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HANNAH EUNICE D. SERANA, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: Petitioner Hannah Eunice D.

Serana was a senior student of the University of the Philippines-Cebu. A student of a state university is known as a government scholar. She was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada as a student regent of UP, to serve a one-year term. Petitioner here asked the former president Estrada to fund the renovations of a hall in Up Diliman and president gave 15 MILLION but it did not materialized. One of the student from another council filed a complaint alleging act of Malversation of Public Funds and Property. The Ombudsman also after due investigation found probable cause to indict petitioner and her brother for estafa. Petitioner moved to quash the said complaint as she contended SB has no jurisdiction over estafa cases and that the money came from the president and since she is just a student register and is not considered a public officer and she did not even received any salary. ISSUES: (a) The Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over estafa (b) Petitioner is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27 and she paid her tuition fees; (c) The offense charged was not committed in relation to her office; (d) The funds in question personally came from President Estrada, not from the government. HELD: A. YES the SB has jurisdiction. It is set by PD No. 1606 and not RA 3019 because Sec 4 of RA 3019 does not deal with any jurisdiction but with prohibitions on certain individuals. (B) of PD 1606- estafa is included as one of the other felonies mentioned. The two requisites are: 1) The offense is committed by public officials 2) The offense is committed in relation to office Including crimes committed by public officials and in conspiracy with private persons- the crimes are treated a like. B. Petitioner here as a UP student regent is considered as public officer Private Officers are individuals invested with some portion of sovereign functions of the government to be exercised for public benefit of public. The right to hold public office is not a natural right. It exists by virtue of a law creating it. Petitioner falls under trustees, or managers of educational institutions or foundations. C. She committed offense not in private capacity but in relation to her office D. A public office is the right, authority, and duty created and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercise by him for the benefit of the public. The right to hold a public office under our political system is therefore not a natural right. It exists, when it exists at all only because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring it. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office, or even an absolute right to hold office. Excepting constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary. Compensation is not essential element but only incidental to public office. Admin of UP is a sovereign function in line with Article XIV of the constitution- it is maintained by the government and it declares no dividends and is not a corporation created by profit

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