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SANCHEZ v. DEMETRIOU - Section 4, paragraph (a) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No.

1861, provides that


Sandigabayan | 9 November 1993 | J. Cruz Sandiganbayan exercised exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of graft and corruption
and offenses committed in relation to public office.
Nature of Case: Petition for certiorari - The crime of rape with homicide with which the petitioner stands charged obviously does
Digest maker: Africa not fall under any of the aforementioned circumstances.
- For one to “committed in relation to office,” public office must be an element of the crime as
SUMMARY: Sanchez, along with 6 other accused, was charged with rape with homicide
defined in the statute. In this case, the offense can stand independently of the office.
before the RTC. He then filed motion to quash information on the ground that as a public - Moreover, it is not even alleged in the information that the commission of the crime charged
officer, he must be tried only by the Sandiganbayan. The Court held that the offense under
was intimately connected with the performance of the petitioner's official functions.
which he was tried exists independent of the office, nor is it intimately connected with the - In People v. Montejo, it was held that when there is an intimate connection between the
performance of the his official functions. RTC retains jurisdiction.
office and the offense, as alleged in the information, the offense can be brought within the
definition of an offense "committed in relation to the public office.
DOCTRINE: For one to “committed in relation to office,” public office must be an element of
the crime as defined in the statute. Alleging in the information the commission of the crime
RULING: The petition is DISMISSED. The respondent judge is DIRECTED to continue with the
charged was intimately connected with the performance of the petitioner's official functions
trial
also brings it within the ambit of offense committed in relation to public office.
NOTE:
FACTS: • Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may,
1. The Presidential Anti-Crime Commission requested the filing of charges against petitioner, without a warrant, arrest a person:
then-mayor of Calauan, Laguna, in connection with the rape-slay of Sarmenta and the (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or
killing of Gomez. is attempting to commit an offense;
2. The Panel of State prosecutors of the DOJ conducted a preliminary investigation. Later on, (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts
PNP Commander Piad issued an “invitation” requesting for the petitioner’s appearance at indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
Camp Vicente for investigation. Sanchez was then placed on “arrest status.” (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment
3. Seven informations charging Sanchez and 6 other accused with rape with homicide were or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is
filed before the RTC. pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
4. Due to partisan atmosphere in Laguna, venue of case was transferred to Pasig and raffled
under Judge Demetriou. • Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
5. Sanchez filed a motion to quash the informations. Denied, hence this petition. Sanchez a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
argues that 1.) only the Ombudsman had the competence to conduct the investigation; 2.) (1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-
his warrantless arrest is illegal and the court has therefore not acquired jurisdiction over Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title
him; and 3.) as a public officer, he can be tried for the offense only by the Sandiganbayan. VII of the Revised Penal Code;
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to
ISSUE/S & RATIO: their office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled
1. WON the proceedings conducted by DOJ are null and void. — NO corporations, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty
- The Ombudsman is indeed empowered under Section 15, paragraph (1) of R.A. 6770 to prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years,
investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official. or a fine of P6,000.00.
- However, as ruled in the case of Aguinaldo v. Domagas, this authority "is not an exclusive
authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged.”

2. WON his arrest is illegal. — YES


- In this case,, the invitation came from a high-ranking military official and the investigation
of Sanchez was to be made at a military camp. Although in the guise of a request, it was
obviously a command or an order of arrest that the petitioner could hardly be expected to
defy.
- However, as it is warrantless, the arrest is illegal. There is also no showing that the his arrest
falls under the cases of lawful warrantless arrest.
- Nevertheless, the Regional Trial Court lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
petitioner by virtue of the warrant of arrest it issued on August 26, 1993 against him and the
other accused in connection with the rape-slay cases.
3. WON the case should be under the jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan. — NO