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1 BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 129 AN ACT REORGANIZING THE JUDICIARY, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES PRELIMINARY CHAPTER Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as "The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980." Section 2. Scope. – The reorganization herein provided shall include the Court of Appeals, the Court of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts. CHAPTER I COURT OF APPEALS Section 3. Organization. – There is hereby created a Court of Appeals which consists of a Presiding Justice and fifty Associate Justice who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his appointment, and the Associate Justice shall have precedence according to the dates of their respective appointments, or when the appointments of two or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their appointments were issued by the President. Any member who is reappointed to the Court after rendering service in any other position in the government shall retain the precedence to which he was entitled under his original appointment, and his service in the Court shall, for all intents and purposes, be considered as continuous and uninterrupted. (as amended by Exec. Order No. 33,, July 28, 1986.) Section 4. Exercise of powers and functions. – The Court Appeals shall exercise its powers, functions, and duties, through seventeen (17) divisions, each composed of three (3) members. The Court may sit en banc only for the purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial, or other non-adjudicatory functions. (as amended by Exec. Order No. 33,.) Section 5. Succession to Office of Presiding Justice. – In case of a vacancy in the absence of inability to perform the powers, functions, and duties of his office, the associate Justice who is first in precedence shall perform his powers, functions, and duties until such disability is removed, or another Presiding Justice is appointed and has qualified. Section 6. Who presides over session of a division. – If the Presiding Justice is present in any session of a division of the Court, he shall preside. In his absence, the Associate Justice attending such session who has precedence shall preside. Section 7. Qualifications. – The Presiding Justice and the Associate Justice shall have the same qualifications as those provided in Constitution for Justice of the Supreme Court. (The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in the Philippines. It consists of the Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices, appointed by the following are the qualifications to become a member of the Supreme Court: 1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines; 2. at least 40 years of age; 3. a judge in a court of record for at least 15 years or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines for the same period; and 4. a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence. They hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They can be removed only by impeachment. Grounds for impeachment include conviction of culpable violation of the Philippine Constitution, treason, bribery, other high crimes, or graft and corruption.) Section 8. Grouping of Divisions. – (Expressly repealed by Section 4, Exec. Order No. 33, July 28, 1986.) Section 9. Jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall Exercise: 1. Original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto,and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction; 2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgements of Regional Trial Courts; and 3. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgements, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial

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BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 129AN ACT REORGANIZING THE JUDICIARY, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSESPRELIMINARY CHAPTERSection 1.Title. This Act shall be known as "The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980."Section 2.Scope. The reorganization herein provided shall include the Court of Appeals, the Court of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts.CHAPTER ICOURT OF APPEALSSection 3.Organization. There is hereby created a Court of Appeals which consists of a Presiding Justice and fifty Associate Justice who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his appointment, and the Associate Justice shall have precedence according to the dates of their respective appointments, or when the appointments of two or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their appointments were issued by the President. Any member who is reappointed to the Court after rendering service in any other position in the government shall retain the precedence to which he was entitled under his original appointment, and his service in the Court shall, for all intents and purposes, be considered as continuous and uninterrupted.(as amended byExec. Order No. 33,, July 28, 1986.)Section 4.Exercise of powers and functions. The Court Appeals shall exercise its powers, functions, and duties, through seventeen (17) divisions, each composed of three (3) members. The Court may siten banconly for the purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial, or other non-adjudicatory functions.(as amended byExec. Order No. 33,.)Section 5.Succession to Office of Presiding Justice. In case of a vacancy in the absence of inability to perform the powers, functions, and duties of his office, the associate Justice who is first in precedence shall perform his powers, functions, and duties until such disability is removed, or another Presiding Justice is appointed and has qualified.Section 6.Who presides over session of a division. If the Presiding Justice is present in any session of a division of the Court, he shall preside. In his absence, the Associate Justice attending such session who has precedence shall preside.Section 7.Qualifications. The Presiding Justice and the Associate Justice shall have the same qualifications as those provided in Constitution for Justice of the Supreme Court. (The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in the Philippines. It consists of the Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices, appointed by the following are the qualifications to become a member of the Supreme Court:1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines;2. at least 40 years of age;3. a judge in a court of record for at least 15 years or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines for the same period; and4. a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence. They hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They can be removed only by impeachment. Grounds for impeachment include conviction of culpable violation of the Philippine Constitution, treason, bribery, other high crimes, or graft and corruption.)Section 8.Grouping of Divisions. (Expressly repealed bySection 4, Exec. Order No. 33,July 28, 1986.)Section 9.Jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall Exercise:1. Original jurisdiction to issue writs ofmandamus,prohibition,certiorari, habeas corpus,andquo warranto,and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction;2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgements of Regional Trial Courts; and3. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgements, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commission, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service Commission, Except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph 4 of the fourth paragraph od Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.The court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three (3) months, unless extended by the Chief Justice.(as amended byR.A. No. 7902.)Section 10.Place of holding sessions. The Court of Appeals shall have its permanent station in the City of Manila. Whenever demanded by public interest, the Supreme Court, upon its own initiative or upon recommendation of the Presiding Justice, may authorize a division of the Court to hold sessions outside Manila, periodically, or for such periods and at such places as the Supreme Court may determine, for the purpose of hearing and deciding cases.Section 11.Quorum A majority of the actual members of the Court shall constitute a quorum for its sessionen banc.Three members shall constitute a quorum for the session of a division. The unanimous vote of the three members of a division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision of final resolution, which shall be reached in consultation before the writing of the opinion by any members of the division. In the event that the three members do not reach a unanimous vote, the Presiding Justice shall request the Raffle Committee of the Court for the designation of two additional Justice to sit temporarily with them, forming a special division of five members and the concurrence of a majority of such division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision or final resolution. The designation of such additional Justice shall be made strictly by raffle.A month for reconsideration of its decision or final resolution shall be resolved by the Court within ninety (90) days from the time it is submitted for resolution, and no second motion for reconsideration from the same party shall be entertainment.