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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.

ASTUDILLO VS BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF PEOPLES HOMESITE


NO. We hold that she has no cause of action to impugn the award to Mitra
AND HOUSING CORP.
and to require that she be allowed to purchase the lot. As a squatter, she
GR NO. L-28066 SEPT. 22,1976
has no possessory rights over Lot 16. In the eyes of the law, the award to
AREVALO
Mitra did not prejudice her since she was bereft of any rights over the said
lot which could have been impaired by that award (Baez vs. Court of
DOCTRINE:
Appeals, L-30351, September 11, 1974, 59 SCRA 15, 22).
The State is committed to promote social justice and to maintain adequate
social services in the field of housing (Secs. 6 and 7, Art. II, New
Constitution). But the State's solicitude for the destitute and the have-nots
does not mean that it should tolerate usurpations of property, public or
private. "In carrying out its social readjustment policies, the government
could not simply lay aside moral standards, and aim to favor usurpers,
squatters, and intruders, unmindful of the lawful and unlawful origin and
character of their occupancy. Such a Policy would perpetuate conflicts
instead of attaining their just solution" (Bernardo vs. Bernards, 96 Phil.
202, 206).
FACTS:
On December 28, 1957 applied, in behalf of his minor son, Ramon Mitra
Ocampo, for the purchase of Lot 16, Block E-155 of the East Avenue
Subdivision of the PHHC in Piahan, Quezon City.
His application was approved. He made a downpayment of P840, an
amount equivalent to ten percent of the price of the lot. On September 9,
1961 the PHHC and Mitra executed a contract of conditional sale. After
Mitra had paid in full the price, which totalled more than P9,000, a final
deed of sale was executed in his favor on February 18, 1965. Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 89875 was issued to him on March 1, 1965.
The lot in question is actually in the possession of Peregrina Astudillo. She
constructed thereon a residential house (a shanty, according to Mitra). She
admits that she has been squatting on the said lot "uninterruptedly since
1957 up to the present. She filed with the administrative investigating
committee of the PHHC a request dated February 24, 1963, praying for the
cancellation of the award of Lot 16 to Congressman Mitra and asking the
committee to recommend that it be re-awarded to her. No action was
taken on that request. She questioned the legality of the award of Lot 16
to Mitra. She asked that Lot 16 be sold to her.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Peregrina Astudillo has a cause of action to annul the sale
of Lot 16 to Mitra and to compel the PHHC board to award that lot to her.
HELD:

The record does not show, and Peregrina does not claim, that she is a
member of the Piahan Homeowners Association some of whose members
are "deserving squatters" (Kempis vs. Gonzales, L-31701, October 31,
1974, 60 SCRA 439).
In the familiar language of procedure, she was not entitled to sue Mitra
and the PHHC for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
prevention of a wrong. Those respondents did not commit any delict or
wrong in violation of her rights because, in the first place, she has no right
to the lot. Not being principally or subsidiarily bound in the contract of sale
between Mitra and the PHHC, she is not entitled to ask for its annulment
(Art. 1397, Civil Code).
Peregrina invokes the PHHC charter (erroneously referred to as section 11
of Commonwealth Act No. 648) which provides that the PHHC should
acquire buildings so as to provide "decent housing for those who may be
unable otherwise to provide themselves therewith" and that it should
acquire large estates for their resale to bona fide occupants.
Those provisions do not sustain her action in this case. They do not justify
her act of squatting on a government-owned lot and then demanding that
the lot be sold her because she does not yet own a residential lot and
house. She is not a bona fide occupant of Lot 16.
SSSEA vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 85279, July 28, 1989
CRUZ, CHAN
DOCTRINE:
While the Constitution and the Labor Code are silent as to whether or not
government employees may strike, they are prohibited from striking, by
express provision of MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 6 series of 1987 of the
Civil Service Commission and as implied in E.O. No. 180; In lieu of strikes,
government employees may, therefore, through their unions or
associations, either petition the Congress for the betterment of the terms
and conditions of employment which are within the ambit of legislation or
negotiate with the appropriate government agencies for the improvement
of those which are not fixed by law.

1 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
absence of any legislation allowing govt. employees to strike they are
prohibited from doing so. In Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180, the employees in the
SSS Employees Association (SSSEA) went on strike after the SSS failed to
civil service are denominated as government employees and that the
act upon the unions demands concerning the implementation of their CBA,
SSS is one such government-controlled corporations with an original
which included: implementation of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA
charter, having been created under R.A. No. 1161, so its employees are
collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on check-off of union dues;
part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service Commissions
payment of accrued overtime pay, night differential pay and holiday pay;
memorandum prohibiting strikes. Government employees may, however,
conversion of temporary or contractual employees with six (6) months or
through their unions or associations, either petition the Congress for the
more of service into regular and permanent employees and their
betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which are within
entitlement to the same salaries, allowances and benefits given to other
the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the appropriate government
regular employees of the SSS; and payment of the children's allowance of
agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law. If there
P30.00, and after the SSS deducted certain amounts from the salaries of
be any unresolved grievances, the dispute may be referred to the Public
the employees and allegedly committed acts of discrimination and unfair
Sector Labor-Management Council for appropriate action. But employees
labor practices. SSS filed before the court action for damages with prayer
in the civil service may not resort to strikes, walkouts and other temporary
for writ of preliminary injunction against SSSEA for staging an illegal
work stoppages, like workers in the private sector, to pressure the
strike. The court issued a temporary restraining order pending the
Government to accede to their demands. As now provided under Sec. 4,
resolution of the application for preliminary injunction while SSSEA filed a
Rule III of the Rules and Regulations to Govern the Exercise of the Right of
motion to dismiss alleging the courts lack of jurisdiction over the subject
Government Employees to Self-Organization, which took effect after the
matter. SSSEA contend that the court made reversible error in taking
instant dispute arose, "[t]he terms and conditions of employment in the
cognizance on the subject matter since the jurisdiction lies on the DOLE or
government, including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof
the National Labor Relations Commission as the case involves a labor
and government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters
dispute. The SSS contends on one hand that the SSSEA are covered by
are governed by law and employees therein shall not strike for the
the Civil Service laws, thus they have no right to strike and that they are
purpose of securing changes thereof."
not covered by the NLRC or DOLE, so the court may enjoin the SSSEA
from striking.
The Public Sector Labor-Management Council has not been granted by law
authority to issue writs of injunction in labor disputes within its
ISSUE:
jurisdiction. Thus, since it is the Council, and not the NLRC, that has
jurisdiction over the instant labor dispute, resort to the general courts of
Whether or not SSSEAs members, being government employees, have the
law for the issuance of a writ of injunction to enjoin the strike is
right to strike?
appropriate. The strike staged by the employees of the SSS belonging to
petitioner union being prohibited by law, an injunction may be issued to
RULING:
restrain it.
FACTS:

NO. The 1987 Constitution, in the Article on Social Justice and Human
Rights, provides that the State "shall guarantee the rights of all workers to
self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful
concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law".
On the other hand, Section 14 of E.O No. 180 provides that the Civil
Service law and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the
government service shall be observed, subject to any legislation that may
be enacted by Congress, referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1987
of the Civil Service Commission which states that prior to the enactment
by Congress of applicable laws concerning strike by government
employees enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all government
officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass
leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in
temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. Therefore in the

PEOPLE VS LEACHON
G.R. No. 108725-26. September 25, 1998
CRUZ, TIN
DOCTRINE:
Under the Constitution, what makes the eviction and demolition of urban
or rural poor dwellers illegal or unlawful is when the same are not done in
accordance with law and in a just and humane manner.
However, what is meant by in accordance with law and just and
humane manner is that the person to be evicted be accorded due process
or an opportunity to controvert the allegation that his or her occupation or
possession of the property involved is unlawful or against the will of the

