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Concerned-Officials of the MWSS v Vasquez


In order to provide about 1.3 million liters of water daily to about 3.8 P267,345,574.00
million people in the metropolitan area, MWSS launched the Angat
Water Supply optimization ("AWSOP") which would be, in most part, 2 F.F. CRUZ & CO., INC. P268,815,729.00
financed by funds loaned by the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund
("OECF") of Japan to the national government and allocated to MWSS in 3 J.V. ANGELES CONST. CORP./
the form of equity. . . The projects were denominated Projects APM-01 JA DEVT. CORP. P278,205,457.00 20
and APM-02.
while the three lowest bidders for Project APM-02 included:
On 30 August 1991, MWSS caused the publication in 2 leading
newspapers of an "Invitation for Pre-qualification and Bids" for Projects 1 ENG'G. EQUIPMENT, INC.
opened for international competitive bidding, copies of the "Invitation (EEI) P219,574,538.00
for pre-qualification and Bids" were sent to the respective embassies
and trade missions of member countries of the OECF. . / Out of the 25 2 FF CRUZ & CO., INC. P233,533,537.00
prospective applicants, only 14 contractors submitted corresponding
applications to the PBAC-CSTE. 3 J.V ANGELES CONST. CORP./JA
DEVT. CORP. P277,304,604.00
The PBAC-CSTE, after evaluating the applications for pre-qualification,
issued a report concluding that only 11 out of the 14 contractors were After the three lowest bidders for both projects were known, a meeting
pre-qualified to bid for the 31st March 1992 scheduled bidding. The was held by the PBAC-CSTE, composed of MWSS Deputy Administrator
major factors considered in the evaluation were the applicants' financial for Engineering Eduardo M. del Fierro, as Acting Chairman, and deputy
condition, technical qualifications and experience to undertake the Administrator for Operations Ruben A. Hernandez, Acting Chief of Legal
project under bid. office Precioso E. Remolacio, and Project Manager Cesar S. Guevarra, as
members, to decide on what should be done about Contract APM-01.
Meanwhile, private respondent Philippine Large Diameter pressure Three of the members, namely, Hernandez, Guevarra and Asuncion,
Pipes Manufacturers' Association ("PLDPPMA"), sent 7 letters, between recommended for the contract (meaning rebidding) on the following
to the MWSS requesting clarification, as well as offering some grounds:
suggestions, on the technical specifications for APM-01 and APM-02
(which I did not include the details). a. Ambiguity of Addendum No. 6 . . . subject to different
interpretations because there was no illustrations provided. Further,
The bidding was conducted by PBAC on the previously scheduled date it could also be said that some contractors did not use the FRP
of 31 March 1992. The Three (3) lowest bidders for the said project because said Addendum was not clearly explained.
(APM-01) were the following:
Remolacio abstained; he felt that "technical evaluation (was) more favor suppliers of fiberglass pipes, and urging the Ombudsman to
essential in deciding the issues in (the) Contract." For his part, Del Fierro conduct an investigation thereon and to hold in abeyance the award of
recommended that no rebidding should be undertaken and that an the contracts.
award should be made to either the lowest or the second lowest bidder.
The Ombudsman referred the letter-complaint to the MWSS Board of
PBAC-CSTE met again to discuss and evaluate the bids in APM-02. Trustees for comment along with a directive to it to hold in abeyance
Guevarra, Hernandez and Asuncion, opined that a rebidding should be the awarding of the subject contract. MWSS asked for an extension of
conducted, while Del Fierro and Remolacio believed that the contract time within which to submit its comment but called, at the same time,
should be awarded to the lowest bidder. the attention of the Ombudsman to PD No. 1818 prohibiting the
Finally, the PBAC-CSTE formally submitted its report saying that while issuance of restraining orders/injunctions in cases involving government
Joint Venture's (bidder ni sya) bid might have been the lowest it was, infrastructure projects.
however, invalid due to its failure to acknowledge Addendum No. 6, a
major consideration, that could not be waived. It recommended that The Office of the Ombudsman, in its report:
the contract be instead awarded to the second lowest but complying 1.set aside the recommendation of the MWSS Pre-qualification, Bids
bidder, F.F. Cruz & Co., Inc., subject to the latter's manifestation that it and Awards Committee for Construction Services and Technical
would only hire key personnel with experience in the installation of Equipment (PBAC-CSTE) to award Contract APM-01 to a contractor
fiberglass pressure pipes (due to PBAC-CSTE's observation in the report offering fiberglass pipes; and
that the company and its key personnel did not have previous
experience in the installation of fiberglass reinforced pipes). Del Fierro, 2.Award the subject contract to a complying and responsive bidder
Guevarra and Asuncion, approved the PBAC-CSTE's findings and pursuant to the provisions of PD 1594,
recommendation. Hernandez and Remolacio both disagreed with the
findings of the PBAC-CSTE; the former opted for a rebidding while the A motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence this petition.
latter batted for awarding the contract to Joint Venture.
On the following day, the MWSS Board Committee on Construction
Management and the Board Committee on Engineering, recommended
that Contract No. APM-01 be awarded to F.F. Cruz & Co., Inc., being the (a) whether or not the rudiments of due process have been properly
lowest complying bidder. observed in the issuance of the assailed orders of the Ombudsman;
(Included for reference)
Prior thereto, or seven days after the submission of the bid proposals, (b) whether or not the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to take cognizance
private respondent PLDPPMA, filed with the Office of the Ombudsman of PLDPPMA's complaint and to correspondingly issue its challenged
a letter-complaint (docketed Case No. OMB-0-92-0750) protesting the orders directing the Board of Trustees of the MWSS to set aside the
public bidding conducted by the MWSS for Projects APM-01 and APM- recommendation of the PBAC-CSTE.
02, detailing charges of an "apparent plan" on the part of the MWSS to
Ruling: Sec. 20. Exceptions. — The Office of the Ombudsman may not
conduct the necessary investigation of any administrative act or
1st Issue: the petitioners have been amply accorded the opportunity to omission complained of if it believes that:
be heard. (1) The Complainant has an adequate remedy in another judicial or
quasi-judicial body;
Petitioners were asked to comment on the letter-complaint of (2) The complaint pertains to a matter outside the jurisdiction of
PLDPPMA. They even moved for an extension of time within which to the Office of the Ombudsman;
comment. And when an adverse order was rendered against them, (3) The complaint is trivial, frivolous interest in the subject matter of
petitioners moved for its reconsideration, albeit to no avail. the grievance; or
(4) The complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexations or made in bad in
The absence of due process is an opportunity to be heard. One may be bad faith;
heard, not solely by verbal presentation but also, and perhaps even (5) The complaint was filed after one year from the occurrence of
many times more creditably and practicable than oral argument, the act or omission complained of.
through pleadings. In administrative proceedings, moreover, technical
rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied; On the other hand, the Solicitor-General enumerations various
administrative due process cannot be fully equated to due process in constitutional and statutory provisions; to wit:
its strict judicial sense.
(a) Section 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution providing thusly:
2 issue: Bawal si Ombudsman mag-apil2. . undue influence.
Sec. 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following
The Ombudsman's directive to the Board of Trustees of MWSS to set powers, functions and duties:
aside the recommendation of the PBAC — CSTE to award Contract No.
APM-01 to the lowest complying bid is impressed with merit. (1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any
Petitioners said that while Republic Act ("R.A.") No. 6770, otherwise act or omission of any public official, employee, office or
known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989, extends certain well-defined agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal,
powers and authority to the Office of the Ombudsman to, among other unjust, improper, or inefficient.
functions, investigate and prosecute complaints filed therewith, the
same law, however, expresses limits to the exercise of such (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public
jurisdictional power and authority. According to them, PLDPPMA's official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision,
complaint falls under exceptions (1) to (4) of Sec. 20 of R.A. No. 6770, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of GOCC with
and that, therefore, the Ombudsman should not have taken cognizance original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty
of the complaint. required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse
or impropriety in the performance of duties.
(3) Direct, the officer concerned to take appropriate action any form or manner against officers or employees of the
against a public official or employee at fault, and Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations,
censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case
where the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service
(4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and by the Government to the to the people.
subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to
furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or (c) Section 15, paragraphs (1) to (7), of RA No. 6770 which reproduced
transactions entered into by his office involving the verbatim the aforequoted provisions of Section 13 of the 1987
disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and Constitution with some additional salient statutory provisions; hence:
report any irregularity to the Commission of Audit for
appropriate action. Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. — The Office of the
Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties:
(5) Request any government agency for assistance and xxx xxx xxx
information necessary in the discharge of its (9) Administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces
responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent tecum, and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry,
records and documents. including the power to examine and have access to bank
accounts and records;
(6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when
circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. (10)Punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court
and under the same penalties provided therein;
(7) determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape,
mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government
and make recommendations for their elimination and the (11) delegate to the Deputies, or its investigators or
observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the
effective exercise or performance of the powers, functions
and duties herein or hereinafter provided;
(8) Promulgate its rule of procure and exercise such other
powers or perform such functions or duties as may be
provided by law. (12) Investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery
of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed after
(b) Section 13 of republic Act No. 6770 which reads: February 25, 1986 and the prosecution of the parties
involved therein;
Sec. 13. Mandate. — The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as
protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in
The Ombudsman shall give priority to complaints filed baseless, it shall dismiss the same and inform the complainant of such
against high ranking government officials and/or those dismissal citing the reasons therefor. If it finds a reasonable ground to
occupying supervisory positions, complaints involving grave investigate further, it shall first furnish the respondent public officer or
offenses as well as complaints involving large sums of employee with a summary of the complaint and require him to submit a
money and/or properties. written answer within seventy-two hours from receipt thereof. If the
answer is found satisfactory, it shall dismiss the case.
(d) And, finally, Section 26 of the Ombudsman Act which expresses, as
follows: 3. When the complaint consists in delay or refusal to perform a duty
required by law, or when urgent action is necessary to protect or
Sec. 26. Inquiries. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall inquire into preserve the rights of the Ombudsman shall take steps or measures and
acts or omissions of the public officer, employee, office or agency issue such orders directing the officer, employee, office or agency
which, from the reports or complaints it has received the Ombudsman concerned to:
or his Deputies consider to be: (a) expedite the performance of duty;
(b) cease or desist from the performance of a prejudicial act;
(a) contrary to law or regulation; (c) correct the omission;
(d) explain fully the administrative act in question; or
(b) unreasonable, unfair, oppresive, irregular or inconsistent with (e) take any steps as may be necessary under the circumstances to
the general course of the operations and functions of a public protect and preserve the rights of the complainant.
officer, employee, office or agency;
4. Any delay or refusal to comply with the referral or directive of the
(c) an error in the application or interpretation of law, rules or Ombudsman or any of his Deputies shall constitute a ground for
regulations, or a gross or palpable error in the appreciation of administrative disciplinary action against the officer or employee to
facts; whom it was rendered.

