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EN BANC

[G.R. No. 83578. March 16, 1989.]
THE PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-DOLLAR SALTING TASK FORCE, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE
COURT OF APPEALS, HONORABLE TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR., Presiding Judge, REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT, Branch 147, NCR (MAKATI), and KARAMFIL IMPORT-EXPORT CO., INC.,
respondents.
K.V. Faylona & Associates for respondents.
SYLLABUS
1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; APPEAL; WHERE LEGISLATION PROVIDES FOR AN
APPEAL FROM DECISIONS OF CERTAIN ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES TO THE COURT OF
APPEALS, SUCH BODIES ARE CO-EQUAL WITH THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS. — As a
rule, where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain administrative bodies to the
Court of Appeals, it means that such bodies are co-equal with the Regional Trial Courts, in terms
of rank and stature, and logically, beyond the control of the latter.
2. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; QUASI-JUDICIAL BODY; DEFINITION. — A quasi-judicial body has
been defined as "an organ of government other than a court and other than a legislature, which
affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rule making."
3. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1936;
PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-DOLLAR SALTING TASK FORCE; DOES NOT HAVE POWER TO
EXERCISE QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS BUT ONLY OF PROSECUTING "DOLLAR-SALTING"
ACTIVITIES. — A perusal of the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force's organic act,
Presidential Decree No. 1936, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 2002, convinces the Court
that the Task Force was not meant to exercise quasi-judicial functions, that is, to try and decide
claims and execute its judgments. As the President's arm called upon to combat the vice of "dollar
salting" or the blackmarketing and salting of foreign exchange, it is tasked alone by the Decree to
handle the prosecution of such activities, but nothing more.
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; DUTIES ARE TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY PRELIMINARY TO A JUDICIAL
RECOURSE AND TO RECOMMEND ACTION "OF APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES." — The
Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force's undertaking, as we said, is simply, to determine
whether or not probable cause exists to warrant the filing of charges with the proper court,
meaning to say, to conduct an inquiry preliminary to a judicial recourse, and to recommend action
"of appropriate authorities". It is not unlike a fiscal's office that conducts a preliminary investigation
to determine whether or not prima facie evidence exists to justify haling the respondent to court,
and yet, while it makes that determination, it cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-court. For it is
the courts, ultimately, that pass judgment on the accused, not the fiscal.
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; POWERS SIMILAR TO PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD
GOVERNMENT BUT BOTH ARE NOT QUASI-JUDICIAL ENTITIES. — It is not unlike the
Presidential Commission on Good Government either, the executive body appointed to investigate
and prosecute cases involving "ill-gotten wealth". It had been vested with enormous powers, like
the issuance of writs of sequestration, freeze orders, and similar processes, but that did not, on
account thereof alone, make it a quasi-judicial entity as defined by recognized authorities. It cannot
pronounce judgment of the accused's culpability, the jurisdiction to do which is exclusive upon the
Sandiganbayan.
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT CO-EQUAL OR COORDINATE WITH THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT AS IT
IS NOT A QUASI-JUDICIAL BODY. — If the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force is not,
hence, a quasi-judicial body, it cannot be said to be co-equal or coordinate with the Regional Trial
Court. There is nothing in its enabling statutes that would demonstrate its standing at par with the
said court.
7. ID.; ID.; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1936, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, REASONS. — We agree
that the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force exercises, or was meant to exercise,
prosecutorial powers, and on that ground, it cannot be said to be a neutral and detached "judge" to
determine the existence of probable cause for purposes of arrest or search. Unlike a magistrate, a

prosecutor is naturally interested in the success of his case. Although his office "is to see that
justice is done and not necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused," he stands,
invariably, as the accused's adversary and his accuser. To permit him to issue search warrants and
indeed, warrants of arrest, is to make him both judge and jury in his own right, when he is neither.
That makes, to our mind and to that extent, Presidential Decree No. 1936 as amended by
Presidential Decree No. 2002, unconstitutional.
8. ID.; 1973 Constitution; BILL OF RIGHTS; RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BE SECURE IN THEIR
PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS AND EFFECTS; OFFICER HIMSELF MUST BE "RESPONSIBLE;
MEANING OF "RESPONSIBILITY." — It is our ruling, thus, that when the 1973 Constitution spoke
of "responsible officer" to whom the authority to issue arrest and search warrants may be
delegated by legislation, it did not furnish the legislator with the license to give that authority to
whomsoever it pleased. It is to be noted that the Charter itself makes the qualification that the
officer himself must be "responsible". We are not saying, of course, that the Presidential Anti-Dollar
Salting Task Force (or any similar prosecutor) is or has been irresponsible in discharging its duty.
Rather, we take "responsibility", as used by the Constitution, to mean not only skill and
competence but more significantly, neutrality and independence comparable to the impartiality
presumed of a judicial officer. A prosecutor can in no manner be said to be possessed of the latter
qualities.
9. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; EXCLUSION OF PROSECUTORS THEREUNDER DEMANDED BY
PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS. — According to the Court of Appeals, the implied
exclusion of prosecutors under the 1973 Constitution was founded on the requirements of due
process, notably, the assurance to the respondent of an unbiased inquiry of the charges against
him prior to the arrest of his person or seizure of his property. We add that the exclusion is also
demanded by the principle of separation of powers on which our republican structure rests.
Prosecutors exercise essentially an executive function (the petitioner itself is chaired by the
Minister, now Secretary, of Trade and Industry), since under the Constitution, the President has
pledged to execute the laws. As such, they cannot be made to issue judicial processes without
unlawfully impinging the prerogative of the courts.
DECISION
SARMIENTO, J p:
The petitioner, the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force, the President's arm assigned to
investigate and prosecute so-called "dollar salting" activities in the country (per Presidential
Decree No. 1936 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 2002), asks the Court to hold as null
and void two Resolutions of the Court of Appeals, dated September 24, 1987 1 and May 20, 1988,
2 reversing its Decision, dated October 24, 1986. 3 The Decision set aside an Order, dated April
16, 1985, of the Regional Trial Court, 4 as well as its Order, dated August 21, 1985. The
Resolution, dated September 24, 1987 disposed of, and granted, the private respondent Karamfil
Import-Export Co., Inc.'s motion for reconsideration of the October 24, 1986 Decision; the
Resolution dated May 20, 1988, in turn, denied the petitioner's own motion for reconsideration.
LLpr
The facts are not in controversy. We quote:
On March 12, 1985, State Prosecutor Jose B. Rosales, who is assigned with the
Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force hereinafter referred to as
PADS Task Force for purposes of convenience, issued search
warrants Nos. 156, 157, 158, 159, 160 and 161 against the
petitioners Karamfil Import-Export Co., Inc., P & B Enterprises Co.,
Inc., Philippine Veterans Corporation, Philippine Veterans
Development Corporation, Philippine Construction Development
Corporation, Philippine Lauan Industries Corporation, Intertrade
Development (Alvin Aquino), Amelili U. Malaquiok Enterprises and
Jaime P. Lucman Enterprises.

The application for the issuance of said search warrants was filed by Atty. Napoleon
Gatmaytan of the Bureau of Customs who is a deputized member of
the PADS Task Force. Attached to the said application is the
affidavit of Josefin M. Castro who is an operative and investigator of
the PADS Task Force. Said Josefin M. Castro is likewise the sole
deponent in the purported deposition to support the application for
the issuance of the six (6) search warrants involved in this case.
The application filed by Atty. Gatmaytan, the affidavit and deposition
of Josefin M. Castro are all dated March 12, 1985. 5
Shortly thereafter, the private respondent (the petitioner below) went to the Regional Trial Court on
a petition to enjoin the implementation of the search warrants in question. 6 On March 13, 1985,
the trial court issued a temporary restraining order [effective "for a period of five (5) days notice" 7 ]
and set the case for hearing on March 18, 1985.
In disposing of the petition, the said court found the material issues to be:
1) Competency of this Court to act on petition filed by the petitioners;
2) Validity of the search warrants issued by respondent State Prosecutor;
3) Whether or not the petition has become moot and academic because all the
search warrants sought to be quashed had already been
implemented and executed. 8
On April 16, 1985, the lower court issued the first of its challenged Orders, and held:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Court hereby declares Search
Warrant Nos. 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, and 161 to be null and void.
Accordingly, the respondents are hereby ordered to return and
surrender immediately all the personal properties and documents
seized by them from the petitioners by virtue of the aforementioned
search warrants.
SO ORDERED. 9
On August 21, 1985, the trial court denied reconsideration.
On April 4, 1986, the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force went to the respondent Court of
Appeals to contest, on certiorari, the twin Order(s) of the lower court.
In ruling initially for the Task Force, the Appellate Court held:
Herein petitioner is a special quasi-judicial body with express powers enumerated
under PD 1936 to prosecute foreign exchange violations defined
and punished under P.D. No. 1883.
The petitioner, in exercising its quasi-judicial powers, ranks with the Regional Trial
Courts, and the latter in the case at bar had no jurisdiction to
declare the search warrants in question null and void.
Besides as correctly pointed out by the Assistant Solicitor General the decision of the
Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force is appealable to the
Office of the President. 10
On November 12, 1986, Karamfil Import-Export Co., Inc. sought a reconsideration, on the question
primarily of whether or not the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force is "such other
responsible officer" countenanced by the 1973 Constitution to issue warrants of search and
seizure.
As we have indicated, the Court of Appeals, on Karamfil's motion, reversed itself and issued its
Resolution, dated September 1987, and subsequently, its Resolution, dated May 20, 1988,
denying the petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
In its petition to this Court, the petitioner alleges that in so issuing the Resolution(s) abovementioned, the respondent Court of Appeals "committed grave abuse of discretion and/or acted in
excess of its appellate jurisdiction," 11 specifically:

a) In deviating from the settled policy and rulings of the Supreme Court that no
Regional Trial Courts may countermand or restrain the enforcement
of lawful writs or decrees issued by a quasi-judicial body of equal
and coordinate rank, like the PADS Task Force;
b) For resorting to judicial legislation to arrive at its erroneous basis for reconsidering
its previous Decision dated October 24, 1986 (see Annex "I") and
thus promulgated the questioned Resolutions (Annexes "A" and
"B"), which violated the constitutional doctrine on separation of
powers;
c) In not resolving directly the other important issues raised by the petitioner in its
Petition in CA-G.R. No. 08622-SP despite the fact that petitioner
has demonstrated sufficiently and convincingly that respondent
RTC, in issuing the questioned Orders in Special Proceeding No.
M-624 (see Annexes "C" and "D"), committed grave abuse of
discretion and/or acted in excess of jurisdiction:
1. In ruling that (a) the description of the
things to be seized as stated in the contested search
warrant were too general which allegedly render the
search warrants null and void; (b) the applications for
the contested search warrants actually charged two
offenses in contravention of the 2nd paragraph,
Section 3, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court; and (c) this
case has not 'become moot and academic, even if the
contested search warrants had already been fully
implemented with positive results; and
2. In ruling that the petitioner PADS Task
Force has not been granted under PD 1936 "judicial or
quasi-judicial jurisdiction." 12
We find, upon the foregoing facts, that the essential questions that confront us are — (i) is the
Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force a quasi-judicial body, and one co-equal in rank and
standing with the Regional Trial Court, and accordingly, beyond the latter's jurisdiction; and (ii) may
the said presidential body be said to be "such other responsible officer as may be authorized by
law" to issue search warrants under the 1973 Constitution? — questions we take up seriatim. *
In submitting that it is a quasi-judicial entity, the petitioner states that it is endowed with express
powers and functions under PD No. 1936, to prosecute foreign exchange violations as defined and
punished under PD No. 1883." 13 "By the very nature of its express powers as conferred by the
laws," so it is contended, "which are decidedly quasi-judicial or discretionary function, such as to
conduct preliminary investigation on the charges of foreign exchange violations, issue search
warrants or warrants of arrest, hold-departure orders, among others, and depending upon the
evidence presented, to dismiss the charges or to file the corresponding information in court (cf,
Executive Order No. 934, PD No. 1936 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations effective
August 26, 1984), petitioner exercises quasi-judicial power or the power of adjudication." 14
The Court of Appeals, in its Resolution now assailed, 15 was of the opinion that "[t]he grant of
quasi-judicial powers to petitioner did not diminish the regular courts' judicial power of
interpretation. The right to interpret a law and, if necessary to declare one unconstitutional,
exclusively pertains to the judiciary. In assuming this function, courts do not proceed on the theory
that the judiciary is superior to the two other coordinate branches of the government, but solely on
the theory that they are required to declare the law in every case which come before them." 16
This Court finds the Appellate Court to be in error, since what the petitioner puts to question is the
Regional Trial Court's act of assuming jurisdiction over the private respondent's petition below and
its subsequent countermand of the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force's orders of search
and seizure, for the reason that the presidential body, as an entity (allegedly) coordinate and co-

order. was (is) not vested with such a jurisdiction. may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeals. cdrep As we have observed. a quasi-judicial body. — Any provision of existing law or Rule of Court to the contrary notwithstanding. Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage Authority. . 25 jurisdiction over quasi-judicial bodies has to be. the Patent Office and the Agricultural Inventions Board. the . the Civil Service Commission. are appealable to the Court of Appeals. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law. decisions of the Commission of Land Registration. grant. and NARRA. but. and one whose decisions may not be challenged before the regular courts. beyond the control of the latter. the Central Bank of the Philippines. Board of Food Inspectors. 20 xxx xxx xxx Likewise: . the Bureau of Internal Revenue. in terms of rank and stature. 29 As a rule. Regional Trial Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction: (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court. 18 xxx xxx xxx Under the present Constitution. the Board of Special Inquiry and Board of Commissioners. Court of Appeals] from quasi-judicial bodies shall continue to be governed by the provisions of Republic Act No. within the period and in the manner herein provided. the Securities and Exchange Commission. 1983: 22 . the question is whether or not the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force is. 21 xxx xxx xxx Under our Resolution dated January 11. precisely. it is provided. the Civil Aeronautics Administration. like the Fiber Inspections Board. 23 The pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. urban land reform cases which do not fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies and/or such other special cases as the Supreme Court may determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice. en consulta. instrumentalities. also known as the "Industrial Peace Act". consequently. (3) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the government is performing some business service for the public. determined by the corresponding amendatory statutes. 24 Because of subsequent amendments. in part that: . 27 The decisions of the Securities and Exchange Commission are likewise appealable to the Appellate Court. also known as the "Minimum Wage Law". A quasi-judicial body has been defined as "an organ of government other than a court and other than a legislature. including the abolition of various specials courts. that may undertake such a review. . the Postal Savings Bank. decision. resolutions. 129. Office of the Insurance Commissioner. the provisions of this Act. (6) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the government is seeking to adjust individual controversies because of some strong social policy involved. or questions of law. or judgment of the Court of Agrarian Relations.P. and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. with respect to its provisions on Constitutional Commissions. person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. parties aggrieved by a final ruling. where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain administrative bodies to the Court of Appeals. cdrep Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. . tribunal. (2) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the government is seeking to carry on certain government functions. . 5434 insofar as the same is not inconsistent with the provisions of B. boards or commissions. decisions and awards of the National Labor Relations Commission are final and executory. "reviewable by this Court through a petition for certiorari and not by way of appeal. and logically. award. is whether it is the Regional Trial Court." 30 The most common types of such bodies have been listed as follows: (1) Agencies created to function in situations wherein the government is offering some gratuity. mixed questions of fact and law. juvenile and domestic relations cases. An examination of the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force's petition shows indeed its recognition of judicial review (of the acts of Government) as a basic privilege of the courts. or all three kinds of questions. (5) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the government is seeking under the police power to regulate private business and individuals. whether the appeal involves questions of fact. the Department of Labor under Section 23 of Republic Act Numbered Eight hundred seventy-five. decisions. . Appeals from specified agencies. Philippine National Railways. and the Professional Regulation Commission." 26 Under the Property Registration Decree. or special privilege. the Secretary of Labor under Section 7 of Republic Act Numbered Six hundred and two. Blg. such as the National Labor Relations Commission. like the defunct Philippine Veterans Board. 28 and so are decisions of the Social Security Commission. the Social Security Commission. 5434 are as follows: SECTION 1. like the Securities & Exchange Commission. the aggrieved party may appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court as provided in Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.The Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the Regional Trial Court to handle exclusively criminal cases. and Philippine Veterans Administration. orders or awards of Regional Trial Court and quasi-judicial agencies.equal with the Regional Trial Court. the Civil Aeronautics Board. . Board on Pensions for Veterans. Under the Labor Code. The appeals to the Intermediate Appellate Court [now. like the Bureau of Posts. or the superior courts. in the first place. like the Bureau of Immigration. the Land Registration Commission. which affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rule making. Its objection. 19 On the other hand. order. (4) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the government is seeking to regulate business affected with public interest. From final judgments or decisions of the Court of Appeals. it means that such bodies are co-equal with the Regional Trial Courts. any decision. agrarian case. 17 the Court of Appeals exercises: (3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments. other than the higher tribunals — the Court of Appeals and this Court. the Philippine Patent Office. the Board of Review for Moving Pictures. nevertheless. except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution.

