WILMER GREGO, petitioner, vs.

and HUMBERTO BASCO, respondents.
[G.R. No. 125955. June 19, 1997]
On October 31, 1981, Basco was removed from his position as Deputy
Sheriff by no less than this Court upon a finding of serious misconduct in an
administrative complaint lodged by a certain Nena Tordesillas.
Subsequently, Basco ran as a candidate for Councilor in the Second District
of the City of Manila during the January 18, 1988, local elections. He won
and, accordingly, assumed office.
After his term, Basco sought re-election in the May 11, 1992 synchronized
national elections. Again, he succeeded in his bid and he was elected as one
of the six (6) City Councilors. However, his victory this time did not remain
unchallenged. In the midst of his successful re-election, he found himself
besieged by lawsuits of his opponents in the polls who wanted to dislodge
him from his position.
One such case was a petition for quo warranto filed before the COMELEC
by Cenon Ronquillo, another candidate for councilor in the same district,
who alleged Bascos ineligibility to be elected councilor on the basis of the
Tordesillas ruling. At about the same time, two more cases were also
commenced by Honorio Lopez II in the Office of the Ombudsman and in the
Department of Interior and Local Government. All these challenges were,
however, dismissed, thus, paving the way for Bascos continued stay in office.
Despite the odds previously encountered, Basco remained undaunted and ran
again for councilor in the May 8, 1995, local elections seeking a third and
final term. Once again, he beat the odds by emerging sixth in a battle for six
councilor seats. As in the past, however, his right to office was again
contested. On May 13, 1995, petitioner Grego, claiming to be a registered
voter of Precinct No. 966, District II, City of Manila, filed with the
COMELEC a petition for disqualification, praying for Bascos
disqualification, for the suspension of his proclamation, and for the
declaration of Romualdo S. Maranan as the sixth duly elected Councilor of
Manilas Second District.
Petitioner argues that Basco should be disqualified from running for any
elective position since he had been removed from office as a result of an

administrative case pursuant to Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160,
otherwise known as the Local Government Code (the Code), which took
effect on January 1, 1992.
Whether or not private respondents election in 1988, 1992 and in 1995 as
City Councilor of Manila wiped away and condoned the administrative
penalty against him.
Petitioner maintains the negative. He quotes the earlier ruling of the Court in
Frivaldo v. COMELEC[15] to the effect that a candidates disqualification
cannot be erased by the electorate alone through the instrumentality of the
ballot. Thus:
x x x (T)he qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by
the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot
cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as
in this case, that the candidate was qualified. x x x
At first glance, there seems to be a prima facie semblance of merit to
petitioners argument. However, the issue of whether or not Bascos triple
election to office cured his alleged ineligibility is actually beside the point
because the argument proceeds on the assumption that he was in the first
place disqualified when he ran in the three previous elections. This
assumption, of course, is untenable considering that Basco was NOT subject
to any disqualification at all under Section 40 (b) of the Local Government
Code which, as we said earlier, applies only to those removed from office on
or after January 1, 1992. In view of the irrelevance of the issue posed by
petitioner, there is no more reason for the Court to still dwell on the matter at
Anent Bascos alleged circumvention of the prohibition in Tordesillas against
reinstatement to any position in the national or local government, including
its agencies and instrumentalities, as well as government-owned or controlled
corporations, we are of the view that petitioners contention is baseless.
Neither does petitioners argument that the term any position is broad enough
to cover without distinction both appointive and local positions merit any

Contrary to petitioners assertion, the Tordesillas decision did not bar Basco
from running for any elective position. As can be gleaned from the decretal
portion of the said decision, the Court couched the prohibition in this wise:
In this regard, particular attention is directed to the use of the term
reinstatement. Under the former Civil Service Decree,[16] the law applicable
at the time Basco, a public officer, was administratively dismissed from
office, the term reinstatement had a technical meaning, referring only to an
appointive position. Thus:
SEC. 24. Personnel Actions. xxxxxxxxx
(d) Reinstatement. - Any person who has been permanently APPOINTED to
a position in the career service and who has, through no delinquency or
misconduct, been separated therefrom, may be reinstated to a position in the
same level for which he is qualified.
x x x x x x x x x.
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied).

