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Dela Peña, Yves Mariene L.

JD 1 ROOM 306 September 17, 2018

Sanders vs. Veridiano


G.R. L-46930 June 10, 1988

Facts:

Private respondents employment were advised to convert from


permanent full-time to permanent part-time. They protest this
conversion and to institute grievance proceedings. The result of the
hearing was to reinstate private respondents to permanent full-time
status plus back wages.

Petitioners Sanders sent a letter to petitioner Moreau disagreeing


with the hearing officer’s report and ask for its rejection. Moreau sent a
letter before the start of the grievance hearing to the Chief of Naval
Personnel explaining the change of the private respondent’s
employment status and requesting concurrence therewith.

Private respondents filed in the Court of First Instance of Olongapo


City a complaint for damages against the petitioners and made clear
that the petitioners were being sued in their private or personal
capacity. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss under a special
appearance, arguing that the acts complained of were performed by
them in the discharge of their official duties and that, consequently, the
court had no jurisdiction over them under the doctrine of state
immunity. The motion was denied on the ground that the petitioners
had not presented any evidence that their acts were official in nature
and not personal torts and that the defendants had acted maliciously
and in bad faith.

Petitioners filed for certiorari, prohibition and preliminary injunction


in the Supreme Court, on the contention that the respondent court are
tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether the petitioners were acting officially or only in their private


capacities when they did acts for which the private respondents have
sued them for damages.

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Ruling:

Yes, petitioners acts were done in the performance of their official


duties. Sanders as a director of the special services department of
NAVSTA and Moreau as the immediate superior of Sanders and directly
answerable to Naval Personnel in matters involving the special services
department of NAVSTA.

Under the doctrine of state immunity, “the State may not be sued
without its consent.“ It is not only applicable to the Philippine
government but also to foreign states. The government of the United
State has not given its consent to be sued for the official acts of the
petitioners, who cannot satisfy any judgment that may be rendered
against them. The complaint must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

The court has GRANTED the petition.