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SECOND DIVISION SALES CORPORATION d) Memorandum dated April 16, importation from the Peoples

(Remington, for brevity) and 1990 relative to amendments of Republic of China (PROC. for
FIRESTONE CERAMICS, INC. Administrative Order NO. SOCPEC brevity) must be accompanied by a
(Firestone, for brevity), and, in the 89-08-01 (Annex D, Id.); viable and confirmed Export
[G.R. No. 108461. October 21, 1996]
process, declared as null and void Program of Philippine Products to
and unconstitutional, PITCs PROC carried out by the importer
Administrative Order No. SOCPEC himself or through a tie-up with a
e) Memorandum dated May 6, 1991
PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL 89-08-01 and its appurtenant legitimate importer in an amount
relative to Revised Schedule of Fees
TRADING CORPORATION, regulations. The dispositive portion equivalent to the value of the
for the processing of import
petitioners, vs. HON PRESIDING of the decision reads: importation from PROC being
applications (Annexes E, E-1., Ind.);
JUDGE ZOSIMO Z. ANGELES, applied for, or, simply, at one is to
BRANCH 58, RTC, MAKATI; one ratio.
WHEREFORE, premises considered,
SALES CORPORATION; AND f) Rules and Regulations relative to
judgment is hereby rendered in favor
FIRESTONE CERAMIC, INC., liquidation of unfulfilled
of Petitioner and Intervenor and Pertinent provisions of the
respondents. Undertakings and expired export
against the Respondent, as follows: questioned administrative order read:
credits (Annex Z, Supplemental
1) Enjoining the further 3. COUNTERPART EXPORTS TO
implementation by the respondent of PROC
the foregoing being all null and void
the following issuances relative to
and unconstitutional; and,
TORRES, JR., J.: the applications for importation of
products from the Peoples Republic
In addition to existing requirements
of China, to wit:
for the processing of import
2) Commanding respondent to
The PHILIPPINE application for goods and
approve forthwith all the pending
INTERNATIONAL TRADING commodities originating from
applications of, and all those that
CORPORATION (PITC, for brevity) a) Administrative Order No. PROC, it is declared that:
may hereafter be filed by, the
filed this Petition for Review on SOCPEC 89-08-01 dated August 30,
petitioner and the Intervenor, free
Certiorari, seeking the reversal of the 1989 (Annex A, Amended petition);
from and without the requirements
Decision dated January 4, 1993 of
prescribed in a the above-mentioned 3.1 All applications covered by these
public respondent Hon. Zosimo Z.
issuance. rules must be accompanied by a
Angeles. Presiding Judge of the
b) Prescribed Export Undertaking viable and confirmed EXPORT
Regional Trial Court of Makati,
Form (Annex B, Id.); PROGRAM of Philippine products
Branch 58, in civil Case No.92-158
to PROC in an amount equivalent to
entitled Remington Industrial Sales IT IS SO ORDERED."
the value of the importation from
Corporation, et. al. vs. Philippine
PROC being applied for. Such export
Industrial Trading Corporation. c) Prescribed Importer-Exporter
program must be carried out and
Agreement Form for non-exporter-
The controversy springs from the completed within six (6) months
importer (Annex C, Id.);
issuance by the PITC of from date of approval of the Import
The said decision upheld the Petition Administrative Order No. SOCPEC Application by PITC. PITC shall
for Prohibition and Mandamus of 89-08-01,[1] under which, reject/deny any application for
REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL applications to the PITC for importation from PROC without the

accompanying export program b) Export Performance Guarantee Credit (with all bank opening d) PITC EXPORT APPLICATION
mentioned above. (See Article 4 hereof). charges for account of Importer) FOR NO. M-1005
opened in favor of PITC as
be carried out by any of the AGREEMENT for non-exporter
following: IMPORTER (PITC Form No. M- 4.2 The guarantee shall be made in
1006). This form should be used if favor of PITC and will be
5.1 All other requirements for
IMPORTER has a tie-up with an automatically forfeited in favor of
importations of goods and
exporter for the export of Philippine PITC, fully or partially, if the
a. By the IMPORTER himself if he commodities from PROC must be
Products to PROC. required export program is not
has the capabilities and facilities to complied with in addition to the
completed by the importer within six
carry out the export of Philippine above.
(6) months from date of approval of
products to PROC in his own name;
the Import Application.
5.2 PITC shall have the right to
disapprove any and all import
4.3 Within the six (6) months period
b. Through a tie-up between the To ensure that the export application not in accordance with
above stated, the IMPORTER is
IMPORTER and a legitimate commitments of the IMPORTER are the rules and regulations herein
entitled to a (i) refund of the cash
exporter (of Philippine products) carried out in accordance with these prescribed.
deposited without interest; (ii)
who is willing to carry out the export rules, all IMPORTERS concerned
cancellation of the Bank holdout or
commitments of the IMPORTER are required to submit an EXPORT
(iii) Cancellation of the Domestic
under these rules. The tie-up shall PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE
Letter of Credit upon showing that 5.3 Should the IMPORTER or any of
not make the IMPORTER the (the Guarantee) at the time of filing
he has completed the export his duly authorized representatives
exporter of the goods but shall of the Import Application. The
commitment pertaining to his make any false statements or
merely ensure that the importation amount of the guarantee shall be as
importation and provided further that fraudulent misrepresentations in the
sought to be approved is matched follows:
the following documents are Import/Export Application, or
one-to-one (1:1) in value with a
submitted to PITC: falsify, forge or simulate any
corresponding export of Philippine
document required under these rules
Products to PROC.[2]
For essential commodities: 15% of and regulations, PITC is authorized
the value of the imports applied for. to reject all pending and future
a) Final Sales Invoice
import/export applications of said
3.3 EXPORT PROGRAM IMPORTER and/or disqualify said
DOCUMENTS which are to be IMPORTER and/or disqualify said
For other commodities: 50% of the
submitted by the importer together b) Bill of lading or Airway bill IMPORTER from doing any
value of the imports applied for.
with his Import Application are as business with SOCPEC through
follows: PITC.
c) Bank Certificate of Inward
4.1 The guarantee may be in the
form of (i) a non-interest bearing
a) Firm Contract, Sales Invoice or Desiring to make importations from
cash deposit; (ii) Bank hold-out in
Letter of Credit. PROC, private respondents
favor of PITC (PITC Form No. M-
Remington and Firestone, both
1007) or (iii) a Domestic Letter of
domestic corporations, organized and

existing under Philippines laws, cease from exercising any power to Given such obliteration and/or of the 1987 Constitution, and
individually applied for authority to process applications of goods from withdrawal of what used to be PITCs therefore, null and void.
import from PROC with the PROC.[5] Hearings on the regulatory authority under the
petitioner, They were granted such application for writ of preliminary Special provisions embodied in LOI
authority after satisfying the injunction ensued. 444 from the enumeration of powers
Section 21. No treaty or international
requirements for importers, and after that it could exercise effective
agreement shall be valid and
they executed respective February 27, 1987 in virtue of
effective unless concurred in by at
undertakings to balance their Section 16 (d), EO No. 133, it may
Private respondents Firestones was least two-thirds of all the Members
importations from PROC with now be successfully argued that the
allowed to intervene in the petition of the Senate.
corresponding export of Philippine PITC can no longer exercise such
on July 2, 1992,[6] thus joining
products to PROC. specific regulatory power in question
Remington in the latters charges
conformably with the legal precept
against PITC. It specifically asserts
expresio unius est exclusio alterius. Furthermore, the subject
that the questioned Administrative
Administrative Order was issued in
Private respondent Remington was Order is an undue restrictions of
restraint of trade, in violation of
allowed to import tools, machineries trade, and hence, unconstitutional.
Sections 1 and 19, Article XII of the
and other similar goods. Firestones, Moreover, the court continued, none
1987 Constitution, which reads:
on the other hand, imported Calcine of the Trade protocols of 1989, 1990
Vauxite, which it used for the or 1991, has empowered the PITC,
Upon trial, it was agreed that the
manufacture of fire bricks, one of its expressly or impliedly to formulate
evidence adduced upon the hearing
products. or promulgate the assailed Section 1. The goals of the national
on the Preliminary Injunction was
Administrative Order. This fact, economy are a more equitable
sufficient to completely adjudicate
makes the continued exercise by distribution of opportunities, income
the case, thus, the parties deemed it
PITC of the regulatory powers in and wealth; a sustained increase in
Subsequently, for failing to comply proper that the entire case be
question unworthy of judicial the amount of goods and services
with their undertakings to submit submitted for decision upon the
approval. Otherwise, it would be produced by the nation for the
export credits equivalent to the value evidence so far presented.
sanctioning an undue exercise of benefit of the people; and, an
of their importations, further import
legislative power vested solely in the expanding productivity as the key to
applications were withheld by
Congress of the Philippines by raising the equality of life for all,
petitioner PITC from private
The court rendered its Decision[7] Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 especially the underprivileged.
respondents, such that the latter both
on January 4, 1992. The court ruled Philippine Constitution.
barred from importing goods from
that PITCs authority to process and
approve applications for imports
Section 19. The State shall regulate
from SOCPEC and to issue rules and
The lower court stated that the or prohibit monopolies when the
regulations pursuant to LOI 444 and
subject Administrative Order and public interest so requires. No
Consequently, Remington filed a P.D. No. 1071, has already been
other similar issuances by PITC combination is restraint of trade or
Petition for Prohibition and repealed by EO No. 133, issued on
suffer from serious constitutional unfair competition shall be allowed.
Mandamus, with prayer for issuance February 27, 1987 by President
infirmity, having been promulgated
of Temporary Restraining Order Aquino.
in pursuance of an international
and/or Writ of Preliminary
agreement (the Memorandum of
Injunction on January 20, 1992, Lastly, the court declared the
Agreement between the Philippine
against PITC in the RTC Makati Administrative Order to be null and
The court observed: and PROC), which has not been
Branch 58.[4] The court issued a void, since the same was not
concurred in by at least 2/3 of all the
Temporary Restraining Order on published, contrary to Article 2 of
members of the Philippine Senate as
January 21, 1992, ordering PITC to
required by Article VII, Section 21,

the New Civil Code which provides, by PITC Board Resolution Nos. 92- 12, 1995. The Executive Order disagrees with Remington on the
that: 01-05 and 92-03-08.[9] states: latters submission that the case has
become moot and academic as a
result of the abrogation of
Administrative Order SOCPEC No.
Article 2. Laws shall take effect In the implementation of such order, WHEREAS, continued coverage of
89-08-01, since respondent
fifteen (15) days following the PITC President Jose Luis U. Yulo, the Peoples Republic of China by
Remington had incurred obligations
completion of their publication in the Jr. issued a corporate letter of Instructions No. 444 is no
to the petitioner consisting of
Official Gazette, unless the law Memorandum[10] instructing that all longer consistent with the countrys
charges for the 0.5% Counter Export
otherwise provides. xxx import applications for the PROC national interest, as coursing
Development Service provided by
filed with the PITC as of April 20, Republic of the Philippines-Peoples
PITC to Remington, which
1993 shall no longer be covered by Republic of China Trade through the
obligations remain outstanding.[16]
the trade balancing program outlined Philippine International Trading
Petitioner now comes to us on a The propriety of such charges must
in the Administrative Order. Corporation as provided for under
Petition for Review on Certiorari,[8] still be resolved, petitioner argues,
Letter of Instructions No. 444 is
questioning the courts decision thereby maintaining the issue of the
becoming an unnecessary barrier to
particularly on the propriety of the validity of SOCPEC Order No. 89-
lower courts declarations on the Forthwith, the PITC allowed the 08-01, before it was abrogated by
validity of Administrative Order No. private respondents to import anew Executive fiat.
89-08-01. The Court directed the from the PROC, without being
respondents to file their respective required to comply anymore with the NOW, THEREFORE, I FIDEL V.
Comments. lifted requirement of balancing its RAMOS, President of the Republic
There is no question that from April
imports with exports of Philippine of the Philippines, by virtue of the
20, 1993, when trade balancing
products to PROC.[11] In its powers vested in me by law, do
measures with PROC were lifted by
Constancia[12] filed with the Court hereby order:
Subsequent events transpired, the President, Administrative Order
on November 22, 1993, Remington
however, which affect to some SOCPEC No. 89-08-01 no longer
expressed its desire to have the
extent, the submissions of the parties has force and effect, and respondents
present action declared moot and
to the present petition. The Committee on Scientific and are thus entitled anew to apply for
academic considering the new
Technical Cooperation with Socialist authority to import from the PROC,
supervening developments. For its
Countries to delete the Peoples without the trade balancing
part, respondent Firestone made a
Republic of China from the list of requirements previously imposed on
Following President Fidel V. Ramos Manifestation[13] in lieu of its
countries covered by Letter of proposed importers. Indeed, it
trip to Beijing, Peoples Republic of Memorandum, informing the court
Instructions No. 444. appears that since the lifting of the
China (PROC), from April 25 to 30, of the aforesaid developments of the
trade balancing measures,
1993, a new trade agreement was new trade program of the Philippines
Remington had been allowed to
entered into between the Philippines with China, and prayed for the courts
import anew from PROC.
and PROC, encouraging early resolution of the action. Done in the City of Manila, this 12th
liberalization of trade between the day of May in the year of Our Lord,
two countries. In line therewith, on Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Five.
April 20, 1993, the President, There remains, however, the matter
To support its submission that the
through Chief Presidential Legal of outstanding obligations of the
present action is now moot and
Counsel Antonio T. Carpio, directed respondents for the charges relating
academic, respondent Remington PITC filed its own Manifestation[15]
the Department of Trade and to the 0.5% Counter Export
cites Executive Order No. 244,[14] on December 15, 1993, wherein it
Industry and the PITC to cease Development Service in favor of
issued by President Ramos on May adopted the arguments raised in its
implementing Administrative Order PITC, for the period when the
Petition as its Memorandum. PITC questioned Administrative Order
No. SOCPEC 89-08-01, as amended

remained in effect. Is the obligation measures and issue such rules and 4. The Philippine International
still subsisting, or are the regulations as may be necessary for Trading Corporation shall participate
respondents freed from it? the effective discharge of its in all official trade and economic The Executive Order reads in part:
functions under its instructions; and discussions between the Philippines
3) Undertake the processing and and other centrally-planned economy
approval of all applications for countries. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 133
To resolve this issue, we are tasked
export to or import from the
to consider the constitutionality of
Administrative Order No. SOCPEC
89-08-01, based on the arguments set xxx XXX
up by the parties in their Petition and
Comment. In so doing, we must Pertinent provisions of the Letter of
inquire into the nature of the Instruction are herein reproduced:
V. SPECIAL PROVISIONS Section 16. Line Corporate Agencies
functions of the PITC, in the light of
present realities. and Government Entities.
The Philippine International Trading
Corporation shall adopt such The following line corporate
The PITC is a government owned or
measures and issue such rules and agencies and government entities
controlled corporation created under
xxx regulations as may be necessary for defined in Section 9 (c) of this
P.D. No. 252[17] dated August 6,
the effective discharge of its Executive Order that will perform
1973. P.D. No. 1071,[18] issued on
functions under these instructions. In their specific regulatory functions,
May 9, 1977 which revised the
this connection, the processing and particularly developmental
provisions of P.D. 252. The purposes II. CHANNELS OF TRADE
approval of applications for export to responsibilities and specialized
and powers of said governmental
or import from the Socialist and business activities in a manner
entity were enumerated under
other centrally-planned economy consonant with the Department
Section 5 and 6 thereof.[19]
1. The trade, direct or indirect, countries shall, henceforth, be mandate, objectives, policies, plans
between the Philippines and any of performed by the said Corporation. and programs:
the Socialist and other centrally- (Emphasis ours)
On August 9, 1976, the late President planned economy countries shall
Marcos issued Letter of Instruction upon issuance hereof, be undertaken
(LOI) No. 444,[20] directing, inter by or coursed through the Philippine xxx
After the EDSA Revolution, or more
alia, that trade (export or import of International Trading Corporation.
specifically on February 27, 1987,
all commodities), whether direct or This shall apply to the export and
then President Corazon C. Aquino
indirect, between the Philippines and import of all commodities of d) Philippine International Trading
promulgated Executive Order (EO)
any of the Socialist and other products including those specified Corporation. This corporation, which
No. 133[21] reorganizing the
Centrally Planned Economy for export or import by expressly shall be supervised by the
Department of Trade and Industry
Countries (SOCPEC), including the authorized government agencies. Undersecretary for International
(DTI) empowering the said
Peoples Republic of China (PROC) Trade, shall only engage in both
department to be the "primary
shall be undertaken or coursed export and trading on new or non-
coordinative, promotive, facilitative
through the PITC. Under the LOI, traditional products and markets not
xxx and regulatory arm of the
PITC was mandated to: 1) participate normally pursued by the private
government for the countrys trade,
in all official trade and economic business sector; provide a wide range
industry and investment activities
discussions between the Philippines of export oriented auxiliary services
(Sec. 2, EO 133). The PITC was
and SOCPEC; 2) adopt such to the private sector; arrange for a
made one of DTIs line agencies.[22]

establish comprehensive system and and ensure the implementation of the President Marcos, when he was laws, ordinances, rules , and
physical facilities for handling the MOU. extraordinarily empowered to regulations, or other parts thereof,
collection, processing, and exercise legislative powers, whereas which are inconsistent with the
distribution of cargoes and other EO 450 was issued by Pres. Aquino Executive Order are hereby repealed
commodities; monitor or coordinate when her transitional legislative or modified accordingly, cannot
Conformably with the MOU, the
risk insurance services for the powers have already ceased, since it operate to abolish the grant of
Philippines and PROC entered into a
existing institutions; promote and was found that LOI 1190 was a mere regulatory powers to the PITC. There
Trade Protocol for the years 1989,
organize, whenever warranted, administrative directive, hence, may can be no repeal of the said powers,
1990 and 1991,[24] under which was
production enterprises and industrial be repealed, altered, or modified by absent any cogency of irreconcilable
specified the commodities to be
establishments and collaborate or EO 450. inconsistency or repugnancy
traded between them. The protocols
associate in joint venture with any between the issuances, relating to the
affirmed their agreement to jointly
person, association, company or regulatory power of the PITC.
endeavor to achieve more or less a
entity, whether domestic or foreign,
balance between the values of their We do not agree, however, with the
in the fields of production,
imports and exports in their bilateral trial courts ruling that PITCs
marketing, procurement, and other
trade. authority to issue rules and The President, in promulgating EO
relate businesses; and provide
regulations pursuant to the Special 133, had not intended to overhaul the
technical advisory, investigatory,
Provisions of LOI 444 and P.D. No. functions of the PITC. The DTI was
consultancy and management
1071, have already been repealed by established, and was given powers
services with respect to any and all It is allegedly in line with its powers
EO 133. and duties including those previously
of the functions, activities, and under LOI 444 and in keeping with
held by the PITC as an independent
operations of the corporation. the MOU and Trade Protocols with
government entity, under P.D. 1071
PROC that PITC issued its now
and LOI 444. The PITC was thereby
assailed Administrative Order No. While PITCs power to engage in
attached to the DTI as an
SOCPEC 89-08-01[25] on August commercial import and export
Sometime in April, 1988, following implementing arm of the said
30, 1989 (amended in March, 1992). activities is expressly recognized and
the State visit of President Aquino to department.
allowed under Section 16 (d) of EO
the PROC, the Philippines and
133, the same is now limited only to
PROC entered into a memorandum
new or non-traditional products and
of Understanding[23] (MOU) Undoubtedly, President Aquino, in
markets not normally pursued by the EO 133 established the DTI as the
wherein the two countries agreed to issuing EO 133, is empowered to
private business sector. There is no primary coordinative, promotive,
make joint efforts within the next modify and amend the provisions of
indication in the law of the removal facilitative and regulatory arm of
five years to expand bilateral trade to LOI 444, which was issued by then
of the powers of the PITC to exercise government for the countrys trade,
US $600 US $800 Million by 1992, President Marcos, both issuances
its regulatory functions in the area of industry and investment activities,
and to strive for a steady progress being executive directives. As
importations from SOCPEC which shall act as a catalyst for
towards achieving a balance between observed by us in Philippine
countries. Though it does not intensified private sector activity in
the value of their imports and exports Association of Service Exporters ,
mention the grant of regulatory order to accelerate and sustain
during the period, agreeing for the Inc. vs. Torres,[26]
power, EO 133, as worded, is silent economic growth.[27] In furtherance
purpose that upon the signing of the
as to the abolition or limitation of of this mandate, the DTI was
Memorandum, both sides shall
such powers, previously granted empowered, among others, to plan,
undertake to establish the necessary
there is no need for legislative under P.D. 1071, from the PITC. implement, and coordinate activities
steps and procedures to be adopted
delegation of power to the President of the government related to trade
within the framework of the annual
to revoke the Letter of Instruction by industry and investments; to
midyear review meeting under the
way of an Executive Order. This is formulate and administer policies
Trade Protocol, in order to monitor Likewise, the general repealing
notwithstanding the fact that the and guidelines for the investment
clause in EO 133 stating that all
subject LOI 1190 was issued by priorities plan and the delivery of

investment incentives; to formulate behind the issuance of the later cumulative or a continuation of the time has come to grapple with
country and product export strategies presidential edict. old one.[33] legislations and even judicial
which will guide the export decisions aimed at resolving issues
promotion and development thrust of affecting not only individual rights
the government.[28] Corollarily, the but also activities of which foreign
The President could not have Similarly, the grant of quasi-
Secretary of Trade and Industry is governments or entities may have
intended to deprive herself of the legislative powers in administrative
given the power to promulgate rules interests. Thus, administrative
power to regulate the flow of trade bodies is not unconstitutional. Thus,
and regulations necessary to carry policies and regulations must be
between the Philippines and PROC as a result of the growing complexity
out the departments objectives, devised to suit these changing
under the two countries of the modern society, it has become
policies, plans, programs and business needs in a faster rate than to
Memorandum of Understanding, a necessary to create more and more
projects. resort to traditional acts of the
power which necessarily flows from administrative bodies to help in the
her office as Chief Executive. In regulation of its ramified activities.
issuing Executive Order 133, the Specialized in the particular field
The PITC, on the other hand, was President intended merely to assigned to them, they can deal with
attached as an integral part to the reorganize the Department of Trade the problems thereof with more This tendency finds support in a
said department as one of its line and Industry to cope with the need of expertise and dispatch than can be well-stated work on the subject, viz.:
agencies,[29] and was given the streamlined bureaucracy.[31] expected from the legislature or the
focal task of implementing the courts of justice. This is the reason
departments programs.[30] The for the increasing vesture of quasi-
Since legislatures had neither the
absence of the regulatory power legislative and quasi-judicial powers
Thus, there is no real inconsistency time nor the knowledge to create
formerly enshrined in the Special in what is now not unreasonably
between LOI 444 and EO 133. There detailed rules, however, it was soon
Provisions of LOI 444, from Section called the fourth department of the
is, admittedly, a rearranging of the clear that new governmental
16 of EO 133, and the limitation of government.[34] Evidently, in the
administrative functions among the arrangements would be needed to
its previously wide range of exercise of such powers, the agency
administrative bodies affected by the handle the job of rule-making. The
functions, is noted. This does not concerned must commonly interpret
edict, but not an abolition of courts, moreover, many of them
mean, however, that PITC has lost and apply contracts and determine
executive power. Consistency in already congested, would have been
the authority to issue the questioned the rights of private parties under
statutes as in executive issuances, is swamped if they had to adjudicate all
Administrative Order. It is our view such contracts. One thrust of the
of prime importance, and, in the the controversies that the new
that PITC still holds such authority, multiplication of administrative
absence of a showing to the contrary, legislation was bound to create; and
and may legally exercise it, as an agencies is that the interpretation of
all laws are presumed to be the judges, already obliged to handle
implementing arm, and under the contracts and the determination of
consistent with each other. Where it a great diversity of cases, would
supervision of, the Department of private rights thereunder is no longer
is possible to do so, it is the duty of have been hard pressed to acquire the
Trade and Industry. uniquely judicial function,
courts, in the construction of statutes, knowledge they needed to deal
exercisable only by our regular
to harmonize and reconcile them, intelligently with all the new types of
courts. (Antipolo Realty Corporation
and to adopt a constructions of a controversy.
vs. National Housing Authority, G.R.
Furthermore, the lower courts ruling statutory provision which
No. L- 50444, August 31, 1987, 153
to the effect that the PITCs authority harmonizes and reconciles it with
SCRA 399).
to process and approve applications other statutory provisions.[32] The
So the need to create a large number
for imports from SOCPEC and to fact that a later enactment may relate
of specialized administrative
issue rules and regulations pursuant to the same subject matter as that of
agencies and to give them broader
to LOI 444 and P.D. 1071 has been an earlier statute is not of itself With global trade and business
powers than administrators had
repealed by EO 133, is misplaced, sufficient to cause an implied repeal becoming more intricate nay even
traditionally exercised. These
and did not consider the import of the latter, since the law may be with new discoveries in technology
included the power to issue
and electronics notwithstanding, the

regulations having the force of law, The questioned Administrative present, directly conferred by the petitioner were lifted by President
and the power to hear and decide Order, legally, until it is published, is Constitution. Administrative rules Fidel V. Ramos, the same were never
cases powers that had previously invalid within the context of Article and Regulations must also be legally effective, and private
been reserved to the legislatures and 2 of Civil Code, which reads: published if their purpose is to respondents, therefore, cannot be
the courts. (Houghteling/Pierce, enforce or implement existing law made subject to them, because
Lawmaking by Administrative pursuant also to a valid delegation, Administrative Order 89-08-01
Agencies, p. 166.) embodying the same was never
Article 2. Laws shall take effect after
published, as mandated by law, for
fifteen days following the
its effectivity. It was only on March
completion of their publication in the Interpretative regulations and those
30, 1992 when the amendments to
The respondents likewise argue that Official Gazette (or in a newspaper merely internal in nature, that is,
the said Administrative Order were
PITC is not empowered to issue the of general circulation in the regulating only the personnel of the
filed in the UP Law Center, and
Administrative Order because no Philippines), unless it is otherwise administrative agency and not the
published in the National
grant of such power was made under provided. xxx public, need not be published.
Administrative Register as required
the Trade Protocols of 1989, 1990 or Neither is publication required of the
by the Administrative Code of 1987.
1991. We do not agree. The Trade so-called letters of instructions
Protocols aforesaid, are only the issued by administrative superiors
The fact that the amendments to
enumeration of the products and concerning the rules or guidelines to
Administrative Order No. SOCPEC
goods which the signatory countries be followed by their subordinates in Finally, it is the declared Policy of
89-08-01 were filed with, and
have agreed to trade. They do not the performance of their duties. the Government to develop and
published by the UP Law Center in
bestow any regulatory power, for strengthen trade relations with the
the National Administrative Register,
executive power is vested in the Peoples Republic of China. As
does not cure the defect related to the
Executive Department,[35] and it is declared by the President in EO 244
effectivity of the Administrative xxx
for the latter to delegate the exercise issued on May 12, 1995, continued
of such power among its designated coverage of the Peoples Republic of
agencies. China by Letter of Instructions No.
We agree that the publication must 444 is no longer consistent with the
This court, in Tanada vs. Tuvera[36] be in full or it is no publication at all countrys national interest, as
stated, thus: since its purpose is to inform the coursing RP-PROC trade through the
In sum, the PITC was legally
public of the contents of the laws. PITC as provided for under Letter of
empowered to issue Administrative
Instructions No. 444 is becoming an
Orders, as a valid exercise of a
unnecessary barrier to trade.[37]
power ancillary to legislation. We hold therefore that all statutes,
including those of local application The Administrative Order under
and private laws, shall be published consideration is one of those
as a condition for their effectivity, issuances which should be published Conformably with such avowed
This does not imply however, that
which shall begin fifteen days after for its effectivity, since its purpose is policy, any remnant of the restrained
the subject Administrative Order is a
publication unless a different to enforce and implement an existing atmosphere of trading between the
valid exercise of such quasi-
effectivity is fixed by the legislature. law pursuant to a valid delegation, Philippines and PROC should be
legislative power. The original
i.e., P.D. 1071, in relation to LOI done away with, so as to allow
Administrative Order issued on
444 and EO 133. economic growth and renewed trade
August 30, 1989, under which the
relations with our neighbors to
respondents filed their applications Covered by this rule are presidential flourish and may be encouraged.
for importations, was not published decrees and executive orders
in the Official Gazette or in a promulgated by the President in the Thus, even before the trade
newspaper of general circulation. exercise of legislative powers or, at balancing measures issued by the

ACCORDINGLY, the assailed REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PRAYED FOR, let this case be, as it
decision of the lower court is hereby represented by NATIONAL is, hereby ordered ARCHIVED
AFFIRMED, to the effect that TELECOMMUNICATIONS Shortly thereafter, or on January 22, without prejudice to its reinstatement
judgment is hereby rendered in favor COMMISSION, petitioner, vs. 1993, the NTC issued Memorandum if and when the requisite frequency
of the private respondents, subject to EXPRESS Circular No. 4-1-93 directing all becomes available.
the following MODIFICATIONS: TELECOMMUNICATION CO., interested applicants for nationwide
INC. and BAYAN or regional CMTS to file their
TELECOMMUNICATIONS CO., respective applications before the
Commission on or before February SO ORDERED.[4]
INC., respondents.
1) Enjoining the petitioner: 15, 1993, and deferring the
acceptance of any application filed
after said date until further orders.[2] On June 18, 1998, the NTC issued
[G.R. No. 147210. January 15, 2002]
a) From further charging the Memorandum Circular No. 5-6-98
petitioners the Counter Export re-allocating five (5) megahertz
Development Service fee of 0.5% of On May 6, 1993, and prior to the (MHz) of the radio frequency
the total value of the unliquidated or BAYAN issuance of any notice of hearing by spectrum for the expansion of CMTS
unfulfilled Undertakings of the TELECOMMUNICATIONS the NTC with respect to Bayantels networks. The re-allocated 5 MHz
private respondents; (Bayantel), INC., petitioner, vs. original application, Bayantel filed were taken from the following
EXPRESS an urgent ex-parte motion to admit bands: 1730-1732.5 / 1825-1827.5
TELECOMMUNICATION CO., an amended application.[3] On May MHz and 1732.5-1735 / 1827.5-1830
INC. (Extelcom), respondent. 17, 1993, the notice of hearing issued MHz.[5]
b) From further implementing the
provisions of Administrative Order by the NTC with respect to this
No. SOCPEC 89-08-01 and its amended application was published
appurtenant rules; and DECISION in the Manila Chronicle. Copies of Likewise, on March 23, 1999,
the application as well as the notice Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-99
of hearing were mailed to all affected was issued by the NTC re-allocating
parties. Subsequently, hearings were an additional five (5) MHz
2) Requiring petitioner to approve YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: conducted on the amended frequencies for CMTS service,
forthwith all the pending applications application. But before Bayantel namely: 1735-1737.5 / 1830-1832.5
of, and all those that may hereafter could complete the presentation of MHz; 1737.5-1740 / 1832.5-1835
be filed by, the petitioner and the its evidence, the NTC issued an
On December 29, 1992, International MHz; 1740-1742.5 / 1835-1837.5
Intervenor, free from and without Order dated December 19, 1993
Communications Corporation (now MHz; and 1742.5-1745 / 1837.5-
complying with the requirements stating:
Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. or 1840 MHz.[6]
prescribed in the above-stated
Bayantel) filed an application with
the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC) for a Certificate In view of the recent grant of two (2) On May 17, 1999, Bayantel filed an
of Public Convenience or Necessity separate Provisional Authorities in Ex-Parte Motion to Revive Case,[7]
SO ORDERED (CPCN) to install, operate and favor of ISLACOM and GMCR, citing the availability of new
maintain a digital Cellular Mobile Inc., which resulted in the closing frequency bands for CMTS
Telephone System/Service (CMTS) out of all available frequencies for operators, as provided for under
with prayer for a Provisional the service being applied for by Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-99.
Authority (PA). The application was herein applicant, and in order that
docketed as NTC Case No. 92- this case may not remain pending for
486.[1] an indefinite period of time, AS

On February 1, 2000, the NTC frequencies that could accommodate for assignment to existing CMTS dated 14 December 1993 archiving
granted BayanTels motion to revive a new CMTS operator as the operators and to public the same was anchored on the non-
the latters application and set the frequency bands allocated in NTC telecommunication entities which availability of frequencies for
case for hearings on February 9, 10, Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-99 shall be authorized to install, operate CMTS. In the same Order, it was
15, 17 and 22, 2000.[8] The NTC were intended for and had in fact and maintain CMTS networks, expressly stated that the archival
noted that the application was been applied for by the existing namely: 1745-1750MHz / 1840- hereof, shall be without prejudice to
ordered archived without prejudice CMTS operators. The NTC, in its 1845MHz; 1750-1775MHz / 1845- its reinstatement if and when the
to its reinstatement if and when the Memorandum Circular No. 4-1-93, 1850MHz; 1765-1770MHz / 1860- requisite frequency becomes
requisite frequency shall become declared it its policy to defer the 1865MHz; and 1770-1775MHz / available. Inherent in the said Order
available. acceptance of any application for 1865-1870MHz.[11] is the prerogative of the Commission
CMTS. All the frequency bands in reviving the same, subject to
allocated for CMTS use under the prevailing conditions. The Order of 1
NTCs Memorandum Circular No. 5- February 2001, cited the availability
Respondent Express On May 3, 2000, the NTC issued an
11-88 and Memorandum Circular of frequencies for CMTS, and based
Telecommunication Co., Inc. Order granting in favor of Bayantel a
No. 2-12-92 had already been thereon, the Commission, exercising
(Extelcom) filed in NTC Case No. provisional authority to operate
allocated to the existing CMTS its prerogative, revived and
92-486 an Opposition (With Motion CMTS service.[12] The Order stated
operators. Finally, Extelcom pointed reinstated the instant application.
to Dismiss) praying for the dismissal in pertinent part:
out that Bayantel is its substantial The fact that the motion for revival
of Bayantels application.[9]
stockholder to the extent of about hereof was made ex-parte by the
Extelcom argued that Bayantels
46% of its outstanding capital stock, applicant is of no moment, so long as
motion sought the revival of an
and Bayantels application On the issue of legal capacity on the the oppositors are given the
archived application filed almost
undermines the very operations of part of Bayantel, this Commission opportunity to be later heard and
eight (8) years ago. Thus, the
Extelcom. has already taken notice of the present the merits of their respective
documentary evidence and the
change in name of International oppositions in the proceedings.
allegations of respondent Bayantel in
Communications Corporation to
this application are all outdated and
Bayan Telecommunications, Inc.
should no longer be used as basis of On March 13, 2000, Bayantel filed a
Thus, in the Decision entered in
the necessity for the proposed CMTS Consolidated Reply/Comment,[10] On the allegation that the instant
NTC Case No. 93-284/94-200 dated
service. Moreover, Extelcom alleged stating that the opposition was application is already obsolete and
19 July 1999, it was recognized that
that there was no public need for the actually a motion seeking a overtaken by developments, the issue
Bayan Telecommunications, Inc.,
service applied for by Bayantel as reconsideration of the NTC Order is whether applicant has the legal,
was formerly named International
the present five CMTS operators --- reviving the instant application, and financial and technical capacity to
Communications Corp. Bayantel and
Extelcom, Globe Telecom, Inc., thus cannot dwell on the material undertake the proposed project. The
ICC Telecoms, Inc. are one and the
Smart Communication, Inc., Pilipino allegations or the merits of the case. determination of such capacity lies
same entity, and it necessarily
Telephone Corporation, and Isla Furthermore, Extelcom cannot claim solely within the discretion of the
follows that what legal capacity ICC
Communication Corporation, Inc. --- that frequencies were not available Commission, through its applicable
Telecoms has or has acquired is also
more than adequately addressed the inasmuch as the allocation and rules and regulations. At any rate, the
the legal capacity that Bayantel
market demand, and all are in the assignment thereof rest solely on the oppositors are not precluded from
process of enhancing and expanding discretion of the NTC. showing evidence disputing such
their respective networks based on capacity in the proceedings at hand.
recent technological developments. On the alleged non-availability of
On the allegation that the frequencies for the proposed service
In the meantime, the NTC issued on
Commission has committed an error in view of the pending applications
March 9, 2000 Memorandum
in allowing the revival of the instant for the same, the Commission takes
Extelcom likewise contended that Circular No. 9-3-2000, re-allocating
application, it appears that the Order note that it has issued Memorandum
there were no available radio the following radio frequency bands

