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L. ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS 1. ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST V.

PURISIMA
ABAKADA Guro Party List v PurisimaG.R. No. 166715, August 14, 2008 FACTS: This petition for prohibition seeks to prevent respondents from implementing and enforcing Republic Act (RA) 9335 (Attrition Actof 2005).RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and theBureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets byproviding a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a RevenuePerformance Evaluation Board (Board). It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of employment status. Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 9335, a tax reformlegislation. They contend that, by establishing a system of rewards and incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials andemployees of the BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will do their best only in consideration of suchrewards. Petitioners also assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground that it violates the doctrineof separation of powers, for it permits legislative participation in the implementation and enforcement of the law. ISSUE: WON the joint congressional committee is valid and constitutional HELD: No. It is unconstitutional.In the case of Macalintal, in the discussion of J. Puno, the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhanceits understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. Clearly, oversight concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives, (b) to determine whether agenciesare properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority,and (d) to assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. The power of oversight has been held to beintrinsic in the grant of legislative power itself and integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of governmentWith this backdrop, it is clear that congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se , meaning, it neither necessarily constitutes anencroachment on the executive power to implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation of powers. Rather, it is integral tothe checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government. It may in fact even enhance the separation of powers as itprevents the over-accumulation of power in the executive branch. However, to forestall the danger of congressional encroachment "beyond the legislative sphere," the Constitution imposes two basicand related constraints on Congress . It may not vest itself, any of its committees or its members with either executive or judicial power. And, when it exercises its legislative power, it must follow the "single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedures" specifiedunder the Constitution including the procedure for enactment of laws and presentment.Thus, any postenactment congressional measure such as this should be limited to scrutiny and investigation. In particular, congressionaloversight must be confined to the following:(1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress' power of appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in connectio n withit, its power to ask heads of departments to appear before and be heard by either of its Houses on any matterpertaining to their departments and its power of confirmation and(2) investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to conduct inquiries inaid of legislation. Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in thisclass. Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to present the proposed

implementing rules andregulations of a law to Congress which, by itself or through a committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or disapprovesuch regulations before they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a congressional oversight committee is in the form of aninward-turning delegation designed to attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to whichCongress has by law initially delegated broad powers. It radically changes the design or structure of the Constitution's diagram of power asit entrusts to Congress a direct role in enforcing, applying or implementing its own laws G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (formerly AASJS)1 OFFICERS/MEMBERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA, ED VINCENT S. ALBANO, ROMEO R. ROBISO, RENE B. GOROSPE and EDWIN R. SANDOVAL, petitioners, vs. HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR., in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and HON. ALBERTO D. LINA, in his Capacity as Commissioner of Bureau of Customs, respondents. DECISION CORONA, J.: This petition for prohibition 1 seeks to prevent respondents from implementing and enforcing Republic Act (RA) 93352 (Attrition Act of 2005). RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board). 3 It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of employment status. 4 The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their revenue targets for the year, as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC). Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and allocated to the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their contribution in the excess collection of the targeted amount of tax revenue.5 The Boards in the BIR and the BOC are composed of the Secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF) or his/her Undersecretary, the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) or his/her Undersecretary, the Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or his/her Deputy Director General, the Commissioners of the BIR and the BOC or their Deputy Commissioners, two representatives from the rank-and-file employees and a representative from the officials nominated by their recognized organization.6 Each Board has the duty to (1) prescribe the rules and guidelines for the allocation, distribution and release of the Fund; (2) set criteria and procedures for removing from the service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target; (3) terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Board; (4) prescribe a system for performance evaluation; (5) perform other functions, including the issuance of rules and regulations and (6) submit an annual report to Congress.7 The DOF, DBM, NEDA, BIR, BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were tasked to promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9335,8 to be approved by a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created for such purpose.9 Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 9335, a tax reform legislation. They contend that, by establishing a system of rewards and incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will do their best only in consideration of such rewards. Thus, the system of rewards and incentives invites corruption and undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of these officials and employees to serve the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. Petitioners also claim that limiting the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only to officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. There is no valid basis for classification or distinction as to why such a system should not apply to officials and employees of all other government agencies. In addition, petitioners assert that the law unduly delegates the power to fix revenue targets to the President as it lacks a

sufficient standard on that matter. While Section 7(b) and (c) of RA 9335 provides that BIR and BOC officials may be dismissed from the service if their revenue collections fall short of the target by at least 7.5%, the law does not, however, fix the revenue targets to be achieved. Instead, the fixing of revenue targets has been delegated to the President without sufficient standards. It will therefore be easy for the President to fix an unrealistic and unattainable target in order to dismiss BIR or BOC personnel. Finally, petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground that it violates the doctrine of separation of powers. While the legislative function is deemed accomplished and completed upon the enactment and approval of the law, the creation of the congressional oversight committee permits legislative participation in the implementation and enforcement of the law. In their comment, respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, question the petition for being premature as there is no actual case or controversy yet. Petitioners have not asserted any right or claim that will necessitate the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction. Nevertheless, respondents acknowledge that public policy requires the resolution of the constitutional issues involved in this case. They assert that the allegation that the reward system will breed mercenaries is mere speculation and does not suffice to invalidate the law. Seen in conjunction with the declared objective of RA 9335, the law validly classifies the BIR and the BOC because the functions they perform are distinct from those of the other government agencies and instrumentalities. Moreover, the law provides a sufficient standard that will guide the executive in the implementation of its provisions. Lastly, the creation of the congressional oversight committee under the law enhances, rather than violates, separation of powers. It ensures the fulfillment of the legislative policy and serves as a check to any over-accumulation of power on the part of the executive and the implementing agencies. After a careful consideration of the conflicting contentions of the parties, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality in favor of RA 9335, except as shall hereafter be discussed. Actual Case And Ripeness An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial adjudication.10 A closely related requirement is ripeness, that is, the question must be ripe for adjudication. And a constitutional question is ripe for adjudication when the governmental act being challenged has a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it.11 Thus, to be ripe for judicial adjudication, the petitioner must show a personal stake in the outcome of the case or an injury to himself that can be redressed by a favorable decision of the Court. 12 In this case, aside from the general claim that the dispute has ripened into a judicial controversy by the mere enactment of the law even without any further overt act, 13 petitioners fail either to assert any specific and concrete legal claim or to demonstrate any direct adverse effect of the law on them. They are unable to show a personal stake in the outcome of this case or an injury to themselves. On this account, their petition is procedurally infirm. This notwithstanding, public interest requires the resolution of the constitutional issues raised by petitioners. The grave nature of their allegations tends to cast a cloud on the presumption of constitutionality in favor of the law. And where an action of the legislative branch is alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.14 Accountability Public Officers Section 1, Article 11 of the Constitution states: Sec. 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism, and justice, and lead modest lives. Public office is a public trust. It must be discharged by its holder not for his own personal gain but for the benefit of the public for whom he holds it in trust. By demanding accountability and service with responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, patriotism and justice, all government officials and employees have the duty to be responsive to the needs of the people they are called upon to serve. Public officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties. This presumption necessarily obtains in favor of BIR and BOC officials and employees. RA 9335 operates on the basis thereof and reinforces it by providing a system of rewards and sanctions for the purpose of encouraging the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC to exceed their revenue targets and optimize their revenue-generation capability and collection.15 The presumption is disputable but proof to the contrary is required to rebut it. It cannot be overturned by mere conjecture or denied in advance (as petitioners would have the Court do) specially in this case where it is an underlying principle to of

advance a declared public policy. Petitioners’ claim that the implementation of RA 9335 will turn BIR and BOC officials and employees into "bounty hunters and mercenaries" is not only without any factual and legal basis; it is also purely speculative. A law enacted by Congress enjoys the strong presumption of constitutionality. To justify its nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and equivocal one. 16 To invalidate RA 9335 based on petitioners’ baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislatur e that passed it but also of the executive which approved it. Public service is its own reward. Nevertheless, public officers may by law be rewarded for exemplary and exceptional performance. A system of incentives for exceeding the set expectations of a public office is not anathema to the concept of public accountability. In fact, it recognizes and reinforces dedication to duty, industry, efficiency and loyalty to public service of deserving government personnel. In United States v. Matthews,17 the U.S. Supreme Court validated a law which awards to officers of the customs as well as other parties an amount not exceeding one-half of the net proceeds of forfeitures in violation of the laws against smuggling. Citing Dorsheimer v. United States,18 the U.S. Supreme Court said: The offer of a portion of such penalties to the collectors is to stimulate and reward their zeal and industry in detecting fraudulent attempts to evade payment of duties and taxes. In the same vein, employees of the BIR and the BOC may by law be entitled to a reward when, as a consequence of their zeal in the enforcement of tax and customs laws, they exceed their revenue targets. In addition, RA 9335 establishes safeguards to ensure that the reward will not be claimed if it will be either the fruit of "bounty hunting or mercenary activity" or the product of the irregular performance of official duties. One of these precautionary measures is embodied in Section 8 of the law: SEC. 8. Liability of Officials, Examiners and Employees of the BIR and the BOC. – The officials, examiners, and employees of the [BIR] and the [BOC] who violate this Act or who are guilty of negligence, abuses or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance or fail to exercise extraordinary diligence in the performance of their duties shall be held liable for any loss or injury suffered by any business establishment or taxpayer as a result of such violation, negligence, abuse, malfeasance, misfeasance or failure to exercise extraordinary diligence. Equal Protection Equality guaranteed under the equal protection clause is equality under the same conditions and among persons similarly situated; it is equality among equals, not similarity of treatment of persons who are classified based on substantial differences in relation to the object to be accomplished. 19 When things or persons are different in fact or circumstance, they may be treated in law differently. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers’ Union,20 this Court declared: The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the [S]tate. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate. The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. In the exercise of its power to make classifications for the purpose of enacting laws over matters within its jurisdiction, the state is recognized as enjoying a wide range of discretion. It is not necessary that the classification be based on scientific or marked differences of things or in their relation. Neither is it necessary that the classification be made with mathematical

nicety. Hence, legislative classification may in many cases properly rest on narrow distinctions, for the equal protection guaranty does not preclude the legislature from recognizing degrees of evil or harm, and legislation is addressed to evils as they may appear.21 (emphasis supplied) The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification, that is, a classification that has a reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary.22 With respect to RA 9335, its expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenuegeneration capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. 23 Since the subject of the law is the revenue- generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. Moreover, the law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary function of generating revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes, customs duties, fees and charges. The BIR performs the following functions: Sec. 18. The Bureau of Internal Revenue . – The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which shall be headed by and subject to the supervision and control of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary [of the DOF], shall have the following functions: (1) Assess and collect all taxes, fees and charges and account for all revenues collected; (2) Exercise duly delegated police powers for the proper performance of its functions and duties; (3) Prevent and prosecute tax evasions and all other illegal economic activities; (4) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent and subordinate units; and (5) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law. 24 xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

On the other hand, the BOC has the following functions: Sec. 23. The Bureau of Customs. – The Bureau of Customs which shall be headed and subject to the management and control of the Commissioner of Customs, who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary[of the DOF] and hereinafter referred to as Commissioner, shall have the following functions: (1) Collect custom duties, taxes and the corresponding fees, charges and penalties; (2) Account for all customs revenues collected; (3) Exercise police authority for the enforcement of tariff and customs laws; (4) Prevent and suppress smuggling, pilferage and all other economic frauds within all ports of entry; (5) Supervise and control exports, imports, foreign mails and the clearance of vessels and aircrafts in all ports of entry; (6) Administer all legal requirements that are appropriate; (7) Prevent and prosecute smuggling and other illegal activities in all ports under its jurisdiction; (8) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent units; (9) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law. 25 xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great inherent functions – taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA 9335 fully satisfy the demands of equal protection. Undue Delegation Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the completeness test and (2) the sufficient standard test. A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate. 26 It lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. 27 To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of the delegate’s authority, announce the legislative policy and identify the conditions under which it is to be

implemented.28 RA 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue targets and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. Section 2 spells out the policy of the law: SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board in the above agencies for the purpose of encouraging their officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets. Section 4 "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing"29 the delegated power to the President to fix revenue targets: SEC. 4. Rewards and Incentives Fund. – A Rewards and Incentives Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund, is hereby created, to be sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their respective revenue targets of the year, as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC), in the following percentages: Excess of Collection of the Excess Percent (%) of the Excess Collection to Accrue to the Revenue Targets the Fund 30% or below More than 30% – 15% – 15% of the first 30% plus 20% of the remaining excess

The Fund shall be deemed automatically appropriated the year immediately following the year when the revenue collection target was exceeded and shall be released on the same fiscal year. Revenue targets shall refer to the original estimated revenue collection expected of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as stated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to Congress. The BIR and the BOC shall submit to the DBCC the distribution of the agencies’ revenue targets as allocated among its revenue districts in the case of the BIR, and the collection districts in the case of the BOC. xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

Revenue targets are based on the original estimated revenue collection expected respectively of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as approved by the DBCC and stated in the BESF submitted by the President to Congress. 30 Thus, the determination of revenue targets does not rest solely on the President as it also undergoes the scrutiny of the DBCC. On the other hand, Section 7 specifies the limits of the Board’s authority and identifies the conditions under which official s and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.5% may be removed from the service: SEC. 7. Powers and Functions of the Board. – The Board in the agency shall have the following powers and functions: xxx xxx xxx

(b) To set the criteria and procedures for removing from service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least seven and a half percent (7.5%), with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under this Act, subject to civil service laws, rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due process : Provided, That the following exemptions shall apply: 1. Where the district or area of responsibility is newly-created, not exceeding two years in operation, as has no historical record of collection performance that can be used as basis for evaluation; and 2. Where the revenue or customs official or employee is a recent transferee in the middle of the period under consideration unless the transfer was due to nonperformance of revenue targets or potential nonperformance of revenue targets: Provided, however, That when the district or area of responsibility covered by revenue or customs officials or employees has suffered from economic difficulties brought about by natural calamities or force majeure or economic causes as may be determined by the Board, termination shall be considered only after careful and proper review by the Board. (c) To terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted in the preceding paragraph: Provided, That such decision shall be immediately executory: Provided, further, That the application of the criteria for the separation of an official or

This standard is analogous to inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties. 12. At any rate. (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty.32 The action for removal is also subject to civil service laws. Commission on Elections34 is illuminating: Concept and bases of congressional oversight Broadly defined.5%) with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection." "justice and equity. The guarantee of security of tenure only means that an employee cannot be dismissed from the service for causes other than those provided by law and only after due process is accorded the employee. investigation and supervision. thus. Scrutiny . with at least two senators representing the minority. Clearly. The scholarly discourse of Mr. the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. BIR. the issue of its alleged encroachment on the executive function of implementing and enforcing the law may be considered moot and academic. a. uses its oversight power to make sure that the administrative agencies perform their functions within the authority delegated to them. and (d) to assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. x x x x x x x x x Over the years. From then on. – There is hereby created a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee composed of seven Members from the Senate and seven Members from the House of Representatives. 2006. Justice (now Chief Justice) Puno on the concept of congressional oversight in Macalintal v. The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee in RA 9335 was created for the purpose of approving the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) formulated by the DOF. The Members from the Senate shall be appointed by the Senate President. rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due process. it became functus officio and ceased to exist. oversight concerns postenactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives. By the beginning of the 20th century. x x x x x xxxx Categories of congressional oversight functions The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided intothree categories. On May 22. namely: scrutiny. This notwithstanding. Congress. this might be as good a time as any for the Court to confront the issue of the constitutionality of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created under RA 9335 (or other similar laws for that matter). Separation Of Powers Section 12 of RA 9335 provides: SEC. (b) to determine whether agencies are properly administered. this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public interest. (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority. xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied) Clearly. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. RA 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC. After the Oversight Committee will have approved the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) it shall thereafter become functus officio and therefore cease to exist. 31 In the case of RA 9335. BOC and CSC. economy and welfare. NEDA."33 In this case. Hence.employee from service under this Act shall be without prejudice to the application of other relevant laws on accountability of public officers and employees. Congress has delegated an enormous amount of legislative authority to the executive branch and the administrative agencies. DBM. it approved the said IRR. Congress has invoked its oversight power with increased frequency to check the perceived "exponential accumulation of power" by the executive branch. a ground for disciplinary action under civil service laws. The Members from the House of Representatives shall be appointed by the Speaker with at least two members representing the minority. such as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers and Employees and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. the declared policy of optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC is infused with public interest. The power of oversight has been held to be intrinsic in the grant of legislative power itself and integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government." "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity. it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal (when the revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.

Congressional scrutiny implies a lesser intensity and continuity of attention to administrative operations. Its primary purpose is to determine economy and efficiency of the operation of government activities. In the exercise of legislative scrutiny, Congress may request information and report from the other branches of government. It can give recommendations or pass resolutions for consideration of the agency involved. xxx b. Congressional investigation While congressional scrutiny is regarded as a passive process of looking at the facts that are readily available, congressional investigation involves a more intense digging of facts. The power of Congress to conduct investigation is recognized by the 1987 Constitution under section 21, Article VI, xxx xxx xxx c. Legislative supervision The third and most encompassing form by which Congress exercises its oversight power is thru legislative supervision. "Supervision" connotes a continuing and informed awareness on the part of a congressional committee regarding executive operations in a given administrative area. While both congressional scrutiny and investigation involve inquiry into past executive branch actions in order to influence future executive branch performance, congressional supervision allows Congress to scrutinize the exercise of delegated law-making authority, and permits Congress to retain part of that delegated authority. Congress exercises supervision over the executive agencies through its veto power. It typically utilizes veto provisions when granting the President or an executive agency the power to promulgate regulations with the force of law. These provisions require the President or an agency to present the proposed regulations to Congress, which retains a "right" to approve or disapprove any regulation before it takes effect. Such legislative veto provisions usually provide that a proposed regulation will become a law after the expiration of a certain period of time, only if Congress does not affirmatively disapprove of the regulation in the meantime. Less frequently, the statute provides that a proposed regulation will become law if Congress affirmatively approves it. Supporters of legislative veto stress that it is necessary to maintain the balance of power between the legislative and the executive branches of government as it offers lawmakers a way to delegate vast power to the executive branch or to independent agencies while retaining the option to cancel particular exercise of such power without having to pass new legislation or to repeal existing law. They contend that this arrangement promotes democratic accountability as it provides legislative check on the activities of unelected administrative agencies. One proponent thus explains: It is too late to debate the merits of this delegation policy: the policy is too deeply embedded in our law and practice. It suffices to say that the complexities of modern government have often led Congress-whether by actual or perceived necessity- to legislate by declaring broad policy goals and general statutory standards, leaving the choice of policy options to the discretion of an executive officer. Congress articulates legislative aims, but leaves their implementation to the judgment of parties who may or may not have participated in or agreed with the development of those aims. Consequently, absent safeguards, in many instances the reverse of our constitutional scheme could be effected: Congress proposes, the Executive disposes. One safeguard, of course, is the legislative power to enact new legislation or to change existing law. But without some means of overseeing post enactment activities of the executive branch, Congress would be unable to determine whether its policies have been implemented in accordance with legislative intent and thus whether legislative intervention is appropriate. Its opponents, however, criticize the legislative veto as undue encroachment upon the executive prerogatives. They urge that any post-enactment measures undertaken by the legislative branch should be limited to scrutiny and investigation; any measure beyond that would undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution. They contend that legislative veto constitutes an impermissible evasion of the President’s veto authority and intrusion into the powers vested in the executive or judicial branches of government. Proponents counter that legislative veto enhances separation of powers as it prevents the executive branch and independent agencies from accumulating too much power. They submit that reporting requirements and congressional committee investigations allow Congress to scrutinize only the exercise of delegated law-making authority. They do not allow Congress to review executive proposals before they take effect and they do not afford the opportunity for ongoing and binding expressions of congressional intent. In contrast, legislative veto permits Congress to participate prospectively in the approval or disapproval of " subordinate law" or those enacted by the executive branch pursuant to a delegation of authority by Congress. They further argue that legislative veto "is a necessary response by Congress to the accretion of policy control by forces outside its chambers." In an era of delegated authority, they point out that legislative veto "is the most efficient means Congress has yet devised to retain control over the evolution and implementation of its policy as declared by statute." In Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved the validity of legislative veto xxx xxx

provisions. The case arose from the order of the immigration judge suspending the deportation of Chadha pursuant to § 244(c)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution vetoing the suspension pursuant to § 244(c)(2) authorizing either House of Congress, by resolution, to invalidate the decision of the executive branch to allow a particular deportable alien to remain in the United States. The immigration judge reopened the deportation proceedings to implement the House order and the alien was ordered deported. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed the alien’s appeal, holding that it had no power to declare unconstitutional an act of Congress. The United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit held that the House was without constitutional authority to order the alien’s deportation and that § 244(c)(2) violated the constitutional doctrine on separation of powers. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court declared § 244(c)(2) unconstitutional. But the Court shied away from the issue of separation of powers and instead held that the provision violates the presentment clause and bicameralism. It held that the one-house veto was essentially legislative in purpose and effect. As such, it is subject to the procedures set out in Article I of the Constitution requiring the passage by a majority of both Houses and presentment to the President. x x x x x x x x x Two weeks after the Chadha decision, the Court upheld, in memorandum decision, two lower court decisions invalidating the legislative veto provisions in the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and the Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act of 1980. Following this precedence, lower courts invalidated statutes containing legislative veto provisions although some of these provisions required the approval of both Houses of Congress and thus met the bicameralism requirement of Article I. Indeed, some of these veto provisions were not even exercised. 35 (emphasis supplied) In Macalintal, given the concept and configuration of the power of congressional oversight and considering the nature and powers of a constitutional body like the Commission on Elections, the Court struck down the provision in RA 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) creating a Joint Congressional Committee. The committee was tasked not only to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the said law but also to review, revise, amend and approve the IRR promulgated by the Commission on Elections. The Court held that these functions infringed on the constitutional independence of the Commission on Elections.36 With this backdrop, it is clear that congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it neither necessarily constitutes an encroachment on the executive power to implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation of powers. Rather, it is integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government. It may in fact even enhance the separation of powers as it prevents the over-accumulation of power in the executive branch. However, to forestall the danger of congressional encroachment "beyond the legislative sphere," the Constitution imposes two basic and related constraints on Congress. 37 It may not vest itself, any of its committees or its members with either executive or judicial power.38 And, when it exercises its legislative power, it must follow the "single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedures" specified under the Constitution, 39 including the procedure for enactment of laws and presentment. Thus, any post-enactment congressional measure such as this should be limited to scrutiny and investigation. In particular, congressional oversight must be confined to the following: (1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress’ power of appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments to appear before and be heard by either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their departments and its power of confirmation 40 and (2) investigation and monitoring41 of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.42 Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in this class. Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to present the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by itself or through a committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or disapprove such regulations before they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a congressional oversight committee is in the form of an inward-turning delegation designed to attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers.43It radically changes the design or structure of the Constitution’s diagram of power as it entrusts to Congress a direct role in enforcing, applying or implementing its own laws.44 Congress has two options when enacting legislation to define national policy within the broad horizons of its legislative

competence.45 It can itself formulate the details or it can assign to the executive branch the responsibility for making necessary managerial decisions in conformity with those standards.46 In the latter case, the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. 47 Thus, what is left for the executive branch or the concerned administrative agency when it formulates rules and regulations implementing the law is to fill up details (supplementary rule-making) or ascertain facts necessary to bring the law into actual operation (contingent rule-making).48 Administrative regulations enacted by administrative agencies to implement and interpret the law which they are entrusted to enforce have the force of law and are entitled to respect. 49 Such rules and regulations partake of the nature of a statute50 and are just as binding as if they have been written in the statute itself. As such, they have the force and effect of law and enjoy the presumption of constitutionality and legality until they are set aside with finality in an appropriate case by a competent court.51 Congress, in the guise of assuming the role of an overseer, may not pass upon their legality by subjecting them to its stamp of approval without disturbing the calculated balance of powers established by the Constitution. In exercising discretion to approve or disapprove the IRR based on a determination of whether or not they conformed with the provisions of RA 9335, Congress arrogated judicial power unto itself, a power exclusively vested in this Court by the Constitution. Considered Mr. Justice Dante O. Tinga Opinion of

Moreover, the requirement that the implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by Congress as a condition for their effectivity violates the cardinal constitutional principles of bicameralism and the rule on presentment. 52 Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution states: Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum. (emphasis supplied) Legislative power (or the power to propose, enact, amend and repeal laws) 53 is vested in Congress which consists of two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. A valid exercise of legislative power requires the act of both chambers. Corrollarily, it can be exercised neither solely by one of the two chambers nor by a committee of either or both chambers. Thus, assuming the validity of a legislative veto, both a single-chamber legislative veto and a congressional committee legislative veto are invalid. Additionally, Section 27(1), Article VI of the Constitution provides: Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President . If he approves the same, he shall sign it, otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it. (emphasis supplied) Every bill passed by Congress must be presented to the President for approval or veto. In the absence of presentment to the President, no bill passed by Congress can become a law. In this sense, law-making under the Constitution is a joint act of the Legislature and of the Executive. Assuming that legislative veto is a valid legislative act with the force of law, it cannot take effect without such presentment even if approved by both chambers of Congress. In sum, two steps are required before a bill becomes a law. First, it must be approved by both Houses of Congress.54 Second, it must be presented to and approved by the President.55 As summarized by Justice Isagani Cruz56 and Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.57, the following is the procedure for the approval of bills: A bill is introduced by any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate except for some measures that must originate only in the former chamber. The first reading involves only a reading of the number and title of the measure and its referral by the Senate President or the Speaker to the proper committee for study.

The bill may be "killed" in the committee or it may be recommended for approval, with or without amendments, sometimes after public hearings are first held thereon. If there are other bills of the same nature or purpose, they may all be consolidated into one bill under common authorship or as a committee bill. Once reported out, the bill shall be calendared for second reading. It is at this stage that the bill is read in its entirety, scrutinized, debated upon and amended when desired. The second reading is the most important stage in the passage of a bill. The bill as approved on second reading is printed in its final form and copies thereof are distributed at least three days before the third reading. On the third reading, the members merely register their votes and explain them if they are allowed by the rules. No further debate is allowed. Once the bill passes third reading, it is sent to the other chamber, where it will also undergo the three readings. If there are differences between the versions approved by the two chambers, a conference committee58 representing both Houses will draft a compromise measure that if ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives will then be submitted to the President for his consideration. The bill is enrolled when printed as finally approved by the Congress, thereafter authenticated with the signatures of the Senate President, the Speaker, and the Secretaries of their respective chambers…59 The President’s role in law-making. The final step is submission to the President for approval. Once approved, it takes effect as law after the required publication.60 Where Congress delegates the formulation of rules to implement the law it has enacted pursuant to sufficient standards established in the said law, the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. And it may be deemed to have left the hands of the legislature when it becomes effective because it is only upon effectivity of the statute that legal rights and obligations become available to those entitled by the language of the statute. Subject to the indispensable requisite of publication under the due process clause, 61 the determination as to when a law takes effect is wholly the prerogative of Congress. 62 As such, it is only upon its effectivity that a law may be executed and the executive branch acquires the duties and powers to execute the said law. Before that point, the role of the executive branch, particularly of the President, is limited to approving or vetoing the law. 63 From the moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress or any of its members to play any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law violates the principle of separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional. Under this principle, a provision that requires Congress or its members to approve the implementing rules of a law after it has already taken effect shall be unconstitutional, as is a provision that allows Congress or its members to overturn any directive or ruling made by the members of the executive branch charged with the implementation of the law. Following this rationale, Section 12 of RA 9335 should be struck down as unconstitutional. While there may be similar provisions of other laws that may be invalidated for failure to pass this standard, the Court refrains from invalidating them wholesale but will do so at the proper time when an appropriate case assailing those provisions is brought before us. 64 The next question to be resolved is: what is the effect of the unconstitutionality of Section 12 of RA 9335 on the other provisions of the law? Will it render the entire law unconstitutional? No. Section 13 of RA 9335 provides: SEC. 13. Separability Clause. – If any provision of this Act is declared invalid by a competent court, the remainder of this Act or any provision not affected by such declaration of invalidity shall remain in force and effect. In Tatad v. Secretary of the Department of Energy,65 the Court laid down the following rules: The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced. The presence of a separability clause in a statute creates the presumption that the legislature intended separability, rather than complete nullity of the statute. To justify this result, the valid portion must be so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the legislature would have enacted it by itself if it had supposed that it could not constitutionally enact the other. Enough must remain to make a complete, intelligible and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. x x x The exception to the general rule is that when the parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and connected, as conditions, considerations, inducements, or compensations for each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a

whole, the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. In making the parts of the statute dependent, conditional, or connected with one another, the legislature intended the statute to be carried out as a whole and would not have enacted it if one part is void, in which case if some parts are unconstitutional, all the other provisions thus dependent, conditional, or connected must fall with them. The separability clause of RA 9335 reveals the intention of the legislature to isolate and detach any invalid provision from the other provisions so that the latter may continue in force and effect. The valid portions can stand independently of the invalid section. Without Section 12, the remaining provisions still constitute a complete, intelligible and valid law which carries out the legislative intent to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions through the Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board. To be effective, administrative rules and regulations must be published in full if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. The IRR of RA 9335 were published on May 30, 2006 in two newspapers of general circulation 66 and became effective 15 days thereafter. 67 Until and unless the contrary is shown, the IRR are presumed valid and effective even without the approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. Section 12 of RA 9335 creating a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to approve the implementing rules and regulations of the law is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL and therefore NULL and VOID. The constitutionality of the remaining provisions of RA 9335 is UPHELD. Pursuant to Section 13 of RA 9335, the rest of the provisions remain in force and effect. SO ORDERED.

2. LECAROZ V. SANDIGANBAYAN C/O VITTO

").R. HON. On the Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of the Court in Administrative Case No. Justice Fernan was previously dismissed by the Court "for utter lack of merit" in a Per Curiam Resolution issued on 17 Febr uary 1988 on.R. No. FERNAN. CUENCO V." A. etc. and not indirectly through disbarment proceedings. MARCELO B. L-41171 (entitled "Intestate Estate of the Late Vito Borromeo. under the Constitution. No. There is thus no need to discuss here the arguments made by complainant Cuenco in respect of the Court's decision therein on the matter of attomey's fees of Mr. inter alia. Burgos. 3135 April 15. B. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM: Complainant Miguel Cuenco has filed an untitled pleading dated 27 March 1988 which. v. and G. G. Deceased.R. To the extent that the Court can understand complainant . Justice Fernan. removal from office of a Member of the Supreme Court can be effected only through impeachment.M. et al.. 1988 MIGUEL CUENCO. et al. the ground that complainant had failed altogether to substantiate his charges against Mr. Francisco P. Borromeo. On the Second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision in the Consolidated Petitions The record of the Vito Borromeo estate proceedings discloses that the 23 July 1987 decision of the Court in the five (5) Consolidated Petitions menti oned became final and executory on 19 October 1987 and that Entry of Judgment was made on 24 March 1988. Justice Fernan. petitioner. Court of Appeals. 3135 The present administrative case for disbarment filed by complainant Cuenco against Mr.R. Cuenco and all the other lawyers concerned. FERNAN Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A. v. Fortunato Borromeo"). Fortunate Borromeo.R. et al. vs. G. Patrocinio Borromeo-Herrera v. (2) Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's En Banc Resolution of 17 February 1988 in this case.").3. et al. No. v. No. The Court also held that. consideri ng the melange confus of allegations therein. No. the Court treats as a consolidated: (1) Second Motion for Reconsideration of the decision dated 23 July 1987 rendered by the Third Division of the Court in the Consolidated Petit ions in G. G. 65995 (entitled "Petra Borromeo. et al."). No. 55000 (entitled "In the Matter of the Estate of Vito Borromeo."). Pilar N. and (3) Compliance with the directive in aforesaid Resolution of 17 February 1988 requiring complainant Cuenco "to show cause why he should not be administratively dealt with for having made unfounded and serious accusations against Mr. Court of Appeals. et al. et al. 62895 (entitled "Jose Cuenco Borromeo v. 63818 (entitled "Domingo Antigua. complainant.

" 3. 2. expression less. That it is unlikely that Mr. That "[t]he theory that Mr. Justice Fernan is not accountable for any grave misconduct except by impeachment proceeding. Mr. long after said "heirs" had surfaced and asserted their respective claims against the decedent's estate. so that he did not assert any influence [during] long deliberations [of the Consolidated Petitional]. Justice Fernan "made up his mind that some persons have to be declared heirs of Vito Borromeo" and that the several petitions for declaration of heirs were heard jointly at the law office of Atty. after probate of the will had been disallowed by the probate court. now Justice Fernan in Cebu City." We find in the present instance that complainant Cuenco.Cuenco's untitled pleading. There is." consequently." It will be noted from the 23 July 1987 decision of the Court in the Consolidated Petitions that said petitions for declaration of heirship were heard jointly by the trial judge — not by Mr. As pointed out in the Court's 17 February 1988 Resolution of this case. is not absolute. now Justice Fernan in Cebu City. while it was in 1954 that the "heirs" referred to by complainant Cuenco in his pleading claimed rights of ownership over thirteen (13) parcel of land which they sought to be excluded from the estate of the decedent. Justice Fernan "had a stony face. without uttering words." Complainant Cuenco further asserts that the several petitions for declaration of heirs filed by the different claimants to the estate of the late Vito Borromeo "were heard jointly at the law office of Atty." but he also acted as respondent. views. in his untitled pleading." and 4. has once more failed to submit any proof whatsoever to substantiate the statements made by him therein which are so extravagant as to be preposterous. 2. complainant would now seek reconsider consideration of the Court's Resolution on the following grounds: 1. opinions. In its Resolution of 17 February 1988 in this case. Mr. The record explicitly shows that Mr. Mr. 916-R for probate of the will of the late Vito Borromeo was instituted in 1952. Justice Fernan's involvement in the Vito Borromeo estate proceedings began only on 7 August 1965 and ended on 19 February 1968. Antigua and Estenzo for violating the provisions of the Civil Code. and Attys. Justice Fernan had already withdrawn as counsel for two (2) of the instituted heirs in the Vito Borromeo estate proceedings. and after Mr. Justice Fernan — sometime during or after the month of December 1968. the Court found complainant Cuenco's charges against Mr. . Justice Fernan to be "completely unsupported by the facts and evidence of record. his own counsel for himself and judge of himself — three conflicting positions rolled into one. no rational basis for the assertion of complainant Cuenco that Mr. "it is impossible to deny Justice Fernan's participation in the preparations of the 32-page decision of the Third Division of the Supreme Court [in the Consolidated Petitional]. That in the estate proceedings of the late Vito Borromeo. Special Proceedings No. Justice Fernan not only "voted for his exoneration which is naturally seriously anomalous. therefore. Upon the other hand. hence. Justice Fernan inhibited himself from participating in the deliberations on the Vito Borromeo estate cases and. 1. was motionless. That "[t]he decision of the Third Division in the five cases is open to the suspicion that Justice Fernan is protecting Judge Burgos. Justice Fernan "made up his mind that some persons have to be declared heirs of Vito Borromeo.

complainant Cuenco has not only declined to prove the accusations he has made against Mr. Justice Fernan but has also chosen to make additional statements and charges so extravagant and so clearly uninformed as to require no discussion. the Court would have imposed a mo re severe penalty in this case.R." Complainant Cuenco. instead. Justice Fernan and which he has completely failed to support with anything but his own bare assertion. 63818 and 65995. L-41171. Justice Fernan and suggests that his acts have been "misunderstood" by the Court. Cuenco guilty of misconduct as a lawyer and an officer of the Court. On the statements made by complainant Cuenco concerning the rule referred to in the per curiam Resolution of 17 February 1988 that a Member of the Supreme Court may be removed from office on ly through impeachment. The record. however. complainant Cuenco's Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of this Court dated 17 February 1988 in Administrative Case No.in fact. Complainant. Complainant Cuenco is hereby severely REPRIMANDED and WARNED that the same or similar misconduct in the future will be dealt with more severely by the Court. In his untitled pleading. 3. The Court finds the explanation given by complainant Cuenco to be totally unsatisfactory. Complainant Cuenco vehemently denies acting in bad faith in filing the present administrative complaint against Mr. not by a disbarment proceeding. the Court is compelled to conclude that those accusations were made in bad faith. ACCORDINGLY. On Compliance with the Resolution of l7 February 1988 in Administrative Case No. Justice Fernan had in any way influenced any Member of the Third Division of the Court or participated in the deliberations and resolution of the estate cases. Cuenco's Second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision of the Court dated 23 July 1987 in G. b) to DENY." 4. frail health and prior service to the country. This fact of non-participation is manifested in the annotation appearing beside Mr. however. 62895. it suffices to furnish Mr.Cuenco a copy of the extended Resolution of this Court dated 15 April 1988 on this same topic. 55000. Justice Fernan. Because the Court cannot assume that complainant Cuenco is totally unaware of the nature and gravity of the charges he has made against Mr. presents his own personal notions of the "true" facts and circumstances of this case. is entirely bereft of any suggestion that Mr. did not take part in the resolution thereof. 3135. Justice Fernan's signature: "No part — I appeared as counsel for one of the parties. said decision having become final and executory. 3135. Were it not for complainant Cuenco's advanced age. and Attys. continues simply to ignore this express statement on the record and. has failed to present a shred of evidence to support the very serious charges he has made against Mr. . C. We are unable to understand Cuenco's assertion that the Decision of the Courts' Third Division in the Consolidated Petitions "is open to the suspicion that Justice Fernan is protecting Judge Burgos. Nos. and c) to FIND Mr. with finality. however. the Court Resolved: a) to DENY Mr. Antigua and Estenzo for violating the provisions of the Civil Code.

Justice Fernan "made up his mind that some persons have to be declared heirs of Vito Borromeo" and that the . Feliciano.Teehankee. Sarmiento. CaseDigest Facts: Manuel Cuenco a lawyer filed an untitled complaint for disbarment against Justice Fernan for: 1) That in the estate proceedings of the late Vito Borromeo. Cortes and Griño-Aquino.J. C. concur. took no part. J. Gancayco. Padilla. Bidin. Fernan... Paras. JJ. Narvasa. Melencio-Herrera. Cruz. Mr. Yap..

2) In Justice Fernan's participation in the preparations of the 32--‐page decision of the Third Division of the Supreme Court. he acted as respondent. now Justice Fernan in Cebu City.several petitions for declaration of heirs were heard jointly at the law office of Atty. his own counsel .

and Attys. 3) That the decision of the Third Division in the five cases is open to the suspicion that Justice Fernan is protecting Judge Burgos.for himself and judge of himself — three conflicting positions rolled into one. Antigua and Estenzo for violating the provisions of the .

4) That the theory that Mr. Held: 1) Mr. Justice Fernan is not accountable for any grave misconduct except by impeachment proceeding.Civil Code. Issues: WON Justice Fernan was guilty of the charges filed against him. Justice Fernan's involvement in the Vito Borromeo estate proceedings . is not absolute.

Justice Fernan inhibited himself from participating in the deliberations on . long after said "heirs" had surfaced and asserted their respective claims against the decedent's estate. 2) The record explicitly shows that Mr.began only on 7 August 1965 and ended on 19 February 1968. which was in 1954.

in fact. This fact of non--‐participation is manifested in the annotation appearing beside Mr.the Vito Borromeo estate cases and. did not take part in the resolution thereof. Justice Fernan's signature: "No part — I appeared as counsel for one of the parties." 3) the Court could not .

removal from office of a Member of the Supreme Court could be effected only through impeachment. The Court denied Cuenco’s petition and found him guilty of misconduct as . and not indirectly through disbarment proceedings. under the Constitution.understand his assertion on this matter. 4) The Court held that.

.a lawyer and an officer of the Court. He was SEVERELY REPRIMANDED AND WARNED that similar misconduct in the future will be dealt with more severely.

the Court treated this pleading as a Motion for Reconsideration. Gonzalez referring to charges for disbarment brought by Mr. dated 17 February 1988 of the Court in Administrative Case No. Raul M. Prosecutor" forwarding to Mr. in the opinion of Mr. 3135. Raul M Gonzales a copy of the per curiam Resolution." Mr. By a per curiam Resolution dated 15 April 1988. Gonzalez "to file responsive pleading Supreme Court en banc to comply with Petition Concerned Employees Supreme Court asking Tanodbayan's intervention. No. Cueco. Cuenco filed a pleading which appears to be an omnibus pleading relating to. Miguel Cuenco addressed to Hon. which. FERNAN TO COMMENT ON AN ANONYMOUS LETTER-COMPLAINT. dated 14 December 1987 with enclosure of the Concerned Employees of the Supreme Court. The Court DIRECTED the Clerk of Court to FURNISH Mr. Justice Fernan. Gonzalez. Cuenco.M. Cuenco refers to pleadings he apparently filed on 29 February 1988 with the Supreme Court in Administrative Case No. 3135. Upon request of Mr." together with a telegram of Miguel Cuenco. 88-4-5433 April 15. Justice Fernan had brought this 1st Indorsement to the attention of the Court en banc in view of the important implications of policy raised by said 1st Indorsement. Administrative Case No. Cuenco. the Court Resolved to dismiss the charges made by complaint Cuenco against Mr. where Mr. Justice Marcelo B. an anonymous letter by "Concerned Employees of the Supreme Court" addressed to Hon. inter alia. Fernan and asking Mr. Raul M. Gonzalez "to do something about this. First. Gonzalez. encourages Mr. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM: The Court CONSIDERED the 1st Indorsement dated 16 March 1988 from Mr. IN RE: RAUL M. Fernan" in which Resolution. nonetheless. Raul M. the Court denied with finality Mr Cuenco's Motion for Reconsideration. "Tanodbayan/Special. 3135 is concerned. Honorable Marcelo B. for "comment within ten (10) days from receipt hereof. GONZALEZ DATED 16 MARCH 1988 REQUESTING HONORABLE JUSTICE MARCELO B." The second attachment is a copy of a telegram from Mr. Mr. the Court Resolved to require complainant Cuenco to show cause why he should not be administratively dealt with for making unfounded serious accusations against Mr. the Court had granted him an extension of up to 30 March 1988. Mr. The mentioned 1st Indorsement has two (2) attachments. GONZALEZ Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A. . Raul Gonzalez. 1988 IN RE FIRST INDORSEMET FROM HONORABLE RAUL M. Justice Marcelo B. Fernan a "letter-complaint. Miguel Cuenco against Mr. Insofar as Administrative Case No. 3135 entitled "Miguel Cuenco v. In the same Resolution.4.Justice Fernan for utter lack of merit. made improper any "intervention" by Mr.

during his incumbency. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution trial. Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution provides: Sec. Sandiganbayan. in his authoritative dissertation on the New Constitution. cannot be charged criminally before the Sandiganbayan or any other court with any offence which carries with it the penalty of removal from office. bribery. under Article VIII (7) (1) of the Constitution. or graft and corruption. Precisely the same situation exists in respect of the Ombudsman and his deputies (Article XI [8] in relation to Article XI [2]." There are exceptions. and punishment. Fernando. would in effect be to circumbent and hence to run afoul of the constitutional mandate theat Members of the Court may be removed from office only by impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI (2) of the Constitution. otherwise. 1 the Court said: The broad power of the New Constitution vests the respondent court with jurisdiction over "public officers and employees. a majority of the members of the Commission on Elections (Article IX [C] [1] [1] in relation to Article XI [2]. This principle may be succinctly formulated in the following terms. A public officer who under the Constitution is required to be a Member of the Philippine Bar as a qualification for the office held by him and who may be removed from office only by impeachment. cannot be charged with disbarment during the incumbency of such public officer. Members of the Supreme Court must. (Emphasis supplied) This is not the first time the Court has had occasion to rule on this matter. particularly those declared to be removed by impeachment.).). Section 2. however. Further. be members of the Philippine Bar and may be removed from office only by impeachment (Article XI [2]. the Members of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Enrique M. 2 The President. The Court dealt with this matter in its Resolution of 17 February 1988 in Administrative Case No. The above . Id. and the members of the Commission on Audit who are not certified public accountants (Article XI [D] [1][1]. and the Members of the Constitutional Commissions shall be removed from office on impeachment for. culpable violation of the Constitution. Id. to allow a public officer who may be removed solely by impeachment to be charged criminally while holding his office." Thus.It is important to underscore the rule of constitution law here involved. trust. 3135 in the following terms: There is another reason why the complaining for disbarment here must be dismissed. and conviction of. all of whom are constitutionally required to be members of the Philippine Bar. Constitution). or profit under the Republic of the Philippines. the above provision proscribes removal from office of the aforementioned constitutional officers by any other method. or any penalty service of which would amount to removal from office. In Lecaroz v. like constitutional officers. states that "judgement in cases of impeachment shall be limited to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor. in accordance with law. treason. other high crimes. would be violative of the clear mandate of the fundamental law. Id. To grant a complaint for disbarment of a Member of the Court during the Member's incumbency. including those in government-owned or controlled corporations. such public officer.

and that if the same does not result in a conviction and the official is not thereby removed." The clear implication is. Members of the Supreme Court would be brought against them by unsuccessful litigants or their lawyers or by other parties who. he may then be held to answer either criminally or administratively (by disbarment proceedings) for any wrong or misbehavior that may be proven against him in appropriate proceedings. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. on impeachment for. the Members of the Supreme Court. Should the tenure of the Supreme Court Justice be thus terminated by impeachment.provision is a reproduction of what was found in the 1935 Constitution. Sec. trust or profit under the Republic. or betrayal of public trust. trial and punishment according to law. A Member of the Supreme Court must first be removed from office via the constitutional route of impeachment under Sections 2 and 3 of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. and conviction of. It is equally manifest that the party this convicted may be proceeded against. for any number of reasons might seek to affect the exercise of judicial authority by the Court. trial and punishment according to law. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution. the filing of a criminal action "in accordance with law" may not prosper. but not by impeachment. . 2 The President. culpable violation of the Constitution. Sandiganbayan are substantially reproduced in Article XI of the 1987 Constitution: Sec. bribery. It is quite apparent from the explicit character of the above provision that the effect of impeachment is limited to the loss of position and disqualification to hold any office of honor. the Vice-President. pp. The rule is important because judicial independence is important. other high crimes. graft and corruption. What the Court is saying is that there is a fundamental procedural requirements that must be observed before such liability may be determined and enforced. treason. 2 The provisions of the 1973 Constitution we referred to above in Lecaroz v. It follows from the foregoing that a fiscal or other prosecuting officer should forthwith and motu proprio dismiss any charges brought against a Member of this Court. The remedy of a person with a legitimate grievance is to file impeachment proceedings. 465-466). the party convicted in the impeachment proceeding shall nevertheless be liable and subject of prosecution. It is important to make clear that the Court is not here saying that it Members or the other constitutional officers we referred to above are entitled to immunity from liability for possibly criminal acts or for alleged violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics or other supposed misbehavior. tried and thereafter punished in accordance with law. There can be no clearer expression of the constitutional intent as to the scope of the impeachment process (The Constitution f the Philippines. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. The above rule rests on the fundamental principles of judicial independence and separation of powers. Without the protection of this rule. 3 xxx xxx xxx (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines.

. Fernan.. He forwarded a letter-complaint to Justice Fernan. J.. J. Gonzales Gonzales was the Tanodbayan or Special Prosecutor. .4 In Re: Raul M. Raul M. is on leave. Sarmiento. Paras.. C. Narvasa. took no part. Yap. Melencio-Herrera. Teehankee. JJ. Padilla. Gancayco. Gonzales and Mr Miguel Cuenco. Guetierrez.J.. Cruz. J. Bidin. Cortes and Griño-Aquino. Feliciano. CASE DIGEST Facts: L. concur.The Clerk of Court is hereby DIRECTED to serve a copy of this Resolution upon Hon. The letter was said to be from concerned employees of the SC (an anonymous letter).

Further. would be violative of the clear mandate of the Constitution. and asking him (Gonzales) to do something about it. Miguel Cuenco against Justice Fernan. Issue: Whether or not a Supreme Court justice can be disbarred during his term of office Held: A public officer (such as Justice Fernan) who under the Constitution is required to be a Member of the Philippine Bar as a qualification for the office held by him and who may be removed from office only by impeachment. The effect of impeachment is limited to the loss of position and disqualification to hold any office of honor. such public officer. cannot be charged with disbarment during the incumbency of such public officer. members of the SC may be removed only by impeachment. disbarment). to allow such public officer who may be removed solely by impeachment to be charged criminally while holding his office with an office that carries the penalty of removal from office. Another reason why the complaint for disbarment should be dismissed is because under the Constitution. What the court is merely saying is that there is a fundamental procedural requirement that must be observed before such liability ma be determined. The court is not saying that the members and other constitutional officer are entitled to immunity from liability. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office. during his incumbency. The above provision proscribes removal from office by any other method. and then only may he be held liable either criminally or administratively (that is. or any other court. with any offense which carries with it the penalty of removal from office. A member of the SC must first be removed from office. via the constitutional route of impeachment. trial and punishment according to law. the per curiam Resolution of the SC. The Supreme Court furnished a copy to Gonzales. Otherwise. But the party convicted shall nevertheless be held liable and subject to prosecution.The letter was originally addressed to Gonzales referring to the charges for disbarment sought by Mr. cannot be charged criminally before the Sandiganbayan. trust or profit under the Republic. . Cuenco was asked to show cause why he should not be held administratively liable for making serious accusations against Fernan. dismissing the charges made by Cuenco against Justice Fernan for lack of merit. In that resolution. for any wrong or misbehavior in appropriate proceedings.

... No. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO.. JULIO LEDESMA IV.R. JACINTO PARAS.. BENASING MACARAMBON. GILBERT TEODORO. PIMENTEL. EDGAR ERICE. 2003] ERNESTO B. JR. PIMENTEL. CAGAMPANG. JR. DRILON. JAIME N. No. GIORGIDI AGGABAO. LUIS BERSAMIN. No. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. INC.petitioner-in-intervention. petitioner-in-intervention. LEOVIGILDO BANAAG. JR. WILHELMINO SY-ALVARADO. RODOLFO ALBANO.R. petitioners. ERNESTO NIEVA. 2003] FRANCISCO I. vs. FRANCISCO JR. INC. JOSEPH SANTIAGO. AND JOSE G. RENE VELARDE. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. SPEAKER JOSE G. RENATO MATUBO. DOUGLAS CAGAS. MICHAEL DUAVIT. petitioner-inintervention. DRILON. DE CASTRO AND SOLEDAD M. vs. REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B.. respondent-in-intervention. respondent-in-intervention.. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO C.. DRILON. JR. V. FAUSTINO DY III. petitioners-in-intervention. HENRY LANOT. November 10. ALIPIO BADELLES. MAURICIO DOMOGAN. petitioner. ISMAEL MATHAY. PERPETUO YLAGAN. ELIAS BULUT. MARCELINO LIBANAN. THE SENATE. JAIME N. TEODORO. MEDINA. EMMYLOU TALIÑO-SANTOS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FULL CASE EN BANC [G. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SORAYA JAAFAR. RODOLF PLAZA. INC. INC. CELIA LAYUS. CLAUDE BAUTISTA. RONALDO ZAMORA.5. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. petitioners-in-intervention. 160292. 2003] SEDFREY M.R. ARTHUR PINGOY. AUGUSTO BACULIO. respondent-in-Intervention. petitioner. 2003] ARTURO M. AMADO ESPINO. November 10. 2003] . JOSE G.. ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS. JOSEFINA JOSON. respondents. JOSEPH DURANO. petitioners.. ABRAHAM MITRA. respondents. AGAPITO AQUINO. DRILON. MACALINTAL AND PETE QUIRINO QUADRA. GREGORIO IPONG. ZENAIDA CRUZ-DUCUT. MANUEL ORTEGA. CHAVEZ. respondent-in-intervention. JESLI LAPUS. JAIME N.. AND HENEDINA RAZON-ABAD. FRANKLIN M. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. FRANCIS NEPOMUCENO. November 10. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.R. No. JOSE SOLIS. respondent-in-intervention. [G. PIMENTEL. AND RUY ELIAS LOPEZ. AUGUSTO SYJUCO. 160261. SORIANO. FRANCISCO. respondents. PIMENTEL. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. CARLOS COJUANGCO. ALETA SUAREZ. No. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. FUENTEBELLA. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. CECILIA CARREON-JALOSJOS. KIM BERNARDO-LOKIN. DEL DE GUZMAN. REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G. GILBERT REMULLA. CARLOS P. ROLEX SUPLICO. SORIANO. JOSE CARLOS LACSON. FRANCIS ESCUDERRO. DE VENECIA. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. [G. SENATOR AQUILINO Q.. JURDIN ROMUALDO. ALFREDO MARAÑON. JR. HERMINO TEVES. 160262. MARK COJUANGCO. ROSELLER BARINAGA. JR.. DE VENECIA. ULIRAN JUAQUIN. CELSO LOBREGAT. respondent-inintervention. FUENTEBELLA. JESNAR FALCON. ANGELO MONTILLA. November 10. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SORIANO. JUAN PABLO BONDOC. NERISSA SOON-RUIZ. DARLENE ANTONIO-CUSTODIO. GEORGILU YUMUL-HERMIDA. respondent-in-intervention. [G. respondents. ERIC SINGSON. ATTYS. 160277. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. [G. EMILIO MACIAS. ROMULO B. JV BAUTISTA.. JAIME N. ROZZANO RUFINO BIAZON. vs. vs. JR. JR. SORIANO. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES.. INC. JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. REYLINA NICOLAS. FRANKLIN M. GENEROSO TULAGAN. JR. CANDELARIA. DIDAGEN DILANGALEN. JR. JR. TEODORO. respondent-inintervention. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SENATE PRESIDENT. DE VENECIA. CONRADO ESTRELLA III. JR. SAMUEL DANGWA.R. DE VENECIA. FAUSTO SEACHON. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. SHERWIN GATCHALIAN. petitioner-in-intervention. JOAQUIN CHIPECO. JR. 160263. JR.. November 10..

DRILON. INC. GONZALES. PADERANGA. SORIANO. SR. ERNA LAHUZ.. 2003] ATTY. SPEAKER JOSE G. 2003] PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. CECILIA PAPA. DANILO V. EDGARDO NAOE. DE VENECIA. respondents.. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioners..C. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. No. LUIS V. respondent-in-intervention. 160318. NAPOLEON C.. JR. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. DE VENECIA. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner-in-intervention. EMILY SENERIS. SPEAKER JOSE G. petitioners. JOSEPH LEANDRO LOYOLA. REYES. AND ROBERTO P. JAIME N. BENJAMIN S. DE VENECIA. DIVINAGRACIA. SERRANO AND GARY S. ALFONSO. ORTIZ.. ANTONIO LIBREA. 2003] CLARO B. WILLIE RIVERO. AGUIRRE-PADERANGA. GLORIA C. petitioner-in-intervention.. respondents. No. AQUINO.HERMINIO HARRY L. SORIANO. petitioners. JR. RAINIER QUIROLGICO. HOMER CALIBAG. GUZMAN. GABITO. PIMENTEL. AND EDILBERTO GALLOR. HON. [G.R. ROQUE. GOERING G. JANETTE ARROYO.HON. No. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER..WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. LIGON. PIMENTEL. RAMON MIQUIBAS. INC. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A TAXPAYER AND MEMBER OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION. RODOLFO MAGSINO. [G. November 10. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SPEAKER JOSE C. respondents. SPEAKER JOSE G. No. SPEAKER JOSE G. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. respondent-in-intervention. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. November 10. DANTE DIAZ. LEONARDO GARCIA. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THROUGH THE SPEAKER. NAZARENO. FLORES. 160295. [G. EDUARDO MALASAGA. CORRO.R. FUENTEBELLA. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M.R. DR. JR. JULITO U. November 10. DRILON. JOAN P. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. MONICO PABLES. TEODORO. WILFREDO BELLO. ANTONIO H. vs.. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTED BY THE 83 HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE LED BY HON. BATERINA AND DEPUTY SPEAKER RAUL M. respondents. FILEMON SIBULO.. INC. KAREN B. vs. REYES. COMIA. ESTENZO-RAMOS.. vs. No. NONATO. JAIME N. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. JR. DANTE T. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. 160343. respondents. THROUGH THE SENATE PRESIDENT. CAPARROS-ARQUILLANO. THE SENATE. EL DELLE ARCE. 2003] INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. INC. 160310. DIORES. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. RIZALDY EMPIG. petitioners.P. 160360. vs. No. TEODORO.R. [G. 2003] LEONILO R. [G. petitioner-in-intervention. JR. MANUEL D. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. FOR THEMSELVES AND IN BEHALF OF OTHER CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC . REPRESENTED BY HON. JR. RALLON. MA. ANGELITA Q. NELSON A. GUILLERMO CASTASUS. SAMUEL DOCTOR.. November 10. November 10. AND ENGR. vs. EDGARD SMITH. ELSA R. JR.THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. ABAD. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. EDUARDO SARMIENTO. KATE ANN VITAL. AND NOEL ISORENA. petitioner.respondent-in-intervention. HON. ET AL. INC.R. No. VIRGILIO LUSTRE. November 10. SENATOR AQUILINO Q.. ALBERTO BUENAVISTA. MALLARI. CRISPIN T.. 160342. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. respondents. FELIX FUENTEBELLA. MAXIMO N. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. MARIO TOREJA.R. PETER ALVAREZ. ALL MEMBERS. SALVACION LOYOLA. 160365. FUENTEBELLA. EMETERIO MENDIOLA. SOON. 2003] SALACNIB F. ALFREDO C. AND ALL MEMBERS. JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN. RONNIE TOQUILLO. LAW ALUMNI CEBU FOUNDATION. petitioners. [G. JR. FERNANDO P. November 10. 2003] U. PERITO. JAIME BOAQUINA. MENEZ JR. MAU RESTRIVERA. MANILA III.. SYLVA G. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. respondent-in-intervention. LITA A. vs. MAX VILLAESTER. petitioner. FAUSTO BUENAVISTA. DE VENECIA. REPRESENTED BY HON. respondents.R.. [G. LOYOLA. PHILIPPINE SENATE. ROLANDO P. BING ARCE. LIZA D. MELVIN MATIBAG. MILA P.R. DE VENECIA. ANNA CLARISSA LOYOLA. RAMOS. DRILON. JR. SIMEON ARCE. vs.. HON.

November 10. DAVIDE. at times turbulent. MALANYAON. DIOSCORO U. CONFEDERATION OF ACCREDITED MEDIATORS OF THE PHILIPPINES.. No. SITOY. JR. VALLEJOS. 160370. PRESIENT OF CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND CEBU LADY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. CEBU CITY CHAPTER. petitioners. PRESIDENT OF IBP. 2003] VENICIO S. JR.R. REPRESENTED BY RODERIC R. JR. TEODORO. vs. DE VENECIA. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. BY THEMSELVES AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GROUP OF MORE THAN 80 HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO SIGNED AND FILED THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERT TEODORO. respondents. vs. JOSE G. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. MARIBELLE NAVARRO AND BERNARDITO FLORIDO. THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE. BARCENAS. VICTOR A. DE VENECIA. JOSE G. November 10. vs.R. JR. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. 2003] NILO A. HOFILEÑA. [G. 160397. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. DE VENECIA. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. dynamics of the relationship among these co-equal branches. THROUGH SPEAKER JOSE G. CO. YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCAITION OF CEBU. INC]. scope and extent of their respective constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution. INC. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO. HON. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. ATTY. respondents. FUENTEBELA. JR. MAAMBONG. FLORES AND HECTOR L. 2003] PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION. DE VENECIA. JORDAN. MANDAUE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. CARLOS G. [YLAC]. REPRESENTED BY ITS SPEAKER. petitioner. Our nation’s history is replete with vivid illustrations of the often frictional. petitioners. vs. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. REPRESENTED BY THELMA L. CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES. CEBU CHAPTER. November 10. petitioner. over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature. [MANLAW]. 160392. PAST PRESIDENT CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. DECISION CARPIO-MORALES. MANUEL LEGASPI. MANUEL M. This Court is confronted with one such today involving the . vs. HON. MONZON.. DAVIDE. HON.OF THE PHILIPPINES. JOSE G. petitioner. [CAMP. respondents. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.: There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict. PRESIDING OF IBP. 160405. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. respondents. 160376. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT. November 10. UNIVERSITY OF CEBU. [G. POCA. SPEAKER JOSE G. 2003] IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. No. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES FELIX FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERTO TEODORO. INC. INC. REPRSEENTED BY ATTY. petitioner. 160403.]. No.R. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DAVIDE. 2003] FR.R. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. REPRESENTED BY FELIPE VELASQUEZ. No. CEBU PROVINCE. IN REPRESENTATION OF THE 86 SIGNATORIES OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G.. FEDERACION INTERNACIONAL DE ABOGADAS [FIDA]. REPRESENTED BY REP.R. DEAN OF THE COLLEG EOF LAW. [G. ADELINO B. [G. [G. petitioners. PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBER. AS SENATE PRESIDENT. November 10. THE HONORABLE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. INC. J. [CELLA. No. no matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be.R. REPRESENTED BY SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON. respondents. HON. vs. respondents. No. DE VENECIA. AS HOUSE SPEAKER AND THE SENATE. [G. 2003] DEMOCRITO C. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. November 10. FRANKLIN DRILON.

Verily. it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is sufficient to address all the issues which this controversy spawns that this Court unequivocally pronounces. In any event. Taken together. executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people. SECTION 2. . these two fundamental doctrines of republican government. not departure from. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. serve them with utmost responsibility. the Constitution. mandate a relationship of interdependence and coordination among these branches where the delicate functions of enacting. Davide. Public office is a public trust. There may indeed be some legitimacy to the characterization that the present controversy subject of the instant petitions – whether the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Perhaps even more truth to the view that it was brought upon by a political crisis of conscience. with the House of Representatives falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution. or betrayal of public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. bribery. culpable violation of the Constitution. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. integrity. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. Both its resolution and protection of the public interest lie in adherence to. and efficiency.legislature and the judiciary which has drawn legal luminaries to chart antipodal courses and not a few of our countrymen to vent cacophonous sentiments thereon. treason. the Vice-President. that the feared resort to extra-constitutional methods of resolving it is neither necessary nor legally permissible. the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without destroying their indispensable co-equality. at the first instance. Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides: ARTICLE XI ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS SECTION 1. guided only by what is in the greater interest and well-being of the people. act with patriotism and justice. salus populi est suprema lex. other high crimes. At the same time. on impeachment for. but not by impeachment. graft and corruption. intended as they are to insure that governmental power is wielded only for the good of the people. and conviction of. the Members of the Supreme Court. and lead modest lives. SECTION 3. In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy. loyalty. interpreting and enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve a unity of governance. The President. Jr. and whether the resolution thereof is a political question – has resulted in a political crisis. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. this Court is ever mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative.

No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. When the President of the Philippines is on trial. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. after hearing. The relevant distinctions between these two Congresses’ House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following tabulation: 11TH CONGRESS RULES RULE II INITIATING IMPEACHMENT 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES RULE V BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL . and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules [1] approved by the 11th Congress.(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. or override its contrary resolution. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. but shall not vote. the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. trial. The Committee. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the Constitution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. and punishment according to law. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. When sitting for that purpose. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. 2001. together with the corresponding resolution. and by a majority vote of all its Members. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days.

– In cases where a Member of the House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen files a verified complaint that is endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an impeachable officer. as the case may be.impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General. or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution. as the case may be. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. – Impeachment shall be initiated only by a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof or by a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least onethird (1/3) of all the Members of the House. by at least one-third (1/3) of the Members of the House. is sufficient in substance. – No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of Section 17. – Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated.as the case may be. – Within a period of one (1) year from the date impeachment proceedings are . is not sufficient in substance. Scope of Bar.impeachment proceedings against such official aredeemed initiated on the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official. RULE V BAR AGAINST IMPEACHMENT Section 14.Section 2. In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed. Section 16. Bar Against Initiation Of Impeachment Proceedings.

2003 for being insufficient in substance. no impeachment proceedings. Fuentebella (Third District. Tarlac) and Felix William B. (Italics in the original. deemed initiated as provided in Section 16 hereof. et. the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution. as such. the Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. can be initiated against the same official. which directed the Committee on Justice “to conduct an investigation. Davide Jr. the second impeachment complaint[11] was filed with the Secretary General of the House[12] by Representatives Gilberto C. betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint[4] (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a “Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment” signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives. The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13. Suplico. Teodoro. and by a majority vote of all its Members. Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2. founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. 2003.[7] and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. after hearing. former President Joseph E. most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that “[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter.. The Committee. 2003. emphasis and underscoring supplied) On July 22. on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). together with the corresponding resolution.” . Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. 2003 of the first complaint or on October 23.[13] Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives. a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it.one (1) year. Jr. Davide. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. (First District. al.[10] To date.[2] sponsored by Representative Felix William D. 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was “sufficient in form. Ronaldo B. Jr.”[6] The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. 2003[8] in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof.”[9] but voted to dismiss the same on October 22. 2002. Fuentebella. in aid of legislation.”[3] On June 2. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. and seven Associate Justices [5] of this Court for “culpable violation of the Constitution..

in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition. Section 3 (2). 7. as taxpayers and members of the legal profession. In G. No. they have a legal interest in ensuring that only constitutional impeachment proceedings are initiated. petitioners Sedfrey M. Ernesto B. No. et. 6. and to promulgate rules which are consistent with the Constitution. Harry L. Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance.. In G. as citizens and taxpayers.R. 2001 by the House of Representatives and prays that (1) Rule V. PEA-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation. Baterina and Deputy Speaker Raul M. No.”[14] posits that his right to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and approved on November 28.R. Jr. alleging that the issues of the case are of transcendental importance.R. lawyers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. 160295. et. that the issues raised in his petition for Certiorari. allege in their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that it is instituted as “a class suit” and pray that (1) the House Resolution endorsing the second impeachment . alleging that he has a duty as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop an unconstitutional impeachment.[16] prays in his petition for Injunction that the second impeachment complaint be declared unconstitutional. Chavez. and that he “himself was a victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress. to return the second impeachment complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Representatives. as citizens. and respondents De Venecia and Nazareno from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.R. (3) and (5) of the Constitution.. claiming that they have a right to be protected against all forms of senseless spending of taxpayers’ money and that they have an obligation to protect the Supreme Court.R. pray.R. petitioners Arturo M. taxpayers. Roque. petitioners Representatives Salacnib F. alleging that their petition for Prohibition involves public interest as it involves the use of public funds necessary to conduct the impeachment trial on the second impeachment complaint. al. and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional.R. and (3) this Court permanently enjoin respondent House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. al. No. adopting. Candelaria. 160277. (2) this Court issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of Representatives et. In G. 160310. in the event that the Senate has accepted the same. In G. Alfonso et al. No. PCGG[15] and Chavez v. pray for the issuance of a writ of prohibition enjoining Congress from conducting further proceedings on said second impeachment complaint. approving and transmitting to the Senate the second impeachment complaint. de Castro and Soledad Cagampang. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second impeachment complaint and any act proceeding therefrom be declared null and void. petitioner Atty. In G. 160292. the Chief Justice. 8. 160263. to comply with Article IX. Gonzalez. alleging that. pray in their petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from drafting.In G. from proceeding with the impeachment trial. petitioner Francisco I. Sections 5. 160262. Francisco. and for the issuance of a writ “perpetually” prohibiting respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. In G. alleging that this Court has recognized that he has locus standi to bring petitions of this nature in the cases of Chavez v.. No. 160261. No. as members of the House of Representatives. petitioners Leonilo R. the issuance of a writ “perpetually” prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from filing any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the Senate.. al. and the integrity of the Judiciary. petitioners Atty. Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III.

citing Oposa v. were “absolutely without any legal power to do so. petitioner-taxpayer Father Ranhilio Callangan Aquino. alleging that as professors of law they have an abiding interest in the subject matter of their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition as it .complaint as well as all issuances emanating therefrom be declared null and void. Reyes. 160365. as a taxpayer. et. trying and deciding the second impeachment complaint. 160370. In G. Claro Flores prays in his petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional. No. petitioner-taxpayer Atty. as a citizen and a member of the Philippine Bar Association and of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. a citizen. In G.R. and issue a writ of prohibition commanding the Senate.R. its prosecutors and agents to desist from conducting any proceedings or to act on the impeachment complaint. No. petitioner Public Interest Center. Hofileña. that the filing of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount public interest and pray that Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment complaint/Articles of Impeachment be declared null and void. as a taxpayer. and its co-petitioner Crispin T.” In G. 160318.R. 160392. 160376.. which does not state what its nature is. Maximo N. al. alleging that it is mandated by the Code of Professional Responsibility to uphold the Constitution.. prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and the Senate from receiving the same or giving the impeachment complaint due course. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation Inc.. Perito. petitioner Atty. No. Malanyaon.R. In G. 7. petitioners Attorneys Venicio S. In G.. Factoran[17] which was filed in behalf of succeeding generations of Filipinos. pray for the issuance of a writ prohibiting respondents House of Representatives and the Senate from conducting further proceedings on the second impeachment complaint and that this Court declare as unconstitutional the second impeachment complaint and the acts of respondent House of Representatives in interfering with the fiscal matters of the Judiciary. he has a direct and substantial interest in the unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its officials in discharging their duties in accordance with the Constitution.P. and petitioner Engr. In G. Flores and Hector L. prays in its petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V and Sections 5. R. petitioners U. No. both allege in their petition. In G. Jr. Menez. in their petition for Prohibition and Injunction which they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens. pray in their petition for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint.R. 160360. 160342. Inc. 6.R. as they acted without jurisdiction as far as the Articles of Impeachment assail the alleged abuse of powers of the Chief Justice to disburse the (JDF). alleges in his petition for Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and Teodoro at the time they filed the second impeachment complaint.R. No. No. taxpayer and a member of the Philippine Bar. hearing. petitioner Nilo A. petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines. No.R. whose members are citizens and taxpayers. 160343. alleging that the issues in his petition for Prohibition are of national and transcendental significance and that as an official of the Philippine Judicial Academy. No. and (2) this Court enjoin the Senate and the Senate President from taking cognizance of. 9 of Rule III of the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives be permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. Fernando P. 8. In G.

160292 alleged that House Resolution No.[19]and as reflected above. 2003. to date. Barcenas et. On October 28. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into the administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and is a direct violation of the constitutional principle of fiscal autonomy of the judiciary.[18] prayed for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment arising from the second impeachment complaint to the Senate.pertains to a constitutional issue “which they are trying to inculcate in the minds of their students. In G. 160403.” pray that the House of Representatives be enjoined from endorsing and the Senate from trying the Articles of Impeachment and that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. alleging that the issues raised in the filing of the second impeachment complaint involve matters of transcendental importance.R. Dioscoro Vallejos. Nos. 160262 and 160263. 160261. 160292 and 160295.R. In G. the Articles of Impeachment have yet to be forwarded to the Senate.R.. petitioners Democrit C. 2003. Before acting on the petitions with prayers for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction which were filed on or before October 28. (2) respondent House of Representatives be prohibited from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. No. but the Court directed him to participate. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. al. but the Court rejected their offer. and (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of Impeachment and from conducting any proceedings thereon. a motion was put forth that the second impeachment complaint be formally transmitted to the Senate. In G. 160397. 2001 House Impeachment Rules as null and void for being unconstitutional. No. as citizens and taxpayers. that they be prohibited from proceeding with the impeachment trial. In addition. in the event that they have accepted the same.R. sought similar relief. during the plenary session of the House of Representatives. Justice Panganiban inhibited himself. 2003. 160261 likewise prayed for the declaration of the November 28. without alleging his locus standi. Jr. No. petitioner Atty. petitioner Philippine Bar Association.R. but alleging that the second impeachment complaint is founded on the issue of whether or not the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) was spent in accordance with law and that the House of Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the examination and audit thereof. but it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned for lack of quorum. . which were filed on October 28.. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. petition bearing docket number G. 160277. Justices Puno and Vitug offered to recuse themselves. prays in his petition “To Declare Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action and Jurisdiction” that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. the first three of the eighteen which were filed before this Court. 160405. prays in its petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint and all proceedings arising therefrom be declared null and void. Nos. Petition bearing docket number G. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint as well as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the respondent House of Representatives be declared null and void and (2) respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon be prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. No.R. No.R.

be recognized and upheld pursuant to the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution. 160261. 2003. Also on October 28. De Venecia. by way of special appearance. and (2) the principal issues raised by the petitions pertain exclusively to the proceedings in the House of Representatives. 160262. Jaime Soriano filed a “Petition for Leave to Intervene” in G. to comment on the petitions not later than 4:30 p. On October 29. 160262 a “Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit the Herein Incorporated Petition in Intervention.R. of November 3. 160277.[20] In addition.m.”[22] Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed. the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact. Nos. No. Jr. at 10:00 a. praying that “the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the issues affecting the impeachment proceedings and that the sole power. adding that as of the time of the filing of the petitions. Senator Aquilino Q.m. 160263. 160263. No. (b) require respondent House of Representatives and the Senate. no justiciable issue was presented before it since (1) its constitutional duty to constitute itself as an impeachment court commences only upon its receipt of the Articles of Impeachment. and (c) include them for oral arguments on November 5. Nos.m. which it had not. 2003. 160277. of November 3. including the one where the Chief Justice is the respondent. in his own behalf. 2003. On even date. and (d) appointed distinguished legal experts as amici curiae. Atty.R. also filed a “Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene” in G.R. and 160295. the Senate of the Philippines. filed a Motion to Intervene (Ex Abudante Cautela)[21] and Comment.Without necessarily giving the petitions due course. The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator Pimentel’s Comment and Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra’s Petition in Intervention were admitted. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra filed in G. questioning the status quo Resolution issued by this Court on October 28. through Senate President Franklin M. 2003. 2003. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. (b) require respondents to file their comment not later than 4:30 p. resolved to (a) consolidate the petitions. 2003. from the performance of its constitutionally mandated duty to initiate impeachment cases. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. On October 30. 2003. 160295. (c) set the petitions for oral arguments on November 5. this Court in its Resolution of October 28. 160292. which is an independent and co-equal branch of government under the Constitution. this Court resolved to (a) consolidate them with the earlier consolidated petitions. authority and jurisdiction of the Senate as the impeachment court to try and decide impeachment cases.. Inc. 2003. and/or its co-respondents. 2003. 160292. Jr. Pimentel. this Court called on petitioners and respondents to maintain the status quo. enjoining all the parties and others acting for and in their behalf to refrain from committing acts that would render the petitions moot. as well as the Solicitor General.R. filed a Motion for Intervention in G. 2003. On November 3. 2003. 160262. Drilon. On November 5.” On November 4. Inc. filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is concerned. Attorneys Romulo B. and 160310. much less prohibit or enjoin the House of Representatives. 160261. . 2003 on the ground that it would unnecessarily put Congress and this Court in a “constitutional deadlock” and praying for the dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination.. submitted a Manifestation asserting that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear. when respondent House of Representatives through Speaker Jose C. 160261.

