Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

Review of Judgments and Final Orders or Resolution of the COMELEC and COA [Rule 64]

Brenda Nazareth vs. Hon. Villar, GR 188635, 29 January 2013 [Certiorari under rule 64;
requirement for petition; ground]

Facts: Congress enacted R.A. No. 8439 to address the policy of the State to provide a program for
human resources development in science and technology in order to achieve and maintain the necessary
reservoir of talent and manpower that would sustain the drive for total science and technology mastery.
Section 7 of R.A. No. 8439 grants additional allowances and benefits (Magna Carta benefits) to the
covered officials and employees of the DOST.

The DOST Regional Office No. IX in Zamboanga City released the Magna Carta benefits to the covered
officials and employees commencing in CY 1998 despite the absence of specific appropriation for the
purpose in the GAA. Subsequently, following the post-audit conducted by COA, several NDs were issued
disapproving the payment of the Magna Carta benefits. The disallowance by the COA prompted then
DOST Secretary to request the Office of the President for the authority to utilize the DOSTs savings to
pay the Magna Carta benefits which was also approved. Petitioner herein requested for the lifting of the
disallowance order and was also granted.

Issue: Whether or not the COA has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it ordered for the disallowance of fund to
support Magna Carta on Science and Technology.

Held: No. Section 1 of Rule 65, Rules of Court, demands that the petitioner must show that, 1.), the
tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and, 2.), there is
neither an appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the
purpose of amending or nullifying the proceeding. Inasmuch as the sole office of the writ of certiorari is
the correction of errors of jurisdiction, which includes the commission of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, the petitioner should establish that the COA gravely abused its
discretion. The abuse of discretion must be grave, which means either that the judicial or quasi-
judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually
refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge,
tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical
manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough to
warrant the issuance of the writ.

The petitioner dismally failed to discharge her burden. We conclude and declare, therefore, that the
COAs assailed decision was issued in steadfast compliance of its duty under the Constitution and in the
judicious exercise of its general audit power conferred to it by the Constitution.

Nonetheless, the Court opines that the DOST officials who caused the payment of the Magna Carta
benefits to the covered officials and employees acted in good faith in the honest belief that there was a
firm legal basis for the payment of the benefits. Evincing their good faith even after receiving the NDs
from the COA was their taking the initiative of earnestly requesting the OP for the authorization to use the
DOSTs savings to pay the Magna Carta benefits. On their part, the DOST covered officials and
employees received the benefits because they considered themselves rightfully deserving of the benefits
under the long-awaited law.






Sanchez vs. COA, Gr 127545, 23 April 2008, 552 SCRA 471, 489 [Findings accorded
respect and finality if supported

Facts:
On December 7, 2000, the City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 8040 entitled An
Ordinance Authorizing the Conferment of Exemplary Public Service Award to Elective Local
Officials of Manila Who Have Been Elected for Three (3) Consecutive Terms in the Same
Position. Pursuant to the ordinance, the City made partial payments in favor of the counsilors.
On August 8, 2005, Atty. Gabriel J. Espina (Atty. Espina), Supervising Auditor of the City
of Manila, issued Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) No. 2005-100(05)07(05) with the
following observations:

1. The initial payment of monetary reward as part of Exemplary Public
Service Award (EPSA) amounting to P9,923,257.00 to former councilors of the
City Government of Manila who have been elected for three (3) consecutive
terms to the same position as authorized by City Ordinance No. 8040 is without
legal basis.

2. The amount granted as monetary reward is excessive and
tantamount to double compensation in contravention to Article 170 (c) of the IRR
of RA 7160 which provides that no elective or appointive local official shall
receive additional, double or indirect compensation unless specifically authorized
by law.

3. The appropriations for retirement gratuity to implement EPSA ordinance
was classified as Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses instead of
Personal Services contrary to Section 7, Volume III of the Manual on the New
Government Accounting System (NGAS) for local government units and COA
Circular No. 2004-008 dated September 20, 2004 which provide the updated
description of accounts under the NGAS.
[7]


After evaluation of the AOM, the Director, Legal and Adjudication Office (LAO)-Local of
the COA issued ND No. 06-010-100-05
[8]
dated May 24, 2006.

