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Administrative Law

Arellano University School of Law


aiza ebina/2015

Sandoval vs Commission on Elections


323 SCRA 403
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent herein were candidates for the congressional seat for the
Malabon-Navotas legislative district during the elections held on May 11, 1998. After canvassing the
municipal certificates of canvass, the district board of canvassers proclaimed petitioner the duly elected
congressman. The petitioner took his oath of office on the same day. Private respondent filed with the
Comelec a petition, which sought the annulment of petitioner's proclamation. He alleged that there was a
verbal order from the Comelec Chairman to suspend the canvass and proclamation of the winning
candidate, but the district board of canvassers proceeded with the canvass and proclamation despite the
said verbal order. He also alleged that there was non-inclusion of 19 election returns in the canvass, which
would result in an incomplete canvass of the election returns. The Comelec en banc issued an order setting
aside the proclamation of petitioner and ruled the proclamation as void. Hence, this petition for certiorari
seeking the annulment and reversal of the Comelec order.
ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC's order to set aside petitioner's proclamation was valid
RULING: No. Although the COMELEC is clothed with jurisdiction over the subject matter and issue of SPC
No.98-143 and SPC No. 98-206, we find the exercise of its jurisdiction tainted with illegality. We hold that
its order to set aside the proclamation of petitioner is invalid for having been rendered without due process
of law. Procedural due process demands prior notice and hearing. Then after the hearing, it is also
necessary that the tribunal show substantial evidence to support its ruling. In other words, due process
requires that a party be given an opportunity to adduce his evidence to support his side of the case and
that the evidence should be considered in the adjudication of the case. The facts show that COMELEC set
aside the proclamation of petitioner , without the benefit of prior notice and hearing and it rendered the
questioned order based solely on private respondent's allegations.
Public respondent submits that procedural due process need not be observed in this case because it was
merely exercising its administrative power to review, revise and reverse the actions of the board of
canvassers. It set aside the proclamation made by the district board of canvassers for the position of
congressman upon finding that it was tainted with illegality. We cannot accept public respondent's
argument.
Taking cognizance of private respondent's petitions for annulment of petitioner's proclamation, COMELEC
was not merely performing an administrative function. The administrative powers of the COMELEC include
the power to determine the number and location of polling places, appoint election officials and inspectors,
conduct registration of voters, deputize law enforcement agencies and government instrumentalities to
ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections, register political parties, organizations or
coalitions, accredit citizens' arms of the Commission, prosecute election offenses, and recommend to the
President the removal of or imposition of any other disciplinary action upon any officer or employee it has
deputized for violation or disregard of its directive, order or decision. In addition, the Commission also has
direct control and supervision over all personnel involved in the conduct of election. However , the
resolution of the adverse claims of private respondent and petitioner as regards the existence of a
manifest error in the questioned certificate of canvass requires the COMELEC to act as an arbiter. It
behooves the Commission to hear both parties to determine the veracity of their allegations and to decide
whether the alleged error is a manifest error. Hence, the resolution of this issue calls for the exercise by
the COMELEC of its quasi- judicial power. It has been said that where a power rests in judgment or
discretion, so that it is of judicial nature or character, but does not involve the exercise of functions of a
judge, or is conferred upon an officer other than a judicial officer, it is deemed quasi-judicial. The COMELEC
therefore, acting as quasi-judicial tribunal, cannot ignore the requirements of procedural due process in
resolving the petitions filed by private respondent.
RATIO: Where a power rests in judgment or discretion, so that it is of judicial nature or character, but does
not involve the exercise of functions of a judge, or is conferred upon an officer other than a judicial officer,
it is deemed quasi-judicial.
Adjuticatory Powers - Generally involve judicial function exercised by a person other than a judge. In
speaking of the functions of an administrative agency, the terms "quasi-judicial" and "adjudicatory" are
synonymous or correlative, but not all determinations by an administrative agency are judicial in nature or
quasi-judicial. One or the other is used to designate a power or function that partakes of the judicial but is
exercised by a person other than a judge.
--Midland Insurance Corporation vs Intermediate Appellate Court

143 SCRA 458


Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: On October 1, 1984, a judgment was rendered by the Insurance Commission in favor of complaintappellee, Sisenando Villareal, and against herein petitioner Midland Insurance Corporation.
Petitioner's appeal was initially-accepted by the IAC as can be gleaned from the letter-advice dated
February 8, 1985, notifying petitioner's counsel to file appellant's brief. However, a Motion to Dismiss
appeal dated March 1, 1985 was filed by the complainant-appellee on the ground that the petitioner
herein, failed to perfect its appeal within the reglementary period. Despite the opposition thereto
interposed by petitioner Midland Insurance Corporation, the Respondent IAC, on August 14, 1985 granted
the stated Motion to Dismiss on the ground that by said court's computation of the elapsed period from the
date of receipt by herein petitioner of the decision of the Insurance Commission to the time the notice of
appeal was filed before said Commission and notice of appeal and manifestation submitted to the IAC on
December 5, 1984, it would appear that petitioner's appeal was belatedly made.
Respondent-appellant's contended that under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 the reglementary period of 15
days from receipt of the decision or judgment within which to file an appeal is not applicable to quasijudicial agencies such as the Insurance Commission. However, in its dismissal IAC ruled that the applicable
rule is explicit in No. 12 (c), providing for appellate procedure under the Interim Rules which state that
'appeals to the Intermediate Appellate Court from quasi-judicial bodies shall continue to be governed by
the provisions of Republic Act No. 5434 insofar as the same is not inconsistent with the provisions of B.P.
Blg. 129. The pertinent provisions in Rep. Act No. 5434 provide:
SEC. 2. Appeals to the Court of Appeals shall be filed within the fifteen (15) days from notice of the ruling,
award, order, decision or judgment.
There is no conflict between the period to appeal in R.A. No. 5434 and Sec. 39, B.P. 129 which provides:
Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any
court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award,
judgment, or decision appealed from: Provided, however, That in habeas corpus cases, the period for
appeal shall be forty-eight (48) hours from the notice of the judgment appeal from.
The petitioner's case, however, rests on the assumption that it had timely filed its appeal on November 7,
1984 because Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5434 which governs appeals originating from quasi-judicial
bodies grants a party ten (10) days from notice of the resolution denying a Motion for Reconsideration. As
notice of the denial of petitioner's motion for reconsideration by the Insurance Commission was received
by petitioner on October 30, 1984, the latter maintains that it had ten (10) days thereafter or until
November 9, 1984 within which to file its appeal and this was filed with the IAC on November 7, 1984.
Petitioner's submission is that the appeal was thus filed within the reglementary period.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner had timely filed its appeal because Republic Act No. 5434 which
governs appeals originating from quasi-judicial bodies grants a party ten (10) days from notice of the
resolution denying a Motion for Reconsideration
RULING: Yes. It can be gleaned from the powers and duties of the Insurance Commissioner enumerated in
Sections 414-416, 187, and 241 of the Insurance Code performs quasi-judicial functions a term which
applies to the action, discretion, etc., of public administrative officers or bodies, who are required to
investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a
basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature.
Section 2 of R.A. 5434 explicitly provides:
Sec. 2. Appeals to the Court of Appeals shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of the ruling,
award, order, decision or judgment or from the date of its last publication if required by law for its
effectivity or in case a motion for reconsideration is filed within that period of fifteen (15) days, then within
ten (10) days from Notice or publication when required by law, of the resolution denying the motion for
reconsideration. No more than one motion for reconsideration shall be allowed by any part.
We find that petitioner herein is correct in maintaining that its appeal was timely filed. Petitioner's motion
for reconsideration was denied by the Insurance Commission and advice of such denial was received by
petitioner on October 30, 1984. As petitioner would then have ten (10) days from October 30, 1984 or until
November 9, 1984, its appeal was well within the ten day period within which an appeal can be made to
the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court.
What We note is that Respondent IAC fell into error because it failed to consider and apply the pivotal
Section 2 of R.A. 5434, which recites that "in case a motion for reconsideration is filed within that period of
fifteen (15) days, then within ten (10) days from Notice or publication, when required by law, of the

resolution denying the motion for reconsideration ... ." Respondent's court's failure to do so led to its
erroneous conclusion.
The Insurance Commission is an administrative agency, with quasi-judicial functions. Consequently, the
period of appeal from final orders, decisions, resolutions or awards of said Insurance Commission may not
be necessarily modified or limited by section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.
RATIO: "Quasi-judicial functions" is a term which applies to the action, discretion, etc., of public
administrative officers or bodies, who are required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts,
hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action and to exercise
discretion of a judicial nature.
--National Housing Authority vs Almeida
525 SCRA 383
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS:
portions
Herrera
Herrera.

On June 28, 1959, the Land Tenure Administration (LTA) awarded to Margarita Herrera several
of land which are part of the Tunasan Estate in San Pedro, Laguna.The records show that Margarita
had two children: Beatriz Herrera-Mercado (the mother of private respondent) and Francisca
Beatriz Herrera-Mercado predeceased her mother and left heirs.

Margarita Herrera passed away on October 27, 1971.On August 22, 1974, Francisca Herrera, the remaining
child of the late Margarita Herrera executed a Deed of Self-Adjudication claiming that she is the only
remaining relative, being the sole surviving daughter of the deceased. She also claimed to be the exclusive
legal heir of the late Margarita Herrera.
The Deed of Self-Adjudication was based on a Sinumpaang Salaysay dated October 7, 1960, allegedly
executed by Margarita Herrera.
The surviving heirs of Beatriz Herrera-Mercado filed a case for annulment of the Deed of Self-Adjudication
before the then Court of First Instance of Laguna.
On December 29, 1980, a decision on the case questioning the Deed of Self-Adjudication was rendered and
the deed was declared null and void.
During trial on the merits of the case assailing the Deed of Self-Adjudication, Francisca Herrera filed an
application with the NHA to purchase the same lots submitting therewith a copy of the "Sinumpaang
Salaysay" executed by her mother. Private respondent Almeida, as heir of Beatriz Herrera-Mercado,
protested the application.
In a Resolution dated February 5, 1986, the NHA granted the application made by Francisca Herrera.
Private respondent Almeida appealed to the Office of the President. The NHA Resolution was affirmed by
the Office of the President in a Decision dated January 23, 1987. On February 1, 1987, Francisca Herrera
died. Her heirs executed an extrajudicial settlement of her estate which they submitted to the NHA. Said
transfer of rights was approved by the NHA. The NHA executed several deeds of sale in favor of the heirs of
Francisca Herrera and titles were issued in their favor. Thereafter, the heirs of Francisca Herrera directed
Segunda Mercado-Almeida to leave the premises that she was occupying.
Feeling aggrieved by the decision of the Office of the President and the resolution of the NHA, private
respondent Segunda Mercado-Almeida sought the cancellation of the titles issued in favor of the heirs of
Francisca. She filed a Complaint on February 8, 1988, for "Nullification of Government Lot's Award," with
the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna.
In her complaint, private respondent Almeida invoked her forty-year occupation of the disputed properties,
and re-raised the fact that Francisca Herrera's declaration of self-adjudication has been adjudged as a
nullity because the other heirs were disregarded.
The defendant heirs of Francisca Herrera alleged that the complaint was barred by laches and that the
decision of the Office of the President was already final and executory.
The Regional Trial Court issued an Order dated June 14, 1988 dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.
The Court of Appeals in a Decision dated June 26, 1989 reversed and held that the Regional Trial Court had
jurisdiction to hear and decide the case involving "title and possession to real property within its
jurisdiction." The case was then remanded for further proceedings on the merits.
On March 9, 1998, the Regional Trial Court rendered a Decision setting aside the resolution of the NHA and
the decision of the Office of the President awarding the subject lots in favor of Francisca Herrera. It

