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G.R. No. 99327

TodayisTuesday,January26,2016

RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
ENBANC

G.R.No.99327May27,1993
ATENEODEMANILAUNIVERSITY,FATHERJOAQUINBERNAS,S.J.,DEANCYNTHIAROXASDEL
CASTILLO,JUDGERUPERTOKAPUNAN,JR.,JUSTICEVENICIOESCOLIN,FISCALMIGUELALBAR,
ATTYS.MARCOSHERRAS,FERDINANDCASIS,JOSECLAROTESORO,RAMONCAGUIOA,andRAMON
ERENETA.petitioners,
vs.
HON.IGNACIOM.CAPULONG,PresidingJudgeoftheRTCMakati,Br.134,ZOSIMOMENDOZA,JR.
ERNESTMONTECILLO,ADELABAS,JOSEPHLLEDOAMADOSABBAN,DALMACIOLIMJR.,MANUEL
ESCONAandJUDEFERNANDEZ,respondents.
Bengzon,Zarraga,Narciso,Cudala,Pecson,Benson&Jimenesforpetitioners.
Romulo,Mabanta,Buenaventura,Sayoc&DeLosAngelesforpetitionerCynthiaRoxasdelCastillo.
Fabregas,Calida&Remolloforprivaterespondents.

ROMERO,J.:
In1975,theCourtwasconfrontedwithamandamusproceedingtocompeltheFacultyAdmissionCommitteeofthe
Loyola School of Theology, a religious seminary which has a working arrangement with the Ateneo de Manila
Universityregardingaccreditationofcommonstudents,toallowpetitionerwhohadtakensomecoursesthereinfor
creditduringsummer,tocontinueherstudies.1Squarelymeetingtheissue,wedismissedthepetitiononthegroundthat
studentsinthepositionofpetitionerpossess,notaright,butaprivilege,tobeadmittedtotheinstitution.Nothavingsatisfied
theprimeandindispensablerequisiteofamandamusproceedingsincethereisnoduty,muchlessaclearduty,onthepart
oftherespondenttoadmitthepetitioner,thepetitiondidnotprosper.

Insupportofitsdecision,theCourtinvokedacademicfreedomofinstitutionsofhigherlearning,asrecognizedby
theConstitution,theconceptencompassingtherightofaschooltochooseitsstudents.
Eighteen(18)yearslater,therightofaUniversitytorefuseadmittancetoitsstudents,thistimeinAteneodeManila
Universityproper,isagainchallenged.
Whereas, in the Garcia case referred to in the opening paragraph, the individual concerned was not a regular
student,therespondentsinthecaseatbar,havingbeenpreviouslyenrolledintheUniversity,seekreadmission.
Moreover,intheearliercase,thepetitionerwasrefusedadmittance,notonsuchconsiderationsaspersonalitytraits
andcharacterorientation,oreveninabilitytomeettheinstitution'sacademicorintellectualstandards,butbecause
of her behavior in the classroom. The school pointedly informed her that ". . . it would seem to be in your best
interesttoworkwithaFacultythatismorecompatiblewithyourorientations."
Ontheotherhand,studentswhoarenowbeingrefusedadmissionintopetitionerUniversityhavebeenfoundguilty
of violating Rule No. 3 of the Ateneo Law School Rules on Discipline which prohibits participation in hazing
activities.Thecaseattractedmuchpublicityduetothedeathofoneoftheneophytesandseriousphysicalinjuries
inflictedonanother.
HereinliesanopportunityfortheCourttoaddanotherdimensiontotheconceptofacademicfreedomofinstitutions
ofhigherlearning,thistimeacasefraughtwithsocialandemotionalovertones.
Thefactswhichgaverisetothiscasewhichisfarfromnovel,areasfollows:
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Asarequisitetomembership,theAquilaLegis,afraternityorganizedintheAteneoLawSchool,helditsinitiation
ritesonFebruary8,9and10,1991,forstudentsinterestedinjoiningitsranks.Asaresultofsuchinitiationrites,
Leonardo"Lennie"H.Villa,afirstyearstudentofpetitioneruniversity,diedofseriousphysicalinjuriesatChinese
GeneralHospitalonFebruary10,1991.Hewasnotthelonevictim,though,foranotherfreshmanbythenameof
BienvenidoMarquezwasalsohospitalizedattheCapitolMedicalCenterforacuterenalfailureoccasionedbythe
seriousphysicalinjuriesinflicteduponhimonthesameoccasion.
In a notice dated February 11, 1991, petitioner Dean Cynthia del Castillo created a Joint AdministrationFaculty
Student Investigating Committee 2 which was tasked to investigate and submit a report within 72 hours on the
circumstances surrounding the death of Lennie Villa. Said notice also required respondent students to submit their written
statements within twentyfour (24) hours from receipt. Although respondent students received a copy of the written notice,
theyfailedtofileareply.Inthemeantime,theywereplacedonpreventivesuspension.3Throughtheirrespectivecounsels,
theyrequestedcopiesofthechargesandpertinentdocumentsoraffidavits.

