[A.M. No. P-94-1067. January 30, 1997] CONCERNED CITIZENS OF LAOAG CITY, complainants, vs. BIENVENIDO ARZAGA and ALFREDO MAURICIO, respondents.

DECISION PER CURIAM: This administrative matter arose from two (2) anonymous letters, one dated April 21, 1994 addressed to Judge Federico A. Llanes, MTCC, Branch I, Laoag City and the other dated April 27, 1994 addressed to Judge Manuel B. Fernandez, Jr., RTC, Branch 13, Laoag City, charging Bienvenido Arzaga and Alfredo Mauricio, both process servers of the Office of the Clerk of Court, MTCC, Laoag City, with influence peddling, drunkenness, gambling, bribery, extortion and manipulation of bonds by using the same property for different cases. On June 22, 1994, Judge Llanes forwarded the said letters, together with the respondents' comments, to the Office of the Court Administrator. In a resolution dated September 19, 1994, this Court referred the matter to Executive Judge Wenceslao Agnir, RTC, Laoag City, for investigation, report and recommendation. In his investigation report dated December 16, 1994, Judge Agnir stated, among others, that both respondents had submitted their written comments denying the charges; that upon receipt of the complaint, he requested the local media to announce to the public that anyone who had evidence against the two respondents could see him; that however, after two months of waiting, nobody came forward to offer any evidence against respondents; that he also interviewed the employees of the City Court to verify the truth of the charges against the respondents, but he obtained no information to give credence to said charges. Judge Agnir, however, reported that he received a certification from the City Prosecutor's Office of Laoag City, to the effect that Alfredo Mauricio was convicted of Frustrated Murder on September 29, 1983 in Criminal Case No. 1260-XIII, but was placed on probation. Alfredo Mauricio had also been charged with eleven (11) other criminal cases like Illegal Possession of Firearms, Grave Slander by Deed, Grave Threats, Serious Physical Injuries, but all of these had been dismissed. Judge Agnir made no definite recommendation in his report, except to say that he was leaving it to the Court Administrator to determine whether on the basis of "such a criminal record, Alfredo 'Boy' Mauricio deserves to stay in the service of the Judiciary." On February 1, 1995, this Court referred the Investigation Report of Judge Agnir to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation. Accordingly, the Office of the Court Administrator submitted a memorandum to this Court recommending that the charges against the two respondents be dismissed for lack of merit. After a careful examination of the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator, this Court on May 29, 1995, resolved to dismiss the charges against Benjamin Arzaga as recommended but referred the case against Alfredo Mauricio to Judge Agnir for further investigation relative to how said respondent managed to be appointed to the position of process server despite a previous record of conviction of the crime of frustrated murder. Judge Agnir was likewise directed to conduct an inquiry on whether said respondent made untruthful statements in his application by suppressing the fact of his conviction as well as other criminal charges filed against him though subsequently dismissed. In compliance with the aforementioned resolution, Judge Agnir submitted his second investigation report dated July 21, 1995. In his report, Judge Agnir narrated that respondent Mauricio joined the judiciary on October 4, 1990 as Utility Worker I of MTCC, Branch 2, Laoag City. His commission was signed by then Court Administrator Meynardo A. Tiro and certified by Chief Administrative Officer Adelaida Cabe-Baumann upon recommendation of Judge Manuel B. Fernandez, Jr., then presiding judge of Branch 2, RTC, Laoag City. On May 5, 1992, respondent was promoted to the position of process server of the Office of the Clerk of Court, MTCC, Laoag City. His commission was signed by Romeo P. de Leon in behalf of Adelaida Cabe-Baumann. Judge Agnir further narrated that respondent disclosed his conviction of the crime of frustrated murder and that he was on probation for the same in his application. When respondent was asked by Judge Agnir why he did not indicate that other criminal charges were filed against him, he replied that the question in the application form simply asked for conviction, not mere charges. The Second Investigation Report also mentioned the name of two (2) persons from whom respondent Mauricio allegedly asked favors using the name of Judge Fernandez. The first was Jimmy Lao, a realtor-businessman of Laoag City who told Judge Agnir that two (2) years earlier when he had a case pending before the sala of Judge Fernandez, respondent Mauricio

approached him and asked for two (2) tires allegedly for the car of Judge Fernandez. Mr. Lao said that when he went to verify the request, he was not able to talk to Judge Fernandez but a court staff member told him that Judge Fernandez was not in the habit of asking favors from litigants and that in all probability, the tires were intended for Mauricio's owner-type jeep which was then in the process of being assembled. When he confronted Mauricio about it, the latter told him that he (Mauricio) was only joking. The second interviewee was German Reantillo, administrative officer of the City Engineer's Office of Laoag City who confirmed that sometime ago he gave Mauricio thirty (30) liters of gasoline on the respondent's representation that this was for Judge Fernandez; that sometime later he had the occasion to mention the matter to Judge Fernandez who denied that he authorized Mauricio to ask gasoline in his behalf. Both Lao and Reantillo however refused to be placed under oath or to reduce their statements in writing because they did not wish to be involved in a formal investigation where they would have to be confronted by respondent. Furthermore Lao said he did not wish to incur the ire of the respondent and that anyway he did not give Mauricio the tires. On July 17, 1995, Judge Agnir called respondent Mauricio to another hearing and confronted him with these new charges. Respondent denied them as expected. Judge Agnir further claimed that respondent is known to be a troublesome fellow. MTC Judge Llanes even had to file an administrative case against respondent for serious misconduct and insubordination. Judge Agnir then strongly recommended the immediate and summary dismissal from the service of respondent Mauricio for being the "ultimate undesirable employee and a disgrace to the judiciary." He added that he was recommending this course of action aware of the potential danger to his person given respondent's violent nature as documented by his criminal record. Judge Agnir was "hopeful though that the respondent's summary dismissal will send a chilling message to other court employees similarly engaged in nefarious activities and unethical practices which though petty in many instances indelibly stain the image of the judiciary. Thereafter, the case was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation. The Deputy Court Administrator to whom the case was assigned for review submitted the following observations, viz: A careful scrutiny of the 201 File of respondent Mauricio shows that he joined the judiciary not on 4 October 1990 as Utility Worker I but on 1 August 1989 as a Court Aide of MTCC, Branch 2 of Laoag City as a recommendee of Judge Angelo M. Albano, MTCC, Laoag City. Respondent's appointment was by virtue of a Supreme Court Resolution dated 1 August 1989 and his commission was signed by then Court Administrator Meynardo A. Tiro and certified by Former Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Orlando B. Carino and Former Chairman of the Selection Board Daniel T Martinez. It was also discovered that on 24 January 1990 Atty. Carino sent a telegram to Mauricio ordering him to submit a copy of the Order placing him on probation pending the approval of his appointment as Utility Worker I. Accordingly respondent sent a copy of the said Order and in his 1st indorsement dated 22 February 1990, Atty. Carino referred the Probation Order to Atty. Ponciano R. Solosa, Assistant Director of the Civil Service Commission Field Office for appropriate action. Per Court Resolution dated 4 October 1990 respondent was appointed as Utility Worker I and was promoted as Process Server by virtue of a Court Resolution of 5 May 1992. On 19 January 1993 Police Inspector Felizardo Ellano of the PNP-CIS Command in Camp Capt. Valentin San Juan, Laoag City, sent a letter addressed to the Chief Justice through the Record Section requesting that a check be conducted on the records of Mauricio who was at that time being charged by their Office with the crimes of Less Serious Physical Injuries and Resistance and Disobedience Upon Agents of a Person in Authority. Police Officer Ellano likewise informed the Court that the respondent has already been charged of several offenses in different courts in Laoag City which according to him was a clear showing that Mauricio is a violent man, a habitual offender and extremely defiant of the law. Records show that the respondent twice accomplished Personal Data Sheet (Civil Service Commission Form 212, Revised 1982) on two (2) separate occasions: on 5 June 1989 before his appointment as Court Aide and on 13 September 1990 prior to his appointment as Utility Worker. In both instances, Mauricio disclosed his conviction of Frustrated Murder and the fact that he was on probation. The charges against respondent Mauricio for influence peddling, drunkenness, gambling, bribery, extortion and manipulation of bonds by using the same property for different cases do not appear to have been sufficiently established by clear evidence. The two (2) persons from whom the respondent allegedly asked favors using the name of Judge Fernandez both refused to be placed under oath or reduce their statements in writing. But administrative charges cannot be based on mere conjecture. The

complainant has the burden of proof and such proof must be clear, solid and convincing to compel the exercise of disciplinary power over the person indicted. On respondent's conviction of Frustrated Murder, there was full disclosure of the conviction and apparently was not a legal obstacle to respondent's appointment because he was placed on probation. Therefore, respondent's conviction of a crime should not be taken as a basis of any administrative action against him. The foregoing notwithstanding we do not see any reason to disturb the Investigating Judge's finding that respondent is a troublesome and violent person as shown by his criminal record certified by the City Prosecutor of Laoag City. There is therefore merit in Judge Agnir's recommendation of immediate and summary dismissal of the respondent from the service for being the "ultimate undesirable employee and a disgrace to the judiciary." It is commendable that Judge Agnir has opted to resist the temptation to be silent in the face of what he perceives to be a deleterious influence in the court. Under Section 23, Rule 14 of the Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws "being notoriously undesirable" is classified as a grave offense with a corresponding penalty of dismissal, or forced resignation under Resolution No. 89-506 dated 20 July 1989 of the Civil Service Commission. Time and again the Court has held that "A court employee being a public servant must exhibit the highest sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of his duties but also in his personal and private dealings with other people to preserve the court's name and standing. Therefore, it becomes imperative and sacred duty of each and everyone in the court to maintain its good name and standing as a true temple of justice." (Paredes vs. Padua, 222 SCRA 81). Equally compelling is the decision of the Court in the case of Mirano vs. Saavedra, 225 SCRA 77 which states that "The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with the office charged with the dispensation of justice from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility." On the foregoing antecedents, it was recommended by the Deputy Court Administrator that respondent be declared notoriously undesirable and be considered resigned from the service with forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits and disqualification from employment in the government service for a period of one (1) year. It was further recommended, however, that respondent be reemployed in the government service other than the judiciary. In reviewing the aforesaid report and recommendation submitted for the Court's consideration, we find the foregoing observations to be correct. We, nonetheless, find the penalty recommended by the Office of the Court Administrator to be very light. Consequently, we adopt the investigating judge's recommendation for respondent's dismissal from the service, the same being warranted and justified by the facts attendant to the instant case. Public service requires the utmost integrity and strictest discipline. Thus, a public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of his official duties but in his personal and private dealings with other people. No less than the Constitution sanctifies the principle that a public office is a public trust, and enjoins all public officers and employees to serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.In addition, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees provide that every public servant shall at all times uphold public interest over his or her personal interest. By his acts and misdeeds, respondent has undermined the public's faith in our courts and, ultimately, in the administration of justice. The same make him unfit as a court employee. His employment must therefore be terminated at once. Court personnel must adhere to the high ethical standards of public service in order to preserve the Court's good name and standing. Time and again, this Court has emphasized that the conduct required of court personnel, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk, must always be beyond reproach and must be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility as to let them be free from any suspicion that may taint the judiciary. ACCORDINGLY, respondent ALFREDO MAURICIO is hereby DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice to his reemployment in any branch of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 116418 March 7, 1995

5. Petitioner Fernandez was serving as Director of the Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit ("OPIA") while petitioner de Lima was serving as Director of the Office of the Personnel Relations ("OPR"). RAMON B. The OCSS [Office of Career Systems and Standards]. both at the Central Office of the Civil Service Commission in Quezon City. of the Commission. and HON. b.. The Office for Human Resource Development (OHRD) is renamed Human Resource Development Office (HRDO). Chairman and Commissioner. Registration and Accreditation of Unions under OPR. 6. Fernandez and Anicia M. the Commission finds it necessary to immediately effect changes in the organization of the Central Offices in view of the need to implement new programs in lieu of those functions which were transferred to the Regional Offices. respondents." WHEREAS. . PATRICIA A. 94-3710 of the Civil Service Commission ("Commission") and the authority of the Commission to issue the same. 1 Resolution No. Jr. foregoing premises considered. WHEREAS. specifically in the Central Offices: 1. 4. Tomas and Ramon Ereneta. Financial Audit and Evaluation. OPIA [Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit] and OPR [Office of Personnel Relations] are merged to form the Research and Development Office (RDO). 3. FERNANDEZ and ANICIA M. Commissioner. Prohibition and Mandamus with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order. J. HON. Metropolitan Manila. petitioners Salvador C. TOMAS. Sto. The following functions and the personnel assigned to the unit performing said functions are hereby transferred to HRDO: a. vs. and c. The Office for Central Personnel Records (OCPR) is renamed Management Information Office (MIO). . Chairman. 94-3710 signed by public respondents Patricia A. The following functions of OPM and the personnel assigned to the unit performing said functions are hereby transferred to the Office of the Executive Director: a. 94-3710 WHEREAS. ERENETA.SALVADOR C. 94-3710 needs to be quoted in full: RESOLUTION NO. as an independent constitutional body. Accreditation of Agencies to take final action on appointments under OPIA. FELICIANO. DE LIMA. the Commission finds it imperative to effect changes in the organization to streamline its operations and improve delivery of public service. the Commission may effect changes in the organization as the need arises. While petitioners were so serving. WHEREFORE. the Commission hereby RESOLVES to effect the following changes in its organization. . STO. The Information technology functions of OPM and the personnel assigned to the unit are transferred to MIO. Resolution No. petitioners. Section 17 of Book V of Executive Order 292 provides that ".. Administration of the Honor and Awards program under OCSS. Civil Service Commission. was issued on 7 June 1994. respectively. de Lima assail the validity of Resolution No.: In this Petition for Certiorari. 2.

8. and d. The principal issues raised in this Petition are the following: (1) Whether or not the Civil Service Commission had legal authority to issue Resolution No. petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. in Book V. to form the RDO [Research and Development Office]. except the OCES. The changes in the organization and in operations shall take place before end of July 1994. Dayson Board Secretary V 2 During the general assembly of officers and employees of the Commission held in the morning of 28 July 1994. Sto. 292 dated 25 July 1987) sets out. in a Resolution dated 27 September 1994. on the Petition and then moved to lift the Temporary Restraining Order. c. The budget allocated for the various functions shall be transferred to the Offices where the functions are transferred. The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. I. alleging that petitioners had received Office Orders from the Commission assigning petitioner Fernandez to Region V at Legaspi City and petitioner de Lima to Region III in San Fernando. Offices in the Commission — The Commission shall have the following offices: . Tomas Chairman (Signed) Did not participate Ramon P. 16.b. 1994. Gaminde Commissioner Commissioner Attested by: (Signed) Carmencita Giselle B. Chairman Sto. On 21 September 1994. 94-3710 unless restrained by higher authority. The Commission in turn filed a Rejoinder (denominated "Comment [on] the Reply"). when apprised of objections of petitioners. the OPIA [Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit] and the OPR [Office of Personnel Relations]. The Office of the Solicitor General filed a separate Comment dated 28 November 1994. fixtures and equipment that go with the functions shall be moved to where the functions are transferred. 94-3710 violated petitioners' constitutional right to security of tenure. dated 12 September 1994. 94-3710 and urging dismissal of the Petition. The library service and its personnel under OCPR are transferred to the Central Administrative Office. Done in Quezon City. Pampanga and praying that public respondents be restrained from enforcing these Office Orders. defending the validity of Resolution No. (Signed) Patricia A. Tomas. Subtitle A. Title I. expressed the determination of the Commission to implement Resolution No. Petitioners then instituted this Petition. The Court. Petitioners filed separate Replies to these Comments. the Court required public respondents to file a Comment on the Petition. and (2) Whether or not Resolution No. In a Resolution dated 23 August 1994. July 07. Research and Statistics. Annex A contains the manning list for all the offices. Ereneta. Thelma P. Records. Chapter 3. Jr. 7. 94-3710 to the extent it merged the OCSS [Office of Career Systems and Standards].. the internal structure and organization of the Commission in the following terms: Sec. Planning and Programming. The Commission filed its own Comment. granted this Motion and issued the Temporary Restraining Order prayed for by petitioners. Internal Management and Improvement.

" The same Resolution renamed some of the Offices of the Commission. (14) The Office of Retirement Administration — . 94-3710 shows that thereby the Commission re-arranged some of the administrative units (i. . the OCSS. consist of aggregations of Divisions. OPIA and OPR) to form a new grouping called the "Research and Development Office (RDO). . merit and awards systems. merged three (3) of them (OCSS. position classification and compensation. Clearly. . OPIA and OPR. These functions are related to one another. each Office is an internal department or organizational unit within the Commission and that accordingly. employee welfare and benefits. What did Resolution No. . Organizational Structure. standards. OPIA and OPR. . 17. discipline and other aspects of personnel management on the basis of comparable industry practices. . (13) The Office of the Corporate Affairs — . .. (12) The Office of Personnel Relations shall provide leadership and assistance in the development and implementation of policies. As an independent constitutional body. Examination and Placement — .e. . the Office for Central Personnel Records (OCPR) was renamed Management Information Office (MIO). performance appraisal. . Put a little differently. merit promotion and employee incentive benefits and awards. (2) The Merit System Protection Board — . each of which Divisions is in turn a grouping of Sections. . (11) The Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit shall develop policies. among other things. . . provide technical and advisory services to Civil Service Regional Offices and government agencies in the implementation of their personnel programs and evaluation systems.g. e. Division and Office comprises a group of positions within the agency called the Civil Service Commission. . The Commission also re-allocated certain . . (10) The Office of Human Resource Development — . (9) The Office of Career Systems and Standards shall provide leadership and assistance in the formulation and evaluation of personnel systems and standards relative to performance appraisal. examination. the Commission may effect chances in the organization as the need arises. . and may have such divisions as are necessary to carry out their respective functions.(1) The Office of the Executive Director — . (3) The Office of Legal Affairs — . . . (5) The Central Administrative Office — . . . the Office for Human Resource Development (OHRD) was renamed Human Resource Development Office (HRDO). as well as all the other Offices within the Commission constitute administrative subdivisions of the CSC. — Each office of the Commission shall be headed by a Director with at least one (1) Assistant Director. these offices relate to the internal structure of the Commission. . placement. . the 1987 Revised Administrative Code goes on to provide as follows: Sec. standards. xxx xxx xxx 3 (Emphasis supplied) Examination of the foregoing statutory provisions reveals that the OCSS. . rules and regulations governing corporate officials and employees in the areas of recruitment. (4) The Office of Planning and Management — . rules and regulations for the effective conduct of inspection and audit of personnel and personnel management programs and the exercise of delegated authority. (15) The Regional and Field Offices. and as well each of the other Offices listed in Section 16 above. (7) The Office of Position Classification and Compensation — . (6) The Office of Central Personnel Records — . — . (Emphases in the original) Immediately after the foregoing listing of offices of the Commission and their respective functions. each group being entrusted with a more or less definable function or functions. each of them being embraced by a common or general subject matter. Offices) within the Commission and. Each Section.. . (8) The Office of Recruitment. career development. . 94-3710 of the Commission do? Examination of Resolution No.

6 It is essential to note that none of the "changes in organization" introduced by Resolution No. The term "public office" is frequently used to refer to the right. 94-3710 effected the "abolition" of public offices. etc. Section 1 of the 1987 Revised Administrative Code which required the Civil Service Commission . Subtitle A. 94-3710 carried with it or necessarily involved the termination of the relationship of public employment between the Commission and any of its officers and employees. The Commission's Office Order assigning petitioner de Lima to the CSC Regional Office No. the information technology function of OPM (Office of Planning and Management) was transferred to the newly named Management Information Office (MIO). 3 was precipitated by the incumbent Regional Director filing an application for retirement. by which. meant to freeze those Offices and to cast in concrete. been necessitated by the fact that the then incumbent Director in Region V was under investigation and needed to be transferred immediately to the Central Office. The legislative standards to be observed and respected in the exercise of such delegated authority are set out not only in Section 17 itself (i. Title I. records. Petitioners argue that Resolution No. This re-allocation or re-assignment of some functions carried with it the transfer of the budget earmarked for such function to the Office where the function was transferred. The Court is unable. the personnel. the decentralization and devolution of the Commission's functions effected by the creation of fourteen (14) Regional Offices and ninety-five (95) Field Offices of the Commission throughout the country.) among the re-arranged Offices — are precisely the kind of internal changes which are referred to in Section 17 (Book V. fixtures and equipment that were devoted to the carrying out of such functions were moved to the Offices to where the functions were transferred. re-allocation of existing functions (and related personnel." 7 Assuming. 94-3710 — re-naming of existing Offices. thus generating a need to find a replacement for him. 5 considering that the functions previously assigned to him had been substantially devolved to the Regional Offices such that his reassignment to a Regional Office would result in the least disruption of the operations of the Central Office." as the need [for such changes] arises. 94-3710 were described in that Resolution in broad terms as "effect[ing] changes in the organization to streamline [the Commission's] operations and improve delivery of service. upon the other hand. 5 We consider that Resolution No. for a given period either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. to accept this argument. In the past. but also in the Declaration of Policies found in Book V. re-arrangement of the groupings of Divisions and Sections composing particular Offices. quoted above. created and conferred by law.g. Title I. the legislative authority had expressly authorized the Commission to carry out "changes in the organization. budget. 94-3710 and in assigning petitioner Salvador C.functions moving some functions from one Office to another. to the end that the Commission and its staff may be brought closer physically to the government employees that they are mandated to serve. for purposes of argument merely.. Pampanga. The objectives sought by the Commission in enacting Resolution No. on the one hand. the internal organization of the commission until it might please Congress to change such internal organization regardless of the ever changing needs of the Civil Service as a whole. We find it very difficult to suppose that the 1987 Revised Administrative Code having mentioned fourteen (14) different "Offices" of the Civil Service Commission. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of government. the dispersal of the functions of the Commission to the Regional Offices and the Field Offices attached to various governmental agencies throughout the country makes possible the implementation of new programs of the Commission at its Central Office in Metropolitan Manila." These changes in internal organization were rendered necessary by. It is also clear to the Court that the changes introduced and formalized through Resolution No. Petitioner de Lima was being assigned to that Regional Office while the incumbent Regional Director was still there to facilitate her take over of the duties and functions of the incumbent Director. 5 had. To the contrary. something which may be done only by the same legislative authority which had created those public offices in the first place. its functions had been centralized in the Head Office of the Commission in Metropolitan Manila and Civil Service employees all over the country were compelled to come to Manila for the carrying out of personnel transactions. authority and duty. to be exercised by that individual for the benefit of the public. 4 It thus appears to the Court that the Commission was moved by quite legitimate considerations of administrative efficiency and convenience in promulgating and implementing its Resolution No. 94-3710 (and the Court is not saying that such authority is necessary). in the circumstances of this case. Chapter 3) of the 1987 Revised Administrative Code). 3 where public sector unions have been very active. that legislative authority was necessary to carry out the kinds off changes contemplated in Resolution No. Petitioner Fernandez was deemed the most likely designee for Director of Regional Office No.. such legislative authority was validly delegated to the Commission by Section 17 earlier quoted. e. Moreover. Fernandez to the Regional Office of the Commission in Region V in Legaspi City and petitioner Anicia M. as it were. as "chances in the organization" of the Commission. Petitioner Fernandez's assignment to the CSC Regional Office No. Petitioner de Lima's prior experience as a labor lawyer was also a factor in her assignment to Regional Office No. 94-3710 has not abolished any public office as that term is used in the law of public officers. de Lima to the Commission's Regional Office in Region III in San Fernando. Upon the other hand.e. "as the need arises"). Subtitle A.

et al. All personnel actions shall be in accordance with such rules. Secondly. (Emphasis supplied) It follows that the reassignment of petitioners Fernandez and de Lima from their previous positions in OPIA and OPR. that appointments to the staff of the Commission are not appointments to a specified public office but rather appointments to particular positions or ranks. . As used in this Title. That such re-assignment shall not involve a reduction in rank status and salary. acquired a vested right to serve at the Commission's Head Office. the above conclusion is compelled not only by the statutory provisions relevant in the instant case. finds no application in the case at bar as this is predicated upon the theory that the teacher concerned is appointed — not merely assigned — to a particular station. and separation. in any department or agency of government embraced in the civil service: Sec. adopt measures to promote — efficiency — [and] responsiveness . Such action shall include appointment through certification. could lawfully be reassigned or transferred to the Manuel Roxas High School. v. promotion.. Thus: . and so forth. . We turn to the second claim of petitioners that their right to security of tenure was breached by the respondents in promulgating Resolution No. and regulations as may be promulgated by the Commission. without their consent. Department of Education Culture and Sports. National Capital Region. Petitioners had not. Court of Appeals." Petitioners in effect contend that they were unlawfully removed from their positions in the OPIA and OPR by the implementation of Resolution No. 26. and that personnel functions shall be decentralized.as the central personnel agency of the Government [to] establish a career service. demotion. but also by a long line of cases decided by this Court in respect of different agencies or offices of government.. respectively. It also follows that such re-assignment did not involve any violation of the constitutional right of petitioners to security of tenure considering that they retained their positions of Director IV and would continue to enjoy the same rank. re-employment. and who had been stationed as High School Principal in the Carlos Albert High School in Quezon for a number of years. Provided. etc. This Court held: The aforequoted provision of Republic Act No. or to the position of Attorney IV or Attorney V. Thus. offices and agencies where such functions can be effectively performed. et al. Book V. without specification of any particular office or station. any action denoting the movement or progress of personnel in the civil service shall be known as personnel action. — . to the Research and Development Office (RDO) in the Central Office of the Commission in Metropolitan Manila and their subsequent assignment from the RDO to the Commission's Regional Offices in Regions V and III had been effected with express statutory authority and did not constitute removals without lawful cause. a person may be appointed to the position of Director III or Director IV. . Quezon City. in other words. firstly. . We note. Personnel Actions. District II. transfer. re-instatement. without demotion in rank or diminution of salry. standards. or to the position of Records Officer I or Records Officer II. In one of the more recent of these cases. Section 26(7). (Emphasis supplied) II. . In the instant case. 4670 particularly Section 6 thereof which provides that except for cause and in the exigencies of the service no teacher shall be transferred without his consent from one station to another. 94-3710 and that they cannot. Title I. reassignment. in the civil service . Subtitle A of the 1987 Revised Administrative Code recognizes reassignment as a management prerogative vested in the Commission and. (7) Reassignment. . 8 this Court held that a person who had been appointed as "Secondary School Principal II" in the Division of City Schools. An employee may be re-assigned from one organizational unit to another in the same agency. petitioners were each appointed to the position of Director IV. Section 2(3) of Article IX(B) of the 1987 Constitution declared that "no officer or employee of the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. be moved out to the Regional Offices of the Commission. 94-3710 and ordering petitioners' assignment to the Commission's Regional Offices in Regions III and V. The same is true with respect to the other persons holding the same position or rank of Director IV of the Commission. for that matter. also in Quezon City. status and salary at their new assigned stations which they had enjoyed at the Head Office of the Commission in Metropolitan Manila. detail. delegating the corresponding authority to the departments.

That security of tenure is an essential and constitutionally guaranteed feature of our Civil Service System. 143 — Plaintiff's confident stride falters. however. Ganaden.. 108 Phil. it could not have been with the intention to let her stay in said school permanently. et a1. without mentioning her station. ruled as follows: . 118 Phil. 1967. et al. 9 (Emphasis supplied. 4 ordering their reassignment in the interest of the service is legally in order. Sto. et al. But her first appointment as Principal merely reads thus: "You are hereby appointed a Principal (Elementary School) in the Bureau of Public Schools. she may be assigned to any station or school in Quezon City as the exigencies of public service require even without consent. are tantamount to removals which are within the ambit of the fundamental guarantee. she could be assigned to any station and she is not entitled to stay permanently at any specific school. in the first instance. Guevarra. therefore. this Court has consistently rejected the officer's demand to remain — even as public service dictates that a transfer be made — in a particular station. the availability of that security of tenure necessarily depends. 121 Phil.) Such that the rule which proscribes transfers without consent as anathema to the security of tenure is predicated upon the theory that the officer involved is appointed — not merely assigned — to a particular station (Miclat v. As correctly observed by the Solicitor General. etc. is not open to debate. 728 [1963]). It indubitably follows. Tomas. Culture and Sports. She may be assigned to any station as exigency of public service requires. Jaro v. Commission on Elections. as repeatedly enunciatEd. Hon. [Brillantes v. In appointments of this nature. Otherwise... 27 SCRA 138. 10 the Court addressed appointments of petitioners as "Mediators-Arbiters in the National Capital Region" in dismissing a challenge on certiorari to resolutions of the CSC and orders of the Secretary of Labor. Parado. Judicial attitude toward transfers of this nature is expressed in the following statement in Ibañez. As this Court ruled in Brillantes v. April 27. Guevarra. 11 (Emphases supplied) In Quisumbing v. Otherwise. Marino. (G. 280 [1965]. petitioners' reassignment is not a transfer for they were not removed from their position as med-arbiters. Consequently. their services may be used more effectively. 19 SCRA 1002 [1967]). 27 SCRA 138 (1969)] The appointment of Navarro as principal does not refer to any particular station or school. they can always be reassigned from one organizational unit to another of the same agency where.R. that Memorandum Order No..The rule pursued by plaintiff only goes so far as the appointed indicates a specification. et al. Hon. citation omitted) In the very recent case of Fernando. As such. No. (Bongbong v. even without her consent. appointed to a specific station or particular unit of the Department of Labor in the National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR). dealing with an appointment in the Bureau of Public Schools of the Department of Education. her appointment would have so stated. 57 SCRA 623) When she was assigned to the Carlos Albert High School. the constitutionally ordained security of tenure cannot shield her. She cannot therefore claim security of tenure as Principal of Sinalang Elementary School or any particular station. Gumban. L-26558. She proceeds upon the assumption that she occupies her station in Sinalang Elementary School by appointment. The mantle of its protection extends not only against removals without cause but also against unconsented transfer which. et al. They were not given new appointments to new positions. She thus has no right of choice. vs. Her refuge behind the mantle of security of tenure guaranteed by the Constitution is not impenetrable. Department of Education". Consequently. As such they can neither claim a vested right to the station to which they were assigned nor to security of tenure thereat. 439 [1960]. They were not. v. The Court said: Petitioners were appointed as Mediator Arbiters in the National Capital Region. 12 the Court. However. et al. She took too loose a view of the applicable jurisprudence. Valencia. in the opinion of respondent Secretary. upon the nature of the appointment (Hojilla vs.

rank and salary. said appointments were definitely meant to be complete as then issued. the Court. . Concededly. Jaro had been appointed "Physician in the Municipal Maternity and Charity Clinics. College of Education.R." She was assigned as Social Welfare Incharge of the Mountain Province. Davao. Guevarra [27 SCRA 138 [1969]). . He was later assigned to the Municipality of Padada. 19 Also noteworthy is Sta. and consequently not entitled to any security of tenure or permanence in. 18 petitioner Dr. With the view that the respondent Commission then took of its power in the premises and the demand of the mission it set out to accomplish with the appointments it extended. in default of any particular station stated in their respective appointments. was necessary to complete the said appointments. 16 (Emphases supplied) The petitioner. no security of tenure can be asserted by the petitioners on the basis of the mere assignments which were given to them. et al. He resisted his last assignment and brought mandamus against the Secretary of Health to compel the latter to return him to his station in Catil. it is to be underscored that the appointment of private respondent Yap is simply that of a District Supervisor of the Bureau of Public Schools which does not indicate a specific station (Rollo. A contrary rule will erase altogether the demarcation line we have repeatedly drawn between appointment and assignment as two distinct concepts in the law of public officers. Thus one who is appointed "principal in the Bureau of Public Schools" and is designated to head a pilot school may be transferred to the post of principal of another school. by an office order of the Administrator. Davao as Municipal Health Officer thereof. Some such transfer can be effected without the need for charges being preferred. Maria v.After a careful scrutiny of the records. Ganaden dismissed this Petition holding that his appointment not being to any specific station but as a physician in the Municipal Maternity and Charity Clinics." Where the appointment does not indicate a specific station. As things stand. Culture and Sports v.P. Court of Appeals [G." and that they had no right to complain against any change in assignment." "on general principles. transfers there are which do not amount to removal. without demotion in rank or salary. Ganaden. she could be assigned to any station and she is no entitled to stay permanently at any specific station (Bongbong v. laid down the applicable doctrine in the following terms: 4. A such. Maria as "Dean. And the rule that outlaws unconsented transfers as anathema to security of tenure applies only to an officer who is appointed — not merely assigned — to a particular station. Rural and Community Administration. Valencia. Dean Sta.P. Commission on Elections. Hon. Parado. speaking through Mr. p. without trial or hering. they [could] be transferred as the exigencies of the service required. In Jaro v. 15 The Court held that since petitioners "were not appointed to. Social Welfare Administration. any specific station. Justice Sanchez. also of Davao Province. 1990] citing Brillantes v. And the respective appointees were entitled only to such security of tenure as the appointment papers concerned actually conferred — not in that of any place to which they may have been subsequently assigned. Maria was transferred by the President of the University of the Philippines to the Office of the President. he could be transferred or assigned to any station where. Davao. municipality or municipal district they had been appointed as such. The Court. and later to the corresponding clinic in Saug. petitioner was assigned elsewhere and respondent Ganaden transferred to petitioner's first station in Baguio City. The clue to such transfers may be found in the "nature of the appointment. In upholding Dean Sta. 17 had been appointed as a "Welfare Office Incharge. in Ibañez v. . in Miclat v. Such a rule does not prescribe a .. in the light of the terms of the appointments in question. applying Miclat v. Bureau of Hospitals. his services may be utilized more effectively. The subsequent assignment of the appointees thereunder that the said respondent Commission held in reserve to be exercised as the needs of each locality justified did not in any way detract from the perfection attained by the appointments beforehand.. Department of Education. 57 SCRA 623 [1974]. March 22. an employee may be transferred or reassigned provided the transfer affects no substantial change in title." He was first assigned to the Municipal Maternity and Charity Clinics in Batulati. and even without the consent of the employee. . thereby acceding to the demands of student activists who were boycotting their classes in the U. Bureau of Hospitals. in the opinion of the Secretary of Health. The Court ruled that petitioner was not entitled to remain in her first station. After a little more than a year. . . Lopez 20 which involved the appointment of petitioner Sta. 14 the Court had before it petitioners' appointments as "Election Registrars in the Commission of Elections." without any intimation to what city. 81032." Dean Sta. U. Maria's claim. Social Welfare Administration. Maria assailed his transfer as an illegal and unconstitutional removal from office. University of the Philippines. 13). We cannot subscribe to the theory that an assignment to a particular station. College of Education. The Court further held that assignment to a particular station after issuance of the appointment was not necessary to complete such appointment: . Division of Urban. Davao and then to Catil. The approval thereof by the Commissioner of Civil Service gave those appointments the stamp of finality. 13 Again.

