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Administrative Law

Arellano University School of Law


aiza ebina/2015

CHAVEZ vs NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY


530 SCRA 235
Scope of Powers of Administrative Agencies
Express and Implied Powers
FACTS: Petitioner Francisco Chavez in his capacity as taxpayer seeks to declare null and void the Joint
Venture Agreement between the NHA and R-II Builders, Inc (RBI) for being unconstitutional and invalid,
and to enjoin respondents particularly respondent NHA from implementing and/or enforcing the said
project and other agreements related thereto. On March 1, 1988, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued
Memorandum Order No. 161 approving and directing the implementation of the Comprehensive and
Integrated Metropolitan Manila Waste Management Plan. Specifically, respondent NHA was ordered to
conduct feasibility studies and develop low-cost housing projects at the dumpsite and absorb scavengers
in NHA resettlement/low-cost housing projects.
Pursuant to MO 161-A, NHA prepared the feasibility studies which resulted in the formulation of the
Smokey Mountain Development Plan and Reclamation of the Area Across R-10 or the Smokey Mountain
Development and Reclamation Project. SMDRP aimed to convert the Smokey Mountain dumpsite into a
habitable housing project, inclusive of the reclamation of the area across R-10, adjacent to the Smokey
Mountain as the enabling component of the project. Once finalized, the plan was submitted to President
Aquino for her approval.
On January 17, 1992, President Aquino proclaimed MO 415, approving and directing the implementation of
the SMDRP through a private sector joint venture. Said MO stipulated that the land area covered by the
Smokey Mountain dumpsite is conveyed to the NHA as well as the area to be reclaimed across R-10. In the
same MO 415, President Aquino created an Executive Committee to oversee the implementation of the
plan and an inter-agency Technical Committee was created composed of the technical representatives of
the EXECOM. Based on the evaluation of the pre-qualification documents, the EXECOM declared the New
San Jose Builders, Inc. and RBI as top two contractors. Thereafter, TECHCOM submitted its
recommendation to the EXECOM to approve the RBI proposal which garnered the highest score.
On October 7, 1992, President Ramos authorized NHA to enter into a JVA with RBI. Afterwards, President
Ramos issued Proclamation No. 465 increasing the proposed area for reclamation across R-10 from 40
hectares to 79 hectares. On September 1, 1994, pursuant to Proclamation No. 39, the DENR issued Special
Patent No. 3591 conveying in favor of NHA an area of 211,975 square meters covering the Smokey
Mountain Dumpsite. The land reclamation was completed in August 1996. Sometime later in 1996,
pursuant likewise to Proclamation No. 39, the DENR issued Special Patent No. 3598 conveying in favor of
NHA an additional 390,000 square meter area. After some time, the JVA was terminated. RBI demanded the
payment of just compensation for all accomplishments and costs incurred in developing the SMDRP plus a
reasonable rate of return. In a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) executed by NHA and RBI, both parties
agreed to terminate the JVA and other subsequent agreements, which stipulated, among others, that
unpaid balance may be paid in cash, bonds or through the conveyance of properties or any combination
thereof.
On August 5, 2004, former Solicitor General Francisco I. Chavez filed this Petition for Prohibition and
Mandamus seeking to declare null and void the Joint Venture Agreement and the Smokey Mountain
Development and Reclamation Project, and all other agreements in relation thereto, for being
Unconstitutional and Invalid. The petitioner challenges the authority of NHA to reclaim lands. He claims
that the power to reclaim lands of public domain is vested exclusively with the Public Estates Authority. He
also contends that NHA and RBI were not given the power and authority by DENR to reclaim foreshore and
submerged lands, as required and that there was no proclamation officially classifying the reclaimed lands
as alienable and disposable.
ISSUE: Whether or not the NHA has the authority to reclaim lands
RULING: Yes. While the authority of NHA to reclaim lands is challenged by petitioner, we find that the NHA
had more than enough authority to do so under existing laws. While PD 757, the charter of NHA, does not
explicitly mention reclamation in any of the listed powers of the agency, we rule that the NHA has an
implied power to reclaim land as this is vital or incidental to effectively, logically, and successfully
implement an urban land reform and housing program enunciated in Sec. 9 of Article XIII of the 1987
Constitution.
