INTERPLEADER

1. Mesina v. IAC, 145 SCRA 497 (1986)

Facts: Said case (an Interpleader) was filed by Associated Bank against Jose Go and
Marcelo A. Mesina regarding their conflicting claims over Associated Bank Cashier's
Check No. 011302 for P800,000.00, dated December 29, 1983. Jose Go left said
check on the top of the desk of the bank manager when he left the bank. The bank
manager entrusted the check for safekeeping to a bank official, a certain Albert Uy,
who had then a visitor in the person of Alexander Lim. Uy had to answer a phone
call on a nearby telephone after which he proceeded to the men's room. When he
returned to his desk, his visitor Lim was already gone. Xxx Several days later,
respondent Associated Bank received a letter, dated January 9, 1984, from a certain
Atty. Lorenzo Navarro demanding payment on the cashier's check in question, which
was being held by his client. respondent Associated Bank on February 2, 1984 filed
an action for Interpleader naming as respondent, Jose Go and one John Doe, Atty.
Navarro's then unnamed client.
Ruling: In his second assignment of error, petitioner stubbornly insists that there is
no showing of conflicting claims and interpleader is out of the question. There is
enough evidence to establish the contrary. Considering the aforementioned facts
and circumstances, respondent bank merely took the necessary precaution not to
make a mistake as to whom to pay and therefore interpleader was its proper
remedy. It has been shown that the interpleader suit was filed by respondent bank
because petitioner and Jose Go were both laying their claims on the check,
petitioner asking payment thereon and Jose Go as the purchaser or owner. The
allegation of petitioner that respondent bank had effectively relieved itself of its
primary liability under the check by simply filing a complaint for interpleader is
belied by the willingness of respondent bank to issue a certificate of time deposit in
the amount of P800,000 representing the cashier's check in question in the name of
the Clerk of Court of Manila to be awarded to whoever wig be found by the court as
validly entitled to it. Said validity will depend on the strength of the parties'
respective rights and titles thereto. Bank filed the interpleader suit not because
petitioner sued it but because petitioner is laying claim to the same check that Go is
claiming.

2. Pasricha v. Don Luis Dizon Realty, Inc. 548 SCRA 273 –Interpleader - not to
protect a person against double liability but to protect him against double
vexation in respect of one liability.
Facts: Respondent Don Luis Dison Realty, Inc. and petitioners executed two
Contracts of Lease.xxx Because petitioners still refused to comply, a complaint for
ejectment was filed by private respondent. Petitioners admitted their failure to pay
the stipulated rent for the leased premises starting July until November 1992, but
claimed that such refusal was justified because of the internal squabble in
respondent company as to the person authorized to receive payment. The evidence
of petitioners’ non-payment of the stipulated rent is overwhelming. Petitioners,
however, claim that such non-payment is justified by the following: 1) the refusal of
respondent to allow petitioners to use the leased properties, except room 35; 2)
respondent’s refusal to turn over Rooms 36, 37 and 38; and 3) respondent’s refusal

to accept payment tendered by petitioners. Petitioners’ justifications are belied by
the evidence on record.
Ruling: What was, instead, clearly established by the evidence was petitioners’ nonpayment of rentals because ostensibly they did not know to whom payment should
be made. However, this did not justify their failure to pay, because if such were the
case, they were not without any remedy. They should have availed of the provisions
of the Civil Code of the Philippines on the consignation of payment and of the Rules
of Court on interpleader.
Otherwise stated, an action for interpleader is proper when the lessee does not
know to whom payment of rentals should be made due to conflicting claims on the
property (or on the right to collect).60 The remedy is afforded not to protect a
person against double liability but to protect him against double vexation in respect
of one liability.
(Consignation Art. 1258)

3. Ocampo v. Tirona, 455 SCRA 62

Facts: Ocampo alleged that he is the owner of a parcel of land Xxx Possession and
administration of the subject land are claimed to be already in Ocampo’s
management even though the TCT is not yet in his name. Tirona, on the other hand,
is a lessee occupying a portion of the subject land. In view of the fact that the
subject premises was declared under area for priority development, [Tirona] is
invoking her right of first refusal and in connection thereto [Tirona] will temporarily
stop paying her monthly rentals until and unless the National Housing Authority
have processed the pertinent papers as regards the amount due to [Ocampo] by
reason of the implementation of the above law (PD 1517 Urban Land Reform Law).
Ocampo file UD; In her amended answer, Tirona maintained that Ocampo is not the
owner of the subject land.
Ruling: We hold that Tirona is estopped from denying her possession under a
lease32 and that there was a violation of the lease agreement.xxx Contrary to
Tirona’s position, the issue of ownership is not essential to an action for unlawful
detainer. The fact of the lease and the expiration of its term are the only elements
of the action.
The good faith of Tirona is put in question in her preference for Maria Lourdes
Breton-Mendiola. As a stakeholder, Tirona should have used reasonable diligence in
hailing the contending claimants to court. Tirona need not have awaited actual
institution of a suit by Ocampo against her before filing a bill of interpleader.37 An
action for interpleader is proper when the lessee does not know the person to whom
to pay rentals due to conflicting claims on the property.38
The action of interpleader is a remedy whereby a person who has property whether
personal or real, in his possession, or an obligation to render wholly or partially,
without claiming any right in both, or claims an interest which in whole or
in part is not disputed by the conflicting claimants, comes to court and asks
that the persons who claim the said property or who consider themselves entitled to
demand compliance with the obligation, be required to litigate among themselves,
in order to determine finally who is entitled to one or the other thing. The remedy is
afforded not to protect a person against a double liability but to protect him against
a double vexation in respect of one liability. When the court orders that the

claimants litigate among themselves, there arises in reality a new action and the
former are styled interpleaders, and in such a case the pleading which initiates the
action is called a complaint of interpleader and not a cross-complaint.

4. Vda. De Camilo v. Arcamo, 3 Phil. 146

Facts: Petitioner Petra Carpio Vda. de Camilo, had been by herself and predecessor
in interest in peaceful, open and adverse possession of a parcel of public foreshore
land. Xxx Respondent Ong Peng Kee was a lessee of one of the apartments of said
commercial building. On September 1, 1957, the two commercial buildings were
burned down. Two weeks thereafter, respondents Ong Peng Kee and Adelia Ong,
constructed a building of their own, occupying about 120 square meters. The
building, however, was so built that portions of the lands previously occupied by
petitioner (De Camilo and the Franciscos) were encroached upon. Forcible entry
case was filed against them Xxx Pending trial of the two cases, the respondents Ong
Peng Kee and Adelia Ong filed a complaint for Interpleader against De Camilo,
Severino Estrada, the Franciscos, Arthur Evert Bannister, the Mayor and Treasurer of
Malangas (Civ. Case No. 108), alleging that the filing of the three cases of forcible
entry (Civ. Cases Nos. 64, 78 an 105), indicated that the defendants (in the
Interpleader) had conflicting interests, since they all claimed to be entitled to the
possession of the lot in question and they (Peng Kee and Adelia) could not
determine without hazard to themselves who of defendants was entitled to the
possession. Interpleader plaintiffs further alleged that they had no interest in the
property other than as mere lessees.
The only issue raised in the present appeal is whether or not the Justice of the Peace
Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the Interpleader case.
Ruling: (Improper Interpleader) where the occupants of two different parcels of land adjoining
each other belonging to two separate plaintiffs, but on which the occupants had constructed a
building encroaching upon both parcels of land, faced two ejectment suits from the plaintiffs, each
plaintiff claiming the right of possession and recovery over his respective portion of the lands
encroached upon, this Court held that the occupants could not properly file an interpleader suit,
against the plaintiffs, to litigate their alleged conflicting claims; for evidently, the two plaintiff did not
have any conflicting claims upon the same subject matter against the occupants, but were enforcing
separate and distinct claims on their respective properties.
The petitioners claimed the possession of the respective portion of the lands
belonging to them on which the respondents had erected their house after the fire
which destroyed petitioners' buildings. This being the case, the contention of
petitioners-appellants that the complaint to interplead lacked cause of action, is
correct. Xxx The petitioners did not have conflicting claims against the respondents.
Their respective claim was separate and distinct from the other. Furthermore, it is
not true that respondents Ong Peng Kee and Adelia Ong did not have any interest in
the subject matter. Their interest was the prolongation of their occupancy or
possession of the portions encroached upon by them.
Even in the supposition that the complaint presented a cause of action for
Interpleader, still We hold that the JP had no jurisdiction to take cognizance thereof.
The complaint asking the petitioners to interplead, practically took the case out of
the jurisdiction of the JP court, because the action would then necessarily "involve
the title to or possession of real property or any interest therein" over which the CFI

[b]. in view of his subsequent failure to settle the issue thereon with the Supplier. The only issue is who among the defendants is entitled to collect the same. accordingly. refused to recognize all agreements and undertakings previously entered into with GSIS. xxx Subsequently. however. applicable to inferior courts. the subject matter of the complaint (interpleader) would come under the original jurisdiction of the CFI.198. the failure of said section 19 of Rule 5 of the present Rules of Court to make its Rule 63. Tthen. To begin with. This is the object of the action. and. plaintiff instituted the present action. v. while GSIS insisted on its legal rights to enforce the said agreements . Judiciary Act). 29 SCRA 145 Facts: Tenants paid to PHCC with entitlement to purchase their units. in which plaintiff maintains that the subjectmatter of this litigation is not the aforementioned sum of P5." Ruling: We find no merit in this contention. 44. pursuant to which 2 municipal courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil cases "in which the demand. 1965. amounts to not more than "ten thousand pesos.has original jurisdiction (par. but may apply thereto the general rules on procedure applicable to ordinary civil action in said courts. issued an order.75. Esmeraldo Eco. Hence. dated November 16. 1965. 44. "the power to define. because it would not be capable of pecuniary estimation (Sec. on interpleading. exclusive of interest. prescribe. the lower court granted the same. Corp. Then also. 6. 1955. Makati Dev’t.198. 1 Finding this motion "to be welltaken".75. There is no question in this case that plaintiff may compel the defendants to interplead among themselves. management of the project transferred to GSIS due to PHCC’s debt to GSIS. but of MTC). as amended). the jurisdiction of our courts over the subject-matter of justiciable controversies is governed by Rep. Judiciary Act.00.jurisdiction Facts: With his consent. but the right to compel the defendants "to litigate among themselves" in order to protect the plaintiff "against a double vexation in respect to one liability. this appeal." On October 4. or the value of the property in controversy". the amount involved therein being less than P10. to compel them "to interplead their conflicting claims. sec. without costs. and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts" belongs to Congress 3 and is beyond the rule-making power of the Supreme Court. in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. [a]. 5. PHHC through its new Chairman-General Manager. Beltran v. against Tanjuatco and the Supplier. as amended. 296. dismissing the case. practice. merely implies that the same are not bound to follow Rule 63 in dealing with cases of interpleading." Secondly. 4 Thirdly. which is not within the jurisdiction of the lower court (CFI.000. Tanjuatco moved to dismiss the case. Tanjuatco. over plaintiffs opposition thereto. Act No. and the admission to the practice of law. upon the ground that the court had no jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the litigation. PHCC. and procedure in all courts. there having been no showing that rentals were asked by the petitioners from respondents. concerning the aforementioned sum of P5. 27 SCRA 401 (1969) . which is limited to matters concerning pleading. par. plaintiff withheld said amount from the final payment made to him and. on September 16.

Won. The questions of fact raised in their complaint concerning the enforceability." and also by virtue of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. deputy clerk of court of the said CFI of Manila. praying that the two defendant-government corporations (PHCC and GSIS) be compelled to litigate and interplead between themselves their alleged conflicting claims involving said Project 4. Inc. with principal office in Mandaluyong. for its first cause of action.Appeal on purely questions of law from an order of dismissal of the complaint for interpleader. Rizal (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation). ever made on them any claim or demand for payment of the rentals or amortization payments. 70 SCRA 165 Facts: In its amended and supplemental complaint of October 23. a non-stock. entitled "Lee E. Won alias Ramon Lee vs. on the ground that it does not state a cause of action." While the two defendant corporations may have conflicting claims between themselves with regard to the management. 1961 between the two defendant corporations are irrelevant to their action of interpleader. alleged. Ruling: (Improper interpleader) Plaintiffs entirely miss the vital element of an action of interpleader. loosely so-called. for these conflicting claims. as pointed out by the trial court that the monthly payments and amortizations should be made directly to the PHHC alone. the special civil action of interpleader will not lie. 1962. Won claims ownership of its membership fee certificate 201. Rule 63. We affirm the dismissal on the ground that where the defendants sought to be interpleaded as conflicting claimants have no conflicting claims against plaintiff. such conflicting claims are not against the plaintiffs nor do they involve or affect the plaintiffs. by plaintiffs in their own behalf and in behalf of all residents of Project 4 in Quezon City. section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court (formerly Rule 14) requires as an indispensable element that "conflicting claims upon the same subject matter are or may be made" against the plaintiff-in-interpleader "who claims no interest whatever in the subject matter or an interest which in whole or in part is not disputed by the claimants. Jacinto. by virtue of the decision rendered in civil case 26044 of the CFI of Manila. administration and ownership of Project 4. Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club v. (It would have been different if GSIS demanded their payments also) 7. as certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals. wherein it is provided that "GSIS shall recognize and respect all awards. 1963. the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club. No allegation is made in their complaint that any corporation other than the PHHC which was the only entity privy to their lease-purchase agreement. . civic and athletic corporation duly organized under the laws of the Philippines. Inc. Both defendant corporations werein conformity and had no dispute. Wack Wack Golf & Country Club. as correctly found by the trial court. lease agreements and transfer of rights to lots and housing units made and approved by PHHC. and recognition or non-enforceability and non-recognition of the turnover agreement of December 27. Xxx The GSIS' undertaking to recognize and respect the previous commitments of PHHC towards its tenants is expressly set forth in Par. 1478 issued on October 17. 1963 by Ponciano B. contracts of sale. are between the two corporations and not against plaintiffs. III. section M of the turnover agreement. Annex "F" of plaintiffs' complaint. for and in behalf of the president and the secretary of the Corporation and of the People's Bank & Trust Company as transfer agent of the said Corporation.. This interpleader suit was filed on August 21. that the defendant Lee E.

1478 issued by the deputy clerk of court of court of the CFI of Manila in behalf of the Corporation is null and void because issued in violation of its by-laws. 1199 held by the defendant Tan and the membership fee certificate 201serial No. And since the Corporation is already liable to Lee under a final judgment. By then it was too late." the original owner and holder of membership fee certificate 201. and that he is made a part so that complete relief may be accorded herein. aside from the fact that the decision of the CFI of Manila in civil case 26044 is not binding upon the defendant Tan. 1950 pursuant to an assignment made in his favor by "Swan. or to issue another membership fee certificate to the defendant Lee. Culbertson and Fritz. that it has no means of determining who of the two defendants is the lawful owner thereof. claims to be lawful owner of its aforesaid membership fee certificate 201 by virtue of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. which require the surrender and cancellation of the outstanding membership fee certificate 201 before issuance may be made to the transferee of a new certificate duly signed by its president and secretary. and that the membership fee certificate 201serial no. 1199. the present interpleader suit is clearly improper and unavailing. that it claims no interest whatsoever in the said membership fee certificate 201. and in holding that "the principal motive for the present action is to reopen the Manila Case and collaterally attack the decision of the said Court". that the defendant Bienvenido A. holder of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. without violating its articles of incorporation and by-laws. because to be entitled to this remedy the applicant must be able to show that lie has not been made independently liable to any of the claimants. on the other hand. the Corporation contends that the court a quo erred (1) in finding that the allegations in its amended and supplemental complaint do not constitute a valid ground for an action of interpleader. Ruling: It has been held that a stakeholder's action of interpleader is too late when filed after judgment has been rendered against him in favor of one of the contending claimants. that Tan is made a party because of his refusal to join it in this action or bring a separate action to protect his rights despite the fact that he has a legal and beneficial interest in the subject matter of this litigation. 1478 issued to the defendant Lee proceed from the same membership fee certificate 201. 1199 issued to him on July 24. originally issued in the name of "Swan. it alleged that the membership fee certificate 201serial no. . In this appeal. that it is without power to issue two separate certificates for the same membership fee certificate 201. 1963 in the said case. that under its articles of incorporation and by-laws the Corporation is authorized to issue a maximum of 400 membership fee certificates to persons duly elected or admitted to proprietary membership. Culbertson and Fritz". (2) in finding that the decision in civil case 26044 of the CFI of Manila constitutes res judicata and bars its present action. and (3) in dismissing its action instead of compelling the appellees to interplead and litigate between themselves their respective claims. It was only after adverse final judgment was rendered against it that the remedy of interpleader was invoked by it. Tan. all of which have been issued as early as December 1939.pursuant to the order of September 23. For its second cause of action. The Corporation has not shown any justifiable reason why it did not file an application for interpleader in civil case 26044 to compel the appellees herein to litigate between themselves their conflicting claims of ownership.

and there are. The theory that the act of one branch of a court of first instance (regional trial court) may be deemed to be the act of another branch of the same court is. . v. It flies in the teeth of the all too familiar actuality that each branch is a distinct and separate court. those propeller pieces had been seized by METROCOM agents from Florencio Sosuan on the strength of a search warrant issued by another branch of the same Manila Court of First Instance. of a writ or process of the court having cognizance of the civil action. is a matter of comity. conflicting claims asserted over the seized property. In such a case. But such a transfer. 1982 granting the motion of Sosuan ". 8. the public prosecutors having pronounced the absence of basis therefor. founded on pragmatic considerations. The search warrant was issued at the instance of Vlasons. Ruling: 1. 155 SCRA 186 (1987) Facts: Some five months before the filing of the suit. exercising jurisdiction over the cases assigned to it to the exclusion of all other branches. upon due application by an interested party. it must be emphasized. Corp.Besides. or more precisely on June 21. 600 SCRA 569 . . absurd. which claimed to be the owner of the propeller. that action being cognizable not exclusively by the court issuing the search warrant but by any other competent court to which it may be assigned by raffle. or of a special civil action of interpleader by the Government itself (who?). to Repossess Propeller Pieces" pendente lite. CA. a successful litigant cannot later be impleaded by his defeated adversary in an interpleader suit and compelled to prove his claim anew against other adverse claimants. and it appears reasonably definite that the seizure will not be followed by the filing of any criminal action for the prosecution of the offenses in connection with which the warrant was issued. In a civil action for the recovery of possession of two (2) pieces of a salvaged bronze propeller of a sunken vessel. instituted in the Manila Court of First Instance. moreover. issued an Order dated March 22. the seizing court shall transfer custody of the seized articles to the court having jurisdiction of the civil action at any time. Jr. CA. DECLARATORY RELIEF 1. the appropriate remedy is the institution of an ordinary civil action by any interested party. upon its face. 2. 1979. Vlasons Ent. It is therefore this Court's holding that where personalty has been seized under a search warrant. not compellable by or resulting from any overriding authority. presided over by Judge Maximo Maceren. Judge Alfredo Cruz.. as that would in effect be a collateral attack upon the judgment. Province of Camarines Sur v.

known as Plaza Rizal. and Camarines Sur. Specifically.Furthermore. the Municipality of Naga was converted into the City of Naga. Phil.] 305 is hereby interpreted and declared in this Court to mean that the administrative control and management of Plaza Rizal is within the City of Naga and not with the Province of Camarines Sur. contract or other written instrument. Being a property of the public domain. the controversy concerns the construction of the provisions of Republic Act No.In the instant case. given that the City of Naga did not intend to acquire ownership of Plaza Rizal. the City of Naga seeks an interpretation of Section 2. will. executive order or resolution. maintenance. Consumers Foundation. 305 and as specified in Section 2. Article I thereof the local government unit that is the proper agent of the Republic of the Philippines that should administer and possess Plaza Rizal is the City of Naga. Article I] of [Republic Act No. On 18 June 1948. being the owner of Plaza Rizal. 374 SCRA 262 . RTC: WHEREFORE. as well as a declaration of the rights of the parties to this case thereunder. given that the said property is situated within its territorial jurisdiction. executive order or regulation. (2) the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy. by virtue thereof. 3055 took effect and. and for a declaration of his rights and duties thereunder. Municipality of Pili. Republic Act No. and (3) the issue is ripe for judicial determination. transferring the site of the provincial capitol of Camarines Sur from the City of Naga to the barrio of Palestina. as it belonged to the public in general. 2. Subsequently. Facts: The property subject of the instant case is a parcel of land. or statute. on 16 June 1955. premises considered. On 13 January 1997. 13366 was approved. the remedy of Declaratory Relief was inappropriate because there was no ju sticiable controversy. situated within the territory of herein respondent City of Naga. CamSur filed answer with MTD .31The only issue that may be raised in such a petition is the question of construction or validity of provisions in an instrument or statute. Meralco v. the City of Naga filed a Complaint9 for Declaratory Relief and/or Quieting of Title against Camarines Sur… The City of Naga stressed that it did not intend to acquire ownership of Plaza Rizal. By virtue of the enactment of Republic Act No. [Section 2. Inc. and supervision thereof. Republic Act No. the City of Naga sought a declaration that the administrative control and management of Plaza Rizal should be vested in it. had the right to the management. 305 or the Charter of the City of Naga. Plaza Rizal could not be claimed by any subdivision of the state. Article I of its Charter. to determine any question of construction or validity arising from the instrument. Declaratory relief is defined as an action by any person interested in a deed. Instead. The requisites of an action for declaratory relief are: (1) there must be a justiciable controversy between persons whose interests are adverse. Ruling: The Court rules that the City of Naga properly resorted to the filing of an action for declaratory relief. control.