declared the deeds of sale executed by NHA in favor of Herrera's heirs null and void.
The Regional Trial Court ruled that the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was not an assignment of rights but a
disposition of property which shall take effect upon death. It then held that the said document must first be
submitted to probate before it can transfer property.
Both the NHA and the heirs of Francisca Herrera filed their respective motions for reconsideration which
were both denied on July 21, 1998 for lack of merit. They both appealed to the Court of Appeals.
On August 28, 2003, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court. Petitioner NHA
elevated the case to this Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the resolution of the NHA and the decision of the Office of the President have
attained finality, and if so, whether or not the principle of administrative res judicata bars the court from
further determining who between the parties has preferential rights for award over the subject lots
RULING: Yes. Res judicata is a concept applied in review of lower court decisions in accordance with the
hierarchy of courts. But jurisprudence has also recognized the rule of administrative res judicata: "the rule
which forbids the reopening of a matter once judicially determined by competent authority applies as well
to the judicial and quasi-judicial facts of public, executive or administrative officers and boards acting
within their jurisdiction as to the judgments of courts having general judicial powers . It has been declared
that whenever final adjudication of persons invested with power to decide on the property and rights of the
citizen is examinable by the Supreme Court, upon a writ of error or a certiorari, such final adjudication may
be pleaded as res judicata.
To be sure, early jurisprudence were already mindful that the doctrine of res judicata cannot be said to
apply exclusively to decisions rendered by what are usually understood as courts without unreasonably
circumscribing the scope thereof and that the more equitable attitude is to allow extension of the defense
to decisions of bodies upon whom judicial powers have been conferred.
the rule prescribing that "administrative orders cannot be enforced in the courts in the absence of an
express statutory provision for that purpose" was relaxed in favor of quasi-judicial agencies.
In fine, it should be remembered that quasi-judicial powers will always be subject to true judicial power
that which is held by the courts. Quasi-judicial power is defined as that power of adjudication of an
administrative agency for the "formulation of a final order."
This function applies to the actions, discretion and similar acts of public administrative officers or bodies
who are required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw
conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature.
However, administrative agencies are not considered courts, in their strict sense. The doctrine of
separation of powers reposes the three great powers into its three (3) branchesthe legislative, the
executive, and the judiciary. Each department is co-equal and coordinate, and supreme in its own sphere.
Accordingly, the executive department may not, by its own fiat, impose the judgment of one of its
agencies, upon the judiciary. Indeed, under the expanded jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, it is
empowered to "determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government."
Courts have an expanded role under the 1987 Constitution in the resolution of societal conflicts under the
grave abuse clause of Article VIII which includes that duty to check whether the other branches of
government committed an act that falls under the category of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction.
Petitioner cites Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 where it is therein
provided that the Intermediate Appellate Court (now, Court of Appeals) shall exercise the "exclusive
appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards, of the Regional Trial
Courts and Quasi-Judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within
the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution." and contends that the Regional
Trial Court has no jurisdiction to rule over awards made by the NHA.
Well-within its jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals, in its decision of August 28, 2003, already ruled that the
issue of the trial court's authority to hear and decide the instant case has already been settled in the
decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 26, 1989 (which has become final and executory on August 20,
1989 as per entry of judgment dated October 10, 1989). We find no reason to disturb this ruling. Courts are
duty-bound to put an end to controversies. The system of judicial review should not be misused and
abused to evade the operation of a final and executory judgment. The appellate court's decision becomes
the law of the case which must be adhered to by the parties by reason of policy.

RATIO: A government agency performs adjudicatory functions when it renders decisions or awards that
determine the rights of adversarial parties, which decisions or awards have the same binding effect as a
judgment of a court of law, such that when they attain finality, they have the effect of res judicata that
even the courts of justice have to respect.
--Santiago vs Bautista
32 SCRA 188
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: appellant Teodoro Santiago, Jr. was a pupil in Grade Six at the public school named Sero
Elementary School in Cotabato City. As the school year 1964-1965 was then about to end, the "Committee
On The Rating Of Students For Honor" was constituted by the teachers concerned at said school for the
purpose of selecting the "honor students" of its graduating class.
The above-named committee
deliberated and finally adjudged Socorro Medina, Patricia Ligat and Teodoro C. Santiago, Jr. as first,
second and third honors, respectively. The school's graduation exercises were thereafter set for May 21,
1965; but three days before that date, the "third placer" Teodoro Santiago, Jr., represented by his mother,
and with his father as counsel, sought the invalidation of the "ranking of honor students" thus made, by
instituting the above-mentioned civil case in the Court of First Instance of Cotabato, against the abovenamed committee members along with the District Supervisor and the Academic Supervisor of the place.
They prayed the court, among others, to set aside the final list of honor students in Grade VI of the Sero
Elementary School for that school year 1964-1965, and, during the pendency of the suit, to enjoin the
respondent teachers from officially and formally publishing and proclaiming the said honor pupils in Grade
VI in the graduation exercises the school was scheduled to hold on the 21st of May of that year 1965. The
injunction prayed for was denied by the lower court in its order of May 20, 1965, the said court reasoning
out that the graduation exercises were then already set on the following day, May 21, 1965, and the
restraining of the same would be shocking to the school authorities, parents, and the community who had
eagerly looked forward to the coming of that yearly happy event. As scheduled, the graduation exercises
of the Sero Elementary School for the school year 1964-1965 was held on May 21, with the same protested
list of honor students.
Having been required by the above-mentioned order to answer the petition within ten (10) days,
respondents moved for the dismissal of the case instead. Under date of May 24, 1965, they filed a motion
to dismiss, on the grounds (1) that the action for certiorari was improper, and (2) that even assuming the
propriety of the action, the question brought before the court had already become academic. This was
opposed by petitioner.
In an order dated June 4, 1965, the motion to dismiss of respondents was granted, the court reasoning
thus:
The respondents now move to dismiss the petition for being improper and for being academic. In order to
resolve the motion to dismiss, the Court has carefully examined the petition to determine the sufficiency of
the alleged cause of action constituting the special civil action of certiorari.
The CFI thereafter ruled that the petition states no cause of action and should be, as it is hereby dismissed,
on the ground that the Committee On The Rating Of Students For Honor is not the "tribunal, board or
officer exercising judicial functions" against which an action for certiorari may lie under Section 1 of Rule
65.
Rule 65, Section 1 of the Rules of Court provides:
'Section 1.
Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial functions,
has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion and there is no
appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved
thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that
judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings, as the law requires, of such tribunal, board
or officer.'
'The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject thereof,
together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto.'
In its ruling, the CFI declared that administrative remedies were neglected by petitioners. All that the
petition alleges is that the petitioner personally appealed to the school authorities who only 'passed the
buck to each other.' This allegation does not show that petitioner formally availed of and exhausted the
administrative remedies of the Department of Education. The petition implies that this is the first formal
complaint of petitioner against his teachers. The administrative agencies of the Department of Education
could have investigated the grievances of the petitioner with dispatch and give effective remedies, but

petitioner negligently abandoned them. Petitioner cannot now claim that he lacked any plain, speedy and
adequate remedy.
ISSUE: Whether or not the "Committee On The Rating Of Students For Honor" exercised judicial or quasijudicial functions in the performance of its assigned task
RULING: No. In this jurisdiction certiorari is a special civil action instituted against 'any tribunal, board, or
officer exercising judicial functions.' A judicial function is an act performed by virtue of judicial powers; the
exercise of a judicial function is the doing of something in the nature of the action of the court. In order
that a special civil action of certiorari may be invoked in this jurisdiction the following circumstances must
exist: (1) that there must be a specific controversy involving rights of persons or property and said
controversy is brought before a tribunal, board or officer for hearing and determination of their respective
rights and obligations; (2) the tribunal, board or officer before whom the controversy is brought must have
the power and authority to pronounce judgment and render a decision on the controversy construing and
applying the laws to that end; (3) and the tribunal, board or officer must pertain to that branch of the
sovereign power which belongs to the judiciary, or at least, which does not belong to the legislative or
executive department.
It may be said generally that the exercise of judicial function is to determine what the law is, and what the
legal rights of parties are, with respect to a matter in controversy; and whenever an officer is clothed with
that authority, and undertakes to determine those questions, he acts judicially.
"Judicial power" implies the construction of laws and the adjudication of legal rights. It includes the power
to hear and determine but not everyone who may hear and determine has judicial power. The term
"judicial power" does not necessarily include the power to hear and determine a matter that is not in the
nature of a suit or action between the parties.
The distinction between legislative or ministerial functions and judicial functions is difficult to point out.
What is a judicial function does not depend solely upon the mental operation by which it is performed or
the importance of the act. In solving this question, due regard must be had to the organic law of the state
and the division of power of government. In the discharge of executive and legislative duties, the exercise
of discretion and judgment of the highest order is necessary, and matters of the greatest weight and
importance are dealt with. It is not enough to make a function judicial that it requires discretion,
deliberation, thought, and judgment. It must be the exercise of discretion and judgment within that
subdivision of the sovereign power which belongs to the judiciary, or, at least, which does not belong to
the legislative or executive department. If the matter, in respect to which it is exercised, belongs to either
of the two last-named departments of government, it is not judicial. As to what is judicial and what is not
seems to be better indicated by the nature of a thing, than its definition.
It is difficult, if not impossible, precisely to define what are judicial or quasi judicial acts, and there is
considerable conflict in the decisions in regard thereto, in connection with the law as to the right to the writ
of certiorari. It is clear, however, that it is the nature of the act to be performed, rather than of the office,
board, or body which performs it, that determines whether or not it is the discharge of a judicial or quasijudicial function. It is not essential that the proceedings should be strictly and technically judicial, in the
sense in which that word is used when applied to the courts of justice, but it is sufficient if they are quasi
judicial. It is enough if the officers act judicially in making their decision, whatever may be their public
character.
The precise line of demarkation between what are judicial and what are administrative or ministerial
functions is often difficult to determine. The exercise of judicial functions may involve the performance of
legislative or administrative duties, and the performance of administrative or ministerial duties, may, in a
measure, involve the exercise of judicial functions. It may be said generally that the exercise of judicial
functions is to determine what the law is, and what the legal rights of parties are, with respect to a matter
in controversy; and whenever an officer is clothed with that authority, and undertakes to determine those
questions, he acts judicially.
It is evident, upon the foregoing authorities, that the so called committee on the rating of students for
honor whose actions are questioned in this case exercised neither judicial nor quasi judicial functions in the
performance of its assigned task. From the above-quoted portions of the decision cited, it will be gleaned
that before tribunal board, or officer may exercise judicial or quasi judicial acts, it is necessary that there
be a law that give rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse claims to such
rights are made, and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought, in turn, before the tribunal, board or
officer clothed with power and authority to determine what that law is and thereupon adjudicate the
respective rights of the contending parties. As pointed out by appellees, however, there is nothing on
record about any rule of law that provides that when teachers sit down to assess the individual merits of
their pupils for purposes of rating them for honors, such function involves the determination of what the
law is and that they are therefore automatically vested with judicial or quasi judicial functions.
RATIO: It is the nature of the act to be performed, rather than of the office, board, or body which performs