Prohibition and Mandamus with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order is hereby DISMISSED.R. Maria is that of "Dean. however. 5." He is not merely a dean "in the university. emphases supplied) For all the foregoing we conclude that the reassignment of petitioners Fernandez and de Lima from their stations in the OPIA and OPR.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 Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court on 27 September 1994 is hereby LIFTED. 145368 April 12. SO ORDERED. more importantly. to a specific station. without their consent. G. 2002 . 21 (Citations omitted. The next point of inquiry is whether or not Administrative Order 77 would stand the test of validity vis-avis the principles just enunciated. College of Education. did not constitute a violation of their constitutional right to security of tenure. is that the appointment of Sta. respectively. WHEREFORE. No. and. . to the Research Development Office (RDO) and from the RDO to the Commissions Regional Offices in Regions V and III. respectively. University of the Philippines. the Petition for Certiorari." His appointment is to a specific position. 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. xxx xxx xxx To be stressed at this point. . Costs against petitioners.

the Commission was also charged with the responsibility to "prepare. a Comprehensive Plan for the Centennial Celebrations within six (6) months from the effectivity of" the Executive Order." Appointed to chair the reconstituted Commission was Vice-President Salvador H. the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee filed with the Secretary of the Senate its Committee Final Report No.).2 Characterized as an "i body. E. J. a corporation named the Philippine Centennial Expo ’98 Corporation (Expocorp) was created. detailed personnel from the Presidential Management Staff. 1999."5 . Said Secretariat shall be headed by a full time Executive Director who shall be designated by the President. vs. Sec. Appropriations for succeeding years shall be incorporated in the budget of the Office of the President. and approved by the President. The Commission shall be funded with an initial budget to be drawn from the Department of Tourism and the president’s Contingent Fund. the Commission was tasked to "take charge of the nationwide preparations for the National Celebration of the Philippine Centennial of the Declaration of Philippine Independence and the Inauguration of the Malolos Congress. 35. "reconstituting the Committee for the preparation of the National Centennial Celebrations in 1988. 4. relative to the award of centennial contracts to AK (Asia Construction & Development Corp. LAUREL. among others. the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. President Fidel V. President Joseph Estrada issued Administrative Order No. 1999. chair of NCC and of EXPOCORP for violating the rules on public bidding. 3."1 Subsequently. Aquino were named Honorary Chairpersons. HON. KAPUNAN. 128. for approval of the President. No. in his capacity as Ombudsman. who were also its first nine (9) directors. Upon motion of Senator Franklin Drilon. creating an ad hoc and independent citizens’ committee to investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the Philippine centennial projects."3 Like its predecessor Committee. On February 24." the existence of the Commission "shall terminate upon the completion of all activities related to the Centennial Celebrations. 30 dated February 26. 4 Petitioner was among the nine (9) Expocorp incorporators. 1991.: On June 13. On March 23. 223 "constituting a Committee for the preparation of the National Centennial Celebration in 1998. Senator Ana Dominique Coseteng delivered a privilege speech in the Senate denouncing alleged anomalies in the construction and operation of the Centennial Exposition Project at the Clark Special Economic Zone. On August 5. ANIANO A. Among the Committee’s recommendations was "the prosecution by the Ombudsman/DOJ of Dr.SALVADOR H. Macapagal and Corazon C. respondent. DESIERTO. 128 also contained provisions for staff support and funding: Sec. Laurel. Aquino issued Administrative Order No. Salvador Laurel. petitioner. Senator Coseteng’s privilege speech was referred to the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation (The Blue Ribbon Committee) and several other Senate Committees for investigation. Subsequently. President Corazon C." Per Section 6 of the Executive Order. Saguisag was appointed to chair the Committee." The Committee was mandated "to take charge of the nationwide preparations for the National Celebration of the Philippine Centennial of the Declaration of Philippine Independence and the Inauguration of the Malolos Congress. The Commission shall be provided with technical and administrative staff support by a Secretariat to be composed of.O. in an amount to be recommended by the Commission. 1999. Petitioner was elected Expocorp Chief Executive Officer. including its component activities. Former Senator Rene A.V. and the National Historical Institute. Presidents Diosdado M. Ramos issued Executive Order No. for exhibiting manifest bias in the issuance of the NTP (Notice to Proceed) to AK to construct the FR (Freedom Ring) even in the absence of a valid contract that has caused material injury to government and for participating in the scheme to preclude audit by COA of the funds infused by the government for the implementation of the said contracts all in violation… of the anti-graft law." It renamed the Committee as the "National Centennial Commission. 1998.

. NCC Chair Salvador H. 3019. 3019. the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau issued a resolution finding "probable cause to indict respondents SALVADOR H. No. 2000. petitioner filed the present petition for certiorari. 2000. On July 3. 1594. PEÑA before the Sandiganbayan for conspiring to violate Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. as amended in relation to PD 1594 and COA Rules and Regulations. NOT A GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED CORPORATION. On November 14. the Bureau issued its Evaluation Report. 2000 Order but the motion was denied in an Order dated October 5. upon motion of petitioner. petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the June 13. No.A. that a formal complaint be filed and preliminary investigation be conducted before the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau (EPIB). in proper cases of. act as the nominal complainant. recommending: 1. No. Desierto approved the resolution with respect to Laurel but dismissed the charge against Peña. the Court.6 In an Order dated April 10. In an Order dated June 13. 2001. Laurel. on November 5. 3019. 2000. 2. THE NATIONAL CENTENNIAL COMMISSION (NCC) WAS NOT A PUBLIC OFFICE. OIC-Director of the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau. C. On October 25. 6713. The Reports of the Senate Blue Ribbon and the Saguisag Committee were apparently referred to the Fact-finding and Intelligence Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman.A. Pelagio S. THE CORPORATION CHAIRED BY PETITIONER LAUREL WHICH UNDERTOOK THE FREEDOM RING PROJECT IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH VIOLATIONS OF THE ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES WERE ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED." among others. 2000. That the Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau of this Office. and indictment. and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. 2001. Angeles for violation of Sec. 2000. Apostol. On April 24. petitioner filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a Motion to Dismiss questioning the jurisdiction of said office.A. WAS A PRIVATE CORPORATION.Later. LAUREL and TEODORO Q. 1999. Office of the Ombudsman against former NCC and EXPOCORP chair Salvador H. Laurel for violations of Section 3(e) of R. EXPOCORP. the Saguisag Committee issued its own report. 2000. Ombudsman Aniano A. In a Resolution dated September 24. former EXPOCORP President Teodoro Q. the Court issued a temporary restraining order. Peña and AK President Edgardo H. the Ombudsman denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. 2000. It recommended "the further investigation by the Ombudsman. directed petitioner to submit his counter-affidavit and those of his witnesses. 2000. commanding respondents to desist from filing any information before the Sandiganbayan or any court against petitioner for alleged violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. On November 14. heard the parties in oral argument. 3(e) and (g) of R. On January 27." The resolution also directed that an information for violation of the said law be filed against Laurel and Peña. Petitioner assails the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman on the ground that he is not a public officer because: A. Section 4(a) in relation to Section 11 of R. B. in relation to Republic Act No.

Moreover. In the Court’s decision in Uy. the Sandiganbayan and. however. Sandiganbayan. The Court explained the rationale for this reversal: The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. Indeed.PETITIONER. repeated references to the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction clearly serve to limit the Ombudsman’s and Special Prosecutor’s authority to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan." Thus. should not be construed as confining the scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases. petitioner in his reply8 invokes this Court’s decision in Uy vs. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative. The law defines such primary jurisdiction as authorizing the Ombudsman "to take over. and for other purposes") which vests upon the Ombudsman "primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan…" And this is further buttressed by Section 11 (4a) of R. the investigation of such cases. over public officers of Grade 27 and higher. As petitioner’s position was purportedly not classified as Grade 27 or higher. it must be stressed that the powers granted by the legislature to the Ombudsman are very broad and encompass all kinds of malfeasance. the Court expounded: The clear import of such pronouncement is to recognize the authority of the State and regular provincial and city prosecutors under the Department of Justice to have control over prosecution of cases falling within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.e.] The foregoing ruling in Uy. i. we held that "it is the prosecutor. Upon motion for clarification by the Ombudsman in the same case. civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants." In its Resolution of February 22. To carry out this duty. The exercise by the Ombudsman of his primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is not incompatible with the discharge of his duty to investigate and prosecute other offenses committed by public officers and employees. misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public officers and employees during their tenure of office. Certainly. unjust.7 In addition. who has the authority to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. not the Ombudsman. consequently. The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. would have no jurisdiction over him. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. the Ombudsman. It has been held that the clause "any illegal act or omission of any public official" is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or employee. at any stage. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. This last contention is easily dismissed.9 where it was held that the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman was limited to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. the Court set aside the foregoing pronouncement in its Resolution dated March 20. was short-lived. particularly in Section 15(1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. 6770 ("An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. The investigation and prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman relate to cases rightfully falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under Section 15 (1) of R. BOTH AS CHAIRMAN OF THE NCC AND OF EXPOCORP WAS NOT A "PUBLIC OFFICER" AS DEFINED UNDER THE ANTI-GRAFT & CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT. and Section 11(4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Section 15 of RA 6770 gives the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. from any investigatory agency of the government. the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases. 2001. the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be equated with the limited authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of RA 6770. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal." The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees by other courts. the law allows him to utilize the .. [Emphasis in the original. improper or inefficient.A. Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.A. 2000. 6770 which emphasizes that the Office of the Special Prosecutor shall have the power to "conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

– The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. the investigation of such cases. [Emphasis in the original. civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service by the Government to the people. the Ombudsman has the power to investigate any malfeasance. The individual so invested is a public officer. agency or instrumentality thereof." who "shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the government." The foregoing constitutional provisions are substantially reproduced in R. improper or inefficient. No. including government-owned or controlled corporations. and enforce their administrative.] Having disposed of this contention. and duties vested by the Constitution11 upon the Office of the Ombudsman is to "[i]nvestigate… any act or omission of any public official. – The provisions of this Act shall apply to all kinds of malfeasance. the Congress deliberately endowed the Ombudsman with such power to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in ensuring accountability in public office. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. was not a public officer. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. created and conferred by law. including government-owned or controlled corporations. or of any subdivision. at any stage. The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers and employees is one of the most important functions of the Ombudsman. – The Ombudsman and his Deputies. 6770. as protectors of the people shall act promptly on complaints file in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. however. Mandate. functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. office or agency. otherwise known as the "Ombudsman Act of 1989. state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases." Sections 13 and 15(1) of said law respectively provide: SEC. We first address the argument that petitioner. Powers. in relation to Section 13. or of any subdivision. employee. or inefficient. including governmentowned or controlled corporations. misfeasance and nonfeasance that have been committed by any officer or employee as mentioned in Section 13 hereof. In passing RA 6770. when such act or omission appears to be illegal unjust. it may take over. 13. office or agency. defines who public officers are. unjust.personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal.A. In sum. A definition of public officers cited in jurisprudence13 is that provided by Mechem. agency or instrumentality thereof. improper. supra: SEC 16. we proceed to the principal grounds upon which petitioner relies. functions. A review of the development of our Ombudsman law reveals this intent. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. The law likewise allows him to direct the Special Prosecutor to prosecute cases outside the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction in accordance with Section 11 (4c) of RA 6770. Functions and Duties. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. or any subdivision. agency or instrumentality thereof. 15. Applicability. from any investigatory agency of Government. during his tenure of office. as Chair of the NCC.12 Neither the Constitution nor the Ombudsman Act of 1989. x x x. misfeasance and non-feasance by a public officer or employee of the government. for a given period.14 . a recognized authority on the subject: A public office is the right. The Constitution10 describes the Ombudsman and his Deputies as "protectors of the people. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. SEC. The coverage of the law appears to be limited only by Section 16." Among the awesome powers. authority and duty. by which.

Thus. and (3) continuance. concerns the implementation of the policies as set forth by law. the centennial can effectively showcase Filipino heritage and thereby strengthen Filipino values. to carry them into effect. and the centennial presents an important vehicle for fostering nationhood and a strong sense of Filipino identity. the active participation of the private sector in all areas of special expertise and capability. The executive power "is generally defined as the power to enforce and administer the laws. an oath. the tenure of the NCC being temporary. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. Culture. attaches. the success of the Centennial Celebrations may be insured only through long-range planning and continuous developmental programming. Mechem describes the delegation to the individual of some of the sovereign functions of government as "[t]he most important characteristic" in determining whether a position is a public office or not.The characteristics of a public office. and the designation of the position as an office. E. executive or judicial. May the functions of the NCC then be described as executive? We hold that the NCC performs executive functions. according to Mechem. salary. reconstituting the Committee for the National Centennial Celebrations in 1998. either legislative. – that some portion of the sovereignty of the country. since he purportedly did not receive any compensation. Arts and letters shall enjoy the patronage of the State. the birth of the Republic of the Philippines is to be celebrated in 1998. continuance of the position.16 Did E. 128 delegate the NCC with some of the sovereign functions of government? Certainly. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing their due observance. as well as artistic creations. Whereas. A. The Constitution provides in Article XIV (Education. and business sectors to serve as effective instruments from the launching and overseeing of this long-term project.15 Petitioner submits that some of these characteristics are not present in the position of NCC Chair. x x x. the individual is not a public officer. 128. the Commission was vested with the following functions: . for the time being. to be exercised for the public benefit. and Sports) thereof: Sec.O. No. Science and Technology. The State shall conserve. The most important characteristic which distinguishes an office from an employment or contract is that the creation and conferring of an office involves a delegation to the individual of some of the sovereign functions of government. scope of duties. include the delegation of sovereign functions." The NCC was precisely created to execute the foregoing policies and objectives.O. cited the "need to strengthen the said Committee to ensure a more coordinated and synchronized celebrations of the Philippine Centennial and wider participation from the government and non-government or private organizations. there is a need to create a body which shall initiate and undertake the primary task of harnessing the multisectoral components from the business. (2) salary. Whereas. particularly in communication and information dissemination. is necessary for long-range planning and continuous developmental programming. Whereas." 17 The executive function. In its preamble.O. its creation by law and not by contract. therefore. and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources. cultural. promote. Arts. namely: (1) the delegation of sovereign functions. 15. Unless the powers conferred are of this nature. 223 states the purposes for the creation of the Committee for the National Centennial Celebrations in 1998: Whereas. Whereas. No." It also referred to the "need to rationalize the relevance of historical links with other countries. the law did not delegate upon the NCC functions that can be described as legislative or judicial.

conceptualization. (e) To prioritize the refurbishment of historical sites and structures nationwide. Vice President the Central Luzon is suffering. Fontanilla21 that the holding by a municipality of a town fiesta is a proprietary rather than a governmental function.] Furthermore. I think they are going back to that because they had the airport and there are plan to revive the Expo site into key park which was the original plan. the Commission shall formulate schemes (e. Pinatubo let us try to catalize [sic] economic recovery in that area by putting this Expo in Clark Field and so it was done I agreed and Your Honor if I may also mention we wanted to generate employment aside from attracting business investments and employment. formulation and implementation of programs and projects on the utilization of culture. and. And the Estrada administration decided to junk this project there 48. don’t you agree that the task of the centennial commission was also to focus on the long term over all socio economic development of the zone and Central Luzon by attracting investors in the area because of the eruption of Mt.g. lease-maintained-and-transfer. arts. and to invite private individuals and organizations to assist it in the performance of its tasks. FORMER VICE PRESIDENT SALVADOR H. Section 2 describes the nature of executive orders: SEC. In this regard. Chapter 2 (Ordinance Power). especially in Central Luzon. activities as well as the status of the preparations for the Celebration. the NCC was not without a role in the country’s economic development. the original eight provinces. and reinvigorating the spirit of national unity and sense of accomplishment in every Filipino in the context of the Centennial Celebrations. – Acts of the President providing for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in executive orders."22 In Torio.(a) To undertake the overall study. LAUREL: I am glad Your Honor touched on that because that is something I wanted to touch on by lack of material time I could not but that is a very important point. It would have really calibrated. Book III (Office of the President). economic endeavors. (b) To act as principal coordinator for all the activities related to awareness and celebration of the Centennial. we held: . When I was made Chairman I wanted the Expo to be in Batangas because I am a Batangeño but President Ramos said Mr. and similar arrangements) to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the historical sites and structures. (d) To constitute working groups which shall undertake the implementation of the programs and projects. In this regard. 40 thousand people who lost job. (f) To call upon any government agency or instrumentality and corporation. And our target was to provide 75 thousand jobs. build-operate-transfer. Executive Orders. Petitioner argues that the "holding of a nationwide celebration which marked the nation’s 100th birthday may be likened to a national fiesta which involved only the exercise of the national government’s proprietary function. [Underscoring ours. programs. Pinatubo. projects. 2. accelerated the development of Central Luzon. (g) Submit regular reports to the President on the plans. and Clark Air Base as its major venues.20 Petitioner invokes the ruling of this Court in Torio vs. upon whom the executive power is vested. they were employed in Expo.18 It bears noting the President.19 created the NCC by executive order. suffering because of the eruption of Mt. Now. There can hardly be any dispute that the promotion of industrialization and full employment is a fundamental state policy. it shall include a Philippine National Exposition ’98 within Metro Manila. JUSTICE REYNATO S. (c) To serve as the clearing house for the preparation and dissemination of all information about the plans and events for the Centennial Celebrations. PUNO: And in addition to that expounded by Former President Ramos. literature and media as vehicles for history. Petitioner himself admitted as much in the oral arguments before this Court: MR.

the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut held inter alia: Municipal corporations are exempt from liability for the negligent performance of purely public governmental duties. is that it is government in essence. otherwise. it was a "vehicle for fostering nationhood and a strong sense of Filipino identity. is made a public holiday. but which failed to explode until it reached the ground. when that date falls upon Sunday. and then killed a spectator. to memorialize the liberation of our people from oppression by a foreign power. was not to secure profit or gain but merely to provide entertainment to the town inhabitants is not a conclusive test. calculated to entertain and instruct the people generally and to arouse and stimulate patriotic sentiments and love of country. (99 A. however." The significance of the Celebrations could not have been lost on petitioner. accompanied by a musical program including patriotic air sometimes preceded by the firing of cannon and followed by fireworks. The Celebrations was an occasion to reflect upon our history and reinvigorate our patriotism. This was denied. social. and cultural backgrounds" could produce a conclusion different from that in Torio: We came across an interesting case which shows that surrounding circumstances plus the political. the surrounding circumstances of a particular case are to be considered and will be decisive." an opportunity to "showcase Filipino heritage and thereby strengthen Filipino values. the Court. The mere fact that the celebration." Thus. citing an American case. Note that the Court cautioned that "there can be no hard and fast rule for purposes of determining the true nature of an undertaking or function of a municipality. as claimed.[Section 2282 of the Chapter on Municipal Law of the Revised Administrative Code] simply gives authority to the municipality to [celebrate] a yearly fiesta but it does not impose upon it a duty to observe one. Plaintiff sought to amend his complaint to allege that the celebration was for the corporate advantage of the city. A municipality corporation.R. At any rate the rationale of the Majority Opinion is evident from [this] excerpt: "July 4th. Torio. In affirming the order. and the like which are for public service. including a display of fireworks. was engaged in the performance of a governmental duty. Throughout the country it has been recognized and celebrated as such. 1998 marked 100 years of independence and sovereignty as one united nation. While there is no United States statute making a similar provision. The Centennial Celebrations was meant to commemorate the birth of our nation after centuries of struggle against our former colonial master. x x x" Surely. City of New Haven. These celebrations. conducted a public Fourth of July celebration. July 4th as a national holiday. 223 put it. July 5th. the maintenance of parks is not a source of income for the town. frequently take the form of literary exercises consisting of patriotic speeches and the reading of the Constitution. by our statutes. illustrated how the "surrounding circumstances plus the political. jails. All or nearly all of the other states have similar statutes. in footnote 15 of Torio. and cultural backgrounds may have a decisive bearing on this question. the different departments of the government recognize. called Independence Day. and sent up a bomb intended to explode in the air. The case of Pope v. The basic element. was an action to recover damages for personal injuries caused during a Fourth of July fireworks display resulting in the death of a bystander alleged to have been caused by defendants’ negligence. The defendants demurred to the complaint invoking the defense that the city was engaged in the performance of a public governmental duty from which it received no pecuniary benefit and for negligence in the performance of which no statutory liability is imposed.O. 51) This decision was concurred in by three Judges while two dissented. nonetheless it is [a] private undertaking as distinguished from the maintenance of public schools. For instance. who remarked during the hearing: . Holding a fiesta even if the purpose is to commemorate a religious or historical event of the town is in essence an act for the special benefit of the community and not for the general welfare of the public performed in pursuance of a policy of the state. et al. and have recognized since the government was established. unless made liable by statute…. however beneficial to the public the undertaking may be. did not intend to lay down an all-encompassing doctrine. a town fiesta cannot compare to the National Centennial Celebrations. the function becomes private or propriety in character. social. the surrounding circumstances of a particular case are to be considered and will be decisive. Easily. This demurrer was sustained by the Superior Court of New Haven Country. which under permissive authority of its charter or of statute. there can be no hard and fast rule for purposes of determining the true nature of an undertaking or function of a municipality. That such celebrations are of advantage to the general public and their promotion a proper subject of legislation can hardly be questioned. no governmental or public policy of the state is involved in the celebration of a town fiesta. As stated earlier. As A.

1871. the date and place of opening and holding the exhibition. "But. as opposed to a lucrative office or an office of profit. and is supposed to be accepted merely for the public good. who enters on the duties pertaining to his station without any contract defining them. certainly the State is interested in the unity of the people. No. The commission was created under a statute of the United States approved March 3. on the nomination of the governor of the States and Territories respectively. yes. which an individual is appointed by government to perform. shall be made without the consent of the United States Centennial Commission. and shall appoint all judges and examiners and award all premiums. The seventh section of the act provides "that the grounds for exhibition shall be prepared and the buildings erected by the corporation. this element of continuance can not be considered as indispensable. or otherwise affecting the rights. 128 as an "ad-hoc body" make said commission less of a public office. change. therefore. for. and under the statute provision was to be made for it to have exclusive control of the exhibit before the President should announce. shall be fixed and established by the United States Centennial Commission.24 But it is a public office. products.it seems very difficult to distinguish such a charge or employment from an office of the person who performs the duties from an officer. nonetheless. and manufactures. called "The Centennial Board of Finance. however. It is not conclusive. Various duties were imposed upon the commission. privileges." says Pearson. which is defined by rules prescribed by the government and not by contract.26 There the Supreme Court of Rhode Island ruled that the office of Commissioner of the United States Centennial Commission is an "office of trust" as to disqualify its holder as elector of the United States President and Vice-President. and certainly a position which is merely temporary and local cannot ordinarily be considered an office. one to which salary.e. It was to be organized under the direction of the commission. x x x." and "whose duty it shall be to prepare and superintend the execution of the plan for holding the exhibition. -." says Chief Justice Marshall. the office of petitioner as NCC Chair may be characterized as an honorary office. a public office. The term office." and for the constitution of a commission. proud of our history. A salary is a usual but not a necessary criterion for determining the nature of the position."25 Our conclusion that petitioner is a public officer finds support in In Re Corliss. or is to be held for years or during good behavior. 1872. to consist of more than one delegate from each State and from each Territory of the United States.O. "whether there be but one act or a series of acts to be done.) x x x. as its Chair. love for country. the office is provided for it is a naked or honorary office. i. That statute provides for the holding of an exhibition of American and foreign arts.Oh. That petitioner allegedly did not receive any compensation during his tenure is of little consequence. -. By an act of Congress approved June 1st. The salary is a mere incident and forms no part of the office. and said commission shall have power to control. the NCC performs sovereign functions. or of the public. and petitioner. or interests of the exhibitors.23 Hence." to cooperate with the commission and to raise and disburse the funds. "whose functions shall continue until close of the exhibition. if the other elements are present "it can make no difference. if those duties continue though the person be changed. and no grant conferring rights or privileges of any description connected with said grounds or buildings. by proclamation. Clearly.. and the rules and regulations of said corporation.J. compensation or fees are attached. proud of what our forefather did in their time. "if a duty be a continuing one. governing rates for entrance and admission fees. that is the over-all goal that has to make everybody feel proud that he is a Filipino. It is. is a public officer. or relating to said exhibition or celebration." At the same time. "under the auspices of the government of the United States.whether the office expires as soon as the one act is done. in accordance with plans which shall have been adopted by the United States Centennial Commission. Neither is the fact that the NCC was characterized by E.. We think a Commissioner of the United States Centennial Commission holds an office of trust under the United States. and that he is therefore disqualified for the office of elector of President and Vice-President of the United States. the duties and functions of the commission were further increased and defined. Where a salary or fees is annexed. C." Under the statute the commissioners are appointed by the President of the United States." The tenth section of the act provides that "it shall be the duty of the United States Centennial Commission to . That act created a corporation. embraces the idea of tenure and duration. or revoke all such grants. we wanted to rekindle the love for freedom. it is said. a person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States is disqualified from being appointed an elector. (Under Article II of the United States Constitution.

2. moreover. from the treasury of the United States. provides that a public officer is: . 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and is. is defined by Section 2 of said law as follows: SEC.supervise the closing up of the affairs of said corporation. permanent or temporary. and that the places which they hold are offices. from the government as defined in the preceding paragraph. and final in their character. it is contended that since petitioner supposedly did not receive any compensation for his services as NCC or Expocorp Chair. as defined by the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989. – As used in this Act. therefore. and that they were not merely subordinate and provisional. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. section 7.A.] It is clear from Section 2 (b). petitioner’s position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Expocorp arose from his Chairmanship of the NCC. Having arrived at the conclusion that the NCC performs executive functions and is. therefore. administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. but that they are." under R.27 Finally. or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. No. [Emphasis supplied. that the duties and functions of the commission were various. provided for in this act." It is apparent from this statement. and submit in a report to the President of the United States the financial results of the centennial exhibition. that the definition of a "public officer" is expressly limited to the application of R. the term – xxx (b) "Public officer" includes elective and appointive officials and employees. in pursuance of statutory direction and authority. beyond the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman." Article 203 of the Revised Penal Code. officers. 3. his acts or omissions as CEO of Expocorp must be viewed in the light of his powers and functions as NCC Chair. Definition of terms. for the act under which they were appointed declares. agents. but in the highest degree authoritative. the use of the term "includes" in Section 2 (b) indicates that the definition is not restrictive. Moreover. A "public officer. whether in the classified or unclassified or exemption service receiving compensation.A." The only other officers provided for were the "alternates" appointed to serve as commissioners when the commissioners were unable to attend. matters that are best resolved at trial. Corrupt practices of public officers. Even assuming that Expocorp is a private corporation. Respondent seeks to charge petitioner with violation of Section 3 (e) of said law. Said definition does not apply for purposes of determining the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. even nominal. including the Government. 28 The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act is just one of several laws that define "public officers. advantage or preference in the discharge of his official. which is but partial. that "no compensation for services shall be paid to the commissioners or other officers. which reads: SEC. 3019. 3019. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxx (e) Causing any undue injury to any party. that they could be successfully performed only by men of large experience and knowledge of affairs. – In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. Consequently. are not to be regarded as mere employees. a public office. It appears. properly speaking. or committee men. delicate. for example. to audit its accounts. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. above. We think that persons performing such duties and exercising such functions. he is not a public officer as defined in Republic Act No. To illustrate. and important. No. we need no longer delve at length on the issue of whether Expocorp is a private or a public corporation. that they were originally regarded as officers by Congress. discretionary. the question of whether petitioner is a public officer under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act involves the appreciation of evidence and interpretation of law.

commissions. the petition is DISMISSED. or performs in said Government or in any of its branches public duties as an employee. L-23226 March 4.29 on the other hand. 6713 (The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees). SO ORDERED. or some other form of compensation. takes part in the performance of public functions in the Government of Philippines. regardless of amount.A. this proceeding is not the proper forum to settle these issues lest we preempt the trial court from resolving them. honorarium." as the term is used in Section 2 (b) of R. by direct provision of law. permanent or temporary. payments for services. "compensation" has been held to include allowance for personal expenses. under the by-laws of Expocorp. has many meanings. No. It bears noting that under Section 3 (b) of Republic Act No. 3019 is exclusive. agent or subordinate official. refers to a person whose duties not being of a clerical or manual nature. mileage or traveling expenses.A. Under particular circumstances. to be interpreted? Did petitioner receive any compensation at all as NCC Chair? Granting that petitioner did not receive any salary. "officer" includes any government employee.x x x any person who. thus: "Public Officials" include elective and appointive officials and employees. the term "compensation. agent or body having authority to do the act or exercise that function. Notably.30 How then is "compensation. one may be considered a "public official" whether or not one receives compensation. Which of these definitions should apply. the CEO is entitled to per diems and compensation. 1925 . involves the exercise of discretion in the performance of the functions of the government. restitution or a balancing of accounts. an honorarium. whether in the career or non-career service including military and police personnel. Section 2 (14) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code of 1987. of any rank or class. popular election or appointment by competent authority.R. No. When used with reference to a person having authority to do a particular act or perform a particular person in the exercise of governmental power. fees. the records do not reveal if he received any allowance." which is not defined by said law.31 Would such fact bear any significance? Obviously. No. 2001 is hereby LIFTED. fee. WHEREFORE. whether or not they receive compensation. and wages. salary. The preliminary injunction issued in the Court’s Resolution dated September 24. G. 3019. if at all? Assuming that the definition of public officer in R. states: Officer – as distinguished from "clerk" or "employee". expenses.

the City of Baguio. and that a public office is not a contract. judgment was rendered by Honorable Adolph Wislizenus. overruling the demurrer.stones. PEDRO NOEL. he was ordered by the Secretary of Justice on July 1. in force when Vicente Segovia was originally appointed justice of the peace. for any other minor political division or unorganized territory in said Islands. Codal section 203 in its first paragraph provides that "one justice of the peace and one auxiliary justice of the peace shall be appointed by the Governor-General for the City of Manila. the law was again amended by Act No. Mr. That justices and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be appointed to serve until they have reached the age of sixty-five years. the first two relating to preliminary matters are ultimately renounced by him in order that there may be an authoritative decision on the main issue. in section 67 of Act No. petitioner-appellee. 1907. 136. Cebu. Segovia being sixty-five years old had automatically ceased to be justice of the peace. amended section 67 of the Judiciary Law by making the term of office of justices and auxiliary justices of the peace two years from the first Monday in January nearest the date of appointment. 1450. respondent-appellant. MALCOLM. Pedro Noel. wherein it was provided that justices of the peace shall hold office during the pleasure of the Commission. Coming now to the law. The third error specified and argued with ability by the provincial fiscal of Cebu. On the issue thus framed and on stipulated facts. the law was ultimately codified in sections 203 and 206 of the Administrative Code. To this complaint. Segovia being desirous of avoiding a public scandal and of opposing physical resistance to the occupancy of the office of justice of the peace by the auxiliary justice of the peace. It is a fundamental principle that a public office cannot be regarded as the property of the incumbent. 1627 by providing that "all justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace shall hold office during good behavior and those now in office shall so continue. J. is that the trial judge erred in declaring that the limitation regarding the age of justices of the peace provided by section 1 of Act No. and municipal district in the Philippine Islands. while the respondent as appellant assigns three errors in this court." and reading "a justice of the peace having the requisite legal qualifications shall hold office during good behavior unless his office be lawfully abolished or merged in the jurisdiction of some other justice." But section 206 of the Administrative Code entitled "Tenure of office." was left unchanged by Act No. Vicente Segovia was appointed justice of the peace of Dumanjug. vs. 3107 is not applicable to justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace appointed and acting before said law went into effect. Provincial Fiscal Diaz for appellant. to oust the latter therefrom. 3107 was constitutional and because Mr. township. however. and if the public interests shall so require. He continuously occupied this position until having passed sixty-five mile.: The question to be decided on this appeal is whether that portion of Act No. 3107. Pedro Noel interposed a demurrer on the ground that it did not allege facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. instituted friendly quo warranto proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Cebu to inquire into the right of Pedro Noel to occupy the office of justice of the peace. and for each municipality. Act No. Del Rosario and Del Rosario for appellee. to the effect that section 1 of Act No. Since that date." It was this section which section 1 of Act No.five years." Later amended by Acts Nos. it will first be noted that the petitioner abandons the untenable position. the auxiliary justice of the peace has acted as justice of the peace for the municipality of Dumanjug. 1924. on January 21. 2041 and 2617. and in favor of petitioner and against respondent. 3107 is unconstitutional in that it impairs the contractual right of the petitioner to an office. should be given retroactive or prospective effect. A sound canon of statutory construction is that a statute operates prospectively only and never retroactively. Proceeding by way of elimination so as to resolve the case into its simplest factors. unless the legislative intent to the contrary is made manifest either by the express terms of the statute or by necessary implication. Vicente Zacarias as amicus curiae. and to procure reinstatement as justice of the peace of Dumanjug. Shortly after Segovia's appointment. to vacate the office. . we find on investigation the original provision pertinent to the appointment and term of office of justices of the peace. Judge of First Instance. because Act No. assumed by him in one portion of his complaint.VICENTE SEGOVIA. It will next be noted that. 3107 amended by adding at the end thereof the following proviso: "Provided. that justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be appointed to serve until they have reached the age of sixty. 3107 which provides.

329). Mechem on Public Officers. a new constitutional provision as to the advanced age which should prevent the incumbents of certain judicial offices from retaining them was held prospective. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co. L-16887 November 17. The language of Act No. 23. 3107 amendatory of section 203 of the Administrative Code. 843. Pingree [1888].C." There the intention of the Legislature to vacate the office was clearly expressed. The law signifies no purpose of operating upon existing rights. vs..) The same rule is followed by the courts with reference to public offices. It is so ordered. A proviso was merely tacked on to section 203 of the Administrative Code. a right to his office. particularly pages 1161. it did not apply to persons in office at the time of its taking effect. 306. unless the words used are so clear. Consequently. but it further provided "that the present judges of Courts of First Instance . 1920 . Chap. 389. G. 5 Utah.) The case at bar is not the same as the case of Chanco vs. and in the absence of provisions impliedly indicative of such legislative intent.Y.. 198... As our Civil Code has it in article 3." (Farrel vs. Montilla vs. 1162.Following the lead of the United States Supreme Court and putting the rule more strongly. 209 U. "Law shall not have a retroactive effect unless therein otherwise provided. II Lewis' Sutherland Statutory Construction. 24 Phil. or unless the intention of the legislature cannot be otherwise satisfied. No court will hold a statute to be retroactive when the legislature has not said so. and imperative that no other meaning can be annexed to them.. 3107 went into force. should be given prospective effect only. with the advice and consent of the Philippine Commission... XVII. and so is not applicable to justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace appointed before Act No. Green [1874].R. Judgment affirmed. 34 Phil. we hold that the proviso added to section 203 of the Administrative Code by section 1 of Act No. 114 N. No. 16 Pac. it is not expressed at all. which may not be disturbed by legislation. the terms should be clear in which the purpose is stated. vacate their positions on the taking effect of this Act: and the Governor-General. In that case. 59 Barb.) In another case. If that right is to be taken away by statute. [1907]. yet the incumbent has. the courts would not be justified in giving the law an interpretation which would legislate faithful public servants out of office. Greer vs. providing that justices and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be appointed to serve until they have reached the age of sixty-five years. 3107. the question was as to the validity of section 7 of Act No.. while leaving intact section 206 of the same Code which permits justices of the peace to hold office during good behavior.. In the absence of provisions expressly making the law applicable to justices of the peace then in office. in a sense." (People ex rel. 495. Imperial ( [1916].. Struthers Wells Co. a statute ought not to receive a construction making it act retroactively. 443. sec. The law under consideration not only provided that Judges of First Instance shall serve until they have reached the age of sixty-five years. In re will of Riosa [1918].. City of Asheville [1894]. 220. Here. 2347. shall make new appointments of judges of Courts of First Instance . Gardner. . without costs.S.. A well-known New York decision held that "though there is no vested right in an office. Agustinian Corporation [1913]. gives no indication of retroactive effect. 39 Phil. Ryan vs. 58 N. (People vs. it results that the decision of the trial court is correct in its findings of fact and law and in its disposition of the case. 295. Answering the question with which we began our decision. strong.

provides: The provincial governor shall receive and investigate complaints against municipal officers for neglect of duty. the board shall proceed to hear and investigate the truth or falsity of said charges. composed of ANDRES GABRIEL. unless the suspended official shall. the proceedings shall be dismissed. Gregorio Perfecto for petitioner. or to suspend him or continue his suspension pending final action. further suspended. — If. provincial governor of Rizal. The provincial governor has filed an answer to the petition. CORNEJO. Under the title of "Provincial supervision over municipal officers." Article IV of Chapter 57 of the Administrative Code. request an extension of time to prepare his defense. or other form of maladministration in office. shall be reinstated. if previously suspended. If in the opinion of the board the case is one requiring more severe discipline. we should first have before us the applicable provisions of the Philippine law bearing on the subject of suspension of public officers. MALCOLM. furnish a copy of said charges to the accused official. regular or special. to which he was elected by popular vote. J. petitioner. the provincial board shall. the written charges against the officer shall be filed with the board within ten days. Counsel for petitioner has argued.: The petitioner in this case. therefore. that these complaints were investigated by him. Rizal. and if a more severe punishment seems to be desirable. without having an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. it shall without unnecessary delay forward to the Chief of the Executive Bureau certified copies of the record in the case. if in his opinion the charge be one affecting the official integrity of the officer in question. and to have an order issue directed to the provincial governor commanding him to return the petitioner to his position as municipal president of Pasay. not later than fifteen days from the date the accused is furnished a copy of the charges. Action by provincial board. CRUZ. and the PROVINCIAL BOARD OF RIZAL. including the charges. The respondents reply that all that the provincial governor and the provincial board have done in this case is to comply with the requirements of the law which they are sworn to enforce. at its next meeting. Where suspension is thus effected. and in either case the official. for minor delinquency he may reprimand the offender. or further reprimand. he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board. that he came to the conclusion that agreeable to the powers conferred upon provincial governors. or finally dismissed from office. that his client has been deprived of an office. the suspended municipal president of Pasay. and he may in such case suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by the board. in which he alleges as a special defense that numerous complaints have been received by him against the conduct of Miguel R. giving the accused official full opportunity to be heard. it shall direct the provincial governor to deliver such reprimand in pursuance of its judgment. ANDRES GABRIEL. The members of the provincial board have interposed a demurrer based on the ground that this court has no right to keep them from complying with the provisions of the law. The trial of a suspended municipal official and the proceedings incident thereto shall be given preference over the current and routine business of the board. the provincial board shall adjudge that the charges are not sustained. and in case suspension has been effected. The hearing shall occur as soon as may be practicable. seeks by these proceedings in mandamus to have the provincial governor and the provincial board of the Province of Rizal temporarily restrained from going ahead with investigation of the charges filed against him pending resolution of the case. respondents. the evidence. if already suspended.MIGUEL R. Cornejo. municipal president of Pasay. the municipal president should be temporarily suspended. Obviously. corruption. Trial of municipal officer by provincial board. oppression. PEDRO MAGSALIN and CATALINO S. on sufficient grounds. and at the time and place appointed. if it shall adjudge that the accused has been guilty of misconduct which would be sufficiently punished by reprimand. and the findings of the board. and that an investigation is now being conducted by the provincial board. and in such case the board may exercise its discretion to reinstate the official. to which shall be added the recommendation of the board as to whether the official ought to be suspended. . — When written charges are preferred by a provincial governor against a municipal officer. with much eloquence. upon due consideration. with a notification of the time and place of hearing thereon. vs.