Basic in administrative law is the doctrine that a government agency or office has express and implied
powers based on its charter and other pertinent statutes. Express powers are those powers granted,
allocated, and delegated to a government agency or office by express provisions of law. On the other
hand, implied powers are those that can be inferred or are implicit in the wordings of the law or conferred

by necessary or fair implication in the enabling act. When a general grant of power is conferred or duty
enjoined, every particular power necessary for the exercise of the one or the performance of the other is
also conferred by necessary implication. when the statute does not specify the particular method to be
followed or used by a government agency in the exercise of the power vested in it by law, said agency has
the authority to adopt any reasonable method to carry out its functions.
The power to reclaim on the part of the NHA is implicit from PD 757, RA 7279, MO 415, RA 6957, and PD 3A. Land reclamation is an integral part of the development of resources for some of the housing
requirements of the NHA. Private participation in housing projects may also take the form of land
reclamation.
RATIO: Express and implied powers. - The jurisdiction and powers of administrative agencies are
measured and limited by the Constitution or law creating them or granting their powers, to those
conferred expressly or by necessary or fair implication.
--MASANGCAY vs COMELEC
6 SCRA 27
Scope of Powers of Administrative Agencies
Inherent Powers
FACTS: On 24 October 1957, Benjamin Masangcay then provincial treasurer of Aklan designated to take
charge of the receipt and custody of the official ballots, election forms and supplies, as well as of their
distribution, among the different municipalities of the province with several others, was charged before
the Comelec with contempt for having opened 3 boxes containing official and sample ballots for the
municipalities of the province of Aklan, in violation of the instructions of said Commission embodied in its
resolution promulgated on 2 September 1957, and its unnumbered resolution dated 5 March 1957,
inasmuch as he opened said boxes not in the presence of the division superintendent of schools of Aklan,
the provincial auditor, and the authorized representatives of the Nacionalista Party, the Liberal Party and
the Citizens Party, as required, which are punishable under Section 5 of the Revised Election Code and
Rule 64 of the Rules of Court.
Masangcay et.al. complied with the summons issued by the Comelec to appear and show cause why they
should not be punished for contempt on the basis of the charge. On 16 December 1957 the Commission
rendered its decision finding Masangcay and his co-respondent Molo guilty as charged and sentencing
each of them to suffer 3 months imprisonment and pay a fine of P500, with subsidiary imprisonment of 2
months in case of insolvency, to be served in the provincial jail of Aklan. The other respondents were
exonerated for lack of evidence.
Masangcay brought the present petition for review raising as main issue the constitutionality of Section 5
of the Revised Election Code which grants the Comelec as well as its members the power to punish acts of
contempt against said body under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided for in Rule 64
of the Rules of Court in that the portion of said section which grants to the Commission and members the
power to punish for contempt is unconstitutional for it infringes the principle underlying the separation of
powers that exists among the three departments of our constitutional form of government.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision appealed from insofar as Masangcay is concerned, as well as the
resolution denying his motion for reconsideration, insofar as it concerns him; without pronouncement as to
costs.
ISSUE: Whether or not Comelec may punish Masangcay for contempt
RULING: No. Under the law and the constitution, the Comelec has not only the duty to enforce and
administer all laws relative to the conduct of elections, but also the power to try, hear and decide any
controversy that may be submitted to it in connection with the elections. The Commission, although it
cannot be classified as a court of justice within the meaning of the Constitution (Section 30, Article VIII), for
it is merely an administrative body, may however exercise quasi-judicial functions insofar as controversies
that by express provision of law come under its jurisdiction.
The Comelec lacks power to impose the disciplinary penalty meted out to Masangcay in the decision
subject of review. When the Commission exercises a ministerial function it cannot exercise the power to
punish for contempt because such power is inherently judicial in nature. The power to punish for contempt
is inherent in all courts; its existence is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings, and to
the enforcement of judgments, orders and mandates of courts, and, consequently, in the administration of
justice.
The exercise of this power has always been regarded as a necessary incident and attribute of courts. Its
exercise by administrative bodies has been invariably limited to making effective the power to elicit

testimony. And the exercise of that power by an administrative body in furtherance of its administrative
function has been held invalid.
