Officers Authorized To Conduct Preliminary Investigation

Officers Authorized To Conduct Preliminary Investigation

Section 2.

1. Provincial or city prosecutor and their assistants
2. National and regional state prosecutors
3. Such other officers as may be authorized by law such as the COMELEC, Ombudsman and PCGG
4. Judges of RTCs

No longer authorized to conduct PI: By implication, MTC judges in Manila and in chartered cities have not been granted the authority to conduct PI, as the officers authorized to do so are the prosecutors.

TWO TYPES OF OFFENSES MAY BE FILED IN THE MTC FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION:
1. a case cognizable by the RTC may be filed with the MTC for PI;
2. even if it is cognizable by the MTC because it is an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least 4 years 2 months and 1 day.

Regarding offenses falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan: Prosecutors or municipal trial court judges conducting PI of offenses falling within the original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan shall, after their conclusion, transmit the records and their resolutions to the Ombudsman or his deputy for appropriate action.

Moreover, the prosecutor or judge cannot dismiss the complaint without the prior written authority of the Ombudsman or his deputy, nor can the prosecutor file an information with the Sandiganbayan without being deputized by, and without prior written authority of, the Ombudsman or his deputy.

Uy v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 105965-70(2001)
- The Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute all criminal cases involving public officers and employees, not only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, but those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well. § 15 of RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) does not make any distinction. “Any illegal act or omission of any public
official” is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or employee. Such grant of primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees cognizable by the other courts.

Roxas v. Vasquez, G.R. No. 114944 (2001)
- In criminal prosecutions, a reinvestigation, like an appeal, renders the entire case open for review, regardless of whether a motion for reconsideration or reinvestigation was sought. The Ombudsman should not be limited in its review. It is clear from R. A. 6770 that the Ombudsman may motu propio conduct a reinvestigation.

ELECTION OFFENSES:
- The exclusive jurisdiction of the Comelec to investigate and prosecute election offenses inheres even if the offender is a private individual or public officer or employee, and in the latter instance, irrespective of whether the offense is committed in relation to his official duties or not. In other words, it is the nature of the offense, namely, an election offense as defined in the Omnibus Election Code and in other election laws, and not the personality of the offender that matters.

THE OMBUDSMAN:
- The power of the Ombudsman to make investigation extends to any illegal act or omission of any public official, whether or not the same is committed in relation to his office.

Preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman is limited to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and must be conducted pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Section 4(d) of Administrative Order No. 07 disallows the filing of a motion to quash or dismiss a complaint filed with the Ombudsman, except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Which remedy may an aggrieved party avail of against resolutions of the Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases?
 - The law is silent. Hence, appeal is not available as a remedy because the right to appeal is a statutory privilege and may be availed of only if there is a statute to that effect. However, an aggrieved party is not without remedy, as he can resort to the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65.

THE OMBUDSMAN DOES NOT HAVE THE FOLLOWING POWERS:
1. to prosecute before the Sandiganbayan any impeachable officers with any offense which carries with it the penalty of removal from office,  or any penalty service of which would amount to removal from office because by constitutional mandate, they can only be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust
2. to prosecute public officers or employees who have committed election offenses.
3. to file an information for an offense cognizable by the regular courts.

EFFECTS OF AN INCOMPLETE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
1. It does not warrant the quashal of the information
2. It does not affect the court’s jurisdiction or the validity of the information

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