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Article XVI.

General Provisions
State immunity from suit

Republic vs. Villasor, G.R. No. L-30671, 54 SCRA 83 November 28, 1973
Government funds are not subject to garnishment.

Facts: The case was filed by the Republic of the Philippines requesting to nullify the ruling of The
Court of First Instance in Cebu in garnishing the public funds allocated for the Arm Forces of the

A decision was rendered in Special Proceedings in favor of respondents P. J. Kiener Co., Ltd.,
Gavino Unchuan, and International Construction Corporation, and against the petitioner herein,
confirming the arbitration award in the amount of P1,712,396.40, subject of Special Proceedings.
The respondent Honorable Guillermo P. Villasor, issued an Order declaring the said decision final
and executory, directing the Sheriffs of Rizal Province, Quezon City and Manila to execute the said
decision. The corresponding Alia Writ of Execution was issued. On the strength of the
aforementioned Alias Writ of Execution, the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal served Notices of
Garnishment with several Banks. The funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on deposit with
Philippine Veterans Bank and PNB are public funds duly appropriated and allocated for the
payment of pensions of retirees, pay and allowances of military and civilian personnel and for
maintenance and operations of the AFP.

Petitioner, filed prohibition proceedings against respondent Judge Villasor for acting in
excess of jurisdiction with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in granting
the issuance of a Writ of Execution against the properties of the AFP, hence the notices and
garnishment are null and void.


1. Whether or not the state can be sued without its consent.

2. Whether or not the notice of garnishment issued by Judge Villasor is valid.


1. The provision of Sec 3 Article XVI declares that “the State may not be sued without its consent”.
This provision is merely a recognition of the sovereign character of the State and express an
affirmation of the unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction of the courts of justice.
Another justification is the practical consideration that the demands and inconveniences of

litigation will divert time and resources of the State from the more pressing matters demanding
its attention, to the prejudice of the public welfare.
2. As a general rule, whether the money is deposited by way of general or special deposit, they
remain government funds and are not subject to garnishment. An exception of the rule is a law or
ordinance that has been enacted appropriating a specific amount to pay a valid government


1. It is a fundamental postulate of constitutionalism flowing from the juristic concept of sovereignty

that the state as well as its government is immune from suit unless it gives its consent. A
sovereign is exempt from suit, not because of any formal conception or obsolete theory, but on
the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right as against the authority that
makes the law on which the right depends. A continued adherence to the doctrine of non-
suability is not to be deplored for as against the inconvenience that may cause private parties, the
loss of government efficiency and the obstacle to the performance of its multifarious functions are
far greater is such a fundamental principle were abandoned and the availability of judicial
remedy were not thus restricted.
2. What was done by respondent Judge is not in conformity with the dictates of the Constitution.
From a logical and sound sense from the basic concept of the non-suability of the State, public
funds cannot be the object of a garnishment proceeding even if the consent to be sued had been
previously granted and the state liability adjudged. Disbursements of public funds must be
covered by the corresponding appropriation as required by law. The functions and public
services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of
public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.

Art XVI Sec 3: Metran vs. Paredes

Supreme Court ruled that the immunity of public officers from liability arising from the performance
of their duties is necessary to protect the performance of governmental and public functions from
being harassed unduly or constantly interrupted by private suits.

Before the Court of Industrial Relations a petition was filed in case No. 36-V entitled “National
Labor Union, versus Metropolitan Transportation Service (Metran),” wherein petitioner alleged
that it was a legitimate labor organization, thirty of whose affiliated members were working and
under the employ of the respondent; that the respondent “is a semi-governmental transportation
entity, popularly known as ‘Metran,’ and after several other allegations concluded with the prayer
that its nine demands at length set forth in said petition be granted.

In behalf of the so-called respondent an oral petition for dismissal of the case was made before the
court on October 22, 1946. “on the ground that the respondent belongs to the Republic of the
Philippines and as such, it cannot be sued”

ISSUE: W/N METRAN can invoke the doctrine of immunity from suit or Sec 3 of Art XVI of the
1987 Constitution (The State may not be sued without its consent)

HELD: “Upon the whole, we are clearly of opinion that the proceedings had in the Court of
Industrial Relations and now subject of this appeal are null and void [and] that the said court
should be, as it is
hereby, enjoined from taking any further action in the case inconsistent with this decision.”

RATIO: It is beyond dispute that the Metropolitan Transportation Service (Metran) is and was at
the times covered by the petition in the Court of Industrial Relations an office created by Executive
Order No. 59 and operating under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Public
Works and Communications. The said office not being a juridical person, any suit, action or
proceeding against it, if it were to produce any effect, would in practice be a suit, action or
proceeding against the Government itself, of which the said Metropolitan Transportation Service
(Metran) is a mere office or agency.

The Bureau of Public Works under whose supervision the Metropolitan Transportation Service
(Metran) has been organized and functions in is an integral part of the government, just as the said
office or agency. And apart from the consideration that neither said Bureau nor said office has any
juridical personality to be sued for reasons already set forth, any suit or action attempted against
either will necessarily be a suit or action against the government itself

In a republican state, like the Philippines, government immunity from suit without its consent is
derived from the will of the people themselves in freely creating a government “of the people, by
the people, and for the people”

Providence Washington Insurance Co. v. Republic of the Philippines

"A continued adherence to the doctrine of non-suability is not to be deplored for as against the
inconvenience that may be caused private parties, the loss of governmental efficiency and the
obstacle to the performance of its multifarious functions are far greater if such a fundamental
principle were abandoned and the availability of judicial remedy were not thus restricted. With the
well known propensity on the part of our people to go to court, at the least provocation, the loss of
time and energy required to defend against law suits, in the absence of such a basic principle that
constitutes such an effective obstacle, could very well be imagined."
G.R. No. L-26386, September 30, 1969

