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ADMINITRATIVE LAW & PUBLIC OFFICERS

81. Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary,


G.R. No. 196425, July 24, 2012
Case Title : PROSPERO A. PICHAY, JR., petitioner, vs.
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FOR LEGAL
AFFAIRSINVESTIGATIVE and ADJUDICATORY DIVISION,
HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., in his capacity as Executive
Secretary, and HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, in his capacity as
Secretary of Finance, and as an ex officio member of the
Monetary Board, respondents.
Case Nature : SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court.
Certiorari and Prohibition.
Syllabi Class : Administrative Proceedings|Due Process
Administrative Law; Presidency; Reorganizations; Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O.
No. 292); Section 31 of Executive Order No. 292 (E.O. 292), otherwise known as the
Administrative Code of 1987, vests in the President the continuing authority to
reorganize the offices under him in order to achieve simplicity, economy and
efficiency.Section 31 of Executive Order No. 292 (E.O. 292), otherwise known as
the Administrative Code of 1987, vests in the President the continuing authority to
reorganize the offices under him in order to achieve simplicity, economy and
efficiency. E.O. 292 sanctions the following actions undertaken for such purpose: (1)
Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper, including
the immediate Offices, the Presidential Special Assistants/Advisers System and the
Common Staff Support System, by abolishing, consolidating, or merging units
thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another; (2) Transfer any function
under the Office of the President to any other Department or Agency as well as
transfer functions to the Office of the President from other Departments and
Agencies; and (3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other
Department or Agency as well as transfer agencies to the Office of the President
from other departments or agencies.
Same; Same; Same; Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC); The abolition of the
Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and the transfer of its functions to a
division specially created within the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for
Legal Affairs (ODESLA) is properly within the prerogative of the President under his
continuing delegated legislative authority to reorganize his own office pursuant to
E.O. 292; Only Section 31(1) gives the President a virtual freehand in dealing with
the internal structure of the Office of the President Proper by allowing him to take
actions as extreme as abolition, consolidation or merger of units, apart from the less
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drastic move of transferring functions and offices from one unit to another.Clearly,
the abolition of the PAGC and the transfer of its functions to a division specially
created within the ODESLA is properly within the prerogative of the President under
his continuing delegated legislative authority to reorganize his own office
pursuant to E.O. 292. Generally, this authority to implement organizational changes
is limited to transferring either an office or a function from the Office of the
President to another Department or Agency, and the other way around. Only
Section 31(1) gives the President a virtual freehand in dealing with the internal
structure of the Office of the President Proper by allowing him to take actions as
extreme as abolition, consolidation or merger of units, apart from the less drastic
move of transferring functions and offices from one unit to another.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Since both the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission
(PAGC) and the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA)
belong to the Office of the President Proper, the reorganization by way of abolishing
the PAGC and transferring its functions to the ODESLA is allowable under Section 31
(1) of E.O. 292.The distinction between the allowable organizational actions under
Section 31(1) on the one hand and Section 31 (2) and (3) on the other is crucial not
only as it affects employees tenurial security but also insofar as it touches upon the
validity of the reorganization, that is, whether the executive actions undertaken fall
within the limitations prescribed under E.O. 292. When the PAGC was created under
E.O. 12, it was composed of a Chairman and two (2) Commissioners who held the
ranks of Presidential Assistant II and I, respectively, and was placed directly under
the Office of the President. On the other hand, the ODESLA, to which the functions
of the PAGC have now been transferred, is an office within the Office of the
President Proper. Since both of these offices belong to the Office of the President
Proper, the reorganization by way of abolishing the PAGC and transferring its
functions to the ODESLA is allowable under Section 31 (1) of E.O. 292.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The abolition of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission
(PAGC) did not require the creation of a new, additional and distinct office as the
duties and functions that pertained to the defunct anti-graft body were simply
transferred to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs
(ODESLA), which is an existing office within the Office of the President Proper.The
abolition of the PAGC did not require the creation of a new, additional and distinct
office as the duties and functions that pertained to the defunct anti-graft body were
simply transferred to the ODESLA, which is an existing office within the Office of the
President Proper. The reorganization required no more than a mere alteration of the
administrative structure of the ODESLA through the establishment of a third division
the Investigative and Adjudicatory Divisionthrough which ODESLA could take on
the additional functions it has been tasked to discharge under E.O. 13.
Same; Same; Same; Same; A reorganization is said to be carried out in good faith if
it is done for purposes of economy and efficiency.A valid reorganization must not
only be exercised through legitimate authority but must also be pursued in good
faith. A reorganization is said to be carried out in good faith if it is done for purposes
of economy and efficiency. It appears in this case that the streamlining of functions
within the Office of the President Proper was pursued with such purposes in mind. In
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its Whereas clauses, E.O. 13 cites as bases for the reorganization the policy dictates
of eradicating corruption in the government and promoting economy and efficiency
in the bureaucracy. Indeed, the economical effects of the reorganization is shown by
the fact that while Congress had initially appropriated P22 Million for the PAGCs
operation in the 2010 annual budget, no separate or added funding of such a
considerable amount was ever required after the transfer of the PAGC functions to
the IAD-ODESLA.
Administrative Agencies; The Investigative and Adjudicatory Division, Office of the
Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (IAD-ODESLA) is a fact-finding and
recommendatory body to the President, not having the power to settle controversies
and adjudicate cases.Under E.O. 12, the PAGC was given the authority to
investigate or hear administrative cases or complaints against all presidential
appointees in the government and to submit its report and recommendations to
the President. The IAD-ODESLA is a fact-finding and recommendatory body to the
President, not having the power to settle controversies and adjudicate cases.
Ombudsman; The Ombudsmans authority to investigate both elective and
appointive officials in the government, extensive as it may be, is by no means
exclusive. It is shared with other similarly authorized government agencies.Since
the case filed before the IAD-ODESLA is an administrative disciplinary case for grave
misconduct, petitioner may not invoke the primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman
to prevent the IAD-ODESLA from proceeding with its investigation. In any event, the
Ombudsmans authority to investigate both elective and appointive officials in the
government, extensive as it may be, is by no means exclusive. It is shared with
other similarly authorized government agencies.
Constitutional Law; Equal Protection of the Laws; The equal protection of the laws is
a guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government;
The equal protection clause, however, is not absolute but subject to reasonable
classification so that aggrupations bearing substantial distinctions may be treated
differently from each other.The equal protection of the laws is a guaranty against
any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government. It is embraced under
the due process concept and simply requires that, in the application of the law, all
persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
conferred and responsibilities imposed. The equal protection clause, however, is
not absolute but subject to reasonable classification so that aggrupations bearing
substantial distinctions may be treated differently from each other.
Administrative Law; Presidency; Having the power to remove and/or discipline
presidential appointees, the President has the corollary authority to investigate such
public officials and look into their conduct in office.Presidential appointees come
under the direct disciplining authority of the President. This proceeds from the well
settled principle that, in the absence of a contrary law, the power to remove or to
discipline is lodged in the same authority on which the power to appoint is vested.
Having the power to remove and/or discipline presidential appointees, the President
has the corollary authority to investigate such public officials and look into their
conduct in office. Petitioner is a presidential appointee occupying the high-level
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position of Chairman of the LWUA. Necessarily, he comes under the disciplinary