2 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
landowner; that should the illegal or unlawful occupation be proven, the
The Court holds that the respondent judge did not err in so construing the
occupant be sufficiently notified before actual eviction or demolition is
aforecited constitutional provision. Under the Constitution, what makes
done; and that there be no loss of lives, physical injuries or unnecessary
the eviction and demolition of urban or rural poor dwellers illegal or
loss of or damage to properties.
unlawful is when the same are not done in accordance with law and in a
just and humane manner.
FACTS:
Every legislative act attaches the presumption of constitutionality. Unless
Pursuant to the Resolution of the Municipal Trial Court of San Jose,
otherwise repealed by a subsequent law or adjudged unconstitutional by
Occidental Mindoro, the Provincial Prosecutor of Occidental Mindoro filed
this Court, a law will always be presumed valid and the first
two separate informations for violation of P. D. 772, otherwise known as
and fundamental duty of the court is to apply the law. Presidential Decree
the Anti-Squatting Law, against Noli Hablo, Edmundo Mapindan and Diego
No. 772, otherwise known as the Anti-Squatting Law, enjoys this
Escala, before the Regional Trial Court of Occidental Mindoro presided over
presumption of constitutionality. At the time the respondent Judge
by respondent judge Hon. Emilio Leachon Jr.
rendered the questioned Decision and issued the orders of dismissal in
1993, Presidential Decree No. 772, Anti-Squatting Law, was still
The cases proceeded to trial. After presenting its evidence, the
effective. Neither has this Court declared its unconstitutionality,
prosecution rested the cases, sending in a written offer of evidence on
notwithstanding the social justice provision of Article XIII of the 1987
November 14, 1991. On August 18, 1992, almost a year after the
Constitution, specifically on urban land reform and housing.
prosecution had rested, the respondent Judge issued an Order
dismissing the said cases motu proprio on the ground of lack of
Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution, provides: Sec. 10. Urban or rural
jurisdiction.
poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwellings demolished, except in
From the aforesaid order of dismissal, petitioners appealed via a Petition
accordance with law and in a just and humane manner. No resettlement of
for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, which was referred to the CA for
urban or rural dwellers shall be undertaken without adequate consultation
proper disposition.
with them and the communities where they are to be relocated."
On December 24, 1992, the 12th Division of the CA came out with a
decision reversing the appealed Order of dismissal, ordering continuation
of trial of subject criminal cases, and disposing, instead of conducting the
trial, as directed by the Court of Appeals, the respondent judge dismissed
the cases motu proprio, once more, opining that P.D. 772 is rendered
obsolete and deemed repealed by Sections 9 and 10, Article XIII of the
1987 Constitution, which provide that urban or rural poor dwellers shall
not be evicted nor their dwellings demolished except in accordance with
law and in a just and humane manner. Petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration interposed on January 29, 1993, having been denied by
the respondent Judge on February 4, 1993, petitioners found their way to
this court via the instant petition.
ISSUE:
WON the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing subject criminal cases for
violation of the Anti-Squatting Law, and in declaring the said law as
repugnant to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
HELD:

Presidential Decree No. 772, on the other hand, states: Sec. 1. Any
person, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage
of the absence or tolerance of the landowner, succeeds in occupying or
possessing the property of the latter against his will for
residential, commercial or any other purposes, shall be punished by
imprisonment ranging from six months to one year or a fine not less
than one thousand or more than five thousand pesos at the discretion of
the Court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. If the
offender is a corporation or association, the maximum penalty of five years
and the fine of thousand pesos shall be imposed upon the president,
director, manager or managing partners thereof.
In dismissing subject criminal cases for anti-squatting, respondent Judge
ratiocinated that if all the accused in these cases were convicted and
ordered evicted, it will run counter to the said specific constitutional
provisions because the conviction and eviction will not be in a just and
humane manner as the government has not yet undertaken the
resettlement of urban and rural dwellers (referring to all accused in the
cases at bar) and neither has the government consulted all the accused as
to where they should be relocated. The import of the Order of dismissal
under scrutiny is that- should the eviction be in a just and humane
manner, the same shall be valid and upheld.

3 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
However, respondent Judge erred in predicating the validity or legality of
DOCTRINE:
eviction on the existence of a resettlement plan and area. The
constitutional requirement that the eviction and demolition be in
Section 3 of Article XIII (the progenitor whereof dates back to both the
accordance with law and conducted in a just and humane manner does not
1935 and 1973 Constitution) pointedly requires the State to afford full
mean that the validity or legality of the demolition or eviction is hinged on
protection to labor and to promote full employment and equality of
the existence of a resettlement area designated or earmarked by the
employment opportunities for all, including an assurance of entitlement to
government. What is meant by in accordance with law and just and
tenurial security of all workers. Similarly, Section 14 of Article
humane manner is that the person to be evicted be accorded due process
XIII mandates that the State shall protect working women through
or an opportunity to controvert the allegation that his or her occupation or
provisions for opportunities that would enable them to reach their full
possession of the property involved is unlawful or against the will of the
potential.
landowner; that should the illegal or unlawful occupation be proven, the
occupant be sufficiently notified before actual eviction or demolition is
FACTS:
done; and that there be no loss of lives, physical injuries or unnecessary
loss of or damage to properties.
Private respondent Grace de Guzman was initially hired as a reliever for a
fixed period from November 21, 990 to April 20, 1991 for one CF Tenorio
Precisely, the enactment of an anti-squatting law affords the alleged
who went on maternity leave. The employment contract provided that her
squatters the opportunity to present their case before a competent court
employment was to be terminated upon expiration of the agreed period.
where their rights will be amply protected and due process strictly
Then on June 10, 1991 to July 1, 1991 and from July 19, 1991 to August
observed. By filing the proper informations in court, complainants have
8, 1991, respondent was again hired. On September 2, 1991 she was
complied with the first requirement of due process, that is, the opportunity
hired again. She indicated on her job application form that she was single.
for the accused to be heard and present evidence to show that his or her
However, a few months earlier on May 26, 1991, she had contracted
occupation or possession of the property is not against the will or without
marriage.
the consent of the landowner and is not tainted by the use of force,
intimidation, threat or by the taking advantage of the absence of or
Respondent made two more similar representations on agreements signed
tolerance by the landowners.
on June 10, 1991 and July 8, 1991. Petitioner eventually discovered the
discrepancies and asked respondent to account for them. Respondent
In the case at bar, the respondent Judge dismissed subject cases motu
explained that she was not aware of petitioners policy regarding married
proprio, after the prosecution had rested the same and without giving the
women, and that she did not deliberately hide her status. She was then
three accused an opportunity to present their evidence. What is more,
dismissed effective January 29, 1992. Respondent filed for illegal
there is no showing that the issue of constitutionality of P. D. 772 was ever
dismissal. The Labor Arbiter decided in her favor, saying that she had
posed by the accused. Consequently, such an issue cannot be given due
acquired the status of a regular employee and therefore entitled to
course for the simple reason that it was not raised by the proper party at
reinstatement plus backwages. The NLRC affirmed.
the earliest opportunity.
ISSUE:
NB: But the foregoing antecedent facts and proceedings notwithstanding,
the petition cannot now prosper because on October 27, 1997, Republic
WON respondent was validly dismissed for just cause?
Act No. 8368, entitled An Act Repealing Presidential Decree No. 772
Entitled
Penalizing
Squatting
and
Other
Similar
Acts
was
HELD:
enacted. Section 3 of the said Act provides that all pending cases under
the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 772 shall be dismissed upon the
NO. On the other hand, it is recognized that regulation of manpower by
effectivity of this Act. PETITION DISMISSED.
the company falls within the so-called management prerogatives, which
prescriptions encompass the matter of hiring, supervision of workers, work
assignments, working methods and assignments, as well as regulations on
PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE COMPANY VS. NLRC AND
the transfer of employees, lay-off of workers, and the discipline, dismissal,
GRACE DE GUZMAN
and recall of employees. 19 As put in a case, an employer is free to
GR No. 118978 May 23, 1997
regulate, according to his discretion and best business judgment, all
DUMALANTA