551. 551. renewed its Contract of Lease4 with Ponciano L. for a term of four (4) years from May 1. Almeda (Ponciano). husband of petitioner Eufemia and father of petitioner Romel Almeda. for to do so will negate the principle of hierarchy of courts and nullify the essence of review. 3. 2) whether respondent is liable to pay 10% VAT pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 7716. Respondent refused to pay the VAT and adjusted rentals as demanded by petitioners but continued to pay the stipulated amount set forth in their contract.D. located at 2208 Pasong Tamo Street.xxx Although judicial determinations are not infallible. contract etc. albeit erroneous. 6 and 7 of the lease contract to prevent damage and prejudice. (And this has been affirmed by the SC in a previous case – so res judicata) Ruling: Corollarily. is binding on the whole world.25 square meters. and 3) whether the amount of rentals due the petitioners should be adjusted by reason of extraordinary inflation or devaluation. executive order or resolution. especially of this Court. Inc. contract etc. respondent instituted an action for declaratory relief for purposes of determining the correct interpretation of condition Nos. private respondents brought the petition for declaratory relief long after the alleged violation of P. consisting of 7. represented by its president Ramon H. 23 The petition gives a practical remedy in ending controversies which have not reached the stage where other relief is immediately available. 1997 unless sooner terminated as provided in the contract. and not to settle issues arising from an alleged breach thereof. and for a declaration of his rights and duties thereunder. to which it refers. or statute. as lessee. deed. contract or other written instrument. or compliance therewith. the issues for our resolution are as follows: 1) whether the action for declaratory relief is proper. Ruling: Declaratory relief is defined as an action by any person interested in a deed. No.69. as lessor. Ponciano agreed to lease a portion of the Almeda Compound. Makati City. Garcia. not through repeated suits on the same claim. 542 SCRA 470 Construction of lease contract – WON lesee is liable to pay VAT and inflation Facts: Sometime in May 1997. for their guidance in the enforcement thereof. will. deed. executive order or regulation..348. respondent Bathala Marketing Industries. 1âwphi1 A lower court cannot reverse or set aside decisions or orders of a superior court. if only to put the issue to final rest. as stated by the Solicitor General. Bathala Marketing Industries. to determine any question of construction or validity arising from the instrument. It supplies the need for a form of action that will set controversies at rest before they lead to repudiation of obligations. and the commission of wrongs. for a monthly rental of P1. It may be entertained only before the breach or violation of the statute.348.D. 24 Here.Facts: And finally. judicial error should be corrected through appeals. The only issue that may be raised in such a petition is the question . Inc. In fine.107. BOE’s decision authorizing Meralco to retain the savings resulting from the reduction of franchise tax as long as its rate of return falls below the 12% allowable rate is supported by P. No. Under the said contract. invasion of rights.. let it not be overlooked that the purpose of an action for declaratory relief is to secure an authoritative statement of the rights and obligations of the parties under a statute. Almeda v. A final judgment.

instead of answering. the trial court. executive order or regulation. In Panganiban. or insecurity to the Plaintif’s status or rights would seem to be improper and outside the purview of a declaratory relief. 4) there must be an actual justiciable controversy or the "ripening seeds" of one between persons whose interests are adverse. in that case. uncertainty. Jr. where the rescission case was on appeal. without costs. there was already a breach of contract at the time of the filing of the declaratory relief petition. 15 Decisional law enumerates the requisites of an action for declaratory relief. From the order of dismissal. Thus. Corollary is the general rule that such an action must be justified. and it was petitioner in that case who insisted that the action for declaratory relief be preferred over the action for unlawful detainer. In fact. Mirasol18 where the declaratory relief action was dismissed because the issue therein could be threshed out in the unlawful detainer suit. the court dismissed the complaint. itself initiated the suspension of the proceedings pending the resolution of the action for declaratory relief. Plaintif has appealed and the case was certified to this court because only questions of law are involved in the appeal. respondent complied with the terms and conditions set forth in their contract of lease by paying the rentals stipulated therein. and 6) adequate relief is not available through other means or other forms of action or proceeding. The court sustained the motion holding that “An action for declaratory relief just for the purpose of clearing away doubt. After petitioners demanded payment of adjusted rentals and in the months that followed. filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. Defendants. Given all these attendant circumstances. Edades v. contract or other written instrument. we cannot apply the same ruling to the instant case. as follows: 1) the subject matter of the controversy must be a deed. v. Yet. as no other adequate relief or remedy is available under the circumstances. as it would settle once and for all the question of the proper interpretation of the two contractual stipulations subject of this controversy. . 5) the issue must be ripe for judicial determination. It is true that in Panganiban v. 2) the terms of said documents and the validity thereof are doubtful and require judicial construction. 99 Phil 675 (1956) Facts: Plaintif brought this action before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan seeking a declaratory judgment on his hereditary rights in the property of his alleged father and incidentally the recognition of his status as an illegitimate son of Emigdio Edades. the unlawful detainer case had already been resolved by the trial court before the dismissal of the declaratory relief case. However.of construction or validity of provisions in an instrument or statute.” Consequently. again. Respondent religiously fulfilled its obligations to petitioners even during the pendency of the present suit. There is no showing that respondent committed an act constituting a breach of the subject contract of lease. 4. the trial court had not yet resolved the rescission/ejectment case during the pendency of the declaratory relief petition. We are not unmindful of the doctrine enunciated in Teodoro. The resolution of the present petition would write finis to the parties' dispute. the Court is disposed to entertain the instant declaratory relief action instead of dismissing it. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation 17 we held that the petition for declaratory relief should be dismissed in view of the pendency of a separate action for unlawful detainer. This dissimilar factual milieu proscribes the Court from applying Teodoro to the instant case. Conversely. Edades. if disputed or objected to. statute. will. 3) there must have been no breach of the documents in question. respondent is not barred from instituting before the trial court the petition for declaratory relief. Neither can it be availed of for the purpose of compelling recognition of such rights. in the case at bench. notwithstanding the pendency of the ejectment/rescission case before the trial court. or ordinance.

This right is impliedly recognized by Article 289 which permits the investigation of the paternity or maternity of an illegitimate child in the same manner as in the case of a natural child. of the Municipality of Malabon. so that the modified ordinance will have no effect until it is repassed by the municipal council 6. Considering that the rules of procedure shall be liberally construed to promote their object and avoid an expensive litigation (section 2. and the prayer of the petition shows that the petitioner had not paid them. contract or other written instrument. 61. nor does it affect a statute or ordinance. was already due. increases or decreases in certain cases the rate of a license tax on business. 3 The fact that he is the manager of the theater does not make him a real party in interest. Aquino. because the terms of the ordinances assailed are not ambiguous or of doubtful meaning which require a construction thereof by the Court. dissenting having in mind the principle of separation of powers which pervades the system of government ordained by our Constitution. . J. adopted on the same date as Ordinance No.. imposes a license tax of P1. Santos v. Because this letter did not bear the special anti-TB stamp required by the statute. Where a municipal ordinance. 94 Phil 65 (1953) Facts: This action purports to obtain a declaratory relief but the prayer of the petition seeks to have Ordinance No. and that it does not empower him to change. the action of the Secretary of Finance can only be taken as a recommendation. will.1 as amended by Republic Act 2631. we hold that the present action may be maintained in the light of the view herein expressed. 1 When this action was brought on 12 May 1949. 61. Palomar. alter or modify the terms of the ordinance. therefore. for that would be investing an executive officer with legislative functions. Gomez mailed a letter at the post officexxx.2 which provides as follows. Province of Rizal.Ruling: The present case does not come within the purview of the law authorizing an action for declaratory relief for it neither concerns a deed. such relief must be asked before a violation of the ordinance be committed. series of 1946. In those circumstances the petitioner cannot bring an action for declaratory relief. occupation or privilege by more than 50 per cent and the Secretary of Finance increases or decreases the new rate prescribed in the ordinance. Gomez v. I take it that the veto power thus conferred upon the Secretary of Finance only authorizes that officer to approve or disapprove an ordinance that is submitted to him in accordance with the abovequoted provision of the Commonwealth Act. 61. Side note: REYES. and Ordinance No. series of 1947. the construction or validity of which is involved. series of 1946. Ordinance No. (he questioned the constitutionality of the law) RTC ruled in his favor. . adopted by the Municipal Council of Malabon on 8 December 1946. 5. pursuant to Ordinance No. Nor is it predicated on any justiciable controversy for admittedly the alleged rights of inheritance whichPlaintif desires to assert against the Defendants as basis of the relief he is seeking for have not yet accrued for the simple reason that his alleged father Emigdio Edades has not yet died. the Director of Posts shall order for the period from August nineteen to September thirty every year the printing and issue of semi-postal stamps xxx petitioner Benjamin P. it was returned to the petitioner. 25 SCRA 827 (1968) Facts: This appeal puts in issue the constitutionality of Republic Act 1635.To help raise funds for the Philippine Tuberculosis Society. declared null and void xxx. The rule that actions must be brought in the name of the real party in interest 2 applies to actions brought under Rule 66 for declaratory relief. series of 1946. 10. Rule 1). 58. payment of the municipal license taxes imposed by both ordinances. And granting that the validity or legality of an ordinance may be drawn in question in an action for declaratory relief. the tax rate of the last having been reduced by the Department of Finance.000 per annum on the said theater in addition to a license tax on all tickets sold in theaters and cinemas in Malabon. the same series xxx Ruling: This is not an action for declaratory relief.

such pronouncement is beyond judicial power’. Section 6 of the same rule. is for her to take the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to register said oath in the proper civil registry. Ruling: The appeal taken by the Government is well taken. Nor is there merit in the petitioner's argument that the mailing of the letter in question did not constitute a breach of the statute because the statute appears to be addressed only to postal authorities. Lim v. should take place." The prime specification of an action for declaratory relief is that it must be brought "before breach or violation" of the statute has been committed. Hence. from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City. 1963. but also with regard to any other mail that he might send in the future. the petitioner prayed that due course be given to "other mails without the semi-postal stamps which he may deliver for mailing. section 1 so provides. As a consequence. In other words. one for a declaratory relief.xx the mere attempt to use the mails without the stamp constitutes a violation of the statute.’Only as an incident of the adjudication of the rights of the parties to a controversy may the Court pass upon and make a pronouncement relative to their status. . contract or other written instrument. who has lost her citizenship by reason of marriage to an alien. thru her petition herein. Rule 64. Thus. None of the above circumstances exists in the case under consideration. the trial court nevertheless refused to dismiss the action on the ground that under section 6 of Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. a statute . there had been a breach of the statute before the firing of this action. Xxx. the prayer in the petition of appellee herein suggest that she is aware of the pertinent legal provisions. And this Court has already held that there is no proceeding established by law or the rules by which any person claiming to be a citizen may get a declaration in a court of justice to that effect or in regard to his citizenship.. taken by the Solicitor General. or her alleged relation with him. It is. in effect. Lorenzo. applies only if the breach or violation occurs after the filing of the action but before the termination thereof. as the trial court itself admitted. in his complaint.. the allegations and.. as amended. which this Court has repeatedly held to be inapplicable to the political status of natural persons. will. much less can the suit be converted into an ordinary action. moreover. then indeed the remedy of declaratory relief cannot be availed of. granting repatriation to petitioner. she hopes to establish that she was a citizen of the Philippines before she contracted marriage. "If before the final termination of the case a breach or violation of . Otherwise. the action may thereupon be converted into an ordinary action. her petition is. upon termination of her marital status.Ruling: While conceding that the mailing by the petitioner of a letter without the additional anti-TB stamp was a violation of Republic Act 1635. Maddela.’ demands construction thereof for a declaration of his rights thereunder. apparent that her objective is to settle her political status prior to marriage. supra). The procedure for the repatriation of a female citizen of the Philippines. we are of the view that the petitioner's choice of remedy is correct because this suit was filed not only with respect to the letter which he mailed on September 15. and u nder our laws. which allows the court to treat an action for declaratory relief as an ordinary action. particularly. Declaratory relief in this jurisdiction is a special civil action which may lie only when ‘any person interested under a deed. All that is required of her. if. Nevertheless. upon the ground inter alia. there can be no action or proceeding for the judicial declaration of the citizenship of an individual’ (Republic v. 1 In fact. 37 SCRA 78 Facts: Appeal. Republic.. that she had not duly established either the nationality of her alleged father. 7. is as simple as it can possibly be. or whose rights are affected by statute or ordinance.

G.R. A petition for declaratory relief cannot properly have a court decision as its subject matter.23 CJH hinges its petition on the demand letter or assessment sent to it by the BOC. Moreover. The Court cannot repeal. 420 is null and void from the beginning. The RTC also ruled that the petition for declaratory relief is not the appropriate remedy. . Among these incentives are the exemption from the payment of taxes."it is now well settled . 12-976 while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Customs Administrative Order No. the RTC rendered its assailed order. 17 It held that the decision in G. 55 (CA No. 119775 has a retroactive effect. Subsequently. December 24. or the construction or validity of statute or ordinance. v. the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulations No. and the operation of the SEZ as a special customs territory providing for tax and duty free importations of raw materials. Ultimately. and that citizenship is not a proper subject for declaratory judgment. The remaining parties were required to submit their respective memoranda. the appellees merely wanted to remove all doubts in their minds as to their citizenship. Corp. Lim. the proper subject matter of a declaratory relief is a deed. it has removed from the courts’ jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory relief involving tax assessments. No. In line with the Proclamation. Ramos to create a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in a portion of Camp John Hay in Baguio City. abstract or theoretical question. for businesses located inside the SEZ. . or other written instrument. On 14 October 2005. In essence. . it is really not the demand letter which is the subject matter of the petition. . or the rules. but an action for declaratory judgment cannot be invoked solely to determine or try issues or to determine a moot. Section 34 of the Proclamation granted to the newly created SEZ the same incentives then already enjoyed by the Subic SEZ. both local and national.7 The two issuances provided the rules and regulations to be implemented within the Camp John Hay SEZ. However. Ruling: DR not proper. A judgment of the court cannot be the proper subject of a petition for declaratory relief. Section 3 of the Proclamation was declared unconstitutional in part by the Court en banc in John Hay Peoples Alternative Coalition v. 172457. 8. 55) which proscribes the use of declaratory relief in cases where a taxpayer questions his tax liability is still in force and effect.R. CJH Dev’t. . that there is no proceeding established by law. the RTC dropped the City of Baguio as a party to the case. No. the enumeration in Rule 64 is exclusive. Precisely. modify or alter an act of the Legislature. capital and equipment. or to decide claims which are uncertain or hypothetical. No. 119775 applies retroactively because the tax exemption granted by Proclamation No. however. for the judicial declaration of the citizenship of an individual . will. 420 (the Proclamation) was issued by then President Fidel V. 55 is still in effect and holds sway. Moreover. 2-98. this Court is asked to determine whether the decision of the Court en banc in G. CA No. (SO BIR and BOC assessed CJH with taxes) In an Order16 dated 28 June 2005. contract.R. the RTC held that Commonwealth Act No. 2008 Facts: he RTC dismissed the petition for declaratory relief filed by petitioner CJH Development Corporation Proclamation No. BIR. This approach cannot be countenanced.

02-104585. and (4) the issue is ripe for judicial determination. specifically paragraph (a) thereof. 121 SCRA 368 Facts: In this petition for declaratory relief originally filed in the Court of First Instance of Baguio. 2002. a registered political party. Social Justice Society v Lina.[13] Suffice it to state that. respondent Jose D. the petition was dismissed on the grounds that: 1) another court. 26 In case of ambiguity of the decision. what is involved is the validity of Ordinance 386 passed by the City Council of Baguio City N ORDINANCE CONSIDERING ALL SQUATTERS OF PUBLIC LAND. n the decision thereafter rendered. v. Ruling: we find as proper the trial courts dismissal of the petition for declaratory relief in Civil Case No. and would considerably reduce the time that they must devote to their constituents. 10. The City Council. 27 One of the requisites of a declaratory relief is that the issue must be ripe for judicial determination. Branch I.) No. by petitioner Social Justice Society. Xxx Based on the said provision. 7160. 2) those who come within the protection of the ordinance have not been made parties to the suit in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 64 and it has .A. review and determine the validity of said judgment pursuant to the policy of judicial respect and stability. Baguio Citizen’s Action. or the action to prosper. the provision the interpretation of which is being sought has already been breached by the respondents. it must be shown that (1) there is a justiciable controversy. as admitted by the petitioner. was a petition for declaratory relief against the then Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). for this would give them undue advantage over their political opponents. 7160. Inc. (2) the controversy is between persons whose interests are adverse. (since they are already elected) Declaratory relief cannot thus be availed of. (3) the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy. Lina. and to prevent local chief executives Santos-Recto. and the Branch II of the same court cannot. the Court of First Instance of Baguio. 574 SCRA 462 Facts: Filed with the trial court on September 12.There are other remedies available to a party who is not agreeable to a decision whether it be a question of law or fact. petitioner failed to allege the ultimate facts which satisfy these requisites. had declared the Ordinance valid in a criminal case filed against the squatters for illegal construction. OTHER THAN THOSE EARMARKED FOR PUBLIC USE IN THE CITY OF BAGUIO WHO ARE DULY REGISTERED AS SUCH AT THE TIME OF THE PROMULGATION OF THIS ORDINANCE AS BONAFIDE OCCUPANTS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE LOTS AND WHICH SHALL HEREAFTER BE EMBRACED AS A CITY GOVERNMENT HOUSING PROJECT AND PROVIDING FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Lapid and Marquez from taking roles in movies and television shows. a party may file a motion for a clarificatory judgment. city and municipal mayors were disallowed by law to appear in movies and television programs as one of the characters therein. This means that litigation is inevitable28 or there is no adequate relief available in any other form or proceeding 9. in a declaratory proceeding. in the petition filed with the trial court. the party may file a motion for reconsideration or new trial in order that the defect may be corrected.[3] praying for the proper construction of Section 90 of Republic Act (R. Not only that. Readily discernable is that the same is an inappropriate remedy to enforce compliance with Section 90 of R. petitioner posited that actors who were elected as governors.A. Branch II. If it involves a decision of an appellate court.

g. quasi-judicial and mandatory acts. instead a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court. or officer exercising judicial or quasijudicial functions. board. 2010. And the law has laid in the Director of Lands the power of exclusive control. It did not make any definite pronouncement whether or not the City Council has the power to legalize the illegal occupation of public land which is the issue in the instant case. on September 8. disposition and alienation of public land that includes the survey. The Ordinance in question is a patent nullity. Galicto v.been held that the non-joinder of such parties is a jurisdictional defect. (EO) 7 issued by the Office of the President on September 8. Branch 1. e. quasi-judicial or a mandatory act. Galicto asserts that EO 7 is unconstitutional for having been issued beyond the powers of the President and for being in breach of existing laws. issued EO 7. Pres. It is the fundamental principle that the state possesses plenary power in law to determine who shall be favored recipients of public domain. and for having been mooted by subsequent events.1 seeking to nullify and enjoin the implementation of Executive Order No. Heeding the call of Congress. Since the issuance of an EO is not judicial. The case before the Court of First Instance of Baguio. 2010. administrations. Aquino III. is the proper recourse to assail the validity of EO 7 he respondents neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial capacity nor arrogated unto themselves any judicial or quasi-judicial prerogatives. 667 SCRA 150 (2012) Facts: Before us is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order. petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition are availed of to question judicial. 11. lease. classification." EO 7 provided for the guiding principles and framework to establish a fixed compensation and position classification system for GOCCs and GFIs Ruling: We resolve to DISMISS the petition for its patent formal and procedural infirmities. Being unquestionably a public land. a petition for certiorari and prohibition is an incorrect remedy. and 3) the court is clothed with discretion to refuse to make any declaration where the declaration is not necessary and proper at the time under all circumstances. Aquino. dealt with the criminal liability of the accused for constructing their houses without obtaining building permits xxx Said court merely confined itself to Sections 2 and 3 of Ordinance 386. . entitled "Directing the Rationalization of the Compensation and Position Classification System in the [GOCCs] and [GFIs]. where the declaration would be of no practical help in ending the controversy or would not stabilize the disputed legal relation Ruling: DR proper. Under the Rules of Court. filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). no disposition thereof could be made by the City of Baguio without prior legislative authority. sale or any other form of concessions or disposition and management of the lands of public domains. as well as under what terms such privilege may be granted not excluding the placing of obstacles in the way of exercising what otherwise would be ordinary acts of ownership. granted. Petitioner Jelbert B. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is a special civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal. and for Other Purposes.

