan"a del Norte and PI."t.
%uanito Cadoverde of the defunct 'nte"rated National Police and as such public officers and the other accused %ose 0, a
private individual, conspirin" with each other and actin" with evident bad faith, did then and there, willfull, unlawfull and
criminall sei;ed 1sic2 6AG sawn 4noc4down wooden bo=es owned b $odofredo M. 0iamante without an search and
sei;ure warrant and without issuin" an receipt of sei;ure thereb causin" undue dama"e and in!ur to said $odofredo M.
0iamante and this offense was committed in relation to the office of the said public officers.
:C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
:Manila, Au"ust ), 566A.
1sIt2 $DA/BERT@ %. 0E /A //ANA
:.pecial Prosecution @fficer ''':
K>L
@n &ebruar +, 566>, the three accused were arrai"ned before the .andi"anbaan and pleaded not "uilt.--__-_
@n March A5, 5667, the @ffice of the @mbudsman
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filed with the .andi"anbaan another information
K)L
a"ainst petitioner for violation of
.ection A 1f2, Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, committed as follows?
:That on or about %ul 7, 566A, and for sometime subse-uent thereto, in .indan"an, (amboan"a del Norte, Philippines,
and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, the above9named accused, a public officer, bein" then the Municipal
Maor of .indan"an, (amboan"a del Norte, with "rave abuse of authorit, did then and there wilfull, unlawfull and
criminall refuse to issue MaorOs permit to the ice plant and resawmillIbo= factor of R. &. 0iamante and famil, without
sufficient !ustification, after due demand and pament of license fees were made, said refusal to "rant MaorOs permit
bein" not onl personal but for the purpose of "ivin" undue advanta"e to similar businesses in town and as an act of
discriminatin" a"ainst the interest of the complainant to the latterOs dama"e and pre!udice.
:C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
:Manila, Philippines, March A5, 5667
:1sIt2 0AN'E/ B. %@HAC@N, %R.
:.pecial Prosecution @fficer ':
K*L
The trial of both criminal cases before the .andi"anbaan has not be"un.
@n Ma 5), 5667, Con"ress enacted Republic Act No. *6*7,
K8L
amendin" .ection > of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G),
K6L
providin"?--__-_
:.EC. >. %urisdiction S The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in cases involvin"?
:a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act,
Republic Act 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal
accused are officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim
capacit, at the time of the commission of the offense?
:152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director or hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade
:+*: and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall
includin"?
:1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice "overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers,
assessors, en"ineers, and other provincial department heads,
:1b2 Cit maors, vice maors, members of the sangguniang panglungso!, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and
other cit department heads,
:1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,--___
:1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all other officials of hi"her ran4,
:1e2 PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4,
:1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and
special prosecutor,
:1"2 Presidents, directors, or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or
educational institutions of foundations.
:1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade :+*: and up under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686,
:1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
:1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
:172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade :+*: and hi"her under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686.
:b. @ther offenses or felonies committed b the public officials and emploees mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section
in relation to their office.
:c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
:'n cases where none of the principal accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar "rade :+*: or hi"her, as
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. )*78, or PNP officers occupin" the ran4 of superintendent or hi"her, or their
e-uivalent, e=clusive !urisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Re"ional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court,
Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdiction as
provided in Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6.:
K5GL
--__
@n %ul 5G, 5667, petitioner filed with the .andi"anbaan, Third 0ivision, a motion to dismiss or transfer Criminal Case No. 56*)A to the
Re"ional Trial Court, .indan"an, (amboan"a.
@n the same date, petitioner filed with the .andi"anbaan, &irst 0ivision, a motion to refer Criminal Case No. ++)77 to the Re"ional Trial
Court, .indan"an, (amboan"a.
Petitioner averred that the enactment of Republic Act No. *6*7 divested the .andi"anbaan of its !urisdiction over criminal cases a"ainst
municipal maors for violations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, who receive salar less than that correspondin" to $rade +*,
pursuant to the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices prepared b the 0epartment of Bud"et and Mana"ement 10BM2.
@n .eptember *, 5667, the .andi"anbaan, &irst 0ivision
K55L
denied the motion to refer Criminal Case No. ++)77 to the Re"ional Trial
Court. @n @ctober 5G, 5667, the .andi"anbaan denied petitionerOs motion for reconsideration.
K5+L
@n .eptember 5>, 5667, .andi"anbaan, Third 0ivision
K5AL
also denied the motion to transfer Criminal Case No. 56*)A to the Re"ional
Trial Court.
#ence, petitioner filed these petitions for certiorari.
K5>L
@n 0ecember +*, 5667, the Court consolidated the two cases.
K57L
@n &ebruar +A, 566*, Con"ress enacted Republic Act No. 8+>6, an act redefinin" the !urisdiction of .andi"anbaan.
K5)L
@n .eptember 5, 5666, we "ave due course to the petitions.
K5*L
--_'_
The issue raised in these two cases is whether or not Republic Act No. *6*7 divested the .andi"anbaan of its !urisdiction over violations
of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, a"ainst municipal maors.
Fe have resolved this issue in recent cases rulin" that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over violations of Republic Act No. AG56, as
amended, a"ainst municipal maors.
K58L
There is no merit to petitionerOs averment that the salar received b a public official dictates his salar "rade. :@n the contrar, it is the
officialOs "rade that determines his or her salar, not the other wa around.:
K56L
:To determine whether the official is within the e=clusive
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, therefore, reference should be made to Republic Act No. )*78 and the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices,
Position Titles and .alar $rades. An officialOs "rade is not a matter of proof, but a matter of law which the court must ta4e !udicial
notice.:
K+GL
.ection >>> 1d2 of the /ocal $overnment Code provides that :the municipal maor shall receive a minimum monthl compensation
correspondin" to .alar $rade twent9seven 1+*2 as prescribed under Republic Act No. )*78 and the implementin" "uidelines issued
pursuant thereto.: Additionall, both the 5686 and 566* versions of the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices, Position Titles and .alar $rades
list the municipal maor under .alar $rade +*.
K+5L
Conse-uentl, the cases a"ainst petitioner as municipal maor for violations of
Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, are within the e=clusive !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
1HEREFORE, we hereb 0'.M'.. the consolidated petitions at bar, for lac4 of merit.
No costs.
SO OR2ERE2.
EN BANC
DG.R. No. 143047. !/y 14, 6004E
RICAR2O S. IN2ING, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SAN2IGANBA0AN a*" THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
CALLEO, SR., J.5
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the 566* Rules of Civil Procedure for the nullification of the .eptember +A, 5666
Resolution
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of the .andi"anbaan 1.econd 0ivision2, which denied the petitionerOs omnibus motion with supplemental motion, and its
Resolution dated April +7, +GGG, denin" the petitionerOs motion for the reconsideration of the same.
The Antecedents
@n %anuar +*, 5666, an 'nformation was filed with the .andi"anbaan char"in" petitioner Ricardo .. 'ndin", a member of
the Sangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitan Cit, with violation of .ection A1e2 of Republic Act No. AG56,
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committed as follows?
That from the period A %anuar 566* up to 6 Au"ust 566* and for sometime prior or subse-uent thereto, in 0apitan Cit, Philippines, and
within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, the above9named accused Ricardo .. 'ndin", a hi"h9ran4in" public officer, bein" a
Councilor of 0apitan Cit and as such, while in the performance of his official functions, particularl in the operation a"ainst dru" abuse,
with evident bad faith and manifest partialit, did then and there, willfull, unlawfull and criminall, fa4ed bu9bust operations a"ainst
alle"ed pushers or users to enable him to claim or collect from the coffers of the cit "overnment a total amount of PAG,7GG.GG, as
reimbursement for actual e=penses incurred durin" the alle"ed bu9bust operations, 4nowin" full well that he had no participation in the
said police operations a"ainst dru"s but enablin" him to collect from the coffers of the cit "overnment a total amount of PAG,7GG.GG,
thereb causin" undue in!ur to the "overnment as well as the public interest.
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The case was doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +755) and raffled to the .econd 0ivision of the .andi"anbaan.
@n %une +, 5666, the petitioner filed an @mnibus Motion
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for the dismissal of the case for lac4 of !urisdiction over the officers
char"ed or, in the alternative, for the referral of the case either to the Re"ional Trial Court or the Municipal Trial Court for appropriate
proceedin"s. The petitioner alle"ed therein that under Administrative @rder No. +*G which prescribes the Rules and Re"ulations
'mplementin" the /ocal $overnment Code of 5665, he is a member of the Sangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitan Cit with .alar $rade
1.$2 +7. #e asserted that under Republic Act No. *6*7, which amended Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G), the .andi"anbaan e=ercises
ori"inal !urisdiction to tr cases involvin" crimes committed b officials of local "overnment units onl if such officials occup positions
with .$ +* or hi"her, based on Rep. Act No. )*78, otherwise 4nown as the PCompensation and Position Classification Act of 5686.Q #e
contended that under .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, the RTC, not the .andi"anbaan, has
ori"inal !urisdiction over the crime char"ed a"ainst him. The petitioner ur"ed the trial court to ta4e !udicial notice of Adm. @rder No. +*G.
'n its comment on the omnibus motion, the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor asserted that the petitioner was, at the time of the
commission of the crime, a member of theSangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitan Cit, (amboan"a del Norte, one of those public officers
who, b e=press provision of .ection > a.1521b2 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b Rep. Act No. *6*7,
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is classified as .$ +*. #ence, the
.andi"anbaan, not the RTC, has ori"inal !urisdiction over the case, re"ardless of his salar "rade under Adm. @rder No. +*G.
@n .eptember +A, 5666, the respondent .andi"anbaan issued a Resolution denin" the petitionerOs omnibus motion. Accordin" to the
court, the 'nformation alle"ed that the petitioner has a salar "rade of +*. &urthermore, .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, which amended
.ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), provides that the petitioner, as a member of the Sangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitan Cit, has a salar "rade
of +*.
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@n @ctober +*, 5666, the petitioner filed a .upplemental Motion to his omnibus motion,
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citin" Rep. Act No. 8+6> and the rulin" of
this Court in 2rgano 9. San!iganbayan,
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where it was declared that Rep. Act No. 8+>6, the latest amendment to the law creatin" the
.andi"anbaan, Pcollate! the pro9isions on the e$clusi9e juris!iction of the San!iganbayan,Q and that Pthe original juris!iction of the
San!iganbayan as a trial court was "a!e to !epen! not on the penalty i"pose! by law on the cri"es an! offenses within its juris!iction
but on the ran: an! salary gra!e of accuse! go9ern"ent officials an! e"ployees.Q
'n the meantime, the petitioner was conditionall arrai"ned on @ctober +8, 5666 and entered a plea of not "uilt.
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@n November 58, 5666, the petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the .andi"anbaanOs .eptember +A, 5666 Resolution.
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The motion was, however, denied b the .andi"anbaan in a Resolution promul"ated on April +7, +GGG.
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0issatisfied, the petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari, contendin" as follows?
A. That Republic Act KNo.L 8+>6 which too4 effect last G7 &ebruar 566* made the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan as a trial
court depend not onl on the penalt imposed b law on the crimes and offenses within its !urisdiction but on the ran4 and
salar "rade of accused "overnment officials and emploees.
B. That the rulin" of the .upreme Court in E/ilia B. 2rgano 9ersus 5he San!iganbayan an! the People of the Philippines,F G.?.
;o. &((6(6, GH Septe"ber &HHH, settles the matter on the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan as a trial court which is
over public officials and emploees with ran4 and salar "rade +* and above.
The petitioner contends that, at the time the offense char"ed was alle"edl committed, he was alread occupin" the position
of Sangguniang Panlungso! Member ' with .$ +7. #ence, under .ection > of Rep. Act No. 8+>6, amendin" Rep. Act No. *6*7, it is the
RTC and not the .andi"anbaan that has !urisdiction over the offense lod"ed a"ainst him. #e asserts that under Adm. @rder No. +*G,
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0apitan Cit is onl a component cit, and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungso! are classified as Sangguniang
Panlungso! Members ' with .$ +7. Thus, .ection > a.1521b2 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, and
retained b .ection > of Rep. Act No. 8+>6, does not appl to him.
@n the other hand, the respondents, throu"h the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor, contend that .ection > a.1521b2 of P.0. No. 5)G),
as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, e=pressl provides that the .andi"anbaan has ori"inal !urisdiction over violations of
Rep. Act No. AG56, as amended, committed b the members of the Sangguniang Panlungso!, without -ualification and re"ardless of
salar "rade. The ar"ue that when Con"ress approved Rep. Act No. *6*7 and Rep. Act No. 8+>6, it was aware that not all the positions
specificall mentioned in .ection >, subpara"raph 152 were classified as .$ +*, and et were specificall included therein, 9i>?
't is ver clear from the aforecited provisions of law that the members of the sangguniang panlungso! are specificall included as amon"
those fallin" within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
A readin" of the aforesaid provisions, li4ewise, show that the -ualification as to .alar $rade +* and hi"her applies onl to such officials
of the e=ecutive branch other than the re"ional director and hi"her and those specificall enumerated. To rule, otherwise, is to "ive a
different interpretation to what the law clearl is.
Moreover, had there been an intention to ma4e .alar $rade +* and hi"her as the sole factor to determine the e=clusive ori"inal
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan then the lawma4ers could have simpl stated that the officials of the e=ecutive branch, to fall within the
e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, should have been occupin" the positions with a .alar $rade of +* and hi"her. But
the e=press wordin"s in both RA No. *6*7 and RA No. 8+>6 specificall includin" the members of the sangguniang panlungso!, amon"
others, as those within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan onl means that the said sangguniang members shall be
within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the said court re"ardless of their .alar $rade.
'n this connection too, it is well to state that the lawma4ers are ver well aware that not all the positions specificall mentioned as those
within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan have a .alar $rade of +* and hi"her. 3et, the le"islature has e=plicitl
made the officials so enumerated in RA No. *6*7 and RA No. 8+>6 as fallin" within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan because of the nature of these officialsO functions and responsibilities as well as the power the can wield over their
respective area of !urisdiction.
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The threshold issue for the CourtOs resolution is whether the .andi"anbaan has ori"inal !urisdiction over the petitioner, a member of
the Sangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitanCit, who was char"ed with violation of .ection A1e2 of Rep. Act No. AG56, otherwise 4nown as
the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Court rules in the affirmative.
Rep. Act No. *6*7, entitled PAn Act to .tren"then the &unctional and .tructural @r"ani;ation of the .andi"anbaan, Amendin" for
that Purpose Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G),Q too4 effect on Ma 5), 5667. .ection + thereof enumerates the cases fallin" within the
ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. .ubse-uentl, Rep. Act No. *6*7 was amended b Rep. Act No. 8+>6, entitled PAn Act &urther
0efinin" the %urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, Amendin" for the Purpose Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G), as Amended, Providin" &unds
Therefor, and for @ther Purposes.Q The amendator law too4 effect on &ebruar +A, 566* and .ection > thereof enumerates the cases
now fallin" within the e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
&or purposes of determinin" which of the two laws, Rep. Act No. *6*7 or Rep. Act No. 8+>6, applies in the present case, the
rec4onin" period is the ti"e of the co""ission of the offense.
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$enerall, the !urisdiction of a court to tr a criminal case is to be
determined b the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the crime.
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#owever, Rep.
Act No. *6*7, as well as Rep. Act No. 8+>6, constitutes an e=ception thereto as it e=pressl states that to determine the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan in cases involvin" violations of Rep. Act No. AG56, the rec4onin" period is the ti"e of the co""ission of the offense. This
is plain from the last clause of the openin" sentence of para"raph 1a2 of these two provisions which reads?
.ec. >. %urisdiction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise Ke=clusiveL
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ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', KBoo4 ''L
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of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials
occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the commission of
the offense?
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'n this case, as "leaned from the 'nformation filed in the .andi"anbaan, the crime char"ed was committed from the period
of %anuar A, 566* up to Au"ust 6, 566*. The applicable law, therefore, is Rep. Act No. *6*7. .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7 e=panded
the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan as defined in .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), thus?
.ec. >. %urisdiction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
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a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code,
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where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupin"
the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the commission of the
offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade +* and
hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, en"ineers,
and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso! , cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit
department heads,
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1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4,
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1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade P+*Q and up under the Compensation and Position Classification
Act of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade P+*Q and hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act
of 5686.
b. @ther offenses or felonies committed b the public officials and emploees mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation
to their office.
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c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
'n cases where none of the principal accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar "rade P+*Q or hi"her, as prescribed in the
said Republic Act No. )*78, or PNP officers occupin" the ran4 of superintendent or hi"her, or their e-uivalent, e=clusive !urisdiction
thereof shall be vested in the proper Re"ional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
as the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdiction as provided in Batas Pa"bansa Blg. 5+6.
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A plain readin" of the above provision shows that, for purposes of determinin" the "overnment officials that fall within the ori"inal
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan in cases involvin" violations of Rep. Act No. AG56 and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised
Penal Code, Rep. Act No. *6*7 has "rouped them into five cate"ories, to wit?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade +* and
hi"her. . .
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade P+*Q and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act
of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade P+*Q and hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.
Fith respect to the first cate"or, i.e., officials of the e=ecutive branch with .$ +* or hi"her, Rep. Act No. *6*7 further specificall
included the followin" officials as fallin" within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, en"ineers,
and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the sangguniang panlungso! , cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other cit
department heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special
prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations,
The specific inclusion of the fore"oin" officials constitutes an e=ception to the "eneral -ualification relatin" to officials of the
e=ecutive branch as Poccupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade +* and hi"her, of the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686.Q 'n other words, violation of Rep. Act No. AG56 committed b officials in the
e=ecutive branch with .$ +* or hi"her, and the officials specificall enumerated in 1a2 to 1"2 of .ection > a.152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as
amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, re"ardless of their salar "rades, li4ewise fall within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan.
#ad it been the intention of Con"ress to confine the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan to violations of Rep. Act No.
AG56 onl to officials in the e=ecutive branch with .$ +* or hi"her, then it could !ust have ended para"raph 152 of .ection > a. of P.0. No.
5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, with the phrase Pofficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of
re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade +* and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
5686.Q @r the cate"or in para"raph 172 of the same provision relatin" to PKaLll other national and local officials classified as $rade R+*O
and up under the Compensation and Classification Act of 5686Q would have sufficed. 'nstead, under para"raph 152 of .ection > a. of P.0.
No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, Con"ress included specific officials,without an reference as to their salar
"rades. Clearl, therefore, Con"ress intended these officials, re"ardless of their salar "rades, to be specificall included within the
.andi"anbaanOs ori"inal !urisdiction, for had it been otherwise, then there would have been no need for such enumeration. 't is
a=iomatic in le"al hermeneutics that words in a statute should not be construed as surplusa"e if a reasonable construction which will "ive
them some force and meanin" is possible.
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That the le"islators intended to include certain public officials, re"ardless of their salar "rades, within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan is apparent from the le"islative histor of both Rep. Acts Nos. *6*7 and 8+>6. 'n his sponsorship speech of .enate Bill
No. 5A7A, which was substantiall adopted b both #ouses of Con"ress and became Rep. Act No. *6*7, .enator Raul .. Roco, then
Chairman of the Committee on %ustice and #uman Ri"hts, e=plained?
.enate Bill No. 5A7A modifies the present !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan such that onl those occupin" hi"h positions in the
"overnment and the militar fall under the !urisdiction of the court.
As proposed b the Committee, the .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction over cases assi"ned to it onl in instances where
one or more of the principal accused are officials occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her or are otherwise classified as
$rade +* and hi"her b the Compensation and Classification Act of 5686, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit at the time
of the commission of the offense. The !urisdiction, therefore, refers to a certain "rade upwards, which shall remain with the
.andi"anbaan.
The President of the Philippines and other impeachable officers such as the !ustices of the .upreme Court and constitutional
commissions are not sub!ect to the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan durin" their incumbenc.
The bill provides for an e=tensive listin" of o&;$% 8!./(+ o''(+$%) who will be sub!ect to the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. 't
includes, amon" others, Members of Con"ress, !ud"es and !ustices of all courts.
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More instructive is the sponsorship speech, a"ain, of .enator Roco, of .enate Bill No. 8>>, which was substantiall adopted b both
#ouses of Con"ress and became Rep. Act No. 8+>6. .enator Roco e=plained the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan in Rep. Act No.
*6*7, thus?
.P@N.@R.#'P @& .ENAT@R R@C@
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B wa of sponsorship, Mr. President S we will issue the full sponsorship speech to the members because it is fairl technical S ma we
sa the followin" thin"s?
To speed up trial in the .andi"anbaan, Republic Act No. *6*7 was enacted for that Court to concentrate on the Plar"er fishQ and leave
the Psmall frQ to the lower courts. This law became effective on Ma ), 5667 and it provided a two9pron"ed solution to the clo""in" of the
doc4ets of that court, to wit?
't divested the .andi"anbaan of !urisdiction over public officials whose salar "rades were at $rade P+)Q or lower, devolvin" thereb
these cases to the lower courts, and retainin" the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan onl over public officials whose salar "rades were at
$rade P+*Q or hi"her and over other specific public officials holdin" important positions in "overnment re"ardless of salar "rade,
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Evidentl, the officials enumerated in 1a2 to 1"2 .ection > a.152 of P.0. No. 5)G), amended .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, were
specificall included within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan because the lawma4ers considered them Pbi" fishQ and their
positions important, re"ardless of their salar "rades.
This conclusion is further bolstered b the fact that some of the officials enumerated in 1a2 to 1"2 are not classified as .$ +* or hi"her
under the 'nde= of @ccupational .ervices, Position Titles and .alar $rades issued b the 0epartment of Bud"et and Mana"ement in
5686, then in effect at the time that Rep. Act No. *6*7 was approved. &or e=ample?
Cate"or New Position Title $rade
5). &@RE'$N RE/AT'@N. .ERH'CE
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&orei"n .ervice
U
&orei"n .ervice @fficer, Class ''
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+A
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&orei"n .ervice @fficer, Class '
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+>
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58. EEECDT'HE .ERH'CE
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/ocal E=ecutives
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Cit $overnment 0epartment #ead ' +>
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Cit $overnment 0epartment #ead '' +)
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Provincial $overnment 0epartment #ead +7
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Cit Hice Maor ' +)
Cit Hice Maor '' +8
Cit Maor ' +8
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Cit Maor '' AG
56. /E$'./AT'HE .ERH'CE
.an""unian" Members
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.an""unian" Panlun"sod Member ' +7
.an""unian" Panlun"sod Member '' +*
.an""unian" Panlalawi"an Member +)
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@ffice of the Cit and Provincial Prosecutors
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Prosecutor 'H +6
Prosecutor ''' +8
Prosecutor '' +*
Prosecutor ' +)
Noticeabl, the vice maors, members of the Sangguniang Panlungso! and prosecutors, without an distinction or -ualification, were
specificall included in Rep. Act No. *6*7 as fallin" within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. Moreover, the consuls, cit
department heads, provincial department heads and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, albeit classified as havin" salar
"rades +) or lower, were also specificall included within the .andi"anbaanOs ori"inal !urisdiction. As correctl posited b the
respondents, Con"ress is presumed to have been aware of, and had ta4en into account, these officialsO respective salar "rades when it
deliberated upon the amendments to the .andi"anbaan !urisdiction. Nonetheless, Con"ress passed into law Rep. Act No. *6*7,
specificall includin" them within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. B doin" so, it obviousl intended cases mentioned in
.ection > a. of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, when committed b the officials enumerated in 152 1a2 to
1"2 thereof, re"ardless of their salar "rades, to be tried b the .andi"anbaan.
'ndeed, it is a basic precept in statutor construction that the intent of the le"islature is the controllin" factor in the interpretation of a
statute.
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&rom the con"ressional records and the te=t of Rep. Acts No. *6*7 and 8+6>, the le"islature undoubtedl intended the officials
enumerated in 1a2 to 1"2 of .ection > a.152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b the aforesaid subse-uent laws, to be included within the
ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
&ollowin" this dis-uisition, the para"raph of .ection > which provides that if the accused is occupin" a position lower than .$ +*,
the proper trial court has !urisdiction,
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can onl be properl interpreted as applin" to those cases where the principal accused is
occupin" a position lower than .$ +* and not amon" those specificall included in the enumeration in .ection > a. 1521a2 to 1"2. .tated
otherwise, e=cept for those officials specificall included in .ection > a. 152 1a2 to 1"2, re"ardless of their salar "rades, over whom the
.andi"anbaan has !urisdiction, all other public officials below .$ +* shall be under the !urisdiction of the proper trial courts Pwhere none
of the principal accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to .$ +* or hi"her.Q B this construction, the entire .ection > is "iven
effect. The cardinal rule, after all, in statutor construction is that the particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as
detached and isolated e=pressions, but the whole and ever part of the statute must be considered in fi=in" the meanin" of an of its
parts and in order to produce a harmonious whole.
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And courts should adopt a construction that will "ive effect to ever part of a statute,
if at all possible. 7t "agis 9aleat 8ua" pereat or that construction is to be sou"ht which "ives effect to the whole of the statute S its ever
word.
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'n this case, there is no dispute that the petitioner is a member of the Sangguniang Panlungso! of 0apitan Cit and he is char"ed
with violation of .ection A 1e2 of Rep. Act No. AG56. Members of the Sangguniang Panlungso! are specificall included as amon" those
within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan in .ection > a.152 1b2 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of Rep. Act No.
*6*7,
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or even .ection > of Rep. Act No. 8+>6
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for that matter. The .andi"anbaan, therefore, has ori"inal !urisdiction over the
petitionerOs case doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +755).
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is 0'.M'..E0. The Resolutions of the .andi"anbaan dated .eptember +A,
5666 and April +7, +GGG are A&&'RME0. No costs.
SO OR2ERE2.
T#'R0 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No. 159197. F$.%!a%y 11, 6005E
MARIL0N GE2USPAN a*" 2RA. E3ANGEL0N FARAHMAN2, petitioners, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES a*"
SAN2IGANBA0AN,respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
CORONA, J.5
0oes the .andi"anbaan have !urisdiction over a re"ional directorImana"er of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations
or"ani;ed and incorporated under the Corporation Code for purposes of RA AG56, the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices ActJ Petitioner
Mariln C. $eduspan assumes a ne"ative view in the instant petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the Rules of Court. The @ffice of the
.pecial Prosecutor contends otherwise, a view shared b the respondent court.
'n the instant Rule )7 petition for certiorari with praer for a writ of preliminar in!unction andIor issuance of a temporar restrainin"
order, $eduspan see4s to annul and set aside the resolutions
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dated %anuar A5, +GGA and Ma 6, +GGA of the respondent
.andi"anbaan, &ifth 0ivision. These resolutions denied her motion to -uash and motion for reconsideration, respectivel.
@n %ul 55, +GG+, an information doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +*7+7 for violation of .ection A1e2 of RA AG56, as amended, was
filed a"ainst petitioner Mariln C. $eduspan and 0r. Evan"eline C. &arahmand, Philippine #ealth 'nsurance Corporation 1Philhealth2
Re"ional Mana"erI0irector and Chairman of the Board of 0irectors of Tion" Bi Medical Center, Tion" Bi, 'nc., respectivel. The
information read?
That on or about the +*
th
da of November, 5666, and for sometime subse-uent thereto, at Bacolod Cit, province of Ne"ros @ccidental,
Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, above9named accused MAR'/3N C. $E0D.PAN, a public officer, bein"
the Re"ional Mana"erI0irector, of the Philippine #ealth 'nsurance Corporation, Re"ional office No. H', 'loilo Cit, in such capacit and
committin" the offense in relation to office, connivin", confederatin" and mutuall helpin" with 0R. EHAN$E/'NE C. &ARA#MAN0, a
private individual and Chairman of the Board of 0irectors of Tion" Bi Medical Center, Tion" Bi, 'nc., Mandalan"an, Bacolod Cit, with
deliberate intent, with evident bad faith and manifest partialit, did then and there wilfull, unlawfull and feloniousl release the claims for
paments of patients confined at /.N. Memorial #ospital with Philippine #ealth 'nsurance Corp., prior to %anuar 5, +GGG, amountin" to
N'NET3 @NE T#@D.AN0 N'NE #DN0RE0 &'&T39&@DR and )>I5GG 1P65,67>.)>2, Philippine Currenc, to Tion" Bi Medical Center,
Tion" Bi, 'nc. despite clear provision in the 0eed of Conditional .ale e=ecuted on November +*, 5666, involvin" the sale of Fest Ne"ros
Colle"e, 'nc. to Tion" Bi, 'nc. or Tion" Bi Medical Center, that the possession, operation and mana"ement of the said hospital will be
turned over b Fest Ne"ros Colle"e, 'nc. to Tion" Bi, 'nc. effective %anuar 5, +GGG, thus all collectibles or accounts receivable accruin"
prior to %anuar 5, +GGG shall be due to Fest Ne"ros Colle"e, 'nc., thus accused MAR'/3N C. $E0D.PAN in the course of the
performance of her official functions, had "iven unwarranted benefits to Tion" Bi, 'nc., Tion" Bi Medical Center, herein represented b
accused 0R. EHAN$E/'NE C. &ARA#MAN0, to the dama"e and in!ur of Fest Ne"ros Colle"e, 'nc.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
Both accused filed a !oint motion to -uash dated %ul +6, +GG+ contendin" that the respondent .andi"anbaan had no !urisdiction
over them considerin" that the principal accused $eduspan was a Re"ional 0irector of Philhealth, Re"ion H', a position classified under
salar "rade +).
'n a resolution dated %anuar A5, +GGA, the respondent court denied the motion to -uash. The motion for reconsideration was
li4ewise denied in a resolution dated Ma 6, +GGA.
#ence, this petition.
Petitioner $eduspan alle"es that she is the Re"ional Mana"erI0irector of Re"ion H' of the Philippine #ealth 'nsurance Corporation
1Philhealth2. #owever, her appointment paper and notice of salar ad!ustment
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show that she was appointed as 0epartment Mana"er A
of the Philippine #ealth 'nsurance Corporation 1Philhealth2 with salar "rade +). Philhealth is a "overnment owned and controlled
corporation created under RA *8*7, otherwise 4nown as the National #ealth 'nsurance Act of 5667.
$eduspan ar"ues that her position as Re"ional 0irectorIMana"er is not within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. .he cites
para"raph 152 and 172, .ection > of RA 8+>6 which defines the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan?
.ection >. %urisdiction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.
5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials
occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the
commission of the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade
P+*Q and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall
includin",
=== === ===
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade P+*Q and hi"her under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686.
The petition lac4s merit.
The records show that, althou"h $eduspan is a 0irector of Re"ion H' of the Philhealth, she is not occupin" the position of Re"ional
0irector but that of 0epartment Mana"er A, hence, para"raphs 152 and 172 of .ection > of RA 8+>6 are not applicable.
't is petitionerOs appointment paper and the notice of salar ad!ustment that determine the classification of her position, that is,
0epartment Mana"er A of Philhealth.
Petitioner admits that she holds the position of 0epartment Mana"er A of Philhealth. .he, however, contends that the position of
0epartment Mana"er A is classified under salar "rade +) and therefore outside the !urisdiction of respondent court. .he is at present
assi"ned at the Philhealth Re"ional @ffice H' as Re"ional 0irectorIMana"er.
Petitioner anchors her re-uest for the issuance of a temporar restrainin" order on the alle"ed disre"ard b respondent court of the
decision of this Court in ?a"on Cuyco 9. San!iganbayan.
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#owever, the instant case is not on all fours with Cuyco. 'n that case, the accused Ramon Cuco was the Re"ional 0irector of the
/and Transportation @ffice 1/T@2, Re"ion 'E, (amboan"a Cit, but at the time of the commission of the crime in 566+ his position of
Re"ional 0irector of /T@ was classified as 0irector '' with salar "rade +). Thus, the Court ruled that the .andi"anbaan had no
!urisdiction over his person.
'n contrast, petitioner held the position of 0epartment 0irector A of Philhealth at the time of the commission of the offense and that
position was amon" those enumerated in para"raph 51"2, .ection >a of RA 8+>6 over which the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction?
.ection >. .ection > of the same decree is hereb further amended to read as follows?
.ection >. %urisdiction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic
Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are
officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time
of the commission of the offense,
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade R$rade +*O
and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, )8$+('(+a//y (*+/!"(*#5
1a2 === === ===
1b2 === === ===
1c2 === === ===
1d2 === === ===
1e2 === === ===
1f2 === === ===
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or -a*a#$%) o' #o:$%*-$*&-oG*$" a*" +o*&%o//$" +o%8o%a&(o*), state
universities or educational institutions or foundations.Q 1Dnderscorin" supplied2.
't is of no moment that the position of petitioner is merel classified as salar "rade +). Fhile the first part of the aboveS-uoted
provision covers onl officials of the e=ecutive branch with the salar "rade +* and hi"her, the second part thereof Pspecificall includesQ
other e=ecutive officials whose positions ma not be of "rade +* and hi"her but who are b e=press provision of law placed under the
!urisdiction of the said court.
#ence, respondent court is vested with !urisdiction over petitioner to"ether with &arahmand, a private individual char"ed to"ether
with her.
The position of mana"er in a "overnment9owned or controlled corporation, as in the case of Philhealth, is within the !urisdiction of
respondent court. 't is the position that petitioner holds, not her salar "rade, that determines the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
This Court in /acson 9. #$ecuti9e Secretary, et al.
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ruled?
A perusal of the afore-uoted .ection > of R.A. 8+>6 reveals that to fall under the e=clusive !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, the
followin" re-uisites must concur? <1= the offense committed is a violation ofCaD R.A. AG56, as amended 1the Anti9$raft and Corrupt
Practices Act2, 1b2 R.A. 5A*6 1the law on ill9"otten wealth2, CcD Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code 1the law
on briber2, C!D E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5,+, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568) 1se-uestration cases2, or 1e2 other offenses or felonies whether
simple or comple=ed with other crimes, <6= the offender committin" the offenses in items CaD, CbD, CcD and CeD is a public official or
emploee holdin" an of the positions enumerated in para"raph a of section >, and <3= the offense committed is in relation to the office.
To recapitulate, petitioner is a public officer, bein" a department mana"er of Philhealth, a "overnment9owned and controlled
corporation. The position of mana"er is one of those mentioned in para"raph a, .ection > of RA 8+>6 and the offense for which she was
char"ed was committed in relation to her office as department mana"er of Philhealth. Accordin"l, the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction
over her person as well as the sub!ect matter of the case.
1HEREFORE, petition is hereb 0'.M'..E0 for lac4 of merit.
Costs a"ainst petitioner.
SO OR2ERE2.
T#'R0 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No). 147706-07. F$.%!a%y 16, 6005E
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SAN2IGANBA0AN <F('&; 2(:()(o*= a*" EFREN L.
ALAS, respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
CORONA, J.5
0oes the .andi"anbaan have !urisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled
corporations or"ani;ed and incorporated under the Corporation Code for purposes of the provisions of RA AG56, otherwise 4nown as the
Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices ActJ The petitioner, represented b the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor 1@.P2, ta4es the affirmative
position in this petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the Rules of Court. Respondent Efren /. Alas contends otherwise, to"ether with the
respondent court.
Pursuant to a resolution dated .eptember AG, 5666 of the @ffice of the @mbudsman, two separate informations
