Republic of the Philippines COURT OF APPEALS Manila FIFTH DIVISION

SPS. RODOLFO CENTENO AND NENA (NELIA) CENTENO, Plaintiffs-Appellants, - versus -

CA-G.R. CV No. 85254

Members:

DE GUIA-SALVADOR, R.,Chairperson, VILLON, S. E., and LAZARO-J AVIER, A. C., JJ.
MUNICIPALITY OF ALICIA ISABELA,

GLOBE TELECOM, INC., REPRESENTED BY CHRISTOPHER Q. HANDOG AND MAGNA RESTU PHILIPPINES, INC. REPRESENTED BY FRANCISCO G. DURAN, Defendants-Appellees,

Promulgated: November 22, 2010

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DECISION VILLON, J.: Before Us is an appeal1 under Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure seeking to nullify the order2 dated 9 June 2005 of Branch 20 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cauayan City, Isabela in Civil Case No. Br. 20-1313 for “Mandatory Injunction With Prayer For Issuance of Preliminary Injunction and Damages” filed by plaintiffs-appellants, Spouses Rodolfo Centeno and Nena (Nelia) Centeno (hereinafter appellants) against defendants Municipality of Alicia, Isabela, Globe Telecom, Inc., (hereinafter Globe) represented by Christopher Q. Handog and Magna Restu Philippines Inc., represented by Francisco Duran (hereinafter appellees).
1. Rollo, pp. 14-38 2. Rollo, p.39-42

that the construction of the tower antenna is about to be finished. passed Resolution No. that there was a hearing on the application of Globe where the plaintiffs were notified. Globe Telecommunications. “Claiming that they were deprived of their right to due process. the defendant Municipality of Alicia. through Magna Restu. approving Globe's Application to construct a Tower Antenna at Calaocan. Alicia. plaintiffs alleged the following ultimate facts in their complaint: “That they are residents of Calaocan. Isabela. that Mobile Communication Group. Alicia. that the plaintiffs filed a petition objecting the approval by defendant Municipality of Alicia. that on October 1. CV NO. 2003. an Application for the Construction and installation of a Globe Tower Antenna at Calaocan. Alicia. through its Sanguniang Bayan.R. defendants. of the Application aforementioned on the ground that it is hazardous to their health and the health of other residents similarly situated. 85254 DECISION =================== 2 The antecedent facts of the case as summarized by the Court a quo are as follows: “For their cause of action. that the hearing was postponed.CA-G. Incorporated. Isabela. . filed with the defendant Municipality of Alicia. Isabela. 2003-119. plaintiffs filed their complaint praying that Resolution No. but later on plaintiffs were not notified of any subsequent hearing by the Municipality of Alicia. now Asiacom. Isabela. Isabela.

39-40 4. the court a quo rendered the assailed order which dispositively provides: “Thus.CA-G.42 5.26 .] 2. Rollo. and in view of the foregoing. with the view of having it disapproved because it is hazardous to the health of the plaintiff and other residents similarly situated. They opted to come to Court immediately invoking judicial intervention inspite of the existence of administrative remedies available to them.p. 85254 DECISION =================== 3 2003-119 be declared null and void and that defendant be prohibited and enjoined from implementing said resolution.2003-119. appellant comes now before Us raising the following issues: 1. the plaintiffs could have also presented their grievances to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan when it reviewed Resolution No. “SO ORDERED. the complaint is DISMISSED. Rollo.WHETHERE (SIC) OR NOT THE COMPLAINT IS PRE-MATURE FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE 3. CV NO.pp.R. Rollo.”4 Undaunted. 2005. “WHEREFORE.WHETHERE (SIC) OR NOT THE COURT A QUO HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE AT BAR5[.”3 On June 9.p.

WHETHER OR NOT THE HEALTH. LIVES AND PROPERTIES OF THE PLAINTIFFSAPPELLANTS WERE PUT TO REAL AND IMMINENT DANGER BY THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF GLOBE TOWER ANTENNA[.]7 4. ISABELA ACTING THROUGH ITS SANGGUNIANG BAYAN COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMONTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION BY APPROVING THE RESOLUTION NO. CV NO. ALICIA. Appellants maintain the existence of their cause of action and allege mainly. ISABELA” FILED BY PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF ALICIA. Ibid 8. ISABELA.8 The primary issue posed for Our consideration is whether or not the court a quo erroneously dismissed the instant case for failure of the appellants to exhaust their administrative remedies. COMPLAINT ACTION[. Ibid 7.2003-119 AND OTHER RELATED RESOLUTIONS ALLOWING THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF GLOBE TOWER ANTENNA PRIOR TO RESOLUTION/ DECISION OF PETITION “TO DISALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF GLOBE TOWER ANTENNA WITHING (SIC) THE RESIDENTIAL ZONE OF BRGY.WHETHER OR NOT THE MUNICIPALITY OF ALICIA.]6 HENCEFORTH THE STATE NO CAUSE OF 3. CALAOCAN. 85254 DECISION =================== 4 REMEDIES. Ibid .R. deprivation of their right to due process and failure of the 6.CA-G.