Disciplinary suspension made upon order of the chief of the Executive Bureau shall be without pay and in duration shall not exceed two months. of an administrative character. in permitting a provincial governor temporarily to suspend a municipal officer. and not property as such. it is further only fair to mention certain exceptions to the due process of law rule. however. It is but fair.Action by Chief of Executive Bureau. the granting of preliminary injunction ex parte. So much has been written on the subject of due process of law that is would be futile to enter into its intricate mazes. But the point is made that. liberty or property of the individual without any hearing can easily be recalled. the restraint of property in tax cases. Beckham ([1899]. The important fact is that the law. but is a public trust or agency. is purely executive or administrative. Goodnow. that a public official should not be removed or suspended without notice. but if the maladministration in office is more serious he may temporarily suspend the officer. has well said. With the foregoing legal provisions in mind. While a day in court is a matter of right in judicial proceedings. Frank J. as the facts shall warrant. It is self-evident. however. It is for this reason that we can well understand the logic of those who cling to this through and to whom a contemplated violation of the Constitution is most repugnant. it would be necessary to consider an office as "property. one where no one man or set of men has a proprietary or contractual right to an office. Thus it cannot be seriously contended that the courts should interfere with an orderly investigation which is about to be conducted by the provincial board. For a minor delinquency he may reprimand the offender. 12 C. Gomez Jesus [1915]. The procedure followed before the provincial board and later on appeal to the Chief of the Executive Bureau. Den." It is. 31 Phil. and recalling again that the courts have ordinarily to give effect to legislative purposes. charges. is in contravention of the provisions of the Philippine Bill of Rights concerning due process of law. Among these are the arrest of an offender pending the filing of charges. a trial. In the exercise of this disciplinary power by the provincial governor. in receiving and investigating complaints against such officers. we turn to the article by Prof. generally considered the leading authority in the United States on the subject of Administration Law.S. Administrative Code. suspension. Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure. 1405. may take three courses." The basic idea of government in the Philippine Islands. — Upon receiving the papers in any such proceeding the Chief of the Executive Bureau shall review the case without unnecessary delay and shall make such order for the reinstatement. 548). and find the rules as to suspension of public officers laid down very concisely as follows: "Power to suspend may be exercised without notice to the person suspended. for this petition to come under the due process of law prohibition. that a public office is not property within the sense of the constitutional guaranties of due proces of law.. and an opportunity for explanation. but where every officer accepts office pursuant to the provisions of the law and holds the office as a trust for the people whom he represents. the officers being mere agents and not rulers of the people. without an opportunity to be heared in his own defense. 272 followed in Forbes vs. therefore. Bell {1914]. vs.. Chuoco Tiaco [1910]. U. Bunbury. in ordinary cases. 27 Phil. without fear of contradiction. 30 Mich. to condemn without a hearing violates the due process of law clause of the American Constitution and of the Philippine Bill of Rights. due process of law is not necessarily judicial process. or further suspension of the official. and the suspension of officers or employees by the Governor-General or a Chief of a Bureau pending an investigation. The fact should not be lost sight of that we are dealing with an administrative proceeding and not with a judicial proceeding. that.. in ordinary cases. 354. bunbury [1874]. Tan Te vs. is that of a popular representative government. Mr. makes no mention of a formal hearing of the charges.) The citation by . notwithstanding the provisions of the law and notwithstanding long official practice. all that he can do before the presentation of formal charges is either to reprimand the officer or to suspend him temporarily from office. (Weimer vs. Coming now to the more specific consideration of the issue in this case. The provincial governor.) Again. But not permitting our judgment to be unduly swayed by sympathy for the petitioner's brave fight. the temporary suspension of a municipal officer.. The law is especially careful to guard the rights of officer charged with maladministration in office. In certain proceedings. the leading American writer on constitutional Law. Examples of special or summary proceedings affecting the life. which is as much due process of law. 201. Chief Justice Fuller said that: "Decisions are numerous to the effect that public offices are mere agencies or trust. sec. A very minute and extensive procedure is provided by the Legislature for central and provincial supervision of municipal officers.. which would seem to include the instant case. 18 How. and thereafter may file written charges against the officer with the provincial board. In the case of Taylor vs." (P.. supra. Nor can there be any doubt as to the meaning of the law. 1224. as in the United States. well settled in the United States. S. 29. In the latter case the provincial governor's action is not a finality. does not concern us. vs. 534. dismissal. while interesting. 16 Phil. 218 and other Philippine cases). as is judicial process. it may be stated. As Judge Cooley. (See Weimer vs. [1856]. 178. and the order of society maintained.J. Hoboken Land and Improvement Co. U. in Vol. that the right to a notice and hearing are not essential to due process of law. in administrative proceedings it is otherwise since they rest upon different principles. certain aspects of the case can be disposed of without difficulty.. No final dismissal hereinunder shall take effect until recommended by the Department Head and approved by the Governor-General. 694. much of the process by means of which the Government is carried on.

we are compelled to hold that such official action was. suspend an officer for neglect of duty in office without giving previous notice to the officer of the charge made against him.. required to act and act promptly. stopping to set forth the facts. Cas. pending his trial.. which includes notice and a hearing.lawph!l. Without." The highest court of the State has held that this statue was not a violation of the constitution of the State. by the very and spirit of the law. The third case cited by Ruling Case Law comes from the United States Supreme Court. A later compilation of the pertinent authorities is to be found in 22 Ruling Case Law. It was here held by the Supreme Court of Florida that the governor could. yet it was never claimed that in criminal procedure a person could not be arrested and deprived of his liberty until a trial could reasonably be had. (Wilson vs. so as to tie his hands for the time being. 944). 16 Ann. under section 15 of the executive article of the Constitution. necessarily upon his own findings of fact. — charged with malfeasance or nonfeasance in office. . 564. and the rights of the parties determined. Suspension does not remove the officer. 169 U. 50 Minn. therefore. although the commission was designed by a statute subsequent to that which created it. therefore. 586.. of a public officer. only the following from the body of the decisioned be noted. and from the very necessities of the case must precede a trial or hearing. In a discussion of the subject more general than specific.S. To leave them in full charge of their office until the next biennial session of the legislature. from performing the functions of his office.) An examination of the decision. Even if it were proper. therefore. Nor is a suspension wanting in due process of law or a denial of the equal protection of the laws because the evidence against the officer is not produced and he is not given an opportunity to confront his accusers and crossexamine the witnesses. Megaarden (85 Minn. the facts are not exactly on all fours with those before us. ex rel. until a trial could be had. 41). that he was lawfully suspended from office. . the Governor would have no power to direct an issue like a chancellor. On the subject of suspension of public officers it is heared said: The suspension of an officer pending his trial for misconduct. 239). Such temporary suspension without previous hearing is fully in accordance with the analogies of the law. which in turn is predicated on State vs. seems to be universally accepted as fair.net The case to support the first sentence in the above enunciation of the rule is State vs. or pending litigation which might be continued for year. of the authority of the legislature to vest the governor with power to temporarily suspend a county treasurer pending the investigation of the charges against him. North Carolina [1897]. 30 Fla. It is a constitutional principle that no person shall be deprived of his liberty or property except by due process of law. pp. As the Governor was. under the circumstances. As a result the court held that the defendant had not been deprived of his property without due process of law. R. .Professor Goodnow to support his conclusion is State of Florida. for the time being. The holding of the court here was that it is within the power of the legislature to authorize the temporary suspension of a public officer during the pendency of valid proceedings to remove such officer and as an incident to such proceedings. 410). however. The case cited by the editors of Ruling Case Law as authority for their second sentence is that of Griner vs. and often necessary. that the officer taking office under the statute was bound to take it on the terms provided for therein. 101 Texas. which is the highest law. would destroy the very object of the law.. or that in civil actions ex parte and temporary injunctions might not be issued and retained in proper case. imperatively requires the suspension. Attorney-General vs. . 565. but merely prevents him. 36. due process of law. and that he was not entitled to a trial by jury upon the hearing of this case in the trial court. Notice and hearing are not preprequisites to the suspension of a public officer under a statute which does not provide for such notice and hearing.: In speaking of the statute and the purpose of this particular provision the Supreme Court of the State said: "The duty of suspension was imposed upon the Governor from the highest motives of public policy to prevent the danger to the public interests which might arise from leaving such great powers and responsibilities in the hands of men legally disqualified. A. viz. a court of record. We have no doubt. 433. 18 L. it was said: The safety of the state.. Thomas ([1907]. that the office was substantially an administrative one. Johnson ([1892]. — especially a custodian of public funds. that the hearing before the Governor was sufficient. Peterson ([1892]. notwithstanding the fact that the constitution has given power to remove such officer only for cause and after a hearing. shows that while it tends to substantiate the rule. of official misconduct. nor had he been denied the equal protection of the laws. Notice and hearing are not prerequisite to suspension unless required by statute and therefore suspension without such notice does not deprive the officer of property without due process of law.

App..xxx xxx xxx We are of opinion the plaintiff in error was not deprived of any right guaranteed to him by the Federal Constitution. The same might be said of any administrative officer. The presumption. .. Preston vs.. again.S. Such suppositions are not unusual even as to cases before the courts. 16 Phil.Y.) Certain intimations have been made that under the procedure prescribed by the law an injustice might be done municipal officers. (There can also be cited as supporting authority State ex rel. The procedure was in accordance with the constitution and laws of the State. Police Commissioners. but in this as in all other instances. but the law before us expedites the proceedings by fixing a short period of ten days within which the provincial governor must lay the charges before the provincial board. it is our duty to apply the law without fear or favor. Board of Police and Fire Commissioners [1915]. 159 Wis. 366. Wendling vs. What kind and how much of a hearing the officer should have before suspension by the Governor was a matter for the state legislature to determine. after most thoughtful consideration. and resulting in his suspension from office. certainly a remedy can be found to make him do so. 81 Ark. 134 Ga. Governor-General ([1910]. Accordingly.. The suggestion that an unfriendly governor might unduly delay the hearing is also without much force. Gray vs. Petition denied with costs. 295. Not only this. and People vs. 224. Sumpter vs. City of Chicago [1910]. State vs. or in fact of any judicial officer. and if he does not. fully conscious of the trust reposed in him by the law. Of more compelling force is the suggestion from the other side that the public interest might suffer detriment by postponing the temporary suspension until after the hearing. which must be heard by the latter body within fifteen days. having regard to the constitution of the State. where it was held that the legislature has the right to authorize an officer to remove an appointive or elective officer without notice or hearing. In the language of Justice Trent in Severino vs. as it is in favor of judicial action. as the state court has held. will act only in cases where strong reasons exist for exercising the power of suspension and upon a high consideration of his duty. "the presumption is just as conclusive in favor of executive action. It was taken under a valid statute creating a state office in a constitutional manner. State {1906]. is that every officer will do his duty promptly. McLendon [1901].. 402). the presumption always is that the law will be followed and that the investigation and the hearing will be impartial.. 947. Our holding. as to its correctness and justness. 124 N. So ordered.. 246 III. Draper [1910]. 60." We entertain no doubt that the provincial governor. 16 Mo. by reason of the proceedings before the Governor under the statute above mentioned. is that the provisions of section 2188 of the Administrative Code are clear and that they do not offend the due process of law clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights. 26. 758.

During the pre-trial. Soon after the proclamation of private respondent. No. 1993. . Rollo. p. all pending incidents including the report of the Board of Revisors as well as petitioner's formal offer of evidence were considered submitted for resolution without private respondent having caused the revision of the ballots in the 36 counter-protested precincts. respondents. Thereafter. In an order dated April 15. The protest covered twentytwo (22) precincts.R. petitioner. Based on the official returns of the Municipal Board of Canvassers for the said municipality. 1993. he (Judge Lopez) declared during a hearing in October 1992 that once a ruling is made on the contested ballots of the 22 protested precincts. Petitioner filed another manifestation and motion on September 29. private respondent's counsel filed a motion praying that the 36 counter-protested precincts be revised only if it is shown after completion of the revision of the 22 protested precincts that petitioner leads by a margin of at least one (1) vote. Rosauro Radovan" with the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City. the revision of some 36 precincts contained in the counter-protest filed by respondent Radovan. Regional Trial Court of Lucena City. Hon. Presiding Judge Lopez ruled that "(p)rotestant's offer of evidence as well as the protestee's objections thereto are now submitted for the Court's resolution" (Rollo. Ediltrudes Radovan. 1992. By April 1993. J. to Proclaim Winner and to Allow Assumption of Office" dated August 27. among others.G. July 6. On June 13. surprisingly. The then presiding Judge. 1992 and October 18. Ludovico Lopez. JUDGE FEDERICO TAÑADA. Private respondent opposed the motion and reiterated that the ballots of the 36 counter-protested precincts should only be revised and recounted if it is shown after the revision of the contested ballots of the 22 precincts that petitioner leads by at least one (1) vote. Branch 58.215 votes as against petitioner's 5. 1992. praying that the counter-protest be considered withdrawn from the time the final report of the Board of Revisors is submitted to the court for approval. he will not allow further revision of ballots. The said orders were issued by respondent judge in resolving petitioner/protestant's "Motion to Determine Votes. 1994 EVELYN ABEJA. private respondent Rosauro Radovan died. petitioner urged private respondent to commence the revision of the 36 counter-protested precincts by praying the necessary fees for the purpose. Quezon. In view thereof. in the May 11. petitioner filed an election contest. The trial court declared discussion on the matter to be premature (TSN. 1992. and ROSAURO RADOVAN (deceased) *. national elections. 1993 issued by respondent Judge Federico Tañada which decreed. He was substituted by Vice-Mayor Conrado de Rama and. Private respondent refused. private respondent filed an Answer with a Counter-Protest of the results in thirty-six (36) precincts. 1992. The revision of the ballots covering 22 protested precincts was completed in September 1992. 148). 112283 August 30. vs. docketed as Election Case No. p. 61).: In this petition for certiorari.951 votes. 1993. 8-12. according to petitioner. did not rule on the aforementioned motions but. BIDIN. by his surviving spouse. On June 5. entitled "Evelyn Abeja vs. pp. 921. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: Petitioner Evelyn Abeja and private respondent Rosauro Radovan (deceased) were contenders for the office of municipal mayor of Pagbilao. private respondent was credited with 6. petitioner seeks the annulment of the orders dated September 21. petitioner moved that the counter-protest of private respondent be considered withdrawn.

On August 12. or a declaration of the winner in the election protest for that matter. as protestant below. Given this state of the proceedings. enjoining respondents from continuing with the revision of the ballots in the 36 counter-protested precincts. 1993. petitioner contends that the revision of the counter-protested precincts filed by private respondent has already been abandoned by his failure to pursue the same. It appears. the ruling did not contain a summation of the exact number of votes to be credited to each of the parties. she fails to cite a specific oral or written order of Judge Lopez containing such warning or at least the date and circumstances of the hearing in which the said warning was issued. As prayed for by petitioner. the Court hereby informs the parties that pending matters submitted for resolution will be duly resolved on or before August 20. the court could not render a valid decision. Although petitioner claims that Judge Lopez issued a warning to private respondent to the effect that he (private respondent) shall not be allowed to cause the revision of the counter-protested precincts after the revision of the protested precincts is completed and ruled upon. the trial court issued an order stating that "(c)ounsels for both parties having signified to this Court that they are submitting the motion to resolve without further argument. 1993. the alleged warning issued by Judge Lopez is unsubstantiated and must therefore be disregarded. Petitioner also argue that the case was deemed submitted for decision upon submission by the Board of Revisors of the Report on the Revision of the 22 protested precincts. Shortly thereafter. the . 1993" (Rollo.On July 13. however. Respondent judge ruled that petitioner's motion was indeed premature on the ground that until after the 36 counter-protested precincts have been revised. The sole issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not private respondents should be allowed to proceed with the revision of the 36 precincts subject of the counter-protest. 161). right after the revision of the 22 protested precincts. petitioner. These orders are the subject of this petition filed on November 8. respondent judge issued another order denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration and directed the revision committee to conduct a revision of the results of the 36 counter-protested precincts scheduled on November 10. 1993. the Board of Revisors had submitted its report and the trial court issued a ruling dated August 18. 1993. she led private respondent by a margin of 281 votes. Before transferring to his new post. 1993. p. after the revision committee had completed revising 11 ballot boxes. On August 27. To Proclaim Winner and to Allow Assumption of Office" considering that based on her own computation of revised ballots ruled upon by Judge Lopez. 143). Judge Lopez issued an order dated August 18. denied the "Motion to Determine Votes. 1993. herein respondent Judge Federico Tañada. who succeeded Judge Lopez. 1993. In the said order. 1993 on the said revision. completed the revision of ballots in the 22 protested precincts in September 1992 and her presentation of evidence in April 1993. the Court issued a temporary restraining order on November 17. Judge Lopez was reassigned to the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City. that the restraining order was served on November 19. 1993 which contained his ruling in each of the contested ballots in the 22 contested precincts and the reasons therefor. Private respondents filed a Motion to Correct the order dated August 18. 1993. Consequently. petitioner filed a "Motion to Determine Votes. however. which this Court must now provide. Respondents claim that petitioner's "Motion to Proclaim Winner" is premature since the 36 counter-protested precincts are yet to be revised. In the instant case. to Proclaim Winner and to Allow Assumption of Office" filed by petitioner. p. This motion being a motion to resolve. On October 18. the originals of the contested ballots in the ballot boxes were subjected to careful scrutiny in the seclusion of the Court's chamber" (Rollo. issued by Judge Lopez as well as oppositions to the motion of petitioner. Judge Lopez emphasized that "in ruling on the various objections lodged by both parties during the revision proceedings. 1993. It is clear from the records that Judge Lopez failed to issue a definitive ruling on this specific procedural issue raised by the parties. 1993. Likewise. private respondents de Rama and Radovan filed a Manifestation seeking a prompt resolution of all pending incidents. Nonetheless. In an order dated September 21. Coming now to the merits of the case.

or on August 18. petitioner considers the August 18. Section 2.question to be resolved is whether respondent may still be allowed to commence the revision of the counter-protested precincts or should he be deemed to have waived his right to present his own evidence. — The presentation and reception of evidence in election contests shall be made in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 17 of these Rules. (b) The protestant-in-intervention. for special reasons. Considering that this petition involves an election protest heard by a regional trial court. if not immediately after the revision of the precincts covered by the protest proper. Section 11. 2. shall then offer evidence in support of his defense or counterprotest. No law or rule authorizes such a procedure. as the case may be. Consequently. in part: Sec. Petitioner objects to the stand taken by private respondent on the procedure to be followed for being "unprocedural" in the sense that a decision rendered on the election protest would be subject to another decision for the counter-protest. . 11. the Comelec Rules of Procedure are controlling. the revision of the counterprotested precincts after stubbornly refusing to do so. private respondent must be deemed to have waived or abandoned his counter-protest. * Section 2. i. Rule 35 provides: Sec. The record shows that the revision of ballots in the 22 protested precincts was completed sometime in September 1992. The petition is impressed with merit. The applicable Comelec rules provide for the presentation of evidence by the parties in succession in the order or sequence provided under Sec. private respondent failed to commence the revision of the ballots in the counter-protested precincts. In the interim. the applicable rules of procedure do not allow presentation of evidence after the court has already rendered a decision. It is further argued that since the 36 counter-protested precincts were already under the jurisdiction of the trial court. (c) The respondent or protestee shall then offer evidence in support of his defense or counter-protest. stubbornly maintaining the position that said precincts should be revised only if it is shown after the revision that petitioner leads private respondent by at least one (1) vote. if any. Clearly. if any. Presentation and reception of evidence. but the same shall be completed within thirty (30) days from the date of the commencement thereof. directs otherwise. rule 17 (Comelec Rules) which must be submitted within a reasonable time. It thus appears from the foregoing rule that the petitioner/protestant and the respondent/protestee shall present their evidence upon their original case in succession in accordance with the order or sequence provided therein. 1993 Order of Judge Lopez to be the "decision" on the case although the order did not contain a summation of the total votes credited to each of the parties or a declaration of the winner in the election protest. Order of hearing. On the other hand. Rule 35 of the aforementioned Comelec rules are applicable. the same should have been revised unconditionally and should not have been subjected to the whim and caprice of the private respondent. — Unless the Commission or the Division. Rule 17 treats of Hearings whereas Rule 35 treats of Election Contests Before Courts of General Jurisdiction. 2.e. Rule 17 and Section 11. Judge Lopez issued a ruling on the said revision almost a year later. Rule 17 provides. In view of the fact that the subject election contest was filed on May 26. the order of hearing shall be as follows: (a) The petitioner or protestant shall present evidence on his part. Petitioner argues that while the sequence in the presentation of evidence may be altered for special reasons. if any.. 1992. 1993.

and all throughout the course of the proceedings. as early as the pre-trial of the case. Nothing that the resolution of petitioner's protest took almost a year. to Declare Winner and to Allow Assumption of Office" and directing the revision of the counterprotested precincts at this late hour. he contends that about the same length of time would be saved in the event a revision of the counter-protested precincts would be declared unnecessary. Suffice it to state that the procedure proposed by private respondent is not sanctioned by the Rules and need not delay us any longer that it already has in the disposition of this case. In the event petitioner is declared the winning candidate. — (b) In case revision of ballots is required. the sum of three hundred pesos (P300. upon proper motion. counter-protest or protest-in-intervention. (b). Private respondent's argument is that the procedure advocated by him would actually save time. it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable length of time. by exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier. to do that which. (c) Failure to make the cash deposits herein provided within the prescribed time limit shall result in the automatic dismissal of the protest. Cash Deposit. leads by at least one (1) vote. it is readily apparent from the provisions of the applicable Comelec Rules that the court shall render its decision after both parties shall have presented their respective evidence. warranting a presumption that a party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it (Republic v. 60). . it is alleged that "the record of the case definitely show (sic) that Judge Lopez himself categorically ruled that the counter-protest was filed on time and the necessary cash deposit submitted by private respondent pursuant to law" (Rollo. In the case at bar.00 each. the order of Judge Lopez dated August 18. de Jesus and the accompanying case of Tobon Uy v. there shall be deposited. as the case may be. However. 79 SCRA 177 [1977]). However. private respondent fails to cite that part of the record in which the said ruling may be found. she should. the counter-protest shall be automatically dismissed as provided in Sec. it would be possible for the protestee to prolong the protest and render it moot by expiration of the term of office contested. in a general sense. his opponent. Rule 35 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. Under the circumstances and for reasons discussed above. within ten days after being required by the Court. be allowed to immediately assume the contested office. Nowhere in the said provisions is it indicated that presentation of evidence by the protestee may continue after the court has ruled on the evidence of the protestant and determine the number of votes obtained by the latter. Furthermore.00) for every ballot box for the compensation of revisors at the rate of P100. 10. We say this because in their pleadings. is a failure or neglect. Otherwise. 1993 which resolved the party litigants' objections to the revised ballots may very well be the subject of a valid decision to resolve the instant electoral protest based on the revised ballots of the 22 protested precincts. private respondent is adopting a self-serving rule without legal sanction calculated to unduly prolong the litigation. Instead of conducting the revision of his counter-protested precincts. There is likewise merit to petitioner's claim that private respondent is guilty of laches. private respondent unreasonably failed to cause the revision of the counter-protested precincts despite being afforded ample time to do so and must be deemed to have abandoned it. we hold that the respondent judge erred in rendering the assailed orders denying petitioner's "Motion to Determine Votes. In the Comment of private respondent's widow. which. so to speak. for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time. it cannot be denied that private respondent has maintained the same position regarding the revision of his counter-protest from the very beginning. it is not clear from the record of the case whether Judge Lopez issued an order requiring private respondent to pay the required cash deposit for the revision of the ballots in the counter-protested precincts in accordance with Section 10. Although Judge Lopez' inaction may have contributed to the delay of the case. petitioner and private respondent have amply discussed their respective arguments in the applicability of Garcia v.By insisting that the counter-protested precincts should be revised only if it is shown after the revision of the protested precincts that petitioner. Caballero. p. 10[c] thereof: Sec. otherwise. However. private respondent Radovan must bear the grave consequences of his stubborn and unfounded refusal to proceed with the revision of the counter-protested precincts. private respondent hedged and stalled on the resolution of the case which is a purely dilatory technique. Upon the foregoing. Private respondent attributes the delay in the resolution of the case to Judge Lopez for failing to rule on the issues raised by the parties.

when it is considered that the board of canvassers is composed of person who are less technically prepared to make an accurate appreciation of the ballots. The assailed orders of respondent judge as well as the results of the revision of the 11 ballot boxes subject of the counter-protest are SET ASIDE. in relation to Rule 43. apart from their being more apt to yield to external consideration. and not the decision of a court of justice? Indeed. (cited in Garcia v. "Public office is personal to the incumbent and is not a property which passes to his heirs" (Santos vs. Ediltrudes Radovan. the petition is hereby GRANTED. Comelec. Costs against respondent Ediltrudes Radovan. Riodique (64 SCRA 494 [1975]) is even more emphatic: Why should the proclamation by the board of canvassers suffice as a basis of the right to assume office. WHEREFORE. Section 2. to Proclaim Winner and to Allow Assumption of Office" filed by petitioner conformably with this decision within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof. supra. de Jesus. De la Victoria vs. practically racing against time. apart from his being allowed ample time for conscientious study and mature deliberation before rendering judgment. supra). on the ground that private respondent had a counter-claim for damages. as long as there are. 92-1 and to resolve the "Motion to Determine Votes. 199 SCRA 561 [1991]). while on the other hand. The heirs may no longer prosecute the deceased protestee's counter-claim for damages against the protestant for that was extinguished when death terminated his right to occupy the contested office (Dela Victoria. COMELEC Rules of Procedure) which we find obtaining in the case before us. 22 SCRA 848 [1968]. This decision is immediately executory. Gahol v. subject to future contingencies attendant to a protest. in the sound discretion of the court. the judge has the benefit of all the evidence the parties can offer and of admittedly better technical preparation and background. Sec.Comelec (206 SCRA 779 [1992]) and the possibility is not remote that private respondent may once again resort to dilatory tactics. SO ORDERED. notwithstanding the perfection and pendency of appeals therefrom. de Jesus. one cannot but perceive the wisdom of allowing the immediate execution of decisions in election cases adverse to the protestees. Secretary of Labor. good reasons therefor. and that the board must act summarily. supra) We also find as erroneous the substitution of the deceased Rosauro Radovan's widow. . 1. Respondent judge is further ordered to DISMISS the counter-protest in Election Case No. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court allows execution pending appeal in election cases upon good reasons (Garcia v.

while the remaining six (6) shall be chosen from the nominees of organizations of private book publishers. writers. students and the private education sector. 2009 x-----------------------------------------------------x DECISION PERALTA. 25867. Republic Act (R. Accused. VELASCO. entitled “People of the Philippines.. Nos. G. was enacted into law. 25898 would be superfluous as the issues are fairly simple and straightforward. 1995. NACHURA. 147026-27 Present: YNARES-SANTIAGO. Javier. for brevity). through the active participation of the private sector. Plaintiff versus Carolina R.R.. which denied her Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Quash Information. Respondents. The factual antecedents follow.) No. or otherwise known as the “Book Publishing Industry Development Act”. 25867 and 25898.” seeking to nullify respondent Sandiganbayan's: (1) Order dated November 14. Promulgated: September 11. J. JR.versus CHICO-NAZARIO. declaring that a motion for reconsideration in Criminal Case No. 2001. Foremost in its policy is the State's goal in promoting the continuing development of the book publishing industry. PERALTA. On June 7. Javier in Criminal Case Nos. and THE FIRST DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. . which denied her Motion to Quash Information. and (3) Order dated February 12. 25898. book industry related activities. to ensure an adequate supply of affordable. The Governing Board shall be composed of eleven (11) members who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. which shall be under the administration and supervision of the Office of the President. (2) Resolution dated January 17. five (5) of whom shall come from the government. . 2000 in Criminal Case No. Petitioner. JAVIER. the law provided for the creation of the National Book Development Board (NBDB or the Governing Board.: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner Carolina R. J. printers. Chairperson. To achieve this purpose. quality-produced books for the domestic and export market.CAROLINA R. JJ. 8047.A. 2001 in Criminal Case No.

and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the above-named accused. The Ombudsman found probable cause to indict petitioner for the crime charged and recommended the filing of the corresponding information against her. in the total amount of P139. she was again appointed to the same position and for the same period of one (1) year. Resident Auditor Rosario T. On September 14.A. is accountable for the public funds she received as cash advance in connection with her trip to Spain from October 8-12. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Martin advised petitioner to immediately return/refund her cash advance considering that her trip was canceled. petitioner was required to submit her counter-affidavit but she failed to do so. On February 16. and raffled to the Third Division. Thus. per LBP Check 1 2 . Despite said notice. being a member of the Governing Board of the National Book Development Board and as such. On September 29. 1999. 25867 and raffled to the First Division.00. petitioner was charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. however. she was issued by the Office of the President a travel authority to attend the Madrid International Book Fair in Spain on October 812. and despite due demand by the Resident Auditor and the Executive Director of NBDB. the accusatory portion of which reads: That on or about and during the period from October 8. failed to do so. 248 and Sec.) No.A. filed with the Ombudsman a complaint against petitioner for malversation of public funds and properties. 1996. 3019. petitioner failed to liquidate or return to the NBDB her cash advance within sixty (60) days from date of arrival. Nellie R. 1997. 3019 before the Sandiganbayan. or for sometime prior or subsequent thereto. She averred that despite the cancellation of the foreign trip. 1998. the Commission on Audit charged petitioner with Malversation of Public Funds. Meanwhile. 97-002 thereby causing damage and undue injury to the Government. however. then the Executive Director of the NBDB. 1998. On September 23.199. 5 of COA Circular No. 6713. No. to wit: That on or about October 8. Apolonio. no action was forthcoming from the petitioner. 1997.A. petitioner was not able to attend the scheduled international book fair. Unfortunately. Dr. as defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. 2000 was filed before the Sandiganbayan. unlawfully and criminally. It. in accordance with government accounting and auditing rules and regulations. 1997.001 as her travelling expenses.A. Apolonio further charged petitioner with violation of Republic Act (R. she was issued a Summary of Disallowances from which the balance for settlement amounted to P220.199. 25898. or for sometime prior or subsequent thereto. being then a member of the governing Board of the National Book Development Board (NBDB). Petitioner. and acting with evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. which was docketed as Criminal Case No. The Ombudsman found probable cause to indict petitioner for violation of Section 3(e) of R. CONTRARY TO LAW. and recommended the filing of the corresponding information. a high ranking officer. 6713 2 for failure to file her Statement of Assets and Liabilities. without any justifiable cause. 1997.00 as of September 23. an Information dated February 29. as amended. 1999. Part of her functions as a member of the Governing Board is to attend book fairs to establish linkages with international book publishing bodies. the aforenamed accused. or in this case from the date of cancellation of the trip. while in the performance of her official and administrative functions.On February 26. 2000. During the conduct of the preliminary investigation. During that time. 1997 to February 16. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. she was paid P139.349. for not liquidating the cash advance granted to her in connection with her supposed trip to Spain. the charge for violation of R. dismissed for insufficiency of evidence. No. She was on a hold-over capacity in the following year. she was also the President of the Book Suppliers Association of the Philippines (BSAP). fail and refuse to return and/or liquidate her cash advances intended for official travel abroad which did not materialize. in Quezon City. No. in the City of Quezon. a public officer. On July 6. did then and there willfully. as required under EO No. 1999. In an Information dated February 18. Based on her itinerary of travel. Philippines. petitioner was appointed to the Governing Board as a private sector representative for a term of one (1) year. Dr. 1998.