On November 9, 2006, former councilors Jocelyn Dawis-Asuncion (Dawis-Asuncion),
Luciano M. Veloso (Veloso), Abraham C. Cabochan (Cabochan), Marlon M. Lacson (Lacson),
Julio E. Logarta, Jr., and Monina U. Silva, City Accountant Gloria C. Quilantang, City Budget
Officer Alicia Moscaya and then Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer Danilo B. Lacuna filed a
Motion to Lift the Notice of Disallowance. In its Decision No. 2007-171
[10]
dated November 29,
2007, the LAO-Local decided in favor of the movants and lifted the disallowance,

Citing Article 170 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA)
No. 7160, the LAO-Local held that the monetary reward given to the former councilors can be
one of gratuity and, therefore, cannot be considered as additional, double or indirect
compensation. Giving importance to the principle of local autonomy, the LAO-local upheld the
power of local government units (LGUs) to grant allowances. More importantly, it emphasized
that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) did not disapprove the appropriation for
the EPSA of the City which indicate that the same is valid.
[12]


Upon review, the COA rendered the assailed Decision No. 2008-088 sustaining ND No.
06-010-100-05.
[13]
The motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in Decision No. 2010-
077.
[14]
The COA opined that the monetary reward under the EPSA is covered by the term
compensation. Though it recognizes the local autonomy of LGUs, it emphasized the limitations
thereof set forth in the Salary Standardization Law (SSL). It explained that the SSL does not
authorize the grant of such monetary reward or gratuity. It also stressed the absence of a
specific law passed by Congress which ordains the conferment of such monetary reward or
gratuity to the former councilors.
[15]
In Decision No. 2010-077, in response to the question on its
jurisdiction to rule on the legality of the disbursement, the COA held that it is vested by the
Constitution the power to determine whether government entities comply with laws and
regulations in disbursing government funds and to disallow irregular disbursements.
[16]


Aggrieved, petitioners Veloso, Cabochan, Dawis-Asuncion and Lacson come before the
Court in this special civil action for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
COA. Respondent alleged:

Apart from being totally oblivious of the fact that the monetary award
given under the EPSA was intended or given in return for the exemplary service
rendered by its recipient(s), the respondent COA further committed grave abuse
of discretion when it effectively nullified a duly-enacted ordinance which is
essentially a judicial function. In other words, in the guise of disallowing the
disbursement in question, the respondent Commission arrogated unto itself an
authority it did not possess, and a prerogative it did not have.
[17]


On November 30, 2010, the Court issued a Status Quo Ante Order
[18]
requiring the
parties to maintain the status quo prevailing before the implementation of the assailed COA
decisions.
There are two issues for resolution: (1) whether the COA has the authority to disallow
the disbursement of local government funds; and (2) whether the COA committed grave abuse
of discretion in affirming the disallowance of P9,923,257.00 covering the EPSA of former three-
term councilors of the City of Manila authorized by Ordinance No. 8040.

In their Reply,
[19]
petitioners insist that the power and authority of the COA to audit
government funds and accounts does not carry with it in all instances the power to disallow a
particular disbursement.
[20]
Citing Guevara v. Gimenez,
[21]
petitioners claim that the COA has no
discretion or authority to disapprove payments on the ground that the same was unwise or that
the amount is unreasonable. The COA's remedy, according to petitioners, is to bring to the
attention of the proper administrative officer such expenditures that, in its opinion, are irregular,
unnecessary, excessive or extravagant.
[22]
While admitting that the cited case was decided by
the Court under the 1935 Constitution, petitioners submit that the same principle applies in the
present case.

ISSUE: WON the COA acted with grave abuse of discretion and whether or not its findings is
final
RULING:
It is the general policy of the Court to sustain the decisions of administrative authorities,
especially one which is constitutionally-created not only on the basis of the doctrine of
separation of powers but also for their presumed expertise in the laws they are entrusted to
enforce. Findings of administrative agencies are accorded not only respect but also finality when
the decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that would amount to
grave abuse of discretion.
[33]
It is only when the COA has acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, that this
Court entertains a petition questioning its rulings.
[34]
There is grave abuse of discretion when
there is an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by
law or to act in contemplation of law as when the judgment rendered is not based on law
and evidence but on caprice, whim and despotism
Candelario Versoza vs. Guillermo Carague, GR 157838, 7 February 2012 [absent grave
abuse of discretion findings of quasi-judicial agencies area accorded respect and finality
FACTS
The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) purchased from Tetra Corporation (Tetra) a total
of forty-six (46) units of computer equipment and peripherals in the total amount of P2,285,279.00. Tetra
was chosen from among three qualified bidders. Petitioner who was then the Executive Director of the
CDA approved the purchase.
Resident Auditor sought the assistance of the Technical Services Office (TSO), COA in the
determination of the reasonableness of the prices of the purchased computers.
3
In its reply-letter dated
October 18, 1993, the TSO found that the purchased computers were overpriced/excessive by a total
of P881,819.00.The Resident Auditor issued Notice of Disallowance No. 93-0016-101 dated November
17, 1993, for the amount of P881,819.00.
5