(as amended by Exec. Order No. 33, July 28, 1986.)Section 12.Internal Rules. The courten bancis authorized to promulgate rules or orders governing the constitution of the divisions and the assignment of Appellate Justices thereto, the distribution of cases, and other matters pertaining to the operations of the Court of its divisions. Copies of such rules and orders shall be furnished by the Supreme Court, which rules and orders shall be effective fifteen (15) days after receipt thereof, unless directed otherwise by the Supreme Court.CHAPTER IIREGIONAL TRIAL COURTSSection 13.Creation of Regional Trial Courts. There are hereby created thirteen (13) Regional Trial Courts, one for each of the following judicial regions:Section 14.Regional Trial Courts.Section 15.Qualifications. No persons shall be appointed Regional Trial Judge unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least thirty-five years of age, and for at least ten years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an indispensable requisite.Section 16.Time and duration of sessions. The time and duration of daily sessions of the Regional Trial Courts shall be determined by the Supreme Court:Provided, however, That all motions, except those requiring immediate action, shall be heard in the afternoon of every Friday, unless it falls on a holiday, in which case, the hearing shall be held on the afternoon of the next succeeding business day:Provided, further, That the Supreme Court may, for good reasons, fix a different motion day in specified areasSection 17.Appointment and assignment of Regional Trial Judges. Every Regional Trial Judge shall be appointed to a region which shall be his permanent station, and his appointment shall state the branch of the court and the seat thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. However, the Supreme Court may assign temporarily a Regional Trial Judge to another region as public interest may require, provided that such temporary assignment shall not last longer than six (6) months without the consent of the Regional Trial Judge concerned.A Regional Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any branch or city or municipality within the same region as public interest may require, and such assignment shall not be deemed an assignment to another station within the meaning of this section.Section 18.Authority to define territory appurtenant to each branch. The Supreme Court shall define the territory over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall exercise its authority. The territory thus defined shall be deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned for purposes of determining the venue of all suits, proceedings or actions, whether civil or criminal, as well as determining the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts over the said branch may exercise appellate jurisdiction. The power herein granted shall be exercised with a view to making the courts readily accessible to the people of the different parts of the region and making the attendance of litigants and witnesses as inexpensive as possible.Section 19.Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such the value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;(3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where he demand or claim exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or , in Metro Manila, where such demand or claim exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200,000.00);(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in probate matters in Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200,000.00);(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations;(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising jurisdiction or any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Courts of Agrarian Relations as now provided by law; and(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (100,000.00) or, in such other abovementioned items exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200,000.00). (as amended by R.A. No. 7691*)Section 20.Jurisdiction in criminal cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter.Section 21.Original jurisdiction in other cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction:(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions; and(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls.Section 22.Appellate jurisdiction. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Courts. The decision of the Regional Trial Courts in such cases shall be appealable by petition for review to theCourt of Appeals which may give it due course only when the petition showsprima faciethat the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal or modification of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed.Section 23.Special jurisdiction to try special cases. The Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively criminal cases, juvenile and domestic relations cases, agrarian cases, urban land reform cases which do not fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies, and/or such other special cases as the Supreme Court may determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice.Section 24.Special Rules of Procedure. Whenever a Regional Trial Court takes cognizance of juvenile and domestic relation cases and/or agrarian cases, the special rules of procedure applicable under present laws to such cases shall continue to be applied, unless subsequently amended by law or by rules of court promulgated by the Supreme Court.CHAPTER IIIMETROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTSSection 25.Establishment of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. There shall be created a Metropolitan Trial Court in each metropolitan area established by law, a Municipal Trial Court in each of the other cities or municipalities, and a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each circuit comprising such cities and/or municipalities as are grouped together pursuant to law.Section 26.Qualifications. No person shall be appointed judge of a Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 30 years of age, and, for at least five years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines, or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an indispensable requisite.Section 27.Metropolitan Trial Courts of the National Capital Region. There shall be a Metropolitan Trial Court in the National Capital Region, to be known as the Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro Manila, which shall be composed of eighty-two (82) branches. Section 28.Other Metropolitan Trial Courts. The Supreme Court shall constitute Metropolitan Trial Courts in such other metropolitan areas as may be established by law whose territorial jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the cities and municipalities comprising the metropolitan area.Every Metropolitan Trial Judge shall be appointed to a metropolitan area which shall be his permanent station and his appointment shall state branch of the court and the seat thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. A Metropolitan Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any branch within said metropolitan area as the interest of justice may require, and such assignment shall not be deemed an assignment to another station within the meaning of this section.Section 29.Municipal Trial Courts in cities. In every city which does not form part of a metropolitan area, there shall be a Municipal Trial Court with one branchSection 30.Municipal Trial Courts. In each of the municipalities that are not comprised within a metropolitan area and a municipal circuit there shall be a Municipal Trial Court which shall have one branch, Section 31.Municipal Circuit Trial Court. There shall be a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each area defined as a municipal circuit, comprising one or more cities and/or one or more municipalities. The municipalities comprising municipal circuits as organized under Administrative Order No. 33, issued on June 13, 1978 by the Supreme Court pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 537, are hereby constituted as municipal circuits for purposes of the establishment of the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and the appointment thereto of Municipal Circuit Trial Judges:Provided, however, That the Supreme Court may, as the interests of justice may require, further reorganize the said courts taking into account workload, geographical location, and such other factors as will contribute to a rational allocation thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 537 which shall be applicable insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Act.Every Municipal Circuit Trial Judge shall be appointed to a municipal circuit which shall be his official station.The Supreme Court shall determine the city or municipality where the Municipal Circuit Trial Court shall hold sessions.Section 32.Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases. Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount thereof:Provided, however,That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof.(as amended by R.A, No. 7691)Section 33.Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the value of the personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila where such personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) exclusive of interest damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That where there are several claims or causes of action between the same or different parties, embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions;(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession.(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs:Provided,That value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots.(as amended by R.A. No. 7691)Section 34.Delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots the where the value of which does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts.(as amended by R.A. No. 7691)Section 35.Special jurisdiction in certain cases. In the absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or city, any Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a writ ofhabeas corpusor applications for bail in criminal cases in the province or city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit.Section 36.Summary procedures in special cases. In Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts with at least two branches, the Supreme Court may designate one or more branches thereof to try exclusively forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, those involving violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations, violations of the rental law, and such other cases requiring summary disposition as the Supreme Court may determine. The Supreme Court shall adopt special rules or procedures applicable to such cases in order to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination thereof without regard to technical rules. Such simplified procedures may provide that affidavits and counter-affidavits may be admitted in lieu of oral testimony and that the periods for filing pleadings shall be non-extendible.Section 37.Preliminary investigation. Judges of Metropolitan Trial Courts, except those in the National Capital Region, of Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall have authority to conduct preliminary investigation of crimes alleged to have been committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions which are cognizable by the Regional Trial Courts.The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 1, paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d), of Presidential Decree No. 911:Provided, however,That if after the preliminary investigation the Judge finds aprima faciecase, he shall forward the records of the case to the Provincial/City Fiscal for the filing of the corresponding information with the proper court.No warrant of arrest shall be issued by the Judge in connection with any criminal complaint filed with him for preliminary investigation, unless after an examination in writing and under oath or affirmation of the complainant and his witnesses, he finds that a probable cause exists.Any warrant of arrest issued in accordance herewith may be served anywhere in the Philippines.Section 38.Judgments and processes.(1) All judgments determining the merits of cases shall be in writing, stating clearly the facts and the law on which they were based, signed by the Judge and filed with the Clerk of Court. Such judgment shall be appealable to the Regional Trial Courts in accordance with the procedure now prescribed by law for appeals to the Court of First Instance, by the provisions of this Act, and by such rules as the Supreme Court may hereafter prescribe.(2) All processes issued by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in cases falling within their jurisdiction, may be served anywhere in the Philippines without the necessity of certification by the Judge of the Regional Trial Court.CHAPTER IVGENERAL PROVISIONSSection 39.Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed from:Provided however, That inhabeas corpuscases, the period for appeal shall be forty-eight (48) hours from the notice of the judgment appealed from.No record on appeal shall be required to take an appeal. In lieu thereof, the entire record shall be transmitted with all the pages prominently numbered consecutively, together with an index of the contents thereof.This section shall not apply in appeals in special proceedings and in other cases wherein multiple appeals are allowed under applicable provisions of the Rules of Court.Section 40.Form of decision in appealed cases. Every decision of final resolution of a court in appealed cases shall clearly and distinctly state the findings of fact and the conclusions of law on which it is based, which may be contained in the decision or final resolution itself, or adopted by reference from those set forth in the decision, order, or resolution appealed from.Section 41.Salaries. Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges, Municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal Circuit Trial Judges shall receive such compensation and allowances as may be authorized by the President along the guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1597.Section 42.Longevity pay. A monthly longevity pay equivalent to 5% of the monthly basic pay shall be paid to the Justices and Judges of the courts herein created for each five years of continuous, efficient, and meritorious service rendered in the judiciary;Provided,That in no case shall the total salary of each Justice or Judge concerned, after this longevity pay is added, exceed the salary of the Justice or Judge next in rank.Section 43.Staffing pattern. The Supreme Court shall submit to the President, within thirty (30) days from the date of the effectivity of this Act, a staffing pattern for all courts constituted pursuant to this Act which shall be the basis of the implementing order to be issued by the President in accordance with the immediately succeeding section.Section 44.Transitory provisions. The provisions of this Act shall be immediately carried out in accordance with an Executive Order to be issued by the President. The Court of Appeals, the Courts of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts shall continue to function as presently constituted and organized, until the completion of the reorganization provided in this Act as declared by the President. Upon such declaration, the said courts shall be deemed automatically abolished and the incumbents thereof shall cease to hold office. The cases pending in the old Courts shall be transferred to the appropriate Courts constituted pursuant to this Act, together with the pertinent functions, records, equipment, property and the necessary personnel.The applicable appropriations shall likewise be transferred to the appropriate courts constituted pursuant to this Act, to be augmented as may be necessary from the funds for organizational changes as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 80. Said funding shall thereafter be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.Section 45.Shari'a Courts. Shari'a Courts to be constituted as provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1083, otherwise known as the "Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines," shall be included in the funding appropriations so provided in this Act.Section 46.Gratuity of judges and personnel separated from office. All members of the judiciary and subordinate employees who shall be separated from office by reason of the reorganization authorized herein, shall be granted a gratuity at a rate equivalent to one month's salary for every year of continuous service rendered in any branch of the government or equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of the highest salary received:Provided,That such member of the judiciary or employee shall have the option to retire under the Judiciary Retirement Law or general retirement law, if he has met or satisfied the requirements therefor.Section 47.Repealing clause. The provisions of Republic Act No. 296, otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, of Republic Act No. 5179 as amended, of the Rules of Court, and of all other statutes, letters of instructions and general order or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or accordingly modified.Section 48.Date of Effectivity. This Act shall take effect immediately.Approved: August 14, 1981Republic Act No. 7691 March 25, 1994AN ACT EXPANDING THE JURISDICTION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMBANSA, BLG. 129, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "JUDICIARY REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1980"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::Section 1.Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,otherwise known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980", is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction."(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;"(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000,00) or, for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;"(3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claim exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila, where such demand or claim exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00);"(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in probate matters in Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two Hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00);"(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations;"(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;"(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Court of Agrarian Relations as now provided by law; and"(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, where the demand exclusive of the abovementioned items exceeds Two Hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00)."Section 2.Section 32of the same law is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Criminal Cases. Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:"(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and"(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof."Section 3.Section 33of the same law is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:"(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the value of the personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila where such personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00), exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs shall be included in the determination of the filing fees: Provided, further, That where there are several claims or causes of actions between the same or different parties, embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions;"(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises the questions of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession; and"(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots."Section 4.Section 34 of the same law is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 34. Delegated Jurisdiction in Cadastral and Land Registration Cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots where the value of which does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts."Section 5.After five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, the jurisdictional amounts mentioned in Sec. 19(3), (4), and (8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by this Act, shall be adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00). Five (5) years thereafter, such jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted further to Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00): Provided, however, That in the case of Metro Manila, the abovementioned jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted after five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00).Section 6.All laws, decrees, and orders inconsistent with the provisions of this Act shall be considered amended or modified accordingly.Section 7.The provisions of this Act shall apply to all civil cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial stage. However, by agreement of all the parties, civil cases cognizable by municipal and metropolitan courts by the provisions of this Act may be transferred from the Regional Trial Courts to the latter. The executive judge of the appropriate Regional Trial Courts shall define the administrative procedure of transferring the cases affected by the redefinition of jurisdiction to the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.Section 8.This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.Approved:March 25, 1994CIRCULAR NO. 20 August 7, 1987PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT CIRCULARSTO: COURT OF APPEALS, SANDIGANBAYAN, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, SHARI'A DISTRICT COURTS AND SHARI'A CIRCUIT COURTSSUBJECT: Designation of certain Branches of the Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively certain Criminal Cases.The trial judge has the primary responsibility to minimize delay and to dispense swift justice. This is especially true in criminal cases involving serious offenses where a strong and adequate response from the courts by way of speedy trial and judgment can serve to deter criminal elements.The Circuit Criminal Courts which were set up on September 8, 1967 under Republic Act No. 5179 served this purpose. Accordingly, under the authority of Section 23 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, certain branches of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region and of such other regions where the need therefor may arise shall be designated as SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURTS to try exclusively the following criminal cases:1. Violations of Presidential Decree No. 1866, codifying the laws on illegal/unlawful possession, manufacture, dealing in, acquisition or disposition of, firearms, ammunitions, explosives or instruments used in the manufacture of firearms, ammunitions or explosives;2. Violations of Executive Order No. 276 known as the "Anti-Subversion Act", where the imposable penalty for the offense charged isprison correccionalor higher;3. Crimes against public order (e.g. rebellion, sedition, etc.), defined in the Revised Penal code, as amended;4. Violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, cognizable by Regional Trial Courts under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129;5. Violations of the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972; and6. All others offenses defined in the Revised Penal Code or Special Laws where the imposable isreclusion perpetuaor life imprisonment or higher, whether simple or complex, and other offenses which, although not so punished, arose out of the same occurrence or were committed by the accused on the same occasion as that which is punishable byreclusion perpetuaor higher, whether the accused are charge as principal, accomplice or accessory;Provided,however, that where the offense charged is a complex crime and only the lesser offense which is punishable by a penalty less thanreclusion perpetuais proved, the Court shall not dismiss the same and impose the corresponding penalty.Special rules shall govern the trial and disposition of these cases. These rules are as follows:1. The trial of these cases shall continue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated, and judgment thereon shall be rendered within thirty (30) days from the time the case is submitted for decision, unless a shorter period is otherwise provided by law, such as the fifteen-day period provided in the Dangerous Drugs Act. The filing of the memoranda after trial shall not be required or allowed.2. Upon issuance of the designations, the SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURTS so designated shall not be assigned cases other than the criminal cases herein above enumerated and all other cases pending in these branches, whether civil or criminal, shall be redistributed by raffle to other branches by the Executive Judge, except those already submitted for decision and those criminal cases covered by this Circular which are already pending trial in said branches.3. All the criminal cases covered by this Circular wherein trial has already commenced shall remain in their respective branches where they were originally assigned. In appropriate cases, however, when the interests of justice so require, the case may be transferred to the SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURTS after study and favorable recommendation by the Executive Judge.4. Whenever necessary to carry out the objectives of this Circular, the Court may assign any other Regional Trial Court Judge to another judicial region to assist in the trial and disposition of any of the above enumerated criminal cases.5. Where no specified branch is designated as a SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURT, the above enumerated cases shall be raffled among the branches of the same station which shall try and decide the same, subject to Rule No. 1 hereof.This Circular shall take effect immediately.August 7, 1987.Republic Act No. 8369 October 28, 1997AN ACT ESTABLISHING FAMILY COURTS, GRANTING THEM EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OVER CHILD AND FAMILY CASES, AMENDING BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 129,AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS ACT OF 1980, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSESBe it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::Section 1.Title.- This Act shall be known as the"Family Courts Act of 1997".Section 2.Statement of National Policies.- The State shall protect the rights and promote the welfare of children in keeping with the mandate of the Constitution and the precepts of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child. The State shall provide a system of adjudication for youthful offenders which takes into account their peculiar circumstances.The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. The courts shall preserve the solidarity of the family, provide procedures for the reconciliation of spouses and the amicable settlement of family controversy.Section 3.Establishment of Family Courts.- There shall be established a Family Court in every province and city in the country. In case where the city is the capital of the province, the Family Court shall be established in the municipality which has the highest population.Section 4.Qualification and Training of Family Court Judges.