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Assigned Cases in Criminal Procedure:

1) People vs. Mariano, GR No. 40527, June 30, 1976 71


SCRA 600
2) Conde vs. Mamento, GR. No. 71989, July 7,1986, 142
SCRA 504
3) Guevarra vs. Almadovar, GR No. 75256, January 26,
1989, 169 SCRA 476
4) People vs. Lagon, GR No. 45815, May 18, 1990, 185
SCRA 446
5) El Pueblo de Filipinas vs. San Juan, 69 Phil 347
6) Uy vs. CA, GR No. 119000, July 28, 1997, 276 SCRA
374
7) Cruz vs. CA, GR No. 123340, August 29, 2002, 388
SCRA 79
8) Velunta vs. Chief Philippines Constabulary, GR No.
71855, January 20, 1988, 157 SCRA 147
9) Orosa Jr. vs. CA, GR No. 76826-32, January 28, 1991,
193 SCRA 397
10) De la Cruz vs. Moya, GR No. 65192, April 27, 1988,
160 SCRA 838
11) Silva, et al vs. NLRC, et al, GR No. 110226, June 19,
1997. 274 SCRA 176
12) People vs. Chupeco, GR No. 19568, March 31, 1964,
10 SCRA 640
13) Sumawag vs. De Guzman, GR No. 150106,
September 8, 2004, 437 SCRA 622
14) Fukuzume vs. People, GR No. 143647, November 11,
2005, 474 SCRA 580
15) People vs. Magallanes, GR No. 118013-4, October 11,
1995, 249 SCRA 212

16) Olivarez vs. CA et al., GR No. 163866, July 29, 2005,


165 SCRA 477
17) Buaya vs. Polo, GR No. 75079, January 26, 1989, 169
SCRA 471
18) Mobilia Products, Inc. vs. Umezawa, GR Nos. 149357
and 149403, March 4, 2005, 452 SCRA 761
19) Republic vs. Sunga, GR No. 38634, June 20, 1988,
162 SCRA 191
20) Alva vs. CA, GR No. 157331, April 12, 2006, 487
SCRA 169
21) Miranda vs. Tuliao, GR No. 158763, March 31, 2006,
486 SCRA 377, 387-388

FIRST DIVISION

Court of First Instance had lost jurisdiction over the case


against him.

[G.R. No. L-40527. June 30, 1976.]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v.
HERMOGENES MARIANO and HON. AMBROSIO M.
GERALDEZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Bulacan, Branch
V, Respondents.
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Assistant Solicitor
General Nathanael P. Pano, Jr., Solicitor Oswaldo D.
Agcaoili, Provincial P. C. Cliachko and Assistant
Provincial Fiscal C. G. Perfecta, for Petitioner.
Eustaquio Evangelista, for respondent Hermogenes
Mariano.
SYNOPSIS
Private respondent, then, Liaison Officer of the Municipal
Mayor received in behalf of the Municipality of San Jose del
Monte, Bulacan, several feet of electric cables and cable
power from USAID/NEC. Instead of delivering said items to the
Municipality, respondent appropriated and converted the same
to his own use. Thereafter, the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan
filed an information charging said private respondent with the
offense of estafa. Accused moved to quash the information on
the grounds that the Court lacked jurisdiction to try the case;
that the criminal liability had been extinguished; that the
information contained averments which, if true, would
constitute a legal excuse; and that the items which were
subject matter of the information were the same items for
which the Mayor of San Jose del Monte had been indicted and
convicted of malversation of public property by the Military
Tribunal. Movant claimed that since the case against the
Mayor had already been decided by the Military Tribunal, the

Respondent court granted the motion to quash on the ground


that since the Military Commission first took cognizance of the
case, it had already lost jurisdiction to pass a new upon the
same subject matter. The People of the Philippines sought a
review of the order granting the motion to quash the
information.
The Supreme Court held that the situation does not involve
two tribunals vested with concurrent jurisdiction over a
particular crime so as to apply the rule that the court or tribunal
which first takes cognizance of the case acquires jurisdiction
thereof exclusive of the other. Estafa and malversation are two
separate and distinct offenses, and in the case at bar the
accused in the estafa case respondent) is different from the
accused in the alleged malversation case (the municipal
mayor).
Questioned order was set aside, the Court ordering
respondent Judge to try the criminal charge against private
respondent without delay.
SYLLABUS
1. WORDS AND PHRASES; "JURISDICTION" ; ORIGIN AND
MEANING OF THE WORD EXPLAINED. "Jurisdiction" is
the basic foundation of judicial proceedings. The word
"Jurisdiction" is derived from two Latin words "juris" and "dico"
"I speak by the law" which means fundamentally the
power or capacity given by the law to a court or tribunal to
entertain, hear, and determine certain controversies. Bouviers
own definition of the term "jurisdiction" has found judicial
acceptance, to wit: "Jurisdiction is the right of a Judge to

pronounce a sentence of the law in a case or issue before him,


acquired through due process of law;" it is "the authority by
which judicial officers take cognizance of and decide cases." In
Herrera v. Barretto, (September 10, 1913), 25 Phil. 254, 251,
this Court, defined "jurisdiction" simply as the authority to hear
and determine a cause the right to act in a case.
"Jurisdiction" has also been aptly described as the right to put
the wheels of justice in motion and to proceed to the final
determination of a cause upon the pleadings and evidence.
2. ID.; ID.; CRIMINAL JURISDICTION DEFINED. "Criminal
Jurisdiction" is necessarily the authority to hear and try a
particular offense and impose the punishment for it.
3. REMEDIAL LAW, JURISDICTION OF COURTS IS
CONFERRED BY THE CONSTITUTION OR BY LAW. The
conferment of jurisdiction upon courts or judicial tribunals is
derived exclusively from the constitution and statutes of the
forum. Thus, the question of jurisdiction of Courts over a case
filed before it is to be resolved on the basis of the law or
statute providing for or defining its jurisdiction.
4. ID.; ID.; ORIGINAL CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF
COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE. Section 44(f) of the
Judiciary Act of 1948 as amended, provides that the Court of
First Instance shall have original jurisdiction over all criminal
cases in which the penalty provided by law is imprisonment for
more than six months, or a fine of more than two hundred
pesos.
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; IF IMPOSABLE PENALTY OF ESTAFA
EXCEEDS SIX MONTHS IMPRISONMENT, SAME FALLS
WITHIN THE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF COURTS OF
FIRST INSTANCE. Where the offense of estafa charged
against respondent is penalized with arresto mayor in its
maximum period to prision correccional in its a minimum

period or imprisonment from four (4) months and one (1) day
to two (2) years and four (4) months, the offense falls within
the original jurisdiction of courts of first instance.
6. ID.; ID.; COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE NOT VESTED
WITH CONCURRENT JURISDICTION WITH THE MILITARY
TRIBUNAL OVER OFFENSE OF ESTAFA. The claim of
respondent judge that his court exercises concurrent
jurisdiction with the Military Commission over the offense of
estafa, so that, when the latter tribunal first took cognizance of
the case of malversation against the Municipal Mayor involving
the same items which were the subject matter of the offense of
estafa against private respondent, the respondent court
thereby lost jurisdiction over the latter offense is incorrect,
because such jurisdiction was vested upon respondent court
by the law in force at that time which was the Judiciary Act of
1948, the particular provision of which was not affected by any
Presidential issuances under martial law defining the
jurisdiction of military tribunals. The settled rule is that the
jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statue in force at the
time of the commencement of the action.
7. ID.; ID.; MILITARY COMMISSION LACKS JURISDICTION
OVER ESTAFA CASES. General Order No. 49 dated
October 4, 1974, which repeals General Order No. 12 and the
latters amendments and related General Orders inconsistent
with the former, redefines the jurisdiction of military tribunals
over certain offenses, and estafa and malversation are not
among those enumerated therein, hence, the Military
Commission is not vested with jurisdiction over the crime of
estafa.
8. CRIMINAL LAW; ESTAFA DISTINCT FROM
MALVERSATION. Estafa and malversation are two
separate and distinct offenses.

"525 ft. cable power valued at


DECISION

$577.50 or P3,859.35
"250 ft. electric cable at
MUOZ PALMA, J.:
$125.00 or P837.50.

This petition for Certiorari postulates a ruling on the question


of whether or not civil courts and military commissions
exercise concurrent jurisdiction over the offense of estafa of
goods valued at not more than six thousand pesos and
allegedly committed by a civilian. 1
On December 18, 1974, the office of the Provincial Fiscal of
Bulacan filed an Information (Criminal Case No. SM-649)
accusing private respondent herein Hermogenes Mariano of
estafa alleged to have been committed as
follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

with a total value of $717.50 or P4,797.35, involving the duty


of making delivery of said items to the said Municipal Mayor,
but the said accused Hermogenes Mariano once in
possession of the said items and far from complying with his
aforesaid obligation and in spite of repeated demands, did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with grave
abuse of confidence and with deceit, misappropriate, misapply
and convert to his own personal use and benefit the said items
valued at P717.50 or P4,79 7.35, belonging to the said
USAID/NEC, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in
the said sum of $717.50 or P4,797.35" (pp. rollo).

"That on or about and during the period from May 11 and June
8, 1971, in the municipality of San Jose del Monte, province of
Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the said accused Hermogenes Mariano,
being then appointed as Liaison Officer by the then incumbent
Municipal Mayor, Constantino Nolasco, acting for and in behalf
of the municipality of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and
authorized to receive and be receipted for US excess property
of USAID/NEC for the use and benefit of said municipality,
received from the said USAID/NEC the following items, to
wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

On February 19, 1975, Hermogenes Mariano thru his counsel


filed a motion to quash the Information on the following
grounds:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"150 ft. electric cable valued

In his motion to quash, Mariano claimed that the items which


were the subject matter of the Information against him were
the same items for which Mayor Constantino A. Nolasco of
San Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan, was indicted before

at $15 or P100.50

"1. That the court trying the cause has no jurisdiction of the
offense charged or of the person of the defendant;
"2. That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
"3. That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a
legal excuse or justification." (p. 19, rollo)

a Military Commission under a charge of malversation of


public property, and for which Mayor Nolasco had been found
guilty and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for ten (10)
years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8)
months with perpetual disqualification plus a fine of
P19,646.15 (see pp. 23-24, rollo), and that inasmuch as the
case against Mayor Nolasco had already been decided by the
Military Tribunal, the Court of First Instance of Bulacan had
lost jurisdiction over the case against him. (pp. 19-20, ibid)
On March 14, 1975 respondent Judge issued an Order
granting the motion to quash on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction reasoning as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Considering that the Military Commission had already taken
cognizance of the malversation case against Mayor Nolasco
involving the same subject matter in its concurrent jurisdiction
with this Court, the case involving the subject properties had
already been heard and decided by a competent tribunal, the
Military Commission, and as such this Court is without
jurisdiction to pass upon anew the same subject matter." (pp
30-31, rollo, Emphasis supplied)
Respondent Judge did not rule on the other grounds invoked
in the motion to quash.chanrobles.com : virtual law library
The people now seeks a review of the aforesaid Order and
presents the sole issue of jurisdiction of respondent Court over
the estafa, case filed against respondent Mariano.

"jurisdiction" has found judicial acceptance, to wit: "Jurisdiction


is the right of a Judge to pronounce a sentence of the law in a
case or issue before him, acquired through due process of
law;" it is "the authority by which judicial officers take
cognizance of and decide cases." 4
In Herrera v. Barretto, September 10, 1913, 25 Phil. 245, 251,
this Court, in the words of Justice Moreland, invoking
American jurisprudence, defined "jurisdiction" simply as the
authority to hear and determine a cause the right to act in a
case. "Jurisdiction" has also been aptly described as the right
to put the wheels of justice in notion, and to proceed to the
final determination of a cause upon the pleadings and
evidence. 5
"Criminal Jurisdiction" is necessarily the authority to hear and
try a particular offense and impose the punishment for it. 6
The conferment of jurisdiction upon courts or judicial tribunals
is derived exclusively from the constitution and statutes of the
forum. Thus, the question of jurisdiction of respondent Court of
First Instance over the case filed before it is to be resolved on
the basis of the law or statute providing for or defining its
jurisdiction. That, We find in the Judiciary Act of 1948 where in
its Section 44 (f) it is provided:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SEC. 44. Original jurisdiction. Courts of first Instance shall
have original jurisdiction:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"x

"Jurisdiction" is the basic foundation of judicial proceedings. 2


The word "jurisdiction" is derived from two Latin words "juris"
and "dico" "I speak by the law" which means
fundamentally the power or capacity given by the law to a
court or tribunal to entertain, hear, and determine certain
controversies. 3 Bouviers own definition of the term

"(f) In all criminal cases in which the penalty provided by law is


imprisonment for more than six months, or a fine of more than
two hundred pesos," (Emphasis supplied)
The offense of estafa charged against respondent Mariano is

penalized with arresto mayor, in its maximum period to prision


correccional, in its minimum period, or imprisonment from four
(4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and four (4)
months. 7 By reason of the penalty imposed which exceeds
six (6) months imprisonment, the offense alleged to have been
committed by the accused, now respondent, Mariano, falls
under the original jurisdiction of courts of first
instance.chanrobles law library : red
The above of course is not disputed by respondent Judge;
what he claims in his Order is that his court exercises
concurrent jurisdiction with the military commission and
because the latter tribunal was the first to take cognizance of
the subject matter, respondent court lost jurisdiction over it.
That statement of respondent court is incorrect.
In People v. Fontanilla, this Court speaking through then
Justice now Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, categorically
reiterated the settled rule that the jurisdiction of a court is
determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the act on. 8 In the case at bar, it is rightly
contended by the Solicitor General that at the time Criminal
Case No. SM-649 was filed, with the Court of First Instance of
Bulacan, that was December 18, 1974, the law in force vesting
jurisdiction upon said court was the Judiciary Act of 1948, the
particular provision of which was not affected one way or the
other by any Presidential issuances under Martial Law.
General Order No. 49 dated October 4, 1974, which repeals
General Order No. 12 and the latters amendments and related
General Orders inconsistent with the former, redefines the
jurisdiction of military tribunals over certain offenses, and
estafa, and malversation are not among those enumerated
therein. 9 In other words the Military Commission is not vested
with jurisdiction over the crime of estafa. 9*
Respondent court therefore gravely erred when it ruled that it

lost jurisdiction over the estafa, case against respondent


Mariano with the filing of the malversation charge against
Mayor Nolasco before the Military Commission. Estafa and
Malversation are two separate and distinct offenses and in the
case now before Us the accused in one is different from the
accused in the other. But more fundamental is the fact that We
do not have here a situation involving two tribunals vested with
concurrent jurisdiction over a particular crime so as to apply
the rule that the court or tribunal which first takes cognizance
of the case acquires jurisdiction thereof exclusive of the other.
10 The Military Commission as stated earlier is without power
or authority to hear and determine the particular offense
charged against respondent Mariano, hence, there is no
concurrent jurisdiction between it and respondent court to
speak of. Estafa as described in the Information, filed in
Criminal Case No. SM-649 falls within the sole exclusive
jurisdiction of civil courts.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the appealed Order dated March
14, 1975, is set aside and respondent Judge is directed to
proceed with the trial of Criminal Case No. SM-649 without
further delay.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 71989 July 7, 1986


AVELINA CONDE, petitioner,
vs.
HON. FELIX MAMENTA JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch
LXX of the Regional Trial Court, Third Judicial Region
(Zambales), and the PEOPLE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
RESOLUTION

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
The sole legal issue in this case certified to us by the
Intermediate Appellate Court is whether or not petitioner,
Avelina E. Conde, can be prosecuted criminally for her failure
to pay the increased monthly rental of a market stall leased to
her by a municipal (public) corporation,
Petitioner was one of the stall holders in the public market of
Masinloc, Zambales, paying a monthly rental of P27.00. On
June 28, 1980, the Sangguniang Bayan of Masinloc passed
Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, series of 1980, fixing the rates of
monthly rentals of market stalls. The new rates increased
petitioner's rental to P 140.02. The Municipal Treasurer tried to
collect the new rental fees from petitioner but she refused to
pay on the ground that the increased rate was excessive and
she had questioned the increase before the Ministry of Local
Government and Community Development.

Philippine Currency, to include surcharge to the damage and


prejudice of the Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales.
The Trial Court considered petitioner's refusal to pay the
monthly stall rentals and to vacate the space as "tantamount to
economic sabotage to the Municipal Government of Masinloc,
Zambales" and "convicted" her in a Decision dated July 15,
1983, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, prosecution having proven beyond reasonable
doubt the violation by the accused of Section 5B.05, Article B,
Chapter V, Revenue Code of Masinloc, Zambales and
Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, Series of 1980, accused Avelina
Conde is hereby ordered to:
a. Immediately vacate the stalls and premises
she is occupying within the Public Market of the
Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales:

On February 1, 1982, a criminal complaint was filed against


petitioner by the Acting Station Commander of the INP,
Masinloc, Zambales, before the 2nd Municipal Circuit Court of
Masinloc and Palauig, Zambales, charging her with violation of
Section 5 B.05, Article B, Chapter V, Revenue Code of
Masinloc, Zambales, as amended, allegedly committed as
follows:

b. To pay to the Municipal Treasurer of the


Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales the amount
of Four Thousand Seven Hundred One Pesos
and Sixty Four Centavos (P4,701.64)
representing the monthly rental and surcharges
of the stalls occupied by the accused from
October 1, 1980 to December 31, 1982;

That on or about October 1, 1980 up to December 31, 1981 at


Public Market, Masinloc, Zambales and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused with
deliberate intent inspite of several demands from the Municipal
Treasurer for her co pay did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously refuse and ignore to pay the monthly dues of
the stall she occupies/operates at a total amount of Two
Thousand Six Hundred Forty and 37/100 Pesos (P 2,640.37)

c. To pay a monthly rental and surcharges of


P140.82 from January 1, 1983 up to the time
she actually vacate the premises or stalls in the
Public Market.
Without pronouncement as to cost.
Petitioner appealed to the Regional Trial Court of Zambales,
which, on May 9, 1984, affirmed in toto the appealed Decision.

Further appealing to the Intermediate Appellate Court, the


latter Court, in turn, evated the case to us as one within this
Court's exclusive jurisdiction.

South Side
..............................................................60.00/m
onth

Was the criminal prosecution in order?

North
Side...............................................................
80.00/month

We rule in the negative.


Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, Series of 1980, of the
Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales, increasing the monthly
rentals of market stalls, reads in full:

INSIDE STALLS
6 sq. m. - standard
size............................................ P 30.00/month

ORDINANCE NO. 3-A


and P 3.00 for every sq. m.
Series of 1980
in excess thereof.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE B
(MARKET FEES) SECTION 5803
(IMPOSITION OF FEES) OF THE MASINLOC
REVENUE CODE.
Be it ordained by the Sangguniang Bayan of
Masinloc, Zambales that:
Section 1. All stalls and space occupants in the
Masinloc Public Market shall pay to the duly
authorized market collector of the municipality a
monthly rental at a fixed rates as follows:

OUTSIDE STALLS
6 sq. m. standard size
.............................................P 22.00/month
and P 2.00 for every sq. m.
in excess thereof.
Rice Dealers
...........................................................P
20.00/month

PUBLIC MARKET (NEW)


FOR OLD NEW MARKET
Front
Side............................................................ P
80.00/month

6 sq. m. standard size


..............................................P 30.00/month

and P 3.00 for every sq. m.


in excess thereof.
Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect on
October 1, 1980.
On motion of Vice-mayor Porfirio F. Elamparo,
duly seconded by A B Kagawad Aquilino O.
Edao Jr., the foregoing ordinance was
unanimously approved.
While Section 5 B.05, Article B, Chapter V, Revenue Code of
Masinloc, Zambales, specifically alleged in the criminal
Complaint as having been violated, provides:
Section 5 B.05 Surcharge for late or nonpayment of fees.
a) The lessee of space,stall tienda or booth who
fails to pay the monthly rental fee shall pay a
surcharge of twenty-five percent (25%) of the
total rent due. Failure to pay the rental fee for
three (3) consecutive months shall cause
automatic cancellation of the contract of lease
of space or stall The space or stall shall then be
declared vacant and subject to adjudication to
any interested applicant.
b) Any person occupying or using space than
what is duly leased to him shall pay twice the
regular rate for the space so occupied
c) Any person occupying more space than what
is duly leased to him shall pay twice the regular
rate for such extra space. 1

It should be noted that neither one of the following enactments


makes non-payment of fees an offense nor provides for
punishment for violation. The judgment itself is bereft of any
criminal sanction. The surcharge imposed by Section 5 B.05
for late or non-payment of monthly rentals is not a penalty
under criminal law but an additional amount added to the usual
charge. It is more of an administrative penalty, which should
be recoverable only by civil action.
There being no offense defined nor punishment prescribed, a
criminal action will not lie, and the Municipal Circuit Trial Court
was without criminal jurisdiction over the matter. Criminal
jurisdiction is the authority to hear and try a particular offense
and impose the punishment provided by law. 2
ACCORDINGLY, the criminal complaint against petitioner is
hereby ordered dismissed, without prejudice to the right of the
Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales, to collect, in a
civil action if need be, the unpaid rentals and surcharge due
from petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 75256. January 26, 1989.]
JOHN PHILIP GUEVARRA, Petitioner, v. HONORABLE
IGNACIO ALMODOVAR, Respondent.
Teresita Dy-Liaco and Roberto Madrid for Petitioner.

SYLLABUS

1. CRIMINAL LAW; EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCES;


INTENT DEFINED. The word "intent" has been defined as:"
(a) design; a determination to do a certain things; an aim the
purpose of the mind, including such knowledge as is essential
to such intent; . . .; the design resolve, or determination with
which a person acts." (46 CJS Intent p. 1103.) It is this intent
which comprises the third element of dolo as a means of
committing a felony, freedom and intelligence being the other
two.
2. ID.; ID.; DISCERNMENT, CONCEPT. We have defined
the term "discernment," as used in Article 12(3) of the RPC, in
the old case of People v. Doquena, 68 Phil. 580(1939), in this
wise: "The discernment that constitutes an exception to the
exemption from criminal liability of a minor under fifteen years
of age but over nine, who commits an act prohibited by law, is
his mental capacity to understand the difference between right
and wrong . . ." (Emphasis ours) p. 583
3. ID.; ID.; DISCERNMENT AND INTENT, DISTINGUISHED.
It is clear that the terms "intent" and "discernment" convey
two distinct thoughts. While both are products of the mental
processes within a person, the former refers to the desired of
ones act while the latter relate to the moral significance that
person ascribes to the said act. Hence a person may not
intend to shoot another but may be aware of the
consequences of his negligent act which may cause injury to
the same person in negligently handling an air rifle. It is not
correct, therefore, to argue, as petitioner does, that since a
minor above nine years of age but below fifteen acted with
discernment, then he intended such act to be done. He may
negligently shoot his friend, thus did not intend to shoot him,
and at the same time recognize the undesirable result of his
negligence.
4. ID.; ID.; BASIC REASON BEHIND ITS EXACTMENT. In

further outlining the distinction between the words "intent" and


"discernment," it is worthy to note the basic reason behind the
enactment of the exempting circumstances embodied in Article
12 of the RPC; the complete absence of intelligence, freedom
of action, or intent, or on the absence of negligence on the part
of the accused.
5. ID.; ID.; INTELLIGENCE, PRESENCE OR ABSENCE,
VITAL TO APPRECIATION OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY. "The
second element of dolus is intelligence; without this power,
necessary to determine the morality of human acts to
distinguish a licit from an illicit act, no crime can exist, and
because . . . the infant (has) no intelligence, the law exempts
(him) from criminal liability." (Emphasis ours) "Intelligence" as
an element of dolo actually embraces the concept of
discernment as used in Article 12 of the RPC and as defined in
the case of People v. Doquena, 68 Phil. 580 (1939). It could
not therefore be argued that discernment is equivalent or
connotes "intent" for they refer to two different concepts.
Intelligence, which includes discernment, is a distinct element
of dolo as a means of committing an offense.
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; RETAINED AS ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL
ELEMENTS IN CULPA. In evaluating felonies committed by
means of culpa, three (3) elements are indispensable, namely,
intelligence, freedom of action, and negligence. Obviously,
intent is wanting in such felonies. However, intelligence
remains as an essential element, hence, it is necessary that a
minor above nine but below fifteen years of age be possessed
with intelligence in committing a negligent act which results in
a quasi-offense. For him to be criminally liable, he must
discern the rightness or wrongness of the effects of his
negligent act. Indeed, a minor over nine years of age but
below fifteen may be held liable for a said Article would reveal
such fact as it starts off with the phrase "Any person . . ."
without any distinction or exception made. Ubi lex non

distinquit nec nos distinguere debemos.

follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

7. ID.; SECTION 2(3) OF P.D. 1508, CONSTRUED. The


jurisdiction of a court over a criminal case is determined by the
penalty imposable under the law for the offense and not the
penalty ultimately imposed (People v. Caldito, 72 Phil. 263;
People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 314; Dioquino v. Cruz and
People v. Savellano, 116 SCRA 415). The same principle
applies in constructing Section 2(3) of P.D. 1508, which the
law defining the offense attaches to the latter should be
considered. Hence, any circumstance which may affect
criminal liability must now considered.

Petitioner John Philip Guevarra, then 11 years old, was


playing with his bestfriend Teodoro Almine, Jr. and three other
children in their backyard in the morning of 29 October 1984.
They were target-shooting a bottle cap (tansan) placed around
fifteen (15) to twenty (20) meters away with an air rifle
borrowed from a neighbor. In the course of their game,
Teodoro was hit by a pellet on his left collar bone which
caused his unfortunate death.

8. ID.; P.D. 1508, NOT JURISDICTIONAL. The petitioner,


in his arguments, asserts that since P.D. 1508 has not been
complied with, the trial court has no jurisdiction over the case.
This erroneous perception has been corrected long before. As
intimated in the case of Royales v. IAC, 127 SCRA 470, and
categorically stated in Ebol v. Amin, 135 SCRA 438, P.D. 1508
is not jurisdictional.
DECISION

PARAS, J.:

Presented before Us is a special civil action


for certiorari against the Honorable Judge Ignacio Almodovar
of the City Court of Legaspi, Branch I, Legaspi City, raising
beautiful questions of law which We are tasked to resolve, We
impleaded the People of the Philippines as party respondents
herein a resolution dated 17 September 1986 (p. 41, Rollo).

After conducting a preliminary investigation, the examining


Fiscal exculpated petitioner due to his age and because the
unfortunate occurrence appeared to be an accident. The
victims parents appealed to the Ministry of Justice, which
ordered the Fiscal to file a case against petitioner for Homicide
through reckless Imprudence. The information dated 9
October 1985 was consequently filed, which narrated in
part:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
". . . the above-named accused, who is over 9 years but below
15 years of age and acting with discernment, did then and
there, without taking the necessary precautions to prevent
and/or avoid accident or injuries to persons, willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously operate and cause to be fired, in a reckless
and imprudent manner, an air rifle with .22 caliber bore with
rifling, oxygen and bolt operated thereby hitting as a result of
said carelessness and imprudence one TEODORICO PABLO
ALMINE at the left side of the body with its pallet, causing
injuries which directly caused his untimely death; . . ." (p. 8,
Rollo)
On 25 October 1985, petitioner moved to quash the said
information on the following grounds:chanrobles virtual
lawlibrary

The relevant facts gathered from the records are as


I

THAT THE FACTS CHARGED DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN


OFFENSE.
II

THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINS AVERMENTS WHICH


IF TRUE WOULD CONSTITUTE A LEGAL EXCUSE OR
JUSTIFICATION.
III

THAT THIS HONORABLE COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION


OVER THE OFFENSE CHARGES AND THE PERSON OF
THE DEFENDANT. (p. 9, Rollo)
This motion, in an Order dated 4 April 1986, was denied with
respect to the first and third grounds relied upon. However, the
resolution of the second ground was deferred until evidence
shall have been represented during trial.
On 26 July 1986, this present petition for certiorari was filed,
raising two (2) issues, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
I

WHETHER AN ELEVEN (11) YEAR OLD BOY COULD BE


CHARGED WITH THE CRIME OF HOMICIDE THRU
RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE, AND
II

WHETHER THE COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE


CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT IT DID NOT
PASS THRU THE BARANGAY LUPON. (Petitioner, p. 3,
Rollo)
Going through the written arguments of the parties, the
surfacing of a corollary controversy with respect to the first
issue raised is evident, that is, whether the term
"discernment", as used in Article 12(3) of the Revised Penal
Code (RPC) is synonymous with "intent." It is the position of
the petitioner that "discernment" connotes "intent" (p. 96,
Rollo), invoking the unreported case of People v. Nieto, G.R.
No. 11965, 30 April 1958. In that case We held that the
allegation of "with intent to kill . . ." amply meets the
requirement that discernment should be alleged when the
accused is a minor between 9 and 15 years old. Petitioner
completes his syllogism in saying that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"If discernment is the equivalent of with intent, then the
allegation in the information that the accused acted with
discernment and willfully unlawfully, and feloniously, operate
or cause to be fired in a reckless and imprudent manner an air
rifle .22 caliber is an inherent contradiction tantamount to
failure of the information to allege a cause of action or
constitute a legal excuse or exception." (Memorandum for
Petitioner, p. 97, Rollo)
If petitioners argument is correct, then no minor between the
ages of 9 and 15 may be convicted of a quasi-offense under
Article 265 of the RPC.
On the contrary, the Solicitor General insists that discernment
and intent are two different concepts. We agree with the
Solicitor Generals view; the two terms should not be
confused.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red

The word "intent" has been defined as:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph


"(a) design; a determination to do a certain things; an aim the
purpose of the mind, including such knowledge as is essential
to such intent; . . .; the design resolve, or determination with
which a person acts." (46 CJS Intentp. 1103.)
It is this intent which comprises the third element of dolo as a
means of committing a felony, freedom and intelligence being
the other two. On the other hand, We have defined the term
"discernment," as used in Article 12(3) of the RPC, in the old
case of People v. Doquena, 68 Phil. 580(1939), in this
wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The discernment that constitutes an exception to the
exemption from criminal liability of a minor under fifteen years
of age but over nine, who commits an act prohibited by law, is
his mental capacity to understand the difference between right
and wrong . . ." (italics Ours) p. 583
From the foregoing, it is clear that the terms "intent" and
"discernment" convey two distinct thoughts. While both are
products of the mental processes within a person, the former
refers to the desired of ones act while the latter relate to the
moral significance that person ascribes to the said act. Hence
a person may not intend to shoot another but may be aware of
the consequences of his negligent act which may cause injury
to the same person in negligently handling an air rifle. It is not
connect, therefore, to argue, as petitioner does, that since a
minor above nine years of age but below fifteen acted with
discernment, then he intended such act to be done. He may
negligently shoot his friend, thus did not intend to shoot him,
and at the same time recognize the undesirable result of his
negligence.
In further outlining the distinction between the words "intent"

and "discernment," it is worthy to note the basic reason behind


the enactment of the exempting circumstances embodied in
Article 12 of the RPC; the complete absence of intelligence,
freedom of action, or intent, or on the absence of negligence
on the part of the accused. 1 In expounding on intelligence as
the second element of dolus, Albert 2 has
stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The second element of dolus is intelligence; without this
power, necessary to determine the morality of human acts to
distinguish a licit from an illicit act, no crime can exist, and
because . . . the infant 3 (has) no intelligence, the law exempts
(him) from criminal liability." (Emphasis ours)
It is for this reason, therefore, why minors nine years of age
and below are not capable of performing a criminal act. On the
other hand, minors above nine years of age but below fifteen
are not absolutely exempt. However, they are presumed to be
without criminal capacity, but which presumption may be
rebutted if it could be proven that they were "capable of
appreciating the nature and criminality of the act, that is, that
(they) acted with discernment." 4 The preceding discussion
shows that "intelligence" as an element of dolo actually
embraces the concept of discernment as used in Article 12 of
the RPC and as defined in the aforecited case of People v.
Doquena, supra. It could not therefore be argued that
discernment is equivalent or connotes "intent" for they refer to
two different concepts. Intelligence, which includes
discernment, is a distinct element of dolo as a means of
committing an offense.
In evaluating felonies committed by means of culpa, three (3)
elements are indispensable, namely, intelligence, freedom of
action, and negligence. Obviously, intent is wanting in such
felonies. However, intelligence remains as an essential
element, hence, it is necessary that a minor above nine but

below fifteen years of age be possessed with intelligence in


committing a negligent act which results in a quasi-offense.
For him to be criminally liable, he must discern the rightness or
wrongness of the effects of his negligent act. Indeed, a minor
over nine years of age but below fifteen may be held liable for
a said Article would reveal such fact as it starts off with the
phrase "Any person . . ." without any distinction or exception
made. Ubi lex non distinquit nec nos distinguere
debemos.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph
In his last attempt to justify his position equating the words
"intent" and "discernment" used under the law, he cites the
case of People v. Nieto, supra. However, petitioner failed to
present the qualifying sentence preceding the ruling he now
invokes, which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That requirement should be deemed amply met with the
allegation in the formation that she . . .with the intent to kill, did
then and there wilfully, criminally and feloniously push one
Lolita Padilla . . ." into a deep place of the Penaranda River
and as a consequence thereof Lolita Padilla got drowned and
died right then and there. This allegation clearly conveys the
idea that she knew what would be the consequence of her
unlawful act of publishing her victim into deep water and that
she knew it to be wrong. (Emphasis ours)
From the above, it is clear that We did not mean to equate the
words "intent" and discernment." What We meant was that the
combines effect of the words used in the information is to
express a knowledge, on the part of the accused Nieto, of the
wrongness or rightness of her act. Hence, petitioner may not
validly contend that since the information now in question
alleged "discernment," it in effect alleged "intent." The former
may never embrace the idea of the latter; the former
expresses the thought of passivity while the latter signifies

activity.
Coming now to the second issue of jurisdiction, it is contended
by the petitioner that the case against him should have first
been brought before the Lupong Tagapayapa pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 1508, Section 2 (3). He submits that
considering his entitlement to a two-degree privileged
mitigating circumstance due to his minority, P.D. 1508 applies
to his case because the penalty imposable is reduced to not
higher than arresto menor from an original arresto mayor
maximum to prision correctional medium as prescribed in
Article 365 of the RPC. This is not correct. The jurisdiction of a
court over a criminal case is determined by the penalty
imposable under the law for the offense and not the penalty
ultimately imposed (People v. Caldito, 72 Phil. 263; People v.
Purisima, 69 SCRA 314; Dioquino v. Cruz and People v.
Savellano, 116 SCRA 415). The same principle applies in
constructing Section 2(3) of P.D. 1508, which
states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"x

(3) Offense punishable by imprisonment exceeding 30 days, or


a fine exceeding P200.00; . . ." (Emphasis supplied)
Expounding on the above provision, a member of the
committee that drafted P.D. 1508 has
said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The law says punishable, not punished. One should
therefore consider the penalty provided for by law or ordinance
as distinguished from the penalty actually imposed in particular
cases after considering the attendant circumstances affecting
criminal liability." 5
The foregoing finds support in our jurisprudence as above

cited. We therefore rule that, in construing Section 2(3) of P.D.


