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CASES JUDICIAL REVIEW

1. Abejo vs Dela Cruz


SYLLABUS
1.LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; LABOR LAWS;
EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP; A MERE SUCCESSOR
DOES NOT BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT
COMMITMENTS OF ITS PREDECESSOR; EXCEPTION; CASE AT
BAR. The Court agrees that as a mere successor of Metro in the
arrastre operations in the South Harbor, Marina did not become
responsible for the employment commitments of the latter. The rule on
this matter is well-settled. Nevertheless, we should not disregard
Paragraph 7, under which Marina expressly agreed to absorb the
employees of Metro as a condition of the permit granted by the PPA. In
fact, conformably to that stipulation, Marina did absorb the majority of
Metro's personnel, including some of its security force. This circumstance
modifies the general rule as far as this case is concerned and renders
pointless all debate on whether or not Metro's employees automatically
became Marina's employees. They did not, of course, following the
general rule; but they became so by virtue of Paragraph 7 of the terms
and conditions of the permit.
Decision
On July 19, 1986, the Philippine Ports Authority canceled its arrastre
management contract with Metro Port Services, Inc. and directly assumed
the cargo handling operations in the South Harbor of Manila.
Two days later, it awarded a permit to Marina Port Services to undertake
arrastre services in the same port, subject inter alia to the following
stipulation embodied in Paragraph 7 of the terms and conditions of the
said permit:
Labor and personnel of previous operator, except those
positions of trust and confidence, shall be absorbed by
grantee. Labor or employees benefits provided for under
existing CBA shall likewise be honored.
Marina retained the bulk of the 2,700-man personnel of Metro but refused
to continue the employment of 65 of the 123 persons constituting the
security force. The guards excluded were served with notices of
separation effective on various dates during the period from July 19 to
August 24, 1986. Their reaction was to file a complaint for illegal
dismissal and damages with the Department of Labor and Employment
on August 5, 1986. LexLib
After submission of position papers by the parties, Labor Arbiter
Crescencio R. Iniego held in favor of the complainants. In a decision
dated December 22, 1986, he ordered their reinstatement without loss of
seniority rights and payment of back salaries, moral and exemplary
damages and attorney's fees. 1
On October 30, 1987, his decision was affirmed by the respondent
National Labor Relations Commission except for the award of moral and
exemplary damages, which was deleted. 2 The motion for reconsideration
was denied on November 23, 1987. 3
The petitioner then came to this Court alleging grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the public respondent. We issued a temporary restraining
order on January 6, 1988, 4and required comments from the respondents,
to which a reply was submitted, followed by a rejoinder and then a sur-
rejoinder. On October 10, 1988, we gave due course to the petition and
called for the submission of simultaneous memoranda, which were both
filed on February 13, 1989.
The petitioner contends specifically that: a) it had no pre-existing
employer-employee relationship with the private respondents; (b)
Paragraph 7 of the terms and conditions of the permit should be
interpreted by a court of law and not the NLRC; and c) Marina was not
obligated to re-hire the private respondents because it had no license to
maintain a security agency.
On the first issue, the petitioner contends that Metro and Marina are
entirely different entities; hence, the latter is not bound by the contracts
entered into by the former. The private respondents were employed by
Metro, not Marina. Marina did not even succeed Metro in the arrastre
operations because it derived its permit directly from the Philippine Ports
Authority after that office took over the said operations from Metro.
Consequently, the private respondents had no valid claim for
reinstatement against Marina.
The Court agrees that as a mere successor of Metro in the arrastre
operations in the South Harbor, Marina did not become responsible for
the employment commitments of the latter. The rule on this matter is
well-settled. 5 Nevertheless, we should not disregard Paragraph 7, under
which Marina expressly agreed to absorb the employees of Metro as a
condition of the permit granted by the PPA. In fact, conformably to that
stipulation, Marina did absorb the majority of Metro's personnel,
including some of its security force. This circumstance modifies the
general rule as far as this case is concerned and renders pointless all
debate on whether or not Metro's employees automatically became
Marina's employees. They did not, of course, following the general rule;
but they became so by virtue of Paragraph 7 of the terms and conditions
of the permit.
Did the absorbed employees include the private respondents?
The petitioner maintains that they had no right to be re-hired because they
were occupying positions of trust and confidence as members of the
security force and so came under the exception in Paragraph 7. In support
of this view, it cites the following excerpt from the decision in San
Miguel Corporation v. NLRC: 6
In Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. v. Court of
Appeals (1 SCRA 1251), we held that where an
employee occupies a position of trust and confidence, as
where he is entrusted with confidential or delicate
matters, or where the custody, handling, or care and
protection of the employer's property, acts tending to
show untrustworthiness may constitute a just cause for
dismissal, or of loss of employer's confidence.
The above statement was mere obiter and not even
necessary for the determination of that case; and neither
was it intended as a categorical interpretation of the
phrase "trust and confidence." The reference to Lepanto
was for purposes of illustration only as that decision also
did not carry its own definition of the phrase in question.
The Court is therefore not limited by those cases in its
examination of when a position may be considered one
of trust and confidence, for the purpose at least of
determining the correct meaning of Paragraph 7. LLphil
As we see it, a strictly literal interpretation of the phrase
was not intended in Paragraph 7. On the contrary, we
feel that the reference intended was not to any employee
entrusted with the custody of company property but to a
higher category of employees not belonging to the rank-
and-file but holding managerial positions. As the
Solicitor General suggests:
The interpretation of the term trust and
confidence should be restricted to managerial
employees. Those who are vested with powers or
prerogatives to lay down management policies and or to
hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign
or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend
such managerial actions (Article 212(k), Labor Code of
the Philippines). The positions held by private
respondents (that of security services) which are by and
large limited to securing the employer's property as well
as its clients' property could hardly be considered as one
of trust and confidence under paragraph 7 of the
Additional Terms and Conditions of the Management
Contract. 7

To be sure, every employee must enjoy some degree of trust and
confidence from the employer as that is one reason why he was employed
in the first place. One certainly does not employ a person he distrusts.
Indeed, even the lowly janitor must enjoy that trust and confidence in
some measure if only because he is the one who opens the office in the
morning and closes it at night and in this sense is entrusted with the care
or protection of the employer's property. The keys he holds are the
symbol of that trust and confidence.
By the same token, the security guard must also be considered as
enjoying the trust and confidence of his employer, whose property he is
safeguarding. Like the janitor, he has access to this property. He too, is
charged with its care and protection.
Notably, however, and like the janitor again, he is entrusted only with
the physical task of protecting that property. The employer's trust and
confidence in him is limited to that ministerial function. He is not
entrusted, in the Labor Arbiter's words, "with the duties of safekeeping
and safeguarding company policies, management instructions, and
company secrets such as operation devices." He is not privy to these
confidential matters, which are shared only in the higher echelons of
management. It is the persons on such levels who, because they discharge
these sensitive duties, may be considered holding positions of trust and
confidence. The security guard does not belong in such category.
It follows that the Labor Arbiter did not err in interpreting Paragraph 7
and assuming jurisdiction over what is clearly a labor dispute involving
employer-employee relations.
Turning now to the alleged illegal dismissal of the private respondents,
we affirm first of all that loss of confidence is a valid ground for
dismissal under our labor laws. However, that ground, like any other
ground, must first be established in proper proceedings before an
employee can be lawfully dismissed. The following provisions in
the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, 8 which are here re-
stated as a reminder to all employers, prescribe the procedure to be
observed in any action of management against the employee:
Section 1.Security of tenure and due process. No
worker shall be dismissed except for a just or authorized
cause provided by law and after due process.
2.Notice of dismissal. Any employer who seeks to
dismiss a worker shall furnish him a written notice
stating the particular acts or omission constituting the
grounds for his dismissal. In cases of abandonment of
work, the notice shall be served at the worker's last
known address. prLL
xxx xxx xxx
5.Answer and hearing. The worker may answer the
allegations stated against him in the notice of dismissal
within a reasonable period from receipt of such notice.
The employer shall afford the worker ample opportunity
to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of
his representative, if he so desires.
6.Decision to dismiss. The employer shall
immediately notify a worker in writing of a decision to
dismiss in stating clearly the reasons therefor.
The record shows that the above procedure was not followed by the
petitioner when it dismissed the private respondents. There was no
hearing conducted as required by the rules, only an alleged background
investigation that supposedly linked them to pilferages in the pier. No
charges were formally preferred against the private respondents nor
where they given a chance to defend themselves. They were simply and
arbitrarily separated and served notices of termination in disregard of
their rights to due process and security of tenure.
The following pronouncements from this Court are appropriate:
Loss of confidence constitutes a just cause for
terminating an employer-employee relationship. But for
dismissal for loss of confidence to be warranted, there
should naturally be some basis for it. Unsupported by
sufficient proof, loss of confidence is without basis and
may not be successfully invoked as a ground for
dismissal. Loss of confidence as a ground for dismissal
has never been intended to afford an occasion for abuse
by the employer of its prerogative, as it can easily be
subject to abuse because of its subjective nature.
The burden of proof rests upon the employer that the
dismissal is for cause, and the failure of the employer to
do so would mean that the dismissal is not justified. 9
xxx xxx xxx
Such a vague, all-encompassing pretext as loss of
confidence, if given the seal of approval by this Court,
could easily be utilized to reduce to a barren form of
words the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure.
Precisely, the employee is afforded that protection so
that his means of livelihood is not placed at the mercy of
management. He is just as much a participant in the
industrial process. He is entitled to be considered as
such. Constitutional provisions protecting labor are in
line with the predominant thinking all over the world
safeguarding human dignity. It would then be to ignore
not only a mandate of the fundamental law but also a
counsel of wisdom and fair play to impart to the concept
of loss of confidence such a latitudinarian scope. What
matters the investigation undergone by private
respondent resulting in the affirmation of his innocence,
if thereafter management would just rely on an alleged
loss of confidence? . . ." (Central Textile Mills, Inc. vs.
NLRC, 90 SCRA 9; see also Acda v. Minister of Labor,
119 SCRA 306) 10
The argument that the petitioner could not re-hire the private respondents
because it had no license to operate a security agency must fall against
the admitted fact that it retained 56 of the security guards and later re-
hired two others even without the said license. The solution, at any rate,
was to secure the license if it was really necessary, not to dismiss some of
the security guards while retaining the others. prcd
It remains to say that if the petitioner distrusts the private respondents, it
may still seek to establish its lack of confidence and trust in them by
proving that ground for their dismissal at an investigation conducted in
accordance with the prescribed procedure. But before it can do so, it must
first reinstate all of them as among the personnel of the previous operator
to be absorbed by the grantee of the permit, conformably to its
commitment in the aforesaid Paragraph 7.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision dated October 30, 1987, is
AFFIRMED with the modification that the payment of back salaries shall
be limited to only three years. The temporary restraining order dated
January 6, 1986, is LIFTED. The petition is DENIED, with costs against
the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

2. Bernardo vs. Abalos

SYNOPSIS
Petitioners filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a
criminal complaint against respondents for vote buying in violation of
Section 261, paragraphs (a), (b) and (j) of the Omnibus Election Code
(OEC), in relation to Section 28 of Republic Act No. 6646 and Section 68
of the OEC. However, the said complaint was dismissed by the
COMELECEn Banc for insufficiency of evidence to establish a prima
facie case. Petitioners, without first submitting a motion for
reconsideration, filed the instant petition for certiorari with this Court.
The petition must fail. Petitioners did not exhaust all the remedies
available to them at the COMELEC level. Specifically, they did not seek
a reconsideration of the assailed COMELEC En Banc Resolution as
required by Section 1, Rule 13 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
Petitioners' failure to file the required motion for reconsideration utterly
disregarded the COMELEC Rules intended "to achieve an orderly, just,
expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every
action and proceeding brought before the Commission."
Moreover, petitioners' complaint expressly stated that no supporting
affidavits were submitted by the complaining witnesses to sustain
their charge of vote buying. Suffice it to state that the absence of such
supporting affidavits showed the frailty of petitioners' complaint.
Indeed, it was vulnerable to dismissal.

