You are on page 1of 19


167916 August 26, 2008 On November 10, 1991, a Professional Board Examination for Teachers (PBET was held in Davao City. A certain Evelyn Decir applied for and took the examination. She passed with a rating of 74.27%. At the time of the PBET examinations, petitioner Sarah P. Ampong and Decir were public school teachers under the supervision of DECS. Later, Ampong transferred to the RTC in Alabel, Sarangani Province, where she was appointed as Court Interpreter III. On July 5, 1994, a woman representing herself as Decir went to the Civil Service Regional Office (CSRO) No. XI, Davao City, to claim a copy of her PBET Certificate of Eligibility. During the course of the transaction, the CSRO personnel noticed that the woman did not resemble the picture of the examinee in the Picture Seat Plan. Upon further probing, it was confirmed that the person claiming the eligibility was different from the one who took the examinations. It was petitioner Ampong who took and passed the examinations under the name Evelyn Decir. The CSRO conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the existence of a prima facie case against Decir and Ampong for Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. Even before filing an Answer, Ampong voluntarily appeared at the CSRO on February 2, 1995 and admitted to the wrongdoing. On March 21, 1996, the CSC found petitioner Ampong and Decir guilty of dishonesty, dismissing them from the service. Petitioner moved for reconsideration, raising for the first time the issue of jurisdiction, but the same was dismissed. The CA also dismissed her appeal noting that she never raised the issue of jurisdiction until after the CSC ruled against her. Rather, she willingly appeared before the commission, freely admitted her wrongdoing, and even requested for clemency. Thus, she was estopped from questioning the Commissions jurisdiction. Can the Civil Service Commission (CSC) properly assume jurisdiction over administrative proceedings against a judicial employee involving acts of dishonesty as a teacher, committed prior to her appointment to the judiciary? Held: NO but the petition must be dismissed on the ground of ESTOPPEL. It is true that the CSC has administrative jurisdiction over the civil service. As defined under the Constitution and the Administrative Code, the civil service embraces every branch, agency, subdivision, and instrumentality of the government, and government-owned or controlled corporations. Pursuant

to its administrative authority, the CSC is granted the power to "control, supervise, and coordinate the Civil Service examinations."This authority grants to the CSC the right to take cognizance of any irregularity or anomaly connected with the examinations. However, the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court is given exclusive administrative supervision over all courts and judicial personnel. By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges and court personnels compliance with all laws, rules and regulations. It may take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. The bottom line is administrative jurisdiction over a court employee belongs to the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the offense was committed before or after employment in the judiciary. Indeed, the standard procedure is for the CSC to bring its complaint against a judicial employee before the OCA. Records show that the CSC did not adhere to this procedure in the present case. However, We are constrained to uphold the ruling of the CSC based on the principle of estoppel. The previous actions of petitioner have estopped her from attacking the jurisdiction of the CSC. A party who has affirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal exercising quasi-judicial functions to secure an affirmative relief may not afterwards deny that same jurisdiction to escape a penalty. Under the principle of estoppel, a party may not be permitted to adopt a different theory on appeal to impugn the courts jurisdiction. In Emin v. De Leon, this Court sustained the exercise of jurisdiction by the CSC, while recognizing at the same time that original disciplinary jurisdiction over public school teachers belongs to the appropriate committee created for the purpose as provided for under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. It was there held that a party who fully participated in the proceedings before the CSC and was accorded due process is estopped from subsequently attacking its jurisdiction. Petitioner was given ample opportunity to present her side and adduce evidence in her defense before the CSC. She filed with it her answer to the charges leveled against her. When the CSC found her guilty, she moved for a reconsideration of the ruling. These circumstances all too clearly show that due process was accorded to petitioner. Petitioners admission of guilt stands. Apart from her full participation in the proceedings before the CSC,


petitioner admitted to the offense charged that she impersonated Decir and took the PBET exam in the latters place. We note that even before petitioner filed a written answer, she voluntarily went to the CSC Regional Office and admitted to the charges against her. In the same breath, she waived her right to the assistance of counsel. Her admission, among others, led the CSC to find her guilty of dishonesty, meting out to her the penalty of dismissal. JESUS TANCHANCO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN G.R. 141674 November 11, 2005 Tanchanco served as NFA Administrator from 1972 to 1986, during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos. On 6 May 1988, Tanchanco and the PCGG entered into a Cooperation Agreement which, among others, provides that :the Philippines shall move to dismiss all actions that are presently pending against Tanchanco before the Sandiganbayan and any such other courts. Said agreement was occasioned by the desire of Tanchanco to cooperate with the Philippine government in connection with the latters efforts in the location and pursuit of government properties purloined by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, their agents and others who hold property on their behalf. Significantly, Tanchanco was called upon as one of the witnesses for the prosecution in the case filed against Imelda Marcos in New York for violation of the so-called RICO Act. It appears that his testimony was elicited concerning the transfer of P10,000,000.00 rebate obtained by the NFA from the Philippine National Lines to the Security Bank, as well as the matter of the use of discretionary and/or intelligence funds by the Marcos administration involving the funds of the NFA during Tanchancos administration. Nonetheless, a criminal case, docketed as Criminal Case No. 16950, was filed in 1991 against Tanchanco with the Sandiganbayan for malversation of public funds in the amount of P10,000,000.00 from the Philippine National Bank. Tanchanco filed a Motion for Reinvestigation, wherein he argued that the case should be dismissed as he had been granted immunity from the said suit by the PCGG. Eventually, the Sandiganbayan First Division agreed with Tanchanco and in a Resolution dated 27 October 2000, the case was ordered dismissed. However, Criminal Case No. 16950 proved to be only just one of several attempts of the government to prosecute Tanchanco. In 1997, a total of 22 Informations were filed with the Sandiganbayan against Tanchanco. He was charged with 21 counts of Malversation of Public Funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, and one count of Failure of Accountable Officer to Render Accounts under Article 218 of the same Code Issue: WON Lacson is entitled to immunity

YES. We have recognized in this jurisdiction that American common law generally recognizes two kinds of statutory criminal immunity available to a witness: transactional immunity and the use-and-derivative-use immunity.Transactional immunity is broader in the scope of its protection. By its grant, a witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offense whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction to which the testimony relates. In contrast, by the grant of use-and-derivative-use immunity, a witness is only assured that his or her particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her in a subsequent prosecution. Applying the broader standard of transactional immunity, it might be argued that the immunity which the PCGG is authorized to grant to Tanchanco should pertain only to those acts or offenses which are the subject of the information or testimony given by him. Considering though that the applicable law at hand does not make such a qualification, the adoption of that view would force us into a concession that the legislative authority to grant criminal immunity is limited to transactional or use-and-derivative-use immunity. We cannot accept the proposition. Transactional immunity derives from common-law tradition, which gives greater deference to the weight of judicial precedents since the codification of laws by the legislature is atypical in practice. In our jurisdiction though, the definition of crimes and provision of criminal penalties are ineluctably within the sole province of the legislative branch of government. It thus follows that this prerogative necessarily empowers the legislative to enact conditions under which a class of persons may be immune from criminal or civil prosecution. Since the legislature possesses sole discretion to enact statutes to such effect, it is not obliged to conform with judge-made standards, or even traditional modalities concerning the grant of criminal immunity. The solitary limitation on legislative grant of immunity, as with all other legislative acts, is adherence to the Constitution. We thus hold that the Cooperation Agreement, validly undertaken between the PCGG and Tanchanco as it was, precludes the prosecution of Tanchanco under the subject charges. The Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion in refusing to dismiss the charges despite its lack of jurisdiction to continue hearing the cases against Tanchanco. The present petition, insofar as it relates to Tanchanco, must be granted. It goes without saying though that this ruling does not shield all grantees under Section 5 of E.O. No. 14-A from all kinds of criminal prosecution. The extent of immunity available to each particular grantee depends on their respective immunity agreements with the PCGG and the surrounding facts.


