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2. Ganzon vs CA (Decision)

2. Ganzon vs CA (Decision)

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Republic  of  the  Philippines   SUPREME  COURT   Manila   EN  BANC   G.R.  No.  93252  August  5,  1991   RODOLFO  T.

 GANZON,  petitioner,     vs.   THE  HONORABLE  COURT  OF  APPEALS  and  LUIS  T.  SANTOS,  respondents.   G.R.  No.  93746  August  5,1991   MARY  ANN  RIVERA  ARTIEDA,  petitioner,     vs.   HON.  LUIS  SANTOS,  in  his  capacity  as  Secretary  of  the  Department  of  Local   Government,  NICANOR  M.  PATRICIO,  in  his  capacity  as  Chief,  Legal  Service  of  the   Department  of  Local  Government  and  SALVADOR  CABALUNA  JR.,  respondents.   G.R.  No.  95245  August  5,1991   RODOLFO  T.  GANZON,  petitioner,     vs.   THE  HONORABLE  COURT  OF  APPEALS  and  LUIS  T.  SANTOS,  in  his  capacity  as  the   Secretary  of  the  Department  of  Local  Government,  respondents.       SARMIENTO,  J.:p   The  petitioners  take  common  issue  on  the  power  of  the  President  (acting  through  the   Secretary  of  Local  Government),  to  suspend  and/or  remove  local  officials.   The  petitioners  are  the  Mayor  of  Iloilo  City  (G.R.  Nos.  93252  and  95245)  and  a  member   of  the  Sangguniang  Panglunsod  thereof  (G.R.  No.  93746),  respectively.   The   petitions   of   Mayor   Ganzon   originated   from   a   series   of   administrative   complaints,   ten  in   number,   filed  against  him  by   various  city  officials  sometime  in  1988,  on  various   charges,   among   them,   abuse   of   authority,   oppression,   grave   misconduct,   disgraceful   and  immoral  conduct,  intimidation,  culpable  violation  of  the  Constitution,  and  arbitrary   detention.  1  The  personalities  involved  are  Joceleehn  Cabaluna,  a  clerk  at  the  city  health   office;   Salvador   Cabaluna,   her   husband;   Dr.   Felicidad   Ortigoza,   Assistant   City   Health   Officer;  Mansueto  Malabor,  Vice-­‐Mayor;  Rolando  Dabao,  Dan  Dalido,  German  Gonzales,   Larry   Ong,   and   Eduardo   Pefia   Redondo   members   of   the   Sangguniang   Panglunsod;   and  

 a   utility  worker  in  the  office  of  the  Public  Services.  that  when  she  filed  her  vacation  leave.  Office  of  Iloilo  City  charged  that  due  to  political  reasons.  whose  duties  are  alien   to  the  complainant's  duties  and  functions.  2  We  quote:   xxx  xxx  xxx   In   her   verified   complaint   (Annex   A).   together  with  his  security  men.   Without  an  office.  The  petitioner's  act  are  pure  harassments  aimed  at  luring  her  away   from  her  permanent  position  or  force  her  to  resign.   Larry   Ong   and   Eduardo   Pefia   Pedondo   are   members   of   the   Sangguniang   Panglunsod   of   the   City   of   Iloilo.   On  the  other  hand.   she   claims   that   the   petitioner   handpicked   her   to   perform   task   not   befitting   her   position   as   Assistant   City   Health   Officer   of   Iloilo   City.   In   the   case   of   Dra.  the  petitioner.  she  was   given   the   run-­‐around   treatment   in   the   approval   of   her   leave   in   connivance   with   Dr.   German   Gonzales.  Mansuelo  Malabor  is  the  duly  elected  Vice-­‐Mayor  of   Iloilo   City   and   complainants   Rolando   Dabao.   forcefully   drove   them   away   from   Plaza   Libertad.   a   clerk   assigned   to   the  City  Health.  Rosa  0.Pancho  Erbite.   having  supported  the  rival  candidate.  the  petitioner.   that   her   salary   was   withheld   without   cause  since  April  1.  To  make  matters  worse.   whose   key   to   his   office   was   unceremoniously   and   without   previous   notice.  However.   Cabaluna.  The   Vice-­‐Mayor   and   the   other   complainants   sympathized   with   him   and   decided  to  do  the  same.   Rodolfo   Villegas   and   that   she   was   the   object   of   a   well-­‐engineered  trumped-­‐up  charge  in  an  administrative  complaint  filed   by  Dr.  the  petitioner   City   Mayor.  Councilor  Ong  had  to  hold  office  at  Plaza  Libertad.   using   as   an   excuse   the   exigency   of   the   service   and   the   interest   of   the   public.  led  the  firemen  using  a  firetruck  in  dozing   water  to  the  people  and  the  bystanders.  Caram.   Felicidad   Ortigoza.  Mrs.  has  been  detailed  to  take  her   place.  a  barangay  tanod.  Rodolfo  Villegas  (Annex  B).  1988.  together  with  its  fully-­‐ armed   security   men.   taken   by   petitioner.   Dan   Dalido.  However.  before  the  group  could  reach  the  area.   Their   complaint   arose   out   from   the   case   where   Councilor   Larry   Ong.   .   pulled   her   out   from   rightful   office   where   her   qualifications  are  best  suited  and  assigned  her  to  a  work  that  should  be   the  function  of  a  non-­‐career  service  employee.   Councilor   Ong  denounced  the  petitioner's  actuations  the  following  day  in   the  radio  station  and  decided  to  hold  office  at  the  Freedom  Grandstand   at  Iloilo  City  and  there  were  so  many  people  who  gathered  to  witness  the   incident.  The  complaints  against  the  Mayor  are  set  forth  in  the   opinion  of  the  respondent  Court  of  Appeals.   Mrs.   that   her   office   was   padlocked   without   any   explanation   or   justification.