it, that determines whether or not it is the discharge of a judicial or quasi-judicial function.
--De Guzman, Jr. vs Mendoza
453 SCRA 565
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: This is a complaint filed by Salvador P. de Guzman, Jr. against Antonio O. Mendoza, Sheriff IV, and
Floro G. Calixihan, Jr., Branch Clerk of Court, of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 58, for grave
misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the judiciary. Specifically, the respondents were
charged with conniving with each other in causing the issuance of an alias writ of execution and profiting
on the rentals collected from the tenants of the subject property.
On October 13, 2000, a writ of execution was issued by then Judge Escolastico U. Cruz, Jr. which ordered
respondent sheriff to cause the satisfaction of a civil case decision rendered on May 2, 1988. Complainant
for this case was the counsel for the plaintiffs in the aforementioned civil case.
On April 4, 2001, an Alias Writ of Execution/Possession/Ejectment/Demolition and Others was issued.
Unlike the October 13, 2000 writ of execution which only ordered the cancellation of the notice of lis
pendens and payment of attorneys fees, the April 4, 2001 alias writ directed the transfer of possession,
ejectment, payment of monthly rentals, and demolition, which were not covered by the courts decision
dated May 2, 1988.
Thereafter, respondent sheriff, together with Atty. Melotindos who was the counsel for the defendant, went
to the subject property and served the Notice to Comply upon the five tenants of the plaintiffs. Respondent
sheriff allegedly intimidated the tenants to vacate the premises, pay monthly rentals of P50,000.00, and
demolish the structures therein.
Complainant averred that respondent sheriff intentionally failed to attach page 3 of the alias writ of
execution to the notice to comply. He insisted that the missing page was important because it contains the
signatory of the writ, the date it was signed, and the dispositive portion of the May 2, 1988 decision which
did not mention ejectment, monthly rentals, demolition or possession.
In his comment, Calixihan claimed that he does not know any of the parties in the civil case; thus, he could
not be charged with connivance. He averred that the void alias writ of execution was prepared and issued
by then Judge Cruz and implemented by the respondent sheriff. He never profited from the rentals because
he immediately turned over the same to Atty. Melotindos who issued a receipt. He argued that as a clerk of
court and a subordinate employee, he had no authority to prevent the judge from conducting hearings or
proceedings in court.
In the Agenda Report dated March 7, 2003, the Office of the Court Administrator noted that the alias writs
have been declared null and void by this Court in its en banc Resolution dated September 18, 2001.
In his Report and Recommendation dated August 19, 2004, Executive Judge Sixto Marella, Jr. found
respondent sheriff guilty of simple misconduct and recommended his suspension for thirty days without
pay. It was established that on two occasions, he received P24,000.00 and P1,500.00 representing rentals
from two tenants. In October 2001, he also received P500.00 from Atty. Melotindos which he claimed as
legal fees. The investigating judge, however, noted that the amount exceeded the limit for legal fees
provided under Section 9, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, and the respondent sheriff also failed to comply
with the requirements stated therein.
In a Memorandum dated January 31, 2005, the Office of the Court Administrator agreed with the
investigating judge that by receiving money from the lawyer of the prevailing party without complying with
Rule 141, the respondent sheriff is guilty of simple misconduct and act inimical to the best interest of the
judiciary. It thus recommended respondent sheriffs suspension from the service for one month and one
day without pay.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent sheriff committed any infraction in the enforcement of the void
alias writ of execution
RULING: No. there is no proof that respondent sheriff participated in the issuance of the void alias writ of
execution. Neither did he commit any infraction in the enforcement of the same. Thus, when he ordered
the tenants to vacate the premises, pay monthly rentals of P50,000.00, and demolish the structures
therein, he was merely implementing the writ as issued by the judge. At the time of its enforcement,
respondent sheriff had no way of knowing that ultimately, the alias writs would be nullified by this Court.
The duty of a sheriff to execute a valid writ is ministerial and not discretionary. A purely ministerial act or

duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in the context of a given set of facts, in a prescribed
manner and without regard to the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the
act done. A discretionary act, on the other hand, is a faculty conferred upon a court or official by which he
may decide the question either way and still be right.
In general, a sheriff is the proper officer to execute all writs returnable to the court, unless another is
appointed, by special order, for the purpose. It is not his duty to decide on the truth or sufficiency of the
processes committed to him for service. When a writ is placed in the hands of a sheriff, it is his duty, in the
absence of any instructions to the contrary, to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to execute
it according to its mandate. He is supposed to execute the order of the court strictly to the letter.
RATIO: Ministerial function is one which an officer or tribunal performs in the context of a given set of
facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard to the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety
or impropriety of the act done.
--Destileria Limtuaco & Co. vs Advertising Board of the Philippines
572 SCRA 455
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: The present dispute focuses mainly on the power of the Advertising Board of the Philippines
(AdBoard) to require its clearance prior to commercial advertising and to impose sanctions on its members
who broadcast advertisements without its clearance. AdBoard is an umbrella non-stock, non-profit
corporation created in 1974 composed of several national organizations in the advertising industry.
Destileria Limtuaco & Co., Inc. (Destileria) was formerly a member of PANA.
In January 2004, Destileria and Convoy Marketing Corporation (Convoy), through its advertising agency,
SLG Advertising (SLG), a member of the 4As, applied with the AdBoard for a clearance of the airing of a
radio advertisement entitled, Ginagabi (Nakatikim ka na ba ng Kinse Anyos).
AdBoard issued a clearance for said advertisement. Not long after the ad started airing, AdBoard was
swept with complaints from the public. This prompted AdBoard to ask SLG for a replacement but there was
no response. With the continued complaints from the public, AdBoard, this time, asked SLG to withdraw its
advertisement, to no avail. Thus, AdBoard decided to recall the clearance previously issued, effective
immediately. Said decision to recall was conveyed to SLG and AdBoard's members-organizations.
Petitioners protested the AdBoard's decision, after which, they filed a Complaint which was later on
amended, for Dissolution of Corporation, Damages and Application for Preliminary Injunction with prayer
for a Temporary Restraining Order with the Regional Trial Court of Makati.
On May 20, 2004, AdBoard issued ACRC Circular No. 2004-02, reminding its members-organizations of
Article VIII of the ACRC Manual of Procedures, which prohibits the airing of materials not duly screened by
it. On July 16, 2004, petitioners filed the present petition for writ of prohibition and preliminary injunction
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
Petitioners argue that their right to advertise is a constitutionally protected right, as well as a property
right. Petitioners believe that requiring a clearance from AdBoard before advertisements can be aired
amounts to a deprivation of property without due process of law. They also argue that AdBoard's
regulation is an exercise of police power which must be subject to constitutional proscriptions.
The Amended Complaint sought the revocation/cancellation of AdBoard's registration and its dissolution on
the grounds, inter alia, that it was usurping the functions of the Department of Trade and Industry and the
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board by misrepresenting that it has the power to screen,
review and approve all radio and television advertisements.
As to the merits of petitioners' arguments, AdBoard counters that it derives its authority from the voluntary
submission of its members to its jurisdiction. According to AdBoard, there is no law that prohibits it from
assuming self-regulatory functions or from issuing clearances prior to advertising.
ISSUE: Whether or not the acts of AdBoard sought to be prohibited in this case are not the acts of a
tribunal, board, officer, or person exercising judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions
RULING: Yes. First of all, the petition filed in this case is one for prohibition, i.e., to command AdBoard to
desist from requiring petitioners to secure a clearance and imposing sanctions on any agency that will air,
broadcast or publish petitioners' ads without such clearance. Under Section 2, Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court, for petitioners to be entitled to such recourse, it must establish the following requisites: (a) it must
be directed against a tribunal, corporation, board or person exercising functions, judicial, quasi-judicial or
ministerial; (b) the tribunal, corporation, board or person has acted without or in excess of its/his

jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion; and (c) there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
A respondent is said to be exercising judicial function by which he has the power to determine what the
law is and what the legal rights of the parties are, and then undertakes to determine these questions and
adjudicate upon the rights of the parties. Quasi-judicial function is a term which applies to the action and
discretion of public administrative officers or bodies, which are required to investigate facts or ascertain
the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them as a basis for their official action
and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature. Ministerial function is one which an officer or tribunal
performs in the context of a given set of facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard for the exercise
of his/its own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done.
The acts sought to be prohibited in this case are not the acts of a tribunal, board, officer, or person
exercising judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions. What is at contest here is the power and
authority of a private organization, composed of several members-organizations, which power and
authority were vested to it by its own members. Obviously, prohibition will not lie in this case. The
definition and purpose of a writ of prohibition excludes the use of the writ against any person or group of
persons acting in a purely private capacity, and the writ will not be issued against private individuals or
corporations so acting.
RATIO: Quasi-judicial function is a term which applies to the action and discretion of public administrative
officers or bodies, which are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings,
and draw conclusions from them as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial
nature. Ministerial function is one which an officer or tribunal performs in the context of a given set of
facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard for the exercise of his/its own judgment upon the
propriety or impropriety of the act done.
--United Residents of Dominican Hill, Inc. vs Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems
353 SCRA 782
Adjudicatory Powers
FACTS: The property being fought over by the parties is a 10.36-hectare property in Baguio City called
Dominican Hills, formerly registered in the name of Diplomat Hills, Inc. It appeared that the property was
mortgaged to the United Coconut Planters Bank which eventually foreclosed the mortgage thereon and
acquired the same as highest bidder. On April 11, 1983, it was donated to the Republic of the Philippines
by UCPB through its President, Eduardo Cojuangco. The deed of donation stipulated that Dominican Hills
would be utilized for the priority programs, projects, activities in human settlements and economic
development and governmental purposes of the Ministry of Human Settlements.
On December 12, 1986, the then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 85 abolishing the
Office of Media Affairs and the Ministry of Human Settlements. All agencies under the latters supervision
as well as all its assets, programs and projects, were transferred to the Presidential Management Staff.
On October 18, 1988, the PMS received an application from petitioner UNITED RESIDENTS OF DOMINICAN
HILL, INC. (UNITED, for brevity), a community housing association composed of non-real property owning
residents of Baguio City, to acquire a portion of the Dominican Hills property. On February 2, 1990, PMS
Secretary Elfren Cruz referred the application to the HOME INSURANCE GUARANTY CORPORATION (HIGC).
HIGC consented to act as originator for UNITED. Accordingly, on May 9, 1990, a Memorandum of
Agreement was signed by and among the PMS, the HIGC, and UNITED. The Memorandum of Agreement
called for the PMS to sell the Dominican Hills property to HIGC which would, in turn, sell the same to
UNITED. The parties agreed on a selling price of P75.00 per square meter.
Thus, on June 12, 1991, HIGC sold 2.48 hectares of the property to UNITED. The deed of conditional sale
provided that ten (10) per cent of the purchase price would be paid upon signing, with the balance to be
amortized within one year from its date of execution. After UNITED made its final payment on January 31,
1992, HIGC executed a Deed of Absolute Sale dated July 1, 1992.
Petitioner alleges that sometime in 1993, private respondents entered the Dominican Hills property
allocated to UNITED and constructed houses thereon. Petitioner was able to secure a demolition order
from the city mayor.
Unable to stop the razing of their houses, private respondents, under the name DOMINICAN HILL BAGUIO
RESIDENTS HOMELESS ASSOCIATION (ASSOCIATION, for brevity) filed an action for injunction docketed as
Civil Case No. 3316-R, in the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City. Private respondents were able to obtain a
temporary restraining order but their prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction was later denied in an
Order dated March 18, 1996.

The ASSOCIATION filed a separate civil case for damages, injunction and annulment of the said
Memorandum of Agreement between UNITED and HIGC. It was later on dismissed upon motion of UNITED.
The said Order of dismissal is currently on appeal with the Court of Appeals.
The demolition order was subsequently implemented by the Office of the City Mayor and the City
Engineer's Office of Baguio City. However, petitioner avers that private respondents returned and
reconstructed the demolished structures.
To forestall the re-implementation of the demolition order, private respondents filed a petition for
annulment of contracts with prayer for a temporary restraining order before the Commission on the
Settlement of Land Problems (COSLAP) against petitioner, HIGC, PMS, the City Engineer's Office, the City
Mayor, as well as the Register of Deeds of Baguio City. On the very same day, public respondent COSLAP
issued the contested order requiring the parties to maintain the status quo. Without filing a motion for
reconsideration from the aforesaid status quo order, petitioner filed the instant petition questioning the
jurisdiction of the COSLAP.
ISSUE: Whether or not COSLAP is empowered to hear and try a petition for annulment of contracts with
prayer for a TRO and to issue a status quo order and conduct a hearing thereof
RULING: The COSLAP is not justified in assuming jurisdiction over the controversy.
Executive Order 561 patently indicates that the COSLAPs dispositions are binding on administrative or
executive agencies. The history of the COSLAP itself bolsters this view. Prior enactments enumerated its
member agencies among which it was to exercise a coordinating function.
The COSLAP discharges quasi-judicial functions:
"Quasi-judicial function is a term which applies to the actions, discretion, etc. of public administrative
officers or bodies, who are required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings,
and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial
nature.
However, it does not depart from its basic nature as an administrative agency, albeit one that exercises
quasi-judicial functions. Still, administrative agencies are not considered courts; they are neither part of
the judicial system nor are they deemed judicial tribunals. The doctrine of separation of powers observed
in our system of government reposes the three (3) great powers into its three (3) branches the
legislative, the executive, and the judiciary each department being co-equal and coordinate, and
supreme in its own sphere. Accordingly, the executive department may not, by its own fiat, impose the
judgment of one of its own agencies, upon the judiciary. Indeed, under the expanded jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court, it is empowered to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.
RATIO: "Quasi-judicial function is a term which applies to the actions, discretion, etc. of public
administrative officers or bodies, who are required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts,
hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action and to exercise
discretion of a judicial nature.
--Antipolo Realty Corporation vs National Housing Authority
153 SCRA 399
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Jose Hernando acquired prospective and beneficial ownership over Lot. No. 15, Block IV of the
Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, from the petitioner Antipolo Realty Corporation under a
Contract to Sell. On 28 August 1974, Hernando transferred his rights over the said lot to private
respondent Virgilio Yuson, embodied in a Deed of Assignment and Substitution of Obligor. However, for
failure of Antipolo Realty to develop the subdivision project in accordance with its undertaking under
Clause 17 of the Contract to Sell (subdivision beautification), Mr. Yuson paid only the arrearages pertaining
to the period up to, and including, the month of August 1972 and stopped all monthly installment
payments falling due thereafter.
On 14 October 1976, the president of Antipolo Realty sent a notice to private respondent Yuson advising
that the required improvements in the subdivision had already been completed, and requesting
resumption of payment of the monthly installments on Lot No. 15. For his part, Mr. Yuson replied that he
would conform with the request as soon as he was able to verify the truth of the representation in the
notice. In a second letter dated 27 November 1976, Antipolo Realty reiterated its request, citing the
decision rendered by the National Housing Authority (NHA) on 25 October 1976 in Case No. 252 (entitled

"Jose B. Viado Jr., complainant vs. Conrado S. Reyes, respondent") declaring Antipolo Realty to have
"substantially complied with its commitment to the lot buyers pursuant to the Contract to Sell. A formal
demand was made for full and immediate payment of the amount of P16,994.73, representing installments
which, Antipolo Realty alleged, had accrued during the period while the improvements were being
completed i.e., between September 1972 and October 1976.
Yuson refused to pay the September 1972 - October 1976 monthly installments but agreed to pay the post
October 1976 installments. Antipolo Realty responded by rescinding the Contract to Sell, and claiming the
forfeiture of all installment payments previously made by Mr. Yuson. Yuson brought his dispute with
Antipolo Realty before NHA. Antipolo Realty filed a motion to dismiss, which NHA denied. After hearing, the
NHA rendered a decision on 9 March 1978 ordering the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell. A motion for
reconsideration of Antipolo Realty was also denied.
ISSUE: Whether or not the NHA in ordering the reinstatement of the Contract To Sell, acted on a matter
beyond its competence
RULING: No. The extent to which the NHA has been vested with quasi-judicial authority must be
determined by referring to the terms of Presidential Decree No. 957, known as "The Subdivision and
Condominium Buyers' Decree." 11 Section 3 of this statute provides as follows:
National Housing Authority. The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate
the real estate trade and business in accordance with the provisions of this decree. Presidential Decree No.
1344 (which amended Presidential Decree No, 957) clarified and spelled out the quasi-judicial dimensions
of the grant of regulatory authority to the NHA in the following quite specific terms:
In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in addition to its powers
provided for in Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction
to hear and decide cases of the following nature:
B.
Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by sub- division lot or condominium unit buyer
against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and
C.
Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of
subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman.
There is, in any case, no question that under Presidential Decree No. 957, the NHA was legally empowered
to determine and protect the rights of contracting parties under the law administered by it and under the
respective agreements, as well as to ensure that their obligations thereunder are faithfully performed.
Having failed to comply with its contractual obligation to complete certain specified improvements in the
subdivision within the specified period of two years from the date of the execution of the Contract to Sell,
petitioner was not entitled to exercise its options under Clause 7 of the Contract. Hence, petitioner could
neither rescind the Contract to Sell nor treat the installment payments made by the private respondent as
forfeited in its favor. The NHA was therefore correct in holding that private respondent's prior installment
payments could not be forfeited in favor of petitioner.
There is no question that a statute may vest exclusive original jurisdiction in an administrative agency over
certain disputes and controversies falling within the agency's special expertise. The very definition of an
administrative agency includes its being vested with quasi-judicial powers. Under the "sense-making and
expeditious doctrine of primary jurisdiction . . . the courts cannot or will not determine a controversy
involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal where the question
demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and
services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.
RATIO: Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies: Function ordinarily judicial
may be conferred. In the exercise of such powers, the agency concerned must commonly interpret and
apply contracts, determine the rights of private parties under such contracts, and award damages
whenever appropriate. 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 but may be conferred upon an administrative agency.
--Siapian vs Court of Appeals
327 SCRA 11
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: The records disclose that the spouses Diosdado Tarlengao and Dominga de la Cruz owned a
residential lot located at Tandang Sora Street corner Katipunan, Caloocan City. In July 1947, the late

