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Jurisdiction, Judge E.

Larida, Cases
SOLEMNIDAD M. BUAYA, petitioner, vs. THE appeal until final judgment or order ie rendered 2. Remedial Law; Criminal Procedure; Motions to
HONORABLE WENCESLAO M. POLO, Presiding (Sec. 2, Rule 41, Rules of Court). dismiss; General rule that the denial of a motion
Judge, Branch XIX, Regional Trial Court of Manila to dismiss or to quash being interlocutory in
and the COUNTRY BANKERS INSURANCE Issue: Whether the RTC has jurisdiction over the
character, cannot be questioned by certiorari
CORPORATION, respondents. said case.
and cannot be subject of appeal until final
Decision: Yes. Petition is DISMISSED for lack of judgment or order is rendered, is subject to
Facts:
merit. The case is remanded to the Regional Trial certain exceptions; Reason; The court has no
1. Solemnidad Buaya, petitioner was an Court of Manila, Branch XIX for further jurisdiction over the offense or it is not the court
insurance agent of the private respondent, proceedings. of proper venue.
country bankers insurance corporation.
1. It is well-settled that the averments in the 3. Besides, the crime of estafa is a continuing or
2. Allegedly, an audit was conducted on complaint or information characterize the crime transitory offense which may be prosecuted at
petitioners account which showed a shortage in to be prosecuted and the court before which it the place where any of the essential elements of
the amount of P358,850.72. As a result she was must be tried. the crime took place. One of the essential
charged with estafa before the Regional Trial elements of estafa is damage or prejudice to the
In order to determine the jurisdiction of the offended party. The private respondent has its
Court of Manila.
court in criminal cases, the complaint or principal place of business and office at Manila.
3. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss which information must be examined for the purpose The failure of the petitioner to remit the
motion was denied. The subsequent motion for of ascertaining whether or not the facts set out insurance premiums she collected allegedly
reconsideration of this order of denial was also therein and the punishment provided for by law caused damage and prejudice to private
denied. fall within the jurisdiction of the court where the respondent in Manila.
complaint is filed.
4. It was elevated with the Supreme Court. These
two Orders of denial are now the subject of the The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is
present petition. determined by the allegations of the complaint
or information, and not by the findings the court
5. The contention of petitioner Buaya that the
may make after the trial.
Regional Trial Court of Manila has no jurisdiction
because she is based in Cebu City and The subject information charges petitioner with
necessarily the funds she allegedly estafa committed during the period 1980 to
misappropriated were collected in Cebu City. June 15, 1982 inclusive in the City of Manila,
Philippines
6. The respondents on the other hand, call for
adherence to the consistent rule that the denial Clearly then, from the very allegation of the
JOSE C. MIRANDA, ALBERTO P. DALMACIO, and
of a motion to dismiss or to quash, being information the Regional Trial Court of Manila ROMEO B. OCON, petitioners, vs. VIRGILIO M.
interlocutory in character, cannot be questioned has jurisdiction. TULIAO, respondent.
by certiorari and it cannot be the subject of
The case also taps on the following:
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Jurisdiction, Judge E. Larida, Cases
Facts: cancellation of the warrant of arrest issued Held: Yes. The petition is DENIED. Court of
against petitioners. Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED.
1. Two burnt cadavers were discovered in
Isabela, which were identified as the bodies of 8. On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a In the petitioners argument that jurisdiction over
Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private petition for certiorari, mandamus and the person is required only in the adjudication of
respondent Virgilio Tuliao. prohibition with this Court, with prayer for a applications for bail must fail.
Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin
2. SPO2 Maderal, one of the accused at large was 1. Custody of the law is required before the
Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the
arrested. On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn court can act upon the application for bail, but
case, and seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint
confession and identified petitioners Miranda, is not required for the adjudication of other
Orders of Judge Anghad and it was granted.
Ocon, and Dalmacio, as the persons responsible reliefs sought by the defendant where the mere
for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer 9. Shortly after the TRO was issued, Judge application therefor constitutes a waiver of the
Tuliao. Anghad issued a Joint Order dismissing the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person
Informations for murder against petitioners. of the accused.
3. Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint
for murder against petitioners. 10. Respondent Tuliao filed with the Supreme A distinction between custody of the
Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in law and jurisdiction over the person must be
4. Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan
Contempt, alleging that Judge Anghad made.
issued warrants of arrest against petitioners.
deliberately and willfully committed contempt
Custody of the law is accomplished either by
5. On 29 June 2001, petitioners MIRANDA, of court when he issued the dismissal of the
arrest or voluntary surrender, while jurisdiction
DALMACIO, and OCON filed an urgent motion to informations for murder.
over the person of the accused is acquired upon
complete preliminary investigation, to his arrest or voluntary appearance.
11. The Supreme Court referred said motion to
reinvestigate, and to recall and/or QUASH THE
the Court of Appeals in view of the previous
WARRANTS OF ARREST. One can be under the custody of the law but not
referral to it of respondents petition
yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over
6. In the hearing of the urgent motion on 6 July for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.
his person, such as when a person arrested by
2001, Judge Tumaliuan noted the absence of virtue of a warrant files a motion before
12. Court of Appeals rendered the assailed
petitioners and issued a Joint Order denying said arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other
decision granting the petition and ordering the
urgent motion on the ground that, since the hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of
reinstatement of the criminal cases in the RTC of
court did not acquire jurisdiction over their the court over his person, and yet not be in the
Santiago City, as well as the issuance of
persons, the motion cannot be properly heard by custody of the law, such as when an accused
warrants of arrest against petitioners.
the court. escapes custody after his trial has commenced.
Issue: Whether accused (petitioners) cannot
7. On 17 August 2001, the new Presiding Judge Being in the custody of the law signifies
seek any judicial relief if they do not submit their
Anghad took over the case and issued a Joint restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived
person to the jurisdiction of the court.
Order reversing the Joint Order of Judge of his own will and liberty, binding him to
Tumaliuan. Consequently, he ordered the become obedient to the will of the law. Custody