(d) based on improper motives or corrupt considerations; SG insists that the authority of the Ombudsman is sufficiently broad
enough to cloth it with sufficient power to look into the alleged
irregularities in the bidding leading to the recommendation made by
(e) unclear or inadequately explained when reasons should have the PBAC-CSTE on contract APM-01. He argues that even if no criminal
been revealed; or act could be attributed to the former MWSS Administrator and
members of the PBAC-CSTE, the questioned report could still be
(f) inefficiently performed or otherwise objectionable. embraced in the all-encompassing phrase "all kinds of malfeasance,
misfeasance, and non-feasance," and falls within the scope of the
2. The Office of the Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any constitutional provision calling for an investigation of "any act or
source in whatever form concerning an official act or omission. It shall
act on the complaint immediately and if it finds the same entirely
omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such Constitution, along with the corresponding provisions of the
act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient." Ombudsman Act.

In Deloso v. Domingo: The reason for the creation of the Ombudsman in Why? Because:
the 1987 Constitution and for the grant to it of broad investigative
authority, is to insulate said office from the long tentacles of officialdom a. There is an evident on the part of the MWSS under then
that are able to penetrate judges' and fiscals' offices, and others Administrator Sison to favor suppliers of fiberglass when it prescribed
involved in the prosecution of erring public officials, and through the rigid standards for steel pipes but set lenient requirements for pipes
exertion of official pressure and influence, quash, delay, or dismiss made of fiberglass, for the following reasons:
investigations into malfeasances and misfeasances committed by public
officers. It was deemed necessary, therefore, to create a special office to 1. MWSS management rely on the AWWA standards for fiberglass
investigate all criminal complaints against public officers regardless of pipe but neglect the same AWWA standards for steel pipes. . .
whether or not the acts or omissions complained of are related to or
arise from the performance of the duties of their office. The 2. not included
Ombudsman Act makes perfectly clear that the jurisdiction of the
Ombudsman encompasses "all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance, and 3. not included
non-feasance that have been committed by any officer or employee as
mentioned in Section 13 hereof, during his tenure of office." 4. The MWSS failed to prescribe specific pipe laying procedure for
fiberglass pipes. Contrary to the claim of the MWSS, the installation
The powers, functions and duties of the Ombudsman have generally of fiberglass pipes seems to be a critical factor in the successful
been categorized into the following headings: implementation of a project as shown in the findings of experts,
a. Investigatory Power; attached by the MWSS in its motion . . .
b. Prosecutory Power;
c. Public Assistance Functions; 5. not included
d. Authority to Inquire and Obtain Information; and
e. Function to Adopt, Institute and Implement Preventive 6. . . . The provision of Addendum No. 6 "The only acceptable joints
Measures. are gasketted bell and Spigot and Mechanical Type" appears to be
vague and ambiguous as it cannot be determined clearly whether
Although the SG has practically enumerated all the constitutional and the bidders will be using the Mechanical Type of Joint. As stated in
statutory provisions describing the ample authority and responsibilities the Report, the cost of the Bell and Spigot Joint is cheaper than the
of the Ombudsman, the particular aspect of his functions that, however, cost of mechanical Type Joint. Moreover, it was only two (2) months
really finds relevance to the present case relates to his investigatory after the bidding that the MWSS issued clarification to the effect
power and public assistance duties which can be found in the first and that fiberglass pipes bidders can use either the Bell and Spigot type
second paragraphs, respectively, of Section 13, Article XI, of the or Mechanical type.
While the broad authority of the Ombudsman to investigate any act or
7. not included omission which ". . . appears illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient"
may be yielded, it is difficult to equally concede, however, that the
8. not included Constitution and the Ombudsman Act have intended to likewise confer
upon it veto or revisory power over an exercise of judgment or
The existence of such a letter can only mean that F.F. Cruz and discretion by an agency or officer upon whom that judgment or
Sarplast, Italy had previous communications with the top officials of discretion is lawfully vested. It would seem that the Office of the
the MWSS even before the opening of the bids on march 31, 1992. Ombudsman, in issuing the challenged orders, has not only directly
Clearly, the issuance of Addendum No. 6 would only fit well for F.F. assumed jurisdiction over, but likewise pre-empted the exercise of
Cruz Co., Inc. and Sarplast who is proposing the use of discretion by, the Board of Trustees of MWSS. .
discontinuous filament winding fiberglass pipe with bell and Spigot
joint. We can only view the assailed Order to be more of an undue
interference in the adjudicative responsibility of the MWSS Board of
b. MWSS has no experience and sufficient knowledge on the use of Trustees rather than a mere directive requiring the proper observance
fiberglass pipes. of and compliance with law. The report submitted by the . . .Office of
the Ombudsman reveals its predisposition against the use of fiberglass
c. The Contractors who proposed to use fiberglass pipes have no tract pipes, a technical, rather than a legal, matter. The fact-finding report has
record or experience in the installation of the same. Thus, they are not dealt with such matters as (1) the wall thickness of pipes; (2) the joints;
qualified to undertake projects pursuant to the provisions of PD 1594 (3) the pipe laying procedure; (4) the technical expertise of the MWSS,
and under the guidelines of the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund. on the one hand, and the fiberglass proponements, on the other; and
(5) the supposed negative international feedback on the use of
d. The would-be manufacturers of fiberglass pipes has no fiberglass pipes.
manufacturing plant at this stage and there is no guarantee whether
such manufacturing plants will be operational. The question could be asked: Was the 31st March 1992 (mao ni ktong
denied motion for reconsideration) bidding really that faulty? During
e. There is no assurance that the manufacturers of fiberglass would be the bidding, the people present were the PBAC members, a COA
able to produce the kind of pipe desired. representative, the bidders and the general public. The 11 prequalified
contractors, according to the prequalification evaluation of the PBAC,
In sum, the Office of the Ombudsman has considered three issues but possessed the required experience, technical qualification and financial
the main is whether or not the contractors and local manufacturers of condition to undertake the project. It should not be amiss to mention
fiberglass pipes have the experience and qualification to undertake the that the PBAC, under the IRR of P.D. No. 1594, was tasked with the
APM-01 and APM-02 projects. responsibility "for the conduct of prequalification, bidding, evaluation of
bids and recommending award of contracts." In evaluating the bids,
PBAC stated in its report that it had examined the three lowest bids.
Part of PBAC's review was to verify whether the proposed pipe as to say that MWSS would have the monopoly of technical know-how
materials were in conformity with the permitted alternative materials in the waterworks system, by the very nature of its functions, however,
specified in Clause IB-34 of the bid document. In thereafter it obviously must enjoy an advantage over other agencies on the
recommending that the award be made to F.F. Cruz, Inc., instead of subject at hand.
Joint venture, PBAC explained that. . . the evaluation was conducted as
