Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > February 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. L-65097 February 20, 1984 - GAVINO MANIKAD, ET AL. v. TANODBAYAN, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-65097. February 20, 1984.]

GAVINO MANIKAD, ROBERTO BAÑEZ and BENITO ARELLANO, Petitioners, v. TANODBAYAN, HON. BENJAMIN T. VIANZON, as Deputized Tanodbayan Prosecutor, GUILLERMO M. SANTOS, JR., and BERNARDO S. YAMBAO, Respondents.

Renato L. Ramos, for Petitioners.

The Solicitor General for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION; POWER OF EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE AUTHORITY (EPZA) TO INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS UNDER PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 1716-A. — Under Section 7 of P.D. 1716-A, the EPZA not only to exercise police authority, including the conduct of ordinary police operations such as the maintenance of peace and order, enforcement of the law, prevention and detection of crimes and apprehending of criminals, but also, as an incident to its police authority, to perform such functions as are usually assigned to the prosecution service. Thus, it has been empowered [1] to receive and investigate complaints relative to violations of penal laws committed inside the zones and areas owned and be deputized under said presidential decree to prosecute the corresponding criminal cases before the appropriate court or tribunal.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; SEC. 7, PD 1716 INTERPRETED IN CASE AT BAR. — It bears emphasis, however, that there is nothing in the context of said Section 7 to even intimate that the latter functions are to be exercised in an exclusive manner. While the adjective "sole" was used in conjunction with "police authority", no similar term or synonym was employed to describe the other powers vested by Section 7 on the EPZA. It is a basic rule of statutory construction that a meaning that does not appear nor is intended or reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be placed therein. Thus, the interpretation given to Sections 182 and 184 of the Election Code of 1978 in the case of Rogelio de Jesus v. People of the Philippines, cited by petitioners, cannot be accorded Section 7 of PD 1716-A. Neither can the latter decree be considered as an exception to, or a limitation on, the authority of the Tanodbayan or his deputies to investigate complaints for offenses falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; PENDENCY OF ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NOT A BAR TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. — Equally untenable is the allegation of prematureness ascribed by petitioners to the complaint filed against them. The pendency of an administrative proceeding does not constitute a bar to a criminal prosecution for the same offense. An administrative case is an entirely separate and distinct proceeding from a criminal action. Each may proceed independently of the other.


D E C I S I O N


ESCOLIN, J.:


The question posed for determination in this petition for certiorari and prohibition may be propounded thus: Is the power vested by Section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 1716-A on the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) "to receive and investigate complaints relative to violation of penal laws committed inside the zones and areas owned and administered by the Authority" exclusive in character as to preclude the Tanodbayan or his deputies from conducting a preliminary investigation on a complaint against the director and members of the EPZA Police Force for offenses committed within said zone?cralawnad

The salient facts are not controverted: Sometime in November, 1982, respondents Guillermo M. Santos, Jr. and Bernardo S. Yambao, both members of the EPZA Police Force in Bataan, filed a complaint with the deputized Tanodbayan prosecutor, respondent Benjamin T. Vianzon, charging petitioners Gavino Manikad, Roberto Bañez and Benito Arellano, director and members, respectively, of the EPZA Police Force, with the crimes of smuggling, qualified theft, violations of the Anti-Graft Law, as well as the Anti-Fencing Law.

On the date scheduled for the preliminary investigation of the complaint, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss 1 advancing as grounds therefor that [1] Tanodbayan Prosecutor Vianzon had no authority to conduct the corresponding preliminary investigation; [2] the complaint filed by respondents Santos and Yambao was improperly and prematurely filed; and [3] there was no prima facie case against them. The motion was seasonably opposed by private respondents.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad

On March 8, 1983, respondent Fiscal Vianzon issued the challenged order denying petitioners’ motion to dismiss. 2 Upon receipt of said order, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration and/or petition for review with the Tanodbayan; but the same was likewise denied by the latter in an order dated May 27, 1983. Still unable to secure a reconsideration thereof, petitioners came to this Court on certiorari and prohibition.