The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. f) constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis-a-vis Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. (2) whether or not the essential pre-requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled. Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution: SECTION 1. this Court has sifted and determined them to be as follows: (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings. petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the power of judicial review to determine the validity of the second impeachment complaint. to wit: Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked. this Court heard the views of the amici curiae and the arguments of petitioners. who can invoke it. Judicial Review As reflected above. on what issues and at what time. and (3) the substantive issues yet remaining. This Court’s power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section 1. 2003. mootness). the following may be taken up: a) b) c) d) e) locus standi of petitioners. Senate’s “sole” power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. and g) judicial restraint (Italics in the original) In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the instant petitions as well as the myriad arguments and opinions presented for and against the grant of the reliefs prayed for. 2003. Electoral Commission[23] after the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution whose . (Emphasis supplied) Such power of judicial review was early on exhaustively expounded upon by Justice Jose P. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time. House’s “exclusive” power to initiate all cases of impeachment. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. ripeness(prematurity. Laurel in the definitive 1936 case of Angara v. and Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by this Court on November 3. political question/justiciability.On November 5-6. These matters shall now be discussed in seriatim. intervenors Senator Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal. In discussing these issues.

the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. As any human production. acting through their delegates to so provide. this moderating power is granted. par.provisions. if not entirely obliterated. for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. which is “the . under a system of checks and balances. by clear implication from section 2 of article VIII of our Constitution. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living constitution. Justice Laurel discoursed: x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement. justice or expediency of legislation. did not contain the present provision in Article VIII. Who is to determine the nature. Certainly. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies.[24] (Italics in the original. the bill of rights mere expressions of sentiment. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. 2 on what judicial power includes. not to speak of its historical origin and development there. unlike the present Constitution. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Even then. More than that. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. In the United States where no express constitutional grant is found in their constitution. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution . courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. In cases of conflict. the possession of this moderating power of the courts. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof. but as much as it was within the power of our people. emphasis and underscoring supplied) As pointed out by Justice Laurel. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument. has been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. this “moderating power” to “determine the proper allocation of powers” of the different branches of government and “to direct the course of government along constitutional channels” is inherent in all courts[25] as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself. Section 1. In our case. and the principles of good government mere political apothegms. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. Thus. If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels . scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. if not expressly.

[32] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) .[31] judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which. Electoral Commission. and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. Administrative or executive acts. as well as other departments. but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution. even in the United States where the power of judicial review is not explicitly conferred upon the courts by its Constitution. [28] (Italics in the original. and is supreme within its own sphere. supposed to be essential to all written constitutions. are bound by that instrument. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. Mendoza. to wit: Article 7. (Emphasis supplied) As indicated in Angara v. that a law repugnant to the constitution is void. effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law. that in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land. as early as 1902. Thus. the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle. [29] And as pointed out by noted political law professor and former Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. and not the laws of the United States generally. orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. forms the bedrock of our republican form of government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves. emphasis supplied) In our own jurisdiction.” To be sure. or custom or practice to the contrary. the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction. and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse. it was in the 1803 leading case ofMarbury v. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government.[30] the executive and legislative branches of our government in fact effectively acknowledged this power of judicial review in Article 7 of the Civil Code. decades before its express grant in the 1935 Constitution. Madison[27] that the power of judicial review was first articulated by Chief Justice Marshall. the constitution itself is first mentioned. together with the corollary principle of separation of powers. have that rank.”[26] Thus. to wit: It is also not entirely unworthy of observation. the power of judicial review was exercised by our courts to invalidate constitutionally infirm acts. x x x And the judiciary in turn. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter.power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. such power has “been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. and that courts.

since it is political. the nature of and rationale for which are mirrored in the following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. “x x x judicial review is essential for the maintenance and enforcement of the separation of powers and the balancing of powers among the three great departments of government through the definition and maintenance of the boundaries of authority and control between them. As a matter of fact. Article VIII of the Constitution engraves. into block letter law the so-called “expanded certiorari jurisdiction” of this Court. .” the afore-quoted Section 1. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. In other words. for the first time into its history. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. but it. I suppose nobody can question it. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. indeed the only. but the role of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government. “[j]udicial review is the chief.”[33] To him. Fellow Members of this Commission. which then had no legal defense at all. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. that is. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction.” The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government.In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano. in effect. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. we have no authority to pass upon it. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus. former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion: xxx The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions.”[34] To ensure the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by “any branch or instrumentalities of government. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. x x x xxx Briefly stated. And the Supreme Court said: “Well. I will read it first and explain. it has some antecedents in the past. As a consequence. medium of participation – or instrument of intervention – of the judiciary in that balancing operation.

This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1.[41] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) . wherever possible. The words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers. in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason and calculated to effect that purpose. Thus. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution.[35] (Italics in the original. if any. speaking through Chief Justice Enrique Fernando. in J. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained.[36] this Court. verba legis. First. And so did this Court apply this principle in Civil Liberties Union v. Melencio-Herrera. speaking through Madame Justice Amuerfina A. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby. it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people’s consciousness. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. Tuason & Co. where there is ambiguity. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers. and the evils. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question . Executive Secretary[38] in this wise: A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision under consideration. the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times. Commissioner on Internal Revenue[40] where. sought to be prevented or remedied. Thus. Thus these are the cases where the need for construction is reduced to a minimum. ratio legis est anima. based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say.[37] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Second. emphasis and underscoring supplied) To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions. They are to be given their ordinarymeaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. We do not of course stop there. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it.M.. Inc.[39] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied supplied) As it did in Nitafan v. this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of constitutional construction. Land Tenure Administration. and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. declared: We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption. its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. that is. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer’s document. it declared: x x x The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. v. but that is where we begin.

[45] (Emphasis supplied) If. and intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial review. through Chief Justice Manuel Moran declared: x x x [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others. the court must harmonize them. any question. [49] . Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members. the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear. and as indicating the reasons for their votes. it is the position of respondents Speaker De Venecia et.[44] this Court affirmed that: It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the others. that impeachment is a political action which cannot assume a judicial character. however.[43] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Likewise. resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitutionwhen the meaning is clear. if by any reasonable construction. Thus. al. Briefly stated. De Leon. the two can be made to stand together. [47] For his part. this Court expounded: While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution. they permitted. in Chiongbian v.[46] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) It is in the context of the foregoing backdrop of constitutional refinement and jurisprudential application of the power of judicial review that respondents Speaker De Venecia. al. much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law.[42] this Court. Executive Secretary. In other words. Executive Secretary . rather than one which may make the words idle and nugatory. but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document. resort to other aids is available. Hence. When they adopted subsection 2. et. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. if not willed. still in Civil Liberties Union v. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. but that all the provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. if practicable. to be considered alone.Finally. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk. issue or incident arising at any stage of the impeachment proceeding is beyond the reach of judicial review." The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof. not by itself alone. and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative. ut magis valeat quam pereat. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senate’s “sole power to try” impeachment cases[48] (1) entirely excludes the application of judicial review over it. In still the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. that said provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms. and (2) necessarily includes the Senate’s power to determine constitutional questions relative to impeachment proceedings.

[51] Respondents likewise point to deliberations on the US Constitution to show the intent to isolate judicial power of review in cases of impeachment. “[w]e have cut the umbilical cord. Article XI thereof. much less the American Constitution. As held in the case of Garcia vs. required vote to impeach. al. While the U. Said American jurisprudence and authorities. Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of impeachments undermines their finality and may also lead to conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature. and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. and intervenor Senator Pimentel rely heavily on American authorities. Nor can it reasonably support the interpretation that it necessarily confers upon the Senate the inherently judicial power to determine constitutional questions incident to impeachment proceedings. There are also glaring distinctions between the U. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without limitation. [this Court] should not be beguiled by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have been dictated by different constitutional settings and needs. they call upon this Court to exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that “whenever possible.S.S.[54] our Constitution.[52] “[i]n resolving constitutional disputes. (3). and it would create a lack of finality and difficulty in fashioning relief. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. they contend that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings is inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers’ decision to allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try crimes. it disturbs the system of checks and balances. These limitations include the manner of filing. principally the majority opinion in the case ofNixon v. (4) and (5). their paths of development have long since diverged.” The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U.[55] provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2). the American Constitution and American authorities cannot be credited to support the proposition that the Senate’s “sole power to try and decide impeachment cases.In furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment proceedings are outside the scope of judicial review. United States. recognizing full well the perils of judi cial willfulness and pride. as expressly provided for in the Constitution. XI. the Court should defer to the judgment of the people expressed legislatively.”[56] . are of dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned. COMELEC. that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and lower courts. Respondents’ and intervenors’ reliance upon American jurisprudence. is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of all issues pertaining to impeachment to the legislature. to the total exclusion of the power of judicial review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the impeachment process. under which impeachment is the only legislative check on the judiciary. Thus.”[53] Indeed. 3(6) of the Constitution.S. In the colorful words of Father Bernas.S.” as provided for under Art. et. although the Philippine Constitution can trace its origins to that of the United States. and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality. though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases. is not just a power but also a duty. Sec. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U. respondents Speaker De Venecia.[50] Thus.

[59] cited by respondents in support of the argument that the impeachment power is beyond the scope of judicial review. Thus. Article VI of the Constitution. In Bondoc v. These cases concern the denial of petitions for writs of mandamus to compel the legislature to perform non-ministerial acts. (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. is subject to several limitations. Instead.But did not the people also express their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution? This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Yniguez[58] and Alejandrino v. (2) the person challenging the act must have “standing” to challenge. this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress. There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over congressional action. Guingona. and rescinding the election. Singson. Mitra. irrespective of whether his election is contested. direct injury as a result of its enforcement. In Tanada v. it provided for certain well-defined limits.[57] “judicially discoverable standards” for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion. and do not concern the exercise of the power of judicial review. Cuenco. it held that the petition raises a justiciable controversy and that when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. or will sustain. Essential Requisites for Judicial Review As clearly stated in Angara v. the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and “one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. Pineda. through the power of judicial review. Electoral Commission.”[67] Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution. the legislative power is vested exclusively in Congress.[60] this Court ruled that it is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives. is not essential before such memberelect may discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the National Assembly. of a congressman as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal for being violative of Section 17.[64] it held that the act of the House of Representatives in removing the petitioner from the Commission on Appointments is subject to judicial review. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.[65] it held that although under the Constitution. and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. Electoral Commission. there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. Jr. like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution. . In Tanada v. In Coseteng v. Carr.[66] it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly of the election of any member. The cases of Romulo v. In Angara v. are not in point.[61]in seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution. Angara. Quezon. Article VI of the Constitution is subject to judicial review. or in the language of Baker v. Verily. the courts’ power of judicial review. in Santiago v. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. Finally.[63] it held that the resolution of whether the House representation in the Commission on Appointments was based on proportional representation of the political parties as provided in Section 18.[62] this Court declared null and void a resolution of the House of Representatives withdrawing the nomination.. In Daza v.

Morato[75] to clarify what is meant by locus standi and to distinguish it from real party-in-interest. There is. as in the case of the Chief Justice who. it behooves the Court to reiterate the ruling in Kilosbayan. justice or expediency of legislation. however.[71] and that procedural matters are subordinate to the need to determine whether or not the other branches of the government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them. v. that standing because of its constitutional and public policy underpinnings. for the former is a concept of civil procedure[73] while the latter has constitutional underpinnings. in praying for the dismissal of the petitions. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. cannot himself invoke the jurisdiction of this Court.x x x Even then.[68] (Italics in the original) Standing Locus standi or legal standing or has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. . More than that. Although all three requirements are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. in the past. voters. but by concerned citizens. College of Law is of the same opinion. the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. Amicus curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza similarly contends. is very different from questions relating to whether a particular plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to sue. Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or by official action taken. . . the courts will grant petitioners standing. when the real party in interest is unable to vindicate his rights by seeking the same remedies. contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. [72] Amicus curiae Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. Upon the other hand.P.[74] In view of the arguments set forth regarding standing. Inc. a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on standing. for ethical reasons. legislators in cases involving paramount public interest[70] and transcendental importance.[69] Intervenor Soriano. citing transcendental importance and the well-entrenched rule exception that. the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners have standing since this Court had. The difference between the rule on standing and real party in interest has been noted by authorities thus: “It is important to note . and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. accorded standing to taxpayers. concerned citizens. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. standing restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits. as well as broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the judiciary in certain areas.

a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives. not only that the law or any government act is invalid. On the contrary. In the case of a taxpayer.[79]Before he can invoke the power of judicial review.[80] At all events. when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. In a long line of cases.[81] This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners. [77] In fine.” xxx On the other hand. they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights – as taxpayers. or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. He must be able to show. or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.’”[76] (Citations omitted) While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement. given their allegation that any impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment and the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds.taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. concerned citizens. As for a legislator. members of Congress. he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed. or the 'party entitled to the avails of the suit. the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have been met have been given standing by this Court. and members of the bar and of the legal profession – which were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. the question as to "real party in interest" is whether he is “the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment. and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way.[82] Indeed.[78] the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest. none of the petitioners before us asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice. courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should be entertained. When suing as a citizen. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of.[83] . Hence the question in standing is whether such parties have “alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. citizens. he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which he claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator. individually or in a class suit. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. however. however. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.

It is shared by other groups and the whole citizenry. although undoubtedly true. persons intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned[87] to enable the court to deal properly with all interests involved in the suit. Since petitioners additionally allege standing as citizens and taxpayers. 160403. however. however.R. granted the Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and Petition-in-Intervention. There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance.[91] Such liberality does not. et. 160262. No. mean that the requirement that a party should have an interest in the matter is totally eliminated. 160397. With respect to the motions for intervention. in G. al. Rule 19. this Court has in fact adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. they raise the same issues and the same standing. While intervention is not a matter of right. Vallejos. The Philippine Bar Association. this Court as earlier stated. No. this Court is satisfied that the issues raised herein are indeed of transcendental importance. No. Feliciano are instructive: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case.R. al. as when the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public. the following instructive determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. 160365 as a class suit ought to fail. and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. does not suffice to clothe it with standing.R. therefore.[85] the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more. In the same vein. He does not thus have standing. is mum on his standing. at the very least. or an interest against both. when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all citizens.[88] for a judgment in a class suit. et. has been interposed. No. their petition will stand. behooves this Court to relax the rules on standing and to resolve the issues presented by it. novelty and weight as precedents. they seek to join petitioners Candelaria. A party must. (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government. it may be permitted by the courts when the applicant shows facts which satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing intervention. In not a few cases. in G.[92] In Intervenors Attorneys Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra’s case. Dioscoro U. However. while Atty. he failed to allege any interest in the case.[89] Where it clearly appears that not all interests can be sufficiently represented as shown by the divergent issues raised in the numerous petitions before this Court. or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof. it not being one of which courts can take judicial notice. Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation.[86] It. [90] Applying these determinants. In petitioner Vallejos’ case. . under the res judicata principle. a reading of the petitions shows that it has advanced constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness. or in the success of either of the parties. and no objection on the part of petitioners Candelaria. Since. Its interest is too general. binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court.While an association has legal personality to represent its members.R. save for one additional issue. invokes the sole ground of transcendental importance.[84] especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests. whether favorable or unfavorable to the class. still plead the existence of such interest. G. is. in G.

[94] (Citations omitted) In praying for the dismissal of the petitions. 160295. Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G. . or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. and 160310 were of transcendental importance.” this Court found the requisites for intervention had been complied with. 160261. he being a member of Congress against which the herein petitions are directed. sought to intervene for the limited purpose of making of record and arguing a point of view that differs with Senate President Drilon’s. his Motion to Intervene was granted and he was. et. Lastly.” or that there is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC. held that for a case to be considered ripe for adjudication. allowed to argue.. Finding that Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. concededly. 160262. his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not suffice to clothe him with standing. 160261. 160292. Macapagal. nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is “being extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protection against abuses of legislative power.R.”[96] Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done. and World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. 160277. as earlier stated. Clearly. alleging that “they will suffer if this insidious scheme of the minority members of the House of Representatives is successful. Comelec. Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitioners will result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in public money being deflected to any improper purpose. For this reason. No. Senator Aquilino Pimentel. Invoking their right as citizens to intervene. al. sought to join petitioner Francisco in G.[93] to wit: x x x While. Inc. et al. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. Senator Pimentel possesses a legal interest in the matter in litigation. Soriano’s motion to intervene. He alleges that submitting to this Court’s jurisdiction as the Senate President does will undermine the independence of the Senate which will sit as an impeachment court once the Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. Inc. Inc. on the other hand. 160263. Inc. possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation the respective motions to intervene were hereby granted. filed a “Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene” to raise the additional issue of whether or not the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is valid and based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution. while he asserts an interest as a taxpayer. through Chief Justice Fernando. he failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayer’s suits as set forth in Dumlao v. as to Jaime N. Nos.[95] this Court. “it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture.Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. Additionally.. the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public moneys. and to fully ventilate all substantial issues relating to the matter at hand. the same must be denied for. Ripeness and Prematurity In Tan v.R. if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.

by itself. it refers to “those questions which. In other words. the futility of seeking remedies from either or both Houses of Congress before coming to this Court is shown by the fact that. petitioners would continue to suffer their injuries. Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the instant petitions are premature. neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with definitiveness on the issue of constitutionality. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum. the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit. namely. in legal parlance. College of Law who suggests to this Court to take judicial notice of on-going attempts to encourage signatories to the second impeachment complaint to withdraw their signatures and opines that the House Impeachment Rules provide for an opportunity for members to raise constitutional questions themselves when the Articles of Impeachment are presented on a motion to transmit to the same to the Senate. He thus recommends that all remedies in the House and Senate should first be exhausted. as Tan v. cure the House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. what it means in ordinary parlance. the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been already promulgated and enforced.e. Macapagal holds. Taking a similar stand is Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity.The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress.. of a particular measure. not legality. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. it being the final arbiter on questions of constitutionality anyway. The dean’s position does not persuade. as said power is exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier quoted Section I. Neither would such a withdrawal. the withdrawal by the Representatives of their signatures would not. has been complied with.” viz: [T]he term “political question” connotes.P. Cuenco. Second and most importantly.[98] Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion defined the term “political question. obliterate the questioned second impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit of Sections 3(2) and (3) of Article XI of the Constitution[97] and. Justiciability In the leading case of Tanada v. under the Constitution. Article VIII of the Constitution. The dean maintains that even assuming that the Articles are transmitted to the Senate. The questioned acts having been carried out. Amicus curiae former Senate President Jovito R. whether concerning impeachment proceedings or otherwise. as previously discussed. Remedy cannot be sought from a body which is bereft of power to grant it.[99] (Italics in the original) . the Chief Justice can raise the issue of their constitutional infirmity by way of a motion to dismiss. the constitutionality of which is questioned. First. a question of policy.” It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. by itself. Salonga opines that there may be no urgent need for this Court to render a decision at this time. i. therefore.

without consistency and seemingly without any rhyme or reason. And the Supreme Court said: “Well. Thank you. CONCEPCION. with the body’s indulgence. since it is political. when he became a Constitutional Commissioner. Fellow Members of this Commission. this Court vacillated on its stance of taking cognizance of cases which involved political questions. this Court assumed jurisdiction whenever it found constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. In some cases. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. we have no authority to pass upon it. despite the seeming political nature of the therein issues involved. the usual comment that the judiciary is the weakest among the three major branches of the service. and is the most powerful of all other powers without exception. Since the legislature holds the purse and the executive the sword. I will proceed to read the provisions drafted by the Committee on the Judiciary. in force. that is. As a consequence. however. hence. I suppose. reflects the will of God. Ratification by the people of a Constitution is a political question. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus. after all. Mr. Practically. Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government. The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. I will speak on the judiciary. it has some antecedents in the past.[100] In other cases. As a matter of fact. this Court hid behind the cover of the political question doctrine and refused to exercise its power of judicial review. I will read it first and explain. everybody has made. The frequency with which this Court invoked the political question doctrine to refuse to take jurisdiction over certain cases during the Marcos regime motivated Chief Justice Concepcion. which then had no legal defense at all. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. to clarify this Court’s power of judicial review and its application on issues involving political questions. I am sure the members of the Bar are familiar with this situation. this Court shunted the political question doctrine and took cognizance thereof. x x x And so. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. but therole of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government.[101] Even in the landmark 1988 case of Javellana v. it being a question decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. I suppose nobody can question it.” The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. in effect. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. viz: MR. Presiding Officer. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. the judiciary has nothing with which to enforce its decisions or commands except the power of reason and appeal to conscience which.Prior to the 1973 Constitution. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. but it. Executive Secretary[102] which raised the issue of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified. But for the benefit .

1972. a motion was filed with the Supreme Court praying that the holding of the referendum be suspended. . whereupon the President issued a decree calling a plebiscite which suspended the operation of some provisions in the martial law decree which prohibited discussions. Note that all members of the Supreme Court were residents of Manila. the Minister of Justice delivered to the Court a proclamation of the President declaring that the new Constitution was already in force because the overwhelming majority of the votes cast in the referendum favored the Constitution.” Thus the barangays came into existence.of the Members of the Commission who are not lawyers. much less did they participate in the alleged referendum. xxx The government said that in a referendum held from January 10 to January 15. although the proclamation was dated September 21. Commissioner Calderon. I then informed the Court and the parties the presidential proclamation declaring that the 1973 Constitution had been ratified by the people and is now in force. The 1971 Constitutional Convention had begun on June 1. I proceeded to the session room where the case was being heard. If I may use a word famous by our colleague. dozens of them. The main defense put up by the government was that the issue was a political question and that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case. much less public discussions of certain matters of public concern. So. In fact. some delegates to that 1971 Constitutional Convention. the President suspended indefinitely the holding of the plebiscite and announced that he would consult the people in a referendum to be held from January 10 to January 15. they finished what the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention had been unable to accomplish for about 14 months. suggesting that it was unnecessary to hold a plebiscite because the answers given in the referendum should be regarded as the votes cast in the plebiscite. but of what was then designated as “citizens assemblies or barangays. So that when martial law was announced on September 22. 1971 and by September 21 or 22 had not finished the Constitution. if I am not mistaken. however. I will start with a decision of the Supreme Court in 1973 on the case of Javellana vs. Thereupon. But the questions to be submitted in the referendum were not announced until the eve of its scheduled beginning. the vast majority ratified the draft of the Constitution. I forgot to say that upon the proclamation of martial law. None of them saw any referendum proceeding. the unfinished draft of the Constitution was taken over by representatives of Malacañang. In 17 days. Martial law was announced on September 22. Immediately after the departure of the Minister of Justice. were picked up. Commissioner Ople. the Secretary of Justice. The questions to be propounded were released with proposed answers thereto. under the supposed supervision not of the Commission on Elections. allow me to explain. So. the media could not publish any story not only because our main writers were already incarcerated. it had barely agreed in the fundamentals of the Constitution. When the motion was being heard before the Supreme Court. The purpose was presumably to allow a free discussion on the draft of the Constitution on which a plebiscite was to be held sometime in January 1973. A number of other cases were filed to declare the presidential proclamation null and void. but none of them had been notified of any referendum in their respective places of residence. during the interregnum. The draft of the 1973 Constitution was presented to the President around December 1. The obvious reason for the delay in its publication was that the administration had apprehended and detained prominent newsmen on September 21. the draft of the Constitution was analyzed and criticized with such a telling effect that Malacañang felt the danger of its approval. the media hardly published anything about it. but also because those who succeeded them in their jobs were under mortal threat of being the object of wrath of the ruling party. One of them was our very own colleague.

courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. a husband complained that his wife was unwilling to perform her duties as a wife. Second. I have made these extended remarks to the end that the Commissioners may have an initial food for thought on the subject of the judiciary. thus: .” This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section I provides that: Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable or enforceable . has one main function: to settle actual controversies involving conflicts of rights which are demandable and enforceable. There are rights which are guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judiciary party. but they are so personal that to enforce them by actual compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity. the Supreme Court has. This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.In the Philippines. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not the only major case in which the plea of “political question” was set up. xxx x x x When your Committee on the Judiciary began to perform its functions. The Court said: “We can tell your wife what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with them. So. There is a big difference between a referendum and a plebiscite. hypothetical questions. Briefly stated. But another group of justices upheld the defense that the issue was a political question. it faced the following questions: What is judicial power? What is a political question? The Supreme Court. but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main marital duty to her husband. they dismissed the case. x x x The defense of the political question was rejected because the issue was clearly justiciable. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. Whereupon. There are some rights guaranteed by law. a majority of the members of the Court felt that there had been no referendum. much less decide. also another important function. In a decided case. In other words. the Executive and the Judiciary.[103] (Italics in the original. a referendum cannot substitute for a plebiscite. even local gossips spread like wild fire. cannot entertain. emphasis supplied) During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. In a presidential system of government. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. like all other courts. The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative. The courts. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question. There have been a number of other cases in the past . Chief Justice Concepcion further clarified the concept of judicial power. . Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice. . therefore.

I know this is not. NOLLEDO. BERNAS. No. On another point. amounting to a lack of jurisdiction. MR. is this only an example? MR. NOLLEDO.. is it the intention of Section 1 to do away with the political question doctrine? MR. it is clear that judicial power is not only a power. BERNAS. that is not a political question. But the Gentleman will notice it says. refers to ordinary cases but where there is a question as to whether the government had authority or had abused its authority to the extent of lacking jurisdiction or excess of jurisdiction. the court has the duty to decide. a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine. MR.” From this clarification it is gathered that there are two species of political questions: (1) “truly political questions” and (2) those which “are not truly political questions. it sought to define what is judicial power. MR. this is not an attempt to solve the problems arising from the political question doctrine. Because of the expression “judicial power”? MR. Judicial power. MR. FR. MR. it will always have to be decided by the Supreme Court according to the new numerical need for votes. however. CONCEPCION. CONCEPCION.[104] (Emphasis supplied) From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. that Section 1. When this provision was originally drafted. Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify. NOLLEDO. Therefore. But there is a difference. MR. I am satisfied with the answer that it is not intended to do away with the political question doctrine. No. So. “judicial power includes” and the reason being that the definition that we might make may not cover all possible areas. BERNAS. .” . It definitely does not eliminate the fact that truly political questions are beyond the pale of judicial power. because whenever there is an abuse of discretion. So. BERNAS. FR. No. CONCEPCION. xxx FR. It is not. CONCEPCION. No. as I said. Article VIII was not intended to do away with “truly political questions. CONCEPCION. And so. Ultimately. No. The Gentleman used the term “judicial power” but judicial power is not vested in the Supreme Court alone but also in other lower courts as may be created by law. CONCEPCION. it is also a duty. The Gentleman seems to identify political questions with jurisdictional questions. FR. therefore. certainly not.MR. CONCEPCION. Yes.

[107] through Justice Teodoro Padilla. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution. held: The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court.[109] speaking through Justice Isagani Cruz. courts can review questions which are not truly political in nature. Manglapus. The American case of Baker v. (2) the lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. In Marcos v. Moreover.Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review. the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive.[106] x x x In Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.[112] (Underscoring supplied) Of these standards. or the impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. and (3) the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy . the more reliable have been the first three: (1) a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. Identification of these two species of political questions may be problematic. even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature. this Court has in fact in a number of cases taken jurisdiction over questions which are not truly political following the effectivity of the present Constitution. by virtue of Section 1.) Section 1.”[108] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) And in Daza v. The jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. Article VIII. the reason for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. Article VIII of the Constitution. There has been no clear standard. speaking through Madame Justice Irene Cortes. or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question. Singson. would have normally left to the political departments to decide. The reason is that. although said provision by no means does away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases. As pointed out by amicus curiae former dean Pacifico Agabin of the UP College of Law.[110] x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied. this Court ruled: In the case now before us. however. even the political question. we would still not be precluded from resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers. under previous constitutions. as held in a recent case.[105] this Court. or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. “(t)he political question doctrine neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. of the Court does not define what are justiciable political questions and non-justiciable political questions. Carr[111] attempts to provide some: x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. in proper cases. On the other hand. or an unusual need for questioning adherence to a political decision already made. this Court declared: The "allocation of constitutional boundaries" is a task that this Court must perform under the Constitution.

then our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such limits. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the Constitution. Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. These petitions raise five substantial issues: I. The problem in applying the foregoing standards is that the American concept of judicial review is radically different from our current concept. Whether the second impeachment complaint was filed in accordance with Section 3(4).determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. V. Lis Mota . These standards are not separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that the presence of one strengthens the conclusion that the others are also present. In our jurisdiction. If there are. without arriving at their clear cut definition or even a standard therefor. Article VIII. namely. Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation.[114] Clearly. elude a precise definition. an examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission shows that the framers could find no better way to approximate the boundaries of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by alluding to both positive and negative examples of both. The first issue goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint over which this Court has no jurisdiction. two of these. the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power under Section 1. II. More importantly. for Section 1. other high crimes and betrayal of public trust. This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present controversy. Article XI of the Constitution. any discussion of this issue would require this Court to make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense.[113] Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds for impeachment. IV. Article XI of the Constitution. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. III. the determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on Justice into the Judicial Development Fund is an unconstitutional infringement of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. Article VIII of the Constitution provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether they should pass upon a constitutional issue. In fact.

it is the studied opinion of this Court that the issue of the constitutionality of the said Resolution and resulting legislative inquiry is too far removed from the issue of the validity of the second impeachment complaint. in the Court’s opinion. This opinion is further strengthened by the fact that said petitioners have raised other grounds in support of their petition which would not be adversely affected by the Court’s ruling.[118] [Emphasis supplied] Succinctly put. (b) an open breach of the doctrine of separation of powers. (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. Thus.[122] viz: . petitioners Leonilo R. No. in the case of Sotto v. collectively raise several constitutional issues upon which the outcome of this controversy could possibly be made to rest. the instant consolidated petitions. and the resolution of the question is unavoidably necessary to the decision of the case itself .[117] where this Court invalidated Sections 13 and 32 of Republic Act No. the constitutional question must have been opportunely raised by the proper party. 6657 for being confiscatory and violative of due process. En passant. As noted earlier. Senate Blue Ribbon Commttee. this Court is guided by the related cannon of adjudication that “the court should not form a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is applied. and (d) an assault on the independence of the judiciary. Alfonso. argue that. if the record also presents some other ground upon which the court may rest its judgment. [121] Without going into the merits of petitioners Alfonso. Commission on Elections.’s claims. require it to form a rule of constitutional law touching on the separate and distinct matter of legislative inquiries in general. al. this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of legislative inquiries has already been enunciated by this Court in Bengzon. the resolution of said issue would. 160310. courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy. there must be an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination. et al. Jr. Thus.[115] this Court held: x x x It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid. some or all of the remaining substantial issues should be passed upon.[116] [Emphasis and underscoring supplied] The same principle was applied in Luz Farms v. that course will be adopted and the constitutional question will be left for consideration until a case arises in which a decision upon such question will be unavoidable. unless such question is raised by the parties and that when it is raised. Secretary of Agrarian Reform. while all seeking the invalidity of the second impeachment complaint.It is a well-settled maxim of adjudication that an issue assailing the constitutionality of a governmental act should be avoided whenever possible. to wit: It has been established that this Court will assume jurisdiction over a constitutional question only if it is shown that the essential requisites of a judicial inquiry into such a question are first satisfied . the second impeachment complaint is invalid since it directly resulted from a Resolution[120] calling for a legislative inquiry into the JDF. among other reasons.R. et.”[119] In G. which would thus be broader than is required by the facts of these consolidated cases. In determining whether one. which Resolution and legislative inquiry petitioners claim to likewise be unconstitutional for being: (a) a violation of the rules and jurisprudence on investigations in aid of legislation. v. Moreover.

Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra. Thus. Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. The Committee. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. and Felix William Fuentebella. while joining the original petition of petitioners Candelaria. [123] In G. by at least one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives. therefore absolute or unlimited. viz: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. Section 21. as provided therein. Thus. Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not.” is that the verified complaint be “filed.R.The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. al.et. the signatories to said Resolution are alleged to have verified the same merely as a “Resolution of Endorsement. intervenors Romulo B. Article XI of the Constitution. 160262. They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of Representatives signed a Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment. together with the corresponding . The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. Jr. Not having complied with this requirement. the investigation must be “in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure” and that “the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. the same did not satisfy the requisites for the application of the afore-mentioned section in that the “verified complaint or resolution of impeachment” was not filed “by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral.” It follows then that the right rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. they concede that the second impeachment complaint should have been calendared and referred to the House Committee on Justice under Section 3(2).” Intervenors point to the “Verification” of the Resolution of Endorsement which states that: “We are the proponents/sponsors of the Resolution of Endorsement of the abovementioned Complaint of Representatives Gilberto Teodoro and Felix William B. introduce the new argument that since the second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by Representatives Gilberto Teodoro. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.” With the exception of Representatives Teodoro and Fuentebella. No. Article VI thereof provides: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. including the right to due process and the right not be compelled to testify against one’s self. and by a majority vote of all its Members. the same does not fall under the provisions of Section 3 (4). Fuentebella x x x”[124] Intervenors Macalintal and Quadra further claim that what the Constitution requires in order for said second impeachment complaint to automatically become the Articles of Impeachment and for trial in the Senate to begin “forthwith.. after hearing.” not merely endorsed.

such resolution of endorsement being necessary only from at least one Member whenever a citizen files a verified impeachment complaint. et. More than being clothed with authority thus. Intervenors’ foregoing position is echoed by Justice Maambong who opined that for Section 3 (4). because this Court is not legally disqualified. Again. VIII. argue that “[t]here is a moral compulsion for the Court to not assume jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the Members thereof are subject to impeachment. as a result thereof. 1(2) of the Constitution.”[126]Otherwise. respondents Speaker De Venecia et. al. Judicial Restraint Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate.. 160262. On the other hand. Sec. intervenors in G. the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as unnecessary for the determination of the instant cases is made easier by the fact that said intervenors Macalintal and Quadra have joined in the petition of Candelaria. has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. Thus. Article XI of the Constitution. this Court would be shirking from its duty vested under Art. have raised this issue as a ground for invalidating the second impeachment complaint. adopting the latter’s arguments and issues as their own. In sum. Article XI of the Constitution to apply. constitute the very lis mota of the instant controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. and (2) whether. this Court holds that the two remaining issues. as argued by intervenors Macalintal and Quadra. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof.R. Adjudication may not be declined.resolution. sitting as an impeachment court. inextricably linked as they are. to adopt this additional ground as the basis for deciding the instant consolidated petitions would not only render for naught the efforts of the original petitioners in G. this . No. they are not unduly prejudiced by this Court’s decision.R. No. al. more compelling considerations militate against its adoption as the lis mota or crux of the present controversy. the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an option before this Court. but the efforts presented by the other petitioners as well. Nor can jurisdiction be renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy may be referred. does indeed limit the scope of the constitutional issues to the provisions on impeachment. 160262. Justice Maambong likewise asserted that the Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment signed by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives as endorsers is not the resolution of impeachment contemplated by the Constitution. Consequently. Again. there should be 76 or more representatives who signed and verified the second impeachment complaint as complainants.”[125] But this argument is very much like saying the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with penalty clauses because Members of the House of Representatives are subject to them. Chief among this is the fact that only Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra. signed and verified the signatories to a resolution of impeachment. this Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings. While the foregoing issue.

[127] In the august words of amicus curiae Father Bernas. Every Member of the Tribunal may. if sanctioned and ordered.” Even in cases where it is an interested party. as here. [131] In that case. the petitioners filed with the respondent Senate Electoral Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution of SET Case No. leaving them to decide the matter. the Court under our system of government cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the challenge because no other office has the authority to do so. the public has laid on [a member of the judiciary] their confidence that [he] is mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits of their varied contentions. refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. Justices and Senators. it is a solemn duty which may not be renounced. interest or power and to be equipped with a moral fiber strong enough to resist the temptations lurking in [his] office. Indeed. with detachment and fairness. even if it is vexatious.Court is duty-bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions. as his conscience dictates. such possibility might surface again in the wake of the 1992 elections when once more. the proposed mass disqualification. a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the substitute's competence. “jurisdiction is not just a power. as always. would be a dereliction of duty. six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. 002-87 on the ground that all of them were interested parties to said case as respondents therein. Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as .[128] On the occasion that this Court had been an interested party to the controversy before it. Senate Electoral Tribunal. the performance of which is in the highest public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law. but for the last time.”[129]After all.”[130] The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest had already been settled in the case of Abbas v. it has acted upon the matter “not with officiousness but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and. This would have reduced the Tribunal’s membership to only its three Justices-Members whose disqualification was not sought. would leave the Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform. It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution could not have been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all Senators —elect. singly and collectively. To renounce it. Yet the Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. Litigants in such situations must simply place their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal. they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice. all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake. To our mind. but which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Senators. “by [his] appointment to the office. to be unafraid to displease any person. For this reason. This Court held: Where. What we are merely saying is that in the light of the Constitution. this is the overriding consideration — that the Tribunal be not prevented from discharging a duty which it alone has the power to perform.

through Justice Marcelo Fernan cited the “seven pillars” of limitations of the power of judicial review.[134] this Court. the Court affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the Nineteenth Amendment declared unconstitutional. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. The Court will not ‘formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied. and as a necessity in the determination of real. if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. non-adversary proceeding. the challenge of the federal Maternity Act was not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on behalf of all its citizens. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of his judicial power.such. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly. as is the case with the Justices of this Court. . if a case can be decided on either of two grounds. ‘It is not the habit of the Court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case. [133] (Italics in the original) Besides. In Massachusetts v. TVA[135] as follows: 1. Thus. . there are specific safeguards already laid down by the Court when it exercises its power of judicial review. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record. the deprivation of his or their judicial power is equivalent to the deprivation of the judicial power of the court itself.’ . It never was the thought that.’ 2. Appeals from the highest court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state ground. . none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a personal or property right. earnest and vital controversy between individuals. In Demetria v. Hughes. to disqualify any of the members of the Court. the other a question of statutory construction or general law. . It affects the very heart of judicial independence. Thus. a party beaten in the legislature could transfer to the courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative act. In Fairchild v. the challenge by a public official interested only in the performance of his official duty will not be entertained .[132] it was held that: Moreover. would leave the Court no alternative but to abandon a duty which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Justices. Among the many applications of this rule. The Court will not ‘anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it. if sanctioned and ordered. More recently in the case of Estrada v. And if that judge is the one designated by the Constitution to exercise the jurisdiction of his court. Alba. is nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by the fundamental law. particularly a majority of them.’ 3. This rule has found most varied application. the Court will decide only the latter. 5.’ 4. absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest. by means of a friendly suit. one involving a constitutional question. The proposed mass disqualification. enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in Ashwander v. declining because to decide such questions ‘is legitimate only in the last resort. Desierto. . Mellon.

it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided (citations omitted). Justices cannot abandon their constitutional duties just because their action may start. raise another argument for judicial restraint the possibility that “judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts between the Congress and the [J]udiciary. however. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question. TVA from different decisions of the United States Supreme Court.6. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power 2. and the scenario that it would be confusing and humiliating and risk serious political instability at home and abroad if the judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove an impeachable official. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality. 7. if not precipitate.[136] Respondents Speaker de Venecia. al. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. that the parties are not in estoppel 6. that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground 4. to say the least. Such an argument. or will sustain. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits. As correctly stated by the Solicitor General. et. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case 2. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. The foregoing “pillars” of limitation of judicial review. the person challenging the act must have “standing” to challenge. Justice Feliciano warned against the dangers when this Court refuses to act. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the case 3. can be encapsulated into the following categories: 1. parallel guidelines have been adopted by this Court in the exercise of judicial review: 1. the possibility of the occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this Court to refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. a crisis.” They stress the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial hearings. and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity 4. summarized in Ashwander v. direct injury as a result of its enforcement 3. that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute 5.[137] Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court to enforce its Resolution against Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority and erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary. is specious. . As stated previously.

chaos and anarchy by encouraging disrespect for the fundamental law of the land. the fight over a controversial legislative or executive act is not regarded as settled until the Supreme Court has passed upon the constitutionality of the act involved. Veneracion. not of men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. in Javellana v. or to sustain respondent’s claims. or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the members of the House. then law becomes meaningless. violence. or even the interference of their own personal beliefs. . this Court is well guided by the doctrine in People v. failure to act explicitly. to wit:[141] Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. [public officers] are guided by the Rule of Law. to wit: (1) by a verified complaint for impeachment by any member of the House of Representatives. or at least quasi-validation. argues that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules do not violate Section 3 (5) of Article XI of our present Constitution. one way or the other. or (2) by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any member. follows. Substituting the word public officers for judges. Frequently. the judgment has not only juridical effects but also political consequences. acting as the collective body. contending that the term “initiate” does not mean “to file.” that Section 3 (1) is clear in that it is the House of Representatives. as a collective body. Yet there is no reason to believe that any of the branches of government will behave in a precipitate manner and risk social upheaval. Executive Secretary[139] where this Court was split and “in the end there were not enough votes either to grant the petitions.” [138] Thus. Under this system. Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes that the coordinate branches of the government would behave in a lawless manner and not do their duty under the law to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land. under the guise of religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their office. itself constitutes a decision for the respondent and validation. which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.x x x Frequently. Those political consequences may follow even where the Court fails to grant the petitioner’s prayer to nullify an act for lack of the necessary number of votes. If [public officers]. A government of laws. has yet to act on it. and ought “to protect and enforce it without fear or favor. only be accomplished in 3 ways. political parties. Article XI of the Constitution provides.”[140] the pre-existing constitutional order was disrupted which paved the way for the establishment of the martial law regime.[142] Constitutionality of the Rules of Procedure for Impeachment Proceedings adopted by the 12th Congress Respondent House of Representatives.” resist encroachments by governments. Respondent House of Representatives concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have been violated as the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide and seven Associate Justices had not been initiated as the House of Representatives. that initiate could not possibly mean “to file” because filing can. through Speaker De Venecia. as Section 3 (2).

to commence. calendaring of report.” Resort to statutory construction is. therefore. but by legal fiction there is an attempt to postpone it to a time after actual initiation. the resolution covers several steps in the impeachment proceedings starting with initiation. who eventually became an Associate Justice of this Court. Finally. I think. That the sponsor of the provision of Section 3(5) of the Constitution. This is borne out of my experience as a member of the Committee on Justice. agreed on the meaning of “initiate” as “to file. Note that the Rule does not say “impeachment proceedings” are initiated but rather are “deemed initiated. xxx MR. or set going. The beginning or the initiation is the filing of the complaint and its referral to the Committee on Justice. “Initiate” of course is understood by ordinary men to mean. However. these would need some time for Committee action. It is a comlexus of acts consisting of a beginning. I am not moving for a reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado. action of the Speaker committee action. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As stated earlier. MAAMBONG. in order.The resolution of this issue thus hinges on the interpretation of the term “initiate. 2003 in this wise: Briefly then. Presiding Officer. The end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. which he (Commissioner Regalado) as amicus curiae affirmed during the oral arguments on the instant petitions held on November 5. MAAMBONG. it should be noted that the House Rule relied upon by Representatives Cojuangco and Fuentebella says that impeachment is “deemed initiated” when the Justice Committee votes in favor of impeachment or when the House reverses a contrary vote of the Committee. copies of which have been furnished the Members of this body. and that of Father Bernas. to begin.” which jibes with Justice Regalado’s position. Human Rights and Good Government which took charge of the last impeachment resolution filed before the First Batasang Pambansa.” The language is recognition that initiation happened earlier. the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution can be pried from its records: MR. Mr. With reference to Section 3. The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the formulation of the articles of impeachment. 2003 at which he added that the act of “initiating” included the act of taking initial action on the complaint. For the information of the Committee. I understand there have been many proposals and. I would just like to indicate that I submitted to the Committee a resolution on impeachment proceedings. but I will just make of record my thinking that we do not . it means “to perform or facilitate the first action. transmittal referral to the Senate. dissipates any doubt that indeed the word “initiate” as it twice appears in Article XI (3) and (5) of the Constitution means to file the complaint and take initial action on it. one of the means of interpreting the Constitution is looking into the intent of the law. who elucidated during the oral arguments of the instant petitions on November 5. Fortunately. voting on the report.” as proffered and explained by Constitutional Commissioner Maambong during the Constitutional Commission proceedings. Commissioner Florenz Regalado. As Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language concisely puts it. as dictionaries do. regarding the procedure and the substantive provisions on impeachment. a middle and an end. trial and judgment by the Senate.

paragraph (2). emphasis and udnerscoring supplied) This amendment proposed by Commissioner Maambong was clarified and accepted by the Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers. from lines 17 to 18. Congress. but it is only in keeping with the exact formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States regarding impeachment. Commissioner Maambong explained that “the obvious reason in deleting the phrase “to initiate impeachment proceedings” as contained in the text of the provision of Section 3 (3) was to settle and make it understood once and for all that the initiation of impeachment proceedings starts with the filing of the complaint. on that score. really starts from the filing of the verified complaint and every resolution to impeach always carries with it the Articles of Impeachment. that my amendment will not vary the substance in any way.[143] (Italics in the original. the words “Articles of Impeachment” are mentioned on line 25 in the case of the direct filing of a verified compliant of one-third of all the Members of the House. and the vote of one-third of the House in a resolution of impeachment does not initiate the impeachment proceedings which was already initiated by the filing of a verified complaint under Section 3. we delete the words which read: “to initiate impeachment proceedings” and the comma (. The procedure. In his amicus curiae brief. and then capitalize the letter “i” in “impeachment” and replace the word “by” with OF. probably the Committee on Style could help in rearranging these words because we have to be very technical about this. I have submitted my proposal. I could cite examples in the case of the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation. it appears that the initiation starts on the floor. Madam President. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. which may be corrected by the Committee on Style.S.” I already mentioned earlier yesterday that the initiation . If we only have time. as I have pointed out earlier. It is only in keeping with the uniform procedure of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. Madam President. I would just like to move for a reconsideration of the approval of Section 3 (3). xxx MR.[144] It is thus clear that the framers intended “initiation” to start with the filing of the complaint. and it was the body who approved the resolution. My reconsideration will not at all affect the substance. As a matter of fact. I just want to indicate this on record. and the Articles of Impeachment to the body. but the Committee has already decided. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. Nevertheless. Section 3 (3). the resolution. The proceedings on the case of Richard Nixon are with me.”[145] . Article XI of the Constitution. As the phraseology now runs. as far as the House of Representatives of the United States is concerned. I will mention again.) and insert on line 19 after the word “resolution” the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES. MAAMBONG. I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of Representatives of the U. so that the whole section will now read: “A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a resolution WITH THE ARTICLES of Impeachment OF the Committee or to override its contrary resolution. It is not the body which initiates it. that on page 2. Thank you. without doing damage to any of this provision. The Senate Rules are with me. Madam President.really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. So. was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. I am proposing.

he or she is successfully charged with an impeachment “case” before the Senate as impeachment court. It has a beginning. During the oral arguments before this Court. means to begin.” Father Bernas explains that in these two provisions. A proceeding must be “initiated. It is in that sense that the House has “exclusive power” to initiate all cases of impeachment. and an end.” It is at this point that an impeachable public official is successfully impeached. That is. Father Bernas further explains: The “impeachment proceeding” is not initiated when the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial because that is the end of the House proceeding and the beginning of another proceeding. proceeding is a progressive noun.Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same view as is Father Bernas. which comes from the Latin word initium. however. Articles of Impeachment are prepared and transmitted to the Senate. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of steps that follow. the proceeding is initiated or begins. that the word “initiate” as used in Article XI. Section 3(5) means to file. “impeachment case” and “impeachment proceeding. a “proceeding” must be followed to arrive at a conclusion. can bring a case to the Senate. If at least one third of all the Members upholds the complaint. the common verb is “to initiate. a middle. (Emphasis supplied) refers to two objects. who was also a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. It takes place not in the Senate but in the House and consists of several steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified complaint either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private citizen endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives.” To initiate. viz: Section 3 (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. . Abovequoted first provision provides that the House.” The object in the second sentence is “impeachment proceeding. Father Bernas clarified that the word “initiate. It is at this point that the House “initiates an impeachment case. (3) whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint.” An impeachment case is the legal controversy that must be decided by the Senate. Neither is the “impeachment proceeding” initiated when the House deliberates on the resolution passed on to it by the Committee. namely the trial. On the other hand. Rather. (2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it. the resolution must be forwarded to the House for further processing. the term “cases” must be distinguished from the term “proceedings. because something prior to that has already been done. However. when a verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. No other body can do it. by a vote of one-third of all its members. both adding.” Following the principle of reddendo singuala sinuilis. xxx (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. The action of the House is already a further step in the proceeding. that the filing must be accompanied by an action to set the complaint moving.” appearing in the constitutional provision on impeachment. and (4) there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one-third of all the members.” The object in the first sentence is “impeachment case. before a decision is made to initiate a case in the Senate. not its initiation or beginning.

and that ordinary people read ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning.” This is a misreading of said provision and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulis by equating “impeachment cases” with “impeachment proceeding.” this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does. He reminds that the Constitution is ratified by the people. it is without a doubt that the term “to initiate” refers to the filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress’ taking initial action of said complaint. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance. both ordinary and sophisticated. [148] . To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says “The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. he states that this Court likened the former members of the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so absorbed in their emotional roles that intelligent spectators may know more about the real meaning because of the latter’s balanced perspectives and disinterestedness.” From the records of the Constitutional Commission. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. citing Vera v. as they understand it. “No impeachment proceeding shall be initia ted against the same official more than once within a period of one year.3 (5) of Article XI. they ratify words as they understand it and not as sophisticated lawyers confuse it. By his explanation. to the amicus curiae briefs of two former Constitutional Commissioners.” Further citing said case. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated. In his amicus curiae brief.[146] Thus the line was deleted and is not found in the present Constitution. Father Bernas concludes that when Section 3 (5) says. this interpretation is founded on the common understanding of the meaning of “to initiate” which means to begin. another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. Avelino[147] wherein this Court stated that “their personal opinions (referring to Justices who were delegates to the Constitution Convention) on the matter at issue expressed during this Court’s our deliberations stand on a different footing from the properly recorded utterances of debates and proceedings. Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this Court could not use contemporaneous construction as an aid in the interpretation of Sec.The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules.” it means that no second verified complaint may be accepted and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. Thus when a proposal reached the floor proposing that “A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary… to initiate impeachment proceedings. by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House. These rules clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI since the rules give the term “initiate” a meaning different meaning from filing and referral.

viz: Section 3. its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase “to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which is the fundamental law.” Hence. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. InArroyo v. but has examined the records of the deliberations and proceedings thereof.[149] this Court held that it is within the province of either House of Congress to interpret its rules and that it was the best judge of what constituted “disorderly behavior” of its members. Moreover.. Pendatun. or override its contrary resolution. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. this Court has not simply relied on the personal opinions now given by members of the Constitutional Commission. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule making power. and by a majority vote of all its Members. these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. it is clear and unequivocal that it and only it has the power to make and interpret its rules governing impeachment. is misplaced. De Venecia.[150]Justice (later Chief Justice) Enrique Fernando. after hearing. Smith. speaking for this Court and quoting Justice Brandeis in United States v. (1) x x x (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. together with the corresponding resolution. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. however. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.[151] declared that where the construction to be given to a rule affects persons other than members of the Legislature. then it would by necessary implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without need of referendum. Its argument is premised on the assumption that Congress has absolute power to promulgate its rules. However.[152] quoting United States v. Joseph & Co. This assumption. Chief Justice Davide has not taken part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. Moreover. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. In Osmeña v. Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that “The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.” Clearly. Ballin. The Committee.[153] Justice Vicente . There are at present only two members of this Court who participated in the 1986 Constitutional Commission – Chief Justice Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Secretary of the Commission on Appointments. in Paceta v. Respondent House of Representatives counters that under Section 3 (8) of Article XI. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary to either affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make rules.Justice Gutierrez’s statements have no application in the present petitions. the question becomes judicial in nature.

speaking for this Court. It is a continuous power. the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v Ballin (144 US 1) as a window to view the issues before the Court. or even more just. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House. held that while the Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. whether they are constitutional. more accurate. In the same case of Arroyo v.” Ballin. that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. or at the suggestion of the Speaker. It is in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review congressional rules. provides. and reported to the Speaker with the names of the members voting.Mendoza. It held: “x x x “The Constitution. and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business. Justice Reynato S.” It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had. and within the limitations suggested. De Venecia. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. always subject to be exercised by the House. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) . 1890) The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question. it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. was even more emphatic as he stressed that in the Philippine setting there is even more reason for courts to inquire into the validity of the Rules of Congress.e. the wisdom or folly. With the courts the question is only one of power. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights.viz: With due respect. (House Journal. in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion. Feb. passed this as one of its rules: Rule XV 3. 230. Even in the United States. Puno. It is only within these limitations that all matters of method are open to the determination of the Legislature. and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a quorum. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over he case at bar. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration. On the demand of any member. absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal. therefore. 14. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. is as to the validity of this rule. nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules. and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. in the same section. and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better. prior to that day. i. the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators. the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal. Neither do the advantages or disadvantages. and further that there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. Rightly.

there is a shift in stress – this Court is mandated to approach constitutional violations not by finding out what it should not do but what it must do. under the 1987 Constitution. x x x xxx In sum. . and (3) its method had a reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. . (2) it did not violate any fundamental right. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. Under the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions. the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power which it can decline to exercise. For section 1. there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. Article VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts “x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. the Court did not allow its jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers. Precisely to deter this disinclination. is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary. This provision was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. . The Court must discharge this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present. [156] xxx The provision defining judicial power as including the ‘duty of the courts of justice. the President and the legislators being elected by the people.that it did not ignore any constitutional restraint. the Constitution has elongated the checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic character. this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot do. This transformation. the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. dictated by our distinct experience as nation. Rightly or wrongly.[155] xxx The Constitution cannot be any clearer. By examining Rule XV.[154] xxx In the Philippine setting.” This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 Constitutions. to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government’ constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-à-vis the other branches of government. the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the checking powers of the judiciary vis-à-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. The CONCOM granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave abuse of discretion.

In Tolentino. the third parties alleging the violation of private rights and the Constitution are involved. Davide. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise this new power or if we wield it with timidity. Pendatun is not applicable to the instant petitions. 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. the initial action taken thereon. To be sure. Teodoro. considering that the first impeachment complaint. the ruling in Osmena v.I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the House. was filed by former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. the U. furnishes several provisions articulating how that “exclusive power” is to be exercised.. another may not be filed against the same official within a one year period following Article XI. it is this exceeding timidity to unsheathe the judicial sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate. along with seven associate justices of this Court. This reasoning does not hold with regard to impeachment power of the Philippine House of Representatives since our Constitution. . Neither may respondent House of Representatives’ rely on Nixon v. US[158] as basis for arguing that this Court may not decide on the constitutionality of Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules. It gives no clue whatsoever as to how this “sole power” is to be exercised. Jr. As already observed. as earlier enumerated. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House thus clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they give the term “initiate” a meaning different from “filing. if not defy. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23. on June 2. the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Section 3(5) of the Constitution. The provisions of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules which state that impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance.” Validity of the Second Impeachment Complaint Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House Committee on Justice. the US Supreme Court concluded that there was a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of a constitutional power to the House of Representatives. Here. orders of our courts. 2003. In fine. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. In resolving the case at bar. the lessons of our own history should provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.” It adds nothing more. 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period.S. Jr. I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence.[157] (Italics in the original emphasis and underscoring supplied) Thus. No limitation whatsoever is given. Federal Constitution simply provides that “the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. Thus.

The claim. mentally and emotionally exhausting experience. Through all these and as early as the time when the Articles of Impeachment had been constituted. is patently without basis in fact and in law. It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of constitutionality of the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice.” and “judicial self-restraint” aimed at halting the Court from any move that may have a bearing on the impeachment proceedings. whether for or against the impeachment of the Chief Justice. Of course this is not to demean the seriousness of the controversy over the Davide impeachment. the same clamor for non-interference was made through what are now the arguments of “lack of jurisdiction.Conclusion If there is anything constant about this country. this Court was specifically asked. This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. it is that there is always a phenomenon that takes the center stage of our individual and collective consciousness as a people with our characteristic flair for human drama. therefore. retired military. the raison d’etre of the judiciary is to complement the discharge by the executive and legislative of their own powers to bring about ultimately the beneficent effects of having founded and ordered our society upon the rule of law. urged and argued to take no action of any kind and form with respect to the prosecution by the House of Representatives of the impeachment complaint against the subject respondent public official. Beyond this. the Court found the existence in full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty of judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. told.” “nonjusticiability. Various sectors of society . no other course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that problem head on. nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly political questions. Rather. to the academe and denominations of faith – offered suggestions for a return to a state of normalcy in the official relations of the governmental branches affected to obviate any perceived resulting instability upon areas of national life. This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. that this Court by judicially entangling itself with the process of impeachment has effectively set up a regime of judicial supremacy. That the . What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our system of government. Face-to-face thus with a matter or problem that squarely falls under the Court’s jurisdiction. the members of this Court have actually closed ranks to protect a brethren. conflict or tragedy. Because it is not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government. Passions had ran high as demonstrators. took to the streets armed with their familiar slogans and chants to air their voice on the matter. To reiterate what has been already explained. the past two weeks have proven to be an exasperating. When the present petitions were knocking so to speak at the doorsteps of this Court. it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none. Both sides have fought bitterly a dialectical struggle to articulate what they respectively believe to be the correct position or view on the issues involved.from the business. For many of us.

and Ynares-Santiago. the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Fuentebella with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on October 23. C.. Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to have less in law than anybody else. Consequently. which is simply a non sequitur. WHEREFORE. Davide. The institution that is the Supreme Court together with all other courts has long held and been entrusted with the judicial power to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalities involved in the suits or actions. see concurring and dissenting opinion. Accordingly. Why can it not now be trusted to wield judicial power in these petitions just because it is the highest ranking magistrate who is involved when it is an incontrovertible fact that the fundamental issue is not him but the validity of a government branch’s official act as tested by the limits set by the Constitution? Of course. unaffected by whomsoever stood to benefit or suffer therefrom. This is a basic precept in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men before the law as essential to the law’s moral authority and that of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its commands. please see separate opinion (concurring). 2001 are unconstitutional. J. it is equally important that it went through this crucible of a democratic process. if only to discover that it can resolve differences without the use of force and aggression upon each other. The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt been put to test once again by this impeachment case against Chief Justice Hilario Davide. so long as it rendered judgment according to the law and the facts. Davide. Vitug.J. Puno. But to disqualify this entire institution now from the suit at bar is to regard the Supreme Court as likely incapable of impartiality when one of its members is a party to a case.. Nothing could be farther from the truth. and Felix William B.. there are rules on the inhibition of any member of the judiciary from taking part in a case in specified instances. there is no other government branch or instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that principle of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of the highprofile kind in the annals of jurisprudence. no part. this Court has resorted to no other than the Constitution in search for a solution to what many feared would ripen to a crisis in government. Perhaps.. J. Bellosillo. Teodoro. . section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. But though it is indeed immensely a blessing for this Court to have found answers in our bedrock of legal principles. unfraid by whatever imputations or speculations could be made to it. The law is solicitous of every individual’s rights irrespective of his station in life. JJ. The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other member of this Court. This Court has dispensed justice over the course of time.members’ interests in ruling on said issue is as much at stake as is that of the Chief Justice. 2003 is barred under paragraph 5. see separate opinion. Jr. Jr. which was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Jr. SO ORDERED. No one is above the law or the Constitution..

. and Callejo.R.. former President Joseph E. concur.. J. Tinga. J. concurring separate opinion received. which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation. Azcuna. the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. see separate concurring opinion. J. in aid of legislation. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint (first impeachment . Carpio. Sandoval-Gutierrez. JJ. 2003 Facts: On 28 November 2001. 160261 NOV. see separate and concurring opinion Quisumbing. On 22 July 2002. superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress.. J. concur in the separate opinion. Sr.. concur in the majority opinion and in the separate opinion of Justice Vitug. J. 10. Please see separate opinion.Panganiban. the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution. On 2 June 2003. on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Corona. will write a separate concurring opinion. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES G.. CASE DIGEST FRANCISCO VS. Austria-Martinez. NO.. concur.. J. J..

and is supreme within its own sphere.Davide Jr. the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario G. and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes. and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on 5 August 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. together with the corollary principle of separation of powers. There are also glaring distinctions between the U.complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings.effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law.S..The House Committee on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient inform. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by abovementioned House Resolution. provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as . And the judiciary in turn. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction." As indicated in Angara v. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. The second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a"Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives. which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable." Issue: Whether the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. our Constitution.that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and lower courts. Held: The Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section 1. Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution. Davide. forms the bedrock of our republican form of government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves. and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality. judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution. as expressly provided for in the Constitution. a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it.S. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without limitation. and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against the House of Representatives.. Jr. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature. et. Electoral Commission.The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U.S. though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases.Various petitions for certiorari. The "moderating power" to "determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself. prohibition.S. While the U. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U. is not just a power but also a duty." but voted to dismiss the same on 22 October 2003 for being insufficient in substance." The complaint was endorsed by House Representatives. al. Four months and three weeks since the filing of the first complaint or on 23 October 2003. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government.

" Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution. (3). These limitations include the manner of filing. This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. it provided for certain well-defined limits.and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. Verily. required vote to impeach.embodied in Section 3(2). Finally. there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. or "judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion. the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. Article XI thereof. The people expressed their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution. . through the power of judicial review. (4) and (5). There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over congressional action. Instead.

1 and 7. Danilo Ramos. simultaneously referred to the House Committee on Justice. vs HOR: Judicial review is not only a power but a duty of the judiciary  the 1987 Constitution. FACTS          22July2010: 4 days before the 15th Congress opened its first session. and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. private respondents Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Ilagan. (3). Ferdinand Gaite and James Terry Ridon (Reyes group) filed an impeachment complaint against herein petitioner endorsed by Representatives Colmenares. sufficient in substance Petitioner filed petitions for certiorari and prohibition challenging Resolutions of September 1 and 7 alleging that she was denied due process and that these violated the one-year bar rule on initiating impeachment proceedings. GUITERREZ V. Mother Mary John Mananzan. found both complaints sufficient in form 2Sept2010: The Rules of Procedure of Impeachment Proceedings of the 15th Congress was published After hearing. NOT A POLITICAL QUESTION  Francisco Jr. 2010. though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases. Ratio: 1. 3. RULING: Petition DISMISSED. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE Certiorari and prohibition QuickGuide: Petitioner-Ombudsman challenges House Resolutions of Sept. 2. Danilo Lim and spouses Pestaño (Baraquel group) filed an impeachment complaint against Gutierrez upon endorsement of Party-List Representatives Walden Bello and Arlene Bag-ao 27July2010: HOR Sec-Gen transmitted the complaint to House Speaker Belmonte who then. sufficient in form and substance on grounds that she was denied due process and that the said resolutions violated the one-year bar rule on initiating impeachment proceedings for impeachable officers. WON the belated publication of the Rules of Procedure of Impeachment Proceedings of the 15th Congress denied due process to the Petitioner. 2010 found the two complaints. WON the case presents a justiciable controversy. Court dismissed the petition. Mariano.6. on August 2. . required vote to impeach. directed the committee on Rules to include it in the order of Business 3Aug2010: private respondents Renato Reyes Jr. HCOJ by Resolution of September 1. ISSUE/S: 1. 2010 finding two impeachment complaints against the petitioner. Edre Olalia. provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2).. directed the Committee on Rules to include it in the Order of Business 11Aug2010: HOR simultaneously referred the two complaints to the House Committee on Justice (HCOJ for brevity After hearing. Casiño. These limitations include the manner of filing. HCOJ by Resolution of September 7. Article XI thereof. (4) and (5). Tinio and De Jesus HOR provisionally adopted the Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Proceedings of the 14th Congress and HOR Sec-Gen transmitted the complaint to House Speaker Belmonte who then. which both allege culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. WON the simultaneous referral of the two complaints violated the Constitution. on August 9.

THE ONE-YEAR BAR RULE  (P): start of the one-year bar from the filing of the first impeachment complaint against her on July 22. father has a pending case with her at the Sandiganbayan  Presumption of regularity  The determination of sufficiency of form and exponent of the express grant of rule-making power in the HOR  the Impeachment Rules are clear in echoing the constitutional requirements and providing that there must be a “verified complaint or resolution”. subsequent matchsticks can no longer rekindle the candle. the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress.” (Gutierrez vs. Instead. Tupas. 2011) .”  “…that there should only be ONE CANDLE that is kindled in a year. it provided for certain well-defined limits. and 2) to allow the legislature to do its principal task [of] legislation. through the power of judicial review 2.  INITIATIVE: Filing of impeachment complaint coupled with Congress’ taking initial action of said complaint (referral of the complaint to the Committee on Justice)  IMPEACH: to file the case before the Senate  Rationale of the one-year bar: “that the purpose of the one-year bar is two-fold: 1)”to prevent undue or too frequent harassment. HOR.  impeachment is primarily for the protection of the people as a body politic. DUE PROCESS: Is there a need to publish as a mode of promulgation the Rules of Procedure of Impeachment Proceedings?  (P) alleges that the finding of sufficiency in form and substance of the impeachment complaints is tainted with bias as the Chairman of the HCOJ’s. Carr. and that the substance requirement is met if there is “a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee”  The Constitution itself did not provide for a specific method of promulgating the Rules. no second impeachment complaint may be accepted and referred to public respondent. “judicially discoverable standards” for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion. 2010. 2010 of the 15th Congress. 2010 or four days before the opening on July 26. and not for the punishment of the offender 3. such that once the candle starts burning. or in the language of Baker v. Rep. She posits that within one year from July 22.

twenty.Visayas employees on the date the said amount was due for release. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states that “The President. the Vice. All other public officers and employees may be removed from Office as provided by law. culpable violation of the Constitution. treason. herein private respondent Arturo Mojica. 2.7. Whether or not the Deputy Ombudsman may be held criminally and/or administratively liable HELD: Order of the CA is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 are REINSTATED and the Office of the Ombudsman is ordered to proceed with the investigation relative to the above cases. this recommendation was denied by the Office of the Ombudsman and following the stand of the Office of the Ombudsman that the Deputy Ombudsmen and The Special Prosecutor are not removable through impeachment. OMB's appeal. CA OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. committed (1) sexual harassment against Rayvi Padua. Whether or not the Ombudsman’s Deputies are impeachable 2. The Ombudsman is only one man. filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman requesting an investigation on the basis of allegations that then Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. despite the expiration of private respondent Mojica's term of office. The Ombudsman is only one man. Ombudsman's Deputies Not Impeachable The Deputy Ombudsman is not an impeachable officer. MOJICA GR No. the Court of Appeals nevertheless rendered the assailed Decision on the grounds of public interest. CA ruled that the Deputy Ombudsman is an impeachable officer. (Second Division) The enumeration in the Constitution of the impeachable officers is exclusive. On 29 December 1999. HON. Thus. On 18 December 2000. is impeachable.200. not including his Deputies. Chico-Nazario. 146486. and conviction of. 4 March 2005. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN V. 2.00 in benefits of OMB. but not by impeachment”. OMB-0-00-0616 and Administrative Case No. The complaints in Criminal Case No. the members of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. Records of the Constitutional Commission. other high crimes. ISSUE: 1.bribery. graft and corruption.Varona.President. on impeachment for. led by its two directors. J.two officials and employees of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. However. Fact-finding investigation was conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman and the report was referred by the Ombudsman to a constituted Committee of Peers which initially recommended that the investigation be converted into one solely for purposes of impeachment. or betrayal of public trust. mulcting money from confidential employees: James Alueta and Eden Kiamco and (3) oppression against all employees in not releasing P7. Sec. COURT OF APPEALS and FORMER DEPURTY OMBUDSMAN FOR VISAYAS ARTURO C. not including his Deputies. not his deputies. as well as the opinions of leading commentators in Constitutional Law reveal that the term Ombudsman in Sec. Thus. the members of the Supreme Court. only the Ombudsman. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution refer to the rank in itself. .