The resolutions which the Commission tried to enforce and for whose violation the charge for contempt
was filed against Masangcay merely call for the exercise of an administrative or ministerial function for
they merely concern the procedure to be followed in the distribution of ballots and other election
paraphernalia among the different municipalities. The Commission, thus, has exceeded its jurisdiction in
punishing him for contempt, and so its decision is null and void.
RATIO: An administrative agency has no inherent powers, although implied powers may sometimes be
spoken of as "inherent." Thus, in the absence of any provision to punich for contempt which has always
been regarded as a necessary incident and attribute of the courts. Its exercise by administrative bodies
has been invariably limited to making effective the power to elicit testimony. And the exercise of that
power by an administrative body in furtherance of its administrative function has been held invalid.
--CITY OF BAGUIO vs NINO
487 SCRA 216
Scope of Powers of Administrative Agencies
Quasi-Judicial Powers
FACTS: The Bureau of Lands awarded on May 13, 1966 to Narcisa A. Placino a parcel of land identified as
Lot No. 10 (the lot) located at Saint Anthony Road, Dominican-Mirador Barangay, Baguio City. Francisco
Nio, who has been occupying the lot, contested the award by filing a Petition Protest on December 23,
1975 before the Bureau of Lands. The Director of Lands dismissed the Petition Protest by Order of
November 11, 1976. Nio appealed the dismissal all the way to the Supreme Court but he did not succeed.
The decision of the Director of Lands having become final and executory, the then-Executive Director of
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Autonomous Region (DENR-CAR), on
petition of Narcisa, issued an Order of Execution directing the Community Environment and Natural
Resources Office (CENRO) Officer to enforce the decision "by ordering Petitioner Nio and those acting in
his behalf to refrain from continuously occupying the area and remove whatever improvements they may
have introduced thereto." Attempts to enforce the Order of Execution failed, prompting Narcisa to file a
complaint for ejectment before the Baguio City Municipal Trial Court in Cities.
Narcisas counsel, Atty. Edilberto Claravall, later petitioned the DENR-CAR for the issuance of a Special
Order authorizing the City Sheriff of Baguio, the City Police Station, and the Demolition Team of the City
Government to demolish or remove the improvements on the lot introduced by Nio. The DENR-CAR
denied the petition, citing lack of jurisdiction over the City Sheriff of Baguio, the City Police Station, and the
Demolition Team of the City Government, but on July 16, 1997, the Demolition Team of Baguio City headed
by Engineer Orlando Genove and the Baguio City Police, on orders of then Baguio City Police Officer-InCharge Donato Bacquian, started demolishing the houses of Nio and his herein co-respondents.
Nio and his wife Josefina Nio thereupon filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order before the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City. The RTC denied the petition.
However the Court of Appeals granted the petition on appeal. Mayor Mauricio Domogan thru the
Demolition Team and City Engineers Office are ordered to cease and desist from enforcing the amended
order of execution issued by Oscar N. Hamada, Regional Executive Director of the Department of
Environmental and Natural Resources, concerning the demolition or removal of the structures made by
petitioners until private respondent applied for a special order abovementioned with the proper court.
Petitioners contend that the enforcement of the Amended Order of Execution does not need a hearing and
court order which Sec. 10 (d) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. That an administrative agency which is
clothed with quasi-judicial functions issued the Amended Order of Execution is of no moment, since the
requirement in Sec. 10 (d) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court echoes the constitutional provision that "no
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be
denied the equal protection of the laws."
ISSUE: Whether or not a special court order is needed for the demotion of the respondents' structures
RULING: In general, the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative agency may
exercise is defined in the enabling act of such agency. In other words, the extent to which an
administrative entity may exercise such powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the provisions of the
statute creating or empowering such agency. There is, however, no explicit provision granting the Bureau
of Lands (now the Land Management Bureau) or the DENR (which exercises control over the Land
Management Bureau) the authority to issue an order of demolition - which the Amended Order of
Execution, in substance, is.

Indeed, while the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands is confined to the determination of the respective
rights of rival claimants to public lands or to cases which involve the disposition of public lands, the power
to determine who has the actual, physical possession or occupation or the better right of possession over
public lands remains with the courts.
