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G.R. No.

182069

July 03, 2012

ARNOLD D. VICENCIO, Petitioner vs. HON. REYNALDO A. VILLAR and HON. J ANI!O G. E"#INO, JR., $n %&'$( )a*a)$%y a+ A)%$n, C&a$(-an and Co--$++$on'(, ('+*')%$.'ly, o/ %&' Hon. Co--$++$on on Aud$%, and ELI0A1E!H 0O"A, Respondents. DECISION "ERENO, J.: This is a Pctitiur; for Certiorari under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 6! of the Rules or Court sec"in# to annul Decision No. $%%&'%$$ dated (! )e*ruar+ $%%& of the Co,,ission on -udit .CO-/. ( Cit+ of 0ala*on represented *+ 1on. 2alauran entered into separate Contracts for Consultanc+ Services 3ith 0s. 4annette O. 5i6i#a 7 0r. 0e+nardo E. 5irtucio4 and 0r. 1ernando D. Da*alus .$%%7 Consultanc+ Contracts/.! Su*se8uentl+ durin# the 0a+ $%%4 elections petitioner 3as elected Cit+ 5ice'0a+or of 0ala*on. 9+ virtue of this office he also *eca,e the Presidin# Officer of the SP0 and at the sa,e ti,e the head of the San##unian Secretariat. To co,ple,ent the ,anpo3er re8uire,ents of the e:istin# San##unian Secretariat petitioner dee,ed it necessar+ to hire the services of consultants 3ith the end vie3 of au#,entin# and up#radin# its perfor,ance capa*ilit+ for the effective operation of the le#islative ,achiner+ of the cit+. Petitioner thus 3rote a letter dated (; 4ul+ $%%4 to -tt+. Danilo T. Dia< the Cit+ =e#al Officer of 0ala*on in8uirin# as to 3hether it 3as still necessar+ for the SP0 to ratif+ a ne3l+ entered contract of consultanc+ services *et3een it and the candidate for the consultanc+ position. -tt+. Dia< then responded to the said in8uir+ throu#h a letter dated $6 4ul+ $%%4 3hich cate#oricall+ stated that ratification 3as no lon#er necessar+ provided that the services to *e contracted 3ere those stipulated in the ordinance. On $( 4anuar+ $%%! the SP0 adopted Cit+ Ordinance No. %('$%%! entitled >-n Ordinance -ppropriatin# )unds to Cover the 5arious E:penditures and -ctivities of the =ocal 2overn,ent of 0ala*on Cit+ for the Period fro, 4anuar+ %( $%%! to Dece,*er 7( $%%!.> The total a,ount of funds appropriated 3as P !(( %?% %(; for the spendin# of the entire cit+ #overn,ent. Out of this a,ount P ?;$ %%% 3as ear,ar"ed for consultanc+ services under the =e#islative Secretariat. On ( )e*ruar+ $%%! petitioner representin# the Cit+ 2overn,ent of 0ala*on Cit+ entered into Contracts for Consultanc+ Services 3ith 0s. 4ennifer S. Catindi# & and -tt+. Rodolfo C. delos Santos .$%%! Consultanc+ Contracts/.; On (( )e*ruar+ $%%! another Contract for Consultanc+ Services 3as entered into *et3een 0r. 0arvin T. -,iana(% and the cit+ #overn,ent. -fter the si#nin# of their respective contracts the three consultants rendered consultanc+ services to the SP0. Thereafter the+ 3ere correspondin#l+ paid for their services pursuant to the contracts therefor.

On ($ 0a+ $%%6 respondent Eli<a*eth S. @osa issued Notice of Disallo3ance .ND/ No. %6'%%;'(%( .%!/(7containin# the result of the evaluation conducted on the -O0 issued *+ 0s. Padilla. On $$ 4une $%%6 the SP0 3rote a letter(! infor,in# 0s. Padilla that the three consultants hired *+ petitioner rendered services coverin# the period 4anuar+ to Dece,*er $%%!. In its vie3 the hirin# of these consultants and the services the+ rendered 3ere in #ood faith. -##rieved *+ the disallo3ance petitioner appealed it to the -d6udication and Settle,ent 9oard .-S9/ of the CO-. On ($ 4une $%%? the -S9 issued Decision No. $%%?'%7% (6 the dispositive portion of 3hich reads as follo3sA Pre,ises considered the instant appeal of 1on. -rnold 5icencio is here*+ denied. -ccordin#l+ Notice of Disallo3ance No. %6'%%;'(%( .%!/ dated ($ 0a+ $%%6 involvin# the a,ount of P7&4 ;&%.%% representin# fees to consultants 0r. 0arvin T. -,iana -tt+. Rodolfo Delos Santos and 0s. 4ennifer Catindi# is here*+ affir,ed. 1o3ever the instant appeal of 0r. Esta8uio -n#eles is here*+ #ranted. 0r. -n#eles is therefore e:cluded fro, the persons lia*le listed under Notice of Disallo3ance No. %6'%%;'(%( .%!/. (? Thereafter herein petitioner filed a letter dated ? 4ul+ $%%? (& addressed to 1on. 2uiller,o N. Cara#ue CO- Chairperson. The letter pra+ed for the reversal and settin# aside of the earlier Decision of the -S9. On (! )e*ruar+ $%%& pu*lic respondent issued the assailed Order. It appears that the letter of petitioner 3as treated as an appeal to the Co,,ission Proper of the CO- and 3as su*se8uentl+ denied. ISSBEA Ce den+ the Petition. -t the outset 3e note that the Petition has a procedural fla3 that should ,erit its outri#ht dis,issal. Throu#h the 5erification and Certification attached to the instant Petition petitioner states that the contents of the Petition >are true and correct of DhisE o3n personal "no3led#e and *elief and *ased on authentic records andFor docu,ents.>$% Section 4 Rule ? of the Rules of Court provides that a pleadin# re8uired to *e verified 3hich contains a verification *ased on >infor,ation and *elief> or >"no3led#e infor,ation and *elief > shall *e treated as an unsi#ned pleadin#. - pleadin# therefore in 3hich the verification is *ased ,erel+ on the part+Gs "no3led#e and *elief H as in the instant Petition H produces no le#al effect su*6ect to the discretion of the court to allo3 the deficienc+ to *e re,edied. $( In an+ case 3e find no #rave a*use of discretion on the part of the CO- in issuin# the assailed Decision.