what is contemplated by the prohibition in Tordesillas is reinstatement to an
appointive position.
G.R. No. L-45839 June 1, 1988
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with application for
preliminary injunction, seeking the annulment and inhibition of the grant or
award of provisional permits or special authority by the respondent Board of
Transportation (BOT) to respondent taxicab operators, for the operation and
legalization of "excess taxicab units" under certain provisions of Presidential
Decree No. 101 "despite the lapse of the power to do so thereunder," and "in
violation of other provisions of the Decree, Letter of Instructions No. 379
and other relevant rules of the BOT."
The petitioners and private respondents are all authorized taxicab operators
in Metro Manila. The respondents, however, admittedly operate "colorum" or
"kabit" taxicab units. On or about the second week of February, 1977, private
respondents filed their petitions with the respondent Board for the
legalization of their unauthorized "excess" taxicab units citing Presidential
Decree No. 101, promulgated on January 17, 1973, "to eradicate the harmful
and unlawful trade of clandestine operators, by replacing or allowing them to
become legitimate and responsible operators." Within a matter of days, the
respondent Board promulgated its orders setting the applications for hearing
and granting applicants provisional authority to operate their "excess taxicab
units" for which legalization was sought. Thus, the present petition.


Opposing the applications and seeking to restrain the grant of provisional
permits or authority, as well as the annulment of permits already granted
under PD 101, the petitioners allege that the BOT acted without jurisdiction
in taking cognizance of the petitions for legalization and awarding special
permits to the private respondents.

SEC. 7. Reinstatement is the REAPPOINMENT of a person who was
previously separated from the service through no delinquency or misconduct
on his part from a position in the career service to which he was permanently
appointed, to a position for which he is qualified. (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied).

Presidential Decree No. 101 vested in the Board of Transportation the power,
among others "To grant special permits of limited term for the operation of
public utility motor vehicles as may, in the judgment of the Board, be
necessary to replace or convert clandestine operators into legitimate and
responsible operators." (Section 1, PD 101)

In light of these definitions, there is, therefore, no basis for holding that
Basco is likewise barred from running for an elective position inasmuch as

the petitioners argue that neither the Board of Transportation chairman nor
any member thereof had the power, at the time the petitions were filed (i.e. in
1977), to legitimize clandestine operations under PD 101 as such power had

The Rules on Personnel Actions and Policies issued by the Civil Service
Commission on November 10, 1975,[17] provides a clearer definition. It

been limited to a period of six (6) months from and after the promulgation of
the Decree on January 17, 1973. They state that, thereafter, the power lapses
and becomes functus officio.
Justifying its action on private respondent's applications, the respondent
Board emphasizes public need as the overriding concern. It is argued that
under PD 101, it is the fixed policy of the State "to eradicate the harmful and
unlawful trade of clandestine operators by replacing or allowing them to
become legitimate and responsible ones" (Whereas clause, PD 101). In view
thereof, it is maintained that respondent Board may continue to grant to
"colorum" operators the benefits of legalization under PD 101, despite the
lapse of its power, after six (6) months, to do so, without taking punitive
measures against the said operators.
Indeed, a reading of Section 1, PD 101, shows a grant of powers to the
respondent Board to issue provisional permits as a step towards the
legalization of colorum taxicab operations without the alleged time
limitation. There is nothing in Section 4, cited by the petitioners, to suggest
the expiration of such powers six (6) months after promulgation of the
Decree. Rather, it merely provides for the withdrawal of the State's waiver of
its right to punish said colorum operators for their illegal acts. In other words,
the cited section declares when the period of moratorium suspending the
relentless drive to eliminate illegal operators shall end. Clearly, there is no
impediment to the Board's exercise of jurisdiction under its broad powers
under the Public Service Act to issue certificates of public convenience to
achieve the avowed purpose of PD 101 (Sec. 16a, Public Service Act, Nov. 7,
It is a settled principle of law that in determining whether a board or
commission has a certain power, the authority given should be liberally
construed in the light of the purposes for which it was created, and that which
is incidentally necessary to a full implementation of the legislative intent
should be upheld as being germane to the law. Necessarily, too, where the