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for violation of
.ection A1e2 of RA AG56, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, were filed with the .andi"anbaan on November
5*, 5666 a"ainst Efren /. Alas. The char"es emanated from the alle"ed anomalous advertisin" contracts entered into b Alas, in his
capacit as President and Chief @peratin" @fficer of the Philippine Postal .avin"s Ban4 1PP.B2, with Ba"on" Buha Publishin"
Compan which purportedl caused dama"e and pre!udice to the "overnment.
@n @ctober AG, +GG+, Alas filed a motion to -uash the informations for lac4 of !urisdiction, which motion was vehementl opposed b
the prosecution. After considerin" the ar"uments of both parties, the respondent court ruled that PP.B was a private corporation and that
its officers, particularl herein respondent Alas, did not fall under .andi"anbaan !urisdiction. Accordin" to the .andi"anbaan?
After a careful consideration of the ar"uments of the accused9movant as well as of that of the prosecution, we are of the considered
opinion that the instant motion of the accused is well ta4en. 'ndeed, it is the basic thrust of Republic Act as well as 1sic2 Presidential
0ecree No. 5)G) as amended b President 0ecree No. 5>8) and Republic Act No. *6*7 and Republic Act No. 8+>6 that the
.andi"anbaan has !urisdiction onl over public officers unless private persons are char"ed with them in the commission of the offenses.
The records disclosed that while Philippine Postal .avin"s Ban4 is a subsidiar of the Philippine Postal Corporation which is a
"overnment owned corporation, the same is not created b a special law. 't was or"ani;ed and incorporated under the Corporation Code
which is Batas Pambansa Bl". )8. 't was re"istered with the .ecurities and E=chan"e Commission under .EC No. A.G6>9GG776A on
%une ++, 566> with a lifetime of fift 17G2 ears. Dnder its Articles of 'ncorporation the purpose for which said entit is formed was
primaril for business, ===
/i4ewise, a scrutin of the seven 1*2 secondar purposes of the corporation points to the conclusion that it e=ists for business. @bviousl,
it is not involved in the performance of a particular function in the e=ercise of "overnment power. Thus, its officers and emploees are not
covered b the $.'. and are under the ... law, and actions for reinstatement and bac4wa"es are not within the !urisdiction of the Civil
.ervice Commission but b the National /abor Relations Commission 1N/RC2.
The .upreme Court, in the case of Trade Dnions of the Philippines and Allied .ervices vs. National #ousin" Corp., 5*A .CRA AA, held
that the Civil .ervice now covers onl "overnment owned or controlled corporations with ori"inal or le"islative charters, those created b
an act of Con"ress or b special law, and not those incorporated under and pursuant to a "eneral le"islation. The #i"hest Court
cate"oricall ruled that the Civil .ervice does not include "overnment9owned or controlled corporation which are or"ani;ed as
subsidiaries of "overnment9owned or controlled corporation under the "eneral corporation law.
'n Philippine National @il Compan S Ener" 0evelopment Corporation vs. /eo"ardo, 5*7 .CRA +), the .upreme Court emphasi;ed
that?
The test in determinin" whether a "overnment9owned or controlled corporation is sub!ect to the Civil .ervice /aw is the manner of its
creation such that "overnment corporation created b special charter are sub!ect to its provision while those incorporated under the
"eneral corporation law are not within its covera"e.
/i4ewise in 0avao Cit Fater 0istrict vs. Civil .ervice Commission, +G5 .CRA )G5 it was held that Pb "overnment9owned or controlled
corporation with ori"inal charter we mean "overnment9owned or controlled corporation created b a special law and not under the
Corporation Code of the PhilippinesQ while in /lenes vs. 0icdican, et al., +)G .CRA +G*, a public officer has been ruled, as a person
whose duties involve the e=ercise of discretion in the performance of the function of "overnment.
Clearl, on the basis of the fore"oin" pronouncements of the .upreme Court, the accused herein cannot be considered a public officer.
Thus, this Court ma not e=ercise !urisdiction over his act.
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0issatisfied, the People, throu"h the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor 1@.P2, filed this petition
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ar"uin", in essence, that the PP.B
was a "overnment9owned or controlled corporation as the term was defined under .ection +15A2 of the Administrative Code of 568*.
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/i4ewise, in further definin" the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, RA 8+>6 did not ma4e a distinction as to the manner of creation of
the "overnment9owned or controlled corporations for their officers to fall under its !urisdiction. #ence, bein" President and Chief
@peratin" @fficer of the PP.B at the time of commission of the crimes char"ed, respondent Alas came under the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan.
Nuotin" at len"th from the assailed resolution dated &ebruar 57, +GG5, respondent Alas, on the other hand, practicall reiterated the
pronouncements made b the respondent court in support of his conclusion that the PP.B was not created b special law, hence, its
officers did not fall within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
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Fe find merit in the petition.
.ection +15A2 of E@ +6+
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defines "overnment9owned or controlled corporations as follows?
.ec. +. $eneral Terms 0efined S Dnless the specific words of the te=t or the conte=t as a whole or a particular statute, shall re-uire a
different meanin"?
=== === ===
15A2 "overnment owned or controlled corporations refer to an a"enc or"ani;ed as a stoc4 or non9stoc4 corporation vested with
functions relatin" to public needs whether "overnmental or proprietar in nature, and owned b the "overnment directl or indirectl or
throu"h its instrumentalities either wholl, or where applicable as in the case of stoc4 corporations to the e=tent of at least 75V of its
capital stoc4? provided, that "overnment owned or controlled corporations mabe further cate"ori;ed b the department of the bud"et, the
civil service commission and the commission on audit for the purpose of the e=ercise and dischar"e of their respective powers, functions
and responsibilities with respect to such corporations.
&rom the fore"oin", PP.B fits the bill as a "overnment9owned or controlled corporation, and or"ani;ed and incorporated under the
Corporation Code as a subsidiar of the Philippine Postal Corporation 1P#'/P@.T2. More than 66V of the authori;ed capital stoc4 of
PP.B belon"s to the "overnment while the rest is nominall held b its incorporators who areIwere themselves officers of P#'/P@.T.
The creation of PP.B was e=pressl sanctioned b .ection A+ of RA *A7>, otherwise 4nown as the Postal .ervice Act of 566+, for
purposes of, amon" others, Pto encoura"e and promote the virtue of thrift and the habit of savin"s amon" the "eneral public, especiall
the outh and the mar"inali;ed sector in the countrside ===Q and to facilitate postal service b Preceivin" collections and ma4in"
paments, includin" postal mone orders.Q
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't is not disputed that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned
or controlled corporations with ori"inal charters whenever char"es of "raft and corruption are involved. #owever, a -uestion arises
whether the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the same officers in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations or"ani;ed and
incorporated under the Corporation Code in view of the delimitation provided for in Article 'E9B .ection +152 of the 568* Constitution
which states that?
.EC. +. 152 The Civil .ervice embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and a"encies of the "overnment, includin"
"overnment9owned or controlled corporations with ori"inal charters.
't should be pointed out however, that the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan is separate and distinct from the Civil .ervice
Commission. The same is "overned b Article E', .ection > of the 568* Constitution which provides that Pthe present anti9"raft court
4nown as the .andi"anbaan shall continue to function an! e$ercise its juris!iction as now or hereafter "ay be pro9i!e! by law.F This
provision, in effect, retained the !urisdiction of the anti9"raft court as defined under Article E''', .ection 7 of the 56*A Constitution which
mandated its creation, thus?
.ec. 7. The Batasan" Pambansa shall create a special court, to be 4nown as .andi"anbaan, which shall have !urisdiction over criminal
and civil cases involvin" "raft and corrupt practices and such other offense committed b public officers and emploees, inclu!ing those
in go9ern"ent%owne! or controlle! corporations, in relation to their office as ma be determined b law. 1'talics ours2
@n March AG, 5667, Con"ress, pursuant to its authorit vested under the 568* Constitution, enacted RA *6*7
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maintainin" the
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations
without an distinction whatsoever. Thereafter, on &ebruar 7, 566*, Con"ress enacted RA 8+>6
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which preserved the sub!ect provision?
.ection >, uris!iction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic
Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are
officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the
time of the commission of the offense,
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director, and hi"her, otherwise classified as
"rade P+*Q and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782 specificall
includin"?
=== === ===
1"2 Presi!ents, !irectors or trustees, or "anagers of go9ern"ent%owne! or controlle! corporations, state
universities or educational institutions or foundations. 1'talics ours2
The le"islature, in mandatin" the inclusion of Ppresidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled
corporationsQ within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, has consistentl refrained from ma4in" an distinction with respect to the
manner of their creation.
The deliberate omission, in our view, clearl reveals the intention of the le"islature to include the presidents, directors or trustees, or
mana"ers of both tpes of corporations within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan whenever the are involved in "raft and corruption.
#ad it been otherwise, it could have simpl made the necessar distinction. But it did not.
't is a basic principle of statutor construction that when the law does not distin"uish, we should not distin"uish. 7bi le$ non
!istinguit nec nos !istinguere !ebe"os. Corollaril, Article E' .ection 5+ of the 568* Constitution, on the !urisdiction of the @mbudsman
1the "overnmentOs prosecutor arm a"ainst persons char"ed with "raft and corruption2, includes officers and emploees of "overnment9
owned or controlled corporations, li4ewise without an distinction.
'n Qui"po 9. 5ano!bayan,
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this Court, alread mindful of the pertinent provisions of the 568* Constitution, ruled that the concerned
officers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, whether created b special law or formed under the Corporation Code, come
under the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan for purposes of the provisions of the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act. @therwise, as we
emphasi;ed therein, a ma!or polic of $overnment, which is to eradicate, or at the ver least minimi;e, the "raft and corruption that has
permeated the fabric of the public service li4e a mali"nant social cancer, would be seriousl undermined. 'n fact, .ection 5 of the Anti9
$raft and Corrupt Practices Act embodies this polic of the "overnment, that is, to repress certain acts not onl of public officers but also
of private persons constitutin" "raft or corrupt practices or which ma lead thereto.
The fore"oin" pronouncement has not outlived its usefulness. @n the contrar, it has become even more relevant toda due to the
rampant cases of "raft and corruption that erode the peopleOs faith in "overnment. &or indeed, a "overnment9owned or controlled
corporation can conceivabl create as man subsidiar corporations under the Corporation Code as it mi"ht wish, use public funds,
disclaim public accountabilit and escape the liabilities and responsibilities provided b law. B includin" the concerned officers of
"overnment9owned or controlled corporations or"ani;ed and incorporated under the Corporation Code within the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan, the le"islature evidentl see4s to avoid !ust that.
1HEREFORE, in view of the fore"oin", the petition is hereb $RANTE0 and the assailed resolution dated &ebruar 57, +GG5 of the
respondent court is hereb REHER.E0 and .ET A.'0E.
SO OR2ERE2.
T#'R0 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No). 146646-49. Ma%+; 11, 6005E
ROGELIO M. ESTEBAN, petitioner, vs. THE SAN2IGANBA0AN a*" THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
2 E C I S I O N
SAN2O3AL-GUTIERRE,, J.5
Before us is a petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the 566* Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assailin" the Resolution
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dated
0ecember 58, +GGG of the .andi"anbaan 15
st
0ivision2 and @rder
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dated %anuar 55, +GGG in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G>.
The instant petition stemmed from the sworn complaint
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of Ana Ma H. .imba!on a"ainst %ud"e Ro"elio M. Esteban, filed with the
@ffice of the Cit Prosecutor, Cabanatuan Cit on .eptember 8, 566*, doc4eted as '... Nos. 696*98+A6.
'n her complaint, Ana Ma alle"ed that she was a casual emploee of the Cit $overnment of Cabanatuan Cit. .ometime in
&ebruar 566*, she was detailed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities 1MTCC2, Branch 5, Cabanatuan Cit, upon incessant re-uest of
Presidin" %ud"e Reo"elio Esteban, herein petitioner.
After her detail with Branch 5, the item of boo4binder became vacant. Thus, she applied for the position but petitioner did not ta4e
an action on her application. @n %ul +7, 566*, when she approached petitioner in his chambers to follow up her application, he told
her, EAno na"an ang "agiging :apalit ng pagpir"a :o ritoI Mula ngayon, girlfrien! na :ita. Araw%araw papaso: :a !ito sa opisina :o, at
araw%araw, isang hali:.F 1PFhat can ou offer me in e=chan"e for m si"natureJ &rom now on, ou are m "irlfriend. 3ou will enter this
office everda and everda, ' "et one 4iss.Q2
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Ana Ma refused to accede to his proposal as she considered him li4e her own father.
Petitioner nonetheless recommended her for appointment. Thereafter, he suddenl 4issed her on her left chee4. .he was shoc4ed
and left the chambers, swearin" never to return or tal4 to petitioner.
@n Au"ust 7, 566*, at around 6?AG in the mornin", Hir"inia .. Medina, court interpreter, informed Ana Ma that petitioner wanted to
see her in his chambers re"ardin" the paroll. As a subordinate, she complied. @nce inside, petitioner as4ed her if she has been
receivin" her salar as a boo4binder. Fhen she answered in the affirmative, he said, EMatagal na pala eh, ba:it hin!i :a pu"apaso: !ito
sa :uwarto :oI ,i ba sabi :o say iyo, girlfrien! na :itaIF 1P.o ouOve been "ettin" the salar for sometime alread. Fh didnOt ou report
here in m officeJ 0idnOt ' tell ou, ouOre m "irlfriend.Q2
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A"ain, Ana Ma protested to his proposal, sain" he is li4e a father to her and that he is a married man with two sons.
Petitioner suddenl rose from his seat, "rabbed her and said, PHin!i pwe!e yan, "ahal :ita.Q 1P' canOt allow that for ' love ou.Q2 #e
embraced her, 4issin" her all over her face and touchin" her ri"ht breast.
Ana Ma freed herself and dashed out of the chambers crin". .he threw the paroll on the table of her co9emploee, Eli;abeth N.
Manuba. The latter sensed somethin" was wron" and accompanied Ana Ma to the restroom. There she told Eli;abeth what
happened.
@n March 6 and %ul 5, 5668, two 'nformations for violation of R.A. *8** 1the Anti9.e=ual #arassment /aw of 56672 were filed
a"ainst petitioner with the .andi"anbaan, doc4eted therein as Criminal Cases Nos. +>>6G and +>*G+.
Also on %ul 5, 5668, two 'nformations for acts of lasciviousness were filed with the same court, doc4eted as Criminal Cases. +>*GA9
G>.
@n .eptember 58, 5668, petitioner filed a motion to -uash the 'nformations in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G> for acts of
lasciviousness on the "round that he has been placed four 1>2 times in !eopard for the same offense.
The .andi"anbaan denied the motion to -uash but directed the prosecution to determine if the offenses char"ed in Criminal Cases
Nos. +>*GA9G> were committed in relation to petitionerOs functions as a !ud"e.
@n .eptember A, 5666, the prosecution filed Amended 'nformations in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA and +>*G> -uoted as follows?
C%(-(*a/ Ca)$ No. 647035
That on or about the 7
th
da of Au"ust 566* in Cabanatuan Cit, Nueva Eci!a, Philippines and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable
Court, the above9named accused, %D0$E R@$E/'@ M. E.TEBAN, a public officer, bein" then the Presidin" %ud"e of Branch 5 of the
Municipal Trial Court in Cabanatuan Cit, who after havin" been re!ected b the private complainant, Ana Ma H. .imba!on, of his se=ual
demands or solicitations to be his "irlfriend and to enter his room dail for a 4iss as a condition for the si"nin" of complainantOs
permanent appointment as a boo4binder in his Court, thus in relation to his office or position as such, with lewd desi"n and malicious
desire, did then and there willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl planted a 4iss on her left chee4 a"ainst her will and consent, to her dama"e
and detriment.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
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C%(-(*a/ Ca)$ No. 64704
That on or about the +7
th
da of %une 566* in in Cabanatuan Cit, Nueva Eci!a, Philippines and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable
Court, the above9named accused, %D0$E R@$E/'@ M. E.TEBAN, a public officer, bein" then the Presidin" %ud"e of Branch 5 of the
Municipal Trial Court in Cabanatuan Cit, who after havin" been re!ected b the private complainant, Ana Ma H. .imba!on, of his se=ual
demands or solicitations to be his "irlfriend and to enter his room dail for a 4iss as a condition for the si"nin" of complainantOs
permanent appointment as a boo4binder in his Court, thus in relation to his office or position as such, with lewd desi"n and malicious
desire, did then and there willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl planted a 4iss on her left chee4 a"ainst her will and consent, to her dama"e
and detriment.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
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@n .eptember +6, 5666, petitioner filed a motion to -uash the Amended 'nformations on the "round that the .andi"anbaan has no
!urisdiction over the crimes char"ed considerin" that the were not committed in relation to his office as a !ud"e.
@n November ++, 5666, before the .andi"anbaan could resolve the motion to -uash, the prosecution filed the followin" Re9
Amended 'nformation in Criminal Case No. +>*GA?
PThat on or about the 7
th
da of Au"ust 566* in Cabanatuan Cit, Nueva Eci!a, Philippines and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable
Court, the above9named accused, %D0$E R@$E/'@ M. E.TEBAN, a public officer, bein" then the Presidin" %ud"e of Branch 5 of the
Municipal Trial Court in Cabanatuan Cit, who after havin" been re!ected b the private complainant, Ana Ma H. .imba!on, of his se=ual
demands or solicitations to be his "irlfriend and to enter his room dail for a 4iss as a condition for the si"nin" of complainantOs
permanent appointment as a boo4binder in his Court, thus in relation to his office or position as such, with lewd desi"n and malicious
desire, did then and there willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl "rab private complainant, 4iss her all over her face and touch her ri"ht
breast a"ainst her will and consent, to her dama"e and detriment.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.Q
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which was admitted b the .andi"anbaan.
@n 0ecember 58, +GGG, the .andi"anbaan denied petitionerOs motion to -uash the Amended 'nformations, holdin" that Pthe act of
approvin" or indorsin" the permanent appointment of complainin" witness was certainl a function of the office of the accused so that his
acts are, therefore, committed in relation to his office.Q
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Petitioner then moved for a reconsideration, but was denied b the .andi"anbaan in its @rder dated %anuar 55, +GG5.
#ence, the instant petition for certiorari.
The sole issue for our resolution is whether the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G> for acts of
lasciviousness filed a"ainst petitioner.
Petitioner contends that the alle"ed acts of lasciviousness were not committed in relation to his office as a !ud"e, and the fact that he
is a public official is not an essential element of the crimes char"ed.
The @mbudsman, represented b the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor, maintains that the alle"ations in the two 1+2 Amended
'nformations in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G> indicate a close relationship between petitionerOs official functions as a !ud"e and the
commission of acts of lasciviousness.
The petition is bereft of merit.
.ection > of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G), as amended b Republic Act No. 8+>6,
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reads in part?
.EC. >. uris!iction. S The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
= = =
b. @ther offenses or felonies whether simple or comple=ed with other crime committed b the public officials and emploees mentioned in
subsection a of this section (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$(% o''(+$.
'n People 9. Montejo,
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we ruled &;a& a* o''$*)$ () )a(" &o ;a:$ .$$* +o--(&&$" (* %$/a&(o* &o &;$ o''(+$ (' &;$ o''$*)$ ()
I(*&(-a&$/y +o**$+&$"M G(&; &;$ o''(+$ o' &;$ o''$*"$% and perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official functions. This
intimate relation between the offense char"ed and the dischar"e of official duties must be alle"ed in the 'nformation.
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This is in
accordance with the rule that the factor that characteri;es the char"e is the actual recital of the facts in the complaint or information.
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#ence, where the information is wantin" in specific factual averments to show the intimate relationshipIconnection between the
offense char"ed and the dischar"e of official functions, the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over the case.
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Dnder .upreme Court Circular No. * dated April +*, 568*,
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petitioner, as presidin" !ud"e of MTCC, Branch 5, Cabanatuan Cit, is
vested with the power to recommend the appointment of Ana Ma .imba!on as boo4binder. As alle"ed in the Amended 'nformations in
Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G>, she was constrained to approach petitioner on %une +7, 566* as she needed his recommendation. But
he imposed a condition before e=tendin" such recommendation 9 she should be his "irlfriend and must report dail to his office for a 4iss.
There can be no doubt, therefore, that petitioner used his official position in committin" the acts complained of. Fhile it is true, as
petitioner ar"ues, that public office is not an element of the crime of acts of lasciviousness, defined and penali;ed under Article AA) of the
Revised Penal Code, nonetheless, he could not have committed the crimes char"ed were it not for the fact that as the Presidin" %ud"e of
the MTCC, Branch ', Cabanatuan Cit, he has the authorit to recommend the appointment of Ana Ma as boo4binder. 'n other words,
the crimes alle"edl committed are intimatel connected with his office.
The !urisdiction of a court is determined b the alle"ations in the complaint or information.
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The Amended 'nformations in Criminal
Cases Nos. +>*GA9G> contain alle"ations showin" that the acts of lasciviousness were committed b petitioner in relation to his official
function.
Accordin"l, we rule that the .andi"anbaan did not "ravel abuse its discretion amountin" to lac4 or e=cess of !urisdiction in
admittin" the Amended 'nformations for acts of lasciviousness in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G>.
1HEREFORE, the petition is 0'.M'..E0. The assailed Resolution and @rder of the .andi"anbaan dated 0ecember 58, +GGG
and %anuar 55, +GG5, in Criminal Cases Nos. +>*GA9G> are A&&'RME0. Costs a"ainst the petitioner.
SO OR2ERE2.
.EC@N0 0'H'.'@N
DG.R. No). 161794-96. A8%(/ 66, 6005E
2INAH C. BARRIGA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SAN2IGANBA0AN <4
TH
2I3ISION= a*" THE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,respondents.
2 E C I S I O N
CALLEO, SR., J.5
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the Rules of Court for the nullification of the Resolution
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of the .andi"anbaan in
Criminal Case Nos. +*>A7 to +*>A* denin" the motion to -uash the 'nformations filed b one of the accused, 0inah C. Barri"a, and the
Resolution denin" her motion for reconsideration thereof.
T;$ A*&$+$"$*&)
@n April A, +GGA, the @ffice of the @mbudsman filed a motion with the .andi"anbaan for the admission of the three Amended
'nformations appended thereto. The first Amended 'nformation doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +*>A7, char"ed petitioner 0inah C.
Barri"a and Hir"inio E. Hillamor, the Municipal Accountant and the Municipal Maor, respectivel, of Carmen, Cebu, with malversation of
funds. The accusator portion reads?
That in or about %anuar 566) or sometime prior or subse-uent thereto, in the Municipalit of Carmen, Province of Cebu, Philippines and
within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, above9named accused H'R$'N'@ E. H'//AM@R and 0'NA# C. BARR'$A, both public
officers, bein" then the Municipal Maor and Municipal Accountant, respectivel, of the Municipalit of Carmen, Cebu, and as such, had in
their possession and custod public funds amountin" to TFENT39 T#REE T#@D.AN0 &@RT39.EHEN AN0 +GI5GG PE.@.
1P+A,G>*.+G2, Philippine Currenc, intended for the pament of &ive 172 rolls of Polethlene pipes to be used in the Corte9Cantumo"
Fater .stem Pro!ect of the Municipalit of Carmen, Cebu, for which the are accountable b reason of the duties of their office, in such
capacit and committin" the offense in relation to office, connivin" and confederatin" to"ether and mutuall helpin" each other, did then
and there willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl misappropriate, ta4e, embe;;le and convert into their own personal use and benefit said
amount of P+A,G>*.+G, and despite demands made upon them to account for said amount, the have failed to do so, to the dama"e and
pre!udice of the "overnment.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
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The inculpator portion of the second Amended 'nformation, doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +*>A), char"in" the said accused with
ille"al use of public funds, reads?
That in or about the month of November 5667, or sometime prior or subse-uent thereto, in the Municipalit of Carmen, Province of Cebu,
Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of the #onorable Court, above9named accused H'R$'N'@ E. H'//AM@R and 0'NA# C.
BARR'$A, both public officers, bein" then the Municipal Maor and Municipal Accountant, respectivel, of the Municipalit of Carmen,
Cebu, and as such, had in their possession and control public funds in the amount of @NE T#@D.AN0 T#REE #DN0RE0 &'HE
PE.@. 1P5,AG7.GG2 Philippine Currenc, representin" a portion of the Central Hisaas Fater and .anitation Pro!ect Trust &und 1CHF.P
&und2 intended and appropriated for the pro!ects classified under /evel ' and ''' particularl the construction of 0eep Fell and .prin" Bo=
for /evel ' pro!ects and construction of water wor4s sstem for /evel ''' pro!ects of specified baran"a beneficiariesIrecipients, and for
which fund accused are accountable b reason of the duties of their office, in such capacit and committin" the offense in relation to
office, connivin" and confederatin" to"ether and mutuall helpin" each other, did then and there, willfull unlawfull and feloniousl
disburse and use said amount of P5,AG7.GG for the .prin" Bo= of Baran"a Natimao9an, Carmen, Cebu, a baran"a which was not
included as a recipient of CHF.P Trust &und, thus, accused used said public fund to apublic purpose different from which it was
intended or appropriated, to the dama"e and pre!udice of the "overnment, particularl the baran"as which were CHF.P Trust &und
beneficiaries.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
KAL
The accusator portion of the third Amended 'nformation, doc4eted as Criminal Case No. +*>A*, char"ed the same accused with
ille"al use of public funds, as follows?
That in or about the month of %anuar 566*, or sometime prior or subse-uent thereto, in the Municipalit of Carmen, Province of Cebu,
Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, above9named accused 3(%#(*(o E. 3(//a-o% and 2(*a; C.
Ba%%(#a, both public officers, bein" then the Municipal Maor and Municipal Accountant, respectivel, of the Municipalit of Carmen,
Cebu, and as such, had in their possession and control public funds in the amount of T1O HUN2RE2 SIHT0-SE3EN THOUSAN2 FI3E
HUN2RE2 THIRT0-SE3EN a*" 96P100 <P667,537.96= PESOS,representin" a portion of the Central Hisaas Fater and .anitation
Pro!ect Trust &und 1CHF.P &und2, intended and appropriated for the pro!ects classified under /evel ' and /evel ''', particularl the
construction of .prin" Bo= and 0eep Fell for /evel ' pro!ects and construction of water wor4s sstem for /evel ''' pro!ects of specified
baran"a beneficiariesI recipients, and for which fund accused are accountable b reason for the duties of their office, in such capacit
and committin" the offense in relation to office, connivin" and confederatin" to"ether and mutuall helpin" each other, did then and there
willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl disburse and use said amount of P+)*,7A*.6) for the construction and e=pansion of Baran"a
Cantucon" Fater .stem, a pro!ect fallin" under /evel '' of CHF.P, thus, accused used said public funds to a public purpose different
from which it was intended and appropriated, to the dama"e and pre!udice of the "overnment, particularl the baran"a beneficiaries of
/evels ' and ''' of CHF.P.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
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The .andi"anbaan "ranted the motion and admitted the Amended 'nformations. The petitioner filed a Motion to Nuash the said
Amended 'nformations on the "round that under .ection > of Republic Act No. 8+6>, the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over the
crimes char"ed. .he averred that the Amended 'nformations failed to alle"e and show the intimate relation between the crimes char"ed
and her official duties as municipal accountant, which are conditions sine 8ua non for the "raft court to ac-uire !urisdiction over the said
offense. .he averred that the prosecution and the Commission on Audit admitted, and no less than this Court held in 5an 9.
San!iganbayan,
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that a municipal accountant is not an accountable officer. .he alle"ed that the felonies of malversation and ille"al use
of public funds, for which she is char"ed, are not included in Chapter 55, .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '', of the Revised Penal Code, hence,
the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over the said crimes. Moreover, her position as municipal accountant is classified as .alar $rade
1.$2 +>.
The petitioner also posited that althou"h the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over offenses committed b public officials and
emploees in relation to their office, the mere alle"ation in the Amended 'nformations that she committed the offenses char"ed in relation
to her office is not sufficient as the phrase is merel a conclusion of law, controllin" are the specific factual alle"ations in the 'nformations
that would indicate the close intimac between the dischar"e of her official duties and the commission of the offenses char"ed. To bolster
her stance, she cited the rulin"s of this Court in People 9. Montejo,
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Soller 9. San!iganbayan,
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and /acson 9. #$ecuti9e Secretary.
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.he
further contended that althou"h the Amended 'nformations alle"ed that she conspired with her co9accused to commit the crimes char"ed,
the failed to alle"e and show her e=act participation in the conspirac and how she committed the crimes char"ed. .he also pointed out
that the funds sub!ect of the said Amended 'nformations were not under her control or administration.
@n @ctober 6, +GGA, the .andi"anbaan issued a Resolution
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denin" the motion of the petitioner. The motion for reconsideration
thereof was, li4ewise, denied, with the "raft court holdin" that the applicable rulin" of this Court was Montilla 9. Hilario,
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i.e., that an
offense is committed in relation to public office when there is a direct, not merel accidental, relation between the crime char"ed and the
office of the accused such that, in a le"al sense, the offense would not e=ist without the office, in other words, the office must be a
constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute. The "raft court further held that the offices of the municipal maor and the
municipal accountant were constituent elements of the felonies of malversation and ille"al use of public funds. The "raft court
emphasi;ed that the rulin"s of this Court in People 9. Montejo
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and /acson 9. #$ecuti9e Secretary
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appl onl where the office held b
the accused is not a constituent element of the crimes char"ed. 'n such cases, the 'nformation must contain specific factual alle"ations
showin" that the commission of the crimes char"ed is intimatel connected with or related to the performance of the accused public
officerOs public functions. 'n fine, the "raft court opined, the basic rule is that enunciated b this Court in Montilla 9. Hilario, and the rulin"
of this Court in People 9. Montejo is the e=ception.
The petitioner thus filed the instant petition for certiorari under Rule )7 of the Rules of Court, see4in" to nullif the aforementioned
Resolutions of the .andi"anbaan. The petitioner claims that the "raft court committed "rave abuse of its discretion amountin" to e=cess
or lac4 of !urisdiction in issuin" the same.
'n its comment on the petition, the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor averred that the remed of filin" a petition for certiorari, from a
denial of a motion to -uash amended information, is improper. 't posits that an error committed b the .andi"anbaan in denin" the
petitionerOs motion to -uash is merel an error of !ud"ment and not of !urisdiction. 't asserts that as ruled b the .andi"anbaan, what
applies is the rulin" of this Court in Montilla 9. Hilario and not People 9. Montejo. &urthermore, the crimes of malversation and ille"al use
of public funds are classified as crimes committed b public officers in relation to their office, which b their nature fall within the
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. 't insists that there is no more need for the Amended 'nformations to specificall alle"e intimac
between the crimes char"ed and the office of the accused since the said crimes can onl be committed b public officers. 't further
claims that the petitioner has been char"ed of malversation and ille"al use of public funds in conspirac with Municipal Maor Hir"inio E.
Hillamor, who occupies a position classified as .$ +*, and even if the petitionerOs position as municipal accountant is onl classified as
.$ +>, under .ection > of Rep. Act No. 8+>6, the .andi"anbaan still has !urisdiction over the said crimes. The @ffice of the .pecial
Prosecutor further avers that the petitionerOs claim, that she is not an accountable officer, is a matter of defense.
T;$ R!/(*# o' &;$ Co!%&
The petition has no merit.
Fe a"ree with the rulin" of the .andi"anbaan that based on the alle"ations of the Amended 'nformations and Rep. Act No. 8+>6, it
has ori"inal !urisdiction over the crimes of malversation and ille"al use of public funds char"ed in the Amended 'nformations sub!ect of
this petition.
Rep. Act No. 8+>6,
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which amended .ection > of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G), provides, inter alia, that the .andi"anbaan has
ori"inal !urisdiction over crimes and felonies committed b public officers and emploees, at least one of whom belon"s to an of the five
cate"ories thereunder enumerated at the time of the commission of such crimes.
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There are two classes of public office9related crimes
under subpara"raph 1b2 of .ection > of Rep. Act No. 8+>6? first, those crimes or felonies in which the public office is a constituent element
as defined b statute and the relation between the crime and the offense is such that, in a le"al sense, the offense committed cannot
e=ist without the office,
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second, such offenses or felonies which are intimatel connected with the public office and are perpetrated b
the public officer or emploee while in the performance of his official functions, throu"h improper or irre"ular conduct.
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The .andi"anbaan has ori"inal !urisdiction over criminal cases involvin" crimes and felonies under the first classification.
Considerin" that the public office of the accused is b statute a constituent element of the crime char"ed, there is no need for the
Prosecutor to state in the 'nformation specific factual alle"ations of the intimac between the office and the crime char"ed, or that the
accused committed the crime in the performance of his duties. #owever, the .andi"anbaan li4ewise has ori"inal !urisdiction over
criminal cases involvin" crimes or felonies committed b the public officers and emploees enumerated in .ection 1a2 152 to 172 under the
second classification if the 'nformation contains specific factual alle"ations showin" the intimate connection between the offense char"ed
and the public office of the accused, and the dischar"e of his official duties or functions 9 whether improper or irre"ular.
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The
re-uirement is not complied with if the 'nformation merel alle"es that the accused committed the crime char"ed in relation to his office
because such alle"ation is merel a conclusion of law.
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Two of the felonies that belon" to the first classification are malversation defined and penali;ed b Article +5* of the Revised Penal
Code, and the ille"al use of public funds or propert defined and penali;ed b Article ++G of the same Code. The public office of the
accused is a constituent element in both felonies.
&or the accused to be "uilt of malversation, the prosecution must prove the followin" essential elements?
1a2 The offender is a public officer,
1b2 #e has the custod or control of funds or propert b reason of the duties of his office,
1c2 The funds or propert involved are public funds or propert for which he is accountable, and
1d2 #e has appropriated, ta4en or misappropriated, or has consented to, or throu"h abandonment or ne"li"ence, permitted the ta4in"
b another person of, such funds or propert.
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&or the accused to be "uilt of ille"al use of public funds or propert, the prosecution is burdened to prove the followin" elements?
152 The offenders are accountable officers in both crimes.
1+2 The offender in ille"al use of public funds or propert does not derive an personal "ain or profit, in malversation, the offender in
certain cases profits from the proceeds of the crime.
1A2 'n ille"al use, the public fund or propert is applied to another public use< in malversation, the public fund or propert is applied to
the personal use and benefit of the offender or of another person.
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Fe a"ree with the rulin" of the .andi"anbaan that the public office of the accused Municipal Maor Hir"inio E. Hillamor is a
constituent element of malversation and ille"al use of public funds or propert. Accused maorOs position is classified as .$ +*. .ince
the Amended 'nformations alle"ed that the petitioner conspired with her co9accused, the municipal maor, in committin" the said felonies,
the fact that her position as municipal accountant is classified as .$ +> and as such is not an accountable officer is of no moment, the
.andi"anbaan still has e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over the cases lod"ed a"ainst her. 't must be stressed that a public officer who is
not in char"e of public funds or propert b virtue of her official position, or even a private individual, ma be liable for malversation or
ille"al use of public funds or propert if such public officer or private individual conspires with an accountable public officer to commit
malversation or ille"al use of public funds or propert.
'n 7nite! States 9. Ponte,
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the Court, citin" )ia!a, had the occasion to state?
Shall the person who participates or inter9enes as co%perpetrator, acco"plice or abettor in the cri"e of "al9ersation of public fun!s,
co""itte! by a public officer, ha9e the penalties of this article also i"pose! upon hi"I 'n opposition to the opinion maintained b some
!urists and commentators 1amon" others the learned Pacheco2 we can onl answer the -uestion affirmativel, for the same reasons
1"utatis "utan!is2 we have alread advanced in Nuestion ' of the commentar on article A5>. &rench !urisprudence has also settled the
-uestion in the same wa on the "round that the person "uilt of the crime necessarily ai!s the other culprit in the acts which constitute
the cri"e.Q 1Hol. +, >
th
edition, p. )7A2
The reasonin" b which $roi;ard and Hiada support their views as to the correct interpretation of the provisions of the Penal Code
touchin" malversation of public funds b a public official, is e-uall applicable in our opinion, to the provisions of Act No. 5*>G definin"
and penali;in" that crime, and we have heretofore, in the case of the Dnited .tates vs. 0owdell 155 Phil. Rep., >2, imposed the penalt
prescribed b this section of the code upon a public official who too4 part with another in the malversation of public funds, althou"h it was
not alle"ed, and in fact clearl appeared, that those funds were not in his hands b virtue of his office, thou"h it did appear that the were
in the hands of his co9principal b virtue of the public office held b him.
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The Court has also ruled that one who conspires with the provincial treasurer in committin" si= counts of malversation is also a co9
principal in committin" those offenses, and that a private person conspirin" with an accountable public officer in committin" malversation
is also "uilt of malversation.
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Fe reiterate that the classification of the petitionerOs position as .$ +> is of no moment. The determinative fact is that the position of
her co9accused, the municipal maor, is classified as .$ +*, and under the last para"raph of .ection + of Rep. Act No. *6*7, if the
position of one of the principal accused is classified as .$ +*, the .andi"anbaan has ori"inal and e=clusive !urisdiction over the offense.
Fe a"ree with the petitionerOs contention that under .ection >*> of the /ocal $overnment Code, she is not obli"ed to receive public
mone or propert, nor is she obli"ated to account for the same, hence, she is not an accountable officer within the conte=t of Article +5*
of the Revised Penal Code. 'ndeed, under the said article, an accountable public officer is one who has actual control of public funds or
propert b reason of the duties of his office. Even then, it cannot thereb be necessaril concluded that a municipal accountant can
never be convicted for malversation under the Revised Penal Code. The name or relative importance of the office or emploment is not
the controllin" factor.
K+>L
The nature of the duties of the public officer or emploee, the fact that as part of his duties he received public
mone for which he is bound to account and failed to account for it, is the factor which determines whether or not malversation is
committed b the accused public officer or emploee. #ence, a mere cler4 in the provincial or municipal "overnment ma be held "uilt of
malversation if he or she is entrusted with public funds and misappropriates the same.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is 0EN'E0 for lac4 of merit. Costs a"ainst the petitioner.
SO OR2ERE2.
FIRST 2I3ISION


