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M. Accountability of public officers

1. Types of accountability

a. Administrative

No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law and after due process.  (Section 36[a], P.D. 807, Civil Service Decree)

1) Grounds for disciplinary action

The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action:

1) Dishonesty;

2) Oppression;

3) Neglect of duty;

4) Misconduct;

5) Disgraceful and immoral conduct;

6) Being notoriously undesirable;

7) Discourtesy in the course of official duties;

8) Inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties;

9) Receiving for personal use of a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties or in connection therewith when such fee, gift, or other valuable thing is given by any person in the hope or expectation of receiving a favor or better treatment than that accorded other persons, or committing acts punishable under the anti-graft laws;

10) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;

11) Improper or unauthorized solicitation of contributions from subordinate employees and by teachers or school officials from school children;

12) Violation of existing Civil Service Law and rules or reasonable office regulations;

13) Falsification of official document;

14) Frequent unauthorized absences or tardiness in reporting for duty, loafing or frequent unauthorized absences from duty during regular office hours;

15) Habitual drunkenness;

16) Gambling prohibited by law;

17) Refusal to perform official duty or render overtime service;

18) Disgraceful, immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service;

19) Physical or mental incapacity or disability due to immoral or vicious habits;

20) Borrowing money by superior officers from subordinates or lending by subordinates to superior officers;

21) Lending money at usurious rates of interest;

22) Willful failure to pay just debts or willful failure to pay taxes due to the government;

23) Contracting loans of money or other property from persons with whom the office of the employee concerned has business relations;

24) Pursuit of private business, vocation or profession without the permission required by Civil Service rules and regulations;

25) Insubordination;

26) Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding non-political office;

27) Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service;

28) Lobbying for personal interest or gain in legislative halls and offices without authority;

29) Promoting the sale of tickets in behalf of private enterprises that are not intended for charitable or public welfare purposes and even in the latter cases if there is no prior authority;

30) Nepotism as defined in Section 49 of this Decree. (Section 36[b], Ibid.)

a) Requisites

Except when initiated by the disciplining authority, no complaint against a civil service official or employee shall be given due course unless:

1) The complaint is in writing; and,

2) Subscribed and sworn to by the complainant. (Section 36[c], Ibid.)

b) Penalties

In meting out punishment, the same penalties shall be imposed for similar offenses and only one penalty shall be imposed in each case. The disciplining authority may impose the penalty of:

1) Removal from the service;

2) Transfer;

3) Demotion in rank;

4) Suspension for not more than one year without pay

5) Fine in an amount not exceeding six (6) months’ salary; or,

6) Reprimand. (Section 36[d], Ibid.)

2) Disciplinary jurisdiction

a) Procedure, In General

(1) Investigation

The heads of departments, agencies and instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty (30) days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty (30) days’ salary. (Section 37[b], Ibid.)

In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the SC, the same may be initially appealed to the department and finally to the CSC and pending appeal, the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal, in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the department head. (Section 37[b], Ibid.)

An investigation may be entrusted to regional director or similar officials who shall make the necessary report and recommendation to the chief of bureau or office or department within the period specified in Paragraph d of the following Section. (Section 37[c], Ibid.)

An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory, and in case the penalty is suspension or removal, the respondent shall be considered as having been under the preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal. (Section 37[d], Ibid.)

(2) Appeal

The CSC shall decide upon appeal all administrative disciplinary cases involving the imposition of a penalty of suspension for more than thirty (30) days, or fine in an amount exceeding thirty (30) days’ salary, demotion in rank or salary or transfer, removal or dismissal from Office.

A complaint may be filed directly with the CSC by a private citizen against a government official or employee in which case it may hear and decide the case or it may deputize any department or agency or official or group of officials to conduct the investigation. The results of the investigation shall be submitted to the CSC with recommendation as to the penalty to be imposed or other action to be taken. (Section 37[a], Ibid.)

b) Procedure in administrative cases against non-presidential appointees.

(1) Who may initiate a complaint

Administrative proceedings may be commenced against a subordinate officer or employee by the head of department or office of equivalent rank, or head of local government, or chiefs or agencies, regional directors, or upon sworn, written complaint of any other persons. (Section 38[a], Ibid.)

In the case of a complaint filed by any other persons, the complainant shall submit sworn statements covering his testimony and those of his witnesses together with his documentary evidence. If on the basis of such papers a prima facie case is found not to exist, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case. (Section 38[b], Ibid.)

(2) Notice and hearing

If a prima facie case exists, the disciplining authority shall notify the respondent in writing, of the charges against the latter, to which shall be attached copies of the complaint, sworn statements and other documents submitted, and the respondent shall be allowed not less than seventy-two hours after receipt of the complaint to answer the charges in writing under oath, together with supporting sworn statements and documents, in which he shall indicate whether or not he elects a formal investigation if his answer is not considered satisfactory. If the answer is found satisfactory, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case. (Section 38[b], Ibid.)

