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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 119000   July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 119000. July 28, 1997.]

    ROSA UY, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    Rolando P. Quimbo for Petitioner.

    The Solicitor General for Respondents.

    SYNOPSIS


    Petitioner Rosa Uy worked as an accountant in a company owned by the husband of Consolacion Leong. After Rosa’s resignation from the company, Rosa and Consolacion formed a partnership in a lumber business, into which a total of P500,000.00 was claimed to have been contributed by Consolacion, for which no receipt was issued. When the friendship between the two turned sour, Consolacion asked for the return of her investment, but the checks issued by Rosa for the purpose were dishonored for insufficiency of funds. Consolacion filed a complaint against Rosa for estafa and for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

    After a joint trial, the Manila Regional Trial Court acquitted Rosa of estafa but convicted her of the charges under B.P. Blg. 22. On appeal, respondent Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.

    In this petition for review on certiorari, Rosa raises the issue of whether the RTC of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the violations of the Bouncing Checks Law.

    Petitioner challenges the jurisdiction of the lower court stating that none of the essential elements constitutive of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 was shown to have been committed in the City of Manila: (a) complainant was a resident of Makati; (b) petitioner was a resident of Caloocan City; (c) the place of business of alleged partnership was located in Malabon; (d) the drawee bank was located in Malabon; and (e) the checks were all deposited for collection in Makati. No proof has been offered that the checks were issued, delivered, dishonored or knowledge of insufficiency of funds occurred in Manila, which are essential elements necessary of Manila to acquire jurisdiction over the offense.

    The ineluctable conclusion is that said evidence would only show that none of the essential elements of B.P. Blg. 22 occurred in Manila. The trial court’s acquisition of jurisdiction over the estafa case does not follow that it also acquired jurisdiction over the violation of the Bouncing Checks Law on the theory that the latter violations were merely incidental to the estafa case. The crimes of estafa and violation of the Bouncing Checks Law are two different offenses having different elements and, necessarily, for a court to acquire jurisdiction each of the essential ingredients of each crime has to be satisfied.

    The decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the trial court is reversed and set aside


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION IN CRIMINAL CASES, DISCUSSED. — For jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by the accused. Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly committed outside of that limited territory. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction.

    2. ID.; ID.; ESTAFA AND VIOLATION OF BOUNCING CHECKS LAW, DISTINGUISHED. — The crimes of estafa and violation of the Bouncing Checks Law are two (2) different offenses having different elements and, necessarily, for a court to acquire jurisdiction each of the essential ingredients of each crime has to be satisfied. In the crime of estafa, deceit and damage are essential elements of the offense and have to be established with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction. For violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the elements of deceit and damage are neither essential nor required. Rather, the elements of B.P. Blg. 22 are (a) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value; (b) the maker, drawer or issuer knows at the time of issuance that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and, (c) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment. Hence, it is incorrect for respondent People to conclude that inasmuch as the Regional Trial Court of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the estafa case then it also acquired jurisdiction over the violations of B.P. Blg. 22. The crime of estafa and the violation of B.P. Blg. 22 have to be treated as separate offenses and therefore the essential ingredients of each offense have to be satisfied.

    3. ID.; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; MOTION TO QUASH ON THE GROUND OF LACK OF JURISDICTION; TIMELY RAISED IN CASE AT BAR. — The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, under Rule 117, Sec. 3, provides that the accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds: . . . (b) that the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or over the person of the accused. Moreover, under Sec. 8 of the same Rule it is provided that the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the grounds of . . . lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged . . . as provided for in paragraph . . . (b) . . . of Section 3 of this Rule. After a careful perusal of the records, it is clear that petitioner timely questioned the jurisdiction of the court in a memorandum before the Regional Trial Court and thereafter in succeeding pleadings. Even if a party fails to file a motion to quash, he may still question the jurisdiction of the court later on. Moreover, these objections may be raised or considered motu propio by the court at any stage of the proceedings or on appeal.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE OF TIJAM V. SIBONGHANOY, NOT APPLICABLE. — The ruling in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy is an exception to the general rule that the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. In Sibonghanoy, the defense of lack of jurisdiction of the court that rendered the questioned ruling was held to be barred by laches. It was ruled that the lack of jurisdiction having been raised for the first time in a motion to dismiss filed almost fifteen (15) years after the questioned ruling had been rendered, such a plea may no longer be raised for being barred by laches. As defined in said case, laches is failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert has abandoned it or declined to assert it. The circumstances of the present case are very different from Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. No judgment has yet been rendered by the trial court in this case. As a matter of fact, as soon as the accused discovered the jurisdictional defect, she did not fail or neglect to file the appropriate motion to dismiss. They questioned the jurisdiction of the trial court in a memorandum before the lower court. Hence, finding the pivotal element of laches to be absent, we hold that the ruling in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy does not control the present controversy. Instead, the general rule that the question of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings must apply. Petitioner is therefore not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court.


