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G.R. No.

L-19568 March 31, 1964 there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously (on the aforesaid date of 28th Mardeville Dowling & Co., 5 NW 776), which in this case amounted to
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, day of November, 1947, with intent to defraud the said Rehabilitation no more than an avowal by the prosecution that it could not establish
vs. Finance Corporation, pledge and incumber, or cause to be pledged and the other elements of the offense.
JOSE L. CHUPECO, defendant-appellant. incumbered the same personal properties to one Mateo B. Pinile Furthermore, the court actually rejected the defense motion to dismiss,
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. without having fully satisfied the mortgage and during the term thereof and directed that the cue be tried on the original charge of repledging
J. Gonzales Orense for defendant-appellant. and without the consent of the mortgagee bank written on the back of property already encumbered. The accused obeyed that directive, and
REYES, J.B.L., J.: the mortgage, and, thereafter) knowingly transfer and remove, or cause by so doing it renounced the claim that the information had been so
Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila (in its to be transferred and removed the said properties to the municipality amended as to discard that particular averment.
Crim. Case No. 14786) to the Court of Appeals, but which the latter of Subic, Zambales, also without the written consent of the mortgagee
court, pursuant to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, bank, to the damage and prejudice of the said Rehabilitation Finance But the fatal error in the decision appealed from is its disregard of the
had certified the Supreme Court as a case in which the jurisdiction of an Corporation in the sum of P15,935.80, Philippine currency, representing fact that the evidence fails to show that the properties mortgaged to
inferior court is in issue. the unpaid balance of the aforesaid mortgage. the bank are the same one encumbered afterwards to Mateo Pinili. In
The accused-appellant, Jose L. Chupeco, was charged on 2 February The accused moved to quash the foregoing information on the ground fact, the Office of the Solicitor General recommends the acquittal of the
1951 before the Court of First Instance of Manila under the following that more than one offense is charged and that the court had no accused on this very ground Brief, pp. 10-11).
information: jurisdiction. Upon denial of the motion, the accused was arraigned, and
That on or about the 28th day of November, 1947, in the City of Manila, he entered a plea of not guilty. After the case was partly tried, the There is no question that the herein accused execute in the City of
Philippines, the said accused being the owner of, and, having previously defense counsel and the fiscal entered into an agreement to have the Manila a Chattel Mortgage, Exhibit "D", on the properties located in
on the 24th day of July, 1946, executed a Chattel Mortgage on the information amended to the effect that the charge be only for removal Bataan and listed in the in formation in favor of the Agricultural and
following properties: of properties mortgaged, eliminating the portion referring to pledging Industrial Bank on 24 July 1946, and that the accused pledged or
An open shed under construction to be used sawmill building, already pledged property. The information, however, remained un- encumbered in the City of Manila, on 28 November 1947 the properties
containing an area of 350 sq. m. more or less, located at Sitio Saguing, amended. The accused then filed a motion to dismiss involving the listed in Exhibit "E", which are as follows:
Dinalupihan, Bataan.1äwphï1.ñët agreement, but the court denied it, and ordered that the case be tried
SAWMILL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT: on the charge "of having pledged property which had been previously One (1) sawmill with gray marine engine 125 H.P. circular law and all
One "Wheland" Circular sawmill No. 3 complete with carriage and pledged or mortgaged". After trial, the court found the accused guilty of appurtenances, implements and parts, also building, camarin and
w/60" inserted circular saw (new); the said offense, and imposed a penalty of two months and one day of housing improvements under Tax No. 1260-V for 1947, assessed at
One Gray Marine Full Diesel Engine 225 H.P. Serial No. 13835, Engine arresto mayor. P8,000.00 paid under O.R. No. 59318, dated May 14, 1947, Dinalupihan,
No. C-17040; Not satisfied, the accused interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals, Bataan;
One RD-14 Tractor with Bulldozer, motor No. 6719028; but the said court certified the case to the Supreme Court, as formerly One (1) bulldozer H.D.-14, with dozer, Make: Allis-Chalmers, Eng. No.
stated. 3251541;
One D-6 Caterpilar tractor motor 626-134; The accused attacks the jurisdiction of the trial court on the strength of Two (2) cargo trucks (6 x 6), Eng. No. 220314218-Reg. No. 17094 and
One Clitract International Caterpilar Motor No. 2398-D; the agreement with the fiscal to discard the charge of repledging or Eng. No. 220359225-Reg. No. 17093.
One Air compressor (Aray type); remembering the chattels already mortgaged to the Agricultural and However, there is nothing in the evidence to show that the properties
One complete set of welding instruments (local made); Industrial Bank thus leaving in force only the accusation of having listed in Exhibit "D" and in the information are the same properties
One Lathe machine — F.E. Reed Co. Length 8' swing 8"; transferred the encumbered property from Bataan to Zambales without listed in Exhibit "E". The descriptions are materially different.
One planer for iron and steel — F. E. Reed & Co.; the consent of the mortgagee. It is argued that since the place where An assential element common to the two acts punished under Article
One tracing machine and one vise (local made); the chattels were, as well as the site to which they were moved, are 319 of the Revised Penal Code is that the property removed or
TRANSPORTATION UNITS: both outside of Manila, the courts of the latter acquired no jurisdiction repledged, as the case may be should be the same or identical property
One Chevrolet truck Model 1941 Motor No. KR-214658 — 1946 Plate to try the case, because the offense was not committed within the that was mortgaged or pledged before such removal or repledging.
No. 9794; Manila territory. Therefore, even if the Court of First Instance of Manila had jurisdiction
One International Baby truck Model 1938 Motor No. ND-13-6470; We find this stand without merit. The original terms of the charge over the case, the accused cannot be found guilty on the evidence on
One G.M.C. Army truck 6 x 6 Motor No. 70485739-Plate No. 10239; averred (and it is not disputed) the crime of repledging already record of the crime for which he stands indicted.
One Willy's jeep Motor No. DP 2977-Plate No. 1512. encumbered property without the creditor's consent, and one of the
located at sitio Saguing, Dinalupihan, Bataan in favor of the Agricultural essential ingredients of the offense (the execution of the first FOR THE FOREGOING REASON, the appealed decision is hereby
and Industrial Bank, whose capital, assets, accounts, contracts and mortgage) having been alleged, to have taken place in Manila, the court reversed, and another one entered acquitting the accused Jose L.
choses in action were subsequently transferred to the herein of first instance of that city acquired jurisdiction over the offense under Chupeco. No pronouncement as to costs.
complainant Rehabilitation Finance Corporation an institution created the Rules of Court (People vs. Mission, 48 O.G., 1331; Rule 110, section
and operating pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 85, with 9). It is well-established that once vested, the jurisdiction is not tolled Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera,
principal office at the City of Manila, Philippines, to secure a loan of by subsequent amendment or stipulation (McClain vs. Kansas City Parades, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.
P20,000.00, from said Agricultural and Industrial Bank, did then and Bridge Co., 83 SW 2d, 132; Shankle vs. Ingram, 45 S.E. 578; Walton vs.
when presented for payment within (90) days from the date thereof, investment theory. In ruling against the existence of a partnership
ISIDRO PABLITO M. PALANA, G.R. No. 149995 was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason Drawn between them, the trial court noted that the so-called partnership
Petitioner, Against Insufficient Funds and despite receipt of notice of such venture, Palanas General Merchandising, was registered on December
Present: dishonor, the accused failed to pay said payee the face amount of said 1, 1987 only in the name of petitioner.[13] The Court of Appeals also
Ynares-Santiago, J. (Chairperson), check or make arrangement for full payment within five (5) banking held that the act of lending money does not necessarily amount to an
- versus - Austria-Martinez, days after receiving notice.[2] investment of capital.
Chico-Nazario,
Nachura, and On January 30, 1992, the case was archived due to petitioners non- Hence, the instant petition raising the following issues:
Reyes, JJ. apprehension despite the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.[3] On
June 27, 1995, the warrant of arrest was recalled and set aside[4] after I.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner posted the required bail. He was arraigned on July 25, 1995 THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE FINDING OF THE
Respondent. when he pleaded not guilty to the offense charged.[5] LOWER COURT DISREGARDING THE DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED THAT
THE ISSUANCE OF THE SUBJECT ASIAN BANK CHECK, WAS NOT FOR A
Promulgated: Private complainant Alex B. Carlos testified that sometime in CONSIDERATION OR FOR VALUE, AS THE ACCUSED WAS ONLY TRICKED
September 1987, petitioner and his wife borrowed money from him in BY THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT TO ISSUE THE SAID CHECK AS A MEANS
September 28, 2007 the amount of P590,000.00. To secure the payment of the loan, OF BINDING THE ACCUSED TO RETURN HIS INVESTMENT IN THE
DECISION petitioner issued a postdated check for the same amount in favor of the PARTNERSHIP WHICH WAS THEN SUFFERING FROM BUSINESS
complainant.[6] However, when the check was presented for payment, REVERSALS.
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: it was dishonored by the bank for insufficiency of funds. Subsequent
demand notwithstanding, petitioner failed to make good the said II.
For review is the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. dishonored check.[7] THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE FINDINGS OF THE
21879 dated September 17, 2001,[1] affirming the September 23, 1997 LOWER COURT THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT HAS JURISDICTION
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 63, in Petitioner alleged that the amounts given to him by private OVER THE CASE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT AT THE TIME THE ACCUSED
Criminal Case No. 91-5617 convicting petitioner Isidro Pablito Palana complainant was an investment by the latter who was his business WAS ARRAIGNED ON JULY 25, 1995 R.A. 7691 EXPANDING THE
with violation of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 22 otherwise known as the partner. He argued that the subject check was not issued in September JURISDICTION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT WAS ALREADY IN
Bouncing Checks Law. 1987 to guarantee the payment of a loan since his checking account EFFECT.[14]
was opened only on December 1, 1987.[8] He claimed that private
On August 19, 1991, petitioner was charged with violation of B.P. Blg. complainant cajoled him to issue a check in his favor allegedly to be The issues to be resolved are: 1) whether petitioner was guilty of
22 in an Information which reads as follows: shown to a textile supplier who would provide the partnership with the violation of B.P. Blg. 22; and 2) whether the Regional Trial Court has
necessary raw materials. Petitioner alleged that when the check was jurisdiction over the case.
That on or about September 1987, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro issued sometime in February 1988,[9] complainant knew that the same
Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable was not funded.[10] Petitioners argument that it is the Metropolitan Trial Court and not the
Court, the above-named accused did, then and there, willfully, Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the case pursuant to
unlawfully and knowingly make or draw and issue to Alex B. Carlos to After trial on the merits, the Regional Trial Court rendered on R.A. 7691 is without merit.
apply on account or for the value the check described below: September 23, 1997 a Decision[11] finding petitioner guilty as charged,
the dispositive portion of which reads: It is hornbook doctrine that jurisdiction to try a criminal action is
Check No. : 326317PR determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the
Wherefore, this court finds the accused Isidro Pablito M. Palana guilty action[15] and not during the arraignment of the accused. The
Drawn Against : Asian Savings Bank as charged and sentences him to a prison term of Six (6) months and to Information charging petitioner with violation of B.P. Blg. 22 was filed
indemnify the private complainant the sum of P590,000.00 plus legal on August 19, 1991. At that time, the governing law determinative of
Paseo de Roxas Branch interest from filing of this case until full payment. jurisdiction is B.P. Blg. 129[16] which provides:

In the amount of : P590,000.00 SO ORDERED. Sec. 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. Regional Trial Courts shall
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the
Postdated : February 15, 1988 Petitioner appealed but it was dismissed by the Court of Appeals which exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now
affirmed the trial courts decision in toto.[12] falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the
Payable to : Dr. Alex B. Carlos said accused well knowing that at the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance by
time of issue, he did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that the check was the latter.
drawee bank for the payment in full of the face amount of such check issued as a guaranty for the loan, thereby rejecting petitioners xxxx
The allegation that the check was intended to be shown to potential
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts suppliers is not a valid defense. In Cueme v. People,[26] the Court held
and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Criminal Cases. Except in cases After a careful review of the records, this Court sustains petitioners thus:
falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts conviction for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. The elements of the offense
and the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial penalized under B.P. Blg. 22 are as follows: (1) the accused makes, The allegation of petitioner that the checks were merely intended to be
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: draws, or issues any check to apply on account or for value; (2) the shown to prospective investors of her corporation is, to say the least,
xxxx accused knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient not a defense. The gravamen of the offense punished under B.P. Blg. 22
funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check is the act of making or issuing a worthless check or a check that is
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with in full upon its presentment; and (3) the check is subsequently dishonored upon its presentment for payment. The law has made the
imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or mere act of issuing a bad check malum prohibitum, an act proscribed by
not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, the legislature for being deemed pernicious and inimical to public
imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment. welfare. Considering the rule in mala prohibita cases, the only inquiry is
penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or whether the law has been breached. Criminal intent becomes
predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount Each element of the offense was duly proven by the prosecution. unnecessary where the acts are prohibited for reasons of public policy,
thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to Petitioner admitted that at the time he issued the subject check, he and the defenses of good faith and absence of criminal intent are
property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original knew that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the unavailing.
jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed twenty thousand drawee bank for payment of such check. Consequently, when the check
pesos. was presented for payment, it was dishonored by the drawee bank for The checks issued, even assuming they were not intended to be
insufficiency of funds. Thereafter, he received demand letters to pay encashed or deposited in a bank, produce the same effect as ordinary
Violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is punishable with imprisonment of not less the amount of the check from private complainant but he did not checks. What the law punishes is the issuance of a rubber check itself
than 30 days but not more than one year or by a fine of not less than comply with it.[22] and not the purpose for which the check was issued nor the terms and
but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in conditions relating to its issuance. This is not without good reasons. To
no case exceed P200,000.00, or both fine and imprisonment[17] at the In ruling that the amount of the check was for consideration or value, determine the purpose as well as the terms and conditions for which
discretion of the court. In the present case, the fine imposable is both the trial court and the Court of Appeals upheld private checks are issued will greatly erode the faith the public reposes in the
P200,000.00 hence, the Regional Trial Court properly acquired complainants claim that the check was issued as a guaranty for the loan stability and commercial value of checks as currency substitutes, and
jurisdiction over the case.[18] The Metropolitan Trial Court could not and rejected petitioners investment theory. The issue as to whether the bring about havoc in the trading and banking communities. Besides, the
acquire jurisdiction over the criminal action because its jurisdiction is amount of the subject check represents the amount of the money law does not make any distinction as to the kind of checks which are
only for offenses punishable with a fine of not more than P4,000.00. loaned by private complainant to petitioner or as an investment in the the subject of its provisions, hence, no such distinction can be made by
The subsequent amendment of B.P. 129 by R.A. No. 7691, An Act alleged partnership is a factual question involving the credibility of means of interpretation or application. What is important is the fact
Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal witnesses. Where the issue is one of credibility, the appellate court will that petitioner deliberately issued the checks in question and those
Circuit Trial Courts and the Metropolitan Trial Court[19] on June 15, not generally disturb the findings of the lower court considering that it checks were dishonored upon presentment for payment.
1994 cannot divest the Regional Trial Court of jurisdiction over is in a better position to settle that issue since it had the advantage of
petitioners case. Where a court has already obtained and is exercising hearing the witnesses and observing their conduct during the trial, Hence, the agreement surrounding the issuance of a check is irrelevant
jurisdiction over a controversy, its jurisdiction to proceed to the final which circumstances carry great weight in assessing their credibility. In to the prosecution and conviction of the petitioner.[27]
determination of the cause is not affected by new legislation placing the present case, we see no reason to reverse the finding of the trial
jurisdiction over such proceedings in another tribunal unless the statute court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals that the amount of the The alleged inconsistency in the date of issuance of the subject check is
expressly provides, or is construed to the effect that it is intended to subject check was a loan and not an investment.[23] likewise immaterial. Issuance, as defined under the Negotiable
operate on actions pending before its enactment. Indeed, R.A. No. Instruments Law, is the first delivery of the check.[28] In the case at bar,
7691 contains retroactive provisions. However, these only apply to civil Upon issuance of a check, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it the Information alleged that the check was postdated February 15,
cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial stage. Neither from an is presumed that the same was issued for valuable consideration, which 1988 although issued in or about September 1987. During trial,
express proviso nor by implication can it be construed that R.A. No. may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to petitioner testified that the Checking Account was opened only on
7691 has retroactive application to criminal cases pending or decided the party who makes the contract, or some forbearance, detriment, loss December 1, 1987 and that the check was issued sometime in February
by the Regional Trial Courts prior to its effectivity.[20] The jurisdiction or some responsibility, to act, or labor, or service given, suffered or 1988.
of the RTC over the case attached upon the commencement of the undertaken by the other side. Since it was established that petitioner
action by the filing of the Information and could not be ousted by the received money from private complainant in various amounts,[24] The rule is that a variance between the allegation in the information
passage of R.A. No. 7691 reapportioning the jurisdiction of inferior petitioner cannot now claim that the checks were not issued for and proof adduced during trial shall be fatal to the criminal case if it is
courts, the application of which to criminal cases is prospective in value.[25] material and prejudicial to the accused so much so that it affects his
nature.[21] substantial rights.[29] In a prosecution for violation of B.P. 22, the time
of the issuance of the subject check is material since it forms part of the
second element of the offense that at the time of its issuance, This morning, the prosecution represented by Prosecutor Evelyn T.
petitioner knew of the insufficiency of funds. However, it cannot be said [G.R. No. 133289. December 23, 1999] Lucero Agcaoili appeared in response to this Courts Order of
that petitioner was prejudiced by such variance nor was surprised by it. clarification on the propriety of proceeding with the Information as it
Records show that petitioner knew at the time he issued the check that LICERIO A. ANTIPORDA, JR., ELITERIO RUBIACO, VICTOR GASCON and stands.
he does not have sufficient funds in the bank to cover the amount of CAESAR TALIA petitioners, vs. HON. FRANCIS E. GARCHITORENA, HON.
the check. Yet, he proceeded to issue the same claiming that the same EDILBERTO G. SANDOVAL, HON. CATALINO CASTAEDA, JR. in their On her own, Prosecutor Agcaoili informed the Court that there were
would only be shown to prospective suppliers, a defense which is not capacity as Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the inadequacies in the allegations in the Information for which reason she
valid. Sandiganbayan respondents. would beg leave to amend the same. The Court for its part expressed
anxiety as to the Courts jurisdiction over the case considering that it
Moreover, there is no merit in petitioners allegation that private DECISION was not clear whether or not the subject matter of the accusation was
complainant knew that the check is not funded. Both the trial court and office related.
the Court of Appeals found that the subject check was issued as BUENA, J.:
guaranty for payment of the loan hence, was intended to apply for For this purpose, Prosecutor Agcaoili is given thirty (30) days within
account or for value. As such, it was incumbent upon petitioner to see This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary which to submit the amendment embodying whatever changes she
to it that the check is duly covered when presented for payment. Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order to restrain the believes are appropriate or necessary in order for the Information to
respondent Justices of the First Division of the Sandiganbayan from effectively describe the offense herein charged. Within the same
Pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 12-2000, as further proceeding with Crim. Case No. 24339 and from enforcing the period, Prosecutor Agcaoili shall submit an expansion of the
clarified by Administrative Circular No. 13-2001, the alternative penalty warrants for the arrest of the accused named therein (herein recommendation to file the instant Information against the accused
of fine may be imposed in lieu of imprisonment considering that the petitioners) or to maintain the status quo until further orders from this before this Court indicating thereon the office related character of the
prosecution failed to prove or allege that petitioner is not a first-time Court. accusation herein so that the Court might effectively exercise its
offender.[30] Hence, in lieu of imprisonment, a fine of P200,000.00 jurisdiction over the same.
shall be imposed upon petitioner.[31] The antecedent facts of the case are as follows:
SO ORDERED.[2]
Accused Licerio A. Antiporda, Jr., Eliterio Rubiaco, Victor Gascon, and
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR Caesar Talla were charged with the crime of kidnapping one Elmer The prosecution on even date complied with the said order and filed an
No. 21879 dated September 17, 2001, finding petitioner ISIDRO Ramos in an Information dated September 18, 1997. It was filed with Amended Information, which was admitted by the Sandiganbayan in a
PABLITO M. PALANA guilty of violating Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, is the First Division of the Sandiganbayan comprised of the Honorable resolution dated November 24, 1997.[3] The Amended Information
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner is ordered to pay private Francis E. Garchitorena, Edilberto E. Sandoval, and Catalino Castaeda, thus reads:
complainant the amount of P590,000.00, representing the value of the Jr. The Information reads as follows:
check, with six (6%) percent interest from date of filing of the That on or about September 10, 1997, at Sanchez Mira, Cagayan and
Information until the finality of the decision, the amount of which, That on or about September 1, 1995, in the Municipality of Sanchez within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused Licerio
inclusive of the interest, is subject to twelve percent (12%) interest, Mira, Province of Cagayan and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Antiporda, Jr., being the Municipal Mayor of Buguey, Cagayan in the
from finality of the decision until fully paid. In lieu of imprisonment, Court, the said accused Eliterio Rubiaco, Caesar Talla, Vicente Gascon exercise of his official duties as such and taking advantage of his
petitioner is ordered to pay a fine of P200,000.00. and Licerio Antiporda, Jr., armed with guns, conspiring together and position, ordered, confederated and conspired with Juan Gallardo,
helping one another, by means of force, violence and intimidation and Barangay Captain of San Lorenzo, Buguey, Cagayan (now deceased) and
SO ORDERED. without legal grounds or any authority of law, did then and there accused Eliterio Rubiaco, barangay councilman of San Lorenzo, Buguey,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap and carry away one Elmer Cagayan, Vicente Gascon and Caesar Talla with the use of firearms,
Ramos from his residence in Marzan, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan against his force, violence and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
will with the use of a Maroon Tamaraw FX motor vehicle. and feloniously kidnap and abduct the victim Elmer Ramos without any
authority of law from his residence at Marzan, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan
CONTRARY TO LAW[1] against his will, with the use of a Maroon Tamaraw FX motor vehicle
and subsequently bring and detain him illegally at the residence of
On November 10, 1997, the Court issued an order giving the accused Mayor Licerio Antiporda, Jr. for more than five (5) days.
prosecution represented by Prosecutor Evelyn T. Lucero Agcaoili thirty
(30) days within which to submit the amendment to the Information. CONTRARY TO LAW.[4]
The said order is quoted in full as follows:
Accused then filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion dated November 16,
ORDER 1997 praying that a reinvestigation of the case be conducted and the
issuance of warrants of arrest be deferred.[5]
a) CAN THE SANDIGANBAYAN, WHICH HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE following requisites concur: (1) the offense is one which the court is by
An order dated November 26, 1997 was penned by Prosecutor Evelyn T. OFFENSE CHARGED IN THE ORIGINAL INFORMATION, SUBSEQUENTLY law authorized to take cognizance of, (2) the offense must have been
Lucero-Agcaoili recommending the denial of the accuseds Urgent ACQUIRE SUCH JURISDICTION BY THE SIMPLE EXPEDIENT OF committed within its territorial jurisdiction, and (3) the person charged
Omnibus Motion[6] was approved by Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto AMENDING THE INFORMATION TO SUPPLY, FOR THE FIRST TIME, with the offense must have been brought in to its forum for trial,
on January 9, 1998.[7] JURISDICTIONAL FACTS NOT PREVIOUSLY AVERRED IN THE ORIGINAL forcibly by warrant of arrest or upon his voluntary submission to the
INFORMATION? and court.
The accused thereafter filed on March 5, 1998 a Motion for New
Preliminary Investigation and to Hold in Abeyance and/or Recall b) COROLLARILY, CAN THE AMENDED INFORMATION BE ALLOWED The petitioners argue that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction to
Warrant of Arrest Issued.[8] The same was denied in an order given in WITHOUT CONDUCTING ANEW A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION FOR take cognizance of the case because the original information did not
open court dated March 12, 1998 "on the ground that there was THE GRAVER OFFENSE CHARGED THEREIN? allege that one of the petitioners, Licerio A. Antiporda, Jr., took
nothing in the Amended Information that was added to the original advantage of his position as mayor of Buguey, Cagayan to order the
Information so that the accused could not claim a right to be heard The petition is devoid of merit. kidnapping of Elmer Ramos. They likewise assert that lacking
separately in an investigation in the Amended Information. Additionally, jurisdiction a court can not order the amendment of the information. In
the Court ruled that 'since none of the accused have submitted Jurisdiction is the power with which courts are invested for the same breath, they contend however that the Sandiganbayan had
themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court, the accused are not in a administering justice, that is, for hearing and deciding cases. In order jurisdiction over the persons of the accused.
position to be heard on this matter at this time' (p. 245, Record)."[9] for the court to have authority to dispose of the case on the merits, it
must acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties.[14] They question the assumption of jurisdiction by the Sandiganbayan over
Subsequently, the accused filed on March 24, 1998 a Motion to Quash their case yet they insist that said court acquired jurisdiction over their
the Amended Information for lack of jurisdiction over the offense Section 4, paragraph (a) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861 motion to quash. The petitioner can not have their cake and eat it too.
charged.[10] provides for the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan:
In the aforementioned case of Arula vs. Espino[17]it was quite clear
On March 27, 1998, the Sandiganbayan issued an Order, to wit: Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. -- The Sandiganbayan shall exercise: that all three requisites, i.e., jurisdiction over the offense, territory and
person, must concur before a court can acquire jurisdiction to try a
"The Motion to Quash filed in behalf of the accused by Atty. Orlando B. (a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: case.