Circular 9-3-2000, allocating 2. There are at present two applicants 3. There is a need to provide service completion of the hearing which
additional frequencies for CMTS. for the assignment of the frequencies to some or all of the remaining cities shall be called within thirty (30) days
The eligibility of existing operators in the 1.7 Ghz and 1.8 Ghz allocated and municipalities without telephone from grant of authority, in
who applied for additional to CMTS, namely Globe and service. accordance with Section 3, Rule 15,
frequencies shall be treated and Extelcom. Based on the number of Part IV of the Commissions Rules of
resolved in their respective subscribers Extelcom has, there Practice and Procedure. xxx.[14]
applications, and are not in issue in appears to be no congestion in its
4. The submitted documents are
the case at hand. network - a condition that is
sufficient to determine compliance to
necessary for an applicant to be
the technical requirements. The Extelcom filed with the Court of
assigned additional frequencies.
applicant can be directed to submit Appeals a petition for certiorari and
Globe has yet to prove that there is
Accordingly, the Motions for details such as channeling plans, prohibition,[15] docketed as CA-
congestion in its network considering
Reconsideration filed by exact locations of cell sites, etc. as G.R. SP No. 58893, seeking the
its operational merger with Islacom.
SMARTCOM and GLOBE the project implementation annulment of the Order reviving the
TELECOMS/ISLACOM and the progresses, actual area coverage application of Bayantel, the Order
Motion to Dismiss filed by ascertained and traffic data are made granting Bayantel a provisional
EXTELCOM are hereby DENIED 3. Based on the reports submitted to available. Applicant appears to be authority to construct, install, operate
for lack of merit.[13] the Commission, 48% of the total technically qualified to undertake the and maintain a nationwide CMTS,
number of cities and municipalities proposed project and offer the and Memorandum Circular No. 9-3-
are still without telephone service proposed service. 2000 allocating frequency bands to
despite the more than 3 million new public telecommunication
The grant of the provisional
installed lines waiting to be entities which are authorized to
authority was anchored on the
subscribed. install, operate and maintain CMTS.
following findings: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING
and considering that there is prima
facie evidence to show that
CONCLUSIONS: Applicant is legally, technically and On September 13, 2000, the Court of
financially qualified and that the Appeals rendered the assailed
proposed service is technically Decision,[16] the dispositive portion
feasible and economically viable, in of which reads:
1. To ensure effective competition in
1. Due to the operational mergers the interest of public service, and in
the CMTS market considering the
between Smart Communications, order to facilitate the development of
operational merger of some of the
Inc. and Pilipino Telephone telecommunications services in all
CMTS operators, new CMTS WHEREFORE, the writs of
Corporation (Piltel) and between areas of the country, as well as to
operators must be allowed to provide certiorari and prohibition prayed for
Globe Telecom, Inc. (Globe) and Isla ensure healthy competition among
the service. are GRANTED. The Orders of
Communications, Inc. (Islacom), free authorized CMTS providers, let a
public respondent dated February 1,
and effective competition in the PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY
2000 and May 3, 2000 in NTC Case
CMTS market is threatened. The (P.A.) be issued to Applicant
No. 92-486 are hereby ANNULLED
fifth operator, Extelcom, cannot 2. The re-allocated frequencies for BAYAN
and SET ASIDE and the Amended
provide good competition in as much CMTS of 3 blocks of 5 Mhz x 2 is TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Application of respondent Bayantel
as it provides service using the sufficient for the number of authorizing it to construct, install,
is DISMISSED without prejudice to
analog AMPS. The GSM system applicants should the applicants be operate and maintain a Nationwide
the filing of a new CMTS
dominates the market. qualified. Cellular Mobile Telephone Systems
application. The writ of preliminary
(CMTS), subject to the following
injunction issued under our
terms and conditions without
Resolution dated August 15, 2000,
prejudice to a final decision after

restraining and enjoining the which revived the application of TANTAMOUNT TO GRAVE COURSE, LIBERALLY
respondents from enforcing the respondent Bayantel in NTC Case ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE CONSTRUED IN PROCEEDINGS
Orders dated February 1, 2000 and No. 92-486 violated respondent PART OF THE NTC. BEFORE ADMINISTRATIVE
May 3, 2000 in the said NTC case is Extelcoms right to procedural due BODIES AND SHOULD GIVE
hereby made permanent. The Motion process of law; WAY TO THE GREATER
for Reconsideration of respondent HIERARCHY OF PUBLIC
Bayantel dated August 28, 2000 is WELFARE AND PUBLIC
denied for lack of merit. INTEREST.
B. Whether or not the Order dated DENIED THE MANDATE OF THE
May 3, 2000 of the petitioner NTC AS THE AGENCY OF
granting respondent Bayantel a GOVERNMENT WITH THE SOLE
SO ORDERED.[17] provisional authority to operate a DISCRETION REGARDING VI. CONTRARY TO THE
with NTC Rules of Practice and BAND TO APPEALS, THE ARCHIVING OF
Bayantel filed a motion for
Circular No. 9-14-90 dated ENTITIES. WAS NOT VIOLATIVE OF THE
reconsideration of the above
September 4, 1990.[22] SUMMARY NATURE OF THE
decision.[18] The NTC, represented
by the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG), also filed its own motion for IV. THE COURT OF APPEALS
reconsideration.[19] On the other Subsequently, Bayantel also filed its SERIOUSLY ERRED IN ITS
hand, Extelcom filed a Motion for petition for review, docketed as G.R. INTERPRETATION OF THE
Partial Reconsideration, praying that No. 147210, assigning the following LEGAL PRINCIPLE THAT
NTC Memorandum Circular No. 9- errors: JURISDICTION ONCE
3-2000 be also declared null and ACQUIRED CANNOT BE LOST VII. THE COURT OF APPEALS
On February 9, 2001, the Court of INTERPRETATION OF THE
Appeals issued the assailed PRINCIPLE OF EXHAUSTION OF
Resolution denying all of the ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
motions for reconsideration of the WHEN IT FAILED TO DISMISS
parties for lack of merit.[21] HEREIN RESPONDENTS
SEC 4(1) OF R.A. NO. 7925.
Hence, the NTC filed the instant
petition for review on certiorari,
docketed as G.R. No. 147096,
raising the following issues for
resolution of this Court: II. THE COURT OF APPEALS
OF NTC CASE NO. 92-486
February 1, 2000 of the petitioner ARE, AS A MATTER OF OF LAW.

issued in April 1987, the NTC
became an attached agency of the
IX. THE COURT OF APPEALS v. Contrary to the finding of the Department of Transportation and In granting Bayantel the provisional
SERIOUSLY ERRED IN Court of Appeals, there was no Communications. authority to operate a CMTS, the
DECLARING THAT THE MAY 3, violation of the constitutional NTC applied Rule 15, Section 3 of
2000 ORDER GRANTING provision on the right of the public to its 1978 Rules of Practice and
BAYANTEL A PROVISIONAL information when the Common Procedure, which provides:
AUTHORITY SHOULD BE SET Carrier Authorization Department In the regulatory telecommunications
ASIDE AND REVERSED. (CCAD) prepared its evaluation industry, the NTC has the sole
report.[23] authority to issue Certificates of
Public Convenience and Necessity Sec. 3. Provisional Relief. --- Upon
(CPCN) for the installation, the filing of an application,
i. Contrary to the finding of the operation, and maintenance of complaint or petition or at any stage
Court of Appeals, there was no Considering the identity of the communications facilities and thereafter, the Board may grant on
violation of the NTC Rule that the matters involved, this Court resolved services, radio communications motion of the pleader or on its own
legal, technical, financial and to consolidate the two petitions.[24] systems, telephone and telegraph initiative, the relief prayed for, based
economic documentations in support systems. Such power includes the on the pleading, together with the
of the prayer for provisional authority to determine the areas of affidavits and supporting documents
authority should first be submitted. operations of applicants for attached thereto, without prejudice to
At the outset, it is well to discuss the
telecommunications services. a final decision after completion of
nature and functions of the NTC, and
Specifically, Section 16 of the Public the hearing which shall be called
analyze its powers and authority as
Service Act authorizes the then PSC, within thirty (30) days from grant of
ii. Contrary to the finding of the well as the laws, rules and
upon notice and hearing, to issue authority asked for. (underscoring
Court of Appeals, there was no regulations that govern its existence
Certificates of Public Convenience ours)
violation of Sec. 3, Rule 15 of the and operations.
NTC Rules of Practice and for the operation of public services
Procedure that a motion must first be within the Philippines whenever the
filed before a provisional authority Commission finds that the operation Respondent Extelcom, however,
The NTC was created pursuant to of the public service proposed and
could be issued. contends that the NTC should have
Executive Order No. 546, the authorization to do business will applied the Revised Rules which
promulgated on July 23, 1979. It promote the public interests in a were filed with the Office of the
assumed the functions formerly proper and suitable manner.[25] The National Administrative Register on
iii. Contrary to the finding of the assigned to the Board of procedure governing the issuance of February 3, 1993. These Revised
Court of Appeals that a plea for Communications and the such authorizations is set forth in Rules deleted the phrase on its own
provisional authority necessitates a Telecommunications Control Section 29 of the said Act, the initiative; accordingly, a provisional
notice and hearing, the very rule Bureau, which were both abolished pertinent portion of which states: authority may be issued only upon
cited by the petitioner (Section 5, under the said Executive Order.
filing of the proper motion before the
Rule 4 of the NTC Rules of Practice Previously, the NTCs functions were
and Procedure) provides otherwise. merely those of the defunct Public
Service Commission (PSC), created All hearings and investigations
under Commonwealth Act No. 146, before the Commission shall be
as amended, otherwise known as the governed by rules adopted by the In answer to this argument, the NTC,
iv. Contrary to the finding of the Commission, and in the conduct
Public Service Act, considering that through the Secretary of the
Court of Appeals, urgent public need thereof, the Commission shall not be
the Board of Communications was Commission, issued a certification to
is not the only basis for the grant of a bound by the technical rules of legal
the successor-in-interest of the PSC. the effect that inasmuch as the 1993
provisional authority to an applicant; evidence. xxx.
Under Executive Order No. 125-A, Revised Rules have not been

published in a newspaper of general Philippines), unless it is otherwise regulating only the personnel of the
circulation, the NTC has been provided. x x x administrative agency and not the
applying the 1978 Rules. (3) A permanent register of all rules public, need not be published.
shall be kept by the issuing agency Neither is publication required of the
and shall be open to public so-called letters of instructions
inspection. The fact that the amendments to
issued by administrative superiors
The absence of publication, coupled Administrative Order No. SOCPEC
concerning the rules or guidelines to
with the certification by the 89-08-01 were filed with, and
be followed by their subordinates in
Commissioner of the NTC stating published by the UP Law Center in
The National Administrative the performance of their duties.
that the NTC was still governed by the National Administrative Register,
the 1978 Rules, clearly indicate that Register is merely a bulletin of does not cure the defect related to the
the 1993 Revised Rules have not codified rules and it is furnished only effectivity of the Administrative
taken effect at the time of the grant to the Office of the President, Order. xxx
of the provisional authority to Congress, all appellate courts, the
Bayantel. The fact that the 1993 National Library, other public offices
Revised Rules were filed with the or agencies as the Congress may
select, and to other persons at a price This Court, in Taada vs. Tuvera We agree that the publication must
UP Law Center on February 3, 1993
sufficient to cover publication and (G.R. No. L-63915, December 29, be in full or it is no publication at all
is of no moment. There is nothing in
mailing or distribution costs.[26] In a 1986, 146 SCRA 446) stated, thus: since its purpose is to inform the
the Administrative Code of 1987
similar case, we held: public of the contents of the laws.
which implies that the filing of the
rules with the UP Law Center is the
operative act that gives the rules We hold therefore that all statutes,
force and effect. Book VII, Chapter This does not imply however, that including those of local application The Administrative Order under
2, Section 3 thereof merely states: the subject Administrative Order is a and private laws, shall be published consideration is one of those
valid exercise of such quasi- as a condition for their effectivity, issuances which should be published
legislative power. The original which shall begin fifteen days after for its effectivity, since its purpose is
Administrative Order issued on publication unless a different to enforce and implement an existing
Filing. --- (1) Every agency shall file
August 30, 1989, under which the effectivity is fixed by the legislature. law pursuant to a valid delegation,
with the University of the
respondents filed their applications i.e., P.D. 1071, in relation to LOI
Philippines Law Center three (3)
for importations, was not published 444 and EO 133.[27]
certified copies of every rule adopted
by it. Rules in force on the date of in the Official Gazette or in a Covered by this rule are presidential
effectivity of this Code which are not newspaper of general circulation. decrees and executive orders
filed within three (3) months from The questioned Administrative promulgated by the President in the Thus, publication in the Official
the date shall not thereafter be the Order, legally, until it is published, is exercise of legislative power or, at Gazette or a newspaper of general
basis of any sanction against any invalid within the context of Article present, directly conferred by the circulation is a condition sine qua
party or persons. 2 of Civil Code, which reads: Constitution. Administrative Rules non before statutes, rules or
and Regulations must also be regulations can take effect. This is
published if their purpose is to explicit from Executive Order No.
Article 2. Laws shall take effect after enforce or implement existing law 200, which repealed Article 2 of the
(2) The records officer of the agency,
fifteen days following the pursuant also to a valid delegation. Civil Code, and which states that:
or his equivalent functionary, shall
carry out the requirements of this completion of their publication in the
section under pain or disciplinary Official Gazette (or in a newspaper
action. of general circulation in the Interpretative regulations and those Laws shall take effect after fifteen
merely internal in nature, that is, days following the completion of

their publication either in the Official but held in abeyance until the The Court of Appeals ruled that the
Gazette or in a newspaper of general situation obtains wherein action NTC committed grave abuse of
circulation in the Philippines, unless In any event, regardless of whether thereon can be taken. discretion when it revived Bayantels
it is otherwise provided.[28] the 1978 Rules or the 1993 Revised application based on an ex-parte
Rules should apply, the records show motion. In this regard, the pertinent
that the amended application filed by provisions of the NTC Rules:
Bayantel in fact included a motion In the case at bar, the said
The Rules of Practice and Procedure for the issuance of a provisional application was ordered archived
of the NTC, which implements authority. Hence, it cannot be said because of lack of available
Section 29 of the Public Service Act that the NTC granted the provisional frequencies at the time, and made Sec. 5. Ex-parte Motions. --- Except
(C.A. 146, as amended), fall squarely authority motu proprio. The Court of subject to reinstatement upon for motions for provisional
within the scope of these laws, as Appeals, therefore, erred when it availability of the requisite authorization of proposed services
explicitly mentioned in the case found that the NTC issued its Order frequency. To be sure, there was and increase of rates, ex-parte
Taada v. Tuvera.[29] of May 3, 2000 on its own initiative. nothing irregular in the revival of the motions shall be acted upon by the
This much is acknowledged in the application after the condition Board only upon showing of urgent
Decision of the Court of Appeals: therefor was fulfilled. necessity therefor and the right of the
opposing party is not substantially
Our pronouncement in Taada vs.
Tuvera is clear and categorical.
Administrative rules and regulations As prayer, ICC asked for the While, as held by the Court of
must be published if their purpose is immediate grant of provisional Appeals, there are no clear
to enforce or implement existing law authority to construct, install, provisions in the Rules of the NTC Thus, in cases which do not involve
pursuant to a valid delegation. The maintain and operate the subject which expressly allow the archiving either an application for rate increase
only exceptions are interpretative service and to charge the proposed of any application, this recourse may or an application for a provisional
regulations, those merely internal in rates and after due notice and be justified under Rule 1, Section 2 authority, the NTC may entertain ex-
nature, or those so-called letters of hearing, approve the instant of the 1978 Rules, which states: parte motions only where there is an
instructions issued by administrative application and grant the urgent necessity to do so and no
superiors concerning the rules and corresponding certificate of public rights of the opposing parties are
guidelines to be followed by their convenience and necessity.[32] impaired.
Sec. 2. Scope.--- These rules govern
subordinates in the performance of
pleadings, practice and procedure
their duties.[30]
before the Board of Communications
The Court of Appeals also erred (now NTC) in all matters of hearing, The Court of Appeals ruled that there
when it declared that the NTCs investigation and proceedings within was a violation of the fundamental
Hence, the 1993 Revised Rules Order archiving Bayantels the jurisdiction of the Board. right of Extelcom to due process
should be published in the Official application was null and void. The However, in the broader interest of when it was not afforded the
Gazette or in a newspaper of general archiving of cases is a widely justice and in order to best serve the opportunity to question the motion
circulation before it can take effect. accepted measure designed to shelve public interest, the Board may, in for the revival of the application.
Even the 1993 Revised Rules itself cases in which no immediate action any particular matter, except it from However, it must be noted that said
mandates that said Rules shall take is expected but where no grounds these rules and apply such suitable Order referred to a simple revival of
effect only after their publication in a exist for their outright dismissal, procedure to improve the service in the archived application of Bayantel
newspaper of general circulation.[31] albeit without prejudice. It saves the the transaction of the public in NTC Case No. 92-426. At this
In the absence of such publication, petitioner or applicant from the business. (underscoring ours) stage, it cannot be said that
therefore, it is the 1978 Rules that added trouble and expense of re- Extelcoms right to procedural due
governs. filing a dismissed case. Under this process was prejudiced. It will still
scheme, an inactive case is kept alive have the opportunity to be heard

during the full-blown adversarial Extelcom had already entered its is sufficient impetus for the NTC to
hearings that will follow. In fact, the appearance as a party and filed its consider all those applicants who are
records show that the NTC has opposition to the application. It was Likewise, the requirements of notice willing to offer competition, develop
scheduled several hearing dates for neither precluded nor barred from and publication of the application is the market and provide the
this purpose, at which all interested participating in the hearings thereon. no longer necessary inasmuch as the environment necessary for greater
parties shall be allowed to register Indeed, nothing, not even the Order application is a mere revival of an public service. This was the intention
their opposition. We have ruled that reviving the application, bars or application which has already been that came to light with the issuance
there is no denial of due process prevents Extelcom and the other published earlier. At any rate, the of Memorandum Circular 9-3-2000,
where full-blown adversarial oppositors from participating in the records show that all of the five (5) allocating new frequency bands for
proceedings are conducted before an hearings and adducing evidence in CMTS operators in the country were use of CMTS. This memorandum
administrative body.[34] With support of their respective duly notified and were allowed to circular enumerated the conditions
Extelcom having fully participated in oppositions. The motion to revive raise their respective oppositions to prevailing and the reasons which
the proceedings, and indeed, given could not have possibly caused Bayantels application through the necessitated its issuance as follows:
the opportunity to file its opposition prejudice to Extelcom since the NTCs Order dated February 1, 2000.
to the application, there was clearly motion only sought the revival of the
no denial of its right to due process. application. It was merely a
- the international accounting rates
preliminary step towards the It should be borne in mind that are rapidly declining, threatening the
resumption of the hearings on the among the declared national policies subsidy to the local exchange service
application of Bayantel. The latter under Republic Act No. 7925,
In Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan (166 as mandated in EO 109 and RA
will still have to prove its capability otherwise known as the Public
SCRA 316 [1988]), we held that the 7925;
to undertake the proposed CMTS. Telecommunications Policy Act of
right to be heard does not only refer
Indeed, in its Order dated February the Philippines, is the healthy
to the right to present verbal
1, 2000, the NTC set several hearing competition among
arguments in court. A party may also
dates precisely intended for the telecommunications carriers, to wit: - the public telecommunications
be heard through his pleadings.
presentation of evidence on entities which were obligated to
where opportunity to be heard is
Bayantels capability and install, operate and maintain local
accorded either through oral
qualification. Notice of these exchange network have performed
arguments or pleadings, there is no A healthy competitive environment
hearings were sent to all parties their obligations in varying degrees;
denial of procedural due process. As shall be fostered, one in which
concerned, including Extelcom.
reiterated in National Semiconductor telecommunications carriers are free
(HK) Distribution, Ltd. vs. NLRC to make business decisions and to
(G.R. No. 123520, June 26, 1998), interact with one another in - after more than three (3) years from
the essence of due process is simply As regards the changes in the providing telecommunications the performance of the obligations
an opportunity to be heard, or as personal circumstances of Bayantel, services, with the end in view of only 52% of the total number of
applied to administrative the same may be ventilated at the encouraging their financial viability cities and municipalities are provided
proceedings, an opportunity to hearings during Bayantels while maintaining affordable with local telephone service.
explain one's side. Hence, in Navarro presentation of evidence. In fact, rates.[36]
III vs. Damaso (246 SCRA 260 Extelcom was able to raise its
[1995]), we held that a formal or arguments on this matter in the
trial-type hearing is not at all times Opposition (With Motion to - there are mergers and
and not in all instances essential. Dismiss) anent the re-opening and The NTC is clothed with sufficient consolidations among the existing
Plainly, petitioner was not denied re-instatement of the application of discretion to act on matters solely cellular mobile telephone service
due process.[35] Bayantel. Extelcom was thus heard within its competence. Clearly, the (CMTS) providers threatening the
on this particular point. need for a healthy competitive efficiency of competition;
environment in telecommunications

- there is a need to hasten the premature resort to courts.[38] In the The general rule is that, in order to
installation of local exchange lines in case of Lopez v. City of Manila,[39] give the lower court the opportunity
unserved areas; we held: to correct itself, a motion for No franchise, certificate, or any other
reconsideration is a prerequisite to form of authorization for the
certiorari. It also basic that petitioner operation of a public utility shall be
must exhaust all other available granted to citizens of the Philippines
- there are existing CMTS operators As a general rule, where the law or to corporations organized under
remedies before resorting to
which are experiencing congestion in provides for the remedies against the the laws of the Philippines at least
certiorari. This rule, however, is
the network resulting to low grade of action of an administrative board, sixty per centum of whose capital is
subject to certain exceptions such as
service; body or officer, relief to courts can owned by such citizens, nor shall
any of the following: (1) the issues
be sought only after exhausting all such franchise, certificate or
raised are purely legal in nature, (2)
remedies provided. The reason rests authorization be exclusive in
public interest is involved, (3)
upon the presumption that the character or for a longer period than
- the consumers/customers shall be extreme urgency is obvious or (4)
administrative body, if given the fifty years. Neither shall any such
given the freedom to choose CMTS special circumstances warrant
chance to correct its mistake or error, franchise or right be granted except
operators from which they could get immediate or more direct action.[40]
may amend its decision on a given under the condition that it shall be
the service.[37]
matter and decide it properly. subject to amendment, alteration, or
Therefore, where a remedy is repeal by the Congress when the
available within the administrative This case does not fall under any of common good so requires. xxx xxx
Clearly spelled out is the need to machinery, this should be resorted to the recognized exceptions to this xxx.[42]
provide enhanced competition and before resort can be made to the rule. Although the Order of the NTC
the requirement for more landlines courts, not only to give the dated May 3, 2000 granting
and telecommunications facilities in administrative agency the provisional authority to Bayantel was
unserved areas in the country. On opportunity to decide the matter by immediately executory, it did not In Radio Communications of the
both scores, therefore, there was itself correctly, but also to prevent preclude the filing of a motion for Phils., Inc. v. National
sufficient showing that the NTC unnecessary and premature resort to reconsideration. Under the NTC Telecommunications
acted well within its jurisdiction and courts. Rules, a party adversely affected by Commission,[43] we held:
in pursuance of its avowed duties a decision, order, ruling or resolution
when it allowed the revival of may within fifteen (15) days file a
Bayantels application. motion for reconsideration. That the It is well within the powers of the
Clearly, Extelcom violated the rule
Order of the NTC became public respondent to authorize the
on exhaustion of administrative
immediately executory does not installation by the private respondent
remedies when it went directly to the
mean that the remedy of filing a network of radio communications
We now come to the issue of Court of Appeals on a petition for
motion for reconsideration is systems in Catarman, Samar and San
exhaustion of administrative certiorari and prohibition from the
foreclosed to the petitioner.[41] Jose, Mindoro. Under the
remedies. The rule is well- Order of the NTC dated May 3,
entrenched that a party must exhaust 2000, without first filing a motion circumstances, the mere fact that the
all administrative remedies before for reconsideration. It is well-settled petitioner possesses a franchise to
resorting to the courts. The that the filing of a motion for Furthermore, Extelcom does not put up and operate a radio
premature invocation of the reconsideration is a prerequisite to enjoy the grant of any vested interest communications system in certain
intervention of the court is fatal to the filing of a special civil action for on the right to render a public areas is not an insuperable obstacle
ones cause of action. This rule would certiorari. service. The Constitution is quite to the public respondents issuing the
not only give the administrative emphatic that the operation of a proper certificate to an applicant
agency an opportunity to decide the public utility shall not be exclusive. desiring to extend the same services
matter by itself correctly, but would Thus: to those areas. The Constitution
also prevent the unnecessary and mandates that a franchise cannot be

exclusive in nature nor can a reinstating, or canceling applications, part of the National Labor Relations matters are generally accorded not
franchise be granted except that it are all executive and administrative Commission. It does not include an only respect but even finality and are
must be subject to amendment, in nature. It is a well recognized inquiry as to the correctness of the binding even upon the Supreme
alteration, or even repeal by the principle that purely administrative evaluation of evidence which was Court if they are supported by
legislature when the common good and discretionary functions may not the basis of the labor official or substantial evidence.
so requires. (Art. XII, sec. 11 of the be interfered with by the courts. officer in determining his
1986 Constitution). There is an (Coloso vs. Board of Accountancy, conclusion. It is not for this Court to
express provision in the petitioners G.R. No. L-5750, April 20, 1953) In re-examine conflicting evidence, re-
Administrative agencies are given a
franchise which provides compliance general, courts have no supervising evaluate the credibility of witnesses
wide latitude in the evaluation of
with the above mandate (RA 2036, power over the proceedings and nor substitute the findings of fact of
evidence and in the exercise of its
sec. 15). actions of the administrative an administrative tribunal which has
adjudicative functions. This latitude
departments of the government. This gained expertise in its special field.
includes the authority to take judicial
is generally true with respect to acts Considering that the findings of fact
notice of facts within its special
involving the exercise of judgement of the labor arbiter and the NLRC
Even in the provisional authority competence.
or discretion and findings of fact. (54 are supported by evidence on record,
granted to Extelcom, it is expressly
Am. Jur. 558-559) xxx. the same must be accorded due
stated that such authority is not
respect and finality.
exclusive. Thus, the Court of
In the case at bar, we find no reason
Appeals erred when it gave due
to disturb the factual findings of the
course to Extelcoms petition and The established exception to the rule
NTC which formed the basis for
ruled that it constitutes an exception is where the issuing authority has This Court has consistently held that
awarding the provisional authority to
to the rule on exhaustion of gone beyond its statutory authority, the courts will not interfere in
Bayantel. As found by the NTC,
administrative remedies. exercised unconstitutional powers or matters which are addressed to the
Bayantel has been granted several
clearly acted arbitrarily and without sound discretion of the government
provisional and permanent
regard to his duty or with grave agency entrusted with the regulation
authorities before to operate various
abuse of discretion.[45] None of of activities coming under the special
Also, the Court of Appeals erred in telecommunications services.[51]
these obtains in the case at bar. and technical training and knowledge
annulling the Order of the NTC Indeed, it was established that
of such agency.[47] It has also been
dated May 3, 2000, granting Bayantel was the first company to
held that the exercise of
Bayantel a provisional authority to comply with its obligation to install
administrative discretion is a policy
install, operate and maintain CMTS. Moreover, in petitions for certiorari, local exchange lines pursuant to E.O.
decision and a matter that can best be
The general rule is that purely evidentiary matters or matters of fact 109 and R.A. 7925. In recognition of
discharged by the government
administrative and discretionary raised in the court below are not the same, the provisional authority
agency concerned, and not by the
functions may not be interfered with proper grounds nor may such be awarded in favor of Bayantel to
courts.[48] In Villanueva v. Court of
by the courts. Thus, in Lacuesta v. ruled upon in the proceedings. As operate Local Exchange Services in
Appeals,[49] it was held that
Herrera,[44] it was held: held in National Federation of Labor Quezon City, Malabon, Valenzuela
findings of fact which are supported
v. NLRC:[46] and the entire Bicol region was made
by evidence and the conclusion of
permanent and a CPCN for the said
experts should not be disturbed. This
service was granted in its favor.
xxx (T)he powers granted to the was reiterated in Metro Transit
Prima facie evidence was likewise
Secretary of Agriculture and At the outset, it should be noted that Organization, Inc. v. National Labor
found showing Bayantels legal,
Commerce (natural resources) by a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 Relations Commission,[50] wherein
financial and technical capacity to
law regarding the disposition of of the Rules of Court will prosper it was ruled that factual findings of
undertake the proposed cellular
public lands such as granting of only if there is a showing of grave quasi-judicial bodies which have
mobile telephone service.
licenses, permits, leases and abuse of discretion or an act without acquired expertise because their
contracts, or approving, rejecting, or in excess of jurisdiction on the jurisdiction is confined to specific

Likewise, the May 3, 2000 Order did WHEREFORE, in view of the
not violate NTC Memorandum foregoing, the consolidated petitions
Circular No. 9-14-90 dated Finally, this Court finds that the Even assuming that separate actions are GRANTED. The Court of
September 4, 1990, contrary to the Manifestations of Extelcom alleging have been filed by two different Appeals Decision dated September
ruling of the Court of Appeals. The forum shopping on the part of the parties involving essentially the same 13, 2000 and Resolution dated
memorandum circular sets forth the NTC and Bayantel are not impressed subject matter, no forum shopping February 9, 2001 are REVERSED
procedure for the issuance of with merit. The divisions of the was committed as the parties did not and SET ASIDE. The permanent
provisional authority thus: Supreme Court are not to be resort to multiple judicial remedies. injunction issued by the Court of
considered as separate and distinct The Court, therefore, directed the Appeals is LIFTED. The Orders of
courts. The Supreme Court remains a consolidation of the two cases the NTC dated February 1, 2000 and
unit notwithstanding that it works in because they involve essentially the May 3, 2000 are REINSTATED. No
EFFECTIVE THIS DATE, and as divisions. Although it may have same issues. It would also prevent pronouncement as to costs.
part of the Commissions drive to three divisions, it is but a single the absurd situation wherein two
streamline and fast track action on court. Actions considered in any of different divisions of the same court
applications/petitions for CPCN these divisions and decisions would render altogether different
other forms of authorizations, the rendered therein are, in effect, by the rulings in the cases at bar. SO ORDERED.
Commission shall be evaluating same Tribunal. The divisions of this
applications/petitions for immediate Court are not to be considered as
issuance of provisional separate and distinct courts but as
authorizations, pending hearing and We rule, likewise, that the NTC has
divisions of one and the same
final authorization of an application legal standing to file and initiate
on its merit. legal action in cases where it is clear
that its inaction would result in an
impairment of its ability to execute
Moreover, the rules on forum and perform its functions. Similarly,
For this purpose, it is hereby directed shopping should not be literally we have previously held in Civil
that all applicants/petitioners seeking interpreted. We have stated thus: Service Commission v.
for provisional authorizations, shall Dacoycoy[54] that the Civil Service
submit immediately to the Commission, as an aggrieved party,
Commission, either together with may appeal the decision of the Court
their application or in a Motion all It is scarcely necessary to add that
of Appeals to this Court.
their legal, technical, financial, Circular No. 28-91 must be so
economic documentations in support interpreted and applied as to achieve
of their prayer for provisional the purposes projected by the
authorizations for evaluation. On the Supreme Court when it promulgated As correctly stated by the NTC, the
basis of their completeness and their that circular. Circular No. 28-91 was rule invoked by Extelcom is Rule 65
having complied with requirements, designed to serve as an instrument to of the Rules of Civil Procedure,
the Commission shall be issuing promote and facilitate the orderly which provides that public
provisional authorizations. administration of justice and should respondents shall not appear in or
not be interpreted with such absolute file an answer or comment to the
literalness as to subvert its own petition or any pleading therein.[55]
ultimate and legitimate objection or The instant petition, on the other
Clearly, a provisional authority may the goal of all rules of procedure hand, was filed under Rule 45 where
be issued even pending hearing and which is to achieve substantial no similar proscription exists.
final determination of an application justice as expeditiously as
on its merits. possible.[53]

and "People of the Philippines vs. "unknown in said address". The Elections (144 SCRA 194 [1986]), in
Jane C. Go"; and b) enjoin Court, on October 11, 1995 directed the following words:
THIRD DIVISION respondent judge from conducting the Solicitor General to serve the
further proceedings in the aforesaid same on said respondents and to
criminal cases. inform the Court of such service,
This Court has repeatedly and
[G.R. No. 118882. September 26, both within ten (10) days from
consistently demanded "the cold
1996] notice.
neutrality of an impartial judge" as
Acting on the said petition, the Court the indispensable imperative of due
on April 3, 1995 resolved to require process. To bolster that requirement,
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents all of whom are the The Office of the Solicitor General we have held that the judge must not
petitioner, vs. COURT OF accused in the aforesaid criminal filed a Compliance stating that the only be impartial but must also
APPEALS, HON. PEDRO S. cases, to comment thereon within 10 required copies were sent to private appear to be impartial as an added
ESPINA, CRISTETA REYES, days from notice, to issue the respondents Santos & Alegro assurance to the parties that his
JOHNY SANTOS, ANTONIO temporary restraining order prayed through ordinary mail on December decision will be just. The litigants
ALEGRO, ROGELIO MENGUIN, for, and to enjoin respondent judge 26, 1995. are entitled to no less than that. They
PETE ALVERIO, ROGEN from taking further action in should be sure that when their rights
DOCTORA and JANE GO, Criminal Cases No. 93-01-38 & 93- are violated they can go to a judge
respondents. 01-39 until further orders from the who shall give them justice. They
To date, all the respondents have not
Court. must trust the judge, otherwise they
yet filed their comments, for verily,
will not go to him at all. They must
delay in the submission of the same
believe in his sense of fairness,
RESOLUTION would appear to benefit respondents,
otherwise they will not seek his
It appearing that private respondents and sanction against them may not
judgment. Without such confidence,
Cristeta Reyes & Rogen Doctora, really amount to much, considering
there would be no point in invoking
Johny Santos & Antonio Alegro & that most of them are under
MELO, J.: his action for the justice they expect.
Jane C. Go failed to file their detention. Thus, so as not to unduly
respective comments within the delay the disposition of Criminal
period which expired on April 17, Cases No. 93-01-38 and 93-01-39,
Before us is a petition for review 1995 and April 18, 1995, we now resolve to dispense with Due process is intended to insure that
with an urgent prayer for a writ of respectively, the Court on June 26, respondent's comments and to confidence by requiring compliance
preliminary injunction and/or 1995 resolved to require said private proceed with the disposition of the with what Justice Frankfurter calls
restraining order which seeks to: (a) respondents to show cause why they petition. the rudiments of fair play. Fair play
annul and set aside the decision of should not be disciplinary dealt with calls for equal justice. There cannot
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP for such failure, and to file the be equal justice where a suitor
No. 31733 entitled "People of the required comments, both within ten approaches a court already
One of the essential requirements of
Philippines vs. Hon. Pedro S. Espina (10) days from notice. committed to the other party and
procedural due process in a judicial
et al.", insofar as it denied the with a judgment already made and
proceeding is that there must be an
People's prayer to inhibit respondent waiting only to be formalized after
impartial court or tribunal clothed
Judge Pedro S. Espina of the the litigants shall have undergone the
As to respondents Johny Santos & with judicial power to hear and
Regional Trial Court of Tacloban charade of a formal hearing. Judicial
Antonio Alegro (prisoners at the determine the matter before it. Thus,
City from hearing Criminal Cases (and also extrajudicial) proceedings
Tacloban City Jail), copies of the every litigant, including the State, is
No. 93-01-38 & 9301-39, are not orchestrated plays in which
resolution requiring them to file entitled to the cold neutrality of an
respectively, entitled "People of the the parties are supposed to make the
comment were returned unserved impartial judge which was explained
Philippines vs. Cristeta Reyes, et al." motions and reach the denoucement
with the postmaster's notation in Javier vs. Commission of
according to a prepared script. There