Fernan and the succeeding cases without going into the merits. Mere dicta are not binding under the doctrine of stare decisis. How then to explain our earlier pronouncement in Cuenco v.R. not his deputies. where the issue involved was not raised nor presented to the court and not passed upon by the court in the previous case. Hence. Deputy Ombudsman Mojica and Graft Investigator Labella. petitioner. Gonzales and Jarque v. Nor does retirement bar an administrative investigation from proceeding against the private respondent. Ombudsman Mojica and Graft Investigator Labella which reads: To grant a complaint for disbarment of a Member of the Court during the Member’s incumbency. only the Ombudsman. March 4. there can be no bar to his criminal prosecution in the courts. as pointed out by the petitioner. the former’s retirement benefits have been placed on hold in view of the provisions of Sections 12 and 13 f the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. which. Article XI of the 1986 Constitution. or permanent disability. vs. we likewise resolve the issue in favor of the petitioner. . Desierto do not tackle the impeachability of a Deputy Ombudsman either. Dep. the decision in the previous case is not stare decisis of the question presented. Criminal and Administrative Liability of Deputy Ombudsman As to whether or not the private respondent. would in effect be to circumvent and hence to run afoul of the constitutional mandate that Members of the Court may be removed from office only by impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI [2] of the Constitution. Gonzales. MOJICA. Precisely the same situation exists in respect of the Ombudsman and his deputies (Article XI [8] in relation to Article XI [2])… all of whom are constitutionally required to be members of the Philippine Bar? A dictum is an opinion that does not embody the resolution or determination of the court. All of them agree that the enumeration impeachable officers in Section 2. and made without argument. then Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. as later cited in In Re: Raul M. Thus. No.Leading legal luminaries on the Constitution are one in their opinion as to whether or not the Deputy Ombudsman is impeachable. 2005] OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND FORMER DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR THE VISAYAS ARTURO C. may be held criminally and/or administratively liable. 146486. as previously mentioned. Nor. is impeachable. In their belief. is a minute resolution dismissing a complaint for disbarment against the herein private respondent on the basis of the questioned obiter in Cuenco v. given that. for that matter. The succeeding cases of In Re: Raul M. is exclusive. or full consideration of the point. does Lastimosa-Dalawampu v. Desierto and Lastimosa-Dalawampu v. Jarque v. The rule that an impeachable officer cannot be criminally prosecuted for the same offenses which constitute grounds for impeachment presupposes his continuance in office. the moment he is no longer in office because of his removal. respondents. Fernan. resignation. SECOND DIVISION [G.

and following the established stand of the Office of the Ombudsman that the Deputy Ombudsmen and The Special Prosecutor are not removable . the Ombudsman was informed by Petitioner that Petitioner wanted to proceed to Manila. J. the Ombudsman directed his Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) to conduct a verification and fact-finding investigation on the matter. The complainants further requested that an officer-in-charge from the OMB-Manila be appointed to manage their office to prevent the Deputy Ombudsman from harassing witnesses and wielding his influence over them.00 benefits of OMBVisayas employees on the date the said amount was due for release. Deputy Ombudsman Rolando Casimiro and Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. The FFIB report was referred by the Ombudsman to a constituted Committee of Peers composed of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. Tamayo. The Ombudsman assented to the quick movement to Manila for Petitioner’s safety and the interest of the Office’s operations. 3. The Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military. Guerrero. found the evidence against Petitioner strong on the charges of acts of extortion. and in fact took their cause to the media. 58460 entitled. Jr.DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. herein private respondent Arturo Mojica. sexual harassment and oppression. Mojica. as stated by the Ombudsman and adopted by the Court of Appeals.200.[3] The subsequent events. and Oppression against all employees in not releasing the P7. later in its Report. Over-all Deputy Ombudsman Margarito Gervacio. Acting on the formal complaint against petitioner. Arturo C. apparently because of his alienation and the fear for reprisal from his alleged l ady victims’ husbands. and the Committee of Peers composed of Deputy Ombudsman Jesus F.R. an original special civil action for certiorari under Sec. committed the following: 1. However.: This is a “petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. SP No. Mulcting money from confidential employees James Alueta and Eden Kiamco. Sexual harassment against Rayvi Padua-Varona.[4] are as follows: The Ombudsman immediately proceeded to the OMB-Visayas office in Cebu City to personally deal with the office rebellion. this recommendation was denied by the Ombudsman after careful study. they threatened to go on a mass leave of absence. Cruz as the Officer-in-Charge of OMB-Visayas. The FFIB. The Committee of Peers initially recommended that the investigation be converted into one solely for purposes of impeachment. Petitioner in fact already had a ticket for the plane leaving two hours later that day. the Ombudsman installed Assistant Ombudsman Nicanor J. filed a formal complaint[2] with the Office of the Ombudsman requesting an investigation on the basis of allegations that then Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. 2. Subsequently. Rule 65” of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals of 18 December 2000 in CA-G. when twenty-two officials and employees of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman (OMB) for the Visayas. To underscore the seriousness of their intentions. The case had its inception on 29 December 1999. Reaching Cebu. Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas v. led by its two directors. 1. Ombudsman Aniano Desierto. and alternatively.

duly supported with sworn-statements executed by all concerned parties. the Ombudsman directed the Committee of Peers to evaluate the merits of the case and if warranted by evidence. Gonzales. (C). CRIMINAL Violation of Section 3. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). hence. the mention therein of the Deputy Ombudsmen is merely an obiter dictum. Mojica. Mojica solely for the purpose of impeachment. of your recommendation to conduct instead an investigation of the complaint against Deputy Ombudsman Arturo C. a formal investigation be simultaneously and jointly conducted by the Committee of Peers. (N). Villa. namely: I. Deputy Ombudsman Jesus F. to conduct administrative and criminal investigation(s) immediately thereafter. (T) and (U).. G. Special Prosecutor Leonardo P.R. paragraph[s] (b) and (e) of R. Two of your present members in fact participated in the investigation of the previous Mojica cases and thereafter recommended the dismissal thereof for lack of merit. c. thereafter. 6770 and the Supreme Court in Zaldivar vs.A. as demonstrated in many previous cases against Deputy Ombudsman Arturo C. Desierto as respondent. 19 May 1988. d. the undersigned members of the COP find sufficient cause to warrant the conduct of preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication against Deputy Ombudsman Arturo C. . I hereby confirm the action of disapproval. Violation of R. otherwise known as the “Administrative Code of 1987”. stated as follows: On the basis of the foregoing facts. Gervacio. 292. the Committee recommended the docketing of the complaint as criminal and administrative cases. paragraphs (A). (Section 22. No. one for the criminal case and another for the administrative case covering all the offenses specified above and. Jr. In the same Memorandum. As succintly (sic) stated by the Ombudsman in his Memorandum dated March 27. the official position of the Office is that the Constitution. 2000 Order of Overall Deputy Ombudsman) Acting on your query as to whether or not the Ombudsman confirms or affirms the disapproval by Overall Deputy Ombudsman Margarito P. Mojica for the following criminal and administrative offenses. Rule XIV of Executive Order No. Dishonesty Grave Misconduct Oppression Conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service Directly or indirectly having financial and material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of his Office. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995).) Accordingly. exclude the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor from the list of impeachable officials and the Jarque case involves Ombudsman Aniano A. II. b. Upon evaluation. 2000 (in reiteration of the March 13. ADMINISTRATIVE a. R. The Committee of Peers’ Evaluation dated 30 March 2000. Tamayo and former Overall Deputy Ombudsman Francisco A. xxx Moreover. 80578. Deputy Ombudsman Manuel B. Guerrero. Casaclang.through impeachment. let the instant case be docketed separately. e.A.A.

the Committee of Peers (COP) directed the herein private respondent Mojica in OMB-0-00-0615 entitled. the Committee of Peers. On the same date. (b) and (c) of Rep. Act No. On 10 April 2000. denying the request of petitioner for leave of absence. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995) and Sec. OMB Visayas Employees v. the COP issued an Order[7] in OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 finding prima facie evidence against Mojica and requiring him to submit an answer to the above-mentioned offenses within ten days. on 6 April 2000. for violation of Republic Act No. as well as his counter-affidavit and supporting evidence. b. (the Ombudsman. 3. Subsequently. and the Special Prosecutor) their agents and representatives. Mojica. as he was harassing some witnesses and complainants to recant or otherwise desist from pursuing the case. and directly or indirectly having financial and material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of his office).” thus effectively demoting/suspending petitioner. directing them to conduct administrative proceedings in OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 entitled. the evidence against him was strong. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) to submit his controverting evidence. a decision be rendered declaring the following acts of the Ombudsman null and void ab initio: a. grave misconduct. in a malevolent and oppressive manner and without jurisdiction. from suspending the petitioner (herein private respondent Mojica). after hearing. issuing a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) upon the filing of the petition to enjoin and restrain the respondents. . c. and that Mojica’s continued stay in office would prejudice the case. thereafter. 2. the Ombudsman issued a Memorandum[6] to the COP. which acts were done without lawful authority.[8] Aggrieved. par. oppression. and preventing him from preparing his defense.[5] claiming that the offenses for which private respondent Mojica was charged warranted removal from office.pursuant to Administrative Order No. authorizing or directing the docketing of the complaints against the petitioner. which is equivalent to authorizing the filing of the administrative and/or criminal cases against the petitioner. the Court of Appeals resolved to grant the prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and required the Ombudsman to comment and show cause why no writ of preliminary injunction should be issued. detailing and assigning indefinitely the petitioner to OMB-Manila “in a [special] capacity. the complainants in OMB-0-00-0615 filed a Motion to Place Respondent Under Preventive Suspension. Padua-Varona v. Accordingly. conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service. to maintain the status quo and in order to forestall the petition at bench from . the private respondent filed a petition[9] for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals praying that a resolution be issued: 1. 7. 3. which reads in part: Meanwhile. . Mojica (for dishonesty. On 04 May 2000. converting said TRO into a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. . and submit a recommendation on the propriety of putting Mojica under preventive suspension. who is an impeachable official. the Over-all Deputy Ombudsman.

directed the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining all therein respondents from taking any action whatsoever in cases No. The parties subsequently exchanged various pleadings that culminated in a Resolution[14] by the Court of Appeals on 5 July 2000 that. which hearing is set on May 9. on 6 June 2000. The following day. and deemed the instant petition submitted for resolution on the merits upon the submission of the comment or explanation on the appellate court’s show cause Resolution of 20 June 2000. the private respondent thus filed an urgent motion[12] before the Court of Appeals to enjoin the Ombudsman from taking any action whatsoever in the criminal and administrative cases aforementioned. on 13 June 2000. gross neglect of duty. and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service”[15] (OMB-ADM-0-00-0506). OMB-0-00-0615 (criminal) and No. By way of opposition. the private respondent could no longer invoke his alleged immunity from suit. the Court of Appeals directed[13] the Ombudsman to comment on the above pleadings. the COP issued an Order[11] in both OMB-0-00-0615 and OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 to the effect that having failed to submit the required counter-affidavits despite the lapse of seventeen days from the expiration of the extended reglementary period for filing the same. OMB-ADM-0-00-0316. and considering that upon examination of the records we believe that there is an urgent need for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to prevent great and irreparable injury that would result to herein petitioner before the matter could be heard on notice. OMB-ADM-0-00-0506 had been deemed . 266 and Sec. On 20 June 2000. and to comply with the former’s Temporary Restraining Order of 4 May 2000. the Ombudsman pointed out that the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the appellate court was against any action taken in cases No. Meanwhile. the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military directed the private respondent Mojica ostensibly to answer a different set of charges for “violation of Art. OMB-0-00-1050 and No. Feeling that this was merely an attempt at circumventing the directives of the Court of Appeals. Mojica filed an urgent motion before the Court of Appeals for respondents to show cause again why they should not be cited for contempt. Thus. On 14 August 2000. the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military issued an order deeming that cases No. the herein respondents. are hereby enjoined and restrained from proceeding with the hearing of the Motion to Place Respondent Under Preventive Suspension dated April 10. 3(e) of Rep.[10] Nevertheless. on 19 June 2000. The COP thus deemed both criminal and administrative cases submitted for resolution on the basis of the evidence on record. 3019” (OMB -00-0-1050) and for “grave misconduct. this time praying that the Court of Appeals issue an order requiring the Ombudsman to show cause why it should not be cited for contempt for failing to conform with the 4 May 2000 Resolution of the Court of Appeals. OMB-0-00-0615 and No. The Ombudsman further pointed out that since Mojica’s term of office had already expired as of 6 July 2000. respondent Mojica was deemed to have waived his right to present his evidence.becoming moot and academic. and not against any new cases filed against the private respondent thereafter. among other things. Act No. their agents and representatives acting for and in their behalf or under their authority. 2000. OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 (administrative) against Mojica. the private respondent filed another urgent motion. 2000 at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon and/or from conducting any further proceedings relative to the suspension from (o)ffice of the herein petitioner until further order and/or notice from this Court.

despite the expiration of private respondent Mojica’s term of office. the Office of the Ombudsman filed before this Court “a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly. OMB-0-00-0615 and Administrative Case No. III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS NO JURISDICTION TO ORDER THE DISMISSAL OF A CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST A RETIRED DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN. AS THEN DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR THE VISAYAS. the appellate court held that although the 1987 Constitution. the deliberations thereon. the Overall Deputy Ombudsman and the Committee of Peers. CONSIDERING THAT THE PLAIN TEXT OF SEC. are likewise hereby DECLARED INVALID. the dispositive portion thereof reads: WHEREFORE. In essence. and alternatively. OMB-ADM-0-00-0316. XI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. the order of the Committee of Peers in its Evaluation dated March 30. subjecting the petitioner [herein private respondent] to criminal and administrative investigations. Thus. EXCLUDES A DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FROM THE LIST OF IMPEACHABLE OFFICIALS. on 15 January 2001. or pursuant to such investigations. respectively. 1. the Court of Appeals nevertheless rendered the assailed Decision[17] on the grounds of public interest. all indicate that a Deputy Ombudsman is not an impeachable official. it was nevertheless constrained to hold otherwise on the basis of this Court’s past rulings. On 17 August 2000. in view of the foregoing.[16] On 18 December 2000. II THE PRINCIPLE OF STARE DECISIS ET NON QUIETA MOVERE MAY NOT BE INVOKED TO PERPETUATE AN ERRONEOUS OBITER DICTUM.” of the above decision. 2. the complaints in Criminal Case No. filed against the petitioner are hereby DISMISSED. 2000 directing the docketing separately of the criminal case as well as the administrative case against the petitioner is hereby SET ASIDE and DECLARED NULL AND VOID. All acts or orders of the Ombudsman. the private respondent filed an urgent motion for the immediate issuance of an order enjoining the Ombudsman from taking any further action whatsoever in OMB-ADM-0-00-0506 and OMB-000-1050. on the following grounds: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN ERRONEOUSLY RULING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT.submitted for resolution on the basis of the evidence at hand.[19] .[18] Thereupon. AS WELL AS THE INTENT OF THE FRAMERS THEREOF. ART. and the commentaries of noted jurists. an original special civil action for certiorari under Sec. WHICH IS STILL PENDING PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION BEFORE PETITIONER OMBUDSMAN. IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFICIAL. Rule 65 of the same rules.

adding that: .[22] concerning the same charges for disbarment brought against Justice Fernan. Desierto. Precisely the same situation exists in respect of the Ombudsman and his deputies (Article XI [8] in relation to Article XI [2].). The interpretation in question first appears in Cuenco v. wherein we cited the above ruling to underscore the principle involved in the case.” It is settled that the appeal from a final disposition of the Court of Appeals is a petition for review under Rule 45 and not a special civil action under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. where we held in part: There is another reason why the complaint for disbarment here must be dismissed. it bears noting that instead of assailing the Court of Appeals Decision solely by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. id. the reglementary period to appeal is fifteen (15) days from notice of judgment or denial of motion for reconsideration. 8 of our Constitution. .[21] a disbarment case against then Associate Justice Marcelo Fernan filed by Atty. (Emphasis supplied. it filed the present petition on 16 January 2001. be members of the Philippine Bar and may be removed from office only by impeachment (Article XI [2]. we issued another Resolution in In Re: Raul M. we subsequently anchored our Resolution in Jarque v. are immunized from liability possibly for criminal acts or for violation of the . petitioner lodged the present petition “alternatively” as “an original special civil action for certiorari under Sec.[20] The records show that following the petitioner’s receipt on 5 January 2001 of a copy the Court of Appeals Decision. Under Rule 45. Members of the Supreme Court must. 1. 2 in relation to Article XI.). may be appealed to this Court by filing a petition for review. that “[a] public officer who under the Constitution is required to be a member of the Philippine Bar as a qualification for the office held by him and who may be removed from office only by impeachment.e.) Barely two months later. Constitution). all of whom are constitutionally required to be members of the Philippine Bar. a former member of the House of Representatives. regardless of the nature of the action or proceeding involved. Gonzales. We go now into the substantive aspect of this case. To grant a complaint for disbarment of a Member of the Court during the Member’s incumbency.”[23] In 1995. Miguel Cuenco.). i. Fernan. .At the outset. where we are presented an attack upon a prior interpretation of Article XI.[24] a disbarment case against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto. id.. id. which would be but a continuation of the appellate process over the original case. [T]he court is not here saying that the Ombudsman and other constitutional officers who are required by the Constitution to be members of the Philippine Bar and are remova[ble] only by impeachment. Sec. cannot be charged with disbarment during the incumbency of such public officer. and the members of the Commission on Audit who are not certified public accountants (Article XI [D] [1] [1]. Sec. under Article VIII (7)(1) of the Constitution. would in effect be to circumvent and hence to run afoul of the constitutional mandate that Members of the Court may be removed from office only by impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI (2) of the Constitution. final orders or resolutions of the Court of Appeals in any case. Rule 45 is clear that the decisions. on the above ruling. Rule 65 of the same rules. a majority of the members of the Commission on Elections (Article IX [C] [1] [1] in relation to Article XI [2]. well within the reglementary period so indicated.

Should the tenure of the Ombudsman be thus terminated by impeachment. Desierto (A. but not by impeachment. The Ombudsman or his deputies must first be removed from office via the constitutional route of impeachment under Sections 2 and 3 of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.. in Lastimosa-Dalawampu v. (Emphasis supplied) Finally. And we have held in the case of Jarque vs. 774 [1988]. the members of the Constitutional Commissions. It appears that the members of the Constitutional Commission have made reference only to the Ombudsman as impeachable. Thus: . Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Fernan. . All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. 4509. stating that: Anent the complaint for disbarment against respondent Arturo C.. . the appellate court st ated that it had to “defer to the loftier principle of adherence to judicial precedents. graft and corruption.” [27] Nevertheless. To determine whether or not the Ombudsman therein mentioned refers to a person or to an office. Cuenco vs. the complaint for disbarment against the herein private respondent Mojica in his capacity as Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. excluding his deputies. No. an impeachable officer? Section 2.Code of Professional Responsibility or other claimed misbehavior. 40 [1988]). or betrayal of public trust. En Banc Resolution December 5. The pertinent portions of the record read.g. 2. Gonzales.. states that: Sec. . in a minute resolution. Deputy Ombudsman Mojica and Graft Investigator Labella. MR.. the deliberations thereon.. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. reference was made by the appellate court to the Records of the Constitutional Commission. treason. 158 SCRA 29. other high crimes. bribery. REGALADO. Is the Deputy Ombudsman. and conviction of. he may then be held to answer either criminally or administratively – e. Mojica in his capacity as Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas. the members of the Supreme Court. citing its Resolution in Jarque v. What the Court is saying is that there is here a fundamental procedural requirement which must be observed before such liability may be determined and enforced. 1995). 160 SCRA 771.[26] dismissed.C. and the opinions of constitutional law experts all indicate that the Deputy Ombudsman is not an impeachable officer. that the Ombudsman or his deputies must first be removed from office via impeachment before they may be held to answer for any wrong or misbehavior which may be proven against them in disbarment proceedings.. Thus. in disbarment proceedings – for any wrong or misbehavior which may be proven against him in appropriate proceedings. suffice it to state that a public officer whose membership in the Philippine Bar is a qualification for the office held by him and removable only by impeachment cannot be charged with disbarment during his membership (In Re: Raul M.[25] the Court. as well as to the opinions of leading commentators in constitutional law. thank you. Yes. to wit: . then. otherwise known as the doctrine of Stare Decisis. in holding that a Deputy Ombudsman is an impeachable officer. the Vice-President. necessary for the uniformity and continuity of the law and also to give stability to society. the court a quo took pains to point out that the 1987 Constitution. culpable violation of the Constitution. Desierto. The President. The above Resolution was subsequently made the basis of the appellate court’s assailed Decision of 18 December 2000. on impeachment for.

On Section 10, regarding the Ombudsman, there has been concern aired by Commissioner Rodrigo about who will see to it that the Ombudsman will perform his duties because he is something like a guardian of the government. This recalls the statement of Juvenal that while the Ombudsman is the guardian of the people, “ Quis custodiet ipsos custodies,” who will guard the guardians? I understand here that the Ombudsman who has the rank of a chairman of a constitutional commission is also removable only by impeachment. MR. ROMULO. MR. REGALADO. MR. MONSOD. That is the intention, Madam President. Only the Ombudsman? Only the Ombudsman.

MR. REGALADO. So not his deputies, because I am concerned with the phrase “have the rank of.” We know, for instance, that the City Fiscal of Manila has the rank of a justice of the Intermediate Appellate Court, and yet he is not a part of the judiciary. So I think we should clarify that also and read our discussions into the Record for purposes of the Commission and the Committee. MR. ROMULO. Yes. If I may just comment: the Ombudsman in this provision is a rank in itself really. That is how we look at it. But for purposes of government classification and salary, we thought we have to give him a recognizable or an existing rank as a point of reference more than anything else. MR. REGALADO. Yes, but my concern is whether or not he is removable only by impeachment, because Section 2 enumerates the impeachable officials, and it does not mention public officers with the rank of constitutional commissioners. MR. ROMULO. But we do mention them as the Ombudsman is mentioned in that enumeration. We used the word “Ombudsman” because we would like it to be his title; we do not want him called “Chairman” or “Justice.” We want him called Ombudsman. ... (Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Vol. II, July 26, 1986, pp. 273-274) MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist. On lines 13 and 14, I move for the deletion of the words “and the Ombudsman.” The Ombudsman should not be placed on the level of the President and the VicePresident, the members of the judiciary and the members of the Constitutional Commissions in the matter of removal from office. MR. MONSOD. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Monsod is recognized. MR. MONSOD. We regret we cannot accept the amendment because we feel that the Ombudsman is at least on the same level as the Constitutional Commissioners and this is one way of insulating it from politics. MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, to make the members of the Ombudsman removable only by impeachment would be to enshrine and install an officer whose functions are not as delicate as the others whom we wanted to protect from immediate removal by way of an impeachment.

MR. MONSOD. We feel that an officer in the Ombudsman, if he does his work well, could be stepping on a lot of toes. We would really prefer to keep him there but we would like the body to vote on it, although I would like to ask if we still have a quorum, Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Do we have a quorum? There are members who are in the lounge. The Secretary-General and the pages conduct an actual count of the Commissioners present. THE PRESIDENT. We have a quorum. MR. MONSOD. May we restate the proposed amendment for the benefit of those who were not here a few minutes ago. MR. DE LOS REYES. Madam President, parliamentary inquiry. I thought that amendment was already covered in the amendment of Commissioner Rodrigo. One of those amendments proposed by Commissioner Rodrigo was to delete the word “Ombudsman” and, therefore, we have already voted on it. MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, may I comment on that. THE PRESIDENT. Yes, the Gentleman may proceed. MR. DAVIDE. The proposed amendment of Commissioner Rodrigo was the total deletion of the Office of the Ombudsman and all sections relating to it. It was rejected by the body and, therefore, we can have individual amendments now on the particular sections. THE PRESIDENT. The purpose of the amendment of Commissioner Davide is not just to include the Ombudsman among those officials who have to be removed from office only on impeachment. Is that right? MR. DAVIDE. Yes, Madam President. MR. RODRIGO. Before we vote on the amendment, may I ask a question? THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Rodrigo is recognized. MR. RODRIGO. The Ombudsman, is this only one man? MR. DAVIDE. Only one man. MR. RODRIGO. Not including his deputies. MR. MONSOD. No. ... (Ibid., p. 305, emphasis supplied) Moreover, this Court has likewise taken into account the commentaries of the leading legal luminaries on the Constitution as to their opinion on whether or not the Deputy Ombudsman is impeachable. All of them agree in unison that the impeachable officers enumerated in Section 2, Article XI of the 1986 Constitution is exclusive. In their belief, only the Ombudsman, not his deputies, is impeachable. Foremost among them is the erudite Justice Isagani A. Cruz (ret.), who opined:

The impeachable officers are the President of the Philippines, the Vice-President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman. (see Art. XI, Sec. 2) The list is exclusive and may not be increased or reduced by legislative enactment. The power to impeach is essentially a non-legislative prerogative and can be exercised by the Congress only within the limits of the authority conferred upon it by the Constitution. This authority may not be expanded by the grantee itself even if motivated by the desire to strengthen the security of tenure of other officials of the government. It is now provided by decree (see P.D. No. 1606) that justices of the Sandiganbayan may be removed only through process of impeachment, the purpose evidently being to withdraw them from the removal power of the Supreme Court. This prohibition is of dubious constitutionality. In the first place, the list of impeachable officers is covered by the maxim “expressio unius est exclusio alterius.” Secondly, Article VIII, Section 11, of the Constitution states that all judges of inferior courts – and this would include the Sandiganbayan – are under the disciplinary power of the Supreme Court and may be removed by it. This view is bolstered by the last sentence of Article XI, Section 2, which runs in full as follows: Sec. 2. The President, the Vice-President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. (Cruz, Isagani A., Philippine Political Law, 1996 ed., pp. 333-334) Equally worth noting is the opinion of no less than Rev. Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., himself who was a member of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the 1987 Constitution, (who) asserted: Q. A. Is the list of officers subject to impeachment found in Section 2 exclusive? As presently worded, yes.

(Bernas, Joaquin G., S.J., The 1987 Philippine Constitution, A Reviewer-Primer, 1997 ed., p. 401) Last but certainly not the least is the equally erudite Representative Antonio B. Nachura himself, who, as a professor of law, commented that the enumeration of impeachable officers in Section 2, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, is exclusive. (Nachura, Antonio B., Outline/Reviewer in Political Law, 1998 ed., p. 192)[28] From the foregoing, it is immediately apparent that, as enumerated in Sec. 2 of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, only the following are impeachable officers: the President, the Vice President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman.[29] How then to explain our earlier pronouncement in Cuenco v. Fernan, as later cited in In Re: Raul M. Gonzales, Jarque v. Desierto and Lastimosa-Dalawampu v. Dep. Ombudsman Mojica and Graft Investigator Labella? By way of reiteration, said Resolution reads in part: . . . To grant a complaint for disbarment of a Member of the Court during the Member’s incumbency, would in effect be to circumvent and hence to run afoul of the constitutional mandate that Members of the Court may be removed from office only by impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI [2] of the Constitution. Precisely the same

situation exists in respect of the Ombudsman and his deputies (Article XI [8] in relation to Article XI [2]), . . . all of whom are constitutionally required to be members of the Philippine Bar.[30] (Emphasis supplied) In cross-referencing Sec. 2, which is an enumeration of impeachable officers, with Sec. 8, which lists the qualifications of the Ombudsman and his deputies, the intention was to indicate, by way of obiter dictum, that as with members of this Court, the officers so enumerated were also constitutionally required to be members of the bar. A dictum is an opinion that does not embody the resolution or determination of the court, and made without argument, or full consideration of the point. Mere dicta are not binding under the doctrine of stare decisis.[31] The legal maxim "stare decisis et non quieta movere" (follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled) states that where the same questions relating to the same event have been put forward by parties similarly situated as in a previous case litigated and decided by a competent court, the rule of stare decisis is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issue.[32] The succeeding cases of In Re: Raul M. Gonzales and Jarque v. Desierto do not tackle the impeachability of a Deputy Ombudsman either. Nor, for that matter, does LastimosaDalawampu v. Deputy Ombudsman Mojica and Graft Investigator Labella , which, as previously mentioned, is a minute resolution dismissing a complaint for disbarment against the herein private respondent on the basis of the questioned obiter in Cuenco v. Fernan and the succeeding cases without going into the merits. Thus, where the issue involved was not raised nor presented to the court and not passed upon by the court in the previous case, the decision in the previous case is not stare decisis of the question presented.[33] As to whether or not the private respondent, then Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, may be held criminally and/or administratively liable, we likewise resolve the issue in favor of the petitioner. The rule that an impeachable officer cannot be criminally prosecuted for the same offenses which constitute grounds for impeachment presupposes his continuance in office.[34] Hence, the moment he is no longer in office because of his removal, resignation, or permanent disability, there can be no bar to his criminal prosecution in the courts.[35] Nor does retirement bar an administrative investigation from proceeding against the private respondent, given that, as pointed out by the petitioner, the former’s retirement benefits have been placed on hold in view of the provisions of Sections 12[36] and 13[37] of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. WHEREFORE, the Order of the Court of Appeals dated 18 December 2000 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaints in Criminal Case No. OMB-0-00-0615 and Administrative Case No. OMB-ADM-0-00-0316 are hereby REINSTATED and the Office of the Ombudsman is ordered to proceed with the investigation relative to the above cases. SO ORDERED. Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., and Tinga, JJ., concur.

[1] Penned by Associate Justice B.A. Adefuin-de la Cruz, with Associate Justices Salome A. Montaya and Renato C. Dacudao concurring.

[2] CA Rollo, p. 121. [3] CA Decision, Rollo, p. 34. [4] Id., pp. 33-63. [5] CA Rollo, p. 40. [6] CA Rollo, p. 46. [7] Dated 25 April 2000, CA Rollo, pp. 44-45. [8] CA Rollo, p. 44. [9] CA Rollo, pp. 2-15. [10] CA Rollo, pp. 48-49. [11] CA Rollo, p. 90. [12] CA Rollo, p. 91. [13] CA Rollo, pp. 104-106. [14] CA Rollo, pp. 161-166. [15] CA Rollo, p. 212. [16] CA Rollo, p. 239. [17] CA Rollo, p. 33. [18] Rollo, pp. 62-63. [19] Rollo, p. 19. [20] Asian Transmission Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 144664, 15 March 2004, citing San Miguel Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 146775, 30 January 2002, 375 SCRA 311. [21] Administrative Case No. 3135, 17 February 1988, 158 SCRA 29. [22] Captioned as follows: In Re: First Indorsement from Honorable Raul M. Gonzales dated 16 March 1988 requesting Honorable Justice Marcelo B. Fernan to Comment on an Anonymous Letter-Complaint (Adm. Matter No. 88-4-5433, 15 April 1988, 160 SCRA 771). [23] Id. at 774. [24] A.C. No. 4509, 5 December 1995, 250 SCRA xi, xiv. [25] Administrative Case No. 4683 (Resolution), 06 August 1997.

[26] Supra, note 24. [27] Citing Lee, German G., Handbook of Legal Maxims, p. 151, 1998 ed.; citing Padilla, Civil Law, Vol. I, 1971 ed., Rollo, p. 18. [28] CA Rollo, pp. 47-50. [29] Presently Simeon V. Marcelo. [30] In Re: Raul M. Gonzales, supra, note 22. [31] Ayala Corporation v. Rosa-Diana Realty and Development Corporation, G.R. No. 134284, 01 December 2000, 346 SCRA 663, citing 20 Am Jur 2d, Courts § 39. [32] Negros Navigation Co. v. Court of Appeals , G.R. No. 110398, 7 November 1997, 281 SCRA 534, citing J.M. Tuason & Inc. v. Mariano, G.R. No. L-33140, 23 October 1978, 85 SCRA 644. [33] Negros Navigation Co. v. Court of Appeals , ibid., citing Eubanks v. State, Tex. Civ. App., 203 S.W. 2d 339, 342 (1947). [34] Estrada v. Desierto, G.R. Nos. 146710-15, 03 April 2001, 356 SCRA 108, Mendoza, J., concurring, citing Lecaroz v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. L-56384, 22 March 1984, 128 SCRA 324. [35] Ibid. [36] Sec. 12. Termination of Office. – No public officer shall be allowed to resign or retire pending an investigation, criminal or administrative, or pending a prosecution against him, for any offense under this Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery. [37] Sec. 13. Suspension and loss of benefits. – Any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title Seven Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him.
In the event that such convicted officer, who may already have been separated from service, has already received such benefits he shall be liable to restitute the same to the governmenT

8. PEOPLE V. SANDIGANBAYAN C/O MARC .

03-0665 dated June 6. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FACTS: Melchor Carandang.9. CSC changed the status of Carandang‘s and Clemente‘s appointments to permanent but not with respect to De Jesus on the ground that he "has not met the eligibility requirements. appointed by the President but by the Ombudsman as provided in Article IX of the Constitution. its authority is limited "only to [determine] whether or not the appointees possess the legal qualifications and the appropriate eligibility. A person occupying the position of Graft Investigation Officer III is not. 2003. security of tenure can be granted despite the absence of CES eligibility. or 2) including in the CES a position not occupied by a presidential appointee. The Ombudsman requested to the CSC for the change of status from temporary to permanent.D. 2002 too. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN V. Title I. . however. Such being the case. Subtitle A of the Administrative Code of 1987 provides persons occupying positions in the CES are presidential appointees. should be changed to permanent effective December 18. 9(h) which authorizes the CSC to approve appointments to positions in the civil service. contrary to the Administrative Code. except for his lack of CES or CSE eligibility. Clemente and De Jesus.. the CSC has the ministerial duty to grant the request of the Ombudsman that appointment be made permanent effective December 18. this petition for ceritiorari filed by the Office of the Ombudsman seeking to nullify the CSC Resolution. De Jesus possesses the basic qualifications of a Graft Investigation Officer III."11 It is not disputed that. To refuse to heed the request is a clear encroachment on the discretion vested solely on the Ombudsman as appointing authority. as provided in the earlier quoted Qualification Standards. of the appointments of Carandang. except those specified therein. Jr. nothing else. No 807. ISSUE: Whether or not the general power of the Civil Service Commission to administer civil service cannot validly curtail the specific discretionary power of appointment including the grant of security of tenure by the Office of the Ombudsman HELD: Book V. were appointed Graft Investigation Officers III of the Office of the Ombudsman. Sec. It bears emphasis that that under P. Hence. Paul Elmer Clemente and Jose Tereso De Jesus. they must first obtain a Career Executive Service (CES). 2002. who were conferred CSE eligibility pursuant to CSC Resolution No. in violation of the Constitution. emphasizing that since the Office of the Ombudsman is not governed by the Career Executive Service Board. To classify the position of Graft Investigation Officer III as belonging to the CES and require an appointee thereto to acquire CES or CSE eligibility before acquiring security of tenure would be absurd as it would result either in 1) vesting the appointing power for said position in the President. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) approved the appointments on the condition that for the appointees to acquire security of tenure. It goes without saying that the status of the appointments of Carandang and Clemente.

JR. which gives the President the power to dismiss a Deputy Ombudsman of the Office of the Ombudsman. is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition (with application for issuance of a temporary restraining order . ATTY. 196231..the Office of the Ombudsman. 196232. GERON. No. Gonzales III. RONALDO A. in their capacities as CHAIRMAN and MEMBERS of the OFFICE OF MALACAÑANG LEGAL AFFAIRS. AMORANDO. The petition primarily seeks to declare as unconstitutional Section 8(2) of Republic Act (R. and ATTY. J. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.. 2011 rendered by the Office of the President in OP Case No. DECISION PERLAS-BERNABE. is a Petition for Certiorari (with application for issuance of temporary restraining order or status quo order) which assails on jurisdictional grounds the Decision1 dated March 31. ORTIZ. No. docketed as G.R. 6770. No.SULAY and ATTY.10. Petitioner. 196231 September 4. JR. Respondents. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES. ROWENA TURINGANSANCHEZ.A.R.R. CARLITOD. The first case. . 2012 EMILIO A. OCHOA. 10-J-460 dismissing petitioner Emilio A. Officer in Charge. 196232 WENDELL BARRERAS-SULIT. docketed as G. in his capacity as EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. Petitioner. Respondents. Office of the Deput y Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs. No. x-----------------------x G. ATTY.R. vs. ATTY. otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989. CARLO D.: The Case These two petitions have been consolidated not because they stem from the same factual milieu but because they raise a common thread of issues relating to the President's exercise of the power to remove from office herein petitioners who claim the protective cloak of independence of the constitutionally-created office to which they belong . CATAYONG. SENIOR DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY JOSE AMOR M. PAQUITO N. ATTY. vs. Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO). DENNIS F.. DIR. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. FROILAN MONTALBAN. acting through and represented by EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. The second case. GONZALESS III V.) No. upon a finding of guilt on the administrative charges of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting a Betrayal of Public Trust.JR. OCHOA. GONZALES III.

Late into the night assault forces surrounded the bus and tried to gain entry. as follows: MANILA. but a pair of dead hostages hand-cuffed to the door made it difficult for them. and killed most of its passengers in a 10 hour-hostage drama shown live on national television until last night.m. Former police senior inspector Rolando Mendoza was shot dead by a sniper at past 9 p. Police used hammers to smash windows. Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza. and erstwhile bemedaled. The petition likewise seeks to declare as unconstitutional Section 8(2) of R. 2010. Police also used tear gas in an effort to confirm if the remaining hostages were all dead or alive. some four hostages were rescued alive while Mendoza was killed by a sniper. He was a disgruntled former police officer attempting to secure his reinstatement in the police force and to restore the benefits of a life-long.3 both issued by the Office of the President in OP-DC-Case No. No. news media scampered for a minute-byminute coverage of a hostage drama that had slowly unfolded right at the very heart of the City of Manila. service. demanding his reinstatement to the police force. sending bystanders scampering for safety. When the standoff ended at nearly 9 p. eight of whom died during the bungled police operation to rescue the hapless innocents. reverse and set aside (1) the undated Order2 requiring petitioner Wendell Barreras-Sulit to submit a written explanation with respect to alleged acts or omissions constituting serious/grave offenses in relation to the Plea Bargaining Agreement (PLEBARA) entered into with Major General Carlos F. Their tragic deaths triggered word wars of foreign relation proportions. The facts from which these two cases separately took root are neither complicated nor unfamiliar. and (2) the April 7. Mendoza hijacked the bus and took 21 Chinese tourists hostage. One newspaper headline ran the story in detail. Police said they fired at the wheels of the bus to immobilize it. While initial news accounts were fragmented it was not difficult to piece together the story on the hostage-taker. door and wind-shield but were met with intermittent fire from the hos-tage taker. Mendoza hijacked the tourist bus in the morning and took the tourists . In the morning of August 23.or status quo order) seeking to annul. The hostage drama dragged on even after the driver of the bus managed to escape and told police that all the remaining passengers had been killed. broadsheets and tabloids were replete with stories not just of the deceased hostage-taker but also of the hostage victims..A dismissed policeman armed with an assault rifle hijacked a bus packed with tourists. 6770 giving the President the power to dismiss a Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman. 11-B-003. the administrative case initiated against petitioner as a Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman. It took the policemen almost two hours to assault the bus because gunfire reportedly rang out from inside the bus. The following day.m. Shots also rang out. Initial reports said some 30 policemen stormed the bus. Philippines .A. 2011 Notice of Preliminary Investigation. Garcia.

He said the PNP-Internal Affairs Service and the ." A larger piece of paper on the front windshield was headed. Manila Police District (MPD) director Chief Superinten-dent Rodolfo Magtibay ordered the deployment of crack police teams and snipers near the scene. Gregorio was arrested by his colleagues on suspicions of being an accessory to his brother's action. "Release final decision.m. Mendoza posted a handwritten note on the windows of the bus. The disgruntled former police officer was reportedly armed with an M-16 rifle.hostage. no com-plaint. Children could be seen peeking from the drawn curtains of the bus while police negotiators hovered near the scene." Another sign stuck to another window said "3 p. Mendoza stuck a piece of paper with a handwritten message: "Big mistake to correct a big wrong decision.m. who claimed he was illegally dismissed from the police service. This triggered the crisis that eventually forced Mendoza to carry out his threat and kill the remaining hostages. the tourist guide and a photographer. Live television footage showed Mendoza asking for food for those remaining in the bus. which was parked in front ofthe Quirino Grandstand. MPD spokesman Chief Inspector Edwin Margarejo said Mendoza was apparently distraught by the slow process of the Ombudsman in deciding his motion for reconside-ration. saying "big deal will start after 3 p. Yebra reportedly lent a cellphone to allow communications with Mendoza in-side the bus." apparently referring to the case that led to his dismissal from the police force. Last night. no hearing. including the driver." Gregorio said. Ombudsman spokesman Jose de Jesus said Gutierrez gave a "sealed letter" to Moreno to be delivered to Mendoza. mostly children and three Filipinos. which was delivered. There was no due process. Mendoza. De Jesus did not elaborate on the contents of the letter but said Moreno was tasked to personally deliver the letter to Mendoza. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez had a meeting with Moreno to discuss Mendoza's case that led to his dismissal from the service. Earlier last night. A crisis man-agement committee had been activated with Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno coordinating the actions with the MPD. initially released nine of the hostages during the drama that began at 10 a." Stressing his demand. Negotiators led by Superintendent Orlando Yebra and Chief Inspector Romeo Salvador tried to talk Mendoza into surrendering and releasing the 21 hostages. and played out live on national television. and fuel to keep the air-conditioning going.m. "His problem was he was unjustly removed from service. Senior Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza said his brother was upset over his dismissal from the police force. today deadlock. today. a 9 mm pistol and two hand grenades. Tensions rose as relatives tried to prevent lawmen from arresting Gregorio in front of national television. Negotiations dragged on even after Mendoza's self-imposed deadline.

Christina Mendez. Gonzales III. grave threats. more particularly in December of 2003.) Rolando Mendoza. I. Nestor Etolle. Val Rodri-guez. Mendoza an-nounced to the passengers that they would be taken hostage. . AP Grandstand Carnage. No. OMB-P-A08-0670-H for Grave Misconduct was lodged against P/S Insp. A similar charge was filed by the private complainant. an investigation into the source of the smuggled currency conducted by US Federal Agents and the Philippine Government unraveled a scandal of military corruption and amassed wealth -.4 In a completely separate incident much earlier in time. 08E09512. his wife and their two sons before the Sandiganbayan.S. 2010 12:00 AM.000 from Manila by concealing the cash in their luggage and making false statements to US Customs Officers. Cecille Suerte Felipe. Margarejo said the bus had just left Fort Santiago in Intramuros when Mendoza asked the driver to let him get on and ride to Quirino Grandstand. The hostage drama began when Mendoza flagged down the Hong Thai Travel Tourist bus (TVU-799). 2008. on August 26. Amanda Fisher. however. pretend-ing to hitch a ride. namely. Meanwhile. while said cases were still pending. Garcia. and Police Officer II Roderick Lopena. Senior Police Inspector I Nestor David. 2008.R. docketed as I. No. Inevitably. "Having worn his (police) uniform." Margarejo said. and four others.S. Delon Porcalla. On July 24. Police Officer III Wilson Gavino. former Chief Procurement Officer of the Armed Forces. 08E-09512 was dismissed7 upon a . who filed their respective verified position papers as directed. The Philippine Star. Upon reaching the Quirino Grandstand. upon the request of petitioner Emilio A. a formal charge5 for Grave Misconduct (robbery. of course there is no doubt that he already planned the hostage taking. before the Office of the City Prosecutor. G. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers.Manila Regional Trial Court had already dismissed crim-inal cases against him. all relevant documents and evidence in relation to said case to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for appropriate administrative adjudication. Christian M.6 Subsequently. Case No. had accumulated more than P 300 Million during his active military service. Police Inspector Nelson Lagasca. Plunder and AntiMoney Laundering cases were eventually filed against Major General Garcia. the Office of the Regional Director of the National Police Commission (NPC) turned over.the boys' father. Retired Major General Carlos F. 196231 Sometime in 2008. robbery extortion and physical injuries) was filed before the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region (PNP-NCR) against Manila Police District Senior Inspector (P/S Insp.Sandy Araneta. No. Kalaw. Updated August 24. Manila. 28-year-old Juan Paolo Garcia and 23-year-old Ian Carl Garcia were caught in the United States smuggling $100. The Garcia brothers pleaded guilty to bulk cash smuggling and agreed to forfeit the amount in favor of the US Government in exchange for the dismissal of the rest of the charges against them and for being sentenced to time served.

2009. Pendatun. It was tasked to determine accountability for the incident through the conduct of public hearings and executive sessions. signed and forwarded said Order to petitioner Gonzalez's office on April 27. with the accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service pursuant to Section 58. Headquarters. However. they filed a Motion for Reconsideration10 of the foregoing Decision. Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of foreign tourists on that fateful day of August 23. Rule IV. it is respectfully recommended that respondents P/S Insp. Gen. a public outcry against the blundering of government officials prompted the creation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). for final approval by Ombudsman Merceditas N. Not more than ten (10) days after. who released a draft Order12 on April 5. who. in turn. for having committed GRAVE MISCONDUCT. together with the case records. 2009. On December 14. . NELSON URBANO LAGASCA. for failure of the complainant to appear in three (3) consecutive hearings despite due notice. 2008 recommending the dismissal without prejudice of the administrative case against the same police officers. P/INSP.finding that the material allegations made by the complainant had not been substantiated "by any evidence at all to warrant the indictment of respondents of the offenses charged. Rule IV of the same Uniform Rules of Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. However. Camp Brig. Shariff Kabunsuan. 2010 for appropriate action by his immediate superior. Gutierrez. be meted the penalty of DISMISSAL from the Service. Rolando Mendoza. pursuant to Section 52 (A). Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers guilty of Grave Misconduct was approved by the Ombudsman. Cecilio. Salipada K. the Internal Affairs Service of the PNP issued a Resolution8 dated October 17. Director Eulogio S. In the aftermath of the hostage-taking incident. in whose office it remained pending for final review and action when P/S Insp. Parang. On November 5. Manila. 2010. on February 16. the injury of seven others and the death of P/S Insp. SPO1 NESTOR REYES DAVID and PO2 RODERICK SALVA LOPEÑA of Manila Police District. followed by a Supplement to the Motion for Reconsideration11 on November 19." Similarly. 2009.13 chaired by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and vice-chaired by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesus Robredo. upon the recommendation of petitioner Emilio Gonzales III. a Decision9 in Case No. the pleadings mentioned and the records of the case were assigned for review and recommendation to Graft Investigation and Prosecutor Officer Dennis L. Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. 2009. more particularly on May 6. 2010. 2010 in a desperate attempt to have himself reinstated in the police service. Garcia. petitioner endorsed the Order. OMB-P-A-08-0670-H finding P/S Insp. which ended in the tragic murder of eight HongKong Chinese nationals. The dispositive portion of said Decision reads: WHEREFORE. United Nations Avenue. ROLANDO DEL ROSARIO MENDOZA and PO3 WILSON MATIC GAVINO of PRO-ARMM.

The inaction is gross. No opposition or comment was filed thereto. considering there is no opposition thereto. (d) Despite the pending and unresolved motion for reconsideration. Mendoza's demand for immediate resolution of his motion for reconsideration is not without legal and compelling bases considering the following: (a) PSI Mendoza and four policemen were investigated by the Ombudsman involving a case for alleged robbery (extortion). was given due course by the City Prosecutors Office. grave threats and physical injuries amounting to grave misconduct allegedly committed against a certain Christian Kalaw. in lieu of Christian Kalaw. 2009) as well as a supplement thereto. thereby abruptly ending Mendoza's 30 . was adjudged liable for grave misconduct by Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales (duly approved on May 21.petitioner. The prolonged inaction precipitated the desperate resort to hostage-taking. Clarence V. He also caused the docketing of the case and named Atty. 2009) based on the sole and uncorroborated complaintaffidavit of Christian Kalaw. Guinto of the PNP-CIDGNCR. In its Report. The same case. Christian Kalaw did not also affirm his complaint-affidavit with the Ombudsman or submit any position paper as required. however. (b) The Ombudsman exercised jurisdiction over the case based on a letter issued motu proprio for Deputy Ombudsman Emilio A. Gonzalez III.to endorse the case against Mendoza and the arresting policemen to his office for administrative adjudication. the IIRC eventually identified petitioner Gonzales to be among those in whom culpability must lie.without citing any reason . as well as the Ombudsman herself. as the nominal complainant. in violation of the Ombudsman prescribed rules to resolve motions for reconsideration in administrative disciplinary cases within five (5) days from submission. On the other hand. (c) Subsequently. after serving preventive suspension. During the proceedings. directing the PNP-NCR . Mendoza. From the said Resolution.14 the IIRC made the following findings: Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales committed serious and inexcusable negligence and gross violation of their own rules of procedure by allowing Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to languish for more than nine (9) months without any justification. More so. who indorsed the case records. refused to participate in the IIRC proceedings on the assertion that the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body. against Christian Kalaw involving the same incident. was previously dismissed by the Manila City Prosecutors Office for lack of probable cause and by the PNPNCR Internal Affairs Service for failure of the complainant (Christian Kalaw) to submit evidence and prosecute the case. which was not previously sustained by the City Prosecutor's Office and the PNP Internal Affairs Service. the case which was filed much ahead by Mendoza et al. Sifting through testimonial and documentary evidence. thereby showing undue interest on the case. Mendoza interposed a timely motion for reconsideration (dated and filed November 5. the judgment of dismissal was enforced.

the Ombudsman will benefit from its own inaction. Until the motion for reconsideration is denied. Ombudsman Gutierrez and Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales committed serious disregard of due process. hence. The inaction is gross. SECOND. Besides. manifest injustice and oppression in failing to provisionally suspend the further implementation of the judgment of dismissal against Mendoza pending disposition of his unresolved motion for reconsideration. Besides. there being no opposition to the motion for reconsideration. it should have provisionally suspended the further enforcement of the judgment of dismissal without prejudice to its reimplementation if the reconsideration is eventually denied. if the Ombudsman cannot resolve with dispatch the motion for reconsideration. arbitrarily enforced the judgment of dismissal and ignored the intervening requests for immediate resolution.years of service in the PNP with forfeiture of all his benefits. the adjudication process before the Ombudsman cannot be considered as completely finished and. they should have performed their duty by resolving the reconsideration that same day since it was already pending for nine months and the prescribed period for its resolution is only five days. As a result. Mendoza was also effectively deprived of the right to avail of the ordinary course of appeal or review to challenge the judgment of dismissal before the higher courts and seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the further execution thereof. As long as his motion for reconsideration remained pending and unresolved. Ombudsman Rules of Procedure). the Ombudsman. As such. Mendoza sought urgent relief by sending several hand-written letter-requests to the Ombudsman for immediate resolution of his motion for reconsideration. Or if they cannot resolve it that same day. Ombudsman Gutierrez and Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales committed complete and wanton violation of the Ombudsman prescribed rule to resolve motions for reconsideration in administrative disciplinary cases within five (5) days from submission (Sec. thereby rendering the inaction even more inexcusable and unjust as to amount to gross negligence and grave misconduct. then they should have acted decisively by issuing an order provisionally . without first resolving the motion for reconsideration. xxxx By allowing Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to languish for nine long (9) months without any justification. the judgment is not yet ripe for execution. 8. the litigant is entitled to a stay of the execution pending resolution of his motion for reconsideration. Otherwise. the two Ombudsman officials acted with arbitrariness and without regard to due process and the constitutional right of an accused to the speedy disposition of his case. xxxx When the two Ombudsman officials received Mendoza's demand for the release of the final order resolving his motion for reconsideration. But his requests fell on deaf ears. By enforcing the judgment of dismissal without resolving the motion for reconsideration for over nine months.

Shortly after the filing by the OP of the administrative case against petitioner. share. the entire crisis may have ended differently.18 In a Joint Resolution19 dated February 17. 2011. 292 and other pertinent Civil Service Laws. the complaint was dismissed. the negotiators sought the alternative option of securing before the PNP-NCRPO an order for Mendoza's provisional reinstatement pending resolution of the motion for reconsideration.000 in exchange for favorably resolving the motion for reconsideration . in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other party. 3019 and Section 7(d) of R.A. and also. which was approved by Ombudsman Ma. Had they done so. or benefit. No. Gonzales III for violations of Section 3(b) of R. But had the Ombudsman officials performed their duty under the law and acted decisively. rules and regulations. with solicitation or acceptance of gifts under Section 7(d) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards. Section 22 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. without necessarily compromising the integrity of the institution. and for Misconduct in Office under Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 2010. Mendoza did express willingness to take full responsibility for the hostage-taking if his demand for release of the final decision or reinstatement was met. No. premises considered. wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law" under Section 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. the crisis may have ended peacefully. finding no probable cause to indict respondent Emilio A.16 Petitioner filed his Answer17 thereto in due time.A. Gutierrez. As expected. Mendoza . . On October 15. But instead of acting decisively. for himself or for any other person. a complaint dated October 29. the compla int is hereby be [sic] DISMISSED. Merceditas N. triggering the collapse of the negotiations. 2010 was filed by Acting Assistant Ombudsman Joselito P. as relayed to the negotiators. Fangon before the Internal Affairs Board of the Office of the Ombudsman charging petitioner with "directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift. thereby prolonging their inaction and aggravating the situation. percentage. as follows: WHEREFORE. it was already too late. the two Ombudsman officials merely offered to review a pending motion for review of the case. The IIRC recommended that its findings with respect to petitioner Gonzales be referred to the Office of the President (OP) for further determination of possible administrative offenses and for the initiation of the proper administrative proceedings. present. 6713.rejected and branded as trash ("basura") the Ombudsman [sic] letter promising review. Unfortunately. the OP instituted a Formal Charge15 against petitioner Gonzales for Gross Neglect of Duty and/or Inefficiency in the Performance of Official Duty under Rule XIV.suspending the further enforcement of the judgment of dismissal subject to revocation once the reconsideration is denied and without prejudice to the arrest and prosecution of Mendoza for the hostage-taking. No.who previously berated Deputy Gonzales for allegedly demanding Php150. After all.O. To prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

the House of Representatives' Committee on Justice conducted public hearings on the PLEBARA.23 the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 2011. On March 16. rendered the assailed Decision. the OP pushed through with the proceedings and. his wife Clarita D. On January 7. On May 4. SB09CRM0194) before the Sandiganbayan. the Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution finding the change of plea warranted and the PLEBARA compliant with jurisprudential guidelines. and h ereby meted out the penalty of DISMISSAL from service. petitioner no longer attended the scheduled clarificatory conference. 28107) and Money Laundering (Criminal Case No. SO ORDERED. 2010.R.21 however. the OP notified20 petitioner that a Prel iminary Clarificatory Conference relative to the administrative charge against him was to be conducted at the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA) on February 8. represented by petitioner. their sons Ian Carl Garcia. he filed an Objection to Proceedings22 on February 7.Further. Hence. 2010. Mendoza's motion for reconsideration. Instead. 3. Petitioner Gonzales alleged. in view of the foregoing. G. Gonzales III guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust. 2010. 2011. this Office finds Deputy Ombudsman Emilio A. No. Meanwhile. that on February 4. on March 31. believing that the OP had already prejudged his case and that any proceeding before it would simply be a charade. Hence. the Committee on Justice passed and adopted Committee Resolution No. he heard the news that the OP had announced his suspension for one year due to his delay in the disposition of P/S Insp. 2011. Outraged by the backroom deal that could allow Major General Garcia to get off the hook with nothing but a slap on the hand notwithstanding the prosecution's apparently strong evidence of his culpability for serious public offenses. the same is likewise DISMISSED. At the conclusion of these public hearings. however. Garcia. Juan Paulo Garcia and Timothy Mark Garcia and several unknown persons with Plunder (Criminal Case No. 2011. Despite petitioner's absence. finding no sufficient evidence to hold respondent administratively liable for Misconduct. the petition. the Acting Deputy Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman charged Major General Carlos F. the government. 196232 In April of 2005. Garcia. however. Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit ("Barreras-Sulit") and her prosecutorial staff sought the Sandiganbayan's approval of a Plea Bargaining Agreement (hereinafter referred to as "PLEBARA") entered into with the accused.24 recommending to the President the dismissal of petitioner Barreras-Sulit from the service and the filing of appropriate charges against her Deputies and Assistants before the appropriate government office for having committed . the Sandiganbayan denied Major General Garcia's urgent petition for bail holding that strong prosecution evidence militated against the grant of bail.

to wit: (A) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. The Issues In G. In her written explanation. 2011. the petition. ACTING THROUGH THE . (D) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. which are violations under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and grounds for removal from office under the Ombudsman Act. ACTING THROUGH THE OTHER INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS. ACTING THROUGH THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS.R. GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER COMMITTED DELAY IN THE DISPOSITION OF MENDOZA'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. (F) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. (E) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. (C) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. ACTING THROUGH THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS. 196231. Hence. petitioner raised the defenses of prematurity and the lack of jurisdiction of the OP with respect to the administrative disciplinary proceeding against her. still proceeded with the case. GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN FAULTING PETITIONER FOR NOT RELEASING THE RESOLUTION ON MENDOZA'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR FOR NOT SUSPENDING MENDOZA'S DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE DURING THE HOSTAGE CRISIS. ACTING THROUGH THE OTHER INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS. however. GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT CONDUCTED ITS INVESTIGATION AND RENDERED ITS DECISION IN VIOLATION OF PETITIONER'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. 11-B-003 against petitioner Barreras-Sulit. The OP. (B) RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. petitioner Gonzales raises the following grounds.acts and/or omissions tantamount to culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. setting it for preliminary investigation on April 15. The Office of the President initiated OP-DC-Case No. ACTING THROUGH THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS. GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER TOOK UNDUE INTEREST IN MENDOZA'S CASE. HAS NO CONST ITUTIONAL OR VALID STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO SUBJECT PETITIONER TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATION AND TO THEREAFTER ORDER HIS REMOVAL AS DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN. No.

and in case of failure of justice as defined by law. No. or administrative case before the proper court or body. that is.INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS.25 On the other hand. civil.29 This idea of a people's protector was first institutionalized in the Philippines under the 1973 Constitution with the creation of the Tanodbayan. as Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor therein. GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN FINDING THAT THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT PETITIONER DEMANDED A BRIBE FROM MENDOZA.27 and is subsumed under the broad powers "explicitly conferred" upon it by the 1987 Constitution and R. The Swedish term. petitioners asseverate that the President has no disciplinary jurisdiction over them considering that the Office of the Ombudsman to which they belong is clothed with constitutional independence and that they. 6.A. 196232. file and prosecute the corresponding criminal.R. someone who acts as a neutral representative of ordinary citizens against government abuses. which shall receive and investigate complaints relative to public office. the primordial question in these two petitions is whether the Office of the President has jurisdiction to exercise administrative disciplinary power over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor who belong to the constitutionally-created Office of the Ombudsman. including those in government-owned or controlled corporations. WOULD TAKING AND CONTINUING TO TAKE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING AGAINST PETITIONER BE LAWFUL AND JUSTIFIABLE?26 Re-stated. which literally means "agent" or "representative. to be known as Tanodbayan. necessarily bear the constitutional attributes of said office. which wielded the twin powers of investigation and prosecution. The Ombudsman's administrative disciplinary power over a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prose-cutor is not exclusive." communicates the concept that has been carried on into the creation of the modern-day ombudsman. make appropriate recommendations. The Court is not convinced.28 The ombudsman traces its origins to the primitive legal order of Germanic tribes. The framers of the 1987 Constitution later envisioned a more effective . 6770. It is true that the authority of the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct administrative investigations proceeds from its constitutional mandate to be an effective protector of the people against inept and corrupt government officers and employees. in G. Section 6. petitioner Barreras-Sulit poses for the Court the question AS OF THIS POINT IN TIME. No. The Batasang Pambansa shall create an office of the Ombudsman. The Court's Ruling Short of claiming themselves immune from the ordinary means of removal. Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution provided thus: Sec.

inexpensive and effective manner on complaints against administrative officials". or any subdivision.31 Congress thereafter passed. improper. the Office of . 6770. the Ombudsman Act of 1989. functions. and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. and to function purely with the "prestige and persuasive powers of his office" in correcting improprieties. upon complaint or at its own instance. and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. censure. and to examine. 21. (2) Direct. unjust. Exceptions. Section 13. employee. or inefficient. (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. including Members of the Cabinet. Officials Subject to Disciplinary Authority. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. on November 17. (4) Direct the officer concerned. except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress. fraud. as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter. government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. suspension. 1989. to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties. prevent. Republic Act No. fine. (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities. . any act or omission of any public official. mismanagement. (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault. or on complaint by any person. local government."32 as follows: Sec. if necessary. or prosecution. viz: (1) Investigate on its own. any public official or employee of the Government. and ensure compliance therewith. agency or instrumentality thereof. instrumentalities and agencies.The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions. in any appropriate case. red tape. and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. (8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law. and recommend his removal.ombudsman vested with authority to "act in a quick.30 Accordingly. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. demotion. inefficiencies and corruption in government freed from the hampering effects of prosecutorial duties. or to stop. pertinent records and documents.(Emphasis supplied) In the exercise of such full administrative disciplinary authority. and the Judiciary. to shore up the Ombudsman's institutional strength by granting it "full administrative disciplinary power over public officials and employees. office or agency. (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency. and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution enumerates the following powers. and duties of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Senator Guingona observed that this might impair the . or 6. with the exception only of those officials removable by impeachment. respectively. Thus: Section 8. 6770 leads to the inevitable conclusion that Congress had intended the Ombudsman and the President to exercise concurrent disciplinary jurisdiction over petitioners as Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. to acts or omissions which: 1. For. Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency's functions. and after due process. and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment.xxxx (2) A Deputy or the Special Prosecutor. such authority is by no means exclusive. though in accordance with law. The Congressional deliberations on this matter are quite insightful. Reacting thereto. He added that the President alone has the power to remove the Deputy Tanodbayan. 4. the law must not be read in truncated parts. Section 8(2). which prerogative falls beyond the pale of judicial inquiry. while Section 21 declares the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority over all government officials. Are contrary to law or regulation. grants the President express power of removal over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor. Every part thereof must be considered together with the other parts. Are otherwise irregular. oppressive or discriminatory. viz: x x x Senator Angara explained that the phrase was added to highlight the fact that the Deputy Tanodbayan may only be removed for cause and after due process.34 A harmonious construction of these two apparently conflicting provisions in R. instead. on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting provisions. immoral or devoid of justification. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in interpreting a statute. on the other hand. A construction that would render a provision inoperative should be avoided. but not limited. Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts. Administrative complaints. whether appointive or elective. 5. Removal.33 Otherwise stated.A. Filling of Vacancy. Are unreasonable. 2. While the Ombudsman's authority to discipline administratively is extensive and covers all government officials. unfair. Petitioners cannot insist that they should be solely and directly subject to the disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman. apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a coordinated and harmonious whole. This sharing of authority goes into the wisdom of the legislature. may be removed from office by the President for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman. thus: Sec.the Ombudsman was explicitly conferred the statutory power to conduct administrative investigations under Section 19 of the same law. 19. 3. care should be taken that every part thereof be given effect.The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating. Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose. . No. the members of congress and the judiciary.

the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Mandaue City. 7160). 7160 should be viewed as having conferred on the Office of the President.in the same Organic Act was to provide for an external authority. Such legislative design is simply a measure of "check and balance" intended to address the lawmakers' real and valid concern that the Ombudsman and his Deputy may try to protect one another from administrative liabilities. and that he can be removed not by the President but by the Ombudsman. Gozo Dadole. No. considering the Chair's observation that vesting such authority upon the Tanodbayan itself could result in mutual protection. however.. the manifest intent of Congress in enacting both provisions Section 8(2) and Section 21 .A. and the Revised Penal Code. Despite the fact that R. the Chair expressed apprehension that the Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsman may try to protect one another. and a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. 3019.. Replying thereto. but not on an exclusive basis. However. 61. that the Constitution provides for an independent Office of the Tanodbayan. R. The Chair suggested the substitution of the phrase "after due process" with the words after due notice and hearing with the President as the ultimate authority.A. disciplinary authority over local elective officials.. No.A. an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President. it is necessary that an outside official should be vested with such authority to effect a check and balance. . and to allow the Executive to have disciplinary powers over the Tanodbayan Deputies would be an encroachment on the independence of the Tanodbayan. he was not averse to the proposal. however.35 Indubitably. Senator Guingona contended. This would not be the first instance that the Office of the President has locked horns with the Ombudsman on the matter of disciplinary jurisdiction. upholding the ratiocination of the Solicitor General that R. No. The pivotal issue raised therein was whether the Ombudsman had been divested of his authority to conduct administrative investigations over said local elective officials by virtue of the subsequent enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.. Form and Filing of Administrative Complaints. Senator Angara stated that originally.36 In said case. the pertinent provision of which states: Sec. that would exercise the power of administrative discipline over the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor without in the least diminishing the constitutional and plenary authority of the Ombudsman over all government officials and employees. An earlier conflict had been settled in favor of shared authority in Hagad v. were charged before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas with violations of R. The Court resolved said issue in the negative. a highly urbanized city. No.A.independence of the Tanodbayan and suggested that the procedural removal of the Deputy Tanodbayan. No. 6713. through the person of the President.A verified complaint against any erring local elective official shall be prepared as follows: (a) A complaint against any elective official of a province.A.

However. 7160." The Court underscored therein the clear legislative intent of imposing "a standard and a separate set of procedural requirements in connection with administrative proceedings involving public school teachers"41 with the enactment of R. there is nothing in the Local Government Code to indicate that it has repealed. every statute must be so interpreted and brought into accord with other laws as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. which gives the Ombudsman the option to "refer certain complaints to the proper disciplinary authority for the institution of appropriate administrative proceedings against erring public officers or employees. let alone irreconcilable. Thus said the Court: Indeed. The two statutes on the specific matter in question are not so inconsistent. whether expressly or impliedly. 4670. the more recent case of the Office of the Ombudsman v. all doubts must be resolved against any implied repeal. Considering the principles attending concurrence of jurisdiction where the Office of the President was the first to initiate a case against petitioner Gonzales. Delijero39 tempered the exercise by the Ombudsman of such plenary power invoking Section 23(2)40 of R. interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretendi.A.A. prudence should have prompted the Ombudsman to desist from proceeding separately against petitioner through its Internal Affairs Board. No. and all efforts should be exerted in order to harmonize and give effect to all laws on the subject. Hence. it is equally without question that the President has concurrent authority with respect to removal from office of the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor.7160 was the more recent expression of legislative will. no repeal of pertinent provisions in the Ombudsman Act was inferred therefrom. The fundament is that the legislature should be presumed to have known the existing laws on the subject and not to have enacted conflicting statutes. and that courts must generally assume their congruent application. as to compel us to only uphold one and strike down the other. albeit under specified conditions. including the extreme penalty of dismissal from the service." It thus declared that. and a clear finding thereof must surface. i. before the inference of implied repeal may be drawn. Unquestionably. The two laws must be absolutely incompatible.e. No. and to defer instead to the President's assumption of . the Ombudsman is possessed of jurisdiction to discipline his own people and mete out administrative sanctions upon them. Gozo Dadole38 upheld the plenary power of the Office of the Ombudsman to discipline elective officials over the same disciplinary authority of the President under R.37 While Hagad v. The rule is expressed in the maxim. 6770. it would have been more prudent under the circumstances for the Ombudsman to have referred to the DECS the complaint against the public school teacher. otherwise known as "The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. while the Ombudsman's administrative disciplinary authority over a public school teacher is concurrent with the proper investigating committee of the Department of Education. No. Well settled is the rule that repeals of laws by implication are not favored.A.. the pertinent provisions of the Ombudsman Act.

there is.authority. under Section 2. and from a list of three nominees for every vacancy thereafter. Yes. thus: MR. thank you. REGALADO. there has been concern aired by Commissioner Rodrigo about who will see to it that the Ombudsman will perform his duties because he is something like a . which is by impeachment under Section 244 of the same Article. or a Special Prosecutor. no constitutional provision similarly dealing with the removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution confers upon the President the power to appoint the Ombudsman and his Deputies. After all. All vacancies shall be filled within three months after they occur. especially when the administrative charge involved "demanding and soliciting a sum of money" which constitutes either graft and corruption or bribery. however. By granting express statutory power to the President to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor. That the Deputies of the Ombudsman were intentionally excluded from the enumeration of impeachable officials is clear from the following deliberations45 of the Constitutional Commission. Congress merely filled an obvious gap in the law. Congress simply filled a gap in the law without running afoul of any provision in the Constitution or existing statutes. viz: Section 9. Bundalian. Section 9.43 the Court sustained the President's dismissal from service of a Regional Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who was found liable for unexplained wealth upon investigation by the now defunct Philippine Commission Against Graft and Corruption (PCAGC). Such appointments shall require no confirmation. regarding the Ombudsman. assuming that the Ombudsman's Internal Affairs Board properly conducted a subsequent and parallel administrative action against petitioner. The Court categorically ruled therein that the prior dismissal by the Ombudsman of similar charges against said official did not operate as res judicata in the PCAGC case. the Constitution itself. the doctrine of res judicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings. While the removal of the Ombudsman himself is also expressly provided for in the Constitution. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least six nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council.42 In Montemayor v. both of which are grounds reserved for the President's exercise of his authority to remove a Deputy Ombudsman. 6770. On Section 10. not to the exercise of administrative powers. its earlier dismissal of the charge of graft and corruption against petitioner could not have the effect of preventing the Office of the President from proceeding against petitioner upon the same ground of graft and corruption. In fact. In any case. for that matter.A. authorizes Congress to provide for the removal of all other public officers. who are not subject to impeachment. By enacting Section 8(2) of R. including the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor.

when the power to remove is expressly vested in an office or authority other than the appointing power. Madam President. Article IX(D) shall likewise be appointed by the . That is the intention. In some cases. all officers appointed by the President are also removable by him. Members of the Supreme Court may be removed after impeachment proceedings initiated by Congress (Section 2. that the City Fiscal of Manila has the rank of a justice of the Intermediate Appellate Court.49 The exception to this is when the law expressly provides otherwise . Only one man. Under Section 9. Under the doctrine of implication. the Constitution expressly separates the power to remove from the President's power to appoint. who will guard the guardians? I understand here that the Ombudsman who has the rank of a chairman of a constitutional commission is also removable only by impeachment. No. the Commission on Elections Section 1(2). MR. Not including his deputies.46 xxx THE PRESIDENT. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodies". We know. REGALADO. may I ask a question? THE PRESIDENT. Before we vote on the amendment. Only the Ombudsman. REGALADO. ROMULO. RODRIGO. MR. The Chairpersons and Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission Section 1(2). Is that right? MR. Only the Ombudsman? MR. MR. DAVIDE. MONSOD. DAVIDE. RODRIGO. MR. is this only one man? MR. and yet he is not a part of the judiciary. Article VIII). Commissioner Rodrigo is recognized.47 (Emphasis supplied) The Power of the President to Remove a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor is Implied from his Power to Appoint. The Ombudsman. Madam President. while judges of lower courts may be removed only by the Supreme Court by virtue of its administrative supervision over all its personnel (Sections 6 and 11. the power to appoint carries with it the power to remove. MR. the Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President. However. So not his deputies. for instance.48 As a general rule. MR. So I think we should clarify that also and read our discussions into the Record for purposes of the Commission and the Committee. MONSOD. The purpose of the amendment of Commissioner Davide is not just to include the Ombudsman among those officials who have to be removed from office only onimpeachment. This recalls the statement of Juvenal that while the Ombudsman is the guardian of the people. because I am concerned with the phrase "have the rank of". Article IX(C). RODRIGO. MR. Yes.that is.guardian of the government. and the Commission on Audit Section 1(2). Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Article IX(B). therefore. Article XI).

authority to inquire and obtain information and the function to adopt. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. The Office of the Ombudsman is charged with monumental tasks that have been generally categorized into investigatory power. well into the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission.President. Congress simply laid down in express terms an authority that is already implied from the President's constitutional authority to appoint the aforesaid officials in the Office of the Ombudsman. The Reform the Armed Forces Movement of RAM has kept precincts for pushing logistics to the field. Visayas and Mindanao. the El Diablo and other organizations dominated by enlisted men function. corruption and neglect in the uniformed service.50 In order to ensure the effectiveness of his constitutional role. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. Ordinary soldiers. Visayas and . Article XI) but may also be removed only by impeachment (Section 2. the implied accusation being that most of the resources are used up in Manila instead of sent to soldiers in the field. institute and implement preventive measures. This deputy will. more or less. The Guardians. one over-all Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. just as it champions the common people against bureaucratic indifference. The Ombudsman can designate a deputy to help the ordinary foot soldier get through with his grievance to higher authorities.51 thus: In our own Philippine Armed Forces. in fact. when they know they can turn to a military Ombudsman for their complaints. Article XI). As priorly stated. as grievance collectors and as mutual aid societies. an informal grievance machinery against injustices to the rank and file soldiery and perceive graft in higher rank and neglect of the needs of troops in combat zones. Article XI which reads as follows: Section 5. may not have to fall back on their own informal devices to obtain redress for their grievances. public assistance. The Ombudsman will help raise troop morale in accordance with a major professed goal of the President and the military authorities themselves. x x x The add-on now forms part of Section 5. there has arisen in recent years a type of fraternal association outside the chain of command proposing reformist objectives. the Ombudsman himself shall be appointed by the President (Section 9. the Ombudsman was provided with an over-all deputy as well as a deputy each for Luzon. Article XI). However. a provision for the appointment of a separate deputy for the military establishment was necessitated by Commissioner Ople's lament against the rise within the armed forces of "fraternal associations outside the chain of command" which have become the common soldiers' "informal grievance machinery" against injustice. of course work in close cooperation with the Minister of National Defense because of the necessity to maintain the integrity of the chain of command. prosecutorial power. This proposed amendment merely seeks to extend the office of the Ombudsman to the military establishment. In giving the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. They constitute. but they may be removed only by impeachment (Section 2.

mobilizer of government. provides strict qualifications for the office Section 8. This means nothing more than that "the terms of office. No. if not resultantly negates the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman is tenuous. the salary. . the appointments and discipline of all persons under the office" are "reasonably insulated from the whims of politicians."52 And so it was that Section 5. Granting the President the Power to Remove a Deputy Ombudsman does not Diminish the Independence of the Office of the Ombudsman. It would not be incongruous for Congress. prohibits a decrease in salaries during the term of office Section 10. Article XI. Pertinent provisions under Article XI prescribes a term of office of seven years without reappointment Section 11. 6770 granting the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman from office totally frustrates. therefore. Being aware of the constitutional imperative of shielding the Office of the Ombudsman from political influences and the discretionary acts of the executive. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution had declared the creation of the independent Office of the Ombudsman. The claim that Section 8(2) of R. composed of the Ombudsman and his Deputies. Reiterating the grounds for impeachment laid down in Section 2. It certainly cannot be made to extend to wrongdoings and permit the unbridled acts of its officials to escape administrative discipline. grants fiscal autonomy Section 14 and ensures the exercise of constitutional functions Section 12 and 13.Mindanao. constitutional watchdog53 and protector of the people. The independence which the Office of the Ombudsman is vested with was intended to free it from political considerations in pursuing its constitutional mandate to be a protector of the people. essentially. namely: (1) that the removal of the Deputy Ombudsman must be for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman and (2) that there must be observance of due process. Congress laid down two restrictions on the President's exercise of such power of removal over a Deputy Ombudsman. to grant the President concurrent disciplinary authority over the Deputy Ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement offices. The cloak of independence is meant to build up the Office of the Ombudsman's institutional strength to effectively function as official critic. A separate deputy for the military establishment shall likewise be appointed. political independence. who are described as "protectors of the people" and constitutionally mandated to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government Section 12.A. What the Constitution secures for the Office of the Ombudsman is. (Emphasis suppl ied) The integrity and effectiveness of the Deputy Ombudsman for the MOLEO a s a military watchdog looking into abuses and irregularities that affect the general morale and professionalism in the military is certainly of primordial importance in relation to the President's own role asCommander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

It is. "culpable violation of the Constitution. As long as petitioner was given the opportunity to explain his side and present evidence. or a Special Prosecutor for that matter. At the outset. do not constitute betrayal of public trust. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. III. This Court consistently refrains from interfering with the exercise of its powers. treason. 10-J-460 which led to the dismissal of herein petitioner. we now go to the substance of the administrative findings in OP Case No. Petitioner was admittedly able to file an Answer in which he had interposed his defenses to the formal charge against him.57 Mere opportunity to be heard is sufficient. Having now settled the question concerning the validity of the President's power to remove the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. other high crimes. graft and corruption. Deputy Ombudsman Emilio A.Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process. and respects the initiative and independence inherent in the Ombudsman who. precisely.A. In administrative proceedings.55 Due process is simply having the opportunity to explain one's side. Petitioner Gonzales may not be removed from office where the questioned acts. or betrayal of public trust. or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. would diminish or compromise the constitutional independence of the Office of the Ombudsman. 6770 states that the Deputy Ombudsman may be removed from office for the same grounds that the Ombudsman may be removed through impeachment. In Espinosa v. the Constitution as well as RA 6770 has endowed it with a wide latitude of investigatory and prosecutory powers virtually free from legislative. Gonzales. the Court finds no cause for petitioner Gonzales to complain simply because the OP proceeded with the administrative case against him despite his non-attendance thereat. No. executive or judicial intervention. a measure of protection of the independence of the Ombudsman's Deputies and Special Prosecutor in the discharge of their duties that their removal can only be had on grounds provided by law. 'beholden to no one. bribery. acts as the champion of the people and the preserver of the integrity of public service.54 the Court elucidated on the nature of the Ombudsman's independence in this wise The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers is vested in the Office of the Ombudsman. namely." Thus. Office of the Ombudsman. the . To insulate the Office from outside pressure and improper influence. paragraph 1 of Section 8 of R. falling short of constitutional standards. it cannot be rightly said that giving the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman.56 The essence of due process is that a party is afforded reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence he may have in support of his defense.

