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QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER

1.

Hon. Cario vs. CHR


G.R. No. 96681, December 2, 1991

FACTS:
Some 800 public school teachers undertook mass concerted actions
to protest the alleged failure of public authorities to act upon their
grievances, among them were the eight (8) teachers at the Ramon
Magsaysay High School Manila, the private respondents herein. The
mass actions consisted in staying away from their classes,
converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peaceable
assemblies, etc.
The Secretary of Education served them with an order to return to
work within 24 hours or face dismissal. For failure to heed the returnto-work order, the eight (8) teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High
School were administratively charged, preventively suspended for 90
days pursuant to Sec. 41, P.D. 807 and temporarily replaced. An
investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges.
When their motion for reconsideration on their suspension was denied
by the Investigating Committee, said teachers staged a walkout
signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings. Eventually,
Secretary Cario decreed the dismissal from service of Esber and the
suspension for 9 months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo.
In the meantime, a case was filed with the RTC, raising the issue of
violation of the right of the striking teachers to due process of law.
The case was eventually elevated to the Supreme Court. Also in the
meantime, the respondent teachers submitted sworn statements to
the Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were
participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of their
replacement as teachers, allegedly without notice and for reasons
completely unknown to them. Hence, CHR ordered Sec. Cario and
Lolarga to file their counter-affidavits, after which CHR shall proceed
to hear and resolve the case on the merits with or without such
counter-affidavits.
While the case was pending with CHR, the SC promulgated its
resolution over the cases filed with it earlier, upholding Sec. Carinos
act of issuing the return-to-work orders. Despite this, CHR continued
hearing its case and held that the striking teachers were: 1. denied
due process of law; 2. they should not have been replaced without a
chance to reply to the administrative charges; and 3. there had been
violation of their civil and political rights which the Commission is
empowered to investigate.

ISSUE:
Whether or not CHR has the power to adjudicate alleged human rights
violation involving civil and political rights
HELD:
The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such
power; and that it was not meant by the fundamental law to be
another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate
much less take over the functions of the latter.
The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of
adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and
make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations
involving civil and political rights.
But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the
judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency
or official. To be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence
and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be
accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual
conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or
determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to
such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This
function, to repeat, the Commission does not have.
Hence, the CHR having merely the power to investigate, cannot and
should not try and resolve on the merits (adjudicate) the matters
involved in the present case, as it has announced it means to do; and
cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative
disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated
and conducted by the DECS, their human rights, or civil or political
rights had been transgressed.

Notes:
The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power to
investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It
can exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any person. It may
exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and, in
cases of violations of said rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of
Court. In the course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority, it
may grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose
possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine
the truth. It may also request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or
agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct of its investigation or in
extending such remedy as may be required by its findings.
But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of
justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. To investigate is not to adjudicate or
adjudge. Whether in the popular or the technical sense, these terms have well
understood to have quite distinct meanings.

"Investigate" commonly understood means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or


probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to
observe or study closely: inquire into systematically; "to search or inquire into; to
subject to an official probe; to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of
investigation, of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, to obtain information.
Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a
controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts
established by the inquiry.
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by
step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine
and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition;
examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an
investigation," "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function,
the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing; an inquiry, judicial or
otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or
matters."
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate,
judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as
"to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of
issues raised; to pass judgment on; settle judicially; act as judge" and "adjudge"
means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers; to
award or grant judicially in a case of controversy."
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial
authority. To determine finally; Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and
"adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or
condemn; Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment."

2.

Megaworld Globus Asia, Inc. vs. DSM Construction


and Development Corp., G.R. No. 153310, March 2, 2004

FACTS:
Megaworld and DCM Construction entered into agreements relative to
the construction of a condominium project owned by Megaworld called
The Salcedo Park where DCM Construction will provide: 1)
architectural finishing works; 2) interior finishing works; and 3)
supply and installation of kitchen cabinets and closets.
The
commencement and completion of the works shall be for 12 months.
However, Megaworld and DCM Construction entered into an Interim
Agreement whereby they agreed on a new schedule of the turnover of
the units (26th to 40th floors).
In the course of the projects construction, differences with respect to
billings arose between the parties. DCM Construction thus filed a
complaint for compulsory arbitration before the CIAC claiming
approximately P97 Million as the outstanding balance due from
Megaworld pursuant to the agreements.