is no writer to foreordain the ending. Regional Trial Court of the 8th G.R. No. 121234 August 23, 1995 PABLO FORMARAN, and
The Judge will reach his conclusions Judicial Region stationed in NATIONAL BUREAU OF
only after all the evidence is in and Tacloban is hereby declared INVESTIGATION, and
all the arguments are filed, on the disqualified from taking cognizance HONORABLE AMELITA G.
HUBERT J. P. WEBB, petitioner,
basis of the established facts and the of Criminal Cases No. 93-01-38 and TOLENTINO, the Presiding Judge
pertinent law. 93-01-39. It is further ordered that vs. of the Regional Trial Court of
these criminal cases be re-raffled to Parañaque, Branch 274, respondents.
another branch of the Regional Trial HONORABLE RAUL E. DE LEON,
Court of Tacloban City. the Presiding Judge of the Regional
In the case at bar, Judge Pedro
Trial Court of Parañaque, Branch
Espina, as correctly pointed out by G.R. No. 121297 August 23, 1995
the Solicitor General, can not be
ESCANO, the Presiding Judge of the
considered to adequately possess SO ORDERED.
Regional Trial Court of Parañaque,
such cold neutrality of an impartial
Branch 259, PEOPLE OF THE ANTONIO L. LEJANO, petitioner,
judge as to fairly assess both the
evidence to be adduced by the vs.
prosecution and the defense in view
of his previous decision in Special HONORABLE RAUL E. DE LEON,
Civil Action No. 92-11-219 wherein the Presiding Judge of the Regional
he enjoined the preliminary Trial Court of Parañaque, Branch
investigation at the Regional State 258, HONORABLE ZOSIMO V.
Prosecutor's Office level against ESCANO, the Presiding Judge of the
TOLENTINO, the Presiding Judge
herein respondent Jane Go, the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque,
of the Regional Trial Court of
principal accused in the killing of her Branch 259, PEOPLE OF THE
Parañaque, Branch 274, respondents,
husband Dominador Go. PHILIPPINES, ZENON L. DE
LAURO VIZCONDE, intervenor.
Judge Espina's decision in favor of
G.R. No. 121245 August 23, 1995 FORMARAN, and NATIONAL
respondent Jane Go serves as
sufficient and reasonable basis for
the prosecution to seriously doubt his
TOLENTINO, the Presiding Judge
impartiality in handling the criminal MICHAEL A. GATCHALIAN,
of the Regional Trial Court of
cases. Verily, it would have been petitioner,
Parañaque, Branch 274, respondents.
more prudent for Judge Espina to
have voluntarily inhibited himself vs.
from hearing the criminal cases.
the Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court of Parañaque, Branch PUNO, J.:
WHEREFORE, the petition is 258, HONORABLE ZOSIMO V.
hereby GRANTED. The decision of ESCANO, the Presiding Judge of the
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. Regional Trial Court of Parañaque,
31733 is hereby SET ASIDE and Branch 259, PEOPLE OF THE Before the Court are petitions for the
The Honorable Pedro Espina, PHILIPPINES, ZENON L. DE issuance of the extraordinary writs of
Presiding Judge of Branch 7 of the GUIYAB, JR., ROBERTO LAO, certiorari, prohibition and mandamus

with application for temporary crime;7 (2) the sworn statements of from March 9, 1991 to October 22, investigation conducted by
restraining order and preliminary two (2) of the former housemaids of 1992; Superintendent Rodolfo C. Sison,
injunction to: (1) annul and set aside the Webb family in the persons of Regional Deputy Director, NCRC;
the Warrants of Arrest issued against Nerissa E. Rosales and Mila S.
petitioners by respondent Judges Gaviola;8 (3) the sworn-statement of
(b) Laboratory Report No. SN-
Raul E. de Leon and Amelita Carlos J. Cristobal who alleged that
91-17 of the Medico Legal Officer, (i) The names of NBI
Tolentino in Criminal Case No. 95- on March 9, 1991 he was a passenger
Dr. Prospero A. Cabanayan, M.D.; officials/agents composing the Task
404; (2) enjoin the respondents from of United Airlines Flight No. 808
Force Jecares, including their
conducting any proceeding in the bound for New York and who
respective positions and duties;
aforementioned criminal case; and expressed doubt on whether
(3) dismiss said criminal case or petitioner Webb was his co- (c) Sworn Statements of
include Jessica Alfaro as one of the passenger in the trip; (4) the sworn Gerardo C. Biong (other than his
accused therein.1 statement of Lolita Birrer, a former Sworn Statement dated October 7, (j) Statements made by other
live-in partner of Gerardo Biong, 1991); persons in connection with the crime
who narrated the manner of how charged.
Biong investigated and tried to cover
From the records of the case, it
up the crime at bar;9 (5) the sworn
appears that on June 19, 1994, the (d) Photographs of fingerprints
statements of Belen Dometita and
National Bureau of Investigation lifted from the Vizconde residence The motion was granted by the DOJ
Teofilo Minoza, two of the Vizconde
(NBI) filed with the Department of taken during the investigation; Panel and the NBI submitted
maids, and the sworn statements of
Justice a letter-complaint charging photocopies of the documents. It
Normal White, a security guard and
petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael alleged it lost the original of the
Manciano Gatmaitan, an engineer.
Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and April 28, 1995 sworn statement of
The autopsy reports of the victims (e) Investigation records of
six (6) other persons,2 with the crime Alfaro. This compelled petitioner
were also submitted and they showed NBI on Engr. Danilo Aguas, et al.;
of Rape with Homicide. Forthwith, Webb to file Civil Case No. 951099
that Carmela had nine (9) stab
the Department of Justice formed a in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
wounds, Estrellita twelve (12) and
panel of prosecutors headed by Makati, Br. 63, for the purpose,
Jennifer nineteen (19).10 The genital
Assistant Chief State Prosecutor (f) List of names of 135 among others, of obtaining the
examination of Carmela confirmed
Jovencio R. Zuño to conduct the suspects/persons investigated by the original of said sworn statement. He
the presence of spermatozoa.11
preliminary investigation3 of those NBI per Progress Report dated succeeded, for in the course of its
charged with the rape and killing on September 2, 1991 submitted by proceedings, Atty. Arturo L.
June 30, 1991 of Carmela N. Atty. Arlis Vela, Supervising Agent; Mercader, Jr., produced a copy of
Vizconde;4 her mother Estrellita Before submitting his counter- said original in compliance with a
Nicolas-Vizconde,5 and her sister affidavit, petitioner Webb filed with subpoena duces tecum. The original
Anne Marie Jennifer6 in their home the DOJ Panel a Motion for was then submitted by petitioner
at Number 80 W. Vinzons, St., BF Production And Examination of (g) Records of arrest, Webb to the DOJ Panel together with
Homes, Parañaque, Metro Manila. Evidence and Documents for the interview, investigation and other his other evidence. It appears,
NBI to produce the following: written statements of Jessica Alfaro however, that petitioner Webb failed
(other than the May 22, 1995 Sworn to obtain from the NBI the copy of
Statement) conducted by the NBI the Federal Bureau of Investigation
During the preliminary investigation, and other police agencies; (FBI) Report despite his request for
the NBI presented the following: (1) (a) Certification issued by the
its production.
the sworn statement dated May 22, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
1995 of their principal witness, on the admission to and stay of
Maria Jessica M. Alfaro who Hubert Webb in the United States (h) transmittal letter to the
allegedly saw the commission of the NBI, including the report of the

Petitioner Webb claimed during the alleged that from 11 o'clock in the Bicutan, Taguig. Petitioners petitioner Webb's hair as semi-
preliminary investigation that he did evening of June 29, 1991 until 3 Gatchalian and Lejano likewise gave blonde. They also criticize the
not commit the crime at bar as he o'clock in the morning of the themselves up to the authorities after procedure followed by the DOJ
went to the United States on March following day, he was at the filing their petitions before us. Panel when it did not examine
1, 1991 and returned to the residence of his friends, Carlos and witnesses to clarify the alleged
Philippines on October 27, 1992. 12 Andrew Syyap, at New Alabang incredulities and inconsistencies in
His alibi was corroborated by Village, Muntinlupa watching video the sworn statements of the
In their petitions at bar, petitioners
Honesto Aragon, Lecinia tapes. He claimed that his co- witnesses for the NBI.
contend: (1) respondent Judges de
Edrosolano, Sylvia Climaco, Gina petitioner Lejano was with him.
Leon and Tolentino gravely abused
Roque, Sonia Rodriguez, Edgardo
their discretion when they failed to
Venture and Pamela Francisco.13 To
conduct a preliminary examination We start with a restatement of the
further support his defense, he
On August 8, 1995, the DOJ Panel before issuing warrants of arrest purpose of a preliminary
submitted documentary evidence that
issued a 26-page Resolution "finding against them: (2) the DOJ Panel investigation. Section 1 of Rule 112
he bought a bicycle and a 1986
probable cause to hold respondents likewise gravely abused its discretion provides that a preliminary
Toyota car while in the United States
for trial" and recommending that an in holding that there is probable investigation should determine " . . .
on said dates14 and that he was
Information for rape with homicide cause to charge them with the crime whether there is a sufficient ground
issued by the State of California
be filed against petitioners and their of rape with homicide; (3) the DOJ to engender a well-grounded belief
Driver's License No. A8818707 on
co-respondents,18 On the same date, Panel denied them their that a crime cognizable by the
June 14, 1991.15 Petitioner Webb
it filed the corresponding constitutional right to due process Regional Trial Court has been
likewise submitted the letter dated
Information19 against petitioners during their preliminary committed and that the respondent is
July 25, 1995 of Mr. Robert Heafner,
and their co-accused with the investigation; and (4) the DOJ Panel probably guilty thereof, and should
Legal Attache of the US Embassy,
Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. unlawfully intruded into judicial be held for trial." Section 3 of the
citing certain records tending to
The case was docketed as Criminal prerogative when it failed to charge same Rule outlines the procedure in
confirm, among others, his arrival at
Case No. 95-404 and raffled to Jessica Alfaro in the Information as conducting a preliminary
San Francisco, California on March
Branch 258 presided by respondent an accused. investigation, thus:
9, 1991 as a passenger in United
judge Zosimo V. Escano. It was,
Airlines Flight No. 808.
however, the respondent judge Raul
de Leon, pairing judge of Judge
We find the petitions bereft of merit. Sec. 3. Procedure. — Except as
Escano, who issued the warrants of
provided for in Section 7 hereof, no
The other respondents — Hospicio arrest against the petitioners. On
complaint or information for an
"Pyke" Fernandez, Michael August 11, 1995, Judge Escano
offense cognizable by the Regional
Gatchalian, Antonio "Tony Boy" voluntarily inhibited himself from I
Trial Court shall be filed without a
Lejano, Peter Estrada, Miguel the case to avoid any suspicion about
preliminary investigation having
Rodriguez and Gerardo Biong — his impartiality considering his
been first conducted in the following
submitted sworn statements, employment with the NBI before his
Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for its manner:
responses, and a motion to dismiss appointment to the bench. The case
denying their complicity in the rape- was re-raffled to Branch 274, finding of probable cause. They
killing of the Vizcondes.16 Only the presided by Judge Amelita Tolentino insist that the May 22, 1995 sworn
respondents Joey Filart and Artemio who issued new warrants of arrest statement of Jessica Alfaro is
(a) The complaint shall state
"Dong" Ventura failed to file their against the petitioners and their co- inherently weak and uncorroborated.
the known address of the respondent
counter-affidavits though they were accused. On August 11, 1995, They hammer on alleged material
and be accompanied by affidavits of
served with subpoena in their last petitioner Webb voluntarily inconsistencies between her April
the complainant and his witnesses as
known address.17 In his sworn surrendered to the police authorities 28, 1995 and May 22, 1995 sworn
well as other supporting documents,
statement, petitioner Gatchalian at Camp Ricardo Papa Sr., in statements. They assail her
in such number of copies as there are
credibility for her misdescription of

respondents, plus two (2) copies for the ten (10) day period, the that a crime has been committed and Applying these basic norms, we are
the official file. The said affidavits investigating officer shall base his that the accused is probably guilty not prepared to rule that the DOJ
shall be sworn to before any fiscal, resolution on the evidence presented thereof . . ." Panel gravely abused its discretion
state prosecutor or government by the complainant. when it found probable cause against
official authorized to administer the petitioners. Petitioners belittle the
oath, or, in their absence or truthfulness of Alfaro on two (2)
The need to find probable cause is
unavailability, a notary public, who grounds: (a) she allegedly
(e) If the investigating officer dictated by the Bill of Rights which
must certify that he personally erroneously described petitioner
believes that there are matters to be protects "the right of the people to be
examined the affiants and that he is Webb's hair as semi-blond and (b)
clarified, he may set a hearing to secure in their persons . . . against
satisfied that they voluntarily she committed material
propound clarificatory questions to unreasonable searches and seizures
executed and understood their inconsistencies in her two (2) sworn
the parties or their witnesses, during of whatever nature . . ."20 An arrest
affidavits. statement, thus:26
which the parties shall be afforded an without a probable cause is an
opportunity to be present but without unreasonable seizure of a person, and
the right to examine or cross- violates the privacy of persons which
(b) Within ten (10) days after examine. If the parties so desire, they ought not to be intruded by the xxx xxx xxx
the filing of the complaint, the may submit questions to the State.21 Probable cause to warrant
investigating officer shall either investigating officer which the latter arrest is not an opaque concept in our
dismiss the same if he finds no may propound to the parties or jurisdiction. Continuing accretions of
To illustrate, the following are some
ground to continue with the inquiry, witnesses concerned. case law reiterate that they are facts
examples of inconsistencies in the
or issue a subpoena to the and circumstances which would lead
two sworn statements of Alfaro:
respondent, attaching thereto a copy a reasonably discreet and prudent
of the complaint, affidavits and other man to believe that an offense has
(f) Thereafter, the
supporting documents. Within ten been committed by the person sought
investigation shall be deemed
(10) days from receipt thereof, the to be arrested.22 Other jurisdictions On whether Alfaro knew Carmela
concluded, and the investigating
respondent shall submit counter- utilize the term man of reasonable before the incident in question
officer shall resolve the case within
affidavits and other supporting caution 23 or the term ordinarily
ten (10) days therefrom. Upon the
documents. He shall have the right to prudent and cautious man.24 The
evidence thus adduced, the
examine all other evidence submitted terms are legally synonymous and
investigating officer shall determine First Affidavit: She had NOT
by the complainant. their reference is not to a person with
whether or not there is sufficient met Carmela before June 29, 1991.
training in the law such as a
ground to hold the respondent for
prosecutor or a judge but to the
average man on the street.25 It ought
(c) Such counter-affidavits
to be emphasized that in determining Second Affidavit: "I met her in a
and other supporting evidence
probable cause, the average man party sometime in February, 1991."
submitted by the respondent shall
Section 4 of Rule 112 then directs weighs facts and circumstances
also be sworn to and certified as
that "if the investigating fiscal finds without resorting to the calibrations
prescribed in paragraph (a) hereof
cause to hold the respondent for trial, of our technical rules of evidence of
and copies thereof shall be furnished On whether Alfaro saw the dead
he shall prepare the resolution and which his knowledge is nil. Rather,
by him to the complainant. bodies
corresponding information. He shall he relies on the calculus of common
certify under oath that he, or as sense of which all reasonable men
shown by the record, an authorized have an abundance.
(d) If the respondent cannot be officer, has personally examined the First Affidavit: She did not see
subpoenaed, or if subpoenaed, does complainant and his witnesses, that the three dead persons on that night.
not submit counter-affidavits within there is reasonable ground to believe She just said "on the following day I

read in the newspaper that there were On whether Alfaro entered the prior agreement be demonstrable and to check on our U.S.-based
three persons who were killed . . ." Vizconde house since, in the nature of things, witnesses."
criminal undertakings are only rarely
documented by agreements in
writing. Thus, conspiracy may be
Second Affidavit: "I peeped First Affidavit: She never In said memorandum, counsel for
inferred from the conduct of the
through the first door on the left. I entered the house. respondent Webb calls for the
accused before, during and after the
saw two bodies on top of the bed, application of the maxim falsus in
commission of the crime, showing
bloodied, and in the floor, I saw uno, falsus in omnibus arising from
that the several accused had acted in
Hubert on top of Carmela." the inconsistencies of Alfaro's
Second Affidavit: "I proceeded to concert or in unison with each other,
statements, among others. This is
the iron grill gate leading to the dirty evincing a common purpose or
untenable. As held in Angelo:
kitchen." design." (Angelo vs. Court of
On the alleged rape of Carmela Appeals, 210 SCRA 402 [1992],
Vizconde citations omitted; People vs.
Molleda, 86 SCRA 699). There is no rule of law which
In its Resolution, the DOJ Panel
prohibits a court from crediting part
ruled that these alleged
of the testimony of a witness as
First Affidavit: She did not see misdescription and inconsistencies
worthy of belief and from
the act of rape. did not erode the credibility of Neither can we discredit Alfaro
simultaneously rejecting other parts
Alfaro. We quote the pertinent merely because of the
which the court may find incredible
ruling, viz.:27 inconsistencies in her two sworn
or dubious. The maxim falsus in uno,
statements. In Angelo, the Court
Second Affidavit: She saw Hubert falsus in omnibus is not a rule of
refused to discredit the testimony of
Webb "with bare buttocks, on top of law, let alone a general rule of law
a witness accusing therein petitioner
Carmela and pumping, her mouth xxx xxx xxx which is universally applicable. It is
for the slaying of one Gaviano
gagged and she was moaning and I not a legal presumption either. It is
Samaniego even though said witness
saw tears on her eyes." merely a latinism describing the
failed to name Angelo in his affidavit
conclusion reached by a court in a
As regards the admissibility of which was executed five (5) months
particular case after ascribing to the
Alfaro's statements, granting for earlier. Granting, the Court
evidence such weight or lack of
On how Webb, Lejano, and Ventura purposes of argument merely that continued, that a part of the witness'
weight that the court deemed proper.
entered the Vizconde house she is a co-conspirator, it is well to testimony is untrue, such
note that confessions of a co- circumstance is not sufficient to
conspirator may be taken as evidence discredit the entire testimony of the
to show the probability of the co- witness. In the case before us, complainant
First Affidavit: "by jumping reasoned out that Alfaro was then
conspirator's participation in the
over the fence, which was only a having reservations when she first
commission of the crime (see People
little more than a meter high." executed the first statement and held
vs. Lumahang, 94 Phil. 1084). On August 7, 1995, another counsel
back vital information due to her
for respondent Webb submitted his
natural reaction of mistrust. This
memorandum suggesting that the
Second Affidavit: They "entered being so, the panel believes that the
Furthermore, it is a well-established instant complaint "should not be
the gate which was already open." inconsistencies in Alfaro's two sworn
doctrine that conspiracy need not be decided within the month to give
statements have been sufficiently
proved by direct evidence of prior time to the NBI to coordinate with
explained especially specially so
agreement to commit the crime. the FBI on the latter's inquiry into
where there is no showing that the
Indeed, "only rarely would such a the whereabouts of Hubert Webb . . .
inconsistencies were deliberately

made to distort the truth. stockroom near Hubert's room to see He (son of Webb) was then wearing
Consequently, the probative value of what he was doing. In the said a striped white jacket. When he and
Alfaro's testimony deserves full faith According to Nerissa E. Rosales, a stockroom, there is a small door his children were already inside the
and credit. As it has been often former housemaid of the Webb going to Hubert's room and in that plane, he did not see Freddie
noted, ex parte statements are family, on June 29, 1991, between door there is a small opening where anymore, but he noticed his son was
generally incomplete because they 7:00 o'clock and 8:00 o'clock in the she used to see Hubert and his seated at the front portion of the
are usually executed when the evening, Hubert was at home inside friends sniffing on something. She economy class. He never noticed
affiant's state of mind does not give his room with two male visitors. She observed Hubert was quite irritated, Freddie Webb's son upon their
her sufficient and fair opportunity to knew it because she and her co- uneasy, and walked to and from arrival in San Francisco. He claims
comprehend the import of her housemaid, Loany, were instructed inside his room. that, while watching the television
statement and to narrate in full the by Hubert to bring them three glasses program "DONG PUNO LIVE"
incidents which transpired (People of juice. It was the last time she saw lately, he saw the wife of Freddie
vs. Sarellana, 233 SCRA 31 [1994]; Hubert and was later told by then Webb with her lawyer being
Congressman Webb that Hubert was On that day, she noticed Hubert left
Angelo vs. Court of Appeals, supra). interviewed, and when she described
in the United States. the house at around 1:00 in the
In the case at bar, there is no dispute Hubert as "moreno" and small built,
afternoon and came back at around
that a crime has been committed and with a height of five feet and seven
4:00 in the same afternoon and went
what is clear before us is that the inches tall, and who was the one who
inside his room using the secret door
totality of the evidence submitted by While Mila S. Gaviola, another left for United States on March 9,
of the house. It was the last time that
the complainant indicate a prima former housemaid of the Webb 1991, he nurtured doubts because
she saw Hubert until she left the
facie case that respondents conspired family and who served as a laundry such description does not fit the
Webb family.
in the perpetration of the imputed woman, claims, aside from physical traits of the son of Freddie,
offense. corroborating the statement of who left with him for United States
Nerissa Rosales, that on June 30, on the same flight and date.
1991, she woke up at around 4:00 in On the other hand, Carlos J.
the morning and as what she used to Cristobal alleged that on March 9,
We note that the May 22, 1995
do, she entered the rooms of the 1991, at about 10:00 in the morning,
sworn statement of Alfaro was given Lolita Birrer, alleged that she know
Webbs to get their clothes to be he was at the Ninoy Aquino
with the assistance of counsel28 and Gerardo Biong because she had an
washed. As a matter of fact, in that International Airport as he was then
consists of six (6) pages, in single affair with him for almost three (3)
early morning, she entered Hubert's scheduled to take the United Airlines
space reciting in rich details how the years and in fact, she had a child
room and saw Hubert, who was only Flight No. 808 at 2:00 in the
crime was planned and then executed with him who is now four (4) years
wearing his pants, already awake and afternoon for New York. At the
by the petitioners. In addition, the old. Their relationship started in
smoking while he was sitting on his airport's lobby, he saw then
DOJ Panel evaluated the supporting February, 1991 until she broke up
bed. She picked up Hubert's Congressman Freddie Webb with a
sworn statements of Nerissa Rosales with him in September 1993. She
scattered clothes and brought them male companion. He greeted him and
and Mila Gaviola, former recalls that on June 29, 1991, at
together with the clothes of the other Webb answered: "Mabuti naman, at
housemaids of the Webbs, Carlos J. around 6:00 p.m., Biong invited her
members of the family to the laundry ito, ihahatid ko ang anak ko
Cristobal, a passenger in United to play mahjong at the canteen of a
area. After taking her breakfast, she papuntang Florida." He knew
Airlines Flight No. 808 and Lolita certain Aling Glo located at the back
began washing the clothes of the Freddie Webb because he often
Birrer, a paramour of Gerardo Biong. of the Parañaque Municipal Hall.
Webbs. As she was washing the watched him then in a television
The Panel assayed their statements
clothes of Hubert Webb, she noticed show "Chicks to Chicks." He
as follows:29
fresh bloodstains in his shirt. After observed that the man whom Freddie
she finished the laundry, she went to Webb referred to as his son, was of At about 2:30, in the early morning
the servant's quarters. But feeling the same height as Freddie. The son of January 30, 1991, the radio
xxx xxx xxx uneasy, she decided to go up to the referred to has fair complexion with operator of the Parañaque police told
no distinguishing marks on his face. Biong that he has a phone call.

Before Biong went to the radio Biong, may tatlong patay sa BF, they heard nothing unusual. Using and this group picked up Mike
room, she was instructed to take him imbestigahan mo" to which Biong the handle of his gun, Biong broke Gatchalian and brought him to the
over and after somebody won the answered, "Oo susunod na ako." the remaining glass of the door Parañaque Police Station, she was
game, she followed Biong at the Biong went to the office of Capt. panel. Bartolome then came out of surprised that Biong halted the
radio room where she overheard him Don Bartolome who offered to the room and told Biong that he can investigation when Gatchalian was
uttering, "Ano?, Saan? Mahirap yan, accompany him and with whom she hear the sound of the glass being profusely sweating while being
Paano, o sige, aantayin kita, O ano?, asked permission to go with them. broken. At the garage, Biong also interrogated. After the father of
dilaw na taxi, o sige." When he put Before they proceeded to the place noticed same marks on the hood of Gatchalian talked to Colonel Pureza,
the phone down, Biong told her, where the killings happened, she the car. the latter called up and instructed
"Mayroon lang akong asked Biong if he knew the exact Biong to bring Gatchalian to him
rerespondehan, ikaw muna ang address and the latter immediately (Colonel Pureza) and that was the
maupo" and then, he went outside responded, "Alam ko na yon." She last thing she remembered regarding
On the following day, at around
the canteen apparently waiting for was surprised because Galvan never this case.
12:00 noon, Biong arrived in her
somebody. Twenty minutes later, a told him the place of the incident.
house together with the Vizconde
taxi, colored yellow, arrived with a
housemaids. When Biong was
male passenger sitting at the
preparing to take a bath, she saw him The DOJ Panel then weighed these
backseat and parked near the
As soon as they arrived at the remove from his pocket the things inculpatory evidence against the
canteen. After it made some signals
Vizconde's residence, Biong she also saw from Vizconde's exculpatory evidence of petitioners.
by blinking its headlight, Biong rode
instructed the housemaids to contact residence, to wit: calling cards, It ruled: 30
thereat at the front seat beside the
the victim's relatives, while the driver's license, ATM card, a crossed
driver and then, they left. She was
security guard fetched the barangay check worth P80,000.00, earrings, a
not able to recognize the male
chairman and the president of the ring, bracelet, necklace, and the
passenger because the window of the xxx xxx xxx
Homeowners Association. When all watch he took from the jewelry box
taxi was tinted. Biong came back at
these persons were already in the inside the room of the Vizcondes.
around 7:00 of the same morning and
house, Biong started recording the These jewelry items were later
when he arrived, he immediately
wounds of the victim. Inside the pawned by Biong for P20,000.00 at a The voluminous number of exhibits
washed his hands and face, and took
master's bedroom, she saw Biong pawnshop in front of Chow-Chow submitted by respondent Webb to
his handkerchief from his pocket
took a watch from the jewelry box. restaurant in Santos Avenue, support his defense of denial and
which he threw at the trash can. She
Because she could not tolerate the Parañaque. The next day, she saw alibi notwithstanding, the panel, after
asked him why he threw his
foul odor, she and Capt. Bartolome Biong took from his locker at the a careful and thorough evaluation of
handkerchief and he answered,
went out of the room and proceeded Parañaque Police Station an the records, believes that they cannot
"Hmp . . . amoy tae." She inquired
to the dining area. On top of the imported brown leather jacket, which outweigh the evidence submitted by
what happened in BF Homes and he
dining table, she saw the scattered the latter claimed to have been given the complainant. Alibi cannot prevail
replied, "Putang inang mga batang
contents of a shoulder bag. Moments to him by the person who called him over the positive identification made
iyon, pinahirapan nila ako."
later, Biong came out from the room up in the early morning of June 30, by a prosecution witness. Verily,
and proceeded to the front door to 1991. alibi deserves scant consideration in
remove the chain lock; asked the the face of positive identification
Biong later invited her for breakfast, keys from the housemaid and it was especially so where the claim of alibi
but they first went to his office only then that the main door was is supported mainly by friends and
Since then, Biong has been wearing
where she observed him doing opened. Biong noticed a stone in relatives (People vs. Apolonia, 235
said jacket until they broke up
something in his steel cabinet while front of the broken glass of the door SCRA 124 [1994]; People vs. Lucas,
sometime in 1993. She observed that
he appeared to be uneasy. Moments and requested Capt. Bartolome to go 181 SCRA 316 and a long line of
Biong seemed not interested in
later, Galvan, another policeman of inside the servant's quarters as he cases).
pursuing the investigation of the
Parañaque, arrived and said, "Oy doubted the housemaids' claim that
Vizconde case. In fact, when Biong

October 26, 1992 and found the probable cause demands more than We now come to the charge of
same wanting to exonerate him of "bare suspicion," it requires "less petitioners that respondent Judge
Similarly, denial is a self-serving the offense charged. The material than evidence which would justify . . Raul de Leon and, later, respondent
negative which cannot be given dates in this case are June 29 and 30, . conviction." A finding of probable Judge Amelita Tolentino issued
greater evidentiary weight than the 1991. While respondent Webb may cause merely binds over the suspect warrants of arrest against them
declaration of a credible witness who have submitted proof tending to to stand trial. It is not a without conducting the required
testified on affirmative matters show that he was issued a California pronouncement of guilt. preliminary examination. Petitioners
(People vs. Carizo, 233 SCRA 687 driver's license on June 14, 1991, support their stance by highlighting
[1994]). Indeed, denial, like alibi, is there is no showing that he could not the following facts: (1) the issuance
weak and becomes even more have been in the country on the dates of warrants of arrest in a matter of
weaker when arrayed against the Considering the low quantum and
above mentioned. Neither do we find few hours; (2) the failure of said
positive identification by the witness quality of evidence needed to
merit in the allegation that judges to issue orders of arrest; (3)
for the prosecution (People vs. support a finding of probable cause,
respondent Webb personally bought the records submitted to the trial
Onpaid, 233 SCRA 62 [1994]). we also hold that the DOJ Panel did
a bicycle on June 30, 1991 in court were incomplete and
not, gravely abuse its discretion in
California in view of his positive insufficient from which to base a
refusing to call the NBI witnesses for
identification by Alfaro and the two finding of probable cause; and (4)
clarificatory questions. The decision
Surprisingly, Gatchalian's defense of (2) househelps of the Webb family that even Gerardo Biong who was
to call witnesses for clarificatory
alibi was not corroborated by Lejano, who testified that he was here in the included in the Information as a mere
questions is addressed to the sound
whom he claimed was with him country on said dates. Additionally, accessory had a "NO BAIL"
discretion of the investigator and the
watching video tapes at the Syyap the issuance of receipt evidencing recommendation by the DOJ Panel.
investigator alone. If the evidence on
residence. Other than claiming that the purchase of a bicycle in Petitioners postulate that it was
hand already yields a probable cause,
he "was not and could not have been California is no conclusive proof that impossible to conduct a "searching
the investigator need not hold a
at or near the area of the Vizconde the name appearing thereon was the examination of witnesses and
clarificatory hearing. To repeat,
residence at the time of the alleged actual buyer of the merchandise. evaluation of the documents" on the
probable cause merely implies
commission of the crime," part of said judges.
probability of guilt and should be
respondent Lejano proffered no determined in a summary manner.
evidence to substantiate his claim of Given these conflicting pieces of Preliminary investigation is not a
alibi. evidence of the NBI and the part of trial and it is only in a trial The issuance of a warrant of arrest
petitioners, we hold that the DOJ where an accused can demand the interferes with individual liberty and
Panel did not gravely abuse its full exercise of his rights, such as the is regulated by no less than the
xxx xxx xxx discretion when it found probable right to confront and cross-examine fundamental law of the land. Section
cause against the petitioners. A his accusers to establish his 2 of Article III of the Constitution
finding of probable cause needs only innocence. In the case at bar, the provides:
to rest on evidence showing that DOJ Panel correctly adjudged that
On the other hand, respondent Webb more likely than not a crime has enough evidence had been adduced
seeks to enhance the acceptability of been committed and was committed to establish probable cause and
his alibi in the form of documents Sec. 2. The right of the people to
by the suspects. Probable cause need clarificatory hearing was
tending to show that he was be secure in their persons, houses,
not be based on clear and convincing unnecessary.
thousands of miles away when the papers, and effects against
evidence of guilt, neither on
incident occurred. We have carefully unreasonable searches and seizures
evidence establishing guilt beyond
deliberated and argued on the of whatever nature and for any
reasonable doubt and definitely, not
evidence submitted by respondent II purpose shall be inviolable, and no
on evidence establishing absolute
Webb in support of his absence from search warrant or warrant of arrest
certainty of guilt. As well put in
the country since March 9, 1991 to shall issue except upon probable
Brinegar v. United States,31 while
cause to be determined personally by

the judge after examination under provide for a similar procedure to be and the persons or things to be
oath or affirmation of the followed in the issuance of warrants seized.
complainant and the witnesses he of arrest and search warrants. With Sec. 5. Issuance and form of
may produce and particularly respect to warrants of arrest, section search warrant. — If the judge is
describing the place to be searched 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that thereupon satisfied of the facts upon
which the application is based, or The addition of the word
and the persons or things to be "upon filing of an information, the
that there is probable cause to "personally" after the word
seized. Regional Trial Court may issue a
believe that they exist, he must issue "determined" and the deletion of the
warrant for the arrest of the
the warrant, which must be grant of authority by the 1973
accused." In contrast, the procedure
substantially in the form prescribed Constitution to issue warrants to
to be followed in issuing search
The aforequoted provision deals with by these Rules. "other responsible officers as may be
warrants is more defined. Thus,
the requirements of probable cause authorized by law," has apparently
Sections 3, 4 and 5 of Rule 126
both with respect to issuance of convinced petitioner Beltran that the
warrants of arrest or search warrants. Constitution now requires the judge
The similarities and differences of We discussed the difference in the to personally examine the
their requirements ought to be Procedure of issuing warrants of complainant and his witnesses in his
educational. Some of them are xxx xxx xxx arrest and search warrants in Soliven determination of probable cause for
pointed out by Professors LaFave vs. Makasiar,33 thus: the issuance of warrants of arrest.
and Israel, thus:32 "It is generally This is not an accurate interpretation.
assumed that the same quantum of
Sec. 3. Requisites for issuing
evidence is required whether one is xxx xxx xxx
search warrant. — A search warrant
concerned with probable cause to
shall not issue but upon probable What the Constitution underscores is
arrest or probable cause to search.
cause in connection with one specific the exclusive and personal
But each requires a showing of
offense to be determined personally The second issue, raised by Beltran, responsibility of the issuing judge to
probabilities as to somewhat
by the judge after examination under calls for an interpretation of the satisfy himself of the existence of
different facts and circumstances,
oath or affirmation of the constitutional provision on the probable cause. In satisfying himself
and thus one can exist without the
complainant and the witnesses he issuance of warrants of arrest. The of the existence of probable cause for
other. In search cases, two
may produce, and particularly pertinent provision reads: the issuance of a warrant of arrest,
conclusions must be supported by
describing the place to be searched the judge is not required to
substantial evidence: that the items
and the things to be seized. personally examine the complainant
sought are in fact seizable by virtue
and his witnesses. Following
of being connected with criminal Art. III, Sec. 2. The right of the established doctrine and procedure,
activity, and that the items will be people to be secure in their persons, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the
found in the place to be searched. It Sec. 4. Examination of houses, papers and effects against report and the documents submitted
is not also necessary that a particular complainant; record. — The judge unreasonable searches and seizures by the fiscal regarding the existence
person be implicated. By must, before issuing the warrant, of whatever nature and for any of probable cause and, on the basis
comparison, in arrest cases there personally examine in the form of purpose shall be inviolable, and no thereof, issue a warrant; or (2) if on
must be probable cause that a crime searching questions and answers, in search warrant or warrant of arrest the basis thereof he finds no probable
has been committed and that the writing and under oath the shall issue except upon probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's
person to be arrested committed it, complainant and any witnesses he cause to be determined personally by report and require the submission of
which of course can exist without may produce on facts personally the judge after examination under supporting affidavits of witnesses to
any showing that evidence of the known to them and attach to the oath or affirmation of the aid him in arriving at a conclusions
crime will be found at premises record their sworn statements complainant and the witnesses he as to the existence of probable cause.
under that person's control." Worthy together with any affidavits may produce, and particularly
to note, our Rules of Court do not submitted. describing the place to be searched

Sound policy dictates this procedure, novo hearing to determine the crime given by Alfaro. The alibi on June 30, 1995 and in the second
otherwise judges would be unduly existence of probable cause. They defense of petitioner Webb is also hearing on July 14, 1995; and by
laden with the preliminary just personally review the initial disputed by sworn statements of their filing a "Motion for Production and
examination and investigation of determination of the prosecutor former maids. It was therefore Examination of Evidence and
criminal complaints instead of finding a probable cause to see if it is unnecessary for the respondent Documents" on June 27, 1995 (p. 4,
concentrating on hearing and supported by substantial evidence. judges to take the further step of Petition), a "Reply to the compliance
deciding cases filed before their The sufficiency of the review examining ex parte the complainant and Comment/Manifestation to the
courts. process cannot be measured by and their witnesses with searching Motion for Production and
merely counting minutes and hours. questions. Examination of Evidence" on July 5,
The fact that it took the respondent 1995 (p. 6, Petition), a "Comment
judges a few hours to review and and Manifestation" on July 7, 1995
Clearly then, the Constitution, the
affirm the probable cause (p. 6, Petition), his "Counter-
Rules of Court, and our case law34 III
determination of the DOJ Panel does Affidavit" on July 14, 1995 (pp. 6-7,
repudiate the submission of
not mean they made no personal Petition) and a "Motion to Resolve"
petitioners that respondent judges
evaluation of the evidence attached on August 1, 1995. Numerous letter-
should have conducted "searching
to the records of the case.36 Petitioners also complain about the requests were also sent by the
examination of witnesses" before
denial of their constitutional right to petitioner Webb's counsel to the DOJ
issuing warrants of arrest against
due process and violation of their Panel requesting the latter to furnish
them. They also reject petitioners'
right to an impartial investigation. him a copy of the reports prepared
contention that a judge must first Petitioners' reliance on the case of
They decry their alleged hasty and by the FBI concerning the
issue an order of arrest before issuing Allado vs. Diokno37 is misplaced.
malicious prosecution by the NBI petitioner's whereabouts during the
a warrant of arrest. There is no law Our Allado ruling is predicated on
and the DOJ Panel. They also assail material period (Annexes "L", "L-1"
or rule requiring the issuance of an the utter failure of the evidence to
the prejudicial publicity that attended and "L-2" of the Supplemental
Order of Arrest prior to a warrant of show the existence of probable
their preliminary investigation. Petition dated August 14, 1995). In
arrest. cause. Not even the corpus delicti of
fact, not satisfied with the decision
the crime was established by the
of the DOJ Panel not to issue
evidence of the prosecution in that
subpoena duces tecum to Atty.
case. Given the clear insufficiency of We reject these contentions. The
In the case at bar, the DOJ Panel Arturo L. Mercader, Jr., petitioner
the evidence on record, we stressed records will show that the DOJ Panel
submitted to the trial court its 26- Webb filed a "Petition for Injunction,
the necessity for the trial judge to did not conduct the preliminary
page report, the two (2) sworn Certiorari, Prohibition and
make a further personal examination investigation with indecent haste.
statements of Alfaro and the sworn Mandamus" with the Regional Trial
of the complainant and his witnesses Petitioners were given fair
statements of Carlos Cristobal and Court, Branch 63 of Makati in order
to reach a correct assessment of the opportunity to prove lack of probable
Lolita Birrer35 as well as the to compel said Atty. Mercader, Jr. to
existence or non-existence of cause against them. The fairness of
counter-affidavits of the petitioners. produce the first sworn statement of
probable cause before issuing this opportunity is well stressed in
Apparently, the painstaking recital Alfaro for submission to the DOJ
warrants of arrest against the the Consolidated Comment of the
and analysis of the parties' evidence Panel. (p. 4, Petition) The said court
accused. The case at bar, however, Solicitor General, viz.:
made in the DOJ Panel Report dismissed the petition after Mercader
rests on a different factual setting. As
satisfied both judges that there is produced and submitted to the DOJ
priorly discussed, the various types
probable cause to issue warrants of Panel the first sworn statement of
of evidence extant in the records of
arrest against petitioners. Again, we Again, there is no merit in this Alfaro, without ruling on the
the case provide substantial basis for
stress that before issuing warrants of contention. Petitioners were afforded admissibility and credence of the two
a finding of probable cause against
arrest, judges merely determine all the opportunities to be heard. (2) conflicting and inconsistent
the petitioner. The corpus delicti of
personally the probability, not the Petitioner Webb actively participated sworn statements of the principal
the crime is a given fact. There is an
certainty of guilt of an accused. In in the preliminary investigation by witness, Alfaro. (Attached hereto is a
eyewitness account of the imputed
doing so, judges do not conduct a de appearing in the initial hearing held copy of the order of Judge Ruben A.