"62 Factual findings of administrative bodies are controlling when supported by substantial evidence.63 The OP's pronouncement of administrative accountability against petitioner and the imposition upon him of the corresponding penalty of removal from office was based on the finding of gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct in office amounting to a betrayal of public trust.requirements of due process are satisfactorily complied with because what the law abhors is an absolute lack of opportunity to be heard.61 The fact. and a statutory ground for the President to remove from office a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act. the requirement of due process has been satisfied.58 Besides. In the first instance. which opportunity respondent actually availed of. and his apparent unconcern that the pendency of the motion for reconsideration for more than five months had deprived P/S Insp. Article XI. In the second instance. respondent Deputy Ombudsman refused to appear for said conference.59 In administrative proceedings. He had squandered a subsequent opportunity to elucidate upon his pleaded defenses by adamantly refusing to attend the scheduled Clarificatory Conference despite notice. petitioner only has himself to blame for limiting his defense through the filing of an Answer. Mendoza's dismissal notwithstanding the latter's non-receipt of his copy of the Decision and the subsequent filing of a motion for reconsideration. Respondent having been given actual and reasonable opportunity to explain or defend himself in due course. Mendoza based upon an unverified complaint-affidavit. which only requires that a decision must "have something upon which it is based. The OP held that petitioner's want of care and wrongful conduct consisted of his unexplained action in directing the PNP-NCR to elevate P/S Insp. this Office called a Clarificatory Conference on 8 February 2011 pursuant to respondent's express election of a formal investigation. that petitioner later refused to participate in the hearings before the OP is not a hindrance to a finding of his culpability based on substantial evidence. however. Mendoza's case records to his office. the quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt is substantial evidence. The OP recounted as follows It bears noting that respondent Deputy Ombudsman Gonzalez was given two separate opportunities to explain his side and answer the Formal Charge against him. therefore. interposing an objection based on the unfounded notion that this Office has prejudged the instant case. Mendoza of available remedies against the immediate . his inordinate haste in implementing P/S Insp. Despite due notice. his failure to verify the basis for requesting the Ombudsman to take over the case. 1987 Constitution). which is a constitutional ground for the removal by impeachment of the Ombudsman (Section 2.60 which is more than a mere scintilla and means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. respondent was given the opportunity to submit his answer together with his documentary evidence. his pronouncement of administrative liability and imposition of the extreme penalty of dismissal on P/S Insp.

taking into consideration the factual determinations of the IIRC. bribery. The invariable rule is that administrative decisions in matters within the executive jurisdiction can only be set aside on proof of gross abuse of discretion. Betrayal of public trust is a new ground for impeachment under the 1987 Constitution added to the existing grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution. the OP concluded that: (1) petitioner failed to supervise his subordinates to act with dispatch on the draft resolution of P/S Insp. However. circumspective look at the nature of the grounds for the removal of a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor vis-a-vis common administrative offenses. To say that petitioner's offenses. had been reserved only for the most serious violations that justify the removal by impeachment of the highest officials of the land. Would every negligent act or misconduct in the performance of a Deputy Ombudsman's duties constitute betrayal of public trust warranting immediate removal from office? The question calls for a deeper. while the evidence may show some amount of wrongdoing on the part of petitioner. nonetheless. Mendoza's motion for reconsideration and thereby caused undue prejudice to P/S Insp. the catch-all phrase betrayal of public trust that referred to "all acts not punishable by statutes as penal offenses but. deliberating on some workable standard by which the ground could be reasonably interpreted. treason.65 the impreciseness of its definition also created apprehension that "such an overarching standard may be too broad and may be subject to abuse and arbitrary exercise by the legislature. theretofore. and (2) petitioner showed undue interest by having P/S Insp."66 Indeed. as they factually appear. the Constitutional Commission recognized that human error and good faith precluded an adverse conclusion. I am not a lawyer so I can anticipate . fraud. Thus. Mendoza on the basis of the unverified complaintaffidavit of the alleged victim Christian Kalaw. or error of law.implementation of the Decision dismissing him from the service. Mendoza by effectively depriving the latter of the right to challenge the dismissal before the courts and prevent its immediate execution. weigh heavily enough to constitute betrayal of public trust would be to ignore the significance of the legislature's intent in prescribing the removal of the Deputy Ombudsman or the Special Prosecutor for causes that. render the officer unfit to continue in office"67 could be easily utilized for every conceivable misconduct or negligence in office. VILLACORTA: x x x One last matter with respect to the use of the words "betrayal of public trust" as embodying a ground for impeachment that has been raised by the Honorable Regalado. the allegations and evidence of petitioner in his Answer as well as other documentary evidence. the Court seriously doubts the correctness of the OP's conclusion that the imputed acts amount to gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct constitutive of betrayal of public trust. Mendoza's case endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman and resolving the same against P/S Insp. While it was deemed broad enough to cover any violation of the oath of office.64 In the instant case. graft and corruption and other high crimes. MR.

for purposes of impeachment. A review of the Journals of that Convention will show that it was not included. favoritism. Betrayal of public trust could not suddenly . It is to be noted that this ground was also suggested in the 1971 Constitutional Convention. inexcusable negligence of duty."68 (Emphasis supplied) The Constitutional Commission eventually found it reasonably acceptable for the phrase betrayal of public trust to refer to "acts which are just short of being criminal but constitute gross faithlessness against public trust. as well as betrayal of public trust. Besides. where circumstances may indicate that there is good faith. favoritism. graft and corruption. Hence. treason. Hence. culpable violation of the Constitution. acts that should constitute betrayal of public trust as to warrant removal from office may be less than criminal but must be attended by bad faith and of such gravity and seriousness as the other grounds for impeachment. and gross exercise of discretionary powers. In order to avoid confusion. other high crimes. to my mind. NOLLEDO: x x x I think we will miss a golden opportunity if we fail to adopt the words "betrayal of public trust" in the 1986 Constitution. MR. treason.the difficulties that a layman may encounter in understanding this provision and also the possible abuses that the legislature can commit in interpreting this phrase. because if betrayal of public trust encompasses the earlier acts that were enumerated. and apply them less stringently. bribery."69 In other words. the legislature could not have intended to redefine constitutional standards of culpable violation of the Constitution. and also I heard the Honorable Davide say that even the criminal acts that were enumerated in the earlier 1973 provision on this matter constitute betrayal of public trust as well. by providing for their removal from office on the same grounds as removal by impeachment. However. would it not be clearer to stick to the wording of Section 2 which reads: "may be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of. where betrayal of public trust. But I would like him to know that we are amenable to any possible amendment. tyrannical abuse of power. will not constitute betrayal of public trust if that statement will allay the fears of difficulty in interpreting the term. then it would behoove us to be equally clear about this last provision or phrase. tyrannical abuse of power. and other high crimes. it was construed as encompassing acts which are just short of being criminal but constitute gross faithlessness against public trust. bribery. I think plain error of judgment. I understand from the earlier discussions that these constitute violations of the oath of office. this should remain true even for purposes of removing a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor from office. and gross exercise of discretionary powers. the fact that the grounds for impeachment have been made statutory grounds for the removal by the President of a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor cannot diminish the seriousness of their nature nor the acuity of their scope. graft and corruption or VIOLATION OF HIS OATH OF OFFICE". was not intended to cover all kinds of official wrongdoing and plain errors of judgment. inexcusable negligence of duty. A Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor are not impeachable officers.

After all." The factual circumstances that the case was turned over to the Office of the Ombudsman upon petitioner's request. the release of any final order on the case was no longer in his hands. The tragic hostage-taking incident was the result of a confluence of several unfortunate events including system failure of government response. or of any corrupt intention or questionable motivation. Gutierrez. Mendoza's case be judged based upon the resulting deaths at the Quirino Grandstand. Records show that petitioner took considerably less time to act upon the draft resolution after the same was submitted for his appropriate action compared to the length of time that said draft remained pending and unacted upon in the Office of Ombudsman Merceditas N. the same cannot be considered a vicious and malevolent act warranting his removal for betrayal of public trust. by itself. 2010 until he forwarded his recommendation to the Office of Ombudsman Gutierrez on May 6. social ties or business affiliation with any of the parties to the case that could have impelled him to act as he did. that administrative liability was pronounced against P/S Insp. be considered a manifestation of his undue interest in the case that would amount to wrongful or unlawful conduct."overreach" to cover acts that are not vicious or malevolent on the same level as the other grounds for impeachment. Clearly. Mendoza's motion and an unexplained failure on petitioner's part to supervise his subordinates in its prompt disposition. The failure to immediately act upon a party's requests for an early resolution of his case is not. petitioner's act of directing the PNP-IAS to endorse P/S Insp. by itself. taking cognizance of cases upon the request of concerned agencies or private parties is part and parcel of the constitutional mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman to be the "champion of the people. More so because the neglect imputed upon petitioner appears to be an isolated case. Accordingly. or to his error of judgment in the disposition thereof. Mendoza's case to the Ombudsman without citing any reason therefor cannot. He reviewed and denied P/S Insp. 2010 for the latter's final action. as the findings of neglect of duty or . Mendoza even without the private complainant verifying the truth of his statements. Similarly. There was likewise no evidence at all of any bribery that took place. Neither should petitioner's official acts in the resolution of P/S Insp. gross neglect of duty amounting to betrayal of public trust. fair and complete resolution of the case. or that the motion for reconsideration thereof remained pending for more than nine months cannot be simply taken as evidence of petitioner's undue interest in the case considering the lack of evidence of any personal grudge. Even if there was inordinate delay in the resolution of P/S Insp. It cannot be solely attributed then to what petitioner Gonzales may have negligently failed to do for the quick. that the decision was immediately implemented. Mendoza's motion for reconsideration within nine (9) calendar days reckoned from the time the draft resolution was submitted to him on April 27. the OP's pronouncement of administrative accountability against petitioner and the imposition upon him of the corresponding penalty of dismissal must be reversed and set aside.

while he may be vested with authority. it would be premature to charge her with acts and/or omissions "tantamount to culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. With reference to the doctrine of prejudicial procedural antecedent.misconduct in office do not amount to a betrayal of public trust. The argument will not hold water. cannot order the removal of petitioner as Deputy Ombudsman. then the situation becomes ripe for the determination of her failings. 10-J-460 and the imposition of the corresponding administrative sanctions. paragraph (2) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989. The incidents that have taken place subsequent to the submission in court of the PLEBARA shows that the PLEBARA has been practically approved. considering the OP's factual findings of negligence and misconduct against petitioner. Inasmuch as there is as yet no existing ground justifying his removal from office. there would no longer be any cause of complaint against her." which are grounds for removal from office under Section 8. has been resisting the President's authority to remove her from office upon the averment that without the Sandiganbayan's final approval and judgment on the basis of the PLEBARA.causing undue injury to the Government or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. that petitioner is relieved of all liability for his acts showing less than diligent performance of official duties. Petitioner Barreras-Sulit. explaining that if the Sandiganbayan would uphold the PLEBARA. and which also constitute a violation of Section 3. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) . petitioner is entitled to reinstatement to his former position as Deputy Ombudsman and to the payment of backwages and benefits corresponding to the period of his suspension. advantage or preference through manifest partiality. Although the administrative acts imputed to petitioner fall short of the constitutional standard of betrayal of public trust. the President. if any. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. the Court deems it appropriate to refer the case to the Office of the Ombudsman for further investigation of the charges in OP Case No. The Office of the President is vested with statutory authority to proceed administratively against petitioner Barreras-Sulit to determine the existence of any of the grounds for her removal from office as provided for under the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act. paragraph (e) of Republic Act No. and that the only thing which remains to be done by the Sandiganbayan is to promulgate a judgment . if not. however. petitioner Barreras-Sulit asserts that the propriety of taking and continuing to take administrative disciplinary proceeding against her must depend on the final disposition by the Sandiganbayan of the PLEBARA. Hence. on the other hand. This is not to say. there being no intentional wrongdoing of the grave and serious kind amounting to a betrayal of public trust.

Immediately after the OSP informed the Sandiganbayan that its May 4.72 dated December 16. Therefore. The approval or disapproval of the PLEBARA by the Sandiganbayan is of no consequence to an administrative finding of liability against petitioner Barreras-Sulit. On August 11. thereafter. R.A. No. the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution declaring that the change of plea under the PLEBARA was warranted and that it complied with jurisprudential guidelines. Branch 21 on November 5. (Principal Accused) with the allegation that the act of one is the act of the others. neglect or willfulness on the part of the prosecution. On December 16. The Sandiganbayan.0 The Co-Accused were impleaded under the theory of conspiracy with the Principal Accused MGen. each at a measly amount of P 30.000.00. 2010. Garcia (AFP Ret. entering into an agreement . In the meantime. both real and personal. Major General Garcia manifested71 to the Sandiganbayan on November 19. Carlos F. as amended. the disciplining authority's finding of ineptitude. the disciplinary authority's determination of the prosecutor's administrative liability is based on whether the plea bargain is consistent with the conscientious consideration of the government's best interest and the diligent and efficient performance by the prosecution of its public duty to prosecute crimes against the State. 2010. directed the accused Major General Garcia to immediately convey in favor of the State all the properties. Major General Garcia's Motion to Dismiss. the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) informed the Sandiganbayan that an Order70 had been issued by the Regional Trial Court of Manila. the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution. 9160. and with the express conformity of the OSP. with the approval by the Honorable Court of the Plea Bargaining Agreement executed by the Principal Accused. 2010 and filed with the Sandiganbayan. in order to put into effect the reversion of Major General Garcia's ill-gotten properties. 2010 allowing the transfer of the accused's frozen accounts to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to the terms of the PLEBARA as approved by the Sandiganbayan. the charges against the Co-Accused should likewise be dismissed since the charges against them are anchored on the same charges against the Principal Accused. 2010 Resolution had been substantially complied with. which.imposing the proper sentence on the accused Major General Garcia based on his new pleas to lesser offenses. While the court's determination of the propriety of a plea bargain is on the basis of the existing prosecution evidence on record. ordered the corresponding government agencies to cause the transfer of ownership of said properties to the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently. reads: 1.). in failing to pursue or build a strong case for the government or. Upon Major General Garcia's motion. the Sandiganbayan allowed him to post bail in both cases. more particularly petitioner Special Prosecutor Barreras-Sulit. the Sandiganbayan allowed accused Major General Garcia to plead guilty to the lesser offenses of direct bribery and violation of Section 4(b). 2010 his readiness for sentencing and for the withdrawal of the criminal information against his wife and two sons. in this case. enumerated therein. 2010. On May 4.

After arraignment but before trial. While the Court voted unanimously to reverse the decision of the OP removing petitioner Gonzales from office. to wit: SEC.which the government finds "grossly disadvantageous. the accused may still be allowed to plead guilty to said lesser offense after withdrawing his plea of not guilty. then it is significant to state that in its earlier Resolution75 promulgated on January 7. the OSP. Cir. it is not amiss to emphasize that the "standard of strong evidence of guilt which is sufficient to deny bail to an accused is markedly higher than the standard of judicial probable cause which is sufficient to initiate a criminal case. in light of the apparently strong case against accused Major General Garcia."76 Hence. may be allowed by the trial court to plead guilty to a lesser offense which is necessarily included in the offense charged. failed to obtain the necessary votes to invalidate the law. the disciplining authority would be hard-pressed not to look into the whys and wherefores of the prosecution's turnabout in the case. Plea bargaining is a process in criminal cases whereby the accused and the prosecution work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to court approval. -. 2012 and . it was equally divided in its opinion on the constitutionality of the assailed statutory provision in its two deliberations held on April 17. 2010. 38-98) Plea bargaining is allowable when the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to establish the guilt of the accused of the crime charged. with the consent of the offended party and the prosecutor. keeping said provision part of the law of the land.At arraignment. 4. thus. (Sec. Plea of guilty to a lesser offense. nonetheless. better left to the complete and effective resolution of the administrative case before the Office of the President. The challenge to the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act has. At this juncture." Notwithstanding this earlier ruling by the Sandiganbayan. 2.73 The essence of a plea bargaining agreement is the allowance of an accused to plead guilty to a lesser offense than that charged against him. the accused. unexplainably. these cases involve two distinct issues: (a) the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act." could result in administrative liability. No amendment of the complaint or information is necessary. notwithstanding court approval of the plea bargaining agreement entered into. Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides the procedure therefor. The Court need not touch further upon the substantial matters that are the subject of the pending administrative proceeding against petitioner BarrerasSulit and are. Section 2. thus. if the basis for the allowance of a plea bargain in this case is the evidence on record. chose to plea bargain with the accused Major General Garcia as if its evidence were suddenly insufficient to secure a conviction. and (b) the validity of the administrative action of removal taken against petitioner Gonzales. the Sandiganbayan had evaluated the testimonies of twenty (20) prosecution witnesses and declared that "the conglomeration of evidence presented by the prosecution is viewed by the Court to be of strong character that militates against the grant of bail. To recall.74 However.

Rule 12 of the Internal Rules of the Court. 2012. BRION Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Petitioner Emilio A. the Court. JR. dismisses the challenge to the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act in accordance with Section 2(d). BERSAMIN Associate Justice MARIANO C. 196231. Associate Justice TERESITA J. ABAD Associate Justice MARTIN S. Indeed. No. the decision of the Office of the President in OP Case No. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice ROBERTO A.R. Gonzales III is ordered REINSTATED with payment of backwages corresponding to the period of suspension effective immediately. 11-B-003 against Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit for alleged acts and omissions tantamount to culpable violation of the Constitution and a betrayal of public trust. A. We AFFIRM the continuation of OP-DC Case No. ESTELA M. In G. even as the Office of the Ombudsman is directed to proceed with the investigation in connection with the above case against petitioner. CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. SERENO Chief Justice ANTONIO T. PERLAS-BERNABE Associate Justice WE CONCUR: MARIA LOURDES P. therefore. JR. The challenge to the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act is hereby DENIED. in G.September 4. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice ARTURO D. REYES Associate Justice CERTIFICATION I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in . Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice BIENVENIDO L. in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989. There being no majority vote to invalidate the law. No. SO ORDERED. Section 4(2). VILLARAMA. PERALTA Associate Justice LUCAS P.R. 196232. VELASCO. WHEREFORE. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution requires the vote of the majority of the Members of the Court actually taking part in the deliberation to sustain any challenge to the constitutionality or validity of a statute or any of its provisions. 10-J-460 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

" id. 196232). 2008." rollo ( G. A. 2010 <http://www. 196232). 33 Malaria Employees and Workers Association of the Philippines. No. 01-2010 creating the IIRC. at 132-136. No. p. G.R. 196231). 19 Annex "W. 10. No. 7 Resolution dated August 26. Masing and Tayactac. 25 Petition. at 128.R. . 165416.R.aspx?articleId=605631&publicationSubCateg oryId=63> (visited January 5.R. 17-20. 2 Annex "A. Delijero. rollo (G. 22 Annex "V. 26. Jr. Ma. The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers. at 153-158. A. 27-30. at 377. pp. No. p.R. 26 Petition. 17 Rollo (G.com/Article. Court of Appeals. No. 2010. 27 Ledesma v. 634 SCRA 135. 30 Bernas. 8 Id. No. No. pp. 528 SCRA 673. January 22. at 33. No. 11 Annex "F. 16 R. G." id. July 31. 2008.R." rollo (G. at 322. rollo (G.. 15 Annex "Q. 172635. (MEWAP) v.A. 196231). 23 Annex "A.. 196232). No. 324-346. August 24. Executive Secretary Romulo. 196231.consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.philstar. 28 Office of the Ombudsman v. 20 Annex "S. 2 Philippine Constitutional Law Principles and Cases. 4 Val Rodriguez. No. at 231.R. rollo. 13 The President issued Joint Department Order No. 160093. at 203-216. pp. Grandstand Carnage.J. 21 Petition. 2011). 2007. 9 Id. 396 (2005). S. The Philippine Star. 503 Phil. October 20. id." id.R. No. at 8. 32 Office of the Ombudsman v. 24 Annex "B. SERENO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Annex "A." rollo (G. 855 (2004).R. at 380-383. 5 Charge Sheet. p. Inc. at 143-144. 3 Annex "C. No. 386-408. 12 Annex "N. No. 18 R. pp. 6713. No.R. G." id. at 233-235. 31 Id. id. 72-86. 196231).R." id. at 244-249. 771 (1995). 6 Id. 10 Id. 196231)." id. pp." id. 23-24. 196231). LOURDES P. 682. 542 SCRA 253. at 72-86. 29 De Leon. 3019.R. rollo (G. 14 As quoted in the Petition in G." rollo (G. pp. 87.

The Ombudsman. pp. Montejo. Court of Appeals. Bundalian. other high crimes. 37 Id. citing Land Bank of the Philippines v. 709-710. 1986. 2 Philippine Constitutional Law Principles and Cases. citing Del. 549 (1995) and Garcia-Rueda v. 183 (2008) and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. 48 Aguirre. De Leon. . culpable violation of the Constitution. 232. Vol. 40 Section 23. 569 SCRA 154. 860 (2004). citing Concerned Officials of the MWSS v. or betrayal of public trust. 42 Montemayor v. 51 Bernas. No. Urgello. the Members of the Supreme Court. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. Hector. at 859-860. G. 310 Phil. G. rollo (G. Commission on Audit. 45 As quoted in Office of the Ombudsman v. 36 321 Phil. 831 (2000). 535 (2007). No. 532 Phil.J.R. 46 Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. 1986. 50 Sec. AMS Farming Corporation.. ROBLES. and conviction of. 489 Phil. 857 (2004). 56 Libres v. 63. on impeachment for. 647. II. p. 49 Cruz. treason. 2 Philippine Constitutional Law. bribery. 149335. No. Article XI. De Castro. x x x 41 Supra note 31.R. 323 (1997). 154-155 (1992). The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers. The Law of Public Officers. 180 (1999). S.34 Philippine International Trading Corporation v.2. 196231). in C. 13. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. The President. the Vice-President. Formal Investigation. July 26. II. No. 656 (2006).. 55 Cayago v. Desierto. which shall be determined within the period prescribed in the civil service law. v. 52 De Leon. but not by impeachment. June 22. 520 SCRA 515. at 146. 39 Supra note 31. Velasquez. 2003. 344 Phil. 829. 378 Phil. Pascasio. 43 Id. 146486. 77-80 (2005).D. On the 1973 Constitution. 405 SCRA 264. July 26. 367 Phil. 47 Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. 305. 183517. 773-774 (1995). Carlo L. 493 Phil.R.R. 273-274. graft and corruption.R. 35 See Comment of the Office of the Solicitor General. G. NLRC. at 613-614 38 Id. cited in Angeles v. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. R. the Office of the Ombudsman may refer certain complaints to the proper disciplinary authority for the institution of appropriate administrative proceedings against erring public officers or employees. Jr. 714 (1999). 53 Id. 2010. 44 Sec. 604 (1995). 54 397 Phil.xxxx (2) At its option. 735 (2005). Lina. Vol. pp. July 1. 621 SCRA 461.

at 511. 1992. 666 (2005). 286. No. While it declares certain bodies as "'independent". Kayanan.Arellano Law Foundation CONCURRING OPINION CARPIO. 58 AMA Computer College-East Rizal v. March 28. II. 210 SCRA 246. Cabrera v. Villarama. G. at 286. 69 Id. Marcelo. 61 Rules of Court.57 Concerned Officials of MWSS v. 266 (1980). J. June 23. No. 78. 2010.: Our Constitution does not impart a fixed and rigid concept of independence among the offices that it creates. 62 Supra note 60.M.R. Alameda. This Court cannot make a "one size fits all" concept of independence because the Constitution itself . Court of Industrial Relations." id. 196232).. 60 Funa. Bucoy. citing Office of the Court Administrator v. 498 Phil.R. 74 People v. 182677. 660.R. we cannot assume that the independence of the Ombudsman1 is the same as the independence of the Judiciary. 590 SCRA 633. rollo (G. No. 283-284. 99287. 210 SCRA 246. Sandiganbayan. Dennis B. Tanco. 427 (2004). the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or the Commission on Human Rights2. Tolentino v. G. 70 Annex "2" of the Supplemental Comment on the Petition. August 25. at 210-211 72 Annex "3. 626 SCRA 575. citing Lovina v. p. The Law on the Administrative Accountability of Public Officers. CA. 2008. Sec. Ang Tibay v. 223 SCRA 747. 64 Assistant Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Office of the President v. June 28. The Lawphil Project . The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines: A Commentary. Jr. CSC. rollo (G. No. Nos. 1994.5. 271 Phil. p. 550 SCRA 233.R. 488 Phil. 196232). August 3. Jr. 66 Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. at 213-215. 185 Phil. No. G. 1401 (1963). pp.. June 23.R. 178520. 654 citing Casimiro v. 339 (1991). G. A. No. Rule 133." id. Nicolas v. 7. People v.R. 234 Phil. No. 76 Leviste v.. 73 Daan v. G. 69 Phil 635 (1940). 71 Annex "1. 1993. rollo (G. 251 Phil. Parohinog. People v. pp. 509 (2010). 68 Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Vol. citing People v. P-93-953. 728 (1978). v. 118 Phil. 172 Phil. p. Tandog. 487 Phil. Moreno. Ignacio. 992 (1996). II. 26 (1989). Desierto. Villarama. 28 (1987). 235 SCRA 588. Court of Appeals. 310 Phil. 65 Joaquin G. 608. 212. No. 59 OP Decision. Neither is the independence of the Constitutional Commissions the same as that of the National Economic and Development Authority. 225-268. Vol. 75 Annex "7" of the Supplemental Comment on the Petition. 196231). 63 Dadubo v. p. 251-252 (1992). Vasquez. 2009. 158 (2004). 67 Supra note at 65. 163972-77. 549 (1995). Biak na Bato Mining Co. Bernas.R.R. 106498.

including who will be the disciplinary authority. bribery. (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) Section 2 of Article XI consists of two parts. at the outset. After all. on impeachment for. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office.a check that is not within a body. The constitutional principle of independence does not obviate the possibility of a check from another body. the Vice-President. However. . the removal of all other public officers and employees. but not by impeachment. The second sentence explicitly leaves to the discretion of Congress. The original text of Section 24 of Article XI did not include the second sentence. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. Congress would have the plenary power to remove public officers and employees through impeachment or through any other mode of removal. Otherwise. culpable violation of the Constitution. Thus. of nonimpeachable officers and employees.5 Its subsequent inclusion was only meant to exclude "all other public officers and employees" from removal through impeachment. graft and corruption. and after due process. namely the President. the Members of the Supreme Court. and conviction of. 6170 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989 which delegates to the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman or the Special Prosecutor "for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman. may be removed. The first sentence identifies the public officials who are subject to removal only by impeachment. Clearly. Section 2. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution prescribes how all public officers and employees. In this case. treason. the framers of the 1987 Constitution saw no need to textualize this power.the Constitution expressly grants to Congress the power to determine the manner and cause of removal. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. Article XI of the Constitution. or betrayal of public trust. In other words.on the basis of distrust. the petitions seek to strike down Section 8(2) of Republic Act No. Section 2 provides: The President. This is how our democracy operates . through an implementing law.3 I. by stating that all other non. one of the constitutive principles of our constitutional structure is the system of checks and balances.for it was already taken for granted as part of the plenary power of Congress. other high crimes. I agree with the ponencia that Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act does not violate the Constitution.differentiates the degree of independence of these bodies. both impeachable and non-impeachable. Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act is valid and constitutional since Congress is expressly empowered to legislate such law pursuant to Section 2. but outside of it.impeachable officers and employees "may be removed from office as provided by law" . to limit this plenary power of Congress." The provision allegedly compromises the independence of the Ombudsman by imposing an external disciplinary authority.

because of the lack of this sentence that I am seeking to add . the framers intended to limit impeachment only to public officers enumerated in the first sentence of Section 2: MR. unlike their counterparts in the then Court of Appeals. MR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr.7 (Emphasis supplied) Clearly.the framers expressly excluded impeachment as a mode of removing "all other public officers and employees. it will prevent the legislature from providing for favoured public officials as not removable except by impeachment. Treñas).D. REGALADO. that provision still stands. What is there to prevent the Congress later .and the end result would be that if they are constitutional commissions. I propose to add in Section 2 as a last sentence thereof as already amended the following: ALL OTHER PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES MAY BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AS PROVIDED BY LAW BUT NOT BY IMPEACHMENT. although nonconstitutional. Congress has the power and discretion to delegate to the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman or the Special Prosecutor under Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act. Mr. REGALADO. What does the Committee say on the proposed amendment of Commissioner Regalado? MR. While the 1987 Constitution already empowers the Ombudsman to investigate8 and to recommend to remove9 a . 1606. MONSOD. For the present and during the interim and until the new Congress amends P. May we ask Commissioner Regalado a few questions? Does this mean that with this provision. a privileged class on the level of the Supreme Court."6 Thus. No." This Court has repeatedly declared that the Constitution "confers plenary legislative x x x powers subject only to limitations provided in the Constitution. in inserting the second sentence in Section 8(2). the other officers in the case of the Sandiganbayan would not be removable by impeachment? MR. The reason for the amendment is this: While Section 2 enumerates the impeachable officers. and that has already happened. The proposed amendment of Commissioner Regalado has been accepted by the Committee. justices of the Sandiganbayan may be removed only by impeachment. But the proposed amendment will not prevent the legislature from subsequently repealing or amending that portion of the law. Treñas). the Committee is willing to accept the amendment of Commissioner Regalado. the commissioners there could also be removed only by impeachment. Presiding Officer.if I may use the phrase . MONSOD. there are many commissions which are sought to be constitutionalized . They are. In the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies. therefore. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. the Sandiganbayan Decree. Under Section 1 of P.D. 1606.from providing that officials of certain offices. Also. cannot also be removed except by impeachment? THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. there is nothing that will prevent the legislature as it stands now from providing also that other officers not enumerated therein shall also be removable only by impeachment. No.

the Constitution does not define the term "independent" and thus. enacted the Ombudsman Act. but includes the "independent" constitutional bodies. it does not mean complete insulation from other offices. contraction or concurrence of powers. a coordinate functioning among different bodies of government that is not limited to the executive." Congress. . the Ombudsman Act also grants the Ombudsman the authority to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor through the general grant of disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials. as expressly provided in Section 2. The Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor are not among the impeachable officers under the 1987 Constitution. Thus. and the Judiciary. legislative and judicial branches. this does not preclude Congress from providing other modes of removal. in reiteration of Sections 13(1) and (2). Officials Subject to Disciplinary Authority. that this Court should not be so casual in voiding the acts of the popularly elected legislature unless there is a clear violation of the Constitution. The very structure of our government belies the claim that "independent" bodies necessarily have exclusive authority to discipline its officers. The question therefore arises: to what extent can this Court enforce the independence of bodies like the Ombudsman? Can we .13 We declared some of them as not self-executing such as the Declaration of Principles and State Policies under Article II. pursuant to this constitutional provision and in the exercise of its plenary power. history and structure of the Constitution contemplate checks and balances that result in the expansion. the contours of this principle may not be immediately clear. Article XI of the Constitution:10 Section 21. conferring on the President the power to remove the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor as provided in Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act. except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress. Exceptions."12 This is not a hollow precept of statutory construction. the independence of constitutional bodies is a judicially enforceable norm. Article XI of the Constitution.11 In view of Section 8(2) and Section 21 of the Ombudsman Act. II. Not all constitutional declarations are enforceable by courts.Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor. government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. including Members of the Cabinet. An "endeavor should be made to harmonize the provisions of a law x x x so that each shall be effective. they "may be removed from office as provided by law. the legislative intent is to grant concurrent jurisdiction to the President and the Ombudsman in the removal of the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor. instrumentalities and agencies. However.The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions. When the 1987 Constitution speaks of "independent" bodies. Textually. The text. local government.14 However. This is based not only on democratic principle but also on the separation of powers.

15 For the others. there can be no doubt whatsoever that Congress can enact such a law. The fact that different constitutional bodies are treated differently under the Constitution shows that independence is a broadly delineated norm.22 There is nothing anomalous in this mode of removal because the Constitution expressly authorizes the legislature to provide for such mode of removal. Any reading of the 1987 Constitution does not warrant the conclusion that all bodies declared by the Constitution as "independent" have exclusive disciplinary authority over all their respective officials and employees. There are other constitutional bodies declared "independent.that an "independent" body has exclusive disciplinary authority . The Constitution has vested Congress with plenary powers. amidst the silence of the constitutional text. such as the National Economic and Development Authority. On the contrary. This Court cannot enforce a speculative notion of independence . the operationalization of independence is constitutionally committed to the discretion of Congress.21 Under the New Central Bank Act (Republic Act No.18 The Constitution does not enumerate in detail all the possible legislative powers. For some.to fill-in gaps in the Constitution for the governance of this country. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Commission on Human Rights.impose a particular notion of independence. the constitutional provision that non-impeachable officers and employees "may be removed from office as provided by law" removes any doubt that Congress can determine the mode of removal of non-impeachable officers and employees of "independent" bodies other than the Judiciary. An "independent" body does not have exclusive disciplinary authority over its officials and employees unless the Constitution expressly so provides. Unlike the Judiciary where such exclusivity is expressly provided for in the Constitution."20 but disciplinary authority is statutorily lodged somewhere else. The Constitution clearly intended different degrees of independence among the "independent" bodies that it created.16 with express guarantees like fiscal autonomy17 and rule-making power on pleadings and practice. to the extent of nullifying an act of Congress? The answer lies in the Constitution itself which circumscribes the exercise of judicial power. This Court has no business limiting the plenary power of Congress unless the Constitution expressly so limits it. 7653).as the general repository of the police power of the State.for doing so would be a species of judicial legislation or a disguised constitutional amendment. as in the case of the Judiciary. the constitutional . However.19 there is no reason to read such provision in the Ombudsman where the Constitution is silent. like the Civil Service Commission. legislative power is decidedly more limited. the Commission on Audit and the Commission on Elections. With this level of generality. III. when the Constitution expressly empowers Congress to do a specific act .like expressly empowering Congress to provide the mode of removal of all nonimpeachable government officers and employees. the President also has the power to remove a member of the Monetary Board on specified grounds.

but it is not proscribed by the Constitution. demotion. subject only to specific constitutional limitations. legislative and judicial branches of government operate through the system of checks and balances. suspension. the Ombudsman is not constitutionally empowered to act alone. Hagad v. the 1987 Constitution empowers the Ombudsman to direct the proper disciplinary authority "to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault.R.meaning of independence is only that of independent decision-making that is free from partisanship and political pressures. CARPIO . an external disciplinary authority is desirable and is often the norm. The proposition that an external disciplinary authority compromises the Ombudsman's independence fails to recognize that the Constitution expressly authorizes Congress to determine the mode of removal of all non-impeachable officers and employees. the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor. and to GRANT in part the petition in G. No. it is generally left to Congress to particularize the meaning of independence. the Ombudsman can investigate public officers and employees who are under the disciplinary authority of heads of other bodies or agencies. Jr. and Congress cannot be compelled to appropriate a bigger budget than that of the previous fiscal year."25 This is further implemented by the Ombudsman Act which provides that "at its option. Duplication of functions may not at all times promote efficiency. A completely "independent" body is alien to our constitutional system."26 Clearly. censure. It does not even mean fiscal autonomy unless the Constitution says so. which shall be determined within the period prescribed in the civil service law.R. It also fails to recognize that under a system of checks and balances. In disciplinary cases. Gozo-Dadofe28 and Office of the Ombudsman v. 196231. fine.29 .e. 196232. i. i. or prosecution. All independent constitutional bodies are subject to review by the courts. in accordance with the ponencia of Justice Estela M. and recommend his removal.e.23 Thus. A fiscally autonomous body is subject to audit by the Commission on Audit. Nothing in the Constitution tells us that an "independent" body necessarily has exclusive disciplinary authority over its officials and employees. ANTONIO T. and ensure compliance therewith. The provision is a narrow form of delegation which empowers the President to remove only two officers in the Office of the Ombudsman. Similarly.27 The cases cited in the ponencia. The executive. There is no office that is insulated from a possible correction from another office. Perlas-Bemabe. I vote to DENY the petition in G.illustrate that concurrent jurisdiction does not impair the independence of the Ombudsman. Congress can even authorize the Department of Justice or the Office of the President to investigate cases within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. the Office of the Ombudsman may refer certain complaints to the proper disciplinary authority for the institution of appropriate administrative proceedings against erring public officers or employees. Accordingly.24 Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act is consistent with our system of checks and balances. No. Delijero.

7 II RECORD. office or agency. Art. one overall Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. 17. 4 (appointment of other officials and employees in accordance with law) and Sec. L-543. 6 Marcos v. Sec. censure. Art. XI-A. 354 Phil. 2 There are the bodies that the 1987 Constitution considers as "independent. Sec. Government Service Insurance System.A. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. 429 SCRA 773. Kilosbayan. 14 Id. 652 (1995). 17 CONSTITUTION. 8 CONSTITUTION. G. IX-A. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed. or inefficient. Art. CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION 356-357 (28 July 1986). XII. Torres. 335 Phil. No. Sec. G. citing Civil Service Commission v. Ople v. See also Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Art. CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION 263 (26 July 1986). Sec. 8 (the constitutional commissions may perform other functions as may be provided by law)." See CONSTITUTIONS. 6770. 9 CONSTITUTION. Vera v. XII. Inc. and Mindanao. Jr. DEMOCRACY AND DISTRUST: A THEORY OF JUDICIAL REVIEW (2002). Sec. VIII. 82 (1997). unjust. improper. 4 April 2007. 16 See CONSTITUTION. No. 3 (the salaries of the Chairman and the Commissioners are fixed by law but shall not be decreased during their tenure). demotion. 12 Valera v. XI. Joson.R. 18 CONSTITUTION. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. (Emphasis supplied)10 See notes 8 and 9. 316 Phil. or on complaint by any person. G. 162288. Sec. and ensure compliance therewith. 192.R.") and . 520 SCRA 515. 546 (1997). fine. 479. G.R. 154674. Art.Associate Justice Footnotes 1 CONSTITUTIONS. IX-A. XI. IX-A. Sec.R. 17. 13 Tañada v. 6 ("The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. 338 Phil. 4 As amended and consolidated by the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Morato. 19 CONSTITUTION. Sec. 13(1): Investigate on its own. 23 July 1998. 9 and 20: Art. Jr. Visayas. 786. Sec. 127685. XI. 21. Secs. Angara. 6. 5 II RECORD. 499 (1989). Art. Secs. 9 and 20. 827 (1948). 77 Phil. Urgello. and recommend his removal. 823. Manila Prince Hotel v. suspension.. 80 Phil. 15 CONSTITUTION. XIII. 11 R. 3 See J. 5. No. 5: There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. 1. Manglapus.. 535. Sec. Tuason. v. any act or omission of any public official. ELY. Avelino. 31 August 1946. XIII. Art. No. Art. Art. Art. 27 May 2004. No. 13(3): Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault. 948. Art. employee. 258 Phil. Sec. Sec. or prosecution.

. in establishing that independent central monetary authority. Commissioner Rodrigo is recognized.a fixed term of probably five years or seven years serving in the monetary board. That is right. Just like the members of the other constitutional commissions? MR. 21 Id. MR. how is this independence maintained? MR. The thinking is: Congress. may I ask a question for clarification? The section says. But in the case of this central monetary authority which we call "independent". the Members are independent because they have a fixed term and they may not be removed except by impeachment or some very difficult process. Removal. 22 R. CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION 611 (22 August 1986): THE PRESIDENT. RODRIGO. or order their dismissal by a vote of majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. RODRIGO. 7653. VILLEGAS. MR. Sec. See also III RECORDS." My question has reference to the word "independent. RODRIGO: Thank you. RODRIGO. or (c) If the member is guilty of acts or operations which are of fraudulent or illegal character or which are manifestly opposed to the aims and interests of the Bangko Sentral. "The Congress shall establish an independent central monetary authority. VILLEGAS. MR." How is independence of this authority supported by the Constitution? In the case of the judiciary. note 2. . 10.The President may remove any member of the Monetary Board for any of the following reasons: (a) If the member is subsequently disqualified under the provisions of Section 8 of this Act. Exactly. Are we leaving that to Congress? MR. VILLEGAS. 20 Supra.A. Does this include that they may not be removed except by impeachment by the Congress? MR. RODRIGO. or (b) If he is physically or mentally incapacitated that he cannot properly discharge his duties and responsibilities and such incapacity has lasted for more than six (6) months. Madam President. VILLEGAS. MR. That is why we say that they shall be subject to the same disabilities or disqualifications as the members of the constitutional commissions. MR. 11 ("x x x The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts. Actually that was contained in the original Davide amendment but we thought of leaving it up to Congress to determine that term. This applies to the different constitutional commissions.Sec. Yes. No. or (d) If the member no longer possesses the qualifications specified in Section 8 of this Act."). should provide a fixed term.

XI. 251 SCRA 242. 14. On March 31. (3). 29 G. Sec. 6770 (which empowers the President to remove a Deputy Ombudsman or a Special Prosecutor) is constitutionally valid.R. XI. 196232. In G. seeks to halt and nullify the ongoing administrative proceedings . Subtitle A. 196231 is a petition questioning the validity of the administrative proceedings conducted by the Office of the President against Gonzales who was the Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices.R. No.R. The action against him before the Office of the President consists of an administrative charge for Gross Neglect of Duty and/or Inefficiency in the Performance of Official Duty (under Section 22. 21 July 2006. Chapter 7. 23(2). 13. Sec. 496 SCRA 226. 155336. ADMINISTRATIVE CODE. No. Secs. 25 CONSTITUTION.R. rules and regulations). No. referred to as Gonzales or petitioner Gonzales) is not guilty of the charges leveled against him.A. 27 The Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. But with due respect. and of Misconduct in Office (under Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act [RA No. Sec. The petition of Wendell Barreras-Sulit (G. Commission on Human Rights. the hijacker then accused Gonzales of illegal exactions and of delaying the disposition of his Ombudsman case. Sec. 47.R. 196231. 196232. Title I. par. VIII. IX-A. 172635. Art. 6770. 3019). 196231 the issue of the constitutionality discussed below. I disagree with the conclusion that Section 8(2) of Republic Act (RA ) No. Art. No.R. No. (1). No. par. Art. 196231 and G. 634 SCRA 135. 108072. (2) and 48. G. Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 196232.R. referred to as Sulit or petitioner Sulit) commonly shares with G. 20 October 2010.R. 24 See CONSTITUTION. No.R. 292 and other pertinent Civil Service laws. the administrative proceedings against Sulit should be halted and nullified as she prays for in her petition.R. No.Arellano Law Foundation CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION BRION. I concur with the ponencia's main conclusion that petitioner Emilio Gonzales III (in G. G.1 The administrative case against Gonzales was recommended by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) in connection with the hijacking of a tourist bus resulting in the death of the hijacker and of some passengers. 3.23 Commission on Human Rights Employees' Association v. 5. 28 G. and penalized him with dismissal from office. BOOK V. petitioner Sulit. 12 December 1995. The Lawphil Project . No. the Office of the President found2 Gonzales guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust.: The present case consists of two consolidated petitions. 292) provides that the heads of agencies are generally empowered to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary actions against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Art. No. Emphasis supplied. par. No. a Special Prosecutor in the Office of the Ombudsman. 2011. G. Sec. J. 26 R.

3 The two petitions . The Office of the Ombudsman is a very powerful government constitutional agency tasked to enforce the accountability of public office rs.The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. In behalf of the Office of the Ombudsman. and nonfeasance of all public officials. instrumentalities and agencies. government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. No. Article XI of the Constitution. Article XI of the Constitution expressed this intent.R. Visayas. and Mindanao. 196231 and G. one overall Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. and betrayal of public trust.conducted by the Office of the President against her. as follows: Section 5. To support these broad powers. it is my considered view that the power to discipline or remove an official of the Office of the Ombudsman should be lodged only with the Ombudsman and not with the Office of the President. (Emphasis ours) The Ombudsman's duty to protect the people from unjust. Sulit was charged with violating Section 3(e) of RA No. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed.R. in light of the independence the Constitution guarantees the Office of the Ombudsman. Sulit entered into a plea bargain with Major General Carlos F. While the ponencia resolves this issue in favor of the President.G. local government. (Emphasis ours) It is in this light that the general authority of the Office of the President to . 677 0) concretizes this constitutional mandate by providing that: Section 21. Section 5. Section 21 of The Ombudsman Act of 1989 (RA No. Sulit was required to show cause why an administrative case should not be filed against her. including Members of the Cabinet. Official Subject to Disciplinary Authority. 196232 . Exceptions. She raised in her Written Explanation of March 24. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. misfeasance. 2011 the impermissibility and impropriety of administrative disciplinary proceedings against her because the Office of the President has no jurisdiction to discipline and penalize her. the Constitution saw it fit to insulate the Office of the Ombudsman from the pressures and influence of officialdom and partisan politics4 and from fear of external reprisal by making it an "independent" office. No. illegal and inefficient acts of all public officials emanates from Section 12. Garcia who had been charged with Plunder and Money Laundering. during their tenure. except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress.share a common issue: whether the President has the power to discipline or remove a Deputy Ombudsman or a Special Prosecutor in the Office of the Ombudsman from office. . 3019 and for having committed acts and/or omissions tantamount to culpable violations of the Constitution. These broad powers include all acts of malfeasance. and the Judiciary. including Members of the Cabinet and key Executive officers. Because of the plea bargain.

cannot but seriously place at risk the independence of the Ombudsman and her officials. For these reasons. be declared void. What is true for the Ombudsman must be equally true. that the Constitution provides for an independent Office of the Tanodbayan. whose own alter egos and officials in the Executive Department are subject to the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority.that belongs to the same classification as the constitutionally-guaranteed independence that the Judiciary enjoys. and must consequently run counter to the independence that the Constitution guarantees the Office of the Ombudsman. xxxx Senator Guingona contended. The Ombudsman can hardly be expected to place her complete trust in subordinate officials who are not as independent as she is. this Court is obligated to intervene under the powers and duties granted and imposed on it by Article VIII of the Constitution. the possible unconstitutional effects of Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 and the objected Section 8(2) into law.the independence of the Ombudsman . thus.8 While it may be claimed that the congressional intent is clear after the Guingona objection was considered and rejected by Congress. Section 8(2) of RA No. These possibilities were brought by then Senator Teofisto Guingona to the framers' attention as early as the congressional deliberations: Reacting thereto. more so when the authority runs counter to constitutional intents. if only because they are subject to pressures and controls external to her Office. 6770 were not unknown to the framers of this law. neither the Executive nor the Legislative can create the power that Section 8(2) grants where the Constitution confers none. such clarity and the overriding congressional action are not enough to insulate the assailed provision from constitutional infirmity if one. Significantly. Congress passed RA No. This is particularly true if the infirmity relates to a core constitutional principle .10 The alternative for the Court is to be remiss in the . 67706 (providing that the President may remove a Deputy Ombudsman) clearly runs against the constitutional intent and should. subjecting the officials of the Office of the Ombudsman to discipline and removal by the President.7 Despite Senator Guingona's objections. in fact.5 should be considered. In more concrete terms. and to allow the Executive to have disciplinary powers over the Tanodbayan Deputies would be an encroachment on the independence of the Tanodbayan.9 When exercised authority is drawn from a vacuum. not only for her Deputies but for other lesser officials of that Office who act as delegates and agents of the Ombudsman in the performance of her duties.discipline all officials and employees the President has the authority to appoint. This need for complete trust is true in an ideal setting and truer still in a young democracy like the Philippines where graft and corruption is still a major problem for the government. To be sure. however. Senator Guingona observed that this might impair the independence of the Tanodbayan and suggested that the procedural removal of the Deputy Tanodbayan xxx be not by the President but by the Ombudsman. exists.

Madam President. and second. PCAPE and so forth. since they were under the Office of the President. will not deprive him of the opportunity to render service to Juan de la Cruz. x x x May I direct a question to the Committee? xxx Will the Committee consider later an amendment xxx. xxxx It is said here that the Tanodbayan or the Ombudsman would be a toothless or a paper tiger. their funds came from that office.performance of its own constitutional duties. For that reason. almost all their time was taken up by criminal cases. by way of designating the office of the Ombudsman as a constitutional arm for good government. then let us give him a little more teeth by making him independent of the Office of the President because it is now a constitutional creation. If he is toothless. not a budget under the Office of the President. because if the Tanodbayan would make the corresponding reports about failures. instead of creating another agency in a kind of administrative limbo which would be accountable to no one on the pretext that it is a constitutional body? . I have a sneaking suspicion that they were prevented from making administrative monitoring because of the sensitivity of the then head of that office. malfunctions or omissions of the different ministries. OPLE.) The intention of the Constitutional Commission to keep the Office of the Ombudsman independent from the President could not have been made any clearer than when Commissioner Christian Monsod vehemently rejected the recommendation of Commissioner Blas Ople who had suggested to the Committee that the Office of the Ombudsman be placed under the Executive: MR.11 (Emphases ours. xxxx x x x. so that the insidious tentacles of politics. efficiency of the public service and the integrity of the President of the Philippines. I support this committee report on a constitutionally created Ombudsman and I further ask that to avoid having a toothless tiger. what actually spawned or caused the failure of the justices of the Tanodbayan insofar as monitoring and fiscalizing the government offices are concerned was due to two reasons: First. fearing that any form of presidential control over the Office of the Ombudsman would diminish its independence: In other words. even with PARGO. then that would reflect upon the President who wanted to claim the alleged confidence of the people. More compelling and more persuasive than the reason expressed in the congressional deliberations in discerning constitutional intent should be the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission itself on the independence of the Ombudsman. x x x. That is not necessarily so. Commissioner Florenz Regalado of the Constitutional Commission openly expressed his concerns on the matter.and we give it more teeth and have the corresponding legislative provisions for its budget. There is supposed to be created a constitutional office. as has always been our problem. Madam President.constitutionalized to free it from those tentacles of politics. there should be further provisions for statistical and logistical support.

6770.and I believe it still is. At the practical constitutional level. it was an ineffectual body and was reduced to the function of a special fiscal. in addition to the impeachment proceedings to which the Ombudsman may be subjected.16 whichever may be applicable. whose judges and employees are not subject to the disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman and whose neutrality would be less questionable. as the power to remove the Ombudsman rests with Congress as the representative of the people.13 This congressional concern. The Committee discussed that during our committee deliberations and when we prepared the report. it was the opinion of the Committee. For its part. should the Ombudsman attempt to shield the Tanodbayan from answering for any violation. that vesting the authority to remove the Tanodbayan on the Ombudsman would result in mutual protection. or to exercise any power over them.12 The statements made by Commissioner Monsod emphasized a very logical principle: the Executive power to remove and discipline members of the Office of the Ombudsman. as we saw the wrong implementation of the Tanodbayan which was under the tremendous influence of the President. demolish the concern raised in Congress to justify Section 8(2) of RA No.e. Equally relevant is the impression that would be given to the public if the rule were otherwise. Therefore. the matter may be raised with the Supreme Court on appeal15 or by Special Civil Action for Certiorari. such an impression would erode the constitutional intent of creating an Office of the Ombudsman as champion of the people against corruption and bureaucracy. would result in an absurd situation wherein the Office of the Ombudsman is given the duty to adjudicate on the integrity and competence of the very persons who can remove or suspend its members. injustice and impropriety are in the executive department.14 On the other hand. cannot be avoided. we regret that we cannot accept the proposition. the Tanodbayan (now the Office of the Special Prosecutor) cannot protect the Ombudsman who is an impeachable officer.MR. to my mind. To be sure. is a needless one as it is inconsistent with the system of checks and balance that our legal structure establishes. who appears to enjoy the President's favor.. MONSOD.i. In these lights. the Supreme Court is a non-political independent body mandated by the Constitution to settle judicial and quasi-judicial disputes. too. These views. the complainant's impression (even if misplaced). that the Ombudsman would be susceptible to political pressure.that it may not contribute to the effectiveness of this office of the Ombudsman precisely because many of the culprits in inefficiency. I find it significant that the Office of the Ombudsman is not the only . Therefore. A complainant with a grievance against a high-ranking official of the Executive. would be discouraged from approaching the Ombudsman with his complaint. the checks and balance principle that underlies the Constitution can be appreciated to be fully operational. The whole purpose of the our proposal is precisely to separate those functions and to produce a vehicle that will give true meaning to the concept of Ombudsman.

the Constitutional Commissions. Drilon. The list includes the Judiciary.24 Such is the symmetry that our Constitution provides for the harmonious balance of all its component and "independent" parts. of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based.21 These bodies. the constitutional deliberations explain the Constitutional Commissions' need for independence. especially when there is grave abuse of discretion. if not for all of these "independent" bodies. the Constitution. to a certain extent. In the deliberations for the 1973 Constitution. and by the Judiciary shares certain characteristics . the Rules of Court. the Supreme Court. additionally.17 the Constitutional Commissions (Commission on Elections. and carry into its logical end a meritorious impeachment case. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court. based on the precept that the effectivity of this body is dependent on its freedom from the tentacles of politics: .19 a central monetary authority. and the flexibility of the Judiciary. and their implementing laws provide measures to check on the "independence" granted to the Constitutional Commissions and the Office of the Ombudsman. As in the case of the Office of the Ombudsman. they all enjoy fiscal autonomy.22 For most. In Bengzon v. In doing so. and ruled against the interference that the President may bring.25 we ruled on the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary. Commission on Audit. the National Economic Development Authority. may review the decisions of the Constitutional Commissions and the Office of the Ombudsman.they do not owe their existence to any act of Congress. and the Civil Service Commission).23 Of course. the framers of the Constitution intended that they be insulated from political pressure. foisted over the Members of the Supreme Court is the power of impeachment that Congress has the authority to initiate. instead of one created by law. The independence enjoyed by the Office of the Ombudsman.governmental body labeled as "independent" in our Constitution. are granted various degrees of "independence" and these variations must be clarified to fully understand the context and meaning of the "independent" status conferred on the office of the Ombudsman. As a checks and balance mechanism. as the final arbiter of all legal questions. but are created by the Constitution itself.18 the Commission on Human Rights. we maintained that the independence. however. the Constitutional Commissions and the Office of the Ombudsman are crucial to our legal system: The Judiciary. and the Ombudsman must have the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional duties. by the Constitutional Commissions.20 and. the delegates amended the 1935 Constitution by providing for a constitutionally-created Civil Service Commission.

29 enjoys lesser independence since it was not granted fiscal autonomy. he can advise us on how to reconcile his position with ours. this Court vigorously denied the President the authority to interfere in these constitutional bodies: The lack of a statutory rule covering the situation at bar is no justification for the President of the Philippines to fill the void by extending the temporary designation in favor of the respondent. on the other hand. the framers of the 1987 Constitution clearly expressed their desire to keep the Commission independent from the executive branch and other political leaders: MR. highlighted the developments in the past Constitutions geared towards insulating the Commission on Audit from political pressure: MR. xxxx x x x. The problem allegedly sought to be corrected.DELEGATE GUNIGUNDO x x x (b) because we believe that the Civil Service created by law has not been able to eradicate the ills and evils envisioned by the framers of the 1935 Constitution. not graftfree and not corruption-free. in the manner fi scal autonomy was granted to the offices above-discussed. Faced with a temporary presidential appointment in the Commission on Elections. The situation could have been handled by the members of the Commission on Elections themselves without the participation of the President. This is still a government of laws and not of men. did not call for presidential action. if it existed at all. But while conceding her goodwill. The Commission on Human Rights. the auditing office was constitutionalized because of the increasing necessity of empowering the auditing office to withstand political pressure. The lack of fiscal autonomy notwithstanding. v." are not under the control of the President. We see the merits of the arguments of Commissioner Rodrigo. advancement and prestige.26 The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the Commission on Audit.28 we pointedly emphasized that the Constitutional Commissions. the 1973 Constitution established the Commission consisting of three members. Yorac. Finding a single Auditor to be quite insufficient to withstand political pressure. JAMIR. we cannot sustain her act because it conflicts with the Constitution. MONSOD. If we explain to him our concept. x x x When the 1935 Constitution was enacted.a chairman and two commissioners. because we believe that the Civil Service created by law is beholden to the creators of that law and is therefore not politics-free. even if they discharge functions that are executive in nature. because we believe that as long as the law is the reflection of the will of the ruling class. however well-meaning. which have been characterized under the Constitution as "independent. the Civil Service that will be created and recreated by law will not serve the interest of the people but only the personal interest of the few and the enhancement of family power. Jr. also created by the Constitution as an "independent" office. The position of the committee is that we need .27 In Brillantes.

we proceeded to the Procuraduria General to the AttorneyGeneral. In fact. we are willing to accept suggestions from Commissioner Rodrigo on how to reconcile this. there were no political prisoners. I would like to touch on a very important question which I think is at the very heart of what we are trying to propose.the independence of this Commission on Human Rights. Secondly. unfair trial. which would provide governments with credibility precisely because it is independent of the present administration. such as those we find in many countries in Latin America. then we shall have a body that could stand up to any power. I remember the conversation with President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala and he told me that in Colombia. Before we address the procedural question which Commissioner Rodrigo requested. Whatever it says on the human rights situation will be credible because it is not subject to pressure or control from the present political leadership. Thank you very much. We also would like to build in some safeguards that it will not be rendered useless by an uncooperative executive. However. xxxx MR. Those who are in power yesterday are in opposition today and those who are in power today may be in the opposition tomorrow. We realize the need for coordination and cooperation. Madame President. the question in our mind is: Can it still function during that time? Hence. Very often these are private organizations. and so on. From there. many of which are prosecuted. if we have a Commission on Human Rights that would investigate and make sure that the rights of each one is protected.a body that would be able to work and cooperate with the executive because the Commissioner is right. what we are proposing is an independent body on human rights. GARCIA. xxx When I was working as a researcher for Amnesty International. to the Ministry of Justice. When asked ." Very often. This is going to be a permanent constitutional commission over time. the most credible organizations are independent human rights bodies. we all know how political fortunes come and go.31 Under these terms. this office is not constitutionally-created nor does it possess fiscal autonomy. Therefore. I headed a mission to Colombia in 1980. This is a very common experience when one goes to governments to investigate human rights. when international commissions or organizations on human rights go to a country.30 (Emphases ours. We also want a commission to function even under the worst circumstance when the executive may not be very cooperative. one of my areas of concern was Latin America. and normally the answers that one will get are: "There are no political prisoners in our country". Many of the services needed by this commission would need not only the cooperation of the executive branch of the government but also of the judicial branch of government. to the Ministry of Defense. the Constitution grants Congress the authority to establish an independent central monetary authority. to defend the rights of individuals against arrest.) Similarly. "Torture is not committed in this country.

Jr. We are leaving it up to Congress to determine whether or not the NEDA is needed later on. as we answered Commissioner Azcuna. MR. I believe that the word "independent" here. later on it may not be necessary to have a planning agency. Hon.37 . Commissioner Bernardo Villegas again reiterated the intention of various framers for it to be independent of the executive branch: MR. then there can be a lot of irresponsibility. Thus. The President heads the NEDA. MONSOD. Delijero. MONSOD. So this provision leaves room for the legislature not only to revise the composition of the governing body. This perspective abundantly clarifies that the cases cited in the ponencia Hon. this is a formula intended to prevent what happened in the last regime when the fiscal authorities sided with the executive branch and were systematically in control of monetary policy. Gozodadole36 and Office of the Ombudsman v. COLAYCO. MR. in accordance with the second paragraph of Section 9.35 These deliberative considerations make it abundantly clear that with the exception of the National Economic Development Authority. The idea of the Committee is that if we are going for less government and more private sector initiative. it may not be necessary to constitutionalize a planning agency anymore." differs from the other similarly-described agencies because the constitutional provision that provides for its creation immediately puts it under the control of the executive. the independent constitutional bodies were consistently intended by the framers to be independent from executive control or supervision or any form of political influence. No. So. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. there were proposals to change the composition of the governing body not only of the Monetary Board but also of the NEDA. In other words. That is why if we notice in this Article. but also to remove the NEDA once it is no longer needed in its judgment.what "independence" means in this provision. Yes. MR. These cases refer to the disciplinary authority of the . Hagad v. During the Committee hearings. this word "independent" refers to the executive branch. VILLEGAS.are not in point. VILLEGAS. was meant to be independent of the legislature because the NEDA under the present law is under the Office of the President. That is right. and. This can lead to disastrous consequences. the members of that agency are appointed by the President? MR. When the fiscal and the monetary authorities of a specific economy are combined. even left to Congress the discretion to abolish the office: MR. Yes. MONSOD.32 The National Economic Development Authority.33 This differing shade of "independence" is supported by the statements made during the constitutional deliberations: MR.34 Commissioner Monsod continues by explaining that they did not constitutionalize the National Economic Development Authority. we did not constitutionalize the NEDA anymore unlike in the 1973 Constitution. nominally designated as "independent. VILLEGAS.

that the tenure of its Commissioners could not be placed under the discretionary power of the President: Indeed.40 this time involving the Commission on Elections. the President can appoint Chairmen and Commissioners of the Constitutional Commissions.38 where this Court categorically stated. and the strong words used by. For example. In my view. pinpointing responsibility and recommending sanctions as well as remedial measures therefor. Thus. Obviously. 163-A. being antithetical to the constitutional mandate of independence for the Commission on Human Rights has to be declared unconstitutional. with respect to the independent Commission on Human Rights. and the Ombudsman and her Deputies. while the President is empowered to appoint the Members of the Supreme Court and the judges of the lower courts. with the exception of the National Economic Development Authority. the principle that the President should be allowed to remove those whom he is empowered to appoint (because of the implied power to dismiss those he is empowered to appoint41) should find no application. the Court finds it extremely difficult to conceptualize how an office conceived and created by the Constitution to be independent . the closest and most appropriate case to cite as exemplar of independence from executive control is Bautista v.as the Commission on Human Rights . Senator Salonga. The caution of.and vested with the delicate and vital functions of investigating violations of human rights. Note that the withholding of the power to remove is not a stranger to the Philippine constitutional structure. Similarly. Neither of these officials belongs to independent constitutional bodies whose actions should not even be tainted with any appearance of political influence. can truly function with independence and effectiveness.speak for themselves as reasons to invalidate the more pervasive authority granted by Section 8(2) of RA No.in addition to those expressed before the Constitutional Commissions and in Congress in the course of framing RA No. in the case of independent constitutional bodies. the mere review of rules places considerably less pressure on these bodies than the Executive's power to discipline and remove key officials of the Office of the Ombudsman. 6770 . Executive Order No. Comelec. this Court in protecting the Commission on Elections' independence should .39 Also in point as another "independence" case is Atty. the Members of the Supreme Court can be removed only by impeachment and the lower court judges can be removed only by the Members of the Supreme Court en banc. Macalintal v. when the tenure in office of its Chairman and Members is made dependent on the pleasure of the President.Executive over a public school teacher and a local elective official. which gave the Court the opportunity to consider even the mere review of the rules of the Commission on Elections by Congress a "trampling" of the constitutional mandate of independence of these bodies.42 he cannot remove any of them. 6770. This is one of the modes by which the independence of the Judiciary is ensured and is an express edge of the Judiciary over the other "independent" constitutional bodies.43 but .

but not by impeachment. the question now before this Court goes back to whether the Constitution intended to allow political entities. If this is the intent. we cannot simply construe Section 2. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. When the Constitution states that Congress may provide for the removal of public officers and employees by law. Article XI of the Constitution to prevent Congress from extending the more stringent rule of "removal only by impeachment" to favored public officers. explain an important aspect of the second sentence of Section 2. Article XI of the Constitution. bribery. Article XI was provided to limit the public officers who can only be removed by impeachment. or betrayal of public trust. The provision reads: The President. they should be similarly treated as lower court judges. then Congress cannot have the authority to place the power to remove officers of these "independent constitutional bodies" under executive disciplinary authority unless otherwise expressly authorized by the . Presidential Decree No. subject to discipline only by the head of their respective offices and subject to the general power of the Ombudsman to dismiss officials and employees within the government for cause. and conviction of. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. No reason exists to treat them differently. other high crimes. it does not mean that the law can violate the provisions and principles laid out in the Constitution. treason. the intent was to limit its powers.45 As members of independent constitutional bodies. Article XI of the Constitution to be a blanket authority for Congress to empower the President to remove all other public officers and employees. such as the Executive. The second sentence of Section 2. (emphasis and underscoring ours) The deliberations of the Constitutional Commissions. In an earlier law.that it was not the intent to widen the discretion of Congress in providing for the removal of a public officer. that justices of the Sandiganbayan (who are not included in the enumeration) may only be removed by impeachment. including those under the independent constitutional bodies.the Constitution categorically provides that the Chairmen of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman can only be removed by impeachment. to discipline public officers and employees of independent constitutional bodies. 1606. Commissioner Regalado insisted on adding the second sentence of Section 2.44 The absence of a constitutional provision providing for the removal of the Commissioners and Deputy Ombudsmen does not mean that Congress can empower the President to discipline or remove them in violation of the independence that the Constitution textually and expressly provides. culpable violation of the Constitution. the Members of the Supreme Court. as quoted by Justice Carpio.46 Ultimately. by law. graft and corruption. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for. While I agree with Justice Carpio's opinion that the Constitution empowered Congress to determine the manner and causes for the removal of nonimpeachable officers. Congr ess provided. This limitation is one made necessary by past experiences. the Vice-President.

this Court did not merely leave it to the Legislature or the Executive to freely interpret what "independence" means.48 Thus. The salary may not be diminished during their term. Section 9 provides for their appointment process." it would be strange . we cannot maintain a light and cavalier attitude in our constitutional interpretation and merely say that the "independence" of the constitutional bodies is whatever Congress would define it at any given time. Yorac51 . Jr. Article XI of the Constitution do not only refer to the Ombudsman.49 Atty. In the cases I have cited .Bautista v.Constitution itself. While the President can appoint them. Comelec.50 and Brillantes. In the case of the National Economic Development Authority. and that the President cannot even make interim appointments in the Commission on Elections. this power was qualified: (1) in the cases of the Constitutional Commissions. This intent was the same guiding light that drove this Court to rule that the President cannot determine the tenure of the Commission on Human Rights Chairman and Members. 10. After halting these lesser infractions based on the constitutional concept of "independence. Section 10 gives the Ombudsman and the Deputies the same rank and salary as the Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commission. and even then. This constitutional intent rendered it necessary for the Constitution to provide the instances when executive interference may be allowed. the majority nevertheless voted against these moves and emphatically expressed its refusal to have these offices be made in any way under the disciplinary authority of the Executive. but also to the Ombudsman's Deputies.to rule at this point that Congress can actually allow the President to exercise the power of removal that can produce a chilling effect in the performance of the duties of a Special Prosecutor or of the Deputy Ombudsman. that Congress cannot enact a law that empowers it to review the rules of the Commission on Elections. We recognized in the term a meaning fully in accord with the intent of the Constitution. Macalintal v. 11 and 12. I firmly take this position because the drafters repeatedly and painstakingly drafted the constitutional provisions on the independent constitutional bodies to separate them from executive control. I draw attention to the fact that Sections 9. v. Section 11 disqualifies them from reappointment and participation in the immediately . by limiting the President's choice from a list prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council. Senator Salonga.in fact. the appointment should be made from the nominations of the Judicial and Bar Council and the appointments do not require confirmation. The Constitution was also explicit when it empowered the President to appoint the officers of the other "independent" bodies. by giving the chairmen and the members staggered terms of seven years to lessen the opportunity of the same President to appoint the majority of the body.47 and (2) in the case of the Ombudsman and his Deputies. Even after the other delegates made it clear that the easier path would be to place these bodies under the control of the President. it would be inconsistent and illogical for us . the Constitution explicitly provided that the President may exert control over this body.

can place the officers of the Executive branch and their superior in a bad light. a Deputy Ombudsman or Special Prosecutor removable by the President can be reduced to the very same ineffective Office of the Ombudsman that the framers had foreseen and carefully tried to avoid by making these offices independent constitutional bodies. statutes give way to the Constitution. One cannot simply argue that the President's power to discipline them is limited to specified grounds. I join the ponente in declaring that the Deputy Ombudsmen and Special Prosecutors should not escape accountability for their wrongdoing or inefficiency. an elective official whose position is primarily political. I differ only in allowing the President. but not their tenure. of the Records of the Constitutional Commission. and thereafter empower the President to stifle the effectiveness of the Ombudsman and his or her Deputies through the grant of disciplinary authority and the power of removal over these officers. 7653. the other way around.succeeding elections. Given the support of the Constitution. We cannot insist that the Ombudsman and his Deputies look into all complaints. like the Constitutional Commissions. in violation of Section 12. It is not. and of previously established jurisprudence. in order to insulate them further from politics. With only one term allowed under Section 11. to the intent of its framers and to the corresponding interpretations made by the Court. can be displeased. At the very least. like any other. since the mere filing of a case against them can result in their suspension and can interrupt the performance of their functions. granting the President the power of removal can be counterproductive. when called for. from filing the . Lastly. even against those against Executive officials. we cannot simply turn a blind eye or forget that the work of the Office of the Ombudsman. we cannot uphold the validity of Section 8(2) of RA No. and should not be. Section 12 designates the Ombudsman and the Deputies as "protectors of the people" and directs them to act promptly on all complaints against public officials or employees. Under our legal system. while I find the proceedings before the Office of the President constitutionally infirm. nothing in this opinion should prevent the Ombudsman from conducting the proper investigations and. Common and past experiences tell us that the President is only human and." it makes no sense to insulate their appointments and their salaries from politics. to discipline or remove members of independent constitutional bodies such as the Office of the Ombudsman.1âwphi1 Under this structure providing for terms and conditions fully supportive of "independence. At the more practical level. especially when other less political officers. Thus. Article XI of the Constitution. already have the jurisdiction to resolve administrative cases against public officers under the Office of the Ombudsman. the administrative proceedings conducted by the Office of the President against petitioner Gonzales should be voided and those against petitioner Sulit discontinued. 6770 merely because a similar constitutionally-unsupported provision exists under RA No. such as the Ombudsman and the Judiciary.

Senator Salonga. p. Article VIII.. 19 Id. 10 CONSTITUTION. 16 RULES OF COURT. 2. Romero. 449. 5 Atty. at 22-23. Removal. 160 Phil. De Castro. 22 Id. 6770. 7 Ponencia. 15 RA No. Vol. 4 See Department of Justice v. Section 5. Section 27.R.. No. 156. Hon. Melencio-Herrera. Hon. Sections 1 and 5(2). 714. Article VIII. July 15. 1.M. Rule 65. Filling of Vacancy. 322. ARTURO D.R. 749 (1949). 1972. 1990. 1009.. v. Domingo. Bagatsing v. Hon. 25 G. 179 (1989). pp. 20 Id. as cited in "The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary" by Joaquin Bernas. 22. 1992. 270. 91-8-225-CA. Article XI. and Article XI. 23 Id. 12 Id. 458 (1975). 26 Speech. 84 Phil.. Article VIII. November 21. 294. 150. 14 CONSTITUTION. G.proper administrative proceedings against petitioners Gonzales and Sulit. 10 and 11. Liwag. Session of February 18. 6 Section 8. 13 Ponencia. 2. 740. 18 Id. p. and Deloso v. July 26. Article XI. 21 Ibid. Section 17(1).. 1986. Vol.. Article XIII. 1986. Section 1. 378 Phil. Article IX(A).xxxx (2) A Deputy or the Special Prosecutor may be removed from office by the President for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman. Vol. p. but only for aspects of his case not otherwise covered by the Court's Decision. 6. In the case of Gonzales. Article XII. Section 14. Article VIII. 2003 ed. No. Vol. 8. BRION Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Rollo. Section 5. Section 2.. 11 Record of the Constitutional Commission. 103524 and A. Article IX(A). 191 SCRA 545. 726 (1999). 1. 3. 24 Id. Aguirre. 254 Phil. 283 (2005). further investigation may be made by the Ombudsman. at 294. 3 Rollo. and after due process. p. 550-551. 208 SCRA 133. at 72-86. No. 532- . 27 Record of the Constitutional Commission. 2 Id. 22. 491 Phil. Section 2. April 15. 17 CONSTITUTION. Section 3. p. Section 20. 2. 9 Bautista v. Jr. 8 Id. p. 90591. and Lacson v. Sections 1.