Dominga Siapian leased the said residential lot from the aforenamed spouses and built thereon a twostorey house where her family lived. The lessee religiously paid the agreed monthly rental of P100.00 until
June 1979 when the lessor stopped collecting the same.
In a letter dated June 9, 1979, Theresa Yu informed Dominga Siapian that she purchased the lot from its
previous owners. Yu said that she wanted to take immediate possession of the property since she had no
other residential lot and she intended to make use of the lot for the construction of her own house. She
gave Dominga Siapian three months notice to vacate and to demolish the improvements which the latter
had built on the lot.
After four ejectment cases filed before the MeTC, the MeTC ruled in favor of private respondent. The MeTC
ruled that petitioner indeed failed to pay rentals in arrears and even requested for extension of time to
settle the same. It also held that petitioner did not deposit rentals due with the bank as the latter claimed,
for no evidence was adduced to prove it. In fact, when private respondent inquired from the bank as to the
alleged deposit, no statement was given.
Petitioner interprets the demand letter asking him to vacate the premises as merely asking him to pay
rentals. He contends that the said letter does not constitute a demand to vacate the leased premises
which is a condition precedent for instituting ejectment suit. He argues that the ejectment case must fail
since the jurisdictional requirement of demand was not fulfilled.
On appeal, the RTC reversed the MeTC decision. The RTC declared that the demand letter was not precise
in asking petitioner to vacate the premises because it only asked for payment of arrearages and current
rentals. It also held that this latest ejectment suit against petitioner is barred by the final and executory
decisions in previous cases. Hence, the ejectment suit was dismissed.
On review by the Court of Appeals, the appellate court reversed the aforequoted judgment of the RTC, and
in lieu thereof, reinstated the decision of the MeTC. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the ejectment case must fail since the jurisdictional requirement of demand was
not fulfilled
RULING: No. Petitioner belabors the fact that the letter is not categorical and precise in seeking his
eviction from the property. He misses the point. It must be stressed that courts and quasi-judicial bodies, in
the exercise of their functions and in making decisions, must not be too dogmatic as to restrict themselves
to literal interpretation of words, phrases and sentences. A complete and wholistic view must be taken in
order to render a just and equitable judgment. When the lessor demanded payment of the due and unpaid
rentals or a case for ejectment would be filed against them, the owner was giving strong notice that you
either pay your unpaid rentals or I will file a court case to have you thrown out of my property.
The word vacate is not a talismanic word that must be employed in all notices. The alternatives are clear
cut. The tenants must pay rentals which were fixed and which became payable in the past, failing which
they must move out. There can be no other interpretation of the notice given to them. Hence when the
owner demanded that either they pay or a case for ejectment would be filed against them, the tenants
were placed on notice to move out if they do not pay. There was, in effect, a notice or demand to vacate.
In the light of the foregoing circumstances, the appellate court cannot be said to have erred in finding that
the written demand is sufficient to eject petitioner from the property subject of controversy.
RATIO: Courts and quasi-judicial bodies, in the exercise of their functions and in making decisions, must
not be too dogmatic as to restrict themselves to literal interpretation of words, phrases and sentences. A
complete and wholistic view must be taken in order to render a just and equitable judgment.
--Tejada vs Homestead Property Corporation
178 SCRA 164
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Private respondent offered to sell to petitioner a lot owned by respondent corporation. Private
respondent suggested that petitioner pay a reservation fee of P 20,000.00, which would form part of the
consideration in case they reach a final agreement of sale and which amount was to be returned to the
petitioner should the parties fail to reach an agreement.
Petitioner paid the reservation fee with the tentative agreement that the said lot would cost P 1,150.00 per
square meter, or a total price of P 230,000.00. A 24% downpayment was to be paid by petitioner. The
balance will be payable monthly within 1 or 2 years, depending upon the terms of the agreement.
However, when the terms were unilaterally altered by respondent corporation by increasing the proposed
amortization payments, petitioner refused to go through with the proposed purchase and he asked the

private respondents to return the reservation payment. Respondents refused to return the amount.
Petitioner filed a complaint for the collection of a sum of money with damages against respondents with
the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. Petitioner alleged that defendants refused to return the reservation
payment for no justifiable reason despite verbal and written demands. Petitioner further contended that
such refusal to refund the amount constitutes malicious and wanton breach of legal duty that makes them
liable to pay moral damages.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss disputing the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and claiming
that jurisdiction lies with the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC). The trial court denied the
motion. Respondents' motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court.
Private respondents brought the case to the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari claiming that the
trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion to dismiss. The CA ruled that the
jurisdiction over the controverted case is with the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, now the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
Hence, the instant petition wherein petitioner argues that inasmuch as there is no perfected contract of
sale between the parties, the claim for recovery of the reservation fee properly falls within the jurisdiction
of the regular courts and not that of the HSRC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the claim for recovery of the reservation fee falls within the jurisdiction of the
courts
RULING: No. There can be no doubt that under Presidential Decree No. 1344, the NHA has exclusive
jurisdiction to hear and decide claims involving refund and other claims filed by a subdivision lot or
condominium unit buyer against the project owner, etc. There is no such qualification in said provision of
law that makes a distinction between a perfected sale and one that has yet to be perfected. The word
"buyer" in the law should be understood to be anyone who purchases anything for money.
Under the circumstances of this case, one who offers to buy is as much a buyer as one who buys by virtue
of a perfected contract of sale.
Moreover, upon the promulgation of Executive Order No. 90, if, is therein provided that the HLRB has
exclusive jurisdiction over claims involving refund filed against project owners, developers, and dealers,
among others. The former provision that the claim be made by a buyer has been eliminated. Thus, any
previous doubt as to who may file the claim has been eliminated. Now, any claim for refund whether by a
buyer or other in any other capacity is definitely within the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLRB.
When an administrative agency or body is conferred quasi-judicial functions, all controversies relating to
the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be included within the jurisdiction of said
administrative agency or body. Split jurisdiction is not favored. Since in this case the action for refund of
reservation fee arose from a proposed purchase of a subdivision lot obviously the HLRB has exclusive
jurisdiction
over
the
case.
RATIO: Split jurisdiction not favored. - The rule is that when an administrative body or agency is conferred
quasi-judicial functions, all controversies relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are
deemed to be included within its jurisdiction. Split decision is not favored.
Thus, an agency with exclusive jurisdiction over controversies involving sale of subdivision lots has also
jurisdiction to hear and decide claims for refund by a subdivision buyer.
--Pea vs Government Service Insurance System
502 SCRA 295
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Petitioner acquired three subdivision lots from Queens Row Subdivision, Inc., through its President
Isabel Arrieta, by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale, with a right to repurchase the same within two months,
for the sum of P126,000.00 plus interest. However, petitioner alleged that Queens Row Subdivision, Inc.
failed to repurchase said lots and refused to deliver the corresponding titles of the said subdivision lots
because the same were mortgaged to GSIS without the written approval of the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board as required by Presidential Decree No. 957, otherwise known as "The Subdivision and
Condominium Buyers Protective Decree."
Petitioner filed a Complaint for Specific Performance, Annulment of Mortgage, and Damages before the
HLURB Regional Office against Queens Row Subdivision, Inc., asking for the cancellation of the mortgage

to respondent and the consolidation of ownership to her, alleging that the mortgage of the subject lots to
the respondent was null and void because it had no written approval of the HLURB as required under
Presidential Decree No. 957.
HLURB rendered a Decision in favor of petitioner. Respondent filed a Notice of Appeal from the aforementioned Decision. HLURB issued an Order denying the said appeal.
Petitioner then claimed that for failure of respondent to file the proper mode of appeal within the
reglementary period before the HLURB, its Decision already became final and executory.
Respondent filed a Motion to Declare Judgment Null and Void Ab Initio before the Board of Commissioners
of the HLURB, claiming that the Regional Office of HLURB had no jurisdiction to resolve the Complaint for it
involved title to, possession of, or interest in real estate, the jurisdiction of which belonged to the Regional
Trial Court. Respondent also contended that the mortgage transaction was exempt from the provisions of
Presidential Decree No. 957 because it was entered into prior to the effectivity of the said decree. The
HLURB Board of Commissioners issued an Order denying the said Motion for lack of merit.
Dissatisfied, respondent sought reconsideration of the aforesaid Order. Still, the HLURB Board of
Commissioners denied the Motion for Reconsideration of the respondent because the Decision of HLURB
has already become final and executory. Once again aggrieved, respondent appealed the foregoing Order
of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President. The Office of the President ruled in
favor of the respondent declaring that the mortgage of the subject lots to GSIS is valid and subsisting.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Review before the Court of Appeals alleging that the Office of the President
committed grave and serious errors, among others, in not holding that the Decision of the HLURB Regional
Office had become final and executory; and in not holding that the HLURB Board of Commissioners as well
as the Office of the President had no jurisdiction or authority to revive, review, change, or alter the said
final and executory Decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not the HLURB had no jurisdiction or authority to revive, review, change, or alter the
said final and executory Decision
RULING: No. The decision of HLURB Regional Office was already final and executory, no court, not even
the highest court of the land, can revive, review, change or alter the same. It is already well settled in our
jurisdiction that the decisions and orders of administrative agencies rendered pursuant to their quasijudicial authority, have, upon their finality, the force and binding effect of a final judgment within the
purview of the doctrine of res judicata. The rule of res judicata, which forbids the reopening of a matter
once judicially determined by competent authority, applies as well to the judicial and quasi-judicial acts of
public, executive, or administrative officers and boards acting within their jurisdiction.
The Motion to Declare Judgment Null and Void Ab Initio filed by respondent after so many months from the
finality of the Decision it seeks to be declared null and void, can no longer be entertained by the HLURB
Board of Commissioners. The same was just an attempt to reinstate an appeal that had already been lost.
Even granting arguendo that the said Motion was proper, still, the allegation therein of the respondent that
the HLURB Regional Office had no jurisdiction over the case because it involved title to, possession of, or
interest in real estate, the jurisdiction of which supposedly belonged to the Regional Trial Court, was not
sufficient to warrant the declaration of the Decision of the HLURB as null and void. Such ground relied upon
by the respondent is untenable because the jurisdiction involving unsound real estate practices and other
matters in connection thereto belongs to HLURB.
When an administrative agency or body is conferred quasi-judicial functions, all controversies relating to
the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be included within the jurisdiction of said
administrative agency or body. Split jurisdiction is not favored. Therefore, the Complaint for Specific
Performance, Annulment of Mortgage, and Damages filed by petitioner against respondent, though
involving title to, possession of, or interest in real estate, was well within the jurisdiction of the HLURB for it
involves a claim against the subdivision developer, Queens Row Subdivision, Inc., as well as respondent.
RATIO: When an administrative agency or body is conferred quasi-judicial functions, all controversies
relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be included within the
jurisdiction of said administrative agency or body. Split jurisdiction is not favored.
--Guerzon vs Court of Appeals
164 SCRA 182
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Petitioner Pedro Guerzon executed with Basic Landoil Energy Corporation, which was later