RENE PUSE vs.LIGAYA DELOS SANTOS-PUSE G.R. No. 183678 March 15, 2010 On 10 January 1992, petitioner married respondent Ligaya Delos Santos-Puse. He had two (2) children with her, and had a church wedding before respondent found out that petitioner was already married. Respondent discovered that petitioner had already gotten married to Cristina Pablo Puse at the MTCC of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on 27 December 1986. Respondent likewise learned that he has two (2) children with his first wife. Thus, on 2 August 2005, respondent filed a lettercomplaint with the Director of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), National Capital Region, Manila, through the Director, PRC, Lucena City. After due consideration of the complaint, affidavits, supporting documents and pleadings filed, the Board of Professional Teachers, PRC, Lucena City, found a prima facie case for Immorality and Dishonorable Conduct against petitioner. The case was docketed as Adm. Case No. LCN-0016. On 16 February 2007, the Board of Professional Teachers (Board), PRC, Manila, found petitioner administratively liable of the charges and revoked his license as a Professional Teacher. Issue: Did the Board of Professional Teachers have jurisdiction to hear and decide the complaint filed by respondent against petitioner? On the first issue, petitioner argues that the proper forum to hear and decide the complaint was either the CSC pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 991936 (Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service) or the DepEd pursuant to Rep. Act No. 4670 (Magna Carta for Public School Teachers). Since the charge was for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the complaint should have been brought before the CSC. We do not agree. An administrative case against a public school teacher may be filed before the Board of Professional Teachers-PRC, the DepEd or the CSC, which have concurrent jurisdiction over administrative cases such as for immoral, unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. Concurrent jurisdiction is that which is possessed over the same parties or subject matter at the same time by two or more separate tribunals. When the law bestows upon a government body the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving specific matters, it is to be presumed that such jurisdiction is exclusive unless it be proved that another body is likewise vested with the same jurisdiction, in which case, both bodies have concurrent jurisdiction over the matter. The authority to hear and decide administrative cases by the Board of Professional Teachers-PRC, DepEd and the CSC comes from Rep. Act No. 7836, Rep. Act No. 4670 and Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 807, respectively. OMBUDSMAN vs.HEIDI M. ESTANDARTE G.R. No. 168670 April 13, 2007 On August 17, 1998, Peoples Graftwatch referred to the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas), for immediate investigation, a complaint of the Faculty Club and Department Heads of the Ramon Torres National High School against Heidi Estandarte, the school principal. The complaint consisted of 33 allegations of improprieties ranging from illegal handling of school funds, irregular financial transactions, perjury, and abuse of authority. The Ombudsman decided to refer the administrative aspect of the case to the DECS-Region VI for administrative adjudication . The complete records of the case were forwarded to the DECS-Region VI in a letter dated November 29, 1999. In a letter dated April 29, 2002, the Faculty Club requested the Ombudsman to take over the case for speedier disposition. Ms. Lucia Jane Grecia, a member of the Faculty Club, requested the Ombudsman to take over the case. Consequently, on July 5, 2002, the Ombudsman informed the DECS-Region VI that it would not object if the case is returned to it. On August 16, 2002, DECS-Region VI turned over the records of the case to the Ombudsman for adjudication, stating that "[i]t is the impression of this Office that the complainants intend that their case be heard by the Office of the Ombudsman and that Office had also manifested its willingness to reassume jurisdiction of the same." On November 6, 2002, the Ombudsman set the case for preliminary conference. In the meantime, Estandarte filed an Urgent Motion to Remand the case to the DECSRegion VI on the ground that jurisdiction is now exclusively vested on the latter. On December 17, 2002, the Ombudsman denied the motion ratiocinating that it was not barred from assuming jurisdiction over the complaint after the DECS-Region VI had relinquished its jurisdiction over the same. Estandarte filed a motion for reconsideration of said Order, which was later denied by the Ombudsman. Issue: WON DECS has exclusive jurisdiction over the case Undoubtedly, the DECS-Region VI first assumed jurisdiction over the administrative complaint against the respondent. It should be recalled that when Peoples Graftwatch forwarded the complaint to the Ombudsman , the latter treated it as a request for assistance and referred it to the DECS-Region VI and COA for appropriate action. After it had resolved to upgrade the matter to an administrative case, the Ombudsman


decided not to take cognizance of the same and refer it, instead, to the DECS-Region VI. We do not agree with petitioners contention that it could assume jurisdiction over the administrative case after the DECS-Region VI had voluntarily relinquished its jurisdiction over the same in favor of the petitioner. Jurisdiction is a matter of law. Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of the parties but continues until the case is terminated.When the complainants filed their formal complaint with the DECS-Region VI, jurisdiction was vested on the latter. It cannot now be transferred to petitioner upon the instance of the complainants, even with the acquiescence of the DECS and petitioner.Nonetheless, even if we hold that the Ombudsman had concurrent jurisdiction over the administrative case, we would still sustain the DECS authority to decide the administrative case. We are not unmindful of the Courts ruling in Emin v. De Leon reiterated in Alcala v. Villar that a party may be estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the DECS. However, the rulings of the Court in Alcala and de Leon are not applicable in this case. From the very start, respondent consistently protested the referral of the case back to the Ombudsman, and demanded that the same be remanded to the DECS. She refused to participate in the proceedings before the Ombudsman precisely because she believed that jurisdiction was already vested on the DECS-Region VI. Hence, she filed instead a motion to remand the case to the DECSRegion VI and motions to postpone or suspend the proceedings. On the other hand, what was striking in the Emin and Alcala cases was that the respondent therein actively participated in the proceedings before the other tribunal. JOSE SANTOS vs. COMMITTEE ON CLAIMS SETTLEMENT and GSIS G.R. No. 158071 April 2, 2009 On August 16, 1986, petitioner Jose S. Santos retired from DAR pursuant to R.A. 1616 after rendering almost 21 years of service. On January 2, 1989, petitioner was re-employed in the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. In 1997, petitioner initiated moves to avail of early retirement under R.A. 660. He requested and received from GSIS Operating Unit a tentative computation of retirement benefits under R.A. 660 amounting to P667,937.40. Petitioner formally applied for retirement under R.A. 660 in January 1998. However, in a Letter dated May 4, 1998, the GSIS Operating Unit informed petitioner that he could no longer retire under R.A. 660 but he could do so under R.A. 8291, under which petitioner is entitled to a reduced benefit of P81,557.20. This computation did not consider