    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of respondent Court of Appeals 1 which affirmed in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br. 32, 2 finding the accused ROSA UY guilty of violating B.P. Blg. 22 in Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32340, inclusive, and acquitting her of estafa under Art. 315, par. 2 (a), of the Revised Penal Code in Crim. Case No. 84-32334.

    Rosa Uy was employed as an accountant in Don Tim Shipping Company owned by the husband of complaining witness Consolacion Leong. During Rosa’s employment she was regarded by the Leongs as an efficient and hardworking employee. On 15 March 1982, a few months before she was to give birth, Rosa resigned. In the meantime, she helped her husband manage their lumber business. The friendly relations between Rosa and Consolacion continued. The two later agreed to form a partnership with Consolacion to contribute additional capital for the expansion of Rosa’s lumber business and the latter as industrial partner. Various sums of money amounting to P500,000.00 were claimed to have been given by Consolacion for the business; however, because of the trust they had for each other, no receipt was ever issued.

    Thereafter a lumber store with warehouse was constructed in Bulacan, Bulacan, with funds contributed by Consolacion evidenced by various receipts. But, unfortunately, the friendship between Consolacion and Rosa turned sour when the partnership documents were never processed. As a result, Consolacion asked for the return of her investment but the checks issued by Rosa for the purpose were dishonored for insufficiency of funds.

    The preceding events prompted Consolacion to file a complaint for estafa and for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

    On 10 December 1984 an Information for estafa 3 and several other Informations 4 for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 were filed against petitioner. The offenses were subsequently consolidated and tried jointly.

    Through Consolacion Leong and Alexander D. Bangit the prosecution tried to establish that petitioner Rosa Uy employed deceit in obtaining the amount of P500,000.00 from complainant with respect to Crim. Case No. 84-32334. As regards Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32340, Alexander D. Bangit, manager of the Commercial Bank of Manila, Malabon Branch, where Rosa Uy maintained an account, testified on the following transactions with respect to the six (6) checks referred to in Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32840 which were dishonored

    CHECK DATE REASON FOR

    NO. PRESENTED DISHONOR

    (1) 068604 16 December 1983 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "G")

    (2) 068605 16 December 1983 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "H")

    (3) 068603 16 December 1983 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "F")

    (4) 068601 16 December 1983 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "E")

    (5) 043122 3 January 1984 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "A")

    (6) 068660 24 January 1984 Drawn Against

    Insufficient Fund

    (DAIF)/Payment

    Stopped (Exh. "I")

    For her part, petitioner and her witnesses Fernando Abad and Antonio Sy maintained that no misrepresentation was committed and that the funds were utilized to construct the building in Bulacan, Bulacan. With respect to the issuance of the subject checks, petitioner did not deny their existence but averred that these were issued to evidence the investment of complainant in the proposed partnership between them.

    After a joint trial, the Manila Regional Trial Court acquitted petitioner of estafa but convicted her of the charges under B.P. Blg. 22. 5 On appeal, respondent appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.

    Petitioner now raises the following issues before us in this petition for review in certiorari: (a) whether the RTC of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the violations of the Bouncing Checks Law, and (b) whether the checks had been issued on account or for value. 6

    As regards the first issue, petitioner contends that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the offenses under B.P. Blg. 22 and that assuming for the sake of argument that she raised the matter of jurisdiction only upon appeal to respondent appellate court, still she cannot be estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court.

