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G.R. NO. 141426, 485 SCRA 93 MAY 6, 2005 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J.

: FACTS: Lanting is an Administrative Officer of the City Council of Manila. She filed with the Ombudsman a complaint charging then Manila Vice-Mayor Atienza (now City Mayor); Secretary to the City Council; and a Human Resource Management Officer with violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Falsification of Public documents. Lanting also questions the appointment in the City Government of several individuals which are relatives of the respondents. The Graft Investigator Officer issued a Resolution recommending that Lansing’s complaint be dismissed. It stated that: (1) the evidence does not warrant the filing of graft charges and (2) the appointments are governed by the Civil Service Commission. Lanting filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution on the ground that the Investigator “conveniently and intentionally skirted the issue of falsification of public documents which are crystal clear in my complaint.” Lanting then prayed for a reinvestigation of her complaint by a Special Prosecutor. The Ombudsman denied the motion. Dissatisfied, Lanting filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and mandamus. Aside from several procedural errors, the petition was dismissed on the ground that the CA has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the assailed Ombudsman’s resolution. The CA held that Section 14 of The Ombudsman Act of 1989 provides that “No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court on pure question of law.” Lanting filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was again denied. The CA held that the Congress through The Ombudsman Act of 1989 designated only the Supreme Court as the appellate authority in Ombudsman decisions in criminal cases. Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred in dismissing Lanting’s petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of jurisdiction on the basis of The Ombudsman Act. Lanting’s position: Her complaint before the Ombudsman was not limited to violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, but likewise includes “acts constituting ground for administrative complaint hence cognizable by the Court of Appeals.

LANTING VS. OMBUDSMAN

HELD: NO. The complaint is for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts. It is not an administrative complaint. Nowhere in her complaint did she allege administrative offenses, such as dishonesty or misconduct on the part of respondents. The allegations describe the acts complained of as “willful, felonious, unlawful, odious and despicable criminal activities.” In her motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s Resolution, Lanting claimed that the Investigator “skirted the issue of falsification of public documents which is crystal clear in my complaint.” Considering that the complaint is criminal in nature, the Supreme Court, not the Court of Appeals, has the sole authority to review the Ombudsman’s Resolutions on pure question of law as expressly mandated in The Ombudsman Act of 1989. In Fabian vs. Desierto, it was held that only “appeals from the decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under the provisions of Rule 43.” Therefore, the CA did not commit grave abuse of discretion. Clearly, it has no jurisdiction over Lanting’s criminal action.