we find it unavoidable to resolve it as the . consultants. and similar processes. as amended by Presidential Decree No. and to recommend action "of appropriate authorities". The amount of the fine to be retained by the Task Force shall form part of its Confidential Fund and be utilized for the operations of the Task Force. For it is the courts. it is the basic function of these bodies to adjudicate claims and/or to determine rights. The fine shall be paid to the Task Force which shall retain Twenty percent (20%) thereof. It is not unlike the Presidential Commission on Good Government either. 32 it is tasked alone by the Decree to handle the prosecution of such activities. 35 To that extent. hence. Nevertheless. the Social Security Commission. As the President's arm called upon to combat the vice of "dollar salting" or the blackmarketing and salting of foreign exchange. ergo.Court of Agrarian Relations. to determine whether or not probable cause exists to warrant the filing of charges with the proper court. Powers of the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force. the powers of arrest and search are exclusive upon judges. 34 If the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force is not. and unless its decision are seasonably appealed to the proper reviewing authorities. the Regional Offices of the Ministry of Labor. the same attain finality and become executory. no further civil or criminal action may be instituted against said person before any other judicial regulatory or administrative body for violation of Presidential Decree No. that pass judgment on the accused. make it a quasi-judicial entity as defined by recognized authorities. since the question has been specifically put to the Court. b) To administer oaths. the executive body appointed to investigate and prosecute cases involving "ill-gotten wealth". After due investigation but prior to the filing of the appropriate criminal charges with the fiscal's office or the courts as the case may be. if any. hereinafter referred to as Task Force. Its undertaking. summon persons or issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of such books. a quasi-judicial body. It will not do to say that the fact that the Presidential Task Force has been empowered to issue warrants of arrest. convinces the Court that the Task Force was not meant to exercise quasi-judicial functions. meaning to say. the jurisdiction to do which is exclusive upon the Sandiganbayan. llcd It must be observed that under the present Constitution. statements of accounts. It had been vested with enormous powers. the Task Force shall be entitle to retain Forty percent (40%) of the fine and the balance shall accrue to the general funds of the National government. while it makes that determination. it cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-court. The amount of the fine shall be determined by the Chairman of the Presidential AntiDollar Salting Task Force and paid in Pesos taking into consideration the amount of foreign exchange retained abroad. Thereafter. 1936. oath oral and documentary. agreements. In that respect." 33 The Court sees nothing in the aforequoted provisions (except with respect to the Task Force's powers to issue search warrants) that will reveal a legislative intendment to confer it with quasijudicial responsibilities relative to offenses punished by Presidential Decree No. c) To appoint or designate experts. makes it. including the overvaluation of imports and the undervaluation of exports. it cannot be said to be co-equal or coordinate with the Regional Trial Court. search. the exchange rate differentials. conduct hearings. A perusal of the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force's organic act. records. it is the objection interposed by the private respondent. Women and Minors Bureau. undeclared profits. and other as may be necessary in the conduct of investigation. like the issuance of writs of sequestration. 1883. papers. in all cases involving violation of foreign exchange laws or regulations. a "semi-court". It cannot pronounce judgment of the accused's culpability. issue such kinds of processes. 1883. gather data. interest rates and such other relevant factors. provided said person voluntarily admits the facts and circumstances constituting the offense and presents proof that the foreign exchange retained abroad has already been brought into the country. xxx xxx xxx "f. to impose a fine and/or administrative sanctions as the circumstances warrant. but nothing more. whether or not it can under the 1973 Charter. There is nothing in its enabling statutes that would demonstrate its standing at par with the said court. as we said. shall be entitled to Twenty percent (20%) of the fine. and yet. and seizure. and submit reports containing findings and recommendations for consideration of appropriate authorities. uncollected taxes and duties thereon. d) To punish direct and indirect contempts with the appropriate penalties therefor under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. information or documents. investigators and hearing officers to assist the Task Force in the discharge of its duties and responsibilities. to try and decide claims and execute its judgments. It is not unlike a fiscal's office that conducts a preliminary investigation to determine whether or not prima facie evidence exists to justify haling the respondent to court. to investigate and prosecute all dollar salting activities. we do not find error in the respondent Court of Appeal's resolution sustaining the assumption of jurisdiction by the court a quo. freeze orders. We quote: LibLex SECTION 1. shall have the following powers and authority: a) Motu proprio or upon complaint. but that did not. Presidential Decree No. receive evidence. The informer. contracts. to conduct an inquiry preliminary to a judicial recourse. Should there be no informer. that is. the case has become moot and academic. and To adopt such measures and take such actions as may be necessary to implement this Decree. Precisely. state prosecutors or fiscals. 2002. 31 As may be seen. upon any person found committing or to have committed acts constituting blackmarketing or salting abroad of foreign exchange. — The Presidential AntiDollar Salting Task Force. ultimately. is simply. not the fiscal. on account thereof alone. Bureau of Labor Standards.

whether or not its conduct constitutes a violation of petitioner's rights to due process and equal protection of the law. LibLex It is our ruling. and on that ground. the President has pledged to execute the laws. But while we support the State's efforts. judicial but Presidential actions. 42 [Mr. Prosecutors exercise essentially an executive function (the petitioner itself is chaired by the Minister. that a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) is (was) not a species of "arrest" in its technical sense. a prosecutor is naturally interested in the success of his case. Aquino directed the Solicitor General to prosecute all persons involved in the misuse of coconut levy funds. United States. and that the (deposed) Chief Executive. however. but the same question persisted following this Court's subsequent rulings upholding the President's alleged emergency arrest powers. to mean not only skill and competence but more significantly. Rather. We affirm the Appellate Court. A prosecutor can in no manner be said to be possessed of the latter qualities. the Solicitor General filed two criminal complaints with respondent PCGG docketed under I. FRANCISCO I. the urgency for tough measures designed to contain if not eradicate it. and foremost.. 38 Less than a year later. 49 in which the American Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors (like the petitioner) cannot be given such powers because of their incapacity for a "detached scrutiny" 50 of the cases before them. of course. and the HON. a pernicious practice that has substantially drained the nation's coffers and has seriously threatened its economy. Concepcion. 1990. neutrality and independence comparable to the impartiality presumed of a judicial officer. COJUANGCO. notably. we do so not at the expense of fundamental rights and liberties and constitutional safeguards against arbitrary and unreasonable acts of Government. they cannot be made to issue judicial processes without unlawfully impinging the prerogative of the courts. by virtue of the "responsible officer" clause of the 1973 Bill of Rights. Jr. Ponce de Leon. we do not relish it and certainly. JR. The Constitution simply does not leave us much choice.S. United States. MARIA CLARA L. 36 a 1975 decision. warrants of arrest." 41 Apparently. now Secretary. In Lim v. October 2. We were agreed. 83578. although the Court hopes that this disposition has clarified a controversy that had generated often bitter debates and bickerings. 74 and 75. Ponsica v. when he is neither. the need for cooperation from the citizenry in an all-out campaign. CHAVEZ in his capacity as Solicitor General. Estelito P. we take "responsibility". other than a judge. LLpr On November 28. as the accused's adversary and his accuser. 2002. JR. But in the same breath. No. On January 12. cdll WHEREFORE.] In Ponsica v. the implied exclusion of prosecutors under the 1973 Constitution was founded on the requirements of due process. intervenors. Justice Hugo Gutierrez would hold. but held in the same vein that. The latter scheduled both cases for hearing. 1989. No costs. That makes. vs. 43 In the distinguished Justice's opinion then. 44 however. though. by statute. thus. We agree that the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force exercises. the assurance to the respondent of an unbiased inquiry of the charges against him prior to the arrest of his person or seizure of his property. Since the 1973 Constitution took force and effect and until it was so unceremoniously discarded in 1986. ELEAZAR. we held that the mayor has been made a "responsible officer" by the Local Government Code. or in order to carry out the deportation of undesirable aliens. It is to be noted that the Charter itself makes the qualification that the officer himself must be "responsible". 39 in which we categorically averred: "[U]ntil now only the judge can issue the warrant of arrest. precisely. Nos. in issuing one. According to the Court of Appeals. We add that the exclusion is also demanded by the principle of separation of powers on which our republican structure rests. New Hampshire. DECISION GANCAYCO. We recognize the menace it has posed (and continues to pose) unto the very stability of the country. or was meant to exercise. do not mean it. it did not furnish the legislator with the license to give that authority to whomsoever it pleased. invariably. notably. it cannot be said to be a neutral and detached "judge" to determine the existence of probable cause for purposes of arrest or search. Katz v. this Court ruled that a fiscal has no authority to issue search warrants. Although his office "is to see that justice is done and not necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused. and (2) on the assumption that it has jurisdiction to conduct such a preliminary investigation. as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in times of emergency. Mendoza and Villareal Law Offices for petitioner. however. and other respondents for the alleged misuse of coconut levy funds. we did not rule the grant under the Code unconstitutional based on the provisions of the former Constitution. does not do so in his capacity as a "responsible officer" under the 1973 Charter. these are acts that can be done without need of judicial intervention because they are not. the petition is DISMISSED. is to make him both judge and jury in his own right. SO ORDERED. Villaluzhad settled the debate. We are not saying. 47 Johnson v.. be given such a power." 40 "No law or presidential decree has been enacted or promulgated vesting the same authority in a particular responsible officer." 37 Authorities. Regala & Cruz for intervenors. OMBUDSMAN.R. that the Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force (or any similar prosecutor) is or has been irresponsible in discharging its duty. 1990. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG) AND HON. 92319-20. 52 As such. we prove to be an "obstacle" to the vital endeavour of stamping out the blackmarketing of valuable foreign exchange. President Corazon C. have continued to express reservations whether or not fiscals may. petitioner. Abello. of Trade and Industry). Ignalaga. March 16.] EDUARDO M. to our mind and to that extent. Unlike a magistrate. 1936 the respondent Court relied on American jurisprudence." 51 he stands. unconstitutional. J p: In these petitions the issues raised are: (1) whether or not the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has the power to conduct a preliminary investigation of the anti-graft and corruption cases filed by the Solicitor General against Eduardo Cojuangco. by fiat of legislation have been at best controversial. we promulgated Collector of Customs v. that the "responsible officer" referred to by the fundamental law should be one capable of approximating "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. but rather. 48 and Coolidge v. ||| (Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force v.R. At any rate." 46 In striking down Presidential Decree No. 1989) EN BANC [G. respondents. 1936 as amended by Presidential Decree No. Ignalaga should foreclose all questions on the matter. Court of Appeals. "any lawful officer authorized by law can issue a search warrant or warrant of arrest. 45 but had ceased to be one with the approval of the 1987 Constitution according judges sole authority to issue arrest and search warrants. Pursuant to the above directive the Solicitor General created a task force to conduct a thorough study of the possible involvement of all persons in the anomalous use of coconut levy funds. 1 The PCGG assigned both complaints to prosecutor Cesario del Rosario for preliminary investigation. LOBREGAT and JOSE R. its provisions conferring the power to issue arrest and search warrants upon an officer. Presidential Decree No. The Court joins the Government in its campaign against the scourge of "dollar-salting". pursuant to the provisions of the 1973 Constitution during whose regime the case was commenced. G. If in the event that as a result of this ruling. Angara.final arbiter of legal controversies. Villaluz. prosecutorial powers. that when the 1973 Constitution spoke of "responsible officer" to whom the authority to issue arrest and search warrants may be delegated by legislation. as used by the Constitution. since under the Constitution. To permit him to issue search warrants and indeed. . Nos.

1990 petitioner appeared through counsel. and it confirmed the earlier instructions of the President dated November 28. the PCGG issued an order that reads as follows: "Considering that none of the respondents have filed their counter-affidavits and supporting evidence. 1990. Nos. 1990. 1990. 1990. 75. Maria Clara Lobregat and Jose R. to issue a writ of preliminary injunction prohibiting respondent PCGG from conducting a preliminary investigation of said criminal complaints and to order that the records of I. 79 and 82. PCGG. On July 10. He alleges that the PCGG may not conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaints filed by the Solicitor General without violating petitioner's rights to due process and equal protection of the law. Jr. the petitions were deemed submitted for resolution. to conduct the necessary investigation and if warranted to file and prosecute the cases before the Sandiganbayan. and to pay the costs of the suit. 14398 and 14399. 1990 the herein petitions for prohibition with prayer for a temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction. the complaints filed against them may now be considered submitted for resolution by this Commission. The Court required the Ombudsman to comment on the petition within ten (10) days from notice. At the scheduled preliminary investigation on January 31. Wherefore. and after hearing on the merits. llcd On March 20." 2 On March 14. petitioner filed a supplemental petition informing the Court of the filing of said informations and the additional complaints aforestated. On March 22. and Salvador Escudero. 1990. a motion for hearing of said cases was filed by petitioner and this was granted by the Court on June 21. In a resolution dated June 5. and Herminigildo Zayco. except respondent Hermenegildo Zayco. And this Commission finds the findings and conclusions of fact of the investigating prosecutor. 79 and 82 and that it be ordered to forward the records of the case to the Ombudsman for appropriate action. On February 27. 74 and 75 and enjoining as well the PCGG from taking any further action on said cases. this Court. Jr. 4 On May 4. 79 and 82 and similar cases filed with the PCGG.S. 1990. the Solicitor General filed with the PCGG several other complaints against petitioner and several others bearing on the misuse of the coconut levy funds. Meanwhile. 1990. Nos. 1990 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon as to petitioner Eduardo M. On the same date.S. have not submitted counteraffidavits and controverting evidence. except Hermenegildo Zayco. 83. The hearing was held as scheduled on July 17. 1990. Nos. 82. he filed in this Court on March 12. 1990. 1989 to the same effect. Nos. 1990. Jr. respectively. 1990. 1990 petitioner filed a reply to the consolidated comment as required by the Court. Instead of filing a counter-affidavit. resolved to require respondents to comment thereon within ten (10) days from notice. In a resolution dated March 13. Eleazar. while petitioner filed his reply to the comment of the Ombudsman on July 16. 79. Two of these complaints were docketed as I. 77. Prosecutor del Rosario denied both motions and declared the proceedings closed and the cases submitted for resolution. addressed to the Chairman. It is prayed that a temporary restraining order be issued enjoining the respondents and any or all persons acting under their orders or in their behalf from continuing with the preliminary investigation of I. Nos. The Ombudsman submitted his comment on July 3. petitioner requested the PCGG to resolve directly his aforesaid motions. 1990 where all the parties including the Ombudsman appeared and/or were duly represented by counsels. and (2) motion to have the PCGG itself hear or resolve Cojuangco's motion to disqualify/inhibit PCGG alternatively. 1990. On May 31. On July 13. . Thereafter. Petitioner did not submit the required counter-affidavit. III. two informations 3 were filed by the PCGG with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and all other respondents named in I. On April 2. 74 and 75 which were docketed as Criminal Cases No. 1990 setting the preliminary investigation on January 29. Instead. Felix Dueñas. the same cannot be delegated to a prosecutor or his assistants. including petitioner. Petitioner also prays that. and issued a status quo order prevailing at the time this petition was filed on March 12. including Hermenegildo Zayco.S. with violations of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. petitioner filed a motion reiterating the petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction and alternatively seeking that the case be set for hearing. the court granted the motion for leave to intervene and admitted the petition for intervention. that a prima facie case has been established against all the respondents. namely: (1) a motion to disqualify/inhibit PCGG. motion to dismiss.S. 80. Rolando de la Cuesta. 1990.S. let the corresponding information be filed. On July 6.. the PCGG issued an order denying petitioner's motions and required him. without giving due course to the petition. to be well-founded. 1990. 74. Nos. 74 and 75 be forwarded to the Ombudsman for such action he may consider appropriate and to pay the costs of the suits.S. 1990. 1990 and February 21. conveying the instructions of the President of the Philippines that the complaints involving coconut levy funds be filed with the PCGG. alternatively. to warrant the filing of an information for a violation of Section 3(1) in relation to Section 3(i) thus making them liable under Section 3(a) of RA 3019.. The memoranda of all the parties having been submitted. The PCGG was required to comment on said petition within ten (10) days from notice. 1990. It was directed that the Ombudsman be impleaded as party respondent. as required in the subpoena. and on January 31. a consolidated comment was submitted by the respondents attaching as annex thereto the letters of the Executive Secretary dated February 9. he filed two motions addressed to the PCGG. July 17. He filed said comment within the period of extension asked for on July 31. After the hearing. On July 21. Nos. The case was set for hearing on Tuesday. A panel of prosecutors designated by the PCGG issued a subpoena to petitioner in order to compel him to appear in the investigation of said cases. Since the respondents. the parties were required to submit their simultaneous memoranda within fifteen (15) days from the date of the hearing. On the same date. 1990. a motion to dismiss. 1990 at 10:00 in the morning. 3019) in connection with the coconut levy funds. respondents filed their rejoinder to the reply of petitioner to their consolidated comments. He prays that a temporary restraining order be issued enjoining respondents and other persons acting under their orders or in their behalf from continuing with the preliminary investigation of as well as taking further action in I. the evidence submitted by the complainants stands uncontradicted. and that the PCGG has no right to conduct such preliminary investigation. 1990 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon as to respondents Maria Clara Lobregat. The Ombudsman filed his comment to the petition for intervention. the PCGG be prohibited from continuing with the preliminary investigation of I. Jose Eleazar. after hearing. required respondents to comment thereon within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. 74 and 75 to submit counter-affidavits within five (5) days from receipt thereof. Cojuangco. They maintain that even assuming that the PCGG has such authority. The intervenors question the authority of the PCGG to conduct a preliminary investigation of the said cases. the Court admitted the supplemental pleading of the petitioner. Nos.S. together with all the respondents in I. filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene and a Motion to Admit Petition to Intervene wherein they ask that the PCGG desist from further proceeding with the preliminary investigation of I. 81.Del Rosario prepared a subpoena dated January 16. 1990 and the Court required petitioner to file a reply to the same. the Solicitor General asked for an extension of time within which to file his comment to the petition for intervention. and 84 charging the intervenors and other respondents. the Solicitor General was required to file a rejoinder.S.

1983 wherein the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was defined as follows: "SECTION 1. The justice of the peace of the provincial capital or of the municipality in which the provincial jail is located when directed by an order of the Court of First Instance. 1379 (covering unexplained wealth cases) on August 18. Republic Act No. the Court finds and so holds the same to be devoid of merit. the Sandiganbayan was created and vested with exclusive jurisdiction over all offenses committed by public officers enumerated therein. — The following may conduct a preliminary investigation: (a) Provincial or city fiscals and their assistants. Officers authorized to conduct preliminary examination. shall have authority to conduct such preliminary examination or investigation of any offense committed anywhere within his province at the expense of the municipality wherein the same was committed. on July 17.00: PROVIDED. shall have authority to conduct preliminary examination or investigation in accordance with these rules of all offenses alleged to have been committed within his municipality. 1960.000. 1630 was promulgated whereby the Tanodbayan was vested with the "exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. 2. the judge of the said court may refer the case to the justice of the peace or he may himself conduct both the preliminary examination and investigation simultaneously. from the final judgments. Presidential Decree No. that offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a fine of P6. Officers authorized to conduct preliminary investigation. where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years. Metropolitan Trial Court. cognizable by the Court of First Instance. Title VII of the Revised Penal Code. or a fine of P6. 1606 is hereby amended to read as follows: "SEC. (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office. 3019." Under Section 2 likewise of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court before its present amendment. HOWEVER.On the first issue wherein petitioner and intervenors question the authority of the PCGG to conduct a preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints filed against them by the Solicitor General. and (d) Such other officers as may be authorized by law. For complaints filed directly with the Court of First Instance. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 1979. Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 4. 1379. as amended. city or province. under Section 13 of the same rule. — Every justice of the peace. resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over . This was amended by Presidential Decree No. city or provincial fiscal. Section 2. "(b) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction: (1) On appeal. (c) National and Regional state prosecutors. including those employed in governmentowned or controlled corporations. Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. Under Section 2. from the final judgments. the officers authorized to conduct preliminary investigation are as follows: "SEC. Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure the officers authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation are the following: "SEC. 1861 issued on March 23.000. municipal judge." 6 Under Presidential Decree No. the municipal mayor may conduct the preliminary investigation. the preliminary investigation of cases involving the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and/or unexplained wealth cases was vested on the aforestated officers. Their authority to conduct preliminary investigation shall include all crimes cognizable by the proper court in their respective territorial jurisdictions.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court. However. and Chapter II. (b) Judges of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. cdrep Upon the enactment of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on August 17. 1978. 5 and Republic Act No. (2) By petition for review. Jurisdiction — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise: "(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: (1) Violations of Republic Act No." Under Section 3 thereof in case of temporary absence of the justice of the peace or his auxiliary. 1606 dated December 10. 1955. 1486 which was approved on June 11. 2. whether simple or complexed with other crimes. 1978 and further amended by Presidential Decree No. resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in cases originally decided by them in their respective territorial jurisdiction.