in essence. has expressly empowered the President to establish the compensation systems of GOCCs and GFIs. 22559 and Civil Case No. G. 99-25011. The first paragraph concerns declaratory relief. and habeas corpus. or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide. 43 . revise. presidential decree. (2) an action to quiet title. Ortiz. executive order or regulation to determine any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument. and Civil Case No. Branch 52. final judgments and orders of lower courts in: (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. ordinance. other public ministers and consuls. For the Court to still rule upon the supposed unconstitutionality of EO 7 will merely be an academic exercise. Branch 131. an ejectment case. The parcels of land which are the subject matter of these cases are part of the Tala Estate. ordinance. 137794 seek to declare null and void the proceedings in Civil Case No. No.R.A. Ruling: The foregoing section can be dissected into two parts. mandamus. 00-25892. 0025889. 23477.3 G. C-17725. No. The second paragraph pertains to (1) an action for the reformation of an instrument. It. thus. not original. partakes of the nature of a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has only appellate. No. international or executive agreement. and (4) Civil Case No. The petitioners in G. August 11. jurisdiction. it seeks the declaration by this Court of the unconstitutionality or illegality of the questioned ordinance and executive order.Second. 149664 was considered closed and terminated by the Court’s Resolution dated August 30. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: (1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors. Reyes v. quo warranto. a complaint for Recovery of Possession and Ownership. and (3) an action to consolidate ownership in a sale with a right to repurchase. Branch 51. Branch 51. reverse. 18575. (3) Civil Case No. (2) Civil Case No. before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC). 10149. 149664 pray for the nullity of the following ejectment proceedings before the different branches of the Caloocan City MeTC: (1) Civil Case No. Branch 124. contract or other written instrument or whose rights are affected by a statute. No. or regulation is in question. will.007. Congress. situated between the boundaries of Caloocan City and Quezon City and encompassing an area of 7. executive order or regulation. although the instant petition is styled as a petition for certiorari. Branch 49.R. or statute and for a declaration of his rights and duties thereunder. 2006.R. and Prohibition. and over petitions for certiorari. Caloocan City. Side note: Moot (This is the present situation here. prohibition. modify. Article VIII of the Constitution provides: Sec. Caloocan City. filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC).) 12. which has been defined as a special civil action by any person interested under a deed. Branch 49 and its appeal to the RTC. thru R. No. 137794. Section 5.9515 hectares more or less. 2010 Facts: The instant cases are consolidated Petitions1 for Declaratory Relief. instruction. 5. order.2 while the petitioners in G. proclamation. (2) Review. Certiorari. (Italics supplied).R. law.

will. THE ARATUC PETITION ALLEGED THAT THE COMELEC IN ARRIVING AT ITS CONCLUSION COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION. may bring an action to determine any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument or statute and for a declaration of his rights or duties thereunder. to warrant declaratory relief. there is no allegation of facts by petitioner tending to show that she is entitled to such a writ. 88 SCRA 251 Facts: 1. contract or other written instrument. will. Aratuc v.44 declared that the subject matters to be tested in a petition for declaratory relief are exclusive. THE KB CANDIDATES APPEALED THE RESOLUTION TO THE COMELEC WHICH CONSEQUENTLY ISSUED THE NOW ASSAILED RESOLUTION DECLARING SEVEN KBL CANDIDATES AND ONE KB CANDIDATES AS HAVING OBTAIN THE FIRST EIGHT PLACES. in Lerum v. This recourse by petitioners. The judicial policy must thus remain that this Court will not entertain direct resort to it. deed. CLAIMS THAT IT WAS ERROR OF . a remedy which she sadly lost by inaction. only a person who is interested "under a deed. REVIEW OF JUDGMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS OR RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMELEC AND COA 1. petitioner Matienzo obviously availed of the instant declaratory relief to substitute for a petition for certiorari. unfortunately. Xxx court decision cannot be interpreted as included within the purview of the words "other written instrument. COMELEC. In the instant case. petitioners Erlinda Reyes and Rosemarie Matienzo assailed via Declaratory Relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court. OVER THE OBJECTION OF THE KONSENSIYA NG BAYAN (KB) CANDIDATES. except when the redress sought cannot be obtained in the proper courts or when exceptional and compelling circumstances warrant availment of a remedy within and calling for the exercise of this Court's primary jurisdiction. executive order or regulation. THE MANDANGAN PETITION. THE REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF REGION XII ISSUED A RESOLUTION DECLARING ALL THE EIGHT KILUSAN NG BAGONG LIPUNAN (KBL) CANDIDATES ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TO THE BATASANG PAMBANSA. or any government regulation. ON THE OTHER HAND. and whose rights are affected by a statute or ordinance. Cruz.The first paragraph of Section 1 of Rule 63 enumerates the subject matter to be inquired upon in a declaratory relief namely. This Court. the orders of the trial courts denying their motions to suspend proceedings. contract or other written instrument. viz: Under this rule." This means that the subject matter must refer to a deed. Any other matter not mentioned therein is deemed excluded. This is under the principle of expressio unius est exclussio alterius. contract or other written instrument. a statute. cannot be countenanced since a court order is not one of those subjects to be examined under Rule 63. or to a statute or ordinance. while a petition for declaratory relief may be treated as one for prohibition if it has far reaching implications and raises questions that need to be resolved. will. AND ORDERING THE REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS TO PROCLAIM THE WINNING CANDIDATES. Finally.

OR WITHOUT BASIS. PETITION DISMISSED.. SYLLABUS OF THE RULING OF THE COURT 1. ORDERS. THE SAME BEING UNSUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE. BECAUSE AS A SUPERIOR BODY HAVING SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OVER THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS. BECAUSE THE EXCESS WAS NOT MORE THAN 40% AS WAS THE RULE FOLLOWED IN BASHIER/BASMAN (L-33758. ORDERS. THE SUPREME COURT FOUND NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN THE ACTUATIONS OF THE COMELEC AND IN MANDANGAN HELD (1) THAT CONSIDERING THE HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS RELATIVE TO THE HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE MANNER IN WHICH ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE PAST IN THE PROVINCES INVOLVED. ARTICLE X). AND THAT APART FROM PRESUMING REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES. ORDER OR RULING OF THE COMMISSION MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE SUPREME COURT ON . THE COMELEC MAY DEEM SPURIOUS AND MANUFACTURED THE RETURNS IN VOTING CENTERS SHOWING THAT THE VOTES OF THE CANDIDATES OBTAINING THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF VALID VOTES EXCEEDED THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE NUMBER OF VOTES CAST THEREIN EVEN IF THE EXCESS NUMBER OF VOTES WERE NOT MORE THAN 40%. — WHILE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1935 "THE DECISIONS.. AND (2) THAT THE COMELEC COULD EXTEND ITS INQUIRY BEYOND THAT UNDERTAKEN BY THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS AND TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE FACT THAT VOTING CENTERS AFFECTED BY MILITARY OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE POBLACIONES. NATURE AND EXTENT OF SUPREME COURT'S POWER OF CERTIORARI OVER DECISIONS. FEBRUARY 24. FIRST PAR. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. FURTHER. WHICH CONCEDEDLY IS IN A BETTER POSITION TO APPRECIATE AND ASSESS THE VITAL CIRCUMSTANCES CLEARLY AND ACCURATELY. THE HIGH COURT STATED. 1972). BUT STILL A CASE OF GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WOULD NOT COME OUT CONSIDERING THAT COMELEC. AND RULINGS OF THE COMMISSIONS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT" (SECTION 2. IT MIGHT DISAGREE WITH THE COMELEC AS TO WHICH VOTING CENTER SHOULD BE EXCLUDED OR INCLUDED. AND RULINGS OF THE COMELEC UNDER THE 1978 CONSTITUTION.LAW FOR COMELEC TO CONSIDER SPURIOUS AND MANUFACTURED THE RETURNS IN VOTING CENTERS SHOWING THAT THE VOTES OF THE CANDIDATES OBTAINING THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF VOTES EXCEEDED THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE NUMBER OF VALID VOTES. THE SUPREME COURT FOUND THAT THE COMELEC DID CONSIDER THE HIGH PERCENTAGE OF VOTING COUPLED WITH MASS SUBSTITUTE VOTING AS PROOF THAT THE PERTINENT RETURNS HAD BEEN MANUFACTURED. CANNOT BE SAID TO HAVE ACTED WHIMSICALLY OR CAPRICIOUSLY. IT MAY DO DIRECTLY WHAT THE LATTER WAS SUPPOSED OR OUGHT TO HAVE DONE. THE 1973 CONSTITUTION PROVIDES SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY THUS: "ANY DECISION. THE COMELEC HAD ADHERED TO THE SUPREME COURT'S GUIDELINES IN EXAMINING AND PASSING ON THE RETURNS FROM THE VOTING CENTERS AND IN DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR THE OPENING OF BALLOT BOXES CONCERNED. IN ARATUC ET AL. AND THAT THE COMELEC EXCEEDED ITS JURISDICTION AND DENIED DUE PROCESS TO PETITIONER IN EXTENDING ITS INQUIRY BEYOND THE ELECTION RECORDS OF "THE 878 VOTING CENTERS EXAMINED BY THE KB EXPERTS AND PASSED UPON BY THE REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS" AND IN EXCLUDING FROM THE CANVASS THE RETURNS FORM VOTING CENTERS SHOWING 90% TO 100% VOTING IN PLACES WHERE MILITARY OPERATIONS WERE CERTIFIED BY THE ARMY TO BE GOING ON.

CONSIDERING THAT THE LIMITED SCOPE OF CERTIORARI. ARBITRARINESS AND CAPRICE. AS A MATTER OF POLICY.. WHILE CERTIORARI DEALS EXCLUSIVELY WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. ORDERS AND RULINGS OF THE COMMISSION "SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT". WHICH IS THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE CONSTRUCTION OF THESE PERTINENT CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS. ID. EVEN AS IT ORDAINS THAT THE COMMISSION SHALL "BE THE SOLE JUDGE OF ALL CONTESTS RELATING TO THE ELECTION RETURNS AND QUALIFICATIONS OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND ELECTIVE PROVINCIAL AND CITY OFFICIALS" (SECTION 2(2). CONSIDERING AS SPURIOUS VOTES EXCEEDING THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE NUMBER OF VALID VOTES THAT CAN BE CAST IN A VOTING CENTER. AN OMISSION TO WEIGH PERTINENT CONSIDERATIONS." THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION IN REVIEWING ACTUATIONS OF THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS DOES NOT SPRING FROM ANY APPELLATE JURISDICTION CONFERRED BY ANY SPECIFIC . RESERVING IT TO THE SUPREME COURT TO INSURE THE FAITHFUL OBSERVANCE OF DUE PROCESS ONLY IN CASES OF PATENT ARBITRARINESS. ARTICLE XII). THE FRAMERS OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION MUST BE PRESUMED TO HAVE DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT ITS MEANS TO MAKE THE DECISIONS. IT ORDAINED THAT THE COMMISSION'S ACTUATIONS BE INSTEAD BROUGHT TO THE SUPREME COURT ON CERTIORARI". CORRESPONDINGLY. AND SINCE INSTEAD OF MAINTAINING THAT PROVISION INTACT.CERTIORARI BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM HIS RECEIPT OF A COPY THEREOF" (SECTION II. THE ELECTION CODE OF 1978. — UNDER SECTION 168 OF THE REVISED ELECTION CODE OF 1978. CERTIORARI. NOT A CASE OF. A REVIEW INCLUDES DIGGING INTO THE MERITS OR UNEARTHING ERRORS OF JUDGMENT. 3. COMELEC MAY DO DIRECTLY WHAT THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS IS SUPPOSED TO DO OR OUGHT TO HAVE DONE. CERTIORARI IMPLIES INDIFFERENT DISREGARD OF THE LAW. COMPARED TO A REVIEW. CONSIDERING THE HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS RELATIVE TO THE HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE MANNER IN WHICH ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE PAST IN THE PROVINCES INVOLVED IN THIS CASE.. NOT A CASE OF. THE COMELEC SHALL HAVE DIRECT CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS. MAKES THE COMMISSION ALSO THE "SOLE JUDGE OF ALL PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES" AND FURTHER PROVIDES THAT "ANY OF ITS DECISIONS. THERE ARE MATTERS THAT BY THEIR NATURE OUGHT TO BE LEFT FOR FINAL DETERMINATION TO THE SOUND DISCRETION OF CERTAIN OFFICERS OR ENTITIES. OF WHICH THE SUPREME COURT HAS JUDICIAL NOTICE. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. ARTICLE XII). ORDERS OR RULINGS (IN SUCH CONTROVERSIES) SHALL BE FINAL AND EXECUTORY". IS WELL KNOWN IN REMEDIAL LAW. A DECISION ARRIVED AT WITHOUT RATIONAL DELIBERATION. "THE DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE FINAL AND APPEALABLE" (SECTION 192). THE SUPREME COURT CANNOT INSIST THAT THERE WAS NO INTENT TO CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE REMEDY. AND THAT RELATEDLY SECTION 175 OF THE SAME CODE PROVIDES THAT IT "SHALL BE THE SOLE JUDGE OF ALL PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES. JUST AS IN ELECTION CONTESTS. ID. — IT IS NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION FOR THE COMELEC TO DEEM AS SPURIOUS AND MANUFACTURED VOTES EXCEEDING THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE NUMBER OF VALID VOTES THAT CAN BE CAST IN A VOTING CENTER EVEN IF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EXCESS VOTES IN THE VOTING CENTER IS NOT MORE THAN 40%. WHICH MAY NOT EXIST EVEN WHEN THE DECISION IS OTHERWISE ERRONEOUS. 2. WHILE THE EFFECTS OF AN ERROR OF JUDGMENT MAY NOT DIFFER FROM THAT OF AN INDISCRETION.

FOR THERE IS NONE SUCH PROVISION ANY WHERE IN THE ELECTION CODE. ID. 2004. ID. RESPONDENT. ID. — WHERE THE COMELEC DID NOT EXAMINE THE QUESTIONED ELECTION RETURNS WITH THE AID OF EXPERTS BUT "USING COMMON SENSE AND PERCEPTION ONLY". 2004-046.. ID. IF ERRORS THERE ARE IN ANY OF THOSE CONCLUSIONS. ESTcIA The facts of the case are as follows: .. PETITIONERS. IF AT ALL. J P: Before this Court is a Petition for certiorari. PARTICULARITY IF IT IS CONSIDERED THAT IN MANY RESPECTS AND FROM THE VERY NATURE OF THE SUPREME COURT'S AND THE COMMISSION'S RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS. BUT FROM THE PLENARY PREROGATIVE OF DIRECT CONTROL AND SUPERVISION ENDOWED BY SECTION 168 OF THE CODE. ERRORS OF JUDGMENT NOT REVIEWABLE BY THE SUPREME COURT. 2011. VS. CONSIDERING THAT COMELEC CANNOT BE SAID TO HAVE ACTED WHIMSICALLY OR CAPRICIOUSLY OR WITHOUT ANY RATIONAL BASIS. 2 dated December 7. THE SUPREME COURT WILL NOT HOLD THAT THE COMELEC ACTED WANTONLY AND ARBITRARILY IN DRAWING ITS CONCLUSIONS. NO. A CASE OF GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WOULD NOT COME OUT. — NONIDENTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE BALLOT BOXES BY THE COMELEC DOES NOT CONSTITUTE GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHERE IT HAS EXAMINED. 5. 1 under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. THE COMMISSION IS IN A BETTER POSITION TO APPRECIATE AND ASSESS THE VITAL CIRCUMSTANCES CLOSELY AND ACCURATELY. --------------------------------------------------------------EN BANC [G.] RUBEN REYNA AND LLOYD SORIA. seeking to set aside Resolution No. of the Commission on Audit (COA). 6. WHERE COMELEC PASSED UPON RETURNS USING COMMON SENSE AND PERCEPTION ONLY. IT IS A TOO WELL SETTLED POSTULATE TO NEED ANY SUPPORTING CITATION. 167219. ID.. 4. APART FROM PRESUMING REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES. SO LONG AS THEY ARE FOUNDED ON SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.R.PROVISION OF LAW. FEBRUARY 8. NOT A CASE OF. THEY ARE ERRORS OF JUDGMENT WHICH ARE NOT REVIEWABLE IN CERTIORARI.. DECISION PERALTA. STUDIED AND PASSED UPON THE RECORDS RELATED THERETO. AND IN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. NON-IDENTIFICATION OF BALLOT BOXES IN DEFECTIVE CONDITIONS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHERE COMELEC HAS EXAMINED. COMMISSION ON AUDIT. PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES.. STUDIED AND PASSED UPON THE RECORDS RELATED THERETO. THAT A SUPERIOR BODY OR OFFICE HAVING SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OVER ANOTHER MAY DO DIRECTLY WHAT THE LATTER IS SUPPOSED TO DO OR OUGHT TO HAVE DONE. DEEPER INQUIRY INTO THIS POINT WOULD BE OF REAL VALUE IN AN ELECTORAL PROTEST. — WHERE IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORDS THAT THE COMELEC HAS TAKEN PAINS TO CONSIDER AS METICULOUSLY AS THE NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY BOTH PARTIES WOULD PERMIT ALL THE CONTENTIONS OF PETITIONERS RELATIVE TO THE WEIGHT THAT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO SUCH EVIDENCE.

however. that copies of the CFPs were not attached to the records of the case at bar.T. the cooperatives individually entered into a contract with REMAD.000 ––––––––– ––––––– ––––––––– TOTALP3.705 173.010 906. transfer.115. age. and weight. The MOA shall further provide for a buyback agreement. This Court notes. Pursuant thereto. Tungawan Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Tungawan PFMPC) and Siay Farmers' Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIFAMCO) were each granted one loan.825 37.010 77.000. Three checks were issued by the Ipil Branch to REMAD to serve as advanced payment for the cattle. Bartocillo. 5 The Ipil Branch approved the applications of four cooperatives. the terms of the CFP allowed for pre-payments or advancement of the payments prior to the delivery of the cattle by the supplier REMAD. 4 Allegedly contained in the contracts was a stipulation that the release of the loan shall be made sixty (60) days prior to the delivery of the stocks. technology.825 445." 6 In December 1993. unproductive stocks.00 under CSB No.000 12-10-93 BARBEMCO 482. shall have been signed providing the level of inventory of stocks to be delivered.775 264. 3 One of the conditions stipulated in the CFP is that prior to the release of the loan.000 12-22-93 BARBEMCO 448. and the cooperative. More importantly.000 12-22-93 RTLim RMC 187. failed to supply the cattle on the dates agreed upon. In post audit.105 35. or the "Cattle-Breeding and Buy-Back Marketing Agreement" 8 did not contain a provision authorizing prepayment. Remad Livestock Corporation (REMAD).000 12-16-93 Tungawan PFMPC 482.775 3.305 P733.000 12-22-93 SIFAMCO 983.705 14. the CFP is a standard and prepared form provided by the Land Bank main office to be used in the loan application as mandated by the Field Operations Manual. REMAD. Zamboanga del Sur Branch (Ipil Branch) went into a massive information campaign offering the program to cooperatives. Cooperatives who wish to avail of a loan under the program must fill up a Credit Facility Proposal (CFP) which will be reviewed by the Ipil Branch. however. a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the supplier of the cattle. denominated as a "Cattle-Breeding and Buy-Back Marketing Agreement.305 P62. color. As alleged by Emmanuel B. Lim Rubber Marketing Cooperative (RT Lim RMC) and Buluan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries MPC (BARBEMCO) were each granted two loans. R.375. specifications as to breed.The Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) was engaged in a cattlefinancing program wherein loans were granted to various cooperatives. the Land Bank Auditor disallowed the amount of P3.115. Department Manager of the Ipil Branch.825 445. 95-005 dated December 27. the Ipil Branch granted six loans to the four cooperative borrowers in the following amounts: aScIAC Date Name Amount Amount of Amount Paid of of of Livestock to Cattle Release Borrower Loan Insurance Supplier (REMAD) 12-10-93 RTLim RMC P795. condition of health. the very contract entered into by the cooperatives and REMAD. provisions for biologics requirement and technical visits and replacement of sterile.825 37. Pursuant to the terms of the CFP.105 413. Land Bank's Ipil. 1996 and .000 7 ========= ====== ======== As alleged by petitioners.

shall be released directly to the accredited dealers/suppliers. to quote: Prohibition against advance payment on government — Except with the prior approval of the President (Prime Minister). Payment thereof will only be effected upon delivery of asset. Emmanuel B. before the Office of the Ombudsman for Gross Negligence. the auditor found deficiencies in the CFPs. the supplier/dealer. No payment. Cabanatan — Bookkeeper III/Acting Accountant. Leona O. Petitioner Ruben A. Zamboanga City. the Auditor noted the following deficiencies." 10 The persons found liable by the Auditor for the amount of P3. the government shall not be obliged to make an advance payment for services not yet rendered or for supplies and materials not yet delivered under any contract therefor. Such is a clear deviation from existing procedures on asset financing under which the Bank will first issue a "letter guarantee" for the account of the borrower. The prepayment arrangement also violates Section 88 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. and sub-loan components for the purchase of construction materials. farm inputs. Specifically. 96-014 to 96-019 in view of the non-delivery of the cattle. Mary Jane T. George G. 9 Also made as the basis of the disallowance was the fact that advanced payment was made in violation of bank policies and COA rules and regulations. IX. CcHDSA xxx xxx xxx 4. Loans and Discounts Division 3. Soria — Loans and Credit Analyst II 5. 12 The same employees. Hebrona — Chief. Violation of Reasonable Office Rules . the Manual on FOG Lending Operations (page 35) provides the systems and procedures for releasing loans. to wit: The Auditor commented that the failure of such loan projects deprived the farmerbeneficiaries the opportunity to improve their economic condition. partial or final shall be made on any such contract except upon a certification by the head of the agency concerned to have effect that the services or supplies and materials have been delivered in accordance with the terms of the contract and have been duly inspected and accepted. including petitioners. Reyna — Senior Field Operations Specialist 4.115. STIcaE In cases where supplier requires Cash on Delivery (COD). Bartocillo — Department Manager II 2. 1445. Petitioner Lloyd V. Nowhere in the documents reviewed disclosed about prepayment scheme with REMAD. etc. to quote: Loan Proceeds Released Directly to the Supplier/Dealer — Proceeds of loans granted for the acquisition of farm machinery equipment. the checks may be issued and the cooperative and a LBP representative shall release the check to the supplier and then take delivery of the object of financing. inspection and acceptance of the same by the borrower. No. Moreover.Notices of Disallowance Nos. were also made respondents in a Complaint filed by the COA Regional Office No. From the Credit Facilities Proposals (CFP).00 which was advanced to REMAD were the following employees of the Ipil Branch: 1. Payment to the dealer shall be made after presentation of reimbursement documents (delivery/official receipts/purchase orders) acknowledged by the authorized LBP representative that same has been delivered.000. There was no justification for the prepayment scheme. Cunting 11 — Cash Clerk IV 6. 1 of the loan terms and conditions allowed prepayments without taking into consideration the interest of the Bank.