petitioners 20.91553 years of service with the DAR prior to his previous retirement. Petitioner appealed to respondent GSIS Committee on Claims. Unfortunately, respondent affirmed the GSIS Operating Units computation under R.A. 8291.On August 25, 1999, petitioner filed with the GSIS Board of Trustees a complaint against respondent but the same was denied. Held:It is well settled that the construction given to a statute by an administrative agency charged with the interpretation and application of that statute is entitled to great respect and should be accorded great weight by the courts. In the case at bar, this Court finds that the GSIS ruling as to which retirement law is applicable to petitioner deserves full faith and credit. Petitioner fails to convince us that there are justifiable reasons to depart from the GSIS decision in his case. Clearly, the option to retire is preserved under PD 1146 for those who were in the government service upon its effectivity in view of the rule on non-impairment of benefits. There is an apparent gray area when an employee who was in the government service upon the effectivity PD 1146 but opted to retire under one of the previous retirement laws. Once reinstated, are they still entitled, upon reinstatement, to exercise the option to again retire under the old law? The GSIS Board of Trustees, in agreement with the Committee on Claims Settlement concluded that Mr. Santos right to choose the law under which he would retire and be covered by R.A. 660 is no longer available to him because he had already exercised said right when he availed of it during his previous retirement in 1986. In 1986, he chose to forego the benefits of R.A. 660 and retired under R.A. 1616. When petitioner first retired in 1986, the applicable law to his situation was P.D. 1146 as amended by P.D. 1981. Section 13 of that law (upon which petitioner himself bases his right to choose the law to govern his retirement) expressly states that in the event of reemployment the subsequent retirement shall be governed by P.D. 1146. Further, this Court notes that when petitioner formally applied for retirement in 1998 R.A. 8291 which amended P.D. 1146 was already in force and it was indubitably the law applicable to his second retirement. In contrast, the examples of subsequent retirements of re-employed government employees cited by petitioner were all prior to the effectivity of R.A. 8291. In addition, Section 10 (b) of P.D. 1146, as amended by R.A. 8291, states:
(b) All service credited for retirement, resignation or separation for which corresponding benefits have been awarded under


this Act or other laws shall be excluded in the computation of service in case of reinstatement in the service of an employer and subsequent retirement or separation which is compensable under this Act.

As such, we find nothing objectionable in the following provisions of the GSIS the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. 8291 which provides:
Section 8.6. Effect of Re-employment. When a retiree is reemployed, his/her previous services credited at the time of his/her retirement shall be excluded in the computation of future benefits. In effect, he/she shall be considered a new entrant. (emphasis ours)

Additionally, Section 5.2 of the same implementing rules states that all service credited for retirement, resignation or separation for which corresponding benefits have been awarded shall be excluded in the computation of service in case of re-employment. As a re-employed member of the government service who is retiring during the effectivity of RA 8291, petitioner cannot have his previous government service with the DAR credited in the computation of his retirement benefit. Neither can he choose a mode of retirement except that provided under R.A. 8291.

Held: Rule 43, as well as Administrative Circular No. 195, provides that the petition for review shall state the full names of the parties to the case without impleading the court or agencies either as petitioners or respondents. Thus, the only parties in such an appeal are the appellant as petitioner and appellee as respondent. The court or, in this case, the administrative agency that rendered the judgment appealed from, is not a party in the said appeal. Therefore, the Office of the Ombudsman does not have the legal interest to intervene. As the CA held correctly: The Office of the Ombudsman is not a third party who has a legal interest in the administrative case against the petitioner such that it would be directly affected by the judgment that this Court had rendered. It must be remembered that the legal interest required for an intervention must be direct and immediate in character. Lest it be forgotten, what was brought on appeal before this Court is the very Decision by the Office of the Ombudsman. Plainly, the Office of the Ombudsman, as an adjudicator, and not an advocate, has no legal interest at stake in the outcome of this Rule 43 Petition. LILY O. ORBASE vs. OMBUDSMAN G.R. No. 175115 December 23, 2009 The case stemmed from the alleged misrepresentation and/or dishonesty committed by the petitioner when she declared in her bio-data, which was attached to her application for the position of Assistant Director of the National Library dated January 9, 1996, that she was a consultant of the National Library "from MarchDecember 1993 and February 1994 to present" when in fact petitioner merely held the said position for the period covering March 1, 1993 to December 31, 1994. The Ombudsman found her guilty of dishonesty and, consequently, dismissed her from government service. Her appeal before the CA was also dismissed. Issue: WON the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the administrative case despite the fact that the act complained of was committed before her entry into government service. Held: R.A. No. 6770 provides for the functional and structural organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. In passing R.A. No. 6770, Congress deliberately endowed the Ombudsman with the power to prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in ensuring accountability in public office. Thus, Section 21 thereof provides:
SEC. 21. Officials Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary.

OMBUDSMAN vs. MAXIMO D. SISON G.R. No. 185954 February 16, 2010 On October 11, 2004, the Isog Han Samar Movement filed a letter-complaint addressed to then Ombudsman accusing Governor Milagrosa T. Tan and other local public official of the Province of Samar, including respondent Maximo D. Sison, of highly anomalous transactions entered into by them amounting to several millions of pesos. Sison was the Provincial Budget Officer. On August 22, 2006, the Office of the Ombudsman rendered a Decision, finding Sison and several other local officials guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and dismissing him from service. Aggrieved, Sison appealed to the CA via a Petition for Review under Rule 43. On June 26, 2008, the CA rendered a decision reversing and setting aside the decision of the Ombudsman against Sison. On July 22, 2008, the Office of the Ombudsman filed an Omnibus Motion for Intervention and to Admit Attached Motion for Reconsideration, which was subsequently denied by the CA in its assailed resolution of December 18, 2008. Issue: whether the Office of the Ombudsman may be allowed to intervene and seek reconsideration of the adverse decision rendered by the CA


At the time of the filing of the case against petitioner, she was the Assistant Director of the National Library; as such, as an appointive employee of the government, the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman to take cognizance of the action against the petitioner was beyond contestation. Moreover, petitioners claim that the Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction over the action, since the act complained of was committed before her entering government service, cannot be sustained. Section 46 (18), Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 provides:
SEC. 46. Discipline: General Provisions. x x x (b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action: (18) Disgraceful, immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service.

parties, regarding the Kasunduan, was referred to the DARAB; and that the assumption by the DARAB of jurisdiction over the controversy involving the lot in question therefore precluded the MTC from exercising jurisdiction over the case. The MTC ruled that it had jurisdiction over the case. The RTC however found that the issue involved appeared to be an agrarian dispute, which fell within the contemplation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, and thus ordered the dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction. Issue: whether it is MTC or the DARAB which has jurisdiction over the case Held: We agree with the RTC when it clearly pointed out that the resolution of this case hinges on the correct interpretation of the contracts executed by the parties. The issue of who has a better right of possession over the subject land cannot be determined without resolving first the matter as to whom the subject property was allotted. Thus, this is not simply a case for unlawful detainer, but one that is incapable of pecuniary estimation, definitely beyond the competence of the MTC. More importantly, the controversy involves an agricultural land, which petitioners have continuously and personally cultivated since the 1960s. In the Kasunduan, it was admitted that Jesus Fajardo was the tiller of the land. Being agricultural lessees, petitioners have a right to a home lot and a right to exclusive possession thereof by virtue of Section 24, R.A. No. 3844 of the Agricultural Land Reform Code. Logically, therefore, the case involves an agrarian dispute, which falls within the contemplation of R.A. No. 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Furthermore, the records disclose that the dispute between the parties, regarding the interpretation of the Kasunduan, was, in fact, raised and referred to the DAR, which in turn referred the case to the DARAB.In view of the foregoing, we reiterate Hilario v. Prudente, that: The doctrine of primary jurisdiction precludes the courts from resolving a controversy over which jurisdiction has initially been lodged with an administrative body of special competence. For agrarian reform cases, jurisdiction is vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); more specifically, in the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). HLURB MARIA LUISA PARK ASSOCIATION, INC. vs. SAMANTHA MARIE T. ALMENDRAS G.R. No. 171763 June 5, 2009