1630. Any provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding." SECTION 2. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan. that where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered.)" Under EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. influence. as the case may be. Civil suits for restitution. 1606. — The Commission shall be charged with the task of assisting the President in regard to the following matters: (a) The recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. whether located in the Philippines or abroad. 1379. in connection with EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court.cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts. the Presidential Commission on Good Government with the assistance of the Office of the Solicitor General and other government agencies." (Emphasis supplied. they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees. HOWEVER. 2 dated March 12. Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. and the institution of adequate measures to prevent the occurrence of corruption. for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action. file the necessary information. 1986 and Executive Order No. is hereby empowered to file and prosecute all cases investigated by it under EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. (b) The investigation of such cases of graft and corruption as the President may assign to the Commission from time to time. by taking undue advantage of their public office and/or using their powers. and direct and control the prosecution of all cases enumerated in Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1986. this exclusive jurisdiction of the Tanodbayan to conduct preliminary investigation of said cases was modified by EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. as may be warranted by its findings. including the takeover or sequestration of all business enterprises and entities owned or controlled by them. in their respective jurisdiction.) However. reparation of damages. Therein it is provided. directly or through nominees. 1986. subordinates and close associates. may be filed separately from and proceed independently of any criminal proceedings and may be proved by preponderance of evidence. 1986 creating the PCGG and constituting its membership to assist the President in the recovery of ill gotten wealth accumulated by the former President. SECTION 3. (c) The adoption of safeguards to ensure that the above practices shall not be repeated in any manner under the new government. 1. 1986.)" . SECTION 3. The Commission shall have the power and authority: (a) To conduct investigations as may be necessary in order to accomplish and carry out the purposes of this order. Marcos. Aquino on February 28. said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees. his immediate family. or indemnification for consequential damages. it is also provided: "SECTION 1. the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action. 1 signed by President Corazon C. among others: "SECTION 2. 1 dated February 28. dated February 28. dated March 12. 2. the office of the Tanodbayan shall continue to have the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation. or any other civil actions under the Civil Code or other existing laws. the Office of the Tanodbayan shall represent the People of the Philippines. otherwise the separate civil action shall be considered abandoned. 129. the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with and jointly determined in the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts. relatives. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. 1986 and Executive Order No. authority. whether such cases be within the exclusive original/appellate jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. whether civil or criminal. forfeiture proceedings provided for under Republic Act No. The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. SECTION 3. 14 signed by President Aquino on May 7. (Emphasis supplied. relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Intermediate Appellate Court shall apply to appeals and petition for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. connections or relationship. and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: PROVIDED. SECTION 2. his relatives and cronies. (Emphasis supplied. which shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction thereof . All cases pending in the Sandiganbayan or in the appropriate courts as of the date of the effectivity of this Decree shall remain with and be disposed of by the courts where they are pending. The provisions of this Decree notwithstanding. during his administration. The Presidential Commission on Good Government shall file all such cases. In case private individuals are charged as co-principals. with the Sandiganbayan. as well as the implementing rules the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereinafter promulgate. Any provision of the law to the contrary notwithstanding.

or prosecution." (Emphasis supplied) This Court. (2) Direct.(8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law. and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. from any investigatory agency of Government. the state prosecutors and the judges of the municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts. the Tanodbayan lost the exclusive authority to conduct the preliminary investigation of these types of cases by the promulgation of the said Executive Order Nos. employee. fine. 1 and Sections 1 and 2 of EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. (BASECO) vs. 11 A reading of the foregoing provision of the Constitution does not show that the power of investigation including preliminary investigation vested on the Ombudsman is exclusive. employee. 6770 aforecited. 12 In other words. as the power of investigation vested on the Ombudsman under the Constitution includes the power to conduct a preliminary investigation. and graft and corrupt practices cases that may be assigned by the President to the PCGG to be filed with the Sandiganbayan. (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency. improper. particularly Section 13(1) thereof vesting on the Ombudsman the right and the power to investigate on its own or on complaint. Powers. 6770. any act or omission of any public official. Indeed. as follows: "SEC. 13. xxx xxx xxx (11) Investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25. mis-management. his relatives and associates. 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. otherwise known as the "Ombudsman Act of 1989. 1 and 14 whereby the PCGG was vested concurrent jurisdiction with the Tanodbayan to conduct such preliminary investigation and to prosecute said cases before the Sandiganbayan. improper. The Ombudsman shall give priority to complaints filed against high ranking government officials and/or those occupying supervisory positions. Inc. improper or inefficient. 14. PCGG. upon complaint or at its own instance. held that the general power of investigation covers the lesser power to conduct a preliminary investigation. Such investigatory agencies referred to include the PCGG and the provincial and city prosecutors and their assistants. 9 Upon the adoption of the 1987 Constitution. upon the passage of Republic Act No." Under Section 15(1) of Republic Act No. prevent. functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. unjust. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. as well as of any governmentowned or controlled corporation with original charter. if necessary. or to stop. or inefficient". or any subdivision. it may take over. the investigation of such cases. Functions and Duties. and to examine. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate offenses involving public officers or employees is not exclusive but is concurrent with other similarly authorized agencies of the government. and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action. censure. particularly Sections 2(b) and 3(a) of EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. the authority to investigate extended to the PCGG includes the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. office or agency which appears "to be illegal. then the special prosecutor (former Tanodbayan) may no longer conduct such a preliminary investigation unless duly authorized by the Ombudsman. and ensure compliance therewith. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. complaints involving grave offenses as well as complaints involving large sums of money and or properties. it cannot be construed thereby that its power of investigation had thereby been revoked by the failure to reiterate said power in the Constitution. the Office of the Ombudsman was created under Article XI. functions. in Zaldivar. the aforestated provision of the law has opened up the authority to conduct preliminary investigation of offenses cognizable by the Sandiganbayan to all investigatory agencies of the government duly authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation under Section . in any appropriate case and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. at any stage. office or agency. 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein. No doubt. any act or omission of any public officer or employee. red tape. unjust. (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. agency or instrumentality thereof. 15. 1 and 14 Although under Section 26 of Article XVIII of the Constitution the authority of the PCGG to issue sequestration or freeze orders was maintained for not more than eighteen months after the ratification of the Constitution. it is clear that the PCGG has the power to investigate and prosecute such ill-gotten wealth cases of the former President. 8 The power of the PCGG to conduct a preliminary investigation of the aforementioned types of cases has been recognized by this Court in Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan so that it may take over at any stage from any investigatory agency of the government. any act or omission of any public official. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and.From the foregoing provisions of law. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. the said provision of the Constitution did not repeal or remove the power to conduct an investigation. or on complaint by any person. pertinent records and documents. office or agency. any public official or employee of the Government. Hence. (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities. Thus. including the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation. 10 interpreting the aforesaid provision of the Constitution. (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault. and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. the investigation of such cases. suspension. and duties: (1) Investigate on its own. vested on the PCGG by Executive Orders Nos." it is therein specifically provided in Section 15 as follows: "SEC. fraud. 7 Thus. unjust. in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction. demotion. and recommend his removal. (4) Direct the officer concerned. or inefficient.

Among the respondents were the petitioner and intervenors Lobregat and Eleazar. An act becomes judicial when there is opportunity to be heard and for. if the investigating officer finds that there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial." The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to secure the innocent against hasty.)" 17 The complaint was filed by the PCGG through its Chairman. 1989. It is a judicial proceeding.." by the nature of his functions he is and must be considered to be a quasi judicial officer. notwithstanding the provision of Section 15 (11) of Republic Act No. However. It is also noted that under Section 15(11) of the aforestated Republic Act No. On January 12. Marcos. including a preliminary investigation. Diaz. 14161. 91741. Among the allegations of the complaint are as follows: "This is a civil action against Defendants Eduardo Cojuangco. Soon after the creation of the PCGG under EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 13 The conduct of a preliminary investigation is the initial step towards the criminal prosecution of a person. as oneman ruler under martial law and Dictator under the 1973 Marcospromulgated Constitution. Such a preliminary investigation is required for offenses cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and the Sandiganbayan. 18 On November 27. He also questioned the acts of the PCGG in several special civil actions before the court. 0033. betrayal of public trust and brazen abuse of power as more fully described below. include the misappropriation and theft of public funds. the first working day after petitioner Cojuangco returned to the Philippines.. 1989 insofar as intervenors are concerned while that of petitioner. the Solicitor General filed with the PCGG the first two criminal complaints for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Marcos and the rest of the Defendants in the above-entitled case to recover from them ill-gotten wealth consisting of funds and other property which they. embezzlement and other acts of corruption. from the trouble. expense. an indispensable requisite of due process is that the person who presides and decides over a proceeding. The authority of a prosecutor or investigating officer duly empowered to preside or to conduct a preliminary investigation is no less than that of a municipal judge or even a regional trial court judge. As correctly pointed out by petitioner. plunder of the nation's wealth. who verified the complaint. Cojuangco. bribery. and also to protect the state from useless and expensive trials. blackmail. On November 28. Desuasido. 1986. strictly speaking is not a "judge. said petitioner was sued by the PCGG before the Sandiganbayan by way of a complaint entitled "Republic of the Philippines vs. it is not a casual affair. On July 31. 16 While the investigating officer. Chavez and Assistant Solicitor General Ramon S. Indeed. President Aquino directed the Solicitor General to prosecute all persons involved in the misuse of the coconut levy funds. Petitioner in turn filed a counterclaim against the PCGG for the sequestration of his properties and the institution of the suit. After such preliminary investigation. The Solicitor General created a task force for the purpose. The officer conducting the same investigates or inquires into the facts concerning the commission of the crime with the end in view of determining whether or not an information may be prepared against the accused. the Court finds and so holds that the aforesaid provision of the law cannot in any manner dilute or diminish the primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over all such types of cases committed by public officers or employees as provided in Section 13. prLL However. Imelda R. the PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan an information against said petitioner for violation of Republic Act No. a preliminary investigation is in effect a realistic judicial appraisal of the merits of the case. and to protect him from an open and public accusation of a crime. It is the filing of said complaint or information that initiates the criminal prosecution of the accused when he is brought to court for trial. and a decision is rendered thereon. On March 29. a subpoena was issued by the said prosecutor for the preliminary investigation on January 29. Ferdinand E. Jr. Jr. 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein. 1986. 1986 is maintained. No. The second issue raised that the preliminary investigation by the PCGG of the aforestated complaints violates the right of petitioner to due process and to equal protection of law is impressed with merit. thereafter. extortion. 15 Although such a preliminary investigation is not a trial and is not intended to usurp the function of the trial court. Cojuangco. Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure. Sufficient proof of the guilt of the accused must be adduced so that when the case is tried. preliminary investigation is defined as "an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof. the trial court may not be bound as a matter of law to order an acquittal. Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure with the only qualification that the Ombudsman may take over at any stage of such investigation in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction. 1990 this Court denied the petition." et al. Thus. 2. Jr. had acquired and accumulated in flagrant breach of trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers with. Under Section 1. bearing on the anomalous use and/or misuse of the coconut levy funds docketed as I. Ramon A. Nos. malicious and oppressive prosecution. grave abuse of right and power and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of the Philippines. the Sandiganbayan found no probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest so a petition for certiorari was filed by the Solicitor General in this Court docketed as G. 1. 14 It must be undertaken in accordance with the procedure provided in Section 3. 1987. the production and weighing of evidence. docketed as Civil Case No. Marcos' 20 years of rule from December 30. Eduardo M. first as President of the Philippines under the 1935 Constitution and. 6770. (Emphasis supplied.R. A preliminary investigation has then been called a judicial inquiry. and should be held for trial. This procedure is to be observed in order to assure that a person undergoing such preliminary investigation will be afforded due process. 74 and 75. anxiety of a public trial. and Solicitor General Francisco I." docketed as Criminal Case No. 3019 entitled "People of the Philippines vs. the primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman to investigate covers ill-gotten wealth and/or unexplained wealth cases that occurred even before February 25.2. 1990. The Court agrees with the contention of the public respondent PCGG that this provision is a tacit recognition that the authority of the PCGG to conduct preliminary investigation of ill-gotten wealth and/or unexplained wealth amassed before February 25. then the corresponding complaint or information shall be filed in the competent court. The wrongs committed by Defendant acting singly or collectively and in unlawful concert with one another. As hereinabove related. Eduardo M. in unlawful concert with one another.S. Article XI of the Constitution. de . The PCGG assigned assistant prosecutor Cesario del Rosario to conduct the preliminary investigation. 6770. thus resulting in their unjust enrichment during Defendant Ferdinand E. all at the expense and to the grave and irreparable damage of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. the PCGG sequestered and froze all the properties of petitioner Cojuangco in accordance with the powers vested in it by law. must possess the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. among the powers vested on the Ombudsman is to investigate and to initiate the proper action for recovery of ill-gotten wealth and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25. 1965 to February 25. 1989.

On February 27. The intervenors contested the prosecutor's action before the Sandiganbayan through a petition for certiorari and prohibition docketed as Criminal Case No. Earlier however. papers. Upon the filing of this petition. 3019 and other penal laws in connection with the coconut levy funds. 14398 and 14399. All of these complaints were for alleged violation of Republic Act No. his immediate family. Meanwhile. 82 which concerns the acquisition of coconut oil mills. concealment or disappearance which would frustrate or hamper the investigation or otherwise prevent the Commission from accomplishing its task. 1 provides as follows: "SECTION 3. the PCGG directed petitioner to submit his counter-affidavits within five (5) days from receipt of notice. 79 which concerns an alleged arbitration award in favor of Agricultural Investors Inc. On March 12. the cases were considered closed insofar as they are concerned.. No. No. (c) To provisionally take over in the public interest or to prevent its disposal or dissipation. 74 and 75 another period of five (5) days from notice within which to submit their counter-affidavits and supporting evidence. No. 1990. now United Coconut Planters' Bank. statement of accounts and other documents as may be material to the investigation conducted by the Commission. and a motion to have the PCGG itself hear and/or resolve the motion to disqualify or inhibit itself alternatively a motion to dismiss. the PCGG was charged with the task of assisting the President not only in the recovery of ill-gotten wealth or unexplained wealth accumulated by the former President. on March 14. the PCGG filed two informations corresponding to the complaints in I. business enterprises and properties taken over by the government of the Marcos administration or by entities or persons close to former President Marcos. instead of filing the counter-affidavit.S. the same day this petition was filed in this Court. on February 27. The said motion was denied and the preliminary investigation was adjourned. 1990. subordinates and close associates but also in the investigation of such cases of graft and corruption as the President may assign to the Commission from time to time and to prevent a repetition of the same in the future.00 for each case. 74 and 75 for at least until March 22. (d) To enjoin or restrain any actual or threatened commission of acts by any person or entity that may render moot and academic. and any records pertaining thereto. 1 issued by President Aquino. the PCGG issued an order denying petitioner's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction but did not resolve the motion to disqualify. intervenors appeared through counsel and moved to dismiss the complaints for lack of jurisdiction of the PCGG to conduct the preliminary investigation but this was denied by said prosecutor. — The Commission shall have the power and authority: (a) To conduct investigation as may be necessary in order to accomplish and carry out the purposes of this order. and I. following the same procedures and penalties provided in the Rules of Court. the PCGG.S. 80 which concerns the acquisition of the First United Bank.S.S. 1990. records. agency or instrumentality of the government.T. On the scheduled investigation dated January 29. 1990. on the day of the preliminary investigation dated January 31. Therein. No. until the transactions leading to such acquisition by the latter can be disposed of by the appropriate authorities. Nevertheless. 74 and 75 which are docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Several other complaints were filed by the Solicitor General with the PCGG against petitioner for preliminary investigation.la Cuesta and Herminigildo Zayco was scheduled on January 31. therefore. 3019. 1990. is whether under the circumstances of this case.S. Nos. 1990.S. On March 13. Based on this action the PCGG filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision of the Sandiganbayan which had not been resolved. petitioner filed a supplemental urgent motion to defer proceedings with the PCGG informing it of the filing of this petition. No.S. and (d) I. that is. it would be fair and just for the PCGG to conduct the preliminary investigation of the said complaint instead of the Ombudsman or any other duly authorized investigating agency. (c) I. 83 regarding the acquisition of coconut oil mills and certain indebtedness thereof. The question that arises. the Solicitor General filed two other complaints against the petitioner with the PCGG accusing the petitioner of violation of Republic Act No.S. (b) To sequester or place or cause to be placed under its control or possession any building or office wherein any ill-gotten wealth or properties may be found. respondents were required to submit their counter-affidavits and other supporting documents to controvert the complaint within ten (10) days from notice.S. or otherwise make ineffectual the efforts of the Commission to carry out its tasks under this order. No.. 0093. 1990.000. 84 regarding settlement of an Anti-Graft suit in the United States. Upon the creation of the PCGG under EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. overruling prosecutor del Rosario's order." . in order to prevent their destruction. I. 74 and 75 as to the intervenors and to assign another investigating prosecutor. (f) To hold any person in direct or indirect contempt and impose the appropriate penalties. The PCGG recommended bail as P100. 81 concerning shares of the United Coconut Oil Mills Inc. 1990.S. In the same subpoena. and issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and/or the production of such books. contracts. with eight other respondents duly represented by their counsel. gave the intervenors in I. the Sandiganbayan promulgated its decision wherein it declared the preliminary investigation conducted by del Rosario null and void. Caparas of the PCGG and in several communications sought resolution of the motion by the PCGG. namely. an alternative motion to dismiss. (e) To administer oaths. the petitioner. filed with the PCGG an urgent motion to defer proceedings in I. Section 3 of EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. or frustrate. They were asked by the prosecutor if they will submit their counter-affidavits but intervenors' counsel replied that they were not yet ready to file the same because of their pending motion. 1990 within which to seek judicial relief from the order of February 27. 1990. (h) To promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. respectively. Nos. his counsel filed a motion to disqualify or inhibit the PCGG. Nos. Thus. to wit: (a) I. (b) I. at the Sandiganbayan. Immediately thereafter petitioner brought the matter to Chairman Mateo A. relatives. Nos. As to petitioner. enjoined the PCGG from filing an information on the basis thereof and directed the PCGG to conduct another preliminary investigation of I. (g) To seek and secure the assistance of any office. The preliminary investigation presided by prosecutor del Rosario started at 2:00 o'clock P.M.