Mendiola, RTC-Makati, Branch 63 of the rights of the petitioners. appellant is arraigned during the non-inclusion of Alfaro is anchored
dated July 28, 1995) marked as During the period of twenty-seven pendency of the appeal, said appeal on Republic Act
Annex "F." (27) days, the petitioners were free to shall be dismissed motu propio by
adduce and present additional the Secretary of Justice. No. 6981, entitled "An Act Providing
evidence before the DOJ Panel. For A Witness Protection, Security
And Benefit Program And For Other
It must also be pointed out that Purposes" enacted on April 24, 1991.
despite the declaration by the DOJ An appeal/motion for reinvestigation Alfaro qualified under its Section 10,
Panel that the preliminary Verily, petitioners cannot now assert from a resolution finding probable which provides:
investigation was to be terminated that they were denied due process cause, however, shall not hold the
after the hearing held on July 14, during the conduct of the preliminary filing of the information in court.
1995, the panel continued to conduct investigation simply because the
further proceedings, e.g. comparison DOJ Panel promulgated the adverse xxx xxx xxx
of the photo-copies of the submitted resolution and filed the Information
Sec. 2. When to appeal. — The
documents with the originals on July in court against them.
appeal must be filed within a period
17, 1995. (p. 7, Petition) The panel Sec. 10. State Witness. — Any
of fifteen (15) days from receipt of
even entertained the "Response" person who has participated in the
the questioned resolution by the
submitted by accused Miguel commission of a crime and desires to
Petitioners cannot also assail as party or his counsel. The period shall
Rodriguez on July 18, 1995. (p. 17 a witness for the State, can apply
premature the filing of the be interrupted only by the filing of a
Resolution) In addition to these, the and, if qualified as determined in this
Information in court against them for motion for reconsideration within ten
panel even announced that any party Act and by the Department, shall be
rape with homicide on the ground (10) days from receipt of the
may submit additional evidence admitted into the Program whenever
that they still have the right to appeal resolution and shall continue to run
before the resolution of the case. (p. the following circumstances are
the adverse resolution of the DOJ from the time the resolution denying
8, Petition) From the time the panel present:
Panel to the Secretary of Justice. The the motion shall have been received
declared the termination of the
filing of said Information is in accord by the movant or his counsel.
preliminary investigation on July 14,
with Department of Justice Order (Emphasis supplied)
1995, twenty-seven (27) days
No. 223, series of 1993, dated June (a) the offense in which his
elapsed before the resolution was
25, 1993. We quote its pertinent testimony will be used is a grave
promulgated, and the information
sections, viz.: felony as defined under the R.P.C. or
eventually filed in the Regional Trial Without doubt then, the said DOJ
Court of Parañaque on August 10, Order No. 223 allows the filing of an its equivalent under special laws;
1995. This notwithstanding the Information in court after the
directive of Section 3(f) Rule 112 of Sec. 4. Non-Appealable Cases; consummation of the preliminary
the Revised Rules of Court that the Exceptions. — No appeal may be investigation even if the accused can (b) there is absolute necessity
investigating officer shall resolve the taken from a resolution of the Chief still exercise the right to seek a for his testimony;
case within ten (10) days from the State Prosecutor/Regional State review of the prosecutor's
termination of the preliminary Prosecutor/Provincial or City recommendation with the Secretary
investigation. The DOJ Panel Prosecutor finding probable cause of Justice.
precisely allowed the parties to except upon showing of manifest (c) there is no other direct
adduce more evidence in their behalf error or grave abuse of discretion. evidence available for the proper
and for the panel to study the Notwithstanding the showing of prosecution of the offense
evidence submitted more fully. This Next, petitioners fault the DOJ Panel committed;
manifest error or grave abuse of
directly disputes the allegation of the for not including Alfaro in the
discretion, no appeal shall be
petitioners that the resolution was Information considering her alleged
entertained where the appellant had
done with indecent haste in violation conspiratorial participation in the
already been arraigned. If the
crime of rape with homicide. The

(d) his testimony can be The certification of admission into department of government whose economic dislocation, usually refuse
substantially corroborated on its the Program by the Department shall principal power and responsibility is to appear and testify in the
material points; be given full faith and credit by the to see that our laws are faithfully investigation/prosecution of criminal
provincial or city prosecutor who is executed. A necessary component of complaints/cases. Because of such
required NOT TO INCLUDE THE this power to execute our laws is the refusal, criminal complaints/cases
WITNESS IN THE CRIMINAL right to prosecute their violators. The have been dismissed for
(e) he does not appear to be
COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION right to prosecute vests the insufficiency and/or lack of
most guilty; and
and if included therein, to petition prosecutor with a wide range of evidence. For a more effective
the court for his discharge in order discretion — the discretion of administration of criminal justice,
that he can be utilized as a State whether, what and whom to charge, there was a necessity to pass a law
(f) he has not at anytime been Witness. The court shall order the the exercise of which depends on a protecting witnesses and granting
convicted of any crime involving discharge and exclusion of the said smorgasbord of factors which are them certain rights and benefits to
moral turpitude. accused from the information. best appreciated by prosecutors. We ensure their appearance in
thus hold that it is not investigative bodies/courts."40
constitutionally impermissible for Petitioner Webb's challenge to the
Congress to enact R.A. No. 6981 validity of R.A. No. 6981 cannot
An accused discharged from an Admission into the Program shall
vesting in the Department of Justice therefore succeed.
information or criminal complaint by entitle such State Witness to
the power to determine who can
the court in order that he may be a immunity from criminal prosecution
qualify as a witness in the program
State Witness pursuant to Sections 9 for the offense or offenses in which
and who shall be granted immunity
and 10 of Rule 119 of the Revised his testimony will be given or used Further, petitioners charge the NBI
from prosecution.39 Section 9 of
Rules of Court may upon his petition and all the rights and benefits with violating their right to discovery
Rule 119 does not support the
be admitted to the Program if he provided under Section 8 hereof. proceedings during their preliminary
proposition that the power to choose
complies with the other requirements investigation by suppressing the
who shall be a state witness is an
of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall April 28, 1995 original copy of the
inherent judicial prerogative. Under
prevent the discharge of an accused sworn statement of Alfaro and the
The validity of these provisions is this provision, the court, is given the
so that he can be used as a Witness FBI Report. The argument is novel
challenged by petitioner Webb. It is power to discharge a state witness
under Rule 119 of the Revised Rules in this jurisdiction and as it urges an
urged that they constitute ". . . an only because it has already acquired
of Court. expansive reading of the rights of
intrusion into judicial prerogative for jurisdiction over the crime and the
persons under preliminary
it is only the court which has the accused. The discharge of an accused
investigation it deserves serious
power under the Rules on Criminal is part of the exercise of jurisdiction
consideration. To start with, our
Upon qualification of Alfaro to the Procedure to discharge an accused as but is not a recognition of an
Rules on Criminal Procedure do not
program, Section 12 of the said law a state witness." The argument is inherent judicial function. Moreover,
expressly provide for discovery
mandates her non-inclusion in the based on Section 9, Rule 11938 the Rules of Court have never been
proceedings during the preliminary
criminal Complaint or Information, which gives the court the prerogative interpreted to be beyond change by
investigation stage of a criminal
thus: to approve the discharge of an legislation designed to improve the
proceeding.41 Sections 10 and 11 of
accused to be a state witness. administration of our justice system.
Rule 117 do provide an accused the
Petitioner's argument lacks appeal R.A. No. 6981 is one of the much
right to move for a bill of particulars
for it lies on the faulty assumption sought penal reform laws to help
xxx xxx xxx and for production or inspection of
that the decision whom to prosecute government in its uphill fight against
material evidence in possession of
is a judicial function, the sole crime, one certain cause of which is
the prosecution.42 But these
prerogative of courts and beyond the reticence of witnesses to testify.
provisions apply after the filing of
Sec. 12. Effect of Admission of a executive and legislative The rationale for the law is well put
the Complaint or Information in
State Witness into the Program. — interference. In truth, the prosecution by the Department of Justice, viz.:
court and the rights are accorded to
of crimes appertains to the executive "Witnesses, for fear of reprisal and

the accused to assist them to make an formally at risk of incarceration or punishment, irrespective of the good Alfaro's April 28, 1995 sworn
intelligent plea at arraignment and to some other penalty, is not a mere faith or bad faith of the prosecution." statement as a part of their
prepare for trial.43 formal or technical right; it is a Its progeny is the 1935 case of evidence.51 Petitioners thus had the
substantive right." A preliminary Mooney v. Holohan 47 which laid fair chance to explain to the DOJ
investigation should therefore be down the proposition that a Panel then still conducting their
scrupulously conducted so that the prosecutor's intentional use of preliminary investigation the
This failure to provide discovery
constitutional right to liberty of a perjured testimony to procure exculpatory aspects of this sworn
procedure during preliminary
potential accused can be protected conviction violates due process. statement. Unfortunately for
investigation does not, however,
from any material damage. We Thus, evolved jurisprudence firming petitioners, the DOJ Panel still found
negate its use by a person under
uphold the legal basis of the right of up the prosecutor's duty to disclose probable cause to charge them
investigation when indispensable to
petitioners to demand from their to the defense exculpatory evidence despite the alleged material
protect his constitutional right to life,
prosecutor, the NBI, the original in its possession.48 The rationale is discrepancies between the first and
liberty and property. Preliminary
copy of the April 28, 1995 sworn well put by Justice Brennan in second sworn statements of Alfaro.
investigation is not too early a stage
statement of Alfaro and the FBI Brady49 — "society wins not only For reasons we have expounded, this
to guard against any significant
Report during their preliminary when the guilty are convicted but finding of probable cause cannot be
erosion of the constitutional right to
investigation considering their when criminal trials are fair." Indeed, struck down as done with grave
due process of a potential accused.
exculpatory character, and hence, prosecutors should not treat litigation abuse of discretion.52 On the other
As aforediscussed, the object of a
unquestionable materiality to the like a game of poker where surprises hand, the FBI Report while
preliminary investigation is to
issue of their probable guilt. The can be sprung and where gain by corroborative of the alibi of
determine the probability that the
right is rooted on the constitutional guile is not punished. petitioner Webb cannot by itself
suspect committed a crime. We hold
protection of due process which we reverse the probable cause finding of
that the finding of a probable cause
rule to be operational even during the the DOJ Panel in light of the totality
by itself subjects the suspect's life,
preliminary investigation of a of evidence presented by the NBI.
liberty and property to real risk of But given the right of petitioners to
potential accused. It is also implicit
loss or diminution. In the case at bar, compel the NBI to disclose
in section (3) (a) of Rule 112 which
the risk to the liberty of petitioners exculpatory evidence in their favor,
requires during the preliminary
cannot be understated for they are we are not prepared to rule that the Finally, we come to the argument of
investigation the filing of a sworn
charged with the crime of rape with initial non-production of the original petitioner that the DOJ Panel lost its
complaint, which shall ". . . state the
homicide, a non-bailable offense sworn statement of Alfaro dated impartiality due to the prejudicial
known address of the respondent and
when the evidence of guilt is strong. April 28, 1995 could have resulted in publicity waged in the press and
be accompanied by affidavits of the
the reasonable likelihood that the broadcast media by the NBI.
complainant and his witnesses as
DOJ Panel would not have found
well as other supporting documents .
probable cause. To be sure, the NBI,
Attuned to the times, our Rules have . ."
on July 4, 1995, upon request of
discarded the pure inquisitorial Again, petitioners raise the effect of
petitioners, submitted a photocopy of
system of preliminary investigation. prejudicial publicity on their right to
Alfaro's April 28, 1995 sworn
Instead, Rule 112 installed a quasi- due process while undergoing
In laying down this rule, the Court is statement. It explained it cannot
judicial type of preliminary preliminary investigation. We find
not without enlightened precedents produce the original as it had been
investigation conducted by one no procedural impediment to its
from other jurisdictions. In the 1963 lost. Fortunately, petitioners, on July
whose high duty is to be fair and early invocation considering the
watershed case of Brady v. Maryland 28, 1995, were able to obtain a copy
impartial.44 As this Court substantial risk to their liberty while
46 the United States Supreme Court of the original from Atty. Arturo
emphasized in Rolito Go vs. Court of undergoing a preliminary
held that "suppression of evidence Mercader in the course of the
Appeals,45 "the right to have a investigation.
favorable to an accused upon request proceedings in Civil Case No.
preliminary investigation conducted
violates due process where the 951099.50 As petitioners admit, the
before being bound over for trial for
evidence is material to guilt or DOJ Panel accepted the original of
a criminal offense, and hence

In floating this issue, petitioners seminal case of Richmond system of justice, Cf., e.g., Levine v. (c) Even though the
touch on some of the most Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia,53 it United States, 362 US 610, 4 L Ed Constitution contains no provision
problematic areas in constitutional was wisely held: 2d 989, 80 S Ct 1038. which by its terms guarantees to the
law where the conflicting demands public the right to attend criminal
of freedom of speech and of the trials, various fundamental rights, not
press, the public's right to expressly guaranteed, have been
xxx xxx xxx (b) The freedoms of speech,
information, and an accused's right recognized as indispensable to the
press, and assembly, expressly
to a fair and impartial trial collide enjoyment of enumerated rights. The
guaranteed by the First Amendment,
and compete for prioritization. The right to attend criminal trials is
share a common core purpose of
process of pinpointing where the (a) The historical evidence of implicit in the guarantees of the First
assuring freedom of communication
balance should be struck has divided the evolution of the criminal trial in Amendment; without the freedom to
on matters relating to the functioning
men of learning as the balance keeps Anglo-American justice attend such trials, which people have
of government. In guaranteeing
moving either on the side of liberty demonstrates conclusively that at the exercised for centuries, important
freedoms such as those of speech and
or on the side of order as the tumult time this Nation's organic laws were aspects of freedom of speech and of
press, the First Amendment can be
of the time and the welfare of the adopted, criminal trials both here and the press could be eviscerated.
read as protecting the right of
people dictate. The dance of balance in England had long been
everyone to attend trials so as to give
is a difficult act to follow. presumptively open, thus giving
meaning to those explicit guarantees;
assurance that the proceedings were
the First Amendment right to receive Be that as it may, we recognize that
conducted fairly to all concerned and
information and ideas means, in the pervasive and prejudicial publicity
discouraging perjury, the misconduct
In democratic settings, media context of trials, that the guarantees under certain circumstances can
of participants, or decisions based on
coverage of trials of sensational of speech and press, standing alone, deprive an accused of his due
secret bias or partiality. In addition,
cases cannot be avoided and prohibit government from summarily process right to fair trial. Thus, in
the significant community
oftentimes, its excessiveness has closing courtroom doors which had Martelino, et al. vs. Alejandro, et
therapeutic value of public trials was
been aggravated by kinetic long been open to the public at the al.,54 we held that to warrant a
recognized: when a shocking crime
developments in the time the First Amendment was finding of prejudicial publicity there
occurs, a community reaction of
telecommunications industry. For adopted. Moreover, the right of must be allegation and proof that the
outrage and public protest often
sure, few cases can match the high assembly is also relevant, having judges have been unduly influenced,
follows, and thereafter the open
volume and high velocity of been regarded not only as an not simply that they might be, by the
processes of justice serve an
publicity that attended the independent right but also as a barrage of publicity. In the case at
important prophylactic purpose,
preliminary investigation of the case catalyst to augment the free exercise bar, we find nothing in the records
providing an outlet for community
at bar. Our daily diet of facts and of the other First Amendment rights that will prove that the tone and
concern, hostility, and emotion. To
fiction about the case continues with which it was deliberately linked content, of the publicity that attended
work effectively, it is important that
unabated even today. Commentators by the investigation of petitioners fatally
society's criminal process "satisfy the
still bombard the public with views infected the fairness and impartiality
appearance of justice," Offutt v. the draftsmen. A trial courtroom is a
not too many of which are sober and of the DOJ Panel. Petitioners cannot
United States, 348 US 11, 14, 99 L public place where the people
sublime. Indeed, even the principal just rely on the subliminal effects of
Ed 11, 75 S Ct 11, which can best be generally — and representatives of
actors in the case — the NBI, the publicity on the sense of fairness of
provided by allowing people to the media — have a right to be
respondents, their lawyers and their the DOJ Panel, for these are
observe such process. From this present, and where their presence
sympathizers — have participated in basically unbeknown and beyond
unbroken, uncontradicted history, historically has been thought to
this media blitz. The possibility of knowing. To be sure, the DOJ Panel
supported by reasons as valid today enhance the integrity and quality of
media abuses and their threat to a is composed of an Assistant Chief
as in centuries past, it must be what takes place.
fair trial notwithstanding, criminal State Prosecutor and Senior State
concluded that a presumption of
trials cannot be completely closed to Prosecutors. Their long experience in
openness inheres in the very nature
the press and the public. In the criminal investigation is a factor to
of a criminal trial under this Nation's

consider in determining whether they always stands as a silent accused. SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION Baldwin Brion and Pepito Kawit
can easily be blinded by the klieg More than convicting the guilty and seasonably filed their respective
lights of publicity. Indeed, their 26- acquitting the innocent, the business motions for reconsideration, it was
page Resolution carries no of the judiciary is to assure only on December 6, 1999 that the
[G.R. Nos. 121039-45. October 18,
indubitable indicia of bias for it does fulfillment of the promise that justice Office of the Solicitor General filed
not appear that they considered any shall be done and is done — and that its Comment thereto. And since
extra-record evidence except is the only way for the judiciary to Justice Martinez had retired earlier
evidence properly adduced by the get an acquittal from the bar of on February 2, 1999, in accordance
parties. The length of time the public opinion. THE PEOPLE OF THE with A.M. No. 99-8-09 promulgated
investigation was conducted despite PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. by the Court on February 15, 2000,
its summary nature and the MAYOR ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ, the motions for reconsideration filed
generosity with which they GEORGE MEDIALDEA, ZOILO by accused-appellants was assigned
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petitions
accommodated the discovery AMA, BALDWIN BRION, LUIS by raffle only on September 18, 2001
are dismissed for lack of showing of
motions of petitioners speak well of CORCOLON, ROGELIO to herein ponente for study and
grave abuse of discretion on the part
their fairness. At no instance, we CORCOLON, and PEPITO KAWIT, preparation of the appropriate action.
of the respondents. Costs against
note, did petitioners seek the accused-appellants.
disqualification of any member of
the DOJ Panel on the ground of bias
In his motion for reconsideration,
resulting from their bombardment of
RESOLUTION Mayor Antonio Sanchez avers that
prejudicial publicity. SO ORDERED.
he is a victim of trial and conviction
by publicity and that the principal
witnesses Aurelio Centeno and
It all remains to state that the MELO, J.: Vicencio Malabanan presented by
Vizconde case will move to a more the prosecution are lacking in
critical stage as petitioners will now credibility. He likewise contends that
have to undergo trial on the merits. Before us is a motion for the testimony of his 13-year old
We stress that probable cause is not reconsideration of our January 25, daughter vis--vis his whereabouts on
synonymous with guilt and while the 1999 decision, penned by Justice the night of the felony should have
light of publicity may be a good Antonio M. Martinez, affirming in been given full faith and credit as
disinfectant of unfairness, too much toto the judgment of conviction against the testimony of Centeno and
of its heat can bring to flame an rendered by Branch 70 of the Pasig Malabanan. Lastly, Mayor Sanchez
accused's right to fair trial. Without City Regional Trial Court finding seeks the reconsideration of the
imposing on the trial judge the accused-appellants Mayor Antonio amount of the gargantuan damages
difficult task of supervising every Sanchez, George Medialdea, Zoilo awarded on the ground that the same
specie of speech relating to the case Ama, Baldwin Brion, Luis Corcolon, have no factual and legal bases.
at bar, it behooves her to be Rogelio Corcolon and Pepito Kawit
reminded of the duty of a trial judge guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
in high profile criminal cases to the crime of rape with homicide, and In the same vein, accused-appellants
control publicity prejudicial to the additionally, ordering each of them Zoilo Ama, Baldwin Brion, and
fair administration of justice.55 The to pay the amount of Seven Hundred Pepito Kawit, in their motion for
Court reminds judges that our ability Thousand Pesos (P700,000.00) to the reconsideration, maintain that
to dispense impartial justice is an heirs of the two victims as additional prosecution witnesses Centeno and
issue in every trial and in every indemnity. While accused-appellants Malabanan have been sufficiently
criminal prosecution, the judiciary Antonio Sanchez, Zoilo Ama, impeached by prior inconsistent

statements allegedly pertaining to criminal field The press does not against appellant as a consequence of appellate courts will not disturb the
material and crucial points of the simply publish information about the extensive media coverage of the findings of the trial court and the
events at issue. Not only that, they trials but guards against the pre-trial and trial of his case. The appellate courts will respect these
assert that independent and miscarriage of justice by subjecting totality of circumstances of the case findings considering that trial courts
disinterested witnesses have the police, prosecutors, and judicial does not prove that the trial judge are in a better position to decide the
destroyed the prosecutions version of processes to extensive public acquired a fixed position as a result question, having heard the witnesses
events. scrutiny and criticism. of prejudicial publicity which is themselves and observed their
incapable of change even by deportment and manner of testifying
evidence presented during the trial. during the trial (People vs. Mendoza,
Appellant has the burden to prove 332 SCRA 485 [2000]). In the
Preliminarily, it may be observed Pervasive publicity is not per se
this actual bias and he has not instant case, then Judge Harriet
that, except for the issue of civil prejudicial to the right of an accused
discharged the burden. Demetriou found both Centeno and
damages raised by Mayor Sanchez, to fair trial. The mere fact that the
Malabanan to have testified in a
accused-appellants have not trial of appellant was given a day-to-
frank, spontaneous, and
presented any issue new or different day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does
straightforward manner; and that
from that which they had previously not by itself prove that publicity so This failure to present proof of actual
despite gruelling cross-examination
raised before the trial court and this permeated the mind of the trial judge bias continues to hound accused-
by a battery of defense lawyers, their
Court. Moreover, the issues they and impaired his impartiality Our appellant Sanchez, having failed, in
testimony never wavered on the
have raised have been discussed at judges are learned in the law and his motion for reconsideration, to
substantial matters in issue.
length and passed upon by both the trained to disregard off-court substantiate his claims of actual bias
court a quo and by this Court. Thus, evidence and on-camera on the part of the trial judge. Not
on the charge that accused-appellant performances of parties to a only that, accused-appellants case
Sanchez is a victim of trial and litigation. Their mere exposure to has been exhaustively and As to the alleged inconsistencies in
conviction by publicity, in our publications and publicity stunts painstakingly reviewed by the Court the testimony of Centeno and
January 25, 1999 decision, citing does not per se fatally infect their itself. Accused-appellant Sanchez Malabanan, suffice it to say that the
People vs. Teehankee, Jr. (249 impartiality. has not shown by an iota of proof points raised have all been carefully
SCRA 54), we declared: that the Court, in the examination of and assiduously examined, not only
his appeal, was unduly swayed by by the trial court but also by the
publicity in affirming the sentence of Court itself, and that the
At best, appellant can only conjure
conviction imposed by the trial court. inconsistencies were found to refer
We cannot sustain appellants claim possibility of prejudice on the part of
The charge of conviction by to minor and collateral matters. It is
that he was denied the right to the trial judge due to the barrage of
publicity leveled by accused- well-settled that so long as the
impartial trial due to prejudicial publicity that characterized the
appellant has thus no ground to stand witnesses declarations agree on
publicity. It is true that the print and investigation and trial of the case. In
on. substantial matters, the
broadcast media gave the case at bar Martelino et al. vs. Alejandro et al.,
inconsequential inconsistencies and
pervasive publicity, just like all high we rejected this standard of
contradictions dilute neither the
profile and high stake criminal trials. possibility of prejudice and adopted
witnesses credibility nor the verity of
Then and now, we rule that the right the test of actual prejudice as we As to the claim that witnesses
their testimony (People vs. Agomo-
of an accused to a fair trial is not ruled that to warrant a finding of Centeno and Malabanan lack
o, 334 SCRA 279 [2000]). Accused-
incompatible to a free press. To be prejudicial publicity, there must be credibility and that they were
appellants have not shown in their
sure, responsible reporting enhances allegation and proof that the judges sufficiently impeached by prior
motions for reconsideration new
an accuseds right to a fair trial for, as have been unduly influenced, not inconsistent statements, the same is
evidence to warrant disregard for the
well pointed out, a responsible press simply that they might be, by the old hat, to say the least. It is
above-rule, nor have they shown that
has always been regarded as the barrage of publicity. In the case at hornbook doctrine in criminal
the Court has overlooked,
handmaiden of effective judicial bar, the records do not show that the jurisprudence that when the issue is
misunderstood, or misapplied some
administration, especially in the trial judge developed actual bias one of credibility of witnesses,

fact of weight and circumstance that Eileen Sarmentas earning capacity; Since the trial courts award of actual so that a right which has been
would have materially affected the or a total of P3,432,650.00 as actual damages to the Gomez and Sarmenta violated may be recognized or
outcome of the case. damages. On the other hand, the families already included civil vindicated, and not for the purpose
Gomez family was awarded by the indemnity in the amount of of indemnification (see People vs.
trial court a total of P3,484,000.00 as P50,000.00, to order each accused- Candare, 333 SCRA 338 [2000]).
actual damages, broken down as appellant to pay an additional
Accused-appellant Sanchezs
follows: P50,000.00 for the wrongful P350,000.00 as civil indemnity
argument that the testimony of his
death of Allan Gomez, P74,000.00 would be double recovery of
13-year old daughter, Ave Marie The award of P3,276,000.00 and
for the latters funeral, and damages on the part of the Gomez
Sanchez, as to his whereabouts on P3,360,000.00, representing the
P3,360,000.00 for the loss of the and Sarmenta families for the same
the night of the crime should be alleged loss of earning capacity of
latters earning capacity. act or omission. Thus, the amount of
given full faith and credence is Sarmenta and Gomez, respectively,
P50,000.00 awarded by the trial
likewise unavailing. While it is true also merit review. Eileen Sarmenta,
court must each be deducted from
that statements of children are at the time of her death, was a
the amount of actual damages due to
accorded great probative value, it is Similarly, the trial court ordered graduating student of the College of
the Gomez and Sarmenta families.
likewise true that alibi is the weakest accused-appellants to pay the sum of Agriculture of the University of the
defense an accused can concoct. P2,000,000.00 to the Sarmenta Philippines at Los Baos (UPLB),
Where nothing supports the alibi family and another P2,000,000.00 to majoring in Food and Nutrition for
except the testimony of a relative, it the Gomez family as moral damages. As for funeral expenses, the Court Large Animals. Allan Gomez was
deserves but scant consideration Lastly, the trial court ordered had occasion to declare in People vs. likewise a senior student of the
(People vs. Waggay, 218 SCRA 742 accused-appellants to pay the Timon (281 SCRA 577 [1997]) that College of Agriculture of UPLB,
[1993]). Moreover, accused- Sarmenta and Gomez families the burial expenses, which are by nature majoring in Beef Production. The
appellant Sanchezs alibi cannot sum of P164,250.00 and 191,000.00, actual expenses must be proved. trial court, using the American
prevail over the positive declarations respectively, for litigation expenses Since no proof of burial expenses Expectancy Table of Mortality,
of the prosecution that he was at incurred. was ever presented in the instant pegged the life expectancy of
Erais Farm that fateful night. The case, its award will not be allowed. It Sarmenta, 21 years old at the time of
alibis of accused-appellants Zoilo is a settled rule that there must be her death, and Gomez, 19 years old
Ama, Baldwin Brion, and Pepito proof that actual or compensatory at the time of his death, at 39.1 and
The Court, in its decision dated
Kawit are even worse, not having damages have been suffered and 40.6 years, respectively. Believing
January 25, 1999, affirmed in toto
been corroborated by any other evidence of its actual amount that the victims would have earned a
the decision of the lower court.
evidence. The assertions of these (People vs. Nablo, 319 SCRA 784 monthly salary of P15,000.00 and
However, we also ordered each
accused-appellants as to their [1999]). While the funeral expenses incurred living expenses of
accused-appellant to pay the
innocence are thus entitled short incurred by the Sarmenta family P8,000.00 per month, the trial court
respective heirs of Eileen Sarmenta
shrift from this Court. were supported by the appropriate awarded P3,276,000.00 and
and Allan Gomez an additional
receipts, the same is not true for the P3,360,000.00 as the amount
indemnity of P350,000.00 each,
funeral expenses incurred by the recoverable by the Sarmenta and
stating that since each accused-
Gomez family. Not having been duly Gomez families, respectively, for the
Accused-appellant Sanchezs appellant had been found guilty of
receipted, the amount of P74,000.00 loss of the earning capacity of Eileen
asseverations as to the amount of seven counts of rape with homicide,
awarded to the Gomez family as and Allan.
damages awarded is, however, jurisprudence dictated that for each
funeral expenses must, perforce, be
meritorious. The trial court awarded count, each accused-appellant is
deleted. However, as the heirs of
the Sarmenta family P50,000.00 as liable for civil indemnity of
Allan Gomez clearly incurred funeral
civil liability for the wrongful death P50,000.00, or a total of While accused-appellant Sanchez
expenses, P10,000.00 by way of
of Eileen Sarmenta, P106,650.00 for P350,000.00. contends that the awards of
nominal damages should be
the funeral expenses they incurred, P3,276,000.00 and P3,360,000.00
awarded. This award is adjudicated
and P3,276,000.00 for the loss of are baseless in fact and law, no

evidence having been adduced to practitioner the minimum monthly reputable university, it would not be
prove that the victims had any actual income of P300.00. unreasonable to assume that in 1993
income at the time of their demise, it they would have earned more than Heirs of Allan Gomez:
is well-settled that to be the minimum wage. All factors
compensated for loss of earning considered, the Court believes that it
Both Sarmenta and Gomez were
capacity, it is not necessary that the is fair and reasonable to fix the = 2/3 (80-19) x (96,000 36,000)
senior agriculture students at UPLB,
victim, at the time of injury or death, monthly income that the two would
the countrys leading educational
be gainfully employed. have earned in 1993 at P8,000.00 per
institution in agriculture. As
Compensation of this nature is month (or P96,000.00/year) and their
reasonably assumed by the trial = 40.687 x 60,000
awarded not for loss of earnings but deductible living and other incidental
court, both victims would have
for loss of capacity to earn money expenses at P3,000.00 per month (or
graduated in due course. Undeniably,
(People vs. Teehankee, supra). P36,000.00/year). Hence, in
their untimely death deprived them
Likewise, the fact that the accordance with the formula adopted = P2,441,220.00
of their future time and earning
prosecution did not present by the Court in Villa Rey Transit,
capacity. For these deprivation, their
documentary evidence to support its Inc. vs. CA (31 SCRA 511 [1970]),
heirs are entitled to compensation.
claim for damages for loss of earning and using the American Expectancy
Difficulty, however, arises in As to the award of P2,000,000.00
capacity of the deceased does not Table of Mortality, the loss of
measuring the value of Sarmentas each as moral damages to the
preclude recovery of the same Sarmenta and Gomezs earning
and Gomezs lost time and capacity to Sarmenta and Gomez families, these
(People vs. Quilang, 312 SCRA 314 capacity is to be computed as
earn money in the future, both must also be reduced, the same being
[1999]; People vs. Verde, 302 SCRA follows:
having been unemployed at the time excessive. While the assessment of
690 [1999]). On the part of Eileen
of death. While the law is clear that moral damages is left to the
Sarmenta, her mother testified that
the deceased has a right to his own discretion of the court according to
Eileen had an offer for employment
time which right cannot be taken Net earning capacity = Life the circumstances of each case
from Monterey Farms. On the other
from him by a tortfeasor without expectancy x (Gross Annual Income (Article 2216, Civil Code), the
hand, Allan Gomezs mother testified
compensation the law is also clear Living Expenses) purpose of moral damages is
that her deceased son planned to
that damages cannot be awarded on essentially indemnity or reparation,
work on a private farm after
the speculation, passion, or guess of not punishment or correction. Moral
the judge or the witnesses. In this damages are emphatically not
where: Life expectancy = 2/3 (80 the
case, Eileen Sarmentas mother intended to enrich a complainant at
age of the deceased)
testified that for a new graduate of the expense of a defendant; they are
Moreover, in Cariaga et al. vs. LTB UPLB, the basic salary was more or awarded only to enable the injured
and Manila Railroad Co. (110 Phil. less P15,000.00 per month. Allan party to obtain means, diversions or
346 [1960]), the Court awarded Gomezs mother, on the other hand, Heirs of Eileen Sarmenta: amusements that will serve to
compensatory damages for the loss testified that her son could have alleviate the moral suffering he has
of earning capacity to Edgardo easily gotten P10,000.00 to undergone by reason of the
Cariaga, a 4th year medical student P15,000.00 per month. Clearly, the defendants culpable action. In other
at UST, stating that while his testimony of said witnesses are = 2/3 (80-21) x (96,000 36,000)
words, the award of moral damages
scholastic record may not have been speculative, insufficient to prove that is aimed at a restoration, within the
first rate, it was, nevertheless, in 1993, Sarmenta and Gomez would limits of the possible, of the spiritual
sufficient to justify the assumption have indeed earned P15,000.00 a = 39.353 x 60,000 status quo ante; and therefore, it
that he could have finished the month had they managed to must be proportionate to the
course, would have passed the board graduate. However, considering that suffering inflicted (Dela Serna vs.
in due time, and that he could have Sarmenta and Gomez would have CA, 233 SCRA 325 [1994]). The
possibly earned as a medical graduated in due time from a = P2,361,180.00
intensity of the pain experienced by

the relatives of the victim is Total P 3,992,220.00 THIRD DIVISION
proportionate to the intensity of
affection for him and bears no 4. Loss of earning capacity
relation whatever with the wealth or 2,361,180.00
SO ORDERED. [G.R. No. 130442. April 6, 2000]
the means of the offender. The death
caused by a beggar is felt by the
parents of the victim as intensely as 5. Attorneys fees & litigation
that caused by the action of a expenses 164,250.00 THE SUMMARY DISMISSAL
wealthy family. The Court, in the BOARD AND THE REGIONAL
exercise of its discretion, thus APPELLATE BOARD, PNP,
reduces the amount of moral REGION VI, ILOILO CITY,
damages awarded to the heirs of ---------------------- petitioners, vs. C/INSP. LAZARO
Eileen Gomez and Allan Sarmenta to TORCITA, respondent.
P1,000,000.00 each. As to the award
of attorneys fees and litigation Total P 3,982,080.00
expenses, the same is reasonable and
justified, this case having dragged on DECISION
for over eight years.
To the heirs of Allan Gomez:
WHEREFORE, premises considered,
we AFFIRM the conviction of 1. Death indemnity P 350,000.00
accused-appellants for seven counts Before us is a Petition for Review by
of rape with homicide and the way of Certiorari of the Decision of
sentence of reclusion perpetua the Court of Appeals[1] in CA-G.R.
2. Moral damages 1,000,000.00
imposed upon them for each of said SP No. 43872, which set aside the
counts, with MODIFICATION that Decision of the Regional Director
the accused be ordered to pay the (RD) of the Philippine National
heirs of the victims as follows: 3. Nominal damages 10,000.00 Police (PNP) of Iloilo City, through
its Summary Dismissal Board
(SDB), suspending herein respondent
To the heirs of Eileen Sarmenta: 4. Loss of earning capacity C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita from the
2,441,220.00 service for twenty (20) days for
"Simple Irregularity in the
Performance of Duty under Section
1. Death indemnity P 350,000.00 41 of R. A. 6975." Sdaad
5. Attorneys fees & litigation
expenses 191,000.00
2. Moral damages 1,000,000.00 The antecedents are as follows:

