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Perjury

Joseph Estrada has been charged with this offense before the Sandiganbayan, Bill Clinton faced it during the
height of his impeachment and senators are accusing witnesses of committing this crime in their hearings.
With all the fuss it has generated, it is no wonder why perjury is on everybody’s mind these days.

What is perjury anyway? This offense, as defined in Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code is the willful and
corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a material
matter. The said article provides:

” The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be
imposed upon any person who, knowingly making untruthful statements and not being included in the
provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath or make an affidavit upon any material
matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods
mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section shall suffer the respective penalties
provided therein.”

The elements of the crime of perjury are:

(a) That the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter.

(b) That the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and
administer oath.

(c) That in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

(d) That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal
purpose.

Material matter is the main fact which is the subject of the inquiry, or any circumstances which tends to prove
the fact, or any fact or circumstance which tends to corroborate or strengthen the testimony relative to the
subject of the inquiry, or which legitimately affects the credit of any witness who testified.

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN FALSE TESTIMONY AND PERJURY:

False testimony is given in the course of a judicial proceeding and contemplates an actual trial where
judgement of conviction or acquittal is rendered and not merely a preliminary investigation. On the other
hand, perjury is any willful and corrupt assertion of falsehood on a material matter under oath and not given
in judicial proceedings. It may be committed even during a preliminary investigation as well as in the making
of a false affidavit under oath on a material matter when required by law.

Perjury; history of; proper venue to file Information - G.R. No. 192565
G.R. No. 192565

"x x x.

The Crime of Perjury: A Background

To have a better appreciation of the issue facing the Court, a look at the historical background of how
the crime of perjury (specifically, Article 183 of the RPC) evolved in our jurisdiction.

The RPC penalizes three forms of false testimonies. The first is false testimony for and against the
defendant in a criminal case (Articles 180 and 181, RPC); the second is false testimony in a civil case (Article
182, RPC); and the third is false testimony in other cases (Article 183, RPC). Based on the Information
filed, the present case involves the making of an untruthful statement in an affidavit on a material
matter.

These RPC provisions, however, are not really the bases of the rulings cited by the parties in their
respective arguments. The cited Ilusorio ruling, although issued by this Court in 2008, harked back to the
case of Cañet which was decided in 1915, i.e., before the present RPC took effect.[21] Sy Tiong, on the other
hand, is a 2009 ruling that cited Villanueva, a 2005 case that in turn cited United States v. Norris, a 1937
American case. Significantly, unlike Canet, Sy Tiong is entirely based on rulings rendered after the present
RPC took effect.[22]

The perjurious act in Cañet consisted of an information chargingperjury through the presentation
in court of a motion accompanied by a false sworn affidavit. At the time the Cañet ruling was rendered, the
prevailing law on perjury and the rules on prosecution of criminal offenses were found in Section 3, Act No.
1697 of the Philippine Commission, and in Subsection 4, Section 6 of General Order No. 58 [23] for the
procedural aspect.

Section 3 of Act No. 1697 reads:

Sec. 3. Any person who, having taken oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case
in which a law of the Philippine Islands authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare,
depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, disposition, or certificate by him
subscribed is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does
not believe to be true, is guilty of perjury, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand
pesos and by imprisonment for not more than five years; and shall moreover, thereafter be incapable of
holding any public office or of giving testimony in any court of the Philippine Islands until such time as the
judgment against him is reversed.

This law was copied, with the necessary changes, from Sections 5392 [24] and 5393[25] of the Revised
Statutes of the United States.[26] Act No. 1697 was intended to make the mere execution of a false affidavit
punishable in our jurisdiction.[27]

In turn, Subsection 4, Section 6 of General Order No. 58 provided that the venue shall be the court of
the place where the crime was committed.

As applied and interpreted by the Court in Cañet, perjury was committed by the act of representing a
false document in a judicial proceeding.[28] The venue of action was held by the Court to be at the place where
the false document was presented since the presentation was the act that consummated the crime.

The annotation of Justices Aquino and Griño-Aquino in their textbook on the RPC[29] interestingly
explains the history of the perjury provisions of the present RPC and traces as well the linkage between Act
No. 1697 and the present Code. To quote these authors:[30]

Art. 180 was taken from art. 318 of the Old Penal Code and art. 154 of Del Pan’s Proposed
Correctional Code, while art. 181 was taken from art. 319 of the old Penal Code and Art. 157 of Del Pan’s
Proposed Correctional Code. Said arts. 318 and 319, together with art. 321 of the old Penal Code, were
impliedly repealed by Act 1697, the Perjury Law, passed on August 23, 1907, which in turn was expressly
repealed by the Administrative Code of 1916, Act 2657. In view of the express repeal of Act 1697, arts. 318
and 321 of the old Penal Code were deemed revived. However, Act 2718 expressly revived secs. 3 and 4 of the
Perjury Law. Art. 367 of the Revised Penal Code repealed Act Nos. 1697 and 2718.

It should be noted that perjury under Acts 1697 and 2718 includes false testimony, whereas, under
the Revised Penal Code, false testimony includes perjury. Our law on false testimony is of Spanish origin, but
our law on perjury (art. 183 taken from sec. 3 of Act 1697) is derived from American statutes. The provisions
of the old Penal Code on false testimony embrace perjury committed in court or in some contentious proceeding,
while perjury as defined in Act 1697 includes the making of a false affidavit. The provisions of the Revised
Penal Code on false testimony “are more severe and strict than those of Act 1697” on perjury. [italics ours]

With this background, it can be appreciated that Article 183 of the RPC which provides:

The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be
imposed upon any person, who knowingly makes untruthful statements and not being included in the
provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath, ormake an affidavit, upon any material
matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.
[emphasis supplied; emphases ours]

in fact refers to either of two punishable acts – (1) falsely testifying under oath in a proceeding other than a
criminal or civil case; and (2) making afalse affidavit before a person authorized to administer an oath on any
material matter where the law requires an oath.

As above discussed, Sy Tiong – decided under Article 183 of the RPC – essentially involved perjured
statements made in a GIS that was subscribed and sworn to in Manila and submitted to the SEC
in Mandaluyong City. Thus, the case involved the making of an affidavit, not an actual testimony in a
proceeding that is neither criminal nor civil. From this perspective, the situs of the oath, i.e., the place where
the oath was taken, is the place where the offense was committed. By implication, the proper venue would have
been the City of Mandaluyong – the site of the SEC – had the charge involved an actual testimony made before
the SEC.

In contrast, Cañet involved the presentation in court of a motion supported and accompanied by an
affidavit that contained a falsity. With Section 3 of Act No. 1697 as basis, the issue related to the submission of
the affidavit in a judicial proceeding. This came at a time when Act No. 1697 was the perjury law, and made no
distinction between judicial and other proceedings, and at the same time separately penalized the making of
false statements under oath (unlike the present RPC which separately deals with false testimony in criminal,
civil and other proceedings, while at the same time also penalizing the making of false
affidavits). Understandably, the venue should be the place where the submission was made to the court or
the situs of the court; it could not have been the place where the affidavit was sworn to simply because this
was not the offense charged in the Information.

The case of Ilusorio cited the Cañet case as its authority, in a situation where the sworn petitions filed
in court for the issuance of duplicate certificates of title (that were allegedly lost) were the cited sworn
statements to support the charge of perjury for the falsities stated in the sworn petitions. The Court ruled that
the proper venue should be the Cities of Makati and Tagaytay because it was in the courts of these cities
“where the intent to assert an alleged falsehood became manifest and where the alleged untruthful statement
finds relevance or materiality in deciding the issue of whether new owner’s duplicate copies of the
[Certificate of Condominium Title] and [Transfer Certificates of Title] may issue.” [31] To the Court, “whether
the perjurious statements contained in the four petitions were subscribed and sworn in Pasig is immaterial,
the gist of the offense of perjury being the intentional giving of false statement,” [32] citing Cañet as authority
for its statement.

The statement in Ilusorio may have partly led to the present confusion on venue because of its very
categorical tenor in pointing to the considerations to be made in the determination of venue; it leaves the
impression that the place where the oath was taken is not at all a material consideration, forgetting that
Article 183 of the RPC clearly speaks of two situations while Article 182 of the RPC likewise applies to false
testimony in civil cases.

The Ilusorio statement would have made perfect sense had the basis for the charge been Article 182
of the RPC, on the assumption that the petition itself constitutes a false testimony in a civil
case. The Cañet ruling would then have been completely applicable as the sworn statement is used in a civil
case, although no such distinction was made under Cañet because the applicable law at the time (Act No.
1697) did not make any distinction.

If Article 183 of the RPC were to be used, as what in fact appears in the Ilusorio ruling, then only that
portion of the article, referring to the making of an affidavit, would have been applicable as the other portion
refers to false testimony in other proceedings which a judicial petition for the issuance of a new owner’s
duplicate copy of a Certificate of Condominium Title is not because it is a civil proceeding in court. As a
perjury based on the making of a false affidavit, what assumes materiality is the site where the oath was taken as
this is the place where the oath was made, in this case, Pasig City.