BERNARDO vs. ABALOS
G.R. No. 137266. December 5, 2001.Sandoval-Gutierrez,
J.
FACTS: Respondent Benjamin Abalos, Sr. was the mayor of
Mandaluyong City and his son,Benjamin Abalos Jr. was a
candidate for city mayor of the same city for the May 1998
elections.Petitioners herein interposed that respondents
conducted an all-expense-free affair at a resort inQuezon
Province for the Mandaluyong City public school teachers,
registered voters of the saidcity and who are members of the
Board of Election Inspectors therein. The said affair wasalleged
to be staged as a political campaign for Abalos Jr., where his
political jingle was playedall throughout and his shirts being
worn by some participants. Moreover, Abalos Sr. also madean
offer and a promise then to increase the allowances of the
teachers. In this regard,petitioners filed a criminal complaint
with the COMELEC against Abalos Sr. and Abalos Jr. for vote-
buying, further alleging that they conspired with their co-
respondents in violating theOmnibus Election Code. Pursuant to
the recommendation of the Director of the Law Departmentof the
COMELEC, the COMELEC en banc dismissed the complaint for
insufficiency of evidence.Hence, this petition for certiorari

.ISSUE: Whether the petition before the Supreme Court must be
given due course without thepetitioners first submitting a motion
for reconsideration before the COMELEC.

HELD: NO. The Court ruled that a petition for certiorari can
only be resorted to if there is noappeal, or any plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In the
instantcase, it was said that filing of the motion for
reconsideration before the COMELEC is the mostexpeditious
and inexpensive recourse that petitioners can avail of as it was
intended to give theCOMELEC an opportunity to correct the
error imputed to it. As the petitioners then did notexhaust all the
remedies available to them at the COMELEC level, it was held
that their instantpetition is certainly premature. Significantly,
they have not also raised any plausible reason for their direct
recourse to the Supreme Court. As such, the instant petition was
ruled to fail

3. Industrial Enterprises vs CA

SYLLABUS
1.ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; BUREAU OF ENERGY
DEVELOPMENT (P.D. No. 1206); POWERS AND FUNCTIONS.
For the Bureau of Energy Development, (BED), as the successor to the
Energy Development Board (abolished by Sec. 11, P.D. No. 1206, dated
6 October 1977) is tasked with the function of establishing a
comprehensive and integrated national program for the exploration,
exploitation, and development and extraction of fossil fuels, such as the
country's coal resources; adopting a coal development program;
regulating all activities relative thereto; and undertaking by itself or
through service contracts such exploitation and development, all in the
interest of an effective and coordinated development of extracted
resources. P.D. No. 1206 further provides that the powers and functions
of the defunct Energy Development Board relative to the implementation
of P.D. No. 972 on coal exploration and development have been
transferred to the BED, provided that coal operating contracts including
the transfer or assignment of interest in said contracts, shall require the
approval of the Secretary (Minister) of Energy (Sec. 12, P.D. No. 1206).
2.ID.; DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION; CONSTRUED.
In recent years, it has been the jurisprudential trend to apply the doctrine
of primary jurisdiction in many cases involving matters that demand the
special competence of administrative agencies. It may occur that the
Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a particular case, which
means that the matter involved is also judicial in character. However, if
the case is such that its determination requires the expertise, specialized
skills and knowledge of the proper administrative bodies because
technical matters or intricate questions of facts are involved, then relief
must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before a remedy
will be supplied by the courts even though the matter is within the proper
jurisdiction of a court. This is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. It
applies "where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts, and comes
into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of
issues which, under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the
special competence of an administrative body; in such case the judicial
process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative
body for its view" (United States v. Western Pacific Railroad Co., 352
U.S. 59, emphasis supplied).
3.ID.; ID.; APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR. The doctrine of
primary jurisdiction finds application in this case since the question of
what coal areas should be exploited and developed and which entity
should be granted coal operating contracts over said areas involves a
technical determination by the BED as the administrative agency in
possession of the specialized expertise to act on the matter. The Trial
Court does not have the competence to decide matters concerning
activities relative to the exploration, exploitation, development and
extraction of mineral resources like coal. These issues preclude an initial
judicial determination. It behooves the courts to stand aside even when
apparently they have statutory power to proceed in recognition of the
primary jurisdiction of an administrative agency.
4.ID.; ID.; PURPOSE. The application of the doctrine of primary
jurisdiction, however, does not call for the dismissal of the case below. It
need only be suspended until after the matters within the competence of
the BED are threshed out and determined. Thereby, the principal purpose
behind the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is salutarily served.
"Uniformity and consistency in the regulation of business entrusted to an
administrative agency are secured, and the limited function of review by
the judiciary are more rationally exercised, by preliminary resort, for
ascertaining and interpreting the circumstances underlying legal issues, to
agencies that are better equipped than courts by specialization, by insight
gained through experience, and by more flexible procedure" (Far East
Conference v. United States, 342 U.S. 570).
D E C I S I O N
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J p:
This petition seeks the review and reversal of the Decision of
respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 12660, 1 which ruled
adversely against petitioner herein. LibLex
Petitioner Industrial Enterprises Inc. (IEI) was granted a coal operating
contract by the Government through the Bureau of Energy Development
(BED) for the exploration of two coal blocks in Eastern Samar.
Subsequently, IEI also applied with the then Ministry of Energy for
another coal operating contract for the exploration of three additional coal
blocks which, together with the original two blocks, comprised the so-
called "Giporlos Area."
IEI was later on advised that in line with the objective of rationalizing the
country's over-all coal supply-demand balance . . . the logical coal
operator in the area should be the Marinduque Mining
and Industrial corporation (MMIC), which was already developing the
coal deposit in another area (Bagacay Area) and that the Bagacay and
Giporlos Areas should be awarded to MMIC (Rollo, p. 37). Thus,
Agreement whereby IEI assigned and transferred to MMIC all its rights
and interests in the two coal blocks which are the subject of IEI's coal
operating contract.
Subsequently, however, IEI filed an action for rescission of the
Memorandum of Agreement with damages against MMIC and the then
Minister of Energy Geronimo Velasco before the Regional Trial Court of
Makati, Branch 150, 2 alleging that MMIC took possession of the subject
coal blocks even before the Memorandum of Agreement was finalized
and approved by the BED; that MMIC discontinued work thereon; that
MMIC failed to apply for a coal operating contract for the adjacent coal
blocks; and that MMIC failed and refused to pay the reimbursements
agreed upon and to assume IEI's loan obligation as provided in the
Memorandum of Agreement (Rollo, p. 38). IEI also prayed that the
Energy Minister be ordered to approve the return of the coal operating
contract from MMIC to petitioner, with a written confirmation that said
contract is valid and effective, and, in due course, to convert said contract
from an exploration agreement to a development/production or
exploitation contract in IEI's favor.
Respondent, Philippine National Bank (PNB), was later impleaded as co-
defendant in an Amended Complaint when the latter with the
Development Bank of the Philippines effected extra-judicial foreclosures
on certain mortgages, particularly the Mortgage Trust Agreement, dated
13 July 1981, constituted in its favor by MMIC after the latter defaulted
in its obligation totalling around P22 million as of 15 July 1984.
The Court of Appeals eventually dismissed the case against the PNB
(Resolution, 21 September 1989).llcd
Strangely enough, Mr. Jesus S. Cabarrus is the President of both IEI and
MMIC.
In a summary judgment, the Trial Court ordered the rescission of the
Memorandum of Agreement, declared the continued efficacy of the coal
operating contract in favor of IEI; ordered the reversion of the two coal
blocks covered by the coal operating contract; ordered BED to issue its
written affirmation of the coal operating contract and to expeditiously
cause the conversion thereof from exploration to development in favor of
IEI; directed BED to give due course to IEI's application for a coal
operating contract; directed BED to give due course to IEI's application
for three more coal blocks; and ordered the payment of damages and
rehabilitation expenses (Rollo, pp. 9-10).
In reversing the Trial Court, the Court of Appeals held that the rendition
of the summary judgment was not proper since there were genuine issues
in controversy between the parties, and more importantly, that the Trial
Court had no jurisdiction over the action considering that, under
Presidential Decree No. 1206, it is the BED that has the power to decide
controversies relative to the exploration, exploitation and development of
coal blocks (Rollo, pp. 43-44).
Hence, this petition, to which we resolved to give due course and to
decide.
Incidentally, the records disclose that during the pendency of the appeal
before the Appellate Court, the suit against the then Minister of Energy
was dismissed and that, in the meantime, IEI had applied with the BED
for the development of certain coal blocks.
The decisive issue in this case is whether or not the civil court has
jurisdiction to hear and decide the suit for rescission of the Memorandum
of Agreement concerning a coal operating contract over coal blocks. A
corollary question is whether or not respondent Court of Appeals erred in
holding that it is the Bureau of Energy Development (BED) which has
jurisdiction over said action and not the civil court.
While the action filed by IEI sought the rescission of what appears to be
an ordinary civil contract cognizable by a civil court, the fact is that the
Memorandum of Agreement sought to be rescinded is derived from a
coal-operating contract and is inextricably tied up with the right to
develop coal-bearing lands and the determination of whether or not the
reversion of the coal operating contract over the subject coal blocks to IEI
would be in line with the integrated national program for coal-
development and with the objective of rationalizing the country's over-all
coal-supply-demand balance, IEI's cause of action was not merely the
rescission of a contract but the reversion or return to it of the operation of
the coal blocks. Thus it was that in its Decision ordering the rescission of
the Agreement, the Trial Court, inter alia, declared the continued efficacy
of the coal-operating contract in IEI's favor and directed the BED to give
due course to IEI's application for three (3) more coal blocks. These are
matters properly falling within the domain of the BED. llcd

