March 1965 - Philippine Supreme Court Decisions/Resolutions
[G.R. No. L-24191. March 31, 1965.]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOSE ADOLFO Y RAYMUNDO, Defendant-Appellant.
Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Emiliano S. Samson and R. Balderrama-Samson, for Defendant-Appellant.
2. ID.; ID.; MUNICIPAL COURT HAS JURISDICTION WHERE MAXIMUM IMPOSABLE PENALTY IS FINE OF NOT MORE THAN P3,000. — Under paragraph (c) of Section 87 of the Judiciary Act, as amended by Republic Act 3828 which took effect on June 22, 1963, offenses in which the penalty provided by law is a fine of not more than P3,000.00 falls within the original jurisdiction of the municipal court. As the maximum imposable penalty for the offense of damage to property thru reckless imprudence allegedly committed by appellant is a fine of three times the value or P2,671.47, the case is cognizable by the municipal court and not by the court of first instance.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
On this allegation, the Solicitor General tried to sustain the jurisdiction of the lower court by contending that the incident that gave rise to the suit occurred on April 10, 1963 whereas the amendatory provision invoked by appellant took effect only on June 22, 1963. As correctly commented on by the Court of Appeals, the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal action is determined not by the law in force at the time of the commission of the offense, but by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action. 3 Consequently, as the maximum imposable penalty for the offense allegedly committed by appellant is a fine of three times the value of the damage to the property, or P2,671.47, 4 the case is cognizable by the municipal court and not by the court of first instance.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside, and the information filed therein is dismissed. Without costs. So ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.
1. "ARTICLE 365. Imprudence and negligence. —
x x x
"When the execution of the act covered by this article shall have only resulted in damage to the property of another, the offender shall be punished by a fine ranging from an amount equal to the value of said damages to three times such value, but which shall in no case be less than 25 pesos." (Rev. Penal Code.)
2. "SECTION 87. Original jurisdiction to try criminal cases. — Justices of the peace and judges of municipal courts of chartered cities shall have original jurisdiction over: . . .
"(c) Except violations of election laws, all other offenses in which the penalty provided by law is imprisonment for not more than three years, or a fine of not more than three thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment." (Rep. Act 296, as amended by Rep. Act 3828).
3. People vs Pegarum, 58 Phil. 715, cited in People v. Romualdo, G.R. No. L-3686, January 31, 1952.
4. Although it was alleged in the information that the damage sustained by the injured party was P890.49 the lower court found that it was actually only P485.55.