3. [I. in Baseco. Issue sequestration orders in relation to property claimed to be ill-gotten. Expanded Complaint. In the petition before this Court. taking undue advantage of his association. dated November 20. of which Defendant Eduardo Cojuangco. In the process it sequestered all the properties of the petitioner after a prima facie finding that the same amount to ill-gotten wealth and/or were acquired in relation to allegedly anomalous disposition or misuse of the coconut levy funds.00 in a manner contrary to law and to the specific purposes for which said coconut levy funds were imposed and collected under P. beginning the year 1975. at least. for the sequestration order. A similar requirement is now found in Section 26. 0033). was the Chief Executive Officer in connection with the (i) development. this Court held. The PCGG then filed on July 31. such as. Inc. 1985 and (iii) payment of liquidated damages in the amount of P640. 276.' Executive Order No. Jr. 22 to 22-A. Marcos and Imelda R. 1974. acting in unlawful concert with Defendants Ferdinand E. freeze order or takeover order. as above discussed. operation and maintenance of the Bugsuk Island Seed Garden ("BUGSUK") by Agricultural Investors. 5. Jr.67 and arbitration fee of P150. 2. when he — 13(a) manipulated. with the active collaboration of Defendants Juan Ponce Enrile.00 pursuant to a decision rendered by a Board of . improvement. and under anomalous and sinister designs and circumstances. and (3) provisional takeover. 14 enjoins that there be 'due regard to the requirements of fairness and due process. it is clear that the PCGG has the following powers and authority: 1. 856.100.879. 0033 against petitioner and intervenors not only for alleged ill-gotten wealth as associates of former President Marcos but for the unlawful concert with the former President and his wife to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of the Filipino people through the alleged misuse. which requires that a 'sequestration or freeze order shall be issued only upon showing of a prima facie case. 19 Thus. Issue provisional takeover orders of the said property. as in the case of attachment and receivership. It is at this stage. to wit: xxx xxx xxx At pp.. ("All") as developer (both Bugsuk and AII are beneficially held and controlled by Defendant Eduardo Cojuangco. an adequate and fair opportunity to contest it and endeavor to cause its negation or nullification. misused and dissipated P840 million of the Coconut Industry Development Fund (CIDF) levy funds deposited with the National Investment Development Corporation (NIDC) as administrator-trustee of said funds and later with UCPB. oppressive and disadvantageous agreement. the purchase by Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) of 72. schemes and stratagems to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. relatives and associates. influence and connection. Zayco. Defendant Eduardo Cojuangco. it may be divided into two stages. embarked upon devices. Jose R. 4.From the foregoing provisions of law. like the courts. No.773. Among the allegations in the civil complaint. This complaint was verified and filed by the then Chairman of the PCGG and also signed by the Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitor General. To conduct an investigation including the preliminary investigation and prosecution of the ill-gotten wealth cases of former President Marcos. The first stage of investigation which is called the criminal investigation stage is the fact-finding inquiring which is usually conducted by the law enforcement agents whereby they gather evidence and interview witnesses after which they assess the evidence and if they find sufficient basis. or motu propio when the Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that the issuance thereof is warranted. file the complaint for the purpose of preliminary investigation. based on the affirmation or complaint of an interested party. (ii) sale by AII to PCA of the seed nuts produced at Bugsuk Seed Garden at exorbitant prices pursuant to a very onerous. (2) freezing assets. Civil Case No. is vested with the authority to grant provisional remedies of (1) sequestration. as follows: "EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. and Herminigildo C . 'it is the position of the new democratic government that President Marcos . there exists a prima facie factual foundation. 080] (c) misappropriated.S. Considering that the PCGG. 6.000. Maria Clara Lobregat. Issue "freeze orders" prohibiting persons in possession of property alleged to be ill-gotten from transferring or otherwise disposing of the same. Both are assured under the foregoing executive orders and the rules and regulations promulgated by the PCGG. Marcos. Administer oaths and issue subpoenas in the conduct of its investigation. . it is not denied that the PCGG conducted the appropriate criminal investigation of petitioner and intervenors as a law enforcer. Eleazar. anomalous and onesided memorandum agreement. misappropriation and dissipation of the coconut levy funds. Jr. it is indispensable that. where it is ascertained if there is sufficient evidence to bring a person to trial. are the very transactions now subject of the criminal complaints filed by the Solicitor General against petitioner to wit: "13. and graft and corruption cases assigned by the President to it. 1987 a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. (and other parties affected) be afforded fair opportunity to contest these claims before appropriate Philippine authorities. Art. Danilo Ursua. The second stage is the preliminary investigation stage of the said complaint. as enumerated in the complaint. dated August 2. Jr.' Section 7 of the Commission's Rules and Regulations provides that sequestration or freeze (and takeover) orders issue upon the authority of at least two commissioners. XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. 2 declares that with respect to claims on allegedly 'ill-gotten' assets and properties.2% of the outstanding capital stock of the First (sic) (FUB) which was subsequently converted into a universal bank named United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) through the use of the Coconut Consumers Stabilization-Fund (CCSF) levy initially in the amount of P85.) pursuant to a highly oppressive.'" 20 Insofar as the general power of investigation vested in the PCGG is concerned.D. Hold any person in direct or indirect contempt and impose the appropriate penalties as provided by the rules.

No.935 million. In our criminal justice system. 079] (d) established and caused to be funded with coconut levy funds. Marcos. Inc. the PCGG had already found a prima facie case against the petitioner and intervenors when. Emmanuel Almeda. among others. Juan Ponce Enrile. invoked the denial of due process and promptly informed the PCGG of the filing of this petition. under I. the sale of the Mindanao Coconut Oil Mills (MINCOCO) to UNICOM through the issuance of LOI 926 by Defendant Ferdinand E. xxx xxx xxx (At p. Douglas Lu Ym. Maria Clara Lobregat. 0033. The PCGG. Eleazar. Nos. 3019. Thereafter. 81. No. Nos. 74. in violation of the Guaranty Agreement dated July 23.S. 28 to 28-A emphasis supplied) [I. 27-28) [I. under terms grossly disadvantageous to Plaintiff. Eduardo Escueta. the law enforcer who conducted the criminal investigation. the PCGG filed a civil complaint docketed as Civil Case No. as aforestated. dissipated and unlawfully disbursed coconut levy funds with the active collaboration and participation of defendants Maria Clara Lobregat. and Rolando de la Cuesta. 80.. Juan Ponce Enrile. As hereinabove discussed the criminal complaints under I. and assumed and paid the outstanding loan obligations of seven (7) of those purchased oil mills in the total amount of P805. Regala. No. of the MINCOCO assets/properties without the prior written consent of NIDC. after satisfying itself that there is a prima facie case. the National Investment Development Corporation (NIDC). Rolando de la Cuesta and Herminigildo Zayco as members of the PCA governing board for projects and purposes completely alien to those for which the fund was collected and donations made by PCA such as .S. Jose C. This was demonstrated in the undue haste with which I. under terms and conditions grossly disadvantageous to Plaintiff and the Filipino people. the PCGG gathered the evidence and upon finding cogent basis therefor filed the aforestated civil complaint. Teodoro D. Concepcion. gathered the evidence and thereafter filed the complaint for the purpose of preliminary investigation cannot .. as a law enforcer. which all remain unaccounted for to date. thereby establishing a coconut monopoly for their own benefit and unjust enrichment and to the grave damage of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. in collaboration with the Solicitor General. the United Coconut Oil Mills. Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB).. with the active collaboration of Defendant Ferdinand E. 82. Jr. 26-27) [I. which prohibited the sale. Inaki Mendezona.S. are covered and alleged in the aforesaid civil complaint docketed as Civil Case No.. and of defendants. 1976. Jose Eleazar.S. 82 and 83] (g) misappropriated and dissipated the coconut levy funds by withdrawing therefrom tens of millions of pesos in order to pay damages adjudged against UNICOM. 81. U. Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). misappropriation. P6 million to COCOFED. and diversion of coconut levy funds. with the active collaboration of Defendants Mohammad Ali Dimaporo and Teodoro D. Marcos.(f) drew up a scheme of payment to settle the accounts of MINCOCO and other UNlCOMacquired mills with their respective creditors: namely. the Solicitor General filed the first two complaints against petitioner and intervenors among others. acting as a law enforcer. 79. 84] (h) misused. acting like a judge. 0033 against petitioner and intervenors for alleged ill-gotten wealth including the alleged misuse.A. gathered evidence as to the alleged ill-gotten wealth of petitioner and intervenors and. Jose R...S. There is cogent basis for their plea. Jr. 74 and 75 for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for donations allegedly made out of coconut levy funds to the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation (COCOFED). Nos. (UNICOM) a corporation beneficially held and controlled by Defendant Eduardo Cojuangco. headed and controlled by Defendant Eduardo Cojuangco.S.984 million with the express consent and approval of Defendant Ferdinand E. then mothballed them in order to control the prices of copra and other coconut products. 74 and 75]" Thereafter. xxx xxx xxx (At pp. Regala.Arbitrators against UCPB for alleged breach of contract. Nos. Leo Palma. it caused the sequestration of the properties and the issuance of the freeze order of the properties of petitioner. It is difficult to imagine how in the conduct of such preliminary investigation the PCGG could even make a turn about and take a position contradictory to its earlier findings of a prima facie case against petitioner and intervenors. sequestered and issued a freeze order for all the properties of petitioner. and other similar unlawful disbursements.(e) manipulated. xxx xxx xxx At pp. The PCGG conducted the preliminary investigation of I. 74 and 75 was investigated and the informations were filed in court even as the petitioner and intervenors questioned its authority. The Court cannot close its eyes to the glaring fact that in earlier instances. xxx xxx xxx (At pp.S. 29) [I. 74 and 75 and is poised to conduct the preliminary investigation of the other aforementioned complaints for the same alleged violations of law subject of the civil complaint. Consequently the Solicitor General filed a series of criminal complaints. Petitioner and intervenors questioned not only the authority of the PCGG to conduct the preliminary investigation but asserted a denial of due process and equal protection of the law. Based also on the said finding of a prima facie case.S. Jr.S. and bought sixteen (16) competing and/or non-operating oil mills at exorbitant prices in the total amount of P184. Marcos through the issuance of LOI 926. in an anti-trust suit in California. 83 and 84 filed by the Solicitor General all for alleged violation of Republic Act No. Nos.. Jr.

when the PCGG issued the sequestration and freeze orders against petitioner's properties. All proceedings of the preliminary investigation conducted by the PCGG of said complaints are hereby declared null and void including the informations which it filed in the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and intervenors docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. in turn. board. It cannot possibly preside in the said preliminary investigation with an even hand." DECISION BARREDO. 14398 and 14399. respondentsappellees. G. This is an instance when appearance is as important as reality. ID. such judge should inhibit voluntarily or if he refuses. Leuterio. the Court finds that the PCGG cannot possibly conduct the preliminary investigation of said criminal complaints with the "cold neutrality of an impartial judge.be allowed to conduct the preliminary investigation of his own complaint. beauty contests and similar competitions. this time as a public prosecutor. Santiago for petitioner-appellant. 31 His actuation must inspire that belief. the PCGG cannot inspire belief that it could be impartial in the conduct of the preliminary investigation of the aforesaid complaints against petitioner and intervenors. However.] TEODORO C. SANTIAGO.. its Civil Case No. MILKITA INAMAC. Minor. PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. Cojuangco. it is only the Solicitor General who is the complainant in the criminal cases filed with the PCGG. The PCGG is directed to transmit the complaints and records thereof under I. REBECCA MATUGAS. While ostensibly. 74. whoever they may be. SYLLABUS I. POLITICAL LAW. the PCGG and the Solicitor General finding a prima facie basis filed a civil complaint against petitioner and intervenors alleging substantially the same illegal or criminal acts subject of the subsequent criminal complaints the Solicitor General filed with the PCGG for preliminary investigation.S. 81. he cannot be expected to handle with impartiality the preliminary investigation of his own complaint. 79.. 30 Where the circumstances do not inspire confidence in the objectivity and impartiality of the judge. Represented by his Mother. Santiago. who has supervision over the prosecution arm of the government. for that matter it would not interfere in literary contests.. The Court holds that a just and fair administration of justice can be promoted if the PCGG would be prohibited from conducting the preliminary investigation of the complaints subject of this petition and the petition for intervention and that the records of the same should be forwarded to the Ombudsman. ID. 32 The same rule of thumb should apply to an investigating officer conducting a preliminary investigation. For lesser grounds this Court had disqualified a fiscal or a judge from handling a case. AIDA CAMINO. 2012 — for certiorari. board or officer clothed with power and authority to determine what the law is and thereupon adjudicate the respective rights of the contending parties. Carag for respondents-appellees. 3. Jr. etc. The Court makes no pronouncement as to costs. Thus. SO ORDERED ||| (Cojuangco.R. he should be prohibited from handling the case. wherein the Court declared that the judiciary has no power to reverse the award of the board of judges of that contest and. LUNA SARMAGO. JUDICIAL OR QUASI-JUDICIAL BODIES. COMMITTEE OF TEACHERS ON THE RATING OF STUDENTS FOR HONOR IS NEITHER JUDICIAL NOR QUASI-JUDICIAL. JR. 2. ROMEO AGUSTIN.— The issue of whether courts have authority to reverse the award of the board of judges of an oratorical contest was resolved in the case of Felipe vs. and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought. 92319-20. who as an independent constitutional officer has primary jurisdiction over cases of this nature. All violators of the law must be brought before the bar of justice. they must be afforded due process and equal protection of the law. et al. or officer may exercise judicial or quasi-judicial acts.R. together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto." Having gathered the evidence and filed the complaint as a law enforcer. REMEDIAL LAW. 1990) EN BANC [G. 4.— We are inclined to sustain the order of dismissal appealed from for failure on the part of appellant to comply with the requirement of Section I of Rule 65 that "the petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject thereof. such-function involves the determination of what the law is and that they are therefore automatically vested with judicial or quasi-judicial functions. Nos. This is the reason why under Section 1679 of the former Revised Administrative Code. Teodoro M. Jr. It is in such instances that We say one cannot be "a prosecutor and judge at the same time. Ramon C. MISS JUANITA BAUTISTA. 21 In a case filed before the Commission on Elections this Court held Commissioner Opinion should not have participated in the case since he was the former lawyer of Arturo Pacificador. J p: Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Cotabato dismissing. Mrs. No. and from the subsequent order of the court a quo denying the motion for the reconsideration of the said order of dismissal. Nos. It is to say the least arbitrary and unjust. October 02." as it has prejudged the matter. PLEADING AND PROCEDURE. 1990 is hereby made permanent and the PCGG is permanently prohibited from further conducting the preliminary investigation of the aforestated complaints. . Moreover. it was on the basis of a prima facie finding that the same were ill-gotten and/or were acquired in relation to the illegal disposition of coconut levy funds. A fiscal was disqualified from conducting a preliminary investigation because he had appeared for the prosecution when said case was pending in the municipal court. it is necessary that there be a law that gives rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse claims to such rights are made. THE BOARD OF JUDGES OF AN ORATORICAL CONTEST.. v. The status quo order which this Court issued on March 12.— The committee on rating of students for honor whose actions are questioned in this case exercised neither judicial nor quasi-judicial functions in the performance of its assigned task. There is nothing on record about any rule of law that provides that when teachers sit down to assess the individual merits of their pupils for purpose of rating them for honors. SOLEDAD FRANCISCO and MR. Add to this the fact that there are many suits filed by petitioner and the intervenors against the PCGG and vice versa. WHEREFORE. A judge must not only be impartial but must also appear impartial as an assurance to the parties that his decision will be just. The circumstances of the instant petition are even worse. PCGG. 29 There are numerous other cases wherein the judges and fiscals were disqualified on similar grounds as those aforementioned. The Court finds that under the circumstances of the case. 82. 1970. REQUIREMENT. March 30. ID. the Secretary of Justice. the petitions of Eduardo M. on a motion to dismiss.— Before a tribunal. is given ample power to designate another prosecutor to handle the investigation and prosecution of a case when the prosecutor handling the same is otherwise disqualified by personal interest. or is unable or fails to perform his duty. 75. to conduct such preliminary investigation and take appropriate action. Jr. AWARD NOT SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW. in reality the PCGG is an unidentified co-complainant. Angelita C. 80.. FLOR MARCELO. FAILURE TO ATTACH COPY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER SOUGHT TO BE REVIEWED FATAL. are hereby GRANTED. AURORA LORENA. injunction and damages — on the ground that the complaint therein states no cause of action. before the tribunal. ROSALINDA ALPAS. L-25024. To repeat. ID. petitioner-appellant. and intervenors Maria Clara Lobregat and Jose Eleazar. 83 and 84 to the Ombudsman for appropriate action. vs.