For the BED, as the successor to the Energy Development Board
(abolished by Sec. 11, P.D. No. 1206, dated 6 October 1977) is tasked
with the function of establishing a comprehensive and integrated national
program for the exploration, exploitation, and development and
extraction of fossil fuels, such as the country's coal resources; adopting a
coal development program; regulating all activities relative thereto; and
undertaking by itself or through service contracts such exploitation and
development, all in the interest of an effective and coordinated
development of extracted resources.
Thus, the pertinent sections of P.D. No. 1206 provide:
"Sec. 6.Bureau of Energy Development. There is created
in the Department a Bureau of Energy Development,
hereinafter referred to in this Section as the Bureau,
which shall have the following powers and functions,
among others:
"a.Administer a national program for the
encouragement, guidance, and whenever
necessary, regulation of such business activity relative
to the exploration, exploitation, development, and
extraction of fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, . . .
"The decisions, orders, resolutions or actions of the
Bureau may be appealed to the Secretary whose
decisions are final and executory unless appealed to the
President. (Emphasis supplied.)
That law further provides that the powers and functions of the defunct
Energy Development Board relative to the implementation of P.D. No.
972 on coal exploration and development have been transferred to the
BED, provided that coal operating contracts including the transfer or
assignment of interest in said contracts, shall require the approval of the
Secretary (Minister) of Energy (Sec. 12, P.D. No. 1206).
"Sec. 12.. . . the powers and functions transferred to the
Bureau of Energy Development are:
xxx xxx xxx
"ii.The following powers and functions of the Energy
Development Board under PD No. 910 . . .
"(1)Undertake by itself or through other arrangements,
such as service contracts, the active exploration,
exploitation, development, and extraction of energy
resources . . .
(2)Regulate all activities relative to the exploration,
exploitation, development, and extraction of fossil and
nuclear fuels . . . (P.D. No. 1206) (Emphasis supplied.)
P.D. No. 972 also provides:
"Sec. 8.Each coal operating contract herein authorized
shall . . . be executed by the Energy Development Board.
Considering the foregoing statutory provisions, the jurisdiction of the
BED, in the first instance, to pass upon any question involving the
Memorandum of Agreement between IEI and MMIC, revolving as its
does around a coal operating contract, should be sustained. Cdpr
In recent years, it has been the jurisprudential trend to apply the doctrine
of primary jurisdiction in many cases involving matters that demand the
special competence of administrative agencies. It may occur that the
Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a particular case, which
means that the matter involved is also judicial in character. However, if
the case is such that its determination requires the expertise, specialized
skills and knowledge of the proper administrative bodies because
technical matters or intricate questions of facts are involved, then relief
must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before a remedy
will be supplied by the courts even though the matter is within the proper
jurisdiction of a court. This is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. It
applies "where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts, and comes
into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of
issues which, under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the
special competence of an administrative body; in such case the judicial
process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative
body for its view" (United States v. Western Pacific Railroad Co., 352
U.S. 59, emphasis supplied).
Clearly, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction finds application in this case
since the question of what coal areas should be exploited and developed
and which entity should be granted coal operating contracts over said
areas involves a technical determination by the BED as the administrative
agency in possession of the specialized expertise to act on the matter. The
Trial Court does not have the competence to decide matters concerning
activities relative to the exploration, exploitation, development and
extraction of mineral resources like coal. These issues preclude an initial
judicial determination. It behooves the courts to stand aside even when
apparently they have statutory power to proceed in recognition of the
primary jurisdiction of an administrative agency. LLjur
"One thrust of the multiplication of administrative
agencies is that the interpretation of contracts and the
determination of private rights thereunder is no longer a
uniquely judicial function, exercisable only by our
regular courts" (Antipolo Realty Corp. vs. National
Housing Authority, 153 SCRA 399, at 407).
The application of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, however, does not
call for the dismissal of the case below. It need only be suspended until
after the matters within the competence of the BED are threshed out and
determined. Thereby, the principal purpose behind the doctrine of
primary jurisdiction is salutarily served.
"Uniformity and consistency in the regulation of
business entrusted to an administrative agency are
secured, and the limited function of review by the
judiciary are more rationally exercised, by preliminary
resort, for ascertaining and interpreting the
circumstances underlying legal issues, to agencies that
are better equipped than courts by specialization, by
insight gained through experience, and by more flexible
procedure" (Far East Conference v. United States, 342
U.S. 570).
With the foregoing conclusion arrived at, the question as to the propriety
of the summary judgment rendered by the Trial Court becomes
unnecessary to resolve.
WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DENY the petition. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Paras, Padilla, Sarmiento and Regalado, JJ., concur.

4. GSIS vs CSC


Facts: This is a petition for certiorari to review the order of the
Civil Service Commission(CSC) dated June 20, 1990 which
directed the Government Service Insurance System(GSIS) to pay
the compulsory heirs of deceased Elizar Namuco and Eusebio
Manuel for the period from the date of their illegal separation up
to the date of their demise. TheOrder dated November 22, 1990,
however, denied herein petitioners motion for reconsideration of
CSCs Order dated June 20, 1990. Deceased Elizar Namuco
andEusebio Manuel were illegally dismissed by the GSIS for
allegedly being involved inirregularities in the canvass of supplies
and materials.Issue: Whether or not the Civil Service Commission
has the power to execute its judgments, final orders or
resolutions?

Whether or not the writ of execution issued on June 20, 1990 is
void because itvaries with the Courts Resolution of July 4, 1988?

Ruling: The Civil Service Commission has the power to execute
its judgment, finalorders or resolutions. The CSC is a
constitutional commission invested by theConstitution and
relevant laws not only with the authority to administer the civil
service but is also vested with quasi-judicial powers. It has the
authority to hear and decideadministrative disciplinary cases
instituted directly with it or brought to it on appeal. Thegrant to a
tribunal or agency of adjudicatory power or the authority to hear
and adjudgecases, normally and logically is deemed to include the
grant of authority to enforce or execute the judgments it thus
renders unless the law otherwise provides. It is quiteobvious that
the authority to decide cases would be inutile unless accompanied
by theauthority to see that what has been decided is carried
out.The writ of execution issued on June 20, 1990 is valid. The
Court upholds thesame, simply because there is no fair and
feasible alternative in the circumstances. The binding force of
Resolution of July 4, 1988, for all intents and purposes, is that it
makesexoneration in the administrative proceedings a condition
precedent to payment of said back salaries, it can not however
exact an impossible performance or decree a uselessexercise such
as that the subsequent disciplinary proceedings is an empty, and
inutile procedure as to the deceased employees, they can not
possibly be bound by anysubstantiation in the said proceedings of
the abovementioned charges

5. Paat vs CA

FACTS
The truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman was seized
by the DENR personnel while on its way to Bulacan because the driver
could not produce the required documents for the forest product found
concealed in the truck. Petitioner Jovito Layugan, CENRO ordered the
confiscation of the truck and required the owner to explain. Private
respondents failed to submit required explanation. The DENR Regional
Executive Director Rogelio Baggayan sustained Layugans action for
confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck. Private respondents
brought the case to the DENR Secretary. Pending appeal, private
respondents filed a replevin case before the RTC against petitioner
Layugan and Baggayan. RTC granted the same. Petitioners moved to
dismiss the case contending, inter alia, that private respondents had no
cause of action for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The
trial court denied their motion. Hence, this petition for review on
certiorari. Petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally entertain
the suit for replevin because the truck was under administrative seizure
proceedings.

ISSUE
Whether or not the instant case falls within the exception of the
doctrine.

HELD
The Court held in the negative. The Court has consistently held
that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court, it is a
pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of
administrative processed afforded him. Hence, 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 courts judicial power can be sought. The premature
invocation of court intervention is fatal to ones cause of action.

The doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by
the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings
of a case. Hence, it is disregarded (1) when there is violation of due
process, (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question, (3) when
the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, (4) when there is estoppels on the part of the administrative
agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable injury, (6) when the
respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the
President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter, (7) when
to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable,
(8) when it would amount to nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject
matter is a private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does
not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are
circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.

A suit for replevin cannot be sustained against the petitioners for
the subject truck taken and retained by them for administrative forfeiture
proceedings in pursuant to Sections 68-A of OD 705, as amended.
Dismissal of the replevin suit for lack of cause of action in view of the
private respondents failure to exhaust administrative remedies should
have been the proper course of action by the lower court instead of
assuming jurisdiction over the case and consequently issuing the writ
ordering the return of the truck.



6. Valmonte vs. Belmonte

Facts: Ricardo Valmonte wrote Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on 4 June
1986, requesting to be "furnished with the list of names of the
opposition members of (the) Batasang Pambansa who were able
to secure a clean loan of P2 million each on guaranty (sic) of Mrs.
Imelda Marcos" and also to "be furnished with the certified true
copies of the documents evidencing their loan. Expenses in
connection herewith shall be borne by" Valmonte, et. al. Due to
serious legal implications, President & General Manager
Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. referred the letter to the Deputy General
Counsel of the GSIS, Meynardo A. Tiro. Tiro replied that it is his
opinion "that a confidential relationship exists between the GSIS
and all those who borrow from it, whoever they may be; that the
GSIS has a duty to its customers to preserve this confidentiality;
and that it would not be proper for the GSIS to breach this
confidentiality unless so ordered by the courts." On 20 June 1986,
apparently not having yet received the reply of the Government
Service and Insurance System (GSIS) Deputy General Counsel,
Valmonte wrote Belmonte another letter, saying that for failure
to receive a reply "(W)e are now considering ourselves free to do
whatever action necessary within the premises to pursue our
desired objective in pursuance of public interest." On 26 June
1986, Ricardo Valmonte, Oswaldo Carbonell, Doy Del Castillo,
Rolando Bartolome, Leo Obligar, Jun Gutierrez, Reynaldo
Bagatsing, Jun "Ninoy" Alba, Percy Lapid, Rommel Corro, and
Rolando Fadul filed a special civil action for mandamus with
preliminary injunction invoke their right to information and pray
that Belmonte be directed: (a) to furnish Valmonte, et. al. the list
of the names of the Batasang Pambansa members belonging to
the UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans
immediately before the February 7 election thru the
intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos;
and/or (b) to furnish petitioners with certified true copies of the
documents evidencing their respective loans; and/or (c) to allow
petitioners access to the public records for the subject
information.