Providence Washington Insurance Co. filed, on October 21, 1966, its brief as appellant against an
order of the lower court dismissing its suit for the non-delivery of thirty cases of steel files, which
cargo was insured by it against loss and damage, naming as defendants the Republic of the
Philippines and the Bureau of Customs as the operator of the arrastre service, thus rendering
unavoidable the invocation of the well-settled doctrine of non-suability of the government. Less
than two months later, on December 17, 1966, our decision in Mobil Philippines Exploration, Inc.
v. Customs Arrastre Service was promulgated. We there explicitly held: "The Bureau of Customs,
acting as part of the machinery of the national government in the operation of the arrastre service,
pursuant to express legislative mandate and as a necessary incident of its prime governmental
function, is immune from suit, there being no statute to the contrary."
As of this date, thirty-six subsequent cases, certainly a figure far from unimpressive, have been
similarly decided expressly reaffirming the above ruling of governmental immunity from suit
without its consent. The futility of this appeal is quite apparent. We affirm the lower court order of
The doctrine of non-suability thus holds undisputed sway. Its primacy appears to be undeniable.
For a suit of this character to prosper, there must be a showing of consent either in express terms
or by implication through the use of statutory language too plain to be misinterpreted. Its absence
being obvious, the lower court acted correctly.
Nor did the Mobil decision blaze a new trail. So it has been from the time the Constitution took
effect in 1935. Bull v. Yatco, a 1939 decision during the Commonwealth, spoke to that effect.
Adherence to such a view is reflected in the various cases decided after independence before the
Mobil Exploration case. The classic formulation of Holmes of this doctrine of non-suability thus
bears restatement: "A sovereign is exempt from suit, not because of any formal conception or
obsolete theory, but on the logical and practical round that there can be no legal right as against
the authority that makes the law on which the right depends."
This is not to deny that while indeed logical and far from impractical the doctrine does give rise to
problems considering how widely immersed in matters hitherto deemed outside its sphere the
government is at present. Nor is it likely considering its expanding role, demanded by the times
and warranted by the Constitution, that a halt would be called to many of its activities, at times
unavoidably adversely affecting private rights. Nonetheless, a continued adherence to the doctrine
of non-suability is not to be deplored for as against the inconvenience that may be caused private
parties, the loss of governmental efficiency and the obstacle to the performance of its multifarious
functions are far greater if such a fundamental principle were abandoned and the availability of
judicial remedy were not thus restricted. With the well known propensity on the part of our
people to go to court, at the least provocation, the loss of time and energy required to defend
against law suits, in the absence of such a basic principle that constitutes such an effective obstacle
could very well be imagined.
At any rate, in case of a money claim arising from contract, express or implied, which could serve
as a basis for civil action between private, parties, such a consent has been given by a statute
enacted by the Philippine legislature, even before the Constitution took effect and still applicable
at present. The procedure provided for in such a statute was made more expeditious by a
Commonwealth Act, enabling the party or entity, who feels aggrieved by the final decision of the
Auditor General required to decide the claim within sixty days, having the right to go to this Court

for final adjudication. 8 It is worthy of note likewise that in the pursuit of its activities affecting
business, the government has increasingly relied on private corporations possessing the power to
sue and be sued.
Thus the doctrine of non-suability of the government without its consent, as it has operated in
practice, hardly lends itself to the charge that it could be the fruitful parent of injustice,
considering the vast and ever-widening scope of state activities at present being undertaken.
Whatever difficulties for private claimants may still exist, is, from an objective appraisal of all
factors, minimal. In the balancing of interests, so unavoidable in the determination of what.
principles must prevail if government is to satisfy the public weal, the verdict must be, as it has
been these so many years, for its continuing recognition as a fundamental postulate of
constitutional law.
WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal of the lower court of May 23, 1966 is affirmed. With costs
against plaintiff-appellant.

Republic v. Purisima, 78 SCRA 470 (1977)

Express consent of the State may be manifested through general or special

law. Solicitor General cannot validly waive immunity from suit. Only the Congress can.


A motion to dismiss was filed on September 7, 1972 by defendant Rice and Corn Administration in
a pending civil suit in the sala of respondent Judge for the collection of a money claim arising from
an alleged breach of contract, the plaintiff being private respondent Yellow Ball Freight Lines, Inc.
At that time, the leading case of Mobil Philippines Exploration, Inc. v. Customs Arrastre Service,
where Justice Bengzon stressed the lack of jurisdiction of a court to pass on the merits of a claim
against any office or entity acting as part of the machinery of the national government unless
consent be shown, had been applied in 53 other decisions. Respondent Judge Amante P. Purisima
of the Court of First Instance of Manila denied the motion to dismiss dated October 4, 1972. Hence,
the petition for certiorari and prohibition.

Issue: WON the respondent’s decision is valid

Ruling: No.


The position of the Republic has been fortified with the explicit affirmation found in this provision
of the present Constitution: "The State may not be sued without its consent."

"The doctrine of non-suability recognized in this jurisdiction even prior to the effectivity of the
[1935] Constitution is a logical corollary of the positivist concept of law which, to para-phrase
Holmes, negates the assertion of any legal right as against the state, in itself the source of the law
on which such a right may be predicated. Nor is this all, even if such a principle does give rise to
problems, considering the vastly expanded role of government enabling it to engage in business
pursuits to promote the general welfare, it is not obeisance to the analytical school of thought
alone that calls for its continued applicability. Nor is injustice thereby cause private parties. They
could still proceed to seek collection of their money claims by pursuing the statutory remedy of
having the Auditor General pass upon them subject to appeal to judicial tribunals for final
adjudication. We could thus correctly conclude as we did in the cited Providence Washington
Insurance decision: "Thus the doctrine of non-suability of the government without its consent, as
it has operated in practice, hardly lends itself to the charge that it could be the fruitful parent of
injustice, considering the vast and ever-widening scope of state activities at present being
undertaken. Whatever difficulties for private claimants may still exist, is, from an objective
appraisal of all factors, minimal. In the balancing of interests, so unavoidable in the determination
of what principles must prevail if government is to satisfy the public weal, the verdict must be, as
it has been these so many years, for its continuing recognition as a fundamental postulate of
constitutional law." [Switzerland General Insurance Co., Ltd. v. Republic of the Philippines]

***The consent, to be effective, must come from the State acting through a duly enacted statute as
pointed out by Justice Bengzon in Mobil. Thus, whatever counsel for defendant Rice and Corn
Administration agreed to had no binding force on the government.