fairly and accurately as possible to come up with a recommendation In Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Co. Inc. vs. deputy Executive Secretary: Thus,
that satisfies the interest of the MWSS which in the final analysis, shall while the administration grapples with the complex and multifarious
bear the consequences if the contract is not fully performed. . .It is problems caused by unbridled exploitation of these resources, the
therefore, the position of the PBAC that the deficiency in the judiciary will stand clear. A long line of cases establish the basic rule that
acknowledgment of Addendum No. 6 is a major defect and cannot be the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the
waived as it affects the validity of the bid of the Consortium. The bid sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the
has to be rejected as non-complying. regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge
and training of such agencies.
PBAC was evidently guided by the rule that bids should be evaluated
based on the required documents submitted before, and not after, the In Bureau Veritas v. Office of the President: The discretion to accept or
opening of bids, that should further dispel any indiscriminate or reject a bid and award contracts is vested in the Government agencies
whimsical exercise of discretion on its part. entrusted with that function. The discretion given to the authorities on
this matter is of such wide latitude that the Courts will not interfere
The MWSS, a government-owned and controlled corporation created by therewith, unless it is apparent that it is used as a shield to a fraudulent
law through R.A. No. 6234, is charged with the construction, award.
maintenance and operation of waterwork system to insure an
uninterrupted and adequate supply and distribution of potable water. It All considered, it is our view that the issue here involved, dealing, such
is the agency that should be in the best position to evaluate the as they do, on basically technical matters, dealing, such as they do, on
feasibility of the projections of the bidders and to decide which bid is basically technical matters, deserve to be disentangled from undue
compatible with its development plans. The exercise of this discretion is interference from courts and so from the Ombudsman as well.
a policy decision that necessitates among other things, prior inquiry, Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero,
investigation, comparison, evaluation, and deliberation — matters that Bellosillo, Melo, Quiason, Puno, Kapunan and Mendoza, JJ., concur.
can best be discharged by it. MWSS has passed resolution No. 32-93 to Francisco, J., took no part.
likewise show its approval of the technical specifications for fiberglass.
All these should deserve weight.

In Razon Inc. v. PPA: neither this Court nor Congress, and now perhaps
the Ombudsman, could be expected to have the time and technical
expertise to look into matters of this nature. While we cannot go so far
Lastimosa to show cause why they should not be punished for
contempt for "refusing and failing to obey the lawful directives"
of the Office of the Ombudsman.
- Petitioner contends, the Office of the Ombudsman has no
Lastimosa v. Vasquez jurisdiction over the case against the mayor because the crime
Provision: §31 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6770): involved (rape) was not committed in relation to a public office.
Designation of Investigators and Prosecutors. — The For this reason it is argued that the Office of the Ombudsman
Ombudsman may utilize the personnel of his office has no authority to place her and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar
and/or designate of deputize any fiscal, state under preventive suspension for refusing to follow his orders
prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act and to cite them for indirect contempt for such refusal.
as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those Issues:
designated or deputized to assist him as herein 1. WON the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to call on
provided shall be under his supervision and control. the Provincial Prosecutor to assist it in the prosecution of the
(Emphasis added) case for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo. Yes!
Doctrine: When a prosecutor is deputized by the ombudsman, he 2. WON the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to suspend
becomes under the supervision and control of the latter. the prosecutor. Yes!

Facts: Ratio:
- On February 18, 1993 Jessica Villacarlos Dayon, public health Issue 1:
nurse of Santa Fe, Cebu, filed a criminal complaint for frustrated - The office of the Ombudsman has the power to "investigate and
rape and an administrative complaint for immoral acts, abuse of prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or
authority and grave misconduct against the Municipal Mayor of omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency,
Santa Fe, Rogelio Ilustrisimo. Intially, the deputy ombudsman when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust,
found no prima facie evidence. After review, Omb. Vasquez improper or inefficient." This power has been held to include
reversed and directed that the mayor be charged with a the investigation and prosecution of any crime committed by a
criminal case in the RTC. public official regardless of whether the acts or omissions
- The case was referred to provincial prosecutor Lastimosa. She complained of are related to, or connected with, or arise from,
conducted her own preliminary investigation and found that the performance of his official duty.
only acts of lasciviousness had been committed. She filed a case - It does not matter that the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
for acts of lasciviousness with the MCTC. had already conducted the preliminary investigation and all that
- As no case for attempted rape had been filed by the remained to be done was for the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor's Office, Deputy Ombudsman Mojica ordered on Prosecutor to file the corresponding case in court. Even if the
July 27, 1994 Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and petitioner preliminary investigation had been given over to the Provincial
Prosecutor to conduct, his determination of the nature of the was invested with the corresponding authority to enable it to
offense to be charged would still be subject to the approval of perform its mission. Significantly, it is the only body authorized
the Office of the Ombudsman. This is because under §31 of the to investigate even officials removable by impeachment.
Ombudsman's Act, when a prosecutor is deputized, he comes - The Court in Buenaseda:
under the "supervision and control" of the Ombudsman which The purpose of RA No. 6770 is to give the Ombudsman
means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to such powers as he may need to perform efficiently the
direct, review, approve, reverse or modify his (prosecutor's) task committed to him by the Constitution. Such being
decision. Petitioner cannot legally act on her own and refuse to the case, said statute, particularly its provisions dealing
prepare and file the information as directed by the with procedure, should be given such interpretation
Ombudsman. that will effectuate the purposes and objective of the
Issue 2: Constitution. Any interpretation that will hamper the
- §15(g) of the Ombudsman Act gives the Office of the work of the Ombudsman should be avoided.
Ombudsman the power to "punish for contempt, in accordance A statute granting powers to an agency created by the
with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with Constitution should be liberally construed for the
the same penalties provided therein." There is no merit in the advancement of the purposes and objectives for
argument that petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar Department of which it was created.
cannot be held liable for contempt because their refusal arose
out of an administrative, rather than judicial, proceeding before
the Office of the Ombudsman.
- Whether petitioner's refusal to follow the Ombudsman's orders
constitutes a defiance, disobedience or resistance of a lawful
process, order or command of the Ombudsman thus making
her liable for indirect contempt under Rule 71, §3 of the Rules
of Court is for respondents to determine after appropriate