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Jurisdiction, Judge E. Larida, Cases
of the law is literally custody over the body of 1. On August 19, 1991, petitioner was charged
the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, with violation of B.P. Blg. 22.
detention.
2. The case was archived due to petitioners non-
2. A person applying for admission to bail must apprehension despite the issuance of a warrant
be in the custody of the law or otherwise for his arrest.3
deprived of his liberty. A person who has not
3. The warrant of arrest was recalled and set
submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court
aside4 after petitioner posted the required bail.
has no right to invoke the processes of that
He was arraigned on July 25, 1995 when he
court.
pleaded not guilty to the offense charged.5
There is, however, an exception to the rule that
4. After trial on the merits, the Regional Trial
filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief
Court finds the petitioner guilty as charged.
constitutes voluntary appearance, and the
consequent submission of ones person to the 5. Petitioner appealed but it was dismissed by
jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial
pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the courts decision in toto.
avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court, which
6. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals
only leads to a special appearance.
found that the check was issued as a guaranty for
These pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to the loan, thereby rejecting petitioners
dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over investment theory.
the person of the defendant, whether or not
Issue: Whether the regional trial court has
other grounds for dismissal are included; (2)
jurisdiction over the case, despite the fact that at
in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint
the time the accused was arraigned on July 25,
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
1995 where RA. 7691 expanding the jurisdiction
person of the accused; and (3) motions to quash
of the metropolitan trial court was already in
a warrant of arrest.
effect.
The first two are consequences of the fact that
ISIDRO PABLITO M. PALANA, Held: Yes. WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of
failure to file them would constitute a waiver of
petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, the Court of Appeals finding petitioner ISIDRO
the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the
respondent. PABLITO M. PALANA guilty of violating Batas
person. The third is a consequence of the fact
Pambansa Blg. 22, is AFFIRMED.
that it is the very legality of the court process
forcing the submission of the person of the Facts: 1. Jurisdiction to try a criminal action is
accused that is the very issue in a motion to determined by the law in force at the time of
quash a warrant of arrest. the institution of the action and not during the
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Jurisdiction, Judge E. Larida, Cases
arraignment of the accused. The Information 1. On April 5, 2004, respondent Kalashian filed
charging petitioner with violation of B.P. Blg. 22 before the RTC of Baguio City a complaint for
was filed on August 19, 1991. At that time, the damages against petitioners Sante. Respondent
governing law determinative of jurisdiction prayed that petitioners be held liable to pay
is B.P. Blg. 129. moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00;
P50,000.00 as exemplary damages; P50,000.00
2. Where a court has already obtained and is attorneys fees; P20,000.00 litigation expenses;
exercising jurisdiction over a controversy, its and costs of suit.
jurisdiction to proceed to the final
determination of the cause is not affected by 2. Thus, respondent prayed that petitioners be
new legislation placing jurisdiction over such held liable to pay moral damages.
proceedings in another tribunal unless the
3. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss5 on the
statute expressly provides, or is construed to
ground that it was the Municipal Trial Court in
the effect that it is intended to operate on
Cities (MTCC) and not the RTC of Baguio, that
actions pending before its enactment. had jurisdiction over the case. They argued that
Indeed, R.A. No. 7691 contains retroactive the amount of the claim for moral damages was
provisions. However, these only apply to civil not more than the jurisdictional amount of
P300,000.00, because the claim for exemplary
cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial
damages should be excluded in computing the
stage. Neither from an express proviso nor by
total claim.
implication can it be construed that R.A. No.
7691 has retroactive application to criminal 4. Trial court denied the motion to dismiss. The
cases pending or decided by the Regional Trial trial court held that the total claim of respondent
Courts prior to its effectivity. The jurisdiction of amounted to P420,000.00 which was above the
the RTC over the case attached upon the jurisdictional amount for MTCCs outside Metro
commencement of the action by the filing of the Manila.
Information and could not be ousted by the
passage of R.A. No. 7691 reapportioning the 5. Petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and
jurisdiction of inferior courts, the application of IRENE SANTE AND REYNALDO SANTE, Prohibition before the Court of Appeals.
which to criminal cases is prospective in nature. petitioners, vs. HON. EDILBERTO T. CLARAVALL,
in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 60, 6. Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming
Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, and VITA N. the denying petitioners Motion to Dismiss Ad
KALASHIAN, respondents. Cautelam. In the said decision, the appellate
court held that the total or aggregate amount
Facts: demanded in the complaint constitutes the basis
of jurisdiction.

