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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 144681 June 21, 2004
PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION (PRC), CAIRMAN ERMOGENES P. PO!RE,
ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ARMAN"O PASCUAL, !OAR" OF ME"ICINE, CAIRMAN
RO"OLFO P. "E GU#MAN, JOSE S. RAMIRE#, JUANITO !. !ILLOTE, RU!EN R.
POLICARPIO, E"GAR"O T. FERNAN"O $n% RICAR"O ". FULGENCIO II, petitioners,
vs.
ARLENE &. "E GU#MAN, &IOLETA &. MENESES, CELERINA S. NA&ARRO, JOSE RAMONCITO
P. NA&ARRO, ARNEL &. ERRERA $n% GERAL"INE ELI#A!ET M. PAGILAGAN, ELNORA R.
RA'UENO, MARISSA A. REGO"ON, LAURA M. SANTOS, (ARANGALAN ". SERRANO,
"ANILO A. &ILLA&ER, MARIA ROSARIO L. LEONOR, ALICIA S. LI#ANO, MARITEL M.
ECI&ERRI, !ERNA"ETTE T. MEN"O#A, FERNAN"O F. MAN"APAT, ALELI A. GOLLA)AN,
ELCIN C. ARRIOLA, ERMINIGIL"A E. CONEJOS, SALL) !. !UNAGAN, ROGELIO !.
ANCETA, OSCAR . PA"UA, JR., E&EL)N ". GRAJO, E&EL)N S. ACOSTA, MARGARITA
!ELIN"A L. &ICENCIO, &ALENTINO P. AR!OLE"A, E&EL)N O. RAMOS, ACILLES J.
PERALTA, CORA#ON M. CRU#, LEU&INA P. CICO, JOSEP A. JAO, MA. LUISA S.
GUTIERRE#, L)"IA C. CAN, OPELIA C. I"ALGO, FERNAN"O T. CRU#, MEL&IN M. USITA,
RAFAEL I. TOLENTINO, GRACE E. U), CER)L R. TRIGUERO, MICAEL L. SERRANO,
FE"ERICO L. CASTILLO, MELITA J. CA*E"O, SAMUEL !. !ANGO), !ERNAR"ITA !. S),
GLORIA T. JULAR!AL, FRE"ERIC( ". FRANCISCO, CARLOS M. !ERNAR"O, JR., U!ERT
S. NA#ARENO, CLARISSA !. !ACLIG, "A)MIN"A G. !ONTU)AN, !ERNA"ETTE .
CA!UAT, NANC) J. CA&E#, MARIO ". CUARESMA, ERNESTO L. CUE, E&EL)N C.
CUN"ANGAN, RONEIL R. "E&ERATUR"A, "ERILEEN ". "ORA"O, SAI!#UR N. E""ING,
&IOLETA C. FELIPE, ERMINIO &. FERNAN"E#, JR., MARIA &ICTORIA M. LACSAMANA,
NORMA G. LAFA&ILLA, RU!) !. LANTIN, MA. ELOISA '. MALLARI, CLARISA SJ. NICOLAS,
PERCI&AL . PANGILINAN, ARNULFO A. SAL&A"OR, RO!ERT !. SANCE#, MERL) ". STA.
ANA $n% )OLAN"A P. UNICA, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
TINGA, J.:
his petition for revie! under Rule "# of the $%%& Rules of Civil Procedure see's to nullif( the D E C
I S I O N,
$
dated Ma( $), *+++, of the Court of ,ppeals in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/. he appellate
court affir1ed the 2ud31ent
*
dated Dece1ber $%, $%%", of the Re3ional rial Court 4RC5 of Manila,
6ranch #*, in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+. he trial court allo!ed the respondents to ta'e their
ph(sician7s oath and to re3ister as dul( licensed ph(sicians. E8uall( challen3ed is the R E S O L U T
I O N
/
pro1ul3ated on ,u3ust *#, *+++ of the Court of ,ppeals, den(in3 petitioners7 Motion for
Reconsideration.
he facts of this case are as follo!s9
he respondents are all 3raduates of the :ati1a Colle3e of Medicine, Valen;uela Cit(, Metro
Manila. he( passed the Ph(sician <icensure E=a1ination conducted in :ebruar( $%%/ b(
the 6oard of Medicine 46oard5. Petitioner Professional Re3ulation Co11ission 4PRC5 then
released their na1es as successful e=a1inees in the 1edical licensure e=a1ination.
Shortl( thereafter, the 6oard observed that the 3rades of the sevent(-nine successful
e=a1inees fro1 :ati1a Colle3e in the t!o 1ost difficult sub2ects in the 1edical licensure
e=a1, 6ioche1istr( 46io-Che15 and Obstetrics and .(necolo3( 4O6-.(ne5, !ere unusuall(
and e=ceptionall( hi3h. Eleven :ati1a e=a1inees scored $++> in 6io-Che1 and ten 3ot
$++> in O6-.(ne, another eleven 3ot %%> in 6io-Che1, and t!ent(-one scored %%> in O6-
.(ne. he 6oard also observed that 1an( of those !ho passed fro1 :ati1a 3ot 1ar's of
%#> or better in both sub2ects, and no one 3ot a 1ar' lo!er than %+>. , co1parison of the
perfor1ances of the candidates fro1 other schools !as 1ade. he 6oard observed that
stran3el(, the unusuall( hi3h ratin3s !ere true onl( for :ati1a Colle3e e=a1inees. It !as a
record-brea'in3 pheno1enon in the histor( of the Ph(sician <icensure E=a1ination.