Procedurally, the rule on venue of criminal cases has been subject to various changes from the time
General Order No. 58 was replaced by Rules 106 to 122 of the Rules of Court on July 1, 1940. Section 14, Rule
106 of the Rules of Court provided for the rule on venue of criminal actions and it expressly included, as proper
venue, the place where any one of the essential ingredients of the crime took place. This change was followed by
the passage of the 1964 Rules of Criminal Procedure,[33] the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure,[34] and the
2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which all adopted the 1940 Rules of Criminal Procedure’s
expanded venue of criminal actions. Thus, the venue of criminal cases is not only in the place where the
offense was committed, but also where any of its essential ingredients took place.

In the present case, the Certification against Forum Shopping was made integral parts of two
complaints for sum of money with prayer for a writ of replevin against the respondent spouses Eddie
Tamondong and Eliza B. Tamondong, who, in turn, filed a complaint-affidavit against Tomas for violation of
Article 183 of the RPC. As alleged in the Information that followed, the criminal act charged was for the
execution by Tomas of an affidavit that contained a falsity.

Under the circumstances, Article 183 of the RPC is indeed the applicable provision; thus, jurisdiction
and venue should be determined on the basis of this article which penalizes one who “make[s] an affidavit,
upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the
law so requires.” The constitutive act of the offense is the making of an affidavit; thus, the criminal act is
consummated when the statement containing a falsity is subscribed and sworn before a duly authorized
person.

Based on these considerations, we hold that our ruling in Sy Tiong is more in accord with Article 183
of the RPC and Section 15(a), Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. To reiterate for the
guidance of the Bar and the Bench, the crime of perjury committed through the making of a false
affidavit under Article 183 of the RPC is committed at the time the affiant subscribes and swears to his or her
affidavit since it is at that time that all the elements of the crime of perjury are executed. When the crime is
committed through false testimony under oath in a proceeding that is neither criminal nor civil, venue is at
the place where the testimony under oath is given. If in lieu of or as supplement to the actual testimony made
in a proceeding that is neither criminal nor civil, a written sworn statement is submitted, venue may either be
at the place where the sworn statement is submitted or where the oath was taken as the taking of the oath
and the submission are both material ingredients of the crime committed. In all cases, determination of venue
shall be based on the acts alleged in the Information to be constitutive of the crime committed.
Many times we hear Senators and Congressmen muttering darkly about how a certain witness can be indicted
for perjury should that witness fail to state the truth in legislative proceedings. What exactly can these non-
compliant witnesses be guilty of?

There are different kinds of “false testimony” in the Revised Penal Code. There is false testimony against a
defendant in a criminal case. The penalty is harsh if the defendant is sentenced to death. However, to be
charged, the witness must have corrupt intent. This is very difficult to prove, as the witness could have
testified from a belief grounded in good faith. As some of you may have experienced, life becomes almost
impossible to bear when a person claims to have been an eye-witness to an event, and later, for example, DNA
proves that the person convicted of the offense is completely innocent.

Eye-witness evidence is unreliable and is one of the weakest type of evidence in law. On the other hand, if a
person falsely testifies in favor of the defendant in a criminal case, the penalty is not so harsh. False testimony
in a civil case is punishable depending on the amount involved in the civil case. Again, it is very difficult to
prove that the testimony is false and that there was corrupt intent.

Then there is perjury. Perjury is the "willful and corrupt taking of a false oath in regard to a material matter in
a proceeding". Perjury relates to “any material matter.” It is sometimes called "LYING UNDER OATH"; that is,
deliberately telling a lie in a proceeding after having taken an oath to tell the truth. It is important that the
false statement be material to the case at hand—that it could affect the outcome of the case. “Material Matter”
refers to the main fact which was the subject of the inquiry.

Perjury can be used as a threat. Although it is a very serious crime under U.S. State and Federal laws, and
while prosecutors often threaten prosecution, the number of actual prosecutions for perjury is miniscule.
Perjury prosecutions stemming from civil lawsuits are particularly rare. This is because it is difficult to prove
that someone is intentionally misstating a material fact, rather than simply testifying honestly from faulty
memory.

So, in the Philippines, what is the difference between “false testimony” and “perjury?” Perjury, in this country,
refers to proceedings that are not judicial in nature; while false testimony is given in a judicial proceeding.
False testimony is punished even if the testimony is not required by law; in perjury, the statement or
testimony is required by law.

In perjury, the amount involved is immaterial; in false testimony in civil cases, the amount involved is
material. Finally, in perjury, it is immaterial whether there was advantage to the defendant; in false
testimony, whether or not the testimony is favorable is material for conviction.

Take note, however, it is not considered perjury, for example, to lie about your age, unless your age is a key
factor in proving the case. Moreover, there is no perjury when a person who was once charged for a crime as
a child does not reveal it or later says that he is of good moral character. A child's case folder is absolutely
confidential. If a bank account is not the issue in a case, it is not perjury to disclaim knowledge of its contents.
Bank accounts are completely confidential.

Other absolutely confidential matters: child abuse cases [in fact, the Supreme Court no longer uses the name
of the child-victim in its decisions]; domestic violence and trafficking cases [in fact, in trafficking cases, media
cannot even talk about the accused! And the penalty is a fine of 500,000.00 pesos]; and, of course, records of
birth and adoption cases [ which is why it is difficult for an adopted child to later discover who are his natural
or birth parents.]

So, next time you hear about perjury, remember, this crime is barely prosecuted. Why continue in court after
years of suffering the judicial system? It is so much easier, on the mind and the pocket, to just move on.

You can email me through newsfeedback@abs-cbn.com . Till next time.

Perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority
of law on a material matter.

Perjury as a Crime
As a crime, perjury is penalized under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides:

“Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. — The penalty of arresto mayor in
its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person, who
knowingly makes untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the next preceding
articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person
authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.
“Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods
mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the respective penalties
provided therein.”

Essential Elements of the Crime of Perjury


Gathered from the said provision, the following are the essential elements of the crime of perjury:
(a) The accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter.

(b) The statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer
oath.

(c) In the statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

(d) The sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal purpose.

First Element of Perjury


The first element of perjury requires that the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit
upon a material matter.

In prosecutions for perjury, a matter is material if it is the main fact which was the subject of the inquiry, or
any circumstance which tends to prove that fact.

For instance, Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, contains the requirement for
a Certificate against Forum Shopping.

The Certificate against Forum Shopping can be made either by a statement under oath in the complaint or
initiatory pleading asserting a claim or relief; it may also be in a sworn certification annexed to the complaint
or initiatory pleading.

In both instances, the affiant is required to execute a statement under oath before a duly commissioned
notary public or any competent person authorized to administer oath that: (a) he or she has not theretofore
commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial
agency and, to the best of his or her knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there
is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he or she
should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he or she shall
report that fact within five days therefrom to the court wherein his or her aforesaid complaint or initiatory
pleading has been filed.

Thus, in relation to the crime of perjury, the material matter in a Certificate against Forum Shopping is the
truth of the required declarations, which is designed to guard against litigants pursuing simultaneous
remedies in different fora.

Second Element of Perjury


The second element of perjury requires that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer,
authorized to receive and administer oath.

The phrase “competent person authorized to administer an oath” means a person who has a right to inquire
into the questions presented to him upon matters under his jurisdiction.

A lawyer, who is also a duly commissioned notary public, is a competent person authorized to administer an
oath.

Not all lawyers, however, are notaries public. But all notaries public are lawyers.

Lawyers become notaries public only when the appropriate Regional Trial Court Executive Judge acts on their
petition and issues in their favor the corresponding notarial commissions.

Thus, a person who executes an affidavit containing a falsity upon a material matter before a lawyer, who is
also a duly commissioned notary public, may be held liable for perjury.

Third Element of Perjury


The third element of perjury requires that, in the statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and
deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

Thus, a mere assertion of a false objective fact or a falsehood is not enough. The assertion must be deliberate
and willful.

“Willfully” means “intentionally,” with evil intent and legal malice, with consciousness that the alleged
perjurious statement is false with the intent that it should be received as a statement of what was true in fact.
It is equivalent to “knowingly.”
Perjury cannot be willful where the oath is according to belief or conviction as to its truth. Bona fide belief in
the truth of a statement is an adequate defense.
“Deliberately” implies “meditated,” as distinguished from “inadvertent acts.” It must appear that the accused
knows his statement to be false or is consciously ignorant of its truth.

Perjury being a felony by dolo, there must be malice on the part of the accused.
A felony is committed by dolo when the act is performed with deliberate intent.
Good faith or lack of malice is a valid defense vis-a-vis the allegation of deliberate assertion of falsehood in
perjury cases.
The basis of the third element of perjury is the phrase “knowingly making untruthful statements” in Article
183 of the Revised Penal Code.

The word “knowingly” suggests that the assertion of falsehood must be willful and deliberate.

