PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION (PRC), petitioner vs. ARLENE V. DE GUZMAN, VIOLETA V. MENESES, CELERINA S. NAVARRO, JOSE RAMONCITO P.

NAVARRO, ARNEL V. HERRERA and GERALDINE ELIZABETH M. PAGILAGAN, ELNORA R. RAQUENO, MARISSA A. REGODON, LAURA M. SANTOS, KARANGALAN D. SERRANO, DANILO A. VILLAVER, MARIA ROSARIO L. LEONOR, ALICIA S. LIZANO, MARITEL M. ECHIVERRI, BERNADETTE T. MENDOZA, FERNANDO F. MANDAPAT, ALELI A. GOLLAYAN, ELCIN C. ARRIOLA, HERMINIGILDA E. CONEJOS, SALLY B. BUNAGAN, ROGELIO B. ANCHETA, OSCAR H. PADUA, JR., EVELYN D. GRAJO, EVELYN S. ACOSTA, MARGARITA BELINDA L. VICENCIO, VALENTINO P. ARBOLEDA, EVELYN O. RAMOS, ACHILLES J. PERALTA, CORAZON M. CRUZ, LEUVINA P. CHICO, JOSEPH A. JAO, MA. LUISA S. GUTIERREZ, LYDIA C. CHAN, OPHELIA C. HIDALGO, FERNANDO T. CRUZ, MELVIN M. USITA, RAFAEL I. TOLENTINO, GRACE E. UY, CHERYL R. TRIGUERO, MICHAEL L. SERRANO, FEDERICO L. CASTILLO, MELITA J. CAÑEDO, SAMUEL B. BANGOY, BERNARDITA B. SY, GLORIA T. JULARBAL, FREDERICK D. FRANCISCO, CARLOS M. BERNARDO, JR., HUBERT S. NAZARENO, CLARISSA B. BACLIG, DAYMINDA G. BONTUYAN, BERNADETTE H. CABUHAT, NANCY J. CHAVEZ, MARIO D. CUARESMA, ERNESTO L. CUE, EVELYN C. CUNDANGAN, RHONEIL R. DEVERATURDA, DERILEEN D. DORADO, SAIBZUR N. EDDING, VIOLETA C. FELIPE, HERMINIO V. FERNANDEZ, JR., MARIA VICTORIA M. LACSAMANA, NORMA G. LAFAVILLA, RUBY B. LANTIN, MA. ELOISA Q. MALLARI, CLARISA SJ. NICOLAS, PERCIVAL H. PANGILINAN, ARNULFO A. SALVADOR, ROBERT B. SANCHEZ, MERLY D. STA. ANA and YOLANDA P. UNICA, respondents Facts: 79 successful examinees of the Physician Licensure Examination from Fatima College obtained unusual and exceptionally high scores in the two most difficult subjects of the exam, which aroused the suspicion of the Board of Medicine. They had the results surveyed by a statistician and investigated by the NBI. Subsequently, they adopted a Resolution which withheld the registration as physicians of the Fatima examinees. After the results of the investigation of the NBI and the survey of Fr. Nebres, the Board issued another Resolution charging the said examinees with immorality, dishonest conduct, fraud, and deceit. The Fatima examinees, on the other hand, filed the special civil action of mandamus against the PRC so that they would be allowed to take their physician’s oath. Issue: W/N the Board has discretion to hold in abeyance the administration of the Hippocratic oath and the issuance of the certificates to successful board examinees. Ruling: YES. The practice of medicine is a privilege, subject to qualifications and disqualifications. It must appear that the applicant has fully complied with all the conditions and requirements imposed by the law and the licensing authority. Should doubt taint or mar the compliance as being less than satisfactory, then the privilege will not issue. Until the moral and mental fitness of de Guzman, et al. could be ascertained, the Board has discretion to hold in abeyance the administration of the Hippocratic oath and the issuance of the certificates to them. The writ of mandamus does not lie to compel performance of an act which is not duly authorized. The power to regulate the exercise of a profession or pursuit of an occupation cannot be exercised by the State or its agents in an arbitrary, despotic, or oppressive manner. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED which ordering petitioners to administer the physician’s oath to herein respondents as well as the resolution of the appellate court, denying the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE; and (2) the writ of mandamus, issued in Civil Case No. 93-66530, and affirmed by the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No. 37283 is NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE.

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