ULIAN A. AL,AGA, MEINRA2O $.R. No. 5)6A+8
ENRI4UE A. BELLO, a*"
MANUEL S. SATUITO,
Petitioners, Present?

Pan"aniban, C.. 1Chairperson2,
9 versus 9 3nares9.antia"o,
Austria9Martine;,
Calle!o, .r., and
Chico9Na;ario, .
HONORABLE SAN2IGANBA0AN
<6
*"
2(:()(o*= a*" PEOPLE OF THE Promul"ated?
PHILIPPINES,
Respondents. @ctober +*, +GG)
= 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 =


'(!ISIO)

0NARES-SANTIAGO, J.?


This Petition for Certiorari assails the April +7, +GG7 and Au"ust 5G, +GG7 Resolutions
K5L
of the .andi"anbaan in Criminal Case
Nos. +7)859+7)8>, which respectivel reversed the Ma +*, +GG> Resolution
K+L
of the court a 8uo and denied petitionersO Motion for
Reconsideration.
KAL

@n @ctober *, 5666,
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four separate 'nformations for violation of .ection A1e2 of Republic Act 1R.A.2 No. AG56 were filed a"ainst
petitioners %ulian A. Al;a"a, Meinrado Enri-ue A. Bello and Manuel .. .atuito relative to alle"ed irre"ularities which attended the
purchase of four lots in Tanauan, Batan"as, b the Armed &orces of the Philippines Retirement and .eparation Benefits .stem 1A&P9
R.B.2. Al;a"a was the #ead of the /e"al 0epartment of A&P9R.B. when one of the lots was purchased. Bello was a Police
.uperintendent and he succeeded Al;a"a as #ead of the /e"al 0epartment. 't was durin" his tenure when the other three lots were
purchased. Both were Hice Presidents of A&P9R.B.. @n the other hand, .atuito was the Chief of the 0ocumentation and Assistant Hice
President of the A&P9R.B..
K7L

Petitioners filed their respective Motions to Nuash andIor 0ismiss the informations alle"in" that the .andi"anbaan has no
!urisdiction over them and their alle"ed offenses because the A&P9R.B. is a private entit created for the benefit of its members and that
their positions and salar "rade levels do not fall within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan pursuant to .ection > of Presidential 0ecree
1P.0.2 No. 5)G) 156*82,
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as amended b R.A. No. 8+>6 1566*2.
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@n Ma +*, +GG>, the .andi"anbaan "ranted petitionersO motions to dismiss for lac4 of !urisdiction.

#owever, in a Resolution dated April +7, +GG7, the .andi"anbaan reversed its earlier resolution. 't held that the A&P9R.B. is a
"overnment9owned or controlled corporation thus sub!ect to its !urisdiction. 't also found that the positions held b Al;a"a and Bello, who
were Hice Presidents, and .atuito who was an Assistant Hice President, are covered and embraced b, and in fact hi"her than the
position of mana"ers mentioned under .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended, thus under the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.

PetitionersO Motion for Reconsideration
K8L
was denied, hence, this petition raisin" the followin" issues?

'

T#E C@DRT A Q72 C@MM'TTE0 $RAHE ABD.E @& 0'.CRET'@N AM@DNT'N$ T@ /ACC @R EECE.. @&
%DR'.0'CT'@N 'N 0EC'0'N$ A NDE.T'@N @& .DB.TANCE 'N A MANNER N@T ACC@R0 F'T# /AF AN0
APP/'CAB/E %DR'.PRD0ENCE T#AT 'T #A. %DR'.0'CT'@N @HER T#E PER.@N @& T#E PET'T'@NER.

''

T#E C@DRT A Q72 C@MM'TTE0 $RAHE ABD.E @& 0'.CRET'@N AM@DNT'N$ T@ /ACC @R EECE.. @&
%DR'.0'CT'@N 'N 0EC'0'N$ A NDE.T'@N @& .DB.TANCE 'N A MANNER N@T 'N ACC@R0 F'T# /AF @R
%DR'.PRD0ENCE T#AT T#E ARME0 &@RCE. RET'REMENT AN0 .EPARAT'@N BENE&'T. .3.TEM 1A&P9R.B.2
'. A $@HERNMENT9@FNE0 @R C@NTR@//E0 C@RP@RAT'@N

'''

T#E C@DRT A Q72 C@MM'TTE0 $RAHE ABD.E @& 0'.CRET'@N AM@DNT'N$ T@ /ACC @R EECE.. @&
%DR'.0'CT'@N 'N 0EC'0'N$ A NDE.T'@N @& .DB.TANCE 'N A MANNER N@T 'N ACC@R0 F'T# /AF @R
%DR'.PRD0ENCE T#AT PET'T'@NER. A/(A$A AN0 BE//@K,L F#@ FERE B@T# H'CE9PRE.'0ENT. @& T#E A&P9
R.B.K,L AN0 PET'T'@NER .ATD'T@K,L F#@ FA. A..'.TANT H'CE9PRE.'0ENT @& T#E A&P9R.B.K,L ARE
C@HERE0 AN0 EMBRACE0 B3 T#E P@.'T'@N PMANA$ER.Q MENT'@NE0 DN0ER .ECT'@N > a 152 1"2 @& P0 N@.
5)G), A. AMEN0E0.
K6L



The petition is without merit.

The A&P9R.B. was established b virtue of P.0. No. A)5 156*A2
K5GL
in 0ecember 56*A to "uarantee continuous financial support
to the A&P militar retirement sstem, as provided for in R.A. No. A>G 156>82.
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't is similar to the $overnment .ervice 'nsurance .stem
1$.'.2 and the .ocial .ecurit .stem 1...2 since it serves as the sstem that mana"es the retirement and pension funds of those in
the militar service.
K5+L

The A&P9R.B. is administered b the Chief of .taff of the A&P throu"h a Board of Trustees and Mana"ement $roup,
K5AL
and funded from con"ressional appropriations and compulsor contributions from members of the A&P, donations, "ifts, le"acies,
be-uests and others to the sstem, and all earnin"s of the sstem which shall not be sub!ect to an ta= whatsoever.
K5>L

.ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as further amended b R.A. No. 8+>6, "rants !urisdiction to the .andi"anbaan over?

a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9"raft and Corrupt Practices
Act, Republic Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of
the accused are officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment whether in a permanent, actin" or interim
capacit, at the time of the commission of the offense?

152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise
classified as $rade R+*O and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782,
specificall includin"?

= = = =

1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state
universities or educational institutions or foundations,

'n People 9. San!iganbayan,
K57L
where herein petitioners Al;a"a and .atuito were respondents, this Court has ruled that the
character and operations of the A&P9R.B. are imbued with public interest thus the same is a "overnment entit and its funds are in the
nature of public funds. 'n ?a"iscal, r. 9. San!iganbayan,
K5)L
we held that the A&P9R.B. is a "overnment9owned and controlled
corporation under R.A. No. 658+, otherwise 4nown as The .pecial Purpose Hehicle Act of +GG+. These rulin"s render unmeritorious
petitionersO assertion that the A&P9R.B. is a private entit.

There is li4ewise no merit in petitionersO claim that the .andi"anbaan has no !urisdiction over them since their positions as vice
presidents and assistant vice president are not covered nor embraced b the term Pmana"ersQ under section > of RA. No. 8+>6.

Fe held in Ge!uspan 9. People,
K5*L
that while the first part of section > covers onl officials of the e=ecutive branch with the salar
"rade +* and hi"her, the second part Pspecificall includesQ other e=ecutive officials whose positions ma not be of "rade +* and hi"her
but who are b e=press provision of law placed under the !urisdiction of the said court. 'n the latter cate"or, it is the position held and not
the salar "rade which determines the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. Thus, presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of
"overnment owned and controlled corporations, are under the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.

'n the instant case, petitioners Al;a"a and Bello were #ead of the /e"al 0epartment while petitioner .atuito was Chief of the
0ocumentation with correspondin" ran4s of Hice Presidents and Assistant Hice President. These positions are not specificall
enumerated in RA. No. 8+>6, however, as correctl observed b the .andi"anbaan, their ran4s as Hice Presidents and Assistant Hice
President are even hi"her than that of Pmana"ersQ mentioned in RA. No. 8+>6.

'n sum, the .andi"anbaan correctl ruled that the A&P9R.B. is a "overnment9owned and controlled corporation and that it has
!urisdiction over the persons of petitioners who were Hice Presidents and Assistant Hice President when the char"es a"ainst them were
alle"edl committed.

1HEREFORE, the instant Petition for Certiorari is 2ISMISSE2. The assailed Resolution of the .andi"anbaan dated April +7,
+GG7 that the A&P9R.B. is a "overnment9owned and controlled corporation and that it has !urisdiction over the persons of the petitioners
and the Resolution dated Au"ust 5G, +GG7 denin" petitionersO motion for reconsideration, are AFFIRME2.

