Nunez v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. 50581-50617)

In Nunez v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. L-50581-50617. January 30, 1982), the constitutional mandate for the creation of a special court to hear offenses committed by public officers was the authority to make a distinction between prosecution for dishonesty in public service and prosecution for crimes not connected with public office.

In categorical and explicit language, the Constitution provided for but did not create a special Court, the Sandiganbayan with "jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed by public officers and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office as may be determined by law."

Nothing can be clearer therefore than that the Anti-Graft Act of 1960 like the earlier statute was precisely aimed at curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. It is intended to further promote morality in public administration. A public office must indeed be a public trust. Nobody can cavil at its objective; the goal to be pursued commands the assent of all. The conditions then prevailing called for norms of such character. The times demanded such a remedial device.

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