Consigna is ignored, it appearing that the accused have continually
refused or otherwise failed to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of xxx It is undisputed that the Sandiganbayan had territorial jurisdiction over
this Court. At all events there is an Amended Information here which the case.
makes an adequate description of the position of the accused thus (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and
vesting this Court with the office related character of the offense of the employees in relation to their office, including those employed in And we are in accord with the petitioners when they contended that
accused. government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or when they filed a motion to quash it was tantamount to a voluntary
complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is submission to the Courts authority. They cite the case of Layosa vs.
"SO ORDERED."[11] higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a Rodriguez[18] in support of their contention. For therein, it was ruled
fine of P6,000.00. Provided, however, That offenses or felonies that the voluntary appearance of the accused at the pre-suspension
A motion for reconsideration was filed on April 3, 1998 by the accused mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does hearing amounted to his submission to the courts jurisdiction even if no
wherein it was alleged that the filing of the Motion to Quash and the not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a warrant of arrest has yet been issued.
appearance of their counsel during the scheduled hearing thereof fine of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court,
amounted to their voluntary appearance and invested the court with Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit To counter this contention of the petitioners the prosecution adverted
jurisdiction over their persons.[12] Trial Court. to case of de los Santos-Reyes vs. Montesa, Jr.[19] which was decided
some 28 years after the Layosa case. In this more recent case, it was
The Sandiganbayan denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the The Sandiganbayan exercises not only civil but also criminal jurisdiction. held that:
accused in its resolution dated April 24, 1998.[13] Criminal jurisdiction, as defined in the case of People vs. Mariano[15], is
necessarily the authority to hear and try a particular offense and xxx the accused xxx have no right to invoke the processes of the court
Hence, this petition filed by Licerio A. Antiporda, Jr., Eliterio Rubiaco, impose the punishment for it. since they have not been placed in the custody of the law or otherwise
Victor Gascon, and Caesar Talla. deprived of their liberty by reason or as a consequence of the filling of
The case of Arula vs. Espino[16]enumerates the requirements wherein a the information. For the same reason, the court had no authority to act
The petitioners pose the following questions for the resolution of this court acquires jurisdiction to try a criminal case, to wit: on the petition.
Court.
To paraphrase: beyond the pale of disagreement is the legal tenet that We find that the case of Layosa and de los Santos-Reyes are not
a court acquires jurisdiction to try a criminal case only when the inconsistent with each other since both these cases discussed the rules
on when a court acquires jurisdiction over the persons of the accused, Section 14. Amendment. The information or complaint may be out in the Asuncion case: x x x As if it was originally filed with [the
i.e., either through the enforcement of warrants of arrest or their amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at any time Sandiganbayan]. That Information may be amended at any time before
voluntary submission to the court. before the accused pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all arraignment before the Sandiganbayan, and indeed, by leave of court at
matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the any time before judgment is rendered by the Sandiganbayan,
The only difference, we find, is that the de los Santos-Reyes case harped same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the accused. considering that such an amendment would not affect the juridical
mainly on the warrant of arrest angle while the Layosa case dealt more nature of the offense charged (i.e., murder), the qualifying
on the issue of voluntary submission ruling, that the appearance at the xxx xxx xxx circumstances alleged in the information, or the defenses that
hearing through a lawyer was a submission to the courts jurisdiction. petitioner may assert before the Sandiganbayan. In other words, the
Petitioner prayed that a reinvestigation be made in view of the amendment may be made before the Sandiganbayan without surprising
Having discussed the third requirement we now come to the question Amended Information. the petitioner or prejudicing his substantive rights.[24] (Underscoring
of whether or not the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the offense Supplied)
charged. We hold that the reinvestigation is not necessary anymore. A
reinvestigation is proper only if the accuseds substantial rights would be WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is hereby
We answer in the negative. The original Information filed with the impaired. In the case at bar, we do not find that their rights would be DISMISSED.
Sandiganbayan did not mention that the offense committed by the unduly prejudiced if the Amended Information is filed without a
accused is office-related. It was only after the same was filed that the reinvestigation taking place. The amendments made to the Information SO ORDERED.
prosecution belatedly remembered that a jurisdictional fact was merely describe the public positions held by the accused/petitioners
omitted therein. and stated where the victim was brought when he was kidnapped. Bellosillo (Chairman), Mendoza, Quisumbing, and De Leon, Jr., JJ.,
concur.
However, we hold that the petitioners are estopped from assailing the It must here be stressed that a preliminary investigation is essentially
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan for in the supplemental arguments to inquisitorial, and it is often the only means of discovering the persons
motion for reconsideration and/or reinvestigation dated June 10, who may be reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the prosecutor G.R. No. 158763 March 31, 2006
1997[20] filed with the same court, it was they who challenged the to prepare his complaint or information. It is not a trial of the case on
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over the case and clearly stated the merits and has no purpose except that of determining whether a JOSE C. MIRANDA, ALBERTO P. DALMACIO, and ROMEO B. OCON,
in their Motion for Reconsideration that the said crime is work crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to Petitioners,
connected, which is hereunder quoted, as follows: believe that the accused is guilty thereof, and it does not place the vs.
persons accused in jeopardy. It is not the occasion for the full and VIRGILIO M. TULIAO, Respondent.
Respondents (petitioners herein) have thoroughly scanned the entire exhaustive display of the parties evidence; it is for the presentation of
records of the instant case and no where is there any evidence to show such evidence only as may engender a well-grounded belief that an DECISION
that the Honorable Prosecution Office of the Province of Cagayan have offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty
been authorized by the Office of the Honorable Ombudsman to conduct thereof.[22] CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
the Preliminary Investigation much less had the former office been
authorized to file the corresponding Information as the said case, if The purpose of a preliminary investigation has been achieved already This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
evidence warrants, fall exclusively with the jurisdiction of the Honorable and we see no cogent nor compelling reason why a reinvestigation Court, assailing the 18 December 2002 Decision 1 of the Court of
Sandiganbayan notwithstanding the presence of other public officers should still be conducted. Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 67770 and its 12 June 2003 Resolution
whose salary range is below 27 and notwithstanding the presence of denying petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration. The dispositive
persons who are not public officers. As an aside, an offense is considered committed in relation to office portion of the assailed decision reads as follows:
when it is intimately connected with their respective offices and was
It is a well-settled rule that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or WHEREFORE, finding public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad to
court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent, and after irregular, of their official functions.[23] have acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed Orders, the instant petition for
same jurisdiction.[21] In the case of Cunanan vs. Arceo, it was held that: certiorari, mandamus and prohibition is hereby GRANTED and GIVEN
DUE COURSE, and it is hereby ordered:
We therefore hold that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the ... the absence in the information filed on 5 April 1991 before Branch 46
case because of estoppel and it was thus vested with the authority to of the RTC of San Fernando, Pampanga, of an allegation that petitioner 1. The assailed Joint Order dated August 17, 2001, Order dated
order the amendment of the Information. had committed the offense charged in relation to his office is September 21, 2001, Joint Order dated October 16, 2001 and Joint
immaterial and easily remedied. Respondent RTC judges had forwarded Order dated November 14, 2001 dismissing the two (2) Informations for
Rule 110, Section 14 of the Rules of Court provides thus: petitioners case to the Sandiganbayan, and the complete records Murder, all issued by public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad in
transmitted thereto in accordance with the directions of this Court set Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524 are hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete criminal cases in the RTC of Santiago City, as well as the issuance of
to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and another entered UPHOLDING, preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to recall and/or quash warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. Petitioners
AFFIRMING[,] and REINSTATING the Order dated June 25, 2001 and the warrants of arrest. moved for a reconsideration of this Decision, but the same was denied
Joint Order dated July 6, 2001 issued by the then acting Presiding Judge in a Resolution dated 12 June 2003.
Wilfredo Tumaliuan; In the hearing of the urgent motion on 6 July 2001, Judge Tumaliuan
noted the absence of petitioners and issued a Joint Order denying said Hence, this petition.
2. Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524 are hereby ordered urgent motion on the ground that, since the court did not acquire
REINSTATED in the docket of active criminal cases of Branch 36 of the jurisdiction over their persons, the motion cannot be properly heard by The facts of the case being undisputed, petitioners bring forth to this
Regional Trial Court of Santiago City, Isabela; and the court. In the meantime, petitioners appealed the resolution of State Court the following assignments of error:
Prosecutor Leo T. Reyes to the Department of Justice.
3. Public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is DIRECTED to ISSUE FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
forthwith Warrants of Arrest for the apprehension of private On 17 August 2001, the new Presiding Judge Anastacio D. Anghad took
respondents Jose "Pempe" Miranda, SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, PO3 over the case and issued a Joint Order reversing the Joint Order of With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in
Romeo B. Ocon and accused Rodel T. Maderal in said Criminal Cases Judge Tumaliuan. Consequently, he ordered the cancellation of the reversing and setting aside the Joint Order of Judge Anastacio D.
Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524. 2 warrant of arrest issued against petitioner Miranda. He likewise applied Anghad dated August 17, 2001, September 21, 2001, October 16, 2001
this Order to petitioners Ocon and Dalmacio in an Order dated 21 and November 14, 2001 issued in criminal cases numbered 36-3523 and
The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as follows: September 2001. State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes and respondent Tuliao 36-3524; and, erred in upholding, affirming and reinstating the Order
moved for the reconsideration of the said Joint Order and prayed for dated July 6, 2001 issued by then Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo
On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok the inhibition of Judge Anghad, but the motion for reconsideration was Tumaliuan, on the alleged rule that an accused cannot seek any judicial
Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified as the dead bodies denied in a Joint Order dated 16 October 2001 and the prayer for relief if he does not submit his person to the jurisdiction of the court.
of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private respondent Virgilio inhibition was denied in a Joint Order dated 22 October 2001.
Tuliao who is now under the witness protection program. SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a petition for certiorari,
Two informations for murder were filed against SPO1 Wilfredo Leaño, mandamus and prohibition with this Court, with prayer for a Temporary With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in
SPO1 Ferdinand Marzan, SPO1 Ruben B. Agustin, SPO2 Alexander Micu, Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin Judge Anghad from further directing the reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and 36-3524
SPO2 Rodel Maderal, and SPO4 Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial proceeding with the case, and seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint in the docket of Active Criminal Cases of Branch 36 of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Santiago City. Orders of Judge Anghad dated 17 August 2001, 21 September 2001, 16 Court of Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the public
October 2001, and 22 October 2001. respondent to re-issue the warrants of arrest against herein petitioners.
The venue was later transferred to Manila. On 22 April 1999, the RTC of
Manila convicted all of the accused and sentenced them to two counts On 12 November 2001, this Court issued a Resolution resolving to grant THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
of reclusion perpetua except SPO2 Maderal who was yet to be the prayer for a temporary restraining order against Judge Anghad from
arraigned at that time, being at large. The case was appealed to this further proceeding with the criminal cases. Shortly after the aforesaid Wit all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals committed a
Court on automatic review where we, on 9 October 2001, acquitted the resolution, Judge Anghad issued a Joint Order dated 14 November 2001 reversible error in ordering the reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-
accused therein on the ground of reasonable doubt. dismissing the two Informations for murder against petitioners. On 19 3523 and No. 36-3524 in the docket of active criminal cases of Branch
November 2001, this Court took note of respondent’s cash bond 36 of the regional trial court of Santiago City, Philippines, and in
Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. On 27 April evidenced by O.R. No. 15924532 dated 15 November 2001, and issued ordering the public respondent to issue warrants of arrest against
2001, he executed a sworn confession and identified petitioners Jose C. the temporary restraining order while referring the petition to the herein petitioners, the order of dismissal issued therein having become
Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon, and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Court of Appeals for adjudication on the merits. final and executory.