Issue: Whether Valmonte, et. al. are entitled as citizens and
taxpayers to inquire upon GSIS records on behest loans given by
the former First Lady Imelda Marcos to Batasang Pambansa
members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban political
parties.

Held: The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the government
and its employees and the administrator of various insurance
programs for the benefit of the latter. Undeniably, its funds
assume a public character. More particularly, Secs. 5(b) and 46 of
PD 1146, as amended (the Revised Government Service
Insurance Act of 1977), provide for annual appropriations to pay
the contributions, premiums, interest and other amounts payable
to GSIS by the government, as employer, as well as the
obligations which the Republic of the Philippines assumes or
guarantees to pay. Considering the nature of its funds, the GSIS
is expected to manage its resources with utmost prudence and in
strict compliance with the pertinent laws or rules and regulations.
Thus, one of the reasons that prompted the revision of the old
GSIS law (CA 186, as amended) was the necessity "to preserve at
all times the actuarial solvency of the funds administered by the
Systems [Second Whereas Clause, PD 1146.] Consequently, as
Feliciano Belmonte himself admits, the GSIS "is not supposed to
grant 'clean loans.'" It is therefore the legitimate concern of the
public to ensure that these funds are managed properly with the
end in view of maximizing the benefits that accrue to the insured
government employees. Moreover, the supposed borrowers were
Members of the defunct Batasang Pambansa who themselves
appropriated funds for the GSIS and were therefore expected to
be the first to see to it that the GSIS performed its tasks with the
greatest degree of fidelity and that all its transactions were above
board. In sum, the public nature of the loanable funds of the
GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers make
the information sought clearly a matter of public interest and
concern. Still, Belmonte maintains that a confidential relationship
exists between the GSIS and its borrowers. It is argued that a
policy of confidentiality restricts the indiscriminate dissemination
of information. Yet, Belmonte has failed to cite any law granting
the GSIS the privilege of confidentiality as regards the documents
subject of the present petition. His position is apparently based
merely on considerations of policy. The judiciary does not settle
policy issues. The Court can only declare what the law is, and not
what the law should be. Under our system of government, policy
issues are within the domain of the political branches of the
government, and of the people themselves as the repository of all
State power.

7. Mangubat vs. osmena



8. Pros. Tabao vs. Judge Lilagan
D E C I S I O N
QUISUMBING, J .:
This is an administrative complaint filed by Atty. Leo C. Tabao,
Assistant City Prosecutor of Tacloban, in his capacity as Regional
Chairman of the Region 8 Special Task Force on Environment and
Natural Resources, against (1) Judge Frisco T. Lilagan, presiding judge
of the Leyte Regional Trial Court, Branch 34, for gross ignorance of the
law, gross abuse of judicial authority, and willful disobedience to settled
jurisprudence; and (2) Sheriff IV Leonardo V. Aguilar of the Leyte RTC,
Office of the Clerk of Court, for gross irregularity in the performance of
official duties, giving unwarranted benefits to a private individual,
violation of Section 1(b) and (c) of P.D. No. 1829, and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The records of this case reveal the following facts.
On February 24, 1998, a water craft registered under the name M/L
Hadija, from Bongao, Tawi-tawi, was docked at the port area of Tacloban
City with a load of around 100 tons of tanbark. Due to previous irregular
and illegal shipments of tanbark from Bongao, agents of the National
Bureau of Investigation in Region 8 (NBI-EVRO #8) decided to verify
the shipments accompanying documents as the M/L Hadija was
unloading its cargo to its consignee, a certain Robert Hernandez.
The NBI agents found the documents irregular and incomplete, and
consequently they ordered the unloading of the cargo stopped. The
tanbark, the boat M/L Hadija, and three cargo trucks were seized and
impounded.
On March 5, 1998, NBI-EVRO #8 Regional Director Carlos S.
Caabay filed a criminal complaint for violation of Section 68 (now
Section 78) of P.D. No. 705,
[1]
the Forestry Reform Code of the
Philippines (as amended), against the captain and crew of the M/L
Hadija, Robert Hernandez, Tandico Chion, Alejandro K. Bautista, and
Marcial A. Dalimot. Bautista was a forester while Dalimot was a
Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in
Tacloban City. Bautista and Dalimot were, thus, also charged with
violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act,
[2]
along with Habi A. Alih and Khonrad V. Mohammad of
the CENRO-Bongao, Tawi-tawi. The complaint was docketed as I.S. No.
98-296 at the Prosecutors Office of Tacloban City.
In an order dated March 6, 1998,
[3]
complainant directed the seizure
by the DENR of the M/L Hadija, its cargo, and the three trucks pending
preliminary investigation of the case. DENR thus took possession of the
aforesaid items on March 10, 1998, with notice to the consignee Robert
Hernandez and the NBI Regional Director.
On March 11, 1998, Hernandez filed in the Regional Trial Court of
Leyte a case for replevin to recover the items seized by the DENR. The
case was raffled off to Branch 34 of said court and docketed as Civil Case
No. 98-03-42.
On March 16, 1998, subpoenas were issued to the respondents in I.S.
No. 98-296. On March 17, 1998, confiscation proceedings were
conducted by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office
(PENRO)-Leyte, with both Hernandez and his counsel present.
On March 19, 1998, herein respondent Judge Frisco T. Lilagan
issued a writ of replevin and directed respondent Sheriff IV Leonardo V.
Aguilar to take possession of the items seized by the DENR and to
deliver them to Hernandez after the expiration of five days.
[4]
Respondent
sheriff served a copy of the writ to the Philippine Coast Guard station in
Tacloban City at around 5:45 p.m. of March 19, 1998.
Thus, the filing of this administrative complaint against respondents
via a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and dated April 13, 1998, by
Atty. Tabao.
Complainant avers that replevin is not available where the properties
sought to be recovered are involved in criminal proceedings for illegal
logging. He points out that this is a well-settled issue and cites several
decisions
[5]
of this Court and the Court of Appeals on the matter. He
argues that respondent judge should have known of the existing
jurisprudence on this issue, particularly since they are subject to
mandatory judicial notice per Section 1, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of
Court.
Complainant submits that respondent judge is either grossly ignorant
of the law and jurisprudence or purposely disregarded them. But he avers
that it is respondent judges duty to keep abreast of developments in law
and jurisprudence.
Complainant claims that respondent judge cannot claim ignorance of
the proceedings in I.S. No. 98-296 for the following reasons: (1) the
defendants in the replevin case were all DENR officers, which should
have alerted respondent judge to the possibility that the items sought to
be recovered were being held by the defendants in their official
capacities; and (2) the complaint for replevin itself states that the items
were intercepted by the NBI for verification of supporting documents,
which should have made respondent judge suspect that the same were
being held by authority of law.
As regards respondent sheriff Leonardo V. Aguilar, complainant
states that it was incumbent upon Aguilar to safeguard the M/L Hadija
and prevent it from leaving the port of Tacloban City, after he had served
a writ of seizure therefor on the Philippine Coast Guard. However, on
March 19, 1998, the vessel left the port of Tacloban City, either through
respondent sheriffs gross negligence or his direct connivance with
interested parties, according to complainant. As of the time of the filing
of the complaint, according to complainant, the whereabouts of the vessel
and its crew were unknown.
Moreover, complainant points out that respondent sheriff released
the seized tanbark to Hernandez on March 20 and 21, 1998, or within the
five-day period that he was supposed to keep it under the terms of the
writ. Complainant argues that the tanbark formed part of the peoples
evidence in the criminal complaint against Hernandez and the others. By
his act, respondent sheriff effectively altered, suppressed, concealed, or
destroyed the integrity of said evidence. For this act, complainant
contends that respondent sheriff may be held liable under Section 1(b) of
P.D. 1829, Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of
Criminal Offenders.
[6]
Respondent sheriffs acts also constitute gross
irregularity in the performance of his duty as a court employee.
Complainant notes that respondent sheriff was absent from his office
from March 20 to March 24, 1998. This period included the dates he was
supposed to have released the tanbark to Hernandez. Complainant
contends that respondent sheriff not only unlawfully released the tanbark,
he also made it appear that he was not physically present when such act
was done.
In separate indorsements dated September 9, 1998, then Court
Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo referred this administrative matter to
both respondents for comment.
In his comment dated October 12, 1998,
[7]
respondent judge calls the
attention of the Office of the Court Administrator to a pending motion to
dismiss filed by the defendants in the replevin case that effectively
prevented him from commenting on the issue. The discussions that
would have to be included in the comment, he says, would also resolve
the pending motion to dismiss. Respondent judge contends that
complainant should have been prudent enough to wait for the resolution
of the motion to dismiss before filing the instant administrative case.
Respondent judge claims that he was unaware of the existence of I.S.
No. 98-296. He only learned of the criminal case from an urgent
manifestation dated March 20, 1998, filed by complainant. He argues
that he issued an order dated March 25, 1998, suspending the transfer to
Hernandez of possession of the subject items, pending resolution of the
urgent manifestation.
Respondent judge stresses that the writ of replevin was issued in
strict compliance with the requirements laid down in Rule 60 of the
Revised Rules of Court. He also points out that said writ was issued
provisionally and was not intended to be the final disposition of the
replevin case.
Respondent judge avers that the charge of gross ignorance of the law
is premature since he has not made a ruling yet on the motion to dismiss
filed in the replevin case. He contends that it was too much to ask from
him to take note of the fact that the defendants in said case were officials
of DENR and make assumptions based on such fact. Moreover,
respondent judge submits that while the complaint alleged that the cargo
of tanbark was intercepted by the NBI, it also alleged that the consignee
thereof produced documents to prove that the shipment was legal.
In conclusion, respondent judge points out that no apprehension
report was issued by the NBI regarding the shipment. Neither did the
DENR issue a seizure report. Respondent judge contends that the
validity of the seizure of the subject items by the DENR is a matter that
will have to be resolved in relation to the motion to dismiss.
For his part, respondent sheriff submits
[8]
that he served the writ of
replevin on the Coast Guard precisely to prevent the departure of the
subject vessel, since he does not have the means to physically prevent
said vessel from sailing. The Coast Guard commander should have
examined the vessel and its crew after being served the writ, to determine
whether or not they were engaged in any illegal activity.
Respondent sheriff narrates that no cargo was on board the vessel
when he served the writ on the Coast Guard. He verified the cargos
status with DENR, which furnished him a copy of a fax transmission
stating that the tanbark came from legitimate sources except that the
shipment documents were not in order.
[9]

