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A. Venue in Criminal Cases is Jurisdictional 1. Isip v.

People Facts: Petitioners were charged with estafa and violation of BP22 in Cavite City. However, the defence alleges that the crimes were committed not in Cavite but in Manila, therefore the RTC had no jurisdiction. Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE IMPUTED TO PETITIONER AND FOR WHICH HE WAS CONVICTED; YES Held: YES (1) The concept of venue of actions in criminal cases, unlike in civil cases, is jurisdictional. The place where the crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction. It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases, the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients should have taken place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. (2) Petitioner failed to establish by sufficient and competent evidence that the transaction happened in Manila. They argue that although they had an ancestral house in Cavite, mere convenience suggests that the transaction was entered into in Manila. The fact that Cavite City is a bit far from Manila does not necessarily mean that the transaction cannot or did not happen there. Distance will not prevent any person from going to a distant place where he can procure goods that he can sell so that he can earn a living.

2. Landbank v. Belista Facts: DAR expropriated the land of respondent at the amount of 200k, but was later valued by the LBP at 300k plus. Because of this discrepancy, Belista filed a motion for the determination of just compensation with DAR and was awarded 2.5M compensation. Aggrieved, LBP filed an original motion for determination of just compensation with the SAC (RTC) but the RTC and CA, referring to 2003 DARAB Rules, dismissed the petition due to nonexhaustion of administrative remedies on the ground that LBP must have first taken the action to DAR. Issue: W/N RESPONDENT VIOLATED DOCTRINE OF NON-EXHAUSTION BY NOT TAKING THE ACTION TO DAR FIRST (or w/n it is necessary that in cases involving claims for just compensation under RA 6657 that the decision of the Adjudicator must first be appealed to the DARAB before a party can resort to the RTC sitting as SAC.) NO Held: NO According to RA6657, DAR has primary and exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters relating to the implementation of the Agrarian Reform except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of DA or DENR. However, the same law also gives original and exclusive jurisdiction to SACs over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners.

3. People v. Taroy Facts: Des alleges that she was raped by Taroy in their home in Benguet when she was still 10 years old. Taroy alleges, among others, that the offense took place not in Benguet but in Baguio, therefore the RTC of Benguet has no jurisdiction over the case. Issue: W/N THE RTC OF BENGUET HAS JURISDICITON OVER THE CASE? Held: Yes Venue is jurisdictional in criminal cases. It can neither be waived nor subjected to stipulation. The right venue must exist as a matter of law. Thus, for territorial jurisdiction to attach, the criminal action must be instituted and tried in the proper court of the municipality, city, or province where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients took place. The uncorroborated assertion of Taroy that the offense was committed in Baguio cannot overturn the testimonies of Mila and Des and the affidavit of arrest. Besides, Taroy has already admitted in the pretrial that the RTC of Benguet has jurisdiction.

4. Bonifacio v. RTC of Makati Facts: The prosecution charges petitioners for committing libel under the RPC. The amended information reads, among others, that petitioners unlawfully, publicly and maliciously posted in a website accessible in Makati City, a defamatory article, which was first published and accessed by the private complainant in Makati City. Art. 360 of the RPC provides that the criminal action and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations, as provided for in this chapter shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense. Petitioners move to quash the amended information on the ground that it failed to vest jurisdiction upon the respondent court because it failed to allege a particular place within the trial courts jurisdiction where the subject article was printed and first published or that the offended parties resided in Makati at the time the alleged defamatory material was printed and first published.


Held: No (1) RPC clearly states that for libel cases, jurisdiction is vested upon the court of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense. The prosecution chose

the alternative of alleging the place of commission, however, accessed cannot suffice to be synonymous to published otherwise it would spawn the very ills that the amendment to RPC art. 360 sought to prevent.

B. Jurisdiction to Issue Hold Departure Orders (Regular Courts Distinguished with the Sandiganbayan)

1. Modejar v. Judge Buban Facts: Petitioner files a complaint against respondent judge for issuing a hold departure order against her contrary to the SC circular which reads, among others, that hold-departure orders shall be issued only in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the regional trial courts.