Visayas. 586. 41 Supra note 5. at 183-184. at 263-264. Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution reads: Section 9. No. 1986. 748-749. the majority of whom shall come from the private sector. August 13. Vol. 28 G. 192 SCRA 358. p. Article IX(D). and implement continuing integrated and coordinated programs and policies for national development. and patriotism. 604 (1995). 3. 1990. 34 Record of the Constitutional Commission. 39 Id. 1986. 263.R. recommend to Congress. 2010.. 30 Records of the Constitutional Commission. Section 17. August 13. and Section 4. Article IX(A). 3. which shall be independent. 33 Section 9. 634 SCRA 135. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments.. Article X of the Constitution likewise provide that: Section 17. 268. Section 1(2). Section 5 read: Section 1. the Commission on Elections.533. (1) There is hereby created an independent office called the Commission on Human Rights. 29 Section 17(1). Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution reads: Section 17. various private sectors. 31 Section 20. and the Commission on Audit. 42 CONSTITUTION. 45 Id. No. 32 Record of the Constitutional Commission. Section 2. after consultations with the appropriate public agencies. 35 Id. 36 321 Phil. Section 5. and Article XI. Article IX(C). 93867. are the Civil Service Commission. of known probity. Article VII. Vol. Section 1 and Article XI.. and . Article XII of the 1987 Constitution reads: Section 20. 3. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. one overall Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. Section 1(2). 658-659 (2003). Section 9. 43 Id. Article XI. the members of whose governing board must be natural-born Filipino citizens. Vol. 44 Id. Article IX(B). Section 9. integrity. bureaus. October 20. p. The Constitutional Commissions. Section 4. the National Economic and Development Authority shall function as the independent planning agency of the government. 37 G. pp. 1986. Article VIII. 38 Supra note 9. and local government units. August 27. Until Congress provides otherwise. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.R. which shall. The President shall have control of all the executive departments. 361. The Congress shall establish an independent central monetary authority. Section 1(2). 172635. December 18. 40 453 Phil. The Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency headed by the President. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. and offices.

justices of the Sandiganbayan may be removed only by impeachment. R. xxx But the proposed amendment with not prevent the legislature from subsequently repealing or amending that portion of the law PD No. Vol.Mindanao. Using this power.R. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed.. unlike their counterparts in the then Court of Appeals. Under Section 1 of P. Section 9. 1986. 2. p. Section 8(2) of Republic Act (R. for alleged corruption. It argues .A. 48 Id. the first in G. 46 Record of the Constitutional Commission. 50 Supra note 39. REGALADO. The Lawphil Project . the Sandiganbayan Decree.: This case is not too complicated. and D.A. 51 Supra note 27. July 28. REGALADO. 1606. 6770 which gave the President the power to investigate and remove them. 196231 and the second in G. 49 Supra note 9. J. They are. the OP initiated a similar investigation of a case against petitioner Wendell Barreras-Sulit. 196232. the Special Prosecutor.D.. 1606. for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices. Using the same power. Gonzales and Sulit filed separate petitions.A. she having allowed her I office to enter into a plea-bargaining agreement with Major General Carlos F. Article IX-B. a privileged class xxx xxxx MR. The ponencia would have the Court uphold the constitutionality of Section 8(2 . Article XI. Garcia who had been charged with plunder. it will prevent the legislature from providing for favored public officials as not removable except by impeachment.) 6770 gave the Office of the President (OP) the power to investigate and remove from office the Deputies Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor who work 9irectly under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. Deputy I Ombudsman . 47 CONSTITUTION. and that has already happened. 6770 that empowers the President to investigate and remove Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales and Special Prosecutor Sulit from office. Gonzales assails the correctness of the OP decision that dismissed him from the service. No.R. C. there is nothing that will prevent the legislature as it stands now from providing also that other officers not enumerated therein shall also be removable only by impeachment. xxx The reason for the amendment is this: While Section 2 enumerates the impeachable officers. therefore. Section 1(2). Both challenges the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of R.Arellano Law Foundation DISSENTING OPINION ABAD. the OP investigated and found petitioner Emilio Gonzales III. 356 reads: MR. Also. guilty of gross neglect in handling the pending case against a police officer who subsequently hijacked a tourist bus.

As will shortly be shown below. which is by impeachment. By enacting Section 8(2) of R.A. culpable violation of the Constitution. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. . Congress may not authorize the President to exercise this power against those that the Constitution expressly or implicitly shields from his influence or intervention. and the Ombudsman may be removed by impeachment and that other public officers and employees may be removed by law. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for. graft and corruption. there was no existing "void" in the matter of the removal of the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor when Congress enacted R. 6770. Congress in effect removed such power of investigation and removal. Article XI of the Constitution for support: Section 2." True enough. Actually. the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor included. But this cannot literally be taken to mean that Congress may authorize the President to investigate and remove all non-impeachable public officers and employees. the above Section 2 above provides that only the President. since such authority is reserved by the Constitution to the Supreme Court. then in force. although they are not subject to impeachment. For instance. 6770. The ponencia relies on Section 2. such wresting of power from the Ombudsman is an appalling blow to his constitutionally mandated independence from the influence and threats of the other departments and agencies of government. treason.2 although the Chairman and Members of the Commission on Human Rights are not impeachable public officials. already vested in heads of offices. or betrayal of public trust. the Members of the Supreme Court. 6770.1 Further. Surely. it fails to pro vide a procedure for the removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman or Special Prosecutor. from the Ombudsman and transferred the same to the President. other high crimes. (Emphasis ours) The removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman or a Special Prosecutor. their terms cannot be made to depend on the pleasure of the President since the Constitution perceives them as exercising functions independent of him. as the Court held in Bautista v. Administrative Code of 1987. the Vice-President. says the ponencia. the power to investigate and take disciplinary action against all officers and employees under him. although the Constitution expressly provides for the removal of (e Ombudsman himself.A. the Members of the Supreme Court. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. bribery. Congress cannot authorize the President to remove lower court judges. and conviction of. The President. the Vice-President. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions.3 In subsequently enacting R.that. insofar as the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor were concerned. Congress simply filled in a void that the Constitution itself authorizes. but not by impeachment. including the Ombudsman.A. falls in the category of public officers and employees that "may be removed from office as provided by law. Salonga.

the Office of the Ombudsman needs to be insulated from the pressures. Governors. It is him they have to obey and will obey. Thus. It is not the Court but the Ombudsman who is the champion of the people and the preserver of the integrity of public service. Keeping the Deputies in the Office of the Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor independent as the Constitution commands and subjecting them to the President's control or supervision are incompatible ideas. Visayas and Mindanao. Department Secretaries. is a function of supervision. in the realm of administrative law. 6770. But the power to remove "public officers and employees" from office. If the Court were to uphold the Constitutionality of Section 8(2) of R. Senators. To say that the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor will remain independent of the President notwithstanding that he can investigate and remove them from office at any time is the equivalent of saying that monkeys grow out of trees. which includes the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor. The law makes them subject to investiga4on and removal only by the President. and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. or Barangay Captains. With the exception of those who are removable only by impeachment. misfeasance." Its primordial duty is to investigate and discipline all elective and appointive government officials. cannot be beholden to or fearful of any one. be they Congressmen. or non-feasance of public officers or employees. this is not what the Constitution contemplates in an "independent" Office of the Ombudsman. if not control. The present cases are precisely in point. the Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and take action against any appointive or elected official for corruption in office. it is that person who has the power to remove him. This function places it a notch higher than other grievance-handling.6 The Office of the Ombudsman. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides: Section 5. or vindictive acts of partisan politics. (Emphasis supplied) The Constitution has reasons for making the Office of the Ombudsman "independent. Section 13. Mayors. one overall Deputy.5 The Court has itself refrained from interfering with the Office of the Ombudsman's exercise of its powers. Article XI of the Constitution vests in that Office the absolute power to investigate any malfeasance. If there is any one that the holder of public office fears.7 The power to impeach is a function of check and balance under the Constitution. interventions. The Ombudsman did not herself appear to regard Gonzales and Sulit's actuations in the subject matters of the .Section 5. Surely. the President included. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. then the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor will be able to openly defy the orders of the Ombudsman and disregard his policies without fear of disciplinary sanction from him. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed.A.4 Specifically. investigating bodies.

But. or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. . 47. annul the decision of he Office of the President against Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III dated March 31. Section 21.8 I. took an opposite view. 183-184 (1989)." (Emphasis ours) 2 254 Phil. Chapter 6. given that the Secretary of Justice. and permanently enjoin that Office from further proceeding with the administrative case against Special Prosecutor Wendell BarrerasSulit. an alter ego of the President. vote to grant the petitions. the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor should be consulting the Office of the President or the Secretary of Justice before they act in any case in which the latter has an interest. ABAD Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Section 11. therefore. par. Subtitle A. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution "The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. ROBERTO A. This is the ludicrous and unpalatable situation that the framers of the Constitution envisaged and sought to avoid when they granted the Office of the Ombudsman independence from others who wield governmental powers. This gives the President a measure of control over the Ombudsman's work. declare Section 8(2) of Republic Act 6770 that empowers the President to remove the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor unconstitutional and void. In effect. 2011. 6770. From here on.A. the President is able to substitute his judgment for that of the Ombudsman in a matter concerning function of the latter's office. the President deigned to investigate them. Title IX.cases against them worthy of disciplinary action. 156. (2). 4 The Ombudsman Act of 1989. if the Court chooses to uphold the constitutionality of Section 8(2 of R. 3 Sec.

7 Id. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. 528 Phil. vs. 8 Section 12. 491 Phil. 196231 September 4. No. Office of the Ombudsman. The Lawphil Project --‐ Arellano Law Foundation Digest… G. Liwag.5 Department of Justice v. 270. 48 (2006). 42. 2012 EMILIO A. GONZALES III. .R. 283 (2005). 6 Dimayuga v.

6770. PERLAS-BERNABE.R. While said cases were still pending.A. Meanwhile. 196231 and G.R. No. vs.) No. No.) Rolando Mendoza and four others. for failure of the complainant to appear in three (3) consecutive hearings despite due notice. Kalaw. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers in the Office of the Ombudsman. upon the recommendation of petitioner Gonzales III. Mendoza and his colleagues filed for a motion for reconsideration which was forwarded to Ombudsman Gutierrez for final approval. robbery extortion and physical injuries) was filed before PNP-NCR against Manila Police District Senior Inspector (P/S Insp. The cases. Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of . before the Office of the City Prosecutor. Christian M. in whose office it remained pending for final review and action when P/S Insp. grave threats.OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES. the Office of the Regional Director of the National Police Commission (NPC) turned over. No.R.which gives the President the power to dismiss a Deputy Ombudsman of the Office of theOmbudsman . JR x-----------------------x G. G. upon the request of petitioner Gonzales III. 196232 primarily seeks to declare as unconstitutionalSection 8(2) of Republic Act (R.theOffice of the Ombudsman. filed a similar charge. J. No. OCHOA. acting throughand represented by EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N." Similarly. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers guilty of Grave Misconduct was approved by the Ombudsman. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT . Subsequently a case for Grave Misconduct was lodged against P/S Insp. 196232 WENDELL BARRERAS-SULIT. the case filed before the Office of the city Prosecutor was dismissed upon a finding that the material allegations made by the complainant had not been substantiated "by any evidence at all to warrant the indictment of respondents of the offenses charged. all relevant documents and evidence inrelation to said case to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for appropriate administrative adjudication. However. the Internal Affairs Service of the PNP issued a Resolution recommending the dismissal without prejudice of the administrative case against the same police officers. Private complainant. 196231: A formal charge for Grave Misconduct (robbery. a Decision finding P/S Insp. FACTS: G.R. Petitioner. otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989.: These two petitions have been because they raise a common thread of issues relating to thePresident's exercise of the power to remove from office herein petitioners who claim the protective cloak of independence of the constitutionally-created office to which they belong .

R. Juan Paulo Garcia and Timothy Mark Garcia and several unknown persons with Plunder and Money Laundering before the Sandiganbayan. HELD: YES.foreign tourists on that fateful day of August 23. the Committee on Justice passed and adopted Committee Resolution No. The Ombudsman's administrativedisciplinary power over a DeputyOmbudsmanand Special Prosecutor is not exclusive. his wife Clarita D. The IIRC found Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales committed serious and inexcusable negligence and gross violation of their own rules of procedure by allowing Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to languish for more than nine (9) months without any justification. which are violations under the Anti. recommending to the President the dismissal of petitioner Barreras-Sulit from the service and the filing of appropriate charges against her Deputies and Assistants before the appropriate government office for having committed acts and/or omissions tantamount to culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. considering there is no opposition thereto. 196232: Acting Deputy Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman charged Major General Carlos F. the injury of seven others and the death of P/S Insp. the government. Outraged by the backroom deal that could allow Major General Garcia to get off the hook with nothing but a slap on the hand notwithstanding the prosecution's apparently strong evidence of his culpability for serious public offenses. Special Prosecutor Barreras-Sulit and sought the Sandiganbayan's approval of a Plea Bargaining Agreement ("PLEBARA") entered into with the accused. At the conclusion of these public hearings. a public outcry against the blundering of government officials prompted the creation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). in violation of the Ombudsman prescribed rules to resolve motions for reconsideration in administrative disciplinary cases within five (5) days from submission. The inaction is gross. No. Hence the petition. ISSUE: Whether the Office of the President has jurisdiction to exercise administrative disciplinary power over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor who belong to theconstitutionally-created Office of the Ombudsman. The Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution finding the change of plea warranted and the PLEBARA compliant with jurisprudential guidelines. with the exception only of those . 3. represented by petitioner. Garcia. G.Hence the petition. In the aftermath of the hostage-taking incident. Petitioner was dismissed from service. 2010 in adesperate attempt to have himself reinstated in the police service. which ended in the tragic murder of eight Hong Kong Chinese nationals. However. The prolonged inaction precipitated the desperate resort to hostage-taking. The Sandiganbayan denied Major General Garcia's urgent petition for bail holding that strong prosecution evidence militated against the grant of bail.Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and grounds for removal from office under the Ombudsman Act. Rolando Mendoza. Garcia. whether appointive or elective. the House of Representatives' Committee on Justice conducted public hearings on the PLEBARA. It was tasked to determine accountability for the incident through the conduct of public hearings and executive sessions. While the Ombudsman's authority to discipline administratively is extensive and covers all government officials. their sons Ian Carl Garcia.

In fact. grants the President express power of removal over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor. The independence which the Office of the Ombudsman is vested with was . for that matter. Such legislative design is simply a measure of "check and balance" intended to address the lawmakers' real and valid concern that the Ombudsman and his Deputy may try to protect one another from administrative liabilities. the Constitution itself. Granting the President the Power to Remove a Deputy Ombudsman does not Diminish the Independence of the Office of the Ombudsman. Petitioners cannot insist that they should be solely and directly subject to the disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman. Congress simply filled a gap in the law without running afoul of any provision in the Constitution or existing statutes. No. or a Special Prosecutor. Indubitably. through the person of the President. The integrity and effectiveness of the Deputy Ombudsman for the MOLEO as a military watchdog looking into abuses and irregularities that affect the general morale and professionalism in the military is certainly of primordial importance in relation to the President's own role as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. that would exercise the power of administrative discipline over the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor without in the least diminishing the constitutional and plenary authority of the Ombudsman over all government officials and employees. which is by impeachment under Section 2 of the same Article.A. he claim that Section 8(2) of R. The Power of the President to Remove a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor is Implied from his Power to Appoint.A. the manifest intent of Congress in enacting both provisions . For. including the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. who are not subject to impeachment.Section 8(2) and Section 21 . respectively. 6770 declares the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority over all government officials. Congress merely filled an obvious gap in the law. Section 8(2). on the other hand. Congress simply laid down in express terms an authority that is already implied from the President's constitutional authority to appoint the aforesaid officials in the Office of the Ombudsman.A. No. authorizes Congress to provide for the removal of all other public officers. In giving the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. there is. to grant the President concurrent disciplinary authority over the Deputy Ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement offices. however. under Section 2. while Section 21 of R.officials removable by impeachment such authority is by no means exclusive. therefore.A. By granting express statutory power to the President to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor. if not resultantly negates the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman is tenuous.in the same Organic Act was to provide for an external authority. 6770. By enacting Section 8(2) of R. While the removal of the Ombudsman himself is also expressly provided for in the Constitution. no constitutional provision similarly dealing with the removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman. It would not be incongruous for Congress. 6770 leads to the inevitable conclusion that Congress had intended the Ombudsman and the President to exercise concurrent disciplinary jurisdiction over petitioners as Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor. 6770 granting the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman from office totally frustrates. A harmonious construction of these two apparently conflicting provisions in R.

or that the motion for reconsideration thereof remain depending for more than nine months cannot be simply taken as evidence of petitioner's undue interest in the case considering the lack of evidence of any personal grudge. Hence.R. taking cognizance of cases upon the request of concerned agencies or private parties is part and parcel of the constitutional mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman to be the "champion of the people .R. essentially . Mendoza even without the private complainant verifying the truth of his statements. WeAFFIRM the continuation of OP-DCCase No. Mendoza's case to the Ombudsman without citing any reason therefore cannot. Petitioner's act of directing the PNP-IAS to endorse P/S Insp. 196232. the salary. This means nothing more than that "the terms of office. 11-B-003 against Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit for alleged acts andomissions tantamount to culpable violation of the Constitution and a betrayal of public trust. The Office of the President is vested with statutory authority to proceed administratively against petitioner Barreras-Sulit to determine the existence of any of the grounds for her removal from office as provided for under the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act. that administrative liability was pronounced against P/S Insp. the appointments and discipline of all persons under the office" are "reasonably insulated from the whims of politicians. Petitioner Emilio A. " Petitioner Gonzales may not be removed from office where the questioned acts. while he may be vested with authority. No. do not constitute betrayal of public trust. as the findings of neglect of duty or misconduct in office do not amount to a betrayal of public trust.intended to free it from political considerations in pursuing its constitutional mandate to be a protector of the people. social ties or business affiliation with any of the parties to the case that could have impelled him to act as he did. No. inaccordance with Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989. What the Constitution secures for the Office of the Ombudsman is. evenas the Office of the Ombudsman is directed to proceed with the investigation in connection withthe above case against petitioner. cannot order the removal of petitioner as Deputy Ombudsman. the President. In G."The factual circumstances that the case was turned over to the Office of the Ombudsman upon petitioner's request. There was likewise no evidence at all of any bribery that took place. 196231. 10-J-460 isREVERSED and SET ASIDE. be considered a manifestation of his undue interest in the case that would amount to wrongful or unlawful conduct. or of any corrupt intention or questionable motivation. After all. the decision of the Office of the President in OP Case No. there being no intentional wrongdoing of the grave and serious kind amounting to a betrayal of public trust. Gonzales III is ordered REINSTATEDwithpayment of backwages corresponding to the period of suspension effective immediately. that the decision was immediately implemented. by itself.WHEREFORE. The OP's pronouncement of administrative accountability against petitioner and the imposition upon him of the corresponding penalty of dismissal must be reversed and set aside. The challenge to the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act is hereby DENIED . in G. falling short of constitutional standards. political independence.

R. Alejandro (then Flag Officer in Command. through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. In a Memorandum[5] dated December 5. 1991. being then the Naval Group Inspector.A. namely: (Ret. LT. Berbano. being then the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Comptrollership. Philippine Navy). and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto. LT.[6] including petitioner. Department of National Defense). Jr. LCMDR.A. LCDR. 1991. Rodolfo Guanzon. Philippines. Reynaldo Paderna (Chief Accountant). 3019. Jenis B. Teddy Pan. unlawfully and criminally. viz: “That on or about November 1985. Except for the variance in the Purchase Order numbers involved and the Payees. Pan. be filed against eleven (11) accused. Special Prosecutor Aniano A. Manual Ison (then Commander of the Naval Supply Center. Antonio (owner of AC Antonio Enterprise). and recommending that six (6) separate informations for violation of Section 3(e).11. Philippine Navy. CAPT. Mario S. CDR Erlindo A. R. the Special Prosecutor issued an Order[7] dated February 18. LTSG Edgar L. Sr. Abogado. On September 20. 1991 recommending that the informations for estafa through falsification of official documents be withdrawn and in lieu thereof. Rodolfo Guanzon and LT. Teddy O. Philippine Navy). Antonio Guda (Supply Accountable Officer. Philippine Navy). Maria M. Bantigue (owner of JAB GEN Merchandise). as amended. informations for violation of Section 3 (e) of R. Marissa Bantigue (owner of MAR GEN Enterprise). No. No. to five (5). LCDR Jose Alberto I. No. the Special Prosecutor issued an Order[3] dated November 14. Philippine Navy. as amended. Batestil. Velasco. the Sandiganbayan issued an Order[2] directing a comprehensive re-investigation of the cases against all the twenty (20) accused. 3019. LCDR Gilmer B. as amended. Philippine Navy and Lt. were filed with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and nineteen (19) co-accused. all public officials.[9] the six (6) amended informations[10] filed by Special Prosecutor Officer III Roger C. CDR. Capule (owner of MM Capule Enterprise) and Andrea C. Acting on the separate motions for reconsideration of the five (5) remaining accused. Cavite.) Bgen.) Rear Admiral Simeon M. Espina (then Assistant Secretary for Installations and Logistics. six (6) informations for estafa through falsification of official documents and one (1) information for violation of Section 3 (e). Del Rosario (Typist). CDR Rodolfo Guanzon. Andres Andres. Ronald O. Avelina Avila (owner of Avelina Avila General Merchandise). 1991. George Uy. Fort San Felipe. UY V. did then and there wilfully. Teddy O. CAPT. 3019. be filed against the petitioner. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Loida T. and committing the offense in relation to their office. SANDIGANBAYAN 1999 Uy vs Sandiganbayan (1999) FACTS: On July 2.[4] which included the petitioner.A. (Ret. Erolin. Sison.A. Pan. 3019. recite identical allegations. cause undue injury to the . as amended. 1992 dropping two (2) more names[8] from the five (5) officers recommended for prosecution. being then the Procurement Officer. the above-named accused. in Metro Manila. Desierto reduced the number of those to be charged under R.. After conducting the re-investigation.

yet 1. 1991. 2) Whether or not the respondents Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor have the authority to file the questioned amended information. validated PO No. 3) Whether or not the act or omission charged constitutes an offense. Section 1 of R. the commission of any of the unlawful acts or omissions enumerated in Sections 3. It is the regional trial court that has jurisdiction over the offense charged.930. “Providing for the trial by courts -martial of members of the Integrated National Police and further defining the jurisdiction of courts-martial over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines” (which took effect on October 4. repealing for the purpose certain presidential decrees” (which took effect on July 13.A. 1991. municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts because under Republic Act No. No. to wit: accused Guanzon initiated/prepared the Abstract of Canvass and Recommendation of Awards.D. “An Act Strengthening Civilian Supremacy over th e military by returning to the civil courts the jurisdiction over certain offenses involving members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.70. thereby ‘acting or omitting to act’ in a situation where the re is a duty to act. accused Uy signed the DV in behalf of the Assistant Chief of Naval Comptrollership. they claim that at the time the amended information were filed on July 2. 3019. The indictment against petitioner cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan trial courts.D.” ISSUES: 1) Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases or the person of the petitioner.00. 7055. signed the PO. other persons subject to military law. 1991) which expressly repealed P. the controlling law on the jurisdiction over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is P. as amended by P. resulting to an overpayment of P88. DV. the Sales Invoice and Technical Inspection Report -. Emphasizing the fundamental doctrine that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action. 1982).. No.000 pieces appear to have been sold with total price of P98. 7055. in that only 100 seal rings were ordered at a unit price of P98. 7691 which amended certain provisions of Batas .Government. 1850. and in the exercise of their separate official functions. HELD: On the issue of jurisdiction. hence there was gross error in multiplication as shown on the face of the aforesaid PO and other supporting documents. 1850. which has jurisdiction to try petitioner.00 to x x x. Certificate of Emergency Purchase and Reasonableness of Price. 5 and 6 of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than SIX YEARS AND ONE MONTH or FIFTEEN YEARS. Under Section 9 of R. x x x. as amended. accused Pan as N6 conducted the pre-audit and affixed his signature on the same P. Petitioner and the Solicitor General concede the subsequent passage of Republic Act No.which documents said accused had the duty to check/verify/examined. petitioner and the Solicitor General submit that it is the court-martial. not the Sandiganbayan. 4. A. thereby depriving the Government/Philippine Navy of the use thereof until its remittance/return to the Government/Philippine Navy by x x x in December. and the members of the Philippine National Police. 1952 (which took effect in September of 1984).O.D.700.

Provoking Speeches or Gestures. Refusal to Receive and Keep Prisoners. Corresponding with. Insubordinate Conduct toward Non-Commissioned Officer. No. Personal Interest in Sale of Provisions. they “exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine. Failure to Deliver offenders to Civil Authorities. 7055. Relieving. 72 to 92 and 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. False Returns. 3019. Good Order to be Maintained and Wrong Redressed. tribunal or body.Pambansa Blg. Damage/Wrongful Disposition of Military Property. nature. is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Misbehavior of Sentinel. Desertion. Improper Use of Countersign. 1992 in Criminal Cases Nos.” It is not correct that under R. Dueling. 7055 limit s the nature of “service-connected crimes or offenses” to those defined only in Articles 54 to 70. Failure to Suppress Mutiny or Sedition. value or amount thereof x x x. Failure to make a Report of Prisoners Received. Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman. 129. False Muster. Advising or Aiding Another to Desert. “shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court. as amended. and All Disorders and Neglects to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline and All Conduct of a Nature to Bring Discredit Upon the Military Services. Vice-President and National Assembly. No. Drunk on Duty. Entertaining a Deserter. under Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. the courts-martial retain jurisdiction over petitioner’s case since the offense for which he is charged is “service -connected. A. Fraud against the Government Affecting Matters and Equipment. No. Mutiny or Sedition. or Aiding the Enemy. Misbehavior Before the Enemy. 16905-16910.” The second paragraph of Section 1 of R. Releasing prisoners without proper authority. Dealing in Captured or Abandoned Property. irrespective of kind. Forcing a Safeguard. the Sandiganbayan is ordered to dismiss Criminal Cases Nos. In lieu thereof. 408. including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon. and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties. Disrespect towards the President. Disorders. 1690516910.A. The Resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated June 10.[14] to wit: Fraudulent enlistment. Frays. and to inform this Court of the action taken hereon within fifteen (15) days from finality of this decision. 129 by expanding the jurisdiction of said inferior c ourts. Disrespect toward Superior Officer. making Unlawful Enlistment. Intimidation of Persons Bringing Provisions. R. Spies. Subordinates Compelling Commander to Surrender. Waste or Unlawful Disposition of Military Property.A. Absence Without Leave. except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cog nizance of by the latter. No costs. None of these offenses relates to acts or omissions constituting a violation of Section 3 (e). . Quarrels. Neglect or Wrongful Appropriation of Captured Property. Breaking an Arrest or Escaping from Confinement.” This draws the case into the domain of the regional trial courts which.

Pan. Except for the variance in the Purchase Order numbers involved and the Payees. J. LCDR Jose Alberto I. Jr. R. and recommending that six (6) separate informations for violation of Section 3(e). Avelina Avila (owner of Avelina Avila General Merchandise).[4] which included the petitioner. Mario S. He was designated by his immediate supervisor. Marissa Bantigue (owner of MAR GEN Enterprise). 1991 recommending that the informations for estafa through falsification of official documents be withdrawn and in lieu thereof. Andres Andres. On September 20. as amended. 3019. DECISION PARDO. R. 1991.A. to act on the latter’s behalf.A. Philippine Navy). petitioner was Deputy Comptroller of the Philippine Navy. Captain Luisito F. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. as amended. This included the authority to sign disbursement vouchers relative to the procurement of equipment needed by the Philippine Navy. Maria M. and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto. recite identical allegations. Nos. O/NG. 1999] GEORGE UY. Rodolfo Guanzon and LT. CDR Erlindo A. Capule (owner of MM Capule Enterprise) and Andrea C. Desierto reduced the number of those to be charged under R. during his absence. BERBANO. SR. on matters relating to the activities of the Fiscal Control Branch. Velasco. Philippines. the Special Prosecutor issued an Order[7] dated February 18. No. Loida T. CAPT. Department of National Defense). Sr. Special Prosecution Officer III. as amended. R.R. Berbano. Reynaldo Paderna (Chief Accountant). Bantigue (owner of JAB GEN Merchandise). Acting on the separate motions for reconsideration of the five (5) remaining accused. in Metro Manila..[9] the six (6) amended informations[10] filed by Special Prosecutor Officer III Roger C. 1992 dropping two (2) more names[8] from the five (5) officers recommended for prosecution. Erolin. were filed with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and nineteen (19) co-accused. August 9. (Ret. On July 2. 3019. LT. No. In a Memorandum[5] dated December 5.[6] including petitioner. CDR. CDR Rodolfo Guanzon. Manual Ison (then Commander of the Naval Supply Center. No. LCMDR. Batestil. Del Rosario (Typist). Teddy Pan. 105965-70. Philippine Navy). 1991. No. to five (5).A. 3019. as amended. Ronald O.[G. Antonio Guda (Supply Accountable Officer. informations for violation of Section 3 (e) of R. Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Comptrollership. Alejandro (then Flag Officer in Command. the Special Prosecutor issued an Order[3] dated November 14. respondents. as amended. LTSG Edgar L. the Sandiganbayan issued an Order[2] directing a comprehensive reinvestigation of the cases against all the twenty (20) accused. 3019. 1991. Jenis B. be filed against the petitioner. 3019. Rodolfo . OMBUDSMAN and ROGER C. Espina (then Assistant Secretary for Installations and Logistics. CAPT. Office of the Special Prosecutor. Teddy O. LCDR Gilmer B. At times material hereto. namely: (Ret. SANDIGANBAYAN.A. Antonio (owner of AC Antonio Enterprise).A. the above-named accused. and to permanently enjoin the respondents from proceeding with the criminal cases insofar as petitioner is involved.. Sison. petitioner. Fernandez. LT. After conducting the re-investigation.) Bgen. Special Prosecutor Aniano A. Fort San Felipe. viz: “That on or about November 1985. six (6) informations for estafa through falsification of official documents and one (1) information for violation of Section 3 (e). Cavite. vs.) Rear Admiral Simeon M. be filed against eleven (11) accused. Abogado. Philippine Navy).: This petition for certiorari and prohibition seeks to annul and set aside the resolution[1] of the Sandiganbayan denying petitioner’s motion to quash the six (6) informations charging him with violation of Section 3 (e).

through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. It passed upon the grounds set forth by petitioner in this wise: “On the first issue raised by accused-movant. 1992. being prosecuted for violation of R. yet 1. being then the Naval Group Inspector. Neither are we impressed with the asseveration that the acts charged in the amended informations at bar do not constitute an offense. Certificate of Emergency Purchase and Reasonableness of Price. and committing the offense in relation to their office. The facts charged do not constitute an offense.700. The officer who has filed the informations had no authority to do so. being then the Procurement Officer. Pan. this Court has several cases pending before it involving crimes committed by military officers in relation to their office. as amended. being then the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Comptrollership. 4. signed the PO. the Sandiganbayan issued the now-assailed Resolution denying petitioner’s motion to quash for lack of merit. hence there was gross error in multiplication as shown on the face of the aforesaid PO and other supporting documents. Philippine Navy. x x x. if hypothetically admitted. to wit: accused Guanzon initiated/prepared the Abstract of Canvass and Recommendation of Awards. Philippine Navy.000 pieces appear to have been sold with total price of P98. the petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash[11] the informations on the following grounds: 1.930. Both the offense charged and the person of accused-movant being within the exclusive jurisdiction of this Court. We cannot likewise sustain accused-movant’s stance that the officer who has filed the informations in the cases at bar had no authority to do so. the Office of the Ombudsman. George Uy. The Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of the accused. in that only 100 seal rings were ordered at a unit price of P98. Teddy O. this Court has no judicious recourse but to entertain and try the various criminal cases filed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor involving military officers and men accused of committing crimes ‘in relation to their office. it stands to reason that the preliminary investigation and prosecution of the instant criminal charges belong to. resulting to an overpayment of P88. we are not inclined to rule that this Court has no jurisdiction over the person of accused-movant or over the offenses charged herewith. Unless and until the Highest Tribunal rules otherwise. all public officials. DV.00. thereby ‘acting or omitting to act’ in a situation where there is a duty to act.O. (People . 6770.which documents said accused had the duty to check/verify/examined. as defined in the law. accused Uy signed the DV in behalf of the Assistant Chief of Naval Comptrollership. and are the exclusive prerogatives of. Be that as it may. the Sales Invoice and Technical Inspection Report -. Such a claim cannot stand in the face of unequivocal rulings of the Supreme Court.’ and those involving violation of Republic Act No. as provided for in Section 15(1) of Republic Act No.” On April 21. thereby depriving the Government/Philippine Navy of the use thereof until its remittance/return to the Government/Philippine Navy by x x x in December. as amended. unlawfully and criminally. and in the exercise of their separate official functions.. On June 10.A. LCDR. 2. cause undue injury to the Government. 3019. 3019. Philippine Navy and Lt. did then and there wilfully. would meet the essential elements of the offense.70. Accused-movant axiomatically is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court. accused Pan as N6 conducted the pre-audit and affixed his signature on the same P. validated PO No. 1992.Guanzon. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. More than one (1) offense is charged. 3. thus: ‘The fundamental rule in considering a motion to quash on the ground that the averments of the information are not sufficient to constitute the offense charged is whether the facts alleged. As intimated by the prosecution. 1991.00 to x x x.

in either of the aforementioned situations. Segovia. 3) Whether or not the act or omission charged constitutes an offense. more particularly Section 1(b) thereof provides: “Section 1. some of the arguments relied upon by accused-movant refer more to evidentiary matters. or court-martial jurisdiction over the person of the accused military or Integrated . which has jurisdiction to try petitioner.’ ‘The general rule is that in resolving the motion to quash a criminal complaint or information. (a) uniformed members of the Integrated National Police who commit any crime or offense cognizable by the civil courts shall henceforth be exclusively tried by courts-martial pursuant to and in accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 1982). the facts alleged therein should be taken as they are. 1162). Court Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated National Police and Members of the Armed Forces. not the Sandiganbayan. 516). petitioner and the Solicitor General submit that it is the court-martial. Emphasizing the fundamental doctrine that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action. “Providing for the trial by courts-martial of members of the Integrated National Police and further defining the jurisdiction of courts-martial over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines” (which took effect on O ctober 4. the prosecution split the original information into six (6) distinct amended informations pertaining to six (6) criminal violations of Section 3 (e) of R.” In the instant petition. the quashal of the informations at bar cannot be sustained since they are sufficient in form and substance to charge indictable offenses. (People v. they claim that at the time the amended informations were filed on July 2. Such is but proper under the premises considering that the acts subject of the criminal cases at bar were allegedly committed on six (6) different purchase orders and there is no showing that they were committed on similar dates or singular occasion. should be resolved on the basis alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. 2) Whether or not the respondents Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor have the authority to file the questioned amended information. supra). as amended. as amended. 3019. otherwise known as the Articles of War.D. Navarro.’ ‘As a general proposition. Finally. 1952 (which took effect in September of 1984). but he court may consider additional facts which the fiscal admits to be true. as amended by P. We find no merit in the argument that more than one offense is charged in the criminal informations at bar.’ In consonance with the foregoing doctrinal pronouncements. 75 Phil. petitioner raises the following issues: 1) Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases or the person of the petitioner. (People v. 408.v. On the issue of jurisdiction. or of any offense for that matter. Parenthetically.A.D. a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations in the information do not constitute the offense charged. This is especially so if the motion to quash is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense. Provided. that. Navarro. the case shall be disposed of or tried by the proper civil or judicial authorities when courtmartial jurisdiction over the offense has prescribed under Article 38 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 408. the determination of which are not yet legally feasible at this juncture and should only be raised during the trial on the merits. 103 Phil. as amended. the controlling law on the jurisdiction over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is P. 1850. too.Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. Precisely. 1991. -. (b) all persons subject to military law under Article 2 of the aforecited Articles of War who commit any crime or offense shall be exclusively tried by courts-martial or their case disposed of under the said Articles of War.

that the President may. 7055. except when the offense. shall be tried by the proper civil court.National Police personnel can no longer be exercised by virtue of their separation from the active service without jurisdiction having duly attached beforehand unless otherwise provided by law: Provided. including members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units. at any time before arraignment. 1991) which expressly repealed P. as amended. or local government ordinances. and all other persons lawfully called. x x x. In imposing the penalty for such crimes or offenses. Article 2 reads: “Article 2: Persons subject to Military Law.A. As used in this Section. all reservists. or ordered into. at the time of the filing of the informations. the term uniformed members of the Integrated National Police shall refer to police officers. 408. 1850. and jail guards. as determined before arraignment by the civil court. in which case the offense shall be tried by courtmartial: Provided. order or direct. from the dates of their call to active duty and while on such active duty. 408.D. 8249. in the interest of Justice. from the dates they are required by the terms of the call.The following persons are subject to these Articles and shall be understood as included in the term ‘any person subject to military law’ or ‘person subject to military law. order or direct at any time before arraignment that any such crimes or offenses be tried by the proper civil courts. Republic Act No. As used herein. and the members of the Philippine National Police. policemen. -. Section 1 of R. That the President of the Philippines may. or local government ordinances. or to duty or for training in. Articles 72 to 92 and Articles 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. as amended) mentioned in the aforecited Section 1(b) of P. victims.A. drafted. in the interest of justice. No. he falls squarely under Article 2 of the Articles of War (C.D. firemen. Since petitioner is a regular officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. and as now prescribed by law. and. No. “An Act Strengthening Civilian Supremacy over the military by returning to the civil courts the jur isdiction over certain offenses involving members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. repealing for the purpose certain presidential decrees” (which took effect on July 13.[12] the latest amendment to P. 7055 reads: “SECTION 1. other persons subject to military law. 1606[13] creating the Sandiganbayan (otherwise known as the “Sandiganbayan Law”). or order to obey the same.” We rule that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over petitioner. or offended parties which may be natural or judicial persons. members of the Nurse Corps and soldiers belonging to the Regular Force of the Philippine Army. service-connected crimes or offenses shall be limited to those defined in Articles 54 to 70. therefore. who commit crimes or offenses penalized under the Revised Penal Code. Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other persons subject to military law.” Petitioner and the Solicitor General concede the subsequent passage of Republic Act No. that a particular case be tried by the appropriate civil court. draft. still cognizable by courts-martial. further.A. 7055. the said service. since the alleged commission of the offense for which petitioner is charged with is “service-connected. the court-martial may take into consideration the penalty prescribed therefor in the Revised Penal Code. regardless of whether or not civilians are co-accused. whenever used in these articles: (a) All officers. is service-connected. provides the prevailing scope of the Sandiganbayan’s . other special laws. other special penal law.” (underscoring ours). 1850.D. all trainees undergoing military instruction.” They nonetheless argue that petitioner’s case falls within the exception provided for in said Section 1 of R.

otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. not falling within the “rank” requirement stated in Section 4. and Chapter II. 6758. 4. and municipal circuit trial court. as amended. and all officers of higher rank.) Philippine army and air force colonels. as amended. In the instant case. Jurisdiction. – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: “a. while petitioner is charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. Captain 6. 4. Lieutenant Senior Grade 9. Admiral 2. A. it is the regional trial court that has jurisdiction over the offense charged. municipal trial court. which is an offense covered by Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law.) of the Philippine Navy is a rank lower than “naval captains and all officer of higher rank” as prescribed under sub-paragraph (d) of Section 4. his position as Lieutenant Commander (LCMDR. Commander 7. 5 and 6 of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than SIX . naval captains. the commission of any of the unlawful acts or omissions enumerated in Sections 3. The pertinent portions of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law read: “Sec. as the case may be. Violations of Republic Act No. exclusive jurisdiction over petitioner is vested in the regular courts pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law. 3019. Rear Admiral 4. acting or interim capacity. Section 2. 3019. which states that “In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade ‘27’ or higher. 129. as amended. Republic Act No.A. or military and PNP officers mentioned above. Under the Promotions System in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Lieutenant Commander 8. Book II of the Revised Penal Code. 3019. Under Section 9 of R. Vice-Admiral 3.A. as amended by R.jurisdiction. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court. No. 1379. Ensign Thus. Commodore 5. at the time of the commission of the offense: xxx xxx xxx “(d. No. No. 8249. Lieutenant Junior Grade 10. xxx xxx xxx It can be deduced from said provisions of law that both the nature of the offense and the position occupied by the accused are conditions sine qua non before the Sandiganbayan can validly take cognizance of the case. metropolitan trial court. whether in a permanent. the hierarchy in the position/rank of the officers of the Philippine Navy is as follows: 1. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government.” Consequently. as amended. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. Title VII.

Corresponding with. 408. 7055 limits the nature of “service-connected crimes or offenses” to those defined only in Articles 54 to 70. Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman.” It is not correct that under R. No. Frays. 7055. and All Disorders and Neglects to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline and All Conduct of a Nature to Bring Discredit Upon the Military Services. Misbehavior of Sentinel. 3019. who has the authority to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. Absence Without Leave.” The second paragraph of Section 1 of R.YEARS AND ONE MONTH or FIFTEEN YEARS. Quarrels. it is the prosecutor. Releasing prisoners without proper authority. 16905-16910. not the Ombudsman. Intimidation of Persons Bringing Provisions. False Muster. Disrespect towards the President. A. value or amount thereof x x x. Good Order to be Maintained and Wrong Redressed.[14] to wit: Fraudulent enlistment. – In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. Neglect or Wrongful Appropriation of Captured Property. Drunk on Duty. Vice-President and National Assembly. 129. 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. 72 to 92 and 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. Disorders. the courts-martial retain jurisdiction over petitioner’s case since the offense for which he is charged is “service-connected. nature. they “exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine. Advising or Aiding Another to Desert. Failure to make a Report of Prisoners Received. Provoking Speeches or Gestures. Subordinates Compelling Commander to Surrender. Dealing in Captured or Abandoned Property. including the Government. Failure to Suppress Mutiny or Sedition. 3. Fraud against the Government Affecting Matters and Equipment. the Sandiganbayan is ordered to . Waste or Unlawful Disposition of Military Property. Entertaining a Deserter. R. Damage/Wrongful Disposition of Military Property.[15] WHEREFORE. tribunal or body.” In this connection. No. the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated June 10. or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. Personal Interest in Sale of Provisions.A. is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.A. No. municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts because under Republic Act No. and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties. as amended which reads: “Sec. Forcing a Safeguard. under Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. The indictment against petitioner cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan trial courts. In lieu thereof. Corrupt practices of public officers. “shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court. including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon. Disrespect toward Superior Officer. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Relieving. irrespective of ki nd. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. Insubordinate Conduct toward Non-Commissioned Officer. except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter. None of these offenses relates to acts or omissions constituting a violation of Section 3 (e). Refusal to Receive and Keep Prisoners. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Dueling. Breaking an Arrest or Escaping from Confinement.” This draws the case into the domain of the regional trial courts which. 1992 in Criminal Cases Nos. 7691 which amended certain provisions of Batas Pambansa Blg. or Aiding the Enemy. 129 by expanding the jurisdiction of said inferior courts. Failure to Deliver offenders to Civil Authorities. Desertion. Misbehavior Before the Enemy. Spies. Improper Use of Countersign. Mutiny or Sedition. as amended. False Returns. making Unlawful Enlistment.

Melo. and Ynares-Santiago. C. and to inform this Court of the action taken hereon within fifteen (15) days from finality of this decision. Bellosillo. 16905-16910. Mendoza.dismiss Criminal Cases Nos. Jr. Gonzaga-Reyes. JJ. Kapunan. Panganiban. SO ORDERED. Puno. Davide... No costs. Purisima.. Buena. Vitug. . Quisumbing. concur.J.

when such act or omission appears to be illegal. Functions and Duties. office or agency.A. and for other purposes") which vests upon the Ombudsman "primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. 105965-70] UY vs SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: August 9.R. 15.Powers. but those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well." Thus. That the Ombudsman can only exercise prosecutorial power in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. unjust. February 22.A.2001 [ G. 1999 the trial court rendered a decision stating that it is the prosecutor. HELD: We held that the Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute all criminal cases involving public officers and employees. Nos.(2)The phrase “primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan” is not a delimitation of its jurisdiction solely to Sandiganbayancases. ISSUE: Whether the prosecutor power of the Ombudsman extends only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan or the Ombudsman has authority to prosecute cases falling within the jurisdiction of regular courts. not only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. thus: "Sec. improper or inefficient." And this is further buttressed by Section 11 (4a) of R. 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. functions and duties:(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on .and(3) The authority of the office of the Special prosecutor to prosecute cases before the sandiganbayan cannot be confused with the broader investigatory and prosecutorial power of the office of the Ombudsman. Section 15 vests the Ombudsman with the power to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of any public officer or employee. 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. 6770 ("An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. 2000 it explained in the resolution that: (t)he 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..." The Ombudsman the respondent hereof seeking clarification of the foregoing ruling and raises the following points:(1)The jurisdiction of the Honorable Sandiganbayan is not parallel to or equated with the broader jurisdiction 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. who has the authority to file the corresponding information against petitioner in the regional trial court. not the Ombudsman. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees is founded in Section 15 and Section 11 of RA 6770.

an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman under the latter's supervision and control. it may take over. The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman and shall be under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal. civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants. at any stage. office or agency.Section 11 grants the Office of the Special Prosecutor.complaint by any person. 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 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. Finally. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and.Structural Organization. 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. unjust. 11. have the following powers: (a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. To carry out this duty. 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. from any investigatory agency of Government. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative. Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Moreover. "Sec. unjust. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. the investigation of such cases. 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. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. Certainly. the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. (4) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall. improper or inefficient . any act or omission of any public officer or employee. the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases.(3) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be composed of the Special Prosecutor and his prosecution staff. it must be clarified that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute cases involving . under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. improper or inefficient.

the control and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined (therein). Demetriou that the power of the Ombudsman under Section 15 (1) of RA 6770 is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged.public officers and employees before the regular courts does not conflict with the power of the regular prosecutors under the Department of Justice to control and direct the prosecution of all criminal actions under Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. 2000 that the Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is SET ASIDE. EN BANC [G." IN VIEW WHEREOF. the Court's ruling in its decision dated August 9. Nos. In cases cognizable by regular Courts. 1999 and its resolution dated February 20. Thus. 2001] . March 20. The Court held in the case of Sanchez vs. The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and other investigative agencies of government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts.R. 8 issued by the Office of the Ombudsman provides: "The prosecution of case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Rules of Court must be read in conjunction with RA 6770 which charged the Ombudsman with the duty to investigate and prosecute all illegal acts and omissions of public officers and employees. 105965-70. Administrative Order No.

J. vs. repeated references to the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction clearly serve to limit the Ombudsman's and Special Prosecutor's authority to ca ses cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. not the Ombudsman. THE HON. it is the prosecutor..A. 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. petitioner. Desierto of the Court's ruling in its decision dated August 9. respondents. 2000 that: “(t)he 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. SPECIAL PROSECUTION OFFICER III. BERBANO. SR. 6770 ("An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Court stated in its decision dated August 9.: Before the Court is the Motion for Further Clarification filed by Ombudsman Aniano A. 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.GEORGE UY. OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. 2000 that the prosecutory power of the Ombudsman extends only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and that the Ombudsman has no authority to prosecute cases falling within the jurisdiction of regular courts.” Thus. respondent Ombudsman raises the following points: “(1) The jurisdiction of the Honorable Sandiganbayan is not parallel to or equated with the broader jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman. 1999: “In this connection. the matter that needs to be discussed herein is the scope of the power of the Ombudsman to conduct preliminary investigation and the subsequent prosecution of criminal offenses in the light of the provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (Republic Act [RA] 6770). We held that the Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation . 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. RESOLUTION PUNO. OMBUDSMAN AND THE HON. and (3) The authority of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to prosecute cases before the Sandiganbayan cannot be confused with the broader investigatory and prosecutorial powers of the Office of the Ombudsman. SANDIGANBAYAN. who has the authority to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. (2) The phrase "primary jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan" is not a delimitation of its jurisdiction solely to Sandiganbayan cases.A.” Seeking clarification of the foregoing ruling. 1999 and resolution dated February 22. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan." Thus. ROGER C.” It explained in the resolution of February 22. THE HON.

in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. Powers. Structural Organization. improper or inefficient . 15. x x x” Section 11 grants the Office of the Special Prosecutor. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. 11. improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and.— x x x xxx (3) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be composed of the Special Prosecutor and his prosecution staff. an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman under the latter’s supervision and control. have the following powers: (a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It states: “Sec. thus: “Sec. unjust. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. (b) (c) To enter into plea bargaining agreements. unjust.and to prosecute all criminal cases involving public officers and employees. the investigation of such cases. from any investigatory agency of Government. not only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Section 15 vests the Ombudsman with the power to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of any public officer or employee. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees is founded in Section 15 and Section 11 of RA 6770. and Section 11 (4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the . 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. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. office or agency.--The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.” The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. [1] The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. it may take over. at any stage. unjust. The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman and shall be under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. but those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well. and To perform such other duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman. (4) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall. improper or inefficient. particularly in Section 15 (1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Functions and Duties. office or agency.

[4] To carry out this duty. The law defines such primary jurisdiction as authorizing the Ombudsman "to take over. referring to an officer appointed by the legislature to handle the people’s grievances against administrative and judicial actions.[2] Moreover.[7] In this jurisdiction. 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. conducting investigation thereon.[3] Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. and making recommendations to the appropriate administrative agency based on his findings. The concept of Ombudsman originated in Sweden in the early 19th century. 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. These offices were conceived with the view of raising the . Indeed. the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases.[5] 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." The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees cognizable by other courts. 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. civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants. The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers and employees is one of the most important functions of the Ombudsman.[6] A review of the development of our Ombudsman laws reveals this intent. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative. 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.Sandiganbayan. the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal. at any stage. the investigation of such cases. it must be stressed that the powers granted by the legislature to the Ombudsman are very broad and encompass all kinds of malfeasance. from any investigatory agency of the government. He was primarily tasked with receiving complaints from persons aggrieved by administrative action or inaction. should not be construed as confining the scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases. 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. Certainly. Section 15 of RA 6770 gives the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. several Ombudsman-like agencies were established by past Presidents to serve as the people’s medium for airing grievances and seeking redress against abuses and misconduct in the government. He relied mainly on the power of persuasion and the high prestige of the office to effect his recommendations. In passing RA 6770. misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public officers and employees during their tenure of office.

civil. on complaint. however. that the prosecution of cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was to be done by the Tanodbayan through the Special Prosecutor who. 1978. 1978. according to PD 1486. both under President Ferdinand Marcos. that these agencies failed to realize their objective for they did not enjoy the political independence necessary for the effective performance of their function as government critic. however. to be known as Tanodbayan. Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution read: “Sec. employee. Section 6. The Integrity Board was succeeded by several other agencies which performed basically the same functions of complaints-handling and investigation. The amendatory law broadened the authority of the Tanodbayan to investigate administrative acts of administrative agencies by authorizing it to conduct an investigation on its own motion or initiative. make appropriate recommendations. in the advent of the 1973 Constitution. the members of the Constitutional Convention saw the need to constitutionalize the office of an Ombudsman. file and prosecute the corresponding criminal. and conducting a thorough investigation of these complaints.[9] The 1973 Constitution mandated the legislature to create an office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan.[13] It should be noted. or other person has acted in a manner resulting in a failure of justice. In May 1950. President Elpidio Quirino created the Integrity Board charged with receiving complaints against public officials for acts of corruption. their powers extended to no more than fact-finding and recommending. civil or administrative case before the proper court or body. It was observed. PD 1487 was amended by PD 1607 which took effect on December 10. even without a complaint from any person. on June 11. including those in government-owned or controlled corporations. The Special Prosecutor was then under the control and supervision of the Secretary of Justice. the Presidential Committee on Administration Performance Efficiency under President Carlos Garcia. to give it political independence and adequate powers to enforce its recommendations. Its powers shall not be limited to receiving complaints and making recommendations. file information for and prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of said court. Its principal task was to “investigate.standard in public service and ensuring integrity and efficiency in the government. any administrative act[10] of any administrative agency[11] including any government-owned or controlled corporation. enacted Presidential Decree (PD) 1487 creating the Office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. President Marcos. These were the Presidential Complaints and Action Commission under President Ramon Magsaysay. the Presidential Anti-Graft Committee under President Diosdado Macapagal. or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or body if he has reason to believe that any public official.[15] Shortly after its enactment. and in case of failure of justice as defined by law. which shall receive and investigate complaints relative to public office. dereliction of duty and irregularity in office. and the Presidential Agency on Reform and Government Operations and the Office of the Citizens Counselor. Furthermore. but shall also include the filing and prosecution of criminal. exercising his power under Proclamation 1081.” Implementing this constitutional provision.[14] had the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation.[8] Thus.[16] The . civil or administrative case before the appropriate body in case of failure of justice.”[12] The Tanodbayan also had the duty to file and prosecute the corresponding criminal. 6. The Batasang Pambansa shall create an office of the Ombudsman.

to file information therefor and to direct and control the prosecution of said cases. The present Ombudsman. employee or other person has acted in a manner warranting criminal or disciplinary action or proceedings.” With the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.” [17] Thus. Thus. Investigate on its own. 1979. including government-owned or controlled corporations.[19] Section 10 of PD 1630 provided: “Sec. improper. on complaint by any person or on his own motion or initiative. employee. or inefficient. . he shall cause him to be investigated by the Office of the Chief Special Prosecutor who shall file and prosecute the corresponding criminal or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or before the proper administrative agency. and to notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. Prosecution of Public Personnel or Other Person.new law also expanded the prosecutory function of the Tanodbayan by creating the Office of the Chief Special Prosecutor in the Office of the Tanodbayan and placing under his direction and control the Special Prosecutor who had the “exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. xxx (e) If after preliminary investigation he finds a prima facie case. a new Office of the Ombudsman was created. as protector of the people. PD 1630 reorganized the Office of the Tanodbayan and transferred the powers previously vested in the Special Prosecutor to the Tanodbayan himself.--If the Tanodbayan has reason to believe that any public official. unjust. is mandated to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the government or any subdivision. employee. any act or omission of any public official.--The Tanodbayan shall have the following powers: (a) He may investigate.[18] On July 18. any administrative act whether amounting to any criminal offense or not of any administrative agency including any government-owned or controlled corporation. or other person has acted in a manner warranting criminal or disciplinary action or proceedings. PD 1630 was enacted further amending PD 1487 and PD 1607. office or agency. he shall conduct the necessary investigation and shall file and prosecute the corresponding criminal or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or before the proper administrative agency. or on complaint by any person. to file informations therefor and to direct and control the prosecution of said cases therein. 18. file information and prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and other courts. he may file the necessary information or complaint with the Sandiganbayan or any proper court or administrative agency and prosecute the same. functions and duties: “1.” Section 18 further stated: “Sec. 10. the law provided that if the Tanodbayan has reason to believe that any public official.[20] He possesses the following powers. agency or instrumentality thereof. Powers. The amendment gave the Tanodbayan the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. the Tanodbayan was empowered to directly conduct preliminary investigation.

in any appropriate case. demotion. Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. or to stop. fine. and recommend his removal. The Philippine Ombudsman. any public official or employee of the Government. both passed on July 24. mismanagement. and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. 1987. 6. 4. Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault. suspension. red tape. agency or instrumentality thereof. 5. and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action. Congress passed RA 6770 providing for the functional and structural organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. pertinent records and documents. or any subdivision. In September 1989. Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities. Direct the officer concerned. fraud. and to examine. to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties. giving him an active role in the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and employees. as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter. Clearly. as protector of the people. Determine the causes of inefficiency. 8. or prosecution. upon complaint or at its own instance. the then existing Tanodbayan became the Office of the Special Prosecutor which continued to function and exercise its powers as provided by law. As in the previous laws on the Ombudsman. Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law. criminal and administrative offenses committed by government officers and employees as embodied in Sections 15 and 11 of the law. 7.”[21] As a new Office of the Ombudsman was established. except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 Constitution. RA 6770 gave the present Ombudsman not only the duty to receive and relay the people's grievances. prevent and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties.2. if necessary. is armed with the power to prosecute erring public officers and employees. the Philippine Ombudsman departs from the classical Ombudsman model whose function is merely to receive and process the people's complaints against corrupt and abusive government personnel. censure. civil. but also the duty to investigate and prosecute for and in their behalf. and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. and ensure compliance therewith. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law.[22] The frameworks for the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Special Prosecutor were laid down by President Corazon Aquino in Executive Order (EO) 243 and EO 244. The legislature has vested him with broad powers . 3. Direct.

1630 was the existing law governing the then Tanodbayan when Republic Act No. Demetriou[24] that the power of the Ombudsman under Section 15 (1) of RA 6770 is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. The Court observed in the case of Republic vs. The Rules of Court must be read in conjunction with RA 6770 which charged the Ombudsman with the duty to investigate and prosecute all illegal acts and omissions of public officers and employees. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. . It is apparent from the history and the language of the present law that the legislature intended such power to apply not only to cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but also those within the jurisdiction of regular courts. Recognizing the importance of this power. and the amendatory laws issued subsequent thereto will show that. at its inception. Administrative Order No. Thus. The Court held in the case of Sanchez vs. the Court's ruling in its decision dated August 9. Sandiganbayan:[23] “A perusal of the law originally creating the Office of the Ombudsman then (to be known as the Tanodbayan).to enable him to implement his own actions. the Court cannot derogate the same by limiting it only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. office or agency. 6770 was enacted providing for the functional and structural organization of the present Office of the Ombudsman. it must be clarified that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute cases involving public officers and employees before the regular courts does not conflict with the power of the regular prosecutors under the Department of Justice to control and direct the prosecution of all criminal actions under Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.[25] The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and other investigative agencies of government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts. x x x. unjust. SO ORDERED. 8 issued by the Office of the Ombudsman provides: “The prosecution of case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. 1999 and its resolution dated February 20. In cases cognizable by regular Courts. the Office of the Ombudsman was already vested with the power to investigate and prosecute civil and criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan and even the regular courts. This later law retained in the Ombudsman the power of the former Tanodbayan to investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. xxx Presidential Decree No.” Finally. 2000 that the Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is SET ASIDE. the control and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined (therein). improper or inefficient.” IN VIEW WHEREOF.

Sanidganbayan 1999. DELORIA G. J. stating that the Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction. but she questioned the authority of the Ombudsman.53despite notice and demand upon her account for the funds. Sandiganbayan case (1999). curing the restrictive defect in the Ombudsman’s powers. whichlimited the powers of the Ombudsman. FACTS: Sharon Castro. Citing Uy vs. as of May 31.Sandiganbayan in 2001 which reversed the original decision in Uy vs.12. misappropriating worth P556. and expressly recognizing the prosecutorial andinvestigatory authority of the Ombudsman in cases cognizable by theRTC. She said that the Information failed to allege her salarygrade — a material fact in the crime charged. 163586CASTRO vs. Sandiganbayan decided in 1999 which held that the Ombudsman hadno prosecutorial powers over cases cognizable by RTC. RTC cited the Resolution of Uy vs. Shewas accused of misappropriating public funds worth P556. in the light of the FIRSTDECISION in the Uy vs. recognizing the authority of theOmbudsman in the case. Petitioner: Sharon Castro Respondents: RTC Judge Hon. her case should bewithin the jurisdiction of the RTC. W/N the Ombudsman had the authority to file a case againstpetitioner.The Supreme Court ruled that the Ombudsman’s powers were plenary and unqualified. 2001. and that the later Resolution of the Uy case prevailed. since she had a salary grade of 27.RTC denied the Motion to Quash.Sandiganbayan. covering all offending “public officers”. She also added that the prosecutorialpowers of the Ombudsman are limited to the cases cognizable by theSandiganbayan. . CA CASE SUMMARY: Sharon Castro was a BIR Officer in Guimaras who was charged with Malversation of Public Funds.000. Merlin Deloria. a Revenue Officer of BIR Buenavista. DALORIAJanuary 27. The Ombudsman was tasked toprosecute her. Guimaras. No.R.Castro filed a Motion to Quash. wascharged before the Ombudsman with Malversation of Public Funds. citing the originaldecision of Uy vs. ISSUES: 1. CASTRO V.681.2. 2009 Austria-Martinez.

Such interpretation does not create new law.(Office of the Ombudsman vs. it constitutes part of the original law which is the Ombudsman Act of 1989 . while the Resolution on the same case in 2001expressly heldthat the Ombudsman shall have power on all criminal cases involving public officials. “Where no law is invalidated nor doctrine abandoned. the Information filed against her was void because at that time.instead of the 2001 Resolution. Hence. Resolution 2001 is a judicial interpretation of the statute. at any stage from any investigatory agency of the government. 1989.2. Moreover. the Resolution of the Court in Uy interpreting the Ombudsman Act is part of the lawdated December 7. The Court finds no merit in her petition. The Resolution of Uy vs. 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. Sandiganbayan (1999) FINAL VERDICT: Case dismissed for lack of merit. Enoc)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 is within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to prosecute. a judicial interpretation of the law should be deemed incorporated at the moment of its legislation”. Sandiganbayan in 2001 is NOT ex-postfacto. the Court has held that the Ombudsman haspower to prosecute not only graft cases within the jurisdiction of theSandiganbayan but also cases within the jurisdiction of the regional trialcourts. The powers of the Ombudsman are plenary and unqualified. HELD: Ombudsman’s powers UPHELD. but rather construesit to reveal the true intent of the lawmakers.W/N the Resolution of the Uy vs. Section 15 of RA 6770 gives the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction to “take over. because the Ombudsman instituted theaction against her in April 26. As such. 2000. 1. Time and time again. Sandiganbayan in 1991 was that theOmbudsman’s prosecutorial powers were limited to Sandiganbayancases. The Resolution in Uy setaside an erroneous pubescent interpretation of the Ombudsman Actmanifested in Uy vs. Therefore. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act underthe supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. the Ombudsman had no authority over her case. Petitioner contends that the decision in 1991 should apply to her case. . RATIO: The decision on Uy vs. The Ombudsman’s prosecutorial powers are PLENARY and UNQUALIFIED. it is meant to cure the defect in limiting the Ombudsman’s powers. the investigation of such cases” cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Sandiganbayan case (2001)violates the constitutional provisions against ex-post facto lawsand the denial of due process.

in such capacity and committing the offense in relation to office. Petitioner. J. Guimaras. and despite notice and demands made upon her account for said public funds. 2000. On May 31. and for sometime prior thereto. The facts are of record. a public officer. was in the custody and possession of public funds in the amount of P556.681. represented by its Director. for which she is accountable by reason of the duties of her office. taking advantage of her public position.: Before the Court is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by Sharon Castro (petitioner) to assail the July 22.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. take. Branch 65. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of the this Honorable Court. 69350. representing the value of her collections and other accountabilities. COURT OF APPEALS.53. vs. did then and there willfully. misappropriate.R. Branch 65.3 Petitioner pleaded NOT GUILTY when arraigned on February 16. 2001. HON. SP No. abovenamed accused.681. petitioner was charged by the Ombudsman before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 2009 SHARON CASTRO. 163586 January 27. the COA-Region VI. Philippine Currency. in the Municipality of Buenavista. and with intent to gain. and the March 26. Respondents. under an Information which reads. with Malversation of Public Funds. 2003 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) which dismissed CA-G. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Buenavista. as Presiding Judge. . CONTRARY TO LAW. she has failed to do so.R. Guimaras and as such. Regional Trial Court. 2004 CA Resolution 2 which denied the motion for reconsideration. and HON. MERLIN DELORIA. unlawfully and feloniously appropriate. Guimaras. to the damage and prejudice of the government. being the Revenue Officer I of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. No. Province of Guimaras. as follows: That on or about the 17th day of August 1998. with deliberate intent.53. embezzle and convert to her own personal use and benefit said amount of P556.

the Court set aside its August 9. but the latter dismissed the petition in the Decision under review. 1999 of the Decision of the Court in Uy up to the time of issuance on March 20. 2001 of the Resolution of the Court in the same case. It held that the jurisdiction of the RTC over the case did not depend on the salary grade of petitioner. As the investigation and prosecution against petitioner was conducted by the Ombudsman beginning April 26. Sandiganbayan. which declared that the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman is limited to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Whether or not the clarificatory Resolution issued by the Supreme Court dated February 22. . Sandiganbayan case can be made applicable to the Petitioner-Accused. when the Information for Malvesation of Public Funds was instituted against the Petitioner. pointing out that in Uy.13 Petitioner contends that from the time of the promulgation on August 9.On August 31. without violating the constitutional provision on ex-post facto laws and denial of the accused to due process.10 Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari11 with the CA. Citing Uy v. 1999 Decision and issued a March 20. Sandiganbayan" case. 2001. 2001 Resolution expressly recognizing the prosecutorial and investigatory authority of the Ombudsman in cases cognizable by the RTC. the case filed against her was cognizable by the RTC and may be investigated and prosecuted only by the public prosecutor. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration12 was also denied.9 which the RTC denied in its December 18.5 The RTC denied the Motion to Quash in an Order 6 dated September 7. Petitioner argued that the Information failed to allege her salary grade -. 2. confining the issues to the following: 1.7 Moreover. the present petition. 2001. the prevailing jurisprudence was that the Ombudsman had no prosecutorial powers over cases cognizable by the RTC. Hence. 2001 in the Uy vs. Whether or not the Ombudsman.8 Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. but on the penalty imposable upon the latter for the offense charged. it sustained the prosecutorial authority of the Ombudsman in the case. 2000. The RTC further held that the Motion to Quash was contrary to Sec.4 petitioner further argued that as she was a public employee with salary grade 27. petitioner filed a Motion to Quash on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and lack of authority of the Ombudsman to conduct the preliminary investigation and file the Information. for it was filed after petitioner pleaded not guilty under the Information. 2001 Order. Rule 117. and not by the Ombudsman whose prosecutorial power was limited to cases cognizable by theSandiganbayan.a material fact upon which depends the jurisdiction of the RTC. as of May 31. 1. had the authority to file the same in light of this Supreme Court’s ruling in the First "Uy vs. upon motion for clarification filed by the Ombudsman.

Hence. unjust. 2001 Resolution of the Court in said case. from any investigatory agency of the government. Sandiganbayan reconsidering the ruling that the prosecutory power of the Ombudsman extended only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. invoked the August 9. the Information that was filed against petitioner was void for at that time the Ombudsman had no investigatory and prosecutorial powers over the case. this Court has reconsidered the said ruling and held that the Ombudsman has powers to prosecute not only graft cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but also those cognizable by the regular courts. et al. The law defines such primary jurisdiction as authorizing the Ombudsman "to take over. . The RTC granted the motion but upon petition filed by the Ombudsman. It held: The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. Indeed. improper or inefficient." The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees cognizable by other courts. Indeed. The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. The petition lacks merit. and Section 11(4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. then the August 9.14 wherein accused Ruben Enoc. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts.2000. at any stage. 2001 in Uy v. petitioner filed a Manifestation invoking the very same resolution promulgated on March 20. Enoc. 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. particularly in Section 15(1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. 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 reversed the RTC and held: In turn. Section 15 of RA 6770 gives the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. The petition calls to mind Office of the Ombudsman v. should not be construed as confining the scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases. notwithstanding that the said decision was set aside in the March 20. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal. misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public officers and employees during their tenure of office. 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. the investigation of such cases. 1999 Decision in Uy was applicable. 1999 Decision of the Court in Uy15 in a motion to dismiss the 11 counts of malversation that were filed against them by the Ombudsman before the RTC.

2000. 16 in which. A judicial interpretation of a statute. "given the Court’s Uy ruling under its March 20. the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases. however. for. The law likewise allows him to direct the Special prosecutor to prosecute cases outside the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction in accordanc e with Section 11(4c) of RA 6770. extends even to criminal information filed or pending at the time when its August 9. Breva. the RTC dismissed a criminal complaint that was filed before it by the Ombudsman. civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants. 2001 Resolution in Uy cannot have retroactive effect. To carry out this duty. The Court reversed the RTC. therefore.Moreover. in hindsight. 1999 Decision in Uy. hold that the Ombudsman has authority to investigate and prosecute Criminal Case Nos. be set aside. 374(97) to 385(97) against respondents in the RTC. that the March 20. 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. such as the Ombudsman Act. 2001 Resolution in Uy. 374(97) to 385(97) are hereby REINSTATED and the Regional Trial Court is ORDERED to try and decide the same. Certainly. Branch 19 of Digos. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative. citing the August 9. of the Regional Trial Court. for otherwise it would amount to "an ex-post facto law. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. therefore. branch 19 of Digos." It is settled. 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. Petitioner would argue. Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. (Emphasis supplied) Similarly relevant is the case of Office of Ombudsman v. that the Ombudsman has prosecutorial powers in cases cognizable by the RTC. We. 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. that the March 20."17 Petitioner is grasping at straws. constitutes part of that law as of the date of its original passage. the order. Davao del Sur is SET ASIDE and Criminal Case Nos. therefore. the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal. 1999 Decision was the operative ruling on the issue. which is constitutionally proscribed. Davao Del Sur even as this authority is not exclusive and is shared by him with the regular prosecutors. Hon. Such interpretation does not create a new law but . without legal support and must. dated October 7. 2001 Resolution. the trial court’s assailed Orders x x x are. WHEREFORE.

the declaration can only have a prospective application.18 Hence.20 In the present case. it set aside an erroneous pubescent interpretation of the Ombudsman Act as expressed in the August 9. With the foregoing disquisition. Where a judicial interpretation declares a law unconstitutional or abandons a doctrinal interpretation of such law. a judicial interpretation of the law should be deemed incorporated at the moment of its legislation. the Court. SO ORDERED. . has consistently held that such operative fact cannot be undone by the mere subsequent declaration of the nullity of the law or its interpretation. 1999 Decision in the same case.construes a pre-existing one. such as the filing of the Information against petitioner. 1989. WHEREFORE. No costs. thus. it merely casts light upon the contemporaneous legislative intent of that law. the second issue is rendered moot and academic. Rather. the March 20. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. 2001 Resolution of the Court in Uy interpreting the Ombudsman Act is deemed part of the law as of the date of its effectivity on December 7.19 But where no law is invalidated nor doctrine abandoned. recognizing that acts may have been performed under the impression of the constitutionality of the law or the validity of its interpretation. the March 20. 2001 Resolution in Uy made no declaration of unconstitutionality of any law nor did it vacate a doctrine long held by the Court and relied upon by the public. Its effect has therefore been held by the Court to reach back to validate investigatory and prosecutorial processes conducted by the Ombudsman.

PNP Colonel Michael Ray B. from any investigatory agency of Government. which the RTC granted. On May7. at any stage. in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. other PNP officials. a panel of prosecutors from the DOJ sent asubpoena to Lacson. Mary Ong filed a complaint-affidavit on beforethe Ombudsman against PNP General Panfilo M. other high-ranking officials of the PNP.13. recommended the investigation of Lacson. the investigation of such cases involving public officials. Mary Ong and other witnesses executed sworn statements before the NBI.Lacson. the DOJ filed a Petition for certiorari and prohibition in the SC. including police and military officials such as private respondent. LIWAG FACTS: Alleging that she was a former undercover agent of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics Group. NBI Director Wycoco. and several privateindividuals. et al named in the witnesses’sworn statements directing them to submit theircounter-affidavits and controverting evidence at thescheduled preliminary investigation on the complaintfiled by the NBI. said respondents submitted their counter-affidavits and prayed that the chargesag ainst them be dismissed. in a letter dated May 4. 2001 that the DOJ panel of prosecutors should dismiss the complaint filed therewith by Mary Ong since there are complaint spending before the Ombudsman alleging a similar set of facts against the same respondents. Thus. filed before the RTC a petition forprohibition. However. alleging the same facts and circumstances revealed by Mary Ong in her complaint-affidavit before the Ombudsman. 2001 addressed to then Secretary of JusticeHernando Perez. Her complaint-affidavit gave rise toseparate cases involving different offenses imputed to respondents Lacson and Aquino. 2001. saying that theOmbudsman has jurisdiction over the case. denied the motion. 2001. Aquino. which construed the letter as a motion to dismiss. Subsequently. Lacson and Aquinomanifested in a letter dated May 18. The Ombudsman found the complaint-affidavit of Mary Ong sufficient inform and substance and thus required the respondents therein to file their counter-affidavits on the charges. Aquino. and privateindividuals for the following alleged crimes: kidnapping for ransom and murder of several individuals. On February 28. DOJ. and claimed that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and. anddirecting the DOJ to desist from conducting preliminary investigation. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE V. et al. on March 9.Lacson. . 2001. he may takeover.