On ?une &, $%%/, the 6oard issued Resolution No. $%, !ithholdin3 the re3istration as ph(sicians of
all the e=a1inees fro1 the :ati1a Colle3e of Medicine.
"
he PRC as'ed the National 6ureau of
Investi3ation 4N6I5 to investi3ate !hether an( ano1al( or irre3ularit( 1arred the :ebruar( $%%/
Ph(sician <icensure E=a1ination.
Prior to the N6I investi3ation, the 6oard re8uested :r. 6ienvenido :. Nebres, S.?., an e=pert
1athe1atician and authorit( in statistics, and later president of the ,teneo de Manila @niversit(, to
conduct a statistical anal(sis of the results in 6io-Che1 and Ob-.(ne of the said e=a1ination.
On ?une $+, $%%/, :r. Nebres sub1itted his report. Ae reported that a co1parison of the scores in
6io-Che1 and Ob-.(ne, of the :ati1a Colle3e e=a1inees !ith those of e=a1inees fro1 De <a
Salle @niversit( and Perpetual Aelp Colle3e of Medicine sho!ed that the scores of :ati1a Colle3e
e=a1inees !ere not onl( incredibl( hi3h but unusuall( clustered close to each other. Ae concluded
that there 1ust be so1e unusual reason creatin3 the clusterin3 of scores in the t!o sub2ects. It 1ust
be a cause Bstron3 enou3h to eli1inate the nor1al variations that one should e=pect fro1 the
e=a1inees Cof :ati1a Colle3eD in ter1s of talent, effort, ener3(, etc.B
#
:or its part, the N6I found that Bthe 8uestionable passin3 rate of :ati1a e=a1inees in the C$%%/D
Ph(sician E=a1ination leads to the conclusion that the :ati1a e=a1inees 3ained earl( access to the
test 8uestions.B
)
On ?ul( #, $%%/, respondents ,rlene V. De .u;1an, Violeta V. Meneses, Celerina S. Navarro, ?ose
Ra1oncito P. Navarro, ,rnel V. Aerrera, and .eraldine Eli;abeth M. Pa3ila3an 4,rlene V. De
.u;1an et al., for brevit(5 filed a special civil action for 1anda1us, !ith pra(er for preli1inar(
1andator( in2unction doc'eted as Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ !ith the Re3ional rial Court 4RC5 of
Manila, 6ranch #*. heir petition !as adopted b( the other respondents as intervenors.
Mean!hile, the 6oard issued Resolution No. *), dated ?ul( *$, $%%/, char3in3 respondents !ith
Bi11oralit(, dishonest conduct, fraud, and deceitB in connection !ith the 6io-Che1 and Ob-.(ne
e=a1inations. It reco11ended that the test results of the :ati1a e=a1inees be nullified. he case
!as doc'eted as ,d1. Case No. $)0& b( the PRC.
On ?ul( *0, $%%/, the RC issued an Order in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ 3rantin3 the preli1inar(
1andator( in2unction sou3ht b( the respondents. It ordered the petitioners to ad1inister the
ph(sician7s oath to ,rlene V. De .u;1an et al., and enter their na1es in the rolls of the PRC.
he petitioners then filed a special civil action for certiorari !ith the Court of ,ppeals to set aside the
1andator( in2unctive !rit, doc'eted as C,-..R. SP No. /$&+$.
On October *$, $%%/, the appellate court decided C,-..R. SP No. /$&+$, !ith the dispositive
portion of the Decision ordainin3 as follo!s9
EAERE:ORE, this petition is .R,NED. ,ccordin3l(, the !rit of preli1inar( 1andator(
in2unction issued b( the lo!er court a3ainst petitioners is hereb( nullified and set aside.
SO ORDERED.
&
,rlene V. de .u;1an, et al., then elevated the fore3oin3 Decision to this Court in ..R. No. $$*/$#.
In our Resolution dated Ma( */, $%%", !e denied the petition for failure to sho! reversible error on
the part of the appellate court.
Mean!hile, on Nove1ber **, $%%/, durin3 the pendenc( of the instant petition, the pre-trial
conference in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ !as held. hen, the parties, a3reed to reduce the testi1onies
of their respective !itnesses to s!orn 8uestions-and-ans!ers. his !as !ithout pre2udice to cross-
e=a1ination b( the opposin3 counsel.
On Dece1ber $/, $%%/, petitioners7 counsel failed to appear at the trial in the 1ista'en belief that
the trial !as set for Dece1ber $#. he trial court then ruled that petitioners !aived their ri3ht to
cross-e=a1ine the !itnesses.
On ?anuar( *&, $%%", counsel for petitioners filed a Manifestation and Motion statin3 the reasons for
her non-appearance and pra(in3 that the cross-e=a1ination of the !itnesses for the opposin3
parties be reset. he trial court denied the 1otion for lac' of notice to adverse counsel. It also denied
the Motion for Reconsideration that follo!ed on the 3round that adverse counsel !as notified less
than three 4/5 da(s prior to the hearin3.