CDA Chairman Edna E. Aberilla appealed for reconsideration of the disallowance to COA
Chairman Celso D. Gangan.
Resident Auditor maintained her stand on the disallowance and submitted to Assistant
Commissioner Raul C. Flores her replies to the CDAs justifications
Respondent COA issued the assailed decision affirming the disallowance. It held that whether or
not the product is branded is irrelevant in the determination of the reasonableness of the price since the
brand was not stated in the Call for Bids nor in the Purchase Order. The bids of the three qualified bidders
were based on similar technical specifications, features and warranty as contained in their proposals. It
was also found that the performance of the competing computer equipment would not vary or change
even if the attributes or characteristics of said computers cited by petitioner were to be factored in. The
difference in brands, microprocessors, BIOSes, as well as casings will not affect the efficiency of the
computers performance.
10

Further, COA declared that CDA should not have awarded the contract to Tetra but to the other
competing bidders, whose bid is more advantageous to the government. It noted that Microcircuits offered
the lowest bid ofP1,123,315.00 for the US brand said to be more durable than the Korean brand supplied
by Tetra. CDA also should have been entitled to volume discount considering the number of units it
procured from Tetra. Lastly, COA emphasized that the requirements and specifications of the end-user
are of prime consideration and the other added features of the equipment, if not specified or needed by
the end-user, should not be taken into account in determining the purchase price. The conduct of public
bidding should be made objectively with the end in view of purchasing quality equipment as needed at the
least cost to the government. The price for the equipment delivered having been paid, when such
equipment could be acquired at a lower cost, the disallowance of the price difference was justified.
11

Petitioners motion for reconsideration having been denied, he sought relief with SC.
Respondents filed their Comment, arguing that this Courts jurisdiction was not correctly invoked
by petitioner who filed a petition for review under Rule 45 and not a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
Petitioner failed to allege that respondents acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
ISSUES:
Whether or not petition for review under 45 was the proper remedy
Whether or not COA committed grave abuse of discretion
HELD:
To begin with, petitioner availed of the wrong remedy in filing a petition for review under Rule 45.
Article IX-A, Section 7 of the Constitution provides that decisions, orders or rulings of the Commission on
Audit may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party.
24
Moreover, under
Section 2, Rule 64, of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, a judgment or final order or resolution of the
Commission on Audit may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on certiorari under
Rule 65.
Findings of quasi-judicial agencies, such as the COA, which have acquired expertise because
their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters are generally accorded not only respect but at times even
finality if such findings are supported by substantial evidence.
34
It is only upon a clear showing that the
COA acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction that this Court will set aside its decisions or final orders.
35
We find no such
arbitrariness or grave abuse on the part of the COA when it disallowed in audit the amount representing
the overprice in the payment by CDA for the purchased computer units and peripherals, its findings are
well-supported by the evidence on record.
Luciano Veloso et.al. vs. COA, GR 193677, 6 September 2011 [COA,s audit jurisdiction;
power to audit]
On December 7, 2000, the City Council of Manila Ordinance No. 8040 in which Section 2 thereof
authorizes the Conferment of Exemplary Public Service Award to Elective Local Officials of Manila Who
Have Been Elected for Three (3) Consecutive Terms in the Same Position. SEC. 2. The EPSA shall
consist of a Plaque of Appreciation, retirement and gratuity pay remuneration equivalent to the
actual time served in the position for three (3) consecutive terms,
On August 2005, Atty Espina, the Supervising auditor of Manila issued Audit Observation Memorandum
(AOM). In its observation, he stated that: 1. EPSA amounting to P9, 923,257.00 to the former councilors
is without legal basis 2. The amount granted is excessive 3. The appropriations for retirement gratuity to
implement EPSA ordinance was classified as Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses instead of
Personal Services. Thereafter, a Notice of Disallowance was issued on the EPSA.
The former councilors then filed a motion to lift Notice of Disallowance and this was granted. However,
upon review, COA sustained the Disallowance. COA opined that the monetary reward under the EPSA is
covered by the term "compensation." Though it recognizes the local autonomy of LGUs, it emphasized
the limitations thereof set forth in the Salary Standardization Law (SSL). It explained that the SSL does
not authorize the grant of such monetary reward or gratuity. It also stressed the absence of a specific law
passed by Congress which ordains the conferment of such monetary reward or gratuity to the former
councilors.
Aggrieved, petitioners filed for certiorari. They claim that COA committed grave abuse of discretion when
it ruled that the monetary award given in EPSA partakes the nature of compensation and not gratuity
which was voluntarily given in return for the services they rendered. They further averred that the
nullification of the ordinance is within the judicial function and not COAs. Lastly, petitioners insist that the
power and authority of the COA to audit government funds and accounts does not carry with it in all
instances the power to disallow a particular disbursement and incase of any irregularity or excessiveness,
COA must bring it before the proper administrative officer (Guevara vs Jimenez).
Issue: WON COA has the authority to disallow the disbursement of local government funds
Held:
The ruling in Guevara cited by petitioners has already been overturned by the Court in Caltex Philippines,
Inc. v. Commission on Audit.The Court explained that under the 1935 Constitution, the Auditor General
could not correct irregular, unnecessary, excessive or extravagant expenditures of public funds, but could
only bring the matter to the attention of the proper administrative officer. Under the 1987 Constitution,
however, the COA is vested with the authority to determine whether government entities, including LGUs,
comply with laws and regulations in disbursing government funds, and to disallow illegal or irregular
disbursements of these funds.
Pursuant to its mandate as the guardian of public funds, the COA is vested with broad powers over all
accounts pertaining to government revenue and expenditures and the uses of public funds and
property. This includes the exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and examination,
establish the techniques and methods for such review, and promulgate accounting and auditing
rules and regulations.The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine, prevent and
disallow irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of
government funds. It is tasked to be vigilant and conscientious in safeguarding the proper use of the
government's, and ultimately the people's, property. The exercise of its general audit power is among the
constitutional mechanisms that gives life to the check and balance system inherent in our form of
government
Esteves vs. Sarmiento, GR 182374, 11 November 2008 [MR to COMELEC en Banc is
necessary before invoking review by the SC
In the national and local elections conducted last 14 May 2007, petitioner and private respondent
both ran for the position of municipal mayor of the Municipality of Casiguran, Aurora. On 15 May 2007,
the Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed private respondent as the duly-elected Mayor of
Casiguran on the basis of the results of the canvassing.
On 25 May 2007, petitioner filed an election protest before the Regional Trial Court of Baler,
Aurora.
The RTC then issued a precautionary protection order directing the Municipal Treasurer and
Election Officer of Casiguran to take immediate steps to safeguard the integrity of all the ballot boxes,
lists of voters and other paraphernalia used in the elections and thereafter directed that all the election
paraphernalia, including the ballot boxes and lists of voters, subject of the protest be brought before the
court.
Private respondent then filed an answer, which the RTC admitted in an Order. In the same order,
the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of private respondent's counter-protest on
the ground of non-payment of filing fee. Thereafter, the RTC ordered the creation of the revision
committees.
Thus, private respondent filed before the COMELEC a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
application for temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction.
After hearing private respondent's application, the COMELEC (Second Division) issued a
temporary restraining order (TRO), which directed Judge Soluren to desist from further proceeding with
Election Protest Case No. 96 until further orders from the COMELEC.
11

