Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-11395             January 31, 1958
SOTERA GARCIA DIMAGIBA, petitioner,
HON. AMBROSIO M. GERALDEZ, Judge, Municipal Court of Manila, Branch IV and the CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, respondents.
Eugenio M. Millado for petitioner.
Assistant Fiscal Arsenio Nanawa for respondents.
Certiorari against an order of dismissal issued by the Court of First Instance of Manila, and prohibition against the Municipal Court of Manila, Hon. Ambrosio M. Geraldez, presiding, to enjoin it from taking cognizance ofan information filed before it for estafa against the petitioner (CriminalCase No. D-157576).
On March 14, 1955, Assistant Fiscal Gregorio F. Lim of Manila filed aninformation for estafa (Criminal Case No. 30750) against petitioner SoteroDimagiba. The information charges that the accused therein, petitioner inthis proceedings, defrauded, misappropriated, misapplied and converted, thesum of P200.00, which should have been delivered to complainant.On November 5, 1955, after the information had been read and the accused entered a pleaof not guilty thereto, the court dismissed the information for want ofjurisdiction. Thereafter, on January 17, 1956, Fiscal Lim presented anotherinformation against the accused, this time before the Municipal Court of Manila. The information is a replica of the information filed previously inthe Court of First Instance. Upon the filing of this information the accused, petitioner herein, filed a motion to quash, alleging double jeopardy. The motion was denied and upon his failure to obtain a reconsideration of thedenial of the motion to quash, the accused instituted the present action inthis Court.
The petitioner claim that the Court of First Instance of Manila had jurisdiction to try the offense charged in the information filed with it under the authority of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila (R. A. No. 409), particularly Section 41, which provides as follows: .
SEC. 41. Criminal jurisdiction.—The municipal court shall have territorialjurisdiction embracing the entire police jurisdiction of the city, and shall hold a daily session, Sundays and legal holidays alone excepted: Provided, however, That when a legal holiday occurs in two or more successive days or when a Sunday is immediately preceded and/or followed by a holiday, themunicipal court may hold night session during said holidays. Said courtshall have jurisdiction exclusive of the other courts sitting in the cityover all criminal cases arising under the penal laws of the Philippines,where the offense is committed within the police jurisdiction of the cityand the maximum punishment is by imprisonment for not more than six months,or a fine of not more than two hundred pesos, or both.
It shall also concurrent jurisdiction with the Courts of First Instance over all criminal cases arisng under the laws relating to gambling and managemant of lotteries, to assaults where the intent to kill is not charged or evident upon the trial, to larcency, embezzlement and estafa where the amount of money or property stolen, embezzled, or otherwise involved does not exceed the sum or value of two hundred pesos, to the sale of intoxicating liquors, to falsely impersonating an officer, to malicious mischief, to trespass on Government or private property, and to threatening to take human life. It may also conduct preliminary examinations for any offense, without regard to the limits of punishment, and any release, or commit and bind ever any person charged with such offense to secure appearance before the proper court.
The cases of People vs. Palmon, 86 Phil., 350, 47 Off. Gaz. 29, and Peoplevs. Colicio, 88 Phil. 1196 are cited in support of this contention.
The information filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila chargesmisappropriation of the sum of P200.00. The penalty prescribed for thisoffense is arresto mayor in its medium and maximum period (Art. 315, par. 5,Revised Penal Code). The offense charged, therefore, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Manila in accordance withsection 41 of its revised charter. But it is argued that the secondparagraph of the same section, which provides:
It shall also have concurrent jurisdiction with the Courts of First Instanceof Manila over all criminal cases arising under the laws relating to gambling and management of lotteries, to assaults where the intent to killis not charged or evident upon the trial, to larceny, embezzlement and estafa where the amount of money or propety stolen, embezzled or otherwise involved does not exceed the sum or value of two hundred pesos, to the saleof intoxicating liquors, to falsely impersonating an officer, to malicious mischief, to trespass on Government or private property, and to threatening to take human life. . .
is a grant of concurrent jurisdiction to try the same case to the Court ofFirst Instance. There are various reasons for rejecting this contention.Section 41 is found in "Article IX-The Municipal Court" of the Charter ofManila, and defines the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of the City, bothoriginal and concurrent. No implication may be made therefrom of a grantconcurrent jurisdiction to the Court of First Instance. Grants ofjurisdiction cannot be merely implied. Then the provision from which thegrant is sought to be implied defines the jurisdiction of the MunicipalCourt only, and cannot possibly refer to another court, whose jurisdictionis defined in another law (Republic Act No. 296). That the Municipal Courtshould have concurrent jurisdiction over certain specific crimes triable bya Court of First Instance is no bases for the claim that the Court of FirstInstance, conversely, has also concurrent jurisdiction over cases triable by the Municipal Court. Lastly, the Court of First Instance is a court ofgeneral jurisdiction and it is unreasonable to assume that the Legislatureintended to grant to it concurrent jurisdiction over minor offenses such as estafa involving such amounts as may be less than P200.00.
We have also examined the cases that have been cited by both of the partiesto the proceedings and found out that none of them covers the precisequestion raised and decided in these proceedings.
The petition is hereby denied, with costs against petitioner.
Bengzon, Paras, C.J., Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., and Endencia, JJ., concur.
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