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SPO1 ACUZAR vs JOROLAN and CA misconduct for engaging in an illicit affair with Jorolan’s

GR No. 117878; APRIL 7, 2010 minor daughter, he being a married man, and NOT FOR
VIOLATION OF LAW.
FACTS:
Difference:
Nature: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 assailing Misconduct- transgression of some established and definite
the March 23, 2007 CA decision reversing and setting aside the rule of actions, where no discretion is left expt what
RTC Decision necessity may demand; it does not necessarily imply
- October 15 2002 RTC Decision – annulled decision of corruption or criminal intention but implies wrongful
PLEB finding petitioner SPO1 Acuzar guilty of Grave intention and not to mere error of judgment
misconduct and ordering his dismissal from service Violation of Law – presupposes final conviction in court of
any crime or offense penalized under the RPC or any special
1. Jorolan filed an Administrative complaint against SPO1 law or ordinance.
Acuzar before the PLEB (peoples Law enforcement Board)
charging him of Grave Misconduct for allegedly having an SETTLED RULE :
illicit relationship with Jorolan’s minor daughter. Crim and admin cases are separate and distinct from each
2. Subsequently, Jorolan also instituted a criminal case against other. In crim cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt is
SPO1 Acuzar before the MTC for violation of the Child needed while in admin, only substantial evidence is
Abuse Act required. Admin cases may proceed independently of the
3. Acuzar filed his counter-affidavit before PLEB denying all crim proceeding
acussations and attached affidavit of jorolan’s daughter in PLEB being the admin disciplinary body tasked to hear
support thereof. complaints of erring PNP members, has jurisdiction over
4. He also filed a several motion to suspend proceedings the case.
before the PLEB pending resolution of the criminal case
filed before the MTC, but PLEB denied 2. The remedy of appeal from decision of PLEB to Regional
5. PLEB issued a decision finding him Guilty of misconduct Appellate Board was available to and He likewise failed to
and with punishment of dismissal from service show any grave of abuse of discretion of the Board which
6. Acuzar immediately filed a Petition for Certiorari with would justify his immediate resort to certiorari in lieu of
prayer for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction and TRO with appeal. (Principle of Exhaustion of Admin remedies)
the RTC
His contentions were: 3. He was afforded all opportunity to present his side. Acuzar
a. He was not given an opportunity to be heard was notified of the complaint and submitted his counter-
b. PLEB acted without jurisdiction in proceeding without affidavit and the affidavits of his witnesses. He attended the
petitioner having been first convicted in criminal case hearings together with his counsel and even asked for
before the MTC, pointing out that PLEB Rules of several postponements. Therefore, he cannot claim that he
procedure requires that prior conviction is required had been denied of due process.
before the board may act on the admin case
considering that the charge was actually for violation of Rule:
law, although denominated as one for grave Due process in administrative context does not require
misconduct trial-type proceedings similar to those in courts of justice.
7. RTC annulled the Decision of PLEB stating that Acuzar was Due process is afforded either through oral arguments or
not given his day in court. through pleadings.
8. Jorolan elevated the case to CA and CA reversed and set
aside the RTC decision ADMIN DUE PROCESS
(1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of
CA’s decision: proceedings which may affect a respondents legal rights;
Acuzar petition for certiorari was not the proper (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the
remedy because there is an appeal available against the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in
decision and that the issues raised were not pure questions ones favor, and to defend ones rights;
of law but both of law and fact. Acuzar should have (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so
appealed the decision of the PLEB to the regional appellate constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a
board of the PNP before resorting to certiorari before the reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality; and
court. (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial
9. Acuzar filed a petition for review to SC contending that the evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or
instant case falls under the exception to the rule on contained in the records or made known to the parties affected.
exhaustion of administrative remedies, the decision being
patently illegal. And still maintains his previous argument as
to the prior conviction of MTC is needed and that he was
not given opportunity to be heard and his right to due
process has been violated.

ISSUE:

W/N the CA erred in reversing and setting aside the decision of


RTC

HELD:
NO.
1. A careful perusal of Jorolan’s affidavit-complaint against
Acuzar would show that petitioner was charged with grave