ISSUE/RULING: W/N the DOJ has jurisdiction toconduct a preliminary investigation despite thependency before the Ombudsman of a complaintinvolving the same accused. at any stage. from any investigative agency of the Government. the other investigative agencies of the Government have no power and right to add an input into the Ombudsman’s investigation. In the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ombudsman itself. If the Ombudsman. the investigation being conducted by another agency. While the doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction means equal jurisdiction to deal with the same subject matter. this concurrence is not to be taken as an unrestrained . including the DOJ. Rudimentary common sense and becoming respect for power and authority would thus require the respondents to desist from interfering with the case already handled by the Ombudsman. as in the case. The hierarchy of powers must be remembered. the exercise by the principal of the powers negates absolutely the exercise by the agents of a particular power and authority. at any stage of the proceedings. Only inmatters where the other investigative agencies areexpressly allowed by the Ombudsman to makepreliminary investigation may such agencies conductthe investigation. That situation presupposes the conduct by other Government agencies of preliminaryinvestigations involving public officials in cases nottheretofore being taken cognizance of by theOmbudsman. It has the case before it. Since the Ombudsman has taken hold of the situation of the parties in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction over the matter. The public respondents cannot find comfort in thatprovision of the law that the Ombudsman may takeover. In the final analysis. If that is so. subject to the final decision of theOmbudsman.Indeed. Petitioners cannot seek sanctuary in the doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction. the resolution on the matter by the Ombudsman is final. has already taken hold of the situation of the parties. the settled rule is that the body or agency that first takescognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others . and that is the truth. and circumstances –NO RATIO: The question is whether or not the Ombudsman has in effect taken over the investigation of the case or cases in question to the exclusion of other investigatory agencies. respondents cannot insist on conducting a preliminary investigation on the same matter under the pretext of a shared and concurrent authority. Thus. it cannot take over. assuming there is concurrent jurisdiction between the Ombudsman and the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary investigation. facts. including police and military officials such as the petitioners. they aredeputized prosecutors by the Ombudsman. as conceded by the respondents. the investigation of cases involving public officials.

it has the authority to proceed with the preliminary investigation to the exclusion of the DOJ. To allow the same complaint to be filed successively before two or more investigative bodies would promote multiplicity of proceedings. it is theOmbudsman before whom the complaint was initially filed. This would leave hapless litigants at a lossas to where to appear and plead their cause ordefense. In the present case. It would also cause undue difficulties to the respondent who would have to appear and defend his position before every agency or body where the same complaint was filed.Although a preliminary investigation is not a trial.freedom to file the same case before both bodies or be viewed as a contest between these bodies as to which will first completethe investigation. The subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary investigation over the cases filed against the respondents would not promote an orderly administration of justice . There is the distinct possibility thatthe two bodies exercising jurisdiction at thesame time would come up with conflictingresolutions regarding the guilt of therespondents . A preliminary investigation isan inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground toengender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. Hence. it is not a casual affair either. There is yet another undesirable consequence.

00). a U. In addition. 1994 to follow-up his visa application. J. DECISION DE LEON. RONALDO P. The complaint alleged in substance that petitioner Tapiador demanded and received from Walter Beck the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10.000. petitioner.000. when the petitioner advised the couple to accomplish first all the requirements for a visa . respondents. JR.S. unless the latter pay an additional amount of Seven Thousand Pesos (P7. 1997 of the Office of the Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-0-94-0983 dismissing the petitioner from the government service for grave misconduct and the Order [2] dated April 7. Accompanying the complaint was the affidavit[4] executed by a certain Purisima C.000. 2002] RENATO A. Tapiador. March 15. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN SECOND DIVISION [G. BID Special Investigator and assigned as Technical Assistant in the office of the then Associate Commissioner Bayani M. Monica Beck. Jr. the petitioner alleged that Beck and his wife. On the said occasion. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN and ATTY. TAPIADOR V. TAPIADOR. The petitioner categorically denied in his counter-affidavit[5] dated July 11.00) by Walter Beck and his wife to the petitioner in consideration for the issuance of the subject ACR. 1997 denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. vs.R. 1994 that he demanded nor received any amount of money from Walter Beck in consideration for the issuance of the latter’s ACR. The incipience of the case could be traced to the complaint-affidavit[3] dated July 4. LEDESMA. Terencio which essentially seeks to corroborate the alleged payment of the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Resolution[1] dated January 22. 1994 lodged with the Resident Ombudsman at the main office in Manila of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID for brevity) by Walter H. citizen.14. Renato A. No.00) in exchange for the issuance of an alien certificate of registration (ACR for brevity) which was subsequently withheld deliberately by the petitioner despite repeated demands by Beck. against the petitioner. Beck.. Subido. 129124. came to the BID office in Manila on June 29.

[6] After investigation. The petitioner’s allegations were corroborated by Rosanna C. a BID employee and officemate of the petitioner. This incident prompted the petitioner to file a criminal complaint for oral defamation before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Manila. BID Resident Ombudsman Ronaldo P. Beck and his wife shouted invectives at him and charged the petitioner with having demanded money from them. [8] His subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied on April 7. Ledesma found the petitioner liable for violating existing civil service rules and regulations as well as penal laws and thus. THUS CONSTITUTING A VIOLATION OF PETITIONER’S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. 1997. . IV THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN GRAVELY ERRED IN CONTRADICTING ITS OWN FINDING RELATIVE TO THE CRIMINAL ASPECT OF THIS CASE DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE.[7] however. the criminal charge was dismissed by the Ombudsman for lack of evidence. III THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN GRAVELY ERRED IN RENDERING THE QUESTIONED RESOLUTION WITHOUT CONDUCTING A PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE AND ACTUAL HEARING IN VIOLATION OF ITS OWN RULES. in her affidavit dated July 15. Vigo. the Ombudsman found the petitioner liable for grave misconduct in the administrative aspect of the case and imposed the penalty of dismissal from the government service. the petitioner filed the instant petition for review[9] which raises the following assignment of errors: I THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER IS GUILTY OF GRAVE MISCONDUCT DESPITE LACK OF SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT IT. IN VIOLATION OF PETITIONER’S RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL. Upon review of the case. recommended that criminal and administrative charges be filed against the petitioner. II THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN GRAVELY ERRED IN RENDERING THE QUESTIONED RESOLUTION ONLY AFTER ALMOST THREE YEARS.application. 1994.

the administrative proceeding was conducted shortly thereafter. In the Resolution dated July 7. 1998. Moreover. we required the public respondent to file his comment to the instant petition. Purisima Terencio. the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Solicitor General had filed their respective memoranda.[13] The Office of the Ombudsman maintains that the petitioner was accorded due process of law inasmuch as he was duly informed and furnished a copy of the complaint against him as evidenced by his letters dated July 22 and 26. substantially established the administrative liability of the petitioner for grave misconduct by demanding from complainant Beck a sum of money in exchange for the issuance of the latter’s ACR. Thereafter. there was no undue delay in the conduct of the administrative proceedings since the preliminary investigation was conducted immediately after the complaint was filed in 1994. DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT WAS HIS FIRST OFFENSE IN HIS THIRTY YEARS IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE. Consequently.V THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN GRAVELY ERRED IN IMPOSING THE SUPREME PENALTY OF DISMISSAL AGAINST PETITIONER. Likewise. the Ombudsman asserts that the sworn statements of Walter Beck a and his witness. 1998 which essentially recommended that the petitioner be exonerated from the subject administrative charge on the ground that the assailed resolution of the Ombudsman was rendered in violation of procedural due process and that it was not supported by substantial evidence. 1997. However. and for that offense. 1998. That no preliminary conference had been conducted in the case was primarily due to the petitioner’s manifestation to dispense thereof and submit the case for resolution inasmuch as he has already filed his memorandum of evidence. petitioner should be imposed the corresponding penalty of dismissal from the government service. the Ombudsman opined that the petitioner was absolved of criminal liability during the preliminary investigation of this case due to insufficiency of evidence constituting probable cause contrary to his claim that there was absolutely no evidence against him.[11] The petitioner filed a Reply[12] thereto on August 14. After several extensions of time given by this Court. the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion In Lieu of Comment[10] on February 20. 1996 addressed to the investigating officer requesting for a copy of the case records to enable him to prepare for his defense. and that after the criminal aspect of the case was resolved. this case was submitted for decision after the petitioner. we directed the Office of the Ombudsman to file directly its own comment which it did on May 12.[14] .

000. which act was personally witnessed by complainant’s witness. witness Terencio states “That said spouses paid the full amount of P10. 1992 to Mr. Worse. Mrs. Mendoza. then BID Resident Ombudsman Ronaldo P. the allegations in the complaint. The preliminary conference required under Republic Act No. Ledesma. The petitioner reiterated that the Office of the Ombudsman found no evidence against him in its investigation of the criminal aspect of the case and thus. the petitioner adverted to the minutes [15] of the preliminary hearing on July 18.000. 1998 and contended that it was the hearing officer.By way of reply. it is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[17] In dismissing the petitioner from the government service the Office of the Ombudsman reasoned out. [16] Substantial evidence does not necessarily import preponderance of evidence as is required in an ordinary civil case. as follows: xxx [E]vidence for the complainant clearly established that respondent Tapiador unlawfully received the amount of P10. is authorized to receive payment for the processing of ACR. who in his desire to stay permanently in the Philippines became a victim of such irregularity. Tapiador as payment for the Alien Certificate of Registration with the promise for the immediate release of the same” (p. Moreover. In administrative proceedings.00 from them for the release of the ACR. who instructed him and his counsel to simply file a memorandum within fifteen (15) days after which the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. in his capacity as Technical Assistant. Vitaliano M. by substantial evidence. rather. To us. Terencio. a foreigner. 1994 positively identified the respondent as the person to whom spouses Becker (sic) gave the money. the said declaration of witness Terencio appears to be credible and worthy of belief since there is no apparent reason for her to impute false statements against the respondent. Purisima C. 6770 [19] was dispensed with after the nominal complainant. he argued that the instant administrative charge should also have been dismissed.[18] Notably. Atty. 1996 that he was submitting the case for resolution on the basis of the documents on record [20]while the petitioner . the complainant has the burden of proving. It is also significant to observe that the said declaration of Terencio was aptly corroborated by complainant Walter Becker (sic). the instant administrative complaint was resolved by the Ombudsman merely on the basis of the evidence extant in the record of OMB-ADM-0-94-0983. who in her affidavit dated July 01. In quoting. Becker (sic) also claimed that respondent demanded an additional amount of P7. Record). there is no showing that respondent.000.00 from spouses Walter and Monica Becker (sic). 13.00 on February 23. manifested on July 29.

the only basis for the questioned resolution of the Ombudsman dismissing the petitioner from the government service was the unverified complaint-affidavit of Walter H. thus: 1. 3. showed that the subject affidavits of Beck and Terencio were not even identified by the respective affiants during the fact-finding investigation conducted by the BID Resident Ombudsman at the BID office in Manila.000.00). Beck’s affidavit is hearsay and inadmissible in evidence.00 was given I waited but no ACR was given to me. Tapiador and Mr. Nonetheless. his affidavit is silent as to the identity of the person who actually received the said amount from him.00) in consideration for the issuance of the latter’s ACR. both from the Bureau of Immigration. Beck and that of his alleged witness.[21] Consequently. it appears that Walter Beck and his wife sought the assistance of Purisima Terencio sometime in the later part of 1992 in facilitating the issuance of his ACR and in the process. Purisima Terencio. a perusal of the affidavit executed by Walter Beck does not categorically state that it was petitioner Tapiador who personally demanded from Beck the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10.000. A thorough review of the records. That during the months of Sept[ember] and Oct[ober] 1992 a certain Baby (Purisima)Terencio informed us that I could be granted an ACR and will be allowed to stay in the Philippines permanently thru Mr. Angeles who was also with the BID. for a fee of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. On the other hand. That after completing all the requirements and the amount of P10.00. the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman should have dismissed the administrative complaint against the petitioner in the first instance.00).[22] Hence. Manila and the fees was agreed at P10. although Beck claimed to have subsequently paid Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. That when we tranfered (sic) our residence to Negros Occ[idental] we arranged with Mr. which I refused.agreed to simply file his memorandum. That sometime in February 1993 my wife went to see Mr.000. Hence. The pertinent portion of his affidavit reads. 4. 2. Likewise.000.000. Angeles. official receipts inclussive (sic). Neither did they appear during the preliminary investigation to identify their respective sworn statements despite prior notice before the investigating officer who subsequently dismissed the criminal aspect of the case upon finding that the charge against the petitioner “was not supported by any evidence”. Tapiador and was informed that he will hold my passport while I have my ACR. Beck and his wife did not appear to have any direct or personal knowledge of the alleged demand of the petitioner except through the information allegedly relayed to them by Terencio. however. On this basis alone. . Terencio allegedly informed the couple that Beck could be granted the same and would be allowed to stay in the Philippines permanently with the help of the petitioner and a certain Mr.

00) in “grease money” to the petitioner on February 23. the Ombudsman gave full faith and credit to her statement that the “spouses paid the full amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. it appears that Purisima Terencio had apparently been doing most of the legwork for the Beck couple in facilitating the release of the subject ACR. However. but it was never mailed.Tapiador to pick up the ACR before we will leave for that place. the rule that witnesses are presumed to tell the truth until proven otherwise [26] does not apply to the case at bar for the reason that Terencio had the motive to impute falsities to avoid the inevitable wrath of the Beck spouses for reneging on her promise to send them by mail the subject ACR. It also appears that Beck and the petitioner would eventually meet personally for the first time only later. Before the said date however. so Beck’s affidavit went on to state. Tapiador as payment for the Alien Certificate of Registration with the promise for the immediate release of the same”[24] on the mere assumption that there is no apparent reason for her to impute false statements against the petitioner who is employed with the government for more than thirty (30) years. and that Baby Terencio promised to (sic) us that the ACR will be mailed to us. [23] xxx xxx xxx Walter Beck could have easily stated in his affidavit that he paid the said amount directly to the petitioner if it were indeed the latter who actually received the same. Tapiador to pick up the ACR he was not in the office. Beck claimed in his own affidavit that he was informed by Terencio only between the period from September to October 1992 that the processing of his ACR could be facilitated through the assistance of the petitioner and a certain Mr. Anent the affidavit of Purisima Terencio. more specifically on June 23. there is logical basis to assume that it was to Terencio that the alleged payment was made by the Beck couple. 1992.000. Angeles.00) on February 23. petitioner even informed him that his ACR had been approved but that he still needed to submit his quarantine clearance before the same could be issued to him. This glaring .000. 1992 even without categorically stating that she had personal knowledge or had actually witnessed the alleged pay off. 1992 to Mr. On the said occasion. A close scrutiny of the allegations in her affidavit show that the alleged pay off had taken place as early as February 23. This significant omission in his affidavit is fatal in establishing the alleged administrative liability of the petitioner. but he did not. Besides. The Ombudsman should have been more prudent in according credence to the allegations of Terencio coming as they do from a supposed “fixer”. at the office of the latter.[25] On the contrary. 1994. Consequently. Purisima Terencio was adroit enough to make it appear in her affidavit that the Beck spouses had paid Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. and when my wife went again to see Mr.

Under Section 13.inconsistency more than sufficiently impeached Terencio’s credibility thereby belying the assessment of the Ombudsman in the assailed resolution. . to the public official concerned. that is. 1997 dismissing the petitioner from the government service and the Order dated April 7. Manila. SO ORDERED. it is not necessary anymore to pass upon the other grounds raised by the petitioner in his petition. WHEREFORE. [28] the Ombudsman can only “recommend” the removal of the public official or employee found to be at fault. assuming arguendo. In view of the foregoing. without loss nor diminution in his salaries and benefits. The complainant clearly failed to present the quantum of proof necessary to prove the charge in the subject administrative case. 1997 in OMB-ADM-0-94-0983 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. subparagraph (3). [27] Besides. The assailed Resolution of the Ombudsman dated January 22. The petitioner is hereby ordered REINSTATED immediately to his position in the government service more particularly in the Bureau of Investigation and Deportation. more particularly from his position in the BID. with substantial evidence. the instant petition is GRANTED. that petitioner were administratively liable. the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss the petitioner from the government service. of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

15. LEDESMA V. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals* Ledesma, the Chairman of the First Division of the Board of Special Inquiry of theBureau of Immigration and Deportation, was complained by Somalio, who requestedFact Finding Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) of the Ombudsman to investigate anomalies onthe extension of the Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) of 2 foreign nationals. FIIB filedcriminal and administrative charges before the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of the Ombudsman against the petitioner, Ledesma. Graft Investigation Officer Reyessuspended Ledesma. However, the criminal charges were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence. Consequently, Ledesma filed a motion for reconsideration with Graft OfficerReyes, but denied the motion and reduced the suspension to 9 months without pay.Ledesma filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals, and CA reduced thesuspension to 6 months and 1 day without pay. The petitioner filed an instant petitionfor review with the Supreme Court, and one of the grounds was that the Ombudsmanmay only recommend suspension under Sec. 13(3) of Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution.He held that in Tapiador vs. Office of the Ombudsman, the Court mentioned that theOffice of the Ombudsman may only recommend the removal or suspension of publicofficial.Issue:Did the decision of the Supreme Court limit the power of Ombudsman to merely recommendation of suspension of public official?Ruling:No. The statement that made reference to the power of the Ombudsman is, at best,merely an obiter dictum and, as it is unsupported by sufficient explanation, issusceptible to varying interpretations, as what precisely is in this case. Moreover, theSec. 15 Art XI of the Constitut ion provides that the Ombudsman’s “recommendation” is not merely advisory in nature but is actually mandatory within the bounds of law

FIRST DIVISION

ATTY. RONALDO P. LEDESMA,

G.R. No. 161629

Petitioner,

Present:

Davide, Jr., C.J. (Chairman),

- versus -

Quisumbing,

Ynares-Santiago,

Carpio, and

Azcuna, JJ.

HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON.

ANIANO A. DESIERTO, in his

capacity as Ombudsman, HON.

ABELARDO L. APORTADERA, in

his capacity as Assistant Ombudsman,

and Ombudsman’s Fact Finding and

Intelligence Bureau, represented by

Promulgated:

Director AGAPITO ROSALES,

Respondents.

July 29, 2005

x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x

DECISION

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

This petition for review on certiorari seeks to reverse and set aside the decision[1] dated August 28, 2003 and the resolution[2] dated January 15, 2004 of the Court of Appeals[3] in CA-G.R. SP No. 58264 which affirmed with modification public respondents’ (1) Joint Resolution dated January 22, 1999, which ordered, among other things, petitioner’s suspension for one (1) year for conduct prejudicial to the service; and (2) Order dated February 8, 2000, as reiterated in a Memorandum dated March 17, 2000, which denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration but reduced his suspension to nine (9) months without pay. The Court of Appeals modified the above issuances by further reducing petitioner’s suspension from nine (9) months to six (6) months and one (1) day without pay.[4]

Petitioner Atty. Ronaldo P. Ledesma is the Chairman of the First Division of the Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID). In a letter-complaint filed by Augusto Somalio with the Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) of the Office of the Ombudsman, an investigation was requested on alleged anomalies surrounding the extension of the Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) of two (2) foreign nationals. The FIIB investigation revealed seven (7) other cases of TRV extensions tainted with similar irregularities.

As a result, the FIIB, as nominal complainant, filed before the Administrative Adjudication Bureau (AAB) of the Office of the Ombudsman a formal complaint against herein petitioner. Also charged administratively were Atty. Arthel Caronongan and Ma. Elena P. Ang, Board Member and Executive Assistant, respectively, in petitioner’s division. With respect to petitioner, the complaint was treated as both a criminal and an administrative charge and docketed as OMB-0-98-0214 (criminal aspect), for nine (9) counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and for falsification of public documents, and OMB-ADM-0-98-0038 (administrative aspect), for nine (9) counts of Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Falsification of Public Documents and Gross Neglect of Duty.

The complaint against petitioner, Caronongan and Ang alleged the following illegal acts: (a) irregularly granting TRVs beyond the prescribed period; and (b) using “recycled” or photocopied applications for a TRV extension without the applicants affixing their signatures anew to validate the correctness and truthfulness of the information previously stated therein. Specifically, petitioner and Caronongan allegedly signed the Memorandum of Transmittal to the Board of Commission (BOC) of the BID, forwarding the applications for TRV extension of several aliens whose papers were questionable.

In a Joint Resolution[5] dated January 22, 1999, Graft Investigation Officer Marlyn M. Reyes resolved the administrative cases filed against petitioner, Caronongan and Ang, as follows:

WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, it is respectfully recommended that:

1. Respondent ATTY. RONALDO P. LEDESMA be SUSPENDED from the service for one (1) year for Conduct Prejudicial to the Interest of the Service;

2. The instant case against ATTY. ARTHEL B. CARONONGAN be DISMISSED, the same having been rendered moot and academic; and

3. The instant case against respondent MA. ELENA P. ANG be DISMISSED for lack of sufficient evidence.

SO RESOLVED.[6]

Respondent Assistant Ombudsman Abelardo L. Aportadera, Jr. reviewed the Joint Resolution which was approved by respondent Ombudsman Desierto on December 29, 1999.[7]

In the meantime, on July 9, 1999, respondent Ombudsman approved a Resolution[8] dated June 22, 1999 of Graft Investigation Officer Marilou B. Ancheta-Mejica, dismissing the criminal charges against petitioner for insufficiency of evidence.[9]

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration[10] in the administrative case alleging that the BOC which reviews all applications for TRVs extension, approved the TRVs in question, hence, petitioner argued that it effectively declared the applications for extension regular and in order and waived any infirmity thereon.

In an Order[11] dated February 8, 2000, Graft Officer Reyes recommended the denial of the motion for reconsideration which was approved by respondent Ombudsman on March 24, 2000 but reduced the period of suspension from one (1) year to nine (9) months without pay.

RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY OVERLOOKED THE FOLLOWING RELEVANT FACTS AND MATTERS WHICH. In its Decision dated August 28. 2000. IF PROPERLY CONSIDERED. WOULD HAVE JUSTIFIED A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION IN FAVOR OF PETITIONER: . petitioner filed the instant petition for review on the following grounds: I.[12] With the denial of his motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals issued the TRO on April 19.On April 13. which included a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary prohibitory mandatory injunction and/or temporary restraining order to enjoin public respondents from implementing the order of suspension. petitioner filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. 2003. the Court of Appeals affirmed petitioner’s suspension but reduced the period from nine (9) months to six (6) months and one (1) day without pay. IN PROMULGATING ITS ASSAILED DECISION. 2000.

.. II.[13] The petition lacks merit.. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ALSO FAILED TO CONSIDER THAT THE OMBUDSMAN’S RESOLUTION FINDING PETITIONER ADMINISTRATIVELY LIABLE CONSTITUTES AN INDIRECT ENCROACHMENT INTO THE POWER OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION OVER IMMIGRATION MATTERS. . III. THE PRONOUNCEMENT OF RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS THAT THE FINDING OF THE OMBUDSMAN IS NOT MERELY ADVISORY ON THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION (BI) IS CONTRARY TO THE PERTINENT PROVISION OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION AND APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE HONORABLE COURT.

Practicality and efficiency in the conduct of government business dictate that the gritty details be sifted and reviewed by the time it reaches the final approving authority. it is not unreasonable for the BOC to rely on the evaluation and recommendation of the BSI as it cannot be expected to review every detail of each application transmitted for its approval. The BSI reviews the applications and when it finds them in order. In Arias v. It is of record that administrative cases were also filed against Caronongan and Ang. it executes a Memorandum of Transmittal to the BOC certifying to the regularity and propriety of the applications.[15] we stated that all heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates.[14] it appears that the BSI not only transmits the applications for TRV extension and its supporting documents. but extraneous circumstances . Thus. Sandiganbayan. Petitioner could not validly claim that he was singled out for prosecution.Petitioner insists that it was the BOC which approved the questioned applications for the extension of the TRVs. he cannot feign ignorance or good faith when the irregularities in the TRV extension applications are so patently clear on its face. He is principally accountable for certifying the regularity and propriety of the applications which he knew were defective. Petitioner being the Chairman of the First Division of the BSI has direct supervision over its proceedings. it interviews the applicants and evaluates their papers before making a recommendation to the BOC. In his attempt to escape liability. In the case at bar. petitioner undermines his position in the BID and his role in the processing of the subject applications. but more importantly. He denies that he misled or deceived the BOC into approving these applications and argues that the BOC effectively ratified his actions and sanctioned his conduct when it approved the subject applications. But by his own admission. Petitioner adds that he acted in good faith and the government did not suffer any damage as a result of his alleged administrative lapse. We are not persuaded.

The main thrust of the case is to determine whether petitioner committed any misconduct. are mandated to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government.[18] Foremost among its powers is the authority to investigate and prosecute cases involving public officers and employees.[17] The Ombudsman and his deputies. particularly Tapiador v. It does not impugn the validity of the TRV extensions as to encroach upon the authority of the BID on immigration matters. agency or instrumentality thereof. as protectors of the people. The creation of the Office of the Ombudsman is a unique feature of the 1987 Constitution. The instant administrative case pertains to the acts of petitioner as Chairman of the First Division of the BSI in processing nine (9) defective applications. Anent the second and third grounds. including government-owned or controlled corporations. independent of and without regard to the action taken by the BOC.[16] Petitioner submits that the Ombudsman’s findings that the TRV applications were illegal constitutes an indirect interference by the Ombudsman into the powers of the BOC over immigration matters.rendered the case against Caronongan moot while the case against Ang was dismissed because it was proven that she merely implemented the approved decision of the BOC. Office of the Ombudsman. We do not agree. Equally untenable is the contention that the BOC’s approval of the defective applications for TRV extension cured any infirmities therein and effectively absolved petitioner’s administrative lapse. or of any subdivision. He argues that to uphold the appellate court’s ruling expands the authority granted by the Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman and runs counter to prevailing jurisprudence on the matter. petitioner essentially puts in issue the import of the Ombudsman’s findings. nonfeasance. Petitioner questions the Court of Appeals’ pronouncement that the findings of the Ombudsman “may not be said to be merely recommendatory” upon the Immigration Commissioner. misfeasance or malfeasance in the performance of his duties. thus: .

otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989. was passed into law on November 17. employee. and duties: (1) Investigate on its own.Section 13. or inefficient. improper. Republic Act No. any act or omission of any public official. 1989 and provided for the structural and functional organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. or on complaint by any person. functions. office or agency. civil and criminal liability of government officers and employees in every case where the evidence warrants to promote efficient service by the Government to the people. RA 6770 mandated the Ombudsman and his deputies not only to act promptly on complaints but also to enforce the administrative. 6770. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. unjust.[19] The authority of the Ombudsman to conduct administrative investigations as in the present case is settled. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers.[20] Section 19 of RA 6770 provides: .

– The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating. (5) Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose. or (6) Are otherwise irregular. and duties: . Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency’s functions. (3) law. Under Section 13(3) of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.SEC. Administrative Complaints. oppressive or discriminatory. but not limited to acts or omissions which: (1) Are contrary to law or regulation. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. 19. immoral or devoid of justification. unfair. though in accordance with (4) Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts. The point of contention is the binding power of any decision or order that emanates from the Office of the Ombudsman after it has conducted its investigation. functions. (2) Are unreasonable. it is provided: Section 13.

demotion. fine.. that petitioner were administratively liable. (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner insists that the word “recommend” be given its literal meaning. the Solicitor General and the Office of the Ombudsman argue that the word “recommend” must be taken in conjunction with the phrase “and ensure compliance therewith”. Office of the Ombudsman.. that is. The . assuming arguendo. subparagraph (3). citing Tapiador v. (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault. that the Ombudsman’s action is only advisory in nature rather than one having any binding effect. more particularly from his position in the BID. of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. to the public official concerned... suspension. and recommend his removal.[21] thus: . Besides.[22] For their part.. the Ombudsman can only “recommend” the removal of the public official or employee found to be at fault. or prosecution. and ensure compliance therewith. the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss the petitioner from the government service. Under Section 13. censure.

. The statement that made reference to the power of the Ombudsman is. Firstly. Section 15 is substantial ly the same as Section 13. functions and duties: . as it is unsupported by sufficient explanation..proper interpretation of the Court’s statement in Tapiador should be that the Ombudsman has the authority to determine the administrative liability of a public official or employee at fault. We draw attention to subparagraph 3. at best. We agree with the ratiocination of public respondents. Powers. as what precisely is before us in this case.. Functions and Duties. a cursory reading of Tapiador reveals that the main point of the case was the failure of the complainant therein to present substantial evidence to prove the charges of the administrative case. functions and duties of the Ombudsman. it cannot be cited as a doctrinal declaration of this Court nor is it safe from judicial examination. Several reasons militate against a literal interpretation of the subject constitutional provision. merely an obiter dictum and. is susceptible to varying interpretations. to wit: SEC. and direct and compel the head of the office or agency concerned to implement the penalty imposed. The provisions of RA 6770 support public respondents’ theory. Hence. – The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. In other words. 15. it merely concerns the procedural aspect of the Ombudsman’s functions and not its jurisdiction. Article XI of the Constitution which provides for the powers.

or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said officer. which in this case would be the head of the BID. fine. censure.(3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law. or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 of this Act: Provided.[24] It was given disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the government and its subdivisions. the provisions in the Constitution and in RA 6770 intended that the implementation of the order be coursed through the proper officer. and recommend his removal. It is likewise apparent that under RA 6770. That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove. demote. demotion. This should not be interpreted as usurpation by the Ombudsman of the authority of the head of office or any officer concerned. That the refusal. of any officer to comply with such an order of the Ombudsman to penalize an erring officer or employee is a ground for disciplinary action. censure. fine.[23] By stating therefore that the Ombudsman “recommends” the action to be taken against an erring officer or employee. or prosecution. (Emphasis supplied) We note that the proviso above qualifies the “order” “to remove. without just cause. fine. the lawmakers intended to provide the Office of the Ombudsman with sufficient muscle to ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate as protector of the people against inept and corrupt government officers and employees. It has long been settled that the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an exclusive authority but a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. suspend. suspension. censure. or prosecute” an officer or employee – akin to the questioned issuances in the case at bar. members of Congress . instrumentalities and agencies (with the exception only of impeachable officers. demote. and ensure compliance therewith. is a strong indication that the Ombudsman’s “recommendation” is not merely advisory in nature but is actually mandatory withi n the bounds of law. suspend. The Office was granted the power to punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court.

The Assembly. MONSOD: Madam President. What we wanted to avoid is the situation where it deteriorates into a prosecution arm. We wanted to give the idea of the Ombudsman a chance.[26] The foregoing interpretation is consistent with the wisdom and spirit behind the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman. MR. may have to give additional powers to the Ombudsman. we want to give the concept of a pure Ombudsman a chance under the Constitution. RODRIGO: . as it may see fit. However. it can preventively suspend any officer under its authority pending an investigation when the case so warrants. and also a chance to really function as a champion of the citizen. perhaps it might be helpful if we give the spirit and intendment of the Committee. with prestige and persuasive powers. we do not want to foreclose the possibility that in the future. The records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission[27] reveal the following: MR.and the Judiciary).[25] Also.

Madam President. since we state that the powers of the Ombudsman can later on be implemented by the legislature. MONSOD: I agree with the Commissioner. why not leave this to the legislature?[28] . RODRIGO: Anyway. we might be raising the hopes of our people too much and then disappoint them. MR. MR. what I am worried about is if we create a constitutional body which has neither punitive nor prosecutory powers but only persuasive powers.

MR. as if he is being brought up to the same level as the President. the implementing law – the last one. I read the committee report which recommended the approval of the 27 resolutions for the creation of the office of the Ombudsman.. On the other hand.. . On one hand. . . because we want to avoid what happened in 1973. instead it created the Tanodbayan. 1630—did not follow the main thrust. MONSOD: Yes. but notwithstanding the explicit purpose enunciated in that report.. P.D. we are told he has no teeth and he lacks other things. The Ombudsman is seen as a civil advocate or a champion of the citizens against the bureaucracy. MR. No. there is the interpretation that he is a competitor to the President. MONSOD: (reacting to statements of Commissioner Blas Ople): May we just state that perhaps the honorable Commissioner has looked at it in too much of an absolutist position. not against the President..

This is not foreclosed. we would like to say that we are promoting the concept in its form at the present. is armed with the power to prosecute erring public officers and employees.[30] it was held: Clearly.With respect to the argument that he is a toothless animal.[31] . We did not think that at this time we should prescribe this. (Emphasis supplied)[29] It is thus clear that the framers of our Constitution intended to create a stronger and more effective Ombudsman. unlike that of a eunuch. Sandiganbayan. independent and beyond the reach of political influences and vested with powers that are not merely persuasive in character. In the case of Uy v. The legislature has vested him with broad powers to enable him to implement his own actions. . as protector of the people. it is not an irreversible disability. the Philippine Ombudsman departs from the classical Ombudsman model whose function is merely to receive and process the people’s complaints against corrupt and abusive government personnel. So. The Constitutional Commission left to Congress to empower the Ombudsman with prosecutorial functions which it did when RA 6770 was enacted. giving him an active role in the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and employees... but we leave it up to Congress at some future time if it feels that it may need to designate what powers the Ombudsman need in order that he be more effective. The Philippine Ombudsman. but we are also saying that he can exercise such powers and functions as may be provided by law in accordance with the direction of the thinking of Commissioner Rodrigo. his is a reversible disability.

The Decision dated August 28.R.In light of the foregoing. . 58264 are AFFIRMED. SP No. the instant petition is DENIED. we hold that the Court of Appeals did not commit any error in finding the petitioner guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service and reducing petitioner’s period of suspension to six (6) months and one (1) day without pay. 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2003 and the Resolution dated January 15. WHEREFORE. taking into account the education and length of service of petitioner.

According to him. Inc. Estarija contends that he can not be liable for grave misconduct because he did not commit extortion as he was merely prodded by Adrian Cagata. arguing that the framers of the 1987 Constitution did not intend to spell out. Davao City. The Ombudsman ordered Estarija’s preventive suspension and filed a criminal case against him for violation of Republic Act No. 26 June 2006. ESTARIJA V. he issued the necessary berthing permit for all ships that dockedin the Davao Port. or censure a government official. Estarija claimed that his dismissal was unconstitutional since the Ombudsman’s administrative authority is merely recommendatory and that Rep. Desierto (now succeeded by Hon. . Act No. 3019. Valenzuela G. 6770 is unconstitutional because the Ombudsman has only the powers enumerated under Section 13. the Ombudsman in the administrative case. Estarija was the Harbor Master of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). (En Banc) The powers of the Ombudsman are not merely recommendatory. Subsequently. No. OMBUDSMAN Aniano A. fine. since the purpose of the Constitution is to provide simply a framework within which to build the institution. 6770 was belated. His office was given teeth to render this constitutional body not merely functional but also effective. Antonio E. restrictively. 6770 and the 1987 Constitution. 6770. the Ombudsman’s power is merely to recommend the action to the officer concerned. The complaint also alleged that in 1998. Hon. J. Under Republic Act No. (DPAI). which powers do not include the power to directly remove. Edgardo V. In this petition for review on certiorari. As such. RANADA EDGARDO V. suspend. The appellate court held that the attack on the constitutionality of Rep. Quisumbing.16. ESTARIJA v. He also maintains that Rep.R. 159314. which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Solicitor General maintains otherwise. found Estarija guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct and dismissed him from government service with forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement benefits. Act No. it was alleged that he had been demanding money for the approval and issuance of berthing permits and for monthly contributions from the Davao Pilots Association. Act No. Article XI of the Constitution. EDWARD F. 6770 was also unconstitutional because it gives the Office of the Ombudsman additional powers that are not provided for in the Constitution. having been made only in the motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Ombudsman. Port of Davao. an employee of the DPAI. and his DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN for Mindanao. Act No. and that Estarija failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality in favor of Rep. In an administrative complaint for gross misconduct against him. The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Ombudsman denied the motion for reconsideration. to receive the money and that it makes no sense why he would extort money in consideration of the issuance of berthing permits since the signing of berthing permits is only ministerial on his part. In his motion for reconsideration. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) caught Estarija in possession of the marked money used to entrap the latter. Sasa. RANADA and the HON. demote. the Ombudsman has the constitutional power to directly remove from government service an erring public official other than a member of Congress and the Judiciary. each act which the Ombudsman may or may not do. Simeon Marcelo).

or censure erring officials is constitutional RECENT JURISPRUDENCE – POLITICAL LAW HELD: The petition is DENIED. he had no reason to go to the latter’s office to collect any money. except members of Congress and the Judiciary. Since there was no pending transaction between the PPA and the DPAI. The powers of the Ombudsman are not merely recommendatory. Thus. Art. the Ombudsman has the constitutional power to directly remove from government service an erring public official other than a member of Congress and the Judiciary. 3. 6770 and the 1987 Constitution.) Whether or not the power of the Ombudsman to directly remove. demote. Act No. 6770. XI of the 1987 Constitution. and that he actually received. Act No. the money which he demanded from the DPAI as monthly contribution. he should have issued an official receipt for the transaction. Even if he was authorized to assist in the collection of money due the agency. suspend. Through the enactment of Rep. fine. His office was given teeth to render this constitutional body not merely functional but also effective. Lastly. 15. specifically Sec. The Constitution does not restrict the powers of the Ombudsman in Sec. but allows the legislature to enact a law that would spell out the powers of the Ombudsman.) Whether or not there is substantial evidence to hold Estarija liable for dishonesty and grave misconduct. the legislature has vested the Ombudsman with broad powers to enable him to implement his own actions. Estarija did not deny that he went to the DPAI office to collect. the Constitution gave Congress the discretion to give the Ombudsman other powers and functions. 6770. Estarija is liable for dishonesty and grave misconduct. Act No. par. The powers of the Ombudsman are not merely recommendatoryIn passing Rep.ISSUES: 1. 2. the Congress deliberately endowed the Ombudsman with the power to prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in ensuring accountability in public office. the Congress gave the Ombudsman such powers to sanction erring officials and employees. under Rep. . 13. but he did not do so. Moreover.

VALERA C/O GELO .17. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN V.

On the other hand. in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk.” when in truth and in fact. Presiding Judge of Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Antique. 1991 denying the ex-parte motion to refer to the Supreme Court filed by petitioner. In his affidavit-complaint dated April 18. J. No other branch of government may intrude into this power. April. petitioner knew that no decision had been rendered in five (5) civil and ten (10) criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. 1993. By virtue of this power. Nocon. or for a total of seventeen (17) months. petitioner contends that he had been granted by the Supreme Court an extension of ninety (90) days to decide the aforementioned cases. April 22. without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. No. whether a referral should be made first to the Supreme Court Held: In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by the Supreme Court with regard to his certificates of service. all in 1989. Article VIII. MACEDA V. section 6 of the 1987 Constitution exclusively vests in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel. it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s compliance with all laws. Issue: whether the Office of the Ombudsman could entertain a criminal complaint for the alleged falsification of a judge’s certification submitted to the Supreme Court. Vasquez G. and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof.R. 1951 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration and directing petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences. Respondent Abiera further alleged that petitioner similarly falsified his certificates of service for the months of February. the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of petitioner’s certificates of service to the Supreme Court for determination of whether said certificates reflected the true status of his pending . 1998. respondent Napoleon A. 1989. June. Abiera of the Public Attorney’s Office alleged that petitioner had falsified his Certificate of Service 1 dated February 6. Thus. the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court’s power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. and the months beginning January up to September 1990. 102781. and (2) the Order dated November 22. Facts: Petitioner Bonifacio Sanz Maceda. and assuming that it can. seeks the review of the following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order dated September 18. July and August. 1991 filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.18. May. by certifying “that all civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision or determination for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January 31. VASQUEZ Maceda v.

to submit its records. 1993. Sandiganbayan. . No. Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. OMBUDSMAN CONRADO M. respondents. 2. as suggested by public respondent Abiera in his affidavit-complaint. which is under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court .R. — Petitioner also contends that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over said cases despite this Court's ruling in Orap vs. the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to the Supreme Court for determination whether said Judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties. Bonifacio Sanz Maceda for and in his own behalf. VASQUEZ AND ATTY. . where a criminal complaint against a Judge or other court employee arises from their administrative duties. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN HAS JURISDICTION TO INVESTIGATE OFFENSE COMMITTED BY JUDGE WHETHER OR NOT OFFENSE RELATES TO OFFICIAL DUTIES. In fine. The Ombudsman cannot compel the Supreme Court. There is nothing in the decision in Orap that would restrict it only to offenses committed by a judge unrelated to his official duties. as the Supreme Court has the necessary records to make such a determination. vs. ID. JURISDICTION TO INVESTIGATE OFFENSE RELATED TO OFFICIAL DUTIES SUBJECT TO PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN AGAINST JUDGE BY SUPREME . Branch 12. and criminally liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.case load. HON. or to allow its personnel to testify on this matter. ID. petitioner. ID. Presiding Judge. REMEDIAL LAW. April 22. SYLLABUS 1. Public Attorney's Office for private respondent. since the offense charged arose from the judge's performance of his official duties... A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the Supreme Court for serious misconduct and inefficiency under Section 1. Regional Trial Court. Antique. JURISDICTION. NAPOLEON A. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. ABIERA.. REASON. The Court disagrees with the first part of petitioner's basic argument. as one of the three branches of government. 102781.

. 1989. and assuming that it can. as one of the three branches of government.COURT. ID. where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employee arises from their administrative duties. ID. this Court.. petitioner contends that he had been granted by this Court an extension of ninety (90) days to decide the aforementioned cases. . PURPOSE. June. the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to this Court for determination whether said judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties. and the months beginning January up to September 1990. The rationale for the foregoing pronouncement is evident in this case. OMBUDSMAN CANNOT SUBPOENA SUPREME COURT AND ITS PERSONNEL. seeks the review of the following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order dated September 18. July and August.. Petitioner Bonifacio Sanz Maceda. On the other hand." when in truth and in fact. 1951 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration and directing petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences.. as the Court has the necessary records to make such a determination . April. ID.. . — However. ID. In fine. in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. 3. — Thus. ID. having been granted by this Court an extension of time to decide cases before him. REASON.. or for a total of seventeen (17) months. Administratively. report these cases in his certificate of service? As this question had not yet been raised with. as suggested by public respondent Abiera in his affidavit-complaint. Abiera of the Public Attorney's Office alleged that petitioner had falsified his Certificate of Service 1 dated February 6. and (2) the Order dated November 22. petitioner knew that no decision had been rendered in five (5) civil and ten (10) criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. 1998. how could the Ombudsman resolve the present criminal complaint that requires the resolution of said question? DECISION NOCON. Presiding Judge of Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Antique. ID. J p: The issue in this petition for certiorari with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction and/or restraining order is whether the Office of the Ombudsman could entertain a criminal complaint for the alleged falsification of a judge's certification submitted to the Supreme Court. PROCEDURE TO BE OBSERVED BY OMBUDSMAN REGARDING COMPLAINT AGAINST JUDGE OR OTHER COURT EMPLOYEE. — The Ombudsman cannot compel this Court. or to allow its personnel to testify on this matter. ID.. ID.. respondent Napoleon A. May. all in 1989. REASON. to submit its records. much less resolved by. the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. the question before Us is this: should a judge. by certifying "that all civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision or determination for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January 31. 1991 denying the ex-parte motion to refer to the Supreme Court filed by petitioner. In his affidavit-complaint dated April 18.. whether a referral should be made first to the Supreme Court. 4. We agree with petitioner that in the absence of any administrative action taken against him by this Court with regard to his certificates of service. Respondent Abiera further alleged that petitioner similarly falsified his certificates of service for the months of February. 1991 filed before the Office of the Ombudsman. the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of petitioner's certificates of service to this Court for determination of whether said certificates reflected the true status of his pending case load.

and criminally liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act. or to allow its personnel to testify on this matter. much less resolved by. in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. Article VIII. Administratively. the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. . Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. WHEREFORE. Thus. By virtue of this power. Sandiganbayan. Abiera and to refer the same to this Court for appropriate action. The Ombudsman cannot compel this Court. the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of petitioner's certificates of service to this Court for determination of whether said certificates reflected the true status of his pending case load. as one of the three branches of government. the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. which is under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court.Petitioner also contends that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over said case despite this Court's ruling in Orap vs. The Ombudsman is hereby directed to dismiss the complaint filed by public respondent Atty. it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges' and court personnel's compliance with all laws. and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. to submit its records. 2 since the offense charged arose from the judge's performance of his official duties. A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the Supreme Court for serious misconduct and inefficiency under Section 1. as suggested by public respondent Abiera in his affidavitcomplaint. without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. as the Court has the necessary records to make such a determination. where a criminal complaint against a Judge or other court employee arises from their administrative duties. However. but likewise undermines the independence of the judiciary. There is nothing in the decision in Orap that would restrict it only to offenses committed by a judge unrelated to his official duties. this Court. The Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of petitioner on the powers granted to it by the Constitution. The Court disagrees with the first Part of petitioner's basic argument. section 6 of the 1987 Constitution exclusively vests in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel. the question before Us is this: should a judge. 4 The rationale for the foregoing pronouncement is evident in this case. having been granted by this Court an extension of time to decide cases before him. We agree with petitioner that in the absence of any administrative action taken against him by this Court with regard to his certificates of service. Furthermore. the investigation of the Ombudsman constitutes an encroachment into the Supreme Court's constitutional duty of supervision over all inferior courts. the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to this Court for determination whether said Judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties. Napoleon A. from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk. how could the Ombudsman resolve the present criminal complaint that requires the resolution of said question? In fine. 3 for such a justification not only runs counter to the specific mandate of the Constitution granting supervisory powers to the Supreme Court over all courts and their personnel. report these cases in his certificate of service? As this question had not yet been raised with. No other branch of government may intrude into this power.

to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. agency or instrumentality thereof. 1991.. which provides: Sec. 139 SCRA 252 (1985). concur. 13. New Judicial Form No. or inefficient. Revised 1986. 3. Feliciano. . Cruz. Bidin. Romero. Rollo. prevent. Melo and Quiason. p. Narvasa. Jr. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers.SO ORDERED. Griño-Aquino. Padilla. and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. The Order of September 18. or any subdivision. unjust. 2. functions.J . Regalado. upon complaint or at it own instance. employee. Bellosillo. in denying petitioner's ex-parte motion to refer the case to the Supreme Court.. section 13 (1) and (2). Footnotes 1.. L-50508-11. any act or omission of any public official. as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter. and duties: (1) Investigate on its own. 86. any public official or employee of the government. office or agency. 19. 4. or to stop. cited Article XI. improper. JJ . (2) Direct. or on compliant be any person. C . Davide.

1997. and refer the same to the Supreme Court which. 97 -387-RTJ which involves the same parties and subject matter. petitioner argues. 197. Instead of filing a counter-affidavit. through the Office of the Court Administrator. JR. is declared without fault by the Supreme Court. 1997 and “Ex-Parte Motion for Referral to the Honorable Supreme Court. 132177. petitioner.”[4] praying that the Office of the Ombudsman hold its investigation of Case No. JR. 2001] JUDGE JOSE F. this time and administrative case with the Supreme Court. Respondent alleged therein that on May 20. . 1997. and assault upon a person in authority. 1997 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration and directing petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences. ALUMBRES. vs. OMBUDSMAN Full text: [G. petitioner blurted “Tarantado ito ah. 6770. Case No.. maintaining that the Office of the Ombudsman should either refer Case No. 1997. Case No. No. CAOIBES. rendering his eyeglasses unserviceable. Jr.. Petitioner contended that the Supreme Court. not the Office of the Ombudsman. Invoking Section 15 (1) of Republic Act No. respondents. the Office of the Ombudsman issued an Order[5] denying the motion for referral to the Supreme Court.: Petitioner Jose F. docketed as Adm. and (2) the Order dated December 22. THE HONORABLE OMBUDSMAN and JUDGE FLORENTINO M. He prayed that criminal charges be filed before the Sandiganbayan against the petitioner. On May 23. seeks the review of the following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order dated August 22. he requested petitioner to return the executive table he borrowed from respondent. In the Order[3] dated June 25. 1997. July 19. On August 22. On June 13. respondent Florentino M. OMB-0-97-0903 in abeyance. the Office of the Ombudsman required petitioner to file a counter-affidavit within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. 1997. that petitioner did not answer so respondent reiterated his request but befor e he could finish talking. CAOIBES. Las Pinas City. V. respondent Judge lodged another Complaint[2] against petitioner. 1997 denying the ex-parte motion to refer to the Supreme Court filed by petitioner. Petitioner moved for reconsideration[6] of the foregoing order.19. and that respondent had the incident blottered with the Las Piñas Police Station. D E C I S I O N BUENA. both being members of the bench. Said complaint is based on the same facts as those in the complaint filed earlier with the office of the Ombudsman. praying for the dismissal of petitioner from the judiciary on the ground of grave misconduct or conduct unbecoming a judicial officer. OMB-0-97-0903 to the Supreme Court for preliminary evaluation.” and boxed him at his right eyebrow and left lower jaw so that the right lens of his eyeglasses was thrown away. a Criminal Complaint[1] for physical injuries. Presiding Judge of Branch 253 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City. on the other hand. malicious mischief for the destruction of complainant’s eyeglasses. the absurd situation may result wherein the Office of the Ombudsman files criminal charges against petitioner who. or await the latter’s resolution of Adm. 97-387-RTJ.R. Alumbres. at the hallway on the third floor of the Hall of Justice. are under its exclusive supervision and control. has the authority to make a preliminary determination of the respective culpability of petitioner and respondent Judge who. Caoibes. J. petitioner filed on July 7. filed before the Office of the Ombudsman. the Office of the Ombudsman held that it is within its jurisdiction to investigate the criminal charges of respondent Judge against petitioner. Otherwise. Presiding Judge of Branch 255 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pinas City. is already investigating what transpired on May 20.

or to stop. malicious mischief and assault upon a person in authority filed by respondent Judge against petitioner. in Lieu of Comment. OMB-0-97-0903 in favor of this Court on the ground that. the Office of the Ombudsman refuses to refrain from taking cognizance of Case NO. unjust. directing the Office of the Ombudsman to refrain from taking further action in the implementation of the challenged orders. agency or instrumentality thereof. it may takeover. “(2) Direct. and recommend his removal. as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter. 6770 which states that the powers of the Office of the Ombudsman apply to all kinds of malfeasance. office or agency when such act or omission appears to be illegal. misfeasance and nonfeasance committed by public officers and employees during their tenure or office. or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 of this Act. This conclusion seems to be reinforced by Section 16 of R. In Maceda vs. the following powers and duties to the Office of the Ombudsman: “(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own.[8] this Court resolved in the affirmative the issue of whether or not the Ombudsman must defer action on a criminal complaint against a judge. 1997. the investigation of such cases. suspension. asking for the reversal of the assailed Orders dated August 22. The issue is not novel. improper or inefficient. upon complaint or at its own instance.” The foregoing provisions supply the legal basis for the Ombudsman in maintaining its jurisdiction over the charges of physical injuries. 6770 grants. allegedly. and refer the same to this Court for determination whether said judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties. and ensure compliance therewith. the accusations therein against petitioner constitute simple criminal charges falling within the parameters of its constitutional power and duty to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of any public officer or employee which appears to be illegal. in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. “(3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law. improper.A. at any stage. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. The issue in this case is whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman should defer action on case No. fine.. censure or prosecution. 6770. correctly opined and we quote: . Vasquez. demotion. or of any subdivision.A.A. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. Section 15 (1) of R.In the Order[7] dated December 22. or a court employee where the same arises from their administrative duties. prevent and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. OMB-0-97-0903 pending resolution of Adm. Case No. the Office of the Ombudsman denied the motion for reconsideration and required petitioner to submit a counter-affidavit within an inextendible period of five (5) days from receipt thereof. 1997 and December 22. any officer or employee of the Government. or on complai nt by any person.. The Office of the Solicitor General in its Manifestations. unjust. 97-387-RTJ. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and. petitioner filed this petition for certiorari. Hence. among others. Invoking Section 15 of R. or inefficient. 1997 of the Office of the Ombudsman and the issuance of a writ of injunction or temporary restraining order. from any investigatory agency of Government.

This is a dangerous policy which impinges. Pantoja filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for specific performance of the agreement. referred to the Supreme Court for determination as to whether and administrative aspect is involved therein. JJ. ceded and conveyed by the former in favour of the latter in consideration for a sum of money.A. the Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a criminal complaint against a judge.. as it does. it was held in Sanchez vs. 6770 is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. Demetriou. Jr. aside from the fact that the Ombudsman would not know of this matter unless he is informed of it. WHEREFORE. 227 SCRA 627 [1993]. it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s compliance with all laws.. which is relied upon by the Office of the Ombudsman in its assailed order. Prescinding from this premise. as is clearly conveyed in the case of Maceda vs. The RTC ruled in favor of Caoibes. that the Ombudsman’s power under Section 15 (1) of R. or court employee. interests or representations Caoibes Jr. it is the Supreme Court which is vested with exclusive administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. because in determining whether an administrative matter is involved. jurisdiction over graft and corruption cases and felonies committed by public officers in relation to their office. Alumbres and to refer the same to this Court for appropriate action. Quisumbing. No other branch of government may intrude into this power. Bellosillo. et al. The Land Registration Court denied the motion. The agreement included the stipulation that Pantoja will be subrogated or substituted to whatever rights. Jr. and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. The Ombudsman is duty bound to have all cases against judges and court personnel filed before it. et al. The Ombudsman is hereby directed to dismiss the complaint filed by respondent Judge Florentino M.. To do so is to deprive the Court of the exercise of its administrative prerogatives and to arrogate unto itself a power not constitutionally sanctioned. from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk. Mendoza. involves an administrative matter. the Court passes upon not only administrative liabilities but also other administrative concerns. J. on judicial independence. and De Leon.. Pantoja filed a motion to intervene and be substituted as applicant in the Land Registration Court.. Jr. Fourteen years after the execution of the parties. digest: FACTS: In 1982. not exclusive. 6770. Under Section 6. opposed on the grounds of prescription. This rule should hold true regardless of whether an administrative case based on the act subject of the complaint before the Ombudsman is already pending with the Court. Moreover. Maceda is emphatic that by virtue of its constitutional power of administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel. et al.“xxx the grant of the aforequoted powers to the Office of the Ombudsman is not tantamount to giving it exclusive authority thereon. (Chairman). may have pending land registration proceeding.. et al. and bind the Court. on official business.. . Vasquez. Jose Caoibes Jr.) and Corazon CaoibesPantoja (Pantoja) entered to a contract of sale stating that a certain lot will be transferred. Section 15 (1) of R. In fact. he should give due respect for and recognition of the administrative authority of the Court. Caoibes.A.”[9] It appears that the present case involves two members of the judiciary who were entangled in a fight within court premises over a piece of office furniture. concur. (Caoibes. the petition for certiorari is hereby GRANTED. provides that it has primary. to its findings that a case before it does or does not have administrative implications. Article VIII of the Constitution. without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. For. SO ORDERED.[10] The Ombudsman cannot dictate to.

Jr., et al. On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the RTC, holding that prescription had not yet set in. ISSUE: Whether or not the action of for prescription on Pantoja started from the time of the agreement of the parties RULING: The law does not require that the application for registration be amended by substituting the "buyer" or the "person to whom the property has been conveyed" for the applicant. Neither does it require that the "buyer" or the "person to whom the property has been conveyed" be a party to the case. He may thus be a total stranger to the land registration proceedings. The only requirements of the law are: (1) that the instrument be presented to the court by the interested party together with a motion that the same be considered in relation with the application; and (2) that prior notice be given to the parties to the case. The agreement of the parties is analogous to a deed of sale in favour of Pantoja, it having transferred ownership for and in consideration of her payment of the loan.. The agreement having been made through public instrument, the execution was equivalent to the delivery of the property to Pantoja. The agreement is of course in consonance with Sec. 22 of P.D. 1529 (Property Registration Decree which became effective on June 11, 1978). In light of the law and jurisprudence, the substitution by Pantoja of Caoibes, Jr., et al. as applicant in the land registration case over Lot 2 is not even necessary. All Pantoja has to do is to comply with the requirements under the above-quoted Sec. 22 of the Property Registration Decree. It was unnecessary for Pantoja to file the case for specific performance subject of the present petition against Caoibes, Jr., et al. to honor their agreement allowing her to be substituted in their stead as applicant in the land registration proceeding.

20. LASTIMOSA V. VASQUEZ

L20 LASTIMOSA VS. VASQUEZ Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 116801 April 6, 1995 GLORIA G. LASTIMOSA, First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE OMBUDSMAN CONRADO VASQUEZ, HONORABLE ARTURO C. MOJICA, DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR THE VISAYAS, and HONORABLE FRANKLIN DRILON, SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, and UNDERSECRETARY OF JUSTICE RAMON J. LIWAG, respondents.

MENDOZA, J.: This case requires us to determine the extent to which the Ombudsman may call upon government prosecutors for assistance in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases cognizable by his office and the conditions under which he may do so. Petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa is First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. Because she and the Provincial Prosecutor refused, or at any rate failed, to file a criminal charge as ordered by the Ombudsman, an administrative complaint for grave misconduct, insubordination, gross neglect of duty and maliciously refraining from prosecuting crime was filed against her and the Provincial Prosecutor and a charge for indirect contempt was brought against them, both in the Office of the Ombudsman. In the meantime the two were placed under preventive suspension. This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioner to set aside the orders of the Ombudsman with respect to the two proceedings. The background of this case is as follows: On February 18, 1993 Jessica Villacarlos Dayon, public health nurse of Santa Fe, Cebu, filed a criminal complaint for frustrated rape and an administrative complaint for immoral acts, abuse of authority and grave misconduct against the Municipal Mayor of

Santa Fe, Rogelio Ilustrisimo. 1 The cases were filed with the Office of the OmbudsmanVisayas where they were docketed as OMB-VIS-(CRIM)-93-0140 and OMB-VIS-(ADM)93-0036, respectively. The complaint was assigned to a graft investigation officer who, after an investigation, found no prima facieevidence and accordingly recommended the dismissal of the complaint. After reviewing the matter, however, the Ombudsman, Hon. Conrado Vasquez, disapproved the recommendation and instead directed that Mayor Ilustrisimo be charged with attempted rape in the Regional Trial Court. 2 Accordingly, in a letter dated May 17, 1994, the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas, respondent Arturo C. Mojica, referred the case to Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar for the "filing of appropriate information with the Regional Trial Court of Danao City, . . ." 3 The case was eventually assigned to herein petitioner, First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Gloria G. Lastimosa. It appears that petitioner conducted a preliminary investigation on the basis of which she found that only acts of lasciviousness had been committed. 4 With the approval of Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar, she filed on July 4, 1994 an information for acts of lasciviousness against Mayor Ilustrisimo with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Santa Fe. 5 In two letters written to the Provincial Prosecutor on July 11, 1994 and July 22, 1994, Deputy Ombudsman Mojica inquired as to any action taken on the previous referral of the case, more specifically the directive of the Ombudsman to charge Mayor Ilustrisimo with attempted rape. 6 As no case for attempted rape had been filed by the Prosecutor's Office, Deputy Ombudsman Mojica ordered on July 27, 1994 Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and petitioner Lastimosa to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt for "refusing and failing to obey the lawful directives" of the Office of the Ombudsman. 7 For this purpose a hearing was set on August 1, 1994. Petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor were given until August 3, 1994 within which to submit their answer. 8 An answer 9 was timely filed by them and hearings were thereupon conducted. It appears that earlier, on July 22, 1994, two cases had been filed against the two prosecutors with the Office of the Ombudsman for Visayas by Julian Menchavez, a resident of Santa Fe, Cebu. One was an administrative complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 6713 and P.D. No. 807 (the Civil Service Law) 10and another one was a criminal complaint for violation of §3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 and Art. 208 of the Revised Penal Code. 11 The complaints were based on the alleged refusal of petitioner and Kintanar to obey the orders of the Ombudsman to charge Mayor Ilustrisimo with attempted rape.

In the administrative case (OMB-VIS-(ADM)-94-0189) respondent Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Mojica issued an order on August 15, 1994, placing petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa and Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months, 12 pursuant to Rule III, §9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman (Administrative Order No. 7), in relation to §24 of R.A. No. 6770. The order was approved by Ombudsman Conrado M. Vasquez on August 16, 1994 and on August 18, 1994 Acting Secretary of Justice Ramon J. Liwag designated Eduardo Concepcion of Region VII as Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. On the other hand, the Graft Investigation Officer II, Edgardo G. Canton, issued orders 13 in the two cases, directing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar to submit their counter affidavits and controverting evidence. On September 6, 1994, petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa filed the present petition for certiorari and prohibition to set aside the following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman and Department of Justice: (a) Letter dated May 17, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Arturo C. Mojica and related orders, referring to the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor the records of OMB-VIS-CRIM-93-0140, entitled Jessica V. Dayon vs. Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo, "for filing of the appropriate action (for Attempted Rape) with the Regional Trial Court of Danao City. (b) Order dated July 27, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman Mojica and related orders directing petitioner and Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar to explain in writing within three (3) days from receipt why they should not be punished for indirect Contempt of the Office of the Ombudsman "for refusing and failing . . . to file the appropriate Information for Attempted Rape against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. (c) The 1st Indorsement dated August 9, 1994 of Acting Justice Secretary Ramon J. Liwag, ordering the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to comply with the directive of the Office of the Ombudsman that a charge for attempted rape be filed against respondent Mayor Ilustrisimo in recognition of the authority of said Office. (d) Order dated August 15, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman Mojica, duly approved by Ombudsman Conrado Vasquez, and related orders in OMBVIS-(ADM)-94-0189, entitled Julian Menchavez vs. Oliveros Kintanar and Gloria Lastimosa, placing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months, without pay.

(e) The 1st Indorsement dated August 18, 1994 of Acting Justice Secretary Liwag directing Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Eduardo O. Concepcion (Region VII) to implement the letter dated August 15, 1994 of Ombudsman Vasquez, together with the Order dated August 15, 1994, placing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension. (f) Department Order No. 259 issued by Acting Secretary Liwag on August 18, 1994, designating Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Concepcion Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. Petitioner raises a number of issues which will be discussed not necessarily in the order they are stated in the petition. I. The pivotal question in this case is whether the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to call on the Provincial Prosecutor to assist it in the prosecution of the case for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo. Lastimosa claims that the Office of the Ombudsman and the prosecutor's office have concurrent authority to investigate public officers or employees and that when the former first took cognizance of the case against Mayor Ilustrisimo, it did so to the exclusion of the latter. It then became the duty of the Ombudsman's office, according to petitioner, to finish the preliminary investigation by filing the information in court instead of asking the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to do so. Petitioner contends that the preparation and filing of the information were part and parcel of the preliminary investigation assumed by the Office of the Ombudsman and the filing of information in court could not be delegated by it to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. Petitioner defends her actuations in conducting a preliminary investigation as having been made necessary by the insistence of the Ombudsman to delegate the filing of the case to her office. In any event, petitioner contends, the Office of the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the case against the mayor because the crime involved (rape) was not committed in relation to a public office. For this reason it is argued that the Office of the Ombudsman has no authority to place her and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension for refusing to follow his orders and to cite them for indirect contempt for such refusal. Petitioner's contention has no merit. The office of the Ombudsman has the power to "investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient." 14 This power has been held to include the investigation and prosecution of any crime committed by a public official regardless of whether the acts or omissions complained of are related to, or connected

with, or arise from, the performance of his official duty 15 It is enough that the act or omission was committed by a public official. Hence, the crime of rape, when committed by a public official like a municipal mayor, is within the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute. In the existence of his power, the Ombudsman is authorized to call on prosecutors for assistance. §31 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6770) provides: Designation of Investigators and Prosecutors. — The Ombudsman may utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate of deputize any fiscal, 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. Those designated or deputized to assist him as herein provided shall be under his supervision and control. (Emphasis added) It was on the basis of this provision that Ombudsman Conrado Vasquez and Deputy Ombudsman Arturo C. Mojica ordered the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu to file an information for attempted rape against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrismo. It does not matter that the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor had already conducted the preliminary investigation and all that remained to be done was for the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to file the corresponding case in court. Even if the preliminary investigation had been given over to the Provincial Prosecutor to conduct, his determination of the nature of the offense to be charged would still be subject to the approval of the Office of the Ombudsman. This is because under §31 of the Ombudsman's Act, when a prosecutor is deputized, he comes under the "supervision and control" of the Ombudsman which means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to direct, review, approve, reverse or modify his (prosecutor's) decision. 16 Petitioner cannot legally act on her own and refuse to prepare and file the information as directed by the Ombudsman. II. The records show that despite repeated orders of the Ombudsman, petitioner refused to file an information for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo, insisting that after investigating the complaint in the case she found that he had committed only acts of lasciviousness. §15(g) of the Ombudsman Act gives the Office of the Ombudsman the power to "punish for contempt, in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein." There is no merit in the argument that petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar cannot be held liable for contempt because their refusal arose out of an administrative, rather than judicial, proceeding before the Office of the Ombudsman. As petitioner herself says in another context, the

Preventive Suspension. and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. A. §22. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions. local government. nor of the Ombudsman's power to place her in the meantime under preventive suspension. is quasi judicial in character. if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong. (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service. and the Judiciary. order or command of the Ombudsman thus making her liable for indirect contempt under Rule 71. including Members of the Cabinet. Officials Subject To Disciplinary Authority. oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty. Petitioner contends that her suspension is invalid because the order was issued without giving her and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar the opportunity to refute the charges . negligence or petition of the respondent. III. in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. of which the filing of an information is a part. instrumentalities and agencies. without pay. insubordination and/or neglect of duty. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months. §3 of the Rules of Court is for respondents to determine after appropriate hearing. except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress. At this point it is important only to note the existence of the contempt power of the Ombudsman as a means of enforcing his lawful orders. disobedience or resistance of a lawful process. or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. Exceptions. The pertinent provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 state: §21. except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault. Neither is there any doubt as to the power of the Ombudsman to discipline petitioner should it be found that she is guilty of grave misconduct.preliminary investigation of a case. — The Ombudsman or his Deputy may suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. Whether petitioner's refusal to follow the Ombudsman's orders constitutes a defiance.

As held in Buenaseda v. The contention is without merit. this Court said in that case: The import of the Nera decision is that the disciplining authority is given the discretion to decide when the evidence of guilt is strong. Suspension is a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. It is true that. oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty. the evidence against them is not strong as required by §24. nothing improper in suspending an officer pending his investigation and before the opportunity to prove his innocence. which expressly left such determination of guilt to the "judgment" of the Ombudsman on the basis of the administrative complaint. or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. . whether the evidence of guilt is strong is left to the determination of the Ombudsman by taking into account the evidence before him. In rejecting a similar argument as that made by petitioner in this case. but only as a preventive measure. the evidence against him should be strong. and any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. Prior notice and hearing is a not required. . No. 6770. Flavier. There is. under §24 of the Ombudsman's Act.A. respondent Deputy Ombudsman Mojica justified the preventive suspension of petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar on the following grounds: . (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service. such suspension not being a penalty but only a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. then he is removed or dismissed. A preliminary hearing as in bail petitions in cases involving capital offenses is not required. . Garcia: 17 In connection with the suspension of petitioner before he could file his answer to the administrative complaint. 18 however. suffice it to say that the suspension was not a punishment or penalty for the acts of dishonesty and misconduct in office.against them and because. (Emphasis added). therefore. If after such investigation. This is the penalty. at any rate. the charges are established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his removal. This fact is bolstered by Section 24 of R. 19 In this case. to justify the preventive suspension of a public official. As held in Nera v.

20 In addition. Given the attitude displayed by petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor toward the criminal case against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. because the charges against the two prosecutors involve grave misconduct. The administrative complaint against petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar was filed in connection with their designation as deputies of the ombudsman in the prosecution of a criminal case against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. B. Respondent Deputy Ombudsman did not have to go far to verify the matters alleged in determine whether the evidence of guilt of petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor was strong for the purpose of placing them under preventive suspension. the probability is strong that public service more particularly in the prosecution of cases referred by the Office of the Ombudsman to the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's office will be disrupted and prejudiced and the records of said cases even be tampered with if respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] are allowed to stay in the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office during the pendency of these proceedings. She is referring to cases where the law is either silent or . if proven. can lead to a dismissal from public office. their preventive suspension is justified to the end that the proper prosecution of that case may not be hampered. insubordination and neglect of duty and these charges. gross neglect of duty and dishonesty which will warrant respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] removal from the service.A careful assessment of the facts and circumstances of the herein cases and the records pertaining thereto against respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] clearly leads to the conclusion that the evidence on record of guilt is strong and the charges involved offenses of grave misconduct. Moreover. the Ombudsman was justified in ordering their preventive suspension. Indeed respondent Deputy Ombudsman Mojica had personal knowledge of the facts justifying the preventive suspension of petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor since the acts alleged in the administrative complaint against them were done in the course of their official transaction with the Office of the Ombudsman. Petitioner is in error. Petitioner questions her preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay and contends that it should only be for ninety (90) days on the basis of cases decided by this Court. considering the unabashed attitude of respondents in openly announcing various false pretexts and alibis to justify their stubborn disregard for the lawful directives of the Ombudsman as their official position in their pleadings filed in OMB-VIS-0-94-0478 and in print and broadcast media.

we ruled in the case of Gonzaga v. Preventive suspension under Section 13. Act 3019) who are validly charged under said Act. Whatever order is followed will not really matter. and shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days from issuance. 2. The two cases arose out of the same act or omission and may proceed hand in hand. Decree 807. SO ORDERED. With respect to the first situation. negligence or petition of the respondent. Decree 807. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the Motion to Lift Order of Preventive Suspension is DENIED. in which case the period of delay shall both be counted in computing the period of suspension herein stated. . petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor were placed under preventive suspension pursuant to §24 of the Ombudsman Act which expressly provides that "the preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months. WHEREFORE. except where there is delay in the disposition of the case. Act 3019. Nor is there merit in petitioner's claim that the contempt charge should first be resolved before any action in the administrative complaint case can be taken because the contempt case involves a prejudicial question. Preventive suspension under Section 42 of Pres. Decree 807 shall apply to all officers or employees whose positions are embraced in the Civil Service. and this applies to all public officers. Act 3019 as amended shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days. which is due to the fault. C. it is best for the guidance of all concerned that this Court set forth the rules on the period of preventive suspension under the aforementioned laws. (as defined in Section 2(b) of Rep. Rep. Sandiganbayan 21 that — To the extent that there may be cases of indefinite suspension imposed either under Section 13 of Rep. without pay. as follows: 1." Their preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay is thus according to law. as provided under Sections 3 and 4 of said Pres. the continuance of his suspension shall be for a reasonable time as the circumstances of the case may warrant. or Section 42 of Pres. On the other hand. or one can be heard before the other. There is simply no basis for this contention.expressly limits the period of suspension to ninety (90) days. provided that if the person suspended is a presidential appointee. from issuances thereof.

C. Rogelio Ilustrisimo. For this purpose. filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint for frustrated rape and an administrative complaint for immoral acts.. Whether the Office of the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the case against the mayor because the crime was not committed in relation to a public office and whether it has authority to place petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension. Padilla. Romero. hearings were duly conducted. Vitug. Melo. an information for act of lasciviousness against Mayor Ilustrisimo on July 4. Deputy Ombudsman Mojica wrote two letters to the Provincial Prosecutor inquiring on any action taken on the referred case. B. Kintanar for the filing of appropriate information with the RTC of Danao City. 1994 with the MTC of Santa Fe. Puno.J. Hon. concur. disapproved the recommendation and instead directed that Mayor Illustrisimo be charged with attempted rape in the Regional Trial Court. 1993 Jessica Villacarlos Dayon. However. petitioner found that only acts of lasciviousness had been committed. Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and petitioner Gloria Lastimosa were placed under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months. On preliminary investigation. abuse of authority and grave misconduct against the Municipal Mayor of Santa Fe. no prima facie evidence and accordingly recommended for the dismissal of the case. public health nurse of Santa Fe. upon review of the matter. Bellosillo. Deputy Ombudsman Mojica ordered the Provincial Prosecutor and petitioner Lastimosa to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt for “refusing and failing to obey the lawful directives” of the Office of the Ombudsman. And since no case for attempted rape had been filed. The same was eventually assigned to herein petition. Ombudsman. Davide. to the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Conrado Vasquez. Cebu. First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Gloria G. Kapunan and Francisco. As a result.. is on leave. J... Whether the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to call on the Provincial Prosecutor to assist it in the prosecution of the case for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo. Lastimosa. Jr. CASE DIGEST Facts: On February 18.Narvasa. Feliciano. JJ. The case was then referred by the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas. Quiason. Issue/s: A. after investigation. Bidin. With the approval of the Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar. . Arturo Mojica. The graft investigation officer assigned to the case found.

his determination of the nature of the offense to be charged would still be subject to the approval of the Office of the Ombudsman. when committed by a public official like a municipal mayor. proceeding before the Office of the Ombudsman. can lead to a dismissal from public office. office or agency. Section 15(g) of the Ombudsman Act gives the Office of the Ombudsman the power to "punish for contempt. when a prosecutor is deputized. The administrative complaint against petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar was filed in connection with their designation as deputies of the ombudsman in the prosecution of a criminal case against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. the crime of rape. This is because under Section 31 of the Ombudsman's Act. unjust. In addition. when such act of omission appears to be illegal. it provides that the preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than . preventive suspension is warranted if evidence against the public official is strong. he comes under the "supervision and control" of the Ombudsman which means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to direct. insubordination and/or neglect of duty. approve. Given the attitude displayed by petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor toward the criminal case against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. or connected with. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. Sections 21 & 24 of the same Act provides for this power. their preventive suspension is justified to the end that the proper prosecution of that case may not be hampered. if proven. insubordination and neglect of duty and these charges. Under Section 24 of the Ombudsman Act. Flavier. reverse or modify his (prosecutor's) decision.Ruling: The court ruled that the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. It is enough that the act or omission was committed by a public official. because the charges against the two prosecutors involve grave misconduct. whether the evidence of guilt is strong is left to the determination of the Ombudsman." There is no merit in the argument that petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar cannot be held liable for contempt because their refusal arose out of an administrative. Under the same provision of the law. the Ombudsman is authorized to call on prosecutors for assistance as provided in Section 31 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989. This power has been held to include the investigation and prosecution of any crime committed by a public official regardless of whether the acts or omissions complained of are related to. Neither is there any doubt as to the power of the Ombudsman to discipline petitioner should it be found that she is guilty of grave misconduct. rather than judicial. review. the Ombudsman was justified in ordering their preventive suspension. Hence. improper or inefficient. or arise from the performance of his official duty. nor of the Ombudsman's power to place her in the meantime under preventive suspension. Even if the preliminary investigation had been given over to the Provincial Prosecutor to conduct. is within the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute. As held in Buenaseda v. in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein. In the exercise of his power.

without pay. Their preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay is thus according to law. . The petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the Motion to Lift Order of Preventive Suspension is DENIED.six months.