When formal investigation is mandatory: Although a respondent does not request a formal investigation, one shall nevertheless be conducted when from the allegations of the complaint and the answer of the respondent, including the supporting documents, the merits of the case cannot be decided judiciously without conducting such an investigation. (Section 38[c], Ibid.)

(3) Decision

The investigation shall be held not earlier than (5) five days nor later than ten (10) days from the date of receipt of respondent’s answer by the disciplining authority, and shall be finished within thirty (30) days from the filling of the charges, unless the period is extended by the CSC in meritorious cases. The decision shall be rendered by the disciplining authority within thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation or submission of the report of the investigator, which report shall be submitted within fifteen days from the conclusion of the investigation. (Section 38[d], Ibid.)

(4) Evidence

The direct evidence for the complainant and the respondent shall consist of the sworn statement and documents submitted in support of the complaint or answer, as the case may be, without prejudice to the presentation of additional evidence deemed necessary but was unavailable at the time of the filing of the complaint or answer, upon which the cross-examination, by respondent and the complainant, respectively, shall be based. Following cross-examination, there may be redirect and recross-examination. (Section 38[e], Ibid.)

(5) Right to counsel

Either party may avail himself of the services of counsel and may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence in his favor through the

compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. (Section 38[f], Ibid.)

(6) Technical rules of procedure, not binding

The investigation shall be conducted only for the purpose of ascertaining the truth and without necessarily adhering to technical rules applicable in judicial proceedings. It shall be conducted by the disciplining authority concerned or his authorized representative. (Section 38[g], Ibid.)

(7) Petition for Reconsideration

A petition for reconsideration may be filed against an adverse decision. The petition shall be decided within fifteen (15) days.

A petition for reconsideration shall be based only on any of the following grounds:

1) New evidence has been discovered which materially affects the decision rendered;

2) The decision is not supported by the evidence on record; or

3) Errors of law or irregularities have been committed prejudicial to the interest of the respondent: Provided, That only one petition for reconsideration shall be entertained. (Section 39[b], Ibid.)

(8) Petition for Reconsideration and Appeals

Appeals, where allowable, shall be made by the party adversely affected by the decision within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the decision unless a petition for reconsideration is seasonably filed, which petition shall be decided within fifteen (15) days. Notice of the appeal shall be filed with the disciplining office, which shall forward the records of the case, together with the notice of appeal, to the appellate authority within fifteen (15) days from filing of the notice of appeal, with its comment, if any. The notice of appeal shall specifically state the date of the decision appealed from and the date of receipt thereof. It shall also specifically set forth clearly the grounds relied upon for excepting from the decision. (Section 39[a], Ibid.)

(9) Summary proceedings

No formal investigation is necessary and the respondent may be immediately removed or dismissed if any of the following circumstances is present:

1) When the charge is serious and the evidence of guilt is strong;

2) When the respondent is a recidivist or has been repeatedly charged and there is reasonable ground to believe that he is guilty of the present charge.

3) When the respondent is notoriously undesirable. (Section 40, Ibid.)

Resort to summary proceedings by disciplining authority shall be done with utmost objectivity and impartiality to the end that no injustice is committed: Provided, That removal or dismissal except those by the President, himself, or upon his order, may be appealed to the CSC. (Paragraph 2, Section 40, Ibid.)

(10) Preventive suspension

The proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, in the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service. (Section 41, Ibid.)

(11) Lifting of preventive suspension pending administrative investigation.

When the administrative case against the officer of employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. (Section 42, Ibid.)

(12) Removal of administrative penalties or disabilities

In meritorious cases and upon recommendation in the CSC, the President may commute or remove administrative penalties or disabilities imposed upon officers or employees in disciplinary cases, subject to such terms and conditions as he may impose in the interest of the service. (Section 43, Ibid.)

b. Criminal

1) Crimes committed by public officers

Who are public officers under the Revisde Penal Code – any person who, by direct provision of the law, popular election or appointment by competent authority, shall take part in the performance of public functions in the Government of the Philippine Islands, of shall perform in said Government or in any of its branches public duties as an employee, agent or subordinate official, of any rank or class, shall be deemed to be a public officer. (Article 203, Revised Penal Code)

a) Malfeasance and misfeasance in office

Dereliction of duty

1) Knowingly rendering unjust judgment (Article 204, Ibid.)

2) Judgment rendered through negligence (Article 205, Ibid.)

3) Unjust interlocutory order (Article 206, Ibid.)

4) Malicious delay in the administration of justice (Article 207, Ibid.)

5) Prosecution of offenses; negligence and tolerance (Article 208, Ibid.)