Concurring Opinion, Regalado:

- The longer period of six (6) months for preventive suspension
under Republic Act No. 6770 was evidently induced by a desire
to more meaningfully emphasize and implement the authority
of the Office of the Ombudsman over public officials and
employees in order to serve as a deterrent against illegal,
unjust, improper and inefficient conduct on their part. As the
agency mandated by the Constitution to undertake such task, it
BIR v Ombudsman
FACTS: filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the
The Office of the Ombudsman received information from an informer- government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
for-reward that tax refunds have been anomalously granted to Distillera including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in
Limtuaco & Co., Inc. and La Tondeña Distilleries, Inc. Upon receipt of appropriate case, notify the complainants of the action taken and the
the information, Soquilon recommended to then Ombudsman Conrado result thereof.” There is no requirement of a pending action before the
M. Vasquez that the “case” be docketed and subsequently assigned to Ombudsman could wield its investigative power. Even when the
him for investigation. complaint is verbal or written, unsigned or unverified, the Ombudsman
On the basis of the information, the OMB issued a subpoena duces could, on its own, initiate the investigation.
tecum addressed to Atty. Mansequiao of the Legal Department of the
BIR ordering him to appear before him and to bring the complete 2. Whether or not the granting tax refunds falls within BIR’s
original case dockets of the refunds granted to the said companies. exclusive expertise and jurisdiction and that its findings could
BIR resisted the summons on the grounds that the grant of the tax no longer be disturbed by the Ombudsman
refund had already been mooted by the Sandiganbayan in People vs
Larin, that “the legal issue was no longer in question since the BIR had No. The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the
ruled that the ad valorem taxes were erroneously paid and could Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. The Ombudsman Act provides
therefore be the proper subject of a claim for tax credit.” BIR argued that the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman encompasses “all kinds of
that for subpoena duces tecum to be properly issued in accordance malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance that have been committed
with law, there must first be a pending action because the power to by any officer or employee xxx during his tenure of office.
issue a subpoena duces tecum is not an independent proceeding. The
BIR noted that the Ombudsman issued the assailed subpoena duces Concededly, the determination of whether to grant a tax refund falls
tecum based only on the information obtained from an “informer-for- within the exclusive expertise of the BIR. When there is a suspicion of
reward”. even just a tinge of impropriety in the grant of the same, the
The Ombudsman denied the motion of the BIR and reiterated its Ombudsman could rightfully ascertain whether the determination was
instructions to the BIR to produce the documents sought. Instead of done in accordance with law and identify the persons who may be held
complying, the BIR filed this petition for certiorari, prohibition, and responsible thereto.
preliminary injunction, and temporary restraining order with the SC.

ISSUES: 3. Whether or not the investigation conducted by the Office of

1. Whether or not the Ombudsman could validly exercise its the Ombudsman violated due process in issuing subpoena
power to investigate only when there exists an appropriate without first giving BIR the summary of complaint and
case and subject to the limitations provided by law requiring it to submit a written reply

No. The 1987 Constitution enjoins that the “Ombudsman and his Yes. It is clear from the initial comments of the graft investigator that
Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints based on the information, he undoubtedly found reasonable grounds to
investigate further. In fact, he recommended that the “case” be
docketed immediately and assigned to him for a “full-blown fact-finding
investigation.” if there is a reasonable ground to investigate further, the
investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman shall first furnish the
respondent public officer or employee with a summary of the complaint
and require him to submit a written answer within seventy-two (72)
hours from receipt thereof.
In the instant case, the BIR was never furnished by the respondent with
a summary of the complaint and were not given the opportunity to
submit their counter-affidavits and controverting evidence. Instead,
they were summarily ordered to appear before the Ombudsman and to
produce the case dockets of the tax refunds granted to Limtuaco and La
Tondeña. They are aggrieved in that, from the point of view of the
respondent, they were already deemed probably guilty of granting
anomalous tax refunds.

Petition is granted. Ombudsman is prohibited from proceeding with the

case and its orders are annulled and set aside.