 Erbite  was  arrested  and  detained  at  the  City  Jail  of  Iloilo  City   upon   orders   of   petitioner.   appointed   by   former   mayor   Rosa   O.1988.1988  in  the  same  venue-­‐ Iloilo  City.   Marino   Bermudez   had   to   come   all   the   way   from   Manila   for   the   two-­‐day   hearings   but   was   actually   held   only   on   June   20.   the   respondent   issued   a   preventive   suspension   order   on   August   11.1988   in   view   of   the   inability   and   unpreparedness  of  petitioner's  counsel.   In   these   hearings   which   were   held   in   Mala  the  petitioner  testified  in  Adm.1988  for  a  period  of  sixty  (60)  days.   he   was   allegedly   mauled   by   other   detainees   thereby   causing   injuries   He   was   released   only   the   following   day.  26.   a   barangay   tanod.   .   Atty.  3   The   Mayor   thereafter   answered  4  and   the   cases   were   shortly   set   for   hearing.   including   the   petitioner.   1988.   petitioner's   counsel   cross-­‐examined   the   complainants  and  their  witnesses.   the   complainants   and   petitioner   were   present.   Caram.   without  the  benefit  of  charges  filed  against  him  and  no  warrant  of  arrest   was  issued.   On   March   13.  C-­‐10298  and  10299.   On   September   26.   1988   and   the   petitioner   again   asked   for   a   postponement   to   September   26.   The   petitioner   sought   for   a   postponement   which   was   denied.   The   petitioner   asked   for   a   postponement   before   the   scheduled  date  of  hearing  and  was  represented  by  counsel.Another   administrative   case   was   filed   by   Pancho   Erbite.   Then   the   next   investigation   was   set   on   September   21.   1988   to   last   until   October   11.   In   jail.  were  sent  to   the   parties   (Annex   L)   and   the   parties   received   them.   the   hearing   officers   denied   the   motion   to   postpone.  Case  No.  Notices.  27.  in  view  of  the  fact  that  the  parties  were  notified  by  telegrams   of  the  scheduled  hearings  (Annex  M).   together   with   their   respective   counsel.  Atty.  through  telegrams.  1988  at  the  Regional  Office  of  the  Department  of   Local  Government  in  Iloilo  City.   Nonetheless.   In   the   said   hearings.   The   opinion  of  the  Court  of  Appeals  also  set  forth  the  succeeding  events:   xxx  xxx  xxx   The   initial   hearing   in   the   Cabaluna   and   Ortigoza   cases   were   set   for   hearing  on  June  20-­‐21.   Salvador   Quebral   and   Atty.   1988.   The  next  hearings  were  re-­‐set  to  July  25.   Finding   probable   grounds   and   reasons.  Again.   The   hearing   officers.  the  petitioner  attempted  to  delay  the  proceedings  and   moved   for   a   postponement   under   the   excuse   that   he   had   just   hired   his   counsel.  Samuel   Castro.

  In   the   meantime.   1988   which   was   granted.  The  motion  was  denied  and  the  petitioner  was  given  up   to  December  14.   SP   No.  1988.   1988.  a   petition   for   prohibition.   On   October   10.)   .  20736  of  the  Court  of  Appeals.   1990.  the  investigation  was   set  to  December  13  to  15.   on   May   3.   1988   hearing   to   November   7   to   11.   and   hence.1988.   The  petitioner  sought  for  another  postponement  on  the  ground  that  his   witnesses   were   sick   or   cannot   attend   the   investigation   due   to   lack   of   transportation.   Iloilo   City.  Interior)  in  the   Regional   Trial   Court.   petitioner's   counsel.  the  third  time  in  twenty   months.  the  parties  failed  to  come  to  terms   and  after  the  parties  were  notified  of  the  hearing.   Undaunted.  However.  1988  to  present  his  evidence.   However.   1988.  5   Amidst   the   two   successive   suspensions.   where   he   succeeded   in   obtaining   a   writ   of   preliminary   injunction.R.   Petitioner   reiterated   his   motion   to   change  venue  and  moved  for  postponement  anew.   petitioner's   counsel   insisted   on   his   motion   for   postponement  and  the  hearing  officers  gave  petitioner  up  to  December   15.   16417.   the   parties   and   counsel   were   present.  1988  to  present  his  evidence.  6  (Malabor   it   is   to   be   noted.  the  petitioner   failed  to  present  evidence  and  the  cases  were  considered  submitted  for   resolution.   the   respondent   Secretary   issued   another   order.  1988.   he   instituted   CA-­‐G.  The  counsel  discussed   a  proposal  to  take  the  deposition  of  witnesses  in  Iloilo  City  so  the  hearing   was  indefinitely  postponed.  he  is  interested  in  seeing  Mayor  Ganzon  ousted.   in   the  respondent  Court  of  Appeals.   Meanwhile.   At   the   hearing   on   November   7.The   investigation   was   continued   regarding   the   Malabor   case   and   the   complainants  testified  including  their  witnesses.  The  second  preventive  suspension  was  not   enforced.   On   December   14.   The   petitioner   was   able   to   obtain   a   restraining  order  and  a  writ  of  preliminary  injunction  in  the  Regional  Trial   Court.R.  On  December  15.   Original   moved   for   a   postponement   of   the   October   24.   Presently.  Mayor  Ganzon  commenced  CA-­‐G.   preventively  suspending  Mayor  Ganzon  for  another  sixty  days.   is   one   of   the   complainants.   and   designating   meantime   Vice-­‐Mayor   Mansueto   Malabor   as   acting   mayor.   1988   for   another   sixty   (60)   days.   a   prima   facie   evidence   was   found   to   exist   in   the   arbitrary   detention   case   filed   by   Pancho   Erbite   so   the   respondent   ordered  the  petitioner's  second  preventive  suspension  dated  October  11.   the   motion   for   change   of   venue   as   denied   due   to   lack   of   funds.  Branch  33  of  Iloilo  City.   Atty.  SP  No.   an   action   for   prohibition.   Mayor   Ganzon   instituted   an   action   for   prohibition  against  the  respondent  Secretary  of  Local  Government  (now.