Boyet dela Cruz and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the
deaths of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao. Respondent Tuliao filed with this Court a Motion to Cite Public Adjudication of a motion to quash a warrant of arrest requires neither
Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge Anghad "deliberately and jurisdiction over the person of the accused, nor custody of law over the
Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder against willfully committed contempt of court when he issued on 15 November body of the accused.
petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and submitted the sworn 2001 the Order dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the informations
confession of SPO2 Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting Presiding Judge for murder." On 21 November 2001, we referred said motion to the The first assignment of error brought forth by the petitioner deals with
Wilfredo Tumaliuan issued warrants of arrest against petitioners and Court of Appeals in view of the previous referral to it of respondent’s the Court of Appeals’ ruling that:
SPO2 Maderal. petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.
[A]n accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he does not submit his
On 18 December 2002, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed person to the jurisdiction of the court. Jurisdiction over the person of
decision granting the petition and ordering the reinstatement of the the accused may be acquired either through compulsory process, such
as warrant of arrest, or through his voluntary appearance, such as when the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash or other pleadings Pico deals with an application for bail, where there is the special
he surrenders to the police or to the court. It is only when the court has requiring the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction thereover, appearing requirement of the applicant being in the custody of the law. In
already acquired jurisdiction over his person that an accused may for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the matter of bail, Feliciano v. Pasicolan, 16 we held that "[t]he purpose of bail is to secure
invoke the processes of the court (Pete M. Pico vs. Alfonso V. Combing, since the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the one’s release and it would be incongruous to grant bail to one who is
Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-91-764, November 6, 1992). Thus, an accused must accused, as a rule the same cannot be posted before custody of the free. Thus, ‘bail is the security required and given for the release of a
first be placed in the custody of the law before the court may validly act accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his person who is in the custody of law.’" The rationale behind this special
on his petition for judicial reliefs.3 arrest or voluntary surrender. rule on bail is that it discourages and prevents resort to the former
pernicious practice wherein the accused could just send another in his
Proceeding from this premise, the Court of Appeals ruled that Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction between custody of stead to post his bail, without recognizing the jurisdiction of the court
petitioners Miranda, Ocon and Dalmacio cannot seek any judicial relief the law and jurisdiction over the person. Custody of the law is required by his personal appearance therein and compliance with the
since they were not yet arrested or otherwise deprived of their liberty before the court can act upon the application for bail, but is not requirements therefor. 17
at the time they filed their "Urgent Motion to complete preliminary required for the adjudication of other reliefs sought by the defendant
investigation; to reinvestigate; to recall and/or quash warrants of where the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver of the There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing pleadings seeking
arrest."4 defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused.8 Custody affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and the consequent
of the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender,9 submission of one’s person to the jurisdiction of the court. This is in the
Petitioners counter the finding of the Court of Appeals by arguing that while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his case of pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is required only in arrest or voluntary appearance. 10 One can be under the custody of the jurisdiction of the court, which only leads to a special appearance.
applications for bail. Furthermore, petitioners argue, assuming that law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, These pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the ground
such jurisdiction over their person is required before the court can act such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, whether or not
on their motion to quash the warrant for their arrest, such jurisdiction before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can other grounds for dismissal are included; 18 (2) in criminal cases,
over their person was already acquired by the court by their filing of the be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not motions to quash a complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over
above Urgent Motion. be in the custody of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody the person of the accused; and (3) motions to quash a warrant of arrest.
after his trial has commenced. 11 Being in the custody of the law The first two are consequences of the fact that failure to file them
In arguing that jurisdiction over the person is required only in the signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his own will would constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the
adjudication of applications for bail, petitioners quote Retired Court of and liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will of the law. 12 person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality
Appeals Justice Oscar Herrera: Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the accused. It of the court process forcing the submission of the person of the
includes, but is not limited to, detention. accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a warrant of arrest.
Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary for the court to first
acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused to dismiss the case The statement in Pico v. Judge Combong, Jr., 13 cited by the Court of To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal cases,
or grant other relief. The outright dismissal of the case even before the Appeals should not have been separated from the issue in that case, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived by the
court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused is authorized which is the application for admission to bail of someone not yet in the accused when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except
under Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure custody of the law. The entire paragraph of our pronouncement in Pico in cases when he invokes the special jurisdiction of the court by
and the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure (Sec. 12a). In Allado vs. reads: impugning such jurisdiction over his person. Therefore, in narrow cases
Diokno (232 SCRA 192), the case was dismissed on motion of the involving special appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of
accused for lack of probable cause without the accused having been A person applying for admission to bail must be in the custody of the the court even though there is neither jurisdiction over the person nor
arrested. In Paul Roberts vs. Court of Appeals (254 SCRA 307), the Court law or otherwise deprived of his liberty. A person who has not custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the special
was ordered to hold the issuance of a warrant of arrest in abeyance submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court has no right to invoke jurisdiction of the court applies for bail, he must first submit himself to
pending review by the Secretary of Justice. And in Lacson vs. Executive the processes of that court. Respondent Judge should have diligently the custody of the law.
Secretary (301 SCRA 1025), the Court ordered the case transferred from ascertained the whereabouts of the applicant and that he indeed had
the Sandiganbayan to the RTC which eventually ordered the dismissal of jurisdiction over the body of the accused before considering the In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the general rule
the case for lack of probable cause.6 application for bail. 13 applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have submitted himself to the
jurisdiction of the court upon seeking affirmative relief.
In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person was While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar as it Notwithstanding this, there is no requirement for him to be in the
already acquired by their filing of the above Urgent Motion, petitioners concerns bail, we clarify that, as a general rule, one who seeks an custody of the law. The following cases best illustrate this point, where
invoke our pronouncement, through Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the we granted various reliefs to accused who were not in the custody of
Santiago v. Vasquez7: court. 15 As we held in the aforecited case of Santiago, seeking an the law, but were deemed to have placed their persons under the
affirmative relief in court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings, jurisdiction of the court. Note that none of these cases involve the
The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires constitutes voluntary appearance. application for bail, nor a motion to quash an information due to lack of
jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either by his pleading to jurisdiction over the person, nor a motion to quash a warrant of arrest:
Quashing a warrant of arrest based on a subsequently filed petition for Presiding Judge, finds merit in the contention of herein accused-
1. In Allado v. Diokno, 19 on the prayer of the accused in a petition for review with the Secretary of Justice and based on doubts engendered movant, Jose "Pempe" Miranda.26
certiorari on the ground of lack of probable cause, we issued a by the political climate constitutes grave abuse of discretion.
temporary restraining order enjoining PACC from enforcing the warrant Judge Anghad is referring to the following provision of the Constitution
of arrest and the respondent judge therein from further proceeding We nevertheless find grave abuse of discretion in the assailed actions of as having been violated by Judge Tumaliuan:
with the case and, instead, to elevate the records to us. Judge Anghad. Judge Anghad seemed a little too eager of dismissing the
criminal cases against the petitioners. First, he quashed the standing Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
2. In Roberts, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,20 upon the accused’s Motion to warrant of arrest issued by his predecessor because of a subsequently papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
Suspend Proceedings and to Hold in Abeyance Issuance of Warrants of filed appeal to the Secretary of Justice, and because of his doubts on whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search
Arrest on the ground that they filed a Petition for Review with the the existence of probable cause due to the political climate in the city. warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
Department of Justice, we directed respondent judge therein to cease Second, after the Secretary of Justice affirmed the prosecutor’s be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
and desist from further proceeding with the criminal case and to defer resolution, he dismissed the criminal cases on the basis of a decision of affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
the issuance of warrants of arrests against the accused. this Court in another case with different accused, doing so two days particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
after this Court resolved to issue a temporary restraining order against things to be seized.27
3. In Lacson v. Executive Secretary,21 on the prayer of the accused in a further proceeding with the case.
petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of However, after a careful scrutiny of the records of the case, including
the Sandiganbayan, we directed the Sandiganbayan to transfer the After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of petitioners, the supporting evidence to the resolution of the prosecutor in his
criminal cases to the Regional Trial Court even before the issuance of petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant prosecutor’s resolution determination of probable cause, we find that Judge Anghad gravely
the warrants of arrest. before the Secretary of Justice. Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming abused his discretion.
office, quashed the warrant of arrest on the basis of said appeal.
We hold that the circumstances forcing us to require custody of the law According to Judge Anghad, "x x x prudence dictates (that) and because According to petitioners:
in applications for bail are not present in motions to quash the warrant of comity, a deferment of the proceedings is but proper."24
of arrest. If we allow the granting of bail to persons not in the custody In this case, the nullity of the order of Judge Tumaliuan, for the arrest of
of the law, it is foreseeable that many persons who can afford the bail Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is inconceivable to the petitioners is apparent from the face of the order itself, which
will remain at large, and could elude being held to answer for the charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in prudence and oblivious to comity clearly stated that the determination of probable cause was based on
commission of the offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other when he issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because the certification, under oath, of the fiscal and not on a separate
hand, if we allow the quashal of warrants of arrest to persons not in the the petitioners might, in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutor’s determination personally made by the Judge. No presumption of
custody of the law, it would be very rare that a person not genuinely resolution to the Secretary of Justice. But even if the petition for review regularity could be drawn from the order since it expressly and clearly
entitled to liberty would remain scot-free. This is because it is the same was filed before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains showed that it was based only on the fiscal’s certification.28
judge who issued the warrant of arrest who will decide whether or not that the pendency of a petition for the review of the prosecutor’s
he followed the Constitution in his determination of probable cause, resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants of arrest. Petitioners’ claim is untrue. Judge Tumaliuan’s Joint Order contains no
and he can easily deny the motion to quash if he really did find such indication that he relied solely on the prosecutor’s certification.
probable cause after personally examining the records of the case. In Webb v. de Leon,25 we held that the petitioners therein cannot assail The Joint Order even indicated the contrary:
as premature the filing of the information in court against them on the
Moreover, pursuant to the presumption of regularity of official ground that they still have the right to appeal the adverse resolution of Upon receipt of the information and resolution of the prosecutor, the
functions, the warrant continues in force and effect until it is quashed the DOJ Panel to the Secretary of Justice. Similarly, the issuance of Court proceeded to determine the existence of a probable cause by
and therefore can still be enforced on any day and at any time of the warrants of arrest against petitioners herein should not have been personally evaluating the records x x x.[29]
day and night.22 Furthermore, the continued absence of the accused quashed as premature on the same ground.
can be taken against him in the determination of probable cause, since The records of the case show that the prosecutor’s certification was
flight is indicative of guilt. The other ground invoked by Judge Anghad for the quashal of the accompanied by supporting documents, following the requirement
warrant of arrest is in order if true: violation of the Constitution. Hence, under Lim, Sr. v. Felix30 and People v. Inting.31 The supporting
In fine, as much as it is incongruous to grant bail to one who is free, it is Judge Anghad asked and resolved the question: documents are the following:
likewise incongruous to require one to surrender his freedom before
asserting it. Human rights enjoy a higher preference in the hierarchy of In these double murder cases, did this Court comply or adhere to the 1. Resolution dated 21 June 2001 of State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes;
rights than property rights,23 demanding that due process in the above-quoted constitutional proscription, which is Sec. 2, Article III Bill
deprivation of liberty must come before its taking and not after. of Rights; to Sec. 6(a), Rule 112, Rules of Criminal Procedure and to the 2. Affidavit dated 22 May 2001 of Modesto Gutierrez;
above-cited decisional cases? To this query or issue, after a deep
perusal of the arguments raised, this Court, through [its] regular 3. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Romeo B. Ocon;
4. Joint Counter Affidavit dated 23 May 2001 of Mayor Jose C. Miranda probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is not a Leaño case was presented. A decision, even of this Court, acquitting the
and Reynaldo de la Cruz; pronouncement of guilt. accused therein of a crime cannot be the basis of the dismissal of
criminal case against different accused for the same crime. The blunder
5. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Alberto Dalmacio; x x x Probable cause merely implies probability of guilt and should be of Judge Anghad is even more pronounced by the fact that our decision
determined in a summary manner. Preliminary investigation is not a in Leaño was based on reasonable doubt. We never ruled in Leaño that
6. Decision dated 22 April 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, part of trial x x x. the crime did not happen; we just found that there was reasonable
Branch 41 in Criminal Case No. 97-160355; doubt as to the guilt of the accused therein, since the prosecution in
Dismissing a criminal case on the basis of a decision of this Court in that case relied on circumstantial evidence, which interestingly is not
7. Sworn statement dated 27 April 2001 of Rodel Maderal; another case with different accused constitutes grave abuse of even the situation in the criminal cases of the petitioners in the case at
discretion. bar as there is here an eyewitness: Rodel Maderal. The accused in
8. Information dated 22 June 2001; Leaño furthermore had no motive to kill respondent Tuliao’s son,
Judge Anghad had quashed the warrant of arrest on the ground, among whereas petitioners herein had been implicated in the testimony of
9. Affidavit-complaint of Virgilio Tuliao; and other things, that there was a petition for review of the assistant respondent Tuliao before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
prosecutor’s resolution before the Secretary of Justice. However, after
10. Medico-legal Reports of the cadavers of Elezer Tuliao and Vicente the Secretary of Justice affirmed the prosecutor’s resolution, Judge It is preposterous to conclude that because of our finding of reasonable
Buazon. Anghad summarily dismissed the two criminal cases against the doubt in Leaño, "it is now beyond doubt that Rodel Maderal made
petitioners on the basis of the following explanation: untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements and therefore the same
Hence, procedurally, we can conclude that there was no violation on is without probable value."35 On the contrary, if we are to permit the
the part of Judge Tumaliuan of Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution. Rodel Maderal was one of the accused in People vs. Wilfredo Leano, et use of our decision in Leaño, an acquittal on the ground of reasonable
Judge Anghad, however, focused on the substantive part of said al., RTC, Branch 41, Manila, and based from his sworn statements, he doubt actually points to the probability of the prosecution’s version of
section, i.e., the existence of probable cause. In failing to find probable pinpointed to Mr. Miranda – the mastermind and with him and the the facts therein. Such probability of guilt certainly meets the criteria of
cause, Judge Anghad ruled that the confession of SPO2 Maderal is other police officers as the direct perpetrators, the October 9, 2001 probable cause.
