Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

Case Digest

The Case. - VICTOR C. AGUSTIN, petitioner, vs. HON. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN, in his
capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 3; ANTHONY DE
LEON and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.. G.R. No. L-24742, October 26, 1973

Facts. - Petitioner Victor Agustin was charged with 4 separate Informations of libel by the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio. He was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to all the
charges. On September 10, 2001, he then filed a Motion to Quash the Informations on the sole
ground that the court had no jurisdiction over the offenses charged. He pointed out that the
said Informations did not contain any allegation that the offended party was actually residing in
Baguio City or that the alleged libelous articles were printed and first published in a newspaper
of general circulation in Baguio City. Private complainant opposed the motion alleging that he
was a bona fide resident and acting general manager of Baguio Country Club.

The RTC issued an order denying the MTQ and the motion for reconsideration of
the Order. Petitioner then brought the case to the CA. The CA rendered a decision dismissing
the petition and the motion for reconsideration of the decision for lack of merit. Thus, petitioner
filed a motion for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court.

The petitioner contented that in the absence of any allegations in the Informations that
the private respondent was actually residing in Baguio City, or that the alleged libelous articles
were printed and first published in Baguio as mandated by Article 360 of the RPC, the trial court
had no jurisdiction over the offenses charged. He asserted that the amendments of the
Informations would be improper, considering that the defects of the Informations were not of
form but of substance.

The OSG maintained that the failure of the Informations to allege that the private
respondent is a resident of Baguio City is not a jurisdictional defect. It asserted that the averment
in the Informations that the crimes charged were committed within the jurisdiction of the trial
court in Baguio City, taken in conjunction with the other allegations therein are sufficient to vest
jurisdiction over the subject cases in the RTC of Baguio City.

Issue. - (1) Whether the RTC of Baguio City has jurisdiction over the offenses charged in
the four Informations.

Held. - The SC granted the petition, holding that the RTC of Baguio has no
jurisdiction.

The SC held that venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction.


The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the
complaint or Information, and the offense must have been committed or any of its essential
ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. Article 360 of the RPC
provides that the criminal and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations, shall be
filed simultaneously or separately with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where
the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually
resides at the time of the commission of the offense.

In the case at bar, the Informations did not allege that the offended party was
actually residing in Baguio City at the time of the commission of the offenses, or that the alleged
libelous articles were printed and first published in Baguio City. It cannot even be inferred from
the allegation 'the offended party was the Acting General Manager of the Baguio Country Club
and of good standing and reputation in the community that the private complainant was
actually residing in Baguio City.
Doctrines learned. – (1) Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of
jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in
the complaint or Information, and the offense must have been committed or any one of its
essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

(2) The rules on venue in Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code are as follows: 1. Whether the
offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be filed in the
Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first
published. 2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the
commission of the offense. 3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at
the time of the commission of the offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of
Manila. 4. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action
may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time
of the commission of the offense.

(3) The residence of a person is his personal, actual or physical habitation or actual residence or
place of abode or his actual residence or place of abode provided he resides therein with
continuity and consistency; The term residence involves the idea of something beyond a
transient stay in the place—one who transacts business in a place and spends considerable time
thereat does not render such a person a resident therein.