 1989.   Mayor   Ganzon.   20736.   but   the   Secretary   rejected   his   request.  1991.  On  July  5.  SP  No.   In   our   Resolutions  of  January  15.  to  this  Court.  of  any  authority  to  suspend  and  remove  local   officials.R.   barring   the   respondent   Secretary  from  implementing  the  suspension  orders.   93252   and   95245)   is   that   the   Secretary   of   Local  Government  is  devoid.   an   argument   reiterated   by   the   petitioner   Mary   Ann   Rivera   Artieda   (G.   prejudicial   and   hostile"   towards   him  7  arising   from   his   (Mayor   Ganzon's)   alleged   refusal   to   join   the   Laban   ng   Demokratikong   Pilipino   party  8  and   the   running   political   rivalry   they   maintained   in   the   last   congressional   and   local   elections.   it   issued   a   Resolution   certifying   the   petition   of   Mary   Ann   Artieda.  SP   No.  the  records  do  not  show  very   clearly   in   what   manner   the   Mayor   might   have   been   deprived   of   his   rights   by   the   respondent  Secretary.  16417.   we   consolidated   all   three   cases.  the  latter  proceeded  with  the  hearing  and  meted  out   two  more  suspension  orders  of  the  aforementioned  cases.  17   Mayor   Ganzon's   primary   argument   (G.  13  He   states   that   he   asked  for  postponement  on  "valid  and  justifiable"  14  grounds.   As  to  Mayor  Ganzon's  charges  of  denial  of  due  process.   had   denied   him   due   process   of   law   and   that   the   respondent   Secretary   had   been   "biased.   Mayor   Ganzon   claims   as   a   preliminary   (GR   No.  among  them.  9  and   his   alleged   refusal   to   operate   a   lottery   in   Iloilo  City.   93746).   Nos.   The   Mayor   has   failed   furthermore   to   substantiate   his   say-­‐so's   that   Secretary   Santos   had   attempted   to   seduce   him   to   join   the   administration   party   and   to   operate   a   lottery   in   .R.   1990.1990.  we  gave  due  course  thereto.  and  restraining  the  enforcement  of   the  Court  of  Appeals'  two  decisions.   claims).  11  notwithstanding  which.   In   a   Resolution   dated   January   24.R.   On   June   26.  in  any  event.   we   issued   a   Temporary   Restraining   Order.   In   our   Resolution   of   November   29.  dismissing  CA-­‐G.  10  He  also  alleges  that  he  requested  the  Secretary  to  lift  his  suspension  since  it   had   come   ninety   days   prior   to   an   election   (the   barangay   elections   of   November   14.  that  he  was   suffering   from   a   heart   ailment   which   required   confinement.   that   the   Department   of   Local   Government   in   hearing   the   ten   cases   against   him.R.   considering   furthermore   that   "political   feud"   has   often   been   a   good  excuse  in  contesting  complaints.   93252).On  September  7.  the  Court  of  Appeals  rendered  judgment.  it  likewise  promulgated  a  decision.   1990.   that   his   "vital"  15  witness   was  also  hospitalized  16but  that  the  latter  unduly  denied  his  request.   we   can   not   take   his   word   for   it   the   way   we   would   have   under   less   political   circumstances.  dismissing  CA-­‐G.   who   had   been   similary   charged   by   the   respondent   Secretary.  His  claims  that  he  and  Secretary  Luis-­‐Santos  were  (are)  political   rivals   and   that   his   "persecution"   was   politically   motivated   are   pure   speculation   and   although   the   latter   does   not   appear   to   have   denied   these   contentions   (as   he.   No.  1990.  12  He  likewise  contends  that   he  sought  to  bring  the  cases  to  Iloilo  City  (they  were  held  in  Manila)  in  order  to  reduce   the   costs   of   proceeding.   1988).