Mean!hile, to prevent the PRC and the 6oard fro1 proceedin3 !ith ,d1. Case No. $)0&, the
respondents herein 1oved for the issuance of a restrainin3 order, !hich the lo!er court 3ranted in
its Order dated ,pril ", $%%".
he petitioners then filed !ith this Court a petition for certiorari doc'eted as ..R. No. $$#&+", to
annul the Orders of the trial court dated Nove1ber $/, $%%/, :ebruar( *0, $%%", and ,pril ", $%%".
Ee referred the petition to the Court of ,ppeals !here it !as doc'eted as C,-..R. SP No. /"#+).
On ,u3ust /$, $%%", the appellate court decided C,-..R. SP No. /"#+) as follo!s9
EAERE:ORE, the present petition for certiorari !ith pra(er for te1porar( restrainin3
orderFpreli1inar( in2unction is .R,NED and the Orders of Dece1ber $/, $%%/, :ebruar( &,
$%%", :ebruar( *0, $%%", and ,pril ", $%%" of the RC-Manila, 6ranch #*, and all further
proceedin3s ta'en b( it in Special Civil ,ction No. %/-))#/+ are hereb( DEC<,RED N@<<
and VOID. he said RC-Manila is ordered to allo! petitioners7 counsel to cross-e=a1ine the
respondents7 !itnesses, to allo! petitioners to present their evidence in due course of trial,
and thereafter to decide the case on the 1erits on the basis of the evidence of the parties.
Costs a3ainst respondents.
I IS SO ORDERED.
0
he trial !as then set and notices !ere sent to the parties.
, da( before the first hearin3, on Septe1ber **, $%%", the petitioners filed an Urgent Ex-Parte
Manifestation and Motion pra(in3 for the partial reconsideration of the appellate court7s decision in
C,-..R. SP No. /"#+), and for the outri3ht dis1issal of Civil Case No. %/-))#/+. he petitioners
as'ed for the suspension of the proceedin3s.
In its Order dated Septe1ber */, $%%", the trial court 3ranted the aforesaid 1otion, cancelled the
scheduled hearin3 dates, and reset the proceedin3s to October *$ and *0, $%%".
Mean!hile, on October *#, $%%", the Court of ,ppeals denied the partial 1otion for reconsideration
in C,-..R. SP No. /"#+). hus, petitioners filed !ith the Supre1e Court a petition for revie!
doc'eted as ..R. No. $$&0$&, entitled Professional Re3ulation Co11ission, et al. v. Court of
,ppeals, et al.
On Nove1ber $$, $%%", counsel for the petitioners failed to appear at the trial of Civil Case No. %/-
))#/+. @pon 1otion of the respondents herein, the trial court ruled that herein petitioners !aived
their ri3ht to cross-e=a1ine the herein respondents. rial !as reset to Nove1ber *0, $%%".
On Nove1ber *#, $%%", petitioners7 counsel 1oved for the inhibition of the trial court 2ud3e for
alle3ed partialit(. On Nove1ber *0, $%%", the da( the Motion to Inhiit !as to be heard, petitioners
failed to appear. hus, the trial court denied the Motion to Inhiit and declared Civil Case No. %/-
))#/+ dee1ed sub1itted for decision.
On Dece1ber $%, $%%", the trial court handed do!n its 2ud31ent in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, the
fallo of !hich reads9
EAERE:ORE, 2ud31ent is rendered orderin3 the respondents to allo! the petitioners and
intervenors 4e=cept those !ith asteris's and footnotes in pa3es $ G * of this decision5 CsicD,
%

to ta'e the ph(sician7s oath and to re3ister the1 as ph(sicians.
It should be 1ade clear that this decision is !ithout pre2udice to an( ad1inistrative
disciplinar( action !hich 1a( be ta'en a3ainst an( of the petitioners for such causes and in
the 1anner provided b( la! and consistent !ith the re8uire1ents of the Constitution as an(
other professionals.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
$+
,s a result of these develop1ents, petitioners filed !ith this Court a petition for revie! on certiorari
doc'eted as ..R. No. $$0"/&, entitled Professional Re3ulation Co11ission v. Aon. David ..
Nitafan, pra(in3 inter alia, that 4$5 ..R. No. $$0"/& be consolidated !ith ..R. No. $$&0$&H 4*5 the
decision of the Court of ,ppeals dated ,u3ust /$, $%%" in C,-..R. SP No. /"#+) be nullified for its
failure to decree the dis1issal of Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, and in the alternative, to set aside the
decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, order the trial court 2ud3e to inhibit hi1self, and
Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ be re-raffled to another branch.
On Dece1ber *), $%%", the petitioners herein filed their Notice of !""eal
$$
in Civil Case No. %/-
))#/+, thereb( elevatin3 the case to the Court of ,ppeals, !here it !as doc'eted as C,-..R. SP
No. /&*0/.
In our Resolution of ?une &, $%%#, ..R. No. $$0"/& !as consolidated !ith ..R. No. $$&0$&.
On ?ul( %, $%%0, !e disposed of ..R. Nos. $$&0$& and $$0"/& in this !ise9
EAERE:ORE, the petition in ..R. No. $$&0$& is DISMISSED for bein3 1oot. he petition in
..R. No. $$0"/& is li'e!ise DISMISSED on the 3round that there is a pendin3 appeal before
the Court of ,ppeals. ,ssistant Solicitor .eneral ,1paro M. Cabota2e-an3 is advised to be
1ore circu1spect in her dealin3s !ith the courts as a repetition of the sa1e or si1ilar acts
!ill be dealt !ith accordin3l(.
