M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 126 February 12, 1973


WHEREAS, the Circuit Criminal Courts created under Republic Act No. 5179 dated September 8, 1967 have only limited jurisdiction concurrent with the Courts of First Instance to try certain specific cases falling under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the latter;

WHEREAS, miscarriages of justice had often resulted when complex crimes filed with the Circuit Criminal Courts were dismissed because not all the elements of the offense cognizable by the Circuit Criminal Court could be proved as in kidnapping with murder, where the latter offense could not be proved and leaving only kidnapping over which offense the Circuit Criminal have no jurisdiction;

WHEREAS, it is necessary to place within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Courts of First Instance and the Circuit Criminal Courts offenses, whether simple or complex and not otherwise falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of military tribunals, where the penalty provided by law is life imprisonment or death, or within the range of said penalties.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby decree as follows:

Section 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 5179 is hereby amended so as to include the following provision:

"Sec. 1-A. The Circuit Criminal Courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Courts of First Instance over crimes, whether simple or complex, which may be punishable by reclusion perpetua or death: Provided, however, That were the offense charged is a complex crime and only the lesser offense which is punishable by a penalty less than reclusion perpetua is proved, the court shall not dismiss the case but shall decide the same and impose the corresponding penalty."

Section 2. This amendment shall not apply to offenses falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of military tribunals.

Section 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

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