2000. 10188 in the amount of P139. Philippine currency. Philippines. petitioner filed a Motion to Quash Information. the First Division denied the motion to quash with the following disquisition: The fact that the accused does not receive any compensation in terms of salaries and allowances. petitioner delivered to the First Division the money subject of the criminal cases. . malverse. No. embezzle and convert to her own personal use and benefit the aforementioned amount of P139. 8047. No. misappropriate. malverse. are public officers to the extent that they are performing their duty therein as such. 25898 with Criminal Case No. in Quezon City. she is properly charged before this Court. which was granted. On October 10. the Third Division ordered the consolidation of Criminal Case No.199. Accordingly. 2000 reads as follows: That on or about and during the period from October 8. 25867. 1997. Thereafter. to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount. and not even considering situation of her being in possession of public funds even as a private individual for which she would also covered by provisions of the Revised Penal Code. did then and there willfully. did then and there willfully. 2000. is accountable for the public funds she received as case advance in connection with her trip to Spain from October 8-12. is not the sole qualification for being in the government service or a public official. Neither did the information charge her as a co-principal.199.199. unlawfully and feloniously take. hence. 2000. or for sometime prior or subsequent thereto. During her arraignment in Criminal Case No.00. While indeed under ordinary circumstances a member of the board remains a private individual.00. being a member of the Governing Board of the National Book Development Board equated to Board Member II with a salary grade 28 and as such. misappropriate. she claimed that she does not perform public functions and is without any administrative or political power to speak of – that she is serving the private book publishing industry by advancing their interest as participant in the government's book development policy. accomplice or accessory to a public officer committing an offense under the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction. a high ranking officer. Insofar as the accusation is concerned herein. which trip did not materialize. which trip did not materialize. 25898 with Criminal Case No. per LBP Check No. averring that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction to hear Criminal Case No.A. Meanwhile. petitioner pleaded not guilty. CONTRARY TO LAW In its Resolution dated October 5. 25867. The National Book Development Board is a statutory government agency and the persons who participated therein even if they are from the private sector. 25867. pending before the First Division. Philippine currency. it would appear that monies were advanced to the accused in her capacity as Director of the National Book Development Board for purposes of official travel.A. still when that individual is performing her functions as a member of the board or when that person receives benefits or when the person is supposed to travel abroad and is given government money to effect that travel. Moreover. if only for that reason. she may not be charged under R. unlawfully and feloniously take. the Third Division set a clarificatory hearing in Criminal Case No. to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount. 2000. if that indeed be the case. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 3019 before the Sandiganbayan or under any statute which covers public officials. In an Order dated November 14. 25867 as the information did not allege that she is a public official who is classified as Grade “27” or higher. 2000 in order to determine jurisdictional issues. embezzle and convert to her own personal use and benefit the aforementioned amount of P139.No. to that extent the private sector representative is a public official performing public functions. the People filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Admit Amended Information in Criminal Case No. the Amended Information dated June 28. 25898. On June 3.00. 25898 on May 16. CONTRARY TO LAW. which amount was deposited in a special trust account during the pendency of the criminal cases. the above-named accused. petitioner filed with the same Division a Motion for Consolidation of Criminal Case No. 1999. 1997 to February 16.199. 2000. She also averred that she is not a public officer or employee and that she belongs to the Governing Board only as a private sector representative under R. On July 6.00. 10188 in the amount of P139.

25867 for which the Sandiganbayan gave her time to file a motion to quash.e. the Motion to Quash the Information in Criminal Case No. such as a motion to quash. neither of which precludes prosecution of the other. – The provisions of this chapter shall apply to private individuals who. she was being charged under two (2) informations. revenues. 4. A motion to quash Information is the mode by which an accused assails the validity of a criminal complaint or Information filed against him for insufficiency on its face in point of law. No.. On November 22. which is in violation of her right against double jeopardy. 2000. or property and to any administrator or depository of funds or property attached . Officers included in the preceding provisions.A. thus: Sec. Remedial measures as regards interlocutory orders. R. one of which is when the court. i. 3019 and the Revised Penal Code. Furthermore. Jurisdiction. On January 17. and second. 2000. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. The reason is that it would be unfair to require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or offense. 1606 as amended so provides. the remedy is not a petition for certiorari. acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. She advanced the following arguments in support of her petition. but for petitioners to go to trial.On November 15.D. 2001. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. seized or deposited by public authority. she is not a public officer. even if such property belongs to a private individual. petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information in Criminal Case No. The above general rule. xxxx The offense is office-related because the money for her travel abroad was given to her because of her Directorship in the National Book Development Board. The evident reason for this rule is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action. – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: xxxx (g) Presidents. for Criminal Case No. her motion was denied in open court. 222. 25898. however admits of several exceptions. Well-established is the rule that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is denied. to wit: first. directors or trustees. then certiorari or prohibition lies. in denying the motion to dismiss or motion to quash. without prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to quash. Likewise. 4 (g) of P. However. provincial or municipal funds. or is not the court of proper . there are also allegations to hold the accused liable under Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code which reads: Art. 2000. 25898 on the ground of litis pendencia is denied since in this instance. or for defects which are apparent in the face of the Information. these two Informations speak of offenses under different statutes. the First Division accepted the consolidation of the criminal cases against petitioner and scheduled her arraignment on November 17. are frowned upon and often dismissed. by invoking her right against double jeopardy. in any capacity whatever. On said date. the Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution denying petitioner’s motion with the following disquisition: The accused is under the jurisdiction of this Court because Sec. 25898. petitioner manifested that she is not prepared to accept the propriety of the accusation since it refers to the same subject matter as that covered in Criminal Case No. Petitioner hinges the present petition on the ground that the Sandiganbayan has committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction for not quashing the two informations charging her with violation of the AntiGraft Law and the Revised Penal Code on malversation of public funds. have charge of any insular. She then filed a motion for reconsideration.

to wit: a) assume responsibility for carrying out and implementing the policies. repeal. and in turn. workshops. c) formulate policies. To substantiate her claim. petitioner maintained that she is not a public officer and only a private sector representative. A public office is the right. which was enacted into law to ensure the full development of the book publishing industry as well as for the creation of organization structures to implement the said policy. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. exhibits. is to obtain priority status for the book publishing industry. intellectual property rights. seminars. 8047. the ordinary remedy of appeal cannot be plain and adequate. the conduct of its operations or the accomplishment of its purposes and objectives. e) provide a forum for interaction among private publishers. No. No. conferences. she could not be held liable for the crimes imputed against her. The Governing Board was vested with powers and functions. compilers and especially authors are paid justly and promptly royalties due them for reproduction of their works in any form and number and for whatever purpose. k) receive donations. and q) exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be required by the law. n) recommend to the President of the Philippines nominees for the positions of the Executive Officer and Deputy Executive Officer of the Board. and. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. R. or if the denial of the motion to dismiss or motion to quash is made with grave abuse of discretion or a whimsical and capricious exercise of judgment.A. h) approve.A. the Governing Board of the NBDB was created to supervise the implementation. The NBDB is the government agency mandated to develop and support the Philippine book publishing industry. That at least one (1) regular meeting shall be held monthly. To achieve this end. . use of alternative materials for printing. It is a statutory government agency created by R. b) formulate plans and programs as well as operational policies and guidelines for undertaking activities relative to promoting book development. created and conferred by law. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. mortgage. In such cases. production and distribution as well as an incentive scheme for individual authors and writers. establish and maintain liaison will all the segments of the book publishing industry. d) conduct or contract research on the book publishing industry including monitoring. she was the President of the BSAP. stressing that her only function among the eleven (11) basic purposes and objectives provided for in Section 4. g) promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act in consultation with other agencies concerned. j) enter into any obligation or contract essential to the proper administration of its affairs. lease. o) adopt rules and procedures and fix the time and place for holding meetings: Provided. customs duties and other charges in behalf of persons and enterprises engaged in book publishing and its related activities duly registered with the board.venue. for a given period. the annual and supplemental budgets submitted to it by the Executive director. At the time of her appointment to the NDBD Board. The individual so invested is a public officer. and other related activities on book development such as indigenous authorship. and modify such rules and regulations whenever necessary. legacies. m) promulgate rules and regulations governing the matter in which the general affairs of the Board are to be exercised and amend. she is outside the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. A perusal of the above powers and functions leads us to conclude that they partake of the nature of public functions. grants. except for Section 9 hereof on incentives for book development. 8047. i) own. with the concurrence of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). by which. compiling and providing data and information of book production. authority and duty. devices and similar acquisitions which shall form a trust fund of the Board to accomplish its development plans on book publishing. a book publishers association. p) conduct studies. which shall be the concern of appropriate agencies involved. encumber or otherwise real and personal property for the attainment of its purposes and objectives. l) import books or raw materials used in book publishing which are exempt from all taxes. guidelines and mechanisms to ensure that editors. for the purpose. distribution and others. As such. f) ask the appropriate government authority to ensure effective implementation of the National Book Development Plan. lectures. purposes and objectives provided for in this Act.

as amended. The purpose of the law for appointing members from the private sector is to ensure that they are also properly represented in the implementation of government objectives to cultivate the book publishing industry.A. 6758). She was supposed to represent the country in the canceled book fair in Spain. agent. petitioner took part in the drafting and promulgation of several rules and regulations implementing R. without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. the fact that she was appointed from the public sector and not from the other branches or agencies of the government does not take her position outside the meaning of a public office. Petitioner was appointed by the President to the Governing Board of the NDBD. Title VII. so that the purpose of the government is achieved. under the Anti-Graft Law. the Revised Penal Code defines a public officer as any person who. (3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. Republic Act No. of any rank or classes. shall be deemed to be a public officer. Violations of Republic Act No. Where. rules and regulations. during her tenure. acting or interim capacity. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989 (Republic Act No. otherwise classified as Grade “27” and higher. Though her term is only for a year that does not make her private person exercising a public function. permanent or temporary. In fine. agent. R. Section 7. Hence. No. No. the government aimed to enhance the book publishing industry as it has a significant role in the national development. 4. In fact. 8047. which provides that a public officer includes elective and appointive officials and employees. 8047 provides that members of the Governing Board shall receive per diem and such allowances as may be authorized for every meeting actually attended and subject to pertinent laws. one is a public officer if one has been elected or appointed to a public office. petitioner performs public functions in pursuance of the objectives of R. the law invested her with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. other known as the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Governing Board acts collectively and carries out its mandate as one body. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government. as a public officer. She was appointed to the Governing Board in order to see to it that the purposes for which the law was enacted are achieved. No. 3019. On the other hand. of any rank or classes. the nature of one's appointment. whether in the classified or unclassified or exempt service receiving compensation. The fact that she is not receiving a monthly salary is also of no moment. popular election or appointment by competent authority. or subordinate official. Thus. In this case. verily. 8047. even nominal. Presently. she is a public officer who takes part in the performance of public functions in the government whether as an employee. or shall perform in said Government or in any of its branches public duties as an employee. pursuant to the Anti-Graft Law. is immaterial because the person so elected or appointed is still considered a public officer. 1379. from the government. by direct provision of the law. Also. Book II of the Revised Penal Code. popular election.Notwithstanding that petitioner came from the private sector to sit as a member of the NBDB. Moreover. specifically including: xxxx (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade “Grade '27'” and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the following: Sec. The next question for the Court to resolve is whether. whether in a permanent. Section 2. shall take part in the performance of public functions in the Government of the Philippine Islands. Jurisdiction. subordinate official. and . and Chapter II. petitioner is within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. (4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commission.A. We hold that petitioner is a public officer.A. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. as in this case. and whether the compensation one receives from the government is only nominal.The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. . the Court is not unmindful of the definition of a public officer pursuant to the Anti-Graft Law.

(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade “Grade '27'” and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. Notably, the Director of Organization, Position Classification and Compensation Bureau, of the Department of Budget and management provided the following information regarding the compensation and position classification and/or rank equivalence of the member of the Governing Board of the NBDB, thus: Per FY 1999 Personal Services Itemization, the Governing Board of NDBD is composed of one (1) Chairman (ex-officio), one (1) Vice-Chairman (ex-officio), and nine (9) Members, four (4) of whom are exofficio and the remaining five (5) members represent the private sector. The said five members of the Board do not receive any salary and as such their position are not classified and are not assigned any salary grade. For purposes however of determining the rank equivalence of said positions, notwithstanding that they do not have any salary grade assignment, the same may be equated to Board Member II, SG-28. Thus, based on the Amended Information in Criminal Case No. 25898, petitioner belongs to the employees classified as SG-28, included in the phrase “all other national and local officials classified as ‘Grade 27' and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.” Anent the issue of double jeopardy, We can not likewise give in to the contentions advanced by petitioner. She argued that her right against double jeopardy was violated when the Sandiganbayan denied her motion to quash the two informations filed against her. We believe otherwise. Records show that the Informations in Criminal Case Nos. 25867 and 25898 refer to offenses penalized by different statues, R.A. No. 3019 and RPC, respectively. It is elementary that for double jeopardy to attach, the case against the accused must have been dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon valid information sufficient in form and substance and the accused pleaded to the charge.3[37] In the instant case, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the Information for violation of the Anti-Graft Law. She was not yet arraigned in the criminal case for malversation of public funds because she had filed a motion to quash the latter information. Double jeopardy could not, therefore, attach considering that the two cases remain pending before the Sandiganbayan and that herein petitioner had pleaded to only one in the criminal cases against her. It is well settled that for a claim of double jeopardy to prosper, the following requisites must concur: (1) there is a complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction; (2) the same is filed before a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) there is a valid arraignment or plea to the charges; and (4) the accused is convicted or acquitted or the case is otherwise dismissed or terminated without his express consent. The third and fourth requisites are not present in the case at bar. In view of the foregoing, We hold that the present petition does not fall under the exceptions wherein the remedy of certiorari may be resorted to after the denial of one's motion to quash the information. And even assuming that petitioner may avail of such remedy, We still hold that the Sandiganbayan did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DISMISSED. The questioned Resolutions and Order of the Sandiganbayan are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 116033 February 26, 1997

3

ALFREDO L. AZARCON, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and JOSE C. BATAUSA, respondents. PANGANIBAN, J.: Does the Sandiganbayan have jurisdiction over a private individual who is charged with malversation of public funds as a principal after the said individual had been designated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as a custodian of distrained property? Did such accused become a public officer and therefore subject to the graft court's jurisdiction as a consequence of such designation by the BIR? These are the main questions in the instant petition for review of Respondent Sandiganbayan's Decision 1 in Criminal Case No. 14260 promulgated on March 8, 1994, convicting petitioner of malversation of public funds and property, and Resolution 2 dated June 20, 1994, denying his motion for new trial or reconsideration thereof. The Facts Petitioner Alfredo Azarcon owned and operated an earth-moving business, hauling "dirt and ore." 3 His services were contracted by the Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP) at its concession in Mangagoy, Surigao del Sur. Occasionally, he engaged the services of sub-contractors like Jaime Ancla whose trucks were left at the former's premises. 4 From this set of circumstances arose the present controversy. . . . It appears that on May 25, 1983, a Warrant of Distraint of Personal Property was issued by the Main Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) addressed to the Regional Director (Jose Batausa) or his authorized representative of Revenue Region 10, Butuan City commanding the latter to distraint the goods, chattels or effects and other personal property of Jaime Ancla, a sub-contractor of accused Azarcon and, a delinquent taxpayer. The Warrant of Garnishment was issued to accused Alfredo Azarcon ordering him to transfer, surrender, transmit and/or remit to BIR the property in his possession owned by taxpayer Ancla. The Warrant of Garnishment was received by accused Azarcon on June 17, 1985. 5 Petitioner Azarcon, in signing the "Receipt for Goods, Articles, and Things Seized Under Authority of the National Internal Revenue," assumed the undertakings specified in the receipt the contents of which are reproduced as follows: (I), the undersigned, hereby acknowledge to have received from Amadeo V. San Diego, an Internal Revenue Officer, Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Philippines, the following described goods, articles, and things: Kind of property — Isuzu dump truck Motor number — E120-229598 Chassis No. — SPZU50-1772440 Number of CXL — 6 Color — Blue Owned By — Mr. Jaime Ancla the same having been this day seized and left in (my) possession pending investigation by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly authorized representative. (I) further promise that (I) will faithfully keep, preserve, and, to the best of (my) ability, protect said goods, articles, and things seized from defacement, demarcation, leakage, loss, or destruction in any manner; that (I) will neither alter nor remove, nor permit others to alter or remove or dispose of the same in any manner without the express authority of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and that (I) will produce and deliver all of said goods, articles, and things upon the order of any court of the Philippines, or upon demand of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or any authorized officer or agent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. 6 Subsequently, Alfredo Azarcon wrote a letter dated November 21, 1985 to the BIR's Regional Director for Revenue Region 10 B, Butuan City stating that . . . while I have made representations to retain possession of the property and signed a receipt of the same, it appears now that Mr. Jaime Ancla intends to cease his operations with us. This is evidenced by the fact that sometime in August, 1985 he surreptitiously withdrew his equipment from my custody. . . . In this connection, may I therefore formally inform you that it is my desire to immediately relinquish whatever

responsibilities I have over the above-mentioned property by virtue of the receipt I have signed. This cancellation shall take effect immediately. . . . 7 Incidentally, the petitioner reported the taking of the truck to the security manager of PICOP, Mr. Delfin Panelo, and requested him to prevent this truck from being taken out of the PICOP concession. By the time the order to bar the truck's exit was given, however, it was too late. 8 Regional Director Batausa responded in a letter dated May 27, 1986, to wit: An analysis of the documents executed by you reveals that while you are (sic) in possession of the dump truck owned by JAIME ANCLA, you voluntarily assumed the liabilities of safekeeping and preserving the unit in behalf of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This is clearly indicated in the provisions of the Warrant of Garnishment which you have signed, obliged and committed to surrender and transfer to this office. Your failure therefore, to observe said provisions does not relieve you of your responsibility. 9 Thereafter, the Sandiganbayan found that On 11 June 1986, Mrs. Marilyn T. Calo, Revenue Document Processor of Revenue Region 10 B, Butuan City, sent a progress report to the Chief of the Collection Branch of the surreptitious taking of the dump truck and that Ancla was renting out the truck to a certain contractor by the name of Oscar Cueva at PICOP (Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, the same company which engaged petitioner's earth moving services), Mangagoy, Surigao del Sur. She also suggested that if the report were true, a warrant of garnishment be reissued against Mr. Cueva for whatever amount of rental is due from Ancla until such time as the latter's tax liabilities shall be deemed satisfied. . . However, instead of doing so, Director Batausa filed a letter-complaint against the (herein Petitioner) and Ancla on 22 January 1988, or after more than one year had elapsed from the time of Mrs. Calo's report. 10 Provincial Fiscal Pretextato Montenegro "forwarded the records of the complaint . . . to the Office of the Tanodbayan" on May 18, 1988. He was deputized Tanodbayan prosecutor and granted authority to conduct preliminary investigation on August 22, 1988, in a letter by Special Prosecutor Raul Gonzales approved by Ombudsman (Tanodbayan) Conrado Vasquez. 11 Along with his co-accused Jaime Ancla, Petitioner Azarcon was charged before the Sandiganbayan with the crime of malversation of public funds or property under Article 217 in relation to Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in the following Information 12 filed on January 12, 1990, by Special Prosecution Officer Victor Pascual: That on or about June 17, 1985, in the Municipality of Bislig, Province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Alfredo L. Azarcon, a private individual but who, in his capacity as depository/administrator of property seized or deposited by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, having voluntarily offered himself to act as custodian of one Isuzu Dumptruck (sic) with Motor No. E120-22958, Chasis No. SPZU 50-1772440, and number CXL-6 and was authorized to be such under the authority of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, has become a responsible and accountable officer and said motor vehicle having been seized from Jaime C. Ancla in satisfaction of his tax liability in the total sum of EIGHTY THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY ONE PESOS and 59/100 (P80,831.59) became a public property and the value thereof as public fund, with grave abuse of confidence and conspiring and confederating with said Jaime C. Ancla, likewise, a private individual, did then and there wilfully, (sic) unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate, misapply and convert to his personal use and benefit the aforementioned motor vehicle or the value thereof in the aforestated amount, by then and there allowing accused Jaime C. Ancla to remove, retrieve, withdraw and tow away the said Isuzu Dumptruck (sic) with the authority, consent and knowledge of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Butuan City, to the damage and prejudice of the government in the amount of P80,831.59 in a form of unsatisfied tax liability. CONTRARY TO LAW. The petitioner filed a motion for reinvestigation before the Sandiganbayan on May 14, 1991, alleging that: (1) the petitioner never appeared in the preliminary investigation; and (2) the petitioner was not a public officer, hence a doubt exists as to why he was being charged with malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. 13 The Sandiganbayan granted the motion for reinvestigation on May 22, 1991. 14 After the reinvestigation, Special Prosecution

" A motion to dismiss was filed by petitioner on March 25. 1993. Hence. Respondent Sandiganbayan 20 rendered a Decision. SO ORDERED. "for being without merit. the petitioner then filed a motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence which was denied on November 16. 22 filed a motion for new trial or reconsideration on March 23. II. The Sandiganbayan does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed solely by private individuals. even assuming arguendo that the appointment of a private individual as a custodian or a depositary of distrained property is sufficient to convert such individual into a public officer. and. To indemnify the Bureau of Internal Revenue the amount of P80. 1992. and in view of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. through new counsel. 1994. 1994. [B] His appointment as a depositary was not by virtue of a direct provision of law. Sr. 21 the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 1994." 19 The petitioner then commenced and finished presenting his evidence on February 15. 1992 on the ground that the Sandiganbayan did not have jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner since he was not a public officer. the petitioner cannot still be considered a public officer because: [A] There is no provision in the National Internal Revenue Code which authorizes the Bureau of Internal Revenue to constitute private individuals as depositaries of distrained properties. The Issues The petitioner submits the following reasons for the reversal of the Sandiganbayan's assailed Decision and Resolution: I. to suffer special perpetual disqualification. 17 On May 18. which was denied by the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution 23 dated December 2.. 18 When the prosecution finished presenting its evidence. this petition.Officer Roger Berbano. the Sandiganbayan denied the motion.831. the Court hereby sentences the accused to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from TEN (10) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor in its maximum period to SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS. 1992. the Court finds accused Alfredo Azarcon y Leva GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of Malversation of Public Funds defined and penalized under Article 217 in relation to Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code and. FOUR (4) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of Reclusion Temporal. or by election or by appointment by a competent authority. to pay the costs. to pay a fine in the same amount without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. The Respondent Court's Decision On March 8. In any event.59. Petitioner. let this case be archived as against him without prejudice to its revival in the event of his arrest or voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of this Court. Considering that accused Jaime Ancla has not yet been brought within the jurisdiction of this Court up to this date. recommended the "withdrawal of the information" 16 15 but was "overruled by the Ombudsman. .

"the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law at the time of commencement of the action." 27 In this case. At that time. Ancla and found allegedly to be in the possession of the petitioner is therefore invalid. Ancla to the Bureau. 7975 on May 16. HOWEVER.D." 26 And for this purpose in criminal cases. the fundamental issue is whether the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. hence the distraint of personal property belonging to Jaime C.000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court. V. Section 2. No proof was presented during trial to prove that the distrained vehicle was actually owned by the accused Jaime Ancla.R. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise: (a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: (1) Violations of Republic Act No. No. and Chapter II. as amended. accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees.I. has only itself to blame for not promptly selling the distrained property of accused Jaime C. 24 In fine. 1983. Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan It is hornbook doctrine that in order "(to) ascertain whether a court has jurisdiction or not. hence.I. but prior to their amendment by R. Ancla in order to realize the amount of back taxes owed by Jaime C. that offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a fine of P6. or a fine of P6.A. consequently. xxx xxx xxx . 1379. Title VII of the Revised Penal Code.R. Section 4 of P.D..000. It cannot be presumed or implied. where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years. the government's right to the subject property has not been established. Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. 1861 on March 23. No.III. 1606 provided that: Sec." 25 Furthermore. "the jurisdiction of the court must appear clearly from the statute law or it will not be held to exist. Metropolitan Trial Court. 4. No.00: PROVIDED. they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees. Jurisdiction. the applicable statutory provisions are those of P. 1990. whether simple or complexed with other crimes. No. 3019. xxx xxx xxx In case private individuals are charged as co-principals. 1606. Republic Act No. Corollary to this is the question of whether petitioner can be considered a public officer by reason of his being designated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as a depositary of distrained property. IV. the action was instituted with the filing of this information on January 12.D. as amended by P. The procedure provided for in the National Internal Revenue Code concerning the disposition of distrained property was not followed by the B. 1995. The Court's Ruling The petition is meritorious. The B. the provisions of the law should be inquired into.

i.S. or c.e. accomplice or accessory of a public officer or employee who has been charged with a crime within its jurisdiction. 28 Granting arguendo that the petitioner. 207 and 208 (formerly Sections 303. or subordinate official. one must be — (1) Taking part in the performance of public functions in the government.S. While the cited case involved a judicial deposit of the proceeds of the sale of attached property in the hands of the debtor. In the cited case. and in requiring Petitioner Alfredo Azarcon who was in possession thereof to sign a pro forma receipt for it. by direct provision of the law. Article 203 of the RPC determines who are public officers: Who are public officers. in signing the receipt for the truck constructively distrained by the BIR. citing U. he obviously may not be deemed authorized by popular election. . 304 and 305) of the National Internal Revenue Code. and (2) That his authority to take part in the performance of public functions or to perform public duties must be — a. the NIRC did not grant it power to appoint Azarcon a public officer. or shall perform in said Government or in any of its branches public duties as an employee. 32 We disagree. it was clearly within the scope of that court's jurisdiction and judicial power to constitute the judicial deposit and give "the depositary a character equivalent to that of a public official. Thus. agent. by popular election. 30 a public officer. . vs.The foregoing provisions unequivocally specify the only instances when the Sandiganbayan will have jurisdiction over a private individual. The case of U. shall be deemed to be a public officer. any person who. shall take part in the performance of public functions in the Government of the Philippine Islands. . similar or analogous to those obtaining here. (to) be a public officer. hence. the case at bench dealt with the BIR's administrative act of effecting constructive distraint over alleged property of taxpayer Ancla in relation to his back taxes. — For the purpose of applying the provisions of this and the preceding titles of the book." 33 However. agent. unless petitioner be proven a public officer. (NIRC) . of any rank or class. 29 We answer in the negative. The next logical query is whether petitioner's designation by the BIR as a custodian of distrained property qualifies as appointment by direct provision of law. property which was received by Petitioner Azarcon. popular election. effectively "designated" petitioner a depositary and. . or subordinate official. Rastrollo is not applicable to the case before us simply because the facts therein are not identical. or Performing in said Government or any of its branches public duties as an employee. of any rank or classes. 31 This is based on the theory that (t)he power to designate a private person who has actual possession of a distrained property as a depository of distrained property is necessarily implied in the BIR's power to place the property of a delinquent tax payer (sic) in distraint as provided for under Sections 206. when the complaint charges the private individual either as a co-principal. by direct provision of the law. popular election or appointment by competent authority. while the BIR had authority to require Petitioner Azarcon to sign a receipt for the distrained truck. Rastrollo. or by competent authority. Azarcon: A Public Officer or A Private Individual? The Information does not charge petitioner Azarcon of being a co-principal. or b. in the instant case. accomplice or accessory to a public officer committing an offense under the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction. The Solicitor General contends that the BIR. in effecting constructive distraint over the truck allegedly owned by Jaime Ancla. vs. commenced to take part in an activity constituting public functions. Thus. the Sandiganbayan will have no jurisdiction over the crime charged. by appointment by competent authority.

. The BIR's power authorizing a private individual to act as a depositary cannot be stretched to include the power to appoint him as a public officer. It cannot extend to other matters not embraced therein. thus: The constructive distraint of personal property shall be effected by requiring the taxpayer or any person having possession or control of such property to sign a receipt covering the property distrained and obligate himself to preserve the same intact and unaltered and not to dispose of the same in any manner whatever without the express authority of the Commissioner. After a thorough review of the case at bench. Title Seven of the RPC. 45 WHEREFORE." 38 It is true that Sec. as pointed out by the prosecution. are null and void for lack of jurisdiction. Nowhere in this provision is it expressed or implied that a private individual falling under said Article 222 is to be deemed a public officer. the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the controversy and therefore all the proceedings taken below as well as the Decision rendered by Respondent Sandiganbayan. . Therefore. has only such powers as are expressly granted to him and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. should likewise be penalized with the same penalty meted to erring public officers. — The provisions of this chapter shall apply to private individuals who." 35 the quantum of powers possessed by an administrative agency forming part of the executive branch will still be limited to that "conferred expressly or by necessary or fair implication" in its enabling act. . . which mandates a limited government. nor are not incidental thereto. . the law is applied according to its express terms. . "(a)n administrative officer. . erroneous belief of the court that it had jurisdiction. or property and to any administrator or depository of funds or property attached. Hence. and interpretation would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would be either impossible or absurd or would lead to an injustice. . 40 And accordingly. ." 44 As aptly and correctly stated by the petitioner in his memorandum: From the foregoing discussion. . the Court thus finds Petitioner Alfredo Azarcon and his co-accused Jaime Ancla to be both private individuals erroneously charged before and convicted by Respondent Sandiganbayan which had no jurisdiction over them. even if such property belongs to a private individual. implied powers "are those which are necessarily included in. The prosecution argues that "Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code ." 34 Thus. and are therefore of lesser degree than the power granted. seized or deposited by public authority. have charge of any insular. No costs." 41 The Court is not persuaded. Consequently. A private individual who has in his charge any of the public funds or property enumerated therein and commits any of the acts defined in any of the provisions of Chapter Four. . "Legislative intent is determined principally from the language of a statute." 43 The language of the foregoing provision is clear. authorizes the BIR to effect a constructive distraint by requiring "any person" to preserve a distrained property." 37 For to so extend the statutory grant of power "would be an encroachment on powers expressly lodged in Congress by our Constitution. we find no provision in the NIRC constituting such person a public officer by reason of such requirement. . the questioned Resolution and Decision of the Sandiganbayan are hereby SET ASIDE and declared NULL and VOID for lack of jurisdiction. defines the individuals covered by the term 'officers' under Article 217 39 . The Sandiganbayan's taking cognizance of this case is of no moment since "(j)urisdiction cannot be conferred by . . that its branches and administrative agencies exercise only that power delegated to them as "defined either in the Constitution or in legislation or in both. in any capacity whatever. it has been held. . when the information charged him and Jaime Ancla before the Sandiganbayan for malversation of public funds or property." 36 Corollarily. . 206 of the NIRC. the prosecution was in fact charging two private individuals without any public officer being similarly charged as a co-conspirator. Article 222 of the RPC reads: Officers included in the preceding provisions. although the "appointing power is the exclusive prerogative of the President. provincial or municipal funds. since Azarcon became "a depository of the truck seized by the BIR" he also became a public officer who can be prosecuted under Article 217 .It is axiomatic in our constitutional framework." of the same Code. However. SO ORDERED. revenues. it is evident that the petitioner did not cease to be a private individual when he agreed to act as depositary of the garnished dump truck. ." 42 This is particularly observed in the interpretation of penal statutes which "must be construed with such strictness as to carefully safeguard the rights of the defendant . Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous.

(OSRFI).[7] The Information against her reads: The undersigned Special Prosecution Officer III.. 27819 of the Sandiganbayan. The Antecedents Petitioner Hannah Eunice D.P.R.000. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government by falsely and fraudulently representing to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada that the renovation of the Vinzons Hall of the University of the Philippines will be renovated and renamed as “President Joseph Ejercito Estrada Student Hall. above-named accused. Respondents. 2000. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. denying petitioner’s motion to quash the information and herdenying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.R. Fifth Division.[G. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No. did then and there wilfully. as amended committed as follows: That on October. JADE IAN D.000.[6] On July 3. 24. 2000 in the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15.00). a system-wide alliance of student councils within the state university. Office of the Special Prosecutor. (Underscoring supplied) . 2000. along with her brother. 91353 dated October 24. of swindling government fundsccused of being the swindler ng bayan? MAAARI bang litisin ng Sandiganbayan ang isang iskolar ng bayan. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. a high-ranking public officer. SERANA of the crime of Estafa. G.00). or sometime prior or subsequent thereto. 2003. Metro Manila. SERANA. SERANA and JADE IAN D.T. na kapwa pinararatangan ng estafa ng pera ng bayan? The jurisdictional question is posed in this petition for Certiorari with Prayer for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction certiorari assailing the Resolutions[1] of the Sandiganbayan. HANNAH EUNICE D. SERANA. Inc. CONTRARY TO LAW.[5] The succeeding student regent.[3] One of the projects of the OSRFI was the renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex.[4] President Estrada gave Fifteen Million Pesos (P15.: CAN the Sandiganbayan try a government scholaran iskolar ng bayan a** accused. SERANA. defined and penalized under Paragraph 2(a). VS. from the Office of the President. In the early part of 2000. conspiring with her brother.” and for which purpose accused HANNAH EUNICE D. committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position. Secretary General of the KASAMA sa U. Serana was a senior student of the University of the Philippines-Cebu (UP). petitioner discussed with President Estrada the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman. The renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to materialize. after due investigation. the said accused failed and refused to do so to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount. docketed as Criminal Case No. the Ombudsman.000. J. in Quezon City. SERANA requested the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15. She was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada on December 21. according to the information. Diliman. petitioner. registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission the Office of the Student Regent Foundation. No. Serana on October 25. and despite repeated demands made upon the accused for them to return aforesaid amount. Philippines. at ang kanyang kapatid.000. A student of a state university is known as a government scholar. Quezon City. Kristine Clare Bugayong. while in the performance of her official functions.. a private individual. Philippine Currency. with her siblings and relatives. hereby accuses HANNAH EUNICE D. to serve a one-year term starting January 1. Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. found probable cause to indict petitioner and her brother Jade Ian D. and Christine Jill De Guzman. DECISION REYES.000. which check was subsequently encashed by accused Jade Ian D. 1999 as a student regent of UP. Serana forof estafa.000. 2000 and misappropriated for their personal use and benefit. 2008] HANNAH EUNICE D. January 22. 2000 and ending on December 31. 162059. R. 162059 Petitioner. [2] On September 4. 2000. The source of the funds. consequently filed a complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and Property with the Office of the Ombudsman. being then the Student Regent of the University of the Philippines. with intent to gain. wais disputed the Office of the President.00) to the OSRFI as financial assistance for the proposed renovation. No.

