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RTJ-92-836 August 2, 1995 OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, complainant, vs. JUDGE JESUS V. MATAS, RTC, Branch 2, Tagum, Davao del Norte (acting Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 18, Digos Davao del Sur) and EDUARDO C. TORRES, JR., OIC, Clerk of Court, RTC, Tagum, Davao del Norte, respondents. DAVIDE, JR., J.: In his Memorandum dated 26 February 1992, then Deputy Court Administrator, now Court Administrator, Ernani Cruz Paño informed the Court of a letter he received from Atty. Ma Dolores L. Balajadia, Deputy Clerk of Court, Third Division of the Sandiganbayan, notifying his office that Judge Jesus V. Matas and Eduardo C. Torres, Jr. were accused in Criminal Case No. 17378 of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended. He then recommended that the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) be authorized to file the proper administrative charges against Judge Matas and Torres, provided that, pending the outcome of Criminal Case No. 17378, proceedings in the administrative case be suspended after the filing by the respondents of their comment. The said recommendation having been approved, the OCA filed with this Court an administrative complaint charging the herein respondents with the violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act committed as follows: 1. That on or about the month of March, 1987 respondents Judge Jesus V. Matas, Eduardo Torres, Jr., OIC Clerk of Court and in connivance with private citizen George Mercado concealed from J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises his (George Mercado's) knowledge of the petition for the issuance of new owner's duplicate copies OCT Nos. P-12658, 12659, P-12661 and T-9857, and filed Misc. Case No. 1626 before the sala of respondent Judge and took cognizance of the same notwithstanding the fact that his Court has no jurisdiction over Kapalong and Sto. Tomas, Davao where subject properties covered by the aforesaid titles where located. 2. That notwithstanding the fact that the properties are owned by J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises, respondent Judge issued an Order directing the posting of said Order and petition for at least ten days prior to the scheduled hearing on April 20, 1987 at the Office of the Clerk of Court, the Municipal Hall, Barangay Hall or Barangay School where the properties are located; 3. That thereafter on April 6, 1987 respondent Judge likewise issued an Order directing only the Station Commander of Sto. Tomas, Davao to comply with the posting despite the fact that some of the properties involved in Misc. Case No. 1626 are situated in Kapalong, Davao; and 4. That a day after the hearing where J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises was not present, respondent Judge forthwith issued an Order for the issuance by the Register of Deeds of Davao of new owner's duplicate of aforesaid titles to George Mercado thus, causing injury to J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises whose owner's duplicate copies in its possession were cancelled without due process. Attached thereto is the original copy of the information in Criminal Case No. 17378 entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Judge Jesus V. Matas, RTC, Branch 2, Tagum, Davao del Norte (Acting Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 18, Digos, Davao del Sur) and Eduardo Torres, Jr., OIC Clerk of Court, RTC, Tagum, Davao, et al." After the filing by the respondents of their separate verified answers, this Court referred the case to Associate Justice Jorge S. Imperial of the Court of Appeals for investigation, report, and recommendation. On 17 December 1992, the OCA received respondent Torres's motion to dismiss the complaint as against him on the ground of mootness because he had ceased to be employed in the judiciary and had been cleared of all his accountability with the Supreme Court as of 13 April 1992. The Court referred this motion on 26 January 1993 to Justice Imperial for inclusion in his investigation, report, and recommendation. It turned out, however, that the said motion had been filed with the Court of Appeals as early as 14 November 1992 and had already been denied by Justice Imperial in his resolution of 6 January 1993 in the light of this Court's ruling in Administrative Case No. 223-J (Perez vs. Abiera, 11 June 1975). The hearing of the case commenced on 11 January 1993. However, after having presented two witnesses, the counsel for the private complainant and the OCA representative moved for a suspension of the proceedings because they intended to amend the complaint. Justice Imperial granted the motion and gave the complainants ten days within which to file with this Court the amended complaint. The complainants then submitted to this Court an amended complaint adding the following grounds for administrative discipline, viz.: (a) gross inexcusable negligence, and (b) gross ignorance of law. and modifying portions of the specification of the charges by: (a) Deleting from paragraph 1 of the original complaint the word Kapalong; (b) Deleting the original paragraph 3 and making as the new paragraph 3 the original paragraph 4 which was modified to read as follows:
3. That a day after the hearing where J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises was not present, respondent Judge, acting with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, with undue haste and/or gross inexcusable negligence, to favor George Mercado, and grossly ignorant of the laws involved, and knowingly fully well that his order dated 24, 1987 [sic] was not complied with, forthwith issued an order dated April 21, 1987 for the issuance of the Register of Deeds of Davao of new owner's duplicate of aforesaid titles, which George Mercado caused to be cancelled later when he registered the deeds of sale over the said properties in his favor, thus, causing injury to J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises whose owner's duplicate copies in its possession were cancelled because of fraudulent acts of respondents and without due process. Attached thereto is the amended information in criminal Case No. 17378 before the Sandiganbayan. This Court admitted the amended complaint, forwarded it to Justice Imperial, and required the respondents to file their respective comments thereon. Respondent Torres filed his comment (denominated as Answer). Respondent Judge Matas, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss, which this Court referred to Justice Imperial for inclusion in his investigation, report, and recommendation. The investigating Justice deferred the resolution thereof until the termination of the investigation. Later respondent Judge Matas filed his comment on the amended complaint. Thereafter, the hearing was continued with the parties submitting, per their agreement, their evidence in the form of affidavits to which were attached all pertinent supporting documents. The hearing ended on 8 August 1994, and the parties submitted their respective lengthy memoranda. Not to be outdone, Justice Imperial submitted a 44-page report, typed single-space on legal size bond paper wherein he patiently narrated the minute details of the antecedent facts and meticulously analyzed the arguments of the parties on the issues involved, namely: 1. Whether or not the respondent Judge acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of Miscellaneous Case No. 1626; 2. Whether or not respondent Judge acted with gross and inexcusable negligence and gross ignorance of law when he took cognizance of and decided Miscellaneous Case No. 1626 in favor of petitioner therein, George Mercado; 3. Whether or not respondents conspired with George Mercado to conceal from J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises the pendency of Miscellaneous Case No. 1626. As to the first issue, the respondent Judge argues that the parcels of land subject of Miscellaneous Case No. 1626 are located in Kapalong, Davao del Norte. The so-called Municipality of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, where the said parcels are claimed to be located never legally existed as a municipality because it was carved out of Kapalong and created into a separate municipality by then President Carlos P. Garcia and not by Congress. Conformably with Pelaez vs. Auditor General (15 SCRA 569 ), the creation of the Municipality of Sto. Tomas is void since 1 January 1960 upon the effectivity of R.A. No. 2370. That Sto. Tomas does not legally exist as a municipality was affirmed in the decision of this Court of 29 September 1988 in Municipality of Kapalong vs. Hon. Felix L. Moya (166 SCRA 70 ). Since the subject parcels of land are in fact located in Kapalong, the same are within the administrative area over which his court, Branch I of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao del Norte, can exercise jurisdiction pursuant to Administrative Order No. 7. The respondent Judge adds that, even granting for the sake of argument, that the Municipality of Sto. Tomas legally exists and is within the administrative area of Branch IV, RTC of Davao del Norte, his court can still exercise jurisdiction over the case because one of the parcels involved is located in Kapalong, a fact recognized in the original administrative complaint. Furthermore, Miscellaneous Case No. 1626 is not a real action but a personal one, and it being so, his court has jurisdiction over it, since the petitioner therein, George Mercado, is a resident of Kapalong. In resolving the first issue, Justice Imperial adopts the ratiocinations of the Sandiganbayan in its denial of the respondent Judge's motion to quash the information in Criminal Case No. 17378 that at the time he committed the questioned acts in Miscellaneous Case No. 1626, the Municipality of Sto. Tomas was not yet declared nonexistent, that this Court has yet to come up with a modification of Administrative Order No. 7 to effect the necessary amendment therein insofar as Sto. Tomas is concerned; and that, in any event, it is not impossible at all that this Court may decide to maintain the territorial jurisdiction of Branch IV of the RTC of Davao del Norte over the barrios of Kapalong which were converted into the municipality of Sto. Tomas. Nevertheless, Justice Imperial concluded: While it is true that Judge Matas acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of Miscellaneous Case No. 1626, it is likewise true that his mere acting without jurisdiction should not subject him to an administrative action for gross inexcusable negligence and/or ignorance of the law. In the case at bar, Judge Matas' act not being without basis whatsoever nor motivated by bad faith, it cannot be said with certainty that respondent Judge Matas acted with gross inexcusable negligence and/or gross ignorance of the law. Just because he believed, though erroneously, that the action was in personam or that he had jurisdiction over the four (4) properties, since one of the properties (OCT No. P-9855) was located at Kapalong and all the properties were included in one petition,
should not be taken against him to the extent of being held liable administratively for gross inexcusable negligence and/or gross ignorance of the law. To hold otherwise would be to subject every Judge whose decision is reversed, to be charged with gross negligence or gross ignorance of the law. The second issue primarily revolves on the failure of the respondent Judge to require publication of the petition in the Official Gazette and notices to the registered owners. Justice Imperial resolved the issue in this wise: In the case at bar, the respective certificate of title of the properties in question on file with the Register of Deeds are existing, and it is the owner's copy of the certificate of title that was alleged to have been lost or destroyed. Thus, it is Section 109 of P.D. 1529 which was approved on June 11, 1978 that becomes effective and is applicable, a reading of which shows that it is practically the same as Section 109 of Act No. 496, governing reconstitution of a duplicate certificate of title lost or destroyed. Consequently, it is sufficient that the notice under Section 109 is sent to the Register of Deeds and to those persons who are known to have, or appear to have, an interest in the property as shown in the Memorandum of encumbrances at the back of the original or transfer certificate of title on file in the office of the Register of Deeds. From a legal standpoint, there are no other interested parties who should be notified, except those above-mentioned since they are the only ones who may be deemed to have a claim to the property involved. A person dealing with registered property is not charged with notice of encumbrances not annotated on the back of the title. The only piece of evidence that would show the alleged ownership of the J.K. Mercado over the four (4) parcels of land, subject of Misc. Case No. 1626 is the alleged private Memorandum of Agreement entered on November 19, 1981 by and between George Mercado and J.K. Mercado. Said agreement was never entered on the Certificate of Titles in the name of their original/former owners on file with the Register of Deeds at the time of the filing or pendency of Misc. Case No. 1626. As such, how can private complainant expect to be notified. Respondent Judge Matas, dated March 24, 1987 issued the following Order anent notice of the petition, to wit: . . . At Least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled hearing, a copy of this Order and the petition shall be posted at the expense of the petitioner on each bulletin board of the following: the office of the Clerk of Court; the Municipal Hall and the Barangay Hall or if there be none, the Barangay School where the subject property is located. If there is no bulletin board in any of the aforementioned places, the posting shall be made on a conspicuous place, near the main door. . . . (emphasis supplied.) Clearly, respondent Judge Matas had ordered proper and sufficient notice of the petition. Furthermore, he had the right to rely on the 1st indorsement and certification of PFC Ciriaco Obenza that posting was made (quoted on page 5 and numbered 11 of this report). The mere fact that said certification did not specifically mention that posting was also made in the bulletin board of the Clerk of Court does not rule out the posting thereon considering the presumption that official duty has been done. While it is true that no posting was made at Kapalong, where one of the properties was located per the petition and OCT No. P-9855, the fault, if any, should be placed upon respondent Torres who made the request only to the Station Commander of the Integrated National Police of the Municipality of Sto. Tomas (none to Kapalong) to cause the posting, although the order of Judge Matas specifically provided for posting "where the subject property is located. However, there is no clear evidence that respondent Torres acted with malice and/or gross negligence in doing so, considering the certification of the Register of Deeds that the four (4) properties were all located at Sto. Tomas (Exhs. "A-5-A" to "A-8-A") thereby misleading Torres under the circumstances to have the posting made only in Sto. Tomas. As to the third issue, Justice Imperial said: A reading of the evidence and arguments of complainant in support of its claim that there was conspiracy by and between respondents and George Mercado shows that the same is founded on mere inferences and conjectures. Thus, complainant concludes that there was complicity because Judge Matas assumed jurisdiction over the case of which he has none and despite conflicting allegations in the petition, as well as erroneous posting and notices, arguing in its Memorandum as follows: xxx xxx xxx Moreover, the conclusion of petitioner that there was conspiracy between George Mercado and respondent Judge Matas because the latter acted with "undue haste" in rendering the Decision one (1) day after the reception of evidence in support of the petition is unfounded. The issue involved is simple and the petition was unopposed and thus there was no reason to delay its resolution. In fact, Miscellaneous Case No. 1626 is not the first and only case that was decided by Judge Matas, either in open court immediately upon the termination of the presentation of evidence and/or a few days thereafter, to wit: [enumeration of nine (9) Miscellaneous Cases, Exhibits "9-M-13" to "9-M-21," inclusive]. xxx xxx xxx Consequently, even assuming, arguendo, that undue injury resulted to complainant and unwarranted benefits was obtained by George Mercado, in view of all the foregoing, respondents did not act with manifest partiality,
Nos. 3 issued on 19 January 1983 defining the limits of the exercise of jurisdiction by the RTC's in the National Capital Judicial Region. 2 Branch III with seat at Nabunturan — comprising the municipalities of Compostela. Judge Jesus V. applying Sections 2. Maco. and Sto. Jurisdiction is the power and authority to hear. P-12658. 1626. this Court held: In fine. 1626 4 . Panabo.evident bad faith. Section 17 of P. proceedings. Mawab. Tomas which are both in the province of Davao del Norte.P. insofar as the Regional Trial Courts are concerned. and. 18. the exercise of jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts and their judges is basically regional in scope (Malaloan vs. it does not depend on the regularity of the exercise of that power (Herrera vs. are cognizable by the RTCs. but under Section 18. no lack of jurisdiction. (emphasis supplied) Pursuant to this provision. 7. P-12659. 260 ). defining the territorial areas of the Regional Trial Courts in Regions I to XII. Samal and Sto. and over all petitions filed after original registration of title. a confusion between jurisdiction and the exercise of jurisdiction. Inc. all petitions motions after original registration shall be filed and entitled in the original case in which the decree of registration was entered. be absolved from all the charges in the Amended Complaint. the manner of the exercise of jurisdiction is. In the Malaloan case. and P-9855. Notably. and 109 of P. Eduardo C. Now. 1529 provides that the application for land registration shall be filed with the CFI (now RTC) of the province or city where the land lies. Barreto. the Court issued Administrative Order No. Matas and Mr. since that petition stated that the lots covered by the lost duplicates are situated in Kapalong and Sto. the certificates involved in Miscellaneous Case No. vs. on the venue or the place where such petitions may be instituted.D. gross inexcusable negligence or gross ignorance of the law. 13 and 19. 3 Branch IV with seat at Panabo — comprising the municipalities of Babak. 25 Phil. Nevertheless. 1626 were each obtained not pursuant to a decree issued in a judicial registration proceeding. Fuentes. Century Insurance Co. Court of Appeals. 108. Kaputian. New Corella. Hence. obviously. 1529). 7 which places Kapalong within the territorial area of either Branch I or II of the RTC of Davao del Norte. . No. Clearly. Pantukan. Circular Nos. The said section reads: Sec. San Vicente and Tagum. within Branch IV of the same court. 496 (now Section 103 of P. the territorial areas covered by the RTC of Davao del Norte are as follows: 1 Branches I and II with seats at Tagum — comprising the municipalities of Asuncion. Under the said order. gross ignorance of law. then presided by the respondent Judge. 2 SCRA 1168 ). .C. try. . Blg. but pursuant to a patent issued by the Director of Lands and registered in accordance with Section 122 of Act No. 1529 states that Courts of First Instance (CFI) shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title to lands including improvements and interests therein.. Blg. such that non-observance thereof would nullify their judicial acts. we may say that the petition for replacement of lost duplicate certificates in Miscellaneous Case No. On the other hand. it cannot be said that Branch I of the RTC of Davao del Norte. Under Section 17 of B. — The Supreme Court shall define the territory over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall exercise its authority. The administrative order merely defines the limits of the administrative area within which a branch of the court may exercise its authority pursuant to the jurisdiction conferred by Batas Pambansa Blg. it may be limited to the territorial area of the branch in which the judge sits. 129. by B. No.D. or actions. 1529.P. did not per se confer jurisdiction on the covered regional trial courts or its branches. 232 SCRA 249. for at the time Miscellaneous Case No. 1626 which is a "Petition for the Issuance of Owner's Duplicate Certificates in lieu of Lost O. 1626 was properly taken cognizance of by Branch I of the RTC of Davao del Norte presided by the respondent Judge. 245 .T. with power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions. Kapalong. P-12661. 129 (Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980) or by other statutes. The territory thus defined shall be deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned for purposes of determining the venue of all writs. or gross inexcusable negligence can be ascribed to the respondent Judge. Monkayo. 17.D. Justice Imperial then recommends that the respondents. there was an unwitting violation of Administrative Order No. 1626. Under Section 108 of the same decree. Torres. Tomas. No. Carmen. in like manner." Section 2 of P. (Exhibit "O"). petitions for replacement of lost duplicate certificates. Administrative Order No. governed by the Rules of Court or by orders which are. It is conferred by substantive law. Tomas. If at all. series of 1983. Montevista. There is. unless otherwise provided by the law itself. Nabunturan. We agree with him except as regards his opinion that the respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over Miscellaneous Case No. from time to time. Authority to define territory appurtenant to each branch. issued by this Court. whether civil or criminal. In the instant case. Mabini. No. had no jurisdiction over Miscellaneous Case No. 129. which involves a related Administrative Order No. 3 and. Under Chapter X of the decree entitled "Petitions and Actions After Original Registration" is Section 109 which governs petitions for issuance of lost or stolen owner's duplicate certificate of title. and decide a case. New Bataan and San Mariano.D. He exceeded the territorial area of his Branch. as in Miscellaneous Case No.
the private complainant made possible any representation or misrepresentation by George Mercado. The private complainant claims to be the owner of the lots by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement executed between it and George Mercado on 19 November 1981 (Exhibits "W" and "W-1") wherein the latter acknowledged that the lots belong to the former and undertook to execute the necessary documents of conveyance in its favor. the respondent Judge merely declared as null and void the "lost" owners' duplicate copies of the original certificates of title (OCT) and directed the issuance of new duplicate copies which. Rules of Court). Secondly. In view of the public trust character of a public office which exacts accountability and utmost responsibility. Rule 133. administrative cases must be resolved as expeditiously as possible. Yet.. TORRES. in consideration of the difference in the quantum of evidence. Kapunan. It is primarily for this reason that in administrative cases only substantial evidence is required. perforce. remain in. J. And. However.K. JR. Necessarily then. and make the appropriate recommendation does not have an authority to grant or deny a motion to dismiss the case.. This Memorandum of Agreement was not annotated in the OCT's. concur. That procedural lapse is not so pervasive as to affect the validity of the proceedings. 5 . Tomas. or preponderance of evidence as in civil cases (Section 5. But. in point of adjective law the error consisted merely of the impropriety of the venue of the petition. Puno. Neither is there any evidence that private complainant J. and the amorphous status of Kapalong in relation to Sto. the instant complaint is DISMISSED. Romero. was not yet declared as non-existent. By its own negligence. submit a report. Vitug. His authority is not co-extensive with the power or authority of his office. in relation to Sections 1 and 2. are hereby ABSOLVED of all the charges against them in the Amended Complaint. Jr. Tomas during the period material to the questioned proceeding. the investigating Justice or Judge designated by the Court to conduct an investigation..J. as alleged in paragraph 2 of both the original and amended complaint. absent a showing of bad faith therein. In this case. JJ. which the Court had suggested in the referral to him of the motion. the private complainant has never satisfactorily explained why it failed to enforce its rights under that agreement at anytime before the latter filed Miscellaneous Case No. took no part. Narvasa. Feliciano. before writing finis to this case. 1626 in 1987. it must be noted that this Court had impliedly set aside the proviso in the resolution of 17 March 1992 that after the filing of comment by the respondents on the administrative complaint. the investigating Justice should not have denied respondent Torres' motion to dismiss. Melo. 1626. Thus. One. not proof beyond reasonable doubt as in criminal cases. he should have merely noted the motion and considered it in his report and recommendation. It was only in the decision of 29 September 1988 in Municipality of Kapalong vs. The demands of public interest and public policy would not be expeditiously served if administrative cases should be made to await the termination of criminal cases or civil cases based upon the same facts or incidents from which the administrative cases arose. it would be too much to require accurate resolution of the issue and unfailing compliance therewith by the respondent judge. Sto. As correctly held by Justice Imperial. Bellosillo. Moya that the non-existence of Sto. the fact of Mercado's recognition of the complainant's "ownership" of the lots remained a private matter between Mercado and the complainant. In his order granting the petition. We thus rule that the pendency of a criminal case based on the same facts or incidents which gave rise to an administrative case does not suspend the administrative proceedings. the recommendation of Justice Imperial is in order. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises suffered damage or injury in its claimed right and interest in the lots covered by the lost certificates subject of Miscellaneous Case No. there is no proof of conspiracy between the respondents and George Mercado. Even if the reason for the denial were correct. SO ORDERED. the findings and conclusions in one should not necessarily be binding in the other. Mendoza and Francisco. loyalty and efficiency at all times. and respondents JUDGE JESUS V. He did not order the issuance of new ones in the name of George Mercado despite the latter's presentation of purported deeds of sale in his favor. and it cannot now be heard to say that the respondent Judge acted on the petition of George Mercado "notwithstanding the fact that the properties are owned by" the private complainant. in the former and in the latter. 17378 before the Sandiganbayan. integrity. Considering that objections to venue may even be waived. the names of those appearing in the original copies of the OCT's in the custody of the Register of Deeds. proceedings thereon should be suspended pending the outcome of Criminal Case No. WHEREFORE. Padilla. even on this score. Hermosisima.Tomas as a municipality was confirmed. C. which was composed of the barrios of Kapalong. we need to stress two principles in disciplinary proceedings against judges. Regalado. as well as the procedure followed and the sanctions imposed. MATAS and EDUARDO C.was filed.
clothing allowances and passage of a debt-cap bill in Congress. SP No. ARMAND FABELLA. VIVAR. Secretary Cariño ordered petitioner-appellee to be placed under preventive suspension. J. UBALDO. KU. vs. petitioner-appellee Adriano S. DECSNCR.: Due process of law requires notice and hearing. 5. ADRIANO S. VARGAS. However. 1990. on the other hand. OCAMPO. absence without leave (AWOL) At the same time. BAUTISTA. in his capacity as SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. DR. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. HENEDINA B. SAMSON. WILFREDO N. They then amended their complaint and made it one for certiorari and mandamus. 4. VICTORIA S. charging the committee appointed by Secretary Cariño with fraud and deceit and praying that it be stopped from further investigating them and from rendering any decision in the administrative case. The mass action had been staged to demand payment of 13th month differentials. as found by Respondent Court. RONGCALES. grave misconduct.HON. then DECS Secretary Cariño issued a return-to-work order to all public school teachers who had participated in talk-outs and strikes on various dates during the period September 26. Secretary Cariño filed administrative cases against herein petitioner-appellees. to wit: 1. MA. They alleged that the investigating committee was acting with grave abuse of discretion because its guidelines for investigation place the burden of proof on them by requiring them to prove their innocence instead of requiring Secretary Cariño and his staff to adduce evidence to prove the charges against the teachers. BRAVO. SO ORDERED. The Hon. the teachers filed a an injunctive suit (Civil Case No. ultimately. Statement of the Case This principium is explained by this Court as it resolves this petition for review on certiorari assailing the May 21. THE COURT OF APPEALS. 1990. VALENCIA and ELEUTERIO S. Administrative hearings started on December 20. HERNANDEZ. FRAGANTE. ALMA BELLA O. 1993 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 1991. the trial court denied them a restraining order. On May 30. On October 18. 29107 which affirmed the trial court‘s decision. VIOLETA ELIZABETH Y. 2. 6. Later. ERLINDA B. Valencia of the Ramon Magsaysay High School filed a motion to intervene. JENNIE L. DE LEON. SEPTIMO. the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED and the appeal is DISMISSED. Petitioner-appellees‘ counsel objected to the procedure adopted by the committee and demanded that he be furnished a copy of the guidelines adopted by the committee for the investigation and imposition of penalties. DIMAANO. EDITA C. Hearing.R. the right to due process of law lose meaning in the absence of an independent. was able to obtain a copy of the guidelines. BIENVENIDO ICASIANO. On April 10. DIMAGMALIW. REBECCA D. NICASIO C. MARISSA M. The right to be heard and. VALENZUELA and TERESITA V. however. gross violation of Civil Service Law and rules on reasonable office regulations. 1991. 1990. As he received no response from the committee. ANTONIO C. DR. BACANI. The charge sheets required petitioner-appellees to explain in writing why they should not be punished for having taken part in the mass action in violation of civil service laws and regulations. among other things. MARILYNNA C. VILLACRUEL. SEPTIMO. are as follows: ―On September 17. FELISA S. in his capacity as REGIONAL DIRECTOR. MIRASOL C. RUTH F. CULTURE AND SPORTS. respondents. 1990 to include the specific dates when petitioner-appellees allegedly took part in the strike. presupposes a competent and impartial tribunal. gross neglect of duty. 3. The charges were subsequently amended by DECS-NCR Regional Director Nilo Rosas on November 7. ROSARITO A. NORMA L. alleging that he was in the same situation as petitioners since he had likewise been charged and preventively suspended by respondent-appellant Cariño for the same grounds as the other petitioner- 6 . counsel. LACANILAO. 60675) with the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City.‖ The Antecedent Facts The facts. refusal to perform official duty. 1990. Armand Fabella is hereby ORDERED substituted as respondent-appellant in place of former Secretary Isidro Cariño and henceforth this fact should be reflected in the title of this case.CARILLO. BAGDOG. TERESITA E. CATALINA R. 1990 to October 18. who are teachers of the Mandaluyong High School. NILO ROSAS. CLARISSA T. MARINA R. BALIGOD. as follows: ―WHEREFORE. competent and impartial tribunal. petitioners. in his capacity as the SUPERINTENDENT OF THE QUEZON CITY SCHOOLS and DIVISION. EVANGELISTA. DECISION PANGANIBAN. DOGWE. counsel walked out. AURORA C.
The Solicitor General also asked the trial court to reconsider its order of June 3. Act. hence. 4670 has already been superseded by the applicable provisions of Pres. he was represented by Atty. the DECS investigating committee rendered a decision on August 6. Meanwhile.‖ By agreement of the parties. 1992. The provision of Rep.appellees and made to shoulder the burden of proving his innocence under the committee‘s guidelines. as the principal respondent. Instead. reiterating that Cariño could not personally come on June 26. even as it ordered the latter‘s reinstatement pending decision of their case. On August 15. It was pointed out that Cariño was represented by Atty. a special law. 292. In the main he contended that. the trial conference was reset on June 26. On August 10. Decree No. 807. with Pres. Rep. 807 as its supplemental law. No. Act. It 7 . Reno Capinpin. On June 11. as charged and ordering their immediate dismissal. 1991. Pres. Petitioner-appellees moved for a reconsideration. The Solicitor General moved for a reconsideration. Jocelyn Pili. so as to expedite the proceedings hereof. Order No. Act. Jocelyn Pili. SO ORDERED. their composition and appointment being violative of Sec. In which case. Anent petitioners‘ claim that their dismissal was effected without any formal investigation. both of the DECS-NCR and that both had special powers of attorney. while the other respondents were represented by Atty. while the other respondents were represented by Atty. the Court. for the said Pre-Trial Conference. the trial court set the case for hearing. the trial court dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus for lack of merit. 4670 stands. unless the intent to repeal or alter the same is manifest. is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. 1992 at 1:30 p. the Court will declare him as IN DEFAULT. 1991. Decree No. 1992 filed by the respondents thru counsel. with a warning that should he fail to show up on said date.m. Decree No. the Solicitor General answered the petitioner for certiorari and mandamus in behalf of respondent DECS Secretary. the committee tasked to investigate the charges filed against petitioners was illegally constituted. the Court will not recognize any representative of his. Cavite. Valencia to intervene in the case. 1992. Act No. on February 18. 1992. Accordingly. Reno Capinpin. Act No. However. But the court failed to act on his motion. June 8. the same is not sufficient reason to detract from the necessity of basic fair play. 1991. The respondents having lost their standing in Court. issued a resolution en banc declaring void the trial court‘s order of dismissal and reinstating petitioner-appellees‘ action. let this case be set for pre-trial conference on June 17. on March 25. finding the petitioner-appellees guilty. the court stated: ―The ―Motion For Reconsideration‖ dated July 3. 1992. 1991 and allowed him to intervene. But the Solicitor General‘s motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court. The trial court granted his motion on June 3.‖ On July 3. DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño. finds such claim meritorious. 1992. the trial court should not interfere in the administrative proceedings. No. 1991. is not regarded as having been replaced by a general law. the ―Manifestation and Motion. 1991. In its order of July 15. Decree No. 1992. in which it stated: ―The Court is in full accord with petitioners‘ contention that Rep. is hereby ordered to PERSONALLY APPEAR before this Court on said date and time. The hearing of the case was thereafter conducted ex parte with only the teachers allowed to present their evidence. Act No. Decree No. Respondents erred in believing and contending that Rep. But the court just the same declared them as in default. Under the Rules of Statutory Construction. after consideration of the circumstances surrounding the case. it issued a pre-trial order which reads: ―As prayed for by Solicitor Bernard Hernandez. In the event that there is conflict between a special and a general law. 807 in the composition and selection of the members of the investigating committee. 807 reveals no such intention exists. Rep.. 4670 otherwise known as the ―Magna Carta for Public School Teachers‖ is the primary law that governs the conduct of investigation in administrative cases filed against public school teachers. the Solicitor General informed the trial court that Cariño had ceased to be DECS Secretary and asked for his substitution. but their motion was denied on September 11. No. 4670 therefore prevails over Pres. Stated otherwise. the trial court rendered a decision. 1992 filed by the Office of the Solicitor General is hereby DENIED due course.‖ dated July 3. Consequently. 807 and Exec. It appears too obvious that respondents simply did not want to comply with the lawful orders of the Court. Secretary Cariño failed to appear in court on the date set. 1992 because of prior commitment in Cavite. The manner of dismissal of the teachers is tainted with illegality. 4670 hence all acts done by said body possess no legal color whatsoever. in accordance with the doctrine of primary resort. 1992. The teachers then filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court which. It was explained that he had to attend a conference in Maragondon. Although it cannot be gain said that respondents have a cause of action against the petitioner. the former shall prevail since it evidences the legislator‘s intent more clearly than that of the general statute and must be taken as an exception to the General Act. allowing petitionerappellee Adriano S. A perusal of Pres. 9 of Rep. 4670 in the case at bar.
II. they are prohibited from staging strikes. The Issues Before us. The trial court seriously erred in declaring appellants as in default. While there was a semblance of investigation conducted by the respondents their intention to dismiss petitioners was already manifest when it adopted a procedure provided for by law. The payment. without including the right to strike. in the case of Bangalisan vs. premises considered. the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC decision. from their schools during regular school days.A. we must stress that we are tasked only to determine whether or not due process of law was observed in the administrative proceedings against herein private respondents. the present petition is hereby GRANTED and all the questioned orders/decisions of the respondents are hereby declared NULL and VOID and are hereby SET ASIDE. were not penalized for the exercise of their right to assemble peacefully and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Court of Appeals. bonuses. it being arbitrary and violative of the teacher‘s right to due process. II Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in applying strictly the provision of R.‖ These issues. The trial court seriously erred in not ordering the proper substitution of parties. should govern the conduct of the investigations conducted. We note the Solicitor General‘s extensive disquisition that government employees do not have the right to strike. We agree with the Court of Appeals that private respondents were denied due process of law. allowances. Court of Appeals. of all the petitioners‘ back salaries. petitioners raise the following issues: ―I Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in holding in effect that private respondents were denied due process of law. No. otherwise known as ‗Magna Carta for Public School Teachers‘.‖ More recently. knowing fully well that the teachers would boycott the proceedings thereby giving them cause to render judgment ex-parte. demonstrations mass leaves. On this point. While the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize. the Civil Service Commission found them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for having absented themselves without proper authority. Denial of Due Process At the outset. Justice Florenz D. walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public services. boil down to a single question: whether private respondents were denied due process of law. Due process must be observed in dismissing the teachers because it affects not only their position but also their means of livelihood. SO ORDERED. The trial court seriously erred in ruling that the dismissal of the teachers are without due process. The right of government employees to organize is limited only to the formation of unions or associations.‖ From this adverse decision of the trial court. Hence. if any. III Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the appeal and in affirming the trial court‘s decision. 4670. by shifting the burden of proof to the petitioners. The DISMISSAL therefore of the teachers is not justified. III. No. The Court’s Ruling The petition is bereft of merit. The trial court seriously erred in holding that R. former DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals raising the following grounds: ―I. The reinstatement of all the petitioners to their former positions without loss of seniority and promotional rights is hereby ORDERED. in Jacinto vs. except Merlinda Jacinto. 4670 in the composition of the investigating committee.is a dismissal without due process. IV. holding in the main that private respondents were denied due process in the administrative proceedings instituted against them. the Court.A. Rather.‖ As mentioned earlier. the Court explained the schoolteachers‘ right to peaceful assembly vis-a-vis their right to mass protest: ―Moreover. Regalado: ―It is the settled rule in this jurisdiction that employees in the public service may not engage in strikes. has recently pronounced. in order to participate in the 8 . the petitioners here. all closely related. this petition for review. through Mr. WHEREFORE. and other benefits and emoluments which may have accrued to them during the entire period of their preventive suspension and/or dismissal from the service is hereby likewise ORDERED.
It was this requirement that would have given substance and meaning to the right to be heard. in writing. rules and regulations. any existing provincial or national teacher‘s organization‖ as required by Section 9 of RA 4670. Thus. the essence of procedural due process is embodied in the basic requirement of notice and a real opportunity to be heard. no one -. however. The legislature enacted a special law.mass protest. any existing provincial or national teacher‘s organization and a supervisor of the Division. of the charges. as chairman.could have held them liable for the valid exercise of their constitutionally guaranteed rights. the last two to be designated by the Director of Public Schools. the CSC or even this Court -. – Administrative charges against a teacher shall be heard initially by a committee composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the Division or a duly authorized representative who would at least have the rank of a division supervisor. The committee shall submit its findings. for which they were responsible. Accordingly. the right to full access to the evidence in the case. Their act by its nature was enjoined by the Civil Service law. after classes. In short. (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the assistance of counsel. due process has been recognized to include the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect a respondent‘s legal rights. Sec. In administrative proceedings.to dramatize their grievances and to dialogue with the proper authorities within the bounds of law.recess. 8.not the DECS.‖ The foregoing provisions implement the Declaration of Policy of the statute. which specifically covers administrative proceedings involving public schoolteachers. RA 4670 known as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. and recommendations to the Director of Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the hearings: Provided. Safeguards in Disciplinary Procedure. before they can be investigated and meted out any penalty. As it was. No publicity shall be given to any disciplinary action being taken against a teacher during the pendency of his case. to promote the ―terms of employment and career prospects‖ of schoolteachers. the temporary stoppage of classes resulting from their activity necessarily disrupted public services. because ―all the teachers who were members of the various committees are members of either the Quezon City Secondary Teachers Federation or the Quezon City Elementary Teachers Federation‖ and are deemed to be the representatives of a teachers‘ organization as required by Section 9 of RA 4670. Indeed. in any proceeding. for which they must. They could not provide any basis for the suspension or dismissal of private respondents. a representative of the local or. In the present case. Administrative Charges. therefore. adequate time being given to the teacher for the preparation of his defense. and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or made known to the parties affected. all proceedings undertaken by them were necessarily void. c. the issue is not whether the private respondents engaged in any prohibited activity which may warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against them as a result of administrative proceedings. 9. all the members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of Education. (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality. in its absence. The inclusion of a representative of a teachers‘ organization in these committees was indispensable to ensure an impartial tribunal. in the course of the investigation of the alleged proscribed activity. and to defend one‘s rights. 9 . The pertinent provisions of RA 4670 read: ―Sec. In the present case. their right to due process has been violated. the various committees formed by DECS to hear the administrative charges against private respondents did not include ―a representative of the local or. weekends or holidays -. to present witnesses and evidence in one‘s favor. As already observed. be made answerable. a representative of the local or any existing provincial or national teachers‘ organization and a supervisor of the division. the right to defend himself and to be defended by a representative of his choice and/or by his organization. the resolution of this case revolves around the question of due process of law. – Every teacher shall enjoy equitable safeguards at each stage of any disciplinary procedure and shall have: a. b. in its absence. not on the right of government workers to strike. these committees were deemed to have no competent jurisdiction. their absence ineluctably resulting in the non-holding of classes and in the deprivation of students of education. Section 9 of said law expressly provides that the committee to hear public schoolteachers‘ administrative cases should be composed of the school superintendent of the division as chairman. due process must first be observed. that is. That where the school superintendent is the complainant or an interested party. the right to be informed. Had petitioners availed themselves of their free time -. however. The issue is not whether private respondents may be punished for engaging in a prohibited action but whether. Petitioners argue that the DECS complied with Section 9 of RA 4670. where the teacher belongs. and c. the very evil sought to be forestalled by the prohibition against strikes by government workers. the right to appeal to clearly designated authorities.
No. Mendoza who is now a member of this Court. Under this section. . in its absence. the teachers‘ organization possesses the right to indicate its choice of representative to be included by the DECS in the investigating committee. This is a serious flaw in the composition of the committee because the provision for the representation of a teachers organization is intended by law for the protection of the rights of teachers facing administrative charges. as much as possible.. and recommendations to the Director of Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the hearings: Provided. Respondent Court of Appeals. the Magna Carta provides that the committee be constituted as follows: Sec. a representative of the local or. through Mr. 38. however. as chairman. Mere membership of said teachers in their respective teachers‘ organizations does not ipso facto make them authorized representatives of such organizations as contemplated by Section 9 of RA 4670. reflects the legislative intent to impose a standard and a separate set of procedural requirements in connection with administrative proceedings involving public schoolteachers. An implied repeal will not be allowed unless it is convincingly and unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are so clearly repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist. No. neither the DECS [s]ecretary nor the DECS-NCR regional director personally conducted the investigation but entrusted it to a committee composed of a division supervisor. like the DECS secretary. therefore. any existing provincial or national teacher‘s organization and a supervisor of the Division. The committee shall submit its findings. [S]ec.We disagree. in the case at bar. The administrative committee considered the teachers to have waived their right to a hearing after the latter‘s 10 . Respondent-appellants cite in support of their argument the following provisions of the Civil Service Decree (P. perceptively and correctly stated: ―Respondent-appellants argue that the Magna Carta has been superseded by the Civil Service Decree (P. agencies and instrumentalities xxx shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction xxx .‖ which was what the teachers did in this case by questioning the absence of a representative of a teachers organization in the investigating committee. the last two to be designated by the Director of Public Schools. In the instant case. there is no dispute that none of the teachers appointed by the DECS as members of its investigating committee was ever designated or authorized by a teachers‘ organization as its representative in said committee. can file administrative charges against a subordinate. Indeed. 807) and that pursuant to the latter law the head of a department. a subsequent general law does not repeal a prior special law. 38(b) affirms the Magna Carta by providing that the respondent in an administrative case may ask for a ―formal investigation. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. Hence. the Civil Service Decree. or upon sworn. or a regional director.D.‖ Thus. RA 4670 is applicable to this case. a) Administrative Proceedings may be commenced against a subordinate officer or the employee by the head of department or officer of equivalent rank. To the contrary. Although the Civil Service Decree gives the head of department or the regional director jurisdiction to investigate and decide disciplinary matters. Justice Vicente V. -xxx xxx xxx b) The heads of departments. private respondents‘ right to due process of law requires compliance with these requirements laid down by RA 4670. 9. or head of local government. although the terms of the general law are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law. or chiefs of agencies. In cases involving public school teachers. secondary and elementary school teachers. There is really no repugnance between the Civil Service Decree and the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. nor has it been shown to be inconsistent with the latter. Their function is to try to harmonize. Clearly. or regional directors. like the respondent-appellant Nilo Rosas. There is thus nothing in the Magna Carta that is in any way inconsistent with the Civil Service Decree insofar as procedures for investigation is concerned.D. 37. seeming conflicts in the laws and resolve doubts in favor of their validity and co-existence.Administrative charges against a teacher shall be heard initially by a committee composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the Division or a duly authorized representative who would at least have the rank of a division supervisor. Administrative Charges.‖ The aforementioned Section 9 of RA 4670. This is based on the rationale that the will of the legislature cannot be overturned by the judicial function of construction and interpretation. It has not been expressly repealed by the general law PD 807. written complaint of any other persons. But there was no representative of a teachers organization. 807): Sec. investigate him and take disciplinary action against him if warranted by his findings. Courts cannot take the place of Congress in repealing statutes. Contrary to petitioners‘ asseverations. ―unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest. all the members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of Education. where the teacher belongs. which was enacted later. Procedure in Administrative Cases Against Non-Presidential Appointees. and consultants. Verba legis non est recedendum. It is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that ―repeals by implication are not favored. the fact is that such power is exercised through committees. that where the school superintendent is the complainant or an interested party. Such right to designate cannot be usurped by the secretary of education or the director of public schools or their underlings. Sec.
petitioners. As a result. vs. v. J. Ofilada case. SO ORDERED. STO. the authority to appoint the Budget Officers of the different local government units devolved upon the Secretary of the Budget. 1991. On 28 March 1983 the 2 Sangguniang Bayan of Pili approved Resolution No. which included the local Budget Office. Private respondent Prescilla B.R. JR. and ordering the unqualified reinstatement of private respondents and the payment to them of salaries.R. This Court will never countenance a denial of the fundamental right to due process.counsel walked out of the preliminary hearing..‖ It is as clear as day to us that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in affirming the trial court‘s decision setting aside the questioned orders of petitioners. Narvasa. Judge Martin Villarama. On 14 March 1983 when the Local Government Code took effect. the petition is hereby DENIED for its utter failure to show any reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals. TOMAS. The committee should not have made such a ruling because the walk out was staged in protest against the procedures of the committee and its refusal to give the teachers‘ counsel a copy of the guidelines. (Chairman). Melo. RAMON P. testimonial and documentary. In 1988 the Local Government Officers Services. The teachers went to court. On 1 January 1985 the Joint Commission on Local Government Personnel Administration approved the 3 reorganization plan and staffing pattern of the Municipality of Pili. the officials of the Department of Culture and Education are predisposed to summarily hold the petitioners guilty of the charges against them. G. this Court sees no valid reason to disregard the factual findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals.R. such as here. The Court dismissed the case. HON. bonuses and other benefits that accrued to their benefit during the entire duration of their suspension or dismissal. ERENETA. 11 . or for more than a year. was nationalized and placed under the Department of Budget and Management. It is not our function ―to assess and evaluate all over again the evidence. JR. Mancita held over the position until 1985. and PRESCILLA B. the suspension or dismissal meted on them is baseless. Prila notified Mancita that her services were being terminated effective at the close of office hours on 1 July 1985 on the ground that the Office of MDC was abolished as a result of the reorganization of the local government of Pili. NACARIO. the findings of both the trial court and the appellate court coincide. as a consequence. 101943 (Rosario Septimo v. et al..: The primordial purpose of our civil service laws is to establish and maintain a merit system in the selection of public officers and employees without regard to sex. Romero.J. When Villarico resigned on 1 March 1990 the Budget Office became vacant until 30 September 1991. C. But there are times when appointments to public office are dominated by partisan favoritism and patronage. Nacario who was then the Municipal Budget Officer was 4 appointed MPDC on 10 June 1985 to take effect on 1 July 1985. AND ALEXIS D. 1961. JJ. Hon.) it stated: The facts and issues in this case are similar to the facts and issues in Hon. and Francisco. Isidro Cariño. No. G. In a letter dated 17 June 1985 Mayor Anastacio M. in a permanent capacity. Nacario was replaced by Digna Isidro as Municipal Budget Officer. respondents. Because the administrative proceedings involved in this case are void. As in the Cariño v. DIVINAGRACIA. BELLOSILLO.. 38 creating and organizing the Office of MPDC. which is a cornerstone of our legal system. SAN LUIS. adduced by the parties particularly where. without awaiting formal administrative procedures and on the basis of reports and ―implied admissions‖ found the petitioners guilty as charged and dismissed them from the service in separate decisions dated May 16. 1995 DELFIN N. where tenurial rights are subject to the whims of officialdom. August 22. be reinstated and awarded all monetary benefits that may have accrued to them during the period of their unjustified suspension or dismissal. In fact. 1991 and August 6. WHEREFORE.. Moreover. 100206. Private respondents should. no delinquency or misconduct may be imputed to private respondents. The committee concluded its investigation and ordered the dismissal of the teachers without giving the teachers the right to full access of the evidence against them and the opportunity to defend themselves. Ofilada. The assailed Decision is thus AFFIRMED.‖ Furthermore. et al. Camarines Sur. premises considered. in this case Secretary Cariño. Its predisposition to find petitioner-appellees guilty of the charges was in fact noted by the Supreme Court when in its resolution in G. No. PATRICIA A. color. Isidro was succeeded a year later by Eleanor Villarico who served until 1990. social status or political affiliation. Carlos C. concur. 110954 May 31. No. allowances. Jr. Mancita was appointed Municipal Development Coordinator (MDC) of Pili. On 1 August 1980 Filomena R. the 1 office was renamed Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC).
Mancita filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter. was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Municipal Budget Office of Pili. According to the MSPB. Padilla we granted the petition and held that the lower court had no jurisdiction over the case since all decisions. 7160 as implemented by E. Br. Camarines Sur.O. Divinagracia. the position he was holding when appointed Municipal Budget 7 Officer of Pili. 13. Elium Banda. San Luis was reappointed to the same position on 22 June 1992. 93-1996 denying the request of Mayor Divinagracia for a reconsideration. On 20 June 1989 the MSPB declared her separation from the service illegal. 503). Divinagracia. Cashier II of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). by petitioner Delfin N. Mancita was in fact qualified for the newly-created position of MPDC since the powers and duties of the two positions were essentially the same. against CSC Chairperson Patricia A. 93-1996 be nullified for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. was temporarily appointed Municipal Budget Officer of Pili by Secretary Guillermo N. 13. 31. and since she was the former Municipal 12 Budget Officer she had the right to return to that position. Presiding Judge Ceferino P. arguing that San Luis was validly appointed by the Secretary of the Budget and confirmed by the CSC. entitled to security 13 of tenure. petitioner Alexis D. On 27 May 1993 public respondent issued CSC Resolution No. to his former position once his appointment is subsequently disapproved. In the meantime. Mayor Divinagracia informed private respondent Nacario that she was being relieved of her position as MPDC effective 16 November 1990 in order to comply with the MSPB decision to reinstate Mancita as MPDC. 12 . When control over the Local Government Officers Services was returned to the local government units by virtue of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.O. Carague of the Department of Budget and Management. Sto. Juan Batan. In a letter dated 8 December 1992 public respondent opined that the reinstatement of Mancita to the position of MPDC was not a valid cause for Nacario's termination. orders and resolutions of the Civil Service Commission were subject to review only by this Court on certiorari under Rule 65 of the 11 Rules of Court. 13 mandates the return of an appointee. 8 Meanwhile. Regional Director of CSC in Region 5. in a chain of promotions. Public respondent relied on Sec. 292. Sto. On 5 October 1993. Nacario filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction with the Regional Trial Court of Pili. Petitioners contend that Sec. Rule VI. Upholding Nacario's right to security of tenure the CSC held that the reinstatement of Mancita to the position of MPDC could not be a valid cause for the termination of Nacario. On 8 November 1990 private respondent Prescilla B. holding that the Office of the Municipal Development Coordinator was abolished by the Local Government Code of 1991 and not by the reorganization of the Municipality of Pili as claimed by Mayor Prila. docketed as Civil Case No. and 9 to pay her backwages from the date of her separation. otherwise known as the Revised Administrative Code of 1978 in directing the restoration of Nacario to her former position. Mancita. grade and level. 31 issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of the questioned CSC resolution and set the date for the hearing of the application for preliminary injunction. Mayor of Pili. 90-657. Mancita then filed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 before this Court questioning the denial of her motion. in the same capacity. Mancita appealed her termination to the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB). Justice Teodoro R. this time in a 6 permanent capacity. Mayor Delfin N.A. San Luis started in the career civil service in 1977 as a casual clerk in the DENR. He was later replaced by Francisco Deocareza. 90-657. rising from the ranks until he was appointed Cashier II based in Legaspi City. Petitioners have come to us for relief praying that CSC Resolution No. Through Mr. No. praying for the annulment of CSC Resolution No. The decision of MSPB was appealed by Mayor Divinagracia to the Civil Service Commission but the appeal was dismissed on 16 July 1990 per CSC Resolution 10 No. the former Municipal Budget Officer of Baao. the former Budget Officer of 5 Naga City. of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Revised Administrative Code (E. Her motion was denied. Barcinas of Br. Mayor Divinagracia explained the factual circumstances behind the ouster of Mancita and the resulting appointment of Nacario to the position of MPDC. 292) does not apply to the present case because the rule covers only appointments in a chain of promotions and not where a public officer was merely transferred to another position of the same rank.O. Tomas seeking a reconsideration of her opinion of 8 December 1992.owing to the lack of a qualified candidate that the Secretary of the Budget could appoint. and Filomena R. hence. Tomas. Jr. On 15 October 1990. P17819. this Court issued a status 14 quo ante order enjoining the enforcement of the questioned CSC order. While the petition of Mancita was pending with us. of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. Nacario sent a query to public respondent Commission asking about her status as a permanent employee of the Municipality of Pili after she had accepted the position of MPDC. The MSPB ordered Mayor Divinagracia to reinstate Mancita to the position of MPDC or to an equivalent position. On 15 March 1993 Mayor Divinagracia wrote to CSC Chairperson Patricia A. San Luis. upon motion of petitioners. Sec. Rule VI. On 1 October 1991..
the movement of Nacario from the Budget Office to the Office of MPDC cannot be considered a promotion for the term 19 connotes an increase in duties and responsibilities as well as a corresponding increase in salary.e. On the other hand. Nacario who is protected by law in her security of tenure should be reinstated thereto. 292. who certified that per Position Allocation List 24 (PAL) of the municipality the Budget Officer and MPDC are of equal level. ordinary and popular 27 meaning. respondent Prescilla B. While the contemporaneous construction of Sec. San Luis cannot hold on to the position of Municipal Budget Officer. private respondent admitted in her comment and in her memorandum that the 23 position of Budget Officer and MPDC were of the same rank. We deny the petition. Jr. A careful examination of the qualifications. salary grade and level was motivated by her respect for Mayor Prila who was then her superior. second. Upon the other hand. the employee concerned shall be informed of the reasons therefor. in her own words. 13 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. (emphasis supplied) 13 . private respondent claims that she did not voluntarily apply for transfer from the Budget Office to the Office of MPDC but was constrained to "accept" the new position because of Mayor Prila. as in the instant case. They submit that the term "chain of promotions" must not be interpreted in a literal. powers and duties of a Budget Officer and an MPDC provided under Secs. public respondents Sto. 13 by the CSC is entitled to great weight and respect. Tomas and Ereneta. Rule VI. However. rigid and narrow sense but must be construed liberally in favor of private respondent who merely accepted the position of MPDC 18 to accommodate her superior unaware that her new appointment thereto would be infirmed. Moreover. of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. The disapproval of the appointment of a person proposed to a higher position invalidates the promotion of those in lower positions and automatically restores them to their former positions. there must first be a series of promotions.Petitioners further contend that Nacario was deemed to have vacated her position as Budget Officer when she accepted her appointment as MPDC considering that there were several appointments made to the Budget 15 Office in the past eight (8) years since her transfer. For their part.732. Let us now examine whether the lateral transfer of private respondent was validly made in accordance with Sec. Aside from the lack of a series of promotions. The essential requisites prescribed under Sec. All appointments involved in a chain of promotions must be submitted simultaneously for approval by the Commission. insist on the application to the present case of the automatic reversion rule provided under Sec. Nacario maintains that her "acceptance" of the position of MPDC which she admits is of the same rank. and yield to the letter of the law taking its terms in their plain. 3. It is also interesting to note that there was.. If not. the CSC disapproves the appointment of a person proposed to a higher position. the ouster of Nacario from the Office of MPDC was a result of the MSPB decision directing the reinstatement of Mancita and not because the CSC disapproved her appointment as MPDC. this 25 Court shall depart from such interpretation when it is clearly erroneous or when there is no ambiguity in the 26 rule. of Rule VII provides that — Transfer shall not be considered disciplinary when made in the interest of public service. i. To start with. This was attested to by Vilma J.00 per 22 annum as MPDC. the appointments of the parties concerned were not simultaneously submitted to the CSC for approval — the appointment (permanent) of Nacario was approved by the CSC on 13 June 1985 while the appointment (permanent) of San Luis was approved by the CSC on 9 February 1993 — and. we find the movement of Nacario one of lateral transfer.O. all appointments are simultaneously submitted to the CSC for approval. San Luis was also denied his right to be heard when public respondent ordered him to vacate his position without affording him an opportunity to 16 contest the claim of Nacario thus violating his constitutional right to due process. 3.O. before a public official or employee can be automatically restored to her former position.505. 13. 292. "a passive participant in the movement of personnel" in the municipal government of Pili having acted as a "subservient public official" in assuming the position of MPDC. 5. on the contrary. the other two (2) requisites are not also present. If the employee believes that there is no justification for the transfer. 13. and third. from P30.O. Under the aforecited section. According to petitioners. according to her. In fact. Sec. Petitioner Alexis D. par. 475 and 476 of the Local Government Code of 1991 shows that the latter office is not burdened with more duties and responsibilities than the former. Rule VII.. then private respondent is entitled to be protected in her security of tenure. Conformably 20 therewith. Martus. the Human Resource Management Officer of Pili. 5. he may appeal his case to the commission. Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. Sec. par. salary grade and level. in which case. a 21 reduction in the basic salary of Nacario. the affected persons are entitled to the payment of salaries for services actually rendered at a rate fixed in their promotional appointments.20 per annum as Budget Officer to P27. She was. 13 do not avail in the case at bench. she applied for the position of Budget Officer with the Department of Budget and Management while she 17 was MPDC indicating that she did not abandon or relinquish her former position as alleged by petitioners. 292 provides that — Sec.
she applied with the Office of the Budget Secretary for the position of Budget Officer upon learning that it was placed under the Department of Budget and Management. . . . For it is not common among local officials. . not merely an equitable. The element 14 . The guarantee of security of tenure is an important object of the civil service system because it affords a faithful employee permanence of employment. wield their new-found power indiscriminately by replacing employees with their own proteges. Maria v. in contemplation of law. Nacario did not question her transfer because she revered the mayor and did not in any way intend to displease him. it could not be said that Nacario vacated her former position as Budget Officer or abdicated her right to hold the office when she accepted the position of MPDC since. 29 Even as early as 1968. For that would constitute removal from office. Simply put. advancement or reduction or a transfer that aims to "lure the employee away from his permanent position. 1988. . As we further said in Sta. we held that — There are altogether too many cases of this nature. Nacario appeared to be satisfied with her work and felt fulfilled as Budget Officer until Mayor Prila appointed her MPDC to fill up the position. Maria. right to the position. Gloria. transfer or by 33 revocation of appointment. Some such transfers can be effected without the need for charges being proffered. The submissive attitude displayed by private respondent towards her transfer is understandable. Mayor Prila was so determined in terminating Mancita that he conveniently pre-arranged her replacement by Nacario. Victory at the polls should not be taken as authority for the commission of such illegal acts. and even without the consent of the employee . She was not however successful. to oppose or question the incumbent local executive on his policies and decisions no matter how improper they may seem. rank and salary . level and salary. in Nemenzo v. but also by the Constitution and cannot be taken away from her either by removal." Promotion is the "advancement from one position to another with an increase in duties and responsibilities as authorized by law." Where the appointment does not indicate a specific station. without trial or hearing. and frees the employee from 34 the fear of political and personal prejudicial reprisal. she acquired a legal. When Nacario was extended a permanent appointment on 1 August 1980 and she assumed the position. Although Nacario continued to discharge her duties. and after prior notice. the unconsented lateral transfer of Nacario from the Budget Office to the Office of MPDC was arbitrary for it amounted to removal without cause hence. from his assigned station to the main office. Private respondent was the Budget Officer of Pili for almost eight (8) years from August 1980 until her transfer in 30 July. . Undaunted. and then appointed to another position. . upon assumption of office. and is usually accompanied by an increase in salary" . effected in good faith and in the interest of the service pursuant to Sec. — Concededly there are transfers which do not amount to removal. . Consequently. (emphasis provided) The rule that unconsented transfers amount to removal is not however without exception. Lopez we distinguished between a transfer and a promotion and laid down the prerequisites of a valid transfer thus — A transfer is a "movement from one position to another which is of equivalent rank. unlike in Manalo v. she could not be deemed to have been separated from her former position or to have terminated her official relations therewith notwithstanding that she was actually discharging the functions and exercising the powers of MPDC.According to Nacario she never applied or sought appointment by transfer to the position of MPDC since she 28 even had no prior knowledge of her appointment. The clue to such transfers may be found in the "nature of the appointment. The 35 principle of estoppel." cannot be done without the employees' consent. Although Nacario was not informed of the reasons therefor she did not complain to the mayor or appeal her case to the CSC if in fact the same was not made in the interest of public service. no permanent transfer can take place unless the officer or employee is first removed from the position held. which was not even vacant at that time. wherein local elective officials. Neither does illegality attach to the transfer or reassignment of an officer pending the determination of an administrative charge against him. Clearly then. Sabillano. . Such a rule does not proscribe a transfer carried out under a specific statute that empowers the head of an agency to periodically reassign the employees and officers in order to improve the service of the agency . or to the transfer of an employee. . except for cause. invalid as it is anathema to security of tenure. an employee may be transferred or assigned provided the transfer affects no substantial change in title. regardless of the laws and regulations governing the civil service. 31 In Sta. this did not discourage her from trying to regain her former position. . 32 of the Civil Service Act. She assumed the new position only in order to comply with the move of Mayor Prila to supposedly "reorganize" the municipal government of Pili. It was only seven (7) days after Nacario's appointment when Mayor Prila informed Mancita that her services were being terminated. cannot bar her from returning to her former position because of the indubitable fact that private respondent reluctantly and hesitantly accepted the second office. at least for the period prescribed by law. Such right to security of tenure is protected not only by 32 statute. even those permanent appointees who are more secured and protected in their tenurial right. Indeed. without break in service. A transfer that results in promotion or demotion.