1999. 1999 Resolution of the Ombudsman was approved by Margarito P. Unfazed. Rule VI 15 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure of the COA.A. 20 COA Regional Office No. 1997. the instant complaint is hereby dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence. Consequently. CTacSE Petitioners did not file a Petition for Review or a Notice of Appeal from the COA Regional Office Decision as required under Section 3. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. IX. IX issued a Memorandum to the Auditor directing him to require the accountant of the Ipil Branch to record in their books of account the said disallowance. the Director of the COA Regional Office No. petitioners filed an appeal with the Director of COA Regional Office No. the Decision of the Director of COA Regional Office No. the COA Regional Office issued Decision No. 2000 letter/endorsement. IX became final and executory pursuant to Section 51 16 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao. Conduct Prejudicial to the Interest of the Bank and Giving Unwarranted Benefits to persons. 97-001 affirming the findings of the Auditor. The February 23. On February 4. premises considered. Zamboanga City. petitioners submitted their Compliance/Reply.and Regulations. 1998. The Regional Director affirmed the disallowance of the transactions since the same were irregular and disadvantageous to the government. which was denied by the Regional Office in Decision No. 1999 Resolution. On August 10. Petitioners also argued that by invoking the jurisdiction of the Commission proper.) No. 19 and that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had approved the writing off of the subject loans. SO ORDERED. 17 On July 12. Jr. 1997. 23 wherein they argued that the Ombudsman Resolution is a supervening event and is a sufficient ground for exemption from the requirement to submit a Petition for Review or a Notice of Appeal to the Commission proper. 1999. IX maintained his stand that the time for filing of a petition for review had already lapsed. on the grounds that they were absolved by the Ombudsman in a February 23. 1999. on April 12. 2000. 1998. 1999 letter. 2000. seeking to have the booking of the disallowance set aside. On August 29. causing undue injury in violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act (R. petitioners filed a Joint Motion for Reconsideration claiming that the issuance of the Notice of Disallowance was premature in view of the pending case in the Office of the Ombudsman. This is contained in its February 28. the COA requested petitioners to submit a reply in response to the letter/endorsement of the Regional Office Director. petitioners sent a letter 18 to COA Regional Office No. the Regional Director had waived the fact that the case had already been resolved for failure to submit the required Petition for Review. notwithstanding the Ombudsman resolution absolving petitioners from fault. 98-005 14 issued on February 18. Gervacio. Thus. IX. IX endorsed to the Commission proper the matter raised by the petitioners in their August 10. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In a Notice 22 dated June 29. 3019. 13 On January 28. 21 wherein the Director of COA Regional Office No. the Auditor sent a letter to the Land Bank Branch Manager requiring him to record the disallowance in their books of account. cIHCST . On August 10. The Motion was denied by the Auditor.

AS THE COLLECTIBLES HAVE BEEN ALREADY EFFECTIVELY WRITTEN-OFF. to wit: WHEREFORE. COA Regional Office No. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE STATE AUDIT CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2003. to wit: RESPONDENT COA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN DECLARING THE PREPAYMENT STIPULATION IN THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE BANK AND REMAD PROSCRIBED BY SECTION 103 OF P. the prepayment clause in the Land Bank-REMAD contract is valid. IN EFFECT LIKEWISE OBLIGATED TO REFUND THE DISALLOWED AMOUNT EVEN AS AMONG OTHER THINGS THEY ACTED IN EVIDENT GOOD FAITH. . THEREFORE. 2003. with petitioners raising the following grounds in support of the petition. It provided in part: 6. petitioners argue in the wise: xxx xxx xxx The CATTLE BREEDING AND BUY BACK MARKETING AGREEMENT sample of which is attached as Annex "I" was a Contract prepared by the bank and REMAD. 1445. Anent the first issue raised by petitioners. it is a matter of judicial knowledge that is not unusual for winning bidders involving public works to enter into contracts with the government providing for partial prepayment of the contract price in the form of mobilization funds. I. 26 On August 22.On July 17. 2003-107 24 affirming the rulings of the Auditor and the Regional Office. this Commission hereby affirms both the subject disallowance amounting to P3. the same is without merit.000 and the Order of the Director. the COA ruled that after a circumspect evaluation of the facts and circumstances. It was a standard Contract used in twenty two (22) Land Bank branches throughout the country. Hence.D. the dismissal by the Office of the Ombudsman of the complaint did not affect the validity and propriety of the disallowance which had become final and executory. RESPONDENT COA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION FOR HOLDING THE PETITIONERS ADMINISTRATIVELY LIABLE FOR HAVING PROCESSED THE LOANS OF THE BORROWING COOPERATIVES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BANK'S MANUAL (FOG) LENDING OPERATIONS. which was.115. however. directing the recording of subject disallowance in the LBP books of accounts. 2004. Zamboanga City. NO. 29 second. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration. IX. Petitioners argue said issue on three points: first. without prejudice to the right of herein appellants to run after the supplier for reimbursement of the advance payment for the cattle. RESPONDENT COA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT HELD THE PETITIONERS LIABLE AND. the COA rendered Decision No. it was agreed to by the cooperatives. herein petition. foregoing premises considered. denied by the COA in a Resolution 27 dated December 7. Inspection shall be done before the 60th day/delivery of the stocks.1 That the release of the loan shall be made directly to the supplier 60 days prior to the delivery of stocks per prepayment term of REMAD LIVESTOCK CORPORATION (supplier). MORE SO. however. 28 ACaDTH The petition is not meritorious. 31 As to their contention that the COA is estopped from declaring the prepayment stipulation as invalid. 30 and third. the COA is estopped from declaring the prepayment stipulation as invalid. This is. 25 In denying petitioners request for the lifting of the booking of the disallowance.

of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is limited to the resolution of jurisdictional issues. In any case. such as the COA." 34 the Cattle-Breeding and Buy-Back Marketing Agreement. 36 However. questions of fact cannot be raised in a petition for certiorari. None of the Petitioners participated in the drafting of the same. 33 Accordingly. petitioners clearly violated the procedure of releasing loans contained in the Bank's Manual on Field Office Guidelines on Lending Operations (Manual on Lending Operations). it opined that Section 88 of PD 1445 is not applicable. it is surprising that one of petitioners' defense is that they processed the cooperatives' applications in accordance with their individual job descriptions as provided in the Bank's Manual on Field Office Guidelines on Lending Operations 35 when. to wit: Loan Proceeds Released Directly to the Supplier/Dealer — Proceeds of loans granted for the acquisition of farm machinery equipment. these Contracts were standard bank forms from Land Bank head office. they still cannot hide from the fact that they violated the procedure in releasing loans embodied in the Manual on Lending Operations as previously discussed. shall be released directly to the accredited dealers/suppliers. A perusal of the aforementioned Annex "I.Again. 32 In the absence of grave abuse of discretion. would show that stipulation "6. 1996 Memorandum issued by the Land Bank.1" which allegedly authorizes prepayment does not exist. any resort to the said petition under Rule 64. It bears stressing that the Auditor noted in his report that. the supposed Annex "I" does not contain a stipulation authorizing a pre-payment scheme. 1996 Land Bank Memorandum. are generally accorded respect and . 37 Be that as it may. aHCSTD In any case." Moreover. in relation to Rule 65. under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. the same should no longer be looked into by this Court. since the validity of the prepayment scheme is inherently a question of fact. even assuming arguendo that petitioners are correct in their claim. and sub-loan components for the purchase of construction materials. the supposed tenor of the said document deserves scant consideration. on the contrary. etc. this Court is again constrained by the fact that petitioners did not offer in evidence the alleged August 22. The office of the petition for certiorari is not to correct simple errors of judgment. "nowhere in the documents reviewed disclosed about prepayment scheme with REMAD. this Court is not unmindful of the fact that petitioners contend that the Legal Department of Land Bank supposedly passed upon the issue of application of Section 88 of PD 1445. ASaTHc To emphasize. the supplier/dealer. Therefore. and second. farm inputs. the Auditor noted that "nowhere in the documents reviewed disclosed about prepayment scheme with REMAD. Payment to the dealer shall be made after presentation of reimbursement documents (delivery/official receipts/purchase orders) acknowledged by the authorized LBP representative that same has been delivered. even assuming that factual questions may be entertained. the facts do not help petitioners' cause for the following reasons: first. Petitioners argue that in an alleged August 22. To make matters problematic is that nowhere in the records of the petition can one find a document which embodies such a stipulation. petitioners seem to be oblivious of the fact that they clearly violated the procedure in releasing loans which is embodied in the very same Manual on Lending Operations." It is well settled that findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies.

even finality by this Court. However. Highlighted also is the fact that petitioners clearly violated the procedure in releasing loans found in the Manual on Lending Operations which provides that payments to the dealer shall only be made after presentation of reimbursement documents acknowledged by the authorized LBP representative that the same has been delivered. Any presumption. Based on the foregoing. in recognition of their expertise on the specific matters under their jurisdiction." Petitioners have not made a case to dispute the COA's finding that they violated the foregoing provision. is merely a facility proposal and not the contract of loan between Land Bank and the cooperatives. petitioners should have produced the document to prove such fact as alleged by them in the present petition. such a stipulation should exist in the loan contract. The evidence they presented before the COA was insufficient to prove their case. It is in the loan contract that the parties embody the terms and conditions of a transaction. however. There is. as stated before. even this Court is at a loss as to the truthfulness and veracity of petitioners' allegations as they did not even present before this Court the documents that would serve as the basis for their claims. no proof of such stipulation as petitioners had failed to attach the CFPs or the loan contracts relating to the present petition. however. . It appears. There is no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA as petitioners were given all the opportunity to argue their case and present any supporting evidence with the COA Regional Director. not be faulted for finding that petitioners facilitated the commission of the irregular transaction. it bears to point out that even if petitioners' period to appeal had already lapsed. III. that a CFP. even if admittedly a pro forma contract and emanating from the Land Bank main office. that petitioners cannot rely on their supposed observance of the procedure outlined in the Manual on Lending Operations when clearly the same provides that "payment to the dealer shall be made after presentation of reimbursement documents (delivery/official receipts/purchase orders) acknowledged by the authorized LBP representative that the same has been delivered. Moreover. Anent the second ground raised by petitioners. This Court stresses. Petitioners impute on the COA grave abuse of discretion when it held petitioners administratively liable for having processed the loans of the borrowing cooperatives. if supported by substantial evidence. 1999 letter where they raised in issue the favorable ruling of the Ombudsman. this Court notes that much reliance is made by petitioners on their allegation that the terms of the CFP allowed for prepayments or advancement of the payments prior to the delivery of the cattle by the supplier REMAD. that public officials are in the regular performance of their public functions must necessarily fail in the presence of an explicit rule that was violated. nevertheless. the COA Commission Proper even resolved their August 10." the document to which petitioners base their authority to make advance payments. In addition. even this Court is at a loss as to whether the prepayment scheme was authorized as a review of "Annex I. does not contain such a stipulation or provision. therefore. 38 If the prepayment scheme was in fact authorized. the COA should. therefore. If there is any agreement to release the loan in advance to REMAD as a form of prepayment scheme. the same is again without merit. DEHaTC II. So also.

Section 75 of its Charter vests in LBP specific powers normally exercised by banking institutions. reading: xxx xxx xxx Writing-off loans and advances with an outstanding amount of one hundred thousand pesos or more shall require the prior approval of the Monetary Board (As amended by PD 71). A write-off is a financial accounting concept that allows for the reduction in value of an asset or earnings by the amount of an expense or loss. 49 this Court ruled that Land Bank has the power and authority to write-off loans. 43 Moreover. both dated June 18. . Roxas sent a Memorandum 40 dated August 5. 39 A perusal of the records would show that Land Bank Vice-President Conrado B. It is a means of removing bad debts from the financial records of the business.Anent. Respondent maintains that Section 66 of PD 1445 46 expressly granted unto it the right to compromise monetary liabilities of the government. 1998 Memorandum shows that the same covered the two loans given to BARBEMCO. Act No. 1998 to the Head of the Ipil Branch. bills of exchange and other commercial papers with the Central Bank. 1998 . 3844. the last issue raised by petitioners. 47 The COA. respectively. theorizes that without its approval. to wit: We are pleased to inform you that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its letter dated July 20.000. The same argument was reiterated by the COA in its Memorandum. .00. 45 the COA argues that the fact that the audit disallowance was allegedly written-off is of no moment. Petitioners contend that respondent's Order. and the only loan given to Tungawan PFPMC. to guarantee acceptance(s). medium and long-term loans and advances against security of real estate and/or other acceptable assets. cSIACD One of the general powers mentioned in the General Banking Act is that provided for in Section 84 thereof. as amended.000. or rediscount notes. Section 75 of its Charter also authorizes it: 12.00. insofar as they are not inconsistent or incompatible with this Decree. the same is without merit. In Land Bank of the Philippines v. is functus officio. In its Comment. . as amended. the alleged write-off is ineffectual. the amount having been legally written-off. In addition to the enumeration of specific powers granted to LBP. The total amount approved for write-off was P2. 41 CIHAED The Schedule of Accounts for Write-Off 42 attached to the August 5. 98-291 and 98-292. thus. credits. requiring them to refund the disallowed transaction. Sec. 48 The COA's argument deserves scant consideration. and to borrow from. 74). transactions or obligations. petitioners contend that the last loan given to SIFAMCO was also the subject of a write-off in a similar advice given to the Buug Branch. the two loans given to RTLim RMC. 1998 has approved the write-off of your recommended Agrarian Reform Loan Accounts and Commercial Loan Accounts as covered by LBP Board Resolution Nos. . Commission on Audit. The total approved write-off in the second Memorandum 44 was for P906.209. loans. such as the authority to grant short. to wit: LBP was created as a body corporate and government instrumentality to provide timely and adequate financial support in all phases involved in the execution of needed agrarian reform (Rep. advising them that the accounts subject of the present petition have been writtenoff. To exercise the general powers mentioned in the Corporation Law and the General Banking Act.

the interest of their respective corporations or agencies so requires. the COA should. from the Land Bank's authority to exercise the general powers vested in banking institutions as provided in the General Banking Act (Republic Act 337). 97. 2. through the Commission and the Prime Minister. that the aggregate amount of loans and advances which may be written-off during the year. it should be deemed primarily governed by Central Bank Circular No. shall in no case exceed 3% of total loans and investments. 51 In the case at bar. and self-governing boards. any claim or settled liability to any government agency not exceeding ten thousand pesos and with the written approval of the Prime Minister. Decree No. Act No. adhere to the same. 3844. . however. — 1. not an ordinary "government agency" within the scope of Section 36 of Pres. the application for relief therefrom shall be submitted. and it is worthy to note that the Bangko Sentral granted the same. it being under the supervision and regulation thereof. In writing-off the loans. Power to compromise claims. be seen that LBP is a unique and specialized banking institution. the reliance of respondent on Section 66 of PD 1445 is baseless as a reading thereof would show that the same does not pertain to the COA's power to compromise claims. it is thus clear that the writing-off of the loans involved was a valid act of the Land Bank. Frequency/ceiling of write-off. The write-offs being clearly in accordance with law. it finds that under Section 25 (1) the fiscal responsibility that rests directly with the head of the government agency has not been properly and effectively discharged. Provided. The Land Bank recommended for write-off all six loans granted to the cooperatives. which vests the determination of the frequency of writing-off loans in the Board of Directors of a bank provided that the loans writtenoff do not exceed a certain aggregate amount. Series of 1983. the only requirement for the Land Bank was that the same be in accordance with the applicable Bangko Sentral circulars. unless under its general audit jurisdiction under PD 1445. further.It will. to the National Assembly. TcDAHS On this note. Provided. 1445. 50 While the power to write-off is not expressly granted in the charter of the Land Bank. what respondent wanted to refer to was Section 36 which provides: Section 36. The frequency for writing-off loans and advances shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Directors of the bank concerned. The clear intendment of its charter is for the Land Bank to be clothed not only with the express powers granted to it. it may likewise compromise or release any similar claim or liability not exceeding one hundred thousand pesos. therefore. it is specifically placed under the supervision and regulation of the Central Bank of the Philippines pursuant to its Charter (Sec. In so far as loans and advances are concerned. as amended by Pres. incidental and necessary for the exercise of those express powers. with their recommendations. The respective governing bodies of government-owned or controlled corporations. commissions or agencies of the government shall have the exclusive power to compromise or release any similar claim or liability when expressly authorized by their charters and if in their judgment. 958. therefore. thus. that charge-offs are made against allowance for possible losses. As a bank. 251). Probably. The pertinent portion of that Circular reads: b. the Commission may compromise or release in whole or in part. When the interest of the government so requires. Decree No. Rep. it can be logically implied. but also with those implied. earnings during the year and/or retained earnings.

therefore.When the charters do not so provide. and self-governing boards. Further. since in condonation gratuity on the part of the obligee and acceptance by the obligor are required. the use of the word "may" shows that the power of the COA to compromise claims is only permissive. In general banking practice. 57 On a final note. without prejudice to petitioners' right to run after REMAD. does not equate to a release from liability of petitioners. Nowhere in Section 36 does it state that the COA must approve a compromise made by a government agency. 58 it does not. the write-off method is used when an account is determined to be uncollectible and an uncollectible expense is recorded in the books of account. the use of write-off is a task that can help a company maintain a more accurate inventory of the worth of its current assets. 54 In making the write-off. Such write-off. Accordingly. Furthermore. HDIATS As an accounting strategy. and petitioners. 53 It is not a compromise of liability. as creditor. Write-off is not one of the legal grounds for extinguishing an obligation under the Civil Code. that the administrative . Land Bank may write-off in its books of account the advance payment released to REMAD in the interest of accounting accuracy given that the loans were already uncollectible. 55 When a write-off occurs. While the evidence presented before the Ombudsman may not have been sufficient to overcome the burden in criminal cases of proof beyond reasonable doubt. 2003 Decision. commissions or agencies of the government shall have the exclusive power to compromise or release any similar claim or liability when expressly authorized by their charters.115. If in the future. as when the debtor becomes solvent. Such liability.00 disallowance. but the legal relationship between the creditor and the debtor still remains the same — the debtor continues to be liable to the creditor for the full extent of the unpaid debt. and not mandatory. 56 should be personally liable for the said amount. as previously discussed. however. to whom they illegally disbursed the loan. however. the actual worth of the asset is reflected in the books of accounts of the creditor. the Land Bank Ipil Branch must be required to record in its books of account the Php3. Based on the foregoing. write-off cannot be likened to a novation. necessarily follow. Neither is it a condonation. only the creditor takes action by removing the uncollectible account from its books even without the approval or participation of the debtor.000. In turn. is. however. income will be credited by the same amount of increase in the accounts receivable. bears to stress that the COA does not have the exclusive prerogative to settle and compromise liabilities to the Government. the second paragraph of Section 36 clearly states that respective governing bodies of government-owned or controlled corporations. the power to compromise shall be exercised by the Commission in accordance with the preceding paragraph. the only requirement is that it be authorized by its charter. The foregoing pronouncements notwithstanding. it bears to point out that a cursory reading of the Ombudsman's resolution will show that the complaint against petitioners was dismissed not because of a finding of good faith but because of a finding of lack of sufficient evidence. this Court rules that writing-off a loan does not equate to a condonation or release of a debt by the creditor. then the books will be adjusted to reflect the amount to be collected as an asset. for the full reimbursement of the advance payment for the cattle as correctly ruled by the COA in its July 17. since the obligations of both parties have not been modified. the debt appears to be collectible. together with their four co-employees. It. xxx xxx xxx 52 Under Section 36.

the same should have been presented by them in the proceedings before the Commission proper — an act which they were not able to do because of their own negligence in allowing the period to file an appeal to lapse. C. All these documents.J. 1992 Memorandum of the Field Loans Review Department" was not even mentioned nor raised by petitioners as a defense in herein petition. in other words. It appears. SO ORDERED. While it is possible that such document would have shown that petitioners were in good faith. Decision No. 1992 Memorandum of the Field Loans Review Department would have been the best evidence to free petitioners from their liability. took no part.. 59 ACcEHI An absolution from a criminal charge is not a bar to an administrative prosecution or vice versa. JJ. Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao. 2004-046 dated December 7.. Corona. or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. Jr.. The decisions and resolutions emanating from the COA did not tackle the supposed April 6. Carpio. 2003 and Resolution No. On the other hand. So also. this Court notes that the Ombudsman's Resolution relied on an alleged "April 6.. Velasco. Leonardo-de Castro. Particularly. Jr. prejudice. is wanting in this case. the same Ombudsman's Resolution also made reference to a "January 19.. Petitioners' allegation of grave abuse of discretion by the COA implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or. Carpio Morales. the exercise of the power in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion. 2003-107 dated July 17. 60 The criminal case filed before the Office of the Ombudsman is distinct and separate from the proceedings on the disallowance before the COA. or personal hostility. the supposed "April 6. of the criminal charges against petitioners does not necessarily foreclose the matter of their possible liability as warranted by the findings of the COA. of the Commission on Audit. . that they did not present the same before the COA and it is already too late in the day for them to present such document before this Court. the petition is DENIED. however. 1994 Memorandum of VP FSD" which tackled the prohibition on advance payment to suppliers. 61 It is imperative for petitioners to show caprice and arbitrariness on the part of the COA whose exercise of discretion is being assailed. J. however. the dismissal by Margarito P. Proof of such grave abuse of discretion. Filed pleading as Solicitor General. are hereby AFFIRMED. join the dissent of Justice Abad. Brion. The April 6. 1992 Memorandum of the Field Loans Review Department which allegedly authorized the Field Offices to undertake a prepayment scheme. Jr. aESIDH WHEREFORE. premises considered. In addition. Villarama. 1994 Memorandum of EVP Diaz" and a "May 31. however. Del Castillo and Sereno. concur. Perez and Mendoza.proceedings will suffer the same fate as only substantial evidence is required. were again not attached to the records of the case at bar.. and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.. 2004. Nachura. JJ. 1992 Memorandum of the Field Loans Review Department" which supposedly authorized the Field Offices to undertake a prepayment scheme. Gervacio. Bersamin.

