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PEOPLE VS.

MARIANO
GR L-40527 JUNE 30, 1976
Facts:
Hermogees !ar"ao, t#e a$$o"te% &"a"so o''"cer o' a m("c"$a&"t) " t#e *ro+"ce o'
,(&aca -as c#arge% -"t# esta'a o' goo%s amo(t"g to o more t#a 6,000 $esos.
!ar"ao t#e '"&e% -"t# t#e co(rt a mot"o to /(as# a&& "'ormat"o. 0#e res$o%et 1(%ge
t#e grate% t#e mot"o o t#e 2as"s t#at t#e co(rt "%ee% #a% o 1(r"s%"ct"o o+er t#e
case, c"t"g t#at a m"&"tar) comm"ss"o #a% a&rea%) r(&e% o
ama&+ersat"o case aga"st !a)or No&asco "+o&+"g t#e same $ro$ert"es /(est"oe% at
2ar. 0#e res$o%et 1(%ge ote% t#at
case#a+"g 2ee #ear% a% %ec"%e% 2) a com$etet tr"2(a& g"+es o 1(r"s%"ct"o to #"s
co(rt to $ass ae- 1(%gmet o t#e same s(21ect matter. 0#e *E3*LE
t#e a$$ea&e% a% t#e 4($reme 5o(rt #a+"g c"t"g t#e J(%"c"a& 6ct o' 1947 a% t#e 'act
t#at Esta'a a% !a&+ersat"o are 2 %"''eret a% %"st"ct o''ese a% t#at t#e m"&"tar)
comm"ss"o #as o a(t#or"t) o+er t#e c#arges $&ace% o !ar"ao, %ec"%e%
t#at&o-er co(rt comm"tte% a gra+e error " sa)"g t#at t#e) #a% o 1(r"s%"ct"o o+er t#e
matter. 6s so or%ere% 2) t#e 4($reme 5o(rt t#e res$o%et 1(%ge -as to cot"(e t#e
cr"m"a& case aga"st !ar"ao.
0#e "ss(es $resete%:
8oes t#e c"+"& co(rt 9 m"&"tar) comm"ss"os e:erc"se coc(rret 1(r"s%"ct"o o+er t#e case
o' t#e esta'a o' goo%s amo(t"g to ot more t#a 6,000 *esos.
0#e R(&"g:
!"&"tar) comm"ss"os #a+e o a(t#or"t) o+er esta'a cases a% t#e co(rt o' '"rst "stace
#as or"g"a& 1(r"s%"ct"o as so "m$&"e% 2) t#e J(%"c"a& 6ct o' 1947.
Rat"o:
0#e J(%"c"a& act o' 1947 sec. 44 states t#at t#e 5o(rt o' F"rst ;stace s#a&& #a+e or"g"a&
1(r"s%"ct"o " a&& cr"m"a& cases " -#"c# t#e $ea&t) $ro+"%e% 2) t#e &a- "s "m$r"somet
'or more t#a s": mot#s or a '"e o' o+er 200 $esos. Esta'a more t#a meets -"t#
re/("remets ee%e% 'or t#e 5o(rt o' F"rst ;stace to ac/("re or"g"a& 1(r"s%"ct"o.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. L-40527 June 30, 1976
PEOPLE OF TE P!L!PP!NES, petitioner,
vs.
ERMOGENES M"R!"NO #n$ ON. "M%ROS!O M. GER"L&E', (n )(* +#,#+(-. #*
P/e*($(n0 Ju$0e o1 -)e Cou/- o1 F(/*- !n*-#n+e o1 %u2#+#n, %/#n+) 3, respondents.
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Assistant Solicitor General Nathanael P. Pano,
Jr., Solicitor Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, Provincial P.C. Kliacho and Assistant Provincial
!iscal C. G. Per"ecto "or #etitioner.
E$sta%$io Evangelista "or res#ondent &er'ogenes Mariano.

MU4O' P"LM", J:
This petition for certiorari postulates a rulin on the !uestion of "hether or not civil courts
and #ilitar$ co##issions e%ercise concurrent &urisdiction over the offense of esta"a of
oods valued at not #ore than si% thousand pesos and alleedl$ co##itted b$ a
civilian.
