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JURISDICTION In countless decisions, this Court has
consistently held that, while an order or decision
rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and
1. DUERO VS CA: (ESTOPPEL DOES NOT APPLY) may be assailed at any stage, active
participation in the proceedings in the court
which rendered the order or decision will bar
Was private respondent estopped from
such party from attacking its jurisdiction.
questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC? In this
case, we are in agreement with the Court of In the case at bar, it was petitioners themselves
Appeals that he was not. While participation in who invoked the jurisdiction of the court a quo
all stages of a case before the trial court, by instituting an action for reformation of
including invocation of its authority in asking for contract against private respondents. It appears
affirmative relief, effectively bars a party by that, in the proceedings before the trial court,
estoppel from challenging the court's petitioners vigorously asserted their cause from
jurisdiction,13 we note that estoppel has become start to finish. Not even once did petitioners ever
an equitable defense that is both substantive raise the issue of the courts jurisdiction during
and remedial and its successful invocation can the entire proceedings which lasted for two
bar a right and not merely its equitable years. It was only after the trial court rendered
enforcement.14 Hence, estoppel ought to be its decision and issued a writ of execution
applied with caution. For estoppel to apply, the against them in 1998 did petitioners first raise
action giving rise thereto must be unequivocal the issue of jurisdiction and it was only
and intentional because, if misapplied, estoppel because said decision was unfavorable to them.
may become a tool of injustice.15 Petitioners thus effectively waived their right to
question the courts jurisdiction over the case
Recall that it was petitioner who filed the they themselves filed.
complaint against private respondent and two
other parties before the said court,16 believing
that the RTC had jurisdiction over his complaint. 4. ESCOBAL VS GATCHITORENA (JURISDICTION
But by then, Republic Act 769117amending BP OVER PUBLIC OFFICERS WITH SG BELOW 27)
129 had become effective, such that jurisdiction
already belongs not to the RTC but to the MTC
pursuant to said amendment. Private The jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases
respondent, an unschooled farmer, in the is determined by the allegations in the
mistaken belief that since he was merely a Information or the Complaint and the statute in
tenant of the late Artemio Laurente Sr., his effect at the time of the commencement of the
landlord, gave the summons to a Hipolito action, unless such statute provides for a
Laurente, one of the surviving heirs of Artemio retroactive application thereof. The jurisdictional
Sr., who did not do anything about the requirements must be alleged in the
summons. Information.19 Such jurisdiction of the court
acquired at the inception of the case continues
until the case is terminated.
2. DONATO VS CA (ERROR OF JT VS ERROR OF the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive jurisdiction
JURISDICTION) (impossibility of signing the cert for under the said law over crimes committed by
non forum shopping w/in 15 d; abroad) public officers in relation to their office, it is
An error of judgment is one by which the court essential that the facts showing the intimate
may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction, relation between the office of the offender and
and which error is reviewable only by an appeal. the discharge of official duties must be alleged in
On the other hand, an error of jurisdiction is one the Information.
where the act complained of was issued by the The amended Information filed with the RTC
court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or against the petitioner does not contain any
in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of allegation showing the intimate relation between
discretion which is tantamount to lack or in his office and the discharge of his duties. Hence,
excess of jurisdiction. This error is correctible the RTC had jurisdiction over the offense
only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari. charged.
Here, the present petition principally assails the If SG BELOW 27: jurisdiction is with the
dismissal of the petition on ground of procedural RTC/MTC, even if the offender committed the
flaws involving the jurisdiction of the court a crime charged in relation to his office.
quo to entertain the petition, it falls within the In this case, the petitioner was a Police Senior
ambit of a special civil action for certiorari under Inspector, with salary grade "23." He was
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. charged with homicide punishable by reclusion
temporal. Hence, the RTC had exclusive important reasons therefor, clearly and
jurisdiction over the crime charged conformably specifically set out in the petition. This is [an]
to Sections 20 and 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. established policy. It is a policy necessary to
129, as amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7691. prevent inordinate demands upon the Courts
time and attention which are better devoted to
The petitioners contention that R.A. No. 7975 those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction,
should not be applied retroactively has no legal and to prevent further over-crowding of the
basis. It bears stressing that R.A. No. 7975 is a Courts docket.
substantive procedural law which may be
Thus, we shall reaffirm the judicial policy that
applied retroactively.23
this Court will not entertain direct resort to it
5. AGAN JR. VS PHIL INTL AIR TERMINAL(PIATCO) unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in
TRANSCENDENTAL IMPORTANCE the appropriate courts, and exceptional and
compelling circumstances justify the availment
Exception to the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts: of the extraordinary remedy of writ of certiorari,
The said rule may be relaxed when the redress calling for the exercise of its primary jurisdiction.
desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate
courts or where exceptional and compelling 7. MANILA BANKERS LIFE INSURANCE CORP VS
circumstances justify availment of a remedy NG KOK WEI (JURISDICTION OF HLURB)
within and calling for the exercise of this Court's
complaints for specific performance with
primary jurisdiction.
damages by a lot or condominium unit buyer
It is easy to discern that exceptional against the owner or developer falls under the
circumstances exist in the cases at bar that call exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB.
for the relaxation of the rule. Both petitioners
and respondents agree that these cases are While it may be true that the trial court is without
of transcendental importance as they involve jurisdiction over the case, petitioners active
the construction and operation of the country's participation in the proceedings estopped it from
premier international airport. Moreover, the assailing such lack of it. We have held that it is
crucial issues submitted for resolution are of first an undesirable practice of a party participating in
impression and they entail the proper legal the proceedings and submitting its case for
interpretation of key provisions of the decision and then accepting the judgment, only
Constitution, the BOT Law and its Implementing if favorable, and attacking it for lack of
Rules and Regulations. Thus, considering the jurisdiction, when adverse.6
nature of the controversy before the Court, Here, petitioner failed to raise the question of
procedural bars may be lowered to give way for jurisdiction before the trial court and the
the speedy disposition of the instant cases. Appellate Court. In effect, petitioner confirmed
and ratified the trial courts jurisdiction over this
case. Certainly, it is now in estoppel and can no
longer question the trial courts jurisdiction.