acquired by respondent Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, a contract denominated as "Service Station
Lease" for the use and operation of respondent SHELL's properties, facilities and equipment. Petitioner
likewise executed with the same Corporation a "Dealer's Sales Contract" for the sale by petitioner of
respondent SHELL's petroleum and other products in the leased service station. Respondent Bureau of
Energy Utilization approved the Dealer's Sales Contract and issued a certificate of authority in petitioner's
favor, which had a 5-year period of validity, in line with the terms of the contract.
Paragraph 9 of the Service Station Lease Contract provides:
The cancellation or termination of the Dealer's Sales Contract executed between the COMPANY and the
LESSEE on January 7,1981 shall automatically cancel this Lease.
As early as January 2, 1986 respondent SHELL wrote to petitioner informing him that the Company was not
renewing the Dealer's Sales Contract which was to expire on April 12, 1986. A copy of this letter was
furnished respondent BEU.
In view of failure or petitioner to surrender ths station premises and all the respondent's equipment, BEU
ordered petitioner to immediately vacate the service station, and turn it over to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum
Corporation and to show cause in writing, under oath within ten (10) days from receipt of the order why no
administrative and/or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against him for the violation of BEU's laws,
rules and regulations.
Respondent SHELL, accompanied by law enforcement officers, was able to secure possession of the
gasoline station in question. Petitioner filed this petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals
upholding the decision of the Regional Trial Court wich dismissed his complaint "for lack of jurisdiction to
annul the order of a quasi-judicial body of equivalent category as the Regional Trial Court.
The The Solicitor General contends that since petitioner's license to sell petroleum products expired on
April 12,1986, when his dealership and lease contracts expired, as of the following day, April 13, 1986 he
was engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, which
includes the "sale or or distribution of petroleum products for profit without license or authority from the
Government."
Thus, concludes the Solicitor General, the Bureau of Energy nation had the power to issue, and was
justified in issuing, the order to vacate pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1206, which confers, among
others, to BEU the power to impose and collect a fine for every violation or non-compliance with any term
or condition of any certificate, license, or permit issued by the Bureau or of any of its orders, decisions,
rules and regulations.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals err in holding that the respondent BEU has jurisdiction to eject
the petitioner from the gasoline service station leased
RULING: Yes. The order merely makes a vague reference to a "violation of BEU laws, rules and
regulations," without stating the specific provision violated. That petitioner had engaged in illegal trading
in petroleum products cannot even be implied from the wording of the assailed order.
Even if petitioner was indeed engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products, there was no basis under
B.P. Blg. 33 to order him to vacate the service station and to turn it over to respondent Shell. Illegal trading
in petroleum products is a criminal act wherein the injured party is the State. Respondent Shell is not even
alleged by the Solicitor General as a private party prejudiced and, therefore, it can claim no relief if a
criminal case is instituted.
Under Section 7 of P.D. No. 1206, BEU may (1) impose a fine not exceeding P1,000.00; and (2) in case of
failure to pay the fine imposed or to cease and discontinue the violation or non-compliance, order the
suspension, closure or stoppage of operations of the establishment of the guilty party. Its authority is
limited to these two (2) options. It can do no more, as there is nothing in P.D. No. 1206, as amended, which
empowers the Bureau to issue an order to vacate in case of a violation.
As it is, jurisdiction to order a lessee to vacate the leased premises is vested in the civil courts in an
appropriate case for unlawful detainer or accion publiciana. There is nothing in P.D. No. 1206, as amended,
that would suggest that the same or similar jurisdiction has been granted to the Bureau of Energy
Utilization. It is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly
granted to it by law and those that are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. That issuing the order to
vacate was the most effective way of stopping any illegal trading in petroleum products is no excuse for a
deviation from this rule. Otherwise, adherence to the rule of law would be rendered meaningless.
Moreover, contrary to the Solicitor General's theory, the text of the assailed order leaves no room for doubt
that it was issued in connection with an adjudication of the contractual dispute between respondent Shell
and petitioner. But then the Bureau of Energy Utilization, like its predecessor, the defunct Oil Industry

Commission, has no power to decide contractual disputes between gasoline dealers and oil companies, in
the absence of an express provision of law granting to it such power. As explicitly stated in the law, in
connection with the exercise of quasi-judicial powers, the Bureau's jurisdiction is limited to cases involving
violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate, license or permit issued by it or
of any of its orders, decisions, rules or regulations.
RATIO: Grant of particular power must be found in the law itself. Where there is nothing in the law that
would suggest that a particular power has been granted, such as the power to decide contractual disputes,
the same cannot be exercised.
--Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI) vs Santiago
58 SCRA 493
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: On July 12, 1966, a telegram was filed with respondent-company and the amount of P1.50 was
paid for the transmission of said telegram to Zamboanga City. The telegram, however, was never
transmitted until now. The respondent not only did not give any valid explanation, but did not present any
evidence to explain why the said telegram was not forwarded to the addressee until now. This is, therefore,
a clear case where the respondent, taking advantage of the rates fixed by this Commission collected the
sum of P1.50 and promised to render a service to the complainant, i.e. the transmission of his telegram,
but, after receiving the sum of P1.50, respondent failed to render the promised service.
In another complaint, complainant filed a telegram at the branch office of respondent in Dumaguete City,
addressed to Commissioner Enrique Medina, PSC, Manila. The telegram was received by an employee of
the respondent, and the sum of P2.64 was collected in payment of said telegram. The telegram, in effect,
advised Commissioner Medina that the Land Registration Case where he was cited by subpoena to testify
before the CFI of Oriental Negros on August 14 and 15, 1967, was transferred and, therefore, there was no
necessity for the said Commissioner to proceed to Negros Oriental on those dates. It appears that the said
telegram received at Dumaguete City was transmitted to Manila, but was never delivered to the
addressee, and on August 14 and 15, when Commissioner Medina appeared before the Dumaguete Court,
he was advised that the case was postponed and that a telegram was sent to the said Commissioner.
Inquiries were made, why the telegram was not received by the Commissioner in Manila; the Dumaguete
Office communicated with the Manila Office, on the same date, August 14, 1967 and it was only on August
15, 1967 that the telegram was relayed to the Public Service Commission and was received by one of the
employees of the Commission, in the absence of Commissioner Medina who was then in Negros Oriental. It
was the manifest failure in both cases to render the service expected of a responsible operator that led to
the imposition of the penalty. The motions for reconsideration in both cases having proved futile, the
matter
was
elevated
to
this
Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Public Service Commission had the jurisdiction to act on complaints by
dissatisfied customers of Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc., and thereafter to penalize it with a
fine
RULING: No. There can be no justification then for the Public Service Commission imposing the fines in
these two petitions. The law cannot be any clearer. The only power it possessed over radio companies, as
noted was the fix rates. It could not take to task a radio company for any negligence or misfeasance. It was
bereft of such competence. It was not vested with such authority. What it did then in these two petitions
lacked the impress of validity.
Except for constitutional officials who can trace their competence to act to the fundamental law itself, a
public official must locate in the statute relied upon a grant of power before he can exercise it. It need not
be express. It may be implied from the wording of the law. Absent such a requisite, however, no warrant
exists for the assumption of authority. The act performed, if properly challenged, cannot meet the test of
validity. It must be set aside. So it must be in these two petitions.
RATIO: Grant of particular power must be found in the law itself. Except for constitutional officials who can
trace their competence to act to the fundamental law itself, a public official must locate in the statute
relied upon a grant of power before he can exercise it.
--CUERDO vs COMMISSION ON AUDIT
166 SCRA 657
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Petitioner is the Market Supervisor I of the Market Administration Office, Office of the City

Treasurer, Gingoog City.


On August 1, 1986, the Market Administration Office or ticket booth, where the petitioner holds office,
together with neighboring market stalls, including A and E Bakery, were destroyed by fire. Burned in the
conflagration were the petitioner's cash collection and the cash tickets. The petitioner filed a written
request for relief from money accountability for the loss of her cash collection and the cash tickets with the
Regional Office, Commission on Audit, Cagayan de Oro City.
Acting on her request, the said office conducted an investigation and its finding is "to the effect that there
is positive showing of negligence on the part of the applicant in not taking necessary precaution or zeal in
returning the money in the safe in order to safeguard it not only from fire but also from theft or robbery.
Upon indorsement to the COA Central Office, it affirmed the stand of the COA Regional Office. he petitioner
sought a reconsideration of the decision of the COA Central Office which was denied.
In disclaiming liability for negligence and in seeking relief from responsibility therefor, the petitioner
maintains that the money was not placed in the safe due to the disappearance of the key to the safe.
Moreover, she contends that the money was due for remittance in the afternoon of that fateful day. She
claims that because the fire broke out, she did not have the time to retrieve the money from the drawer of
her table which was inside the Market Administration Office. She deposits that the loss was not due to a
wilful negligence on her part because the immediate and direct cause of the loss was the unexpected and
calamitous event of a sudden fire that consumed the public market.
She argues that the alleged disappearance of the key to the safe was not looked into as no hearing was
conducted in disregard of the doctrine of due process.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the COA finding the petitioner liable is reversible
RULING: No. It is the general policy of this Court to sustain the decisions of administrative authorities not
only on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers but also for their presumed knowledgeability and
even expertise in the laws they are entrusted to enforce.
The legal presumption is that official duty has been duly performed; and it is particularly strong as regards
administrative agencies vested with powers said to be quasi-judicial in nature, in connection with the
enforcement of laws affecting particular fields of activity, the proper regulations and/or promotion of which
requires a technical or special training, aside from a good knowledge and grasp of the overall conditions,
relevant to said field, obtaining in the nation.
The consequent policy and practice underlying our Administrative Law is that courts of justice should
respect the findings of fact of said administrative agencies, unless there is absolutely no evidence in
support thereof or such evidence is clearly, manifestly and patently insubstantial.
Hence, courts of justice will not generally interfere with purely administrative matters which are addressed
to the sound discretion of government agencies unless there is a clear showing that the latter acted
arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion or when they have acted in a capricious and whimsical manner
such that their action may amount to an excess or lack of jurisdiction.
Findings of administrative agencies are generally accorded not only respect but also finality when the
decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that would amount to abuse of discretion
or lack of jurisdiction. The findings of facts must be respected, so long as they are supported by substantial
evidence even if not overwhelming or preponderant.
RATIO: It is the general policy of this Court to sustain the decisions of administrative authorities not only
on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers but also for their presumed knowledgeability and even
expertise in the laws they are entrusted to enforce.
--Provident Tree Farms, Inc. vs Court of Appeals
231 SCRA 463
Extent of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Powers of Administrative Agencies
FACTS: Petitioner Provident Tree Farms is a Philippine corporation engaged in industrial tree planting. It
grows gubas trees in its plantations in Agusan and Mindoro which it supplies to a local match manufacturer
solely for production of matches. In consonance with the state policy to encourage qualified persons to
engage in industrial tree plantation, Sec.36, par. (1), of the Revised Forestry Code confers on entities like
PTFI a set of incentives among which is a qualified ban against importation of wood and "wood-derivated"
products. Private respondent A. J. International Corporation imported four (4) containers of matches from
Indonesia, which the Bureau of Customs, and two (2) more containers of matches from Singapore. Upon
request of PTFI, Secretary Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., of the Department of Natural Resources and