Hence, there is no perjury through negligence or imprudence.

Fourth Element of Perjury


The fourth element of perjury requires that the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required
by law or made for a legal purpose.

For instance, in consonance with Section 1 (a), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, for
offenses where a preliminary investigation is required, a criminal action is instituted by filing a complaint
with the proper officer, such as a public prosecutor, for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary
investigation.

That complaint, in turn, must be made under oath, in accordance with Section 3, Rule 110 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides:

“Sec. 3. Complaint defined. – A complaint is a sworn written statement charging a person with an offense,
subscribed by the offended party, any peace officer, or other public officer charged with the enforcement of
the law violated.”
Thus, a person who executes a criminal complaint containing a falsity upon a material matter may be held
liable for perjury.

However, in an unpublished decision (People v. Angangco, G.R. No. L-47693, October 12, 1943) it was held
that the word “requires” in the phrase “in cases in which the law so requires” (in Article 183 of the Revised
Penal Code) may be given the meaning of “authorizes.” Hence, the fourth element may be read “that the
sworn statement (or affidavit) containing the falsity is authorized by law.”

Thus, even if there is no law, requiring the statement to be made under oath, as long as it is made for a legal
purpose, it is sufficient.

Policy of the Law on Perjury


Of great importance is the policy of the law on perjury, which the Supreme Court laid down in People v.
Cainglet (G.R. Nos. L-21493-94, April 29, 1966).

In that case, the Supreme Court emphatically stressed that every interest of public policy demands that
perjury be not shielded by artificial refinements and narrow technicalities. For perjury strikes at the
administration of the laws. It is the policy of the law that judicial proceedings and judgments be fair and free
from fraud, and that litigants and parties be encouraged to tell the truth, and that they be punished if they do
not.

[References: Antonio B. Monfort III, et. al. v. Ma. Antonia M. Salvatierra, et. al., G.R. No. 168301, March 5, 2007,
Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, Union Bank of
the Philippines and Desi Tomas v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 192565, February 28, 2012, Celsa P.
Acuña v. Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, et. al., G.R. No. 144692, January 31, 2005, Page 275 of the law book
titled, The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book Two (Articles 114-367), Fourteenth Edition (Revised
1998) by Luis B. Reyes, citing U.S. v. Go Chanco, 23 Phil. 641, Philip S. Yu v. Hernan G. Lim, G.R. No. 182291,
September 22, 2010, Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, Page 276 of the law book titled, The Revised Penal
Code, Criminal Law, Book Two (Articles 114-367), Fourteenth Edition (Revised 1998) by Luis B. Reyes,
Section 1 (a), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, Section 3, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, Page 277 of the law book titled, The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book Two
(Articles 114-367), Fourteenth Edition (Revised 1998) by Luis B. Reyes, People v. Angangco, G.R. No. L-47693,
October 12, 1943, People v. Cainglet (G.R. Nos. L-21493-94, April 29, 1966), and Alfonso C. Choa v. People of
the Philippines, et. al., G.R. No. 142011, March 14, 2003, citing People v. Cainglet, G.R. Nos. L-21493-94, April
29, 1966]
Perjury; sample complaint-affidavit

JOINT COMPLAINT-AFFIDAVIT
OF THE COMPLAINANTS
Xxx AND xxx

THE UNDERSIGNED COMPLAINANTS-AFFIANTS xxx and xxx, both of legal age and residing at xxx St.,
xxx Subdivision, xxx, xxx, xxx City, under oath, respectfully state:

1. RESPONDENT. – The Respondent in this criminal complaint is xxx, of legal age, married, Filipino, and
resident of Block xxx, Lot xxx, xxx St., xxx Xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, where summons/subpoenas may be served
by this Honorable Office for purposes of preliminary

2. CRIME CHARGED. – The herein Complainants hereby charge the abovenamed Respondent for the crime
of Perjury under Art. 183, Rev. Penal Code, the ultimate facts of which are discussed hereinbelow.

3. ULTIMATE FACTS. – On 14 December 2015, the Respondent executed a Sworn Statement before Asst. City
Pros. xxx of the Office of the City Prosecutor of xxx. A copy of the said sworn statement, together with the
related documents thereto (e.g., Police Referral, dated 14 December 2015; Barangay Kasunduan, dated 7
October 2015; Final Demand Letter, dated 12 November 2015; and Special Power of Attorney, dated 14
December 2015) are attached hereto asAnnex “A”, with sub-markings. In the said sworn statement, the
Respondent charged the herein Complainant XXX for the alleged crime of Estafa. It was docketed as
xxx, entitled “xxx vs. xxx”. It is undergoing preliminary investigation before Asst. City Prosecutor xxx.

3.1. In Question and Answer Nos. 4, 6, and 7 of the said Sworn Statement of the Respondent, he perjuriously alleged
the following statements of material facts under oath:

“x x x.

O4. T – Bakit mo e-reklamo (sic) yung taong iyong nabanggit? (i.e., herein Complainant xxx).

S - Dahil po sa hindi pag bayad sa akin ng perang hiniram nya na nagkakahalagangPhP326,000.00.

O5. T - Kailan, saan, at anong oras naganap ang sinasabi mong pangyayari?

S - Ganito po yun noong petsang nabanggit at nagkasundo po kami ni xxx na magnenegosyo kung
saan magpapahiram po kami sa kasamahan niyang xxx (sic) at may tubo poi to, kaya sinimulan po namin ito
sa akin po siya kumukuha ng pera at siya ang nagpapalabas, noong unang buwan at maganda pa ang negosyo
namin at bumabalik and puhunan ngunit dumaan na ang ilang buwan kumukuha siya ng pera sa akin ngunit
hindi na ito bumabalik kasama na ang tubo at umabot na poi to ng halagang PhP326,000.00 at noong
kinausap ko na po siya ay puro kanalang PANGAKO NG PANGAKO (sic).”

X x x.”

3.2. The aforecited statements of the Respondent xxx under oath were false and perjurious, the truth of the matter
being that the Estafa complaint filed by the Respondent (as Complainant therein) in the aforementioned case
against the herein Complainant XXX (as Respondent therein) was a perjurious, malicious, felonious, baseless,
unfounded and unjust FABRICATION intended by the Respondent XXX: (a) To collect a loan that the herein
Complainants had already paidin full; and (b) To earn unjust, huge and usuri0us interests and/or
penalties/surcharges on the said fully paid loan,without any legal and contractual basis therefor, and solely for
the selfish financial gain and benefit of the Respondent SAMPAMNG and his anonymous Financier.

3.3. The truth of the matter is that: The Complainant XXX does not owe any amount whatsoever to the Respondent
XXX ; and The act of the Respondent XXX of initiating the aforementioned Estafa case against the herein
Complainant XXX, without any legal and factual basis, has caused him to suffer mental anguish, extreme
anxieties, sleepless nights, and besmirched reputation on the part of the herein Complainants.

3.4. The CHRONOLOGY OF RELEVANT FACTS AND EVENTS in support of this Complaint for Perjury as discussed
hereinbelow.

3.5. On 20 September 2014 or thereabout, the Complainant XXX was in need of P15, 000.00 for the tuition fees
of his child enrolled at the xxx. He sought the assistance of the Respondent. The Respondent said he could
lend the herein Complainant XXX the amount the latter needed. The Respondent said he had enough personal
savings to accommodate the urgent need of the Complainant XXX. The Respondent did not mention that he
would source the amount from an outside Financier.

3.6. On 30 September 2014, when the herein Complainant XXX was ready to pay in full his said P15, 000.00
loan, the Respondent demanded an additional amount of P6, 000.00 as interest on the P15, 000.00 principal
loan for the period of ten (10) days. The Respondent alleged that the said amount was being required by his
anonymous Financier. The herein Complainant XXX was surprised by such a statement of the Respondent
because the latter had earlier said that the amount of P15, 000.00 was the Complainant’s own personal
savings. The Complainants started to suspect the honesty of the Complainant. The P6, 000.00 interest on
the P15, 000.00 principal loan for a very short period of ten (10) days was usurious, unacceptable,
unconscionable, iniquitous, and immoral. Nonetheless, to avoid unnecessary interpersonal problems with
the Respondent, the Complainants paid, via a deposit to the bank account of the Respondent, to the
Respondent the principal loan of P15,000.00 and the interest of P6, 000.00 that the Respondent and his
anonymous Financier were demanding.

3.7. As earlier stated, the Complainants paid the Respondent on30 September 2014 the total amount of P21,
000.00,broken down as follows: (a) P15, 000.00 as principal loan; and (b) P6, 000.00 as interest. Please note
that the said P6, 000.00 interest amounted to an incredible, usurious, iniquitous, unconscionable and
immoral forty percent (40%) interest rate for the very short period of ten (10) days (i.e., 20 September
2014 to 30 September 2014).