SO OR2ERE2.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
T#'R0 0'H'.'@N
G.R. No. 167304 A!#!)& 65, 6009
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
SAN2IGANBA0AN <&;(%" "(:()(o*= a*" 3ICTORIA AMANTE, Respondents.
0 E C ' . ' @ N
PERALTA, J.:
Before this Court is a petition
5
under Rule >7 of the Rules of Court see4in" to reverse and set aside the Resolution
+
of the
.andi"anbaan 1Third 0ivision2 dated &ebruar +8, +GG7 dismissin" Criminal Case No. +*665, entitled People of the Philippines 9.
)ictoria A"ante for lac4 of !urisdiction.
The facts, as culled from the records, are the followin"?
Hictoria Amante was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungso! of Toledo Cit, Province of Cebu at the time pertinent to this case. @n
%anuar 5>, 566>, she was able to "et hold of a cash advance in the amount ofP*5,G67.GG under a disbursement voucher in order to
defra seminar e=penses of the Committee on #ealth and Environmental Protection, which she headed. As of 0ecember 56, 5667, or
after almost two ears since she obtained the said cash advance, no li-uidation was made. As such, on 0ecember ++, 5667, Toledo Cit
Auditor Manolo H. Tulibao issued a demand letter to respondent Amante as4in" the latter to settle her unli-uidated cash advance within
sevent9two hours from receipt of the same demand letter. The Commission on Audit, on Ma 5*, 566), submitted an investi"ation report
to the @ffice of the 0eput @mbudsman for Hisaas 1@MB9Hisaas2, with the recommendation that respondent Amante be further
investi"ated to ascertain whether appropriate char"es could be filed a"ainst her under Presidential 0ecree 1P.0.2 No. 5>>7, otherwise
4nown as The Auditin" Code of the Philippines. Thereafter, the @MB9Hisaas, on .eptember AG, 5666, issued a Resolution
recommendin" the filin" of an 'nformation for Malversation of Public &unds a"ainst respondent Amante. The @ffice of the .pecial
Prosecutor 1@.P2, upon review of the @MB9HisaasB Resolution, on April ), +GG5, prepared a memorandum findin" probable cause to
indict respondent Amante.
@n Ma +5, +GG>, the @.P filed an 'nformation
A
with the .andi"anbaan accusin" Hictoria Amante of violatin" .ection 86 of P.0. No.
5>>7, which reads as follows?
That on or about 0ecember 56, 5667, and for sometime prior or subse-uent thereto at Toledo Cit, Province of Cebu, Philippines, and
within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, the abovenamed accused H'CT@R'A AMANTE, a hi"h9ran4in" public officer, bein" a
member of the .an""unian" Panlun"sod of Toledo Cit, and committin" the offense in relation to office, havin" obtained cash advances
from the Cit $overnment of Toledo in the total amount of .EHENT39@NE T#@D.AN0 N'NET39&'HE PE.@. 1P*5,G67.GG2, Philippine
Currenc, which she received b reason of her office, for which she is dut9bound to li-uidate the same within the period re-uired b law,
with deliberate intent and intent to "ain, did then and there, wilfull, unlawfull and criminall fail to li-uidate said cash advances
of P*5,G67.GG, Philippine Currenc, despite demands to the dama"e and pre!udice of the "overnment in aforesaid amount.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
The case was raffled to the Third 0ivision of the .andi"anbaan. Thereafter, Amante filed with the said court a M@T'@N T@ 0E&ER
ARRA'$NMENT AN0 M@T'@N &@R RE'NHE.T'$AT'@N
>
dated November 58, +GG> statin" that the 0ecision of the @ffice of the
@mbudsman 1Hisaas2 dated .eptember 5>, 5666 at Cebu Cit from of an incomplete proceedin" in so far that respondent Amante had
alread li-uidated andIor refunded the une=pected balance of her cash advance, which at the time of the investi"ation was not included
as the same li-uidation papers were still in the process of evaluation b the Accountin" 0epartment of Toledo Cit and that the
.andi"anbaan had no !urisdiction over the said criminal case because respondent Amante was then a local official who was occupin" a
position of salar "rade +), whereas .ection > of Republic Act 1R.A.2 No. 8+>6 provides that the .andi"anbaan shall have ori"inal
!urisdiction onl in cases where the accused holds a position otherwise classified as $rade +* and hi"her, of the Compensation and
Position Classification Act of 5686, R.A. No. )*78.
The @.P filed its @pposition
7
dated 0ecember 8, +GG> ar"uin" that respondent AmanteBs claim of settlement of the cash advance dwelt
on matters of defense and the same should be established durin" the trial of the case and not in a motion for reinvesti"ation. As to the
assailed !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, the @.P contended that the said court has !urisdiction over respondent Amante since at the
time relevant to the case, she was a member of the .an""unian" Panlun"sod of Toledo Cit, therefore, fallin" under those enumerated
under .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6. Accordin" to the @.P, the lan"ua"e of the law is too plain and unambi"uous that it did not ma4e an
distinction as to the salar "rade of cit local officialsIheads.
The .andi"anbaan, in its Resolution
)
dated &ebruar +8, +GG7, dismissed the case a"ainst Amante, the dispositive portion of which
reads?
F#ERE&@RE, 'N H'EF @& A// T#E &@RE$@'N$, this case is hereb dismissed for lac4 of !urisdiction. The dismissal, however, is
without pre!udice to the filin" of this case to the proper court.
The Motion for Reinvesti"ation filed b the movant is hereb considered moot and academic.
.@ @R0ERE0.
#ence, the present petition.
Petitioner raises this lone issue?
F#ET#ER @R N@T T#E .AN0'$ANBA3AN #A. %DR'.0'CT'@N @HER A CA.E 'NH@/H'N$ A .AN$$DN'AN$ PAN/DN$.@0
MEMBER F#ERE T#E CR'ME C#AR$E0 '. @NE C@MM'TTE0 'N RE/AT'@N T@ @&&'CE, BDT N@T &@R H'@/AT'@N @& RA AG56,
RA 5A*6 @R AN3 @& T#E &E/@N'E. MENT'@NE0 'N C#APTER '', .ECT'@N +, T'T/E H'' @& T#E REH'.E0 PENA/ C@0E.
'n claimin" that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the case in -uestion, petitioner disputes the formerBs appreciation of this CourtBs
decision in 0n!ing 9. San!iganbayan.
*
Accordin" to petitioner, 'ndin" did not cate"oricall nor implicitl constrict or confine the application
of the enumeration provided for under .ection >1a2152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended, e=clusivel to cases where the offense char"ed is
either a violation of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6, or Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner adds that the
enumeration in .ection 1a2152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b R.A. No. *6*7 and R.A. No. 8+>6, which was made applicable to cases
concernin" violations of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, e-uall applies to
offenses committed in relation to public office.
Respondent Amante, in her Comment
8
dated %anuar 5), +GG), averred that, with the wa the law was phrased in .ection > of P.0. No.
5)G), as amended, it is obvious that the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan was defined first, enumeratin" the several e=ceptions to the
"eneral rule, while the e=ceptions to the "eneral rule are provided in the rest of the para"raph and sub9para"raphs of .ection >.
Therefore, accordin" to respondent Amante, the .andi"anbaan was correct in rulin" that the latter has ori"inal !urisdiction onl over
cases where the accused is a public official with salar "rade +* and hi"her, and in cases where the accused is public official below
"rade +* but his position is one of those mentioned in the enumeration in .ection >1a21521a2 to 1"2 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended and his
offense involves a violation of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, and if the
indictment involves offenses or felonies other than the three aforementioned statutes, the "eneral rule that a public official must occup a
position with salar "rade +* and hi"her in order that the .andi"anbaan could e=ercise !urisdiction over him must appl. The same
respondent proceeded to cite a decision
6
of this Court where it was held that !urisdiction over the sub!ect matter is conferred onl b the
Constitution or law, it cannot be fi=ed b the will of the parties, it cannot be ac-uired throu"h, or waived, enlar"ed or diminished b, an
act or omission of the parties, neither is it conferred b ac-uiescence of the court.&a99phi&
'n its Repl
5G
dated March +A, +GG), the @.P reiterated that the enumeration of public officials in .ection >1a2152 to 1a2 to 1"2 of P.0. No.
5)G) as fallin" within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan should include their commission of other offenses in relation to office
under .ection >1b2 of the same P.0. No. 5)G). 't cited the case of#steban 9. San!iganbayan, et al.
55
wherein this Court ruled that an
offense is said to have been committed in relation to the office if the offense is :intimatel connected: with the office of the offender and
perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official functions.
The petition is meritorious.
The focal issue raised in the petition is the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. As a bac4"round, this Court had thorou"hl discussed the
histor of the conferment of !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan in Serana 9. San!iganbayan, et al.,
5+
thus?
= = = The .andi"anbaan was created b P.0. No. 5>8), promul"ated b then President &erdinand E. Marcos on %une 55, 56*8. 't was
promul"ated to attain the hi"hest norms of official conduct re-uired of public officers and emploees, based on the concept that public
officers and emploees shall serve with the hi"hest de"ree of responsibilit, inte"rit, loalt and efficienc and shall remain at all times
accountable to the people.
5A
P.0. No. 5>8) was, in turn, amended b P.0. No. 5)G) which was promul"ated on 0ecember 5G, 56*8. P.0. No. 5)G) e=panded the
!urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
5>
P.0. No. 5)G) was later amended b P.0. No. 58)5 on March +A, 568A, further alterin" the .andi"anbaan !urisdiction. R.A. No. *6*7
approved on March AG, 5667 made succeedin" amendments to P.0. No. 5)G), which was a"ain amended on &ebruar 7, 566* b R.A.
No. 8+>6. .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6 further modified the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. = = =
.pecificall, the -uestion that needs to be resolved is whether or not a member of the Sangguniang Panlungso!under .alar $rade +)
who was char"ed with violation of The Auditin" Code of the Philippines falls within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
This Court rules in the affirmative.
The applicable law in this case is .ection > of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7 which too4 effect on Ma 5),
5667, which was a"ain amended on &ebruar 7, 566* b R.A. No. 8+>6. The alle"ed commission of the offense, as shown in the
'nformation was on or about 0ecember 56, 5667 and the filin" of the 'nformation was on Ma +5, +GG>. The !urisdiction of a court to tr a
criminal case is to be determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense.
57
The
e=ception contained in R.A. *6*7, as well as R.A. 8+>6, where it e=pressl provides that to determine the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan in cases involvin" violations of R.A. No. AG56, as amended, R.A. No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the
Revised Penal Code is not applicable in the present case as the offense involved herein is a violation of The Auditin" Code of the
Philippines. The last clause of the openin" sentence of para"raph 1a2 of the said two provisions states?
.ec. >. %urisdiction. 99 The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
A. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, other 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 5A*6, and
Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupin" the followin"
positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, a& &;$ &(-$ o' &;$ +o--())(o* o' &;$ o''$*)$?
The present case falls under .ection >1b2 where other offenses and felonies committed b public officials or emploees in relation to their
office are involved. Dnder the said provision, no e=ception is contained. Thus, the "eneral rule that !urisdiction of a court to tr a criminal
case is to be determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense applies in this present
case. .ince the present case was instituted on Ma +5, +GG>, the provisions of R.A. No. 8+>6 shall "overn. Heril, the pertinent
provisions of P.0. No. 5)G) as amended b R.A. No. 8+>6 are the followin"?
.ec. >. %urisdiction. 99 The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
A. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act
No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials
occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the
commission of the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as "rade
:+*: and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No. )*782, specificall
includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the san""unian" panlalawi"an and provincial treasurers,
assessors, en"ineers, and other cit department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the san""unian" panlun"sod, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers,
and other cit department heads.
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the
@mbudsman and .pecial Prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, state
universities or educational institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $rade :+*: and up under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade :+*: and hi"her under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 5686.
B. @ther offenses or felonies, whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public officials and emploees
mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation to their office.
C. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
The above law is clear as to the composition of the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. Dnder .ection >1a2, the followin" offenses
are specificall enumerated? violations of R.A. No. AG56, as amended, R.A. No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised
Penal Code. 'n order for the .andi"anbaan to ac-uire !urisdiction over the said offenses, the latter must be committed b, amon" others,
officials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade +* and hi"her, of the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686. #owever, the law is not devoid of e=ceptions. Those that are classified as $rade
+) and below ma still fall within the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan provided that the hold the positions thus enumerated b the same
law. Particularl and e=clusivel enumerated are provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the san""unian" panlalawi"an, and
provincial treasurers, assessors, en"ineers, and other provincial department heads, cit maors, vice9maors, members of the
san""unian" panlun"sod, cit treasurers, assessors, en"ineers , and other cit department heads, officials of the diplomatic service
occupin" the position as consul and hi"her, Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4, PNP
chief superintendent and PNP officers of hi"her ran4, Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in
the @ffice of the @mbudsman and special prosecutor, and presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or
controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations. 'n connection therewith, .ection >1b2 of the same law
provides that other offenses or felonies committed b public officials and emploees mentioned in subsection 1a2 in relation to their office
also fall under the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
B simple analo", applin" the provisions of the pertinent law, respondent Amante, bein" a member of the .an""unian" Panlun"sod at
the time of the alle"ed commission of an offense in relation to her office, falls within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan.
#owever, the .andi"anbaan, in its Resolution, dismissed the case with the followin" ratiocination?
= = = the rulin" of the .upreme Court in the 'ndin" case, statin" that the Con"ressB act of specificall includin" the public officials therein
mentioned, :obviousl intended cases mentioned in .ection > 1a2 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7, when
committed b the officials enumerated in 1521a2 to 1"2 thereof, re"ardless of their salar "rades, to be tried b the .andi"anbaan.:
@bviousl, the Court was referrin" to cases involvin" violation of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the
Revised Penal Code onl because the are the specific cases mentioned in .ection > 1a2 of P.0. No. 5)G) as amended, so that when
the are committed even b public officials below salar "rade B+*B, provided the belon" to the enumeration, !urisdiction would fall under
the .andi"anbaan. Fhen the offense committed however, falls under .ection >1b2 or >1c2 of P.0. No. 5)G) as amended, it should be
emphasi;ed that the "eneral -ualification that the public official must belon" to "rade B+*B is a re-uirement so that the .andi"anbaan
could e=ercise ori"inal !urisdiction over him. @therwise, !urisdiction would fall to the proper re"ional or municipal trial court.
'n the case at bar, the accused is a .an""unian" Panlun"sod member, a position with salar "rade B+)B. #er office is included in the
enumerated public officials in .ection >1a2 152 1a2 to 1"2 of P.0. No. 5)G) as amended b .ection + of R.A. No. *6*7. #owever, she is
char"ed with violation of .ection 86 of The Auditin" Code of the Philippines which is not a case fallin" under .ection >1a2 but under
.ection >1b2 of P.0. No. 5)G) as amended. This bein" the case, the principle declared in 'ndin" is not applicable in the case at bar
because as stated, the char"e must involve a violation of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 or Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised
Penal Code. Therefore, in the instant case, even if the position of the accused is one of those enumerated public officials under .ection
>1a21521a2 to 1"2, since she is bein" prosecuted of an offense not mentioned in the aforesaid section, the "eneral -ualification that
accused must be a public official occupin" a position with salar "rade B+*B is a re-uirement before this Court could e=ercise !urisdiction
over her. And since the accused occupied a public office with salar "rade +), then she is not covered b the !urisdiction of the
.andi"anbaan.&a99phi&
Petitioner is correct in disputin" the above rulin" of the .andi"anbaan. Central to the discussion of the .andi"anbaan is the case
of 0n!ing 9. San!iganbayan
5)
where this Court ruled that the officials enumerated in 1a2 to 1"2 of .ection >1a2152 of P. 0. No. 5)G), as
amended are included within the ori"inal !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan re"ardless of salar "rade. Accordin" to petitioner, the 'ndin"
case did not cate"oricall nor implicitl constrict or confine the application of the enumeration provided for under .ection >1a2152 of P.0.
No. 5)G), as amended, e=clusivel to cases where the offense char"ed is either a violation of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6, or Chapter
'', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code. This observation is true in li"ht of the facts contained in the said case. 'n the 'ndin"
case, the public official involved was a member of the .an""unian" Panlun"sod with .alar $rade +7 and was char"ed with violation of
R.A. No. AG56. 'n rulin" that the .andi"anbaan had !urisdiction over the said public official, this Court concentrated its dis-uisition on the
provisions contained in .ection >1a2152 of P.0. No. 5)G), as amended, where the offenses involved are specificall enumerated and not
on .ection >1b2 where offenses or felonies involved are those that are in relation to the public officialsB office. .ection >1b2 of P.0. No.
5)G), as amended, provides that?
b. @ther offenses or felonies committed b public officials and emploees mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation to their
office.
A simple analsis after a plain readin" of the above provision shows that those public officials enumerated in .ection >1a2 of P.0. No.
5)G), as amended, ma not onl be char"ed in the .andi"anbaan with violations of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 or Chapter '', .ection
+, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code, but also with other offenses or felonies in relation to their office. The said other offenses and
felonies are broad in scope but are limited onl to those that are committed in relation to the public official or emploeeBs office. This Court
had ruled that as lon" as the offense char"ed in the information is intimatel connected with the office and is alle"ed to have been
perpetrated while the accused was in the performance, thou"h improper or irre"ular, of his official functions, there bein" no personal
motive to commit the crime and had the accused not have committed it had he not held the aforesaid office, the accused is held to have
been indicted for :an offense committed in relation: to his office.
5*
Thus, in the case of /acson 9. #$ecuti9e Secretary,
58
where the crime
involved was murder, this Court held that?
The phrase :other offenses or felonies: is too broad as to include the crime of murder, provided it was committed in relation to the
accusedOs official functions. Thus, under said para"raph b, what determines the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction is the official position or
ran4 of the offender S that is, whether he is one of those public officers or emploees enumerated in para"raph a of .ection >. = = =.
Also, in the case Alarilla 9. San!iganbayan,
56
where the public official was char"ed with "rave threats, this Court ruled?
= = = 'n the case at bar, the amended information contained alle"ations that the accused, petitioner herein, too4 advanta"e of his official
functions as municipal maor of Mecauaan, Bulacan when he committed the crime of "rave threats as defined in Article +8+ of the
Revised Penal Code a"ainst complainant .imeon $. /e"aspi, a municipal councilor. The @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor char"ed
petitioner with aimin" a "un at and threatenin" to 4ill /e"aspi durin" a public hearin", after the latter had rendered a privile"e speech
critical of petitionerOs administration. Clearl, based on such alle"ations, the crime char"ed is intimatel connected with the dischar"e of
petitionerOs official functions. This was elaborated upon b public respondent in its April +7, 566* resolution wherein it held that the
:accused was performin" his official dut as municipal maor when he attended said public hearin": and that :accusedOs violent act was
precipitated b complainantOs criticism of his administration as the maor or chief e=ecutive of the municipalit, durin" the latterOs privile"e
speech. 't was his response to private complainantOs attac4 to his office. 'f he was not the maor, he would not have been irritated or
an"ered b whatever private complainant mi"ht have said durin" said privile"e speech.: Thus, based on the alle"ations in the
information, the .andi"anbaan correctl assumed !urisdiction over the case.
Proceedin" from the above rulin"s of this Court, a close readin" of the 'nformation filed a"ainst respondent Amante for violation of The
Auditin" Code of the Philippines reveals that the said offense was committed in relation to her office, ma4in" her fall under .ection >1b2 of
P.0. No. 5)G), as amended.
Accordin" to the assailed Resolution of the .andi"anbaan, if the intention of the law had been to e=tend the application of the
e=ceptions to the other cases over which the .andi"anbaan could assert !urisdiction, then there would have been no need to distin"uish
between violations of R.A. No. AG56, R.A. No. 5A*6 or Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'' of the Revised Penal Code on the one hand, and
other offenses or felonies committed b public officials and emploees in relation to their office on the other. The said reasonin" is
misleadin" because a distinction apparentl e=ists. 'n the offenses involved in .ection >1a2, it is not disputed that public office is essential
as an element of the said offenses themselves, while in those offenses and felonies involved in .ection >1b2, it is enou"h that the said
offenses and felonies were committed in relation to the public officials or emploeesB office. 'n e=poundin" the meanin" of offenses
!ee"e! to ha9e been co""itte! in relation to office, this Court held?
'n Sanche> 9. ,e"etriou K++* .CRA )+* 1566A2L, the Court elaborated on the scope and reach of the term :offense committed in relation
to Kan accusedOsL office: b referrin" to the principle laid down in Montilla 9. HilarioK6G Phil >6 156752L, and to an e=ception to that principle
which was reco"ni;ed in People 9. Montejo K5G8 Phil )5A 156)G2L. The principle set out in Montilla 9. Hilario is that an offense ma be
considered as committed in relation to the accusedOs office if :the offense cannot e=ist without the office: such that :the office KisL a
constituent element of the crime = = =.: 'n People 9. Montejo, the Court, throu"h Chief %ustice Concepcion, said that :althou"h public
office is not an element of the crime of murder in KtheL abstract,: the facts in a particular case ma show that
= = = the offense therein char"ed is intimatel connected with Kthe accusedOsL respective offices and was perpetrated while the were in
the performance, thou"h improper or irre"ular, of their official functions. 'ndeed, Kthe accusedL had no personal motive to commit the
crime and the would not have committed it had the not held their aforesaid offices. = = =
+G
Moreover, it is beond clarit that the same provision of .ection >1b2 does not mention an -ualification as to the public officials involved.
't simpl stated, public officials an! e"ployees "entione! in subsection CaD of the sa"e section. Therefore, it refers to those public
officials with .alar $rade +* and above, e=cept those specificall enumerated. 't is a well9settled principle of le"al hermeneutics that
words of a statute will be interpreted in their natural, plain and ordinar acceptation and si"nification,
+5
unless it is evident that the
le"islature intended a technical or special le"al meanin" to those words.
++
The intention of the lawma4ers who are, ordinaril,
untrained philolo"ists and le=ico"raphers to use statutor phraseolo" in such a manner is alwas presumed.
+A
1HEREFORE, the Petition dated April +G, +GG7 is hereb GRANTE2 and the Resolution of the .andi"anbaan 1Third 0ivision2 dated
&ebruar +8, +GG7 is ND//'&'E0 and SET ASI2E. Conse-uentl, let the case beREMAN2E2 to the .andi"anbaan for further
proceedin"s.
.@ @R0ERE0.
R$8!./(+ o' &;$ P;(/(88(*$)
S!8%$-$ Co!%&
Ba#!(o C(&y


THIR2 2I3ISION


ANGELITO P. MAGNO, G.R. No. 171546
Petitioner,
Present?

CARP'@ M@RA/E., ., Chairperson,
BR'@N,
9 versus 9 BER.AM'N,
H'//ARAMA, %R., and
.EREN@, .


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
MICHAEL MONSO2, ESTHER LU,
MAE GREGORIO, GIAN CARLO
CAOLES, NENETTE CASTILLON, Promul"ated?
2ONATO ENABE and ALFIE
FERNAN2E,,
Respondents. April ), +G55
=99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999=


2 E C I S I O N

BRION, J.5

Throu"h a petition for review on certiorari,
K5L
petitioner An"elito P. Ma"no see4s the reversal of the Amended 0ecision of the Court
of Appeals 1CA2, dated.eptember +), +GG7
K+L
in PPeople of the Philippines, et al. 9. Hon. Augustine A. )estil, Presi!ing u!ge, ?5C
Man!aue City, Br. 6J, et al.Q 1doc4eted as CA9$.R. .P No. *68G62, and its Resolution dated &ebruar ), +GG)
KAL
denin" respondentsO
motion for reconsideration.
K>L
The assailed rulin"s denied the petition for certiorarifiled under Rule )7 of the Rules of Court and upheld the
rulin"
K7L
of the Re"ional Trial Court 1?5C2 of Mandaue Cit, which precluded Att. Adelino B. .ito from actin" as private prosecutor in
Criminal Case No. 0D95G5+A.
K)L

THE FACTUAL ANTECE2ENTS

@n Ma 5>, +GGA, the @ffice of the @mbudsman filed an information for multiple frustrated murder and double attempted murder
a"ainst several accused, includin" Ma"no, who were public officers wor4in" under the National Bureau of 'nvesti"ation.
K*L


0urin" the scheduled arrai"nment, Ma"no, in open court, ob!ected to the formal appearance and authorit of Att. .ito, who was
there as private prosecutor to prosecute the case for and on behalf of the @ffice of the @mbudsman.
K8L
The oral ob!ection was reduced to
writin" on %ul +5, +GGA when Ma"no filed an opposition
K6L
before Branch 7) of the RTC of Mandaue Cit, citin" the provisions of .ection
A5 of Republic Act 1?A2 No. )**G.
K5GL


The @ffice of the @mbudsman submitted its comment,
K55L
while the accused submitted their !oint opposition.
K5+L
The respondents
li4ewise submitted their comments to the opposition of the other co9accused.
K5AL


@n .eptember +7, +GGA, the RTC issued an @rder, rulin" that Pthe @mbudsman is proper, le"al and authori;ed entit to prosecute
this case to the e=clusion of an other entitIperson other than those authori;ed under R.A. )**G.Q
K5>L

'n open court, the @ffice of the @mbudsman moved for the reconsideration of the @rder, which the RTC later denied in its @ctober
5, +GGA @rder.
K57L

Proceedings before the !A

@n @ctober 5A, +GGA, the respondents, throu"h the @mbudsman for the Hisaas and Att. .ito, filed a 8$&(&(o*
'o% certiorari .$'o%$ &;$ CA.
K5)L
The contended that the RTC committed a "rave abuse of discretion in prohibitin" the appearance of
Att. .ito as counsel for the private offended parties, as the Rules of Court e=pressl provides that a private offended part ma
intervene, b counsel, in the prosecution of offenses.
K5*L

Ma"no, in his comment
K58L
filed on 0ecember 57, +GGA, insisted that what he -uestioned before the RTC was the appearance and
authorit of the private prosecutor to prosecute the case in behalf of the @mbudsman.
K56L
#e stressed that while the @ffice of the
@mbudsman can desi"nate prosecutors to assist in the prosecution of criminal cases, its authorit in appointin", deputi;in" or authori;in"
prosecutors to prosecute cases is confined onl to fiscals, state prosecutors and "overnment lawers. 't does not e=tend to private
practitionersIprivate prosecutors.
K+GL
#e further stressed that while the @rder of the RTC states that the @ffice of the @mbudsman is the
proper le"al and authori;ed entit to prosecute the case, it did not affect the ri"ht to intervene personall, as the @ffice of the @mbudsman
can ta4e the cud"els for the private respondents in prosecutin" the civil aspect of the case.
K+5L


@n &ebruar 5), +GG7, the CA, in its ori"inal 0ecision, declared that the private prosecutor ma appear for the petitioner in the
case, but onl insofar as the prosecution of the civil aspect of the case is concerned.
K++L


The respondents moved for the reconsideration
K+AL
of the CA decision. @n .eptember +), +GG7, the CA amended its decision,
K+>L
rulin" that the private prosecutor ma appear for the petitioner in Criminal Case No. 0D95G5+A to intervene in the prosecution of the
offense char"ed in collaboration with an lawer deputi;ed b the @mbudsman to prosecute the case.
K+7L

&ailin" to obtain a reconsideration
K+)L
of the amended CA decision, Ma"no elevated the dispute to this Court throu"h the present
petition for review oncertiorari
K+*L
filed under Rule >7 of the Rules of Procedure.