Respondent sheriff contends that it was his ministerial duty to serve
the writ of replevin, absent any instruction to the contrary. He argues
further that since the items subject of the writ are in the custody of the
court and could be disposed of only through court order, there could not
be any unwarranted benefit to a private individual as claimed by
complainant.
Noting that the questioned shipment of tanbark was not covered by
either an NBI apprehension report or a DENR seizure report, respondent
sheriff contends that complainant should have taken steps to protect the
integrity of the shipment instead of heaping blame upon others for his
own negligence. Respondent sheriff avers that it was not his intention to
obstruct the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders, contrary
to complainants claim.
Respondent sheriff refutes complainants claim that he was absent
from his office from March 20 to March 24, 1998, and alleges that it was
complainant who was absent from court hearings on several occasions, in
violation of his duty as a prosecutor.
Respondent submitted two supplemental comments dated October
30, 1998,
[10]
and May 3, 1999,
[11]
(1) reiterating his contention that the
tanbark seized by the DENR and subject of the replevin case had been
found to come from a legitimate source, per an order signed by the
Regional Director (Region 8) of the DENR,
[12]
and (2) informing the
OCA that the main replevin case was dismissed per an order of
respondent judge dated November 27, 1998.
[13]

As required by resolution of the Court dated January 24, 2001, the
parties herein separately manifested that they are willing to have the
present case resolved based on the record on hand.
We note that in its report dated April 8, 1999, the OCA, after
reviewing the case, recommended that respondent judge be fined in the
amount of P15,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law. At the same time,
the OCA recommended that the charges against respondent sheriff be
dismissed for lack of merit.
The recommendation of the OCA is well taken, except for the
amount of the fine to be imposed on said respondent judge.
The complaint for replevin itself states that the shipment of tanbark
as well as the vessel on which it was loaded were seized by the NBI for
verification of supporting documents.
[14]
It also states that the NBI turned
over the seized items to the DENR for official disposition and
appropriate action.
[15]
A copy of the document evidencing the turnover
to DENR was attached to the complaint as Annex D.
[16]
To our mind,
these allegations would have been sufficient to alert respondent judge that
the DENR has custody of the seized items and that administrative
proceedings may have already been commenced concerning the
shipment. Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, courts cannot take
cognizance of cases pending before administrative agencies of special
competence.
[17]
Note, too, that the plaintiff in the replevin suit who seeks
to recover the shipment from the DENR had not exhausted the
administrative remedies available to him.
[18]
The prudent thing for
respondent judge to have done was to dismiss the replevin suit outright.
Under Section 78-A of the Revised Forestry Code, the DENR
secretary or his authorized representatives may order the confiscation of
forest products illegally cut, gathered, removed, or possessed or
abandoned, including the conveyances used in the commission of the
offense.
In this regard, we declared in Paat v. Court of Appeals:
the enforcement of forestry laws, rules and regulations and the
protection, development and management of forest lands fall within the
primary and special responsibilities of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources. By the very nature of its function, the DENR
should be given a free hand unperturbed by judicial intrusion to
determine a controversy which is well within its jurisdiction. The
assumption by the trial court, therefore, of the replevin suit filed by
private respondents constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the
domain of the administrative agencys prerogative. The doctrine of
primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the
authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially
lodged with an administrative body of special competence. xxx
[19]

Respondent judges act of taking cognizance of the subject replevin
suit clearly demonstrates ignorance of the law. He has fallen short of the
standard set forth in Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
that a judge must be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and
independence. To measure up to this standard, judges are expected to
keep abreast of all laws and prevailing jurisprudence.
[20]
Judges are duty
bound to have more than just a cursory acquaintance with laws and
jurisprudence. Failure to follow basic legal commands constitutes gross
ignorance of the law from which no one may be excused, not even a
judge.
[21]

We find, however, that respondent judge had already vacated the
Writ of Seizure he issued on March 19, 1998, in a subsequent Order
dated November 27, 1998, dismissing the Civil Complaint for replevin
filed by Robert Hernandez against the Regional Director of the DENR
and other officers. He also directed in said order the sheriff to return to
CENRO, Tacloban City, all the chattels confiscated by virtue of the Writ
of Seizure.
[22]

Further, we find that Sheriff Aguilar in his Final Return of the Writ,
dated December 15, 1998, had already delivered to CENRO the 102 tons
and 120 kilos of tanbark duly receipted by CENRO representative
Marcial A. Dalimot on the same date.
[23]

The OCA recommends that respondent judge be fined in the amount
of P15,000.00. Under the circumstances, considering that this is the first
complaint against him, we deem a fine of P10,000.00 to be sufficient.
Regarding the charges against respondent sheriff, we agree with the
OCA that they should be dismissed. Respondent sheriff merely complied
with his ministerial duty to serve the writ with reasonable celerity and to
execute it promptly in accordance with its mandates.
[24]

WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Frisco T. Lilagan is hereby found
liable for gross ignorance of the law and is accordingly ordered to pay a
FINE of P10,000.00, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or a
similar offense will be dealt with more severely. The complaint against
respondent Sheriff IV Leonardo V. Aguilar is DISMISSED for lack of
merit.
SO ORDERED.

9. Arrow transportation vs BOT

FACTS
Petitioner Arrow and private respondent Sultan are both domestic
corporations. Petitioner is a holder of a Certificate of Public Convenience
to operate a public utility bus. Private respondent applied for the issuance
of a CPC to operate a similar service. Without the required publication,
public respondent Board granted a provisional permit to operate.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration and cancellation of the provisional
permit. Before resolution of the motion, petitioner filed for herein petition
arguing that there must be publication before a provisional permit can be
issued, with reference made to PD 101, which authorized the Board to
grant provisional permits when warranted.

ISSUE
Whether or not the issuance of the provisional permit was legal.

HELD
The Court held in the affirmative. For a provisional permit to
operate a public utility, an ex parte hearing would suffice. The decisive
consideration is the existence of public need. That was shown in this
case, respondent Board, on the basis of demonstrable data, being satisfied
of the pressing necessity for the grant of the provisional permit sought.

Petition dismissed.