  and   cities   and   municipalities   with   respect   to   component   barangays  shall  ensure  that  the  acts  of  their  component  units  are  within   the  scope  of  their  prescribed  powers  and  functions.   bureaus.  It  is  a  view.  we  are  not  convinced  that  the  Secretary  has  been  guilty   of  a  grave  abuse  of  discretion.  can  suspend  and/or  remove  local  officials.   Secretary   Santos.  finally.  no  ill  motive  can  be  ascribed  to   him.   postponements  are  a  matter  of  discretion  on  the  part  of  the  hearing  officer.  as  the  1935  and  1973  Constitutions  did.   as   judicial   admissions   as   he   would   have   us   accept  them  18  for  the  same  reasons  above-­‐stated  and  furthermore.  the  Court  is  afraid  that  he  has  not  given   any   compelling   reason   why   we   should   overturn   the   Court   of   Appeals.  that  finds  support  in  the  debates   of  the  Constitutional  Commission.  so  they  contend.   exercise   general   supervision   over   all   .   Again.   We  come  to  the  core  question:  Whether  or  not  the  Secretary  of  Local  Government.   the   Court   finds   the   question   to   be   moot   and   academic   since   we   have   in   fact   restrained  the  Secretary  from  further  hearing  the  complaints  against  the  petitioners.   the   Constitution   is   meant.   337.   Besides.  19   As  to  his  request.  22   It  modifies  a  counterpart  provision  appearing  in  the  1935  Constitution.   10.  as   the  President's  alter  ego.Iloilo   City.   The   Court   can   not   say.   we   can   not   accept   them.   The   President   shall   have   control   of   all   the   executive   departments.  to  exercise  the  power  of  suspension   and/or   removal   over   local   officials.  because  his  say  so's   were   never   corroborated   by   independent   testimonies.  and  based   on  Mayor  Ganzon's  above  story.  first.  to  strengthen  self-­‐rule  by  local  government  units  and  second.   although   the   Secretary   failed   to   rebut   his   allegations.   that   Secretary   Santos'   actuations   deprived  Mayor  Ganzon  of  due  process  of  law.   which   found   no   convincing   reason   to   overrule   Secretary   Santos   in   denying   his   requests.  4.  by  deleting   the  phrase  21  as  may  be  provided  by  law  to  strip  the  President  of  the  power  of  control   over  local  governments.  Provinces  with  respect  to  component  cities  and   municipalities.  The  President  of  the  Philippines  shall  exercise  general  supervision   over  local  governments.   is   presumed   to   be   performing   his   duties  regularly  and  in  the  absence  of  contrary  evidence.   in   pursuing   an   official   function.  The  provision  in  question  reads  as  follows:   Sec.   under   these   circumstances.   As   to   Mayor   Ganzon's   contention   that   he   had   requested   the   respondent   Secretary   to   defer   the   hearing   on   account   of   the   ninety-­‐day   ban   prescribed   by   Section   62   of   Batas   Blg.   It   is   the   petitioners'   argument   that   the   1987   Constitution  20  no   longer   allows   the   President.   According   to   both   petitioners.   As   a   responsible   public   official.   at   face   value.   or   offices.  which  we  quote:   Sec.   much   more.  for  postponements.

 or  the  sanggunian  concerned.   and   take   care   that   the   laws  be  faithfully  executed.   the   preventive  suspension  shall  be  lifted.   No   investigation   shall   be   held   within   ninety   days   immediately   prior   to   an   election.   —  Within   seven   days   after   the   complaint   is   filed.   63.  preventive  suspension  shall  not   extend  beyond  sixty  days  after  the  start  of  said  suspension.  no  law  may  provide  for  it  any  longer.   (2)   Preventive   suspension   may   be   imposed   at   any   time   after   the   issues   are   joined.  since:  (1)  the  power  of  the  President  is  "provided  by  law"  and   (2)  hence.   the   time   of   the   delay   shall   not   be   counted   in   computing   the   time   of   suspension.   and   no   preventive   suspension   shall   be   imposed   with   the   said   period.   when   the   gravity   of   the   offense   so   warrants.   It   is   to   be   noted   that   in   meting   out   the   suspensions   under   question.  24   Sec.  25   .   Preventive   Suspension.   when   the   evidence   of   culpability   is   strong.  by  the  provincial  governor  if  the  respondent  is   an   elective   municipal   official.  we  quote:   Sec.  Notice   of   Hearing.   as  their  argument  goes.  the  suspended  official  shall  be  deemed   reinstated   in   office   without   prejudice   to   the   continuation   of   the   proceedings   against   him   until   its   termination.   the   Secretary   of   Local   Government   acted   in   consonance   with   the   specific   legal   provisions   of   Batas   Blg.   or   by   the   city   or   municipal   mayor   if   the   respondent  is  an  elective  barangay  official.   and   commence   the  hearing  and  investigation  of  the  case  within  ten  days  after  receipt  of   such   answer   of   the   respondent.   —   (1)   Preventive   suspension   may   be   imposed   by   the   Minister   of   Local   Government   if   the   respondent   is   a   provincial  or  city  official.Local   governments   as   may   be   provided   by   law.   337.   (3)  At  the  expiration  of  sixty  days.   when   there   is   reasonable   ground   to   believe   that   the   respondent   has   committed   the   act   or   acts   complained   of.  as   the   case   may   be.   However   '   if   the   delay   in   the   proceedings   of   the   case   is   due   to   his   fault.  23   The  petitioners  submit  that  the  deletion  (of  "as  may  be  provided  by  law")  is  significant.  the  Minister  of  local  Government.   shall   require   the   respondent   to   submit   his   verified   answer   within   seven   days   from   receipt   of   said   complaint.   or   when   the   continuance   in   office   of   the   respondent   could   influence  the  witnesses  or  pose  a  threat  to  the  safety  and  integrity  of  the   records  and  other  evidence.   If   preventive   suspension   has   been   imposed   prior   to   the   aforesaid   period.   neglect   or   request.   62.  In  all  cases.  the  Local  Government  Code.