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
aspects of employment, "from hiring to firing," except in cases of unlawful
CHR is not a court of justice nor even a quasi-judicial body. The most that
discrimination or those which may be provided by law.
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
In the case at bar, petitioner's policy of not accepting or considering as
regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights.
disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs
Not being a court of justice, the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the
afoul of the test of, and the right against, discrimination, afforded all
writ.
women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution.
Contrary to petitioner's assertion that it dismissed private respondent from
FACTS:
employment on account of her dishonesty, the record discloses clearly that
her ties with the company were dissolved principally because of the
EPZA bought parcels of land in Cavite from Filoil Refinery Corporation.
company's policy that married women are not qualified for employment in
However, before EPZA could take possession of the area, several
PT & T, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty.
individuals had entered the premises and planted agricultural products
without permission from EPZA or Filoil. So EPZA paid a P10,000-financialThat it was so can easily be seen from the memorandum sent to private
assistance to those who accepted the same and signed quitclaims. Ten
respondent by Delia M. Oficial, the branch supervisor of the company, with
years later, conversely, Valles, Aledia and Ordoez filed in CHR a joint
the reminder, in the words of the latter, that "you're fully aware that the
complaint for violation of human rights, alleging that in 1991, Engr.
company is not accepting married women employee (sic), as it was
Damondamon of EPZA, accompanied by his subordinates and the PNP,
verbally instructed to you." 21 Again, in the termination notice sent to her
brought a bulldozer and a crane to level the area occupied by the Valles et
by the same branch supervisor, private respondent was made to
al. who tried to stop them by showing a copy of a letter from the President
understand that her severance from the service was not only by reason of
ordering postponement of the bulldozing. However, the letter was
her concealment of her married status but, over and on top of that, was
crumpled and thrown to the ground by a member of Damondamon's group
her violation of the company's policy against marriage ("and even told you
who proclaimed that: "The President in Cavite is Governor Remulla!"
that married women employees are not applicable [sic] or accepted in our
[Pyudal na pyudal!].
company.") 22 Parenthetically, this seems to be the curious reason why it
was made to appear in the initiatory pleadings that petitioner was
Thereafter, CHR issued an Order of injunction commanding EPZA and PNP.
represented in this case only by its said supervisor and not by its highest
to desist from committing further acts of demolition, terrorism, and
ranking officers who would otherwise be solidarily liable with the
harassment. Two weeks later, the same group accompanied by men of
corporation.
Governor Remulla, again bulldozed the area. Consequently, CHR Chairman
Bautista issued another injunction Order. However, EPZA filed in the CHR a
Verily, private respondent's act of concealing the true nature of her status
motion to lift the Order of Injunction for lack of authority to issue
from PT & T could not be properly characterized as willful or in bad faith as
injunctive writs and temporary restraining orders, which the CHR denied.
she was moved to act the way she did mainly because she wanted to
Thus, EPZA filed Special civil action of certiorari and prohibition before the
retain a permanent job in a stable company. In other words, she was
SC, which eventually ordered the CHR to cease and desist from enforcing
practically forced by that very same illegal company policy into
and/or implementing the questioned injunction orders.
misrepresenting her civil status for fear of being disqualified from work.
While loss of confidence is a just cause for termination of employment, it
ISSUE:
should not be simulated. It must rest on an actual breach of duty
committed
by
the
employee
and
not
on
the
employer's
WON the CHR has jurisdiction to issue a writ of injunction or restraining
caprices. Furthermore, it should never be used as a subterfuge for causes
order against supposed violators of human rights, to compel them to cease
which are improper, illegal, or unjustified.
and desist from continuing the acts complained of.
EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE AUTHORITY V. COMMISSION ON
HUMAN RIGHTS
G.R. No. 101476, April 14, 1992
GATACELO
DOCTRINE:

HELD:
No. CHR is not a court of justice nor even a quasi-judicial body. 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

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
rights. But fact-finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to
else they would get back at her. AAA went to San Pedro, Laguna after the
the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or
incident and told her sister what happened and the latter informed their
official. The constitutional provision (Sec. 18, Art. 13) directing the CHR to
mother about it. AAA, her sister and mother, filed a complaint at Barangay
"provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the
San Dionisio. Thereafter, the barangay officials of San Dionisio referred the
underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need
complaint to the police station. The Paraaque City Police Office asked the
protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission
assistance of the Child Protection Unit of the PGH, upon which the latter
to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for, if that were the
assigned the case to Dr. Merle Tan. Consequently, with the consent of AAA
intention, the Constitution would have expressly said so. Jurisdiction is
and her mother, and in the presence of a social worker of the DSWD, Dr.
conferred only by the Constitution or by law. Evidently, the "preventive
Tan conducted the requisite interview and physical examination on AAA.
measures and legal aid services" mentioned in the Constitution refer to
An information was filed, charging Dulay with the crime of Rape under
extrajudicial and judicial remedies (including a preliminary writ of
Article 266-A, No. 1 (a) of the RPC, as amended by R.A. 8353 in relation to
injunction) which the CHR may seek from the proper courts on behalf of
Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610.
the victims of human rights violations. Not being a court of justice,
the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ.
Defenses Facts (from the testimony of Dulay) Appellant met AAA a few days before June 2005 when the latter was
DISSENTING (PADILLA):
introduced to her by her cousin Eglay Akmad during the wake of a relative
If the CHR cannot, by itself, issue any cease and desist order in order to
of AAA at Palanyag. The cousin of appellant was AAA's neighbor at
maintain the status quo pending its investigation of cases involving alleged
Palanyag. Around 1 o'clock in the morning of July 3, 2005, appellant
human rights violations, then it is, in effect, an ineffective instrument for
averred that she was at La Huerta, at the Bulungan Fish Port in Paraaque
the protection of human rights.
City with her cousin Eglay and stayed there for about thirty (30) minutes.
They then proceeded to the house of appellant's cousin in Palanyag. In the
said house, appellant saw "Speed" and two (2) other male persons. She
PEOPLE VS DULAY
also saw AAA who was engaged in a conversation with "Speed" and his
G.R. NO. 193854. SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
two (2) companions. She asked AAA what she was doing there and the
GLORIA
latter said that it was none of her business ("wala kang pakialam sa akin").
Because of the response of AAA, appellant left the house and went home
DOCTRINE:
to General Trias, Cavite.
The purpose of the R.A. 7610 is to provide special protection to children
from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination,
and other conditions prejudicial to their development.

The trial court found Dulay guilty of the crime of rape by indispensable
cooperation. The Court of Appeals affirmed such decision.

FACTS:

ISSUE:

Prosecutions facts (from the testimony of AAA and Dr. Tan) Dulay convinced complainant AAA, 12 years of age, to accompany her at a
wake at GI San Dionisio, Paraaque City. Before going to the said wake,
they looked for Dulays boyfriend in several places. When they went to
Bulungan Fish Port to ask for some fish, they saw Dulay's boyfriend. AAA,
appellant and the latter's boyfriend proceeded to the Kubuhan located at
the back of the Bulungan Fish Port. When they reached the Kubuhan,
Dulay suddenly pulled AAA inside a room where a man known by the name
"Speed" was waiting. AAA saw "Speed" give money to appellant and heard
"Speed" tell appellant to look for a younger girl. Thereafter, "Speed"
wielded a knife and tied AAA's hands to the papag and raped her. AAA
asked for appellant's help when she saw the latter peeping into the room
while she was being raped, but appellant did not do so. After the rape,
"Speed" and appellant told AAA not to tell anyone what had happened or

Whether or not the court erred in finding Dulay guilty of rape as coprincipal by indispensable cooperation.
HELD:
Yes, but she is held guilty for the violation of Section 5 (a) of R.A. 7610.
Under the RPC, to be a principal by indispensable cooperation, one must
participate in the criminal resolution, a conspiracy or unity in criminal
purpose and cooperation in the commission of the offense by performing
another act without which it would not have been accomplished. The
events narrated by the CA, from the time appellant convinced AAA to go
with her until appellant received money from the man who allegedly raped
AAA, are not indispensable in the crime of rape. Anyone could have
accompanied AAA and offered the latter's services in exchange for money