-Sec. 15 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:"Sec. 15. (a)Qualification. - No person shall be appointed Regional Trial Judge or Presiding Judge of the Family Court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least thirty-five (35) years of age, and, for at least ten (10) years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as indispensable requisite."(b)Training of Family Court Judges. - The Presiding Judge, as well as the court personnel of the Family Courts, shall undergo training and must have the experience and demonstrated ability in dealing with child and family cases."The Supreme Court shall provide a continuing education program on child and family laws, procedure and other related disciplines to judges and personnel of such courts."Section 5.Jurisdiction of family Courts.- The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases:a) Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age or where one or more of the victims 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, however, shall be suspended without need of application pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the "Child and Youth Welfare Code";b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, habeas corpus in relation to the latter;c) Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation thereof;d) Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of nullity of marriage and those relating to marital status and property relations of husband and wife or those living together under different status and agreements, and petitions for dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains;e) Petitions for support and/or acknowledgment;f) Summary judicial proceedings brought under the provisions of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the"Family Code of the Philippines";g) Petitions for declaration of status of children as abandoned, dependent o neglected children, petitions for voluntary or involuntary commitment of children; the suspension, termination, or restoration of parental authority and other cases cognizable under Presidential Decree No. 603, Executive Order No. 56, (Series of 1986), and other related laws;h) Petitions for the constitution of the family home;i) Cases against minors cognizable under the Dangerous Drugs Act, as amended;j) Violations of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the"Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act,"as amended by Republic Act No. 7658; andk) Cases of domestic violence against:1) Women - which are acts of gender based violence that results, or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman's personhood, integrity and freedom movement; and2) Children - which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence, and discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their development.If an act constitutes a criminal offense, the accused or batterer shall be subject to criminal proceedings and the corresponding penalties.If any question involving any of the above matters should arise as an incident in any case pending in the regular courts, said incident shall be determined in that court.Section 6.Use of Income.- All Family Courts shall be allowed the use of ten per cent (10%) of their income derived from filing and other court fees under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court for research and other operating expenses including capital outlay: Provided, That this benefit shall likewise be enjoyed by all courts of justice.The Supreme Court shall promulgate the necessary guidelines to effectively implement the provisions of this Sec.Section 7.Special Provisional Remedies.- In cases of violence among immediate family members living in the same domicile or household, the Family Court may issue a restraining order against the accused of defendant upon verified application by the complainant or the victim for relief from abuse.The court may order the temporary custody of children in all civil actions for their custody. The court may also order support pendente lite, including deduction from the salary and use of conjugal home and other properties in all civil actions for support.Section 8.Supervision of Youth Detention Homes.- The judge of the Family Court shall have direct control and supervision of the youth detention home which the local government unit shall establish to separate the youth offenders from adult criminals: Provided, however, That alternatives to detention and institutional care shall be made available to the accused including counseling, recognizance, bail, community continuum, or diversions from the justice system: Provided, further, That the human rights of the accused are fully respected in a manner appropriate to their well-being.Section 9.Social Services and Counseling Division.- Under the guidance ofthe Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a Social Services and Counseling Division (SSCD) shall be established in each judicial region as the Supreme Court shall deem necessary based on the number of juvenile and family cases existing in such jurisdiction. It shall provide appropriate social services to all juvenile and family cases filed with the court and recommend the proper social action. It shall also develop programs, formulate uniform policies and procedures, and provide technical supervision and monitoring of all SSCD in coordination with the judge.Section 10.Social Services and Counseling Division Staff.- The SSCD shall have a staff composed of qualified social workers and other personnel with academic preparation in behavioral sciences to carry out the duties'of conducting intake assessment, social case studies, casework and counseling, and othersocial services that may be needed in connection with cases filed with the court: Provided, however, That in adoption cases and in petitions for declaration of abandonment, the case studies may be prepared by social workers of duly licensed child caring or child placement agencies, or the DSWD. When warranted, the division shall recommend that the court avail itself of consultative services of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other qualified specialists presently employed in other departments of the government in connection with its cases.The position of Social Work Adviser shall be created under the Office of the Court Administrator, who shall monitor and supervise the SSCD ofthe Regional Trial Court.Section 11.Alternative Social Services.- In accordance with Sec. 17 of this Act, in areas where no Family Court has been established or no Regional Trial Court was designated by the Supreme Court due to the limited number of cases, the DSWD shall designate and assign qualified, trained, and DSWD accredited social workers of the local government units to handle juvenile and family cases filed in the designated Regional Trial Court of the place.Section 12.Privacy and Confidentiality of Proceedings.- All hearings and conciliation of the child and family cases shall be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's and the family's dignity and worth, and shall respect their privacy at all stages of the proceedings. Records of the cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge.Section 13.Special Rules of Procedure.- The Supreme Court shall promulgate special rules of procedure for the transfer of cases to the new courts during the transition period and for the disposition of family cases with the best interests of the child and the protection of the family as primary consideration taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.Section 14.Appeals.- Decisions and orders of the court shall be appealed in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as appeals from the ordinary Regional Trial Courts.Section 15.Appropriations.- The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following in its enactment into law and thereafter.Section 16.Implementing Rules and Regulations.- The Supreme Court, in coordination with the DSWD, shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the social aspects of this Act.Section 17.Transitory Provisions.- Pending the establishment of such Family Courts, the Supreme Court shall designate from among the branches ofthe Regional Trial Court at least one Family Court in each of the cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay, Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Laoag, Baguio, Santiago, Dagupan, Olongapo, Cabanatuan, San Jose, Angeles, Cavite, Batangas, Lucena, Naga, Iriga, Legazpi, Roxas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Tacloban, Cebu, Mandaue, Tagbilaran, Surigao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Dipolog, Zamboanga, Pagadian, Iligan, and in such other places as the Supreme Court may deem necessary.Additional cases other than those provided in Sec. 5 may be assigned to the Family Courts when their dockets permit: Provided, That such additional cases shall not be heard on the same day family cases are heard.In areas where there are no Family Courts, the cases referred to in Sec. 5 of this Act shall be adjudicated by the Regional Trial Court.Section 18.Separability Clause.- In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the other provisions shall remain in effect.Section 19.Repealing Clause.- All other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules or regulations inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.Section 20.Effectivity.