With the school Principal. and to the Academic Supervisor. Alpas who became the teacher of both pupils in English in Grade VI.. but said officials "passed the buck to each other" to delay his grievances. to enjoin the respondent teachers from officially and formally publishing and proclaiming the said honor pupils in Grade VI in the graduation exercises the school was scheduled to hold on the 21st of May of that year 1965. and V) and once third place (grade VI). Romeo Agustin. "Dolores Dalican obtained twice first place (grades II. Jr. the said court reasoning out that the graduation exercises were then already set on the following day. 1965. to set aside the final list of honor students in Grade VI of the Sero Elementary School for that school year 1964-1965. which is very unnatural. the students closely contending for class honors were Socorro Medina. Patricia Liñgat once third place (grade V). and. by instituting the abovementioned civil case in the Court of First Instance of Cotabato. May 21. Jr. and the restraining of the same would be shocking to the school authorities. had been prejudiced. and with his father as counsel. Mrs. that there are direct and circumstantial matters. "Paragraph 6 alleges that there are direct and circumstantial evidence showing the change of ratings of Socorro Medina and Patricia Liñgat from 80% to 85% and the intention to junk petitioner to a lower rank. 1965. 1965. Under date of May 24. 5. The corresponding complaint filed alleged. 9 and 10. the question brought before the court had already become academic. appellant Teodoro Santiago. the graduation exercises of the Sero Elementary School for the school year 1964-1965 was held on May 21. was a pupil in Grade Six at the public school named Sero Elementary School in Cotabato City. District Supervisor and Academic Supervisor of the school. Having been required by the above mentioned order to answer the petition within ten (10) days. that the teachers of the school had been made respondents as they compose the "Committee on the Rating of Students for Honor". Aida Camino and Luna Sarmago. that Santiago. on the grounds (1) that the action for certiorari was improper.00. and twice third place (grades II and III). III.. Milkita Inamac. 6. In order to resolve the motion to dismiss. III). This is the ranking now disputed by petitioner. The school's graduation exercises were thereafter set for May 21. They prayed the court. that as such. the court reasoning thus: "The respondents now move to dismiss the petition for being improper and for being academic. that Teodoro Santiago. there is no other speedy and adequate remedy under the circumstances. against the above-named committee members along with the District Supervisor and the Academic Supervisor of the place. the motion to dismiss of respondents was granted. which is an instance of the unjust and discriminating abuses committed by the respondent teachers in the disputed selection of honor pupils they made. Teodoro Santiago. "Paragraph 7 alleges that the giving of district examinations upon which ratings were partly based were not advisable. Dolores Dalican and Patricia Liñgat.. Rosalinda Alpas who became her English teacher in the sixth grade. 1965 with the honor rank of third place. once third place (grade I). Jr. Jr. Mrs. Jr. "Teodoro Santiago. ratings in which were heavily considered in the determination of periodical ratings. Jr. with the same protested list of honor students. that there was a unanimous agreement and understanding among the respondent teachers to insult and prejudice the second and third honors by rating Socorro Medina with a perfect score. Jr. second and third honors. which shall be proven during the trial. the "third placer" Teodoro Santiago. wherein respondents have exercised grave abuse of discretion and irregularities. that petitioner personally appealed the matter to the School Principal. but three days before that date. and some teachers giving petitioner a starting grade of 75% in Grade VI. 8. Jr. which proves that there was already an intention to pull him to a much lower rank at the end of the school year. "Paragraph 9 alleges that on the first grade certificate of the petitioner the word 'First Place' was erased and changed to 'Second Place'. and once second place (grade VI). As scheduled.The record shows that at the time Civil Case No. and as to appeal to higher authorities will be too late. the above-named committee deliberated and finally adjudged Socorro Medina. Santiago. Jr. inter alia: that plaintiff-petitioner Teodoro C. 4. 2012 was commenced in the court below. as members. that the committee referred to in this case had been illegally constituted as the same was composed of all the Grade VI teachers only. In an order dated June 4. and (2) that even assuming the propriety of the action. Alpas unjustly favored Socorro against her rivals. "That as now ranked in the graduation Liñgat is given second place while Teodoro Santiago. respondents moved for the dismissal of the case instead. such as the changing of the final ratings on the grading sheets of Socorro Medina and Patricia Liñgat from 80% to 85%. obtained first place once (grade IV). "Paragraph 8 alleges that the teachers rated Socorro Medina a perfect pupil which is unnatural. was coached and tutored during the summer vacation of 1964 by Mrs. . These allegations may be substantially summarised as follows: Paragraph 3 alleges that since grades one to six. once second honor (grade IV. in violation of the Service Manual for Teachers of the Bureau of Public Schools which provides that the committee to select the honor students should be composed of all teachers in Grades V and VI. is a sixth grader at the Sero Elementary School in Cotabato City scheduled to be graduated on May 21st. while the other defendants were included as Principal. respectively. Jr. Patricia Liñgat and Teodoro C. during the pendency of the suit. V and VI). among others. As the school year 1964-1965 was then about to end. "Paragraph 5 alleges that the teachers who composed the committee on honor students are all grade six teachers while the Service Manual For Teachers provides that the committee shall be composed of the teachers from the fifth and sixth grades. represented by his mother. Santiago. Teodoro Santiago. II. This was opposed by petitioner. whose grave abuse of official discretion is the subject of suit. four times second place (grades I. "The pertinent portions of the petition alleging 'grave abuse of discretion' are found in paragraphs 3. Aurora Lorena. the Court has carefully examined the petition to determine the sufficiency of the alleged cause of action constituting the special civil action of certiorari. that petitioner and his parents suffered mental and moral damages in the amount of P10. and. 7. resulting in the far lead Medina obtained over the other pupil. to the District Supervisor.000. except in Grade V wherein she ranked third. "Paragraph 4 alleges that Socorro Medina was tutored in the summer of 1964 by Mrs. and the community who had eagerly looked forward to the coming of that yearly happy event. 1965. which is disputed. had been a consistent honor pupil from Grade I to Grade V of the Sero Elementary School. is given the third place only. they filed a motion to dismiss. that several district examinations outside of teachers' daily units and other than periodical tests were given. and Juanita Bautista. the "Committee On The Rating Of Students For Honor" was constituted by the teachers concerned at said school for the purpose of selecting the "honor students" of its graduating class. whereas according to the Academic Supervisor and Acting Division Superintendent of schools of the place such district examinations were not advisable. Socorro Medina. The injunction prayed for was denied by the lower court in its order of May 20. parents. while Patricia Liñgat (second placer in the disputed ranking in Grade VI) had never been a close rival of petitioner before. Rosalinda Alpas. 1965. Rebecca Matugas. sought the invalidation of the "ranking of honor students" thus made. that the words "first place" in petitioner's certificate in Grade I was erased and replaced with: the words "second place". while his closest rival had been so much benefited. as first. "Socorro Medina obtained first honor thrice (grades I. by the circumstance that the latter. as chairman.

and upon whose claims some decision or judgment is rendered. Louis County. . 90 N. for if really the said committee of teachers does not fall within the category of the tribunal board. the petitioner moved for the reconsideration thereof. mistakes. "SECOND PARAGRAPH VIOLATED "Rule 65. 'Judicial action is an adjudication upon the rights of parties who in general appear or are brought before the tribunal by notice or process. 181 S. but the same proved to be futile. cited in Southeastern Greyhound Lines v.) A judicial function is an act performed by virtue of judicial powers. the Court is of the opinion. Appellant here assails the holding of the lower court that his petition states no cause of action on the grounds — discussed by the court a quo in the appealed order abovequoted — (1) that the petition does not comply with the second paragraph of Sec. for in the first instance it must exercise its own judgment under the laws and not act under a mandate from another power . as in its varied jurisdictions it may by turns be each. indeed. Further. This allegation does not show that petitioner formally availed of and exhausted the administrative remedies of the Department of Education. or officer exercising judicial functions. Rule 67. Dunn. has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. or officer exercising judicial functions contemplated by Rule 65. "ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES NEGLECTED "All that the petition alleges is that the petitioner personally appealed to the school authorities who only 'passed the buck to each other'. ministerial. together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto. and is inconsistent with discretion on the one hand — for the tribunal must decide according to law and the rights of the parties — or with dictation on the other. Mere commission of errors in the exercise of jurisdiction may not be corrected by means of certiorari. and undertakes to determine those questions." Upon receipt of a copy of the above-quoted order. that this petition has not been accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order complained of. and (3) that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the teachers who constituted the committee referred to. In order that a special civil action of certiorari may be invoked in this jurisdiction the following circumstances must exist: (1) that there must be a specific controversy involving rights of persons or property and said controversy is brought before a tribunal.' It is striking.' (Section 1.) (2) the tribunal. 337. Georgia Public Service Commission. further discussion of the issues raised by appellant may no longer be necessary. "In view of the foregoing. v. Dec.' (State ex rel. and what the legal rights of parties are. On the other hand. a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings. Petition for certiorari. — When any tribunal. with respect to a matter in controversy. The last point raised by appellees deserves first consideration. Board of Commissioners of St. or irregularities rather than to real grave abuse of discretion that would amount to lack of jurisdiction. "NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION "Allegations relating to the alleged 'grave abuse of discretion' on the part of teachers refer to errors. board. or officer exercising judicial functions. as the law requires.) 'It may be said generally that the exercise of judicial function is to determine what the law is. Petitioner cannot now claim that he lacked any plain. board. 1182). (2) that administrative remedies were not first exhausted. 338. the exercise of a judicial function is the doing of something in the nature of the action of the court (34 C. E. speedy and adequate remedy. It implies impartiality. 836-837. and so holds. This violation renders the petition extremely indefinite and uncertain. or legislative. . To resolve this problem the following tests may be employed: "In this jurisdiction certiorari is a special civil action instituted against 'any tribunal. hence. et al. appellees maintain that the court below did not err in dismissing the case on said grounds.J. as required by the second paragraph of the aforequoted rule. nor any plain."Paragraph 10 alleges that petitioner personally appealed to the school authorities but they only 'passed the buck to each other'. a weighing of adverse claims. but petitioner negligently abandoned them. The petition implies that this is the first formal complaint of petitioner against his teachers. 100 Am. and whenever an officer is clothed with that authority. together with all pleadings and documents which are relevant thereto. W. board or officer exercising judicial functions" against which an action for certiorari may lie under Section 1 of Rule 65. disinterestedness. or with grave abuse of discretion and there is no appeal. board or officer before whom the controversy is brought must have the power and authority to pronounce judgment and render a .' 'The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject thereof.' (In Re Saline County Subscription. 1 of Rule 65 because it has not been accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject thereof. board or officer for hearing and determination of their respective rights and obligations. The character of its action in a given case must decide whether that action is judicial. The administrative agencies of the Department of Education could have investigated the grievances of the petitioner with dispatch and give effective remedies. he acts judicially. of such tribunal. board or officer. as it is hereby dismissed. This violation is fatal to the petition. they argue in favor of the questioned order of dismissal upon the additional ground that the "committee on the ratings of students for honor" whose actions are here condemned by appellant is not the "tribunal. There is no written formal judgment or order of respondents that is submitted for revision or correction of this Court. that the petition states no cause of action and should be. speedy. this appeal. Section 1 of the Rules of Court provides: 'Section 1. or whether it be simply that of a public agent of the country or State. 772-773. together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

) [Emphasis supplied] 1 " 'WHAT ARE JUDICIAL OR QUASI JUDICIAL ACTS. the power exercised by courts in hearing and determining cases before them. as distinguished from ministerial power or authority to carry out the mandates of judicial power or the law. the following statements were made: 'The precise line of demarcation between what are judicial and what are administrative or ministerial functions is often difficult to determine. it will be gleaned that before a tribunal board. that determines whether or not it is the discharge of a judicial or quasijudicial function. 328-329. and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought.' " 2 It is evident. and matters of the greatest weight and importance are dealt with. As to what is judicial and what is not seems to be better indicated by the nature of a thing. et al. the authority vested in some court. in connection with the law as to the right to a writ of certiorari. the power conferred upon a public officer. The exercise of judicial functions may involve the performance of legislative or administrative duties. and judgment. in respect to which it is exercised.). which does not belong to the legislative or executive department. and undertakes to determine those questions. thought. It may be said generally that the exercise of judicial functions is to determine what the law is. it is not judicial. rather than of the office. It is not essential that the proceedings should be strictly and technically judicial. or. the authority or power vested in the judges or in the courts.decision on the controversy construing and applying the laws to that end. it is necessary that there be a law that gives rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse claims to such rights are made. or body which performs it. The term "judicial power" does not necessarily include the power to hear and determine a matter that is not in the nature of a suit or action between the parties. pp. S.A. .. at least. in turn. 'The phrase "judicial power" is not capable of a precise definition which would be applicable to all cases. involve the exercise of judicial functions. . precisely to define what are judicial or quasi judicial acts. It is difficult. 3 however. due regard must be had to the organic law of the state and the division of power of government. but it is sufficient if they are quasi judicial. that it is the nature of the act to be performed.' (Whealing & Elm Grove Railroad Co. As pointed out by appellees. 4 L. It is not enough to make a function judicial that it requires discretion. he acts judicially. board or officer clothed With power and authority to determine what that law is and thereupon adjudicate the respective rights of the contending parties. that the so called committee on the rating of students for honor whose actions are questioned in this case exercised neither judicial nor quasi judicial functions in the performance of its assigned task.) (3) the tribunal. which does not belong to the legislative or executive department. or persons to hear and determine when the rights of persons or property or the propriety of doing an act is the subject matter of adjudication. The term has been variously defined as the authority to determine the rights of persons or property by arbitrating between adversaries in specific controversies at the instance of a party thereto. and there is considerable conflict in the decisions in regard thereto. Dunn (86 Minn. "Judicial power" implies the construction of laws and the adjudication of legal rights. board or officer must pertain to that branch of the sovereign power which belongs to the judiciary. Town of Philadelphia. From the above-quoted portions of the decisions cited. whatever may be their public character . It is enough if the officers act judicially in making their decision. involving the exercise of judgment and discretion in the determination of questions of right in specific cases affecting the interest of persons or property. officer. . board. or some matter incidental thereto. v. the distinction between legislative or ministerial functions and judicial functions is difficult to point out What is a judicial function does not depend solely upon the mental operation by which it is performed or the importance of the act.J. or at least. such function involves the determination of what the law is and . (N. . and whenever an officer is clothed with that authority.' (34 C. It is clear. in the sense in which that word is used when applied to courts of justice. and of which they have jurisdiction. 321. the power which adjudicates upon and protects the right and interests of individual citizens. If the matter. or officer may exercise judicial or quasi judicial acts. than its definition. upon the foregoing authorities. vs. before the tribunal. however. there is nothing on record about any rule of law that provides that when teachers sit down to assess the individual merits of their pupils for purposes of rating them for honors. the power of a court to decide and pronounce a judgment. the power belonging to or emanating from a judge as such. In solving this question. may. and to that end construes and applies the law. and what the legal rights of parties are. 11831184. It includes the power to hear and determine but not everyone who may hear and determine has judicial power. deliberation. and the performance of administrative or ministerial duties. 301.R. belongs to either of the two last-named departments of government. Board of Commrs.' "In State ex rel. 304). if not impossible. the exercise of discretion and judgment of the highest order is necessary. in a measure. Appt. ". with respect to a matter in controversy. It must be the exercise of discretion and judgment within the subdivision of the sovereign power which belongs to the judiciary. In the discharge of executive and legislative duties. the authority exercised by that department of government which is charged with the declaration of what the law is and its construction so far as it is written law.

for that matter. Justice J." The same principle was applied in the more recent case of NAWASA vs. it would be a different proposition. We found in American jurisprudence no litigation questioning the determination of the board of judges. in the performance of that committee's duties. They know some few verdicts did not reflect the audience's preference and that errors have sometimes been ascribed to the award of the judges.R. no murmurs of protest. 5 where it was claimed by therein petitioners that the respondent court had acted with grave abuse of discretion in estimating certain rice harvests involved in the case in terms of cavans instead of cans. the fact that a particular action has had no precedent during a long period affords some reason for doubting the existence of the right sought to be enforced. there was error on the part of one judge. R. No. the petition is also for the purpose of securing an order commanding the respondent court to approve either the original or the amended . that judicial intervention might be sought in cases of this nature. paragraph 5 of the petition speaks of the order of default entered by the respondent court and of the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner in the case above-mentioned. et al. Municipality of Libmanan. the lower court's holding that appellant's failure to accompany his petition with a copy of the judgment or order subject thereof together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto "is fatal to his cause" is supported not only by the provision of that Rule but by precedents as well. paragraph 4 of the petition mentions the decision rendered by the respondent court on December 10. allegedly in complete disregard of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Batangas in Expropriation Proceedings No. Speaking thru Mr. this Court denied the petition for certiorari on the ground.J. 1965. L-6191. To be sure. 1. of failure on the part of said petitioners to attach to their petition copies of the decisions allegedly violated. "Granting that Imperial suffered some loss or injury. "Like the ancient tournaments of the Sword. this Court has not even been appraised by appellant of the pertinent provisions of the Service Manual of Teachers for Public Schools appellees allegedly violated in the composition of the committee they constituted thereunder. No alibis. In the case of Felipe vs. for it is unwritten law in such contests that the board's decision is final and unappealable. this Court emphasized the importance of complying with the said requirement of Rule 65: "While paragraph 3 of the petition speaks of the complaint filed by the respondent municipality with the respondent court for recovery of property with damages (Civil Case No. We are inclined to sustain the order of dismissal appealed from for failure on the part of appellant to comply with the requirements of Section 1 of Rule 65. yet it does not attach to the petition the decisions allegedly violated by the Court below and point out which particular portion or portions thereof have been disregarded by the respondent Court. Reyes then. In the following language. still. Worse still. Yet no party ever presumed to invoke judicial intervention. among others. Leuterio. is not with out substantial parallel. 4 the issue presented for determination was whether or not the courts have the authority to reverse the award of the board of judges of an oratorical contest. beauty contests and similar competitions. "Bearing in mind that the petition under consideration was filed for the purpose of enjoining the respondent court from executing the decision rendered in Civil Case No. (See C. it would not interfere in literary contests. "No rights to the prizes may be asserted by the contestants. these tournaments of the Word apply the highest tenets of sportsmanship: finality of referee's verdict. In the first place. 84 and of this Court in G. "Again.that they are therefore automatically vested with judicial or quasi judicial functions. et al. "The flaw in his reasoning lies in the assumption that Imperial suffered some wrong at the hands of the board of judges.the moment. It charges that the Court of Industrial Relations abused its discretion in disregarding the decision of the Court of First Instance of Batangas in Expropriation Proceedings No. being loath to establish a new legal principle not in harmony with the generally accepted views thereon. "Now. At any rate. L-161) no copy thereof is attached to the petition. L-161. but no copy thereof is attached to the petition. U. Members of this court have taken part in them either as contestants in their school days (In the College of Law. and that privilege did not ripen into a demandable right unless and until they were proclaimed winners of the competition by the appointed arbiters or referees or judges. 6 and in ordering thereafter the division of the said rice harvests on the ratio of 70-30 in favor of the tenants.S. and." But even were We to assume for . the situation brought before Us in this case. this Court held: "The petition is patently without merit. Error and wrong do net mean the same thing. Not against the other judges. 7 wherein this Court dismissed (by Resolution) the petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority against the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur. the importance of the missing pleadings is obvious. As stated before. vs.. But then her action should be directed against the individual judge or judges who fraudulently or maliciously injured her. a contestant has no right to the prize unless and until he or she is declared winner by the board of referees or judges. Intercollegiate oratorical competitions are of more recent origin. In the case of Alajar. yet in law there are instances of 'damnum absque injuria'. at most.B. as the court below apparently did. p. the seemingly one of first impression. 84 and of this Court in G. first prize was awarded to Justice Montemayor in 1914 and to Justice Labrador in 1916). It was reasoned out thus: "For more than thirty years oratorical tilts have been held periodically by schools and colleges in this islands. but no copy of the order of default is attached to the petition.) "We observe that in assuming jurisdiction over the matter. or as members of the board of judges afterwards. "Moreover. If fraud or malice had been proven. and the municipality of Libmanan. This is one of them. 'Wrong' as used in the aforesaid principle is the deprivation or violation of a right.. The participants are supposed to join the competition to contribute to its success by striving their utmost: the prizes are secondary. 1012. No L-6191. because theirs was merely the privilege to compete for the prize. and courts are cautious before allowing it.L. If at all. etc. the respondent judge reasoned out that where there is a wrong there is a remedy and that courts of first instance are courts of general jurisdiction. "Similarly. et al. and this Court declared that the judiciary has no power to reverse the award of the board of judges of that contest and.P. Vol.. Court of Industrial Relations. especially where occasion for its assertion must have often arisen. annual oratorical contest. "Incidentally. these school activities have been imported from the United States. it is not even sufficient in form and substance to justify the issuance of the writ of certiorari prayed for.