6 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
and AAA could still have been raped. Even AAA could have offered her own
Access to justice by all, especially by the poor, is not simply an ideal in our
services in exchange for monetary consideration and still end up being
society. Its existence is essential in a democracy and in the rule of law.
raped. It must be clear that this Court respects the findings of the trial
Without doubt, one of the most precious rights which must be shielded and
court that AAA was indeed raped by considering the credibility of the
secured is the unhampered access to the justice system by the poor, the
testimony of AAA. However, the review of a criminal case opens up the
underprivileged and the marginalized.
case in its entirety. The totality of the evidence presented by both the
prosecution and the defense are weighed, thus, avoiding general
FACTS:
conclusions based on isolated pieces of evidence. In the case of rape, a
review begins with the reality that rape is a very serious accusation that is
This case stemmed from the Feb.7, 2011 letter of Atty. Persida V. Ruedapainful to make; at the same time, it is a charge that is not hard to lay
Acosta, Chief Public Attorney of the Public Atty.s Office (PAO), to the
against another by one with malice in her mind. Because of the private
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). In the said letter, Atty. Acosta
nature of the crime that justifies the acceptance of the lone testimony of a
sought a clarification as to the exemption of PAOs clients from the
credible victim to convict, it is not easy for the accused, although innocent,
payment of sheriffs expenses, alleging that PAOs clients in its Regional
to disprove his guilt. These realities compel [this Court] to approach with
Office in Region VII are being charged with the payment of sheriffs
great caution and to scrutinize the statements of a victim on whose sole
expenses in the amount of P1,000 upon the filing of a civil action in court.
testimony conviction or acquittal depends. In this light, while this Court
She claimed that sheriffs expenses should not be exacted from PAOs
does not find appellant to have committed the crime of rape as a principal
clients since Sec. 6 of RA No. 9406 specifically exempts them from the
by indispensable cooperation, she is still guilty of violation of Section 5 (a)
payment of docket and other fees incidental to instituting an action in
of R.A. 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse,
court and other quasi-judicial bodies.
Exploitation and Discrimination Act. Paragraph (a) essentially punishes
acts pertaining to or connected with child prostitution. It contemplates
In reply, OCA clarified that PAOs clients, notwithstanding the exemption
sexual abuse of a child exploited in prostitution. In other words, under
under SEc.6 of R.A. No. 9406 are not exempted from paying sheriffs
paragraph (a), the child is abused primarily for profit. The act of appellant
expenses. The OCA explained that sheriffs expenses, strictly speaking, are
in convincing AAA, who was 12 years old at that time, to go with her and
not considered as legal fees under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court since
thereafter, offer her for sex to a man in exchange for money makes her
they are not payable to the government; they are payable to the sheriff/
liable under the above-mentioned law. The purpose of the law is to provide
process server to defray his travel expenses in serving court processes in
special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty,
relation to the litigants case.
exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their
development. A child exploited in prostitution may seem to "consent" to
Considering that the matter involves an interpretation of RA No. 9406,
what is being done to her or him and may appear not to complain.
Atty. Acosta requested that the same be referred to the Court en banc for
However, we have held that a child who is "a person below eighteen years
resolution. The Court en banc however issued its resolution adopting OCAs
of age or those unable to fully take care of themselves or protect
recommendation.
themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination
because of their age or mental disability or condition" is incapable of giving
Atty. Acosta filed a MFR but the Court en banc denied the same.
rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual intercourse. It is noted that
Unperturbed, Atty. Acosta filed a motion for leave to file a second MFR.
the sufficiency of an information is not negated by an incomplete or
Still, the Court found the same to be devoid of merit.
defective designation of the crime in the caption or other parts of the
information but by the narration of facts and circumstances which
ISSUE:
adequately depicts a crime and sufficiently apprises the accused of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him.
WON PAOs clients are exempted from the payment of sheriffs fees
RE: LETTER DATED APRIL 18, 2011 OF PAO
A.M. No. 11-10-03-O
GOMEZ
DOCTRINE:

HELD:
The term fees is defined as a charge fixed by law or by an institution for
certain privileges or services. Viewed from this context, the phrase docket
and other fees incidental to instituting an action refers to the totality of
the legal fees imposed under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. In particular,

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
it includes filing or docket fees, appeal fees, fees for issuance of
the officials and employees of PAO shall be limited only to cases involving
provisional remedies, mediation fees, sheriffs fees, stenographers fees
their client.
and commissioners fees. These are the fees that are exacted for the
services rendered by the court in connection with the action instituted
TABLARIN vs. GUTIERREZ
before it.
154 SCRA 730; G.R. No. 78164. July 31, 1987
LAZARO
Sheriffs expenses are not exacted for any service rendered by the court;
they are the amount deposited to the Clerk of Court upon filing of the
DOCTRINE:
complaint to defray the actual travel expenses of the sheriff, process
server or other court-authorized persons in the service of summons,
The State is not really enjoined to take appropriate steps to make quality
subpoena and other court processes that would be issued relative to the
education "accessible to all who might for any number of reasons wish to
trial of the case. It is not the same as sheriffs fees under Section 10, Rule
enrol in a professional school but rather merely to make such education
141 of the Rules of Court, which refers to those imposed by the court for
accessible to all who qualify under "fair, reasonable and equitable
services rendered to a party incident to the proceedings before it.
admission and academic requirements."
The Court, however, is not unmindful of the predicament of PAOs clients.
In exempting PAOs clients from paying docket and other legal fees, R.A.
No. 9406 intended to ensure that the indigents and the less privileged,
who do not have the means to pay the said fees, would not be denied
access to courts by reason of poverty. Indeed, requiring PAOs clients to
pay sheriffs expenses, despite their exemption from the payment of
docket and other legal fees, would effectly fetter their free access to the
courts thereby negating the laudable intent of Congress in enacting R.A.
No. 9406.
Free access to the courts and adequate legal assistance are among the
fundamental rights which the Constitution extends to the less privileged.
Thus, Section 11, Article III of the 1987 Constitution mandates that
[f]reeaccess to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal
assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. The
Constitution affords litigantsmoneyed or poorequal access to the
courts; moreover, it specifically provides that poverty shall not bar any
person from having access to the courts. Accordingly, laws and rules must
be formulated, interpreted, and implemented pursuant to the intent and
spirit of this constitutional provision.
Access to justice by all, especially by the poor, is not simply an ideal in our
society. Its existence is essential in a democracy and in the rule of law.
Without doubt, one of the most precious rights which must be shielded and
secured is the unhampered access to the justice system by the poor, the
underprivileged and the marginalized. Having the foregoing principles in
mind, the Court, heeding the constitutional mandate of ensuring free
access to the courts and adequate legal assistance to the marginalized and
less privileged, hereby authorizes the officials and employees of PAO to
serve summons, subpoena and other court processes pursuant to Section
3, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. The authority given herein by the Court to

FACTS:
The petitioners sought admission into colleges or schools of medicine for
the school year 1987-1988. However, the petitioners either did not take or
did not successfully take the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT)
required by the Board of Medical Education, one of the public respondents,
and administered by the private respondent, the Center for Educational
Measurement (CEM). the petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court,
National Capital Judicial Region, a Petition for Declaratory Judgment and
Prohibition with a prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary
Injunction. The petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary of Education,
Culture and Sports, the Board of Medical Education and the Center for
Educational Measurement from enforcing Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic
Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, series of 1985, dated
23 August 1985 and from requiring the taking and passing of the NMAT as
a condition for securing certificates of eligibility for admission, from
proceeding with accepting applications for taking the NMAT and from
administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26 April 1987 and in the future.
After hearing on the petition for issuance of preliminary injunction, the
trial court denied said petition on 20 April 1987. The NMAT was conducted
and administered as previously scheduled.
ISSUE:
WON the NMAT violates Article XIV of the Constitution particularly as to
the right to quality education.
HELD:
No. When one reads Section 1 in relation to Section 5 (3) of Article XIV as
one must one cannot but note that the latter phrase of Section 1 is not to
be read with absolute literalness. The State is not really enjoined to take