1508, the penalty which the law defining the offense attaches
to the later should be considered. Hence, any circumstance
which may affect criminal liability must now considered.
The petitioner, in his arguments, asserts that since P.D. 1508
has not been complied with, the trial court has no jurisdiction
over the case. This erroneous perception has been corrected
long before. As intimated in the case of Royales v. IAC, 127
SCRA 470, and categorically stated in Ebol Vs. Amin, 135
SCRA 438, P.D. 1508 is not jurisdictional.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, this petition is
hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the Temporary
Restraining Order effective 17 September 1986 is LIFTED. Let
this case be REMANDED to the lower court for trial on the
merits. No cost.
SO ORDERED.

THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 45815 May 18, 1990
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. LIBERTAD
LAGON and HON. JUDGE ISIDRO O. BARRIOS, AS
PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE CITY COURT OF ROXAS
CITY,Respondents.chanrobles virtual law library
FELICIANO, J.:
On 7 July 1976, a criminal information was filed with the City
Court of Roxas City and docketed as Criminal Case No. 7362,
charging private respondent Libertad Lagon with the crime of
estafa under paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised

Penal Code. The information charged that the accused had


allegedly issued a check in the amount of P4,232.80 as
payment for goods or merchandise purchased, knowing that
she did not have sufficient funds to cover the check, which
check therefore subsequently
bounced.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
The case proceeded to trial and the prosecution commenced
the presentation of its evidence. However, in an Order dated 2
December 1976, the City Court dismissed the information
upon the ground that the penalty prescribed by law for the
offense charged was beyond the court's authority to impose.
The judge held that the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal
action is determined by the law in force at the time of the
institution of the action, and not by the law in force at the time
of the commission of the crime. At the time of the alleged
commission of the crime in April 1975, jurisdiction over the
offense was vested by law in the City Court. However, by the
time the criminal information was filed, paragraph 2(d) of
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code had already been
amended and the penalty imposable upon a person accused
thereunder increased, which penalty was beyond the City
Court's authority to impose. Accordingly, the court dismissed
the information without prejudice to its being refiled in the
proper court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
Hence this Petition for Review brought by the People, arguing
that the City Court of Roxas City had jurisdiction over Criminal
Case No. 7362 and that it had erred in issuing its Order
dismissing the case. Because the Petition for Review was
signed by the City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal of Roxas
City as counsel for the People, the Court referred the petition
to the Office of the Solicitor General for comment. Responding
to the Court's resolution, the then acting Solicitor General

Vicente Mendoza stated that the Office of the Solicitor


General, having been previously consulted by the Assistant
City Fiscal of Roxas City, agreed with the position taken by the
latter that the City Court had jurisdiction over the criminal case
involved, and asked that the petition be given due
course.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
After deliberation on the instant Petition for Review, the Court
considers that petitioner has failed to show that the City Court
had committed reversible error in dismissing the criminal
information in Criminal Case No. 7362 without prejudice to its
refiling in the proper
court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Under the penultimate paragraph of Section 87 of the Judiciary
Act of 1948, as amended, the law governing the subject matter
jurisdiction of municipal and city courts in criminal cases in
1975 and 1976, "[municipal judges in the capitals of provinces
and sub-provinces and judges of city courts shall have like
jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance to try parties charged
with an offense within their respective jurisdictions, in which
the penalty provided by law does not exceed prision
correccional or imprisonment for not more than six (6) years or
fine not exceeding P6,000.00 or both . . . ." It appears that at
the time of the commission of the offense charged on 5 April
1975, the penalty imposable for the offense charged under
paragraph 2(d) in relation to the third sub-paragraph of the first
paragraph, Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, was arresto
mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
minimum period; at that time therefore, the offense clearly fell
within the jurisdiction of the City Court of Roxas
City.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
At the time of the institution of the criminal prosecution on 7
July 1976, the penalty imposable for the offense charged in
Criminal Case No. 7362 had been increased by P.D. No. 818

(effective 22 October 1975) to prision mayor in its medium


period.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of
a court in criminal law matters is properly measured by the law
in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action,
rather than by the law in effect at the time of the commission of
the offense charged. 1 Thus, in accordance with the above
rule, jurisdiction over the instant case pertained to the then
Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No.
818 had increased the imposable penalty for the offense
charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level-in excess of the
minimum penalty which a city court could
impose.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The real question raised by the petitioner is: would application
of the above-settled doctrine to the instant case not result in
also applying Presidential Decree No. 818 to the present case,
in disregard of the rule against retroactivity of penal laws?
Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code permits penal laws to
have retroactive effect only "insofar as they favor the person
guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, . . . " We do
not believe so.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
In the first place, subject-matter jurisdiction in criminal cases is
determined by the authority of the court to impose the penalty
imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of
a criminal information. In People v. Purisima, 2 the Court
stressed that:
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
. . . The issue here is one of jurisdiction, of a court's legal
competence to try a case ab origine. In criminal prosecutions,
it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined

by what may be meted out to the offender after trial, or even


by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the
trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes for
the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint.
If the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment
provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in
which the complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court
must assume jurisdiction. 3(Citations omitted; Emphasis
supplied.)
The same rule was set forth and amplified in People
v. Buissan, 4 in the following terms:
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
. . . in criminal prosecutions, jurisdiction of the court is not
determined by what may be meted out to the offender after
trial (People v. Cuello, 1 SCRA 814) or even by the result of
the evidence that would be presented during the trial(People v.
Co Hick 62 Phil. 503) but by the extent of the penalty which
the law imposes, together with other legal obligations, on the
basis of the facts as recited in the complaint or
information (People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 347) constitutive of
the offense charged, for once jurisdiction is acquired by the
court in which the information is filed, it is retained regardless
whether the evidence proves a lesser offense than that
charged in the information (People v. Mision, 48 O.G.
1330) 5 (Emphasis supplied.)
Thus, it may be that after trial, a penalty lesser than the
maximum imposable under the statute is proper under the
specific facts and circumstances proven at the trial. In such a
case, that lesser penalty may be imposed by the trial court
(provided it had subject-matter jurisdiction under the rule
above referred to) even if the reduced penalty otherwise falls

within the exclusive jurisdiction of an inferior


court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
In People v. Buissan, 6 the Court also said:
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
. . . It is unquestionable that the Court of First Instance, taking
cognizance of a criminal case coming under its jurisdiction,
may, after trial, impose a penalty that is proper for a crime
within the exclusive competence of a municipal or city court as
the evidence would warrant. It may not be said, therefore, that
the Court of First Instance would be acting without jurisdiction
if in a simple seduction case, it would impose penalty of not
more than six months of imprisonment, if said case, for the
reason already adverted to, be held to fall under the
jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, not a city or
municipal court.7 (Emphasis supplied.)
In the case at bar, the increased penalty provided for the
offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 by P.D. No. 818
(prison mayor in its medium period) is obviously heavier than
the penalty provided for the same offense originally imposed
by paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code
(up to prision correccional in its minimum
period).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Should the criminal information be refiled in the proper court,
that is, the proper Regional Trial Court, that court may not
impose that more onerous penalty upon private respondent
Libertad Lagon (assuming the evidence shows that the offense
was committed before 22 October 1975). But the Regional
Trial Court would remain vested with subject-matter jurisdiction
to try and decide the (refiled) case even though the penalty
properly imposable, given the date of the commission of the
offense charged, should be the lower penalty originally

provided for in paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised


Penal Code which is otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction
of the City Court of Roxas City. In other words, the
circumstance that P.D. No. 818 would be inapplicable to the
refiled case would not result in the Regional Trial Court losing
subject-matter jurisdiction, nor in the case falling back into the
City Court's exclusive
jurisdiction.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DENY the Petition for
Review for lack of merit. The Order dated 2 December 1976 of
the public respondent Presiding Judge of the City Court of
Roxas City is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.
Fernan, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
EN BANC [GR No. 46896. January 15, 1940.] THE PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. SAN JUAN
PABLO AND MONTEROSA, defendant-appellant. D. E.
Matias Vergara for appellant. The Attorney General Mr.
Ozaeta and Assistant Attorney General Mr. Torres on
behalf of the Government. SYLLABUS
1.
PROCEDIMIENIO
criminal
law
and
criminal; THEFT; USUAL CRIME; RECIDIVISM. - Since the
defendant and appellant is habitual offender, which
presupposes recidivism is an aggravating circumstance
amendatory of criminal responsibility, it must be assessed the
occurrence of such circumstance, so that repeated
punishment provided by the law should be imposed in their
degree max. 2. ID .; ID .; ID .; JURISDICTION OF MUNICIPAL
COURT OF MANILA TO IMPOSE ADDITIONAL PENALTY. "The jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Manila, in cases of
theft, is determined, not by grief, but by the size of the stolen
and when this does not exceed P200, that court has

jurisdiction, whatever the penalty prescribed the crime.


" According to this doctrine, the fact that the defendant and
appellant is habitual offender, a condition that haco creditor
any additional penalty, not disqualifies the Municipal Court of
Manila to hear a case in which such a condition is alleged,
provided the crime of which he is accused is theft and the
value of the thing stolen does not exceed P200. 3. ID .; ID .; ID
.; ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. - "The provisions of the
3397 Law on habitual crime are applicable to the offenses
listed therein, provided and punished by the Penal Code not
only in degree but also in the consummate frustrated and
tentative."
DECISION
VILLA-REAL, M. :
The defendant Pablo San Juan and Monterosa what was in
the letter for correct Manila Municipal crime of theft of five (5)
bags of rice worth P32. Trial, was sentenced to suffer a major
penalty of 6 months of major arrest and compensate the
injured party in the said sum of P32. He was also sentenced to
suffer an additional penalty of seven years, four months and
one day of prison for being more habitual offender, and to pay
the costs. Having appealed to the Court of First Instance of
Manila, was convicted of the crime of which he was accused
and sentenced to the same penalty. Before this Court, on
appeal raises the following alleged errors committed by the
lower court in its judgment, namely jgc: chanrobles.com.ph
"1. That the penalty imposed upon the Accused-appellant for
the crime of Alleged theft in the information Should have been
at most, major arrest in ITS medium degree That is from two
months and one day to four months; "2. That the additional
penalty of seven years, four months and one day of rigorous
imprisonment for habitual delinquency imposed by the

Municipal Court and as Affirmed by the Court of First Instance


of Manila is illegal. " Cralaw virtua1aw library Pretendese by
the appellant that the absence proved that in the commission
of the offense occurrence of any mitigating or aggravating
circumstances, the penalty of arrest in all its extension,
provided for in article 39, 5. case "of the Revised Penal Code,
or a month and a day six months in major arrest, should be
imposed in its medium degree that is two months and one day
to four months of close arrest, instead of the maximum degree
of that sentence, which has imposed the lower court. Since the
defendant and appellant is habitual offender, which
presupposes recidivism is an aggravating circumstance
amendatory of criminal responsibility should be appreciated
the concurrence of that fact so that repeated punishment
provided by the law should be imposed in its maximum
degree. Not having attended any extenuating circumstances
that compensates the main sentence imposed by the trial
court, which is the subject of this appeal, is consistent with
the law. Sostienese also by the appellant in its second marking
of suspected error that the additional penalty seven years, four
months and one day of imprisonment imposed by the
Municipal Court of Manila being said defendant and appellant
habitual offender, is contrary to the law, since this Municipal
Court of Manila had no jurisdiction to impose such further
penalty. In the case of the People of the Philippines against
World Liberato, RG No. 46531, this Court in a ruling issued on
October 18, 1939, he said: jgc: chanrobles.com.ph "We have
declared the cause of 'The People Philippines against Jesus
Acha and Rivera '(RG No. 46714) that the jurisdiction of the
Municipal Court of Manila, in cases of theft, is determined not
by grief, but by the size of the stolen and when this does not
exceed P200, that court has jurisdiction whatever prescribed
for the crime it. "cralaw virtua1aw library according to the latter
judgment, the fact that the defendant and appellant is habitual
offender, acondition that makes you liable to a further penalty
not disqualifies the Municipal Court in Manila to hear a case in

which such a condition is alleged, provided the crime of which


he is accused is theft and the value of the thing stolen does
not exceed P200. also Pretendese by the defendant and
appellant his participation in the commission of the crime of
theft, which he had been charged a second time and which
had been condemned, was not for author but simply of
cloaking, and therefore, such asecond conviction can not, with
the conviction in the present case, integrating the concept of
habitual crime. In the case of the People of the Philippines
against Manuel Abuyen and Elais (52 Phil. Rep., 749), the
Court stated that "... The provisions of Law No. 3397 on
common crime offenses apply to it listed, provided for and
punishable under the Penal Code not fiolamente degree of
accomplished but also in the frustrated and attempted.
" cralaw virtua1aw library by the consideracioens set
out above, and not finding any error in the original ruling,
confirm it in all its parts costs against the appellant. Asi. Is
orderedAvancea, Pres., Imperial, Diaz, Laurel and
Concepcion, JJ., Concur.

THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 123340. August 29, 2002
LUTGARDA CRUZ,, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF
APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and the HEIRS
OF ESTANISLAWA C. REYES, represented by MIGUEL C.
REYES, Respondents.
DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case

This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the


Rules of Court to reverse the Decision of the Court of Appeals
dated March 31, 1995 [1 and its Resolution dated December
1, 1995. [2 The Court of Appeals dismissed for being
insufficient in substance the Petition for Certiorari and
Mandamus, which sought to nullify two orders of the Regional
Trial Court of Manila, Branch 53, dated April 18, 1994 and May
6, 1994.
The Antecedent Facts
The City Prosecutor of Manila charged petitioner with the
crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document before
the Manila Regional Trial Court. [3 Petitioner executed before
a Notary Public in the City of Manila an Affidavit of SelfAdjudication of a parcel of land stating that she was the sole
surviving heir of the registered owner when in fact she knew
there were other surviving heirs. Since the offended party did
not reserve the right to file a separate civil action arising from
the criminal offense, the civil action was deemed instituted in
the criminal case.
After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered its decision
dated January 17, 1994 acquitting petitioner on the ground of
reasonable doubt. In the same decision, the trial court
rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case, ordering the
return to the surviving heirs of the parcel of land located in
Bulacan. [4crlwvirtualibrry
On January 28, 1994, petitioner received a copy of the
decision.
On February 10, 1994, petitioner filed by registered mail a
motion for reconsideration dated February 7, 1994, assailing
the trial courts ruling on the civil aspect of the criminal case.

Petitioner furnished the City Prosecutor a copy of the motion


by registered mail.
On April 18, 1994, the trial court denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration stating:
Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration dated February 7,
1994, filed by the accused through counsel and considering
that there is nothing to show that the Office of the City
Prosecutor was actually furnished or served with a copy of the
said Motion for Reconsideration within the reglementary period
of fifteen (15) days from receipt by the accused on January 28,
1994 of a copy of the Courts decision dated January 17, 1994,
so that the same is already final and executory, let the Motion
for Reconsideration be Denied for lack of
merit.[5crlwvirtualibrry
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the trial courts order
of April 18, 1994. The trial court denied the same in an order
dated May 6, 1994, to wit:
Under the Interim Rules, no party shall be allowed a second
motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment (Sec.
4). The motion of accused dated 22 April 1994 is a violation of
this rule.
WHEREFORE, said motion is DENIED.[6crlwvirtualibrry
Left with no recourse, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari
and mandamus with the Court of Appeals to nullify the two
assailed orders of the trial court. Petitioner also asked the
Court of Appeals to compel the trial court to resolve her motion
for reconsideration of the decision dated February 7, 1994.
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

On March 31, 1995, the Court of Appeals denied due course


to the petition and dismissed the case for being insufficient in
substance.
The Court of Appeals sustained the trial courts order of April
18, 1994 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration. The
Court of Appeals declared in part:
Section 10, Rule 13, Rules of Court, provides as follows:
SEC. 10. Proof of Service. Proof of personal service shall
consist of a written admission of the party served, or the
affidavit of the party serving, containing a full statement of the
date, place and manner of service. If the service is by ordinary
mail, proof thereof shall consist of an affidavit of the person
mailing of facts showing compliance with Section 5 of this rule.
If service is made by registered mail, proof shall be made by
such affidavit and the registry receipt issued by the mailing
office. The registry return card shall be filed immediately upon
receipt thereof by the sender, or in lieu thereof the letter
unclaimed together with the certified or sworn copy of the
notice given by the postmaster to the addressee.
Patent from the language of the said section is that in case
service is made by registered mail, proof of service shall be
made by (a) affidavit of the person mailing and (b) the registry
receipt issued by the mailing office. Both must concur. In the
case at bench, there was no such affidavit or registry receipt
when the motion was considered. Thus, respondent Judge
cannot be said to have acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in ruling in the manner he
did.[7crlwvirtualibrry
The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial courts order of
May 6, 1994 denying the subsequent motion for
reconsideration, as follows:

xxx, while there is merit in petitioners submission that the


motion for reconsideration dated April 22, 1994 was not a
second motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment,
as contemplated in the Interim Rules because the motion
sought to impugn the order dated 18 April 1994 not on the
basis of the issues raised in the motion for reconsideration
dated 07 February 1994 but on the erroneous legal conclusion
of the order dated May 6, 1994,[8 this is already academic.
The decision dated January 7, 1994 had long become final
when the second motion for reconsideration was filed on 03
May 1994. Hence, the pairing Judge who issued the order on
06 May 1994 had no more legal competence to promulgate
the same.[9crlwvirtualibrry
Finally, the Court of Appeals upheld the assailed decision of
the trial court on the civil aspect of the case, to wit:
x x x, the institution of a criminal action carries with it the civil
action for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the
offense charged. There was neither reservation nor waiver of
the right to file the civil action separately nor has one been
instituted to the criminal action. Hence, the civil action for the
civil liability has been impliedly instituted with the filing of the
criminal case before respondent Judge. This is the law on the
matter. The proposition submitted by petitioner that the court
presided by respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the
property because it is located in Bulacan - outside the
territorial jurisdiction of said court -does not hold water. Being
a civil liability arising from the offense charged, the governing
law is the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the civil procedure
rules which pertain to civil action arising from the initiatory
pleading that gives rise to the suit.[10crlwvirtualibrry
In the dispositive portion of its assailed decision, the Court of
Appeals declared:

WHEREFORE, the instant petition not being sufficient in


substance is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and the case
DISMISSED.[11crlwvirtualibrry
In a resolution dated December 1, 1995, the Court of Appeals
denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration. [12crlwvirtualibrry
Hence, this petition.
The Issues
In her Memorandum, petitioner raises the following issues:
1. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
FINDING THAT THE PROSECUTION WAS DULY
FURNISHED WITH COPY OF THE PETITIONERS MOTION
FOR RECONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO THE
DECISION ON THE CIVIL ASPECT OF CRIMINAL CASE NO.
87-54773 (SIC) OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
MANILA, BRANCH 53.
2. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
FINDING THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA
HAD JURISDICTION TO RENDER JUDGMENT ON THE
CIVIL ASPECT OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-57743 FOR
FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT, INVOLVING A
PROPERTY LOCATED IN BULACAN.
3. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
FINDING THAT THE PETITIONER WAS DENIED DUE
PROCESS WHEN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
MANILA, BRANCH 53, RENDERED DECISION ON THE
CIVIL ASPECT OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-57743.[13
The Ruling of the Court

We grant the petition.


When the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but is
adjudged civilly liable, his motion for reconsideration of the civil
aspect must be served not only on the prosecution, also on the
offended party if the latter is not represented by a private
counsel. Moreover, if the trial court has jurisdiction over the
subject matter and over the accused, and the crime was
committed within its territorial jurisdiction, it necessarily
exercises jurisdiction over all matters that the law requires the
court to resolve. This includes the power to order the
restitution to the offended party of real property located in
another province.
Absence of Proof of Service
The first issue is whether petitioners motion for reconsideration
dated February 7, 1994 complied with the mandatory
requirements of Section 6, Rule 15 on proof of service.
Petitioner submits that the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining
the trial courts finding that the City Prosecutor was not duly
and timely furnished with petitioners motion for reconsideration
of February 7, 1994.
Petitioner asserts that both copies of the motion for
reconsideration were sent to the trial court and the City
Prosecutor by registered mail on February 10, 1994. Petitioner
relies on jurisprudence that the date of mailing is the date of
filing, arguing that the date of mailing of both motions was on
February 10, 1994. Petitioner maintains that the motion was
properly filed within the 15-day period, citing the registry return
card which shows actual receipt on February 22, 1994 by the
City Prosecutor of a copy of the motion.
The Court of Appeals, noting that petitioner received a copy of
the decision on January 28, 1994, stated that petitioner had

until February 12, 1994 to appeal the decision or file a motion


for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner,
by filing a motion for reconsideration without any proof of
service, merely filed a scrap of paper and not a motion for
reconsideration. Hence, the reglementary period of petitioner
to appeal continued to run and lapsed after the 15-day period,
making the trial courts decision final and executory.
We agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioner patently
failed to comply with the mandatory requirements on proof of
service insofar as the public prosecutor is concerned. The
Court has stressed time and again that non-compliance with
Sections 4, 5 and 6 of Rule 15 is a fatal defect. The wellsettled rule is that a motion which fails to comply with Sections
4, 5, and 6 of Rule 15 is a useless piece of paper. If filed, such
motion is not entitled to judicial cognizance and does not stop
the running of the reglementary period for filing the requisite
pleading. [14crlwvirtualibrry
Section 6 of Rule 15 reads:
SEC. 6. - Proof of service to be filed with motions. No
motion shall be acted upon by the court, without proof of
service of the notice thereof.[15 (Emphasis supplied)
From the language of the rule, proof of service is mandatory.
Without such proof of service to the adverse party, a motion is
nothing but an empty formality deserving no judicial
cognizance.
Section 13 of Rule 13 further requires that:
SEC. 13. Proof of Service. x x x. If service is made by
registered mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit and the
registry receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry
return card shall be filed immediately upon its receipt by the

sender, or in lieu thereof the unclaimed letter together with the


certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the postmaster to
the addressee.[16 (Emphasis supplied)
If service is by registered mail, proof of service consists of
the affidavit of the person mailing and the registry
receipt, both of which must be appended to the motion.
Absent one or the other, or worse both, there is no proof of
service.
In the instant case, an examination of the record shows that
petitioner received a copy of the trial courts decision of
January 17, 1994 on January 28, 1994. Within the
reglementary period to appeal, petitioner filed on February 10,
1994, by registered mail, a motion for reconsideration.
However, petitioner failed to attach boththe affidavit and the
registry receipt to the motion for reconsideration as required by
the Rules.
The defect of the motion is apparent on its face. Petitioners
motion for reconsideration was a mere scrap of paper as it did
not contain the required proof of service.
However, petitioner is contesting that part of the decision of
the trial court finding him civilly liable even as he is acquitted
from the criminal charge on reasonable doubt. This raises the
issue of whether the public prosecutor is the only proper party
to be served with petitioners motion for reconsideration. The
present Rules do not require the accused to serve a copy of
his motion for reconsideration on the offended party who may
not be represented by a private counsel. The Rules require
service only on the public prosecutor if the offended party is
not represented by a private counsel.
A judgment of acquittal is immediately final and executory and
the prosecution cannot appeal the acquittal because of the

constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. However,


either the offended party or the accused may appeal the civil
aspect of the judgment despite the acquittal of the accused.
The public prosecutor has generally no interest in appealing
the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused.
The acquittal ends the work of the public prosecutor and the
case is terminated as far as he is concerned.
The real parties in interest in the civil aspect of a decision are
the offended party and the accused. Thus, any appeal or
motion for reconsideration of the civil aspect of a decision in a
criminal case must be served on the other real party in
interest. If the offended party appeals or moves for
reconsideration, the accused is necessarily served a copy of
the pleading through his counsel.
If the accused appeals or moves for reconsideration, a lacuna
arises if the offended party is not represented by a private
counsel. In such a situation, under the present Rules only the
public prosecutor is served the notice of appeal or a copy of
the motion for reconsideration. To fill in this lacuna in the
present Rules, we require that henceforth if the accused
appeals or moves for reconsideration, he should serve a copy
of his pleading on the offended party himself if the latter is not
represented by a private counsel. This is in addition to service
on the public prosecutor who is the counsel of record of the
State.
In the instant case, the Court notes that petitioner did not
serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration on the offended
party who was not represented by a private counsel in the trial
court. In the interest of justice, and considering that the
present Rules are silent on the matter, it is only fair to give
petitioner a period of five days from receipt of this decision

within which to serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration


on the offended party.
Trial courts jurisdiction over the civil aspect.
Petitioner maintains that the Court of Appeals erred in finding
that the trial court had jurisdiction to render judgment on the
civil aspect of the criminal case. Petitioner asserts that the
Manila trial court had no jurisdiction over the parcel of land in
Bulacan which is outside the trial courts territorial jurisdiction.
In upholding the trial courts jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals
held:
Being a civil liability arising from the offense charged, the
governing law is the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the civil
procedure rules which pertain to civil action arising from the
initiatory pleading that gives rise to the
suit.[17crlwvirtualibrry
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
Petitioner asserts that the location of the subject property
outside the courts territorial jurisdiction deprived the trial court
of jurisdiction over the civil aspect of the criminal case. This
argument is contrary to the law and the rules.
There are three important requisites which must be present
before a court can acquire criminal jurisdiction. First, the court
must have jurisdiction over the subject matter. Second, the
court must have jurisdiction over the territory where the
offense was committed. Third, the court must have jurisdiction
over the person of the accused. [18 In the instant case, the
trial court had jurisdiction over the subject matter as the law
has conferred on the court the power to hear and decide cases
involving estafa through falsification of a public document. The

trial court also had jurisdiction over the offense charged since
the crime was committed within its territorial jurisdiction. The
trial court also acquired jurisdiction over the person of
accused-petitioner because she voluntarily submitted to the
courts authority.
Where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and
over the person of the accused, and the crime was committed
within its territorial jurisdiction, the court necessarily exercises
jurisdiction over all issues that the law requires the court to
resolve. One of the issues in a criminal case is the civil liability
of the accused arising from the crime. Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code provides that [E]very person criminally
liable for a felony is also civilly liable. Article 104 of the same
Code states that civil liability x x x includes restitution.
The action for recovery of civil liability is deemed instituted in
the criminal action unless reserved by the offended
party. [19 In the instant case, the offended party did not
reserve the civil action and the civil action was deemed
instituted in the criminal action. Although the trial court
acquitted petitioner of the crime charged, the acquittal,
grounded on reasonable doubt, did not extinguish the civil
liability. [20 Thus, the Manila trial court had jurisdiction to
decide the civil aspect of the instant case - ordering restitution
even if the parcel of land is located in Bulacan.
Consequently, while we find no reversible error in the decision
of the Court of Appeals as to proof of service and the trial
courts jurisdiction on the civil aspect, we remand this case for
further proceedings in the interest of justice.
WHEREFORE , petitioner is given five (5) days from receipt of
this decision within which to serve a copy of her motion for
reconsideration on the offended party. Let this case be
remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

SO ORDERED.

THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 71855 January 20, 1988
RIZALITO VELUNTA, Petitioner, vs. THE CHIEF,
PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY AND COLONEL SIMEON
KEMPIS JR., PRESIDENT GCM, Recom. VIII, Palo,
Leyte,Respondents.chanrobles virtual law library
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
This is a petition for prohibition to prevent the General Court
Martial, RECOM VIII, from assuming jurisdiction over a
criminal case for homicide wherein the petitioner is indicted for
the death of one Romeo
Lazano.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The petitioner is a regular member of the Integrated National
Police of Tacloban City with the rank of
Patrolman.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
On April 16, 1982 at about 6:00 o'clock in the evening, while
directing traffic at the intersection of Burgos-Tarcela-Lucente
Streets, Tacloban City, the petitioner tried to apprehend
Romeo Lozano, a motorized tricycle driver, for violations of
traffic rules and regulations. An altercation occurred between
them which resulted in the shooting and death of Romeo
Lozano.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library

On October 30,1982, Mrs. Anacorita Lozano, widow of Romeo


Lozano, filed an administrative complaint against the petitioner
with the National Police Commission NAPOLCOM, Region
VIII, Tacloban City for grave misconduct. After hearings on the
merits, the Adjudication Board No. 8, NAPOLCOM, Manila
rendered a decision dated August 9,1984 finding the petitioner
guilty of grave misconduct and meted the penalty of "Dismissal
from the Service." On a motion for reconsideration, the
Adjudication Board modified its decision by finding the
petitioner guilty only of Less Grave Misconduct and modified
the penalty from dismissal to suspension from service for six
months without pay.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles
virtual law library
During the pendency of the administrative case, Mrs. Lozano
also filed a complaint for homicide with the City Fiscal's Office
of Tacloban.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
On May 14,1982, the First Assistant City Fiscal of Tacloban
City issued a resolution in I.S. No. 82-203 finding the existence
of prima facie evidence that the petitioner, then a member of
the Integrated National Police stationed in Tacloban City "with
deliberate intent and with intent to kill," shot with his service
pistol one Romeo Lozano, a tricycle driver at the left cheek
causing the latter's death. Finding that the offense was
committed during the performance of official duties, the City
Fiscal recommended that the case be referred to the Tanodbayan for further
investigation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
With the approval of Tanodbayan Bernardo P. Fernandez,
Second Assistant Fiscal Jose B. Sano of Tacloban City, as
deputized Tanodbayan Prosecutor, endorsed the filing of an
information for homicide against the petitioner. The case was

referred to the military authorities pursuant to P.D. 1850 which


authorizes the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary to convene
court martials to try, hear, and decide cases for criminal acts
committed by members of the Integrated National
Police.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
As stated at the outset, the petitioner challenges the
assumption of jurisdiction by the General Court Martial over
the criminal case for homicide against him. According to the
petitioner, the General Court Martial has no more jurisdiction
to continue the hearing against him as a result of the
provisions of Executive Order No. 1040, in relation to
Executive Order No. 1012, which became effective last July
10, 1985 whereby supervision and control over all units and
members of the Integrated National Police have been
transferred to NAPOLCOM and placed directly under the
Office of the President of the Philippines, thereby removing
police officers from the supervision and control of the Chief of
the Philippine Constabulary under the Department of National
Defense.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
It is further argued by the petitioner that P.D. 1850 which
authorized the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary to convene
courts martial to hear and try cases against members of the
Integrated National Police for offenses committed while in the
performance of their duties has been expressly repealed by
Section 3 of Executive Order No. 1040 as of July 10,
1985.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
We find the contention of the petitioner to be
ummeritorious.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual
law library
Jurisdiction is the power with which courts are invested for
administering justice, that is, for hearing and deciding cases.

(Conchada v. Director of Prisons, 31 Phil. 94). As early as


1914, it was declared that the courts of the Philippine Islands
have no common law jurisdiction or power, but only those
expressly conferred by the Constitution and statutes and those
necessarily implied to make the express powers effective.
(West Coast Life Insurance Co. v. Hurd, 27 Phil. 401) We have
to look for an express provision of law to resolve the issue
raised by the petitioner.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles
virtual law library

As used herein, the term uniformed members of the Integrated


National Police shall refer to police officers, policemen,
firemen and jail guards.

In the instant case, P.D. No, 1850 which vests jurisdiction on


courts martial over criminal cases involving the members of
the Integrated National Police, provides:

The provision of special or general laws to the contrary


notwithstanding, the operational supervision and direction
exercised by the Philippine Constabulary over all units of the
Integrated National Police (INP) force stationed or assigned in
the different cities and municipalities all over the country, is
hereby transferred to the city or municipal government
concerned until further orders from the President of the
Philippines. The term "operational control and direction" shall
be as defined in Section 1 (e) of Presidential Decree No.
1162.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

SECTION 1. Court Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated National


Police and Members of the Armed Forces. - Any provision of
law to the contrary notwithstanding - (a) uniformed members of
the Integrated National Police who commit any crime or
offense cognizable by the civil courts shall henceforth be
exclusively tried by courts-martial pursuant to and in
accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended,
otherwise known as the Articles of War; (b) all persons subject
to military law under Article 2 of the aforecited Articles of War
who commit any crime or offense shall be exclusively tried by
courts martial or their case disposed of under the said Articles
of War; Provided, that, in either of the aforementioned
situations, the case shall be disposed of or tried by the proper
civil or judicial authorities when court martial jurisdiction over
the offense has prescribed under Article 38 of Commonwealth
Act Numbered 408, as amended, or court martial jurisdiction
over the person of the accused military or Integrated National
Police personnel can no longer be exercised by virtue of their
separation from the active service without jurisdiction having
duly attached before hand unless otherwise provided by
law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Executive Order Nos. 1012 and 1040, on the other hand, are
invoked by the petitioner.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library
Section 1 of Executive Order No. 1012 states:

Whenever the power of operational supervision and direction


is abused, such that the effectiveness of the overall peace and
order campaign is negated, the President of the
Philippines motu proprio, or upon recommendation of the
provincial commander, provincial superintendent with the
concurrence of the Regional Unified Commander, may
terminate the authority of the local executive(s) to exercise
operational supervision and direction over units of the
Integrated National Police, however the judgment of the
President the exigencies as require. (sic).
Section 1 of Executive Order No. 1040 provides:
The National Police Commission shall henceforth be under the
Office of the President of the Philippines as may be directed

by and under the control of the President of the Philippines, it


shall exercise administrative control and supervision over all
units of the Integrated National Police (INP) force throughout
the country.
It is specifically stated under Executive Order No. 101 2 that it
is only the "operational supervision and direction" over all units
of the Integrated National Police force stationed or assigned in
the different cities and municipalities that was transferred from
the Philippine Constabulary to the city or municipal
government concerned. Likewise, under Executive Order No.
1040 it is the exercise of "administrative control and
supervision" over all units of the Integrated National Police
forces throughout the country that was transferred to the
President of the Philippines. The latter executive order also
defines operational supervision and direction in P.D. No. 1160,
1 (e) as follows:
(e). Operational Supervision and Direction.- It is the power to
see to it that the units or elements of the Integrated National
Police perform their duties properly according to existing laws
and the rules, regulations and policies promulgated by
competent authority, and the power to employ or deploy such
units or elements, in coordination with the Provincial or District
Police Superintendent, Station Commander or Officer-inCharge to insure public safety and the effective maintenance
of peace and order within the locality.
The distinction between operational supervision and direction
over the Integrated National Police and jurisdiction or authority
of a court-martial to hear, try and decide a criminal proceeding
against a police officer so that the appropriate penalty for the
commission of a crime or offense may be imposed is easily
discernible. One refers to how the police will perform their
functions and who shall direct such performance while the
other refers to the tribunals vested with power to try criminal

cases against them.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles


virtual law library
The allegation of the petitioner that P.D. 1850 has been
expressly repealed by the clear and precise provision of
Section 3 of Executive Order No. 1040 is inaccurate, Section 3
of the executive order provides:
All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations and
other enactments, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the
provisions of tills Executive Order are hereby repealed,
amended and modified accordingly.
The aforecited provision does not repeal in express terms,
P.D. No. 1850. Neither is there any inconsistency between
P.D. No. 1850, which confers upon courts-martial, jurisdiction
over crimes and offenses involving members of the Integrated
National Police, and Executive Order No. 1040 which gives the
city and municipal governments, (as the case may be),
operational supervision and direction over members of the
Integrated National Police. Repeals by implication are not
favored and will not be so declared unless the intent of the
legislators is manifest. (PAFLU v. Bureau of Labor Relations,
72 SCRA 396; Jalandoni v. Endaya, 85 SCRA 261; Villegas v.
Enrile, 50 SCRA 10; and The Philippine American
Management Co., Inc., v. The Philippine American
Management Employees Asso. (49 SCRA
149).chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
When the case was filed in 1982, there can be no question
that the respondent General Court Martial had jurisdiction.
Since jurisdiction had properly been exercised from the start, it
remains with the military court martial unless a law expressly
divests it of that jurisdiction. It is an established rule that
jurisdiction once acquired remains until validly transferred by

the proper authority according to


law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The provision of the Constitution, Article XVI, Section 6, on the
State maintaining a police force national and civilian in
character is still in the process of being implemented. Police
forces continue to remain part of the PC-INP until the civilian
police force is finally set-up as contemplated by the
fundamental law. (Barcellano v. Major General Renato de
Villa, et al., G.R. No. 75952, October 20,1987) chanrobles
virtual law library
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant
petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
merit.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
SO ORDERED.
SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. Nos. 76828-32. January 28, 1991.]
SIXTO L. OROSA, JR., JOSE URANZA, GERVACIO E.
FERIA, WILLIAM T. GUIDO and AZUCENA A.
REYES, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and
MERCANTILE FINANCING CORPORATION,Respondents.
Poncevic M . Ceballos, for Petitioners.
Romero, Lagman, Valdecantos & Arreza Law Offices
for Private Respondent.