SO ORDERED.
$*
Ehile C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/ !as a!aitin3 disposition b( the appellate court, ,rnel V. Aerrera, one
of the ori3inal petitioners in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, 2oined b( t!ent(-seven intervenors, to !it9
:ernando :. Mandapat, Ophelia C. Aidal3o, 6ernadette . Mendo;a, Rub( 6. <antin-an, :ernando
. Cru;, Marissa ,. Re3odon, Ma. Eloisa I. Mallari-<ar3o;a, Cher(l R. ri3uero, ?oseph ,. ?ao,
6ernadette A. Cabuhat, Evel(n S. ,costa-Cabanes, <aura M. Santos, Maritel M. Echiverri,
6ernadette C. Escusa, Carlosito C. Do1in3o, ,licia S. <i;ano, Elnora R. Ra8ueno-Rabaino, Saib;ur
N. Eddin3, Derileen D. Dorado-Eddin3, Robert 6. Sanche;, Maria Rosario <. <eonor-<acandula,
.eraldine Eli;abeth M. Pa3ila3an-Pal1a, Mar3arita 6elinda <. Vicencio-.a1illa, Aer1ini3ilda E.
Cone2os, <euvina P. Chico-Pa3uio, Elcin C. ,rriola-Oca1po, and ?ose Ra1oncito P. Navarro,
1anifested that the( !ere no lon3er interested in proceedin3 !ith the case and 1oved for its
dis1issal. , si1ilar 1anifestation and 1otion !as later filed b( intervenors Mar( ?ean I. Jeban-
Merlan, Michael <. Serrano, Nor1a .. <afavilla, ,rnulfo ,. Salvador, 6elinda C. Rabara, Jolanda P.
@nica, Da(1inda .. 6ontu(an, Clarissa 6. 6acli3, Ma. <uisa S. .utierre;, Rhoneil R. Deveraturda,
,leli ,. .olla(an, Evel(n C. Cundan3an, :rederic' D. :rancisco, Violeta V. Meneses, Melita ?.
CaKedo, Clarisa S?. Nicolas, :ederico <. Castillo, Laran3alan D. Serrano, Danilo ,. Villaver, .race
E. @(, <(dia C. Chan, and Melvin M. @sita. he Court of ,ppeals ruled that its decision in C,-..R.
SP No. /&*0/ !ould not appl( to the1.
On Ma( $), *+++, the Court of ,ppeals decided C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, !ith the follo!in3 fallo, to
!it9
EAERE:ORE, findin3 no reversible error in the decision appealed fro1, Ee hereb( ,::IRM
the sa1e and DISMISS the instant appeal.
No pronounce1ent as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
$/
In sustainin3 the trial court7s decision, the appellate court ratiocinated that the respondents co1plied
!ith all the statutor( re8uire1ents for ad1ission into the licensure e=a1ination for ph(sicians in
:ebruar( $%%/. he( all passed the said e=a1ination. Aavin3 fulfilled the re8uire1ents of Republic
,ct No. */0*,
$"
the( should be allo!ed to ta'e their oaths as ph(sicians and be re3istered in the rolls
of the PRC.
Aence, this petition raisin3 the follo!in3 issues9
I
EAEAER OR NO RESPONDENS A,VE , V,<ID C,@SE O: ,CION :OR
M,ND,M@S ,.,INS PEIIONERS IN AE <I.A O: AE RESO<@ION O: AIS
AONOR,6<E CO@R IN ..R. NO. $$*/$# ,::IRMIN. AE CO@R O: ,PPE,<S7
DECISION DEC<,RIN. A, I: EVER AERE IS SOME DO@6 ,S O AE MOR,<
:INESS O: EM,MINEES, AE ISS@,NCE O: <ICENSE O PR,CICE MEDICINE IS
NO ,@OM,IC,<<J .R,NED O AE S@CCESS:@< EM,MINEES.
II
EAEAER OR NO AE PEIION :OR M,ND,M@S CO@<D PROCEED DESPIE AE
PENDENCJ O: ,DMINISR,IVE C,SE NO. $)0&, EAICA E,S PRECISE<J <OD.ED
O DEERMINE AE MOR,< :INESS O: RESPONDENS O 6ECOME DOCORS.
$#
o our 1ind, the onl( issue is9 Did the Court of ,ppeals co11it a reversible error of la! in sustainin3
the 2ud31ent of the trial court that respondents are entitled to a !rit of 1anda1usN
he petitioners sub1it that a !rit of 1anda1us !ill not lie in this case. he( point out that for a !rit
of 1anda1us to issue, the applicant 1ust have a !ell-defined, clear and certain le3al ri3ht to the
thin3 de1anded and it is the dut( of the respondent to perfor1 the act re8uired. hus, 1anda1us
1a( be availed of onl( !hen the dut( sou3ht to be perfor1ed is a 1inisterial and not a discretionar(
one. he petitioners ar3ue that the appellate court7s decision in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/ upholdin3
the decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ overloo'ed its o!n pronounce1ent in C,-
..R. SP No. /$&+$. he Court of ,ppeals held in C,-..R. SP No. /$&+$ that the issuance of a
license to en3a3e in the practice of 1edicine beco1es discretionar( on the PRC if there e=ists so1e
doubt that the successful e=a1inee has not full( 1et the re8uire1ents of the la!. he petitioners
stress that this Court7s Resolution dated Ma( *", $%%" in ..R. No. $$*/$# held that there !as no
sho!in3 Bthat the Court of ,ppeals had co11itted an( reversible error in renderin3 the 8uestioned
2ud31entB in C,-..R. SP No. /$&+$. he petitioners point out that our Resolution in ..R. No.
$$*/$# has lon3 beco1e final and e=ecutor(.