Office of the Ombudsman vs. ENOC

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the order dated 100700 of stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation
the RTC Branch 19 of Digos, Davao del Sur dismissing criminal cases of such cases.
against respondents. Respondents were charged with 11 counts of Section 11 grants the Office of the Special Prosecutor, an organic
malversation through falsification, based on alleged purchases of component of the Office of the Ombudsman under the latter's
medicine and food assistance for cultural community members, and supervision and control, the power to conduct preliminary investigation
one count of violation of R.A. No. 3019, ?3(e), in connection with the and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the
purchases of supplies for the OSCC without bidding/canvass. Sandiganbayan. The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by
As none of the respondents has the "rank" required under R.A. No. law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act
8249 to be tried for the said crimes in the Sandiganbayan, the or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or
information were filed by the Ombudsman in the RTC. Invoking the omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law
ruling in Uy vs. Sandiganbayan, Respondents move to quash arguing does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the
Ombudsman has no authority to prosecute graft cases falling within the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It has been held
jurisdiction of regular courts. RTC granted such motion. The office of the that the clause "any illegal act or omission of any public official" is
Ombudsman filed a petition contending the trial court erred invoking broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or
Uy vs. Sandiganbayan. employee.
Issue: The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion
WON Ombudsman has authority to prosecute graft cases falling from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees
within the jurisdiction of regular courts? cognizable by other courts. The exercise by the Ombudsman of his
Held: primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is not
YES. The Ombudsman has powers to prosecute not only graft cases incompatible with the discharge of his duty to investigate and prosecute
within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but also those cognizable other offenses committed by public officers and employees.
by the regular courts. [ruling from here same with Uy vs. Indeed, it must be stressed that the powers granted by the legislature
Sandiganbayan] The Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct to the Ombudsman are very broad and encompass all kinds of
preliminary investigation and to prosecute all criminal cases involving malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public
public officers and employees, not only those within the jurisdiction of officers and employees during their tenure of office. The reference
the Sandiganbayan, but those within the jurisdiction of the regular made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan,
courts as well. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate and particularly in Section 15(1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction
prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees is over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and Section 11 (4) granting
founded in Section 15 and Section 11 of RA 6770. Section 15 vests the the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation
Ombudsman with the power to investigate and prosecute any act or and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the
omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such Sandiganbayan, should not be construed as confining the scope of the
act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases.
It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan
and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any
The jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be equated
with the limited authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of
RA 6770. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of
the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the supervision
and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. Its power to
conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal
cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Certainly, the
lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory
power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases.
The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against
officers and employees of the government and to enforce their
administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the
evidence warrants
a. To carry out this duty, the law allows him to utilize the personnel of
his office and/or designate any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the
government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist
in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases.
b. The law likewise allows him to direct the Special Prosecutor to
prosecute cases outside the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction in accordance
with Section 11 (4c) of RA 6770, i.e. to perform such duties assigned to
it by the Ombudsman.
Fuentes v Ombudsman The Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao recommended that Judge
Renato A. Fuentes be charged before the Sandiganbayan with violation
Facts: of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3 (e) and likewise be administratively
Pursuant to the government’s plan to construct its first fly-over in Davao charged before the Supreme Court with acts unbecoming of a judge.
City, the Republic of the Philippines filed an expropriation case against
the owners of the properties affected by the project. The expropriation Director Valenzuela filed with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for
case was presided by Judge Renato A. Fuentes. The government won Mindanao a criminal complaint charging Judge Rentao A. Fuentes with
the expropriation case. DPWH still owed the defendants-lot owners. violation of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3 (e).
The lower court granted Tessie Amadeo’s motion for the issuance of a
writ of execution against the DPWH to satisfy her unpaid claim. On May Fuentes filed with the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao a motion to
3, 1994, respondent Sheriff Paralisan issued a Notice of Levy, addressed dismiss complaint and/or manifestation to forward all records to the
to the Regional Director of the DPWH, Davao City, describing the Supreme Court.
properties subject of the levy as ‘All scrap iron/junks found in the
premises of the Department of Public Works and Highways depot at Petitioner alleged that the respondent Ombudsman-Mindanao
Panacan, Davao City. The auction sale pushed through and Alex committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
Bacquial emerged as the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Alex Bacquial, jurisdiction when he initiated a criminal complaint against petitioner for
together with respondent Sheriff Paralisan, attempted to withdraw the violation of R.A. No. 3019, Section 3 [e]. And he conducted an
auctioned properties on May 19, 1994. They were, however, prevented investigation of said complaint against petitioner. Thus, he encroached
from doing so by the custodian of the subject DPWH properties, a on the power of the Supreme Court of administrative supervision over
certain Engr. Ramon Alejo, who claimed that his office was totally all courts and its personnel.
unaware of the auction sale, and informed the sheriff that many of the
properties within the holding area of the depot were still serviceable The Solicitor General submitted that the Ombudsman may conduct an
and were due for repair and rehabilitation. investigation because the Supreme Court is not in possession of any
record which would verify the propriety of the issuance of the
On the basis of letters from Congressman Manuel M. Garcia of the questioned order and writ. Moreover, the Court Administrator has not
Second District of Davao City and Engineer Ramon A. Alejo, the Court filed any administrative case against petitioner judge that would pose
Administrator, Supreme Court directed Judge Renato A. Fuentes and similar issues on the present inquiry of the Ombudsman-Mindanao.
Sheriff Norberto Paralisan to comment on the report recommending
the filing of an administrative case against the sheriff and other persons Issue:
responsible for the anomalous implementation of the writ of execution. Whether the Ombudsman may conduct an investigation of acts of a
The Department of Public Works and Highways, through the Solicitor judge in the exercise of his official functions alleged to be in violation of
General, filed an administrative complaint against Sheriff Norberto the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, in the absence of an
Paralisan for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. administrative charge for the same acts before the Supreme Court.
Held: No. order of execution was valid under the given circumstances, must be
Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of inquired into in the course of the judicial action only by the Supreme
1989, provides: Court that is tasked to supervise the courts. “No other entity or official
of the Government, not the prosecution or investigation service of any
“Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman other branch, not any functionary thereof, has competence to review a
shall have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate judicial order or decision--whether final and executory or not--and
and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or pronounce it erroneous so as to lay the basis for a criminal or
omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such administrative complaint for rendering an unjust judgment or order.
act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It
has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan
and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any
stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation
of such cases.”

Thus, the Ombudsman may not initiate or investigate a criminal or

administrative complaint before his office against petitioner judge,
pursuant to his power to investigate public officers. The Ombudsman
must indorse the case to the Supreme Court, for appropriate action.

Article VIII, Section 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the

Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and court
personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals to the
lowest municipal trial court clerk.

Hence, it is the Supreme Court that is tasked to oversee the judges and
court personnel and take the proper administrative action against them
if they commit any violation of the laws of the land. No other branch of
government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the
independence of the judiciary and the doctrine of separation of powers.

Petitioner’s questioned order directing the attachment of government

property and issuing a writ of execution were done in relation to his
office, well within his official functions. The order may be erroneous or
void for lack or excess of jurisdiction. However, whether or not such
EDGARDO V. ESTARIJA, Petitioner, vs. EDWARD F. RANADA Respondent, agreement with Asia Pacific Chartering Phil., Inc., which was eventually
awarded to a shipping agency managed by Estarija’s son.
On August 10, 1998, respondent Edward F. Ranada, a member of the Davao
Pilots Association, Inc. (DPAI) and Davao Tugboat and Allied Services, Inc., On August 31, 2000, the Ombudsman rendered a decision in the administrative
(DTASI) filed an administrative complaint for Gross Misconduct before the case, finding Estarija guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct.
Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao, against petitioner Captain Edgardo V.
Estarija, Harbor Master of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Port of Davao, Estarija seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration. Estarija claimed that
Sasa, Davao City. dismissal was unconstitutional since the Ombudsman did not have direct and
immediate power to remove government officials, whether elective or
The complaint alleged that Estarija, who as Harbor Master issues the necessary appointive, who are not removable by impeachment. He maintains that under
berthing permit for all ships that dock in the Davao Port, had been demanding the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman’s administrative authority is merely
money ranging from P200 to P2000 for the approval and issuance of berthing recommendatory, and that Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as "The
permits, and P5000 as monthly contribution from the DPAI. The complaint Ombudsman Act of 1989", is unconstitutional because it gives the Office of the
alleged that prior to August 6, 1998, in order to stop the mulcting and extortion Ombudsman additional powers that are not provided for in the Constitution.
activities of Estarija, the association reported Estarija’s activities to the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI). On August 6, 1998, the NBI caught Estarija in The Ombudsman denied the motion for reconsideration in an Order 11 dated
possession of the P5,000 marked money used by the NBI to entrap Estarija. October 31, 2000. Thus, Estarija filed a Petition for Review with urgent prayer
for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary
Consequently, the Ombudsman ordered petitioner’s preventive suspension and prohibitory injunction before the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals, on
directed him to answer the complaint. The Ombudsman filed a criminal case February 12, 2003, dismissed the petition and affirmed the Ombudsman’s
against Estarija for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, The Anti-Graft and decision.
Corrupt Practices Act, before the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch No.
8. In his petition for review on certiorari, Estarija contends that he can not be
liable for grave misconduct because he did not commit extortion as he was
In his counter-affidavit and supplemental counter-affidavit, petitioner denied merely prodded by Adrian Cagata, an employee of the DPAI, to receive the
demanding sums of money for the approval of berthing permits. He claimed money and that it makes no sense why he would extort money in consideration
that Adrian Cagata, an employee of the DPAI, called to inform him that the of the issuance of berthing permits since the signing of berthing permits is only
DPAI had payables to the PPA, and although he went to the association’s office, ministerial on his part. He also maintains that Rep. Act No. 6770 is
he was hesitant to get the P5,000 from Cagata because the association had no unconstitutional because the Ombudsman has only the powers enumerated
pending transaction with the PPA. Estarija claimed that Cagata made him under Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution, which powers do not include
believe that the money was a partial remittance to the PPA of the pilotage fee the power to directly remove, suspend, demote, fine, or censure a government
for July 1998 representing 10% of the monthly gross revenue of their official. According to him, the Ombudsman’s power is merely to recommend
association. Nonetheless, he received the money but assured Cagata that he the action to the officer concerned. The Solicitor General maintains otherwise,
would send an official receipt the following day. He claimed that the arguing that the framers of the 1987 Constitution did not intend to spell out,
entrapment and the subsequent filing of the complaint were part of a restrictively, each act which the Ombudsman may or may not do, since the
conspiracy to exact personal vengeance against him on account of Ranada’s purpose of the Constitution is to provide simply a framework within which to
business losses occasioned by the cancellation of the latter’s sub-agency build the institution.
The Constitution does not restrict the powers of the Ombudsman in Section
Issue No.1: Whether or not there is substantial evidence to hold Estarija liable 13, Article XI of the 1987Constitution, but allows the Legislature to enact a law
for dishonesty and grave misconduct that would spell out the powers of the Ombudsman. Through the enactment of
The petition is DENIED. Rep. Act No. 6770, specifically Section 15, par. 3, the lawmakers gave the
Estarija is liable for dishonesty and grave misconduct. Estarija did not deny that Ombudsman such powers to sanction erring officials and employees, except
he went to the DPAI office to collect, and that he actually received, the money members of Congress, and the Judiciary. Sections 15, 21, 22 and 25 of Republic
which he demanded from the DPAI as monthly contribution. Since there was Act No. 6770 are constitutionally sound. The powers of the Ombudsman are
no pending transaction between the PPA and the DPAI, he had no reason to go not merely recommendatory. His office was given teeth to render this
to the latter’s office to collect any money. Even if he was authorized to assist in constitutional body not merely functional but also effective. Thus, we hold that
the collection of money due the agency, he should have issued an official under Republic Act No. 6770 and the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman has
receipt for the transaction, but he did not do so. Patently, petitioner had been the constitutional power to directly remove from government service an erring
dishonest about accepting money from DPAI. Misconduct is a transgression of public official other than a member of Congress and the Judiciary.
some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful
behavior or gross negligence by a public officer. And when the elements of
corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established
rule are manifest, the public officer shall be liable for grave misconduct.