” thus. From this provision. 2003. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. specifically including: xxxx (g) Presidents. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the charges against petitioner. Jurisdiction – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: (A) x x x (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. Title VII. in her capacity as UP student regent. 4. petitioner’s stance that she was not compensated. Compensation is not an essential part of public office. hence. ShePetitioner also arguedreasoned that it was President Estrada. petitioner was compensated. and not from the coffers of the government. despite her protestations.) No. in view of the express provision of Section 4 of Republic Act No. It is extremely erroneous to hold that only criminal offenses covered by Chapter II. Based on Mechem’s definition of a public office. In the same breath.000. Book II of the RPC is not within the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction. the same is beyond the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan citing the case of Soller v. She claimed such power was vested with the Board of Regents (BOR) as a whole. iwas a public officer. No. is erroneous. Sandiganbayan.[11] The Ombudsman opposed the motion.A. that was duped.A. 8249. Book II of the Revised Penal Code are within the jurisdiction of this Court. she hads the general powers of administration and exerciseds the corporate powers of UP. Book II of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).[12] It disputed petitioner’s interpretation of the law. Petitioner claimed that Republic Act (R. She claimed that the Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction over the offense charged or over her person.[10] Petitioner likewise posited that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over her person. AShe claimed that as a student regent. Estafa falling under Title X.[14] Sandiganbayan Disposition In a Resolution dated November 14. 1606 clearly contains the catch -all phrase “in relation to office.00. Chapter II.[9] It only has jurisdiction over crimes covered by Title VII. Section 4(b) of Presidential Decree (P. otherwise classified as Grade “27” and higher.A. thus not a public officer. She addsed that she was a simple student and did not receive any salary as a student regent. Title VII.[8] It has no jurisdiction over the crime of estafa. 3019. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other offenses committed by public officials and employees in relation to their office.000. By this definition. and not the government. As a member of the BOR. is of no moment. Accused-movant’s claim that being merely a member in representation of the student body. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. It should be threshed out during a full-blown trial. in contrast to the other regents whothat held their positions in an ex officio capacity. As correctly pointed out by the prosecution. Section 4(b) of R. compensation has been interpreted to include allowances. Chapter VI (Crimes Against Property). 8249 which provides: Sec.[15] It ratiocinated: The focal point in controversy is the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over this case. Section 2.Petitioner moved to quash the information. Section 2 (Crimes Committed by Public Officers). Hence. the prosecution countered that the source of the money is a matter of defense.[13] According to the Ombudsman. directors or trustees. she was not a public officer since she merely represented her peers. she was never a public officer since she never received any compensation nor does she fall under Salary Grade 27. Since it was not alleged in the information that it was among her functions or duties to receive funds.) No. there is no single doubt that this Court has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa committed by a public official in relation to his office. the Sandiganbayan denied petitioner’s motion for lack of merit. state universities or . petitioner. Even assuming that she received the P15. Parenthetically.D. that amount came from Estrada. or that the crime was committed in connection with her official functions. 6758). as amended by R. Petitioner She further contended also claimed that she had no power or authority to receive monies or funds. enumerates the crimes or offenses over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction.

and such other duties and conditions as it may deem proper. hours of service. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. or board of trustees in the case of non-stock corporations. any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. namely: (a) the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over estafa. Preliminarily. are frowned upon and often dismissed. and to remove them for cause after an investigation and hearing shall have been had. Our Ruling The petition cannot be granted. to grant to them in its discretion leave of absence under such regulations as it may promulgate. Inc.[22] In Newsweek. the remedy is not a petition for certiorari. because the primordial consideration in the inclusion of these officials is the nature of their responsibilities and functions. is the governing body of the corporation. such as a motion to quash. this court finds that accused-movant’s contention that the same of P15 Million was received from former President Estrada and not from the coffers of the government. It is well-established in corporation law that the corporation can act only through its board of directors. to which accused-movant belongs. (c) the offense charged was not committed in relation to her office. Intermediate Appellate Court.[23] the Court clearly illustrated explained and illustrated the rule and the exceptions. regardless of the fact that she does not occupy a position classified as Salary Grade 27 or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. 2) To prescribe rules for its own government and to enact for the government of the university such general ordinances and regulations. the denial of a motion to quash is not correctible by certiorari. therefore. Well-established is the rule that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is denied. without prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to quash. Finally. to fix their compensation. but for petitioners to go to trial. (Italics supplied) It is very clear from the aforequoted provision that the Sandiganbayan has original exclusive jurisdiction over all offenses involving the officials enumerated in subsection (g). lecturers and other employees of the University. irrespective of their salary grades. thus: . not from the government.[18] Issue Petitioner is now before this Court. as are consistent with the purposes of the university. We would ordinarily dismiss this petition for certiorari outright on procedural grounds. This draws to fore the conclusion that being a member of such board. (d) the funds in question personally came from President Estrada. professors. v.[17] The motion was denied with finality in a Resolution dated February 4. (b) petitioner is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27 and she paid her tuition fees.”[19] In her discussion. and 3) To appoint. Is accused-movant included in the contemplated provision of law? A meticulous review of the existing Charter of the University of the Philippines reveals that the Board of Regents. accused-movant undoubtedly falls within the category of public officials upon whom this Court is vested with original exclusive jurisdiction.[21] The evident reason for this rule is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action. such as: 1) To receive and appropriate to the ends specified by law such sums as may be provided by law for the support of the university.[20] Remedial measures as regards interlocutory orders. exclusively exercises the general powers of administration and corporate powers in the university. The board of directors or trustees.[16] On November 19. It is unmistakably evident that the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines is performing functions similar to those of the Board of Trustees of a non-stock corporation. not contrary to law. instructors. is a matter a defense that should be properly ventilated during the trial on the merits of this case. 2003. she reiterates her four-fold argument below.educational institutions or foundations. on recommendation of the President of the University. 2004. contending that “THE RESPONDENT COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK AND/OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN NOT QUASHING THE INFORMATION AND DISMISING THE CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THAT IS HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION.

A brief legislative history of the statute creating the Sandiganbayan is in order. that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.[29] P. the ordinary remedy of appeal cannot be plain and adequate. Garcia (19 SCRA 554). This general rule is subject to certain exceptions. We first address petitioner’s contention that the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is determined by Section 4 of R. as amended. 2 of Rule 41).1606. Macadaeg (84 Phil. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on improper venue. upon the denial of a motion to quash based on lack of jurisdiction over the offense. in her motion to quash before the Sandiganbayan.[28] Her claim has no basis in law. In Manalo v. then certiorari or prohibition lies. this Court granted the petition for certiorari and prohibition against the City Court of Manila and directed the respondent court to dismiss the case. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set by P. No. The ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case is to file an answer.As a general rule. In such cases. the order denying the motion to quash based on prescription was set aside on certiorari and the criminal case was dismissed by this Court. In Enriquez v. this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent court from further proceeding in the case. Ramos (83 SCRA 11). as amended. in denying the motion to dismiss or motion to quash. The same rule applies to an order denying a motion to quash. 3019. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 1486. No. 1486 was. rather than R. In Tacas v. or if the denial of the motion to dismiss or motion to quash is made with grave abuse of discretion or a whimsical and capricious exercise of judgment. 1606.[25] She repeats the reference in the instant petition for certiorari[26] and in her memorandum of authorities. 1606 expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. 1606 which was promulgated on December 10. this Court granted the petition for certiorari after the motion to quash based on double jeopardy was denied by respondent judge and ordered him to desist from further action in the criminal case except to dismiss the same. promulgated by then President Ferdinand E.[27] We cannot bring ourselves to write this off as a mere clerical or typographical error. In De Jesus v.D. integrity.D. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on bar by prior judgment. The following are a few examples of the exceptions to the general rule. Mariano (69 SCRA 80).A.D. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on the Statute of Frauds. or is not the court of proper venue. No.[30] . No. in turn.A. this Court granted the petition for certiorari and directed the respondent judge to dismiss the case. based on the concept that public officers and employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility. loyalty and efficiency and shall remain at all times accountable to the people. as amended.D. 3019. We note that petitioner refers to Section 4 of the said law yet quotes Section 4 of P. (Sec. Dacuycuy (105 SCRA 668).D. If the court. 674).[24] We do not find the Sandiganbayan to have committed a grave abuse of discretion. It is P. No.D. In Lopez v. as amended). acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. P.D. In Yuviengco v. as amended. No. Marcos on June 11. City Judge (18 SCRA 616). amended by P. No. not by R. No. an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and cannot be subject of appeal until final judgment or order is rendered. The reason is that it would be unfair to require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or offense.A. In People v. as amended. go to trial and if the decision is adverse. 1606. The Sandiganbayan was created by P. except that instead of filing an answer a plea is entered and no appeal lies from a judgment of acquittal. It bears stressing that petitioner repeated this claim twice despite corrections made by the Sandiganbayan. No. this Court granted the petition for certiorari and dismissed the amended complaint. Cariaso (72 SCRA 527). reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment. 1978. 1978. It was promulgated to attain the highest norms of official conduct required of public officers and employees. No. this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent judge from taking cognizance of the case except to dismiss the same.

" _____The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments. "_____(c ) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher. Violations of Republic Act No. 6758). 6758. acting or interim capacity. municipal trial court. 8249 further modified the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.D. and municipal circuit trial court. No. "_____(b) City mayor. city treasurers. as amended. without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. Other offenses of felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 1. Section 2. pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 14 and 14-A.A. 1606 was later amended by P.D. and provincial treasurers. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. 1861 on March 23. assessors. issued in 1986. assessors. R. 4. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989 (Republic Act No. specifically including: "_____ (a) Provincial governors. and Chapter II. Book II of the Revised Penal Code. " _____(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. " _____(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade “Grade '27'” and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. 8249. 3019. Jurisdiction. 2. and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor. or military and PNP officer mentioned above. No. members of the sangguniang panlalawigan. No. " _____In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade “Grade '27'” or higher. "_____(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintended or higher. . vice-mayors. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government. Section 4 of R. 1997 by R. 1995 made succeeding amendments to P. . engineers. No. vice-governors. metropolitan trial court. " _____(g) Presidents. " _____(d) Philippine army and air force colonels. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional court. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. C. which was again amended on February 5. and other city department heads. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. engineers. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. otherwise classified as Grade “27” and higher. and all officers of higher rank. " _____(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants.D. 1379. directors or trustees. as the case may be.P. 1606. members of the sangguniang panlungsod. further altering the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 129.The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. 7975 approved on March 30.A. As it now stands. whether in a permanent. and other city department heads. " _____(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commission. B.A. naval captains. No. resolutions or order of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the following: Sec. as amended. and " _____(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade “Grade '27'” and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. Republic Act No. No. 1983. Title VII.

" _____Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding. Where there is ambiguity. 1." Upon the other hand. including quo warranto. ang pagpapaliwanag ay hindi dapat maging mahirap at katawa-tawa. injunctions. Family relation shall include the spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree. except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. be simultaneously instituted with. shall represent the People of the Philippines. and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. Kung saan mayroong kalabuan. application. The said law represses certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. No.D. prohibition. That where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered.A. all prosecutions for violation of the said law should be filed with the Sandiganbayan. and no right to reserve the filing such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 hereof. without regard to the succeeding paragraphs of the said provision. the Office of the Ombudsman. No.[32] R. 3019 erroneously cited by petitioner. said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. " _____In case private individuals are charged as co-principals. 1. Section 4 of R. No. for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action. Prohibition on private individuals. The rule is well-established in this jurisdiction that statutes should receive a sensible construction so as to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusion. the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts. 1960. as amended. social and fraternal connections.D. petitioner contends that estafa is not among those crimes cognizable byover which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. In fine. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. In fact. through its special prosecutor.A. 3019 is a penal statute approved on August 17. issued in 1986. the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action. request or contract with the government. otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned. as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may thereafter promulgate. 3019 does not contain an enumeration of the cases over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. habeas corpus. provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the . gift or material or pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business. 129. No.A. 3019. issued in 1986: Provided. transaction. deals not with the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but with prohibition on private individuals. No. 3019. at all times. – (a) It shall be unlawful for any person having family or close personal relation with any public official to capitalize or exploit or take advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any present. 14 and 14-A. certiorari. as the case may be. ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum. and jointly determined in. No.D. petitioner isolated the first paragraph of Section 4 of P. accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees. No. R. 1606." _____The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus.A. defines graft and corrupt practices and provides for their penalties.[31] Pursuant to Section 10 of R. 1606. 14 and 14-A. relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals.[33] Interpretatio talis in ambiguis semper fienda est. defines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan while R. as amended. such interpretation as will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted. and professional employment all giving rise to intimacy which assures free access to such public officer.A. arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. " _____The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. No. Every section. 1606. shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. We note that in hoisting this argument. That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court. 2. 2. the two statutes differ in that P. they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. We quote: Section 4. the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall. however. Relying on Section 4 of P. in which such public official has to intervene. and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature. The word “close personal relation” shall include close personal friendship.

authority. She does not receive any salary or remuneration as a UP student regent. It exists. Jur. In Laurel v. 1606. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. As already above intimated. original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Marcos and Teodoro F. On January 9. 1966. apart from the fact that even if the cases could be so transferred. 709. 3). Department of Natural Resources. 1606 reads: B.] Sec. Evidently. 1974 (E. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over other felonies committed by public officials in relation to their office. Office of the Ombudsman. on December 1. created and conferred by law.[40] the Court held that: A public office is the right. when it exists at all only because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring it (Mechem Ibid. as estafa thru falsification punishable by penalties higher than prision correccional or imprisonment of six years. This is not the first or likely the last time that We will be called upon toare required to define a public officer. by which. the inability of the Sandiganbayan to hold a joint trial of Bondoc’s cases and those of the government employees separately charged for the same crimes. 881). No. by which for a given period. We see no plausible or sensible reason to exclude estafa as one of the offenses included in Section 4(bB) of P. Court of Appeals. or a fine of P6. Desierto. Luneta and other national parks (Executive Order No. In Perlas. 1981).[34] The intention of the legislator must be ascertained from the whole text of the law and every part of the act is to be taken into view. Valencia were designated Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively (E. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. 30). or even an absolute right to hold office. estafa is one of those other felonies. and duty created and conferred by law. a government instrumentality. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. Jr. These crimes are within the exclusive. 830. it is not legally possible to transfer Bondoc’s cases to the Regional Trial Court. no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary (42 Am. the NPDC has remained under the Office of the President (E. and that (b) the offense is committed in relation to their office. has not altered the nature of the offenses charged. Petitioner UP student regent is a public officer.D. Jr. No. v. Excepting constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure. the annual appropriations decrees listed NPDC as a regular government agency under the Office of the President and allotments for its maintenance and operating expenses were issued direct to NPDC (Exh. as amended.O. 2. Despite an attempt to transfer it to the Bureau of Forest Development. Imelda R. 64). 1963. for the development of the Quezon Memorial. the varied definitions and concepts are found in different statutes and jurisprudence. 10-A. No.00. v. 39. Mrs. dated November 27. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office. The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public officials and employees mentioned in Section 4(A) of P. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 1975). issued pursuant to PD No. authority and duty. In Khan. In Aparri v. No. Plainly.[37] the Court had occasion to explain that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over an indictment for estafa versus a director of the National Parks Development Committee.[38] Pertinent parts of the Court’s ruling in Bondoc read: Furthermore. The Court held then: The National Parks Development Committee was created originally as an Executive Committee on January 14. 69). Item Nos. No. Petitioner also contends that she is not a public officer.O. dated July 27. Sandiganbayan. People. Ang isang batas ay marapat na bigyan ng kahulugan sa kanyang kabuuan sa ilalim ng prinsipyo na ang pinakamainam na interpretasyon ay ang mismong batas. to be exercise by him for the benefit of the public ([Mechem Public Offices and Officers. 1).O..effect contemplated by the legislature.000. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. petitioner’s interpretation lies in direct opposition to the rule that a statute must be interpreted as a whole under the principle that the best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself. The right to hold a public office under our political system is therefore not a natural right. Rather. They simply cannot be taken cognizance of by the regular courts.D. The individual so invested is a public officer. including Bondoc.[39] The 1987 Constitution does not define who are public officers. Section 4(B) of P. The Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction over estafa was reiterated with greater firmness in Bondoc v. Sec. a joint trial would nonetheless not be possible. committed by government employees in conspiracy with private persons. Perlas. No. It was later designated as the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) on February 7. 1975 (Letter of Implementation No. 1606. 3).[35] In other words. We ruled that it is difficult to pin down the definition of a public officer.[36] Optima statuti interpretatrix est ipsum statutum. Since 1977 to 1981.D.”[42] . an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government.[41] the Court adopted the definition of Mechem of a public office: “A public office is the right. for the simple reason that the latter would not have jurisdiction over the offenses. for a given period.

she had no power or authority to act without the approval of the BOR. jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the whims of defendant or respondent. it is averred that “petitioner requested the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15.[53] In the case at bench. being then a student regent of U. 1606 explictly vested the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over Presidents. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. The offense charged was committed in relation to public office. and that her acts were not ratified by the governing body of the state university. with intent to gain. 1606 and jurisprudence. a motion to dismiss. the BOR performs functions similar to those of a board of trustees of a non-stock corporation.000.000. jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set up by defendant or respondent in an answer.[47] We uphold that the conclusions of the Sandiganbayan that Delegation of sovereign functions is essential in the public office. We find that petitioner is. philosophy. 91353 dated .D.D. SERANA. No. and giving professional and technical training. committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position. Under the information. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public makes one a public officer. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No.00). The information alleges that the funds came from the Office of the President and not its then occupant. directors or trustees. According to petitioner. As the Sandiganbayan pointed out. from the Office of the President. UP performs a legitimate governmental function by providing advanced instruction in literature. An investment in an individual of some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. No. a private individual. the sciences. Petitioner insists the charge has no leg to stand on. in no uncertain terms that petitioner.[43] We held that while the first part of Section 4(A) covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and higher. In Geduspan v. She adds there was no Board Resolution issued by the BOR authorizing her to contract with then President Estrada. the information alleged. This is likewise bereft of merit. there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan when it did not quash the information based on this ground. it is merely incidental to the public office.[51] More than that.[46] At most. the Sandiganbayan would still not have jurisdiction over the offense because it was not committed in relation to her office. No. Petitioner likewise argues that even assuming that she is a public officer. her act was done in a private capacity and not in relation to public office. The Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P. she is. UP is maintained by the Government and it declares no dividends and is not a corporation created for profit. It is not only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Source of funds is a defense that should be raised during trial on the merits. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government x x x.[44] Section 4(A)(1)(g) of P. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. it is well established that compensation is not an essential element of public office. conspiring with her brother.P. 1606 the statute defining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.D.D. a public officer as contemplated by P. “while in the performance of her official functions. Philippine Currency.[49] Moreover. did then and there wilfully. indeed. 1606. and arts. a regular tuition fee-paying student. It is contended anew that the amount came from President Estrada’s private funds and not from the government coffers.Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27.” (Underscoring supplied) Clearly. No.[52] Otherwise.. or a motion to quash. Moreover. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the information.[45] By express mandate of law. in fact.[50] Petitioner is therefore a public officer by express mandate of P.[48] The administration of the UP is a sovereign function in line with Article XIV of the Constitution. We find no reason to disturb the findings of the Sandiganbayan that Petitioner falls under this category. We cannot agree. according to the Information. Petitioner falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed there by express provision of law. JADE IAN D. Resultantly. People. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. its second part specifically includes other executive officials whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said court.

D. Ramos resorted to deception by using a name different from that with which he was authorized.October 24. fairness and honesty to the Court. 1606 as a quotation from Section 4 of R. As a parting note. Renato G. A lawyer’s conduct before the court should be characterized by candor and fairness. Ramos. dela Cruz. misrepresented his reference to Section 4 of P. the instant petition for certiorari and his memorandum. .000. the Court sustains the Sandiganbayan observation that the source of the P15.000.[58] WHEREFORE. We severely reprimanded Atty. Ramos in connection with a criminal case. 3019. Ramos and warned that a repetition may warrant suspension or disbarment.A.[55] where Atty Dionisio D. The Court ruled that Atty. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. SO ORDERED.[56] We admonish petitioner’s counsel to be more careful and accurate in his citation. petitioner’s counsel.02 of the Rules stating that “a lawyer shall not misquote or misrepresent. We urge petitioner’s counsel to observe Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.” The Court stressed the importance of this rule in Pangan v.000 is a matter of defense that should be ventilated during the trial on the merits of the instant case. unveils the misquotation. No. A review of his motion to quash.[54] A lawyer owes candor.D.[57] The administration of justice would gravely suffer if lawyers do not act with complete candor and honesty before the courts.” Again. 2000 in the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15. specifically Rule 10.00). Ramos used the name Pedro D.000. No.

Jr. is ordered DISMISSED and accused VICENTE C.A. etc.. is sufficient in form and substance. Rivera. Respondents. Sandiganbayan. is lifted and set aside. subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. Jr. x x x xxxx [I]t is enough to allege conspiracy as a mode in the commission of an offense in either of the following manner: (1) by use of the word "conspire. 3019.4 that private persons when conspiring with public officers may be held liable for violation of Section 3(g) of Republic Act (R. respondent Office of the Special Prosecutor argues. we note that in the Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated March 18.5 said allegation of conspiracy is sufficient. Consequently. such as confederate. Vicente C. the following elements must be present: (1) that the accused is a public officer. 3019 "in conspiracy with accused HENRY T.: In its Motion for Reconsideration. SANDIGANBAYAN and THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. No.. and with such precision as would enable the accused to competently enter a plea to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts. (PIATCO) x x x. Sandiganbayan. is hereby GRANTED. J. The dispositive portion of the Decision states: WHEREFORE.R. Sandiganbayan. thus: The requirements on sufficiency of allegations are different when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in itself but only as the mode of committing the crime as in the case at bar. Chairman and President of Philippine International Air Terminals. 28092 for violation of Section 3(g) of Republic Act No. The Hold Departure Order issued by this Court against the accused dated February 15. if there is an allegation of conspiracy. 3019. Jr. (2) that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government. Sandiganbayan.6 Thus.1 Balmadrid v. 2009 HENRY T. There is less necessity of reciting its particularities in the Information because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the offense charged.’s "Motion to Dismiss by way of Demurrer to Evidence". then Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications. The arguments presented by the Office of the Special Prosecutor convinced us to take a second look at the case. and (3) that such contract or transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. RESOLUTION YNARES-SANTIAGO. citing Meneses v.A. 172602 April 16.3 and Singian v. a private person may be held liable together with the public officer. 2005. connive." In the instant case.2 Domingo v. However.) No. No. People. Rivera. Co.A. or (2) by allegation of basic facts constituting the conspiracy in a manner that a person of common understanding would know what is intended. No. GO. No. collude. However. THE FIFTH DIVISION.G." or its derivatives or synonyms." Pursuant to our ruling in Estrada v. Petitioner. Rivera. 3019. 3019. 2008. JR. accused Vicente C.A. the allegation in the Information that accused Rivera "in conspiracy with accused HENRY T. with committing the offense under Section 3(g) of R. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN. GO. in consonance with the avowed policy of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which is "to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which may constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. 2007. vs. Criminal Case No. The cash bond posted by the accused to secure his provisional liberty is hereby ordered returned to him. RIVERA. petitioner Go was validly charged with violation of Section 3(g) when he allegedly conspired with accused Rivera. GO" committed the alleged acts in violation of Section 3(g) of R. was acquitted and the case against him dismissed.. the Information charges Vicente C. in view of the foregoing. dated September 8. We maintain that to be indicted of the offense under Section 3(g) of R. Inc. . is hereby ACQUITTED of the offense charged.

A. viz: The Court resolves to DISMISS the petition for certiorari of the Decision and Resolution dated 18 March 2008 and 16 September 2008. 2008 Resolution became final and executory and was recorded in the Book of Entries of Judgments on February 13. Sandiganbayan and Rivera. WHEREFORE. The Sandiganbayan is hereby DIRECTED to DISMISS Criminal Case No. the Motion for Reconsideration (of the Resolution dated September 3. of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. on December 3. No. on the contrary. the Court dismissed the petition. Based on the foregoing. 2008. 2007) filed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor is DENIED subject to the qualification discussed in the body of the decision. Go. the Office of the Special Prosecutor filed a Petition for Certiorari before this Court which was docketed as G.1avvphi1 The said December 3. There being no public officer. 2009. From the said Decision. However. appear to be in accord with the facts and the applicable law and jurisprudence. The Prayer to Refer Case to the Supreme Court En Banc is likewise DENIED. Go should likewise be dismissed. The Comment/Opposition filed by petitioner Go to the said Motion for Reconsideration (of the Resolution dated September 3. it follows as a matter of course that the instant case against herein petitioner Henry T. 3019. SO ORDERED. SO ORDERED. The basis for a finding of conspiracy against petitioner and Rivera has been removed. the case against Henry T. 2007) With Prayer to Refer Case to the Supreme Court En Banc as well as the Manifestation and Motion are NOTED. 28092 against petitioner Henry T. consequently. Go should likewise be dismissed. it follows that a private individual such as herein petitioner Go could not be said to have conspired with such public officer. .R. No. The acquittal of Rivera means that there was no public officer who allegedly violated Section 3(g) of R.There can be no pronouncement as to civil liability as the facts from which the same might arise were not proven in the case at bar. 185045 and captioned as People v. respectively. 28092 for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that any grave abuse of discretion was committed by the Sandiganbayan in rendering the challenged decision and resolution which.

as Chief Accountant of the House of Representatives and Commission on Audit. 92-084. Mr. No. Reacting to the said motion. MEDINA. US Immigration and Naturalization Service. 1987 Elections. 103903. DIEGO L. filed their comment. GEN. On May 5. MRS. JR. 1992.. AND LEONARDO G. residents of the second Congressional District of Northern Samar filed the instant petition for prohibition seeking to disqualify respondent RaulDaza. However. RESOLUTION ROMERO. 1992. To buttress their contention. respondent Congressman Daza filed his comment denying the fact that he is a permanent resident of the United States. through the Solicitor General. he had long waived his status when he returned to the Philippines on August 12. September 11. 1987 until June 30. we required respondents to comment. as OIC of the General Services Division. J. Daza has not. On April 13. petitioners cite the recent case of Caasi v. 1985. 1992. VS. then he should be removed from his position as Congressman. Petitioners insist that Congressman Daza should be disqualified from exercising the functions of his office being a permanent resident alien of the United States at the time when he filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 11. SAMPAYAN. public respondent Camilo Sabio. 1992. 1992. 1992.[G. CAMILO SABIO. Petitioners allege that Mr. On May 21. 1980 as evidenced by a letter order of the District Director. TIOZON. 1992. this Court gave due course to the petition and required the parties to file their respective memoranda. petitioners on March 30. AS CHIEF ACCOUNTANT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. on the ground that the latter is a greencard holder and a lawful permanent resident of the United States since October 16. 1974. Jose Mari Tuaño. On March 13. PETITIONERS. 1992 elections on the basis of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (SPC 92-084) and that the instant petition is concerned with the unlawful assumption of office by respondent Daza from June 30. Los Angeles. 1992. 1992. AS SECRETARY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. petitioners’ prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction should not be granted.S.A. TURLA. renounced his status as permanent resident. petitioners filed their reply. Court of Appeals.: On February 18. Eight (8) days later. SERVICES DIVISION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. by any act or declaration. that although he was accorded a permanent residency status on October 8. Rosalinda G. AS OFFICER-IN-CHARGE. U. On April 10. ROSALINDA G. manifested their opposition to the 30-day extension of time stating that such extension was excessive and prayed that respondent instead be granted only 10 days to file their comment. 1992] MELANIO D. then incumbent congressman of the same congressional district. they filed a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify respondent Daza from running in the recent May 11. JOSE MARIA TUANO. respondent Daza. Secretary General of the House of Representatives. asked this Court to direct the COMELEC to dismiss SPC No.R. filed a motion for extension of time to file their comment for a period of thirty days or until April 12. The central issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not respondent Daza should be disqualified as a member of the House of Representatives for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. reacting to the petition before the COMELEC (SPC 92-084) and hypothesizing that the case before the COMELEC would become moot should this Court find that his permanent resident status ceased when he was granted a US non-immigrant visa. the Court noted the manifestation and opposition. 1992. DAZA. thereby violating Section 68 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 (Omnibus Election Code) and Section 18. from continuing to exercise the functions of his office. petitioners. On April 7. 1992. HON.. . they opined that only Congressman Daza can best explain his true and correct status as a greencard holder. COMMISSION ON AUDIT. On February 25. Mrs. 1992. MR. 1992. respondents. AND THE HON. Medina. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. They contend that if indeed Congressman Daza is a greencard holder and a permanent resident of the United States of America. Until he files his comment to the petition. petitioners manifested before us that on April 2. On May 5. RAUL A. RESPONDENTS.

as a de facto public officer. 55102-1308 SUBJECT: Daza. [XX] Other remarks: Service File A20 968 619 relating to Raul Daza reflects: subject became a Lawful Permanent Resident on Oct. a writ of prohibition can no longer be issued against respondent since his term has already expired. ACCORDINGLY. please note the paragraph(s) checked below: xxx xxx xxx 10. A writ of prohibition is not intended to provide for acts already consummated. 8-20-82)N We vote to dismiss the instant prohibition case. Moreover. 1974. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) which reads: File No. the Court Resolved to DISMISS the instant petition for being MOOT and ACADEMIC. jurisdiction of this case rightfully pertains to the House Electoral Tribunal. Wasbasha Street St. As far as we know subject (sic) still has his greencard. 1992. Third. First. Your request was received in this office on ____________. (sic) Sgd. Fourth. Paul. returns and qualification of its members. District Director Form G-343 (Rev. as a de facto officer. Under Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. respondent cannot be made to reimburse funds disbursed during his term of office because his acts are as valid as those of a de jure officer. Raul A. 1992 that they seek to unseat respondent from his position as Congressman for the duration of his term of office commencing June 30. 16. . petitioners presented to us a letter from the United States Department of Justice. No he has not applied for citizenship. he is entitled to emoluments for actual services rendered. 1987 and ending June 30. Hutchinson 386 N. the appropriate remedy should have been to file a petition to cancel respondent Daza's certificate of candidacy before the election or a quo warranto case with the House Electoral Tribunal within ten (10) days after Daza's proclamation. 1991 LOS914732 Geraghty.In support of their charge that respondent Daza is a greencard holder. O'Loughlin and Kenney Attn: David C. Secondly. Sinerely. Minn. A20 968 618 Date: Nov 5. this case is already moot and academic for it is evident from the manifestation filed by petitioners dated April 6. it is the House Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. Since petitioners challenge the qualifications of Congressman Daza. SO ORDERED.

filed an appeal/petition with the PPA Appeals Board. 1988. 1988. respondent.R.7 (2) CSC MC NO. on April 18. vs. RAMON 3. started her government service in 1977 as Bookkeeper II in the Port Management Office. PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY (PPA) and RAMON ANINO. Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). A. Maximo Dumlao. ANINO. protesting against respondent's appointment. same office.G. B. MANAGEMENT DIVISION DIVISION MANAGER CS PROF / RA 1080 ELIGIBILITY CS Prof. The PPA Appeals Board. DARIO 5. Ports Management Office. 1997 of the Court of Appeals in CAG. Barely a year later.. 1." These grounds were not explained or discussed in the Resolution. s. 3. 2002 THE GENERAL MANAGER. The facts are: Julieta Monserate. 129616 April 17. TEODOSIO. 952043 dated March 21. JULIETA 2. the CSC. 1988.2 declaring null and void the Resolution No.5" 6. petitioner Ramon Anino. ESPINOSA. Meanwhile. 1995 of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). No. appointed5 respondent to the position of Manager II (Resource Management Division). in a Resolution6 dated August 11. No. On even date. JULIETA MONSERATE.2 and Par. respondent assumed office and discharged the functions thereof. thus: "COMPARATIVE DATA SHEET OFFICE: DIVISION: POSITION: REQUIRED CS ELIG. MONSERATE. when the PPA underwent a reorganization. BASCOS RA 1080 On February 1. Iloilo City. Iloilo City. 10. the dispositive portion of which reads: . PERFECTO. MORTOLA. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.3 In the early part of 1988.R. 1995 and Resolution No. APRIL 4. sustained the protest and rendered ineffective respondent's appointment based on "(1) CSC MC No. 1988. respondent applied for the permanent position of Manager II (SG-19) of the Resource Management Division. The Comparative Data Sheet 4 accomplished by the PPA Reorganization Task Force shows the ranking of the six (6) aspirants to the said position. 1st grade PD 907 (CPA) CS Prof. then General Manager of the PPA.: CANDIDATES 1. On July 8. petitioners. Par. Silva (Assistant Director of the Civil Service Field Office-PPA) approved her appointment. s. 956640 dated October 24. 1988. through Guillermo R. and ordering the reinstatement of Julieta G. Jr. who ranked second to respondent per the Comparative Data Sheet earlier quoted. Bar xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx TOTAL 79. she was promoted to the position of Cashier II and then as Finance Officer (SG-16) in 1980.: This petition for review on certiorari1 seeks to set aside the Decision dated June 20.5 59. J.5 70 67 67 63. PPA.8 and (3) Civil Service Eligibility. 1986. 5. AMALIK PMO ILOILO RES. 39670. respondent. Par. Monserate as Division Manager II of the Resources Management Division.

respondent was furnished a copy of PPA Special Order No. 10 She questioned her replacement under PPA Special Order No. 1988.nêt Aggrieved. claiming that the proceedings before the PPA Appeals Board were irregular because (1) she was not notified of the hearing before it. Apparently at a loss with the turn of events. 1997. 1988 PPA Appeals Board Resolution or a copy of the protest filed by petitioner Anino. respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review impleading as respondents the PPA General Manager and petitioner Anino. who was then an official member of the Board. thus: "It is well-established rule that an appointment. 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board. Although Monserate had already assumed the position of RMD Manager II. pending resolution of her appeal/request for clarification. 1988. 1989. the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision16 nullifying the twin Resolutions of the CSC. does not become final until the protest filed against it is decided by the agency or by the Commission.14 It was also during this time when she learned that PPA General Manager Dayan had just issued petitioner's appointment dated October 21. she assumed the position of Administrative Officer. Resource Management Division. 1988 as Manager II in the Resource Management Division effective February 1. the CSC. respondent filed on November 25. 1988 a "precautionary appeal" 13 with the CSC. 492-8812 dated October 21. 95-204315 dated March 21. and (4) their Port Manager (in Iloilo City)."WHEREFORE. This PPA Order officially reassigned her to the position of Administrative Officer (SG-15) which was petitioner Anino's former position and was lower than her previous position as Finance Officer (SG 16) before she was appointed as Division Manager. In the meantime. in its Resolution No." Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied by the CSC in its Resolution No. 1995. 479-88 9 (entitled "Creation of the PPA Manager's Pool"). 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board. It ruled that the August 11. 1988. 1995. 1âwphi1. She manifested that as of said date (November 25). "Monserate's claim that she is more qualified than Anino is not relevant to the issue before this Commission. The dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals' Decision reads: . 11 (3) she was not informed of the reasons behind her replacement. although approved by this Commission. respondent filed with the PPA General Manager an appeal/request for clarification dated November 2. This appeal remained pending with the CSC for more than six (6) years despite respondent's requests for early resolution." On October 24. dated September 28. also issued by General Manager Dayan. In effect. 1989. 1988. The Commission will not disturb the choice of the appointing authority as long as the appointee meets the qualification prescribed for the position in question. On January 2. 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board was not supported by evidence and that the same was irregularly issued due to lack of proper notice to respondent with respect to the Board's proceedings. dismissed respondent's appeal. premises considered. Resource Management Division (SG-19). x x x. Eventually. the appointing authority may still withdraw the same if a protest is seasonably filed. Dayan. was not included in the said proceedings. On November 8. That Special Order excluded the name of respondent from the pool-list and placed instead the name of petitioner as Manager II. On June 20. Mr. respondent filed with the CSC an appeal formally protesting against petitioner Anino's appointment and at the same time questioning the propriety of the August 11. the main question to be resolved is whether or not the appointee meets the qualification standard. 1988. Anino as Resources Management Division Manager of the Port Management Office of Iloilo. respondent received a copy of her new appointment as Administrative Officer dated October 1. the Special Order implemented the August 11. It concluded that her reassignment from the position of Manager II. Rogelio A. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules implementing EO 292 x x x. In due time. respondent received a copy of PPA Special Order No. This is covered by Section 19. 479-88. coupled by the inaction of PPA General Manager Dayan on her earlier appeal/request for clarification. 1988. to the position of Administrative Officer (SG-15) was a demotion violative of her constitutional right to security of tenure and due process. (2) she was not furnished a copy of the August 11. this Board upholds the appointment of Ramon A. she has not yet been furnished a certified copy of the PPA Appeals Board Resolution. 95-6640 dated October 24. In cases of protest filed or appealed to the Commission. issued by the new PPA General Manager. 1988. On January 16.

which provides inter alia: "SEC 19. authorized by law. "the CSC acted rightly when it did not interfere in the exercise of discretion by the PPA appointing authority. In fact. there being no evidence of grave abuse of discretion thereof or violation of the Civil Service Law and Rules. shall take effect immediately upon its issuance if the appointee assumes the duties of the position and the appointee is entitled to receive the salary attached to the position.17 Petitioners ascribe to the Court of Appeals the following errors: I THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUISLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT RESPONDENT MONSERATE WAS DEMOTED FROM RESOURCES MANAGEMENT DIVISION MANAGER TO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER. the PPA reorganization in 1988 has nothing to do with respondent's demotion from the contested position of Manager II. he shall be reverted to his former position." Thereupon. Resource Management Division. 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board which sustained petitioner Anino's timely protest against respondent's appointment. 1988 (should be October 24. presupposes a conviction in an administrative case. The appointing authority has a wide latitude of choice subject only to the condition that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. she was displaced from her position as an "aftermath of the PPA reorganization. shall be submitted to the Commission for appropriate action within 30 days from the date of its issuance. Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. On November 30." Petitioners also contend that the head of an agency. Rather." The petition is unmeritorious. In support of this contention. being in the nature of administrative penalty. respondent was not charged of any administrative case. it was precisely because of the said reorganization that respondent applied to the higher position of Division Manager II. petitioner Anino retired from the government service. 952043 and 95640 (should be 956640) dated March 21 and October 21. they cited Section 19. though contested. ALTHOUGH APPROVED BY CSC. the said displacement was just the necessary effect of the August 11."THE FOREGOING CONSIDERED. Petitioners theorize that the appointment of respondent as Resource Management Division Manager did not become final until the protest filed against her was favorably decided in her favor by the CSC. the Comparative Data Sheet accomplished by the PPA Reorganization Task Force itself . II THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT ALIGNING ITSELF WITH THE WELL-NIGH RULE THAT RESPONDENT MONSERATE'S APPOINTMENT AS RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DIVISION MANAGER. being the appointing authority. "SO ORDERED. the appointment. is the one most knowledgeable to decide who can best perform the functions of the office. Antithetically." Furthermore.18 The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not there was due process when respondent was replaced by petitioner Anino from her position as Manager II. Consequently. Ramon Anino and the PPA General Manager filed on August 14. An appointment. III THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR OF JUDGMENT IN IGNORING THAT IN CASES OF PROTEST FILED OR APPEALED TO THE CSC. 1997. to the lower position of Administrative Officer (SG-15). 1995). judgment is hereby rendered declaring as null and void Resolution Nos. in which case. otherwise the appointment becomes ineffective thereafter. together with the decision of the department head. 1997 the present petition. Resource Management Office (SG-19). DOES NOT BECOME FINAL UNTIL THE PROTEST FILED AGAINST HER IS FAVORABLY DECIDED IN HER FAVOR BY THE AGENCY OR THE CSC. However. In the first place. Petitioners vehemently aver that respondent was never demoted since demotion. and directing the reinstatement of the petitioner to the position of Resource Management Division Manager II. such appointment shall become ineffective in case the protest is finally resolved against the protestee. THUS VIOLATING HER RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE. Here. and demoted as Administrative Officer. the implementation of which having been carried out with utmost good faith. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987). Likewise. THE MAIN QUESTION TO BE RESOLVED IS WHETHER OR NOT THE APPOINTEE MEETS THE QUALIFICATION STANDARD. of the Civil service Commission.