SYLLABUS

1. MERCANTILE LAW; CORPORATION LAW; SECURITIES


AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION; JURISDICTION. Plainly,
the SEC is vested with absolute jurisdiction, supervision and
control over all corporations which are enfranchised to act as
corporate entities. The provision by no means restricts that
jurisdiction to entities granted permits or licenses to operate by
another Government regulatory body.
2. ID.; ID.; CORPORATIONS; CERTIFICATE OF
INCORPORATION; PURPOSE. It is the certificate of
incorporation that gives juridical personality to a corporation
and places it within SEC jurisdiction.
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; WITHDRAWAL OF AUTHORITY TO
OPERATE A SPECIALIZED ACTIVITY DOES NOT
TERMINATE LEGAL PERSONALITY. It follows then that
although authority to operate a certain specialized activity may
be withdrawn by the appropriate regulatory body, aside from
SEC, the corporation nonetheless continues to be vested with
legal personality until it is dissolved in accordance with law.
4. ID.; ID.; SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION;
JURISDICTION NOT AFFECTED BY REVOCATION BY THE
CENTRAL BANK OF A CORPORATIONS LICENSE TO
OPERATE AS A FINANCING COMPANY; CASE AT BAR.
Considering that Petitioners Complaints sufficiently allege acts
amounting to fraud and misrepresentation committed by
Respondent Corporation, the SEC must be held to retain its
original and exclusive jurisdiction over these five (5) cases
notwithstanding the revocation by the Central Bank of
Respondent Corporations license or permit to operate as a
financing company and despite the fact that the suits involve
collections of sums of money paid to said corporation, the
recovery of which would ordinarily fall within the jurisdiction of
regular Courts. The fraud committed is detrimental to the
interest of the public and, therefore, encompasses a category

of relationship within the SEC jurisdiction.


5. REMEDIAL LAW; JURISDICTION; CONFERRED BY LAW.
The jurisdiction of a Court is conferred by the Constitution
and by the laws in force at the time of the commencement of
the action.
6. ID.; JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER;
DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT.
Whether or not a Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter
of a case is determined from the allegations of the complaint
(Ganadin v. Ramos, et. al., L-23547, 11 September 1980, 99
SCRA 613).
7. MERCANTILE LAW; CORPORATION LAW; SECURITIES
AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION; EMPOWERED TO
ENFORCE THE PROVISION OF THE FINANCING
COMPANY ACT. The SEC has also been empowered to
enforce the provisions of the Financing Company Act
(Republic Act No. 5980).
8. ID.; ID.; ID.; EMPOWERED TO APPOINT A
REHABILITATION RECEIVER AND TO SUSPEND ALL
PROCEEDINGS OR CLAIMS AGAINST A CORPORATION.
Further bolstering the jurisdiction of the SEC in these cases
is the fact that said agency had already appointed a
Rehabilitation Receiver for Respondent Corporation and had
directed that all proceedings or claims against it be
suspended. This, pursuant to Sec. 6(c) of Pres. Decree No.
902-A providing that "upon appointment of a . . . rehabilitation
receiver . . . all actions for claims against corporations . . .
under receivership pending before any court, tribunal, board or
body shall be suspended accordingly." By so doing, SEC had
exercised its original and exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to
Section 5 (d) of P.D. 902-A as amended.

9. REMEDIAL LAW; SUPREME COURT; NOT BOUND BY


THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS. It may be
that, as pointed out in Petitioners Reply, the Fifteenth Division
of the Court of Appeals 3 had rendered a final Decision,
promulgated on 31 March 1987, involving almost identical
procedural and substantive issues as in these five (5) cases,
wherein, contrary to the Decision of the Third Division under
review, it upheld the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court on
the theory that the actions involved "simple money claims the
payment of which might be frustrated should they be allowed
to wait for the termination of receivership proceedings" and
"did not involve intra-corporate dispute." While ironically
enough, two Divisions of the same Appellate Court arrived at
different conclusions, the aforestated Decision of the Fifteenth
Division can have no binding nor controlling effect on this
Court, besides the fact that it never touched on the aspect of
fraud.

DECISION

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:

Commanding attention in this Petition for Review


on Certiorari is the question of the proper forum that should
take cognizance of these five (5) cases. Is it the Regional Trial
Court or the Securities and Exchange Commission?
Shorn of the specific details in each individual transaction, the
antecedents are briefly related hereunder.
Sometime prior to 18 August 1983, Sixto L. Orosa, Jr., Jose
Uranza, Gervacio E. Feria, William T. Guido, and Azucena A.
Reyes (hereinafter, Petitioners) made individual money market

placements with private respondent, the Mercantile Financing


Corporation (briefly, Respondent Corporation).
For failure of Respondent Corporation to pay Petitioners the
value of their placements upon their respective maturities
notwithstanding checks/promissory notes and/or certificates of
trust issued in their favor, Petitioners filed separate civil suits
against Respondent Corporation for the recovery of sums of
money and damages with prayers for preliminary attachment.
The Complaints invariably contained allegations of fraud
committed by Respondent Corporation by falsely representing
itself to be in a financial position to pay its obligations on their
respective maturity dates. In fact, the prayers for the issuance
of Writs of Preliminary Attachment were based on the ground
of fraud in incurring the obligations upon which the actions
were brought. The Trial Court granted the Writs prayed
for.chanrobles law library : red
It appears that, although Respondent Corporation was duly
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), its license to operate as an investment entity was
revoked by the Central Bank on 18 August 1983 or before
petitioners had made their money market placements.
Because Respondent Corporation failed to file its responsive
pleadings it was declared in default in all five (5) cases.
Subsequently, separate judgments by default were rendered
by the Trial Court 1 ordering Respondent Corporation, among
others, to pay Petitioners the various sums of money claimed
by them.
On 1 August 1984, the Trial Court gave due course to
Respondent Corporations appeal and, upon Petitioners
Motion, issued Writs of Execution pending appeal.
On 4 September 1984, Respondent Corporation "inform(ed)

the lower court that the law firm of Valdez, Asuncion, Gomez
and Associates was appointed rehabilitation receiver for
respondent corporation by the SEC pursuant to PD 902-A as
amended, and directing that all proceedings or claims against
it be suspended. Respondent Corporation then sought to set
aside the order allowing execution pending appeal but this was
denied for lack of merit. Consequently, Petitioners moved for
authority to proceed with the auction sale, which was granted
by the Trial Court despite opposition by Respondent
Corporation. Accordingly, the latters real properties covered
by TCT Nos. 302868 and 302869 were levied upon and sold at
public auction. The Rehabilitation Receiver for Respondent
Corporation endeavored to prevent eventual consolidation of
title by filing a petition for preliminary injunction with
respondent Court but the same was not acted on by the then
Fourth Civil Cases Division of said Court.
On 29 September 1986, respondent Court of Appeals, 2 ruling
that original and exclusive jurisdiction over the five (5) suits is
actually vested in the SEC, rendered
judgment:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"1. Declaring that the court a quo was bereft of jurisdiction over
the subject and nature of the actions in Civil Cases Nos. Q41104, Q-41105, Q-41146, Q-41174 and Q-41175;
"2. Declaring that all proceedings in aforesaid five cases,
particularly the Order of Default dated April 30, 1984,
Judgments by default dated May 4 and 8, 1984, as null and
void, and ordering that they be set aside, without prejudice to
refiling aforesaid actions or claims before the Securities and
Exchange Commission.
"No pronouncement as to costs."cralaw virtua1aw library
At the very core of this Petition assailing the aforesaid

pronouncements, and around which revolves the arguments of


the parties, is the applicability of Pres. Decree No. 902-A
(Reorganization of the Securities and Exchange Commission
with Additional Powers), as amended by Pres. Decrees Nos.
1653, 1758 and 1799. Petitioners submit that the legal suits
which they have brought against Respondent Corporation are
ordinary actions for recovery of sums of money cognizable
solely by the Regional Trial Court. Respondent Corporation,
on the other hand, espouses the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the SEC.chanrobles.com : virtual law library
Given the factual settings in the five (5) cases, we sustain the
SEC jurisdiction.
Pres. Decree No. 902-A, section 3,
provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

operate a certain specialized activity may be withdrawn by the


appropriate regulatory body, aside from SEC, the corporation
nonetheless continues to be vested with legal personality until
it is dissolved in accordance with law.
"A private corporation armed or organized under this Code
commences to have corporate existence and juridical
personality and is deemed incorporated from the date the
Securities and Exchange Commission issues a certificate of
incorporation under its official seal; and thereupon the
incorporators, stockholders/members and their successors
shall constitute a body politic and corporate under the name
stated in the articles of incorporation for the period of time
mentioned therein, unless said period is extended or the
corporation is sooner dissolved in accordance with law."
(Batas Pambansa, Blg. 68 [Corporation Code], Section 19).

"Sec. 3. The Commission shall have absolute jurisdiction,


supervision and control over all corporations, partnerships or
associations, who are the grantees of primary franchises
and/or a license or permit issued by the government to operate
in the Philippines; and in the exercise of its authority, it shall
have the power to enlist the aid and support of and to deputize
any and all enforcement agencies of the government, civil or
military as well as any private institution, corporation, firm,
association or person." (As amended by Pres. Decree No.
1758).

Section 3 of Pres. Decree No. 902-A should also be read in


conjunction with Section 5 of the same law,
providing:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

Plainly, the SEC is vested with absolute jurisdiction,


supervision and control over all corporations which are
enfranchised to act as corporate entities. The provision by no
means restricts that jurisdiction to entities granted permits or
licenses to operate by another Government regulatory body,
as Petitioners contend. It is the certificate of incorporation that
gives juridical personality to a corporation and places it within
SEC jurisdiction. It follows then that although authority to

a) Devices or schemes employed by or any acts of the board


of directors, business associates, its officers or partners,
amounting to fraud and misrepresentation which may be
detrimental to the public and or of the stockholders, partners,
members of associations or organizations registered with the
Commission." (Emphasis ours).

"Sec. 5. In addition to the regulatory and adjudicative functions


of the Securities and Exchange Commission over
corporations, partnerships and other forms of associations
registered with it as expressly granted under existing laws and
decrees, it shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear
and decide cases involving:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Considering that Petitioners Complaints sufficiently allege acts

amounting to fraud and misrepresentation committed by


Respondent Corporation, the SEC must be held to retain its
original and exclusive jurisdiction over these five (5) cases
notwithstanding the revocation by the Central Bank of
Respondent Corporations license or permit to operate as a
financing company and despite the fact that the suits involve
collections of sums of money paid to said corporation, the
recovery of which would ordinarily fall within the jurisdiction of
regular Courts. The fraud committed is detrimental to the
interest of the public and, therefore, encompasses a category
of relationship within the SEC jurisdiction.cralawnad
"Otherwise stated, in order that the SEC can take cognizance
of a case, the controversy must pertain to any of the following
relationships: (a) between the corporation, partnership or
association and the public; (b) between the corporation,
partnership or association and its stockholders, partners,
members or officers. (c) between the corporation, partnership
or association and the state in so far as its franchise, permit or
license to operate is concerned; and (d) among the
stockholders, partners or associates themselves." (Union
Glass & Container Corp. v. SEC, No. 64013, 28 November
1983, 126 SCRA 31, 38; Abejo v. De la Cruz, No. 63558, 19
May 1987, 149 SCRA 654).
However, Petitioners challenge to the SEC jurisdiction is also
predicated on the argument that Section 5(a) of Pres. Decree
No. 902-A is applicable only to matters affecting "investments"
by the public in private corporations; that since Respondent
Corporations authority to engage in quasi-banking functions
had already been withdrawn at the time Petitioners made their
money placements, there was for all intents and purposes no
"investments" ever made, such that the delivery of various
amounts by Petitioners to Respondent Corporation and the
corresponding obligation by the latter to return the same upon
maturity was reduced to simple obligations for sums of money

cognizable by the Regional Trial Court.


This is specious reasoning. It is axiomatic that the jurisdiction
of a Court is conferred by the Constitution and by the laws in
force at the time of the commencement of the action.
However, whether or not a Court has jurisdiction over the
subject matter of a case is determined from the allegations of
the complaint (Ganadin v. Ramos, et. al., L-23547, 11
September 1980, 99 SCRA 613).
In these cases, the recitals of the Complaints sufficiently allege
that devices or schemes amounting to fraud and
misrepresentation detrimental to the interest of the public have
been resorted to by Respondent Corporation. It can not but be
conceded, therefore, that the SEC may exercise its
adjudicative powers pursuant to Section 5(a) of Pres. Decree
No. 902-A, supra.
The fact that the Central Bank had withdrawn Respondent
Corporations authority to engage in quasi-banking functions
will not have the effect of divesting the SEC of its original and
exclusive jurisdiction. The expanded jurisdiction of the SEC
was conceived primarily to protect the interest of the investing
public. That Petitioners money placements were in the nature
of investments in Respondent Corporation can not be
gainsaid. Petitioners had reasonably expected to receive
returns from moneys they had paid to the latter. Unfortunately,
however, they were the victims of fraud and misrepresentation.
It is precisely to check machinations like this that the SEC has
also been empowered to enforce the provisions of the
Financing Company Act (Republic Act No. 5980) and
violations thereof. In these cases, Petitioners contend that they
had no inkling whatsoever that Respondent Corporations
permit to operate had been withdrawn by the Central Bank.
Apparently, therefore, Respondent Corporation has violated a

provision of said Act reading: "No person, association,


partnership, or corporation shall hold itself out as doing
business as a financing company or finance and investment
company or any other title or name tending to give the public
the impression that it is engaged in the operations and
activities of a financing company, unless so authorized under
this Act" (Sec. 7[c]). For violations such as this, it is the SEC
that is fully authorized to revoke or suspend the registration of
any financing company which has violated any provision of
said Act (Sec. 9[b]).
In point is the case of Rivilla v. Intermediate Appellate Court
(G.R. No. 78170, 31 July 1989, 175 SCRA 773), where this
Court ruled that the controversy therein fell within the
contemplation of Sec. 5(a) of Pres. Decree No. 902-A, as
amended, and, therefore, within the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the SEC. The parallelism lies in the absence in
that case of prior registration with the SEC of the promissory
note involved. It was thus held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"In his complaint, private respondent alleged that petitioners
actually used the corporation as a shield to perpetrate or
commit fraud . . . by issuing the promissory note in the name
of the corporation without prior registration with the SEC as
required by the Securities Act, and by falsely representing that
it was registered with the SEC.
"Evidently, the present controversy is within the contemplation
of Sec. 5(a) of PD No. 902-A, as amended. The issuance of
the promissory note in the name of C.R. Agro Industrial
Development Corporation by the petitioners, who are its
officers and/or controlling stockholders, without registration of
the note with the SEC, as required by Sec. 4 of the Revised
Securities Act in order to protect the investing public, may be
considered as a device or scheme amounting to fraud and
misrepresentation, because by not registering the note with

the SEC, the petitioners could later try to disclaim any liability
under the said promissory note by claiming that the
corporation has a separate and distinct personality from its
officers and stockholders . . ." (at p. 779).chanrobles virtual
lawlibrary
Reliance by Petitioners on the cases of DMRC v. Este del Sol
(No. 57936, 28 September 1984, 132 SCRA 293), and Baez
v. Dimensional Construction Trade and Development Corp.
(No. 62648, 22 November 1985, 140 SCRA 249), where the
jurisdiction of the ordinary Courts was upheld, is misplaced for,
as explicitly stated in those cases, nowhere in the Complaints
therein is found any averment of fraud or misrepresentation
committed by the respective corporations involved. The
causes of action, therefore, were nothing more than simple
money claims.
Further bolstering the jurisdiction of the SEC in these cases is
the fact that said agency had already appointed a
Rehabilitation Receiver for Respondent Corporation and had
directed that all proceedings or claims against it be
suspended. This, pursuant to Sec. 6(c) of Pres. Decree No.
902-A providing that "upon appointment of a . . . rehabilitation
receiver . . . all actions for claims against corporations . . .
under receivership pending before any court, tribunal, board or
body shall be suspended accordingly."cralaw virtua1aw library
By so doing, SEC had exercised its original and exclusive
jurisdiction to hear and decide cases
involving:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"d) Petitions of corporations, partnerships or associations to be
declared in the state of suspension of payments in cases
where the corporation, partnership or association possesses
sufficient property to cover all its debts but foresees the
impossibility of meeting them when they respectively fall due

or in cases where the corporation, partnership or association


has no sufficient assets to cover its liabilities but is under the
management of a Rehabilitation Receiver or Management
Committee created pursuant to this Decree" (Section 5(d) of
Pres. Decree No. 902-A, as added by Pres. Decree 1758).
It may be that, as pointed out in Petitioners Reply, the
Fifteenth Division of the Court of Appeals 3 had rendered a
final Decision, promulgated on 31 March 1987, involving
almost identical procedural and substantive issues as in these
five (5) cases, wherein, contrary to the Decision of the Third
Division under review, it upheld the jurisdiction of the Regional
Trial Court on the theory that the actions involved "simple
money claims the payment of which might be frustrated should
they be allowed to wait for the termination of receivership
proceedings" and "did not involve intra-corporate dispute."
While ironically enough, two Divisions of the same Appellate
Court arrived at different conclusions, the aforestated Decision
of the Fifteenth Division can have no binding nor controlling
effect on this Court, besides the fact that it never touched on
the aspect of fraud.
In fine, the adjudicative powers of the SEC being clearly
defined by law, its jurisdiction over these cases has to be
upheld.
WHEREFORE, the judgments under review are hereby
AFFIRMED, and the individual Complaints in the Court below
DISMISSED, without prejudice to the re-filing of the same or
the submission of Petitioners claims with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.cralawnad
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. L-65192. April 27, 1988.]
RODOLFO DELA CRUZ, Petitioner, v. Hon. FELIX L.
MOYA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch II of
the Court of First Instance of Davao, and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,Respondents.
Rolando C. Rama for Petitioner.
The Solicitor General for Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; JURISDICTION; ONE OF THE


ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF A VALID COURT
PROCEEDING. For a court proceeding to be valid, it is
essential that the court hearing the case must have jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the case, otherwise the entire
proceedings are null and void.
2. ID.; JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER,
DETERMINED BY STATUTE IN FORCE AT
COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION. Jurisdiction over the
subject matter is determined by the statute in force at the time
of the commencement of the action.
3. ID.; JURISDICTION; RETAINED UP TO TERMINATION OF
LITIGATION. Once jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is
retained up to the end of the litigation.
4. ID.; GENERAL ORDER NO. 59; VESTED IN MILITARY
TRIBUNALS JURISDICTION OVER ALL OFFENSES

COMMITTED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL. General Order


No. 59, dated June 24, 1977, published in 73 Official Gazette
(Supplement) #28, pages 6373-1 to 6378-3. (July 11, 1977),
military tribunals created under General Order No. 8 exercised
exclusive jurisdiction over" (a)ll offenses committed by military
personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while in the
performance of their official duty or which arose out of any act
or omission done in the performance of their official duty;
Provided, that for the purpose of determining whether an
offense was committed while in the performance of official duty
or whether it arose out of an act or omission done in the
performance of official duty, a certificate issued by the
Secretary of National Defense to that effect shall be conclusive
unless modified or revoked by the President . . ." (Section 1.)
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY
OF FINANCE, NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT FOR THE
EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION BY EITHER CIVIL COURT
OR MILITARY TRIBUNALS. The proviso in General Order
No. 59 merely states that the certificate issued by the
Secretary of National Defense is conclusive for the purpose of
determining whether an offense was committed while in the
performance of official duty, or arose out of an act or omission
done in the performance of official duty. It does not in any way
preclude the courts from making any finding as to whether an
offense is duty-connected. Nor does it make the certificate a
condition precedent for the exercise by either civilian courts or
military tribunals of their jurisdiction over offenses committed
by members of the AFP.
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. The CFI has no jurisdiction
over the case where evidence of the prosecution presented in
court likewise shows that the victim was shot while petitioner
was executing the mission order.

DECISION

CORTES, J.:

Involving as it does a purely legal question, the present


petition for certiorari and mandamus was certified to this Court
by the then Intermediate Appellate Court in its resolution dated
August 30, 1983.
On February 23, 1979, Rodolfo Dela Cruz, a member of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines assigned to the Intelligence
and Operations Section of the 432nd PC Company, together
with other PC men, received a mission order to proceed to
Barangay Pangi, Maco, Sto. Tomas, Davao for the purpose of
verifying and apprehending persons who were allegedly
engaged in illegal cockfighting. In compliance with said
mission order, Dela Cruz and company proceeded to Maco,
Davao del Norte and caught in flagrante the operators of said
illegal cockfighting, but said operators resisted arrest. The
soldiers left the place but they brought with them to the PC
Headquarters the evidence of the crime, such as gaffs and
fighting cocks. The operators of the illegal cockfights, including
the deceased Eusebio Cabilto, followed the soldiers on their
way back to the PC Headquarters, catching up with them on
the Tagum-Mati National Highway. Fighting ensued and in the
scuffle, Dela Cruz shot Cabilto.
On August 2, 1979, Dela Cruz was charged with homicide in
the Court of First Instance of Davao, in an information filed by
the Provincial Fiscal. The case was docketed as Criminal
Case No. 40080.
While the case was pending trial, Presidential Decree Nos.
1822 and 1822-A were promulgated by the President of the

Philippines on January 16, 1981, vesting in courts-martial


jurisdiction over crimes committed by members of the Armed
Forces or of the Philippine Constabulary in performance of
their duties.chanrobles law library
Claiming that the crime for which he was charged was
committed in relation to the performance of his duties, Dela
Cruz filed with the Court of First Instance of Davao a motion to
transfer the case to the military authorities so he could be tried
by court martial. The motion was denied. Hence, the present
petition.
At issue is whether the civil courts have jurisdiction over the
subject matter of Criminal Case No. 40080.
One of the essential requisites of a valid court proceeding is
that the court hearing the case must have jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the case. If the court is acting without
jurisdiction, then the entire proceedings are null and void.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the
statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action.
[Silvestre v. Military Commission, L-48366, March 8, 1978, 82
SCRA 10; People v. Romualdo, 90 Phil. 739 (1952); Rilloraza
v. Arciaga, 128 Phil. 799 (1967), 21 SCRA 717.] And once
jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained up to the end of
the litigation. [Pamintuan v. Tiglao, 53 Phil. 1, (929); Phil. Land
Air-Sea Labor Union (PLASLU), Inc. v. CIR, 93 Phil. 747
(1953), Tuvera v. De Guzman, 121 Phil. 706 (1965), 13 SCRA
729; Rilloraza v. Arciaga, supra: Rizal Surety and Insurance
Co. v. Manila Railroad Co., Et Al., 123 Phil. 766 (1966), 16
SCRA 908).
In the instant case, the information was filed on August 2,
1979. On such date, by virtue of General Order No. 59, dated
June 24, 1977, published in 73 Official Gazette (Supplement)

#28, pages 6373-1 to 6378-3. (July 11, 1977), military tribunals


created under General Order No. 8 exercised exclusive
jurisdiction over" (a)ll offenses committed by military personnel
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while in the
performance of their official duty or which arose out of any act
or omission done in the performance of their official duty;
Provided, that for the purpose of determining whether an
offense was committed while in the performance of official duty
or whether it arose out of an act or omission done in the
performance of official duty, a certificate issued by the
Secretary of National Defense to that effect shall be conclusive
unless modified or revoked by the President . . ." (Section 1.)
As no amendatory law was ever published in the Official
Gazette between the time G.O. No. 59 was published until the
information in Criminal Case No. 40080 was filed on August 2,
1979, then said General Order No. 59 remained in force on
said date.
In the case at bar, it is not disputed that at the time of the
commission of the alleged offense, petitioner dela Cruz was a
member of the Philippine Constabulary, and that the shooting
of the deceased Cabilto was committed while petitioner was
executing the Mission Order.
But what is the significance of the proviso regarding the
certificate to be issued by the Secretary of National Defense?
The proviso merely states that the certificate issued by the
Secretary of National Defense is conclusive for the purpose of
determining whether an offense was committed while in the
performance of official duty, or arose out of an act or omission
done in the performance of official duty. It does not in any way
preclude the courts from making any finding as to whether an
offense is duty-connected. Nor does it make the certificate a
condition precedent for the exercise by either civilian courts or
military tribunals of their jurisdiction over offenses committed

by members of the AFP.


In the instant case, even as no certificate issued by the
Secretary of National Defense was presented in court, the
record contains a copy of Mission Order No. 7, signed by a
certain Lieutenant Huerta, directing Dela Cruz, among others,
to proceed to Barangay Pangi, Maco, Sto. Tomas, Davao to
verify and apprehend persons reportedly engaged in illegal
cockfighting. The evidence of the prosecution presented in
court likewise shows that Cabilto was shot while petitioner was
executing the mission order. These undisputed facts compel
this Court to declare that respondent court was without
jurisdiction to try the case against petitioner Dela
Cruz.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library
The Solicitor General points out that at the time the information
was filed, Presidential Decrees Nos. 1822 and 1822-A which
vest in the courts-martial jurisdiction over offenses committed
by members of the AFP in the performance of their duties
were not yet in effect, the same having been promulgated only
in 1981.
Truly, PD 1822 and 1822-A are inapplicable to the case at bar.
However, General Order No. 59 cited above applies.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The proceedings in
Criminal Case No. 4008 are declared null and void but without
prejudice to the filing of another action in the proper forum. Let
a copy of this decision be furnished the Judge Advocate of the
Philippine Constabulary, Camp Crame, Quezon City, for
appropriate action.
Fernan, Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano and Bidin, JJ., concur.
[G.R. No. L-19568. March 31, 1964.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOSE


L. CHUPECO, Defendant-Appellant.
Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.
J. Gonzales Orense, for Defendant-Appellant.

SYLLABUS

1. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; JURISDICTION OF COURT


ONCE VESTED IS NOT LOST BY SUBSEQUENT
AMENDMENT OR STIPULATION. Where the original terms
of the information averred the crime of repledging already
encumbered property without the creditors consent, and one
of the essential ingredients of the offense (execution of the first
mortgage having been alleged to have taken place in Manila,
the court of first instance of that city acquired jurisdiction over
the offense under the Rules of Court, and such jurisdiction is
not tolled by subsequent amendment of the information or by
stipulation between the parties, which in the case at bar
amounted to no more than an avowal by the prosecution that it
could not establish the other elements of the offense.
2. CRIMINAL LAW; REMOVING OR REPLEDGING
ENCUMBERED PROPERTIES; NECESSITY OF EVIDENCE
THAT PROPERTIES ARE THE SAME. In the case at bar,
where the evidence fails to show that the properties
mortgaged to the Bank are the same ones mortgaged to
another person, it is held that the accused should be acquitted,
because an essential element common to the two sets
punished under Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code is that
the property removed or repledged, as the case may be,
should be the same or identical property that was mortgaged
or pledged before such removal or repledging.

13835, Engine No. C-17040;


DECISION

One RD-14 Tractor with Bulldozer, motor No. 6719028;


One D-6 Caterpillar tractor motor 626-134;
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
One Clitract International Caterpilar Motor No. 2398-D;

Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila


(in its Crim. Case No. 14786) to the Court of Appeals, but
which the latter court, pursuant to Section 17 of the Judiciary
Act of 1948, as amended, had certified to the Supreme Court
as a case in which the jurisdiction of an inferior court is in
issue.

One Air compressor (Aray type);


One complete set of welding instruments (local made);
One Lathe machine F.E. Reed Co. Length 8 swing 8" ;
One planer for iron and steel F.E. Reed & Co.;

The accused-appellant, Jose L. Chupeco, was charged on 2


February 1951 before the Court of First Instance of Manila
under the following information:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

One tracing machine and one vise (local made);


TRANSPORTATION UNITS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

"That on or about the 28th day of November, 1947, in the City


of Manila, Philippines, the said accused being the owner of,
and, having previously on the 24th day of July, 1946, executed
a Chattel Mortgage on the following
properties:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"An open shed under construction to be used as sawmill
building, containing an area of 350 sq. m. more or less,
located at Sitio Saguing, Dinalupihan, Bataan.
SAWMILL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT:chanrob1es virtual
1aw library
One Wheland Circular sawmill No. 3 complete with carriage
and w/60" inserted circular saw (new);
One Gray Marine Full Diesel Engine 225 H.P. Serial No.

One Chevrolet truck Model 1941 Motor No. KR-214658


1946 Plate No. 9794;
One International Baby truck Model 1938 Motor No. ND-136470;
One G.M.C. Army truck 6 x 6 Motor No. 70485739 Plate
No. 10239;
One Willys jeep Motor No. DP 2977 Plate No. 1512" ;
located at sitio Saguing, Dinalupihan, Bataan, in favor of the
Agricultural and Industrial Bank, whose capital, assets,
accounts, contracts and choses in action were subsequently
transferred to the herein complainant Rehabilitation Finance
Corporation, an institution created and operating pursuant to

the provisions of Republic Act No. 85, with principal office at


the City of Manila, Philippines, to secure a loan of P20,000.00
from said Agricultural and Industrial Bank, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously (on the aforesaid date of
28th day of November, 1947, with intent to defraud the said
Rehabilitation Finance Corporation, pledge and incumber, or
cause to be pledged and incumbered the same personal
properties to one Mateo B. Pinile without having fully satisfied
the mortgage and during the term thereof and without the
consent of the mortgagee bank written on the back of the
mortgage, and, thereafter) knowingly transfer and remove, or
cause to be transferred and removed the said properties to the
municipality of Subic, Zambales, also without the written
consent of the mortgagee bank, to the damage and prejudice
of the said Rehabilitation Finance Corporation in the sum of
P15,935.80, Philippine currency, representing the unpaid
balance of the aforesaid mortgage."cralaw virtua1aw library
The accused moved to quash the foregoing information on the
ground that more than one offense is charged and that the
court had no jurisdiction. Upon denial of the motion, the
accused was arraigned and he entered a plea of not guilty.
After the case was partly tried, the defense counsel and the
fiscal entered into an agreement to have the information
amended to the effect that the charge be only for removal of
properties mortgaged, eliminating the portion referring to
pledging already pledged property. The information, however,
remained un-amended. The accused then filed a motion to
dismiss invoking the agreement, but the court denied it, and
ordered that the case be tried on the charge "of having
pledged property which had been previously pledged or
mortgaged." After trial, the court found the accused guilty of
the said offense, and imposed a penalty of two months and
one day of arresto mayor.
Not satisfied, the accused interposed an appeal to the Court of

Appeals, but the said court certified the case to the Supreme
Court, as formerly stated.
The accused attacks the jurisdiction of the trial court on the
strength of the agreement with the fiscal to discard the charge
of repledging or reincumbering the chattels already mortgaged
to the Agricultural and Industrial Bank, thus leaving in force
only the accusation of having transferred the encumbered
property from Bataan to Zambales without the consent of the
mortgagee. It is argued that since the place where the chattels
were, as well as the site to which they were moved, are both
outside of Manila, the courts of the latter acquired no
jurisdiction to try the case, because the offense was not
committed within the Manila territory.
We find this stand without merit. The original terms of the
charge averred (and it is not disputed) the crime of repledging
already encumbered property without the creditors consent,
and one of the essential ingredients of the offense (the
execution of the first mortgage) having been alleged to have
taken place in Manila, the court of first instance of that city
acquired jurisdiction over the offense under the Rules of Court
(People v. Mission, 48 O.G., 1331; Rule 110, section 9). It is
well-established that once vested, the jurisdiction is not tolled
by subsequent amendment or stipulation (McClain v. Kansas
City Bridge Co., 83 SW, 2d, 132; Shankle v. Ingram, 45 S.E.
578; Walton v. Mardeville Dowling & Co., 5 NW. 776), which in
this case amounted to no more than an avowal by the
prosecution that it could not establish the other elements of the
offense.
Furthermore, the court actually rejected the defense motion to
dismiss, and directed that the case be tried on the original
charge of repledging property already encumbered. The
accused obeyed that directive, and by so doing it renounced
the claim that the information had been so amended as to

discard that particular averment.


But the fatal error in the decision appealed from is its disregard
of the fact that the evidence fails to show that the properties
mortgaged to the Bank are the same ones encumbered
afterwards to Mateo Pinili. In fact, the Office of the Solicitor
General recommends the acquittal of the accused on this very
ground (Brief, pp. 10-11).
There is no question that the herein accused executed in the
City of Manila a Chattel Mortgage, Exhibit "D", on the
properties located in Bataan and listed in the information in
favor of the Agricultural and Industrial Bank on 24 July 1946;
and that the accused pledged or encumbered, in the City of
Manila, on 28 November 1947 the properties listed in Exhibit
"E", which are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"One (1) sawmill with gray marine engine 125 H.P. circular
saw and all appurtenances, implements and parts, also
building, camarin and housing improvements under Tax No.
1260-V for 1947, assessed at P8,000.00 paid under O.R. No.
59318, dated May 14, 1947, Dinalupihan, Bataan;
"One (1) bulldozer H.D.-14, with dozer, Make: Allis-Chalmers,
Eng. No. 3251541;
"Two (2) cargo trucks (6 x 6), Eng. No. 220314218-Reg. No.
17094 and Eng. 220359225-Reg. No. 17093."cralaw virtua1aw
library
However, there is nothing in the evidence to show that the
properties listed in Exhibit "D" and in the information are the
same properties listed in Exhibit "E." The descriptions are
materially different.
An essential element common to the two acts punished under

Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code is that the property


removed or repledged, as the case may be, should be the
same or identical property that was mortgaged or pledged
before such removal or repledging. Therefore, even if the
Court of First Instance of Manila had jurisdiction over the case,
the accused cannot be found guilty on the evidence on record
of the crime for which he stands indicted.
FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, the appealed decisions is
hereby reversed, and another one entered acquitting the
accused Jose L. Chupeco. No pronouncement as to costs.
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador,
Concepcion, Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and
Makalintal, JJ., concur.