3. Funeral expenses 106,650.00 On July 6, 1994, the following
verified complaints were filed

against C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita, 7)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" - the twelve cases shall be compound and was approached by
herein respondent, by Manuel Puey, 94-07 for Illegal Search filed by consolidated into one "major two persons in civilian clothes which
Jesus Puey, Alex Edwin del Rosario: Manuel H. Puey; complaint" for "conduct unbecoming prevented him from further
of a police officer" under Par. e, Sec. proceeding; Moments after, the
3, Rule II, Memorandum Circular patrol car of Cadiz PNP arrived and
No. 92-006 pursuant to RA 6975[2]. together with Major Torcita,
1)......Administrative Case Nr. SDHB 8)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -
The statement of the case by the approached Jesus H. Puey and Alex
"B6" -94-01- for Conduct 94-08 for Grave Abuse of Authority
Summary Dismissal Board is as Edwin del Rosario, inquiring as to
Unbecoming of a Police Officer filed and Violation of Domicile filed by
follows: the identity of the persons who
by Jesus H. Puey in a complaint Manuel Puey;
accosted him;
dated June 25, 1994;

"That sometime last April 26, 1994,

9)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -
after attending the birthday party of The complainants alleged that Major
2)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"- 94-09 for Abuse of Authority and
Miss Jessie Vasquez Alex Edwin del Torcita approached and entered the
94-02- for Grave Threats filed by Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban
Rosario, together with Rosita Bistal, compound of Hda. Aimee, very
Jesus H. Puey; filed by Manuel Puey;
Carmen Braganza and Cristita Dawa drunk, with back-up vehicle full of
boarded Mazda pick up with plate nr. armed policemen, confronted Jesus
HHP-808 and driven by Reynaldo H. Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario
3)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"- 10)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB Consejo, proceeded towards the as who stopped him at the gate,
94-03 for Abuse of Authority and "B6"-94-10 for Conduct direction of Cadiz City. shouting in a very, very loud voice,
Illegal Search filed by Jesus H. Puey; Unbecoming of a Police Officer filed invectives and remarks;
by Alex Edwin del Rosario;
While nearing Crossing Cadiz in the
4)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"- vicinity of Sitio Puting Tubig, the That such act of Major Lazaro
94-04 for Abuse of Authority and 11)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB aforementioned Mazda pick-up Torcita constitute Conduct
Violation of Domicile filed by Jesus "B6"-94-11 for Abuse of Authority driven by Consejo overtook a red Unbecoming of an Officer not worth
H. Puey; and Grave Threats filed by Alex Cortina Ford driven by Major Lazaro of respect;
Edwin del Rosario; Torcita; That on board the motor
vehicle driven by Torcita were three
females sitted at the back;
5)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"- In his answer, the respondent, Lazaro
94-05 for Abuse of Authority and 12)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" R. Torcita, while admitting that he
Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban 94-12 for Abuse of Authority and entered the premises of the
filed by Jesus H. Puey; Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban That Major Lazaro Torcita signaled complainants, the same was done on
filed by Alex Edwin del Rosario. the passengers of the Mazda pick-up a regular, lawful and proper way for
to stop, however, the driver of the he was in the performance of his
Mazda pick-up refused to abide by official duties in pursuing the suspect
6)......Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" - the signal and instead accelerated who committed a crime in his
94-06 for Conduct Unbecoming of a The twelve administrative and proceeded to Hda. Aimee presence;
Police Officer filed by Manuel H. complaints were the subject of without stopping. Scs daad
Puey; administrative hearings before the
Summary Dismissal Board of the
PNP. At the pre-trial, the parties and From the affidavits of the witnesses
their respective counsels agreed that That upon reaching Hda. Aimee and testimonies presented by the
Major Lazaro Torcita, entered the complainants and the counter

affidavits and the counter testimonies (4) passengers in the persons of Alex occurrence of a vehicular collision;
of the respondent, the ISSUE before Edwin del Rosario, the executive Juris
the Board is whether the respondent assistant and financial analyst of That it was the duty inherent to the
is guilty of Conduct Unbecoming of Congressman Puey, three (3) helpers position as Chief of Police of Cadiz
a Police Officer under Republic Act employed under the Congressman, City and as deputy of the Land
Transportation Office to enforce The Complainant presented the
6975 as implemented by namely, Rosita Bistal, Carmen
traffic rules and regulation to prevent Joint-Affidavit of Rosita Bistal and
Memorandum Circular 92-006 of the Braganza and Cristina Dawa; Sup
chaos and accidents in roads and Reynaldo Consejo and the Affidavit
National Police Commission under rema
highways of the country (exhibit 13); of Alex Edwin del Rosario, jointly
Rule II Section 3, Paragraph C,
This observation is further bolstered taken, may be considered as proof
committed thru a series of illegal acts
by the testimony of Reynaldo that C/Insp. Torcita has committed
consisting of Grave Threats, Illegal
That both parties came from the Consejo, the driver of the mazda act or series of acts that would
Search, Abuse of Authority,
Municipality of Victorias where they pick-up, that he was able to overtake constitute Grave Threat, Illegal
violation of Domicile and Violation
attended some social functions on the red Cortina Ford only after the Search, Abuse of Authority,
of COMELEC Gun Ban."
the occasion of the town fiesta; latter car hit the shoulder of the road Violation of Domicile and Violation
and after overtaking he increased his of COMELEC Resolutions regarding
speed (tsn page 131, August 30, the gun ban, thus CONDUCT
The complainant presented 1994 ); UNBECOMING OF A POLICE
After the mazda pick-up has
documentary evidence and witnesses OFFICER;
overtaken the red Cortina Ford, it
Congressman Manuel Puey, Rosita
accelerated speed and proceeded to
Bistal, Alex Edwin del Rosario and
Hda. Aimee, a sugarcane plantation This sudden increase in speed of a
Reynaldo Consejo. Respondent
in Cadiz City, also owned by driver involved in a vehicular That in the Joint-Affidavit of Rosita
Torcita testified in his behalf and
Congressman Manuel Puey; The red accident is a classic move for one Bistal and Reynaldo Consejo (exhibit
presented Nehru Java, a member of
Cortina Ford followed also at high who wants a fast get away from the c; exhibit 2), Bistal attempted to
the PNP Cadiz, who was with him
speed until it reached Hda. Aimee scene, to escape responsibility; establish the fact that C/Insp. Torcita
during the incident in question.
where C/Insp. Torcita and PO2 Java and PO2 Java illegally entered the
alighted and the confrontation with gate of the compound but were
Alex Edwin del Rosario and Jesus stopped by the guards armed with
The Summary Dismissal Board made Puey, occurred; Further, Alex Edwin del Rosario cane stick or batuta, however in her
the following findings of facts: testified that upon reaching Hda. testimony given during the hearing
Aimee, he instructed the guard to be (tsn page 32, August 30, 1994) she
on look-out for a car might be stated that she did not know what
The Complainant tried to establish following them and might enter the transpired between the two men
"That sometime last April 26, 1994, the fact that nothing unusual compound (TSN page 70 August 30, approaching and the guards near the
at about 10:30 in the evening, a red occurred or transpired between the 1994 ). This conduct would show gate because she, together with her
Cortina Ford, driven by C/Insp. parties in the vicinity of Sitio Puting that witness is anticipating that red companions, were busy unloading
Lazaro H. Torcita, with his aide, Tubig and that Torcita has no Cortina Ford would follow them kitchen utensil from the pick-up to
PO2 Nehru Java, in the front seat and business pursuing them; However because of the incident in Sitio the kitchen and Consejo
his wife with two ladies at the the Board is more inclined to give Puting Tubig which could have categorically stated that this portion
backseat, were overtaken by a mazda credence to the affidavits (exhibit 5 ended in a vehicular collision and of their affidavit, specifically
pick-up, in the vicinity of Sitio & 6) and the testimony of C/Insp. finally no proof was presented to paragraph 7, is NOT TRUE; Alex
Puting Tubig, about 10 kilometers Torcita that a vehicular collision show that no other reason exist as to Edwin del Rosario, in his testimony
from crossing Cadiz, owned by almost took place due to reckless why C/Insp. Torcita would pursue given in the hearing, corroborated
Congressman Manuel Puey and driving of the driver of the mazda the Mazda pick up other than near this fact that he also did not see or
driven Reynaldo Consejo with four pick-up;
hear what happened for he was in

some distance away and he cannot This observation of the Board that from Victorias to Cadiz City, a
see them clearly (TSN page 73, there were really armed men in the distance of forty kilometers, on a
August 30, 1994 ); premises of Hda. Aimee, is further dark night and raining and was able "WHEREFORE, in view of the
enhance by the fact that Major to avoid collision of the vehicles foregoing, the Complaint for
Torcita felt their presence when he involved by sheer reflex action CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A
desisted from further entering the despite the admitted fact that his tire POLICE OFFICER under Memo
The only piece of evidence presented Cir. Nr. 92-006 pursuant to Sec. 42,
compound, a feeling which was hit the shoulder of the road;
in connection with the incident RA 6975, be DISMISSED for lack
developed and nurtured by years of
which happened near the gate of the of sufficient evidence, however finds
living under combat conditions and
compound is the affidavit of C/Insp. C/Insp. Lazaro R. Torcita to have
finally the Board also feels that the
Torcita and his testimony given in Further, at the time Chief Inspector committed SIMPLE
presence of armed persons in the
the hearing of the case that when he Torcita entered the compound he IRREGULARITY IN THE
offices and properties of high
was walking towards the compound was fully aware of the presence of PERFORMANCE OF DUTY under
government officials is accepted as a
together with his aide, PO2 Nehru armed men and reacted to this by Sec. 41, RA 6975, in relation to
necessary consequence for their
Java, two armed civilian guards exercising prudence while NAPOLCOM Memo Cir. Nr. 91-002
protection due to the greater risks
stopped and threatened him; He approaching the compound of Hda. and is hereby ORDERED
they are expose to;
identified himself however, the same Aimee; The foregoing facts would SUSPENDED for twenty days (20)
had no effect, and PO2 Java show that C/Insp. Torcita was in full and forfeiture of salary for the same
whispered that there are armed men command of his senses and was not period of time effective upon receipt
around them and that it is dangerous That because of the incident in Sitio affected by the numbing effect of of this Decision under Rule 7,
for them to continue. That at this Puting Tubig which was further alcohol for a drunk person does not Section 2, Sub-par. b of the same
point, they radioed for back-up; aggravated by the confrontation near show any caution and behaves Memo Circular."
Since no proof to the contrary was the gate of the compound of Hda. irrationaly."
presented by the Complainant nor Aimee, C/Insp. Torcita upon the
was there any witness or witnesses arrival of the back-up force of PNP
presented to rebut this allegations, Cadiz City, proceeded to the place Torcita appealed his conviction to
The Board did not find sufficient the Regional Appellate Board of the
the Board had no other choice except where Capt. Jesus Puey and Alex
evidence to establish that Torcita PNP, Region VI, Iloilo City, but the
to consider these allegations as Edwin del Rosario were; This fact is
threatened anybody with a gun, nor appeal was dismissed for lack of
proof; (Exhibit 5 & 6); The Board not disputed by the parties;
that a serious confrontation took jurisdiction; Thus,
also resolve to take note that a
place between the parties. The Board
metropolitan newspaper with
also found that there was no
nationwide circulation and with
xxx......xxx......xxx sufficient evidence that the urinating
unquestionable credential, had "Under the applicable provisions of
incident took place, and held that the
published a news item about the Section 45 of R. A. 6975, however,
charges of violation of domicile and
presence of armed security personnel the disciplinary action imposed by
illegal search were not proven. The
of Congressman Manuel Puey Chief Insp. Lazaro Torcita does not the Regional Director upon a PNP
Board found that Lazaro Torcita was
exhibit 14); This evidence give more deny having taken alcoholic drink; member shall be final and executory
"in the performance of his official
credence to the fact that there were However, not to the point of except those involving demotion in
duties when the incident happened;
really armed men in the premises drunkness; The Board is more rank or dismissal from the service.
however, he committed a breach of
where the aforementioned incident inclined to believe this allegation for The appealed decision being that of
internal discipline by taking
happened; That this is corroborated no sane person will risks the life of a suspension from the service with
alcoholic drinks while in the
further by the affidavit of PO2 Nehru member of his family by deliberately corresponding forfeiture of pay only
performance of same. The
Java (exhibit 17); Sc juris driving when he is mentally and the same is not subject to review by
dispositive portion of the decision of
physically incapable; Further, this Board."[3]
the Board reads: Juris sc
C/Insp. Torcita was able to drive

"1.......THE OFFENSE OF "SIMPLE The appeal has no merit. The Court disgracing himself personally as a
IRREGULARITY IN THE of Appeals did not err in affirming gentleman, seriously compromises
Whereupon, C/Insp. Torcita filed a PERFORMANCE OF DUTY" IS the decision of the trial court his position as a PNP member and
petition for certiorari in the regional NECESSARILY INCLUDED IN granting the petition for certiorari. exhibits himself as morally unworthy
trial court of Iloilo City, Branch 31, THE CHARGE OF "CONDUCT to remain as a member of the
questioning the legality of the UNBECOMING OF A POLICE organization." New miso
conviction of an offense for which he OFFICER."
was not charged, "which conviction The administrative disciplinary
is a nullity because of the lack of machinery for dealing with
procedural due process of law." complaints or charges against any On the other hand, the acts
2.......THE DECISION OF THE member of the Philippine National constituting "simple irregularity in
SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD Police (PNP) is laid down in the performance of duty" are defined
(SDB) AND THE NAPOLCOM Republic Act No. 6975, otherwise in Memorandum Circular No. 91-
Public respondent filed a motion to REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD known as the "Department of the 002. It is a light offense, incurred,
dismiss, which was denied. The HAS BECOME FINAL AND Interior and Local Government Act among others, by a member of the
regional trial court granted the EXECUTORY."[4] of 1990." This law defines the PNP who shall, among others, be
petition for certiorari and annulled summary dismissal powers of the found to "have the odor or smell of
the dispositive portion of the PNP Chief and Regional Directors, alcohol on his breath while on duty,
questioned decision insofar as it among others in cases, "where the or possess alcoholic beverages on his
found Torcita guilty of simple The petitioners submit that the
respondent is guilty of conduct person, police vehicle, post or
irregularity in the performance of offense of "Conduct Unbecoming of
unbecoming of a police officer."[5] office." (Sec. 2.A, Rule VI)
duty. Misj uris a Police Officer" is broad enough to
Memorandum Circular No. 92-006
include any act of an officer which
prescribes the "Rules and
tends to bring dishonor and disgrace
Regulations in the conduct of
to the PNP organization, and Simple As above-stated, the Summary
Public respondent appealed from the summary dismissal proceedings
Irregularity in the Performance of Dismissal Board absolved the
above-mentioned decision of the against erring PNP members" and
Duty is one act which brings such C/Insp. Torcita of the consolidated
regional trial court, by petition of defines conduct unbecoming of a
disgrace and dishonor as charge of "conduct unbecoming of a
review to the Court of Appeals, police officer under Section 3 (c),
contemplated by law. Moreover, the police officer" but found him guilty
which affirmed the same for the Rule II, as follows:
dismissal has become final and of simple irregularity in the
reason that the respondent could not executory and the trial court erred performance of duty under Sec. 41,
have been guilty of irregularity when it proceeded with the petition R.A. No. 6975, in relation to
considering that "the twelve (12) in violation of the doctrine of "Conduct unbecoming of a police Napolcom Memorandum Circular
cases treated as Conduct primary jurisdiction. officer" refers to any behavior or No. 91-002 and imposed a penalty of
Unbecoming of a Police Officer action of a PNP member, irrespective suspension for twenty (20) days and
were eventually dismissed." of rank, done in his official capacity, forfeiture of salary for the same
which, in dishonoring or otherwise period.
In his comment, respondent Torcita
disgracing himself as a PNP
insists that his right to due process of
The instant petition for review on member, seriously compromise his
law was "corrosively abridged and
certiorari under Rule 45 seeks the character and standing as a
impaired", and pleads for an We are unable to sustain the theory
reversal of the aforesaid decision of gentleman in such a manner as to
affirmance of the decision of the of the petitioners that the definition
the Court of Appeals on the indicate his vitiated or corrupt state
Court of Appeals. of "conduct unbecoming of a police
following grounds: of moral character; it may also refer
officer" as earlier granted, is broad
to acts or behavior of any PNP
enough to include any act of an
member in an unofficial or private
officer which tends to bring dishonor
capacity which, in dishonoring or

and disgrace to the PNP by specific requirements of the Court (ABD Overseas Manpower
organization, and that there is "no notification of the charges together Corp. vs. NLRC, 286 SCRA 454 ).
legal prohibition" which would It is glaringly apparent from a with copies of affidavits and other Memorandum Circular No. 92-006
prevent the Summary Dismissal reading of the titles of the twelve attachments supporting the specifically prescribes that the
Board from finding petitioner guilty administrative cases filed against complaints, and the filing of an decision shall contain "a brief
of the lesser offense. While the C/Insp. Torcita, earlier quoted, that answer, together with supporting statement of the material facts and
definition of the more serious none of the charges or offenses documents. It is true that consistent the findings of the summary
offense is broad, and almost all- mentioned or made reference to the with its summary nature, the duration dismissal authority as well as the
encompassing a finding of guilt for specific act of being drunk while in of the hearing is limited, and the disposition thereof" (Sec. 6). The
an offense, no matter how light, for the performance of official duty. The manner of conducting the hearing is cursory conclusion of the Dismissal
which one is not properly charged records do not bear out the specific summary, in that sworn statements Board that Torcita "committed
and tried cannot be countenanced acts or conduct constituting the may take the place of oral breach of internal discipline by
without violating the rudimentary charge/offense in the twelve cases testimonies of witnesses, cross- taking drinks while in the
requirements of due process. which were consolidated at the pre- examination is confined only to performance of same" should have
hearing conference into a single case material and relevant matters, and been substantiated by factual
of "Conduct Unbecoming of a Police prolonged arguments and dilatory findings referring to this particular
Officer." Thus, the Board defined the proceedings shall not be entertained. offense. As it turned out, the
The series of twelve complaints filed issue before the Board as "whether (Section 4, Memorandum Circular dismissal Board believed his
against C/Insp. Torcita were solely the respondent is guilty of conduct No. 92-006). However, notification allegation that he was not drunk and
based on the incident that occurred unbecoming of a police officer under of the charges contemplates that found that he was in full command
on April 26, 1994 at about 11:00 Republic Act 6975, as implemented respondent be informed of the of his senses where he tried to
o'clock in the evening, wherein by Memorandum Circular No. 92- specific charges against him. Torcita apprehend the driver of the maroon
Torcita, who was off-duty and was in 006 of the National Police was entitled to know that he was Mazda pick-up. Although Torcita did
civilian clothes, riding in his private Commission under Rule II, Section being charged with being drunk not deny that he had taken a shot of
vehicle with members of his family, 3, Paragraph c, committed though a while in the performance of duty, so alcoholic drink at the party which he
chased another vehicle which series of illegal acts consisting of that he could traverse the accusation attended before the incident, the
overtook his car in a reckless manner grave threats, illegal search, abuse of squarely and adduce evidence in his records show that he was then off-
and in violation of the Traffic Code; authority, violation of domicile or defense. Although he was given an duty and the party was at the
the hot pursuit ended at the Hacienda violation of Comelec Gunban." opportunity to be heard on the Municipality of Victorias, which was
Aimee, where he allegedly entered Notably, there is no indication or multiple and broad charges initially outside of his area of police
the place without lawful warrant and warning at all in the summary filed against him, the absence of jurisdiction. On the other hand, the
while inside, belligerently shouted dismissal proceedings that C/Insp. specification of the offense for which hot pursuit incident occurred while
invectives, challenging everyone to a Torcita was also being charged with he was eventually found guilty is not he was on in his way home to Cadiz
fight, pointed his gun at somebody breach of internal discipline a proper observance of due process. City with the members of his family.
and urinated in full view of the consisting of taking alcoholic drinks There can be no short-cut to the legal As observed by the Dismissal Board
persons therein. The Dismissal while in the performance of his process (Alonte vs. Savellano Jr., itself, the hot pursuit was motivated
Board found the above charges duties. Acct mis 287 SCRA 245). by the duty "inherent to the position
unsubstantiated and held that Torcita
as Chief of Police of Cadiz City and
was in the performance of official
as Deputy of the Land
duty when the incidents happened.
The omission is fatal to the validity Transportation Office to enforce
"However, he committed breach of It is a requirement of due process
of the judgment finding him guilty of traffic rules and regulations, to
internal discipline by taking that the parties be informed of how
the offense for which he was not prevent chaos and accidents in roads
alcoholic drinks while in the the litigation was decided with an
notified nor charged. Summary and highways" (Decision, p. 76). The
performance of same." explanation of the factual and legal
dismissal proceedings are governed Court of Appeals correctly pointed
reasons that led to the conclusions of
out that even if he was prosecuted

for irregular performance of duty, he EN BANC ROBERTO ESTRADA Y LOPEZ, not properly and intelligently enter a
could not have been found to have being then armed with a butchers plea because he was suffering from a
the odor or smell of alcohol while in knife, with intent to kill one mental defect; that before the
the performance of duty because he ROGELIO P. MARARAC with commission of the crime, he was
[G.R. No. 130487. June 19, 2000]
was not on duty at the time that he treachery and committed in a holy confined at the psychiatric ward of
had a taste of liquor; he was on a place of worship, did then and there, the Baguio General Hospital in
private trip fetching his wife. wilfully, unlawfully and criminally, Baguio City. He prayed for the
THE PEOPLE OF THE attack, assault and use personal suspension of his arraignment and
PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. violence upon the latter by stabbing the issuance of an order confining
ROBERTO ESTRADA, accused- him, hitting him on vital parts of his him at the said hospital.[3]
Premises considered, we hold that
appellant. body with the said weapon, thereby
the Court of Appeals correctly found
causing his death shortly thereafter
that the decision of the petitioners
due to Cardiorespiratory Arrest,
Board was rendered without or in The motion was opposed by the City
Massive Intrathoracic Hemorrhage,
excess of jurisdiction, as respondent DECISION Prosecutor. The trial court, motu
Stab Wound as per Autopsy Report
Torcita was found guilty of an proprio, propounded several
and Certificate of Death both issued
offense for which he was not questions on accused-appellant.
by Dr. Tomas G. Cornel, Assistant
properly charged. A decision is void Finding that the questions were
PUNO, J.: City Health Officer, this City, to the
for lack of due process if, as a result, understood and answered by him
damage and prejudice of the legal
a party is deprived of the opportunity intelligently, the court denied the
heirs of said deceased ROGELIO P.
of being heard (Palu-ay vs. CA, 293 motion that same day.[4]
MARARAC in the amount of not
SCRA 358). A void judgment never This is an automatic review of the less than FIFTY THOUSAND
acquires finality (Heirs of Mayor death penalty imposed on accused- PESOS (P50,000.00), Philippine
Nemencio Galvez vs. CA 255 SCRA appellant by the Regional Trial currency, and other consequential The arraignment proceeded and a
672; Fortich vs. Corona, 298 SCRA Court, Branch 44, Dagupan City in damages. plea of not guilty was entered by the
678). Hence, aforementioned Criminal Case No. 94-00860-D.[1] court on accused-appellants
decision cannot be deemed to have We nullify the proceedings in the behalf.[5]
become final and executory. Mis act court a quo and remand the case for
proper disposition. Contrary to Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code.
The prosecution presented four (4)
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision
witnesses, namely: (1) Dr. Tomas
dated September l, 1997 of the Court In an Information dated December Cornel, the Assistant Health Officer
of Appeals is AFFIRMED and the 29, 1994, accused-appellant Roberto Dagupan City, Philippines,
of Dagupan City who issued the
instant petition is DISMISSED. Estrada y Lopez was charged with December 29, 1994.[2]
death certificate and conducted the
the crime of murder for the killing of autopsy on the victim; (2) Crisanto
one Rogelio P. Mararac, a security Santillan, an eyewitness to the
SO ORDERED. guard. The Information reads: At the arraignment on January 6, incident; (3) SPO1 Conrado
1995, accused-appellants counsel, Francisco, one of the policemen who
the Public Attorneys Office, filed an apprehended accused-appellant; and
That on or about the 27th day of Urgent Motion to Suspend (4) Rosalinda Sobremonte, the
December 1994 in the City of Arraignment and to Commit victims sister. The prosecution
Dagupan, Philippines and within the Accused to Psychiatric Ward at established the following facts:
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Baguio General Hospital. It was
the above-named accused, alleged that accused-appellant could

In the morning of December 27, strike again when suddenly accused- He was brought to the police station
1994, at the St. Johns Cathedral, appellant drew a knife from his back, and placed in jail.
Dagupan City, the sacrament of lunged at Mararac and stabbed him, After the prosecution rested its case,
confirmation was being performed hitting him below his left throat. accused-appellant, with leave of
by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Mararac fell. Accused-appellant court, filed a Demurrer to Evidence.
In the meantime, Mararac, the He claimed that the prosecution
Dagupan City on the children of went over the victim and tried to stab
security guard, was brought to the failed to prove the crime of murder
Dagupan. The cathedral was filled him again but Mararac parried his
hospital where he expired a few because there was no evidence of the
with more than a thousand people. thrust. Accused-appellant looked up
minutes upon arrival. He died of qualifying circumstance of treachery;
At 11:00 A.M., nearing the close of and around him. He got up, went to
cardio-respiratory arrest, massive, that there was unlawful aggression
the rites, the Bishop went down the the microphone and shouted:
intra-thoracic hemorrhage, stab by the victim when he tapped
altar to give his final blessing to the Anggapuy nayan dia! (No one can
wound.[9] He was found to have accused-appellants hand with his
children in the front rows. While the beat me here!). He returned to the
sustained two (2) stab wounds: one nightstick; and that accused-
Bishop was giving his blessing, a Bishops chair and sat on it again.
just below the left throat and the appellant did not have sufficient
man from the crowd went up and Mararac, wounded and bleeding,
other on the left arm. The autopsy ability to calculate his defensive acts
walked towards the center of the slowly dragged himself down the
reported the following findings: because he was of unsound
altar. He stopped beside the Bishops altar.[7]
chair, turned around and, in full view mind.[11]
of the Catholic faithful, sat on the
Bishops chair. The man was EXTERNAL FINDINGS
Meanwhile, SPO1 Conrado
accused-appellant. Crisanto The Demurrer to Evidence was
Francisco, who was directing traffic
Santillan, who was assisting the opposed by the public prosecutor. He
outside, received a report of a
Bishop at the rites, saw accused- alleged that the accused pretended to
commotion inside the cathedral. 1. Stab wound, along the parasternal
appellant. Santillan approached be weak, tame and of unsound mind;
Rushing to the cathedral, SPO1 line, level of the 2nd intercostal
accused-appellant and requested him that after he made the first stab, he
Francisco saw a man, accused- space, left, 1 x 1 penetrating. The
to vacate the Bishops chair. Gripping furiously continued stabbing and
appellant, with red stains on his shirt edge of one side of the wound is
the chairs armrest, accused-appellant slashing the victim to finish him off
and a knife in one hand sitting on a sharp and pointed.
replied in Pangasinese: No matter undeterred by the fact that he was in
chair at the center of the altar. He ran
what will happen, I will not move a holy place where a religious
to accused-appellant and advised him
out! Hearing this, Santillan moved ceremony was being conducted; and
to drop the knife. Accused-appellant
away.[6] 2. Stab wound, antero-lateral aspect, the plea of unsound mind had
obeyed. He dropped the knife and
raised his hands. Thereupon, Chief distal 3rd, arm, left, x x . The edge of already been ruled upon by the trial
Inspector Wendy Rosario, Deputy one side of the wound is sharp and court in its order of January 6,
Some of the churchgoers summoned Police Chief, Dagupan City, who pointed. 1995.[12]
Rogelio Mararac, the security guard was attending the confirmation rites
at the cathedral. Mararac went near at the Cathedral, went near accused-
accused-appellant and told him to appellant to pick up the knife. INTERNAL FINDINGS On February 21, 1995, a letter was
vacate the Bishops chair. Accused- Suddenly, accused-appellant sent by Inspector Wilfredo F.
appellant stared intensely at the embraced Chief Inspector Rosario Valdez, Jail Warden of Dagupan
guard. Mararac grabbed his and the two wrestled with each other. City to the trial court. Inspector
nightstick and used it to tap accused- Chief Inspector Rosario was able to Massive intrathoracic, left,
hemorrhage with perforation of the Valdez requested the court to allow
appellants hand on the armrest. subdue accused-appellant. The police accused-appellant, who was confined
Appellant did not budge. Again, came and when they frisked upper and lower lobe of the left lung.
The left pulmonary blood vessel was at the city jail, to be treated at the
Mararac tapped the latters hand. Still appellant, they found a leather Baguio General Hospital to
no reaction. Mararac was about to scabbard tucked around his waist.[8] severely cut.[10]
determine whether he should remain

in jail or be transferred to some other been complaining of not getting The trial court rendered a decision on
institution. The other prisoners were enough sleep for fear of being June 23, 1997. It upheld the
allegedly not comfortable with attacked by him while asleep; that Accused-appellant did not take the prosecution evidence and found
appellant because he had been once, while they were sleeping, witness stand. Instead, his counsel accused-appellant guilty of the crime
exhibiting unusual behavior. He tried appellant took out all his personal presented the testimony of Dr. Maria charged and thereby sentenced him
to climb up the jail roof so he could effects and waste matter and burned Soledad Gawidan,[20] a resident to death, viz:
escape and see his family.[13] them inside the cell which again physician in the Department of
caused panic among the inmates. Psychiatry at the Baguio General
Appellants counsel prayed that his Hospital, and accused-appellants
medical and clinical records at the WHEREFORE, the court finds
client be confined at the National
As ordered by the trial court, the said hospital.[21] Dr. Gawidan accused Roberto Estrada y Lopez
Center for Mental Health in Manila
public prosecutor filed a Comment to testified that appellant had been guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
or at the Baguio General
the jail wardens letter. He reiterated confined at the BGH from February the crime of Murder and in view of
Hospital.[16] Attached to the motion
that the mental condition of accused- 18, 1993 to February 22, 1993 and the presence of the aggravating
were two (2) letters. One, dated
appellant to stand trial had already that he suffered from Schizophrenic circumstance of cruelty which is not
February 19, 1996, was from
been determined; unless a competent Psychosis, Paranoid offset by any mitigating
Inspector Pedrito Llopis, Jail
government agency certifies Typeschizophrenia, paranoid, circumstance, the accused is
Warden, Dagupan City, addressed to
otherwise, the trial should proceed; chronic, paranoid type;[22] and after sentenced to suffer the Death Penalty
the trial court judge informing him of
and the city jail warden was not the four (4) days of confinement, he was and to indemnify the heirs of the
appellants irrational behavior and
proper person to determine whether discharged in improved physical and deceased in the amount of
seeking the issuance of a court order
accused-appellant was mentally ill or mental condition.[23] The medical P50,000.00.
for the immediate psychiatric and
not.[14] and clinical records consisted of the
mental examination of accused-
appellant.[17] The second letter, following: (1) letter of Dr. Alfredo
dated February 21, 1996, was Sy, Municipal Health Officer, The accused is ordered to pay the
In an order dated August 21, 1995, addressed to Inspector Llopis from Calasiao, Pangasinan to Dr. Jesus del sum of P18,870.00 representing
the trial court denied the Demurrer to the Bukang Liwayway Association, Prado, Director, BGH referring actual expenses and P100,000.00 as
Evidence.[15] Accused-appellant an association of inmates in the accused-appellant for admission and moral damages.
moved for reconsideration. Dagupan City Jail. The letter, signed treatment after a relapse of his
by the president, secretary and violent behavior;[24] (2) the clinical
adviser of said association, informed cover sheet of appellant at the
the jail warden of appellants unusual BGH;[25] (3) the consent slip of SO ORDERED.[35]
While the motion for reconsideration behavior and requested that appellants wife voluntarily entrusting
was pending, on February 26, 1996, immediate action be taken against appellant to the BGH;[26] (4) the
counsel for accused-appellant filed a him to avoid future violent incidents Patients Record;[27] (5) the Consent In this appeal, accused-appellant
Motion to Confine Accused for in the jail.[18] for Discharge signed by appellants assigns the following errors:
Physical, Mental and Psychiatric wife;[28] (6) the Summary and
Examination. Appellants counsel Discharges of appellant;[29] (7)
informed the court that accused- appellants clinical case history;[30]
appellant had been exhibiting On September 18, 1996, the trial (8) the admitting notes;[31] (9) I
abnormal behavior for the past court denied reconsideration of the Physicians Order Form;[32] (10) the
weeks; he would shout at the top of order denying the Demurrer to Treatment Form/ medication
his voice and cause panic among the Evidence. The court ordered sheet;[33] and (11) Nurses
jail inmates and personnel; that accused-appellant to present his THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN
appellant had not been eating and evidence on October 15, 1996.[19] FINDING ACCUSED-
sleeping; that his co-inmates had APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE

CRIME CHARGED, DESPITE An insane person is exempt from To ascertain a persons mental
CLEAR AND CONVINCING criminal liability unless he has acted condition at the time of the act, it is
EVIDENCE ON RECORD, In the absence of evidence to the during a lucid interval. If the court permissible to receive evidence of
SUPPORTING HIS PLEA OF contrary, the law presumes that every therefore finds the accused insane the condition of his mind within a
INSANITY. person is of sound mind[43] and that when the alleged crime was reasonable period both before and
all acts are voluntary.[44] The moral committed, he shall be acquitted but after that time.[53] Direct testimony
and legal presumption under our law the court shall order his confinement is not required.[54] Neither are
is that freedom and intelligence in a hospital or asylum for treatment specific acts of derangement
II constitute the normal condition of a until he may be released without essential to establish insanity as a
person.[45] This presumption, danger. An acquittal of the accused defense.[55] Circumstantial
however, may be overthrown by does not result in his outright release, evidence, if clear and convincing,
THE LOWER COURT LIKEWISE other factors; and one of these is but rather in a verdict which is suffices; for the unfathomable mind
ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE insanity which exempts the actor followed by commitment of the can only be known by overt acts. A
STABBING TO DEATH OF from criminal liability.[46] accused to a mental institution.[47] persons thoughts, motives, and
ROGELIO MARARAC WAS emotions may be evaluated only by
ATTENDED WITH TREACHERY outward acts to determine whether
AND AGGRAVATED BY The Revised Penal Code in Article these conform to the practice of
In the eyes of the law, insanity exists
CRUELTY, GRANTING 12 (1) provides: people of sound mind.[56]
when there is a complete deprivation
of intelligence in committing the act.
Mere abnormality of the mental
ART. 12. Circumstances which faculties will not exclude In the case at bar, there is no direct
exempt from criminal liability.The imputability.[48] The accused must proof that accused-appellant was
following are exempt from criminal be so insane as to be incapable of afflicted with insanity at the time he
liability: entertaining a criminal intent.[49] He killed Mararac. The absence of direct
must be deprived of reason and act proof, nevertheless, does not entirely
The basic principle in our criminal without the least discernment discount the probability that
law is that a person is criminally because there is a complete absence appellant was not of sound mind at
liable for a felony committed by 1. An imbecile or an insane person, of the power to discern or a total that time. From the affidavit of
him.[37] Under the classical theory unless the latter has acted during a deprivation of freedom of the Crisanto Santillan[57] attached to the
on which our penal code is mainly lucid interval. will.[50] Information, there are certain
based, the basis of criminal liability circumstances that should have
is human free will.[38] Man is placed the trial court on notice that
essentially a moral creature with an When the imbecile or an insane appellant may not have been in full
Since the presumption is always in
absolutely free will to choose person has committed an act which possession of his mental faculties
favor of sanity, he who invokes
between good and evil.[39] When he the law defines as a felony (delito), when he attacked Mararac. It was
insanity as an exempting
commits a felonious or criminal act the court shall order his confinement highly unusual for a sane person to
circumstance must prove it by clear
(delito doloso), the act is presumed in one of the hospitals or asylums go up to the altar and sit on the
and positive evidence.[51] And the
to have been done voluntarily,[40] established for persons thus afflicted, Bishops chair while the Bishop was
evidence on this point must refer to
i.e., with freedom, intelligence and which he shall not be permitted to administering the Holy Sacrament of
the time preceding the act under
intent.[41] Man, therefore, should be leave without first obtaining the Confirmation to children in a
prosecution or to the very moment of
adjudged or held accountable for permission of the same court. jampacked cathedral. It goes against
its execution.[52]
wrongful acts so long as free will normal and ordinary behavior for
appears unimpaired.[42] appellant, without sufficient
provocation from the security guard,

to stab the latter at the altar, during person on the ground of present In determining a defendants
sacramental rites and in front of all insanity, the judges should bear in competency to stand trial, the test is
the Catholic faithful to witness. (b) x x x. mind that not every aberration of the whether he has the capacity to
Appellant did not flee, or at least mind or exhibition of mental comprehend his position, understand
attempt to flee after the stabbing. He deficiency is sufficient to justify the nature and object of the
nonchalantly approached the The arraignment of an accused shall such suspension. The test is to be proceedings against him, to conduct
microphone and, over the public be suspended if at the time thereof he found in the question whether the his defense in a rational manner, and
address system, uttered words to the appears to be suffering from an accused would have a fair trial, with to cooperate, communicate with, and
faithful which no rational person unsound mental condition of such the assistance which the law secures assist his counsel to the end that any
would have made. He then returned nature as to render him unable to or gives; and it is obvious that under available defense may be
to the Bishops chair and sat there as fully understand the charge against a system of procedure like ours interposed.[64] This test is
if nothing happened. him and to plead intelligently where every accused person has prescribed by state law but it exists
thereto. Under these circumstances, legal counsel, it is not necessary to generally as a statutory recognition
the court must suspend the be so particular as it used to be in of the rule at common law.[65] Thus:
proceedings and order the mental England where the accused had no
Accused-appellants history of mental
examination of the accused, and if advocate but himself.[60] In the
illness was brought to the courts
confinement be necessary for American jurisdiction, the issue of
attention on the day of the [I]t is not enough for the x x x judge
examination, order such confinement the accuseds present insanity or
arraignment. Counsel for accused- to find that the defendant [is]
and examination. If the accused is insanity at the time of the court
appellant moved for suspension of oriented to time and place, and [has]
not in full possession of his mental proceedings is separate and distinct
the arraignment on the ground that some recollection of events, but that
faculties at the time he is informed at from his criminal responsibility at
his client could not properly and the test must be whether he has
the arraignment of the nature and the time of commission of the act.
intelligently enter a plea due to his sufficient present ability to consult
cause of the accusation against him, The defense of insanity in a criminal
mental condition. The Motion for with his lawyer with a reasonable
the process is itself a felo de se, for trial concerns the defendants mental
Suspension is authorized under degree of rational understandingand
he can neither comprehend the full condition at the time of the crimes
Section 12, Rule 116 of the 1985 whether he has a rational as well as
import of the charge nor can he give commission. Present insanity is
Rules on Criminal Procedure which factual understanding of the
an intelligent plea thereto.[58] commonly referred to as competency
provides: proceedings against him.[66]
to stand trial[61] and relates to the
appropriateness of conducting the
criminal proceeding in light of the
Sec. 12. Suspension of The question of suspending the defendants present inability to There are two distinct matters to be
arraignment.The arraignment shall arraignment lies within the discretion participate meaningfully and determined under this test: (1)
be suspended, if at the time thereof: of the trial court.[59]And the test to effectively.[62] In competency cases, whether the defendant is sufficiently
determine whether the proceedings the accused may have been sane or coherent to provide his counsel with
will be suspended depends on the insane during the commission of the information necessary or relevant to
question of whether the accused, offense which relates to a constructing a defense; and (2)
(a) The accused appears to be even with the assistance of counsel, determination of his guilt. However, whether he is able to comprehend the
suffering from an unsound mental would have a fair trial. This rule was if he is found incompetent to stand significance of the trial and his
condition which effectively renders laid down as early as 1917, thus: trial, the trial is simply postponed relation to it.[67] The first requisite
him unable to fully understand the until such time as he may be found is the relation between the defendant
charge against him and to plead competent. Incompetency to stand and his counsel such that the
intelligently thereto. In such case, the trial is not a defense; it merely
In passing on the question of the defendant must be able to confer
court shall order his mental postpones the trial.[63]
propriety of suspending the coherently with his counsel. The
examination and, if necessary, his
proceedings against an accused second is the relation of the
confinement for such purpose.
defendant vis-a-vis the court

proceedings, i.e., that he must have a a manner which may destroy the psychiatric or even lay testimony
rational as well as a factual decorum of the court. Even if the bearing on the issue of competency
understanding of the defendant remains passive, his lack in a particular case.[78] The fact that accused-appellant was
proceedings.[68] of comprehension fundamentally able to answer the questions asked
impairs the functioning of the trial by the trial court is not conclusive
process. A criminal proceeding is evidence that he was competent
In the case at bar, when accused- enough to stand trial and assist in his
essentially an adversarial proceeding.
The rule barring trial or sentence of appellant moved for suspension of defense. Section 12, Rule 116 speaks
If the defendant is not a conscious
an insane person is for the protection the arraignment on the ground of of an unsound mental condition that
and intelligent participant, the
of the accused, rather than of the accuseds mental condition, the trial effectively renders [the accused]
adjudication loses its character as a
public.[69] It has been held that it is court denied the motion after finding unable to fully understand the charge
reasoned interaction between an
inhuman to require an accused that the questions propounded on against him and to plead intelligently
individual and his community and
disabled by act of God to make a just appellant were intelligently answered thereto. It is not clear whether
becomes an invective against an
defense for his life or liberty.[70] To by him. The court declared:: accused-appellant was of such sound
insensible object. Fourth, it is
put a legally incompetent person on mind as to fully understand the
important that the defendant knows
trial or to convict and sentence him charge against him. It is also not
why he is being punished, a
is a violation of the constitutional certain whether his plea was made
comprehension which is greatly xxx
rights to a fair trial[71] and due intelligently. The plea of not guilty
dependent upon his understanding of
process of law;[72] and this has was not made by accused-appellant
what occurs at trial. An incompetent
several reasons underlying it.[73] but by the trial court because of his
defendant may not realize the moral
For one, the accuracy of the It should be noted that when this refusal to plead.[80]
reprehensibility of his conduct. The
proceedings may not be assured, as case was called, the Presiding Judge
societal goal of institutionalized
an incompetent defendant who asked questions on the accused, and
retribution may be frustrated when
cannot comprehend the proceedings he (accused) answered intelligently.
the force of the state is brought to The trial court took it solely upon
may not appreciate what information As a matter of fact, when asked
bear against one who cannot itself to determine the sanity of
is relevant to the proof of his where he was born, he answered, in
comprehend its significance.[74] accused-appellant. The trial judge is
innocence. Moreover, he is not in a Tayug.
position to exercise many of the not a psychiatrist or psychologist or
rights afforded a defendant in a some other expert equipped with the
criminal case, e.g., the right to The determination of whether a specialized knowledge of
effectively consult with counsel, the sanity investigation or hearing The accused could answer determining the state of a persons
right to testify in his own behalf, and should be ordered rests generally in intelligently. He could understand mental health. To determine the
the right to confront opposing the discretion of the trial court.[75] the questions asked of him. accused-appellants competency to
witnesses, which rights are Mere allegation of insanity is stand trial, the court, in the instant
safeguards for the accuracy of the insufficient. There must be evidence case, should have at least ordered the
trial result. Second, the fairness of or circumstances that raise a WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the examination of accused-appellant,
the proceedings may be questioned, reasonable doubt[76] or a bona fide Urgent Motion to Suspend especially in the light of the latters
as there are certain basic decisions in doubt[77] as to defendants Arraignment and to Commit history of mental illness.
the course of a criminal proceeding competence to stand trial. Among the Accused to Psychiatric Ward at
which a defendant is expected to factors a judge may consider is Baguio General Hospital, is hereby
make for himself, and one of these is evidence of the defendants irrational DENIED. If the medical history was not
his plea. Third, the dignity of the behavior, history of mental illness or enough to create a reasonable doubt
proceedings may be disrupted, for an behavioral abnormalities, previous in the judges mind of accused-
incompetent defendant is likely to confinement for mental disturbance, appellants competency to stand trial,
conduct himself in the courtroom in demeanor of the defendant, and SO ORDERED.[79]
subsequent events should have done

so. One month after the prosecution was waiving the right to testify in his If the mental examination on frustrated murder, entered a plea of
rested its case, the Jail Warden of own behalf because he was suffering accused-appellant had been promptly guilty to all three charges and was
Dagupan City wrote the trial judge from mental illness.[85] This and properly made, it may have sentenced to death. We found that
informing him of accused-appellants manifestation was made in open served a dual purpose[89] by the accuseds plea was not an
unusual behavior and requesting that court more than two (2) years after determining both his competency to unconditional admission of guilt
he be examined at the hospital to the crime, and still, the claim of stand trial and his sanity at the time because he was not in full possession
determine whether he should remain mental illness was ignored by the of the offense. In some Philippine of his mental faculties when he killed
in jail or be placed in some other trial court. And despite all the cases, the medical and clinical the victim; and thereby ordered that
institution. The trial judge ignored overwhelming indications of findings of insanity made he be subjected to the necessary
this letter. One year later, accused- accused-appellants state of mind, the immediately after the commission of medical examination to determine
appellants counsel filed a Motion to judge persisted in his personal the crime served as one of the bases his degree of insanity at the time of
Confine Accused for Physical, assessment and never even for the acquittal of the accused.[90] commission of the crime.[93]
Mental and Psychiatric Examination. considered subjecting accused- The crime in the instant case was
Attached to this motion was a second appellant to a medical examination. committed way back in December
letter by the new Jail Warden of To top it all, the judge found 1994, almost six (6) years ago. At
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision
Dagupan City accompanied by a appellant guilty and sentenced him to this late hour, a medical finding
of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
letter-complaint of the members of death! alone may make it impossible for us
44, Dagupan City in Criminal Case
the Bukang Liwayway Association to evaluate appellants mental
No. 94-00860-D convicting accused-
of the city jail. Despite the two (2) condition at the time of the crimes
appellant Roberto Estrada and
attached letters,[81] the judge commission for him to avail of the
Section 12, Rule 116 of the 1985 sentencing him to death is vacated
ignored the Motion to Confine exempting circumstance of
Rules on Criminal Procedure speaks and the case is remanded to the court
Accused for Physical, Mental and insanity.[91] Nonetheless, under the
of a mental examination.[86] The a quo for the conduct of a proper
Psychiatric Examination. The present circumstances, accused-
human mind is an entity, and mental examination on accused-
records are barren of any order appellants competence to stand trial
understanding it is not purely an appellant, a determination of his
disposing of the said motion. The must be properly ascertained to
intellectual process but depends to a competency to stand trial, and for
trial court instead ordered accused- enable him to participate in his trial
large degree upon emotional and further proceedings.
appellant to present his evidence.[82] meaningfully.
psychological appreciation.[87]
Thus, an intelligent determination of
an accuseds capacity for rational
Dr. Gawidan testified that the illness understanding ought to rest on a By depriving appellant of a mental
of accused-appellant, i.e., deeper and more comprehensive examination, the trial court
schizophrenia, paranoid type, is a diagnosis of his mental condition effectively deprived appellant of a
lifetime illness and that this requires than laymen can make through fair trial. The trial courts negligence
maintenance medication to avoid observation of his overt behavior. was a violation of the basic
relapses.[83] After accused-appellant Once a medical or psychiatric requirements of due process; and for
was discharged on February 22, diagnosis is made, then can the legal this reason, the proceedings before
1993, he never returned to the question of incompetency be the said court must be nullified. In
hospital, not even for a check- determined by the trial court. By this People v. Serafica,[92] we ordered
up.[84] time, the accuseds abilities may be that the joint decision of the trial
measured against the specific court be vacated and the cases
demands a trial will make upon remanded to the court a quo for
him.[88] proper proceeding. The accused, who
Accused-appellant did not take the
was charged with two (2) counts of
witness stand. His counsel
murder and one (1) count of
manifested that accused-appellant

EN BANC following activities and established 5. In 1983, PHILCOMSAT
the following installations: constructed and installed a standard
The petition before us seeks to annul "B" antenna at Clark Air Field,
and set aside an Order 1 issued by Pampanga as a television receive-
G.R. No. 84818 December 18, respondent Commissioner Jose Luis only earth station which provides the
1989 Alcuaz of the National 1. In 1967, PHILCOMSAT
U.S. Military bases with a 24-hour
Telecommunications Commission established its provisional earth
television service.
(hereafter, NTC), dated September 2, station in Pinugay, Rizal.
PHILIPPINE COMMUNICATIONS 1988, which directs the provisional
SATELLITE CORPORATION, reduction of the rates which may be
charged by petitioner for certain 6. In 1989, petitioner completed the
petitioner, 2. In 1968, earth station standard "A"
specified lines of its services by installation of a third standard "A"
antenna (Pinugay I) was established.
vs. fifteen percent (15%) with the earth station (Pinugay IV) to take
Pinugay I provided direct satellite
reservation to make further over the links in Pinugay I due to
communication links with the Pacific
JOSE LUIS A. ALCUAZ, as NTC reductions later, for being violative obsolescence. 3
Ocean Region (the United States,
Commissioner, and NATIONAL of the constitutional prohibition Australia, Canada, Hawaii, Guam,
TELECOMMUNICATIONS against undue delegation of Korea, Thailand, China [PROC],
COMMISSION, respondents. legislative power and a denial of New Zealand and Brunei) thru the By designation of the Republic of the
procedural, as well as substantive, Pacific Ocean INTELSAT satellite. Philippines, the petitioner is also the
due process of law. sole signatory for the Philippines in
Rilloraza, Africa, De Ocampo & the Agreement and the Operating
Africa for petitioner. Agreement relating to the
3. In 1971, a second earth
The antecedental facts as International Telecommunications
station standard "A"
summarized by petitioner 2 are not in Satellite Organization (INTELSAT)
antenna(Pinugay III) was
dispute. By virtue of Republic Act of 115 member nations, as well as in
Victor de la Serna for respondent established. Pinugay II provided
No. 5514, PHILCOMSAT was the Convention and the Operating
Alcuaz. links with the Indian Ocean Region
granted "a franchise to establish, Agreement of the International
(major cities in Europe, Middle East,
construct, maintain and operate in Maritime Satellite Organization
Africa, and other Asia Pacific
the Philippines, at such places as the (INMARSAT) of 53 member
countries operating within the
grantee may select, station or stations nations, which two global
region) thru the Indian Ocean
and associated equipment and commercial telecommunications
facilities for international satellite satellite corporations were
communications." Under this collectively established by various
franchise, it was likewise granted the states in line with the principles set
authority to "construct and operate 4. In 1983, a third earth station forth in Resolution 1721 (XVI) of
This case is posed as one of first
such ground facilities as needed to standard "B" antenna (Pinugay III) the General Assembly of the United
impression in the sense that it
deliver telecommunications services was established to temporarily Nations.
involves the public utility services of
the petitioner Philippine from the communications satellite assume the functions of Pinugay I
Communications Satellite system and ground terminal or and then Pinugay II while they were
Corporation (PHILCOMSAT, for terminals." being refurbished. Pinugay III now
Since 1968, the petitioner has been
short) which is the only one serves as spare or reserved antenna
leasing its satellite circuits to:
rendering such services in the for possible contingencies.
Philippines. Pursuant to said franchise, petitioner
puts on record that it undertook the

1. Philippine Long Distance including all its facilities and extended for another six (6) months, provide the necessary standards
Telephone Company; services and the fixing of rates. or up to September 16, 1988. constitutionally required, hence there
Implementing said Executive Order is an undue delegation of legislative
No. 196, respondents required power, particularly the adjudicatory
petitioner to apply for the requisite powers of NTC;
2. Philippine Global The NTC order now in controversy
certificate of public convenience and
Communications, Inc.; had further extended the provisional
necessity covering its facilities and
authority of the petitioner for another
the services it renders, as well as the
six (6) months, counted from 2. Assuming arguendo that
corresponding authority to charge
September 16, 1988, but it directed the rate-fixing power was properly
3. Eastern rates therefor.
the petitioner to charge modified and constitutionally conferred, the
Telecommunications Phils., Inc.;
reduced rates through a reduction of same was exercised in an
fifteen percent (15%) on the present unconstitutional manner, hence it is
Consequently, under date of authorized rates. Respondent ultra vires, in that (a) the questioned
4. Globe Mackay Cable and September 9, 1987, petitioner filed Commissioner ordered said order violates procedural due process
Radio Corp. ITT; and with respondent NTC an application reduction on the following ground: for having been issued without prior
4 for authority to continue operating notice and hearing; and (b) the rate
and maintaining the same facilities it reduction it imposes is unjust,
has been continuously operating and unreasonable and confiscatory, thus
5. Capitol Wireless, Inc. The Commission in its on-going
maintaining since 1967, to continue constitutive of a violation of
review of present service rates takes
providing the international satellite substantive due process.
note that after an initial evaluation by
communications services it has
the Rates Regulation Division of the
or their predecessors-in-interest. The likewise been providing since 1967,
Common Carriers Authorization
satellite services thus provided by and to charge the current rates
Department of the financial I. Petitioner asseverates that nowhere
petitioner enable said international applied for in rendering such
statements of applicant, there is merit in the provisions of Executive Order
carriers to serve the public with services. Pending hearing, it also
in a REDUCTION in some of No. 546, providing for the creation
indispensable communication applied for a provisional authority so
applicant's rates, subject to further of respondent NTC and granting its
services, such as overseas telephone, that it can continue to operate and
reductions, should the Commission rate-fixing powers, nor of Executive
telex, facsimile, telegrams, high maintain the above mentioned
finds (sic) in its further evaluation Order No. 196, placing petitioner
speed data, live television in full facilities, provide the services and
that more reduction should be under the jurisdiction of respondent
color, and television standard charge therefor the aforesaid rates
effected either on the basis of a NTC, can it be inferred that
conversion from European to therein applied for.
provisional authorization or in the respondent NTC is guided by any
American or vice versa. final consideration of the case. 6 standard in the exercise of its rate-
fixing and adjudicatory powers.
On September 16, 1987, petitioner While petitioner in its petition-in-
Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. was granted a provisional authority chief raised the issue of undue
PHILCOMSAT assails the above-
5514, petitioner was exempt from the to continue operating its existing delegation of legislative power, it
quoted order for the following
jurisdiction of the then Public facilities, to render the services it subsequently clarified its said
Service Commission, now was then offering, and to charge the submission to mean that the order
respondent NTC. However, pursuant rates it was then charging. This mandating a reduction of certain
to Executive Order No. 196 issued authority was valid for six (6) rates is undue delegation not of
on June 17, 1987, petitioner was months from the date of said order. 5 1. The enabling act (Executive Order legislative but of quasi-judicial
placed under the jurisdiction, control When said provisional authority No. 546) of respondent NTC power to respondent NTC, the
and regulation of respondent NTC, expired on March 17, 1988, it was empowering it to fix rates for public exercise of which allegedly requires
service communications does not

an express conferment by the conjointly more than satisfy the question need not be preceded by a
legislative body. requirements of a valid delegation of hearing, not because it was issued
It becomes important then to legislative power. pursuant to respondent NTC's
ascertain the nature of the power legislative function but because the
delegated to respondent NTC and the assailed order is merely
Whichever way it is presented, manner required by the statute for interlocutory, it being an incident in
petitioner is in effect questioning the the lawful exercise thereof. II. On another tack, petitioner
the ongoing proceedings on
constitutionality of Executive Orders submits that the questioned order
petitioner's application for a
Nos. 546 and 196 on the ground that violates procedural due process
certificate of public convenience;
the same do not fix a standard for the because it was issued motu proprio,
Pursuant to Executive Orders Nos. and that petitioner is not the only
exercise of the power therein without notice to petitioner and
546 and 196, respondent NTC is primary source of data or
conferred. without the benefit of a hearing.
empowered, among others, to information since respondent is
Petitioner laments that said order
determine and prescribe rates currently engaged in a continuing
was based merely on an "initial
pertinent to the operation of public review of the rates charged.
evaluation," which is a unilateral
We hold otherwise. service communications which evaluation, but had petitioner been
necessarily include the power to given an opportunity to present its
promulgate rules and regulations in side before the order in question was We find merit in petitioner's
Fundamental is the rule that connection therewith. And, under issued, the confiscatory nature of the contention.
delegation of legislative power may Section 15(g) of Executive Order rate reduction and the consequent
be sustained only upon the ground No. 546, respondent NTC should be deterioration of the public service
that some standard for its exercise is guided by the requirements of public could have been shown and
safety, public interest and reasonable In Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. vs.
provided and that the legislature in demonstrated to respondents.
feasibility of maintaining effective Public Service Commission,9 we
making the delegation has prescribed Petitioner argues that the function
competition of private entities in made a categorical classification as
the manner of the exercise of the involved in the rate fixing-power of
communications and broadcasting to when the rate-filing power of
delegated power. Therefore, when NTC is adjudicatory and hence
facilities. Likewise, in Section 6(d) administrative bodies is quasi-
the administrative agency concerned, quasi-judicial, not quasi- legislative;
thereof, which provides for the judicial and when it is legislative,
respondent NTC in this case, thus, notice and hearing are
creation of the Ministry of thus:
establishes a rate, its act must both necessary and the absence thereof
be non- confiscatory and must have Transportation and Communications results in a violation of due process.
been established in the manner with control and supervision over
prescribed by the legislature; respondent NTC, it is specifically Moreover, although the rule-making
otherwise, in the absence of a fixed provided that the national economic power and even the power to fix
viability of the entire network or Respondents admit that the
standard, the delegation of power rates- when such rules and/or rates
components of the communications application of a policy like the fixing
becomes unconstitutional. In case of are meant to apply to all enterprises
systems contemplated therein should of rates as exercised by
a delegation of rate-fixing power, the of a given kind throughout the
be maintained at reasonable rates. administrative bodies is quasi-
only standard which the legislature is Philippines-may partake of a
We need not go into an in-depth judicial rather than quasi-legislative:
required to prescribe for the legislative character, such is not the
analysis of the pertinent provisions that where the function of the
guidance of the administrative nature of the order complained of.
of the law in order to conclude that administrative agency is legislative,
authority is that the rate be Indeed, the same applies exclusively
respondent NTC, in the exercise of notice and hearing are not required,
reasonable and just. However, it has to petitioner herein. What is more, it
its rate-fixing power, is limited by but where an order applies to a
been held that even in the absence of is predicated upon the finding of
the requirements of public safety, named person, as in the instant case,
an express requirement as to fact-based upon a report submitted
public interest, reasonable feasibility the function involved is adjudicatory.
reasonableness, this standard may be by the General Auditing Office-that
and reasonable rates, which 8 Nonetheless, they insist that under
implied. 7 petitioner is making a profit of more
the facts obtaining the order in

than 12% of its invested capital, 453: 'Aside from statute, the discussed, which prompted determination of the application of
which is denied by petitioner. necessity of notice and hearing in an respondents to impose as much as a petitioner, such rate-fixing order,
Obviously, the latter is entitled to administrative proceeding depends fifteen percent (15%) rate reduction. temporary though it may be, is not
cross-examine the maker of said on the character of the proceeding It is not far-fetched to assume that exempt from the statutory procedural
report, and to introduce evidence to and the circumstances involved. In petitioner could be in a better requirements of notice and hearing,
disprove the contents thereof and/or so far as generalization is possible in position to rationalize its rates vis-a- as well as the requirement of
explain or complement the same, as view of the great variety of vis the viability of its business reasonableness. Assuming that such
well as to refute the conclusion administrative proceedings, it may requirements. The rates it charges power is vested in NTC, it may not
drawn therefrom by the respondent. be stated as a general rule that notice result from an exhaustive and exercise the same in an arbitrary and
In other words, in making said and hearing are not essential to the detailed study it conducts of the confiscatory manner. Categorizing
finding of fact, respondent validity of administrative action multi-faceted intricacies attendant to such an order as temporary in nature
performed a function partaking of a where the administrative body acts in a public service undertaking of such does not perforce entail the
quasi-judicial character, the valid the exercise of executive, nature and magnitude. We are, applicability of a different rule of
exercise of which demands previous administrative, or legislative therefore, inclined to lend greater statutory procedure than would
notice and hearing. functions; but where a public credence to petitioner's ratiocination otherwise be applied to any other
administrative body acts in a judicial that an immediate reduction in its order on the same matter unless
or quasi-judicial matter, and its acts rates would adversely affect its otherwise provided by the applicable
are particular and immediate rather operations and the quality of its law. In the case at bar, the applicable
This rule was further explained in the
than general and prospective, the service to the public considering the statutory provision is Section 16(c)
subsequent case of The Central Bank
person whose rights or property may maintenance requirements, the of the Public Service Act which
of the Philippines vs. Cloribel, et al.
be affected by the action is entitled projects it still has to undertake and provides:
10 to wit:
to notice and hearing. 11 the financial outlay involved.
Notably, petitioner was not even
afforded the opportunity to cross-
Section 16. Proceedings of
It is also clear from the authorities examine the inspector who issued the
The order in question which was the Commission, upon notice and
that where the function of the report on which respondent NTC
issued by respondent Alcuaz no hearing the Commission shall have
administrative body is legislative, based its questioned order.
doubt contains all the attributes of a power, upon proper notice and
notice of hearing is not required by
quasi-judicial adjudication. Foremost hearing in accordance with the rules
due process of law (See
is the fact that said order pertains and provisions of this Act, subject to
Oppenheimer, Administrative Law, 2
exclusively to petitioner and to no At any rate, there remains the the limitations and exceptions
Md. L.R. 185, 204, supra, where it is
other. Further, it is premised on a categorical admission made by mentioned and saving provisions to
said: 'If the nature of the
finding of fact, although patently respondent NTC that the questioned the contrary:
administrative agency is essentially
superficial, that there is merit in a order was issued pursuant to its
legislative, the requirements of
reduction of some of the rates quasi-judicial functions. It, however,
notice and hearing are not necessary.
charged- based on an initial insists that notice and hearing are not
The validity of a rule of future action xxx xxx xxx
evaluation of petitioner's financial necessary since the assailed order is
which affects a group, if vested
statements-without affording merely incidental to the entire
rights of liberty or property are not
petitioner the benefit of an proceedings and, therefore,
involved, is not determined
explanation as to what particular temporary in nature. This postulate is (c) To fix and determine
according to the same rules which
aspect or aspects of the financial bereft of merit. individual or joint rates, ... which
apply in the case of the direct
statements warranted a shall be imposed, observed and
application of a policy to a specific
corresponding rate reduction. No followed thereafter by any public
individual) ... It is said in 73 C.J.S.
rationalization was offered nor were service; ...
Public Administrative Bodies and While respondents may fix a
the attending contingencies, if any,
Procedure, sec. 130, pages 452 and temporary rate pending final

acquired by it but which is not privilege or license which may be effective confiscation of private
offered in evidence or, even if so revoked at will by the State at any property or constitutes an arbitrary or
There is no reason to assume that the adduced, petitioner was given no time without necessarily violating unreasonable infringement of
aforesaid provision does not apply to opportunity to controvert. any vested property right of herein property rights is void, because it is
respondent NTC, there being no petitioner. While petitioner concedes repugnant to the constitutional
limiting, excepting, or saving this thesis of respondent, it counters guaranties of due process and equal
provisions to the contrary in that the withdrawal of such privilege protection of the laws. 15
Executive Orders Nos. 546 and 196. Again, the order requires the new
should nevertheless be neither
reduced rates to be made effective on
whimsical nor arbitrary, but it must
a specified date. It becomes a final
be fair and reasonable.
legislative act as to the period during Hence, the inherent power and
It is thus clear that with regard to which it has to remain in force authority of the State, or its
rate-fixing, respondent has no pending the final determination of authorized agent, to regulate the rates
authority to make such order without the case. 13 An order of respondent There is no question that petitioner is charged by public utilities should be
first giving petitioner a hearing, NTC prescribing reduced rates, even a mere grantee of a legislative subject always to the requirement
whether the order be temporary or for a temporary period, could be franchise which is subject to that the rates so fixed shall be
permanent, and it is immaterial unjust, unreasonable or even amendment, alteration, or repeal by reasonable and just. A commission
whether the same is made upon a confiscatory, especially if the rates Congress when the common good so has no power to fix rates which are
complaint, a summary investigation, are unreasonably low, since the requires. 14 Apparently, therefore, unreasonable or to regulate them
or upon the commission's own utility permanently loses its just such grant cannot be unilaterally arbitrarily. This basic requirement of
motion as in the present case. That revenue during the prescribed period. revoked absent a showing that the reasonableness comprehends such
such a hearing is required is evident In fact, such order is in effect final termination of the operation of said rates which must not be so low as to
in respondents' order of September insofar as the revenue during the utility is required by the common be confiscatory, or too high as to be
16, 1987 in NTC Case No. 87-94 period covered by the order is good. oppressive. 16
which granted PHILCOMSAT a concerned. Upon a showing,
provisional authority "to continue therefore, that the order requiring a
operating its existing facilities, to reduced rate is confiscatory, and will
render the services it presently The rule is that the power of the What is a just and reasonable rate is
unduly deprive petitioner of a
offers, and to charge the rates as State to regulate the conduct and not a question of formula but of
reasonable return upon its property, a
reduced by them "under the business of public utilities is limited sound business judgment based upon
declaration of its nullity becomes
condition that "(s)ubject to hearing by the consideration that it is not the the evidence 17 it is a question of
inductible, which brings us to the
and the final consideration of the owner of the property of the utility, fact calling for the exercise of
issue on substantive due process.
merit of this application, the or clothed with the general power of discretion, good sense, and a fair,
Commission may modify, revise or management incident to ownership, enlightened and independent
amend the rates ..." 12 since the private right of ownership judgment. 18 In determining whether
III. Petitioner contends that the rate to such property remains and is not a rate is confiscatory, it is essential
reduction is confiscatory in that its to be destroyed by the regulatory also to consider the given situation,
implementation would virtually power. The power to regulate is not requirements and opportunities of the
While it may be true that for result in a cessation of its operations the power to destroy useful and utility. A method often employed in
purposes of rate-fixing respondents and eventual closure of business. On harmless enterprises, but is the determining reasonableness is the
may have other sources of the other hand, respondents assert power to protect, foster, promote, fair return upon the value of the
information or data, still, since a that since petitioner is operating its preserve, and control with due regard property to the public utility.
hearing is essential, respondent NTC communications satellite facilities for the interest, first and foremost, of Competition is also a very important
should act solely on the basis of the through a legislative franchise, as the public, then of the utility and of factor in determining the
evidence before it and not on such grantee it has no vested right its patrons. Any regulation, reasonableness of rates since a
knowledge or information otherwise therein. What it has is merely a therefore, which operates as an carrier is allowed to make such rates

as are necessary to meet competition. the business of petitioner. As pointed violative of the due process clause is EMILIO SUNTAY Y
19 out by petitioner, any change in the void and should be nullified. AGUINALDO, petitioner,
sending end abroad has to be Respondents should now proceed, as
matched with the corresponding they should heretofore have done, vs.
change in the receiving end in the with the hearing and determination
A cursory perusal of the assailed THE PEOPLE OF THE
Philippines. Conversely, any in the of petitioner's pending application
order reveals that the rate reduction PHILIPPINES, THE HONORABLE
receiving end abroad has to be for a certificate of public
is solely and primarily based on the NICASIO YATCO, as Judge of the
matched with the corresponding convenience and necessity and in
initial evaluation made on the Court of First Instance of Rizal,
change in the sending end in the which proceeding the subject of rates
financial statements of petitioner, Quezon City Branch V, and THE
Philippines. An inability on the part involved in the present controversy,
contrary to respondent NTC's HONORABLE CARLOS P.
of petitioner to meet the variegations as well as other matter involved in
allegation that it has several other GARCIA, as Secretary for Foreign
demanded be technology could result said application, be duly adjudicated
sources of information without, Affairs, respondents.
in a deterioration or total failure of with reasonable dispatch and with
however, divulging such sources.
the service of satellite due observance of our
Furthermore, it did not as much as
communications. pronouncements herein.
make an attempt to elaborate on how
Federico Agrava for petitioner.
it arrived at the prescribed rates. It At present, petitioner is engaged in
just perfunctorily declared that based several projects aimed at Office of the Solicitor, General
on the financial statements, there is refurbishing, rehabilitating, and WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is Ambrosio Padilla, First Assistant
merit for a rate reduction without any renewing its machinery and GRANTED and the order of Solicitor General Guillermo E.
elucidation on what implications and equipment in order to keep up with respondents, dated September 2, Torres and Solicitor Florencio
conclusions were necessarily the continuing charges of the times 1988, in NTC Case No. 87-94 is Villamor for respondents.
inferred by it from said statements. and to maintain its facilities at a hereby SET ASIDE. The temporary
Nor did it deign to explain how the competitive level with the restraining order issued under our
data reflected in the financial technological advances abroad. resolution of September 13, 1988, as
statements influenced its decision to There projected undertakings were specifically directed against the PADILLA, J.:
impose a rate reduction. formulated on the premise that rates aforesaid order of respondents on the
are maintained at their present or at matter of existing rates on
reasonable levels. Hence, an undue petitioner's present authorized This is a petition for a writ of
reduction thereof may practically services, is hereby made permanent. certiorari to annul an order of the
On the other hand, petitioner may
likely suffer a severe drawback, with lead to a cessation of its business. Court of First Instance of Quezon
the consequent detriment to the While we concede the primacy of the City directing —
public service, should the order of public interest in an adequate and
respondent NTC turn out to be efficient service, the same is not
unreasonable and improvident. The necessarily to be equated with
reduced rates. Reasonableness in the . . . the National Bureau of
business in which petitioner is Investigation and the Department of
engaged is unique in that its rates assumes that the same is fair to
both the public utility and the Foreign Affairs for them to take
machinery and equipment have proper steps in order that the
always to be taken in relation to the consumer.
accused, Emilio Suntay y Aguinaldo,
equipment on the other end of the who is alleged to be in the United
transmission arrangement. Any lack, States, may be brought back to the
aging, acquisition, rehabilitation, or Consequently, we hold that the Philippines, so that he may be dealt
refurbishment of machinery and challenged order, particularly on the with in accordance with law,
equipment necessarily entails a issue of rates provided therein, being (Exhibit D)
major adjustment or innovation on

