Petitioner Danilo A. Duncano is, at the time material to the case, the Regional Director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with Salary Grade 26 as classified under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6758.3 On March 24, 2009, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Office of the Ombudsman, filed a criminal case against him for violation of Section 8, in relation to Section 11 of R.A. No. 6713, allegedly committed as follows:
That on or about April 15, 2003, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused DANILODUNCANO y ACIDO, a high ranking public officer, being the Regional Director of Revenue Region No. 7, of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Quezon City, and as such is under an obligation to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of his assets, liabilities and net worth and financial and business interests, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and criminally fail to disclose in his Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN) for the year 2002, his financial and business interests/connection in Documail Provides Corporation and Don Plus Trading of which he and his family are the registered owners thereof, and the 1993 Nissan Patrol motor vehicle registered in the name of his son VINCENT LOUIS P. DUNCANO which are part of his assets, to the damage and prejudice of public interest.
petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss with Prayer to Defer the Issuance of Warrant of Arrest before respondent Sandiganbayan Second Division. As the OSP alleged, he admitted that he is a Regional Director with Salary Grade 26. Citing Inding v. Sandiganbayan and Serana v. Sandiganbayan, et al., he asserted that under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1606, as amended by Section 4 (A) (1) of R.A No. 8249, the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction to try and hear the case because he is an official of the executive branch occupying the position of a Regional Director but with a compensation that is classified as below Salary Grade 27.
On August 18, 2009, the Sandiganbayan Second Division promulgated its Resolution denying the instant Motion to Dismiss for being devoid of merit and a Warrant of Arrest issued against the accused. Petitioner’s Motion For Reconsideration was also denied, hence this case.
Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the person of the accused for being a Regional Director but has a Salary Grade lower than 27.
No, The Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over violations of Section 3(a) and (e), Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, unless committed by public officials and employees occupying positions of regional director and higher with Salary Grade “27” or higher, under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758) in relation to their office.
In ruling in favor of its jurisdiction, even though petitioner admittedly occupied the position of Director II with Salary Grade “26” under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), the Sandiganbayan incurred in serious error of jurisdiction, and acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in suspending petitioner from office, entitling petitioner to the reliefs prayed for.
In the same way, a certification issued by the OIC – Assistant Chief, Personnel Division of the BIR shows that, although petitioner is a Regional Director of the BIR, his position is classified as Director II with Salary Grade 26.