From the foregoing, even if the dishonest act was committed by the employee prior to entering government service, such act is still a ground for disciplinary action. DARAB SPOUSES JESUS FAJARDO vs. ANITA R. FLORES G.R. No. 167891 January 15, 2010 Leopoldo delos Reyes owned a parcel of land, denominated as Lot No. 2351 In 1963, he allowed petitioner Jesus Fajardo to cultivate said land. From the time petitioner cultivated the land, he was allowed by Leopoldo delos Reyes to erect a house for his family on the stony part of the land, which is the subject of controversy. On January 26, 1988, Leopoldo delos Reyes died. His daughter and sole heir, respondent Anita Flores, inherited the property. On June 28, 1991, Anita Flores and Jesus Fajardo executed an agreement, denominated as "KASUNDUAN NG PAGHAHATI NG LUPA AT PAGTATALAGA NG DAAN UKOL SA MAGKABILANG PANIG." This was followed by another agreement, "KASUNDUAN SA HATIAN SA LUPA," executed on July 10, 1991, wherein the parties agreed to deduct from Lot No. 2351 an area of 10,923 sq m, allotting the same to petitioner. Apparently, there was a conflict of claims in the interpretation of the Kasunduan between Anita Flores and Jesus Fajardo, which was referred to the DAR, Provincial Agrarian Reform Office, Baliuag, Bulacan. In the Report and Recommendation dated May 3, 2000, the Legal Officer advised the parties to ventilate their claims and counterclaims with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Malolos, Bulacan. On December 22, 2000, a complaint for ejectment was filed by respondent Anita Flores against petitioners with MTC San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss, alleging that the MTC had no jurisdiction over the case, considering that the dispute between the


On February 6, 2002, respondents Samantha Marie T. Almendras and Pia Angela T. Almendras purchased from MRO Development Corporation a residential lot located in Maria Luisa Estate Park, Banilad, Cebu City. After some time, respondents filed with petitioner Maria Luisa Park Association, Incorporated (MLPAI) an application to construct a residential house, which was approved in February 10, 2002. Upon ocular inspection of the house, MLPAI found out that respondents violated the prohibition against multidwelling stated in MLPAIs Deed of Restriction. Consequently, on April 28, 2003, MLPAI sent a letter to the respondents, demanding that they rectify the structure; otherwise, it will be constrained to forfeit respondents construction bond and impose stiffer penalties. In view of these, respondents filed with the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 7, a Complaint on June 2, 2003 for Injunction, Declaratory Relief, Annulment of Provisions of Articles and By-Laws with Prayer for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)/Preliminary Injunction. MLPAI moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and failure to comply with the arbitration clause provided for in MLPAIs by-laws. In an Order dated July 31, 2003, the trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, holding that it was the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) that has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the case. Respondents moved for reconsideration but their motion was denied. Issue: WON HLURB has jurisdiction over the case Held: We agree with the trial court that the instant controversy falls squarely within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation (HIGC), now HLURB. Originally, administrative supervision over homeowners associations was vested by law with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 535, the HIGC assumed the regulatory and adjudicative functions of the SEC over homeowners associations. Later on, the abovementioned powers and responsibilities, which had been vested in the HIGC with respect to homeowners associations, were transferred to the HLURB pursuant to Republic Act No. 8763, entitled "Home Guaranty Corporation Act of 2000." In the present case, there is no question that respondents are members of MLPAI as they have even admitted it. Therefore, as correctly ruled by the trial court, the case involves a controversy between the

homeowners association and some of its members. Thus, the exclusive and original jurisdiction lies with the HLURB. Moreover, under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, courts cannot or will not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. In the instant case, the HLURB has the expertise to resolve the basic technical issue of whether the house built by the respondents violated the Deed of Restriction, specifically the prohibition against multi-dwelling. CHINA BANKING vs. LOZADA G.R. No. 164919, July 04, 2008 Spouses Lozada entered into a Contract to Sell with PPGI. PPGI, the developer of Makati Prime City Condominium, agreed to sell to Lozada a two-bedroom residential unit. Subsequently, PPGI executed two Deeds of Real Estate Mortgage in favor of CBC to secure the credit facilities granted by CBC to PPGI. When PPGI failed to pay its indebtedness despite repeated demands, the property was foreclosed and CBC acquired it as the highest bidder. CBC notified her that it had already consolidated its title and ownership over the unit which she presently occupied, and requested her to vacate and surrender the said property. Thereafter, CBC filed an Ex Parte Petition for Issuance of a Writ of Possession with the RTC. RTC issued the Writ of Possession commanding the Sheriff to place CBC in possession of the unit and eject all its present occupants. Concurrently, he spouses Lozada instituted a Complaint with the HLURB for the annulment of mortgage, foreclosure, sale, consolidation of ownership between CBC and PPGI. And, they were able to secure an Order from HLURB directing the parties therein to maintain status quo awaiting the resolution of the Application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction of the spouses Lozada. ISSUE: Can the said HLURB Order stay the execution of the writ of possession issued by the RTC? NO HELD: Under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, in which jurisdiction is vested in an administrative body, no resort to the courts may be made before such administrative body shall have acted upon the matter. As regards to the non-compliance by PPGI with the requirements for a valid mortgage, CAs decision were rendered prematurely and in excess of its jurisdiction, considering that the said issue was the one primarily raised before the HLURB. Thus, HLURB, in


resolving such case, must not be bound by the said findings of the Court of Appeals, allowing it to freely proceed in making its own determination thereof based on the arguments and evidence presented before it by the parties. HOWEVER, jurisprudence is replete with the rule that no court has the power to interfere by injunction with the issuance or enforcement of a writ of possession issued by another court of concurrent jurisdiction having the power to issue such writ. If such is the rule among courts of concurrent jurisdiction, then the HLURB, an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial powers, would neither have the power to interfere by an injunction, or in this case, a status quo order, with the issuance or enforcement of the writ of possession issued by the RTC. CSC CABUNGCAL vs. LORENZO G.R. No. 160367 December 18, 2009 The Sangguniang Bayan of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, issued a resolution declaring the reorganization of all offices of the municipal government. Thereafter, the Sangguniang Bayan issued another resolution approving and adopting the proposed new staffing pattern of the municipal government. Subsequently, the Mayor Lorenzo issued a memorandum informing all employees of the municipal government that, pursuant to the reorganization, all positions were deemed vacant and that all employees must file their respective applications for the newly created positions. Otherwise, they would not be considered for any of the newly created positions. Instead of submitting their respective applications, petitioners filed with the CA a Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus with application for issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Restraining Order. They prayed for the nullification of the resolutions. ISSUES: 1) Whether petitioners automatic resort to the Court of Appeals is proper. 2) Whether the case falls under the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. HELD: 1) NOT PROPER. Petitioners recourse should have been with the Civil Service Commission and not with the Court of Appeals. The CSC which has jurisdiction over appeals from personnel actions taken by respondents against petitioners as a result of reorganization. In this case, petitioners are former local government employees whose services were terminated due to the

reorganization of the municipal government under Resolution Nos. 27 and 80 of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Considering that they belong to the civil service, the CSC has jurisdiction over their separation from office. 2) This does not fall under any of the exceptions. The petition for mandamus and prohibition with the CA was premature. It bears stressing that the remedies of mandamus and prohibition may be availed of only when there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Moreover, being extraordinary remedies, resort may be had only in cases of extreme necessity where the ordinary forms of procedure are powerless to afford relief. The rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies provides that a party must exhaust all administrative remedies to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter and to prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the courts. This, however, is not an ironclad rule as it admits of exceptions: 1. when there is a violation of due process; 2. when the issue involved is purely a legal question; 3. when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; 4. when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned; 5. when there is irreparable injury; 6. when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter; 7. when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable; 8. when it would amount to a nullification of a claim; 9. when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings; 10. when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy; and 11. when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. PRUDENCIO M. REYES, JR. vs. SIMPLICIO C. BELISARIO and EMMANUEL S. MALICDEM G.R. No. 154652 August 14, 2009 On March 3, 2000, respondents Deputy Administrators Simplicio Belisario, Jr. and Emmanuel B. Malicdem, all officers of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), filed before the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint against LWUA Administrator Prudencio M. Reyes, Jr. for violation of Section 3(e) of