The rationale is evident. The Bureau of Lands does not have the wherewithal to police public lands. Neither
does it have the means to prevent disorders or breaches of peace among the occupants. Its power is
clearly limited to disposition and alienation and while it may decide disputes over possession, this is but in
aid of making the proper awards. The ultimate power to resolve conflicts of possession is recognized to be
within the legal competence of the civil courts and its purpose is to extend protection to the actual
possessors and occupants with a view to quell social unrest.
In fine, it is the court sheriff which is empowered to remove improvements introduced by respondents on,
and turn over possession of, the lot to Narcisa.
RATIO: Administrative agencies are tribunals of limited jurisdiction and as such can exercise only those
powers wgich are specifically granted to them by their enabling statutes. In other words, the extent to
which an administrative entity may exercise given judicial powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the
provisions of the statute creating or empowering such agency. They have, however, in their favor the
presumption that they have regularly performed their official functions or duties, including those which are
quasi-judicial in nature.
--MAKATI STOCK EXCHANGE, INC. vs SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
14 SCRA 620
Scope of Powers of Administrative Agencies
Express and Implied Powers
FACTS: The Securities and Exchange Commission, in its resolution, denied the Makati Stock Exchange
permission to operate a stock exchange unless it agreed not to list for trading on its board, securities
already listed in the Manila Stock Exchange.
Objecting to the requirement, Makati Stock Exchange, Inc. contends that the Commission has no power to
impose it and that anyway, it is illegal, discriminatory and unjust. The Commission's order or resolution
would make impossible, for all practical purposes, for the Makati Stock Exchange to operate, usch that its
"permission" amounted to a "prohibition."
ISSUE: Whether or not the SEC has the authority to promulgate the rule in question
RULING: No. The Commission cites no provision of law expressly supporting its rule against double listing.
It suggests that the power is 'necessary for the execution of the functions vested in it.' It argues that said
rule was approved by the Department Head before the War and it is not in conflict with the provisions of
the Securities Act. The approval of the Department, by itself, adds no weight in a judicial litigation.
The test is not whether the Act forbids the Commission from imposing a prohibition but whether it
empowers the Commission to prohibit.
The Commission possesses no power to impose the condition of the rule which results in discrimination
and violation of constitutional rights. It is fundamental that an administrative officer has such powers as
expressly granted to him by statute, and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. Accordingly, the
license of the Makati Stock Exchange is approved without such condition against double listing.
RATIO: It is fundamental that an administrative officer has only such powers as are expressly granted to
him by the statute, and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof.
--COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY vs DOLEFIL AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARIES
COOPERATIVE, INC.
382 SCRA 552
Nature of Powers
Powers Subject to the Constitution, Applicable Law, or Administrative Regulation
FACTS: Sometime in the later part of 1997, the CDA received from certain members of the Dolefil Agrarian
Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, Inc., an agrarian reform cooperative that owns 8,860 hectares of land in
Polomolok, South Cotabato, several complaints alleging mismanagement and/or misappropriation of funds
of DARBCI by the then incumbent officers and members of the board of directors of the cooperative, some
of whom are herein private respondents.

Acting on the complaints docketed as CDA-CO Case No. 97-011, CDA Executive Director Candelario L.
Verzosa, Jr. issued an order dated December 8, 1997 directing the private respondents to file their answer
within ten (10) days from receipt thereof.
On December 18, 1991, the private respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari with a prayer for preliminary
injunction, damages and attorneys fees against the CDA and its officers primarily questioning the
jurisdiction of the CDA to resolve the complaints against the private respondents, specifically with respect
to the authority of the CDA to issue the freeze order and to create a management committee that would
run the affairs of DARBCI.
On February 24, 1998, CDA Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. issued an order in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011
placing the private respondents under preventive suspension, hence, paving the way for the newly-created
management committee to assume office on March 10, 1998.
On March 27, 1998, the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, issued a temporary restraining
order, initially for seventy-two (72) hours and subsequently extended to twenty (20) days, in an Order
dated March 31, 1998. The temporary restraining order, in effect, directed the parties to restore status
quo ante, thereby enabling the private respondents to reassume the management of DARBCI.
The CDA questioned the propriety of the temporary restraining order issued by the RTC of Polomolok,
South Cotabato on March 27, 1998 through a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.