PETITIONERFS ARGUMENTS

Ma"no submits that the CA did not have !urisdiction to entertain the petition for certiorari, the power to hear and decide that
-uestion is with the .andi"anbaan.
K+8L
To support this contention, Ma"no invo4es #ngr. 5eo!oto B. Abbot 9. Hon. u!ge Hilario 0.
Mapayo, etc., et al.
K+6L
where the Court held that the .andi"anbaan has the e=clusive power to issue petitions for certiorari in aid of its
appellate !urisdiction.
KAGL



Even if the Court were to set aside this procedural lapse, Ma"no adds, the private prosecutor cannot be allowed to intervene for
the respondents as it would violate .ection A5 of RA No. )**G.
KA5L
.ection A5 limits the @mbudsmanOs prero"ative to desi"nate
prosecutors to fiscals, state prosecutors and "overnment lawers. 't does not, Ma"no maintains, allow the @mbudsman to deputi;e
private practitioners to prosecute cases for and on behalf of the @ffice of the @mbudsman.
KA+L


RESPON2ENTSF ARGUMENTS


The @ffice of the @mbudsman, throu"h the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor, submitted its memorandum on &ebruar 8,
+GG8. .ubstantivel, the @mbudsman maintains that Att. .ito ma intervene in the case pursuant to .ection 5), Rule 55G of the Rules
of Court, which reads?

.ec. 5). 'ntervention of the offended part in criminal action. Fhere the civil action for recover of civil liabilit is
instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 555, the offended part ma intervene b counsel in the prosecution of the
offense.


The @mbudsman maintains that .ection A5 of RA No. )**G did not amend .ection 5), Rule 55G of the Rules of Court.
KAAL
.ection
A5 merel allows the @mbudsman to desi"nate and deputi;e an fiscal, state prosecutor or lawer in the "overnment service to act as
special investi"ator or prosecutor to assist in the investi"ation and prosecution in certain cases.
KA>L
The @mbudsman opines that the two
provisions of law Pare not diametricall opposed nor in conflict,Q
KA7L
as Pa private prosecutor ma appear for the private offended
complainants in the prosecution of an offense independent of the e=clusive ri"ht of the @mbudsman to deputi;e.Q
KA)L
The @mbudsman,
however, did not address the contention that the .andi"anbaan, not the CA, has appellate !urisdiction over the RTC in this case.

THE COURTFS RULING

Fe resolve to "rant the petition.

*he Sandiganbayan, not the !A, has appellate $urisdiction over the +*!,s decision
not to allo- Atty. Sitoy to prosecute the case on behalf of the O.buds.an

Presidential 0ecree 1P,2 No. 5)G) created the .andi"anbaan. .ection > thereof establishes the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction?

S$+&(o* 4. uris!iction. The .andi"anbaan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?

A. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corruption Practices Act,
Republic Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused
are officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the
time of the commission of the offense?

= = = =

B. @ther offenses or felonies whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public officials and
emploees mentioned in subsection of this section in relation to their office.

C. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in
568).

'n cases where none of the accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to .alar $rade P+*Q or hi"her, as prescribed
in the said Republic Act No. )*78, or militar or PNP officers mentioned above, e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction thereof shall
be vested in the proper re"ional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as
the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6, as amended.

T;$ Sa*"(#a*.aya* );a// $@$%+()$ $@+/!)(:$ a88$//a&$ L!%()"(+&(o* o:$% '(*a/ L!"#-$*&), %$)o/!&(o*) o% o%"$%) o'
%$#(o*a/ &%(a/ +o!%&) G;$&;$% (* &;$ $@$%+()$ o' &;$(% oG* o%(#(*a/ L!%()"(+&(o* o% o' &;$(% a88$//a&$ L!%()"(+&(o* a)
;$%$(* 8%o:("$".

T;$ Sa*"(#a*.aya* );a// ;a:$ $@+/!)(:$ o%(#(*a/ L!%()"(+&(o* o:$% 8$&(&(o*) 'o% &;$ ())!a*+$ o' &;$ G%(&) o'
-a*"a-!), 8%o;(.(&(o*, +$%&(o%a%(, ;a.$a) +o%8!), (*L!*+&(o*), a*" o&;$% a*+(//a%y G%(&) a*" 8%o+$))$) (* a(" o'
(&) a88$//a&$ L!%()"(+&(o* a*" o:$% 8$&(&(o*) o' )(-(/a% *a&!%$, (*+/!"(*# O!o Ga%%a*&o, a%()(*# o% &;a& -ay a%()$ (*
+a)$) '(/$" o% G;(+; -ay .$ '(/$" !*"$% E@$+!&(:$ O%"$% No). 1, 6, 14 a*" 14-A, ())!$" (* 19965 P%o:("$", T;a& &;$
L!%()"(+&(o* o:$% &;$)$ 8$&(&(o*) );a// *o& .$ $@+/!)(:$ o' &;$ S!8%$-$ Co!%&.

The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6, as well as the implementin" rules that the .upreme Court has
promul"ated and ma hereafter promul"ate, relative to appealsIpetitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall appl to
appeals and petitions for review filed with the .andi"anbaan. 'n all cases elevated to the .andi"anbaan and from the
.andi"anbaan to the .upreme Court, the @ffice of the @mbudsman, throu"h its special prosecutor, shall represent the
People of the Philippines, e=cept in cases filed pursuant to E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568).

'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or emploees,
includin" those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said public
officers and emploees in the proper courts which shall e=ercise e=clusive !urisdiction over them.

An provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrar notwithstandin", the criminal action and the correspondin" civil
action for the recover of civil liabilit shall at all times be simultaneousl instituted with, and !ointl determined in, the
same proceedin" b the .andi"anbaan or to appropriate courts, the filin" of the criminal action bein" deemed to
necessaril carr with it the filin" of civil action, and no ri"ht to reserve the filin" of such civil action separatel from the
criminal action shall be reco"ni;ed? Provided, however, That where the civil action had theretofore been filed separatel
but !ud"ment therein has not et been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the .andi"anbaan or the
appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate court, as the case ma be,
for consolidation and !oint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed
abandoned.: Kemphasis and underscorin" suppliedL


This is clear? the .andi"anbaan has e=clusive appellate !urisdiction over resolutions issued b RTCs in the e=ercise of their own
ori"inal !urisdiction or of their appellate !urisdiction.


Fe reaffirmed this rule in Abbot.
KA*L
'n that case, petitioner En"r. Abbot filed a petition for certiorari before the CA, claimin" that the
RTC "ravel abused its discretion for not dismissin" the information for Malversation thru &alsification of Public 0ocument. The CA
refused to ta4e co"ni;ance of the case, holdin" that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the
petition. Reco"ni;in" the amendments made to P0 No. 5)G) b RA No. *6*7,
KA8L
we sustained the CAOs position since .ection > of P0
No. 5)G) has e=panded the .andi"anbaanOs !urisdiction to include petitions for P"an!a"us, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus,
in!unction, and other ancillar writs and processes in aid of its appellate !urisdiction.Q
KA6L

'n the present case, the CA erred when it too4 co"ni;ance of the petition for certiorari filed b Ma"no. Fhile it is true that the
interlocutor order issued b the RTC is reviewable b certiorari, the same was incorrectl filed with the CA. Ma"no should have filed the
petition for certiorari with the .andi"anbaan, which has e=clusive appellate !urisdiction over the RTC since the accused are public
officials char"ed of committin" crimes in their capacit as 'nvesti"ators of the National Bureau of 'nvesti"ation.
K>GL


The CA should have dismissed the petition outri"ht. .ince it acted without authorit, we overrule the .eptember +),
+GG7 Amended 0ecision of the CA and the subse-uent denial of Ma"noOs motions for reconsideration.

Jurisdiction is conferred by la-, and
the !A,s $udg.ent, issued -ithout
$urisdiction, is void.


There is no rule in procedural law as basic as the precept that !urisdiction is conferred b law,
K>5L
and an !ud"ment, order or
resolution issued without it is void
K>+L
and cannot be "iven an effect.
K>AL
This rule applies even if the issue on !urisdiction was raised for
the first time on appeal or even after final !ud"ment.
K>>L


Fe reiterated and clarified the rule further in -elicitas M. Macha!o, et al. 9. ?icar!o /. Gat!ula, et al.,
K>7L
as follows?

%urisdiction over a sub!ect matter is conferred b law and not b the partiesO action or conduct. Estoppel "enerall
does not confer !urisdiction over a cause of action to a tribunal where none, b law, e=ists. 'n /o>on 9. ;/?C, we declared
that?

/ac4 of !urisdiction over the sub!ect matter of the suit is et another matter. Fhenever it appears that the court has
no !urisdiction over the sub!ect matter, the action shall be dismissed.T;() "$'$*)$ -ay .$ (*&$%8o)$" a& a*y
&(-$, "!%(*# a88$a/ o% $:$* a'&$% '(*a/ L!"#-$*&. .uch is understandable, as this 4ind of !urisdiction is
conferred b law and not within the courts, let alone the parties, to themselves determine or convenientl set
aside.


Fe note that Ma"no had alread raised S in his supplemental motion for reconsideration before the CA
K>)L
S the "round of lac4 of
!urisdiction before the CAOs 0ecision became final. The CA did not even consider this submission, choosin" instead to brush it aside for its
alle"ed failure to raise new or substantial "rounds for reconsideration.
K>*L
Clearl, however, its lac4 of !urisdiction is a new and substantial
ar"ument that the CA should have passed upon.

*he Office of the O.buds.an cannot rely on the principle of estoppel to cure the
$urisdictional defect of its petition before the !A


The @mbudsman cannot rel on the principle of estoppel in this case
since Ma"no raised the issue of !urisdiction before the CAOs decision became final. &urther, even if the issue had been raised
onl on appeal to this Court, the CAOs lac4 of !urisdiction could still not be cured. 'n Macha!o,
K>8L
citin" People of the Philippines 9.
?osalina Casiano,
K>6L
we held?

'n People 9. Casiano, this Court, on the issue of estoppel, held?

The operation of the principle of estoppel on the -uestion of !urisdiction seemin"l depends upon whether the
lower court actuall had !urisdiction or not. I' (& ;a" *o L!%()"(+&(o*, .!& &;$ +a)$ Ga) &%($" a*" "$+("$" !8o* &;$
&;$o%y &;a& (& ;a" L!%()"(+&(o*, &;$ 8a%&($) a%$ *o& .a%%$", o* a88$a/, '%o- a))a(/(*# )!+; L!%()"(+&(o*, 'o% &;$ )a-$
I-!)& $@()& a) a -a&&$% o' /aG, a*" -ay *o& .$ +o*'$%%$" .y +o*)$*& o' &;$ 8a%&($) o% .y $)&o88$/.M #owever if the
lower court had !urisdiction, and the case was heard and decided upon a "iven theor, such, for instance, as that the
court had no !urisdiction, the part who induced it to adopt such theor will not be permitted, on appeal, to assume an
inconsistent position S that the lower court had !urisdiction.


1HEREFORE, we 2EN0 the petitionerOs petition for review on certiorari, and 2ECLARE the Amended 0ecision of the Court of
Appeals in CA9$.R. .P No. *68G6, promul"ated on .eptember +), +GG7, as well as its Resolution of &ebruar ), +GG), NULL AN2
3OI2 for havin" been issued without !urisdiction. The respondents are hereb "iven fifteen 1572 das from the finalit of this 0ecision
within which to see4 recourse from the .andi"anbaan. No costs.


SO OR2ERE2.
FIRST 2I3ISION

RUPERTO A. AMBIL, R.,
Petitioner,


9 versus 9


SAN2IGANBA0AN a*" PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,
Respondent.
G.R. No. 175457


@- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -@

ALEHAN2RINO R. APELA2O, SR.,
Petitioner,



9 versus 9




PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent.


G.R. No. 175496
Present?

C@R@NA,C..,
Chairperson,
CARP'@,
B
BER.AM'N,
0E/ CA.T'//@, and
H'//ARAMA, %R., .

Promul"ated?

%ul ), +G55
@ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -@

2ECISION
3ILLARAMA, R., J.5
Before us are two consolidated petitions for review on certiorari filed b petitioner Ruperto A. Ambil, %r.
D1E
and petitioner Ale=andrino
R. Apelado .r.
D6E
assailin" the 0ecision
D3E
promul"ated on .eptember 5), +GG7 and Resolution
D4E
dated November 8, +GG) of the
.andi"anbaan in Criminal Case No. +786+.
The present controvers arose from a letter
D5E
of Att. 0avid B. /oste, President of the Eastern .amar Chapter of the 'nte"rated Bar
of the Philippines 1'BP2, to the @ffice of the @mbudsman, prain" for an investi"ation into the alle"ed transfer of then Maor &rancisco
Adalim, an accused in Criminal Case No. 5G6)A for murder, from the provincial !ail of Eastern .amar to the residence of petitioner, then
$overnor Ruperto A. Ambil, %r. 'n a Report
D6E
dated %anuar >, 5666, the National Bureau of 'nvesti"ation 1NB'2 recommended the filin" of
criminal char"es a"ainst petitioner Ambil, %r. for violation of .ection A1e2
D7E
of Republic Act 1R.A.2 No. AG56, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9
$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended. @n .eptember ++, 5666, the new President of the 'BP, Eastern .amar Chapter, informed
the @mbudsman that the 'BP is no lon"er interested in pursuin" the case a"ainst petitioners. Thus, he recommended the dismissal of
the complaint a"ainst petitioners.
D9E
Nonetheless, in an 'nformation
D9E
dated %anuar A5, +GGG, petitioners Ambil, %r. and Ale=andrino R. Apelado, .r. were char"ed with
violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56, to"ether with .P@A &elipe A. Balano. Dpon reinvesti"ation, the @ffice of the @mbudsman
issued a Memorandum
D10E
dated Au"ust >, +GGG, recommendin" the dismissal of the complaint as re"ards Balano and the amendment of
the 'nformation to include the char"e of 0eliverin" Prisoners from %ail under Article 57)
D11E
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended,
1RPC2 a"ainst the remainin" accused. The Amended 'nformation
D16E
reads?
That on or about the )th da of .eptember 5668, and for sometime prior KorL subse-uent thereto, KinL the
Municipalit of Boron"an, Province of Eastern .amar, Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, KtheL
above9named accused, Ruperto A. Ambil, %r.K,L bein" then the Provincial $overnor of Eastern .amar, and Ale=andrino R.
Apelado, bein" then the Provincial Farden of Eastern .amar, both havin" been public officers, dul elected, appointed
and -ualified as such, committin" the offense in relation to office, connivin" and confederatin" to"ether and mutuall
helpin" = = = each other, with deliberate intent, manifest partialit and evident bad faith, did then and there wilfull,
unlawfull and criminall order and cause the release from the Provincial %ail of detention prisoner Maor &rancisco
Adalim, accused in Criminal Case No. 5G6)A, for Murder, b virtue of a warrant of Arrest issued b #onorable Arnulfo P.
Bu"tas, Presidin" %ud"e, RTC9Branch +, Boron"an, Eastern .amar, and thereafter placed said detention prisoner 1Maor
&rancisco Adalim2 under accused RDPERT@ A. AMB'/, %R.Os custod, b allowin" said Maor Adalim to sta at accused
AmbilOs residence for a period of Ei"ht9&ive 1872 das, more or less which act was done without an court order, thus
accused in the performance of official functions had "iven unwarranted benefits and advanta"e to detainee Maor
&rancisco Adalim to the pre!udice of the "overnment.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
BA'/ B@N0 REC@MMEN0E0? PAG,GGG.GG each.
D13E

@n arrai"nment, petitioners pleaded not "uilt and posted bail.
At the pre9trial, petitioners admitted the alle"ations in the 'nformation. The reason, however, that AdalimOs transfer was !ustified
considerin" the imminent threats upon his person and the dan"ers posed b his detention at the provincial !ail. Accordin" to petitioners,
AdalimOs sister, Att. %uliana A. Adalim9Fhite, had sent numerous prisoners to the same !ail where Maor Adalim was to be held.
Conse-uentl, the prosecution no lon"er offered testimonial evidence and rested its case after the admission of its documentar
e=hibits. Petitioners filed a Motion for /eave to &ile 0emurrer to Evidence with Reservation to Present Evidence in Case of 0enial
D14E
but
the same was denied.
At the trial, petitioners presented three witnesses? petitioner Ambil, %r., Att. %uliana A. Adalim9Fhite and Maor &rancisco C. Adalim.
Petitioner Ambil, %r. testified that he was the $overnor of Eastern .amar from 5668 to +GG5. Accordin" to him, it was upon the
advice of AdalimOs lawers that he directed the transfer of AdalimOs detention to his home. #e cites poor securit in the provincial !ail as
the primar reason for ta4in" personal custod of Adalim considerin" that the latter would be in the compan of inmates who were put
awa b his sister and "uards identified with his political opponents.
D15E

&or her part, Att. Fhite stated that she is the 0istrict Public Attorne of Eastern .amar and the sister of Maor Adalim. .he
recounted how Maor Adalim was arrested while the were attendin" a weddin" in .ulat, Eastern .amar, on .eptember ),
5668. Accordin" to Att. Fhite, she sou"ht the alternative custod of $ov. Ambil, %r. after Provincial Farden and herein petitioner
Apelado, .r. failed to "uarantee the maorOs safet.
D16E
Meanwhile, &rancisco Adalim introduced himself as the Maor of Taft, Eastern .amar. #e confirmed his arrest on .eptember ),
5668 in connection with a murder case filed a"ainst him in the Re"ional Trial Court 1RTC2 of Boron"an, Eastern .amar. Adalim
confirmed Att. FhiteOs account that he spotted inmates who served as bod"uards for, or who are associated with, his political rivals at
the provincial !ail. #e also noticed a prisoner, Roman A4atan, "esture to him with a raised clenched fist. .ensin" dan"er, he called on
his sister for help. Adalim admitted stain" at Ambil, %r.Os residence for almost three months before he posted bail after the char"e
a"ainst him was down"raded to homicide.
D17E
Petitioner Apelado, .r. testified that he was the Provincial %ail Farden of Eastern .amar. #e recalls that on .eptember ), 5668,
.P@A &elipe Balano fetched him at home to assist in the arrest of Maor Adalim. Alle"edl, Att. Fhite was contestin" the le"alit of
Maor AdalimOs arrest and ar"uin" with the !ail "uards a"ainst boo4in" him for detention. At the provincial !ail, petitioner was confronted
b Att. Fhite who informed him that he was under the "overnor, in the latterOs capacit as a provincial !ailer. Petitioner claims that it is
for this reason that he submitted to the "overnorOs order to relin-uish custod of Adalim.
D19E
&urther, petitioner Apelado, .r. described the phsical condition of the !ail to be dilapidated and undermanned. Accordin" to him,
onl two "uards were inchar"e of loo4in" after 7G inmates. There were two cells in the !ail, each housin" +7 inmates, while an isolation
cell of 5G s-uare meters was unserviceable at the time. Also, there were several nipa huts within the perimeter for use durin" con!u"al
visits.
D19E
@n .eptember 5), +GG7, the .andi"anbaan, &irst 0ivision, promul"ated the assailed 0ecision
D60E
findin" petitioners "uilt of
violatin" .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56. The court ruled that in movin" Adalim to a private residence, petitioners have conspired to
accord him unwarranted benefits in the form of more comfortable -uarters with access to television and other privile"es that other
detainees do not en!o. 't stressed that under the Rules, no person under detention b le"al process shall be released or transferred
e=cept upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail.
D61E

The .andi"anbaan brushed aside petitionersO defense that AdalimOs transfer was made to ensure his safet. 't observed that
petitioner Ambil, %r. did not personall verif an actual threat on AdalimOs life but relied simpl on the advice of AdalimOs lawers. The
.andi"anbaan also pointed out the availabilit of an isolation cell and nipa huts within the 5G9meter9hi"h perimeter fence of the !ail which
could have been used to separate Adalim from other prisoners. &inall, it cited petitioner Ambil, %r.Os failure to turn over Adalim despite
advice from Assistant .ecretar %esus 'n"eniero of the 0epartment of 'nterior and /ocal $overnment.
Conse-uentl, the .andi"anbaan sentenced petitioner Ambil, %r. to an indeterminate penalt of imprisonment for nine 162 ears,
ei"ht 182 months and one 152 da to twelve 15+2 ears and four 1>2 months. 'n favor of petitioner Apelado, .r., the court appreciated the
incomplete !ustifin" circumstance of obedience to a superior order and sentenced him to imprisonment for si= 1)2 ears and one 152
month to nine 162 ears and ei"ht 182 months.
#ence, the present petitions.
Petitioner Ambil, %r. advances the followin" issues for our consideration?
'
F#ET#ER @R N@T .ECT'@N A1e2 REPDB/'C ACT N@. AG56, A. AMEN0E0, APP/'E. T@ PET'T'@NERO. CA.E
BE&@RE T#E .AN0'$ANBA3AN.
''
F#ET#ER @R N@T A PDB/'C @&&'CER .DC# A. PET'T'@NER '. A PR'HATE PART3 &@R PDRP@.E. @&
.ECT'@N A1e2, REPDB/'C ACT N@. AG56, A. AMEN0E0.
'''
F#ET#ER @R N@T PET'T'@NER ACTE0 F'T# 0E/'BERATE 'NTENT, MAN'&E.T PART'A/'T3, EH'0ENT BA0 &A'T#
@R $R@.. 'NEECD.AB/E NE$/'$ENCE 'N T#E C@NTEET @& .A'0 .ECT'@N A1e2.
'H
F#ET#ER @R N@T PET'T'@NER A. PR@H'NC'A/ $@HERN@R AN0 %A'/ER DN0ER .ECT'@N. 5*AG AN0 5*AA,
ART'C/E ''', C#APTER >7 @& T#E A0M'N'.TRAT'HE C@0E @& 565* AN0 .ECT'@N )5, C#APTER H, REPDB/'C
ACT )6*7 #A. T#E ADT#@R'T3 T@ TACE CD.T@03 @& A 0ETENT'@N PR'.@NER.
H
F#ET#ER @R N@T PET'T'@NER '. ENT'T/E0 T@ T#E %D.T'&3'N$ C'RCDM.TANCE @& &D/&'//MENT @& A
0DT3 @R T#E /AF&D/ EEERC'.E @& A R'$#T @R @&&'CE.
H'
F#ET#ER @R N@T PET'T'@NER .#@D/0 #AHE BEEN ACND'TTE0 BECAD.E T#E PR@.ECDT'@N EH'0ENCE
0'0 N@T E.TAB/'.# #'. $D'/T BE3@N0 REA.@NAB/E 0@DBT.
D66E
&or his part, petitioner Apelado, .r. imputes the followin" errors on the .andi"anbaan?
'
T#ERE FA. M'.APPRE#EN.'@N @& &ACT. AN0I@R M'.APP/'CAT'@N @& T#E /AF AN0 %DR'.PRD0ENCE 'N
C@NH'CT'N$ ACCD.E0 APE/A0@, E'T#ER A. PR'NC'PA/ @R 'N C@N.P'RAC3 F'T# #'. C@9ACCD.E0 AMB'/.
''
'N T#E AB.ENCE @& C@MPETENT PR@@& BE3@N0 REA.@NAB/E 0@DBT @& C@N.P'RAC3 BETFEEN
ACCD.E0 AMB'/ AN0 #ERE'N PET'T'@NER, T#E /ATTER .#@D/0 BE ACC@R0E0 &D// CRE0'T &@R T#E
%D.T'&3'N$ C'RCDM.TANCE DN0ER PARA$RAP# ), ART'C/E 55 @& T#E REH'.E0 PENA/ C@0E.
'''
T#E C@DRT A Q72A. BA.'. 'N C@NH'CT'N$ B@T# ACCD.E0 AMB'/ AN0 #ERE'N PET'T'@NER @& #AH'N$
$'HEN MA3@R A0A/'M PDNFARRANTE0 BENE&'T. AN0 A0HANTA$E T@ T#E PRE%D0'CE = = = @& T#E
$@HERNMENT '., AT T#E M@.T, .PECD/AT'HE.
D63E

