EN BANC

[G.R. No. 127182. December 5, 2001]

HON. ALMA G. DE LEON, Chairman, HON. THELMA P. GAMINDE, Commissioner, and HON. RAMON P. ERENETA, JR., Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, and SECRETARY RAFAEL M. ALUNAN, III, Department of Interior and Local Government, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and JACOB F. MONTESA, respondents. RESOLUTION
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

For resolution is private respondent’s motion for reconsideration of the January 22, 2001 Decision of the Court, which reversed and set aside the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 38664 and reinstated Resolution Nos. 953268 and 955201 of the Civil Service Commission. In the Decision sought to be reconsidered, we ruled that private respondent’s appointment on August 28, 1986, as Ministry Legal Counsel - CESO IV of the Ministry of Local Government, was temporary. Applying the case of Achacoso v. Macaraig,[1] we held that since private respondent was not a Career Executive Service (CES) eligible, his appointment did not attain permanency because he did not possess the required CES eligibility for the CES position to which he was appointed. Hence, he can be transferred or reassigned without violating his right to security of tenure. It appears, however, that in Jacob Montesa v. Santos, et al., decided on September 26, 1990,[2] where the nature of private respondent’s appointment as Ministry Legal Counsel - CESO IV, of the Ministry of Local Government, was first contested, this Court issued a Minute Resolution dated March 17, 1992, holding that Achacoso v. Macaraig is not applicable to the case of private respondent. The pertinent portion thereof reads -

… The holding of this Court in the Achacoso case is not applicable to petitioner Montesa. Petitioner was appointed on August 28, 1996 by virtue of Article III of the Freedom Constitution. He was extended a permanent appointment by then Minister Pimentel and subsequently confirmed as permanent by the Civil Service Commission. He is a first grade civil service eligible (RA 1080) the appropriate eligibility for the position at that time and a member of the Philippine bar. There was no Career Executive Service Board during the Freedom Constitution or at the time of appointment of petitioner. The CESO was only reconstituted by the appointment of its Board of six (6) members sometime in August 1988. There was no CESO eligibility examination during petitioner's incumbency in the Department, as there was no CESO board. The first CESO examination was given on August 5 and 12, 1990. The CESO eligibility was not a requirement at the time of the appointment of petitioner. The only eligibility required is that of a first grader and petitioner is a first grade eligible. Therefore, having met all the requirements for the position to
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since a CES eligibility was not.CESO IV. Indeed. i. b) Admission into CESDP shall be limited to incumbents of positions falling within the CES duly nominated by their Department Heads. In fact. the principle on conclusiveness of judgment set forth in Rule 39. at that time.which he was appointed. it can no longer be contoverted anew and should be finally laid to rest. of the Ministry of Local Government. paragraph (c) of the Rules of Court. however. A reading. we held that private respondent who was appointed in 1986 pursuant to the Freedom Constitution. the CES Board issued CESB Circular No.. clearly shows that a CES eligibility is indeed a requirement for a position embraced in the CES. possessed all the requirements for the position of Ministry Legal Counsel . however. provided that such appointee shall subsequently take the required Career Executive Service examination and that he shall not be promoted to a higher class until he qualifies in such examination. though not a CES eligible. private respondent contends that the nature of his appointment can no longer be passed upon and controverted in the present case considering that said issue had already been settled in the foregoing Minute Resolution of the Court. to wit: a) Successful completion of CESDP shall constitute one of the requirements for membership in the CES.[3] would bar a re-litigation of the nature of private respondent’s appointment. Such appointments shall be made on the basis of rank.[5] In the March 17. Except as otherwise provided by law.[4] Yet. Appointment to appropriate classes in the Career Executive Service shall be made by the President from a list of career executive eligibles recommended by the Board. Invoking res judicata. he cannot be removed in violation of the constitutional guarantee on security of tenure and due process. appoint any person who is not a Career Executive Service eligible. once an issue has been adjudicated in a valid final judgment of a competent court. a requirement for the same position. provided that appointments to the higher ranks which qualify the incumbents to assignments as undersecretary and heads of bureaus and offices and equivalent positions shall be with the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. if we follow the conventional procedural path. which is after all the avowed purpose of all law and jurisprudence. It must be stressed that this is not the first time in Philippine and American jurisprudence that the principle of res judicata has been set aside in favor of substantial justice. Appointment. Concededly. 1972. in exceptional cases. c) Upon satisfactory completion of the program. the Court is not precluded from re-examining its own ruling and rectifying errors of judgment if blind and stubborn adherence to res judicata would involve the sacrifice of justice to technicality. in March 1974. Thus: c. 1992 Minute Resolution. 1. dated September 24. The President may. no person shall be admitted into the CES without having satisfactorily completed the program. of the Integrated Reorganization Plan which was adopted and declared part of the law of the land by Presidential Decree No.e. 1 which laid down the requirements for membership in the CES. Section 47. the incumbent-participant shall be enrolled in the roster of CES eligibles and shall be qualified for appointment by the President to the appropriate Page 2 of 6 .