479-88 dated September 28. 1988. 1988 Resolution by the PPA Appeals Board (Ibid. s. Jr. Appointment of respondent. dated October 21. 5.2 and Par. from among the six (6) contenders to the said post. A. . 1998 when the PPA Appeals Board Resolution was issued. the grounds against petitioner's (Julieta Monserate) appointment were: a) the CSC MC No. 3. 1986. she has a Career Service Professional eligibility while the private respondent only has a First Grade Civil Service Eligibility. Therefore. 10. 5. 1988 by the CSC. 46) upholding the appointment of the private respondent (Ramon Anino) as Division Manager. it was only after the reorganization and upon the issuance of the August 11. Anino as Resource Management Division Manager. to the position of Administrative Officer. or more than two (2) months after August 11. 1988 by then PPA General Maximo Dumlao. 2. Of the CSC MC No. 1998 Resolution: "(1) CSC MC No. As aptly held by the Appellate Court: "In the August 11. 10. PPA Special Order No. and 4. x x x.2) and Par. she had a 1. "On eligibility. the processing. This is further shown by the following orders and appointments subsequently issued by then PPA General Manager Rogelio Dayan: 1. 1988 which excluded respondent Monserate from the PPA Managers' pool-list. Par. contrary to petitioners' claim. not by reason of the PPA reorganization in 1988. Stated differently. b) the CSC MC No.. Appointment of petitioner Anino.. 2. Silva of the Civil Service Field Office-PPA. B. Unfortunately for petitioners. 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board which "upholds the appointment of Ramon A. Equally questionable are the grounds for respondent's demotion stated in the August 11. the petitioner had no pending administrative or criminal case at the time of her appointment as Manager. 1988. We uphold the Court of Appeals' finding that the August 11. respondent was demoted. during which time she actually assumed office and discharged its functions. Par. 1.03. dated October 1. this Court cannot accord validity to the August 11. 1988 Resolution of the PPA Appeals Board when respondent was demoted to the lower position of Administrative Officer. Clearly. Moreover. B. 1988 which officially reassigned respondent to the position of Administrative Officer. This appointment was later approved on July 8.shows that respondent ranked No. p." But how can it uphold his appointment when he was not yet appointed then? It bears stressing that he was appointed on a much later date .9 average performance rating compared to the private respondent who only got 2. Par. Resource Management Division. evaluation and recommendation of her appointment as Manager II. B. 1. Par 3. s." These grounds are incomprehensible for lack of discussion or explanation by the Board to enable respondent to know the reason for her demotion. and c) Civil service eligibility. A (1. (2) CSC MC NO. and (3) Civil Service Eligibility. 1988. x x x. effective February 1. 1988 Resolution by the PPA Appeals Board was not supported by evidence. "x x x "To us. PPA Special Order No. 1988. 1. Respondent was eventually issued a permanent appointment as such Division Manager on February 1.October 21. A. 1988 sustaining petitioner Anino's protest against respondent's appointment. the PPA Appeals Board could not uphold an appointment which was not yet existing. 3. through Assistant Director Guillermo R. s. 10. 2. 492-88 dated October 21. the August 11. Par. while petitioner Anino ranked No. 5.2 and Par. but due to the PPA Appeals Board Resolution dated August 11. 1998 PPA Appeals Board Resolution was void for lack of evidence and proper notice to respondent. 1986. 1988. review. passed several committees created by the PPA. "With respect to the CSC MC No. x x x. to the position of Manager II. 1988.

" . the appointing authority has a wide latitude of discretion in the selection and appointment of qualified persons to vacant positions in the civil service. (3)] should not be placed at the mercy of abusive exercise of the appointing power. "x x x. "an appointment to a non-vacant position in the civil service is null and void ab initio. even though such appointment or election may be irregular. 1988. "In the case now before us. To be sure. In this jurisdiction. 1988). the moment the discretionary power of appointment is exercised and the appointee assumed the duties and functions of the position. her demotion. or by removal. when the Court of Appeals reinstated respondent to her legitimate post as Manager II in the Resource Management Division. except for cause. Here. to the lower position of Administrative Officer. tantamount to a revocation of her appointment as Manager II. Court of Appeals. he was appointed only on October 1. as earlier discussed. 1997. in good faith. not merely equitable. As a matter of fact. Civil Service Commission.25 In Monroy vs. the petitioner did not receive or was not given a copy of the August 11. right (to the position) which is protected not only by statute. is legally entitled to the emoluments of the office. par. her position as Manager II never became vacant since her demotion was void. and with previous notice and hearing.22 Parenthetically. but also by the constitution. therefore. 1988 Resolution of the Appeals Board. he was not yet extended any appointment. Also. Executive Secretary. takes the salaries at his risk and must. and may in appropriate action recover the salary. fees and other compensations attached to the office. 1988 that she was able to obtain a copy of the August 11. This matter becomes controversial because respondent assumed the lower position of Administrative Officer during the pendency of her protest against petitioner Anino's appointment to the contested position. What she received instead was a Special Order dated September 29. In Aquino vs."She added that she was not aware of any proceeding on her demotion as a Division Manager.26 this Court ruled that a rightful incumbent of a public office may recover from a de facto officer the salary received by the latter during the time of his wrongful tenure. A de facto officer. She did not even know that she was demoted until after she received a copy of the of the Special Order No. it was only upon her iniative sometime during the latter part of November. 1988 already ordering her demotion. has had possession of the office and has discharged the duties pertaining thereto. if not null and void. while petitioner Anino's appointment to the contested position is void. account to the de jure officer for whatever salary he received during the period of his wrongful tenure. As a matter of fact. he is nonetheless considered a de facto officer during the period of his incumbency."19 From all indications. except for cause. it merely restored her appointment to the said position to which her right to security of tenure had already attached. no iota of evidence was ever established to justify the revocation of respondent's appointment by demoting her. he acquires a legal. 479-88. "Furthermore. such appointment cannot anymore be revoked by the appointing authority and appoint another in his stead.20 this Court emphasized that "once an appointment is issued and the moment the appointee assumes a position in the civil service under a completed appointment. she said that the resolution of the PPA Appeals Board appears irregular. 1988 Resolution of the Appeals Board. The challenged Court of Appeals Decision ordered the reinstatement of respondent without awarding backwages. 21 However. even though he (the de facto officer) occupied the office in good faith and under color of title.24 A de facto officer is one who is in possession of an office and who openly exercises its functions under color of an appointment or election. she was not furnished either a copy of the resolution. Resource Management Division. 1988 (should be October 21. and cannot be taken away from him either by revocation of the appointment. thus: "x x x in cases where there is no de jure officer. Respondent's security of tenure guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution [Article IX-B.27 this Court allowed a de facto officer to receive emoluments for actual services rendered but only when there is no de jure officer." Concededly. Indeed. The resolution sustained the private respondent's appointment as Division Manager even if on August 11. She was never notified of any proceeding."23 We now delve on the backwages in favor of respondent. it is indubitable that substantial and procedural irregularities attended respondent's demotion from the position of Manager II. not having a good title. petitioner Anino retired from the service on November 30. She was not at all given the opportunity of defending herself before the Appeals Board. is a patent violation of her constitutional rights to security of tenure and due process. a de facto officer who. In this respect. Section 2. In the later case of Civil Liberties Union vs.

nêt WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. during his wrongful incumbency. she cannot recover full backwages for the period when she was unlawfully deprived thereof. she has been receiving the emoluments. cannot be applied squarely on the present case in view of its peculiar circumstances. the petition is DENIED. a de facto officer.1âwphi1. Respondent had assumed under protest the position of Administrative Officer sometime in the latter part of 1988. 1997. even if he occupied the office in good faith. however.In fine. . While her assumption to said lower position and her acceptance of the corresponding emoluments cannot be considered as an abandonment of her claim to her rightful office (Division Manager). Since then. The challenged Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 20. is not entitled to the emoluments attached to the office. Such backpay differentials pertain to the difference between the salary rates for the positions of Manager II and Administrative Officer. 1997. The same must be paid by petitioner Anino corresponding from the time he wrongfully assumed the contested position up to the time of his retirement on November 30. She is entitled only to backpay differentials for the period starting from her assumption as Administrative Officer up to the time of her actual reinstatement to her rightful position as Division Manager. the rule is that where there is a de jure officer. 1997 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in the sense that petitioner Ramon A. Anino is ordered to pay respondent Julieta Monserate backpay differentials pertaining to the period from the time he wrongfully assumed the contested position of Manager II up to his retirement on November 30. which position she currently holds. salary and other compensation attached to such office. This rule.

440 . and RAUL R. but who claims that the votes cast in favor of Frivaldo should be considered void. vs." and that his Certificate of Candidacy be cancelled. petitioner Raul R. the Court lays down new doctrines on repatriation." The Motion for Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo remained unacted upon until after the May 8. No. J. another candidate. Lee. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 120295. So. 123755. this Division resolves to GRANT the petition and declares that respondent is DISQUALIFIED to run for the Office of Governor of Sorsogon on the ground that he is NOT a citizen of the Philippines.060 Juan G. 51. FRIVALDO. filed a petition4 with the Comelec docketed as SPA No. 1995. who obviously was not voted directly to the position of governor. On March 23. that the electorate should be deemed to have intentionally thrown away their ballots. who was the second placer in the canvass.19952 and another Resolution of the Comelec en bane promulgated February 23.R. 1996] RAUL R. respondents. respondents. 1995. a "permanent vacancy in the contested office has occurred"? In ruling for Frivaldo. This is a special civil action under Rules 65 and 58 of the Rules of Court for certiorari and preliminary injunction to review and annul a Resolution of the respondent Commission on Elections (Comelec). (ii) Raul R. DECISION PANGANIBAN. 1 promulgated on December 19. 123755. the Comelec en banc7 affirmed the aforementioned Resolution of the Second Division. or (iii) The incumbent Vice-Governor. private respondent Juan G. The Facts On March 20. No. the Second Division of the Comelec promulgated a Resolution5 granting the petition with the following disposition:6 "WHEREFORE. clarifies/reiterates/amplifies existing jurisprudence on citizenship and elections. by the ineligibility of Frivaldo. Deri. Jr.R. vs. LEE. Accordingly. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JUAN G. he secured the most number of valid votes. FRIVALDO. and that legally. June 28. 1995. 95-028 praying that Frivaldo "be disqualified from seeking or holding any public office or position by reason of not yet being a citizen of the Philippines. LEE. No.[G. [G. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon in the May 8. respondent's certificate of candidacy is cancelled. petitioner. but who according to prevailing jurisprudence should take over the said post inasmuch as. 1995 was issued showing the following votes obtained by the candidates for the position of Governor of Sorsogon: Antonio H. petitioner. and who now claims to have re-assumed his lost Philippine citizenship thru repatriation.dated May 27. Frivaldo 73. First Division. G. 1995 elections. On May 1. The Provincial Board of Canvassers completed the canvass of the election returns and a Certificate of Votes 8. Lee. Oscar G. On May 11.R. Escudero. his candidacy continued and he was voted for during the elections held on said date. 1996] JUAN G. 1995 elections. 19963 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. 1995. June 28.: The ultimate question posed before this Court in these twin cases is: Who should be declared the rightful governor of Sorsogon— (i) Juan G. Frivaldo. who unquestionably obtained the highest number of votes in three successive elections but who was twice declared by this Court to be disqualified to hold such office due to his alien citizenship. and upholds the superiority of substantial justice over pure legalisms.

1995. Comelec." In the alternative. and he having reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30. Acting on the prayer for a temporary restraining order. 95-028.11 docketed as SPC No. Lee filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the Comelec en banc in its Resolution14 promulgated on February 23. he took his oath of allegiance as a citizen of the Philippines after "his petition for repatriation under P. 1995 proclamation of Lee and for his own proclamation. Lee was proclaimed governor of Sorsogon. On February 26." Accordingly. to be elected to and to hold the Office of Governor. the Clerk of the Commission is directed to notify His Excellency the President of the Philippines. the Comelec First Division promulgated the herein assailed Resolution13 holding that Lee.The judicially declared disqualification of respondent was a continuing condition and rendered him ineligible to run for. a (supplemental) petition 9 praying for his proclamation as the dulyelected Governor of Sorsogon." the Comelec en bane directed "the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sorsogon to reconvene for the purpose of proclaiming candidate Raul Lee as the winning gubernatorial candidate in the province of Sorsogon on June 29. Consistent with the decisions of the Supreme Court. thus: "PREMISES CONSIDERED.1995 x x x. 1995 at 5:30 o'clock in the evening. Conformably with Section 260 of the Omnibus Election Code (B. 1996.The initiatory petition below was so far insufficient in form and substance to warrant the exercise by the COMELEC of its jurisdiction with the result that. 1995. Second. 881). proclaim petitioner Juan G. the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and deciding said petition. qualified to hold the office of Governor of Sorsogon. 1995 under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. at 8:30 in the evening of June 30.304 1. Third . No. he averred that pursuant to the two cases of Labo vs. therefore RESOLVES to GRANT the Petition. and xxx having reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30. at 2:00 in the afternoon. 1996. 1995. 95-317.Lee Isagani P. 1995) (of the Comelec) x x x was released and received by Frivaldo on June 30.12 the Vice-Governor— not Lee — should occupy said position of governor. 1995.The alleged repatriation of respondent was neither valid nor is the effect thereof retroactive as to cure his ineligibility and qualify him to hold the Office of Governor." As such. praying for the annulment of the June 30. Lee as Governor of Sorsogon is hereby ordered annulled. 1995. In an order10 dated June 21. Lee filed in said SPA No.1995.1995.925 On June 9. Ocampo 53. Lee. Blg. 725 which he filed with the Special Committee on Naturalization in September 1994 had been granted. 1996 a Resolution which inter alia directed the parties "to maintain the status quo prevailing prior to the filing of this petition. "not having garnered the highest number of votes. 725 xxx (is) qualified to hold the office of governor of Sorsogon". being contrary to law. On July 6. and . he not having garnered the highest number of votes to warrant his proclamation.D.P. when "the said order (dated June 21. in effect." On December 26. the Provincial Board of Canvassers is directed to immediately reconvene and. but promulgated according to the petition "only on June 29. there was no more legal impediment to the proclamation (of Frivaldo) as governor x x x. "having garnered the highest number of votes. this Court issued on February 27. the Commission (First Division). and that Frivaldo.R. thus.1995 under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. the present petition was filed. on the basis of the completed canvass. 1995. 123755 Petitioner Lee's "position on the matter at hand briefly be capsulized in the following propositions":15 "First . 725 and.RaulR. He alleged that on June 30. On December 19. Upon the finality of the annulment of the proclamation of Raul R. Frivaldo filed with the Comelec a new petition." The Issues in G. Frivaldo as the duly elected Governor of Sorsogon having garnered the highest number of votes. the proclamation of Raul R. and the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Sorsogon of this resolution immediately upon the due implementation thereof." was not legally entitled to be proclaimed as duly-elected governor.

95-317 considering that : said petition is not "a pre-proclamation case. be elected to or hold the governorship of Sorsogon? 3." Otherwise stated. not later than fifteen days before the election. Is Frivaldo's "judicially declared" disqualification for lack of Filipino citizenship a continuing bar to his eligibility to run for. and 3.e. 1995. Did the respondent Comelec have jurisdiction over the initiatory petition in SPC No. which is reproduced hereinunder: "Section 78." G. 1996. Frivaldo.Fourth . The Consolidated Issues From the foregoing submissions. Nos. 123755. — A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. 1995. 120295 This is a petition to annul three Resolutions of the respondent Comelec. viz. 1995 suspending the proclamation of. Resolution18 of the Comelec en bane. promulgated on May 11. the Court heard oral argument from the parties and required them thereafter to file simultaneously their respective memoranda.R. promulgated on May 1. the Labo Doctrine fully supports the validity of petitioner's proclamation as duly elected Governor of Sorsogon.Correctly read and applied. among others. 120295 and 123755 since they are intimately related in their factual environment and are identical in the ultimate question raised. However.) the Comelec had no jurisdiction to issue said Resolutions because they were not rendered "within the period allowed by law. Frivaldo contends that the failure of the Comelec to act on the petition for disqualification within the period of fifteen days prior to the election as provided by law is a jurisdictional defect which renders the said Resolutions null and void. By Resolution on March 12. 1995 elections "on the ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines". On March 19. Was the proclamation of Lee. Frivaldo assails the abovementioned resolutions on a different ground: that under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. The Facts and the Issue The facts of this case are essentially the same as those in G. did it seasonably cure his lack of citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the Office of Governor? If not. the consolidated issues may be restated as follows: 1.. the first two of which are also at issue in G. after notice and hearing. Resolution17 of the Comelec en bane. Resolution16 of the Second Division. who should occupy the position of governor of the province of Sorsogon.R. promulgated also on May 11. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided.R. 123755. No.. 2." i. a runner-up in the election. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. from when? 2. as follows: 1. Was the repatriation of Frivaldo valid and legal? If so. No." (Italics supplied. No.R. the Court consolidated G. may it be given retroactive effect? If so. disqualifying Frivaldo from running for governor of Sorsogon in the May 8. valid and legal in light of existing jurisprudence? . an election protest or a quo warranto case"? 4. "not later than fifteen days before the election. 1995.

clearly and unquestionably. this time. No. — (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines."23 This memorandum dated March 27. 725. Frivaldo was overwhelmingly elected governor by the electorate of Sorsogon. Now.D. or mayor. That he took his oath of allegiance under the provisions of said Decree at 2:00 p. his attempt at naturalization was rejected by this Court because of jurisdictional. by naturalization or by repatriation. "not later than fifteen days before the elections"? The First Issue: Frivaldo's Repatriation The validity and effectivity of Frivaldo's repatriation is the lis mota. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan.D. with a margin of 27. No. The Local Government Code of 199119 expressly requires Philippine citizenship as a qualification for elective local officials.000 in 1995 over the same opponent Raul Lee. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. Did the respondent Commission on Elections exceed its jurisdiction in promulgating the assailed Resolutions. with serious defects. but that the bill allowing him to do so "failed to materialize. 725. Hence. with no less than the Solicitor General himself. who was the prime opposing counsel in the previous cases he lost. Moreover.R. Brillantes.000 in 1992. should best leave to the judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. Lee argues that Frivaldo's repatriation is tainted . in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion. 1995 is not disputed. including that of provincial governor. sangguniang panlungsod. thus: "Sec. Jr." adding that in her memorandum dated March 27. as amended." asserting that "then President Corazon Aquino exercising legislative powers under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution. that he possesses the qualifications prescribed under the said statute (R. he already reacquired his citizenship. notwithstanding the endorsement of several members of the House of Representatives" due. 57. on June 30.. city. xxx xxx xxx Inasmuch as Frivaldo had been declared by this Court20 as a non-citizen. arguing the validity of his cause (in addition to his able private counsel Sixto S. and 20. 725 had "been effectively repealed. 1975. En contrario. according to him. 270 dated April 11. First. a registered voter in the barangay. President Aquino directed them "to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility as defined under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. he garnered the highest number of votes in the elections and since at that time. or sangguniang bayan. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones25 and a repeal may be . in fine. all of which prevented Frivaldo from assuming the governorship of Sorsogon.D. forbade the grant of citizenship by Presidential Decree or Executive Issuances as the same poses a serious and contentious issue of policy which the present government. substantial and procedural defects. Frivaldo told this Court in G. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect." In the same case.5. All the other matters raised are secondary to this. on the said date since.). Under Philippine law. 10465422 and during the oral argument in this case that he tried to resume his citizenship by direct act of Congress. with a fresh vote from the people of Sorsogon and a favorable decision from the Commission on Elections to boot.1987 to the members of the Special Committee on Naturalization constituted for purposes of Presidential Decree No. or province or. 39. Lee tells us that P. No. considering that they were not rendered within ( the period referred to in Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. municipality.000 votes in the 1988 elections. viz.21 citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress. the threshold legal issue in this case. it is therefore incumbent upon him to show that he has reacquired citizenship. Qualifications. Twice. No. Despite his lack of Philippine citizenship. (b) Candidates for the position of governor.m.m. as counsel for co-respondent Comelec. he was judicially declared a non-Filipino and thus twice disqualified from holding and discharging his popular mandate. A. he comes to us a third time. 725. the district where he intends to be elected. to the "maneuvers of his political rivals. 7160). which we shall now discuss in seriatim. he insists that he—not Lee— should have been proclaimed as the duly-elected governor of Sorsogon when the Provincial Board of Canvassers met at 8:30 p. he now boasts of having successfully passed through the third and last mode of reacquiring citizenship: by repatriation under P. 198724 cannot by any stretch of legal hermeneutics be construed as a law sanctioning or authorizing a repeal of P.

nevertheless it could only be effective as at 2:00 p. nor are they tedious and cumbersome. Anent Lee's charge that the "sudden reconstitution of the Special Committee on Naturalization was intended solely for the personal interest of respondent. At any rate. it could not be said that there was "indecent haste" in the processing of his application.express or implied. the Special Committee was reactivated only on June 8. however. Since the Court held his naturalization to be invalid. After all." citing our decision in G. 1996 that such allegation is simply baseless as there were many others who applied and were considered for repatriation. Lee also argues that "serious congenital irregularities flawed the repatriation proceedings. Third. it could be treated as an executive policy addressed to the Special Committee to halt the acceptance and processing of applications for repatriation pending whatever "judgment the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution" might make. after the fall of the dictator and the re-establishment of democratic space. then the issue of when an aspirant for public office should be a citizen was NOT resolved at all by the Court. he was undoubtedly a natural-born citizen who openly and faithfully served his country and his province prior to his naturalization in the United States — a naturalization he insists was made necessary only to escape the iron clutches of a dictatorship he abhorred and could not in conscience embrace — and who. The mere fact that the proceedings were speeded up is by itself not a ground to conclude that such proceedings were necessarily tainted.D. this was a mere obiter as the only issue in said case was whether Frivaldo's naturalization was valid or not — and NOT the effective date thereof. The fact is she carefully couched her presidential issuance in terms that clearly indicated the intention of "the present government."26 The memorandum of then President Aquino cannot even be regarded as a legislative enactment. Under these circumstances. wasted no time in returning to his country of birth to offer once more his talent and services to his people. . in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion" to leave the matter of repeal to the new Congress. a list of whom was submitted by him to this Court. any contest on the legality of Frivaldo's repatriation should have been pursued before the Committee itself. she should have unequivocally said so instead of referring the matter to Congress. failing there. if not when the certificate of candidacy is filed. So too. On the other hand. 1995. such as is now being proffered to the Court by Lee.m. 725 are not difficult to comply with. If she had intended to repeal such law. it is a basic rule of statutory construction that repeals by implication are not favored. in the Office of the President. Lee further contends that assuming the assailed repatriation to be valid. However. were granted repatriation argues convincingly and conclusively against the existence of favoritism vehemently posited by Raul Lee.D. This is confirmed by the Solicitor General.D. the requirements of repatriation under P. On June 29. 1995 x x x. he filled up and re-submitted the FORM that the Committee required. 1994. as certified to by the Solicitor General. An implied repeal will not be allowed "unless it is convincingly and unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are clearly repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist. Which question we shall now directly rule on. 725 was being repealed or was being rendered without any legal effect. 1995 x x x (and) was approved in just one day or on June 30."27 the Solicitor General explained during the oral argument on March 19. and. she did not even mention it specifically by its number or text. of June 30. In the case of Frivaldo. It is obvious that no express repeal was made because then President Aquino in her memorandum — based on the copy furnished us by Lee — did not categorically and/or impliedly state that P. pursuant to the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. 1995. 10465430 which held that "both the Local Government Code and the Constitution require that only Philippine citizens can run and be elected to Public office" Obviously. In fact." which "prevented a judicious review and evaluation of the merits thereof. when presumably the said Committee started processing his application. we are convinced that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the presumption of legality in the repatriation of Frivaldo have not been successfully rebutted by Lee. for not every pronouncement of the Chief Executive even under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution can nor should be regarded as an exercise of her law-making powers.R. the fact that ten other persons. 725 but left it to the first Congress — once created—to deal with the matter. through a Manifestation28 filed on April 3. 72529 itself requires very little of an applicant. In other words. the former President did not repeal P." Frivaldo counters that he filed his application for repatriation with the Office of the President in Malacanang Palace on August 17. In fact. would visit unmitigated violence not only upon statutory construction but on common sense as well. Second. and even the rules and regulations to implement the said decree were left to the Special Committee to promulgate. No. in repatriation the applicant is a former natural-born Filipino who is merely seeking to reacquire his previous citizenship.D. P. 1996." asserting that Frivaldo's application therefor was "filed on June 29. Any other interpretation of the said Presidential Memorandum. unlike in naturalization where an alien covets a first-time entry into Philippine political life. 1995 whereas the citizenship qualification prescribed by the Local Government Code "must exist on the date of his election. This is not unusual since. At best. On the basis of the parties' submissions.

33 if the purpose of the citizenship requirement is to ensure that our people and country do not end up being governed by aliens. to hold such office and to discharge the functions and responsibilities thereof as of said date. * a registered voter in the barangay. Since Frivaldo reassumed his citizenship on June 30. It does not require him to vote actually. at the time he is proclaimed and at the start of his term — in this case. * a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election.. The law abhors a redundancy. In short. So therefore. city. This is the liberal interpretation that should give spirit. municipality. Paraphrasing this Court's ruling in Vasquez vs.e. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective public office. It therefore stands to reason that the law intended CITIZENSHIP to be a qualification distinct from being a VOTER." not of candidates. no person owing allegiance to another nation. . Frivaldo could not have been a voter-much less a validly registered one — if he was not a citizen at the time of such registration. So too. 1995—the very day32 the term of office of governor (and other elective officials) began—he was therefore already qualified to be proclaimed. Why then should such qualification be required at the time of election or at the time of the filing of the certificates of candidacies. * able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. the law's purpose in this second requirement is to ensure that the prospective official is actually registered in the area he seeks to govern — and not anywhere else. not to reiterate the need for nationality but to require that the official be registered as a voter IN THE AREA OR TERRITORY he seeks to govern. "(a)n elective local official must be: * a citizen of the Philippines. i. shall govern our people and our country or a unit of territory thereof. then it would not have made citizenship a SEPARATE qualification." In other words. He has voted in 1987. even from a literal (as distinguished from liberal) construction." It should be emphasized that the Local Government Code requires an elective official to be a registered voter. an official begins to govern or to discharge his functions only upon his proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to begin. Hence. such qualifications — unless otherwise expressly conditioned.. unlike that for residence (which must consist of at least one year's residency immediately preceding the day of election) and age (at least twenty three years of age on election day). the law states: "a registered voter in the barangay. Section 39. i. But perhaps the more difficult objection was the one raised during the oral argument 34 to the effect that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at the time the candidate (or for that matter the elected official) registered as a voter. as in the case of age and residence — should thus be possessed when the "elective [or elected] official" begins to govern. If the law intended the citizenship qualification to be possessed prior to election consistent with the requirement of being a registered voter. also specifies as another item of qualification. 1995. as Lee insists? Literally. his counsel stead-fastly maintained that "Mr."36 So too. and his registration as a voter has been sustained as valid by judicial declaration x x x In fact. Now. then he voted again in 1995. life and meaning to our law on qualifications consistent with the purpose for which such law was enacted.1988. he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. that aim or purpose would not be thwarted but instead achieved by construing the citizenship qualification as applying to the time of proclamation of the elected official and at the start of his term. "candidates for the position of governor x x x must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. even if being a voter presumes being a citizen first. Before this Court. it will be noted that the law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship.. i.1992. 31 and the purpose of the citizenship qualification is none other than to ensure that no alien. registration—not the actual voting —is the core of this "qualification. municipality." And.1995. or province x x x where he intends to be elected. or province x x x where he intends to be elected. but the court dismissed (sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. at that time. Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. persons owing allegiance to another nation. Giapand Li Seng Giap & Sons. After all.. 1995. The answer to this problem again lies in discerning the purpose of the requirement.e. i. that he be a "registered voter. apart from requiring the official to be a citizen. he cast his vote in his precinct on May 8.e. during the oral argument.Under Sec." From the above.37 It is thus clear that Frivaldo is a registered voter in the province where he intended to be elected. Frivaldo has repeatedly emphasized—and Lee has not disputed — that he "was and is a registered voter of Sorsogon. city. it should be noted that Section 39 of the Local Government Code speaks of "Qualifications" of "ELECTIVE OFFICIALS.e." * In addition. 39 of the Local Government Code. his eligibility as a voter was questioned. under the law35 a "voter" must be a citizen of the Philippines. on June 30. In fact. he was already qualified to govern his native Sorsogon. It also stands to reason that the voter requirement was included as another qualification (aside from "citizenship").

On the other hand. abridge superfluities in existing laws. says that curative statutes are "healing acts x x x curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations x x x (and) are intended to supply defects. but with the advent of P.e. CA.A.. which right did not exist prior to P.There is yet another reason why the prime issue of citizenship should be reckoned from the date of proclamation. It is true that under the Civil Code of the Philippines. under the existing law (C. Such remedy of Quo Warranto can be availed of "within ten days after proclamation" of the winning candidate. 96 SCRA 342). which do not create new or take away vested rights. as amended) avail of repatriation until "after the death of their husbands or the termination of their marital status" and who could neither be benefitted by the 1973 Constitution's new provision allowing "a Filipino woman who marries an alien to retain her Philippine citizenship xxx" because "such provision of the new Constitution does not apply to Filipino women who had married aliens before said constitution took effect. at the very moment of Lee's proclamation (8:30 p. and also provides for a new remedy.D.D. 39 of the Local Government Code." because prior to the promulgation of P. 119) and curb certain evils (Santos vs. 63. Agpalo.43 A reading of P. in its preamble. we also hold that the repatriation of Frivaldo RETRO ACTED to the date of the filing of his application on August 17. then he should have been the candidate proclaimed as he unquestionably garnered the highest number of votes in the immediately preceding elections and such oath had already cured his previous "judicially-declared" alienage. i. remedial or procedural laws. June 30. said statute also provided a new remedy and a new right in favor of other "natural born Filipinos who (had) lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to re-acquire Philippine citizenship." But there are settled exceptions40 to this general rule.42 on the other hand.. those statutes relating to remedies or modes of procedure. abridge superfluities in existing laws (Del Castillo vs. Frivaldo was already and indubitably a citizen. he was no longer ineligible. ordinarily do not come within the legal meaning of a retrospective law." On the other hand. 725 such former Filipinos would have had to undergo the tedious and cumbersome process of naturalization. 14 SCRA 1041). Thus. specifically C.D. P.D. having taken his oath of allegiance earlier in the afternoon of the same day. since they are intended to supply defects. A. 725 immediately shows that it creates a new right. A. nor within the general rule against the retrospective operation of statutes. Hence. 725 they could now re-acquire their Philippine citizenship under the simplified procedure of repatriation. unless the contrary is provided.m. Securities and Exchange Commission. thereby validating judicial or administrative proceedings. 96 Phil. According to Tolentino." Thus. No. No. such as when the statute is CURATIVE or REMEDIAL in nature or when it CREATES NEW RIGHTS. 725 expressly recognizes the plight of "many Filipino women (who) had lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens" and who could not. 725 was enacted to cure the defect in the existing naturalization law. This is the only provision of the Code that authorizes a remedy on how to contest before the Comelec an incumbent's ineligibility arising from failure to meet the qualifications enumerated under Sec. curative statutes are retroactive xxx (and) reach back to past events to correct errors or irregularities and to render valid and effective attempted acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the parties intended. P. acts of public officers. at such time. or private deeds and contracts which otherwise would not produce their intended consequences by reason of some statutory disability or failure to comply with some technical requirement.41 curative statutes are those which undertake to cure errors and irregularities.D. They operate on conditions already existing. 725. P.1994. and curb certain evils x x x By their very nature. 39 "(l)aws shall have no retroactive effect. the opportunity to question the ELIGIBILITY (or the disloyalty) of a candidate.D. Juan G. curative statutes are retroactive. (DBP vs. Hence. 63 for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship by naturalization. But to remove all doubts on this important issue. and natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship by naturalization and other causes faced the difficulty of undergoing the rigid procedures of C. And since. 1995). .D. 63 wherein married Filipino women are allowed to repatriate only upon the death of their husbands. and are necessarily retroactive in operation. but only operate in furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of such rights. 725 granted a new right to these women—the right to re-acquire Filipino citizenship even during their marital coverture. presumably including the defeated candidate. Duata. The Solicitor General44 argues: "By their very nature. Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code38 gives any voter. it is only at such time that the issue of ineligibility may be taken cognizance of by the Commission. thereby filling certain voids in our laws. not necessarily the date of election or date of filing of the certificate of candidacy. In this case. No.

