Tomas was charged in court for perjury under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for making a false narration in a Certificate against Forum Shopping. The accusation stemmed from petitioner Union Bank’s two (2) complaints for sum of money with prayer for a writ of replevin. The first complaint filed before the RTC of Pasay. The second complaint was filed to the MeTC, Pasay City. Both complaints showed that Tomas executed and signed the Certification against Forum Shopping. Accordingly, she was charged of deliberately violating Article 183 of the RPC by falsely declaring under oath in the Certificate against Forum Shopping in the second complaint that she did not commence any other action or proceeding involving the same issue in another tribunal or agency. Tomas filed a Motion to Quash, she argued that the venue was improperly laid since it is the Pasay City court (where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was submitted and used) and not the MeTC-Makati City (where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was subscribed) that has jurisdiction over the perjury case.
Whether the criminal case against the Petitioner was instituted in the proper venue?
Yes, Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court or municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred. The above provision should be read in light of Section 10, Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which states: Place of commission of the offense. – The complaint or information is sufficient if it can be understood from its allegations that the offense was committed or some of its essential ingredients occurred at some place within the jurisdiction of the court, unless the particular place where it was committed constitutes an essential element of the offense charged or is necessary for its identification.Both provisions categorically place the venue and jurisdiction over criminal cases not only in the court where the offense was committed, but also where any of its essential ingredients took place. In other words, the venue of action and of jurisdiction are deemed sufficiently alleged where the Information states that the offense was committed or some of its essential ingredients occurred at a place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.