incredible for the following reasons: (1) it was given after almost two Decision of the Supreme Court absolving the five cops of murder,
years in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation; (2) it was certainly makes his sworn Statements a "narration of falsehood and We cannot let unnoticed, too, Judge Anghad’s dismissal of the
given by someone who rendered himself untrustworthy for being a lies" and that because of the decision acquitting said officers "who were informations two days after we resolved to issue, upon the filing of a
fugitive for five years; (3) it was given in exchange for an obvious likewise falsely linked by said Rodel Maderal in his April 27, 2001 bond, a temporary restraining order prohibiting him from further
reward of discharge from the information; and (4) it was given during statements, it is now beyond doubt that Rodel Maderal made proceeding with the case. The bond was filed the day after the
the election period amidst a "politically charged scenario where untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements and therefore the same informations were dismissed. While the dismissal of the case was able
"Santiago City voters were pitted against each other along the lines of is without probable value." This Court agrees with the defense’s views. to beat the effectivity date of the temporary restraining order, such
the Miranda camp on one side and former City Mayor Amelita S. Indeed, of what use is Maderal’s statements when the Supreme Court abrupt dismissal of the informations (days after this Court’s resolve to
Navarro, and allegedly that of DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez on the rejected the prosecution’s evidence presented and adduced in Criminal issue a TRO against Judge Anghad) creates wild suspicions about the
other."32 Case No. 97-160355. Rodel Maderal is supposed to turn state witness in motives of Judge Anghad.
these two (2) cases but with the Supreme Court decision adverted to,
We painstakingly went through the records of the case and found no the probative value of his statements is practically nil. Nullification of a proceeding necessarily carries with it the
reason to disturb the findings of probable cause of Judge Tumaliuan. reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified proceeding.
xxxx
It is important to note that an exhaustive debate on the credibility of a In their second assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court of
witness is not within the province of the determination of probable This Court finds merit to the manifestation of the accused Miranda Appeals did not recall or reinstate the warrants of arrest issued by
cause. As we held in Webb33: dated October 18, 2001, praying for the summary dismissal of the two Judge Tumaliuan, but instead directed Judge Anghad to issue
(2) murder charges in view of the latest decision of the Supreme Court apparently new warrants of arrest.36 According to the petitioners, it
A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that in People of the Philippines vs. Wilfredo Leaño, et al., G.R. No. 13886, was an error for the Court of Appeals to have done so, without a
more likely than not a crime has been committed and was committed acquitting the accused therein and in effect disregarding all the personal determination of probable cause.
by the suspects. Probable cause need not be based on clear and evidence presented by the prosecution in that case. Accordingly, the
convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence establishing guilt two (2) informations [for] murder filed against Jose Miranda are We disagree. Whether the Court of Appeals ordered the issuance of
beyond reasonable doubt and definitely, not on evidence establishing ordered dismissed.34 new warrants of arrest or merely ordered the reinstatement of the
absolute certainty of guilt. As well put in Brinegar v. United States, warrants of arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuan is merely a matter of
while probable cause demands more than "bare suspicion," it requires This is a clear case of abuse of discretion. Judge Anghad had no right to scrupulous semantics, the slight inaccuracy whereof should not be
"less than evidence which would justify x x x conviction." A finding of twist our decision and interpret it to the discredit of SPO2 Maderal, allowed to affect the dispositions on the merits, especially in this case
who was still at large when the evidence of the prosecution in the where the other dispositions of the Court of Appeals point to the other
direction. Firstly, the Court of Appeals had reinstated the 25 June 2001 Obviously, the Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 of Judge Anghad,
Order of Judge Tumaliuan,37 which issued the warrants of arrest. which ultimately dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 AND 36-3524 is As to respondent Tuliao’s prayer (in both the original petition for
Secondly, the Court of Appeals likewise declared the proceedings NOT included in the list of the assailed Order/Joint Orders. Hence, the certiorari as well as in his motion to cite for contempt) to disqualify
conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the declaration of nullity of Court of Appeals should not have passed upon the validity or nullity of Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, we hold that the
proceedings should be deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the the Joint Order of November 14, 2001.38 number of instances of abuse of discretion in this case are enough to
orders set aside by the nullified proceedings. Judge Anghad’s order convince us of an apparent bias on the part of Judge Anghad. We
quashing the warrants of arrest had been nullified; therefore those Petitioners must have forgotten that respondent Tuliao’s Petition for further resolve to follow the case of People v. SPO1 Leaño,41 by
warrants of arrest are henceforth deemed unquashed. Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus was filed not with the Court of transferring the venue of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524
Appeals, but with this Court. The Court of Appeals decided the case to the City of Manila, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4, of the
Even if, however, the Court of Appeals had directed the issuance of new because we referred the same to them in our 19 November 2001 Constitution.
warrants of arrest based on a determination of probable cause, it would Resolution. Such petition was filed on 25 October 2001, around three
have been legally permissible for them to do so. The records of the weeks before the 14 November 2001 Order. Upon receipt of the 14 WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 18 December
preliminary investigation had been available to the Court of Appeals, November 2001 Order, however, respondent Tuliao lost no time in 2002 and the Resolution dated 12 June 2003 of the Court of Appeals are
and are also available to this Court, allowing both the Court of Appeals filing with this Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that Criminal Cases No. 36-
and this Court to personally examine the records of the case and not alleging that Judge Anghad "deliberately and willfully committed 3523 and No. 36-3524 be transferred to and raffled in the Regional Trial
merely rely on the certification of the prosecutor. As we have ruled in contempt of court when he issued on 15 November 2001 the Order Court of the City of Manila. In this connection,
Allado v. Diokno and Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the determination of dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder." On
probable cause does not rest on a subjective criteria. As we had 21 November 2001, we referred said motion to the Court of Appeals, in 1) Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Executive Judge of the
resolved in those cases to overrule the finding of probable cause of the view of the previous referral of respondent Tuliao’s petition for RTC of the City of Santiago, Isabela, who is directed to effect the
judges therein on the ground of grave abuse of discretion, in the same certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. transfer of the cases within ten (10) days after receipt hereof;
vein, we can also overrule the decision of a judge reversing a finding of
probable cause, also on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. Our referral to the Court of Appeals of the Motion to Cite Public 2) The Executive Judge of the RTC of the City of Santiago, Isabela, is
Repondent in Contempt places the 14 November 2001 Order within the likewise directed to report to this Court compliance hereto within ten
There is no double jeopardy in the reinstatement of a criminal case issues of the case decided by the Court of Appeals. In claiming that (10) days from transfer of these cases;
dismissed before arraignment Judge Anghad committed contempt of this Court in issuing the 14
November 2001 Order, respondent Tuliao had ascribed to Judge 3) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila shall proceed to raffle the
In their third assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court of Anghad an act much more serious than grave abuse of discretion. criminal cases within ten (10) days from the transfer;
Appeals committed a reversible error in ordering the reinstatement of
Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524, alleging that the order of Respondent Tuliao claims that Judge Anghad issued the 14 November 4) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila is likewise directed to
dismissal issued therein had become final and executory. According to 2001 Order on 15 November 2001, antedating it so as to avoid the report to this Court compliance with the order to raffle within ten (10)
petitioners: effects of our 12 November 2001 Resolution. In said 12 November 2001 days from said compliance; and
Resolution, we resolved to issue a temporary restraining order
It is also worthy to point out at this juncture that the Joint Order of enjoining Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the criminal cases 5) The RTC Judge to whom the criminal cases are raffled is directed to
Judge Anghad dated November 14, 2001 is NOT ONE of those Orders upon the respondent Tuliao’s filing of a bond in the amount of act on said cases with reasonable dispatch.
which were assailed in the private respondent Tuliao’s Petition for P20,000.00. Respondent Tuliao had filed the bond on 15 November
Certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition filed by the private respondent 2005. 6) Finally, Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is directed to issue forthwith
before the Court of Appeals. As carefully enumerated in the first page warrants of arrest for the apprehension of petitioners Jose C. Miranda,
of the assailed Decision, only the following Orders issued by Judge While we cannot immediately pronounce Judge Anghad in contempt, Alberto P. Dalmacio, Romeo B. Ocon, and accused Rodel T. Maderal,
Anghad were questioned by private respondent, to wit: seeing as disobedience to lawful orders of a court and abuse of court conformably with the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 18
processes are cases of indirect contempt which require the granting of December 2002.
1.) Joint Order dated August 17, 2001; opportunity to be heard on the part of respondent,39 the prayer to cite
public respondent in contempt and for other reliefs just and equitable The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court dated 4 August
2.) Order dated September 21, 2001; under the premises should be construed to include a prayer for the 2003 is hereby LIFTED. Costs against Petitioners.
nullification of said 14 November 2001 Order.
3.) Joint Order dated October 16, 2001; and SO ORDERED.
In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before
4.) Joint Order dated October 22, 2001. arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy. Double jeopardy
cannot be invoked where the accused has not been arraigned and it
was upon his express motion that the case was dismissed.40
the other occupants namely: Antonio Concepcion, Rhinna Lin Capili, Municipal Court has no jurisdiction to try Criminal Case No. 77-1848.
Renee Ann Capili and Lourdes Concepcion sustained serious physical The Court agrees with the Solicitor General.
injuries, and the said car suffered damages in the amount of
G.R. No. L-46934 April 15, 1988 P18,000.00, belonging to Antonio Concepcion, to the damage and Criminal Case No. 77-1848 involves a complex crime of homicide,
prejudice of the offended parties. multiple serious physical injuries and damage to property, resulting
ALFREDO CUYOS y TULOR, petitioner, from reckless imprudence. Under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code,
vs. Petitioner entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment. After in a prosecution for a complex crime constituted by two (2) or more
HON. NICOLAS P. GARCIA, Presiding Judge, Municipal Court, San arraignment, respondent Judge set the case for trial on 12,14 and 16 grave or less grave felonies, the penalty for the most serious crime is to
Fernando, Pampanga and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, September 1977. be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. In the
respondents. present case, one might, as respondent Municipal Judge did, look only
Before trial could commence, however, petitioner filed on 6 September at the acts which constitute the offenses comprising the complex crime
De la Cruz, De Loso and Sison Law Offices for petitioner. 1977 a " Motion to Remand the Case to the Court of First Instance for here involved. One is likely to do so through eyes which are culturally
Trial" , alleging lack of jurisdiction over the case on the part of the conditioned and so is likely to assume, as did respondent Municipal
The Solicitor General for respondents. Municipal Court. Petitioner's argument was that the amended criminal Judge, that the most serious offense of which petitioner is accused is
complaint alleged that the Volkswagen car involved in the accident had homicide through reckless imprudence. Under paragraph 2, Article 365
RESOLUTION suffered damages amounting to P18,000.00, and that under paragraph of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty imposable upon petitioner,
3, Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime with which he was should he be found guilty of homicide through reckless imprudence,
charged would carry a fine in an amount ranging from the amount of would be prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.