3.8. The abovementioned verbal loan transaction involving a principal amount of P15, 000.00 that took place on
20 September 2014 was not evidenced by any promissory note, contract of loan, voucher, official
receipt, or similar financial or contractual document. It was a verbal loan transaction. There was no
oral or written stipulation whatsoever as to the interest, penalties, or surcharges of the said verbal
loan. Please note, too, that the Respondent did not attach to his Estafa Complaint any promissory note,
contract of loan, voucher, official receipt, or similar financial or contractual document to prove his
claim against the herein Complainants. What were attached to the Respondent’s Estafa Complainant were
only the following documents: (a) Barangay “Kasunduan” dated 7 October 2015 between the Complainant
and the Respondent; (b) Final Demand Letter, dated 12 November 2015, which was based solely on the
Barangay “Kasunduan”; and (c) Special Power of Attorney (SPA),dated 14 December 2015, executed by
the Respondent in favor of XXX (his daughter) and XXX (his sister) on the pretext that he would be going
abroad soon.

3.9. Two (2) weeks after 30 September 2014 (the date when the herein Complainants paid to the Respondent the
said amount of P21,000.00) -- or sometime in the middle of October 2014, -- the Respondent called up the
Complainant alleging:(a) That his anonymous Financier (whom the Complainant did not identify) had
allegedly rejected the payment of P21, 000.00 earlier made by the Respondent; and (b) That the
unidentified Financier of the Respondent was allegedlydemanding double the said amount of P21, 000.00,
that is, a total of P42, 000.00. The Complainants rejected such an unfair, unjust, iniquitous, unconscionable,
immoral, usurious, and unacceptable demand for P42, 000.00.

3.10. Please note that the Respondent’s demand for P42, 000.00 as of 15 October 2014 or thereabout, in relation
to the original verbal loan of P15, 000.00 contracted by the herein Complainant XXX on 20 September
2014, would amount to a huge and unjust interest of thirty-five percent (35%) for very short period of
twenty-five (25) days (i.e., 20 September 2014 to 15 October 2014). This was clearly usurious, immoral,
unacceptable, iniquitous, unconscionable, and unjustified, considering that no interest was formally agreed
upon or stipulated when the verbal loan for P15, 000.00 was consummated between the Complainant XXX
and the Respondent on 20 September 2014. The Respondent did not present to the herein Complainants at
that time and up to the present time any credible documentary proof identifying his anonymous Financier.
Neither did the Respondent present to the herein Complainants at that time and up to the present time
any documentary proof of demand/collection, statement of account, billing, letter, or any written
request or instruction from his anonymous Financier to prove the allegation of the Respondent that his
anonymous Financier was indeed demanding P42, 000.00 at that time.

3.11. The Complainants at that time demanded that the Respondent the name, address and contact details of the
anonymous Financier so that the herein Complainants could personally discuss and explain his position to the
Financier. But the Respondent refused and continues to refuse to this very day to give to the herein
Complainants the name, address and contact details of the anonymous Financier.

3.12. After the said telephone call of the Respondent to the herein Complainant XXX made on 15 October 2014 or
thereabout, the Respondent kept quiet for two (2) months. Then sometime in December 2014 or thereabout
the Respondent again called up the herein Complainant XXX alleging that the past-due interest of the latter on
the original principal loan of P15,000.00 made on 20 September 2014 had already escalated to P100,000.00
as of the date of his call in December 2014. The Respondent alleged that he hadmortgaged his house to his
anonymous Financier to pay for the said unpaid interest of the herein Complainant XXX. The herein
Complainants, doubting the sincerity and truthfulness of the allegation of the Respondent, demanded the
name, address and contact details of the Financier so that the herein Complainants could forthwith talk and
discuss the issue with the said Financier. They also demanded copies of any documentary proof justifying the
claim of P100, 000.00 interest as of that time (December 2014). But the Respondent failed and refused
and continues to fail and refuse to this very day to provide the herein Complainants such information and
documentary proof/s.

3.13. On 7 October 2015 or thereabout the Respondent again called up the herein Complainant XXX, saying that the
former was at that time waiting inside Xxx Xxx I Subdivision near the home of the herein Complainants, inside
his van, and that the Respondent wished to talk with the herein Complainant XXX for a while about his loan.
The herein Complainant XXX agreed to meet with the Respondent outside his home. When they met, the
Respondent asked the herein Complainant XXX to go inside his van for a more private discussion. When the
herein Complainant XXX the van of the Respondent, he was surprised to see a man who identified himself as
XXX XXX, who showed the Respondent a government ID. XXX threatened the Respondent with the following
words:
“HOY, IKAW, LOKO KA HA! MAY UTANG KA PALA NANG GANITO KALAKI KAY XXX. HINDI MO BA AKO
KILALA? xxx AKO NG ASSOCIATION NG XXX XXX. SUMAMA KA SA AKIN SA BARANGAY. PAG HINDI KA
SUMAMA, PAPALABASIN KO KAYO SA XXX AT HINDI NA KAYO PWEDE TUMIRA DITO.”

3.14. Although the herein Complainant XXX, being a xxx national, has no perfect mastery of the Tagalog language,
he understood the context of the threatening words of XXX based on his facial expressions and hand
movements and based on the harassing presence of the Respondent. Despite the fact that there was no
pending formal Barangay complaint against the herein Complainant XXX and despite the fact that there was
no official Barangay summons issued to him at that time, he was forced by XXX and the Respondent to go with
them to the Barangay Hall of Barangay Xxx 5, Xxx Xxx City right that very moment.

3.15. At the Barangay Hall, the herein Complainant XXX told the Barangay officer, by the name of “Deputy xxx ”, (a)
That he had not received any formal Barangay complaint or formal Barangay summons; and (b) That the
claim of the Respondent for P366, 000.00 was baseless, unfounded, untrue, false, and fabricated.

3.16. The herein Complainant XXX, without the aid of an interpreter, was forced by Barangay Deputy XXX, XXX, and
the Respondent to sign a page of the Barangay logbook, which turned out later to be a “KASUNDUAN”.

3.17. The herein Complainant XXX was misled by Barangay Deputy XXX, XXX, and the Respondent that the document
was only aharmless record or minutes of the Barangay meeting. The contents and the legal effects of the
said documentwere not explained and interpreted to the herein Complainant XXX by Barangay Deputy
XXX or any Barangay Kagawad or by the Barangay Secretary or by any Lupon Officer or Member.

3.18. The herein Complainant XXX signed the Kasunduan UNDER DURESS. He was MISLED by Barangay Deputy XXX
to sign it. He was threatened/intimidated by XXX and the Respondent to sign it. He did not understand its
contents, consequences, and legal effects because, as a Japanese national, he has no mastery of English and
Tagalog, although he could understand and speak some simple conversational English and Tagalog words. He
was not assisted by an Interpreter or by a lawyer of his choice. All he knew was that the said document
was a harmless minutes of meeting, as represented to him by Barangay Deputy XXX, XXX and the
Respondent.

3.19. Later, in his criminal complaint for Estafa against the herein Complainant XXX, the Respondent would
capitalize on the said KASUNDUAN as the sole basis of his FINAL DEMAND LETTER to prove the alleged
financial liability of the Complainant XXX. The Kasunduan was an entrapment document used by the
Respondent to document a verballoan agreement and to evade the degree of evidence required by
the Statutes of Frauds of the Civil Code.

3.20. Aside from the suspicious Kasunduan, the Respondent has not presented any credible document, such as, but
not necessarily limited to, a CONTRACT OF LOAN, a PROMISSORY NOTE, a VOUCHER, a STATEMENT OF
ACCOUNT, or a BILL executed or signed by the Lender and the Borrower: To prove the financial claim of the
Respondent and his anonymous Financier; To prove the veracity of the computation/s of the usurious,
unconscionable and iniquitous interests of the herein Complainant XXX; and To prove compliance by the
Respondent and his anonymous Financier with the mandatory provisions of the TRUTH IN LENDING ACTin
re: the formal issuance by the Lender to the Borrower of aFULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT, containing the
amount of the principal loan, the stipulated interest rate, the stimulated penalties and surcharges, if any and
other covenants related to the agreed loan.

3.21. After a few days from 7 October 2015, the Respondent made a series of calls to the herein Complainant XXX,
pestering the latter to pay his alleged obligation. The Respondent alleged and stated: That the payment
should be made by the herein Complainant XXX at the home of XXX, vice president of the homeowners
association of Xxx Xxx Subdivision (who was not a party to the oral loan transaction); That the
Respondent would soon leave for abroad; That his wife would soon return from abroad; and That it would be
a great problem on his part if his wife would discover that he had mortgaged his house (and, this time,
allegedly including his van) to his anonymous Financier to secure the alleged obligation of the herein
Complainant XXX.