In a notice dated February 14, 1991, the Joint AdministrationFacultyStudent Investigating Committee, after
receiving the written statements and hearing the testimonies of several witness, found aprimafacie case against
respondentstudentsforviolationofRule3oftheLawSchoolCatalogueentitled"Discipline."4
RespondentstudentswerethenrequiredtofiletheirwrittenanswerstotheformalchargeonorbeforeFebruary18,
1991otherwise,theywouldbedeemedtohavewaivedtheirrighttopresenttheirdefenses.
On February 20, 1991, petitioner Dean created a Disciplinary Board composed of petitioners Judge Ruperto
Kapunan,JusticeVenicioEscolin,Atty.MarcosHerras,FiscalMiguelAlbarandAtty.FerdinandCasis,tohearthe
chargesagainstrespondentstudents.
In a letter dated February 20, 1991, respondent students were informed that they had violated Rule No. 3 of the
RulesonDisciplinecontainedintheLawSchoolCatalogue.Saidletteralsostates:"Thecomplaint/chargeagainst
youarosefrominitiationsheldonFebruary810,1991.Theevidenceagainstyouconsistoftestimoniesofstudents,
showingyourparticipationinactsprohibitedbytheSchoolregulations."Finally,itorderedrespondentstudentsto
filetheirwrittenanswerstotheabovechargeonorbeforeFebruary221991,otherwisetheywouldbedeemedto
havewaivedtheirdefenses.5
InamotiondatedFebruary21,1991,respondentstudents,throughcounsel,requestedthattheinvestigationagainst
thembeheldinabeyance,pendingactionontheirrequestforcopiesoftheevidenceagainstthem.6
Respondent students were then directed by the Board to appear before it at a hearing on February 28, 1991 to
clarify their answer with regard to the charges filed by the investigating committee for violation of Rule No. 3.
However,inalettertoapetitionersdatedFebruary27,1991,counselforrespondentstudentsmovedtopostpone
thehearingfromFebruary28,1991toMarch1,1991.7
Subsequently, respondent students were directed to appear on March 2, 1991 for clarificatory questions. 8 They
werealsoinformedthat:

a) The proceedings will be summary in nature in accordance with the rules laid down in the case of
Guzmanvs.NationalUniversity9
b)Petitionershavenorighttocrossexaminetheaffiantsneophytes

c) Hazing which is not defined in the School catalogue shall be defined in accordance with the
proposedbillofSen.JoseLina,SenateBillNo.3815
d) The Board will take into consideration the degree of participation of the petitioners in the alleged
hazingincidentinimposingthepenalty
e)TheDecisionoftheBoardshallbeappealabletothePresidentoftheUniversity,i.e.,Respondent
JoaquinBernasS.J.
On March 5, 1991, petitioner Bernas wrote Dean Castillo that, "in cases where the Disciplinary Board is not
preparedtoimposethepenaltyofdismissal,IwouldpreferthattheBoardleavethedecisiononthepenaltytothe
AdministrationsothatthiscasebedecidednotjustontheLawSchoollevelbutalsoontheUniversitylevel."10
In a resolution dated March 9, 1991, the Board found respondent students guilty of violating Rule No. 3 of the
Ateneo Law School Rules on Discipline which prohibits participation in hazing activities. The Board found that
respondentstudentsactedasmasterauxiliariesor"auxies"duringtheinitiationritesofAquilaLegis,andexercised
the"auxiesprivilege,"whichallowsthemtoparticipateinthephysicalhazing.Althoughrespondentstudentsclaim
that they were there to assist and attend to the needs of the neophytes, actually they were assigned a definite
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supportiveroletoplayintheorganizedactivity.Theirguiltwasheightenedbythefactthattheymadenoeffortto
prevent the infliction of further physical punishment on the neophytes under their care. The Board considered
respondent students part and parcel of the integral process of hazing. In conclusion, the Board pronounced
respondentsguiltyofhazing,eitherbyactiveparticipationorthroughacquiescence.However,inviewofthelackof
unanimityamongthemembersoftheBoardonthepenaltyofdismissal,theBoardlefttheimpositionofthepenalty
totheUniversityAdministration.11PetitionerDeandelCastillowaivedherprerogativetoreviewthedecisionoftheBoard
andlefttothePresidentoftheUniversitythedecisionofwhethertoexpelrespondentsornot.