Third ISSUE, even granting arguendo that the

present petition is ripe for the extraordinary writ
of certiorari, there is here a clear disregard of
the hierarchy of courts because there is no ISSUE: whether the case of Judge Hurtado, who
special and important reason or exceptional and is charged for acts committed prior to his
compelling circumstance has been adduced by appointment as an RTC Judge, falls within the
the petitioner or the intervenor why direct purview of the afore-said Circular No. 3-89. (crim
recourse to this Court should be allowed. case against Judge Sardido) NO

We have held that this Courts original All administrative cases against justices of
jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari (as well as appellate courts and judges of lower courts fall
of prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Supreme
corpus and injunction) is not exclusive, but is Court.
concurrent with the Regional Trial Courts and
the Court of Appeals in certain cases.
Circular No. 3-89 clarified the second paragraph, Section
This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however,
1 of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court which states that:
to be taken as according to parties seeking any
of the writs an absolute, unrestrained freedom of
choice of the court to which application therefor0 The IBP Board of Governors may, motu
will be directed. There is after all a hierarchy of proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or
courts. by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the
A direct invocation of the Supreme Courts instance of any person, initiate and prosecute
original jurisdiction to issue these writs should proper charges against erring attorneys
be allowed only when there are special and
including those in the government service. Dismissal for prescription and Lack of Jurisdiction
(Emphasis supplied).
Section 1 Rule 9 ROC (RESIDUAL
As clarified, the phrase "attorneys x x x in the PREROGARIVES OF THE CA)
government service" in Section 1 of Rule 139-B In the four excepted instances, the court shall
does not include justices of appellate courts and motu proprio dismiss the claim or action.
judges of lower courts who are not subject to the Here, he was already barred by laches for
disciplining authority of the IBP. having slept on his right for almost 23 years from
the time Respondent Palancas title had been
The Court has vested the IBP with the power to
initiate and prosecute administrative cases
against erring lawyers.8 However, under
Circular No. 3-89, the Court has directed the The Complaint did not sufficiently make a case for any of
IBP to refer to the Supreme Court for such actions, over which the trial court could have
appropriate action all administrative cases exercised jurisdiction.
filed with IBP against justices of appellate
courts and judges of the lower courts. As nowhere in the Complaint did petitioner allege
mandated by the Constitution, the Court that he had previously held title to the land in
exercises the exclusive power to discipline question. On the contrary, he acknowledged that
administratively justices of appellate courts and the disputed island was public land, that it had
judges of lower courts. never been privately titled in his name, and that
Criminal cases against justices (appellate court) he had not applied for a homestead under the
and judges of lower courts: Trial court retain provisions of the Public Land Act.28 This Court
Jurisdiction. has held that a complaint by a private party who
The case filed against Judge Hurtado is not an alleges that a homestead patent was obtained
administrative case. by fraudulent means, and who consequently
prays for its annulment, does not state a cause
of action; hence, such complaint must be
THUS: Admin cases vs justices and judges: IBP- dismissed.
o Crim cases: Appropriate Trial courts Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law
and is determined by the allegations in the complaint
and the character of the relief sought.
Settled is the doctrine that the sole office of a writ of
(FACT) Instead of limiting itself to the allegation of grave
certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction. Such
abuse of discretion, the CA ruled on the merits. It held
writ does not include a review of the evidence, more so
that while petitioner had caused the reclassification of
when no determination of the merits has yet been made
Sombrero Island from forest to agricultural land, he
by the trial court, as in this case.
never applied for a homestead patent under the Public
Land Act. Hence, he never acquired title to that land.