CV NO. 142595 dated 15 October 2003. No. The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of 9. In fine. appellants invoke state policies under the constitution and related laws for protection of life. Isabela (hereinafter Sangguniang Bayan) to act on their petition9 dated 18 March 2003 to prevent the construction of Globe's antenna tower. Cachopero. To bolster their stance. Records.9-11 10.pp. No. The construction was subsequently approved on 1 October 2003 through Resolution Nos. Rollo.27-28 11.R.12 This doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not without its practical and legal reasons. Paat vs.R. G.pp.10 The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies calls for resort first to the appropriate administrative authorities in the resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the same may be elevated to the courts of justice for review. and nonobservance thereof is a ground for the dismissal of the complaint.11 Thus.R. Celestial vs. 2003-119 enacted by the Sangguniang Bayan. premature invocation of court's intervention is fatal to one's cause of action. Court of Appeals. 111107 dated 10 January 1997 . G. liberty and property which was allegedly violated. 12. Availment of administrative remedy entails lesser expenses and provides for a speedier disposition of controversies. 85254 DECISION =================== 5 Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Alicia.CA-G. if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before court's judicial power can be sought.

14. Cachopero. . reasons of law. is a relative one and is flexible depending on the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. G. there being instances when it may be dispensed with and judicial action may be validly resorted to immediately. however. 167809 dated 27 November 2008. 85254 DECISION =================== 6 administrative remedies is that the courts must allow the administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective competence. 3. Furthermore. when there is urgent need for judicial intervention. or correct any previous error committed in its forum.14 Thus. CV NO. The requirement of prior exhaustion of administrative remedies is not absolute. No. it is no less true to state that the courts of justice for reasons of comity and convenience will shy away from a dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed and complied with so as to give the administrative agency concerned every opportunity to correct its error and to dispose of the case.R. It is presumed that an administrative agency. 4. comity and convenience prevent the courts from entertaining cases proper for determination by administrative agencies.when the question raised is purely legal.R. 13. when the act complained of is patently illegal. Land Bank of the Philippines vs.13 The principle. if afforded an opportunity to pass upon a matter. 2. No. Dumlao. 142595 dated 15 October 2003. will decide the same correctly. Celestial vs. G.CA-G.R. among which are: 1. when the administrative body is in estoppel.

167809 dated 27 November 2008.R. Appellants were given an opportunity and right to be heard concerning their objection to and grievances on the 15. Dumlao. 7. healthy and convenient social environment. speedy and adequate remedy. however. when the claim involved is small. 6. in quo warranto proceedings. 10. as an alter ego of the President. 13. Land Bank of the Philippines vs. when strong public interest is involved.15 From among these exceptions. bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter. appellants claim principally the denial of due process arising from alleged want of notice to them of the proceedings before the Sangguniang Bayan resulting to violation of their constitutional right for a safe. 85254 DECISION =================== 7 5. G. when respondent is a department secretary whose acts.R. CV NO. do not support appellants' allegations. No. . The evidence on record. when to require remedies exhaustion would of be administrative unreasonable.CA-G. 8. 11. 12. 9. when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot. where the rule of qualified political agency applies. when there is no other plain. when there is a violation of due process. 14. when irreparable damage will be suffered.

and perhaps many times more creditably and practicable than oral argument. In administrative proceedings moreover. we can not but rule that appellants' averment is without merit. not solely by verbal presentation but also. CV NO. To sustain their claim would in effect bring the instant controversy beyond the pale of the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies and fall within the ambit of excepted cases above-enumerated. deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party was given the chance to be heard as in the instant case. What is frowned upon is the absolute lack of notice or hearing which do not appear to be obtaining in the case at bar. but simply an opportunity or right to be heard.R.17 Viewed in the light of the circumstances prevailing in this case. an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal or trial type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. it is a 16. 85254 DECISION =================== 8 construction of the antenna tower through their petition16 dated 18 March 2003 which was submitted before Sangguniang Bayan. technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied as administrative process cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial sense. Court of Appeals. Paat vs. through pleadings. The requirements are satisfied when appellants were afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. No. Indeed. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. One may be heard. G. 111107 dated 10 January 1997 .pp. It bears emphasis that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court. It bears stressing that due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing.CA-G. or as applied to administrative proceedings.R.9-11 17. Records.