2. Judge Mupas v. Judge Espanol Facts: Petitioner files a complaint against respondent for interfering in the case (unfiled) that she was handling, by issuing a hold departure order against the detainees in that case and by ordering their transfer from the municipal jail to the provincial jail. Respondent claims that under Sec. 25 of Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, she is authorized to supervise all persons in custody. Issue: W/N RESPONDENT JUDGE EXCEEDED HER AUTHORITY BY ISSUING THE SAID ORDERS Held: Yes Nowhere in Sec. 25 of Rule 114 can be found a provision that authorizes her to issue the said orders. An Executive Judge only has administrative supervision over lower courts. Her function relates only to the management of first and second level courts, within her administrative area with a view to attaining prompt and convenient dispatch of its business. Acting as such, she cannot unilaterally override the MTCs actions in cases pending with it under the guise of administrative supervision, without running afoul of the orderly administration of justice. Only when her courts jurisdiction is appropriately invoked in an appeal or certiorari and other special civil actions can respondent judge, in her judicial capacity, override the lower courts judgment.

C. Jurisdiction determined by the allegations of the Complaint 1. Foz v. People Facts: Petitioners were charged with libel in Iloilo. However, the information did not allege either: (1) that the defamatory article was printed and first published in an area within the jurisdiction of the court, or (2) that the offended party resided within the jurisdiction of the court at the time of the commission of the offense.

Issue: W/N THE INFORMATION HAS SUCCESSFULLY VESTED JURISDICTION TO THE RTC OF ILOILO Held: No For libel cases, Art. 360 of the RPC clearly provides that jurisdiction over the case is given to the court in whose territory the defamatory articles was printed and first published, or in whose territory the offended party resided at the time of the commission of the offense. Since neither the place of printing and first publishing nor the residence of the offended party was alleged to be in Iloilo, the said RTC has not been vested with jurisdiction.

D. Creation of the Sandiganbayan P.D. 1606, Charter of Sandiganbayan Section 4. Section 4 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows: "a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: "(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade '27' and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including: "(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads; "(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors engineers and other city department heads; "(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher; "(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank; "(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher; "(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; "(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; "(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade'27' and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; "(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; "(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and "(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade'27'and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.

"b. Other offenses orfelonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. "c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. "In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade '27' or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military or PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court and municipal circuit trial court ' as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. "The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders or regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction orof their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. "The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1,2,14 and 14-A, issued in 1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. "In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in govemment-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. "Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided, however, That where the civil action had therefore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, as the case may be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned."

E. Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan 1. People v. Sandiganbayan Facts:

Private respondent Amante, member of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, was charged for not liquidating a sum of money she held by reason of her office for almost 2 years, in violation of the Auditing Code of the Philippines. Respondent court dismissed the case of lack of jurisdiction, arguing that since their jurisdiction only includes those positions that have a salary grade of 27 and higher, and since private respondent has a salary grade of 26, they have no jurisdiction. Issue: W/N THE SANDIGANBAYAN HAS JURISDICTION OVER PRIVATE RESPONDENT, A MEMBER OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNGSOD, HAVING A SALARY GRADE OF 26 Held: Yes 1.) Sec. 4 (b), not (a), applies to the case at hand. 4(a) includes in respondents jurisdiction those with whose positions are under salary grade 27 and higher, specifically including certain positions, among which includes the members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. 4(b), on the other hand, simply includes other offenses or felonies, whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office. Petitioner clearly falls under this subsection.

3. Serrana v. Sandiganbayan Facts: Petitioner, a member of the Board of Regents in UP-Cebu, is charged with estafa before the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner contends that Sandiganbayan does not have jurisdiction over her because first, she is not a public officer, and second, the crime of estafa is not among those enumerated in Sec. 4 (a) of PD 1606. Issues: 1.) W/N SANDIGANBAYAN HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CRIME OF ESTAFA - yes 2.) W/N PETITIONER IS A PUBLIC OFFICER - yes Held: 1.) Yes. Sec. 4(b) clearly states that Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies, whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office. 2.) Yes. A public office is the right, authority and duty, created and conferred by law, by which, for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. The individual so invested is a public officer. Petitioner is a member of the BOR of UP-Cebu. The BOR exclusively exercises the general powers of administration and corporate powers of the university, similar to the board of trustees of a corporation. Therefore, petitioner is a public officer.