3.22. Sometime in the latter part of October 2015 or thereaboutthe Respondent visited the home of the herein
Complainants, accompanied by an unidentified man whose appearance appeared to be suspicious. The
Respondent repeated his demand to be paid, this time, in the total amount of P366, 000.00. The herein
Complainants insisted that they had already settled in full his original verbal loan of P15, 000.00 with P6,
000.00 interest. They demanded that the Respondent show proofs of the alleged liability of the herein
Complainant XXX and the computations of the alleged past-due interests, either in the form of a voucher or
an official receipt or a statement of account or a billing or a promissory note or a contract of loan or
any other credible document. Ignoring the foregoing demand of the herein Complainants, the Respondent
insisted that the herein Complainants pay the total amount he was claiming and that the same be paid by
them at the home of XXX. The Complainants were thus constrained to tell the Respondent that it would be
better for him to file a court case to prove his claim so that the truth would come out.

3.23. Please note that in the Barangay KASUNDUAN, dated 7 October 2015, the alleged financial obligation of the
herein Complainant XXX, according to the Respondent, was P366, 000.00. It contradicts the Final Demand
Letter, dated 12 November 2015, of the Respondent, which claimed the total amount of P326, 000.00 - or
a huge and unexplained difference of P40, 000.00.

3.24. On 26 November 2015 the herein Complainant confronted XXX at his home in Xxx Xxx Subdivision. She brought
along with her, as her mediators/witnesses, the Spouses XXX AND XXX. Xxx was a past president of the
homeowners association of the subdivision. During the said confrontation, the Respondent was mysteriously
present inside the home of XXX. In that confrontation, herein Complainant XXX told XXX: That the herein
Complainants have been residents/tenants of the subdivision for seven (7) years; That as the vice president
of the homeowners association vested with the legal duty to serve the common good of the
homeowners/tenants of the subdivision, XXX should have taken steps to protect the herein Complainants as
residents/tenants of the subdivision (i.e., as his constituents in the subdivision) against the baseless and
unfounded claim of the Respondent; That at the very least XXX should have first consulted and heard the side
of the herein Complainants when the Respondent first sought his assistance to collect from the herein
Complainant XXX; and that he should not have believed outright, hook line and sinker, the said claim of the
Respondent without first giving the herein Complainants an opportunity to be heard; That the act of XXX of
coercively bringing the herein Complainant XXX to the Barangay Hall on 7 October 2015, without the
assistance of the herein Complainant XXX and based solely on the personal request of the Respondent -- and
without the prior filing by the Respondent of a formal Barangay complaint and without the prior issuance by
the Barangay Secretary of a formal Barangay summons to the Complainant -- was an unjust, unfair, and illegal
act of harassment, intimidation, and unjust vexation.

3.25. To put an end to abusive and pestering collection behavior of the Respondent -- and solely to buy peace,
without admitting any liability on the part of the herein Complainants and without admitting the validity of
the claim of the Respondent in the amount of P366, 000.00 -- the herein Complainants paid the
Respondent an additional amount of P47, 000.00 on October 15, 2015, via a deposit to the bank account
of the Respondent, hoping that such an amount would finally end the baseless claim and collection
pestering/harassment of the Respondent. But it was not so. The Respondent continues to insist on his claim
of P366, 000.00 by filing a harassment case for Estafa.

3.26. The herein Complainants believes that the Complainant is using the Criminal Justice System as his own
coercive COLLECTION AGENCY. It is the hope and prayer of the herein Complainants that this Honorable
Office would resist the malicious move of the Complainant to use, mislead, and exploit it as his pro
bono personal COLLECTION AGENCY.

3.27. On 26 November 2015, the herein Complainant XXX filed a complaint with Barangay Xxx against the
Complainant and XXX. During the Barangay conciliation XXX apologized to her for his behavior. The herein
affiant accepted his apology, with the hope that XXX would be more discerning as a community leader in the
future.

3.28. On January 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM, the Subpoena of this Honorable Office in re: the Estafa case filed by the
Respondent was delivered by the process server of this Honorable Office at the new home address of the
Respondent at Xxx Xxx Subdivision. (It was originally addressed to the oldhome address of the herein
Complainants in the same subdivision). The herein Complainants was constrained to retain the legal services
of the LASERNA CUEVA-MERCADER LAW OFFICES, Xxx Xxx City, to defend their legal and constitutional
rights, in the interest of truth and justice; to disprove the false, fabricated, baseless, unfounded, and malicious
claim of the Complainant; and to file the necessary criminal and/or civil counter-charges against the
Respondent.

4. CONTRADICTIONS AND INCONSISTENCIES IN THE DOCUMENTS OF THE RESPONDENT. - Please note


the internal contradictions and inadequacies among the documents submitted by the Respondent in the
Estafa case.

AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLEGED CLAIM:

(a) In his Sworn Statement, dated 14 December 2015, given before the Xxx City Police Station, the
Respondent claims P326,000.00;

(b) In the Barangay Kasunduan, 7 October 2015, he claims P366,000.00;

(c) In the Final Demand Letter, dated 12 November 2015, he claims P326,000.00;

(d) In the Special Power of Attorney (SPA), dated 14 December 2015, he claims P326,000.00;

(e) Please note that in all of the foregoing allegations no VOUCHERS, OFFICIAL RECEIPTS, STATEMENTS OF
ACCOUINTS, BILLS, PROMISSORY NOTES, CONTRACTS OF LOAN, and/or DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS were
presented by the Respondent to prove his claim.

AS TO THE PURPOSE OF THE ALLEGED LOAN OF THE HEREIN COMPLAINANT XXX.


(a) In his Sworn Statement, dated 14 December 2015, given before the Xxx Xxx City Police Station, the
Respondent alleged that he and the Respondentagreed to go into the business of money lending. (Q and A
No. 6).
(b) In his Special Power of Attorney (SPA), dated 14 December 2015, he alleged that his claim was based on
alleged “Ticket Purchase”. (Par. 1, SPA).

(c) Please note that the Respondent has not presented any proof of his alleged partnership agreement or
business agreement with the herein Complainant XXX to establish a money lending business referred to
in Q and A No. 6 of his Sworn Statement, dated 14 December 2015, e.g., AGREEMENT/CONTRACT,
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, ARTICLES OF PARTNERSHIP, AFFIDAVIT, UNDERTAKING, DEED,
LETTERS AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS,and the like.

(d) Please note, too, that the Respondent has not presented any proof of the alleged “Ticket Purchase” of the
herein Complainant XXX, referred to in Par. 1 of his SPA, dated 14 December 2015, e.g.,VOUCHERS, PLANE
TICKETS, BILLS, STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNT, UNDERTAKINGS, DEEDS, LETTERS AND OTHER
COMMUNICATIONS, and the like.

5. The herein Complainants hereby submit to this Honorable Office the following additional documents to
support their instant complaint for Perjury:

(a) Annex “B” – xxx Cash Deposit Slip #001281045029, dated 30 September 2014, in the amount of P21,
000.00paid to the bank account of the Respondent - to prove the full payment by the Complainants of their
oral loan dated 20 September 2014, broken down as follows: The agreedprincipal loan of P15, 000.00; and
The unstipulatedinterest of P6, 000.oo demanded by the Respondent.

(b) Annex “C” and “C-1” – Barangay Blotter, dated 26 November 2015, re: the Barangay complaint of the
herein Complainant XXX against the unjust and coercive acts of harassment of the Respondent and XXX XXX.

Note:

Due to lack of material time, the herein Complainants cannot submit as an annex of this pleading at this time a
copy of the xxx Cash Deposit Slip, dated 15 October 2015, in the amount of P47, 000.00 to prove that the
herein Complainants had deposited the said amount to the bank account of the Respondent to buy peace,
without admitting any liability on the part of the herein Complainant XXX and without admitting the
validity of the claim of the Respondent. The herein Complainants will attempt this week to secure from the
Bank a formal Certification of its Branch Manager to corroborate the foregoing fact. The herein Complainants
reserve the right to present the said bank certification as an annex to their future Reply-Affidavit. The said
Cash Deposit Slip was misplaced or thrown away by the housemaid of the herein Complainants, together
with other personal papers, when their family recently moved to their new home address in the same
subdivision. The housemaid mistakenly thought that those papers were trash and unnecessary.

At any rate, please note that the Complaint admits in Q and A No. 7 of his Sworn Statement, dated 14
December 2015, that he indeed RECEIVED from the Respondent the said amount of P47,000.00.

6. The herein Complainant XXX has REVOKED the dubious, unfair, invalid, and misleading BARANGAY
KASUNDUAN, dated 7 October 2015 (written in Tagalog, which is not the mother language of the Complainant
xxx), the reason being that he was forced to sign the same UNDER DURESS, UNDER THE MISLEADING AND
FALSE REPRESENTATION of Barangay Deputy Xxx, in cahoots with XXX and the Respondent, that the
document was merely a harmless record/minutes of the their Barangay meeting, and WITHOUT A FULL,
INTELLIGENT, AND VOLUNTARY KNOWLEDGE, CONSENT AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE LEGAL EFFECTS
AND CONSEQUENCES THEREOF on his part.

7. ARTICLE 183 of the Revised Penal Code provides:

“Article 183. - False testimony in other cases and PERJURY in solemn affirmation. — The penalty of
arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon
any person, who,knowingly makes untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the
next preceding articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a
competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of
the falsehoodsmentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the respective
penalties provided therein.”