The CIAC rendered a decision partially granting both DCM


Constructions and Megaworlds claims. This award was affirmed by
the Court of Appeals and pointed out that only questions of law may
be raised before it on appeal from an award of the CIAC. Megaworld
sought reconsideration arguing, among other things, that the CA
ignored the ruling in Metro Construction, Inc. v. Chatham Properties,
that the review of CIAC award may involve either questions of fact,
law, or both fact and law. CA denied the motion for reconsideration.
While acknowledging that the findings of fact of the CIAC may be
questioned in line with Metro Construction, CA stressed that its
decision is not devoid of factual or evidentiary support. Hence, the
present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not only questions of law may be raised before the CA on
appeal from an award of the CIAC Arbitral Tribunal
Whether or not findings of facts by the CIAC are to be accorded
with finality
HELD:
Although Megaworld, at the outset, intimates that the case involves
grave questions of both fact and law, a cursory reading of the Petition
reveals that, except for the amorphous advertence to administrative
due process, the alleged errors fundamentally involve only questions
of fact. Megaworlds plea for the Court to pass upon the findings of
facts of the Arbitral Tribunal, which were upheld by the appellate
court, must perforce fail.
To jumpstart its bid, Megaworld exploits the Court of Appeals
pronouncement in the assailed decision that only questions of law
may be raised before it from an award of the CIAC. The appellate court
did so, Megaworld continues, in evident disregard of the Metro
Construction case.
Under Section 19 of Executive Order No. 1008, the CIACs arbitral
award "shall be final and inappealable except on questions of law
which shall be appealable to the Supreme Court." In Metro
Construction, however, this Court held that, with the modification of
E.O. No. 1008 by subsequent laws and issuances, decisions of the
CIAC may be appealed to the Court of Appeals not only on questions
of law but also on questions of fact and mixed questions of law and
fact.
Of such subsequent laws and issuances, only Section 1, Rule 43 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure expressly mentions the CIAC. While
an argument may be made that procedural rules cannot modify
substantive law, adding in support thereof that Section 1, Rule 43 has

increased the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals by expanding the


scope of review of CIAC awards, or that it contravenes the rationale for
arbitration, extant from the record is the fact that no party raised
such argument. Consequently, the matter need not be delved into.
DOCTRINE:
Findings of fact of administrative agencies and quasi-judicial
bodies, which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction
is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not only
respect, but finality when affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Note: The attack against the merits of the CAs Decision must fail. Although Metro
Construction may have been unbeknownst to the appellate court when it
promulgated its Decision, the fact remains that, as noted therein, it reviewed the
findings of facts of the CIAC and ruled that the findings are amply supported by the
evidence.
The Court of Appeals is presumed to have reviewed the case based on the Petition
and its annexes, and weighed them against the Comment of DSM Construction and
the Decision of the Arbitral Tribunal to arrive at the conclusion that the said
Decision is based on substantial evidence. In administrative or quasi-judicial
bodies like the CIAC, a fact may be established if supported by substantial
evidence or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.

3.

NAPOCOR vs. ALONZO-LEGASTO


G.R. No. 148318, November 22, 2004

FACTS:
National Power Corporation (NPC) and First United Constructors
Corporation (FUCC) entered into a contract for the construction of
power facilities (civil works).
When the works in Botong area were in considerable delay and were
kept at a minimum until the entire operation completely ceased and
abandoned by FUCC, several written and verbal warnings were given
by NPC to FUCC. Thereafter, NPCs Board of Directors approved the
recommendation of its President to take over the contract.
Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order were sought
by FUCC before the RTC-Quezon City which was granted. NPC, on the
other hand, filed a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction with the CA asserting
that no injunction may issue against any government project
pursuant to PD 1818. CA issued TRO and set aside the lower courts
Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
FUCC filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari before the SC assailing
the decision of the CA, among others. Pending the petition, NPC and
FUCC entered into a Compromise Agreement whereby, among others,
the parties agreed that the decision of the Arbitral Board shall be final