Divinagracia's appeal to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) was dismissed on 16 July 1990 per CSC Resolution No. This appointment was to take effect on 1 July 1985. Divinagracia. Narvasa.. CSC Resolution No. Jr. without prejudice to San Luis' right to be reinstated to his former position as Cashier II of the DENR. Accordingly. Tomas. concur. On 10 June 1985. 93-1996 is AFFIRMED insofar as it orders the reinstatement of PRESCILLA B. Jr. Padilla. Romero. the petition is DISMISSED. P-17819) against CSC Chairperson Patricia A.. Prila of Pili appointed Nacario. At the back of his appointment is inscribed the notation Sa kondisyon nasa ayos ang pagkakatiwalag sa tungkulin ng dating nanunungkulan.. Mancita to the position of Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC). instead of going to the CSC for a possible reconsideration of CSC Resolution No. she filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Camarines Sur a petition for declaratory relief and prohibition with preliminary injunction (Civil Case No. the public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion. SO ORDERED. Nacario who should bear the prejudicial consequence of the reinstatement of Filomena R. Tomas in a letter dated 15 March 1993. the MSPB declared illegal Mancita's termination from the service.. formerly Municipal Development Coordinator (MDC). Mayor 15 . The name of this office was changed to MPDC in March 1983. NACARIO to the Office of Municipal Budget Officer of Pili. and ordered the new mayor. For another thing.. 90-657. on 1 August 1980. C. which when translated means "Provided that the separation of the former incumbent is in order.J. Feliciano. The correspondence which was in the nature of a motion for reconsideration constitutes sufficient opportunity for petitioners who felt aggrieved to inform the CSC of their side of the controversy. Camarines Sur. San Luis to vacate the said office without prejudice to regaining his former position in the government if legally feasible and warranted. is ORDERED to reinstate private respondent Prescilla B. as MPDC. JJ. Petitioners cannot claim that they have been denied due process of law by public respondent. and that in restoring Nacario to the position of Municipal Budget Officer (MBO) and ousting therefrom petitioner Alexis San Luis. Mayor Prila notified Mancita that her services as MDC would be terminated effective at the close of business hours on 1 July 1985 on the ground that the office of MDC was abolished as a result of the reorganization of the local government of Pili. Melo. Nacario immediately to the position of Municipal Budget Officer of Pili and petitioner Alexis D. forthwith appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). What is sought to be safeguarded in the application of due process is not the 37 lack of previous notice but the denial of opportunity to be heard. They should not be moved or removed from their established positions without any lawful cause and pushed at will like pawns on the bureaucratic chessboard. San Luis should relinquish his position in favor of private respondent Nacario. Divinagracia informed Nacario that her services as MPDC would be terminated effective 16 November 1990 in compliance with the decision of the MSPB. of course. Nacario accepted the appointment and assumed office. In his letter of 17 June 1985. to reinstate Mancita to the position of MPDC with back salaries. Kapunan. J. I gather from the ponencia the following facts: Mancita was appointed to the position of MDC of Pili. Mendoza and Francisco. or whoever is now the incumbent Mayor of Pili or acting in his behalf. the appointment of San Luis as Budget Officer carried with it a condition. J. The records reveal that petitioners had the opportunity to question the adverse opinion rendered by CSC 36 Chairperson Sto. Nacario would not accept her termination. Nacario assumed her new office over the objection of Mancita who did not accept her termination from the service and. Divinagracia. Sto. instead. In its decision of 20 June 1989. ruled that she was qualified for the position of MPDC. On 15 October 1990. A final word. Quiason. Before we write finis to this ponencia. petitioner Mayor Delfin N. dissenting: I respectfully submit that it is private respondent Prescilla B. is on leave. Separate Opinions DAVIDE.of involuntariness tainted her lateral transfer and invalidated her separation from her former position. Puno. petitioner Delfin N. However. premises considered.. This is. Mayor Anastacio M. Camarines Sur. we remind those public officials who flaunt their authority — and those similarly inclined — to faithfully abide by the Constitution and observe honestly and in good faith the tenurial security of public servants who serve the government with sincerity and dedication." Considering that the separation of Nacario who was the former incumbent was not in order. WHEREFORE. Vitug. who was then holding the position of MBO of Pili. 90-657. he being also a permanent appointee equally guaranteed security of tenure.
No. Nacario's explanation that she assumed the new position only in order to comply with the move of Mayor Prila to reorganize the municipal government of Pili is implausible and simply incredible. since the CSC was aware of the pendency of G. The letter-query seems to be a last-ditch effort at damage control after Nacario realized her fatal mistake of invoking the regular court's jurisdiction to set aside the CSC resolution reinstating Mancita. On 22 June 1992. 90-657. A year later. On the contrary. the authority to appoint the MBOs devolved on the Secretary of Budget and Management. Howsoever viewed. Nacario merely sent to the CSC a letter-query during the pendency of Mancita's petition in this Court (G.Divinagracia. the appointment of San Luis as MPDC was regularly done and without any protest from Nacario. she should have protested the appointment of San Luis. In his letter of 15 March 1993. By then. During the pendency of G. 93-1996 of 27 May 1993. Nacario had lost her position as MBO of Pili by having voluntarily accepted her appointment as MPDC and voluntarily and faithfully serving the new office. several persons held it after she had assumed office as MPDC pursuant to the 10 June 1985 appointment extended her by Mayor Prila. in a permanent capacity. In a letter dated 8 December 1990. Any suggestion of involuntariness in Nacario's acceptance of her appointment as MPDC appears only in her memorandum. fully aware of the fact that several persons had succeeded her as MBO. No. No. 90-657. Besides. Consequently. to return her to the position of MBO. as well. the CSC opined that the reinstatement of Mancita to the position of MPDC was not a valid cause for Nacario's termination and since she was the former MBO. thereby effectively relinquishing and abandoning her position as MBO. she has the right to return to the position of MBO. which included the local budget office.O. until. or rulings of the CSC are subject to review only by this Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This Court should not accept it as the gospel truth. G. As regards her former office of MBO which Nacario vacated. 98120. Secretary Guillermo Carague of the DBM appointed in a temporary capacity petitioner Alexis San Luis. It may be recalled that in 1988 the Local Officers Services. She was. In its CSC Resolution No. then Cashier II of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). in a chain of promotions. 292. San Luis was re-appointed. Divinagracia sought to reconsider the opinion for the reason that petitioner San Luis was validly appointed as MBO by the Secretary of Budget and Management and that this appointment was confirmed by the CSC. she came to this Court via a special civil action for certiorari. the conclusion in the majority opinion that her transfer to the position of MPDC was an "unconsented lateral transfer" to be without factual basis.A. it should not have entertained the letter-query. as well. If indeed she was "forced" to accept the new position. It should be noted that there was no reception of evidence before the CSC. She held the new position continuously and uninterruptedly. From the foregoing facts. Owing to the lack of qualified candidates for the position. the former MBO of Baao. Nacario sent a query to the CSC asking about her status as a permanent employee of the Municipality of Pili after she had accepted the position of MPDC. it is clear that private respondent Nacario voluntarily accepted her appointment as MPDC. as MBO of Pili. Even if the majority's theory of "unconsented 16 . In the meantime. the CSC denied the request and upheld Nacario's right to security of tenure as MBO pursuant to Section 13.R. the former MBO of Naga City. Nacario had lost her period to seek relief from CSC Resolution No. 98120) inquiring about her status as a permanent employee of the Municipality of Pili after she had accepted the position of MPDC. She was first replaced by Digna Isidro. was nationalized and placed under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). 15 October 1990 when she was told to vacate it to comply with the decision of the MSPB reinstating Mancita. No. 98120. also in such capacity. which this Court granted in its decision of 22 December 1992 (216 SCRA 772). the vacancy lasted until 30 September 1991. at the earliest. was appointed officer-in-charge. On the other hand. Digna was succeeded by Eleonor Villarico who served until 1 March 1990 when she resigned. Mayor Divinagracia. to his former position once his appointment is subsequently disapproved. As earlier stated. Camarines Sur. however. then she could have requested the new mayor.R. If the latter honestly believed that she was illegally and arbitrarily transferred to the position of MPDC. the CSC Regional Director.R.O. and Filomena Mancita. she appeared to have relished the prestige and ascendancy of her new office and the challenge of a new role as coordinator of planning and development in the municipality. 7160) as implemented by E. I find. No. P-17819 because decisions. This Section mandates the return of an appointment. He was later replaced. Mancita's motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction having been denied. as MBO of Pili. No. This Court held that the trial court had no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. On 1 October 1991. 98120. by Francisco Deocareza. even peacefully. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. 503. after control over the Local Government Officers Services was returned to the local government units concerned by virtue of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. Juan Batan.R. orders. She prayed for the annulment of CSC Resolution No.
J. She prayed for the annulment of CSC Resolution No... The disposition in the majority opinion that the dismissal is without prejudice to regaining his former position in the government if legally feasible is inconsistent with its conclusion that Section 13. Hence. During the pendency of G. as MPDC. Jr. No. on 1 August 1980.O. Separate Opinions DAVIDE. he should not be given his walking papers. the CSC Regional Director. or rulings of the CSC are subject to review only by this Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This Court held that the trial court had no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. Nacario accepted the appointment and assumed office.. This appointment was to take effect on 1 July 1985.. instead. Camarines Sur. In his letter of 15 March 1993. It may be recalled that in 1988 the Local Officers Services. forthwith appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). formerly Municipal Development Coordinator (MDC). Mancita's motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction having been denied. orders. The name of this office was changed to MPDC in March 1983. 17 . 93-1996 of 27 May 1993. Digna was succeeded by Eleonor Villarico who served until 1 March 1990 when she resigned.R. Mancita to the position of Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC). it is San Luis. Nacario sent a query to the CSC asking about her status as a permanent employee of the Municipality of Pili after she had accepted the position of MPDC. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. If there is any party whose security of tenure should be protected. She was first replaced by Digna Isidro. Sto. 292 on appointments involved in a chain of promotions is inapplicable to this case. I vote then to grant the petition. P-17819) against CSC Chairperson Patricia A. Nacario assumed her new office over the objection of Mancita who did not accept her termination from the service and.lateral transfer" was to be accepted. Mayor Divinagracia. On 10 June 1985. Nacario who should bear the prejudicial consequence of the reinstatement of Filomena R. I gather from the ponencia the following facts: Mancita was appointed to the position of MDC of Pili. Prila of Pili appointed Nacario. 90-657. In its decision of 20 June 1989. Divinagracia. P-17819 because decisions. and Filomena Mancita. This Section mandates the return of an appointment. in a chain of promotions. G. In his letter of 17 June 1985. Divinagracia informed Nacario that her services as MPDC would be terminated effective 16 November 1990 in compliance with the decision of the MSPB. A year later. which included the local budget office. the CSC denied the request and upheld Nacario's right to security of tenure as MBO pursuant to Section 13. 98120. J. who was then holding the position of MBO of Pili. the CSC opined that the reinstatement of Mancita to the position of MPDC was not a valid cause for Nacario's termination and since she was the former MBO. On 15 October 1990. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. and that in restoring Nacario to the position of Municipal Budget Officer (MBO) and ousting therefrom petitioner Alexis San Luis. petitioner Delfin N. and ordered the new mayor. No. several persons held it after she had assumed office as MPDC pursuant to the 10 June 1985 appointment extended her by Mayor Prila. ruled that she was qualified for the position of MPDC. she has the right to return to the position of MBO. which this Court granted in its decision of 22 December 1992 (216 SCRA 772).O. to reinstate Mancita to the position of MPDC with back salaries. Regalado. Divinagracia sought to reconsider the opinion for the reason that petitioner San Luis was validly appointed as MBO by the Secretary of Budget and Management and that this appointment was confirmed by the CSC. Tomas. Divinagracia's appeal to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) was dismissed on 16 July 1990 per CSC Resolution No. Nacario would not accept her termination. the public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion. No. 90-657. she filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Camarines Sur a petition for declaratory relief and prohibition with preliminary injunction (Civil Case No. 90-657. instead of going to the CSC for a possible reconsideration of CSC Resolution No. 292. 98120. In its CSC Resolution No. the MSPB declared illegal Mancita's termination from the service.R. As regards her former office of MBO which Nacario vacated. to his former position once his appointment is subsequently disapproved. No. concurs. Jr. dissenting: I respectfully submit that it is private respondent Prescilla B. she came to this Court via a special civil action for certiorari. Nacario must further be barred on the ground of estoppel. In a letter dated 8 December 1990. However. Mayor Anastacio M. Mayor Prila notified Mancita that her services as MDC would be terminated effective at the close of business hours on 1 July 1985 on the ground that the office of MDC was abolished as a result of the reorganization of the local government of Pili.
even peacefully. She held the new position continuously and uninterruptedly. otherwise known as the "Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998. From the foregoing facts. Nacario merely sent to the CSC a letter-query during the pendency of Mancita's petition in this Court (G. The disposition in the majority opinion that the dismissal is without prejudice to regaining his former position in the government if legally feasible is inconsistent with its conclusion that Section 13. 7160) as implemented by E. v. ROMEO L." by virtue of which petitioners herein. No. Regalado. after control over the Local Government Officers Services was returned to the local government units concerned by virtue of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. the appointment of San Luis as MPDC was regularly done and without any protest from Nacario. he should not be given his walking papers. in a permanent capacity. ALEXIS C. ADIONG.R. J. HON. as well.O. also in such capacity. In the meantime. By then. 98120) inquiring about her status as a permanent employee of the Municipality of Pili after she had accepted the position of MPDC. Owing to the lack of qualified candidates for the position. No. fully aware of the fact that several persons had succeeded her as MBO. who were all members of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM). DECISION GONZAGA_REYES. Secretary Guillermo Carague of the DBM appointed in a temporary capacity petitioner Alexis San Luis. On the contrary. HON. I find. as well. PUREZA. If there is any party whose security of tenure should be protected. it is San Luis. 18 . On the other hand. concurs. This Court should not accept it as the gospel truth.O. 292 on appointments involved in a chain of promotions is inapplicable to this case. thereby effectively relinquishing and abandoning her position as MBO. Any suggestion of involuntariness in Nacario's acceptance of her appointment as MPDC appears only in her memorandum. as MBO of Pili. He was later replaced. at the earliest. until. Nacario had lost her position as MBO of Pili by having voluntarily accepted her appointment as MPDC and voluntarily and faithfully serving the new office. If indeed she was "forced" to accept the new position. as Executive Secretary. Howsoever viewed. I vote then to grant the petition. she should have protested the appointment of San Luis. No. EMILIA T. It should be noted that there was no reception of evidence before the CSC. Even if the majority's theory of "unconsented lateral transfer" was to be accepted. CAIRME and VIRGINIA U. Nacario had lost her period to seek relief from CSC Resolution No. The letter-query seems to be a last-ditch effort at damage control after Nacario realized her fatal mistake of invoking the regular court's jurisdiction to set aside the CSC resolution reinstating Mancita. it is clear that private respondent Nacario voluntarily accepted her appointment as MPDC. CRISTOBAL. the former MBO of Baao.: The central issue posed before this Court in the present case is the constitutionality of Republic Act No. J. Nacario's explanation that she assumed the new position only in order to comply with the move of Mayor Prila to reorganize the municipal government of Pili is implausible and simply incredible. As earlier stated. and ROGELIO A.A. Hence.was nationalized and placed under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). JOSE PERCIVAL L. If the latter honestly believed that she was illegally and arbitrarily transferred to the position of MPDC.ANDER P. she appeared to have relished the prestige and ascendancy of her new office and the challenge of a new role as coordinator of planning and development in the municipality. BONCODIN. the conclusion in the majority opinion that her transfer to the position of MPDC was an "unconsented lateral transfer" to be without factual basis. Consequently. Besides. Petitioners claim that such law violates their constitutionally guaranteed right to security of tenure. 8551 1 (RA 8551). was appointed officer-in-charge. Camarines Sur. Mayor Divinagracia. 15 October 1990 when she was told to vacate it to comply with the decision of the MSPB reinstating Mancita. CANONIZADO. the authority to appoint the MBOs devolved on the Secretary of Budget and Management. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. San Luis was re-appointed. as MBO of Pili. She was. however. Nacario must further be barred on the ground of estoppel. it should not have entertained the letter-query. On 1 October 1991. Juan Batan. Respondents. Petitioners. then Cashier II of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). the former MBO of Naga City. On 22 June 1992. No. to return her to the position of MBO. then she could have requested the new mayor.R. by Francisco Deocareza. AGUIRRE. EDGAR DULA TORRES. were separated from office. as Secretary of Budget and Management. the vacancy lasted until 30 September 1991. 503. 90-657. since the CSC was aware of the pendency of G. 98120..
1991 for a six year term. Petitioners argue that their removal from office by virtue of section 8 of RA 8551 violates their security of tenure. that is. Canonizado was re-appointed for another six years. According to petitioners. On the same date. four (4) regular Commissioners. Rogelio A. one (1) of whom shall be designated as vice chairperson by the President. He was re-appointed on January 23. 13. except for 6 cause provided by law. The Commission shall be an agency attached to the Department for policy and program coordination. And For Other Purposes. public respondents cite the various changes introduced by RA 8551 in the functions. Factoran. hereinafter referred to as the Commission. 1995. as the word 14 "abolished" denotes. It shall be composed of a Chairperson. 1996. That an active member of a law enforcement agency shall be considered resigned from said agency once appointed to the Commission: Provided further. The fourth regular Commissioner shall come from the law enforcement sector either active or retired: Provided. it declared that the terms of the current Commissioners were deemed as expired upon its effectivity. 1998. RA 8551 took effect. Adiong. they cannot be removed or suspended from office. entitled "An Act Establishing The Philippine National Police Under A Reorganized Department Of The Interior And Local Government. Pureza and respondent Jose Percival L. An abolition of office connotes an intention to do away with such office wholly and permanently. The phrase "except for cause provided by law" refers to " reasons which the law and sound public policy recognize as sufficient warrant for removal. 1998 and who took their oaths of 4 office on July 2. That at least one (1) of the Commissioners shall be a woman. not for political or personal reasons. None of their terms had expired at the time the 2 amendatory law was passed. sections 4 and 8 of RA 8551 are unconstitutional. Rasul we said: It is true that a valid and bona fide abolition of an office denies to the incumbent the right to security of tenure. 1997 for another six years. On March 6. Magahum and Cleofe M. 1995. Board of Regents v.P. section 8 states that Upon the effectivity of this Act. and agencies of the Government. Pureza was appointed on January 2. amending section 13 of Republic Act No. while the Vice Chairperson shall act as the executive officer of the Commission. the renaming and restructuring of the PGH 19 . in compliance with the constitutional mandate. As such. Meanwhile. Petitioners posit the theory that the abolition of 8 petitioners offices was a result of a reorganization of the NAPOLCOM allegedly effected by RA 8551. in U. such as the lack of funds or in the interest of economy. the abolition is a legal nullity. and not merely causes which 7 the appointing power in the exercise of discretion may deem sufficient. subdivisions. 6975 (RA 6975). in order for the abolition to be valid. [De la Lanna v. which embraces all branches. who were appointed by President Estrada on June 30. 112 SCRA 294 (1982)] However. the members of the NAPOLCOM were petitioners Edgar Dula Torres. is hereby created for the purpose of effectively discharging the functions prescribed in the Constitution and provided in this Act. Creation and Composition. Alba. Where one office is abolished and replaced with another office vested with similar functions. Section 4. provides SEC. Dula Torres was first appointed to the NAPOLCOM on January 8. 1997 for a similar term of six years. Alexis C. Respondent Adiongs appointment to the NAPOLCOM was issued on July 23. 13 or in order to circumvent the constitutional security of tenure of civil service employees. It is beyond dispute that petitioners herein are members of the civil service. Adiong. Pursuant thereto. Completing the membership of the NAPOLCOM are Leo S. the terms of office of the current Commissioners are deemed expired which shall constitute a bar to their reappointment or an extension of their terms in the Commission except for current Commissioners who have served less than two (2) years of their terms of office who may be appointed by the President for a maximum term of two (2) years. Canonizado was appointed on January 25. 1998. It is acknowledged that Congress 10 may abolish any office it creates without impairing the officers right to continue in the position held and that 11 12 such power may be exercised for various reasons. instrumentalities. including government-owned or controlled 5 corporations with original charters." Public respondents insist that the express declaration in section 8 of RA 8551 that the terms of petitioners offices are deemed expired discloses the legislative intent to impliedly abolish the NAPOLCOM created under RA 6975 pursuant to a bona fide reorganization. President Ramos appointed Romeo L. A National Police Commission. was given a term extension of two years since he had served less than two years of his previous term. The Secretary of the Department shall be the ex-officio Chairperson of the Commission. 1998. 1993 to serve the unexpired term of another Commissioner which ended on December 31. and the Chief of the PNP as ex-officio member. However. In support of their theory. legal cause. in this case.The NAPOLCOM was originally created under Republic Act No. Thus. 1998 as a member of the NAPOLCOM for a full six year term. On August 23. 6975. Three (3) of the regular Commissioners shall come from the civilian sector who are neither active nor former members of the police or military. Cairme and Adiong both 3 took their oaths of office on April 6. it must be made in good faith. d 9 The creation and abolition of public offices is primarily a legislative function. Canonizado." Under RA 6975. Cairme on March 11. composition and character of the NAPOLCOM as proof of Congress intention to abolish the body created under RA 6975 in order to replace it with a new NAPOLCOM which is more civilian in nature.
ranks. Thus: Abolition of an office is obviously not the same as the declaration that that office is vacant. (underscoring supplied) 16 This was also our ruling in Guerrero v. The Court held that this change in the NLRCs nature was not sufficient to justify a conclusion that the new law abolished the offices of the labor commissioners. the Commission has the following powers and functions: 20 .declare the offices of petitioners vacant. the abolition lacks good faith." Contrary to what public respondents would have us believe. the new law provided that three of the regular Commissioners shall come from the civilian sector who are neither active nor former members of the police or military. Another amendment pointed out by public respondents is the revision of the NAPOLCOMs composition. and salaries or emoluments. the NAPOLCOM was described as a collegial body within the Department of the Interior and 20 Local Government. Again. by declaring that "the terms of office of the current Commissioners are deemed expired. was also considered an integral part of the Department of Labor and Employment. composition and functions of the NAPOLCOM. In order to determine whether there has been an implied abolition. and that the fourth regular Commissioner shall come from the law enforcement sector either active or retired. prior to the passage of the amendatory law. however. The Court held that the removal of petitioners was unconstitutional since Republic Act No. wherein we declared that the substantial identity in the functions between the two offices was indicia of bad faith in the removal of petitioner pursuant to a reorganization. In Mayor. Congress may only be conceded this power if it is done pursuant to a bona fide abolition of the NAPOLCOM. [Jose L. it becomes necessary to examine the changes introduced by the new law in the nature. G. Also. as we held in Mayor. the NLRC. This is because where the abolished office and the offices created in its place have similar functions. as provided in 23 section 20 of RA 6975 as amended by section 10 of RA 8551. Salvador M. and will have to be struck down on that account. (Department) whereas under RA 8551 it is made "an agency attached to the Department 21 for policy and program coordination. duties and functions of the petitioners offices under the old law and the new law. Hon." thereby removing petitioners herein from the civil service. Finally. No. Under RA 6975. Arizabal. the petitioners assailed the constitutionality of Republic Act No. on its face. Under RA 6975. It will be noted that the organizational structure of the NAPOLCOM.R. the powers and duties of the NAPOLCOM remain basically unchanged by the amendments. this does not result in the creation of an entirely new office. except for the addition of the PNP Chief as ex-officio member.and its component units cannot give rise to a valid and bona fide abolition of the position of PGH Director. RA 6715. In addition. 1990. 81928. In answer to this query.. RA 8551 did not expressly abolish petitioners positions. Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission and provided for the removal of the incumbents upon the appointment and qualification of their 19 successors. 6715 did not expressly or impliedly abolish the offices of petitioners. 6715 insofar as it declared vacant the positions of the Commissioners. We come now to the case at bench. Macaraig is squarely in point. such revisions do not constitute such essential changes in the nature of the NAPOLCOM as to result in an implied abolition of such office. 186 SCRA 108 (1990)] We hereby apply the principle enunciated in Cesar Z. This is precisely what RA 8851 seeks to do . it 22 is required that at least one of the Commissioners shall be a woman. Hon. and assuming that the abolition of the position of the PGH Director and the creation of a UP-PGH Medical Center Director are valid. The question that must first be resolved is whether or not petitioners were removed by virtue of a valid abolition of their office by Congress. under both laws. More specifically. RA 8551 expanded the membership of the NAPOLCOM from four to five Commissioners by adding the Chief of the PNP as an ex-officio member. the removal of the incumbent is still not justified for the reason that the duties and functions of the two positions are basically the same. and to upgrade their qualifications. Guerrero v. changed that by declaring that it shall instead ". it can not be conceded the power to simply pronounce those offices vacant and thereby effectively remove the occupants or holders thereof from the civil service. the composition of the NAPOLCOM is also substantially identical under the two laws. remains essentially the same and that. the Secretary of the Department shall act as the ex-officio Chairman of the Commission and the Vice-Chairman shall be one of the Commissioners designated by the 24 President. Furthermore. Arizabal. the case of Mayor v. The above notwithstanding. 18 In that case." making it a more autonomous body. an infringement of the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure. While it is undoubtedly a prerogative of the legislature to abolish certain offices. Dario vs. June 4.be attached to the Department of Labor and Employment for program coordination only. It can not be justified by the professed "need to professionalize the higher levels of officialdom invested with adjudicatory powers and functions. whether the changes effected by RA 8551 in reference to the NAPOLCOM were so substantial as to effectively create a completely new office 17 in contemplation of the law. Such an act would constitute. Antonio V. there being no irreconcilable inconsistency in the nature.n [176 SCRA 84 (1989)] that abolition which merely changes the nomenclature of positions is invalid and does not result in the removal of the incumbent.
selection. and facilities of all police agencies throughout the country. (b) Advise the President on all matters involving police functions and administration. logistiequirements. recruitment. and retirement of personnel and the conduct of qualifying entrance and promotional examinations for uniformed members. distribution. promotion and retirement. (d) Examine and audit. (e) Prepare a police manual prescribing rules and regulations for efficient organization. Within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act. standards and procedures to improve police services based on sound professional concepts and principles. (c) Foster and develop policies and promulgate rules and regulations. awards and medals of honor. 7) Exercise appellate jurisdiction through the regional appellate boards over administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits. information systems. (g) Conduct surveys and compile statistical data for the proper evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of all police units in the country. crime laboratory. and uniforms and after consultation with the Philippine Heraldry Commission. cities and provinces throughout the country. 3) Establish a system of uniform crime reporting. promotion. records. through the National Appellate Board. for insignia of ranks. activities. information systems. and operation. and (o) Perform such other functions necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and as the President may direct. personnel disciplinary actions involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed upon members of the Philippine National Police by the Chief of the Philippine National Police. for insignia of ranks. records. within sixty (60) days before the commencement of each calendar year. communications.(a) Exercise administrative control over the Philippine National Police. (l) Recommend to the President. and thereafter establish the standards for such purposes on a continuing basis. after consultation with the Philippine Heraldry Commission. 4) Conduct an annual self-report survey and compile statistical date for the accurate assessment of the crime situation and the proper evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of all police units in the country. (f) Establish a system of uniform crime reporting. 6) Affirm. selection . distribution and deployment. (j) Affirm reverse or modify. activities and facilities of all police agencies throughout the country. 2) Examine and audit. communications. personnel disciplinary actions involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed upon members of the Philippine National Police by the Chief of the Philippine National Police. awards. a crime prevention. crime prevention and crime reporting. including recruitment. and designate who among its personnel can issue such processes and administer oaths in connection therewith. equipment. through the National Appellate Board. and thereafter establish the standards for such purposes on a continuing basis. 10) Inspect and assess the compliance of the PNP on the established criteria for manpower allocation. 8) Prescribe minimum standards for arms. and designate who among its personnel can issue such processes and administer oaths in connection therewith. equipment. and operation. and medals of honor. administration. the standards of the uniformed personnel of the PNP must be revised which should be clearly distinct from the military and reflective of the civilian character of the police. through the Secretary. crime laboratory. and therewith formulate 21 . reverse or modify. the performance. (n) Issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in matters pertaining to the discharge of its own powers and duties. including criteria for manpower allocation. (i) Approve or modify plans and programs on education and training. (m) Prescribe minimum standards for arms. Meanwhile. administration. logistiequirements. (k) Exercise appellate jurisdiction through the regional appellate boards over administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits. and recommendation for appropriate remedial legislation. and uniforms and. (h) Render to the President and to Congress an annual report on its activities and accomplishments during the thirty (30) days after the end of the calendar year. the performance. 9) Issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in matters pertaining to the discharge of its own powers and duties. and deployment and their impact on the community and the crime situation. 5) Approve or modify plans and programs on education and training. the NAPOLCOMs functions under section 5 of RA 8551 are: a) Exercise administrative control and operational supervision over the Philippine National Police which shall mean the power to: 1) Develop policies and promulgate a police manual prescribing rules and regulations for efficient organization. which shall include an appraisal of the conditions obtaining in the organization and administration of police agencies in the municipalities. crime prevention and crime reporting.
b) Advise the President on all matters involving police functions and administration. it is the power or authority of an officer to 27 see that subordinate officers perform their duties. for a 30 reorganization to be valid. through the Secretary. or where claims of economy are belied by the existence of ample funds. It involves a reduction of 29 personnel. or otherwise not in good faith. cities and provinces throughout the country. We hold that there has been absolutely no attempt by Congress to effect such a reorganization. with one having supervision and control over the other. rule-making. which shall include an appraisal of the conditions obtaining in the organization and administration of police agencies in the municipalities. Be that as it may. this is a mere allegation on the part of public respondents of which this Court cannot take 22 . is done for politieasons or purposely to defeat security of tenure. Naturally. It is exceedingly apparent to this Court that RA 8551 effected a reorganization of the PNP. to supervise is to oversee. within sixty (60) days before the commencement of each calendar year. whereas under RA 6975 it only exercised administrative control should be 25 construed as evidence of legislative intent to abolish such office.As a general rule. neither has there been a reduction in its membership.." On the other hand. to superintend the execution of or the performance of a thing. Petitioners are thus entitled to be reinstated to office. Control means "the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the 26 performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the that of the latter. the basic structure of the NAPOLCOM has been preserved by the amendatory law." Clearly. authority and responsibility.. RA 8551. consolidation of offices. and recommendations for appropriate remedial legislation. 11) Monitor the performance of the local chief executives as deputies of the Commission." which is nothing else but a separation or removal. authority and responsibility between them. There has been no revision in its lines of control. to have oversight of. petitioners herein. c) Render to the President and to the Congress an annual report on its activities and accomplishments during the thirty (30) days after the end of the calendar year. a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. if the "abolition. laid down in Dario v. it must also pass the test of good faith. However. as expired and resulting in their removal from office. no dismissal (in case of a dismissal) or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. At this juncture. 32 The new appointments made in order to replace petitioners are not valid. security of tenure would not be a Chinese wall. or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. Reorganization takes place when there is an alteration of the existing structure of government offices or units 28 therein. the NAPOLCOM continues to exercise substantially the same administrative. and 12) Monitor and investigate police anomalies and irregularities. pursuant to sections 40 and 41 of RA 8551 and that he took his oath of office before the President on July 7. 1998. or the movements or work of a person. As mentioned earlier. Canonizado accepted an appointment by President Estrada as the Inspector General of Internal Affairs Services (IAS) of the PNP. Thus. including the lines of control. And in that case. d) Recommend to the President. nor a consolidation or abolition of the offices constituting the same. Adding the Chief of the PNP as an ex-officio member of the Commission does not result in a reorganization. removes civil service employees from office without legal cause and must therefore be struck down for being constitutionally infirm. andx law e) Perform such other functions necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and as the President may direct. Public respondents would have this Court believe that RA 8551 reorganized the NAPOLCOM resulting in the abolition of petitioners offices. is void ab initio. Public respondents argue that the fact that the NAPOLCOM is now vested with administrative control and operational supervision over the PNP. the power of control necessarily encompasses the power of supervision and adding the phrase "operational supervision" under the powers of the NAPOLCOM would not bring about a substantial change in its functions so as to arrive at the conclusion that a completely new office has been created. No bona fide reorganization of the NAPOLCOM having been mandated by Congress.n: .appropriate guidelines for maximization of resources and effective utilization of the PNP personnel. However. insofar as it declares the terms of office of the incumbent Commissioners. it may result in the loss of ones position through removal or abolition of an office. It is a well-entrenched principle that when a regular government employee is illegally dismissed. to inspect with authority. no valid "abolition" takes place and whatever "abolition" is done. In fact. a crime prevention program. not of the NAPOLCOM. It is of no moment that there are now new appointees to the NAPOLCOM. supervisory. his position never became vacant under the law and he is considered as not having left his office. There is an invalid "abolition" as where there is merely a change of nomenclature of positions. In that event. advisory and adjudicatory functions. They are two separate and distinct bodies. we note that it is alleged by public respondents that on June 30. This contention is bereft of merit. 1998. it is the NAPOLCOM that is given the duty of submitting a proposed reorganization plan of the PNP to 31 Congress.
the Office of the Ombudsman issued the questioned preventive suspension order. was assigned to conduct the inquiry. in his capacity as Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. in his capacity as Graft Investigation Officer I. Besides. It is beyond doubt that the legislature has the power to provide for the composition of the NAPOLCOM since it created such body. and unquestionably lie beyond 34 the normal prerogatives of the Court to pass upon. This prompted the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) to conduct an inquiry into the matter. DECISION QUISUMBING. Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas).E. we grant the petition. through the contract signed by petitioner. he recommended that the said inquiry be upgraded to criminal and administrative cases against petitioner and the other city officials involved. Therefore. in his capacity as Director. petitioner was placed under preventive suspension without pay for the maximum period of six months and told to cease and desist from holding office immediately. Under the said order. the graft investigating officer to whom the case was raffled for investigation.. petitioner. Mojica. Sometime in March 1999. it is asserted by petitioners that the requirement in section 4 that one of the Commissioners shall be a woman has no rational basis and is therefore discriminatory. The following day. respondents. Mendoza. Puno. ARTURO C. or on June 24. They claim that it amounts to class legislation and amounts to an undue restriction upon the appointing power of the President as provided under 33 section 16 of Article VII of the Constitution. The contract covers the period 1998-2001. In a memorandum dated June 22. in his capacity as Cebu City mayor. Garcia and eight other city officials. TAGAAN. which motion was denied in an order dated July 5. Jr. this issue has not been fully ventilated in the pleadings of the parties. Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas). JJ. Buena. 1998. The factual antecedents are as follows: On May 7. these questions go into the very wisdom of the law. which period was to commence on September 1998 when the first delivery should have been made by F. Respondent Arturo C. we find that there is no longer any need to pass upon these remaining constitutional questions. MAYOR ALVIN B. Kapunan. Vitug. MOJICA. Garciano. Respondent Jesus Rodrigo T. 1999. Tagaan. special prosecution officer of the Office of the Ombudsman. such allegation cannot be taken into consideration by this Court in passing upon the issues in the present case. but only to the extent of declaring section 8 of RA 8551 unconstitutional for being in violation of the petitioners right to security of tenure. Two days later. vs. AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN ASSUMING JURISDICTION OVER OMB-VIS-ADM-99-0452 23 .. Panganiban. Petitioners also assail the constitutionality of section 4 of RA 8551 insofar as it limits the law enforcement sector to only one position on the Commission and categorizes the police as being part of the law enforcement sector despite section 6 of Article XVI of the Constitution which provides that the police force shall be civilian in character.E. Bellosillo. docketed as INQ-VIS-99-0132.: The present controversy involves the preventive suspension order issued on June 25.J. GARCIA. on June 25. Jr. Petitioner contends that: I THE RESPONDENTS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. 1999. and De Leon. the affidavit-complaint against petitioner was filed. After his investigation. Zuellig. SO ORDERED. signed a contract with F. Pardo. VIRGINIA PALANCA-SANTIAGO. Ynares-Santiago. approved this recommendation. In view of our ruling upon the unconstitutionality of petitioners removal from office by virtue of section 8 of RA 8551. Zuellig for the supply of asphalt to the city. Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. 1999.. 1999. news reports came out regarding the alleged anomalous purchase of asphalt by Cebu City. ALAN FRANCISCO S.judicial notice. 1999. Quisumbing. recommended the preventive suspension of petitioner and the others. Furthermore. respondent Allan Francisco S. Melo. He pleads for immediate relief through the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioners herein are entitled to REINSTATEMENT and to the payment of full 35 backwages to be reckoned from the date they were removed from office. Purisima. against petitioner Cebu City Mayor Alvin B. Petitioner is now before this Court assailing the validity of the said order. 1999. C. WHEREFORE. GARCIANO. On June 29. and JESUS RODRIGO T. J. HON. concur. Moreover. by the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) in OMB-VIS-ADM-99-0452. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said order. petitioner.s c Davide.. The removal from office of petitioners as a result of the application of such unconstitutional provision of law and the appointment of new Commissioners in their stead is therefore null and void.
is merely intended to maintain the last. in reply. 6770)? Was the procedure in the law properly observed? 3. his reelection has rendered the administrative case filed against him moot and academic. AND IN GROSS VIOLATION OF SECTION 26(2) OF THE OMBUDSMAN LAW. II ASSUMING. AND PETITIONER HAVING BEEN REELECTED TO THE SAME POSITION. AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN CONCLUDING THAT THE EVIDENCE AGAINST PETITIONER WAS ―STRONG‖. Also. unlike the amended rule on restraining orders. for the proper resolution on the merits of the present controversy. AND INADMISSIBLE NEWSPAPER REPORTS. On July 19.‖ On July 28. THE LITTLE EVIDENCE ON RECORD CONSISTING SOLELY OF A HEARSAY AFFIDAVIT. This was resorted to when the projected proceedings in the case made the conservation of the status quo desirable or essential. a status quo order is more in the nature of a cease and desist order. Petitioner. we heard the parties‘ oral arguments on the following issues: 1. Petitioner contends that. respondents filed a motion seeking clarification of our status quo order. On July 23. but the affected party neither sought such relief or the allegations in his pleading did not sufficiently make out a case for a temporary restraining order. AND ONLY FOR A PERIOD NOT IN EXCESS OF SIXTY (60) DAYS. THE PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION FOR SIX MONTHS WAS WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION. 1999. ARGUENDO.A.A. THAT THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN HAS JURISDICTION OVER OMB-VIS-ADM-99-0452. unlike a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. argued that the status quo refers to ―the last actual peaceable uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. Assuming further that the Ombudsman has jurisdiction. is the preventive suspension of petitioner based on ―strong evidence‖ as required by law? We will now address these issues together. the status quo could not be that where petitioner is preventively suspended since the suspension did not precede the present controversy. Santos. What is the effect of the reelection of petitioner on the investigation of acts done before his reelection? Did the Ombudsman for the Visayas gravely abuse his discretion in conducting the investigation of petitioner and ordering his preventive suspension? 2. III ASSUMING.AND ISSUING THE PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION ORDER. THE RESPONDENTS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. CONSIDERING THAT THE ALLEGED ACT CONSTITUTING THE CHARGE AGAINST PETITIONER HEREIN WAS COMMITTED DURING HIS PREVIOUS TERM. AND IN GROSS VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 63 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE WHICH MANDATES THAT THE PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION OF LOCAL ELECTIVE OFFICIALS BE ORDERED ONLY AFTER THE ISSUES HAVE BEEN JOINED. 1999. ARGUENDO. Regalado. since it neither directs the doing or undoing of acts as in the case of prohibitory or mandatory injunctive relief. as the very term connotes. Petitioner further 24 . we directed the parties to maintain the status quo until further orders from this Court. per our ruling in Aguinaldo v. it is the controversy. a status quo order does not require the posting of a bond. what law should apply to the investigation being conducted by him. the Local Government Code (R. Assuming that the Ombudsman properly took cognizance of the case. As explained by Justice Florenz D. ARGUENDO. This is because reelection operates as a condonation by the electorate of the misconduct committed by an elective official during his previous term. 1999. petitioner issued a memorandum informing employees and officials of the Office of the City Mayor that he was assuming the post of mayor effective immediately. Respondents claimed that the status quo referred to in the order should be that where petitioner is already suspended and vice mayor Renato Osmeña is the acting city mayor. It appears that on the same day. actual. an authority on remedial law: ―There have been instances when the Supreme Court has issued a status quo order which. IV ASSUMING. THE PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION WAS ISSUED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION.‖ Thus. THAT THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN HAS JURISDICTION OVER OMB-VIS-ADM-99-0452. The status quo order was thus issued motu proprio on equitable considerations. The further distinction is provided by the present amendment in the sense that. 7160) or the Ombudsman Law (R. We agree with petitioner in this regard. THAT THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN HAS JURISDICTION. peaceable and uncontested state of things which preceded the controversy. THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN BEING WITHOUT JURISDICTION OVER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CASE.
(4) Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts. 6770. instrumentalities and agencies. the Court applied the Aguinaldo doctrine. according to petitioner. (3) Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency‘s functions. – The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions. unjust.‖(Emphasis supplied. in reelecting him..‖ Hence. the Ombudsman has the power to: ―investigate on its own. appears clear from the foregoing provisions of R. oppressive or discriminatory. further grants the Office of the Ombudsman the statutory power to conduct administrative investigations. and the Judiciary. respondents point out that the contract in question was signed just four days before the date of the 1998 election and so it could not be presumed that when the people of Cebu City voted petitioner to office.‖ Section 21 of R. or inefficient. The implementation of the contract is a mere incident of its execution. Section 19 of said law provides: ―SEC. including Members of the Cabinet. 6770 names the officials subject to the Ombudsman‘s disciplinary authority: ―SEC. the doctrine in Aguinaldo applies even where the effects of the act complained of are still evident during the subsequent term of the reelected official. or on complaint by any person. Exceptions. by reason of such faults or misconduct to practically overrule the will of the people. excludes the contract‘s execution or implementation.. In Salalima. On this point. government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. . the Ombudsman Law. even if the administrative case against Governor Salalima was filed after his reelection. according to respondents. Petitioner argues that. or any act subsequent to the perfection of the contract. but not limited to acts or omissions which: (1) Are contrary to law or regulation. and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct. on the other hand.A. because what is involved in this case is a misconduct committed during a previous term but to be effective during the current term. it was to commence or be effective only on September 1998 or during his current term. 19. following Salalima. The charge. petitioner cannot take refuge in the fact of his reelection. the electorate was actually aware of his prior misdeeds. Hon. Besides. Nevertheless. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. ―. except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress. we recall that the Solicitor General maintained that Aguinaldo did not apply to that case because the administrative case against Governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo of Cagayan was already pending when he filed his certificate of candidacy for his reelection bid. That the Office of the Ombudsman may conduct an administrative investigation into the acts complained of. However. the question of whether or not the Ombudsman may conduct an investigation over a particular 25 . employee. Officials Subject To Disciplinary Authority. according to respondents. (5) Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose. Respondents maintain that. they did so with full knowledge of petitioner‘s character.petitioner performed two acts with respect to the contract: he provided for a suspensive period making the supply contract commence or be effective during his succeeding or current term and during his current term of office he acceded to the suspensive period making the contract effective during his current term by causing the implementation of the contract. petitioner responds that knowledge of an official‘s previous acts is presumed and the court need not inquire whether.) Petitioner is an elective local official accused of grave misconduct and dishonesty. Guingona. in his view.‖ Aguinaldo cannot apply. Under Article XI.E. Thus. improper. – The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating. It is not for the court. It is the respondents‘ submission that petitioner ―went beyond the protective confines‖ of jurisprudence when he ―agreed to extend his act to his current term of office. wherein we absolved Albay governor Romeo R. that ―. or (6) Are otherwise irregular. to resolve the present controversy. contend that while the contract in question was signed during the previous term of petitioner.‖ Respondents.‖ R. 21. unfair. any act or omission of any public official. immoral or devoid of justification. 6770. if he had been guilty of any. Worth stressing. Section 13. (2) Are unreasonable. it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character. in Salalima. local government. Further. the ―sole act‖ for which he has been administratively charged is the signing of the contract with F. though in accordance with law. When the people have elected a man to office.cites the ruling of this Court in Pascual v. Administrative Complaints. . we must recall that the authority of the Ombudsman to conduct administrative investigations is mandated by no less than the Constitution. office or agency.A. Salalima of his administrative liability as regards a retainer agreement he signed in favor of a law firm during his previous term. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija.A. Petitioner cites our ruling in Salalima v. although disbursements of public funds to cover payments under the agreement were still being done during his subsequent term. Zuellig.
did respondent Deputy Ombudsman commit a grave abuse of discretion when he set the period of preventive suspension at six months? Preventive suspension under Sec. 6770. Preventive Suspension. in our view. negligence or petition of the respondent.A. in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.) We have previously interpreted the phrase ―under his authority‖ to mean that the Ombudsman can preventively suspend all officials under investigation by his office. and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty. This distinction ought here to be kept in mind.with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. with F.E. It is pertinent to note here that the inquiry that preceded the filing of an administrative case against petitioner was prompted by newspaper reports regarding the allegedly anomalous contract entered into by petitioner. the present controversy simply boils down to this pivotal question: Given the purpose of preventive suspension and the circumstances of this case. But.‖ (Underscoring supplied. both the strength of the evidence to warrant said suspension and the propriety of the length or period of suspension imposed on petitioner are properly raised in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. 24. based on an initial investigation purportedly showing: (1) the contract for supply of asphalt to Cebu City was designed to favor F.) The determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong as to warrant preventive suspension rests with the Ombudsman. negligence or petition of the respondent. excepting of course those removable by impeachment. 6770 – ―SEC. The discretion as regards the period of such suspension also necessarily belongs to the Ombudsman. except that he cannot extend the period of suspension beyond that provided by law. There can be no question in this case as to the power and authority of respondent Deputy Ombudsman to issue an order of preventive suspension against an official like the petitioner. Likewise worthy of note.act or omission. or (c) the respondent‘s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. the evidence of guilt is strong. In our view. on behalf of Cebu City.. after investigation. is different from the question of whether or not petitioner. which is the maximum provided by law.A. even as we must also take note that the power to investigate is distinct from the power to suspend preventively an erring public officer. R. and there is no appeal. Sec. These equitable remedies under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court precisely exist to provide prompt relief where an ―officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted. speedy. except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault. among other factors.A.E. In this case. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months. Preventive Suspension. members of Congress and the Judiciary. regardless of the branch of government in which they are employed. Zuellig. There were also letters from Shell and Petron that were replies to the Office of the Ombudsman‘s (Visayas) inquiry on whether or not they could supply Cebu City with asphalt and on what terms. petitioner was preventively suspended and ordered to cease and desist from holding office for the entire period of six months. without pay. – The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. 6770 abovecited. 24. thus exposing the city government to the risks attendant to a fluctuating exchange rate. 24. except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault. without pay. and (3) the interest of the city under the contract is not protected by adequate security. or any plain. Under Section 24 of R. particularly considering that the amount was fixed in dollars and was payable in pesos. (2) the amount quoted in the contract was too expensive compared to the amount for which asphalt may be bought from local suppliers such as Shell and Petron.‖ (See Rule 65. respondent Garciano recommended that petitioner be preventively suspended. ―SEC..‖ (Underscoring supplied. if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong. 26 . In the memorandum to respondent Mojica. (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service. The period for which an official may be preventively suspended must not exceed six months. The power to preventively suspend is available not only to the Ombudsman but also to the Deputy Ombudsman. may be held administratively liable. to prevent that official from using his office to intimidate or influence witnesses or to tamper with records that might be vital to the prosecution of the case against him. 1). Zuellig. This is the clear import of Section 24 of R. – xxx The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months. These findings were based on the contract itself and on letters from Bitumex and Credit Lyonnais. to repeat. the power of the Office of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend an official subject to its administrative investigation is provided by specific provision of law. may be imposed when. in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.
as far as we are concerned. and for the maximum period of six months provided by the Ombudsman Law. however. On behalf of respondents. in fact. has been violated. let alone irreconcilable. Vitug. We would only wish to point out that in a subsequent section.. were obtained after petitioner had been suspended.‖ Respondents may be correct in pointing out the reason for the shorter period of preventive suspension imposable under the Local Government Code. and disbursement vouchers). ―the two provisions govern differently. of whether there has been grave abuse of discretion in a specific case of preventive suspension. documents that show petitioner‘s guilt. without necessarily subscribing to petitioner‘s claim that the Local Government Code. is not likely to be similarly motivated because it is a constitutional body. or President‘s office. In Hagad v. then. administrative complaints commenced under the Ombudsman Law are distinct from those initiated under the Local Government Code. who may be motivated by partisan political considerations. has been sufficient for the lawful purpose of preventing petitioner from hiding and destroying needed documents. petitioner was suspended without having had the chance to refute first the charges against him. the pertinent provisions of the Ombudsman Act. from respondents‘ submission. we cannot say now that there is no evidence sufficiently strong to justify the imposition of preventive suspension against petitioner. President. But as respondents argue. True. as to compel us to only uphold one and strike down the other. preventive suspension may only be imposed after the issues are joined. Mr. governor. said: ―Senator Pimentel. In contrast the Ombudsman. who can impose a longer period of preventive suspension. If the purpose of the preventive suspension was to enable the investigating authority to gather documents without intervention from petitioner. We must conclude that the period during which petitioner was already preventively suspended. we have provided for the power of suspension of local government officials to be limited only to 60 days and not more than 90 days in any one year.‖ It was also argued in Hagad. or the President. considering the constitutional origin of his Office. which became the Local Government Code. and only for a maximum period of sixty days. We. In contrast the Ombudsman. during the nearly month-long suspension of petitioner from June 25 to July 19. But per J. the Solicitor General stated during his oral argument at the hearing that the documents mentioned in respondents‘ comment (such as purchase orders. he claimed they strengthen the evidence of respondents against petitioner. 1999. a governor. regardless of the number of administrative charges that may be filed against a local government official. on the matter of whether or not the Ombudsman has been stripped of his power to investigate local elective officials by virtue of the Local Government Code. 155.Given these findings. there is nothing in the Local Government Code to indicate that it has repealed. we said: ―Indeed. but we have held in other cases that there could be preventive suspension even before the charges against the official are heard. it does appear to us that the imposition of the maximum period of six months is unwarranted. which he averred should apply to this case of an elective local official. whether expressly or impliedly. Granting that now the evidence against petitioner is already strong. Now. Gozo-Dadole. Mr. Indeed it did not. The two statutes on the specific matter in question are not so inconsistent. Political color could taint the exercise of the power to suspend local officials by the mayor. Even if an afterthought. or before the official is given an opportunity to prove his innocence. we can only conclude that this purpose was already achieved. We reach the foregoing conclusion. The distinction is valid but not decisive. that the six-month preventive suspension under the Ombudsman Law is ―much too repugnant‖ to the 60-day period that may be imposed under the Local Government Code. Respondents base their argument on the deliberations of the Senate on Senate Bill No. commenting on the preservation in the proposed Code of the power of the Office of the President to suspend local officials. President. in our view. always ought to be insulated from the vagaries of politics. Senator Aquilino Pimentel. it is clear to us that the maximum six-month period is excessive and definitely longer than necessary for the Ombudsman to make its legitimate case against petitioner.‖  However. as respondents would have us believe. or harassing and preventing witnesses who wish to appear against him. Preventive suspension is merely a preliminary step in an administrative investigation and is not in any way the final determination of the guilt of the 27 . under said Code. Here. petitioner now contends that Hagad did not settle the question of whether a local elective official may be preventively suspended even before the issues could be joined. even without conceding that initially it was weak. purchase requests. Respondents point out that the shorter period of suspension under the Local Government Code is intended to limit the period of suspension that may be imposed by a mayor. Jr. had in mind the case of Mayor Ganzon of Iloilo where the Secretary of Local Government sort of serialized the filing of charges against him so that he can be continuously suspended when one case is filed right after the other. the Senate Committee is ready to adopt a more stringent rule regarding the power of removal and suspension by the Office of the President over local government officials. But considering its purpose and the circumstances in the case brought before us.