On 10 January 1955 the petitioner protection of the Philippines while
applied for and was granted a abroad." (Exhibit E.) However, this
and of prohibition to enjoin the passport by the Department of order was not implemented or The petitioner contends that as the
Secretary for Foreign Affairs from Foreign Affairs (No. 5981 carried out in view of the order of the respondent Court
cancelling the petitioner's passport [A39184]). On 20 January 1955 the commencement of this proceedings directing the department of Foreign
without previous hearing. petitioner left the Philippines for San in order that the issues raised may be Affairs "to take proper steps in order
Francisco, California, U.S.A., where judicially resolved. On 5 July 1955 that the" petitioner "may be brought
he is at present enrolled in school. counsel for the petitioner wrote to back to the Philippines, so that he
On 31 January 1955 the offended girl the respondent Secretary requesting may be dealt with in accordance with
On 26 June 1954, Dr. Antonio
subscribed and swore to a complaint that the action taken by him be law," may be carried out only
Nubla, father of Alicia Nubla, a
charging the petitioner with reconsidered (Exhibit F), and filed in "through the cancellation of his
minor of 16 years, filed a verified
seduction which was filed in the the criminal case a motion praying passport," the said order is illegal
complaint against Emilio Suntay in
Court of First Instance of Quezon that the respondent Court reconsider because 'while a Court may review
the Office of the City Attorney of
City after preliminary investigation its order of 10 February 1955 the action of the Secretary of Foreign
Quezon City, as follows:
had been conducted (crim. case No. (Exhibit G). On 7 July 1955 the Affairs in cancelling a passport and
Q-1596, Exhibit B). On 9 February respondent Secretary denied grant relief when the Secretary's
1955 the private prosecutor filed a counsel's request (Exhibit H) and on discretion is abused, the court
On or about June 21, 1954, the motion praying the Court to issue an 15 July 1955 the Court denied the cannot, in the first instance, take the
accused took Alicia Nubla from St. order "directing such government motion for reconsideration (Exhibit discretionary power away from the
Paul's Colleges in Quezon City with agencies as may be concerned, I). Hence this petition. Secretary and itself order a passport
lewd design and took her to particularly the National Bureau of to be cancelled." The petitioner
somewhere near the U.P. compound Investigation and the Department of further contends that while the
in Diliman, Quezon City and was Foreign Affairs, for the purpose of Secretary for Foreign Affairs has
then able to have carnal knowledge The petitioner contends that as the discretion in the cancellation of
having the accused brought back to
of her. Alicia Nubla is a minor of 16 order of the respondent Court passports, "such discretion cannot be
the Philippines so that he may be
years. directing the Department of Foreign exercised until after hearing,"
dealt with in accordance with law."
Affairs "to take proper steps in order because the right to travel or stay
(Exhibit C.) On 10 February 1955
that the" petitioner "may be brought abroad is a personal liberty within
the Court granted the motion
back to the Philippines, so that he the meaning and protection of the
On 15 December 1954, after an (Exhibit D). On 7 March 1955 the
may be brought back to the Constitution and hence he cannot be
investigation, an Assistant City respondent Secretary cabled the
Philippines, so that he may default deprived of such liberty without due
Attorney recommended to the City Ambassador to the United States
with in accordance with law," may process of law.
Attorney of Quezon City that the instructing him to order the Consul
be carried out only "through the
complaint be dismissed for lack of General in San Francisco to cancel
cancellation of his passport," the said
merit. On 23 December 1954 the passport issued to the petitioner
order is illegal because "while a
attorney for the complainant and to compel him to return to the The petitioner's contention cannot be
Court may review the action of the
addressed a letter to the City Philippines to answer the criminal sustained. The petitioner is charged
Secretary of Foreign Affairs in
Attorney of Quezon City wherein he charges against him. "The Embassy with seduction. And the order of the
cancelling a passport and grant relief
took exception to the was likewise directed to make respondent Court directing the
when the Secretary's discretion is
recommendation of the Assistant representation with the State Department of Foreign Affairs "to
abused, the court cannot, in the first
City Attorney referred to and urged Department that Emilio Suntay's take proper steps in order that the
instance, take the discretionary
that a complaint for seduction be presence outside the Philippines is accused . . . may be brought back to
power away from the Secretary and
filed against the herein petitioner. considered detrimental to the best the Philippines, so that he may be
itself order a passport to be
interest of this Government, that his dealt with in accordance with law,"
passport has been withdrawn, and
that he is not considered under the

is not beyond or in excess of its purpose its validity or use in certain necessary if the reason for the passport already issued or refusal to
jurisdiction. countries. (Emphasis supplied.) withdrawal or cancellation of the issue a passport applied for, was on
passport were not clear but doubtful. the vague reason that the continued
But where the holder of a passport is possession or the issuance thereof
facing a criminal a charge in our would be contrary to the best interest
When by law jurisdiction is True, the discretion granted, to the
courts and left the country to evade of the United States.
conferred on a court or judicial Secretary for Foreign Affairs to
criminal prosecution, the Secretary
officer, all auxiliary writs, processes withdraw or cancel a passport
for Foreign Affairs, in the exercise of
and other means necessary to carry it already issued may not be exercised
his discretion to revoke a passport
into effect may be employed by such at whim. But here the petitioner was The petition is denied, with costs
already issued, cannot be held to
court or officer; and if the procedure hailed to Court to answer a criminal against the petitioner.
have acted whimsically or
to be followed in the exercise of such charge for seduction and although at
capriciously in withdrawing and
jurisdiction is not specifically first all Assistant City Attorney
cancelling such passport. Due
pointed out by these rules, any recommended the dismissal of the
process does not necessarily mean or
suitable process or mode of complaint previously subscribed and
require a hearing. When discretion is
proceeding may be adopted which sworn to by the father of the
exercised by an officer vested with it
appears most conformable to the offended girl, yet the petitioner knew
upon an undisputed fact, such as the
spirit of said rules. (Section 6, Rule that no final action had been taken
filing of a serious criminal charge
124.) by the City Attorney of Quezon City
against the passport holder, hearing
as the case was still under study. And
maybe dispensed with by such
as the Solicitor General puts it, "His
officer as a prerequisite to the
suddenly leaving the country in such
Moreover, the respondent Court did cancellation of his passport; lack of
a convenient time, can reasonably be
not specify what step the respondent such hearing does not violate the due
interpreted to mean as a deliberate
Secretary must take to compel the process of law clause of the
attemption his part to flee from
petitioner to return to the Philippines Constitution; and the exercise of the
justice, and, therefore, he cannot now
to answer the criminal charge discretion vested in him cannot be
be heard to complain if the strong
preferred against him. deemed whimsical and capricious of
arm of the law should join together
because of the absence of such
to bring him back to justice." In
hearing. If hearing should always be
issuing the order in question, the
held in order to comply with the due
Section 25, Executive Order No. 1, respondent Secretary was convinced
process of clause of the Constitution,
series of 1946, 42 Off. Gaz, 1400, that a miscarriage of justice would
then a writ of preliminary injunction
prescribing rules and regulations for result by his inaction and as he
issued ex parte would be violative of
the grant and issuance of passports, issued it in the exercise of his sound
the said clause.
provides that — discretion, he cannot be enjoined
from carrying it out.

In the cases of Bauer vs. Acheson,

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs as 106 F. Supp. 445; Nathan, vs.
well as ally diplomatic or consular Counsel for the petitioner insists that
Dulles, 129 F. Supp. 951; and
officer duly authorized by him, is his client should have been granted a
Schachtman vs. Dulles No. 12406,
authorized, in his discretion, to "quasi-judicial hearing" by the
23 June 1955, all decided by the
refuse to issue a passport for use respondent Secretary before
States Court of Appeals for the
only in certain countries, to withdraw withdrawing or cancelling the
district of Columbia, cited by the
or cancel a passport already issued, passport issued to him. Hearing
petitioner, the revocation of a
and to withdraw a passport for the would have been proper and

EN BANC desist and refrain from arresting and officer of the Bureau of Immigration In view thereof, you and your client
expelling the petitioner from the replied, on 11 September 1959, in are advised anew that Mr. Bisschop
Philippines unless and until proper this tenor: is hereby required to depart within
and legal proceedings are conducted five (5) days of this notice.
G.R. No. L-18365 May 31,
by the Board of Commissioners of
the Bureau of Immigration in
In reply to yours of even date
connection with the Application for
requesting that you furnished copy of No request for reinvestigation was
extension of stay filed by petitioner
the decision, order or resolution of made with the Bureau of
GEORGE DE BISSCHOP, with said Board.
the Board of Commissioners denying Immigration. Instead, to forestall his
the application for extension of stay arrest and the filing of the
vs. of Mr. GEORGE DE BISSCHOP, corresponding deportation
The facts are not disputed. please be advised that, pursuant to proceedings, de Bisschop filed the
EMILIO L. GALANG, in his Petitioner-appellee George de immigration practice and procedure present case on 18 September 1959.
capacity as Commissioner of Bisschop, an American citizen, was and as is usual in such cases where Pending resolution of the main case
Immigration, respondent-appellant. allowed to stay in this country for the result is a vote for denial, for for prohibition, a writ of preliminary
three years, expiring 1 August 1959, reason of practicability and injunction was issued ex-parte by the
as the prearranged employee of the expediency, no formal decision, court a quo on the same day ordering
Bissmag Production, Inc., of which order resolution is promulgated by herein respondent-appellant to desist
Engracio Fabre for petitioner- he is president and general manager. the Board. The denial of the petition from arresting and detaining
appellee. He applied for extension of stay with for extension was expressed by the petitioner-appellee. During the
Office of the Solicitor General for the Bureau of Immigration, in a letter majority members of the Board as hearing, only documentary evidence
respondent-appellant. dated 10 July 1959. In view, follows: were presented.
however, of confidential and
damaging reports (Exhibits P, Q, and
R) of Immigration Officer Benjamin
REYES, J.B.L., J.: For denial, Talabis, 8-24-59; In his brief, appellant Commissioner
de Mesa to the effect that the
raises two main issues: That the
Bissmag Production, Inc., is more of
lower court erred (a) in holding that
a gambling front than the enterprise
the Commissioners of Immigration
for promotion of local and imported O.K. for extension, De la Rosa,
Appeal on questions of law from an are required by law to conduct
shows that it purports to be, and that September 9;
order issued on 27 March 1961, in formal hearings on all applications
de Bisschop is suspect of having
Civil Case No. 41477 of the Court of for extension of stay of aliens, and
evaded payment of his income tax,
First Instance of Manila (Judge (b) in ruling that said Commissioners
the Commissioner of Immigration, in
Antonio Canizares, presiding) the Denial, Galang, 9-10. are enjoined to promulgate written
a communication of Customs of
dispositive portion of which reads: decisions in such cases.
Iloilo demanded from petitioner the
paytion of 10 September 1959,
advised him that his application for Thereafter, Mr. Bisschop was simply
IN VIEW OF ALL THE extension of stay as a prearranged advised of said denial as per letter of After a careful study of the case, we
FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, employee has been denied by the this Office dated September 10, fully agree with appellant's
and for the proper determination of Board of Commissioners, and that he 1959. contention on several grounds.
the case of herein petitioner, the should depart within 5 days.
Court hereby grants the petition for Thereafter, counsel of de Bisschop
prohibition and orders respondent requested for a copy of the adverse
Commissioner of Immigration to decision said Board, but the legal Wherefore, the parties respectfully
pray that the foregoing stipulation of

facts be admitted and approved by day in court is not a matter of right in word "decision", as employed in this adequate remedy (Section 2, Rule
this Honorable Court, without administrative proceedings. section, obviously refers to the 67, Rules of Court). This Court has
prejudice to the parties adducing number of "votes" necessary to already ruled that "the use of habeas
other evidence to prove their case not constitute the decision of the said corpus to test the legality of aliens'
covered by this stipulation of facts. Board. The Sampaguita Shoe case confinement and proposed expulsion
The fact should not be lost sight of
1äwphï1.ñët (G. R. No. L-10285, 14 Jan. 1958), from the Philippines is now a settled
that we are dealing with an
which was taken into account by the practice" (Lao Tang Bun v. Fabre, 81
administrative proceeding and not
lower court, is not applicable to the Phil. 682, 683). This is because
with a judicial proceeding. As Judge
case at bar; it applies to judicial habeas corpus, aside from being
The administration of immigration Cooley, the leading American writer
decisions, as provided in Section 1, thorough and complete, affords
laws is the primary and exclusive on Constitutional Law, has well said,
Rule 35, of the Rules of Court. On prompt relief from unlawful
responsibility of the Executive due process of law is not necessarily
the other hand, as pointed out in imprisonment of any kind, and under
branch of the government. Extension judicial process; much of the process
appellant's brief, where the intention all circumstances. It reaches the facts
of stay of aliens is purely by means of which the Government
of the lawmaker is otherwise, the affecting jurisdiction, or want of
discretionary on the part of the is carried on, and the order of society
immigration laws specifically power, by the most direct method,
immigration authorities. Since maintained, is purely executive or
enumerate when the decisions of the and at once releases the applicant
Commonwealth Act No. 613, administrative, which is as much due
Board of Commissioners shall be in from restraint when it is shown to be
otherwise known as the Philippine process of law, as is judicial process.
writing, to wit: (1) in cases of appeal unauthorized (cf. People ex rel.
Immigration Act of 1940, is silent as While a day in court is a matter of
from a decision of the Board of Livingston v. Wyatt, 186 N.Y. 383;
to the procedure to be followed in right in judicial proceedings, in
Special Inquiry as to matters of 79 N.E. 330). And it has already
these cases, we are inclined to administrative proceedings, it is
admission or exclusion of aliens, as been held by a long line of American
uphold the argument that courts have otherwise since they rest upon
provided in Section 27 (c) of the decisions that the existence of this
no jurisdiction to review the purely different principles. . . . In certain
Immigration Act; and (2) the adequate remedy by habeas corpus
administrative practice of proceedings, therefore, of all
decision of the Board of will bar the issuance of a writ of
immigration authorities of not administrative character, it may be
Commissioners in cases of prohibition.
granting formal hearings in certain stated, without fear of contradiction,
deportation under Section 37,
cases as the circumstances may that the right to a notice and hearing
paragraphs (a) and (c). But there is
warrant, for reasons of practicability are not essential to due process of
nothing in the immigration law
and expediency. This would not law. (Cornejo vs. Gabriel and It has been repeatedly decided by the
which provides that the Board of
violate the due process clause if we Provincial Board of Rizal, 41 Phil. Supreme Court that the writ of
Commissioners must render
take into account that, in this 188, 192-194) habeas corpus is a proper remedy for
decisions on petitioners for extension
particular case, the letter of reviewing proceedings for the
of stay.
appellant-commissioner advising de deportation of aliens and to ascertain
Bisschop to depart in 5 days is a whether jurisdiction has been,
With respect to the contention that
mere formality, a preliminary step, therein exceeded. United States v.
the decision of the Board of
and, therefore, far from final, Finally, though not brought out in Jung Ah Lung, 124 U.S. 621, 8 S.
Commissioners on matters of
because, as alleged in paragraph 7 of appellant's brief there is another Ct. 663, 31 L. Ed. 591; Chin Yow v.
petition for extension of stay of
appellant's answer to the complaint, reason why prohibition will not lie United States, 208 U.S. 8, 28 S. Ct.
aliens should be promulgated in
the "requirement to leave before the herein. Prohibition is not favored by 201, 62 L. Ed. 369; Ng Fung Ho v.
writing, appellee relies on Section 8
start of the deportation proceedings the Courts. The writ should issue White, 259 U.S. 276, 42 S. Ct. 492,
of the Immigration Act, which
is only an advice to the party that with caution, and only in cases of 66 L. Ed. 938; Bilokumsky v. Tod,
provides that in "any case coming
unless he departs voluntarily, the extreme necessity — which 263 U.S. 149, 44 S. Ct. 54, 68 L. Ed.
before the Board of Commissioners,
State will be compelled to take steps condition does not obtain in this 221. While in the state courts it is
the decision of any two members
for his expulsion". It is already a case. Moreover, it will issue only if very generally held that the existence
shall prevail". However, we agree
settled rule in this jurisdiction that a there is no other plain, speedy, and of an adequate remedy habeas corpus
with the Solicitor General that the

will prevent the issuance of a writ of FIRST DIVISION entitled "VAR-ORIENT SHIPPING thereafter the case would be
prohibition. Livingston v. Wyatt, 186 CO., INC. and COMNINOS BROS. submitted for decision. Only the
N. Y. 383, 79 N.E. 330, 10 L.R.A. vs. EDUARDO H. ARSOLON, ET private respondents submitted a
(N. S.) 159, 9 Ann. Cas. 972; Parks AL.," be annulled for having been position paper.
G.R. No. 81805 May 31, 1988
v. Ryan, 4 N.M. 176, 173 P. 858; In rendered without due process of law,
re Heffner, 16 Okl. Cr. 691, 182 P. and that the writ of execution issued
88; State v. Second Judicial District by the POEA Administrator be set
On the basis of the pleadings and
Court (Nev.) 18 P. (2d) 449; Wessels VAR-ORIENT SHIPPING CO., aside for being premature because
memoranda (Annexes A, B, Code.
v. Superior Court, 200 Cal. 403, 253 INC. and COMNINOS BROS., the decision is not yet final and
D, E & F) the public respondent
P. 135, and in Bedford v. Wingfield, petitioners, executory as no copy of it had been
rendered a decision on September
27 Grat. 329, the Supreme Court of received by petitioner's counsel. A
vs. 9,1987 (Annex G), the dispositive
Virginia said that the writ of temporary restraining order was
part of which reads as follows:
prohibition "issues only in cases of issued by this Court to enjoin the
extreme necessity. . . . It is a TOMAS D. ACHACOSO, in his execution of the decision complained
principle of universal application, capacity as Administrator of of pending the determination of the
and one which lies at the very Philippine Overseas Employment merits of the petition. WHEREFORE, premises considered,
foundation of the law of prohibition, Administration (POEA), EDGAR T.
judgment is hereby rendered
that the jurisdiction is strictly BUNYOG, VEDASTO NAVARRO,
ordering as follows:
confined to cases where no other EUGENIO CAPALAD, RAUL T IS,
ANTONIO TANIOAN, The petitioners filed a complaint
remedy exists; and it is always a
CELESTINO CASON, DANILO with the Workers' Assistance and
sufficient reason for withholding the
MANELA & ROBERTO GENESIS, Adjudication Office, Philippine 1. Dismiss of the instant case
writ, and the party aggrieved has
respondents. Overseas Employment with a reprimand and warning
another and complete remedy at
Administration (POEA) against the respondents Vedasto Navarro,
law". (Kabadian v. Doak, 65 F. [2d]
private respondents Edgar T. Eugenio Capalad, Raul Tumasis,
202, 205).
Bunyog, Vedasto Navarro, Eugenio Antonio Tanioan, Celestino Cason,
Viray, Aseron & Associates for Capalad, Raul Tumasis, Antonio Danilo Manela and Roberto Genesis,
petitioners. Tanioan, Celestino Cason, Danilo against the commission of the same
WHEREFORE, the order appealed Manela and Roberto Genesis, crew or similar offense otherwise it shall
from is reversed. The petition for members of the MPV "Silver be dealt with more severe penalty;
prohibition is dismissed, and the writ The Solicitor General for public Reefer," for having allegedly
of preliminary injunction issued by respondent. violated their Contracts of
the court a quo is hereby dissolved, Employment with the petitioners
with costs against petitioner-appellee which supposedly resulted in 2. Exclusion of Ricardo
George de Bisschop. So ordered. damages arising from the interdiction Llanes from this case;
of the vessel by the International
Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
at Kiel Canal, Germany, in March 3. Reprimanding complainant
1986. Var-Orient Shipping Co. for failure
to comply with its obligations
Imputing grave abuse of discretion to pursuant to POEA rules and
the public respondent, the petitioners regulations and warning against
After joinder of the issues, the case
ask that the public respondent's committing the same or a similar
was heard on March 4, 1987 where
decision dated September 9,1987 in offense otherwise it shall be dealt
the parties agreed to submit their
POEA CASE No. (M) 86-11-1080 with more severely;
respective position papers and

postman to the petitioners' counsel, discretion in denying petition Hon. Inciong, 93 SCRA 653; Cebu
then Attorney Francisco B. Figura, at petitioners' right to appeal, and Institute of Technology vs. Minister
4. That the case insofar as his address on the 4th Floor, TRC of Labor, 113 SCRA 257), or an
respondents Eduardo H. ArsoIon, Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, opportunity to seek a reconsideration
Apolinario dela Cruz, Levy Montero Makati, Metro Manila, through the of the action or ruling complained of
and Danilo N. de la Cruz are (3) in awarding to the private
receptionist, Marlyn Aquino, on the (Dormitorio vs. Fernandez, 72 SCRA
concerned, be archived, while their respondent's damages which are not
groundfloor of said building on 388).
names shall be included in the POEA only excessive building unfounded.
September 21, 1987. According to
watchlist until they shall have Attorney Figura, he did not receive
voluntarily submitted themselves to the envelope containing the decision
the jurisdiction of this office; The fact is that at the hearing of the
(p. 66, Rollo).<äre||anº•1àw> The petition is not meritorious.
case on March 4,1987, it was agreed
by the parties that they would file
their respective memoranda and
5. Payment by the Petitioners allegedly learned about The petitioners' allegation that the thereafter consider the case
complainants jointly and severally, the decision only when the writ of issuance of the writ of execution was submitted for decision (Annex 7 of
unto Vedasto Navarro, Eugenio execution was served on them on premature because the decision had Bunyog's Comment). This procedure
Capalad, Raul Tumasis, Antonio November 20,1987 by NLRC not been received by their counsel is is authorized by law to expedite the
Tanioan, Celestino Cason, Danilo Deputy Sheriff Rene Masilungan and unconvincing, Atty. Figura's settlement of labor disputes.
Manela and Roberto Genesis the Attorney Wilfredo Ong. On affidavit on the matter is self- However, only the private
amount of Pl,550.59 each, November 23,1987, petitioners, serving. Petitioners failed to submit respondents submitted memoranda.
representing deductions from through new counsel, Atty. Quentin an affidavit of the receptionist The petitioners did not. On June 10,
allotments, plus Pl,000.00 as and for Aseron, Jr., filed an 'urgent Motion Marlyn Aquino explaining what she 1987, the respondents filed a motion
attorney's fees; and to Recall Writ of Execution' on the did with the decision which she to resolve (Annex 7, Bunyog's
ground that the decision had not been received for Atty. Figura. Under the Comment). The petitioners' counsel
received by the petitioners, hence, it circumstances, the respondent did not oppose either the "Motion to
6. Payment by the was not yet final and executory. Administrator's ruling that the Resolve" or the respondents "Motion
complainants jointly and severally decision had been properly served on for Execution of Decision" dated
unto respondent Edgar T. Bunyog petitioners' counsel and that it is now October 19, 1987 (Annex 10), both
the amount of US$4,680.00 or its final and unappealable, should be of which were furnished them
On January 19, 1988, the public
peso equivalent at the time of sustained. through counsel. If it were true, as
respondent denied the motion. In due
payment representing his salaries for they now contend, that they had been
time, this petition was filed wherein
the unserved portion of his denied due process in the form of a
the petitioners allege that:
employment contract plus P4,000.00 formal hearing, they should have
Equally unmeritorious is the opposed both motions.
as and for attorney's fees. petitioners 'allegation that they were
denied due process because the
(1) they were denied due
decision was rendered without a
process of law because the
to be tendered thru this Office, ten formal hearing. The essence of due Furthermore, the petition for review
respondent Administrator resolved
(10) days from receipt of this process is simply an opportunity to does not allege that the petitioners
the case without any formal hearing;
decision. be heard (Bermejo vs. Banjos, 31 are in possession of evidence, other
SCRA 764), or, as applied to than those which they had attached
administrative proceedings, an to their pleadings, which if produced
(2) the respondent opportunity to explain one's side would have altered the outcome of
A copy of the decision was sent by Administrator gravely abused his (Tajonera vs. Lamaroza, 110 SCRA the case.
registered mail and delivered by the 438; Gas Corporation of the Phil. vs.

2013 of the National Labor Relations 8 Thus, they were constrained to file
Commission (NLRC) in LAC No. the complaint, claiming that: (a)
The Administrator did not abuse his G.R. No. 220617 02-000699-13/ NCR-03-04761-12, ODSI is a labor-only contractor and,
discretion in ordering the petitioners declaring petitioner Nestle thus, they should be deemed regular
to pay respondent Edgar Bunyog's Philippines, Inc. (NPI), jointly and employees of NPI; and (b) there was
salaries for the unserved portion of severally liable with Ocho de no just or authorized cause for their
his contract plus attorney's fees, in Septiembre, Inc. (ODSI) to dismissal.9
view of the Administrator's finding respondents Benny A. Puedan, Jr.,
that Bunyog did not sign the letter of vs. Jayfer D. Limbo, Brodney N. Avila,
the other defendants to ITF, hence, Arthur C. Aquino, Ryan A. Miranda,
'he is deemed not to have committed BENNY A. PUEDAN, JR., JAYFER For its part, ODSI averred that it is a
Ronald R. Alave, Johnny A. Dimaya,
any offense or act to warrant his D. LIMBO, BRODNEY N. AVILA, company engaged in the business of
Marlon B. Delos Reyes, Angelita R.
dismissal." ARTHUR C. AQUINO, RYAN A. buying, selling, distributing, and
Cordova, Edgar S. Barruga, Camilo
MIRANDA, RONALD R. ALAVE, marketing of goods and commodities
B. Cordova, Jr., Jeffry B. Languisan,
JOHNNY A. DIMAYA, MARLON of every kind and it enters into all
Edison U. Villapando, Jheirney S.
B. DELOS REYES, ANGELITO R. kinds of contracts for the acquisition
WHEREFORE, the petition for Remolin, Mary Luz A. Macatalad,
CORDOVA, EDGAR S. thereof. ODSI admitted that on
certiorari is denied for lack of merit. Jenalyn M. Gamurot, Dennis G.
BARRUGA, CAMILO B. various dates, it hired respondents as
The temporary restraining order Bawag, Raquel A. Abellera, and
CORDOVA, JR., JEFFRY B. its employees and assigned them to
which We issued is hereby set aside. Ricandro G. Guatno, Jr.
LANGUISAN, EDISON U. execute the Distributorship
(respondents) for separation pay,
VILLAPANDO, JHEIRNEY S. Agreement10 it entered with NPI, 11
nominal damages, and attorney's
REMOLIN, MARY LUZ A. the relevant portions of which state:
assign a sales force in his/her regular
Respondents. employ, dedicated solely to the
handling of NPI Grocery Retail
The instant case arose from an Products under this Agreement, and
DECISION amended6 complaint7 dated July 6, who shall exclusively cover assigned
2012 for illegal dismissal, damages, areas/channels of distribution.
and attorney's fees filed by
respondents against, inter alia, ODSI
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: and NPI. Respondents alleged that
3.2 DISTRIBUTOR shall service the
on various dates, ODSI and NPI
outlets within the Territory by
hired them to sell various NPI
reselling Products obtained
Assailed in this petition for review products in the assigned covered
exclusively from Nestle Philippines,
on certiorari1are the Decision2 dated area. After some time, respondents
Inc. and not from any other source.
March 26, 2015 and the Resolution3 demanded that they be considered
dated September 17, 2015 of the regular employees of NPI, but they
Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. were directed to sign contracts of
SP No. 132686, which affirmed the employment with ODSI instead. 3.3 DISTRIBUTOR shall utilize
Decision4 dated May 30, 2013 and When respondents refused to comply booking and distribution salesmen to
the Resolution5 dated August 30, with such directives, NPI and ODSI
terminated them from their position.