Petitioners submit that respondent Fiscal Vianzon acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in having assumed jurisdiction over the complaint filed by respondents Santos and Yambao, arguing in support thereof that the power to investigate complaints of this nature is lodged exclusively upon the EPZA under Section 7 of P.D. 1716-A.

A mere cursory reading of the legal provision relied upon by petitioners shows their submission to be devoid of merit. Said Section 7 provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The EPZA, in the exercise of its sole police authority over the export processing zones and areas owned or administered by the authority, shall have the power to receive and investigate complaints relative to violation of penal laws committed inside the zones and areas owned and administered by the Authority, and when the evidence warrants, to file and be deputized herein to prosecute the corresponding criminal cases before the appropriate court or body."cralaw virtua1aw library

Indubitably, the aforecited provision empowers the EPZA not only to exercise police authority, including the conduct of ordinary police operations such as the maintenance of peace and order, enforcement of the law, prevention and detection of crimes and apprehending of criminals, but also, as an incident to its police authority, to perform such functions as are usually assigned to the prosecution service. Thus, it has been empowered [1] to receive and investigate complaints relative to violations of penal laws committed inside the zones and areas owned and be deputized under said presidential decree to prosecute the corresponding criminal cases before the appropriate court or tribunal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

It bears emphasis, however, that there is nothing in the context of said Section 7 to even intimate that the latter functions are to be exercised in an exclusive manner. While the adjective "sole" was used in conjunction with "police authority", no similar term or synonym was employed to describe the other powers vested by Section 7 on the EPZA. It is a basic rule of statutory construction that a meaning that does not appear nor is intended or reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be placed therein. 3

Thus, the interpretation given to Sections 182 and 184 of the Election Code of 1978 in the case of Rogelio de Jesus v. People of the Philippines, 4 cited by petitioners, cannot be accorded Section 7 of PD 1716-A. Neither can the latter decree be considered as an exception to, or a limitation on, the authority of the Tanodbayan or his deputies to investigate complaints for offenses falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"(a) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Republic Act No. 1379;

"(b) Crimes committed by public officers and employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, embraced in Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, whether simple or complexed with other crimes;

(c) Other crimes or offenses committed by public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office." 5

The objection posed by petitioners to the authority of respondent Tanodbayan’s prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint filed against petitioners by private respondents, being premised on the alleged exclusive authority of the EPZA "to file and be deputized . . . to prosecute the corresponding criminal cases before the appropriate court or body," must therefore fail.

Equally untenable is the allegation of prematureness ascribed by petitioners to the complaint filed against them. The pendency of an administrative proceeding does not constitute a bar to a criminal prosecution for the same offense. An administrative case is an entirely separate and distinct proceeding from a criminal action. Each may proceed independently of the other.chanrobles law library

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby denied. Costs against petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

Fernando, C.J., Teehankee, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, De Castro, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Relova and Gutierrez, Jr., JJ., concur.

Makasiar, J., I join the concurrence of Justice Abad Santos, adding that Sec. 6 of Art. XIII of the 1973 Constitution prevails over Sec. 7 of PD 1716-A.

Separate Opinions


ABAD SANTOS, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

I concur. In my view Sec. 7 of P.D. No. 1716-A gives the EPZA no more than the power to organize a police department with functions similar to the police department of a municipal corporation. Like the police in a town or city the EPZA police can file complaints in criminal cases; it can prosecute criminal cases in municipal trial courts but it cannot conduct preliminary investigations pertaining to fiscals, the Tanodbayan and judges.

Endnotes:



1. Annex "A", p. 9, Rollo.

2. Annex "C", p. 17, Rollo.

3. Chang Yung Fa, Et. Al. v. Gianzon, 97 Phil. 913.

4. G.R. No. 61998, promulgated on February 22, 1983.

5. Section 5, P.D. No. 1606.




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