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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 139841   April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 139841. April 29, 2003.]

    EMILIO C. VILLAROSA, Petitioner, v. HON. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, and JUDE THADDEUS SAYSON, TOTE GARGALICANO, RAMON ABLANQUE, PETE IBRADO, JOSE RUIZ, HECTOR BAJA and CYPRESS TAN, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This petition for certiorari assails the Resolution 1 dated August 3, 1999 of Judge Demosthenes L. Magallanes of the Regional Trial Court of Negros Occidental, Branch 54, quashing the informations for perjury filed against herein private respondents before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Bacolod on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Also assailed is the Order 2 of respondent judge dated August 26, 1999 denying the motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Culled from the records are the following pertinent facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In the May 12, 1997 elections, petitioner Emilio Villarosa and private respondent Jude Thaddeus Sayson were candidates for barangay captain, with private respondent emerging the victor. In the same election, private respondents Tote Gargalicano, Ramon Ablanque, Pete Ibrado, Jose Ruiz, Hector Baja and Cypress Tan won as barangay councilors.

    Earlier on May 7, 1997, one Victoria S. Delfin filed a verified complaint against private respondents with the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, for violation of the Omnibus Election Code. The complaint alleged that private respondents posted campaign streamers prior to the start of the campaign period.

    In their counter-affidavits filed before the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, private respondents denied Victoria’s complaint. 3 For the purpose of conducting preliminary investigation, the counter-affidavits of private respondents were forwarded to the Law Department of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), in Manila, which found the existence of probable cause for the indictment of private respondents.

    The counter-affidavits filed by private respondents with the COMELEC served as the basis for petitioner to file a complaint for perjury against private respondents with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Bacolod City. In his complaint, petitioner averred that by swearing under oath in said counter-affidavit that they have not posted streamers on April 30, 1997, private respondents violated Article 183 4 of the Revised Penal Code.

    After a preliminary investigation conducted by Victor E. Gelvezon of the National Prosecution Service under the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor, the Regional State Prosecutor filed eight (8) informations for perjury against private respondents with the MTCC of Bacolod, which uniformly read:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about May 14, 1997, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being one of the respondents charged for violation of the Omnibus Election Code pending preliminary investigation before the Law Department of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in SPA No. 97-212, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make untruthful statements upon a material matter in a counter-affidavit submitted before the COMELEC, duly subscribed and sworn to by him before Asst. City Prosecutor Cesar L. Beloria of the Bacolod City Prosecution Office, a competent person authorized to administer oath, which counter-affidavit is required by law in the preliminary investigation of said case, alleging therein falsely, among other things, that he has not personally posted his campaign streamers on April 30, 1997 nor had he authorized anybody to post the same on said date and that if there were persons who posted his streamers as early as April 30, 1997, they are supporters and/or paid workers of the other candidate Emilio C. Villarosa, when in truth and in fact those streamers were actually posted by him and workers under his direct and personal supervision.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 5

    Forthwith, private respondents filed a motion to quash the informations on the ground that exclusive jurisdiction lies with the proper court in Manila since the counter-affidavits were forwarded to the Law Department of the COMELEC in Manila.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In an order 6 dated July 27, 1998, the MTCC of Bacolod denied the motion to quash. Later, on September 21, 1998, the MTCC denied the motion for reconsideration filed by private respondents. 7

    On September 23, 1998, private respondents filed a petition for certiorari 8 before Branch 54 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City where public respondent, Hon. Demosthenes Magallanes, sits as presiding judge. In a resolution dated August 3, 1999, the RTC granted the petition and quashed the informations without prejudice on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The RTC held that jurisdiction is with the Manila court, not with the Bacolod court in view of the fact that the counter-affidavits allegedly containing the false statements were transmitted to the COMELEC in Manila for the preliminary investigation of the election offense. Accordingly, the RTC decreed in its resolution as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the petition is granted. The respondent court’s Orders dated July 27, 1998 and September 21, 1998 are hereby nullified and set aside. The information for perjury in Criminal Cases No. 82081 to 82088 are further ordered quashed without prejudice.