FELICIANO, J.: the damage to three (3) times the value of the damage alleged (i.e. 3 x
P18,000.00 or P54,000.00). Petitioner urged in his Motion that because Art. 365. Imprudence and negligence.
Petitioner Alfredo Cuyos, in this Petition for certiorari with Prayer for under Section 87 (e) of the Judiciary Act of 1948 as amended (Republic
Preliminary Injunction seeks to set aside the Order dated 9 September Act No. 296 as amended), the respondent Municipal Court of the xxx xxx xxx
1977 issued by respondent Municipal Court Judge Nicolas P. Garcia in Provincial Capital of Pampanga, had jurisdiction only over offenses
Criminal Case No. 77-1848 (entitled " People of the Philippines, plaintiff punishable by a fine not exceeding P6,000.00, the case had to be The provisions contained in this Article shall not be applicable:
vs. Alfredo Cuyos y Tulor, accused") denying petitioner's Motion to transferred to the Court of First Instance. On the same date, petitioner
Transfer said case to the then Court of First Instance of Pampanga for filed an Urgent Motion to Postpone the trial of the case relying on the xxx xxx xxx
trial on the merits. same grounds set out in his Motion to Transfer the Case to the Court of
First Instance. (2) When, by imprudence or negligence and with violation of the
Petitioner was charged before the Municipal Court of San Fernando, automobile law, the death of a person shall be caused, in which case
Pampanga, with homicide with multiple serious physical injuries and After a joint hearing of the two (2) Motions filed by petitioner, the the defendants shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium
damage to property, through reckless imprudence. Petitioner was respondent Municipal judge issued an order dated 9 September 1977 and maximum periods.
driver of a cargo truck which had collided with a Volkswagen denying the Motion to transfer the Case to the Court of First Instance
automobile in a vehicular accident which resulted in the death of one and set the trial of the case for 5 October 1977. A verbal Motion for xxx xxx xxx
(1) person and physical injuries to four (4) other people. The Amended Reconsideration by petitioner was denied.
Complaint against petitioner read as follows: At the time of the filing of the criminal complaint against petitioner
Hence the present Petition for Certiorari, assailing the jurisdiction of the before the Municipal Court of San Fernando, Pampanga, such Municipal
That on or about the 9th day of June 1977, at about 6:10 P.M., at the respondent court to try the criminal case against petitioner on the Court in the capital of the Province of Pampanga had jurisdiction to
MacArthur Highway, barrio San Isidro, San Fernando, Pampanga, merits. impose a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said not exceeding P6,000. 00 or both. The applicable provision was the
accused, being then the driver and person in charge of a truck bearing By a Resolution dated 26 September 1977, this Court issued a fourth paragraph of Article 87 (c) of Republic Act No. 296 as amended
plate No. V 139 T Filipinos 1977, willfully and unlawfully drive and Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the respondent Municipal Court which provided as follows:
operate the same in a negligent, imprudent and careless manner, and from proceeding with Criminal Case No. 77-1848.
without due regard to traffic laws, rules and regulations, and without xxx xxx xxx
taking the necessary precaution to prevent accident to person and The sole issue raised in this Petition is whether or not the respondent
damage to property, causing by such negligence, imprudence and Municipal Court of San Fernando, Pampanga has jurisdiction to try the Municipal judges in the capitals of provinces and sub-provinces and
carelessness, the said truck driven and operated by him bumped and hit criminal case against petitioner. judges of city courts shall have like jurisdiction as the Court of First
a Volkswagen car bearing plate no. E 604 Filipinos 1977, then driven by Instance to try parties charged with an offense committed within their
Antonio M. Concepcion, as a result of which one of the occupants of the The Solicitor General, in his Comment dated 27 October 1977, agreed respective jurisdictions, in which the penalty provided by law does not
said car, Victoriana Miranda Concepcion died in the said accident, and with and adopted the position taken by petitioner that respondent exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for not more than six years
or fine not exceeding six thousand pesos or both, and in the absence of multiple informations possibly brought in different courts. This is the declared itself without jurisdiction to try the case and forwarded the
the district judge, shall have like jurisdiction within the province as the thrust of our case law on the matter. same to the Court of First Instance. The latter court then declared itself
Court of First Instance to hear applications for bail. similarly without jurisdiction over the complex crime charged in the
In Angeles, etc., et al, v. Jose, et al., 2 the Court had occasion to deal information, upon the ground that the penalty for the graver offense of
xxx xxx xxx with a criminal information against one Domingo Mejia before the physical injuries through reckless imprudence was only arresto mayor in
Court of First Instance of Manila, charging him with the crime of its, maximum and medium periods which penalty, even if applied in its
(Emphasis supplied) damage to property in the sum of P654.22 and with less serious maximum degree (in view of the complex -nature of the crime), would
physical injuries through reckless imprudence, committed, in one single remain within the jurisdiction of the Justice of Peace Court. Upon
Thus, if the basic assumption made earlier as to the relative gravity of act. There, the respondent Court of First Instance dismissed the criminal appeal by the prosecution, the Court, speaking through Mr. Justice
homicide through reckless imprudence and damage to property information upon the ground that the penalty prescribed by Article 365 J.B.L. Reyes, held that the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction over
through reckless imprudence were correct, the respondent Municipal of the Revised Penal Code was only arresto mayor in its minimum and the complex crime there involved:
Judge would have to be vested with jurisdiction over the criminal medium periods which was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
charges against petitioner. Municipal Court. The prosecution then invited attention to the fact that We find the appeal well taken, for this case comes squarely under the
the fine which could be imposed by the respondent court on account of rule laid down by us in Angeles, et al. v. ,rose, et al. [96 Phil. 151
As a technical legal proposition, however, the relative seriousness of the damage to property through reckless imprudence was a sum (1954)],, wherein we held that.—
offenses is determined by the seriousness of the penalties attached by ranging from P654.22 to P1,962.66 (P654.22 x 3) which amount was
the law to the several offenses. It was noted earlier that the imposable beyond the jurisdiction of a Municipal Court to impose as fine. In setting xxx xxx xxx
penalty in case of homicide through reckless imprudence is prision aside the order of dismissal by the respondent Court of First Instance
correccional in its medium and maximum periods, i.e., a correctional and remanding the case to the trial court further proceedings, the Consider that it is the court of first instance that would undoubtedly
penalty in the scale of penalties set up in Article 25 of the Revised Penal Supreme Court said: have jurisdiction if the only offense that resulted from appellant's
Code. Upon the other hand, the penalty for damage to property imprudence were the damage to property in the amount of P2,636.00,
through reckless imprudence is provided for in the third paragraph of [The third paragraph of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code] simply it would be absurd to hold that for the graver offense of serious and
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code which reads as follows: means that if there is only damage to property the amount fixed less serious physical injuries combined with damage to property
therein shall be imposed, but if there are also physical injuries there, through reckless imprudence, jurisdiction would lie in the justice of the
When the execution of the Act covered by this Article shall have only should be an additional penalty for the latter. The information cannot peace court. The presumption is against absurdity, and it is the duty of
resulted in damage to the property of another, the offender shall be be split into two; one for the physical injuries, and another for the the courts to interpret the law in such a way as to avoid absurd results.
punished by a fine ranging from an amount equal to the value of paid damage to property, for both the injuries and the damage committed Our system of apportionment of criminal jurisdictions among the
damages to three-times such value, but which shall in no case be less were caused by one single act of the defendant and constitute what various trial courts proceeds on the basic theory that crimes cognizable
than P25.00. (Emphasis supplied) may be called a complex crime of physical injuries and damage to by the Courts of First Instance are more serious than those triable
property. It is clear that the fine fixed by law in this case is beyond the injustice of the peace or municipal courts.
Under Article 26 of the same Code, a fine may be an afflictive penalty jurisdiction of the municipal court and within that of the court of first
(i.e., if it exceeds P6,000.00) or a correctional penalty (i.e., if it is instance. 3 (Emphasis supplied) Moreover, we cannot discard the possibility that the prosecution may
P200.00 or more but does not exceed P6,000.00). The offense so not be able to prove all the supposed offenses constituting the complex
penalized with a fine may be a grave felony (i.e. if the imposable fine is Thus, in Angeles, we held that the jurisdiction of the Court to take crime charge. Were we to hold that it is the justice of the Peace court
afflictive in nature) or a less grave felony (i.e., if the imposable fine is cognizance of the case must be determined, not by the penalty for the that has jurisdiction in this case, if later the prosecution should fail to
merely correctional). 1 In the instant case, the maximum fine which physical injuries charged but by the fine imposable for the damage to prove the physical injuries aspect of the case and establish only the
may be imposed upon petitioner is P54,000.00 (3 x P18,000.00), property resulting from reckless imprudence. Damage to property damage to property in the amount of P2,636.00, the inferior court
obviously an afflictive penalty and hence, in the scheme of the Revised through reckless imprudence need not be a lighter offense than less would find itself without jurisdiction to impose the fine for the damage
Penal Code, more serious than the penalty imposable for homicide serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence. Because the to property committed, since such fine can not be less than the amount
through reckless imprudence. maximum fine (P1,962.66) imposable upon the accused in the Angeles of the damage. Again, it is to avoid this further absurdity that we must
case was beyond the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Manila to hold that the jurisdiction lies in the court of first instance in this case. 5
In complex crimes, it is not uncommon that one constitutive offense impose, the criminal case fell within the jurisdiction of the respondent
carries with it an afflictive penalty while the other or other constitutive Court of First Instance of Manila. The applicable rule on the allocation of jurisdiction between an inferior
offenses carry with them only a correctional or even a light penalty. court on the one hand and the Regional Trial Court on the other, in
Jurisdiction over the whole complex crime must logically be lodged with People v. Villanueva 4 followed the rule set out in Angeles. In respect of complex crimes involving reckless imprudence resulting in
the trial court having jurisdiction to impose the maximum and most Villanueva, the accused was charged before the Justice of Peace Court homicide or physical injuries and damage to property, was summarized
serious penalty imposable on an offense forming part of the complex of Batangas, Batangas with the crime of serious and less serious by Mr. Justice Barrera in People v. Malabanan: 6
crime. A complex crime must be prosecuted integrally, as it were, and physical injuries, with damage to property in the amount of P2,636.00,
not split into its component offenses and the latter made the subject of through reckless imprudence. The Justice of Peace Court subsequently
It is true that, following the ruling of this Court in the case of Lapuz v. Bulacan and which checks he handed and delivered to the sales
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-6382, March 30,1954 (40 O.G. 18 supp.), in Fernan (Chairman), Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur. Supervisor of SMC, Mr. Ruben Cornelio, who holds office in that
imposing the corresponding penalty, to the quasi-offense of reckless municipality. The Court finds it rather difficult to believe the claim and
imprudence resulting in physical injuries and damage to property, G.R. Nos. L-74053-54 January 20, 1988 testimony of the accused that these checks which he admittedly signed
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code should be applied. However, there and which he delivered to Mr. Cornelio in blank were filled up without
may be cases, as the one at bar, where the imposable penalty for the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, his knowledge particularly the amounts appearing therein which in the
physical injuries charged would come within the jurisdiction of the petitioners, case of the check involved in Criminal Case No. 2800 amounted to
municipal or justice of the peace court while the fine, for the damage to vs. P86,071.20, and, in the case of the check involved in Criminal Case No.
property, would fall on the Court of First Instance. As the information NATHANIEL M. GROSPE, Presiding Judge, Branch 44, Regional Trial 2813, amounted to Pl1,918.80. The accused had been engaged in
cannot be split into two, one for damages and another for the physical Court of Pampanga and MANUEL PARULAN, respondents. business for some time involving amounts that are quite considerable,
injuries, the jurisdiction of the court to take cognizance of the case and it is hard to believe that he will agree to this kind of arrangement
must be determined not by the corresponding penalty for the physical which placed or exposed him to too much risks and uncertainties.