On April 21, 1998, the Court of Appeals, issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the RTC of
Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, from enforcing the restraining order which the latter court issued
on March 27, 1998, and ordered that the proceedings in SP Civil Case No. 25 be held in abeyance.
The Court of Appeals thereafter declared the respondent Cooperative Development Authority orders in
CDA-CO case No. 97-011 dated 08 December 1997, 15 December 1997, 26 January 1998, 24 February
1998, 03 March 1998, and the Resolution dated 26 May 1998, null and void and of no legal force and
effect. Further, the respondents are ordered to perpetually cease and desist from taking any further
proceedings in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011.
The CDA filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision but it was denied by the Court of Appeals in its
assailed Resolution. Hence, the instant petition for review.
Petitioner CDA claims that it is vested with quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes in
view of its powers, functions and responsibilities under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 6939. The quasijudicial nature of its powers and functions was confirmed by the Department of Justice, through the then
Acting Secretary of Justice Demetrio G. Demetria, in DOJ Opinion No. 10, Series of 1995, which was issued
in response to a query of the then Chairman Edna E. Aberina of the CDA, to wit:
Applying the foregoing, the express powers of the CDA to cancel certificates of registration of cooperatives
for non-compliance with administrative requirements or in cases of voluntary dissolution under Section
3(g), and to mandate and conciliate disputes within a cooperative or between cooperatives under Section
8 of R.A. No. 6939, may be deemed quasi-judicial in nature.
The reason is that in the performance of its functions such as cancellation of certificate of registration, it
is necessary to establish non-compliance or violation of administrative requirement. To do so, there arises
an indispensable need to hold hearings, investigate or ascertain facts that possibly constitute noncompliance or violation and, based on the facts investigated or ascertained, it becomes incumbent upon
the CDA to use its official discretion whether or not to cancel a cooperatives certificate of registration,
thus, clearly revealing the quasi-judicial nature of the said function. When the CDA acts as a conciliatory
body pursuant to Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, it in effect performs the functions of an arbitrator. Arbitrators
are by the nature of their functions act in quasi-judicial capacity xxx.
The quasi-judicial nature of the foregoing functions is bolstered by the provisions of Sections 3(o) of R.A.
No. 6939 which grants CDA on (sic) the exercise of other functions as may be necessary to implement the
provisions of cooperative laws, the power to summarily punish for direct contempt any person guilty of
misconduct in the presence thereof who seriously interrupts any hearing or inquiry with a fine or
imprisonment prescribed therein, a power usually granted to make effective the exercise of quasi-judicial
functions.
The petitioner avers that when an administrative agency is conferred with quasi-judicial powers and
functions, such as the CDA, all controversies relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization
are deemed to be covered within the jurisdiction of said administrative agency. The courts will not
interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with
the regulation of activities undertaken upon their special technical knowledge and training.

The private respondents on the other hand, contend that, contrary to the claim of the petitioner, the
powers, functions and responsibilities of the CDA show that it was merely granted regulatory or
supervisory powers over cooperatives in addition to its authority to mediate and conciliate between parties
involving the settlement of cooperative disputes.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CDA has the authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes
RULING: No. It is a fundamental rule in statutory construction that when the law speaks in clear and
categorical language, there is no room for interpretation, vacillation or equivocation there is only room
for application. It can be gleaned from the provisions of R.A. No. 6939 that the authority of the CDA is to
discharge purely administrative functions which consist of policy-making, registration, fiscal and technical
assistance to cooperatives and implementation of cooperative laws. Nowhere in the said law can it be
found any express grant to the CDA of authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes. At most, Section 8 of
the same law provides that upon request of either or both parties, the Authority shall mediate and
conciliate disputes with a cooperative or between cooperatives however, with a restriction that if no
mediation or conciliation succeeds within three (3) months from request thereof, a certificate of nonresolution shall be issued by the commission prior to the filing of appropriate action before the proper
courts. Being an administrative agency, the CDA has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by
law and those which are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof.