To rule otherwise would open the floodgates to exacerbating endless partisan contests between the reelected official and his political enemies.E. That the people voted for an official with knowledge of his character is presumed. then such reelection is considered a condonation of his past misdeeds. and so the electorate could not be said to have voted for petitioner with knowledge of this particular aspect of his life and character. armed with such knowledge. However. in factual terms.. it shall dismiss the same and inform the complainant of such dismissal citing the reasons therefor. 26. which provides: ―SEC. the acts of petitioner committed prior to his present term of office.) The above ruling in Salalima applies to this case. it does not appear that petitioner was given the requisite 72 hours to submit a written answer to the complaint against him. His second term may thus be devoted to defending himself in the said cases to the detriment of public service. In his case. that is.E. Zuellig. Zuellig was signed just four days before the date of the elections. Moreover. is still a good law. This situation is no different from the one in the present case.‖ We now come to the concluding inquiry. precisely to eliminate the need to determine. together with proof of service of the same on the complainant who may file reply affidavits within ten (10) days from receipt of the counter-affidavits of the respondent. including his past misconduct.. ―The rule adopted in Pascual. Governor Salalima was reelected in 1992 and payments for the retainer continued to be made during his succeeding term. for purposes provided for by law.— (a) If the complaint is not dismissed for any of the causes enumerated in Section 20 of Republic Act No. This. Our rulings on the matter do not distinguish the precise timing or period when the misconduct was committed. within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. The rationale for this holding is that when the electorate put him back into office. We may add that sound policy dictates it. Such an undertaking will obviously be impossible. petitioner contends that ―the only conclusive determining factor‖ as regards the people‘s thinking on the matter is an election. can that office hold him administratively liable for said acts? In a number of cases. qualified in Aguinaldo insofar as criminal cases are concerned. Indeed. it shall first furnish the respondent public officer or employee with a summary of the complaint and require him to submit a written answer within seventy-two hours from receipt thereof…‖ Petitioner argues that before an inquiry may be converted into a full-blown administrative investigation. petitioner says the inquiry was converted into an administrative investigation without him being given the required number of hours to answer. For his part. except that it must be prior to said date. and shall be ordered to file his counter-affidavits and other evidences in support of his defense. 5. Administrative adjudication. it still reelects him.official concerned. his signing of the contract with F. which provides: ―Sec. however. in the present case. If it finds a reasonable ground to investigate further. Petitioner also avers that the suspension order against him was issued in violation of Section 26(2) of the Ombudsman Law. who may not stop to hound the former during his new term with administrative cases for acts alleged to have been committed during his previous term. It shall act on the complaint immediately and if it finds the same entirely baseless. wherein deliveries of the asphalt under the contract 28 . and that it may preventively suspend him for a reasonable period. As held in Salalima. reckoned from the date of the official‘s reelection. we have repeatedly held that a reelected local official may not be held administratively accountable for misconduct committed during his prior term of office. Such a rule is not only founded on the theory that an official‘s reelection expresses the sovereign will of the electorate to forgive or condone any act or omission constituting a ground for administrative discipline which was committed during his previous term. it is presumed that it did so with full knowledge of his life and character. How conducted. The assailed retainer agreement in Salalima was executed sometime in 1990. Petitioner cannot anymore be held administratively liable for an act done during his previous term.‖ (Emphasis added. the respondent shall be furnished with copy of the affidavits and other evidences submitted by the complainant. We find this 10-day period is in keeping with Section 5(a) of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. 6770. the extent of this knowledge. On this point. the official concerned must be given 72 hours to answer the charges against him. we agree with petitioner. It was not made an issue during the election. – xxx (2) The Office of the Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any source in whatever form concerning an official act or omission. If. respondents state that petitioner was given 10 days to submit his counter-affidavit to the complaint filed by respondent Tagaan. Granting that the Office of the Ombudsman may investigate. does not make invalid the preventive suspension order issued against him. As we have earlier stated. Inquiries. a preventive suspension order may be issued even before the charges against the official concerned is heard. respondents point out that the contract entered into by petitioner with F.
Regional Arbitration Branch.A. 1999. Executive Labor Arbiter. petitioners. Fourth Division. 1999.. might have been committed in signing the subject contract. DECISION DAVIDE. 211-10 of the Appropriations Act R.with F. Cebu City. detailing/reassigning private respondent to the NLRC. It hardly matters that the deliveries under the contract are supposed to have been made months later. is to be made effective only during his present term. Branch 22. and FERDINAND V. however.864. PONTEJOS. WHEREFORE. effective October 17. and Buena.E. 6642. Said Order reads: ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. petitioner Chairman of the NLRC. this should not prejudice the filing of any case other than administrative against petitioner. JJ. Mr. Regional Trial Court. the aforesaid position was reclassified as ―Labor Arbitration Associate‖ with compensation of P99.000. embodied in the order of respondent Deputy Ombudsman. 10-03 (Series of 1994) In the interest of the service. Acting C. during petitioner‘s prior term. The ruling now is limited to the question of whether or not he may be held administratively liable therefor.00 per annum under Title No. E. HON. it appearing that 24 days – the number of days from the date petitioner was suspended on June 25. Our ruling in this case. We fail to see any difference to justify a valid distinction in the result. and it is our considered view that he may not. Pontejos (hereinafter PONTEJOS) to declare null and void an Administrative Order of petitioner Carale. respondents argue that the contract. Mr. during petitioner‘s prior term. Presiding Commissioner. HON. the petition is hereby DENIED insofar as it seeks to declare that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion in conducting an inquiry on complaints against petitioner. Chairman.: Did respondent Judge Pampio A. retroactive to June 30. 1999 – were sufficient for the purpose. during petitioner‘s second term. Zuellig was perfected on the date the contract was signed. including stipulations now alleged to be prejudicial to the city government. 1994. J. and ordering their investigation pursuant to respondents‘ mandate under the Constitution and the Ombudsman Law. detailing Pontejos to the Fourth Division of the NLRC in Cebu City. BELARMINO. any culpability petitioner may have in signing the contract already became extant on the day the contract was signed. dated June 25. Cebu City. and HON. SO ORDERED. if any. Mendoza. ABARINTOS. 29 . 1998. Thus. Zuellig. At that moment. Accordingly. Bellosillo. 1989 as ―Labor and Employment Development Officer (RAB VII)‖ in the National Labor Relations Commission with a salary of P36. and the motion to reconsider the order of denial. PAMPIO A.E. respondents. as it is hereby. Ceniza for instruction regarding his new assignment. HON. Pontejos is directed to wind up his pending work and thereafter report to the Presiding Commissioner Irene E. as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) (hereinafter CARALE). In 1992. Labor Arbitration Branch No. is hereby detailed to the Fourth Division. Abarintos commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he: (1) denied the petitioners‘ motions to dismiss the complaint filed by respondent Ferdinand V. until further orders from the undersigned.. effective October 17. 1989. REYNOSO A. NLRC. Private respondent holds this position up to the present. may not be taken to mean the total exoneration of petitioner for whatever wrongdoing. issued Administrative Order No. LIFTED immediately. While petitioner can no longer be held administratively liable for signing the contract with F. although signed on May 7. Cebu City. 1994. petitioner‘s preventive suspension. petitioner already acceded to the terms of the contract. to the date of our status quo order on July 19.On 03 October 1994. which is the maximum of six months. IRENEA A. CENIZA. 10-03 series of 1994. National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Private respondent Pontejos was issued an original and permanent appointment dated January 10. Ferdinand Pontejos. The relevant factual antecedents summarized in the petition are as follows: 9. Presiding Judge. The agreement between petitioner (representing Cebu City) and F. However. Zuellig and the payments therefor were supposed to have commenced on September 1998. CARALE. JR.. VII. 10.00 per annum or rank at salary grade 22. should now be.J. concur. vs. BARTOLOME C. Region VII. (Chairman). and then (2) granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction? This is the key issue raised in this petition. But the petition is hereby GRANTED insofar as it seeks to declare that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion concerning the period of preventive suspension imposed on petitioner. Fourth Division.
1995 was filed by petitioner Belarmino which was denied in the second questioned order dated February 7. as president of the Unified Employees Union of the NLRC. with Prayer For The Issuance Of A Writ Of Preliminary Injunction and/or Preliminary Mandatory Injunction With Damages. in an amount to be fixed by the court.. 12. had something to do with his detail to the Fourth Division of the NLRC.. Pontejos further asserted that the petitioners had acted with ―gross and evident bad faith.[He] is willing to post a bond executed to he defendants enjoined. could probably work grave injustice to the plaintiff .. 1994 and November 15.. against whom the petitioner had earlier filed a petition for certiorari with this Court and a complaint for harassment and intimidation.‖ To support his application for a writ of ―preliminary injunction and/or restraining [order]. The writ of injunction was received by petitioner Carale on March 21. Joaquino. 13. 18.. 15.‖ Pontejos alleged that: 11. from enforcing and implementing the questioned Administrative Order No. so that the defendants . not to mention the fact that the administrative act in question is patently illegal. CEB-16671 suggested that the uncordial relationship between himself. that the urgency of judicial intervention is an exception to the rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies. 1994. Jeoffrey S. 12. 14.On 24 October 1994.Similar personnel actions. CARALE Chairman 11.. arguing that it is the Civil Service Commission which has exclusive jurisdiction over any question concerning personnel movement. Pontejos‘ complaint in Civil Case No. respondent judge also granted the prayer for preliminary injunction restraining petitioners from implementing the transfer order. and described it as ―an act of vindictiveness‖ against him and was ―patently illegal.Motions to dismiss dated November 8. 1994. 1994.The commission of the continuance of the acts complained of during the litigation or the nonperformance thereof.On December 20.. issued a writ of injunction enjoining herein petitioners from unduly interfering with and/or obstructing private respondent Pontejos‘ lawful discharge of his duties and functions as such Labor Arbitration Associate.. RAB VII..A motion for reconsideration dated January 9..In the same Order.. 1995. 13.. to the effect that [he] will pay to such party all damages which they [sic] may sustain by reason of the injunction if the court should finally decide that the plaintiff is not entitled thereto. and petitioners Presiding Commissioner Ceniza and Executive Labor Arbiter Belarmino. 1994 was filed by petitioner Belarmino arguing that the questioned administrative order is in the nature of a detail and the civil service employee who is not satisfied with or aggrieved by such detail may appeal the matter before the Civil Service Commission. respectively. malicious. must be enjoined by a restraining order from implementing and/or enforcing the . prior to and after Pontejos‘ reassignment to NLRC.[He] is entitled to the relief demanded and the whole or part of such relief consists in RESTRAINING OR PREVENTING the defendants. their agents and all persons acting for or in their behalf.. private respondent filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City against herein petitioners for Illegal Transfer Tantamount To Removal Without Cause In Gross Violation Of The Security Of Tenure Afforded Under The Constitution And In Utter Disregard Of The Civil Service Rules and Regulations..‖ and by their 30 . Pontejos alleged as there was no position of Labor Arbitration Associate in that Division. October 3. were respectively filed by petitioner Ceniza and Carale. Series of 1994. Cebu City.. 16.. pursuant to respondent judge‘s order dated December 20.. (SGD) BARTOLOME S. questioned Administrative Order.. respondent judge issued the first questioned order denying petitioners‘ Motions to Dismiss holding that alleged non-exhaustion of administrative remedies before ―where the surrounding circumstances of the matter before this Court indicate an urgency of judicial intervention‖. 1995. 17. Clerk of Court VII. 10-03...‖ To justify his direct resort to the court. the detail order ―was maliciously resorted to as a scheme to lure [him] away from his permanent position. Republic Act 6715.A Supplemental Motion to Dismiss dated November 21.‖ thereby violating his security of tenure. were also effected by petitioner Carale pursuant to his exercise of administrative authority and supervision over all NLRC officials and employees.On 06 March 1995. 1994. CEB-16671. and Chairman of the NLRC-RABVII Multi-Purpose Cooperative.. Pontejos alleged that ―[t]here is no other available and speedy remedy in order to protect [his] interest than to resort to this Honorable Court. until further orders from respondent judge.. The case was docketed as Civil Case No......... arbitrary and an exercise of grave abuse of discretion in excess of jurisdiction.Manila.
P30. III THE PETITIONERS WERE NOT REPRESENTED IN THE TRIAL COURT BY THEIR STATUTORY COUNSEL. in dismissing the petitioners‘ motions to dismiss. 93-2387. but not necessarily on strength of the grounds raised. we required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining order. sleepless nights. The petitioners further claim that there is no factual or legal basis indicative of the urgency of judicial intervention to justify the trial court‘s assumption of jurisdiction over this case and to order the issuance of the questioned writ of preliminary injunction. Pontejos is subject to civil service laws and regulations pursuant to Subsection 1(1). and P5.000. P50.00 as moral damages. CEB-16671. We resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda.D.D.00 as attorney‘s fees. whose functions. the petitioners were not represented ―by their statutory counsel. namely. In support of the third ground. Article IX-A of the Constitution. In the challenged order of 20 December 1994. I The motions to dismiss separately filed in the trial court by petitioners Carale and Presiding Commissioner Ceniza were principally anchored on lack of jurisdiction due to the failure of Pontejos to exhaust administrative 31 . the petitioners maintain that being a permanent civil service employee. Since ―the factual allegations of the complaint satisfactorily meet‖ the test of sufficiency of the complaint insofar as cause of action is concerned. is in effect a suit against the State without its consent. the petitioners. Section 8-B. the petitioners. the petitioners alleged that all throughout the proceedings before the trial court. We denied on 20 November 1996 its third motion for extension of time to file its Memorandum. who are all public officials. ―contrary to the tenents [sic] enunciated in the Preliminary Title in Human relations found in Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. as stated in the opening paragraph of this ponencia. which enjoined the respondents from enforcing the orders of 20 December 1994 and 7 February 1995 issued in Civil Case No.000. In the 26 July 1995 resolution.‖ In this special civil action for certiorari. However. and had ―displayed‖ ―anti-social‖ acts and conduct. have been transferred directly to the CSC itself. Inc. No. We find merit in the petition. v. the complaint was not dismissible. are immune from such suit.000. pursuant to Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.000. 1409. the trial court further held that the case before it fell within one of the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. II THE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST PETITIONERS AS IT CONSTITUTES A SUIT AGAINST THE STATE WITHOUT ITS CONSENT.‖ On account thereof. honesty and propriety.‖ Consequently.conduct. and granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the petitioners from implementing or enforcing Carale‘s Administrative Order 1003.‖ whose authority is mandated under P.‖ as a consequence of which he ―has suffered mental anxiety. No. Court of Appeals. the Solicitor General. effective as of the said date. only Pontejos complied. hence. wounded feelings and moral shock‖. is whether the respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he denied the motions to dismiss and the motion for reconsideration. 478. the questioned orders and the writ of preliminary injunction were invalid. the petitioners assert that: I RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO REVIEW THE VALIDITY OF THE TRANSFER ORDER ISSUED BY PETITIONER CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION SINCE THE CONTROVERSY IS WITHIN THE ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. Anent the second ground. Series of 1994. submit that Pontejos‘ complaint. His grievance concerning Carale‘s administrative order detailing him to the Fourth Division of the NLRC should have been raised in an appropriate complaint before the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB) created under P. where the question to be settled ―is whether the controverted act of respondent Commissioner Carale was performed with grave abuse of discretion. ―the magna carta of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). HENCE THE PROCEEDINGS HAD THEREIN IS A NULLITY. In the challenged resolution of 7 February 1995 denying the petitioners‘ motion to reconsider the order of 20 December 1994. As to the first ground. the Office of the Solicitor General failing to despite two extensions of time. the trial court. which asked for a writ of injunction and damages. it does not affect the jurisdiction of the court. citing Veterans Manpower and Protective Service. ―have violated all forms of good human conduct and dealings and did not exhibit any degree of good faith. ruled that the only effect of non-compliance with the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies ―is that it will deprive the complainant of a cause of action‖.00 as exemplary damages. The primary issue in this special civil action. he prayed for the award of P100.00 as litigation expenses.
. (2) where judicial intervention is urgent. detail. 5. the petitioners failed to appreciate that non-exhaustion of administrative remedies is not jurisdictional. SO ORDERED. In the instant case. i.. (4) where the controverted acts violate due process. and (b) lack of cause of action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The administrative process is intended to provide less expensive and more speedy solutions to disputes. Carale. Where the enabling statute indicates a procedure for administrative review. Observance of the mandate regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies is a sound practice and policy... why the injunction should not be granted. Obviously. The assailed orders of 20 December 1994 and 7 February 1995 in Civil Case No. Bartolome C. Further. failing which.. Nothing in the complaint in Civil Case No. It only renders the action premature.. in part. comity and convenience. if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter. particularly with respect to matters peculiarly within the competence of the administrative agency. Narvasa. 32 . at a specified time and place. the claimed cause of action is not ripe for judicial determination and for that reason a party has no cause of action to ventilate in court. and prevention of attempts to swamp the courts by a resort to them in the first instance. It ensures an orderly procedure which favors a preliminary sifting process. -. (5) failure of a high government official from whom relief is sought to act on the matter. What he offered were nothing but vague and general averments that could best qualify as motherhood statements. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice. II We do not likewise hesitate to rule that the respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction without any notice of hearing. the party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief. (underscoring supplied for emphasis) WHEREFORE. If it shall appear from the facts shown by affidavits or by verified complaint that great or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter could be heard on notice..J. through the MSPB.‖ are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and respondent Judge Pampio A. C. (Chairman). Melo. will decide the same correctly. The rule on preliminary injunction plainly provides that it cannot be granted without notice to the defendant.remedies. and provides a system of administrative appeal. concur. namely: (1) where the question is purely legal. and determine within the same period whether or not the preliminary injunction shall be granted and shall accordingly issue the corresponding order. requiring him to show cause. and (6) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot. may issue a restraining order to be effective only for a period of twenty days from date of issuance. Neither do we find sufficient basis for his invocation of the exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. Hon. they were unsupported by allegations of fact or law which would prima facie bring his case within any of the accepted exceptions to the rule. (3) when its application may cause great and irreparable damage. for reasons of law. JJ. or reconsideration. the courts. Pontejos v. which is empowered to: (2) Hear and decide cases brought before it by offices and employees who feel aggrieved by the determination of appointing authorities involving . Rule 58 of the Rules of Court states. will not entertain a case unless the available administrative remedies have been resorted to and the appropriate authorities have been given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum. he could have gone directly to the CSC. Section 5. reassignment and other personnel actions. as well as complaints against any officers in the government arising from personnel actions of these officers or from violations of the merit system. There are both legal and practical reasons for this principle. avoidance of interference with functions of the administrative agency by withholding judicial action until the administrative process had run its course. The underlying principle of the rule rests on the presumption that the administrative agency.. the instant petition is GRANTED. Initially. which was both available and sufficient. Abarintos is hereby directed to forthwith issue an order DISMISSING the said case. entitled ―Ferdinand V. the judge to whom the application for preliminary injunction was made. transfer. Accordingly. the judge must cause an order to be served on the defendant.e. CEB-16671 of Branch 22 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City.. Within the said twenty-day period. Francisco.. Their motions to dismiss must then be understood to be based on: (a) lack of jurisdiction. Pontejos did not attempt to seek administrative relief.No preliminary injunction shall be granted without notice to the defendant. as follows: SEC.. he could have asked for reconsideration of the detail order. but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter by itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court.. and Panganiban. CEB-16671 convinces us that Pontejos ever thought of pursuing the available administrative remedies. et al.
705. Subsequently. Branch 2 of Cagayan. which was. HON. 1989. 1989 an order of confiscation of the truck and gave the owner thereof fifteen (15) days within which to submit an explanation why the truck should not be forfeited. as amended by E. the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) in Aritao. 1989 that in case their letter for reconsideration would be denied then ―this letter should be considered as an appeal to the Secretary. Petitioner Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan filed a motion to dismiss with the trial court contending. as amended. however. with prayer for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction. seeking to reverse the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals was filed by the petitioners on September 9. By virtue of the Resolution dated September 27. if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before court‘s judicial power can be sought. respondents. Regional Executive Director (RED). 1989 order of Executive Director Baggayan. that private respondents had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies. which issued a writ ordering the return of the truck to private respondents. Baggao. this present petition. it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processes afforded him. petitioners. Nueva Vizcaya because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest products found concealed in the truck. failed to submit the required explanation. Accordingly. The controversy on hand had its incipiency on May 19. denied in a subsequent order of July 12. The premature invocation of court‘s intervention is fatal to one‘s cause of action. was seized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR. may an action for replevin prosper to recover a movable property which is the subject matter of an administrative forfeiture proceeding in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources pursuant to Section 68-A of P. D. in his capacity as Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO). Regional Executive Director Rogelio Baggayan of DENR sustained petitioner Layugan‘s action of confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck invoking Section 68-A of Presidential Decree No. On June 22. vs. COURT OF APPEALS. 277. 1989. both of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). issued on May 23. on the other hand. J. 277. Regional Trial Court at Tuguegarao. JR. a suit for replevin. DECISION TORRES.‖ Pending resolution however of the appeal. Private respondents. Petitioner Jovito Layugan. and (b) that the truck as admitted by petitioners was not used in the commission of the crime. 1993.: Without violating the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. in his capacity as Officer-in-Charge (OIC). and (2) the seizure and forfeiture was unlawful on the grounds: (a) that the Secretary of DENR and his representatives have no authority to confiscate and forfeit conveyances utilized in transporting illegal forest products. 1989 of the June 22.O. a petition for certiorari was filed by the petitioners with the respondent Court of Appeals which sustained the trial court‘s order ruling that the question involved is purely a legal question. 1989 when the truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman while on its way to Bulacan from San Jose. Their motion for reconsideration having been likewise denied.LEONARDO A. inter alia. and SPOUSES BIENVENIDO and VICTORIA DE GUZMAN. Cagayan. Invoking the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Upon a thorough and delicate scrutiny of the records and relevant jurisprudence on the matter. Region 2 and JOVITO LAYUGAN. entitled The Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines? Are the Secretary of DENR and his representatives empowered to confiscate and forfeit conveyances used in transporting illegal forest products in favor of the government? These are two fundamental questions presented before us for our resolution. This Court in a long line of cases has consistently held that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court. we are of the opinion that the plea of petitioners for reversal is in order.. docketed as Civil Case 4031. Cagayan. would seek to avoid the operation of this principle asserting that the instant case falls within the exception of the doctrine upon the justification that (1) due process was violated because they were not given the chance to be heard. however.. Cagayan. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss in an order dated December 28. was filed by the private respondents against petitioner Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan with the Regional Trial Court. petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally entertain the suit for replevin because the truck was under administrative seizure proceedings pursuant to Section 68-A of P. Private respondents filed a letter of reconsideration dated June 28. for brevity) personnel in Aritao. Hence. RICARDO A. the case was brought by the petitioners to the Secretary of DENR pursuant to private respondents‘ statement in their letter dated June 28. 1989.D. Private respondents. 705. the prayer for the issuance of temporary restraining order of petitioners was granted by this Court. absent any finding of waiver or 33 . BACULI in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 2. 1993. PAAT. Hence. JR. 705 as amended by Executive Order No.
through pleadings. A long line of cases establish the basic rule that the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. when private respondents were undisputedly given the opportunity to present their side when they filed a letter of reconsideration dated June 28. but simply an opportunity or right to be heard. Jr. (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question.‖ To sustain the claim of private respondents would in effect bring the instant controversy beyond the pale of the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies and fall within the ambit of excepted cases heretofore stated. they acknowledged the existence of an adequate and plain remedy still available and open to them in the ordinary course of the law. we are not amiss to reiterate that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies as tested by a battery of cases is not an ironclad rule. This contention has no leg to stand on. of the replevin suit filed by private respondents constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the domain of the administrative agency‘s prerogative. we can not but rule out these assertions of private respondents to be without merit. reads. without violating the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. One may be heard . as they did avail. 1989 of Executive Director Baggayan. (9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings. In administrative proceedings moreover. technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied. then this letter should be considered as an appeal to the Secretary. considering the circumstances prevailing in this case. 1989. By the very nature of its function. Moreover. (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable. therefore. However. and perhaps many times more creditably and practicable than oral argument. they argued that there was violation of due process because they did not receive the May 23. it is important to point out that the enforcement of forestry laws. In Navarro III vs. in the resolution of their case. for one thing. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence. (4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned. This doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. First. The letter. the judiciary will stand clear.estoppel the case is susceptible of dismissal for lack of cause of action. availment of administrative remedy entails lesser expenses and provides for a speedier disposition of controversies. it is disregarded (1) when there is a violation of due process. rules and regulations and the protection. Deputy Executive Secretary. seek court‘s intervention by filing an action for replevin for the grant of their relief during the pendency of an administrative proceedings. Damasco. vs. The assumption by the trial court. Indeed. thus: ―xxx If this motion for reconsideration does not merit your favorable action. In the case at bar. however. (8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim. administrative process cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial sense. (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 1989. (5) when there is irreparable injury. Thus. speedy and adequate remedy. This doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not without its practical and legal reasons. they cannot now. while the administration grapples with the complex and multifarious problems caused by unbriddled exploitation of these resources. the DENR should be given a free hand unperturbed by judicial intrusion to determine a controversy which is well within its jurisdiction. It is no less true to state that the courts of justice for reasons of comity and convenience will shy away from a dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed and complied with so as to give the administrative agency concerned every opportunity to correct its error and to dispose of the case. By appealing to him. However. (10) when the rule does not provide a plain. denied in an order of July 12. In Felipe Ismael. (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. 1989 which was. deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party was given the chance to be heard on his motion for reconsideration. we ruled that : 34 . and Co.‖ It was easy to perceive then that the private respondents looked up to the Secretary for the review and disposition of their case. Due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing. private respondents clearly recognize the presence of an administrative forum to which they seek to avail. Hence. In their letter of reconsideration dated June 28. there is no question that the controversy was pending before the Secretary of DENR when it was forwarded to him following the denial by the petitioners of the motion for reconsideration of private respondents through the order of July 12. Vasquez. not solely by verbal presentation but also. which was reiterated in the recent case of Concerned Officials of MWSS vs. and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. 1989 order of confiscation of petitioner Layugan. as in the instant case. this Court held: ―Thus. development and management of forest lands fall within the primary and special responsibilities of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
A formal or trial type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. removed. likewise. a copy of which was given to and received by the counsel of private respondents. The pertinent provision reads as follows: ―SECTION 68. as amended by E.‘ It is interesting to note that Section 68-A is a new provision authorizing the DENR to confiscate.‖ Private respondents. On the other hand. confiscation of forest products by the ‗court‘ in a criminal action has long been provided for in Section 68. which is quoted herein below: ―SECTION 68-A.‖ In the construction of statutes. or as applied to administrative proceedings. In all cases of violation of this Code or other forest laws. WHEREAS. there is an urgency to conserve the remaining forest resources of the country for the benefit and welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos. : 35 .D. What is frowned upon is the absolute lack of notice or hearing.‖ Second. WHEREAS. rules and regulations. removed. rules and regulations. xxx xxx The court shall further order the confiscation in favor of the government of the timber or any forest products cut. the Department Head or his duly authorized representative. thus: ―But precisely because of the need to make forestry laws ‗more responsive to present situations and realities‘ and in view of the ‗urgency to conserve the remaining resources of the country. however. due to the fact that private respondents‘ interpretation of the subject provision unduly restricts the clear intention of the law and inevitably reduces the other provision of Section 68-A . They insisted that only the court is authorized to confiscate and forfeit conveyances used in transporting illegal forest products as can be gleaned from the second paragraph of Section 68 of P.‖ (Underline ours) It is. 277. Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed.‘ but forest products as well. reads in part . or possessed. gathered.‘ that the government opted to add Section 68-A. then Section 68-A would have no purpose at all. 1989 of Executive Director Baggayan that the truck of private respondents was not used in the commission of the crime. viz. or possessed or abandoned. clear from the foregoing provision that the Secretary and his duly authorized representatives are given the authority to confiscate and forfeit any conveyances utilized in violating the Code or other forest laws. our forest resources may be effectively conserved and protected through the vigilant enforcement and implementation of our forestry laws. and WHEREAS. the implementation of our forestry laws suffers from technical difficulties. This amendatory provision is an administrative remedy totally separate and distinct from criminal proceedings. supra. private respondents imputed the patent illegality of seizure and forfeiture of the truck because the administrative officers of the DENR allegedly have no power to perform these acts under the law. Simply put. may order the confiscation of any forest products illegally cut. but to a large extent.O. thus. rules and regulations. an opportunity to explain one‘s side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. due to certain inadequacies in the penal provisions of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. it is intended to supplant the inadequacies that characterize enforcement of forestry laws through criminal actions. gathered. implements and tools illegaly [sic] used in the area where the timber or forest products are found. The requirements are satisfied when the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. contend that the seizure was illegal because the petitioners themselves admitted in the Order dated July 12. regulations and policies on the matter. The only limitation is that it should be made ―in accordance with pertinent laws. The preamble of EO 277-the law that added Section 68-A to PD 705-is most revealing: ‗WHEREAS. not only ‗conveyances. of the law persuades us not to go along with private respondents‘ thinking not only because the aforequoted provision apparently does not mention nor include ―conveyances‖ that can be the subject of confiscation by the courts. 705. the observation of the Solicitor General is significant. regulations or policies on the matter. The phrase ―to dispose of the same‖ is broad enough to cover the act of forfeiting conveyances in favor of the government. it must be read in such a way as to give effect to the purpose projected in the statute. This order. as well as the machinery. collected. and they should be given such construction as will advance the object. More than anything else. water or air in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance with pertinent laws. and all conveyances used either by land.―The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. suppress the mischief. and secure the benefits intended. to overcome this difficulties. the power on confiscation cannot be exercised except only through the court under Section 68.‖ (Underline ours) A reading. Section 68-A would not have provided any solution to the problem perceived in EO 277. In this wise. equipments. there is a need to penalize certain acts more responsive to present situations and realities. Administrative Authority of the Department or His Duly Authorized Representative To Order Confiscation. If as private respondents insist.
gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest products without license. the breach of Section 68 of P. Petitioners did not eliminate the possibility that the truck was being used in the commission of another crime. From the foregoing disquisition. This is clear from the language of Executive Order No. It is worth stressing at this point. 1989 order that private respondents could not be charged for theft as provided for under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. . or timber from alienable and disposable public lands. Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. that is. this. or possessing forest products without authority constitutes a distinct offense independent now from the crime of theft under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations. 277 amending Section 68. We disagree. What is contemplated by the petitioners when they stated that the truck "was not used in the commission of the crime" is that it was not used in the commission of the crime of theft. Under the Rules of Court.D. without any authority under a license agreement.‖ and it has been held that there is tortuous taking whenever there is an unlawful meddling with the property. Cutting. xxx‖ We observed that private respondents misread the content of the aforestated order and obviously misinterpreted the intention of petitioners.277 amending the aforementioned Section 68 are reproduced herein. without any pretense of authority or right. For clarity. -Any person who shall cut. gathering. collect. 277 and the provision of Section 1 of E.D. xxx‖ Private respondents. being a condition precedent prior to one‘s recourse to the courts and more importantly.O.705 as amended and further amended by Executive Order No. removing. In the same order of July 12.705 as amended by E. 705. or attachment. It should be noted that the truck was seized by the petitioners because it was 36 . Section 68.705.D. then necessarily private respondents could not have committed an act constituting a crime under Section 68.Any person who shall cut .O No. in no case can a criminal action be filed against the owner thereof for violation of Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code.―xxx while it is true that the truck of your client was not used by her in the commission of the crime. or an exercise or claim of dominion over it. it is clear that a suit for replevin can not be sustained against the petitioners for the subject truck taken and retained by them for administrative forfeiture proceedings in pursuant to Section 68-A of the P. as amended. or remove timber or other forest products from any forest land. Dismissal of the replevin suit for lack of cause of action in view of the private respondents‘ failure to exhaust administrative remedies should have been the proper course of action by the lower court instead of assuming jurisdiction over the case and consequently issuing the writ ordering the return of the truck. gather . alleging the cause of detention. there is hardly room for any extended court ratiocination or rationalization of the law. as amended. or if so seized. 705.D. so that. E. Cutting. we uphold your claim that the truck owner is not liable for the crime and in no case could a criminal case be filed against her as provided under Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. 705 before its amendment by E. that a suit for replevin is founded solely on the claim that the defendant wrongfully withholds the property sought to be recovered. however. that the property is wrongfully detained by the defendant. license or permit.‖ (Underscoring ours. ―To detain‖ is defined as to mean ―to hold or keep in custody.D. When the statute is clear and explicit.277 ) ―SECTION 1. contended that there is no crime defined and punishable under Section 68 other than qualified theft. is hereby amended to read as follows: ‗Section 68. thus: ―SECTION 68. lease. that the same has not been taken for tax assessment.O. shall be guilty of qualified theft as defined and punished under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code xxx. that the plaintiff must show by his own affidavit that he is entitled to the possession of property. Section 1. 277 when it eliminated the phrase ― shall be guilty of qualified theft as defined and punished under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code ‖ and inserted the words ― shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code ‖. being an element of private respondents‘ right of action. petitioners pointed out: ―xxx However. but the penalty to be imposed is that provided for under Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code.O. or timber from alienable or disposable public land. that it is exempt from such seizure. P. Private respondents miserably failed to convince this Court that a wrongful detention of the subject truck obtains in the instant case. collect . without any authority. without manual seizing of the property is sufficient. gather. it is indispensable in replevin proceedings. No.705 before its amendment by E. the provision of Section 68 of P. or seized under execution. remove timber or other forest products from any forest land. 1989. hence. collecting. under Section 68 of P. P. is too significant to be waylaid by the lower court.O. gathering and/or collecting timber or other products without license. or from private land." (Underscoring ours. Exhaustion of the remedies in the administrative forum. or from private lands. when petitioners admitted in the July 12. shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code xxx. the act of cutting.277 specifically provides for the confiscation of the conveyance used in the transport of forest products not covered by the required legal documents. 277 amending Section 68 of P. 705 as amended) With the introduction of Executive Order No. D. and the actual value of the property. 277.D. She may not have been involved in the cutting and gathering of the product in question but the fact that she accepted the goods for a fee or fare the same is therefor liable. It lies to recover possession of personal chattels that are unlawfully detained.
705. SP No. DR. Evidently. since private respondent at that time was not a Civil Service eligible. The antecedent facts. REVIEW . 1993). 1991 and its Resolution dated July 14.R. (Chairman). 1993 the Regional Director found the complaint meritorious.transporting forest products with out the required permit of the DENR in manifest contravention of Section 68 of P. concur. motu propio or upon appeal of any person aggrieved thereby. and Mendoza. as amended. Moreover. 39506 and its subsequent resolution dated September 9. promulgated on November 8. are as follows: Private respondent Billante S. series of 1991). unquestionably warrants the confiscation as well as the disposition by the Secretary of DENR or his duly authorized representatives of the conveyances used in violating the provision of forestry laws. which was made effective on February 28. by the Department Head whose decision shall be final and executory after the lapse of thirty (30) days from the receipt of the aggrieved party of said decision. the Restraining Order promulgated on September 27.All actions and decisions of the Director are subject to review. Guinar-Mahurom was appointed as Technical Assistant assigned to the Office of the Chancellor of the Mindanao State University sometime in 1988. Puno. 12 of the Civil Service Commission.A. 37 . 1993. 6788) was enacted. no wrongful detention exists in the case at bar. vs. the suit for replevin is never intended as a procedural tool to question the orders of confiscation and forfeiture issued by the DENR in pursuance to the authority given under P. 1993 when she received the letter of termination from petitioner Marohombsar after the latter had assumed office as President of the University (January 5. series of 1988. hence . she was extended a temporary appointment duly noted by the Board of Regents (Resolution No. JJ." Thus. private respondent‘s position was converted into Executive Assistant II. Section 68-A of P. hence.D. 1988. Jr. the Petition is GRANTED. the Decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated October 16. 1992 are hereby SET ASIDE AND REVERSED. she was immediately extended a permanent appointment by then MSU President Ahmad Alonto. The cause of termination.705. MAROHOMBSAR. Regalado. J. the Regional Director held: yacats "WHEREFORE. Private respondent continued to hold the position until February 15. It reads : SECTION 8 . 1993. respondents. Section 8 of the said law is explicit that actions taken by the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development concerning the enforcement of the provisions of the said law are subject to review by the Secretary of DENR and that courts may not review the decisions of the Secretary except through a special civil action for certiorari or prohibition. unless appealed to the President in accordance with Executive Order No.O 277. When private respondent passed the Civil Service career professional examinations.: HTML The present petition for review on certiorari seeks to nullify the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 11. the services of Mrs. 1996 in CA-G. 279. WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED.. That appointment was confirmed by the Board of Regents in its Resolution No. petitioner. in her Official Capacity as President of the Mindanao State University.D. as amended. Series of 1966. was "in view of the urgent need to establish a new order and maintain the trust and confidence reposed upon the Office of the President as demanded by the standards of Public Service.D. However. On May 10. on April 30. 1993 is hereby made permanent. COURT OF APPEALS and BILLANTE G. MARUHOM. she filed a complaint for illegal termination before the Regional Office No. foregoing premises considered. 1. DECISION GONZAGA-REYES. on May 3. the continued possession or detention of the truck by the petitioners for administrative forfeiture proceeding is legally permissible. The Decision of the Department Head may not be reviewed by the courts except through a special civil action for certiorari or prohibition. Romero. EMILY M. 19. and the Secretary of DENR is directed to resolve the controversy with utmost dispatch. as found by the appellate court. 705 as amended by E. It was noted that private respondent‘s position as Executive Assistant II is a permanent position and is "covered by the Constitutional guarantee of security of tenure." Private respondent thereafter sought a reconsideration of her termination but her request was denied. 1991. When the Salary Standardization Law (R. 1996 denying petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration.
the one who appointed her. Maruhom as Executive Assistant were illegally terminated. Annex "B". on December 13. private respondent‘s appointment is not valid for lack of confirmation by the Board of Regents and that even if valid. the Regional Director referred the case to respondent Commission and submitted his Report and Recommendation dated March 11. however. Rollo). that besides.Brillante G. therefore. Hence. On December 6. On March 21. MSU President Emily M. 1993 under pain of penal and administrative sanctions. co-terminus with the term of office of then MSU President Alonto. 279. Respondent Commission. Marawi City. will be considered contempt of this Commission and grounds for administrative sanctions. Maruhom to her former position and the payment of her salary as Executive Assistant II. petitioner submitted her comment contending that her letter-request for reconsideration of the Regional Director‘s order is still pending and." olanski It is patent from the foregoing recital that private respondent was first appointed Technical Assistant in 1988 and the MSU Board of Regents (BOR) confirmed her appointment per its Resolution No. petitioner wrote a letter-request for reconsideration of the May 3. There is no showing that said position has been declared as primarily confidential in nature by the Commission pursuant to its authority under the Administrative Code of 1987. an appointee who holds an appointment thereto under permanent status enjoys security of tenure as guaranteed by law. The position 38 . petitioner was ordered by the CSC Legal Office to submit her comment to the Report and Recommendation submitted by the Regional Director. 1988. respondent Commission issued Resolution No." The Regional Director promptly responded by issuing a letter-directive on November 5. Mindanao University. Further failure or defiance on the part of said official to do what is required. she could not be separated from the service except for cause and after due process. 1993 for a "request for an alternative remedy for the immediate reversion of Ms. 69. Petitioner complied on August 17. therefore. resolved the case in favor of private respondent. 95-6446 and held: ‗The contention that the tenure of Maruhom as Executive Assistant II is coterminous with the term of office of then MSU President Alonto. p. the position is thus considered under the career service. Maruhom to her former position of Executive Assistant II and to pay all her back salaries and other benefits due her from the date of her separation up to the date of her reinstatement in the service. On October 17. she should be immediately reverted to this position with payment of salaries and other benefits that would have accrued to her during the period she was out of the service. she has no obligation to comply with the order of reinstatement yet. 1993. WHEREFORE. Marohombsar is hereby directed to immediately reinstate Billante G." Despite said ruling. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: CODES "WHEREFORE. Guinar-Maruhom as Executive Assistant II and for not paying her salaries and other benefits from the time of the termination of her services up to her reinstatement. the Commission hereby directs the President of the Mindanao State University to explain within five (5) days from receipt of this Order why he should not be charged for not reinstating Billante S. 1993 ordering herein petitioner to comply with the order of May 3. 1993 order to the Regional Director contending that the appointment of private respondent was not valid for lack of confirmation by the Board of Regents before it was submitted to the Civil Service Commission for attestation." In compliance with said directive. 1994. private respondent‘s appointment was confidential and. 1995. 1994. 1994. 1994. s. recommending a reiteration of the earlier directive with the imposition of a "stern warning xxx that the order of this Commission must be complied with even if that University may not agree with it" (Report of Investigation. 1994. private respondent was not reinstated by petitioner. must be rejected. On June 22. Accordingly. In the absence of such declaration. thereby prompting the former to write to the Regional Director on July 2. Thus.
Such appointments are permanent but their terms are only until the Board disapproves them. From the decision of the Court of Appeals and after its motion for reconsideration had been denied. 1991...xxx. that private respondent‘s appointment was ad interim 39 .. however. 1993. she was only extended a temporary appointment as Executive Assistant II which was noted by the MSU Board of Regents. This appointment was approved as permanent by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. provided. kirsten The essence of ad interim appointments has been sufficiently discussed in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila vs. the Court stated in said case that "it is an appointment done by the President of the Pamantasan in the meantime. and it is not descriptive of the nature of the appointment given to the appointee. the President is authorized to issue ad interim appointments.. petitioner Dr. petitioner correctly theorizes that private respondent‘s appointment was merely ad interim considering the appointment was issued by the University President rather than the MSU Board of Regents prior to submission to the Civil Service Commission for attestation." As further explained by the Court in said case: "In other words. We find no merit in the petition and hold that the same should be denied. errs in concluding that an ad interim appointment is invalid and ineffective.. Since private respondent did not possess the appropriate civil service eligibility required of the position at that time.. Intermediate Appellate Court where the university‘s charter similarly vests the power of appointment in the Board of Regents and the power to recommend in the President. coterminous with the term of office of the appointing authority. she was extended a permanent appointment to the position of Executive Assistant II by then MSU President Ahmad E. that no payment of salary shall be effected unless approved by the Board of Regents. Based on the foregoing. professors. The reasons advanced to support the instant petition are briefly stated as follows: 1) Private respondent‘s appointment as Executive Assistant II dated May 3. and in ordering the payment of back salaries and other benefits from the date of private respondent‘s separation up to the date of her reinstatement in the service. hence. x x x " The MSU Code of Governance reiterates the power of the President to recommend qualified persons to the Board of Regents to fill vacancies and new positions as follows: ART. is unable to act. while the Board of Regents. 12 on June 25. It was therein held that under Philippine law and jurisprudence. otherwise known as the Salary Standardization Law. in addition to its general powers of administration and the exercise of the powers of the corporation: haideem xxx... 41. The power to appoint is vested in the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the President as follows: "Section 6. Marohombsar on January 5. She assumed office and discharged the duties thereof. But when the Board is not in session.xxx (e) To appoint on the recommendation of the President of the University... By way of illustration. Marohombsar (in her official capacity as President of the Mindanao State University) filed the present petition on the ground that the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that private respondent‘s termination was illegal.title was subsequently reclassified and retitled to Executive Assistant II upon the effectivity of Republic Act 6758. 1991. 1994 of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as well as the latter‘s Resolution No. 1991 lacks the requisite confirmation by the Board of Regents pursuant to the Mindanao State University (MSU) charter and code. if the Board of Regents is in session.. without any objection from the Board of Regents." There is no question then. private respondent continued her employment and received the corresponding salary and other benefits from the MSU until she was summarily terminated on February 28. on May 3. The Civil Service Commission declared her termination as illegal and ordered the payment of all her back salaries and other benefits due her from the date of her separation up to the date of her reinstatement in the service. On appeal.. the Court of Appeals affirmed the Order dated December 13.xxx. therefore.. ineffective. The Board of Regents shall have the following powers and duties. the appointee‘s term is converted into the regular term inherent in the position. 1993. Emily M. Emily M. If confirmed... the Pamantasan President merely nominates while the Board issues the appointment.xxx (g) He shall recommend qualified persons to fill vacancies and new positions created and funded by the Board. 1995. Petitioner. terminable at any time and for any cause. General Powers of the President: xxx. as petitioner herself theorizes. which is originally vested by the University charter with the power of appointment.. upon acquiring Career Service Professional Eligibility. Jr. Alonto. Provided Further.. Subsequently. 2) Private respondent‘s position as Executive Assistant II is primarily confidential.. hence.. an ad interim appointment is used to denote the manner in which the appointment is made. When MSU President Alonto was replaced by herein petitioner Dr. that such appointment shall be submitted in the next regular meeting of the Board.. 956446 dated October 17. lecturers and other employees of the University.
s. In the instant case. s. MC No. 13. Petitioner merely invoked CSC memorandum Circular No. MC No. In any event. the Commission has declared as primarily confidential in nature pursuant to Resolution No. Such reliance on the art of petitioner is. 1993. 90-261 dated March 5. 12. that is. even if reliance is made on said circular. private respondent assumed the position. private respondent holds an appointment under permanent status and thus enjoys 40 . 1. The permanent status of private respondent‘s appointment as Executive Assistant II was recognized and attested to by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. petitioner cites Memorandum Circular (MC) No. that memorandum circular exclusively refers to Executive Assistants assigned in the office of Undersecretaries and not to University Presidents or Chancellors. 1. the appellate court correctly ruled thus: "There is nothing in the records that would indicate any justification for the respondent Commission to classify the position of private respondent as primarily confidential. 1993 refers to Executive Assistant. which classified the position of Executive Assistant as primarily confidential in nature. 1990 relied upon by petitioner reads as follows: "Pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 1993 of the Civil Service Commission allegedly declaring the said position as primarily confidential. There is absolutely no showing that the Board of Regents disapproved private respondent‘s appointment." Herein private respondent is holding the position of Executive Assistant II in the Office of the Chancellor. s. therefore. However. s. We rule in the negative. the position of Head Executive Assistant has been declared as primarily confidential in nature. Petitioner failed to specify the particular duty of private respondents that would classify her position as highly confidential. On this score. 93-073 the position of Executive Assistant. 1. s. The portion of MC No. On the contrary. discharged her duties and received the corresponding salary and benefits without objection from the MSU Board of Regents from the date of her appointment on May 3. 1990 and MC No. 01. In support thereof." Jksm Both MCs are not applicable to the instant case. barth We have already mentioned that an ad interim appointment is not descriptive of the nature of the appointment. 13. the appointment extended to private respondent by then MSU President Alonto. On the other hand. Petitioner‘s other contention that private respondent‘s position as Executive Assistant II is classified as primarily confidential and is thus co-terminous with the tenure of office of the appointing official must likewise be rejected. the Board of Regents may be deemed to have tacitly approved her appointment. 1990 clearly refers to Head Executive Assistant and not Executive Assistant II. 1990. the term of office of the appointees therein shall be coterminous with the official they serve. was issued without condition nor limitation as to tenure. 1990 referred to by petitioner reads thus: "Considering that the appointee to said position will be performing duties which will require absolute trust and confidence of the Undersecretary. Jr. 1993. rather it denotes the manner in which the appointment was made. In cases where the executive being assisted is not the appointing authority.having been issued by the President instead of the Board of Regents. private respondent‘s case still would not fall under such classification since it was categorically stated in the circular that those incumbents to the reclassified positions whose appointments are permanent" "shall retain their permanent status until said positions are vacated" (CSC memorandum Circular No. 1993). Based on the foregoing. Ad interim appointments are permanent but their terms are only until the Board disapproves them. s. the portion of MC No. Chauffeur/Driver and all other positions located in the office of the Undersecretary as primarily Confidential in Nature. 1. s. The term of office of the appointees to said position becomes coterminous with that of the appointing authority. the term of office of the Head Executive Assistant shall be dependent upon the former‘s recommendation. it is not indicative of whether the appointment is temporary or in an acting capacity. Chauffeur/Driver and all other positions located in the Office of the Undersecretary per approved Position Allocation List. misplaced. The issue at this point is whether an employee holding an ad interim appointment may be terminated at any time and for any cause as advanced by petitioner. Petitioner‘s submission that private respondent‘s ad interim appointment is synonymous with a temporary appointment which could be validly terminated at any time is clearly untenable. It is worth mentioning that the MSU Code of Governance provides that "(n)o payment of salary shall be effected unless approved by the Board of Regents. s. Hence. 01. 1991 or for a period of almost two (2) years until her dismissal effective February 28." On the other hand." Considering that private respondent was paid her corresponding salary and benefits for almost two (2) years from her appointment as Executive Assistant II up to her termination. Chauffeur/Driver and other positions located in the Office of the Undersecretary as clearly provided in the subject heading thereof as follows: "SUBJECT: Declaration of the Executive Assistant.
security of tenure as guaranteed by law. As an employee in the civil service and as a civil service eligible, private respondent is entitled to the benefits, rights and privileges extended to those belonging to the service. Private respondent could not be removed or dismissed from the service without just cause and without observing the requirements of due process as what happened in the present case. Inescapable then is the conclusion that private respondent was illegally dismissed when she was summarily terminated from the service by mere letter on the alleged ground of "urgent need to establish a new order and maintain the trust and confidence reposed upon the Office of the President x x x." Chiefx However, according to settled jurisprudence, an illegally terminated civil service employee is entitled to back salaries limited only to a maximum period of five years and not full back salaries from her illegal termination up to her reinstatement. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED subject to the modification in the payment of back salaries as stated above. SO ORDERED. Panganiban, and Purisima, JJ., concur. Melo, J., (Chairman), no part. Vitug, J., no part, close association with the family of the party
G.R. No. 108951 March 7, 2000 JESUS B. DIAMONON, petitioner, vs. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT; HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, as the undersecretary of Labor; MANASES 1T. CRUZ, in his capacity as the Med-Arbiter; ATTY. ZOILO DE LA CRUZ, JR., and MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP) and PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURAL COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL WORLER'S UNION (PACIWU), respondents. DE LEON, JR., J.: 2 Before us is a petition for certiorari seeking to annul the twin Orders dated December 29, 1992 and January 25, 3 1993 of public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma, acting then as Undersecretary, now the Secretary, of the 4 Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in his affirmance of the dismissal by the Med-Arbiter of the complaint for unauthorized and illegal disbursement of union funds filed by petitioner Jesus B. Diamonon against private respondent Atty. Zoilo V. de la Cruz and Sofia P. Mana-ay. The facts of the case are the following: Petitioner served as the National Executive Vice President of the National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP) and Vice President for Luzon of the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (PACIWU). 5 In a letter dated March 23, 1991, petitioner learned of his removal from the positions he held in both unions in a 6 7 resolution approved during a meeting of the National Executive Boards of both unions. 8 On April 22, 1991, petitioner sought reconsideration of the resolution on his removal. At the same time, he 9 initiated a complaint (hereafter referred to as FIRST) before the DOLE against the National President of NACUSIP and PACIWU, private respondent Atty. Zoilo V. de la Cruz, Jr., and the members of the National Executive Boards of NACUSIP and PACIWU questioning the validity of his removal from the positions he held in the two unions. 10 While the FIRST case was pending with the Med-Arbiter, petitioner filed on May 16, 1991 a second complaint (hereafter referred to as SECOND) against private respondent Atty. Zoilo V. de la Cruz, Jr., and the National Treasurer of NACUSIP and PACIWU, Sofia P. Mana-ay. He accused them of three (3) offenses, namely: (a) wanton violation of the Constitution and By-Laws of both organizations, NACUSIP and PACIWU; (b) unauthorized and illegal disbursements of union funds of both organizations; (c) and abuse of authority as national officers of both organizations. 11 On August 2, 1991, an Order was issued in the FIRST case declaring that petitioner's removal from the 12 positions he held is null and void. Private respondents appealed this decision to the public respondent DOLE. 13 In view of the pendency of their appeal in the FIRST case, private respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss dated October 21, 1991 in the SECOND case. 14 In an Order dated November 5, 1991, the Med-Arbiter dismissed the SECOND case on the ground of lack of personality of petitioner to file the complaint in view of his removal from the offices he held. On December 27, 1991, public respondent Laguesma, acting as the then Undersecretary of DOLE, decided on 15 the FIRST case on appeal and issued a Resolution which affirmed the assailed Order dated August 2, 1991 declaring as null and void petitioner's removal from the positions he held. 16 In view of the adverse Order dated November 5, 1991 dismissing the SECOND case, petitioner appealed to
the public respondent DOLE. Public respondent Laguesma, issued the assailed Order dated December 29, 1992, holding that petitioner's failure to show in his complaint that the administrative remedies provided for in the constitution and by-laws of both unions, have been exhausted or such remedies are not available, was fatal to 19 petitioner's cause. 18 Resultantly, he affirmed the dismissal of the complaint. 20 Petitioner sought reconsideration of the Order dated December 29, 1992. However, public respondent in his 21 Order dated January 25, 1993 denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition. Petitioner anchors his petition on two (2) grounds, to wit: I. PUBLIC RESPONDENT HONORABLE BIENVENIDO V. LAGUESMA HAS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT DISMISS [sic] THE APPEAL INTERPOSED FROM THE ORDER OF THE MED ARBITER MENESIS [sic] T. CRUZ, AND WHEN IT DENIED THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION ON FLIMSY GROUNDS. II. THE CASE OF THE PETITIONER IS QUITE MERITORIOUS AND TO DISREGARD THE SAME WOULD [sic] TANTAMOUNT TO WILLFULLY [sic] CLOSING OUR EYES TO AVOID SEEING AND REALIZING THE NAKED 22 TRUTH. Petitioner emphatically stresses that the only issue on appeal before the DOLE was petitioner's alleged lack of personality to file the complaint. When public respondent "switched" the ground for dismissal of the complaint from "lack of personality of the [petitioner] to file the complaint" to "non-exhaustion of administrative remedies," he staunchly claims that the latter committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of 23 jurisdiction. For, in doing so, the challenged orders "went outside the issues and purported to adjudicate 24 something upon which the parties were not heard." The petition lacks merit. 25 Generally, an appellate court may only pass upon errors assigned. However, this rule is not without 26 27 exceptions. In the following instances, the Supreme Court ruled that an appellate court is accorded a broad discretionary power to waive the lack of assignment of errors and consider errors not assigned: (a) Grounds not assigned as errors but affecting the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter; (b) Matters not assigned as errors on appeal but are evidently plain or clerical errors within contemplation of law; (c) Matters not assigned as errors on appeal but consideration of which is necessary in arriving at a just decision and complete resolution of the case or to serve the interests of a justice or to avoid dispensing piecemeal justice; (d) Matters not specifically assigned as errors on appeal but raised in the trial court and are matters of record having some bearing on the issue submitted which the parties failed to raise or which the lower court ignored; (e) Matters not assigned as errors on appeal but closely related to an error assigned; (f) Matters not assigned as errors on appeal but upon which the determination of a question properly assigned, is dependent. There is no reason why this rule should not apply to administrative bodies as well, like the case before us, for the instant controversy falls squarely under the exceptions to the general rule. In the instant case, not only did petitioner fail to comply with Section 2, Rule VIII, Book V of the Implementing 28 Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code as amended but also the record reveals that neither did he exhaust 29 the remedies set forth by the Constitution and by-laws of both unions. In the National Convention of PACIWU and NACUSIP held on August 10 and 11, 1991, respectively, nothing was heard of petitioner's complaint against private respondents on the latter's alleged unauthorized and illegal disbursement of union funds. In fact, what the National Convention resolved was to approve and adopt the resolution of the National Executive Board removing 30 petitioner from the positions he held. His failure to seek recourse before the National Convention on his complaint against private respondents taints his action with prematurity. When the Constitution and by-laws of both unions dictated the remedy for intra-union dispute, such as petitioner's complaint against private respondents for unauthorized or illegal disbursement of unions funds, this should be resorted to before recourse can be made to the appropriate administrative or judicial body, not only to give the grievance machinery or appeals' body of the union the opportunity to decide the matter by itself, but also to prevent unnecessary and premature resort to administrative or judicial bodies. Thus, a party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief, but also 31 pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention. This rule clearly applies to the instant case. The underlying principle of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies rests on the presumption that when the administrative body, or grievance machinery, as in this case, is afforded a chance to 32 pass upon the matter, it will decide the same correctly. Petitioner's premature invocation of public respondent's 33 intervention is fatal to his cause of action. Evidently, when petitioner brought before the DOLE his complaint charging private respondents with unauthorized and illegal disbursement of union funds, he overlooked or deliberately ignored the fact that the
same is clearly dismissible for non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. Thus, public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma, in dismissing petitioner's complaint, committed no grave abuse of discretion. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED, and the twin Orders dated December 29, 1992 and January 25, 1993 by public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma affirming dismissal of the complaint dated May 15, 1991 filed by petitioner against private respondents are AFFIRMED. No costs.1âwphi1.nêt SO ORDERED. Bellosillo, Mendoza and Buena, JJ., concur. Quisumbing, J., noo part, close relation to a party.
THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE SERAFIN R. CUEVAS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RONALDO B. ZAMORA, and ATTY. CARINA J. DEMAISIP, petitioners, vs. ATTY. JOSEFINA G. BACAL, respondent. DECISION MENDOZA, J.: This case involves the appointment and transfer of career executive service officers (CESOs). More specifically, it concerns the ―appointment‖ of respondent Josefina G. Bacal, who holds the rank of CESO III, to the position of Chief Public Attorney in the Public Attorney‘s Office, which has a CES Rank Level I, and her subsequent transfer, made without her consent, to the Office of the Regional Director of the PAO. In its decision rendered on March 25, 1999, the Court of Appeals declared respondent Josefina G. Bacal entitled to the position of Chief Public Attorney in the Public Attorney‘s Office. Petitioners moved for a reconsideration, but their motion was denied by the appeals court in its resolution dated July 22, 1999. Hence this petition for review on certiorari. Petitioners contend that the transfer of respondent to the Office of the Regional Director of the PAO is appropriate considering her rank as CESO III. The background of this case is as follows: Respondent Josefina G. Bacal passed the Career Executive Service Examinations in 1989. On July 28, 1994, she was conferred CES eligibility and appointed Regional Director of the Public Attorney‘s Office. On January 5, 1995, she was appointed by then President Fidel V. Ramos to the rank of CESO III. On November 5, 1997, she was designated by the Secretary of Justice as Acting Chief Public Attorney. On February 5, 1998, her appointment was confirmed by President Ramos so that, on February 20, 1998, she took her oath and assumed office. On July 1, 1998, petitioner Carina J. Demaisip was appointed ―chief public defender‖ by President Joseph Estrada. Apparently because the position was held by respondent, another appointment paper was issued by the President on July 6, 1998 designating petitioner Demaisip as ―chief public defender (formerly chief public attorney), PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE vice ATTY. JOSEFINA G. BACAL, effective July 1, 1998.‖ On the other hand, respondent was appointed ―Regional Director, Public Defender‘s Office‖ by the President. On July 7, 1998, petitioner Demaisip took her oath of office. President Estrada then issued a memorandum, dated July 10, 1998, to the personnel of the ―Public Defender‘s Office‖ announcing the appointment of petitioner Demaisip as ―CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER.‖ Petitioner Secretary of Justice was notified of the appointments of petitioner Demaisip and respondent Bacal on July 15, 1998. On July 17, 1998, respondent filed a petition for quo warranto questioning her replacement as Chief Public Attorney. The petition, which was filed directly with this Court, was dismissed without prejudice to its refiling in the Court of Appeals. Accordingly, respondent brought her case in the Court of Appeals which, on March 25, 1999, ruled in her favor, finding her to be lawfully entitled to the Office of Chief Public Attorney. Petitioners seek the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals on the following grounds ¾ I. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT RESPONDENT JOSEFINA G. BACAL, A CAREER EXECUTIVE SERVICE OFFICER, HAS A VALID AND VESTED RIGHT TO THE POSITION OF CHIEF PUBLIC ATTORNEY AND, AS SUCH, CANNOT BE REASSIGNED OR TRANSFERRED TO THE POSITION OF REGIONAL DIRECTOR, PUBLIC ATTORNEY‘S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. II. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT RESPONDENT BACAL, WHO HOLDS A CES RANK LEVEL III, WAS REASSIGNED OR TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION WHICH DOES NOT CORRESPOND TO HER PRESENT RANK LEVEL INASMUCH AS THE POSITION OF BUREAU REGIONAL DIRECTOR CARRIES A CES RANK LEVEL V ONLY. CONTRARY TO THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS, SAID POSITION OF REGIONAL DIRECTOR, PUBLIC ATTORNEY‘S OFFICE, THE POSITION TO WHICH RESPONDENT BACAL WAS REASSIGNED OR TRANSFERRED, CARRIES A CES RANK LEVEL III WHICH CORRESPONDS TO HER CES RANK III LEVEL. AS AN OFFICER
on the other hand. The dilemma arises when both the petitioner and respondent Demaisip would be claiming the salary of a Chief Public Attorney. . would naturally entitle her to security of tenure since on the basis of the appointment. There is no pretension either in the Brief of the public respondents that there has been a supplemental budget for the petitioner. . no appeal need be taken to the Office of the President from the decision of a department head because the latter is in theory the alter ego of the former. provides funding for only one Chief Public Attorney. as has been held. In the case of the petitioner. RESPONDENT BACAL DID NOT LOSE HER CES RANK III AND HER RIGHT TO RECEIVE THE SALARY CORRES-PONDING TO HER PRESENT RANK. to a particular station. selection and appointment process of the Career Executive Service. the basic salary of a Chief Public Attorney together with all the perks. It cannot. RESPONDENT BACAL FAILED TO SHOW THAT SHE HAS A CLEAR RIGHT TO THE POSITION OF CHIEF PUBLIC ATTORNEY. when a CESO is assigned or made to occupy a position with a lower salary grade. now downgraded to a mere Regional Director. involuntarily made. . the salary of his CES position. RESPONDENT BACAL IS NOT THEREFORE ELIGIBLE FOR THE POSITION OF CHIEF PUBLIC ATTORNEY WHICH CARRIES A CES RANK LEVEL I. Changing a CESO. dated September 24. Her appointment as Regional Director was in effect a removal in the guise of transfer. with a non-CESO eligible nor a CESO defies the recruitment. which was made without her consent. to be receiving continuously the salary scale of a Chief Public Attorney. Diminution in duties and responsibilities. To repeat. to that of a mere Regional Director. . Indeed. In any event. amounts to a removal without cause. certainly becomes apparent and then in the matter of salary.WITH A RANK III LEVEL. through appointment.199. This brings us to the main issue in this appeal.479. Precisely. . did not either conform to the rules on the constitutional protection of security of tenure. II. Her involuntary transfer. there is greater reason for not requiring prior resort to the Office of the President in this case since the administrative decision sought to be reviewed is that of the President himself. III. IV. Having been validly appointed Chief Public Defender by the President on February 8. he shall supposedly continue to be paid his salary that attaches to his CES rank. Handbook. her supposed appointment as a Regional Director is not only temporary but is on the other hand permanent wherein she lost her position as Chief Public Attorney. Admittedly. would amount to P575. at the same time. she was appointed. as a rule (1997 Revised Edition. if only to form a continuing pool of well-selected and development-oriented career administrators who shall provide 44 . The contention has no merit. we have granted review in other cases involving the removal of the Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Executive Director of the Land Transportation Office without requiring the petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies considering that the administrative actions in question were those of the President. would only amount to P341. or her connection with the previous position being severed. he shall receive. but recommended by the CES Board. an incumbent of a CES position may qualify for appointment to a CES rank. 1998 appointment. be denied that the moment a non-CESO is appointed to a CES position.96. Merits of the Case In holding that respondent‘s transfer amounted to a removal without cause. Rank III. In this case. as budgeted. from that of Chief Public Attorney to a mere Regional Director. . 1998. his basic salary together with all the perks.00. UPON HER REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER TO THE POSITION OF REGIONAL DIRECTOR. not merely assigned. only upon the confirming of a CES Eligibility and compliance with the other requirements being prescribed by the Board (Ibid. Admittedly. Career Executive Service). I. V. the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply when the question raised is purely legal. 1 (adopting the Integrated Reorganizational Plan. there is certainly a diminution in duties and responsibilities when she was downgraded through the July 6. If. In the case of a Regional Director. As a matter of fact. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies We first consider petitioners‘ contention that respondent‘s quo warranto suit should have been dismissed for failure of respondent to exhaust administrative remedies by appealing to the Office of the President. There is merit in the petitioner‘s argument that allowing the Regional Director to receive continuously the salary rate of Chief Public Attorney in effect would amount to an illegal consequence since the disbursement of public funds. . without her consent. . the question is whether respondent‘s transfer to the position of Regional Director of the Public Attorney‘s Office. the appointment to most positions in the CES is supposed to be made by the President only from the list of CES eligibles. RESPONDENT BACAL FAILED TO FULLY EXHAUST THE ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO HER BEFORE FILING THE PETITION FOR QUO WARRANTO WITH THE COURT OF APPEALS. Above all. 5). . the Court of Appeals said: . . to repeat. the CES was created pursuant to PD No. the rank equivalent to a Bureau Director is Rank III while that of a mere Bureau Regional Director is Rank V. 1972). p.
to which she was transferred. 1995. A person who does not have the requisite qualifications for the position cannot be appointed to it in the first place or. Certification. issued by the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). provided that appointments to 45 . This is not so. under the law. which requires a CES Rank Level I for appointment thereto. And being so. including the appropriate eligibility prescribed. Demaisip was appointed in her place. Bacal for whatever purpose it may serve best. . She may have been considered for promotion to Rank I to make her appointment as Chief Public Attorney permanent. it could be withdrawn at will by the appointing authority and ―at a moment‘s notice. is that this did not materialize as petitioner Carina J. Public Attorney‘s Office was conferred CES Eligibility on July 28.competent and faithful service (Ibid. Respondent Bacal therefore has no ground to complain. The mere fact that a position belongs to the Career Service does not automatically confer security of tenure on its occupant even if he does not possess the required qualifications. he/she will be allowed the salary of the CES position. . corresponds to her CES Rank Level III and Salary Grade 28. and demonstrated competence.‖ conformably to established jurisprudence. 1998 to the position of Chief Public Attorney of the PAO. issued by Elmor D. his appointment could be regarded only as temporary. which states that ―the Rank equivalent to the position of Chief Public Attorney and Regional Public Attorney are CESO Rank I and CESO Rank III respectively‖ (Annex B of Annex M. may be appointed to it merely in an acting capacity in the absence of appropriate eligibles. which in turn depends on his eligibility or lack of it. As held in Achacoso v. Such appointments shall be made on the basis of rank. however. Such right will have to depend on the nature of his appointment. (vide Annex C of Annex M. and transfers in the Career Executive Service are based on rank. that a CESO rank is only necessary to differentiate a CESO‘s general managerial duties/responsibilities. . has a CES Rank Level V. Appointments. Petition). This is shown by the following: 1. The position of Chief Public Attorney has a CES Rank Level I and a Salary Grade 30. Chief Public Attorney. The Court of Appeals held that respondent Bacal had acquired security of tenure as Chief Public Attorney by the mere fact of her appointment to that position. If respondent was paid a salary equivalent to Salary Grade 30 while she was holding that office. As respondent does not have the rank appropriate for the position of Chief Public Attorney. then Executive Director of the CES Board. JOSEFINA G. while that of Regional Director. Petition). 1999. that respondent is qualified for the position of Chief Public Attorney because this position has a CES Rank Level III. We cannot see this from that of the petitioner then being replaced by a non-CESO. The fact. The appointment extended to him cannot be regarded as permanent even if it may be so designated. and she can claim no security of tenure in respect of that position. . stating that the position of Chief Public Attorney has a CES rank equivalent of Rank I. This was her position before her ―appointment‖ on February 5. First. This is likewise the point of the dissent of Justice Gonzaga-Reyes who contends that a CES eligibility is all that a person needs in order to acquire security of tenure in any position embraced in the Career Executive service. Bacal is a CESO III and that the position of Regional Director of the PAO. personal qualifications. her appointment to that position cannot be considered permanent. Certification. It provides: c. Macaraig: It is settled that a permanent appointment can be issued only ―to a person who meets all the requirements for the position to which he is being appointed. BACAL. Ramos on January 5. The appealed decision will not bear analysis. and 3. The certification reads: This is to certify that Atty. What should be emphasized in this case is that respondent Josefina G. 1999. therefore. previously issued to respondent Bacal by then Executive Director Juridico of the CES Board. dated April 6. reassignments. Appointment. only as an exception to the rule. dated July 8. It is contended. Public Attorney‘s Office. assignments. the Integrated Reorganization Plan cannot be any clearer. Certification. p. 2. . Second.‖ Achacoso did not. Juridico. 1994 per Board Resolution No. . it was only because. however. 2). This certification is issued upon the request of Atty. She is yet to fulfill the requirements for an adjustment of her CES rank (from CES Rank III to Rank I) to a level equivalent to her present position. which states that ―the position of the head of Public Attorney‘s Office (PAO) is classified as Chief Public Attorney at Salary Grade 30‖ (Annex A of Annex M. and that no other CES examination is required for appointment to a higher rank. Appointment to appropriate classes in the Career Executive Service shall be made by the President from a list of career executive eligibles recommended by the Board. 94-4620 and was appointed Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) Rank III by then President Fidel V. 1998. At best. while that of Regional Director of the PAO has a CES Rank Level III and a Salary Grade 28. dated April 15. if a CESO is assigned to a position with a higher salary grade than that corresponding to his/her rank. Petition). On this point.
but may not advance to a higher class of position in the Career Executive Service unless or until he qualifies for membership in the Career Executive Service. Conferment of CES eligibility is done by the Board through a formal Board Resolution after an evaluation of the examinee‘s performance in the four stages of the CES eligibility examinations. and. members of the Service shall be assigned to occupy positions of Undersecretary. an incumbent of a CES position may qualify for appointment to a CES rank. (2) performance. Assistant Bureau Director. The President may.. managerial responsibility is based on the level of the general duties and responsibilities which an eligible is performing. e. Regional Director. The guarantee of security of tenure to members of the CES does not extend to the particular positions 46 . There are six (6) ranks in the CES ranking structure. . however. Depending upon their ranks. The highest rank is that of a Career Executive Service Officer I (CESO I). On the other hand.. Bureau Director. Assistant Secretary. . appoint any person who is not a Career Executive Service eligible. in exceptional cases. a CES eligible will be recommended for appointment to the rank equivalent of the level of his managerial responsibility if his performance rating is Satisfactory or higher. Reassignments and Transfers. namely: (1) level of managerial responsibility. Assignments.. Department Assistant Regional Director or Department Service Chief if comparable to that of a Bureau V Regional Director if comparable to that of a Bureau VI Assistant Regional Director As a general rule. Appointment to CES Rank Upon conferment of a CES eligibility and compliance with the other requirements prescribed by the Board.the higher ranks which qualify the incumbents to assignments as undersecretary and heads of bureaus and offices and equivalent positions shall be with the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. The rules and regulations promulgated by the CES Board to implement the Integrated Reorganization Plan are equally clear in providing that ¾ Career Executive Service Eligibility Passing the CES examination entitles the examinee to a conferment of a CES eligibility and the inclusion of his name in the roster of CES eligibles. provided that such appointee shall subsequently take the required Career Executive Service examination and that he shall not be promoted to a higher class until he qualifies in such examination.. Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Board on the basis of the members‘ functional expertise. Security of tenure in the career executive service is thus acquired with respect to rank and not to position. Performance is determined by the official‘s performance rating obtained in the annual CESPES. as follows: Levels of Duties and Rank Equivalent Responsibilities if level of managerial responsibilities I are comparable to that of an Undersecretary if comparable to that of an Assistant II Secretary if comparable to that of a Bureau III Director or a Department Regional Director if comparable to that of an Assistant IV Bureau Director. while the lowest is that of CESO VI. Assistant Regional Director.. . If the performance rating is Outstanding. . Appointment to a CES rank is made by the President upon the recommendation of the Board. This process completes the official‘s membership in the CES and most importantly. confers on him security of tenure in the CES. The appropriate CESO rank to which a CES eligible may be appointed depends on two major qualification criteria.. an incumbent who holds a permanent appointment to a position embraced in the Career Executive Service shall continue to hold his position. At the initial implementation of this Plan. he will be recommended one rank higher than his level of managerial responsibility. .
. further. and efficiency‖ in its operations.is what will undermine the Career Executive Service. The area of promotion is currently confined to the person or persons ―next-in-rank‖ in the agency.. . personnel can be shifted from one office or position to another without violation of their right to security of tenure because their status and salaries are based on their ranks and not on their jobs. Accordingly. he may appeal his case to the President. and not on the job that they occupy at any given time . it is necessary to consider the reason for the creation of the Career Executive Service. 6172. This feature is especially relevant in a developing country which cannot afford to have its scarce executive manpower pegged to particular positions. bureau or office to another. . Third. and 6175. Petitioners are. R. The status and salary of the career executives will be based on their rank. 5435. the Integrated Reorganization Plan provides: e. . Skilled in both techniques and processes of management. the better to cope with the exigencies of public service. that no member shall be reassigned or transferred oftener than every two years. personnel classification and compensation are uniformly based on concepts and procedures which are suited to positions in the lower levels but not to managerial posts in the higher levels. A major feature of the Integrated Reorganization Plan was the creation of the Career Executive Service whose justification was explained by the Commission on Reorganization. therefore.D.not the ruling in this case that it is appointment to the appropriate rank that confers security of tenure . he is allowed to receive the salary of the CES position. . economy. is thus the distinguishing feature of the Career Executive Service. Moreover. Assignments. can be reassigned from one CES 47 . Should he be assigned or made to occupy a CES position with a lower salary grade. however. However. even if respondent is not appointed CESO I because her performance as Chief Public Attorney does not warrant her appointment to such higher rank. respondent did not acquire security of tenure by the mere fact that she was appointed to the higher position of Chief Public Attorney since she was not subsequently appointed to the rank of CESO I based on her performance in that position as required by the rules of the CES Board. that a CES eligibility gives the appointee security of tenure . In this sense. Reassignments and Transferees. and provided. . This theory of the dissent. provided. as amended by R. that if the officer concerned believes that his reassignment or transfer is not justified. the rank status of the Career Executive Service is similar to that of the commissioned officers in the Armed Forces or members of the Foreign Service.to which they may be appointed ¾ a concept which is applicable only to first and second-level employees in the civil service ¾ but to the rank to which they are appointed by the President. ―as a CESO. This group of senior administrators shall be carefully selected on the basis of high qualifications and competence. The filling of higher administrative positions is often based on considerations other than merit and demonstrated competence. entrance to the Career Executive Service will not be generally at an early age in a relatively junior level but at a senior management level. No. 6076. 1 on September 24. . right in arguing that respondent. thus: The present Civil Service system is not geared to meet the executive manpower needs of the government. To fill this crucial gap. she cannot be transferred to any other office to which her rank (CESO III) qualifies her.A. it is recommended that a Career Executive Service be established. furthermore. provided that such reassignment or transfer is made in the interest of public service and involves no reduction in rank or salary. he shall continue to be paid the salary attached to his CES rank. To attain this objective. . The implementing rules and regulations of the CES Board provide: Salary of Career Executive Service Officers. Following such theory. these career executives will act as catalysts for administrative efficiency and as agents of administrative innovation.A. To understand this. created a commission charged with the specific function of reorganizing the government ―to promote simplicity. that a CES eligibility was all that was required to make her appointment to the position of Chief Public Attorney permanent would give rise to an anomalous situation.e. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. Nos. The result was the preparation of the Integrated Reorganization Plan which was adopted and declared part of the law of the land by P. The rank classification in the Service will allow for mobility or flexibility of assignments such that the government could utilize the services or special talents of these career executives wherever they are most needed or will likely create the greatest impact. members of the Career Executive Service may be reassigned or transferred from one position to another and from one department. 1972. as does the dissent of Justice Gonzaga-Reyes. . A CESO is compensated according to his CES rank and not on the basis of the CES position he occupies. if a CESO is assigned to a CES position with a higher salary grade than that of his CES rank. Mobility and flexibility in the assignment of personnel. i. Unlike these latter organizations. . Indeed. No. to contend. Within the Career Executive Service.
 ―in a quo warranto proceeding the person suing must show that he has a clear right to the office allegedly held unlawfully by another. Lopez.. respondent. bureau or office to another. HON. Further. First Division which admitted the sworn statements of petitioner Salvador Sebastian. [T]he rule that outlaws unconsented transfers as anathema to security of tenure applies only to an officer who is appointed . this Court said: . par. There is no claim that petitioner Demaisip has a right to remain in the position of Chief Public Attorney permanently.. Art.. JOSE S. §5 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. she cannot raise the lack of qualification of petitioner. and his co-accused in Criminal Case No. Election Officers. was correctly and properly appointed by the appointing authority to the position of Regional Director. and HON. 17904 as evidence for the prosecution. BALAJADIA. HON. JJ. DECISION DE LEON. Absent that right. The question in this case is not the validity of the appointment to such position but whether the appointee acquires security of tenure even if he does not possess the requisite rank. Panganiban and Quisumbing. in exceptional cases. even in the other branches of the civil service. in Acosta v. FRANCIS E. . he can claim no security of tenure in respect of any office.not merely assigned . consequently. Ynares-Santiago and De Leon. the lack of qualification or eligibility of the supposed usurper is immaterial. J. 5(c) of the Integrated Reorganization Plan provides that the President may. join Justice Puno in his separate opinion. the rule is that. this has been the ―exacting rule‖ since it was first announced.. provided that such appointee shall subsequently take the required Career Executive Service examination and that he shall not be promoted to a higher class until he qualified in such examination. Thus Part III. petitioner. and Revenue District Officers in the Bureau of Internal Revenue. As at present embodied in Rule 66. the decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and the petition for quo warranto filed by respondent is DISMISSED.to a particular station. concur. Melo. Demaisip. On the other hand. On the other hand. JJ.. In the instant case. I.. cannot be considered a demotion. vs. her subsequent transfer to the position of Regional Director of the same office.. SR. This rule has been applied to such appointments as Director III or Director IV or Attorney IV or V in the Civil Service Commission since the appointments are not to specified offices but to particular ranks. Pardo. Jr. Flor.‖ WHEREFORE. . ATIENZA (SANDIGANBAYAN-First Division). see dissenting opinion. Bacal as Chief Public Attorney is valid under this provision of the law despite the fact that she does not hold the rank of CESO I. Reiterating the principle in Sta. IV.position to another and from one department. Puno J. much less a violation of the security of tenure guarantee of the Constitution.. For the same reason that the temporary appointment of respondent Josefina G. who holds a CES Rank III. we hold that respondent‘s appointment to the position of Chief Public Attorney was merely temporary and that. so is the appointment to the same position of petitioner Carina J. Suffice it to say the law allows in exceptional cases the appointment of non-CES eligibles provided that the appointees subsequently pass the CES Examinations. a position which has a corresponding CES Rank Level III. Reyes. Jr. appoint any person who is not a Career Executive Service eligible.J. Fourth. . Justice Puno makes much of the fact that petitioner Carina J. Demaisip is not a CES eligible.. . as a CESO. Buena. Sr. Election Registrars. Chap.: Before us is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in conjunction with Rule XIX of the Revised Rules of the Sandiganbayan. SALVADOR SEBASTIAN. Maria v.‖ Indeed. C. 1993 of the Sandiganbayan. also in the Commission on Elections.‖ Indeed. can even be assigned or made to occupy a CES position with a lower salary grade. GARCHITORENA. Court of Appeals. JR. respondents. seeking to annul the Resolution dated August 24. As held in Carillo v. Such a rule does not proscribe a transfer carried out under a specific statute that empowers the head of an agency to periodically reassign the employees and officers in order to improve the service of the agency. the rule is that ―a person claiming to be entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another may bring an action therefor in his own name. 1993 which 48 . and the Resolution dated September 27. The use of approved techniques or methods in personnel management to harness the abilities of employees to promote optimum public service cannot be objected to. see separate opinion. Bellosillo. as respondent herself does not have the requisite qualification for the position of Chief Public Attorney. Kapunan. For the foregoing reasons. NARCISO T. Gonzaga-Reyes J. Vitug J. unless an employee is appointed to a particular office or station.. SO ORDERED. respondent. 95 years ago. join the dissent of J. which corresponds to her CESO rank. Davide. .
Philippine Currency. Upon the completion of the testimony of Auditor Rugayan. Pada. "R". Rodriquez. As a general rule. Petitioner contends that he and his co-accused were never presented as witnesses. and conspiring and confederating with one another. as defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. Zamboanga City. while the testimony of a witness regarding a statement made by another person. Rosita C. TORRES. Contrary to law. and as such is accountable for the custody of the postage stamps received and issued by her by reason of the duties of her office. Region IX. Rachel V. The marking of the exhibits was with the conformity of all of the accused and their respective counsel. all public officers. and previously marked as exhibits "Q". out of the postage stamps in the custody of accused Rosita C. Philippines. 1993. on September 13. if intended to establish the truth of the fact asserted in the statement. the Court RESOLVES the same as follows: Exhibits A. 1993. to the damage and prejudice of the Government in the aforesaid sum. However. Exhibits D up to U and U-1 inclusive of submarkings are admitted as part of the testimony of Lilibeth Rugayan as examining auditor under the State Auditing Code (P. took place before the Deputy Clerk of Court of the First Division of the Sandiganbayan. SEBASTIAN. LOURDES A. and Salvador C. Lourdes A. Petitioner argues that the said issue should be resolved in the negative on the ground that the subject sworn statements are hearsay evidence. against Rosita C. unlawfully. 1993. On April 22. the above-named accused. all of the Postal Services Office. 49 . being then the Senior Clerk in the Postage Stamps Section. 1993 (p. 1993. 1992. feloniously and with grave abuse of confidence. "B" and "C". and "U-1" for the prosecution. and C are admitted. is clearly hearsay evidence. being then a Utility Man in the Postage Stamps Section. 1992.denied the motion for reconsideration of the said Resolution. TERESITA B. PADA. which are derived from his own perceptions. Pada. Thus. 1993. Sebastian. they being certified true copies of official documents. being then a Senior Clerk in the Mail Delivery Section and SALVADOR C. The only issue to be resolved in the present petition is whether or not the sworn statements of petitioner and his co-accused are admissible in evidence "as part of the testimony of the prosecution witness". 1445). B. being then a Letter Carrier. It ruled that: Considering that under the Order of this Court dated April 22. they were not given the opportunity to identify and authenticate their respective sworn statements and that Auditor Rugayan had no personal knowledge of the contents thereof. it is otherwise if the purpose of placing the statement in the record is merely to establish the fact that the statement was made or the tenor of such statement. all the accused (including petitioner) filed their "Joint Objections to Formal Offer of Evidence" on the principal ground that the sworn statements were "hearsay" evidence. the marking of the documents to be testified on by the lone prosecution witness. On August 19. Torres.05). Rachel V. Teresita B.290. ROSITA C. this petition. On July 28. 1993. thus: Acting upon the "FORMAL OFFER OF EVIDENCE" dated July 5. that is. Torres. while in the performance of their official functions. being then the Regional Postage Stamps Custodian. taking advantage of their position. Hence. committing the offense in relation to their office. the three accused. the prosecution rested its caseand formally offered its evidence on July 6. and embezzle and convert to their personal use and benefit the amount of SIX HUNDRED FORTY NINE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINETY and 05/100 PESOS (P649. 1990. admitted said evidence. It reads: That on or about the period comprised between January 1989 and June 21. but the same was denied by the respondent court in its Resolution dated September 27. RACHEL V. of accused. Enriquez and Salvador C. Among those offered as evidence were the sworn statements made by all the accused. misappropriate. 1993. among which were exhibits "A". Pada. the rule explicitly provides that a witness can testify only on those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge. including that of petitioner. "U". thus. 1993. the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the accused Pada. Torres and Sebastian with regard to the admission of said exhibits dated September 10. Sebastian entered separate pleas of "Not Guilty" on October 13. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. No. jointly filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Said exhibits were offered as part of the testimony of Auditor Rugayan. 85) the exhibits "off-court" was admitted by the accused through counsel. of the Prosecution and considering the "JOINT OBJECTIONS TO FORMAL OFFER OF EVIDENCE" dated August 19. hearsay evidence is inadmissible. RODRIGUEZ. We disagree. "S". misapply. Special Prosecution Officer III Teresita Diaz-Baldoz filed with the Sandiganbayan an Information for the crime of Malversation of Public Funds. in the City of Zamboanga. Dissatisfied. who conducted the audit examination.D. "T". Auditor Lilibeth Rugayan of the Commission on Audit. did then and there wilfully. 1993 is denied. The Sandiganbayan in its Minute Resolution dated August 24. ENRIQUEZ.
the respondent court in its Order dated April 22. Lourdes Enriquez and Salvador Sebastian. Article III of the Constitution may be invoked only when a person is under "custodial investigation" or is "in custody investigation. the fact remains that under existing laws. a party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel. This Order of the Sandiganbayan reciting the actions taken. unless modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice. As stated in the Resolution dated August 24. recommended the filing of an Information for Malversation of Public Funds against Rosita C. that he agreed merely to the "marking" of the said sworn statements as exhibits of the prosecution. Exhibits "D" up to "U" and "U-1" were admitted only as part of the testimony of Lilibeth Rugayan as Examining Auditor. In any event. Petitioner alleges that nothing in his sworn statement shows compliance with the constitutional provisions on the right to counsel. the facts stipulated. and evidence marked. Saavedra. 50 . 1445. in its subsequent resolution dated July 28. the right to remain silent and the right to waive these rights in the presence of counsel. Entrenched is the rule that the rights provided in Section 12.In the present case. confirmation and other techniques. Teresita Rodriguez. for Malversation of Public Funds. Title II. any evidence presented during the pre-trial conference cannot be considered by the court if not formally offered. While an investigation conducted by an administrative body may at times be akin to a criminal proceeding. it would be more expedient to indict all the respondents for Malversation and let them explain in court the actual extent of their individual accountability. the parties have informally agreed that all the documents marked today are deemed authenticated except for the alleged responses of the various postmasters as to the request for confirmation which the accused dispute both as to their authenticity as well as to their accuracy assuming that they are authentic. premises considered. 1992. It is also the contention of petitioner that he never admitted the said sworn statements during the pre-trial conference. The main purpose of a pre-trial is to expedite the trial. and that "marking" is different from "admission". Petitioner. x x x x x x WHEREFORE. It has been held that any evidence which a party desiring to submit for the consideration of the court must be formally offered by him. Such a formal offer is necessary because it is the duty of the judge to rest his findings of facts and his judgment only upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. Petitioner in his supplemental pleading claims to have been deprived of his constitutional rights under Sections 12 and 17. the sub-marking of the documents to be testified to by Auditor Lilibeth Rugayan has been completed and only the other sub-markings will take place during the proceedings. and no duty rests on such a body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel. Section 55 of P. Additionally. irrespective of the nature of the charges and of the respondent's capacity to represent himself. Rachel Torres. for purposes of prosecution. Graft Investigation Officer Rodolfo Rojas. the sworn statements executed by the petitioner and co-accused were offered not to prove the truth or falsity of the facts stated therein but only to prove that such written statements were actually made and executed. and the exclusion for liability of Florecita Doromal. It is merely an administrative investigation. sufficient competent evidential matter to afford himself a reasonable basis for his opinions. with the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government service. The fact-finding investigation relative to the missing postage stamps at the Postage Stock Section of Zamboanga City conducted by a Enrique G. Chief Postal Service Officer. In view of this. Chapter I. It has been held in the case of Lumiqued v. Jr. petitioner now questions the disposition of the Ombudsman as merely engaging in a fishing expedition in this case. observation. 1993 ruled that: By agreement of the parties.D. 1993 of the respondent court. inquiries. conclusions and recommendations"." Hence. The record does not show that petitioner and his co-accused objected to the above-mentioned Order. the undersigned respectfully recommends the prosecution of Rosita Pada. stating that: Thus. is not a custodial investigation. otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code provides that "the auditor shall obtain through inspections. likewise contends that the Ombudsman acted with grave abuse of discretion in filing the Information for malversation against him. Special Prosecution Officer Teresita Daiz-Baldos recommended the prosecution of the four other accused. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Thus. including petitioner. subject to confirmation this afternoon. judgments. He argues that in its first Resolution dated March 18. Pada only. 1992 of the Office of the Ombudsman. the direct examination will be waived and the cross-examination by the accused will take place primarily to dispute the statement above-mentioned." Custodial investigation has been defined as any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. Exevea that the right to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees. However. binds the parties and limits the trial to matters not disposed of and shall control the course of the action during the trial.
reduced the penalty imposed on them to reprimand and ordered them reinstated to their former positions. and Elizabeth Somebang were ordered suspended for six months effective December 4. during the teachers‘ strikes. the case was referred to the Court of Appeals which. petition is hereby DENIED. However. Culture. they were administratively charged with (1) grave misconduct. ruled that private respondents were entitled to the payment of salaries during their suspension ―beyond ninety (90) days. The facts are as follows: Private respondents are public school teachers. as described therein. on September 3. The illegality of the strikes was declared in our 1991 decision in Manila Public School Teachers Association v. they are interlocutory in nature and from which no appeal lies. while respondents Amparo Abad. the Court of Appeals. they did not report for work. Petitioner's choice of remedy therefore is clearly an error. CSC Resolution Nos. Jr. 1993 (In re: Amparo Abad). in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Education. the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The resolutions of the Sandiganbayan herein sought to be reviewed or set aside are not in any sense judgments or final orders or resolutions. and Somebang) guilty only of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations by failing to file applications for leave of absence and. Private respondents moved for a reconsideration. dated July 15. 1996. Virgilia Bandigas. and placed under preventive suspension. it is not for this Court to review the exercise of discretion of the Ombudsman in prosecuting or dismissing a complaint filed before his Office. J. At issue in this case is the right to back salaries of teachers who were either dismissed or suspended because they did not report for work but who were eventually ordered reinstated because they had not been shown to have taken part in the strike.This Court has consistently refrained from interfering with the exercise by the Ombudsman of his constitutionally mandated investigatory and prosecutory power. (3) gross violation of Civil Service Law Rules and Regulations and reasonable office regulations. the Civil Service Commission (CSC) affirmed the decision of the MSPB with respect to Margallo. respondents. On various dates in September and October 1990. while maintaining its finding that private respondents were guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for which they should be reprimanded. The appellate court found him guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations only and imposed on him the penalty of reprimand. Respondent Margallo appealed to the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB) which found him guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and imposed on him a six-month suspension. and Elizabeth Somebang but (2) reversing it insofar as the CSC ordered the suspension of Nicanor Margallo. HON. and Sports.. 93-2302 dated June 24. In its resolution. Virgilia Bandigas. and Buena. WHEREFORE. On appeal. JJ. 1993 and 93-3124 dated August 10. RICARDO T. 93-2304 51 . COURT OF APPEALS. DECISION MENDOZA. although reprimanded for being absent without leave. The investigation was concluded before the lapse of their 90-day suspension and private respondents were found guilty as charged. For this reason. Respondents filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in this Court. Mendoza. the Court noted that the petition. acts as the champion of the people and preserver of the integrity of the public service. concur. a petition for review on certiorari is a mode of appeal from judgments or final orders or resolutions and limited to questions of law. and (7) absence without leave (AWOL). vs. Laguio. SO ORDERED. SOMEBANG and NICANOR MARGALLO. 1990. 1990. The other respondents also appealed to the MSPB.. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. the appellate court amended the dispositive portion of its decision to read as follows: WHEREFORE. under Rule 45. (6) conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. but their appeal was dismissed because of their failure to file their appeal memorandum on time. petitioner. contending that they should be exonerated of all charges against them and that they be paid salaries during their suspension. 1-95. rendered a decision (1) affirming the decision of the CSC with respect to Amparo Abad. ABAD. Lastly. (5) gross insubordination. therefore. CSC Resolution Nos. ELIZABETH A. Quisumbing. AMPARO A. Otherwise stated. Pursuant to Revised Administrative Circular No. but found the other three (Abad. Bandigas.‖ Accordingly. beholden to no one. (Chairman). Respondent Nicanor Margallo was ordered dismissed from the service effective October 29. but many incidents of those strikes are still to be resolved. is one filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. BANDIGAS. GLORIA. VIRGILIA M. Bellosillo. Such initiative and independence are inherent in the Ombudsman who. 1997. (2) gross neglect of duty.: This case arose out of the unfortunate strikes and walk-outs staged by public school teachers on different dates in September and October 1990. (4) refusal to perform official duty.
52. cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. the law provides: SEC. 93-2211 dated June 21. 51. 292)... the same may be initially appealed to the department and finally to the Commission and pending appeal.The proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. the government should not be held answerable for payment of their salaries. and other benefits ―beyond the ninety (90) day preventive suspension. Virgilia Bandigas. he should be reinstated... A. Petitioner Ricardo T. allowances and other benefits during the period of their suspension/dismissal beyond the ninety (90) day preventive suspension. provinces.dated June 24. 1993 are hereby MODIFIED finding petitioner Nicanor Margallo guilty of a lesser offense of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations and meting upon him the penalty of reprimand. It is a measure intended to enable the disciplining authority to investigate charges against respondent by preventing the latter from intimidating or in any way influencing witnesses against him. In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission. negligence or petition of the respondent.. Subtitle A of the Administrative Code of 1987 (E. There are thus two kinds of preventive suspension of civil service employees who are charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension: (1) preventive suspension pending investigation (§51) and (2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and. . the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. SEC. If the investigation is not finished and a decision is not rendered within that period. Moreover. (4) An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. 47. 1993 (In re: Elizabeth Somebang) are hereby AFFIRMED while CSC Resolution Nos. 1993 (In re: Virgilia Bandigas) and CSC Resolution Nos. petitioner lays so much store by the fact that.When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days‘ salary. Hence.‖ In other words. or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service. the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal. Title I.O. Preventive Suspension and the Right to Compensation in Case of Exoneration The present Civil Service Law is found in Book V. moved for a reconsideration insofar as the resolution of the Court of Appeals ordered the payment of private respondents‘ salaries during the period of their appeal. 1997. (2) The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities. Elizabeth Somebang and Nicanor Margallo their salaries. this petition for review on certiorari. . however. the respondent shall be considered as having been under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal. private respondents are considered under preventive suspension during the period of their appeal and. SEC. No pronouncement as to costs.. That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault. . under the law. . No Right to Compensation for Preventive Suspension Pending Investigation Even if Employee is Exonerated Is he entitled to the payment of salaries during the period of suspension? As already stated. Preventive suspension pending investigation is not a penalty. denied by the appellate court in its resolution of October 6. then Secretary of Education. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. Gloria. If after investigation respondent is found innocent of the charges and is exonerated. hence. Respondent DECS is ordered to pay petitioners Amparo Abad. the Court of Appeals ordered the DECS to pay private respondents their salaries. 93-2301 undated and 93-3125 dated August 10. Petitioner contends that the administrative investigation of respondents was concluded within the 90-day period of preventive suspension. in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned. I. Pending Administrative Investigation. Petitioner‘s contentions have no merit. the suspension will be lifted and the respondent will automatically be reinstated. oppression or grave misconduct. and Sports. if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. are not entitled to the payment of their salaries during their suspension. or neglect in the performance of duty. allowances. So far as pertinent to the questions in this case. implying that the continued suspension of private respondents is due to their appeal. after review. for this reason. the respondent is exonerated (§47(4)). 1993 and 93-3227 dated August 17. no compensation was due for the period of the preventive suspension pending investigation but only for the period of preventive suspension pending appeal in 52 . and in case the penalty is suspension or removal. Preventive Suspension. His motion was. Culture. the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided. Lifting of Preventive Suspension.
 The separate opinion of Justice Panganiban pays no heed to the evident legislative intent to deny payment of salaries for the preventive suspension pending investigation. 24 reads: Sec. the amendment by deletion of certain words or phrases in a statute indicates that the legislature intended to change the meaning of the statute. and therefore cannot belong to one who could not lawfully perform such services. (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service. if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong. That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault. .‖ The preventive suspension of civil service employees charged with dishonesty. without pay. This provision was reproduced in §52 of the present Civil Service Law. he shall be restored to his position with full pay for the period of suspension. Court of Appeals itself similarly states that ―payment of salaries corresponding to the period  when an employee is not allowed to work may be decreed if he is found innocent of the charges which caused his suspension and  when the suspension is unjustified. if death should render reinstatement impossible. the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. Sec. or (c) the respondent‘s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. No. it is contended that the exoneration of employees who have been preventively suspended is proof that there was no reason at all to suspend them and thus makes their preventive suspension a penalty. oppression or grave misconduct. in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. he shall be restored to his position with full pay for the period of suspension‖ or that ―upon subsequent reinstatement of the suspended person or upon his exoneration. The reason given is ―that salary and perquisites are the reward of express or implied services. negligence or petition of the respondent. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. it is not enough that an employee is exonerated of the charges against him. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months. Provided.D. First. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. – The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation.When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the Commissioner of Civil Service within the period of sixty (60) days after the date of suspension of the respondent. The principle governing entitlement to salary during suspension is cogently stated in Floyd R. . or neglect of duty is authorized by the Civil Service Law. No.‖ Thus. Preventive Suspension. It is clear that the purpose of the amendment is to disallow the payment of salaries for the period of suspension. 35. The case of Bangalisan v. In addition. Officer not entitled to Salary during Suspension from Office. any salary so withheld shall be paid. If the respondent officer or employee is exonerated. the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service. for the presumption is that the legislature would not have made the deletion had the intention been not in effect a change in its meaning.When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee. Second. negligence or petition of the respondent.A. the cases cited are based either on the former rule which expressly provided that ―if the respondent officer or employee is exonerated. the law was revised in 1975 and the provision on the payment of salaries during suspension was deleted. 42. and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. 6770) categorically provides that preventive suspension shall be ―without pay. his suspension must be unjustified. The separate opinion of Justice Panganiban argues that the employee concerned should be paid his salaries after his suspension.‖ or on cases which do not really support the proposition advanced. it says that to deny compensation for the period of preventive suspension would be to reverse the course of decisions ordering the payment of salaries for such period. No. oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty. Mechem‘s A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and Officers as follows: §864. However. 42 of the Civil Service Decree (P. even though it be subsequently determined that the cause for which he was suspended was insufficient.An officer who has been lawfully suspended from his office is not entitled to compensation for the period during which he was so suspended. therefore. 35 read: Sec. The amended statute should accordingly be given a construction different from that previous to its amendment. .A. However. be considered 53 . 24. except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault.‖ Sec. The Civil Service Act of 1959 (R. It cannot. It is noteworthy that the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R. 807) read: Sec. the respondent shall be reinstated in the service. 2260) provided for the payment of such salaries in case of exoneration. This conclusion is in accord with the rule of statutory construction that As a rule.the event the employee is exonerated. Sec.
For this reason.. Indeed. in the last resort. No. the provision for payment of salaries during the preventive suspension pending investigation has been deleted. Rule 39. Nonetheless.‖ Indeed. To be entitled to such compensation. the law provides that employees who are unjustly dismissed are entitled to reinstatement with full pay. B.‖ Nothing in what has thus far been said is inconsistent with the reason for denying salaries for the period of preventive suspension. No. if he is not exonerated. We have said that an employee who is exonerated is not entitled to the payment of his salaries because his suspension.D. though innocent.‖ even if later the charges are dismissed so as to justify the payment of salaries to the employee concerned. 2260). however. the absolute right of decision. Until then. §2 of the Rules of Court.A. 47 of the present law providing that an administrative decision meting out the penalty of suspension or dismissal shall be immediately executory and that if the respondent appeals he shall be considered as being merely under preventive suspension if eventually he prevails is taken from §37 of the Civil Service Decree of 1975 (P. the public interest in an upright civil service must be upheld. §1. the period of his suspension becomes part of the final penalty of suspension or dismissal. 598. even if the investigation is not finished. payment of back salaries was denied where it was shown that the employee concerned was guilty as charged and the immediate execution of the decision was ordered by the Civil Service Commissioner ―in the interest of the public service. . Preventive suspension pending investigation. as has been noted. After that period. ―It is always a doubtful course. must rest somewhere wherever it may be vested it is susceptible of abuse. preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered illegal if respondent is exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. the possibility of abuse is not an argument against the recognition of the existence of power.‖ In the case of the public sector. inclusive of allowances. It is one of those sacrifices which holding a public office requires for the public good. to argue against the use or existence of a power. It is precisely because respondent is penalized before his sentence is confirmed that he should be paid his salaries in the event he is exonerated. because the penalty of suspension or dismissal was executed without a finding by the Civil Service Commissioner that it was necessary ―in the interest of the public service. that would be the time for the courts to exercise their nay-saying function. under R. if his conviction is affirmed. No.A. As Justice Story aptly put it. Thus.A. it is argued in the separate opinion that to deny employees salaries on the ―frivolous‖ ground that the law does not provide for their payment would be to provide a ―tool for the oppression of civil servants who. 807). Sec. the law provides that the employee shall be automatically reinstated. to sustain the government‘s theory would be to make the administrative decision not only executory but final and executory. Hence.A.‖ On the other hand. it is limited to ninety (90) days unless the delay in the conclusion of the investigation is due to the employee concerned. Third. Right to Compensation for Preventive Suspension Pending Appeal if Employee is Exonerated But although we hold that employees who are preventively suspended pending investigation are not entitled to the payment of their salaries even if they are exonerated.e. It would be unjust to deprive him of his pay as a result of the immediate execution of the decision against him and continue to do so even after it is shown that he is innocent of the charges for which he was suspended. §5 provides that in the event the executed judgment is reversed. being authorized by law. the employee must not only be found innocent of the charges but his suspension must likewise be unjustified. On the other hand. there shall be restitution or reparation of damages as equity and justice may require. . There was no similar provision in the Civil Service Act of 1959 (R. . Nor was there provision for immediate execution of administrative decisions ordering dismissal or suspension in §695 of the Administrative Code of 1917. Finally. But though an employee is considered under preventive suspension during the pendency of his 54 . . §47(4) states that respondent ―shall be considered as under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins. No. he should be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension. 2260 the payment of salaries was ordered in cases in which employees were found to be innocent of the charges or their suspension was held to be unjustified.‖ It may be added that if and when such abuse occurs. No. . although under it the Commissioner of Civil Service could order the immediate execution of an administrative decision in the interest of the public service. cannot be unjustified. as already discussed. from the possibility of its abuse. 6715 expressly provides for the payment to such employees of ―full backwages. But that is because R. it is argued that even in the private sector.‖ On the other hand. may be falsely charged of grave or less grave administrative offenses. we do not agree with the government that they are not entitled to compensation for the period of their suspension pending appeal if eventually they are found innocent. The fact is that §47(2) and (4) are similar to the execution of judgment pending appeal under Rule 39. is not a penalty but only a means of enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered investigation.―unjustified. and . i. as amended by C. other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. [For] from the very nature of things.
.appeal in the event he wins. Under existing jurisprudence. C. Court of Appeals. is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of salaries to private respondents shall be computed from the time of their dismissal/suspension by the Department of Education. for his participation in the mass actions on September 18. URCIA. the same was for his violation of reasonable office rules and regulations because he failed to inform the school of his intended absence and neither did he file an application for leave covering such absences. EDUARDO A. gross neglect of duty. MANUEL CHUA. Bellosillo. II. Although the CSC imposed upon him the penalty of reprimand. Bandigas. and Somebang because of ―economic reasons.J. ROMUALDO 55 . It was his alleged participation in the mass actions that was the basis of his preventive suspension and.‖ Petitioner did not appeal from this ruling. JJ. because she had to accompany her brother to the Commission on Immigration. MATHAY JR. WHEREFORE. Bandigas. and Ynares-Santiago. Hence. BUENAVENTURA PUNAY. and Somebang signed a letter in which they admitted having taken part in the mass action. Romero. the first offense is punishable by reprimand. Purisima. gross insubordination. that respondents Abad. as amended by the resolutions. Davide. Kapunan. The Secretary of the DECS charged him with and he was later found guilty of grave misconduct. in the questioned resolution. 1996. FELINO CAMACHO. JESUS B. J. and Sports until their actual reinstatement. The Civil Service Commission gave no weight to this letter in view of individual letters written by the three citing reasons for their absences. payment of his backwages is in order. 292 and other pertinent civil service laws. To deny petitioner Mariano his back wages during his suspension would be tantamount to punishing him after his exoneration from the charges which caused his dismissal from the service. concurs in the result and subject to the modification expressed in the separate opinion of Justice Panganiban. Although they were absent from work.. Panganiban. Puno. made a finding that Mariano was not involved in the ―mass actions‖ but was absent because he was in Ilocos Sur to attend the wake and interment of his grandmother. in the result. ENRICO BANDILLA. join Justice Panganiban's separate opinion. refusal to perform official duty. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. to wit: Abad. Culture. in his capacity as MAYOR OF QUEZON CITY. Pardo. In Jacinto v. Their case thus falls squarely within ruling in Bangalisan. dated September 3. petitioner. For being absent without leave. a public school teacher who was found guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for having been absent without leave and reprimanded was given back salaries after she was exonerated of the charge of having taken part in the strikes. the employee concerned is entitled to reinstatement with full pay. later. for a period not exceeding five years. 1990. rules and regulations and reasonable office regulations. his dismissal from the service. such award should not exceed the equivalent of five years pay at the rate last received before the suspension was imposed. please see separate opinion. 1997 and October 6. Private Respondents Entitled to Back Salaries Although Found Guilty of Violation of Office Rules and Regulations and Reprimanded Private respondents were exonerated of all charges against them for acts connected with the teachers‘ strike of September and October 1990. Buena. he is bound by the factual findings of the CSC and the appellate court. Hence. DANTE E. JAIME P. and absence without official leave. COURT OF APPEALS. LOURDES M. REGONDOLA. CHRISTOPHER SANTOS. because she decided to stay home to correct student papers. vs. ANSELMO MATEO. J. it was not because of the strike. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. 20 and 21. his suspension is unjustified because what the law authorizes is preventive suspension for a period not exceeding 90 days.. and Gonzaga-Reyes. in violations of reasonable office rules and regulations. TAN. Petitioner Secretary of Education contends. the Civil Service Commission. they were held liable for violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for which the penalty is a reprimand. the decision. dated July 15. ISMAEL A. DEOQUINO. This question cannot be raised now. However. gross violation of the Civil Service Law. DE GUZMAN. Quisumbing. SO ORDERED. this Court stated: With respect to petitioner Rodolfo Mariano. concur. Melo. A reading of the resolution of the Civil Service Commission will show that he was exonerated of the charges which formed the basis for his suspension. Under Section 23 of the Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. Explaining the grant of salaries during their suspension despite the fact that they were meted out reprimand.. 1997. however. of the Court of Appeals.. Beyond that period the suspension is illegal. Vitug. which likewise involved a teacher found guilty of having violated reasonable office rules and regulations.
Despite the provision on absorption. As stated. . Brigido R.. The facts behind the consolidated petitions are undisputed. the petition were referred to the Court of Appeals. stating that Presidential Decree No. Mayor Mathay again renewed the contractual appointments of all private respondents effective July 1 to July 31. 33. MARQUEZ. . the Court of Appeals dismissed the petitions for certiorari. private respondents in these two petitions appealed to the Civil Service Commission. G. 2 During his term as Mayor of Quezon City.R. was elected Mayor of Quezon City. 51 on the ground that the same never became law. MATHAY. Mathay. G. seniority rights and other benefits. directing all Civil Service Regional or Field Offices to recall. Mr. revoke and disapprove within one year from issuance of the said Memorandum. Series of 1990. Upon their expiry. Jr. petitioner asserts that the Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that respondent Civil Service Commission has the authority to direct him to "reinstate" private respondents in the DPOS. JR. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and SANDY C. CESAR FRANCISCO. Among those affected by the revocation of appointments are private respondents in these three petitions. consolidated petitions filed under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. No. were no longer renewed. At the heart of these petitions is Section 3 of the Ordinance which provides: Sec. Civil Service Units were created pursuant to Presidential Decree No. MATHAY. COURT OF APPEALS and ISMAEL A. Mathay. For Quezon City CSU employees. The law applicable is B. WILLIAM PANTI. NC-140.R.R. 126366 December 15. Traffic Management Unit. and Disaster Coordinating Council are hereby absorbed into the department of public order and safety established under Section one hereof to be given appropriate position titles without reduction in salary. Jr. however. the Civil Service Commission issued Memorandum Circular No. which established the Department of Public Order and Safety ("DPOS"). to annul the resolutions but. 124374 and G.R. 1992. all appointments in CSUs created pursuant to Presidential Decree No. respondents. 1999 ISMAEL A. We agree with petitioner. respondents. . MICHAEL A. 337 or the old Local Government Code and not the Local Government Code of 56 . 1999 CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. Petitioner brought petitions for certiorari to this Court. G. in his capacity as MAYOR OF QUEZON CITY. On February 23. (Emphasis ours). The non-renewal by Quezon City Mayor Ismael A. pursuant to the provision on absorption in Quezon City 5 Ordinance No. No. the effects of the circular were temporarily cushioned by the enactment of City Ordinance No. the Secretary of Justice rendered Opinion No.. Funds provided for in the 1990 Budget for the absorbed offices shall be used as the initial budgetary allocation of the Department. The present personnel of the Civil Security Unit. conformably with our ruling in Tanada vs. 1972. In the instant petition for review. JR. On May 11. Mathay. 1992. Anti-Squatting and Surveillance and Enforcement Team. 51 which was allegedly signed into law on November 15 or 16. 1992. 1990. 51 was never published in the Official Gazette.: 1 Before this Court are three. No. Simon remedied the situation by offering private respondents contractual appointments for the period of June 5. The CSC issued separate resolutions holding that the reappointment of private respondents to the DPOS was automatic.P. We discuss the merits of the petitions of Mayor Ismael A. On July 1. petitioner Ismael A.. in accordance with Revised Administrative Circular No. 1991 to December 31. 30. vs. 3. vs. respondents. COURT OF APPEALS. jointly. Mayor Brigido R. 1990. the regular and permanent positions in the DPOS were not filled due to lack of funds for the new DPOS and the insufficiency of regular and permanent positions created. petitioner. 1991. YNARES-SANTIAGO. petitioner. No. be a 4 basis for establishment of the CSUs . 1-95. 126354 December 15. 126366 After the non-renewal of their appointments. JR. Therefore. 1992. THE HON. Simon appointed private respondents to positions in the Civil Service Unit ("CSU") of the local government of Quezon City. Series of 1990. of private respondents' appointments became the seed of discontent from which these three consolidated petitions grew. Jr. these appointments. The appointments were renewed by Mayor Simon for the period of January 1. NC-140.LIBERATO." On June 4. 1992 to June 30. J. and ordering their reinstatement to their former positions in the 6 7 DPOS. 3 Tuvera the presidential decree is deemed never "in force or effect and therefore cannot at present. JACINTO and CESAR DACIO.
its role in the appointment process necessarily ends. we held that "appointment is essentially a discretionary power 14 and must be performed by the officer in which it is vested. In its decision of March 21. This is clear from Section 177 of B. 10 The power to appoint is not one of them. In a long line of cases. Once the Civil Service Commission attests whether the person chosen to fill a vacant position is eligible. There being no issue as to who are to sit in the newly created DPOS. Since the CSU never legally came into existence. In Farinas vs. we have consistently ruled that the Civil Service Commission's power is limited to approving or disapproving an appointment. When the Civil Service Commission ordered the reinstatement of private respondents.P. i. In Apurillo vs.1992 which became effective only on January 1. The city council has no power to appoint. Section 3 of the said Ordinance is invalid for being inconsistent with B. 337 are clear. Petitioner similarly assails as error the Court of Appeals' ruling that private respondents should be automatically absorbed in the DPOS pursuant to Section 3 of the Ordinance. The Civil Service Commission argues that it is not substituting its judgment for that of the appointing power and that it is merely implementing Section 3 of Ordinance NC-140.P." The above premises considered. is in effect dictating who shall occupy the newly created DPOS positions.) The decision is based on the wrong premise. Civil Service Commission. to reinstate private respondents. on the other hand. 1992. 337 which lists the powers of the sanggunian. there is therefore no room left for 12 the exercise of discretion. Jr. Expressio inius est exclusio alterius. Hence. Barba. The Ordinance refers to the "personnel of the CSU". since the power of appointment is a discretionary power. and therefore. particularly on March 27. The Ordinance refers to personnel and not to positions. we rule that the Civil Service Commission has no power to order petitioner Ismael A. 1990.. 337 shows that the power to appoint rests exclusively with the local chief executive and thus cannot be usurped by the city council or sanggunian through the simple expedient of enacting ordinances that provide for the "absorption" of specific persons to certain positions. it would have said so in no uncertain terms.e. By ordering petitioner to "reinstate" private respondents pursuant to Section 3 of the Ordinance. that Ordinance No. 1996 the Court of Appeals held: It is clear however. the identities of which could not be mistaken. 337. This task. when the material events in this case transpired. through the Ordinance. the private respondents' appointments in the defunct CSU — 57 . consolidating and reorganizing city officers and positions supported by local funds. of appointment. is essentially discretionary and cannot be controlled even by the courts as long as it is properly and not arbitrarily exercised by the appointing authority. 337. We note that Section 3 of the questioned Ordinance directs the absorption of the personnel of the defunct CSU into the new DPOS. is limited to creating. However. The provisions of B. The power of the city council or sanggunian. The powers of the city council and the city mayor are expressly enumerated separately and delineated by B. Mathay.P. we find that the Civil Service Commission erred when it applied the directives of Ordinance NC-140 and in so doing ordered petitioner to "reinstate" private respondents to positions in the DPOS. 1990. The Civil Service Commission cannot encroach upon the discretion vested in the appointing authority. In upholding the provisions of the Ordinance on the automatic absorption of the personnel of the CSU into the DPOS without allowance for the exercise of discretion on the part of the City Mayor. the city council or sanggunian. the Court of Appeals makes the sweeping statement that "the doctrine of separation of powers is not applicable to 8 local governments. Accordingly. This cannot be 11 done. thus. absorbing the "present personnel of the Civil Security Agent Unit" in the DPOS was earlier enacted. NC-140. by operation of said Ordinance private respondents were automatically absorbed in the DPOS effectively as 15 of March 27. a review of the provisions of B. (Emphasis ours. it technically 13 issued a new appointment. The resolutions of the Civil Service Commission likewise call for the reinstatement of named individuals. As stated above.P. Applying the said law. Had Congress intended to grant the power to appoint to both the city council and the local chief executive. as petitioner correctly points out. It does not have the authority to direct that an appointment of a specific individual be made. we held that the appointing authority is not bound to appoint anyone recommended by the sanggunian concerned. the Civil Service Commission substituted its own judgment for that of the appointing power. private respondents were still holders of de jure appointments as permanent regular employees at the time." We are unable to agree. the power to appoint is vested in the local chief 9 executive. the private respondents never held 16 permanent positions. the absorption contemplated therein is not possible. Even assuming the validity of Section 3 of the Ordinance.P.