Respondents counter that havin3 passed the $%%/ licensure e=a1inations for ph(sicians, the
petitioners have the obli3ation to ad1inister to the1 the oath as ph(sicians and to issue their
certificates of re3istration as ph(sicians pursuant to Section *+
$)
of Rep. ,ct No. */0*. he Court of
,ppeals in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, found that respondents co1plied !ith all the re8uire1ents of
Rep. ,ct No. */0*. :urther1ore, respondents !ere ad1itted b( the Medical 6oard to the licensure
e=a1inations and had passed the sa1e. Aence, pursuant to Section *+ of Rep. ,ct No. */0*, the
petitioners had the obli3ation to ad1inister their oaths as ph(sicians and re3ister the1.
Manda1us is a co11and issuin3 fro1 a court of co1petent 2urisdiction, in the na1e of the state or
the soverei3n, directed to so1e inferior court, tribunal, or board, or to so1e corporation or person
re8uirin3 the perfor1ance of a particular dut( therein specified, !hich dut( results fro1 the official
station of the part( to !ho1 the !rit is directed, or fro1 operation of la!.
$&
Section / of Rule )#
$0
of
the $%%& Rules of Civil Procedure outlines t!o situations !hen a !rit of 1anda1us 1a( issue, !hen
an( tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unla!full( 4$5 ne3lects the perfor1ance of an act
!hich the la! specificall( en2oins as a dut( resultin3 fro1 an office, trust, or stationH or 4*5 e=cludes
another fro1 the use and en2o(1ent of a ri3ht or office to !hich the other is entitled.
Ee shall discuss the issues successivel(.
#$ On The Existence of a Dut% of the &oard of Medicine To Issue Certificates of Registration as
Ph%sicians under Re"$ !ct No$ '()'$
:or 1anda1us to prosper, there 1ust be a sho!in3 that the officer, board, or official concerned, has
a clear le3al dut(, not involvin3 discretion.
$%
Moreover, there 1ust be statutor( authorit( for the
perfor1ance of the act,
*+
and the perfor1ance of the dut( has been refused.
*$
hus, it 1ust be
pertinentl( as'ed no!9 Did petitioners have the dut( to ad1inister the Aippocratic Oath and re3ister
respondents as ph(sicians under the Medical ,ct of $%#%N
,s found b( the Court of ,ppeals, on !hich !e a3ree on the basis of the records9
It bears e1phasi;in3 herein that petitioner-appellees and intervenor-appellees have full(
co1plied !ith all the statutor( re8uire1ents for ad1ission into the licensure e=a1inations for
ph(sicians conducted and ad1inistered b( the respondent-appellants on :ebruar( $*, $", *+
and *$, $%%/. Stress, too, 1ust be 1ade of the fact that all of the1 successfull( passed the
sa1e e=a1inations.
**
he crucial 8uer( no! is !hether the Court of ,ppeals erred in concludin3 that petitioners should
allo! the respondents to ta'e their oaths as ph(sicians and re3ister the1, steps !hich !ould enable
respondents to practice the 1edical profession
*/
pursuant to Section *+ of the Medical ,ct of $%#%N
he appellate court relied on a sin3le provision, Section *+ of Rep. ,ct No. */0*, in concludin3 that
the petitioners had the 1inisterial obli3ation to ad1inister the Aippocratic Oath to respondents and
re3ister the1 as ph(sicians. 6ut it is a basic rule in statutor( construction that each part of a statute
should be construed in connection !ith ever( other part to produce a har1onious !hole, not
confinin3 construction to onl( one section.
*"
he intent or 1eanin3 of the statute should be
ascertained fro1 the statute ta'en as a !hole, not fro1 an isolated part of the provision. ,ccordin3l(,
Section *+, of Rep. ,ct No. */0*, as a1ended should be read in con2unction !ith the other
provisions of the ,ct. hus, to deter1ine !hether the petitioners had the 1inisterial obli3ation to
ad1inister the Aippocratic Oath to respondents and re3ister the1 as ph(sicians, recourse 1ust be
had to the entiret( of the Medical ,ct of $%#%.
, careful readin3 of Section *+ of the Medical ,ct of $%#% discloses that the la! uses the !ord
BshallB !ith respect to the issuance of certificates of re3istration. hus, the petitioners B+,$-- si3n and
issue certificates of re3istration to those !ho have satisfactoril( co1plied !ith the re8uire1ents of
the 6oard.B In statutor( construction the ter1 BshallB is a !ord of co11and. It is 3iven i1perative
1eanin3. hus, !hen an e=a1inee satisfies the re8uire1ents for the 3rant of his ph(sician7s license,
the 6oard is obli3ed to ad1inister to hi1 his oath and re3ister hi1 as a ph(sician, pursuant to
Section *+ and par. 4$5 of Section **
*#
of the Medical ,ct of $%#%.