jurisdiction of the President, who is well within his right to order an investigation into
matters that require his informed decision.
Administrative Proceedings; Due Process; In administrative proceedings, the filing of
charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the
accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process,
which simply means having the opportunity to explain ones side.In
administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity
for the person so charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the
minimum requirements of due process, which simply means having the opportunity
to explain ones side. Hence, as long as petitioner was given the opportunity to
explain his side and present evidence, the requirements of due process are
satisfactorily complied with because what the law abhors is an absolute lack of
opportunity to be heard. The records show that petitioner was issued an Order
requiring him to submit his written explanation under oath with respect to the
charge of grave misconduct filed against him. His own failure to submit his
explanation despite notice defeats his subsequent claim of denial of due process.
[Pichay, Jr. vs. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal AffairsInvestigative and Adjudicatory Division, 677 SCRA 408(2012)]

82. Office of the Ombudsman v. Apolonio, G.R. No.


165132, March 7, 2012
Case Title : OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, petitioner, vs.
NELLIE R. APOLONIO, respondent.
Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the
decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.
Syllabi Class : Criminal Law|Technical Malversation
Administrative Law; Ombudsman; Jurisdiction; Public Officers; The Ombudsman has
the power to impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or
prosecution of a public officer or employee, in the exercise of its administrative
disciplinary authority.The Ombudsman has the power to impose the penalty of
removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution of a public officer or
employee, in the exercise of its administrative disciplinary authority. The challenge
to the Ombudsmans power to impose these penalties, on the allegation that the
Constitution only grants it recommendatory powers, had already been rejected by
this Court.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Constitutional Law; That the Constitution merely
indicated a recommendatory power in the text of Section 13(3), Article XI of the
Constitution did not deprive Congress of its plenary legislative power to vest the
Ombudsman powers beyond those stated.The conclusion reached by the Court in
Ledesma is clear: the Ombudsman has been statutorily granted the right to impose
administrative penalties on erring public officials. That the Constitution merely
indicated a recommendatory power in the text of Section 13(3), Article XI of the
Constitution did not deprive Congress of its plenary legislative power to vest the
Ombudsman powers beyond those stated.
Same; Grave Misconduct; Words and Phrases; Court defined misconduct as a
transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly,
unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer; Misconduct becomes
grave if it involves any of the additional elements of corruption, willful intent to
violate the law or to disregard established rules, which must be established by
substantial evidence.In Civil Service Commission v. Ledesma, 471 SCRA 589
(2005), the Court defined misconduct as a transgression of some established and
definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a
public officer. We further stated that misconduct becomes grave if it involves any
of the additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law or to
disregard established rules, which must be established by substantial evidence.
Otherwise, the misconduct is only simple. Therefore, [a] person charged with grave
misconduct may be held liable for simple misconduct if the misconduct does not
involve any of the additional elements to qualify the misconduct as grave.
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Criminal Law; Technical Malversation; In the absence of a law or ordinance


appropriating the public fund allegedly technically malversed for another public
purpose, an accused did not commit technical malversation as set out in Article 220
of the Revised Penal Code.We disagree with the Ombudsmans insinuations that
Dr. Apolonios acts may be considered technical malversation and, therefore,
constitute a crime. In Parungao v. Sandiganbayan, et al., 197 SCRA 173 (1991), the
Court held that in the absence of a law or ordinance appropriating the public fund
allegedly technically malversed for another public purpose, an accused did not
commit technical malversation as set out in Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code.
In that case, the Court acquitted Oscar P. Parungao (then a municipal treasurer) of
the charges of technical malversation even though he used funds allotted (by a
Department of Environment and Natural Resources circular) for the construction of a
road project and re-allocated it to the labor payroll of different barangays in the
municipality. The Court held that since the budget for the construction of the road
was not appropriated by a law or by an ordinance for that specified public purpose,
the re-allocation of the budget for use as payroll was not technical malversation.
Similarly, in this case, the budget allocation for the workshop was neither
appropriated by law nor by ordinance since DBM National Budget Circular No. 442 is
not a law or an ordinance. Even if it had been, however, it must be noted that DBM
National Budget Circular No. 442 only prescribed the amounts to be used for any
workshop, conference or seminar. It did not appropriate the specific amounts to be
used in the event in question. [Office of the Ombudsman vs. Apolonio, 667 SCRA
583(2012)]

83. Alejandrino v. Office of the Ombudsman Fact Finding


and Intelligence Bureau, G.R. No. 173121, April 3, 2013
Case Title : FRANKLIN ALEJANDRO, petitioner, vs. OFFICE
OF THE OMBUDSMAN FACT-FINDING AND INTELLIGENCE
BUREAU, represented by Atty. Maria Olivia Elena A. Roxas,
respondent.
Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the
decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.
Syllabi Class : Administrative Law|Grave Misconduct
Ombudsman; Public Officers; The Office of the Ombudsman is tasked to exercise
disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials, save only for
impeachable officers.The Office of the Ombudsman was created by no less than
the Constitution. It is tasked to exercise disciplinary authority over all elective and
appointive officials, save only for impeachable officers. While Section 21 of The
Ombudsman Act and the Local Government Code both provide for the procedure to
discipline elective officials, the seeming conflicts between the two laws have been
resolved in cases decided by this Court. In Hagad v. Gozo-Dadole, 251 SCRA 242
(1995), we pointed out that there is nothing in the Local Government Code to
indicate that it has repealed, whether expressly or impliedly, the pertinent
provisions of the Ombudsman Act. The two statutes on the specific matter in
question are not so inconsistent x x x as to compel us to only uphold one and strike
down the other. The two laws may be reconciled by understanding the primary
jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Sandiganbayan; Jurisdiction; Public Officers; The Sandiganbayans jurisdiction
extends only to public officials occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27
and higher.The Sandiganbayans jurisdiction extends only to public officials
occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27 and higher. Consequently, as
we held in Office of the Ombudsman v. Rodriguez, 625 SCRA 299 (2010), any act or
omission of a public officer or employee occupying a salary grade lower than 27 is
within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and of the regular courts or
other investigative agencies.
Administrative Cases; In administrative cases involving the concurrent jurisdiction of
two or more disciplining authorities, the body where the complaint is filed first, and
which opts to take cognizance of the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of
other tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction.In administrative cases involving
the concurrent jurisdiction of two or more disciplining authorities, the body where
the complaint is filed first, and which opts to take cognizance of the case, acquires
jurisdiction to the exclusion of other tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction. In
this case, the petitioner is a Barangay Chairman, occupying a position
corresponding to salary grade 14. Under RA 7160, the sangguniang panlungsod or
sangguniang bayan has disciplinary authority over any elective barangay official, as
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follows: Section 61. Form and Filing of Administrative Complaints.A verified