6) Betrayal of trust by an attorney or solicitor; Revelation of secrets (Article 209, Ibid.)

7) Conflict of interest for attorney-at-law or solicitor (procurador judicial) who, having undertaken the defense of a client or having received confidential information from said client in a case, shall undertake the defense of the opposing party in the same case, without the consent of his first client. (Paragraph 2, Article 209, Ibid.)

Bribery

1) Direct bribery (Article 210, Ibid.)

2) Indirect bribery (Article 211, Ibid.)

3) Qualified bribery (Article 211-A, Ibid.)

4) Corruption of public officials (Article 212, Ibid.)

b) Frauds and Illegal exactions and transactions

1) Frauds against the public treasury and similar offenses (Article 213, Ibid.)

2) Other frauds (Article 214, Ibid.)

3) Prohibited transactions (Article 215, Ibid.)

4) Possession of prohibited interest by a public officer (Article 216, Ibid.)

c) Malversation of public funds or property

1) Malversation of public funds or property (Article 217, Ibid.)

2) Failure of accountable officer to render accounts  (Article 218, Ibid.)

3) Failure of a responsible public officer to render accounts before leaving the country (Article 219, Ibid.)

4) Illegal use of public funds or property (Article 220, Ibid.)

5) Failure to make delivery of public funds or property (Article 221, Ibid.)

d) Infidelity of public officers

Infidelity in the custody of prisoners

1) Conniving with or consenting to evasion (Article 223, Ibid.)

2) Evasion through negligence (Article 224, Ibid.)

3) Escape of prisoner under the custody of a person not a public officer (Article 225, Ibid.)

Infidelity in the custody of document

1) Removal, concealment or destruction of documents (Article 226, Ibid.)

2) Officer breaking seal (Article 227, Ibid.)

3) Opening of closed documents (Article 228, Ibid.)

Revelation of secrets

1) Revelation of secrets by an officer (Article 229, Ibid.)

2) Public officer revealing secrets of private individual (Article 230, Ibid.)

e) Other offenses or irregularities by public officers

1) Open disobedience (Article 231, Ibid.)

2) Disobedience to order of superior officers, when said order was suspended by inferior officer (Article 232, Ibid.)

3) Refusal of assistance (Article 233, Ibid.)

4) Refusal to discharge elective office (Article 234, Ibid.)

5) Maltreatment of prisoners (Article 235, Ibid.)

6) Anticipation of duties of a public office (Article 236, Ibid.)

7) Prolonging performance of duties and powers (Article 237, Ibid.)

8) Abandonment of office or position (Article 238, Ibid.)

Usurpation of powers and unlawful appointments

1) Usurpation of legislative powers (Article 239, Ibid.)

2) Usurpation of executive functions (Article 240, Ibid.)

3) Usurpation of judicial functions (Article 241, Ibid.)

4) Disobeying request for disqualification (Article 242, Ibid.)

5) Orders or requests by executive officers to any judicial authority (Article 243, Ibid.)

6) Unlawful appointments (Article 244, Ibid.)

Abuses against chastity

1) Abuses against chastity (Article 245, Ibid.)

2) Accessory penalties

a) Effects of the penalties of perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification

The penalties of perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification for public office shall produce the following effects:

1) The deprivation of the public offices and employments which the offender >may have held even if conferred by popular election.

2) The deprivation of the right to vote in any election for any popular office or to be elected to such office.

3) The disqualification for the offices or public employments and for the exercise of any of the rights mentioned.

In case of temporary disqualification, such disqualification as is comprised in Nos. 2 and 3 shall last during the term of the sentence.

4) The loss of all rights to retirement pay or other pension for any office formerly held. (Article 30, Revised Penal Code)

b) Effect of the penalties of perpetual or temporary special disqualification

The penalties of perpetual or temporal special disqualification for public office, profession or calling shall produce the following effects:

1) The deprivation of the office, employment, profession or calling affected;

2) The disqualification for holding similar offices or employments either perpetually or during the term of the sentence according to the extent of such disqualification. (Article 31, Ibid.)

c) Effect of the penalties of perpetual or temporary special disqualification for the exercise of the right of suffrage

The perpetual or temporary special disqualification for the exercise of the right of suffrage shall deprive the offender perpetually or during the term of the sentence, according to the nature of said penalty, of the right to vote in any popular election for any public office or to be elected to such office. Moreover, the offender shall not be permitted to hold any public office during the period of his disqualification. (Article 32, Ibid.)

d) Effects of the penalties of suspension from any public office, profession or calling, or the right of suffrage

The suspension from public office, profession or calling, and the exercise of the right of suffrage shall disqualify the offender from holding such office or exercising such profession or calling or right of suffrage during the term of the sentence. (Article 32, Ibid.)

The person suspended from holding public office shall not hold another having similar functions during the period of his suspension. (Paragraph 2, Article 32, Ibid.)