The issues raised b petitioner Ambil, %r. can be summed up into three? 152 Fhether he is "uilt beond reasonable doubt of
violatin" .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56, 1+2 Fhether a provincial "overnor has authorit to ta4e personal custod of a detention prisoner,
and 1A2 Fhether he is entitled to the !ustifin" circumstance of fulfillment of dut under Article 55172
D64E
of the RPC.
Meanwhile, petitioner Apelado, .r.Os assi"nment of errors can be condensed into two? 152 Fhether he is "uilt beond reasonable
doubt of violatin" .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56, and 1+2 Fhether he is entitled to the !ustifin" circumstance of obedience to an order
issued b a superior for some lawful purpose under Article 551)2
D65E
of the RPC.
&undamentall, petitioner Ambil, %r. ar"ues that .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56 does not appl to his case because the provision
contemplates onl transactions of a pecuniar nature. .ince the law punishes a public officer who e=tends unwarranted benefits to a
private person, petitioner avers that he cannot be held liable for e=tendin" a favor to Maor Adalim, a public officer. &urther, he claims
"ood faith in ta4in" custod of the maor pursuant to his dut as a PProvincial %ailerQ under theAdministrative Code of 565*. Considerin"
this, petitioner believes himself entitled to the !ustifin" circumstance of fulfillment of dut or lawful e=ercise of dut.
Petitioner Apelado, .r., on the other hand, denies alle"ations of conspirac between him and petitioner Ambil, %r. Petitioner
Apelado, .r. defends that he was merel followin" the orders of a superior when he transferred the detention of Adalim. As well, he
invo4es immunit from criminal liabilit.
&or the .tate, the @ffice of the .pecial Prosecutor 1@.P2 points out the absence of !urisprudence that restricts the application of
.ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56 to transactions of a pecuniar nature. The @.P e=plains that it is enou"h to show that in performin" their
functions, petitioners have accorded undue preference to Adalim for liabilit to attach under the provision. &urther, the @.P maintains
that Adalim is deemed a private part for purposes of applin" .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56 because the unwarranted benefit redounded,
not to his person as a maor, but to his person as a detention prisoner accused of murder. 't su""ests further that petitioners were
motivated b bad faith as evidenced b their refusal to turn over Adalim despite instruction from Asst. .ec. 'n"eniero. The @.P also
reiterates petitionersO lac4 of authorit to ta4e custod of a detention prisoner without a court order. #ence, it concludes that petitioners
are not entitled to the benefit of an !ustifin" circumstance.
After a careful review of this case, the Court finds the present petitions bereft of merit.
Petitioners were char"ed with violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56 or the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act which provides?
.ection. A. Corrupt practices of public officers. 9 'n addition to acts or omissions of public officers alread penali;ed
b e=istin" law, the followin" shall constitute corrupt practices of an public officer and are hereb declared to be unlawful?
= = = =
1e2 Causin" an undue in!ur to an part, includin" the $overnment, or "ivin" an private part an unwarranted
benefits, advanta"e or preference in the dischar"e of his official, administrative or !udicial functions throu"h manifest
partialit, evident bad faith or "ross ine=cusable ne"li"ence. This provision shall appl to officers and emploees of offices
or "overnment corporations char"ed with the "rant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
'n order to hold a person liable under this provision, the followin" elements must concur? 152 the accused must be a public officer
dischar"in" administrative, !udicial or official functions, 1+2 he must have acted with manifest partialit, evident bad faith or "ross
ine=cusable ne"li"ence, and 1A2 his action caused an undue in!ur to an part, includin" the "overnment, or "ave an private part
unwarranted benefits, advanta"e or preference in the dischar"e of his functions.
D66E
As to the first element, there is no -uestion that petitioners are public officers dischar"in" official functions and that !urisdiction over
them la with the .andi"anbaan. %urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over public officers char"ed with violation of the Anti9$raft /aw is
provided under .ection > of Presidential 0ecree No. 5)G),
D67E
as amended b R.A. No. 8+>6.
D69E
The pertinent portions of .ection >, P.0.
No. 5)G), as amended, read as follows?
SEC. 4. uris!iction.KThe San!iganbayan shall e=ercise e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction in all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act,
Republic Act No. 5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the
accused are officials occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment, whether in a permanent, actin" or interim
capacit, at the time of the commission of the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise
classified as $rade R+*O and hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 5686 1Republic Act No.
)*782, specifically inclu!ing?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial
treasurers, assessors, en"ineers and other provincial department headsK,L
= = = =
'n cases where none of the accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to .alar $rade R+*O or hi"her, as
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. )*78, or militar and PNP officers mentioned above, e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction
thereof shall be vested in the proper re"ional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal
circuit trial court, as the case ma be, pursuant to their respective !urisdiction as provided in Batas Pa"bansa Blg. 5+6, as
amended.
= = = =
Thus, the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over petitioner Ambil, %r. is beond -uestion. The same is true as re"ards petitioner
Apelado, .r. As to him, a Certification
D69E
from the Provincial $overnment 0epartment #ead of the #RM@ shows that his position as
Provincial Farden is classified as .alar $rade ++. Nonetheless, it is onl when none of the accused are occupin" positions
correspondin" to salar "rade R+*O or hi"her shall e=clusive !urisdiction be vested in the lower courts. #ere, petitioner Apelado, .r. was
char"ed as a co9principal with $overnor Ambil, %r., over whose position the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction. Accordin"l, he was
correctl tried !ointl with said public officer in the proper court which had e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over them S the .andi"anbaan.
The second element, for its part, describes the three was b which a violation of .ection A1e2 of R.A. No. AG56 ma be committed,
that is, throu"h manifest partialit, evident bad faith or "ross ine=cusable ne"li"ence.
'n Sison 9. People,
D30E
we defined Ppartialit,Q Pbad faithQ and P"ross ne"li"enceQ as follows?
PPartialitQ is snonmous with PbiasQ which Pe=cites a disposition to see and report matters as the are wished for
rather than as the are.Q PBad faith does not simpl connote bad !ud"ment or ne"li"ence, it imputes a dishonest purpose
or some moral obli-uit and conscious doin" of a wron", a breach of sworn dut throu"h some motive or intent or ill will, it
parta4es of the nature of fraud.Q P$ross ne"li"ence has been so defined as ne"li"ence characteri;ed b the want of even
sli"ht care, actin" or omittin" to act in a situation where there is a dut to act, not inadvertentl but wilfull and intentionall
with a conscious indifference to conse-uences in so far as other persons ma be affected. 't is the omission of that care
which even inattentive and thou"htless men never fail to ta4e on their own propert.Q = = =
D31E
'n this case, we find that petitioners displaed manifest partialit and evident bad faith in transferrin" the detention of Maor Adalim
to petitioner Ambil, %r.Os house. There is no merit to petitioner Ambil, %r.Os contention that he is authori;ed to transfer the detention of
prisoners b virtue of his power as the PProvincial %ailerQ of Eastern .amar.
.ection +8 of the /ocal $overnment Code draws the e=tent of the power of local chief e=ecutives over the units of the Philippine
National Police within their !urisdiction?
.EC. +8. Powers of /ocal Chief #$ecuti9es o9er the 7nits of the Philippine ;ational Police.KThe e=tent of
operational supervision and control of local chief e=ecutives over the police force, fire protection unit, and !ail mana"ement
personnel assi"ned in their respective !urisdictions shall be "overned b the provisions of Republic Act Numbered .i=t9
nine hundred sevent9five 1R.A. No. )6*72, otherwise 4nown as P5he ,epart"ent of the 0nterior an! /ocal Go9ern"ent
Act of &HHG,Q and the rules and re"ulations issued pursuant thereto.
'n particular, .ection )5, Chapter 7 of R.A. No. )6*7
D36E
on the Bureau of %ail Mana"ement and Penolo" provides?
.ec. )5. Powers an! -unctions. 9 The %ail Bureau shall e=ercise supervision and control over all cit and municipal
!ails. T;$ 8%o:(*+(a/ La(/) );a// .$ )!8$%:()$" a*" +o*&%o//$" .y &;$ 8%o:(*+(a/ #o:$%*-$*& within its !urisdiction,
whose e=penses shall be subsidi;ed b the National $overnment for not more than three 1A2 ears after the effectivit of
this Act.
The power of control is the power of an officer to alter or modif or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance
of his duties and to substitute the !ud"ment of the former for that of the latter.
D33E
An officer in control las down the rules in the doin" of an
act. 'f the are not followed, he ma, in his discretion, order the act undone or re9done b his subordinate or he ma even decide to do it
himself.
D34E

@n the other hand, the power of supervision means Poverseein" or the authorit of an officer to see to it that the subordinate officers
perform their duties.Q
D35E
'f the subordinate officers fail or ne"lect to fulfill their duties, the official ma ta4e such action or step as
prescribed b law to ma4e them perform their duties. Essentiall, the power of supervision means no more than the power of ensurin"
that laws are faithfull e=ecuted, or that subordinate officers act within the law.
D36E
The supervisor or superintendent merel sees to it that
the rules are followed, but he does not la down the rules, nor does he have discretion to modif or replace them.
D37E
.i"nificantl, it is the provincial "overnment and not the "overnor alone which has authorit to e=ercise control and supervision over
provincial !ails. 'n an case, neither of said powers authori;es the doin" of acts beond the parameters set b law. @n the contrar,
subordinates must be en!oined to act within the bounds of law. 'n the event that the subordinate performs an act ultra 9ires, rules ma be
laid down on how the act should be done, but alwas in conformit with the law.
'n a desperate attempt to stretch the scope of his powers, petitioner Ambil, %r. cites .ection 5*A5, Article ''' of the Administrative
Code of 565* on Provincial !ails in support. .ection 5*A5 provides?
.EC. 5*A5. Pro9incial go9ernor as :eeper of jail.<T;$ #o:$%*o% o' &;$ 8%o:(*+$ );a// .$ +;a%#$" G(&; &;$
J$$8(*# o' &;$ 8%o:(*+(a/ La(/, a*" (& );a// .$ ;() "!&y &o a"-(*()&$% &;$ )a-$ (* a++o%"a*+$ G(&; /aG a*" &;$
%$#!/a&(o*) 8%$)+%(.$" 'o% &;$ #o:$%*-$*& o' 8%o:(*+(a/ 8%()o*). The immediate custod and supervision of the !ail
ma be committed to the care of a !ailer to be appointed b the provincial "overnor. The position of !ailer shall be re"arded
as within the unclassified civil service but ma be filled in the manner in which classified positions are filled, and if so filled,
the appointee shall be entitled to all the benefits and privile"es of classified emploees, e=cept that he shall hold office
onl durin" the term of office of the appointin" "overnor and until a successor in the office of the !ailer is appointed and
-ualified, unless sooner separated. T;$ 8%o:(*+(a/ #o:$%*o% );a//, !*"$% &;$ "(%$+&(o* o' &;$ 8%o:(*+(a/ .oa%" a*" a&
&;$ $@8$*)$ o' &;$ 8%o:(*+$, )!88/y 8%o8$% 'oo" a*" +/o&;(*# 'o% &;$ 8%()o*$%)N thou"h the provincial board ma, in
its discretion, let the contract for the feedin" of the prisoners to some other person. 1Emphasis supplied.2
This provision survived the advent of the Administrative Code of 568*. But a"ain, nowhere did said provision desi"nate the
provincial "overnor as the Pprovincial !ailer,Q or even sli"htl su""est that he is empowered to ta4e personal custod of prisoners. Fhat is
clear from the cited provision is that the provincial "overnorOs dut as a !ail 4eeper is confined to the administration of the !ail and the
procurement of food and clothin" for the prisoners. After all, administrative acts pertain onl to those acts which are necessar to be
done to carr out le"islative policies and purposes alread declared b the le"islative bod or such as are devolved upon it
D39E
b the
Constitution. Therefore, in the e=ercise of his administrative powers, the "overnor can onl enforce the law but not supplant it.
Besides, the onl reference to a transfer of prisoners in said article is found in .ection 5*A*
D39E
under which prisoners ma be turned
over to the !ail of the nei"hborin" province in case the provincial !ail be insecure or insufficient to accommodate all provincial
prisoners. #owever, this provision has been superseded b .ection A, Rule 55> of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as
amended. .ection A, Rule 55> provides?
.EC. A. ;o release or transfer e$cept on court or!er or bail.9No person under detention b le"al process shall be
released or transferred e=cept upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail.
'ndubitabl, the power to order the release or transfer of a person under detention b le"al process is vested in the court, not in the
provincial "overnment, much less the "overnor. This was ampl clarified b Asst. .ec. 'n"eniero in his communication
D40E
dated @ctober
), 5668 addressed to petitioner Ambil, %r. Asst. .ec. 'n"eniero wrote?
G) @ctober 566)
GO3ERNOR RUPERTO AMBIL
Provincial Capitol
Boron"an, Eastern .amar

0ear .ir?

This has reference to the letter of A&&y. E"G(* B. 2o+$*a, and the reports earlier received b this 0epartment, relative to
our alle"ed action in ta4in" into custod Mayo% F%a*+()+o IA()(*#M A"a/(- of Taft, that province, who has been
previousl arrested b virtue b a warrant of arrest issued in Criminal Case No. 5G6)A.

'f the report is true, it appears that our actuation is not in accord with the provision of .ection A, Rule 55A of the Rules of
Court, which mandates that an arrested person be delivered to the nearest police station or !ail.

Moreover, invo4in" S$+&(o* 61 o' RA 6975 as le"al basis in ta4in" custod of the accused municipal maor is
misplaced. .aid section merel spea4s of the power of supervision vested unto the provincial "overnor over provincial
!ails. 't does not, definitel, include the power to ta4e in custod an person in detention.

'n view of the fore"oin", ou are hereb en!oined to conduct ourself within the bounds of law and to immediatel deliver
Maor Adalim to the provincial !ail in order to avoid le"al complications.

Please be "uided accordin"l.

Her trul ours,

1.$0.2
ESUS I. INGENIERO
A))()&a*& S$+%$&a%y
.till, petitioner Ambil, %r. insisted on his supposed authorit as a Pprovincial !ailer.Q .aid petitionerOs usurpation of the courtBs
authorit, not to mention his open and willful defiance to official advice in order to accommodate a former political part mate,
D41E
betra his
unmista4able bias and the evident bad faith that attended his actions.
/i4ewise ampl established beond reasonable doubt is the third element of the crime. As mentioned above, in order to hold a
person liable for violation of .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56, it is re-uired that the act constitutin" the offense consist of either 152 causin"
undue in!ur to an part, includin" the "overnment, or 1+2 "ivin" an private part an unwarranted benefits, advanta"e or preference in
the dischar"e b the accused of his official, administrative or !udicial functions.
'n the case at hand, the 'nformation specificall accused petitioners of "ivin" unwarranted benefits and advanta"e to Maor
Adalim, a public officer char"ed with murder, b causin" his release from prison and detainin" him instead at the house of petitioner
Ambil, %r. Petitioner Ambil, %r. ne"ates the applicabilit of .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56 in this case on two points. &irst, .ection A1e2 is not
applicable to him alle"edl because the last sentence thereof provides that the Pprovision shall appl to officers and emploees of offices
or "overnment corporations char"ed with the "rant of licenses, permits or other concessionsQ and he is not such "overnment officer or
emploee. .econd, the purported unwarranted benefit was accorded not to a private part but to a public officer.
#owever, as re"ards his first contention, it appears that petitioner Ambil, %r. has obviousl lost si"ht, if he is not alto"ether unaware,
of our rulin" in Mejora!a 9. San!iganbayan
D46E
where we held that a prosecution for violation of .ection A1e2 of the Anti9$raft /aw will lie
re"ardless of whether or not the accused public officer is Pchar"ed with the "rant of licenses or permits or other concessions.Q &ollowin"
is an e=cerpt of what we said in Mejora!a,
.ection A cited above enumerates in eleven subsections the corrupt practices of an public officers 1sic2 declared
unlawful. 'ts reference to Pan public officerQ is without distinction or -ualification and it specifies the acts declared
unlawful. Fe a"ree with the view adopted b the .olicitor $eneral that the last sentence of para"raph K.ection AL 1e2 is
intended to ma4e clear the inclusion of officers and emploees of officers 1sic2 or "overnment corporations which, under
the ordinar concept of Ppublic officersQ ma not come within the term. 0t is a straine! construction of the pro9ision to rea!
it as applying e$clusi9ely to public officers charge! with the !uty of granting licenses or per"its or other concessions.
D43E
1'talics supplied.2
'n the more recent case of Cru> 9. San!iganbayan,
D44E
we affirmed that a prosecution for violation of said provision will lie
re"ardless of whether the accused public officer is char"ed with the "rant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
D45E

Meanwhile, re"ardin" petitioner Ambil, %r.Os second contention, .ection +1b2 of R.A. No. AG56 defines a Ppublic officerQ to include
elective and appointive officials and emploees, permanent or temporar, whether in the classified or unclassified or e=emption service
receivin" compensation, even nominal from the "overnment. Evidentl, Maor Adalim is one. But considerin" that .ection A1e2 of R.A.
No. AG56 punishes the "ivin" b a public officer of unwarranted benefits to a private part, does the fact that Maor Adalim was the
recipient of such benefits ta4e petitionersO case beond the ambit of said lawJ
Fe believe not.
'n draftin" the Anti9$raft /aw, the lawma4ers opted to use Pprivate partQ rather than Pprivate personQ to describe the recipient of the
unwarranted benefits, advanta"e or preference for a reason. The term PpartQ is a technical word havin" a precise meanin" in le"al
parlance
D46E
as distin"uished from PpersonQ which, in "eneral usa"e, refers to a human bein".
D47E
Thus, a private person simpl pertains to
one who is not a public officer. Fhile a private part is more comprehensive in scope to mean either a private person or a public officer
actin" in a private capacit to protect his personal interest.
'n the present case, when petitioners transferred Maor Adalim from the provincial !ail and detained him at petitioner Ambil, %r.Os
residence, the accorded such privile"e to Adalim, not in his official capacit as a maor, but as a detainee char"ed with murder. Thus,
for purposes of applin" the provisions of .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56, Adalim was a private part.
Moreover, in order to be found "uilt under the second mode, it suffices that the accused has "iven un!ustified favor or benefit to
another in the e=ercise of his official, administrative or !udicial functions.
D49E
The word PunwarrantedQ means lac4in" ade-uate or official
support, un!ustified, unauthori;ed or without !ustification or ade-uate reason. PAdvanta"eQ means a more favorable or improved position
or condition, benefit, profit or "ain of an 4ind, benefit from some course of action. PPreferenceQ si"nifies priorit or hi"her evaluation or
desirabilit, choice or estimation above another.
D49E

Fithout a court order, petitioners transferred Adalim and detained him in a place other than the provincial !ail. The latter was
housed in much more comfortable -uarters, provided better nourishment, was free to move about the house and watch
television. Petitioners readil e=tended these benefits to Adalim on the mere representation of his lawers that the maorOs life would be
put in dan"er inside the provincial !ail.
As the .andi"anbaan ruled, however, petitioners were unable to establish the e=istence of an ris4 on AdalimOs safet. To be sure,
the latter would not be alone in havin" unfriendl compan in loc4up. 3et, even if we treat A4atanOs "esture of raisin" a closed fist at
Adalim as a threat of a""ression, the same would still not constitute a special and compellin" reason to warrant AdalimOs detention
outside the provincial !ail. &or one, there were nipa huts within the perimeter fence of the !ail which could have been used to separate
Adalim from the rest of the prisoners while the isolation cell was under"oin" repair. Anhow, such repair could not have e=ceeded the 87
das that Adalim staed in petitioner Ambil, %r.Os house. More importantl, even if Adalim could have proven the presence of an imminent
peril on his person to petitioners, a court order was still indispensable for his transfer.
The fore"oin", indeed, ne"ates the application of the !ustifin" circumstances claimed b petitioners.
.pecificall, petitioner Ambil, %r. invo4es the !ustifin" circumstance of fulfillment of dut or lawful e=ercise of ri"ht or office. Dnder
para"raph 7, Article 55 of the RPC, an person who acts in the fulfillment of a dut or in the lawful e=ercise of a ri"ht or office does not
incur an criminal liabilit. 'n order for this !ustifin" circumstance to appl, two re-uisites must be satisfied? 152 the accused acted in the
performance of a dut or in the lawful e=ercise of a ri"ht or office, and 1+2 the in!ur caused or the offense committed be the necessar
conse-uence of the !ue performance of dut or the lawful e=ercise of such ri"ht or office.
D50E
Both re-uisites are lac4in" in petitioner
Ambil, %r.Os case.
As we have earlier determined, petitioner Ambil, %r. e=ceeded his authorit when he ordered the transfer and detention of Adalim at
his house. Needless to state, the resultin" violation of the Anti9$raft /aw did not proceed from the due performance of his dut or lawful
e=ercise of his office.
'n li4e manner, petitioner Apelado, .r. invo4es the !ustifin" circumstance of obedience to an order issued for some lawful
purpose. Dnder para"raph ), Article 55 of the RPC, an person who acts in obedience to an order issued b a superior for some lawful
purpose does not incur an criminal liabilit. &or this !ustifin" circumstance to appl, the followin" re-uisites must be present? 152 an
order has been issued b a superior, 1+2 such order must be for some lawful purpose, and 1A2 the means used b the subordinate to carr
out said order is lawful.
D51E
@nl the first re-uisite is present in this case.
Fhile the order for AdalimOs transfer emanated from petitioner Ambil, %r., who was then $overnor, neither said order nor the means
emploed b petitioner Apelado, .r. to carr it out was lawful. 'n his capacit as the Provincial %ail Farden of Eastern .amar, petitioner
Apelado, .r. fetched Maor Adalim at the provincial !ail and, unarmed with a court order, transported him to the house of petitioner Ambil,
%r. This ma4es him liable as a principal b direct participation under Article 5*152
D56E
of the RPC.
An accepted bad"e of conspirac is when the accused b their acts aimed at the same ob!ect, one performin" one part of and
another performin" another so as to complete it with a view to the attainment of the same ob!ect, and their acts althou"h apparentl
independent were in fact concerted and cooperative, indicatin" closeness of personal association, concerted action and concurrence of
sentiments.
D53E

Conspirac was sufficientl demonstrated b petitioner Apelado, .r.Os willful cooperation in e=ecutin" petitioner Ambil, %r.Os order to
move Adalim from !ail, despite the absence of a court order. Petitioner Apelado, .r., a law "raduate, cannot hide behind the cloa4 of
i"norance of the law. The Rule re-uirin" a court order to transfer a person under detention b le"al process is elementar. Truth be told,
even petitioner "overnor who is unschooled in the intricacies of the law e=pressed reservations on his power to transfer Adalim. All said,
the concerted acts of petitioners Ambil, %r. and Apelado, .r. resultin" in the violation char"ed, ma4es them e-uall responsible as
conspirators.
As re"ards the penalt imposed upon petitioners, .ection 61a2 of R.A. No. AG56 punishes a public officer or a private person who
violates .ection A of R.A. No. AG56 with imprisonment for not less than si= 1)2 ears and one 152 month to not more than fifteen 1572 ears
and perpetual dis-ualification from public office. Dnder .ection 5 of the 'ndeterminate .entence /aw or Act No. >5GA, as amended b
Act No. >++7, if the offense is punished b a special law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the
ma=imum term of which shall not e=ceed the ma=imum fi=ed b said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term
prescribed b the same.
Thus, the penalt imposed b the .andi"anbaan upon petitioner Ambil, %r. of imprisonment for nine 162 ears, ei"ht 182 months and
one 152 da to twelve 15+2 ears and four 1>2 months is in accord with law. As a co9principal without the benefit of an incomplete !ustifin"
circumstance to his credit, petitioner Apelado, .r. shall suffer the same penalt.
1HEREFORE, the consolidated petitions are 2ENIE2. The 0ecision of the .andi"anbaan in Criminal Case No. +786+ is AFFIRME2
1ITH MO2IFICATION. Fe find petitioners Ruperto A. Ambil, %r. and Ale=andrino R. Apelado, .r. "uilt beond reasonable doubt of violatin"
.ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56. Petitioner Ale=andrino R. Apelado, .r. is, li4ewise, sentenced to an indeterminate penalt of imprisonment for nine
162 ears, ei"ht 182 months and one 152 da to twelve 15+2 ears and four 1>2 months.
Fith costs a"ainst the petitioners.
SO OR2ERE2.
THIR2 2I3ISION

PPCHIEF INSPECTOR FERNAN2O
BILLE2O,
SPO3 RO2RIGO 2OMINGO, PO3
ORGE LOPE,, FER2INAN2 CRU,,
a*" MARIANO CRU,,
Petitioners,


9 versus 9


1ILHELMINA 1AGAN,P%$)("(*# !"#$
o' &;$
R$#(o*a/ T%(a/ Co!%&
o' B%a*+; III, Pa)ay C(&y,
Public Respondent.



G.R. No. 175091

Present?

CARP'@,
W
.
HE/A.C@, %R., Chairperson,
ABA0,
MEN0@(A, and
.EREN@,
W W
.




Promul"ated?


ALBERTO MINA, NILO A0 MINA AN2
FER2INAN2 CAASI,
Private Respondents.
%ul 5A, +G55


E 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 E

2 E C I S I O N

#()'O/A, J.:


At bench is a petition for certiorari under Rule )7 as petitioners Police Chief 'nspector CPC0D &ernando Billedo, .enior Police
@fficer A CSP2(D Rodri"o 0omin"o, Police @fficer A CP2(D %or"e /ope;, &erdinand Cru;, and Mariano Cru; CpetitionersD, alle"e "rave
abuse of discretion on the part of the %ud"e Filhelmina Fa"an Cpublic respon!entD of the Re"ional Trial Court, Branch 555, Pasa
Cit C?5CD, in issuin" the @rders dated? 012 Ma 8, +GG),
K5L
032 %ul 5+, +GG),
K+L
and 042 Au"ust +), +GG),
KAL
in Civil Case No. GG9
GG86, entitled E;ilo ay Mina, et al. 9. Mariano Cru>, et al.Q for dama"es. The assailed orders denied the Motion to 0ismiss filed b one of
the petitioners, &erdinand Cru;.

T;$ Fa+&)5


The case stemmed from the arrest of complainants Alberto Mina, Nilo %a Mina and &erdinand Caasi on &ebruar +*, +GGG alon"
an alle, 'nterior AA+, Edan" .treet, Pasa Cit, b petitioners9police officers. The were reported to have been cau"ht in flagrante
!elicto drin4in" li-uor in a public place. The complainants alle"ed that their arrest was unlawful and was onl upon the inducement and
un!ustifiable accusation of &erdinand Cru; and Mariano Cru; Cthe Cru>esD.
K>L
Thereafter, the were char"ed before
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasa Cit CMe5CD with a violation of Cit @rdinance No. +)7 10rin4in" /i-uor in Public Places2, which was
doc4eted as Criminal Case No. GG9)+5.

@n March +G, +GGG, after the said incident, the complainants filed Civil Case No. GG9GG86 a"ainst the petitioners for dama"es.

.ubse-uentl, criminal complaints were also filed a"ainst the petitioners before the Cit Prosecution @ffice CCP2D and the @ffice
of the @mbudsmanC2"bu!s"anD for Dnlawful Arrest and Hiolation of R.A. No. *>A8 1Act 0efinin" Ri"hts of Person Dnder Custodial
'nvesti"ation2. The CP@ !is"isse! the case for lac4 of merit while the @mbudsman, in its %oint Resolution dated @ctober 5A, +GGG,
K7L
!is"isse! both complaints for lac4 of probable cause, but recommended the filin" of A correspondin" criminal informations for Hiolation
of .ection A1e2, R.A. No. AG56. Thus?

1HEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereb recommended that an 'nformation of 3IOLATION OF R.A. 3019,
SEC. 3 <$=, for three 1A2 counts be FILE2in court a"ainst SPO3 RO2RIGO 2OMINGO, PO3 ORGE LOPE,, MARIANO
CRU, and FER2INAN2 CRU,. Fhile the other respondents, PPCINSP. FERNAN2O BILLE2O and SPOI 2ANIEL
OCAMPO be ABSOL3E2 from an criminal liabilit for lac4 of sufficient evidence. &urther, there bein" an administrative
case filed before the P/EB9Pasa Cit a"ainst police respondents, let the said forum continue its proceedin"s, and that
the same be consideredCLOSE2 and TERMINATE2, insofar as this @ffice is concerned.

SO RESOL3E2.


After the criminal informations for Hiolation of R.A. No. AG56 were filed, the cases were remanded to the CP@ for the conduct of
the new preliminar investi"ation on motion of the accused.

@n %ul +*, +GG5, the CP@ recommended the !is"issal of the cases for lac4 of merit.
K)L
Pertinentl, +
nd
Assistant Cit
Prosecutor %oselito Hibandor e=plained that there was no fault on the part of the Cru;es when the reported a "roup of
individuals drin4in" alon" an alle which prompted the police officers to respond to a call of dut. The facts and circumstances
surroundin" their arrest were clearl spelled out in the Affidavit of Arrest of the police officers. Fhile it ma be ar"ued that the Cru;es
ma have been biased, there appeared to be a semblance of truth to their report when private respondents were arrested b the
police officers. Besides, the subse-uent filin" of the correspondin" information after the in-uest investi"ation for a violation of a cit
ordinance, is per se an imprimatur of the le"alit of their arrest.


































@n Au"ust +6, +GG5, the @mbudsman recommended the approval of the
CP@ Resolution. .pecificall, the Review and Recommendation
K*L
of the @mbudsman reads?

After "ivin" a careful loo4 at the records of the case and the facts and incidents that transpired, the undersi"ned
@mbudsman Prosecutor a"rees with prosecutor Hibandor that there is doubtful merit of the offenses filed for Hiolation of
.ection A 1e2, RA AG56 a"ainst the accused. 't appears that the arrestin" policemen have in fact filed a case for Hiolation
of @rdinance a"ainst the three 1A2 complainants which was indorsed for 'n-uest 'nvesti"ation and later filed in court. This
shows that there was substantial basis, of their performance of official dut, for otherwise, it would not have passed the
in-uest. #ence, the presence of manifest partialit or evident bad faith is "ravel -uestionable to warrant filin" of Hiolation
of .ection A1e2, RA AG56.

PREMISES CONSI2ERE2, undersi"ned respectfull recommends for the APPRO3AL of the instant Resolution of
Att. Hibandor and the RECALL of the 'nformations filed with the Pasa Cit Re"ional Trial Court.


Meanwhile, the complainants were found "uilt b the MeTC for Hiolation of Cit @rdinance No. +)7.
K8L
Their conviction was
affirmed b the RTC, Branch 55>, Pasa Cit.
K6L
ComplainantsO Motion for Reconsideration was denied.
K5GL

Civil Case No. GG9GG86, on the other hand, proceeded with the trial with the complainants presentin" their first witness. Before
cross9e=amination, &erdinand A. Cru;, one of the petitioners, filed his Motion to 0ismiss,
K55L
alle"in" therein that it is the
.andi"anbaan which has !urisdiction over the civil case and not the RTC, and that conformabl to .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6,
K5+L
the
complainants are barred from filin" a separate and independent civil action.
Public respondent denied the motion to dismiss in her assailed Ma 8, +GG) @rder statin", amon" others, that under Article
+)6 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of Punlawful arrestQ is punishable b arresto "ayor and a fine not e=ceedin" 7GG pesos
which, under R.A. No. *)65, falls within the !urisdiction of appropriate Metropolitan Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court, as the case
ma be, contrar to the movantOs claim that it was the .andi"anbaan which has !urisdiction over the ancillar action for dama"es.