    SO ORDERED. 9

    Aggrieved by that resolution and later the denial of his motion for reconsideration, 10 petitioner herein ascribes grave abuse of discretion to respondent judge for rendering the August 3, 1999 resolution and its companion order, denying the motion for reconsideration.

    For determination now is the question of which court has jurisdiction over the case for perjury against herein private respondents. Is it the court in Bacolod, where the counter-affidavit containing the alleged untruthful statements was initially filed, or the court in Manila, where the affidavit was forwarded for purposes of conducting a preliminary investigation?

    On one hand, petitioner strongly asserts that jurisdiction is vested with the Bacolod court, considering that counter-affidavits which were purportedly deceptive were filed at the first instance with the Election Officer in Bacolod City. 11 Petitioner insists that the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in reversing the order of the MTCC.

    On the other hand, private respondents contend that the operative act making the offense of perjury triable in the Manila court is the transmission of the assailed affidavits to the COMELEC in Manila for preliminary investigation. They cite the case of United States v. Cañet 12 to boost their claim.

    The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the State, agrees with petitioner that jurisdiction over the present case is vested in the MTCC of Bacolod, considering that it was in the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, where the counter-affidavits were executed and originally submitted by private respondents. For this reason, the OSG submits that the public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in quashing the informations for perjury. 13

    We find merit in this petition.

    Private respondents’ heavy reliance on the case of United States v. Cañet 14 is misplaced. In Cañet, Federico Cañet presented in a proceeding pending before the Court of First Instance of Iloilo an alleged untruthful affidavit which was notarized in Manila. This Court held that it is the Iloilo court that has jurisdiction over the case. It explained that the crux of the offense is not the subscribing and swearing but the intentional giving of false affidavit, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Without considering or deciding whether the facts alleged sufficiently charge the commission of the crime of perjury in the city of Manila, we hold that the complaint sets forth facts which, if proven, are sufficient to sustain a finding that the defendant committed the crime of perjury within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, in that in a judicial proceeding pending in that court, "the defendant did deliberately, maliciously and criminally swear to and present in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo the said false affidavit," such affidavit being known to him to be false, and being intended by him to mislead the court. It is immaterial where the affidavit was subscribed and sworn, so long as it appears from the information that the defendant, by means of such affidavit, "swore to" and knowingly submitted false evidence, material to a point at issue in a judicial proceeding pending in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo Province. The gist of the offense charged is not the making of the affidavit in Manila, but the intentional giving of false evidence in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo Province by means of such affidavit. (Emphasis supplied.)

    There is no parity of issues in Cañet and in the present case. In Cañet, the issue is whether the perjury case must be filed in Manila where the affidavit in question was made, subscribed and sworn to, or in Iloilo where the affidavit was filed in the CFI of Iloilo in connection with a pending judicial proceeding. In the present case, however, the threshold issue is whether the perjury case against private respondents must be filed in Bacolod where the proceeding for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was pending and where the counter-affidavits was submitted, or in Manila where the counter-affidavits were forwarded for preliminary investigation.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    We agree with the petitioner and the OSG that the perjury case must be filed in Bacolod where the case for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was pending. As provided in Section 15, Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, 15 it is a fundamental principle that the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients took place. In this case, the disputed affidavit containing the alleged false statements was filed by private respondents with the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, where a complaint for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was lodged against them.

    The transmission of the purported untruthful affidavit to the Law Department of COMELEC in Manila for purposes of preliminary investigation did not make the offense triable in the Manila courts. We are in full accord with the reasoning of the OSG that it was in the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City where the counter-affidavits were executed and originally submitted by private respondents; hence, it was in that place that the operative acts constituting the crime of perjury, if proven, were committed.