complaint against any erring local elective official shall be prepared as follows:
x x x x (c) A complaint against any elective barangay official shall be filed before the
sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned whose decision shall be
final and executory. [italics supplied] Since the complaint against the petitioner was
initially filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, the Ombudsmans exercise of
jurisdiction is to the exclusion of the sangguniang bayan whose exercise of
jurisdiction is concurrent.
Ombudsman; Public Officers; Section 15 of RA 6770 reveals the manifest intent of
the lawmakers to give the Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary
authority.Section 15 of RA 6770 reveals the manifest intent of the lawmakers to
give the Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority. This
provision covers the entire range of administrative activities attendant to
administrative adjudication, including, among others, the authority to receive
complaints, conduct investigations, hold hearings in accordance with its rules of
procedure, summon witnesses and require the production of documents, place
under preventive suspension public officers and employees pending an
investigation, determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring public officers
or employees as warranted by the evidence, and, necessarily, impose the
corresponding penalty. These powers unmistakably grant the Office of the
Ombudsman the power to directly impose administrative sanctions; its power is not
merely recommendatory. We held in Office of the Ombudsman v. Apolonio, 667
SCRA 583 (2012), that: It is likewise apparent that under RA 6770, the lawmakers
intended to provide the Office of the Ombudsman with sufficient muscle to ensure
that it can effectively carry out its mandate as protector of the people against inept
and corrupt government officers and employees. The Office was granted the power
to punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. It was given
disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the government
and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies (with the exception only of
impeachable officers, members of Congress and the Judiciary). Also, it can
preventively suspend any officer under its authority pending an investigation when
the case so warrants.
Public Officers; Barangay Chairman; The maintenance of peace and order in the
community is a general function undertaken by the punong barangay.The
petitioner, as Barangay Chairman, is tasked to enforce all laws and ordinances
which are applicable within the barangay, in the same manner that the police is
bound to maintain peace and order within the community. While the petitioner has
general charge of the affairs in the barangay, the maintenance of peace and order
is largely a police matter, with police authority being predominant especially when
the police has began to act on an enforcement matter. The maintenance of peace
and order in the community is a general function undertaken by the punong
barangay. It is a task expressly conferred to the punong barangay under Section
389(b)(3) of RA 7160.
Same; Policemen; Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990
(R.A. No. 6975); Section 24 of RA 6975 (otherwise known as the Department of the
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Interior and Local Government Act of 1990), as amended, enumerates the powers
and functions of the police.The maintenance of peace and order carries both
general and specific functions on the part of the police. Section 24 of RA 6975
(otherwise known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of
1990), as amended, enumerates the powers and functions of the police. In addition
to the maintenance of peace and order, the police has the authority to
[i]nvestigate and prevent crimes, effect the arrest of criminal offenders, bring
offenders to justice and assist in their prosecution[,] and are charged with the
enforcement of laws and ordinances relative to the protection of lives and
properties. Examined side by side, police authority is superior to the punong
barangays authority in a situation where the maintenance of peace and order has
metamorphosed into crime prevention and the arrest of criminal offenders.
Administrative Law; Grave Misconduct; Misconduct is considered grave if
accompanied by corruption, a clear intent to violate the law, or a flagrant disregard
of established rules, which must all be supported by substantial evidence.
Misconduct is considered grave if accompanied by corruption, a clear intent to
violate the law, or a flagrant disregard of established rules, which must all be
supported by substantial evidence. If the misconduct does not involve any of the
additional elements to qualify the misconduct as grave, the person charged may
only be held liable for simple misconduct. Grave misconduct necessarily includes
the lesser offense of simple misconduct. Sufficient records exist to justify the
imposition of a higher penalty against the petitioner. His open interference in a
legitimate police activity and defiance of the polices authority only show his clear
intent to violate the law; in fact, he reneged on his first obligation as the grassroot
official tasked at the first level with the enforcement of the law. The photographs,
taken together with the investigation report of the Police Superintendent and the
testimonies of the witnesses, even lead to conclusions beyond interference and
defiance; the petitioner himself could have been involved in corrupt activities,
although we cannot make this conclusive finding at this point. We make this
observation though as his son owns MICO whose car-wash boys were engaged in
water pilferage. What we can conclusively confirm is that the petitioner violated the
law by directly interfering with a legitimate police activity where his own son
appeared to be involved. This act qualifies the misconduct as grave. Section 52(A)
(3), Rule IV of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service
provides that the penalty for grave misconduct is dismissal from the service.
[Alijandro vs. Office of the Ombudsman Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau, 695
SCRA 35(2013)]

