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131. Pollution Adjudication Board vs. CA et al.

FACTS: Respondent, Solar Textile Finishing Corporation was involved in bleaching, rinsing and dyeing textiles with
wastewater being directly discharged into a canal leading to the adjacent Tullahan- Tinerejos River. Petitioner
Board, an agency of the Government charged with the task of determining whether the effluents of a particular
industrial establishment comply with or violate applicable anti-pollution statutory and regulatory provisions, have
been remarkably forbearing in its efforts to enforce the applicable standards vis-a-vis Solar. Solar, on the other
hand, seemed very casual about its continued discharge of untreated, pollutive effluents into the river. Petitioner
Board issued an ex parte Order directing Solar immediately to cease and desist from utilizing its wastewater
pollution source installations. Solar, however, with preliminary injunction against the Board, went to the Regional
Trial Court on petition for certiorari, but it was dismissed upon two (2) grounds, i.e., that appeal and not certiorari
from the questioned Order of the Board as well as the Writ of Execution was the proper remedy, and that the
Board's subsequent Order allowing Solar to operate temporarily had rendered Solar's petition moot and academic.
Dissatisfied, Solar went on appeal to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the Order of dismissal of the trial court
and remanded the case to that court for further proceedings. In addition, the Court of Appeals declared the Writ of
Execution null and void. At the same time, the CA said that certiorari was a proper remedy since the Orders of
petitioner Board may result in great and irreparable injury to Solar; and that while the case might be moot and
academic, "larger issues" demanded that the question of due process be settled. Petitioner Board moved for
reconsideration, without success.

Arguing that that the ex parte Order and the Writ of Execution were issued in accordance with law and were not
violative of the requirements of due process; and the ex parte Order and the Writ of Execution are not the proper
subjects of a petition for certiorari, Oscar A. Pascua and Charemon Clio L. Borre for petitioner asked the Supreme
Court to review the Decision and Resolution promulgated by the Court of Appeals entitled "Solar Textile Finishing
Corporation v. Pollution Adjudication Board," which reversed an order of the Regional Trial Court. In addition,
petitioner Board claims that under P.D. No. 984, Section 7(a), it has legal authority to issue ex parte orders to
suspend the operations of an establishment when there is prima facie evidence that such establishment is
discharging effluents or wastewater, the pollution level of which exceeds the maximum permissible standards set
by the NPCC (now, the Board). Petitioner Board contends that the reports before it concerning the effluent
discharges of Solar into the River provided prima facie evidence of violation by Solar of Section 5 of the 1982
Effluent Code. Solar, on the other hand, contends that under the Board's own rules and regulations, an ex parte
order may issue only if the effluents discharged pose an "immediate threat to life, public health, safety or welfare,
or to animal and plant life." In the instant case, according to Solar, the inspection reports before the Board made
no finding that Solar's wastewater discharged posed such a threat.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court on the ground that Solar had been
denied due process by the Board.

HELD: The Court found that the Order and Writ of Execution were entirely within the lawful authority of petitioner
Board. Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in situations like here. The relevant
pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that
pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as
the protection of plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police power. It is a constitutional
commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital
public interests like those here involved, through the exercise of police power. Hence, the trial court did not err
when it dismissed Solar's petition for certiorari. It follows that the proper remedy was an appeal from the trial
court to the Court of Appeals, as Solar did in fact appeal. The Court gave due course on the Petition for Review and
the Decision of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution were set aside. The Order of petitioner Board and the Writ
of Execution, as well as the decision of the trial court were reinstated, without prejudice to the right of Solar to
contest the correctness of the basis of the Board's Order and Writ of Execution at a public hearing before the
Board.


132. Graciano Indias v Phil. Iron Mines, Inc.
FACTS
23 Jun 1954: Petitioner Indias filed before the CIR a complaint against his former employer respondent PHL Iron
Mines for unfair labor practice. He alleged that he was unjustly terminated from work because of his union
activities (he participated in a strike led by one Pedro Venida) and that the justification given by the company
should not be given credit since his quarrel with a co-employee happened outside work hours and outside the
work premises. He prayed for reinstatement. Respondent PHL Iron Mines, on the other hand, contended that
Indias was terminated for just cause, it having been found that the latter committed grave misconduct due to his
violent temper when he quarreled with a fellow employee (Apolonio Umaga) in Jose Panganiban (a poblacion, aka
town), leading to a court action for less physical injuries against Indias. Respondent also set up a counterclaim for
P2000. Hearings were conducted by Atty. Tabigne in which both parties appeared with counsels. After the
presentation of evidence, Tabigne rendered a report recommending dismissal of the complaint. His reason was
that the charge of unfair labor practice was not substantiated by evidence and that the grave misconduct due to
Indias’ violent temper was a violation of the company’s rules and regulations which says that underground
laborers should possess good behavior as norms of conduct to avoid any untoward incident in the underground
tunnels. Such violation was found a valid cause for Indias’ dismissal. CIR adopted the recommendation and
adopted the ff. order:
“Hearing Examiner Mr. Tabigne recommends the dismissal of this case on the
ground that the evidence by the complainant did not support the charges of unfair labor
practice. The facts are stated in the Hearing Examiner's dated May 16, 1955.
After a perusal of the record of the case, the Court finds no sufficient justification
for modifying said recommendation, findings and conclusions, and consequently, this
case is hereby dismissed.
SO ORDERED.”
Hence, this petition for review.

ISSUES, RESOLUTION, RATIO

1. WON the CIR made a wrong finding of fact in holding that there was just cause in Indias’ dismissal *No+
 SC is not a trier of facts. The findings of the hearing officer should be given credit and should be
affirmed since it is the one in a better position to determine the truthfulness of the allegations.

2. WON CIR may issue an order dismissing a case without stating the facts and the law in support thereof
[Yes]

Indias’ Arguments
 The order should be voided for having violated the 1935 Constitution ( “No decision shall be rendered
by any court of record without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which
it is based. [Art. VIII, Sec. 12]”) and Sec. 1, Rule 35 of the Rules of Court stating that a court decision
shall state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.

SC Ruling
 While it is true that the order does not make its own discussion of evidence or its own findings of
fact, such is not necessary if the court –as in the CIR in this case –is satisfied with the report of the
examiner/referee which already contains the full discussion of the evidence and findings of fact based
thereon. CIR approved the report of the hearing officer “after a perusal of the record of the case”
which should give a presupposition that it had examined the evidence and found no justification for
any modification of the findings. It is purposeless to repeat what the examiner has already found
when the court is in full accord with it. Suffice it to say that a new discussion of evidence or its own
findings of fact is necessary if the court disagrees with the report, because in such case the court
must state its reasons for disagreement. As had been held in Manila Trading & Supply Co. v Phl Labor
Union:
“When the CIR refers a case to a commissioner for investigation, report, and
recommendation, and at such investigation the parties were duly represented by
counsel, heard or at least given an opportunity to be heard, the requirement of due
process has been satisfied, even if the court failed to set the report for hearing, and a
decision on the basis of such report, with the other evidence of the case, is a decision
which meets the requirement of a fair and open hearing.”