injuries charged but by the fine imposable for the damage to property MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
resulting from the reckless imprudence. 7 (Emphasis supplied) But even as this Court is convinced that the accused had issued these
A special civil action for certiorari seeking to set aside the Decision of checks to the representative of SMC on the occasions testified to in
It remains only to point out that under B.P. Blg. 129, the law presently respondent Presiding Judge of Branch 44, Regional Trial Court of these cases by the witnesses for the prosecution which two checks
in effect, we would have to reach the same result: i.e., that the criminal Pampanga, dismissing Criminal Case No. 2800 for Violation of B.P. Blg. were subsequently dishonored due to lack of funds resulting in damage
case against petitioner falls within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial 22, and Criminal Case No. 2813 for Estafa, for being "bereft of to SMC, the offended party herein, this Court, after considering the
Court. Under Section 32 (2) of B.P. Blg. 129, Metropolitan Trial Courts, jurisdiction to pass judgment on the accused on the basis of the merits totality of the evidence and the circumstances that attended the
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts have: of these cases." issuance of these two checks until they were both dishonored by the
drawee bank, the Planters Development Bank, at Santa Maria, Bulacan,
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with Respondent-accused, Manuel Parulan, is an authorized wholesale has come to the conclusion that it is bereft of jurisdiction to pass
imprisonment of not exceeding four (4) years and two (2) months, or a dealer of petitioner San Miguel Corporation (SMC, for short) in Bulacan. judgment on the accused on the basis of the merits of these cases.
fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and
imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other In Criminal Case No. 2800 of the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga, he which he reasoned out, thus:
penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or was charged with Violation of the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. Blg. 22 for
predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount having issued a check on 13 June 1983 for P86,071.20) in favor of SMC Deceit and damage are the two essential elements that make up the
thereof Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to but which was dishonored for having been drawn against 'insufficient offenses involving dishonored checks. And in order that this Court may
property through criminal negligence they should have exclusive funds and, in spite of repeated demands, for having failed and refused have jurisdiction to try these cases, it must be established that both or
original jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed twenty to make good said check to the damage and prejudice of SMC. any one of these elements composing the offenses charged must occur
thousand pesos. (Emphasis supplied) or take place within the area over which this Court has territorial
In Criminal Case No. 2813 of the same Court, Respondent-accused was jurisdiction. Here, however, it is clear that none of these elements took
Since the maximum fine imposable in the present case is P54,000.00, charged with Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the Revised place or occurred within the jurisdictional area of this Court.
and the maximum imprisonment imposable (for the homicide through Penal Code for having made out a check on 18 June 1983 in the sum of
reckless imprudence) is six (6) years, clearly, the criminal charge P11,918.80 in favor of SMC in payment of beer he had purchased, but As gleaned from the evidence, the two checks involved herein were
involved falls outside the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court and which check was refused payment for "insufficient funds" and, in spite issued by the accused at Guiguinto, Bulacan. They were delivered and
consequently within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of San of repeated demands, for having failed and refused to redeem said handed to Supervisor Ruben Cornelio of San Miguel Corporation in his
Fernando, Pampanga. check to the damage and prejudice of SMC. capacity as the representative of the company holding office in that
municipality where the transactions of the accused with SMC took
WHEREFORE, the Order of the respondent Municipal Court of 9 The two cases were tried jointly, the witnesses for both prosecution place. It was before Supervisor Cornelio at Guiguinto, Bulacan that false
September 1977 is hereby SET ASIDE as null and void and the and defense being the same for the two suits. assurances were made by the accused that the checks issued by him
Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court on 26 September were good and backed by sufficient funds in his bank, the Planters
1977 is hereby made PERMANENT. Because the proceedings before the Based on the facts and the evidence, Respondent Judge arrived at the Development Bank, at Santa Maria, Bulacan, only to turn out later on
respondent Municipal Court are null and void, the Provincial Fiscal of following "Findings and Resolution:" that this was not so.
Pampanga will have to file a new information against petitioner in the
Regional Trial Court, San Fernando, Pampanga. No pronouncement as From the welter of evidence adduced in these two , this Court is The other element of damage pertaining to the offenses charged in
to costs. convinced that the two checks involved herein were issued and signed these cases was inflicted on the offended party, the SMC, right at the
by the accused in connection with the beer purchases made by him on moment the checks issued by the accused were dishonored by the
SO ORDERED. various occasions at the Guiguinto, sales office of SMC at Guiguinto, Planters Development Bank, the drawee bank, at Santa Maria, Bulacan
which received them from the BPI, San Fernando, Pampanga branch for forwarded to the SMC Regional Office at San Fernando, Pampanga, Section 14(a) of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court, which has been
clearing purposes. The argument advanced by the prosecution in its where it was delivered to and received by the SMC Finance Officer, who carried over in Section 15(a) of Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
memorandum filed herein that the two checks were deposited by SMC then deposited the check with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Procedure, specifically provides:
at the BPI, San Fernando, Branch, San Fernando, Pampanga, where it San Fernando Branch, which is the SMC depository bank. On July
maintained its accounts after receiving these checks from its Guiguinto 8,1983, the SMC depository bank received a notice of dishonor of the SEC. 14. Place where action is to be instituted —
Sales Office which bank later on made the corresponding deductions said check for "insufficiency of funds" from the PDB, the drawee bank in
from the account of SMC in the amounts covered by the dishonored Santa Maria, Bulacan. This dishonored check is the subject of the charge (a) In all criminal prosecutions the action shall be instituted and tried in
checks upon receiving information that the checks so issued by the of Violation of the Bouncing Checks Law (BP Blg. 22) in Criminal Case the court of the municipality or province wherein the offense was
accused had been dishonored by the drawee bank at Santa Maria, No. 2800 of the lower Court (hereafter, the Bouncing Checks Case). committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place.
Bulacan, is inconsequential. As earlier stated, the element of damage
was inflicted on the offended party herein right at the moment and at (2) On June 18, 1983, Respondent-accused likewise issued PDB In other words, a person charged with a transitory crime may be validly
the place where the checks issued in its favor were dishonored which is Check No. 19040872 in the amount of P11,918.80 in favor of SMC, tried in any municipality or province where the offense was in part
in Santa Maria, Bulacan. which was received also by the SMC Supervisor at Guiguinto, Bulacan, committed. In transitory or continuing offenses in which some acts
as direct payment for the spot sale of beer. That check was similarly material and essential to the crime and requisite to its consummation
Respondent Judge then decreed: forwarded by the SMC Supervisor to the SMC Regional Office in San occur in one province and some in another, the Court of either province
Fernando, Pampanga, where it was delivered to the Finance Officer has jurisdiction to try the case, it being understood that the first Court
WHEREFORE, and in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby thereat and who, in turn deposited the check with the SMC depository taking cognizance of the Case will exclude the others (Tuzon vs. Cruz.
rendered dismissing these cases for lack of jurisdiction. bank in San Fernando, Pampanga. On July 8,1983, the SMC depository No. L-27410, August 28, 1975, 66 SCRA 235). However, if an the acts
bank received a notice of dishonor for "insufficiency of funds" from the material and essential to the crime and requisite of its consummation
The bail bond posted by the accused in these cases are ordered drawee bank, the PDB, in Santa Maria, Bulacan. This dishonored check occurred in one municipality or territory, the Court of that municipality
cancelled. is the subject of the prosecution for Estafa by postdating or issuing a or territory has the sole jurisdiction to try the case (People vs. Yabut, L-
bad check under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code 42902, April 29, 1977, 76 SCRA 624).
This Petition for certiorari challenges the dismissal of the two criminal in Criminal Case No, 2813 of the lower Court (briefly, the Estafa Case).
cases on the ground that they were issued with grave abuse of Estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check, may be a transitory or
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In the crime of Estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check, deceit and continuing offense. Its basic elements of deceit and damage may arise
damage are essential elements of the offense (U.S. vs. Rivera, 23 Phil. independently in separate places (People vs. Yabut, supra). In this case,
Respondent-accused adopts the contrary proposition and argues that 383-390) and have to be established with satisfactory proof to warrant deceit took place in San Fernando, Pampanga, while the damage was
the order of dismissal was, in effect, an acquittal not reviewable by conviction. inflicted in Bulacan where the cheek was dishonored by the drawee
certiorari, and that to set the order aside after plea and trial on the bank in that place (See People vs. Yabut, supra). Jurisdiction may,
merits, would subject Respondent-accused to double jeopardy. For Violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the therefore, be entertained by either the Bulacan Court or the Pampanga
elements of deceit and damage are not essential nor required. An Court.
Upon the attendant facts and circumstances we uphold the Petition. essential element of that offense is knowledge on the part of the maker
or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds (Lozano vs. Hon. For while the subject check was issued in Guiguinto, Bulacan, it was not
The principal ground relied upon by Respondent Judge in dismissing the Martinez, Nos. L-63419, etc., December 18, 1986; 146 SCRA 323; Dingle completely drawn thereat, but in San Fernando, Pampanga, where it
criminal cases is that deceit and damage, the two essential elements vs. IAC, G.R. No. 75243, March 16, 1987,148 SCRA 595). The Anti- was uttered and delivered. "What is of decisive importance is the
that make up the offenses involving dishonored checks, did not occur Bouncing Checks Law makes the mere act of issuing a worthless check a delivery thereat The delivery of the instrument is the final act essential
within the territorial jurisdiction of his Court in Pampanga, but rather in special offense punishable thereunder (Cruz vs. IAC, No. I,66327, May to its consummation as an obligation" (People vs. Larue, 83 P. 2d 725,
Bulacan where false assurances were given by Respondent-accused and 28,1984,129 SCRA 490. Malice and intent in issuing the worthless check cited in People vs. Yabut, supra). For although the check was received
where the checks he had issued were dishonored. The People maintain, are immaterial, the offense being malum prohibitum (Que vs. People of by the SMC Sales Supervisor at Guiguinto, Bulacan, that was not the
on the other hand, that jurisdiction is properly vested in the Regional the Philippines, et. al., G.R. Nos. 75217-18, September 21, 1987). The delivery in contemplation of law to the payee, SMC. Said supervisor was
Trial Court of Pampanga. gravamen of the offense is the issuance of a check, not the non- not the person who could take the check as a holder, that is, as a payee
payment of an obligation (Lozano vs. Hon. Martinez, supra). or indorsee thereof, with the intent to transfer title thereto. The rule is
At the outset, it should be pointed out, as the Solicitor General has that the issuance as well as the delivery of the check must be to a
aptly called attention to, that there are two dishonored checks A. With the distinction clarified, the threshold question is person who takes it as a holder, which means "the payee or indorsee of
involved, each the subject of different penal laws and with different whether or not venue was sufficiently conferred in the Regional Trial a bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer, thereof" (Sec.
basic elements: (1) On June 13, 1983, Respondent-accused issued Court of Pampanga in the two cases. 190, Negotiable Instruments Law, cited in People vs. Yabut, supra.)
Planters Development Bank (Santa Maria, Bulacan Branch) [PDB] Check Thus, said representative had to forward the check to the SMC Regional
No. 19040865 in the sum of P86,071.20 in favor of SMC, which was Office in San Fernando, Pampanga, which was delivered to the Finance
received by the SMC Supervisor at Guiguinto, Bulacan. The check was Officer thereat who, in turn, deposited it at the SMC depository bank in
San Fernando, Pampanga. The element of deceit, therefore, took place Manzanilla, G.R. Nos. 66003-04, December 11, 1987). Accordingly, of either conviction or acquittal in accordance with the evidence
in San Fernando, Pampanga, where the rubber check was legally issued jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offense also lies in the Regional already adduced during the joint trial of said two cases.
and delivered so that jurisdiction could properly be laid upon the Court Trial Court of Pampanga.
in that locality. SO ORDERED.
And, as pointed out in the Manzanilla case, jurisdiction or venue is
The estafa charged in the two informations involved in the case before determined by the allegations in the Information, which are controlling Yap (Chairman), Paras, Padilla and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.
Us appears to be transitory or continuing in nature. Deceit has taken (Arches vs. Bellosillo, 81 Phil. 190, 193, cited in Tuzon vs. Cruz, No. L-
place in Malolos, Bulacan, while the damage in Caloocan City, where 27410, August 28, 1975, 66 SCRA 235). The Information filed herein
the checks were dishonored by the drawee banks there. Jurisdiction specifically alleges that the crime was committed in San Fernando,
can, therefore, be entertained by either the Malolos court or the Pampanga, and, therefore, within the jurisdiction of the Court below.