the aggrieved party may file the petition within the remaining period.. but which shall not be less than five (5) days in any event. September 22. vs. February 1. historically. petitioner. 2008 — The COMELEC First Division issued its Resolution (assailed in the petition). shall interrupt the period herein fixed. which both provided for the filing of petitions within the remainder of the original period. February 4. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------NILO T. without deducting the period for the preparation and filing of the motion for reconsideration. he continues. The Motion for Reconsideration The petitioner asks us in his "Urgent Motion for Reconsideration with Reiteration for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order" to reverse the dismissal of his petition. see my dissenting opinion. after using up 4 days in preparing and filing his Motion for Reconsideration. Pates (petitioner) received a copy of the February 1. our Resolution of dismissal of November 11. 39-98. e. If the motion is denied. 2008 — The petitioner received the COMELEC en banc Resolution of September 18. if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned. hence. — The petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. Time to file petition.. arguing that the petition was seasonably filed under the fresh period rule enunciated by the Supreme Court in a number of cases decided beginning the year 2005. taking into account the following material antecedents: a. ALMIRANTE. 2008 — The COMELEC en banc issued a Resolution denying the petitioner's MR (also assailed in the petition). the . fell on a Saturday (October 18. b. February 8. 3. September 18. 30 days from notice of the final COMELEC Resolution. SIDTCa He claims that. TAEcSC c. 2008 — the following Monday or the first working day after October 18. the last day for filing was October 20.e. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EMELITA B.Abad. reckoned from notice of denial. as the petitioner only had the remaining period of 26 days to file his petition. changed this rule when it promulgated the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and Circular No. 2008 AaITCH Under this chronology. RESOLUTION BRION. i. 2008 Resolution. This Court. Rule 64 of the Rules of Court which provides: HECTaA SEC. the last day for the filing of a petition for certiorari. Effectively. The petitioner filed his petition with us on October 22. 2008 Resolution (4 days from receipt of the February 1. 2008 dismissed the petition in caption pursuant to Section 3. respondents. 2008). The filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration of said judgment or final order or resolution. PATES. J. J p: Our Resolution of November 11. 2008 Resolution) d. the fresh period rule was the prevailing rule in filing petitions for certiorari. 2008 — The counsel for petitioner Nilo T. 2008. The "fresh period" refers to the original period provided under the Rules of Court counted from notice of the ruling on the motion for reconsideration by the tribunal below. 2008 or two days late. 2008 — The petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration (MR) of the February 1. 2008.

SDAcaT (2) Spouses de los Santos v. and the date of its receipt by a party is the correct reckoning point for counting the period for appellate review. the petitioner further asserts.M. and (2) the petitioner's reliance on Section 4. respondent Emelita B. applied the fresh period rule to ordinary appeals from the decisions of the Municipal Trial Court to the Regional Trial Court. No. or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof. citing Section 5. 00-02-03-SC) is totally misplaced. As a Matter of Law Section 7. A. National Labor Relations Commission. Vda. not Rule 65. For this reason. Rule 64. CADSHI The Respondent's Comment We asked the respondents to comment on the petitioner's motion for reconsideration. 1 was the tremendous confusion generated by Circular No. the petitioner argues. No. shows that this Court has consistently held that the order or resolution denying the motion for reconsideration or new trial is considered as the final order finally disposing of the case. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Court of Appeals 5 which emphasized that A. 2000 or only three years after. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court and its related cases. Rule 65 provides for a 60-day period for filing petitions for certiorari. Article IX-A of the Constitution provides that unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law. de Mangubat 3 reiterating Neypes. OUR RULING We do not find the motion for reconsideration meritorious. he merely insists that the fresh period rule . 00-02-03-SC is a curative statute that may be applied retroactively. Fernandez 4 which. any decision. order. asked via a "Manifestation and Motion" that it be excused from filing a separate comment. Almirante (respondent Almirante) filed a comment stating that: (1) we are absolutely correct in concluding that the petition was filed out of time. was subsequently applied by this Court in the following cases: (1) Neypes v. which we supposedly articulated in Narzoles v.M. This Rule expressly refers to the application of Rule 65 in the filing of a petition for certiorari. as Rule 64. He then points out that on September 1. is the vehicle for review of judgments and final orders or resolutions of the COMELEC. According to the petitioner. (3) Active Realty and Development Corporation v. this Court promulgated A. A reading of the ruling in these cases. No. Respondent Almirante points out that Rule 64 and Rule 65 are different. We granted the OSG's manifestation and motion. 00-02-03-SC bringing back the fresh period rule. the reason for the change. following Neypes. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court (as amended by A."remainder" being the original period less the days used up in preparing and filing a motion for reconsideration. 39-98. 6 SaIACT Even a superficial reading of the motion for reconsideration shows that the petitioner has not challenged our conclusion that his petition was filed outside the period required by Section 3. and (4) Romero v. subject to the exception clause — "except as hereinafter provided". For her part. The fresh period rule. while Rule 64 provides for 30 days. the Rules of Court provide for a separate rule (Rule 64) specifically applicable only to decisions of the COMELEC and the Commission on Audit.M. Court of Appeals 2 which thenceforth applied the fresh eriod rule to ordinary appeals of decisions of the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals.

The period is 30 days from notice of the decision or ruling (instead of the 60 days that Rule 65 provides). he did not explain why we should adopt and apply the fresh period rule to an election case. These uncommon exceptions allowed us to maintain the stability of our rulings. Procedurally. 10 Significantly." A liberal interpretation and application of the rules of procedure can be resorted to only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and circumstances. The requirement is in pursuance to the bill of rights inscribed in the Constitution which guarantees that "all persons shall have a right to the speedy disposition of their before all judicial. while allowing for the unusual cases when the dictates of justice demand a correspondingly different treatment. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities. our ruling of November 11. a party asking for the suspension of the Rules of Court comes to us with the heavy burden of proving that he deserves to be accorded exceptional treatment. these instances were the exceptions rather than the rule. Commission on Elections. Every plea for a liberal construction of the Rules must at least be accompanied by an explanation of why the party-litigant failed to comply with the rules and by a justification for the requested liberal construction. and we invariably took this course of action only upon a meritorious plea for the liberal construction of the Rules of Court based on attendant exceptional circumstances. however. but this flexibility was "never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity. the exception that Section 2. 9 But. Corona: 8 Procedural rules.applicable to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 should likewise apply to petitions for certiorari of COMELEC rulings filed under Rule 64. and convenience." the adjudicatory bodies and the parties to a case are thus enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. cannot simply be equated to Rule 65 even if it expressly refers to the latter rule. we must stress. This ruling is not without its precedent. He failed to explain why his filing was late. 2008 to dismiss the petition for late filing cannot but be correct. Rule 64. Rule 64 to his petition. should be treated with utmost respect and due regard since they are designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases to remedy the worsening problem of delay in the resolution of rival claims and in the administration of justice. with the intervening period used for the filing of any motion for reconsideration deductible from the originally-granted 30 days (instead of the fresh period of 60 days that Rule 65 provides). Rule 64 refers to — is Section 3 which provides for a special period for the filing of petitions for certiorari from decisions or rulings of the COMELEC en banc. quasi-judicial and administrative bodies. the most patent difference between the two — i. HICATc Thus. has countless times in the past stressed that the Rules of Court must be followed. EHSADc . uniformity. we have previously ordered a similar dismissal in the earlier case of Domingo v. Under this unique nature of the exceptions. exceptional circumstances or compelling reasons may have existed in the past when we either suspended the operation of the Rules or exempted a particular case from their application. They exist as separate rules for substantive reasons as discussed below. (Emphasis supplied) ISCDEA As emphasized above.. Other than his appeal to history.e. the petitioner presented no exceptional circumstance or any compelling reason to warrant the non-application of Section 3. There have been some instances wherein this Court allowed a relaxation in the application of the rules. Thus. too. we had this to say in Fortich v. 7 The Court. as a matter of law. it is equally true that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to ensure an orderly and speedy administration of justice.

the ruling of the Commission en banc on reconsideration is effectively a new ruling rendered separately and independently from that made by a division. rulemaking requires that we consult with our own constituencies. Section 3. any amendment of this provision is an exercise in the power of this Court to promulgate rules on practice and procedure as provided by Section 5 (5).To us. as his motion does not provide us any reason specific to his case why we should act as he advocates. that no less than the Constitution requires that "motions for reconsideration of [division] decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc". Article VIII of the Constitution. we do not find convenience and uniformity to be reasons sufficiently compelling to modify the required period for the filing of petitions for certiorari under Rule 64. is constitutionally-based and is no less than the importance our Constitution accords to the prompt determination of election results. taking into account the interests of everyone — not the least of which are the constitutional parameters and guidelines for our actions. accord to elections and the prompt determination of their results. 11 Thus. Rule 64 and the application of his proposed new rule to his case. This reason far outweighs convenience and uniformity. C. While the petitioner is correct in his historical data about the Court's treatment of the periods for the filing of the different modes of review. too. Rule 64 has been retained. we are not inclined to suspend the rules to come to the rescue of a litigant whose counsel has blundered by reading the wrong applicable provision. We acknowledge that the avoidance of confusion through the use of uniform standards is not without its merits. We significantly note that the present petition itself. SEcITC Counterbalanced against these reasons. Article IX-C of the Constitution expressly requires that the COMELEC's rules of procedure should expedite the disposition of election cases. the petitioner's omissions are fatal. directly assigned to us by the Constitution. however. As a rule. through its plea for the grant of a restraining order. is different from our adjudicatory function. This Court labors under the same command. he misses out on the reason why the period under Section 3. As a Matter of Policy In harking back to the history of the fresh period rule. We are not unmindful. To state the obvious. Based on these considerations. not necessarily with the parties directly affected in their individual cases. B. as every lawyer should know. as our proceedings are in fact the constitutional extension of cases that start with the COMELEC. The reason. in obedience to the Constitution. recognizes the need for haste in deciding election cases. litigants cannot. in order to ensure that the rule and the policy that it enunciates are the most reasonable that we can promulgate under the circumstances. The Rules of Court are with us for the prompt and orderly administration of justice. We point these out as our adjudicatory powers should not be confused with our rulemaking prerogative. what the petitioner apparently wants — for reasons of uniformity and convenience — is the simultaneous amendment of Section 3. as made clear above. after resorting to a . are other considerations no less weighty. the most significant of which is the importance the Constitution and this Court. Rulemaking is an act of legislation. that requires the formulation of policies rather than the determination of the legal rights and obligations of litigants before us. Our rulemaking. Our Liberal Approach Largely for the same reason and as discussed below.

See: Lozano. Footnotes 1. 2007. DECISION TINGA. Prudential Guarantee and Assurance. No.. Corona. These are provided to effect the prompt. 2007. G. No. 537 SCRA 116. EcTIDA SO ORDERED.wrong remedy. we DENY the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. 1999. April 22. 146559. G. simply cry for the liberal construction of these rules. Ynares-Santiago. 157186. and CESAR N.J. 142803. No.R. CONSTITUTION.R. November 17. concur. it must be exercised only in the most appropriate cases. Nachura. Laguna Lake Development Authority. October 29. 131457.] We add that even for this Court. Baldovizo. is on leave.. 2007. effectively prevent the clogging of court dockets. October 19.R. 2008 is hereby declared FINAL. 2009. Technical rules of procedure are not designed to frustrate the ends of justice. No. September 15. No. 2004. 2007. 341 SCRA 533.R.R. rather than seek exceptions as loopholes. Puno. Leonardo-de Castro. Laurea 13 succinctly emphasized this point when we said: cIECaS Members of the bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of procedure. SARINO. J p: The 1987 Constitution has made the Commission on Audit (COA) the guardian of public funds. and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations.. 149508. LEONARDO D. vesting it with broad powers over all accounts pertaining to government revenue and expenditures and the uses of public funds and property. 11. G. No. proper and orderly disposition of cases and. 139607. 537 SCRA 643. 2. No. establish the techniques and methods for such review. 187883 and 187910.R. 2008 and Tagle v. --------------------------------------------------NDRES SANCHEZ. Utter disregard of these rules cannot justly be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction. 517 SCRA 91.R. Equitable PCI Bank. 391 SCRA 277. June 16. 552 SCRA 424. G.R. vs. 313 SCRA 311.R. RAFAEL D. Peralta and Bersamin. No. Let entry of judgment be made in due course. 10. 12. RULES OF COURT. November 20. 141524. 436 SCRA 478. September 29. Inc. 4. also speaks of the limits of liberality. It has its limits. 136587. G. JJ. 2000. No. including the exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and examination. 1 Its exercise of its general audit power is among . Section 2. 690-691. No.R. 2005. See: Ponciano v. 298 SCRA 679. Carpio. August 30. [Emphasis supplied. February 28. G. G. 535 SCRA 411. 163186. August 13. Article IX-C. liberality does not signify an unbridled exercise of discretion.R.R. Section 3. 2002. 13. respondent. from another perspective. v. Court of Appeals. Velasco. C. premises considered. Jr. G. 5. 172299. petitioners. G. G. G. BARATA. 6. 141959. J. Rules 64. that. Chico-Nazario. No. et al. 7. Carpio Morales. G. 14 WHEREFORE. 483.R. v. to serve its purpose and to preserve its true worth. 2008. No. 469 SCRA 633. Quisumbing. 9. COMMISSION ON AUDIT. G. October 28. Nograles. Aguila v. thus. 1745636. October 10. Nos. 8.. REGALA. NORMA AGBAYANI. Our Resolution of November 11. 12 Our ruling in Lapid v. 3. 14. 1998.

7180 (R. Atty. This law provided an appropriation for the DILG under Title XIII and set aside the amount of P75.00 for the operational expenses of the task force. Sarino. Hiram C. except motor vehicles.000. aSIAHC On 11 November 1991. The estimated expenses for its operation was P2. in further support of the programs. Book VI of E. subject to Section 40 of P. An additional cash advance of P300.000. Congress passed Republic Act No.000. with the necessary support for training materials. 1177 (Sec. No. 2 The exercise of this power by the Department Auditor of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is the subject of the instant Petition for Review 3 dated 10 February 1997. cHSIDa The proposal was accepted by the Deputy Executive Secretary and attested by then DILG Secretary Cesar N.000.000. TSADaI The usage of the Capability Building Program Fund (Fund) is provided under the Special Provisions of the law as follows: Special Provisions 1.the constitutional mechanisms that give life to the check and balance system inherent in our form of government. elected and appointed. DIETcH The Capability Building Program shall be implemented nationwide by the Department of the Interior and Local Government through the Local Government Academy and shall involve local officials and employees. These amounts were taken from the Fund. including barangay officials. activities and objects of expenditures proposed to be funded. 35.388. 292). In 1991. who consequently issued a memorandum for the transfer and remittance to the Office of the President of the sum of P300.O. strategize and prepare modules for an effective program for local autonomy. IHEDAT The stated purpose for the creation of the task force was to design programs. 7180) otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 1992. informed then Deputy Executive Secretary Dionisio de la Serna of the proposal to constitute and implement a "shamrock" type task force to implement local autonomy institutionalized under the Local Government Code of 1991.00 for a period of six months beginning on 1 December 1991 up to 31 May 1992 unless the above ceiling is sooner expended and/or the project is earlier pre-terminated. AcISTE Savings generated over and above the requirements prescribed in Section 18 of the General Provisions of this Act shall be made available for the Capability Building Program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for local officials and employees. supplies and facilities: PROVIDED. Mendoza (Atty. Project Director of the Ad Hoc Task Force for Inter-Agency Coordination to Implement Local Autonomy.D. IDAaCc .A. such as training and technical assistance. Mendoza). Capability Building Program for Local Personnel. one of the petitioners herein. The amount herein appropriated for the Capability Building Program for local personnel shall be used for local government and community capability building programs.00 for the DILG's Capability Building Program. The appropriations authorized herein shall be administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and shall be released upon submission of a work and financial plan supported by a detailed breakdown of the projects. That savings from the appropriations may be used to acquire equipment. SAHIaD A chronicle of the operative incidents is needed.00 was requested.

however.000. 2. Estimate of expenses covered by the cash advance not specified. SDAcaT Upon post-audit conducted by Department auditor Iluminada M.00 was liquidated in the following manner although no receipts were presented to support the expenditures: Payroll P226. etc.50 Xerox 300.00 5 There is no record of the liquidation of the second cash advance in the amount of P300. The "Particulars of Payment" column of the disbursement voucher states that the transfer of funds was made "to the Office of the President for Ad-Hoc Task Force for Inter-Agency Coordination to Implement Local Autonomy.00 Miscellaneous 60. 7180 which should be met. cdasia Aggrieved by such action. 2. 6 The disallowance was reiterated in the Notice of Disallowance dated 29 March 1993. foods and meals. of an Ad Hoc Task Force for Inter-Agency Coordination to Implement Local Autonomy taken from the Capability Building Program Fund is violative of the Special Provisions of R.682.500. Previous cash advance granted to accountable officer has not yet been liquidated.A. As it is. the matter involves a prejudicial issue that .A.V. office supplies.30 Transportation expense 406. Sarino. which states: The transfer of fund from DILG to the Office of the President to defray salaries of personnel. requested reconsideration of the disallowance on the following grounds: 1. hence. 7180. Fabroa. for a public purpose.000. 7180 is exclusively within the competence and jurisdiction of the courts and not of any other office.Two (2) cash advances both in the amount of P300. holding the latter jointly and severally liable for the amount and directing them to immediately settle the disallowance. 3.976.00 Office supplies 3. the question of whether or not the transfer of funds by the DILG taken from the capability building program of the Office of the President is violative of R.A.000. Legally. 7 A Notice of Disallowance dated 29 March 1993 was then sent to Mr. the amounts were disallowed for the following reasons stated in the 3rd Endorsement dated 25 May 1992: 1. 4.023.80 Balance 31 March 1992 P1.000.00 Office rentals 60. No legal basis for the created Task Force to claim payment thru DILG by way of cash advance." 4 The first cash advance in the amount of P300.000.00 Office furnitures 7. That the transfer was for the operational expenses of an ad hoc task force for inter-agency coordination to implement local autonomy.00. office rentals.00 ––––––––– P298. Expenditures funded from capability building are subject to restrictions/conditions embodied in the Special Provisions of the DILG Appropriations of R. Mr. Sarino. et al.00 were withdrawn from the Fund by the DILG and transferred to the Cashier of the Office of the President.00 Bank charges 75. et al.

office supplies. 7180 that the Capability Building Program Fund shall be used for local government and community capability building programs. P. activities. We believe that there is no prejudicial issue involved in this particular case that needs the pronouncement by the Courts. projects and programs shall be available solely for the specific purpose for which these are appropriated. There is no need for the officer or employee to misappropriate public funds but merely appropriating public funds for a purpose other than that authorized by law. the Department Auditor denied the request. Therefore the transfer and expenditures of the funds in the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary has completely abandoned the raison d' etre for which the fund was established. therefore. 8 Countering the foregoing points raised in the request for reconsideration. but it was different from the purpose for which the fund was created. That the expenses was for a public purpose. ADSTCa The grounds for our disallowance were specifically enumerated in our 3rd Indorsement dated May 25. That the alleged violation is not specific and stated with particularity so as to apprise the respondents of the nature and cause of the alleged violation. the DILG Auditor's conclusion of violation of the law cannot overcome the presumption of legality and regularity of acts done by public officers in the performance of public duty. Unless there is a pronouncement to the contrary. 3.A. this Department. is already in violation of law. Expenditures. TAacIE 4. Legally. the transfer of funds for a public purpose effected by the executive branch of government thru the department head is presumed legal and regular. 1992.D. thus: 1. it may be granted that the expenses was for a public purpose. At best. 1177 provides that "All money appropriated for functions.necessitates prior authoritative determination by the courts." (Underscoring supplied) 2. No. CDHacE Every expenditure or obligation authorized or incurred in violation of law shall be the personal liability of the persons who authorized the expenditure. Likewise. It is clearly stated in the Special Provisions of the DILG Appropriations of R. to the FMS Director. 1445 provides that "Trust funds shall not be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in fulfillment of the purpose for which the trust was created or funds received. foods and meals. Yes. the disallowance is completely void for being violative of the constitutional guarantee of due process. and 4. unless reprobated or disapproved by the Chief Executive.D. such conclusion is gratuitous and devoid of legal force and effect. office rentals. aHIEcS Section 37. 188 SCRA 155. Section 84 (2) of P. and upon authorization of the legislative body or head of any other . performed and promulgated in the regular course of business are presumed valid and presumptively considered acts of the President of the Philippines. etc. (Underscoring supplied) 3. We beg to disagree to the Counsel's claim that the alleged violation was not specific and stated with particularity so as to apprise the clients of the nature and cause of the alleged violation. funded from the Capability Building Program are subject to compliance to the restrictions/conditions embodied in the Special Provisions of the General Appropriations Act of 1992. Garrucho. as earlier pointed out. The mere transfer of the fund from DILG to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary to defray the salaries of the personnel. In the case of Binamira v. the Supreme Court held that the acts of department heads.