Republic Act No. 3019.On March 16, 2000, or only 13 days after the filing of the graft charge, the petitioner issued Office Order No. 69 reassigning respondents together with De Jesus from the offices they then held to the Office of the Administrator. Supposedly, the reassigned officers were to act as a core group of a LWUA Task Force and their specific assignments were to be given by petitioner; Officers-in-Charge (OICs) were designated for the offices they vacated. On March 24, 2000, Atty. Arnaldo M. Espinas, LWUA corporate legal counsel, sought the opinion of the CSC regarding the regularity of the reassignments of respondents and of De Jesus. The CSC responded on April 3, 2000 through a legal opinion issued by Assistant Commissioner Adelina B. Sarmiento. It categorically ruled that the reassignments were not in order, were tainted with bad faith, and constituted constructive dismissal. Meanwhile, the CSC en banc rendered Resolution No. 001729 dated July 26, 2000 fully affirming the CSC opinion earlier given by Asst. Commissioner Sarmiento. On April 13, 2000, the respondents filed before the Office of the Ombudsman an administrative complaint for Oppression and Harassment against the petitioner and the OICs.

of resolving the said issue." This is a correct reading of the law as the CSC is the central personnel agency of the government whose powers extend to all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including governmentowned or controlled corporations with original charters. Constitutionally, the CSC has the power and authority to administer and enforce the constitutional and statutory provisions on the merit system; promulgate policies, standards, and guidelines for the civil service; subject to certain exceptions, approve all appointments, whether original or promotional, to positions in the civil service; hear and decide administrative disciplinary cases instituted directly with it; and perform such other functions that properly belong to a central personnel agency. Pursuant to these powers, the CSC has the authority to determine the validity of the appointments and movements of civil service personnel. Along the way, however, the Ombudsmans decision diverged from its basic legal premise when it refused to apply the rule it had acknowledged that the CSC is the "administrative body of special competence" to decide on the validity of the reassignments; it refused to accord due respect to the CSC opinion and, later, to the CSC Resolution No. 001729 on the flimsy ground that these were not yet final and conclusive. On the strength of this "non-finality" argument, the Ombudsman proceeded to declare the reassignments presumptively regular and, finding insufficient evidence of force and intimidation in the implementation of the reassignments by the petitioner and the OICs, sustained the invalid reassignments and their complementary acts. The effect, of course, was the exoneration of the petitioner and his co-defendants of the administrative charge of oppression and harassment. To the respondents and to the CA as well, the exoneration was attended by grave abuse of discretion.

The Office of the Ombudsman resolved the administrative case through a decision dated July 19, 2000. The Ombudsman desisted from ruling on the validity of the respondents reassignments, acknowledging the primary jurisdiction of the CSC over the issue but at the same time denied weight to the CSC legal opinion, contending that it was "not a final and categorical ruling" on the validity of the reassignments. On this premise, the Ombudsman declared that the reassignments enjoyed the presumption of regularity and were thus considered valid. For this reason and for lack of evidence of force or intimidation on the part of the petitioner and codefendant OICs in the implementation of the reassignments, the Ombudsman exonerated the petitioner and his co-defendants and dismissed the administrative case against them. The CA ruled in the respondents favor and observed that the "Ombudsman did not decide the [respondents'] complaint for Harassment and Oppression on its merits, but relied on the non-finality of the Resolution of the Civil Service Commission." Issue: WON the Ombudsman acted with grave abuse of discretion Held: We note that the Office of the Ombudsman duly noted in its decision that the CSC has primary jurisdiction over the issue of the reassignments validity, declaring that it "can hardly arrogate unto itself the task

DENR PCGG PHILIPPINE COCONUT PRODUCERS FEDERATION, INC. (COCOFED) vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. Nos. 177857-58 February 11, 2010 [Note: This is a Resolution to the Motion for Recon by Cocofed. As such, the facts were not stated in the decision.] Oppositors-intervenors argue that:The very reason why the PCGG and the OSG [Office of Solicitor


General] are before this Honorable Court is precisely because, on their own, they have no authority to alter the nature of the sequestered shares. This fact ought not to be novel to this Honorable Court because it is the Court itself that established such jurisprudence. Thus, the reference to separation of powers is rather gratuitous. The Court to be sure agrees with the thesis that, under present state of things, the PCGG and the Office of the Solicitor General have no power, by themselves, to convert the sequestered shares of stock. That portion, however, about the reference to the separation of powers being gratuitous does not commend itself for concurrence. As may be noted, the reference to the separation of powers concept was made in the context that the ownership of the subject sequestered shares is the subject of a case before this Court; hence, the need of the Courts approval for the desired conversion is effected. Apropos the separation of powers doctrine and its relevance to this case, it may well be appropriate to again quote the following excerpts from our decision in JG Summit Holdings, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, to wit: The role of the Courts is to ascertain whether a branch or instrumentality of the Government has transgressed its constitutional boundaries. But the Courts will not interfere with executive or legislative discretion exercised within those boundaries. Otherwise, it strays into the realm of policy decision-making. The point, in fine, is: while it may, in appropriate cases, look into the question of whether or not the PCGG acted in grave abuse of discretion, the Court is not empowered to review and go into the wisdom of the policy decision or choices of PCGG and other executive agencies of the government. This is the limited mandate of this Court. And as we have determined in our Resolution, the PCGG thoroughly studied and considered the effects of conversion and, based upon such study, concluded that it would best serve the purpose of maintaining and preserving the value of the shares of stock to convert the same. It was proved that the PCGG had exercised proper diligence in reviewing the pros and cons of the conversion. The efforts PCGG have taken with respect to the desired stock conversion argue against the notion of grave abuse of discretion. ERC AND DOE EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES ANTOLIN vs. DOMONDON G.R. No. 165036 July 5, 2010 FACTS: Antolin took the CPA exam conducted by the Board of Accountancy. Unfortunately, petitioner did not make it. Convinced that she deserved to pass the examinations,

she wrote to Domondon, Acting Chairman of the Board of Accountancy, and requested that her answer sheets be re-corrected. She was shown her answer sheets, but these consisted merely of shaded marks, so she was unable to determine why she failed the exam. She again wrote to the Board to request for copies of the questionnaire, her answer sheets, the answer keys to the questionnaires, and an explanation of the grading system. Domondon denied petitioners request on two grounds (based on PRC resolutions): (1) examinees are only permitted access to the petitioners answer sheet (2) the Board was precluded from releasing the Examination Papers. Antolin filed a Petition for Mandamus with Damages against the Board of Accountancy and its members before the RTC. ISSUE: 1) Was the petition for mandamus proper? no 2) Was there a need to exhaust administrative remedies, since no recourse to the PRC was available and only a pure question of law? yes HELD: 1) Any claim for re-correction or revision of her 1997 examination cannot be compelled by mandamus. The function of reviewing and re-assessing the petitioners answers to the examination questions, in the light of the facts and arguments presented by them x x x is a discretionary function of the Medical Board, not a ministerial and mandatory one, hence, not within the scope of the writ of mandamus. 2) The remedy for the refusal of the Board to release the Examination Papers should have been through an appeal to the PRC. PRC has the power to review, coordinate, integrate and approve the policies, resolutions, rules and regulations, orders or decisions promulgated by the various Boards with respect to the profession or occupation under their jurisdictions including the results of their licensure examinations but their decisions on administrative cases shall be final and executory unless appealed to the Commission within thirty (30) days from the date of promulgation thereof. The PRCs quasi-legislative and enforcement powers, encompassing its authority to review and approve "policies, resolutions, rules and regulations, orders, or decisions" cover more than administrative investigations conducted pursuant to its quasi-judicial powers.