Consequently,inaresolutiondatedMarch10,1991,petitionerFr.JoaquinG.Bernas,asPresidentoftheAteneode
Manila University, accepted the factual findings of the Board, thus: "that as Master Auxiliaries they exercised the
'auxie'sprivilege'thatevenassumingtheydidnotlayhandsontheneophytes,"respondentsstudentsarestillguilty
inaccordancewiththeprinciplethat"wheretwoormorepersonsacttogetherinthecommissionofacrime,whether
theyactthroughthephysicalvolitionofoneorofall,proceedingseverallyorcollectively,eachindividualwhosewill
contributestothewrongdoingisresponsibleforthewhole."Fr.Bernas,indescribingtheoffensewhichledtothe
deathofLeonardoVilla,concludedthatthe"offenseoftherespondentscanbecharacterizedasgraveandserious,
subversive of the goals of Christian education and contrary to civilized behavior." Accordingly, he imposed the
penaltyofdismissalonallrespondentstudents.12
In a resolution dated March 18, 1991 and concurred in by petitioner Fr. Bernas,13 the Board excluded respondent
students Abas and Mendoza from the coverage of the resolution of March 10, 1991, inasmuch as at the time the latter
resolutionwaspromulgated,neitherhadasyetsubmittedtheircasetotheBoard.Saidresolutionalsosettheinvestigationof
thetwostudentsonMarch21,1991.

On March 18, 1991, respondent students filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, a petition for certiorari,
prohibitionandmandamuswithprayerfortemporaryrestrainingorderandpreliminaryinjunction14allegingthatthey
werecurrentlyenrolledasstudentsforthesecondsemesterofschoolyear199091.Unlessatemporaryrestrainingorderis
issued,theywouldbepreventedfromtakingtheirexaminations.Thepetitionprincipallycenteredontheallegedlackofdue
processintheirdismissal.

On the same day, Judge Madayag issued a temporary restraining order the enjoining petitioners from dismissing
respondentstudentsandstoppingtheformerfromconductinghearingsrelativetothehazingincident.15
Hearingsinconnectionwiththeissuanceofthetemporaryrestrainingorderwerethenheld.OnApril7,1991,the
temporaryrestrainingorderwereissuedonMarch18,1991lapsed.Consequently,adayaftertheexpirationofthe
temporary restraining order, Dean del Castillo created a Special Board composed of Atty.(s) Jose Claro Tesoro,
RamonCaguioa,andRamonEreetatoinvestigatethechargesofhazingagainstrespondentstudentsAbasand
Mendoza.
RespondentstudentsreactedimmediatelybyfilingaSupplementalPetitionofcertiorari,prohibitionandmandamus
with prayer for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, to include the aforesaid members of the
SpecialBoard,asadditionalrespondentstotheoriginalpetition.16
Petitioners moved to strike out the Supplement Petition arguing that the creation of the Special Board was totally
unrelated to the original petition which alleged lack of due process in the conduct of investigations by the
DisciplinaryBoardagainstrespondentstudentsthatasupplementalpetitioncannotbeadmittedwithoutthesame
being set for hearing and that the supplemental petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order will, in
effect,extendthepreviousrestrainingorderbeyonditsmandatory20daylifetime.17Actingontheurgentmotionto
admitthesupplementalpetitionwithprayerforatemporaryrestrainingorder,JudgeAmin,aspairingjudgeofrespondents
JudgeCapulong,grantedrespondentstudents'prayeronApril10,1991.18

OnMay17,1991,respondentJudgeorderedpetitionerstoreinstaterespondentstudents.Simultaneously,thecourt
ordered petitioners to conduct special examinations in lieu of the final examinations which allegedly the students
werenotallowedtotake,andenjoinedthemtomaintainthestatusquowithregardtothecasesofAdelAbasand
ZosimoMendozapendingfinaldeterminationoftheissueoftheinstantcase.Lastly,itdirectedrespondentstudents
tofileabondintheamountofP50,000.00.19
Onthesamedate,May17,1991,theSpecialBoardinvestigatingpetitionersAbasandMendozaanddirectedthe
droppingoftheirnamesfromitsrollofstudents.20
ThefollowingdayoronMay21,1991,respondentjudgeissuedthewritofpreliminaryinjunctionuponpostingby
respondentsofabonddatedMay17,1991intheamountofP50,000.00.
Hence, this special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining
orderenjoiningtheenforcementoftheMay17,1991orderofrespondentjudge.21
Inthecaseatbar,wecometogripswithtworelevantissuesonacademicfreedom,namely:(1)whetheraschoolis
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within its rights in expelling students from its academic community pursuant to its disciplinary rules and moral
standards and (2) whether or not the penalty imposed by the school administration is proper under the
circumstances.
We grant the petition and reverse the order of respondent judge ordering readmission of respondent students.
Respondentjudgecommittedgraveabuseofdiscretionwhenheruledthatrespondentstudentshadbeendenied
dueprocessintheinvestigationofthechargesagainstthem.
It is the threshold argument of respondent students that the decision of petitioner Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S. J., then
President of the Ateneo de Manila University, to expel them was arrived at without affording them their right to
proceduraldueprocess.Weareconstrainedtodisagreeaswefindnoindicationthatsuchrighthasbeenviolated.
On the contrary, respondent students' rights in a school disciplinary proceeding, as enunciated in the cases of
Guzman v. National University, 22 Alcuaz v. PSBA, Q.C. Branch 23 and Non v. Dames II 24 have been meticulously
respectedbypetitionersinthevariousinvestigativeproceedingsheldbeforetheywereexpelled.

