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6. Del Mar v.

PVA 52 SCRA 340


 Quirico del Mar, on 20 June 1964 filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu petition
for mandamus against the Philippine Veterans Administration to continue paying him
monthly life pension of P50 from the date of its cancellation in March 1950 to June 20,
1957, and thereafter, or from June 22 1957 his monthly life pension, as increased by
Republic Act 1920, of P100 and to pay to him as well the monthly living allowance of
P10 for each of his unmarried minor children below eighteen years of age, pursuant to
the said Republic Act 1920 which took effect on June 22, 1957. Del Mar also asked for
compensatory, moral and exemplary damages.
 The petitioner averred that he served during World War II as chief judge advocate of the
Cebu Area Command (a duly recognized guerilla organization) with the rank of major.
He obtained an honorable discharge from service on October 20, 1946 on a certificate of
permanent total physical disability. Upon proper claim presented and after hearing and
adjudication, the Philippine Veterans Board the PVA's predecessor granted him a
monthly life pension of P50 effective January 28, 1947.
 In March 1950, the said Board discontinued payment of his monthly life pension upon
knowing that the petitioner was at the same time receiving a similar pension from the
United States Government, through the United States Veterans Administration, by
reason of military service rendered in the United States Army in the Far East during
World War II. With this intelligence at hand, he was precluded from receiving any further
monthly life pension from the Philippine Government; that he wrote the said Board twice
demanding that it continue paying his monthly life pension, impugning the cancellation
thereof as illegal; and that his demands went unheeded.


 Whether or not the involvement of PVC being a mere agency of the government
performing governmental functions in a money claim case constitute to partaking of an
action against the Philippine government which is immune from suit without its consent.
 Whether or not Del Mar failed to exhaust administrative remedies first before resorting to
court action.
 Whether or not Section 6 of PVA Regulation No. 2 be declared as null and void. It is
entitled Effect of receipt of USVA pension benefit — termination, reduction. — An award
of a similar disability compensation from the US Veterans Administration shall be a
ground for the cancellation of a disability pension granted under the Regulation.
 Whether or not alleged undue interference by the court a quo with the purely
discretionary functions of the PVA in the matter of granting or discontinuing pension
benefits is right.


 As a general proposition, the rule — well-settled in this jurisdiction — on the

immunity of the Government from suit without its consent holds true in all actions
resulting in "adverse consequences on the public treasury, whether in the
disbursements of funds or loss of property." Needless to state, in such actions,
which, in effect, constitute suits against the Government, the court has no option
but to dismiss them. Nonetheless, the rule admits of an exception.
 Where a case as in the present controversy — involves a question solely of a
legal nature, there arises no need for the litigant to resort to all administrative
remedies available to him before seeking judicial relief.
 The Court ordered the PVA to pay to del Mar his monthly life pension corresponding to
the period from April 1950 to May 1957 at the rate of P50 a month, adding up to
P4,334.86, and his monthly life pension corresponding to the period from June 22, 1957
to February 1965 at the amount of P100 a month totalling P9,200, and thereafter to
continue to pay his monthly life pension at the rate of P100. a month.