(ISSUE) Is the Court of Appeals correct in invoking its
alleged residual prerogative under Section 1, Rule 9 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in resolving the Jurisdiction over the subject-matter in a judicial
Petition on an issue not raised in the Petition? proceeding is conferred by the sovereign
authority which organizes the court; it is given
only by law and in the manner prescribed by law
The "residual jurisdiction" of trial courts is
and an objection based on the lack of such
available at a stage in which the court is
jurisdiction can not be waived by the parties.
normally deemed to have lost jurisdiction over
the case or the subject matter involved in the The Court has constantly upheld the doctrine
that while jurisdiction may be assailed at any
appeal. This stage is reached upon the
perfection of the appeals by the parties or upon stage, a litigants participation in all stages of the
the approval of the records on appeal, but prior case before the trial court, including the
invocation of its authority in asking for affirmative
to the transmittal of the original records or the
relief, bars such party from challenging the
records on appeal. In either instance, the trial
courts jurisdiction
court still retains its so-called residual jurisdiction
to issue protective orders, approve Here, petitioner is not estopped by laches in
compromises, permit appeals of indigent assailing the jurisdiction of the RTC, considering
litigants, order execution pending appeal, and that he raised the lack thereof in his appeal
allow the withdrawal of the appeal. before the appellate court. At that time, no
considerable period had yet elapsed for laches controlled corporations, state universities or
to attach. educational institutions or foundations.
True, delay alone, though unreasonable, will not
sustain the defense of "estoppel by laches" It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the
unless it further appears that the party, knowing averments in the information.
his rights, has not sought to enforce them until
the condition of the party pleading laches has in
the information alleged, in no uncertain terms
good faith become so changed that he cannot
that petitioner, being then a student regent of
be restored to his former state, if the rights be
U.P., "while in the performance of her official
then enforced, due to loss of evidence, change
functions, committing the offense in relation to
of title, intervention of equities, and other
her office and taking advantage of her position,
causes. with intent to gain, conspiring with her brother,
We note at this point that estoppel, being in the JADE IAN D. SERANA, a private individual, did
nature of a forfeiture, is not favored by law. It is then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously
to be applied rarelyonly from necessity, and defraud the government x x x."
only in extraordinary circumstances. The
doctrine must be applied with great care and the
equity must be strong in its favor.

11. SERANA VS SANDIGANBAYAN (Jurisdiction of

the Sandiganbayan in the charge of Estafa against a
UP student regent)

The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is

set by P.D. No. 1606, as amended, not by
R.A. No. 3019, as amended.

P.D. No. 1606 expanded the jurisdiction of the

SB. Now as amended by R.A. No. 8249. (R.A.
No. 3019 is the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, Penal Statute)
Pursuant to Section 10 of R.A. No. 3019, all
prosecutions for violation of the said law should
be filed with the Sandiganbayan.

R.A. No. 3019 does not contain an enumeration of the

cases over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction.
However , Section 4(B) of P.D. No. 1606 reads:

B. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or

complexed with other crimes committed by the
public officials and employees mentioned in
subsection a of this section in relation to their

She claims she is not a public officer with a SG 27.

We held that while the first part of Section 4(A)

covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and
higher, its second part specifically includes other
executive officials whose positions may not be of
Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are by
express provision of law placed under the
jurisdiction of the said court. Petitioner falls
under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as
she is placed there by express provision of law.
Section 4(A)(1)(g) of P.D. No. 1606 explictly
vested the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction
over Presidents, directors or trustees, or
managers of government-owned or