Caloocan court. While the subject checks were written, signed, or dated
in Caloocan City, they were not completely made or drawn there, but in B. The dismissal of the subject criminal cases by Respondent G.R. No. 102342 July 3, 1992
Malolos, Bulacan, where they were uttered and delivered. That is the Judge, predicated on his lack of jurisdiction, is correctable by Certiorari.
place of business and residence of the payee. The place where the bills The error committed is one of jurisdiction and not an error of judgment LUZ M. ZALDIVIA, petitioner,
were written, signed or dated does not necessarily fix or determine the on the merits. Well-settled is the rule that questions covering vs.
place where they were executed. What is of decisive importance is the jurisdictional matters may be averred in a petition for certiorari, HON. ANDRES B. REYES, JR., in his capacity as Acting Presiding Judge
delivery thereof. The delivery of the instrument is the final act essential inclusive of matters of grave abuse of discretion, which are equivalent of the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76, San
to its consummation as an obligation (People vs. Larue, 83 P. 2d 725). to lack of jurisdiction (City of Davao vs. Dept. of Labor, No. L-19488, Mateo, Rizal, and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
An undelivered bill or note is inoperative. Until delivery, the contract is January 30, 1965, 13 SCRA 111, 115). An error of jurisdiction renders
revocable (Ogden, Negotiable Instruments, 5th ed., at 107). And the whatever order of the Trial Court nun and void. CRUZ, J.:
issuance as well as the delivery of the check must be to a person who
takes it as a holder, which means "(t)he payee or indorsee of a bill or C. The present petition for certiorari seeking to set aside the The Court is asked to determine the applicable law specifying the
note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof" (Sec. 190, void Decision of Respondent Judge does not place Respondent-accused prescriptive period for violations of municipal ordinances.
Negotiable Instruments Law). Delivery of the check signifies transfer of in double jeopardy for the same offense. It will be recalled that the
possession, whether actual or constructive, from one person to another questioned judgment was not an adjudication on the merits. It was a The petitioner is charged with quarrying for commercial purposes
with intent to transfer title thereto (Bailey, Brady on Bank Checks, 3rd dismissal upon Respondent Judge's erroneous conclusion that his Court without a mayor's permit in violation of Ordinance No. 2, Series of
ed. at 57-59; Sec. 190, Negotiable Instruments Law). Thus, the had no "territorial jurisdiction" over the cases. Where an order 1988, of the Municipality of Rodriguez, in the Province of Rizal.
penalizing clause of the provision of Art. 315, par. 2(d) states: "By dismissing a criminal case is not a decision on the merits, it cannot bar
postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when as res judicata a subsequent case based on the same offense (People vs. The offense was allegedly committed on May 11, 1990.1 The referral-
the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein Bellosillo, No. L-18512, December 27, 1963, 9 SCRA 835, 837). complaint of the police was received by the Office of the Provincial
were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check," Clearly, Prosecutor of Rizal on May 30, 1990. 2 The corresponding information
therefore, the element of deceit thru the issuance and delivery of the The dismissal being null and void the proceedings before the Trial Court was filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez on October 2,
worthless checks to the complainant took place in Malolos, Bulacan, may not be said to have been lawfully terminated. There is therefore, 1990. 3
conferring upon a court in that locality jurisdiction to try the case. no second proceeding which would subject the accused to double
jeopardy. The petitioner moved to quash the information on the ground that the
In respect of the Bouncing Checks Case, the offense also appears to be crime had prescribed, but the motion was denied. On appeal to the
continuing in nature. It is true that the offense is committed by the very Since the order of dismissal was without authority and, therefore, null Regional Trial Court of Rizal, the denial was sustained by the
fact of its performance (Colmenares vs. Villar, No. L-27126, May 29, and void, the proceedings before the Municipal Court have not been respondent judge. 4
1970, 33 SCRA 186); and that the Bouncing Checks Law penalizes not lawfully terminated. Accordingly, there is no second proceeding to
only the fact of dishonor of a check but also the act of making or speak of and no double jeopardy. A continuation of the proceedings In the present petition for review on certiorari, the petitioner first
drawing and issuance of a bouncing check (People vs. Hon. Veridiano, II, against the accused for serious physical injuries is in order. (People vs. argues that the charge against her is governed by the following
No. L-62243, 132 SCRA 523). The case, therefore, could have been filed Mogol, 131 SCRA 306, 308). provisions of the Rule on Summary Procedure:
also in Bulacan. As held in Que vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos.
75217-18, September 11, 1987 "the determinative factor (in In sum, Respondent Judge had jurisdiction to try and decide the subject Sec. 1. Scope — This rule shall govern the procedure in the
determining venue) is the place of the issuance of the check". However, criminal case, venue having been properly laid. Metropolitan Trial Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Municipal
it is likewise true that knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of Circuit Trial Courts in the following cases:
the check of the insufficiency of his funds, which is an essential WHEREFORE, the Decision of Respondent Judge of February 17, 1986 is
ingredient of the offense is by itself a continuing eventuality, whether hereby set aside and he is hereby ordered to reassume jurisdiction over xxx xxx xxx
the accused be within one territory or another (People vs. Hon. Criminal Cases Nos. 2800 and 2813 of his Court and to render judgment
B. Criminal Cases: two-month statutory period from the date of the alleged commission of investigation merely, or for action on the merits. Second, even if the
the offense, the charge against her should have been dismissed on the court where the complaint or information is filed may only proceed to
1. Violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations; ground of prescription. investigate the case, its actuations already represent the initial step of
the proceedings against the offender. Third, it is unjust to deprive the
2. Violations of rental law; For its part, the prosecution contends that the prescriptive period was injured party of the right to obtain vindication on account of delays that
suspended upon the filing of the complaint against her with the Office are not under his control. All that the victim of the offense may do on
3. Violations of municipal or city ordinances; of the Provincial Prosecutor. Agreeing with the respondent judge, the his part to initiate the prosecution is to file the requisite complaint.
Solicitor General also invokes Section 1, Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules on
4. All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed by law Criminal Procedure, providing as follows: It is important to note that this decision was promulgated on May 30,
for the offenses charged does not exceed six months imprisonment, or 1983, two months before the promulgation of the Rule on Summary
a fine of one thousand pesos (P1,000.00), or both, irrespective of other Sec. 1. How Instituted — For offenses not subject to the rule on Procedure on August 1, 1983. On the other hand, Section 1 of Rule 110
imposable penalties, accessory or otherwise, or of the civil liability summary procedure in special cases, the institution of criminal action is new, having been incorporated therein with the revision of the Rules
arising therefrom. . . . (Emphasis supplied.) shall be as follows: on Criminal Procedure on January 1, 1985, except for the last
paragraph, which was added on October 1, 1988.
xxx xxx xxx a) For offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Court, by filing the complaint with the appropriate officer for the That section meaningfully begins with the phrase, "for offenses not
Sec. 9. How commenced. — The prosecution of criminal cases falling purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation therein; subject to the rule on summary procedure in special cases," which
within the scope of this Rule shall be either by complaint or by plainly signifies that the section does not apply to offenses which are
information filed directly in court without need of a prior preliminary b) For offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Municipal subject to summary procedure. The phrase "in all cases" appearing in
examination or preliminary investigation: Provided, however, That in Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, by filing the complaint the last paragraph obviously refers to the cases covered by the Section,
Metropolitan Manila and chartered cities, such cases shall be directly with the said courts, or a complaint with the fiscal's office. that is, those offenses not governed by the Rule on Summary
commenced only by information; Provided, further, That when the However, in Metropolitan Manila and other chartered cities, the Procedure. This interpretation conforms to the canon that words in a
offense cannot be prosecuted de oficio, the corresponding complaint complaint may be filed only with the office of the fiscal. statute should be read in relation to and not isolation from the rest of
shall be signed and sworn to before the fiscal by the offended party. the measure, to discover the true legislative intent.
In all cases such institution interrupts the period of prescription of the
She then invokes Act. No. 3326, as amended, entitled "An Act to offense charged. (Emphasis supplied.) As it is clearly provided in the Rule on Summary Procedure that among
Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts the offenses it covers are violations of municipal or city ordinances, it
and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription Shall Begin Emphasis is laid on the last paragraph. The respondent maintains that should follow that the charge against the petitioner, which is for
to Run," reading as follows: the filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor violation of a municipal ordinance of Rodriguez, is governed by that rule
comes under the phrase "such institution" and that the phrase "in all and not Section 1 of Rule 110.
Sec. 1. Violations penalized by special acts shall, unless provided in cases" applies to all cases, without distinction, including those falling
such acts, prescribe in accordance with the following rules: . . . under the Rule on Summary Procedure. Where paragraph (b) of the section does speak of "offenses falling
Violations penalized by municipal ordinances shall prescribe after two under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
months. The said paragraph, according to the respondent, was an adoption of Circuit Trial Courts," the obvious reference is to Section 32(2) of B.P. No.
the following dictum in Francisco v. Court of Appeals: 5 129, vesting in such courts:
Sec. 2. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the
commission of the violation of the law, and if the same be not known at In view of this diversity of precedents, and in order to provide guidance (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with
the time, from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial for Bench and Bar, this Court has re-examined the question and, after imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of
proceedings for its investigation and punishment. mature consideration, has arrived at the conclusion that the true not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and
doctrine is, and should be, the one established by the decisions holding imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other
The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are instituted that the filing of the complaint in the Municipal Court, even if it be penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or
against the guilty person, and shall begin to run again if the proceedings merely for purposes of preliminary examination or investigation, predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount
are dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy. should, and does, interrupt the period of prescription of the criminal thereof; Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to
responsibility, even if the court where the complaint or information is property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original
Sec. 3. For the purposes of this Act, special acts shall be acts defining filed can not try the case on its merits. Several reasons buttress this jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed twenty thousand
and penalizing violations of law not included in the Penal Code. conclusion: first, the text of Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code, in pesos.
(Emphasis supplied) declaring that the period of prescription "shall be interrupted by the
filing of the complaint or information" without distinguishing whether These offenses are not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure.
Her conclusion is that as the information was filed way beyond the the complaint is filed in the court for preliminary examination or
Under Section 9 of the Rule on Summary Procedure, "the complaint or the filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
information shall be filed directly in court without need of a prior on May 30, 1990, as this was not a judicial proceeding. The judicial
preliminary examination or preliminary investigation." 6 Both parties proceeding that could have interrupted the period was the filing of the
agree that this provision does not prevent the prosecutor from information with the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez, but this was
conducting a preliminary investigation if he wants to. However, the case done only on October 2, 1990, after the crime had already prescribed.
shall be deemed commenced only when it is filed in court, whether or
not the prosecution decides to conduct a preliminary investigation. This WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the challenged Order dated
means that the running of the prescriptive period shall be halted on the October 2, 1991 is SET ASIDE. Criminal Case No. 90-089 in the Municipal
date the case is actually filed in court and not on any date before that. Trial Court of Rodriguez, Rizal, is hereby DISMISSED on the ground of
prescription. It is so ordered.
This interpretation is in consonance with the afore-quoted Act No. 3326
which says that the period of prescription shall be suspended "when Narvasa, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Paras, Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, Griño-
proceedings are instituted against the guilty party." The proceedings Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon and Bellosillo,
referred to in Section 2 thereof are "judicial proceedings," contrary to JJ., concur.
the submission of the Solicitor General that they include administrative
proceedings. His contention is that we must not distinguish as the law
does not distinguish. As a matter of fact, it does.

At any rate, the Court feels that if there be a conflict between the Rule
on Summary Procedure and Section 1 of Rule 110 of the Rules on
Criminal Procedure, the former should prevail as the special law. And if
there be a conflict between Act. No. 3326 and Rule 110 of the Rules on
Criminal Procedure, the latter must again yield because this Court, in
the exercise of its rule-making power, is not allowed to "diminish,
increase or modify substantive rights" under Article VIII, Section 5(5) of
the Constitution. Prescription in criminal cases is a substantive right. 7

Going back to the Francisco case, we find it not irrelevant to observe


that the decision would have been conformable to Section 1, Rule 110,
as the offense involved was grave oral defamation punishable under the
Revised Penal Code with arresto mayor in its maximum period to
prision correccional in its minimum period. By contrast, the prosecution
in the instant case is for violation of a municipal ordinance, for which
the penalty cannot exceed six months, 8 and is thus covered by the Rule
on Summary Procedure.

The Court realizes that under the above interpretation, a crime may
prescribe even if the complaint is filed seasonably with the prosecutor's
office if, intentionally or not, he delays the institution of the necessary
judicial proceedings until it is too late. However, that possibility should
not justify a misreading of the applicable rules beyond their obvious
intent as reasonably deduced from their plain language. The remedy is
not a distortion of the meaning of the rules but a rewording thereof to
prevent the problem here sought to be corrected.

Our conclusion is that the prescriptive period for the crime imputed to
the petitioner commenced from its alleged commission on May 11,
1990, and ended two months thereafter, on July 11, 1990, in
accordance with Section 1 of Act No. 3326. It was not interrupted by