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CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

05 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs SANDIGANBAYAN (THIRD


DIVISION) & AMANTE
RE: Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
FACTS: Victoria Amante was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Toledo City, Proince of Cebu! She was able to get hold
of a cash adance "Ph# $% &'() to answer for e*#enses of a seminar by the Committee on +ealth and Enironmental #rotection!
After almost two years, no li,uidation was made! The City Auditor issued a letter to Amante demanding her to settle the unli,uidated
amount within $- hours from recei#t of the same demand letter! The Commission on Audit submitted an inestigation re#ort to .ffice
of the /e#uty .mbudsman for Visayas ".012Visayas) to ascertain whether a##ro#riate charges can be filed against Amante for
iolating the Auditing Code of the Phili##ines! Eentually, the case against Amante was raffled to the Third /iision of
Sandiganbayan "S1)! Amante then filed a 0otion to /efer Arraignment and 0otion for Reinestigation! .ne of her contentions was
that S1 had no 3urisdiction oer the case because she was a local official who was occu#ying a #osition of Salary 4rade -5, while
Section 6 of Re#ublic Act "R!A!) 7o! 8-6' #roides that the Sandiganbayan shall hae original 3urisdiction only in cases where the
accused holds a #osition otherwise classified as 4rade -$ and higher! S1 dismissed the criminal com#laint against Amante!
ISSUE: 9hether a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod under Salary 4rade -5 who was charged with iolation of The Auditing
Code of the Phili##ines falls within the 3urisdiction of the Sandiganbayan!
HELD: Pett!" s #e$t!$!%s& SB '(s )%$s*+t!"
RATIO:
The Applicable Law
The a##licable law in this case is Section 6 of P!/! 7o! %5&5, as amended by Section - of R!A! 7o! $'$( which too: effect on 0ay
%5, %''(, which was again amended on ;ebruary (, %''$ by R!A! 7o! 8-6'! The 3urisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be
determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense! Since the #resent case was
instituted on 0ay -%, -&&6, the #roisions of R!A! 7o! 8-6' shall goern!
Sec! 6! Jurisdiction! 22 The Sandiganbayan shall e*ercise original 3urisdiction in all cases inoling:

A! Violations of Re#ublic Act 7o! <&%', as amended, otherwise :nown as the Anti24raft and Corru#t
Practices Act, Re#ublic Act 7o! %<$', and Cha#ter ==, Section -, Title V== of the Reised Penal Code, where one
or more of the #rinci#al accused are officials occu#ying the following #ositions in the goernment, whether in a
#ermanent, acting or interim ca#acity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

"%) .fficials of the e*ecutie branch occu#ying the #ositions of regional director
and higher, otherwise classified as grade >-$? and higher, of the Com#ensation and Position
Classification Act of %'8' "Re#ublic Act 7o! 5$(8), s#ecifically including:
"a) Proincial goernors, ice2goernors, members of the sangguniang
#anlalawigan and #roincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city
de#artment heads@
"b) City mayors, ice2mayors, members of the sangguniang
#anlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city
de#artment heads!
"c) .fficials of the di#lomatic serice occu#ying the #osition of
consul and higher@
"d) Phili##ine army and air force colonels, naal ca#tains, and
all officers of higher ran:@
"e) P7P chief su#erintendent and P7P officers of higher ran:@
"f) City and #roincial #rosecutors and their assistants, and
officials and #rosecutors in the .ffice of the .mbudsman and S#ecial
Prosecutor@
"g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of
goernment2owned or controlled cor#orations, state uniersities or
educational institutions or foundations@
"-) 0embers of Congress and officials thereof classified as
4rade >-$? and u# under the Com#ensation and Position Classification
Act of %'8'@
"<) 0embers of the 3udiciary without #re3udice to the #roisions of the
Constitution@
"6) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without #re3udice to
the #roisions of the Constitution@ and
"() All other national and local officials classified as 4rade >-$? and higher under
the Com#ensation and Position Classification Act of %'8'!
1! .ther offenses or felonies, whether sim#le or com#le*ed with other crimes committed by
the #ublic officials and em#loyees mentioned in subsection "a) of this section in relation to their office!
C! Ciil and criminal cases filed #ursuant to and in connection with E*ecutie .rder 7os! %, -, %6 and
%62A!
Bless Guerra
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Those that are classified as 4rade -5 and below may still fall within the 3urisdiction of the Sandiganbayan #roided that
they hold the #ositions thus enumerated by the same law! Particularly and e*clusiely enumerated are #roincial goernors, ice2
goernors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and #roincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other #roincial
de#artment heads@ city mayors, ice2mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers , and
other city de#artment heads@ officials of the di#lomatic serice occu#ying the #osition as consul and higher@ Phili##ine army and air
force colonels, naal ca#tains, and all officers of higher ran:@ P7P chief su#erintendent and P7P officers of higher ran:@ City and
#roincial #rosecutors and their assistants, and officials and #rosecutors in the .ffice of the .mbudsman and s#ecial #rosecutor@
and #residents, directors or trustees, or managers of goernment2owned or controlled cor#orations, state uniersities or educational
institutions or foundations! =n connection therewith, Section 6"b) of the same law #roides that other offenses or felonies committed
by #ublic officials and em#loyees mentioned in subsection "a) in relation to their office also fall under the 3urisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan!
1y sim#le analogy, a##lying the #roisions of the #ertinent law, res#ondent Amante, being a member of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod at the time of the alleged commission of an offense in relation to her office, falls within the original 3urisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan!
Those #ublic officials enumerated in Section 6"a) of P!/! 7o! %5&5, as amended, may not only be charged in the
Sandiganbayan with iolations of R!A! 7o! <&%', R!A! 7o! %<$' or Cha#ter ==, Section -, Title V== of the Reised Penal Code, but
also with other offenses or felonies in relation to their office! The said other offenses and felonies are broad in sco#e but are limited
only to those that are committed in relation to the #ublic official or em#loyeeAs office! This Court had ruled that as long as the
offense charged in the information is intimately connected with the office and is alleged to hae been #er#etrated while the accused
was in the #erformance, though im#ro#er or irregular, of his official functions, there being no #ersonal motie to commit the crime
and had the accused not hae committed it had he not held the aforesaid office, the accused is held to hae been indicted for >an
offense committed in relation? to his office
A close reading of the =nformation filed against res#ondent Amante for iolation of The Auditing Code of
the Phili##ines reeals that the said offense was committed in relation to her office, ma:ing her fall under Section 6"b) of P!/! 7o!
%5&5, as amended!
=n the offenses inoled in Section 6"a), it is not dis#uted that #ublic office is essential as an element of the said offenses
themseles, while in those offenses and felonies inoled in Section 6"b), it is enough that the said offenses and felonies were
committed in relation to the #ublic officials or em#loyeesA office! =t is beyond clarity that the same #roision of Section 6"b) does not
mention any ,ualification as to the #ublic officials inoled! =t sim#ly stated, public officials and employees mentioned in subsection
(a) of the same section! Therefore, it refers to those #ublic officials with Salary 4rade -$ and aboe, e*ce#t those s#ecifically
enumerated!
Bless Guerra