- This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.ApprovedOctober 28, 1997.SC ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 113-95, October 02, 1995 RE: DESIGNATION OF SPECIAL COURTS FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS In the interest of an efficient administration of justice and to ensure speedy disposition of cases involving violation of Intellectual Property Rights, the following Branches of the Regional Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, presently presided over by their respective trial judges as herein below indicated, are hereby specially designated to try and decide cases for violations of Intellectual Property Rights such as, but riot limited to, violations of Art. 188 of the Revised Penal Code (Substituting and Altering Trademarks, Trade Names, or Service Marks), Art. 189 of the Revised Penal Code (Unfair Competition, Fraudulent Registration of Trade Name, trademark or Service Mark, Fraudulent Designation of Origin, and False Description), Presidential Degree No. 49 (Protection of Intellectual Property Rights), Presidential Degree No. 87 (An Act Creating-the Videogram Regulatory Board), Republic Act No.165 "as amended (The Patent Law), and Republic Act 166 as amended' (The Trademark Law) committed within their respective territorial areas All single sala courts with which cases for violation of Intellectual Property Rights are or may be filed shall take cognizance of them as if they have been designated as special courts, and for that matter, shall give them priority in their trial calendars. The trial of cases for violation of Intellectual Property Rights covered by this Administrative Order shall be immediately commenced and shall continue from day to day to be terminated as far as practicable within sixty (60) days from initial trial. Judgment thereon shall be rendered within thirty (30) days from date of submission for decision. All cases referred to herein where trial has already started shall remain in the branches where they are presently assigned. However, cases where pre-trial has not yet commenced shall be transferred immediately to the branches herein designated. The Executive Judges of the Special Courts herein designated may exclude such courts from the raffle of new cases whenever in their judgment the caseloads of said Courts so designated shall not allow them to try these special cases with efficiency and dispatch. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until further orders from this CourtA.M. N0. 03-03-03-SC[JULY 01, 2003]RE: CONSOLIDATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COURTS WITH COMMERCIAL COURTSR E S O L U T I O NWHEREAS, to implement the provisions of Section 5.2 of Republic Act No. 8799 (The Securities Regulation Code), and in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice, the Supreme Court en bane, in the (a) Resolution dated 21 November 2000 (Annex 1), 4 July 2001 (Annex 1-a), 12 November 2002 (Annex 1-b), and 9 July 2002 (Annex 1-c), all issued in A.M. No. 00-11-03-SC; (b) Resolution dated 27 August 2001 in A.M. No. 01-5-298 RTC (Annex 2); and (c) Resolution dated 8 July 2002 in A.M. No. 01-12-656-RTC (Annex 3), resolved to designate certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts to try and decide cases formerly cognizable by the Securities and Exchange Commission;WHEREAS, pursuant to the same Resolution, sixty-five (65) Regional Trial Courts, distributed in all regions (NCJR and Regions 1-12), were designated as SEC courts ("SEC Courts"), which courts have presently a total of 812 pending SEC cases (see Annex 6, Table); WHEREAS, in A.O No. 113-95, dated 2 October 1995, as amended by A.O. No. 104-96, dated 21 October 1996, the Regional Trial Courts in the National Capital Region and Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11, with twenty-seven (27) judges, were specially designated to try and decide cases for violations of Intellectual Property Rights (Annex 4), and to ensure the speedy disposition of cases involving violations of intellectual property rights under the Intellectual Property Code (Rep. Act No. 8293), the Supreme Court en bane, in A.M. No. 02-1-11- SC, dated February 19, 2002, designated the Regional Trial Courts in Regions 1, 2, 5, 8 and 12, with a total of seven (7) judges, and Branch 24 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila with one (1) judge, as Special Intellectual Property Courts ("Special IP Courts") (Annex 5)WHEREAS, pursuant to A.M. No. 02-1-11 SC and A.O. No. 113-95, these Special IP Courts have a total caseload of 503 cases. Of this number 434 IP cases are pending in the NCJR (Annex 6, Table);WHEREAS, since the establishment of Special IP Courts (except for the Special IP Courts in Manila), 15 designated courts, in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 have zero (0) IP cases, and do not warrant their continued designations as Intellectual Property Courts (Annex 7, Table);WHEREAS, intellectual property cases are commercial in nature;WHEREAS, to streamline the court structure and to promote expediency and efficiency in handling such special cases, the jurisdiction to hear and decide IPC and SEC cases are best consolidated in one court;NOW, THEREFORE, the Court Resolves:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary1. The Regional Courts previously designated as SEC Courts through the: (a) Resolutions of this Court dated 21 November 2000, 4 July 2001, 12 November 2002, and 9 July 2002, all issued in A.M. No. 00-11-03-SC, (b) Resolution dated 27 August 2001 in A.M. No. 01-5-298-RTC; and (c) Resolution dated 8 July 2002 in A.M. No. 01-12-656-RTC are hereby DESIGNATED and shall be CALLED as Special Commercial Courts to try and decide cases involving violations of Intellectual Property Rights which fall within their jurisdiction and those cases formerly cognizable by the Securities and Exchange Commission;2. The designation of Intellectual Property Courts under Administrative Order No. 113-95 dated 2 October 1995, as amended by Administrative Order No. 104-96 dated 21 October 1996 and Resolution dated 19 February 2002 in A.M. No. 02-1-11-SC, is hereby revoked. However, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 24, Manila is hereby designated as an additional Special Commercial Court in the City of Manila;3. Upon the effectivity of this Resolution, all IP cases shall be transferred to the designated Special Commercial Courts except those which have undergone the pretrial stage in civil cases or those where any of the accused has been arraigned in criminal cases which shall be retained by the court previously assigned to try them;4. The Special Commercial Courts shall have jurisdiction over cases arising within their respective territorial jurisdiction with respect to the National Capital Judicial Region and within the respective provinces with respect to the First to Twelfth Judicial Regions. Thus, cases shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court;5. In the event of inhibition of the judge of a designated Special Commercial Court, the following guidelines shall be observed: (a) where there is only one (1) Special Commercial Court, the case shall be raffled among the other judges in the station; (b) where there are two (2) Special Commercial Courts in the station, the Executive Judge shall immediately assign the case to the other Special Commercial Court; and (c) in case of inhibition of both judges of the Special Commercial Courts, the Executive Judge shall raffle the case among the judges in the station; and6. In order to ensure a just and equitable distribution of cases, the designated Special Commercial Courts shall continue to participate in the raffles of other cases. Provided, however, that the Executive Judge concerned shall adopt a procedure whereby every IP and SEC case assigned to a Special Commercial Court should be considered a case raffled to it and duly credited to such court.This Resolution shall take effect on 1 July 2003 and shall be published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. 17 June 2003PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1606 December 10, 1978REVISING PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1486 CREATING A SPECIAL COURT TO BE KNOWN AS "SANDIGANBAYAN" AND FOR OTHER PURPOSESWHEREAS, the new Constitution declares that a public office is a public trust and ordains that public officers and employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency and shall remain at all times accountable to the people;WHEREAS, to attain the highest norms of official conduct required of public officers and employees, Section 5, Article XIII of the New Constitution provides for the creation of a special court to be known as Sandiganbayan;NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as follows: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.No person shall be appointed Presiding Justice or Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan; unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 40 years of age and for at least ten 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.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.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.The Presiding Justice shall receive an annual compensation of P60,000.00 and each Associate Justice P55,000.00 which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. They shall have the same rank, privileges and other emoluments, 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.