    It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by the accused. Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly committed outside of that limited territory. 7 Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. 8 And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction. 9cralawnad

    In the case at bar, the complaint for estafa and the various charges under B.P. Blg. 22 were jointly tried before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Petitioner challenges the jurisdiction of the lower court stating that none of the essential elements constitutive of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 was shown to have been committed in the City of Manila. She maintains that the evidence presented established that (a) complainant was a resident of Makati; (b) petitioner was a resident of Caloocan City; (c) the place of business of the alleged partnership was located in Malabon; (d) the drawee bank was located in Malabon; and, (e) the checks were all deposited for collection in Makati. Taken altogether, petitioner concludes that the said evidence would only show that none of the essential elements of B.P. Blg. 22 occurred in Manila. Respondent People of the Philippines through the Solicitor General on the one hand argues that even if there is no showing of any evidence that the essential ingredients took place or the offense was committed in Manila, what is critical is the fact that the court acquired jurisdiction over the estafa case because the same is the principal or main case and that the cases for violations of Bouncing Checks Law are merely incidental to the estafa case.

    We disagree with Respondent. The crimes of estafa and violation of the Bouncing Checks Law are two (2) different offenses having different elements and, necessarily, for a court to acquire jurisdiction each of the essential ingredients of each crime has to be satisfied.

    In the crime of estafa, deceit and damage are essential elements of the offense and have to be established with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction. 10 For violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the elements of deceit and damage are neither essential nor required. Rather, the elements of B.P. Blg. 22 are (a) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value; (b) the maker, drawer or issuer knows at the time of issuance that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and, (c) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment. 11 Hence, it is incorrect for respondent People to conclude that inasmuch as the Regional Trial Court of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the estafa case then it also acquired jurisdiction over the violations of B.P. Blg. 22. The crime of estafa and the violation of B.P. Blg. 22 have to be treated as separate offenses and therefore the essential ingredients of each offense have to be satisfied.

    In this regard, the records clearly indicate that business dealings were conducted in a restaurant in Manila where sums of money were given to petitioner; hence, the acquisition of jurisdiction by the lower court over the estafa case. The various charges for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 however are on a different plain. There is no scintilla of evidence to show that jurisdiction over the violation of B.P. Blg. 22 had been acquired. On the contrary, all that the evidence shows is that complainant is a resident of Makati; that petitioner is a resident of Caloocan City; that the principal place of business of the alleged partnership is located in Malabon; that the drawee bank is likewise located in Malabon and that all the subject checks were deposited for collection in Makati. Verily, no proof has been offered that the checks were issued, delivered, dishonored or knowledge of insufficiency of funds occurred in Manila, which are essential elements necessary for the Manila Court to acquire jurisdiction over the offense.

    Upon the contention of respondent that knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds is by itself a continuing eventuality whether the accused be within one territory or another, the same is still without merit. It may be true that B.P. Blg. 22 is a transitory or continuing offense and such being the case the theory is that a person indicted with a transitory offense may be validly tried in any jurisdiction where the offense was in part committed. We note however that knowledge by the maker or drawer of the fact that he has no sufficient funds to cover the check or of having sufficient funds is simultaneous to the issuance of the instrument. We again find no iota of proof on the records that at the time of issue, petitioner or complainant was in Manila. As such, there would be no basis in upholding the jurisdiction of the trial court over the offense.

    In an attempt to salvage the issue that the RTC of Manila had jurisdiction over the violations of B.P. Blg. 22, respondent relies on the doctrine of jurisdiction by estoppel. Respondent posits that it took some five (5) years of trial before petitioner raised the issue of jurisdiction.

    The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, under Rule 117, Sec. 3, provides that the accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds: . . . (b) that the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charge or over the person of the accused. Moreover, under Sec. 8 of the same Rule it is provided that the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the grounds of . . . lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged . . . as provided for in paragraph . . . (b) . . . of Section 3 of this Rule. 12

    After a careful perusal of the records, it is crystal clear that petitioner timely questioned the jurisdiction of the court in a memorandum 13 before the Regional Trial Court and thereafter in succeeding pleadings. On this finding alone, we cannot countenance the inadvertence committed by the court. Clearly, from the abovequoted law, we can see that even if a party fails to file a motion to quash, he may still question the jurisdiction of the court later on. Moreover, these objections may be raised or considered motu propio by the court at any stage of the proceedings or an appeal. 14

    Assuming arguendo that there was a belated attempt to question the jurisdiction of the court and hence, on the basis of the Tijam v. Sibonghanoy case 15 in which respondent seeks refuge, the petitioner should be estopped. We nonetheless find the jurisprudence of the Sibonghanoy case not in point.