8 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO

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appropriate steps to make quality education "accessible to all who might
DOCTRINE:
for any number of reasons wish to enrol in a professional school but rather
merely to make such education accessible to all who qualify under "fair,
The raison detre of the written notice rule is to inform the student of the
reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements."
disciplinary charge against him and to enable him to suitably prepare a
defense. DUE PROCESS IN ADMIN CASES INVOLVING STUDENTS: (1) the
The regulation of the practice of medicine in all its branches has long been
students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any
recognized as a reasonable method of protecting the health and safety of
accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the
the public. That the power to regulate and control the practice of medicine
charges against them, with the assistance of counsel, if desired; (3) they
includes the power to regulate admission to the ranks of those authorized
shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the
to practice medicine, is also well recognized. Thus, legislation and
right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be
administrative regulations requiring those who wish to practice medicine
duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by
first to take and pass medical board examinations have long ago been
the school authorities to hear and decide the case.
recognized as valid exercises of governmental power. 9 Similarly, the
establishment of minimum medical educational requirements i.e., the
FACTS:
completion of prescribed courses in a recognized medical school for
admission to the medical profession, has also been sustained as a
Petitioners claim that respondents Colegio de San Juan de Letran (Letran),
legitimate exercise of the regulatory authority of the state. 10 What we
Rev. Fr. Edwin Lao, Rev. Fr. Jose Rhommel Hernandez, Mr. Albert Rosarda
have before us in the instant case is closely related; the regulation of
and Ma. Teresa Suratos should be held liable for moral, exemplary, and
access to medical schools. MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985 articulates the
actual damages for unlawfully dismissing petitioner Emerson Chester Kim
rationale of regulation of this type: the improvement of the professional
B. Go (Kim) from the rolls of the high school department of Letran. THE
and technical quality of the graduates of medical schools, by upgrading the
RESPONDENTS CLAIM THAT THEY LAWFULLY SUSPENDED KIM FOR
quality of those admitted to the student body of the medical schools. That
VIOLATING THE SCHOOLS RULE AGAINST FRATERNITY MEMBERSHIP. In
upgrading is sought by selectivity in the process of admission, selectivity
time, the respondents found that twenty-nine (29) of their students,
consisting, among other things, of limiting admission to those who exhibit
including Kim, were fraternity members. The respondents found
in the required degree the aptitude for medical studies and eventually for
substantial basis in the neophytes statements that Kim was a senior
medical practice. The need to maintain, and the difficulties of maintaining,
fraternity member. Based on their disciplinary rules, the Father Prefect for
high standards in our professional schools in general, and medical schools
Discipline (respondent Rev. Fr. Jose Rhommel Hernandez) recommended
in particular, in the current stage of our social and economic development,
the fraternity members dismissal from the high school department rolls;
are widely known.
incidentally, this sanction was stated in a January 10, 2002 letter to Mr.
We believe that the government is entitled to prescribe an admission test
and Mrs. Go.8 After a meeting with the Rectors Council,9 however,
like the NMAT as a means for achieving its stated objective of "upgrading
respondent Fr. Edwin Lao, Father Rector and President of Letran, rejected
the selection of applicants into our medical schools" and of "improving the
the recommendation to allow the fourth year students to graduate from
quality of medical education in the country." Given the widespread use
Letran. Students who were not in their fourth year were allowed to finish
today of such admission tests in, for instance, medical schools in the
the current school year but were barred from subsequent enrollment in
United States of America (the Medical College Admission Test [MCAT] 11
Letran.
and quite probably in other countries with far more developed educational
resources than our own, and taking into account the failure or inability of
The RTC24 held that the respondents had failed to observe "the basic
the petitioners to even attempt to prove otherwise, we are entitled to hold
requirement of due process" and that their evidence was "utterly
that the NMAT is reasonably related to the securing of the ultimate end of
insufficient" to prove that Kim was a fraternity member. On appeal, the CA
legislation and regulation in this area. That end, it is useful to recall, is the
reversed and set aside the RTC decision. It held, among others, that the
protection of the public from the potentially deadly effects of incompetence
petitioners were not denied due process as the petitioners had been given
and ignorance in those who would undertake to treat our bodies and minds
ample opportunity to be heard in Kims disciplinary case. The petitioners
for disease or trauma.
moved for the reconsideration of the decision, but the CA denied the
motion for lack of merit;27hence, the present petition for review
GO vs. LETRAN
on certiorari.
G.R. No. 169391, October 10, 2012)
MATILLANO
ISSUE:
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The orders title, "Prohibition of Fraternities and Sororities in Elementary
Whether or not the CA erred in reversing the RTCs restrictive
and Secondary Schools," serves to clarify whatever ambiguity may arise
interpretation which accordingly limit the prohibition in DECS Order No.
from its fourth paragraph.32 It is a straightforward title. It directs the
20, s. 1991 to students enrolled in public schools? YES
prohibition to elementary and secondary schools in general, and does not
distinguish between private and public schools. We also look at the orders
Whether or not due process was accorded to the students? YES
second paragraph, whereby the department faults an earlier regulation,
Department Order No. 6, series of 1954, for failing to ban fraternities and
HELD1:
sororities in public and privatesecondary schools. With the second
paragraph, it is clear that the education department sought to remedy the
We deny the petition and affirm the CA decision. Preliminarily, we note
earlier orders failing by way of DECS Order No. 20, s. 1991.
that the disciplinary sanction the respondents imposed on Kim was
actually a suspension and not a "dismissal" as the petitioners insist in their
FINALLY, WE NOTE THAT THE ORDER IS ADDRESSED TO THE HEADS OF
complaint. We agree with the CA that the petitioners were well aware of
PRIVATE SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES, AND NOT JUST TO
this
fact,
as
Mrs.
Gos
letter
specifically
requested
that
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AUTHORITIES. We find Letrans rule prohibiting its
Kims suspension be deferred. That this request was granted and that Kim
high school students from joining fraternities to be a reasonable
was allowed to take the examination further support the conclusion that
regulation, not only because of the reasons stated in DECS Order No. 20,
Kim had not been dismissed.
s. 1991,42 but also because of the adult-oriented activities often associated
with fraternities. Expectedly, most, if not all, of its high school students
Further, the RTCs statement that Letran, a private school, possesses no
are minors. Besides, Letrans penalty for violation of the rule is clearly
authority to impose a dismissal, or any disciplinary action for that matter,
stated in its enrollment contracts and in the Students Handbooks43 it
on students who violate its policy against fraternity membership must be
distributes at the start of every school year.
corrected. The RTC reasoned out that Order No. 20, series of 1991, of the
then Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS Order No. 20, s.
HELD2:
1991),29 which the respondents cite as legal basis for Letrans policy, only
covered public high schools and not private high schools such as Letran.
Yes. In Ateneo de Manila University v. Capulong,48 the Court held
We disagree with the RTCs reasoning because it is a restrictive
that Guzman v. National University,49 not Ang Tibay, is the authority on
interpretation of DECS Order No. 20, s. 1991. True, the fourth paragraph
the procedural rights of students in disciplinary cases. In Guzman, we laid
of the order states:
down the minimum standards in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions in
academic institutions, as follows:
4. EFFECTIVE UPON RECEIPT OF THIS ORDER, FRATERNITIES AND
SORORITIES ARE PROHIBITED IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
It bears stressing that due process in disciplinary cases involving students
SCHOOLS. PENALTY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE IS EXPULSION OF
does not entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for
PUPILS/STUDENTS.
actions and proceedings in courts of justice. The proceedings in student
discipline cases may be summary; and crossexamination is not, contrary
This paragraph seems to limit the scope of the orders prohibition to public
to petitioners view, an essential part thereof. There are withal minimum
elementary and secondary schools. However, in ascertaining the meaning
standards which must be met to satisfy the demands of procedural due
of DECS Order No. 20, s. 1991, the entire order must be taken as a
process; and these are, that (1) the students must be informed in writing
whole.30 It should be read, not in isolated parts, but with reference to
of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall
every other part and every word and phrase in connection with its
have the right to answer the charges against them, with the assistance of
context.31
counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against
them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf;
Even a cursory perusal of the rest of DECS Order No. 20, s. 1991 reveals
and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating
the education departments clear intent to apply the prohibition against
committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and
fraternity membership for all elementary and high school students,
decide the case.
regardless of their school of enrollment.
Since disciplinary proceedings may be summary, the insistence that a
"formal inquiry" on the accusation against Kim should have been
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
conducted lacks legal basis. It has no factual basis as well. While the
Discipline Committee after letters of complaint were filed before the Board
petitioners state that Mr. and Mrs. Go were "never given an opportunity to
following the publication of the school paper that contains obscene, vulgar,
assist Kim,"56 the records show that the respondents gave them two (2)
and sexually explicit contents. Prior to the disciplinary sanction to the
notices, dated December 19, 2001 and January 8, 2002, for conferences
defendants they were required to submit a written statement to answer
on January 8, 2002 and January 15, 2002.57 The notices clearly state:
the complaints against them to the Discipline Committee but the
"Dear Mr./Mrs. Go, We would like to seek your help in correcting Kims
defendants, instead of doing so wrote to the Committee to transfer the
problem
on:
Discipline
&
Conduct
Offense:
Membership
in
case to the DECS which they alleged to have the jurisdiction over the
Fraternity."58 Thus, the respondents had given them ample opportunity to
issue. Pushing through with the investigation ex parte the Committee
assist their son in his disciplinary case.
found the defendants guilty and imposed upon them disciplinary sanctions.
Defendants filed before the court for prohibition with preliminary injunction
The raison detre of the written notice rule is to inform the student of the
on said decision of the Committee questioning the jurisdiction of said
disciplinary charge against him and to enable him to suitably prepare a
Discipline Board over the defendants.
defense. The records show that as early as November 23, 2001, it was
already made plain to the petitioners that the subject matter of the case
ISSUE:
against Kim was his alleged fraternity membership. Thus, by the time Mr.
Rosarda spoke to Kim and asked for his written explanation in December
WON the Discipline Board of Miriam College has jurisdiction over the
2001, Kim has had enough time to prepare his response to this plain
defendants.
charge. We also note that the information in the notice the respondents
subsequently sent is no different from the information that they had earlier
Whether Section 7 of the Campus Journalism Act precludes the schools
conveyed, albeit orally, to the petitioners: the simple unadorned statement
right to discipline its students.
that Kim stood accused of fraternity membership. Given these
circumstances, we are not convinced that Kims right to explain his side as
Held1:
exercised in his written denial had been violated or diminished. The
essence of due process, it bears repeating, is simply the opportunity to be
The court resolved the issue before it by looking through the power of
heard.
DECS and the Disciplinary Committee in imposing sanctions upon the
defendants. Section 5 (2), Article XIV of the Constitution guarantees all
MIRIAM COLLEGE FOUNDATION, INC. V CA
institutions of higher learning academic freedom. This institutional
348 SCRA 265 December 15, 2000
academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide for
itself, its aims and objectives, and how best to attain them free from
DOCTRINE:
outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public
welfare calls for some restraint. Such duty gives the institution the right to
The right of the students to free speech in school premises, however, is
discipline its students and inculcate upon them good values, ideals and
not absolute. The right to free speech must always be applied in light of
attitude. The right of students to free speech in school is not always
the special characteristics of the school environment.
absolute. The court upheld the right of students for the freedom of
expression but it does not rule out disciplinary actions of the school on the
Section 5 (2), Article XIV of the Constitution guarantees all institutions of
conduct of their students. Further, Sec. 7 of the of the Campus Journalism
higher learning academic freedom. This institutional academic freedom
Act provides that the school cannot suspend or expel a student solely on
includes the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims and
the basis of the articles they write EXCEPT when such article materially
objectives, and how best to attain them free from outside coercion or
disrupts class work of involve substantial disorder or invasion of the rights
interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for
of others. Therefore the court ruled that the power of the school to
some restraint. Such duty gives the institution the right to discipline its
investigate is an adjunct of its power to suspend or expel. It is a necessary
students and inculcate upon them good values, ideals and attitude.
corollary to the enforcement of rules and regulations and the maintenance
of a safe and orderly educational environment conducive to learning. That
FACTS:
power, like the power to suspend or expel, is an inherent part of the
academic freedom of institutions of higher learning guaranteed by the
The members of the editorial board of the Miriam College Foundations
Constitution. The court held that Miriam College has the authority to hear
school paper were subjected to disciplinary sanction by the College
and decide the cases filed against respondent students.
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
Held2:
The right of the students to free speech in school premises, however, is
not absolute. The right to free speech must always be applied in light of
the special characteristics of the school environment. Thus, while the Court
upheld the right of the students to free expression in the cases of
Malabanan vs. Ramento,Villar vs. Technological Institute of the Philippines,
Arreza vs. Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, and Non vs. Dames II,
the Court did not rule out disciplinary action by the school for "conduct by
the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason - whether it stems
from time, place, or type of behavior - which materially disrupts classwork
or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others."
Provisions of law (such as Section 7 of the Campus Journalism Act) should
be construed in harmony with those of the Constitution; acts of the
legislature should be construed, wherever possible, in a manner that would
avoid their conflicting with the fundamental law. A statute should not be
given a broad construction if its validity can be saved by a narrower one.
Thus, Section 7 should be read in a manner as not to infringe upon the
schools right to discipline its students. At the same time, however, said
provision should not be construed as to unduly restrict the right of the
students to free speech. Consistent with jurisprudence, Section 7 of the
Campus Journalism Act is read to mean that the school cannot suspend or
expel a student solely on the basis of the articles he or she has
written, except when such article materially disrupt class work or
involve substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others. Further, the
power of the school to investigate is an adjunct of its power to suspend or
expel. It is a necessary corollary to the enforcement of rules and
regulations and the maintenance of a safe and orderly educational
environment conducive to learning. That power, like the power to suspend
or expel, is an inherent part of the academic freedom of institutions of
higher learning guaranteed by the Constitution. The Court therefore rules
that Miriam College has the authority to hear and decide the cases filed
against the students.
CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER VS. CA
G.R. No. L-82499 October 13, 1989
MUEZ
DOCTRINE:

Petitioner Capitol Medical Center, Inc. (or CMCI), a hospital corporation,


organized, opened, and operated the Capitol Medical Center College
(CMCC or "the College") beside its hospital, the Capitol Medical Center
(hereafter "the Hospital") in Quezon City. It offered a four-year nursing
course, a two-year midwifery course, and a two-year medical secretarial
course. In the first semester of the school year 1987-88, 900 students
were enrolled in various courses in the college.
Half-way through the first semester in 1987, the college faculty, led by the
Dean of Nursing, demanded that they be granted vacation and sick leave
privileges similar to those enjoyed by hospital personnel. Dialogues were
held but no agreement was reached between the faculty and the school
administration, headed by the president, Dr. Thelma Navarette-Clemente,
who was concurrently also the chairman of the CMCI Board.
During the next thirty (30) days, the rift between the administration and
the faculty aggravated. The school administration scheduled the holding of
the final semestral examinations on October 14 to 19, 1987, but the
teachers defiantly and - unilaterally "postponed" them. On the scheduled
dates for the examinations, the students joined their teachers in a noisy
demonstration in front of the hospital. As the demonstrations disturbed the
peace and quiet of the hospital and fearful of possible subversive action by
hostile student nurses which might endanger the safety and lives of the
patients in the hospital, an emergency special meeting was held by the
CMCI Board on October 17, 1987. It unanimously resolved "to close the
school effective at the end of the first semester of this school year, 198788"
On December 2, 1987, fifteen (15) students and parents purporting to
represent the 900 students of the CMCC filed a class suit (Civil Case No.
52429) against "Capitol Medical Center College" and petitioner Dr.
Clemente, in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City praying for the
reopening of the Capitol Medical Center College which had been closed
effective at the end of the first semester of the school year 1987-1988.
The lower court granted the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and
directed the defendants "to reopen (the) school and allow plaintiffs
students to enroll in their respective course[s]. The CA affirmed the lower
courts decision.

Since a contract creates reciprocal rights and obligations, the obligation of


the school to educate a student would imply a corresponding obligation on
the part of the student to study and obey the rules and regulations of the
school.