Veterans Manpower and Protective Services, Inc. v. CA, 214 SCRA 286 (1992)

FACTS: VMPSI (Veterans Manpower and Protective Services, Inc.) alleges that the provisions of RA
5487 (Private Security Agency Law) violate the provisions of the Constitution against monopolies,
unfair competition and combinations of restraint of trade and tend to favor and institutionalize
the PADPAO (Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Services, Inc.). Furthermore,
VMPSI questions the provision on requiring all private security agencies or company security
forces to register as members of any PADPAO chapter organized within the region. On May 12,
1986, a Memorandum of Agreement was executed by PADPAO and the PC Chief, which fixed the
minimum monthly contract rate per guard for 8 hours of security service per day at P2,255.00
within Metro Manila and P2,215.00 outside of Metro Manila. PADPAO found VMPSI guilty of cut-
throat competition when it charged Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System lower than
the standard minimum rates provided in the MOA. As a result, PADPAO refused to issue a
clearance/certificate of membership to VMPSI. VMPSI filed a civil case against the PC chief and PC-
SUSIA (Philippine Constabulary Supervisory Unit for Security and Investigation Agencies). PC
Chief and PC-SUSIA filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the case is against the State
which had not given consent thereto.

ISSUE: Whether or not VMPSI’s complaint against the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA is a suit against the
State without its consent.

HELD: Yes. A public official may sometimes be held liable in his personal or private capacity if he
acts in bad faith, or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction, however, since the acts for
which the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA are being called to account in this case, were performed as part
of their official duties, without malice, gross negligence, or bad faith, no recovery may be had
against them in their private capacities. Furthermore, the Supreme Court agrees with the Court of
Appeals that the Memorandum of Agreement dated May 12, 1986 does not constitute an implied
consent by the State to be sued.

The consent of the State to be sued must emanate from statutory authority, hence, a legislative act,
not from a mere memorandum. Without such consent, the trial court did not acquired jurisdiction
over the public respondents.

Petition for review is denied and the judgment appealed from is affirmed in toto.


G.R. No. L-23139 18 SCRA 1120 December 17, 1966




This case was filed by Mobil Phil Exploration Inc. against the Customs Arrastre Service and the
Bureau of Customs to recover the value of the undelivered case of rotary drill parts.

Four cases of rotary drill parts were shipped from abroad, consigned to Mobil Philippines
Exploration, Inc. The shipment was discharged to the custody of the Customs Arrastre Service, the
unit of the Bureau of Customs then handling arrastre operations therein. The Customs Arrastre
Service later delivered to the broker of the consignee three cases only of the shipment. Mobil
Philippines Exploration, Inc filed suit in the Court of First Instance of Manila against the Customs
Arrastre Service and the Bureau of Customs to recover the value of the undelivered case plus
other damages.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that not being persons under
the law, defendants cannot be sued. Appellant contends that not all government entities are
immune from suit; that defendant Bureau of Customs as operator of the arrastre service at the
Port of Manila, is discharging proprietary functions and as such, can be sued by private


Whether or not both Customs Arrastre Service and the Bureau of Customs can invoke state


The Bureau of Custom, is a part of Department of Finance. It does not have a separate juridical
personality of its own apart from that of the national government. Its primary function is
governmental, that of assessing and collecting lawful revenues from imported articles and all
other tariff and customs duties, fees, charges, fines and penalties (Sec. 602, R.A. 1937). To this
function, arrastre service is a necessary incident. As stated in the law, agencies of the government
is not suable if it is performing governmental functions and if it an unincorporated government
entity without a separate juridical personality.


Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the Bureau of Customs cannot be sued for recovery of money
and damages involving arrastre services, considering that said arrastre function may be deemed
proprietary, because it is a necessary incident of the primary and governmental function of the
Bureau of Customs. The Court ruled that the fact that a non-corporate government entity performs
a function proprietary in nature does not necessarily result in its being suable. If said non-
governmental function is undertaken as an incident to its governmental function, there is no
waiver thereby of the sovereign immunity from suit extended to such government entity. The
Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiff should have filed its present claim to the General Auditing
Office, it being for money under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 327, which state the
conditions under which money claims against the Government may be filed.

Calub and Valencia v. Court of Appeals, 331 SCRA 55 (2000)

Replevin cannot be issued to recover a property lawfully taken by virtue of legal process and
considered in the custody of the law. A replevin case against the State, without its consent, cannot

Facts: The Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Team of the Community Environment and
Natural Resources Office of the DENR apprehended 2 motor vehicles loaded with illegally sourced
lumber. The drivers of the vehicles failed to present proper documents. Thus, the apprehending
team impounded the vehicles and its load of lumber. The impounded vehicles were forcibly taken
by the drivers from the custody of DENR. Thereafter, one of the 2 vehicles was again apprehended
by a composite team of DENR-CENRO and Phil. Army elements. The vehicle was again loaded with
forest products.

Private respondents Manuela Babalcon, the vehicle owner, and Constancio Abuganda, the driver,
filed a complaint for the recovery of possession of the vehicle with an application for replevin
against petitioners DENR and DENR Officer Calub.

Issue: Whether or not the complaint for the recovery of possession of impounded vehicles, with
an application for replevin, is a suit against the State

Held: Well established is the doctrine that the State may not be sued without its consent. And a
suit against a public officer for his official acts is, in effect, a suit against the State if its purpose is
to hold the State ultimately liable. However, the protection afforded to public officers by this
doctrine generally applies only to activities within the scope of their authority in good faith and
without willfulness, malice or corruption.

In the present case, the acts for which the petitioners are being called to account were performed
by them in the discharge of their official duties. The acts in question are clearly official in nature.
In implementing and enforcing Secs. 78-A and 89 of the Forestry Code through the seizure carried
out, petitioners were performing their duties and functions as officers of the DENR, and did so
within the limits of their authority. There was no malice or bad faith on their part. Hence, a suit
against the petitioners who represent the DENR is a suit against the State. It cannot prosper
without the State’s consent.

Ministerio v. CFI, 40 SCRA 464 (1971)


FACTS: Petitioners sought the payment of just compensation for a registered lot alleging that in
1927 the National Government through its authorized representatives took physical and material
possession of it and used it for the widening of a national road, without paying just compensation
and without any agreement, either written or verbal. There was an allegation of repeated
demands for the payment of its price or return of its possession, but defendants Public Highway
Commissioner and the Auditor General refused to restore its possession.

ISSUE: Whether or not the defendants are immune from suit.

HOLDING: NO. Where the judgment in such a case would result not only in the recovery of
possession of the property in favor of said citizen but also in a charge against or financial liability
to the Government, then the suit should be regarded as one against the government itself, and,
consequently, it cannot prosper or be validly entertained by the court except with the consent of
said Government. In as much as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers, unauthorized
acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the officials
or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts, for the protection of
his rights, is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit.