. Even during the drafting and deliberation stages leading to the issuance of Memorandum Circular No. ID. as pointed out by appellant. 2. Teehankee and Villamor. August 12.] GLOBE TELECOM. These letters were not acted upon until October 6. that he received a copy of the programme of the graduation exercises held by the Sero Elementary School in the morning of the very day of that graduation exercises. and erasures in his Grade I certificate — which appellant never bothered to attach to his petition. the judgment appealed from is affirmed. ID. 2000.. SYLLABUS 1. EXHAUSTION DOCTRINE. INC. This principle applies only where the act of the administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function. which are the product of a delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. J.R." It might be true. petitioners wrote successive letters dated July 3. it is no longer necessary to pass upon the other two errors assigned by appellant. No. Pangalangan for petitioners in G. 1970) FIRST DIVISION [G. and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative power. vs. respondent. but no copy of either is attached to its petition. Bautista. In like manner. ID. This was taken by petitioners as a clear denial of the requests contained in their previous letters.record on appeal filed by petitioner. On appeal.. There could be no doubt then that he miserably failed to comply with the requirement of Rule 65 above-mentioned.. No. It is required that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law. In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an administrative agency. 152063. APPLIES WHERE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY EXERCISES ITS QUASI-JUDICIAL OR ADJUDICATORY FUNCTION. ID.A. weigh evidence. the standards prescribed by law. that appellant had known of such decision of the said committee of teachers much earlier. Inc. and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial nature. among others: that NTC contravened the Civil Code provisions on sales in regulating the sale of prepaid call cards. a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before going to court. Latina and Carelo for Isla Communications Co. Fernando. FOR THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS.R. Thus. APPLIES ONLY TO JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DECISIONS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES. hold hearings. 151908.. — In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an administrative agency. Moreover. alleging. This is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC).. Petitioners-communications companies filed an action for declaration of nullity of the billing circulars. This principle applies only where the act of the administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function. They must conform to and be consistent with the provisions of the enabling statute in order for such rule or regulation to be valid. Dizon. The administrative body exercises its quasi judicial power when it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative nature. (GLOBE) and ISLA COMMUNICATIONS CO.B. Zaldivar. Salalima and Gonzales for Globe Telecoms. Quevedo Español Ibay Syquia-Santos & Plaza-Cortes and Ian R.. POSSESS QUASILEGISLATIVE AND QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS. G. 2000. JJ.L.R. The courts will not determine a .. 151908. but in conformity with. concur. Castro. and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative power. ID. petitioners were able to register their protests to the proposed billing guidelines. C. L-25024. SYNOPSIS Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers. [G. INC. Even assuming arguendo that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies apply in this case. ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES. INC. 2000 and July 5. he had personally appealed the said committee's decision with various higher authorities of the above-named school. a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before going to court. — In like manner. DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION. "In view of the foregoing. the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) promulgated rules and regulations on the billing of telecommunications services. CASE AT BAR. vs.. Inc. the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts. with costs against appellant.. ID. the petition under consideration is dismissed. (SMART) and PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORPORATION (PILTEL). the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function. The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate. the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi judicial or adjudicatory function. Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. Jr. (ISLACOM). August 12. respondents. ID. — Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and quasi judicial or administrative adjudicatory powers. and that the billing circular violated the constitutional prohibition against the deprivation of property without due process of law. the records reveal that petitioners sufficiently complied with this requirement. the practice has been to refer the same to an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. COURT OF APPEALS (The Former 6th Division) and the NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. as shown by the circumstance that according to him. The stubborn fact remains. 13-6-2000. POLITICAL LAW. however. appellant mentions in his petition various other documents or papers — as the Service Manual for Teachers allegedly violated by appellees in the constitution of their committee. March 30. Makalintal. Concepcion. should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. dismissed the case on appeal without prejudice to the referral of the petitioners' grievances and disputes on the assailed issuances with the NTC. the Supreme Court held that the trial court has jurisdiction to hear and decide the civil case. where the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. v. in cases involving specialized disputes. The CA. altered grading sheets. Reyes.. ||| (Santiago. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss and enjoined the NTC from implementing the questioned circulars. After the same was issued. Judicial power includes the authority of the courts to determine the validity of the acts of administrative agencies. and be not in contradiction to. who merely passed the buck to each other. petitioners. The NTC moved to dismiss the case for failure of petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies. petitioners. Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of an administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power. They submitted their respective position papers setting forth their objections and submitting proposed schemes for the billing circular. No. ID. asking for the suspension and reconsideration of the so-called Billing Circular. thus prompting them to seek judicial relief. 2003. 2003.. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions. even before the filing of his petition with the lower court on the 19th of May. 1965. With this conclusion. 3. implying that he could not have attached then a copy thereof (to show the decision of the committee of teachers in the ranking of students complained of) to his petition.. No. however. when respondent NTC issued the second assailed Memorandum implementing certain provisions of the Billing Circular.R.] SMART COMMUNICATIONS.J. DISTINCTIONS.

Contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals. — In the case at bar. In case the statement is received beyond this period. JUDICIAL POWER. — Where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative function. voice prompt. The determination of whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative agency contravenes the law or the constitution is within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. and Pilipino Telephone Corporation filed against the National Telecommunications Commission. which reads: This is to remind you that the validity of all prepaid cards sold on 07 October 2000 and beyond shall be valid for at least two (2) years from date of first use pursuant to MC 13-6-2000. 2000 addressed to all public telecommunications entities. . J p: Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers. 2000. which includes the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political departments. This is within the scope of judicial power. 2000. ID. 13-6-2000. with prayer for the issuance of a writ . order. recorded message or similar facility excluding the customer's own equipment. 5. including the regional trial courts. On August 30. the NTC issued a Memorandum to all cellular mobile telephone service (CMTS) operators which contained measures to minimize if not totally eliminate the incidence of stealing of cellular phone units. 2000. Among its pertinent provisions are the following: (1) The billing statements shall be received by the subscriber of the telephone service not later than 30 days from the end of each billing cycle. including prepaid SIM and call cards — and this is judicially known to be within the knowledge of a good percentage of our population — and expertise in fundamental principles of civil law and the Constitution. The validity of an invalid SIM card. The Philippine Star. international or executive agreement. ID. petitioners averred that the Circular contravened Civil Code provisions on sales and violated the constitutional prohibition against the deprivation of property without due process of law. 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. Commissioner Joseph A. ID. the issues raised in the complaint do not entail highly technical matters. 2000. Deputy Commissioner Aurelio M. ID. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 13-6-2000 and its Memorandum dated October 6. promulgating rules and regulations on the billing of telecommunications services. Also.controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal. The Memorandum directed CMTS operators to: a. and e. Inc. In their complaint before the Regional Trial Court. (4) Subscribers shall be updated of the remaining value of their cards before the start of every call using the cards. It was published in the newspaper. ID. petitioners Isla Communications Co. require all your respective prepaid SIM cards dealers to comply with Section B(1) of MC 13-6-2000.. the subscriber shall have a specified grace period within which to pay the bill and the public telecommunications entity (PTEs) shall not be allowed to disconnect the service within the grace period. Indeed. 3 This was followed by another Memorandum dated October 6.. the provisions of the Memorandum Circular pertaining to the sale and use of prepaid cards and the unit of billing for cellular mobile telephone service took effect 90 days from the effectivity of the Memorandum Circular. Prepaid call cards and SIM cards shall be valid for at least 2 years from the date of first use. or regulation in the courts. 2000 Memorandum Circular No. the Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law. share all necessary information of stolen cellphone units to all other CMTS operators in order to prevent the use of stolen cellphone units. c. the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued on June 16. the billing unit shall be on a six (6) seconds pulse effective 07 October 2000. instruction. In addition. strictly comply with Section B(1) of MC 13-6-2000 requiring the presentation and verification of the identity and addresses of prepaid SIM card customers. what is required of the judge who will resolve this issue is a basic familiarity with the workings of the cellular telephone service. an action for declaration of nullity of NTC Memorandum Circular No. Umali and Deputy Commissioner Nestor C. POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW. and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered. . ordinance. The authorized rates per minute shall thus be divided by 10. Holders of prepaid SIM cards shall be given 45 days from the date the prepaid SIM card is fully consumed but not beyond 2 years and 45 days from date of first use to replenish the SIM card. the issuance by the NTC of Memorandum Circular No. on June 22. (2) There shall be no charge for calls that are diverted to a voice mailbox. Hence. otherwise the SIM card shall be rendered invalid. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. 1 The Memorandum Circular provided that it shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and three certified true copies thereof furnished the UP Law Center.. where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge. For strict compliance. d.. experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. petitioners were justified in invoking the judicial power of the Regional Trial Court to assail the constitutionality and validity of the said issuances. Dacanay. treaty. CASE AT BAR. deny acceptance to your respective networks prepaid and/or postpaid customers using stolen cellphone units or cellphone units registered to somebody other than the applicant when properly informed of all information relative to the stolen cellphone units. 13-6-2000 (the Billing Circular) and the NTC Memorandum dated October 6. the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to hear and decide Civil Case No. Rather. JURISDICTION OF REGULAR COURTS TO PASS UPON VALIDITY OR CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULES OR REGULATIONS. (5) The unit of billing for the cellular mobile telephone service whether postpaid or prepaid shall be reduced from 1 minute per pulse to 6 seconds per pulse. 2 Meanwhile. all CMTS operators are reminded that all SIM packs used by subscribers of prepaid cards sold on 07 October 2000 and beyond shall be valid for at least two (2) years from date of first use.. however. Q-00-42221. 4. b. Santiago. presidential decree. 4 On October 20. shall be installed upon request of the customer at no additional charge except the presentation of a valid prepaid call card. (3) PTEs shall verify the identification and address of each purchaser of prepaid SIM cards. 2000 was pursuant to its quasilegislative or rule-making power. require all your existing prepaid SIM card customers to register and present valid identification cards. the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same. These are within the competence of the trial judge. As such. The Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the orders of the trial court and in dismissing the case..

5 Petitioners Islacom and Piltel alleged. premises considered. B. 4. 152063. petitioners Globe Telecom. the defendants are hereby enjoined from implementing NTC Memorandum Circular 13-6-2000 and the NTC Memorandum. filed a joint Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Admit Complaint-in-Intervention. Q-00-42221 at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. which was denied in an Order dated February 1. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. dated October 6. that the Billing Circular is oppressive. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. C. 5. the trial court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the NTC from implementing Memorandum Circular No. a decision was rendered. the defendants' motion to dismiss is hereby denied for lack of merit. D. 2000. Philippine currency. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE BILLING CIRCULAR ISSUED BY THE RESPONDENT NTC IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND CONTRARY TO LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY.00). that the NTC has no jurisdiction to regulate the sale of consumer goods such as the prepaid call cards since such jurisdiction belongs to the Department of Trade and Industry under the Consumer Act of the Philippines. 6 This was granted by the trial court. 2000. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC) AND NOT THE REGULAR COURTS HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. 2001.R. SP. No. 2000.R. the instant petition for review filed by Smart and Piltel. TSDHCc SO ORDERED. No. WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER REMEDY. Soon thereafter. which was docketed as CA-G. 64274. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINES OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION AND EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DO NOT APPLY SINCE THE INSTANT CASE IS FOR LEGAL NULLIFICATION (BECAUSE OF LEGAL INFIRMITIES AND VIOLATIONS OF LAW) OF A PURELY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION PROMULGATED BY AN AGENCY IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS RULE MAKING POWERS AND INVOLVES ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW. 3. 10 Petitioners' motions for reconsideration were denied in a Resolution dated January 10. respondent NTC and its co-defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of petitioners' failure to exhaust administrative remedies. the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS FAILED TO SHOW THEIR CLEAR POSITIVE RIGHT TO WARRANT THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. 2002 for lack of merit.of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. Subsequently. 11 Hence. 14 . the trial court issued on November 20. confiscatory and violative of the constitutional prohibition against deprivation of property without due process of law. in that. 9 Respondent NTC thus filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs' application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is hereby granted. and Smart Communications. SO ORDERED. Inc. On October 27. pending the issuance and finality of the decision in this case. Accordingly. required to file a bond in the sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P500. Globe and Islacom filed a petition for review. inter alia. 8 Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration.000. On October 9. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED IN ISSUING ITS QUESTIONED RULINGS IN THIS CASE BECAUSE GLOBE AND ISLA HAVE A CLEAR RIGHT TO AN INJUNCTION. assigning the following errors: 1. are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. AND THE PETITIONER STANDS TO SUFFER GRAVE AND IRREPARABLE INJURY. No. 2001. 2003. the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DOES NOT APPLY WHERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IS COMPLETE AND EFFECTIVE. Branch 77. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINE ON EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DOES NOT APPLY WHEN THE QUESTIONS RAISED ARE PURELY LEGAL QUESTIONS. anchored on the following grounds: A. that the Circular will result in the impairment of the viability of the prepaid cellular service by unduly prolonging the validity and expiration of the prepaid SIM and call cards. premises considered. they prayed that the Billing Circular be declared null and void ab initio. 12 Likewise. and the writ of preliminary injunction issued thereby. docketed as G. 151908. the order of the court a quo denying the petitioner's motion to dismiss as well as the order of the court a quo granting the private respondents' prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. however.R. The private respondents' complaint and complaint-in-intervention below are hereby DISMISSED. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE PETITIONERS IN FACT EXHAUSTED ALL ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO THEM. which was docketed as G. and that the requirements of identification of prepaid card buyers and call balance announcement are unreasonable. 7 In the meantime. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ALSO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS FAILED TO EXHAUST AN AVAILABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDY. Hence. after hearing petitioners' application for preliminary injunction as well as respondent's motion to dismiss. 2000 an Order. The plaintiffs and intervenors are. 13 The two petitions were consolidated in a Resolution dated February 17. 2. 13-6-2000 and the Memorandum dated October 6. without prejudice to the referral of the private respondents' grievances and disputes on the assailed issuances of the NTC with the said agency. Inc.

a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before going to court. of the Constitution vests in the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over final judgments and orders of lower courts in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge. or which are in derogation of. The administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power when it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative nature. so strenuously urged by the Solicitor General on behalf of respondent. It may not make rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a statute. the Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law. Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. 19 In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an administrative agency. Article X. B. 18 Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of an administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power. order. It applies where the claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which. or defeat. It is required that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law. only judicial review of decisions of administrative agencies made in the exercise of their quasi-judicial function is subject to the exhaustion doctrine. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions. international or executive agreement. These letters were not acted upon until October 6. the issuance by the NTC of Memorandum Circular No. Thus. Even assuming arguendo that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies apply in this case. in such case. 129 vests in the regional trial courts jurisdiction over all civil cases in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. 2000 22 and July 5. This principle applies only where the act of the administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function. which are the product of a delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. petitioners were able to register their protests to the proposed billing guidelines. 26 Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. The courts will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal. This was taken by petitioners as a clear denial of the requests contained in their previous letters. experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. international or executive agreement. and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial nature. law. instruction. and be not in contradiction to. ordinance. and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered. thus prompting them to seek judicial relief. particularly as they contravene the Bill of Rights. even as the accused in a criminal action has the right to question in his defense the constitutionality of a law he is charged with violating and of the proceedings taken against him. or regulation is in question. proclamation. hold hearings. and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasilegislative power. 13-62000. The resolution in question was issued by the PCA in the exercise of its rule-making or legislative power. presidential decree. the practice has been to refer the same to an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. has obviously no application here. Indeed. the former must prevail. 29 . The objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is to guide a court in determining whether it should refrain from exercising its jurisdiction until after an administrative agency has determined some question or some aspect of some question arising in the proceeding before the court. Philippine Coconut Authority.On March 24. the standards prescribed by law. 23 asking for the suspension and reconsideration of the so-called Billing Circular. the petitions were given due course and the parties were required to submit their respective memoranda. or regulation in the courts. Moreover. 15 We find merit in the petitions. treaty. 24 However. where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative function. under a regulatory scheme. as well as with respect to what fields are subject to regulation by it. 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. petitioners were justified in invoking the judicial power of the Regional Trial Court to assail the constitutionality and validity of the said issuances. 2000. the purpose of a statute. when respondent NTC issued the second assailed Memorandum implementing certain provisions of the Billing Circular. the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function. In Drilon v. in cases involving specialized disputes. Even during the drafting and deliberation stages leading to the issuance of Memorandum Circular No. This is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. ordinance. weigh evidence. 2000 was pursuant to its quasi-legislative or rule-making power. 2003. particularly the statute it is administering or which created it. Specifically. order. In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative order. 2000. including the regional trial courts. As such. has been placed within the special competence of an administrative body. which includes the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political departments. 17 They must conform to and be consistent with the provisions of the enabling statute in order for such rule or regulation to be valid. instruction. Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules and regulations may be promulgated by an administrative body. 28 it was held: We stress at the outset that the lower court had jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of Section 187. presidential decree. In like manner. but in conformity with.P. 16 The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate. petitioners wrote successive letters dated July 3. 27 In the case at bar. Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory powers. However. where the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. In Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators v. Section 5(2). They submitted their respective position papers setting forth their objections and submitting proposed schemes for the billing circular. 21 After the same was issued. the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts. 13-6-2000 and its Memorandum dated October 6. the records reveal that petitioners sufficiently complied with this requirement. 20 it was held: The rule of requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies before a party may seek judicial review. this authority being embraced in the general definition of the judicial power to determine what are the valid and binding laws by the criterion of their conformity to the fundamental law. 25 This is within the scope of judicial power. should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view. Lim. The determination of whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative agency contravenes the law or the constitution is within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same.