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.They shall hold office until they reach the age of 65 years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.Section 2.Official Station; Place of Holding Sessions.The Sandiganbayan shall have its principal office in the Metro Manila area and shall hold sessions thereat for the trial and determination of all cases filed with it irrespective of the place where they may have arisen; Provided, however, that the Presiding Justice may authorize any division or divisions of court to hold sessions at any time and place outside Metro Manila to hear and decide cases emanating from any of the existing judicial districts. Whenever necessary, the Sandiganbayan may require the services of the personnel and the use of the facilities of any agency of the Government, national or local, including the courts of first instance of the province where any of the divisions is holding session, and those personnel of such agencies or courts shall be subject to the orders of the Sandiganbayan.Section 3.Divisions of the Courts; Quorum.The Sandiganbayan shall sit in three divisions of three Justices each. The three divisions may sit at the same time.Three Justices shall constitute a quorum for session in division; Provided, that when the required quorum cannot be had due to the legal disqualification or temporary disability of a Justice or of a vacancy occurring therein, the President shall, upon recommendation of the Presiding Justice, designate any Justice of the Court of Appeals or Judge of the Court of First Instance or of the Circuit Criminal Court of the judicial district concerned to sit temporarily therein.Section 4.Jurisdiction.The Sandiganbayan shall have jurisdiction over:(a) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise, known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Republic Act No. 1379;(b) Crimes committed by public officers and employees including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, embraced in Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, whether simple or complexed with other crimes; and(c) Other crimes or offenses committed by public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office.The jurisdiction herein conferred shall be original and exclusive if the offense charged is punishable by a penalty higher than prision correccional, or its equivalent, except as herein provided; in other offenses, it shall be concurrent with the regular courts.In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees.Where an accused is tried for any of the above offenses and the evidence is insufficient to establish the offense charged, he may nevertheless be convicted and sentenced for the offense proved, included in that which is charged.Any provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in the same proceeding by, the Sandiganbayan, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such action shall be recognized; Provided, however, that, in cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, where the civil action had therefore been filed separately with a regular court but judgment therein has not yet been rendered and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise, the criminal action may no longer be filed with the Sandiganbayan, its exclusive jurisdiction over the same notwithstanding, but may be filed and prosecuted only in the regular courts of competent jurisdiction; Provided, further, that, in cases within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and the regular courts, where either the criminal or civil action is first filed with the regular courts, the corresponding civil or criminal action, as the case may be, shall only be filed with the regular courts of competent jurisdiction.Excepted from the foregoing provisions, during martial law, are criminal cases against officers and members of the armed forces in the active service.Section 5.Proceedings, how conducted; votes required.The unanimous vote of the three justices in a division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a judgment. In the event that the three justices do not reach a unanimous vote, the Presiding Judge shall designate two other justices from among the members of the Court to sit temporarily with them, forming a division of five justices, and the concurrence of a majority of such division shall be necessary for rendering judgment.Section 6.Maximum period for termination of cases.As far as practicable, the trial of cases before the Sandiganbayan once commenced shall be continuos until terminated and the judgment shall be rendered within three (3) months from the date the case was submitted for decision.Section 7.Form, finality and enforcement of decisions.Decisions and final orders of the Sandiganbayan shall contain complete findings of facts on all issues properly raised before it.A petition for reconsideration of any final order or decision maybe filed within (15) days from promulgation or notice of the final order or judgment, and such petition for reconsideration shall be decided within thirty (30) days from submission thereon.Decisions and final orders shall be subject to review on certiorari by the Supreme Court in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court shall decide any case on appeal promptly and without the necessity of placing it upon the regular calendar. Whenever, in any case decided, the death penalty shall have been imposed, the records shall be forwarded to the Supreme Court, whether the accused shall have appealed or not, for review and judgment, as law and justice shall dictate.Final judgments and orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be executed and enforced in the manner provided by law.Section 8.Transfer of cases.As of the date of the effectivity of this decree, any case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan within its exclusive jurisdiction where none of the accused has been arraigned shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan.Section 9.Rule-making Power.The Sandiganbayan shall have the power to promulgate its own rules of procedure and, pending such promulgation, the Rules of Court shall govern its proceedings.Section 10.Authority over internal affairs.The Sandiganbayan shall administer its own internal affairs and may adopt such rules governing the constitution of its divisions, the allocation of cases among them, the rotation of justices and other matters relating to its business.Section 11.Proceeding free of charge.All proceedings in the Sandiganbayan shall be conducted at no cost to the complainant and/or his witnesses.No criminal information or complaint shall be entertained by the Sandiganbayan except upon a certification by the Investigating Prosecutor of the existence of a prima facie case to be determined after a preliminary investigation conducted in accordance with applicable laws and approved by the Chief Special Prosecutor.Section 12.Administrative personnel.The Sandiganbayan shall reelect and appoint such personnel as it may deem necessary to discharge its functions under this Decree including a Clerk of Court and three (3) Deputy Clerks of Court who shall be members of the Bar.The Clerk of Court shall have an annual compensation of P36,000.00 and the Deputy Clerks of Court, P30,000.00.All other subordinate employees of the Sandiganbayan shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil Service Law; Provided, that the Sandiganbayan may, by resolution en banc, remove any of them for cause.Section 13.Report to the President.The Sandiganbayan shall submit an annual report to the President, including all disbursements of funds entrusted to it, within two months from the end of the Fiscal Year.Section 14.Funding.There is hereby immediately appropriated the sum of Five Million Pesos (P5,000.00) out of any funds in the National Treasury to carry out the provisions of this Decree and thereafter to be included in the general appropriations act. The appropriations for the Sandiganbayan shall be automatically released in accordance with a schedule submitted by the Sandiganbayan.Section 15.Separability of Provisions.If for any reason, any section or provision of this Decree is declared to be unconstitutional or invalid, other sections or provisions thereof which are not affected thereby, shall continue in full force and effect.Section 16.Repealing Clause.This Decree hereby repeals Presidential Decree No. 1486 and all other provisions of law, General Orders, Presidential Decrees, Letters of Instructions, rules or regulations inconsistent herewith.Section 17.Effectivity.This Decree shall take effect immediately.Done in the City of Manila, this 10th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-eight.