Thereafter, petitioner filed before this Court a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with
application for issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. The petition,
prayed that a temporary restraining order be issued enjoining the COMELEC (Second Division) from
taking cognizance of SPR Case and that the TRO issued by the COMELEC be ordered lifted.
The Court resolved to dismiss G.R. No. 180792 for failure of the petition to state the material
dates showing that the petition was filed on time, failure to submit the required competent proof of identity
in the verification/certification, failure to give an explanation why service was not personally made and
failure to show that any grave abuse of discretion was committed by the COMELEC in rendering the
challenged order.
On 29 February 2008, the COMELEC (Second Division) issued the assailed resolution penned by
Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer. The assailed resolution nullified the 8 September 2007 Order of the
RTC and, accordingly, dismissed EPC.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Motion for Reconsideration to COMELEC en banc is a condition sine qua non to the filing
of a special civil action of certiorari before the SC.
HELD:
Yes, Section 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution expressly states:
Section 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall
promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-
proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division,
provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en
banc.
Also, Section 7, Article IX-A of the Constitution provides:
Section 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter
brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A
case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading,
brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself.
Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each
Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within
thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.
Under the aforequoted constitutional provisions, the requirement that an aggrieved party must first
file a motion for reconsideration of a resolution of the Division to the COMELEC en banc is
mandatory and jurisdictional in invoking the power of review of the Supreme Court. Failure to
abide by this procedural requirement constitutes a ground for dismissal of the petition.
16

The filing of a motion for reconsideration is mandatory because the mode by which a decision, order or
ruling of the COMELEC en banc may be elevated to the Supreme Court is by the special civil action of
certiorari under Rule 64 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. It is settled that the filing of a motion for
reconsideration of the order, resolution or decision of the tribunal, board or office is, subject to
well-recognized exceptions, a condition sine qua non to the institution of a special civil action for
certiorari. The rationale therefore is that the law intends to afford the tribunal, board or office an
opportunity to rectify the errors and mistakes it may have lapsed into before resort to the courts
of justice can be had.
Since the COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the review of a resolution of the Division by the
COMELEC en banc, the filing of the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is premature. The petition
does not allege that petitioner indeed filed a motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC en banc.
The unquestioned rule in this jurisdiction is that certiorari will lie only if there is no appeal or any
other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against the acts of public
respondent.