Corollary to their contention of denials of due process is their argument that it is Ang Tibay case 25 and not the
Guzman case which is applicable in the case at bar. Though both cases essentially deal with the requirements of due
process,theGuzmancaseismoreapropostotheinstantcase,sincethelatterdealsspecificallywiththeminimumstandards
tobesatisfiedintheimpositionofdisciplinarysanctionsinacademicinstitutions,suchaspetitioneruniversityherein,thus:

(1)thestudentsmustbeinformedinwritingofthenatureandcauseofanyaccusationagainstthem
(2)thattheyshallhavetherighttoanswerthechargesagainstthemwiththeassistanceofcounsel,if
desired:(3)theyshallbeinformedoftheevidenceagainstthem(4)theyshallhavetherighttoadduce
evidence in their own behalf and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating
committeeorofficialdesignatedbytheschoolauthoritiestohearanddecidethecase.26
Itcannotseriouslybeassertedthattheaboverequirementswerenotmet.When,inviewofthedeathofLeonardo
Villa,petitionerCynthiadelCastillo,asDeanoftheAteneoLawSchool,notifiedandrequiredrespondentstudents
onFebruary11,1991tosubmitwithintwentyfourhourstheirwrittenstatementontheincident,27therecordsshow
that instead of filing a reply, respondent students requested through their counsel, copies of the charges.28 While of the
studentsmentionedintheFebruary11,1991noticedulysubmittedwrittenstatements,theothersfailedtodoso.Thus,the
latterweregrantedanextensionofuptoFebruary18,1991tofiletheirstatements.29

Indubitably, the nature and cause of the accusation were adequately spelled out in petitioners' notices dated
February14and20,1991.30ItistobenotedthattheFebruary20,1991letterwhichquotedRuleNo.3ofitsRulesof
DisciplineascontainedintheAteneoLawSchoolCataloguewasaddressedindividuallytorespondentstudents.Petitioners'
notices/lettersdatedFebruary11,February14and20clearlyshowthatrespondentstudentsweregivenampleopportunity
toadduceevidenceintheirbehalfandtoanswerthechargesleveledagainstthem.

The requisite assistance of counsel was met when, from the very start of the investigations before the Joint
Administration FacultyStudent Committee, the law firm of Gonzales Batiler and Bilog and Associates put in its
appearanceandfiledpleadingsinbehalfofrespondentstudents.
Respondent students may not use the argument that since they were not accorded the opportunity to see and
examinethewrittenstatementswhichbecamethebasisofpetitioners'February14,1991order,theyweredenied
proceduraldueprocess.31Grantingthattheyweredeniedsuchopportunity,thesamemaynotbesaidtodetractfromthe
observance of due process, for disciplinary cases involving students need not necessarily include the right to cross
examination. An administrative proceeding conducted to investigate students' participation in a hazing activity need not be
clothedwiththeattributesofajudicialproceeding.AcloserexaminationoftheMarch2,1991hearingwhichcharacterized
therulesontheinvestigationasbeingsummaryinnatureandthatrespondentstudentshavenorighttoexamineaffiants
neophytes,revealsthatthisisbutareiterationofourpreviousrulinginAlcuaz.32

Respondent students' contention that the investigating committee failed to consider their evidence is far from the
truth because the February 14, 1992 ordered clearly states that it was reached only after receiving the written
statements and hearing the testimonies of several witnesses. 33 Similarly, the Disciplinary Board's resolution dated
March 10, 1991 was preceded by a hearing on March 2, 1991 wherein respondent students were summoned to answer
clarificatoryquestions.

Withregardtothechargeofhazing,respondentstudentsfaultpetitionersfornotexplicitlydefiningtheword"hazing"
and allege that there is no proof that they were furnished copies of the 199091 Ateneo Law School Catalogue
whichprohibitshazing.SuchflawedsophistryisnotworthyofstudentswhoaspiretobefuturemembersoftheBar.
It cannot be overemphasized that the charge filed before the Joint AdministrationFacultyStudent Investigating
CommitteeandtheDisciplinaryBoardisnotacriminalcaserequiringproofbeyondreasonabledoubtbutismerely
administrative in character. As such, it is not subject to the rigorous requirements of criminal due process,
particularlywithrespecttothespecificationofthechargeinvolved.Aswehavehadoccasiontodeclareinprevious
cases a similar nature, due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and
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hearings identical to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of justice. 34 Accordingly, disciplinary
charges against a student need not be drawn with the precision of a criminal information or complaint. Having given prior
noticetothestudentsinvolvedthat"hazing"whichisnotdefinedintheSchoolCatalogueshallbedefinedinaccordancewith
SenateBillNo.3815,theproposedbillonthesubjectofSen.JoseLina,petitionershavesaidwhatneedstobesaid.We
deemthissufficientforpurposesoftheinvestigationunderscrutiny.