R. First. “Section 54 and 55 of the Local Government Code. rep. when the same is available. “The plaintiffs could have availed of the remedies envisioned under the Local Government Code. or sangguniang bayan shall be presented to the provincial governor or city or municipal mayor. Failure to exhaust administrative. he shall affix his signature on each and every page thereof. Thus. CV NO.18 As aptly stated by the court a quo: “xxx “It is evident that plaintiff opted to file their complaint invoking judicial intervention in disregard to the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Approval of Ordinances-(a) Every ordinance enacted by the sangguniang panlalawigan.7160. absent any finding of waiver or estoppel the case is susceptible of dismissal for lack of cause of action. The complaint would be premature.CA-G. 85254 DECISION =================== 9 pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processes afforded him and premature invocation of court's intervention without resorting to administrative remedies is fatal to one's cause of action. 54. If the local chief executive concerned approves the same. as the case maybe. In short. provides: 'SEC. sangguniang panlungsod. it states no cause of action. he shall veto it and return the same 18. is the veto power of the Mayor and second. 2003-119. is fatal. otherwise. Ibid . the review by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Resolution No.

. '(b) The local chief executive. otherwise. The sanggunian concerned may override the veto of the local chief executive by two-thirds (2/3) veto of all its members. shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriations. 55. sangguniang panlungsod. 85254 DECISION =================== 10 with his objections to the sanggunian. '(b) The veto shall be communicated by the local chief executive concerned to the sanggunian within fifteen (15) days in the case of a province and ten (10) days in the case of a city or a municipality. ordinance. the veto shall not affect the item or items which are not objected to. '(c) Ordinances enacted by the sangguniang Barangay shall. or an ordinance directing the payment of money or creating liability. thereby making the ordinance or resolution effective for all legal intents and purposes. CV NO.CA-G. Veto Power of the Local Chief Executive. or sangguniang baya (sic) on the ground that it is ultra vires or prejudicial to the public welfare stating his reason therefor in writing. the ordinance shall be deemed approved as if he had signed it. except the punong barangay.R.-(a) The local chief executive may m\ veto any ordinance of the sangguninang panlalawigan. The vetoed item or items shall not take effect unless the sanggunian overrides the veto in the manner herein provided. upon approval by the majority of all its members. 'SEC. In such a case. which may proceed to reconsider the same. an ordinance or resolution adopting a local development plan and public investment program. be signed by the Punong Barangay.

or if there be none. 56. plaintiffs could have presented their grievances to the Mayor of the defendant Municipality of Alicia to disapprove Resolution No. 2003-119 because the construction of the tower antenna is hazardous to their health and other residents similarly situated. to the provincial .(a) Within three (3) days after approval. 85254 DECISION =================== 11 otherwise. Section 56 of the Local Government Code.CA-G. CV NO. the sangguniang panlalawigan shall examine the documents or transmit them to the provincial attorney. copies of approved ordinances and the resolutions approving the local development plans and public investment programs formulated by the local development councils. The sanggunian may override the veto of local chief executive concerned by two-thirds (2/3) veto of all its members. the item or items in the appropriations ordinance of the previous year corresponding to those vetoed. thereby making the ordinance effective even without the approval of the local chief executive concerned. shall be deemed reenacted. '(b) Within thirty (30) days after receipt of copies of such ordinances and resolutions. provides: 'SEC. Review of Component City and Municipal Ordinances or Resolutions by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. But they did not.. if any. the secretary to the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan shall forward to sangguniang panlalawigan for review.R. “On the other hand.' “Thus. '(c) The local chief executive may veto an ordinance or resolution only once.

pp.' “Thus.40-42 . The provincial attorney or provincial prosecutor shall. 2003-119. the instant appeal is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. the same shall be presumed consistent with and therefore valid.CA-G. with the view of having it disapproved because it is hazardous to the health of the plaintiffs and other residents similarly situated. within a period of ten (10) days from receipt of the documents. They opted to come to Court immediately invoking judicial intervention inspite of the existence of administrative remedies available to them. which may be considered by the sangguninag panlalawigan in making its decision. The sangguniang panlalawigan shall enter its action in the minutes and shall advise the corresponding city or municipal authorities of the action it has taken. the assailed order of the 19.R. the plaintiffs could have also presented their grievances to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan when it reviewed Resolution No. it shall declare such ordinance or resolution invalid in whole or in part. Rollo. '(d) If no action has been taken by the sangguniang panlalawigan within thirty (30) days after submission of such an ordinance or resolution. Accordingly. CV NO. '(c) If the sangguniang panlalawigan finds that such an ordinance or resolution is beyond the power conferred upon the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguninag bayan concerned . 85254 DECISION =================== 12 prosecutor for prompt examination. inform the sangguniang panlalawigan in writing of his comments or recommendations. in view of all the foregoing.”19 WHEREFORE.

LAZARO-JAVIER Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Article VIII. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. REBECCA DE GUIA-SALVADOR Associate Justice Chairperson. VILLON Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REBECCA DE GUIA-SALVADOR Associate Justice AMY C. Fifth Division . Section 13 of the Constitution. 85254 DECISION =================== 13 Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20 of Cauayan City.R. SO ORDERED. SESINANDO E. 20-1313 is hereby AFFIRMED and UPHELD. Isabela in Civil Case No.CA-G. CV NO. Br.

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