SECOND DIVISION
G. R. No. 150106 - September 8, 2004
AMANDO G. SUMAWANG, Petitioner, vs. ENGR. ERIC D.
DE GUZMAN, Respondent.
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
On June 8, 1999, Engineer Eric de Guzman, as plaintiff, filed a
complaint in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Guimba,
Nueva Ecija, against Amando G. Sumawang, for unlawful
detainer with damages. The case was docketed as Civil Case
No. 3778. The plaintiff alleged therein that the President of the
Philippines issued, on August 19, 1988, Emancipation Patent
No. 288843 in his favor, over a parcel of agricultural land,
designated as Lot 33, with an area of 9,970 square meters,

located in Macatcatuit, Guimba, Nueva Ecija; on December


12, 1988, the Register of Deeds issued Transfer Certificate of
Title (TCT) EP No. 31683 over the landholding; thereafter, he
leased a portion of the property to the defendant where the
latter constructed a small hut, and remitted the rentals
therefor; in the early part of 1999, the defendant failed to pay
the agreed rentals for the landholding based on said patent;
despite his demand on March 10, 1999, the defendant failed to
vacate the property; and no amicable settlement of the matter
was arrived at by the parties in the Office of the Barangay
Captain.
The plaintiff prayed that judgment be rendered ordering the
defendant to vacate the property and to pay damages and
attorneys fees. In his answer to the complaint, the defendant
alleged that Gloria Zulueta Rominquit was the owner of a large
tract of agricultural land, designated as Lot 1402, which was
placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law; he
cultivated a portion of the property and was one of the
farmers-beneficiaries of the landholding, as listed in the Office
of the Municipal Agrarian Reform; sometime in 1965, he
swapped the portion of the property he was cultivating with Lot
33 which was cultivated by Antonio Ferrer and, thenceforth, he
had been cultivating the same lot; in 1994, he built a house of
strong materials in the property where he and his family
resided; he sought the assistance of his first cousin, Judge
Felix de Guzman, the father of the plaintiff, to secure a patent
and title over the property in his name but the plaintiff, who
was the son of Judge De Guzman and an engineer by
profession and a non-resident of Guimba, secured through
fraud an emancipation patent and title over the property in his
name.
The defendant interposed the defense of lack of jurisdiction of
the trial court over the action and the subject matter thereof,

and prayed that the complaint be dismissed on those grounds;


and that he be awarded damages and attorneys fees.
The plaintiff adduced evidence that per Parcellary Mapping
Survey (PMS) No. 067, the subject property owned by
Rominquit was designated Lot 12011, with an area of 9,100
square meters, covered by Certificate of Land Title (CLT) No.
0114427 issued to Antonio Ferrer, the farmer-beneficiary
thereof; but per final survey, the property was designated as
Lot 33, with an area of 9,970 square meters; he was granted
Emancipation Patent No. 288843 over Lot 33 and on the basis
of said patent, TCT EP No. 31683 was issued by the Register
of Deeds. He declared the property under his name under Tax
Declaration No. 94-10032-00515, free of any encumbrance,
after paying the amortizations due to the Land Bank of the
Philippines; and that, during the period from 1991 to 1997, he
employed the plaintiff as farmer-worker to whom he remitted
sums of money for the expenses for the cultivation of the
property such as soil, fertilizer, seedlings, rentals for a
rotorator, etc. The defendant, for his part, presented
certifications from the former barangay captains that, since
1969, he had been the tenant on the farmland covered by CLT
No. 0114427 under the name of Antonio Ferrer, the
beneficiary of the property; and that, in 1987, he built a house
of strong materials thereon; in 1991, the plaintiff, through his
father, Judge Felix de Guzman, suggested a sharing system
between the plaintiff and the defendant, whereby the plaintiff
will provide monetary assistance for the expenses for the
cultivation of the property by the defendant and would share in
the produce thereof and net of expenses.
On June 27, 2000, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of
the plaintiff and against the defendant. The fallo of the decision
reads:

WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, judgment is hereby


rendered in favor of plaintiff and against defendant, ordering
the latter to:

appellate court held that it was not prepared, based on the


record, to hold that the petitioner was the agricultural tenant of
the respondent therein.

1. Vacate the property and to remove his hut/house erected


thereon;

The respondent therein, now the petitioner, filed a petition for


review on certiorari with this Court contending that:

2. Pay plaintiff reasonable rental for the use of the property at


the rate of P500.00 per month from March 12, 1999 until he
finally vacates the same;

1. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals erred in its


conclusion, that it is not prepared to declare petitionerappellant not (sic) a tenant (p. 128, Records), concluding that
petitioners occupation of subject land is by mere tolerance of
private respondent and without any contract between them,
petitioner-appellant is necessarily bound by an implied
promise that he will vacate upon demand (p. 129, Records)
(italics, ours);

3. Reimburse plaintiff P170.00 representing the amount spent


for filing fees; and
4. Pay the costs of suit.1
The trial court ruled that the defendant was not the legitimate
tenant-beneficiary over the property, as certified by the Office
of the Municipal Agrarian Reform, but Antonio Ferrer, who
transferred the property to the plaintiff; and that there was no
landlord-tenant relationship over the property between the
plaintiff and the defendant; hence, it had jurisdiction over the
action.
The defendant appealed the decision to the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) which rendered judgment on October 9, 2000,
reversing the decision of the MTC. The RTC ruled that, based
on the facts on record, the controversy between the plaintiff
and the defendant was an agrarian dispute within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudicatory Board (DARAB).
The plaintiff, then the petitioner, filed a petition for review of
the decision with the Court of Appeals (CA), which rendered
judgment on September 25, 2001, reversing the decision of
the RTC and reinstating the decision of the MTC. The

2. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred


in not taking cognizance of the doctrine of estoppel, as against
the private respondent-appellee (pp. 7-8, Comments to
Petition for Review);
3. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred
in not applying the provisions of R.A. 6657 (New CARP Law),
as applied by the court ad quem, considering that the
petitioner-appellant has met the six (6) requirements that
concur to make a tenancy relationship (pp. 6-8, Comments to
Petition for Review).2
The petitioner asserts that he had been a farmer-beneficiary of
the land since 1965 and even after the respondent fraudulently
secured title over the property, the latter allowed him to
cultivate the property and supplied him with farm inputs and
implements; the respondent also shared with him the harvests
therefrom on a 50-50 basis, net of costs of production. The
petitioner asserts that, under the factual milieu, he was the
agricultural tenant of the respondent and not merely his farm

worker. Hence, the dispute between them is within the


exclusive jurisdiction of the DARAB as held by the RTC, and
not the MTC, as ruled by the CA.
The threshold issue is whether or not the MTC had jurisdiction
over the action of the respondent. The resolution of the issue
is anchored on our resolution of the issue of whether or not the
petitioner was the agricultural tenant of the respondent or
merely the latters farm worker.
The petition has no merit.
The well-entrenched principle is that the jurisdiction of the
court over the subject matter on the existence of the action is
determined by the material allegations of the complaint and
the law, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein.3 In
Basco Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. Cyborg Leasing
Corporation,4 we had ruled that the jurisdiction of the court
over the nature of the action and the subject matter thereof
cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the
court or upon a motion to dismiss for, otherwise, the question
of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the
defendant.5 Once jurisdiction is vested, the same is retained
up to the end of the litigation.6 The Municipal Trial Court does
not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple
expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged
existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties.7 But it
is the duty of the court to receive evidence to determine the
allegations of tenancy.8 If, after hearing, tenancy had, in fact,
been shown to be the real issue, the court should dismiss the
case for lack of jurisdiction.9
In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of
Appeals,10 we held that:

Indeed, a tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. There


must be evidence to prove this allegation. The principal factor
in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is intent.
Tenancy is not a purely factual relationship dependent on what
the alleged tenant does upon the land. It is also a legal
relationship. As we ruled in Chico v. Court of Appeals:
"Each of the elements hereinbefore mentioned is essential to
create a de jure leasehold or tenancy relationship between the
parties. This de jure relationship, in turn, is the terra firma for a
security of tenure between the landlord and the tenant. The
leasehold relationship is not brought about by a mere
congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the mutual
will of the parties to that relationship should be primordial."
Thus, the intent of the parties, the understanding when the
farmer is installed, and their written agreements, provided
these are complied with and are not contrary to law, are even
more important.
The requisites of a tenancy relationship are as follows: (1) the
parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is
agricultural land; (3) there is consent by the landowner; (4) the
purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal
cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of the harvests. All these
requisites are necessary to create tenancy relationship, and
the absence of one or more requisites will not make the
alleged tenant a de facto tenant. This is so because unless a
person has established his status as a de jure tenant, he is not
entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land
Reform Program of the Government under existing tenancy
laws. The security of tenure guaranteed by our tenancy laws
may be invoked only by tenants de jure, not by those who are
not true and lawful tenants.11

In this case, the petitioner failed to prove his claim that he had
been installed by the respondent as agricultural tenant on the
landholding. He relied solely on his bare claim that he and the
respondent, through the latters father, Judge Felix de
Guzman, had agreed for the petitioner to be the agricultural
tenant of the respondent, sharing the produce therefrom on a
50-50 basis, net of costs of production. There is no evidence
on record that, indeed, the respondent had authorized his
father to enter into such an agreement with the petitioner. In
Valencia v. Court of Appeals,12 we held that the right to hire a
tenant is basically a personal right of a landowner. For Judge
de Guzman to be able to install the petitioner as agricultural
tenant, he must be specifically authorized by the respondent.
The petitioner failed to adduce a morsel of evidence that he
received a share of the produce of the property from the
respondent.
The petitioners reliance on the lists of expenses, incurred by
the respondent for the cultivation of the property, is misplaced.
In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of
Appeals,13 citing Berenguer, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,14 we
emphasized that:
The respondents self-serving statements regarding tenancy
relations could not establish the claimed relationship. The fact
alone of working on anothers landholding does not raise a
presumption of the existence of agricultural tenancy. There
must be substantial evidence on record adequate enough to
prove the element of sharing. Thus:
"Nor is there any basis for petitioners claim that he is an
agricultural tenant. One of the essential requisites for the
existence of a tenancy relationship is sharing, by the
landowner and tenant, of the produce and no proof of this fact
has been shown in this case. As we have held:

All these requisites are necessary in order to create tenancy


relationship between the parties and the absence of one or
more requisites does not make the alleged tenant a de jure
tenant as contra-distinguished from a de facto tenant."
To prove such sharing of harvests, a receipt or any other
evidence must be presented. Self-serving statements are
deemed inadequate; competent proof must be adduced.15
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition
is DENIED for lack of merit. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
SECOND DIVISION
YUSUKE FUKUZUME,*
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 143647


Present:
PUNO, Chairman,**
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CALLEJO, SR.,
TINGA, and
CHICO-NAZARIO,*** JJ .

- versus -

Promulgated:
PEOPLE
OF
PHILIPPINES,
Respondent.

THE
November 11, 2005

x----------------------------------------------------------x

DECISION
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J .:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court assailing the Decision [1] of the Court of
Appeals (CA) dated March 13, 2000 in CA-G.R. CR No.
21888, which affirmed with modification the judgment of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 146 dated
October 21, 1996 in Criminal Case No. 95-083, finding herein
accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of estafa, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment
for twenty (20) years and to pay private complainant the sum
of P424,000.00; and the CA Resolution dated June 16, 2000
denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. [2]
The facts of the case are as follows:
Private complainant Javier Ng Yu (Yu) is a businessman
engaged in buying
and selling
aluminum scrap
wires. [3] Sometime in July 1991, Yu, accompanied by a
friend, Mr. Jovate, [4] who was the vice-president of Manila
Electric Company, went to the house of herein accusedappellant
Yusuke
Fukuzume
(Fukuzume)
in
Paraaque. [5] Jovate introduced Fukuzume to Yu telling the
latter that Fukuzume is from Furukawa Electric Corporation
(Furukawa) and that he has at his disposal aluminum scrap
wires. [6] Fukuzume confirmed this information and told Yu
that the scrap wires belong to Furukawa but they are under the
care of National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). [7]Believing
Fukuzume's representation to be true, Yu agreed to buy the

aluminum scrap wires from Fukuzume. [8] The initial agreed


purchase price was P200,000.00. [9] Yu gave Fukuzume sums
of
money
on
various
dates
which
eventually
totaled P290,000.00, broken down as follows:P50,000.00,
given on July 12, 1991; P20,000.00, given on July 22,
1991; P50,000.00,
given
on
October
14,
1991;
and, P170,000.00, given on October 18, 1991. [10] Fukuzume
admitted that he received the same from Yu and that he still
owes him the amount of P290,000.00. [11] To support his
claim that the aluminum scrap wires being sold are indeed
owned by Furukawa, that these scrap wires are with
NAPOCOR, and that Furukawa's authorized representatives
are allowed to withdraw and dispose of said scrap wires,
Fukuzume gave Yu two certifications dated December 17,
1991 and December 27, 1991 purportedly issued by
NAPOCOR and signed by its legal counsel by the name of R.
Y. Rodriguez. [12] At the time that Fukuzume gave Yu the
second certification, he asked money from the latter telling him
that it shall be given as gifts to some of the people in
NAPOCOR. Yu gave Fukuzume money and, in exchange, the
latter issued two checks, one forP100,000.00 and the other
for P34,000.00. [13] However, when Yu deposited the checks,
they were dishonored on the ground that the account from
which the checks should have been drawn is already
closed. [14] Subsequently, Yu called up Fukuzume to inform
him that the checks bounced.[15] Fukuzume instead told him
not to worry because in one or two weeks he will give Yu the
necessary authorization to enable him to retrieve the
aluminum scrap wires from NAPOCOR. [16]On January 17,
1992, Fukuzume gave Yu a letter of even date, signed by the

Director of the Overseas Operation and Power Transmission


Project Divisions of Furukawa, authorizing Fukuzume to
dispose of excess aluminum conductor materials which are
stored in their depots in Tanay and Bulacan. [17] Thereafter,
Fukuzume agreed to accompany Yu when the latter is going to
take the aluminum scrap wires from the NAPOCOR
compound. [18] When Yu arrived at the NAPOCOR compound
on the scheduled date, Fukuzume was nowhere to be
found. [19] Hence, Yu proceeded to show the documents of
authorization to NAPOCOR personnel. However, the people
from NAPOCOR did not honor the authorization letter issued
by Furukawa dated January 17, 1992. [20]NAPOCOR also
refused to acknowledge the certifications dated December 17,
1991 and December 27, 1991 claiming that these are spurious
as the person who signed these documents is no longer
connected with NAPOCOR as of December 1991. [21] Unable
to get the aluminum scrap wires from the NAPOCOR
compound, Yu talked to Fukuzume and asked from the latter
the refund of the money he paid him. [22] Fukuzume promised
to return Yu's money. [23] When Fukuzume failed to comply
with his undertaking, Yu sent him a demand letter asking for
the
refund
of P424,000.00
plus
loss
of
profits. [24] Subsequently, Yu filed a complaint with the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). [25]
In an Information, dated November 4, 1994, filed with the RTC
of Makati, Fukuzume was charged with estafa committed as
follows:

That sometime in the month of July, 1991 up to


September 17, 1992, in the Municipality of
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, a place
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused, with intent to
prejudice and defraud Javier Yu y Ng, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
make false representation and fraudulent
manifestation that he is the duly authorized
representative of Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., in
the Philippines, and was authorized to sell
excess aluminum conductor materials not being
used by Napocor and Furukawa, the accused
knowing full well that those representations
were false and were only made to induce and
convince said Javier Yu y Ng to buy said
materials, who believing said representations to
be true, gave and delivered the total amount
ofP424,000.00 but the accused once in
possession of the money, far from complying
with his obligation to deliver said aluminum
conductor materials to herein complainant, with
intent of gain, unfaithfulness and abuse of
confidence, applied and used for his own
personal use and benefit the said amount and
despite repeated demands failed and refused
and still fails and refuses to account for, to the
damage and prejudice of Javier Yu y Ng in the
aforementioned amount of P424,000.00.
CONTRARY TO LAW. [26]
Upon being arraigned on February 28, 1995, Fukuzume
pleaded not guilty. [27] Trial ensued.

In its Decision dated October 21, 1996, the trial court found
Fukuzume guilty as charged. The dispositive portion of the
RTC decision reads:
WHEREFORE, all the foregoing premises
considered, the Court hereby finds the accused
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of estafa and hereby orders him to suffer the
maximum penalty of imprisonment for twenty
(20) years. With respect to his civil liability,
accused is hereby ordered to pay complainant
the amount of P424,000.00 plus legal interest
from the date of demand until fully paid.
SO ORDERED. [28]
Aggrieved by the trial court's decision, Fukuzume filed an
appeal with the CA.
On March 13, 2000, the CA promulgated its decision affirming
the findings and conclusions of the trial court but modifying the
penalty imposed, thus:
although the trial court correctly imposed the
maximum penalty of imprisonment for twenty
(20) years, it failed to determine the minimum
penalty for the offense committed (prision
correccional in its maximum period to prision
mayor in its minimum period but imposed in the
maximum period), hence, the penalty is
modified to six (6) years and one (1) day
of prision mayor in its minimum period, as the

minimum, to not more than twenty (20) years


of reclusion temporal in its maximum period, as
maximum. [29]
Accordingly, the dispositive portion of the CA Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from,
except for the aforementioned modification in
the prison term of appellant, is hereby
AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED. [30]

Hence, herein petition filed by Fukuzume based on the


following grounds:
THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE
COURT OF APPEALS THAT THE TRIAL
COURT OF MAKATI HAS JURISDICTION IS
NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE
APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME
COURT.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF
SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD
WITH LAW OR WITH THE APPLICABLE
DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT
WHEN IT CONCLUDED THAT THE ALLEGED
FALSE PRETENSE WAS EXECUTED PRIOR
TO OR SIMULTANEOUS WITH THE
ALLEGED COMMISSION OF THE FRAUD.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS


HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF
SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD
WITH LAW OR WITH THE APPLICABLE
DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT BY
FAILING TO CONSIDER THAT THE
ORIGINAL TRANSACTION BETWEEN THE
PETITIONER AND PRIVATE COMPLAINANT
HAD BEEN NOVATED AND CONVERTED
INTO A MERE DEBTOR-CREDITOR
RELATIONSHIP, THEREBY EXTINGUISHING
THE INCIPIENT CRIMINAL LIABILITY
THEREOF, IF ANY. [31]
We agree with Fukuzume's contention that the CA erred in
ruling that the RTC of Makati has jurisdiction over the offense
charged. The CA ruled:

The trial court of Makati has jurisdiction. Subject


to existing laws, in all criminal prosecutions, the
action shall be instituted and tried in the court of
the municipality or territory wherein the offense
was committed or any one of the essential
ingredients thereof took place (Rule 110, Sec.
15, Rules of Court). Although the false
representation and verbal contract of sale of the
aluminum scrap wires took place at appellant's
residence in Paraaque, appellant and private
complainant nevertheless admitted that the
initial payment ofP50,000.00 for said
transaction was made at the Hotel
Intercontinental in Makati City (Record, pp. 15,
68). Hence, an element of the crime ' that the

offended party was induced to part with his


money because of the false pretense ' occurred
within the jurisdiction of the lower court giving it
jurisdiction over the instant case.

The CA ruled on the basis of the sworn statement of Yu filed


with the NBI on April 19, 1994 [32] and the affidavit of
Fukuzume which was subscribed on July 20, 1994. [33]
With respect to the sworn statement of Yu, which was
presented in evidence by the prosecution, it is clear that he
alleged therein that on July 12, 1991, he gave Fukuzume the
amount of P50,000.00 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati.
However, we agree with Fukuzume's contention that Yu
testified during his direct examination that on July 12, 1991 he
gave the amount of P50,000.00 to Fukuzume in the latter's
house. It is not disputed that Fukuzume's house is located in
Paraaque. Yu testified thus:

Q Mr. Witness, you testified the last time


that you know the accused in
this case, Mr. Yusuke
Fukuzume?
A Yes, sir.

FISCAL E. HIRANG
Q Now, would you enlighten us under
what circumstance you came to
know the accused?
A I know the accused Mr. Yusuke
Fukuzume through Mr. Hubati.
Q And why or how did Mr. Hubati come
to know the accused, if you
know?
A Mr. Hubati came to my place dealing
with the aluminum scrap wires.

Q When was that, Mr. Witness?


A That was in 1991, sir.
COURT

When?
ATTY. N. SERING
FISCAL E. HIRANG
Your Honor, may I move to strike out the
answer. It is not responsive to
the question.
COURT

Your Honor please, may the witness be


allowed to consult his memorandum.
A July 12, 1991, sir.

Please wait until the answer is


completed.
Q Now, you met this Mr. Hubati. How?
A He came to me offering me aluminum
scrap wires.

Q And what transpired during that time


you met Mr. Hubati?
A We went to the house of Mr.
Fukuzume and game (sic) him
some amount of money.
Q Now, would you tell the Court the
reason why you parted to the
accused in this case the amount
of money?

ATTY. N. SERING
A In payment of the aluminum scrap
wires and we have documents to
that effect.
Q Now, please tell us what really was
that transaction that took place
at the house of Mr. Fukuzume on
that particular date?
A Our agreement with Mr. Hubati and
with Mr. Fukuzume is that, I am
going to give money in payment
of the aluminum scrap wires
coming from Furukawa Eletric
Company.

Objection, Your Honor.

FISCAL E. HIRANG

The complainant testified he


gave P50,000. I am asking how much
the complainant gave to the accused on
that particular date.

Q How much is the amount of money


which you agreed to give to the
accused?

A On July 12, I gave him P50,000 on


that date.

A Our first agreement was for P200,000.

Q Not P200,000?

Q Where is that aluminum scrap


located?

A No, sir. [34]

A The electric aluminum scrap wires


was or were under the care of
the National Power Corporation
but according to Mr. Fukuzume it
belongs to Furukawa Electric
Company.
Q In short, Mr. Witness, on July 12,
1991, you only gave to the
accused the amount of P50,000?

Settled is the rule that whenever there is inconsistency


between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness in court,
the testimony commands greater weight considering that
affidavits taken ex parte are inferior to testimony given in court,
the former being almost invariably incomplete and oftentimes
inaccurate. [35]
More importantly, we find nothing in the direct or crossexamination of Yu to establish that he gave any money to
Fukuzume or transacted business with him with respect to the

subject aluminum scrap wires inside or within the premises of


the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati, or anywhere in

take jurisdiction and to try the case and to render


judgment. [40]

Makati for that matter. Venue in criminal cases is an essential


element of jurisdiction. [36] CitingUy vs. Court of
Appeals, [37] we held in the fairly recent case of Macasaet vs.
People [38] that:

In the present case, the criminal information against


Fukuzume was filed with and tried by the RTC of Makati. He
was charged with estafa as defined under Article 315,
paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, the elements of
which are as follows:

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 took place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the court. Territorial
jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory
where the court has jurisdiction to take
cognizance or to try the offense allegedly
committed therein by the accused. Thus, it
cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged
with an offense allegedly committed outside of
that limited territory. Furthermore, the
jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is
determined by the allegations in the complaint
or information. And once it is so shown, the
court may validly take cognizance of the
case.However, if the evidence adduced
during the trial show that the offense was
committed somewhere else, the court
should dismiss the action for want of
jurisdiction. [39] (Emphasis supplied)
Where life or liberty is affected by its proceedings, the court
must keep strictly within the limits of the law authorizing it to

1. That there must be a false pretense,


fraudulent act or fraudulent means.
2. That such false pretense, fraudulent act or
fraudulent means must be made or executed
prior to or simultaneously with the commission
of the fraud.
3. That the offended party must have relied on
the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent
means, that is, he was induced to part with his
money or property because of the false
pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means.
4. That as a result thereof, the offended party
suffered damage. [41]

The crime was alleged in the Information as having been


committed in Makati. However, aside from the sworn
statement executed by Yu on April 19, 1994, the prosecution

presented no other evidence, testimonial or documentary, to


corroborate Yu's sworn statement or to prove that any of the
above-enumerated elements of the offense charged was
committed in Makati. Indeed, the prosecution failed to
establish that any of the subsequent payments made by Yu in
the amounts ofP50,000.00 on July 12, 1991, P20,000.00 on
July 22, 1991, P50,000.00 on October 14, 1991
andP170,000.00 on October 18, 1991 was given in Makati.
Neither was there proof to show that the certifications
purporting to prove that NAPOCOR has in its custody the
subject aluminum scrap wires and that Fukuzume is
authorized by Furukawa to sell the same were given by
Fukuzume to Yu in Makati. On the contrary, the testimony of
Yu established that all the elements of the offense charged
had been committed in Paraaque, to wit: that on July 12, 1991,
Yu went to the house of Fukuzume in Paraaque; that with the
intention of selling the subject aluminum scrap wires, the latter
pretended that he is a representative of Furukawa who is
authorized to sell the said scrap wires; that based on the false
pretense of Fukuzume, Yu agreed to buy the subject
aluminum scrap wires; that Yu paid Fukuzume the initial
amount of P50,000.00; that as a result, Yu suffered damage.
Stated differently, the crime of estafa, as defined and
penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised
Penal Code, was consummated when Yu and Fukuzume met
at the latter's house in Paraaque and, by falsely pretending to
sell aluminum scrap wires, Fukuzume was able to induce Yu
to part with his money.

The Office of the Solicitor General argues that Fukuzume


himself alleged in his affidavit dated July 20, 1994 that in an
unspecified date, he received P50,000.00 from Yu at the
Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. However, we cannot rely on
this affidavit for the reason that it forms part of the records of
the preliminary investigation and, therefore, may not be
considered evidence. It is settled that the record of the
preliminary investigation, whether conducted by a judge or a
prosecutor, shall not form part of the record of the case in the
RTC. [42] In People vs. Crispin, [43] this Court held that the
fact that the affidavit formed part of the record of the
preliminary investigation does not justify its being treated as
evidence because the record of the preliminary investigation
does not form part of the record of the case in the RTC. Such
record must be introduced as evidence during trial, and the
trial court is not compelled to take judicial notice of the
same. [44] Since neither prosecution nor defense presented in
evidence Fukuzume's affidavit, the same may not be
considered part of the records, much less evidence.
From the foregoing, it is evident that the prosecution failed to
prove that Fukuzume committed the crime of estafa in Makati
or that any of the essential ingredients of the offense took
place in the said city. Hence, the judgment of the trial court
convicting Fukuzume of the crime of estafa should be set
aside for want of jurisdiction, without prejudice, however, to the
filing of appropriate charges with the court of competent
jurisdiction.

It is noted that it was only in his petition with the CA that


Fukuzume raised the issue of the trial court's jurisdiction over
the offense charged. Nonetheless, the rule is settled that an
objection based on the ground that the court lacks jurisdiction
over the offense charged may be raised or considered motu
propio by the court at any stage of the proceedings or on
appeal. [45] Moreover, jurisdiction over the subject matter in a
criminal case cannot be conferred upon the court by the
accused, by express waiver or otherwise, since such
jurisdiction is conferred by the sovereign authority which
organized the court, and is given only by law in the manner
and form prescribed by law. [46] While an exception to this
rule was recognized by this Court beginning with the landmark
case of Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, [47] wherein the defense of
lack of jurisdiction by the court which rendered the questioned
ruling was considered to be barred by laches, we find that the
factual circumstances involved in said case, a civil case, which
justified the departure from the general rule are not present in
the instant criminal case.

Thus, having found that the RTC of Makati did not have
jurisdiction to try the case against Fukuzume, we find it
unnecessary to consider the other issues raised in the present
petition.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed


decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR
No. 21888
are SET ASIDE on ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of
the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 146. Criminal Case
No. 95-083 is DISMISSED without prejudice.
SO ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. Nos. 118013-14 October 11, 1995
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HON.
DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, as Presiding Judge of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 54, Bacolod City, and
P/COL. NICOLAS M. TORRES, P/INSP. ADONIS C. ABETO,
PO MARIO LAMIS Y FERNANDEZ, PO JOSE PAHAYUPAN,
PO VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., JEANETTE YANSONDUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS, DOMINADOR
GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME GARGALLANO,
ROLANDO R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN DIVINAGRACIA,
TEODY DELGADO, CESAR PECHA, and EDGAR
HILADO, Respondents.
DAVIDE, JR., J.:chanrobles virtual law library
At issue in this special civil action for certiorari is whether it is
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City or the
Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over the two criminal
cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder wherein some of

the accused implicated as principals are members of the


Philippine National Police
(PNP).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
On 13 January 1994, two informations for kidnapping for
ransom with murder were filed with the RTC of Bacolod City
against fourteen persons, five of whom are members of the
PNP, namely, P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres, P/Insp. Adonis C.
Abeto, Police Officers Mario Lamis, Jose Pahayupan, and
Vicente Canuday, Jr.; the other nine are civilians. The
informations, later docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 15562
and 15563 in Branch 47 of the said court, are similarly worded,
except as to the names of the victims, who are Rufino Gargar,
Jr. in the first case and Danilo Lumangyao in the second, thus:
The undersigned hereby accuses JEANETTE YANSONDUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS (BOTH AS
PRINCIPALS BY INDUCTION), POLICE COL. NICOLAS M.
TORRES (AS PRINCIPAL BY INDUCTION AND BY
DIRECTION AND/OR INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION),
POLICE INSPECTOR ADONIS C. ABETO, POLICE
OFFICERS MARIO LAMIS Y FERNANDEZ, JOSE
PAHAYUPAN, VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., DOMINADOR
GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME GARGALLANO, ROLANDO
R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN DIVINAGRACIA, TEODY
DELGADO, ALL AS PRINCIPALS BY PARTICIPATION,
CESAR PECHA AND EDGAR HILADO, BOTH AS
ACCESSORIES, of the crime of KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM
WITH MURDER, committed as follows:chanrobles virtual law
library
That during the period beginning in the late afternoon of
August 6, 1992 and ending the late evening of the following
day in Sitio Pedrosa, Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City, Philippines
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, conspiring, confederating and concurring in a

common criminal intent and execution thereof with one


another, save for the accessories for the purpose of extracting
or extorting the sum of P353, 000.00, did, then and there
wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously to wit:
Acting upon the inducement of spouses Jeanette YansonDumancas and Charles Dumancas, under the direction
cooperation and undue influence, exerted by P/Col. Nicolas M.
Torres, taking advantage of his position as Station
Commander of the Philippine National Police, Bacolod City
Station, with the direct participation and cooperation of Police
Inspector Adonis C. Abeto, other police officers Vicente
Canuday, Jr., Jose Pahayupan, Mario Lamis, civilian (police)
agents Rolando R. Fernandez, Edwin Divinagracia, Teody
Delgado, Jaime Gargallano, also taking advantage of their
respective positions, and Dominador Geroche, concurring and
affirming in the said criminal design, with the use of motor
vehicle abduct, kidnap and detain one RUFINO GARGAR, JR.
(Criminal Case No. 94-15562 and DANILO LUMANGYAO
(Criminal Case No. 94-15563), shortly thereafter at around
11:00 o'clock in the evening of August 7, 1992, failing in their
aforesaid common purpose to extort money and in furtherance
of said conspiracy, with evident premeditation and treachery
nocturnity and the use of motor vehicle, did then and there
shot and kill the said victims, while being handcuffed and
blindfolded; that accused Cesar Pecha and Edgar Hilado, with
knowledge that the said Gargar [and Lumangyao, in Crim.
Case No. 94-15563 were victims] of violence, did then and
there secretly bury the corpses in a makeshift shallow grave
for the purpose of concealing the crime of murder in order to
prevent its discovery for a fee of P500.00 each; aforesaid act
or acts has caused damage and prejudice to the heirs of said
victims, to wit:
P 50,000.00
50,000.00

as indemnity for death;


actual damages;

300,000.00

100,000.00
50,000.00

compensatory damages
(Lost income);
moral damages;
exemplary damages.

CONTRARY TO LAW (Articles 268 and 248 in relation to


Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code). 1
These cases were consolidated.
Each of the accused pleaded not guilty upon arraignment.
Later, they filed their respective motions for bail. At the
hearings thereof, the prosecution presented state witness
Moises Grandeza, the alleged lone eyewitness and coconspirator in the commission of the complex crimes. After the
completion of his testimony, the trial court, per Judge Edgar G.
Garvilles, granted bail in favor of only six of the accused,
namely, P/Insp. Adonis Abeto, Police Officers Jose
Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr., Charles Dumancas,
Edgar Hilado, and Cesar Pecha. The other eight accused who
were denied bail are now detained at the City Jail of Bacolod
City. 2
Through the testimony of Grandeza, the prosecution
established that in response to the complaint of spouses
Charles and Jeanette Dumancas, P/Col. Nicolas Torres
instructed his men to look for Rufino Gargar and Danilo
Lumangyao who were allegedly members of the group that
had swindled the Dumancas spouses. On 6 August 1992,
Police Officer Mario Lamis, together with civilian agents,
namely, Teody Delgado, Edwin Divinagracia, Jaime
Gargallano, Rolando Fernandez, and Moises Grandeza,
arrested and abducted the two swindling suspects.
Conformably with Torres's order, the two suspects were
brought to Dragon Lodge Motel. There, they were investigated

by Police Inspector Adonis Abeto and Police Officers Jose


Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr.. They were then taken
to the Ceres Compound, where Jeanette Dumancas identified
Lumangyao as a member of the group that had swindled her.
She then asked about the money that the group had received
from her. Upon being told by Lumangyao that the money had
already been divided among his partners long time ago, she
said to the accused, specifically to Dominador Geroche:
"Doming, bring these two to the PC or police and I will call
Atty. Geocadin so that proper cases could be filed against
them." Thereafter, the two suspects were transferred to D'
Hacienda Motel, then to Moonlit Inn, then to Casa Mel Lodge,
and back to D' Hacienda Motel, where the two were shot and
killed. The team forthwith went to the office of P/Col. Torres
and reported that the killing had been done. The latter told
them: "You who are here inside, nobody knows what you have
done, but you have to hide because the NBI's are after you." 3
Thereafter, the prosecution rested its case and the trial court
started to receive the evidence for the accused. Accused
Torres and Abeto presented their respective evidence.
Presentation of evidence by the other accused was, however,
suspended because of the motions of several accused for the
inhibition of Judge Garvilles. Despite opposition by the
prosecution, Judge Garvilles voluntarily inhibited himself from
further hearing both cases, which were thereafter re-raffled to
Branch 54, presided by herein public respondent Judge
Demosthenes L.
Magallanes.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
On 24 June 1994, the private prosecutors moved for the
transmittal of the records of the cases to the Sandiganbayan
on the ground that, pursuant to our decision of 11 March 1994
in Republic of the Philippines vs. Asuncion, 4 the trial court has
no jurisdiction over the cases because the offenses charged

were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP


officers. In his Manifestation with Urgent Motion to Transmit
Records, the State Prosecutor adopted the motion of the
private prosecutors. 5
In its order of 15 August 1994, 6 the trial court, thru respondent
Judge, ruled that the Sandiganbayan does not have
jurisdiction over the subject cases because the informations do
not state that the offenses were committed in relation to the
office of the accused PNP officers. Citing People vs.
Montilla, 7 it held that the allegation in the informations that the
accused PNP officers took advantage of their office in the
commission of the offense charged is merely an allegation of
an aggravating circumstance. It further stated that a public
office is not a constituent element of the offense of kidnapping
with murder nor is the said offense intimately connected with
the office. It then denied the motion for transfer of the records
to the Sandiganbayan and declared that the trial of the case
should continue.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library
Relying on People vs. Montejo, 8 the prosecution moved to
reconsider the said order. 9
On 7 September 1994, 10 the trial court issued an order
denying the motion becausePeople vs. Montejo is not
applicable, since in that case there was (a) an intimate
connection between the offense charged and the public
position of the accused and (b) a total absence of personal
motive; whereas, in these cases, no such intimate connection
exists and the informations emphasize that the accused were
moved by selfish motives of ransom and
extortion.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library

The respondent Judge then resumed the reception of the


evidence for the other accused. Accused Gargallano,
Fernandez, Lamis, Delgado, and Geroche, as well as his three
witnesses, had already completed their respective testimonies
when, upon motion of the prosecution, the respondent Judge
voluntarily inhibited himself on 15 September 1994. The cases
were then re-raffled to Branch 49 of the RTC of Bacolod
City.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
On 5 December 1994, the prosecution, represented by the
Office of the Solicitor General, filed with us a petition
for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus with a prayer for a
temporary restraining order challenging the refusal of the
respondent Judge to transfer the cases to the
Sandiganbayan.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library
On 12 December 1994, we required the respondents to
comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining
order enjoining the public respondent or his successor to
desist from proceeding with the trial of the subject cases. 11
On 27 February 1995, after considering the allegations,
issues, and arguments adduced in the petition as well as in the
comments of the private respondents, we gave due course to
the petition and required the parties to submit their respective
memoranda. Most of them submitted their memoranda, while
the petitioner and some of the private respondents adopted
their initiatory pleadings as their
memoranda.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
On 22 March 1995, private respondent Jeanette YansonDumancas filed an urgent motion for the grant of bail, 12 which
we noted on 15 May 1995. 13

Deliberating on the arguments adduced by the parties, we are


convinced that public respondent Judge Magallanes
committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding that it is his
court and not the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over
the two cases for kidnapping for ransom with
murder.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
At the time the informations in the said cases were filed, the
law governing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was
Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861,
which pertinently provides as follows:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall
exercise:chanrobles virtual law library
(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
(1) 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 of
the Revised Penal Code;chanrobles virtual law library
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and
employees in relation to their office, including those employed
in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether
simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty
prescribed by Law is higher than prision correccional or
imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of
16,000.00: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that offenses or felonies
mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by
law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment of
six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper
Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial
Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
(b) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction:

(1) On appeal, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders


of the Regional Trial Courts in cases originally decided by
them in their respective territorial
jurisdiction.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
(2) By petition for review, from the final judgments, resolutions
or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their
appellate jurisdiction over cases originally decided by the
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
Circuit Trial Court, in their respective jurisdiction.
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
In case private individuals are charged as co-principals,
accomplices or accessories with the public officers or
employees, including those employed in government-owned or
controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said
public officers and employees.
Applying this section, we held in Aguinaldo vs.
Domagas 14 that for the Sandiganbayan to
have exclusive original jurisdiction over offenses or felonies
committed by public officers or employees under Section 4(a)
(2) above, it is not enough that the penalty prescribed therefor
is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six
years, or a fine of P6,000.00; it is also necessary that the
offenses or felonies were committed in relation to their office.
We reiterated this pronouncement in Sanchez vs.
Demetriou, 15 Natividad vs. Felix, 16 and Republic vs.
Asuncion, 17 In Sanchez, we restated the principle laid down
inMontilla vs. Hilario 18 that an offense may be considered as
committed in relation to the office if it cannot exist without the
office, or if the office is a constituent element of the crime as
defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined
and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the

Revised Penal Code. We also reiterated the principle


in People vs. Montejo 19 that the offense must be intimately
connected with the office of the offender, and we further
intimated that the fact that the offense was committed in
relation to the office must be alleged in the information. 20

It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the


allegations in the complaint or information, 21 and not by the
result of evidence after trial. 22

There is no dispute that the prescribed penalties for the


offenses charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563
before the court below are higher than prision correcional or
imprisonment for more than six years. The only question that
remains to be resolved then is whether the said offenses were
committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP
officers.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has


organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes
consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen,
appointed and provided by him with pistols and high power
guns and then established a camp . . . at Tipo-tipo, which is
under his command . . . supervision and control, where his
codefendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints
and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as
assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without
due process of law and without bringing them to the proper
court, and that in line with this set-up established by said
Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his
codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag, who died
in consequence thereof.