CONCERNED OFFICIALS OF THE METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWAGE SYSTEM (MWSS) V.21. VASQUEZ C/O CESS .

only to be reversed by Villa. and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Director for Investigation regarding the alleged shootout. September 27. Central Police District Command (CPDC) and Criminal Investigation Command (CIC).R. ROMEO ACOP VS. CIC and CPDC of murder. Villa then took over "the direct supervision and control of the preliminary investigation". which the petitioners failed to comply. NCRC. CASACLANG FACTS: On May 18. accusing the PACC. SPO2 Eduardo de los Reyes of the Central Intelligence Command (CIC) then made an expose'. TMC." were killed in an alleged shootout with composite teams of the National Capital Regional Command (NCRC). No. MANUEL B. Traffic Management Command (TMC).22. stating that there was no shootout and that the "Kuratong Baleleng" members were victims of summary execution. The petitioners challenged the take-over. The panel recommended that a preliminary investigation be conducted against petitioners and all the participating personnel listed in the After Operations Report of the PNP. Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC). . the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights. eleven suspected members of the notorious robbery gang. 120422. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN [ G. THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN AND HON. 1995 ] CHIEF SUPT. 1995. "Kuratong Baleleng. ACOP V. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) received the complaint of the relatives of the slain suspected gang members. Casaclang granted the motion. Casaclang then issued the order directing petitioner[s] and nine others to submit their counter-affidavits and controverting evidence within ten days from receipt thereof. Acting Ombudsman Villa directed public respondent DeputyOmbudsman Casaclang to create a panel to monitor the investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights. asserting that neither the Ombudsman nor his Deputy may conduct preliminary investigation. The petitioners instead filed a motion with Casaclang to suspend the preliminary investigation against them pending resolution of the petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court.

functions. The deliberations on the Deputy for the military establishment do not yield conclusive . Visayas. while theOmbudsman was granted the following powers. composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. Deputy Ombudsman . Through the passage of R. 07 of the Office of theOmbudsman. Yes. Delegate to the Deputies. now the Special Prosecutor. functions or duties as may be provided by law. 2. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed. Whether or not public respondent Deputy Ombudsman for Military Manuel Casaclang committed grave abuse of discretion when he set the case for preliminary investigation and required the petitioners to submit their counteraffidavits before any preliminary evaluation of the complaint as required by Section 2. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and. at any stage. the Office of the Special Prosecutor was made an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman. By express mandate of paragraph 8.Section 5. Rule II of Administrative Order No. unjust. Whether or not the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman are authorized to conduct preliminary investigations 2. office or agency. one overall Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon. among the functions of the Ombudsman are those other powers.A. or its investigators or representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise or performance of the powers. and duties herein or hereinafter provided xxx xxx xxx The petitioners have not proven any distinction between "the duty to investigate" and "the power to conduct preliminary investigations". Article XI of the Constitution provides: SEC. neither have the petitioners established that the power remains with the Tanodbayan. from any investigatory agency of Government. among others: 1. Section 13. the investigation of such cases. it may take over. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman. 6770. in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction. improper or inefficient.ISSUES: 1. Article XI of the Constitution. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. 5. and Mindanao. RULING: 1. No. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person.

the conduct of such evaluation involves the exercise of discretion which has not been shown to be abused in the instant case. Likewise. On the contrary. the Panel of Investigators submitted its evaluation report on 8 June 1995. .evidence that such deputy is prohibited from performing other functions or duties affecting non-military personnel. no evidence to that effect was adduced. a review of the relevant Constitutional provisions reveals otherwise. Moreover. one being the deputy for the military establishment. On the contrary. Therefore. nothing can prevent Congress from giving the Ombudsman supervision and control over the Ombudsman's deputies. The Court does not share the petitioners' view that Casaclang set the case for preliminary investigation and required the petitioners to file their counter-affidavits without the conduct of a preliminary evaluation of the complaint as required by the Rules of the Office of the Ombudsman. and it was only on 14 June 1995 that respondent Casaclang issued the questioned order. In this case. not a detailed inquiry. As previously established. 2. the Ombudsman "may exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties" as Congress may prescribe through legislation. the evaluation required is merely preliminary in nature and scope.

a corporation engaged in hauling and janitorial services in which they were shareholders. Specifically.23. In their complaint. public officers included "elective. the Deputy Ombudsman denied petitioners' omnibus motion to dismiss. We find merit in petitioners' arguments and hold that public respondents do not have the authority to prosecute them for violation of RA 3019. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers." Petitioners assail the orders dated July 13. Section 13(2) provides: Sec." thus. They claim that public respondents acted without jurisdiction and/or grave abuse of discretion in proceeding with the investigation of the case against them although they were officers of a private corporation and not "public officers. from the Government. private respondents accused petitioners of using their positions in PAL to secure a contract for Synergy Services Corporation. it became a government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC).R. On the second argument. KHAN JR V. Section 2 (b).
 OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN FACTS: In February 1989. functions. a private entity created under the general corporation law. Therefore. they cannot be investigated or prosecuted under that law. No. JURISDICTION OF THE OMBUDSMAN OVER GOCCS
 IS CONFINED ONLY TO THOSE WITH ORIGINAL
 CHARTERS The 1987 Constitution states the powers and functions of the Office of the Ombudsman. 1989 and February 22. ISSUES: WON the Office of the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over PAL and WON the officers are covered by RA 3019. 13. the Deputy Ombudsman held that petitioners were public officers within the definition of RA 3019." In support of their petition. On petitioners' first argument. Petitioners filed to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds: (1) the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over them since PAL was a private entity and (2) they were not public officers. 1989. HELD: No. 125296 July 20. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN G. 2006 ISMAEL G. JR. Article XI. petitioners argue that: the Ombudsman's jurisdiction only covers GOCCs with original charters and these do not include PAL. although PAL was originally organized as a private corporation. outside the application of RA 3019. 1996 of the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) and the Ombudsman. appointive officials and employees. KHAN. private respondents Rosauro Torralba and Celestino Bandala charged petitioners before the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) for violation of RA 3019. he ruled that. Under that provision. RA 3019 only concerns "public officers. whether in the classified or unclassified or exempt service receiving compensation. hence. its controlling stock was later acquired by the government through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). permanent or temporary. In a resolution dated July 13. 
 vs. even nominal. and duties: . respectively.

include the delegation of sovereign functions. Consequently. as then Officers of
 PAL. authority and duty. In the 2002 case of Laurel v. the Court extensively quoted his exposition on the term "public officers": A public office is the right. and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. scope of duties. xxx xxx xxx Mechem describes the delegation to the individual of the sovereign functions of government as "[t]he most important characteristic" in determining whether a position is a public office or not. or judicial. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. or to stop. does not fall within the jurisdictional powers of the Ombudsman under Article XI. The characteristics of a public office. agency or instrumentality thereof. Therefore. any public official or employee of the Government. by which. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. as well as any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter. its creation by law and not by contract. Desierto. In Juco v. Unless the powers conferred are of this nature. were not Public Officers Neither the 1987 Constitution nor RA 6670 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989) defines who "public officers" are. its varied definitions and concepts are found in different statutes and jurisprudence. either legislative. − that some portion of the sovereignty of the country. Usually quoted in our decisions is Mechem. This being so. The individual so invested is a public officer. an oath. Petitioners. a recognized authority on the subject. 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 to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. and the designation of the position as an office. prevent. National Labor Relations Commission. created and conferred by law. to be exercised for the public benefit. according to Mechem. for a given period. upon complaint or at its own instance. Instead. continuance of the position.xxx xxx xxx (2) Direct. it can only investigate and prosecute acts or omissions of the officials/employees of government corporations. the . Section 13(2) of the Constitution." PAL. the latter is devoid of authority to investigate or prosecute petitioners. although the government later on acquired the controlling interest in PAL. the Office of the Ombudsman exercises jurisdiction over public officials/ employees of GOCCs with original charters. or any subdivision. salary. the fact remains that the latter did not have an "original charter" and its officers/employees could not be investigated and/or prosecuted by the Ombudsman. for the time being. we ruled that the phrase "with original charter" means "chartered by special law as distinguished from corporations organized under the Corporation Code. executive. being originally a private corporation seeded by private capital and created under the general corporation law. (italics supplied) xxx xxx xxx Based on the foregoing provision. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. attaches.

16 (italics supplied) From the foregoing. are SET ASIDE and ANNULLED. . Public respondents Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) and Office of the Ombudsman are restrained from proceeding with the investigation or prosecution of the complaint against petitioners for violation of RA 3019. 1996. respectively. the petition is hereby GRANTED. In any event. they are deemed "public officers" if their corporations are tasked to carry out governmental functions. PAL has since reverted to private ownership and we find it pointless to scrutinize the implications of a legal issue that technically no longer exists. legislative or judicial functions. Accordingly. WHEREFORE. in the case of officers/employees in GOCCs. The explication of the term is also consistent with the Court's pronouncement in Quimpo that.individual is not a public officer. SO ORDERED. it can be reasonably inferred that "public officers" are those endowed with the exercise of sovereign executive. 1989 and February 22. their assailed orders of July 13.

who recommended that Dr. Domingo Antonio and Dr. Leono who was. Domingo Antonio. the case was transferred to Prosecutor Leoncia R. questioning the findings of Prosecutor Dimagiba. the NBI ruled that Florencio's death was due to lack of care by the attending physician in administering anaesthesia. the case was re-raffled to Prosecutor Norberto G. Florencio died of complications of "unknown cause. During the preliminary investigation. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. Reyes be included in the criminal information of Homicide through Reckless Imprudence.24. Pending the resolution of petitioner's motion for reconsideration regarding Prosecutor Dimagiba's resolution. the NBI recommended that Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-Reyes was the anaesthesiologist. who issued a resolution recommending that only Dr. 118141 September 5. while Dr. Not satisfied with the findings of the hospital. Jr. Guerrero. While the recommendation of Prosecutor Gualberto was pending.R. The case took another perplexing turn when Assistant City Prosecutor Josefina Santos Sioson. in the "interest of justice and peace of mind of the parties. Consequently. The case was then referred to Prosecutor Ramon O." recommended that the case be re-raffled on the ground that Prosecutor Carisma was partial to the petitioner. the investigative "pingpong" continued when the case was again assigned to another prosecutor. Pursuant to its findings. 1997 GARCIA-RUEDA vs. the case was transferred to Senior State Prosecutor Gregorio A. a resolution which was approved by both City Prosecutor Porfirio G. PASCASIO FACTS: Florencio V." according to officials of the UST Hospital. who resolved to exonerate Dr. Antonio be dismissed. a corresponding information be filed against Dr. GARCIA-RUEDA V. where a volte face occurred again with the endorsement that the complaint against Dr. The case was initially assigned to Prosecutor Antonio M. husband of petitioner Leonila Garcia-Rueda. Carisma. Reyes be held criminally liable and that the complaint against Dr. . Six hours after the surgery. Gualberto. however. As a result. He was attended by Dr.Reyes be charged for Homicide through Reckless Imprudence before the Office of the City Prosecutor. Reyes from any wrongdoing. underwent surgical operation at the UST hospital for the removal of a stone blocking his ureter. however. disqualified on motion of the petitioner since he disregarded prevailing laws and jurisprudence regarding preliminary investigation. petitioner requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an autopsy on her husband's body. Eudoxia T. what transpired was a confounding series of events which we shall try to disentangle. who was the surgeon. Reyes be dismissed and instead. Rueda. Israel. who had to inhibit himself because he was related to the counsel of one of the doctors. PASCASIO G. Erlinda Balatbat. Arizala. Antonio. Dimagiba. No. Macaraeg and City Prosecutor Jesus F. Thus.

However. Macaraeg. . In fine. of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) only testified as to the possible cause of death but did not venture to illuminate the court on the matter of the standard of care that petitioner should have exercised. petitioner filed graft charges specifically for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No.Aggrieved. — Only resolutions of the Chief State Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor dismissing a criminal complaint may be the subject of an appeal to the Secretary of Justice except as otherwise provided in Section 4 hereof. The better and more logical remedy under the circumstances would have been to appeal the resolution of the City Prosecutors dismissing the criminal complaint to the Secretary of Justice under the Department of Justice's Order No. 3019 3against Prosecutors Guerrero. on July 11. ISSUE: Whether or not expert testimony is necessary to prove the negligent act of the respondent. 223. No. Further. care and skill in the treatment of his patients. Floresto Arizala and Dr. it has been recognized that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion as to causation. petitioner assails the exercise of the discretionary power of the Ombudsman to review the recommendations of the government prosecutors and to approve and disapprove the same. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimony is essential to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also that the physician's conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. Jr. he will employ such training. having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field. Petitioner faults the Ombudsman for. the Ombudsman issued the assailed resolution dismissing the complaint for lack of evidence. and Arizala for manifest partiality in favor of Dr. Section 1 of which provides: Sec. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice actions are determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge. 359. Immediately apparent from a review of the records of this case is the absence of any expert testimony on the matter of the standard of care employed by other physicians of good standing in the conduct of similar operations. What May Be Appealed. allegedly in grave abuse of discretion. 1. a doctor in effect represents that. 3019. otherwise known as the "1993 Revised Rules on Appeals From Resolutions In Preliminary Investigations/Reinvestigations. RULING: In accepting a case. Reyes before the Office of the Ombudsman. 1994. The prosecution's expert witnesses in the persons of Dr. Nieto Salvador." as amended by Department Order No. refusing to find that there exists probable cause to hold public respondent City Prosecutors liable for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A.

dismiss outright the appeal on specified grounds." On the other hand. Petition is dismissed. affirm or modify the appealed resolution. 223 states: "The Secretary of Justice may reverse. the Ombudsman acted within his power and authority in dismissing the complaint against the Prosecutors and this Court will not interfere with the same.What action may the Secretary of Justice take on the appeal? Section 9 of Order No. . "He may motu proprio or on motion of the appellee." In exercising his discretion under the circumstances.

WORNG CASE . COMELEC C/O NIKKI. FRIVALDO V.25.

dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship. Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which remained pending until after election. MANZANO MERCADO vs MANZANO Facts: Petitioner Ernesto Mercado and Private respondent Eduardo Manzano are candidates for the position of Vice-Mayor of Makati City in the May. Private respondent is considered as a dual citizen because he is born of Filipino parents but was born in San Francisco. COMELEC reversed the decision and declared private respondent qualified to run for the position. This petition sought the reversal of the resolution of the COMELEC and to declare the private respondent disqualified to hold the office of the vice mayor of Makati. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. by some positive act. pursuant to the Local Government code that provides that persons who possess dual citizenship are disqualified from running any public position. on the other hand. private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship. unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to posses dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli. as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary. a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. Private respondent was the winner of the said election but the proclamation was suspended due to the petition of Ernesto Mamaril regarding the citizenship of private respondent. IV) of our Constitution. Such a person. the board of canvassers proclaimed private respondent as vice mayor. (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens. refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes. such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. COMELEC granted the petition and disqualified the private respondent for being a dual citizen.26. Mamaril alleged that the private respondent is not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. Dual allegiance. . Pursuant to the ruling of the COMELEC. ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part. is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. MERCADO V. By filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post. USA. Issue: Whether or Not private respondent is qualified to hold office as Vice-Mayor. (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country. loyalty to two or more states. Petitioner sought to intervene in the case for disqualification. For instance. Held: Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when. 1998 elections.

practiced his profession as an artist. that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation. private respondent’s oath of allegiance to the Philippine. On the other hand. as far as the laws of this country are concerned. received his education. . that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country. and taken part in past elections in this country. effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. private respondent has.By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen. when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood. leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.

1998. dated May 7.R. the respondent admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of Immigration under Alien Certificate of Registration No. Manzano were candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11. MERCADO. The COMELEC’s Second Division said: What is presented before the Commission is a petition for disqualification of Eduardo Barrios Manzano as candidate for the office of Vice-Mayor of Makati City in the May 11.EN BANC [G. petitioner. [2] the Second Division of the COMELEC granted the petition of Mamaril and ordered the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of private respondent on the ground that he is a dual citizen and.275[1] The proclamation of private respondent was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification filed by a certain Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that private respondent was not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. San Francisco. No. California. J. 1998 elections. persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective position. B-31632 and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother. DECISION MENDOZA. May 26.853 100. The results of the election were as follows: Eduardo B. Mercado Gabriel V. In his answer to the petition filed on April 27. on . The petition is based on the ground that the respondent is an American citizen based on the record of the Bureau of Immigration and misrepresented himself as a natural-born Filipino citizen. EDUARDO BARRIOS MANZANO and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondents. He was born in the United States. In its resolution. Daza III 103.: Petitioner Ernesto S. 135083. Mercado and private respondent Eduardo B. Manzano Ernesto S. vs. The other one was Gabriel V. under §40(d) of the Local Government Code. Daza III. 1999] ERNESTO S. 1998 elections.894 54. 1998.

A. however. The question presented is whether under our laws. 1998. WHEREFORE. the Commission hereby declares the respondent Eduardo Barrios Manzano DISQUALIFIED as candidate for Vice-Mayor of Makati City. private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration. which effectively . [3] The motion remained pending even until after the election held on May 11. with one commissioner abstaining. His parents also registered him as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. the board of canvassers tabulated the votes cast for vice mayor of Makati City but suspended the proclamation of the winner. did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship. Accordingly.S. he registered himself as a voter. of the COMELEC. he did not lose his Filipino citizenship. 1998. He acquired US citizenship by operation of the United States Constitution and laws under the principle of jus soli. [5] The pertinent portions of the resolution of the COMELEC en banc read: As aforesaid. California. it would appear that respondent Manzano is both a Filipino and a US citizen. Judging from the foregoing facts. and is considered an American citizen under US Laws. 1998 elections. the case for The motion was not resolved. 1998. respondent Eduardo Barrios Manzano was born in San Francisco. and voted in the elections of 1992. He was issued an alien certificate of registration. U. 1995 and 1998. Is he eligible for the office he seeks to be elected? Under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code. 1955. as he did not renounce Philippine citizenship and did not take an oath of allegiance to the United States. 1998. At the age of six (6). It is an undisputed fact that when respondent attained the age of majority. the COMELEC en banc rendered its resolution.[4] Petitioner’s motion was opposed by private respondent. He was also a natural born Filipino citizen by operation of the 1935 Philippine Constitution. This.September 14. his parents brought him to the Philippines using an American passport as travel document. pursuant to Omnibus Resolution No. petitioner sought to intervene in disqualification. In other words. On May 19. dated May 10. But notwithstanding his registration as an American citizen. those holding dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position. On May 8. 3044. the COMELEC en banc reversed the ruling of its Second Division and declared private respondent qualified to run for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11. as his father and mother were Filipinos at the time of his birth. Voting 4 to 1. Instead. on August 31. he holds dual citizenship. 1998. he is disqualified from the position for which he filed his certificate of candidacy.

the board of canvassers. 1998. it would be far better to err in favor of the popular choice than be embroiled in complex legal issues involving private international law which may well be settled before the highest court (Cf. Ernesto S. He renounced his U. Respondent Manzano obtained the highest number of votes among the candidates for vice-mayor of Makati City. citizen when he: 1. 1998. 1998 elections.S. We declare respondent Eduardo Luis Barrios Manzano to be QUALIFIED as a candidate for the position of vice-mayor of Makati City in the May 11. he no longer had U. 1998. the resolution of the Second Division. on the evening of August 31. Gabriel Daza III obtained third place with fifty four thousand two hundred seventy five (54.853) votes over his closest rival. Under Philippine law. citizenship. citizenship when he attained the age of majority when he was already 37 years old. .894) votes. Commission on Elections. to reconvene and proclaim the respondent Eduardo Luis Barrios Manzano as the winning candidate for vice-mayor of Makati City. ACCORDINGLY. citizenship when he (merely) registered himself as a voter and voted in the elections of 1992. adopted on May 7. 1995 and 1998. or a margin of two thousand nine hundred fifty nine (2.S. adopted on May 7. Mercado. elections.S. 2. WHEREFORE. and. Under Philippine law. At the time of the May 11. This is a petition for certiorari seeking to set aside the aforesaid resolution of the COMELEC en banc and to declare private respondent disqualified to hold the office of vice mayor of Makati City. 257 SCRA 727). Frivaldo vs. Manzano was no longer a U. Manzano is qualified to run for and or hold the elective office of Vice-Mayor of the City of Makati.959) votes.renounced his US citizenship under American law.S. the Commission directs the Makati City Board of Canvassers. ordering the cancellation of the respondent’s certificate of candidacy. Petitioner contends that ¾ [T]he COMELEC en banc ERRED in holding that: A. garnering one hundred three thousand eight hundred fifty three (103. proclaimed private respondent as vice mayor of the City of Makati.275) votes. was not yet final. 1998. B. upon proper notice to the parties. who obtained one hundred thousand eight hundred ninety four (100. the Commission en banc hereby REVERSES the resolution of the Second Division. He renounced his U. Pursuant to the resolution of the COMELEC en banc. In applying election laws.

[6] reiterated in several cases. We first consider the threshold procedural issue raised by private respondent Manzano ¾ whether petitioner Mercado has personality to bring this suit considering that he was not an original party in the case for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mamaril nor was petitioner’s motion for leave to intervene granted. however. Section 3. the resolution of the Second Division adopted on 7 May 1998 was not yet final so that. Discretion of Commission. at the time petitioner sought to intervene in the proceedings before the COMELEC. When proper and when may be permitted to intervene .C. The rule in Labo v. the Commission or the Division. or an interest against both. in its discretion to intervene in such action or proceeding. or in the success of either of the parties. shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties and whether or not the intervenor’s rights may be fully protected in a separate action or proceeding. if he has legal interest in the matter in litigation. . 1998 elections. COMELEC.. petitioner may not be declared the winner even assuming that Manzano is disqualified to run for and hold the elective office of Vice-Mayor of the City of Makati. therefore. The fact. ¾ Any person allowed to initiate an action or proceeding may. in the exercise of its discretion. an interest in ousting private respondent from the race at the time he sought to intervene. is that there had been no proclamation at that time. Certainly. there had already been a proclamation of the results of the election for the vice mayoralty contest for Makati City.. and still has.” The flaw in this argument is it assumes that. petitioner had. At the time of the May 11. be permitted by the Commission. PETITIONER'S RIGHT TO BRING THIS SUIT Private respondent cites the following provisions of Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure of the COMELEC in support of his claim that petitioner has no right to intervene and. Private respondent argues that petitioner has neither legal interest in the matter in litigation nor an interest to protect because he is “a defeated candidate for the vice -mayoralty post of Makati City [who] cannot be proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City even if the private respondent be ultimately disqualified by final and executory judgment. ¾ In allowing or disallowing a motion for intervention. cannot bring this suit to set aside the ruling denying his motion for intervention: Section 1. on the basis of which petitioner came out only second to private respondent. I. effectively.[7] only applies to cases in which the election of the .. before or during the trial of an action or proceeding. or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected by such action or proceeding.

A. whether he is disqualified from being a candidate for vice mayor of Makati City.A. intervention may be allowed in proceedings for disqualification even after election if there has yet been no final judgment rendered. 6646. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of guilt is strong. and petitioner’s purpose was precisely to have private respondent disqualified “from running for [an] elective local position” under §40(d) of R. II. 1998. If Ernesto Mamaril (who originally instituted the disqualification proceedings). which provides: Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. at the time petitioner filed a “Motion for Leave to File Intervention” on May 20. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. The failure of the COMELEC en banc to resolve petitioner’s motion for intervention was tantamount to a denial of the motion. and the question is whether one who placed second to the disqualified candidate may be declared the winner. inquiry. otherwise known as the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987. was competent to bring the action. or protest and. 1998. 71 60. namely. which declares as “disqualified from running for any elective local position: . there had been no proclamation of the winner.[8] . a registered voter of Makati City. No. after private respondent had been shown to have garnered the highest number of votes among the candidates for vice mayor. That petitioner had a right to intervene at that stage of the proceedings for the disqualification against private respondent is clear from §6 of R. As the COMELEC en banc instead decided the merits of the case. Nor is petitioner’s interest in the matter in litigation any less because he filed a motion for intervention only on May 20. whether private respondent Manzano possesses dual citizenship and. the present petition properly deals not only with the denial of petitioner’s motion for intervention but also with the substantive issues respecting private respondent’s alleged disqualification on the ground of dual citizenship. Under this provision. justifying petitioner in filing the instant petition for certiorari. DUAL CITIZENSHIP AS A GROUND FOR DISQUALIFICATION The disqualification of private respondent Manzano is being sought under §40 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. if so. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action.A. In the present case. No.” This provision is incorporated in the Charter of the City of Makati. 7160). . . (d) Those with dual citizenship. so was petitioner since the latter was a rival candidate for vice mayor of Makati City. 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. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. No. This brings us to the next question.respondent is contested.

Such a person.” To begin with. There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may. That is often a function of the accident of mixed marriages or of birth on foreign soil. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. who sides with him in this case. petitioner. loyalty to two or more states. (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens. never insidious.” This provision was included in the 1987 Constitution at the instance of Commissioner Blas F. dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. Ople who explained its necessity as follows:[10] . I do not question double citizenship at all. on the other hand. And so. as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states. unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. Congress has “command[ed] in explicit terms the ineligibility of persons possessing dual allegiance to hold local elective office. While dual citizenship is involuntary. is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. §5 of the Constitution provides: “Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law. be also a citizen of another state. it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli.and I reiterate a dual allegiance . Article IV. . What we would like the Committee to consider is to take constitutional cognizance of the problem of dual allegiance.is larger and more threatening than that of mere double citizenship which is seldom intentional and. The former arises when. For example. such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. contends that through §40(d) of the Local Government Code. by some positive act. I have circulated a memorandum to the Bernas Committee according to which a dual allegiance . IV) of our Constitution. but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship. Dual allegiance. perhaps. dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. .Invoking the maxim dura lex sed lex. ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part. [9] For instance. we all know what happens in the triennial elections of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce which consists of about 600 . as well as the Solicitor General. without performing any act. (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country. a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. With respect to dual allegiance. I want to draw attention to the fact that dual allegiance is not dual citizenship. refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes.

chapters all over the country. is. Ople spoke on the problem of these citizens with dual allegiance. and especially Commissioner Concepcion who has always been worried about minority claims on our natural resources. who were concerned about the lack of guarantees of thorough assimilation. . I think some noted the fact that as a result of the wave of naturalizations since the decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China was made in 1975. Singapore. and back of this. But considering the scale of the . thus:[11] . It can mean a tragic capital outflow when we have to endure a capital famine which also means economic stagnation. When I speak of double allegiance. At that time. the concern for national security. therefore. and this is already happening. . of citizens who are already Filipinos but who. In another session of the Commission. may be said to be bound by a second allegiance. either to Peking or Taiwan. in Mainland China in the People’s Republic of China. There is a Peking ticket. And so. with its attendant risk of double allegiance which is repugnant to our sovereignty and national security. probably Section 5. I also took close note of the concern expressed by some Commissioners yesterday. including Commissioner Villacorta. the obligation to rise to the defense of the State when it is threatened. China or Malaysia. worsening unemployment and social unrest. which was dissolved after several years because of diplomatic friction. by their acts. I have detected a genuine and deep concern about double citizenship. in the article on Citizenship which will read as follows: DUAL ALLEGIANCE IS INIMICAL TO CITIZENSHIP AND SHALL BE DEALT WITH ACCORDING TO LAW. A significant number of Commissioners expressed their concern about dual citizenship in the sense that it implies a double allegiance under a double sovereignty which some of us who spoke then in a freewheeling debate thought would be repugnant to the sovereignty which pervades the Constitution and to citizenship itself which implies a uniqueness and which elsewhere in the Constitution is defined in terms of rights and obligations exclusive to that citizenship including. Commissioner Bernas. And so. In the course of those debates. Some of the great commercial places in downtown Taipei are Filipino-owned. Not widely known is the fact that the Filipino-Chinese community is represented in the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China in Taiwan. as well as a Taipei ticket. I appreciate what the Committee said that this could be left to the determination of a future legislature. the Filipino-Chinese were also represented in that Overseas Council. I speak of this unsettled kind of allegiance of Filipinos. a good number of these naturalized Filipinos still routinely go to Taipei every October 10. the sponsor might recall. of course. they have the Associated Legislative Council for overseas Chinese wherein all of Southeast Asia including some European and Latin countries were represented. this is exactly what we ask ¾ that the Committee kindly consider incorporating a new section. And until recently. owned by Filipino-Chinese ¾ it is of common knowledge in Manila. and it is asserted that some of them do renew their oath of allegiance to a foreign government maybe just to enter into the spirit of the occasion when the anniversary of the Sun Yat-Sen Republic is commemorated. Dual allegiance can actually siphon scarce national capital to Taiwan. of course.

President. upon reaching the age of majority. President. Under the present Constitution.” Consequently. pointed out: “[D]ual citizenship is just a reality imposed on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. Mr. §20 must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance. 7160. page 17: “Any person with dual citizenship” is disqualified to run for any elective local position.A. That is of no moment as the following discussion on §40(d) between Senators Enrile and Pimentel clearly shows: [13] SENATOR ENRILE. the concern of the Constitutional Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization.” [12] By electing Philippine citizenship. one belonging to the country of his or her father and one belonging to the Republic of the Philippines. President. upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy. Unlike those with dual allegiance. But whether or not she is considered a citizen of another country is something completely beyond our control. nevertheless. No. for candidates with dual citizenship. therefore. one of the most perceptive members of the Constitutional Commission. be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status. §40(d) and in R. who must.problem. as a citizen? No one can renounce. he has to repudiate one of his citizenships. in including §5 in Article IV on citizenship. from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws. in effect. . it only means that at the moment when he would want to run for public office. It may be that. I would like to ask clarification of line 41. There are such countries in the world. Hence. such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. SENATOR ENRILE. let us say. be an election for him of his desire to be considered as a Filipino citizen. persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. the very fact that he is running for public office would. it should suffice if. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother. Mr. will the Committee entertain a proposed amendment at the proper time that will prohibit. may such a situation disqualify the person to run for a local government position? SENATOR PIMENTEL. they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states. someone whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines but his father is a foreigner is a natural-born citizen of the Republic. SENATOR PIMENTEL. must elect or give up Philippine citizenship. in effect. Well. such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens. To my mind. 7854.A. arising from. There is no requirement that such a natural born citizen. the phrase “dual citizenship” in R. As Joaquin G. Suppose he carries only a Philippine passport but the country of origin or the country of the father claims that person. potentially great numbers of double citizens professing double allegiance. Mr. No. the real impact on the security of this country. Bernas. On the assumption that this person would carry two passports. or regulate double citizenship? Clearly.

Mr. of Filipino parents.SENATOR ENRILE. the condition imposed by law is satisfied and complied with. Republic. we would be applying not what our legislative department has deemed it wise to require. private respondent “effectively renounced his U. President. PETITIONER'S ELECTION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP The record shows that private respondent was born in San Francisco.[15] it was held: [W]hen a person applying for citizenship by naturalization takes an oath that he renounces his loyalty to any other country or government and solemnly declares that he owes his allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. then he will probably fall under this disqualification. a citizen without any overt act to claim the citizenship. SENATOR PIMENTEL. state. and 1998. at birth. the first thing he should do is to say in the Certificate of Candidacy that: “I am a Filipino citizen. while the United States follows the doctrine of jus soli. then he is opening himself to question. but what a foreign government has thought or intended to exact.” SENATOR ENRILE. That is true. It must be resisted by all means and at all cost.S. President. if he does not renounce his other citizenship. and I have only one citizenship. He will always have one citizenship. That. But. Since the Philippines adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. a person whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines is. III. is: Under the Gentleman’s example. The determination whether such renunciation is valid or fully complies with the provisions of our Naturalization Law lies within the province and is an exclusive prerogative of our courts. is absurd. if he is really interested to run. If the requirement of the Chinese Law of Nationality were to be read into our Naturalization Law. But if he exercises acts that will prove that he also acknowledges other citizenships. citizenship under American law. Under the Constitution. The latter should apply the law duly enacted by the legislative department of the Republic. This is similar to the requirement that an applicant for naturalization must renounce “all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince. the COMELEC en banc held that. by participating in Philippine elections in 1992. Mr. President. and that is the citizenship invested upon him or her in the Constitution of the Republic. Mr. SENATOR PIMENTEL. It would be a brazen encroachment upon the sovereign will and power of the people of this Republic. the parties agree that. 1995. What we are saying.” so that now he is solely a Philippine national. the Constitution does not require an election. Yes. precisely. at birth at least. No foreign law may or should interfere with its operation and application. Mr. But we are talking from the viewpoint of Philippine law. potentate. . President. However. of course. So. California on September 4. In Parado v. he was a national both of the Philippines and of the United States. 1955. or sovereignty” [14] of which at the time he is a subject or citizen before he can be issued a certificate of naturalization as a citizen of the Philippines.

Frivaldo wrote that he “had long (STATE IF “NATURAL-BORN” OR . 40 of the Local Government Code would disqualify him “from running for any elective local position?” We answer this question in the negative. OR IMMIGRANT TO.. PROVINCE OF NCR . 1983 Frivaldo became an American. 11. 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. I AM ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED. A FOREIGN COUNTRY.” To be sure this provision was declared unconstitutional by the U. I AM A FILIPINO CITIZEN “NATURALIZED”) NATURAL-BORN . Congress to regulate foreign relations. However. it was ineffective as it should have been made when he reached the age of majority. I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE FACTS STATED HEREIN ARE TRUE AND CORRECT OF MY OWN PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. 12.Petitioner challenges this ruling. Rusk[16] as beyond the power given to the U. shall lose his nationality by: . BARANGAY SAN LORENZO. which provided that “A person who is a national of the United States. private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship. Supreme Court in Afroyim v. I AM NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF. . Would the retroactivity of his repatriation not effectively give him dual citizenship. I AM A REGISTERED VOTER OF PRECINCT NO. when he ran for governor in 1988. 10. whether by birth or naturalization. which under Sec.. AND THAT I IMPOSE THIS OBLIGATION UPON MYSELF VOLUNTARILY.S. THAT I WILL OBEY THE LAWS.. 747-A. He argues that merely taking part in Philippine elections is not sufficient evidence of renunciation and that. filed on March 27. (e) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or participating in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty over foreign territory. The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship. effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. Thus. by filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post. in Frivaldo v. CITY/MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. In holding that by voting in Philippine elections private respondent renounced his American citizenship. LEGAL ORDERS AND DECREES PROMULGATED BY THE DULY CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. the COMELEC must have in mind §349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States.S. Private respondent’s certificate of candidacy. In his Comment. COMELEC it was held:[17] It is not disputed that on January 20. contained the following statements made under oath: 6. as the alleged renunciation was made when private respondent was already 37 years old. WITHOUT MENTAL RESERVATION OR PURPOSE OF EVASION. 1998. . in any event. I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES AND WILL MAINTAIN TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE THERETO.

Finally. such renunciation should have been made upon private respondent reaching the age of majority since no law requires the election of Philippine citizenship to be made upon majority age. much is made of the fact that private respondent admitted that he is registered as an American citizen in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and that he holds an American passport which he used in his last travel to the United States on April 22. Considering the fact that admittedly Osmeña was both a Filipino and an American. There is. 1995. the mere fact that he has a Certificate stating he is an American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government.” These factual findings that Frivaldo has lost his foreign nationality long before the elections of 1995 have not been effectively rebutted by Lee. . truth to tell.” it stands to reason that there can be no such loss of Philippine citizenship when there is no renunciation. by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen. COMELEC[18] applies mutatis mutandis to private respondent in the case at bar: .renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship-long before May 8. [T]he Certification that he is an American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino. possessed as he is. At best. . Indeed. to be effective. . there is even no implied renunciation of said citizenship. petitioner Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government when he ran for Governor in 1988.” On this point. no merit in petitioner’s contention that the oath of allegiance contained in private respondent’s certificate of candidacy is insufficient to constitute renunciation of his American citizenship. therefore. he had dual citizenship. it is basic that such findings of the Commission are conclusive upon this Court. that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country. absent any showing of capriciousness or arbitrariness or abuse. . and in 1995. as far as the laws of this . of both nationalities or citizenships. private respondent has. Frivaldo was stateless in the interim-when he abandoned and renounced his US citizenship but before he was repatriated to his Filipino citizenship. . When We consider that the renunciation needed to lose Philippine citizenship must be “express. we quote from the assailed Resolution dated December 19. There is no merit in this. either “express” or “implied . Until the filing of his certificate of candidacy on March 21. 1995: “By the laws of the United States. Furthermore. 1997. Equally without merit is petitioner’s contention that.” To recapitulate. in 1992. 1998. What this Court said in Aznar v. The acts attributed to him can be considered simply as the assertion of his American nationality before the termination of his American citizenship. that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation. there is no express renunciation here of Philippine citizenship.

when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood. received his education. DefensorSantiago. His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfill his undertaking made under oath. and taken part in past elections in this country. WHEREFORE. practiced his profession as an artist. In Yu v. but subsequently does some act constituting renunciation of his Philippine citizenship. SO ORDERED.[19] we sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that. in electing Philippine citizenship. On the other hand. after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen. renounces his foreign nationality. there are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. .country are concerned. private respondent’s oath of allegiance to the Philippines. effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Should he betray that trust. he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad that he was a Portuguese national. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who. leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.

S. CA L.27.S. Despite his vigorous disclaimer.1988. Pangasinan. Miguel admits that he holds a green card issued to him by the US Immigration Service. Court of Appeals Facts: This case refers to the two consolidated petitions both seeking the disqualification under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of Merito Miguel. 1988 local elections. but he denied that he is a permanent resident of the United States. He did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there. He argued that he obtained the green card for convenience in order that he may freely enter the United States for his periodic medical examination and to visit his children there and that he is a permanent resident of Bolinao.and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the U. After hearing the consolidated petitions before it. to prove that he "has waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant" to be qualified to run for elected office. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local elections on January 18. in his dissenting opinion. the COMELEC dismissed the petitions. by returning to the Philippines in November 1987 and presenting himself as a candidate for mayor of Bolinao in the January 18. It held that the possession of a green card by the respondent Miguel does not sufficiently establish that he has abandoned his residence in the Philippines. to which he was elected in the local elections of January 18. it is incumbent upon him. He entered the US with the intention to live there permanently as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa. a permanent resident of the United States of America and not of Bolinao. Commissioner Badoy. Pangasinan and that he voted in all previous elections. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered his green card to the appropriate U. for the position of municipal mayor of Bolinao. including the plebiscite on February 2. waive his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States Held:No. Jr. 27 Caasi v. This respondent has not done. However. Hence. Miguel's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U. Issue:Whether Merito Miguel. Residence in the municipality where he intends to run for elective office for . 1987. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his application for it. CAASI V. on the ground that he is a green card holder hence. opined that a green card holder being a permanent resident of oran immigrant of a foreign country and respondent having admitted that he is a green cardholder. under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. Issues: Whether a green card is proof that the holder thereof is a permanent resident of the United States such that it would disqualify him to run for any elective local position Held: Yes. the conclusion is that he was disqualified to run for said public office. 1988. his election was null and void. 1987 for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and the congressional elections on May 18.S.

they must keep another eye on their duties under the laws of the foreign country of their choice in order to preserve their status as permanent residents thereof Full Case: These two cases were consolidated because they have the same objective. No. a rival candidate for the position of municipal mayor of Bolinao. . Mateo Caasi vs. 14531 dismissing the petition for quo warranto filed by Mateo Caasi.R. Cederico Catabay (SPC No. a permanent resident of the United States of America. also to disqualify Merito Miguel on account of his being a green card holder. 87-551). period of only three (3) months (not one year) after his return to the Philippines in November1987 and before he ran for mayor of that municipality on January 18. not of Bolinao. Pangasinan. 1988. G. the disqualification under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of the private respondent. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. Celeste (SPC No. Pangasinan. on the ground that he is a green card holder. et al. hence. SP No. is a petition for review of the decision dated June 21.In banning from elective public office Philippine citizens who are permanent residents or immigrants of a foreign country. 1988. dismissing the three (3) petitions of Anecito Cascante (SPC No." The assumption is that those who are resident aliens of a foreign country are incapable of such entire devotion to the interest and welfare of their homeland for with one eye on their public duties here. for the disqualification of Merito C. 88831.. 84508 is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision dated January 13. 87-604). 87-595) and Josefino C. to which he was elected in the local elections of January 18. 1988. No. Court of Appeals. Merito Miguel for the position of municipal mayor of Bolinao. The law has reserved that privilege for its citizens who have cast their lot with our country "without mental reservations or purpose of evasion. Miguel filed prior to the local elections on January 18.at least one (1) year at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy is one of the qualifications that a candidate for elective public office must possess. 1988 of the COMELEC First Division. G. Miguel did not possess that qualification because he was a permanent resident of the United States and he resided in Bolinao for a . 1989. the Omnibus Election Code has laid down a clear policy of excluding from the right to hold elective public office those Philippine citizens who possess dual loyalties and allegiance.R.

R. it is incumbent upon him. that he voted in all previous elections. Hon.. The Court of Appeals ordered the regional trial court to dismiss and desist from further proceeding in the quo warranto case.R.1987 for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. 84508. 88831. Court of Appeals and Merito Miguel. Jr. Miguel admitted that he holds a green card issued to him by the US Immigration Service.R. under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. No. (p." reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court which denied Miguel's motion to dismiss the petition for quo warranto filed by Caasi. Respondent has sufficiently indicated his intention to continuously reside in Bolinao as shown by his having voted in successive elections in said municipality. The Court of Appeals held: . Miguel. Rollo. the COMELEC with the exception of Commissioner Anacleto Badoy. inspite (sic) of his green card. 12. Artemio R.1987. 13. Commissioner Badoy. Pangasinan." the petitioner prays for a review of the decision dated June 21. dismissed the petitions on the ground that: The possession of a green card by the respondent (Miguel) does not sufficiently establish that he has abandoned his residence in the Philippines. respondents. "Mateo Caasi. 1989 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 84508). No. etc. SP No. After hearing the consolidated petitions before it. Corpus.In his answer to both petitions. As the respondent meets the basic requirements of citizenship and residence for candidates to elective local officials (sic) as provided for in Section 42 of the Local Government Code.) In G. including the plebiscite on February 2. petitioner vs. Rollo. 14531 "Merito C. to prove that he "has waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant" to be qualified to run for elected office.R. respondents. opined that: A green card holder being a permanent resident of or an immigrant of a foreign country and respondent having admitted that he is a green card holder. He allegedly obtained the green card for convenience in order that he may freely enter the United States for his periodic medical examination and to visit his children there. G. and the congressional elections on May 18.. On the contrary. He alleged that he is a permanent resident of Bolinao. petitioner vs. This respondent has not done. Jr. (p. In his dissenting opinion. No. Pangasinan. G. there is no legal obstacle to his candidacy for mayor of Bolinao. but he denied that he is a permanent resident of the United States.

. In the case of Merito Miguel. (p. Department of State) which Miguel filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the United States in .. their effect on the holders' right to hold elective public office in the Philippines is a question that excites much interest in the outcome of this case. In the same vein. the Court deems it significant that in the "Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration" (Optional Form No. 22. Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B. Aquino are holders of green cards in foreign countries. 25.P. Section 18. In view of current rumor that a good number of elective and appointive public officials in the present administration of President Corazon C.S. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. and (2) whether respondent Miguel had waived his status as a permanent resident of or immigrant to the U. considering that decisions of the Regional Trial Courts on quo warranto cases under the Election Code are appealable to the COMELEC. (Sec. after the COMELEC has ruled that the petitioner meets the very basic requirements of citizenship and residence for candidates to elective local officials (sic) and that there is no legal obstacles (sic) for the candidacy of the petitioner. 18..R. prior to the local elections on January 18. Disqualifications . Blg. Public officers and employees owe the State and this Constitution allegiance at all times. Rollo. No. G. 1988. 1971.) These two cases pose the twin issues of: (1) whether or not a green card is proof that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States.. it is pointless for the Regional Trial Court to hear the case questioning the qualification of the petitioner as resident of the Philippines. EC).. 88831. 68. 230. and any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law. but not quite. 881) provides: SEC.A. unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides: Sec.

Miguel identifies him in clear bold letters as a RESIDENT ALIEN. the upper portion. the green card that was subsequently issued by the United States Department of Justice and Immigration and Registration Service to the respondent Merito C. An immigrant is a person who removes into a country for the purpose of permanent residence. "Permanently.." (3 CJS 674. On the back of the card. Rollo of G. the country in which he resides (3 CJS 527).S. however. Miguel's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Miguel owes temporary and local allegiance to the U. Government the requisite green card or authority to reside there permanently. Immigration is the removing into one place from another. 84508. Person identified by this card is entitled to reside permanently and work in the United States. This is in return for the protection given to him during the period of his residence therein.R.) As a resident alien in the U. the act of immigrating the entering into a country with the intention of residing in it.S. As shown infra 84." On its face.1984. Based on that application of his. he entered the limited States with the intention to have there permanently as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa. he was issued by the U." Miguel's answer was. Miguel's answer to Question No. so state).S. 189-190. No." (Annex A pp. . For he did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay (if permanently.. statutes sometimes give a broader meaning to the term "immigrant.) Despite his vigorous disclaimer. the following information is printed: Alien Registration Receipt Card.

) Section 18. and the protection of this amendment extends to the right to earn a livelihood by following the ordinary occupations of life.P.' Did Miguel.Aliens reading in the limited States. aliens residing in the United States. Pangasinan. or property without due process of law. The law applicable to him is Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (B. liberty. while they are permitted to remain. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law" is not applicable to Merito Miguel for he acquired the status of an immigrant of the United States before he was elected to public office. unless such person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws.1988 local elections. or property without due process of law. (3 CJS 529-530. which provides: xxx xxx xxx Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. are in general entitled to the protection of the laws with regard to their rights of person and property and to their civil and criminal responsibility. waive his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States? . Thus resident alien friends are entitled to the benefit of the provision of the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal constitution that no state shall deprive "any person" of life liberty. In general. 881). while they are permitted to remain are entitled to the safeguards of the constitution with regard to their rights of person and property and to their civil and criminal responsibility. So an alien is entitled to the protection of the provision of the Fifth Amendment to the federal constitution that no person shall be deprived of life. by returning to the Philippines in November 1987 and presenting himself as a candidate for mayor of Bolinao in the January 18. not "during his tenure" as mayor of Bolinao. Blg. or deny to any person the equal protection of the law.

Residence in the municipality where he intends to run for elective office for at least one (1) year at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy. they must keep another eye on their duties under the laws of the foreign country of their choice in order to preserve their status as permanent residents thereof. Omnibus Election Code). Chap. he would have this Court believe that he applied for immigration to the U.S. which proves that he is a permanent resident or immigrant it of the United States. Without such prior waiver. the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have "waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. under false pretenses. his act of filing a certificate of candidacy for elective office in the Philippines. 1988. 68.To be "qualified to run for elective office" in the Philippines. hold that he was disqualified to become a candidate for that office. Miguel did not possess that qualification because he was a permanent resident of the United States and he resided in Bolinao for a period of only three (3) months (not one year) after his return to the Philippines in November 1987 and before he ran for mayor of that municipality on January 18. Respondent Merito Miguel admits that he holds a green card. that all this time he only had one foot in the United States but kept his other foot in the Philippines.S. this Court will not . We. In banning from elective public office Philippine citizens who are permanent residents or immigrants of a foreign country." The assumption is that those who are resident aliens of a foreign country are incapable of such entire devotion to the interest and welfare of their homeland for with one eye on their public duties here. is one of the qualifications that a candidate for elective public office must possess (Sec. therefore. Miguel insists that even though he applied for immigration and permanent residence in the United States. he was "disqualified to run for any elective office" (Sec. 1988. but the records of this case are starkly bare of proof that he had waived his status as such before he ran for election as municipal mayor of Bolinao on January 18. In other words. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country. did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States. the Omnibus Election Code has laid down a clear policy of excluding from the right to hold elective public office those Philippine citizens who possess dual loyalties and allegiance. Even if that were true. The law has reserved that privilege for its citizens who have cast their lot with our country "without mental reservations or purpose of evasion. Local Government Code)." Therefore. 1. The reason for Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code is not hard to find. he never really intended to live there permanently. Title 2. for all that he wanted was a green card to enable him to come and go to the U. with ease. 42.

S. are hereby set aside. our conclusion is that he was disqualified to run for said public office.S. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered his green card to the appropriate U. the appealed orders of the COMELEC and the Court of Appeals in SPC Nos. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local elections on January 18. 14531 respectively. hence.S. The election of respondent Merito C. Costs against the said respondent. . 1988. SO ORDERED. 87-551. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his application for it. and giving him the best of both worlds so to speak. and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the U. 87-595 and 87-604.allow itself to be a party to his duplicity by permitting him to benefit from it. his election thereto was null and void. SP No. and CA-G. Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U. despite his occasional visits to the Philippines. WHEREFORE. Miguel as municipal mayor of Bolinao. Pangasinan is hereby annulled.R.

28. DESIERTO C/O JP . PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS V.

ARGANA V. REPUBLIC C/O BETHANY .29.

WON the OSG has authority to appear for (a) a certa in gov’t official in the PI of their case before the Ombudsman and (b) the SolGen in a suit for damages arising from a crime HELD 1. It also denied the MFR. the OSG likewise acted as counsel for Chavez. . URBANO V. who was then the SolGen and counsel for PCGG. the Office of the SolGen (OSG) entered its appearance for Chavez and the other accused (DILG Sec and 2 sectoral reps) as far as the Prelim Investigation is concerned. filed a special civil action for prohibition in the SC to enjoin the SolGen and his associates from acting as counsel for Chavez in the PI. Urbano et. The contention is in the event that an information is filed against the accused. Petitioner Co objected to appearance of OSG as counsel. both against Solicitor General Francisco Chavez (among others) .there are 2 cases involved here: a criminal action for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) and an civil action for damages arising from a felony (defamation through a published interview whereby Chavez imputed that Nemesio Co was a close associate of Marcos). CHAVEZ L30 Urbano VS Chavez.in the criminal case (filed in the Office of the Ombudsman). . . as well as EO300 which made OSG an independent agency under the Office of the President . The OSG filed for extension of time to file required pleading. the appearance of the OSG in the PI would be in conflict with its role as the appellate counsel for the People of the Phils (counsel at the first instance is the provincial/ state prosecutor). and afterwards filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of Chavez. thus allowing the appearance of OSG as counsel.30.OSG manifested that it is authorized to represent Chavez or any public official even if the said official is sued in his personal capacity pursuant to the unconditional provisions of PD478 which defines the functions of OSG. NO. ISSUE/S 1. contending that he is suing Chavez in his personal capacity.RTC denied the petition. The OSG is not authorized to represent a public official at ANY stage of a criminal case or in a civil suit for damages arising from a felony (applies to all public officials and employees in the executive.in the action for damages. legislative and judicial branches). the agency responsible for the investigation of graft and corrupt practices of the Marcoses. 183 SCRA 347 (1990) NATURE Petition to review decision of RTC Pasig FACTS . al.

The same applies to a suit for damages arising from a felony. the SolGen shall have the authority to act for and represent the Gov’t . OSG provides assurance against timidity in that they will be duly represented by counsel in the PI. SC interpreted Sec. The rationale given was that public officials are subjected to numerous suits. should an info be filed after. and that which is unlawful is not the word or deed of the state. investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer.Reasoning PD47811 defines the duties and functions of OSG: SEC1. . ** Re: Question of Law (copied verbatim. x x x . This anomalous situation could not have been contemplated and allowed by the law. 1661: As principal law officer of the Gov’t. In Anti-Graft League v Ortega.another reason why the OSG can’t represent an accused in a crim case: the State can speak and act only by law. proceeding. Moreover. the state is not liable. there is a clear conflict of interest here. as appellate counsel of the People.Same argument seems to apply to a similar provision in the Rev Admin Code (Sec. in the event of a judgment of conviction. then OSG can no longer act as counsel. the Court resolved to consolidate both Petitions and to treat them as Petitions for certiorari on pure questions of law in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court. where the OSG. 1661 to embrace PI. its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation. represents the prosecution when the case is brought on appeal. whatever it says or does is lawful. as the appellate counsel of the People. if the only issue is whether or not the conclusions of the trial court are in consonance with law and jurisprudence. and threats of criminal prosecution could stay the hand of the public official. is expected to take a stand against the accused. it does.However. proceeding or matter requiring the services of a lawyer). and one which smacks of ethical considerations. However. its officers and agents in any official investigation. . Thus. the court declared this ruling abandoned in this case. The OSG shall represent the Gov’t of the Phils. a public official who is sued criminally is actually sued in his personal capacity inasmuch as his principal (the State) can never the author of a wrongful act. . Disposition Petition is granted. The OSG. It is a situation which cannot be countenanced by the Court. More often than not. the case is brought on appeal to the appellate courts. Accordingly. As such. where the public official is held accountable for his act. The anomaly in this ruling becomes obvious when. then the issue is a pure question of law (Torres v Yu). it can represent any public official without any qualification or distinction in any litigation. This is all that is mentioned) -both issues raise pure questions of law inasmuch as there are no evidentiary matters to be evaluated by this Court.the OSG submits that since there is no qualification. as counsel for the public official. and where the same office. . defends the latter in the PI.

CA C/O BELLE . GLORIA V.31.

[6] modifying the decision of the Ombudsman. calling attention to the fact that he . Provincial Engineer of Samar. a general foreman who was detailed to the Motor Pool Division. The appellate court. Samar by then Provincial Governor Jose Roño. After petitioner had presented on direct examination his last two witnesses. to resume performing his duties as Provincial Engineer. this case being the second commission by him of the same offense. He was thus thereupon ordered. [3] By Decision of April 5. as modified by the appellate court. 2001. he elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. Provincial Engineering. 2000. Petitioner filed. by Decision of March 1. however. 2002. 1998 issued by the OIC Provincial Governor. Prudencio C. by Order dated June 24.R. the Office of the Ombudsman. petitioner. vs. GERVACIO THIRD DIVISION [G. Quimbo. J. 1997 Order of the Ombudsman[1] placed under preventive suspension without pay to commence upon receipt of the order and until such time that it is lifted but in no case beyond Six (6) Months. Barangay Payao.32. petitioner. was on May 21. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s decision having been denied. respondents. Padaon (Padaon). by Memorandum of June 3. by Order of April 27. [4] the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman found petitioner guilty of oppression and recommended that he be “suspended from office for a period of eight (8) months without pay. [2] lifted petitioner’s preventive suspension. 1998. found petitioner guilty of simple misconduct only and penalized him with suspension from office for a period of Two (2) Months without pay. 1998. 2000. ACTING OMBUDSMAN MARGARITO GERVACIO and DIRECTRESS MARY SUSAN S. GUILLERMO OF THE OMBUDSMAN OFFICE. 2005] PRUDENCIO QUIMBO. QUIMBO V. Petitioner began serving his preventive suspension on March 18.” [5] The Deputy Ombudsman’s recommendation was approved by the Ombudsman on April 28. Following the finality of the appellate court’s decision. 1995 administratively charged for harassment and oppression by Elmo V.[7] directed the Provincial Governor to implement its decision. DECISION CARPIO-MORALES. No. was by November 28. 155620. Catbalogan. before the Office of the Ombudsman a Motion for Modification/Reconsideration [8] of its June 24. on motion of the complainant Padaon. During the pendency of the administrative case before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman. August 9. 2002 Order.: Culled from the records of the case are the following facts: Petitioner. the Office of the Ombudsman.

The purpose of the suspension order is to prevent the accused from using his position and the powers and prerogatives of his office to influence potential witnesses or tamper with records which may be vital in the prosecution of the case against him. (Emphasis supplied). . then he shall accordingly be penalized. By Resolution dated October 2. is readily cognizable as they have different ends sought to be achieved. he having priorly served preventive suspension for more than Two (2) Months. Petitioner contends in the affirmative. 292) and other Pertinent Civil Service Laws. the present petition for review on certiorari raising as sole issue whether the appellate court committed reversible error when it dismissed his petition. [and that] [i]f after such investigation. he arguing that the dismissal of his petition is “in violation of the doctrine enunciated in Gloria v. Preventive suspension is merely a preventive measure. then he is suspended. the Office of the Ombudsman clarified that “preventive suspension is not a penalty but a preliminary step in an investigation. by considering the purpose aspect of the suspensions. Jurisprudential law[15] establishes a clear-cut distinction between suspension as preventive measure and suspension as penalty.”[14] The petition fails. This is the penalty. Unperturbed. 2002. warranting the imposition of penalty. Provincial Governor Milagrosa Tan sent a letter[10] also dated July 23. 2002 to the Ombudsman seeking clarification on the merits of petitioner’s contention that he should no longer be required to serve the penalty of Two (2) Months suspension without pay. 1998 and praying that the order under reconsideration be modified “to take into account the period of [his] PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION of TWO (2) MONTHS and SEVENTEEN (17) [DAYS] WITHOUT PAY as part of the final penalty imposed. the charge is established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his suspension or removal. was thus reiterated in the letter. 24. Preventive suspension is not a punishment or penalty for misconduct in office but is considered to be a preventive measure. 2002 [11] addressed to the Provincial Governor.[16] If after such investigation. 1998 to June 1.” The order for the implementation of its decision. as modified by the appellate court. Court of Appeals[13] and the rule on equity that a person should not be punished twice nor be made to suffer the suspension penalty after [he] had [served] the same (although in a preventive suspension).[17] That preventive suspension is not a penalty is in fact explicitly provided by Section 24 of Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. via certiorari. . SEC.”[9] In a similar move. The distinction. petitioner. Hence. it affirming the Ombudsman’s ruling that preventive suspension pending investigation is not a penalty. removed or dismissed. the charge is established and the person investigated upon is found guilty . [12] the Court of Appeals dismissed petitioner’s petition for certiorari. assailed before the Court of Appeals the Office of the Ombudsman’s denial of his plea to be considered having served the modified penalty. . By letter dated August 21.had been on preventive suspension from March 18.

preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered illegal if respondent is exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. and to credit the preventive suspension to the final penalty of suspension. On the other hand. (Emphasis supplied). this Court held: Preventive suspension pending investigation. the period within which one is under preventive suspension is not considered part of the actual penalty of suspension. In said case. Subtitle A of the Administrative Code of 1987]). 25.. in criminal law. Thus. So Section 25 of the same Rule XIV provides: SEC.” On the other hand. . since the law explicitly prescribes the rules on crediting of preventive suspension to the final penalty of suspension.e. as already discussed. In fine. he should be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension. to wit: (1) preventive suspension pending investigation (Section 51 of the Civil Service Law [Book V. the same cannot be credited to form part of the final penalty of suspension. the respective laws covering them are explicit. Finally.Not being a penalty. For not only are they distinct in the objective or purpose. Hence. the respondent is exonerated (Section 47(4) of The Civil Service Law). Clearly. as petitioner’s preventive suspension was carried out pending his investigation. and purposes of imposing preventive suspension and suspension as penalty. Thus. i. if he is not exonerated. To rule otherwise is to disregard above-quoted Sections 24 and 25 of the Administrative Code of 1987 and render nugatory the substantial distinction between. if his conviction is affirmed. after review. neither may the concept of crediting. En passant. and (2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and. [19] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied). Petitioner’s reliance on Gloria fails. not while his appeal from his conviction was pending. this Court recognized two kinds of preventive suspension of civil service employees who are charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension. the period of his suspension becomes part of the final penalty of suspension or dismissal. preventive imprisonment in the service of a convict’s term of imprisonment [20] be applied to preventive suspension during investigation in administrative law in the service of a respondent’s final penalty of suspension. Title I. is not a penalty but only a means of enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered investigation. service of the preventive suspension cannot be credited as service of penalty. in Gloria. §47(4) states that respondent “shall be considered as under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins. peti tioner’s invocation of equity may not lie. as shown above.[18] The foregoing classification has significant implications in determining the entitlement of the employee to compensation during the period of suspension. or in their nature as preventive imprisonment involves restriction of personal liberties which is not the case with preventive suspension. The period within which a public officer or employee charged is placed under preventive suspension shall not be considered part of the actual penalty of suspension imposed upon the employee found guilty.

‖ Such was affirmed by the CA.WHEREFORE. During the pendency of the case. The Court of Appeals (CA) found Quimbo guilty of simple misconduct only and penalized him with suspension from office for a period of two (2) months without pay. The distinction. by considering the purpose aspect of the suspensions. J. Preventive suspension is merely a preventive measure. ACTING OMBUDSMAN MARGARITO GERVACIO et al. THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales. a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. Provincial Engineer of Samar. he was placed under preventive suspension without pay. Quimbo filed a Motion for Modification/Reconsideration calling attention to the fact that he had been on preventive suspension from March 18. a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. then he shall accordingly be penalized. 1998 to June 1. removed or dismissed. a general foreman. the charge is established and the person investigated upon is found guilty warranting the imposition of penalty. Quimbo. 466 SCRA 277 (2005). QUIMBO vs GERVACIO Case Digest PRUDENCIO QUIMBO v. the charge is established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his suspension or removal. then he is suspended. FACTS: Petitioner Prudencio C. and that if after such investigation. This is the penalty. the petition is hereby DENIED. This was approved by the Ombudsman. is readily cognizable as they have different ends sought to be achieved. Costs against petitioner. If after such investigation. was administratively charged for harassment and oppression by Elmo V. 1998 and praying that the order under reconsideration be modified ―to ta ke into account the period of his PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION of 2 MONTHS and 17 DAYS WITHOUT PAY as part of the final penalty imposed. The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman found Quimbo guilty of oppression and recommended that he be ―suspended from office for a period of eight (8) months without pay. not a penalty or punishment. Padaon (Padaon). The purpose of the suspension order is to prevent the accused from using his position and the powers and prerogatives of his office to influence potential witnesses or tamper with records which may be vital in the prosecution of the case against him. ISSUE: Whether or not the preventive suspension pending the investigation is a penalty HELD: Jurisprudential law establishes a clear-cut distinction between suspension as preventive measure and suspension as penalty. SO ORDERED. .) Preventive suspension is merely a preventive measure. The Ombudsman clarified that ―preventive suspension is not a penalty but a preliminary step in an investigation.

292) and other Pertinent Civil Service Laws.That preventive suspension is not a penalty is in fact explicitly provided by Section 24 of Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. Clearly. As stated in Sec. . 24. the period within which one is under preventive suspension is not considered part of the actual penalty of suspension. preventive suspension is not a punishment or penalty for misconduct in office but is considered to be a preventive measure. To rule otherwise is to disregard above-quoted Sections 24 and 25 of the Administrative Code of 1987 and render nugatory the substantial distinction between. service of the preventive suspension cannot be credited as service of penalty. So Section 25 of the same Rule XIV provides that the period within which a public officer or employee charged is placed under preventive suspension shall not be considered part of the actual penalty of suspension imposed upon the employee found guilty. and purposes of imposing preventive suspension and suspension as penalty. Not being a penalty.

GONZALES V. 97351 February 4. GONZALES. ROMERO. filed the petition as a class suit under Section 12. and COMMISSION ON AUDIT. Petitioner Ramon A. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT. J. CHAVEZ. . FRANCISCO I. No. HON. respondents.33. 1992 RAMON A. Gonzales. vs. in his capacity as Solicitor General.R. Rule 3 of the Rules of Court on the ground that the subject matters involved are of common and general interest to all Filipino citizens and taxpayers as they pertain to the enforcement of a public duty and the prevention of unlawful expenditure of public funds. petitioner. petitioner submits for the Court's adjudication the twin issues of whether or not the Solicitor General neglected his public duty by withdrawing as counsel for the Republic of the Philippines and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in cases he had filed in court and whether or not the PCGG acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in hiring private lawyers as a result of such withdrawal of appearance. as a citizen taxpayer.: In the instant petition for mandamus and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order. CHAVEZ Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.

December 3. one hundred nine (109) cases in the Sandiganbayan.According to the petitioner.00 in actual trial and/or P500. Therefore. 289417-2. September 12. No.700. it implied that it was "within the absolute discretion" of said public official. mandatorily require the Solicitor General to stand in the place of. 1990. hereby respectfully withdraws as counsel for plaintiff Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in the above-captioned case.00 plus appearance fee of P1. with the reservation. . 1990). if called for by circumstances in the interest of the government or if he is so required by the court.06. et al. 3 Petitioner contends that since the Solicitor General's withdrawal of appearance was made without any reason. one (1) case in the National Labor Relations Commission and another case in the Municipal Trial Court or a total of one hundred forty-four (144) cases.000.. 292 as well as the decisional law of "Orbos v. (Sgd.R. Makati. Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 92561.R. the Solicitor General has "no discretion to reject by withdrawing" as counsel for said entities. 478. to submit his comment/observation on incidents/matters pending with this Honorable Court. nineteen (19) of whom are trial lawyers. As a result of such withdrawal of appearance. Metro Manila. the PCGG hired forty (40) private lawyers." (G. the provisions of Executive Order No. 1 In December 1990. They would receive a monthly compensation of at least P10. the Solicitor General is the counsel for the Republic and the PCGG in thirtythree (33) cases before this Court. 478 and Section 35 of the Administrative Code of 1987. the Solicitor General withdrew as counsel in said cases through a pleading entitled "Withdrawal of Appearance with Reservation.) FRANCISCO I. to this Honorable Court. CHAVEZ IBP O. however. however.00 if trial is postponed.90 The Solicitor General filed a substantially similar pleading in the cases where the Republic is a party. Civil Service Commission. and act for the Republic and the PCGG in court. conformably with Presidential Decree No." 2 The pleading states: The SOLICITOR GENERAL. No.

he loses his standing in court. proceeding." 5 Moreover. the Solicitor General is the lawyer of the government. ordinance or executive order for which Rule 3 Section 23 of the Rules of Court 6 mandates his appearance.Applying the ruling of this Court with respect to a fiscal in Sta. Furthermore. law. as it constitutes an act against a mandatory law and hence. he must proceed to discharge his duty (not withdraw. 4 the petitioner further states that: "Similarly. the Solicitor General's withdrawal of appearance in said several cases is null and void. His services cannot be lightly rejected. Civil Service Commission 8 wherein this Court held: In the discharge of this task the Solicitor General must see to it that the best interest of the government is upheld within the limits set by law. Rosa Mining Co. which is equivalent to refusal to prosecute). . investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. . it may be attacked collaterally. xxx xxx xxx There are cases where a government agency declines the services of the Solicitor General or otherwise fails or refuses to forward the papers of the case to him for appropriate action. Zabala. petitioner avers that the Solicitor General cannot withdraw his appearance "with reservation" nor can he file his "comment/observation on the incident/matters" after such withdrawal because by ceasing to appear as counsel. and let the court decide the merits of the case. The Court finds and so holds that this practice should be stopped. Neither may the Solicitor General withdraw on the authority of Orbos v. To repeat. . hence regardless of his personal convictions or opinions. any of its agents and officials in any litigation. under Section 26. The exception is when such officials or agents are being charged criminally or are being civilly sued for damages arising from a felony. of Rule 138. the Solicitor General is not authorized to appear therein after his withdrawal as counsel inasmuch as he himself is not a party-litigant. Since there was no such court authority. . 7 the Solicitor General may not unilaterally withdraw his appearance without the consent of the Republic or the PCGG unless the court authorizes his withdrawal. much less ignored by the officer or officials concerned. it is the duty of the Solicitor General to appear for the Republic and the PCGG. . Unless a case involves the constitutionality of a treaty. v.