NOTE: When the government takes any property for public use, which is condition upon the
payment of just compensation, to be judicially ascertained, it makes manifest that it submits to the
jurisdiction of a court. The Court may proceed with the complaint and determine the
compensation to which the petitioner is entitled to.


G.R. No. L-24294
May 3, 1974

 Respondent Edgardo Gener, as plaintiff, filed a complaint for injunction with the Court of
First Instance of Bataan against petitioner, Donald Baer, Commander of the United States
Naval Base in Olongapo.
 He alleged that he was engaged in the business of logging and that the American Naval Base
authorities stopped his logging operations.
 He prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction restraining petitioner from interfering with
his logging operations.
 A restraining order was issued by respondent Judge
 Counsel for petitioner, upon instructions of the American Ambassador to the Philippines,
entered their appearance for the purpose of contesting the jurisdiction of respondent Judge
on the ground that the suit was one against a foreign sovereign without its consent.


Whether the contention of the petitioner that the respondent judge acquires no jurisdiction on the
ground that the suit was one against a foreign sovereign without its consent.

YES. The contention of the petitioner is tenable.
The writ of certiorari prayed for is granted, nullifying and setting aside the writ of
preliminary injunction.

The invocation of the doctrine of immunity from suit of a foreign state without its consent
is appropriate.

In the case of Coleman v. Tennessee, it was explicitly declared:

"It is well settled that a foreign army, permitted to march through a friendly country
or to be stationed in it, by permission of its government or sovereign, is exempt from
the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the place."

In the case of Raquiza v. Bradford, it was held that”

Accuracy demands the clarification that after the conclusion of the Philippine-American
Military Bases Agreement, the treaty provisions should control on such matter, the assumption
being that there was a manifestation of the submission to jurisdiction on the part of the foreign
power whenever appropriate.

This is not only a case of a citizen filing a suit against his own Government without the
latter's consent but it is of a citizen filing an action against a foreign government
without said government's consent, which renders more obvious the lack of
jurisdiction of the courts of his country.

In the case of Parreno v. McGranery, the court ruled that:

"It is a widely accepted principle of international law, which is made a part of the law
of the land (Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution), that a foreign state may not be
brought to suit before the courts of another state or its own courts without its

The doctrine of state immunity is not limited to cases which would result in a pecuniary
charge against the sovereign or would require the doing of an affirmative act by it. Prevention of a
sovereign from doing an affirmative act pertaining directly and immediately to the most important
public function of any government - the defense of the state - is equally as untenable as requiring it
to do an affirmative act." That such an appraisal is not opposed to the interpretation of the
relevant treaty provision by our government is made clear in the aforesaid manifestation and
memorandum as amicus curiae, wherein it joined petitioner for the grant of the remedy prayed

There should be no misinterpretation of the scope of the decision reached by this Court.
Petitioner, as the Commander of the United States Naval Base in Olongapo, does not possess

diplomatic immunity. He may therefore be proceeded against in his personal capacity, or
when the action taken by him cannot be imputed to the government which he represents.

Thereafter, in the cited cases of Syquia, Marquez Lim, and Johnson, the parties proceeded against
were American army commanding officers stationed in the Philippines. The insuperable obstacle
to the jurisdiction of respondent Judge is that a foreign sovereign without its consent is haled
into court in connection with acts performed by it pursuant to treaty provisions and thus
impressed with a governmental character.

Suzette Nicolas v. Romulo, 578 SCRA 438 (2009)

Ratification of a Treaty – Validity of the Visiting Forces Agreement

**This case is consolidated with Salonga vs Daniel Smith & BAYAN vs Gloria Arroyo

On the 1st of November 2005, Daniel Smith committed the crime of rape against Nicole. He was
convicted of the said crime and was ordered by the court to suffer imprisonment. Smith was a US
serviceman convicted of a crime against our penal laws and the crime was committed within the
country’s jurisdiction. But pursuant to the VFA, a treaty between the US and Philippines, the US
embassy was granted custody over Smith. Nicole, together with the other petitioners appealed
before the SC assailing the validity of the VFA. Their contention is that the VFA was not ratified by
the US senate in the same way our senate ratified the VFA.

ISSUE: Is the VFA void and unconstitutional & whether or not it is self-executing.

HELD: The VFA is a self-executing Agreement because the parties intend its provisions to be
enforceable, precisely because the VFA is intended to carry out obligations and undertakings
under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. As a matter of fact, the VFA has been implemented and
executed, with the US faithfully complying with its obligation to produce Smith before the court
during the trial.

The VFA is covered by implementing legislation inasmuch as it is the very purpose and intent of
the US Congress that executive agreements registered under this Act within 60 days from their
ratification be immediately implemented. The SC noted that the VFA is not like other treaties that
need implementing legislation such as the Vienna Convention. As regards the implementation of
the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, military aid or assistance has been given under it and this can
only be done through implementing legislation. The VFA itself is another form of implementation
of its provisions. (Nicolas v. Romulo-Digest.pdf)

Delos Santos v. IAC, 223 SCRA 11 (1993)

Emiliano r. De los santos, spouses norma a. Padilla and isidoro l. Padilla and the heirs of francisco
dayrit --petitioners
Intermediate appellate court, hon. Judge cicero c. Jurado, nestor agustin and edilberto cadiente--

• Petitioners were co-owners of a parcel of land located in Barrio Wawa, Binangonan, Rizal
(19,061 square meters).
• They filed civil case no. 46800, against Lorenzo Cadiente, a private contractor and
Provincial Engineer constructed a road within their property without their consent. Respondents
also constructed, an artificial creek occupying 2906 square meters of their property.
• They also filed Civil Case no. 46801 – against deprivation of property without due process
of law and without compensation
• The two cases were consolidated and Solicitor General filed a motion to dismiss both cases

Whether or not the State may be sued being that it has not given its consent

• YES.
• From Amigable v Cuenca: where a governments takes away property from a private
landowner for public use without going through the legal process of expropriation or negotiated
sale, a suit may properly be maintained against the government. – The doctrine of governmental
immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen.
• The civil action may be based under Art 32 NCC and the constitutional provisions on rights
against privation of property without due process of law and without just compensation.