Relying on its evidence and on the Montejo case, the


petitioner submits that the crimes charged in the subject cases
were connected with public office because the accused PNP
officers, together with the civilian agents, arrested the two
swindling suspects in the course of the performance of their
duty and not out of personal motive, and if they demanded
from the two suspects the production of the money of the
Dumancas spouses and later killed the two; they did so in the
course of the investigation conducted by them as policemen.
The petitioner further asserts that the allegations in the
informations reading "taking advantage of his position as
Station Commander of the Philippine National Police" and
"taking advantage of their respective positions" presuppose
the exercise of the functions attached to the office of the
accused PNP officers and are sufficient to show that the
offenses charged were committed in relation to their office.
The petitioner then concludes that the cases below fall within
the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library

In Montejo 23 where the amended information alleged:

we held that the offense charged was committed in relation to


the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while
they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of
their official functions and would not have peen committed had
they not held their office; besides, the accused had no
personal motive in committing the crime; thus, there was an
intimate connection between the offense and the office of the
accused.
Unlike in Montejo, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos.
15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that the
accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed
the latter in the course of the investigation. The informations
merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or
extorting the sum of P353,000.00, abducted, kidnapped, and

detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose,


they shot and killed the said victims. For the purpose of
determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall
control, and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at
the trial.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The allegation of "taking advantage of his position" or "taking
advantage of their respective positions" incorporated in the
informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the
definition of "offenses committed in relation to public office."
In Montilla vs. Hilario, 24 such an allegation was considered
merely as an allegation of an aggravating circumstance, 25 and
not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed
in relation to public office, It says:
But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as
an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its
materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not
from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the
manner of the commission of the crime.

petitioner.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law


library
In Dumancas's and Torres's motions for the early resolution of
this case and in Abeto's Supplement to Comment with Motion
to Dismiss all filed in July 1995, it is contended that even
assuming that the informations do charge the accused PNP
officers with crimes committed in relation to their office, still the
Regional Trial Court would have jurisdiction over the subject
cases in view of the amendments to Section 4 of P.D. No.
1606, as amended, introduced by R.A. No. 7975, which was
approved on 30 March 1995, whose Section 2 provides:
Sec. 2. Section 4 of the same decree [Presidential Decree No.
1606, as amended] is hereby further amended to read as
follows:chanrobles virtual law library
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise
original jurisdiction in all cases involving:chanrobles virtual law
library

Also, in Bartolome vs. People of the Philippines, 26 despite the


allegation that the accused public officers committed the crime
of falsification of official document by "taking advantage of
their official positions," this Court held that the Sandiganbayan
had no jurisdiction over the case because "[t]he information
[did] not allege that there was an intimate connection between
the discharge of official duties and the commission of the
offense."chanrobles virtual law library

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 of the
Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal
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:chanrobles virtual law library

Accordingly, for lack of an allegation in the informations that


the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the
accused PNP officers or were intimately connected with the
discharge of the functions of the accused, the subject cases
come within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court 27 and
not of the Sandiganbayan as insisted by the

(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


sanggunian panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers,
assessors, engineers, and other provincial department
heads;chanrobles virtual law library

(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27"
and higher under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 1989.

(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang


panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other
city department heads;chanrobles virtual law library

b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials


and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in
relation to their office.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library

(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of


consul and higher;chanrobles virtual law library

c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection


with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A.

(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and
all officers of higher rank;chanrobles virtual law library

In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying


the positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers
occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their
equivalent, exclusive 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 jurisdictions as
provided in Batas Pambansa Blg.
129.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

(a) PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher


rank;chanrobles virtual law library
(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants and
officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and
special prosecutor;chanrobles virtual law library
(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;chanrobles virtual law library
(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions
of the Constitution;chanrobles virtual law library
(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions,
without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;
andchanrobles virtual law library

The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate


jurisdiction on appeals from the final judgments, resolutions or
orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying
positions lower than grade "27," or not otherwise covered by
the preceding enumeration.
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
In case private individuals are charged as co-principals,
accomplices or accessories with the public officers or
employees, including those employed in government-owned or
- controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said

public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall


have exclusive jurisdiction over them. (emphasis supplied).

jurisdiction of the court a quo. Under Section 4 of P.D. No.


1606, as further amended by R.A. No. 7975:

As a consequence of these amendments, the Sandiganbayan


partly lost its exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving
violations of R.A. No. 3019, 28 as amended; R.A. No.
1379; 29 and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised
Penal Code; 30 it retains only cases where the accused are
those enumerated in subsection a, Section 4 above and,
generally, national and local officials classified as Grade "27"
and higher under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6758). Moreover, its
jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies committed by public
officials and employees in relation to their office is no longer
determined by the prescribed penalty, viz., that which is higher
than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years or a
fine of P6,000.00; it is enough that they are committed by
those public officials and employees enumerated in
subsection a, Section 4 above. However, it retains its
exclusive original jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases filed
pursuant to or in connection with E.O. Nos. 1, 31 2, 32 14, 33and
14-A. 34

In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying


the positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers
occupying the rank of superintendent 35 or higher, or their
equivalent, exclusive 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.
However, the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in
force at the time of the commencement of the action. 36 Under
the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed
with the Sandiganbayan since at the time the informations
were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606,
as amended by P.D. No. 1861. But, would that jurisdiction of
the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975?chanrobles
virtual law library

The respondents maintain that the Sandiganbayan has no


jurisdiction over Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563
because none of the five PNP officers involved therein occupy
the rank of chief superintendent or higher, or are classified as
Grade "27" or higher under R.A. No. 6758 and of the five,
P/Col. Nicolas Torres has the highest rank, viz., Senior
Superintendent whose salary grade under the said Act is
Grade "18."chanrobles virtual law library

Ordinarily, jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by


subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in
another tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is
finally terminated. 37 Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the courts,
as the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over
cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No. 7975. They
retain their jurisdiction until the end of the
litigation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library

Assuming then for the sake of argument that the informations


in the said cases allege that the crimes charged were
committed by the five PNP officers in relation to their office, it
would appear indubitable that the cases would fall within the

In the instant case, the Sandiganbayan has not yet acquired


jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases, as the informations
were filed not before it but before the Regional Trial Court.
Even if we labor under the foregoing assumption that the

informations in the subject cases do charge the respondent


PNP officers with offenses committed in relation to their office
so that jurisdiction thereof would fall under the
Sandiganbayan, and assuming further that the informations
had already been filed with the said tribunal but hearing
thereon has not begun yet, the Sandiganbayan can no longer
proceed to hear the cases in view of the express provision of
Section 7 of R.A. No. 7975. That section provides that upon
the effectivity of the Act, all criminal cases in which trial has
not yet begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the
proper courts. Hence, cases which were previously cognizable
by the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606, as amended, but
are already under the jurisdiction of the courts by virtue of the
amendment introduced by R.A. No. 7975, shall be referred to
the latter courts if hearing thereon has not yet been
commenced in the
Sandiganbayan.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library
It would, therefore, be a futile exercise to transfer the cases to
the Sandiganbayan because the same would anyway be
transferred again to the Regional Trial Court pursuant to
Section 7 of the new law in relation to Section 2
thereof.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
As regards the motions for bail of accused-respondents
Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres, the same must fail.
Section 17, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 17 Bail, where filed. - (a) Bail in the amount fixed may be
filed with the court where the case is pending, or, in the
absence or unavailability of the judge thereof, with another
branch of the same court within the province or city. If the
accused is arrested in a province, city or municipality other
than where the case is pending, bail may be filed also with any
regional trial court of said place, or, if no judge thereof is

available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial


judge or municipal circuit trial judge
therein.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
(b) Whenever the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the
accused seeks to be released on recognizance, the
application therefor may be filed only in the particular court
where the case is pending, whether for preliminary
investigation, trial, on
appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
(c) Any person in custody who is not yet charged in court may
apply for bail with any court in the province, city or municipality
where he is held.
In the instant case, the motions for bail filed by the said
accused-respondents with the Regional Trial Court where the
cases against them are pending were denied sometime in
February, 1994chanrobles virtual law library
In Enrile vs. Salazar, 38 as reiterated in Galvez vs. Court of
Appeals, 39 this Court said: "Only after that remedy [petition to
be admitted to bail] was denied by the trial court should the
review jurisdiction of this Court [be] invoked, and even then,
not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate
relief was also available there."chanrobles virtual law library
There is no showing that the said accused-respondents have
questioned the denial of their applications for bail in a petition
for certiorari either before the Court of Appeals or this Court. It
was only on 26 December 1994, when they filed their
respective comments on the instant petition, that they
challenged the denial premised on the ground that the
evidence of guilt against them was not strong. Even if their
respective Comment and Reiteration of Motion for Bail 40and
respondent Dumancas's Motion for Bail 41 filed on 22 March

1995, were treated as petitions for certiorari, still the same


would not prosper for not having been seasonably filed. While
the Rules of Court does not fix a time-frame for the filing of a
special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court, existing jurisprudence requires that the same be filed
within a reasonable period of time from receipt of the
questioned judgment or order. 42 And, in Philec Workers' Union
vs. Hon. Romeo A. Young 43 it was held that a petition
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court should be
filed within a reasonable period of three months from notice of
the decision or order. Here, about nine to ten months had
already elapsed before the respondents assailed the denial of
their motions for bail. In any event, the private respondents
who were denied bail are not precluded from reiterating before
the trial court their plea for admission to
bail.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The challenged
orders are AFFIRMED, and the motions for bail of accusedrespondents Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres are
DENIED.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
The temporary restraining order issued on 12 December 1994
is LIFTED, and the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City is
directed to immediately resume the hearings of Criminal
Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 and to thereafter resolve them
with reasonable and purposeful
dispatch.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
This decision is immediately
executory.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
SO ORDERED.

Bellosillo and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. NO. 163866 July 29, 2005]
ISIDRO OLIVAREZ, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS
and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
DECISION
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
For review is the Court of Appeals' decision in CA-G.R. CR
No. 228601 which affirmed the judgment2 rendered by the
Regional Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna, Branch 93,3 in
Crim. Case No. 0505-SPL finding petitioner Isidro Olivarez
guilty of violating Section 5, Republic Act No. 7610;4 and its
resolution denying reconsideration thereof.5
The case originated from a complaint filed by the offended
party with the Municipal Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna
which was the basis upon which an information for violation of
R.A. 7610 was filed against Isidro Olivarez, to wit:
The undersigned 4th Assistant Provincial Prosecution (sic) of
Laguna upon a sworn complaint filed by the private
complainant, CRISTINA B. ELITIONG, hereby accuses

ISIDRO OLIVAREZ of the crime of "VIOLATION OF RA 7610",


committed as follows:
That on or about July 20, 1997, in the Municipality of San
Pedro, Province of Laguna, within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, said accused actuated by lewd design did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously by means of
force and intimidation commit acts of lasciviousness on the
person of one CRISTINA B. ELITIONG, by touching her
breasts and kissing her lips, against her will, to her damage
and prejudice.
CONTRARY TO LAW.6
The established facts of this case are as follows:
... The offended party Cristina Elitiong was a 16-year old high
school student who with her brothers were employed by the
accused, 64-year old Isidro Olivarez, in the making of
sampaguita garlands. For one year she had been reporting for
work during weekends at the residence of the accused. Within
the compound and at about three armslength from the main
door of the house was her workplace.
At about 11:30 o'clock in the morning of July 20, 1997,
Cristina, her two brothers Macoy and Dodong, and one named
Liezel were at their work when the accused who was near the
main door called for her. She dutifully approached him. The
accused asked her if she had told her mother that he gave her
money, and when she said that she did not, he embraced her
and held her breast. The workers were facing the street so that
the two were not seen. He pulled her to the kitchen and,
closing the kitchen door, kissed her on the lips. She pushed
him away and went back to her station. Her brother Macoy
saw her crying when she came out of the house. She did not
say a word, but went to the faucet and washed her face.

The offended party continued to finish the garlands she was


working on, and waited until the afternoon for her wages.
When she arrived at her home, she first told her mother that
she no longer wished to go back. When pressed for a reason,
she said basta po mama ayaw ko ng magtuhog. Finally, she
told her mother what happened.
Aurora Elitiong, the mother, accompanied the offended party
to the San Vicente Barangay Hall on July 26 to report the
incident and give a statement. Days later, Cristina gave
another statement to the local police.
In the defense version, the offended party and her brothers
had slept overnight in the house of the accused. When Isidro
woke up in the early morning to relieve himself, he saw the girl
sleeping on the sofa. He admonished her to join her brothers
in the basement. He went back to his room and slept until 8
A.M. Two hours later, at 10 A.M., he left for the Caltex Service
Station which was only a five minute ride from his home by
tricycle. His daughter Analee Olivarez was staying in another
house in the compound and attended a morning mass. When
she returned at 10:30 A.M., she no longer saw her father.
Maritess Buen, the laundrywoman, who was washing clothes
outside the kitchen, saw the accused earlier. By 10 A.M., when
she entered the house, he already left. He returned by
noontime.
The accused testified that he was at the Caltex station for two
and a half hours waiting for the shipment of flowers from
Pampanga. The goods arrived at 12:15 P.M. He left shortly
thereafter and passed by the market before going home. He
arrived at 12:30 P.M. The next several days were uneventful
for him until his laundrywoman Maritess told him that there
was a complaint against him at the barangay office. A meeting
took place between him and the girl's family in the presence of
the barangay authorities. The girl's mother was demanding

P30,000 for the settlement of the case, but he refused to cave


in and told a barangay official Jaime Ramos that he would
rather see his accusers in court than give a centavo because
he did not commit the crime.7
The trial court found Olivarez guilty of violating Section 5 of
R.A. 7610 and sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate
penalty of imprisonment from eight (8) years and one (1) day
of prision mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years, four (4)
months and one (1) day ofreclusion temporal as maximum, to
indemnify the minor Cristina Elitiong in the amount of
P15,000.00 as moral damages and to pay the costs.
On appeal, the decision of the trial court8 was affirmed by the
Court of Appeals. The motion for reconsideration9 filed by the
accused was denied.10 Hence, this Petition for Review 11 on
the following grounds:
I. The Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of
discretion in not holding that the essential elements in
Violation of Section 5, Article III of Republic Act 7610, which
are age of the offended party and that she is an abused or
exploited child as defined in the law, not having been alleged
in the Information, petitioner/accused cannot be found guilty of
said offense and must be acquitted.
II. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred and committed grave
abuse of discretion in holding that the Information charging
petitioner/accused of Violation of Section 5, Republic Act
7610, but failing to allege the essential elements of said
offense, had substantially complied with the requirements of
due process for the accused.
III. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred and gravely abused
its discretion in not reversing the judgment of the trial court
convicting the accused/petitioner and sentencing him to suffer

the penalty of imprisonment for alleged Violation of Section 5,


Republic Act 7610, which was not alleged in the Information.12
Petitioner alleges that his right to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him was violated for
failure to allege in the information the essential elements of the
offense for which he is being charged.
Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610 states:
SEC. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. - Children,
whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other
consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult,
syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious
conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution
and other sexual abuse.
The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period
to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following:
...
(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse
or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or
subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That when the
victim is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall
be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and
Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal
Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may
be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the
victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion
temporal in its medium period; ..." (Italics supplied)
The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5, Article III of
R.A. 7610 are as follows:

1. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse


or lascivious conduct.

other consideration; or (b) under the coercion or influence


of any adult, syndicate or group. ...

2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in


prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.

It must be noted that the law covers not only a situation in


which a child is abused for profit, but also one in which a child,
through coercion or intimidation, engages in lascivious
conduct. (Emphasis supplied)rllbrr

3. The child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of


age.13

We reiterated this ruling in Amployo v. People:17


Section 32, Article XIII, of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of R.A. 7610 defines lascivious conduct as
follows:
[T]he intentional touching, either directly or through
clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or
buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia,
anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or
opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass,
degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person,
bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or
pubic area of a person.14 (Emphasis supplied)rllbrr
The first element obtains in this case. It was established
beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner kissed Cristina and
touched her breasts with lewd designs as inferred from the
nature of the acts themselves and the environmental
circumstances.15
The second element, i.e., that the act is performed with a child
exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse, is
likewise present. As succinctly explained in People v. Larin:16
A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to
other sexual abuse, when the child indulges in sexual
intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money, profit, or any

... As we observed in People v. Larin, Section 5 of Rep. Act


No. 7610 does not merely cover a situation of a child being
abused for profit, but also one in which a child engages in any
lascivious conduct through coercion or intimidation...
Thus, a child is deemed subjected to other sexual abuse when
the child indulges in lascivious conduct under the coercion or
influence of any adult. In this case, Cristina was sexually
abused because she was coerced or intimidated by petitioner
to indulge in a lascivious conduct. Furthermore, it is
inconsequential that the sexual abuse occurred only once. As
expressly provided in Section 3 (b) of R.A. 7610, the abuse
may be habitual or not. It must be observed that Article III of
R.A. 7610 is captioned as "Child Prostitution and Other Sexual
Abuse" because Congress really intended to cover a situation
where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into
lascivious conduct, not necessarily for money or profit. The law
covers not only child prostitution but also other forms of sexual
abuse. This is clear from the deliberations of the Senate:
Senator Angara. I refer to line 9, 'who for money or profit. 'I
would like to amend this, Mr. President, to cover a situation
where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into
this lascivious conduct, not necessarily for money or profit, so
that we can cover those situations and not leave loophole in
this section.

The proposal I have is something like this: WHO FOR


MONEY, PROFIT, OR ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION
OR DUE TO THE COERCION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY
ADULT, SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE, et cetera.

SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE IN SEXUAL


INTERCOURSE, et cetera.

The President Pro Tempore. I see. That would mean also


changing the subtitle of Section 4. Will it no longer be child
prostitution?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection? [Silence]


Hearing none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Angara. No, no. Not necessarily, Mr. President,


because we are still talking of the child who is being misused
for sexual purposes either for money or for consideration.
What I am trying to cover is the other consideration. Because,
here, it is limited only to the child being abused or misused for
sexual purposes, only for money or profit.
I am contending, Mr. President, that there may be situations
where the child may not have been used for profit or ...
The President Pro Tempore. So, it is no longer prostitution.
Because the essence of prostitution is profit.
Senator Angara. Well, the Gentleman is right. Maybe the
heading ought to be expanded.But, still, the President will
agree that that is a form or manner of child abuse.
The President Pro Tempore. What does the Sponsor say? Will
the Gentleman kindly restate the amendment?
ANGARA AMENDMENT
Senator Angara. The new section will read something like this,
Mr. President: MINORS, WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE,
WHO FOR MONEY, PROFIT, OR ANY OTHER
CONSIDERATION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY ADULT,

Senator Lina. It is accepted, Mr. President.

How about the title, 'Child Prostitution,' shall we change that


too?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
Senator Angara. Yes, Mr. President, to cover the expanded
scope.
The President Pro Tempore. Is that not what we would call
probable 'child abuse' ?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
Senator Angara. Yes, Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. Subject to rewording. Is there any
objection? [Silence] Hearing none, the amendment is
approved. x x x. (Italicization supplied)18
Petitioner makes much of the failure to allege in the
information that Cristina was a child below 18 years of age at
the time the offense was committed. He insists that the Court
of Appeals mistakenly relied on the case of People v.
Rosare19 because unlike in Rosare, he had no personal
knowledge of Cristina's age, which he claims was not proven
beyond reasonable doubt.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused is entitled to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him.20 A complaint is sufficient if it states the name of the
accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute;
the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the

offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate date


of the commission of the offense; and the place where the
offense was committed.21

right to file a motion to quash the information if it was filed. The


MTC found probable cause against him and elevated the
records to the provincial prosecutor for filing of the information.

The complaint or information shall state the designation of the


offense given by the statute, aver the acts or omissions
constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and
aggravating circumstances. If there is no designation of the
offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection
of the statute punishing it.22 The acts or omissions complained
of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and
aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and
concise language and not necessarily in the language used in
the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of
common understanding to know what offense is being charged
as well as its qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for
the court to pronounce judgment.23

A complaint is under the Rules one of the two charging


instruments for the offense of which the accused was tried and
convicted here. While the criminal action was instituted by the
complaint of the offended party, the information signed only by
the fiscal ushered in the formal trial process. But both are
accusations in writing against the accused and serve the
purpose of enabling him to take the necessary legal steps for
his defense. What is important is that the information states
that the accused is being charged of an offense under RA
7610 based on the complaint of the offended party, to which
the accused had adequately responded. Under these
conditions, the accused was fully apprised of the accusation
against him. The purpose and objective of the constitutional
mandate are discharged and satisfied. The accused may not
be said to be taken by surprise by the failure of the information
to state the age of the offended party, when he had received
the initiatory complaint where he was told how old the
offended party was.24

In the present case, the Court of Appeals found the


information to be sufficient. Relying on the principle laid down
in People v. Rosare, it held:
Before us is an information for violation of RA 7610 that, as
in Rosare, fails to mention an indispensable element of the
offense, the age of the offended party, but makes allusion to
another document, the sworn complaint of the offended party,
and declares it to be the basis upon which the information was
filed. This instrument is the complaint filed by the offended
party with the Municipal Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna in
which she stated that she was 16 years old at the time of the
offense. It forms part of the initial records of the case and
comes before the posting of bail and entry of the plea of not
guilty before the RTC. It appears that after the charge was
filed with the MTC, and as the preliminary investigation went
underway, the accused filed a manifestation stating that he
had filed a counter-affidavit to the charge and reserved the

We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals. In People


v. Rosare, the information did not allege that the victim was a
mental retardate which is an essential element of the crime of
statutory rape. This Court however sustained the trial court's
judgment of conviction holding that the resolution of the
investigating prosecutor which formed the basis of the
information, a copy of which is attached thereto, stated that the
offended party is suffering from mental retardation. It ruled that
there was substantial compliance with the mandate that an
accused be informed of the nature of the charge against him.
Thus:

Appellant contends that he cannot be convicted of statutory


rape because the fact that the victim was a mental retardate
was never alleged in the information and, absent this element,
the acts charged negate the commission of the offense for
which he was convicted by the lower court.
Pursuant to Section 8, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, we
have decided to motu propriotake cognizance of the resolution
issued by the investigating prosecutor in I.S. No. 92-0197
dated June 2, 1992, which formed the basis of and a copy of
which was attached to the information for rape filed against
herein appellant. Therein, it is clearly stated that the offended
party is suffering from mental retardation. We hold, therefore,
that this should be deemed a substantial compliance with the
constitutional mandate that an accused be informed of the
nature of the charge against him. ...25
In People v. Villamor,26 the information failed to allege the age
of the offended party but since a copy of the order issued by
the investigating judge was attached in the record of the
preliminary investigation clearly stating that the complainant
was nine years old, it was held that there was substantial
compliance with the mandate to inform the accused of the
nature of the accusation. It was also declared that the defense
cannot invoke the element of surprise as to deprive it of the
opportunity to suitably prepare for the accused's defense,
thus:
... Furthermore, even if the information filed did not allege that
the complainant was nine years old, there was substantial
compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be
informed of the nature of the charge against him when the
Order issued by the investigating judge, a copy of which was
attached in the record of the preliminary investigation, clearly
stated that the complainant was nine years old. Consequently,
the defense cannot invoke the element of surprise as to

deprive it of the opportunity to suitably prepare for the


accused's defense.27
In People v. Galido,28 the information for rape failed to allege
the element of force or intimidation. The Court ruled that this
omission is not fatal since the complaint specifically charged
the accused with three counts of rape committed by means of
force and intimidation. Thus:
Appellant avers that because the Informations on which he
was arraigned and convicted did not allege the element of
force or intimidation, he was deprived of his constitutional right
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
against him. He insists that such failure was a fatal defect that
rendered the Informations void.
As a rule, the accused cannot be convicted of an offense,
unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or information.
Otherwise, their constitutional right to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against them would be
violated.
In the present case, appellant correctly pointed out that the
element of "force or intimidation" should have been expressly
alleged in the Informations. This omission is not fatal,
however, because the Complaint specifically accused him of
three counts of rape committed by means of force and
intimidation...29
The same ground was adopted in People v. Mendez30 which
involved an information for rape that failed to allege force or
intimidation. We ruled therein that it was not a fatal omission
because it was stated in the complaint that accused Rosendo
raped Virginita "by means of force."

In People v. Torellos,31 the Court treated the information for


rape which failed to allege force and intimidation as merely
defective and that the deficiency was cured by the failure of
the accused to assail the insufficiency of the allegations in the
Information and by competent evidence presented during trial.
Thus, while it is necessary to allege the essential elements of
the crime in the information, the failure to do so is not an
irremediable vice. When the complaint or the resolution by the
public prosecutor which contain the missing averments is
attached to the information and form part of the records, the
defect in the latter is effectively cured, and the accused cannot
successfully invoke the defense that his right to be informed is
violated.
In the instant case, the missing averment in the information is
supplied by the Complaint which reads in full:
COMPLAINT
The undersigned complainant, accuses ISIDRO OLIVAREZ, of
the crime of VIOLATION OF RA 7610, committed as follows:

also established the minority of the offended party through


competent evidence. Cristina testified that she was 16 years
old and a certification from the Office of the Local Registrar of
San Pedro, Laguna was presented showing that she was born
on October 17, 1980.33The third element of sexual abuse is
therefore present.
The information merely states that petitioner was being
charged for the crime of "violation of R.A. 7610" without citing
the specific sections alleged to have been violated by
petitioner. Nonetheless, we do not find this omission sufficient
to invalidate the information. The character of the crime is not
determined by the caption or preamble of the information nor
from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have
been violated, they may be conclusions of law, but by the
recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint
or information.34 The sufficiency of an information is not
negated by an incomplete or defective designation of the crime
in the caption or other parts of the information but by the
narration of facts and circumstances which adequately depicts
a crime and sufficiently apprise the accused of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him.

CONTRARY TO LAW.32

True, the information herein may not refer to specific section/s


of R.A. 7610 alleged to have been violated by the petitioner,
but it is all to evident that the body of the information contains
an averment of the acts alleged to have been performed by
petitioner which unmistakably refers to acts punishable under
Section 5 of R.A. 7610. As to which section of R.A. 7610 is
being violated by petitioner is inconsequential. What is
determinative of the offense is the recital of the ultimate facts
and circumstances in the complaint or information.

Petitioner was furnished a copy of the Complaint which was


mentioned in the information, hence he was adequately
informed of the age of the complainant. The prosecution has

The prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that


petitioner committed acts of sexual abuse against Cristina.
The trial court found Cristina's testimony to be clear, candid,

That on or about 11:30 A.M. of July 20, 1997 at Brgy. San


Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused with lewd
design did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
commit an act of lasciviousness against one CRISTINA
ELITIONG Y BALDONO, 16 years old, by kissing and touching
her private parts and embracing her against her will.

and straightforward.35 Her testimony, given in a categorical,


straightforward, spontaneous and candid manner, is worthy of
faith and belief.36 In the face of the accusations against him,
petitioner could only interpose uncorroborated alibi and denial.
Denial, like alibi, is an inherently weak defense and cannot
prevail over the positive and categorical identification provided
by eyewitnesses.37 Not only did Cristina identify the petitioner
as her assailant but no ill-motive was adduced why she would
impute against him so grave a charge. This Court will not
interfere with the trial court's assessment of the credibility of
witnesses, absent any indication that some material fact was
overlooked or a grave abuse of discretion committed. None of
the exceptions obtain in the instant case.38

recovery and social reintegration of abused and exploited


children in an environment which fosters their self-respect and
human dignity.

In addition to moral damages, a fine in the amount of


P15,000.00 should likewise be imposed pursuant to our ruling
in Amployo v. People:39

SO ORDERED.

It does not end there. In People v. Abadies, and with respect


specifically to lascivious conduct amounting to child abuse
under Section 5(b) of Rep. Act No. 7610, we imposed a fine of
P30,000 for each count of lascivious conduct in addition to the
award of moral damages on the justification that It will be noted that Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No.
7610 provides for the penalty of imprisonment. Nevertheless,
Section 31(f), Article XII (Common Penal Provisions) thereof
allows the imposition of a fine subject to the discretion of the
court, provided that the same is to be administered as a cash
fund by the Department of Social Welfare and Development
and disbursed for the rehabilitation of each child victim, or any
immediate member of his family if the latter is the perpetrator
of the offense. This provision is in accord with Article 39 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Philippines
became a party on August 21, 1990, which stresses the duty
of states parties to ensure the physical and psychological

With the case of Abadies as guidepost, we impose a fine of


Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) on petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the
Court of Appeals dated January 9, 2004 in CA-G.R. CR No.
22860 and its resolution dated June 4, 2004, are AFFIRMED
with MODIFICATION. In addition to the award of P15,000.00
as moral damages, petitioner Isidro Olivarez is also ordered to
pay a fine in the amount of P15,000.00.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 75079. January 26, 1989.]
SOLEMNIDAD M. BUAYA, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE
WENCESLAO M. POLO, Presiding Judge, Branch XIX,
Regional Trial Court of Manila and the COUNTRY
BANKERS INSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondents.
Apolinario M. Buaya for Petitioner.
Romeo G. Velasquez for respondent Country Bankers
Insurance Corporation.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; AVERMENTS


IN THE COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION, DETERMINATIVE

OF THE CRIME TO BE PROSECUTED AND PROPER


COURT TO HEAR THE CASE. It is well-settled that the
averments in the complaint or information characterize the
crime to be prosecuted and the court before which it must be
tried (Balite v. People, L-21475, Sept. 30, 1966 cited in People
v. Masilang, 142 SCRA 680). The jurisdiction of courts in
criminal cases is determined by the allegations of the
complaint or information, and not by the findings the court may
make after the trial (People v. Mission, 87 Phil. 641).
2. ID.; ID.; VENUE OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION;
GENERAL RULE. Section 14(a), Rule 110 of the Revised
Rules of Court provides: In all criminal prosecutions the action
shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or
province wherein the offense was committed or any of the
essential elements thereof took place.
3. ID.; ID.; ESTAFA FILING A TRANSITORY OFFENSE,
PROSECUTION MAY BE TAKEN WHERE ANY OF THE
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME TOOK PLACE.
The subject information charges petitioner with estafa
committed "during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982 inclusive
in the City of Manila, Philippines . . ." (p. 44, Rollo) Clearly
then, from the very allegation of the information the Regional
Trial Court of Manila has jurisdiction. Besides, the crime of
estafa is a continuing or transitory offense which may be
prosecuted at the place where any of the essential elements of
the crime took place. One of the essential elements of estafa
is damage or prejudice to the offended party. The private
respondent has its principal place of business and office at
Manila. The failure of the petitioner to remit the insurance
premiums she collected allegedly caused damage and
prejudice to private respondent in Manila.