. as well as to those in the future. 1995 is to be deemed to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. or anything unjust or injurious would result from giving retroactivity to his repatriation.e. and accruing only during the interregnum between application and approval. act upon and grant applications for repatriation within relatively short spans of time after the same were filed. And inasmuch as it has been held that citizenship is a political and civil right equally as important as the freedom of speech. as Frivaldo—having already renounced his American citizenship — was. Based on the foregoing. but even the repatriation granted under said law to Frivaldo on June 30. on August 17. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws. any question regarding Frivaldo's status as a registered voter would also be deemed settled. This should not be. situations and transactions existing even before the law came into being — in order to benefit the greatest number of former Filipinos possible thereby enabling them to enjoy and exercise the constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenship. it is not only the law itself (P. 1994? While it is true that the law was already in effect at the time that Frivaldo became an American citizen. At this point.. his Filipino citizenship restored — as of August 17. 725) which is tobe given retroactive effect. then it will be so applied although the statute does not in terms so direct. 1994. it is unarguable that the legislative intent was precisely to give the statute retroactive operation. unless to do so would impair some vested right or violate some constitutional guaranty. should now prevail. And it is but right and just that the mandate of the people. 725 benefit Frivaldo considering that said law was enacted on June 5. Another argument for retroactivity to the date of filing is that it would prevent prejudice to applicants.Presidential Decree No. Frivaldo deserves a liberal interpretation of Philippine laws and whatever defects there were in his nationality should now be deemed mooted by his repatriation. August 17.1975.D.D. 1995) would become moot. 1983. "(I)t has been said that a remedial statute must be so construed as to make it effect the evident purpose for -which it was enacted. i. i. The reason for this is simply that if. there is nothing unjust or iniquitous in treating Frivaldo's repatriation as having become effective as of the date of his application. the right against unreasonable searches and seizures and other guarantees enshrined in the Bill of Rights. and such legislative intention is to be given the fullest effect and expression. 725. Being a former Filipino who has served the people repeatedly. or from the terms thereof. which did not specify any restrictions on or delimit or qualify the right of repatriation granted therein. 725 were not to be given retroactive effect. it was the intent of the legislative authority that the law should apply to past events — i. 1995) or date of filing his certificate of candidacy (March 20. This being so. 1994. events and transactions not otherwise covered by prevailing law and jurisprudence. 725 provided a remedy for the aforementioned legal aberrations and thus its provisions are considered essentially remedial and curative. If P. direct prejudice to the government is possible only where a person's repatriation has the effect of wiping out a liability of his to the government arising in connection with or as a result of his being an alien. it is to be presumed that the law-making body intended right and justice to prevail. events and transactions subsequent to the passage of such law. then there is all the more reason to have the law apply in a retroactive or retrospective manner to situations. while Frivaldo lost his Filipino citizenship much later. to delay the processing of applications for any substantial length of time. 48 The fact that such interregna were relatively insignificant minimizes the likelihood of prejudice to the government as a result of giving retroactivity to repatriation. Under the circumstances. Besides. a situation that is not present in the instant case. the Special Committee was able to process. That is. a valid question may be raised: How can the retroactivity of P. so that if the reason of the statute extends to past transactions.D.47 And as experience will show. his previous registration as a voter is likewise deemed validated as of said date. disturbance of any vested right or breach of some constitutional guaranty.D. as in this case. As earlier mentioned. and there is no showing that damage or prejudice to anyone. 1995 can and should be made to take effect as of date of his application. on August 17.D." 45 It is obvious to the Court that the statute was meant to "reach back" to those persons. Neither has Lee shown that there will result the impairment of any contractual obligation. and the Special Committee decides not to act. 1994. nevertheless. to the mind of the Court. on January 20.e. then the former Filipinos who may be stateless.. may be prejudiced for causes outside their control. there is nothing in the law that would bar this or would show a contrary intention on the part of the legislative authority. Inasmuch as he is considered as having been repatriated—i. the repatriation granted to Frivaldo on June 30.. and applied for repatriation even later. and prescinding from the wording of the preamble..e. "(A) retrospective operation is given to a statute or amendment where the intent that it should so operate clearly appears from a consideration of the act as a whole. 725 must be given the fullest effect possible."46 This is all the more true of P. 1995) or the date of election (May 8. all questions about his possession of the nationality qualification— whether at the date of proclamation (June 30. therefore the legislative intent to give retrospective operation to P. already twice frustrated." In light of the foregoing.e. liberty of abode.

R. or for that matter lose. and holding any public office in the Philippines. was in connection with the 1992 elections. hence it has to be threshed out again and again. 1995 but that Frivaldo filed SPC No. It should be noted that our first ruling in G.1995." The Third Issue: Comelec's Jurisdiction Over The Petition in SPC No. 95-317 questioning his (Lee's) proclamation only on July 6. 1983 Frivaldo became an American. Lee reminds us that he was proclaimed on June 30. What the Commission said in its Order of June 21. when he ran for governor in 1988. At best. 104654 was in connection with the 1992 elections. 1995 — "beyond the 5-day reglementary period.52 The Second Issue: Is Lack of Citizenship a Continuing Disqualification? Lee contends that the May 1. we quote from the assailed Resolution dated December 19. Commissioner of Immigration. 1995). 1995 "became final and executory after five (5) days or on May 17. decisions declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern a person's future status with finality. No. 95-317 Lee also avers that respondent Comelec had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition in SPC No. However. That he was disqualified for such elections is final and can no longer be changed. as the occasion demands."54 Hence. Lee adds that this Court's two rulings (which Frivaldo now concedes were legally "correct") declaring Frivaldo an alien have also become final and executory way before the 1995 elections. and these "judicial pronouncements of his political status as an American citizen absolutely and for all time disqualified (him) from running for. before Lee "was proclaimed as the elected governor on June 30. 1995 elections. which under Sec. was that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen 'having been declared by the Supreme Court in its Order dated March 25. 87193 disqualifying Frivaldo was rendered in connection with the 1988 elections while that in G. an election protest or a quo warranto case. his citizenship under any of the modes recognized by law for the purpose. not a citizen of the Philippines. petitioner Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government when he ran for Governor in 1988. Hence. Frivaldo was stateless in the interim — when he abandoned and renounced his US citizenship but before he was repatriated to his Filipino citizenship." These factual findings that Frivaldo has lost his foreign nationality long before the elections of 1995 have not been effectively rebutted by Lee. 40 of the Local Government Code would disqualify him "from running for any elective local position?"49 We answer this question in the negative. as there is cogent reason to hold that Frivaldo was really STATELESS at the time he took said oath of allegiance and even before that." Hence. however. 1995 (implemented on June 30. absent any showing of capriciousness or arbitrariness or abuse.It is not disputed that on January 20. Frivaldo wrote that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship—long before May 8. there is no record of any 'final judgment' of the disqualification of Frivaldo as a candidate for the May 8. In the words of the respondent Commission (Second Division) in its assailed Resolution:55 "The records show that the Honorable Supreme Court had decided that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen and thus disqualified for the purpose of the 1988 and 1992 elections. there was already a final and executory judgment disqualifying" Frivaldo.1995 Resolution53 of the Comelec Second Division in SPA No. 95-028 as affirmed in toto by Comelec En Banc in its Resolution of May 11. 1995. Furthermore. no restraining order having been issued by this Honorable Court. according to him. it is basic that such findings of the Commission are conclusive upon this Court. Frivaldo's "recourse was to file either an election protest or a quo warranto action. 1995. in Lee vs." Indeed. 1995." We do not agree."50 On this point.R. 95-317 because the only "possible types of proceedings that may be entertained by the Comelec are a pre-proclamation case." . whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered res judicata.' This declaration of the Supreme Court. No. 1995:51 "By the laws of the United States. This is because a person may subsequently reacquire. In his Comment. directing the proclamation of Raul R. in 1992. Lee. Would the retroactivity of his repatriation not effectively give him dual citizenship. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government. and in 1995.56 we held: "Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a judicial or administrative case." Again.

170 SCRA 513." The last-quoted paragraph in Labo. thus: "But this is not the situation obtaining in the instant dispute. (citing Aguam vs. 23 SCRA 883. Indeed.60 "the fact remains that he (Lee) was not the choice of the sovereign will. in spite of their voting for him. Rimando." Instead of dwelling at length on the various petitions that Comelec. 95-317 obviously is one. COMELEC. however. unfortunately for Lee. the eligible candidate obtaining the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected.) This rule. he was ineligible. "obviously not the choice of the people" of Sorsogon. Furthermore.1992 denying due course to petitioner Labo's certificate of candidacy had not yet become final and subject to the final outcome of this case. To paraphrase this Court in Labo vs. a second placer. 171 SCRA 468. Salvacion vs. Lee was. in the exercise of its constitutional prerogatives. in Mentang vs. Lee anchors his claim to the governorship on the pronouncement of this Court in the aforesaid Labo62 case." But such holding is qualified by the next paragraph. and none was alleged. This is the emphatic teaching of Labo: .59 we ruled: "The petitioner argues that after proclamation and assumption of office.61 Lee is "a second placer.58 Thus. On the contrary." Inasmuch as Frivaldo's petition was filed only six (6) days after Lee's proclamation. the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes. The Constitution57 has given the Comelec ample power to "exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections. xxx just that. 1995 election. COMELEC. in which case. we are aware of cases holding that pre-proclamation controversies may no longer be entertained by the COMELEC after the winning candidate has been proclaimed. COMELEC. Agbayani vs. COMELEC. would nonetheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. returns and qualifications of all elective x x x provincial x x x officials. he was. it is that the vice-governor and not Lee—should be proclaimed." In spite of this. much less the electorate as having known of such fact. If Labo has any relevance at all. 186 SCRA 484. COMELEC. there is no question that the Comelec correctly acquired jurisdiction over the same. is premised on an assumption that the proclamation is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidate's assumption of office cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to make such declaration of nullity. The Fourth Issue: Was Lee's Proclamation Valid Frivaldo assails the validity of the Lee proclamation.)" The Court however cautioned that such power to annul a proclamation must "be done within ten (10) days following the proclamation. may entertain. is the ruling appropriate in this case because Frivaldo was in 1995 in an identical situation as Labo was in 1992 when the Comelec's cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was not yet final on election day as there was in both cases a pending motion for reconsideration. as in fact. We uphold him for the following reasons: First. In such case. to paraphrase Labo again. 187 SCRA 463. 1992 to be voted for the office of the city mayor as its resolution dated May 9. COMELEC. since in losing the election. in other words. that the voters intentionally wasted their ballots knowing that. suffice it to say that this Court has invariably recognized the Commission's authority to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations —of which SPC No. a pre-proclamation controversy is no longer viable." and in Aquino vs. COMELEC. that petitioner Labo was notoriously known as an ineligible candidate. Casimiro vs. (citing Gallardo vs. for which reason Comelec issued an (omnibus) resolution declaring that Frivaldo (like Labo in 1992) and several others can still be voted for in the May 8. there has been no sufficient evidence presented to show that the electorate of Sorsogon was "fully aware in fact and in law" of Frivaldo's alleged disqualification as to "bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety". petitioner Labo was even allowed by no less than the Comelec itself in its resolution dated May 10. as follows: "The rule would have been different if the electorate fully aware in fact and in law of a candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. It has not been shown.This argument is not meritorious.

he—not Lee —should be proclaimed."The rule.." Second." (Italics supplied) Refutation of Mr. Mr. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. Frivaldo claims that the assailed Resolution of the Comelec (Second Division) dated May 1. No. Citing Loong.— A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. therefore. 120295. Such retroactivity did not change his disqualifications in 1988 and 1992. affirmed en banc63 on February 23. Justice Davide's Dissent In his dissenting opinion. Justice Davide also believes that Quo Warranto is not the sole remedy to question the ineligibility of a candidate. 1995 and the confirmatory en banc Resolution of May 11. he then states his disagreement with our holding that Section 78 is merely directory.A. Effect of Disqualification Case. Justice Hilario G. 6. But whether it decrees a suspension or a repeal is a purely academic distinction because the said issuance is not a statute that can amend or abrogate an existing law. 120295." In spite of his disagreement with us on this point.R. "(u)nder CA No. as quoted in the dissent. Justice Davide nonetheless votes to "DISMISS G. 1995 and May 11. inquiry or protest and. No." One other point.— Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. which both upheld his election. i. the esteemed Mr.D.D. No. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the -winning number of votes in such election. 473 and P. as urged by Lee) of P. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided after notice and hearing. The present case however deals with the period during which the Comelec may decide such petition." we note that just like us. We really have no quarrel. 1995 were invalid because they were issued "not later than fifteen days before the election" as prescribed by Section 78.) This claim is now moot and academic inasmuch as these resolutions are deemed superseded by the subsequent ones issued by the Commission (First Division) on December 19. No. A. 725. is: the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. No. 725 were recognized in the first Frivaldo case. legally cured whatever defects there may have been in his registration as a voter for the purpose of the 1995 elections. The existence and subsistence of P. In dismissing the petition in G. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. Mr. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor.R. as discussed earlier. Philippine citizenship maybe reacquired by xxx repatriation" He also contends that by allowing Frivaldo to register and to remain as a registered voter. 1995. thus: "SEC. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. Our point is that Frivaldo was in error in his claim in G. 63 as amended by CA No. 1987 should be viewed as a suspension (not a repeal. 6646 authorizes the Comelec to try and decide disqualifications even after the elections. Davide. which were the subjects of such previous rulings.e. that Section 78 "is merely directory.64 viz. No. Here. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office.R. 120295. 6646 authorizes the Commission to try and decide petitions for disqualifications even after the elections. the Comelec and in effect this Court abetted a "mockery" of our two previous judgments declaring him a non-citizen. Jr. Lee's proclamation was patently erroneous and should now be corrected.R. And we hold that it may be decided even after the fifteen day period mentioned in Section 78. 1995 disqualifying him for want of citizenship should be annulled because they were rendered beyond the fifteen (15) day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code which reads as follows: "Section 78. it is obvious that Section 78 is merely directory as Section 6 of R. Loong. At any rate. 725. We do not see such abetting or mockery. As we have earlier declared Frivaldo to have seasonably re-acquired his citizenship and inasmuch as he obtained the highest number of votes in the 1995 elections. The Fifth Issue: Is Section 78 of the Election Code Mandatory? In G. argues that President Aquino's memorandum dated March 27. 1996. citing the Comelec's authority under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allowing the denial of a certificate of candidacy on the ground of a false material representation therein as required by Section 74. we hold that the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion because "Section 6 of R. we rule that a decision promulgated by the Comelec even . not later than fifteen days before the election" (italics supplied. 120295 that the Comelec Resolutions promulgated on May 1. Hence. teaches that a petition to deny due course under Section 78 must be filed within the 25-day period prescribed therein. The retroactivity of his repatriation.D. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action.

following settled case law. there is no question that Frivaldo was not a Filipino for purposes of determining his qualifications in the 1988 and 1992 elections. (a) from the rest of the paragraphs. He argues that such retroactivity "dilutes" our holding in the first Frivaldo case. The issue is how should the law be interpreted and applied in this case so it can be followed. it would be far better to err in favor of popular sovereignty than to be right in complex but little understood legalisms. should be declared winner because "Frivaldo's ineligibility for being an American was publicly known. Justice Davide's thesis that the very wordings of P. (b) to (f) for other qualifications of candidates for governor." If the qualifications under par. not having been suspended or repealed expressly nor . so it can rule! At balance. No. Justice Davide caps his paper with a clarion call: "This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. the naked provision or its ultimate purpose. We do not question what the provision states. If we may repeat. Mr. Mr. harshly against or gently in favor of the voters' obvious choice. The dissenting opinion also submits that Lee who lost by chasmic margins to Frivaldo in all three previous elections. given the unique factual circumstances of Frivaldo. (a) thereof speaks of "elective local official" while par. Thus. Justice Davide also disagrees with the Court's holding that. there is absolutely no empirical evidence for such "public" knowledge. i. instead of differentiating par. But the first (and even the second Frivaldo) decision did not directly involve repatriation as a mode of acquiring citizenship. In applying election laws. our "so too" argument regarding the literal meaning of the word "elective" in reference to Section 39 of the Local Government Code. In any event. candidates.D. and not elected officials.. we cannot rule on the legal question of who are or who are not Americans. repatriation may be given retroactive effect. the question really boils down to a choice of philosophy and perception of how to interpret and apply laws relating to elections: literal or liberal. saying that "informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship. We hold however that the provision should be understood thus: that after taking the oath of allegiance the applicant is deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. How then can there be such "public" knowledge? Mr. such finding is binding and final. we rule that the citizenship requirement in the Local Government Code is to be possessed by an elective official at the latest as of the time he is proclaimed and at the start of the term of office to which he has been elected. Our learned colleague also disputes our holding that Frivaldo was stateless prior to his repatriation. But his supervening repatriation has changed his political status — not in 1988 or 1992. in isolation or in the context of social conditions. Third. That is settled. during and after the 1995 elections. were already taken up rather extensively earlier in this Decision. but by election day at the latest. even if there is. (a) were intended to apply to "candidates" and not elected officials. It is basic in international law that a State determines ONLY those who are its own citizens — not who are the citizens of other countries. EPILOGUE In sum. not merely at the commencement of the term. 725 suggest nonretroactivity. Indeed. Second. (a) of that section] must be possessed by candidates.D. etc. such knowledge can be true post facto only of the last two previous elections. and that the citizenship qualification [under par. it would have specifically stated such detail. to inflict a thrice rejected candidate upon the electorate of Sorsogon would constitute unmitigated judicial tyranny and an unacceptable assault upon this Court's conscience. if Congress had meant that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at election day or prior thereto. Secondly. legal syllogism or substantial justice." Since our courts are charged only with the duty of the determining who are Philippine nationals. (b) to (f) refer to "candidates. the legislature would have said so. but only in the 1995 elections. the letter or the spirit. There is no inconsistency nor conflict.e. which reacquisition (or repatriation) is deemed for all purposes and intents to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. Justice Davide submits that Section 39 of the Local Government Code refers to the qualifications of elective local officials.65 The issue here is: the Comelec made a finding of fact that Frivaldo was stateless and such finding has not been shown by Lee to be arbitrary or whimsical. among others." First. 725 to be in full force and effect up to the present. the same way it did in pars. mayor. We further hold P. par. Mr. Section 39. But that is NOT the issue here." We agree — we must all follow the rule of law.after the elections is valid but Loong held that a petition filed beyond the 25-day period is out of time. We see it differently. even the Comelec and now this Court were/are still deliberating on his nationality before. Justice Davide also questions the giving of retroactive effect to Frivaldo's repatriation on the ground. as well as regarding Mr. that the law specifically provides that it is only after taking the oath of allegiance that applicants shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship.

SO ORDERED. The assailed Resolutions of the respondent Commission are AFFIRMED. Frivaldo was assured of a life of ease and plenty as a citizen of the most powerful country in the world. Mortals of lesser mettle would have given up. Indeed. And once again. technical and sometimes harsh anachronisms of the law in order to evoke substantial justice in the larger social context consistent with Frivaldo's unique situation approximating venerability in Philippine political life. during the pendency of which he was stateless. He therefore deserves every liberal interpretation of the law which can be applied in his favor. his demonstrated tenacity and sheer determination to re-assume his nationality of birth despite several legal set-backs speak more loudly. his repatriation is to be given retroactive effect as of the date of his application therefor. This Court has time and again liberally and equitably construed the electoral laws of our country to give fullest effect to the manifest will of our people. he returned to this land. No costs. he sought American citizenship only to escape the clutches of the dictatorship. To successfully challenge a winning candidate's qualifications. Concededly. the indomitable people of Sorsogon most certainly deserve to be governed by a leader of their overwhelming choice. his registration as a voter of Sorsogon is deemed to have been validated as of said date as well. Lee has miserably failed. He took an oath of allegiance to this Republic every time he filed his certificate of candidacy and during his failed naturalization bid. It proceeds from the spirit's gut consciousness of the dynamic role of law as a brick in the ultimate development of the social edifice. No. as well as his unique situation of having been forced to give up his citizenship and political aspiration as his means of escaping a regime he abhorred. he having given ' up his U. it would have been technically easy to find fault with his cause. And in the final analysis. since his reacquisition of citizenship retroacted to August 17. we emphasize herein our previous rulings recognizing the Comelec's authority and jurisdiction to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations. Furthermore. would ultimately create greater prejudice to the very democratic institutions and juristic traditions that our Constitution and laws so zealously protect and promote. are precisely consistent with our holding that lack of the citizenship requirement is not a continuing disability or disqualification to run for and hold public office. the Court struggled against and eschewed the easy. Or. In this undertaking. in contemplation of law. The Court could have refused to grant retroactivity to the effects of his repatriation and hold him still ineligible due to his failure to show his citizenship at the time he registered as a voter before the 1995 elections. WHEREFORE. After all. At this stage. S. for it is merely sound public policy to cause elective offices to be filled by those who are the choice of the majority. he possessed the vital requirement of Filipino citizenship as of the start of the term of office of governor. in consideration of the foregoing: (1) The petition in G. In any action involving the possibility of a reversal of the popular electoral choice. The foregoing. 120295 is also DISMISSED for being moot and academic. And let it not be overlooked.66 for in case of doubt. In any event. in fact and in truth than any legal technicality. Thus. Otherwise stated. Such loyalty to and love of country as well as nobility of purpose cannot be lost on this Court of justice and equity. we have held: "x x x (L)aws governing election contests must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere technical objections (citations omitted). of course. it could have disputed the factual findings of the Comelec that he was stateless at the time of repatriation and thus hold his consequent dual citizenship as a disqualification "from running for any elective local position. it has no merit. single-mindedly insisted on returning to and serving once more his struggling but beloved land of birth. legalistic. and sought to serve his people once more. 123755 is hereby DISMISSED. political laws must be interpreted to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot. in spirit. the petitioner must clearly demonstrate that the ineligibility is so patently antagonistic68 to constitutional and legal principles that overriding such ineligibility and thereby giving effect to the apparent will of the people. over and above Frivaldo himself. (2) The petition in G. and should have been proclaimed instead of Lee. nay. defense and refuge. But he opted. The people of Sorsogon overwhelmingly voted for him three times. nationality. by reason of the remedial or curative nature of the law granting him a new right to resume his political status and the legislative intent behind it."67 The law and the courts must accord Frivaldo every possible protection. No. Moreover. in deference to the popular will. legal niceties and technicalities cannot stand in the way of the sovereign will. this Court must exert utmost effort to resolve the issues in a manner that would give effect to the will of the majority.impliedly at any time. Thus.R. . of his consuming intention and burning desire to reembrace his native Philippines even now at the ripe old age of 81 years. 1994. we cannot seriously entertain any doubt about his loyalty and dedication to this country. this Court has repeatedly stressed the importance of giving effect to the sovereign will in order to ensure the survival of our democracy.R. and Frivaldo's repatriation by virtue thereof to have been properly granted and thus valid and effective." But the real essence of justice does not emanate from quibblings over patchwork legal technicality. At the first opportunity. In Frivaldo's case. Consistently.

for said political system is premised upon the tenet that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Leon G. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM: Upon consideration of case G. 4421 has. persons who. provincial. and P32. and GREGORIO SANTAYANA." and case G. 3. accordingly. No. 5. 4421 and the aforementioned action of the Commission on Elections. 6. in compliance with said Republic Act No. "Leon G. cannot file the surety bond aforementioned. for President and Vice-President.00 for Senator and Member of the House of Representatives. et al. worth. or properties of the same worth. CESAR MIRAFLOR. petitioners. Commission on Elections. 1965 FELIPE N.R. Ramon Barrios for respondents. vs. and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. except when declared winner. Vice-President. Aurea and Melecio Malabanan vs. decided to require all candidates for President. city or municipal elective offices. provincial. in the sums of P60. 7.G. 1965.R. . respectively. on July 20. AUREA and MELECIO MALABANAN. MAQUERA. belonging to other persons willing to accommodate him.00 and P40. Maquera in his own behalf as petitioner. L-24761 September 7.. That said Republic Act No. That. in their respective capacities as Chairman and Members of the Commission on Elections.000. respondents." and it appearing: 1. That. the effect of disqualifying for provincial. the amount of the surety bond.00. 1965 LEON G.R. by a bonding company of good reputation. and. Juan Borra. 4. Vice-President. respondent. That the effect of said Republic Act No. Senator or Member of the House of Representatives those persons who. 4421. at least. Maquera vs. in consequence of said Republic Act No. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. JUAN BORRA. the Commission on Elections had. acceptable to the Commission. Senator and Member of the House of Representatives to file a surety bond. 4421 requires "all candidates for national.000. That Republic Act No. No. petitioner. every candidate has to pay the premium charged by bonding companies. by way of counter-bond in favor of said bonding companies." 2. That said property qualifications are inconsistent with the nature and essence of the Republican system ordained in our Constitution and the principle of social justice underlying the same. the effect of imposing property qualifications in order that a person could run for a public office and that the people could validly vote for him. vs. No. city or municipal government concerned if the candidate. 4421 has. city and municipal offices" to post a surety bond equivalent to the one-year salary or emoluments of the position to which he is a candidate. likewise. although possessing the qualifications prescribed by law therefor. fails to obtain at least 10% of the votes cast for the office to which he has filed his certificate of candidacy. No. That said Republic Act No. to prevent or disqualify from running for President.000.R. owing to failure to pay the premium charged by the bonding company and/or lack of the property necessary for said counter-bond. L-24761. 4421 is. either his own properties. --------------------------G. "Felipe N. which bond shall be forfeited in favor of the national. L24828. cannot pay said premium and/or do not have the property essential for the aforementioned counter-bond. there being not more than four (4) candidates for the same office. L-24828 September 7. although having the qualifications prescribed by the Constitution therefore. therefore. to offer thereto.

to enjoin respondents herein. be denied the chance to be elected to public office. rich and poor alike. to declare that said Republic Act No. That the bond required in Republic Act No. implies necessarily that the right to vote and to be voted for shall not be dependent upon the wealth of the individual concerned. and. hence. accordingly. and that. from enforcing and/or implementing said constitutional enactment. . arbitrary and oppressive. as well as their representatives and agents. in turn. 4421 is unconstitutional and hence null and void.and this. by reason of poverty. without prejudice to rendering an extended decision. no person shall. and 8. The Court RESOLVED. and is. 4421 and the confiscation of said bond are not predicated upon the necessity of defraying certain expenses or of compensating services given in connection with elections. therefore. whereas social justice presupposes equal opportunity for all.

PETITIONER. 157870. VS. [G. VS. 2008] SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS). PETITIONER. RESPONDENTS. [G. VS. JR.. No. RESPONDENTS. No. No. PETITIONER.. . LASERNA. RESPONDENT.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3[G. November 03.R. JR. 161658] AQUILINO Q. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD AND PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (PDEA). PIMENTEL. MANUEL J.R. 158633] ATTY. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD AND PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

Pimentel. students of secondary and tertiary schools. subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law. 161658 (Aquilino Q.: In these kindred petitions. whether domestic or overseas. 36. integrity. the screening test which will determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory test which will confirm a positive screening test. Section 36 (g) of Republic Act No. (g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. (RA) 9165. prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10. 36.—x x x xxxx (g) All candidates for public office x x x both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. (d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. J. Authorized Drug Testing. As far as pertinent.DECISION VELASCO JR. officers and employees of public and private offices. shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations.—Officers and employees of public and private offices. G. Jr. Any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination. undergo a random drug testing x x x. Commission on Elections) On December 23.R. pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school's student handbook and with notice to the parents. by requiring candidates to undergo mandatory drug test. the public will know the quality of .. 9165 provides: SEC. WHEREAS. Authorized Drug Testing. two (2) testing methods. xxxx (f) All persons charged before the prosecutor's office with a criminal offense having an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall undergo a mandatory drug test. x x x The following shall be subjected to undergo drug testing: xxxx (c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. among others. No. WHEREAS. Section 1.—Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall. 2004 synchronized national and local elections. and persons charged before the prosecutor's office with certain offenses. The pertinent portions of the said resolution read as follows: WHEREAS. In addition to the above stated penalties in this Section. loyalty and efficiency. serve them with utmost responsibility. v. the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. those found to be positive for dangerous drugs use shall be subject to the provisions of Section 15 of this Act. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides that public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. the challenged section reads as follows: SEC. x x x The drug testing shall employ. among other personalities. insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office. 2003. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. is put in issue. the constitutionality of Section 36 of Republic Act No. 6486.—Authorized drug testing shall be done by any government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results.

and be a member of the Senate. create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. and. on the day of the election. Jr. 157870 (Social Justice Society v. by requiring. 881 (Omnibus Election Code). elected to. the provisions trench in the equal protection clause inasmuch as they can be used to harass a student or an employee deemed undesirable. a registered political party. the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a candidate for.R. among other candidates. (Emphasis supplied. SEC. via RA 9165 and Resolution No. a person's constitutional right against unreasonable searches is also breached by said provisions. 2004.R. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) In its Petition for Prohibition under Rule 65. the Comelec Offices and employees concerned shall submit to the Law Department two (2) separate lists of candidates. and (g) of Sec. pursuant to the authority vested in it under the Constitution. 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution. Pimentel. a registered voter. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm. (f). Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) . Manuel J. 6486. x x x SEC. loyalty. and efficiency would be elected x x x. In it. RESOLVED to promulgate. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply with said drug test. 6486 dated December 23. Effect of failure to undergo mandatory drug test and file drug test certificate. 4. Preparation and publication of names of candidates. the [COMELEC] shall prepare two separate lists of candidates. is at least thirty-five years of age. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. (d). Coverage. 5. he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. The [COMELEC]. able to read and write. 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections shall undergo mandatory drug test in government forensic laboratories or any drug testing laboratories monitored and accredited by the Department of Health. both national and local. He adds that there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for senator. a senator of the Republic and a candidate for re-election in the May 10.[1] filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. Article VI of the Constitution. Laserna. No. and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election. G. 3.candidates they are electing and they will be assured that only those who can serve with utmost responsibility. Batas Pambansa Blg. Pimentel invokes as legal basis for his petition Sec.) Petitioner Aquilino Q. 6486.—All candidates for public office. which states: SECTION 3. And for a third. For one. Jr. in the May 10. petitioner Social Justice Society (SJS). and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. the following rules and regulations on the conduct of mandatory drug testing to candidates for public office[:] SECTION 1. as it hereby promulgates.—No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test and filed with the offices enumerated under Section 2 hereof the drug test certificate herein required. v. NOW THEREFORE. integrity. a senatorial aspirant. 2004 elections. to undergo a mandatory drug test. G. seeks to prohibit the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from enforcing paragraphs (c). 158633 (Atty.—Before the start of the campaign period. [RA] 9165 and other election laws. According to Pimentel. SEC. No. For another. x x x On March 25. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply x x x. the provisions constitute undue delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing.. in addition to the drug certificates filed with their respective offices.

is a matter of procedure. and (g) of RA 9165 be struck down as unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutional right to privacy. (3) literacy. 36(g) of RA 9165 should be. As respondents DDB and PDEA assert. (4) age. that issuance is null and void and has no effect. as senator of the Philippines and candidate for the May 10. 6486 illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. or of paramount public interest. Pimentel's contention is well-taken.[4] To have standing. Manuel J. and (5) residency. SJS and Laserna failed to allege any incident amounting to a violation of the constitutional rights mentioned in their separate petitions. Accordingly. 36(c). (d). RA 9165 unconstitutional? Specifically. this Court is wont to relax the rule on locus standi owing primarily to the transcendental importance and the paramount public interest involved in the enforcement of Sec. among other preliminary considerations. unconstitutional. He points out that. or weaken the force of a constitutional mandate. we shall address the justiciability of the cases at bench and the matter of the standing of petitioners SJS and Laserna to sue. evade. The Consolidated Issues The principal issues before us are as follows: (1) Do Sec. and legislators when the public interest so requires. 36 of RA 9165.[3] But even with the presence of an actual case or controversy. Laserna. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. like ordinary citizens. Jr. and for being contrary to the due process and equal protection guarantees. as it is hereby declared as. taxpayers. do these paragraphs violate the right to privacy. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. the right against unreasonable searches and seizure. (f). 36[g] of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. hence. a candidate for senator needs only to meet the qualifications laid down in Sec. . subject to the provisions on nuisance candidates. also seeks in his Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 that Sec. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform. (2) voter registration. Art.[2] It is basic that the power of judicial review can only be exercised in connection with a bona fide controversy which involves the statute sought to be reviewed. 6486) In essence. however. possesses the requisite standing since he has substantial interests in the subject matter of the petition. (d). candidates for senator need not possess any other qualification to run for senator and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate.[8] In the discharge of their defined functions. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution.[5] The rule on standing.Petitioner Atty. (f). Beyond these stated qualification requirements. 2004 elections. the Court may refuse to exercise judicial review unless the constitutional question is brought before it by a party having the requisite standing to challenge it. can Congress enact a law prescribing qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the Constitution? and (2) Are paragraphs (c). to wit: (1) citizenship. as it cannot disregard. such as when the matter is of transcendental importance.[7] or alter or enlarge the Constitution. the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the Constitution. VI of the Constitution.[6] There is no doubt that Pimentel. and (g) of Sec. it can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs. 36. no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. 6486 impose an additional qualification for candidates for senator? Corollarily. Pimentel claims that Sec. and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. of overarching significance to society. the right against unreasonable search and seizure. as citizen and taxpayer. Sec.. one must establish that he or she has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government. The Issue on Locus Standi First off. 3. The Congress cannot validly amend or otherwise modify these qualification standards. and the equal protection clause? Or do they constitute undue delegation of legislative power? Pimentel Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. Regarding SJS and Laserna. and the right against self-incrimination. the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action.