It is axiomatic that the right to hold public office is not a natural right.00 and four slots for the position of Security Agent with a monthly salary of P3." A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit. In Ralla vs. Labajo. petitioner. At the most. In this case. the CSU was not abolished. A person waiving must actually have the right which he is renouncing." this cannot apply to the case at bar. The standing of petitioner Civil Service Commission to bring this present appeal is questionable. for lack of a permanent appointment to the said agency. 955040 and 932732 and held that the Civil Service Commission has no authority to compel the mayor of Quezon City to "reinstate" Jovito C. making automatic absorption impossible. the positions created in the DPOS are not sufficient to accommodate the personnel of the defunct CSU. subject again to the attesting power of the Civil Service Commission. G. 126354 In this case. functions and responsibilities are as provided or defined in the attached supporting documents consisting of eighteen (18) pages which are made integral parts of this Ordinance." While the Court of Appeals was correct when it stated that "the abolition of an office does not mean the 19 invalidity of appointments thereto. We note that the person adversely affected by the Court of Appeals decision. it could not be a source of rights. In Romualdez III vs. Civil Service 20 Commission we treated temporary appointments as follows: The acceptance by the petitioner of a temporary appointment resulted in the termination of official relationship with his former permanent position. In the case at bar.102.00. We note that Section 1 of Ordinance NC-140 provides: There is hereby established in the Quezon City Government the Department of Public Order and Safety whose organization. Pedro Dacoycoy 24 25 which overturned our rulings in Paredes vs. For then to enter the Civil Service after the revocation and cancellation of their invalid appointment. the petitioner had no cause to demand reinstatement thereto. or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Civil Service 58 . an interest in issue and to be affected by the 23 decree. Being then not members of the Civil Service as of June 4. or mere incidental interest. It is Jovito C. It simply did not come into existence as the Presidential Decree creating it never became law. The non-renewal of these appointments cannot therefore be taken against petitioner. (Emphasis ours.418. Ralla we defined interest as "material interest. private respondents held temporary and contractual appointments. 1996. is the real party in interest. We are aware of our pronouncements in the recent case of Civil Service Commission v.102.00 and six Security Agents with a monthly salary of P3. as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved. 1991. not the Civil Service Commission.) Another argument against the concept of automatic absorption is the physical and legal impossibility 21 given the number of available positions in the DPOS and the number of personnel to be absorbed. Labajo who will be benefited or injured by his reinstatement or non-reinstatement. one having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as a party-plaintiff in an action. which overturned CSC Resolution Nos. considering that in the defunct CSU there are twenty Security Officers with a monthly salary of P4. The limited number of slots provided in the Ordinance renders automatic absorption unattainable. The right exists only by virtue of a 17 law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring it. NC-140 allowed only two slots for the position of Security Officer II with a monthly salary of P4. Labajo to the DPOS." As a general rule.R. When the temporary appointment was not renewed. Clearly.418. 18 In Debulgado vs. Civil Service Commission seeks the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals of July 5. It did not create an office. (Emphasis ours). duties. It escapes us how one can "relinquish" or "renounce" a right one never possessed. they cannot be automatically absorbed/reappointed/appointed/reinstated into the newly created DPOS. Jovito C.00. Since Presidential Decree 51 creating the CSU never became law. or the DPOS. it becomes unnecessary to discuss whether their acceptance of the contractual appointments constitutes an "abandonment" or "waiver" of such positions. Their seniority and permanent status did not arise since they have no valid appointment. it is evident that Jovito C. A review of the supporting documents shows that Ordinance No.were invalid ab initio. Civil Service Commission Mendez vs. Considering that private respondents did not legally hold valid positions in the CSU. they have to be extended an original appointment. Civil Service Commission we held that "a void appointment cannot give rise to security of tenure on the part of the holder of the appointment. Basic is the rule that "every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in 22 interest. for lack of a law creating it. Neither could it impose duties. Labajo has opted not to appeal. It could not afford any protection. structure. It is as inoperative as though it was never passed.
Its mandated functions is to "hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on appeal. the petitions of Ismael A. Petitioner was a candidate for Representative of the lone district of Occidental Mindoro in the May 11. the Civil Service Commission can be likened to a judge who should "detach himself from cases where 28 his decision is appealed to a higher court for review. On election day. we affirmed the right of the Civil Service Commission to bring an appeal as the aggrieved party affected by a ruling which may seriously prejudice the civil service system. 126354 is DISMISSED for lack of legal standing to sue.R. she filed her certificate of candidacy in which she stated. 1998. the Civil Service Commission dangerously departed from its role as adjudicator and became an advocate. 1998. asking for the invalidation or cancellation of ―JTV‖ as the official nickname of petitioner as declared in her certificate of candidacy. Jose Balbuena. however. among others. 1996 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 124374 and G." We fail to see how the present petition. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No. Civil Service Commission. J. As a quasi-judical body. vs. the Commission. involving as it does the reinstatement or non-reinstatement of one obviously reluctant to litigate. No costs. The petition of the Civil Service Commission in G. May 11. on the other hand. 1996 is AFFIRMED. disallowing the use by petitioner of the nickname ―JTV‖ for the purpose of her candidacy in the May 11. petitioner filed with the Commission an Urgent Manifestation and Motion to reconsider the aforesaid Resolution. 126366 are GRANTED and the decisions of the Court of Appeals dated March 21. Therefore. On May 12. and the COMELEC Resolution. RICARDO QUINTOS. (2) taking cognizance of the letter-petition which was not filed by a real party in interest. and the nullification of all votes cast in the said nickname. 98-044. denying reconsideration of the earlier Resolution. VILLAROSA. DAN RESTOR. when the resolutions of the Civil Service Commission were brought before the Court of Appeals. that her nickname is ―JTV‖. No. WHEREFORE. To be sure. the Civil Service Commission was included only as a nominal party. The subject of the present case.Commission and Magpale vs. the Commission en banc issued another Resolution the next day. sitting en banc. 126354. The letterpetition further averred that petitioner is publicly known in Occidental Mindoro as ―Girlie‖ and that the appellation ―JTV‖ actually pertains to the initials of her husband and former Congressman of Occidental Mindoro. Thus. we rule that the Civil Service Commission has no legal standing to prosecute G. denying the above motion. the ruling in Dacoycoy does not apply. Accordingly. SO ORDERED.R. respondents. 1998 of the Commission on Elections (hereafter. Finding that no new matter has been raised therein. necessary respondent. No. 1998. No. ―COMELEC‖ or ―the Commission‖) on Election Matter No. The aforementioned case. 1998." In instituting G. 126354. issued a Resolution granting private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition on the ground that the nickname ―JTV‖ is not one by which petitioner is popularly known. 1998. 26 27 MA. 1998 elections.: For the Court‘s resolution is the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing Resolution dated May 11. and ATTY. On March 27. 1996 and January 15. AMELITA C. Dacoycoy was an administrative case involving nepotism whose deleterious effect on government cannot be over emphasized. No. at which time voting has ceased and canvassing of votes in some precincts has already gone underway. Petitioner received a fax copy of this Resolution at 5:32 in the afternoon of May 11. is different from the case at bar. 1998.R. this petition raises the question of whether the Commission gravely abused its discretion in: (1) ruling on private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition without according notice and hearing to petitioner. The assailed decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated July 5. 1998. Jose Tapales Villarosa. can impair the effectiveness of government. Mathay in G. DECISION _ GONZAGA REYES. Director of the COMELEC Law Department.R. In Dacoycoy. 1998. May 13. petitioner. on the ground that petitioner is not publicly known by that name. dated May 13. is "reinstatement. private respondent Restor filed a letter-petition addressed to COMELEC Chairman Bernardo Pardo through Atty. (3) resolving the letter-petition en 59 .R." not to litigate. 1998 elections and was proclaimed duly elected thereto on May 27. On April 20. including contested appointments and to review 29 decisions and actions of its offices and agencies.
and hence. it enters appearance of petitioner. it opined that petitioner may validly use the same as she is in fact Mrs.banc. it is believed that the judicious thing for the Commission to have done. Due process dictates that before any decision can be validly rendered in a case. it states that ―(petitioner) reserve(s) all rights and waive(s) none. was drawn purely from the allegations of the letterpetition and for this reason. Evidently. petitioner filed an ―Urgent Manifestation and Motion‖ with the Commission on May 12. 1998. no one among the other candidates had the same initials as to be prejudiced by her use of the same. the Office of the Solicitor General observed that even if the letterpetition was treated as an ―election matter‖ which may be properly heard firsthand by the Commission en banc. it does not purport to embody petitioner‘s grounds and arguments for reconsideration. who ran opposite petitioner for the lone congressional post of Occidental Mindoro in the May 11. we have declared that deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party was given the chance to be heard on his motion for reconsideration. Interminably. The petition also impleads as a necessary respondent Ricardo Quintos. Even as it seeks reconsideration of the said resolution by invoking due process. which the Commission promptly denied the following day. Jose Tapales Villarosa. It stands uncontested that petitioner came to know of the letter-petition lodged against her by private respondent Restor only upon receipt of a copy of the COMELEC Resolution issued on May 11. it is obvious that petitioner‘s immediate concern for doing so was not mainly to exercise her right to be heard. that ―JTV‖ is not a nickname by which petitioner is generally or popularly known. 1998. but to have the Commission seasonably reconsider the May 11. Under these circumstances. herein private respondent Restor. As earlier narrated. On the issue of the validity of the use of ―JTV‖ as petitioner‘s nickname. and immediately after receipt of the contested resolution. Thus. 1998 elections. instead of first referring it to one of its Divisions. who was not impleaded in private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition.as to stand to sustain any form of injury by petitioner‘s use of the nickname ―JTV‖. docketed as HRET Case No. The letter-petition does not allege that the protestant. we find the foregoing rule inapplicable to the circumstances of the case at bench. The question of whether the Commission may decide cases en banc without first referring them to any of 60 . the two-page pleading filed by petitioner is one part manifestation and one part motion. While the filing of a supplemental motion for reconsideration is not a matter of right. 1998. On the main. The COMELEC Rules of Procedure require that all actions filed with the Commission be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party in interest. including filing a supplemental motion for reconsideration. Absent such essential allegation. it is clear that the Commission passed upon the letter-petition without affording petitioner the opportunity to explain her side and to counter the allegations of private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition. 1998 Resolution while canvassing was still at the precinct or municipal level. and finally. and communicates receipt of the May 11. (4) disallowing petitioner‘s use of the nickname ―JTV‖ and ordering the election officers of Occidental Mindoro to consider invalid all votes cast in that appellation. there is no misrepresentation. Anent the second issue. 98-030. 1998 Resolution. Private respondents validated this allegation when they declared that private respondent Quintos has in fact filed such an election protest case. the Commission should have given notice to petitioner before resolving the issue therein. the conclusion of the Commission in the assailed Resolution dated May 11. especially since the petitioner stands to be adversely affected should the petition be granted. However. the letter-petition stood defective and should have been dismissed outright for failure to state a cause of action. and in summarily dismissing the same. such as by requiring her to submit a supplemental motion for reconsideration. The argument is tenable. 1998 Resolution. 1998 Resolution. was to afford petitioner a chance to explain why she should be allowed to use the nickname ―JTV‖. We consider this more in consonance with our rulings in Salonga and Rodriguez on opportunity to be heard on reconsideration. there being no showing that it was filed in the name of a real party in interest. In filing this ―Urgent Manifestation and Motion‖ on the second day of canvassing of votes. or a representative of a registered political party or coalition. petitioner contends that the Commission gravely abused its discretion when it took cognizance of the petition below. Moreover. By its own designation. pending retaining additional counsel‖ as the lawyer representing petitioner at the time was saddled with other commitments. a registered voter in the lone district of Occidental Mindoro --. In its Manifestation In Lieu of Comment. the twin requirements of notice and hearing must be observed. in view of ―confirmed reports‖ that he will file an election protest before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (―HRET‖) invoking the questioned resolutions. The petition is impressed with merit. the Commission acted in excess of its jurisdiction. Rather. or at the very least. considering the obvious due process issues brought about by the May 11. which she received by fax at 5:32 in the afternoon of the same day. is a candidate for any position in the May 11. we find that respondent COMELEC acted imprudently and in excess of its jurisdiction in treating the ―Urgent Manifestation and Motion‖ as petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration of the May 11. 1998 elections.
Article IX(C) of the Constitution as requiring all election cases to be first heard and decided by a division of the Commission. JJ. A directive by the Commission to disallow petitioner‘s use of the nickname ―JTV‖ for purposes of her candidacy. it is not a quasijudicial matter and may thus be dealt with firsthand by the Commission en banc. thus. Ynares-Santiago. 10 SCRA 46. as one simply needs to write a letter to the COMELEC asking that votes for a candidate be nullified on the ground that the nickname used is inappropriate or not valid. As opined by the Office of the Solicitor General in its Manifestation in Lieu of Comment. but also the nullification of all votes cast in that name. dated August 7. WHEREFORE. Jr.: This special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission. Fourth Division. No pronouncement as to costs... NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. 1990. or pertains. hold hearings. COMELEC. not only for the invalidation of ―JTV‖ as petitioner‘s authorized nickname. in Vigan Electric Light Co. as by managing or conducting. respectively.. DECISION QUISUMBING. we held that where the fixing of power rates. who are required to investigate facts. etc. SO ORDERED.. To the above rule. ―(t)o sustain the ruling of the COMELEC is to open venues for commission of fraud. which affirmed with modification the judgment of the Labor Arbiter. Melo. thus rendering its May 11. In the concurring opinion of Justice Antonio in University of Nueva Caceres vs. Purisima. 1998. Martinez. Bellosillo. J. Article IX(C) of the Constitution. 56 SCRA 148. and De Leon.. of public administrative officers or bodies. Conformably. the petition is GRANTED and the COMELEC Resolutions dated May 11. concur. application. Davide. we resolve to leave this matter to the resolution of the said body as the sole judge of all contests respecting the election. directing or superintending. he noted that (t)he term ―administrative‖ connotes. and a decision or resolution thereon. 2977. on the basis of Resolution No. since it involved the application of law or rules to an ascertained set of facts. Panganiban. to ―administration. discretion. C. That the petition below was in the form of a letter does not make the issues posed therein less substantial. Thus. In view of the fact that the election protest of private respondent Quintos is presently pending in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. clearly necessitates a determination of whether petitioner is in fact not generally or popularly known as such in the locality of Occidental Mindoro. Pardo. petitioner. J. Puno. or ascertain the existence of facts. vs. which denied petitioner‘s motion for 61 . the execution. private respondents take exception by stating that the subject letter-petition posed issues which were administrative in character. 1990. Kapunan. the making of such finding of fact by respondent administrative agency is a function partaking of a quasi-judicial character. Indubitably. not subject to the requirement of referral to division which applies only in the Commission‘s exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions. which are to apply exclusively to a particular party. and. While a ―quasi-judicial function‖ is a term which applies to the action. We cannot agree with the view advanced by private respondents that because the petition below cannot be classified as a case falling under Rules 20 to 33 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. we hold that the Commission exceeded the bounds of its jurisdiction when it took cognizance of private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition at the first instance. it called for the Commission‘s exercise of its adjudicatory powers and falls within the concept of an ―election contest‖ in the sense contemplated by Section 3. vs.its divisions has been consistently answered in the negative since Sarmiento vs. as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature. before being brought to the Commission en banc on reconsideration.. INC. We are hard put to treat the issue as administrative when petitioner stands to be so adversely affected by the relief asked for.J. was Comelec Chairman in the case below. Quisumbing. Cebu City. Vitug. GOTHONG LINES. CARLOS A. AND ADOLFO LAURON. and draw conclusions from them. 1998 and May 13. Inc. especially management. are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.‖ It does not entail an opportunity to be heard.. Mendoza. 1998 Resolution void. Buena. no part. and which fact is denied by the affected party. Public Service Commission. respondents. or conduct of persons or things.. Private respondent Restor‘s letter-petition clearly asks. which interpreted Section 3. is based upon a report of the General Auditing Office. the production and weighing of evidence.‖ The remaining issue pertains to the validity of votes cast in the name ―JTV‖. and the Resolution dated November 29. Jr. returns and qualifications of its members.
attorney's fees. However. 1989 at the rate of P1. Regional Arbitration. private respondent filed an illegal dismissal case with the Department of Labor and Employment. private respondent was ordered to disembark for purposes of the investigation to be conducted in connection with the incident. There was no investigation held until the middle of May.024. On April 4. a fire occurred in the cabin of private respondent. 1987. while the vessel was cruising the waters of Cebu and Cagayan. burning his pillow and his blanket. Thereafter. which is a sufficient cause for dismissal governed by Article 282 (a) of the Labor Code. Immediately prior to the controversy. In view of the Labor Arbiter‘s findings.00. only to be told that it was already the desire of management to dismiss him from work. it is our view that the petition at bar cannot prosper. and other incidental pay (overtime. private respondent was informed that he had been dismissed from his employment. all in the total sum of P71. SO ORDERED‖ Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the NLRC decision. it is bound to conduct a fact-finding investigation to elicit the truth behind the incident. 1987 less the amount of P5. 1987 up to finality of judgment but limited to three (3) years. when a fire occurred. On the other hand. Cebu City. the private respondent‘s refusal to submit to such investigation is a willful defiance of an order of the employer. proportional 13th month pay). which was denied for lack of merit. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondent to pay herein complainant the sum of Forty Five Thousand Nine Hundred Forty One Pesos and Thirty One Centavos (P45. and the amount of P20.941. SO ORDERED. Labor Arbiter Alhambra Llenos-Alfafara rendered a decision. 1989. modifying the Labor Arbiter‘s own. the decision of the Labor Arbiter is hereby modified as follows: Respondent is hereby ordered to pay complainant his backwages from date of dismissal on April 4. 1987. Gothong Lines. on board M/V Don Benjamin owned by petitioner Carlos A. private respondent.‖ Petitioner appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which modified the decision of the Labor Arbiter. We are in accord with the decision reached by the NLRC. Settled is the rule that the requisites of a valid dismissal are: (1) the dismissal must be for any of the 62 . no investigation was ever conducted. Given the circumstances of this case and after considering the record with the memoranda of the parties. 1989. separation pay equivalent to one-month pay for every year of service computed from 1962 up to April 4. Inc. Hence. Secondarily. On April 6. Adolfo Lauron. the NLRC ruled on appeal that the dismissal of the private respondent was indeed effected without regard to substantive and procedural due process.600. II. using the utmost diligence of a very cautious person with due regard for all circumstances.18.31) corresponding to his backwages covering the period April 7.600. The basic issue to be considered in this petition is whether or not the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter that private respondent was illegally dismissed. 1987. Consequently.00 as indicated above. ERROR WAS COMMITTED IN DETERMINING THAT NO INVESTIGATION WAS CONDUCTED AND THAT HE [ADOLFO LAURON] WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS. 1987 to May 15. it is bound to carry the passengers and cargoes safely as far as human care and foresight can provide. we must also resolve whether or not the NLRC erred in granting the monetary awards to private respondent. the dispositive portion of which states: ―Wherefore premises considered. Private respondent filed an amended complaint to include reinstatement with backwages. and in lieu of reinstatement. On May 2. All other aspect of the decision is hereby AFFIRMED. damages.reconsideration. on May 28.430. Petitioner advanced the following assignment of errors committed by the public respondent NLRC: I. the dispositive portion of which reads: ―WHEREFORE. the Labor Arbiter gave more credence to the version of the private respondent over that of petitioner. private respondent alleges that as a result of the fire. Petitioner states that as a common carrier. ASSUMING THAT PETITIONER IS LIABLE. Hence. this petition. 1987. he was ordered to disembark on the pretext that he would be investigated. The Chief Engineer‘s cabin was also set on fire. his 13th month pay for the same period in the sum of P4.490. After considering the evidence of the parties.‖ All other claims are hereby denied for lack of legal and/or factual basis. Branch VII. ERROR WAS COMMITTED IN GRANTING FULL BACKWAGES AS WELL AS IN COMPUTING THE SAME.047.87. Consequently.00 corresponding to his separation pay for the period 1962 to May 15. so that private respondent was forced to approach the personnel manager and the house counsel. was employed as a watchman with a monthly salary of P1.
Respondent would want this office to believe that such affidavits were submitted by the crew members in compliance with the order of management to render a report of the incident. would in effect reward him for committing an offense. The burden of proving that the termination of an employee is for a valid or authorized cause rests on the employer. however. the employer must comply with due process requirements before any termination is done. Rule XIV. respectively. Anent the subsidiary issue. (Respondent‘s position paper dated July 18. As an alternative ground for the dismissal. The second notice. these notices must be served at the worker‘s last known address as required by the rules. he willfully obeyed and then waited for the aforesaid investigation. Moreover. We find petitioner‘s contention less than convincing. as required under Sections 2 and 5. vs. 1987 and June 29. Moreover. after complainant had already filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the DOLE. there was no notice addressed directly to the private respondent informing him of his dismissal from employment. Furthermore. made known to the employee and must pertain to the duties which he had been engaged to discharge. In this case. petitioner admitted that the memorandum given by its Assistant Vice President for Human Resources was addressed to Capt. Inc. Basic is the principle that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. directing the latter to inform the private respondent of an investigation. affidavit of Lilian Cabahug and Joint affidavit of Vidal Bustamante and Cornelio Tero were offered ‗in order to show that the incident arose out of the negligence of Adolfo Lauron leading to the decision of respondent to place him under investigation. Book V of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code. even in a case involving willful disobedience of the employer‘s lawful orders as a just cause for the dismissal of an employee. Petitioner went further by claiming that the private respondent was given the opportunity to air his side by the fact that a report of the incident was required of all crew members. The constitutional guarantee of protection to labor and security of tenure requires that an employer terminate the services of an employee only for valid and just causes which must be supported by substantial evidence. and (2) only after the employee has been notified in writing and given the opportunity to be heard and defend himself. National Labor Relations Commission. In any event. the same should have been proved by at least substantial evidence. The first notice must apprise him of particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought.‖ (2) the order allegedly violated must have been reasonable. Thus. to wit. however. when he was ordered to disembark. That burden was not discharged by petitioner.‘ (Respondent‘s Formal Offer of Exhibits dated December 15. 1988 page 2). Mere filing of a criminal case against the private respondent would not suffice to warrant his dismissal from his job. Victor Bayotas. even if in the case at bar private respondent allegedly abandoned his job. reveal (sic) that they were executed on July 3.causes provided for under Article 282 of the Labor Code. It is not a complete reproduction of what the declarant has in mind. we find no reason to reverse the ruling of the public respondent NLRC that the private respondent was illegally dismissed. But the investigation was merely fact-finding. two written notices must be given to an employee before he may be dismissed. The affidavits of alleged witnesses do not constitute evidence sufficient to prove that Adolfo Lauron is administratively responsible for the offense of arson so as to warrant his termination. petitioner alleges that the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC erred in determining the 63 . And if the basis of an employee‘s termination from employment was that he committed an offense.: ―Exhibit ‗2‘. 1988). questioned the admissibility and credibility of these exhibits. petitioner contends. as claimed by the petitioner. In the case at bar. Nor is it indubitable when prepared on command or as a requirement by someone in authority. after hearing. To grant monetary award to private respondent. Petitioner tried to indict private respondent for the offense of arson by presenting affidavits of witnesses imputing negligence by the private respondent as the proximate cause of the fire. Unless the affiant is placed on the witness‘ stand to testify thereon. to satisfy administrative due process.‖ An affidavit is only prima facie evidence and should be received with caution because of its weak probative force. A close scrutiny of the affidavits (A & B). the alleged responsibility of the private respondent concerning the fire aboard ship was not proven at all. the willfulness being characterized by ―a wrongful and perverse attitude. The Labor Arbiter. petitioner contends it is beyond dispute that private respondent was subsequently charged with having committed the crime of arson. an affidavit is considered hearsay. In fact. As held in Pampanga II Electric Cooperative. The memorandum was not an order directly concerning the alleged dismissal. The assumption that can be drawn therefrom is that the execution thereof was merely a rectificatory measure of management to establish compliance with the requirements of due process and not as bases for a supposed investigation. Apart from this memorandum. there was no showing that private respondent‘s actuation was marked by any perverse attitude to defy the order of his employer requiring him to submit to an investigation. at least two requisites must concur: (1) the employee‘s assailed conduct must have been willful or intentional. 1987. is that of dismissal itself. lawful.
00. 1970. 1970.430. Zamudio also complained that she was unjustly removed by Lumiqued two weeks after she filed the two complaints. so that the benefits of Republic Act No. Now.length of service of the private respondent. 1971? Thus. of the National Labor Relations Commission. concerned the separation pay for services rendered by private respondent from August 30. factual issues are beyond the ambit of our review. Bellosillo. Costs against petitioner. 1980. DOJ Sec Drilon adopted the recommendation. Private respondent was illegally dismissed in April. 1990.000. or before March 21. but Lumiqued was not assisted by counsel. By attaching several vouchers as proof of payment of separation pay from prior years of service to the petitioner from August 30. until December 31. On the second hearing date. The issue was referred to the DOJ. It is settled that separation pay may be given to the employee only as an alternative to reinstatement emanating from illegal dismissal. by petitioner‘s crew so that now the relations of the parties have become so strained that reinstatement would pose a risk to the employer or its shipping business. 1971 to December 31. 1968. rather than compel his reinstatement. JJ. to December 31. and the decision dated August 7. 6715 may not be considered in his favor because this amendatory law has no retroactive effect.‖ Moreover. petitioner claims that private respondent‘s unpaid separation pay should be reckoned only from the time of re-employment as watchman. if he was employed only on January 1. dated October 7. 1968 to December 31. and Buena.00 representing his ―advance partial retirement pay from January 1. and the resolution dated November 29. Committee hearings on the complaints were conducted on July 3 and 10. SO ORDERED. Arsenio Lumiqued vs Apolonio Exevea et al 6 11 2010 Due Process – Assistance by Counsel Lumiqued was the Regional Director of DAR-CAR. petitioner made conflicting assertions in the Petition filed before this Court and in the Motion for Reconsideration before the NLRC. but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel appeared on the date he himself had chosen. concur. Finally. we agree that in lieu of reinstatement. As indicated therein. 1985. the petition is hereby DISMISSED. In the present petition. 1981. it can be gleaned from the records that the Labor Arbiter considered all the evidence presented by the parties and ascertained that the private respondent‘s employment started in 1962. or from January 1. for dishonesty due to questionable gas expenses under his office. the Regional Cashier. 1968. In its motion before the NLRC. the private respondent received on October 25. 1983. It is not the Court‘s function at this stage to re-evaluate the findings. It was alleged that he was falsifying gas receipts for reimbursements and that he had an unliquidated cash advance worth P116. The Investigating Committee recommended the dismissal of Lumiqued. we find no cogent reason not to uphold the award by the NLRC of backwages in favor of private respondent. 1989. With no showing that the Labor Arbiter or the NLRC gravely abused their discretion. Mendoza. petitioner states that voucher number 07603. limited to a period of three (3) years without deduction or qualification. or otherwise acted without jurisdiction or in excess of the same.. reinstatement appears also not in the best interest of the parties after the bitter exchange between them concerning the alleged arson on board ship wherein the private respondent as a watchman was being implicated. we are bound by their findings. so the committee deemed the case submitted for resolution. how could petitioner give private respondent a separation pay from August 30. he moved for its resetting to July 17. ISSUE: Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted by counsel during an administrative 64 . 1990. given a limited review properly confined to issues of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. the amount of P5. However. the contradictory allegations of the petitioner cause doubts fatal to its claim to exculpate itself from the liability. 1992. He was charged by Zamudio. 1980 (10 years). 1992. 1987. Puno. petitioner claimed that Lauron was employed on January 1. The committee granted the motion. are hereby AFFIRMED. 1971. The Labor Arbiter also took note of the existence of a ―Release and Quitclaim‖. in this case. Moreover. Succinctly put. Fidel Ramos issued AO 52 dismissing Lumiqued. at the time it was more appropriate for NLRC to order the petitioner to pay to private respondent the separation pay equivalent to one-month salary for every year of service. though unsuccessfully. WHEREFORE. Likewise. (Chairman). to enable him to employ the services of counsel.
Lumiqued. 1992. FRANKLIN M. It merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike. and operate public utilities.‘ so as to unjustly benefit some and prejudice others. like the police power. ARSENIO P. it will still violate equal protection if it is administered ―with an evil eye and uneven hand. sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the three grand departments of the government and on the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivisions thereof. Lumiqued and Richard A. created by DOJ Order No. exploit natural resources. the safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. and HON. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a non-criminal proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel and that. was not accused of any crime in the proceedings below. QUISIMBING. The right to equal protection. It is intended to eliminate discrimination and oppression based on inequality. The investigation conducted by the committee created by Department Order No. 145 was for the purpose of determining if he could be held administratively liable under the law for the complaints filed against him. should not be treated differently. Artificial persons. DRILON. HON. The ordinary citizen is not that helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer at his side. certain rights are enjoyable only by citizens. Similar subjects. thus. Lumiqued. Substantive equality is NOT enough. In the case at bar. J. Recognizing the existence of real differences among men. Even if the law be fair and impartial on its face. NOTES: EQUAL PROTECTION Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike. Regional Director. The legal profession was not engrafted in the due process clause such that without the participation of its members. WHO ARE PROTECTED Equal protection is available to all persons. Honorable APOLINIO G. the equal protection clause does not demand absolute equality. Even ordinary statutes can validly distinguish between citizens and aliens or. are entitled to the protection only insofar as their property is concerned. EXEVEA.: Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted by counsel during an administrative inquiry? 65 . CHIEF Presidential Legal Adviser/Counsel. under like circumstances and conditions both as to the privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain one‘s side. HON. ALL Members of Investigating Committee. Lumiqued. CABADING. vs. both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. is not indispensable. the equal protection clause does not absolutely forbid classifications. LUMIQUED (deceased). It is not an absolute right and may.inquiry? HELD: The SC ruled against Lumiqued. Whatever irregularity attended the proceedings conducted by the committee was cured by Lumiqued‘s appeal and his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration. ANTONIO T. in an administrative inquiry. hold public office. BALAJADIA and FELIX T. Represented by his Heirs. natural as well as juridical. petitioners. respondents. CARPIO. ―. petitioners invoke the right of an accused in criminal proceedings to have competent and independent counsel of his own choice. Lumiqued. although aliens are comprehended in the guaranty. and on many constitutional powers. The assistance of lawyers. however. Private Respondent.‖ In administrative proceedings. Thus. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary of the Office of the President. LEONARDO A. The right to counsel is not indispensable to due process unless required by the Constitution or the law. be invoked or rejected in a criminal proceeding and. basic as it is. so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others. without such representation. By constitutional reservation. he shall not be bound by such proceedings. May A. Francisca A. ERDOLFO V. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. . while desirable. . taxation and eminent domain. it is also required that the law be enforced and applied equally. for that matter. DECISION ROMERO. The equal protection clause exists to prevent undue favor or privilege. The right to counsel. with more reason. is a right afforded a suspect or an accused during custodial investigation. DAR – CAR. however. 145 on May 30. which cannot be waived unless the waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel. and JEANNETTE OBAR-ZAMUDIO. Arlene A. even between or among citizens only. such as the rights to vote. in other words.
the owner of said vulcanizing shop. Private respondent added that Lumiqued seldom made field trips and preferred to stay in the office. the DAR Central Office in Diliman. 1992. Lumiqued allegedly committed at least 93 counts of falsification by padding gasoline receipts. In view of Lumiqued‘s death on May 19. corroborated this explanation in an affidavit dated June 25. Montenegro issued Department Order No. Lumiqued alleged.000.‖ The third affidavit-complaint dated December 15. August. The dismissal was the aftermath of three complaints filed by DAR-CAR Regional Cashier and private respondent Jeannette Obar-Zamudio with the Board of Discipline of the DAR. May. questioning such order. He claimed that the apparent weakness of the charge was bolstered by private respondent‘s execution of an affidavit of desistance. his heirs instituted this petition for certiorari and mandamus. it was not his obligation but that of auditors and accountants to determine whether they were falsified. that such consumption was warranted as it was the aggregate consumption of the five service vehicles issued under his name and intended for the use of the Office of the Regional Director of the DAR. 1993. and to submit their report and recommendation within fifteen days from its conclusion. With respect to the accusation that he sought reimbursement in the amount of P660. that the cases were filed against him to extort money from innocent public servants like him.00 for one vulcanizing job. Quezon City. they sought the help of the owner of a vulcanizing shop who readily furnished them with the gasoline they needed. 66 . He even submitted a vulcanizing shop receipt worth P550. They were mandated to conduct an investigation within thirty days from receipt of the order. 52 dated May 12.60.00 for gasoline bought from the shop. and another receipt for P660. her two previous complaints prompted Lumiqued to retaliate by relieving her from her post as Regional Cashier without just cause. The order appointed Regional State Prosecutor Apolinario Exevea as committee chairman with City Prosecutor Erdolfo Balajadia and Provincial Prosecutor Felix Cabading as members. 1989.00 for a single vulcanizing job. Nueva Vizcaya on their way to Ifugao when their service vehicle ran out of gas. 1989. With the use of falsified receipts. inter alia.45 liters. He added that the receipts which were issued beyond his region were made in the course of his travels to Ifugao Province. private respondent accused Lumiqued with violation of Commission on Audit (COA) rules and regulations. however. The first affidavit-complaint dated November 16. 145 creating a committee to investigate the complaints against Lumiqued. Lumiqued admitted that his average daily gasoline consumption was 108. and were initiated by private respondent in connivance with a certain Benedict Ballug of Tarlac and a certain Benigno Aquino III. According to private respondent. Explaining why a vulcanizing shop issued a gasoline receipt. Lumiqued submitted that the amount was actually only P6. Lumiqued. Lumiqued was the Regional Director of the Department of Agrarian Reform – Cordillera Autonomous Region (DAR-CAR) until President Fidel V. July. Acting Justice Secretary Eduardo G. 1992. Domingo Lucero. The committee granted the motion and gave him a five-day extension. however. and Laguna. From May to September 1989.172. where he attended a seminar. The investigating committee accordingly issued a subpoena directing Lumiqued to submit his counter-affidavit on or before June 17. Lumiqued said that he and his companions were cruising along Santa Fe. September and October. In his counter-affidavit dated June 23.46. Lumiqued claimed and was reimbursed the sum of P44.Arsenio P. making it impossible for him to consume the nearly 120 liters of gasoline he claimed everyday. Since it was almost midnight. He affixed his signature on the receipts only to signify that the same were validly issued by the establishments concerned in order that official transactions of the DAR-CAR could be carried out. The three affidavit-complaints were referred in due course to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for appropriate action. he made unliquidated cash advances in the total amount of P116. In her second affidavit-complaint dated November 22. He submitted. Because these receipts were merely turned over to him by drivers for reimbursement. 1989. alleging that during the months of April. Ramos dismissed him from that position pursuant to Administrative Order No. On May 20.00. Any error committed in posting the amount in the books of the Regional Office was not his personal error or accountability. 1990. Lumiqued purportedly defrauded the government ―by deliberately concealing his unliquidated cash advances through the falsification of accounting entries in order not to reflect on `Cash advances of other officials‘ under code 8-70-600 of accounting rules. filed instead an urgent motion to defer submission of his counter-affidavit pending actual receipt of two of private respondent‘s complaints. charged Lumiqued with malversation through falsification of official documents. The vulcanizing shop issued its own receipt so that they could reimburse the cost of the gasoline. 1992. 1994. 1989. charged Lumiqued with oppression and harassment.
1989. viz: ―The medical certificate given show(s) that respondent was discharged from the Sacred Heart Hospital on July 17. It is herein noted that as early as June 23. were short by P30. 67 . Montero denied the motion.To refute private respondent‘s allegation that he violated COA rules and regulations in incurring unliquidated cash advances in the amount of P116. so the committee deemed the case submitted for resolution. 1992. the date of the hearing. considering that the complaint-affidavit was filed as far back as November 16.00. either by himself or thru counsel. Lumiqued contended that private respondent was not terminated from the service but was merely relieved of her duties due to her prolonged absences. he moved for its resetting to July 17. nevertheless. justice can not be delayed much longer. the greed of the respondent is made manifest by his act of claiming reimbursements of more than 10 times the value of what he actually spends. Lumiqued claimed that she should be relieved from her duties and assigned to jobs that would not require handling of cash and money matters.46 liters only at a purchase price of P50. Moreover an evaluation of the counter-affidavit submitted reveal(s) the sufficiency. but Lumiqued was not assisted by counsel. Almora that he had no outstanding cash advances on record as of December 31. Moreover. 1992. That the gasoline receipts have been falsified was not rebutted by the respondent.000. 1989. In an order dated September 7. The records do not disclose that respondent advised the Investigating committee of his confinement and inability to attend despite his discharge. 1990. Lumiqued claimed that the exigency of the service necessitated disapproval of her application for leave of absence. Committee hearings on the complaints were conducted on July 3 and 10. the investigating committee rendered a report dated July 31. Although private respondent immediately returned the amount on January 18. this committee finds the evidence submitted by the complainant sufficient to establish the guilt of the respondent for Gross Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct. While admitting that private respondent filed the required applications for leave of absence. In the same counter-affidavit. It made the following findings: ―After a thorough evaluation of the evidences (sic) submitted by the parties. Besides he also admitted having signed the receipts. While only 15 of the gasoline receipts were ascertained to have been falsified. 1992. 1992. respondent was already being assisted by counsel. Annexes `G-1‘ to `G-15‘ show that the actual average purchase made by the respondent is about 8. to enable him to employ the services of counsel.406.87. 1989 yet. On the second hearing date.00. he had in effect admitted that he had been claiming for the payment of an average consumption of 108. Respondent‘s act in defrauding the government of a considerable sum of money by falsifying receipts constitutes not only Dishonesty of a high degree but also a criminal offense for Malversation through Falsification of Official Documents. been established. State Prosecutor Zoila C. Lumiqued presented a certification of DAR-CAR Administrative Officer Deogracias F. 1992. Here.00. The motion was forwarded to the Office of the State Prosecutor apparently because the investigation had already been terminated. alleging that he suffered a stroke on July 10. That most of the gasoline receipts used by the respondent in claiming for the reimbursement of his gasoline expenses were falsified is clearly established by the 15 Certified Xerox Copies of the duplicate receipts (Annexes G-1 to G-15) and the certifications issued by the different gasoline stations where the respondent purchased gasoline. In disputing the charges of oppression and harassment against him. finding Lumiqued liable for all the charges against him. the motive. The committee granted the motion. the pattern and the scheme employed by the respondent in defrauding the government has. 1992. Lumiqued filed an urgent motion for additional hearing.‖ Following the conclusion of the hearings. On August 12. the day following the completion of the cash examination. 1992. He also asserted that no medical certificate supported her application for leave of absence. in contrast to the receipts used by the respondent which reflects an average of 108.45 liters at a purchase price of P550. 1992. but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel appeared on the date he himself had chosen. In fact.45 liters/day by justifying that this was being used by the 4 vehicles issued to his office. He allegedly rejected her second application for leave of absence in view of her failure to file the same immediately with the head office or upon her return to work. completeness and thoroughness of the counter-affidavit together with the documentary evidence annexed thereto. The records likewise do not show that efforts were exerted to notify the Committee of respondent‘s condition on any reasonable date after July 17. 1992. which date was upon the request of respondent (Lumiqued). Lumiqued also claimed that private respondent was corrupt and dishonest because a COA examination revealed that her cash accountabilities from June 22 to November 23. such that a judicious determination of the case based on the pleadings submitted is already possible.
that he was denied the constitutional right to counsel during the hearing. denied the same on August 31. this committee likewise believes that the respondent‘s act in relieving the complainant of her functions as a Regional Cashier on December 1. The receipts in question were signed by respondent for the purpose of attesting that those receipts were validly issued by the commercial establishments and were properly disbursed and used in the official business for which it was intended. He added that the filing of the affidavit of desistance would not prevent the issuance of a resolution on the matter considering that what was at stake was not only ―the violation of complainant‘s (herein private respondent‘s) personal rights‖ but also ―the competence and fitness of the respondent (Lumiqued) to remain in public office.‖ This petition was basically premised on the affidavit dated May 27. Concurring with this view. The mere certification issued by the Administrative Officer of the DAR-CAR cannot therefore rebut these concrete evidences (sic). No. 52. finding Lumiqued administratively liable for dishonesty in the alteration of fifteen gasoline receipts. before his motion could be resolved. 1992.‖ He opined that. In a ―petition for appeal‖ addressed to President Ramos. 1993. 1992.This committee likewise finds that the respondent have (sic) unliquidated cash advances in the year 1989 which is in violation of established office and auditing rules.O. Lumiqued filed a motion for reconsideration of ―the findings of the Committee‖ with the DOJ. Lumiqued died. Undersecretary Esguerra informed Lumiqued that the investigating committee could no longer act on his motion for reconsideration. Acting on the report and recommendation. this only show(s) that he is capable of giving bribes if only to have the cases against him dismissed. in fact. who confessed to having authored the falsification of gasoline receipts and attested to petitioner Lumiqued‘s being an ―honest man‖ who had no ―premonition‖ that the receipts he (Dwight) turned over to him were ―altered. 1993. with forfeiture of his retirement and other benefits. 1993. On September 28. 1993. found that the charges of oppression and harassment. The recommendation of Jose G. 68 . He could not have given a certain Benigno Aquino III the sum of P10. In fact. 52 (A. The affidavits of Joseph In-uyay and Josefina Guting are of no help to the respondent. Lumiqued.‖ The OP. Drilon adopted the same in his Memorandum to President Fidel V.‖ Accordingly. Lumiqued prayed that A. Secretary Quisumbing denied the second motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. 52 be reconsidered and that he be reinstated to his former position ―with all the benefits accorded to him by law and existing rules and regulations. the evidence on record could call for ―a punitive action against the respondent on the initiative of the DAR. alleging. On May 12. 52). former Justice Secretary Franklin M. 1990 or almost six months after the respondent‘s order relieving the complainant was issued.00 were properly documented. 1994. 1994. the three-member investigating committee informed Undersecretary Esguerra that the committee ―had no more authority to act on the same (motion for reconsideration) considering that the matter has already been forwarded to the Office of the President‖ and that their authority under Department Order No. 145 ceased when they transmitted their report to the DOJ. Thus: ―That the receipts were merely turned over to him by his drivers and that the auditor and accountant of the DARCAR should be the ones to be held liable is untenable. Lumiqued filed a second motion for reconsideration. a former driver of the DAR-CAR. of a certain Dwight L. On the third complaint. the OP. Medina of the Commission on Audit came only on May 11. 1989 was an act of harassment. No. without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate criminal charges against him. and dismissing him from the service. through Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo A.‖ On December 17. The requests for obligation of allotments and the vouchers covering the amounts were all signed by him.00 for any other purpose. Esguerra indorsed the motion to the investigating committee. Quisumbing. however. among other things.O. In a letter dated April 1. Ramos dated October 22. President Fidel V. His cash advances totalling to about P116. On May 19. His act in harassing a subordinate employee in retaliation to a complaint she filed constitute(s) Gross Misconduct on the part of the respondent who is a head of office. This Office is not about to shift the blame for all these to the drivers employed by the DAR-CAR as respondent would want us to do.O. were not satisfactorily established.000.‖ Treating the ―petition for appeal‖ as a motion for the reconsideration of A. It is noted that this was done barely two weeks after the complainant filed charges against her (sic). He added that the motion was also prematurely filed because the Office of the President (OP) had yet to act on Secretary Drilon‘s recommendation. Undaunted. the investigating committee recommended Lumiqued‘s dismissal or removal from office. No. Ramos himself issued Administrative Order No. however. Undersecretary Ramon S. as well as that of incurring unliquidated cash advances.000.
In the first place. Thus. a respondent (such as Lumiqued) has the option of engaging the services of counsel or not. 2260 (otherwise known as the Civil Service Act) and Section 39. ARSENIO P. 1992. the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus praying for the reversal of the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Committee. If suspension was not possible. 1994. By its power to ―perform such other functions as may be provided by law. the committee should have appointed a counsel de oficio to assist him. 145 was for the purpose of determining if he could be held administratively liable under the law for the complaints filed against him. the DOJ shall ―administer the criminal justice system in accordance with the accepted processes thereof consisting in the investigation of the crimes. after finding Lumiqued administratively liable. said resolution. payable to his heirs. disgraceful and immoral conduct. is hereby created x x x. They assert that the committee should have suspended the hearing and granted Lumiqued a reasonable time within which to secure a counsel of his own. 69 . prosecution of offenders and administration of the correctional system. a party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel. Excerpts from the transcript of stenographic notes of the hearings attended by Lumiqued clearly show that he was confident of his capacity and so opted to represent himself.‖ is inappropriate. Department of Agrarian Reform. These arguments are untenable and misplaced. In an administrative proceeding such as the one that transpired below. In a nutshell. 145 was duty-bound to conduct the administrative investigation in accordance with the rules therefor. Furthermore. While it is true that under the Administrative Code of 1987. which is dated January 25. be invoked or rejected in a criminal proceeding and.Hence. the fact remains that under existing laws. Cordillera Autonomous Region. 1994. 94-0521 of the Civil Service Commission on the Uniform Procedure in the Conduct of Administrative Investigation stating that a respondent in an administrative complaint must be ―informed of his right to the assistance of a counsel of his choice. it hinted at the filing of criminal case for malversation through falsification of public documents in its report and recommendation. LUMIQUED.O. and the backwages from the period he was dismissed from service up to the time of his death on May 19. with more reason. They maintain that his right to counsel could not be waived unless the waiver was in writing and in the presence of counsel. The right to counsel. which cannot be waived unless the waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel. the right to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees. a Committee to conduct the formal investigation of the administrative complaint for oppression. No. the investigating committee created by Department Order No. is a right afforded a suspect or an accused during custodial investigation. however. While investigations conducted by an administrative body may at times be akin to a criminal proceeding. dishonesty. Petitioners‘ misconception on the nature of the investigation  conducted against Lumiqued appears to have been engendered by the fact that the DOJ conducted it. The order issued by Acting Secretary of Justice Montenegro states thus: ―In the interest of the public service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws. irrespective of the nature of the charges and of the respondent‘s capacity to represent himself and no duty rests on such a body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel. the hearing conducted by the investigating committee was not part of a criminal prosecution. It is not an absolute right and may. petitioners‘ reliance on Resolution No. 52 issued by President Ramos. in an administrative inquiry. thus. and the orders of Secretary Quisumbing. being notoriously undesirable and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Mr. this resolution is applicable only to cases brought before the Civil Service Commission. Lumiqued. This is clear from the provisions of Section 32. Rule XIV (on discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No.‖ Petitioners fault the investigating committee for its failure to inform Lumiqued of his right to counsel during the hearing. the October 22. with the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government service. Article VII of Republic Act No. Memorandum of then Justice Secretary Drilon.‖ As such.‖ conducting criminal investigations is not its sole function. paragraph 2. Accordingly. In the case at bar. Secondly. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987).‖  prosecutors may be called upon to conduct administrative investigations. A. Regional Director. This was even made more pronounced when. it prays for the ―payment of retirement benefits and other benefits accorded to deceased Arsenio Lumiqued by law. The investigation conducted by the committee created by Department Order No. was not accused of any crime in the proceedings below. petitioners invoke the right of an accused in criminal proceedings to have competent and independent counsel of his own choice.
LUMIQUED: I did not bring anybody. 1992. much later than the July 1992 hearings of the investigating committee created by Department Order No. We would like you to be protected legally in the course of this investigation. CP BALAJADIA: Madam Witness. I think so. Sir . Janet Obar-Zamudio. Director Lumiqued is present. Sir. With or without counsel. LUMIQUED: Yes. Lumiqued was repeatedly appraised of his option to secure services of counsel: ―RSP EXEVEA: This is an administrative case against Director Lumiqued. will you please submit the document which we asked for and 70 . .‖ (Underscoring supplied) In the course of private respondent‘s damaging testimony. Director? DIR. (To Director Lumiqued) You really wish to go through with this even without your counsel? DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: A. the same committee was not remiss in the matter of reminding Lumiqued of his right to counsel. We are just apprehensive that you will go through this investigation without a counsel. he told me. hearing. RSP EXEVEA: We cannot wait .‖ (Underscoring supplied) Thereafter. that he has already set a hearing. The complainant is present. The charges against you are quite serious. .. We are not saying you are guilty already. because when I went to see him. . Thirdly. Do you have a counsel. CP BALAJADIA: You are confident that you will be able to represent yourself? DIR. RSP EXEVEA: We will not entertain any postponement. the following colloquies transpired: ―CP BALAJADIA: We will suspend in the meantime that we are waiting for the supplemental affidavit you are going to present to us. Sir.. DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: I will try to see.took effect fifteen days following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. LUMIQUED: That is my concern. . Sir. There are plenty here in Baguio. we will proceed with the hearing even without your counsel? You are willing to proceed with the hearing even without your counsel? DIR. Complainant has just been furnished with a copy of the counter-affidavit of the respondent. the investigating committee once again reminded Lumiqued of his need for a counsel. Why don‘t you get the services of another counsel. we are only given one month to finish the investigation. morning and afternoon today. RSP EXEVEA: So. we will proceed. Do you have any request from the panel of investigators. CP BALAJADIA: Let us make it of record that we have been warning you to proceed with the assistance of counsel but you said that you can take care of yourself so we have no other alternative but to proceed. . Director Lumiqued. CP BALAJADIA: Please select your date now. CP BALAJADIA: Why don‘t you engage the services of another counsel. I am confident . . Thus at the July 3. Director Lumiqued? DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: I was not able to bring a lawyer since the lawyer I requested to assist me and was the one who prepared my counter-affidavit is already engaged for a hearing and according to him he is engaged for the whole month of July. 145. Thus: ―CP BALAJADIA: Q.
if truth were on his side. the Court said: ―x x x. Moreover.‖ one could detect that it had been uttered testily. The ordinary citizen is not that helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer at his side. the date when Lumiqued was released from the hospital. An actual hearing is not always an indispensable aspect of due process. DIR. Lumiqued. because the hearing could not push through on said date. that Lumiqued was short-changed in his right to due process. The legal profession was not engrafted in the due process clause such that without the participation of its members. 1992. 1992. this constitutional mandate is deemed satisfied if a person is granted an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. The right to counsel is not indispensable to due process unless required by the Constitution or the law. and perhaps even much more creditably as it is more practicable than oral arguments. not solely by verbal presentation but also. the committee decided to wind up the proceedings. LUMIQUED: There is none Sir because when I went to my lawyer. Prior to said date. Consequently. The last time he was asked to invite his lawyer in this investigation. however. In the 71 . while desirable. Beyond repeatedly reminding him that he could avail himself of counsel and as often receiving the reply that he is confident of his ability to defend himself. if you have other witnesses. RSP EXEVEA: And is (sic) appearing that the supplemental-affidavit has been furnished him only now and this has several documents attached to it so I think we could grant him one last postponement considering that he has already asked for an extension. As long as a party was given the opportunity to defend his interests in due course. through pleadings. Lumiqued still did not avail of the services of counsel. without such representation. liberty and property. is not indispensable. I am now being bothered by my heart ailment. Pertinent excerpts from said hearing follow: ―FISCAL BALAJADIA: I notice also Mr. ―Yes. for this opportunity to be heard is the very essence of due process. Chairman that the respondent is not being represented by a counsel. he cannot be said to have been denied due process of law. The charges in this case are quite serious and he should be given a chance to the assistance of a counsel/lawyer. FISCAL BALAJADIA: Are you moving for a postponement Director? May I throw this to the panel. apparently.‖ He was obviously convinced that he could ably represent himself. however. was the thought he entertained during the hearings he was able to attend.‖ The hearing was reset to July 17. and Lumiqued had already submitted his counter-affidavit. probably Wednesday so we will have good time (sic) of presenting the affidavit. and underwent training seminars both here and abroad. ―You are confident that you will be able to represent yourself?‖ despite his having positively asserted earlier. graduated from the University of the Philippines (Los Baños) with the degree of Bachelor of Science major in Agriculture. Hence.‖ At the hearing scheduled for July 10. One may be heard. LUMIQUED: Furthermore Sir. was a recipient of various scholarships and grants.‖ In administrative proceedings. Lumiqued‘s appeal and his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration cured whatever irregularity attended the proceedings conducted by the committee. The assistance of lawyers. Auditor General. In Nera v. because of the doubt or skepticism implicit in the question. ―That is my concern. he shall not be bound by such proceedings. a Regional Director of a major department in the executive branch of the government. This.Director Lumiqued. he could have defended himself if need be. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a non-criminal proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel and that. please bring them but reduce their testimonies in affidavit form so that we can expedite with the proceedings. The constitutional provision on due process safeguards life. if not exasperatedly. the safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. One can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink. In his statement. without the help of counsel. This did not mean. I am confident. May we know if he has a lawyer to represent him in this investigation? DIR. the investigating committee could not do more. the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain one‘s side. he told me that he had set a case also at 9:30 in the other court and he told me if there is a possibility of having this case postponed anytime next week. Lumiqued did not inform the committee of his confinement.
the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus is hereby DISMISSED and Administrative Order No. integrity. loyalty and efficiency.0 hectares in Pontevedra. is sought by this petition. Nipa-Bacauan (NB) Permit No. This jurisprudential pronoucement has been enshrined in the 1987 Constitution under Article XI. JR. Government officials are presumed to perform their functions with regularity. On August 13. ROBERTO CORDENILLO. serve them with utmost responsibility. 1994. Well-settled in our jurisdiction is the doctrine that findings of fact of administrative agencies must be respected as long as they are supported by substantial evidence. Simultaneously. even if such evidence is not overwhelming or preponderant. petitioner. which petitioners have not successfully disputed in the instant case. and the disqualification for reemployment in the government service. Private respondent Jose Bolivar was granted by the Bureau of Forestry.‖ The instant petition. 1963. Of equal weight is the countervailing mandate of the Constitution that all public officers and employees must serve with responsibility. as shown above. therefore. WHEREFORE. Gabriel and Provincial Board of Rizal  the Court held that a public office is not property within the sense of the constitutional guarantee of due process of law for it is a public trust or agency. Costs against petitioners. on September 17. as follows: ―Section 1. 2. Nonetheless. loyalty. and efficiency. the adoption by Secretary Drilon and the OP of the committee‘s recommendation of dismissal may not in any way be deemed tainted with arbitrariness amounting to grave abuse of discretion. Capiz. must. 1993 and June 9. subsequently. Capiz. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people.. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo entered and occupied the area he applied for and. the right to due process could rightfully be invoked.hectare portion thereof. now Lands Management Bureau. 52 of the Office of the President is AFFIRMED. hence. vs. 5423 on June 21. while [one] Julio de Jesus was issued by the defunct Philippine Fisheries Commission. Under Section 9 of the same Rule. The quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt in administrative cases is only substantial evidence or such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.0 hectares in the same locality. the right to security of tenure is not absolute. In this case. for the resolution ordered the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to process the fishpond lease application filed by private respondent Jose Bolivar covering a fishpond area of twenty (20) hectares. situated at Barrio Malag-it. forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits. and JOSE BOLIVAR. DECISION HERMOSISIMA. now Bureau of Forest Development. Capiz. 1963. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo filed with the Bureau of Lands. 1965. Strong evidence is not necessary to rebut that presumption.: The nullification of two (2) Resolution promulgated by the Office of the President dated May 7. respondents. Consequently. which area included the areas under private respondent Jose Bolivar‘s NB Permit and Julio de Jesus‘ fishpond permit. public office is deemed analogous to property in a limited sense. covering 16. constructed a fishpond on a ten (10). the penalty of dismissal carries with it ―cancellation of eligibility. This ten (10)-hectare portion was later on found to be within the area under private respondent Jose Bolivar‘s NB Permit. Pontevedra. act with patriotism and justice.early case of Cornejo v. it has been clearly shown that Lumiqued did not live up to this constitutional precept. 72 . fail. SO ORDERED. respectively. 1897. however. Its conclusions were founded on the evidence presented and evaluated as facts. The following antecedent facts and proceedings are all undisputed: ―1. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY (Office of the President). and lead modest lives. now Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Fishpond Permit No. Public office is a public trust.‖ When the dispute concerns one‘s constitutional right to security of tenure. HON. J. Section 1 on accountability of public officers. fraught with procedural mischief. which is aimed primarily at the ―payment of retirement benefits and other benefits‖ plus backwages from the time of Lumiqued‘s dismissal until his demise. The committee‘s findings pinning culpability for the charges of dishonesty and grave misconduct upon Lumiqued were not.0 hectares likewise located at Pontevedra. covering 35. integrity. Dishonesty is a grave offense penalized by dismissal under Section 23 of Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987. a Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) over about 134.
the following observation: ‗1. 1964 was. Not satisfied. permit with the Bureau of Forestry was rejected for lack of jurisdiction. 4. Bolivar may have suffered from the erroneous action of that Bureau. 1973. That Roberto Cordenillo applied for a miscellaneous lease application with the Bureau of Lands and later also a N.‘ xxx 4. 1897 of Jose Bolivar and the area covered by Fp. modifying the aforesaid Order dated January 28. issued an Order dated January 28. in view of the foregoing. Drilon. Mr. To repair the damage Mr. The Nipa-Bacauan permit of Jose Bolivar issued on September 17. That the area covered by the Nipa-Bacauan Permit No. xxx‘ 5.. The same Office is enjoined to exercise more caution and due diligence in acting on similar cases in the future to avoid damage or prejudice to innocent parties affected by such action. in this case. On the basis thereof. the Order of the then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Accordingly.. he pursued his miscellaneous lease application with the Bureau of Lands. Bolivar. Jose D. Roberto Cordenillo SECURE a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectares which he has developed as shown on the attached sketch. respectively. 3.. 1968. 1980. 5423 in the name of Julio de Jesus and the miscellaneous sales application of Roberto Cordenillo shall remain cancelled and rejected. the Fp. issued an Order dated March 31. Jr. 5. after appropriate proceedings. That Roberto Cordenillo constructed a fishpond of approximately 10. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: ‗WHEREFORE. 5423 of Julio de Jesus issued on June 21. private respondent Jose Bolivar sought a reconsideration of the above-mentioned order by filing the requisite motion and memorandum. which area is a part of the Tinagong Dagat Bay. The rest of the area applied by Roberto Cordenillo covered by his miscellaneous lease application which is suitable for fishpond purposes be RELEASED in favor of the Bureau of Fisheries for Disposition. 2. There is no visible improvement in the area claimed by Julio de Jesus. The Nipa-Bacauan Permit No. Jr. The Miscellaneous Lease Application of Roberto Cordenillo covering approximately 134 hectares be. 1897 issued in favor of Jose Bolivar covering approximately sixteen hectares be. This Order shall be immediately executory. permit with the Bureau of Forestry. 1965 was first extended on March 18. 1974. The protests were investigated and heard by the District Land Officer and District Forester of Roxas City and also by the Committee on Investigations of the then Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR). When his application for N. That Jose Bolivar and Julio de Jesus have updated their rentals. CANCELLED. among others.3. Petitioner Roberto Cordenillo filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforementioned Order dated March 31. 6. 1963 to expire June 30. it is hereby ordered that: 1. 2. is hereby modified in the sense that Fishpond Permit No. xxx‘ xxx 6. 5423 issued in favor of Julio de Jesus be. then Undersecretary of DANR. 3. REJECTED. 1974. said committee submitted its report on October 15. On September 17. After the investigation and ocular inspection. 5. 73 . accordingly. Drilon. as hereby it is. 1963 the Bureau of Forestry issued a Nipa-Bacauan permit to Jose Bolivar but on November 6. Roberto Cordenillo shall vacate said area occupied and all improvements introduced and found therein are forfeited in favor of the government and that Jose Bolivar is given preference over the area covered by his Nipa-Bacauan Permit No. as hereby it is. Fishpond Permit No. 4. as hereby it is. CANCELLED. dated January 28. Jr. it is hereby reinterated that special preference be given by the Office and other agencies of this Department concerned in securing for him a similar permit over any adjoining or neighboring area. 1969.] 5423 of Julio de Jesus are embraced and covered by the Miscellaneous lease application of Roberto Cordenillo. The Bureau of Forest Development is hereby ADMONISHED for having renewed the Nipa-Bacauan Permit of Jose Bolivar even after it had previously declared itself as having no jurisdiction over the area in question.[No.B. respectively. that Roberto Cordenillo illegally occupied and developed a portion of the area covered by Nipa-Bacauan Permit No.0 hectares which is now fully developed and productive situated inside the Nipa-Bacauan permit of Jose Bolivar. first extended on September 23. 1897 of Jose Bolivar and. 1974. and 6. dated February 25 and March 21. containing.B. No. Jose Bolivar be given PREFERENCE to apply with the Bureau of Fisheries for the adjoining area suitable for fishpond purposes covering an area of twenty (20) hectares. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: ‗PREMISES CONSIDERED. 1974 of Undersecretary Jose D. Both private respondents Jose Bolivar and Julio de Jesus filed protests against the MSA of petitioner Roberto Cordenillo. the then Minister of Natural Resources Jose Leido. 1964 it rejected the Nipa-Bacauan application of Roberto Cordenillo for lack of jurisdiction over the area. however. 1897.