Hazing,asagroundfordiscipliningastudents,totheextentofdismissalorexpulsion,findsitsraisond'etreinthe
increasingfrequencyofinjury,evendeath,inflictedupontheneophytesbytheirinsensate"masters."Assuredly,it
passesthetestofreasonablenessandabsenceofmaliceonthepartoftheschoolauthorities.Farfromfostering
comradeshipandespritd'corps,ithasmerelyfeduponthecruelandbaserinstinctsofthosewhoaspiretoeventual
leadershipinourcountry.
RespondentstudentsarguethatpetitionersarenotinapositiontofiletheinstantpetitionunderRule65considering
thattheyfailedtofileamotionforreconsiderationfirstbeforethetrialcourt,therebybypassingthelatterandthe
CourtofAppeals.35
Itisacceptedlegaldoctrinethatanexceptiontothedoctrineofexhaustionofremediesiswhenthecaseinvolvesa
questionoflaw,36asinthiscase,wheretheissueiswhetherornotrespondentstudentshavebeenaffordedprocedural
dueprocesspriortotheirdismissalfrompetitioneruniversity.

Lastly,respondentstudentsarguethatweerredinissuingaTemporaryRestrainingOrdersincepetitionersdonot
standtosufferirreperabledamageintheeventthatprivaterespondentsareallowedtoreenroll.Noonecanbeso
myopicastodoubtthattheimmediatereinstatementofrespondentstudentswhohavebeeninvestigatedandfound
by the Disciplinary Board to have violated petitioner university's disciplinary rules and standards will certainly
underminetheauthorityoftheadministrationoftheschool.Thiswewouldbemostloathetodo.
Moreimportantly,itwillseriouslyimpairpetitioneruniversity'sacademicfreedomwhichhasbeenenshrinedinthe
1935,1973andthepresent1987Constitutions.
Atthisjuncture,itwouldbemeettorecalltheessentialfreedomssubsumedbyJusticeFelixFrankfurterintheterm
"academic freedom" cited in the case of Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 37 thus: (1) who may teach: (2) what may be
taught(3)howitshallbetaughtand(4)whomaybeadmittedtostudy.