10. Kbmpbm vs Dominguez

11. National development corp. vs hervilla


12. Atlas consolidated mining vs factoran

This is a petition for review on certiorari, seeking to set aside the decision
rendered by public respondent Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgencio S.
Factoran, Jr., by authority of the President, reinstating and confirming the
decision dated April 17, 1978 of the Director of Mines and Geo Sciences,
and setting aside the decision of the Minister of Natural Resources.
The undisputed facts of this case are as follows:
On February 9, 1972, Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development
Corporation registered the location of its "Master VII Fr." mining claim
with the Mining Recorder of Toledo City. On September 10, 1973,
private respondent Asterio Buqueron registered the declarations of
location of his "St. Mary Fr." and "St. Joseph Fr." mining claims with the
same Mining Recorder. On October 15, 1973, Atlas registered the
declarations of location of its "Carmen I Fr." to "Carmen V. Fr. " with the
same Mining Recorder.
Buqueron's "St. Mary Fr." and "St. Joseph Fr." were surveyed and the
survey plans thereof were duly approved by the Director of Mines and
Geo Sciences. Notice of Buqueron's lease application was published in
the February 22 and 28, 1977 issues of the Evening Post.
During the said period of publication, petitioner filed an adverse claim
against private respondent's mining claims on the ground that they
allegedly overlapped its own mining claims.
After hearing, the Director of Mines rendered a decision, dated April 17,
1978, the dispositive portion of which reads:
VIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING,
respondent (Buqueron) is hereby given the preferential
right to possess, lease, explore, exploit and operate the
areas covered by his "St. Mary Fr." and "St. Joseph Fr."
mining claims, except the area covered thereby which is in
conflict with adverse claimant's (Atlas) "Master VII Fr."
Adverse claimant (Atlas) on the other hand, is given the
preferential right to possess, lease, explore, exploit and
operate the area covered by its "Master VII Fr." case.
Atlas appealed to the Minister of Natural Resources who rendered a
decision dated November 10, 1978, the dispositive portion of which reads
as follows:
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the derision of the Director
of Mines dated April 17, 1978, should be, as hereby it is,
set aside. In lieu thereof, it is hereby decision that the "St.
Mary Fr." and "St. Joseph Fr." mining claims of Asterio
Buqueron are null and void, that the "Carmen I Fr. " to
"Carmen V. Fr. " mining claims of Atlas Consolidated
Mining and Development Corporation are valid, and that it
be given the preferential right to possesses, explore,
exploit, lease and operate the areas covered thereby.
(Decision, Office of the President; Rollo, pp. 52-57;
Decision of the Minister of Natural Resources, Rollo, pp.
47-51; Comment of Public Respondent, Rollo, pp. 88-90;
Decision, Director of Mines, Rollo, pp. 157-160).
As aforestated, on further appeal, the Deputy Executive Secretary, Office
of the President, reversed the decision of the Minister of Natural
Resources and reinstated the decision of the Director of Mines and Geo
Sciences.
Hence, this petition.
Briefly stated, petitioner's assignment of errors may be combined into the
following issues:
(1) Whether or not private respondent's appeal to the
Office of the President was time-barred;
(2) Whether or not there was a valid location and
discovery of the disputed mining claims.
The Second Division of this Court without giving due course to the
petition, required respondents to comment in the resolution of October 6,
1986 (Rollo, p. 76). Both private respondent and public respondent filed
their respective comments on November 17, 1986 (Rollo, pp. 81-86; pp.
88-95).
On December 8, 1986 (Rollo, p. 104) this Court required the respondents
to file a rejoinder to the consolidated reply filed by counsel for petitioner
dated November 4, 1986 (Rollo, pp. 97-102). Said rejoinder was filed on
February 6, 1987 (Rollo, pp. 108-111), by the Solicitor General for public
respondent, after which petitioner filed a sur-rejoinder thereto on March
13, 1987 (Rollo, pp. 113-116). Thereafter the Court in the resolution of
March 30, 1987 gave due course to the petition and required both parties
to file their respective memoranda.
Counsel for public respondent filed a Manifestation/Motion praying to be
allowed to adopt its comment dated November 2, 1986 and Rejoinder
dated February 4, 1987 as the memorandum for public respondent.
Petitioner filed its memorandum on May 25,1987 (Rollo, p. 136).
The petition is devoid of merit.
I.
It is not disputed that private respondent received a copy of the decision
of the Minister of Natural Resources dated November 10, 1978 on
November 27, 1978 and that under Section 50 of Presidential Decree No.
463, the decision of the Minister is appealable to the Office of the
President within five (5) days from receipt thereof. In the case at bar, the
5-day period expired on December 2, 1978, a Saturday, private
respondent filed his appeal on December 4, 1978, a Monday.
Petitioner contends that the appeal was filed out of time and therefore, the
Office of the President did not acquire jurisdiction over the case and
should have dismissed the same outright (Rollo, pp. 20-21).
This contention is untenable.
Petitioner and private respondent are in accord on the fact that at the time
of the filing of the questioned appeal, Saturday was observed as a legal
holiday in the Office of the President pursuant to Section 29 of the
Revised Administrative Code as amended.
The same law provides:
Section 31. Pretermission of holiday. Where the day, or
the last day, for doing any act required or permitted by law
falls on a holiday, the act may be done on the next
succeeding business day.
Apart from the fact that the law is clear and needs no interpretation, this
Court in accordance therewith has invariably held that in case the last day
for doing an act is a legal holiday, it does not have the effect of making
the preceding day, the last day for doing the same; the act may be done
on the next succeeding business day (Gonzaga vs. Ce David, 110 Phil.
463-464 [1960]; Calano vs. Cruz, 91 Phil. 247 [1952]; Austria, et al. vs.
The Solicitor General, et al., 71 Phil. 288 [1941]).
Coming back to the case at bar, as the next working day after December
2,1978 was December 4, 1978 a Monday, it is evident that private
respondent's appeal was filed on time.
II.
It is apparent that the second issue as to whether or not there was a valid
location and discovery of the disputed mining claims is a question of fact
best left to the determination of the administrative bodies charged with
the implementation of the law they are entrusted to enforce. As uniformly
held by the Court, it is sufficient that administrative findings of fact are
supported by evidence, or negatively stated, it is sufficient that findings
of fact are not shown to be unsupported by evidence. Substantial
evidence is all that is needed to support an administrative finding of fact,
and substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." (Ang Tibay vs. Court
of Industrial Relations, 69 Phil. 635, 642; Police Commission vs. Lood,
127 SCRA 762 [1984]).
In the case at bar, the record amply shows that the Director of Mines'
decision was supported by substantial evidence.
Petitioner claimed that it is a registered surface land owner and locator of
six (6) lode claims duly registered with the Office of the Mining Recorder
as above stated and that in derogation of its permission, caused the
"table" location and survey and applied for the lease of his alleged mining
claims known as "St. Mary Fr." and "St. Joseph Fr. " lode claims.
In his answer, private respondent denied the material allegations of the
adverse claim and by way of affirmative defense alleged that all of
petitioner's claims including a portion of Master VII Fr. are null and void
for having been located in areas which were closed to mining location in
open and gross violation of paragraph 1 (d) of Section 28 and of Section
60 of the Mining Act as amended.
The main thrust of petitioner's claim is that all of the mining claims of
both petitioner and private respondent are located inside the premises or
properties of the former, so that it is hardly possible for private
respondent to have conducted the requisite location and survey without
having been seen or noticed by petitioner and its personnel.
The Director of Mines established that there is in fact an overlapping of
mining claims of petitioner and private respondent and that as a matter of
record petitioner's mining claims were registered subsequent to those of
private respondent with the exception of Master VII Fr. which was
registered on February 9, 1972 or prior to the registration of the mining
claims of private respondent.
In ruling as to who, between the parties shall be given preferential right to
lease the area in question, the Director of Mines' findings are as follows:
Adverse claimant in its attempt to impugn the validity of
the mining claims of respondent alleged that said mining
claims were the result of table locations and survey and in
support thereof submitted the sworn statements of its
Chief Geologist and Chief Security.
On the other hand, respondent asserted that he, through his
authorized representative actually and validly performed
all the acts of discovery and location required by law and
the field survey of his mining claims was actually
conducted by Geodetic Engineer Salvador Aligaen from
December 16 to 18, 1974. In support of this assertion,
respondent submitted in evidence affidavit of the
authorized agent (Annex "D" of the answer) and another
affidavit of Geodetic Engineer Salvador Aligaen (Annex
"F" of the answer). Respondent also submitted in evidence
Bureau of Forestry map and Bureau of Coast and Geodetic
Survey map of the total area (Exhs. "9" to "10") which
embraces the area in question. These maps tend to prove
that the Atlas main gate is not the only point of ingress and
egress such that one can enter the area in question for the
purpose of mining location and survey without being
noticed by any of the personnel of Atlas.
After a careful appraisal of the evidence submitted, and
cognizance as we are of the provisions of Presidential
Decree No. 99-A, we are of the view that adverse claimant
failed to adduce sufficient evidence to nullify the prior
claims of respondent. Stated differently, the evidence
submitted are not sufficient to destroy the prima
facie character of the sworn declarations of location of
respondent's mining claims which were duly registered on
the date herein before stated. Thus "A location notice
certificate or statement when re-examine accorded
is prima facie evidence of all the facts the statute requires
it to contain and which were sufficiently set forth" (40 C.J.
pp. 811-812) and constitute notice to all persons and to the
whole world of the contents of the same (Sec. 56 of the
Mining Act, as amended).
It is, therefore, pertinent to quote hereunder Sections 28(d)
and 60 of the Mining Act, as amended, as well as Section
1 of Presidential Decree No. 99-A:
SEC. 28 No Prospecting
shall be allowed:
(d)-In lands which have
been located for mining
leases by other prospectors
under the provisions of this
Act.
SEC. 60. No valid
mining claim or any part
thereof, may be located by
others until the original
locator or his successors in
interest abandons the claim
or forfeits his rights on the
same under the provisions of
this Act.
SEC. 1 Whenever there is
any conflict between claim
owners over any mining
claims whether mineral or
non-mineral, the locator of
the claim who first
registered his claim with the
proper mining registrar,
notwithstanding any defect
in form or technicality, shall
have the exclusive right to
possess, exploit, explore,
develop and operate such
mining claims. ...
In the light of the aforequoted provisions of
law applicable on the matter, and in view of
our findings, earlier discussed, the
subsequent mining claims of adverse
claimant insofar as they conflict the prior
claims of respondent are hereby declared
nun and void.
On the other hand, it is also our view that
respondent failed to adduce sufficient
evidence to prove that the prior claim of
adverse claimant (Master VII Fr.) is null
and void. Considering that this mining
claim is prior in point of location and
registration, it follows that this claim will
have to prevail over that of respondent. For
the same reason, therefore, that the
subsequent claims of adverse claimant were
declared null and void insofar as they
conflict with the prior claims of respondent,
the mining claims of respondent insofar as
they conflict with "Master VII Fr." claim of
adverse claimant are likewise declared null
and void. (Decision, Director of Mines;
rollo pp. 157-160).
As earlier stated the above findings, although reversed by the Minister of
Natural Resources, were affirmed by the Office of the President.
However, petitioner would have this Court look into the said findings
because of the open divergence of views and findings by the adjudicating
authorities in this mining conflict involving highly contentious issues
which warrant appellate review (Rollo, p. 18).
This Court has repeatedly ruled that judicial review of the decision of an
administrative official is of course subject to certain guide posts laid
down in many decided cases. Thus, for instance, findings of fact in such
decision should not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence, but
review is justified when there has been a denial of due process, or
mistake of law or fraud, collusion or arbitrary action in the administrative
proceeding (L-21588-Atlas Development and Acceptance Corp. vs.
Gozon, etc. et al., 64 O.G. 11511 [1967]), where the procedure which led
to factual findings is irregular; when palpable errors are committed; or
when a grave abuse of discretion, arbitrariness, or capriciousness is
manifest (Ateneo de Manila University vs. CA, 145 SCRA 100-101
[1986]; International Hardwood and Veneer Co., of the Philippines vs.
Leogardo, 117 SCRA 967; Baguio Country Club Corporation vs.
National Labor Relations Commission, 118 SCRA 557; Sichangco vs.
Commissioner of Immigration, 94 SCRA 61; and Eusebio vs. Sociedad
Agricola de Balarin, 16 SCRA 569).
A careful study of the records shows that none of the above
circumstances is present in the case at bar, which would justify the
overturning of the findings of fact of the Director of Mines which were
affirmed by the Office of the President. On the contrary, in accordance
with the prevailing principle that "in reviewing administrative decisions,
the reviewing Court cannot re-examine the sufficiency of the evidence as
if originally instituted therein, and receive additional evidence, that was
not submitted to the administrative agency concerned," the findings of
fact in this case must be respected. As ruled by the Court, they will not be
disturbed so long as they are supported by substantial evidence, even if
not overwhelming or preponderant (Police Commission vs. Lood, supra).
PREMISES CONSIDERED, this petition is hereby DENIED and the
assailed decision of the Office of the President, is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

13. Carpio vs exe. Sec
In 1990, RA 6975 entitled AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES was passed.
Carpio, as a member of the bar and a defender of the Constitution,
assailed the constitutionality of the said law for he figured that it only
interferes with the control power of the president. He advances the
view that RA 6975 weakened the National Police Commission by
limiting its power to administrative control over the PNP thus,
control remained with the Department Secretary under whom both
the NPC and the PNP were placed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the president abdicated its control power over
the PNP and NPC by virtue of RA 6975.
HELD: The President has control of all executive departments,
bureaus, and offices. This presidential power of control over the
executive branch of government extends over all executive officers
from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk. Equally well accepted,
as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the
Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency. As the President cannot be
expected to exercise his control powers all at the same time and in
person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet
members.
Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single
executive, all executive and administrative organizations are
adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various
executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief
Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required
by the Constitution or law to act in person on the exigencies of the
situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive
and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by
and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries
of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular
course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief
Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.
Thus, and in short, the Presidents power of control is directly
exercised by him over the members of the Cabinet who, in turn, and
by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their
respective jurisdictions in the executive department.
Additionally, the circumstance that the NAPOLCOM and the PNP are
placed under the reorganized DILG is merely an administrative
realignment that would bolster a system of coordination and
cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated
law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies created under
the assailed Act, the funding of the PNP being in large part subsidized
by the national government.