4. Esquivel v. Ombudsman Facts:

Petitioners, municipal mayor and barangay captain, were charged with less physical injuries and grave threats committed against a certain police officer. Petitioners contend that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over their persons as they hold positions excluded in Republic Act No. 7975. Issue: W/N SANDIGANBAYAN HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSES CHARGED AGAINST THE PETITIONERS Held: Yes 1.) Sec. 4(a) provides that officers of the executive branch with a salary grade of 27 and higher are covered. The LGC provides that Municipal Mayors have a salary grade of 27. The SC has already held this in previous cases -- that municipal mayors fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. 2.) Sec. 4(a) provides that where one of the accused falls within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, his co-accused, although not falling under the coverage, will still be under the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction. This applies squarely to Brgy. Capt. Esquivel.

F. Dismissal of the Complaint because of inordinate delay 1. Tatad v. Sandiganbayan Facts: In 1974, a complaint was filed against petitioner, a public officer, for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act however, it was only in 1980 that it was processed for investigation. In 1982, the documents were all ready for the disposition of the Tanodbayan but it was only in 1985 that the information was filed against petitioner. Issue: Whether the prosecution's long delay in the filing of these cases with the Sandiganbayan (6 year delay to investigate and 3 year delay to file information) had deprived petitioner of his constitutional light to due process and the right to a speedy disposition of the cases against him. Held: 1.) Yes. PD 911 prescribes a ten-day period for the prosecutor to resolve a case under preliminary investigation by him from its termination. Although, as it has been held by the SC before, it is merely directory, it cannot be disregarded or ignored completely with absolute impunity. The inordinate delay is violative of the petitioners constitutional right to due process and speedy disposition of cases. 2. Cervantes v. Sandiganbayan Facts: In 1986, a complaint was filed against petitioner for the crime of falsification, however, it was only six years after that the information was filed Issue: W/N HIS RIGHT TO A SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF THE CASE WAS VIOLATED Held: 1.) Yes.

G. Anti-Graft Cases in the Sandiganbayan 1. Venus v. Desierto Facts: Petitioner, then Mayor, authorized by the SB of his municipality to negotiate and/or enter into a contract with BOL in Manila to purchase a certain parcel of land, went to Manila and did the same. The BOL rejected the municipalitys offer and told petitioner that they were going to offer said land in a public bidding on a certain date. Petitioner returned to his municipality and reported the same to the SB. He also presented a list of his expenses during the authorized trip for reimbursement of P1,400 which he subsequently received. He likewise inquired whether he should go back to manila and represent the municipality in the bidding. However, due to time and resource constraints, the SB was not able to authorize petitioner. Because of this, petitioner on his own initiative, after asking and being granted permission from the provincial governor to go to Manila to attend the bidding, went back to Manila and asked the BOL if they could postpone the auction so that his municipality could attend it. However, this was denied and the auction proceeded. During the auction, petitioner, acting in his personal capacity, submitted his personal bid for the land and won the bid. A complaint was filed against petitioner, then mayor, for violating the anti-graft and corrupt practices act. The OSP found probable cause. However, during the arraignment, the Sandiganbayan requested the OSP to re-assess and re-examine the facts. Upon re-examination, certain assigned officers recommended the dismissal of the complaint, however, the Ombudsman, having the opinion that the petitioner acted in bad faith, rejected the recommendation and still pursued the case, hence, this petition. Petitioner contends that the Ombudsman erred in finding probable cause. Issue: W/N THE CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE WHICH WAS FOUND PRESENT BY THE OMBUDSMAN Held: Yes 1.) Ordinarily, the SC does not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman for the determination of probable cause. However, there are certain exceptions, one of which is: where there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied. In the instant case, the undisputed facts show neither probable cause nor evident bad faith. Good faith is always presumed and the Chapter on Human Relations of the Civil Code directs every person, inter alia, to observe good faith which, according to the Commission, springs from the fountain of good conscience. Therefore, he who charges another with bad faith must prove it. The Ombudsman failed to show that the facts presented were indicative of bad faith.