DECISION

PARAS, J.:

Petitioner, Solemnidad M. Buaya, in the instant petition


for certiorari, seeks to annul and set aside the orders of denial
issued by the respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch XIX, on her Motion to Quash/Dismiss and
Motion for Reconsideration in Criminal Case No. L-83-22252
entitled "People of the Philippines v. Solemnidad M. Buaya."
The Motion to Dismiss was anchored on the following grounds
(a) the court has no jurisdiction over the case and (b) the
subject matter is purely civil in nature.
It appears that petitioner was an insurance agent of the private
respondent, who was authorized to transact and underwrite
insurance business and collect the corresponding premiums
for and in behalf of the private Respondent. Under the terms of
the agency agreement, the petitioner is required to make a
periodic report and accounting of her transactions and remit
premium collections to the principal office of private
respondent located in the City of Manila. Allegedly, an audit
was conducted on petitioners account which showed a
shortage in the amount of P358,850.72. As a result she was
charged with estafa in Criminal Case No. 83-22252, before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XIX with the
respondent Hon. Wenceslao Polo as the Presiding Judge.
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss which motion was denied
by respondent Judge in his Order dated March 26, 1986. The
subsequent motion for reconsideration of this order of denial
was also denied.
These two Orders of denial are now the subject of the present
petition. It is the contention of petitioner that the Regional Trial
Court of Manila has no jurisdiction because she is based in

Cebu City and necessarily the funds she allegedly


misappropriated were collected in Cebu City.
Petitioner further contends that the subject matter of this case
is purely civil in nature because the fact that private
respondent separately filed Civil Case No. 83-14931 involving
the same alleged misappropriated amount is an acceptance
that the subject transaction complained of is not proper for a
criminal action.
The respondents on the other hand, call for adherence to the
consistent rule that the denial of a motion to dismiss or to
quash, being interlocutory in character, cannot be questioned
by certiorari and it cannot be the subject of appeal until final
judgment or order is rendered (Sec. 2, Rule 41, Rules of
Court). The ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case
is to enter a plea, go to trial and if the decision is adverse,
reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment
(Newsweek Inc. v. IAC, 142 SCRA 171).chanrobles.com :
virtual law library
The general rule is correctly stated. But this is subject to
certain exceptions. The reason is that it would be unfair to
require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and
expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the
subject matter or offense or it is not the court of proper venue.
Here, petitioner questions the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Court of Manila to take cognizance of this criminal case for
estafa.
It is well-settled that the averments in the complaint or
information characterize the crime to be prosecuted and the
court before which it must be tried (Balite v. People, L-21475,
Sept. 30, 1966 cited in People v. Masilang, 142 SCRA 680).

In Villanueva v. Ortiz, Et. Al. (L-15344, May 30, 1960, 108 Phil,
493) this Court ruled that in order to determine the jurisdiction
of the court in criminal cases, the complaint must be examined
for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the facts set out
therein and the punishment provided for by law fall within the
jurisdiction of the court where the complaint is filed. The
jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the
allegations of the complaint or information, and not by the
findings the court may make after the trial (People v. Mission,
87 Phil. 641).
The information in the case at bar reads as
follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The undersigned accuses Solemnidad Buaya of the crime of
estafa, committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982, inclusive, in the
City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud the Country
Bankers Insurance Corporation represented by Elmer Baez
duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines,
with principal address at 9th floor, G.R. Antonio Bldg., T.M.
Kalaw, Ermita, in said City, in the following manner, to wit: the
said accused having been authorized to act as insurance
agent of said corporation, among whose duties were to remit
collections due from customers thereat and to account for and
turn over the same to the said Country Bankers Insurance
Corporation represented by Elmer Baez, as soon as possible
or immediately upon demand, collected and received the
amount of P358,850.00 representing payments of insurance
premiums from customers, but herein accused, once in
possession of said amount, far from complying with her
aforesaid obligation, failed and refused to do so and with intent
to defraud, absconded with the whole amount thereby
misappropriated, misapplied and converted the said amount of

P358,850.00 to her own personal used and benefit, to the


damage and prejudice of said Country Bankers Insurance
Corporation in the Amount of P358,850.00 Philippine
Currency.
"CONTRARY TO LAW." (p. 44, Rollo)
Section 14(a), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court
provides: In all criminal prosecutions the action shall be
instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province
wherein the offense was committed or any of the essential
elements thereof took place.
The subject information charges petitioner with estafa
committed "during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982 inclusive
in the City of Manila, Philippines . . ." (p. 44, Rollo)
Clearly then, from the very allegation of the information the
Regional Trial Court of Manila has jurisdiction.
Besides, the crime of estafa is a continuing or transitory
offense which may be prosecuted at the place where any of
the essential elements of the crime took place. One of the
essential elements of estafa is damage or prejudice to the
offended party. The private respondent has its principal place
of business and office at Manila. The failure of the petitioner to
remit the insurance premiums she collected allegedly caused
damage and prejudice to private respondent in
Manila.chanrobles.com : virtual law library
Anent petitioners other contention that the subject matter is
purely civil in nature, suffice it to state that evidentiary facts on
this point have still to be proved.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
The case is remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Manila,

Branch XIX for further proceedings.


SO ORDERED.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. NO. 149357. March 04, 2005]
MOBILIA PRODUCTS, INC., Petitioners, v. HAJIME
UMEZAWA, Respondent.
[G.R. NO. 149403. March 04, 2005]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioners, v. HON. JUDGE
RUMOLDO R. FERNANDEZ and HAJIME
UMEZAWA, Respondents.
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
Before the Court are two consolidated petitions: a Petition for
Review on Certiorari filed by the People of the Philippines,
docketed as G.R. No. 149403 of the Resolution1 of the Court
of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 52440 which reversed its
decision and granted the Petition for Certiorari, prohibition
andmandamus filed by respondent Hajime Umezawa; and the
Petition for Review on Certiorari docketed as G.R. No. 149357
filed by petitioner Mobilia Products, Inc. (MPI), the intervenor
in the CA, assailing the same Resolution of the appellate
court.
The Antecedents

The antecedents were amply summarized by the Office of the


Solicitor General (OSG) in the petition at bar, to wit:

Furniture Fair 1995 held at the Word Trade Centre of


Singapore on March 6 to 10, 1995.

Mobilia Products, Inc. is a corporation engaged in the


manufacture and export of quality furniture which caters only
to the purchase orders booked and placed through Mobilia
Products Japan, the mother company which does all the
marketing and booking. After orders from customers are
booked at the mother company in Japan, the same are
coursed through Mobilia Philippines for implementation and
production, after which, the ordered items are shipped to
Japan through the mother company.

One of the requirements of such Fair was that the furniture


exhibits must arrive and be received at Singapore not later
than February 23, 1995. Pressed for time, with less than one
month to prepare and while Astem had yet no equipment and
machinery, no staff and no ready personnel, Umezawa, with
grave abuse of the confidence reposed on him as President
and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., and in
conspiracy with his wife, his sister Mitsuyo Yaguchi, Yoshikazu
Hayano and Justin Legaspi, all with intent to gain for
themselves and for their company Astem Philippines
Corporation, stole prototype furniture from petitioner Mobilia so
that the said pieces of furniture would be presented and
exhibited as belonging to Astem in the International Furniture
Fair '95 in Singapore.

Mobilia Products Japan sent Hajime Umezawa to the


Philippines in order to head Mobilia Products, Inc. as President
and General Manager. To qualify him as such and as a Board
Director, he was entrusted with one nominal share of stock.
Sometime in the last week of January 1995, Umezawa, then
the President and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc.,
organized another company with his wife Kimiko, and his
sister, Mitsuyo Yaguchi, to be known as Astem Philippines
Corporation, without the knowledge of the Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer Susumo Kodaira and the other
members of the Board of Directors of Mobilia.
The said company would be engaged in the same business as
Mobilia. Spouses Umezawa recruited Justin Legaspi, former
Production Manager of Mobilia, to act as Manager and one
Yoshikazu Hayano of Phoenix Marble Corporation to serve as
investors [sic].
Pending formal organization, Spouses Umezawa, Justin
Legaspi and Yoshikazu Hayano wanted to accelerate the
market potentials of Astem by participating in the International

In order to avoid detection, Umezawa contacted Henry Chua,


the owner of Dew Foam, one of the suppliers of Mobilia, for
that the latter to load several pieces of prototype furniture into
a Dew Foam truck and store them at the Dew Foam
warehouse. The first batch of furniture was stolen on February
8, 1995, when Mr. Henry Chua, upon the request of
respondent Umezawa, caused to be loaded into his Dew
Foam truck two prototype sofa models worth P500,000.00,
after which, the same were spirited from the Mobilia
compound, then transported and stored in Henry Chua's
warehouse.
Again, on February 18, 1995, Umezawa, with grave abuse of
confidence and taking advantage of his position as President
and General Manager, unlawfully stole expensive furniture
from Mobilia's factory worth P2,964,875.00. In order to avoid
detection, the said furniture were loaded in the truck belonging
to Dew Foam, with respondent Umezawa personally

supervising the loading, the carting and spiriting away of the


said furniture. Thus, taking advantage of his position as
General Manager, he managed to have the said furniture
taken out of the company premises and passed the company
guard without any problem and difficulty.
Further, on February 19, 1995, around 1 o'clock in the
afternoon, respondent Umezawa again loaded into his motor
vehicle, and took away from company premises under the
same irregular and unlawful circumstances, an expensive
three-seater sofa worth P255,000.00.
The taking out of the said furniture was effected in violation of
the standard procedures established by petitioner corporation
which requires that every shipment or taking out of the
furniture be checked and reviewed by Mobilia's Production,
Planning, Inventory Costing and Control (PPICC) Division. All
the foregoing furniture were transported to and stored at Henry
Chua's warehouse. After sometime, the foregoing furniture
were photographed for slide photos at Photo Folio at the
Reclamation Area, Cebu City and then finally catalogued for
use in the Singapore Fair for the use of Astem and its
supposed owners, namely: spouses Umezawa, Hayano and
Legaspi. The foregoing furniture models were finally shipped
for exhibition at the International Furniture Fair '95 in
Singapore as furniture belonging to Astem Philippines
Corporation.
Sometime in March 1995, based on orders booked for Astem,
Umezawa, with unfaithfulness and abuse of confidence
reposed on him as the President and General Manager of
petitioner Mobilia, ordered and caused the manufacture of
eighty-nine (89) pieces of furniture with a total value
ofP17,108,500.00. The said pieces of furniture were made with
Mobilia supplies, materials and machineries, as well as with
Mobilia time and personnel, all of which were under the

administration and control of Umezawa as President and


General Manager. The said materials and supplies, the time
and labor, were supposed to be used for the manufacture and
production of quality furniture for the EXCLUSIVE USE of
Mobilia. However, Umezawa, in violation of his duty to apply
the same for the use of Mobilia and the duty to account for the
same, converted their use for the benefit of Astem or for the
use and benefit of Umezawa, his wife and sister, Yoshikazu
Hayano and Legaspi, much to the damage and prejudice of
Mobilia Products.
The same furniture could also have been taken out of the
company premises by Umezawa and cohorts for shipment and
delivery to Astem customers had it not been for the timely
discovery of the previous theft. '2
The Board of Directors of MPI, consisting of its Chairman
Susumo Kodaira and members Yasushi Kato and Rolando
Nonato, approved a Resolution on May 2, 1995 authorizing the
filing of a complaint against Umezawa for two counts of
qualified theft allegedly committed on February 18 and 19,
1995. Attached to the complaint was the Joint Affidavit of
Danilo Lallaban, George del Rio and Yasushi Kato. The case
was docketed as I.S. No. 95-275.
On May 15, 1995, the public prosecutor filed an Information for
qualified theft against Umezawa with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Lapu-Lapu City. The accusatory portion of the
Information, docketed as Criminal Case No. 013231-L, reads:
That during or about the period comprised between the 18th
and 19th day of February 1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu,
Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
accused, while being then the President and General Manager
of Mobilia Products, Inc., a corporation engaged in the
manufacture and export of furniture, holding office and doing

business in the Mactan Export Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu


City, with grave abuse of the confidence reposed upon him by
his employer, with intent to gain, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away from the
corporation's factory in Mactan Export Processing Zone, LapuLapu City, expensive pieces of furniture, to wit:

German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 225,000.00


7) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 275,000.00

1) 1 set, Model No. 3, 2-seater


8) 1 piece, Model Table No. 2,
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 208,125.00

Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 93,750.00

2) 1 set, Model No. 8, 2-seater


9) 1 piece, Model Table No. 4,
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 315,000.00

Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 105,000.00

3) 1 set, Model No. 5, 2-seater


10) 2 pieces, Model Pedestal
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 108,000.00

No. 6, Italian marble pedestal, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - P 150,000.00

4) 1 set, Model No. 4, 2-seater


11) 1 piece, Model Column
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 277,500.00

Standard No. 11, Italian marble worth - - - - - - - - - - - P 93,750.00

5) 1 set, Model No. 6, 1-seater


12) 1 piece, Model Table No. 1,
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 146,250.00

Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 105,000.00

6) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater


13) 1 piece, Model High Table

No. 10, Italian marble, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00


14) 1 piece, Model Table No. 8,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
15) 1 piece, Model Table No. 7
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
16) 1 piece, Model Table No. 5
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 112,500.00
17) 1 piece, Model Table No. 9,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
18) 3-seater sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 255,000.00
with an aggregate value of P3,219,875.00, Philippine currency,
without the consent of his employer, to the damage and
prejudice of Mobilia Products, Inc., in the said amount
of P3,219,875.00.
Contrary to law.3
On motion of the prosecution, the trial court issued a writ of
preliminary attachment covering the properties of Umezawa.

Umezawa then filed an Omnibus Motion to quash the


information filed against him, the discharge of the writ of
attachment issued by the trial court, and to set the case for
preliminary investigation. MPI, the private complainant therein,
opposed the motion.
In the meantime on July 21, 1995, MPI filed another criminal
complaint for qualified theft against Umezawa, his wife Kimiko
Umezawa, Mitsuyo Yaguchi, Justin Legaspi, Yoshikazu
Hayano and Henry Chua allegedly committed in March 1995,
with the Office of the City Prosecutor. The case was docketed
as I.S. No. 95-442.
On July 25, 1995, the trial court issued an Order in Criminal
Case No. 013231-L denying the omnibus motion. On joint
motion of Umezawa and the public prosecutor, the trial court
ordered a reinvestigation of the case. Conformably, the public
prosecutor conducted a reinvestigation of Criminal Case No.
013231-L jointly with I.S. No. 95-442.
On September 25, 1995, Umezawa filed a petition with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), docketed as
SEC Case No. 002919, for the nullification of the Resolution
issued by the three alleged members of MPI Board of
Directors, authorizing the filing of criminal complaints against
him in behalf of the corporation.
On January 3, 1996, the public prosecutor issued a Joint
Resolution finding probable cause for qualified theft and one
count of estafa against Umezawa, and dismissing the case
against the other accused. The Prosecutor maintained his
finding of probable cause against Umezawa in Criminal Case
No. 013231-L.
On February 20, 1996, the public prosecutor filed an
Information for qualified theft with the RTC of Lapu-Lapu City

against Umezawa, docketed as Criminal Case No. 013423-L.


The accusatory portion reads:
That on the 8th day of February 1995, in the City of LapuLapu, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, while being the President
and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., a corporation
engaged in the manufacture and export of quality furniture,
whose principal place of business is at the Mactan Export
Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu City, with intent to gain, without
the consent of his employer, and with grave abuse of
confidence, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously take, steal and carry away from the corporation's
factory the following expensive pieces of furniture, to wit:
1) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater German

Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., did then and there willfully,


unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate and convert to his
own personal use and benefit the amount of Seventeen Million
One Hundred Eight Thousand Five Hundred (P17,108,500.00)
Pesos, Philippine Currency, which was the total value of the
furnitures ordered and manufactured by the accused or at his
instance using Mobilia supplies, materials and machineries, as
well as time and personnel which were supposed to be for the
exclusive use of Mobilia Products, Inc. but were converted for
the use and benefit of the accused and Astem Philippines
Corporation, a company or firm engaged in the same business
as that of Mobilia Products, Inc., which is, [in] the manufacture
and production of quality furniture for export, owned by the
accused, to the damage and prejudice of Mobilia Products,
Inc.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5

leather sofa, all valued at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P 225,000.00


2) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater German
leather sofa, all valued at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P 275,000.00
with an aggregate value of P500,000.00 Philippine Currency,
to the damage and prejudice of Mobilia Products, Inc.
CONTRARY TO LAW.4
Another Information for estafa was thereafter filed against the
same accused, docketed as Criminal Case No. 013424-L. The
accusatory portion reads:
That sometime in March 1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu,
Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, by means of unfaithfulness and abuse
of confidence reposed upon him as the President and General

On April 25, 1996, Umezawa filed a motion for the suspension


of the proceedings on the ground of the pendency of his
petition with the SEC in Case No. 002919. The trial court,
however, issued an Order on May 21, 1996, denying the said
motion. It held that the filing and the pendency of a petition
before the SEC did not warrant a suspension of the criminal
cases.
On September 25, 1998, Umezawa was arraigned and
pleaded not guilty.
On September 30, 1998, Umezawa filed anew a Joint Motion
to Quash the Informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 013231-L
and 013423-L, on the ground that the facts alleged therein did
not constitute the felony of qualified theft. Umezawa claimed
that based on the Joint Affidavit of the witnesses for the
prosecution submitted during the preliminary investigation,
Yasushi Kato and George del Rio, MPI Vice-President and the

head of the Upholstery Department, respectively, the


appropriate charge should be estafa and not qualified theft.
Umezawa further claimed that for their failure to object to and
resist his alleged delictual acts, the said witnesses were as
guilty as he was and should have been included in the
Information. He also asserted that there was, likewise, no
allegation in the Informations as to who was the owner of the
articles stolen; hence, there was no offended party. He noted
that the Informations merely alleged that MPI was his
employer. He further posited that there was no valid charge
against him because the resolution authorizing the filing of the
cases against him was approved by a mere minority of the
members of the MPI Board of Directors.6
Umezawa, likewise, filed a Motion to Quash7 the Information in
Criminal Case No. 013424-L on the ground that the facts
alleged in the Information did not constitute the felony of
estafa. He posited that the Information did not contain any
allegation that any demand was made for him to return the
goods. Furthermore, the owner of the said articles was not
specified. He noted that as gleaned from the Joint Affidavit of
the witnesses for the prosecution, there was no lawful private
complainant. He reiterated that the MPI board resolution
authorizing the filing of the charge against him was not
approved by the majority of the members of its board of
directors. Umezawa also alleged that the charge for estafa
with abuse of confidence was already included in the charge
for qualified theft, where it was alleged that he committed theft
with abuse of confidence; hence, the charge for estafa should
be quashed, otherwise, he would be placed in double
jeopardy. The motion was duly opposed by the prosecution.
On January 29, 1999, the trial court issued a Joint
Order8 dismissing the cases for lack of jurisdiction. It held that
the dispute between the private complainant and the accused
over the ownership of the properties subject of the charges is

intra-corporate in nature, and was within the exclusive


jurisdiction of the SEC. It ruled that Umezawa, as a member of
the board of directors and president of MPI, was also a
stockholder thereof. While Umezawa claimed to be the bona
fide owner of the properties subject of the Informations which
he appropriated for himself, the private complainant disputes
the same; hence, according to the trial court, the conflicting
claims of the parties should be resolved by the SEC. The
private and public prosecutors received their respective copies
of the Joint Order on February 2, 1999.
The MPI, through the private prosecutor, filed a motion for
reconsideration of the joint order of the court and for the
reinstatement of the cases on February 15, 1999. The MPI
relied on the following grounds:
A. The Honorable Court has jurisdiction and must exercise it
over these cases;
b. The above-entitled case is not an intra-corporate
controversy;
and
c. The accused could not claim ownership nor co-ownership of
the properties of private complainant corporation.9
The MPI maintained that the trial court had jurisdiction over the
cases and cited Section 5 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
902-A, which provides the rules on cases over which the SEC
has original and exclusive jurisdiction. A copy of the motion
was served on the public prosecutor for his approval.
However, the public prosecutor did not affix his conformity to
the motion, and instead opted to appear before the trial court
during the hearing of the same. During the hearing, both the
public and private prosecutors appeared. In support of his

motion, the private prosecutor argued that the trial of the case
must be done in the presence of and under the control and
supervision of the public prosecutor.10
The trial court denied the motion in an Order dated April 19,
1999. It held that the SEC, not the trial court, had jurisdiction
over intra-corporate controversies. It also ruled that the motion
of the private complainant was pro forma, it appearing that the
public prosecutor had not approved the same.
The public prosecutor received a copy of the Order on April
20, 1999. On April 26, 1999, the People of the Philippines,
through the OSG, filed a Petition
for Certiorari and mandamus with the CA against Presiding
Judge Rumuldo R. Fernandez and Umezawa, docketed as
CA-G.R. SP No. 52440. The CA allowed the MPI to intervene
as petitioner, and admitted its petition - in-intervention.
The People of the Philippines, as the petitioner therein, raised
the following issues:
I
WHETHER OR NOT IT IS THE LEGAL AND MINISTERIAL
DUTY OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT TO TAKE
COGNIZANCE AND JURISDICTION OF THESE SUBJECT
CRIMINAL CASES;
II
WHETHER OR NOT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE
COMMISSION HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CRIMINAL
CASES AGAINST RESPONDENT HAJIME UMEZAWA;
III

WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED


GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK
OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN DISMISSING THE
CRIMINAL CASES AND DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION
FOR RECONSIDERATION.11
The People asserted that the controversy involving the
criminal cases was not between Umezawa and the other
stockholders of MPI, but one between him as the accused
therein and the People of the Philippines. It averred that under
Section 20(b) of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, the RTC
has exclusive jurisdiction over the cases against Umezawa. It
also alleged that in dismissing the criminal cases against
Umezawa on the ground that it had no jurisdiction over the
crimes charged, the RTC committed grave abuse of its
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.
On September 2, 1999, the CA rendered judgment granting
the petition and nullifying the assailed Orders of the RTC. It
ruled that the issue of ownership of the properties subject of
the Informations was not an intra-corporate dispute. It held that
Umezawa, although president and general manager of the
MPI and a stockholder thereof, was not a joint owner or coowner of the personal properties subject of the charges. It also
held that the dispute between a private corporation and any of
its stockholders relative to the ownership of properties does
not ipso facto negate the jurisdiction of the RTC over the
criminal cases under B.P. Blg. 129, as amended. It also
declared that the material averments of the Informations
sufficiently charged qualified theft and estafa.
Umezawa filed a motion for the reconsideration of the decision
of the CA. In a complete volte face, the appellate court issued
a Resolution on August 8, 2001, granting the motion and
reversing its decision. It affirmed the ruling of the RTC that the
dispute between Umezawa and the other stockholders and

officers over the implementation of the MPI's standard


procedure is intra-corporate in nature; hence, within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. Citing Section 5(a)(b) of P.D.
No. 902-A, and the ruling of this Court in Alleje v. Court of
Appeals,12 the appellate court ruled that based on the material
allegations of the Solicitor General in the petition before the
CA, the SEC had exclusive jurisdiction over the conflicting
claims of the parties. It likewise affirmed the ruling of the RTC
that the absence of any allegation in the Information that the
MPI was the owner of the properties subject of the Information
is fatal.
The petitioner MPI filed the instant Petition for Review
on Certiorari , raising the following issues:
I
WHETHER OR NOT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE
COMMISSION HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CRIMINAL
CASES AGAINST UMEZAWA.
II
WHETHER OR NOT ALL THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF
THE CRIMES OF QUALIFIED THEFT AND ESTAFA ARE
SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGED IN THE INFORMATIONS.

WHETHER OR NOT THE STATE HS LOST ITS RIGHT TO


APPEAL.
V
WHETHER OR NOT THE MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF UMEZAWA IS PRO FORMA.13
The People of the Philippines filed a separate Petition for
Review on Certiorari , contending that:
1. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS
ERRORS OF LAW AND GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN
FINDING THAT THE PETITION FOR MANDAMUS,
CERTIORARI AND INJUNCTION WAS FILED OUT OF TIME
AND THAT PETITIONER HAS LOST ITS RIGHT TO
APPEAL;
2. THE COURT OF APEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS
ERRORS OF LAW IN RULING THAT NOT ALL THE
ELEMENTS OF QUALIFIED THEFT AND ESTAFA ARE
PRESENT;
3. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED BLATANT AND
SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW IN FINDING THAT THE
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) HAS
JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT CRIMINAL CASES;

III
EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE FACTS
ALLEGED DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFENSE THE
CORRECT RULING IS NOT TO DISMISS THE CASE BUT
TO ORDER AMENDMENT.
IV

4. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS


ERRORS OF LAW AND GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN
GIVING DUE COURSE TO THE PRO-FORMA MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF UMEZAWA.14
The two petitions were consolidated in the Second Division of
the Court.

The threshold issues for resolution are the following: (a)


whether or not the Petition for Certiorari of the People of the
Philippines in the CA assailing the January 29, 1999 Joint
Order of the trial court was time-barred; (b) whether the RTC
has jurisdiction over the crimes charged in the said
Informations; (c) whether the Informations sufficiently charge
the felonies of qualified theft and estafa; and (d) if in the
affirmative, whether all the elements of qualified theft and
estafa are alleged in the Informations.
On the first issue, the CA held that the Public Prosecutor failed
to file a motion for the reconsideration of the trial court's
January 29, 1999 Joint Order dismissing the cases, that is,
within fifteen days from receipt of a copy of the said order on
February 2, 1999; neither did the People appeal the said Order
within the period therefor. Thus, according to the CA, the
People filed its Petition for Certiorari, prohibition
and mandamus assailing the January 29, 1999 Joint Order of
the trial court only on April 26, 1999, well beyond the 60-day
period therefor. The appellate court, likewise, held that the
filing of the motion for reconsideration of the said Joint Order
by the private prosecutor without the conformity of the Public
Prosecutor did not toll the period for the People to file its
motion for reconsideration thereof, or to appeal therefrom, or
to file a Petition for Certiorari, prohibition ormandamus . It
ruled that, having lost its right to appeal in due course, the
People was proscribed from filing a petition for certiorari ,
prohibition or mandamus . The CA declared that the motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioner MPI of the Joint Order of the
RTC is pro forma, the public prosecutor not having signified
his written conformity thereto.
On the other hand, the petitioner People of the Philippines
insists that while the public prosecutor did not expressly
conform to the motion for reconsideration of the January 29,
1999 Joint Order of the trial court filed by the private

prosecutor, through the public prosecutor's presence during


the hearing of the said motion, his supervision and control over
the private prosecutor during the said hearing, he in effect
adopted and conformed to the said motion for reconsideration.
In his comment on the petitions, respondent Umezawa
maintains that the motion for reconsideration of the joint order
of the trial court filed by the private prosecutor did not interrupt
the period within which the People could appeal, citing the
ruling of this Court in Cabral v. Puno.15 The respondent posits
that the finding of the trial court, which was affirmed by the CA,
that the public prosecutor did not conform to the motion for
reconsideration of the private prosecutor, is binding on this
Court. The respondent also avers that the petitioner has no
personality to file the petition. Moreover, he insists that
whether the public prosecutor conformed to the private
prosecutor's motion for reconsideration is a question of fact
which is not proper in a Petition for Review on Certiorari .
The Court's Ruling
The contention of the petitioner People of the Philippines is not
correct. All criminal actions commenced by complaint or
information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control
of the public prosecutor.16 When the civil action for civil liability
is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111 of the
Rules on Criminal Procedure, the offended party may
intervene, by counsel, in the prosecution of the
offense.17 In Ramiscal, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan,18 we held that
under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure, the offended party may intervene in the criminal
action personally or by counsel, who will then act as private
prosecutor for the protection of his interests and in the interest
of the speedy and inexpensive administration of justice. A
separate action for the purpose would only prove to be costly,
burdensome and time-consuming for both parties and further

delay the final disposition of the case. The multiplicity of suits


must be avoided. With the implied institution of the civil action
in the criminal action, the two actions are merged into one
composite proceeding, with the criminal action predominating
the civil. The prime purpose of the criminal action is to punish
the offender in order to deter him and others from committing
the same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform
and rehabilitate him or, in general, to maintain social order. 19
The intervention of the private offended party, through
counsel, and his prosecution of the case shall be under the
control and supervision of the public prosecutor until the final
termination of the case. A public prosecutor who has been
entrusted by law with the prosecution of criminal cases is dutybound to take charge thereof until its final termination, for
under the law, he assumes full responsibility for his failure or
success since he is the one more adequately prepared to
pursue it to its termination.20The prosecution of offenses is a
public function. Indeed, the sole purpose of the civil action is
the resolution, reparation or indemnification of the private
offended party for the damage or injury he sustained by
reason of the delictual or felonious act of the accused.21 Under
Article 104 of the Revised Penal Code, the following are the
civil liabilities of the accused:
ART. 104. What is included in civil liability. - The civil liability
established in Articles 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this Code
includes:
1. Restitution;
2. Reparation of the damage caused;
3. Indemnification for consequential damages.

Thus, when the offended party, through counsel, has asserted


his right to intervene in the proceedings, it is error to consider
his appearance merely as a matter of tolerance.22
The public prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of
the criminal case, in the exercise of his discretion, but he may,
at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial. However,
it is necessary that the public prosecutor be present at the trial
until the final termination of the case; otherwise, if he is
absent, it cannot be gainsaid that the trial is under his
supervision and control.23
In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State, the
interest of the private complainant or the offended party is
limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. Hence, if a criminal
case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, a
reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be
undertaken, whenever legally feasible, insofar as the criminal
aspect thereof is concerned and may be made only by the
public prosecutor; or in the case of an appeal, by the State
only, through the OSG. The private complainant or offended
party may not undertake such motion for reconsideration or
appeal on the criminal aspect of the case.24 However, the
offended party or private complainant may file a motion for
reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal
therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is
concerned.25 In so doing, the private complainant or offended
party need not secure the conformity of the public prosecutor.
If the court denies his motion for reconsideration, the private
complainant or offended party may appeal or file a Petition
for Certiorari or mandamus, if grave abuse amounting to
excess or lack of jurisdiction is shown and the aggrieved party
has no right of appeal or given an adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law.

The public and private prosecutors are not precluded,


whenever feasible, from filing a joint motion for the
reconsideration of the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of
the accused, on the criminal and civil aspects of the cases.

prosecutor appeared for the State during the hearing of the


motion for reconsideration of petitioner MPI does not amount
to or constitute his adoption of the said motion as that of the
State. As ruled by this Court in Cabral v. Puno:26

In the present case, only petitioner MPI, through counsel, filed


a motion for the reconsideration of the trial court's Joint Order
dated January 29, 1999, praying for the reinstatement of the
cases insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned. The
public prosecutor did not approve nor conform to the said
motion. Although petitioner MPI provided ample space for the
said conformity of the public prosecutor, the latter did not do
so; he merely appeared during the hearing of the said motion
with the private prosecutor when the latter presented his oral
arguments in support of the said motion.

While it is true that the offended party, Silvino San Diego,


through the private prosecutor, filed a motion for
reconsideration within the reglementary fifteen-day period,
such move did not stop the running of the period for appeal.
He did not have the legal personality to appeal or file the
motion for reconsideration on his behalf. The prosecution in a
criminal case through the private prosecutor is under the
direction and control of the Fiscal, and only the motion for
reconsideration or appeal filed by the Fiscal could have
interrupted the period for appeal.27

The fact that the public prosecutor did not conform to the said
motion, however, does not mean that the same is pro forma. It
must be stressed that the propriety and efficacy of the motion,
insofar as the civil aspect of the cases is concerned, is not
dependent upon the conformity of the public prosecutor.
Hence, the filing of the joint motion for reconsideration
effectively suspended the running of the period for petitioner
MPI to assail the joint order in the CA via an appeal or a
special civil action for certiorari or mandamus under Rule 65 of
the Rules of Court.

We agree with the ruling of the CA that the petition


for certiorari filed by the petitioner People of the Philippines
with the CA on April 26, 1999 was filed beyond the 60-day
period as provided in Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court,28 it appearing that the public prosecutor received a copy
of the joint order of the trial court on February 2, 1999, and,
thus, had only until April 3, 1999 within which to file the said
petition.

However, since the public prosecutor did not file any motion
for the reconsideration of the joint order nor conform to the
motion of petitioner MPI, insofar as the criminal aspect of the
cases is concerned, the period for the State to assail the said
joint order was not suspended. Only the motion for
reconsideration filed by the public prosecutor of the joint order
of dismissal of the cases could have tolled the period within
which the State could appeal, insofar as the criminal aspect of
the cases was concerned. The bare fact that the public

Even then, the Court still holds that the CA erred in dismissing
the petition of the People of the Philippines simply because the
public prosecutor erred in not himself filing a motion for
reconsideration of the joint order of the trial court, on his
perception that by being present during the hearing of the
motion for reconsideration of petitioner MPI, he thereby
adopted the said motion as that of the State's. The settled rule
is that the State is not estopped by the mistakes of its officers
and employees. Indeed, in Cruz, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,29 the
Court declared:

'Estoppel does not lie against the government because of the


supposedly mistaken acts or omissions of its agents. As we
declared in People v. Castaeda, "there is the long familiar
rule that erroneous application and enforcement of the law by
public officers do not block subsequent correct application of
the statute and that the government is never estopped by
mistake or error on the part of its agents."
The Court also held in Chua v. Court of Appeals:30
'While ordinarily, certiorari is unavailing where the appeal
period has lapsed, there are exceptions. Among them are (a)
when public welfare and the advancement of public policy
dictates; (b) when the broader interest of justice so requires;
(c) when the writs issued are null and void; or (d) when the
questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial
authority. - 31
On the second issue, the petitioners assert that the CA erred
in holding that the dispute between it and the respondent is
intra-corporate in nature; hence, within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the SEC. As gleaned from the material
allegations of the Informations, the RTC had exclusive
jurisdiction over the crimes charged. Petitioner MPI further
avers that even if there is no allegation in the Informations
identifying it as the owner of the personal properties described
in the Informations, its ownership of the properties can be
inferred from the other allegations. The petitioners maintain
that even if the Informations are deficient, the remedy is the
amendment of the Informations and not the dismissal of the
cases.
For his part, the respondent avers that the assailed Resolution
of the CA is correct, and that it is the appellate court's decision
which is erroneous.

We agree with the petitioners.


According to Section 20 of B.P. Blg. 129'
SEC. 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. - Regional Trial Courts
shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal
cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal
or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and
concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall
hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter.
Section 32 thereof was later amended by Section 2 of
Republic Act No. 7691, as follows:
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Criminal
Cases. - Except in cases falling within the exclusive original
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and of the
Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or
municipal ordinances committed within their respective
territorial jurisdiction; andcralawlibrary
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable
with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of
the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable
accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising
from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind,
nature, value or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in
offenses involving damage to property through criminal
negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction
thereof.