1
On Dece#ber '(, ')*+, the office of the Provincial Fiscal of ,ulacan filed an Infor#ation
-.ri#inal .ase No. SM/0+)1 accusin private respondent herein 2er#oenes Mariano
of esta"a alleed to have been co##itted as follo"s3
That on or about and durin the period fro# Ma$ '' and 4une (, ')*', in
the #unicipalit$ of San 4ose del Monte, province of ,ulacan, Philippines,
and "ithin the &urisdiction of this 2onorable .ourt, the said accused
2er#oenes Mariano, bein then appointed as 5iaison Officer b$ the then
incu#bent Municipal Ma$or, .onstantino Nolasco, actin for and in behalf
of the #unicipalit$ of San 4ose del Monte, ,ulacan and authori6ed to
receive and be receipted for 7S e%cess propert$ of 7S8ID9N:. for the
use and benefit of said #unicipalit$, received fro# the said 7S8ID9N:.
the follo"in ite#s, to "it3
';< ft. electric cable valued
at ='; or P'<<.;<
;>; ft. cable po"er valued at
=;**/;< or P?,(;).?;
>;< ft. electric cable at
='>;.<< or P(?*.;<
"ith a total value of =*'*.;< or P+,*)*.?;, involvin the dut$ of #a@in
deliver$ of said ite#s to the said Municipal Ma$or, but the said accused
2er#oenes Mariano once in possession of the said ite#s and far fro#
co#pl$in "ith his aforesaid obliation and in spite of repeated de#ands,
did then and there "ilfull$, unla"full$ and feloniousl$, "ith rave abuse of
confidence and "ith deceit, #isappropriate, #isappl$ and convert to his
o"n personal use and benefit the said ite#s valued at =*'*.;< or
P+,*)*.?;, belonin to the said 7S8ID9N:., to the da#ae and
pre&udice of the said o"ner in the said su# of =*'*,;< or P+,*)*.?;. -pp.
rollo1.
On Februar$ '), ')*;, 2er#oenes Mariano thru his counsel Filed a #otion to !uash
the Infor#ation on the follo"in rounds3
'. That the court tr$in the cause has no &urisdiction of the offense
chared or of the person of the defendantA
>. That the cri#inal action or liabilit$ has been e%tinuishedA
?. That it contains aver#ents "hich , if true, "ould constitute a leal
e%cuse or &ustification. -p. '), rollo1
In his #otion to !uash, Mariano clai#ed that the ite#s "hich "ere the sub&ect #atter of
the Infor#ation aainst hi# "ere the sa#e ite#s for "hich Ma$or .onstantino 8.
Nolasco of San 4ose del Monte, province of ,ulacan, "as indicted before a Militar$
.o##ission under a chare of #alversation of public propert$, and for "hich Ma$or
Nolasco had been found uilt$ and sentenced to i#prison#ent at hard labor for ten -'<1
$ears and one -'1 da$ to fourteen -'+1 $ears and eiht -(1 #onths "ith perpetual
dis!ualification plus a fine of P'),0+0.'; -see pp. >?/>+, rollo1, and that inas#uch as the
case aainst Ma$or Nolasco had alread$ been decided b$ the Militar$ Tribunal, the
.ourt of First Instance of ,ulacan had lost &urisdiction over the case aainst hi#. -pp.
')/><, Ibid1
On March '+, ')*; respondent 4ude issued an Order rantin the #otion to !uash on
the round of lac@ of &urisdiction reasonin as follo"s3
.onsiderin that the Militar$ .o##ission had alread( taen cognizance o"
the 'alversation case against Ma(or Nolasco involving the sa'e s$)*ect
'atter in its conc$rrent *$risdiction with this Co$rt, the case involvin the
sub&ect properties had alread$ been heard and decided b$ a co#petent
tribunal, the Militar$ .o##ission, and as such this .ourt is "ithout
&urisdiction to pass upon ane" the sa#e sub&ect #atter. -pp. ?</?', rollo,
e#phasis supplied1
Respondent 4ude did not rule on the other rounds invo@ed in the #otion to !uash.