Issue No.2: Whether or not the power of the Ombudsman to directly remove,
suspend, demote, fine, or censure erring officials is constitutional
Rep. Act No. 6770 provides for the functional and structural organization of the
Office of the Ombudsman. In passing Rep. Act No. 6770, Congress deliberately
endowed the Ombudsman with the power to prosecute offenses committed by
public officers and employees to make him a more active and effective agent of
the people in ensuring accountability in public office. Moreover, the legislature
has vested the Ombudsman with broad powers to enable him to implement his
own actions.

Rep. Act No. 6770 is consistent with the intent of the framers of the 1987
Constitution. They gave Congress the discretion to give the Ombudsman
powers that are not merely persuasive in character. Thus, in addition to the
power of the Ombudsman to prosecute and conduct investigations, the
lawmakers intended to provide the Ombudsman with the power to punish for
contempt and preventively suspend any officer under his authority pending an
investigation when the case so warrants. He was likewise given disciplinary
authority over all elective and appointive officials of the government and its
subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies except members of Congress and Samson v Restivera
the Judiciary (Ledesma v. Court of Appeals)
FACTS: Petitioner, a government officer from the Population Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating, but not limited, to acts
Commission, agreed to help her friend, respondent Julia A. Restrivera, or omissions which are unfair or irregular.Thus, even if the complaint
to have the latters land located in Carmona, Cavite, registered under the concerns an act of the public official or employee which is not service-
Torrens System.Petitioner said that the expenses would reach P150,000 connected, the case is within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.The
and accepted P50,000 from respondent to cover the initial expenses for law does not qualify.
the titling of respondents land.However, petitioner failed to accomplish
her task because it was found out that the land is government ***
property.When petitioner failed to return theP50,000, respondent sued
her forestafa.Respondent also filed an administrative complaint for Both the Ombudsman and CA interpreted Section 4(A) of R.A. No. 6713
grave misconduct or conduct unbecoming a public officer against as broad enough to apply even to private transactions that have no
petitioner before the Office of the Ombudsman. connection to the duties of ones office. However, that petitioner may
not be penalized for violation of Section 4 (A)(b) of R.A. No. 6713. In
The Ombudsman found petitioner guilty of violating Section 4(b) of R.A. Domingo v. Office of the Ombudsman, this Court had ruled that failure
No. 6713 and suspended her from office for six months without pay.It to abide by the norms of conduct under Section 4(A)(b) of R.A. No.
was reduced to three months suspension without pay.According to the 6713, in relation to its implementing rules, is not a ground for
Ombudsman, petitioners acceptance of respondents payment created a disciplinary action. Nevertheless, for reneging on her promise to return
perception that petitioner is a fixer.Her act fell short of the standard of aforesaid amount, petitioner is guilty of conduct unbecoming a public
personal conduct required by Section 4(b) of R.A. No. 6713 that public officer. In Assistant Special Prosecutor III Rohermia J. Jamsani-Rodriguez
officials shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as v. Justices Gregory S. Ong, et al., unbecoming conduct means improper
dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage. The CA affirmed, and added performance and applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules
that contrary to petitioners contentions, the Ombudsman has not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or
jurisdiction even if the act complained of is a private matter. prescribed method.