Santiago v. Republic, 87 SCRA 294 (1978)

Immunity of the State from Suit; When is it Deemed Waived

In January 1971, Ildefonso Santiago gratuitously donated a parcel of land to the Bureau of Plant
Industry. The terms of the donation are; that the Bureau should construct a building on the said lot
and that the building should be finished by December 7, 1974, that the Bureau should install
lighting facilities on the said lot. However, come 1976 there were still no improvements on the lot.
This prompted Santiago to file a case pleading for the revocation of such contract of donation. The
trial court dismissed the petition claiming that it is a suit against the government and should not
prosper without the consent of the government.

ISSUE: Whether or not the state has not waived its immunity from suit.

HELD: No. The government has waived its immunity and such waiver is implied by virtue of the
terms provided in the deed of donation. The government is a beneficiary of the terms of the
donation. But the government through the Bureau of Plant Industry has breached the terms of the
deed by not complying with such, therefore, the donor Santiago has the right to have his day in
court and be heard. Further, to not allow the donor to be heard would be unethical and contrary to
equity which the government so advances. Case should prosper.

Republic v. Sandoval, 220 SCRA 124 (1993)

Facts: Farmer-rallyists marched to Malacanang calling for a genuine land reform program. There
was a marchers-police confrontation which resulted in the death of 12 rallyists and scores were
wounded. As a result, then Pres. Aquino issued AO 11 creating the Citizens Mendiola Commission
for the purpose of conducting an investigation. The most significant recommendation of the
Commission was for the heirs of the deceased and wounded victims to be compensated by the
government. Based on such recommendation, the victims of Mendiola massacre filed an action for
damages against the Republic and the military/police officers involved in the incident.

(1) Whether or not there is a valid waiver of immunity
(2) Whether or not the State is liable for damages

Held: The Court held that there was no valid waiver of immunity as claimed by the petitioners.
The recommendation made by the Commission to indemnify the heirs of the deceased and the
victims does not in any way mean that liability attaches to the State. AO 11 merely states the
purpose of the creation of the Commission and, therefore, whatever is the finding of the
Commission only serves as the basis for a cause of action in the event any party decides to litigate
the same. Thus, the recommendation of the Commission does not in any way bind the State.

The State cannot be made liable because the military/police officers who allegedly were
responsible for the death and injuries suffered by the marchers acted beyond the scope of their
authority. It is a settled rule that the State as a person can commit no wrong. The military and
police officers who were responsible for the atrocities can be held personally liable for damages as
they exceeded their authority, hence, the acts cannot be considered official.

Chavez v. Sandiganbayan, 193 SCRA 282 (1991)

G.R. No. 91391
January 24, 1991
Petitioner: Francisco I. Chavez
Respondent: The Hon. Sandiganbayan (First Division), Juan Ponce Enrile
Ponente: J. Gutierrez Jr.
On July 31, 1987, the Republic of the Philippines, through the Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG) with the assistance of Solicitor General Francisco Chavez filed with the

respondent Sandiganbayan a complaint against Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile for
reconveyance, reversion and accounting, restitution and damages. After the denial of his motion
to dismiss, respondent Enrile filed his answer with compulsory counterclaim and cross-claim with
damages. Respondent Enrile then requested leave from the Sandiganbayan to implead the
petitioner and the PCGG officials as party defendants for lodging this alleged "harassment suit"
against him. The motion was granted in a resolution dated June 8, 1989 In the case, the
counterclaim was filed against the lawyer, not against the party plaintiff itself. Thereafter, all the
PCGG officials filed their answer to the counterclaims invoking their immunity from suits as
provided in Section 4 of Executive Order No. 1. The petitioner comes to the Court assailing the
resolutions as rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Whether or not the petitioner is immune from being impleaded as additional party defendant in
the counterclaim filed by respondent Enrile.

Yes, it is not suggested that a lawyer enjoys a special immunity from damage suits. However, when
he acts in the name of a client, he should not be sued on a counterclaim in the very same case he
has filed only as counsel and not as a party. Any claim for alleged damages or other causes of
action should be filed in an entirely separate and distinct civil action. Under the circumstances of
the case, it was ruled that the charges pressed by respondent Enrile for damages under Article 32
of the Civil Code arising from the filing of an alleged harassment suit with malice and evident bad
faith do not constitute a compulsory counterclaim. To vindicate his rights, Senator Enrile has to
file a separate and distinct civil action for damages against the Solicitor General. To allow a
counterclaim against a lawyer who files a complaint for his clients, who is merely their
representative in court and not a plaintiff or complainant in the case would lead to mischievous

Department of Health v. Phil Pharmawealth, Inc. G.R. No. 182358, February 20, 2013, 691
SCRA 421

Department of Health, Secretary Alfredo Romualdez, USec. Margarita Galon, petitioner;

Philippine Pharmawealth, Inc, respondent;
February 20, 2013
Second Division
Del Castillo, J.

1. On December 22, 1998, Administrative Order (AO) No. 27 series of 1995 was issued by
then Department of Health Secretary Alfredo G. Romualdez. AO 27 sets the guidelines and
procedure for accreditation of government suppliers of pharmaceutical products for sale or
distribution to the public, such accreditation to be valid for three years but subject to annual
2. On January 25, 2000, Secretary Romualdez issued AO 10 series of 2006 which amended AO
27. Under Sec 7 of AO 10, accreditation period for government suppliers of pharmaceutical

