4 Carino vs.

CHR 204 SCRA 546 December 2, 1991 y Distinction between the power to adjudicate and the power to investigate FACTS: Some 800 public school teachers undertook mass concerted actions to protest the alleged failure of public authorities to act upon their grievances. The mass actions consisted in staying away from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peacable assemblies, etc. The Secretary of Education served them with an order to return to work within 24 hours or face dismissal. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, eight teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School were administratively charged, preventively suspended for 90 days pursuant to sec. 41, P.D. 807 and temporarily replaced. An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges. When their motion for suspension was denied by the Investigating Committee, said teachers staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings. Eventually, Secretary Carino decreed dismissal from service of Esber and the suspension for 9 months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo. In the meantime, a case was filed with RTC, raising the issue of violation of the right of the striking teachers to due process of law. The case was eventually elevated to SC. Also in the meantime, the respondent teachers submitted sworn statements to Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of their replacement as teachers, allegedly without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. While the case was pending with CHR, SC promulgated its resolution over the cases filed with it earlier, upholding the Sec. Carino s act of issuing the return-to-work orders. Despite this, CHR continued hearing its case and held that the striking teachers were denied due process of law; they should not have been replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges; there had been violation of their civil and political rights which the Commission is empowered to investigate. ISSUE: y Whether or not CHR has jurisdiction to try and hear the issues involved HELD: The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power; and that it was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat,the Commission does not have. Power to Investigate The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any person. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and, in cases of

violations of said rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. In the course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority, it may grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth. It may also request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct of its investigation or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the popular or the technical sense, these terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings. Investigate vs. Adjudicate "Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically. "to search or inquire into: . . . to subject to an official probe . . .: to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of investigation , of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry. The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation " being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; . . . an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters." "Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . . . to pass judgment on: settle judicially: . . . act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: . . . to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy . . . ." In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. . . . Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, having merely the power "to investigate," cannot and should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775, as it has announced it means to do; and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated and conducted by the DECS, their human rights, or civil or political rights had been transgressed. More particularly, the Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law; (b) whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions, and the failureof the teachers to discontinue those actions, and return to their classes despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of Education, constitute infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions, or are justified by the grievances complained of by them; and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions, if any, may properly be imposed for said acts or omissions. Who has Power to Adjudicate? These are matters within the original jurisdiction of the Sec. of Education, being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law, and also, within the appellate jurisdiction of the CSC.

Manner of Appeal Now, it is quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of Education in disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence; whether or not the proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the respondents due process; and whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed "human rights violations involving civil and political rights," are matters which may be passed upon and determined through a motion for reconsideration addressed to the Secretary Education himself, and in the event of an adverse verdict, may be reviewed by the Civil Service Commission and eventually the Supreme Court.

19 Lozada vs. COMELEC G.R. No. L-59068 January 27, 1983 FACTS: Jose Mari Eulalio C. Lozada and Romeo B. Igot filed a representative suit for and in behalf of those who wish to participate in the election irrespective of party affiliation, to compel the respondent COMELEC to call a special election to fill up existing vacancies numbering twelve (12) in the Interim Batasan Pambansa. The petition is based on Section 5(2), Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution which reads: (2) In case a vacancy arises in the Batasang Pambansa eighteen months or more before a regular election, the Commission on Election shall call a special election to be held within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term. Petitioner Lozada claims that he is a taxpayer and a bonafide elector of Cebu City and a transient voter of Quezon City, Metro Manila, who desires to run for the position in the Batasan Pambansa; while petitioner Romeo B. Igot alleges that, as a taxpayer, he has standing to petition by mandamus the calling of a special election as mandated by the 1973 Constitution. As reason for their petition, petitioners allege that they are "... deeply concerned about their duties as citizens and desirous to uphold the constitutional mandate and rule of law ...; that they have filed the instant petition on their own and in behalf of all other Filipinos since the subject matters are of profound and general interest. " The respondent COMELEC, represented by counsel, opposes the petition alleging, substantially, that 1) petitioners lack standing to file the instant petition for they are not the proper parties to institute the action; 2) this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this petition; and 3) Section 5(2), Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution does not apply to the Interim Batasan Pambansa. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners has legal standing to file the suit Jurisdiction of the SC over COMELEC HELD: DISMISSED As taxpayers, petitioners may not file the instant petition, for nowhere therein is it alleged that tax money is being illegally spent. It is only when an act complained of, which may include a legislative enactment or statute, involves the illegal expenditure of public money that the so-called taxpayer suit may be allowed. The act complained of is the inaction of the COMELEC to call a special election, as is allegedly its ministerial duty under the constitutional provision above cited, and therefore, involves no expenditure of public funds. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute 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. Concrete injury, whether actual or threatened, is that indispensible element of a dispute which serves in part to cast it ina form traditionally capable of judicial resolution. When the asserted harm is a generalized grievance shared in substantially equal measure by all or a large class of citizens, that harm alone normally does not warrant exercise of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court's jurisdiction over the COMELEC is only to review by certiorari the latter's decision, orders or rulings. This is as clearly provided in Article XI IC Section 11 of the New Constitution which reads: Any decision, order, or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof.