It may of course be argued. 36(g) of RA 9165 into a pure jargon without meaning and effect whatsoever. in the abstract. while mandatory. Art. The objective is to . to obviate repetition. like the boundaries of the ocean. (d). 3. 36(g) of RA 9165. 36(g). The COMELEC resolution completes the chain with the proviso that "[n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test. Nonetheless. Springer. 6486 is no longer enforceable. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification.[13] Sec. [f]. necessarily suggesting that the obstinate ones shall have to suffer the adverse consequences for not adhering to the statutory command. Sec. and each department can only exercise such powers as are necessarily implied from the given powers. with like effect. validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes.[10] Thus. But the particular section of the law. and (f) of RA 9165 for secondary and tertiary level students and public and private employees. that the provision does not expressly state that non-compliance with the drug test imposition is a disqualifying factor or would work to nullify a certificate of candidacy. obviously as a pre-condition to the validity of a certificate of candidacy for senator or. Art. 2004 synchronized elections and the candidates running in that electoral event. said Sec. however. in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. the COMELEC cannot. 36(g) of RA 9165 and the implementing COMELEC Resolution add another qualification layer to what the 1987 Constitution. for by its terms.[9] Congress' inherent legislative powers. that the unconstitutionality of Sec. however. requires for membership in the Senate. It ought to be made abundantly clear. are unlimited. such as Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 is rooted on its having infringed the constitutional provision defining the qualification or eligibility requirements for one aspiring to run for and serve as senator. the limits on legislative power in the following wise: Someone has said that the powers of the legislative department of the Government. in Government v. VI of the Constitution. made drug-testing on those covered mandatory. is a random and suspicionless arrangement. 36(g) of RA 9165. VI of the Constitution prescribing the qualifications of candidates for senators. effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 36(c). at the minimum. and [g] of RA 9165) The drug test prescribed under Sec." Viewed. therefore. 36[c]. the powers of each of the departments x x x are limited and confined within the four walls of the constitution or the charter. on its validity as an implementing issuance. as getting elected would be of little value if one cannot assume office for non-compliance with the drug-testing requirement. In constitutional governments. SJS Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution. as it hereby rules. without exception. COMELEC Resolution No. legislative power remains limited in the sense that it is subject to substantive and constitutional limitations which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the allowable subjects of legislation. if proper. In the same vein. as sought to be implemented by the assailed COMELEC resolution. in its proper context. And since the provision deals with candidates for public office. Whether or not the drug-free bar set up under the challenged provision is to be hurdled before or after election is really of no moment. broad as they may be. This argument may be accorded plausibility if the drug test requirement is optional. a condition sine qua non to be voted upon and. in defense of the validity of Sec.Whatever limits it imposes must be observed. it stands to reason that the adverse consequence adverted to can only refer to and revolve around the election and the assumption of public office of the candidates. to be sure. the Court has defined.[11] The substantive constitutional limitations are chiefly found in the Bill of Rights[12] and other provisions. but over which it cannot leap. As couched. as well as governments acting under delegated authority. it was intended to cover only the May 10. are subject to certain limitations. the COMELEC. the Court deems it appropriate to review and rule. [d]. While it is anti-climactic to state it at this juncture. is also without such power. be proclaimed as senator-elect. 3. Any other construal would reduce the mandatory nature of Sec. 36(g) unmistakably requires a candidate for senator to be certified illegal-drug clean. As early as 1927. The Constitution is the shore of legislative authority against which the waves of legislative enactment may dash.

xxxx Sec. Art. psychological. (5) requiring urine samples does not invade a student's privacy since a student need not undress for this kind of drug testing. If the examination x x x results in the certification that the applicant is a drug dependent. Acton (Vernonia) and Board of Education of Independent School District No. The US Supreme Court. was denied participation in the football program after he refused to undertake the urinalysis drug testing. The US Supreme Court held that the policy constituted reasonable search under the Fourth[20] and 14th Amendments and declared the random drug-testing policy constitutional. school administrators in Vernonia. Maturing nervous systems of the young are more critically impaired by intoxicants and are more inclined to drug dependency. a member of the show choir. a rich source of persuasive jurisprudence. we turn to the teachings of Vernonia School District 47J v. Lindsay Earls. they required random urinalysis drug testing for the school's athletes. inter alia.[15] The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet of the right protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure[16] under Sec.—A drug dependent or any person who violates Section 15 of this Act may. But while the right to privacy has long come into its own. 54. 92 of Pottawatomie County. III[17] of the Constitution. made the focal point. [close relatives] x x x apply to the Board x x x for treatment and rehabilitation of the drug dependency.stamp out illegal drug and safeguard in the process "the well being of [the] citizenry. 2. he/she shall be ordered by the Court to undergo treatment and rehabilitation in a Center designated by the Board x x x. and addictive effects of drugs. this case appears to be the first time that the validity of a statedecreed search or intrusion through the medium of mandatory random drug testing among students and employees is. marching . (2) school children. a high school student. They may even be exempt from criminal liability should the illegal drug user consent to undergo rehabilitation. particularly the youth.—A drug dependent under the voluntary submission program. Earls. et al. who is finally discharged from confinement. Exemption from the Criminal Liability Under the Voluntary Submission Program. implementation and enforcement of antidrug abuse policies. claiming that the school's drug testing policy violated. the Board shall bring forth the matter to the Court which shall order that the applicant be examined for drug dependency. Upon such application. 55. per the policy-declaration portion of the law. James Acton. et al. the Board of Education of a school in Tecumseh. v. In Board of Education. 54 and 55 of RA 9165 are clear on this point: Sec. Secs. programs and projects. are most vulnerable to the physical. by himself/herself or through his/her parent. the Fourth Amendment[19] of the US Constitution. US jurisprudence is. in fashioning a solution to the issues raised in Vernonia. Oregon wanted to address the drug menace in their respective institutions following the discovery of frequent drug use by school athletes. as those found positive for illegal drug use as a result of this random testing are not necessarily treated as criminals. Thus. After consultation with the parents. shall be exempt from the criminal liability under Section 15 of this Act subject to the following conditions: xxxx School children. have less privacy rights. With respect to random drug testing among school children. (4) by joining the sports activity. the athletes voluntarily subjected themselves to a higher degree of school supervision and regulation. Treatment and Rehabilitation." This statutory purpose. and (6) there is need for the drug testing because of the dangerous effects of illegal drugs on the young. considered the following: (1) schools stand in loco parentis over their students. can be achieved via the pursuit by the state of "an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs x x x through an integrated system of planning. from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs. In Vernonia.[18] both fairly pertinent US Supreme Court-decided cases involving the constitutionality of governmental search. the issue tendered in these proceedings is veritably one of first impression. the US Supreme Court noted. Oklahoma required a drug test for high school students desiring to join extra-curricular activities. Acton forthwith sued. (3) athletes have less privacy rights than non-athletes since the former observe communal undress before and after sports events. (Board of Education). while not shedding their constitutional rights at the school gate. in this jurisdiction. Voluntary Submission of a Drug Dependent to Confinement. however."[14] The primary legislative intent is not criminal prosecution. Their recovery is also at a depressingly low rate.

"translation of the abstract prohibition against `unreasonable searches and seizures' into workable broad guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task. Guided by Vernonia and Board of Education. Just as in the case of secondary and tertiary level students. doubtless a legitimate concern of the government. as a condition for admission. upheld the constitutionality of drug testing even among non-athletes on the basis of the school's custodial responsibility and authority.band. unlike athletes who routinely undergo physical examinations and undress before their peers in locker rooms. the right to privacy means the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of one's person or from intrusion into one's private activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a person's ordinary sensibilities. and academic team declined to undergo a drug test and averred that the drug-testing policy made to apply to non-athletes violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments. it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require. And in holding that the school could implement its random drug-testing policy.[27] And while there has been general agreement as to the basic function of the guarantee against unwarranted search. To borrow from Vernonia. In so ruling. The US courts have been consistent in their rulings that the mandatory drug tests violate a citizen's constitutional right to privacy and right against unreasonable search and seizure. the right to enroll is not absolute. and nondiscriminatory. "[d]eterring drug use by our Nation's schoolchildren is as important as enhancing efficient enforcement of the Nation's laws against the importation of drugs".[26] In context. III. (2) minor students have contextually fewer rights than an adult. it is subject to fair. Accordingly. Camara v. Secs.[29] As the warrantless clause of Sec. and until a more effective method is conceptualized and put in motion. an unwarranted intrusion of the individual right to privacy. what can reasonably be deduced from the above two cases and applied to this jurisdiction are: (1) schools and their administrators stand in loco parentis with respect to their students. a random drug testing of students in secondary and tertiary schools is not only acceptable but may even be necessary if the safety and interest of the student population. random. "reasonableness" is the touchstone of the validity of a government search or intrusion. the Court hinted that such a test was a kind of search in which even a reasonable parent might need to engage. and suspicionless drug testing of students are constitutional. the random testing scheme provided under the law argues against the idea that the testing aims to incriminate unsuspecting individual students. Consider what he wrote without elaboration: The US Supreme Court and US Circuit Courts of Appeals have made various rulings on the constitutionality of mandatory drug tests in the school and the workplaces. Art III of the Constitution is couched and as has been held. the necessity for the State to act is magnified by the fact that the effects of a drug-infested school are visited not just upon the users. random. acting in loco parentis. compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. They are quoted extensively hereinbelow.[28] Authorities are agreed though that the right to privacy yields to certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the state's exercise of police power.[30] And whether a search . reasonable. To be sure. The Court can take judicial notice of the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the country that threatens the wellbeing of the people. sweeping. just. and suspicionless drug testing under Sec. 1 and 2 of the Constitution. Municipal Court. The US Supreme Court. and gratuitous and does not merit serious consideration. and are subject to the custody and supervision of their parents."[23] has failed to show how the mandatory. are to be promoted and protected. (3) schools. citing Vernonia. Indeed." to borrow from C.[21] particularly the youth and school children who usually end up as victims. but upon the entire student body and faculty.[25] The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone. and schools. have a duty to safeguard the health and well-being of their students and may adopt such measures as may reasonably be necessary to discharge such duty. the Court is of the view and so holds that the provisions of RA 9165 requiring mandatory. and equitable requirements.[24] Petitioner Laserna's lament is just as simplistic. the mandatory but random drug test prescribed by Sec. is unreasonable. It ratiocinated that schools and teachers act in place of the parents with a similar interest and duty of safeguarding the health of the students. without probable cause. said court made no distinction between a non-athlete and an athlete. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 violates the right to privacy and constitutes unlawful and/or unconsented search under Art. albeit not exactly for the same reason. The Court notes in this regard that petitioner SJS. guardians. In sum. 2.[22] Needless to stress. and (4) schools have the right to impose conditions on applicants for admission that are fair. 36 of RA 9165 for officers and employees of public and private offices is justifiable. other than saying that "subjecting almost everybody to drug testing. non-athletes are entitled to more privacy. As Earls argued.

36 of RA 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The state can no longer assume a laid back stance with respect to this modern-day scourge. The drug problem has hardly abated since the martial law public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. under RA 9165. in fine. Reduced to a question form. and is relatively minimal. as formulated in Ople v. . the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth. and social. i. reduced. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees in private offices. which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. reasonableness requires showing of probable cause to be personally determined by a judge. among others. and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. The Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test. And it may not be amiss to state that the sale.[33] In addition. if any.[31] In the criminal context. particularly against embarrassing leakages of test results. doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results. The law intends to achieve this through the medium."[35] Notably. III of the Constitution. All told. intrudes. 2. In this case. the IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the "need to know" basis. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is. the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect as much as possible the employee's privacy and dignity. as couched. And as may be observed. Sec. the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individual's privacy interest under the premises." the probable-cause standard is not required or even practicable. therefore. of promoting and resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory random drug test. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what. Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged law.e. Given that the drug-testing policy for employees—and students for that matter—under RA 9165 is in the nature of administrative search needing what was referred to in Vernonia as "swift and informal disciplinary procedures. the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods. the review should focus on the reasonableness of the challenged administrative search in question." For another. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling in advance anyone when and who is to be tested. or. nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing.[36] To the Court. and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld. RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus protect the well-being of the citizens..[34] that the "drug test result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the test results. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access-controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody. would be an investor's dream were it not for the illegal and immoral components of any of such activities. manufacture. RA 9165 does not oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the operation of the drug testing. from the deleterious effects of dangerous drugs. Art. the collective bargaining agreement. The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing. in Ople. the screening test and the confirmatory test.at issue hews to the reasonableness standard is judged by the balancing of the government-mandated intrusion on the individual's privacy interest against the promotion of some compelling state interest. especially the youth. the intrusion into the employees' privacy. entered into by management and the bargaining unit. or trafficking of illegal drugs. Torres. As to the mechanics of the test. For one. Be that as it may. age group. To reiterate. The employees' privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the company's work policies. contain provisions specifically directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a humiliating experience. The Court can consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender.economic lines. is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees concerned shall be subjected to "random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place. is the enabling law authorizing a search "narrowly drawn" or "narrowly focused"?[32] The poser should be answered in the affirmative. with their ready market. is accompanied by proper safeguards. Sec.

and Department of Labor and Employment. who. the provision in question is not so extensively drawn as to give unbridled options to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons' right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. resort to delegation of power. by constitutional command. . the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves.[38] Petitioner SJS' next posture that Sec. contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165. if that be the case. 36 expressly provides how drug testing for students of secondary and tertiary schools and officers/employees of public/private offices should be conducted.[39] In the face of the increasing complexity of the task of the government and the increasing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the many problems demanding its attention. in consultation with the DOH. Lest it be overlooked. We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public prosecutor's office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day imprisonment. And in all cases. all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school authorities.Taking into account the foregoing factors. by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutor's office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing. among other agencies.[40] To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution. has become imperative. ergo. the Court finds no valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in the constitutional landscape. The persons thus charged. It enumerates the persons who shall undergo drug testing. or entrusting to administrative agencies the power of subordinate legislation. In the case of students. and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement. When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged. Department of the Interior and Local Government. neither are they beyond suspicion. i. [f]. random. On the part of officers/employees.[37] And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees. let alone waive their right to privacy. the constitutional viability of the mandatory. Like their counterparts in the private sector. meaning that the persons to be subjected to drug test shall be picked by chance or in an unplanned way. they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. They are not randomly picked. In the case of private and public employees. and suspicionless drug testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry to the school..e. we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is. 94 of RA 9165 charges the DDB to issue. the constitutional soundness of the mandatory. the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants. the testing shall be in accordance with the school rules as contained in the student handbook and with notice to parents. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165. are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency. random. Laserna Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search. Sec." In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's office. Worse still. the random procedure shall be observed. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. as here. government officials and employees also labor under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public officers. the IRR necessary to enforce the law. safeguards against misusing and compromising the confidentiality of the test results are established. 36 of RA 9165 is objectionable on the ground of undue delegation of power hardly commends itself for concurrence. incorrect to say that schools and employers have unchecked discretion to determine how often. the participation of schools and offices in the drug testing scheme shall always be subject to the IRR of RA 9165. III of the Constitution. Sec. a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. constitutional. the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees. under the limited context of the case. [d]. Contrary to its position. In the case of students. In net effect then. 2. and the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing. the testing shall take into account the company's work rules. therefore. under what conditions. and [g] of RA 9165) Unlike the situation covered by Sec. In either case. do not necessarily consent to the procedure. Art. reasonable and. Department of Education. 36[c]. and where the drug tests shall be conducted. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are "randomness" and "suspicionless. It is.

who has been granted an absolute pardon by the Chief Executive. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6G. of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents and sentenced them to imprisonment of four (4) years. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL. No. 36(f) and (g) of RA 9165.R. two (2) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum. 1984. Nos.. No costs. permanently enjoined from implementing Sec.50 representing the balance of the amount defrauded and to pay the costs proportionately. 78239 February 9. the Court resolves to GRANT the petition in G. and to pay a fine of P3.: The principal question raised in this petition for review is whether or not a public officer. In a decision rendered on March 25. They were further ordered to jointly and severally indemnify the government in the sum of P4. 1984 by then President Marcos absolute pardon which she accepted on December 21. She then filed a motion for reconsideration but while said motion was pending. . SO ORDERED. FERNAN. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL. the Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. 1983. accordingly. FACTORAN. All concerned agencies are. but declaring its Sec. 161658 and declares Sec.R.892.500. C.J. 157870 and 158633 by declaring Sec. Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog City) and three other accused. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. and to PARTIALLY GRANT the petition in G. 1989 SALVACION A. Petitioner Monsanto appealed her conviction to this Court which subsequently affirmed the same. to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum. she was extended on December 17. is entitled to reinstatement to her former position without need of a new appointment. vs. JR. MONSANTO.R.WHEREFORE. petitioner. No. FULGENCIO S. 36(f) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. respondent.

.892. two months and one day of prision correccional as . the Revised Penal Code expressly provides that "a pardon shall in no case exempt the culprit from payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence. the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan.50.By reason of said pardon. as a juridical guide (Miranda v. Lising. this Office holds that Salvacion A. through Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgenio S." More importantly. On April 15. that acquittal. 1 Seeking reconsideration of the foregoing ruling." (Sec. 6675. 2). In its 4th Indorsement dated March 1. the Finance Ministry ruled that petitioner may be reinstated to her position without the necessity of a new appointment not earlier than the date she was extended the absolute pardon. 77 Phil. Case No. she is liable for the civil liability concomitant to her previous conviction. held: We disagree with both the Ministry of Finance and the petitioner because. without that final judgment of conviction. Anent the civil liability of Monsanto. 3 Her subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied. 1982. 36. in People v. petitioner wrote the Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she be restored to her former post as assistant city treasurer since the same was still vacant. 1987. this Office adopts. not absolute pardon. In fact. In other words. it was an acquittal because there was no offense to speak of. . 1986. notwithstanding said absolute pardon. of a former public officer is the only ground for reinstatement to his former position and entitlement to payment of his salaries. It also directed the city treasurer to see to it that the amount of P4. Monsanto is not entitled to an automatic reinstatement on the basis of the absolute pardon granted her but must secure an appointment to her former position and that. 1985. Crim. referred petitioner's letter to the Office of the President for further review and action. In line with the government's crusade to restore absolute honesty in public service. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Factoran.50 which the Sandiganbayan had required to be indemnified in favor of the government as well as the costs of the litigation. 1985. that she is entitled to backpay for the entire period of her suspension. 1985 stressing that the full pardon bestowed on her has wiped out the crime which implies that her service in the government has never been interrupted and therefore the date of her reinstatement should correspond to the date of her preventive suspension which is August 1. petitioner wrote the Ministry on April 17. 4 It is well to remember that petitioner had been convicted of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents and sentenced to imprisonment of four years. par. benefits and emoluments due to him during the period of his suspension pendente lite. her employment therefore as assistant city treasurer could not be said to have been terminated or forfeited. in such a situation. the former public official must secure a reappointment before he can reassume his former position. October 4. said Office. and that she should not be required to pay the proportionate share of the amount of P4. the President has declared her not guilty of the crime charged and has accordingly dismissed the same.892. when pardon was issued before the final verdict of guilt. petitioner was convicted of the crime for which she was accused. Petitioner's basic theory is that the general rules on pardon cannot apply to her case by reason of the fact that she was extended executive clemency while her conviction was still pending appeal in this Court. as borne out by the records. 2nd Division. There having been no final judgment of conviction.. Imperial. 1966). Petitioner's letter-request was referred to the Ministry of Finance for resolution in view of the provision of the Local Government Code transferring the power of appointment of treasurers from the city governments to the said Ministry. be satisfied. petitioner filed the present petition in her behalf We gave due course on October 13. In effect. however. Jr. the accessory penalty of forfeiture of office did not attach and the status of her employment remained "suspended. 2 The Ministry of Finance.

it is not material when the pardon was bestowed. 7 The penalty of prision correccional carries. we proceed to discuss the effects of a full and absolute pardon in relation to the decisive question of whether or not the plenary pardon had the effect of removing the disqualifications prescribed by the Revised Penal Code. 6 Even if the offender be pardoned. The benign mercy of pardon is of British origin. though official act of the executive magistrate. commutations and pardons. . the former limitation of final conviction was restored. as one of its accessory penalties. No. But be that as it may. 8 The propositions earlier advanced by petitioner reveal her inadequate understanding of the nature of pardon and its legal consequences. Palatino and Cristobal v. 11 and several others 12 show the unmistakable application of the doctrinal case of Ex Parte Garland. suspension from public office. A pardon is a deed. (W)e are of the opinion that the better view in the light of the constitutional grant in this jurisdiction is not to unnecessarily restrict or impair the power of the Chief Executive who. The pertinent provision reads: The President may. after an inquiry into the environmental facts. It is worth mentioning that under the 1987 Constitution. 5 Temporary absolute disqualification bars the convict from public office or employment. petitioner is deemed to have abandoned her appeal and her unreversed conviction by the Sandiganbayan assumed the character of finality. whether before or after conviction.. Thus. which exempts the individual.. Pardon is defined as "an act of grace. that an absolute pardon not only blots out the crime committed but removes all disabilities resulting from the conviction.. In Pelobello v. G.. grant amnesty. December 7. It is the private. to the validity of which delivery is essential. 9 The 1981 amendments had deleted the earlier rule that clemency could be extended only upon final conviction. petitioner's unconditional pardon was granted even as her appeal was pending in the High Court. and not communicated officially to the Court.. proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws. such disqualification to last during the term of the sentence. 1940. enforceable during the term of the principal penalty.R. concerned from the accessory and resultant disabilities of criminal conviction. and with the concurrence of the Batasang Pambansa. the pardoning power cannot be restricted or controlled by legislative action. Labrador cases. 13 whose sweeping generalizations to this day continue to hold sway in our jurisprudence despite the fact that much of its relevance has been downplayed by later American decisions. Palatino. on whom it is bestowed." 8-a At the time the antecedents of the present case took place. as to the principal penalty.minimum. delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended. we adopt the broad view expressed in Cristobal v. from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. and delivery is not complete without acceptance. This is not totally unexpected considering that the authorities on the subject have not been wholly consistent particularly in describing the effects of pardon. the pardoning power was governed by the 1973 Constitution as amended in the April 7. . to ten years and one day of prision mayor as maximum. 47941. grant reprieves. that subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution. the accessory penalties remain unless the same have been expressly remitted by the pardon.. conceived to temper the gravity of the King's wrath. should be at liberty to atone the rigidity of the law to the extent of relieving completely the party . But Philippine jurisprudence on the subject has been largely influenced by American case law. remit fines and forfeitures. it is our view that in the present case. implying that clemency could be given even before conviction. Labrador. Having accepted the pardon. Having disposed of that preliminary point.. for the result would still be the same.. . except in cases of impeachment. The Pelobello v. 10 We find a reiteration of the stand consistently adopted by the courts on the various consequences of pardon: ". The penalty of prision mayor carries the accessory penalties of temporary absolute disqualification and perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage. 1981 plebiscite.

being a presidential prerogative. In the case of State v. the Court wishes to stress one vital point: While we are prepared to concede that pardon may remit all the penal consequences of a criminal indictment if only to give meaning to the fiat that a pardon. though left unpunished. which has been definitely fixed. it does not operate for all purposes. and gives him a new credit and capacity." 18 A pardon looks to the future. To our mind. These are "historical" facts which. that the offender is a "new man"." 20 This would explain why petitioner. despite the public manifestation of mercy and forgiveness implicit in pardon. though pardoned. but they cannot erase the stain of bad character. recognized or approved." is to ignore the difference between the crime and the criminal. Petitioner maintains that when she was issued absolute pardon. but requires us to assume that which we all know to be untrue. it cannot bring . and when the pardon is full. consequent upon conviction. and no satisfaction for it can be required. from attaching. 16 The better considered cases regard full pardon (at least one not based on the offender's innocence) as relieving the party from all the punitive consequences of his criminal act. Pardon cannot mask the acts constituting the crime. A person adjudged guilty of an offense is a convicted criminal. he may be deserving of punishment. if granted after conviction. including the disqualifications or disabilities based on the finding of guilt. however. 21 we find this strong observation: "To assume that all or even a major number of pardons are issued because of innocence of the recipients is not only to indict our judicial system. as it were. a new man. It does not impose upon the government any obligation to make reparation for what has been suffered. It involves forgiveness and not forgetfulness. 14 Such generalities have not been universally accepted. The very act of forgiveness implies the commission of wrong. It affords no relief for what has been suffered by the offender. it removes the penalties and disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights. it makes him. that which has been done or suffered while they were in force is presumed to have been rightfully done and justly suffered. it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt. 22 In this ponencia. so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. It does not erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the conviction thereof. the Chief Executive declared her not guilty of the crime for which she was convicted. we do not subscribe to the fictitious belief that pardon blots out the guilt of an individual and that once he is absolved. and that wrong has been established by the most complete method known to modern civilization. he should be treated as if he were innocent. should not be circumscribed by legislative action. For whatever may have been the judicial dicta in the past. "Since the offense has been established by judicial proceedings. it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities. prudent men will take into account in their subsequent dealings with the actor." 23 Pardon granted after conviction frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights. and the law may regard him as more dangerous to society than one never found guilty of crime. Hazzard.Consider the following broad statements: A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender. this is the more realistic approach. While a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense. though it places no restraints upon him following his conviction. But unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence (which is rare). and "as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. 19 It makes no amends for the past. "ordinary. It does not wash out the moral stain. we cannot perceive how pardon can produce such "moral changes" as to equate a pardoned convict in character and conduct with one who has constantly maintained the mark of a good. Pardons may relieve from the disability of fines and forfeitures attendant upon a conviction. 17 But it relieves him from nothing more. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt. If granted before conviction. though pardoned. 15 The modern trend of authorities now rejects the unduly broad language of the Garland case (reputed to be perhaps the most extreme statement which has been made on the effects of a pardon). It is not retrospective. Pardon implies guilt. cannot be entitled to receive backpay for lost earnings and benefits. "To say. law-abiding citizen.

24 This must be constantly kept in mind lest we lose Thus. The Court cannot oblige her. SO ORDERED. this is the bottom line: the absolute disqualification or ineligibility from public office forms part of the punishment prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for estafa thru falsification of public documents. the pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in removing her disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond that.. the facts constituting her offense must be and should be evaluated and taken into account to determine ultimately whether she can once again be entrusted with public funds. Factoran. And in considering her qualifications and suitability for the public post. we are in full agreement with the commonly-held opinion that pardon does not ipso facto restore a convicted felon to public office necessarily relinquished or forfeited by reason of the conviction 25 although such pardon undoubtedly restores his eligibility for appointment to that office. remission of the debt. the assailed resolution of former Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgencio S. or for any reason the sentence is not served by pardon. petitioner has sought exemption from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon her by the sentence. It is clear from the authorities referred to that when her guilt and punishment were expunged by her pardon. amnesty or commutation of sentence. a poor moral risk. she must re-apply and undergo the usual procedure required for a new appointment. To insist on automatic reinstatement because of a mistaken notion that the pardon virtually acquitted one from the offense of estafa would be grossly untenable. To regain her former post as assistant city treasurer. Stated differently. For petitioner Monsanto. A pardon.back lost reputation for honesty. namely: payment. Jr. 1986. albeit full and plenary. 6 6 6 6 6 6 . integrity and fair dealing. is AFFIRMED. merger of the rights of creditor and debtor. Finally. Petitioner's civil liability may only be extinguished by the same causes recognized in the Civil Code. track of the true character and purpose of the privilege. compensation and novation. dated April 15. loss of the thing due. safety and benefit of the common good. petitioner may apply for reappointment to the office which was forfeited by reason of her conviction. It subsists notwithstanding service of sentence. 26 The rationale is plainly evident Public offices are intended primarily for the collective protection. or who is unsuitable by reason of the pardoned conviction. Henceforth. this particular disability was likewise removed. They cannot be compromised to favor private interests. 27 WHEREFORE. Civil liability arising from crime is governed by the Revised Penal Code. cannot preclude the appointing power from refusing appointment to anyone deemed to be of bad character. No costs. notwithstanding the expansive and effusive language of the Garland case.

G.R. No. 75025 September 14, 1993 VICENTE GARCIA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE CHAIRMAN, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE HONORABLE MINISTER, LAND TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS, THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, TELECOM REGIONAL OFFICE NO. IV, respondents. BELLOSILLO, J.: Petitioner comes to us on a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of 23 July 1985 of respondent Commission on Audit (COA) denying his claim for payment of back wages, after he was reinstated to the service pursuant to an executive clemency. He prays for the extraordinary remedy of mandamus against public respondents to enforce his claim. Petitioner was a Supervising Lineman in the Region IV Station of the Bureau of Telecommunications in Lucena City. On 1 April 1975, petitioner was summarily dismissed from the service on the ground of dishonesty in accordance with the decision of the then Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications in Adm. Case No. 975 for the loss of several telegraph poles which were located at the Sariaya-Lucena City and Mauban-Sampaloc, Quezon, telecom lines. Petitioner did not appeal from the decision. Based on the same facts obtaining in the administrative action, a criminal case for qualified theft was filed against petitioner with the then Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Quezon. On 23 January 1980, the trial court rendered its decision acquitting petitioner of the offense charged. Consequently, petitioner sought reinstatement to his former position in view of his acquittal in the criminal case. In an indorsement dated 7 April 1980, petitioner's request to be reinstated was denied by the Bureau of Telecommunications. Hence, petitioner pleaded to the President of the Philippines for executive clemency. On 26 August 1981, acting on the favorable indorsements of the then Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission, Deputy Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T. Venus, Jr., by authority of the President, per Resolution No. O.P. 1800, granted executive clemency to petitioner. Petitioner thereafter filed with respondent COA a claim for payment of back salaries effective 1 April 1975, the date of his dismissal from the service. This was denied by the COA in its 5th Indorsement dated 12 October 1982 on the ground that the executive clemency granted to him did not provide for the payment of back salaries and that he has not been reinstated in the service. It appears that petitioner was recalled to the service on 12 March 1984 but the records do not show whether petitioner's reinstatement was to the same position of Supervising Lineman. 1 Petitioner again filed a claim to recover his back salaries for the period from 1 April 1975, the date of his dismissal, to 12 March 1984, when he was reinstated. In Decision No. 362 embodied in its 3rd Indorsement dated 23 July 1985, respondent COA denied the claim stating that the executive clemency was silent on the payment of back wages and that he had not rendered service during the period of his claim. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed the COA decision of 23 July 1985 to the Office of the President. On 21 April 1986, Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., by authority of the President, denied the appeal "due to legal and constitutional constraint," 2 holding that this Court is the proper forum to take cognizance of the appeal on certiorari from the decision of the COA, citing Art. XII-(D), Sec. 2, par. 2, of the 1973 Constitution (now Art. IX-[A], Sec. 7, of the 1987 Constitution). Hence, petitioner filed the instant petition on the issue of whether he is entitled to the payment of back wages after having been reinstated pursuant to the grant of executive clemency.

In his comment to the petition, the Solicitor General recommends that the petition be given due course and the petitioner be awarded back wages to be determined in the light of existing laws and jurisprudence. The Solicitor General submits that the award is implicit in the grant of executive clemency, the ultimate objective of which is to accord full justice to petitioner. On the other hand, the COA asks this Court to deny the petition for the following reasons: (a) petitioner's acquittal in the criminal case did not necessarily free him from administrative liability; (b) petitioners unexplained failure to appeal the decision in the administrative case was tantamount to a waiver or renunciation of his right to back wages; (c) the executive clemency was granted to petitioner for the purpose of reinstatement only since it was silent on the matter of back wages; (d) the award of back wages is allowed only if the respondent is exonerated from the administrative charge that his suspension or dismissal is declared illegal or unjustified by the court; and, (e) petitioner did not render any service during the period before his reinstatement, hence, he is not entitled to back wages based on the "no service, no pay" rule. The petition is meritorious. Every civilized country recognizes, and has therefore provided for, the pardoning power to be exercised as an act of grace and humanity, in proper cases. Without such a power of clemency, to be exercised by some department or functionary of a government, a country would be most imperfect and deficient in its political morality and in that attribute of Deity whose judgments are always tempered with money. 3 Our Constitution reposes in the President the power and the exclusive prerogative to extend executive clemency under the following circumstances: Except in cases of impeachment or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. 4 From among the different acts of executive clemency spelled out above, the clemency granted to petitioner in the instant case partakes of the nature of an executive pardon. A reading of Resolution No. 1800 partly quoted hereunder is enlightening: In a 3rd Indorsement dated September 5, 1980, the Director of Telecommunications interposed no objection to the petition, while the Minister of Transportation and Communications, in his 4th Indorsement dated November 17, 1980, favorably recommended the grant of executive clemency to petitioner for the reason that "while it is a rule that an administrative case is separate and distinct from a criminal case and an acquittal in the latter case dos not ipso facto result in the exoneration in the former case, yet an exception could arise if the basis for the acquittal was the innocence of the accused as in the case of petitioner Garcia. Asked for comment pursuant to Section 43 of Presidential Decree No. 807, the Civil service Commission recommends the grant of executive clemency to petitioner in view of the findings of the court that — instead of coming forward to the defense of the accused who actually was authorized to uproot or recover the poles in question and of commending the latter for his high sense of responsibility in preventing losses to the government, said high officials had even the temerity to disown and deny the authority they gave to the accused resulting in his separation from the service and having him all alone in defending himself against the accusation of the very government he tried to protect.

After a careful study, this Office is inclined to grant executive clemency to petitioner in the light of this decision of the court acquitting him of the crime of qualified theft which was based on the same acts obtaining in Administrative Case No. 975 against him, coupled with the favorable recommendation of the Minister of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission. In view of the foregoing, petitioner Vicente Garcia is hereby granted executive clemency. 5 Time and again this Court has unfolded the effects of a pardon upon the individual to whom it is granted. In Monsanto v. Factoran, 6 we have firmly established the general rule that while a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so that in the eyes of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense, it does not operate for all purposes. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt and not forgetfulness . It does not erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the conviction thereof. Pardon frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities and restores to him all his civil rights. Unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence, it cannot bring back lost reputation for honesty, integrity and fair dealing. The pardoned offender regains his eligibility for appointment to public office which was forfeited by reason of the conviction of the offense. But since pardon does not generally result in automatic reinstatement because the offender has to apply for reappointment, he is not entitled to back wages. But, stated otherwise, if the pardon is based on the innocence of the individual, it affirms this innocence and makes him a new man and as innocent; as if he had not been found guilty of the offense charged. 7 When a person is given pardon because he did not truly commit the offense, the pardon relieves the party from all punitive consequences of his criminal act, thereby restoring to him his clean name, good reputation and unstained character prior to the finding of guilt. In the case at bar, petitioner was found administratively liable for dishonesty and consequently dismissed from the service. However, he was later acquitted by the trial court of the charge of qualified theft based on the very same acts for which he was dismissed. The acquittal of petitioner by the trial court was founded not on lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt but on the fact that petitioner did not commit the offense imputed to him. Aside from finding him innocent of the charge, the trial court commended petitioner for his concern and dedication as a public servant. Verily, petitioner's innocence is the primary reason behind the grant of executive clemency to him, bolstered by the favorable recommendations for his reinstatement by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission. The bestowal of executive clemency on petitioner in effect completely obliterated the adverse effects of the administrative decision which found him guilty of dishonesty and ordered his separation from the service. This can be inferred from the executive clemency itself exculpating petitioner from the administrative charge and thereby directing his reinstatement, which is rendered automatic by the grant of the pardon. This signifies that petitioner need no longer apply to be reinstated to his former employment; he is restored to his office ipso facto upon the issuance of the clemency. Petitioner's automatic reinstatement to the government service entitles him to back wages. 8 This is meant to afford relief to petitioner who is innocent from the start and to make reparation for what he has suffered as a result of his unjust dismissal from the service. To rule otherwise would defeat the very intention of the executive clemency, i.e., to give justice to petitioner. Moreover, the right to back wages is afforded to those with have been illegally dismissed and were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise acquitted of the charges against them. 9 There is no doubt that petitioner's case falls within the situations aforementioned to entitle him to back wages. Further, it is worthy to note that the dismissal of petitioner was not the result of any criminal conviction that carried with it forfeiture of the right to hold public office, but is the direct consequence of an administrative decision of a branch of the Executive Department over which the President, as its head, has the power of control. The President's control has been defined to mean "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to the judgment of the former for the latter." 10 In pardoning petitioner and ordering his reinstatement, the Chief Executive exercised his power of control and set aside the decision of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The clemency

the Regional Director of Telecom Regional Office No. IV. After having been declared innocent of the crime of qualified theft. above all. more importantly. their dismissal would have been valid and justified. The separation of the petitioner from the service being null and void. humiliation and. The payment shall be without deduction or qualification. The reasons given for their removal were abolition of office or position. Verily. Petitioner's reinstatement in the instant case which was ordered pursuant to a grant of executive clemency was effected not because of lack of sufficient proof of his commission of the offense but that. he is thus entitled to back wages. and worse. the Chairman of the Commission on Audit. equity and justice dictate that petitioner be afforded compassion for the embarrassment. which reasons were found by this Court to be either devoid of factual basis or not sufficiently proven. the petition is GRANTED. he did not commit the offense charged. so that he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrued to him by virtue of the office held. a dishonest man. the case before us is different. SO ORDERED. reduction of work force. injustice caused to him and his family by his unfounded dismissal. petitioner should not be considered to have left his office for all legal purposes. This Court cannot help surmising the painful stigma that must have caused petitioner. In contrast. for having been adjudged. or lack of funds on the part of the local governments concerned. . the incursion on his dignity and reputation.nullified the dismissal of petitioner and relieved him from administrative liability. the Minister (now Secretary) of Land Transportation and Communications. a thief. 12 The cases heretofore decided by this Court show that petitioners therein were employees of local governments who were removed from office by their local officials. law. 11 Established jurisprudence fixes recovery of back wages to a period of five (5) years to be paid an illegally dismissed government employee who has been ordered reinstated. albeit wrongfully. which also served as basis for the administrative charge. WHEREFORE. this Court finds it fair and just to award petitioner full back wages from 1 April 1975 when he was illegally dismissed. or whoever may be sitting in office in their stead. involving as it does circumstances that impel us to deviate from the general rule previously laid down on the recovery of back wages for five (15) years. including back wages. The decision of respondent Commission on Audit dated 23 July 1985 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. and a new one entered ordering public respondents. Consequently. to pay the full amount of petitioner's back salaries from 1 April 1975 to 12 March 1984 based on his latest salary scale. to 12 March 1984 when he was reinstated. otherwise.