CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - It is the method prescribed by law for the
apprehension and prosecution of persons accused of any criminal
offense and for their punishment, in case of conviction.
It is concerned with the procedural steps through which a criminal
case passes, commencing with the initial investigation of a crime
and concluding with the release of the offender.
CRIMINAL JURISDICTION - It is the authority to hear and try a
particular offense and impose the punishment for it
(People v. Marinao, 71 SCRA 600, 604).
REQUISITES FOR VALID EXERCISE OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION:
1. Jurisdiction over the subject matter – is the power to hear
and determine cases of the general class to which the
proceedings in question belong (Reyes v. Diaz, 73 Phil 484);
by virtue of the imposable penalty or its nature, is one which
the court is by law authorized to take cognizance of;
conferred by law.
2. Jurisdiction over the territory where the offense was
committed – the offense must have been committed within the
territorial jurisdiction of the court; jurisdiction over the
territory; cannot be waived
3. Jurisdiction over the person of the accused - the person
charged with the offense must have been brought to its
presence for trial, forcibly by warrant of arrest or upon his
voluntary submission to the court.
The question of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the
proceedings. The exception to this rule is when there is estoppel
and laches on the party who raised the question of jurisdiction.
JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER vs JURISDICTION OVER THE
PERSON OF THE ACCUSED
1. Jurisdiction Over The Subject Matter - Conferred by law. It
cannot be acquired by he consent of the accused.
Jurisdiction Over The Person Of The Accused - May be acquired
by consent of the accused or by waiver of objections.
2. Jurisdiction Over The Subject Matter - Objection that the court
has no jurisdiction over the subject matter may be made at
any stage of the proceeding and the right to make such
objection is never waived.
Jurisdiction Over The Person Of The Accused - If the accused
fails to make his objection in time, he will be deemed to
have waived it.
What determines jurisdiction
- Jurisdiction is determined by the extent of the penalty
which the law imposes, on the basis of the facts as recited
in the complaint or information constitutive of the offense
Jurisdiction is not determined by:
- what may be meted out to the offender after trial
- the result of the evidence that would be presented during
Jurisdiction is retained regardless of:
- whether the evidence proves a lesser offense than that
charged in the information,
- the subsequent happening of events, although of a character
which would have prevented jurisdiction from attaching in
the first instance.
- Jurisdiction of a court to try criminal action is to be
determined by the law at the time of the institution of
- Where the statute expressly provides, or is construed
that it is intended to operate to actions pending
before its enactment, in which case, the court where
the criminal action is pending is ousted of jurisdiction
and the pending action will have to be transferred to
the other tribunal which will continue the proceeding.
ONCE VESTED, JURISDICTION CANNOT BE WITHDRAWN BY:
1. Subsequent valid amendment of the Information; or
2. Subsequent statutory amendment of the rules of jurisdiction,
unless the amendatory law provides otherwise.
Venue is jurisdictional
- Thus: Action must be instituted and tried in the municipality
or territory where the offense has been committed or where
any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place.
- The question of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of
- It may not be raised for the first time on appeal,
where there has been estoppel and laches on the party
who raises the question.
Criminal jurisdiction of MTCs
- MTC has jurisdiction over all offenses, the maximum
penalty of which as provided by law does not exceed
6 years (prision correccional).
- In cases where the only penalty provided by law is a
fine, the amount whereof shall determine the
jurisdiction of the court:
- MetroTC, MTC, and MCTC: if fine is not more
than 4000 pesos.
- RTC: if fine exceeds 4000 pesos, including offenses
committed by public officers and employees in
relation to their office, where the amount of the
fine does not exceed 6000 pesos. (SC Court
Circular No. 09-94).
Accessory penalties and civil liabilities: no longer
determinative of jurisdiction.
No jurisdiction: over those cases which by provision of special
law are made triable by the RTC or the Sandiganbayan even if
the maximum penalty prescribed by such special law is less than
6 years. Included in such exceptions are election offenses, libel
or written defamation, and violation of Sec. 39 of the Dangerous
Drugs Act of 1972 (RA 6425).
Criminal Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
Offenses or felonies, whether simple or complexed with other
crimes committed by the public officials and their employees
mentioned in Subsection (a) of this section in relation to
If the last element, namely, “in relation to his office” is
absent or is not alleged in the information, the crime committed
falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of ordinary
courts and not the SB.
The offense is committed in relation to the office if the offense
is intimately connected with the office of the offender and
perpetuated while he was in the performance of his official
functions, or when the crime cannot exist without the office,
or the office is a constituent element of the crime as defined
in the statute.
- Fall outside the jurisdiction of SB even if they are
committed by public officers classified as Grade 27
and higher and in relation to their offices. It is the
RTC that has jurisdiction as provided for in the
Omnibus Election Code.
Court Martial Cases
- Offenses committed by members of the Armed Forces and other
persons subject to military law are cognizable by court
martial if such offenses are “service connected” as
expressly enumerated in RA 7055.
If the particular offense is not one of those enumerated in the
law, the case falls under either the regular courts or the SB,
as the case may be.
Jurisdiction of Family Courts
- Republic Act No. 8369 establishing the Family Court granting
them exclusive original jurisdiction over child and family
cases, namely: Criminal cases where one or more of the
accused is below 18 years of age but not less than 9 years
of age or where one or more of the victim is a minor at
the time of the commission of the offense, provided that
if the minor is found guilty, the court shall promulgate
sentence and ascertain any civil liability which the
accused may have incurred. The sentence shall be suspended
without need of an application pursuant to the “Child and
Youth Welfare Code or P.D. 603).
Jurisdiction over Complex Crimes
- Jurisdiction is lodged with the trial court having
jurisdiction to impose the maximum and most serious
penalty imposable of an offense forming part of the
Jurisdiction over Crimes Punishable by Destierro
- Where the imposable penalty is destierro, the case falls
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial
Court, considering that in the hierarchy of penalties
under Article 71 of the Revised Penal Code, destierro
follows arresto mayor which involves imprisonment
(People v. Eduarte, 182 SCRA).
Principle of Adherence of Jurisdiction
- Once jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained
up to the end of litigation (Dela Cruz v. Moya, 160 SCRA 838).