petitioners aver that the law did not prohibit the DILG from directly coordinating with the Office of the President in attaining the objectives of local autonomy. rentals. They explain that the Capability Building Program which was financed by the Fund was administered by the DILG and was intended as a complementary resource to aid the DILG in its task of pursuing an intensified program of enhancing local government autonomy capabilities. strategize and prepare modules for an effective program for local autonomy with the expenses therefor to be charged against the Fund. No. Art. the transfer of the amount in question complemented. the parties were required to submit their respective memoranda in the Resolution 15 dated 12 . he concludes that the transfer is deemed an act of the President. The transfer of a portion of the Fund for the operational expenses of the task force to implement local autonomy did not therefore violate the Special Provisions of R. if not enhanced.A. the COA affirmed the disallowance in its assailed COA Decision No. and subject to pertinent budget law. however. and the transfer of funds to effectuate this purpose was not violative of the said law contrary to the Department Auditor's conclusion. However. maintaining that it acted according to its constitutional mandate when it disallowed the disbursement considering that the transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the President was violative of the Special Provisions of R. aSCHcA Petitioners filed their Reply 14 dated 9 March 2001. No. far from being categorically different from the purpose for which the Fund was created. Thus. the COA filed its own Comment 13 dated 16 March 1998. Thereafter. 25 (5).agency of the government having control thereof. It was pursuant to this goal that a task force was created to design programs. ITSacC The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Manifestation and Motion in Lieu of Comment 12 dated 19 January 1998. TSEHcA It is worth noting at this juncture that while Commissioner Sofronio B. aEIcHA Further. he adds that the individual disbursements made by the task force for such expenses as salaries. he nonetheless submitted a dissenting opinion stating that the transfer of funds from the Fund to the Office of the Executive Secretary falls within the authority of the President to augment any item in the general appropriations law as provided in Sec. the DILG's program to promote local autonomy. CScTDE Because of the position initially taken by the OSG. 7180. VI of the 1987 Constitution. According to the OSG then.A. the use of the Fund by the task force to implement local autonomy falls within the purpose for which the Fund was created. rules and regulations. petitioners argue that the purpose of the task force was actually within the framework of the Special Provisions of R. 96-654 10 dated 21 November 1996. Further. stating that the petition is meritorious. which it later disavowed. The COA considers the Fund a trust fund which may not be paid out except in fulfillment of the purpose for which it was created and upon authorization of the head of agency and subject to budget law. rules and regulations.A. 7180. allowances. 7180. 11 Petitioners argue that the transfer of the questioned amount from the Fund of the DILG to the Office of the President was legal and that the Notice of Disallowance dated 29 May 1993 was without basis. food and the like should be audited by the Auditor for the Office of the President in accordance with existing accounting and auditing rules. Ursal (Commissioner Ursal) signed the assailed Decision. Thus. No. (Underscoring supplied) 9 Finding no reason to deviate from the findings of the Department Auditor.

In this case. No. VI of the Constitution may be made only by the persons mentioned in the section and may not be re-delegated being already a delegated authority. 20 In the absence of evidence of bad faith. activities and objects of expenditures proposed to be funded. was not even an employee either of the DILG or the Office of the President. Additionally. cDCSTA For further elucidation of the issues. 7180. a trust receipt or a regular appropriation. 19 There was also no proper liquidation of the P600. HIaAED Moreover. For instance. Sec. a special fund. TcSHaD The OSG's Memorandum also brings to the surface several facts which had theretofore remained hidden. 25 (5).000. Art. Art. malice or gross negligence. According to the OSG. 25 (5). however. SDTcAH Retracting its previous stance. in addition. in its Memorandum 21 dated 18 July 2005.00 cash advance made to Atty. the parties filed their memoranda 16 in reiteration of their respective positions. it was disclosed that the disallowed transfers were released without the submission of a work and financial plan supported by a detailed breakdown of the projects. and finally (4) Whether the questioned disallowance by the Commission on Audit is valid. should have been done through the Local Government Academy with the approval of its board of trustees in accordance with R.A. it was not the President but the Deputy Executive Secretary who caused the transfers and the latter was not shown to have been authorized by the President to do so. the OSG avers in its Memorandum 18 dated 6 July 2005 that the transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the President has no legal basis and that COA's disallowance of the transfer is valid. the creation of a task force to implement local autonomy. In this case. it partakes the nature of a trust fund because it was allocated for a specific purpose. the funds transferred must come only from savings of the office in other items of its appropriation and must be used for other items in the appropriation of the same office. transfer of funds under Sec. reiterates its position that there is no legal basis for the transfers in question because the Fund was meant to be implemented by the Local Government Academy. IADCES The COA. VI of the Constitution authorizes the transfer of funds within the OP if made by the President for purposes of augmenting an item in the Office of the President.February 2002. (3) Whether the Capability Building Program Fund is a trust fund. the Court set the case for oral argument. Thus. the OSG submits that petitioners may not be held civilly and personally liable for the disallowed expenditure. aEDCSI (2) Whether the conditions or requisites for the transfer of funds under the applicable law were present in this case. there were no savings from which augmentation can be taken because the releases of funds to the Office of the President were made at the beginning of the budget year 1992. if one was necessary. crystallizing the decisive issues in this case as follows: (1) Whether there is legal basis for the transfer of funds of the Capability Building Program Fund appropriated in the 1992 General Appropriation Act from the Department of Interior and Local Government to the Office of the President. EcTCAD The COA also posits that while the Fund is a regular appropriation. Further. . 17 The parties were required to simultaneously submit their memoranda in amplification of their arguments on the foregoing issues. Mendoza who. it may be used only for the specific purpose for which it was created or the fund received. In compliance with this directive.

Petitioners also insist that the Fund is a regular item of appropriation and not a trust fund because after the end of the calendar year. the latter being an independent constitutional commission. Petitioners have flip-flopped on whether an actual transfer of the disallowed amount had taken place. petitioners maintain in their Memorandum 22 that the transfer of funds was never repudiated by the President and that operational control over the amount transferred remained with the DILG as evidenced by the fact that liquidation was done by the latter and not by the Office of the President. any unexpended amount will be reverted to the General Fund. We find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in issuing the assailed Decision as will be discussed hereafter. 24 Likewise. 30 On the other hand. cTSHaE We affirm the ruling of the COA.The COA concludes that petitioners should be held civilly and criminally liable for the disallowed expenditures. in their Memorandum 31 dated 28 August 2005. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 28 It is only when the COA has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction. aACHDS The Court had therefore previously upheld the authority of the COA to disapprove payments which it finds excessive and disadvantageous to the Government. not only on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers but also for their presumed expertise in the laws they are entrusted to enforce. 26 The COA is traditionally given free rein in the exercise of its constitutional duty to examine and audit expenditures of public funds especially those which are palpably beyond what is allowed by law. especially one which is constitutionallycreated. cHaICD For their part. prevent and disallow irregular. extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of government funds. excessive. an oft-repeated rule that findings of administrative agencies are accorded not only respect but also finality when the decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that would amount to grave abuse of discretion. In response a pointed question during oral argument.00 to the Office of the President.000. in fact. that this Court entertains a petition questioning its rulings. to disallow a contract even after it has been executed and goods have been delivered. to determine the meaning of "public bidding" and when there is "failure" in the bidding. 27 It is. The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine. to disallow expenditures which it finds unnecessary according to its rules even if disallowance will mean discontinuance of foreign aid. unnecessary. 25 We have also ruled that the final determination of the Department of Finance and the BIR as to a person's entitlement to an informer's reward is conclusive only upon the executive agencies concerned and not on the COA. counsel for petitioners stated that there was no transfer of even a centavo of the P600. it is the general policy of the Court to sustain the decisions of administrative authorities. TIaCHA Verily. 23 It has the power to ascertain whether public funds were utilized for the purpose for which they had been intended. petitioners aver that "the transfer of funds was made by the DILG . we sustained the findings of the COA disallowing the disbursements of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation for failure to submit certain documentary requirements and for being irregular and excessive.

JUSTICE PUNO: But did they ever take the position that indeed there was no transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the President and then back. No. COMMISSIONER HABITAN: . the Court would have to ascertain whether the criteria laid out in Sec. Your Honor. JUSTICE PUNO: No. 25 (5). In other words. JUSTICE PUNO: Was the question of transfer an issue raised by the petitioners when this case was under litigation up to the time when it reached your office. I am asking that question whether the fact of transfer was a subject of litigation up to your office. HDATSI In the following exchange between then Justice (now Chief Justice) Puno and COA Assistant Commissioner Raquel Habitan. I am asking you whether the petitioners ever took that position that there was no transfer of funds at all from the DILG to the Office of the President.to the Office of the President. was that position taken by petitioner? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: But the records will show Your Honor that there was two (2) separate vouchers one for Three Hundred Thousand each which was actually disallowed by the COA. If.A. ScHAIT The resolution of these divergent theories is critical. on the other hand. on one hand. VI of the 1987 Constitution had been met. Art. unmistakably confirms the actual transfer in its Memorandum attaching the disbursement voucher and receipts covering the transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the President. I ask that question because I am confused by the change of answers of the counsel for the petitioners. am I correct in assuming that this case was resolved by your office on the theory that the transfer of funds violated the provision of the Constitution and related laws? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: Yes. Your Honor. if there was an actual transfer of funds." 32 The OSG. Your Honor. So. did the petitioners ever raise the issue that there was no transfer of any funds involved in the case? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: Your Honor. through the request of then Deputy Executive Secretary Dionisio de la Serna. the latter reiterated that petitioners have always stood pat on their argument that there was a transfer of funds but that the transfer was valid as it was for a public purpose: JUSTICE PUNO: May I go to the question of transfer. The transfer of funds was never repudiated nor questioned by the President. the propriety of the disallowance would be evaluated on the basis of whether the purpose for which the fund was used was indeed violative of R. there was no actual transfer of funds. 7180. in the motion for reconsideration of then Secretary Sarino when he requested reconsideration of disallowance he relied on the following grounds — that the transfer was for the operational expenses of an Ad Hoc Task Force for inter agency coordination implement local autonomy hence for a public purpose that was the number one ground for the motion for reconsideration for the disallowance. On the other hand.

Art.Yes. would that lead to the conclusion that there was no transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the President? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: But the check. It was one of the grounds relied upon. 7180 provides that "[E]xcept by act of the Congress of the Philippines. 25 (5). Your Honor. 25 (5). in order to finally lay this case to rest. So. Your Honor. JUSTICE PUNO: Exactly. VI of the 1987 Constitution. VI of the 1987 Constitution. Your Honor. provides: Sec. 33 [Emphasis supplied] The theory that there was an actual transfer of funds but the same was for a public purpose has been at the core of petitioners' arguments since they requested reconsideration of the Notice of Disallowance dated 29 March 1993. a situation where a Task Force is created and the task of that committee is subject that properly belongs in this case with the DILG and so the task force agreed that disbursements of money should be undertaken and controlled by the head of the DILG. The Speaker of the House of . JUSTICE PUNO: What is the test on whether there was a transfer of funds from one agency to another agency? Let us take for example. 25 (5). No. I am reading the COA decision itself and in the motion for reconsideration of Secretary Sarino. 25 (5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations. VI of the 1987 Constitution. the President. that the transfer was for the operational expenses. was in the name of the Task Force. TCacIE The General Provisions of R. Even their pleadings before the Court reveal an unwavering adherence to their theory that the transferred funds should not have been disallowed because they were used for a public purpose." 34 Sec. EHSADc At any rate. Art. but the defense was the validity of the transfer? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: Yes. Art. JUSTICE PUNO: He concedes that there was a transfer. no change or modification shall be made in the expenditure items authorized in this Act and other appropriations laws unless in cases of augmentations from savings in appropriations as authorized under Section 25 (5) of Article VI of the Constitution. we shall discuss whether the disallowed transfer satisfies the standard laid down for the augmentation from savings under Sec. in turn. would the fact of control of disbursement show that there was no transfer of funds? COMMISSIONER HABITAN: But they cannot erase the fact for the record of the case that there were two (2) separate vouchers as I said. which first brought to fore the opinion that the disallowed transfer was a valid exercise of the President's power to augment under Sec. is therefore clearly just a gratuitous argument because petitioners themselves never justified the transfer as an exercise of the President's constitutional prerogative. the President of the Senate. CaSAcH Commissioner Ursal's dissent.A. I am asking you that question would the mere fact that disbursements were under the control of the DILG. evidently there was an actual transfer of the funds from DILG to the Office of the President pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement creating the Task Force. However. He tried to justify that the operational expenses of the Ad Hoc Task Force was for a public purpose.

and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may. be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. the Speaker. AZCUNA: The limit is not in percentage but "from savings". not the Executive Secretary himself. the Court also ruled that the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines may not be given authority to transfer funds under this article because the realignment of savings to augment items in the general appropriations law for the executive branch must and can be exercised only by the President pursuant to a specific law. and the heads of constitutional commissions may by law be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. More fundamentally. Enriquez. cIACaT . HCTDIS In Philippine Constitution Association v. the Speaker of the House of Representatives. the President of the Senate. So it is only to the extent of their savings. However. the submission that there was a valid transfer of funds within the Executive Department should be rejected as it overlooks the fact that the power and authority to transfer in this case was exercised not by the President but only at the instance of the Deputy Executive Secretary. 35 the Court declared that individual members of Congress may only determine the necessity of the realignment of savings in the allotments for their operating expenses because they are in the best position to know whether there are savings available in some items and whether there are deficiencies in other items of their operating expenses that need augmentation. it is the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall approve the realignment. by law. the President. Section 25. however. the President.Representatives. the President of the Senate to augment any item in the General Appropriations Law. even the President himself could not have validly authorized the transfer under the Constitution. AHaDSI It is important to underscore the fact that the power to transfer savings under Sec. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. petitioners fail to point out to the Court the specific law and provision thereof which authorizes the transfer of funds in this case. 38 The 1973 Constitution contained an identical provision: Sec. it does not even appear that the matter was authorized by the President. the Speaker of the House of Representatives. VI of the 1987 Constitution pertains exclusively to the President. 36 In the same case. 16(5). SARMENTO: I have one last question. 25 (5). ACTEHI Thus. as will be shown later. and the heads of Constitutional Commissions and no other. IDESTH The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission are instructive as regards the extent of the President's power to augment: MR. Do we have a limit in terms of percentage as to how much they should augment any item in the General Appropriations Law? MR. the Prime Minister. 37 Parenthetically. paragraph (5) authorizes the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Art. Even if the DILG Secretary had corroborated the initiative of the Deputy Executive Secretary. No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations.

40 R. there must be savings in the programmed appropriation of the . The President of the Philippines. or arising from unpaid compensation and related costs pertaining to vacant positions and leaves of absence without pay. 1177 which authorized the President "to transfer any fund. 16 (5) of the 1973 Constitution.Construing this provision. 1. appropriated for the different departments. to any program. project. In no case. 7180 contains a similar provision on the President's power to augment and provides the meaning of "savings" and "augmentation". 17. activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized. office or agency of the Executive Department to any program. therefore. the President of the Senate. the Heads of Constitutional Commissions under Article IX of the Constitution. 19. activity or purpose with an appropriation which upon implementation or subsequent evaluation of needed resources is determined to be deficient. purpose or object of expenditure be funded by augmentation from savings or by the use of appropriations authorized otherwise in this act. Meaning of Savings and Augmentation. the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Sec. 41 Clearly.A. The purpose and conditions for which funds may be transferred were specified. the constitution allowed the enactment of a law authorizing the transfer of funds for the purpose of augmenting an item from savings in another item in the appropriation concerned. i. CAHTIS xxx xxx xxx Sec.e. transfer may be allowed for the purpose of augmenting an item and such transfer may be made only if there are savings from another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional body. Savings refer to portions or balances of any programmed appropriation free of any obligation or encumbrance still available after the satisfactory completion or unavoidable discontinuance or abandonment of the work. project or activity of any department. However. 44 of Presidential Decree No. activity. to afford the heads of the different branches of the government and those of the constitutional commissions considerable flexibility in the use of public funds and resources. or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the item to which the transfer is to be made. thus: Sec. Use of Savings. project. without regard to whether the funds to be transferred are actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken. The leeway granted was thus limited. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment. which are included in the General Appropriations Act. we declared unconstitutional par. First. bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment" because it unduly overextends the privilege granted under Sec. Augmentation implies the existence in this Act of an item. the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights are hereby authorized to augment any item in this Act for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. there are two essential requisites in order that a transfer of appropriation with the corresponding funds may legally be effected. bureaus. [Emphasis supplied] Thus. shall a non-existent item. project or activity of any department. bureau. the Court ruled in the pre-eminent case of Demetria v. offices and agencies of the Executive Department. CDAEHS We ruled that the President cannot indiscriminately transfer funds from one department. Alba: 39 The prohibition to transfer an appropriation for one item to another was explicit and categorical under the 1973 Constitution.

judiciary. possible. 46 the conditions on the release of money from the Treasury. the Court in Philconsa v.transferring agency. Alba as it makes the prohibition against transfer of appropriations the general rule rather than the stringent exception the constitutional framers clearly intended it to be. The word "actual" denotes that something is real or substantial. thus: JUSTICE GUTIERREZ: All Right. Chief Justice. TcSHaD Actual savings is a sine qua non to a valid transfer of funds from one government agency to another.g. Your Honor. legislative. Second. according to the law augmentation implies the existence of an item. but we know. project or activity with an appropriation in the receiving agency to which the savings will be transferred. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution would occur entirely within the framework of the executive. supra. the President. shall approve the realignment (of savings). e. "were all safeguards designed to forestall abuses in the expenditure of public funds". It makes a mockery of Demetria v. Senate President. as the case may be. the Chief Justice himself transfers funds only when there are actual savings. 45 the restriction on disbursement of discretionary funds. the restriction on the transfer of funds. these two officials will have to see to it that: (1) The funds to be realigned or transferred are actually savings in the items of expenditures from which the same are to be taken. is that these amount of Six Hundred Thousand Pesos was only to augment or to increase whatever funds perhaps would be under the Office of the President for such a gargantuan task as the implementation or . Enriquez." 44 As it is. 43 The thesis that savings may and should be presumed from the mere transfer of funds is plainly anathema to the doctrine laid down in Demetria v. already makes wanton and unmitigated malversation of public funds all too easy.. Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez and counsel for petitioners inexorably reveals that petitioners had known that there were no savings in the DILG at the time of the questioned transfers. potential or hypothetical. 42 As a case in point. and the heads of constitutional commissions need not first prove and declare the existence of savings before transferring funds. or the constitutional commissions. MADRIAGA: If Your Honors please. cHaCAS Contrary to another submission in this case. Alba as it would have the Court allow the mere expectancy of savings to be transferred. activity or purpose with an appropriation upon which implementation or subsequent evaluation of needed resources is determined to be deficient. without the Court abetting it by ruling that transfer of funds ipso facto denotes the existence of savings. categorically declared that the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. the fact that the permissible transfers contemplated by Section 25 (5). project. However. my question is — is there a funding in the task force to be augmented or was there insufficient funds in the task force to be augmented? ATTY. there must be an existing item. 48 The following exchange between Mdme. I am not privy to the appropriation for the Office of the President. from unfilled positions in the Judiciary. 47 among others. and (2) The transfer or realignment is for the purpose of augmenting the items of expenditure to which said transfer or realignment is to be made. and similar constitutional limitations such as the specification of purpose for special appropriations bill. SAHaTc Precisely. "[B]efore giving their stamp of approval. or exists presently in fact as opposed to something which is merely theoretical.

I would surmise. So.preparation for the implementation of the Code. 51 There could not have been savings from the Fund on 31 January 1992 because the 1992 GAA took effect only on 1 January 1992 or 30 days before. 54 provided an appropriation for the Capability Building Program. so as of that time there was no savings as yet that was accumulated by the department but because of the exigency of the purpose. DcIHSa The appropriation for the Capability Building Program was presented in the 1992 GAA in the following manner: 55 xxx xxx xxx B. 52 Obviously. can you tell us now if you know for a fact that there were actual savings before the fund was transferred? ATTY. I am sorry but I do not have knowledge as to the appropriations of the Office of the President in regard to this type of activities. 1992. a sufficient funding for the task force.00 was paid under Check No. The General Appropriations Act. the 1993 and 1994 GAA. Your Honor. 1991 and which was supposed to become effective on January 1. Counsel. JUSTICE GUTIERREZ: What you are saying right now is that actually there were no savings to be transferred? ATTY. is that right? ATTY. Your Honors. Your Honor. The records indicate that the second transfer occurred on 28 April 1992. the transfer of funds was made at the start of the calendar year 1992. MADRIAGA: Yes. you cannot say categorically that the transfer is valid because you cannot inform the Court whether or not there was a need to augment and whether or not there was really a funding. on October 10. So. 50 Presumably. LocallyPersonal Maintenance Capital Total . 160404 dated 31 January 1992. [Emphasis supplied] 49 Further.e. Your Honor. To begin with. Your Honor. It is preposterous to pronounce that savings already existed as early as 31 January 1992. as I said. the amount transferred from the Fund did not constitute savings as there were no such savings at the time of the transfer. the first disallowed voucher in the amount of P300. the records of this case unmistakably point to the reality that there were no savings at the time of the questioned transfer. there was the urgent need. moreover. considering that the Department of Interior and Local Government had only two (2) months and twenty (20) days for the preparation of the implementation of the Local Government Code which was signed. It is even more ridiculous to claim that savings may be presumed from the mere transfer of funds. MADRIAGA: As of that time. Your Honor. Republic Act 7180 took effect that year. signifies that there were no savings from the Fund from the prior year's appropriation in the 1992 GAA that could have been validly transferred. Your Honor. JUSTICE GUTIERREZ: In that case. JUSTICE GUTIERREZ: Second requirement is that there must be actual savings in the item from which the same are to be taken..000. the disallowed amount was remitted to and spent by the ad hoc task force within the first two quarters of fiscal year 1992. Your Honor. to prepare and there was therefore that transfer of funds. 53 The fact that the subsequent years' appropriations acts. MADRIAGA: If Your Honor please. i.