2. Fonacier v. Sandiganbayan Facts: In 1978, petitioners, public officers, were charged in the RTC for violating the anti-graft and corrupt practices act. However, before their arraignment, the Sandiganbayan and the Tanodbayan were created, hence their case was transferred from the RTC to the Sandiganbayan. Petitioners contend that since the crime charged is said to have been committed before the creation of the Sandiganbayan then therefore, the ordinary courts should not be divested of their jurisdiction thereover.

Issue: W/N THE TRANSFER OF PETITIONERS CASE FROM THE RTC TO SANDIGANBAYAN IS PROPER Held: 1.) Yes. Pursuant to PD 1606: Section 8. Transfer of cases. As of the date of the effectivity of this decree, any case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan within its exclusive jurisdiction where none of the accused has been arraigned shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan.

4. Magsuci v. Sandiganbayan Facts: BFAR and Dexter Company, represented by Ancla, entered into an agreement for the construction of certain structures. During the course of the undertaking, petitioner was designated as the BFAR regional director having the duty, among others, to supervise such construction. Enriquez, the then BFAR Central Engineer charged with certifying the progress of Dexter, together with Ancla, presented their Accomplishment Report and Certification of Completion attesting that the undertaken construction has been completed. Petitioner reviewed their reports, affixed his signature on the disbursement voucher releasing the public funds to Dexter, and co-signed the checks for disbursement. However, it eventually appeared that the project was still underway and had still yet to be completed. Because of this, petitioner was charged for falsification of public documents in conspiracy with Enriquez and Ancla. Issue: W/N SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN FINDING MAGSUCI TO BE IN CONSPIRACY WITH HIS COPETITIONERS Held: 1.) Yes. Magsuci should be acquitted. There is conspiracy "when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it." Conspiracy is not presumed. The elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. While conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence, for it may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime, all taken together, however, the evidence therefor must reasonably be strong enough to show a community of criminal design. An appreciation of the acts would show that the actions taken by the petitioner involved the very functions he had to do in performing his duties. There has been no intimation whatsoever that he knew of any irregularity committed by his copetitioners.

5. Sistoza v. Desierto Facts: The Pre-Qualification, Bid and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the Bureau of Corrections (BOC) offered for public bidding the supply of tomato paste to be used as ingredient in the diet of the inmates of the New Bilibid Prison. The winner of the bidding was Elias Co. Filcrafts Inc. came in second place because although they were offering a lower price, the product they were offering did not meet the specifications set by the PBAC. Following the required process, the necessary documents were passed around 3 divisions of the PBAC for scrutiny and approval before it finally landed with petitioner, the Director of BOC, for final approval.

Eventually, based on the facts, the Ombudsman charged petitioner for violating the anti-graft and corrupt practices act in conspiracy with Elias Co. Issue: W/N THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE OMBUDSMAN TO FILE CHARGES AGAINST PETITIONER Held: 1.) No, although ordinarily the SC does not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman in the determination of probable cause, there are certain exceptions as when he acted with grave abuse of discretion as in the case at hand. There is no direct evidence that petitioner Sistoza acted in conspiracy with the officers and members of the PBAC and the other implicated public officials. He did not himself participate in the bidding procedures nor was he involved in the award of the supply of tomato paste to Elias General Merchandising. Plainly, the accusation against him rests upon his signature on the purchase order and his repeated endorsements thereof notwithstanding his knowledge that the winning bidder did not offer the least price. The Ombudsman concluded that these acts constituted manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or even gross inexcusable negligence resulting in undue injury to the government elements of the crime charged. a. The fact that petitioner had knowledge of the status of Elias General Merchandising as being only the second lowest bidder does not ipso facto characterize petitioner's act of reliance as recklessly imprudent without which the crime could not have been accomplished. Albeit misplaced, reliance in good faith by a head of office on a subordinate upon whom the primary responsibility rests negates an imputation of conspiracy by gross inexcusable negligence to commit graft and corruption. As things stand, petitioner is presumed to have acted honestly and sincerely when he depended upon responsible assurances that everything was aboveboard since it is not always the case that second best bidders in terms of price are automatically disqualified from the award considering that the PBAC reserves the authority to select the best bid not only in terms of the price offered but other factors as well.