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Lower Courts Must Observe Judicial

Courtesy When Issue is Pending Resolution

By A Higher Court (Nicart vs Titong, 2014)

Conrado Nicart, as Gov of Eastern Samar vs Titong and Abrugar

Case Digest GR 207682 Dec 10 2014
Full Text
Titong and Abrugar, together with 93 others, were appointed as department heads by the then Governor
Evardone of Samar a few days before the end of his term.Their appointments were disapproved by the CSC
Regional Office for violation of CSC rules and for not having met the requirements laid down in Nazareno vs
City of Dumaguete case. Titong and Abrugar filed a petition for review before the CSC Main, which granted
and declared their appointments as valid. The new Governor Nicart sought for reconsideration, but it was
denied. Before the CA, he appealed arguing that their appointments cannot be valid since there was no need to
fill up the positions and that their appointments were en masse.

Meanwhile, the CSC Main issued a writ of execution ordering Gov Nicart and the provincial government to
pay the salaries and emoluments of Titong and Abrugar. Gov Nicart refused, so they filed a petition for
mandamus before the RTC even while the case before the CA was still pending.

The RTC decided the petition on the basis of the CSC memo circular 82 which states that the non-issuance of a
restraining order or injunction would make the CSC resolution executory pending appeal. Since there was no
TRO or injunction, and its opinion that the CA decision would not constitute res judicata or in any way affect
the petition for mandamus, the RTC issued a writ of mandamus and went even further in deciding that the
appointments were valid.

Issue: W/N it is proper for the RTC to take cognizance of the petition for mandamus even while the issues
involved is still pending resolution before the CA
No. First, it is erroneous for the RTC to opine that the CA decision would not affect the petition before it
because clearly, the mandamus petition heavily relies on the validity or invalidity of the appointments which
issue is yet to be resolved by the CA. Second, even while there is no preliminary injunction or TRO issued by
the higher court, ordinarily it would be proper for a lower court or a court of origin to suspend the proceedings
on the precept of judicial courtesy. Hence, the RTC erred when it decided on the mandamus petition for
disregarding such principle. ##