and executory. The Compromise Agreement was subsequently


approved by the Court. Thereafter, the case was subsequently referred
by the parties to the arbitration board pursuant to their Compromise
Agreement
After the arbitration issued its ruling, FUCC moved for its execution
while NPC moved to vacate the award by the Arbitration Board upon
its claim of evident partiality by one of the arbitrators, Mr. Sison.
ISSUE:
Whether or not an arbitral award is subject to judicial review
HELD:
A stipulation submitting an ongoing dispute to arbitration is valid. As
a rule, the arbitrators award cannot be set aside for mere errors of
judgment either as to the law or as to the facts. Courts are generally
without power to amend or overrule merely because of
disagreement with matters of law or facts determined by the
arbitrators. They will not review the findings of law and fact contained
in an award, and will not undertake to substitute their judgment for
that of the arbitrators. A contrary rule would make an arbitration
award the commencement, not the end, of litigation. Errors of
law and fact, or an erroneous decision on matters submitted to
the judgment of the arbitrators, are insufficient to invalidate an
award fairly and honestly made. Judicial review of an arbitration
award is, thus, more limited than judicial review of a trial.
However, an arbitration award is not absolute and without exceptions.
Where the conditions described in Articles 2038, 2039 and 20401 of
the Civil Code applicable to both compromises and arbitrations are
obtaining, the arbitrators award may be annulled or rescinded.
Additionally, judicial review of an arbitration award is warranted when
the complaining party has presented proof of the existence of any of
the grounds for vacating, modifying or correcting an award outlined
under Sections 24 and 25 of R.A. 8762
1 Art. 2038. A compromise in which there is mistake, fraud, violence, intimidation, undue influence, or falsity of
documents, is subject to the provisions of Article 1330 of this Code.

However, one of parties cannot set up a mistake of fact as against the other if the latter, by virtue of the compromise, has
withdrawn from a litigation already commenced. (1817a)
Art. 2039. When the parties compromise generally on all differences which they might have with each other, the
discovery of documents referring to one or more but not to all of the questions settled shall not itself be a cause for
annulment or rescission of the compromise, unless said documents have been concealed by one of the parties.
But the compromise may be annulled or rescinded if it refers only to one thing to which one of the parties has no right,
as shown by the newly-discovered documents. (n)
Art. 2040. If after a litigation has been decided by a final judgment, a compromise should be agreed upon, either or both
parties being unaware of the existence of the final judgment, the compromise may be rescinded.
Ignorance of a judgment which may be revoked or set aside is not a valid ground for attacking a compromise. (1819a)
2 Section 24. Grounds for vacating an award. In any of the following cases, the court must make an order vacating the
award upon the petition of any party to the controversy when such party proves affirmatively that in the arbitration
proceedings:

The order may modify and correct the award so as to effect the intent
thereof and promote justice between the parties.
In this case, NPC does not specify which grounds it relies upon for
judicial review. It avers that if and when the factual circumstances
referred to in the provisions aforementioned are present, judicial
review of the award is warranted. From its presentation of issues,
however, it appears that the alleged evident partiality of Mr. Sison is
singled out as a ground to vacate the boards decision.
We note, however, that the Court of Appeals found that NPC did not
present any proof to back up its claim of evident partiality on the part
of Mr. Sison. Its averments to the effect that Mr. Sison was biased and
had prejudged the case do not suffice to establish evident partiality.
Neither does the fact that a party was disadvantaged by the decision
of the arbitration committee prove evident partiality. According to the
appellate court, NPC was never deprived of the right to present
evidence nor was there any showing that the Board showed signs of
any bias in favor of FUCC. As correctly found by the trial court, this
Court cannot find its way to support NPCs contention that there was
evident partiality in the assailed Award of the Arbitrator in favor of
FUCC because the conclusion of the Board, which the Court found to
be well-founded, is fully supported by substantial evidence.
There is no reason to depart from this conclusion.

(a) The award was procured by corruption, fraud, or other undue means; or
(b) That there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators or any of them; or
(c) That the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause shown, or in
refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy; that one or more of the arbitrators was disqualified
to act as such under section nine hereof, and willfully refrained from disclosing such disqualifications or of any other
misbehavior by which the rights of any party have been materially prejudiced; or
(d) That the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so imperfectly executed them, that a mutual, final and definite award
upon the subject matter submitted to them was not made.
When an award is vacated, the court, in its discretion, may direct a new hearing either before the same arbitrators or
before a new arbitrator or arbitrators to be chosen in the manner provided in the submission or contract for the selection
of the original arbitrator or arbitrators, and any provision limiting the time in which the arbitrators may make a decision
shall be deemed applicable to the new arbitration to commence from the date of the courts order.
Where the court vacates an award, costs not exceeding fifty pesos and disbursements may be awarded to the prevailing
party and the payment thereof may be enforced in like manner as the payment of costs upon the motion in an action.
Section 25. Grounds for modifying or correcting an award. In any one of the following cases, the court must make an
order modifying or correcting the award, upon the application of any party to the controversy which was arbitrated:
(a) Where there was an evident miscalculation of figures, or an evident mistake in the description of any person, thing or
property referred to in the award; or
(b) Where the arbitrators have awarded upon a matter not submitted to them, not affecting the merits of the decision
upon the matter submitted; or
(c) Where the award is imperfect in a matter of form not affecting the merits of the controversy, and if it had been a
commissioners report, the defect could have been amended or disregarded by the court.