The people no" see@s a revie" of the aforesaid Order and presents the sole issue of
&urisdiction of respondent .ourt over the esta"a case filed aainst respondent Mariano.
B4urisdictionB is the basic foundation of &udicial proceedins.
2
The "ord B&urisdictionB is
derived fro# t"o 5atin "ords B&urisB and BdicoB C BI spea@ b$ the la"B C "hich #eans funda#entall$
the po"er or capacit$ iven b$ the la" to a court or tribunal to entertain, hear, and deter#ine certain
controversies.
3
,ouvierDs o"n definition of the ter# B&urisdictionB has found &udicial acceptance, to "it3
B4urisdiction is the riht of a 4ude to pronounce a sentence of the la" in a case or issue before hi#,
ac!uired throuh due process of la"AB it is Bthe authorit$ b$ "hich &udicial officers ta@e coni6ance of
and decide cases.B
4
In &errera vs. +arretto, Septe#ber '<, ')'?, >; Phil. >+;, >;', this .ourt, in the "ords
of 4ustice Moreland, invo@in 8#erican &urisprudence, defined B&urisdictionB si#pl$ as
the authorit$ to hear and deter#ine a cause the riht to act in a case. B4urisdictionB has
also been aptl$ described as the right to #$t the wheels o" *$stice in notionand to
proceed to the final deter#ination of a cause upon the pleadins and evidence.
5
B.ri#inal 4urisdictionB is necessaril$ the authorit$ to hear and tr$ a particular offense and
i#pose the punish#ent for it.
6
The confer#ent of &urisdiction upon courts or &udicial tribunals is derived e%clusivel$ fro#
the constitution and statutes of the foru#. Thus, the !uestion of &urisdiction of
respondent .ourt of First Instance over the case filed before it is to be resolved on the
basis of the la" or statute providin for or definin its &urisdiction. That, Ee find in the
4udiciar$ 8ct of ')+( "here in its Section ++ -f1 it is provided3
S:.. ++. Original *$risdiction. C .ourts of First Instance shall have
oriinal &urisdiction3
%%% %%% %%%
-f1 ,n all cri'inal cases in which the #enalt( #rovided )( law is
i'#rison'ent "or 'ore than si- 'onths,or a fine of #ore than t"o hundred
pesos, -e#phasis supplied1
The offense of esta"a chared aainst respondent Mariano is penali6ed "ith arresto
'a(or in its #a%i#u# period to #rision correccional in its #ini#u# period, or
i#prison#ent fro# four -+1 #onths and one -'1 da$ to t"o ->1 $ears and four -+1
#onths.
7
,$ reason of the penalt$ i#posed "hich e%ceeds si% -01 #onths i#prison#ent, the offense
alleed to have been co##itted b$ the accused, no" respondent, Mariano, falls under the oriinal
&urisdiction of courts of first instance.
The above of course is not disputed b$ respondent 4udeA "hat he clai#s in his Order is
that his court e%ercises concurrent &urisdiction "ith the #ilitar$ co##ission and because
the latter tribunal "as the first to ta@e coni6ance of the sub&ect #atter, respondent court
lost &urisdiction over it .That state#ent of respondent court is incorrect.
In Peo#le vs. !ontanilla, this .ourt spea@in throuh then 4ustice no" .hief 4ustice Fred
Rui6 .astro, cateoricall$ reiterated the settled rule that the *$risdiction o" a co$rt is
deter'ined )( the stat$te in "orce at the ti'e o" the co''ence'ent o" the action.
5
In the
case at bar, it is rihtl$ contended b$ the Solicitor Feneral that at the ti#e .ri#inal .ase No. SM/
0+) was "iled "ith the .ourt of First Instance of ,ulacan, that "as Dece')er ./, .012, the la" in
force vestin &urisdiction upon said court "as the 4udiciar$ 8ct of ')+(, the particular provision of
"hich "as not affected one "a$ or the other b$ an$ Presidential issuances under Martial 5a".
Feneral Order No. +) dated Octo)er 2, .012, "hich repeals Feneral Order No. '> and the latterDs
a#end#ents and related Feneral Orders inconsistent "ith the for#er, redefines the &urisdiction of
#ilitar$ tribunals over certain offense, and esta"a and #alversation are not a#on those enu#erated
therein.