Socrates, the "first of the great moralists of Greece," proud to claim the title "gadfly of the State" has deservedly
earnedforhimselfarespectedplaceintheannalsofhistoryasamartyrtothecauseoffreeintellectualinquiry.To
Plato,thisgreatteacherofhiswasthe"best,themostsensible,andthemostsensible,andthemostjustmanofhis
age."In399B.C.,hewillinglyquaffedthegobletofhemlockaspunishmentforalleged"corruption"oftheyouthof
Athens.Hedescribesinhisownwordshowthischargeof"corruption,"theforerunneroftheconceptofacademic
freedom,cameabout:
Youngmenofthericherclasses,whohavenotmuchtodo,comeaboutmeoftheirownaccord:they
like to heart the pretenders examined, and they often imitate me, and examine others themselves
thereareplentyofperson,astheysoondiscover,whothinkthattheyknowsomething,butreallyknow
littleornothingandthenthosewhoareexaminedbytheminsteadofbeingangrywiththemselvesare
angry with me. This confounded Socrates, they say this villainous misleader of youth. And then if
somebodyasksthem,Why,whatevildoeshepracticeorteach?theydonotknow,andcannottellbut
inorderthattheymaynotappeartobeataloss,theyrepeatthereadymadechargeswhichareused
against all philosophers about teaching things up in the clouds and under the earth, and having no
gods,andmakingtheworseappearthebettercausefortheydonotliketoconfessthattheirpretense
ofknowledgehasbeendetectedwhichisthetruthandastheyarenumerousandambitiousand
energetic,andareallinbattlearrayandhavepersuasivetongues,theyhavefilledyourearswiththeir
loudandinveteratecalumnies.38
Since Socrates, numberless individuals of the same heroic mold have similarly defied the stifling strictures of
authority,whetherState,Church,orvariousinterestgroups,tobeabletogivefreereintotheirideas.Particularly
odious were the insidious and blatant attempts at thought control during the time of the Inquisition until even the
Medievaluniversities,renownedasintellectualcentersinEurope,graduallylosttheirautonomy.
In time, such noble strivings, gathering libertarian encrustations along the way, were gradually crystallized in the
clusteroffreedomswhichawaitedthechampionsandmartyrsofthedawningmodernage.Thiswasexemplifiedby
the professors of the new German universities in the 16th and 17th centuries such as the Universities of Leiden
(1554), Helmstatdt (1574) and Heidelberg (1652). The movement back to freedom of inquiry gained adherents
amongtheexponentsoffundamentalhumanrightsofthe19thand20thcenturies."Academicfreedom",thetermas
it evolved to describe the emerging rights related to intellectual liberty, has traditionally been associated with
freedom of thought, speech, expression and the press in other words, with the right of individuals in university
communities, such as professors, researchers and administrators, to investigate, pursue, discuss and, in the
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immortal words of Socrates, "to follow the argument wherever it may lead," free from internal and external
interferenceorpressure.
But obviously, its optimum impact is best realized where the freedom is exercised judiciously and does not
degenerateintounbridledlicense.Earlycasesonthisindividualaspectofacademicfreedomhavebeenstressed
the need for assuring to such individuals a measure of independence through the guarantees of autonomy and
securityoftenure.Thecomponentsofthisaspectofacademicfreedomhavebeencategorizedundertheareasof:
(1)whomayteachand(2)howtoteach.
Itistoberealizedthatthisindividualaspectsofacademicfreedomcouldhavedevelopedonlyparipassu with its
institutionalcounterpart.Ascorporateentities,educationalinstitutionsofhigherlearningareinherentlyendowedwith
the right to establish their policies, academic and otherwise, unhampered by external controls or pressure. In the
Frankfurterformulation,thisisarticulatedintheareasof:(1)whatshallbetaught,e.g.,thecurriculumand(2)who
maybeadmittedtostudy.
In the Philippines, the Acts which are passed with the change of sovereignty from the Spanish to the American
government,namely,thePhilippineBillof1902andthePhilippineAutonomyActof1916madenomentionofthe
rightsnowsubsumedunderthecatchalltermof"academicfreedom."Thisismostespeciallytruewithrespectto
the institutional aspect of the term. It had to await the drafting of the Philippine Constitutions to be recognized as
deservingoflegalprotection.
ThebreakthroughfortheconceptitselfwasfoundinSection5ofthe1935Constitutionwhichstated:"Universities
establishedbytheStateshallenjoyacademicfreedom."TheonlyStateUniversityatthattime,beingtheUniversity
of the Philippines, the Charter was perceived by some as exhibiting rank favoritism for the said institution at the
expenseoftherest.
In attempt to broaden the coverage of the provision, the 1973 Constitution provided in its Section 8(2): "All
institutions of higher learning shall enjoy academic freedom." In his interpretation of the provision, former U.P.
President Vicente G. Sinco, who was also a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, declared that it
"definitely grants the right of academic freedom to the University as an institution as distinguished from the
academicfreedomofauniversityprofessor."39
HastherightbeencarriedoverthetothepresentConstitution?Inanattempttogiveanexplicitdefinitionwithan
expanded coverage, the Commissioners of the Constitutional Commission of the 1986 came up with this
formulation: "Academic freedom shall be enjoyed by students, by teachers, and by researchers." After protracted
debate and ringing speeches, the final version which was none too different from the way it was couched in the
previoustwo(2)Constitutions,asfoundinArticleXIV,Section5(2)states:"Academicfreedomshallbeenjoyedin
all institutions of higher learning." In anticipation of the question as to whether and what aspects of academic
freedom are included herein, ConCom Commissioner Adolfo S. Azcuna explained: "Since academic freedom is a
dynamicconcept,wewanttoexpandthefrontiersoffreedom,especiallyineducation,therefore,weshallleaveitto
thecourtstodevelopfurthertheparametersofacademicfreedom."40
Moretothepoint,CommissionerJoseLuisMartinC.Gasconasked:"Whenwespeakofthesentence'academic
freedomshallbeenjoyedinallinstitutionsofhigherlearning,'dowemeanthatacademicfreedomshallbeenjoyed
by the institution itself?" Azcuna replied: "Not only that, it also includes . . . . " Gascon finished off the broken
thought,"thefacultyandthestudents."Azcunareplied:"Yes."
SinceGarciav.LoyolaSchoolofTheology,41wehaveconsistentlyupheldthesalutarypropositionthatadmissiontoan
institutionofhigherlearningisdiscretionaryuponaschool,thesamebeingaprivilegeonthepartofthestudentratherthana
right.WhileundertheeducationActof1982,studentshavearight"tofreelychoosetheirfieldofstudy,subjecttoexisting
curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation," such right is subject, as all rights are, to the established
academicanddisciplinarystandardslaiddownbytheacademicinstitution.42

"For private schools have the right to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the admission, discipline and
promotionofstudents.This...extendsaswelltoparents...asparentsareunderasocialandmoral(ifnotlegal)
obligation,individuallyandcollectively,toassistandcooperatewiththeschools."43
Suchrulesare"incidenttotheveryobjectofincorporationandindispensabletothesuccessfulmanagementofthe
college.Therulesmayincludethosegoverningstudentdiscipline."44Goingastepfurther,theestablishmentofrules
governinguniversitystudentrelations,particularlythosepertainingtostudentdiscipline,mayberegardedasvital,notmerely
tothesmoothandefficientoperationoftheinstitution,buttoitsverysurvival.