DOCTRINE:
Arbitral decision accord respect and finality by the Court
exemption to the rule:
1.
on the ground of promissory estoppels
2.
And involving a legal issue and not a factual finding.
Promissory estoppel may arise from the making of a promise, even
though without consideration, if it was intended that the promise
should be relied upon and in fact it was relied upon, and if a refusal to
enforce it would be virtually to sanction the perpetration of fraud or
would result in other injustice. Promissory estoppel presupposes the
existence of a promise on the part of one against whom estoppel is
claimed. The promise must be plain and unambiguous and
sufficiently specific so that the court can understand the obligation
assumed and enforce the promise according to its terms.
In the present case, the foregoing events clearly evince that the
promise that the blasting works would be paid was predicated on the
approval of the extra work order by petitioners Board. Even FUCC
acknowledged that the blasting works should be an extra work order
and requested that the extra work order be confirmed as such and
approved by the appropriate officials. Notably, even as the extra work
order allegedly promised to it was not yet forthcoming, FUCC
commenced blasting.
The alleged promise to pay was therefore conditional and up to this
point, promissory estoppel cannot be established as the basis of
petitioners liability especially in light of P.D. 1594 and its
implementing rules of which both parties are presumed to have
knowledge.
In Mendoza v. Court of Appeals, supra, we ruled that [a] cause of
action for promissory estoppel does not lie where an alleged oral
promise was conditional, so that reliance upon it was not reasonable.
It does not operate to create liability where it does not otherwise exist.
4.

Lupangco vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 77372, April 29, 1988

FACTS:
In 1986, the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) issued
Resolution No. 105, which prohibited the examinees in accountancy
from attending review classes, receiving handout materials, tips or the
like 3 days before the date of the exam including examination day.
As reviewees preparing to take the licensure exam in accountancy that
year, Lupangco et al filed with the RTC of Manila a complaint for

injunction against the PRC and for


unconstitutionality of the said Resolution.

the

declaration

of

PRC filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the RTC had no
jurisdiction to review and entertain the case, since both entities are
co-equal bodies. To further strengthen its contention, it cited BP 129,
Sec. 9 (3), which states that the CA has the "exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions... of the
RTC and quasi-judicial agencies...."
ISSUE
Whether or not the RTC and the PRC are co-equal bodies, with the
latter having quasi-judicial power
HELD:
NO. In order to invoke Sec. 9 (3) of BP 129, there has to be a final
order or ruling, which resulted from proceedings wherein the
administrative body involved, exercised its quasi-judicial functions.
Quasi-judicial is defined as a term applied to the action, discretion etc
of public administrative officers or bodies required to investigate facts
or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw
conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action, and to
exercise discretion of a judicial nature. It is a determination of rights,
privileges and duties resulting in a decision or order, which applies to
a specific situation. This does NOT cover rules and regulations of
general applicability issued by the administrative body to implement
its purely administrative policies and functions like Resolution No.
105, which was adopted by the PRC as a measure to preserve the
integrity of licensure exams.
NOTE:
As to the constitutionality of the Resolution, the Court held that although it was
adopted for a commendable purposeto preserve the integrity and purity of the
licensure exams, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being unreasonable in that the
examinee cannot even attend any review class or receive any handout etc. It is even
more unreasonable that one who is caught violating this prohibition is barred from
taking future examinations conducted by the PRC.
Furthermore, the Resolution infringes on the examinees' right to liberty guaranteed
by the Constitution. PRC has NO authority to dictate on the reviewees as to how
they should prepare themselves for the licensure exams. They cannot be restrained
from taking all the lawful steps needed to assure the fulfillment of their ambition to
become public accountants.
The Resolution also violates the academic freedom of the schools concerned. PRC
cannot interfere with the conduct of review that these schools believe would best
enable their enrollees to meet the standards required before becoming a full fledged
public accountant.
It is an axiom in administrative law that admin authorities should NOT act
arbitrarily and capriciously in the issuance of rules and regulations. To be valid,

such rules and regulations must be reasonable and fairly adapted to the end in
view.

5.