Case law has it that in order to determine the jurisdiction of the


court in criminal cases, the complaint or Information must be
examined for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the
facts set out therein and the prescribed period provided for by
law are within the jurisdiction of the court, and where the said
Information or complaint is filed. It is settled that the jurisdiction
of the court in criminal cases is determined by the allegations
of the complaint or Information and not by the findings based
on the evidence of the court after trial.32 Jurisdiction is
conferred only by the Constitution or by the law in force at the
time of the filing of the Information or complaint. Once
jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained up to the end of
the litigation. Indeed, in People v. Purisima,33 this Court held
that:
In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the
court is not determined by what may be meted out to the
offender after trial or even by the result of the evidence that
would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty
which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation
charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the complaint
and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show
that the court in which the complaint is presented has
jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction.
In Criminal Case No. 013231-L, the value of the properties
subject of qualified theft is P3,219,875.00, while in Criminal
Case No. 013423-L, the value of the property was pegged
at P255,000.00. Under Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code,
the penalty for theft when the value of the stolen property
exceeds P22,000.00 is as follows:
1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium
periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than 12,000
pesos but does not exceed 20,000 pesos; but if the value of
the thing stolen exceeds the latter amount, the penalty shall be

the maximum period of the one prescribed in this paragraph


and one year of each additional ten thousand pesos, but the
total of the penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed
twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the
accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the
purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall
be termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case
may be.
Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code further provides for the
penalty for qualified theft:
Art. 310. Qualified theft. - The crime of theft shall be punished
by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those
respectively specified in the next preceding article, if
committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse of
confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail
matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the
premises of a plantation, fish taken from a fishpond or fishery
or if property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake,
typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular
accident or civil disturbance.
On the other hand, in Criminal Case No. 013424-L for estafa,
the amount of the fraud involved isP500,000.00, and under
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for such
crime is'
1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period
to prision mayor in its minimum period, if the amount of the
fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos;
and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty
provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum
period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but
the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed
twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the

accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the


purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall
be termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case
may be.
Patently, then, based on the material allegations of the
Informations in the three cases, the court a quo had exclusive
jurisdiction over the crimes charged.
The bare fact that the respondent was the president and
general manager of the petitioner corporation when the crimes
charged were allegedly committed and was then a stockholder
thereof does not in itself deprive the court a quo of its
exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged. The property of
the corporation is not the property of the stockholders or
members or of its officers who are stockholders.34 As the Court
held in an avuncular case:35
... Properties registered in the name of the corporation are
owned by it as an entity separate and distinct from its
members. While shares of stock constitute personal property,
they do not represent property of the corporation. The
corporation has property of its own which consists chiefly of
real estate (Nelson v. Owen, 113 Ala., 372, 21 So. 75; Morrow
v. Gould, 145 Iowa, 1, 123 N.W. 743). A share of stock only
typifies an aliquot part of the corporation's property, or the right
to share in its proceeds to that extent when distributed
according to law and equity (Hall & Faley v. Alabama
Terminal, 173 Ala., 398, 56 So. 235), but its holder is not the
owner of any part of the capital of the corporation (Bradley v.
Bauder, 36 Ohio St., 28). Nor is he entitled to the possession
of any definite portion of its property or assets (Gottfried v.
Miller, 104 U.S., 521; Jones v. Davis, 35 Ohio St., 474). The
stockholder is not a co-owner or tenant in common of the
corporate property (Harton v. Johnston, 166 Ala., 317, 51 So.,
992) '"36

As early as the case of Fisher v. Trinidad,37 the Court already


declared that "[t]he distinction between the title of a
corporation, and the interest of its members or stockholders in
the property of the corporation, is familiar and well-settled. The
ownership of that property is in the corporation, and not in the
holders of shares of its stock. The interest of each stockholder
consists in the right to a proportionate part of the profits
whenever dividends are declared by the corporation, during its
existence, under its charter, and to a like proportion of the
property remaining, upon the termination or dissolution of the
corporation, after payment of its debts."38
We also agree with the ruling of the CA in its decision that the
SEC (now the Regional Trial Court) had no jurisdiction over
the cases filed in the court a quo. The appellate court's
reliance in the assailed Resolution issued by the Board of
Directors of the petitioner corporation, on Section 5(b) of P.D.
No. 902, has no factual and legal basis.
Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A provides that the SEC39 shall have
original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases
involving the following:
(a) devices or schemes employed by, or any acts of, the board
of directors, business associates, its officers or partners,
amounting to fraud and misrepresentation which may be
detrimental to the interest of the public and/or of the
stockholders, partners, members of association or
organizations registered with the Commission, and
(b) controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership
relations, between and among stockholders, members or
associates; between any or all of them and the corporation,
partnership or association of which they are stockholders,
members or associates, respectively.

In Fabia v. Court of Appeals,40 the Court explained that


Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A should be taken in conjunction
with Section 6 of the law. It then proceeded to explain:
In synthesis, Sec. 5 of PD 902-A mandates that cases
involving fraudulent actions and devices which are detrimental
to the interest of stockholders, members or associates and
directors of the corporation are within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. Taken in conjunction with
Sec. 6 of the same law, it will be gathered that the fraudulent
acts/schemes which the SEC shall exclusively investigate and
prosecute are those "in violation of any law or rules and
regulations administered and enforced by the Commission"
alone. This investigative and prosecutorial powers of the SEC
are further "without prejudice to any liability for violation of any
provision of The Revised Penal Code."
From the foregoing, it can thus be concluded that the filing of
the civil/intra-corporate case before the SEC does not
preclude the simultaneous and concomitant filing of a criminal
action before the regular courts; such that, a fraudulent act
may give rise to liability for violation of the rules and
regulations of the SEC cognizable by the SEC itself, as well as
criminal liability for violation of the Revised Penal
Code cognizable by the regular courts, both charges to be filed
and proceeded independently, and may be simultaneously
with the other.41
Thus, the filing of a petition in the SEC for the nullification of
the Resolution of May 2, 1995 issued by the Chairman and
two members of the Board of Directors of petitioner MPI, which
authorized the filing of criminal cases against respondent
Umezawa, was not a bar to his prosecution for estafa and
qualified theft for his alleged fraudulent and delictual acts. The
relationship of the party-litigants with each other or the position
held by petitioner as a corporate officer in respondent MPI

during the time he committed the crime becomes merely


incidental and holds no bearing on jurisdiction. What is
essential is that the fraudulent acts are likewise of a criminal
nature and hence cognizable by the regular courts.42 Thus,
notwithstanding the fact that respondent Umezawa was the
president and general manager of petitioner MPI and a
stockholder thereof, the latter may still be prosecuted for the
crimes charged. The alleged fraudulent acts of respondent
Umezawa in this case constitute the element of abuse of
confidence, deceit or fraudulent means, and damage under
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code on estafa.43
We agree with the encompassing disquisitions of the CA in its
decision, to wit:
'A dispute involving the corporation and its stockholders is not
necessarily an intra-corporate dispute cognizable only by the
Securities and Exchange Commission. Nor does it ipso
facto negate the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over
the subject cases. The Supreme Court citing the case ofViray
v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 92481, 191 SCRA 308 [1990])
in Torio v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 107293, March 2, 1994,
230 SCRA 626) held:
"It should be obvious that not every conflict between a
corporation and its stockholders involves corporate matters
that only the SEC can resolve in the exercise of its
adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers."
As the Supreme Court further ruled in the Torio case that "a
contrary interpretation would distort the meaning and intent of
P.D. 902-A, the law re-organizing the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The better policy in determining which body has
jurisdiction over a case would be to consider not only the
relationship of the parties but also the nature of the questions
raised in the subject of the controversy.44

On the last issue, we find and so hold that the Informations


state all the essential elements of estafa and qualified theft. It
was adequately alleged that respondent Umezawa, being the
President and General Manager of petitioner MPI, stole and
misappropriated the properties of his employer, more
specifically, petitioner MPI. As expostulated by the CA in its
decision:
'In any event, the allegations in the informations, if
hypothetically admitted, are sufficient to bind Umezawa to the
charges of qualified theft and estafa. As aptly ruled by the
court a quo in its Order of July 25, 1995, all the elements of
the offense of qualified theft are present. There is no basis for
claiming otherwise. Furthermore, the private offended party, as
well as the subject matter of the felonious taking and the
ownership thereof, have been adequately indicated or
identified leaving no room for any doubt on these
matters. Considering that the motions to quash of September
30, 1998 are fundamentally rehash of the motion to quash filed
on May 29, 1995 and the culpable acts subject of the new
informations are virtually the same as the first information filed
against Umezawa, there is no conceivable reason why the
court a quo abandoned its previous stand and controverted
itself in regard the sufficiency of the informations.
In our considered view, and as the court a quo had correctly
held in its Order of May 26, 1996, "even a SEC ruling voiding
the resolution authorizing the filing of criminal charges v. the
accused Hajime Umezawa can have no bearing on the validity
of the informations filed in these three criminal cases as
pointed out by private complainant, the public offenses of
qualified theft and estafa can [be] prosecuted de officio." The
resolution of the office of the prosecutor on the preliminary
investigation as well as the re-investigation conducted on the
letter-complaint filed by private complainant company
sufficiently established prima facie case against the accused

and the legality or illegality of the constitution of the board


which authorized the filing of the complaint does not materially
affect either the informations filed against Umezawa or the
pending criminal proceedings. As petitioners contend, the
action is now between the People of the Philippines and herein
private respondent.45
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petitions are
GRANTED. The Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 52440 dated August 8, 2001 is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated
September 2, 1999 is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. L-38634 June 20, 1988
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, (PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES), Petitioner, vs.HON. DELFIN VIR. SUNGA, as
Presiding Judge, CFI Branch I, Camarines Sur, ARISTON
ANADILLA, RAFAEL ANADILLA and JOSE
ANADILLA, Respondents.
PADILLA, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the order * of the
Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, 10th Judicial District,
Branch I, dated 20 March 1974, dismissing motu
proprio Criminal Case No. L-244, entitled "People of the
Philippines, Complainant versus Ariston Anadilla, Rafael
Anadilla and Jose Anadilla, Accused," as well as of the order
dated 22 April 1974 of the same court denying the motion for
reconsideration of said earlier
order.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The facts are not


disputed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
On 10 August 1964, an information for Attempted Homicide
was filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Camarines Sur against
accused-private respondents Rafael Anadilla, Ariston Anadilla
and Jose Anadilla. Trial of the case was set on 11 and 12
March 1974. The hearing set on 11 March 1974 was, however,
postponed in view of the absence of one of the accused,
respondent Rafael Anadilla who had not yet been arrested by
the police authorities. On the same date, the court a
quo issued an order for the arrest of said accused, and at the
same time set the trial of the case for 29 and 30 July
1974.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
On 20 March 1974, the court a quo issued the now assailed
order which reads:
Considering that the offended party, Jose Dadis is no longer
interested in the further prosecution of this case and there
being no objection on the part of the accused Ariston Anadilla,
Rafael Anadilla and Jose Anadilla, this case is hereby
DISMISSED with costs de
oficio.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Consequently, the order of arrest issued by this Court against
the accused Rafael Anadilla dated March 11, 1974, is hereby
ordered lifted and has no force and
effect.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The bail bond posted for the provisional liberty of the accused
is hereby ordered
cancelled.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library

In the case of Ariston Anadilla and Jose Anadilla, the


Provincial Warden is hereby ordered to release said accused
from their detention immediately upon receipt of this
order.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
SO ORDERED. 1chanrobles virtual law library
The affidavit of desistance, relied upon by the aforequoted
order, was executed by the offended party on 20 March 1974
and subscribed and sworn to before the branch Clerk of Court
Atty. R.B. Torrecampo. It alleged, among others, that:
That he was the complainant in Criminal Case No. L-244,
entitled, People vs. Ariston Anadilla, et al., for Attempted
Homicide, which case is pending before the first branch of this
Court; that he is no longer interested in the further prosecution
of this case and that he has already forgiven the accused for
their acts; that his material witnesses could no longer be
contacted and that without their testimonies, the guilt of the
accused cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and that
in view of these circumstances, he requests the Prosecuting
Fiscal for the dismissal of the said case. 2
The Provincial Fiscal moved to reconsider the order of
dismissal. This was denied by the court a quo in an order
dated 22 April 1974. 3 This petition was thereupon filed before
this Court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
The issue in this petition is whether the courta a quo may
dismiss a criminal case on the basis of an affidavit of
desistance executed by the offended party, but without a
motion to dismiss filed by the prosecuting
fiscal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The issue presented is not novel. In Crespo v.


Mogul, 4 promulgated on 30 June 1987, the Court had
occasion to state the rule in regard to the respective powers of
the prosecuting fiscal and the court, after the complaint or
information has been filed in court. In said case, the issue
raised was whether the trial court, acting on a motion to
dismiss a criminal case filed by the Provincial Fiscal upon
instructions of the Secretary of Justice to whom the case was
elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist
on the arraignment and trial of the case on the
merits.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
In the Crespo case, an information for Estafa had already
been filed by the Assistant Fiscal before the Circuit Criminal
Court of Lucena City. Arraignment of the accused and trial of
the case were, however, deferred because of a pending
appeal by the accused/respondent to the Secretary of Justice.
Reversing the resolution of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal,
the Undersecretary of Justice directed the fiscal to move for
immediate dismissal of the information filed against the
accused. Upon such instructions, the Provincial Fiscal filed a
motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence. The Judge
denied the motion and set the arraignment. On a certiorari
recourse to the Court of Appeals, the petition was dismissed.
Review of the Court of Appeals decision was then sought by
the accused with this Court, raising the issue previously stated
herein, Resolving, the Court held:
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a
criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction over
the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the
case. When after the filing of the complaint or information a
warrant for the arrest of the accused is issued by the trial court
and the accused either voluntarily submitted himself to the

Court or was duly arrested, the Court thereby acquired


jurisdiction over the person of the
accused.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library
The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the
purpose of determining whether a prima facie case exists
warranting the prosecution of the accused is terminated upon
the filing of the information in the proper court. In turn, as
above stated, the filing of said information sets in motion the
criminal action against the accused in Court. Should the fiscal
find it proper to conduct a reinvestigation of the case, at such
stage, the permission of the Court must be secured. After such
reinvestigation the finding and recommendations of the fiscal
should be submitted to the Court for appropriate action. While
it is true that the fiscal has the quasi-judicial discretion to
determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed in
court or not [sic], once the case had already been brought to
Court whatever disposition the fiscal may feel should be
proper in the case thereafter should be addressed for the
consideration of the Court. The only qualification is that the
action of the Court must not impair the substantial rights of the
accused or the right of the People to due process of
law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
xxx xxx xxx
The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or
information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as its
dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in
the sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains
the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases
even while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his
opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge
on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the
case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A

motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be


addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the
same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the
arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a
reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice
who reviewed the records of the investigation." (Emphasis
supplied). 5

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Without


costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
SO ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. NO. 157331 : April 12, 2006]

In the case at bar, the Court has taken note that before the
case was set for trial, almost ten (10) years had elapsed from
the date of filing of the information. It was not, therefore,
unusual that the complainant-offended party, in his affidavit of
desistance manifested that his material witnesses could no
longer be contacted, but, without their testimony, the guilt of
the accused could not be proved beyond reasonable
doubt.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The prosecuting fiscal in his motion for reconsideration of the
order dismissing the case, obviously believed that despite
such manifestation of the complainant, he (fiscal) could prove
the prosecution's case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library
To avoid similar situations, the Court takes the view that, while
the Crespo doctrine has settled that the trial court is the sole
judge on whether a criminal case should be dismissed (after
the complaint or information has been filed in court), still, any
move on the part of the complainant or offended party to
dismiss the criminal case, even if without objection of the
accused, should first be referred to the prosecuting fiscal for
his own view on the matter. He is, after all, in control of the
prosecution of the case and he may have his own reasons
why the case should not be dismissed. It is only after hearing
the prosecuting fiscal's view that the Court should exercise its
exclusive authority to continue or dismiss the
case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

ARNOLD ALVA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF


APPEALS, Respondent.
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45
of the Rules of Court, as amended, assailing the twin
Resolutions of the Court of Appeals (CA), dated 18 October
20021 and 19 February 2003,2 respectively, in CA-G.R. CR
No. 24077, entitled People of the Philippines v. Arnold Alva.
The CA, in the assailed resolutions, dismissed petitioner's
appeal of the trial court's judgment of conviction for failing to
post a new bail bond to secure his provisional liberty on
appeal.
The Facts
The present petition stemmed from an Information 3 charging
petitioner with having committed the crime of estafa defined
under Article 315, Paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code,
alleging as follows:

The undersigned accuses ARNOLD ALVA of the crime of


ESTAFA, committed as follows:

view of the approval of his bail bond by Hon. William Bayhon,


then Executive Judge of the RTC of Manila.

That in or about and during the period covered between


October 18, 1993 up to December 18, 1993, inclusive, in the
City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, did then and
there willfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously defraud YUMI
VERANGA y HERVERA in the following manner, to wit: the
said accused, by means of false manifestation and fraudulent
representation which he made to said YUMI VERANGA y
HERVERA to the effect that he could process the latter's
application for U.S. Visa provided she would give the amount
of P120,000.00, and by means of other similar deceit, induced
and succeeded in inducing said YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA
to give and deliver, as in fact she gave and delivered to said
accused the amount of P120,000.00 on the strength of said
manifestation and representation said accused well knowing
that the same were false and untrue for the reason that the
U.S. Visa is not genuine and were made solely to obtain, as in
fact he did obtain the amount of P120,000.00 which amount
once in his possession with intent to defraud, he wilfully (sic),
unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and
converted the said amount to his own personal use and
benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the said YUMI
VERANGA y HERVERA in the aforesaid amount
ofP120,000.00, Philippine Currency.

Upon arraignment on 7 December 1995, petitioner, duly


assisted by counsel,5 pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.

CONTRARY TO LAW.
The resultant criminal case was filed and docketed as Criminal
Case No. 95-143803 and raffled to the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Manila, Branch 54, presided by Judge Manuel T.
Muro.
On 5 September 1995, the RTC issued a Recall Order4 of the
Warrant of Arrest issued on 18 July 1995 against petitioner in

After the trial on the merits, in an Order6 dated 6 April 1998,


the RTC considered the case submitted for decision.
On 4 May 1999, petitioner's counsel filed an Urgent Motion to
Cancel Promulgation7 praying for the resetting of the 5 May
1999 schedule of promulgation of the RTC's decision to 17
June 1999 in view of the fact that said counsel already had a
prior commitment on subject date. The RTC granted the
motion. The promulgation, however, was deferred only until 19
May 1999.
A day before the rescheduled date of promulgation, or on 18
May 1999, petitioner's counsel again moved for the deferment
of the promulgation, due to prior "undertakings of similar
importance."8
On 19 May 1999, petitioner and counsel both failed to appear
in court despite due notice. In his stead, claiming to be
petitioner's representative, a certain Joey Perez personally
delivered to the RTC a hand written medical
certificate9 expressing petitioner's inability to attend the day's
hearing due to hypertension.
In response to the aforestated acts of petitioner and counsel,
the RTC issued an Order10 directing the promulgation of its
decision in absentia and the issuance of a bench warrant of
arrest against petitioner for his failure to appear before it
despite due notice.

In its decision dated 25 March 1999,11 the RTC found


petitioner guilty of the crime of estafa under Article 315,
paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, the decretal part of
which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: finding the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa
under Article 315, No. 2(a) of the RPC and sentences him to
an indeterminate term of imprisonment of nine (9) years and
one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17)
years as maximum ofreclusion temporal in accordance with
the provisions of Article 315, first, and the Indeterminate
Sentence Law, and further for the accused to return
the P120,000.00 to the complainant with an interest at the rate
of twelve percent (12%) compounded annually from January 1,
1994 (the amount has been given to the accused in October
and December 1993).
Meanwhile, as appearing in the records of the RTC,
immediately following an original duplicate copy of the
aforequoted decision, a document entitled Personal Bail
Bond12 dated 21 May 1999 issued by Mega Pacific Insurance
Corporation, seemed to have been filed before and approved
by the RTC as evidenced by the signature of Judge Muro on
the face of said bail bond.13 For such reason, petitioner
appeared to have been admitted to bail anew after his
conviction.
Incongruous to the above inference, however, in an
Order14 dated 25 May 1999, judgment was rendered against
Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation, the bonding
company that issued petitioner's original bail bond, in the
amount of P17,000.00, for failure to produce the person of
petitioner within the 10 day period earlier provided and to
explain why the amount of its undertaking should not be
forfeited.

In the interregnum, Police Superintendent Ramon Flores De


Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena Section,15manifested
to the RTC the return of the unexecuted Warrant of Arrest
issued on 19 May 1999 "for the reason that the address of the
accused (petitioner) is not within our area of responsibility. x x
x" Nevertheless, De Jesus reassured the RTC that "the name
of the accused will be included in our list of wanted persons for
our future reference." Examination of the records of the case
revealed that petitioner already moved out of his address on
record without informing the RTC.
On 15 July 1999, hand delivered by a certain Remedios
Caneda, petitioner wrote16 the RTC requesting for a certified
photocopy of his exhibits submitted to it during trial.
On 21 July 1999, a Termination of Legal Services was filed by
petitioner before the RTC informing it of his decision to
terminate the services of his counsel and that he was currently
in the process of hiring a new one.
On 26 July 1999,17 petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration before the RTC.
In an Order18 dated 30 August 1999, the RTC declined to give
due course to said motion for failure to set it for hearing; thus,
treating it as a mere scrap of paper.
On 2 September 1999, petitioner received the above Order.
The next day, or on 3 September 1999, petitioner filed a
Notice of Appeal19 before the RTC.
In an Order20 dated 20 September 1999, the RTC again
declined to give due course to the Notice of Appeal,
ratiocinating thus:

The "Notice of Appeal" filed by accused cannot be given due


course as it was filed out of time. Although accused filed a
"Motion for Reconsideration" dated 23 July 1999, the Court
considered it as a mere scrap of paper and was not acted
upon as the same was not set for hearing, hence, it did not
stop the reglementary period to file appeal.
On 25 November 1999, petitioner filed anew a motion praying
for the RTC's categorical resolution of his 23 July 1999 Motion
for Reconsideration.
In an Order dated 7 December 1999, the RTC granted the
abovestated motion, the full text of which states:

appearing that no new bail bond for his provisional liberty on


appeal had been posted, to wit:
Considering the arrest warrant issued by the trial court against
the accused who failed to appear at the promulgation of the
judgment, and it appearing from the record that no new bond
for his provisional liberty on appeal has been posted, appellant
is ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE within ten (10) days from
notice why his appeal should not be dismissed outright.
On 29 October 2001, petitioner, through new counsel, filed a
Compliance22 essentially stating therein that:
xxxx

The Motion to Resolve the Motion for Reconsideration of the


accused, dated November 20, 1999 is granted in the interest
of justice, considering that the one who prepared the Motion
for Reconsideration appears to be the accused himself, who
may not appear to be a lawyer and may not be conversant
with the rules, among others, governing motions.
Acting on the said Motion for Reconsideration itself, same is
denied for lack of merit. The Decision has examined and
discussed the evidence presented and the merits of the case.
Because of the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration,
the appeal is deemed filed on time, and the appeal is given
due course.
Let the records of the case, together with three (3) copies of
the transcripts of stenographic notes be transmitted to the
Hon. Court of Appeals.
On appeal before the Court of Appeals, in a Resolution 21 dated
16 October 2001, the appellate court required petitioner to
show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed it

3. Upon learning of the course of action taken by the presiding


judge, and for purposes of appealing the decision subject of
the instant case, on May 21, 1999, accused immediately
posted a new bond for his provisional liberty. The presiding
judge of the lower court, which issued the questioned decision,
duly approved the new bond.rbl rl l lbrr
Certified true copy of the bond is hereto attached as Annex "3"
and made an integral part hereof;
x x x x.
In a Resolution23 dated 18 October 2002, the Court of
Appeals, nonetheless dismissed the appeal filed by petitioner
for "appellant's failure to post a new bond for his provisional
liberty on appeal despite our directive as contained in our
Resolution dated October 16, 2001, and in view of the fact that
his personal bail bond posted in the lower court had already
expired, x x x."

Undaunted, petitioner filed a Motion for


Reconsideration24 thereto seeking its reversal. According to
petitioner's counsel, he was of the understanding that the
"Show Cause" Resolution of 16 October 2001 merely sought
an explanation vis - -vis the absence of a bail bond
guaranteeing petitioner's provisional liberty while his conviction
was on appeal. All the same, petitioner's counsel manifested
that Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation, had already
extended the period covered by its 21 May 1999 bail bond.
Attached to said motion was a Bond Endorsement25 extending
the coverage of the bail bond from 21 May 1999 to 21 May
2003.

WHEREFORE, appellant's motion for reconsideration is


DENIED. [Emphasis supplied.]

Asked to comment on the Motion for Reconsideration,


respondent People of the Philippines (People), through the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), interposed objections. In
its Comment,26 respondent People raised two arguments: 1)
that "an application for bail can only be availed of by a person
who is in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of his
liberty;" and 2) that "bail on appeal is a matter of discretion
when the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment
exceeding six (6) years."

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED


QUESTIONS OF SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD
WITH LAW OR WITH APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THIS
HONORABLE SUPREME COURT;

On 19 February 2003, the Court of Appeals issued the second


assailed Resolution,27 disposing of petitioner's motion as
follows:
Finding no merit in appellant's motion for reconsideration
(citation omitted) filed on November 12, 2002, the same is
hereby DENIED. We agree with the appellee that appellant
has failed to submit himself under the jurisdiction of the
court or under the custody of the law since his conviction
in 1999 and that there was no valid bail bond in place
when appellant took his appeal.

Hence, this petition.


The Issues
Petitioner now comes to this Court via a Petition for Review
on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court alleging the
following errors:28
I.

II.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ACTED WITH
GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK
OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT DISMISSED THE
PETITION DOCKETED AS CA G.R. CR NO. 24077 ON THE
GROUND OF ALLEGED FAILURE TO POST A NEW BOND
FOR PETITIONER'S PROVISIONAL LIBERTY AND THAT
THE PERSONAL BAIL BOND POSTED IN THE LOWER
COURT HAD ALLEGEDLY ALREADY EXPIRED;
III.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED
OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN
IT DID NOT CONSIDER AS SUBSTANTIAL, THE
COMPLAINCE FILED BY THE PETITIONER WHICH
SHOWED THE FACT THAT INDEED THERE WAS A BAIL

BOND FILED FOR THE PROVISIONAL LIBERTY OF THE


ACCUSED DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE APPEAL;

or to the custody of the law despite the posting of the subject


bail bond.

IV.

The Court's Ruling

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED


OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN
IT IGNORED THE RECENT BAIL BOND EXTENSION
ATTACHED TO THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
FILED BY THE PETITIONER;

Petitioner faults the appellate court for expressing "x x x in its


questioned resolutions that herein petitioner did not submit to
the jurisdiction of the court or custody of the law, or that there
was no valid bail bond when the appeal was taken when the
records of the case would readily prove the contrary." 29 In
issuing said resolution, petitioner concludes that the Court of
Appeals made "x x x no careful examination of the records x x
x." Petitioner rationalizes his deduction in the following
manner:

V.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED
OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN
IT RULED THAT THE PETITIONER FAILED TO SUBMIT TO
THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OR TO THE
CUSTODY OF LAW DESPITE THE BAIL BOND POSTED ON
MAY 21, 1999; and
VI.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED
OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN
IT RULED THAT THERE WAS NO VALID BAIL BOND IN
PLACE WHEN THE PETITIONER TOOK HIS APPEAL.
The bombardment of errors notwithstanding, only two issues
are raised in this petition: 1) with the exception of the fifth
assignment of error, all six can be encapsulated in one solitary
question, that is, whether or not the Court of Appeals
committed reversible error in dismissing the appeal in view of
petitioner's alleged failure to post a valid bail bond to secure
his provisional liberty on appeal; and 2) whether or not
petitioner failed to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court

x x x [T]he records of the case readily reveals (sic) that several


pleadings were filed by the petitioner before the lower court
even after the promulgation of judgment was made. Right after
the promulgation of the decision in the lower court, herein
petitioner went to the court and posted a bail bond. If the
posting of the bond which was approved by the same Regional
Trial Court who rendered the decision subject of appeal is not
yet a submission to the jurisdiction of the court, then the
respondent Hon. Court of Appeals must have been thinking of
another matter beyond the comprehension of the petitioner
and obviously outside the matters being contemplated by law
and the Rules of Court.
Equally, petitioner further posits that:
x x x Although it is respectfully submitted that an accused shall
be denied bail or his bail shall be cancelled if sentenced to an
imprisonment exceeding six (6) years as provided in Section 5,
Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, just the same, there must be a
showing by the prosecution with notice to the accused of the
fact that, the accused is a recidivist, has previously escaped

from confinement, evaded sentence, has committed an


offense while under probation, there are circumstances
indicating the probability of flight if released on bail, etc. But
there was none of the said instances that may be attributable
to herein petitioner.30

In view of the failure of Eastern Insurance & Surety


Corporation, bondsman of herein accused, to produce the
herein accused within the period granted it by this Court,
judgment is hereby rendered against said bond in the amount
of Seventeen Thousand (P17,000.00) Pesos.31

Respondent People, in contrast, counters that "x x x [a]lthough


a personal bail bond dated May 21, 1999 was executed in
favor of petitioner by Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation two
days after the promulgation of the Decision, there is nothing on
record which shows that petitioner had surrendered, was
arrested or otherwise deprived of his liberty after the
promulgation of the judgment of his conviction in his absence.
x x x." To illustrate its point, respondent People cites the
following facts: 1) the return of the Warrant of Arrest issued on
May 19, 1999 signed by P/Superintendent Ramon Flores De
Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena Section, which states
in full:

Respondent People explains that the first two facts make it


improbable to conclude that there existed a valid bail bond
securing petitioner's provisional liberty even after conviction.
Stated in another way, petitioner's admission to bail presumes
that the latter surrendered, was arrested or he had otherwise
submitted himself under the custody of the law.

Respectfully returned this unexecuted Warrant of Arrest for the


reason that the address of the accused is not within our area
of responsibility. Further request that the warrant of Arrest be
forwarded to the Police Station which has Jurisdiction over the
address of the accused.
However, the name of the accused will be included in our list
of wanted persons for our future reference.
2) the fact that six days after the decision of the RTC was
promulgated, or on 25 May 1999, said court rendered
judgment against the bail bond issued by Eastern Assurance
and Surety Corporation executed to secure petitioner's
provisional liberty during the trial, for the bondsman's failure to
produce petitioner before the court, to wit:

And, 3) "that petitioner belatedly attached a bond endorsement


to his motion for reconsideration dated November 7, 2002
submitted before the Court of Appeals, purportedly to extend
the expired personal bond dated May 21, 1999 x x x, did not
automatically confer on petitioner the benefits of an effective
bail bond,"32as petitioner made no extension of the previous
personal bond before the same expired.
We disagree in petitioner's assertions; hence, the petition must
fail.
A definitive disposition of the issue relating to the existence
and validity of petitioner's bail bond on appeal presupposes
that the latter was allowed by law to post bail notwithstanding
the RTC's judgment of conviction and the imposition of the
penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of nine (9)
years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to
seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion temporal.
Section 5 of Rule 114 of the 1994 Rules of Court, as
amended, intrinsically addresses the foregoing prefatory
matter viz:

SEC. 5. Bail, when discretionary. - Upon conviction by the


Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the court, on
application, may admit the accused to bail.
The court, in its discretion, may allow the accused to continue
on provisional liberty under the same bail bond during the
period to appeal subject to the consent of the bondsman.
If the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six
(6) years, but not more than twenty (20) years, the accused
shall be denied bail, or his bail previously granted shall be
cancelled, upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to
the accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:
(a) That the accused is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual
delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the
circumstances of reiteration;
(b) That the accused is found to have previously escaped from
legal confinement, evaded sentence, or has violated the
conditions of his bail without valid justification;
(c) That the accused committed the offense while on
probation, parole, or under conditional pardon;
(d) That the circumstances of the accused or his case indicate
the probability of flight if released on bail; or
(e) That there is undue risk that during the pendency of the
appeal, the accused may commit another crime.
The appellate court may review the resolution of the Regional
Trial Court, on motion and with notice to the adverse party.
[Emphasis supplied.]

From the preceding quoted provision, the RTC is given the


discretion to admit to bail an accused even after the latter has
been convicted to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for a term
of more than six (6) years but less than twenty (20) years.
However, the same also provides for the cancellation of bail
bonds already granted or the denial of a bail bond application
upon the concurrence of two points: 1) if the judgment of the
Regional Trial Court exceeds six (6) years but not more than
twenty (20) years; and 2) upon a showing by the prosecution,
with notice to the accused, of the presence of any of the five
circumstances therein enumerated or other similar
circumstances.
In the case at bar, petitioner was convicted by the RTC to
suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate term of
nine (9) years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to
seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion temporal.
Quite clearly, the approval of petitioner's application for bail
was discretionary upon the RTC.
It is incongruous, to say the least, that the posting of a bail
presupposes that the accused and/ or accused-appellant is
detained or in the custody of the law.33 In the case at bar, the
bench warrant issued by the RTC on 19 May 1999 still
remains unserved. Nothing in the records of the case, neither
in the RTC nor the Court of Appeals, demonstrates that
petitioner was ever arrested, as there has been no related
Order of Release issued by any court, or that he voluntarily
surrendered or at the very least placed himself under the
custody of the law.
Basic is the principle that that the right to bail can only be
availed of by a person who is in custody of the law or
otherwise deprived of his liberty and it would be premature, x x
x, to file a petition for bail for someone whose freedom has yet
to be curtailed.34

All told, no bail should have been granted petitioner. It is


beyond dispute that the subject bail bond issued by Mega
Pacific Insurance Corporation was irregularly approved. Worth
noting is the fact that nowhere in the records of the case is it
shown that petitioner applied for bail through a motion duly
filed for such purpose nor is there showing that the RTC
issued an Order of Approval or any other court process
acknowledging such document. Be that as it may, even
granting for the sake of argument that it was indeed approved
by Judge Muro, such approval did not render the subject bail
bond valid and binding for it has been established that
petitioner was not entitled to bail on appeal.
That the prosecution appears not to have been given the
chance to object, as evidently required under the quoted rule,
to the application or approval of the subject bail bond (with
notice to the accused), fortifies the declaration as to its
invalidity. Nowhere in the original records of the RTC does it
even show that the prosecution was informed of petitioner's
application for bail, much less the approval of such application.
Noting that the raison d'tre for such requirement is the
discretionary nature of the admission to bail of an accused
after conviction, though discretionary, such assessment must
be exercised in accordance with applicable legal principles. As
when there is a concurrence of the enumerated circumstances
and the range of penalty imposed, the prosecution must first
be accorded an opportunity to object and present evidence, if
necessary, with notice to the accused. It is on this basis that
judicial discretion is balanced in determining whether or not an
accused-appellant should be admitted to bail pending appeal
of his conviction vis - -vis the increased possibility or
likelihood of flight.
Approval of an application for bail on appeal, absent the
knowledge of the prosecution of such application or, at the

very least, failing to allow it to object, is not the product of


sound judicial discretion but of impulse and arbitrariness, not
to mention violative of respondent People's right of procedural
due process.
This is especially true in this case as a close scrutiny of the
original records of the case at bar reveals that petitioner
violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification - his
failure to appear before the RTC, despite due notice, on the
day of the promulgation of the latter's judgment, absent any
justifiable reason. His absence was a clear contravention of
the conditions of his bail bond to say the least. As evidenced
by the undertaking printed on the face of the bond issued by
Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation and likewise
required under Section 635 of Rule 120 of the Rules of Court,
petitioner must present himself before the court for the reading
of the judgment of the RTC in order to render himself to the
execution thereof.
While, indeed, a medical certificate was hand delivered and
filed by a certain Joey Perez, allegedly a representative of
petitioner, stating therein the reason for the latter's absence,
the RTC found insubstantial the explanation proffered.
Appropriately, it ordered the promulgation of its judgment in
absentia. It also issued a bench warrant of arrest against
petitioner.
Upon examination, the subject medical certificate 36 merely
states that petitioner was diagnosed to be suffering from
hypertension. It failed to elucidate further any concomitant
conditions necessitating petitioner's physical incapability to
present himself before the court even for an hour or two; thus,
it considered the absence of petitioner unjustified. What's
more, though notarized, the subject document failed to
indicate evidence of affiant's37 identity making its due
execution doubtful.