Public respondent further e=plained that had there been a criminal case for unlawful arrest filed before the MeTC, the civil
case for dama"es should have been transferred to it, but, there was none. .he also stated that the movant failed to attach certified
copies of resolutionsIorders dismissin" the complaint for unlawful arrest. Thus, she could not simpl rel on bare assertions or
con!ectures but must resolve the issues raised based on competent proof.


Petitioner &erdinand Cru; then filed a motion for reconsideration
K5AL
but it was denied in the assailed %ul 5+, +GG) @rder.
K5>L
Public respondent wrote that the situation was not within the purview of .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6. The provision su""ests of two
1+2 situations. -irst, a criminal action has been instituted before the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate courts after the re-uisite
preliminar investi"ation, and the correspondin" civil liabilit must be simultaneousl instituted with it. Secon!, the civil case, filed
ahead of the criminal case, is still pendin" upon the filin" of the criminal action, in which case, the civil case should be transferred to
the court trin" the criminal case for consolidation and !oint determination.

Considerin" the circumstances surroundin" the case, the public respondent opined that the case did not fall in an of the two
cited situations. Thus, she wrote?
B reason of the dismissal of the criminal complaint for unlawful arrest durin" the preliminar investi"ation sta"e,
there was no criminal action for unlawful arrest, from which the instant civil case was based, that was ultimatel filed with
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasa Cit, the appropriate court to hear and tr such offense under R.A.
8+>6. Conse-uentl, there is no appropriate court to which the instant case should be transferred as mandated under
.ection > of R.A. 8+6>. There should not have been an problem had the criminal case for unlawful arrest prospered or
reached the appropriate court as ratiocinated b this Court in its @rder dated Ma 8, +GG). But there was none.

====

Fell9settled in our !urisprudence is the rule that a cause of action for dama"es arisin" from the acts or omission
complained of as an offense is different and distinct from the prosecution of the offense itself. E=tinction of the penal
action does not carr with it the e=tinction of the civil action, unless the e=tinction proceeds from a declaration in a final
!ud"ment that the fact from which the civil liabilit mi"ht arise did not e=ist. Besides, it is elementar that an accused ma
be civill liable even if ac-uitted of the crime char"ed.
K57L


A .econd Motion for Reconsideration
K5)L
was filed but it was also denied b public respondent in her -uestioned Au"ust +),
+GG) @rder.
K5*L

A""rieved, petitioners come before this Court. Fhile the admit that the are aware of the principle of the hierarch of the
courts, the opted to directl appeal before this Court considerin" that the issue to be resolved entails an interpretation of .ection >,
R.A. No. 8+>6, otherwise 4nown as the P.andi"anbaan Act,Q which provides?

S$+&(o* 4. .ection > of the same decree is hereb further amended to read as follows?

= = =

'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principal, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or
emploees, includin" those emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said
public officers and emploees in the proper courts which shall e=ercise !urisdiction over them.

An provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrar notwithstandin", the criminal action and the correspondin"
civil action for the recover of civil liabilit shall at all times be simultaneousl instituted with and !ointl determined in, the
same proceedin" b the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate courts, the filin" of the criminal action bein" deemed to
necessaril carr with it the filin" of the civil action, and no ri"ht to reserve the filin" of such civil action separatel from the
criminal action shall be reco"ni;ed? Provided, however, that where the civil action had heretofore been filed separatel but
!ud"ment therein has not et been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the .andi"anbaan or the
appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate court, as the case ma be,
for consolidation and !oint determination with the criminal action, otherwise, &;$ )$8a%a&$ +(:(/ a+&(o* );a// .$ "$$-$"
a.a*"o*$".M KEmphasis .uppliedL

'n this petition, the petitioners presented this lone

ISSUE

1HETHER OR NOT THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OR AN0 OTHER COURTS HAS THE URIS2ICTION TO
TR0 CI3IL CASE NO. 00-0099 GI3EN THE MAN2ATOR0 SIMULTANEOUS INSTITUTION AN2 OINT
2ETERMINATION OF A CI3IL LIABILIT0 1ITH THE CRIMINAL ACTION AN2 THE EHPRESS PROHIBITION
TO FILE THE SAI2 CI3IL ACTION SEPARATEL0 FROM THE CRIMINAL ACTION AS PRO3I2E2 FOR UN2ER
SECTION 4 OF REPUBLIC ACT 9649R
K58L



After a careful review of the records, the Court finds no commission of a "rave abuse of discretion which can be attributed to
the public respondent in issuin" the challen"ed @rders dated Ma 8, +GG), %ul 5+, +GG) and Au"ust +), +GG).

As correctl pointed out b the public respondent, the sub!ect civil case does not fall within the purview of .ection > of R.A. No.
8+>6 as the latter part of this provision contemplates onl two C'D situations. These were correctl pointed out b the public
respondent as follows? -irst, a criminal action has been instituted before the .andi"anbaan or the appropriate courts after the
re-uisite preliminar investi"ation, and the correspondin" civil liabilit must be simultaneousl instituted with it, and Secon!, the civil
case, filed ahead of the criminal case, is still pendin" upon the filin" of the criminal action, in which case, the civil case should be
transferred to the court trin" the criminal case for consolidation and !oint determination.

Evidentl, .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6 finds no application in this case. No criminal action has been filed before the
.andi"anbaan or an appropriate court. Thus, there is *o appropriate court to which the sub!ect civil case can be transferred or
consolidated as mandated b the said provision.

't is also illo"ical to consider the civil case as abandoned simpl because the criminal cases a"ainst petitioners were
dismissed at the preliminar sta"e. A readin" of the latter part of .ection > of R.A. No. 8+6> su""ests that the civil case will onl be
considered abandoned if there is a pen!ing criminal case and the civil case was not transferred to the court trin" the criminal case
for !oint determination.

The criminal char"es a"ainst petitioners mi"ht have been dismissed at the preliminar sta"e for lac4 of probable cause, but
it does not mean that the civil case instituted prior to the filin" of the criminal complaints is alread baseless as the complainants can
prove their cause of action in the civil case b mere preponderance of evidence.

Fhile the dismissal of the criminal cases a"ainst them for Hiolation of R.A. No. *>A8 1Acts 0efinin" Ri"hts of Persons Dnder
Custodial 'nvesti"ation2 and unlawful arrest and the conviction of the complainants for Hiolation of Cit @rdinance No. +)7 10rin4in"
/i-uor in Public Place2,
K56L
mi"ht be factors that can be considered in their favor, the petitioners should have proceeded with the trial of
the civil case pendin" before the public respondent instead of filin" this petition.

The rule is that an order denin" a motion to dismiss is merel interlocutor and, therefore, not appealable,
K+GL
Peven on pure
-uestions of law.Q
K+5L
Neither can it be sub!ect of a petition for review on certiorari. .uch order ma onl be reviewed in the ordinar
course of law b an appeal from the !ud"ment after trial. The rule is founded on considerations of orderl procedure, to forestall
useless appeals and avoid undue inconvenience to the appealin" part b havin" to assail orders as the are promul"ated b the
court, when all such orders ma be contested in a sin"le appeal.
K++L

All told, the Court finds that the public respondent committed no "rave abuse of discretion amountin" to lac4 or e=cess of
!urisdiction in issuin" the assailed orders.

1HEREFORE, the petition is 2ENIE2.

SO OR2ERE2.
Republic of the Philippines
.upreme Court
Manila


THIR2 2I3ISION


ESUS TORRES,
Petitioner,




9 9ersus %




PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent.
G.R. No. 175074

P%$)$*&?

HE/A.C@, %R., .,Chairperson,
PERA/TA,
ABA0,
MEN0@(A, and
.EREN@,
W
.

P%o-!/#a&$"?

Au"ust A5, +G55
= 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9=


2 E C I S I O N


PERALTA, J.5

This is a petition for review on certiorari see4in" to reverse and set aside the Resolution
K5L
dated .eptember ), +GG) and
Resolution dated @ctober 5*, +GG)
K+L
of the Court of Appeals 1CA2 in CA9$.R. CR No. +6)6>.

The factual and procedural antecedents are as follows?

'n an 'nformation
KAL
dated November 57, 566>, petitioner %esus D. Torres was char"ed with the crime of Malversation of Public
&unds before the Re"ional Trial Court 1RTC2, Branch >+, Hirac, Catanduanes, the accusator portion of which reads?

That on or about the +*
th
da of April 566>, or sometime subse-uent thereto, in the Municipalit of Hirac,
Catanduanes, Philippines and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, the above9named accused, a public officer,
bein" then the Principal of Hi"a Rural 0evelopment #i"h .chool, Hi"a, Catanduanes, and as such b reason of his office
and duties is responsible and accountable for public funds entrusted to and received b him, to wit? PNB Chec4s 1sic2
Nos. C968A58+9N for P>+,GAA.A+, C968A58A9N for P67,)8G.86, C968A58>9N forP78,6>G.AA, all dated April +), 566> in the
total amount of @NE #DN0RE0 N'NET39.'E T#@D.AN0 .'E #DN0RE0 &'&T39&@DR PE.@. and &'&T39&@DR
CEN.TAH@. 1P56),)7>.7>2, Philippine Currenc, representin" salaries, salar differentials, additional compensation
allowance and Personal Emer"enc Relief Allowance from %anuar to March 566> of the emploees of the said school,
ta4in" advanta"e of his position and committin" the offense in relation to his office, encashed said chec4s with the
Philippine National Ban4, Hirac, Catanduanes Branch and once in possession of the mone, did then and there willfull,
unlawfull and feloniousl and with "rave abuse of confidence, misappl, misappropriate, embe;;le and convert to his
personal use and benefit the aforementioned amount of mone, to the dama"e and pre!udice of the $overnment.

Contrar to law.


Dpon his arrai"nment, petitioner pleaded not "uilt to the crime char"ed. Conse-uentl, trial on the merits ensued.

E:("$*+$ 'o% &;$ P%o)$+!&(o*

KPetitionerL %esus Torres Dchi was the principal of Hi"a Rural 0evelopment #i"h .chool 1HR0#.2. @n April +),
566>, he directed Edmundo /a;ado, the schoolOs collection and disbursin" officer, to prepare the chec4s representin" the
teachersO and emploeesO salaries, salar differentials, additional compensation allowance 1ACA2 and personal emer"enc
relief allowance 1PERA2 for the months of %anuar to March, 566>. /a;ado prepared three 1A2 chec4s in the total amount
of P56),)7>.7>, all dated April +), 566>, 9i>L PNB Chec4 Nos. C968A58+9N for P>+,GAA.A+, C968A58A9N for P67,)8G.86,
C968A58>9N for P78,6>G.AA 1E=hs. PAQ, PBQ and PCQ2. The KpetitionerL and Amador Borre, #ead Teacher ''', si"ned the
three 1A2 chec4s 1T.N, Au". AG, +GG5, pp. >982.



Dpon the instruction of the KpetitionerL, /a;ado endorsed the chec4s and handed them to the accused. 't was the
custom in the school for /a;ado to endorse the chec4s representin" the teachersO salaries and for the accused to encash
them at PNB, Hirac Branch and deliver the cash to /a;ado for distribution to the teachers 1'd., pp. 5+95*2.

The followin" da, April +*, 566>, the accused encashed the three 1A2 chec4s at PNB, Hirac Branch but he never
returned to the school to deliver the mone to /a;ado 1'd., pp. 8962.
K>L


E:("$*+$ 'o% &;$ 2$'$*)$

The KpetitionerL admitted that he encashed the sub!ect chec4s at PNB, Hirac Branch in the mornin" of April +*,
566> but instead of "oin" bac4 to the school, he proceeded to the airport and availed of the fli"ht to Manila to see4
medical attention for his chest pain. Two 1+2 das after, around >?AG oOcloc4 in the mornin" of April +6, 566>, while he and
his nephew were on the road waitin" for a ride, three 1A2 armed men held them up and too4 his ba" containin" his
personal effects and the proceeds of the sub!ect chec4s. #e reported the incident to the police authorities, but he failed to
recover the mone 1T.N, Nov. 5+, +GG+, pp. 559+72.
K7L


@n Au"ust A5, +GG7, after findin" that the prosecution has established all the elements of the offense char"ed, the RTC rendered
a 0ecision
K)L
convictin" petitioner of the crime of Malversation of Public &unds, the decretal portion of which reads?


F#ERE&@RE, the Court finds the accused %esus Torres Dchi $D'/T3 beond reasonable doubt of the crime of
malversation of public funds as defined and penali;ed under Article +5* of the Revised Penal Code, and hereb
sentences him to suffer the indeterminate penalt of imprisonment ran"in" from 5+ ears and 5 da of reclusion
te"poral, as minimum, and to 58 ears, 8 months and 5 da of reclusion te"poral, as ma=imum, to suffer the penalt of
perpetual special dis-ualification, and to pa the fine of P56),)7>.7> with subsidiar imprisonment in case of insolvenc.

.@ @R0ERE0.
K*L



@n .eptember 8, +GG7, petitioner filed his Notice of Appeal,
K8L
where it was indicated that he was see4in" recourse and appealin"
the decision of the RTC before the Court of Appeals.


@n &ebruar 5G, +GG), petitioner filed a Manifestation and Motion
K6L
ac4nowled"in" that he filed the appeal before the wron"
tribunal. Petitioner eventuall praed, amon" other thin"s, that the case be referred to the .andi"anbaan for appropriate action.

'n its Comment
K5GL
filed on %une +6, +GG), the @ffice of the .olicitor $eneral praed that the appeal be dismissed outri"ht, since
transmittal to the proper court, in cases of erroneous modes of appeal, are proscribed.

@n .eptember ), +GG), the CA issued a Resolution dismissin" the appeal, the dispositive portion of which reads?

1HEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Section ', ?ule 6G of the ?ules and Section M of SC Circular ;o. '%HG,
the instant appeal hereb is 0'.M'..E0 @DTR'$#T for lac4 of !urisdiction.

SO OR2ERE2.
K55L


Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
K5+L
but was denied in the Resolution
K5AL
dated @ctober 5*, +GG).

#ence, the petition raisin" the sole error?


F#ET#ER T#E #@N@RAB/E C@DRT @& APPEA/. ERRE0 'N 0'.M'..'N$ T#E PET'T'@NERO. APPEA/
@DTR'$#T 'N.TEA0 @& CERT'&3'N$ T#E CA.E T@ T#EPR@PER C@DRT.
K5>L
Petitioner maintains that he inadvertentl filed the notice of appeal before the Court of Appeals instead of the
.andi"anbaan. Petitioner implores that the Court e=ercise its sound discretion and prero"ative to rela= compliance to sound procedural
rules and to decide the case on the merits, considerin" that from the be"innin", he has been candid and strai"htforward about the fact
that the case was wron"full filed with the Court of Appeals instead of the .andi"anbaan.

The petition is without merit.

Para"raph A, .ection > 1c2 of Republic Act No. 8+>6 1RA 8+>62,
K57L
which defined the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan, provides?

The San!iganbayan shall e=ercise $@+/!)(:$ a88$//a&$ L!%()"(+&(o* over final !ud"ments, resolutions or orders of
the re"ional trial courts whether in the e=ercise of their own ori"inal !urisdiction or of their appellate !urisdiction as herein
provided.
K5)L


#ence, upon his conviction, petitionerOs remed should have been an appeal to the .andi"anbaan. There is nothin" in said
para"raph which can conceivabl !ustif the filin" of petitionerOs appeal before the Court of Appeals instead of the
.andi"anbaan. Clearl, the Court of Appeals is bereft of an !urisdiction to review the !ud"ment petitioner see4s to appeal.
K5*L

't must be emphasi;ed, however, that the desi"nation of the wron" court does not necessaril affect the validit of the notice of
appeal. #owever, the desi"nation of the proper court should be made within the 579da period to appeal. @nce made within the said
period, the desi"nation of the correct appellate court ma be allowed even if the records of the case are forwarded to the Court of
Appeals. @therwise, .ection +, Rule 7G of the Rules of Court would appl,
K58L
the relevant portion of which states?

.ec. +. ,is"issal of i"proper appeal to the Court of Appeals. S = = =

A* a88$a/ $%%o*$o!)/y &aJ$* &o &;$ Co!%& o' A88$a/) );a// *o& .$ &%a*)'$%%$" &o &;$ a88%o8%(a&$ +o!%&, .!&
);a// .$ "()-())$" o!&%(#;&.
K56L


'n the case at bar, petitioner sou"ht correction of the error in filin" the appeal wa beond the e=piration of the period to appeal
the decision. The RTC promul"ated its 0ecision on Au"ust A5, +GG7. Petitioner filed his Notice of Appeal on .eptember 8,
+GG7. Petitioner tried to correct the error onl on &ebruar 5G, +GG) when he filed his Manifestation and Motion. Clearl, this is beond
the 579da period to appeal from the decision of the trial court. Therefore, the CA did not commit an reversible error when it dismissed
petitionerOs appeal for lac4 of !urisdiction.

Besides, even if we loo4 into the merits of his ar"uments, the case is doomed to fail. Contrar to petitionerOs ar"ument, Fe find
that he is an accountable officer within the contemplation of Article +5*
K+GL
of the Revised Penal Code, hence, is untenable.
An accountable public officer, within the purview of Article +5* of the Revised Penal Code, is one who has custod or control of
public funds or propert b reason of the duties of his office.
K+5L
The nature of the duties of the public officer or emploee, the fact that as
part of his duties he received public mone for which he is bound to account and failed to account for it, is the factor which determines
whether or not malversation is committed b the accused public officer or emploee. #ence, a school principal of a public hi"h school,
such as petitioner, ma be held "uilt of malversation if he or she is entrusted with public funds and misappropriates the same.

Petitioner also posits that he could not be convicted under the alle"ations in the 'nformation without violatin" his constitutional
ri"ht to be informed of the accusations a"ainst him. #e maintains that the 'nformation clearl char"ed him with intentional malversation
and not malversation throu"h ne"li"ence, which was the actual nature of malversation for which he was convicted b the trial court. This
too lac4s merit.

Malversation ma be committed either throu"h a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or propert, or passivel throu"h
ne"li"ence.
K++L
To sustain a char"e of malversation, there must either be criminal intent or criminal ne"li"ence, and while the prevailin"
facts of a case ma not show that deceit attended the commission of the offense, it will not preclude the reception of evidence to prove
the e=istence of ne"li"ence because both are e8ually punishable under Article +5* of the Revised Penal Code.
K+AL

More in point, the felon involves breach of public trust, and whether it is committed throu"h deceit or ne"li"ence, the law ma4es
it punishable and prescribes a uniform penalt therefor. Even when the 'nformation char"es willful malversation, conviction for
malversation throu"h ne"li"ence ma still be ad!ud"ed if the evidence ultimatel proves the mode of commission of the offense.
K+>L

E=plicitl stated S

= = = KELven on the putative assumption that the evidence a"ainst petitioner ielded a case of malversation b ne"li"ence,
but the information was for intentional malversation, under the circumstances of this case, his conviction under the first
mode of misappropriation would still be in order. Malversation is committed either intentionall or b
ne"li"ence. The !olo or the culpapresent in the offense is onl a modalit in the perpetration of the felon. Even if the
mode char"ed differs from mode proved, the same offense of malversation is involved and conviction thereof is proper. = =
=
K+7L


1HEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is 2ENIE2. The Resolutions dated .eptember ), +GG) and @ctober 5*,
+GG) of the Court of Appeals in CA9$.R. CR No. +6)6> are AFFIRME2.

