ARATUC V. COMELEC G.R. No.

L-49705-09 February 8, 1979 TOMATIC ARATUC, SERGIO TOCAO, CISCOLARIO DIAZ, FRED TAMULA, MANGONTAWAR GURO and BONIFACIO LEGASPI, petitioners, vs. The COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS for Region XII (Central Mindanao), ABDULLAH DIMAPORO, JESUS AMPARO, ANACLETO BADOY, et al., respondents Nature: Petition for certiorari to review the decision of the respondent Comelec resolving their appeal from the respondent Regional Board of Canvassers for Region XII regarding the canvass of the results of the election in said region for representatives to the I.B.P. held on April 7, 1978. Facts: Tomatic Aratuc et al. sought the suspension of the canvass then being undertaken by respondent Board in Cotabato city. A supervening panel headed by Commissioner of Elections, Hon- Venancio S. Duque, had conducted of the complaints of the petitioners therein of alleged irregularities in the election records in the

voting centers. Before hearing, the canvass was suspended. After hearing the parties, the Court allowed resumption of the canvass but issued guidelines to be followed but thereafter modified. On July 11, 1978, respondent Board terminated its canvass and declared the result of the voting. The petitioners brought the resolution of respondent Board to the Comelec. Hearing was held on April 25, 1978, after which , the case was declared submitted for decision. In order to enable the Commission to decide the appeal properly : a. It will have to go deeper into the examination of the voting records and registration records and in the case of voting centers whose voting and registration records which have not yet been submitted for the Commission to decide to open the ballot boxes; and b. To interview and get statements under oath of impartial and disinterested persons from the area to determine whether actual voting took place on April 7, 1978, as well as those of the military authorities in the areas affected. On January 13, 1979, the Comelec rendered its resolution being assailed in these cases, declaring the final result of the canvass.

Issue: WON there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction on the part of COMELEC. Held: Under Section 168 of the Revised Election Code of 1978, "the Commission (on Elections) shall have direct control and supervision over the board of canvassers" and that relatedly, Section 175 of the same Code provides that it "shall be the sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies." The fact of the matter is that the authority of the Commission in reviewing actuations of board of canvassers does not spring from any appellate jurisdiction conferred by any specific provision of law, for there is none such provision anywhere in the Election Code, but from the plenary prerogative of direct control and supervision endowed to it by the above-quoted provisions of Section 168. And in administrative law, it is a too well settled postulate to need any supporting citation here, that a superior body or office having supervision and control over another may do directly what the latter is supposed to do or ought to have done. We cannot fault respondent Comelec for its having extended its inquiry beyond that undertaken by the Board of Canvass On the contrary, it must be stated that Comelec correctly

and commendably asserted its statutory authority born of its envisaged constitutional duties vis-a-vis the preservation of the purity of elections and electoral processes and in doing what petitioner it should not have done.

MACEDA V. ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD G.R. No. 96266 July 18, 1991 ERNESTO M. MACEDA, petitioner, vs. ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD, CALTEX (Philippines), INC., PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION AND PETRON CORPORATION, respondents. Nature: Petition for nullification of the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) Orders dated December 5 and 6, 1990 on the ground that the hearings conducted on the second provisional increase in oil prices did not allow herein petitioner substantial cross-examination, in effect, allegedly, a denial of due process. Facts: On August 2, 1990, private respondents oil companies filed with the ERB their respective

applications on oil price increases. On September 21, 1990, the ERB issued an order granting a provisional increase of P1.42 per liter. Petitioner Maceda filed a petition for Prohibition on September 26, 1990. Hearing for the presentation of the evidence-inchief commenced on November 21, 1990. ERB subsequently outlined the procedure as follows: .. it has been traditional and it is the intention of the Board to act on these applications on an industry-wide basis, whether to accept, reject, modify or whatever, the Board will do it on an industry wide basis, so, the best way to have the oppositors and the Board a clear picture of what the applicants are asking for is to have all the evidence-in-chief to be placed on record first and then the examination will come later, the crossexamination will come later.. Petitioner Maceda maintains that this order of proof deprived him of his right to finish his crossexamination of Petron's witnesses and denied him his right to cross-examine each of the witnesses of Caltex and Shell. He points out that this relaxed procedure resulted in the denial of due process. Issue: WON the EBR acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Held: Such a relaxed procedure is especially true in administrative bodies, such as the ERB which in matters of rate or price fixing is considered as exercising a quasi-legislative, not quasi-judicial, function As such administrative agency, it is not bound by the strict or technical rules of evidence governing court proceedings. In fact, Section 2, Rule I of the Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Hearings Before the ERB provides that — These Rules shall govern pleadings, practice and procedure before the Energy Regulatory Board in all matters of inquiry, study, hearing, investigation and/or any other proceedings within the jurisdiction of the Board. However, in the broader interest of justice, the Board may, in any particular matter, except itself from these rules and apply such suitable procedure as shall promote the objectives of the Order. We dismissed the petition on December 18, 1990, reaffirming ERB's authority to grant provisional increase even without prior hearing, pursuant to Sec. 8 of E.O. No. 172, under Executive Order No. 172, a hearing is indispensable, it does not preclude the Board from ordering, ex-parte, a provisional increase, as it did here, subject to its final disposition of whether or not: (1) to make it permanent; (2) to reduce or increase it further; or

(3) to deny the application.