Venus. which was reinstated in the O. and the same motion was denied on September 4. the Office of the President resolved to dismiss private respondent Jose Bolivar‘s motion for reconsideration and declared subject Decision dated October 29. 1981. 1981 as final. 8. Additionally. the Office of the President. namely. 11. 1985. On november 19. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo sought clarification from the Office of the President on the correct or proper interpretation of its Decision dated October 29. Case No. Guieb dated October 29. Pursuant to the above-mentioned Resolution dated March 19. adverted to the Memorandum of Fisheries Regional Director Matias A. dated January 28. issued by the Regional Director and a 4th Indorsement dated July 12.P.‘ dated June 2. 1988 praying for the issuance of a fishpond lease agreement covering the twenty (20) hectares adjoining petitioner Cordenillo‘s ten (10) hectares of fishpond.‖ It is significant to point out at this juncture that prior to private respondent Bolivar‘s aforementioned twin Motions dated March 17. Subsequently. In a Resolution dated March 19. or only that part thereof. 1974. 14. 1974. 1986. 1988 74 . private respondent JOSE bolivar moved to reconsider the aforementioned Decision dated October 29. 12.1974.P. 1985.. finding petitioner Roberto Cordenillo to have acted in bad faith when he occupied the entire area of 47.. 1974. Jr. Decision of October 29. 1985. dated January 28. or on October 8. Provincial Command to clear the aforesaid area of occupants and to deliver the physical possession thereof to private respondent Jose Bolivar. In reply. Drilon. 1981 as rendered by Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T. 1974. Jr. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo appealed to the Office of the President the aforementioned Order dated March 31. through then Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T. and for a categorical declaration that the entire decretal portion of Drilon Order dated January 28. while private respondent Jose Bolivar filed the Fishpond Application covering the adjoining area of twenty (20) hectares on August 31.1974 was and should be deemed.P. private respondent Jose Bolivar. has the effect of reinstating the Order of then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jose Drilon (sic).‘ 13. 1981.1980 of Minister Jose Leido. reinstated or revived by the Venus Decision dated October 29. 1981. 1982 of the Office of the President. 10. 1988. 1985. 7. Accordingly. is hereby reinstated. and considering further that a portion thereof still remains in the possession of petitioner Roberto Cordenillo. THE Order of the Minister of Natural Resources dated March 31. Drilon (sic). xxx‘ xxx 9. through counsel. 36939 without the benefit of a lease agreement and with full knowledge of the pending controversy over the said area before the DANR. directing. On October 29. on September 25. of the Office of the President. was reinstated or revived by the O. and the Capiz P. specifically as to wether said Decision reinstated the whole dispositive portion of the Order of then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jose D.9852 hectares covered by his rejected Fishpond Permit Application No. 1982. 1981. inter alia that Roberto Cordenillo secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectare (sic) which he has developed. that ‗x x x the Decision of this Office in O. 1980 is hereby set aside. 1989. 1981. 1980. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo filed his Fishpond Application over an area of approximately ten (10) hectares on October 2. Jr. these Department of Agriculture issuances. 1974. respectively. Jr. 1986 and February 28. Jr. In lieu thereof. the Secretary and the Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture had already earlier made official issuances to the effect that the decretal portion of the Drilon Order dated January 28. 1980 of Minister Jose Leido. Meanwhile. was reinstated or revived by the Decision dated October 29. it appearing that the BFAR has not acted upon his fishpond application for the twenty (20)hectare area mentioned in the Drilon Order dated January 28. Venus. In fact. 1988. 1985 (sic). 1974. praying for the issuance of an Order directing BFAR and the Department of Agriculture to issue to him (private respondent Jose Bolivar) a twenty-five (25)-year fishpond lease agreement over an area of twenty (20) hectares adjoining the ten (10) hectares shown in the sketch to the Drilon Order of January 28. 1988 and June 2. the Office of the President informed petitioner Roberto Cordenillo in its letter of April 2. 1836 dated October 29. 1981.C. the Order of then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jose D. In a ‗SUPPLEMENTAL TO EX-PARTE MOTION (for the Issuance of an Order of Implementation). rendered a Decision. private respondent Jose Bolivar filed with the Office of the President the instant ‗Ex-PARTE MOTION (For Issuance of the Writ of Implementation)‘ on March 17. 1981. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: ‗WHEREFORE. dated January 28. only insofar as it directed Roberto Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectares which he has developed. two (2) Memoranda dated October 1. Decision dated October 29. 1980. directing petitioner Roberto Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area approximately ten (10) hectares developed by him as stated in the subject Decision. private respondent Jose Bolivar prayed for a declaration that the entire decretal portion of the Drilon Order dated January 28.
Thus. dated August 5.e. and the Provincial Agricultural Officer of Capiz from implementing the aforesaid Memoranda and 4th Indorsement on the ground that ―the approval by respondent Secretary of the application for issuance of a fishpond lease agreement in favor of the private respondent [covering] the subject 20-hectare fishpond would enable private respondent to appropriate the subject 20hectare fishpond. from implementing or in any way enforcing the Venus Decision dated October 29. 1974. Capiz. it would be premature for petitioner to come to court to seek for injunctive relief. in his memorandum for the BFAR Director. this Office is persuaded to uphold x x x x Bolivar‘s view that the Decision of this Office dated October29. 88814 seeking the nullification and setting aside of said Order of denial and the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the Secretary of Agriculture. The Memorandum Order concerned merely advised Bolivar to apply for the adjoining area suitable for fishpond purposes covering twenty (20) hectares. to persuade this Court to believe that the ten-hectare fishpond which Cordenillo has developed. No. were the subject of a Petition for Injunction dated May 4. which granted private respondent‘s ‗EX-PARTE MOTION (for Issuance of the Writ of Implementation)‘ and ordered ―the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to forthwith process and give due course to the fishpond lease application filed by Jose Bolivar covering twenty (20) hectares s situated at Barrio Malag-it. resolved the aforesaid Ex-Parte Motion of private respondent Bolivar. not a portion thereof. 1994.P. Fisheries Regional Director Matias A. subsequently. Until such time that the identities of the areas respectively applied for by Cordenillo and Bolivar shall have been delineated by the Bureau of Fisheries. to apply over the area of 27. 1974 which sanctioned and even favorably endorsed the issuance of a fishpond lease in favor of private respondent Bolivar over twenty (20) hectares of land adjoining the ten (10) hectares adjudicated to petitioner under the same Drilon Order. the trial court was asked to restrain the Secretary of Agriculture.R. Director Guieb stated in part: ‗This Office share[s] the view of the Counsel of Jose Bolivar that what was reinstated was the Order dated January 28.. 1981. all of the Department of Agriculture. SP No. in this wise: ―After a close and perceptive study. and for Cordenillo to file and submit all the requirements for 25-year lease agreement over the area of 11. 1974. as shown above. Pontevedra. 1989. long before the rendition by this Office on April 2. the Venus Decision] reinstated the entire dispositive portion of the Drilon [sic] order of January 28. reinstated and/or revived the entire decretal portion of the Drilon Order dated January 28.‖ The trial court denied the Petition for Injunction in an Order dated June 8. the Court of Appeals dismissed said petition.0916 hectares x x x and likewise. 1989. ever true to form. the Regional Director and the Provincial Agricultural Officer of Capiz. This view is also stated in a Memorandum dated 1983-12-09 of the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources quoted hereunder: Take note that in an Order dated January 28. 1989 filed by petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Roxas City. is to be awarded by the Bureau of Fisheries to Bolivar. if ther is any. 4) advising Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectares he has developed. 1985. Thus. was the entire portion of the Drillon [sic] order. we resolved to refer G. the Regional Director. 1986 of the clarificatory opinion requested by Cordenillo on the effect of its Decision on the Drilon [sic] order.1974 of the then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural 75 . the same petition was docketed as CA-G. 1989. Aggrieved by said Order of denial. There is nothing yet. It is noteworthy that.9852 hectares if he so desire (sic) which was declared vacant and open to any qualified applicants who shall also pay the appraised value of improvements found therein.R. x x x. petitioner filed with this court a Petition for Certiorari docketed as G. petitioner Cordenillo. On August 14. ruling as it did that the therein assailed issuances rendered by the various officials of the Department of Agriculture: ―xxx ‗[do] not in any way show that the Bureau of Fisheries had intended to dispossess [petitioner] Cordenillo of the ten-hectare portion which he had already allegedly cultivated. both of said department. thus depriving petitioner of the [land] and its improvements thereon without due process of law and would therefore unjustly enrich the private respondent at the expense of another. through Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Antonio T. 18397. In that petition. to which petitioner Cordenillo went in order to challenge and invalidate any and all official government declarations as to the efficacy of the Drilon Order dated January 28.‘ xxx‖ In the light of the extent of trouble. 1974. No. as of this point in time. 1981 [i. respectively. not just that portion thereof (par. 1993 and June 9. did not lose time in seeking the judicial nullification of the twin Resolutions issued by the Office of the President dated May 7.issued by the Secretary. Decision of October 29. Carpio. in turn. Guieb had shared the view of Bolivar‘s counsel that what was reinstated by the O.R.‖ The Office of the President. In a Resolution dated July 19. 88814 to the Court of Appeals which has concurrent jurisdiction over the subject matter of the petition. 1981 which.
in DANR Case No. is in accord neither with justice nor equity which this Office will not countenance. said Decision had. Decision dated October 29. but the entirety thereof. 1982 after several incidents. xxx It may be apropos to mention that Cordenillo did not appeal the Drillon [sic] order. Said Motion was anchored on the following grounds: (1) that the decision rendered by the Office of the President dated April 2. nothing more or less. despite the precise and categoric[al] language of the dispositive portion of the Drillon [sic] order. said Decision was conspicuously silent on this point. it should have categorically and emphatically ruled on the right. 1980. to say the least. of the conditional award to Bolivar of the 20 hectares and precludes the subsequent determination of the very same issue. along with the other issues discussed in the dispositive portion of the Drillon [sic] order. 1981. x x x From the foregoing . considering that the only issue raised before it at that time was who between Bolivar and Cordenillo is entitled to the 10 hectares in question. to have affirmed the same and those embodied in paragraphs 1. Consequently.. For this Office to adhere to its previous interpretation that its Decision of October 29. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the aforequoted Resolution. of Bolivar to acquire the 20 hectares decreed in the Drillon [sic] order. Capiz. having acquired the character of finality as of March 19. 1981. which the subject Decision had discarded and cast into oblivion. and 5 of the decretal portion of the Drillon [sic] order. 3. said order had preclusive effect. or rather the disqualification. 3909. Strangely enough though.‖ On May 29. 1974. This Office also notes that. Hence.0 hectares and a certain Jose Bolivar was given preference to apply with this Office for the adjoining area of 20. retroacts to the date of the Drillon [sic] order of January 28. 1980. the Venus Decision]. reinstated and revived the entire dispositive portion of the order of then DANR Secretary Jose D. 1974. would enable Cordenillo to apply not only for the 20 hectares awarded to Bolivar but also the rest of the 134 hectares covered by his rejected miscellaneous sales application.‖ had already become final and executory. 1981 Decision of this Office on the Drillon [sic] order of January 28. 1981. 1993. For its part. Likewise. the matter of Bolivar‘s right to the award of the 20 hectares not having been controverted or traversed in the subject Decision. it could be deduced and safely conclude[d] that the Decision of the Office of the President dated October 28. this Office finds.e. 1986 whereby said office clarified that the Drilon Order was reinstated ―only insofar as it directed Roberto Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectares which he has developed. for all legal intents and purposes. as may be immediately discerned from the body of O. what was resolved therein was solely the issue of who between the contending parties is entitled to the award of the 10-hectare portion of the subject fishpond area. This. in so far as he is concerned. among others. in his letter dated May 21. in effect. 1985 to the Director of Fisheries.0 hectares. it is hard to believe that such an important matter.P. Cordenillo prayed for the reinstatement of the entire Drillon [sic] order of January 28. 1982. x x x The Director of Lands likewise. If said Decision intended to revive only that particular potion of the Drillon [sic] order relative to the award of the 10 hectares. not only [as to] that portion giving him preferential right to apply by lease for the 10-hectare fishpond area. Cordenillo asked this Office to uphold the Drillon [sic] order. 1981 had set aside the Order of the Minister of Natural Resources dated March 31. concluded the legality.‘ Moreover. there was no need for Cordenillo to seek clarification on the effect of the October 29. would have been left in the said Decision to mere implication. Having opted not to discuss or mention even in passing the issue of Bolivar‘s preferential right to apply for the 20-hectare area. the Decision in question must be taken. the same must be deemed to have been definitively settled or set to rest. in his ‗Appeal Memorandum‘ filed with this Office. the aforequoted Resolution 76 . This is as it should be. And. in his subsequent ‗Memorandum‘ dated April 20. for the Decision of this Office of October 29. because that was the lone and only issue raised by Cordenillo in his appeal from the MNR Order of March 31. 1974. dated September 23. 1981 did not revive the entire Drillon [sic] order of January 28. stated: In reply. 1981. This Order was affirmed in an Order issued by the Office of the President dated October 28. 1974. please be informed that this Office [poses] no objection to the disposition of the land aforesaid through lease for fishpond purposes considering the fact that the miscellaneous lease application of Roberto Cordenillo therefor has already been rejected by the then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Order dated January 28. Thus. thus rendering null and void for being an issuance tainted with grave abuse of discretion. Upon the foregoing premises.Resources involving an area located in Pontevedra. applicant Roberto Cordenillo was awarded an area of 10. without qualification or condition whatsoever. 1974 which was reiterated by Malacañang in its resolution dated March 19. Withal. 1981 [i. that its Decision of October 29. This must be so. Drillon [sic] dated January 28. and so holds. 1980 in its entirety and reinstated fully the order of the Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources dated January 28. 1974. 2. 1974. this Office cannot be faulted for rendering the aforementioned interpretative ruling.
1963 the area already subject of private respondent Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bacauan Permit granted him by the Bureau of Forest Development on September 17. to apply for the adjoining area suitable for fishpond purposes covering twenty (20) hectares. Petitioner does not deny that ‗―said 20-hectares area is included in the 47. that the overlapping of fishpond area is to be blamed on petitioner himself. of April 2. Being merely interpretative of the main Decision in O. 1974 Drilon Order and which fishpond land petitioner has absolutely no right to claim. 1981.1974. much less. As held by the Supreme Court in the case of Maglasang vs. dated May 7. having included in his application dated August 13.1974. is null and void ‗for lack of jurisdiction and a grave discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. There is then no occasion to impute deprivation of property without due process where the adverse party was heard on a motion for reconsideration constituting as it does sufficient opportunity for him to inform the Tribunal concerned of his side of the controversy. Decision dated October 29. Jose D. which retroacts to the date of the Drillon [sic] order dated January 28. cannot affect. considering that movant did not appeal the Drillon [sic] order directing. When petitioner thus occupied said area and built improvements thereon. Drilon. keep possession of the twenty-hectare fishpond over which private respondent Bolivar was granted lease preference under the January 28. 1981 on March 19. 1993. 1993. the then Undersecretary of the then Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR). 1982. In the Resolution dated June 9. This is only as it should be. (2) that the aforequoted Resolution was issued in violation of petitioner‘s right to due process. said clarificatory Order/Decision. said Resolution of May 7. Jr.. for obvious lack of merit. 1993 being decidedly congruent with the factual situation and in full accord with settled jurisprudence and legal principles. needless to say. in view of the instant motion interposed by movant seeking reconsideration of the questioned Resolution. Case No. What the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice. we are not persuaded by movant‘s argument that the Resolution of this Office. occupy. to sustain movant‘s argument would mean that this miscellaneous lease application over the 134 hectares that was already rejected in the Drillon [sic] order remains valid and could be pursued by him. which in effect reverses aforesaid April 2. the instant petition. that he secure from the then Bureau of Fisheries a fishpond lease agreement over the 10-hectare fishpond area developed by him.1974. is totally devoid of merit. categorically rejected and correspondingly denied.‘ Lastly.‖ Undaunted. he did so with full knowledge of private respondent Bolivar‘s existing NipaBacauan Permit covering the same area and the protest filed by the latter against the Miscellaneous Sales Application of petitioner.P. this Office does not deem it necessary to pass upon the third ground invoked by movant. That protest filed by private respondent Bolivar was resolved with the issuance of the so-called Drilon Order dated January 28. Stripped of non-essentials. Moreover. the substance rather than the form being paramount. The only concession granted petitioner under said order was a fishpond lease agreement over some ten (10) hectares developed by petitioner into viable fishponds. petitioner simply refuses to concede the futility of his baseless postulations. petitioner‘s Miscellaneous Sales Application. 1986 decision. 1994. 1863. which was revived in its entirety by O. this is far removed from the intention of this Office when it rendered its October 29. among others. Indeed.P. Ople x x x: ‗x x x As far back as 1935. this Office finds itself hard put to concede validity to movant‘s contention that he was denied due process because he was not afforded opportunity to be heard vis-à-vis [private respondent‘s] x x x ‗EX-PARTE MOTION (For Issuance of the Writ of Implementation)‘. but the absolute absence thereof and lack of opportunity to be heard.‘ allegedly because its clarificatory Order/Decision. at all costs. hence. the Office of the President denied petitioner‘s Motion for Reconsideration in this manner: ―Anent the first ground. and (3) that the aforequoted Resolution was not supported by the true facts and the laws and jurisprudence of the case. it has already been settled doctrine that a plea of denial of procedural due process does not lie where a defect consisting of an absence of notice of hearing was thereafter cured by the alleged aggrieved party having had the opportunity to be heard on a motion for reconsideration. Concerning the second ground. which 10-hectare area 77 . petitioner Cordenillo‘s singular and all-consuming cause is to.dated May 7. assuming the same to have acquired the character of finality. 1986 had already become final and executory.‖ The records clearly show. Bolivar‘s right to apply for the adjoining area of twenty (20) hectares suitable for fishpond purposes had long become vested with the finality of our Decision of October 29. the conclusion being that the hearing on a motion for reconsideration meets the strict requirement of the process. 1963. 1981 Decision wherein the only issue raised by movant and resolved therein was his right to lease the 10-hectare area. Certainly. however. In that order. much less divest x x x Bolivar of his preferential right acquired under the Drillon [sic] Order of January 28. x x x [W]hat due process contemplates is freedom from arbitrariness and what it requires is fairness or justice.9852 hectares covered by the petitioner ‗s x x x [miscellaneous sales] application and he has been in actual continuous possession thereof sinse [sic] 1963 during which he developed it into a productive fishpond. which.
―inter alia. not to mention. i. in 1985. 78 . Private respondent Bolivar. since such other directives were clearly part of the context within which the Drilon Order was undertaken. 1974. for the ten (10) hectares granted him under the Drilon Order. should have long ended in the filing by Cordenillo and Bolivar of their respective fishpond lease applications. in whole. In fact. Jr. was dismissed. In the first place. dated January 28.‖ In effect. the aforequoted dispositive portion of the Venus Order reinstated the Drilon Order directing. petitioner Cordenillo appealed to the Office of the President. in no uncertain terms. however. 1981. The Office of the President. In other words. Venus particularly directed ―that Roberto Cordenillo secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectare [sic] which he has developed. Venus. both Cordenillo and Bolivar did file their respective fishpond lease applications in accordance with area specifications under the Drilon Order. the Venus Order acknowledged the existence of the other directives contained in the Drilon Order by using the term. Venus Order deleted the Leido declaration that petitioner Cordenillo illegally occupied a portion of the area covered by private respondent Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bacauan Permit. petitioner Cordenillo wanted nothing less and nothing more than that portion of the Drilon Order granting him the ten (10) hectares of fishpond land already occupied by him. Acting on said motion.‖ [emphasis ours] On its face. SO ORDERED. issued an Order additionally declaring petitioner Cordenillo to have illegally occupied and developed a portion of the area covered by the Nipa-Bacauan Permit of private respondent Bolivar. The dispositive portion of the Venus Order reads: ―WHEREFORE. did not agree with the Drilon Order. Thus. directing. cause.was definitely identified in a sketch annexed to the Drilon Order. was declared final in a Resolution dated March 19. there is simply nothing in the Venus Order that supports petitioner‘s self-serving conclusion that said order only revived the grant to him of the ten(10) hectares already known to have earlier occupied by him. The events thereafter. occupied and built improvements on.‖ Non-mention thereof in the Venus Order. petitioner was granted such 10hectare area in recognition of his subsisting occupation thereof and the improvements thereon built by petitioner. For his part. the grant to petitioner of the ten (10) hectares already developed by him into fishponds. real motivation of petitioner Cordenillo for challenging the Drilon Order: petitioner had. Cordenillo had all the while been consumingly obsessed with finding a way of deleting that portion of the Drilon Order granting Bolivar the adjoining twenty (20) hectares already also occupied by Cordenillo. And so when the Venus Order was issued generally reinstating the Drilon Order but only specifically and explicitly directing the issuance of a lease agreement over the said ten (10) hectares in favor of Cordenillo and leaving out any mention of the preferential lease agreement over the adjoining twenty (20) hectares in favor of Bolivar. at first. the then Minister of Natural Resources Jose Leido. cannot be deemed abrogation thereof. 1982. 1980 is hereby set aside. private respondent Bolivar was unequivocally declared a preferred and first priority lease applicant for the 20-hectare area adjoining petitioner‘s ten (10) hectares. imperious. While the reinstatement of the Drilon Order was made in general. THE Order of the Minister of Natural Resources dated March 31. for the twenty (20) hectares granted him. First. In lieu thereof. Jr. Thus. however. the Drilon Order. inter alia that Roberto Cordenillo ‗secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectare (sic) which he has developed‘ is hereby reinstated. Undoubtedly. reveal the singular. Petitioner Cordenillo‘s wake up call has come. and the latter. We rule.. ―inter alia‖ or among others. and it is this: Cordenillo is trifling with the processes of this government‘s administrative offices with his utterly baseless. Finding such declaration extremely prejudicial to his interests. the former. this dispute between petitioner Cordenillo and private respondent Bolivar involving overlapping fishpond area. with preference. not only a portion of the area formerly covered by private respondent Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bancauan Permit but also the twenty (20) hectares adjoining the ten (10) hectares granted him under the Drilon Order. Apparently. that the Venus Order reinstated. Bolivar moved for the reconsideration of the Venus Order. selfish. thus. With such a declaration of finality of the Venus Order reinstating the Drilon Order. Said motion. into a portion of the area covered by Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bacauan Permit. and myopic conclusion that the Venus Order reinstated the Drilon Order only insofar as the specific and explicit grant of lease to Cordenillo is concerned. beginning with Cordenillo‘s intrusion in September. rendered a decision setting aside the Leido Order and reinstating the Drilon Order. through then Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T.e. and the Venus Order dated October 29. Drillon (sic).. petitioner Cordenillo went to town with the boisterous. the Order of then Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jose D. sweeping terms. under the same order. 1963. which reinstated the Drilon Order. considering that he had already invested a substantial amount of money in the form of improvements on a portion of the area covered by private respondent Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bacauan Permit. in fact. he filed a Motion for Reconsideration of said order.
There is absolutely nothing in the Venus Order that challenged. Likewise. This is the disputed 10-hectare fishpond area referred to in the Venus Order. not just that portion thereof (paragraph 4) advising petitioner Roberto Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten(10) hectares he has developed. x x x‖ Second. the disqualification. the Decision in question must be taken. because that was the lone and only issue raised by petitioner Roberto Cordenillo in his appeal from the MNR Order of March 31. had better right to said disputed fishpond area. If said Decision intended to revive only that particular portion of the Drilon Order of January 28. 1974. said Decision was conspicuously silent on this point. 1982. quote. it should have categorically and emphatically ruled on the right. x x x Having opted not to discuss or mention even in passing the issue of private respondent Jose Bolivar‘s preferential right to apply for the twenty (20) hectares area. then Deputy Executive Secretary Factoran cited exactly the same reason that rightly supports the contrary conclusion: that ―the basic appeal to [the Office of the President] tendered only the issue of superiority of right over the disputed 10-hectare area. among others. and 5 of the decretal portion of the Drilon Order. it is this April 2. through then Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgencio S. Hence. is that justification of his finding that the Drilon Order was not reinstated in its entirety. 1981. to have affirmed the same and those embodied in paragraphs 1. 1986 Clarificatory Order also issued by the Office of the President.P. however. along with the other issues discussed in the dispositive potion of the Drilon Order. with approval. that what was resolved therein was solely the issue of who between the contending parties is entitled to the award of the ten (10)-hectare portion of subject fishpond area. It may be immediately discerned from the O. not only on that portion giving him preferential right to apply by lease for the ten (10)-hectare fishpond area. the sole issue of who. 1980. 1986 Order.) dated October 29. or rather. And having acquired the character of finality as of March 19. Jr. the same must be deemed to have been definitively settled or set to rest. Decision of October 29. or even modified the status of Bolivar as preferential lease applicant respecting the 20 hectares adjoining Cordenillo‘s 10-hectare fishpond area. 1981. then Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Venus opted to simply reinstate the entire Drilon Order and to quote the pert thereof which was specially responsive and pertinent to. Since the Drilon Order adjudicated said area to petitioner Cordenillo. then Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Venus perceived his recourse to be. between Cordenillo and Bolivar. If there is anything that was issued in grave abuse of discretion. 1974 relative to the award of the ten (10) hectares.. Decision dated October 29. We thus. however. is separate and distinct from the twenty-hectare area adjoining the same which was adjudicated to private respondent Bolivar as preferential lease applicant thereof under the Drilon Order. the primary issue passed upon in the Venus Order was the question of ―who has the better right to the disputed 10-hectare fishpond area. in effect. insofar as he is concerned. This must be so. in his subsequent ‗Memorandum‘ x x x petitioner Roberto Cordenillo asked the Office of the President to uphold the Drilon Order x x x without qualification whatsoever. categorically declared the Drilon Order to have been reinstated ―only insofar as it directed Roberto Cordenillo to secure a fishpond lease agreement from the Bureau of Fisheries covering the area of approximately ten (10) hectares which he has developed.‖ Being patently null and void for having been issued in total disregard of 79 . then Acting Presidential Executive Assistant Venus was impressed with Cordenillo‘s asseverations of good faith in including said area in his application and decided to categorically declare Cordenillo the good faith occupant of the disputed area over which. for all legal intents and purposes. What is ironic. 3. negated. 1981 reinstated the entire dispositive portion of the Drilon Order of January 28. for the O. petitioner Roberto Cordenillo prayed for the reinstatement of the Drilon Order x x x. 1974. concluded the legality. said Decision had. to choose who between Cordenillo and Bolivar was entitled to the disputed 10-hectare fishpond area.‖ It is helpful to recall that petitioner had included in his Miscellaneous Sales Application a portion of the area covered by private respondent Bolivar‘s Nipa-Bacauan Permit. of the conditional award to private respondent Jose Bolivar of the twenty (20) hectares and precluded the subsequent determination of the very same issue. Having identified the issue as such. said order had preclusive effect. the following postulations of the Solicitor General: ―The Decision of the Office of the President (O. of private respondent Jose Bolivar to acquire the twenty (20) hectares decreed in the Drilon Order x x x. It should be noted that in his ‗Appeal Memorandum‘ filed with the Office of the President x x x [when he appealed from the Leido Order]. nothing more or less. Petitioner also argues that the herein assailed issuances of the Office of the President are null and void for having been promulgated in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the April 2. 2. he should be given preferential right to lease.P. Consequently.In the second place. This ten-hectare fishpond area.‖ We strongly disagree. but the entirety thereof.P. retroacts to the date of the Drilon Order of January 28. Strangely enough though. abrogated. Apparently. xxx It may be apropos to mention that petitioner Roberto Cordenillo did not appeal the Drilon Order x x x. the matter of private respondent Jose Bolivar‘s right to award of twenty (20) hectares not having been controverted or traversed in the subject Decision. This is as it should be. Factoran.
the CSC issued Resolution No. herein public respondent Executive Secretary did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the herein assailed twin Resolutions. The CSC also issued Resolutions Nos. the DECS Secretary rendered a decision finding petitioners guilty as charged and dismissing them from the service effective immediately. The appeals of petitioners Cabalfin. All told. Cabalfin. the Secretary subsequently modified the penalty of dismissal to suspension for nine months without pay. Petitioners. Petitioner Gomez likewise moved for reconsideration with the DECS and then appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). rules and regulations and reasonable office regulations. but all of their appeals were dismissed for lack of merit. the one with the later date of which was issued precisely upon petitioner‘s filing of a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution first issued on dated May 7. Montances and Pagpaguitan were dismissed for having been filed out of time. CORAZON GOMEZ. except Rodolfo Mariano. Montances and Pagpaguitan. gross neglect of duty. any contention of denial of due process must fail as the same was cured by the filing of the Motion for Reconsideration. Despite due notice. however. otherwise known as the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines. 1996 denying petitioners‘ motion for reconsideration. Culture and Sports (DECS) issued a Return-to-Work Order. and absence without official leave in violation of PD 807. CORAZON GREGORIO. the instant petition is HEREBY DISMISSED. On motion for reconsideration. petitioners appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. the April 2. Acting on the motions for reconsideration filed by petitioners Bangalisan.: This is an appeal by certiorari from the judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. CULTURE AND SPORTS. the CSC decided to rule on the merits of their appeal in the interest of justice. As such. On September 17. DELIA BANGALISAN. the alleged failure of the public authorities to implement in a just and correct manner certain laws and measures intended for their material benefit. 94-2806 and 94-2384 affirming the penalty of nine months suspension without pay theretofore imposed on petitioners Montances and Pagpaguitan. in the main. gross violation of Civil Service law. 1993. as well as its resolution of April 12. Gregorio. SP No.and as completely contrary to.‖ They were simultaneously placed under preventive suspension. 1990 to dramatize their grievances concerning. SO ORDERED. On October 30. the already final and executory Venus Order reinstating the Drilon Order in its entirety. vs. the CSC also found them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Thereafter. Not satisfied with the aforestated adjudication of their respective cases. for purposes of Administrative due process. petitioner pretends to be a victim of due process violation because he was not afforded the opportunity to be heard vis-à-vis private respondent Bolivar‘s ―EX-PARTE MOTION (For Issuance of the Writ of Implementation). 1986 Clarificatory Order of the Executive Secretary Factoran is incapable of ripening into a final and executory order as stubbornly claimed by petitioner. shows that petitioner was in fact heard. LOURDES LAREDO.‖ Suffice it to say that the mere fact that petitioner assails two Resolution of the Office of the President. were among the 800 public school teachers who staged ―mass actions‖ on September 17 to 19. 1990. hence they were charged by the Secretary with ―grave misconduct. It. Petitioners failed to comply with said order. EMILIA DE GUZMAN. Finally. Mercado. WILFREDO MERCADO. respondents. HON. petitioners failed to submit their answer to the complaint. gross insubordination. modified the penalty of nine months suspension previously meted 80 . 38316. The other petitioners also filed individual appeals to the MSPB. however. petitioners. refusal to perform official duty.R. the Secretary of the Department of Education. when he filed said Motion for Reconsideration. With respect to the appeals of the other petitioners. J. DECISION REGALADO. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. 1990. 94-1765 finding Cabalfin guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and imposing on him a penalty of six months suspension without pay. COURT OF APPEALS. which affirmed several resolutions of the Civil Service Commission finding petitioners guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. WHEREFORE. Costs against petitioner. LUCILIN CABALFIN. LIGAYA MONTANCES and CORAZON PAGPAGUITAN. RODOLFO MARIANO.
et al. will be deemed to be controlling. indeed. Laguio. work which it was the teachers‘ duty to perform. whereby petitioners could petition the government for redress of grievances. but the manner in which they exercised such right which resulted in the temporary stoppage or disruption of public service and classes in various public schools in Metro Manila. in the herein cited case of Manila Public School Teachers Association. except that of petitioner Rodolfo Mariano who was found guilty only of a violation of reasonable office rules and regulations because of his failure to inform the school of his intended absence and to file an application for leave therefor. ante: ―It is. and not its appearance. The right of government employees to organize is limited only to the formation of unions or associations. While the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize. 1995. however. these ‗mass actions‘ were to all intents and purposes a strike. however temporary. For. The issue of whether or not the mass action launched by the public school teachers during the period from September up to the first half of October. what needs to be borne in mind. which is one of the reasons why the right to strike is denied government employees.‖ but that will not justify their absences to the prejudice of innocent school children. The fact that the conventional term ―strike‖ was not used by the striking employees to describe their common course of action is inconsequential. It was there held ―that from the pleaded and admitted facts. that they were not on strike but were merely exercising their constitutional right peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. for even the most justifiable complaints. and that redress. public employees do not have the right to engage in concerted work stoppages for any purpose. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. are being penalized not because they exercised their right of peaceable assembly and petition for redress of grievances but because of their successive unauthorized and unilateral absences which produced adverse effects upon their students for whose education they are responsible. Petitioners‘ motion for reconsideration was also denied by respondent court. 1-95. implemented. 1990. dated December 18. As aptly stated by the Solicitor General. This petitioner was accordingly given only a reprimand. hence the instant petition alleging that the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion when it upheld the resolutions of the CSC (1) that penalized petitioners whose only offense was to exercise their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. The ability to strike is not essential to the right of association. is that one wrong cannot be righted by another.‖ It is an undisputed fact that there was a work stoppage and that petitioners‘ purpose was to realize their demands by withholding their services. in the Manila Public School Teachers Association case. they constituted a concerted and unauthorized stoppage of. (2) that penalized petitioner Mariano even after respondent commission found out that the specific basis of the charges that former Secretary Cariño filed against him was a falsehood. they are prohibited from staging strikes. We find such pretension devoid of merit. 1995. undertaken for essentially economic reasons. mass leaves. punishable under the Civil Service law. since the substance of the situation. rules and regulations. on August 29. should not be sought through proscribed or illegal means. It may be conceded that the petitioners had valid grievances and noble intentions in staging the ―mass actions. All the petitioners moved for reconsideration of the CSC resolutions but these were all denied. will inevitably derail services to the public. except Mariano. supra. other than the mass actions in question. trite though it may be. This much may be conceded. ―It is not the exercise by the petitioners of their constitutional right to peaceably assemble that was punished. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with this Court but. and (3) that denied petitioners their right to back wages covering the period when they were illegally not allowed to teach. without including the right to strike. vs. In the absence of statute. The belief in the 81 . Further. 1990 was a strike has been decided by this Court in a resolution. or absence from. After all. even the employees of the Court have found reason to complain about the manner in which the provisions of the salary standardization law on pay adjustments and position classification have been. 1990. Nonetheless.‖ It bears stressing that suspension of public services. of course. walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public services.to them to six months suspension with automatic reinstatement in the service but without payment of back wages.. The actuations of petitioners definitely constituted conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. or are being. As expounded by this Court in its aforementioned resolution of December 18. It is the settled rule in this jurisdiction that employees in the public service may not engage in strikes. demonstrations. their petition was referred to the Court of Appeals pursuant to Revised Administrative Circular No. and for one thing. Their righteous indignation does not legalize an illegal work stoppage. On October 20. Jr. herein petitioners. entirely possible that petitioners and their member-teachers had and have some legitimate grievances. Petitioners contend. there are efficient but non-disruptive avenues.
A reading of the resolution of the Civil Service Commission will show that he was exonerated of the charges which formed the basis for his suspension. As to the immediate execution of the decision of the Secretary against petitioners. thus: ―The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities. rules and regulations. the demands of due process were sufficiently met. On the issue of back wages. defy constituted authority and set a bad example to their students. of Executive Order No. Having ruled that the preventive suspension of petitioners and the immediate execution of the DECS decision are in accordance with law. petitioners‘ claim is premised on the allegation that their preventive suspension. engage in unlawful activity. his dismissal from the service. 82 . The argument of petitioners that the said circular was the basis of their liability is off tangent. are illegal. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days‘ salary. no matter how deeply and fervently held. The records of this case clearly show that they were given opportunity to refute the charges against them but they failed to avail themselves of the same. the next query is whether or not petitioners may be entitled to back wages. as well as the immediate execution of the decision dismissing or suspending them. In the instant case. Such payment of salaries corresponding to the period when an employee is not allowed to work may be decreed if he is found innocent of the charges which caused the suspension and when the suspension is unjustified. refusal to perform official duty. on the basis of the charges against them. there must be a clear and direct legislative authority therefor. or neglect in the performance of duty. In the absence of any express legislation allowing government employees to strike. for joining the teachers‘ mass actions held at Liwasang Bonifacio on September 17 to 21. or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service. walkouts and temporary work stoppages like workers in the private sector. it is frequently declared that modern rules which prohibit such strikes. refusal to perform official duty. simply incorporate or reassert the common law rule. gross insubordination. To grant employees of the public sector the right to strike. payment of his back wages is in order. even in the absence of express statutory prohibition like Memorandum Circular No. 1990. it was within the competence of the Secretary to place herein petitioners under preventive suspension. and absence without official leave. and reasonable office regulations.‖ Petitioners‘ claim of denial of due process must also fail. an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. The right of the sovereign to prohibit strikes or work stoppages by public employees was clearly recognized at common law. 292 provides that ―(t)he proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. rules and regulations and reasonable office regulations. recognizing their right to do so.righteousness of their cause. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and absence without official leave (AWOL). gross violation of the Civil Service Law. either by statute or by judicial decision. public employees are denied the right to strike or engage in a work stoppage against a public employer. later. In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission. the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal. in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned. employees in the public service may not engage in strikes. The Secretary of the DECS charged him with and he was later found guilty of grave misconduct. provinces. oppression or grave misconduct. is already settled in our jurisdiction. herein petitioners were charged by the Secretary of the DECS with grave misconduct. gross neglect of duty. or regulating the exercise of the right. These submissions are incorrect. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. 6. It was his alleged participation in the mass actions that was the basis of his preventive suspension and. for his participation in the mass actions on September 18. it is the nature of the charge against an officer or employee which determines whether he may be placed under preventive suspension.‖ Petitioners also assail the constitutionality of Memorandum Circular No. as applied to administrative proceedings. Hence. The issue regarding payment of back salaries during the period of suspension of a member of the civil service who is subsequently ordered reinstated. cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Section 51 of Executive Order No. 6 issued by the Civil Service Commission. gross violation of Civil Service law. paragraph (2). With respect to petitioner Rodolfo Mariano. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or. gross neglect of duty.‖ Under the aforesaid provision. gives the teachers concerned no license to abandon their duties. The resolution of the said issue is not really necessary in the case at bar. 20 and 21. Indeed. if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. the same is authorized by Section 47. 292. As a general rule. 1990. For as long as the parties were given the opportunity to be heard before judgment was rendered. gross insubordination.
Kondo lodged a complaint 83 . Hermosisima. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the public respondent in an Order dated June 27. Ms. (PAL). C. WHEREFORE. Narvasa.. Padilla. in violations of reasonable office rules and regulations.. they were not completely exonerated of the charges against them. petitioner. The denial of salary to an employee during the period of his suspension. Lolita Kondo who was bound for Narita. The CSC made specific findings that. JJ. It will be noted that it was their participation in the mass actions that was the very basis of the charges against them and their subsequent suspension. the general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he has not rendered any service. Since petitioners did not work during the period for which they are now claiming salaries.However. but. and Panganiban. if he should later be found guilty. INC. Handling Division. Although the CSC imposed upon him the penalty of reprimand. the Civil Service Commission. there can be no legal or equitable basis to order the payment of such salaries. Moreover.: Assailed in the petition for certiorari before us is the Resolution of the public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (hereinafter NLRC) reversing the Decision of the Labor Arbiter in NLRC-NCR Case No. Vitug. the Civil Service Commission expressly denied petitioners‘ right to back wages. Romero. should be denied. As he works. His duty consisted of checking in passengers and baggage for a particular flight. City of Baguio. they indeed participated in the mass actions. the decision of the Commissioner of Civil Service ordering the dismissal of a government employee on the ground of dishonesty was immediately executed pending appeal. Such separation from work pending his appeal remained valid and effective until it was set aside and modified with the imposition of the lesser penalty by the appeals board. To deny petitioner Mariano his back wages during his suspension would be tantamount to punishing him after his exoneration from the charges which caused his dismissal from the service.. Among the passengers checked in by him was Ms. It does not impair his constitutional rights because the Constitution itself allows suspension for cause as provided by law and the law provides that an employee may be suspended pending an investigation or by way of penalty. petitioner was assigned to serve the check-in counter of Japan Air Lines (hereinafter JAL) for Flight 742. The antecedent facts reveal that petitioner Singson was employed by private respondent Philippine Airlines. On June 7. unlike petitioner Mariano. SO ORDERED.. (hereinafter PAL) as Traffic Representative Passenger. DECISION PUNO. After checking in. Mendoza. as ordered by the Civil Service Commissioner. Kapunan.. We ruled that the claim of an employee for back wages. 292 and other pertinent civil service laws. 00-10-05750-91 finding the dismissal of petitioner Miguel Singson illegal and ordering his reinstatement. Under Section 23 of the Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. and Torres. Jr. but with the MODIFICATION that petitioner Rodolfo Mariano shall be given back wages without deduction or qualification from the time he was suspended until his actual reinstatement which. It is also noteworthy that in its resolutions. MIGUEL SINGSON. The appeal board‘s modified decision did not exonerate the employee nor did it affect the validity of his dismissal or separation from work pending appeal. In the case of Yacia vs. should not exceed five years. the first offense is punishable by reprimand. Davide. Jr. under prevailing jurisprudence. Jr. 1991. on appeal. Puno. the Civil Service Board of Appeals modified that penalty to a fine equivalent to six months pay. the payment of their back wages must be denied. made a finding that Mariano was not involved in the ―mass actions‖ but was absent because he was in Ilocos Sur to attend the wake and interment of his grandmother. Melo.J. on leave. respondents. for the period during which he was not allowed to work because of the execution of the decision of the Commissioner. J. J. Bellosillo. the same was for his violation of reasonable office rules and regulations because he failed to inform the school of his intended absence and neither did he file an application for leave covering such absences. Japan. 1995. vs. concur.. in the questioned resolution. is proper because he had given ground for his suspension. Francisco. he shall earn. the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. If the Civil Service Appeals Board had intended to grant him back salaries and to reduce his penalty to six months fine deductible from such unearned back salaries. Although the penalty imposed on them was only suspension. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. However. Inc. the board could and should have so expressly stated in its decision. with regard to the other petitioners.
Kondo identified the employee who checked her in as the petitioner. one (1) ten dollar bill and one (1) five dollar bill. Hon. Kondo approached them. participated actively in the promulgation of the aforesaid decision and in the consultation of the members thereof in reaching the conclusion before it was assigned to the ponente. He attached the claim checks to the jacket of their tickets. denied the motion. Rogelio I. petitioner admitted that he was the one who checked in Ms. She placed the money at the side of his counter desk and he covered it with a piece of paper. The dollars paid by Ms. 1995. The passenger turned out to be Ms. Petitioner assails the Resolution of the public respondent NLRC on account of Commissioner Raul T. 1991. Hence. In an affidavit presented to the investigators. Aquino's participation in reviewing and reversing on appeal his own decision as labor arbiter in NLRC-NCR 84 . Japan. The investigation committee found petitioner guilty of the offense charged and recommended his dismissal. Kondo and she was accusing Cocoy Gabriel as the one who charged her for excess baggage.00 for alleged excess baggage without issuing any receipt. and in not imposing the burden of proving the legality of the dismissal of the petitioner. On May 19. Commissioners Calaycay and Rayala. petitioner lodged a complaint against respondent PAL before the NLRC-NCR for illegal dismissal. she was insisting she had paid for it in the counter but could not produce a receipt. in his capacity as Presiding Commissioner of the Second Division of the NLRC and as a member thereof. They checked in five (5) pieces of luggage which weighed 80 kilos and within the allowed limit for check-in baggage. it was impossible that a passenger for a JAL flight would pay him US $200. Kondo had no excess baggage when she checked in. Rayala and Raul T. In his affidavit. Public respondent NLRC seriously and gravely erred amounting to abuse of discretion and/or in excess of its jurisdiction when it declared in the assailed decision that the quantum of evidence necessary to justify the supreme penalty of dismissal of the petitioner have been complied with. the sum of two hundred sixty five dollars (US $265) was found therein consisting of two (2) one hundred dollar bills. To settle the matter. Calaycay. Raul T. hence. She gave him one (1) one hundred dollar bill and two (2) fifty dollar bills or a total of two hundred dollars (US $200) as excess baggage fee. Public respondent NLRC gravely abused its discretion as in fact it exceeded its jurisdiction when it declared the affidavit of Lolita Kondo sufficient to declare his dismissal from employment legal even without any cross-examination during the investigation conducted by Philippine Air Lines. On September 12. He then heard an altercation involving a woman passenger with excess hand-carried baggage who was being charged for it. Kondo. the Second Division of public respondent NLRC. a man approached her and told her that she had excess baggage. 1991. composed of Commissioners Victoriano R. a motion for the reconsideration of the aforementioned Resolution and an Amended Motion for Reconsideration on June 15. Kondo and her Japanese companions. thru the Second Division with only two commissioners taking part. when the lower panel of the check-in counter he was manning was searched. Petitioner filed on June 5. However. Kondo were not found in his possession. He did not issue a receipt. Public respondent NLRC. this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court where petitioner submits the following assignment of errors: "I. Ms. Petitioner was talking to the JAL's representative when two PAL employees and Ms. Aquino. "III. Ms. A confrontation took place where petitioner was asked by the security officer to empty his pockets. Aquino as presiding commissioner. Mr. Aquino. The man did not believe that the Japanese were her companions and he charged that she just approached them at the airport. Petitioner was administratively charged and investigated by a committee formed by private respondent PAL. He was told of Ms. Gabriel at that time was assigned at the THAI Airways counter. Calaycay. 00-10-0575091 and raffled off to then Labor Arbiter Raul T. attorney's fees and damages. namely. Public respondent NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion and/or in excess of jurisdiction when the Hon. for their flight to Narita. Respondent PAL appealed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. 1995. promulgated its Resolution reversing the decision of then Labor Arbiter Aquino and dismissing the complaint against respondent PAL. one (1) fifty dollar bill. 1991. returned the tickets and passport to Ms. While in line. Aquino found the evidence adduced by private respondent PAL in terminating petitioner's employment insufficient. Kondo's claim that she paid the excess baggage fee to him. Private respondent PAL adopted the committee's recommendation and dismissed him from the service effective June 7. Aquino declared petitioner's dismissal illegal and ordered his reinstatement with backwages. She denied the allegation since the pieces of baggage did not only belong to her but also to her Japanese companions. Petitioner was surprised at the accusation since Ms. She then reported the matter to JAL's representative. Kondo declared that she was with three (3) Japanese friends when she checked in on June 7. 1995. "II. he told her to give him two hundred dollars (US $200) and he apologized for their argument. The case was docketed as NLRC-NCR Case No.alleging that petitioner required her to pay US $200." We find merit in this petition.
Jr. The facts are as follows: Sometime in 1978. J. J. be it actual or constructive. and the reason for the decision rendered. Batin was illegally dismissed from work. PEPSI-COLA DISTRIBUTORS OF THE PHILIPPINES. The right of petitioner to an impartial review of his appeal starts from the time he filed his appeal. It negated his right to due process. respondents. in all controversial questions. No Costs. the Resolution of the Second Division of the NLRC dated May 19. REGIONAL ARBITRATION.. 1995 and its Order dated June 27. each Division shall consist of one member from the public sector who shall act as the Presiding Commissioner and one member each from the workers and employers sectors. we hold that petitioner was denied due process when Commissioner Aquino participated. (b) reasonable opportunity to appear and defend his rights and to introduce witnesses and relevant evidence in his favor. On March. SO ORDERED. Under Rule VII. 00-10-05750-91. EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER. JOSE B. Pangasinan. Prescinding from this premise. (c) a tribunal so constituted as to give him reasonable assurance of honesty and impartiality. and Torres. Court of Industrial Relations. JJ. LA UNION and PEDRO B. in reviewing private respondent PAL's appeal. He should have inhibited himself from any participation in this case. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. Thus. Romero. as presiding commissioner of the Second Division of the NLRC. He was reviewing his own decision as a former labor arbiter. Mendoza. DECISION FRANCISCO. In addition. He is not only entitled to an impartial tribunal in the resolution of his motion for reconsideration. Regalado. The infirmity of the resolution was not cured by the fact that the motion for reconsideration of the petitioner was denied by two commissioners and without the participation of Commissioner Aquino..: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari whereby petitioner Pepsi-Cola imputes grave abuse of discretion to public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in sustaining the findings of the Labor Arbiter that private respondent Pedro B. administrative due process includes (a) the right to notice. the May 19. BATIN. No part. 1. SAN FERNANDO.Case No. to wit: (1) the right to a hearing. private respondent was employed by petitioner as a salesman of its softdrink products. (7) the Board or body should. concur. 1988. private respondent received various memoranda from petitioner 85 .. respectively. HON. 1995 resolution of the respondent NLRC is void for the Division that handed it down was not composed of three impartial commissioners. of the institution of the proceedings that may affect a person's legal right. on May. It is self-evident from the ruling case law that the officer who reviews a case on appeal should not be the same person whose decision is the subject of review. (5) the decision must be based on the evidence presented at the hearing. The composition of the Division guarantees equal representation and impartiality among its members." In the case at bar. litigants are entitled to a review of three (3) commissioners who are impartial right from the start of the process of review. In the case of Ang Tibay v. which includes the right to present one's case and submit evidence in support thereof. we laid down the requisites of procedural due process in administrative proceedings. IN VIEW WHEREOF. (Chairman). his right is to an impartial review of three commissioners. petitioner. render its decision in such manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved. or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. Daughter is in PAL Management. vs. (2) the tribunal must consider the evidence presented. Moreover. and (d) a finding or decision by that tribunal supported by substantial evidence presented at the hearing or at least ascertained in the records or disclosed to the parties. The denial of petitioner's right to an impartial review of his appeal is not an innocuous error. BRANCH No. Three (3) years later. (3) the decision must have something to support itself. We do not agree. (6) the tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy. BOLISAY. Respondents contend that Commissioner Aquino's failure to inhibit himself is a harmless error that will not infirm the subject resolution. The case is remanded to the NLRC for further proceedings. he was promoted as Field Sales Manager assigned by petitioner at its Warehouse in Urdaneta. Commissioner Aquino can hardly be considered impartial since he was the arbiter who decided the case under review. INC. 00-10-05750-91 is SET ASIDE. Thus.. we have ruled that "the reviewing officer must perforce be other than the officer whose decision is under review. and not simply accept the views of a subordinate. (4) the evidence must be substantial. Section 2 (b) of the New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC. THIRD DIVISION. 1995 in NLRC-NCR Case No. 1985. and one of competent jurisdiction.