in the recent case of Secretary of Justice v. before the CES Board was reconstituted in 1988. IN THE MATTER OF THE DISQUALIFICATION OF BAR EXAMINEE HARON S. Hence. Pardo. J. Froilan R. De Leon. Melo. Meling (Meling) from taking the 2002 Bar Examinations and to impose on him the appropriate disciplinary penalty as a member of the Philippine Shari’a Bar. Mendoza.rank in the CES upon recommendation of the Board. the mobility and flexibility concepts in the assignment of personnel in the CES.CESO IV. Melendrez alleges that Meling did not disclose in his Petition to take the 2002 Bar Examinations that he has three (3) pending criminal cases before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC). the Court. the questioned appointment was made on October 16. 15687 for Less Serious Physical Injuries. Nevertheless. On October 14. petitioner. Quisumbing. Neither were the said law and circular inconsistent with the Freedom Constitution as to render them modified or superseded. Josefina Bacal. namely: Criminal Cases Noa.[6] we ruled that security of tenure in the CES is acquired with respect to rank and not to position.. 15685 and 15686. FROILAN R. JJ. Panganiban. the instant motion for reconsideration is DENIED with FINALITY. provided they subsequently acquire the needed eligibility. 1987. one of which is ripe while the other has been rendered moot by a supervening event. Macaraig. 2002. 3.. MELENDREZ. such that an appointment of one who does not possess such eligibility shall be temporary.[7] justify his transfer to other CES position without violating his right to security of tenure. Sandoval-Gutierrez. like private respondent. the Integrated Reorganization Plan allows the appointment of non-CES eligibles. 2. ATTY. Vitug. Kapunan. The foregoing law and circular were never amended nor repealed by the Freedom Constitution. 1. A CES eligibility was an existing and operative requirement at the time of private respondent’s appointment as Ministry Legal Counsel .J. Atty.. and Carpio. Buena. He may then be assigned to any position in the CES by the President. Jr.. Jr. In fact. Melendrez (Melendrez) filed with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) a Petition to disqualify Haron S. in Achacoso. in view of all the foregoing. and before the first CESO examination was given in 1990. WHEREFORE. Cotabato City. concur. on official leave. which allow transfer or reassignment of CES personnel to other positions of the same rank or salary. as in the present case. MELING IN THE 2002 BAR EXAMINATIONS AND FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AS MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE SHARI’A BAR. both for Grave Oral Defamation. Davide. a CES eligibility has always been one of the requirements for a position embraced in the CES. The Court finds no reason to make an exception in the instant controversy. Puno. Page 3 of 6 . Evidently. SO ORDERED. It bears stressing that in Achacoso v. Moreover. C. The Court is here confronted with a Petition that seeks twin reliefs. and Criminal Case No. ruled that a CES eligibility is required for a CES position.. assuming ex gratia argumenti that a CES eligibility is not a requirement in the case of private respondent. Bellosillo.