2. The Ombudsman and the Office of the Special Prosecutor

a. OMBUDSMAN AND HIS DEPUTIES

There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman, composed of:

1) The Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan;

2) One overall Deputy;

3) At least one Deputy each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and,

4) A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed. (Section 5, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

1) Appointment

a) Ombudsman and his Deputies

The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least six (6) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, and from a list of three (3) nominees for every vacancy thereafter. (Section 9, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

Such appointments shall require no confirmation. (Section 9, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

All vacancies shall be filled within three (3) months after they occur. (Section 9, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

b) Other officials and employees

The officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, other than the Deputies, shall be appointed by the Ombudsman according to the Civil Service Law. (Section 6, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

2) Qualifications

The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be:

1) Natural-born citizens of the Philippines;

2) At least forty (40) years old, at the time of their appointment;

3) Of recognized probity and independence:

4) Members of the Philippine Bar; and

5) Must not have been candidates for any elective office in the immediately preceding election. (Section 8, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

The Ombudsman must have for ten years (10) or more been a judge or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. (Section 8, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

3) Disqualifications and prohibitions

During their tenure, they shall be subject to the same disqualifications and prohibitions as provided for in Section 2 of Article IX-A of this Constitution. (Paragraph 2, Section 8, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

4) Salary

The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have the rank of Chairman and Members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions, and they shall receive the same salary, which shall not be decreased during their term of office. (Section 10, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

5) Term of office

The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall serve for a term of seven (7) years without reappointment. (Section 11, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

They shall not be qualified to run for any office in the election immediately succeeding their cessation from office. (Section 11, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

6) Protectors of the People

The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. (Section 12, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

7) Powers and functions

The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties:

1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient.

2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties.

3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith.

4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action.

5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents.

6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence.

7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency.

8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law. (Section 13, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

8) Fiscal autonomy

The Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. (Section 14, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

Its approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. (Section 14, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

b. OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

The existing Tanodbayan shall hereafter be known as the Office of the Special Prosecutor. (Section 7, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

It shall continue to function and exercise its powers as now or hereafter may be provided by law, except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman created under this Constitution. (Section 7, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

3. The Sandiganbayan

a. SANDIGANBAYAN

The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law. (Section 4, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

1) Composition

Section 1. Sandiganbayan; composition; qualifications; tenure; removal and composition.

A special court, of the same level as the Court of Appeals and possessing all the inherent powers of a court of justice, to be known as the Sandiganbayan is hereby created composed of a Presiding Justice and eight Associate Justices who shall be appointed by the President. (Section 1, P.D. 1606, Sandiganbayan Law)

2) Qualifications

No person shall be appointed Presiding Justice or Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan; unless:
1) He is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines;

2) At least 40 years of age; and

3) For at least ten (10) years has been a judge of a court of record or been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines or has held office requiring admission to the bar as a pre-requisite for a like period. (Paragraph 2, Ibid.)

a) Disqualifications

They shall be subject to the same inhibitions and disqualifications, and enjoy the same retirement and other benefits as those provided for under existing laws of the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals. (Paragraph 5, Ibid.)

3) Tenure

The Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his commission and the other Justices shall have precedence according to the dates of their respective commissions, or, when the commissions of two or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their commissions have been issued by the President. (Paragraph 3, Ibid.)

They shall hold office until they reach the age of 65 years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. (Paragraph 7, Ibid.)

4) Removal

The Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices shall not be removed from office except on impeachment upon the grounds and in the manner provided for in Sections 2, 3 and 4 of Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution. (Paragraph 4, Ibid.)

5) Salary

The Presiding Justice and each Associate Justice which shall received comensation and which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. They shall have the same rank, privileges and other emoluments.

Whenever the salaries of the Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals are increased, such increases in salaries shall be correspondingly extended to and enjoyed by the Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices of the Sandiganbayan. (Paragraph 6, Ibid.)

b. JURISDICTION

1) Original and exclusive jurisdiction

The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

a) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade ’27’ and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:

i) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads:

ii) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads;

iii) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

iv) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

v) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent and higher;

vi) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;

vii) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations.

b) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade ’27’ and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;

c) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

d) Chairmen and members of the Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and

e) All other national and local officials classified as Grade ’27’ and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.

2) Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a. of this section in relation to their office.

3) Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986.

Provided, That the Regional Trial Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction where the information: (a) does not allege any damage to the government or any bribery; or (b) alleges damage to the government or bribery arising from the same or closely related transactions or acts in an amount not exceeding One million pesos (P1,000,000.00).

Subject to the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, the cases falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court under this section shall be tried in a judicial region other than where the official holds office.

In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade ’27’ or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended.

The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided.

The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. (Section 4, Sandiganbayan Law, as amended)

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