14. Heirs of eugenio vs roxas

15. Industrial power sales vs sinsuat

NARVASA, J .:
Certain universally accepted axioms govern judicial review through the
extraordinary actions of certiorari or prohibition of determinations of
administrative officers or agencies: first, that before said actions may be
entertained in the courts of justice, it must be shown that all the
administrative remedies prescribed by law or ordinance have been
exhausted; and second, that the administrative decision may properly be
annulled or set aside only upon a clear showing that the administrative
official or tribunal has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion.
1
There are however exceptions to the principle
known as exhaustion of administrative remedies, these being: (1) where
the issue is purely a legal one, (2) where the controverted act is patently
illegal or was done without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction; (3)
where the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter
ego of the President bear the latter's implied or assumed approval, unless
actually disapproved; or (4) where there are circumstances indicating the
urgency of judicial intervention.
2

Application of these established precepts to the undisputed facts,
hereunder briefly set out,
3
impels the grant of the writ of certiorari to
annul the administrative decision complained of in the proceedings at bar.
In April of 1965 two (2) Invitations To Bid were advertised by the
Bureau of Supply Coordination of the Department of General Services.
The first, dated April 6, 1965, called for 'eight (8) units TRUCKS, Line
Construction, left-hand drive, complete and special factory built, series of
1965, brand new, for the use of the Bureau of Telecommunications
pursuant to Requisition No. 18792 dated March 9,1965." The Invitation
to Bid as well as the requisition itself contained a proviso limiting the
offers to foreign made products on a CIF basis, Port of Manila.
The second, dated April 29, 1965, amended the first notice on the basis of
suggestions contained in letters of Industrial Power Sales, Inc. sent on
April 7 and 13, 1965, which were evidently found worth considering.
Those letters proposed that the invitation include not only foreign made
products on a CIF-Manfla basis but also those of local manufacture on an
FOB Manila basis. Concerning this, Acting Undersecretary of Public
Works & Communications Lachica addressed a 3rd Indorsement to the
Director of Supply Coordination, dated April 22, 1965.
4

... advising that Office would not have any objection
to locally manufactured utility truck bodiesprovided they
conform to the approved technical specification of this
Office as well as to the manufacturer's standard product
specification, since this type of body manufacture has
been acceptable in most government vehicles ... (and in
view thereof) it may therefore be necessary thatboth CIP
and FOB Manila quotations be considered.
The second Invitation to Bid thus announced that both CIF Port of Manila
and FOB Manila quotations would be accepted and made part of bid
requirements.
The bidding took place on May 11, 1965, as scheduled. Among the
bidders were Industrial Power Sales, Inc. and Delta Motor Corporation,
hereafter respectively referred to simply as IPSI and DELTA.
The bids were deliberated on by the Committee on Awards. In attendance
at the deliberations, at the Chairman's explicit request, were two (2)
authorized representatives of the Bureau of Telecommunications, the
requisitioner of the vehicles.
5
The Committee thereafter recommended.

Award to Industrial Power Sales at P52,500 each, FOB
Manila has the same is the lowest complying; the offer in
dollars is higher. The lowest offer at $10,688.77 is non-
complying.
On the strength thereof, Letter-Order No. B-207495 was drawn up in
IPSI's favor, dated June 10, 1965 and signed by the acting Director of
Supply, Conrado L. Ledda.
DELTA protested the award to IPSI by telegram sent to the Bureau of
Telecommunications on June 11, 1965. It claimed that the trucks offered
by IPSI were not factory built, as stipulated in the specifications
contained in the requisition itself and in the Invitation to Bid The
telegraphic protest of DELTA was considered and adjudicated adversely
to it by the Acting Director of Supply Coordination. In his decision dated
June 23, 1965, the Director ruled that the bidding had been made in strict
compliance with the technical specifications and requirements stated by
the Bureau of Telecommunications as modified by the Chairman,
Committee on Specifications Review of Equipment, Plant and Machinery
of the Department of Public Works and Communications; and that after
due deliberation on the different bids received, the Committee on
Awards, with the concurrence of the requisitioner's duly authorized
representatives, had resolved to award the contract in IPSI's favor. On the
same date, the Acting Director of Supply informed the Acting Director of
the Bureau of Telecommunications of the Letter-Order dated June 10,
1965 in IPSI's favor, and that delivery of the units was to be made within
sixty (60) working days from date of receipt of that order.
6

On July 16, 1965, however, Acting Undersecretary Lachica tried to
reverse himself. He wrote to the Director of Bureau of Supply
Coordination recalling his 3rd indorsement of April 22, in which he had
expressed his office's absence of objection to offers of trucks with locally
manufactured utility bodies, it having been "found out that the requisition
as approved by the Secretary calls for special factory built, Line
Construction Trucks, and not merely utility trucks."
7
The reply of the
Acting Director of Supply dated July 27,1965 however reiterated and
reaffirmed the conclusions in his Decision of June 23, 1965
8
just
mentioned, i.e., that IPSI's bid conformed stictly to all declared
requirements and specifications and had thus been correctly accepted.
The director further made the points
9
that
The term "special" as stated in the ... (Undersecretary's)
basic letter, which qualified the (description)factory built
line construction trucks was not originally required in the
specifications and requirements submitted by the Bureau
of Telecommunications, which espicification and
requirement were approved by that Department, hence, not
included in the bid advertisement. Requirements that are
not contained in the advertisement for bids could not be
entertained as they voiolate Rule 46 (7) of the Department
of General Services Order No. 32, Series of 1963.
It may not be amiss to inform in this connection that based
on the results of public bidding the offer of Industrial
Power Sales for eight (8) Utility Construction trucks at
P52,000.00 each net all taxes included, delivered at site,
conforms to the specifications and requirements, and the
price is the lowest as against Delta Motor Corporation's
$14,000.00 each, CIF Port of Manila,
(which) excludesgovernment taxes, banking charges, local
arrastre and wharfage fees.
This letter of the Director of Supply was forwarded by the
Undersecretary to the Director of Telecommunications. The latter wrote
back to the Undersecretary on August 18, 1965,
10
expressing his
concurrence with the views set forth in said letter of the Director of
Supply. He also stressed his Bureau's "dire need" for the vehicles; 'further
postponement" of their acquisition "will contribute greatly to the delay in
the early completion of our projects to be derived from expected income."
Obviously satisfied, the Undersecretary transmitted the
Telecommunications Director's letter to the Acting Director of Supply
(by 4th Indorsement dated August 20, 1965), making no reference to his
recall of 3rd Indorsement of April 22, 1965.
11

Delta's next move was to file with the Office of the Secretary of General
Services a letter of protest against the proposed award to IPSI
accompanied by a protest bond in the amount of P44,000.00 executed by
the Meridian Assurance Corporation. DELTA's position was that IPSI's
offer of locally assembled trucks was not in accordance with the bid
specification for bread new, complete and factory-built trucks.
12
Acting
thereon, Secretary Duma Sinsuat, in his 1st Indorsement dated Septemb
er 3, 1965 addressed to the Director of the Bureau of Supply, opined that

... only Delta Motor Corporation has complied with the
technical specifications originally called for in Requisition
No. 198792 dated March 9, 1965, duly approved by
Secretary Abad. The award of the eight (8) line
construction trucks called for ... should, therefore, be made
to Delta ... at a price equal to that offered by the Industrial
Power Sales, Inc., as manifested by the Protestant in its
letter-protest and as provided for in Rule 45 of Department
Order No. 32, Series of 1963.
In Secretary Sinsuat's view, when Acting Director Lachica agreed to
announce and advertise a supplemental or amended Invitation to Bid
which would admit offers of trucks with locally manufactured utility
bodies," the latter had violated a department rule
13
that
Any subsequent alteration or modification made separately
or on the requisition itself by any subordinate official
should bear the approval of the Department Head
concerned, pursuant to Section 2048 of the Revised
Administrative Code, or of the Undersecretary if so
delegated.
Sinsuat asserted that as there was no showing that Undersecretary
Lachica had been authorized to approve any modifications of the
requisition, the modification sanctioned by him in his aforesaid 3rd
Indorsement of April 22, 1965 was null and void; besides, Lachica had
afterwards withdrawn his approval thereof in his letter of July 16, 1965.
Replying to Secretary Sinsuat, the Acting Director of Supply, by 2nd
Indorsement dated September 7, 1965, drew attention to the fact that
DELTA's quoted price of U.S. $13,425.00 per unit, CIF-Manila
computed on the basis of FOB Manila, to place it on a parity with IPSI's
bid and would then like IPSI's have to include banking charges, duties
and taxes, would in Philippine Currency amount to P65,467.88 and,
therefore, would not be equal to IPSI's tendered price of P52,500.00.
Secretary Sinsuat however wrote back the following day, September 8,
1965 (3rd Indorsement), and told the Acting Director that the Department
had already approved DELTA's price of $13,425.00, CIFManila per unit
of Toyota Line Construction Trucks and categorically directed him to
award to DELTA the purchase order for the eight Line Construction
Trucks with the least possible delay. In view thereof, Letter-Order No.
B210230 was forthwith made by Acting Supply Director Ledda and
approved and signed by Secretary of General Services Duma Sinsuat.
Even at this time, one other dissenting voice still made itself heard. The
Senior Buyer of the Committee on Awards wrote to the Committee
Chairman on September 9, 1965, confessing hims "at a loss in framing
out the legend of the order (in DELTA's favor) and also the minutes of
the Committee's deliberation," and stating that he would "refrain in the
award in favor of the Delta Motor Corporation."
14

IPSI lost no time in appealing from Secretary Sinsuat's decision to award
the purchase contract to DELTA. It appealed on September 9, 1965 to the
Office of the President
15
as well as to the Office of the Auditor
General.
16
The latter acted just as promptly. By lst Indorsement dated
September 10, 1965 of the Deputy Auditor General, the Secretary of
General Services was required to comment on IPSI's letter-appeal and to
forward the pertinent papers to the General Auditing Office for final
consideration.
17
The appeal notwithstanding, the Letter-Order in favor of
DELTA was released to it on September 17,1965.
18