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the Respondent be indicted for PERJURY under Art. 183 of
the Rev. Penal Code and/or such other penal laws as may be justified/warranted by the facts of this
case.

FURTHER, the herein Complainants pray for such and other reliefs as may be deemed just and equitable
in the premises.

Xxx Xxx City, 27 January 2016.


XXX XXX
Complainant
xxx St.
Xxx Subd.
Xxx City

XXX XXX
Complainant
Xxx St.
Xxx Subd.
Xxx City

SUBSCRIBED and sworn to before me in Xxx Xxx City on ___ January 2016.

Administering Assistant City Prosecutor


[G.R. No. 144692. January 31, 2005]CELSA P. ACUA, petitioner, vs. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR
LUZON, PEDRO PASCUA and RONNIE TURLA, (Angeles City National Trade School),respondents.

This is a petition for certiorari[1] of the Resolution dated 4 April 2000 and the Order dated 19 June 2000 of
the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. The 4 April 2000 Resolution dismissed for lack of probable cause the
complaint for perjury of petitioner Celsa P. Acua against respondents Pedro Pascua and Ronnie Turla.
The 19 June 2000 Order denied the motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner Celsa P. Acua (petitioner) is a former teacher of the Angeles City National Trade School
(ACNTS) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Respondent Pedro Pascua (respondent Pascua) was ACNTS
Officer-In-Charge while respondent Ronnie Turla (respondent Turla) was a member of its faculty. [2]

On 13 July 1998, a certain Erlinda Yabut (Yabut), another ACNTS teacher, together with other
school personnel, requested a dialogue with respondent Pascua on some unspecified matter.
Respondent Pascua agreed to the request and the meeting took place on 16 July 1998. Respondent
Turla attended the meeting upon respondent Pascuas directive. Petitioner, whom Yabut apparently
invited, also attended the meeting.
As an offshoot to an incident during the 16 July 1998 meeting, petitioner charged respondent Pascua
with misconduct (OMB-ADM-1-99-0387) and with violation of Article 131[3] of the Revised Penal Code
(OMB 1-99-903) before the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman). [4] In his sworn counter-affidavit in
OMB-ADM-1-99-0387, respondent Pascua alleged, among others, that: (1) OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 is a
rehash and a duplication with a slight deviation of fact of an administrative case pending with the
Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) which petitioner and Yabut earlier filed against him
and (2) Yabut had no authority to invite to the 16 July 1998 meeting a non-employee of ACNTS like
petitioner considering that he (respondent Pascua) was the one who called the meeting. [5] Respondent
Pascua also submitted a sworn statement of respondent Turla confirming that respondent Pascua and
not Yabut called the 16 July 1998 meeting.[6]
The Ombudsman dismissed OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 and OMB 1-99-0903.
Contending that private respondents perjured themselves in their sworn statements in OMB-ADM-1-
99-0387, petitioner charged private respondents with perjury (OMB 1-99-2467) before the office of the
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon (public respondent). Petitioner alleged that private respondents were
liable for perjury because: (1) the complaint she and Yabut filed against respondent Pascua before the
Civil Service Commission, later endorsed to the DECS, was not the same as her complaint in OMB-ADM-
1-99-0387 and (2) it was Yabut and not respondent Pascua who called the 16 July 1998 meeting.[7]
Private respondents denied the charge against them and sought the dismissal of the complaint. [8]

The Ruling of the Public Respondent

Public respondent dismissed petitioners complaint in his 4 April 2000 Resolution, [9] thus:

Upon careful evaluation of the case record, we find no evidence to indict respondents for perjury.

It could not be established by the evidence on record that it was Erlinda Yabut who called the meeting on
July 16, 1998 and invited complainant. Annex B-1 xxx of the complaint is the letter of Erlinda Yabut to Dr.
Pedro Pascua, dated July 13, 1998, which shows that Ms. Yabut was requesting respondent to have a
dialogue (sic). The letter states:

We, the undersigned would like to request your good office to allow us to have a dialogue on Thursday,
July 1[6], to once and for all ventilate our complaints/observations and also listen to the rebuttal of the
other side.

It is the desire of everybody who attended the meeting last time that whatever is the outcome of this
confrontation will be the basis of the next appropriate step.

We would like to request the incoming Administrator or somebody from the DECS to act as moderator.

Pursuant to such circumstance, respondent Pascua stated, among others, in his counter-affidavit in OMB-
ADM-1-99-0387 that:

5. Be that as it may, I vehemently deny the charge that I prevented Complainant Celsa Acu[]a
from testifying against Mrs. Amelia Yambao on July 16, 1998 the truth of the matter being
that there was no hearing or investigation conducted or called by the undersigned on said
date but a dialogue among the teachers of Angeles City National Trade School which I
previously headed. Mrs. Acu[]a at that time was not a teacher to attend the said dialogue,
thus I stated openly on said occasion that I will not start the meeting if there are outsiders,
and Mr. ROGELIO GUTIERREZ asked herein Complainant to step out of the room so we
could start the dialogue, xxx;

6. I also deny the charge that she was invited by Mrs. Erlinda Yabut, co-complainant of hers in
the DECS Administrative case, because I was the one who called for that dialogue and not
Mrs. Yabut, thus I never gave any authority to anyone to invite any person who was not a
member of the school faculty or an employee thereof.

Clearly, the letter of Ms. Yabut and the aforequoted counter-affidavit of respondent Pascua belie the
commission of perjury since there was no deliberate assertion of falsehood on a material matter.

Respondent Ronnie Turla could not likewise be indicted for the crime charged. Since it was respondent
Pascua who called him to that meeting, it would be truthful of him to state that way. There was also no
willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood on the part of respondent Ronnie Turla.[10]

Petitioner sought reconsideration but public respondent denied her motion in the 19 June 2000
Order.
Hence, petitioner filed this petition. Petitioner contends that public respondent committed grave
abuse of discretion in dismissing her complaint for lack of probable cause. [11]
Public respondent, in his Comment, maintains that he did not commit grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing petitioners complaint in OMB 1-99-2467.[12]
In their Comment, private respondents claim that petitioner filed this petition out of time. Hence, this
petition should be dismissed outright. On the merits, private respondents submit that public respondent
correctly dismissed the perjury charge against them.[13]
In her Reply, petitioner counters that she timely filed her petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 65).[14]

The Issues

The petition raises these issues:


1. Whether petitioner filed the petition on time; and
2. Whether public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the
complaint in OMB 1-99-2467 for lack of probable cause.

The Ruling of the Court

The petition, while filed on time, has no merit.

The Petition was Filed on Time

Private respondents contend that petitioner filed this petition beyond the ten-day period provided in
Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770.[15] Section 27 states in part:

Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. xxxx

In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives, or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman
may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of
the written notice of the order, directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration in
accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. (Emphasis supplied)

The contention has no merit. Section 27 is no longer in force because this Court in Fabian v.
Desierto[16] declared it unconstitutional for expanding the Courts jurisdiction without its consent in
violation of Article VI, Section 30 of the Constitution. Furthermore, Section 27 relates only to appeals from
rulings of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. It does not apply to appeals from the
Ombudsmans rulings in criminal cases such as the present case. [17]
The remedy of an aggrieved party in criminal complaints before the Ombudsman is to file with this
Court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Thus, we held in Tirol, Jr. v. Del Rosario:[18]
The Ombudsman Act specifically deals with the remedy of an aggrieved party from orders, directives and
decisions of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. As we ruled in Fabian, the aggrieved
party [in administrative cases] is given the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals. Such right of appeal is
not granted to parties aggrieved by orders and decisions of the Ombudsman in criminal cases, like finding
probable cause to indict accused persons.

However, an aggrieved party is not without recourse where the finding of the Ombudsman xxx is tainted
with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack [or] excess of jurisdiction. An aggrieved party may file a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioner precisely availed of such remedy when she filed this petition for certiorari under Rule 65
alleging that public respondent gravely abused his discretion in dismissing her complaint against private
respondents. Under Section 4 of Rule 65, as amended, petitioner had 60 days from her receipt of the 19
June 2000 Order within which to file this petition. Petitioner received a copy of the 19 June 2000 Order on
13 July 2000. Thus, petitioner had until 11 September 2000 within which to file this petition. Petitioner did
so on 11 August 2000. Hence, petitioner filed this petition on time.

The Public Respondent did not Gravely Abuse


His Discretion in Dismissing OMB 1-99-2467

We reiterate this Courts policy of non-interference with the Ombudsmans exercise of his
constitutionally mandated prosecutory powers.[19] We explained the reason for such policy inOcampo, IV
v. Ombudsman:[20]

The rule is based not only upon respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the
Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman but upon practicality as well. Otherwise, the functions of the
courts will be grievously hampered by innumerable petitions assailing the dismissal of investigatory
proceedings conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman with regard to complaints filed before it, in much
the same way that the courts would be extremely swamped if they could be compelled to review the
exercise of discretion on the part of the fiscals or prosecuting attorneys each time they decide to file an
information in court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant.

