Morillo vs. People
In July, 2003, Richard Natividad, Milo Malong and Bing Nanquil, representing themselves as contractors with business in Pamanga, bought contraction materials from Armilyn, worth P500,054.00. Per their agreement, 20% of the amount should be paid within seven days, while the remaining 80% shall be paid within 35 days, with post-dated checks. After the last delivery, Richard paid P20,000.00 and issued two post-dated checks drawn from Metrobank, Pampanga branch. Upon maturity, Armilyn deposited the checks in her account with Equitable PCIBank; they were however dishonoured. When Armilyn communicated the fact of dishonour to Richard, the latter replaced the checks with two post-dated Metrobank checks, which again were dishonored. Despite demand, Richard and his partners failed to make good on the checks, hence Armilyn filed a case for BP 22 against Richard and Milo Malong before the MeTC of Makati City. After trial, the MeTC Makati City convicted Richard as charged, hence he appealed to the RTC, arguing that the MeTC of Makati City had no jurisdiction over the case. He asserted that since the subject checks were issued, drawn, and delivered to petitioner in Subic, the venue of the action was improperly laid for none of the elements of the offense actually transpired in Makati City. He also assailed the absence of the public prosecutor, as the latter delegated the prosecution of the case to the private prosecutor. The RTC affirmed the conviction. The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the lower courts. It ruled that MeTC had no jurisdiction over the case, as all the elements of the crime of BP 22 happened in Pampanga. Since all the elements of the crime happened in Pampanga the case should have been filed in Pampanga, not where Armilyn deposited the checks, in Makati City. Armilyn appealed to the Supreme Court.
Whether or not the court of the place where the checks were deposited, had jurisdiction to try a case for BP 22.
It is well settled that violations of BP 22 cases are categorized as transitory or continuing crimes. In such cases, the court wherein any of the crime’s essential and material acts have been committed maintains jurisdiction to try the case; it being understood that the first court taking cognizance of the same excludes the other. Thus, a person charged with a continuing or transitory crime may be validly tried in any municipality or territory where the offense was in part committed.