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9. In G.R. Nos.

120681-83, Mayor Jejomar Binay was charged before the Sandiganbayan


with the following: one for violation of Art 220 of the RPC (Illegal Use of Public Funds),
and two for violation of Sec 3(e) of RA 3019 (giving undue favor to private parties). The
informations alleged that the acts constituting these crimes were committed in 1987
during Binay’s incumbency as Mayor of Makati, then a municipality of Metro Manila.
Binay argued that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the cases because he
ought to have been classified with a salary grade lower than Grade 27; at the time of the
commission of the offenses charged he was paid a salary which merits a grade lower
than Grade 27. In G.R. No. 128136, Mario Magsaysay, Mayor of the Municipality of San
Pascual, Batangas along with other officials were charged with violation of Sec 3(e) and
(g) of R.A.3019 for overpaying Vicente de la Rosa of TDR Construction for the
landscaping project. Informations were filed before the RTC of Batangas City and before
the Sandiganbayan. Magsaysay moved to quash the Crim. Case filed before the
Sandiganbayan because the same complaints has already been filed with the RTC. Issue:
WON the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the cases. Held: Yes. R.A. 7975 (took effect
on May 16, 1995) as amended by RA. 8249 (took effect on Feb 8, 1997) specified that the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over cases involving violations of RA 3019,
as amended, RA 1379, and Chapter II, Sec 2, Title VII of the RPC when the principal accused
includes 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 (RA 6758) with enumeration as to officials specifically included. Even if the
municipal mayor is not specifically included in the list and despite the fact that the actual salary
received is not equivalent to grade 27, the classification of salary grades should not be based
on the actual amount of salary received but on the nature of the functions performed by the
official concerned - the level of difficulty, responsibilities, and qualification requirements thereof
-- relative to that of another position. It is the official’s Grade that determines his or her salary,
not the other way around. In the Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary
Grades prepared by the DBM lists the municipal Mayor under SG 27. As to the case of
Magsaysay, Sandiganbayan was not ousted of its jurisdiction even if the information was first
filed in the RTC. RTC did not have jurisdiction in the first place as provided in R.A. 7975.
Estoppel could not be invoked because jurisdiction is determined by law and not by the consent
or agreement of the parties. A filing of a complaint with one court does not prevent the plaintiff
from filing the same with the competent court. This does not amount to forum shopping since
the only authority of the first court was to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The filing of
another complaint with the Sandiganbayan does not amount to double jeopardy. There can be
no double jeopardy where the accused entered a plea in a court that had no jurisdiction.
(Jejomar Binay v Sandiganbayan G.R. Nos. 120681-83. Oct 1, 1999)