Funded
Projects

Services
and Other
Outlays
Operating
Expenses
xxx
xxx
xxx
4.
Capability
75,000,000
75,000,000
Building
Program
It is worthy of note, therefore, that the 1992 GAA only provided an appropriation for
maintenance and other operating expenses in the appropriation for the Capability
Building Program, and not a single centavo for capital outlay or for personal
services. SDHAcI
Maintenance and other operating expenses cover traveling expense;
communication services; repair and maintenance of government facilities; use,
repairs and maintenance of government vehicles; transportation services; supplies
and materials; rents; interests; grants, subsidies and contributions; awards and
indemnities;
loan
repayments
and
sinking
fund
contributions;
losses/depreciation/depletion; water, illumination and power service; social security
benefits, rewards and other claims; auditing services; training and seminars;
extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses; confidential and intelligence expenses;
anti-insurgency/contingency/emergency expenses; taxes and other duties;
trading/production; advertising and publication expenses; fidelity bond and
insurance premiums; loss on foreign exchange; commitment fees/charges; and
other services such as repairs and maintenance; printing and binding; subscription
to periodicals and magazines; radiocast, telecast and documentary films; legal
expenses; security and janitorial services and meal and transportation allowance.
56
Personal services, on the other hand, include the payment of salaries and wages;
per diem compensation; social security insurance premium; overtime pay; and
commutable allowances, 57 while capital outlays refer to appropriations for the
purchase of goods and services, the benefits of which extend beyond the fiscal year
and which add to the assets of government, including investments in the capital of
government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries as well as
investments in public utilities such as public markets and slaughterhouses. 58
Maintenance and operating expenses and personal services are classified as current
operating expenditures or appropriations for the purchase of goods and services for
current consumption or for benefits expected to terminate within the fiscal year. 59
By the nature of maintenance and operating expenses, savings may generally be
determined at the end of the year, or earlier in case of completion, discontinuance
or abandonment of the work for which the appropriation was authorized. In contrast,
savings from personal services may generally be determined even at the opening of
the fiscal year in case of unpaid compensation pertaining to vacant positions and
leaves of absence without pay. aTHASC
It should be emphasized that the 1992 GAA did not provide an appropriation for
personal services for the Capability Building Program. Savings from vacant positions
which pertain to personal services, therefore, may not be considered savings from
the Fund which may be transferred. TSADaI
It is odd that during oral argument, petitioners did not bother to assert to the Court
that there was actual savings from the Fund which could have been transferred,
prompting Justice (later Chief Justice) Panganiban to point out that petitioners

should have ascertained the existence of actual savings lest the petition be
dismissed as it is based on speculation. aHCSTD
JUSTICE PANGANIBAN:
So you still agree with the position of Justice Gutierrez that first, the first
requirement is that there must be an existing item to be augmented. Meaning,
there is insufficiency of funds in that item and then there are savings in another
item in another department of government which can be transferred?
ATTY. MADRIAGA:
Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE PANGANIBAN:
But you are not aware of any savings, actual saving, it is just projected
saving?
ATTY. MADRIAGA:
At that time, Your Honor, I said.
JUSTICE PANGANIBAN:
How about now?
ATTY. MADRIAGA:
Your Honor?
Now was there an actual saving?
I think the Commission on Audit would be in a better position to answer that,
Your Honor, because they are in possession of the records (interrupted)
JUSTICE PANGANIBAN:
But when you filed your petition here you must have researched on this
whether in fact there was savings to transfer.
ATTY. MADRIAGA:
As a matter of fact, Your Honor, (interrupted)
JUSTICE PANGANIBAN:
Otherwise, your petition would have been based on mere speculation? 60
From the foregoing, there is no question that there were no savings from the Fund at
the time of the transfer. The Court cannot hold on to the disputable presumptions
that official duty had been regularly performed and that the law had been obeyed.
HEITAD
Furthermore, the 1992 GAA itself forecloses the use of savings from the Fund for
purposes other than those for which it was established as specified under the law.
The Special Provisions plainly state: TEcCHD
Special Provisions
2.
Capability Building Program for Local Personnel. The amount herein
appropriated for the Capability Building Program for local personnel shall be used
for local government and community capability building programs, such as training
and technical assistance, with the necessary support for training materials, supplies
and facilities: PROVIDED, That savings from the appropriation may be used to
acquire equipment, except motor vehicles, in further support of the programs.
The Capability Building Program shall be implemented nationwide by the
Department of the Interior and Local Government through the Local Government
Academy and shall involve local officials and employees, including barangay
officials, elected and appointed. IDEHCa
The appropriations authorized herein shall be administered by the Department of
the Interior and Local Government and shall be released upon submission of a work
and financial plan supported by a detailed breakdown of the projects, activities and
objects of expenditures proposed to be funded. cEAaIS

Savings generated over and above the requirements prescribed in Section 18 of the
General Provisions of this Act shall be made available for the Capability Building
Program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for local officials
and employees, subject to Section 40 of P.D. 1177 (Sec. 35, Book VI of E.O. No.
292). HCTaAS
Thus, assuming that there were savings from the appropriation for the Executive
Department, the Capability Building Program should have been the recipient of any
transfer thereof subject only to Section 18 61 of the 1992 GAA. The Fund should
have been the beneficiary and not the benefactor. Moreover, such savings should
have first been used to acquire equipment in furtherance of the Capability Building
Program as was the clear intent of the law. TAECaD
As regards the requirement that there be an item to be augmented, which is also a
sine qua non like the first requirement on the existence of savings, there was no
item for augmentation in the appropriation for the Office of the President at the time
of the transfers in question. Augmentation denotes that an appropriation was
determined to be deficient after the implementation of the project or activity for
which an appropriation was made, or after an evaluation of the needed resources.
To say that the existing items in the appropriation for the Office of the President
already needed augmentation as early as 31 January 1992 is putting the cart before
the horse. EDISaA
The task force spent the disallowed amount on behalf of the DILG allegedly to
implement an item of appropriation of the DILG. This evinces the fact that there was
no item in the appropriation for the Office of the President which the disallowed
amount could have augmented. AEScHa
The ad hoc 62 nature of the task force whose operations the illegally transferred
funds were supposed to finance precisely underscores the impermanence and
transitoriness of the group and its activities. Hence, the ad hoc body itself is
inconsistent with the notion that there was an existing item of appropriation which
needed to be augmented. CHcETA
The absence of any item to be augmented starkly projects the illegality of the
diversion of the funds and the profligate spending thereof. DaTHAc
With the foregoing considerations, it is clear that no valid transfer of the Fund to the
Office of the President could have occurred in this case as there was neither
allegation nor proof that the amount transferred was savings or that the transfer
was for the purpose of augmenting the item to which the transfer was made.
SAHIDc
Further, we find that the use of the transferred funds was not in accordance with the
purposes laid down by the Special Provisions of R.A. 7180. aTCADc
The Capability Building Program was established pursuant to the mandate of local
autonomy under the 1987 Constitution carried out by the Local Government Code of
1991. It was supposed to guide local communities to become self-reliant and
capable of self-governance. In order to finance the program, R.A. No. 7180 set up
the Fund explicitly declaring that it shall be used for local government and
community capability building programs, such as training and technical assistance,
with the necessary support for training materials, supplies and facilities. The Fund
was to be administered by the DILG. ASTIED
Construed flexibly in the context of the general objective of attaining local
autonomy, the stated purpose for the creation of the task force, which was to
design programs, strategize and prepare modules for an effective program for local
autonomy, would have fallen within the general intendment of the Fund. It is not

A. foods and meals. rules and regulations. ADEHTS In this case. the project director of the task force. CTIEac This evaluation was upheld by the COA itself also on both points. It bears stressing that the mere appropriation of public funds for a purpose other than that authorized by law such as the subject transfer of funds from DILG to the Office of the Executive Secretary to defray the salaries of office personnel. Therefore. Mendoza. strategize and prepare modules in furtherance of local autonomy using the Fund. is already a violation of law. 7180. 7180 and Section 37 of P. However. office rentals. 63 There is also no evidence to the effect that the amount taken from the Fund was actually spent for the task force's avowed objectives or that the purpose of the task force came to fruition.D. There is no indication at all whether the task force was actually able to design programs. viz: Trust funds shall not be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in fulfillment of the purpose for which the trust was created or funds received. (Underscoring supplied) . 7180 that the capability building program fund shall be used for local government and community capability building programs. Expenditures funded from the capability building program are subject to compliance of the restrictions/conditions embodied in the special provisions of R. for petitioners to loosely claim that the amount was used for a public purpose or that it was used to advance local autonomy.A. this Commission finds no legal justification to deviate from the stand taken by the DILG Auditor. however.enough. Mendoza in his personal capacity and on his own authority. foods and meals. it was categorically different from the purpose for which the fund was created. Thus. what its functions were and who composed it. Atty. projects and programs shall be available solely for the specific purpose for which these were appropriated. or at least to have been acting under the authority of either office. (Underscoring supplied) It cannot also be validly argued that this case involves a prejudicial issue that necessitates prior determination by the courts. of P. Section 84. 2. It said: Reviewing the grounds of this motion for reconsideration. AcCTaD What is apparent from the records is that the amount in question was spent to "defray salaries of personnel. The proposal to create the task force was initiated by Atty. 1177 also provides: cADaIH All money appropriated for functions. office supplies. No." 64 The audit conducted by the DILG Auditor covered both the invalidity of the transfer of funds and the illegality of the use thereof. etc. It is imperative for them to show that the questioned amount was used directly in fulfillment of the purpose for which the Fund was created. it is clearly stated in the special provisions of the DILG Appropriations of R. rentals. The Department Auditor concluded that the questioned amount was not used for the purposes enumerated in the Special Provisions of R. etc. par.D. activities. supplies. Appellants postulate that the transfer of funds was for a public purpose. the transfer and expenditure of subject fund to the Office of the Executive Secretary has completely abandoned the reason or purpose for which the fund was established. and upon authorization of the legislative body or head of any other agency of the government having control thereof and subject to pertinent budget law.A. does not even appear to have been an officer or employee of or connected in any capacity to either the DILG or the Office of the President. 1445 provides. there is no evidence on record as to how the task force was created.

the case of Binamira vs. With all the more reason should this rule hold when.D. — Expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefor. 103 of P. 68 Sec. findings which have been affirmed and reaffirmed along the administrative hierarchy are generally conclusive on the courts. The constitutional guarantee of due process of law was strictly observed as the grounds for the disallowance were specifically enumerated in the 3rd Indorsement dated May 25. 103. Appellants contend that pursuant to the aforementioned case. 1992 to the FMS Director. DTAcIa Section 19 of the Manual of Certificate of Settlement and Balances states: 19. Garrucho for reinstatement to the Office of the General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority from which he claims to have been removed without cause in violation of his security of tenure.1 The liability of public officers and other persons for audit disallowances shall be determined on the basis of: (a) the nature of the disallowance. (c) the extent of their participation or involvement in the disallowed transaction. 1445 provides: CaEIST Sec. AaDSTH Lastly. the findings of respondent Razon have been affirmed and reaffirmed along the administrative hierarchy. 65 The fact that the audit was conducted by the DILG Auditor and not by the Auditor of the Office of the President is inconsequential because the findings and conclusion of the DILG Auditor were passed upon and upheld by the COA itself. General liability for unlawful expenditures. this Commission has the sole jurisdiction to determine whether or not the disbursement is in the first place legal and proper. Necessarily. Domingo. The following are illustrative examples: HScDIC .Appellants cannot dispute the fact that they were duly informed of the nature and cause of the alleged infraction. As to the other claims raised by petitioners. the transfer of funds from the DILG to the Office of the Executive Secretary was performed and promulgated in the regular course of business and is presumptively the act of the Chief Executive. We held: With these substantial findings. We sustained the COA reiterating that in this jurisdiction. No. (b) the duties. courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies which are entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. suffice it to state that in this jurisdiction. cDSaEH In Olaguer v. Binamira against then Secretary of Tourism Peter D. for audit purposes. 67 The ineluctable conclusion is that petitioners should be held personally liable for the disallowed disbursement by virtue of their position as public officials held accountable for public funds. 66 the COA affirmed the ruling of the Resident Auditor for the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation disallowing in audit the latter's disbursements for the purchase of a parcel of land under the Community Mortgage Program. This argument cannot prevail because what is disputed in the instant case is the expenditure of public funds which is subject to audit by this Commission as constitutionally mandated. and (d) the amount of losses or damages suffered by the government thereby. as in the instant case. responsibilities or obligations of the officers/persons concerned. unless disapproved or reprobated. Ramon P. Garrucho cited by the appellants refers to a petition for quo warranto filed by Mr. DILG. we affirm the ruling of respondent Commission on Audit.

TaDSCA xxx xxx xxx 19.3Public officers who approve or authorize transactions involving the expenditure of government funds and uses of government properties shall be liable for all losses arising out of their negligence or failure to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family. we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in rendering the assailed Decision. 5. Rollo. Supra note 3 at 23-26. id. Chief Accountant. at 128-129. Ynares-Santiago. i. Memorandum of the COA dated 22 May 2002. Petitioners' Memorandum dated 28 June 2002. at 143-153. Id. Their participation. Rollo. Barata and Agbayani. the instant petition is DISMISSED and the assailed Decision of the Commission on Audit is AFFIRMED. Regala. JJ. 4. 208. 1st Indorsement dated 16 September 1994.. Chairman Celso D. ChicoNazario. Jr. Olaguer v. Velasco. respectively.2 The liability for audit charges shall be measured by the individual participation or involvement of persons in the charged transaction.R.J. at the time of the disallowed transfers. 1987 CONST. 20 June 2001. at 86-95. Rollo. 12. Domingo. at 66-75.. Id. Department Auditor. No pronouncement as to costs. Annex "B" of the petition. Id. 359 SCRA 78. DCcTHa In view of the foregoing. 10. and Chief of the Management Division. at 123-124. Supra note 6. cCaIET Puno. TcEaDS 6. ATCEIc 11. at 212. EDHCSI SO ORDERED. 22. 7. 2 (1) and (2). signed by Danilo M. Id. pp. COA Records. pp. Leonardo-de Castro and Brion. Carpio-Morales. under-assessment. No. Memorandum of the OSG dated 6 July 2005. assent and approval were indispensable to the consummation of the illegal transfer of funds and render them accountable therefor. at 211.e.xxx xxx xxx 19. Id. 9. Id. IX. Annex "D". Carpio. aAHTDS 16. G. Annex "B-1". id. 15-27. Azcuna. at 23-24. p. 14. were all responsible officers of the DILG being then the Department's Secretary. Espiritu and Sofronio B. Nachura. Footnotes 1. 133-141. Undersecretary. 15. 8. C. Corona voted in favor of the Decision). concur. Id. at 167-175. Dissenting Opinion dated 6 September 1996 signed by Commissioner Sofronio B. Austria-Martinez." Petitioners Sarino. and under-collection thereof.. 3. Ursal. Reyes. p. The constitutional body should even be lauded for its commitment in ensuring that public funds are not spent in a manner not strictly within the intendment of the law. Quisumbing. 13. . Gangan wrote the decision with Commissioners Rogelio B. Rodriguez. Sec. cCHITA WHEREFORE. Memorandum of the OSG dated 17 May 2002. State Auditor IV. Annex "A" of the petition. Art. Director. Rollo. Ursal signing. Sanchez. public officers whose duties require the appraisal/assessment/collection of government revenues and receipts shall be liable for under-appraisal.1. 2. Annex "C". Corona (I certify that J. 109666.

Id. preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto. or instrumentalities. including government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters. 81188. COA. at 198. Id. 28 July 1988. Id. excessive. General Provisions. 22. 168-174. 27. No. and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations. the government. Id. Supra note 1 citing Dingcong v. and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of.R. 29. Inc. 92585. Sambeli v. p. extravagant or unconscionable expenditures. It shall keep the general accounts of the government and. No. Guingona.R. Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. 8 May 1992. et al. [Art. COA. at 259. Id. 32. at 228-240. or uses of government funds and properties.R. Vol. 24. owned or held in trust by. 19. G. and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity. Cuerdo v. 1988. HCDaAS 31. from or through the government. Caltex Philippines v. audit. 21 June 2005. 2 (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power. 162 SCRA 782 (1988). (b) autonomous state colleges and universities. including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular. G. COA.R. Danville Maritime. 118. and expenditures or uses of funds and property. IX — Constitutional Commissions] 1987 Constitution. 37. 113105. October 27. subject to the limitations in this article. or pertaining to. 30. authority and duty to examine. No. agencies. 25. Vol. including temporary or special pre-audit. COA. establish the techniques and methods required therefor. G. 111. 38. Province of Isabela. G. citing Tagum Doctors Enterprises v. No. which are required by law or the law granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. 226 SCRA 55 (1993). where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate. v. RECORD OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION. p. Id.. 28.. . 23. Supra note 2. citing Mangubat v.17. L-33892. 218 SCRA 203. G. Id. at 197-198. Id. 7180. for such period as may be provided by law. 34. 18.R. 29 January 1993. G. COA. National Housing Corporation v. 16. 305 SCRA 512. at 544. to define the scope of its audit and examination. Vol. Two. commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal autonomy under this constitution. 35. Rollo (unpaginated). aCIHAD 36. I. at 184-203. 20. TSN. (c) other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. 21 June 2005. 175 SCRA 701 (1989). No. TSN. 29 March 1999. L-84592. 255-274. 30 August 1988. de Castro. 101976. Gregorio Apsay. or any of its subdivisions. and on a post-audit basis (a) constitutional bodies. Reyes v. R. (2) The Commission shall have exclusive authority. unnecessary. at 259-274. Id. Rollo.A. 33. directly or indirectly. as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. No.R. Jr. pp. 19 August 1994. at 528. Sec. However. the commission may adopt such measures. ESHAcI 21. pp. 92279. 18 June 1992. 125129. COA. No. No. II. cIHCST 26. 189. No. Sec.

40. pp. 55. Sec. Title 2. ACcTDS 61. Supra note 2. The great bulk of the appropriated money is remitted by the DBM to the agencies in March and April following the collection of income taxes. April. bonus and retirement and terminal leave benefits in the order listed. I. Id. 60. Priority in the Use of Savings. 155(a). Government Accounting and Auditing Manual. VI. TSN. 1992 GAA. At p. respectively. 47. 29(1). 25(4). Id. General Provisions. 64. 21 June 2005. issued a memorandum addressed to Undersecretary Leonor de Jesus requesting that the additional amount of P300. Each fiscal year is divided into four quarterly allotment periods beginning. See Records. Alba. BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY. Hiram Mendoza. 62. HDIaET 56. 6th ed. 34-40. LATIN WORDS & PHRASES FOR LAWYERS. Book III. Project Director of the ad hoc task force requested replenishment of the initial transfer in the amount of P300. 1006575 Madison Avenue. Title 3. No. Book III. there is no proof that Undersecretary de Jesus approved Mr. Vol.A. 528. on the first day of January. N. 45. Vol. 1. 25(6). 67. 148 SCRA 208.00 be charged to the Fund. 1. 1987 CONST. I. 74. 10022. Vol. R. DaEATc 66. 63. The Latin words mean "for a particular or special purpose". 155(b). 54. 42. 27 February 1987. 1st Indorsement dated 16 September 1994. Art.39. 1992 GAA.Y. EIaDHS 41. 48. supra. Sec. 25-29. Fiscal Management and Budget Office. Government Accounting and Auditing Manual. Ordoñez. Government Accounting and Auditing Manual. 59. Government Accounting and Auditing Manual. . According to Mrs. 44. Sec. Sec. 57. pp. 50. 7663. Atty. Title 6. 49. July and October. TSN. Inc. Upon Deputy Executive Secretary Dionisio dela Serna request for approval. 146. 3. 7180. 21 June 2005. 21 June 2005. 7645 and Republic Act No. at 89-90. Art. EAICTS 51. Republic Act No. 281284. Book III. 23. Vol. CTaIHE 46. VI. Art. Barata's proposal. Book III. Title 3. 197-200. 58.000. FMS Director. New York.00 allegedly in anticipation of additional legal and technical personnel. Published for Law and Business Publications. Title XIII (A). Secretary Cesar Sarino directed the Financial Management Service (FMS) to process progress payments. 21 June 2005. Sec. TSN. L-71977. Supreme Court. Government Accounting and Auditing Manual. Note that on 17 February 1992. USA (1980) p.. However. Supra note 4. 18. No. 52. 65. COA Decision No. Barata. p. respectively. 215. 96-654 dated 21 November 1996. Title 5. [Sec. Section 18 of the General Provision of the 1992 GAA referred to provides: Sec. pp. Consequently.000. Mr. pp. 53. Chief. Demetria v. Rafael D. II. Book III. Corazon M. In the use of savings priority shall be given to the augmentation of the amounts set aside for salary standardization. General Provisions. 1987 CONST. Sec. Art. VI. 43. Art. 1987 CONST. TSN.

