PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1861 - AMENDING THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606 AND BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129 RELATIVE TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 has simplified the rules on jurisdiction by,
among others, abolishing the concurrent jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan and the regular courts; |
WHEREAS, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 expanded the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over the offenses enumerated in Sec. 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, to embrace all such offenses irrespective of the imposable penalty;
WHEREAS, there has been a proliferation and marked increase in the filing of cases before the Sandiganbayan where the offense charged is punishable by a penalty not higher than prision correccional or its equivalent; and
WHEREAS, to insure that the prosecution of offenses committed by public officers and employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be as inexpensive and as expeditious as possible, and in keeping with the constitutional mandate constituting the Sandiganbayan as a special court to try cases involving graft and corruption, and other offenses committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, it is necessary and desirable that certain cases shall be triable by the appropriate courts, with appellate jurisdiction over these cases to be vested in the Sandiganbayan.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as follows:
Section 1. Sec. 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606 is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
"(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
(1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Sec. 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code;
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
"(b) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction:
(1) On appeal, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in cases originally decided by them in their respective territorial jurisdiction.
(2) By petition for review, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in their respective jurisdiction.
"The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereinafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Intermediate Appellate Court shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan, the Office of the Tanodbayan shall represent the People of the Philippines.
"In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees.
"Any provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, as the case may be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be considered abandoned."
Sec. 2. All cases pending in the Sandiganbayan or in the appropriate courts as of the date of the effectivity of this Decree shall remain with and be disposed of by the courts where they are pending.
Sec. 3. The provisions of this Decree notwithstanding, the Office of the Tanodbayan shall continue to have the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation, file the necessary information, and direct and control the prosecution of all cases enumerated in Sec. 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, whether such cases be within the exclusive original/appellate jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1630.
Sec. 4. All other laws, orders, promulgations, rules and regulations or parts thereof, which are inconsistent herewith are hereby amended, repealed or modified accordingly.
Sec. 5. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 23rd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-three.