  the   Constitution   places   the   local   government   under   the   general   supervision  of  the  Executive.   however.   albeit   the   legislative   responsibility  under  the  Constitution  and  as  the  "supervision  clause"  itself  suggest-­‐is  to   wean  local  government  units  from  over-­‐dependence  on  the  central  government.  27  a   local   tax   law.  28  income   distribution   legislation.  It  is  also  noteworthy  that  in   spite   of   autonomy.   allocate   among   the   different   local   government   units   their   powers.   It   is   our   opinion   that   the   omission   (of   "as   may   be   provided   by   law")   signifies   nothing   more   than   to   underscore   local   governments'   autonomy   from   congress   and   to   break   Congress'   "control"   over   local   government   affairs.   although   Jefferson   is   said   to   have   compared   municipal   corporations   euphemistically   to   "small   republics.   It  is  noteworthy  that  under  the  Charter.  "local  autonomy"  is  not  instantly  self-­‐executing.   3.   though   not   control.  29  and   a   national   representation   law.  the  charter  did  not  intend  to  divest  the  legislature  of  its  right  or   the   President   of   her   prerogative   as   conferred   by   existing   legislation   to   provide   administrative   sanctions   against   local   officials.   for   the   sake   of   local   autonomy.  salaries.   as   the   Court   understands   it.   but   subject   to.  suspend.  after  all.   to   deprive   the   legislature   of   all   authority   over   municipal   corporations.   and   all   other   matters   relating   to   the   organization   and   operation   of   the   local  units.   among   other   things.  delegate  its  exercise  to  the  President."  26  Autonomy.  and  provide  for  the  qualifications.   intend.   which   suggest   that   Congress   may   exercise   removal   powers.   Autonomy  does  not.The   issue.  and/or  remove  local  officials?   (2)  Has  the  Constitution  repealed  Sections  62  and  63  of  the  Local  Government  Code?  (3)   What  is  the  significance  of  the  change  in  the  constitutional  language?   It   is   the   considered   opinion   of   the   Court   that   notwithstanding   the   change   in   the   constitutional  language.  It  is  noteworthy  finally.   in   deleting   the   phrase   "as   may   be   provided   by   law"   intend   to   divest   the   President  of  the  power  to  investigate.  discipline.   The   Congress   shall   enact   a   local   government   code   which   shall   provide   for   a   more   responsive   and   accountable   local   government   structure   instituted   through   a   system   of   decentralization   with   effective   mechanisms   of   recall.  Thus:   Sec.  election.   consists   of   three   questions:   (1)   Did   the   1987   Constitution.  powers  and  functions  and  duties  of  local  officials.  that  the  Charter  allows  Congress  to   include   in   the   local   government   code   provisions   for   removal   of   local   officials.   the   passage   of   a   local   government   code.   and   as   the   existing   Local   Government  Code  has  done.  appointment  and   removal.   The   Constitution   did   not.  30  and   measures  31  designed  to  realize  autonomy  at  the  local  level.   in   the   constitutional   sense.   initiative.  32   .   concerning  discipline.   responsibilities   and   resources.   and   referendum.   as   in   the   federal   governments   of   the   United   States   of   America   (or   Brazil   or   Germany).   is   subject   to   the   guiding   star.  term.  contemplate  making  mini-­‐states  out  of  local  government   units.   of   the   legislature.   in   particular.

  Thus   in   that   case   the   Court   has   made   the   following   digression:   "In   administration   law   supervision   means   overseeing  or  the  power  or  authority  of  an  officer  to  see  that  subordinate   officers  perform  their  duties.  If  the  latter  fail  or  neglect  to  fulfill  them  the   former  may  take  such  action  or  step  as  prescribed  by  law  to  make  them   perform   their   duties.  "supervision"  is  not  incompatible  with  disciplinary  authority   as  this  Court  has  held.   the   objective   of   the   framers   to   strengthen   local   autonomy   by   severing  congressional  control  of  its  affairs.  control   and   supervision."  36  "Supervision"   on   the   other   hand   means   "overseeing   or   the   power   or   authority   of   an   officer   to   see   that   subordinate   officers   perform   their   duties.   although   it   is   a   lesser   power   than   "altering".   Gaz...   No.   "investigating"   is   not   inconsistent   with   "overseeing".   Control.   2884.  35   xxx  xxx  xxx   "Control"  has  been  defined  as  "the  power  of  an  officer  to  alter  or  modify  or  nullify  or  set   aside   what   a   subordinate   officer   had   done   in   the   performance   of   his   duties   and   to   substitute   the   judgment   of   the   former   for   test   of   the   latter.   are   two   different   things   which   differ   one   from   the   other   in   meaning   and   extent.   the   deletion   of   "as   may   be   provided   by   law"   was   meant   to   stress.   It   is   a   mistaken   impression  because  legally.   this   Court   had   occasion   to   discuss   the   scope   and   extent   of   the   power  of  supervision  by  the  President  over  local  government  officials  in   contrast  to  the  power  of  control  given  to  him  over  executive  officials  of   our  government  wherein  it  was  emphasized  that  the  two  terms.   6   p.  .  34  thus:   xxx  xxx  xxx   It   is   true   that   in   the   case   of   Mondano   vs.   The   .   as   postulated   in   Section   64(c)   of   the   Revised   Administrative   Code.  37  As   we   held.  like  the   power  of  local  legislation.   The   petitioners   are   under   the   impression   that   the   Constitution   has   left   the   President   mere   supervisory   powers..   Silvosa.  and  insofar  as   existing   legislation   authorizes   the   President   (through   the   Secretary   of   Local   Government)   to   proceed   against   local   officials   administratively.  sub   silencio.  38  however.  as  observed  by  the  Court  of  Appeals.  however.As   hereinabove   indicated.   on   the   other   hand.   51   Off.   which   supposedly   excludes   the   power   of   investigation.   the   Constitution   contains  no  prohibition.   which   allegedly   embraces   disciplinary   authority.  33  The  Constitution  did  nothing  more.   and   denied   her   control.   means   the   power   of   an   officer  to  alter  or  modify  or  nullify  of  set  aside  what  a  subordinate  officer   had  done  in  the  performance  of  his  duties  and  to  substitute  the  judgment   of   the   former   for   that   of   the   latter."   But   from   this   pronouncement   it   cannot   be   reasonably   inferred   that   the   power   of   supervision   of   the   President  over  local  government  officials  does  not  include  the  power  of   investigation   when   in   his   opinion   the   good   of   the   public   service   so   requires.