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Jurisdiction, Judge E. Larida, Cases
7. The Court of Appeals did not find merit in determining which court has jurisdiction or
petitioners posture that the claims for should the total amount of all the damages 1. A Complaint for Recovery of Portion of
exemplary damages and attorneys fees are claimed regardless of kind and nature, such as Registered Land beforethe Regional Trial Court
merely incidental to the main cause and should exemplary damages, nominal damages, and (RTC) Branch XI of Tuao, Cagayan.
not be included in the computation of the total attorneys fees, etc., be used? In this regard,
claim. Administrative Circular No. 09-94 is instructive: x 2. They alleged that they are the co-owners of a
x x x 2. The exclusion of the term damages of a parcel of land containing 13,100 sq. m., which
Issue: Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over the whatever kind in determining the jurisdictional they inherited from the late Juan dela Cruz;4 that
case? amount under Section 19 (8) and Section 33 (1) in the mid-70s, Quinagoran started occupying a
of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, house on the north-west portion of the property,
Held: Yes. The petition is DENIED, for lack of applies to cases where the damages are merely covering 400 sq. m., by tolerance of the heirs of
merit. incidental to or a consequence of the main cause Juan;
of action. However, in cases where the claim for
1. In the instant case, the complaint principally damages is the main cause of action, or one of 3. When demanded to vacate, Quinagoran
sought an award of moral and exemplary the causes of action, the amount of such claim refused, claiming ownership over the lot.
damages, as well as attorneys fees and litigation shall be considered in determining the
expenses, for the alleged shame and injury jurisdiction of the court. 4. Quinagoran filed a Motion to Dismiss claiming
suffered by respondent by reason of petitioners that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case
utterance. under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7691, which
expanded the exclusive original jurisdiction of
It is settled that jurisdiction is conferred by law the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) to include all civil
based on the facts alleged in the complaint since actions which involve title to, or possession of,
the latter comprises a concise statement of the real property, or any interest therein which does
ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs causes not exceed P20,000.00.
of action. It is clear, based on the allegations of
the complaint that respondents main action is 5. He argued that since the 346 sq. m. lot which
for damages. VICTORINO QUINAGORAN, he owns adjacent to the contested property has
petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and THE an assessed value of P1,730.00, the assessed
Hence, the other forms of damages being HEIRS OF JUAN DE LA CRUZ, respondents. value of the lot under controversy would not be
claimed by respondent, e.g., exemplary more than the said amount.7
damages, attorneys fees and litigation Note:
expenses, are not merely incidental to or Accion Publiciana - An ordinary civil proceeding 6. The RTC denied petitioners Motion to
consequences of the main action but constitute to recover the better right of possession. Dismiss. The present action on the basis of the
the primary relief prayed for in the complaint. Accion Reivindicatoria - An ordinary civil allegation of the complaint partakes of the
proceeding to recover possession based on nature of action publiciana (sic) and jurisdiction
2. Where damages is the main cause of action, ownership. over said action lies with the Regional Trial Court,
should the amount of moral damages prayed for regardless of the value of the property.
in the complaint be the sole basis for Facts:

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Jurisdiction, Judge E. Larida, Cases
7. CA affirms RTC in toto. the subject property, the RTC seriously erred in
denying the motion to dismiss. Consequently, all
Issue: Whether all cases of recovery of proceedings in the RTC are null and void, and
possession or accion publiciana lies with the the CA erred in affirming the RTC.
regional trial courts regardless of the value of the
property?

Held: No.

1. As things now stand, a distinction must be


made between those properties the assessed
value of which is below P20,000.00, if outside
Metro Manila; and P50,000.00, if within. (BP 129
as amended by RA 7691)

2. Nowhere in said complaint was the assessed


value of the subject property ever mentioned.

3. A complaint must allege the assessed value


of the real property subject of the complaint or
the interest thereon to determine which court
has jurisdiction over the action.

3. Indeed, absent any allegation in the complaint


of the assessed value of the property, it cannot
be determined whether the RTC or the MTC has
original and exclusive jurisdiction over the
petitioners action.

4. The courts cannot take judicial notice of the


assessed or market value of the land.
Jurisdiction of the court does not depend upon
the answer of the defendant or even upon
agreement, waiver or acquiescence of the
parties.

5. Considering that the respondents failed to


allege in their complaint the assessed value of
6