. Earlier.. to include complainant in the payroll with his position‘s corresponding present salary.. The investigation likewise showed that a disciplinary action of suspension was imposed on private respondent for neglecting his accountability.63 86 . . 7/88 to Oct.unauthorized extension of credit (IOU‘s) to customers.... scolding and insulting his subordinates. (sic) together with his money claims and remuneration for the period of his suspension in excess of the 30-day limit. 1988. even pending appeal.000 cases of petitioner‘s products knowing of the impending price increase .private respondent sold these products at the adjusted price for his profit. He was also notified to explain his side on the case. reinstatement. without loss of seniority rights. or.failure to achieve sales commitments.. . at the option of the respondent.. ..M.suspending him from work due to the following acts: . his incomplete and improper accomplishment of Route Sales Report. Later.000. Arguing that his dismissal was illegal...P66.‖ Private respondent received another notice requiring him to answer the salesmen‘s charges. b) conflict of interest and dishonesty by personally purchasing 2. 10...sleeping inside the route truck during route rides instead of alighting from the vehicle to talk to customers. as follows: (a) Backwages (Oct.516. in accordance with R. to reinstate complainant Pedro B. sales commitments and unauthorized IOU‘s... 1988. he submitted a position paper. the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dated February 26. 3) Ordering said respondent to pay complainant Batin his backwages for one (1) years. and 24.by requiring his subordinates to provide for his meals without reimbursing their expenses.. payment of 13th month pay and other claims.. 6715. the salesmen and helpers at the Urdaneta Warehouse signed a letter address to the Regional Sales Manager (Mr. 1988) due to said acts. Batin. These administrative charges were contained in a letter received by private respondent from the Regional Sales Manager which letter also contained a statement that his services were terminated effective October 7... This notice also informed him of the following: ―(A)dministrative investigation on your case shall be conducted at the Plant at 9:00 A. and . In two memoranda. After hearing. on June 10. on May 23... In response thereto.inhuman treatment of the salesmen and helpers who are his subordinates.made it appear as purchased by Motolite Urdaneta as well as by a customer named Mamerto Urmoza .. 1988. private respondent sued petitioner before the Labor Arbiter praying for backwages. 2) Ordering respondent Pepsi-Cola Distributors of the Philippines. Inc. private respondent was suspended for a total of 3 days (May 9... 6/88)……………………………18. In a third memorandum. judgment is hereby granted: 1) Declaring the termination of complainant‘s services as illegal.000 cases of petitioner‘s assorted Pepsi products knowing that the price thereof will increase and later selling them at the adjusted price using petitioner‘s resources for his own benefit. in which case.00 (b) Backwages for the period of suspension beyond 30 days (June 25-Oct. on June 6. gross misbehavior and conduct unbecoming of a managerial employee . sleeping instead of alighting from the truck during route rides and slapping. 6/89.obligating his men to pay for his meals and demanding their meal receipts for his own reimbursement from the company. 1988...fictitiously purchasing 2.negligence in performance of duties particularly. we shall decide on your case on the basis of available records/evidence. private respondent received from petitioner a ―notice of preventive suspension‖ stating the above charges and placing him anew under preventive suspension status retroactive on the same date of May 25. Ernesto Cabuco) charging private respondent with the following acts and requesting that he be transferred to another station: . . 1991. 1988..A. Administrative investigations conducted by petitioner on private respondent‘s case showed that the following acts were allegedly committed by the latter: a) grave abuse of authority... he was meted with another suspension for an unspecified duration effective May 25... 1988. to his former position or substantially equivalent thereof. the dispositive portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. It is understood that your failure and/or refusal to appear in said hearing shall be deemed as a waiver of your right to be heard.
as a general rule findings of facts of an administrative agency which has acquired expertise in the particular field of its endeavor. what applies is the recognized exception that if such findings are not supported by substantial evidence.616.. In conformity with Article 277(b) of the Labor Code... basic of which are opportunity to be heard and to defend himself.... there is scant evidence on record which would show that private respondent is guilty thereof. Rather.. but actually availed thereof by submitting his position paper.. With respect to the second requirement. In this case.000 cases of assorted Pepsi products.. private respondent adequately explained that the subject extension of credit or IOUs is a practice tolerated by the management.. aware that the prices thereof (Pepsi products) will increase....09 T O T A L …………………………………... The essence thereof is simply an opportunity to be heard.38 4) Ordering the same respondent to pay complainant the money equivalent of his 12 sets of uniforms (6 sets for 1988 and 6 sets for 1989). The validity of private respondent‘s dismissal hinges on the satisfaction of the two substantive requirements for a lawful termination of an employee‘s services. he made it appear that said products was bought by a certain customer 87 . as in this case. P107.. fighting and inflicting bodily harm to other employees. Although. SO ORDERED... such rule cannot be applied with respect to the assailed findings on due process in this case. With these notices... private respondent was not only given two opportunities to explain his case... (d) Unused vacation and sick leave pay of 73 days ………………………. whose juridical personality ceased on July 24. and (2) conflict of interest and dishonesty by allegedly making unauthorized extension of credit to customers and in creating fictitious sales of 2.P5. Nonetheless.500.(c) 13th month pay: 1988 ..‖ the ruling below that there was no due process before the dismissal cannot stand.. petitioner.... and (2) the dismissal must be for any of the causes provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code. Respondent NLRC‘s ruling that that ―notice of preventive suspension‖ does not satisfy the first written notice required  is erroneous. namely: 1) Whether private respondent was denied due process before he was dismissed? 2) Whether the dismissal was premised on lawful cause? The Court will resolve both issues jointly.. appealed to respondent NLRC which affirmed the Labor Arbiter‘s decision. it cannot be said that petitioner failed to observe due process before dismissing private respondent.. Rule XIV of Book V of the Omnibus Rules by sending private respondent another notice enumerating the causes of his dismissal which notice categorically informed the latter of the employer‘s decision to terminate his employment. the said notice specifically and particularly stated the acts leveled against private respondent and also informed him that a hearing is set on a specific time and date for him to explain his version. As for the acts of unauthorized extension of credit.4. this questioned IOU was even promptly collected and no evidence was shown that petitioner‘s business incurred damage. contrary to the findings of public respondents.. for the charge of misbehavior and abuse of authority..216.383. are accorded great weight on appeal.000 cases of Pepsi products in his personal capacity. Mere accusations and declarations by certain persons that the latter attempted to bribe or had engaged in fistfight. Upon scrutiny of the evidence on record.66………………………... Unsubstantiated accusation without more is not synonymous with guilt. petitioner asserts that private respondent was dismissed on two grounds: (1) grave abuse of authority and gross misbehavior in allegedly accepting bribes....716. 1988.... cannot support a finding that he indeed committed such acts. evidence on record shows that private respondent was accorded due process before his dismissal on October 7.. to wit: (1) the employee was accorded due process. After its investigation. particularly the ―notice of preventive suspension. Aggrieved. petitioner further complied with the mandate of Section 6.. First..66 13. Petitioner also complied with the twin procedural requirement of written notices to effect a valid dismissal viz: (1) a notice entitled ―preventive suspension‖ was given to private respondent in accordance with Section 2 Rule XIV Book V of the Omnibus Rules apprising him of the acts and omissions for which his dismissal is sought. 1989.. the Court can make its own independent evaluation of the facts. With respect to the charge of dishonesty and conflict of interest.. petitioner comes to this Court via certiorari raising substantially two issues.. especially when they lag behind their sales objective. 9.. evidence on record shows that private respondent purchased 2. However. and (2) a subsequent notice after investigation informing private respondent of petitioner‘s (employer) decision to dismiss him.. Upon denial by the NLRC of its Motion for Reconsideration. Administrative due process does not require an actual hearing..00 1989 . On the first requirement.
JJ. 2. 1997 of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the resolution of the Civil Service Commission upholding the dismissal of petitioner from the government service as janitor/messenger of the local government of Famy. The primary duty of the employee is to carry out his employer‘s policies. Series of 1994 of the Civil Service Commission due to the following reasons: 1. There is a high degree of trust and confidence repose on them and when that confidence is breach. Under the factual milieu of this case a disciplinary sanction less punitive than the harsh penalty of dismissal meted on private respondent would suffice. There is no evidence that he has committed infractions against the company before this incident.000. For violating the rules on the imposition of the maximum period of preventive suspension. Book V of the Omnibus Rules.J. is more than the maximum period of 30 days set by Sec. WHEREFORE. Laguna. 1988 which extended beyond his dismissal on October 7. Route salesman. he utilized petitioner‘s resources and company time for which the former was duly paid. Preventive suspension cannot last indefinitely. Laguna. petitioner Lameyra received a letter from respondent Mayor Pangilinan informing him that he is dropped from the roll of employees of the local government unit of Famy. considering his ten (10) years of service with petitioner and this being the first time he was charged with and investigated for such acts. PEDRO C. He cannot serve himself and petitioner at the same time all at the expense of the latter. Lameyra seeking to annul and set aside the resolution dated July 15. LAMEYRA..who later executed an affidavit denying such purchase. The foregoing acts cannot be added to support the imposition of the ultimate penalty of dismissal which must be based on clear and not on ambiguous and ambivalent ground. 88 . PANGILINAN.. premises considered. Forthwith. private respondent sold as his own the 2000 cases at the adjusted price thereby accruing benefit to himself. 1988. Mayor Acomular was defeated in the last election for the mayoralty post by respondent Mayor George S. and Melo. C. the decision of respondent NLRC is AFFIRMED in all other respect EXCEPT that the award of backwages is deleted and the award of thirteenth (13th) month pay should be recomputed based on the annual salary that private respondent actually received from petitioner for the years 1988 and 1989. Daughter is management officer of Pepsi Cola head office. Nonetheless. He cannot again be penalized for those misconduct. J. in violation of his security of tenure and due process. The foregoing acts of dishonesty and conflict of interest justifies disciplinary sanctions provided it is commensurate with the gravity of the act. He alleged that the act of Mayor Pangilinan was an act of political vengeance as he was publicly known to have voted for his political rival during the May 8. respondent. (Chairman).: Before us is a petition for review under Rule 45 filed by Pedro C.00). When the price of Pepsi products increased. Insubordination. Laguna pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. In said fictitious sale. SO ORDERED. It would be unfair to compensate private respondent who does not devote his time and effort to his employer. No Part. Panganiban. MAYOR GEORGE S. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the Civil Service Commission alleging that he was a permanent employee and that he was terminated without prior written notice of the charges and without investigation and hearing. 12. vs. petitioner. Laguna. Petitioner‘s basic contention is that he was unlawfully terminated from the service without just cause and as an act of political harassment by the Municipal Mayor of Famy. Jr. USA. incomplete accomplishment of sales report and his failure to achieve sales commitments. the fictitious sale is an act of dishonesty. like sleeping while on route rides. 1995 election. he would not have been promoted in the first place. 1988 under temporary status and was given a permanent appointment on January 1. AWOL. He was appointed as such on February 2. like private respondent. the award of backwages will no longer have any basis. as in this case. petitioner is also ordered to pay private respondent a penalty of three thousand pesos (P3. DECISION GONZAGA-REYES. Pangilinan. concur. 1989 to the same position by then Municipal Mayor Melquiadez Acomular. is a highly individualistic personnel who roam around doing field work of selling softdrinks. Narvasa. On August 21. Moreover. that long period of preventive suspension which lasted for more than a year where private respondent remained unemployed is herein considered as the commensurate penalty for the dishonest act and conflict of interest. Private respondent‘s preventive suspension since May 25. Moreover. private respondent was already penalized with suspensions in some of the infractions imputed to him in this case. 4. In the case at bench. J.. Lameyra was a janitor/messenger in the Municipal Hall of Famy. deal with customers practically on their own and are entrusted with large amounts of funds and properties of the employer. Davide. otherwise. for violating the maximum period of preventive suspension. 1995. By making such transaction. he also engaged himself in business competing with his employer and thus comes in conflict of interest against petitioner. a sanction should be imposed on petitioner. Pedro C. Rule XIV. proper disciplinary actions may be taken. NY.
....That the dropping of appellant from the payroll was pursuant to Memorandum Circular No.... and was resorted to when appellant failed to justify his continued leave of absence without official leave. Laguna.. series of 1994 of this Honorable Commission.. hence.. Laguna... stating as follows: 89 . "6. hence. 1994. he reported for work at the office of the Vice Mayor Constancio Fernandez. 1995 to August 6. Also submitted with the motion for reconsideration was an affidavit of a co-employee. "7.. Benito Vicencio.. as the disciplining authority..... hereto attached as Annex "C" and made integral part hereof is xerox copy of said report. 45..Mayor Pangilinan... Vicencio on January 19.That despite several warnings. Remegio Jamilan. 5.. attesting to such fact.. 1995 memorandum and likewise. failed to see undersigned to explain his side. Mr.. 12. appellant deliberately failed to comply with said May 31. certified that Lameyra did not report for work during the said period. Personnel Officer/Human Resources Management Assistant.. 1996 dismissed the appeal and affirmed the action of the Municipal Mayor in dropping him from the roll of employees for absence without leave. In sum. Personnel Officer. Famy...On May 31.. 1995.. On the one hand.... Attached to his motion was an Affidavit of Vice-Mayor Constancio A. Korte "4. In its Resolution No... He claimed that upon advice of the Regional office of the Civil Service Commission in Sta. 1995 and that he has not submitted any proof that he actually filed an application for leave.. 96-0828 dated February 6. to sign his name in the log book.. Benito L. provincial and municipal agencies to fill up and accomplish the daily time log book pursuant to paragraph 3.. I filed a case for falsification of public document against appellant before the Honorable Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. Executive Order No.That even prior to the issuance of said May 31. Lameyra was absent for the period from July 6. Benito L.. the Civil Service Commission denied petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration.. Benito Vicencio. on August 1. Vicencio.. 1994. "2. 1997. did not even attempt to justify his absence without official leave and continuously failed to report for work." Lameyra filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that he had not earlier been furnished copy of Mayor Pangilinan‘s comment and disputing the version of Mayor Pangilinan that he refused to report for work. series of 1994. Laguna.. 1995 memorandum constitute insubordination and his continued absence without official leave was deemed and considered as abandonment of employment.Worse.That in view of the foregoing. and that petitioner was not allowed to sign the log book at the Office of the Mayor... 1995.. series of 1990.. in his comment stated as follows: "1. xerox copy of said memorandum showing that appellant was duly informed of the same is hereto attached as Annex "A". undersigned issued a memorandum requiring all heads of offices and employees of local. and petitioner‘s own sworn statement controverting the allegation of Mayor Pangilinan that he refused to report for work or sign the log book.. 1995. hereto attached as Annex "B is a xerox copy of the certification issued by Mr. Cruz. that appellant‘s failure to comply with the May 31. 1995 memorandum. as he was not allowed by the Personnel Officer. Cruz. appellant may not argue that he was denied due process. dated January 28.. appellant was found to have committed falsification of public document in accomplishing his daily time record for December... xerox copy of which is attached as Annex "D" and made integral part hereof. moreover.. dated March 10.. "8. to wit: "3.. there is sufficient ground to support the action of the Municipal Government of Famy in dropping Lameyra from the service.The following circumstances led to the dropping of the name of appellant from the payroll." Sclaw The Civil Service Commission in Resolution No... Fernandez attesting to the fact that petitioner was reporting to his office upon advice of the Civil Service Office at Sta.. the Commission ruled: "Undisputedly... Civil Service Rules XV.. with the warning that falsification of time records will subject the offender to summary removal from the service. his failure to report for work was deemed and considered as abandonment... 1995 has not been reporting for work.That appellant despite knowledge of said memorandum deliberately failed and refused to comply with the said memorandum and since July 6. of this Honorable Commission due to insubordination and for being absent without official leave. has reported that appellant was always late in coming to work in violation of Memorandum Circular No. 970558.. "5... Neither did he present an approved leave application concerning said absences..
petitioner‘s termination from the service was upheld by the Civil Service Commission and the Court of Appeals. We find merit in the instant petition. Benito Vicencio. and that the affidavits which he submitted before the Civil Service Commission cannot be considered "newly discovered evidence" as they were all along readily available to him" and were no longer admissible at a late stage to set aside the judgment. Essentially.…BY MISAPPLYING THE CASE OF RUBENECIA V CSC (244 SCRA 652) TO PETITIONER‘S CASE. however. 1995. It is clear from a reading of the above provision that the no prior notice is required to drop from the rolls an employee who has been continuously absent without approved leave (AWOL) for at least thirty (30) calendar days. "C. It appears that solely on the basis of the certification of the Personnel Officer/Human Resources Management Assistant Benito Vicencio to the effect that petitioner did not report for work for the period from July 6. Municipality of Famy. He shall.…." and committed grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts. He claims that he reported for work but was prevented from signing the log book by the very officer. 1995 to August 6. the same are mere reiterations of the arguments raised in his appeal.BY CONCLUDING IN EFFECT THAT PETITIONER ABANDONED HIS EMPLOYMENT UNDER UNDISPUTED FACTS. Hence.1 Absence without approved leave a. Laguna. The three sworn statements which were annexes to said motion directly controverted Vicencio's certification that he 90 . and was able to secure a copy only after receiving a copy of the Resolution of the Civil Service Commission upholding the termination of his service. 12 Series of 1994 provides as follows: "2. and pointed out that clearly the basis for the petitioner‘s separation is not abandonment but absence without official leave. The Court stated that the Commission correctly ruled on the issues raised before it. which was raised even in the Court of Appeals was not disputed by respondent Pangilinan in his Comment to the Petition nor in his Comment to the Petition filed in the Court of Appeals. 1996. Moreover. who certified that he did not report for work on the dates in question. and that the Civil Service Commission erred in refusing to consider the new evidence submitted with petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration. 94-4822. Xlaw Civil Service Memorandum Circular No.BY DEPARTING FROM THE ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS. certified that Lameyra has not reported for work for the period from July 6. Accordingly. which have been thoroughly discussed in the resolution now sought to be reconsidered. petitioner contests the finding that he was absent at all. This allegation of petitioner.…. the Court of Appeals erred in evading the factual issues raised before it by petitioner. petitioner claims that he was not given due process before Mayor Pangilinan terminated his employment. that he was not furnished a copy of Mayor Pangilinan‘s comment. 1995. "B. Sclex Movant‗s claim that he was reporting for duty at the office of the Vice Mayor deserves scant consideration. the fact remains that he was not officially reporting for duty as Janitor/Messenger (CSC Resolution No. He alleges in his petition and insists in his reply. September 1."The first ground of this Motion for Reconsideration is the existence of a new evidence which would materially affect the decision in question. As to the other grounds alleged in the Motion for Reconsideration. An officer or employee who is continuously absent without approved leave (AWOL) for at least thirty (30) calendar days shall be separated from the service or dropped from the rolls without prior notice. which denied the same." Petitioner filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals. be informed of his separation from the service not later than five (5) days from its effectivity which shall be sent to the address appearing in his 201 files. While it may be true that he was then within the premises of the Municipal Office. Respondent Mayor filed comment. and rejected the claim of petitioner that he was denied his right to due process. On the contrary the Office of the Personnel Officer. However. Respondent maintains that the Civil Service Commission and the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that petitioner was properly terminated for absence without official leave. and the undisputed fact that he has not submitted any proof that he actually filed an application for leave nor presented any approved leave application for the said period. Motion for reconsideration of the said decision having been denied by the Court of Appeals. the Commission‘s findings are supported by substantial evidence. the first opportunity that petitioner had to contest the sufficiency of the evidence to support his dismissal was when he filed his motion for reconsideration from the Resolution of the Civil Service Commission dated February 6. 1994). as he had the opportunity to be heard on his motion for reconsideration. 1995 to August 6. petitioner comes before us alleging that the Court of Appeals committed an error of law: "A.
This is in consonance with the respondent‘s own theory that petitioner was afforded his right to be heard when he filed his motion for reconsideration in the Civil Service Commission. Dacoycoy. in equity. Let the case be remanded to the Civil Service Commission for further proceedings in accordance with the tenor of this decision. it is believed that. Considering that one of the affiants is Vice-Mayor Fernandez. Northern Samar. Allen. On November 17. the Civil Service Commission found respondent Pedro O. found a prima facie case against respondent. hence. on January 28. On July 29. JJ. 1995. 1996. WHEREFORE. Panganiban. misconduct and nepotism.was absent without leave. concur CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. Allen Chapter. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision reversing and setting aside the decision of the Civil Service Commission. the Civil Service Commission conducted a formal investigation. it would be in compliance with the requirements of due process to have given said sworn statement due consideration in view of the circumstances prevailing in this case. ruling that respondent did not appoint or recommend his two sons Rito and Ped. a Citizens Crime Watch Vice-President. The basic issue raised is the scope of the ban on nepotism. the Civil Service Commission promulgated its resolution finding no substantial evidence to support the charge of habitual drunkenness and misconduct. the Civil Service Regional Office No. After the fact-finding investigation. On July 18. DACOYCOY. Dacoycoy was not guilty of nepotism and declaring null and void the Civil Service Commission‘s resolution dismissing him from the service as Vocational School Administrator. 1997. Melo. (Chairman).‖ Hence. PEDRO O. was not guilty of nepotism. the Civil Service Commission denied the motion. 1997. the judgment appealed from is reversed and set aside. as driver and utility worker. DECISION PARDO. We are not convinced that the certification of the personnel officer that petitioner did not report for work from July 6. vs. and imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the service. Jjjuris While it is settled doctrine that findings of fact of an administrative agency must be respected and this Court should not be tasked to weigh once more the evidence submitted before the administrative body. Tacloban City. Balicuatro College of Arts and Trade. Rito and Ped Dacoycoy. 1998. 1995. Under these circumstances. that he has been replaced by one Leynes in July. issued the corresponding formal charge against him. The Court further held that it is ―the person who recommends or appoints who should be sanctioned. 1997. cannot be considered new evidence belatedly submitted as there was no notice and hearing when he was dropped from the rolls.. on May 20. 8. On February 25. 1997. However. Northern Samar. and that he has been asked to submit his resignation which he refused to do. and in proper compliance with the requirements of due process. filed with the Civil Service Commission. it is axiomatic that such findings of fact should be supported by substantial evidence. 1998. and. we required respondent to comment on the petition within ten (10) days from notice. on March 5. 1995 to August 6. 1998. and their assignment under his immediate supervision and control as the Vocational School Administrator Balicuatro College of Arts and Trades. respectively. this appeal. respondent filed his comment We give due course to the petition. a complaint against Pedro O. J. Dacoycoy guilty of nepotism on two counts as a result of the appointment of his two sons. and. petitioner should be given a last full opportunity to prove his contention that the termination of his services was illegal. and. SO ORDERED. respondent Dacoycoy filed with the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari with preliminary injunction to set aside the Civil Service Commission‘s resolutions. George P. Suan. Dacoycoy was guilty of nepotism and correctly meted out the penalty of dismissal from the service. and Purisima. The law defines nepotism as follows: 91 . Vitug. whose acts as a public official are also entitled to a presumption of regularity in the performance of duty. petitioner. however. as it is he who performs the prohibited act. for habitual drunkenness. respondent Dacoycoy filed a motion for reconsideration. Accordingly.: The case before us is an appeal via certiorari interposed by the Civil Service Commission from a decision of the Court of Appeals ruling that respondent Pedro O. On December 11. Quezon City. The facts may be succinctly related as follows: On November 29. We agree with the Civil Service Commission that respondent Pedro O. respondent. 1995 constitutes such substantial evidence in light of the petitioner‘s submission that said personnel officer precisely prevented him from signing the log book.
it was respondent Dacoycoy who certified that ―funds are available for the proposed appointment of Rito Dacoycoy‖ and even rated his performance as ―very satisfactory‖. Atty. Daclag was a subordinate of respondent Pedro O. Respondent Dacoycoy is the Vocational School Administrator. it was Mr. to implead the Civil Service Commission as public respondent as the government agency tasked with the duty to enforce the constitutional and statutory provisions on the civil service.‖ In other words. provincial. b) recommending authority. That in each particular instance full report of such appointment shall be made to the Commission. Northern Samar. who recommended the appointment of Rito. or of the chief of the bureau or office. Mr. the court required the petitioner therein. it is immaterial who the appointing or recommending authority is. c) chief of the bureau or office. Clearly. (2) The following are exempted from the operations of the rules on nepotism: (a) persons employed in a confidential capacity. Subsequently. Daclag‘s immediate supervision. it suffices that an appointment is extended or issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of the chief of the bureau or office. Hence. On appeal to the Court of Appeals. At this point. In the last two mentioned situations. DECS Regional Office VIII. Daclag recommended the appointment of respondent‘s two sons and placed them under respondent‘s immediate supervision serving as driver and utility worker of the school. However. Palo. one is guilty of nepotism if an appointment is issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of any of the following: a) appointing authority. or the person exercising immediate supervision over the appointee. 1992. and d) person exercising immediate supervision over the appointee. The circumvention of the ban on nepotism is quite obvious. utility workers. demotion in rank or salary. To our mind. On January 3. Victorino B. Dioko. we have necessarily to resolve the question of the party adversely affected who may take an appeal from an adverse decision of the appellate court in an administrative civil service disciplinary case. as an aggrieved party. his son Ped stated in his position description form that his father was ―his next higher supervisor‖. it may appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. He was the respondent official meted out the penalty of dismissal from the service. including government owned or controlled corporations. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Civil Service Commission and held respondent not guilty of nepotism. There is no question that respondent Dacoycoy may appeal to the Court of Appeals from the decision of the Civil Service Commission adverse to him. On July 1. with the provision that such positions shall be under Mr.―Sec. appointed Rito Dacoycoy driver of the school. we now expressly abandon and overrule extant jurisprudence that ―the phrase ‗party adversely affected by the decision‘ refers to the government employee against whom the administrative case is filed for the purpose of disciplinary action which may take the form of suspension. To constitute a violation of the law. Allen. Clearly. (b) teachers. Mr. Unquestionably. the unseen but obvious hand of respondent Dacoycoy was behind the appointing or recommending authority in the appointment of his two sons. Consequently. Leyte. security guards. Daclag also appointed Ped Dacoycoy casual utility worker. By this ruling. Who now may appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court? Certainly not the respondent. 59. are hereby prohibited. Dacoycoy. He authorized Mr. who was the school administrator.‖ Under the definition of nepotism. here respondent Dacoycoy. however. there are four situations covered. or of the persons exercising immediate supervision over him. 1993. which seriously prejudices the civil service system. Then Mr. Mr. Nepotism. It is true that he did not appoint or recommend his two sons to the positions of driver and utility worker in the Balicuatro College of Arts and Trades. who was merely a witness for the government. Nor the complainant George P. we overrule prior decisions 92 . Jaime Daclag. transfer. drivers. the word ―relative‖ and members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either of consanguinity or of affinity. Daclag's authority to recommend the appointment of first level positions such as watchmen. made in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority. Suan. and (d) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Provided. city and municipal governments or in any branch or instrumentality thereof. Daclag to recommend the appointment of first level employees under his immediate supervision. (c) physicians. he is guilty of nepotism. Tirol II. Head of the Vocational Department of the BCAT. there is no occasion for appeal. Director III. ―As used in this Section. On the other hand. who was declared not guilty of the charge. removal or dismissal from office‖ and not included are ―cases where the penalty imposed is suspension for not more then thirty (30) days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days salary‖ or ―when the respondent is exonerated of the charges. Both positions are career positions. and casuals and emergency laborers for short durations of three to six months was recommended by respondent Dacoycoy and approved by DECS Regional Director Eladio C. Balicuatro College of Arts and Trades. the Civil Service Commission has become the party adversely affected by such ruling. – (1) All appointments to the national. In fact.
1987 until complete payment thereof. 1987 until complete payment thereof. malice. Civil Service Commission and Export Processing Zone Authority and more recently Del Castillo v. it is a form of corruption that must be nipped in the bud or bated whenever or wherever it raises its ugly head. the Court emphasized that Section 59 ―means exactly what it says in plain and ordinary language: x x x The public policy embodied in Section 59 is clearly fundamental in importance. Civil Service Commission. Debulgado never even impliedly limited the coverage of the ban on nepotism to only the appointing or recommending authority for appointing a relative. EDUARDO M.R. 44711.. concurs and dissent in separate opinion. The issues in Debulgado are whether a promotional appointment is covered by the prohibition against nepotism or the prohibition applies only to original appointments to the civil service. Jr. 1994. 1986 until complete payment thereof.holding that the Civil Service Law ―does not contemplate a review of decisions exonerating officers or employees from administrative charges‖ enunciated in Paredes v.700.. 3. J. 1986 until complete payment thereof.00 plus interest thereon from February 1. COURT OF APPEALS. Purisima.000. vs. Branch 2. the plaintiff must prove that these officers exhibited acts characterized by evident bad faith. 4. Mendez v. No costs. Mendoza. in Civil Case No. JJ. CARRASCOSO JR. Vitug. J. Puno. which disposed of the 3 controversy in favor of herein petitioner in the following manner: WHEREFORE. 1998.. we stressed that ―[T]the basic purpose or objective of the prohibition against nepotism also strongly indicates that the prohibition was intended to be a comprehensive one.. Kapunan. SP No.. The assailed Decision reversed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. concur. Bellosillo. in Debulgado. or gross negligence. Civil Service Commission. and whether the Commission had gravely abused its discretion in recalling and disapproving the promotional appointment given to petitioner after the Commission had earlier approved that appointment.. To pay P143..00 plus interest thereon from March 26. Romero.J. and Quisumbing.: To hold public officers personally liable for moral and exemplary damages and for attorney's fees for acts done in the performance of official functions. but also to plug the hidden gaps and potholes of corruption as well as to insist on strict compliance with existing legal procedures in order to abate any occasion for graft or circumvention of the law.000.‖ ―The Court was unwilling to restrict and limit the scope of the prohibition which is textually very broad and comprehensive. Civil Service Commission The Court of Appeals‘ reliance on Debulgado vs. The Case 1 Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to set aside the Decision of the 2 Court of Appeals in CA-GR CV No. C.00 plus interest thereon [from] June 8. to support its ruling is misplaced. SO ORDERED. and the Court had neither authority nor inclination to dilute that important public policy by introducing a qualification here or a distinction there.‖ If not within the exceptions. Magpale v. As we said in an earlier case ―what we need now is not only to punish the wrongdoers or reward the ‗outstanding‘ civil servants..00 plus interest thereon from July 10. dismissing respondent Pedro O. Davide. To pay P28. Buena. Precisely. ordering them. 93 . 2. J. join the concurring and dissenting opinion of Justice Melo. the Court REVIVES and AFFIRMS the resolutions of the Civil Service Commission dated January 28. public officers may still be held liable for nominal damages if they had violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights. 39252 promulgated on September 9. Gonzaga-Reyes. To pay P142... petitioner. Panganiban. To pay P70. Dacoycoy from the service. please see concurring opinion.000. 1998 and September 30. and YnaresSantiago. J. jointly and severally the following: ON THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION 1. In Debulgado. please see dissenting opinion. COJUANGCO JR. JJ. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants. Civil Service Commission. Civil Service Commission. ACCORDINGLY. the Court hereby GRANTS the petition and REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. respondents. J. But even if their acts had not been so tainted. join the concurring opinion of Justice Puno. THE PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE and FERNANDO O.‖ Nepotism is one pernicious evil impeding the civil service and the efficiency of its personnel. 91-55873. PANGANIBAN. Navarro v.‖ WHEREFORE. Melo.
by not paying the winnings. 1990) to the defendants [herein private respondents] for the collection of the prizes due him. ON THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION Ordering defendant Fernando O.00 60.000.00 plus interest thereon from September 18. To pay P28. Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court ruled that Respondent Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and its then chairman.000. landing first. 1987 until complete payment thereof.00 75. respectively. Finally on January 30. The Facts The following is the Court of Appeals' undisputed narration of the facts: Plaintiff [herein petitioner] is a known businessman-sportsman owning several racehorses which he entered in the sweepstakes races between the periods covering March 6. refused to accept the prizes at this point.00 60. 7.000. Respondent Court denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.].00 plus interest thereon from December 13.00 [Herein petitioner] sent letters of demand (Exhibits "A. Mendoza. 1987 until complete payment thereof.000. 9. It thus ordered the PCSO and Carrascoso to pay in solidum petitioner's claimed 94 . had no authority to withhold the subject racehorse winnings of petitioner. 10. 1988 until complete payment thereof.000. To pay moral damages in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. Carrascoso the following: 1. 1986 to September 18.00).000. second or third places. The counterclaim is ordered dismissed.00 250.000. 4.000.000. To pay exemplary damages in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20.00 4.00 60." dated September 11.000. To pay P174.000.00 200. this case was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. But before receipt of the summons on February 7." dated July 3. Immediately.00 plus interest thereon from August 9. 1987 until complete payment thereof. reasoning that the matter had already been brought to court. "B" dated August 18. 6) to [herein petitioner].450.000.000. for lack of merit. All income derived from the foregoing amounts.300.000. 2. Carrascoso had acted in bad faith amounting to the persecution and harassment of 6 petitioner and his family. Respondent Fernando O.00 200. 4 In a Resolution dated March 7.00 6. 1987 until complete payment thereof.000.000.00 40.00 200.00 plus interest thereon from April 26.00 12.00 100. Carrascoso Jr.00 200. Several of his horses won the races on various dates.293.000.000. and winning prizes together with the 30% due for trainer/grooms which are itemized as follows: Date Place Winner Grooms 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 3/25/86 6/8/86 7/10/86 2/1/87 3/22/87 4/26/87 5/17/87 8/8/87 12/13/87 9/18/88 Stake Horse Prize Claims PCSO Hansuyen Stronghold Kahala Devil's Brew Time to Explode Stormy Petril Starring Role Star Studded Charade Hair Trigger TOTAL Racewinning Training 200. To pay attorney's fees in the amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. Having been a previous longtime associate of petitioner in his horse racing and breeding activities.000.00 plus interest thereon from May 17.00 1. 1986.000. 1987 until complete payment thereof. since no writ of sequestration therefor had been issued by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). Estelito Mendoza by [Private Respondent Fernando] Carrascoso [Jr.000. and "C. To pay P140.000. 8.000. SO ORDERED.000.00 12. Atty.000.00 30% Due Withheld by 57.00 plus interest thereon from March 22. Diaz of the Presidential Commission on Good Government. The trial court held that. (Exhibits 2 and 3) that the demanded prizes are being withheld on advice of Commissioner Ramon A.00 30.5.00). 6. Estelito P.000. 1995. To pay the costs of suit. To pay P14..000.00 40. he had supposedly been aware that petitioner's winning horses were not ill-gotten.00 20. To pay P140. It held that it was Carrascoso's unwarranted personal initiative not to release the prizes.000. 3. Presidential Commission on Good Government advi[s]ed defendants that "if poses no more objection to the remittance of the prize winnings" (Exh. 1991.00). To pay P140.000. petitioner's counsel. this was 5 communicated to Atty. 11.000. 1986. And [herein private respondents] consistently replied. As culled from the pleadings of the parties.00 57. 1989.
In reversing the trial court's finding of bad faith on the part of Carrascoso. Whether the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction over the appeal of respondent Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).nêt While the case was pending with the Court of Appeals. Whether the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to review and reverse the judgment on a cause of action which was not appealed from by the respondents. appealed only the second item: "the impropriety of the award of damages . the Court of Appeals held that the former PCSO chairman was merely carrying out the instruction of the PCGG in regard to the prize winnings of petitioner. on May 20." This appealed portion. which was denied on March 7. Private respondents posed no objection thereto and manifested their readiness to release the amount prayed for. The actions taken may be a hard blow on [petitioner] but defendant Carrascoso had no alternative. as well as attorney's fees and costs. Jr. should have been dismissed for his failure to file an appeal brief. of the RTC decision. not the PCSO. . and more so. 1994. . . and not against the government corporation. his appeal should have. Marcos and his cronies was not well-defined. petitioner claims. condemned only Carrascoso. defendant Carrascoso could not be faulted in asking further instructions from the PCGG. Respondent 10 Court finally disposed as follows: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING. (2) upon PCGG's subsequent advice to release petitioner's winnings. Hence. act within the powers of his position and serve the public demands then prevailing.020. Jr. herein private respondents assigned the following errors: I THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN HOLDING THAT DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS ACTED IN BAD FAITH IN WITHHOLDING PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE['S] PRIZE[S]. Respondent PCSO delivered the amount to petitioner. EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE. The appealed RTC decision ruled on two causes of action: (1) a judgment against both PCSO and Carrascoso to jointly and severally pay petitioner his winnings plus interest and income. PCSO could not have appealed the second portion of the RTC Decision which ruled against Carrascoso only. at the time. First and Second Issues: Effect of PCSO's Appeal Brief Petitioner contends that the appeal filed by the PCSO before Respondent Court of Appeals should have been dismissed outright. It was the safest he could do in order to protect public interest. . accordingly. and (2) a judgment against Carrascoso alone for moral and exemplary damages. 11 Hence. an Order for the issuance of a writ of execution in the amount of P1. 1992. is warranted by evidence and the law. It further ordered Carrascoso to pay moral and exemplary damages. It noted that. however. 1995. it was the surest way to avoid a possible complaint for neglect of duty or misfeasance of office or an anti-graft case against him. and (3) he interposed no objection to the partial execution.winnings plus interests.700. II THE COURT A QUO ERRED [IN] AWARDING MORAL DAMAGES. through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC). c. on what to do with the prize winnings of the [petitioner]. praying for the payment of the principal amount of his prize winnings. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. this petition. Being related. Accordingly. The Court's Ruling The petition is partly meritorious. On September 29. Petitioner further avers that Carrascoso failed to file his own appeal brief. the trial 7 court issued on February 14. pending appeal. to obey the instructions subsequently given. the judgment appealed from is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one entered DISMISSING this case. petitioner moved for the partial execution pending appeal of the RTC judgment. Issues Petitioner asks this Court to resolve the following issues: a. Whether the award for damages against respondent Carrascoso. No pronouncement as to costs. the first two issues will be discussed jointly. the scope of the sequestration of the properties of former President 9 Ferdinand E. Under those equivocalities. 1992. the official government agency on the matter. Whether the appeal of respondent Carrascoso. Ruling of the Court of Appeals 8 Before the appellate court. The Court of Appeals also noted that the following actuations of Carrascoso negated bad faith: (1) he promptly replied to petitioner's demand for the release of his prizes. Respondent Court explained: . citing PCGG's instruction to withhold payment thereof. The PCSO. 95 . b. he immediately informed petitioner thereof. . Technically. More importantly. 12 d. attorney's fees and costs of suit.1âwphi1.
been dismissed. The PCSO brief, he submits, could not have inured to the benefit of Carrascoso, because the latter was no longer chairman of that office at the time the brief was filed and, hence, could no longer be represented by the OGCC. On the other hand, respondents aver that the withholding of petitioner's racehorse winnings by Respondent Carrascoso occurred during the latter's incumbency as PCSO chairman. According to him, he had honestly believed that it was within the scope of his authority not to release said winnings, in view of then President Corazon C. Aquino's Executive Order No. 2 (EO 2), in which she decreed the following: (1) Freeze all assets and properties in the Philippines in which former President Marcos and/or his wife, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, their close friends, subordinates, business associates, dummies, agents, or nominees have any interest or participation; (2) Prohibit any person from transferring, conveying, encumbering or otherwise depleting or concealing such assets and properties or from assisting or taking part in their transfer, encumbrance, concealment, or dissipation, under pain of such penalties as are prescribed by law. Moreover, he argues that he sought the advice of the PCGG as to the nature of the subject racehorse winnings, and he was told that they were part of petitioner's sequestered properties. Under these circumstances and in his belief that said winnings were fruits of petitioner's ill-gotten properties, he deemed it his duty to withhold them. The chairman of the PCSO, he adds, is empowered by law to order the withholding of prize winnings. The representation of the OGCC on behalf of the PCSO and Mr. Carrascoso is pursuant to its basic function to "act as the principal law office of all government-owned or controlled corporations, their subsidiaries, other corporate offsprings and government acquired asset corporations and . . . [to] exercise control and supervision over all legal departments or divisions maintained separately and such powers and functions as are now or may 13 hereafter be provided by law." The OGCC was therefore duty-bound to defend the PCSO because the latter, 14 under its charter, is a government-owned corporation. The government counsel's representation extends to 15 the concerned government functionary's officers when the issue involves the latter's official acts or duties. Granting that upon his separation from the government, Carrascoso ceased to be entitled to the legal services of the government corporate counsel, this development does not automatically revoke or render ineffective his notice of appeal of the trial court's Decision. The filing of an appellant's brief is not an absolute requirement for 16 the perfection of an appeal. Besides, when noncompliance with the Rules of Court is not intended for delay or does not prejudice the adverse party, the dismissal of an appeal on a mere technicality may be stayed and the 17 court may, at its sound discretion, exercise its equity jurisdiction. The emerging trend in our jurisprudence is to afford every party-litigant the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause, free from 18 the constraints of technicalities. What is important is that Respondent Carrascoso filed his notice of appeal on time and that his counsel before 19 the lower court, who was presumed to have continued representing him on appeal, had filed an appeal brief on his behalf. The Manifestation of Carrascoso before the Court of Appeals that he intended to hire the services of another counsel and to file his own brief did not ipso facto effect a change of counsel under the existing rules of procedure. The former counsel must first file a formal petition withdrawing his appearance with the client's consent, and the newly appointed attorney should formally enter his appearance before the appellate court with 20 notice to the adverse party. But other than Carrascoso's manifestation of his intention to hire a counsel of his own, the requisites for a change of counsel were not fully complied with. Nevertheless, as stated earlier, even an effective change of attorney will not abrogate the pleadings filed before the court by the former counsel. All in all, we hold that the appellate court committed no reversible error in not dismissing the appeal, since this matter was addressed to its sound discretion, and since such discretion exercised reasonably in accordance with the doctrine that cases should, as much as possible, be decided on their merits. Third Issue: Scope of the Appeal Before Respondent Court Petitioner is correct in asserting that the entire RTC judgment was not appealed to Respondent Court of Appeals. The errors assigned in the appellants' Brief, as quoted earlier, attacked only the trial court's (1) conclusion that "defendants-appellants acted in bad faith" and (2) award of damages in favor of herein petitioner. In short, only those parts relating to the second cause of action could be reviewed by the CA. Respondent Court could not therefore reverse and set aside the RTC Decision in its entirety and dismiss the original Complaint without trampling upon the rights that had accrued to the petitioner from the unappealed portion of the Decision. It is well-settled that only the errors assigned and properly argued in the brief, and those 21 necessarily related thereto, may be considered by the appellate court in resolving an appeal in a civil case. The appellate court has no power to resolve unassigned errors, except those that affect the court's jurisdiction 22 over the subject matter and those that are plain or clerical errors. Having said that, we note, however, that Respondent Court in its Decision effectively recognized the confines of the appeal, as it stated at the outset that "this appeal shall be limited to the damages awarded in the [RTC]
decision other than the claims for race winning prizes." The dispositive portion of the Decision must be understood together with the aforequoted statement that categorically defined the scope of Respondent Court's review. Consequently, what the assailed Decision "reversed and set aside" was only that part of the appealed judgment finding bad faith on the part of herein Private Respondent Carrascoso and awarding damages to herein petitioner. It did not annul the trial court's order for Respondent PCSO to pay Petitioner Cojuangco his racehorse winnings, because this Order had never been assigned as an error sought to be corrected. On the contrary, Respondent PCSO had probably never intended to further object to the payment, as it so 24 25 manifested before the trial court in answer to Petitioner Cojuangco's Motion for the partial execution of the judgment. In fact, on May 20, 1992, PCSO willingly and readily paid the petitioner the principal amount of 26 P1,020,700 in accordance with the writ of execution issued by the trial court on February 14, 1992. Obviously and plainly, the RTC judgment, insofar as it related to the first cause of action, had become final and no longer subject to appeal. In any event, the Court of Appeals' discussion regarding the indispensability of the PCGG as a party-litigant to the instant case was not pivotal to its reversal of the appealed trial court Decision. It merely mentioned that the non-joinder of the PCGG made the Complaint vulnerable or susceptible to dismissal. It did not rule that it was the very ground, or at least one of the legal grounds, it relied upon in setting aside the appealed judgment. It could not have legally done so anyway, because the PCGG's role in the controversy, if any, had never been an issue before the trial court. Well-settled is the doctrine that no question, issue or argument will be entertained on 27 appeal unless it has been raised in the court a quo. The aforementioned discussion should therefore be construed only in light of the previous paragraphs relating to Respondent Carrascoso's good faith which, the appellate court surmised, was indicated by his reliance on PCGG's statements that the subject prize winnings of Petitioner Cojuangco were part of the sequestered properties. In other words, Respondent Court's view that the non-inclusion of PCGG as a party made the Complaint dismissible was a mere aside that did not prejudice petitioner. Fourth Issue: Damages Petitioner insists that the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court's finding that Respondent Carrascoso acted in bad faith in withholding his winnings. We do not think so. Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or simple negligence. It imports a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of a known duty due to some motive or interest or ill 28 will that partakes of the nature of fraud. We do not believe that the above judicially settled nature of bad faith characterized the questioned acts of Respondent Carrascoso. On the contrary, we believe that there is sufficient evidence on record to support 29 Respondent Court's conclusion that he did not act in bad faith. It reasoned, and we quote with approval: A close examination of the June 10, 1986 letter of defendant Carrascoso to Jovito Salonga, then Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, readily display uncertainties in the mind of Chairman Carrascoso as to the extent of the sequestration against the properties of the plaintiff. In the said letter (Exhibit "1") the first prize for the March 16, 1986 draw and the second prize for the June 8, 1986 draw, were, in the meantime, being withheld to "avoid any possible violation of your sequestration order on the matter" because while he is aware of the sequestration order issued against the properties of defendant Eduardo Cojuangco, he is not aware of the extent and coverage thereof. It was for that reason that, in the same letter, defendant Carrascoso requested for a clarification whether the prizes are covered by the order and if it is in the affirmative, for instructions on the proper disposal of the two (2) prizes taking into account the shares of the trainer and the groom. Correspondingly, in a letter dated June 13, 1986 (Exhibit 2) PCGG Commissioner Ramon A. Diaz authorized the payment to the trainer and the groom but instructed the withholding of the amounts due plaintiff Eduardo Cojuangco. This piece of evidence should be understood and appreciated in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time. PCGG was just a newly born legal creation and "sequestration" was a novel remedy which even legal luminaries were not sure as to the actual procedure, the correct approach and the manner how the powers of the said newly created office should be exercised and the remedy of sequestration properly implemented without violating due process of law. To the mind of their newly installed power, the immediate concern is to take over and freeze all properties of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate families, close associates and cronies. There is no denying that plaintiff is a very close political and business associate of the former President. Under those equivocalities, defendant Carrascoso could not be faulted in asking further instructions from the PCGG, the official government agency on the matter, on what to do with the prize winnings of the plaintiff, and more so, to obey the instructions subsequently given. The actions taken may be a hard blow on plaintiff but defendant Carrascoso had no alternative. It was the safest he could do in order to protect public interest, act within the powers of his position and serve the public demands then prevailing. More importantly, it was the surest way to avoid a possible complaint for neglect of duty or misfeasance of office or an
anti-graft case against him. xxx xxx xxx Moreover, the finding of bad faith against defendant Carrascoso is overshadowed by the evidences showing his good faith. He was just recently appointed chairman of the PCGG when he received the first demand for the collection of the prize for the March 16, 1986 race which he promptly answered saying he was under instructions by the PCGG to withhold such payment. But the moment he received the go signal from the PCGG that the prize winnings of plaintiff Cojuangco could already be released, he immediately informed the latter thereof, interposed no objection to the execution pending appeal relative thereto, in fact, actually paid off all the winnings due the plaintiff. . . . Carrascoso's decision to withhold petitioner's winnings could not be characterized as arbitrary or whimsical, or even the product of ill will or malice. He had particularly sought from PCGG a clarification of the extent and 30 coverage of the sequestration order issued against the properties of petitioner. He had acted upon the PCGG's statement that the subject prizes were part of those covered by the sequestration order and its 31 instruction "to hold in a proper bank deposits [sic] earning interest the amount due Mr. Cojuangco." Besides, EO 2 had just been issued by then President Aquino," freez[ing] all assets and properties in the Philippines [of] former President Marcos and/or his wife, . . . their close friends, subordinates, business associates . . ."; and enjoining the "transfer, encumbrance, concealment, or dissipation [thereof], under pain of such penalties as prescribed by law." It cannot, therefore, be said that Respondent Carrascoso, who relied upon these issuances, acted with malice or bad faith. The extant rule is that a public officer shall not be liable by way of moral and exemplary damages for acts done 32 in the performance of official duties, unless there is a clear showing of bad faith, malice or gross negligence. Attorney's fees and expenses of litigation cannot be imposed either, in the absence of a clear showing of any of 33 the grounds provided therefor under the Civil Code. The trial court's award of these kinds of damages must perforce be deleted, as ruled by the Court of Appeals. Nevertheless, this Court agrees with the petitioner and the trial that Respondent Carrascoso may still be held liable under Article 32 of the Civil Code, which provides: Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstruct, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages: xxx xxx xxx (6) The rights against deprivation of property without due process of law; xxx xxx xxx 34 In Aberca v. Ver, this Court explained the nature and the purpose of this article as follows: It is obvious that the purpose of the above codal provision is to provide a sanction to the deeply cherished rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. Its message is clear; no man may seek to violate those sacred rights with impunity. In times of great upheaval or of social and political stress, when the temptation is strongest to yield — borrowing the words of Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee — to the law of force rather than the force of law, it is necessary to remind ourselves that certain basic rights and liberties are immutable and cannot be sacrificed to the transient needs or imperious demands of the ruling power. The rule of law must prevail, or else liberty will perish. Our commitment to democratic principles and to the rule of law compels us to reject the view which reduces law to nothing but the expression of the will of the predominant power in the community. "Democracy cannot be a reign of progress, of liberty, of justice, unless the law is respected by him who makes it and by him for whom it is made. Now this respect implies a maximum of faith, a minimum of idealism. On going to the bottom of the matter, we discover that life demands of us a certain residuum of sentiment which is not 35 derived from reason, but which reason nevertheless controls." 36 Under the aforecited article, it is not necessary that the public officer acted with malice or bad faith. To be liable, it is enough that there was a violation of the constitutional rights of petitioner, even on the pretext of 37 justifiable motives or good faith in the performance of one's duties. We hold that petitioner's right to the use of his property was unduly impeded. While Respondent Carrascoso may have relied upon the PCGG's instructions, he could have further sought the specific legal basis therefor. A little exercise of prudence would have disclosed that there was no writ issued specifically for the sequestration of the racehorse winnings of petitioner. There was apparently no record of any such writ covering his racehorses either. The issuance of a sequestration order requires the showing of a prima facie case and due regard for the 38 requirements of due process. The withholding of the prize winnings of petitioner without a properly issued sequestration order clearly spoke of a violation of his property rights without due process of law. Art. 2221 of the Civil Code authorizes the award of nominal damages to a plaintiff whose right has been violated or invaded by the defendant, for the purpose of vindicating or recognizing that right, not for indemnifying the 39 plaintiff for any loss suffered. The court may also award nominal damages in every case where a property right 40 has been invaded. The amount of such damages is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, with the
Lucas shouted at her saying "lumabas ka na at huwag na huwag ka nang papasok dito kahit kailan" A verbal exchange then ensued and respondent Lucas grabbed Raquel by the arm and shoved her towards the door causing her to stumble. . is ORDERED TO PAY petitioner nominal damages in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. . Mr. JJ. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision setting aside the resolution of the CSC and reinstating the resolution of the BOPI. near the office door of Jose J. There is. 1992. At that moment she felt Mr. 41 CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. DA. DA. filed with the office of the Secretary. however. LUCAS. Purisima and Gonzaga-Reyes.000). respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE. saying. On May 26. National Labor Relations Commission. 183 SCRA 182). if it is the second. respondent appealed the decision to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). PARDO. Lucas. Lucas bent to reach for his shoe. an affidavit-complaint against respondent Jose J. Lucas' hand touching her thigh and running down his palm up to her ankle. grabbed her the second time while she attempted to regain her posture after being pushed the first time.: 1 The petition for review on certiorari before the Court assails the decision of the Court of Appeals which set 2 aside the resolution of the Civil Service Commission and reinstated that of the Board of Personnel Inquiry 3 (BOPI for brevity). that what transpired was that he accidentally brushed Linatok's leg when he reached for his shoes and that the same was merely accidental and he did not intend nor was there malice when his hand got in contact with Linatok's leg. DA. Raquel described the incident in the following manner: While standing before a mirror. a recital of the facts is necessary. According to Lucas. her both hands protected her face from smashing upon the door. assistant head. JOSE J. Raquel noticed a chair at her right side which Mr. BOPI. Mr. This is clear from a perusal of memorandum circular No. issued a summons requiring respondent to answer the complaint. less grave and light offenses. after a formal investigation by the BOPI. Raquel P. . The former is punishable by dismissal while the latter is punishable either by suspension (one month and one day to six months). Lucas. respondent.. The assailed Decision. within five (5) days from receipt. the Board of Personnel Inquiry. while doing all this. In the instant case however. for simple misconduct. But Lucas touched her again and so she hit Mr. denying the charges. stating thus: "It is true that the Civil Service Act does not define grave and simple misconduct. as herein clarified. To provide a factual backdrop of the case. Mr. On October 29. Vitug. 1989 (also known as the guidelines in the application of penalties in administrative cases) itself which classifies administrative offenses into three: grave. Lucas. the petition is hereby partially GRANTED. huwag ka nang papasok dito kahit kailan". On June 17. No pronouncement as to costs. Office of the Secretary. On June 8. Jose Lucas. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that Private Respondent Fernando O. The charge of grave misconduct falls under the classification of grave offenses while simple misconduct is classified as a less grave offense. 1992. Lucas came to know of the modification of the charge against him 8 only when he received notice of the resolution dismissing him from the service. vs. 49-89 dated August 3. suspending respondent for one month. Thus. On July 7. 1992. Department of Agriculture (DA for brevity). J. Then.relevant circumstances taken into account. On May 31. Lucas. the board issued a resolution finding respondent 5 guilty of simple misconduct and recommending a penalty of suspension for one (1) month and one (1) day. respondent Lucas submitted a letter to Jose P. no question that these offenses fall under different categories. 99 . concur. Respondent moved for reconsideration but the CSC denied the motion. She was shocked and suddenly faced Mr. for misconduct. 1993. bent on literally throwing the affiant out of the office. a photographer of the same agency. at that very instant used to sit upon. 1996. DA. Lucas and admonished him not to do it again or she will kick him. Nitullano. or by dismissal. SO ORDERED. the CSC issued a resolution finding respondent guilty of grave misconduct and imposing on him the penalty of dismissal 6 from the service. petitioner. he did not touch the thigh of complainant Linatok. not to file a motion to dismiss. Thereafter. they should be 7 treated as separate and distinct offenses. an assistant information officer at the Agricultural Information Division. In due time. "labas. Linatok. Suddenly Mr. Department of Agriculture. Carrascoso Jr. if it is the first offense. 1994. The Court of Appeals further ruled that "a basic requirement of due process on the other hand is that a person must be duly informed of the charges against him (Felicito Sajonas vs. The Secretary of Agriculture approved the recommendation. Lucas shouted at 4 the affiant.
nêt No cost. We note that respondent has been in the service for twenty (20) years and this is his first offense. COA Decision No. respondent. the appeal of Messrs. the instant appeal must be as it is hereby denied for lack of merit and the herein disallowance of the Auditor is hereby affirmed. IN VIEW WHEREOF. 1996 and the Resolution dated September 9. SUAREZ. Stage II in the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ). is void for being rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Purisima. Mendoza. Civil Service Commission. 1997 Resolution: ―Accordingly. we held that "in grave misconduct as distinguished from simple misconduct. 15 The right to substantive and procedural due process is applicable in administrative proceedings. Jr.. It is sufficient that he is apprised of the substance of the charge against him. However. Of course. The assailed Decision disposed as follows:  ―PREMISES CONSIDERED. 1990. Quisumbing. Kapunan. COMMISSION ON AUDIT. Romero. DECISION PANGANIBAN. C.R. and not the designation of the offense. The Case Before us is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the Decision dated January 18. promulgated by the Commission on Audit in COA Decision No. we do not in any way condone respondent's act. without any evidence at all to back it up. Adorable for exclusion from those persons found liable under the subject disallowance may now be given due course. the Court hereby DENIES the petition for review on certiorari and AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Melo.‖ The Antecedent Facts In his Comment. the CSC deprived him of his right to due process by convicting him of grave misconduct. 96-021 is hereby affirmed. Vitug. the solicitor general relates these undisputed facts: ―On June 19. Martinez. 1997. In the case of Landrito vs. The issues are (a) whether respondent Lucas was denied due process when the CSC found him guilty of grave misconduct on a charge of simple misconduct. Davide.: A public officer cannot be held responsible for unauthorized increases in public expenditures or for high cost estimates in public biddings without proof of his or her participation therein. SO ORDERED. Even in jest. Phases I and II.1âwphi1. We deny the petition. the elements of corruption. he had no right to touch complainant's leg. J. Panganiban. petitioner. Bellosillo. and (b) whether the act complained of constitutes grave misconduct. 37137. An administrative decision holding such public officer liable. clear intent to violate the law or flagrant 10 disregard of established rule. what is controlling is the allegation of the acts complained 9 of. 96-021 and 97-506. the Prequalification. Administrative proceedings are not exempt from basic and fundamental procedural principles. Puno. However. respectively. Cayo E.‖ Petitioner‘s Motion for Reconsideration was denied by Respondent Commission in its September 9.Hence. JJ. such as the right 14 to due process in investigations and hearings. vs. Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) conducted a public bidding for the supply and installation of an Electrical Distribution System. SP No. Petitioner anchors its position on the view that "the formal charge against a respondent in an administrative case need not be drafted with the precision of an information in a criminal prosecution.. there being no new and material evidence adduced as would warrant reversal of the decision sought to be reconsidered. must be manifest. concur.. under the circumstances. there is an existing guideline of the CSC distinguishing simple and grave misconduct. 11 We sustain the ruling of the Court of Appeals that: (a) a basic requirement of due process is that a person 12 must be duly informed of the charges against him and that (b) a person can not be convicted of a crime with 13 which he was not charged. Buena and Gonzaga-Reyes.J. which is obviously lacking in respondent's case. As well stated by the Court of Appeals. Respondent maintains that as he was charged with simple misconduct. LEONISA E. this petition. 100 . in the absence of proof that respondent was maliciously motivated. such act is not constitutive of grave misconduct. Villanueva and Alfredo B.