"  44  However."  43  a  rule   we   reiterated   in  Hebron.   and   he   may   in   such   case   suspend   the   officer  (not  being  the  municipal  treasurer)  pending  action  by  the  board.  46   In  Mondano.  Silvosa.   The   Congress   has   expressly   and   specifically   lodged   the   provincial   supervision   over   municipal   officials   in   the   provincial   governor   who   is   authorized   to   "receive   and   investigate   complaints   made   under   oath   against   municipal   officers   for   neglect   of   duty.   except   on   appeal   from   a   decision   of   the   corresponding   provincial   board.  42  In  Lacson.  Reyes.   but   because   no   law   allowed   her   to   exercise   disciplinary   authority.  the  same  must  be  deemed  mandatory  and  adhered  to   strictly.   Pelaez   v.   ...  Lacson  v.   when   the   procedure   for   the   suspension   of   an   officer   is   specified  by  law.   and   conviction   by   final   judgment  of  any  crime  involving  moral  turpitude...  45   In  Hebron  we  stated:   Accordingly."  Section  86  of  the  Revised  Administration  Code  adds   nothing  to  the  power  of  supervision  to  be  exercised  by  the  Department   Head   over   the   administration   of   .   "he   shall   submit   written   charges   touching   the   matter   to   the   provincial  board.   and  Mondano.   corruption   or   other   form   of   maladministration   of   office..   this   Court   said   that   the   President   enjoyed  no  control  powers  but  only  supervision  "as  may  be  provided  by  law.   .  Roque."  And  if  the  charges  are   serious.  a   fourth   one.   we   stated   that   the   President   "may   not   .   Auditor   General.  40  and  Mondano  v.  Thus.   suspend   an   elective   official   of   a   regular   municipality   or   take   any   disciplinary   action   against   him..   then   such   additional   power   must   be   deemed   to   have  been  abrogated  by  Section  110(l).  39  Hebron  v.  furnishing  a  copy  of  such  charges  to  the  accused  either   personally   or   by   registered   mail.  in  the  absence  of  express  or  clear  provision  to  the  contrary-­‐which   does  not  et  with  respect  to  municipal  officers  .   If   it   be   construed   that   it   does   and   such   additional   power   is   the   same   authority   as   that   vested   in   the   Department   Head   by   section   79(c)   of   the   Revised   Administrative   Code..  the  Court  held:   .  47   .   In  Pelaez.   municipalities   .  Article  VII  of  the  Constitution.   neither  Lacson  nor  Hebron  nor  Mondano  categorically   banned   the   Chief   Executive   from   exercising   acts   of   disciplinary   authority   because   she   did   not   exercise   control   powers.  if   in   his   opinion   the   charge   by   one   affecting   the   official   integrity   of   the   officer  in  question.  according  to  Lacson:   The   contention   that   the   President   has   inherent   power   to   remove   or   suspend  municipal  officers  is  without  doubt  not  well  taken.  41  and  possibly.   .  Removal  and   suspension  of  public  officers  are  always  controlled  by  the  particular  law   applicable   and   its   proper   construction   subject   to   constitutional   limitations.impression  is  apparently  exacerbated  by  the  Court's  pronouncements  in  at  least  three   cases..   oppression.

 The  Court  believes  that  the   deliberations   are   by   themselves   inconclusive.  Thus:   Now.   local   autonomy   means   "a   more   responsive   and   accountable   local   government   structure   instituted   through   a   system   of   decentralization.   There   is   decentralization   of   administration   when   the   central   government   delegates   administrative   powers   to   political  subdivisions  in  order  to  broaden  the  base  of  government  power   and   in   the   process   to   make   local   governments   "more   responsive   and   accountable.  52   As   the   Constitution   itself   declares.   we   stated   that   the   President   can   not   impose   disciplinary   measures   on   local   officials   except   on   appeal   from   the   provincial   board   pursuant   to   the   Administrative   Code.   because   although   Commissioner   Jose   Nolledo  would  exclude  the  power  of  removal  from  the  President.   Kayanan.   As   we   observed   in   one   case.  to  "liberate  the  local  governments  from  the  imperialism  of   Manila."  Autonomy.  to  enhance  self-­‐   government.  is  not  meant  to  end  the  relation  of  partnership  and  inter-­‐ dependence   between   the   central   administration   and   local   government   units.  As  we  said.  The  Charter  has  not  taken  such  a  radical   step.  and  for  no  other  purpose  than  precisely.  But  in  those  cases   ii   which   the   law   gave   him   the   power.  "supervision"  and  "removal"  are  not   incompatible   terms   and   one   may   stand   with   the   other   notwithstanding   the   stronger   expression  of  local  autonomy  under  the  new  Charter.   Local   governments.   autonomy   is   either   decentralization   of   administration   or   decentralization   of   power.  49   The  Court  does  not  believe  that  the  petitioners  can  rightfully  point  to  the  debates  of  the   Constitutional  Commission  to  defeat  the  President's  powers."  53  The  Constitution  as  we  observed.   as   in  Ganzon   v."   and   "ensure   their   fullest   development   as   self-­‐reliant   .   found   little   difficulty  in  sustaining  him.  however.  51   The  Court  is  consequently  reluctant  to  say  that  the  new  Constitution  has  repealed  the   Local  Government  Code.  Batas  Blg.  37.  337  is  still  in  force  and  effect.  to  user  in  a  regime  of  federalism.  in  those  case  that  this  Court  denied  the  President  the  power  (to  suspend/remove)   it   was   not   because   we   did   not   think   that   the   President   can   not   exercise   it   on   account   of   his  limited  power.  48   Thus.xxx  xxx  xxx   In  Pelaez.  Batas  Blg.  50  Commissioner  Blas   Ople  would  not.   however   limited.  but  because  the  law  lodged  the  power  elsewhere.  albeit  paradoxically.   are   subject   to   regulation.  54  decentralization   means   devolution   of   national   administration  but  not  power  to  the  local  levels.   or   otherwise.  We  have  indeed  held  that  in  spite   of  the  approval  of  the  Charter.   under   the   Constitution.  does  nothing  more  than  to  break   up  the  monopoly  of  the  national  government  over  the  affairs  of  local  governments  and   as  put  by  political  adherents.   the   Court.