ISSUES: Respondent is found GUILTY of conduct unbecoming a public officer,

and is FINED P15,000.00 to be paid at the Office of the Ombudsman.
WON the Ombudsman has jurisdiction even if the act was private? Has
the proper offense been identified?
HELD: Section 13(1), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states that the
Ombudsman can investigate on its own or on complaint by any person
any act or omission of any public official. Under Section 16of R.A. No.
6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989, the jurisdiction
of the Ombudsman encompasses all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance,
and nonfeasance committed by any public officer or employee during Cariño v CHR
his/her tenure.Section 19 of R.A. No. 6770 also states that the
PRINCIPLES: (1) The grant of investigatory power does not imply the striking teachers’ right to due process and peaceable assembly
the grant of judicial or quasi-judicial power. docketed as G.R. No. 95445, supra. After their petitions were denied,
(2) Matters relating to discipline of teachers are under the original respondent teachers thereafter submitted sworn statements dated
Jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education, and may be appealed to the September 27, 1990 to the Commission on Human Rights to complain
Civil Service Commission, and lastly to the Supreme Court (Note: Under that while they were participating in peaceful mass actions, they
Rule 43 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, appeals from the Civil suddenly learned of their replacements as teachers, allegedly without
Service Commission must first go through the Court of Appeals). notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. The
Commission scheduled a "dialogue" on October 11, 1990, and sent a
FACTS: On September 17, 1990, some 800 public school subpoena to Secretary Cariño requiring his attendance therein.
teachers, among them members of the Manila Public School Teachers Otherwise, the Commission will resolve the complaint on the basis of
Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) complainants' evidence.
undertook what they described as "mass concerted actions" to
"dramatize and highlight" their plight resulting from the alleged failure The Commission on Human Rights had earlier made clear its position
of the public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again that it does not feel bound by the Supreme Court's joint Resolution in
been brought to the latter's attention. The teachers participating in the G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, making plain its intention to hear and
mass actions were served with an order of the Secretary of Education resolve the case on the merits. Hence, this petition for certiorari and
(Hon. Isidro Cariño) to return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal, and prohibition.
a memorandum directing the DECS officials concerned to initiate
dismissal proceedings against those who did not comply and to hire ISSUE: Where a particular subject-matter is placed by law
their replacements. Those directives notwithstanding, the mass actions within the jurisdiction of a court or other government agency or official
continued into the week, with more teachers joining in the days that for purposes of trial and adjudication, may the Commission on Human
followed. Rights take cognizance of the same subject-matter for the same
purposes of hearing and adjudication?
For failure to heed the return-to-work order, the CHR complainants
(private respondents) were administratively charged on the basis of the RULING: No. The CHR has no such power. It was not meant by
principal's report and given five (5) days to answer the charges. They the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this
were also preventively suspended for ninety (90) days "pursuant to country, or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter.
Section 41 of P.D. 807" (the Civil Service Decree) and temporarily
replaced. The CHR may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of
fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and
The MPSTA filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court political rights. But fact-finding is not adjudication, and cannot be
of Manila against petitioner Secretary Cariño, which was dismissed. likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-
Later, the MPSTA went to the Supreme Court on certiorari, in an judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and
attempt to nullify said dismissal, grounded on the alleged violation of ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial
function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of had occasion to pass upon said issues. The Commission on Human
receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy Rights simply has no place in this scheme of things. It has no business
must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary
factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or or the Civil Service Commission. It has no business going over the same
determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such ground traversed by the latter and making its own judgment on the
appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function questions involved.
the Commission does not have.
Reversal can only be done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by
It cannot try and decide cases as courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial the Supreme Court. The only thing the Commission can do, if it
bodies do. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error, is to refer the matter to
"Investigate," means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, the appropriate Government agency or tribunal for assistance; that
research on, study. The purpose of investigation, of course, is to would be the Civil Service Commission. It cannot arrogate unto itself the
discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.
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 Petition GRANTED; CHR Order ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Respondent
established by the inquiry. CHR and the Chairman and Members thereof PROHIBITED from hearing
and resolving the case (Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775) on the
"Adjudicate," means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, merits.
resolve, rule on, settle, 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 . . . ."

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" the matters involved. These are matters undoubtedly and
clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary 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
Civil Service Commission. Indeed, the Secretary of Education had
already taken cognizance of the issues and resolved them, and it
appears that appeals have been seasonably taken by the aggrieved
parties to the Civil Service Commission; and even this Court itself has SIMON JR. vs COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
denying petitioners' motion to dismiss. The CHR opined that "it was not
Facts: the intention of the (Constitutional) Commission to create only a paper
tiger limited only to investigating civil and political rights, but it (should)
A "Demolition Notice," dated 9 July 1990, signed by Carlos Quimpo (one be (considered) a quasi-judicial body with the power to provide
of the petitioners) in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all
City Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the persons within the Philippines "
City Mayor, was sent to, and received by, the private respondents (being
the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors Association, Their Motion for Reconsideration having been denied, petioners Simon
Incorporated). In said notice, the respondents were given a grace- Jr. et al filed a petition for prohibition to enjoin the CHR from hearing
period of 3 days within which to vacate the questioned premises of private respondents’ complaint.
North EDSA to give way to the construction of the"People's Park".
On 12 July 1990, private respondents, led by their President Roque
Fermo, filed a letter-complaint with the CHR against the petitioners, WON CHR has jurisdiction to hear the complaint and grant the relief
asking for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr. of prayed for by respondents.
Quezon City to stop the demolition of the private respondents'stalls, WON the CHR can investigate the subject matter of respondents’
sari-sari stores, and carinderia along North EDSA. CHR issued a complaint.
preliminary order directing the petitioners to desist from demolishing
the stalls and shanties at North EDSA pending resolution of the Held:
vendors/squatters' complaint before the Commission" and ordering said
petitioners to appear before the CHR. No. Under the constitution, the CHR has no power to adjudicate.
No. Complaint does not involve civil and political rights.
Petitioners started the demolition despite CHR’s order to desist.
Respondents consequently asked that petitioner’s be cited in contempt. Rationale:

Meanwhile, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the complaint filed by

respondents. They alleged that the Commission has no jurisdiction over Art XIII, Section 18 of the Constitution provides that the CHR has the
the complaint as it involved respondents’ privilege to engage in power to investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms
business, not their civil and political rights. of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.

In an Order, 11 dated 25 September 1990, the CHR cited the petitioners In Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights, the Court through Justice
in contempt for carrying out the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores Andres Narvasa observed that:
and carinderia despite the "order to desist", and it imposed a fine of
P500.00 on each of them. On 1 March 1991, the CHR issued an Order,
(T)he Commission on Human Rights . . . was not meant by the Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, it is
fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this readily apparent that the delegates envisioned a Commission on Human
country, or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human
rights violations. Delegate Garcia, for instance, mentioned such areas as
The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of the "(1) protection of rights of political detainees, (2) treatment of
adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and prisoners and the prevention of tortures, (3) fair and public trials, (4)
make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations cases of disappearances, (5) salvagings and hamletting, and (6) other
involving civil and political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, crimes committed against the religious."
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 In the particular case at hand, there is no cavil that what are sought to
evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a be demolished are the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia, as well as
judicial function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty temporary shanties, erected by private respondents on a land which is
of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy planned to be developed into a "People's Park." Looking at the
must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining
factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or in this instance, we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the
determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia of the private
appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to respondents can fall within the compartment of "human rights
repeat, the Commission does not have violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the
CHR’s investigative power encompasses all forms of human rights
violations involving civil and political rights.