Further, it should be recalled as well, that as early as 4 May


1999, petitioner and counsel had already been notified of the
19 May 1999 schedule of promulgation. The first having been
postponed in view of the Urgent Motion to Cancel
Promulgation (on 5 May 1999) filed by petitioner's counsel.
Another telling evidence of the violation of petitioner's original
bail bond is revealed by the Process Server's
Return,38 indicated at the dorsal portion of the RTC's Produce
Order, indicating petitioner's change of address without prior
notice to the RTC, it states:
PROCESS SERVER'S RETURN
This certifies that on the 17th day of May, (sic) 1999,
undersigned return (sic) again to Fersal Apartelle located at
130 Kalayaan Ave. (sic) Diliman, Quezon City for confirmation
and indeed the addressee, Arnold Alva, had no (sic) longer
been residing nor holding office at the aforementioned
address.
By failing to inform the RTC of his change of address,
petitioner failed to hold himself amenable to the orders and
processes of the RTC. It was an unmistakable arrant breach of
the conditions of his bail bond.
Prescinding from the above discussion, the conviction of
petitioner to a period beyond six (6) years but less than twenty
(20) years in tandem with attendant circumstances effectively
violating his bail without valid justification should have
effectively precluded him from being admitted to bail on
appeal.
The issue of the validity of petitioner's bail bond on appeal
having been laid to rest by Section 5 of Rule 114 of the 1994
Rules of Court, as amended, petitioner's alleged failure to post

a bail bond on appeal is, therefore, inconsequential as, under


the circumstances, he is disallowed by law to be admitted to
bail on appeal. Thus, for all legal intents and purposes, there
can be no other conclusion than that at the time petitioner filed
his notice of appeal and during the pendency of his appeal even until now - he remains at large, placing himself beyond
the pale, and protection of the law.
Inexorably, having jumped bail and eluded arrest until the
present, the issue of whether or not petitioner has lost his right
to appeal his conviction now ensues.
The manner of review of petitioner's conviction is governed by
the Rules of Court. Appropriately, Rule 124 of the Rules of
Court presents the procedural requirements regarding appeals
taken to the Court of Appeals. Section 8 of said Rule finds
application to the case at bar, viz:
SEC. 8. Dismissal of appeal for abandonment or failure to
prosecute. - The appellate court may, upon motion of the
appellee or its own motion and notice to the appellant, dismiss
the appeal if the appellant fails to file his brief within the time
prescribed by this Rule, except in case the appellant is
represented by a counsel de oficio.
The court may also, upon motion of the appellee or on its own
motion, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes from
prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign
country during the pendency of the appeal. [Emphasis
supplied.]
By virtue of the second paragraph of the abovequoted
provision, the act of jumping bail, among otherthings, will result
in the outright dismissal of petitioner's appeal. As pointed out
by the Court in the case of People v. Mapalao,39 the reason for
said rule is that:

[O]nce an accused escapes from prison or confinement or


jumps bail or flees to a foreign country, he losses his standing
in court and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction
of the court he is deemed to have waived any right to seek
relief from the court.
Thus, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in
dismissing petitioner's appeal. Within the meaning of the
principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure,
petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and
thereby made the judgment of the RTC final and executory.40
By putting himself beyond the reach and application of the
legal processes of the land, petitioner revealed his contempt of
the law and placed himself in a position to speculate at his
pleasure his chances for a reversal. This, we cannot condone.
Once more, by jumping bail, petitioner has waived his right to
appeal. In the case ofPeople v. Ang Gioc,41 we enunciated
that:
There are certain fundamental rights which cannot be waived
even by the accused himself, but the right of appeal is not one
of them. This right is granted solely for the benefit of the
accused. He may avail of it or not, as he pleases. He may
waive it either expressly or by implication. When the accused
flees after the case has been submitted to the court for
decision, he will be deemed to have waived his right to appeal
from the judgment rendered against him x x x.
Coming now to the second issue of whether or not petitioner
failed to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court or to the
custody of the law, despite the posting of the subject bail bond,
petitioner argues that his act of filing several pleadings after
the promulgation of the RTC's judgment plus his filing of the
application for his admission to bail should be considered a
submission to the court's jurisdiction. He rationalizes that:

[T]he records of the case readily reveals that several pleadings


were filed by the petitioner before the lower court even after
the promulgation of judgment was made. Right after the
promulgation of the decision in the lower court, herein
petitioner went to the court and posted a bail bond. If the
posting of the bond which was approved by the same Regional
Trial Court who rendered the decision subject of appeal is not
yet a submission to the jurisdiction of the court, then the
respondent Hon. Court of Appeals must have been thinking of
another matter beyond the comprehension of the petitioner
and obviously outside the matters being contemplated by law
and the Rules of Court.
For the resolution of the second issue, it should have been
sufficient to state that for reasons stated in the foregoing
discussion, the question posed has now become academic.
However, to diminish the confusion brought about by
ostensibly equating the term "jurisdiction of the court (over the
person of the accused)" with that of "custody of the law", it is
fundamental to differentiate the two. The term:
Custody of the law is accomplished either by arrest or
voluntary surrender (citation omitted); while (the term)
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon
his arrest or voluntary appearance (citation omitted). One can
be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the
jurisdiction of the court over his person, such as when a
person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before
arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can
be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and
yet not be in the custody of the law, such as when an accused
escapes custody after his trial has commenced (citation
omitted).42
Moreover, jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost at the
instance of parties, as when an accused escapes from the

custody of the law, but continues until the case


is terminated.43 Evidently, petitioner is correct in that there is
no doubt that the RTC already acquired jurisdiction over the
person of the accused petitioner - when he appeared at the
arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the crime charged notwithstanding the fact that he jumped bail and is now
considered a fugitive.

apprehension of Petitioner Arnold Alva and for proper


disposition of the case in line with the foregoing discussion.
Costs against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION

As to whether or not petitioner has placed himself under the


custody of the CA, alas, we cannot say the same for "[b]eing in
the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is
thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to
become obedient to the will of the law (citation omitted).
Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the
accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention."44 In the
case at bar, petitioner, being a fugitive, until and unless he
submits himself to the custody of the law, in the manner of
being under the jurisdiction of the courts, he cannot be granted
any relief by the CA.
Parenthetically, we cannot end this ponencia without calling
attention to a very disturbing fact - that petitioner admits of
being the author of a falsified public document was treated
nonchalantly by authorities.
In fine, the petitioner has remained at large even as he hopes
that his appeal, and consequently, this petition, will succeed
and he can then appear before the Court to claim his victory.
He hopes in vain.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
The assailed Resolutions of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R.
CR No. 24077, which dismissed petitioner's appeal, are
hereby AFFIRMED. In this connection, Judge Manuel Muro is
DIRECTED to issue forthwith a warrant of arrest for the

[G.R. NO. 158763 : March 31, 2006]


JOSE C. MIRANDA, ALBERTO P. DALMACIO, and ROMEO
B. OCON, Petitioners, v.VIRGILIO M. TULIAO, Respondent.
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court, assailing the 18 December 2002 Decision 1 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 67770 and its 12 June
2003 Resolution denying petitioners' Motion for
Reconsideration. The dispositive portion of the assailed
decision reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, finding public respondent Judge Anastacio D.
Anghad to have acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the
assailed Orders, the instant petition
for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition is hereby GRANTED
and GIVEN DUE COURSE, and it is hereby ordered:
1. The assailed Joint Order dated August 17, 2001, Order
dated September 21, 2001, Joint Order dated October 16,
2001 and Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 dismissing

the two (2) Informations for Murder, all issued by public


respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad in Criminal Cases
Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524 are hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and another
entered UPHOLDING, AFFIRMING[,] and REINSTATING the
Order dated June 25, 2001 and Joint Order dated July 6, 2001
issued by the then acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan;
2. Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524 are hereby
ordered REINSTATED in the docket of active criminal cases of
Branch 36 of the Regional Trial Court of Santiago City,
Isabela; andcralawlibrary
3. Public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is
DIRECTED to ISSUE forthwith Warrants of Arrest for the
apprehension of private respondents Jose "Pempe" Miranda,
SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon and accused
Rodel T. Maderal in said Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and
36-3524.2
The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as
follows:
On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in
Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified as
the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of
private respondent Virgilio Tuliao who is now under the
witness protection program.
Two informations for murder were filed against SPO1 Wilfredo
Leao, SPO1 Ferdinand Marzan, SPO1 Ruben B. Agustin,
SPO2 Alexander Micu, SPO2 Rodel Maderal, and SPO4
Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Santiago
City.

The venue was later transferred to Manila. On 22 April 1999,


the RTC of Manila convicted all of the accused and sentenced
them to two counts of reclusion perpetua except SPO2
Maderal who was yet to be arraigned at that time, being at
large. The case was appealed to this Court on automatic
review where we, on 9 October 2001, acquitted the accused
therein on the ground of reasonable doubt.
Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested.
On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn confession and
identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon,
and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela Cruz and
Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of
Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao.
Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder
against petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and
submitted the sworn confession of SPO2 Maderal. On 25 June
2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan issued
warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal.
On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to
complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to
recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest.
In the hearing of the urgent motion on 6 July 2001, Judge
Tumaliuan noted the absence of petitioners and issued a Joint
Order denying said urgent motion on the ground that, since the
court did not acquire jurisdiction over their persons, the motion
cannot be properly heard by the court. In the meantime,
petitioners appealed the resolution of State Prosecutor Leo T.
Reyes to the Department of Justice.
On 17 August 2001, the new Presiding Judge Anastacio D.
Anghad took over the case and issued a Joint Order reversing
the Joint Order of Judge Tumaliuan. Consequently, he ordered

the cancellation of the warrant of arrest issued against


petitioner Miranda. He likewise applied this Order to petitioners
Ocon and Dalmacio in an Order dated 21 September 2001.
State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes and respondent Tuliao moved
for the reconsideration of the said Joint Order and prayed for
the inhibition of Judge Anghad, but the motion for
reconsideration was denied in a Joint Order dated 16 October
2001 and the prayer for inhibition was denied in a Joint Order
dated 22 October 2001.
On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a petition
for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with this Court, with
prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin
Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, and
seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint Orders of Judge
Anghad dated 17 August 2001, 21 September 2001, 16
October 2001, and 22 October 2001.
On 12 November 2001, this Court issued a Resolution
resolving to grant the prayer for a temporary restraining order
against Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the
criminal cases. Shortly after the aforesaid resolution, Judge
Anghad issued a Joint Order dated 14 November 2001
dismissing the two Informations for murder against petitioners.
On 19 November 2001, this Court took note of respondent's
cash bond evidenced by O.R. No. 15924532 dated 15
November 2001, and issued the temporary restraining order
while referring the petition to the Court of Appeals for
adjudication on the merits.
Respondent Tuliao filed with this Court a Motion to Cite Public
Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge Anghad
"deliberately and willfully committed contempt of court when he
issued on 15 November 2001 the Order dated 14 November
2001 dismissing the informations for murder." On 21
November 2001, we referred said motion to the Court of

Appeals in view of the previous referral to it of respondent's


petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus .
On 18 December 2002, the Court of Appeals rendered the
assailed decision granting the petition and ordering the
reinstatement of the criminal cases in the RTC of Santiago
City, as well as the issuance of warrants of arrest against
petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. Petitioners moved for a
reconsideration of this Decision, but the same was denied in a
Resolution dated 12 June 2003.
Hence, this petition.
The facts of the case being undisputed, petitioners bring forth
to this Court the following assignments of error:
FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely
erred in reversing and setting aside the Joint Order of Judge
Anastacio D. Anghad dated August 17, 2001, September 21,
2001, October 16, 2001 and November 14, 2001 issued in
criminal cases numbered 36-3523 and 36-3524; and, erred in
upholding, affirming and reinstating the Order dated July 6,
2001 issued by then Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo
Tumaliuan, on the alleged rule that an accused cannot seek
any judicial relief if he does not submit his person to the
jurisdiction of the court.
SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely
erred in directing the reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 363523 and 36-3524 in the docket of Active Criminal Cases of
Branch 36 of the Regional Trial Court of Santiago City,

Philippines, and in ordering the public respondent to re-issue


the warrants of arrest against herein petitioners.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

judicial relief since they were not yet arrested or otherwise


deprived of their liberty at the time they filed their "Urgent
Motion to complete preliminary investigation; to reinvestigate;
to recall and/or quash warrants of arrest."4

Wit all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals committed


a reversible error in ordering the reinstatement of Criminal
Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524 in the docket of active
criminal cases of Branch 36 of the regional trial court of
Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the public
respondent to issue warrants of arrest against herein
petitioners, the order of dismissal issued therein having
become final and executory.

Petitioners counter the finding of the Court of Appeals by


arguing that jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
required only in applications for bail. Furthermore, petitioners
argue, assuming that such jurisdiction over their person is
required before the court can act on their motion to quash the
warrant for their arrest, such jurisdiction over their person was
already acquired by the court by their filing of the above
Urgent Motion.

Adjudication of a motion to quash a warrant of arrest requires


neither jurisdiction over the person of the accused, nor custody
of law over the body of the accused.

In arguing that jurisdiction over the person is required only in


the adjudication of applications for bail, petitioners quote
Retired Court of Appeals Justice Oscar Herrera:

The first assignment of error brought forth by the petitioner


deals with the Court of Appeals' ruling that:

Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary for the court


to first acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused to
dismiss the case or grant other relief. The outright dismissal of
the case even before the court acquires jurisdiction over the
person of the accused is authorized under Section 6(a), Rule
112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and the
Revised Rules on Summary Procedure (Sec. 12a). In Allado v.
Diokno (232 SCRA 192), the case was dismissed on motion of
the accused for lack of probable cause without the accused
having been arrested. In Paul Roberts v. Court of Appeals
(254 SCRA 307), the Court was ordered to hold the issuance
of a warrant of arrest in abeyance pending review by the
Secretary of Justice. And in Lacson v. Executive Secretary
(301 SCRA 1025 ), the Court ordered the case transferred from
the Sandiganbayan to the RTC which eventually ordered the
dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause.6

[A]n accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he does not


submit his person to the jurisdiction of the court. Jurisdiction
over the person of the accused may be acquired either
through compulsory process, such as warrant of arrest, or
through his voluntary appearance, such as when he
surrenders to the police or to the court. It is only when the
court has already acquired jurisdiction over his person that an
accused may invoke the processes of the court (Pete M. Pico
v. Alfonso V. Combing, Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-91-764, November
6, 1992). Thus, an accused must first be placed in the custody
of the law before the court may validly act on his petition for
judicial reliefs.3
Proceeding from this premise, the Court of Appeals ruled that
petitioners Miranda, Ocon and Dalmacio cannot seek any

In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their


person was already acquired by their filing of the above Urgent
Motion, petitioners invoke our pronouncement, through Justice
Florenz D. Regalado, in Santiago v. Vasquez7 :
The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court
acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either by
his pleading to the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash
or other pleadings requiring the exercise of the court's
jurisdiction thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial)
or by filing bail. On the matter of bail, since the same is
intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as a
rule the same cannot be posted before custody of the accused
has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his
arrest or voluntary surrender.
Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction between
custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person. Custody of
the law is required before the court can act upon the
application for bail, but is not required for the adjudication of
other reliefs sought by the defendant where the mere
application therefor constitutes a waiver of the defense of lack
of jurisdiction over the person of the accused.8 Custody of the
law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary
surrender,9 while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance.10 One can
be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the
jurisdiction of the court over his person, such as when a
person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before
arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can
be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and
yet not be in the custody of the law, such as when an accused
escapes custody after his trial has commenced.11 Being in the
custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is
thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to
become obedient to the will of the law.12 Custody of the law is

literally custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but


is not limited to, detention.
The statement in Pico v. Judge Combong, Jr., 13 cited by the
Court of Appeals should not have been separated from the
issue in that case, which is the application for admission to bail
of someone not yet in the custody of the law. The entire
paragraph of our pronouncement in Pico reads:
A person applying for admission to bail must be in the custody
of the law or otherwise deprived of his liberty. A person who
has not submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court has no
right to invoke the processes of that court. Respondent Judge
should have diligently ascertained the whereabouts of the
applicant and that he indeed had jurisdiction over the body of
the accused before considering the application for bail.13
While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar
as it concerns bail, we clarify that, as a general rule, one who
seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the
jurisdiction of the court.15 As we held in the aforecited case of
Santiago, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in civil
or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance.
Pico deals with an application for bail, where there is the
special requirement of the applicant being in the custody of the
law. In Feliciano v. Pasicolan, 16 we held that "[t]he purpose of
bail is to secure one's release and it would be incongruous to
grant bail to one who is free. Thus, 'bail is the security required
and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of
law.' " The rationale behind this special rule on bail is that it
discourages and prevents resort to the former pernicious
practice wherein the accused could just send another in his
stead to post his bail, without recognizing the jurisdiction of the
court by his personal appearance therein and compliance with
the requirements therefor.17

There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing pleadings


seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance,
and the consequent submission of one's person to the
jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of pleadings whose
prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the
court, which only leads to a special appearance. These
pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant,
whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included;18 (2)
in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint on the ground
of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and (3)
motions to quash a warrant of arrest. The first two are
consequences of the fact that failure to file them would
constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over
the person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the
very legality of the court process forcing the submission of the
person of the accused that is the very issue in a motion to
quash a warrant of arrest.
To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal
cases, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed
waived by the accused when he files any pleading seeking an
affirmative relief, except in cases when he invokes the special
jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his
person. Therefore, in narrow cases involving special
appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of the
court even though there is neither jurisdiction over the person
nor custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the
special jurisdiction of the court applies for bail, he must first
submit himself to the custody of the law.
In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the
general rule applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have
submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court upon seeking
affirmative relief. Notwithstanding this, there is no requirement
for him to be in the custody of the law. The following cases

best illustrate this point, where we granted various reliefs to


accused who were not in the custody of the law, but were
deemed to have placed their persons under the jurisdiction of
the court. Note that none of these cases involve the
application for bail, nor a motion to quash an information due
to lack of jurisdiction over the person, nor a motion to quash a
warrant of arrest:
1. In Allado v. Diokno, 19 on the prayer of the accused in a
petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of probable cause,
we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining PACC from
enforcing the warrant of arrest and the respondent judge
therein from further proceeding with the case and, instead, to
elevate the records to us.
2. In Roberts, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,20 upon the accused's
Motion to Suspend Proceedings and to Hold in Abeyance
Issuance of Warrants of Arrest on the ground that they filed a
Petition for Review with the Department of Justice, we directed
respondent judge therein to cease and desist from further
proceeding with the criminal case and to defer the issuance of
warrants of arrests against the accused.
3. In Lacson v. Executive Secretary,21 on the prayer of the
accused in a petition forcertiorari on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction on the part of the Sandiganbayan, we directed the
Sandiganbayan to transfer the criminal cases to the Regional
Trial Court even before the issuance of the warrants of arrest.
We hold that the circumstances forcing us to require custody
of the law in applications for bail are not present in motions to
quash the warrant of arrest. If we allow the granting of bail to
persons not in the custody of the law, it is foreseeable that
many persons who can afford the bail will remain at large, and
could elude being held to answer for the commission of the
offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other hand, if we

allow the quashal of warrants of arrest to persons not in the


custody of the law, it would be very rare that a person not
genuinely entitled to liberty would remain scot-free. This is
because it is the same judge who issued the warrant of arrest
who will decide whether or not he followed the Constitution in
his determination of probable cause, and he can easily deny
the motion to quash if he really did find probable cause after
personally examining the records of the case.
Moreover, pursuant to the presumption of regularity of official
functions, the warrant continues in force and effect until it is
quashed and therefore can still be enforced on any day and at
any time of the day and night.22 Furthermore, the continued
absence of the accused can be taken against him in the
determination of probable cause, since flight is indicative of
guilt.
In fine, as much as it is incongruous to grant bail to one who is
free, it is likewise incongruous to require one to surrender his
freedom before asserting it. Human rights enjoy a higher
preference in the hierarchy of rights than property
rights,23 demanding that due process in the deprivation of
liberty must come before its taking and not after.
Quashing a warrant of arrest based on a subsequently filed
Petition for Review with the Secretary of Justice and based on
doubts engendered by the political climate constitutes grave
abuse of discretion.
We nevertheless find grave abuse of discretion in the assailed
actions of Judge Anghad. Judge Anghad seemed a little too
eager of dismissing the criminal cases against the petitioners.
First, he quashed the standing warrant of arrest issued by his
predecessor because of a subsequently filed appeal to the
Secretary of Justice, and because of his doubts on the
existence of probable cause due to the political climate in the

city. Second, after the Secretary of Justice affirmed the


prosecutor's resolution, he dismissed the criminal cases on the
basis of a decision of this Court in another case with different
accused, doing so two days after this Court resolved to issue a
temporary restraining order against further proceeding with the
case.
After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of
petitioners, petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant
prosecutor's resolution before the Secretary of Justice. Judge
Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the warrant of
arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to Judge
Anghad, "x x x prudence dictates (that) and because of comity,
a deferment of the proceedings is but proper."24
Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is
inconceivable to charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in
prudence and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants
of arrest against petitioners just because the petitioners might,
in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutor's resolution to
the Secretary of Justice. But even if the Petition for Review
was filed before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact
remains that the pendency of a petition for the review of the
prosecutor's resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants
of arrest.
In Webb v. de Leon,25 we held that the petitioners therein
cannot assail as premature the filing of the information in court
against them on the ground that they still have the right to
appeal the adverse resolution of the DOJ Panel to the
Secretary of Justice. Similarly, the issuance of warrants of
arrest against petitioners herein should not have been
quashed as premature on the same ground.
The other ground invoked by Judge Anghad for the quashal of
the warrant of arrest is in order if true: violation of the

Constitution. Hence, Judge Anghad asked and resolved the


question:
In these double murder cases, did this Court comply or adhere
to the above-quoted constitutional proscription, which is Sec.
2, Article III Bill of Rights; to Sec. 6(a), Rule 112, Rules of
Criminal Procedure and to the above-cited decisional cases?
To this query or issue, after a deep perusal of the arguments
raised, this Court, through [its] regular Presiding Judge, finds
merit in the contention of herein accused-movant, Jose
"Pempe" Miranda.26
Judge Anghad is referring to the following provision of the
Constitution as having been violated by Judge Tumaliuan:

and not on a separate determination personally made by the


Judge. No presumption of regularity could be drawn from the
order since it expressly and clearly showed that it was based
only on the fiscal's certification.28
Petitioners' claim is untrue. Judge Tumaliuan's Joint Order
contains no such indication that he relied solely on the
prosecutor's certification. The Joint Order even indicated the
contrary:
Upon receipt of the information and resolution of the
prosecutor, the Court proceeded to determine the existence of
a probable cause by personally evaluating the records x x
x.[29]

Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons,


houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be
inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally
by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the
persons or things to be seized.27

The records of the case show that the prosecutor's certification


was accompanied by supporting documents, following the
requirement under Lim, Sr. v. Felix30 and People v.
Inting.31 The supporting documents are the following:

However, after a careful scrutiny of the records of the case,


including the supporting evidence to the resolution of the
prosecutor in his determination of probable cause, we find that
Judge Anghad gravely abused his discretion.

3. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Romeo B. Ocon;

According to petitioners:

5. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Alberto Dalmacio;

In this case, the nullity of the order of Judge Tumaliuan, for the
arrest of the petitioners is apparent from the face of the order
itself, which clearly stated that the determination of probable
cause was based on the certification, under oath, of the fiscal

6. Decision dated 22 April 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of


Manila, Branch 41 in Criminal Case No. 97-160355;

1. Resolution dated 21 June 2001 of State Prosecutor Leo S.


Reyes;
2. Affidavit dated 22 May 2001 of Modesto Gutierrez;

4. Joint Counter Affidavit dated 23 May 2001 of Mayor Jose C.


Miranda and Reynaldo de la Cruz;

7. Sworn statement dated 27 April 2001 of Rodel Maderal;


8. Information dated 22 June 2001;
9. Affidavit-complaint of Virgilio Tuliao; andcralawlibrary
10. Medico-legal Reports of the cadavers of Elezer Tuliao and
Vicente Buazon.
Hence, procedurally, we can conclude that there was no
violation on the part of Judge Tumaliuan of Article III, Section
2, of the Constitution. Judge Anghad, however, focused on the
substantive part of said section, i.e., the existence of probable
cause. In failing to find probable cause, Judge Anghad ruled
that the confession of SPO2 Maderal is incredible for the
following reasons: (1) it was given after almost two years in the
custody of the National Bureau of Investigation; (2) it was
given by someone who rendered himself untrustworthy for
being a fugitive for five years; (3) it was given in exchange for
an obvious reward of discharge from the information; and (4) it
was given during the election period amidst a "politically
charged scenario where "Santiago City voters were pitted
against each other along the lines of the Miranda camp on one
side and former City Mayor Amelita S. Navarro, and allegedly
that of DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez on the other." 32
We painstakingly went through the records of the case and
found no reason to disturb the findings of probable cause of
Judge Tumaliuan.
It is important to note that an exhaustive debate on the
credibility of a witness is not within the province of the
determination of probable cause. As we held in Webb 33 :
A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence
showing that more likely than not a crime has been committed

and was committed by the suspects. Probable cause need not


be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on
evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and
definitely, not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of
guilt. As well put in Brinegar v. United States, while probable
cause demands more than "bare suspicion," it requires "less
than evidence which would justify x x x conviction." A finding of
probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It
is not a pronouncement of guilt.
x x x Probable cause merely implies probability of guilt and
should be determined in a summary manner. Preliminary
investigation is not a part of trial x x x.
Dismissing a criminal case on the basis of a decision of this
Court in another case with different accused constitutes grave
abuse of discretion.
Judge Anghad had quashed the warrant of arrest on the
ground, among other things, that there was a Petition for
Review of the assistant prosecutor's resolution before the
Secretary of Justice. However, after the Secretary of Justice
affirmed the prosecutor's resolution, Judge Anghad summarily
dismissed the two criminal cases against the petitioners on the
basis of the following explanation:
Rodel Maderal was one of the accused in People v. Wilfredo
Leano, et al., RTC, Branch 41, Manila, and based from his
sworn statements, he pinpointed to Mr. Miranda - the
mastermind and with him and the other police officers as the
direct perpetrators, the October 9, 2001 Decision of the
Supreme Court absolving the five cops of murder, certainly
makes his sworn Statements a "narration of falsehood and
lies" and that because of the decision acquitting said officers
"who were likewise falsely linked by said Rodel Maderal in his
April 27, 2001 statements, it is now beyond doubt that Rodel

Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements


and therefore the same is without probable value." This Court
agrees with the defense's views. Indeed, of what use is
Maderal's statements when the Supreme Court rejected the
prosecution's evidence presented and adduced in Criminal
Case No. 97-160355. Rodel Maderal is supposed to turn state
witness in these two (2) cases but with the Supreme Court
decision adverted to, the probative value of his statements is
practically nil.
xxx
This Court finds merit to the manifestation of the accused
Miranda dated October 18, 2001, praying for the summary
dismissal of the two (2) murder charges in view of the latest
decision of the Supreme Court in People of the Philippines v.
Wilfredo Leao, et al., G.R. No. 13886, acquitting the accused
therein and in effect disregarding all the evidence presented
by the prosecution in that case. Accordingly, the two (2)
informations [for] murder filed against Jose Miranda are
ordered dismissed.34
This is a clear case of abuse of discretion. Judge Anghad had
no right to twist our decision and interpret it to the discredit of
SPO2 Maderal, who was still at large when the evidence of the
prosecution in the Leao case was presented. A decision,
even of this Court, acquitting the accused therein of a crime
cannot be the basis of the dismissal of criminal case against
different accused for the same crime. The blunder of Judge
Anghad is even more pronounced by the fact that our decision
in Leao was based on reasonable doubt. We never ruled in
Leao that the crime did not happen; we just found that there
was reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused therein,
since the prosecution in that case relied on circumstantial
evidence, which interestingly is not even the situation in the
criminal cases of the petitioners in the case at bar as there is

here an eyewitness: Rodel Maderal. The accused in Leao


furthermore had no motive to kill respondent Tuliao's son,
whereas petitioners herein had been implicated in the
testimony of respondent Tuliao before the Senate Blue Ribbon
Committee.
It is preposterous to conclude that because of our finding of
reasonable doubt in Leao, "it is now beyond doubt that Rodel
Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements
and therefore the same is without probable value." 35 On the
contrary, if we are to permit the use of our decision in Leao,
an acquittal on the ground of reasonable doubt actually points
to the probability of the prosecution's version of the facts
therein. Such probability of guilt certainly meets the criteria of
probable cause.
We cannot let unnoticed, too, Judge Anghad's dismissal of the
informations two days after we resolved to issue, upon the
filing of a bond, a temporary restraining order prohibiting him
from further proceeding with the case. The bond was filed the
day after the informations were dismissed. While the dismissal
of the case was able to beat the effectivity date of the
temporary restraining order, such abrupt dismissal of the
informations (days after this Court's resolve to issue a TRO
against Judge Anghad) creates wild suspicions about the
motives of Judge Anghad.
Nullification of a proceeding necessarily carries with it the
reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified
proceeding.
In their second assignment of error, petitioners claim that the
Court of Appeals did not recall or reinstate the warrants of
arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuan, but instead directed Judge
Anghad to issue apparently new warrants of
arrest.36 According to the petitioners, it was an error for the

Court of Appeals to have done so, without a personal


determination of probable cause.

There is no double jeopardy in the reinstatement of a criminal


case dismissed before arraignment

We disagree. Whether the Court of Appeals ordered the


issuance of new warrants of arrest or merely ordered the
reinstatement of the warrants of arrest issued by Judge
Tumaliuan is merely a matter of scrupulous semantics, the
slight inaccuracy whereof should not be allowed to affect the
dispositions on the merits, especially in this case where the
other dispositions of the Court of Appeals point to the other
direction. Firstly, the Court of Appeals had reinstated the 25
June 2001 Order of Judge Tumaliuan,37 which issued the
warrants of arrest. Secondly, the Court of Appeals likewise
declared the proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void.
Certainly, the declaration of nullity of proceedings should be
deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the orders set
aside by the nullified proceedings. Judge Anghad's order
quashing the warrants of arrest had been nullified; therefore
those warrants of arrest are henceforth deemed unquashed.

In their third assignment of error, petitioners claim that the


Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in ordering the
reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 363524, alleging that the order of dismissal issued therein had
become final and executory. According to petitioners:

Even if, however, the Court of Appeals had directed the


issuance of new warrants of arrest based on a determination
of probable cause, it would have been legally permissible for
them to do so. The records of the preliminary investigation had
been available to the Court of Appeals, and are also available
to this Court, allowing both the Court of Appeals and this Court
to personally examine the records of the case and not merely
rely on the certification of the prosecutor. As we have ruled in
Allado v. Diokno and Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the
determination of probable cause does not rest on a subjective
criteria. As we had resolved in those cases to overrule the
finding of probable cause of the judges therein on the ground
of grave abuse of discretion, in the same vein, we can also
overrule the decision of a judge reversing a finding of probable
cause, also on the ground of grave abuse of discretion.

2.) Order dated September 21, 2001;

It is also worthy to point out at this juncture that the Joint Order
of Judge Anghad dated November 14, 2001 is NOT ONE of
those Orders which were assailed in the private respondent
Tuliao's Petition for Certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition filed
by the private respondent before the Court of Appeals. As
carefully enumerated in the first page of the assailed Decision,
only the following Orders issued by Judge Anghad were
questioned by private respondent, to wit:
1.) Joint Order dated August 17, 2001;

3.) Joint Order dated October 16, 2001; andcralawlibrary


4.) Joint Order dated October 22, 2001.
Obviously, the Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 of Judge
Anghad, which ultimately dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. 363523 AND 36-3524 is NOT included in the list of the assailed
Order/Joint Orders. Hence, the Court of Appeals should not
have passed upon the validity or nullity of the Joint Order of
November 14, 2001.38
Petitioners must have forgotten that respondent Tuliao's
Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus was filed not
with the Court of Appeals, but with this Court. The Court of

Appeals decided the case because we referred the same to


them in our 19 November 2001 Resolution. Such petition was
filed on 25 October 2001, around three weeks before the 14
November 2001 Order. Upon receipt of the 14 November 2001
Order, however, respondent Tuliao lost no time in filing with
this Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt,
alleging that Judge Anghad "deliberately and willfully
committed contempt of court when he issued on 15 November
2001 the Order dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the
informations for murder." On 21 November 2001, we referred
said motion to the Court of Appeals, in view of the previous
referral of respondent Tuliao's petition forcertiorari, prohibition
and mandamus .
Our referral to the Court of Appeals of the Motion to Cite
Public Repondent in Contempt places the 14 November 2001
Order within the issues of the case decided by the Court of
Appeals. In claiming that Judge Anghad committed contempt
of this Court in issuing the 14 November 2001 Order,
respondent Tuliao had ascribed to Judge Anghad an act much
more serious than grave abuse of discretion.
Respondent Tuliao claims that Judge Anghad issued the 14
November 2001 Order on 15 November 2001, antedating it so
as to avoid the effects of our 12 November 2001 Resolution. In
said 12 November 2001 Resolution, we resolved to issue a
temporary restraining order enjoining Judge Anghad from
further proceeding with the criminal cases upon the
respondent Tuliao's filing of a bond in the amount
of P20,000.00. Respondent Tuliao had filed the bond on 15
November 2005.
While we cannot immediately pronounce Judge Anghad in
contempt, seeing as disobedience to lawful orders of a court
and abuse of court processes are cases of indirect contempt
which require the granting of opportunity to be heard on the

part of respondent,39 the prayer to cite public respondent in


contempt and for other reliefs just and equitable under the
premises should be construed to include a prayer for the
nullification of said 14 November 2001 Order.
In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed
before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy.
Double jeopardy cannot be invoked where the accused has
not been arraigned and it was upon his express motion that
the case was dismissed.40
As to respondent Tuliao's prayer (in both the original petition
for certiorari as well as in his motion to cite for contempt) to
disqualify Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the
case, we hold that the number of instances of abuse of
discretion in this case are enough to convince us of an
apparent bias on the part of Judge Anghad. We further resolve
to follow the case of People v. SPO1 Leao,41 by transferring
the venue of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524 to
the City of Manila, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4, of the
Constitution.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 18
December 2002 and the Resolution dated 12 June 2003 of the
Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification
that Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524 be
transferred to and raffled in the Regional Trial Court of the City
of Manila. In this connection,
1) Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Executive Judge
of the RTC of the City of Santiago, Isabela, who is directed to
effect the transfer of the cases within ten (10) days after
receipt hereof;

2) The Executive Judge of the RTC of the City of Santiago,


Isabela, is likewise directed to report to this Court compliance
hereto within ten (10) days from transfer of these cases;
3) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila shall proceed to
raffle the criminal cases within ten (10) days from the transfer;
4) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila is likewise
directed to report to this Court compliance with the order to
raffle within ten (10) days from said compliance;
andcralawlibrary
5) The RTC Judge to whom the criminal cases are raffled is
directed to act on said cases with reasonable dispatch.
6) Finally, Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is directed to issue
forthwith warrants of arrest for the apprehension of petitioners
Jose C. Miranda, Alberto P. Dalmacio, Romeo B. Ocon, and
accused Rodel T. Maderal, conformably with the decision of
the Court of Appeals dated 18 December 2002.
The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court dated 4
August 2003 is hereby LIFTED. Costs against Petitioners.
SO ORDERED.