The Court, in the present case, finds no reason to deviate from this long-standing policy.
Petitioner contends that public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing her
complaint for perjury for lack of probable cause. The contention is untenable. Probable cause, as used in
preliminary investigations, is defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite
the belief, in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the
person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. [21] The elements of perjury under
Article 183[22] of the Revised Penal Code are:

(a) that the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter; (b)
that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer
oath; (c) that in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a
falsehood; and, (d) that the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made
for a legal purpose.[23](Emphasis supplied)

Public respondent correctly ruled that the first and third elements are absent here in that private
respondents statements in their counter-affidavits in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 were not material to that case
nor do they constitute willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood.
On the Element of Materiality
In prosecutions for perjury, a matter is material if it is the main fact which was the subject of the
inquiry, or any circumstance which tends to prove that fact xxx. [24] To hold private respondents liable,
there must be evidence that their assailed statements in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 were the subject of inquiry
in that case. Petitioner has presented no such evidence. The records are hardly helpful, as petitioner did
not furnish the Court a copy of her complaint in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387.
What is before the Court is a portion of respondent Pascuas counter-affidavit in that case as quoted
by public respondent in his 4 April 2000 Resolution. Admittedly, some inference is possible from this
quoted material, namely, that the basis of petitioners complaint in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 is that
respondent Pascua prevented her from taking part in the 16 July 1998 meeting. However, it would be
improper for the Court to rely on such inference because the element of materiality must be established
by evidence and not left to inference.[25]
At any rate, petitioners complaint for perjury will still not prosper because respondent Pascuas
statement that OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 is significantly the same as petitioners and Yabuts administrative
complaint against respondent Pascua before the DECS is immaterial to the inferred issue.
On the Element of Deliberate Assertion
of Falsehood
The third element of perjury requires that the accused willfully and deliberately assert a falsehood.
Good faith or lack of malice is a valid defense.[26] Here, the Court finds that respondent Pascuas
statement in his counter-affidavit in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that he called the 16 July 1998 meeting does
not constitute a deliberate assertion of falsehood. While it was Yabut and some unidentified ACNTS
personnel who requested a dialogue with respondent Pascua, it was respondent Pascuas consent to their
request which led to the holding of the meeting. Thus, respondent Pascuas statement in question is not
false much less malicious. It is a good faith interpretation of events leading to the holding of the meeting.
Regarding respondent Pascuas allegation in his counter-affidavit in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that
petitioners complaint was a mere rehash and duplication with a slight deviation of fact of the DECS
administrative case petitioner and Yabut filed against respondent Pascua, petitioner has not shown why
this is false. Petitioner again did not furnish the Court a copy of her and Yabuts complaint with the DECS.
Respondent Turlas statement in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that respondent Pascua called the 16 July
1998 meeting was a mere reiteration of what respondent Pascua told him. Consequently, it was correct
for public respondent to hold that since respondent Turla merely repeated what he heard from respondent
Pascua, he could not be held liable for making a false and malicious statement.
There is grave abuse of discretion where power is exercised in arbitrary or despotic manner by
reason of passion or hostility. The abuse must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of
positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty or to act at all in contemplation of law. [27] No such
conduct can be imputed on public respondent. Public respondent disposed of petitioners complaint
consistent with applicable law.
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. The Resolution dated 4 April 2000 and the Order dated 19
June 2000 of respondent Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

[1] Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.


[2] Respondents Pascua and Turla are referred to as private respondents.
[3] Prohibition, interruption, and dissolution of peaceful meetings. The penalty of prision correccional in its
minimum period shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who, without legal ground,
shall prohibit or interrupt the holding of a peaceful meeting, or shall dissolve the same.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall hinder any
person from joining any lawful association or from attending any of its meetings.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall prohibit or
hinder any person from addressing, either alone or together with others, any petition to the
authorities for the correction of abuses or redress of grievances.
[4] Petitioners complaints in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 and OMB 1-99-0903 are not on record.
[5] Rollo, pp. 42-43.
[6] Ibid., pp. 40-41.
[7] Ibid., p. 37.
[8] Ibid., pp. 38-39.
[9] Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Jesus F. Guerrero approved the 4 April 2000 Resolution as prepared by
Donna B. Pascual, Graft Investigation Officer II, with Emilio A. Gonzales III, Director,
recommending approval.
[10] Rollo, pp. 31-32.
[11] Ibid., pp. 9-19.
[12] Ibid., pp. 69-80.
[13] Ibid., pp. 56-58.
[14] Ibid., pp. 83-91.
[15] The Ombudsman Act of 1989.
[16] 356 Phil. 787 (1998). Reported as Fabian v. Hon. Desierto.
[17] Nava v. Commission on Audit, 419 Phil. 544 (2001).
[18] 376 Phil. 115 (1999). Reported as Tirol, Jr. v. Justice Del Rosario.
[19] Alba v. Hon. Nitorreda, 325 Phil. 229 (1996).
[20] G.R. Nos. 103446-47, 30 August 1993, 225 SCRA 725.
[21] Cruz, Jr. v. People, G.R. No. 110436, 27 June 1994, 233 SCRA 439.
[22] False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. The penalty of arresto mayor in its
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person
who, knowingly making untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the next
preceding articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before
a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.
Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the
falsehoods mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the
respective penalties provided therein.
[23] Saavedra, Jr. v. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 93173, 15 September 1993, 226 SCRA 438.
[24] United States v. Estraa, 16 Phil. 520 (1910).
[25] Ibid.
[26] People v. Abaya, 74 Phil. 59 (1942).
[27] Alafriz v. Nable, 72 Phil. 278 (1941).
G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003

EMILIO C. VILLAROSA, petitioner,


vs.
HON. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, and JUDE THADDEUS SAYSON, TOTE GARGALICANO,
RAMON ABLANQUE, PETE IBRADO, JOSE RUIZ, HECTOR BAJA and cypresS tan, respondents.

QUISUMBING, J.:

This petition for certiorari assails the Resolution1 dated August 3, 1999 of Judge Demosthenes L.
Magallanes of the Regional Trial Court of Negros Occidental, Branch 54, quashing the informations for
perjury filed against herein private respondents before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of
Bacolod on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Also assailed is the Order2 of respondent judge dated
August 26, 1999 denying the motion for reconsideration.

Culled from the records are the following pertinent facts:

In the May 12, 1997 elections, petitioner Emilio Villarosa and private respondent Jude Thaddeus Sayson
were candidates for barangay captain, with private respondent emerging the victor. In the same election,
private respondents Tote Gargalicano, Ramon Ablanque, Pete Ibrado, Jose Ruiz, Hector Baja and
Cypress Tan won asbarangay councilors.

Earlier on May 7, 1997, one Victoria S. Delfin filed a verified complaint against private respondents with
the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, for violation of the Omnibus Election Code. The
complaint alleged that private respondents posted campaign streamers prior to the start of the campaign
period.

In their counter-affidavits filed before the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, private
respondents denied Victoria's complaint.3 For the purpose of conducting preliminary investigation, the
counter-affidavits of private respondents were forwarded to the Law Department of the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC), in Manila, which found the existence of probable cause for the indictment of
private respondents.

The counter-affidavits filed by private respondents with the COMELEC served as the basis for petitioner
to file a complaint for perjury against private respondents with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Bacolod
City. In his complaint, petitioner averred that by swearing under oath in said counter-affidavit that they
have not posted streamers on April 30, 1997, private respondents violated Article 183 4 of the Revised
Penal Code.

After a preliminary investigation conducted by Victor E. Gelvezon of the National Prosecution Service
under the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor, the Regional State Prosecutor filed eight (8)
informations for perjury against private respondents with the MTCC of Bacolod, which uniformly read:

That on or about May 14, 1997, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being one of the respondents charged for
violation of the Omnibus Election Code pending preliminary investigation before the Law
Department of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in SPA No. 97-212, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make untruthful statements upon a material matter in a
counter-affidavit submitted before the COMELEC, duly subscribed and sworn to by him before
Asst. City Prosecutor Cesar L. Beloria of the Bacolod City Prosecution Office, a competent
person authorized to administer oath, which counter-affidavit is required by law in the preliminary
investigation of said case, alleging therein falsely, among other things, that he has not personally
posted his campaign streamers on April 30, 1997 nor had he authorized anybody to post the
same on said date and that if there were persons who posted his streamers as early as April 30,
1997, they are supporters and/or paid workers of the other candidate Emilio C. Villarosa, when in
truth and in fact those streamers were actually posted by him and workers under his direct and
personal supervision.

Contrary to law.5

Forthwith, private respondents filed a motion to quash the informations on the ground that exclusive
jurisdiction lies with the proper court in Manila since the counter-affidavits were forwarded to the Law
Department of the COMELEC in Manila.