85. Civil Service Commission v. Cortes, G.R. No. 200103,


April 23, 2014
Case Title : CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, petitioner, vs.
MARICELLE M. CORTES, respondent.
Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the
decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.
Syllabi Class : Administrative Law|Nepotism|
Administrative Code of the Philippines
Administrative Law; Nepotism; Words and Phrases; Nepotism is defined as an
appointment issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of
consanguinity or affinity of any of the following: (1) appointing authority; (2)
recommending authority; (3) chief of the bureau or office; and (4) person exercising
immediate supervision over the appointee.Nepotism is defined as an appointment
issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity
of any of the following: (1) appointing authority; (2) recommending authority; (3)
chief of the bureau or office; and (4) person exercising immediate supervision over
the appointee. Here, it is undisputed that respondent Cortes is a relative of
Commissioner Mallari in the first degree of consanguinity, as in fact Cortes is the
daughter of Commissioner Mallari. By way of exception, the following shall not be
covered by the prohibition: (1) persons employed in a confidential capacity; (2)
teachers; (3) physicians; and (4) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In
the present case, however, the appointment of respondent Cortes as IO V in the
CHR does not fall to any of the exemptions provided by law.
Same; Same; Administrative Code of the Philippines; The purpose of Section 59 of
the Administrative Code of the Philippines on the rule against nepotism is to take
out the discretion of the appointing and recommending authority on the matter of
appointing or recommending for appointment a relative.The purpose of Section 59
on the rule against nepotism is to take out the discretion of the appointing and
recommending authority on the matter of appointing or recommending for
appointment a relative. The rule insures the objectivity of the appointing or
recommending official by preventing that objectivity from being in fact tested.
Clearly, the prohibition against nepotism is intended to apply to natural persons. It
is one pernicious evil impeding the civil service and the efficiency of its personnel.
Moreover, basic rule in statutory construction is the legal maxim that we must
interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life. To rule that
the prohibition applies only to the Commission, and not to the individual members
who compose it, will render the prohibition meaningless. Apparently, the
Commission En Banc, which is a body created by fiction of law, can never have
relatives to speak of.
Same; Same; Commissioner Mallaris abstention from voting did not cure the
nepotistic character of the appointment because the evil sought to be avoided by
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the prohibition still exists. His mere presence during the deliberation for the
appointment of Information Officer V (IO V) created an impression of influence and
cast doubt on the impartiality and neutrality of the Commission En Banc.In the
present case, respondent Cortes appointment as IO V in the CHR by the
Commission En Banc, where his father is a member, is covered by the prohibition.
Commissioner Mallaris abstention from voting did not cure the nepotistic character
of the appointment because the evil sought to be avoided by the prohibition still
exists. His mere presence during the deliberation for the appointment of IO V
created an impression of influence and cast doubt on the impartiality and neutrality
of the Commission En Banc. [Civil Service Commission vs. Cortes, 723 SCRA
609(2014)]

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86. Civil Service Commission v. Cruz, G.R. No. 187858,


August 9, 2011
Case Title : THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, petitioner,
vs. RICHARD G. CRUZ, respondent.
Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the
decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.
Syllabi Class : Civil Service Law|Back Salaries|Conditions
Civil Service Law; Suspension Pending Appeal; Back Salaries; The issue of
entitlement to back salaries, for the period of suspension pending appeal, of a
government employee who had been dismissed but was subsequently exonerated is
settled in our jurisdiction.The issue of entitlement to back salaries, for the period
of suspension pending appeal, of a government employee who had been dismissed
but was subsequently exonerated is settled in our jurisdiction. The Courts starting
point for this outcome is the no work-no pay principlepublic officials are only
entitled to compensation if they render service. We have excepted from this general
principle and awarded back salaries even for unworked days to illegally dismissed or
unjustly suspended employees based on the constitutional provision that no officer
or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause
provided by law; to deny these employees their back salaries amounts to
unwarranted punishment after they have been exonerated from the charge that led
to their dismissal or suspension.
Same; Back Salaries; Conditions; The Court crafted two conditions before an
employee may be entitled to back salaries: a) the employee must be found innocent
of the charges and b) his suspension must be unjustified.To resolve the seeming
conflict, the Court crafted two conditions before an employee may be entitled to
back salaries: a) the employee must be found innocent of the charges and b) his
suspension must be unjustified. The reasoning behind these conditions runs this
way: although an employee is considered under preventive suspension during the
pendency of a successful appeal, the law itself only authorizes preventive
suspension for a fixed period; hence, his suspension beyond this fixed period is
unjustified and must be compensated. [Civil Service Commission vs. Cruz, 655 SCRA
214(2011)]

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87. Funa v. Chairman, Civil Service Commission, G.R. No.