2001. This renders the Petition. Melendrez alleges that Meling has been using the title "Attorney" in his communications. 2. He should have known that only the court of competent jurisdiction can dismiss cases. Insofar as the Petition seeks to prevent Haron S. Ong Ting established Century Foundry Shop where he and his family resided in the premises. the OBC recommended that Meling not be allowed to take the Lawyer’s Oath and sign the Roll of Attorneys in the event that he passes the Bar Examinations. The Petition is granted insofar as it seeks the imposition of appropriate sanctions upon Haron S. We fully concur with the findings and recommendation of the OBC. including equipment and rights in the New Century Foundry Shop to his compadre Lo Bu. Furthermore. As regards the use of the title "Attorney. Legal Ethics at Wednesday. March 25. 9. 63 SCRA 321 Post under case digests. Moreover. 4. 5. as Secretary to the Mayor of Cotabato City. OBC disposed of the charge of non-disclosure against Meling in this wise: The reasons of Meling in not disclosing the criminal cases filed against him in his petition to take the Bar Examinations are ludicrous. 3. 1975. After several attempts to settle a pending unfair labor practice case proved unsuccessful. Meling explains that he did not disclose the criminal cases filed against him by Melendrez because retired Judge Corocoy Moson. advised him to settle his misunderstanding with Melendrez. Meling in the Philippine Shari’a Bar is hereby SUSPENDED until further orders from the Court. the membership of Haron S. Page 4 of 6 . 12. when Meling allegedly uttered defamatory words against Melendrez and his wife in front of media practitioners and other people. not a retired judge nor a law professor. 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind Facts: After Cosmos Foundry Shop was burned . Ong Ting sold all his business. typed by the office clerk. What matters is his act of concealing them which constitutes dishonesty. 15. Consequently. Lo Bu and Court of Appeals No.4. Meling from taking the Lawyer’s Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys as a member of the Philippine Bar. according to him. moot and academic. Accordingly. despite the fact that he is not a member of the Bar. L-40136.000. The disclosure requirement is imposed by the Court to determine whether there is satisfactory evidence of good moral character of the applicant. 11. 10. Meling as a member of the Philippine Shari’a Bar. Issue: whether or not Meling be disqualified in the examinations for the bar in relation to the violation of CPR for non-disclosure of his pending criminal cases Held: Yes Ratio: 1. 14. Meling also purportedly attacked and hit the face of Melendrez’ wife causing the injuries to the latter. the OBC had this to say: Anent the issue of the use of the appellation "Attorney" in his letters. The merit of the cases against Meling is not material in this case. it recommended that Meling’s membership in the Shari’a Bar be suspended until further orders from the Court. The above-mentioned cases arose from an incident which occurred on May 21. Meling denies the charges and adds that the acts complained of do not involve moral turpitude. Believing in good faith Meling considered the three cases that actually arose from a single incident and involving the same parties as "closed and terminated. for Php20. 6. Cosmos Foundry Shop Workers Union (CFSWU) and Filemon Alvarez v. did not pass the 2003 Bar Examinations. however. Meling’s concealment of the fact that there are three (3) pending criminal cases against him spea ks of his lack of the requisite good moral character. insofar as it seeks to prevent Meling from taking the Lawyer’s Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys." 8. Meling. As regards Meling’s use of the title "Attorney". Further. the same is DISMISSED for having become moot and academic." Meling admits that some of his communications really contained the word "Attorney" as they were. 13. Meling filed his Answer with the OBC. 7. their former professor. April 04. the explanation of Meling is not acceptable.