27. Department of Health v. Phil. Pharma Wealth, Inc.


 December 22, 1998-Administrative Order (AO) No. 27 series of 1998 was issued by then
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Alfredo G. Romualdez (Romualdez). AO 27 set
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 review.
 January 25, 2000-Secretary Romualdez issued AO 10 series of 2000 which amended
AO 27. Under Section VII7 of AO 10, the accreditation period for government suppliers of
pharmaceutical products was reduced to two years. Moreover, such accreditation may
be recalled, suspended or revoked after due deliberation and proper notice by the DOH
Accreditation Committee, through its Chairman.
 August 28, 2000-the DOH issued Memorandum No. 171-C which provided for a list and
category of sanctions to be imposed on accredited government suppliers of
pharmaceutical products in case of adverse findings regarding their products
(e.g. substandard, fake, or misbranded) or violations committed by them during their
 In line with Memorandum No. 171-C, the DOH, through former Undersecretary Ma.
Margarita M. Galon (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. During the meeting,
Undersecretary Galon handed them copies of a document entitled "Report on Violative
Products"11 issued by the Bureau of Food and Drugs12 (BFAD), which detailed violations
or adverse findings relative to these accredited drug companies products. Specifically,
the BFAD found that PPIs products which were being sold to the public were unfit for
human consumption.
 During the October 27, 2000 meeting, the 24 drug companies were directed to submit
within 10 days, or until November 6, 2000, their respective explanations on the adverse
findings covering their respective products contained in the Report on Violative Products.
 Instead of submitting its written explanation within the 10-day period as required, PPI
belatedly sent a letter13 dated November 13, 2000 addressed to Undersecretary Galon,
informing her that PPI has referred the Report on Violative Products to its lawyers with
instructions to prepare the corresponding reply. However, PPI did not indicate when its
reply would be submitted; nor did it seek an extension of the 10-day period, which had
previously expired on November 6, 2000, much less offer any explanation for its failure
to timely submit its reply. PPIs November 13, 2000 letter.
 Secretary of Health Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. issued an Administrative Order providing for
additional guidelines for accreditation of drug suppliers aimed at ensuring that only qualified
bidders can transact business with petitioner Department of Health (DOH). Respondent Phil.
Pharmawealth, Inc. (Pharmawealth) submitted to DOH a request for the inclusion of
additional items in its list of accredited drug products, including the antibiotic ―Penicillin G
 Petitioner DOH issued an Invitation for Bids for the procurement of 1.2 million units vials of
Penicillin G Benzathine. Despite the lack of response from DOH regarding Pharmawealth‘s
request for inclusion of additional items in its list of accredited products, the latter submitted
its bid for the Penicillin G Benzathine contract and gave the lowest bid thereof. . In view,
however, of the non-accreditation of respondent‘s Penicillin G Benzathine product, the
contract was awarded to Cathay/YSS Laboratories‘ (YSS).
 Respondent Pharmawealth filed a complaint for injunction, mandamus and damages with
prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order
with the Regional Trial praying, inter alia, that the trial court ―nullify the award of the
Penicillin G Benzathine contract to YSS Laboratories, Inc. and direct petitioners DOH et al. to
declare Pharmawealth as the lowest complying responsible bidder for the Benzathine
contract, and that they accordingly award the same to plaintiff company‖ and ―adjudge
defendants Romualdez, Galon and Lopez liable, jointly and severally to plaintiff. Petitioners
DOH et al. subsequently filed a motion to dismiss praying for the dismissal of the complaint
based on the doctrine of state immunity. The trial court, however, denied the motion to
dismiss. The Court of Appeals (CA) denied DOH‘s petition for review which affirmed the
order issued Regional Trial Court of Pasig City denying petitioners‘ motion to dismiss the
ISSUE: Whether or not the charge against the public officers acting in their official capacity will
 The suability of a government official depends on whether the official concerned was acting
within his official or jurisdictional capacity, and whether the acts done in the performance of
official functions will result in a charge or financial liability against the government. In its
complaint, DOH sufficiently imputes grave abuse of discretion against petitioners in their
official capacity. Since judicial review of acts alleged to have been tainted with grave abuse
of discretion is guaranteed by the Constitution, it necessarily follows that it is the official
concerned who should be impleaded as defendant or respondent in an appropriate suit.
 As regards petitioner DOH, the defense of immunity from suit will not avail despite its being
an unincorporated agency of the government, for the only causes of action directed against it
are preliminary injunction and mandamus. Under Section 1, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court,
preliminary injunction may be directed against a party or a court, agency or a person.
Moreover, the defense of state immunity from suit does not apply in causes of action which
do not seek to impose a charge or financial liability against the State.
 Hence, the rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his official capacity for
acts that are unauthorized or unlawful and injurious to the rights of others. Neither does it
apply where the public official is clearly being sued not in his official capacity but in his
personal capacity, although the acts complained of may have been committed while he
occupied a public position.
 In the present case, suing individual petitioners in their personal capacities for damages in
connection with their alleged act of ―illegally abusing their official positions to make sure
that plaintiff Pharmawealth would not be awarded the Benzathine contract [which act was]
done in bad faith and with full knowledge of the limits and breadth of their powers given by
law‖ is permissible, in consonance with the foregoing principles. For an officer who exceeds
the power conferred on him by law cannot hide behind the plea of sovereign immunity and
must bear the liability personally.