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The CA similarly ruled that respondents’ act of simultaneously filing

Complaints against petitioner both at the CSC and the BFP did not
constitute forum-shopping. While it was conceded that the two Complaints
were founded on the same set of facts involving the same parties, they
were nonetheless based on different causes of action—more specifically,
the BFP Complaint was for alleged violation of R.A. No. 3019, while the
CSC Complaint was for violation of the provisions of R.A. No.
6713.66 Furthermore, the doctrine of res judicata applies only to judicial or
quasi-judicial proceedings, not to the exercise of administrative powers. 67

The facts in the present case are analogous to those in Laxina, Sr. v.
Ombudsman,[29] which likewise involved identical administrative complaints
filed in both the Ombudsman and the sangguniang panlungsod against
a punong barangay for grave misconduct. The Court held therein that the
rule against forum shopping applied only to judicial cases or proceedings,
not to administrative cases.[

Even assuming that there was forum-shopping, petitioner is estopped

from questioning the technical defect. [34] Besides, technical rules of
procedure should be applied with liberality, and at any rate, in
administrative proceedings, technical rules of procedure and evidence are
not strictly applied, the OSG emphasizes.[35]

The petition must be denied.

At the onset, it must be stressed that the rule on forum-shopping

applies only to judicial cases or proceedings, [36] and not to administrative
cases. Petitioner has not cited any rule or circular on forum-shopping
issued by the Office of the Ombudsman or that of the City Council. In fact, it
was only on 15 September 2003 that the Ombudsman, in Administrative
Order No.17, S. 2003, required that a Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping
be attached to the written complaint against a public official or employee.
Supreme Court Administrative Circulars Nos. 04-94 and 28-91 [37] adverted
to by petitioner mention only initiatory pleadings in a court of law when
another case is pending before other tribunals or agencies of the
government as the pleadings to which the rule on forum-shopping applies,

This court ruled that administrative res judicata exists in that


Significantly, respondent did not appeal the Decision dated 17 November

1995 of the DARAB in DARAB Case # II-380-ISA'94; consequently, the
same has attained finality and constitutes res judicata on the issue of
petitioner's status as a tenant of respondent.

Res judicata is a concept applied in the review of lower court decisions in

accordance with the hierarchy of courts. But jurisprudence has also
recognized the rule of administrative res judicata: "The rule which forbids
the reopening of a matter once judicially determined by competent authority
applies as well to the judicial and quasi-judicial facts of public, executive or
administrative officers and boards acting within their jurisdiction as to the
judgments of courts having general judicial powers. It has been declared
that whenever final adjudication of persons invested with power to decide
on the property and rights of the citizen is examinable by the Supreme
Court, upon a writ of error or a certiorari , such final adjudication may be
pleaded as res judicata." To be sure, early jurisprudence was already
mindful that the doctrine of res judicata cannot be said to apply exclusively
to decisions rendered by what are usually understood as courts without
unreasonably circumscribing the scope thereof; and that the more
equitable attitude is to allow extension of the defense to decisions of
bodies upon whom judicial powers have been conferred.93 (Emphasis
supplied, citations omitted)ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
In Encinas v. Agustin, Jr.,94 this court clarified that res judicata applies only
to decisions rendered by agencies in judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings
and not to purely administrative proceedings:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

The CA was correct in ruling that the doctrine of res judicata applies only to
judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, and not to the exercise of
administrative powers. Administrative powers here refer to those purely
administrative in nature, as opposed to administrative proceedings that
take on a quasi-judicial character.

In administrative law, a quasi-judicial proceeding involves (a) taking and

evaluating evidence; (b) determining facts based upon the evidence
presented; and (c) rendering an order or decision supported by the facts
proved. The exercise of quasi-judicial functions involves a determination,
with respect to the matter in controversy, of what the law is; what the legal
rights and obligations of the contending parties are; and based thereon and
the facts obtaining, the adjudication of the respective rights and obligations
of the parties.95 (Citations omitted)ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
We find it necessary to clarify the two concepts of res judicata: bar by prior
judgment and conclusiveness of judgment. In Social Security Commission
v. Rizal Poultry and Livestock Association, Inc., et al.,96 this court discussed
and differentiated the two concepts of res

Res judicata embraces two concepts: (1) bar by prior judgment as

enunciated in Rule 39, Section 47(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure; and
(2) conclusiveness of judgment in Rule 39, Section 47(c).

There is "bar by prior judgment" when, as between the first case where the
judgment was rendered and the second case that is sought to be barred,
there is identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action. In this
instance, the judgment in the first case constitutes an absolute bar to the
second action.

But where there is identity of parties in the first and second cases, but no
identity of causes of action, the first judgment is conclusive only as to those
matters actually and directly controverted and determined and not as to
matters merely involved therein. This is the concept of res judicata known
as "conclusiveness of judgment." Stated differently, any right, fact or matter
in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of
an action before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on the
merits is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be
litigated between the parties and their privies, whether or not the claim,
demand, purpose, or subject matter of the two actions is the same.

Thus, if a particular point or question is in issue in the second action, and

the judgment will depend on the determination of that particular point or
question, a former judgment between the same parties or their privies will
be final and conclusive in the second if that same point or question was in
issue and adjudicated in the first suit. Identity of cause of action is not
required but merely identity of issue.

The elements of res judicata are: (1) the judgment sought to bar the new
action must be final; (2) the decision must have been rendered by a court
having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; (3) the
disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there
must be as between the first and second action, identity of parties, subject
matter, and causes of action. Should identity of parties, subject matter, and
causes of action be shown in the two cases, then res judicata in its aspect
as a "bar by prior judgment" would apply. If as between the two cases, only
identity of parties can be shown, but not identical causes of action, then res
judicata as "conclusiveness of judgment" applies. 97 (Emphasis supplied,
citations omitted)ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

The provisions of the Rules of Court may be applied suppletorily to the

rules of procedure of administrative bodies exercising quasi-judicial
powers, unless otherwise provided by law or the rules of procedure of the
administrative agency concerned.

The Rules of Court, which are meant to secure to every litigant the
adjective phase of due process of law, may be applied to proceedings
before an administrative body with quasi-judicial powers in the absence of
different and valid statutory or administrative provisions prescribing the
ground rules for the investigation, hearing and adjudication of cases before

Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of an

administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory
power. This is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which
the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the
standards laid down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the
same law. The administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power when
it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive
or administrative nature, where the power to act in such manner is
incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of the executive
or administrative duty entrusted to it. In carrying out their quasi-judicial
functions, the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate
facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence,
and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and
exercise of discretion in a judicial nature.19