It must be assumed that the members of the Commission in Division or en banc are sworn to uphold and will obey the Constitution. 2000. Perhaps what was wrong in the order was the reference to the memorandum of the two commissioners that was not necessary and was a superfluity. On June 14.R. postponed the promulgation. recommended the promulgation of the subject resolution on the ground that the aggrieved party can challenge it through a Motion for Reconsideration before the Commission en banc or through a certiorari case before the Supreme Court. It cannot be assumed that the Comelec will promulgate a void resolution and violate the Constitution and the law. Ambil interposed the instant petition. The Comelec. through Commissioner Julio F. All the members of the Division were incumbent Commissioners of the Comelec and had authority to decide the case in the Division. Consequently. 98355. Petitioner failed to exhaust adequate administrative remedies available before the COMELEC. First Division. Commissioner Luzviminda G. To such proposed ponencia.68. the Comelec. The result was in favor of Ramirez who was declared as winner. COA. Commissioner Japal M. ------------------------------------------------------------------SYNOPSIS Ruperto A. 2000. The Court dismissed the petition for prematurity. On March 31. acting on the said motion. Tancangco and the new Commissioner. issued an order setting the promulgation of the resolution on June 20. during the May 11. On February 28. Jr. Ramirez were candidates for the position of Governor in Eastern Samar. the instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with a motion for reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition. and Jose T. Tancangco did not indicate her vote at first because she wished to see both positions. 2000. . the Comelec. Commissioner Julio F. except in the mind of suspicious parties. Jr. No. Commissioner Guiani retired from the service. 2000. First Division. Osmeña v. as the duly elected Governor. G. What appeared to be patently null and void is the so-called Guiani resolution if it is the one to be promulgated. Ambil. Ambil filed a motion to cancel promulgation challenging the validity of the purported Guiani resolution. the filing of the instant petition before this Court was premature. Desamito dissented. whose final decision is what is reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court. First Division. while Commissioner Luzviminda G. There is nothing irregular about the order of promulgation of the resolution in the case. 1998 elections. Ramirez filed with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) an election protest challenging the results of the said election. Guiani prepared and signed a proposed resolution in the case. petitioner Ambil and Ramirez received a purported resolution promulgated on February 14. Without waiting for the said date. 2 March 1994. On or about February 24. On February 15. or excessus in linguae. Ambil. The case was assigned to the First Division. 2000. 2000. On January 27. before she will make a final decision. First Division. issued an order setting the promulgation of the resolution of their case. 2000. Javier. 2000. The exceptions do not apply to election cases where a motion for reconsideration is mandatory by Constitutional fiat to elevate the case to the Comelec en banc. 2000. Desamito. Rufino S. the Comelec. Moreover. if any. declared the said resolution as a useless scrap of paper which should be ignored by the parties as there was no promulgation that took place on the said Resolution. On June 15. The Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed Ruperto A.

. ID. The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari. provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc. ORDER. ID. Eastern Samar. — [D]ecision. OR ANY PLAIN. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. or any plain.. Admittedly." This decision must be a final decision or resolution of the Comelec en banc. DECISION.. 5. as amended.. rulings and decisions of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. ID. POLITICAL LAW. REQUIRES THAT THERE BE NO APPEAL. 3. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. order or ruling of the Comelec en banc may be elevated to the Supreme Court is by the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court. ID. ELECTION LAW. NOT COMPLIED IN CASE AT BAR. SPEEDY AND ADEQUATE REMEDY IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF LAW. CERTIORARI. now expressly provided in Rule 64." "We have interpreted this provision to mean final orders. ID. the Rules of Procedure of the Comelec provide that a decision of a division may be raised to the en banc via a motion for reconsideration. Failure to abide by this procedural requirement constitutes a ground for dismissal of the petition. — [T]he power of the Supreme Court to review decisions of the Comelec is prescribed in the Constitution. 1987 Constitution provides as follows: "Section 3. order.SYLLABUS 1. The pre-requisite filing of a motion for reconsideration is mandatory. ID. as amended. including pre-proclamation controversies. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions. brief. It is within the original jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections in division. ORDER OR RULING OF THE COMELEC EN BANC MAY BE ELEVATED TO THE SUPREME COURT. Similarly. — The mode by which a decision. an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the Commission on Elections. SUPREME COURT HAS NO POWER TO REVIEW INTERLOCUTORY ORDER OR EVEN FINAL RESOLUTION OF A DIVISION OF THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC). A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading... ID. 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.. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division. ID. REMEDIAL LAW. any decision. — Rule 65. petitioner did not ask for a reconsideration of the division's resolution or final . order or resolution of a division of the Comelec must be reviewed by the Comelec en banc via a motion for reconsideration before the final en banc decision may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari. and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases.. Section 3. as follows: "Section 7.. COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. ID. requires that there be no appeal. Section 1. certainly not an interlocutory order of a division. ID. Unless otherwise provided by this constitution or by law.. OR RESOLUTION OF THE COMELEC IN DIVISION MUST BE REVIEWED BY THE COMELEC EN BANC BEFORE THE FINAL EN BANC DECISION MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE SUPREME COURT. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 4. MODE BY WHICH A DECISION. not of a division. 2. A motion for reconsideration is a plain and adequate remedy provided by law. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS. Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. Article IX-C. or memorandum required by the rules of the commission or by the commission itself. — The case at bar is an election protest involving the position of Governor.

2000 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. whose final decision is what is reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court. ID. RULE 3 OF THE COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE CAN BE ELEVATED TO THE SUPREME COURT. the exceptions do not apply to election cases where a motion for reconsideration is mandatory by Constitutional fiat to elevate the case to the Comelec en banc." 8. In truth. . COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. There is nothing irregular about the order of promulgation of the resolution in the case. We . SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION. Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. However. may the Commission on Elections in division admit an answer with counter-protest after the period to file the same has expired? The Comelec First Division admitted the answer with counterprotest of the respondent. that "in a situation such as this where the Commission on Elections in division committed grave abuse of discretion or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing interlocutory orders relative to an action pending before it and the controversy did not fall under any of the instances mentioned in Section 2. All the members of the Division were incumbent Commissioners of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and had authority to decide the case in the Division. POLITICAL LAW. EaIcAS 6. Such important fact is not present in the case at bar. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. except in the mind of suspicious parties. which was still scheduled on June 20. The instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with a motion for reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition. ID. Hence. NOT APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR. a party to an election case within the jurisdiction of the Comelec in division can not dispense with the filing of a motion for reconsideration of a decision.. the remedy of the aggrieved party is not to refer the controversy to the Commission en banc as this is not permissible under its present rules but to elevate it to this Court via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. — We are aware of the ruling in Kho v. which is a mere notice of the promulgation of the resolution in EPC Case No. 7. .. KHO VS. In fact. . resolution or final order of the Division of the Commission on Elections because the case would not reach the Comelec en banc without such motion for reconsideration having been filed and resolved by the Division. CERTIORARI. The Supreme Court declared such order void for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. there was really no resolution or decision to speak of because there was yet no promulgation. 98-29. The issue therein is.decision. denied the prayer of petitioner for the elevation of the case to en banc because the orders of admission were mere interlocutory orders. Commission on Elections. 2000. What appears to be patently null and void is the so-called Guiani resolution if it is the one to be promulgated. REMEDIAL LAW. First Division. We must emphasize that what is questioned here is the order dated June 15. — [T]he Kho case has no application to the case at bar. an important moiety in the Kho case was not mentioned in the dissent. the aggrieved party had no choice but to seek recourse in the Supreme Court. or excessus in linguae. Perhaps what was wrong in the order was the reference to the memorandum of the two commissioners that was not necessary and was a superfluity. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION PRIOR TO THE FILING OF THE PETITION IS MANDATORY IN ELECTION CASES.. It is that the Comelec. ID. ELECTION LAW.. ID. — Under the existing Constitutional scheme. Petitioner went directly to the Supreme Court from an order of "promulgation of the Resolution of this case" by the First Division of the Comelec. RESOLUTION OF COMELEC IN DIVISION WHICH DOES NOT FALL UNDER SECTION 2.

Much more could he be the ponente of the resolution or decision. Accordingly. ID. in Division or en banc is promulgated on a date previously fixed. before she made her final decision. the Guiani resolution is not at issue in the case at bar. before a final decision or resolution could be promulgated. Clerk of the First Division.. RESOLUTION NOT PROMULGATED IS DEEMED VACATED UPON RETIREMENT OF THE COMMISSIONER WHO PREPARED IT. FINAL DECISION OR RESOLUTION OF THE COMELEC IS PROMULGATED ON A DATE PREVIOUSLY FIXED. the ponente retired and a new commissioner appointed. We rule that the so-called Guiani resolution is void for the following reasons: First: A final decision or resolution becomes binding only after it is promulgated and not before.. A PARTY COULD SEEK RECONSIDERATION OF A PATENTLY VOID RESOLUTION. 10. First Division. CASE AT BAR. Moreover. Third: By an order dated February 28. No one knows the contents of the sealed envelope containing the resolution to be promulgated on June 20. his vote was automatically invalidated. Before that resolution or decision is so signed and promulgated.. — It is jurisprudentially recognized that at any time before promulgation of a decision or resolution. of which notice shall be served in advance upon the parties or their attorneys personally or by registered mail or by telegram. ID. which was February 14. ID.. EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.. but when he vacated his office without the final decision or resolution having been promulgated. simply because it has not been promulgated. Second: Atty. 9. Fourth: It is unlikely that Commissioner Tancangco affixed her signature on the Guiani resolution. declaring respondent Jose T. On the date that it was purportedly promulgated. denied the release or promulgation of the Guiani resolution. the Comelec. if any. We must assume that the members of the Commission in Division or en banc are sworn to uphold and will obey the Constitution. The resolution or decision of the Division must be signed by a majority of its members and duly promulgated. It is presumed that he had taken the position of his predecessor because he co-signed the request for the promulgation of the Guiani resolution. Jr. ID. disclaimed the "alleged thirteen (13) page resolution" for being "a useless scrap of paper which should be ignored by the parties" there being no promulgation of the resolution in the case.. ID. the Division issued an order where Commissioner Tancangco expressed her reservations and stated that she wished to see both positions. .. It can not be promulgated anymore for all legal intents and purposes. ID. — It may be true that the parties received a copy of what purports to be the Guiani resolution. Ramirez the victor in the case. one who is no longer a member of the Commission at the time the final decision or resolution is promulgated cannot validly take part in that resolution or decision... . 12.. 2000. 11. And the incoming commissioner has decided to take part in the resolution of the case. Commission on Elections. 2000. 2000. — A final decision or resolution of the Comelec. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. in this case. Zacarias C. POLITICAL LAW. there is no valid resolution or decision to speak of. ID. the ponente may change his mind. ID. 2000. Such Guiani resolution is admitted by the parties and considered by the Commission on Elections as void. — If petitioner were afraid that what would be promulgated by the . Consequently. ID.. Commissioner Guiani might have signed a draft ponencia prior to his retirement from office. The Solicitor General submitted an advice that the same resolution is deemed vacated by the retirement of Commissioner Guiani on February 15. . ID. Zaragoza. DECISION OR RESOLUTION OF THE COMELEC MAY BE CHANGED ANY TIME BEFORE PROMULGATION.cannot assume that the Comelec will promulgate a void resolution and violate the Constitution and the law.

this Court has held consistently that "before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court. Consequently. ID.Division was the Guiani resolution. Hence.. was not promulgated and the signature thereon of the clerk of court was a forgery.. a copy of which he received by mail. ID. — This doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. availment of administrative remedy entails lesser expenses and provides for a speedier disposition of controversies. However. it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processes afforded him. ID. (2) where judicial intervention is urgent. petitioner could seek reconsideration of such patently void resolution and thereby the case would be elevated to the Commission en banc. ID. — In a long line of cases.. Considering the factual circumstances. we are not amiss to reiterate that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies as tested by a battery of cases is not an ironclad rule. ID. (5) failure of a high government official from whom relief is sought to act on the matter. (5) when there is irreparable injury. 16. and (6) when the issue for non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot. RATIONALE.. unless the party who avails of the latter can convincingly show that his case falls under any of the following exceptions to the rule: (1) when the question is purely legal. ID. and the court that embarks upon it is without rudder or compass. for one thing. 13. EXCEPTIONS. (8) when it would amount to a . MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS A PRE-REQUISITE TO THE VIABILITY OF A SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI. Petitioner failed to exhaust adequate administrative remedies available before the COMELEC. as heretofore stated.. — "This doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not without its practical and legal reasons.. ID. the filing of the instant petition before this Court was premature. Hence. ELUCIDATED. ID. (3) where its application may cause great and irreparable damage.. (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question. ID.. (6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the president bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter. "The sea of suspicion has no shore. (4) where the controverted acts violate due process.. if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction. EXCEPTIONS TO THE APPLICATION THEREOF. we speculated ex mero motu that the Comelec would promulgate a void resolution. it is disregarded (1) when there is a violation of due process. ID. It is no less true to state that the courts of justice for reasons of comity and convenience will shy away from a dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed and complied with so as to give the administrative agency concerned every opportunity to correct its error and to dispose of the case.. which.." 14.. ID. ID." We must not speculate that the Comelec would still promulgate a void resolution despite knowledge that it is invalid or void ab initio. (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable. (4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned." 15. (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. — "This is the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. The premature invocation of court's intervention is fatal to one's cause of action. then such remedy should be exhausted first before the court's judicial power can be sought. A motion for reconsideration then is a pre-requisite to the viability of a special civil action for certiorari.

JR. ID. ELECTION LAW." 17. — Like the Kho case. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. J." TIcEDC DE LEON. CASE AT BAR. as heretofore stated. Neither is it shown that the present controversy is a case where a division is not authorized to act nor a situation wherein the members of the First Division unanimously voted to refer the subject case to the Commission en banc. "Failure to exhaust administrative remedies is fatal to a party's cause of action and a dismissal based on that ground is tantamount to a dismissal based on lack of cause of action. ID.. speedy and adequate remedy. this Court declared that "[I]n a situation where the Commission on Elections in division commits grave abuse of discretion or acts without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing interlocutory orders relative to an action pending before it and the controversy does not fall under any of the instances mentioned in Section 2. KHO VS. dissenting opinion: 1. — The administrative authorities must be given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum. ID. ID. COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. it does not appear that the case at bench is one of the cases specifically provided under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure in which the Commission may sit en banc. Only after administrative remedies are exhausted may judicial recourse be allowed. (10) when the rule does not provide a plain." 2... POLITICAL LAW. as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction. (h) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the .. Hence. cannot be the proper forum under which the matter concerning the assailed order can be referred to. (d) where. (9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings. Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable. the exceptions do not apply to an election case within the jurisdiction of the Comelec in Division. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION.. APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR. relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable. EXCEPTIONS. in a criminal case. (f) where. REMEDIAL LAW. or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court. This case does not fall under any of the exceptions and indeed.. Clearly. ID. the petition at bar must be dismissed for prematurity. ID.. ID. a motion for reconsideration would be useless. Commission on Elections. (e) where the petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief. DO NOT APPLY TO AN ELECTION CASE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMELEC IN DIVISION... ID. — [I]n the 1997 case of Kho v. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION MUST FIRST BE FILED. the Commission en banc... INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS ISSUED BY THE COMELEC IN DIVISION WHICH DO NOT FALL UNDER SECTION 2.nullification of a claim. RULE 3 OF THE COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE CAN BE ELEVATED TO THE SUPREME COURT. under the circumstances shown above. 3. CERTIORARI. the remedy of the aggrieved party is NOT to refer the controversy to the Commission en banc but to elevate it to the Supreme Court via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Among these are: (a) where the order is a patent nullity. and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process. ID. under the circumstances. (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court. — [T]here are settled exceptions to the rule that a motion for reconsideration must first be filed before a certiorari petition may be instituted.

has vacated his office at the time of the promulgation of a decision or resolution. The vote cast by a member of the Court after the deliberation is always understood to be subject to confirmation at the time he has to sign the decision that is to be promulgated. That vote is of no value if it is not thus confirmed by the Justice casting it. one who is no longer a member of this Court at the time a decision is signed and promulgated. Moran. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS NOT NECESSARY WHEN THERE IS GREAT NECESSITY TO RESOLVE AN ELECTION CASE LIKE WHEN ANOTHER ELECTION IS FAST APPROACHING. who had signed or registered his vote.. BERNAL.. CANNOT BE RELIED UPON SINCE IT IS NOT A FINAL DECISION. POLITICAL LAW. remain in the breasts of the Justices. 7. ELECTION LAW. ID. MUST BE SIGNED AND PROMULGATED DURING THE INCUMBENCY OF THE JUDGE WHO SIGNED IT. . speaking through Chief Justice Manuel V.. ID. TO BE VALID. his vote is automatically withdrawn or cancelled. JUDGMENT. It is the subject of a petition for certiorari pending resolution before this Court. DUMAYAS VS. Thus. The purpose of this practice is apparent. RATIONALE. can and do commit errors and in the case at bench they in fact gravely abused their discretion for they violated the elementary doctrine that for a judgment to be valid. CASE AT BAR. REMEDIAL LAW. — A thorough analysis of the challenged actions of the COMELEC First Division reveals clearly that the instant petition falls under the exception for not only is there a great necessity to resolve the election protest case with utmost dispatch inasmuch as another election is fast approaching but.. ID. but in no way is that decision binding unless and until duly signed and promulgated. Commissioners Tancangco and Javier erroneously contended that "what is controlling is the date the ponente signed the questioned Resolution as what we did in promulgating the case of Dumayas v. As above indicated. the challenged order is a patent nullity. ID. ID. . Joint Memorandum clearly dictated that the ponencia of retired Commissioner Guiani is the very resolution to be promulgated. when a judge or a member of the collegiate court.petitioner had no opportunity to object. before a decision is signed and promulgated. and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. there is no decision of the Court to speak of. Bernal (SPC 98-137). COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. stated: "Accordingly. even after they have cast their votes. wish to preserve their freedom of action till the last moment when they have to sign the decision." The said case of Dumayas v. binding upon no one. . wherein this Court.. To sustain the promulgation of the Guiani resolution. — The . . they may serve for determining what the opinion of the majority provisionally is and for designating a member to prepare the decision of the Court. 6. In consonance with this practice. — The COMELEC Commissioners . in addition. — The rationale for this rule is well-elucidated in the landmark case of Araneta v. ID. Of course. Before that decision is so signed and promulgated. cannot validly take part in that decision. cIaCTS 4. all opinions and conclusions stated during and after the deliberation of the Court." .. Members of this Court. Dinglasan. the true decision of the Court is the decision signed by the Justices and duly promulgated. it must be signed and promulgated during the incumbency of the judge who signed it. not even upon the Justices themselves. 5. so that they may take full advantage of what they may believe to be the best fruit of their most mature reflection and deliberation. Bernal however cannot be relied upon by the Commissioners since the same is not a final decision.

this Court further ratiocinated: ".. . and thus. The ponente in a collegiate court should remain a member thereof at the time his ponencia is promulgated because. and. — Applying the foregoing principle to the case at bench." . this Court defers promulgation of a decision written by a member on official leave until his return. he ceased to be a commissioner of the COMELEC where he sat in judgment. APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR. The author is afforded an opportunity to suggest to the rest of the Court any change he may want to make in his ponencia before it is officially pronounced. however. we hold that the questioned ponencia died with the ponente and consequently could not be promulgated thereafter. This was what happened in the Araneta case. ANY TIME BEFORE PROMULGATION. when Commissioner Guiani retired on February 15.. cHaDIA 9. Justice Perfecto was not the ponente. ID. It is important that he be incumbent at the time the decision is promulgated. 2000. ID.. It is on this justification that. ID. no less importantly. If at the time of the promulgation. Otherwise stated.e. A promulgation signifies that on the date it was made the judge or judges who signed the decision continued to support it. ID. the ponencia may be changed by the ponente.. he may still withdraw his concurrence and register a qualification or dissent as long as the decision has not yet been promulgated. THE PONENCIA MAY BE CHANGED BY THE PONENTE. his vote is automatically withdrawn. where Justice Gregorio Perfecto's signature on the original decision was disregarded when he died before it could be promulgated. he cannot exercise this privilege if he is no longer in office. a judge or a member of a collegiate court has already vacated his office. to write. if any member of the court who may have already signed it so desires. he had lost entirely his power and legal authority to act on all cases assigned to him prior to his retirement. sign and promulgate the decision thereon. his recommendations are accepted in recognition of the special study he is supposed to have made of the case after his designation as its ponente. The decision remained valid. because it was still supported by a majority of the Supreme Court then. [A]t any time before promulgation. Applying the above rules. he has the privilege of changing his opinion for the consideration of his colleagues. Intermediate Appellate Court. ID. Indeed.. Obviously.. in the event he may want to make last-minute changes therein with the approval of the other members. i. . as a matter of practice (and of courtesy). — In the case of Consolidated Bank and Trust Corporation v. at any time before that. THE PONENCIA DIED WITH THE PONENTE. As a rule.8. also "retired" and terminated are all his authority to decide any case.