Environment issued a certification that "there are enough available softwood supply in the Philippines for
the match industry at reasonable price." PTFI then filed with the Regional Court of Manila a complaint for
injunction and damages with prayer for a temporary restraining order against respondents Commissioner
of Customs and AJIC to enjoin the latter from importing matches and "wood-derivative" products, and the
Collector of Customs from allowing and releasing the importations. AJIC moved to dismiss the case
asserting that the enforcement of the import ban under Sec.36, par. (1), of the Revised Forestry Code is
within the exclusive realm of the Bureau of Customs, and direct recourse of petitioner to the Regional Trial
Court to compel the Commissioner of Customs to enforce the ban is devoid of any legal basis.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the case
RULING: PTFI's correspondence with the Bureau of Customs contesting the legality of match importations
may already take the nature of an administrative proceeding the pendency of which would preclude the
court from interfering with it under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. Under the sense-making and
expeditious doctrine of primary jurisdiction the courts cannot or will not determine a controversy involving
a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal, where the question demands the
exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of
the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is
essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered.
In this era of clogged court dockets, the need for specialized administrative boards or commissions with
the special knowledge, experience and capability tohear and determine promptly disputes on technical
matters or essentially factual matters, subject to judicial review in case of grave abuse of discretion, has
become well nigh indispensable.
The court cannot compel an agency to do a particular act or to enjoin such act which is within its
prerogative, except when in the exercise of its authority it gravely abuses or exceeds its jurisdiction. In the
case at bench, we have no occasion to rule on the issue of grave abuse of discretion or excess of
jurisdiction as it is not before us.
RATIO: General policy to uphold exercise. The court cannot compel an agency to do a particular act or to
enjoin such act which is within its prerogative, except when in the exercise of its authority it gravely
abuses or exceeds its jurisdiction.
--Cario vs Commission on Human Rights
204 SCRA 483
Distinguished from Legislative or Rule-Making Power
FACTS: Some 800 public school teachers undertook mass concerted actions to protest the alleged
failure of public authorities to act upon their grievances. The mass actions consisted in staying away
from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peacable assemblies, etc. The
Secretary of Education served them with an order to return to work within 24 hours or face dismissal. For
failure to heed the return-to-work order, eight teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School were
administratively charged, preventively suspended for 90 days pursuant to sec. 41, P.D. 807 and
temporarily replaced. An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges.
When their motion for suspension was denied by the Investigating Committee, said teachers staged a
walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings. Eventually, Secretary Carino decreed
dismissal from service of Esber and the suspension for 9 months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo. In the
meantime, a case was filed with RTC, raising the issue of violation of the right of the striking teachers to
due process of law. The case was eventually elevated to SC. Also in the meantime, the respondent
teachers submitted sworn statements to Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were
participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of their replacement as teachers, allegedly
without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them.
While the case was pending with CHR, SC promulgated its resolution over the cases filed with it earlier,
upholding the Sec. Carinos act of issuing the return-to-work orders. Despite this, CHR continued hearing
its case and held that the striking teachers were denied due process of law;they should not have been
replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges; there had been violation of their civil
and political rights which the Commission is empowered to investigate.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Commission on Human Rights has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over, or
the power to try and decide, or hear and determine, certain specific type of cases, like alleged human
rights violations involving civil or political rights
RULING: No. The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power; and that it was
not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate

much less take over the functions of the latter.


The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may
investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations
involving civil and political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial
function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence
and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To be
considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must
be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the
controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such appeals
or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat, the Commission does not have.
The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power to investigate all forms of
human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or
on complaint of any person. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may
adopt and, in cases of violations of said rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. In
the course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority, it may grant immunity from
prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is
necessary or convenient to determine the truth. It may also request the assistance of any department,
bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct of its investigation or in
extending such remedy as may be required by its findings.
But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even quasijudicial bodies do. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the popular or the technical
sense, these terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings.
"Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research
on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into
systematically. "to search or inquire into: . . . to subject to an official probe . . .: to conduct an official
inquiry." The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information.
Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the
facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry.
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or
observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find
out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an
investigation," "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which
ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; . . . an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the
discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters."
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine,
resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the
parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . . . to pass judgment on: settle judicially: . . . act as
judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers:
"to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy."
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally.
Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide,
settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a
judgment."
Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, having merely the power "to investigate," cannot and
should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case
No. 90-775, as it has announced it means to do; and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the
administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated and conducted by the
DECS, their human rights, or civil or political rights had been transgressed. More particularly, the
Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted
actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law; (b)
whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions, and the failure of the teachers to
discontinue those actions, and return to their classes despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of
Education, constitute infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary
sanctions, or are justified by the grievances complained of by them; and (c) what where the particular acts
done by each individual teacher and what sanctions, if any, may properly be imposed for said acts or
omissions.
These are matters within the original jurisdiction of the Sec. of Education, being within the scope of the
disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law, and also, within the appellate jurisdiction of
the CSC.

RATIO: In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine
finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to
decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the
entry of a judgment."
--Saado vs Court of Appeals
356 SCRA 546
Nature of Particular Acts
FACTS: Saado was issued by the now defunct Philippine Fisheries Commission an Ordinary Fishpond
Permit covering an area of 50 hectares. On July 16, 1973, Saado executed a contract with Nepomuceno
wherein the latter agreed to develop 30 hectares of the 50 hectares covered by Saado's fishpond permit.
Two days later, the parties modified this earlier agreement by excluding the area of 10 hectares already
cultivated and fully developed and providing that the contract is renewable on terms acceptable to both of
them.
On September 28, 1979, the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources recommended to the then
Ministry of Natural Resources the conversion of Sanados fishpond permit into a 25-year fishpond loan
agreement which covered a reduced area of 26.745 hectares. Accordingly, a Fishpond Lease Agreement
was issued.
On July 17, 1981, Saado filed a complaint against Nepomuceno with the RTC for recovery of possession
and damages, alleging that Nepomuceno failed to deliver Saados share of the net harvest among other
things. While this case was pending, the then Minister of Agriculture and Food canceled the Fishpond Lease
Agreement, forfeiting the improvements thereon in favor of government. Later, said order was
reconsidered to the extent that Nepomuceno was given priority to apply for the area and that his
improvements thereon were not considered forfeited in favor of the government.
Saado elevated the matter to the Office of the President but appeal was dimissed. Meanwhile, the trial
court rendered a decision over Saado's complaint for recovery of possession in his favor.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the Office of the President in cancelling petitioner's lease
agreement should be given weight
RULING: Yes. The action of an administrative agency in granting or denying, or in suspending or revoking,
a license, permit, franchise, or certificate of public convenience and necessity is administrative or quasijudicial. The act is not purely administrative but quasi-judicial or adjudicatory since it is dependent upon
the ascertainment of facts by the administrative agency, upon which a decision is to be made and rights
and liabilities determined. As such, the July 31, 1989 decision of the Office of the President is explicitly an
official act of and an exercise of quasi-judicial power by the Executive Department headed by the highest
officer of the land. It thus squarely falls under matters relative to the executive department which courts
are mandatorily tasked to take judicial notice of under Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court. Judicial
notice must be taken of the organization of the Executive Department, its principal officers, elected or
appointed, such as the President, his powers and duties.
The rendition of the subject July 31, 1989 Malacaang decision is premised on the essential function of the
executive department which is to enforce the law. In this instance, what is being enforced is Presidential
Decree No. 704 which consolidated and revised all laws and decrees affecting fishing and fisheries. Such
enforcement must be true to the policy behind such laws which is "to accelerate and promote the
integrated development of the fishery industry and to keep the fishery resources of the country in
optimum productive condition through proper conservation and protection" (Section 2, P.D. No. 704).
Further, the issue of whether or not petitioner is still entitled to possession of the subject fishpond area is
underpinned by an ascertainment of facts. And such task belongs to the administrative body which has
jurisdiction over the matter the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The policy of the courts as regards such
factual findings is not to interfere with actions of the executive branch on administrative matters
addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies. This policy is specially applicable in the grant
of licenses, permits, and leases, or the approval, rejection, or revocation of applications therefor. Such
respect is based on the time-honored doctrine of separation of powers and on the fact that these bodies
are considered co-equal and coordinate rank as courts. The only exception is when there is a clear showing
of capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment or grave abuse of discretion, which we find absent in the
case at bar.
The reasons given by the Office of the President in dismissing petitioner's appeal are quite clear.
Transferring or subletting the fishpond granted to a licensee without the consent or approval of the
administrative body concerned, as well as the failure to develop the area required by the fisheries rules,
are definitely solid and logical grounds for the cancellation of one's license. Withal, if petitioner disagrees