The decision to withhold quasi-judicial powers from the CDA is in accordance with the policy of the
government granting autonomy to cooperatives. It was noted that in the past 75 years cooperativism
failed to flourish in the Philippines. Of the 23,000 cooperatives organized under P.D. No. 175, only 10 to 15
percent remained operational while the rest became dormant. The dismal failure of cooperativism in the
Philippines was attributed mainly to the stifling attitude of the government toward cooperatives. While the
government wished to help, it invariably wanted to control. Also, in its anxious efforts to push
cooperativism, it smothered cooperatives with so much help that they failed to develop self-reliance. As
one cooperative expert put it, The strong embrace of government ends with a kiss of death for
cooperatives.
But then, acknowledging the role of cooperatives as instruments of national development, the framers of
the 1987 Constitution directed Congress under Article XII, Section 15 thereof to create a centralized
agency that shall promote the viability and growth of cooperatives. Pursuant to this constitutional
mandate, the Congress approved on March 10, 1990 Republic Act No. 6939 which is the organic law
creating the Cooperative Development Authority. Apparently cognizant of the errors in the past, Congress
declared in an unequivocal language that the state shall maintain the policy of non-interference in the
management and operation of cooperatives.
After ascertaining the clear legislative intent underlying R.A. No. 6939, effect should be given to it by the
judiciary. Consequently, we hold and rule that the CDA is devoid of any quasi-judicial authority to
adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes and more particularly disputes as regards the election of the
members of the Board of Directors and officers of cooperatives. The authority to conduct hearings or
inquiries and the power to hold any person in contempt may be exercised by the CDA only in the
performance of its administrative functions under R.A. No. 6939.
RATIO: Powers subject to the Constitution, applicable law, or administrative regulation. - A government
agency must respect the presumption of constitutionality and legality to which statutes and administrative
regulations are entitled until such statute or regulation is repealed or amended, or until set aside in an
appropriate case by a competent court, and ultimately by the Supreme Court. It is not authorized to
substitute its own judgment for any applicable law or administrative regulation with the wisdom or
propriety of which it does not agree, at least not before such law or regulation is set aside by the
authorized agency of the government.
--FLORENDO vs ENRILE
239 SCRA 22
Discretionary and Ministerial Powers
Ministerial Duty
FACTS: In a sworn letter-complaint filed with the Office of the Court Administrator on 17 March 1992, the
complainant charged the respondent deputy sheriff of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities at Cabanatuan City
with the failure to enforce a writ of demolition notwithstanding his collection and receipt of P5,200.00. She
averred that she was the plaintiff in Civil Cases Nos. 9241 to 9249, all for ejectment, and that in a joint
decision rendered on 22 June 1987 by Branch 2 of the MTCC the defendants were ordered to vacate the
premises and to surrender the possession thereof to the complainant. The defendants appealed this
decision to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which in a joint decision of 18 August 1989 affirmed it in toto. On
19 January 1990, the MTCC issued a writ of execution.

The writ was assigned to the respondent for implementation. In view of the refusal of the defendants to
vacate the premises, the complainant asked for the issuance of a writ of demolition, which the court
granted pursuant to its order of 21 March 1990. On 27 June 1990, it denied the defendant's motion for
extension of time to execute the writ of demolition. For the service and implementation of the writ of
demolition, the respondent asked and received from the complainant and her lawyer the total sum of
P5,200.00 purportedly as sheriff's fee. The respondent issued no official receipt for this amount.
The respondent did not execute the writ of demolition despite the receipt of P5,200.00. The complainant's
lawyer then wrote a letter to the respondent on 8 November 1990 demanding that the latter implement
the writ of demolition or return the aforesaid sum within ten days from receipt of the letter, otherwise the
matter would be brought up to this Court. Since nothing was done by the respondent, the complainant filed
this complaint. She asked that the respondent be dismissed from the service.
In his comment (denominated as an answer) dated 16 June 1992, the respondent did not deny the charge
that he collected P5,200.00 as sheriff's fee; however, he specifically denied the allegation that he did not
implement the writ of execution and the writ of demolition. He claimed that he "returned to the defendants
for several times to advice [sic] them to vacate the said place," but since they did not, he advised the
complainant's counsel to file a motion for the issuance of a writ of demolition. When he received the writ of
demolition, he served it on the defendants on 25 July 1990; the latter requested an extension of thirty
days. He then prepared a return of service dated 25 July 1990.
