POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

TITLE: SANDERS VS VERIDIANO II FACTS: Petitioner Sanders is a special services director of the US Naval Station. Petitioner Moreau was the commanding officer of the Subic Naval Base, which includes the said station. Private respondent Rossi and Wyer are both American citizens with permanent residence in the Philippines. They were employed as gameroom attendants. Respondents were advised that their employment had been converted from permanent full-time to permanent part-time. They protested the conversion and the hearing officer recommended the reinstatement of respondents to full-time. Sanders disagreed with the recommendation. In a letter he stated “respondents tend to alienate co-workers and they were difficult employees to supervise; and even though the grievance was confidential they placed the records in public places” Before the start of the grievance, a letter purportedly coming from Moreau (which did not carry his signature) but was signed by W.B. Moore “by direction” from Moreau, explaining the change of employment status was sent to the Chief of Naval Personnel and to concur therewith. Respondents filed a case for damages against petitioners alleging that the letter contained libelous imputations that had exposed them to ridicule, mental anguish etc. Private respondents made it clear that the petitioners were being sued in their private or personal capacity. Petitioner moved to dismiss stating that the acts performed by them I the discharge of their official duties and therefore court has no jurisdiction under the doctrine of state immunity. Their motion was denied.

ISSUE:

Whether petitioners were performing their official duties when they did the acts for which they have been sued for damages. HELD: The court held in the affirmative. Mere allegation that a government functionary is being sued in his personal capacity will not automatically remove him from the protection of the law of public officers and doctrine of state immunity. The acts for which the petitioners are being called to account were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties. The doctrine of State immunity is applicable not only to our government but also to foreign states sought to be subjected to the jurisdiction of our courts. There are two exceptions in the rule: 1. He may be sued when the purpose is to compel him to do an act required by law. 2. Also when the government itself has violated its own laws, the government may be impleaded. The case does not fall within the exceptions. Mistakes concededly committed by such public officers are not actionable as long as they were not motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to bad faith.

AQUINO.BANGI.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LASALA.MAGPANTAY.MIOLE.PABLO. TOLENTINO.VILLANO.VILLANUEVA.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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