IPSI then filed with the Quezon City Court of First Instance on
September 21, 1965, a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus,
with application for preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction,
which was docketed as Case No. Q9477.
19
The injunction prayed for
issued upon a bond in the amount of P100,000.00 given by Capitol
Insurance & Surety Co., Inc. The verdict went against IPSI, however.
After trial, the Court rendered judgment dismissing IPSI's petition and
sentencing it and its surety, on the counterclaim, to pay damages to
DELTA. The dispositive portion of that judgment reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of
respondent Delta Motors Corporation and its co-
respondents and against the petitioner Industrial Power
Sales, Inc., dismiss the latter's petition for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus, dated September 20,1965, and
dissolving the preliminary injunction issued in this case,
and ordering petitioner Industrial Power Sales;
1. To pay P400,000.00, jointly and severally with the Capital Insurance
and Surety Co., Inc., the latter, to the extent of P100,000.00 only, as
damages to respondent Delta Motors Corporation by reason of the writ of
preliminary injunction issued in this case;
2. To pay attorney's fees in the sum of P20,000.00, and
3. To pay the costs of this suit.
From this judgment IPSI has appealed to this Court, contending that the
Trial Court erred
1) in not holding that regardless of the validity of the modification
approved by Undersecretary Lachica, local manufacturers cannot be
lawfully excluded from the bidding even under the original invitation to
bid because mandatorily required by law;
2) in holding that IPSI is not a local manufacturer or domestic entity
entitled to 15% preference over DELTA;
3) in not holding that Secretary Sinsuat exceeded his jurisdiction petition
in giving due course to DELTA's appeal although filed beyond the
reglementary period therefor;
4) in not holding that even if DELTA's appeal were timely perfected,
Secretary Sinsuat gravely abused his discretion or exceeded his
jurisdiction in not affording IPSI a right to be heard on that appeal;
5) in not holding that Secretary Sinsuat had gravely abused his discretion
in reversing the decision to award the contract to IPSI and ruling that
Undersecretary's approval of the modification of the bidding terms was
unauthorized;
6) in not holding that Secretary Sinsuat gravely abused his discretion in
permitting DELTA to reduce its price to equal that of qqqIPSI the latter's
bid not being defective, and in insisting on approval of DELTA's reduced
price although higher than IPSI's;
7) in not holding that the award in DELTA's favor violated the Retail
Trade Nationalization Law;
8) in denying IPSI's claim for damages; and
9) in awarding excessive damages to DELTA, the evidence to justify the
same being insufficient and the award being, in any case, against the law.
It appears that respondent Secretary of General Services disregarded
certain material facts, or considered them as of no consequence, these
being:
1) the amended notice to bidders or Invitation to Bid was duly advertised;
2) it was clear from that advertised, modified Invitation to Bid that offers
not only of foreign made or factory-built trucks but also of trucks with
bodies of local manufacture, or offers of trucks either CIF Manila or
FOB-Manila, would be acceptable;
3) the modification had been favorably considered by the Bureau of
Supply Coordination and approved by the Undersecretary of Public
Works & Communications, who had observed on that occasion that "this
type of body manufacture (i.e., 'locally manufactured utility truck bodies')
has been acceptable in most government vehicles;"
4) no protest whatever had been made by DELTA to the terms set forth in
that second Invitation to Bid prior to the scheduled bidding on May 11,
1965;
5) All bids submitted were studied and weighed by the Committee on
Awards, with the participation of two (2) representatives of the
requisitioning agency; and thereafter, the Committee, in a reasoned
report, unanimously declared IPSI's bid as the winning bid and
recommended award to it of the contract;
6) the recommendation of the Awards Committee was approved by the
Director of Supply;
7) that approval was reaffirmed by the Director of Supply-in his decision
on the protest of DELTA, which it filed after learning that it had lost in
the bidding-aserting that the bidding had been done in strict compliance
with all relevant requisites, and the award given not only after due
deliberations, but also with the concurrence of the representatives of the
requisitioning bureau;
8) although the Undersecretary of Public Works & Communications had
subsequently tried to recall his approval of the modification (for
acceptance of bids, FOB-Manila, or of trucks with locally manufactured
bodies), supra, he had abandoned that attempt after receiving
communications from
a) the Director of Supply, reiterating his stand on the
propriety of the bidding and the award to IPSI; and
b) the Director of the requisitioning agency, the Bureau of
Telecommunications, concurring with the position of the
Director of Supply, and requesting quick action on the
award in view of the Bureau's "dire need" therefor;
9) the Senior Buyer of the Committee on Awards refused to go along
with the Award to DELTA;
10) in fine all the Government agencies concerned were agreed on the
correctness of the award to IPSI the requisitioner, the Bureau of
Telecommunications, the Department of Public Works &
Communications to which said Bureau of Telecommunications pertains,
the Bureau of Supply, which had direct supervision and control of the
bidding, and of course, the Committee on Awards.
These material circumstances were, to repeat, considered of no moment
by respondent Secretary of General Services. He ignored, too, the
additional circumstance of estoppel as regards DELTA. For DELTA,
with full knowledge of the amendment of the notice to bidders (making
acceptable bids for truly with locally manufactured bodies, or FOB-
Manila) made no protest at all but, on the contrary, participated in the
bidding under said advertised terms, objecting thereto only after its bid
had been rejected by the Committee on Awards and the other
Government offices concerned.
Respondent Secretary's justification for doing so is that (1) the
modification had not been validly approved by the Undersecretary of
Public Works & Communications, because there was "no showing that
the latter ... (had been) authorized by (the) Secretary ... to make the
modifications;" and (2) said Undersecretary had subsequently withdrawn
the approval to the modification
It should at once be apparent that the second ground of justification is not
borne out by the facts. As already above stated, the Undersecretary did
not persist in but implicitly abandoned his attempt to withdraw his
approval of the modification. As to the first ground, it being a legal
presumption that official duty 20 has been regularly performed,
20
it must
be a assigned, no evidence having been adduced to destroy the
presumption, that Undersecretary Lachica indeed possessed the requisite
authority to approve the modifications in question. In any event, his
possession of that authority may be demonstrated by Department Order
No. 82 dated November 30,1964 by which the Secretary of Public Works
& Communications delineated the powers of his two undersecretaries and
the chiefs of offices in relation to his own.
21

Apart from material facts, also ignored were applicable provisions of law
conferring preferential status to locally manufactured equipment and
supplies, etc., and to domestic, as distinguished from foreign, entities.
Republic Act No. 4164, the Appropriations Act relevant to the time in
question, provided
22
that all appropriations for the purchase of
equipment, supplies and materials authorized thereunder shall be
available only for locally manufactured equipment, parts, accessories,
supplies and materials, unless none be available in the market, or the
price of the locally manufactured article exceed those determined by the
Flag Law by 10%. The applicability of the provision in IPSI's favor
seems indisputable. The Flag Law,
23
on the other hand, provides that
whenever several bidders participate in a bidding for supplying articles,
materials, and equipment for any office of the government for public use
... or public works, the award shall be made to the domestic entity making
the lowest bid, provided it is not more than 15% in excess of the lowest
bid made by a bidder other than a domestic entity. While DELTA was
organized under Philippine laws, it was acting in this case merely as
agent of a foreign company; it was the latter which to all intents and
purposes was the bidder, hence, as between it and IPSI, IPSI should be
considered the preferred bidder.
The plea made in behalf of respondent Secretary that IPSI had gone to
Court without first exhausting all administrative remedies cannot be
sustained in view of the doctrines set out in the opening paragraph of this
opinion.
There is merit in IPSI's appeal, therefore. The respondent Secretary had
indeed acted with grave abuse of diwmtion amount to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. His acts must be nullified, and the Trial Court's judgment
upholding those acts must be set aside.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Trial Court subject of the appeal is
REVERSED AND SET ASIDE and another entered NULLIFYING the
orders of respondent Secretary of General Services embodied in his l st
Indorsement dated September 8, 1965 and those in affirmance and
implementation thereof, and SENTENCING defendant-appellee Delta
Motor Corporation to pay the sum of P 20,000.00 to Plaintiff-appellant
Industrial Power Sales, Inc. as and for attomey's fees, and the costs of the
suit.
Teehankee, C.J., Cruz, Gancayco and Grio-Aquino, JJ., concur.

16. National devt co vs collector of custom
FACTS: The NDC which is engaged in the shipping business under the
name of Philippine National Lines is the owner of the steamship S.S.
Doa Nati whose local agent in Manila is A.V. Rocha.

When the customs authorities found that the vessel Doa Nati carried on
board unmanifested cargo consisting of one RCA Victor TV set 21 in
violation of Section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code, respondent
sent a written notice to C.F. Sharp and Company, believing it to be the
operator or agent of the vessel, and when the latter referred the notice to
A.V. Rocha, the real operator of the vessel, for such step as he may deem
necessary to be taken, the latter answered stating that the television set
was not cargo and so was not required by law to be manifested, and he
added to his answer the following: If this explanation is not sufficient,
we request that this case be set for investigation and hearing in order to
enable the vessel to be informed of the evidence against it to sustain the
charge and to present evidence in its defense.

Respondent, however, replied to this letter saying that said television was
a cargo within the meaning of the law and so he does not find his
explanation satisfactory and then and there imposed on the vessel a fine
of P5,000.00. Respondent even went further. He ordered that the said fine
be paid within 48 hours from receipt with the threat that the vessel would
be denied clearance and a warrant of seizure would be issued if the fine
would not be paid. Considering that this is a grave abuse of discretion,
petitioners commenced the present action for certiorari before the court a
quo.

ISSUE: WON notice and hearing is required

RULING: We find this action proper for it really appears that the
petitioner Rocha was not given an opportunity to prove that the television
set complained of is not a cargo that needs to be manifested as required
by Section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Under said section, in
order that an imported article or merchandize may be considered a cargo
that should be manifested, it is first necessary that it be so established for
the reason that there are other effects that a vessel may carry that are
excluded from the requirement of law, among which are the personal
effects of the members of the crew.

The fact that the set in question was claimed by the customs authorities
not to be within the exception does not automatically make the vessel
liable. It is still necessary that the vessel, its owner or operator, be given a
chance to show otherwise. This is precisely what petitioner Rocha has
requested in his letter. Not only he was denied this chance, but
respondent collector immediately imposed upon the vessel the huge fine
of P5,000.00. This is a denial of the elementary rule of due process.

True it is that the proceedings before the Collector of Customs insofar as
the determination of any customs law or regulation is concerned, or of
any act arising under the Tariff and Customs Code, are not judicial in
character, but merely administrative, where the rules of procedure are
generally disregarded, but even in the administrative proceedings, due
process must be observed because that is the right enshrined in our
Constitution. The right to due process is not merely statutory. It is a
constitutional right. Indeed, the Constitution provides that No person
shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of
law, which clause epitomizes the principle of justice which hears before
it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only
after trial. That this principle applies with equal force to administrative
proceedings was well elaborated upon by this Court in the Ang Tibay
case.

Another point raised is that the petitioners have brought this action
prematurely for they have not exhausted all the administrative remedies
available to them, one of which is to appeal the ruling to the
Commissioner of Customs. This may be true, but such step we do not
consider a plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
as would prevent the petitioners from taking the present action, for it is
undisputed that respondent collector has acted in utter disregard of the
principle of due process.