Then, after the expiration of the extended period, he again approached the defendants on 4 September
1990 to make them vacate the premises. However, he was threatened by them that if he would enforce
the writ of demolition something would happen, i.e., "magkamatayan muna." He then prepared the return
of service on the said date.
The writ was thus unsatisfied. It appears, however, that these returns dated 25 July 1990 and 4 September
1990 were filed with the MTCC only on 29 May 1991 and 6 June 1991, respectively.
He further claimed that on 8 July 1991, Judge Romeo Mauricio of the MTCC referred to Mr. Arsenio S.
Vicencio, Clerk of Court IV and Ex-Officio Sheriff of the MTCC, the respondent's return of service of 4
September 1990 for comment. In his compliance of 15 July 1991, Mr. Vicencio informed Judge Mauricio that
the threat on the respondent's life was "real, and it will be very risky for him to implement" it, and
requested that a new deputy sheriff be assigned to enforce the writ. Pursuant to this request, Judge
Mauricio sent a formal request to the Presiding Judge of Branch I of the MTCC of Cabanatuan City asking
that deputy sheriff Teodoro Pineda be assigned to implement the writ of demolition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent sheriff implement the writ of execution and the writ of demolition
RULING: No. The records further disclose that the respondent's returns of service dated 25 July 1990 and
24 September 1990 were filed by him only on 29 May 1991 and 6 June 1991, respectively, with the MTCC,
which issued the writ of demolition. Either the respondent correctly dated the returns, in which case there
was a deliberate and unreasonable delay in their filing with the court, or he antedated them to make it
appear that he prepared it well within the period provided for by the Rules of Court. Section 11 of Rule 39
thereof provides that a writ of execution should be returned at any time not less than ten days nor more
than sixty days after its receipt by the sheriff who must set forth in writing on its back the whole of his
proceedings by virtue thereof and file it with the clerk or judge to be preserved with the other papers in
the case. As the court personnel primarily responsible for the speedy and efficient service of all court
processes and writs originating from his court, it was the respondent's duty to immediately implement the
writ of demolition. The Manual for Clerks of Court provides:
Duty of sheriff as to execution of process. When a writ is placed in the hands of the sheriff, it is his duty
in the absence of instructions, to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to execute it in
accordance with its mandate. . . . He has no discretion whether to execute it or not.
Section E (4) of the Manual also provides:
All sheriffs and deputy sheriffs shall submit a report to the Judge concerned on the action taken on all writs
and processes assigned to them within ten (10) days from receipt of said process or writ. Said report shall
form part of the records of the case.
The duty imposed upon the sheriff to execute the writ is ministerial, not directory. A purely ministerial act
or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in
obedience to the mandate of the legal authority, without regard to the exercise of his own judgment upon
the propriety or impropriety of the act done.
The respondent's explanation that he was not able to implement the writ of demolition because he was
threatened with death by the defendants is unacceptable. If that were true, he should have either reported
it to the MTCC and requested the assistance of other sheriffs or law enforcement authorities, or filed the

appropriate criminal complaint against the defendants who had threatened him. Instead of doing so, he
filed his returns only after several months had lapsed.
For such nonfeasance and misfeasance, the respondent is guilty of serious dereliction or neglect of duty,
gross inefficiency or incompetence, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Time and again, this Court has stressed that the conduct and behavior of everyone connected with the
dispensation of justice from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk should be circumscribed with the
heavy burden of responsibility. They must at all times not only observe propriety and decorum, they must
also be above suspicion.
RATIO: A ministerial duty is one in respect to which nothing is left to discretion. It is a simple, definite duty
arising under conditions admitetd or proved to exist, and imposed by law.
A ministerial act has been defined as one performed in response to a duty which has been positively
iposed by law and its performance required at a time and in a manner or upon conditions specifically
designated, the duty to perform under the conditions specified not being dependent upon theofficer's
judgment or discretion.
That a necessity may exist for the ascertainment of the facts or conditions, upon the existence of which
the performance of an act becomes a clear and specific duty, does not operate to convert a ministerial act
into one discretionary or judicial in nature. Although an agency has the power to determine whether an
application complies with statutory requisites, if it appears beyond doubt that the application does so
comply, there is no discretion to reject the application.
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