One of the reasons for exhaustion of administrative remedies is our well-entrenched doctrine on separation of powers, which enjoins upon the Judiciary a becoming policy of non-interference with matters falling primarily within the competence of other departments. Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum. However, the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies is subject to exceptions, among which is when only a question of law is involved. This is because issues of law such as whether petitioner has a constitutional right to demand access to the Examination Papers cannot be resolved with finality by the administrative officer.

considering that the proper procedure was to appeal to the Secretary of Justice under Department Circular No. 70, otherwise known as the "2000 NPS Rule on Appeal." Held: Time and again, this Court has held that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies is not without exception. Based on the previous discussion, the actions of the Regional State Prosecutor, being patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the same constitutes an exception to the rule on administrative remedies. [Note: According to the SC, the conclusion reached by the Regional State Prosecutor was manifestly wrong as the CA was correct when it observed that the issuance of a subpoena would become unceremoniously clothed with the untoward implication that probable cause is necessarily extant.] JUDGE ADORACION G. ANGELES vs. HON. MANUEL B. GAITE, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs G.R. No. 165276 November 25, 2009 On 1 December 1999, petitioner filed a complaint against Michael Vistan before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Malolos, Bulacan for five counts of Violation of Section 10 (a), Article VI of RA 7610, otherwise known as the Child Abuse Act, and for four counts of Violation of Sec. 1 (e) of PD 1829. In a Resolution dated March 3, 2000, Investigating Prosecutor Benjamin R. Caraig recommended that only one Information be filed against Michael Vistan. The charge of violation of PD 1829 was dismissed. However, Provincial Prosecutor Amando C. Vicente denied the recommendation of the Investigating Prosecutor that Michael Vistan be indicted for violation RA 7610. He also approved the recommendation for the dismissal of the charge for violation of PD 1829. Petitioner then filed a Petition for Review before the Department of Justice on 18 May 2000. In a Resolution dated 5 April 2001, Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee, acting for the Secretary of Justice, denied the petition for review. The undersigneds Motion for Reconsideration filed on 25 April 2001 was likewise denied by then DOJ Secretary Hernando B. Perez in a Resolution dated 15 October 2001. On 26 November 2001, the undersigned filed a Petition for Review before the Office of President. The petition was dismissed and the motion for reconsideration was denied before said forum anchored on Memorandum Circular No. 58 which bars an appeal or a petition for review of decisions/orders/resolutions of the Secretary of Justice except those involving offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua or death. Held: The President's act of delegating authority to the Secretary of Justice by virtue of said Memorandum

FILEMON A. VERZANO, JR. vs. FRANCIS VICTOR D. PARO G.R. No. 171643 August 8, 2010 On March 14, 2002, petitioner Filemon A. Verzano, Jr., former District Manager of Wyeth Philippines, Inc. (Wyeth) for the islands of Panay and Negros, was dismissed from service upon an administrative complaint filed against him. Aggrieved by his termination, petitioner filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal. For its part, Wyeth filed its Position Paper to rebut the charges of petitioner. Attached to the position paper of Wyeth were the affidavits of respondents Paro and Florencio. It was on account of the said affidavits that petitioner filed a criminal complaint against respondents for perjury, false testimony and incriminatory machination. In a Resolution dated March 3, 2004 the City Prosecutor resolved to dismiss petitioners complaint. Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration, which was, however, denied by the City Prosecutor in a Resolution dated June 11, 2004. Petitioner appealed the Resolution of the City Prosecutor to the Office of Regional State Prosecutor via a petition for review. On July 30, 2004, the Regional State Prosecutor issued a Resolution finding merit in petitioners appeal. Aggrieved, respondents filed a motion for reconsideration. In a Resolution dated August 25, 2004, the Regional State Prosecutor denied respondents motion. On the same day, respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the CA assailing the Resolutions of the Regional State Prosecutor which reversed the earlier Resolution of the City Prosecutor. Issue: petitioner argues that the petition for certiorari filed by respondents with the CA was the wrong remedy,


Circular is well within the purview of the doctrine of qualified political agency, long been established in our jurisdiction. Under this doctrine, which primarily recognizes the establishment of a single executive, "all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department; the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive; and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive." As early as 1939, in Villena v. Secretary of Interior, this Court has recognized and adopted from American jurisprudence this doctrine of qualified political agency. Nonetheless, the power of the President to delegate is not without limits. No less than the Constitution provides for restrictions. Justice Jose P. Laurel, in his ponencia in Villena, makes this clear: x x x Withal, at first blush, the argument of ratification may seem plausible under the circumstances, it should be observed that there are certain prerogative acts which, by their very nature, cannot be validated by subsequent approval or ratification by the President. There are certain constitutional powers and prerogatives of the Chief Executive of the Nation which must be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or ratification will validate the exercise of any of those powers by any other person. Such, for instance, is his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclaim martial law and the exercise by him of the benign prerogative of mercy. These restrictions hold true to this day as they remain embodied in our fundamental law. There are certain presidential powers which arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised, would involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for the supersedence of executive prerogatives over those exercised by co-equal branches of government. The declaration of martial law, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the exercise of the pardoning power, notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the accused, all fall within this special class that demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally vested power. The list is by no means exclusive, but there must be a showing that the executive power in question is of similar gravitas and exceptional import.

In the case at bar, the power of the President to review the Decision of the Secretary of Justice dealing with the preliminary investigation of cases cannot be considered as falling within the same exceptional class which cannot be delegated. Besides, the President has not fully abdicated his power of control as Memorandum Circular No. 58 allows an appeal if the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua or higher. Certainly, it would be unreasonable to impose upon the President the task of reviewing all preliminary investigations decided by the Secretary of Justice. To do so will unduly hamper the other important duties of the President by having to scrutinize each and every decision of the Secretary of Justice notwithstanding the latters expertise in said matter. PNP SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD vs. TORCITA G.R. No. 130442 April 6, 2000 Torcita was charged with 12 administrative complaints which were consolidated into one major complaint, which is, conduct unbecoming of a police officer by taking alcoholic drinks while on duty. The Summary Dismissal Board suspended respondent from service for 20 days, for simple irregularity in the performance of service. Then, he was presented documentary evidence and witnesses but no specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty. He appealed his conviction to the Regional Appellate Board of the PNP but the appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Torcita filed a petition for certiorari in the RTC, questioning the legality of the conviction of an offense for which he was not charged, which conviction is a nullity because of the lack of procedural due process of law. ISSUE: W/N THE DECISION OF THE SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD AND THE NAPOLCOM REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD HAS BECOME FINAL AND EXECUTORY. HELD: A finding of guilt for an offense, no matter how light, for which one is not properly charged and tried cannot be countenanced without violating the rudimentary requirements of due process. Although he was given an opportunity to be heard on the multiple and broad charges initially filed against him, the absence of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty is not a proper observance of due process. There can be no short-cut to the legal process It is a requirement of due process that the parties be informed of how the litigation was decided with an


explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusions of the Court The decision of the Board was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, as respondent Torcita was found guilty of an offense for which he was not properly charged. A decision is void for lack of due process if, as a result, a party is deprived of the opportunity of being heard. A void judgment never acquires finality. Hence, aforementioned decision cannot be deemed to have become final and executory.