Certiorari cannot be resorted to as a shield from the adverse consequences of petitioner's
own omission to file the required motion for reconsideration.A litigant should first exhaust the
administrative remedies provided by law before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the
administrative agency an opportunity to decide correctly the matter and prevent unnecessary and
premature resort to the court.
23
The premature invocation of judicial intervention is fatal to one's cause of
action.
24
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is DENIED.
Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus [Rule 65]

Certiorari
Marino B. Icdang vs. Sandiganbayan, GR 185960, 25 January 2012 [nature and definition
of grave abuse of discretion]
FACTS:
Petitioner was the Regional Director of the Office for Southern Cultural Communities.
Upon reports filed by the Commission on Audit, it was discovered that petitioner
misappropriated public funds amounting to P219,392.75. Allegations of misappropriations and
cash advances for intended projects that were never implemented were leveled against
petitioner by the OSG. Petitioner, in his defense, never denied that he received certain funds but
explained that said amounts were never misappropriated as evidenced by financial reports and
statements. He likewise indicated and requested in his comments for extension to restitute the
money. Nonetheless, the Office of the Solicitor General found probable cause against petitioner
and thereafter charged the latter with malversation of public funds. Petitioner was likewise
charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act (Criminal Case No. 26328).
Respondent rendered its decision convicting petitioner with malversation and ordered
the same to reimburse the government of said amount. In Criminal Case No. 26328, petitioner
was acquitted on the basis of reasonable doubt. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was
denied by respondent noting that the decision has become final and executory. Hence, this
special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 was filed.
ISSUED:
W/N the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was the correct form of appeal given the
situation.
W/N respondent court committed grave abuse of discretion.
HOLDING:
At the outset it must be emphasized that the special civil action of certiorari is NOT
the proper remedy to challenge a judgment conviction rendered by the SB. Petitioner
should have filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.
Pursuant to Section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 1606,17 as amended by Republic Act
No. 8249, decisions and final orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be appealable to the Supreme
Court by petition for review on certiorari raising pure questions of law in accordance with Rule
45 of the Rules of Court. Section 1 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court provides that "[a] party
desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment, final order or resolution of the x x x
Sandiganbayan x x x whenever authorized by law, may file with the Supreme Court a verified
petition for review on certiorari. The petition x x x shall raise only questions of law, which must
be distinctly set forth." Section 2 of Rule 45 likewise provides that the petition should be filed
within the fifteen-day period from notice of the judgment or final order or resolution, or of the
denial of petitioners motion for reconsideration filed in due time after notice of judgment.
As observed by the SB, the 15-day period of appeal, counted from the date of the
promulgation of its decision on May 26, 2008, lapsed on June 10, 2008, which rendered the
same final and executory. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was thus filed 6 days late.
Petitioners resort to the present special civil action after failing to appeal within the fifteen-day
reglementary period, cannot be done. The special civil action of certiorari cannot be used
as a substitute for an appeal which the petitioner already lost.
This Court has often enough reminded members of the bench and bar that a special civil
action for certiorari under Rule 65 lies only when there is no appeal nor plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Certiorari is not allowed when a party to a
case fails to appeal a judgment or final order despite the availability of that remedy. The
remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.
Appeals though filed late were allowed in some rare cases, but there must be exceptional
circumstances to justify the relaxation of the rules.
On the second issue, there is grave abuse of discretion where the public respondent
acts in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of its judgment as to
be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to
amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or
to act at all in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic
manner by reason of passion or hostility. Under the facts on record, we find no grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the SB when it submitted the case for decision and rendered the
judgment of conviction on the basis of the prosecution evidence after the defense failed to
present its evidence despite ample opportunity to do so. Petitioner was granted ample
opportunity to present their evidence as in fact several postponements were made on account
of his counsels health condition and petitioners lack of financial resources to cover
transportation costs. The SB exercised utmost leniency and compassion and even appointed a
counsel de oficio when petitioner cited lack of money to pay for attorneys fee.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The Decision promulgated on May 26, 2008
and Resolution issued on November 18, 2008 by the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No.
26327 are AFFIRMED.