Azarcon vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. No. 116033, February 26, 1997

FACTS:
Petitioner Alfredo Azarcon owned and operated an earth-moving
business, hauling dirt and ore. His services were contracted by PICOP.
Occasionally, he engaged the services of sub-contractors like Jaime
Ancla whose trucks were left at the formers premises.
On May 25, 1983, a Warrant of Distraint of Personal Property was
issued by BIR commanding one of its Regional Directors to distraint
the goods, chattels or effects and other personal property of Jaime
Ancla, a sub-contractor of accused Azarcon and a delinquent
taxpayer. A Warrant of Garnishment was issued to and subsequently
signed by accused Azarcon ordering him to transfer, surrender,
transmit and/or remit to BIR the property in his possession owned by
Ancla. Azarcon then volunteered himself to act as custodian of the
truck owned by Ancla.
After some time, Azarcon wrote a letter to the Reg. Dir of BIR stating
that while he had made representations to retain possession of the
property of Ancla, he thereby relinquishes whatever responsibility he
had over the said property since Ancla surreptitiously withdrew his
equipment from him. In his reply, the BIR Reg. Dir. said that
Azarcons failure to comply with the provisions of the warrant did not
relieve him from his responsibility.
Along with his co-accused, Azarcon was charged before the
Sandiganbayan with the crime of malversation of public funds or
property. On March 8, 1994, the Sandiganbayan rendered a Decision
sentencing the accused to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging
from 10 yrs and 1 day of prision mayor in its maximum period to 17
yrs, 4 mos and 1 day of reclusion temporal. Petitioner filed a motion
for new trial which was subsequently denied by Sandiganbayan.
Hence, this petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over a private
individual designated by BIR as a custodian of distrained property.
Whether or not the BIR has the power to appoint Azarcon as a public
officer
Held:
SC held that the Sandiganbayans decision was null and void for lack
of jurisdiction.

Sec. 4 of PD 1606 provides for the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.


It was specified therein that the only instances when the
Sandiganbayan will have jurisdiction over a private individual is when
the complaint charges the private individual either as a co-principal,
accomplice or accessory of a public officer or employee who has been
charged with a crime within its jurisdiction.
The Information does not charge petitioner Azarcon as a co-principal,
accomplice or accessory to a public officer committing an offense
under the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction. Thus, unless the petitioner
be proven a public officer, Sandiganbayan will have no jurisdiction
over the crime charged.
Art. 203 of the RPC determines who public officers are. Granting that
the petitioner, in signing the receipt for the truck constructively
distrained by the BIR, commenced to take part in an activity
constituting public functions, he obviously may not be deemed
authorized by popular election. Neither was he appointed by direct
provision of law nor by competent authority. While BIR had authority
to require Azarcon to sign a receipt for the distrained truck, the
National Internal Revenue Code did not grant it power to appoint
Azarcon a public officer. The BIRs power authorizing a private
individual to act as a depository cannot be stretched to include the
power to appoint him as a public officer. Thus, Azarcon is not a public
officer.

DOCTRINES
DUE PROCESS
SANTIAGO vs. Alikpala
First requirement of procedural due process, namely, the existence of
the court or tribunal clothed with judicial, or quasi-judicial, power to
hear and determine the matter before it.
There is the express admission in the statement of facts that
respondents, as a court-martial, were not convened to try petitioner
but someone else, the action taken against petitioner being induced
solely by a desire to avoid the effects of prescription; it would follow
then that the absence of a competent court or tribunal is most marked
and undeniable. Such a denial of due process is therefore fatal to its
assumed authority to try petitioner.
NDC vs. Collector of Customs
FACTS:
The customs authorities found that the vessel carried on board an
unmanifested cargo consisting of one television set, and respondent
Collector of Customs sent a written notice to the operator of the vessel
and the latter answered stating that the television set was not cargo
and so was not required by law to be manifested. The operator
requested an investigation and hearing but respondent finding the
operators explanation not satisfactory imposed on the vessel a fine of
P5,000.00, ordering said fine to be paid within 48 hours from receipt,
with a threat that the vessel would be denied clearance and a warrant
of seizure would be issued if the fine will not be paid.
NDC, as owner, and operator AV Rocha filed for special civil action for
certiorari before the CFI of Manila against the Collector of Customs for
imposing the P5,000.00 fine without benefit of investigation or hearing
as requested in disregard of the due process of law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not due process needs to be observed in an administrative
proceeding.
HELD:
Even in admin proceeding due process must be observed.
We find this action proper for it really appears that petitioner Rocha
was not given an opportunity to prove that the television set
complained of is not a cargo that needs to be manifested as required
by Section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Under said section,
in order that an imported article or merchandise may be considered a
cargo that should be manifested it is first necessary that it be so

established for the reason that there are other effects that a vessel
may carry that are excluded from the requirement of the law, among
which are the personal effects of the members of the crew. The fact
that the set in question was claimed by the customs authorities not to
be within the exception does not automatically make the vessel liable.
It is still necessary that the vessel, its owner or operator, be given a
chance to show otherwise. This is precisely what petitioner Rocha has
requested in his letter. Not only was he denied this chance, but
respondent collector immediately imposed upon the vessel the huge
fine of P5,000.00. This is a denial of the elementary rule of due
process.