end is required, the appropriate means are deemed given (Martin,
Administrative Law, 1979, p. 46). Thus, as averred by the respondents:
... [A]ll things considered, the question is what is the best for the interest of
the public. Whether PD 101 has lost its effectiveness or not, will in no way
prevent this Board from resolving the question in the same candor and spirit
that P.D. 101 and LOI 379 were issued to cope with the multifarious ills that
plague our transport system. ... (Emphasis supplied) (pp. 91-92, Rollo)
This, the private respondents appreciate, as they make reference to PD 101,
merely to cite the compassion with which colorum operators were dealt with
under the law. They state that it is "in the same vein and spirit that this
Honorable Board has extended the Decree of legalization to the operatives of
the various PUJ and PUB services along legislative methods," that
respondents pray for authorization of their colorum units in actual operation
in Metro Manila (Petitions for Legalization, Annexes E & F, par. 7, pp. 6579, Rollo).
Anent the petitioners' reliance on the BOT Rules and Regulations
Implementing PD 101 as well as its Memorandum Circular No. 76-25(a), the
BOT itself has declared:
In line with its duty to rationalize the transport industry, the Board shall. from
time to time, re- study the public need for public utilities in any area in the
Philippines for the purpose of re- evaluating the policies. (p. 64, Rollo)
Thus, the respondents correctly argue that "as the need of the public changes
and oscillates with the trends of modern life, so must the Memo Orders
issued by respondent jibe with the dynamic and flexible standards of public
needs. ... Respondent Board is not supposed to 'tie its hands' on its issued
Memo Orders should public interest demand otherwise" (Answer of private
respondents, p. 121, Rollo).
The fate of the private respondent's petitions is initially for the Board to
determine. From the records of the case, acceptance of the respondent's
applications appears to be a question correctly within the discretion of the
respondent Board to decide. As a rule, where the jurisdiction of the BOT to
take cognizance of an application for legalization is settled, the Court enjoins
the exercise thereof only when there is fraud, abuse of discretion or error of
law. Furthermore, the court does not interfere, as a rule, with administrative
action prior to its completion or finality . It is only after judicial review is no
longer premature that we ascertain in proper cases whether the administrative

findings are not in violation of law, whether they are free from fraud or
imposition and whether they find substantial support from the evidence.
On or about October 6, 1986, herein respondent Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) issued Resolution No. 105 as parts of its "Additional
Instructions to Examiness," to all those applying for admission to take the
licensure examinations in accountancy. The resolution embodied the
following pertinent provisions:
No examinee shall attend any review class, briefing, conference or
the like conducted by, or shall receive any hand-out, review material,
or any tip from any school, college or university, or any review
center or the like or any reviewer, lecturer, instructor official or
employee of any of the aforementioned or similars institutions during
the three days immediately proceeding every examination day
including examination day.

Any examinee violating this instruction shall be subject to the
sanctions prescribed by Sec. 8, Art. III of the Rules and Regulations
of the Commission.
On October 16, 1986, herein petitioners, all reviewees preparing to take the
licensure examinations in accountancy schedule on October 25 and

November 2 of the same year, filed on their own behalf of all others similarly
situated like them, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXXII, a
complaint for injuction with a prayer with the issuance of a writ of a
preliminary injunction against respondent PRC to restrain the latter from
enforcing the above-mentioned resolution and to declare the same
Respondent PRC filed a motion to dismiss on October 21, 1987 on the
ground that the lower court had no jurisdiction to review and to enjoin the
enforcement of its resolution. In an Order of October 21, 1987, the lower
court declared that it had jurisdiction to try the case and enjoined the
respondent commission from enforcing and giving effect to Resolution No.
105 which it found to be unconstitutional.
Not satisfied therewith, respondent PRC, on November 10, 1986, filed with
the Court of Appeals a petition for the nullification of the above Order of the
lower court. Said petiton was granted in the Decision of the Court of
The Court of Appeals, in deciding that the Regional Trial Court of Manila
had no jurisdiction to entertain the case and to enjoin the enforcement of the
Resolution No. 105, stated as its basis its conclusion that the Professional
Regulation Commission and the Regional Trial Court are co-equal bodies.