Within memory of the current generation is the eruption of militancy in the academic groves as collectively, the
students demanded and plucked for themselves from the ponoply of academic freedom their own rights
encapsulized under the rubric of "right to education" forgetting that, in Holfeldian terms, they have a concomitant
duty,andthatis,theirdutytolearnundertheruleslaiddownbytheschool.
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ConsideringthatrespondentstudentsareproudtoclaimastheirownaChristianschoolthatincludesTheologyas
partofitscurriculumandassidouslystrivestoturnoutindividualsofunimpeachablemoralsandintegrityinthemold
of the founder of the order of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and their Godfearing forbears, their
barbaricandruthlessactsarethemorereprehensible.Itmustbeborneinmindthatuniversitiesareestablished,not
merelytodeveloptheintellectandskillsofthestudentry,buttoinculcateloftyvalues,idealsandattitudesnay,the
development,orfloweringifyouwill,ofthetotalman.
Inessence,educationmustultimatelybereligiousnotinthesensethatthefoundersorchartermembersofthe
institutionaresectarianorprofessareligiousideology.Rather,areligiouseducation,astherenownedphilosopher
AlfredNorthWhiteheadsaid,is"aneducationwhichinculcatesdutyandreverence."45Itappearsthattheparticular
brandofreligiouseducationofferedbytheAteneodeManilahasbeenlostontherespondentstudents.

Certainly,theydonotdeservetoclaimsuchavenerableinstitutionastheAteneodeManilaUniversityastheirown
aminutelonger,fortheymayforeseeablycastamalevolentinfluenceonthestudentscurrentlyenrolled,aswellas
thosewhocomeafterthem.
QuiteapplicabletothiscaseisourpronouncementinYapChinFahv.CourtofAppealsthat:"Themaintenanceofa
morallyconduciveandorderlyeducationalenvironmentwillbeseriouslyimperiledif,underthecircumstancesofthis
case,GraceChristianisforcedtoadmitpetitioner'schildrenandtoreintegratethemtothestudentbody."46Thus,
thedecisionofpetitioneruniversitytoexpelthemisbutcongruentwiththegravityoftheirmisdeeds.Thattheremustbesuch
acongruencebetweentheoffensecommittedandthesanctionimposedwasstressedinMalabananv.Ramento.47

Having carefully reviewed the records and the procedure followed by petitioner university, we see no reason to
reverseitsdecisionfoundedonthefollowingundisputedfacts:thatonFebruary8,9and10,1991,theAquilaLegis
Fraternityconductedhazingactivitiesthatrespondentstudentswerepresentatthehazingasauxiliaries,andthat
as a result of the hazing, Leonardo Villa died from serious physical injuries, while Bienvenido Marquez was
hospitalized. In light of the vicious acts of respondent students upon those whom ironically they would claim as
"brothers"aftertheinitiationrites,howcanwecountenancetheimpositionofsuchnominalpenaltiesasreprimand
or even suspension? We, therefore, affirm petitioners' imposition of the penalty of dismissal upon respondent
students.ThisfindsauthorityandjustificationinSection146oftheManualofRegulationsforPrivateSchools.48
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED the order of respondent Judge dated May 17, 1991 reinstating
respondentsstudentsintopetitioneruniversityisherebyREVERSED.TheresolutionofpetitionerJoaquinBernasS.
J., then President of Ateneo de Manila University dated March 1991, is REINSTATED and the decision of the
Special Board DISMISSING respondent students ADEL ABAS and ZOSIMO MENDOZA dated May 20, 1991 is
herebyAFFIRMED.
Narvasa,C.J.,FelicianoPadilla,Bidin,Regalado,Davide,Jr.,Nocon,Bellosillo,MeloandQuiason,JJ.,concur.
GrioAquino,J.,isonleave.

SeparateOpinions

CRUZ,J.,concurring:
Iconcurintheresult.Idonotjoininthestatementintheponenciawhichseemtometobeaprejudgmentofthe
criminalcasesagainsttheprivaterespondentsforthedeathofLennyVilla.