He should be given full support and cooperation by any agency or official involved in litigation. For unlike private lawyers who are bound to their clients by contract and. this case militates more against the Solicitor General than in his favor. in the absence of a law providing for the creation of the office of PCGG counsel. the PCGG is creating a public office and naming a public officer. This Court does not expect the Solicitor General to waver in the performance of his duty. the Court appreciates the participation of the Solicitor General in many proceedings and his continued fealty to his assigned task. The Court must be advised of his position just as well. the Solicitor General has to prosecute or defend the said cases to the best of his ability. through the abolition of PCGG or resignation of the Solicitor General. For if the government and its officials cannot reject the services of the Solicitor General. Hence. Otherwise. His burden of assisting in the fair and just administration of justice is clear. (Emphasis supplied) The petitioner adds the following observations: 9 Therefore. Since the Solicitor General is named by law as the lawyer for all government agencies. . petitioner contends.Indeed. therefore. neither may the latter select the case he would represent by withdrawing in some and retaining others. 2 and 14 does it appear that the PCGG is authorized to hire said lawyers. And he should do no less for his clients. the relationship should continue sans PCGG demurring. Nowhere in Executive Order Nos. He should not therefore desist from appearing before this Court even in those cases he finds his opinion inconsistent with the government or any of its agents he is expected to represent. and the Solicitor General withdrawing. can reject cases offered to them. the assistance of the Solicitor General should be welcomed by the parties. Thus. As a matter of fact. However. by employing private lawyers. He should be enabled to faithfully discharge his duties and responsibilities as the government advocate. the PCGG acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in hiring private lawyers as substitutes for the Solicitor General. can untie the marital knot. And only a divorce. 1. the Solicitor General and PCGG are wedded to each other by statute for better and for worse. Absent such resignation or abolition. the hiring of private lawyers by such agencies is impliedly excluded. said hired lawyers are usurpers or intruders whose acts may be challenged in a collateral proceeding such as an action for prohibition.

the Court required the respondent to file their respective comments on the petition without granting the prayer for a temporary restraining order. under COA Circular No. it has hired lawyers in the United States and in Switzerland. 1989." 13 . the hiring of private lawyers by government agencies and instrumentalities is prohibited unless there is prior written conformity of the Solicitor General or the Government Corporate Counsel. Such provision does not preclude the PCGG from engaging the services of private lawyers in the same way that it is "clearly authorized to hire accountants. as the case may be." 11 Neither has the COA allowed in post-audit the disbursements of funds in payment of the services of the hired private lawyers. the Commission on Audit (COA) alleges that it has not allowed the disbursement of funds to pay for the services of PCGG-hired private lawyers. Stressing the need to preserve the status quo until the determination of his rights as a citizen and taxpayer. upon the dictates of legal and practical necessity. While such authority is not expressly stated in said executive orders. appraisers. if necessary. to establish the techniques and methods required therefor. 89-299 dated March 21. prohibition will lie against the Commission on Audit considering that any payment for the services of the PCGG-hired lawyers would result in an unlawful expenditure of public funds. 10 In its comment. 14 to "file and prosecute all cases investigated by it" includes "the grant of discretion to the Commission in determining the manner of filing and prosecuting its cases including the matter of who. petitioner prays for the issuance of temporary restraining order. asserts in its comment that the scope of its authority under Executive Orders Nos. Maceren and lawyer Eliseo B. in particular. through Commissioner Maximo A. petitioner asserts. 86-255 dated April 2. Acting on the petition. the COA has withdrawn the pre-audit of transactions entered into by national government agencies pursuant to the constitutional provision that the COA has the exclusive authority to "define the scope of its audit and examination. "it may similarly hire Filipino lawyers in prosecuting its Philippine cases. for the fulfillment of its mandate. researchers and other professionals as it performs its functions.Similarly. the PCGG. 2 and 14 is broad enough to include the authority to engage the services of private lawyers. For its part." Since. however. Alampay. will control and supervise the prosecution of said cases. Moreover. as well as the written concurrence of COA." The phrase "with the assistance of the Office of the Solicitor General and other government agencies" simply means that the Solicitor General is called upon to render assistance to the PCGG and whether or not such discretion is required by the Commission is a matter of discretion on its part. 1. It points out the fact that under COA Circular No. 1986." 12 The PCGG contends that its power under Section 1 of Executive Order No. "it must be deemed necessarily implied in and subsumed under the expressly enumerated powers of the Commission.

with more reason may it be allowed to hire private prosecutors after it was abandoned by the Solicitor General in the prosecution of the ill-gotten wealth cases.The PCGG further asserts that the hiring of private lawyers is "not an ultra vires" act but a "means by which (it) can effectively exercise its powers. 14 The PCGG clarifies that its powers are circumscribed not only by the executive orders aforementioned but also by the inherent police power of the State." 16 Solicitor General Francisco I. the subject is a closed matter among the OSG. Thus. the PCGG avers that inasmuch as the Central Bank of the Philippines or the Philippine National Bank may engage the services of private lawyers. Kilayko and Solicitor Iderlina P. Its own Litigation Division. As such. Contending that "overwhelming necessity" impelled it to hire private lawyers. the prayer for a preliminary injunction must be denied otherwise "the harm that would be done would be far greater than the perceived mischief petitioner seeks to prevent. the PCGG and the Courts. By hiring private lawyers." 15 The PCGG concludes that the reasonableness of the compensation for its hired lawyers can hardly be questioned considering the expertise of said lawyers and the complexity of the cases they would be handling for the PCGG. the OSG sets out at length the history of the PCGG from its creation until the filing in the Sandiganbayan of thirty-nine (39) " prima facie cases" for ill-gotten wealth against former President Marcos and his cronies. As suits and countersuits stemmed from the original thirty-nine (39) civil cases. Chavez inhibits himself from appearing in this case "considering that as far as the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG for brevity) is concerned. Consequently." 17 In the comment filed by Assistant Solicitor General Edgardo L. Pagunuran. it was the Executive which determined the necessity of engaging the services of private prosecutors. "the Solicitor General's withdrawal of assistance is tantamount to his tacit approval of the PCGG's hiring of private prosecutors in replacement of the solicitors handling the said civil cases." The PCGG tried to seek the assistance of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel but only the former sent two additional prosecutors to handle its cases. it was merely trying to assist the President of the Philippines in protecting the interest of the State. is "sorely undermanned" but it has to contend with "affluent and influential individuals and entities" who can "afford to hire skilled lawyers and organize vast litigation networks. "the OSG had been put to a tremendous task and thus invariably in . which was constituted after the Solicitor General's withdrawal." It emphasizes the fact that it hired private lawyers "only after the Officer of the Solicitor General had unilaterally withdrawn its appearance" for the PCGG in the various pending PCGG-instituted cases. it was acting as an alter ego of the President and therefore.

to boot (Razon case). the PCGG through nationwide TV broadcast and print media. although constant consultation and advice are sine qua non in both types of relationship." The OSG further explains: 18 On many a time. the OSG lawyers faced the challenge and the odds if only to live up to their task as "the best lawyers there are in the country. the lack of the above-mentioned consultation or information resulted in situations that rendered the OSG unavoidably incapable of performing its functions and duties as Lawyer of the Government. but also in consonance with its office motto: "Integrity In Advocacy. created as it is by law. albeit the same may run counter to its client's position or route of action. the Government and the State.e. i. September 12. only to be informed by the adverse party waving a document before the Sandiganbayan Justices that the sequestration had earlier been lifted. All the instances need not be enumerated here. publicly announced that PCGG had disposed with or otherwise did not need the legal services of the Lawyer of the Government. even before this Honorable Court. there is no obligation to do impossible things (Lim Co Chui v.urgent need of being consulted or informed by the PCGG of the facts and circumstances material to the prosecution and progress not only of the original 39 civil cases. is not at all like one that simply would obtain between private client and private lawyer in private practice. that a PCGG Commissioner had earlier by resolution authorized the disposition of the asset (COCOFED case). Paredes. but the time-honored principle of impossibilium nulla obligatio est. not the unmerited remark of having "abandoned" the ill-gotten wealth cases. even as OSG is rendered thereby a laughing stock in its professionalism. As to matters that are of great pith and moment. that an ill-gotten asset had "mysteriously" disappeared." and suffice it to state that the relationship. Then. not to mention the SMC-UCPB Compromise settlement. suffice it to say that the recent Benedicto "compromise" agreement. where imposed upon OSG is the responsibility to present to the courts the position that will uphold the best interests of the People. 47 Phil. 463). At any rate. 92561. not only as mandated upon it by law and as spelled out in Orbos v. G. but also of all kinds of "incidents. with a PCGG resolution. OSG argued. The relationship is rather one." Once the OSG argued before the Sandiganbayan that an asset was under sequestration. however. again. obtaining between the Government offices/agencies and the Office of the Solicitor General as counsel.. 1990. as they are not meat and substance. only to be informed by the Honorable Court. CSC. the document. however a time. and thus OSG descended. No.R. without in . is sub judice or under advisement not only of the Sandiganbayan but also of this Honorable Court in separate "incidents." Nonetheless.

any way casting any aspersion on the moral integrity of any Commissioner or PCGG official. It . 478.' G. a "real controversy" still exists and the issues raised herein have not ceased to exist either. a judgment of prohibition and mandamus would have a "practical legal effect and can be enforced. September 12. 23 and Tañada v." All the petitioner seeks is an "advisory opinion. Executive Order No. 24 petitioner asserts that he has a standing in court because where a question of public right is involved and the object of the mandamus is the enforcement of a public duty. the OSG contends that this case has become moot and academic as this very Court had resolved to allow the withdrawal of appearance of the Solicitor General in all the cases pending before it "with reservation. Tuvera.R. the relator need not show any legal or special interest in the result of the proceeding. However. it should have appeared through the Solicitor General." 22 Citing Miguel v. as well as the doctrine laid down in 'Orbos v. Court of Appeals. Zulueta.. the Solicitor General withdrew as counsel for PCGG in all said cases by filing a notice of "Withdrawal of Appearance with Reservation. Civil Service Commission. Hence. the Sandiganbayan had also resolved that "the appearance of the Solicitor General is deemed withdrawn to be substituted by the PCGG's legal panel. at rock-bottom precisely so as not to prejudice "the interest of the Government" (Orbos). No." 20 The OSG maintains further that the instant petition does not present a case and controversy as the petitioner himself does not even have a "court standing" and a "litigable interest. Inc. the petitioner insists that although as between the Solicitor General and the PCGG. in the light of all the foregoing circumstances." The OSG asserts that the "incident" (referring to the Solicitor General's withdrawal of appearance) should be distinguished from that in JPC Enterprise." 19 For its part. In his reply to the comments of the PCGG and the OSG. The OSG argues that said "adversarial incident" is not present in this case. as between him on the one hand and the Solicitor General and the PCGG on the other hand. 92561.. ." In arguing that the instant petition should be dismissed. 292. this case may have been rendered moot and academic. v. et al. 21 wherein the Assets Privatization Trust (APT) decided to appear for itself because the law names the Minister of Justice only as its ex oficio legal adviser while by itself it can file suits and institute proceedings and engage external expertise in the fulfillment of its tasks. Moreover. et al. conformably with PD No. 1990. . as made clear by the Solicitor General to the President in a meeting with PCGG. since the APT has no personality of its own. .

precepts. Time was of the essence and any hedging on the part of the PCGG and/or its counsel could. This Court has assiduously taken every opportunity to lay down brick by brick the doctrinal infrastructure of our legal system.D. he is interested in having the laws executed and the duty in question enforced. on account of the importance and imperativeness of the issues raised herein. this is no time for a display of judicial timorousness of the kind which the Solicitor General is untimely exhibiting now. No. if the case is of such magnitude that certain legal ambiguities must be unravelled for the protection of the national interest. 26 More so. confront a preliminary issue interposed by the OSG — whether or not this case has been rendered moot and academic by this Court's resolution granting the Solicitor General's motion to withdraw appearance as counsel in the several cases pending herein. . 478. the government's all-out efforts to recover ill-gotten wealth. not alone on the instant case but on future ones as well. Notwithstanding the ostensible mootness of the issues raised in a case. The petitioner rebuts the PCGG's contention that its power to hire private lawyers may be implied from its expressly enumerated powers. this Court has never shirked from its symbolic function of educating bench and bar by formulating guiding and controlling principles. 478 mandates that "the Solicitor General as law office of the government with the duty to appear for the PCGG. the law regarding the PCGG and that regarding the Solicitor General should be harmonized.is sufficient that. No. 27 To allow the transcendental issue of whether the OSG may withdraw its appearance in a cluster of cases of national import to pass into legal limbo simply because it has been "mooted" would be a clear case of misguided judicial self-restraint." no implication from the express powers of (the) PCGG can stand against the language of P. Accordingly. He asserts that since P. as a citizen.D. doctrines and rules. the filing of memoranda by the parties is dispensed with. not merely set back but prejudice. we confront the issue conscious of their far-reaching implications. 25 The Court considers these pleadings sufficient bases for resolving this petition and. which the OSG will surely be called upon to handle again and again. It should be clarified that the resolution had to be issued with the national interest in mind. first of all. We shall. Certainly. On the other hand.

civil and criminal. 136 dated June 11. whenever he deems it for the interest of the Philippine Government. ." Section 40 states: There shall be an Attorney-General for the Philippine Islands. it shall be the especial duty of the Solicitor-General to conduct and argue suits and appeals in the Supreme Court. to which the Government of the Philippine Islands. Incorporated in Act No. and the Attorney-General may. . or any officer thereof. is a party . a flashback on the statutory origins of the Office of the Solicitor General is in order. called the Solicitor-General who shall be appointed by the Commission . . either in person conduct and argue any case in any court of the Philippine Islands in which the Philippine Government is interested or may direct the Solicitor General to do so. In case of a vacancy in the office of Attorney-General. . Under the supervision of the Attorney-General. 1901 28 providing for the organization of courts in the Philippine Islands was Chapter III entitled "The Attorney General. (Emphasis supplied) .The resolution of the first issue laid down at the beginning of this ponencia hinges on whether or not the Solicitor General may be compelled by mandamus to appear for the Republic and the PCGG. the Solicitor-General shall have power to exercise the duties of that office. 29 Section 41 further provides: There shall be an officer learned in the law to assist the Attorney-General in the performance of all his duties. in which the Philippine Government is interested. . . The catalog of his duties includes the following: He shall prosecute or defend therein all causes. to be appointed by the Philippine Commission . or of his absence or disability. At this juncture. This issue is best resolved by a close scrutiny of the nature and extent of the power and authority lodged by law on the Solicitor General. in his official capacity.

No. 40 In the same manner. learned in the law. 1901 providing for the organization of. among others. On July 20. the position of Solicitor-General was created as an assistant to the Attorney-General.Six months later. Act No. 34 In 1932. 335. a law was passed reorganizing the Office of the Attorney-General and providing for the appointment of the said official and the Solicitor General by the Civil Governor and for an increase in their salaries. their respective positions and functions remain the same. 30 In the meantime. of the Secretary of Justice. the Solicitor General. otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1917. 33 As principal law officer of the Government. the Bureau of Justice is specifically constituted "the law office of the Government of the Philippine Islands and by it shall be performed duties requiring the services of a law officer. appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate." 38 When the Department of Justice was established in 1870. The Attorney-General of the United States. and agents in any official investigation.S. 31 Under Act No. 41 In contrast. Subsequently. is appointed to assist the Attorney-General in the performance of his duties. created by the First U. Their duties remained basically the same. a series of amendatory laws designed to enlarge the complement of the .S. these institutions were patterned after the Office of Attorney-General. has come to his own. the Solicitor-General of the Philippines. 2711. the Attorney-General shall have authority to act for and represent the Government of the Philippine Islands. bestowed on him the rank of Undersecretary of a Department. or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. 222 was passed on September 5. learned in the law. is now the head of the Department of Justice. to act as Attorney-General for the U. proceeding. its officers. 1948. the office of the Attorney-General was phased out and his functions were assumed by the Secretary of Justice. 39 Over a century later." 32 Its chief officials are the Attorney-General and his assistant. 36 headed by the Solicitor General. the Department of Finance and Justice which embraced within its executive control the Bureau of Justice. Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789 which called for a "meet person. Republic Act. the Bureau of Justice came to be known as the Office of the Solicitor General. 35 Subsequently. 37 Parenthetically. emerging from the shadow of the Attorney-General and later. a Solicitor General. amending Section 1659 of the Administrative Code.

1987. During the martial law years. 1979 elevating the OSG into a Ministry with the same powers and functions defined in P. as such. 292 instituting the Administrative Code of 1987." These executive orders were capped by Executive Order No. "who is the principal law officer and legal defender of the Government. by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 35. 1974. 1975. investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. — The office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines. shall discharge duties requiring the services of a lawyer.D. Powers and Functions. (Emphasis supplied. as it were. Marcos leaned heavily on his Solicitor General to provide legal underpinnings of his official acts. Chapter 12 thereof. 552 dated August 14. honors and privileges pertaining to the position. its pivotal role in the government became clearly defined and delineated. 1976 "making the Solicitor General a member of the Cabinet. P. Under Book IV. or on July 25." Said executive order was superseded by Executive Order No. the Court of Appeals. 454 enacted on September 23. conferring upon the Solicitor General the rank of a member of the Cabinet "with all the rights. When authorized by the President or head of the office concerned. President Ferdinand E. represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court. it shall also represent government owned or controlled corporations. .Office of the Solicitor General was enacted 42 until on June 4. President Corazon C. Reflective of the tremendously enhanced power of the official and the position was Executive Order No.D. The Office of the Solicitor General shall constitute the law office of the Government. After the change of administration. its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation. Title III. Aquino signed into law Executive Order No. the Magna Carta of the Office of the Solicitor General. and. 478 and 1347. 478." the Office shall have a Legal Staff composed of fifteen (15) Assistant Solicitors General and such number of Solicitors and Trial Attorneys "as may be necessary to operate the Office which shall divided into fifteen (15) divisions. 43 Among its powers and functions are the following which are relevant to the issues: Sec." Headed by the Solicitor General. 478 became. Nos. proceeding.) It shall have the following specific powers and functions: (1) Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal proceedings. 473 dated August 12. the Office of the Solicitor General is described as an "independent and autonomous office attached to the Department of Justice. and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party.

xxx xxx xxx (8) Deputize legal officers of government departments. body or commission in any matter. action or proceeding which. guarantee. offices. bond. in addition to their regular compensation. Where proceedings are to be conducted outside of the Philippines. bureau. and (12) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law. (11) Act for the Republic and/or the people before any court. Departments. brought before the courts and exercise supervision and control over such legal Officers with respect to such cases. the Solicitor General may employ counsel to assist in the discharge of the aforementioned responsibilities. initiate court action.(2) Investigate. the Solicitor General and his staff are specifically authorized to receive allowances as may be provided by the Government offices. upon the instructions of the President of the Republic of the Philippines in international litigations. 44 . mortgage. instrumentalities and corporations concerned. (10) Represent. corporation or firm for the enforcement of any contract. agencies and offices to assist the Solicitor General and appear or represent the Government in cases involving their respective offices. agency or instrumentality of the Government for such service. agencies. affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require. negotiations or conferences where the legal position of the Republic must be defended or presented. tribunal. pledge or other collateral executed in favor of the Government. instrumentalities and corporations to whom the Office of the Solicitor General renders legal services are authorized to disburse funds from their sundry operating and other funds for the latter Office. For this purpose. or in any manner proceed against any person. assistance and cooperation as may be necessary in fulfilling its function and responsibilities and for this purpose enlist the services of any government official or employees in the pursuit of his tasks. (9) Call on any department. bureaus. in his opinion . office. bureaus.

If a different interpretations if sought. unless a contrary intent appears. Moreover.In thus tracing the origins of the Office of the Solicitor General to gain a clear understanding of the nature of the functions and extent of the powers of the Solicitor General himself. particularly if public policy is in favor of this meaning or when public interest is involved. Sound government operations require consistency in legal policies and practices among the instrumentalities of the State. It has the invariable significance of operating to impose a duty which may be enforced. from Act No. Under the principles of statutory construction. 136 (1901) to the more recent Executive Order No. the term "shall" is a word of command. Spread out in the laws creating the office is the discernible intent which may be gathered from the term "shall. too. These took the form mostly of representing the Government in various legal proceedings. in this case. an official learned in the law and skilled in advocacy could best plan and coordinate the strategies and moves of the legal battles of the different arms of the government. and not in a directory. must have weighed heavily in arriving at such a decision. it must rest upon something in the character of the legislation or in the context which will justify a different meaning. the term "shall" is nothing if not mandatory. It is patent that the intent of the lawmaker was to give the designated official. it is evident that a policy decision was made in the early beginnings to consolidate in one official the discharge of legal functions and services in the government. or where the public or persons have rights which ought to be exercised or enforced. the unequivocal mandate to appear for the government in legal proceedings. so familiar even to law students. In common or ordinary parlance and in its ordinary significance. The rationale behind this step is not difficult to comprehend. Surely. 46 . sense. the economy factor. and it is generally imperative or mandatory. 292 (1987). 45 The presumption is that the word "shall" in a statute is used in an imperative." which is invariably employed. the Solicitor General. and one which has always and which must be given a compulsory meaning.

in which case he is called upon "to share in the task and responsibility of dispensing justice and resolving disputes. ." 49 Another role of the Solicitor General is an officer of the Court. . in his official capacity. to speak or act with authority on behalf of another. . and whose interest." therefore. therefore. or any officer thereof. The Court then declared: In this jurisdiction." 48 Being a public officer. he may be enjoined in the same manner that a special prosecutor was sought enjoined by this Court from committing any act which may tend to "obstruct. . its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation. it is the duty of the Attorney General "to perform the duties imposed upon him by law" and "he shall prosecute all causes. This is so because "the prosecuting officer is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy but of a sovereignty where obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligations to govern at all. We declared: Notwithstanding his personal convictions or opinions. pervert or impede and degrade the administration of justice. the Solicitor General is "invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. to which the Government of the Philippines Islands. it is the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the government since an offense is an outrage to the sovereignty of the State . to conduct and control proceedings in court on behalf of another. this Court granted a petition for mandamus to compel him to prosecute the case. . in criminal prosecution is . In the trial of criminal cases. .Exactly what is the signification of the mandate for the OSG "to represent the Government of the Philippines. civil and criminal. proceeding. of the party represented. is a party . to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. supplying the place. the fiscal must proceed with his duty of presenting evidence to the Court to enable the court to arrive at its own independent judgment as to the culpability of the accused. The fiscal should not shirk from his responsibility much less leave the prosecution of the case at the hands of a private prosecutor . or performing the duties or exercising the rights. 47 The decision of this Court as early as 1910 with respect to the duties of Attorney-General well applies to the Solicitor General under the facts of the present case. investigations or matter requiring the services of the lawyer?" To "represent" is standing in place." 50 In one case where a fiscal manifested before the trial court that he would not prosecute the case in court for insufficiency of evidence after his motion to dismiss had been denied.

conveyance. 1986. the two-fold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. however. his immediate family. prohibiting their transfer. . he is nevertheless an executive official of the Government. Like the Attorney-General of the United States who has absolute discretion in choosing whether to prosecute or not to prosecute or to abandon a prosecution already started. 54 Its exercise must be. abandon. . . but that justice shall be done. the above arguments apply equally well to the Solicitor General who is sought to be compelled to appear before the different courts to ensure that the case of the Republic of the Philippines against those who illegally amassed wealth at the expense the people maybe made to account for their misdeeds and return said wealth. relatives and close associates. and it is as an officer of the executive department that he exercises a discretion as to whether or not there shall be a prosecution in a particular case. created the PCGG. 55 The first executive order ever issued by President Aquino on February 28. investigation of "such cases of graft and corruption as the President may assign" to it. and the adoption of safeguards to ensure that corruption may not be again committed with impunity. not only within the parameters set by law but with the best interest of the State as the ultimate goal. discontinue or compromise suit either with or without stipulations with other party. This issuance was followed by Executive Order No. . thus: The discretionary power of the attorney for the United States in determining whether a prosecution shall be commenced or maintained may well depend upon matters of policy wholly apart from any question of probable cause. encumbrance or concealment. he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law. does not mean that the Solicitor General may just drop it without any legal and valid reason for the discretion given him is not unlimited. 53 Abandonment of a case. As such. the Attorney for the United States is an officer of the court. It charged the PCGG with the "task of assisting the President" in regard to the recovery of all ill-gotten wealth. 51 Undoubtedly. Such are reflected in its policies. It announced the government's policy of recovering all ill-gotten wealth amassed by former President Marcos. Although as member of the bar.not that it shall win a case. 52 our own Solicitor General may even dismiss. 1986 freezing all assets and properties of Marcos. his family and cronies. and requiring all persons in and outside of the Philippines who are in possession of said properties to make full disclosure of the same to the PCGG. 2 dated March 12.

— Based on the evidence adduced. 1. the Presidential Commission on Good Government. reparation of damages. 1. The Presidential Commission on Good Government shall file all such cases. Sec. as it is for the rest of the Government. forfeiture proceedings provided for under Republic Act No. 2 dated March 12. All these legal provisions ineluctably lead to no other conclusion but that under the law of its creation and the complementary Rules. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. Findings of the Commission. 14 defining the jurisdiction over cases involving such ill-gotten wealth was issued. Although the PCGG is "empowered to file and prosecute all cases investigated by it" under Executive Orders No. properties. 1986. A pertinent provision states: Sec. 1 and 2. 3. and Executive Order No. with the assistance of the Solicitor General and other government agencies. Civil suits for restitution. 1986. Executive Order No. or on May 7. hold or freeze orders lifted accordingly. the law office of the PCGG. 1986. or any other civil actions under the Civil Code or other existing laws. the Commission shall certify the case to the Solicitor General for appropriate action in accordance with law.On April 11. property or business enterprise in question constitute ill-gotten wealth as described in Executive Orders Nos. (Emphasis supplied). 10. in connection with Executive Order No. and other assets found to be lawfully acquired shall be immediately released and the writ of sequestration. whether civil or criminal. 2. which shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction thereof. (Emphasis supplied) Thereafter. it does not thereby oust the Office of the . may be filed separately from and proceed independently of any criminal proceedings and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence. funds. the PCGG promulgated its Rules and Regulations. 2. as may be warranted by its finding. 1 and 2. the Commission shall determine whether there is reasonable ground to believe that the asset. is the Office of the Solicitor General. 1986. In the event of an affirmative finding. 1986. with the Sandiganbayan. dated March 12. or indemnification for consequential damages. is hereby empowered to file and prosecute all cases investigated by it under Executive Order No. Business. 1379. Sec. it contains the following provisions: Sec. dated February 28.

the PCGG certifies to the Solicitor General the cases for which it had found reasonable ground to believe that certain assets and properties are ill-gotten under Executive Order Nos. On the contrary. The Office of the Solicitor General repeatedly invoked the ruling in Orbos v. abdicate his function through an arbitrary exercise of his discretion. proceeding. because he was appointed to the position on account of his qualification as a man "learned in the law. 56 particularly because he may not be licensed to appear before the courts in a foreign jurisdiction. the parties were reminded that under Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. At the risk of being repetitious. In those instances where proceedings are to be conducted outside of the Philippines. He may start the prosecution of the case by filing the appropriate action in court or he may opt not to file the case at all. he may even move for its dismissal in the event that. investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. along the way. He may do everything within his legal authority but always conformably with the national interest and the policy of the government on the matter at hand. he realizes that prosecuting the case would not serve the government's purposes. The Solicitor General shall then proceed "in accordance with law. In other words. Civil Service Commission. in said case. the Solicitor General. may employ counsel to assist him. 1 and 2. Under its own Rules and Regulations. the Solicitor General exercises his discretion in the management of the case. 57 which hardly constitutes authority to uphold its position with respect to the withdrawal of the Solicitor General in the instant case. proceeding. or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. 478 — The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines. investigation. After filing a case. (Emphasis supplied) ." Upon receipt of a case certified to him. Moreover. this Court struck down private respondent's motion to disqualify the OSG from appearing for petitioner Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Orbos.Solicitor General from its lawful mandate to represent the Government and its agencies in any litigation. however. He may not. specifically the provision aforequoted." the Solicitor General is obligated to perform his functions and to perform them well. such express grant of power to PCGG does not imply that it may abdicate such power and turn over the prosecution of the cases to private lawyers whom it may decide to employ. continuing to discharge his duties. We find that a withdrawal of appearance on flimsy or petty grounds is tantamount to withdrawing on no grounds at all and to a dereliction of duty. its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation.

the Solicitor General should not refrain from performing his duty as the lawyer of the government. and even the People of the Philippines." The Court further pointed out that it is not entirely impossible that the Office of the Solicitor General may take a position adverse to his clients like the Civil Service Commission and the National Labor Relations Commission. he being a part of the Executive Department. In the case at bar. especially the PCGG which is under the Office of the President. as in this case. was the public announcement through media made by the PCGG that it had "dispensed with or otherwise did not need the legal services of the lawyer of the government. the reason advanced by the Solicitor General for his motion to withdraw his appearance as lawyer for the PCGG is that he has been." 59 By the same token." 58 However. this practice should be estopped. however. the Solicitor General should not decline to appear in court to represent a government agency without just and valid reason." 60 It is evident that the withdrawal of the Solicitor General was precipitated by institutional pique. The Court enjoins him to "nevertheless manifest his opinion and recommendations to the Court which is an invaluable aid in the disposition of the case. more than once embarrassed in court and thereby made "a laughing stock in its (his) professionalism." Examples are when the OSG lawyers betrayed ignorance in open court of certain moves taken by the PCGG. . . in those cases where a government agency declines the services of the Solicitor General or otherwise fails or refuses to forward the papers of the case to him for appropriate action. among others. it is not proper for the Solicitor General to simply decline to handle the case or arbitrarily withdraw therefrom. the lawyers concerned having allowed their collective pride to prevail over their sense of duty in protecting and upholding the public interest.This Court clarified that even when "confronted with a situation where one government office takes an adverse position against another government agency. . the Court categorically held that ". such as the lifting of a sequestration of an asset or when it was under the impression that an asset had mysteriously disappeared only to be informed that "a PCGG Commissioner had earlier by resolution authorized the disposition of said asset. the government office adversely affected by the position taken by the Solicitor General. if it still believes in the merit of its case may appear in its own behalf through its legal personnel or representative. It is incumbent upon him to present to the court what he considers would legally uphold the best interest of the government although it may run counter to a client's position." The last straw. In such instances. In such an instance. as it were.

" 62 Now a word on the incidents that allegedly caused humiliation to the OSG lawyers. The OSG itself admitted refraining from citing other incidents as additional bases for the Solicitor General's withdrawal "as they are not of meat and substance" but apparently. withdraw its representation even if it has already entered its appearance. no surprises would have been sprung on the former by the latter in open court? . of whatever kind and degree. as that to which the individual lawyers assigned to appear for their office were subjected. holding regular. the Solicitor General. is not empowered to take a similar step on the basis of a petty reason like embarrassment. its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation. among other things. was misplaced. they could have checked themselves in time. For Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. in a civil suit for damages filed against him in a Regional Trial Court arising from allegedly defamatory remarks uttered by him. as the officially-mandated lawyer of the government. according to this Court. should be allowed to becloud their high sense of duty and commitment to country and people. thus provoking the Solicitor General into withdrawing his appearance as counsel for the PCGG. This is manifested by." 61 In instances such as the above. constant and untrammeled consultation with each other. Who can say but that if the communication lines had been kept open between the OSG and PCGG. 478 which authorizes the OSG to represent the Government of the Philippines. No litigation can be assured of success if counsel does not enjoy the confidence of his client. and that it is. Had they not been too preoccupied with their personal feelings. it stops short of representing "a public official at any stage of a criminal case or in a civil suit for damages arising from a felony. Such enthusiasm. No emotions. from the very beginning. had been constituted as the law office of the Government and the individuals through whom its powers and duties are exercised.One wistfully wishes that the OSG could have been as zealous in representing the PCGG as it was in appearing for the head of their office. But the Solicitor General. For a sense of professional responsibility and proper decorum would dictate that they distinguish between the institution which. admits of an exception. the OSG can. their overwhelming sense of shame overcame them as the OSG was "rendered thereby a laughing stock in its professionalism. with reason.

With every looming legal battle. refers to the "corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippines . not on substance but on whimsy. Were this Court to allow such action to remain unchallenged. constituted the law office of the Government whose specific powers and functions include that of representing the Republic and/or the people before any court in any action which affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require. Let it be remembered that the client is no less than the Republic of the Philippines in whom the plenum of sovereignty resides. Indeed. he has lost his standing in court. it were better to repeal the law than leave the various government agencies. Unless his views are sought by the court. after all. on the part of one who is presumed to be "learned in the law. it is to state the obvious that it can only act through the instrumentality of the government which. if called for by circumstances in the interest of the government or if he is so required by the court. the Solicitor General has offered "to submit his comment/observation on incidents/matters pending with this Honorable Court. Here is no ordinary lawyer-client relationship. all dependent on the OSG for legal representation. and that. he may not do so anymore after he has formally expressed his refusal to appear therein. Under such circumstances. Worse." In the face of such express refusal on the part of the Solicitor General to continue his appearance as counsel of the PCGG in the cases to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Filipino people from the Marcoses and their cronies." 63 And the OSG is. as correctly pointed out by the petitioner. the Solicitor General may not voluntarily appear in behalf of his client after his withdrawal from the case. is not well-taken. not mandatory but merely directory." However. In order to cushion the impact of his untimely withdrawal of appearance which might adversely affect the case. this could well signal the laying down of the novel and unprecedented doctrine that the representation by the Solicitor General of the Government enunciated by law is. such reappearance would constitute a blatant disregard for court rules and procedure. it is the Filipino people as a collectivity that constitutes the Republic of the Philippines.Petitioner's claim that the Solicitor General could not withdraw his appearance as lawyer of PCGG inasmuch as he had neither the consent of his client nor the authority from the court. according to the Administrative Code of 1987. while the Solicitor General may be free to express his views and comments before the Court in connection with a case he is handling. in a condition of suspenseful uncertainty. the PCGG has had to employ the service of a group of private attorneys lest the national interest be prejudiced. they will be speculating whether they can rely on the . that this option may be exercised on less than meritorious grounds. by law. the distinguished client of the OSG is the people themselves of which the individual lawyers in said office are a part. . . Whether regarded as an abstract entity or an ideal person. depending on the all too human frailties of the lawyers in the OSG assigned to a particular case. otherwise. Thus. in the final analysis. applying the pertinent provision of the Rules of Court. For by then.

The Court is not compelling him to act in a particular way. In light of the foregoing. however. particularly to represent it in litigations. endowed with a broad perspective that spans the legal interests of virtually the entire government officialdom. resources. it is beyond cavil that it is the Solicitor General who has been conferred the singular honor and privilege of being the "principal law officer and legal defender of the Government. And such duty may be enjoined upon him by the writ of mandamus. promote and protect the public weal. there can be no other logical interpretation of Sec. considering the spirit and the letter of the law. 64 Rather. of the Filipino people. its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation. it can discern." One would be hard put to name a single legal group or law firm that can match the expertise. should not be construed to mean that his discretion in the handling of his cases may be interfered with. 35 of the Administrative Code than that it is. the OSG may be expected to transcend the parochial concerns of a particular client agency and instead. the vast concerns of the sovereign which it is committed to serve. From the historical and statutory perspectives detailed earlier in this ponencia. investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. Moreover. As a public official. mandatory upon the OSG to "represent the Government of the Philippines. And such duty may be enjoined upon him by the writ of mandamus. but as well. Given such objectivity. the Court is directing him to prevent a failure of justice 65 resulting from his abandonment in midstream of the cause of the PCGG and the Republic and ultimately. the public and the various sectors.Solicitor General to defend the Government's interest or whether they shall have to depend on their own "in-house" resources for legal assistance. the Solicitor General's withdrawal of his appearance on behalf of the PCGG was beyond the scope of his authority in the management of a case. indeed. The government owes it to its officials and their respective offices. the panoply that is the forest and not just the individual trees. that have dealings with it. the political units at different levels. staff and prestige of the OSG which were painstakingly built up for almost a century. it is his sworn duty to provide legal services to the Government. metaphorically speaking. The Court is firmly convinced that. local and international. Such order. . to assure them of a degree of certitude and predictability in matters of legal import. Not merely will it strive for a legal victory circumscribed by the narrow interests of the client office or official. experience. proceeding." Sound management policies require that the government's approach to legal problems and policies formulated on legal issues be harmonized and coordinated by a specific agency.

their friends and relatives was to prosper. the PCGG's action is justified. to be represented in court by the public officer duly authorized by law. . 66 The writ of prohibition. Jr. SO ORDERED. JJ. 67 Having been placed in a situation where it was constrained to hire private lawyers if the Republic's campaign to legally recover the wealth amassed by the Marcoses. and Nocon. it was not entirely blameless. concur. through the PCGG and the Republic. being intended to prevent the doing of some act that is about to be done. However. Padilla. The Solicitor General is DIRECTED to immediately re-enter his appearance in the cases wherein he had filed a motion to withdraw appearance and the PCGG shall terminate the services of the lawyers it had employed but not before paying them the reasonable fees due them in accordance with rules and regulations of the Commission on Audit. Its failure to coordinate closely with the Solicitor General has spawned the incidents which culminated in the withdrawal of the latter from appearing as counsel in its cases. Paras. Regalado. Davide. Melencio-Herrera.. however. C. Gutierrez. concurs in the result. Griño-Aquino. WHEREFORE. part of the public which possesses the right. J. Cruz. Narvasa.. Medialdea. Jr. may not be similarly treated and granted in this petition..In view of the foregoing.. it may not provide a remedy for acts which are already fait accompli. there need be no proof adduced that the petitioner has a personal interest in the case. The said writ. This decision is immediately executory. Bidin. as his petition is anchored on the right of the people. the petition for a writ of mandamus is hereby GRANTED.J. Feliciano. The requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen and hence.

who signed a document . No. ARIAS. vs. Guerrero had also recommended the dropping of Arias from the information before it was filed. In acquitting the petitioners. Arias and Data be acquitted of the crime charged.R. GriñoAquino which follows this majority opinion. THE SANDIGANBAYAN. 1989 CRESENCIO D. Earlier. respondent. 81563 December 19. recommended that Messrs. However. G. The dissent substantially reiterates the draft report prepared by Justice Griño-Aquino as a working basis for the Court's deliberations when the case was being discussed and for the subsequent votes of concurrence or dissent on the action proposed by the report. respondent. the Court agrees with the Solicitor-General 1 who.: The facts of this case are stated in the dissenting opinion of Justice Carolina C. The Court feels that the quantum of evidence needed to convict petitioners Arias and Data beyond reasonable doubt. 1989 AMADO C.R. The division of the Court is on the conclusions to be drawn from those events and the facts insofar as the two petitioners are concerned. THE SANDIGANBAYAN. There is no question about the need to ferret out and convict public officers whose acts have made the bidding out and construction of public works and highways synonymous with graft or criminal inefficiency in the public eye. ARIAS V. Paredes Law Office for petitioner. J. in 80 pages of his consolidated manifestation and motion. petitioner. has not been satisfied. vs. SANDIGANBAYAN EN BANC G. JR. GUTIERREZ. There is no dispute over the events which transpired. with costs de oficio. 82512 December 19.34. The majority is of the view that Messrs. Arias and Data should be acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt.. No. DATA. Tanodbayan Special Prosecutor Eleuterio F. the remedy is not to indict and jail every person who may have ordered the project. as coconspirators in the conspiracy to cause undue injury to the Government through the irregular disbursement and expenditure of public funds. petitioner.

00 a square meter instead of the P5.incident to its construction. The alleged undue injury in a nutshell is the Government purchase of land in Pasig. The department head or chief auditor would be guilty of conspiracy simply because he was the last of a long line of officials and employees who acted upon or affixed their signatures to a transaction. not by the landowner. or inexcusable negligence. Pasig which had been assessed at P5. Herein lies the first error of the trial court. The Sandiganbayan.00 value per square meter appearing in the tax declarations and fixed by the municipal assessor. evident bad faith. Metro Manila is completely unrealistic and arbitrary as the basis for conviction. Metro Manila. The accused were prosecuted because 19. The records show that the six accused persons were convicted in connection with the overpricing of land purchased by the Bureau of Public Works for the Mangahan Floodway Project. and all chief auditors would be equally culpable for every crime arising from disbursements which they have approved. a department secretary. The project was intended to ease the perennial floods in Marikina and Pasig. Guilt must be premised on a more knowing.00 a square meter.00 per square meter value fixed by the assessor in the tax declarations was the correct market value of the Mangahan property and if the Government purchased the land for P80. It must be stressed that the petitioners are not charged with conspiracy in the falsification of public documents or preparation of spurious supporting papers.00 per square meter of land in Rosario. or who had a hand somewhere in its implementation.00 a square meter. it follows that it must have suffered undue injury. without any clear factual basis for doing so has assumed that the P5.004 square meters of "riceland" in Rosario. personal. and deliberate participation of each individual who is charged with others as part of a conspiracy. The Solicitor General explains why this conclusion is erroneous: . We agree with the Solicitor-General that the assessor's tax valuation of P5. The careless use of the conspiracy theory may sweep into jail even innocent persons who may have been made unwitting tools by the criminal minds who engineered the defraudation. Under the Sandiganbayan's decision in this case. The land for the floodway was acquired through negotiated purchase. Pasig. commission chairman. bureau chief. The charge is causing undue injury to the Government and giving a private party unwarranted benefits through manifest partiality. Rizal for P80.00 a square meter in 1973 were sold as residential land" in 1978 for P80. agency head.

thus. It forms the basis for a criminal conviction.00 a square meter for land in Pasig in 1978 would be a fair evaluation. whichever is lower. insofar as it says that the "correct" valuation .00 per square meter paid for the Agleham property as stated in the Deed of Sale (Exhibit G) is reasonable (tsn. For it is the essence of a contract of sale that there must be a meeting of the minds between the seller and the buyer upon the thing which is the object of the contract and upon the price (Article 1475. Rollo) A negotiated purchase may usually entail a higher buying price than one arrived at in the course of expropriation proceedings. taking into consideration such other factors as location. New Civil Code). 25-27. surroundings and capabilities. The value must be determined in eminent domain proceedings by a competent court. pp. that said property is surrounded by factories. in the fixing of which the landowner had no participation.00 to P500. pp. Hence.00 per square meter only as stated by the assessor in the tax declaration (Exhibit W). After taking the foregoing premises into consideration.1983.00 per square meter as the fair and reasonable price for the Agleham property. 310 [1987]) we struck down the martial law decree that pegged just compensation in eminent domain cases to the assessed value stated by a landowner in his tax declaration or fixed by the municipal assessor. arrived at the amount of P80. 22-23). the parties have.. that it cannot be P5. pp. The Court is not prepared to say that P80. No undue injury was caused to the Government a. potentials. "adjacent to the existing Leongson [Liamson] Subdivision . 256-259. the assessor's low evaluation. We are certain. it being the uniform rate for all ricefields in Pasig irrespective of their locations ( Ibid. pp. New Civil Code). 72-74). pp. p. 12-13). and that the assessed value is different from and always lower than the actual market value (Ibid. It was. p.00 per square rneter acquisition cost is just fair and reasonable. 76). admitted that the purchase price of P80. that the Agleham property is "around 300 meters" from Ortigas Avenue. It bears stress that the prosecution failed to adduce evidence to prove that the true and fair market value in 1978 of the Agleham property was indeed P5. Necessarily. that 'the value of lands within the town of Pasig ranges from P80. 20) and fair (Ibid. The P80.00 per square meter assessed valuation of the Agleham property appearing on the tax declaration (Exhibit W) was based on actual use only (lbid.00' (Ibid. the decision. 72-74) and did not take into account the existence of many factories and subdivisions in the area (Ibid. the parties have to negotiate the reasonableness of the price. Other factors must be considered. Dulay (149 SCRA 305. 73-74). (At pp. was used for a purpose infinitely more weighty than mere expropriation of land. therefor. It bears stress that the Agleham property was acquired through negotiated purchase. commercial establishments and residential subdivisions (Ibid. the prosecution's principal witness Pedro Ocol. In the instant case. August 19..1. 21). These factors must be determined by a court of justice and not by municipal employees. the Assistant Municipal Assessor of Pasig. pp.. On the contrary. that the P5.00 a square meter. 26-27). however. nothing more than an ordinary contract of sale where the purchase price had to be arrived at by agreement between the parties and could never be left to the discretion of one of the contracting parties (Article 1473. and near Eastland Garment Building" (Ibid. In Export Processing Zone Authority v.00 to P500. p.

Any executive head of even small government agencies or commissions can attest to the volume of papers that must be signed. There should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction. The Court would be asking for the impossible. argue that Arias should have probed records. however. is grounded on shaky foundations. A key tax declaration had a typewritten number instead of being machine-numbered. The Court's decision. in retrospect. multiple assignments or positions. Herein lies the principal error of the respondent court. The registration stampmark was antedated and the land reclassified as residential instead of ricefield. purchase supplies. inquire whether the correct amount of food was served and otherwise personally look into the reimbursement voucher's accuracy. letters and supporting paper that routinely pass through his hands. There are hundreds of document . The number in bigger offices or departments is even more appalling. question each guest whether he was present at the luncheon. But were the petitioners guilty of conspiracy in the falsification and the subsequent charge of causing undue in injury and damage to the Government? We can.is P5. We would be setting a bad precedent if a head of office plagued by all too common problems-dishonest or negligent subordinates. is based on a more basic reason. and prejudice to the Government because of gross overpricing. preparation. There has to be some added reason why he should examine each voucher in such detail. Was petitioner Arias part of the planning. overwork.00 per square meter and on that basis convicted that petitioners of causing undue injury. If a department secretary entertains important visitors. and sufficiency. and perpetration of the alleged conspiracy to defraud the government? . inspected documents. It is doubtful if any auditor for a fairly sized office could personally do all these things in all vouchers presented for his signature. his signature as the final approving authority. propriety. and investigate the motives of every person involved in a transaction before affixing. received procedures. or enter into negotiations. and questioned persons. There can be no overpricing for purposes of a criminal conviction where no proof adduced during orderly proceedings has been presented and accepted. damage. All heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent 'on their subordinates and on the good faith of those prepare bids. painstakingly trace every step from inception. There appears to be no question from the records that documents used in the negotiated sale were falsified. or plain incompetence is suddenly swept into a conspiracy conviction simply because he did not personally examine every single detail. the auditor is not ordinarily expected to call the restaurant about the amount of the bill.

Assuming that P80. 1978. Some lots in outlying or easily flooded areas may still be planted to rice or kangkong but this is only until the place is dedicated to its real purpose which is commercial. was conducted in the first week of October. 1978. but it depends on the kind of transaction there is. incident to payment of the purchase.000. 1978. petitioner Arias cites his testimony as follows: Q In conducting the pre-audit.320. The pre-audit.520. . However. Should the big amount of P1. Your Honor. who succeeded him as auditor and who took over the custody of records in that office. The seven months delay in the formal turnover of custody to the new auditor was explained by prosecution witness Julito Pesayco.00 a square meter. the other co-accused testified they did not know him personally and none approached him to follow up the payment.00 have caused him to investigate . 1981. 1978. the price has been stated. the transaction had already been consummated before his arrival. if land in Pasig was already worth P80. 1978 to June 23. there is no evidence transaction. the transaction had been consummated and the corresponding Transfer Certificate of little had been issued and transferred to the government of the Philippines.00 to P30. The main reason for the judgment of conviction.00 a square meter at the time. Arias explained that the rules of the Commission on Audit require auditors to keep these d documents and under no circumstance to relinquish custody to other persons. The Sandiganbayan asked why Arias kept the documents from October. if the land was really worth only P5. Title was transferred to the Republic on June 8. On the contrary. The auditors have no more leeway to return the papers and then question the purchase price. The negotiations for the purchase of the property started in 1977. industrial. did you determine the reasonableness of the price of the property? A In this case. gate the smallest detains of the transaction? Yes. Arias was auditor of the Bureau of Public Works in Pasig up to September 1.00 is indeed exorbitant. Arias points out that apart from his signature linking him to the signature on the voucher. or residential. for the finding of undue injury and damage to the Government is the alleged gross overprice for the land purchased for the floodway project. The falsification of the tax declaration by changing "riceland" to "residential' was done before Arias was assigned to Pasig besides.Arias joined the Pasig office on July 19. The deed of sale was executed on April 20. 1982.00 a square meter. Q Is it not a procedure in your office that before payment is given by the government to private individuals there should be a pre-audit of the papers and the corresponding checks issued to the vendor? A Correct. the decision should be based on firmer foundation. Land along Ortigas Avenue on the way to Pasig is now worth P20. If the Sandiganbayan is going to send somebody to jail for six years. no warning bell of intuition would have sounded an inner alarm.000. In other words. there is no such thing as "riceland" in inner Metro Manila.

he did not take any direct and active part in the acquisition of land for the Mangahan floodway. not only the tax declaration but also the certification by Mr. but in this particular case. 1987). April 27. Q My point is this. Cruz in relation to PD No. it was the committee which determined the authenticity of the documents presented to them for processing and on the basis thereof prepared the corresponding deed of sale.1987). Q And of course as auditor. (TSN. the committee submitted the .1987). p.. (TSN. Your Honor. 'watch-dog' of the government there is also that function you are also called upon by going over the papers . April 27. page 17. A They are not required documents that an auditor must see. is it not? A Yes. Q In this case you said that the title is already in the name of the government? A Yes. process claims and prepare the necessary documents. as members. In all cases usually. The questioning of the purchase price is now beyond the authority of the auditor because it is inasmuch as the amount involved is beyond his counter-signing authority. Ladislao Cruz. (At pp. Priscillo Fernando with Ricardo Asuncion. the sale was consummated. gather and verify documents.. Jose and Mr.Q Yes. Pedro Hucom and Carlos Jose.1987). Q That is usual procedure utilized in road right of way transaction? A Yes.. 18. April 27. Jose and Mr. (TSN. April 27.1987). 296. ma'am? Q Certification of Mr. specifically to handle the Mangahan Floodway Project.. page 22. page 35. negotiate with the owners for the sale of their lots. Alfonso Mendoza. Your Honor. The only thing we do is to determine whether there is an appropriation set aside to cover the said specification. the evidence on record shows that as the then District Engineer of the Pasig Engineering District he created a committee. there is a condition that no payments will be made unless the corresponding title in the payment of the Republic is committed is made. (TSN. . As of the price it is under the sole authority of the proper officer making the sale. . Your Honor. vouchers called upon to determine whether there is any irregularity as at all in this particular transaction. Petition. all employees of the district office. I . conduct surveys. Did you not consider it unusual for a piece of property to be bought by the government. Q Why not? A Because in the Deed of Sale as being noted there. the papers were transferred to the government without paying the price Did you not consider that rather odd or unusual? (TSN. Q And that was in fact the reason why you scrutinized also. Underlinings supplied by petitioner) The Solicitor General summarizes the participation of petitioner Data as follows: As regards petitioner Data's alleged participation. payments made by the government comes later than the transfer. Ma'am. the title was issued in favor of the government without the price being paid first to the seller? A No. April 27. page 23. Your Honor. headed by Engr. 15-16. and continuing: A . A No. thereafter. Cruz? A As what do you mean of the certification.

The inadequate evidence on record is not sufficient to sustain a conviction. (At pp. which resulted in the corresponding reduction in the purchase price from P1. . if any. February 26. Nowhere in the seventy. Rollo) We agree with the counsel for the People.520. respectively. there was no undue injury caused to the Government as the negotiated purchase of the Agleham property was made at the fair and reasonable price of P80. Data. There is no adequate evidence to establish the guilt of the petitioners. petitioner Data. of the purported fraud and falsifications alleged in the information That petitioners Data and Arias happened to be officials of the Pasig District Engineering Office who signed the deed of sale and passed on pre-audit the general voucher covering the subject sale. preparation and/or perpetration. as head of the office and the signing authority at that level.320. Arias and Cresencio D. (At pp. 10-14.00. there was nothing irregular in the use of the unapproved survey plan/technical description in the deed of sale because the approval of the survey plan/ technical description was not a prerequisite to the approval of the deed of sale. as indeed there was none.eight (78) page Decision was there any specific allusion to some or even one instance which would link either petitioner Arias or Data to their co-accused in the planning. It may be noted that there was a reduction in the affected area from the estimated 19.546. Rollo.00 per square meter. 31-32). petitioner Data did not know Gutierrez and had never met her during the processing and payment of her claims (tsn. 1624. after the approval of the deed of sale by the higher authorities the covering voucher for payment thereof was prepared which petitioner Data signed.) On the alleged conspiracy. Amado C. There was no direct finding of conspiracy. 273-275.546. What is important is that before any payment is made by the Government under the deed of sale the title of the seller must have already been cancelled and another one issued to the Government incorporating therein the technical description as approved by the Land Registration Commission.00 does not prove conspiracy. as aboveshown. merely signed but did not approve the deed of sale (Exhibit G) as the approval thereof was the prerogative of the Secretary of Public Works.004 square meters as approved by the Land Registration Commission. 267-268. the Solicitor General argues: It is respectfully submitted that the prosecution likewise has not shown any positive and convincing evidence of conspiracy between the petitioners and their co-accused.00 to Pl.240.240. The erasures in the deed of sale were simple corrections that even benefited the Government.520.deed of sale together with the supporting documents to petitioner Data for signing. beyond reasonable doubt. contrary to the respondent Court's suspicion. that they were part of the alleged plan to defraud the Government.328 square meters to 19. pp. does hot raise any presumption or inference.320. It should be remembered that. 1987. That there were erasures and superimpositions of the words and figures of the purchase price in the deed of sale from P1.00 to P1. the deed of sale was approved by the Asst. Respondent Court's inference on the alleged existence of conspiracy merely upon the purported 'pre-assigned roles (of the accused) in the commission of the (alleged) illegal acts in question is not supported by any evidence on record. on the basis of the supporting certified documents which appeared regular and complete on their face. Moreover. Secretary of Public Works after a review and re-examination thereof at that level. as what obtained in the instant case. he thereafter transmitted the signed deed of sale with its supporting documents to Director Anolin of the Bureau of Public Works who in turn recommended approval thereof by the Secretary of Public Works.

Petitioners Arias and Data are acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt. CASE DIGEST GR. Facts Petitioners Arias Arias (District Engineer) and Data (Chief Auditor). were found guilty by SB for violating sec. JR. Arias and Cresencio D. advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. Corrupt Practices of Public Officers-In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. . or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. Data petitioners vs. 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft Practices Act: SEC. 1989 Amado C. SO ORDERED.. including the Government. by allowing & approving the illegal disbursement & expenditure of public funds. No costs. 82512 December 19. No. Data is hereby SET ASIDE. Arias & Cresencio D. The decision of SB insofar as Arias & Data are concerned was overturned by the SC based on the reasoning of reliance of good faith on subordinates . evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.WHEREFORE. officials of the Province of Rizal were found guilty by the Sandiganbayan (SB) together with their subordinates and a private citizen (seller of land) for “having caused injury to & damage to the Republic of the Philippines” in connection with scandalous overpricing of land purchased by the Government as right of way for a floodway project. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions Arias and Data were convicted by SB violating the above provision together with their 3 subordinates & 1 private citizen Gutierrez (seller of land) (6 silang lahat na convicted). No. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxxxxxxxx (e) Causing any undue injury to any party. 81563 & GR. 3. J: Summary of Facts: Arias (District Engineer) and Data (Chief Auditor). the questioned decision of the Sandiganbayan insofar as it convicts and sentences petitioners Amado C. respondents. Petition to SC GUTIERREZ. The SANDIGANBAYAN.

when the Bureau of Public Works planned the “Mangahan Floodway Project” to ease the perennial floods in some parts of Marikina and Pasig. who recommended approval of the Deed of Sale and later returned to Data’s office. The case was on trial for 6 years. These documents were sent to Director Anolin of Bureau of Public Works. The implementation of this floodway project was entrusted to the Pasig Engineering District headed by Data (District Engineer). Several Government employees denied signing the certification and gave sworn statements. Data and Gutierrez both later signed the Deed of Sale. This floodway project will traverse certain portions of Ortigas. a General Voucher was prepared. an Assistant Mun. & ARCAYA) & private citizen GUTIERREZ guilty of violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. holding with her a Special Power of Attorney allegedly executed by Agleham. JOSE. For this sale.5.) -. for acquisition and improvements.The background of the story dates back in year 1975.m. riceland (subject matter in this case) owned by Agleham. who didn’t question the altered amount (snowflaked and amount superimposed) nor checked the veracity of the fake documents. This general voucher and other supporting documents were pre-audited and approved for payment by Arias (Chief Auditor). Data formed a committee headed by Fernando (Supervising Civil Engr) as over-all in-charge (Fernando did not face trial and remains at-large) and 3 other subordinates. The investigators also found that the Deed of Sale was approved by Arias for payment of P1. Arias then later issued 16 PNB checks for total sum of P1. Officer) while Cruz (Senior Engineer) initialed the documents & prepared a Deed of Sale.Cruz. This committee was tasked to inform affected lot owners affected by the floodway project and to receive and process payments. which was previously owned by parents of Gutierrez (private citizen & convicted co-accused) from whom Agleham acquired his property. for the amount of P1. Cruz later transmitted them to District Engineer Data. petioner and convicted coaccused . Among the lot owners affected was a 19.m. where the land sold by Gutierrez to the Govt (subject matter in this case) was located. showing among others that the subject property is actually a riceland (but classified as residential) and overpriced at P80/sq. and one accountant). and SB found 2 petitioners ARIAS & DATA. Tax Declaration Certificate purporting that the land was residential with fair market value of P80/sq m. Hence the sale was registered and a TCT was issued in the name of the Govt. an investigation was conducted by the Ministry of National Defense on this alleged gross overpricing of Agleham’s property.5M plus for Gutierrez as payment of property in 1978.5M plus with certifications of Data and his 3 subordinates (Fernando . their 3 subordinates (CRUZ.e. 004 sq. In this regard.m. and Jose the Instrument man for surveys (Mendoza & Jose are 2 other convicted co-accused). Assessor who provided the genuine Tax Declaration Certificate. These documents were submitted to 2 other convicted co-accused -examined by Arcaya (Admin. (instead of appraised value of P5/sq. In her application. In 1979. .showing that the officials of the District Engineering Office falsified them . The subordinates were Mendoza & Hucom. One of them is Oco. M etro Manila. Gutierrez was one of those who filed an application for payment. she submitted fake and falsified documents i.

that it cannot be P5. the auditor is not ordinarily expected to call the restaurant about the amount of the bill. The negotiations for the purchase of the property started in 1977. The Court is not prepared to say that P80.00 a square meter for land in Pasig in 1978 would be a fair evaluation. 1978. The number in bigger offices or departments is even more appalling. Arias (District Engineer) and Data (Chief Auditor) appealed. letters and supporting paper that routinely pass through his hands. The value must be determined in eminent domain proceedings by a competent court. and deliberate participation of each individual who is charged with others as part of a conspiracy . in retrospect. There has to be some added reason why he should examine each voucher in such detail. But were the petitioners guilty of conspiracy in the falsification and the subsequent charge of causing undue in injury and damage to the Government? We can. is grounded on shaky foundations. the transaction had already been consummated before his arrival. ISSUE: WON SB petitioners ARIAS and DATA are guilty as co-conspirators in the conspiracy to cause injury to the Government through the irregular disbursement and expenditure of public funds.00 have caused him to investigate . argue that Arias should have probed records. without any clear factual basis for doing so has assumed that the P5. propriety. Under the Sandiganbayan's decision. There should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction. overwork. There are hundreds of document . and prejudice to the Government because of gross overpricing. Hence. inquire whether the correct amount of food was served and otherwise personally look into the reimbursement voucher's accuracy. only the 2 petitioners. There appears to be no question from the records that documents used in the negotiated sale were falsified. agency head. and investigate the motives of every person involved in a transaction before affixing. 1978. The registration stampmark was antedated and the land reclassified as residential instead of ricefield. 3. it follows that it must have suffered undue injury. and all chief auditors would be equally culpable for every crime arising from disbursements which they have approved . A key tax declaration had a typewritten number instead of being machine-numbered. or plain incompetence is suddenly swept into a conspiracy conviction simply because he did not personally examine every single detail. It forms the basis for a cr iminal conviction by the SB.00 per square meter value fixed by the assessor in the tax declarations was the correct market value of the Mangahan property and if the Government purchased the land for P80. multiple assignments or positions.00 to P500. insofar as it says that the "correct" valuation is P5. and sufficiency. The department head or chief auditor would be guilty of conspiracy simply because he was the last of a long line of officials and employees who acted upon or affixed their signatures to a transaction. The Sandiganbayan. question each guest whether he was present at the luncheon. purchase supplies. gate the smallest detains of the transaction? . 1978. NO RATIO: No. bureau chief. damage. It is doubtful if any auditor for a fairly sized office could personally do all these things in all vouchers presented for his signature. Title was transferred to the Republic on June 8. the decision. In other words. was used for a purpose infinitely more weighty than mere expropriation of land.00 per square meter and on that basis convicted that petitioners of causing undue injury. BASIC REASON OF SC: We would be setting a bad precedent if a head of office plagued by all too common problems-dishonest or negligent subordinates.520. his signature as the final approving authority. 1. and questioned persons. 2. received procedures. In the instant case. All heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent 'on their subordinates and on the good faith of those prepare bids. The deed of sale was executed on April 20. however.00 a square meter. If a department secretary entertains important visitors. Any executive head of even small government agencies or commissions can attest to the volume of papers that must be signed.00 a square meter.Among the 6 convicted accused. inspected documents. Guilt must be premised on a more knowing. The Court would be asking for the impossible. the assessor's low evaluation. Should the big amount of P1.320. ARIAS’ PARTICIPATION: Arias joined the Pasig office on July 19. painstakingly trace every step from inception. personal. There can be no overpricing for purposes of a criminal conviction where no proof adduced during orderly proceedings has been presented and accepted. We are certain. a department secretary. commission chairman. in the fixing of which the landowner had no participation. or enter into negotiations.

the authenticity of the documents presented to them for approval. HELD: SB decision SET ASIDE insofar as it convicts and sentences petitioners Arias & Data. on the basis of the supporting certified documents which appeared regular and complete on their face. Since partiality is a mental state or predilection. . Inadequacy of evidence is not sufficient to warrant a conviction. petitioner Data. if land in Pasig was already worth P80. DATA’S PARTICIPATION: The committee he formed determined the authenticity of the documents presented to them for processing and on the basis thereof prepared the corresponding deed of sale. in the absence of direct evidence.Yes.00 a square meter. no warning bell of intuition would have sounded an inner alarm.00 a square meter. as head of the office and the signing authority at that level.000.The petitioner's partiality for Agleham/Gutierrez may be inferred from their having deliberately closed their eyes to the defects and irregularities of the transaction in his favor and their seeming neglect. if not deliberate omission. Land along Ortigas Avenue on the way to Pasig is now worth P20. thereafter. merely signed but did not approve the deed of sale as the approval thereof was the prerogative of the Secretary of Public Works for its final approval. if the land was really worth only P5. DISSENTING OPINION OF GRINO-AQUINO: Conspiracy of Silence and Inaction .00 to P30.00 a square meter at the time. to check.000. However. it may be proved by the attendant circumstance instances. They are both acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt. the committee submitted the deed of sale together with the supporting documents to petitioner Data for signing.

by boarding the Light Railway Transit (LRT) from Sen. Hon. . Thus. petitioner went to the Regional Office of the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Taguig. CRUZ V. However. (2) Whether she should be held accountable for its loss. As an accountable officer. She did so through a Memorandum. CELSO D. Dr.988) and that of its case (P250). Gil Puyat Avenue to Monumento. the resident auditor [4] denied the request of petitioner on the ground that the latter lacked the diligence required in the custody of government properties. she has to answer for its loss as required under Section 105 of PD 1445. Under a 2nd Indorsement dated February 26. the COA found no sufficient justification to grant the request for relief from accountability. The matter was then elevated to the Commission on Audit. all efforts to locate the thief and to recover the phone proved futile. On board the LRT. in turn. The auditor’s action was sustained by the director of the National Government Audit Office II (NGAO II). The Facts On Friday afternoon of January 15. she was under obligation to exercise proper degree of care and diligence in safeguarding the property. failed to exercise that degree of diligence required under the circumstances to prevent/avoid the loss. vs. cannot be made as the basis in granting the herein request for relief from accountability since the accountable officer. a total of P4. petitioner was ordered to pay the purchase value of the cell phone (P3.238. taking into account what a reasonable and prudent man would have done under the circumstances. Issues (1) Whether or not the petitioner failed to exercise that degree of diligence required to prevent the loss of the government-issued cellular phone when she opted to take the light railway transit (LRT) and. indorsed the request to the resident auditor. On appeal. her handbag was slashed and its contents stolen by an unidentified person. this however. 1999.[3] After the meeting. petitioner went back to her official station in Caloocan City. where she was the then Camanava district director of the TESDA. Among the items taken from her were her wallet and the government-issued cellular phone. GANGAN. Three days after. 1999. That same day. she reported the incident to police authorities who immediately conducted an investigation. Metro Manila for consultation with the regional director. the regional director. Cruz. Therefore. 1999.35. It explained that while it may be true that the loss of the cellular phone in question was due to robbery (bag slashing). 1999. CRUZ. In a 1st Indorsement dated January 19. petitioner reported the theft to the regional director of TESDA-NCR. which is the subject of the instant case. GANGAN FILONILA O. on January 18. in which she requested relief from accountability of the subject property. having been remiss in her obligation in the keeping or use of the subject government issued cellular phone.

238 paid under Official Receipt No. we have already ruled that the finding of negligence had no factual or legal basis and was therefore invalid. She has also done her part in proving that the loss was due to theft or robbery. whether she took a bus or a jeepney. . credit for the loss of the cellular phone is proper under the law. It also stands to reason that P4. First Issue: Required Degree of Diligence The crucial question to ask is whether petitioner should be deemed negligent when. Hence. we nonetheless hold that a government employee who has not been proven to be culpable or negligent should not be held accountable for the loss of a cellular phone. After all. 6606743 is ordered to be REFUNDED to her upon finality of this Decision. Honor. The assailed Decision of the Commission on Audit is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. What now remains to be resolved is whether petitioner observed the proper procedure for notifying the government of the loss. The request of Petitioner Filonila O. the risk of theft would have also been present.238 should now be refunded to her. petitioner applied for relief from accountability. While we commend the Commission on Audit for its diligence in safeguarding State properties. We answer in the negative. Necessarily. The resident auditor concerned and the COA itself have accepted that the robbery or theft had actually taken place. on that fateful afternoon. in fighting for her rights. she opted to board the LRT where the cellular phone was stolen. We agree that.The Court’s Ruling The Petition is meritorious. We hold that such application be deemed as the notification of the loss of the subject cellular phone. SO ORDERED. she must have spent more than the value of the lost cellular phone. Second Issue: Accountability Earlier. Riding the LRT cannot per se be denounced as a negligent act. and the amount ofP4. Cruz for relief from accountability for the lost Nokia 909 analog cellular phone is GRANTED. Within thirty days of the loss. which was stolen from her while she was riding on the LRT. we can only applaud her for being true to her calling as an educator and a role model for our young people. No costs. the Petition is GRANTED. Possession of a cellular phone would not and should not hinder one from boarding an LRT coach as petitioner did. in which petitioner’s mode of tr ansit was influenced by time and money considerations. May her tribe increase! WHEREFORE. respect and dignity are the values she has pursued. in the absence of evidence showing negligence on her part. more so under the circumstances in this case.

MARCELINO HANOPOL. it is regretted that the instant request for relief is DENIED for want of merit. NGAO II and the Auditor. The Case For review on certiorari under Rule 64 is Decision No. On the other hand. DECISION PANGANIBAN. Metro Manila for consultation with the regional director. CELSO D. issued by the Commission on Audit (COA). the herein petitioner should be required to pay the book value of the lost government-issued cellular phone. 1999 and February 26. Cruz to pay the book value of a lost government-issued Nokia 909 analog cellular phone. 1999. Hon.R. Filonila O. and the COMMISSION ON AUDIT. TESDA-NCR in the letter and 2ndIndorsement dated July 13.” [2] The Facts On Friday afternoon of January 15. petitioner went to the Regional Office of the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Taguig. Auditor GLENDA MANLAPAZ. honor.: While we commend the Commission on Audit for its diligence in safeguarding State properties. No.[3] After the meeting. 2000-104[1] dated March 28. The decretal portion of the Decision reads as follows: “Premises considered. She has been true to her calling as an educator and a role model for our young people. This being so. 143403.EN BANC [G. 1999. respondents. CRUZ. Dir. respectively. 2003] FILONILA O. GANGAN. respect and dignity has not been lost on this Court. vs. requiring Dr. J. 2000. we nonetheless rule that a government employee who has not been proven to be culpable or negligent should not be held accountable for the loss of a cellular phone stolen from her while she was riding the Light Railway Transit (LRT). and conformably to the adverse recommendations of the Director. the dogged persistence of petitioner in fighting for her rights. petitioner . petitioner. January 22.

by boarding the Light Railway Transit (LRT) from Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue to Monumento. cannot be made as the basis in granting the herein request for relief from accountability since the accountable officer. failed to exercise that degree of diligence required under the circumstances to prevent/avoid the loss. she reported the incident to police authorities who immediately conducted an investigation. As an accountable officer. she was under obligation to exercise proper degree of care and diligence in safeguarding the property. Cruz could have reasonably foreseen the danger that would befall her and took precautions against its mischievous result. Cruz has no bearing to the case at bar considering that Article 1174 of the New Civil Code which supports . the regional director.M. Among the items taken from her were her wallet and the government-issued cellular phone.went back to her official station in Caloocan City. The matter was then elevated to the Commission on Audit. Additionally. Thus. indorsed the request to the resident auditor. she exposed herself to the danger and the possibility of losing things such as the subject cellular phone to pickpockets. having been remiss in her obligation in the keeping or use of the subject government issued cellular phone. Three days after.988) and that of its case (P250). However. Dr. When Dr. Ruling of the Commission on Audit On appeal. the COA found no sufficient justification to grant the request for relief from accountability. She did so through a Memorandum. The auditor’s action was sustained by the director of the National Government Audit Office II (NGAO II). Therefore. was almost always packed and overcrowded and considering further the day and time she boarded said train which was at about 2:00 to 2:30 P. to be exempt from liability because of fortuitous event as invoked by petitioner Dr. In a 1st Indorsement dated January 19. 1999. On board the LRT. in turn. petitioner reported the theft to the regional director of TESDA-NCR. in which she requested relief from accountability of the subject property. 1999.238. on January 18. Cruz. That same day. she has to answer for its loss as required under Section 105 of PD 1445. taking into account what a reasonable and prudent man would have done under the circumstances. a total of P4. this however. Dr. the resident auditor [4] denied the request of petitioner on the ground that the latter lacked the diligence required in the custody of government properties. all efforts to locate the thief and to recover the phone proved futile. petitioner was ordered to pay the purchase value of the cell phone (P3. where she was the then Camanava district director of the TESDA. It explained as follows: “x x x While it may be true that the loss of the cellular phone in question was due to robbery (bag slashing). 1999. which is the subject of the instant case. her handbag was slashed and its contents stolen by an unidentified person. Cruz opted to take the LRT which undeniably. Under a 2nd Indorsement dated February 26. of Friday.

the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) sided with petitioner and prayed for the granting of the Petition.]” [7] In the main. petitioner faults the COA with the following alleged errors: I. in Nakpil vs.said contention applies only if the actor is free from any negligence or misconduct by which the loss/damage may have been occasioned. We note that in its Manifestation and Motion dated October 24. Santos M. this Petition. Alquisalas. Further. “The Commission Proper committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in finding that petitioner failed to exercise that degree of diligence required to prevent the loss of the government-issued cellular phone when she opted to take the light railway transit (LRT) in going to her official station in CAMANAVA District. CA.” [5] Hence. reiterated in a similar pleading dated March 28. 2000. 144 SCRA 596 and disregarded Article 1174 of the New Civil Code in denying petitioner’s request for relief from accountability[. and (2) whether she should be held accountable for its loss. 144 SCRA 596. then. and] II. CA. the COA was herein represented by its general counsel. Thus. First Issue: . Caloocan City Hall. Hence. there being a positive showing of negligence on the part of the petitioner in the keeping of the subject cellular phone. “The Commission Proper committed grave abuse of discretion when it a pplied the case of Nakpil vs. Atty. Caloocan City[. 2001. one who creates a dangerous condition cannot escape liability although an act of God may have intervened. The Court’s Ruling The Petition is meritorious. the issues in this case are: (1) whether petitioner was negligent in the care of the government-issued cellular phone. such negligence militates against the grant of herein request for relief.[6] Issues In her Memorandum.

we nonetheless hold that a government employee who has not been proven . the risk of theft would have also been present. in which petitioner’s mode of transit was influenced by time and money considerations. she opted to board the LRT where the cellular phone was stolen. After all.[13] But lacking support. guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs. Granting that the presence or the absence of negligence is a factual matter. the consistent ruling of this Court is that findings of fact of an administrative agency must be respected. whether she took a bus or a jeepney. is ordinarily sufficient care of a cellular phone while travelling on board the LRT. Because of her relatively low position and pay.” (Emphasis supplied) [10] The Rules[11] provide that property for official use and purpose shall be utilized with the diligence of a good father of a family. or the doing of something which a prudent man and reasonable man would not do. so long as they are supported by substantial evidence . Any prudent or rational person under similar circumstances can reasonably be expected to do the same. It is a settled rule that negligence cannot be presumed. the factual finding of the COA on the existence of negligence cannot stand on its own and is therefore not binding on the Court.m. The records do not show any specific act of negligence on her part. While we commend the Commission on Audit for its diligence in safeguarding State properties.Required Degree of Diligence The crucial question to ask is whether petitioner should be deemed negligent when. Placing it in a bag away from covetous eyes and holding on to that bag. Extra-ordinary measures are not called for in taking care of a cellular phone while in transit. more so under the circumstances in this case. meeting. Petitioner boarded the LRT to be able to arrive in Caloocan in time for her 3:00 p. Possession of a cellular phone would not and should not hinder one from boarding an LRT coach as petitioner did. We answer in the negative. on that fateful afternoon. Riding the LRT cannot per se be denounced as a negligent act. would do. as done by petitioner. [9] “The diligence with which the law requires the individual at all times to govern his conduct varies with the nature of the situation in which he is placed. In the absence of any shred of evidence thereof. and the importance of the act which he is to perform. [8] “Negligence is want of care required by the circumstances. Neither had the government granted her the use of any vehicle. she was not expected to have her own vehicle or to ride a taxicab.[12] it has to be proven. respondents gravely abused their discretion in finding petitioner negligent. “Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man.

Dalman (commissioners). because it found her to be negligent. Gangan (chairman). which was stolen from her while she was riding on the LRT. Second Issue: Accountability The assailed COA Decision directly attributed the loss of the cellular phone to a “robbery (bag slashing). and Azcuna. SO ORDERED. We hold that such application be deemed as the notification of the loss of the subject cellular phone. Raul C. concur.. upon her retirement from government service at age 65. Carpio.. JJ. she must have spent more than the value of the lost cellular phone. Necessarily. it denies the request of petitioner for relief from accountability. Carpio-Morales. The assailed Decision of the Commission on Audit is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Celso D. respect and dignity are the values she has pursued. 6606743 is ordered to be REFUNDED to her upon finality of this Decision.[16] It also stands to reason that P4. J. on leave. Davide. 1999. Jr.[14] petitioner applied for relief from accountability. Flores and Hon. Vitug. Her dogged persistence in pursuing this appeal has not been lost on this Court.J. She has also done her part in proving that the loss was due to theft or robbery. we can only applaud her for being true to her calling as an educator and a role model for our young people. C. Callejo. Within thirty days of the loss. Austria-Martinez. Bellosillo. The resident auditor[15]concerned and the COA itself have accepted that the robbery or theft had actually taken place.238 should now be refunded to her. J. Hon.. Hence. . Honor.. in the result. Earlier. Puno. The request of Petitioner Filonila O. in the absence of evidence showing negligence on her part. [1] Signed by Hon. Corona.to be culpable or negligent should not be held accountable for the loss of a cellular phone. May her tribe increase! WHEREFORE. Sr. Emmanuel M. credit for the loss of the cellular phone is proper under the law. Sandoval-Gutierrez..” However.. Mendoza. What now remains to be resolved is whether petitioner observed the proper procedure for notifying the government of the loss. Quisumbing. we have already ruled that the finding of negligence had no factual or legal basis and was therefore invalid. We agree that. and the amount ofP4.238 paid under Official Receipt No. That was the amount she had to pay on June 3. Cruz for relief from accountability for the lost Nokia 909 analog cellular phone is GRANTED. in fighting for her rights. Ynares-Santiago. No costs. the Petition is GRANTED.

September 16. pp. which was signed by Atty.(1) When a loss of government funds or property occurs while they are in transit or the loss is caused by fire. x x x. February 7. 1999. rollo. rollo. July 16. State Auditor III Glenda E. 1994 ed.” [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] . theft. Manlapaz. p. McKee v. Assailed Decision. the officer accountable therefor or having custody thereof shall immediately notify the Commission or the auditor concerned and. Intermediate Appellate Court. Whenever warranted by the evidence credit for the loss shall be allowed. 1 Phil. upon receipt by this Court of respondents’ Memorandum. 21-22. Sec. 1996. 73. signed by State Auditor III Manlapaz. with the available supporting evidence. Credit for loss occurring in transit or due to casualty or force majeure. Evidence. Excerpt of Documents and Summary of Events. 3. Hanapol Jr. pp. Torts and Damages. Director IV Marcelino P. was received by the Court on April 25. Bulilan v. 22. 1902. p.. per Kapunan. p. Vol. per Davide. p. Jr. This case was deemed submitted for resolution on April 30. 1. one of herein respondents. Valenzuela v. 1993 rev. Santos M. Dela Cruz. shall present his application for relief. rollo. 6. 377. Francisco. Sangco. §8. Petitioner’s Memorandum. par. 2001. 2-3. PD 1445. one of herein respondents. or other casualty or force majeure. Commission on Audit. Marilou O. J. 2001... Court of Appeals. 375. supra. ed. signed by Atty. 211 SCRA 517. citing US v. Petitioner’s Memorandum.[2] Assailed Decision. 3. p.. 388. within thirty days or such longer period as the Commission or auditor may in the particular case allow. Alquizalas. 2nd Indorsement dated February 26. 5. De los Reyes. 253 SCRA 303. 105. Rules Implementing the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. J. 1992. p. Assailed Decision.

36. COMELEC C/O VITTO . REYES V.

BELMONTE JR C/O BELLE . VALMONTE V.37.