products was reduced to 2 years. Also, accreditation of Pharmaceutical companies may be
recalled, suspended or revoked after due deliberation and proper notice by the DOH Accreditation
Committee, through its Chairman.
3. Sec 7 of AO 10 was later amended AO 66 series of 2008 which stated that the 2 year
accreditation may be recalled, suspended or revoked only after due deliberation, hearing and
notice by the DOH Accreditation Committee, through its Chairman.
4. On August 28, 2000, the DOH issued Memorandum No. 171-C9 which provided for a list
and category of sanctions to be imposed on accredited government suppliers. In line with
Memorandum No. 171-C, the DOH, through former Undersecretary Ma. Margarita M. Galon, issued
Memorandum No. 209 series of 2000 inviting representatives of 24 accredited drug companies,
including herein respondent Phil Pharmawealth, Inc. (PPI) to a meeting on October 27, 2000.
5. During the meeting, Undersecretary Galon handed them copies of a document entitled
“Report on Violative Products” issued by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), which detailed
violations or adverse findings relative to these accredited drug companies’ products. PPI’s
products were included as BFAD found that PPI’s products sold to the public were unfit for human
6. The companies were directed to submit their respective explanations on the findings
within 10 days. PPI did not submit its reply on time. Instead, it submitted a letter stating that it is
referring the matter to its lawyers for preparation of a reply but with no indicated date of
compliance, which DOH Usec Galon found untenable, thus she informed PPI thru letter that its
accreditation had been suspended for two years in accordance with AO 10 and Memorandum No.
171-C. PPI thru letter, demanded that Usec Galon cease and desist from enforcing the suspension
under pain of legal redress.
7. PPI then filed a complaint to declare certain DOH issuances (Memorandum No. 171-C, AO
10, Series 2000, Usec Galon’s suspension order; and AO 14, Series 2001) null and void for being in
violation of Section 26, Republic Act 3720, with prayer for injunction and damages against Usec
Galon and later DOH Secretary Dayrit. It claimed that its accreditation was suspended without due
notice and hearing. It prayed that it be awarded moral damages, attorneys fees and costs of suit.
8. The respondent DOH officials filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that it gave PPI the
opportunity to explain but it did not do so in a timely manner. The suspension was necessary to
stop the distribution and sale of substandard products. In a Manifestation and Motion, the DOH
officials further moved to dismiss the case as it was a suit against the State; the complaint was
improperly verified; and the corporate officer lacked the authority to file the suit. The Regional
Trial Court dismissed the case, holding that the suit is against the State, thus the principle of
immunity form suit is applicable.
9. On appeal to the CA, however, the latter reversed and set aside the RTC decision. According
to the CA, it was premature for the RTC to have dismissed the case, as the cause of actions were
sufficiently alleged in the complaint. Further, by filing a complaint, the DOH officials hypothetically
admitted the allegations in the complaint-that they were being sued in their official and private
capacities. Thus the DOH officials, herein petitioners, elevated the case to the Supreme Court,
arguing that PPI’s prayer for damages should be considered a suit against the State for it would
require the needed appropriation to satisfy PPI’s claim for damages should it win. In issuing the
assailed DOH issuances, they acted within the scope of their authority, hence should not be made
to account individually. Petition was granted.
Whether or not DOH, in this circumstance, is under the mantle of state immunity.

As a general rule, a state may not be sued. However, if it consents, either expressly or impliedly,
then it may be the subject of a suit. There is express consent when a law, either special or general,
so provides. On the other hand, there is implied consent when the state “enters into a contract or it
itself commences litigation.” However, it must be clarified that when a state enters into a contract,
it does not automatically mean that it has waived its nonsuability. The State “will be deemed to
have impliedly waived its non-suability [only] if it has entered into a contract in its proprietary or
private capacity. [However,] when the contract involves its sovereign or governmental capacity, x
x x no such waiver may be implied.” “Statutory provisions waiving state immunity are construed
in strictissimi juris. For, waiver of immunity is in derogation of sovereignty.”

Navy Officers’ Village Association, Inc. (NOVAI) v. Republic, G.R. No. 177168, August 3, 2015

Facts: A Transfer Certificate Title (TCT) issued in Navy Officers’ Village Association, Inc (NOVAI)’s
name covers a land situated inside the former Fort Andres Bonifacio Military Reservation in
Taguig. This property was previously a part of a larger parcel of land which TCT’s under the name
of the Republic of the Philippines.

The then President Garcia issued a Proclamation No. 423 which reserves for military
purposes certain parcels of the public domain situated in Pasig, Taguig, Paranaque, Rizal and
Pasay City. Thereafter, then President Macapagal issued Proclamation No. 461 which excluded
Fort McKinley a certain portion of land situated in the provinces abovementioned and declared
them as AFP Officers’ Village to be disposed of under the provisions of certain laws. However, this
area was subsequently reserved for veterans’ rehabilitation, medicare and training center sites.

The property was the subject of deed of sale between the Republic and NOVAI to which the
TCT was registered in favour of the latter. The Republic then sought to cancel NOVAI’s title on the
ground that the property was still part of the military reservation thus inalienable land of the
public domain and cannot be the subject of sale. The RTC ruled that the property was alienable
and disposable in character. The Court of Appeals reversed RTC’s decision.

Issue: Whether or not the property covered by TCT issued under the name of NOVAI is inalienable
land of public domain and cannot be the subject of sale.

Held: Yes, the property remains a part of the public domain that could not have been validly
disposed of in NOVAI’s favor. NOVAI failed to discharge its burden of proving that the property
was not intended for public or quasi-public use or purpose.

As provided in Article 420 of Civil Code, “property of the public dominion as those which
are intended for public use or, while not intended for public use, belong to the State and are
intended for some public service”. In this case, the property was classified as military reservation
thus, remained to be property of the public dominion until withdrawn from the public use for
which they have been reserved, by act of Congress or by proclamation of the President. Since there
was no positive act from the government, the property had to retain its inalienable and non-
disposable character. It cannot therefore, be subject of sale otherwise, the sale is void for being
contrary to law.

Heirs of Rafael Gozo, v. Philippine Union Mission Corporation of the Seventh Day Adventist
(PUMCO), G.R. No. 195990, August 5, 2015



Facts: Petitioners claim that they are the heirs of the Spouses Rafael and Concepcion Gozo
(Spouses Gozo) who, before their death, were the original owners of a parcel of land located in
Lanao del Norte. The respondents claim that they own a 5,000 square-meter portion of the
property. The assertion is based on the 28 February 1937 Deed of Donation in favor of respondent
Philippine Union Mission Corporation of the Seventh Day Adventist (PUMCO-SDA). Respondents
took possession of the subject property by introducing improvements thereon through the
construction of a church building, and later on, an elementary school.

On the date the Deed of Donation is executed in 1937, the Spouses Gozo were not the registered
owners of the property yet although they were the lawful possessors thereof. It was only in 1953
that the Original Certificate of Title covering the entire property was issued in the name of Rafael
Gozo (Rafael) married to Concepcion Gozo (Concepcion).

In view of Rafael's prior death, however, his heirs, Concepcion, and their six children caused the
extrajudicial partition of the property. in 1992, Concepcion caused the survey and the subdivision
of the entire property including the portion occupied by PUMCO-SDA. It was at this point that
respondents brought to the attention of Concepcion that the 5,000 square-meter portion of the
property is already owned by respondent PUMCO-SDA in view of the Deed of Donation she
executed together with her husband in their favor in 1937.