#SeparateOpinions
CRUZ,J.,concurring:
Iconcurintheresult.Idonotjoininthestatementintheponenciawhichseemtometobeaprejudgmentofthe
criminalcasesagainsttheprivaterespondentsforthedeathofLennyVilla.
#Footnotes
1Garciav.TheFacultyAdmission'sCommittee,LoyolaSchoolofTheology,No.
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L40779,November28,1975,68SCRA227298.
2ComposedofFacultyMembers:Atty(s)JacintoJimenez,SedfreyCandelaria,CarlosMedina,
Alternate:DeanAntonioAbad.Students:Mr.(s)ArthurYap,ReynaldoDizon,MsPatriciaTy.
Administration:DeanCynthiadelCastillo(Chairperson).
3AnnexB,Rollo,p.41.
4DISCIPLINE
Dedicationtostudy,respectforauthority,strictobservanceoftherulesandregulationsofthe
UniversityandtheschoolandunfailingcourtesyareexpectedatalltimesofallAteneoStudents.The
Administrationreservestoitselftherighttosuspend,dismissfromtheSchoolatanytime,strikefrom
thelistofcandidatesforgraduationand/orwithholdtheAteneodiplomafromorexpelanystudent
whomitmaydeemunworthy.Anyofthefollowingactsshallconstituteagroundforsuspension,
dismissalstrikingfromthelistofcandidatesforgraduationand/orwithholdingoftheAteneodiploma,or
expulsion,dependingontheseverityoftheoffense:
xxxxxxxxx
3Hazingcarryingdeadlyweaponsdrunkeness,vandalism"assaultingaprofessororanyother
schoolauthority,includingmembersofthestafforemployeesoftheSchool"Petition,p.8,emphasis
supplied.
5AnnexD,Rollo,p.45.
6AnnexE,Rollo,p.46.
7AnnexF,Rollo,p.48
8AnnexG,Rollo,p.49.
9L68288,July11,1986,142SCRA699.
10AnnexQ,Rollo,p.88.
11AnnexH,Rollo,p.175.
12Thedismissedstudentsare:ErnestMontecillo,EAmadoSabban,JosephLledo,SantiagoRanada
III,JudgeFernandez,DalmacioLim,AdelAbas,RonandeGuzman,ZosimoMendozaandManuel
Escalona.AnnexI,Rollo,p.52.
13AnnexJ,Rollo,p.54.
14AnnexK,Rollo,p.55.
15AnnexL,Rollo,pp.67.
16AnnexM,Rollo,pp.6873.
17AnnexN,Rollo,pp.7681.
18AnnexA,Rollo,p.40.
19AnnexM,Rollo,p.189.
20AnnexM,Rollo,p.189.
21OftherespondentstudentsdismissedintheMarch10,1991Resolution,SantiagoRanadaIIIand
RonandeGuzmanarenotnamedprivaterespondentsherein.
22L68288,July11,1986142SCRA699.
23L76353,May2,1988,161SCRA7.
24G.R.No.89317,May20,1990,185SCRA523.
2569Phil.(1940).
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26Supra,at22.
27AnnexB,Rollop.41.
28OrderdatedMay17,1991,AnnexA,p.35.
29AnnexC,Rollo,p.43.
30SeeAnnexB,Rollo,p.41andAnnexD,Rollo,p.44.
31Rollo,p.115.
32Supraat20.
33AnnexC,Rollo,p.43.
34Alcuazv.PSBA,QCBranch,supraat20.
35Rollo,pp.99100.
36PALEAv.PAL,Inc.,No.L31396,January30,982,111SCRA.215andCentralBankv.Cloribel,44
SCRA307,No.L26971,April11,1972.
37354U.S.234(1957).
38Riley,Woodbridge,STORYOFETHICS,MenandMorals,Vol.II,p.62,Doubleday,DoranandCo.,
Inc.,1933.
39Sinco,PHILIPPINEPOLITICALLAW,p.489(1962).
40AConComRecord,p.439.
41No.L40779,November28,1975,68SCRA277.SeealsothecasesofTangonanv.Pano,G.R.
No.L45157,June27,1985,137SCRA245andMagtibayv.Garcia,No.L28971,January28,
1983,120SCRA370.
42Section9(2)ofBatasPambansaBlg.232,effectiveSeptember11,1982.
43YapChinFahv.CourtofAppeals[Resolution],G.R.No.90063,December12,1989.
44Supra,at22.
45Inhisarticle"TheAimsofEducation,"AlfredNorthWhitenedexplained"Areligiouseducationisan
educationwhichincludesdutyandreverence.Dutyarisesfromourpotentialcontroloverthecourseof
events.Whereattainableknowledgecouldhavechangedtheissue,ignorancehastheguiltofvice.
Andthefoundationofreverenceisthisperception,thatthepresentholdswithinitselfthecompletesum
ofexistence,backwardsandforwards,thatwholeamplitudeoftime,whichiseternity."Fuess,Claude
M.andBasford,EmoryS.,Editors,UNSEENHARVESTS,ATreasuryofTeaching,p.92,The
MacmillanCompany,1947.
46Supra,at43.
47G.R.No.62270,May21,1984,129SCRA359.
48AteneodeManilav.CourtofAppeals,No.L56180,October16,1986,145SCRA100.
TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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