191672, November 25, 2014
Case Title : DENNIS A. B. FUNA, petitioner, vs. THE
CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, FRANCISCO T.
DUQUE III, and EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO R.
MENDOZA, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, respondents.
Case Nature : SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court.
Certiorari and Prohibition.
Syllabi Class : Administrative Law ; De Facto Officers ;
Words and Phrases ;
Constitutional Law; Judicial Review; Limitations of the Power of Judicial Review.Like
almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is
subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling
for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the
standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he
must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the
question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the
issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
Same; Same; The Supreme Court (SC) has exercised its power of judicial review in
cases otherwise rendered moot and academic by supervening events on the basis
of certain recognized exceptions.This Court has exercised its power of judicial
review in cases otherwise rendered moot and academic by supervening events on
the basis of certain recognized exceptions, namely: (1) there is a grave violation of
the Constitution; (2) the case involves a situation of exceptional character and is of
paramount public interest; (3) the constitutional issue raised requires the
formulation of controlling principles to guide the Bench, the Bar and the public; and
(4) the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. The situation now obtaining
definitely falls under the requirements for the review of a moot and academic case.
For the guidance of and as a restraint upon the future, the Court will not abstain
from exercising its power of judicial review, the cessation of the controversy
notwithstanding. We proceed to resolve the substantive issue concerning the
constitutionality of Duques ex officio designation as member of the Board of
Directors or Trustees of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF.
Same; Constitutional Commissions; To safeguard the independence of these
Commissions, the 1987 Constitution, among others, imposes under Section 2,
Article IX-A of the Constitution certain inhibitions and disqualifications upon the
Chairmen and members to strengthen their integrity.Section 1, Article IX-A of the
1987 Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional Commissions as
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independent. Although their respective functions are essentially executive in


nature, they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the
discharge of such functions. Each of the Constitutional Commissions conducts its
own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of
its own discretion. Its decisions, orders and rulings are subject only to review on
certiorari by the Court as provided by Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987
Constitution. To safeguard the independence of these Commissions, the 1987
Constitution, among others, imposes under Section 2, Article IX-A of the Constitution
certain inhibitions and disqualifications upon the Chairmen and members to
strengthen their integrity, to wit: (a) Holding any other office or employment during
their tenure; (b) Engaging in the practice of any profession; (c) Engaging in the
active management or control of any business which in any way may be affected by
the functions of his office; and (d) Being financially interested, directly or indirectly,
in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government,
any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned
or -controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
Administrative Law; Ex Officio; Words and Phrases; The term ex officio means from
office; by virtue of office. It refers to an authority derived from official character
merely, not expressly conferred upon the individual character, but rather annexed
to the official position.As to the meaning of ex officio, the Court has decreed in
Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA 317 (1991), that x x x x
The term ex officio means from office; by virtue of office. It refers to an authority
derived from official character merely, not expressly conferred upon the individual
character, but rather annexed to the official position. Ex officio likewise denotes an
act done in an official character, or as a consequence of office, and without any
other appointment or authority other than that conferred by the office. An ex officio
member of a board is one who is a member by virtue of his title to a certain office,
and without further warrant or appointment. x x x x x x x The ex officio position
being actually and in legal contemplation part of the principal office, it follows that
the official concerned has no right to receive additional compensation for his
services in the said position. The reason is that these services are already paid for
and covered by the compensation attached to his principal office.
Constitutional Law; Civil Service Commission; Section 3, Article IX-B of the 1987
Constitution describes the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as the central personnel
agency of the government and is principally mandated to establish a career service
and adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness,
progressiveness, and courtesy in the civil service; to strengthen the merit and
rewards system; to integrate all human resources development programs for all
levels and ranks; and to institutionalize a management climate conducive to public
accountability.Section 3, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution describes the CSC as
the central personnel agency of the government and is principally mandated to
establish a career service and adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency,
integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness, and courtesy in the civil service; to
strengthen the merit and rewards system; to integrate all human resources

