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[ADMINISTRATIVE & ELECTION LAW| PROSEC.

MACABABBAD] 1

LAXAMANA VS. BORLAZA  1st memorandum: requesting that more care be exercised and that a
GR No. L-26965, September 20, 1972 representative of the President will proof-read the articles before
J. Makalintal publishing
(Digested by: Iñigo Rojas)  2nd memorandum: informed Laxamana of the constitution of the Board
of Management of The Torch to restudy its policies affecting its
editorial and reportorial practices and business management
TOPIC: Modes of Appointment  Laxamana alleged that PNC President was bent on removing her as
Petitioner: Felicitas Laxamana represented by Paredes, Poblador, Cruz, and Director of Publications by shifting her to a full-time teaching
Nazareno and Arturo Agustines assignment.
Respondent: Dr. Gregorio Borlaza, President of the Philippine Normal  She prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction to prevent the
College enforcement of the assailed directives and to restrain her possible
removal as Director of Publications pending determination of the
DOCTRINE: merits of her complaint.
This case being merely a “designation”, the Board had the power to withdraw  However, even before Ramirez filed his answers, Laxamana was
her designation, without affecting her salary, rank or status as Associate relieved as Director of Publications and was advised to assume a full-
Professor II. time teaching assignment in the English department effective
immediately, without any change in professional rank and salary. This
FACTS: relief was pursuant to a Resolution of the Board of Trustees.
 CFI: Dismissed. Assailed directives were issued in the legitimate
 Felicitas Laxamana, Director of Publications in Philippine Normal exercise by PNC President of his administrative and supervisory
College(PNC), filed a complaint against Emiliano Ramirez, then PNC’S authority for the orderly management of the college and the
President before the CFI (who was then substituted by respondent preservation of discipline therein.
herein, Dr. Gregorio Borlaza). o Also, Laxamana’s relief as Director of Publications was valid,
 Laxamana alleges that the twin memoranda issued by Ramirez should on the premise that she was never appointed, but merely
be annulled on the ground that they “abridge the fundamental liberties designated. Therefore, she could be replaced anytime.
of thought, speech and press unburden the State from the obligation to
patronize arts and letters, deny the Philippine Normal College the right ISSUE/S:
to enjoy academic freedom, and relieve it from the duty to develop
moral character, personal discipline, and civic conscience and to teach 1. WON the two memoranda issued to Laxamana is
the duties of citizenship to its students”
unconstitutional? -NO
 This controversy was prompted by the publication in the monthly
student organs of the Philippine Normal College, The Torch and The
2. WON the issued directives to Laxamana unconstitutional for
Torch Newsletter, of certain items which he viewed as an unkind,
denying her due process when she was relieved as Director of
discourteous and unfair approach in the treatment of the subjects
there discussed Publications? - NO

(GO1) 2017 - 2018


HELD:  Since the appellant was the Director of Publications merely by
designation and not by permanent appointment, as indeed there was
1. NO. The twin memoranda is constitutional. no such position in the college plantilla to which a permanent
appointment could be made, it cannot be said that she was illegally
 The court held that as for the first memorandum suggesting page removed there from when she was directed to assume a full-time
proofs of the student organs be gone over by his representative teaching job as Associate Professor II.
before they were finally published has been already recalled, thus  When Laxamana was designated as Director of Publications, the
becoming moot and academic—this fact being undisputed by Resolution of the Board of Trustees authorizing the President to shift
Laxamana. Therefore, there is an absence of a justiciable point to any professor or instructor from administrative position to profession
thresh out as to this issue. job or vice-versa, provided there will be no change in salary, status, or
rank of the professor or instructor affected.
 As for the second memorandum, the court maintains that it was
nothing more than a request for the newly-constituted board of  Note also that in this case, it was not the President who shifted her to
full-time teaching but the Board itself. This case being merely a
management of the Torch, chaired by Laxamana as Director of
“designation”, the Board had the power to withdraw her designation,
Publications, to convene so that the existing policies of the student
without affecting her salary, rank or status as Associate Professor II.
organs might be restudied with an eye towards improving the editorial
Therefore, the question of whether or not she had been heard (due
and reportorial policies.
process) IS NOT of decisive relevance.
 The court further added that at this stage there is yet no case of an
abridgement of fundamental liberties of though speech, press and
 Evidently the differences between the plaintiff, as Director of
Publications, and the administration of the Philippine Normal College,
academic freedom.
through its President and Board of Trustees, involved a question of
policy in respect of the student publications in said college. On this
2. No. The Board has the power to withdraw Laxamana’s
score, it appearing that such differences were nigh irreconcilable, the
designation, without affecting her salary, rank or status as
policy-determining body must prevail.
Associate Professor
 The court held that, in the first place, there was no such position as
"Director of Publications" in the official plantilla of the Philippine
Decision: CFI Affirmed.
Normal College, nor any separate emolument to be paid the incumbent
— which probably explains why only a regular faculty member, not a
new appointee, could be designated thereto.
 Secondly, it is quite farfetched to argue that Laxamana's appointment
of September 24, 1963 as "Associate Professor II (Range 48) (Director
of Publications)" operated to prevent her being shifted to full-time
instructional duties.
 The addition of the phrase "Director of Publications" in parenthesis in
Laxamana's appointment was evidently intended only to make it clear
that her promotion to the position of Associate Professor II did not
necessarily terminate her designation as Director of Publications, which
was originally extended to her while she was holding the position of
Assistant Professor III, and at the same time to avoid any claim that the
Director of Publications should necessarily be the one occupying said
position, which she vacated upon her promotion.