When Concepcion, however, verified the matter with the Register Deeds, it appeared that the
donation was not annotated in the title. The absence of annotation of the so-called encumbrance in

the title prompted petitioners not to recognize the donation claimed by the respondents. The
matter was left unresolved until Concepcion died and the rest of the owners continued to pursue
their claims to recover the subject property from the respondents.

A compromise was initially reached by the parties wherein the petitioners were allowed by
respondents to harvest from the coconut trees planted on the subject property but a
misunderstanding ensued causing respondents to file a case for qualified theft against the
petitioners. Around six decades after the Deed of Donation was executed, petitioners filed an
action against the respondents.

Issue: Whether or not the contract of donation executed by the donor who has no proprietary
right over the object of the contract is null and void

Held: Yes. It is beyond question that at the time the gratuitous transfer was effected by the
Spouses Gozo in 1937, the subject property was part of the public domain and is outside the
commerce of man. It was only in 1953 that the ownership of the property was vested by the State
to the Spouses Gozo by virtue of its issuance of the OCT. Hence, the donation of the subject
property which took place before 1953 is null and void from the very start in accordance with Art.
1409 of the New Civil Code which provides that the following contracts are inexistent and void
from the beginning:

(1) Those whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order
or public policy;

(2) Those which are absolutely simulated or fictitious;

(3) Those whose cause or object did not exist at the time of the transaction;

(4) Those whose object is outside the commerce of men;

(5) Those which contemplate an impossible service;

(6) Those where the intention of the parties relative to the principal object of the contract cannot
be ascertained;

(7) Those expressly prohibited or declared void by law.

As a void contract, the Deed of Donation produces no legal effect whatsoever. Quod nullum est,
nullum producit effectum. That which is a nullity produces no effect. Logically, it could not have
transferred title to the subject property from the Spouses Gozo to PUMCO-SDA and there can be
no basis for the church's demand for the issuance of title under its name. Neither does the church
have the right to subsequently dispose the property nor invoke acquisitive prescription to justify
its occupation. A void contract is not susceptible to ratification, and the action for the declaration
of absolute nullity of such contract is imprescriptible.

Academic freedom

First Class Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia v. The Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy

GR Number 211362

 PMA, as an academic institution, has the right to remove erring cadets under the principle
of academic freedom
 But PMA must still observe due process in removing cadets
 PMA cadets are entitled to due process
 PMA cannot be compelled by mandamus to reinstate cadets separated therefrom if due
process was observed

Petition: Petition for Mandamus

Petitioner: First Class Cadet Aldrin Jeff P. Cudia

Respondent: The Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, The Honor Committee of
2014 of the PMA and HC members, and the Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB)

Ponente: Peralta, J.

Date: February 24, 2014


Petitioner, Cadet First Class Cudia, was a member of the Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 of the
Philippine Military Academy. He was supposed to graduate with honors as the class salutatorian,
receive the Philippine Navy Saber as the top Navy Cadet graduate and be commissioned as an
ensign of the Navy.

Petitioner was issued a Delinquency Report (DR) because he was late for two minutes in his ENG
412 class, other cadets were also reported late for 5 minutes. The DRs reached the Department of
Tactical Officers and were logged and transmitted to the Company of Tactical Officers (TCO) for
explanation. Cudia incurred the penalty of 11 demerits and 13 touring hours.

Several days after, Cudia was reported to the Honor Committee (HC) per violation of the Honor
Code. Lying that is giving statements that perverts the truth in his written appeal stating that his 4 th
period class ended at 3:00 that made him late for the succeeding class.

Cudia submitted his letter of explanation on the honor report. The HC constituted a team to
conduct the preliminary investigation on the violation, it recommended the case be formalized.
Cudia pleaded not guilty. The result was 8-1 guilty verdict and upon the order of the Chairman, the
HC reconvened in the chambers, after, the Presiding Officer announced a 9-0 guilty verdict.

The HC denied Cudia’s appeal. The Headquarters Tactics Group (HTG) conducted a formal review
and checking of findings. Special orders were issued placing Cudia on indefinite leave of absence
and pending approval of separation from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Cudia submitted a
letter to the Office of the Commandant of Cadets requesting his re-instatement. The matter was
referred to Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) and it upheld the decision.

Cudia wrote a letter to President Aquino but the President sustained the findings of the CRAB.
CHR-CAR issued a resolution finding probable cause for Human Rights Violations.


1. Whether or not the PMA committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Cudia in utter
disregard of his right to due process and in holding that he violated the Honor Code
through lying.
2. Whether or not the court can interfere with military affairs


1. No. The determination of whether the PMA cadet has rights to due process, education, and
property should be placed in the context of the Honor Code. All the administrative
remedies were exhausted. A student of a military academy must be prepared to
subordinate his private interest for the proper functioning of the institution. The PMA may
impose disciplinary measures and punishments as it deems fit and consistent with the
peculiar needs of the institution. PMA has regulatory authority to administratively
dismiss erring cadets. PMA has a right to invoke academic freedom in the enforcement of
the internal rules and regulations.
2. Yes. The court is part of the checks-and-balance machinery mandated by Article VIII of the
Constitution. The court’s mandate (according to Section 1, Article 8) is expanded that the
duty of the courts is not only to “settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable” but also “to determine whether or not there has been
a grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government”
even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions. No one is
above the law, including the military, especially in violations of Constitutionally guaranteed

The petition is denied. The dismissal of Cudia from PMA is affirmed.

Garcia v. Faculty Admissions Committee, 68 SCRA 277 (1971)

(Article 16 Garcia v Faculty Admission Committee.pdf)

Montemayor v. Araneta University Foundation, 77 SCRA 321 (1977)

Facts: Felix Montemayor was a faculty of Araneta University Foundation serving as Head of
Humanities and Psychology Department. The Chaplain filed a complaint of immorality against him.
A committee was created to investigate the allegation. With the assistance of counsel, he filed a
motion to dismiss or to hold the hearing in abeyance. The committee found him responsible of the
act complained of and recommended for his demotion by one degree. The President adopted such
recommendation and thereafter referred the same to the Board of Trustees of private respondent
for appropriate action. Subsequently new charges was filed by different faculty members against
him and a new committee was formed to investigate the allegations. Montemayor asked for
postponement of the hearing and was denied. The hearing proceeded without him and found him
guilty of the same charges and recommended for the discontinuance of his service. He then filed a
complaint with NLRC. NLRC decided in favour of the Foundation. Hence the present petition.