 According  to  a  constitutional  author.   the   autonomous   government   becomes   accountable   not   to   the   central   authorities  but  to  its  constituency.   Were   it   not   for   this   information  and  the  suspension  decreed  by  the  Sandiganbayan  according   to  the  Anti-­‐Graft  and  Corrupt  Practices  Act."   since   in   that   event.  is  the  fact   that   since   the   Mayor   is   facing   ten   administrative   charges.   in   the   event   that   all   ten   cases   yield  prima   facie  findings.  he  would  have  been  all  this   while   in   the   full   discharge   of   his   functions   as   such   municipal   mayor.  Its   continuance.   any   of   them   could.   The   Court   is   not   of   course   tolerating   misfeasance   in   public   office   (assuming   that   Mayor   Ganzon   is   guilty   of   misfeasance)   but   it   is   certainly   another   question  to  make  him  serve  600  days  of  suspension.  if  there  be  a  criminal  action.   on   the   other   hand.   1983.   For   even   if   thereafter   he   were   acquitted.  to  suspend  him   out  of  office."  At  the  same  time.communities   and   make   them   more   effective   partners   in   the   pursuit   of   national  development  and  social  progress."  He  has  no  control  over  their  acts  in  the   sense  that  he  can  substitute  their  judgments  with  his  own.   in   the   meanwhile  his  right  to  hold  office  had  been  nullified.   He   was   elected   precisely   to   do   so.  there  would   be  in  such  a  case  an  injustice  suffered  by  him.   criminally.   involves   an   abdication   of   political   power   in   the   favor   of   local   governments   units   declared   to   be   autonomous.  but  only  to  "ensure  that  local  affairs  are   administered  according  to  law.   Ms   culpability   must   be   established.   There   is   injustice   inflicted   likewise   on   the   people   of   Lianga   They   were   .   as   in   this   instance.  What  bothers  the  Court.  Clearly.   Petitioner   is   a   duly   elected   municipal   mayor   of   Lianga.   be   proceeded   against   administratively   or.   for   an   unreasonable   length   of   time   raises   a   due   process   question.  A  preventive  suspension  may  be  justified.   he   has   been   unable  to.  As  we  held:  56   2.   Decentralization   of   power.  which  is  effectively.   In   either   case.  it  relieves   the   central   government   of   the   burden   of   managing   local   affairs   and   enables   it   to   concentrate   on   national   concerns.   however.  it  is  a  basic  assumption  of  the  electoral  process  implicit  in  the   right   of   suffrage   that   the   people   are   entitled   to   the   services   of   elective   officials   of   their   choice.   The   President   exercises   "general  supervision"  over  them.   Surigao   del   Sur.   His   term   of   office   does   not   expire   until   1986.   the   autonomous   government   is   free   to   chart   its   own   destiny   and   shape   its   future   with   minimum   intervention   from   central  authorities.  decentralization   of   power   amounts   to   "self-­‐immolation.   the   Mayor   is   in   fact   facing   the   possibility   of   600   days   of   suspension.   As   of   October   26.   Moreover.   of   course.  and  what  indeed  looms  very  large.  Nor  is  he  the  only  victim.   In   that   case.  he  is  entitled  to  the  constitutional   presumption  of  innocence.  55   The   successive   sixty-­‐day   suspensions   imposed   on   Mayor   Rodolfo   Ganzon   is   albeit   another  matter.   For   misfeasance   or   malfeasance.

  his   suspension   permanent.  to   .  wiped  out  his  tenure   considerably.  it  may  be   imposed   for   no   more   than   sixty   days.   The   sole   objective   of   a   suspension.  62  which  is  to  say  that  it  need  not  be  exactly  sixty  days  long  if  a  shorter  period  is   otherwise   sufficient.  yet  it  is  hardly  any  argument  to  inflict  on  Mayor   Ganzon   successive   suspensions   when   apparently.  58  and   so   also.   As   we   held.   imposing   600   days   of   suspension   which   is   not   a   remote   possibility  Mayor  Ganzon  is  to  all  intents  and  purposes.   the   accused   (the   respondent)  enjoys  a  presumption  of  innocence  unless  and  until  found  guilty.   In  that  sense.  It  is  to  avoid  such  an  unconstitutional  application  that  the  order   of  suspension  should  be  lifted.   Under   the   Local   Government   Code.   The  Court  is  not  to  be  mistaken  for  obstructing  the  efforts  of  the  respondent  Secretary   to  see  that  justice  is  done  in  Iloilo  City.   In   both   cases.  63  a   longer   suspension   is   unjust   and   unreasonable.   to   all   intents   and   purposes.   and   which   is   also   to   say   that   it   ought   to   be   lifted   if   prosecutors   have  achieved  their  purpose  in  a  shorter  span.   Suspension   is   not   a   penalty   and   is   not   unlike   preventive   imprisonment   in   which   the   accused   is   held   to   insure   his   presence   at   the   trial.   it   can   not   exceed   sixty   days.  to  paraphrase  Justice  Cardozo.   the   length  of  his  suspension  would  have.  and  we  might  add.  if  any.   for   the   above   reasons.   What   is   intriguing   is   that   the   respondent   Secretary  has  been  cracking  down.  61   It  is  a  means.   Worse.  the  protracted  continuance   of   this   preventive   suspension   had   outrun   the   bounds   of   reason   and   resulted   in   sheer   oppression.  in  fact.  59  is   simply   "to   prevent   the   accused   from   hampering   the   normal   cause   of   the   investigation   with   his   influence  and  authority  over  possible  witnesses"  60  or  to  keep  him  off  "the  records  and   other  evidence.   any   absolution   will   be   for   naught   because   needless   to   say.   because   it   is   out   of   the   ordinary   to   have   a   vacancy   in   local   government.  against  an   erring   local   official.  nothing  less  than  tyranny.  to  make  him  spend  the  rest  of   his   term   in   inactivity.   the   respondent   Secretary   has   had   sufficient   time   to   gather   the   necessary   evidence   to   build   a   case   against   the   Mayor   without   suspending   him   a   day   longer.  57   The   plain   truth   is   that   this   Court   has   been   ill   at   ease   with   suspensions.   as   we   have   held.   It   is   also   to   make.  to  mete  out  punishment  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  Mayor's  guilt  has   not   been   proven.   As   we   observed   earlier.  and  no  more.  by  the  time  he  is  reinstated.  so  to  speak.deprived  of  the  services  of  the  man  they  had  elected  to  serve  as  mayor.  on  the  Mayor  piecemeal  apparently.   It  is  also.   A   denial   of   due   process   is   thus   quite   manifest.   Suspension  finally  is  temporary  and  as  the  Local  Government  Code  provides.  to  assist  prosecutors  in  firming  up  a  case.