with the decision of the Office of the President, he should have elevated the matter by petition for review
before the Court of Appeals for the latter's exercise of judicial review. Nowhere in the record do we find
such action on petitioner's part.
Understandably, to restore petitioner to the possession of the fishpond area is to totally disregard the July
31, 1989 decision of the Office of the President which can hardly be described as an unrelated matter,
considering its patent implications in the result of both Civil Case No. 2085 and CA-G.R. CV No. 23165. For
how could the appellate court award possession to the very same party whose license has been cancelled
by the executive or administrative officer tasked to exercise licensing power as regards the development of
fishpond areas, and which cancellation has been sustained by the Office of the President? Petitioner must
remember the essence of the grant of a license. It is not a vested right given by the government but a
privilege with corresponding obligations and is subject to governmental regulation. Hence, to allow
petitioner to possess the subject area is to run counter to the execution and enforcement of the July 31,
1989 decision which would easily lose its "teeth" or force if petitioner were restored in possession.
RATIO: The action of an administrative agency in granting or denying, or in suspending or revoking, a
license, permit, franchise, or certificate of public convenience and necessity is administrative or quasijudicial. The act is not purely administrative but quasi-judicial or adjudicatory since it is dependent upon
the ascertainment of facts by the administrative agency, upon which a decision is to be made and rights
and liabilities determined.
--Philippine Consumers Foundation, Inc. vs Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports
153 SCRA 622
Nature of Particular Acts
FACTS: Petitioner Philippine Consumers Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit corporate entity duly
organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. The herein respondent Secretary of Education,
Culture and Sports is a ranking cabinet member who heads the Department of Education, Culture and
Sports of the Office of the President of the Philippines.
On February 21, 1987, the Task Force on Private Higher Education created by the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports submitted a report entitled "Report and Recommendations on a Policy for Tuition and
Other School Fees." The report favorably recommended to the DECS the following courses of action with
respect to the Government's policy on increases in school fees for the schoolyear 1987 to 1988. DECS took
note of the report of the Task Force and on the basis of the same, the DECS, through the respondent
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports (hereinafter referred to as the respondent Secretary), issued an
Order authorizing, inter alia, the 15% to 20% increase in school fees as recommended by the Task Force.
The petitioner sought a reconsideration of the said Order, apparently on the ground that the increases
were too high. Thereafter, the DECS issued Department Order No. 37 dated April 10, 1987 modifying its
previous Order and reducing the increases to a lower ceiling of 10% to 15%, accordingly.
Thus, on May 20, 1987, the petitioner, allegedly on the basis of the public interest, went to this Court and
filed the instant Petition for prohibition, seeking that judgment be rendered declaring the questioned
Department Order unconstitutional. The thrust of the Petition is that the said Department Order was issued
without any legal basis. The petitioner also maintains that the questioned Department Order was issued in
violation of the due process clause of the Constitution in asmuch as the petitioner was not given due notice
and hearing before the said Department Order was issued.
In support of the first argument, the petitioner argues that while the DECS is authorized by law to regulate
school fees in educational institutions, the power to regulate does not always include the power to increase
school fees.
Regarding the second argument, the petitioner maintains that students and parents are interested parties
that should be afforded an opportunity for a hearing before school fees are increased. In sum, the
petitioner stresses that the questioned Order constitutes a denial of substantive and procedural due
process of law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the fixing of school fees through department order by DECS is a valid delegation of
legislative power
RULING: Yes. In the absence of a statute stating otherwise, this power includes the power to prescribe
school fees. No other government agency has been vested with the authority to fix school fees and as
such, the power should be considered lodged with the DECS if it is to properly and effectively discharge its
functions and duties under the law.
The function of prescribing rates by an administrative agency may be either a legislative or an adjudicative
function. If it were a legislative function, the grant of prior notice and hearing to the affected parties is not

a requirement of due process. As regards rates prescribed by an administrative agency in the exercise of
its quasi-judicial function, prior notice and hearing are essential to the validity of such rates. When the
rules and/or rates laid down by an administrative agency are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given
kind throughout the country, they may partake of a legislative character. Where the rules and the rates
imposed apply exclusively to a particular party, based upon a finding of fact, then its function is quasijudicial in character.
Is Department Order No. 37 issued by the DECS in the exercise of its legislative function? We believe so.
The assailed Department Order prescribes the maximum school fees that may be charged by all private
schools in the country for schoolyear 1987 to 1988. This being so, prior notice and hearing are not
essential to the validity of its issuance.
RATIO: Fixing rates and charges. - As regards rates prescribes by an administrative agency in the exercise
of its quasi-judicial function, prior notice and hearing are essential to the validity of such rates.
--Radio Communications of the Philippines vs National Telecommunications Commission
184 SCRA 517
Nature of Particular Acts
FACTS: Petitioner has been operating a radio communications system since 1957 under its legislative
franchise granted by Republic Act No. 2036 which was enacted on June 23, 1957.
In 1968, the petitioner established a radio telegraph service in Sorsogon, Sorsogon. In 1971, another radio
telegraph service was put up in San Jose, Mindoro followed by another in Catarman, Samar in 1976.
Private respondent Kayumanggi Radio Network Incorporated was authorized by the public respondent to
operate radio communications systems in Catarman, Samar and in San Jose, Mindoro.
The private respondent filed a complaint with the NTC alleging that the petitioner was operating in
Catarman, Samar and in San Jose, Mindoro without a certificate of public covenience and necessity. The
petitioner, on the other hand, counter-alleged that its telephone services in the places subject of the
complaint are covered by the legislative franchise recognized by both the public respondent and its
predecessor, the Public Service Commission. In its supplemental reply, the petitioner further stated that it
has been in operation in the questioned places long before private respondent Kayumanggi filed its
application to operate in the same places.
NTC ordered petitioner RCPI to immediately cease or desist from the operation of its radio telephone
services in Catarman Northern Samar; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; and Sorsogon, Sorsogon stating that
under Executive Order No. 546, a certificate of public convenience and necessity is mandatory for the
operation of communication utilities and services including radio communications. The petitioner filed a
motion for reconsideration which was denied.
The petitioner's main argument states that the abolition of the Public Service Commission under
Presidential Decree No. 1 and the creation of the National Telecommunications Commission under
Executive Order No. 546 to replace the defunct Public Service Commission did not affect sections 14 and
15 of the Public Service Law.
The provisions of the Public Service Law pertinent to the petitioner's allegation are as follows:
Section 13. (a) the Commission shall have jurisdiction, supervision, and control over all public services and
their franchises, equipment and other properties, and in the exercise of its authority, it shall have the
necessary powers and the aid of public force
Section 14. The following are exempted from the provisions of the preceding section:
(d) Radio companies except with respect to the fixing of rates;
Section 15. With the exception of those enumerated in the preceding section, no public service shall
operate in the Philippines without possessing a valid and subsisting certificate from the Public Service
Commission, known as "certificate of public convenience," or "certificate of convenience and public
necessity," as the case may be, to the effect that the operation of said service and the authorization to do
business will promote the public interests in a proper and suitable manner
ISSUE: Whether or not RCPI, a grantee of a legislative franchise to operate a radio company, is required to
secure a certificate of public convenience and necessity before it can validly operate its radio stations
including radio telephone services in the aforementioned areas

RULING: Yes. Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1 dated September 23,1972, reorganizing the executive
branch of the National Government, the Public Service Commission was abolished and its functions were
transferred to three specialized regulatory boards. The functions so transferred were still subject to the
limitations provided in sections 14 and 15 of the Public Service Law, as amended. With the enactment of
Executive Order No. 546 on July 23, 1979 implementing P.D. No.1, the Board of Communications and the
Telecommunications Control Bureau were abolished and their functions were transferred to the National
Telecommunications Commission.
It is clear from Executive Order No. 546, Section 15 provision that the exemption enjoyed by radio
companies from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission and the Board of Communications no
longer exists because of the changes effected by the Reorganization Law and implementing executive
orders. The petitioner's claim that its franchise cannot be affected by Executive Order No. 546 on the
ground that it has long been in operation since 1957 cannot be sustained.
Executive Order No. 546, being an implementing measure of P.D. No. I insofar as it amends the Public
Service Law (CA No. 146, as amended) is applicable to the petitioner who must be bound by its provisions.
The petitioner cannot install and operate radio telephone services on the basis of its legislative franchise
alone.
It was well within the powers of the public respondent to authorize the installation by the private
respondent network of radio communications systems in Catarman, Samar and San Jose, Mindoro. Under
the circumstances of this case, the mere fact that the petitioner possesses a franchise to put up and
operate a radio communications system in certain areas is not an insuperable obstacle to the public
respondent's issuing the proper certificate to an applicant desiring to extend the same services to those
areas. The Constitution mandates that a franchise cannot be exclusive in nature nor can a franchise be
granted except that it must be subject to amendment, alteration, or even repeal by the legislature when
the common good so requires.
RATIO: Fixing rates and charges. - The reason is easily discerned from the fact that provisional rates are
by their nature temporary and subject to adjustment in conformity with the definitive rates approved after
final hearing.
--Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation vs Alcuaz
180 SCRA 218
Nature of Particular Acts
FACTS: By virtue of Republic Act No. 5514, the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation
(PHILCOMSAT) was granted the authority to construct and operate such ground facilities as needed to
deliver telecommunications services from the communications satellite system and ground terminal or
terminals in the Philippines. PHILCOMSAT provides satellite services to companies like Globe Mackay (now
Globe) and PLDT.
Under Section 5 of the same law, PHILCOMSAT was exempt from the jurisdiction, control and regulation of
the Public Service Commission later known as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
However, Executive Order No. 196 was later promulgated and the same has placed PHILCOMSAT under the
jurisdiction of the NTC. Consequently, PHILCOMSAT has to acquire permit to operate from the NTC in order
to continue operating its existing satellites. NTC gave the necessary permit but it however directed
PHILCOMSAT to reduce its current rates by 15%. NTC based its power to fix the rates on EO 546.
PHILCOMSAT now sues NTC and its commissioner (Jose Luis Alcuaz) assailed the said directive and holds
that the enabling act (EO 546) of the NTC, empowering it to fix rates for public service communications,
does not provide the necessary standards which were constitutionally required, hence, there is an undue
delegation of legislative power, particularly the adjudicatory powers of NTC. PHILCOMSAT asserts that
nowhere in the provisions of EO 546, providing for the creation of NTC and granting its rate-fixing powers,
nor of EO 196, placing PHILCOMSAT under the jurisdiction of NTC, can it be inferred that NTC is guided by
any standard in the exercise of its rate-fixing and adjudicatory powers. PHILCOMSAT subsequently clarified
its said submission to mean that the order mandating a reduction of certain rates is undue delegation not
of legislative but of quasi-judicial power to NTC, the exercise of which allegedly requires an express
conferment by the legislative body.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is an undue delegation of power.
RULING: No. There is no undue delegation. The power of the NTC to fix rates is limited by the
requirements of public safety, public interest, reasonable feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly
more than satisfy the requirements of a valid delegation of legislative power. Fundamental is the rule that
delegation of legislative power may be sustained only upon the ground that some standard for its exercise
is provided and that the legislature in making the delegation has prescribed the manner of the exercise of

the delegated power.


Therefore, when the administrative agency concerned, NTC in this case, establishes a rate, its act must
both be non-confiscatory and must have been established in the manner prescribed by the legislature;
otherwise, in the absence of a fixed standard, the delegation of power becomes unconstitutional. In case of
a delegation of rate-fixing power, the only standard which the legislature is required to prescribe for the
guidance of the administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just. However, it has been held
that even in the absence of an express requirement as to reasonableness, this standard may be implied.
However, in this case, it appears that the manner of fixing the rates was done without due process since
no hearing was made in ascertaining the rate imposed upon PHILCOMSAT.
RATIO: What is a just and reasonable rate is not a question of formula but of sound business judgment
based upon the evidence it is a question of fact calling for the exercise of discretion, good sense, and a
fair, enlightened and independent judgment. In determining whether a rate is confiscatory, it is essential
also to consider the given situation, requirements and opportunities of the utility. A method often
employed in determining reasonableness is the fair return upon the value of the property to the public
utility. Competition is also a very important factor in determining the reasonableness of rates since a
carrier is allowed to make such rates as are necessary to meet competition.
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