No. When the "Dealer's Sales Contract" was about to end Shell notified petitioner that it was not renewing the contract and reminded the latter to hand over the Station with all its facilities on the appropriate date. C.POLITICAL LAW. that would suggest that the same or similar jurisdiction has been granted to the Bureau of Energy Utilization. June 30. L-41480. order the suspension.. ID. including prepaid SIM and call cards — and this is judicially known to be within the knowledge of a good percentage of our population — and expertise in fundamental principles of civil law and the Constitution. GUERZON. 1965. and (2) in case of failure to pay the fine imposed or to cease and discontinue the violation or non-compliance. and PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION.CRIMINAL LAW. Llego. to issue the order to vacate. L-23004. ID. BUREAU OF ENERGY UTILIZATION. WRIT OF MANDATORY INJUNCTION. No. PRIVATE PARTY. — The Bureau of Energy Utilization is the agency charged with regulating the operations and trade practices of the petroleum industry. Central Bank.In their complaint before the Regional Trial Court. G. petitioner.. The Bureau after due hearing and notices may: (1) impose a fine not exceeding P1. in view of the foregoing. — It is readily apparent that the order of the B." Shell was able to secure possession of the premises pursuant to the order. Q-00-42221 is REINSTATED. 7 OF P. 129. TO CLAIM RELIEF. 2002 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the issues raised in the complaint do not entail highly technical matters... The order merely makes a vague reference to a "violation of BEU laws. — Even if petitioner was indeed engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products. 33 to order him to vacate the service station and to turn it over to respondent Shell. Illegal trading in petroleum products is a criminal act wherein the injured party is the State.000.U. It was stipulated in the "Service Station Lease" that the cancellation or termination of the "Dealer's Sales Contract" shall automatically cancel the lease.REMEDIAL LAW. JR. — Shell leased its service station. ||| (Smart Communications. ID. cdll The facts. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. finds itself unable to issue the writ of mandatory injunction prayed for ordering respondent Shell to restore possession of the service station and the equipment and facilities therein to petitioner. No. August 12..ID. the agency charged with regulating the operations and trade practices of the petroleum industry.U. ID. Thereafter.R. ID. HELD: It is not within the jurisdiction of the B. 151908.E. Sy v. NTC.R. what is required of the judge who will resolve this issue is a basic familiarity with the workings of the cellular telephone service.P. in Civil Case No. rules or regulations.R.00. ID.00 but not more than P10.. this request was denied. the Officer-In-Charge of the Mindanao Division Office of the Bureau of Energy Utilization issued an order directing petitioner to vacate the service station for the reason that the continued occupation of the station "is not only considered a violation of B. 33. 2001 and its Resolution dated January 10.] 2. as amended. Blg.) There is nothing in P. SYLLABUS 1. 1206.. No. However. ID.. B. 7. HcSCED SO ORDERED.U. ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES..000.. Hence. closure or stoppage of operations of the establishment of the guilty party. 33). — It is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law and those that are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof [Makati Stock Exchange. Contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals. the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to hear and decide Civil Case No. Petitioner himself had admitted in his petition that his dealership and lease agreements with respondent Shell had already expired. Blg. has the power to order a service station operator-lessee to vacate the service station and to turn over its possession to the oil company-lessor upon the expiration of the dealership and lease agreements. which penalizes a person guilty of illegal trading in petroleum products with a fine of not less than P2. That petitioner had engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products cannot even be implied from the wording of the assailed order. [Rollo. in the discretion of the court. ILLEGAL TRADING IN PETROLEUM PRODUCTS (B. 64274 dated October 9. No. ID. DECISION CORTES.. BUREAU OF ENERGY UTILIZATION. POWERS THEREOF LIMITED BY LAW.. ID.P. OFFENSES PUNISHABLE UNDER SPECIAL LAWS.. the consolidated petitions are GRANTED. 4. it can claim no relief if a criminal case is instituted. 9] Undeniably.P.D. is premised on petitioner's refusal to vacate the service station in spite of the expiration and non-renewal of his dealership and lease agreements with respondent Shell.] PEDRO W. J p: Raised by petitioner to this Court is the issue of whether or not the Bureau of Energy Utilization. G. any right petitioner had to possess the service station and the equipment and facilities therein had been extinguished. CASE AT BAR. Blg. or imprisonment of at least 2 months but not more than 1 year. as amended. therefore. August 8. PETITIONER NOT ENTITLED TO WRIT IN CASE AT BAR. he requested for their renewal. there was no basis under B. WHEREFORE..ID. 19 (2). Q-00-42221. v. The Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the orders of the trial court and in dismissing the case. petitioners averred that the Circular contravened Civil Code provisions on sales and violated the constitutional prohibition against the deprivation of property without due process of law. Inc. Section 7 of P. the Court. 6. 1986 is null and void. 1206. 70 SCRA 570.. COURT OF APPEALS. Rather. 1206.ID. 152063. No.000. No basis for an affirmative relief therefore exists. license or permit issued by the Bureau or any of its orders. This case is REMANDED to the court a quo for continuation of the proceedings. POWERS UNDER SEC.R. are as follows: . 2003) THIRD DIVISION [G. or both. Respondent Shell is not even alleged by the Solicitor General as a private party prejudiced and. rules and regulations but is also detrimental to the interests of the parties concerned and the public.E. Recognized the validity of the termination of the agreements. laws. G. 5. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. 14 SCRA 620. BUREAU OF ENERGY UTILIZATION CANNOT ORDER SERVICE STATION LESSEE TO VACATE PREMISES UPON EXPIRATION OF AGREEMENT WITH OIL COMPANY LESSOR. Jurisdiction to order a lessee to vacate the leased premises is vested in the civil courts in an appropriate case for unlawful detainer or accion publiciana (Secs. MUST SHOW PREJUDICE RESULTING FROM CRIMINAL ACT. CAASI. Inc." without stating the specific provision violated. however..D. Dumlao. These are within the competence of the trial judge.00. facilities and equipment to the petitioner for five years under a "Service Station Lease" and executed with petitioner a "Dealer's Sales Contract" for the sale by petitioner of Shell's petroleum and other products. The Order dated November 20. v.P. — The Bureau of Energy Utilization does not have the power to order a service station operator-lessee to vacate the service station and to turn over its possession to the oil company-lessor upon the expiration of the dealership and lease agreements. rules and regulations. — While the order dated April 15. Blg. Securities and Exchange Commission. Llego & Collera for petitioner. after April 12. p. Shell demanded the surrender of the station premises. 2000 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. April 30.R.. is very clear as to the courses of action that the Bureau of Energy Utilization may take in case of a violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate.D. decisions. for respondent Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. as amended. F.. ID. 1986. When the contract ended. ID. 1988. NO VIOLATION OF LAW IN CASE AT BAR. ID. 77707. ID. SP No.E. Branch 77. vs. ID.. as found by the Court of Appeals. Florentino G. Its authority is limited to these two (2) options. No.ID. Nowhere in the order is it stated that petitioner had engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products or had committed any other violation of B. Jr. 3. respondents. 1976.

On the same day. petitioner filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari with a prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction against Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. 1987. . 1981 and ending on January 14. demanding the surrender of the station premises and all company owned equipment to the respondent's representative. injunction and damages with preliminary mandatory injunction (Civil Case No. 1986. a contract denominated as "Service Station Lease" for the use and operation of respondent SHELL's properties. petitioner ascribed the following errors to the Court of Appeals: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT RESPONDENT BUREAU OF ENERGY UTILIZATION HAS JURISDICTION TO EJECT THE PETITIONER FROM THE GASOLINE SERVICE STATION LEASED.. 1981 shall automatically cancel this lease. 37-39. 1986. [Rollo. but on September 18. Jr. accompanied by law enforcement officers. which was later acquired by respondent Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. 1986 respondent SHELL through its District Manager — Reseller Mindanao wrote to petitioner informing him that the Company was not renewing the Dealer's Sales Contract which was to expire on April 12. rules and regulations but is also detrimental to the interests of the parties concerned and the public. officer-in-charge of its Mindanao Division Office. A copy of this letter was furnished respondent BEU. As early as January 2. petitioner's recourse to this Court. which had a 5-year period of validity. and the Bureau of Energy Utilization seeking the annulment of respondent Caasi. which reads: 15 April 1986 Mr. and turned them over to the control of the personnel of respondent SHELL who accompanied them. GuerzonCorner Velez-Recto StreetsCagayan de Oro City Sir: We were officially informed by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation that you refused to vacate its company-owned service station at the above address despite the fact that you were advised by Shell in its letter of January 02. 1986 that it will not renew the Dealer's Sales Contract between yourself and the company upon its expiration on April 12. [Rollo. issued the assailed order directing the petitioner as follows: (1)immediately vacate the service station abovementioned and turn it over to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental a complaint for certiorari. 1986. respondent Bureau of Energy Utilization (BEU) approved the Dealer's Sales Contract pursuant to which petitioner was appointed dealer of SHELL's gasoline and other petroleum products which he was to sell at the gasoline station located at Cagayan de Oro City. under oath within ten (10) days from receipt hereof why no administrative and/or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against you for the aforesaid violation. through respondent Caasi. On April 15. 1986 and the restoration to petitioner of possession of the service station and the equipment removed therefrom. cdphil Hence. Jr. in line with the terms of the contract.C. On April 22. In a decision promulgated on February 10. on the appropriate date to hand over the station with all its facilities and equipment to the representative of respondent. requesting prompt and effective enforcement of the directive and submitting to the BEU of the result of the action taken thereon. 1986 this complaint was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction to annul the order of a quasi-judicial body of equivalent category as the Regional Trial Court. The order directed that a copy of the same be furnished the PC-INP Commander of Cagayan de Oro City. Paragraph 9 of the Service Station Lease Contract provides: The cancellation or termination of the Dealer's Sales Contract executed between the COMPANY and the LESSEE on January 7. respondent SHELL. for a period of five (5) years from January 15.Basic antecedent facts show that on January 9. 1981 petitioner likewise executed with the same Corporation a "Dealer's Sales Contract" for the sale by petitioner of respondent SHELL's petroleum and other products in the leased service station which contract expired April 12. Your continued occupancy of the service station is not only considered a violation of BEU laws. Caasi. respondent BEU issued a certificate of authority in petitioner's favor. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THERE IS NO NECESSITY OF ANY NOTICE AND HEARING PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE DISPUTED ORDER ISSUED BY RESPONDENT BUREAU OF ENERGY UTILIZATION ORDERING THE PETITIONER TO VACATE THE LEASED PREMISES. On January 7. Jr. F. and (2)show cause in writing. Jr. 1986.. as amended. respondent SHELL wrote petitioner reiterating the decision not to extend the Dealer's Sales Contract. pursuant to the order of April 15. 1986. through the latter's Mindanao Division Office. 1986 of respondent F. Caasi.'s order dated April 15. was able to secure possession of the gasoline station in question together with the requisite equipments and accessories. 1986.C. On April 12. 1981. 1986 respondent BEU. In his petition for review. On May 9. 1986. 13] The controversy revolves around the assailed order issued by respondent F. 1986 together with the service station lease and reminding him to take appropriate steps to wind up his business activities at the station and.. 1981 petitioner Pedro Guerzon executed with Basic Landoil Energy Corporation. pp. Officerin-Charge of the Mindanao Division Office of the Bureau of Energy Utilization. Caasi. On April 13. p. Jr.C. the Court of Appeals denied due course and dismissed the petition after holding the disputed order valid and the proceedings undertaken to implement the same sanctioned by Presidential Decree No. Pedro W. which included four (4) pieces of fuel dispensing pumps and one (1) piece air compressor. facilities and equipment.] Thus. 10619) to annul the disputed order dated April 15. 1206.

Officer-in-Charge cc:PC/INP CommanderCagayan de Oro CityPilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation Sasa.D. v. 33.00.Bureau of Energy Utilization. it is readily apparent that the order is premised on petitioner's refusal to vacate the service station in spite of the expiration and nonrenewal of his dealership and lease agreements with respondent Shell. Davao City/Cagayan de Oro CityBEU-Manila [Rollo. the Solicitor General's line of reasoning is fatally flawed by the failure of the facts to support it. The fine so imposed shall be paid to the Bureau. or permit issued by the Bureau or of any of its orders. whether or not it is within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Energy Utilization to issue the above order is the primary issue to be resolved. As it is. G. impose and collect a fine not exceeding One Thousand Pesos. p. But then. 14 SCRA 620. Let a copy of this directive be furnished the PC-INP Commander of Cagayan de Oro City. (Sgd. The remedy provided herein shall not be a bar to or affect any other remedy under existing laws. Blg. xxx xxx xxx Thus. as amended. xxx xxx xxx However. as amended. non-issuance of receipts by licensed traders. 1206. Otherwise.P. you are hereby directed to: (1)immediately vacate the service station abovementioned and turn it over to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. 1965. for every violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate. which shall have the following powers and functions. Blg. closure or stoppage of operations of the establishment of the guilty party. Its authority is limited to these two (2) options. L-41480." without stating the specific provision violated. JR. Emphasis supplied. and was justified in issuing. license.R. xxx xxx xxx Sec. who is hereby requested to cause the prompt and effective enforcement hereof and to submit to this Bureau the result/s of the action/s taken thereon. In case the violation or default is committed by a corporation or association. Section 7 of P. the order to vacate pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1206. still the Court has no recourse but to rule against the legality of the order. It is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law and those that are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof [Makati Stock Exchange.P. 3. and sale by oil companies. 100-101. 1206. 1986. Very truly yours. It can do no more. No. The Bureau shall have the power and authority to issue corresponding writs of execution directing the City Sheriff or provincial Sheriff or other peace officers whom it may appoint to enforce the fine or the order of closure. 33 [Rollo. concludes the Solicitor General. which empowers the Bureau to issue an order to vacate in case of a violation.In view thereof. decisions. the pertinent portion of which provides: Sec. the following terms shall be understood to mean: Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products — the sale or distribution of petroleum products for profit without license or authority from the Government. it can claim no relief if a criminal case is instituted. among others: xxx xxx xxx e. 7.] As stated at the outset. — For the purposes of this Act. Securities and Exchange Commission. as amended. rules and regulations. April 30. jurisdiction to order a lessee to vacate the leased premises is vested in the civil courts in an appropriate case for unlawful detainer or accion publiciana [Secs. therefore. and (2) in case of failure to pay the fine imposed or to cease and discontinue the violation or non-compliance.] That issuing the order to vacate was the most effective way of stopping any illegal trading in petroleum products is no excuse for a deviation from this rule. Sy v. 1976. and failure to pay the fine within the time specified in the order or decision of the Bureau or failure to cease and discontinue the violation or non-compliance shall be deemed good and sufficient reason for the suspension. decisions. 33 state: Sec. as of the following day. as amended. Central Bank. and (2)show cause in writing. The Solicitor General contends that since petitioner's license to sell petroleum products expired on April 12.) F. distributors and/or dealers violative of government rules and regulations. the manager or person who has charge of the management of the corporation or association and the officers or directors thereof who have ordered or authorized the violation or default shall be solidarily liable for the payment of the fine. license or permit issued by the Bureau or any of its orders. hereafter referred to in this Section as the Bureau. the Bureau of Energy Utilization had the power to issue. No. adherence to the rule of law would be rendered meaningless. * Even on the assumption that petitioner's continued occupancy and operation of the service station constituted a violation of a law or regulation.D.000. Respondent Shell is not even alleged by the Solicitor General as a private party prejudiced and. misrepresentation as to quality and/or quantity. The Bureau may: (1) impose a fine not exceeding P1. No. Nowhere in the order is it stated that petitioner had engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products or had committed any other violation of B. — There is created in the Department a Bureau of Energy Utilization.Prohibited Acts. when his dealership and lease contracts expired. 19(2) and 33(2). even if petitioner was indeed engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products. L-23004. Blg. there was no basis under B. rules or regulations. that would suggest that the same or similar jurisdiction has been granted to the Bureau of Energy Utilization. cdphil . 1206. but shall be cumulative and additional to such remedies. — The following acts are prohibited and penalized: (a)Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products. B. The order merely makes a vague reference to a "violation of BEU laws. 122.D. pp. G. 2. is very clear as to the courses of action that the Bureau of Energy Utilization may take in case of a violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate.] There is nothing in P.After due notice and hearing. June 30. Inc. as amended.Definition of terms. April 13. No. No. 129. 1986 he was engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 33 to order him to vacate the service station and to turn it over to respondent Shell. the Bureau of Energy Utilization not being empowered to issue it. Illegal trading in petroleum products is a criminal act wherein the injured party is the State.C. That petitioner had engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products cannot even be implied from the wording of the assailed order.P. order the suspension.] The pertinent provisions of B.R. closure or stoppage of operations of the establishment of the person guilty of the violation or non-compliance. rules and regulations. From a cursory reading of the assailed order. under oath within ten (10) days from receipt hereof why no administrative and/or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against you for the aforesaid violation. 70 SCRA 570.P. No. Payment may also be enforced by appropriate action brought in a court of competent jurisdiction. suspension or stoppage of operations. CAASI. as there is nothing in P.

Oil Industry Commission. for what the fundamental law abhors is not the absence of previous notice but rather the absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. that such notice had not been served on the petitioner. would tend to defeat the purpose of the authorization to lot buyers to suspend installment payments. in his capacity as Presidential Executive Assistant and VIRGILIO A. No basis for an affirmative relief therefore exists. no part — was counsel for Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Cebu Office). C. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY. et al. — The extent to which the NHA has been vested with quasi-judicial authority must be determined by referring to the terms of Presidential Decree No. acted beyond his authority and overstepped the powers granted by P. after April 12. YUSON. 1987). the prayer for the issuance of a writ of mandatory injunction is DENIED.V. 957. SUBDIVISION AND CONDOMINIUM BUYERS' DECREE (PD 957)." Section 3 of this statute provides as follows: "National Housing Authority. 1988) EN BANC [G. — We turn to petitioner's assertion that it had been denied the right to due process. SO ORDERED. contrary to the Solicitor General's theory. petitioner could neither rescind the Contract to Sell nor treat the installment payments made by the private respondent as forfeited in its favor. ID. on the provisions of the statute creating or empowering such agency. In the instant case. Jr. 1986.000. 1986 is null and void. CASE AT BAR. In other words. finds itself unable to issue the writ of mandatory injunction prayed for ordering respondent Shell to restore possession of the service station and the equipment and facilities therein to petitioner. of the Bureau of Energy Utilization is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE." (Emphasis supplied) 4. 1986. Indeed.. 1986 issued by respondent Caasi. ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES EXERCISE AND PERFORM ADJUDICATORY POWERS AND FUNCTION. 1206. QUANTUM OF JUDICIAL OR QUASI-JUDICIAL POWERS DEFINED IN ITS ENABLING ACT. DECISION FELICIANO. Petitioner himself had admitted in his petition that his dealership and lease agreements with respondent Shell had already expired. No. The assailed order was. in view of petitioner's breach of its contract with private respondent. petitioner was given ample opportunity to present its side and to be heard on a motion for reconsideration as well.. it is the latter who is vested with the option either to rescind the contract and receive reimbursement of all installment payments (with legal interest) made for the purchase of the subdivision lot in question. POWER TO RESCIND AVAILABLE ONLY TO INJURED PARTY. G. G. ID. 7(e) may be imposed is patent. decisions. CLAVE. vs. J p: . Fernan. petitioner was not entitled to exercise its options under Clause 7 of the Contract. ||| (Guerzon v. PRINCIPLE NOT VIOLATED WHERE PARTY WAS GIVEN AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT ITS SIDE AND TO BE HEARD. etc. nevertheless the latter was not deprived of due process. and requires that even before a fine is imposed notice and an opportunity to be heard be given to the offender. however. Jr. TOBIAS. Sec. in the absence of an express provision of law granting to it such power [see Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. The NHA was therefore correct in holding that private respondent's prior installment payments could not be forfeited in favor of petitioner.. was duly served on counsel for petitioner.00 is the least severe. ID. or to suspend payment of further purchase installments until such time as the petitioner had fulfilled its obligations to the buyer. in issuing the assailed order. in his capacity as General Manager of the National Housing Authority. 9] Undeniably.. HON. November 13. That P. the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Commission) is well recognized in our jurisdiction. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. LLphil WHEREFORE. under the general Civil Law. though to a limited extent only. the claim of denial of due process must hence sound even more hollow. August 31.] As explicitly stated in the law. null and void. CIVIL LAW.D..R. SALE OF LOTS IN INSTALLMENT BASIS.. to condone the entire amount that would have become due would be an excessively harsh penalty upon the petitioner and would result in the unjust enrichment of the private respondent at the expense of the petitioner... 63558. — In general.. However. Court of Appeals. — To permit Antipolo Realty to collect the disputed amount in a lump sum after it had defaulted on its obligations to its lot buyers. SYLLABUS 1. Hon. the text of the assailed order leaves no room for doubt that it was issued in connection with an adjudication of the contractual dispute between respondent Shell and petitioner. v.J. REMEDIAL LAW. respondent F. JACOBO C. JJ. 145 SCRA 433. No. if not wholly. Recognized the validity of the termination of the agreements. — Having failed to comply with its contractual obligation to complete certain specified improvements in the subdivision within the specified period of two years from the date of the execution of the Contract to Sell. ID. Limited delegation of judicial or quasi-judicial authority to administrative agencies (e. as amended. But then the Bureau of Energy Utilization.. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated February 10. No. p. there is no sense in suspending payments. G. 1987. Rafael dela Cruz. the right of petitioner to the possession of the service station and the equipment and facilities having been extinguished. basically because the need for special competence and experience has been recognized as essential in the resolution of questions of complex or specialized character and because of a companion recognition that the dockets of our regular courts have remained crowded and clogged. G. As the NHA resolution pointed out. August 08. DUE PROCESS. otherwise. like its predecessor.g. 2. in connection with the exercise of quasijudicial powers. et al. No.. THE HON. Jr.Moreover. 5. 77707. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. No.C. ORIGINAL PERIOD OF PAYMENT DEEMED EXTENDED. May 19. has no power to decide contractual disputes between gasoline dealers and oil companies.— The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance with the provisions of this decree.R. rules or regulations. Feliciano and Bidin.] ANTIPOLO REALTY CORPORATION. Even if the issuance of the order to vacate was within the authority of respondent Caasi. Viewed from any angle. 3.. the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative agency may exercise is defined in the enabling act of such agency. However. While the order dated April 15.R. the Court. therefore. known as "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Decree. respondents. THE NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY. MOTIONS. L-41315. as evidenced by the annotation appearing at the bottom of said copy indicating that such service had been effected.. Gutierrez. No. as amended. any right petitioner had to possess the service station and the equipment and facilities therein had been extinguished. — It is by now commonplace learning that many administrative agencies exercise and perform adjudicatory powers and functions. [Rollo. 7(e) provides for a gradation of penalties of which the imposition of a fine in an amount not exceeding P1. the Bureau's jurisdiction is limited to cases involving violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate.D. concur. Jr. requires notice and hearing before any administrative penalty provided in Sec. Hence. The record shows that a copy of the order denying the Motion to Dismiss and scheduling the hearing of the complaint for the morning of 6 March 1978. ID. in view of the foregoing. 1987 is REVERSED and the Order dated April 15. the extent to which an administrative entity may exercise such powers depends largely. But even if it be assumed. still its nullity is apparent because of the failure to comply with the requirement of notice and hearing. "[s]uch must be the case. petitioner. 1206." Upon the other hand. the defunct Oil Industry Commission. (See Spouses Jose Abejo and Aurora Abejo. this request was denied. 6. L-50444. vs. license or permit issued by it or of any of its orders. OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS. Caasi. and not just on a motion to dismiss. This assertion lacks substance. arguendo.R. he requested for their renewal.