G.R. No. 169493 March 15, 2010 STA. CLARA SHIPPING CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs. EUGENIA T. SAN PABLO, Respondent. Facts: Sta. Clara filed an application with Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for a Certificate of Public Convenience to operate MV King Frederick. Said application was granted on January 26, 2004. Accordingly, a CPC was issued to Sta. Clara. Meanwhile, Republic Act (RA) 9295 and its implementing rules and regulations were issued which requires existing operators to apply for CPCs under the new law. Thus, on May 4, 2005, Sta. Clara filed with the Legaspi Maritime Regional Office (LMRO) another application for a new CPC to operate MV King Frederick and two other vessels. Respondent opposed the MARINA decision and sought for its reversal to the CA, which the latter set aside the decision on May 31, 2005. On June 6, 2005, LMRO granted the application of Sta. Clara for a new CPC. Respondent San Pablo filed another motion to the CA to hold Sta. Clara in contempt of court and to cancel its new CPC granted by the LMRO. On June 24, 2005, Sta. Clara filed a motion for reconsideration of the previous decision of CA without disclosing that it had obtained a new CPC for MV King Frederick. CA denied Sta. Clara's motion for reconsideration and rescinded the LMRO decision. Issue: Whether or not the CA correctly took judicial cognizance over the case. Ruling: No. Although Sta. Clara filed with the CA a motion for reconsideration without disclosing the foregoing developments, by the time the CA resolved the motion for reconsideration, it was already aware of the changes in the situation of the parties: specifically, that Sta. Clara had filed a new application under RA 9295 and that the LMRO had issued Sta. Clara a new CPC. More significantly, the new CPC issued to Sta. Clara was now subject to the rules implementing RA 9295. Under Rule XV, Sec. 1 of RA 9295, a peculiar process of administrative remedy provides that the MARINA Administrator, and not the CA, is vested with primary jurisdiction over matters relating to the issuance of a CPC. The CA should have refrained from resolving the pending motions before it and should have declared the case mooted by supervening events. Besides, questions on the validity of the new CPC are cognizable by the MARINA Administrator and, consonant with the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, the CA should have referred San Pablo to MARINA for the resolution of her challenge to the validity of the new CPC of Sta. Clara. The CA ought to have given due deference to the exercise by MARINA of its sound administrative

discretion in applying its special knowledge, experience and expertise to determine the technical and intricate factual matters relating to the new CPC of Sta. Clara. The January 26, 2004 MARINA decision and the old CPC are now defunct. The passage of RA 9295 and the filing by Sta. Clara of an application for a new CPC under the new law supervened and rendered the January 26, 2004 MARINA decision and old CPC of no consequence. There was no more justiciable controversy for the CA to decide, no remedy to grant or deny. The petition before the CA had become purely hypothetical, there being nothing left to act upon.


G.R. No. 168726 March 5, 2010 PIO DELOS REYES (Deceased), represented by heirs, Petitioners, vs. HONORABLE WALDO Q. FLORES, in his capacity as Senior Deputy Executive Secretary, Office of the President, HONORABLE RENE C. VILLA, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Land Reform (formerly Department of Agrarian Reform), THE PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER (PARO) OF DINALUPIHAN BATAAN, THE MUNICIPAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER (MARO) OF HERMOSA AND ORANI, BATAAN, and FORTUNATO QUIAMBAO, Respondents. Facts: Pio delos Reyes applied for exclusion from the coverage of operation land transfer, under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 274 and Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 474, of parcels of land. In 1988, Pio and his children executed a deed of extrajudicial partition, which included the properties subject of the application for exclusion or retention. In the proceedings for his application Pio failed to submit the deed of extrajudicial partition. Thus, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) placed the subject landholdings within the coverage of P.D. No. 27 and LOI No. 474. Resulting therefrom was the cancellation of certificates of land transfer issued in favor of private respondent Fortunato Quiambao, a tenantfarmer in Pios landholdings and a farmer beneficiary. Thus, the latter appealed to the DAR Secretary, claiming that, Pio converted portions of their landholdings into residential lands. The DAR Secretary granted the appeal. Petitioners appealed to the Office of the President. The Office of the President dismissed petitioners appeal for being filed out of time. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied. Petitioners then filed a petition for relief from denial of appeal. The Office of the President dismissed the same. The fallo of the decision reads: WHEREFORE, xxx DISMISSED for lack of merit. Xxx No further pleadings shall be entertained. Instead of filing in the Office of the President a motion for reconsideration of the 30 September 2004 order, petitioners filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and mandamus. CA dismissed for prematurity. The appellate court found that petitioners failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available from the dismissal of their petition for relief. Issue Whether the Court of Appeals erred when it dismissed for prematurity the petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by petitioners.

Ruling YES. Petitioners claimed that the filing for motion for consideration was useless because the decision was already final and executory on its face as the order itself stated that no further pleadings would be entertained. We are not convinced that this constitutes an exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. Petitioners may not arrogate to themselves the determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary or not. Petitioners should have first filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of the Office of the President. They cannot prematurely resort to a petition for certiorari on the wrong assumption that a plain reading of the order hinted that it was already final and executory. The parties are presumed to know the hornbook rule that judgments become final and executory only upon the lapse of the reglementary period to appeal or to file a motion for reconsideration without any appeal or motion for reconsideration having been made. We have held in a litany of cases that the extraordinary remedies of certiorari and mandamus are available only when there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, such as a motion for reconsideration. The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies is that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective competence. To this end, administrative agencies are afforded a chance to correct any previous error committed in its forum. Furthermore, reasons of law, comity, and convenience prevent the courts from entertaining cases proper for determination by administrative agencies.


G.R. No. 127965 January 20, 2009 FRANCISCO SALAZAR, Petitioner, vs. REYNALDO DE LEON represented by his Attorney-in-Fact, FELICIANO JABONILLA, Respondent. Facts Respondent lodged a civil complaint against petitioner for the recovery of possession of real property. Respondent alleged that he is the real owner and that he merely tolerated petitioners stay over the land. Respondent won said civil case. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but which was denied. Petitioner then appealed to the Court of Appeals contending mainly that the dispute between him and respondent involved a tenancy relationship over which the trial court had no jurisdiction. In the meantime, petitioner initiated a case before DARAB against respondent for the settlement of his claim as a tenant of the latter. The DARAB ruled in favor of petitioner. Petitioner submitted a copy of the DARAB Decision to the Court of Appeals. However, the Court of Appeals still rejected petitioners arguments and denied his appeal. The CA ruled that the court a quo has jurisdiction over the case as the allegations in the complaint make out a case cognizable by the court a quo, to wit: (1) the [herein respondent] is the registered owner of a parcel of land, which was: (2) tilled by the [herein petitioner] by [respondents] mere tolerance; and (3) [petitioner] refused to surrender possession of the land despite demand. Expectedly, petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals. Issue Whether there is an agrarian dispute between petitioner and respondent as to warrant the jurisdiction of the DARAB Ruling YES. The instant case undeniably involves a controversy involving an adverse relationship between a landlord and his tenant. The reason for petitioners refusal to surrender possession of the subject property to the respondent is that petitioner is allegedly his tenant, and has a right that is protected under the agrarian reform laws, a claim which respondent denies. There is, thus, a dispute as to the nature of the relationship between respondent and petitioner. The jurisdiction of a tribunal, including a quasi-judicial agency, over the subject matter of a complaint or petition is determined by the allegations therein. However, in determining jurisdiction, it is not only the nature of the issues or questions that is the subject of the controversy that should be determined, but also the status or relationship of the parties. The dispute herein between respondent as landowner and petitioner as tenant is agrarian in nature falling within the jurisdictional domain of the DARAB. This is in line with the doctrine of primary jurisdiction which

precludes the regular courts from resolving a controversy over which jurisdiction has been lodged with an administrative body of special competence.