SO OR2ERE2.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
&'R.T 0'H'.'@N
G.R. No). 169963-64 S$8&$-.$% 11, 6013
HERMINIO T. 2ISINI, Petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. SAN2IGANBA0AN, FIRST 2I3ISION, AN2 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
= 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 =
G.R. No). 174764-65
HERMINIO T. 2ISINI, Petitioner,
vs.
SAN2IGANBA0AN, FIRST 2I3ISION, AN2 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
0 E C ' . ' @ N
BERSAMIN, J.:
The .andi"anbaan has e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction over the criminal action involvin" petitioner notwithstandin" that he is a private
individual considerin" that his criminal prosecution is intimatel related to the recover of ill9"otten wealth of the Marcoses, their
immediate famil, subordinates and close associates.
The Case
Petitioner #erminio T. 0isini assails via petition for certiorari there solutions promul"ated b the .andi"anbaan in Criminal Case No.
+8GG5and Criminal Case No. +8GG+, both entitled People v. #erminio T. 0isini, on %anuar 5*, +GG7 1denin" his motion to -uash the
informations2
5
and Au"ust 5G, +GG7 1denin" his motion for reconsideration of the denial of his motion to -uash2,
+
alle"in" that the
.andi"anbaan 1&irst 0ivision2 thereb committed "rave abuse of discretion amountin" to lac4 or e=cess of !urisdiction.
Antecedents
The @ffice of the @mbudsman filed two informations dated %une AG,+GG> char"in" 0isini in the .andi"anbaan with corruption of public
officials, penali;ed under Article +5+ in relation to Article +5G of the Revised Penal Code 1Criminal Case No. +8GG52, and with a violation
of .ection >1a2 of Republic Act AG56 1R.A. No. AG562, also 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act 1Criminal Case No. +8GG+2.
The accusator portions of the informations read as follows?
Criminal Case No. +8GG5
That durin" the period from 56*> to &ebruar 568), in Manila, Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of this #onorable Court, accused
#ERM'N'@ T. 0'.'N', conspirin" to"ether and confederatin" with the then President of the Philippines &erdinand E. Marcos, did then and
there, willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl offer, promise and "ive "ifts and presents to said &erdinand E. Marcos, consistin" of accused
0'.'N'Os ownership of two billion and five hundred 1+.7 billion2 shares of stoc4 in Hulcan 'ndustrial and Minin" Corporation and four billion
1> billion2shares of stoc4 in The Ener" Corporation, with both shares of stoc4 havin" then a boo4 value of P5GG.GG per share of stoc4,
and subcontracts, to En"ineerin" and Construction Compan of Asia, owned and controlled b said &erdinand E. Marcos, on the
mechanical and electrical construction wor4 on the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant Pro!ect1:Pro!ect:2 of the National Power Corporation at
Moron", Bataan, all for and in consideration of accused 0isini see4in" and obtainin" for Burns and Roe and Festin"house Electrical
Corporation 1Festin"house2, the contracts to do the en"ineerin" and architectural desi"n and to construct, respectivel, the Pro!ect, as in
fact said &erdinand E. Marcos, ta4in" undue advanta"e of his position and committin" the offense in relation to his office and in
consideration of the aforesaid "ifts and presents, did award or cause to be awarded to said Burns and Roe and Festin"house, the
contracts to do the en"ineerin" and architectural desi"n and to construct the Pro!ect, respectivel, which acts constitute the crime of
corruption of public officials.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
A
Criminal Case No. +8GG+
That durin" the period 56*> to &ebruar 568), in Manila, Philippines, and within the !urisdiction of the #onorable Court, accused
#ERM'N'@ T. 0'.'N', conspirin" to"ether and confederatin" with the then President of the Philippines, &erdinand E. Marcos, bein" then
the close personal friend and "olfin" partner of said &erdinand E. Marcos, and bein" further the husband of Paciencia Escolin90isini who
was the first cousin of then &irst /ad 'melda Romualde;9Marcos and famil phsicianof the Marcos famil, ta4in" advanta"e of such
close personal relation, intimac and free access, did then and there, willfull, unlawfull and criminall, in connection with the Philippine
Nuclear Power Plant 1PNPP2Pro!ect 1:PR@%ECT:2 of the National Power Corporation 1NPC2 at Moron", Bataan, re-uest and receive from
Burns and Roe, a forei"n consultant, the total amount of @ne Million D... 0ollars 1X5,GGG,GGG.GG2,more or less, and also from
Festin"house Electric Corporation1FE.T'N$#@D.E2, the total amount of .eventeen Million D... 0ollars1X5*,GGG,GGG.GG2, more or
less, both of which entities were then havin" business, transaction, and application with the $overnment of the Republic of the
Philippines, all for and in consideration of accused 0'.'N' securin" and obtainin", as accused 0isini did secure and obtain, the contract
for the said Burns and Roe and Festin"house to do the en"ineerin" and architectural desi"n, and construct, respectivel, the said
PR@%ECT, and subse-uentl, re-uest and receive subcontracts for Power Contractors, 'nc. owned b accused 0'.'N', and En"ineerin"
and Construction Compan of Asia 1ECC@9Asia2, owned and controlled b said &erdinand E. Marcos, which stated amounts and
subcontracts constituted 4ic4bac4s, commissions and "ifts as material or pecuniar advanta"es, for securin" and obtainin", as accused
0'.'N' did secure and obtain, throu"h the direct intervention of said &erdinand E. Marcos, for Burns and Roe the en"ineerin" and
architectural contract, and for Festin"house the construction contract, for the PR@%ECT.
C@NTRAR3 T@ /AF.
>
@n Au"ust +, +GG>, 0isini filed a motion to -uash,
7
alle"in" that the criminal actions had been e=tin"uished b prescription, and that the
informations did not conform to the prescribed form. The Prosecution opposed the motion to -uash.
)
@n .eptember 5), +GG>, 0isini voluntaril submitted himself for arrai"nment to obtain the .andi"anbaanOs favorable action on his
motion for permission to travel abroad.
*
#e then entered a plea of not "uilt to both informations.
As stated, on %anuar 5*, +GG7, the .andi"anbaan 1&irst 0ivision2 promul"ated its first assailed resolution denin" the motion to -uash.
8
0isini moved for the reconsideration of the resolution dated %anuar 5*, +GG7,
6
but the .andi"anbaan 1&irst 0ivision2 denied his motion
on Au"ust 5G, +GG7 throu"h the second assailed resolution.
5G
'ssues
Dndaunted, 0isini commenced this special civil action for certiorari, alle"in" that?
A. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT #A. N@ %DR'.0'CT'@N @HER T#E@&&EN.E. C#AR$E0.
5. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT $RAHE/3 ERRE0 F#EN 'TRD/E0 T#AT .ECT'@N >, PARA$RAP#. 1A2 AN0 1B2
@&REPDB/'C ACT N@. 8+>6 0@ N@T APP/3 .'NCE T#E'N&@RMAT'@N. FERE :&'/E0 PDR.DANT T@ E.@. N@..
5,+, 5> AN0 5>9A:.
+. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT $RAHE/3 ERRE0 F#EN 'TA..DME0 %DR'.0'CT'@N F'T#@DT #AH'N$ MET
T#EREND'.'TE DN0ER .ECT'@N > @& R.A. 8+>6 T#AT T#EACCD.E0 MD.T BE A PDB/'C @&&'CER.
B. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT ACTE0 F'T# .DC# $RAHEABD.E @& 0'.CRET'@N F#EN 'T E&&ECT'HE/3 '$N@RE0,
0'.RE$AR0E0, AN0 0EN'E0 PET'T'@NERO.C@N.T'TDT'@NA/ AN0 .TATDT@R3 R'$#T T@PRE.CR'PT'@N.
5. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT $RAHE/3 ERRE0 'N0ETERM'N'N$ T#E APP/'CAB/E PRE.CR'PT'HE PER'@0.
+. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT $RAHE/3 ERRE0 'N0ETERM'N'N$ T#E C@MMENCEMENT @& T#EPRE.CR'PT'HE
PER'@0.
A. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT $RAHE/3 ERRE0 'N0ETERM'N'N$ T#E P@'NT @& 'NTERRDPT'@N @&
T#EPRE.CR'PT'HE PER'@0.
C. B3 MERE/3 A..DM'N$ T#E PRE.ENCE @& $/AR'N$/3AB.ENT E/EMENT. 'N T#E @&&EN.E. C#AR$E0
T@DP#@/0 T#E R.D&&'C'ENC3O @& T#E 'N&@RMAT'@N. 'NCR'M'NA/ CA.E N@.. +8GG5 AN0 +8GG+, T#E
RE.P@N0ENTC@DRT 0EM@N.TRATE0 'T. PRE%D0$MENT @HER T#E .DB%ECT CA.E. AN0 ACTE0 F'T# $RAHE
ABD.E @& 'T.0'.CRET'@N.
0. T#E RE.P@N0ENT C@DRT ACTE0 F'T# $RAHE ABD.E @&0'.CRET'@N 'N RE&D.'N$ T@ NDA.# T#E
'N&@RMAT'@N.0E.P'TE T#E'R DTTER &A'/DRE T@ C@MP/3 F'T# T#EPRE.CR'BE0 &@RM, T#D. E&&ECT'HE/3
0EN3'N$ T#EACCD.E0 #'. C@N.T'TDT'@NA/ AN0 .TATDT@R3 R'$#TT@ BE 'N&@RME0 @& T#E NATDRE AN0 CAD.E
@& T#EACCD.AT'@N A$A'N.T #'M.
55
Rulin"
The petition for certiorari has no merit.
5.Preliminar Considerations
To properl resolve this case, reference is made to the rulin" of the Court in $.R. No. 5*7*AG entitled #erminio 0isini v.
.andi"anbaan,
5+
which involved the civil action for reconveance, reversion, accountin", restitution, and dama"es 1Civil Case No. GG5A
entitled Republic v. #erminioT. 0isini, et al.2 filed b the Presidential Commission on $ood $overnment1PC$$2 a"ainst 0isini and
others.
5A
The amended complaint in Civil Case No. GG5A alle"ed that 0isini had acted in unlawful concert with his co9defendants in
ac-uirin" and accumulatin" ill9"otten wealth throu"h them is appropriation of public funds, plunder of the nationOs wealth, e=tortion,
embe;;lement, and other acts of corruption,
5>
as follows?
>. 0efendant #ERM'N'@ T. 0'.'N' is a close associate of defendant &erdinand E. Marcos and the husband of the first cousin of
0efendant 'melda R. Marcos. B reason of this relationship === defendant #erminio 0isini obtained sta""erin" commissions from the
Festin"house in e=chan"e for securin" the nuclear power plant contract from the Philippine "overnment.
= = = =
5A. 0efendants #erminio T. 0isini and Rodolfo %acob, b themselves andIor in unlawful concert, active collaboration and willin"
participation of defendants &erdinand E. Marcos and 'melda R. Marcos, and ta4in" undue advanta"e of their association and influence
with the latter defendant spouses in order to prevent disclosure and recover of ill9"otten assets, en"a"ed in devices, schemes, and
strata"ems such as?
= = = =
1c2 unlawfull utili;in" the #erdis $roup of Companies and Asia 'ndustries, 'nc. as conduits throu"h which defendants received, 4ept,
andIor invested improper paments such as unconscionabl lar"e commissions from forei"n corporations li4e the Festin"house
Corporation, 1d2 secured special concessions, privile"es andIor benefits from defendants &erdinand E. Marcos and 'melda R. Marcos,
such as a contract awarded to Festin"house Corporation which built an inoperable nuclear facilit in the countr for a scandalousl
e=orbitant amount that included defendantOs sta""erin" commissions S defendant Rodolfo %acob e=ecuted for #$' the contract for the
aforesaid nuclear plant,
57
Throu"h its letter dated April 8, 5665,
5)
the PC$$ transmitted the records of Criminal Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+ to
then @mbudsman Conrado M. Has-ue; for appropriate action, to wit?
'n line with the decision of the .upreme Court in the case of EduardoM. Co!uan"co, %r. versus the PC$$ 1$.R. Nos. 6+A56S6+A+G2
dated @ctober +, 566G, we are hereb transmittin" to our @ffice for appropriate action the records of the attached criminal case which
we believe is similar to the said Co!uan"co case in certain aspects, such as? 1i2 some parts or elements are also parts of the causes of
action in the civil complaintsK9Lfiled with the .andi"anbaan, 1ii2 some properties or assets of the respondents have been se-uestered, 1iii2
some of the respondents are also part defendants in the civil cases.
Althou"h the authorit of the PC$$ has been upheld b the .upreme Court, we are constrained to refer to ou for proper action the
herein9attached case in view of the suspicion that the PC$$ cannot conduct an impartial investi"ation in cases similar to that of the
Co!uan"co case. = = =
@stensibl, the PC$$Os letter of transmittal was advertin" to the rulin" in Co!uan"co, %r. v. Presidential Commission on $ood
$overnment 1Co!uan"co, %r.2,
5*
vi;?
= = = The PC$$ and the .olicitor $eneral findin" a prima facie basis filed a civil complaint a"ainst petitioner and intervenors alle"in"
substantiall the same ille"al or criminal acts sub!ect of the subse-uent criminal complaints the .olicitor $eneral filed with the PC$$ for
preliminar investi"ation. = = =.
Moreover, when the PC$$ issued the se-uestration and free;e orders a"ainst petitionerOs properties, it was on the basis of a prima facie
findin" that the same were ill9"otten andIor were ac-uired in relation to the ille"al disposition of coconut lev funds. Thus, the Court finds
that the PC$$ cannot possibl conduct the preliminar investi"ation of said criminal complaints with the :cold neutralit of an impartial
!ud"e,: as it has pre!ud"ed the matter. = = =
58
= = = =
The Court finds that under the circumstances of the case, the PC$$ cannot inspire belief that it could be impartial in the conduct of the
preliminar investi"ation of the aforesaid complaints a"ainst petitioner and intervenors. 't cannot possibl preside in the said preliminar
investi"ation with an even hand.
The Court holds that a !ust and fair administration of !ustice can be promoted if the PC$$ would be prohibited from conductin" the
preliminar investi"ation of the complaints sub!ect of this petition and the petition for intervention and that the records of the same should
be forwarded to the @mbudsman, who as an independent constitutional officer has primar !urisdiction over cases of this nature, to
conduct such preliminar investi"ation and ta4e appropriate action.
56
1Bold emphasis supplied2
't appears that the resolutions of the @ffice of the @mbudsman, followin" its conduct of the preliminar investi"ation on the criminal
complaints thus transmitted b the PC$$, were reversed and set aside b the Court in Presidential Commission on $ood $overnment v.
0esierto,
+G
with the Court re-uirin" the @ffice of the @mbudsman to file the informations that became the sub!ect of 0isiniOs motion to -uash in
Criminal Case No.+8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+.
+.
.andi"anbaan has e=clusive and
ori"inal !urisdiction over the offenses char"ed
0isini challen"es the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan over the offenses char"ed in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No.
+8GG+.#e contends that? 152 the informations did not alle"e that the char"es were bein" filed pursuant to and in connection with
E=ecutive @rder 1E.@.2 Nos.5, +, 5> and 5>9A, 1+2 the offenses char"ed were not of the nature contemplated b E.@. Nos. 5, +, 5> and
5>9A because the alle"ations in the informations neither pertained to the recover of ill9"otten wealth, nor involved se-uestration cases,
1A2 the cases were filed b the @ffice of the @mbudsman instead of b the PC$$, and 1>2 bein" a private individual not char"ed as a co9
principal, accomplice or accessor of a public officer, he should be prosecuted in the re"ular courts instead of in the .andi"anbaan.
The @ffice of the .olicitor $eneral 1@.$2 counters that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over the offenses char"ed because Criminal
Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+ were filed within the purview of .ection > 1c2 of R.A. No. 8+>6, and that both cases
stemmed from the criminal complaints initiall filed b the PC$$ pursuant to its mandate under E.@. Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A to investi"ate
and file the appropriate civil or criminal cases to recover ill9"otten wealth not onl of the Marcoses and their immediatel famil but also of
their relatives, subordinates and close associates.
Fe hold that the .andi"anbaan has !urisdiction over Criminal Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+.
Presidential 0ecree 1P.0.2 No. 5)G) was the law that established the .andi"anbaan and defined its !urisdiction. The law was amended
b R.A. No. *6*7 and R.A. No. 8+>6. Dnder .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6, the .andi"anbaan was vested with ori"inal and e=clusive
!urisdiction over all cases involvin"?
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act
No.5A*6, and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials
occupin" the followin" positions in the "overnment whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the
commission of the offense?
= = = =
b. @ther offenses or felonies whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public officials and emploees
mentioned in subsection 1a2 of this section in relation to their office.
c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with E=ecutive @rder Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A, issued in 568). 1Bold
emphasis supplied2
'n cases where none of the accused are occupin" positions correspondin" to salar "rade R+*O or hi"her, as prescribed in the said
Republic Act No. )*78, or militar or PNP officers mentioned above, e=clusive ori"inal !urisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper
re"ional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court and municipal circuit trial court, as the case ma be, pursuant to their
respective !urisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Bl". 5+6, as amended.
= = = =
'n case private individuals are char"ed as co9principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or emploees, includin" those
emploed in "overnment9owned or controlled corporations, the shall be tried !ointl with said public officers and emploees in the proper
courts which shall e=ercise e=clusive !urisdiction over them. = = = =
't is underscored that it was the PC$$ that had initiall filed the criminal complaints in the .andi"anbaan, with the @ffice of the
@mbudsman ta4in" over the investi"ation of 0isini onl after the Court issued in Co!uan"co, %r. the directive to the PC$$ to refer the
criminal cases to the @ffice of the @mbudsman on the "round that the PC$$ would not be an impartial office followin" its findin" of a
prima facie case bein" established a"ainst 0isini to sustain the institution of Civil Case No. GG5A.
Also underscored is that the complaint in Civil Case No. GG5A and the informations in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No.
+8GG+involved the same transaction, specificall the contracts awarded throu"h the intervention of 0isini and President Marcos in favor
of Burns T Roe to do the en"ineerin" and architectural desi"n, and Festin"house to do the construction of the Philippine Nuclear Power
Plant Pro!ect 1PNPPP2. $iven their sameness in sub!ect matter, to still e=pressl aver in Criminal Case No.+8GG5 and Criminal Case No.
+8GG+ that the char"es involved the recover of ill9"otten wealth was no lon"er necessar.
+5
Fith Criminal Case No.+8GG5 and Criminal
Case No. +8GG+ bein" intertwined with Civil Case No.GG5A, the PC$$ had the authorit to institute the criminal prosecutions a"ainst
0isini pursuant to E.@. Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A.
That 0isini was a private individual did not remove the offenses char"ed from the !urisdiction of the .andi"anbaan. .ection + of E.@.
No.5, which tas4ed the PC$$ with assistin" the President in :the recover of all ill9"otten wealth accumulated b former President
&erdinand E. Marcos, his immediate famil, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad,
includin" the ta4eover or se-uestration of all business enterprises and entities owned or controlled b them, durin" his administration,
directl or throu"h nominees, b ta4in" undue advanta"e of their public office andIor usin" their powers, authorit, influence, connections
or relationship,: e=pressl "ranted the authorit of the PC$$ to recover ill9"otten wealth covered President MarcosO immediate famil,
relatives, subordinates and close associates, without distinction as to their private or public status.
Contrar to 0isiniOs ar"ument, too, the -ualifin" clause found in .ection > of R.A. No. 8+>6
++
applied onl to the cases listed in .ubsection >aand .ubsection >b of R.A. No. 8+>6, the full te=t of which follows?
= = = =
a. Hiolations of Republic Act No. AG56, as amended, otherwise 4nown as the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No.5A*6,
and Chapter '', .ection +, Title H'', Boo4 '' of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupin" the
followin" positions in the "overnment whether in a permanent, actin" or interim capacit, at the time of the commission of the offense?
152 @fficials of the e=ecutive branch occupin" the positions of re"ional director and hi"her, otherwise classified as $rade R+*O and
hi"her, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 56861Republic Act No. )*782, specificall includin"?
1a2 Provincial "overnors, vice9"overnors, members of the san""unian" panlalawi"an and provincial treasurers, assessors,
en"ineers and other provincial department heads,
1b2 Cit maors, vice9maors, members of the san""unian" panlun"sod, cit treasurers, assessors en"ineers and other
cit department heads,
1c2 @fficials of the diplomatic service occupin" the position of consul and hi"her,
1d2 Philippine arm and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of hi"her ran4,
1e2 @fficers of the Philippine National Police while occupin" the position of provincial director and those holdin" the ran4
of senior superintendent or hi"her,
1f2 Cit and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the @ffice of the @mbudsman and
special prosecutor,
1"2 Presidents, directors or trustees, or mana"ers of "overnment9owned or 9controlled corporations, state universities or
educational institutions or foundations,
1+2 Members of Con"ress and officials thereof classified as $radeR+*O and up under the Compensation and Position Classification
Act of 5686,
1A2 Members of the !udiciar without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution,
1>2 Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without pre!udice to the provisions of the Constitution, and
172 All other national and local officials classified as $rade R+*Oand hi"her under the Compensation and Position Classification Act
of 5686. b. @ther offenses or felonies whether simple or comple=ed with other crimes committed b the public officials and
emploees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 1bold emphasis supplied2
= = = =
Dn-uestionabl, public officials occupin" positions classified as $rade +* or hi"her are mentioned onl in .ubsection >a and .ubsection
>b,si"nifin" the plain le"islative intent of limitin" the -ualifin" clause to such public officials. To include within the ambit of the -ualifin"
clause the persons covered b .ubsection >c would contravene the e=clusive mandate of the PC$$ to brin" the civil and criminal cases
pursuant to and in connection with E.@. Nos. 5, +, 5> and 5>9A. 'n view of this, the .andi"anbaan properl too4 co"ni;ance of Criminal
Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+ despite 0isiniOs bein" a private individual, and despite the lac4 of an alle"ation of his
bein" the co9principal, accomplice or accessor of a public official in the commission of the offenses char"ed.
A.
The offenses char"ed in the
informations have not et prescribed
'n resolvin" the issue of prescription, the followin" must be considered, namel? 152 the period of prescription for the offense char"ed,1+2
the time when the period of prescription starts to run, and 1A2 the time when the prescriptive period is interrupted.
+A
The information in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 alle"ed that 0isini had offered, promised and "iven "ifts and presents to &erdinand E.
Marcos, that said "ifts were in consideration of 0isini obtainin" for Burns T Roe and Festin"house Electrical Corporation 1Festin"house2
the contracts, respectivel, to do the en"ineerin" and architectural desi"n of and to construct the PNPPP, and that President Marcos did
award or cause to be awarded the respective contracts to Burns T Roe and Festin"house, which acts constituted the crime of corruption
of public officials.
+>
The crime of corruption of public officials char"ed in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 is punished b Article +5+ of the Revised Penal Code with
the: same penalties imposed upon the officer corrupted.:
+7
Dnder the second para"raph of Article +5G of the Revised Penal Code 1direct
briber2,
+)
if the "ift was accepted b the officer in consideration of the e=ecution of an act that does not constitute a crime, and the officer
e=ecutes the act, he shall suffer the penalt of prision maor in its medium and minimum periods and a fine of not less than three times
the value of the "ift. Conformabl with Article 6G of the Revised Penal Code,
+*
the period of prescription for this specie of corruption of
public officials char"ed a"ainst 0isini is 57 ears.
As for Criminal Case No. +8GG+, 0isini was char"ed with a violation of .ection >1a2 of R.A. No. AG56. B e=press provision of .ection 55
of R.A. No. AG56, as amended b Batas Pambansa Bl". 567, the offenses committed under R.A. No. AG56 shall prescribe in 57 ears.
Prior to the amendment, the prescriptive period was onl 5G ears. 't became settled in People v. Pacificador,
+8
however, that the lon"er
prescriptive period of 57ears would not appl to crimes committed prior to the effectivit of Batas Pambansa Bl". 567, which was
approved on March 5), 568+, because the lon"er period could not be "iven retroactive effect for not bein" favorable to the accused. Fith
the information alle"in" the period from 56*> to &ebruar568) as the time of the commission of the crime char"ed, the applicable
prescriptive period is 5G ears in order to accord with People v. Pacificador .
&or crimes punishable b the Revised Penal Code, Article 65 thereof provides that prescription starts to run from the da on which the
crime is discovered b the offended part, the authorities, or their a"ents. As to offenses punishable b R.A. No. AG56, .ection + of R.A.
No. AA+)
+6
states?
.ection +. Prescription shall be"in to run from the da of the commission of the violation of the law, and if the same be not 4nown at the
time, from the discover thereof and the institution of !udicial proceedin"s for its investi"ation and punishment.
The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedin"s are instituted a"ainst the "uilt person, and shall be"in to run a"ain if the
proceedin"s are dismissed for reasons not constitutin" double !eopard.
The rulin" on the issue of prescription in Presidential Ad #oc &act9&indin" Committee on Behest /oans v. 0esierto
AG
is also enli"htenin",
vi;?
$enerall, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the da the crime is committed. That an a""rieved person :entitled to an
action has no 4nowled"e of his ri"ht to sue or of the facts out of which his ri"ht arises,: does not prevent the runnin" of the prescriptive
period. An e=ception to this rule is the :blameless i"norance: doctrine, incorporated in .ection + of Act No. AA+). Dnder this doctrine, :the
statute of limitations runs onl upon discover of the fact of the invasion of a ri"ht which will support a cause of action. 'n other words, the
courts would decline to appl the statute of limitations where the plaintiff does not 4now or has no reasonable means of 4nowin" the
e=istence of a cause of action.: 't was in this accord that the Court confronted the -uestion on the runnin" of the prescriptive period in
People v. 0u-ue which became the cornerstone of our 5666 0ecision in Presidential Ad #oc &act9&indin" Committee on Behest /oans v.
0esierto 1$.R. No. 5AG5>62, and the subse-uent cases which @mbudsman 0esierto dismissed, emphaticall, on the "round of
prescription too. Thus, we held in a catena of cases, that if the violation of the special law was not 4nown at the time of its commission,
the prescription be"ins to run onl from the discover thereof, i.e., discover of the unlawful nature of the constitutive act or acts.
Corollar, it is safe to conclude that the prescriptive period for the crime which is the sub!ect herein, commenced from the date of its
discover in 566+ after the Committee made an e=haustive investi"ation. Fhen the complaint was filed in 566*, onl five ears have
elapsed, and, hence, prescription has not et set in. The rationale for this was succinctl discussed in the 5666 Presidential Ad #oc &act9
&indin" Committee on Behest /oans, that :it was well9hi"h impossible for the .tate, the a""rieved part, to have 4nown these crimes
committed prior to the 568)E0.A Revolution, because of the alle"ed connivance and conspirac amon" involved public officials and the
beneficiaries of the loans.: 'n et another pronouncement, in the +GG5 Presidential Ad #oc &act9&indin" Committee on Behest /oans v.
0esierto 1$.R. No. 5AG85*2, the Court held that durin" the Marcos re"ime, no person would have dared to -uestion the le"alit of these
transactions. 1Citations omitted2
A5
Accordin"l, we are not persuaded to hold here that the prescriptive period be"an to run from 56*>, the time when the contracts for the
PNPP Pro!ect were awarded to Burns T Roe and Festin"house. Althou"h the criminal cases were the offshoot of the se-uestration case
to recover ill9"otten wealth instead of behest loans li4e in Presidential Ad #oc &act9&indin" Committee on Behest /oans v. 0esierto, the
connivance and conspirac amon" the public officials involved and the beneficiaries of the favors ille"all e=tended rendered it similarl
well9ni"h impossible for the .tate, as the a""rieved part, to have 4nown of the commission of the crimes char"ed prior to the E0.A
Revolution in 568). Notwithstandin" the hi"hl publici;ed and widel94nown nature of the PNPPP, the unlawful acts or transactions in
relation to it were discovered onl throu"h the PC$$Os e=haustive investi"ation, resultin" in the establishment of a prima facie case
sufficient for the PC$$ to institute Civil Case No. GG5A a"ainst 0isini. Before the discover, the PNPPP contracts, which partoo4 of a
public character, en!oed the presumption of their e=ecution havin" been re"ularl done in the course of official functions.
A+
Considerin" further that durin" the Marcos re"ime, no person would have dared to assail the le"alit of the transactions, it would be
unreasonable to e=pect that the discover of the unlawful transactions was possible prior to 568).
Fe note, too, that the criminal complaints were filed and their records transmitted b the PC$$ to the @ffice of the @mbudsman on April
8, 5665for the conduct the preliminar investi"ation.
AA
'n accordance with Article 65 of the
Revised Penal Code
A>
and the rulin" in Pana"uiton, %r. v. 0epartment of %ustice,
A7
the filin" of the criminal complaints in the @ffice of the
@mbudsman effectivel interrupted the runnin" of the period of prescription. Accordin" to Pana"uiton?
A)
'n 'n"co v. .andi"anbaan and .anrio Compan /imited v. /im, which involved violations of the Anti9$raft and Corrupt Practices Act1R.A.
No. AG562 and the 'ntellectual Propert Code 1R.A. No. 8+6A2,which are both special laws, the Court ruled that the prescriptive period is
interrupted b the institution of proceedin"s for preliminar investi"ation a"ainst the accused. 'n the more recent case of .ecurities and
E=chan"e Commission v. 'nterport Resources Corporation, the Court ruled that the nature and purpose of the investi"ation conducted b
the .ecurities and E=chan"e Commission on violations of the Revised .ecurities Act, another special law, is e-uivalent to the preliminar
investi"ation conducted b the 0@% in criminal cases, and thus effectivel interrupts the prescriptive period.
The followin" dis-uisition in the 'nterport Resources case is instructive, thus?
Fhile it ma be observed that the term :!udicial proceedin"s: in .ec. + of Act No. AA+) appears before: investi"ation and punishment: in
the old law, with the subse-uent chan"e in set9up whereb the investi"ation of the char"e for purposes of prosecution has become the
e=clusive function of the e=ecutive branch, the term :proceedin"s: should now be understood either e=ecutive or !udicial in character?
e=ecutive when it involves the investi"ation phase and !udicial when it refers to the trial and !ud"ment sta"e. Fith this clarification, an
4ind of investi"ative proceedin" instituted a"ainst the "uilt person which ma ultimatel lead to his prosecution should be sufficient to toll
prescription.
'ndeed, to rule otherwise would deprive the in!ured part the ri"ht to obtain vindication on account of delas that are not under his control.
The prevailin" rule is, therefore, that irrespective of whether the offense char"ed is punishable b the Revised Penal Code or b a special
law, it is the filin" of the complaint or information in the office of the public prosecutor for purposes of the preliminar investi"ation that
interrupts the period of prescription. Conse-uentl, prescription did not et set in because onl five ears elapsed from 568), the time of
the discover of the offenses char"ed, up to April 5665, the time of the filin" of the criminal complaints in the @ffice of the @mbudsman.
The informations were sufficient in form and substance
't is a=iomatic that a complaint or information must state ever sin"le fact necessar to constitute the offense char"ed, otherwise, a
motion to dismiss or to -uash on the "round that the complaint or information char"es no offense ma be properl sustained. The
fundamental test in determinin" whether a motion to -uash ma be sustained based on this "round is whether the facts alle"ed, if
hpotheticall admitted, will establish the essential elements of the offense as defined in the law.
A*
E=trinsic matters or evidence aliunde
are not considered.
A8
The test does not re-uire absolute certaint as to the presence of the elements of the offense, otherwise, there would no lon"er be an
need for the Prosecution to proceed to trial.
The informations in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 1corruption of public officials2 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+ 1violation of .ection >1a2 of RA
No.AG562 have sufficientl complied with the re-uirements of .ection ), Rule55G of the Rules of Court, vi;?
.ection ). .ufficienc of complaint or information. < A complaint or information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused, the
desi"nation of the offense "iven b the statute, the acts or omissions complained of as constitutin" the offense, the name of the offended
part, the appro=imate date of the commission of the offense, and the place where the offense was committed.
Fhen the offense is committed b more than one person, all of them shall be included in the complaint or information.
The information in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 alle"in" corruption of public officers specificall put forth that 0isini, in the period from 56*>
to &ebruar 568) in Manila, Philippines, conspirin" and confederatin" with then President Marcos, willfull, unlawfull and feloniousl
offered, promised and "ave "ifts and presents to President Marcos, who, b ta4in" undue advanta"e of his position as President,
committed the offense in relation to his office, and in consideration of the "ifts and presents offered, promised and "iven b 0isini,
President Marcos caused to be awarded to Burns T Roe and Festin"house the respective contracts to do the en"ineerin" and
architectural desi"n of and to construct the PNPPP. The felonious act consisted of causin" the contracts for the PNPPP to be awarded to
Burns T Roe and Festin"house b reason of the "ifts and promises offered b 0isini to President Marcos.
The elements of corruption of public officials under Article +5+ of the Revised Penal Code are?
5. That the offender ma4es offers or promises, or "ives "ifts or presents to a public officer, and
+. That the offers or promises are made or the "ifts or presents are "iven to a public officer under circumstances that will ma4e
the public officer liable for direct briber or indirect briber.
The alle"ations in the information for corruption of public officials, if hpotheticall admitted, would establish the essential elements of the
crime. The information stated that? 152 0isini made an offer and promise, and "ave "ifts to President Marcos, a public officer, and 1+2 in
consideration of the offers, promises and "ifts, President Marcos, in causin" the award of the contracts to Burns T Roe and
Festin"house b ta4in" advanta"e of his position and in committin" said act in relation to his office, was placed under circumstances that
would ma4e him liable for direct briber.
A6
The second element of corruption of public officers simpl re-uired the public officer to be placed under circumstances, not absolute
certaint, that would ma4e him liable for direct or indirect briber. Thus, even without alle"in" that President Marcos received or accepted
0isiniOs offers, promises and "ifts S an essential element in direct briber S the alle"ation that President Marcos caused the award of the
contracts to Burns T Roe and Festin"house sufficed to place him under circumstances of bein" liable for direct briber.
The sufficienc of the alle"ations in the information char"in" the violation of .ection >1a2 of R.A. No. AG56 is similarl upheld. The
elements of the offense under .ection >1a2 of R.A. No. AG56 are?
5. That the offender has famil or close personal relation with a public official,
+. That he capitali;es or e=ploits or ta4es advanta"e of such famil or close personal relation b directl or indirectl re-uestin" or
receivin" an present, "ift, material or pecuniar advanta"e from an person havin" some business, transaction, application,
re-uest or contract with the "overnment,
A. That the public official with whom the offender has famil or close personal relation has to intervene in the business transaction,
application, re-uest, or contract with the "overnment.
The alle"ations in the information char"in" the violation of .ection >1a2 of R.A. No. AG56, if hpotheticall admitted, would establish the
elements of the offense, considerin" that? 152 0isini, bein" the husband of Paciencia Escolin90isini, the first cousin of &irst /ad 'melda
Romualde;9Marcos, and at the same time the famil phsician of the Marcoses, had close personal relations and intimac with and free
access to President Marcos, a public official, 1+2 0isini, ta4in" advanta"e of such famil and close personal relations, re-uested and
received X5,GGG,GGG.GG from Burns T Roe and X5*,GGG,GGG.GG from Festin"house, the entities then havin" business, transaction, and
application with the $overnment in connection with the PNPPP, 1A2 President Marcos, the public officer with whom 0isini had famil or
close personal relations, intervened to secure and obtain for Burns T Roe the en"ineerin" and architectural contract, and for
Festin"house the construction of the PNPPP.
F#ERE&@RE, the Court 0'.M'..E. the petition for certiorari, A&&'RM. the resolutions promul"ated on %anuar 5*, +GG7 and Au"ust
5G, +GG7 b the .andi"anbaan 1&irst 0ivision2 in Criminal Case No. +8GG5 and Criminal Case No. +8GG+, and 0'RECT. petitioner to
pa the costs of suit.
.@ @R0ERE0.