Ao!ever, the surroundin3 circu1stances in this case call for serious in8uir( concernin3 the
satisfactor( co1pliance !ith the 6oard re8uire1ents b( the respondents. he unusuall( hi3h scores
in the t!o 1ost difficult sub2ects !as pheno1enal, accordin3 to :r. Nebres, the consultant of PRC on
the 1atter, and raised 3rave doubts about the inte3rit(, if not validit(, of the tests. hese doubts have
to be appropriatel( resolved.
@nder the second para3raph of Section **, the 6oard is vested !ith the po!er to conduct
ad1inistrative investi3ations and Bdisapprove applications for e=a1ination or re3istration,B pursuant
to the ob2ectives of Rep. ,ct No. */0* as outlined in Section $
*)
thereof. In this case, after the
investi3ation, the 6oard filed before the PRC, ,d1. Case No. $)0& a3ainst the respondents to
ascertain their 1oral and 1ental fitness to practice 1edicine, as re8uired b( Section %
*&
of Rep. ,ct
No. */0*. In its Decision dated ?ul( $, $%%&, the 6oard ruled9
EAERE:ORE, the 6O,RD hereb( C,NCE<S the respondentsC7D e=a1ination papers in the
Ph(sician <icensure E=a1inations 3iven in :ebruar( $%%/ and further DE6,RS the1 fro1
ta'in3 an( licensure e=a1ination for a period of ONE 4$5 JE,R fro1 the date of the
pro1ul3ation of this DECISION. he( 1a(, if the( so desire, appl( for the scheduled
e=a1inations for ph(sicians after the lapse of the period i1posed b( the 6O,RD.
SO ORDERED.
*0

@ntil the 1oral and 1ental fitness of the respondents could be ascertained, accordin3 to petitioners,
the 6oard has discretion to hold in abe(ance the ad1inistration of the Aippocratic Oath and the
issuance of the certificates to the1. he !rit of 1anda1us does not lie to co1pel perfor1ance of an
act !hich is not dul( authori;ed.
he respondents nevertheless ar3ue that under Section *+, the 6oard shall not issue a certificate of
re3istration onl( in the follo!in3 instances9 4$5 to an( candidate !ho has been convicted b( a court
of co1petent 2urisdiction of an( cri1inal offense involvin3 1oral turpitudeH 4*5 or has been found
3uilt( of i11oral or dishonorable conduct after the investi3ation b( the 6oardH or 4/5 has been
declared to be of unsound 1ind. he( aver that none of these circu1stances are present in their
case.
Petitioners re2ect respondents7 ar3u1ent. Ee are infor1ed that in 6oard Resolution No. *),
*%
dated
?ul( *$, $%%/, the 6oard resolved to file char3es a3ainst the e=a1inees fro1 :ati1a Colle3e of
Medicine for Bi11oralit(, dishonest(, fraud, and deceit in the Obstetrics-.(necolo3( and
6ioche1istr( e=a1inations.B It li'e!ise sou3ht to cancel the e=a1ination results obtained b( the
e=a1inees fro1 the :ati1a Colle3e.
Section 0
/+
of Rep. ,ct No. */0* prescribes, a1on3 others, that a person !ho aspires to practice
1edicine in the Philippines, 1ust have Bsatisfactoril( passed the correspondin3 6oard E=a1ination.B
Section **, in turn, provides that the oath 1a( onl( be ad1inistered Bto ph(sicians !ho 8ualified in
the e=a1inations.B he operative !ord here is Bsatisfactoril(,B defined as Bsufficient to 1eet a
condition or obli3ationB or Bcapable of dispellin3 doubt or i3norance.B
/$
.leaned fro1 6oard
Resolution No. *), the licensin3 authorit( apparentl( did not find that the respondents Bsatisfactoril(
passedB the licensure e=a1inations. he 6oard instead sou3ht to nullif( the e=a1ination results
obtained b( the respondents.
'$ On the Right Of The Res"ondents To &e Registered !s Ph%sicians
he function of 1anda1us is not to establish a ri3ht but to enforce one that has been established b(
la!. If no le3al ri3ht has been violated, there can be no application of a le3al re1ed(, and the !rit of
1anda1us is a le3al re1ed( for a le3al ri3ht.
/*
here 1ust be a !ell-defined, clear and certain le3al
ri3ht to the thin3 de1anded.
//
It is lon3 established rule that a license to practice 1edicine is a
privile3e or franchise 3ranted b( the 3overn1ent.
/"

It is true that this Court has upheld the constitutional ri3ht
/#
of ever( citi;en to select a profession or
course of stud( sub2ect to a fair, reasonable, and e8uitable ad1ission and acade1ic re8uire1ents.
/)

6ut li'e all ri3hts and freedo1s 3uaranteed b( the Charter, their e=ercise 1a( be so re3ulated
pursuant to the police po!er of the State to safe3uard health, 1orals, peace, education, order,
safet(, and 3eneral !elfare of the people.