REPUBLIC ACT No. 7975AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THAT PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDEDSection 1.Section 3 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended by Executive Order No. 184, is hereby further amended to read as follows:"Sec. 3. Division of the Court; Quorum. - The Sandiganbayan shall sit in five (5) divisions of three justices each. The five (5) may sit at the same time."The first three divisions shall be stationed in the Metro Manila area, the fourth division shall be in Cebu City for cases coming from the Visayas region, and the fifth division shall be in Cagayan de Oro City for cases coming from the Mindanao region."Three Justices shall constitute a quorum for sessions in divisions: Provided, That when the required quorum for the particular division cannot be had due to the legal disqualification or temporary disability of a Justice or of a vacancy occurring therein, the Presiding Justice may designate an Associate Justice of the Court, to be determined by strict rotation on the basis of the reverse order of precedence, to sit as a special member of said division with all the rights and prerogatives of a regular member of said division in the trial and determination of a case or cases assigned thereto, unless the operation of the court will be prejudiced thereby, in which case, the President shall, upon the recommendation of the Presiding Justice, designate any Justice or Justices of the Court of Appeals to sit temporarily therein."Section 2.Section 4 of the same Decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:"Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise original jurisdiction in all cases involving:"a. 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 of the Revised Penal Code (Bribery), where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:"(1) 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:"(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads;"(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads;"(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;"(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;"(e) PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;"(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;"(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations;"(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;"(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;"(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and"(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;"b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office."c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A."In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive 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."The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction on appeals from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying positions lower than salary grade "27", or not otherwise covered by the preceding enumeration."The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunction, and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court."The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the people of the Philippines except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A."In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them."Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided, however, That where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court as the case may be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned."Section 3.Section 7 of the same decree is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 7. Form, Finality and Enforcement of Decisions. - All decisions and final orders determining the merits of a case or finally disposing of the action or proceedings of the Sandiganbayan shall contain complete findings of the facts and the law on which they are based, on all issues properly raised before it and necessary in deciding the case."A petition for reconsideration of any final order or decision may be filed within fifteen (15) days from promulgation or notice of the final order or judgment, and such motion for reconsideration shall be decided within thirty (30) days from submission thereon."Decisions and final orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be appealable to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari raising pure questions of law in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Whenever, in any case decided by the Sandiganbayan, the penalty of reclusion perpetua or higher is imposed, the decision shall be appealable to the Supreme Court in the manner prescribed in the Rules of Court. In case the penalty imposed is death, review by the Supreme Court shall be automatic, whether or not the accused filed an appeal."Judgments and orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be executed and enforced in the manner provided by law."Decisions and final orders of other courts, in cases cognizable by said courts under this Act shall be appealable to the Sandiganbayan within fifteen (15) days from promulgation or notice to the parties."Section 4.Section 9 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:"Sec. 9. Rules of Procedure. - The Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court shall apply to all cases and proceedings filed with the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan shall have no power to promulgate its own rules of procedure, except to adopt internal rules governing the allotment of cases among the divisions, the rotation of justices among them, and other matters relating to the internal operations of the court which shall be inforced until repealed or modified by the Supreme Court."Section 5.Section 10 of the same Decree is hereby repealed.Section 6.Presidential Decrees Nos. 1486, 1606 and 1861, Executive Orders Nos. 101 and 184 and all other laws, decrees, orders and rules of which are inconsistent therewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.Section 7.Upon the effectivity of this Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts.Section 8.This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.Approved: 30 March 1995Republic Act No. 8249 February 5, 1997AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSESBe it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::Section 1.The first paragraph of Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:"SECTION 1. Sandiganbayan; Composition, Qualifications; Tenure; Removal and Compensation. - 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 fourteen associate justices who shall be appointed by the President."Section 2.Section 2 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:"SECTION 2. Official Station; Place of Holding Sessions. - The Sandiganbayan shall have its principal office in the Metro Manila area and shall hold sessions thereat for the trial and determination of cases filed with it: Provided, however, That cases originating from the principal geographical regions of the country, that is, from Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, shall be heard in their respective regions of origin except only when the greater convenience of the accused and of the witnesses, or other compelling considerations require the contrary, in which instance a case originating from one geographical region may be heard in another geographical region: Provided, further, That for this purpose the presiding justice shall authorize any divisions of the court to hold sessions at any time and place outside Metro Manila and, where the interest of justice so requires, outside the territorial boundaries of the Philippines. The Sandiganbayan may require the services of the personnel and the use of facilities of the courts or other government offices where any of the divisions is holding sessions and the personnel of such courts or offices shall be subject to the orders of the Sandiganbayan."Section 3.The second paragraph of Section 3 of the same decree is hereby deleted.Section 4.Section 4 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:"a. 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 (bribery), 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:"(1) 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:"(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads;"(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors engineers and other city department heads;"(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;"(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;"(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher;"(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;"(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations;"(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade'27'and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;"(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;"(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and"(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade'27'and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989."b. 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."c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1 (CREATING THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT), 2 (Regarding The Funds, Moneys, Assets, And Properties Illegally Acquired Or Misappropriated By Former President Ferdinand Marcos, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Their Close Relatives, Subordinates, Business Associates, Dummies, Agents, Or Nominees.), 14 and 14-A (vesting in the Sandiganbayan original and exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal and civil suits filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Governmen), issued in 1986."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 or 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 jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended."The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over f