14

development programs for all levels and ranks; and to institutionalize a


management climate conducive to public accountability.
Same; Same; The Supreme Court (SC) also notes that Duques designation as
member of the governing Boards of the Government Service Insurance System
(GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH), Employees
Compensation Commission (ECC) and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
entitles him to receive per diem, a form of additional compensation that is
disallowed by the concept of an ex officio position by virtue of its clear
contravention of the proscription set by Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987
Constitution.When the CSC Chairman sits as a member of the governing Boards of
the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF, he may exercise these powers and functions,
which are not anymore derived from his position as CSC Chairman, such as
imposing interest on unpaid or unremitted contributions, issuing guidelines for the
accreditation of health care providers, or approving restructuring proposals in the
payment of unpaid loan amortizations. The Court also notes that Duques
designation as member of the governing Boards of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and
HDMF entitles him to receive per diem, a form of additional compensation that is
disallowed by the concept of an ex officio position by virtue of its clear
contravention of the proscription set by Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987
Constitution. This situation goes against the principle behind an ex officio position,
and must, therefore, be held unconstitutional.
Same; Same; Apart from violating the prohibition against holding multiple offices,
Duques designation as member of the governing Boards of the Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH),
Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) and Home Development Mutual Fund
(HDMF) impairs the independence of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).Apart
from violating the prohibition against holding multiple offices, Duques designation
as member of the governing Boards of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF
impairs the independence of the CSC. Under Section 17, Article VII of the
Constitution, the President exercises control over all government offices in the
Executive Branch. An office that is legally not under the control of the President is
not part of the Executive Branch.
Same; Same; The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman cannot be a member of
a government entity that is under the control of the President without impairing the
independence vested in the CSC by the 1987 Constitution.As provided in their
respective charters, PHILHEALTH and ECC have the status of a government
corporation and are deemed attached to the Department of Health and the
Department of Labor, respectively. On the other hand, the GSIS and HDMF fall under
the Office of the President. The corporate powers of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and
HDMF are exercised through their governing Boards, members of which are all
appointed by the President of the Philippines. Undoubtedly, the GSIS, PHILHEALTH,
ECC and HDMF and the members of their respective governing Boards are under the
control of the President. As such, the CSC Chairman cannot be a member of a
government entity that is under the control of the President without impairing the
independence vested in the CSC by the 1987 Constitution.
15

Same; Same; De Jure Officers; In view of the application of the prohibition under
Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution, Duque did not validly hold office as
Director or Trustee of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine
Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH), Employees Compensation Commission
(ECC) and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) concurrently with his position of
Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman. Accordingly, he was not to be considered
as a de jure officer while he served his term as Director or Trustee of these
government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).In view of the
application of the prohibition under Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution,
Duque did not validly hold office as Director or Trustee of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH,
ECC and HDMF concurrently with his position of CSC Chairman. Accordingly, he was
not to be considered as a de jure officer while he served his term as Director or
Trustee of these GOCCs. A de jure officer is one who is deemed, in all respects,
legally appointed and qualified and whose term of office has not expired.
Administrative Law; De Facto Officers; Words and Phrases; A de facto officer is one
who derives his appointment from one having colorable authority to appoint, if the
office is an appointive office, and whose appointment is valid on its face.A de
facto officer is one who derives his appointment from one having colorable authority
to appoint, if the office is an appointive office, and whose appointment is valid on
its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an office, and is discharging its
duties under color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from an
appointment, however irregular or informal, so that the incumbent is not a mere
volunteer. Consequently, the acts of the de facto officer are just as valid for all
purposes as those of a de jure officer, insofar as the public or third persons who are
interested therein are concerned. [Funa vs. Duque III, 742 SCRA 166(2014)]

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88. Funa v. Executive Secretary Ermita, G.R. No. 184740,


February 11, 2010
Case Title : DENNIS A. B. FUNA, petitioner, vs. EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, Office of the President,
SEC. LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, in his official capacity as
Secretary of the Department of Transportation and
Communications, USEC. MARIA ELENA H. BAUTISTA, in her
official capacities as Undersecretary of the Department of
Transportation and Communications and as Officer-inCharge of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA),
respondents.
Case Nature : SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court.
Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus.
Syllabi Class : Public Officers
Justiciable Controversy; Moot and Academic; A moot and academic case is one that
ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that
a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts
decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness.A moot
and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue
of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or
value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground
of mootness. However, as we held in Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, 494 SCRA
53 (2006) supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent the
Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of the Constitution. Even
in cases where supervening events had made the cases moot, this Court did not
hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling
principles to guide the bench, bar, and public.
Administrative Law; Incompatible Office; While the designation was in the nature of
an acting and temporary capacity, the words hold the office were employed. Such
holding of office pertains to both appointment and designation because the
appointee or designate performs the duties and functions of the office. The 1987
Constitution in prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices,
refers to the holding of the office, and not to the nature of the appointment or
designation, words which were not even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in
Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B. To hold an office means to possess or
occupy the same, or to be in possession and administration, which implies
nothing less than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office.
Respondents reliance on the foregoing definitions is misplaced considering that the
above-cited case addressed the issue of whether petitioner therein acquired valid
title to the disputed position and so had the right to security of tenure. It must be
17