/&
hus, persons !ho desire to en3a3e in the learned
professions re8uirin3 scientific or technical 'no!led3e 1a( be re8uired to ta'e an e=a1ination as a
prere8uisite to en3a3in3 in their chosen careers. his re3ulation ta'es particular pertinence in the
field of 1edicine, to protect the public fro1 the potentiall( deadl( effects of inco1petence and
i3norance a1on3 those !ho !ould practice 1edicine. In a previous case, it 1a( be recalled, this
Court has ordered the 6oard of Medical E=a1iners to annul both its resolution and certificate
authori;in3 a Spanish sub2ect, !ith the de3ree of <icentiate in Medicine and Sur3er( fro1 the
@niversit( of 6arcelona, Spain, to practice 1edicine in the Philippines, !ithout first passin3 the
e=a1ination re8uired b( the Philippine Medical ,ct.
/0
In another case !orth notin3, !e upheld the
po!er of the State to up3rade the selection of applicants into 1edical schools throu3h ad1ission
tests.
/%
It 1ust be stressed, nevertheless, that the po!er to re3ulate the e=ercise of a profession or pursuit
of an occupation cannot be e=ercised b( the State or its a3ents in an arbitrar(, despotic, or
oppressive 1anner. , political bod( that re3ulates the e=ercise of a particular privile3e has the
authorit( to both forbid and 3rant such privile3e in accordance !ith certain conditions. Such
conditions 1a( not, ho!ever, re8uire 3ivin3 up ones constitutional ri3hts as a condition to ac8uirin3
the license.
"+
@nder the vie! that the le3islature cannot validl( besto! an arbitrar( po!er to 3rant or
refuse a license on a public a3enc( or officer, courts !ill 3enerall( stri'e do!n license le3islation that
vests in public officials discretion to 3rant or refuse a license to carr( on so1e ordinaril( la!ful
business, profession, or activit( !ithout prescribin3 definite rules and conditions for the 3uidance of
said officials in the e=ercise of their po!er.
"$

In the present case, the afore1entioned 3uidelines are provided for in Rep. ,ct No. */0*, as
a1ended, !hich prescribes the re8uire1ents for ad1ission to the practice of 1edicine, the
8ualifications of candidates for the board e=a1inations, the scope and conduct of the e=a1inations,
the 3rounds for den(in3 the issuance of a ph(sician7s license, or revo'in3 a license that has been
issued. Veril(, to be 3ranted the privile3e to practice 1edicine, the applicant 1ust sho! that he
possesses all the 8ualifications and none of the dis8ualifications. :urther1ore, it 1ust appear that
he has full( co1plied !ith all the conditions and re8uire1ents i1posed b( the la! and the licensin3
authorit(. Should doubt taint or 1ar the co1pliance as bein3 less than satisfactor(, then the privile3e
!ill not issue. :or said privile3e is distin3uishable fro1 a 1atter of ri3ht, !hich 1a( be de1anded if
denied. hus, !ithout a definite sho!in3 that the aforesaid re8uire1ents and conditions have been
satisfactoril( 1et, the courts 1a( not 3rant the !rit of 1anda1us to secure said privile3e !ithout
th!artin3 the le3islative !ill.
($ On the Ri"eness of the Petition for Manda*us
<astl(, the petitioners herein contend that the Court of ,ppeals should have dis1issed the petition
for 1anda1us belo! for bein3 pre1ature. he( ar3ue that the ad1inistrative re1edies had not been
e=hausted. he records sho! that this is not the first ti1e that petitioners have sou3ht the dis1issal
of Civil Case No. %/-))#/+. his issue !as raised in ..R. No. $$#&+", !hich petition !e referred to
the Court of ,ppeals, !here it !as doc'eted as C,-..R. SP No. /"#+). On 1otion for
reconsideration in C,-..R. SP No. /"#+), the appellate court denied the 1otion to dis1iss on the
3round that the pra(ers for the nullification of the order of the trial court and the dis1issal of Civil
Case No. %/-))#/+ !ere inconsistent reliefs. In ..R. No. $$0"/&, the petitioners sou3ht to nullif( the
decision of the Court of ,ppeals in C,-..R. SP No. /"#+) insofar as it did not order the dis1issal of
Civil Case No. %/-))#/+. In our consolidated decision, dated ?ul( %, $%%0, in ..R. Nos. $$&0$& G
$$0"/&, this Court spea'in3 throu3h ?ustice 6ellosillo opined that9
Indeed, the issue as to !hether the Court of ,ppeals erred in not orderin3 the dis1issal of
Civil Case No. %/-))#/+ sou3ht to be resolved in the instant petition has been rendered
1eanin3less b( an event ta'in3 place prior to the filin3 of this petition and denial thereof
should follo! as a lo3ical conse8uence.
"*
here is no lon3er an( 2usticiable controvers( so
that an( declaration thereon !ould be of no practical use or value.
"/
It should be recalled that
in its decision of $% Dece1ber $%%" the trial court 3ranted the !rit of 1anda1us pra(ed for
b( private respondents, !hich decision !as received b( petitioners on *+ Dece1ber $%%".
hree 4/5 da(s after, or on */ Dece1ber $%%", petitioners filed the instant petition. 6( then,
the re1ed( available to the1 !as to appeal the decision to the Court of ,ppeals, !hich the(
in fact did, b( filin3 a notice of appeal on *) Dece1ber $%%".
""
he petitioners have sho!n no co3ent reason for us to reverse the aforecited rulin3. Nor !ill their
reliance upon the doctrine of the e=haustion of ad1inistrative re1edies in the instant case advance
their cause an(.