Inc. Prime Index Phil. Carlos Tangwangco Chief. and PELCO Inc. Tomas I. respectively. the parties to the above contract executed a supplemental agreement for additional works costing P2. Laxa Manager.394. On August 2.860. Thereafter. (PELCO Inc. Records) The third bidder Andrada Construction did not submit any bid but submitted instead a letter of regret.01. PELCO. the COA resident [a]uditor disallowed the amount of P792. Director Arturo D.891.578.19 (p. Leonisa E.425.. Alcantara Chairman 2. Records) and the Allowable Government Estimate (AGE) in the amount of P3. Sonia Valdeavilla Member 5. Engr. Mariano T. Ernesto Arrobio Vice-Chairman 3.663. In an ‗Indorsement‘ dated April 3. Inc.The PBAC was composed of the following officials of EPZA. On November 28. 34. Engr. Pulido Chief. only two (2) participated in the aforesaid public bidding by submitting their respective bids.034. Jorge G. Construction Division Engineering Department 3. Records).155.53%.179. Suarez Member (Petitioner herein) (p. The above recommendation by PBAC was based on the Approved Agency Estimate (AAE) of the project in the amount of P2. through the latter‘s President and General Manager Dionisio S. Power and Communications Division Engineering Department 4.00 as direct cost of the project (pp. as the lowest complying bidder and thus recommended that the project be awarded to said PELCO Inc. 1990. Ralph L. 126. Leonisa E. Engr.72 (p. Inc.156. through its Administrator Romeo J. Engr. in a Memorandum dated July 9. the contract involving the bidded project was executed between EPZA. 123.306. Ponciano O. due to the ‗higher cost of Transformers and wrong application of the Value Added Tax (VAT)‘ in the Approved Agency Estimate (AAE). viz: 1. Miñoza Manager. 128. notices of disallowance were issued to the following persons who were determined to have been jointly and severally liable for the amounts disallowed. Ramel Deputy Administrator Infrastructure Services 7. Ms.55% and 34.096. (p. 1990. Thereafter.687. Dadufalsa of the TSO furnished the COA resident Auditor in EPZA with the Contract Review Report and the Supplemental Agreement Review Report issued by the Technical Audit Specialist of the TSO (p. 124-125. Records)) Of the three (3) prospective bidders: Andrada Construction. Barroga. Farolan.00 (p. The AAE was.14 on the main contract and the amount of P683. in turn.00 2. Environmental Safety Division 6. Mr. Records).966. Records). PBAC. Financial Services Department 101 . 1990. as follows: 1. P3. Engineering Department 5. Basalo Assistant Division Chief Engineering Department 2. namely: 1. Accordingly.. Inc. 123. Floro Roco Member 6. Dante Quindoza Member 4. the main contract and the supplemental agreement were submitted for review and evaluation by the Technical Services Office (TSO) of public respondent COA.45 on the supplemental agreement or an aggregate amount of P1.) and Prime Index. 1991. based on the Program of Work (POW) which indicates the amount of P2. P2. After evaluating the aforementioned bids. Antonio M.027.59 for the two contracts. declared PELCO Inc. Power Electric Co.719. 123. Suarez (herein petitioner) Chief. Records) The aforesaid reports show that the main contract and the supplemental agreement were above COA TSO estimates by as much as 31.
‘ (Annex A. the concerned EPZA officials. Thus. from those answerable for the disallowance.‘ On September 9. Leonisa E. including herein petitioner. 1996. Internal Audit office 10. this Commission finds no sufficient basis to exclude Ms. appellants could have asked for verification. filed an ‗Appeal for Exclusion from [L]iability. they cannot be held liable for the disallowance. in its Resolution dated April 21. With reference to the appeal for exclusion from liability filed by Messrs. Power Electrical Co. Whether the public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion and erred in holding the petitioner as among those liable for the disallowances despite the fact that she had no participation at all in the preparation and approval of the POW and AAE used as basis of the public bidding last June 19. 1998. petitioner. including herein petitioner.. Thus. Suarez. Cayo E. as she had not shown good faith and diligence in performing properly her functions as such member. in the preparation of AAE. Upon learning that the COA-TSO source of prices was the Northwest Electrical Supply. together with her co-appellants Cayo E. Petition)‖ Ruling of the Commission on Audit Respondent COA denied petitioner‘s appeal. it is worthy to note that the pre-audit of the financial transactions of national government agencies and government-owned and/or controlled corporations had been lifted as early as 1989. appellants. Feliciano (pp.e. PEZA had not exercised prudence in the preparation of the AAE. Cayo E. giving advantage to the bidder carrying/specifying such brand. p. Villanueva and Alfredo Adorable. 113-115. the review of subject contract was done as part of the post-audit. Manager. 3. (PELCO Inc. thus resulting in a situation disadvantageous to the government. Alfredo B. Cayo Villanueva Deputy Administrator Support Services 9. respondent manifested that it was ―adopting in full‖ the aforementioned Comment. 1994. Whether the public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion and erred in holding the petitioner 102 . Inc.) Contractor (pp. 1997. Suarez who is a member of the PBAC. Villanueva and Adorable in the project has no bearing or relevance on the preparation of the AAE. public respondent COA denied the appeal On February 26. Deputy Administrator for Support Services. Adorable. the Court. suffice it to state that the involvement of Messrs. made comparison and could have raised the issue in their appeal. filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the aforementioned Decision. Dissatisfied therewith.. 39-59.‖ Hence. By using the price of the Philec brand which is higher. However. Accordingly. public respondent COA rendered a Resolution (COA Decision No. appealed to public respondent COA on June 9. 97-506) denying appellants‘ Motion for Reconsideration. the solicitor general disagreed with the assailed judgments of respondent and prayed that the petition be given due course. 1994 issued by COA Corporate Auditor Flora C. Villanueva. In his Comment dated February 24.E and Westinghouse.. but declared that ‗the appeal of Messrs. required respondent to file its own comment. Records) Except for PELCO Inc. 1996. In a sudden change of heart. which was the ground for the disallowance. Villanueva and Alfredo B. Anent the allegation of non-observance of due process in the issuance of the said disallowance. Internal Audit Office and Leonisa E. ruling as follows: ―This Commission finds the instant request devoid of merit. Alfredo B. i. as this was actually prepared by the EPZA Engineering Department Technical Staff. 1990 for the supply and installation of electrical distribution system at the Cavite Export Processing Zone. the AGE necessarily increased. On March 16. this petition. G. the same deserves scant consideration. Chief Environmental Safety Division. It must be pointed out that by using the price of only one brand while specifying three (3) brands. Adorable Manager. There was no canvass made on the other brands specified. all the aforenamed EPZA officials jointly moved for the reconsideration of the disallowance in question but the same was denied in a Memorandum dated April 14. the Court dispensed with the submission of memoranda and resolved to decide the petition on the basis of the pleadings already filed. Suarez submits the following issues and assignment of errors: ―A. However.8. B. Adorable for exclusion from those persons found liable under the subject disallowance may now be given due course. As regards the allegation that COA officials themselves are to be blamed for acting without dispatch. EPZA. in a Decision dated January 15. Assignment of Errors In her petition. Records). Thus. 1998.
3 Public officers who approve or authorize transactions involving the expenditure of government funds and uses of government properties shall be liable for all losses arising out of their negligence or failure to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family. Even Respondent COA conceded this when it adopted. evaluated the bids and recommended the award of the contract to the lowest complying bidder.53 percent higher than the COA-TSO estimates. Whether the public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion and erred in holding petitioner liable despite the fact that EPZA did not suffer damage or injury from the transaction. there is absolutely no basis for petitioner‘s liability for the disauthorized sum. Pulido. but because of the erroneous preparation of the AAE. Malixi. public officers whose duties require the appraisal/assessment/collection of government revenues and receipts shall be liable for under-appraisal. should not have been held liable for the amounts disauthorized during the post-audit. responsibilities or obligations of the officers/persons concerned. As the solicitor general correctly argued. not because of any problem in the conduct of the public bidding. i. xxx xxx xxx 19. arose from the high cost of transformers and the wrong computation of the value-added tax appearing in the approved agency estimate (AAE). summarized the main issue thus: ―xxx [W]hether or not public respondent COA committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming the Decision of the COA Resident Auditor holding petitioner jointly and severally liable.‖ The Court’s Ruling The petition is clearly meritorious. In fact. The discrepancy. either. The AAE. and. assistant division chief. chief of the construction division. ―Ordaining and Instituting a Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. thus.55 percent and 34. Petitioner had no part in the preparation of the POW.‖ On the basis of the foregoing. petitioner had nothing to do with the preparation and the computation of the AAE and. malice or gross negligence in connection with the subject public bidding. Clearly. in the second.2 The liability for audit charges shall be measured by the individual participation or involvement of persons in the charged transaction. Admittedly. Liability Based on Participation Presidential Decree 1445. because the actual costs of the principal and the supplemental contracts were 31. and Ismael Itaas.1 The liability of public officers and other persons for audit disallowances shall be determined on the basis of: (a) the nature of the disallowance. Antonio M. on the other hand.1. thereby denying her the equal protection of the laws.) More specifically. with the other EPZA officials. under-assessment.‖ provides: ―SECTION 103. Section 19 of the Manual of Certificate of Settlement and Balances states: ―19. EPZA officer in charge.‖ (Underscoring supplied. and (d) the amount of losses or damages suffered by the government thereby. Respondent COA disallowed the amount in question. the COA held petitioner liable. (b) the duties. because COA 103 . Whether the public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in holding only the petitioner liable out of the total composition of the EPZA PBAC. she was accorded an opportunity to present her side. COA found no irregularity in the conduct of said public bidding or in the award of the contract. C.—Expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefor. D.e. Petitioner had no part in the preparation of the AAE. in her capacity as member of the EPZA PBAC. in turn. and undercollection thereof. was prepared and approved by two EPZA officials: Ponciano O. the Court is thoroughly surprised why. It must be stressed further that it disallowed the amount in question. why it did not amend its assailed Decision upon realizing its mistake. petitioner‘s participation in the transaction was limited to her membership in the PBAC that conducted the bidding. The AAE was based on the program of work (POW). in the first place. In fact.‖ The solicitor general. the solicitor general‘s Comment urging this Court to grant due course to the petition. Ramel. for the disallowance in question. as its own. Administrative Due Process It also appears that said Decision and Resolution of Respondent COA contravene the principles of administrative due process. deputy administrator for infrastructure services. which was prepared and approved by the following officials of the EPZA engineering department: Jorge Basalo. in his Comment. petitioner‘s participation in the PBAC does not render her liable for the disallowed amounts.as among those liable for the disallowances despite the absence of substantial evidence that she acted with bad faith. (c) the extent of their participation or involvement in the disallowed transaction. and Pablo V. General liability for unlawful expenditures. The following are illustrative examples: xxx xxx xxx 19.
Chapter 9. in violation of the instructions of said Commission embodied in its resolution promulgated September 2. 1957 charged before the Commission on Election with contempt for having opened three boxes bearing serial numbers l-8071. The right to a hearing. vs.: ―xxx [T]he involvement of Messrs. insofar as they refer to petitioner who is EXONERATED from liability. BAUTISTA ANGELO. or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. l-8072 and l-8073 containing official and sample ballots for the municipalities of the province of Aklan. Romero. which are punishable under Section 5 of the Revised Election Code and Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. Villanueva and Adorable in the project has no bearing or relevance on the preparation of the AAE. malice or gross negligence before a public officer may be held civilly liable for acts done in the performance of his or her official duties. and the submission and the approval of an erroneous AAE. or any of the three other members. 1957. which included the right to present one‘s case and submit evidence in support thereof. In a landmark Decision. therefore. COA exonerated them. viz. There is no such evidence in this case. he/she cannot be held civilly liable. inasmuch as he opened said boxes not the presence of the division superintendent of schools of Aklan. which was the ground for the disallowance.. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. The tribunal must consider the evidence presented. 2. From the foregoing. respondent. the Court enumerated the following principles governing administrative due process: 1. A public officer is presumed to have acted in the regular performance of his/her duty. 6.2 of the Revised CSB Manual. The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy and not simply accept the view of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. The aforesaid section requires a clear showing of bad faith. and Purisima. 270. Office of the Solicitor General and Dominador D. But due process requires more than giving a person the right to be heard. unless contrary evidence is presented to overcome the presumption.. Bellosillo. Section 38 of the 1987 Administrative Code. Regalado Davide Jr. because Villanueva and Adorable were not responsible for these acts. and its unnumbered resolution date March 5. it is as clear as day that Respondent COA committed grave abuse of discretion in including petitioner among those liable for the subject disallowance.‖ (Underscoring supplied. with several others. 3. In fact. as required in the aforesaid resolutions. 4. The evidence must be substantial. render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved and the reason for the decision rendered. The same principle is reiterated in Book I. part II 2 (b) thereof. The board or body should in all controversial questions. Quisumbing.: Benjamin Masangcay.‖ COA anchored the disallowance and the liability of petitioner on the following: the failure to canvass other brands of the material purchased. and 7. Respondent COA misconstrued Sec. 5. and the authorized representatives of the Nacionalista Party. Martinez.) The Court wonders why the same principle was not applied to petitioner who was similarly situated. Puno. SO ORDERED. The decision must have something to support itself. the only member of the PBAC who was held liable for the amounts disallowed was petitioner – not the chairman. the assailed Decision did not show that petitioner was directly responsible for these proven acts. Substantial evidence means ―such reasonable evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. 1957. petitioner. Dayot for respondent. as this was actually prepared by the EPZA Engineering Department Technical Staff. J. was on October 14. to take charge of 104 . WHEREFORE. As observed by the solicitor general. Presumption of Regular Performance of Duty In holding petitioner liable for having failed to show good faith and diligence in properly performing her functions as a member of the PBAC. Melo. JJ. Mendoza. In this case.J. Godofredo A. Ramos and Ruby Salazar-Alberto for petitioner. the vice chairman. concur. Nonetheless. Vitug. they cannot be held liable for the disallowance. BENJAMIN MASANGCAY. the Liberal Party and the Citizens' Party. the assailed COA Decision did not contain substantial evidence showing petitioner‘s responsibility for the disallowance. Kapunan. the provincial auditor. Thus. The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing.heard her on appeal. 29. the assailed Decision and Resolution are hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. Narvasa C. Masangcay was then the provincial treasurer of Aklan designated by the Commission in its resolution in Case CE-No.
. election forms and supplies. And the exercise of that power by an administrative body in furtherance of its administrative function has been held invalid (Langenberg v.). In Re Sims. And because of such violation he was dealt as for contempt of the Commission and was sentenced accordingly.. In Re Sotto. Hacney. as well as of their distribution. 867. 58 Phil. The Commission on Elections that under the law and the constitution. Its exercise by administrative bodies has been invariably limited to making effective the power to elicit testimony (People v. Ibid. evidence was presented by both the prosecution and the defense. U. Thereupon. as can be clearly gleaned from the following doctrine we laid down therein: . and on December 16. 271. 2570. Lecker. the provincial auditor. Having reached the foregoing conclusion. and. Masangcay. 135. In fact. even if petitioner can be held guilty of the act of contempt charged. v. its existence is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings. . 46 O. WHEREFORE. . The exercise of this power has always been regarded as a necessary incident and attribute of courts (Slade Perkins v. In compliance with the summons issued to Masangcay and his co-respondents to appear and show cause why they should not be punished for contempt on the basis of the aforementioned charge.. 36 Phil. In other words. as 105 .nèt In the instant case. Director of Prisons. among the different municipalities of the province. we deem it unnecessary to pass on the question of constitutionality raised by petitioner with regard to the portion of Section 5 of the Revised Election Code which confers upon the Commission on Elections the power to punish for contempt for acts provided for in Rule 64 of our rules of court. The other respondents were exonerated for lack of evidence. 58 SW. the Commission has exceeded its jurisdiction in punishing him for contempt.E.. There is merit in the contention that the Commission on Elections lacks power to impose the disciplinary penalty meted out to petitioner in the decision subject of review.. it could not exercise the power to punish for contempt as postulated in the law. and so its decision is null and void. the Liberal Party. the Commission. As this Court has aptly said: 'The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts. 1957 the Commission rendered its decision finding Masangcay and his co-respondent Molo guilty as charged and sentencing each of them to suffer three months imprisonment and pay a fine of P500. In the same case. In Re Kelly. hear and decide any controversy that may be submitted to it in connection with the elections. the decision is null and void for lack of valid power on the part of the Commission to impose such disciplinary penalty under the principle of separation of powers. was charged with having opened three boxes containing official ballots for distribution among several municipalities in violation of the instructions of the Commission which enjoin that the same cannot be opened except in the presence of the division superintendent of schools. In proceeding on this matter. Such being the case. Roberts v. Swena. Phil. they all appeared before the Commission on October 21. it only discharged a ministerial duty. Director of Prisons. The difficulty lies in drawing the demarcation line between the duty which inherently is administrative in character and a function which calls for the exercise of the quasi-judicial function of the Commission. 190.. In this sense. custody and distribution of election supplies in that province.. it did not exercise any judicial function.S. 31 N. the resolutions which the Commission tried to enforce and for whose violation the charge for contempt was filed against petitioner Masangcay merely call for the exercise of an administrative or ministerial function for they merely concern the procedure to be followed in the distribution of ballots and other election paraphernalia among the different municipalities. 944). We had occasion to stress in the 1 case of Guevara v.. Article VIII). orders and mandates courts.G. Masangcay brought the present petition for review raising as main issue the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Revised Election Code which grants the Commission on Elections as well as its members the power to punish acts of contempt against said body under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided for in Rule 64 of the Rules of Court in that the portion of said section which grants to the Commission and members the power to punish for contempt is unconstitutional for it infringes the principle underlying the separation of powers that exists among the three departments of our constitutional form of government. and the authorized representatives of the Nacionalista Party. may however exercise quasi-judicial functions insofar as controversies that by express provision law come under its jurisdiction. 271). 810). to be served in the provincial jail of Aklan. and to the enforcement of judgments. the Commission on Elections has only the duty to enforce and administer all laws to the conduct of elections.the receipt and custody of the official ballots. we also expressed the view that when the Commission exercises a ministerial function it cannot exercise the power to punish contempt because such power is inherently judicial in nature.1awphîl. 1957 and entered a plea of not guilty. the decision appealed from insofar as petitioner Benjamin Masangcay is concerned. for it is merely an administrative body. 37 P. for he ordered their opening and distribution not in accordance with the manner and procedure laid down in said resolutions. said. who as provincial treasurer of Aklan was the one designated to take charge of the receipt. with subsidiary imprisonment of two months in case of insolvency. 296 P. in the administration of justice (Slade Perkins v. In this sense. consequently. although it cannot be classified a court of justice within the meaning of the Constitution (Section 30. but also the power to try. for such power is inherently judicial in nature. Lee Hoc. it is contended that. and the Citizens' Party.
. insofar as it concerns him. To investigate cases of graft and corruption and violations of Republic Acts Nos. including the power to summon witnesses by subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. took no part. SEC. 73305. concur.00. conduct or behavior of any public official or employee and to file and prosecute the proper charges with the appropriate agency. their agents. Ramon D. and to submit proper recommendations to the President of the Philippines. Whereupon. Ist. 1958. Ejercito and Felix C. and to conduct fact-finding investigations of sworn complaints against the acts. Barredo. Purposedly. administer oaths. Sec. graft and corruptions. 1968. and all other activities which are prejudicial to the government and the public interests. Pardo for petitioners. Assistant City Public Service Officer of Manila. EVANGELISTA.. Footnotes 1 G. representatives. on June 7. HON. MARTIN. 1379 and 3019. 4 of January 7. and gather necessary evidence to establish prima facie. a subpoena ad testificandum commanding him "to be and appear as witness at the Office of the PRESIDENTIAL AGENCY ON REFORMS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS .. July 31." Instead of obeying the subpoena. 1968. Court of First Instance of Manila.000.00. Chavez for respondents. h.. are hereby reversed. let the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for by the petitioner [private respondent] be issued restraining the respondents [petitioners]. dated July 1. upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P5. Barrera. take testimony or evidence 4 relevant to the investigation. acts of graft and acquisition of unlawfully amassed wealth . 1966. J. Dizon. Padilla. and FERNANDO MANALASTAS. lawlessness. To investigate all activities involving or affecting immoral practices. On July 1.: This is an original action for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. smuggling (physical or technical). L-12596. petitioner. attorneys and/or other persons acting in their behalf from further issuing subpoenas in connection with the fact-finding investigations to the petitioner [private respondent] and from instituting contempt proceedings against the petitioner [private respondent] under Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code.well as the resolution denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. issued to respondent Fernando Manalastas. Regala and Makalintal. respondents.. QUIRICO P. as Undersecretary of the Agency. without pronouncement as to costs. respondent Judge issued the aforementioned Order: IT IS ORDERED that. then Acting City Public Service Officer of Manila. Office of the Solicitor General Antonio P. and ALL OTHER CITY OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES SIMILARLY SITUATED. the President of the Philippines created the Presidential Agency on Reforms and Government Operations (PARGO) under 2 Executive Order No.000. etc. he charged the Agency with the following functions and 3 responsibilities: b. 73305 and assailed its legality. their agents. in Civil Case No. which reads as follows: IT IS ORDERED that. the President vested in the Agency all the powers of an investigating committee under Sections 71 and 580 of the Revised Administrative Code. Jarencio.". B. representatives. No. seeking to annul and set aside the order of respondent Judge. Branch XXIII. attorneys and/or other persons acting in their behalf from further issuing subpoenas in connection with the fact-finding investigations to the petitioner [private respondent] and from instituting contempt 106 . L. the Honorable Hilarion J. JARENCIO. Gregorio A. To receive and evaluate. JJ. let the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for by the petitioner [private respondent] be issued restraining the respondents [petitioners]. Bagatsing. upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P5. J. 1 Pursuant to his special powers and duties under Section 64 of the Revised Administrative Code. Concepcion. 1968. in his capacity as Secretary of the Presidential Agency on Reforms and Government Operations. HILARION U. respondent Fernando Manalastas filed on June 25. For a realistic performance of these functions. entitled "Fernando Manalastas vs. petitioner Quirico Evangelista. subversion. . under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. C. Reyes. Labrador. then and there to declare and testify in a certain investigation pending therein. Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Bengzon. Assistant Solicitor General Esmeraldo Umali and Solicitor Bernardo P.. (Stress supplied). J. as Presiding Judge. J.. certiorari and/or injunction with preliminary injunction and/or restraining order docketed as Civil Case No. vs. and the PRESIDENTIAL AGENCY ON REFORMS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS (PARGO).. R. 1968 with the Court of First Instance of Manila an Amended Petition for prohibition. c. Paredez.
It has been essayed that the life blood of the administrative process is the flow of fact. the gathering. 5) fixes no distinction when and in what function should the subpoena power be exercised. 5 which. as in a subpoena under the Rules. It is not bordered by nor is it merely exercisable. but 19 upon which to make one if the discovered evidence so justifies. enjoys the authority to issue subpoenas in its conduct of fact-finding investigations. 4. one procurable from and issuable by a competent court. documents or 15 things does not appear. the 7 organization and the analysis of evidence. The functions enumerated in all these sub-paragraphs (b). petitioner Agency draws its subpoena power from Executive Order No. It is enough that the investigation be for a lawfully 18 authorized purpose. however. To hold that the subpoena power of the Agency is confined to mere quasi-judicial or adjudicatory functions would therefore imperil or inactiviate the Agency in its investigatory functions under sub-paragraphs (e) and (h). too may take steps to inform itself as to whether 107 . As unfurled. More than that. and that 20 the proposed witness be claimed to have information that might shed some helpful light. that an administrative subpoena differs in essence from a judicial subpoena. not to prove a pending charge. whether or not 16 adjudication is involved. It must be emphasized. that a specific charge or complaint of violation of law be pending or that the order be made pursuant to one. therefore. but also in proceedings whose sole purpose is to obtain information upon which future action of a legislative or judicial nature may be taken 9 and may require the attendance of witnesses in proceedings of a purely investigatory nature. Because judicial power is reluctant if not unable to summon evidence until it is shown to be relevant to issues on litigations it does not follow that an administrative agency charged with seeing that the laws are enforced may not have and exercise powers of original inquiry. for supervising and directing. in respondents' formulation. (Stress supplied). 4." Such subpoena power operates in extenso to all the functions of the Agency as laid out in the aforequoted sub-paragraphs (b). The seeming proviso in Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code that the right to summon witnesses and the authority to require the production of documents under a subpoena duces tecum or otherwise shall be "subject in all respects to the same restrictions and qualifications as apply in judicial proceedings of a similar character" cannot be validly seized upon to require. and not an administrative subpoena. and whether or not probable cause is shown and even before the issuance of a 17 complaint. (e). We see no reason to depart from the established rule that forbids differentiation when the law itself makes none. To an extent. not only for rule making. acting thru its officials. the enabling authority itself (Executive Order No. as respondents would have it. When investigative and accusatory duties are delegated by statute to an administrative body. legislation. as in the case of a warrant. An administrative agency may be authorized to make investigations. in quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function under sub-paragraph (b). The purpose of the subpoena is to discover evidence. but can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated or even just because it wants assurance that it is not. It is not necessary. the "restrictions and qualifications" referred to in Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code could mean the restraints against infringement of constitutional rights or when the subpoena is unreasonable or oppressive and when the relevancy of the books. for recommending. it is enough that the proposed investigation be for a lawfully authorized purpose. and licensing. para. it. Rightly. subject in all respects to the same restrictions and qualifications as apply in 12 judicial proceedings of a similar character. and for purposes no more specific than illuminating obscure areas 8 to find out what if anything should be done.(e). The administrative agency has the power of inquisition which is not dependent upon a case or controversy in order to get evidence. petitioners 5 elevated the matter direct to Us without a motion for reconsideration first filed on 6 the fundamental submission that the Order is a patent nullity. the dominant issue in this case is whether the Agency. not only in proceedings of a legislative or judicial nature. and (h) interlink or intertwine with one another with the principal aim of meeting the very purpose of the creation of the Agency. administrative agencies may enforce subpoenas issued in the course of investigations. in an effectuating mood. but also for prosecuting. what the Rules speaks of is a judicial subpoena. and (h). which is to forestall and erode nefarious activities and anomalies in the civil service. para. for determining general policy. administer oaths. adjudication. Clearly.proceedings against the petitioner [private respondent] under Section 530 of the Revised Administrative Code. Because of this. a specific case must be pending before a court for hearing or trial and 14 that the hearing or trial must be in connection with the exercise of the court's judicial or adjudicatory functions before a non-judicial subpoena can be issued by an administrative agency like petitioner Agency. and take 11 testimony relevant to the investigation" with the authority "to require the production of documents under a subpoena duces tecum or otherwise. We recognize that in the case before Us. and to report findings to appropriate bodies and make recommendations 10 for actions. Similarly. Its obligation cannot rest on a trial of the value of testimony sought. empowered it to "summon witness. Investigations are useful for all administrative functions. that. Nor could We impress upon this subpoena power the alleged strictures of a subpoena issued under the Rules of 13 Court to abridge its application. It may conduct general inquiries into evils calling for correction.
. 1968. Hence this separate opinion. The doctrine formulated in such 108 . 7 Morton Salt Co. SO ORDERED. took no part. concurs in the result. is hereby set aside and declared of no force and effect. The compact but highly useful text of Parker yields the same conclusion. 88. respondents would now challenge. of which he is claimed to be in possession. the validity of the basic authority. Antonio. In sum. It is with such a reading in mind that I view the pronouncement in United States v. the constitutionality of executive orders. on which reliance is placed in the opinion of Justice Martin. in the present case. and (3) 22 the information is reasonably relevant. Jr. Board of Medical Examiners. any 30 unnecessary extension of the privilege would thus be unwise. generally. in 25 26 scope similar to adversary proceedings. which up to now possesses worth in this jurisdiction. C. There is no doubt that the fact-finding investigations being conducted by the Agency upon sworn statements 23 implicating certain public officials of the City Government of Manila in anomalous transactions fall within the Agency's sphere of authority and that the information sought to be elicited from respondent Fernando 24 Manalastas. Barredo. in Pascual. Makalintal. concur.. the same approach was followed in the administrative proceedings against a medical practitioner that could possibly result in the loss of his privilege to practice the medical profession. We find that 28 respondent Fernando Manalastas is not facing any administrative charge. and McFarland and Vanderbelt. go so far as to render it meaningless. A question of constitutional dimension is raised by respondents on the inherent power of the President of the 31 Philippines to issue subpoena. Anyway. JJ. Unfortunately. (2) the demand is not too indefinite. dated July 1. We are mindful that the privilege against self-incrimination extends in administrative investigations. That for me does not conclude matters though. JJ. Nothing then appears conclusive than that the disputed subpoena issued by petitioner Quirico Evangelista to respondent Fernando Manalastas is well within the legal competence of the Agency to issue. ably penned by Justice Martin. and Concepcion. The right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure should not fall by the wayside. More tersely stated. consistently with the Constitution. Without pronouncement as to costs. The constitutional rights of a person who may be involved in such administrative investigation. Jr. Castro. call for respect. Kapunan... The settled rule is that the Court will 35 not anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it. the aforequoted order of respondent Judge. Jr. Makasiar. even if far from detailed. for reasons of public policy. 1. concurring: The opinion of the Court. Much more when the issue was not 34 duly pleaded in the court below as to be acceptable for adjudication now. is reasonably relevant to the investigations. He is merely cited as a witness in connection with the fact-finding investigation of anomalies and irregularities in the City Government of Manila with the object of submitting the assembled facts to the President of the Philippines or to file the corresponding 29 charges. Nevertheless. It is in accordance with the views expressed in two authoritative American treatises that of 1 2 3 Davis and that of Jaffe. which are commonly said to 32 33 have the force and effect of statutes cannot be collaterally impeached. 6 The broad sweep of the administrative power of investigation cannot. Since the only purpose of investigation is to discover facts as a basis of future action. Later. is both learned and comprehensive. Esguerra. J. as amended in part by Executive Order No. the complainant cannot call the respondent to the witness stand without encroaching upon his constitutional 27 privilege against self-incrimination. v. to such an aspect. Executive Order No. respondent Fernando Manalastas may contest any attempt in the investigation that tends to disregard his privilege against selfincrimination. A concurrence is thus called for. It reflects the current state of doctrinal pronouncements in American Administrative Law. Muñoz Palma and Aquino.. by all means. 21 Separate Opinions FERNANDO. in a collateral way. A similar 4 5 approach may be discerned in the casebooks of Katz. 4. A recognition of the expanded reach of the administrative process in order to assure that the objectives of a regulatory statute be attained cannot obscure the protection that the Constitution affords a person who may find himself in the position of a respondent.J. a proceeding criminal or penal in nature. In Cabal v.. WHEREFORE.there is probable violation of the law. the Court ruled that since the administrative charge of unexplained wealth against the respondent therein may result in the forfeiture of the property under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. It is worthwhile to my mind that there be a reference. it may be stated that a subpoena meets the requirements for enforcement if the inquiry is (1) within the authority of the agency.
" The right not to incriminate oneself is equally deserving of the utmost deference and respect. While they may and should have protection from unlawful demands made in the name of public investigation. that the disclosure sought shall not be 8 unreasonable. . . it may suffice if I express my misgivings. Boyd having been 11 cited in a number of cases. happily. that it offends against this constitutional guarantee. Even if one were to regard the request for information in this case as caused by nothing more than official curiosity. however..American case by Justice Jackson reads thus: "Of course a governmental investigation into corporate matters may be of such a sweeping nature and so unrelated to the matter properly under inquiry as to exceed the investigatory power. that for me a reexamination of such a pronouncement is desirable. v. expressed in terms.. corporations can claim no equality with individuals in the enjoyment of a right to privacy . it cannot be said." Thus is rendered clear that the landmark Boyd decision which warned against the use of the subpoena power to trench upon this guarantee still speaks authoritatively. any unnecessary extension of 12 13 the privilege would thus be unwise. in the light of the ruling 16 in Planas v. the last sentence of such paragraph: "Anyway. Candor compels the statement." 2 While the subpoena commands respondent Manalastas to appear as witness before the PARGO. For the present. .. Federal Trade Comm. the present Constitution by the adoption of the Miranda doctrine has 14 vitalized it even further. There is. the demand is not too indefinite and the information sought is reasonably relevant. . . 2. therefore. is not confined literally to searches and seizures as such.. dissenting: I am constrained to dissent from the main opinion of Mr. . to call attention to the words of Justice Jackson in the two paragraphs preceding the excerpts cited to remove any doubt as to its lending itself to the construction that an inroad into the right of search and seizure is now permissible: "The Commission's order is criticized upon grounds that the order transgresses the Fourth Amendment's proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment's due process of law clause. This Court has spoken to the same effect. but extends as well to the orderly taking under compulsion of process. respondent Fernando Manalastas may contest any attempt in the investigation that tends to disregard his 15 privilege against self- incrimination. neither incorporated nor unincorporated associations can plead an unqualified right to conduct their affairs in secret. however. Nor can I fully reconcile myself to the implications lurking in this observation in the opinion of the Court: "Since the only purpose of investigation is to discover facts as a basis of future action. 1968 and would therefore require respondent Fernando Manalastas as assistant city public service officer of Manila (and all other city officials similarly situated) to comply with the PARGO subpoena "to testify to matters relevant to the investigation of 1 anomalies and sworn statements involving or implicating certain City officials or other public officers. from which they derive the privilege of acting as artificial entities. J. by all means. read the opinion of my brethren as not departing from but precisely adhering to its command. TEEHANKEE.." 109 . The Federal Government allows them the privilege of engaging in interstate commerce. At any rate..." When read in connection with the earlier reference to the fact that the respondent is called as a witness not as the party proceeded against. Jr. That should reassure respondent Manalastas that if he could demonstrate a failure to abide by the constitutional mandate on search and seizure."" It has been given approval in an impressive number of subsequent adjudications. As of now then.. American Tobacco Co." ... he is not without a remedy.. on the basis whereof the main opinion finds that said respondent "is not facing any administrative charge" and that "he is merely cited as witness in connection with the fact-finding investigation of anomalies and irregularities in the City Government of Manila with the object of submitting the assembled facts to the President of the Philippines or to 3 file the corresponding charges". I can yield my concurrence. Favors from government often carry with them an enhanced measure of regulation. concurrence is not ruled out in view of the aforementioned caveat in the able opinion of Justice Martin.. it is a fact shown by the very petition at bar itself and its Annexes B and B-1 that respondent Manalastas is in fact and for all intents and purposes subpoenaed as a respondent or one directly implicated with alleged bribery and graft in the said sworn statements that concededly as per the petition 4 itself initiated the PARGO's alleged "fact-finding investigation. nevertheless law-enforcing agencies have a legitimate 10 right to satisfy themselves that corporate behavior is consistent with the law and the public interest.. But it is sufficient if the inquiry is within the authority of the agency. Gil. What is more. "The gist of the protection is in the requirement. A distinction between a witness and a respondent may be too tenuous if the realities of the situation be fully considered. . It is unnecessary here to examine the question of whether a corporation is entitled to the protection of the Fourth Amendment.. 9 It suffices.. decisions may be eroded if the prospective respondent is first called as a witness and is thus compelled to testify.. Although the "right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. . I am 17 18 bothered by the thought that the force of the Cabal and the Pascual.. Whatever relaxation of its compelling force may be allowable in case of corporations should not apply where an individual is concerned.. Justice Martin which grants the petition and sets aside respondent court's order and writ of preliminary injunction of July 1. They are endowed with public attributes. with the question of any modification of the Planas doctrine not being properly before us. I would. They have a collective impact upon society.
the 1973 Constitution has recognized the necessity of strengthening (and extending) the privilege against self-incrimination by expressly providing as a constitutional mandate in the Bill of Rights that "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel. To quote from Chief Justice Warren. along with other rights granted an accused. any unnecessary extension of the privilege (against self11 incrimination)would thus be unnecessary" thus appears to be flawed in fact and in law: respondent was in fact being investigated as respondent-suspect and without submitting to the investigation was actually criminally charged in court.) 6 Respondent has therefore correctly invoked Cabal vs. supra. This legal and constitutional right may not be defeated by the transparent expedient of citing respondent as a supposed witness in what was avowed to be a general fact-finding investigation but obviously was a fishing expedition to ensnare respondent as a prime suspect. and to be informed of such right" (Article IV. Respondent was unquestionably a party respondent who under the doctrine of Cabal and Pascual. petition. precluding as it does all resort to force or compulsion. wherein the Court sustained the lower court's writ of injunction against the respondent board's order compelling therein petitioner to take the witness stand in a malpractice case (wherein he was respondent) in view of the penal nature of the proceedings and the right of the 8 accused to refuse "not only to answer incriminatory questions. current judicial opinion places equal emphasis on its identification with the right to privacy." All claims of PARGO to the contrary notwithstanding. had the right to remain silent and invoke the privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to take the witness stand. "the constitutional foundation underlying the privilege is the respect a government . of Examiners is equally in point. that "since the only purpose of investigation is to discover facts as a basis of future action."" and that "while earlier decisions stressed the principle of humanity on which this right is predicated. sets forth the detailed allegations of said declarant that respondent Manalastas and a number of other city officials named and unnamed got the lion's share of the overpricing. viz. Annex B-1 of the petition is the sworn statement of one Carlos Montañez with reference to some overpriced equipment sold by him to the City of Manila wherein he likewise narrated in detail the modus operandi and specifically named respondent Manalastas and five other officials to whom he allegedly gave: "due monetary consideration. as a pure matter of legal principle. as borne out by the sworn statements withheld from respondent court and now annexed to the very petition at bar and petitioner's contention that "In effect. stands for a belief that while crime should not go unpunished and that the truth must be revealed. ) and a number of other city officials were charged by the city fiscal in the Circuit Criminal Court of Manila for violations of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft Law) in connection with the alleged gross overpricing of the same equipment (steam cleaners and air compressor) purchased for the City." The Court therein stressed that "the constitutional guarantee. Pamaran 9 (of which the Court can well take judicial notice) that on July 22. More and more in line with the democratic creed. 1971 10 respondent Manalastas as well as Carlos Montañez the trader (affiant in Annex B-1. investigated by the PARGO on the overpricing of eight steam cleaners sold through him as commission agent to the City of Manila. the very petition and said annexed sworn statements (which were not shown to respondent judge in spite of his expressly asking for them during the course of the hearing 5) show that respondent Manalastas (and others similarly situated) are indeed not merely witnesses but in reality respondents (subject to administrative and criminal charges. The main opinion's justification for upholding the subpoena. vs. such desirable objectives should not be accomplished according to means or methods offensive to the high sense of respect accorded the human personality. the deference accorded an individual even those suspected of the most heinous crimes is given due weight. Kapunan. the injunction issued by the lower court is one to restrain criminal prosecutions.. whether physical or mental.Thus Annex B of the petition which is a sworn statement of one Edilberto Arguelles. Thus according to Justice Douglas: "The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force to surrender to his detriment. section 20) and outlawing the use of any confession obtained in violation of said section by declaring its inadmissibility in evidence. but also to take the witness stand." This contention has of course been proven baseless by the events already cited above that such criminal prosecutions were in fact filed in court against respondent and others without the need 110 . Respondent Manalastas was therefore justified in invoking the privilege against self-incrimination and in securing the respondent court's injunction against enforcement of petitioner's subpoena. is borne out by the fact of record in Sugay vs." That petitioner's investigation and subpoena against respondent Manalastas were in substance and effect criminal in nature against him as a respondent (and not merely as witness) as indicated above. 7 Pascual Jr. wherein the Court through then Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion held that therein petitioner rightfully refused to take the witness stand as against the order of the Presidential Committee investigating the complaint against him for alleged unexplained wealth (since such proceedings were in substance and effect a criminal one and his position was virtually that of an accused on trial and he therefore had the right to remain silent and invoke the privilege against self-incrimination in support of a blanket refusal to answer any and all questions) and ordered the dismissal of the criminal contempt charge against him. Bd. supra. must accord to the dignity and integrity of its citizens..
It reflects the current state of doctrinal pronouncements in American Administrative Law." There appears to be validity in respondent's contention that the subpoena power granted petitioner in its 14 executive charter does not apply to general fact-finding investigations conducted by it. 6 The broad sweep of the administrative power of investigation cannot. the demand is not too indefinite and the information sought is reasonably relevant... consistently with the Constitution. . ... like what 13 was done in other cases. The constitutional rights of a person who may be involved in such administrative investigation. corporations can claim no equality with individuals in the enjoyment of a right to privacy . 9 It suffices. graft and corruption and at the same time respect the constitutional guarantees of the individual's right to privacy. but extends as well to the orderly taking under compulsion of process. 7 Morton Salt Co. It is with such a reading in mind that I view the pronouncement in United States v. expressed in terms.. however. The Federal Government allows them the privilege of engaging in interstate commerce.." . J. Even if one were to regard the request for information in this case as caused by nothing more than official curiosity. While they may and should have protection from unlawful demands made in the name of public investigation. however. It is in accordance with the views expressed in two authoritative American treatises that of 1 2 3 Davis and that of Jaffe. A concurrence is thus called for. Separate Opinions FERNANDO. . from which they derive the privilege of acting as artificial entities. he had every right to remain silent and to invoke his right against self-incrimination and to refuse to take the witness stand. to call attention to the words of Justice Jackson in the two paragraphs preceding the excerpts cited to remove any doubt as to its lending itself to the construction that an inroad into the right of search and seizure is now permissible: "The Commission's order is criticized upon grounds that the order transgresses the Fourth Amendment's proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment's due process of law clause. and McFarland and Vanderbelt. Hence this separate opinion. since this dissent is based directly on the fundamental tenet that respondent Manalastas was unquestionably being investigated by petitioner as respondent and a prime suspect (and not as a mere witness) and accordingly. Although the "right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. which up to now possesses worth in this jurisdiction. They have a collective impact upon society. They are endowed with public attributes. concurring: The opinion of the Court. silence and due process and against self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizure. .. Favors from government often carry with them an enhanced measure of regulation.. go so far as to render it meaningless... .... on which reliance is placed in the opinion of Justice Martin. The doctrine formulated in such American case by Justice Jackson reads thus: "Of course a governmental investigation into corporate matters may be of such a sweeping nature and so unrelated to the matter properly under inquiry as to exceed the investigatory power. . Federal Trade Comm. neither incorporated nor unincorporated associations can plead an unqualified right to conduct their affairs in secret. even if far from detailed. nevertheless law-enforcing agencies have a legitimate 10 right to satisfy themselves that corporate behavior is consistent with the law and the public interest.. A similar 4 5 approach may be discerned in the casebooks of Katz. . call for respect."" It has been given approval in an impressive number of subsequent adjudications. 1. It is worthwhile to my mind that there be a reference. is both learned and comprehensive.. under settled doctrine. It is unnecessary here to examine the question of whether a corporation is entitled to the protection of the Fourth Amendment." Thus is rendered clear that the landmark Boyd decision which warned against the use of the subpoena power to trench 111 . ably penned by Justice Martin. is not confined literally to searches and seizures as such. American Tobacco Co. to such an aspect.. The right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure should not fall by the wayside. A recognition of the expanded reach of the administrative process in order to assure that the objectives of a regulatory statute be attained cannot obscure the protection that the Constitution affords a person who may find himself in the position of a respondent.. This means that leads and charges must be investigated and followed up through the assistance of the corresponding police and law enforcement agencies as provided in the petitioner's executive 12 charter and the evidence secured by proper applications for search warrants. after the corresponding report to the President "to file the corresponding charges against the persons who may appear responsible or merely refer them to other appropriate offices such as the Fiscal's office. that the disclosure sought shall not be 8 unreasonable. That for me does not conclude matters though. But it is sufficient if the inquiry is within the authority of the agency. I therefore vote for upholding respondent court's injunction against enforcement of petitioner's subpoena. v.. and as conceded in the petition itself. "The gist of the protection is in the requirement.. I find no need.of petitioner's "fact-finding investigation" and subpoenas. The thrust of all this is that the State with its overwhelming and vast powers and resources can and must ferret out and investigate wrongdoing. The compact but highly useful text of Parker yields the same conclusion. of going further into this issue. .
What is more. Boyd having been 11 cited in a number of cases. the present Constitution by the adoption of the Miranda doctrine has 14 vitalized it even further. sets forth the detailed allegations of said declarant that respondent Manalastas and a number of other city officials named and unnamed got the lion's share of the overpricing. read the opinion of my brethren as not departing from but precisely adhering to its command. it cannot be said. that for me a reexamination of such a pronouncement is desirable. As of now then. it may suffice if I express my misgivings." All claims of PARGO to the contrary notwithstanding." 2 While the subpoena commands respondent Manalastas to appear as witness before the PARGO. concurrence is not ruled out in view of the aforementioned caveat in the able opinion of Justice Martin. There is. however." The right not to incriminate oneself is equally deserving of the utmost deference and respect." The Court therein stressed that "the constitutional guarantee. Whatever relaxation of its compelling force may be allowable in case of corporations should not apply where an individual is concerned.) 6 Respondent has therefore correctly invoked Cabal vs.. For the present. it is a fact shown by the very petition at bar itself and its Annexes B and B-1 that respondent Manalastas is in fact and for all intents and purposes subpoenaed as a respondent or one directly implicated with alleged bribery and graft in the said sworn statements that concededly as per the petition 4 itself initiated the PARGO's alleged "fact-finding investigation. Gil. 7 Pascual Jr. by all means. but also to take the witness stand. That should reassure respondent Manalastas that if he could demonstrate a failure to abide by the constitutional mandate on search and seizure. in the light of the ruling 16 in Planas v. 2." Thus Annex B of the petition which is a sworn statement of one Edilberto Arguelles." When read in connection with the earlier reference to the fact that the respondent is called as a witness not as the party proceeded against. therefore. A distinction between a witness and a respondent may be too tenuous if the realities of the situation be fully considered. along with other rights granted an accused. vs. on the basis whereof the main opinion finds that said respondent "is not facing any administrative charge" and that "he is merely cited as witness in connection with the fact-finding investigation of anomalies and irregularities in the City Government of Manila with the object of submitting the assembled facts to the President of the Philippines or to 3 file the corresponding charges". he is not without a remedy. dissenting: I am constrained to dissent from the main opinion of Mr. At any rate. Nor can I fully reconcile myself to the implications lurking in this observation in the opinion of the Court: "Since the only purpose of investigation is to discover facts as a basis of future action. wherein the Court sustained the lower court's writ of injunction against the respondent board's order compelling therein petitioner to take the witness stand in a malpractice case (wherein he was respondent) in view of the penal nature of the proceedings and the right of the 8 accused to refuse "not only to answer incriminatory questions. stands for a belief 112 . the last sentence of such paragraph: "Anyway. This Court has spoken to the same effect. 1968 and would therefore require respondent Fernando Manalastas as assistant city public service officer of Manila (and all other city officials similarly situated) to comply with the PARGO subpoena "to testify to matters relevant to the investigation of 1 anomalies and sworn statements involving or implicating certain City officials or other public officers. I can yield my concurrence. Justice Martin which grants the petition and sets aside respondent court's order and writ of preliminary injunction of July 1.upon this guarantee still speaks authoritatively. Jr. Bd. J. happily. Kapunan. that it offends against this constitutional guarantee. I would. any unnecessary extension of 12 13 the privilege would thus be unwise. I am 17 18 bothered by the thought that the force of the Cabal and the Pascual. Annex B-1 of the petition is the sworn statement of one Carlos Montañez with reference to some overpriced equipment sold by him to the City of Manila wherein he likewise narrated in detail the modus operandi and specifically named respondent Manalastas and five other officials to whom he allegedly gave: "due monetary consideration. TEEHANKEE. respondent Fernando Manalastas may contest any attempt in the investigation that tends to disregard his 15 privilege against self- incrimination. wherein the Court through then Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion held that therein petitioner rightfully refused to take the witness stand as against the order of the Presidential Committee investigating the complaint against him for alleged unexplained wealth (since such proceedings were in substance and effect a criminal one and his position was virtually that of an accused on trial and he therefore had the right to remain silent and invoke the privilege against self-incrimination in support of a blanket refusal to answer any and all questions) and ordered the dismissal of the criminal contempt charge against him. investigated by the PARGO on the overpricing of eight steam cleaners sold through him as commission agent to the City of Manila. the very petition and said annexed sworn statements (which were not shown to respondent judge in spite of his expressly asking for them during the course of the hearing 5) show that respondent Manalastas (and others similarly situated) are indeed not merely witnesses but in reality respondents (subject to administrative and criminal charges. decisions may be eroded if the prospective respondent is first called as a witness and is thus compelled to testify. of Examiners is equally in point. Candor compels the statement. with the question of any modification of the Planas doctrine not being properly before us.
the 1973 Constitution has recognized the necessity of strengthening (and extending) the privilege against self-incrimination by expressly providing as a constitutional mandate in the Bill of Rights that "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel..that while crime should not go unpunished and that the truth must be revealed. Respondent Manalastas was therefore justified in invoking the privilege against self-incrimination and in securing the respondent court's injunction against enforcement of petitioner's subpoena." This contention has of course been proven baseless by the events already cited above that such criminal prosecutions were in fact filed in court against respondent and others without the need of petitioner's "fact-finding investigation" and subpoenas. supra. since this dissent is based directly on the fundamental tenet that respondent Manalastas was unquestionably being investigated by petitioner as respondent and a prime suspect (and not as a mere witness) and accordingly. More and more in line with the democratic creed. after the corresponding report to the President "to file the corresponding charges against the persons who may appear responsible or merely refer them to other appropriate offices such as the Fiscal's office. is borne out by the fact of record in Sugay vs. 113 .. whether physical or mental. the injunction issued by the lower court is one to restrain criminal prosecutions. any unnecessary extension of the privilege (against self11 incrimination)would thus be unnecessary" thus appears to be flawed in fact and in law: respondent was in fact being investigated as respondent-suspect and without submitting to the investigation was actually criminally charged in court. ) and a number of other city officials were charged by the city fiscal in the Circuit Criminal Court of Manila for violations of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft Law) in connection with the alleged gross overpricing of the same equipment (steam cleaners and air compressor) purchased for the City. had the right to remain silent and invoke the privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to take the witness stand. To quote from Chief Justice Warren. viz."" and that "while earlier decisions stressed the principle of humanity on which this right is predicated. supra. I therefore vote for upholding respondent court's injunction against enforcement of petitioner's subpoena. as a pure matter of legal principle." There appears to be validity in respondent's contention that the subpoena power granted petitioner in its 14 executive charter does not apply to general fact-finding investigations conducted by it. I find no need. This means that leads and charges must be investigated and followed up through the assistance of the corresponding police and law enforcement agencies as provided in the petitioner's executive 12 charter and the evidence secured by proper applications for search warrants. graft and corruption and at the same time respect the constitutional guarantees of the individual's right to privacy. of going further into this issue. like what 13 was done in other cases. This legal and constitutional right may not be defeated by the transparent expedient of citing respondent as a supposed witness in what was avowed to be a general fact-finding investigation but obviously was a fishing expedition to ensnare respondent as a prime suspect. the deference accorded an individual even those suspected of the most heinous crimes is given due weight. "the constitutional foundation underlying the privilege is the respect a government . silence and due process and against self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizure. precluding as it does all resort to force or compulsion." That petitioner's investigation and subpoena against respondent Manalastas were in substance and effect criminal in nature against him as a respondent (and not merely as witness) as indicated above. section 20) and outlawing the use of any confession obtained in violation of said section by declaring its inadmissibility in evidence. and to be informed of such right" (Article IV. The thrust of all this is that the State with its overwhelming and vast powers and resources can and must ferret out and investigate wrongdoing. however. 1971 10 respondent Manalastas as well as Carlos Montañez the trader (affiant in Annex B-1. under settled doctrine. petition. Respondent was unquestionably a party respondent who under the doctrine of Cabal and Pascual. he had every right to remain silent and to invoke his right against self-incrimination and to refuse to take the witness stand. current judicial opinion places equal emphasis on its identification with the right to privacy. The main opinion's justification for upholding the subpoena. that "since the only purpose of investigation is to discover facts as a basis of future action. as borne out by the sworn statements withheld from respondent court and now annexed to the very petition at bar and petitioner's contention that "In effect. such desirable objectives should not be accomplished according to means or methods offensive to the high sense of respect accorded the human personality. Thus according to Justice Douglas: "The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force to surrender to his detriment. Pamaran 9 (of which the Court can well take judicial notice) that on July 22. and as conceded in the petition itself. must accord to the dignity and integrity of its citizens.
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