    The lis mota in the crime of perjury is the deliberate or intentional giving of false evidence in the court where such evidence is material. 16 The purpose of the rule on perjury is to avert the prevalence of corrupt assertion of a falsehood, under oath or affirmation, which constitutes an imposition upon the court and seriously exposes it to a miscarriage of justice. 17 Justice F. Moreno defines perjury as the willful and corrupt taking of a false oath, lawfully administered in a judicial proceeding or the course of justice in regard to a matter material to the issue or a point of inquiry. 18 Here, it was in the proceeding in the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City that the alleged untruthful statements of private respondents, denying that they have posted campaign paraphernalia before the election period, became material in deciding the issue of whether or not they violated the Omnibus Election Code.

    To recall, Atty. Marsha Cordero as Investigating Officer and Election Officer IV of the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod City, required private respondents to file their controverting evidence to the complaint filed by Victoria Delfin. It was that proceeding for which the purported false evidence was intended. Otherwise stated, it was in Bacolod where the criminal intent to assert a falsehood under oath became manifest. It is, therefore, the MTCC of Bacolod that has jurisdiction over the case for perjury.

    Lastly, to hold that the Manila court has jurisdiction over the present case would open the floodgates to a judicial anarchy. To our mind, it is not the intent of our lawmakers that all perjury cases committed in relation to an election offense must be filed in Manila — the seat of the Law Department of COMELEC, which under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure conducts preliminary investigations in election offenses. 19 Surely, such situation will congest the dockets of courts in Manila. It will also be physically and financially burdensome on litigants nationwide, who must travel from remote areas just to pursue the course of justice in Manila. This scenario will inevitably discourage the prosecution of offenses of this nature — a situation which, to our mind, is not only unlikely, but an absurd one, farthest from the imagination of our legislators.

    In sum, jurisdiction over the crime of perjury in the instant case is vested in the Municipal Trial Court in Cities of Bacolod City, where the affidavit constituting false evidence was filed. Accordingly, respondent judge erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in holding otherwise.

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The resolution of respondent Judge Demosthenes L. Magallanes dated August 3, 1999, and the order dated August 26, 1999, denying the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner are hereby SET ASIDE. The Orders of MTCC, Bacolod City, dated July 27, 1998 and September 21, 1998, are REINSTATED. No costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Austria-Martinez and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 69–7I.

    2. Id. at 75–76.

    3. Records, pp. 143–146,149–150.

    4. Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who, knowingly make untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

    Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned made in this and the three preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the respective penalties provided therein. (Emphasis ours.)

    5. Records, pp. 2–3.

    6. Rollo, pp. 27–36.

    7. Id. at 42.

    8. Id. at 43–62.

    9. Id. at 71.

    10. Id. at 75–76.

    11. Id. at 6.

    12. 30 Phil. 371 (1915).

    13. Rollo, p. 183.

    14. Supra, note 12, at 378.

    15. SEC 15. Place where action is to be instituted. —

    (a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred.

    16. Supra, note 14.

    17. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book II, 1998 Ed., p. 265.

    18. Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd Ed., p. 692. See also United States v. Estraña, 16 Phil 520, 529 (1910).

    19. Rule 34, Comelec Rules of Procedure — Prosecution of Election Offenses

    SECTION 1. Authority of the Commission to Prosecute Election Offenses. — The Commission shall have the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same, except as may otherwise be provided by law.

    x       x       x


    SEC. 5. Referral for Preliminary Investigation. — If the complaint is initiated motu proprio by the Commission, or is filed with the Commission by any aggrieved party, it shall be referred to the Law Department for investigation. Upon direction of the Chairman of the Commission, the preliminary investigation may be delegated to any lawyer of said Department, or to any of the Regional Election Directors or Provincial Election Supervisors, or any lawyer of the Commission. (Emphasis supplied.)

    G.R. No. 139841   April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.


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