Issue: Whether or not the proceeding relating to Montemayor’s dismissal was done in violation of
due process?

Decision: Petition dismissed. In Montemayor’s absence the matter was heard and was sufficiently
found by the committee to be guilty of his conduct unbecoming and recommended his removal.
Such deficiency was remedied when Montemayor was able to present his case with the Labour
Commission. Records will show that after all efforts on conciliation had failed parties agreed to
submit their dispute for compulsory arbitration. Several hearings were conducted. he legal aspect
as to the procedural due process having been satisfied was then summarized by the Solicitor
General thus: “All the foregoing clearly shows that petitioner was afforded his day in court. Finally,
and more significant, is the fact that petitioner claims denial of due process in the proceeding had
before the investigating committees and not in the proceedings before the NLRC wherein, as
shown heretofore, he was given the fullest opportunity to present his case.

Angeles v. Sison, 112 SCRA 26 (1982)


In November 1975, the petitioner Jose Angeles, a professor of the Institute of Technology of
the Far Easter University file an administrative case against his two students: Edgardo Picar and
Wilfredo Patawaran before the office of Gilberto G. Mercado – Dean of the Institute for allegedly
assaulting him at the Oak Barrel Restaurant located outside the campus.

Dean Mercado, taking action on the complaint filed by Angeles, immediately created a
committee headed by him to investigate the complaint. The two respondents, Picar and Patawaran
questioned the authority of Mercado and his committee to conduct an investigation on the basis of
jurisdiction since the incident happened outside the premises of the university campus.

The respondents filed before the Court of First Instance of Manila a complaint with petition
for issuance of writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the petitioners from proceeding with the

administrative investigation for which the judge granted by issuing a decision perpetually
enjoining the petitioners from further proceeding with the administrative investigation.


Whether or not the school through its duly authorized representative has the jurisdiction
to investigate its student or students for an alleged misconduct committed outside the school
premises and beyond school hours?


Yes. A college or any school for that matter, has a dual responsibility to its students. One is
to provide opportunities for learning and the other is to help them grow and develop into mature,
responsible, effective and worthy citizens of the community. Discipline is one of the means to
carry out the second responsibility. The respondent judge correctly stated that the general rule is
that the authority of the school is co-extensive with its territorial jurisdiction, or its school
grounds, so that any action taken for acts committed outside the school premises should, in
general, be left to the police authorities, the courts of justice, and the family concerned.

However, this rule is not rigid or one without exceptions. It is the better view that there are
instances when the school might be called upon to exercise its power over its student or students
for acts committed outside the school and beyond school hours in the following:

a) In cases of violations of school policies or regulations occurring in connection with a

school sponsored activity off-campus; or

b) In cases where the misconduct of the student involves his status as a student or affects
the good name or reputation of the school.

There can be no doubt that the establishment of an educational institution requires rules
and regulations necessary for the maintenance of an orderly educational program and the creation
of an educational environment conducive to learning. Such rules and regulations are equally
necessary for the protection of the students, faculty, and property. The power of school officials to
investigate, an adjunct of its power to suspend or expel, is a necessary corollary to the
enforcement of such rules and regulations and the maintenance of a safe and orderly educational
environment conducive to learning. Common sense dictates that the school retains its power to
compel its students in or off-campus to a norm of conduct compatible with their standing as
members of the academic community. Hence, when as the case at bar, the conduct complained of
directly affects the suitability of the alleged violators as students, there is no reason why the
school cannot impose the same disciplinary action as when the act took place inside the campus.

UP Board of Regents v. Court of Appeals, 313 SCRA 404 (1999)

FACTS: Respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine enrolled in the doctoral program in
Anthropology of the UP CSSP Diliman. She already completed the units of course work required
and finished her dissertation and was ready for oral defense.

After going over her dissertation, Dr. Medina informed CSSP Dean Paz that she committed
plagiarism. However, respondent was allowed to defend her dissertation. Four out of the five
panelists gave a passing mark except Dr. Medina.

UP held meeting against her case and some of the panels indicated disapproval. Hence, she
expressed her disappointments over the CSSP administration and warned Dean Paz. However,
Dean Paz request the exclusion of Celine’s name from the list of candidates for graduation but it
did not reach the Board of Regents on time, hence Celine graduated.

Dr. Medina formally charged private respondent with plagiarism and recommended that the
doctorate granted to her be withdrawn. Dean Paz informed private respondent of the charges
against her.

CSSP College Assembly unanimously approved the recommendation to withdraw private

respondent's doctorate degree.

The Board sent her a letter indicating that they resolved to withdraw her Doctorate Degree
recommended by the University Council.

She sought an audience with the Board of Regents and/or the U.P. President, which request was
denied by President

Hence, Celine then filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction and damages, alleging that petitioners had unlawfully withdrawn her
degree without justification and without affording her procedural due process.

ISSUE: Whether or not Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine was deprived of her right to
substantive due process.

RULING: No. Respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine was indeed heard several times.

Several committees and meetings had been formed to investigate the charge that private
respondent had committed plagiarism and she was heard in her defense.

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain
one's side of a controversy or a chance seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.
A party who has availed of the opportunity to present his position cannot tenably claim to have
been denied due process.

In the case at bar, Celine was informed in writing of the charges against her and given
opportunities to answer them. She was asked to submit her written explanation which she
submiited. She, as well, met with the U.P. chancellor and the members of the Zafaralla committee
to discuss her case. In addition, she sent several letters to the U.P. authorities explaining her

It is not tenable for private respondent to argue that she was entitled to have an audience before
the Board of Regents. Due process in an administrative context does not require trial-type
proceedings similar to those in the courts of justice. It is noteworthy that the U.P. Rules do not
require the attendance of persons whose cases are included as items on the agenda of the Board of

Morales v. Board of Regents, 446 SCRA 227 (2004)

It is an accepted principle that schools of learning are given ample discretion to formulate rules and
guidelines in the granting of honors for purposes of graduation. This is part of academic freedom.
Within the parameters of these rules, it is within the competence of universities and colleges to
determine who are entitled to the grant of honors among the graduating students. Its discretion on
this academic matter may not be disturbed much less controlled by the courts unless there is grave
abuse of discretion in its exercise.

(Full text only )