Antipolo Realty reiterated its request that Mr. 15. but had also. not in the NHA. then pending before the NHA. Hernando transferred his rights over Lot No. Failure by the SELLER shall permit the BUYER to suspend his monthly installments without any penalties or interest charges until such time that such improvements shall have been completed. Clave. 252 (entitled "Jose B. without presenting any evidence. 2) No penalty interest shall be charged for the period from November 1976 to the date of the statement of account. Antipolo Realty filed a Motion to Dismiss which was heard on 2 September 1977. the jurisdiction of the NHA was assailed. the NHA denied the motion to dismiss and scheduled Case No. vs. for failure of Antipolo Realty to develop the subdivision project in accordance with its undertaking under Clause 17 of the Contract to Sell. f) Landscaping and concrete sidewalks g) Developed park or amphitheatre h) 24-hour security guard service. although it did not so expressly .By virtue of a Contract to Sell dated 18 August 1970. However. Aggrieved by the rescission of the Contract to Sell. solely on the evidence presented by the complainant. Limited delegation of judicial or quasi-judicial authority to administrative agencies (e. Mr. assumed the performance of judicial or quasi-judicial functions which the NHA was not authorized to perform. No.R. Yuson paid only the arrearages pertaining to the period up to. Petitioner further asserted that. 15 to private respondent Virgilio Yuson. Hon. In a second letter dated 27 November 1976. through Mr. 15. between September 1972 and October 1976. Rizal. Yuson assumed the performance of the vendee's obligations under the original contract.. the SELLER hereby obligates itself to provide the subdivision with: a) Concrete curbs and gutters b) Underground drainage system c) Asphalt paved roads d) Independent water system e) Electrical installation with concrete posts. 2123." 1 On 14 October 1976.. Antipolo Realty again asserts that. the NHA rendered a decision on 9 March 1978 ordering the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell under the following conditions: "1) Antipolo Realty Corporation shall sent [sic] to Virgilio Yuzon a statement of account for the monthly amortizations from November 1976 to the present. had accrued during the period while the improvements were being completed — i. On 28 August 1974. respondent") declaring Antipolo Realty to have "substantially complied with its commitment to the lot buyers pursuant to the Contract to Sell. representing installments which.October 1976 monthly installments but agreed to pay the post October 1976 installments. Viado Jr. the NHA had not only acted on a matter beyond its competence. L-49051.. dismissed the same through public respondent Presidential Executive Assistant Jacobo C. Rafael dela Cruz." 5 A motion for reconsideration was denied on 29 January 1979. 2123 for hearing. Antipolo Realty alleged. On 2 October 1978. Tobias. Yuson resume payment of his monthly installments. 4 This Court denied certiorari in a minute resolution issued on 11 December 1978. Yuson brought his dispute with Antipolo Realty before public respondent NHA through a letter-complaint dated 10 May 1977 which complaint was docketed in NHA as Case No. but that its counsel had failed to attend the hearing. In Spouses Jose Abejo and Aurora Abejo. 6 In the present petition. complainant vs. et al. in hearing the complaint of private respondent Yuson and in ordering the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell between the parties. LLjur Mr. and eventually decided. Yuson. Mr. and including. the month of August 1972 and stopped all monthly installment payments falling due thereafter Clause 17 reads: cdll "Clause 17. said: "In the fifties.g. Once more. it could validly terminate its agreement with Mr. under Clause 7 of the Contract to Sell. These improvements shall be complete within a period of two (2) years from date of this contract. Cdpr We find the petitioner's arguments lacking in merit. who sustained the jurisdiction of the NHA to hear and decide the Yuson complaint. In an Order issued on 7 February 1978." 2 Antipolo Realty filed a Motion for Reconsideration asserting: (a) that it had been denied due process of law since it had not been served with notice of the scheduled hearing. the president of Antipolo Realty sent a notice to private respondent Yuson advising that the required improvements in the subdivision had already been completed. 3 The case was submitted for decision. No. and claiming the forfeiture of all installment payments previously made by Mr. Yuson and. executed by and between the lot buyers and the respondent. executed with the consent of Antipolo Realty. Antipolo Realty. It is by now commonplace learning that many administrative agencies exercise and perform adjudicatory powers and functions.994. since that complaint involved the interpretation and application of the Contract to Sell. Conrado S. The transfer was embodied in a Deed of Assignment and Substitution of Obligor (Delegacion). and (b) that the jurisdiction to hear and decide Mr. including payment of his predecessor's installments in arrears. For his part. the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Commission) is well recognized in our jurisdiction. Thereafter. Yuson's complaint was lodged in the regular courts. To insure the beauty of the subdivision in line with the modern trend of urban development." In addition. After hearing.. though to a limited extent only. 7 basically because the need for special competence and experience has been recognized as essential in the resolution of questions of complex or specialized character and because of a companion recognition that the dockets of our regular courts have remained crowded and clogged. — SUBDIVISION BEAUTIFICATION. The motion for reconsideration was denied on 28 June 1978 by respondent NHA General Manager G. Yuson replied that he would conform with the request as soon as he was able to verify the truth of the representation in the notice. and 3) Virgilio Yuzon shall be given sixty (60) days to pay the arrears shown in the statement of account. in effect. as a consequence thereof. Chief Justice Teehankee. 2123 with several other cases filed against it by other subdivision lot buyers. from the petitioner Antipolo Realty Corporation.. Mr. retain all the prior installment payments made by the latter. a formal demand was made for full and immediate payment of the amount of P16. He also found that Antipolo Realty had in fact been served with notice of the date of the hearing. petitioner interposed an appeal from the NHA decision with the Office of the President which. citing the decision rendered by the National Housing Authority (NHA) on 25 October 1976 in Case No. Mr.e. moved for the consolidation of Case No. the Court taking cognizance of the move to vest jurisdiction in administrative commissions and boards the power to resolve specialized disputes in the field of labor (as in corporations. and requesting resumption of payment of the monthly installments on Lot No. in which Mr. Block IV of the Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo. "without prejudice to petitioner's pursuing the administrative remedy. which was docketed as G. et al. Jose Hernando acquired prospective and beneficial ownership over Lot.V. Antipolo Realty responded by rescinding the Contract to Sell. Yuson refused to pay the September 1972 .73. Reyes. etc. 8 the Court. on 9 March 1979. public transportation and public utilities) ruled that Congress in requiring the Industrial Court's intervention in the resolution of labormanagement controversies likely to cause strikes or lockouts meant such jurisdiction to be exclusive. Antipolo Realty came to this Court with a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Writ of Preliminary Injunction.

In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in addition to its powers provided for in Presidential Decree No. Inc. and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered' (Pambujan Sur United Mine Workers v. observed that: "There is no question that a statute may vest exclusive original jurisdiction in an administrative agency over certain disputes and controversies falling within the agency's special expertise. petitioner was not entitled to exercise its options under . Eisma. In other words. be reimbursed the total amount paid including amortization and interests but excluding delinquency interests. this Court has been committed to the view that unless the law speaks clearly and unequivocably. and to pay real estate taxes. 1344 12 clarified and spelled out the quasi-judicial dimensions of the grant of regulatory authority to the NHA in the following quite specific terms: "SECTION 1. the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative agency may exercise is defined in the enabling act of such agency. reports of alarming magnitude also show cases of swindling and fraudulent manipulations perpetrated by unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers and operators. . has become well nigh indispensable. lighting systems and other similar basic requirements. experience and capability to hear and determine promptly disputes on technical matters or essentially factual matters. The Court held that under the 'sense-making and expeditious doctrine of primary jurisdiction . dealer. experience. Unsound real estate business practices: B. numerous reports reveal that many real estate subdivision owners. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. 957. dealer. and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. broker or salesman. the National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following nature: A." 11 Section 3 of this statute provides as follows: "National Housing Authority. such as failure to deliver titles to the buyers or titles free from liens and encumbrances. Thus.) Having failed to comply with its contractual obligation to complete certain specified improvements in the subdivision within the specified period of two years from the date of the execution of the Contract to Sell. Justice Gutierrez. in restoring to the labor arbiters and the NLRC their jurisdiction to award all kinds of damages in labor cases.'" In an even more recent case. the Court noted that 'between the power lodged in an administrative body and a court." In general.— No installment payment made by a buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer. 957. Inc. and C. known as "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Decree. operators. had second thoughts about depriving the Labor Arbiters and the NLRC of the jurisdiction to award damages in labor cases because that setup would mean duplicity of suits. where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge. 932. . the courts cannot or will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal. et al. prcd Thus. the agency concerned must commonly interpret and apply contracts and determine the rights of private parties under such contracts.state in the law. The Court in the earlier case of Ebon vs. 127 SCRA 419. amendment splitting their jurisdiction with the regular courts. 10 In the exercise of such powers. Tropical Homes. desists from further payment due to the failure of the owner or developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project according to the approved plans and within the time limit for complying with the same." (Emphasis supplied) The need for and therefore the scope of the regulatory authority thus lodged in the NHA are indicated in the second and third preambular paragraphs of the statute which provide: "WHEREAS. 941 [1954]). . 56 [1982]).. water systems. 'evidently. 957 which reads: "Sec." (Emphasis supplied. on the provisions of the statute creating or empowering such agency. The very definition of an administrative agency includes its being vested with quasijudicial powers. One thrust of the multiplication of administrative agencies is that the interpretation of contracts and the determination of private rights thereunder is no longer a uniquely judicial function. and fraudulent sales of the same subdivision lots to different innocent purchasers for value — . after due notice to the owner or developer. vs. 94 Phil. . "Increasingly. 428. 23. citing precedents). sewerage. if not wholly. National Housing Authority. WHEREAS. broker or salesman. . Samar Mining Co.. developers. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer against the project owner.. The ever increasing variety of powers and functions given to administrative agencies recognizes the need for the active intervention of administrative agencies in matters calling for technical knowledge and speed in countless controversies which cannot possibly be handled by regular courts. splitting the cause of action and possible conflicting findings and conclusions by two tribunals on one and the same claim. the extent to which an administrative entity may exercise such powers depends largely. the choice should fall on [an administrative agency]" ' (NFL v. Such buyer may. developer. exercisable only by our regular courts. as against the previous P." (Emphasis supplied. In this era of clogged court dockets. and/or sellers have reneged on their representations and obligations to provide and maintain properly subdivision roads.) The substantive provisions being applied and enforced by the NHA in the instant case are found in Section 23 of Presidential Decree No.D. subject to judicial review in case of grave abuse of discretion. drainage. thus endangering the health and safety of home and lot buyers. the extent to which the NHA has been vested with quasi-judicial authority must be determined by referring to the terms of Presidential Decree No. with interest thereon at the legal rate. the need for specialized administrative boards or commissions with the special knowledge. at his option. the unmistakable trend has been to refer it to the former. De Guzman (113 SCRA 52." (Emphasis supplied) Presidential Decree No. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner. speaking for the Court.. 9 Mr.— The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance with the provisions of this decree. developer. noted that the lawmaking authority. in 1984.

Neither did they accrue." Upon the other hand. arguendo. The NHA correctly held that no installment payments should be considered as having accrued during the period of suspension of payments. albeit tardily. L-50444. for what the fundamental law abhors is not the absence of previous notice but rather the absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. To permit Antipolo Realty to collect the disputed amount in a lump sum after it had defaulted on its obligations to its lot buyers. under the general Civil Law. 957. The tacking on of the period of suspension to the end of the original period precisely prevents default on the part of the lot buyer.73 which petitioner insists had accrued during the period from September 1972 to October 1976. there is no sense in suspending payments. 16 We turn finally to the question of the amount of P16. The NHA in its 9 March 1978 resolution ruled that the regular monthly installments under the Contract to Sell did not accrue during the September 1972 — October 1976 period: "[R]espondent allowed the complainant to suspend payment of his monthly installments until the improvements in the subdivision shall have been completed. was duly served on counsel for petitioner. We think that such is the intent of the NHA resolution which directed that "[i]f the suspension is lifted. 14 But even if it be assumed. nevertheless the latter was not deprived of due process." WHEREFORE. that the petitioner was not entitled to rescind the Contract to Sell. supra) to lot buyers to suspend installment payments. by four (4) years and two (2) months) during which extended time (tacked on to the original contract period) private respondent buyer must continue to pay the monthly installment payments until the entire original contract price shall have been paid. The NHA decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED and clarified as providing for the lengthening of the original contract period for payment of installments under the Contract to Sell by four (4) years and two (2) months. the demand of respondent for complainant to pay the arrears due during the period of suspension of payment is null and void." 17 The NHA resolution is probably too terse and in need of clarification and amplification. the notice of cancellation based on the refusal to pay the arrears that were not due and demandable is also null and void. the NHA was legally empowered to determine and protect the rights of contracting parties under the law administered by it and under the respective agreements. 957. We turn to petitioner's assertion that it had been denied the right to due process. that such notice had not been served on the petitioner. If the suspension is lifted the debtor shall resume payments but never did he incur any arrears. to condone the entire amount that would have become due would be an excessively harsh penalty upon the petitioner and would result in the unjust enrichment of the private respondent at the expense of the petitioner. it is the latter who is vested with the option either to rescind the contract and receive reimbursement of all installment payments (with legal interest) made for the purchase of the subdivision lot in question. August 31. NHA. its obligations to its lot buyers under their Contracts to Sell. At the same time. Monthly installments during the period of suspension of payment did not become due and demandable.R. no question that under Presidential Decree No. SO ORDERED. petitioner could neither rescind the Contract to Sell nor treat the installment payments made by the private respondent as forfeited in its favor. The record shows that a copy of the order denying the Motion to Dismiss and scheduling the hearing of the complaint for the morning of 6 March 1978. It should be recalled that the latter had already fulfilled. the Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED.e. would tend to defeat the purpose of the authorization (under Sec. In the words of the NHA resolution. let alone a grave abuse of discretion or act in excess of its jurisdiction when it ordered the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell between the parties. 1987) . 23 of Presidential Decree No. just noted. the claim of denial of due process must hence sound even more hollow. This assertion lacks substance. when private respondent had suspended payment of his monthly installments on his chosen subdivision lot. Hence. Such reinstatement is no more than a logical consequence of the NHA's correct ruling. "never would [the buyer] incur any arrears. Consequently. or to suspend payment of further purchase installments until such time as the petitioner had fulfilled its obligations to the buyer. otherwise. Such must be the case. As the NHA resolution pointed out. cdrep Neither did the NHA commit any abuse.994. Respondent informed complainant on November 1976 that the improvement 6 have been completed. the lot buyer should not be regarded as delinquent and as such charged penalty interest. ||| (Antipolo Realty Corp. 13 in view of petitioner's breach of its contract with private respondent.. No.Clause 7 of the Contract. To our mind. The NHA was therefore correct in holding that private respondent's prior installment payments could not be forfeited in favor of petitioner. petitioner was given ample opportunity to present its side and to be heard on a motion for reconsideration as well. G. the debtor shall resume payments" and that such is the most equitable and just reading that may be given to the NHA resolution. as evidenced by the annotation appearing at the bottom of said copy indicating that such service had been effected. Indeed. the critical issue is what happens to the installment payments which would have accrued and fallen due during the period of suspension had no default on the part of the petitioner intervened. the NHA resolution is most appropriately read as directing that the original period of payment in the Contract to Sell must be deemed extended by a period of time equal to the period of suspension (i. The suspension of installment payments was attributable to the petitioner. and not just on a motion to dismiss. 15 In the instant case. not the private respondent. there is no sense in suspending payments. as well as to ensure that their obligations thereunder are faithfully performed. during which extended time private respondent shall continue to pay the regular monthly installment payments until the entire original contract price shall have been paid. Clearly. Such being the case. There is. otherwise. "[s]uch must be the case. No pronouncement as to costs. v. in any case.