G.R. No. 174129 July 5, 2010 HONESTO V. FERRER, JR., and ROMEO E. ESPERA, Petitioners, vs. Mayor SULPICIO S. ROCO, JR., in his capacity as Mayor of Naga City, Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Naga, and Peafrancia Memorial Park Corporation, Respondents. Facts Respondents issued Resolutions No. 2000-263 and No. 2000-3546 and Ordinance No. 2000-0597 which the two resolutions approved the application of private respondents for Preliminary Approval for Locational Clearance (PALC) for a First Class Memorial Park as well as its application for Development Permit (DP) to develop the Eternal Gardens Memorial Park located at Barangay Balatas, City of Naga and further favorably endorsing the same to the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board (HLURB) for appropriate action. Petitioners herein sought for Declaratory Relief and/or Injunction with prayer for Temporary Restraining Order against said issuances. However, the RTC dismissed petitioners petition. The petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals but to no avail. CA held that the filing of the petition for declaratory relief with the trial court had no basis, as there can be no issue ripe for judicial determination when the matter is within the primary jurisdiction of an administrative agency, the HLURB. Thus, as a consequence, inasmuch as the filing of the petition below was premature, appellants application for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, which is merely ancillary to the petition, has no leg to stand on." Hence this petition. Issue Whether or not the prayer for Declaratory relief was proper Ruling No. It is settled that the requisites of an action for declaratory relief are: 1] The subject matter of the controversy must be a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance; 2] The terms of said documents and the validity thereof are doubtful and require judicial construction; 3] There must have been no breach of the documents in question; 4] There must be an actual justiciable controversy or the "ripening seeds" of one between persons whose interests are adverse; 5] The issue must be ripe for judicial determination; and

6] Adequate relief is not available through other means or other forms of action or proceeding. The issue raised by petitioners is clearly not yet ripe for judicial determination. Nowhere in the assailed resolutions and ordinance does it show that the public respondents acted on private respondents application with finality. What appears therefrom is that the application of private respondent for development permit has been endorsed to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) for appropriate action, the latter being the sole regulatory body for housing and land development. Under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, courts cannot or will not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. In other words, if a case is such that its determination requires the expertise, specialized training and knowledge of an administrative body, relief must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before resort to the courts is had even if the matter may well be within their proper jurisdiction.



rights of Macroasia and another entity, Lebach Mining Corporation (Lebach). The POA granted the petition of Celestial to cancel the Mining Lease Contracts of Macroasi. It gave Celestial the preferential right to Macroasias mining areas.[12] It also upheld Blue Ridges petition but only as against the Mining Lease Contract areas of Lebach thus, giving Blue Ridge priority right to the aforesaid Lebachs areas/mining claims. Blue Ridge and Macroasia appealed before the MAB, of the POA to cancel the Mining Lode/Lease Contracts of Macroasia. However, contrary to the findings of the POA, the MAB found that it was Blue Ridge that had prior and preferential rights over the mining claims of Macroasia, and not Celestial. Both Celestial and Macroasia moved for reconsideration Macroasia also filed its Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration questioning the jurisdiction of the POA in canceling mining lease contracts and mining claims. Macroasia averred that the power and authority to grant, cancel, and revoke mineral agreements is exclusively lodged with the DENR Secretary. MAB issued a Resolution vacating its prior decision and held that neither the POA nor the MAB had the power to revoke a mineral agreement duly entered into by the DENR Secretary; that there was no provision giving the POA and MAB the concurrent power to manage or develop mineral resources. And that the power to cancel or revoke a mineral agreement was exclusively lodged with the DENR Secretary; that a petition for cancellation is not a mining dispute under the exclusive jurisdiction of the POA pursuant to Sec. 77 of RA 7942. Celestial assailed the MAB Resolution before the CA in a petition for review but was denied. CA upheld the exclusive authority of the DENR Secretary to approve, cancel, and revoke mineral agreements. On the other hand, Blue Ridge questioned the MABs Resolution before the CA in a petition for review and was subsequently granted. CA treated the cancellation of a mining lease agreement as a mining dispute within the exclusive jurisdiction of the POA under Sec. 77 of RA 7942, explaining that the power to resolve mining disputes, which is the greater power, necessarily includes the lesser power to cancel mining agreements. Celestial filed its Petition for Review on Certiorari (First petition) Blue Ridge discovered that sometime in December 2005 two MPSAs, duly approved and signed by the DENR Secretary, had been issued in favor of Macroasia. Thus,

Facts Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Macroaisa entered into a Mining Lease Contract (V1050) for a term of 25 years for mining lode claims Celestial filed a Petition to Cancel the subject mining lease contracts and other mining claims of Macroasia before the Panel of Arbitrators (POA) of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR. Blue Ridge also wrote the Director of Mines to seek cancellation of mining lease contracts and other mining


the instant Petition for Certiorari filed by Blue Ridge, seeking to invalidate the two MPSAs issued to Macroasia. (Second petition) Celestial filed another petition assailing the CAs Decision insofar as it granted Blue Ridges prior and preferential rights. (Third petition) While Macroasia filed the (Fourth petition) also assailing the CAs Decision in favor of Blue Ridge. Issue Who has authority and jurisdiction to cancel existing mineral agreements under RA 7942 in relation to PD 463 and pertinent rules and regulations Ruling It is the DENR Secretary. Under RA 7942, the power of control and supervision of the DENR Secretary over the MGB to cancel or recommend cancellation of mineral rights clearly demonstrates the authority of the DENR Secretary to cancel or approve the cancellation of mineral agreements. Sec 7 of RA 7942 explicitly grants the authority of the MGB Director to recommend cancellation to the DENR. As the MGB is under the supervision of the DENR Secretary, then the logical conclusion is that it is the DENR Secretary who can cancel the mineral agreements and not the POA nor the MAB. Sec. 77 of RA 794 merely grants the POA the jurisdiction to resolve any adverse claim, protest, or opposition to a pending application for a mineral agreement filed with the concerned Regional Office of the MGB. The power of the POA to resolve any adverse claim, opposition, or protest relative to mining rights under Sec. 77(a) of RA 7942 is confined only to adverse claims, conflicts and oppositions relating to applications for the grant of mineral rights. POAs jurisdiction is confined only to resolutions of such adverse claims, conflicts and oppositions and it has no authority to approve or reject said applications. Such power is vested in the DENR Secretary upon recommendation of the MGB Director. Clearly, POAs jurisdiction over disputes involving rights to mining areas has nothing to do with the cancellation of existing mineral agreements. DENR Secretary, by virtue of his powers as administrative head of his department in charge of the management and supervision of the natural resources of the country under the 1987 Administrative Code, RA 7942, and other laws, rules, and regulations, can cancel a mineral agreement for violation of its terms, even without a petition or request filed for its cancellation, provided there is compliance with due process. Since the cancellation of the mineral agreement is approved by the DENR Secretary, then the recourse of the contractor

is to elevate the matter to the OP pursuant to AO 18, Series of 1987 but not with the POA. A petition for the cancellation of an existing mineral agreement covering an area applied for by an applicant based on the alleged violation of any of the terms thereof, is not a dispute involving a mineral agreement under Sec. 77 (b) of RA 7942. The court rules therefore that a petition for cancellation of a mineral agreement anchored on the breach thereof even if filed by an applicant to a mining claim, like Celestial and Blue Ridge, falls within the jurisdiction of the DENR Secretary and not POA. Verily, RA 7942, similar to PD 463, confers exclusive and primary jurisdiction on the DENR Secretary to approve mineral agreements, which is purely an administrative function within the scope of his powers and authority. In exercising such exclusive primary jurisdiction, the DENR Secretary, through the MGB, has the best competence to determine to whom mineral agreements are granted. Settled is the rule that the courts will defer to the decisions of the administrative offices and agencies by reason of their expertise and experience in the matters assigned to them pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. Thus, first, second and third the petitions are dismissed for lack of merit, while the fourth petition is granted.