The term civil rights has been defined as referring to those rights that
belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in wider sense, to all
its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or
administration of the government. They include the rights of property,
marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of contract, etc.
Political rights, on the other hand, are said to refer to the right to
participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration
of government, the right of suffrage, the right to hold public office, the
right of petition and, in general, the rights appurtenant to citizenship
vis-a-vis the management of government.
Gonzales III v Office of the President Misconduct (robbery, grave threats, robbery extortion and physical
injuries) was filed against him and other police officers.
 Office of the Regional Director of the National Police Commission
 There are two petitions that have been consolidated because they turned over, upon the request of petitioner Emilio A. Gonzales III, all
raise a common thread of issues relating to the President's exercise of relevant documents and evidence in relation to said case to the Office
the power to remove from office herein petitioners who claim the of the Deputy Ombudsman for appropriate administrative
protective cloak of independence of the constitutionally-created office adjudication
to which they belong - the Office of the Ombudsman.
 The administrative case against Mendoza was dismissed upon a
 st
1 case -> G.R. No. 19623: Petition for Certiorari which assails on finding that the material allegations made by the complainant had not
jurisdictional grounds the Decision dated March 31, 2011 rendered by been substantiated "by any evidence at all to warrant the indictment
the Office of the dismissing petitioner Emilio A. Gonzales III, Deputy of respondents of the offenses charged.
Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices,
upon a finding of guilt on the administrative charges of Gross Neglect  However, upon the recommendation of petitioner Emilio Gonzales III,
of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting a Betrayal of Public Trust. a Decision finding P/S Insp. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police
The petition primarily seeks to declare as unconstitutional Section 8(2) officers guilty of Grave Misconduct was approved by the Ombudsman
of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman
Act of 1989, which gives the President the power to dismiss a Deputy  They filed a Motion for Reconsideration followed by a Supplement to
Ombudsman of the Office of the Ombudsman. the Motion for Reconsideration. The pleadings mentioned and the
records of the case were assigned for review and recommendation to
 2nd case -> G.R. No. 196232, is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition Graft Investigation and Prosecutor Officer Dennis L. Garcia, who
seeking to annul, reverse and set aside (1) the undated released a draft Order for appropriate action by his immediate
Order requiring petitioner Wendell Barreras-Sulit to submit a written superior, Director Eulogio S. Cecilio, who, in turn, signed and
explanation with respect to alleged acts or omissions constituting forwarded said Order to petitioner Gonzalez's office on April 27, 2010.
serious/grave offenses in relation to the Plea Bargaining Agreement Not more than ten (10) days after, more particularly on May 6, 2010,
entered into with Major General Carlos F. Garcia; and (2) the April 7, petitioner endorsed the Order, together with the case records, for
2011 Notice of Preliminary Investigation, both issued by the Office of final approval by Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez, in whose
the President the administrative case initiated against petitioner as a office it remained pending for final review and action when P/S Insp.
Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman. The petition Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of foreign tourists on that fateful day of
likewise seeks to declare as unconstitutional Section 8(2) of R.A. No. August 23, 2010 in a desperate attempt to have himself reinstated in
6770 giving the President the power to dismiss a Special Prosecutor of the police service.
the Office of the Ombudsman.
 Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC): found Deputy
 Cause of 1st case: Hostage Drama involving Rolando Mendoza and Ombudsman Gonzales committed serious and inexcusable negligence
Hong Kong nationals in a tourist bus. Rolando Mendoza demanded his and gross violation of their own rules of procedure by allowing
reinstatement. Sometime in 2008, a formal charge for Grave Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to languish for more than nine
(9) months without any justification, in violation of the Ombudsman merely filled an obvious gap in
prescribed rules to resolve motions for reconsideration in the law.
administrative disciplinary cases within five (5) days from submission.
The inaction is gross, considering there is no opposition thereto. The Section 9, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution confers upon the President the
prolonged inaction precipitated the desperate resort to hostage- power to appoint the Ombudsman and his Deputies, viz:
Section 9. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the
 Case was elevated to OP. OP instituted a Formal Charge against President from a list of at least six nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar
petitioner Gonzales for Gross Neglect of Duty and/or Inefficiency in Council, and from a list of three nominees for every vacancy thereafter. Such
the Performance of Official Duty under Rule XIV, Section 22 of the appointments shall require no confirmation. All vacancies shall be filled within
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E.O. No. 292 and other three months after they occur.
pertinent Civil Service Laws, rules and regulations, and for Misconduct
in Office under Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. While the removal of the Ombudsman himself is also expressly provided for in
the Constitution, which is by impeachment under Section 244 of the same
 OP Dismissed Gonzales from his office. Article, there is, however, no constitutional provision similarly dealing with the
removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman, or a Special Prosecutor, for that
 2nd case: the Acting Deputy Special Prosecutor of the Office of the matter. By enacting Section 8(2) of R.A. 6770, Congress simply filled a gap in
Ombudsman charged Major General Carlos F. Garcia, his wife Clarita the law without running afoul of any provision in the Constitution or existing
D. Garcia, their sons Ian Carl Garcia, Juan Paulo Garcia and Timothy statutes. In fact, the Constitution itself, under Section 2, authorizes Congress to
Mark Garcia and several unknown persons with Plunder and Money provide for the removal of all other public officers, including the Deputy
Laundering before the Sandiganbayan. Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor, who are not subject to impeachment.

The Power of the President to

Remove a Deputy Ombudsman
Issues: and a Special Prosecutor is
Implied from his Power to
 Whether the Office of the President has jurisdiction to exercise
administrative disciplinary power over a Deputy Ombudsman and a
Special Prosecutor who belong to the constitutionally-created Office Under the doctrine of implication, the power to appoint carries with it the
of the Ombudsman. power to remove.48 As a general rule, therefore, all officers appointed by the
President are also removable by him. 49 The exception to this is when the law
expressly provides otherwise - that is, when the power to remove is expressly
vested in an office or authority other than the appointing power. In some
cases, the Constitution expressly separates the power to remove from the
By granting express statutory
President's power to appoint. Under Section 9, Article VIII of the 1987
power to the President to remove
Constitution, the Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts
a Deputy Ombudsman and a
shall be appointed by the President. However, Members of the Supreme Court
Special Prosecutor, Congress
may be removed after impeachment proceedings initiated by Congress (Section provisions under Article XI prescribes a term of office of seven years without
2, Article XI), while judges of lower courts may be removed only by the reappointment Section 11, prohibits a decrease in salaries during the term of
Supreme Court by virtue of its administrative supervision over all its personnel office Section 10, provides strict qualifications for the office Section 8, grants
(Sections 6 and 11, Article VIII). The Chairpersons and Commissioners of the fiscal autonomy Section 14 and ensures the exercise of constitutional functions
Civil Service Commission Section 1(2), Article IX(B), the Commission on Section 12 and 13. The cloak of independence is meant to build up the Office
Elections Section 1(2), Article IX(C), and the Commission on Audit Section 1(2), of the Ombudsman's institutional strength to effectively function as official
Article IX(D) shall likewise be appointed by the President, but they may be critic, mobilizer of government, constitutional watchdog 53 and protector of the
removed only by impeachment (Section 2, Article XI). As priorly stated, the people. It certainly cannot be made to extend to wrongdoings and permit the
Ombudsman himself shall be appointed by the President (Section 9, Article XI) unbridled acts of its officials to escape administrative discipline.
but may also be removed only by impeachment (Section 2, Article XI).
Being aware of the constitutional imperative of shielding the Office of the
In giving the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Ombudsman from political influences and the discretionary acts of the
Prosecutor, Congress simply laid down in express terms an authority that is executive, Congress laid down two restrictions on the President's exercise of
already implied from the President's constitutional authority to appoint the such power of removal over a Deputy Ombudsman, namely: (1) that the
aforesaid officials in the Office of the Ombudsman. removal of the Deputy Ombudsman must be for any of the grounds provided
for the removal of the Ombudsman and (2) that there must be observance of
Granting the President the Power due process. Reiterating the grounds for impeachment laid down in Section 2,
to Remove a Deputy Ombudsman Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, paragraph 1 of Section 8 of R.A. No. 6770
does not Diminish the states that the Deputy Ombudsman may be removed from office for the same
Independence of the Office of the grounds that the Ombudsman may be removed through impeachment,
Ombudsman. namely, "culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and
corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust." Thus, it cannot be
The claim that Section 8(2) of R.A. No. 6770 granting the President the power rightly said that giving the President the power to remove a Deputy
to remove a Deputy Ombudsman from office totally frustrates, if not Ombudsman, or a Special Prosecutor for that matter, would diminish or
resultantly negates the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman is compromise the constitutional independence of the Office of the Ombudsman.
tenuous. The independence which the Office of the Ombudsman is vested with It is, precisely, a measure of protection of the independence of the
was intended to free it from political considerations in pursuing its Ombudsman's Deputies and Special Prosecutor in the discharge of their duties
constitutional mandate to be a protector of the people. What the Constitution that their removal can only be had on grounds provided by law.
secures for the Office of the Ombudsman is, essentially, political independence.
This means nothing more than that "the terms of office, the salary, the
appointments and discipline of all persons under the office" are "reasonably
insulated from the whims of politicians." 52 And so it was that Section 5, Article
XI of the 1987 Constitution had declared the creation of the independent
Office of the Ombudsman, composed of the Ombudsman and his Deputies,
who are described as "protectors of the people" and constitutionally mandated
to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public
officials or employees of the Government Section 12, Article XI. Pertinent