    In Calimlim v. Ramirez, 16 the Court held that the ruling in the Sibonghanoy case is an exception to the general rule that the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. The Court stated further that Tijam v. Sibonghanoy is an exceptional case because of the presence of laches. The Court said:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A rule that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and upheld in decisions so numerous to cite is that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of the action is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or agreement of the parties. The lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which stemmed principally from the ruling in the cited case of Sibonghanoy. It is to be regretted, however, that the holding in said case had been applied to situations which were obviously not contemplated therein. The exceptional circumstance involved in Sibonghanoy which justified the departure from the accepted concept of non-waivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored and, instead a blanket doctrine had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonghanoy not as the exception, but rather the general rule, virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored principle that the issue of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel. 17

    In Sibonghanoy, the defense of lack of jurisdiction of the court that rendered the questioned ruling was held to be barred by laches. It was ruled that the lack of jurisdiction having been raised for the first time in a motion to dismiss filed almost fifteen (15) years after the questioned ruling had been rendered, such a plea may no longer be raised for being barred by laches. As defined in said case, laches is failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert has abandoned it or declined to assert it. 18chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    The circumstances of the present case are very different from Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. No judgment has yet been rendered by the trial court in this case. As a matter of fact, as soon as the accused discovered the jurisdictional defect, she did not fail or neglect to file the appropriate motion to dismiss. They questioned the jurisdiction of the trial court in a memorandum before the lower court. Hence, finding the pivotal element of laches to be absent, we hold that the ruling in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy does not control the present controversy. Instead, the general rule that the question of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings must apply. Petitioner is therefore not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court. 19

    WHEREFORE, finding the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br. 32, to have no jurisdiction over Crim. Case Nos. 84-32335 to 8432340, inclusive, the assailed decision of respondent Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the trial court dated 24 September 1991 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against petitioner with the court of competent jurisdiction when warranted.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla and Vitug, JJ., concur.

    Kapunan and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., are on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. CA-G.R. CR No. 13428, Decision penned by Justice Lourdes Tayao-Jaguros, concurred in by Justices Jesus M. Elbinias and Bernardo L. Salas.

    2. Judge Benjamin P. Martinez presiding.

    3. Crim. Case No. 84-32334; Records, pp. 1-2.

    4. Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32240; id., p. 1.

    5. Rollo, pp. 66-78, with the following disposition:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. In Criminal Case No. 84-32334, on reasonable doubt, Accused Rosa Uy is hereby acquitted of the charge of Estafa;

    2. In Criminal Case Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32340, the court finds, Accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Accordingly, Accused is hereby sentenced as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a. In Criminal Case No. 84-32335, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant an indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    b. In Criminal Case No. 84-32336, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant an indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    c. In Criminal Case No. 84-32337, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant an indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    d. In Criminal Case No. 84-32338, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant an indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    e. In Criminal Case No. 84-32339, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant an indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    f. In Criminal Case No. 84-32340, to suffer a definite prison term of six (6) months and to pay the private complainant on indemnity of P50,000.00 plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until the same is fully paid;

    SO ORDERED.

    6. Id., pp. 19-22.

    7. U.S. v. Cunanan, 26 Phil. 376-378 (1913).

    8. Colmenares v. Villar, No. L-27124, 29 May 1970, 33 SCRA 186.

    9. People v. Galano, No. L-42925, 31 January 1977, 75 SCRA 193.

    10. People v. Gorospe, G.R. Nos. 74053-54, 20 January 1988, 157 SCRA 154.

    11. Navarro v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 112389-90, 1 August 1994, 234 SCRA 639.

    12. Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure.

    13. Rollo, pp. 103-104.

    14. Suy Sui v. People, 49 O.G. 967.

    15. Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, No. L-21450, 15 April 1968, 23 SCRA 29.

    16. No. L-34362, 19 November 1982, 118 SCRA 399, Dy v. NLRC, G.R. No. 68544, 27 OCTOBER 1989, 145 SCRA 211.

    17. People v. Eduarte, G.R. No. 88232, 26 February 1990, 182 SCRA 750, citing Calimlim v. Ramirez, No. L-34362, 19 November 1982, 118 SCRA 399.

    18. Ibid.

    19. Ibid.

    G.R. No. 119000   July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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