Section *)
"#
of the Medical ,ct of $%#% provides for the ad1inistrative and 2udicial re1edies that
respondents herein can avail to 8uestion Resolution No. *) of the 6oard of Medicine, na1el(9 4a5
appeal the unfavorable 2ud31ent to the PRCH 4b5 should the PRC rulin3 still be unfavorable, to
elevate the 1atter on appeal to the Office of the PresidentH and 4c5 should the( still be unsatisfied, to
as' for a revie! of the case or to brin3 the case to court +ia a special civil action of certiorari. hus,
as a rule, 1anda1us !ill not lie !hen ad1inistrative re1edies are still available.
")
Ao!ever, the
doctrine of e=haustion of ad1inistrative re1edies does not appl( !here, as in this case, a pure
8uestion of la! is raised.
"&
On this issue, no reversible error 1a(, thus, be laid at the door of the
appellate court in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, !hen it refused to dis1iss Civil Case No. %/-))#/+.
,s !e earlier pointed out, herein respondents ,rnel V. Aerrera, :ernando :. Mandapat, Ophelia C.
Aidal3o, 6ernadette . Mendo;a, Rub( 6. <antin-an, :ernando . Cru;, Marissa ,. Re3odon, Ma.
Eloisa I. Mallari-<ar3o;a, Cher(l R. ri3uero, ?oseph ,. ?ao, 6ernadette A. Cabuhat, Evel(n S.
,costa-Cabanes, <aura M. Santos, Maritel M. Echiverri, 6ernadette C. Escusa, Carlosito C.
Do1in3o, ,licia S. <i;ano, Elnora R. Ra8ueno-Rabaino, Saib;ur N. Eddin3, Derileen D. Dorado-
Eddin3, Robert 6. Sanche;, Maria Rosario <eonor-<acandula, .eraldine Eli;abeth M. Pa3ila3an-
Pal1a, Mar3arita 6elinda <. Vicencio-.a1illa, Aer1ini3ilda E. Cone2os, <euvina P. Chico-Pa3uio,
Elcin C. ,rriola-Oca1po, and ?ose Ra1oncito P. Navarro 1anifested to the Court of ,ppeals durin3
the pendenc( of C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, that the( !ere no lon3er interested in proceedin3 !ith the
case and 1oved for its dis1issal insofar as the( !ere concerned. , si1ilar 1anifestation and 1otion
!ere later filed b( intervenors Mar( ?ean I. Jeban-Merlan, Michael <. Serrano, Nor1a .. <afavilla,
,rnulfo ,. Salvador, 6elinda C. Rabarra, Jolanda P. @nica, Da(1inda .. 6ontu(an, Clarissa 6.
6acli3, Ma. <uisa S. .utierre;, Rhoneil R. Deveraturda, ,leli ,. .olla(an, Evel(n C. Cundan3an,
:rederic' D. :rancisco, Violeta V. Meneses, Melita ?. CaKedo, Clarisa S?. Nicolas, :ederico <.
Castillo, Laran3alan D. Serrano, Danilo ,. Villaver, .race E. @(, <(dia C. Chan, and Melvin M. @sita.
:ollo!in3 these 1anifestations and 1otions, the appellate court in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/ decreed
that its rulin3 !ould not appl( to the1. hus, inas1uch as the instant case is a petition for revie! of
the appellate court7s rulin3 in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, a decision !hich is inapplicable to the
afore1entioned respondents !ill si1ilarl( not appl( to the1.
,s to ,chilles ?. Peralta, Evel(n O. Ra1os, Sall( 6. 6una3an, Ro3elio 6. ,ncheta, Oscar A. Padua,
?r., Evel(n D. .ra2o, Valentino P. ,rboleda, Carlos M. 6ernardo, ?r., Mario D. Cuares1a, Violeta C.
:elipe, Percival A. Pan3ilinan, Cora;on M. Cru; and Sa1uel 6. 6an3o(, herein decision shall not
appl( pursuant to the Orders of the trial court in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, droppin3 their na1es fro1
the suit.
Conse8uentl(, this Decision is bindin3 onl( on the re1ainin3 respondents, na1el(9 ,rlene V. de
.u;1an, Celerina S. Navarro, Rafael I. olentino, 6ernardita 6. S(, .loria . ?ularbal, Aubert S.
Na;areno, Nanc( ?. Chave;, Ernesto <. Cue, Aer1inio V. :ernande;, ?r., Maria Victoria M.
<acsa1ana and Merl( D. Sta. ,na, as !ell as the petitioners.
.EREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTE". ,ccordin3l(, 4$5 the assailed decision dated Ma(
$), *+++, of the Court of ,ppeals, in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/, !hich affir1ed the 2ud31ent dated
Dece1ber $%, $%%", of the Re3ional rial Court of Manila, 6ranch #*, in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+,
orderin3 petitioners to ad1inister the ph(sician7s oath to herein respondents as !ell as the resolution
dated ,u3ust *#, *+++, of the appellate court, den(in3 the petitioners7 1otion for reconsideration, are
REVERSED and SE ,SIDEH and 4*5 the !rit of 1anda1us, issued in Civil Case No. %/-))#/+, and
affir1ed b( the appellate court in C,-..R. SP No. /&*0/ is N@<<I:IED ,ND SE ,SIDE.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, -uisu*ing, !ustria-Martine., and Calle/o, Sr$, 00$, concur.