1973. levying on the personal properties of the Cosmos Foundry Shop or the New Century Foundry Shop for the purpose of conducting the public auction sale. except that of dismissing it. Lo Bu appealed by certiorari but the Court denied this petition in its resolution dated July 17. Courts should dismiss a suit which has all the earmarks of a subterfuge that was resorted to for the purpose of frustrating the execution of a judgment in an unfair labor controversy. Thereafter. denied his motion. Issues: (1) Whether or not petitioner Labor union has made out a case for certiorari and prohibition.On Jan 16. Lo Bu. which was dismissed by the CFI Manila. 1973. 1993. In the meanwhile. (2) Whether or not counsel Atty Busmente performed his obligation as an officer of the court while sustaining the dignity of the profession while acting as counsel for Lo Bu. The writ of prohibition is likewise granted. decision was elevated to the Court of Appeals. So likewise was the motion for reconsideration. What is worse. The CIR. There was a replevin suit by the same vendee in bad faith. there was a replevin suit by Lo Bu in the Court of First Instance (CFI) Manila covering the same properties. petitioner Labor Union filed a second motion to dismiss complaint. writ was served January 17 and 18. as he himself was the petitioner in the Page 5 of 6 . 1973. Respondent Lo Bu filed an urgent motion to recall writ of execution. Upon receipt of order from the Court denying certiorari. petitioner CFSWU obtained from the Court of Industrial Relations the third alias writ of execution for the satisfaction and enforcement of the judgment in its favor. respondent CA being perpetually restrained from taking any further action in such appeal. After the complaint was dismissed by the lower court. Held: Writ of certiorari is granted and the order of Respondent CA reinstating appeal is nullified and set aside. asserting lack of jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR). private respondent Lo Bu certainly cannot plead ignorance . in its order dated Feb 23.

He ought to remember that his obligation as an officer of the court. Arcinas to shoulder the litigation costs of this case jointly and severally. Arcinas is hardly compatible with the duty of the Bar to assist in the Administration of Justice. For even such case. a regional administrator of the Department of Labor. Benedicto Arcinas. requires that should not act like an errand-boy at the beck and call of his client.” The conduct of Atty. August 21. The decision was rendered by Pompeyo Tan. CFI Cebu dismissed the petition of Arcinas. no less than the dignity of the profession. in the same year. Page 6 of 6 . HELD: No. filed an action for certiorari before CFI Cebu contending that Tan has no authority or jurisdiction over said case because he was a “mere labor lawyer” who had no authority to render the award being complained of. 1961) that duly appointed hearing officers by regional administrators of the labor department may issue awards. Share this legal resource:Google+0Pinterest0LinkedIn0Twitter2tumblrReddit0Facebook0 24 SCRA 402 – Legal Ethics – Duty to Assist in the Administration of Justice In 1958. A legal counsel is expected to defend a client’s cause but not at the expense of truth and in defiance of the clear purpose of labor laws. a labor lawyer duly appointed by Francisco Arnado. If he fails to keep that admonition in mind. He was a prinicipal in the nefarious scheme to frustrate the award in favor of the petitioner labor union. Samar Mining’s lawyer. the Supreme Court made a ruling in the case of Caltex v. Villanueva (L-15658. ISSUE: Whether or not the appeal has merit. It is obvious that the purpose of the filing is just to delay and prolong the litigation in the ho pe of “draining the resources of the poorer party” “and of compelling it to submit out of sheer exhaustion. then he puts into serious question his good standing in the bar.certiorari proceedings before this Court. Atty. Arcinas still filed an appeal before the Supreme Court. It is about time that a halt be called to the schemes utilized by respondent Lo Bu in his far-from-commendable efforts to defeat labor’s just claim. The Supreme Court ordered Samar Mining and Atty. Rufino Abuyen won a labor case against Samar Mining Company. Notwithstanding this ruling. Atty Busmente had not exculpated himself. Meanwhile. In 1961. not to obstruct or defeat the same. Rule that certiorari will not be granted where petitioners have plain and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law will not be enforced where it would result in further delay in satisfaction of judgment that ought to have been enforced years ago. ready and eager to do his every bidding. Abuyen was awarded compensation plus hospitalization expenses for a disease he incurred while working for Samar Mining.

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