stressed though that while the designation was in the nature of an acting and
temporary capacity, the words hold the office were employed. Such holding of
office pertains to both appointment and designation because the appointee or
designate performs the duties and functions of the office. The 1987 Constitution in
prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices, refers to the
holding of the office, and not to the nature of the appointment or designation, words
which were not even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in Section 7, paragraph 2,
Article IX-B. To hold an office means to possess or occupy the same, or to be in
possession and administration, which implies nothing less than the actual
discharge of the functions and duties of the office.
Same; Presidency; Holding of Other Office; Evidently, from this move as well as in
the different phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in question, the intent of
the framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition of the President
and his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the
government or elsewhere is concerned.Evidently, from this move as well as in the
different phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in question, the intent of the
framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the President and
his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the government
or elsewhere is concerned.
CARPIO-MORALES,J., Concurring Opinion:
Public Officers; Designation Defined.Designation may be loosely defined as an
appointment because it likewise involves the naming of a particular person to a
specified public office. In fact, even without a known appointment or election, the
de facto doctrine comes into play if the duties of the office were exercised under
such circumstances of reputation or acquiescence as were calculated to induce
people, without inquiry, to submit to or invoke his action, supposing him to be the
officer he assumed to be.
Same; Effect of assuming a second office which is incompatible with the act.The
other propositionthat a person who assumes a second and incompatible office is
deemed to have resigned from the first officewas applied in Public Interest Center,
Inc. v. Elma, 494 SCRA 53 (2006) where the Court, by Resolution of March 5, 2007,
clarified that the ruling did not render both appointments void. It held that
[f]ollowing the common-law rule on incompatibility of offices, respondent Elma
had, in effect, vacated his first office as PCGG Chairman when he accepted the
second office as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.
Same; Rule when acceptance of a second public office does not apply.It has also
been observed that the rule of ipso facto vacancy of a public office by acceptance of
a second public office does not apply where, under applicable constitutional or
statutory provisions, the holder of a public office is rendered ineligible for a
specified time for a second public office; under such circumstances it is the second
office which is considered vacant rather than the first office. I, therefore, vote to
GRANT the petition and further declare that Bautista was a de facto officer during
her brief stint as MARINA OIC Administrator and a de jure DOTC Undersecretary
during her entire tenure as such. [Funa vs. Ermita, 612 SCRA 308(2010)]
18

19

89. Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA v.


Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 189767, July 3, 2012
Case Title : PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY
(PEZA), petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT and
REYNALDO A. VILLAR, Chairman, Commission on Audit,
respondents.
Case Nature : SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court.
Certiorari.
Syllabi Class : Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)|
Republic Act No. 8748|Per Diems
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA); Republic Act No. 8748; Per Diems; The
amendatory law, R.A. No. 8748, purposely deleted the last paragraph of Section 11
of R.A. No. 7916 that authorized the grant of per diems to Philippine Economic Zone
Authority (PEZA) Board members as it was in conflict with the proscription laid down
in the 1987 Constitution.The lack of legal basis to grant per diems to ex officio
members of the PEZA Board, including their representatives, has already been
settled by no less than the Court En Banc in the case of Bitonio, Jr. vs. Commission
on Audit, 425 SCRA 437 (2004), where we held that the amendatory law, R.A. No.
8748, purposely deleted the last paragraph of Section 11 of R.A. No. 7916 that
authorized the grant of per diems to PEZA Board members as it was in conflict with
the proscription laid down in the 1987 Constitution.
Same; Same; Same; A public official holding an ex officio position as provided by
law has no right to receive additional compensation for the ex officio position.
Definitely, PEZA cannot claim that it was not aware of circumstances pointing to the
possible illegality of the disbursements of per diems to the ex officio members of
the Board. In Civil Liberties Union, this Court clarified the prohibition under Section
13, Article VII of the Constitution and emphasized that a public official holding an ex
officio position as provided by law has no right to receive additional compensation
for the ex officio position. [Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) vs.
Commission on Audit, 675 SCRA 513(2012)]

20