ISSUE:

FACTS:

HELD:

WON private respondents have a clear legal right to reopen the school and
to be readmitted therein.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
But even if it can be supposed that the enrollment of a student creates an
No. The Court of Appeals answered that question affirmatively on the
implied "binding contract" with the school to educate him for the entire
theory that "the initial enrollment" of the students (meaning their
course, since a contract creates reciprocal rights and obligations, the
enrollment in the first year of their chosen courses) created "a binding
obligation of the school to educate a student would imply a corresponding
contract" between the students and the school, by which the latter became
obligation on the part of the student to study and obey the rules and
"legally and morally bound to continue operating the school until such
regulations of the school. When students breach that supposed contract by
enrollees shall have finished their courses.
refusing to attend their classes, preferring to take to the streets to mount
a noisy demonstration against their school, the latter may cancel the
The Court of Appeals presumably, but erroneously, relied on paragraph
contract and close its doors. Its action would neither be arbitrary nor
137, Sec. IV of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, which
unfair.
provides:
TAN VS. CA
Every student has the right to enroll in any school, college or university
G.R. No. 97238 July 15, 1991
upon meeting its specific requirements and reasonable regulations,
provided, that except in the case of academic delinquency and violation of
DOCTRINE:
disciplinary regulations, the student is presumed to be qualified for
enrollment for the entire period he is expected to complete his course
Where relations between parents and students on the one hand, and
without prejudice to his right to transfer.
teachers and administrators upon the other hand, have deteriorated to the
level here exhibited, a private school may, in the interest of the rest of the
The meaning of this provision is that the school, after having accepted a
student body and of the faculty and management as a whole, and of the
student for enrollment in a given course may not expel him or refuse to
children of the parents affected, require the affected children to be
re-enroll him until he completes his course, except when he is
enrolled elsewhere.
academically deficient or has violated the rules of discipline. He is
presumed to be qualified to study there for the entire period it will take to
FACTS:
complete his course.
Petitioner Julia L. Tan is an 84 year old widow who is the Principal of Grace
The contract between the college and a student who is enrolled and pays
Christian High School offering both elementary and secondary courses
the fees for a semester, is for the entire semester only, not for the entire
while petitioner James L. Tan is the Administrative Consultant of the
course. The law does not require a school to see a student through to the
school. This case arose from the refusal of the petitioners to admit and
completion of his course. If the school closes or is closed by proper
enroll certain students for the school year 1987-1988 because heated
authority at the end of a semester, the student has no cause of action for
controversies, acts of misbehavior, and a refusal to dialogue with the
breach of contract against the school.
school administration led the school authorities to believe that it would be
best for all concerned if these children enrolled in other schools. Two
We, therefore, hold that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in
separate petitions for mandamus with prayers for preliminary mandatory
compelling the CMCC to reopen and re-admit the striking students for
injunction were eventually filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
enrollment in the second semester of their courses. Since their contracts
City.
with the school were terminated at the end of the first semester of 1987,
and as the school has already ceased to operate, they have no "clear legal
Sometime in 1986, private respondent Grace Christian High School
right" to re-enroll and the school has no legal obligation to reopen and
("Grace Christian") applied with the then Ministry of Education, Culture
readmit them. No provision in the Education Act of 1982, nor in the
and Sports (MECS) for a tuition-fee increase of fifteen percent (15%) for
Manual of Regulations for Private Schools can be, or has been, cited to
the School Year (SY) 1986-87. Private respondent Grace Christian had
support the novel view that a school is obligated to remain open until its
applied for, and been granted, yearly increments in tuition fees from SY
students have completed their courses therein. Indeed, neither is there a
1973-74 (except for SY 1983-84) until SY 1985-1986. Meanwhile, a group
law or rule that obligates a student who has enrolled in a school, to remain
of parents whose children are enrolled in Grace Christian, allegedly
there until he finishes his course. On the contrary he may transfer at any
alarmed by what they perceived to be the deterioration despite the
time to any school that is willing to accept him.
periodic fee increases in academic standards and physical facilities of
the school, formed the Grace Christian High School Parents-Teachers
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
Association ("Association"). Some of the above-mentioned group of
argued that petitioners' children have been innocent victims in a
parents lobbied with the other parents urging non-payment of the fee
deplorable confrontation between some parents and respondent School,
increase. From 23 February to 5 March 1987, a group of parents,
but the situation here finds some analogy in labor cases where, because of
petitioners included, staged a rally outside the school gates. Banners and
pre-existing and supervening strained relations, reinstatement is not
placards critical of the school administration were set up. The latent
always a feasible solution.
animosity between the Association (or some members thereof) and Grace
Christian began to flare up. Petitioners first came out with statements in
No thinking person can dispute the fact that our country is suffering from
the print and broadcast media attacking Grace Christian's periodic fee
the effects of a serious deterioration of academic and other standards in
increases and allegedly deteriorating academic standards. Some of the
our educational system. This Court is disturbed by the big number of
petitioners, armed with video-cameras, forced their way into the school
candidates taking the bar examinations who, after six (6) years in the
premises and interrupted a class in session, urging students therein to
elementary grades, four (4) years in high school, and eight (8) years in
speak using the allotted class hour against school policies. Some of
college appear to be functionally semi-illiterate judging from the answers
the students walked out of their classrooms to join their parents in the
they give to bar examination questions. The same is true of other
rally outside.
disciplines, professions, and occupations. A drastic upgrading of
educational standards especially in the elementary and high school levels
During the period 14-18 April 1987, petitioners were individually and
is imperative.
personally informed through a letter by the principal of Grace Christian
that, as they were severely critical of the school's policies, it would be best
It is for the above reason that Government should uphold and encourage
for all concerned if their children enrolled in some other school.
schools and colleges which endeavor to maintain the highest standards of
education. We have consistently sustained the rights of students to
ISSUE:
legitimately address their grievances both to school authorities, media,
and the general public to the extent of sometimes countenancing uncivil
Can the school refuse admission of the said students?
and rowdy behavior. However, we have not hesitated to strike down
violence and anarchy when certain students and their inevitable supporters
HELD:
misuse
the
grant
of
"ordered
liberty"
mandated
by
the
Constitution.Educators who insist on high standards and who enforce
YES. Private schools have the right to establish reasonable rules and
reasonable rules of discipline deserve support from courts of justice and
regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students. This
other branches of Government.
right to establish and enforce reasonable rules and regulations extends as
well to parents and parent-teacher associations, as parents are under a
UP BOR V. WILLIAM
social and moral (if not legal obligation, individually and collectively, to
G.R. No. 136425, August 31, 1999
assist and cooperate with the schools. In the instant case, since petitioners
MURILLO
have failed to comply with the conditions and prerequisites for
admission, i.e., registration within the prescribed dates, payment of dulyDOCTRINE:
approved tuition fees, and compliance with school rules and regulations,
Grace Christian cannot be regarded as having acted arbitrarily or
Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was
capriciously in refusing to re-enroll petitioners' children.
obtained through fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw
the honor or distinction it has thus conferred.
Where relations between parents and students on the one hand, and
teachers and administrators upon the other hand, have deteriorated to the
FACTS:
level here exhibited, a private school may, in the interest of the rest of the
student body and of the faculty and management as a whole, and of the
Private respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine, a citizen of India
children of the parents affected, require the affected children to be
and holder of a Philippine visitors visa, enrolled in UP Diliman under the
enrolled elsewhere. The maintenance of a morally conducive and orderly
doctoral program in Anthropology. After completing her course units, she
educational environment will be seriously imperiled if, under the
went on a two-year leave of absence to work as Tamil Programme
circumstances of this case, Grace Christian is forced to admit petitioners'
Producer of the Vatican Radio in the Vatican and as General Office
children and to reintegrate them to the student body. It may even be
Assistant at the International Right to Life Federation in Rome. She
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
returned to the Philippines in July 1991 to work on her dissertation
Private respondent filed an action for mandamus to prevent them from
entitled, Tamil Influences in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. She
revoking her degree. RTC denied it. CA, however, granted her request.
eventually submitted her dissertation for checking and defense. After
going over her dissertation, Dr. Medina informed CSSP Dean Consuelo
ISSUE:
Joaquin-Paz that there was a portion in private respondents dissertation
that was lifted, without proper acknowledgment, from Balfours
W/N private respondents degree can be revoked due to plagiarism
Cyclopaedia of India and Eastern and Southern Asia and from John Edyes
article. Nonetheless, private respondent was allowed to defend her
HELD:
dissertation on February 5, 1993. Four (4) out of the five (5) panelists
gave private respondent a passing mark for her oral defense by affixing
YES. The Constitution provides that [a]cademic freedom shall be enjoyed
their signatures on the approval form, conditioned on some amendments
in all institutions of higher learning. it is a freedom granted to
that she has to incorporate.
institutions of higher learning which is thus given a wide sphere of
authority certainly extending to the choice of students. If such institution
On March 24, 1993, the CSSP College Faculty Assembly approved private
of higher learning can decide who can and who cannot study in it, it
respondents graduation pending submission of final copies of her
certainly can also determine on whom it can confer the honor and
dissertation.
distinction of being its graduates.
In April 1993, private respondent submitted copies of her supposedly
revised dissertation to Drs. Manuel, Skandarajah, and Quiason, who
expressed their assent to the dissertation. Her thesis panelists maintain,
however, that private respondent did not incorporate the revisions
suggested by the panel members in the final copies of her dissertation.
On April 17, 1993, the University Council met to approve the list of
candidates for graduation for the second semester of school year 19921993. The list included private respondents name. On April 21, 1993,
Dean Paz sent a letter to Dr. Milagros Ibe, Vice Chancellor for Academic
Affairs, requesting the exclusion of private respondents name from the list
of candidates for graduation, pending clarification of the problems
regarding her dissertation. Apparently, however, Dean Pazs letter did not
reach the Board of Regents on time, because the next day, April 22, 1993,
the Board approved the University Councils recommendation for the
graduation of qualified students, including private respondent. Two days
later, on April 24, 1993, private respondent graduated with the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology.
In a letter addressed to Dean Paz, Dr. Medina formally charged private
respondent with plagiarism and recommended that the doctorate granted
to her be withdrawn. The Committee submitted a report to Dean Paz,
finding at least ninety (90) instances or portions in private respondents
thesis which were lifted from sources without proper or due
acknowledgment. The CSSP College Assembly unanimously approved the
recommendation to withdraw private respondents doctorate degree and
forwarded its recommendation to the University Council. The University
Council, in turn, approved and endorsed the same recommendation to the
Board of Regents. Then, the UP BOR approved such recommendation.

Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was


obtained through fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw
the honor or distinction it has thus conferred. This freedom of a university
does not terminate upon the graduation of a student, as the Court of
Appeals held. For it is precisely the graduation of such a student that is
in question. It is noteworthy that the investigation of private respondents
case began before her graduation. If she was able to join the graduation
ceremonies on April 24, 1993, it was because of too many investigations
conducted before the Board of Regents finally decided she should not have
been allowed to graduate.
Wide indeed is the sphere of autonomy granted to institutions of higher
learning, for the constitutional grant of academic freedom, to quote again
from Garcia v. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology,
is not to be construed in a niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion.
In this case, U.P. does not seek to discipline private respondent. Indeed,
as the appellate court observed, private respondent is no longer within
the ambit of disciplinary powers of the U.P. Private respondent cannot
even be punished since, as she claims, the penalty for acts of dishonesty
in administrative disciplinary proceedings is suspension from the University
for at least one year. What U.P., through the Board of Regents, seeks to
do is to protect its academic integrity by withdrawing from private
respondent an academic degree she obtained through fraud.
CAGAYAN CAPITOL V. NLRC
189 SCRA 658, September 14, 1990
DOCTRINE:

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The prerogative of a school to provide standards for its teachers and to
same were not renewed because their performances were considered
determine whether or not these standards have been met is in accordance
unsatisfactory while they were on probation. Petitioners further contended
with academic freedom and constitutional autonomy which give
that private respondents, as probationary employees, did not qualify for
educational institution the right to choose who should teach.
tenureship as their services on probation, upon evaluation, did not reach
the standard prescribed for probationary employees.
FACTS:
NLRC eventually granted the petitions of Villegas and Pagapong.
Private respondents Virgilio Villegas and Leonor Pagapong were teachers
on a probational basis of the petitioner college. Villegas was initially hired
ISSUE:
as an instructor in the Nautical Science Department of said petitioner and
was extended an appointment on a ten-month contractual basis which
W/N the respondent teachers were illegally dismissed
ended on March 31, 1982. Upon expiration of said contract he re-applied
and was given a new contract commencing on June 1, 1982 and ending on
HELD:
March 31, 1983. Thereafter he re-applied for employment and was given a
contract for a fixed period starting June 1, 1983 up to March 31, 1984.
NO. There is no question that private respondents were probationary
Upon mutual agreement the contract was extended to include the summer
teachers. Thus, they are covered by the policy instructions issued by the
of 1984 up to May 31, 1984 which is still part of the school-year 1983Department of Labor and Employment that the probationary employment
1984. Upon expiration of said period he sent a letter re-applying for
of professional instructors and teachers shall be subject to the standards
employment with the petitioner. His application, however, was turned
established by the Department of Education and Culture. Said standards
down because of various complaints from his students borne out by the
are embodied in paragraph 75 of the Manual of Regulations for Private
report of his superiors who investigated the matter. Thus, he filed a
Schools, as follows:
complaint in the Regional Arbitration Office of the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) in Cagayan City for illegal dismissal with
75. Full time teachers who have rendered three (3) consecutive years of
reinstatement, payment of backwages, moral damages and attorney's
satisfactory services
shall be considered permanent.
fees.
There is no question that private respondents have been employed for
On the other hand, respondent Pagapong was initially hired as a
three (3) consecutive years as teachers at petitioners' college and on a full
probationary instructor in the High School Department of petitioner college
time basis. However, they do not automatically become permanent unless
on June 15, 1981 on a contractual basis to end on March 31, 1982. Upon
it is shown that their services during the probationary period were
re-application her contract was renewed for another fixed period covering
satisfactory.
June 1, 1982 up to March 31, 1983. Her employment was on a
probationary basis. Similarly, a third contract was executed by the
The contention of respondents that upon termination of the three-year
petitioner college covering the period starting June 15, 1983 and ending
probationary period the teacher automatically becomes permanent is not
on March 31, 1984. Upon the termination of the said third contract
quite correct. It must be conditioned on the compliance with the third
respondent Pagapong wrote to petitioner seeking re-employment. Her
requisite that the services of said teacher during the probationary period
application was accompanied by a clearance. However, her application was
was satisfactory.
denied upon the recommendation of her immediate superiors who
considered her inefficient. Thus, she also filed with the Regional Arbitration
The employer is the one who is to set the standards and determine
Branch of the NLRC a complaint for illegal dismissal.
whether or not the services of an employee are satisfactory. It is the
prerogative of an employer to determine whether or not the said standards
In their position paper, private respondents Villegas and Pagapong alleged
have been complied with. In fact, it is the right of the employer to shorten
that they were dismissed by petitioners without valid grounds and that
the probationary period if he is impressed with the services of the
they were deprived of their constitutional right to due process and security
employees.
of tenure. Petitioners, on the other hand, filed their position paper and
supplemental manifestations wherein they denied that private respondents
This prerogative of a school to provide standards for its teachers and to
were illegally dismissed. They maintained that the private respondents
determine whether or not these standards have been met is in accordance
alleged employment contracts on a probation basis expired and that the
with academic freedom and constitutional autonomy which give
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS [10]: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EDUCATION, ETC.
educational institution the right to choose who should teach. At the start of
their employment, private respondents were duly furnished the Faculty
Manual expressly stating among others, the duties of teachers and the
grounds for termination of employment or non-appointment to permanent
status of a probationary employee.
In the case of respondent Villegas, it appears that there were complaints
of students during his last year of service and that these complaints were
duly investigated by the Acting Dean of the Nautical Department who
came up with the report of the acts complained of. Thus, his performance
was considered unsatisfactory and was not renewed by petitioner college
after the third year. That he was made to teach in the summer of 1984
appears to be prompted by the fact that the summer sessions were still
part of the third probationary period which started in July of the first
semester of school year 1981-82. Similarly, respondent Pagapong was
found to be inefficient due to her absences.
The Court thus finds and so holds that private respondents were not
illegally dismissed by petitioner.

17 AREVALO, CRUZ (CHANINE), CRUZ (CHRISTINE), DUMALANTA, GATACELO, GLORIA, GOMEZ, LAZARO, MATILLANO, MUNEZ, MURILLO