  by   law.   yet   we   are   of   the   opinion   that   the   Secretary   of   Interior   is   exercising   that   power   oppressively.   with   a   grave   abuse   of   discretion.   if   warranted.   3.   The  Court  is  aware  that  only  the  third  suspension  is  under  questions.   and   needless   to   say.pin   him   down   ten   times   the   pain.   and   in   the   manner   set   forth   therein.   when   he.  subject  to  Mayor  Ganzon's  usual  remedies  of  appeal.   we   are   precluding   the   Secretary   from   meting   out   further   suspensions   based   on   those   remaining   complaints.   upon   the   finality   of   this   Decision.   notwithstanding   findings   of  prima  facie  evidence.   2.  not  of  power.   We   are   therefore   allowing   Mayor   Rodolfo   Ganzon   to   suffer   the   duration   of   his   third   suspension  and  lifting.  The  Court  is  simply  foreclosing  what  appears  to   us  as  a  concerted  effort  of  the  State  to  perpetuate  an  arbitrary  act.   .   As  we  said.   Insofar  as  the  seven  remaining  charges  are  concerned.  The  new  Constitution  does  not  prescribe  federalism.   The   fact   remains.   and   meanwhile.  and  that  any  talk   of   future   suspensions   is   in   fact   premature.  we  can  not  tolerate  such  a  state  of  affairs.   that   Mayor   Ganzon  has  been  made  to  serve  a  total  of  120  days  of  suspension  and  the  possibility  of   sixty  days  more  is  arguably  around  the  corner  (which  amounts  to  a  violation  of  the  Local   Government   Code   which   brings   to   light   a   pattern   of   suspensions   intended   to   suspend   the  Mayor  the  rest  of  his  natural  tenure.  the  latter  may.   4.  or   certiorari.   the   respondent   Secretary.   involves   a   mere   decentralization   of   administration.  judicial  or  administrative.   The   change   in   constitutional   language   (with   respect   to   the   supervision   clause)   was   meant   but   to   deny   legislative   control   over   local   governments.  "investigation"  does  not   signify  "control"  (which  the  President  does  not  have).   5.   it   did   not   exempt   the   latter   from   legislative   regulations   provided   regulation   is   consistent   with   the   fundamental  premise  of  autonomy.   impose   disciplinary   action   against   local   officials.  in  which  local  officials  remain  accountable  to  the  central   government  in  the  manner  the  law  may  provide.   Local   autonomy.   under   the   Constitution.  through  the  Secretary  of  Interior   from   exercising   a   legal   power.  Since  local  governments  remain  accountable  to  the  national  authority.  we  are  urging  the  Department  of   Local   Government.   We  reiterate  that  we  are  not  precluding  the  President.   could   have   pursued  a  consolidated  effort.  the  Temporary  Restraining  Order  earlier  issued.   to   undertake   steps   to   expedite   the   same.  "Supervision"  and  "investigation"  are  not  inconsistent  terms.  for  the  purpose.   however.   In  resume  the  Court  is  laying  down  the  following  rules:   1.

 may  not  be  made  to  serve  future   suspensions   on   account   of   any   of   the   remaining   administrative   charges   pending   against  him  for  acts  committed  prior  to  August  11.  63(3)]   b)  that  if  during.  The  suspensions  of  the  petitioners  are  AFFIRMED.   The   Temporary   Restraining  Order  issued  is  LIFTED.   is   AFFIRMED.   the   petitions   are   DISMISSED.     .  provided:   a)   that   delays   in   the   investigation   of   those   charges   "due   to   his   fault.   WHEREFORE.  1988.   neglect   or   request.   Section   63  of  the  Local  Government  Code.   may   serve   the   suspension   so   far   ordered.   provided  that  the  petitioner.   Mayor   Rodolfo   Ganzon.   (2).   (the   time   of   the   delay)   shall   not   be   counted   in   computing   the   time   of   suspension.   Mary   Ann   Rivera   Artieda.   The   petitioner.   The   sixty-­‐day   suspension   against   the   petitioner.  sec.  or  after  the  expiration  of.  Mayor  Rodolfo  Ganzon.   if   warranted   under   subpar.  The  Secretary  of  Interior  is   ORDERED  to  consolidate  all  such  administrative  cases  pending  against  Mayor  Ganzon.  his  previous   suspension   shall   not   be   a   bar   to   his   being   preventively   suspended   again.6.   [Supra.   the   petitioner   commits   another   or   other   crimes   and   abuses   for   which   proper   charges   are   filed   against  him  by  the  aggrieved  party  or  parties.  his  preventive   suspension.   premises   considered.  No  costs.   SO  ORDERED.   but   may  no  longer  be  suspended  for  the  offenses  he  was  charged  originally.

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