9
In other "ords the Militar$ .o##ission is not vested "ith &urisdiction over the cri#e
of esta"a.
9
6
Respondent court therefore ravel$ erred "hen it ruled that it lost &urisdiction over
the esta"a case aainst respondent Mariano "ith the filin of the #alversation chare
aainst Ma$or Nolasco before the Militar$ .o##ission. :stafa and #alversation are t"o
separate and distinct offenses and in the case no" before 7s the accused in one is
different fro# the accused in the other. ,ut #ore funda#ental is the fact that Ee do not
have here a situation involvin t"o tribunals vested "ith concurrent &urisdiction over a
particular cri#e so as to appl$ the rule that the court or tribunal "hich first ta@es
coni6ance of the case ac!uires &urisdiction thereof e%clusive of the other.
10
The Militar$
.o##ission as stated earlier is "ithout po"er or authorit$ to hear and deter#ine the particular
offense chared aainst respondent Mariano, hence, there is no concurrent &urisdiction bet"een it and
respondent court to spea@ of.Esta"a as descri)ed in the ,n"or'ation filed in .ri#inal .ase No. SM/
0+) "alls within the sole e-cl$sive *$risdiction o" civil co$rts.
PR:MIS:S .ONSID:R:D, the appealed Order dated March '+, ')*;, is set aside and
respondent 4ude is directed to proceed "ith the trial of .ri#inal .ase No. SM/ 0+)
"ithout further dela$.
SO ORD:R:D.
3eehanee, Maasiar, A%$ino and Martin, JJ., conc$r.
Foo-no-e*
' This Petition for Revie" "as filed b$ 8sst. Provincial Fiscal .le#ente F.
Perfecto of the Province of ,ulacan. In the .ourtDs Resolution of 4ul$ '0,
')*;, the .ourt Resolved to ive due course to the Petition, treat the
sa#e as a special civil action, rantin the parties ti#e "ithin "hich to file
their #e#oranda. Respondent Mariano did not ans"er this Petition nor did
he file an$ #e#orandu#. On Ma$ >(, ')*0, the Solicitor Feneral filed his
#e#orandu# supportin this Petition of the Provincial Fiscal of ,ulacan.
> Mood$ vs. Port .l$de Develop#ent .o., '<> Me. ?0;.
? In re 8doption and .ustod$ of 7nder"ood, '<* S.:. >d 0<(, 0'0, '++
E. Va. ?'>A Eesle$ vs. Schnec@loth, ?+0 P. >d 0;(, 00<, ;; Eash. >d )<A
8t"ood vs. .o%, ;; P. >d ?**, ?(<A ,arrs vs. State, )* S.:. (0, (*A 5on
Fla#e coal .o. vs. State .o#pensation .o#Dr, '0? S.:. '0, ')A >?8
Eords G phrases '?0.
+ .hicao Title and Trust .o vs. ,ro"n, +* 5.R.8. *)(A In re Tailor, +;
5.R.8. '?03 State vs. Ea@efield, '; 8. '(', '(?, 0< Vt. 0'(.
; Eabash R. .o. vs. Duncan, ..8. Mo., '*< F. >d ?(, +'.
0 Moran, Rules of .ourt, ')*< :d., Vol. ', p. ?0.
* 8RT. ?'; Swindling 4esta"a5 / 8n$ person "ho shall defraud another b$
an$ of the #eans #entioned hereinbelo" shall be punished b$3
%%% %%% %%%
?d. The penalt$ of arresto 'a(or in its #a%i#u# period to #rision
correccional in its #ini#u# period, if such a#ount is over ><< pesos but
does not e%ceed, 0,<<< pesos.
( 5/>;?;+, 4une >(,')0(, >? S.R8 '>>*.
) Me#orandu#, pp. ?/+.
)H Feneral Order No. +) "as a#ended b$ Feneral Order No. ;+
dated Octo)er 66, .017, to include to estafa as a#on those coni6able
b$ the #ilitar$ tribunals but onl( when the cri'e is co''itted in large
scale or )( a s(ndicate.
'< People vs. Fernando, 5/>;)+>, Ma$ >(, ')0(, >' S.R8 (0*.