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LACSON VS.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
301 SCRA 298
Facts: Petitioner Lacson is assailing the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 7 of R A N o . 8 2 4 9 a n
a c t w h i c h f u r t h e r d e f i n e s t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e Sandiganbayan. Lacson was being held
liable for the killing of the KuratongBaleleng gang by elements of the Anti-Bank Robbery and
Intelligence TaskGroup. It was contended that it was a rub-out and not a shoot-out which tookplace on
the night of May 18, 1995.The PNP officers were originally absolved from any liability because
of thefinding of the Blancaflor Commission that the incident was a legitimate policeoperation.
However, after a review of Ombudsman Villa, the findings weremodified thus Lacson and 11
others were charged with murder. All of theaccused questioned the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
saying that the RTCshould take cognizance of the case at bar since by virtue of RA 7975,
the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was only to cases were the principal accusedis a public officer with
salary Grade of 27. It was contended that the highestprincipal accused in the amended information has
the rank of Chief Inspectoronly, and none has the equivalent of SG 27. While the motions for
reconsideration were pending, RA 8249 was passed bythe Congress, which expands the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan by deletingthe word principal from the phrase principal accused in Section 2
of RA7975. The new law now expands the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to cover
Lacson.The a mended infor mation me re alleges that the offense charged was committed by
the accused public officer in relation to his office.
Issue: W/N such an allegation is enough
Decision: For jurisdiction over crimes committed by public officers in relationto public office to fall
within jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan the intimaterelation between the offense charged and the
discharge of official duties mustbe alleged in the information. There must be specific factual averment of
thisrelation.Mere allegation that the crime was committed in relation to public office is notwhat
determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. What is controlling is the SPECIFIC FACTUAL
ALLEGATIONS in the infor mation that would indicate the close intimacy between the
discharge of the accusers officialduties and the commission of the offense charged, in order to
qualify the crimeas having been committed in relation to public office.Where the information alleged that
principal accused committed the crime inrelation to the public office, but no specific allegation of facts
that the shootingof the victim by said principal accused was intimately related to the dischargeof their
official duties as police officer, or does not indicate that the aid accusedarrested and investigated the
victim and then killed the latter while in their custody. The offense charged in the subject criminal
case is plain murder andtherefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the RTC,
not theSandiganbayan.