There is in this case no decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC which is sought to be reviewed by this Court under its certiorari jurisdiction as provided for in the aforequoted provision which is the only known provision conferring jurisdiction or authority on the Supreme Court over the COMELEC. It is not alleged that the COMELEC was asked by petitioners to perform its alleged duty under the Constitution to call a special election, and that COMELEC has issued an order or resolution denying such petition.

33 Republic vs. Express Telecommunications G.R. No. 147096 January 15, 2002 YNARES-SANTIAGO FACTS: On December 29, 1992, International Communications Corporation (now Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. or Bayantel) filed an application with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for a Certificate of Public Convenience or Necessity (CPCN) to install, operate and maintain a digital Cellular Mobile Telephone System/Service (CMTS) with prayer for a Provisional Authority (PA). Shortly thereafter, or on January 22, 1993, the NTC issued Memorandum Circular No. 4-1-93 directing all interested applicants for nationwide or regional CMTS to file their respective applications before the Commission on or before February 15, 1993, and deferring the acceptance of any application filed after said date until further orders. However, Bayantel s application was archived because no frequency were anymore available. On March 23, 1999, Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-99 was issued by the NTC re-allocating an additional five (5) MHz frequencies for CMTS service. On May 17, 1999, Bayantel filed an Ex-Parte Motion to Revive Case, citing the availability of new frequency bands for CMTS operators, as provided for under Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-99. Respondent Express Telecommunication Co., Inc. (Extelcom) filed in NTC Case No. 92-486 an Opposition (With Motion to Dismiss) praying for the dismissal of Bayantel's application. Extelcom argued that Bayantel's motion sought the revival of an archived application filed almost eight (8) years ago. Thus, the documentary evidence and the allegations of respondent Bayantel in this application are all outdated and should no longer be used as basis of the necessity for the proposed CMTS service. Moreover, Extelcom alleged that there was no public need for the service applied for by Bayantel as the present five CMTS operators --- Extelcom, Globe Telecom, Inc., Smart Communication, Inc., Pilipino Telephone Corporation, and Isla Communication Corporation, Inc. --- more than adequately addressed the market demand, and all are in the process of enhancing and expanding their respective networks based on recent technological developments. On March 13, 2000, Bayantel filed a Consolidated Reply/Comment, stating that the opposition was actually a motion seeking a reconsideration of the NTC Order reviving the instant application, and thus cannot dwell on the material allegations or the merits of the case. Furthermore, Extelcom cannot claim that frequencies were not available inasmuch as the allocation and assignment thereof rest solely on the discretion of the NTC. NTC issued an order in favor of Bayantel. Extelcom filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition,15 docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 58893, seeking the annulment of the Order reviving the application of Bayantel, the Order granting Bayantel a provisional authority to construct, install, operate and maintain a nationwide CMTS, and Memorandum Circular No. 9-3-2000 allocating frequency bands to new public telecommunication entities which are authorized to install, operate and maintain CMTS. CA ruled the petition in favor of Extelcom and dismissed the petition of reapplication of Bayantel. ISSUE: Whether or not CA erred in archiving Bayantel s original application. Whether or not CA violated Extelcom s right to due process HELD:

The Court of Appeals also erred when it declared that the NTC's Order archiving Bayantel's application was null and void. The archiving of cases is a widely accepted measure designed to shelve cases in which no immediate action is expected but where no grounds exist for their outright dismissal, albeit without prejudice. It saves the petitioner or applicant from the added trouble and expense of re-filing a dismissed case. Under this scheme, an inactive case is kept alive but held in abeyance until the situation obtains wherein action thereon can be taken.

In the case at bar, the said application was ordered archived because of lack of available frequencies at the time, and made subject to reinstatement upon availability of the requisite frequency. To be sure, there was nothing irregular in the revival of the application after the condition therefore was fulfilled. The Court of Appeals ruled that there was a violation of the fundamental right of Extelcom to due process when it was not afforded the opportunity to question the motion for the revival of the application. However, it must be noted that said Order referred to a simple revival of the archived application of Bayantel in NTC Case No. 92-426. At this stage, it cannot be said that Extelcom's right to procedural due process was prejudiced. It will still have the opportunity to be heard during the full-blown adversarial hearings that will follow. In fact, the records show that the NTC has scheduled several hearing dates for this purpose, at which all interested parties shall be allowed to register their opposition. We have ruled that there is no denial of due process where full-blown adversarial proceedings are conducted before an administrative body.34 With Extelcom having fully participated in the proceedings, and indeed, given the opportunity to file its opposition to the application, there was clearly no denial of its right to due process. Indeed, nothing, not even the Order reviving the application, bars or prevents Extelcom and the other oppositors from participating in the hearings and adducing evidence in support of their respective oppositions. The motion to revive could not have possibly caused prejudice to Extelcom since the motion only sought the revival of the application. It was merely a preliminary step towards the resumption of the hearings on the application of Bayantel. The latter will still have to prove its capability to undertake the proposed CMTS. Indeed, in its Order dated February 1, 2000, the NTC set several hearing dates precisely intended for the presentation of evidence on Bayantel's capability and qualification. Notice of these hearings were sent to all parties concerned, including Extelcom. The NTC is clothed with sufficient discretion to act on matters solely within its competence. Clearly, the need for a healthy competitive environment in telecommunications is sufficient impetus for the NTC to consider all those applicants who are willing to offer competition, develop the market and provide the environment necessary for greater public service.

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