In an order6 dated July 27, 1998, the MTCC of Bacolod denied the motion to quash. Later, on September
21, 1998, the MTCC denied the motion for reconsideration filed by private respondents. 7

On September 23, 1998, private respondents filed a petition for certiorari8 before Branch 54 of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City where public respondent, Hon. Demosthenes Magallanes, sits
as presiding judge. In a resolution dated August 3, 1999, the RTC granted the petition and quashed the
informations without prejudice on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The RTC held that jurisdiction is with
the Manila court, not with the Bacolod court in view of the fact that the counter-affidavits allegedly
containing the false statements were transmitted to the COMELEC in Manila for the preliminary
investigation of the election offense. Accordingly, the RTC decreed in its resolution as follows:

WHEREFORE, the petition is granted. The respondent court's Orders dated July 27, 1998 and
September 21, 1998 are hereby nullified and set aside. The information for perjury in Criminal
Cases No. 82081 to 82088 are further ordered quashed without prejudice.

SO ORDERED.9

Aggrieved by that resolution and later the denial of his motion for reconsideration, 10 petitioner herein
ascribes grave abuse of discretion to respondent judge for rendering the August 3, 1999 resolution and its
companion order, denying the motion for reconsideration.

For determination now is the question of which court has jurisdiction over the case for perjury against
herein private respondents. Is it the court in Bacolod, where the counter-affidavit containing the alleged
untruthful statements was initially filed, or the court in Manila, where the affidavit was forwarded for
purposes of conducting a preliminary investigation?

On one hand, petitioner strongly asserts that jurisdiction is vested with the Bacolod court, considering that
counter-affidavits which were purportedly deceptive were filed at the first instance with the Election Officer
in Bacolod City.11 Petitioner insists that the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction in reversing the order of the MTCC.

On the other hand, private respondents contend that the operative act making the offense of perjury
triable in the Manila court is the transmission of the assailed affidavits to the COMELEC in Manila for
preliminary investigation. They cite the case of United States v. Cañet12 to boost their claim.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the State, agrees with petitioner that jurisdiction over the
present case is vested in the MTCC of Bacolod, considering that it was in the Office of the Election Officer
in Bacolod City, where the counter-affidavits were executed and originally submitted by private
respondents. For this reason, the OSG submits that the public respondent committed grave abuse of
discretion in quashing the informations for perjury.13

We find merit in this petition.

Private respondents' heavy reliance on the case of United States v. Cañet14 is misplaced. In Cañet,
Federico Cañet presented in a proceeding pending before the Court of First Instance of Iloilo an alleged
untruthful affidavit which was notarized in Manila. This Court held that it is the Iloilo court that has
jurisdiction over the case. It explained that the crux of the offense is not the subscribing and swearing but
the intentional giving of false affidavit, to wit:

Without considering or deciding whether the facts alleged sufficiently charge the commission of
the crime of perjury in the city of Manila, we hold that the complaint sets forth facts which, if
proven, are sufficient to sustain a finding that the defendant committed the crime of perjury within
the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, in that in a judicial proceeding pending in
that court, "the defendant did deliberately, maliciously and criminally swear to and present in the
Court of First Instance of Iloilo the said false affidavit," such affidavit being known to him to be
false, and being intended by him to mislead the court. It is immaterial where the affidavit was
subscribed and sworn, so long as it appears from the information that the defendant, by means of
such affidavit, "swore to" and knowingly submitted false evidence, material to a point at issue in a
judicial proceeding pending in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo Province. The gist of the offense
charged is not the making of the affidavit in Manila, but the intentional giving of false evidence in
the Court of First Instance of Iloilo Province by means of such affidavit. (Emphasis supplied.)

There is no parity of issues in Cañet and in the present case. In Cañet, the issue is whether the perjury
case must be filed in Manila where the affidavit in question was made, subscribed and sworn to, or in
Iloilo where the affidavit was filed in the CFI of Iloilo in connection with a pending judicial proceeding. In
the present case, however, the threshold issue is whether the perjury case against private respondents
must be filed in Bacolod where the proceeding for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was pending
and where the counter-affidavits was submitted, or in Manila where the counter-affidavits were forwarded
for preliminary investigation.

We agree with the petitioner and the OSG that the perjury case must be filed in Bacolod where the case
for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was pending. As provided in Section 15, Rule 110 of the Rules
on Criminal Procedure,15 it is a fundamental principle that the criminal action shall be instituted and tried
in the court of the municipality or province where the offense was committed or where any of its essential
ingredients took place. In this case, the disputed affidavit containing the alleged false statements was
filed by private respondents with the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, where a complaint for
violation of the Omnibus Election Code was lodged against them.

The transmission of the purported untruthful affidavit to the Law Department of COMELEC in Manila for
purposes of preliminary investigation did not make the offense triable in the Manila courts. We are in full
accord with the reasoning of the OSG that it was in the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City
where the counter-affidavits were executed and originally submitted by private respondents; hence, it was
in that place that the operative acts constituting the crime of perjury, if proven, were committed.

The lis mota in the crime of perjury is the deliberate or intentional giving of false evidence in the court
where such evidence is material.16 The purpose of the rule on perjury is to avert the prevalence of corrupt
assertion of a falsehood, under oath or affirmation, which constitutes an imposition upon the court and
seriously exposes it to a miscarriage of justice.17 Justice F. Moreno defines perjury as the willful and
corrupt taking of a false oath, lawfully administered in a judicial proceeding or the course of justice in
regard to a matter material to the issue or a point of inquiry.18 Here, it was in the proceeding in the Office
of the Election Officer in Bacolod City that the alleged untruthful statements of private respondents,
denying that they have posted campaign paraphernalia before the election period, became material in
deciding the issue of whether or not they violated the Omnibus Election Code.

To recall, Atty. Marsha Cordero as Investigating Officer and Election Officer IV of the Office of the
Election Officer in Bacolod City, required private respondents to file their controverting evidence to the
complaint filed by Victoria Delfin. It was that proceeding for which the purported false evidence was
intended. Otherwise stated, it was in Bacolod where the criminal intent to assert a falsehood under oath
became manifest. It is, therefore, the MTCC of Bacolod that has jurisdiction over the case for perjury.

Lastly, to hold that the Manila court has jurisdiction over the present case would open the floodgates to a
judicial anarchy. To our mind, it is not the intent of our lawmakers that all perjury cases committed in
relation to an election offense must be filed in Manila - the seat of the Law Department of COMELEC,
which under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure conducts preliminary investigations in election
offenses.19 Surely, such situation will congest the dockets of courts in Manila. It will also be physically and
financially burdensome on litigants nationwide, who must travel from remote areas just to pursue the
course of justice in Manila. This scenario will inevitably discourage the prosecution of offenses of this
nature - a situation which, to our mind, is not only unlikely, but an absurd one, farthest from the
imagination of our legislators.

In sum, jurisdiction over the crime of perjury in the instant case is vested in the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities of Bacolod City, where the affidavit constituting false evidence was filed. Accordingly, respondent
judge erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in holding otherwise.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The resolution of respondent Judge Demosthenes L.
Magallanes dated August 3, 1999, and the order dated August 26, 1999, denying the motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioner are hereby SET ASIDE. The Orders of MTCC, Bacolod City, dated July
27, 1998 and September 21, 1998, are REINSTATED. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Bellosillo, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

Footnotes

1 Rollo, pp. 69-71.

2 Id. at 75-76.

3 Records, pp. 143-146,149-150.

4 Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. - The penalty
of arresto mayorin its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be
imposed upon any person who, knowingly make untruthful statements and not being included in
the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon
any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which
the law so requires.

Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the
falsehoods mentioned made in this and the three preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the
respective penalties provided therein. (Emphasis ours.)

5 Records, pp. 2-3.

6 Rollo, pp. 27-36.

7 Id. at 42.
8 Id. at 43-62.

9 Id. at 71.

10 Id. at 75-76.

11 Id. at 6.

12 30 Phil. 371 (1915).

13 Rollo, p. 183.

14 Supra, note 12, at 378.

15 SEC 15. Place where action is to be instituted. -

(a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of
the municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential
ingredients occurred.

xxx

16 Supra, note 14.

17 Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book II, 1998 Ed., p. 265.

18Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd Ed., p. 692. See also United States v. Estraña, 16 Phil
520, 529 (1910).

19 Rule 34, Comelec Rules of Procedure – Prosecution of Election Offenses

SECTION 1. Authority of the Commission to Prosecute Election Offenses. – The


Commission shall have the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all
election offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same, except
as may otherwise be provided by law.

xxx

SEC. 5. Referral for Preliminary Investigation. – If the complaint is initiated motu proprio by the
Commission, or is filed with the Commission by any aggrieved party, it shall be referred to the
Law Department for investigation. Upon direction of the Chairman of the Commission, the
preliminary investigation may be delegated to any lawyer of said Department, or to any of the
Regional Election Directors or Provincial Election Supervisors, or any lawyer of the Commission.
(Emphasis supplied.)

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