undertake territory development. discretion of assigning another receipt of the Products,
Booking done by DISTRIBUTOR distributor of the Products and/or DISTRIBUTOR shall carry out a
shall be delivered by its personnel. reducing the Territory covered by visual inspection thereof. In the In a Decision15 dated December 28,
Collection of accounts shall be taken DISTRIBUTOR. event any quantity of the Products is 2012, the Labor Arbiter (LA)
cared (sic) of by DISTRIBUTOR, found to be defective upon such dismissed the complaint for lack of
without prejudice to the provisions visual inspection, NESTLE shall merit, but nevertheless, ordered, inter
of Clause 13 hereof. replace such quantity of the Products alia, ODSI and NPI to pay
3.7 DISTRIBUTOR agrees to respondents nominal damages in the
at no cost to DISTRIBUTOR.
provide at its own cost and expense aggregate amount of ₱235,728.00
facilities and other resources plus attorney's fees amounting to ten
3.4 DISTRIBUTOR's route salesmen necessary for the distribution and percent (10%) of the total monetary
shall exclusively cover assigned ex- sale of the Products. 3.11 All costs for transportation awards. 16 The LA found that: (a)
truck areas/channels of distribution. and/or shipment of the Products from respondents were unable to prove
DISTRIBUTOR's warehouse(s) to its that they were NPI employees; and
outlets/customers shall be the (b) respondents were not illegally
3.8 NESTLE's sales personnel may
account of the DISTRIBUTOR. 12 dismissed as ODSI had indeed
3.5 DISTRIBUTOR shall also get orders for the Products
provide training to its staff or distributed by DISTRIBUTOR and closed down its operations due to
personnel where necessary, to pass on the said orders to business losses. 17 As to the issue on
improve operations in servicing the DISTRIBUTOR. However, the business relationship the failure to give respondents a
requirements of DISTRIBUTOR's between NPI and ODSI turned sour thirty (30)-day notice prior to such
customers. From time to time, when the former' s sales department closure, the LA concluded that all
NESTLE shall offer to badgered the latter regarding the the impleaded respondents therein
3.9 NESTLE shall provide the (i.e., including NPI) should be held
DISTRIBUTOR suggestions and sales targets. Eventually, NPI
necessary promotional and liable for the payment of nominal
recommendations to improve sales downsized its marketing and
marketing support for the Products damages plus attorney's fees. 18
and to further develop the market. promotional support from ODSI
through promotional materials, Aggrieved, respondents appealed to
which resulted to business reverses
product information literature, the NLRC.19
and in the latter's filing of a petition
participation in trade fairs, and other
for corporate rehabilitation and,
3.6 DISTRIBUTOR shall meet the market development activities.
subsequently, the closure of its
sales, reach and distribution targets
Nestle unit due to the termination of The NLRC Ruling
agreed upon by NESTLE and
the Distributorship Agreement and
DISTRIBUTOR. For purposes of
3.10 Should NESTLE manufacture the failure of rehabilitation. Under
this clause, reach targets refer to the
and/or distribute other products not the foregoing circumstances, ODSI
number of stores, dealers and/or In a Decision20 dated May 30, 2013,
subject of this Agreement, which, in argued that respondents were not
outlets which DISTRIBUTOR the NLRC reversed and set aside the
NESTLE's opinion, should likewise dismissed but merely put in floating
should cover or service within a LA ruling and, accordingly, ordered
be extended to DISTRIBUTOR's status. 13
particular period. Distribution targets ODSI and NPI to pay each of the
outlets, such additional products
refer to the number of stock keeping respondents: (a) separation pay
shall be included among those listed
units and/or product lines covered by amounting to Yi month pay for every
in Annex "A" hereof.
this Agreement. On the other hand, NPI did not file year of service reckoned from the
any position paper or appear in the time they were employed until the
scheduled conferences. 14 finality of the Decision; and (b)
NESTLE shall deliver the Products nominal damages in the amount of
In the event of DISTRIBUTOR's
failure to meet NESTLE's sales
to DISTRIBUTOR's warehouse(s) at ₱30,000.00. The NLRC likewise
its own expenses. Immediately upon ordered NPI and ODSI to pay
targets, NESTLE has the sole The Labor Arbiter Ruling

respondents attorney's fees
amounting to ten percent (10%) of
the monetary awards.21 Respondents moved for a partial Dissatisfied, NPI filed a petition for The Issues Before the Court
reconsideration, 25 arguing that certiorari30before the CA,
since it was only ODSI that closed essentially insisting that: (a) it was
down operations and not NPI and, deprived of due process before the
Contrary to the LA's findings, the The essential issues for the Court's
considering the finding that the latter tribunals a quo; and (b) there was no
NLRC found that while ODSI indeed resolution are whether or not the CA
was deemed to be their true employer-employee relationship
shut down its operations, it failed to correctly ruled that: (a) NPI was
employer, NPI should reinstate them, between NPI and respondents. 31
prove that such closure was due to accorded due process by the
or if not practicable, to pay them Records reveal that no other party
serious business losses as it did not tribunals a quo; and (b) ODSI is a
separation pay equivalent to one (1) elevated the matter before the CA.
present evidence, e.g., financial labor-only contractor of NPI, and
month pay for every year of service.
statements, to corroborate its claims. consequently, NPI is respondents'
NPI also moved for
As such, it ruled that respondents are true employer and, thus, deemed
reconsideration,26 contending that:
entitled to separation pay. In this The CA Ruling jointly and severally liable with
(a) it was deprived of its right to
relation, the NLRC also found that ODSI for respondents' monetary
participate in the proceedings before
since ODSI failed to notify claims.
the LA and the NLRC; and (b) it had
respondents of such closure, the no employer-employee relationship In a Decision32 dated March 26,
latter are likewise entitled to nominal with respondents as ODSI was never 2015, the CA affirmed the NLRC
damages.22 its contractor, whether independent ruling. Anent the issue on due The Court's Ruling
or labor-only.27 However, the process, the CA held that NPI was
NLRC denied both motions in a not deprived of its opportunity to be
Further, the NLRC found ODSI to be Resolution28 dated August 30, 2013, heard as it was able to receive a copy
holding that: (a) respondents' To justify the grant of the
a labor-only contractor of NPI, of the complaint and other pleadings,
termination was due to the closure of extraordinary remedy of certiorari,
considering that: (a) ODSI had no albeit it failed to respond thereto. 33
ODSI's Nestle unit, an authorized the petitioner must satisfactorily
substantial capitalization or As regards the substantive issue, the
cause and, thus, the monetary awards show that the court or quasi-judicial
investment; (b) respondents CA ruled that despite ODSI and
in their favor were proper; (b) NPI authority gravely abused the
performed activities directly related NPI's contract being denominated as
was not deprived of its right to discretion conferred upon it. Grave
to NPI's principal business; and (c) a "Distributorship Agreement," it
participate in the proceedings as it abuse of discretion connotes a
the fact that respondents' contained provisions demonstrating a
was duly served with copies of the capricious and whimsical exercise of
employment depended on the labor-only contracting arrangement
parties' respective pleadings, as well judgment, done in a despotic manner
continuous supply of NPI products between them, as well as NPI' s
as the rulings of both the LA and the by reason of passion or personal
shows that ODSI had not been exercise of control over the business
NLRC; (c) assuming arguendo that hostility, the character of which
carrying an independent business of ODSI. Moreover, the CA pointed
NPI was indeed deprived of due being so patent and gross as to
according to its own manner and out that: (a) there was nothing in the
process, its subsequent filing of a amount to an evasion of positive
method.23 records which showed that ODSI had
motion for reconsideration before the duty or to a virtual refusal to perform
substantial capital to undertake an
NLRC cured the defect as it was able the duty enjoined by or to act at all in
independent business; and (b)
to argue its position in the said contemplation of law. 37
respondents performed tasks
Consequently, the NLRC deemed motion; and (d) the circumstances essential to NPI's business.34
NPI to be respondents' true surrounding the Distributorship Undaunted, NPI moved for
employer, and thus, ordered it jointly Agreement between ODSI and NPI reconsideration, 35 which was, In labor disputes, grave abuse of
and severally liable with ODSI to showed that the former is indeed a however, denied in a Resolution36 discretion may be ascribed to the
pay the monetary claims of labor-only contractor of the latter. 29 dated September 17, 2015; hence, NLRC when, inter alia, its findings
respondents. 24 this petition. and conclusions are not supported by

substantial evidence, or that amount procedure are not strictly applied.39 respondents' Position Paper, Reply, law as it was afforded the fair and
of relevant evidence which a The Court's disquisition in Ledesma and Rejoinder.44 Verily, NPI was reasonable opportunity to explain its
reasonable mind might accept as v. CA40is instructive on this matter, indeed accorded due process, but as side.
adequate to justify a conclusion. 38 to wit: the LA mentioned, the former chose
not to file any position paper or
appear in the scheduled
Guided by the foregoing Due process, as a constitutional
considerations, the Court finds that precept, does not always and in all
the CA was correct in ruling that the situations require a trial-type
In holding NPI jointly and severally
labor tribunals a quo gave NPI an proceeding. Due process is satisfied Assuming arguendo that NPI was
liable with ODSI for the monetary
opportunity to be heard. However, it when a person is notified of the somehow deprived of due process
awards in favor of respondents, both
erred in not ascribing grave abuse of charge against him and given an
the NLRC and the CA held that
discretion on the NLRC's finding opportunity to explain or defend
based on the provisions of the
that ODSI is a labor-only contractor himself. In administrative
by either of the labor tribunals, such Distributorship Agreement between
of NPI and, thus, the latter is the proceedings, the filing of charges
defect was cured by: (a) NPI' s filing them, ODSI is merely a labor-only
respondents' true employer, and and giving reasonable opportunity
of its motion for reconsideration contractor of NPI. 50 In this regard,
jointly and severally liable with for the person so charged to answer
before the NLRC; (b) the NLRC's the CA opined that the following
ODSI for respondents' monetary the accusations against him
subsequent issuance of its Resolution stipulations of the said Agreement
claims. As will be explained constitute the minimum requirements
dated August 30, 2013 wherein the evinces that NPI had control over the
hereunder, such finding by the of due process. The essence of due
tribunal considered all of NPI's business of ODSI, namely, that: (a)
NLRC is not supported by process is simply to be heard, or as
arguments as contained in its motion; NPI shall offer to ODSI suggestions
substantial evidence. applied to administrative
and (c) NPI's subsequent elevation of and recommendations to improve
proceedings, an opportunity to
the case to the CA. In Gonzales v. sales and to further develop the
explain ones side, or an opportunity
Civil Service Commission, 46 the market; (b) NPI prohibits ODSI from
to seek a reconsideration of the
I. Court reiterated the rule that "[a]ny exporting its products (the No-
action or ruling complained
seeming defect in [the] observance Export provision); (c) NPI provided
of.41(Emphasis and underscoring
[of due process] is cured by the filing standard requirements to ODSI for
of a motion for reconsideration," and the warehousing and inventory
The observance of fairness in the
that "denial of due process cannot be management of the sold goods; and
conduct of any investigation is at the
successfully invoked by a party who (d) prohibition imposed on ODSI to
very heart of procedural due process.
In this case, NPI essentially claims [was] afforded the opportunity to be sell any other products that directly
The essence of due process is to be
that it was deprived of its right to due heard x x x."47 Similarly, in compete with those of NPI.51
heard, and, as applied to
process when it was not notified of Autencio v. Mañara,48it was held
administrative proceedings, this
the proceedings before the LA and that defects in procedural due
means a fair and reasonable
did not receive copies and issuances process may be cured when the party
opportunity to explain one's side, or However, a closer examination of the
from the other parties and the LA, has been afforded the opportunity to
an opportunity to seek a Distributorship Agreement reveals
respectively.42 However, as appeal or to seek reconsideration of
reconsideration of the action or that the relationship of NPI and
correctly pointed out by the CA, NPI the action or ruling complained of.
ruling complained of. Administrative ODSI is not that of a principal and a
was furnished via courier of a copy 49
due process cannot be fully equated contractor (regardless of whether
of the amended complaint filed by
with due process in its strict judicial labor-only or independent), but that
the respondents against it as shown
sense, for in the former a formal or of a seller and a buyer/re-seller. As
by LBC Receipt No.
trial-type hearing is not always Evidently, the foregoing shows that stipulated in the Distributorship
125158910840.43 It is also apparent
necessary, and technical rules of NPI was not denied due process of Agreement, NPI agreed to sell its
that NPI was also furnished with the

products to ODSI at discounted Design International Selections, Inc., Verily, it was only reasonable for Puedan, Jr., Jayfer D. Limbo,
prices,52 which in turn will be re- 56 the Court held that the imposition NPI - it being a local arm of one of Brodney N. Avila, Arthur C. Aquino,
sold to identified customers, of minimum standards concerning the largest manufacturers of foods Ryan A. Miranda, Ronald R. Alave,
ensuring in the process the integrity sales, marketing, finance and and grocery products worldwide - to Johnny A. Dimaya, Marlon B. Delos
and quality of the said products operations are nothing more than an require its distributors, such as Reyes, Angelito R. Cordova, Edgar
based on the standards agreed upon exercise of sound business practice ODSI, to meet various conditions for S. Barruga, Camilo B. Cordova, Jr.,
by the parties. 53 As aptly explained to increase sales and maximize the grant and continuation of a Jeffry B. Languisan, Edison U.
by NPI, the goods it manufactures profits, to wit: distributorship agreement for as long Villapando, Jheimey S. Remolin,
are distributed to the market through as these conditions do not control the Mary Luz A. Macatalad, Jenalyn M.
various distributors, e.g., ODSI, that means and methods on how ODSI Gamurot, Dennis G. Bawag, Raquel
in turn, re-sell the same to designated does its distributorship business, as A. Abellera, and Ricandro G.
Finally, both the CA and DISI rely
outlets through its own employees shown in this case.1âwphi1 This is to Guatno, Jr.
heavily on the Dealer Performance
such as the respondents. Therefore, ensure the integrity and quality of the
Expectation required by Steelcase of
the reselling activities allegedly products which will ultimately fall
its distributors to prove that DISI
performed by the respondents into the hands of the end consumer.
was not functioning independently SO ORDERED.
properly pertain to ODSI, whose
from Steelcase because the same
principal business consists of the
imposed certain conditions
"buying, selling, distributing, and
pertaining to business planning, Thus, the foregoing circumstances
marketing goods and commodities of
organizational structure, operational show that ODSI was not a labor-only
every kind" and "[entering] into all
effectiveness and efficiency, and contractor of NPI; hence, the latter
kinds of contracts for the acquisition
financial stability. It is actually cannot be deemed the true employer
of such goods [and commodities]."54
logical to expect that Steelcase, of respondents. As a consequence,
being one of the major NPI cannot be held jointly and
manufacturers of office systems severally liable to ODSI's monetary
Thus, contrary to the CA's findings, furniture, would require its dealers to obligations towards respondents.
the aforementioned stipulations in meet several conditions for the grant
the Distributorship Agreement and continuation of a distributorship
hardly demonstrate control on the agreement. The imposition of
WHEREFORE, the petition is
part of NPI over the means and minimum standards concerning
GRANTED. The Decision dated
methods by which ODSI performs its sales, marketing, finance and
March 26, 2015 and the Resolution
business, nor were they intended to operations is nothing more than an
dated September 17, 2015 of the
dictate how ODSI shall conduct its exercise of sound business practice
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
business as a distributor. Otherwise to increase sales and maximize
132686 are hereby REVERSED and
stated, the stipulations in the profits for the benefit of both
SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the
Distributorship Agreement do not Steelcase and its distributors. For as
Decision dated May 30, 2013 and the
operate to control or fix the long as these requirements do not
Resolution dated August 30, 2013 of
methodology on how ODSI should impinge on a distributor's
the National Labor Relations
do its business as a distributor of NPI independence, then there is nothing
Commission in LAC No. 02-000699-
products, but merely provide rules of wrong with placing reasonable
13/ NCR-03-04761-12 are
conduct or guidelines towards the expectations on them. 57 (Emphasis
achievement of a mutually desired and underscoring supplied)
Nestle Philippines, Inc.'s solidary
result55 - which in this case is the
liability with Ocho de Septiembre,
sale of NPI products to the end
Inc. (ODSI) for the latter's monetary
consumer. In Steelcase, Inc. v.
obligations to respondents Benny A.

SECOND DIVISION The protection to labor mandate is Juan Salcedo, Jr., created a administrative investigation was
more of a reality with the present committee to investigate such concluded. There was a motion by
Constitution expressly providing for charge. The first hearing, which took petitioner for the postponement of
security, of tenure. 1 Moreover, for a place on April 24, 1974, was the hearing set for November 18 and
G.R. No. L-44251 May 31, 1977
university professor, aptly referred to attended by petitioner as well as 19, 1974, but the same was denied.
as a tiller in the vineyard of the complainant with his two witnesses. The hearing proceeded in his
mind, there is the guarantee of One of them. Leonardo de Lara, absence. There was testimony by
FELIX MONTEMAYOR, petitioner, academic freedom. 2 Nonetheless, submitted an affidavit. Petitioner Professor Luis Almazan and Jaime
for cause duly shown there may be a sought the postponement of the Castaneda. Thereafter, on December
vs. forced termination of his services. It investigation to May 3, 1974. It was 5, 1974, the Committee submitted its
is essential though that prior to his granted. On that occasion, he was report finding the charges against
ARANETA UNIVERSITY removal, procedural due process be furnished a copy of the affidavit of petitioner to have been sufficiently
FOUNDATION, JUAN SALCEDO, observed. The grievance alleged by the other witness, Macario established and recommending to the
JR., TOMAS DAVID, MARTIN petitioner in this case, a university Lacanilao. The accusation centered President and the Board of Trustees
CELINO, MARCELO AMIANA, as professor, was that there was a on conversations on sex and immoral of the Araneta University Foundation
Members of the Panel of failure to comply with such a advances committed against the his separation from the University, in
Investigators, Members of the Board requisite. When therefore respondent person of Leonardo de Lara. There accordance with Sections 116 and
of Trustees, FR. ROMEO PELAYO Secretary of Labor granted a was cross-examination by petitioner 351 of the Manual of Policies of the
and the HONORABLE clearance to the private respondent, of the witnesses against him. With University. The Committee found as
SECRETARY OF LABOR, the Araneta University Foundation,3 the assistance of counsel, he filed on established: "1. That immoral
respondents. for his dismissal for immorality he May 28, 1974 a motion to dismiss or advances on several occasions have
instituted this certiorari proceeding. to hold the hearing in abeyance. He been made by respondent [herein
A thorough and exhaustive likewise filed an affidavit to sustain petitioner] on Prof. Luis Almazan 2.
E. B. Garcia & Associates for comment, considered as the answer, his defense on June 17, 1974. The That immoral advances have also
petitioner. filed by Solicitor General Estelito P. report and recommendation of the been made by respondent on Jaime
Mendoza 4 with full support from investigating committee came on Castaneda, a student- employee of
the record, negates such a July 8, 1974. It was adverse to the university on several occasions;
contention. There is no basis for a petitioner, who was found morally 3. That said immoral advances were
Marcelo C. Amiana for private reversal. certiorari does not lie. responsible for the act complained frustrated because both Professor
respondents. of. The recommendation was for his Almazan and Mr. Castaneda had
demotion in rank by one degree. The refused to accept them; 4. That both
then President Juan Salcedo, Jr., on witnesses and victims of said
It is undisputed that petitioner Felix
Solicitor General Estelito P. August 5, 1974, adopted such immoral advances have declared that
Montemayor was a fulltime
Mendoza Assistant Solicitor General recommendation and thereafter the behavior of respondent was
professor of respondent Araneta
Reynato S. Puno and Solicitor Jesus referred the same to the Board of detrimental [and] prejudicial to the
University Foundation, serving as
V. Diaz respondent Secretary of Trustees of private respondent for moral and educational standards of
head of its Humanities and
Labor. appropriate action. Subsequently, on the Araneta University Foundation;
Psychology Department, Previously,
November 8, 1974, with new charges 5. That because of said behavior,
he was on the faculty of other
being filed by Professor Luis R. respondent should not continue as
educational institutions. There was,
Almazan, one Jaime Castaneda, and Professor in the University; and 6.
on April 17, 1974, a complaint for
Jesus Martinez against petitioner for That the acts of respondent
immorality lodged against him by
conduct unbecoming of a faculty complained of are offensive to good
FERNANDO, J.: the Chaplain of the Araneta
member, another committee was morals [and] inimical to the welfare
University Foundation for alleged
appointed. Then came his preventive of students and greatly prejudicial to
immorality. Its then President, Dr.
suspension, ordered to last until the [the] interest and educational

objectives of University, hence the University was, however, required to there must be clearance from the colleagues renders him unfit" for
same are highly reprehensible." 5 pay complainant the amount of Secretary of Labor. So it is provided membership in the faculty, the
His dismissal was then ordered on P14,480.00 representing the latter's in the Labor Code.12 academic right becomes non-
December 10, 1974, effective accrued back wages which the existent, 15 Security of tenure, for
November 15, 1974, the date of his former voluntarily offered to extend another scholar, Love joy, is "the
preventive suspension. The him. Dissatisfied with the Secretary's chief practical requisite for academic
2. The stand taken by
University, on December 12, 1974, decision, petitioner filed this instant freedom" of a university professor.
petitioner as to his being entitled to
filed with the National Labor petition for certiorari. 16 As with Maclver, he did not rule
security of tenure is reinforced by the
Relations Commission a report of his out removal but only "for some
provision on academic freedom
suspension and application for grave cause," Identified by him as
which, as noted, is found in the
clearance to terminate his "proved incompetence or moral
1. The present Constitution, Constitution. While reference therein
employment. Meanwhile, on delinquency." 17
as noted, expanded the scope of the is to institutions of higher learning, it
November 21, 1974, petitioner in
protection to labor mandate by was pointed out in Garcia v. The
turn lodged a complaint with the
specifying that the State shall assure Faculty Admission, Committee 13
National Labor Relations
the right of workers to security of that academic freedom "is more 3. The charge leveled against
Commission against private
tenure. This Court, as stressed in often Identified with the right of a petitioner, that of making
respondents for reinstatement and
Philippine Air Lines, Inc. v. faculty member to pursue his studies homosexual advances to certain
payment of back wages and salaries,
Philippine Air Lines Employees in his particular specialty and individuals, if proved, did amount to
with all the privileges, benefits and
Associations 6 is called upon to thereafter to make known or publish a sufficient cause for removal. The
increments attendant thereto. There
manifest realty to a constitutional the result of his endeavors without crucial question therefore is whether
was a motion to dismiss on the part
command." 7 Subsequently, in fear that retribution would be visited it was shown that he was guilty of
of the latter. Both the labor arbiter
Almira v. B. F. Goodrich on him in the event that his such immoral conduct. He is thus
and the National Labor Relations
Philippines, 8 it was the ruling of this conclusions are found distasteful or entitled to the protection of
Commission found in favor of
Tribunal that even where disciplinary objectionable to the powers that be, procedural due process. To
petitioner. He was ordered reinstated
action against an employee is whether in the political, economic, or paraphrase Webster, there must be a
to his former position with back
warranted, "where a penalty less academic establishments. For the hearing before condemnation, with
wages and without loss of seniority
punitive [than dismissal] would sociologist, Robert Maclver, it is 'a the investigation to proceed in an
and other privileges. Petitioner's
suffice, whatever missteps may be right claimed by the accredited orderly manner, and judgment to be
complaint for unfair labor practice
committed ought not to be visited educator, as teacher and as rendered only after such inquiry. As
was, however, dismissed. Private
with a consequence so severe." 9 An investigator, to interpret his findings far back as 1915, the American
respondents appealed to respondent
instructor or member of a teaching and to communicate his conclusions Association of University Professors
Secretary of Labor who, on July 14,
staff of a university was held, in the without being subjected to any adopted the principle that "every
1976, set aside the Commission's
leading case of Feati University v. interference, molestation, or university or college teacher should
order for his reinstatement. He found
Bautista, 10 to be an employee. As penalization because these be entitled before dismissal or
petitioner's dismissal justified, Nor
such, he is entitled to that security of conclusions are unacceptable to demotion, to have the charges
was he persuaded by the plea that
tenure guaranteed by the some constituted authority within or against him stated in writing, in
there was denial of due process. He
Constitution. The explicit beyond the institution.'" 14 Tenure, specific terms and to have a fair trial
was satisfied with the procedure
pronouncement in Feati University v. according to him, is of the essence of on these charges before a special or
followed by private respondent.
Bautista was foreshadowed by Far such freedom. For him, without permanent judicial committee of the
Moreover, he could not have ignored
Eastern University v. Court of tenure that assures a faculty member faculty or by the faculty at large. At
the fact that the controversy between
Industrial Relations, 11 a 1962 "against dismissal or professional such trial the teacher accused should
the parties was passed upon and the
decision. While a faculty member penalization on grounds other than have full opportunity to present
parties heard on their respective
such as petitioner may be dismissed, professional incompetence or evidence."18 Thus the phrase,
contentions in the proceedings before
it must be for cause. What is more, conduct that in the judgment of his academic due process, hag gained
the labor agencies. Respondent

currency, Joughin referred to it as a of procedural due process. A motion with that of the application for Solicitor General, of decisive
system of procedure designed to by petitioner for postponement of the clearance filed by the University to significance as far as the due process
yield the beat possible judgment hearing, apparently the first one terminate Montemayor's issue is concerned. Instead, the
when an adverse decision against a made, was denied. What is worse, in employment. On the other hand, the emphasis was on the alleged
professor may be the consequence his absence the matter was heard University moved to dismiss the commission of an unfair labor
with stress on the clear, orderly, and with the committee losing no time in complaint for unfair labor practice practice by private respondent.
fair way of reaching a conclusion. 19 submitting its report finding the against its officials on the ground Inasmuch as the Arbiter as well as
charges against petitioner to have that they were not complainant's the National Labor Relations
been sufficiently established and employers and that their participation Commission absolved private
recommending his removal. If that in the administrative case against the respondent from the charge of unfair
4. The procedure followed in
were all, respondent Secretary of latter was official in nature. labor practice, it would appear that
the first investigation of petitioner,
Labor cannot be sustained. certiorari Respondent University also the emphasis of counsel for
conducted in June of 1974, did
would lie. But such deficiency was presented the affidavit of Thomas P. petitioner was misplaced.
satisfy the procedural due process
remedied, as pointed out in the same G. Neill Dean of the Institute of Accordingly, there is nothing in the
requisite. The same cannot be said of
comment of the Solicitor General, by Agricultural Business Administration record that would militate against the
the November, 1974 inquiry when
the fact "that petitioner was able to and Chairman of the Committee contention of the Solicitor General
the petitioner had to face anew a
present his case before the Labor created to investigate the charges of that there was an observance of
similar charge of making
Commission ." 21 Then he immorality against petitioner procedural due process.
homosexual advances. As admitted
continued: "Thus, the record attesting to the regularity of the
in the exhaustive comment of the
discloses that at a mediation proceedings and the validity of the
Solicitor General: "On November 16,
conference held on December 9, dismissal." 22 The legal aspect as to
1974, Montemayor, through counsel, WHEREFORE, the petition for
1974, the parties appeared and, after the procedural due process having
moved for the postponement of the certiorari is dismissed No. costs.
all efforts at conciliation had failed, been satisfied was then summarized
hearing set for November 18 and 19,
they agreed to submit their dispute by the Solicitor General thus: "All
1974 but the same was rejected by
for compulsory arbitration. Several the foregoing clearly shows that
the committee. The hearing
hearings were conducted by Labor petitioner was afforded his day in
proceeded as scheduled in the
Arbiter Atty. Daniel Lucas, Jr., court. Finally, and more significant,
absence of Professor Montemayor
wherein petitioner submitted his is the fact that petitioner claims
and his counsel. In said hearing,
evidence supported by his affidavit denial of due process in the
Prof. Luis Almazan and Jaime
impugning the regularity of the proceeding had before the
Castaneda testified. On December 5,
proceedings before the investigating investigating committees and not in
1974, the Committee submitted its
committees and assailing the legality the proceedings before the NLRC
report finding the charges against
of his removal. The entire record of wherein, as shown heretofore, he
Montemayor to have been
the administrative proceedings, was given the fullest opportunity to
sufficiently established and
including the transcript of the present his case." 23
recommending to the President and
stenographic notes taken therein, was
the Board of Trustees of the Araneta
elevated to the Labor Commission
University Foundation his separation
for review. Petitioner herein, thru
from the University, in accordance 5. The comment of the
counsel, moved for reinstatement
with Sections 116 and 351 of the Solicitor General was submitted on
during the pendency of the case. In
Manual of Policies of the January 4, 1977. The memorandum
another motion, he prayed for the
University." 20 It does appear for petitioner was submitted on April
consolidation and joint hearing of his
therefore that the members of such 25. What immediately calls attention
complaint for unfair labor practice
investigating committee failed to is that no attempt was made to refute
against herein private respondents
show full awareness of the demands specifically such recital of the
(NLRC Case No. R-IV-1060-74)

EN BANC reconsideration and moves that, for puesto que tales ya han dejado deser CONTRACT with the Philippine
the reasons stated in his motion, we empleados suyos por terminacion del Army.
reconsider the following legal contrato en virtud del paro.
conclusions of the majority opinion
G.R. No. L-46496 February
of this Court:
27, 1940 4. That the National Worker's
The respondent National Labor Brotherhood of ANG TIBAY is a
Union, Inc., on the other hand, prays company or employer union
1. Que un contrato de trabajo, asi for the vacation of the judgement dominated by Toribio Teodoro, the
ANG TIBAY, represented by
individual como colectivo, sin rendered by the majority of this existence and functions of which are
TORIBIO TEODORO, manager and
termino fijo de duracion o que no sea Court and the remanding of the case illegal. (281 U.S., 548, petitioner's
propietor, and
para una determinada, termina o bien to the Court of Industrial Relations printed memorandum, p. 25.)
NATIONAL WORKERS por voluntad de cualquiera de las for a new trial, and avers:
BROTHERHOOD, petitioners, partes o cada vez que ilega el plazo
fijado para el pago de los salarios
5. That in the exercise by the
vs. segun costumbre en la localidad o
1. That Toribio Teodoro's claim that laborers of their rights to collective
cunado se termine la obra;
THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL on September 26, 1938, there was bargaining, majority rule and
RELATIONS and NATIONAL shortage of leather soles in ANG elective representation are highly
LABOR UNION, INC., respondents. TIBAY making it necessary for him essential and indispensable.
2. Que los obreros de una empresa to temporarily lay off the members (Sections 2 and 5, Commonwealth
fabril, que han celebrado contrato, ya of the National Labor Union Inc., is Act No. 213.)
individual ya colectivamente, con ell, entirely false and unsupported by the
Office of the Solicitor-General sin tiempo fijo, y que se han visto records of the Bureau of Customs
Ozaeta and Assistant Attorney obligados a cesar en sus tarbajos por and the Books of Accounts of native
Barcelona for the Court of Industrial 6. That the century provisions of the
haberse declarando paro forzoso en dealers in leather.
Relations. Civil Code which had been (the)
la fabrica en la cual tarbajan, dejan
principal source of dissensions and
de ser empleados u obreros de la
Antonio D. Paguia for National continuous civil war in Spain cannot
Labor Unon. 2. That the supposed lack of leather and should not be made applicable in
materials claimed by Toribio interpreting and applying the salutary
Claro M. Recto for petitioner "Ang Teodoro was but a scheme to provisions of a modern labor
Tibay". 3. Que un patrono o sociedad que ha systematically prevent the forfeiture legislation of American origin where
celebrado un contrato colectivo de of this bond despite the breach of his the industrial peace has always been
Jose M. Casal for National Workers' trabajo con sus osbreros sin tiempo CONTRACT with the Philippine the rule.
Brotherhood. fijo de duracion y sin ser para una Army.
obra determiminada y que se niega a
readmitir a dichos obreros que
7. That the employer Toribio
LAUREL, J.: cesaron como consecuencia de un
3. That Toribio Teodoro's letter to Teodoro was guilty of unfair labor
paro forzoso, no es culpable de
the Philippine Army dated practice for discriminating against
practica injusta in incurre en la
September 29, 1938, (re supposed the National Labor Union, Inc., and
sancion penal del articulo 5 de la Ley
The Solicitor-General in behalf of delay of leather soles from the unjustly favoring the National
No. 213 del Commonwealth, aunque
the respondent Court of Industrial States) was but a scheme to Workers' Brotherhood.
su negativa a readmitir se deba a que
Relations in the above-entitled case systematically prevent the forfeiture
dichos obreros pertenecen a un
has filed a motion for of this bond despite the breach of his
determinado organismo obrero,

8. That the exhibits hereto attached of cases brought before it. We have comprehensive and expensive. It has such industry or locality a minimum
are so inaccessible to the respondents re-examined the entire record of the jurisdiction over the entire wage or share of laborers or tenants,
that even with the exercise of due proceedings had before the Court of Philippines, to consider, investigate, or a maximum "canon" or rental to
diligence they could not be expected Industrial Relations in this case, and decide, and settle any question, be paid by the "inquilinos" or tenants
to have obtained them and offered as we have found no substantial matter controversy or dispute arising or less to landowners. (Section 5,
evidence in the Court of Industrial evidence that the exclusion of the 89 between, and/or affecting employers ibid.) In fine, it may appeal to
Relations. laborers here was due to their union and employees or laborers, and voluntary arbitration in the
affiliation or activity. The whole regulate the relations between them, settlement of industrial disputes; may
transcript taken contains what subject to, and in accordance with, employ mediation or conciliation for
transpired during the hearing and is the provisions of Commonwealth that purpose, or recur to the more
9. That the attached documents and
more of a record of contradictory and Act No. 103 (section 1). It shall take effective system of official
exhibits are of such far-reaching
conflicting statements of opposing cognizance or purposes of investigation and compulsory
importance and effect that their
counsel, with sporadic conclusion prevention, arbitration, decision and arbitration in order to determine
admission would necessarily mean
drawn to suit their own views. It is settlement, of any industrial or specific controversies between labor
the modification and reversal of the
evident that these statements and agricultural dispute causing or likely and capital industry and in
judgment rendered herein.
expressions of views of counsel have to cause a strike or lockout, arising agriculture. There is in reality here a
no evidentiary value. from differences as regards wages, mingling of executive and judicial
shares or compensation, hours of functions, which is a departure from
The petitioner, Ang Tibay, has filed labor or conditions of tenancy or the rigid doctrine of the separation of
an opposition both to the motion for employment, between landlords and governmental powers.
The Court of Industrial Relations is a
reconsideration of the respondent tenants or farm-laborers, provided
special court whose functions are
National Labor Union, Inc. that the number of employees,
specifically stated in the law of its
laborers or tenants of farm-laborers
creation (Commonwealth Act No. In the case of Goseco vs. Court of
involved exceeds thirty, and such
103). It is more an administrative Industrial Relations et al., G.R. No.
industrial or agricultural dispute is
In view of the conclusion reached by than a part of the integrated judicial 46673, promulgated September 13,
submitted to the Court by the
us and to be herein after stead with system of the nation. It is not 1939, we had occasion to joint out
Secretary of Labor or by any or both
reference to the motion for a new intended to be a mere receptive that the Court of Industrial Relations
of the parties to the controversy and
trial of the respondent National organ of the Government. Unlike a et al., G. R. No. 46673, promulgated
certified by the Secretary of labor as
Labor Union, Inc., we are of the court of justice which is essentially September 13, 1939, we had
existing and proper to be by the
opinion that it is not necessary to passive, acting only when its occasion to point out that the Court
Secretary of Labor as existing and
pass upon the motion for jurisdiction is invoked and deciding of Industrial Relations is not
proper to be dealth with by the Court
reconsideration of the Solicitor- only cases that are presented to it by narrowly constrained by technical
for the sake of public interest.
General. We shall proceed to dispose the parties litigant, the function of rules of procedure, and the Act
(Section 4, ibid.) It shall, before
of the motion for new trial of the the Court of Industrial Relations, as requires it to "act according to justice
hearing the dispute and in the course
respondent labor union. Before doing will appear from perusal of its and equity and substantial merits of
of such hearing, endeavor to
this, however, we deem it necessary, organic law, is more active, the case, without regard to
reconcile the parties and induce them
in the interest of orderly procedure in affirmative and dynamic. It not only technicalities or legal forms and shall
to settle the dispute by amicable
cases of this nature, in interest of exercises judicial or quasi-judicial not be bound by any technicalities or
agreement. (Paragraph 2, section 4,
orderly procedure in cases of this functions in the determination of legal forms and shall not be bound
ibid.) When directed by the President
nature, to make several observations disputes between employers and by any technical rules of legal
of the Philippines, it shall investigate
regarding the nature of the powers of employees but its functions in the evidence but may inform its mind in
and study all industries established in
the Court of Industrial Relations and determination of disputes between such manner as it may deem just and
a designated locality, with a view to
emphasize certain guiding principles employers and employees but its equitable." (Section 20,
determinating the necessity and
which should be observed in the trial functions are far more Commonwealth Act No. 103.) It
fairness of fixing and adopting for

shall not be restricted to the specific (Washington, Virginia and Maryland 59 S. Ct. 206, 83 Law. ed. No. 4,
relief claimed or demands made by Coach Co. v. national labor Adv. Op., p. 131.)"
the parties to the industrial or (2) Not only must the party be given Relations Board, 301 U.S. 142, 147,
agricultural dispute, but may include an opportunity to present his case 57 S. Ct. 648, 650, 81 Law. ed. 965.)
in the award, order or decision any and to adduce evidence tending to It means such relevant evidence as a
establish the rights which he asserts (5) The decision must be rendered on
matter or determination which may reasonable mind accept as adequate
but the tribunal must consider the the evidence presented at the
be deemed necessary or expedient to support a conclusion."
evidence presented. (Chief Justice hearing, or at least contained in the
for the purpose of settling the dispute (Appalachian Electric Power v.
Hughes in Morgan v. U.S. 298 U.S. record and disclosed to the parties
or of preventing further industrial or National Labor Relations Board, 4
468, 56 S. Ct. 906, 80 law. ed. 1288.) affected. (Interstate Commence
agricultural disputes. (section 13, Cir., 93 F. 2d 985, 989; National
In the language of this court in Commission vs. L. & N. R. Co., 227
ibid.) And in the light of this Labor Relations Board v. Thompson
Edwards vs. McCoy, 22 Phil., 598, U.S. 88, 33 S. Ct. 185, 57 Law. ed.
legislative policy, appeals to this Products, 6 Cir., 97 F. 2d 13, 15;
"the right to adduce evidence, 431.) Only by confining the
Court have been especially regulated Ballston-Stillwater Knitting Co. v.
without the corresponding duty on administrative tribunal to the
by the rules recently promulgated by National Labor Relations Board, 2
the part of the board to consider it, is evidence disclosed to the parties, can
the rules recently promulgated by Cir., 98 F. 2d 758, 760.) . . . The
vain. Such right is conspicuously the latter be protected in their right to
this Court to carry into the effect the statute provides that "the rules of
futile if the person or persons to know and meet the case against
avowed legislative purpose. The fact, evidence prevailing in courts of law
whom the evidence is presented can them. It should not, however, detract
however, that the Court of Industrial and equity shall not be controlling.'
thrust it aside without notice or from their duty actively to see that
Relations may be said to be free The obvious purpose of this and
consideration." the law is enforced, and for that
from the rigidity of certain similar provisions is to free
purpose, to use the authorized legal
procedural requirements does not administrative boards from the
methods of securing evidence and
mean that it can, in justifiable cases compulsion of technical rules so that
informing itself of facts material and
before it, entirely ignore or disregard (3) "While the duty to deliberate the mere admission of matter which
relevant to the controversy. Boards
the fundamental and essential does not impose the obligation to would be deemed incompetent inn
of inquiry may be appointed for the
requirements of due process in trials decide right, it does imply a judicial proceedings would not
purpose of investigating and
and investigations of an necessity which cannot be invalidate the administrative order.
determining the facts in any given
administrative character. There are disregarded, namely, that of having (Interstate Commerce Commission v.
case, but their report and decision are
primary rights which must be something to support it is a nullity, a Baird, 194 U.S. 25, 44, 24 S. Ct.
only advisory. (Section 9,
respected even in proceedings of this place when directly attached." 563, 568, 48 Law. ed. 860; Interstate
Commonwealth Act No. 103.) The
character: (Edwards vs. McCoy, supra.) This Commerce Commission v. Louisville
Court of Industrial Relations may
principle emanates from the more and Nashville R. Co., 227 U.S. 88,
refer any industrial or agricultural
fundamental is contrary to the 93 33 S. Ct. 185, 187, 57 Law. ed.
dispute or any matter under its
vesting of unlimited power 431; United States v. Abilene and
(1) The first of these rights is the consideration or advisement to a
anywhere. Law is both a grant and a Southern Ry. Co. S. Ct. 220, 225, 74
right to a hearing, which includes the local board of inquiry, a provincial
limitation upon power. Law. ed. 624.) But this assurance of
right of the party interested or fiscal. a justice of the peace or any
a desirable flexibility in
affected to present his own case and public official in any part of the
administrative procedure does not go
submit evidence in support thereof. Philippines for investigation, report
far as to justify orders without a
In the language of Chief Hughes, in (4) Not only must there be some and recommendation, and may
basis in evidence having rational
Morgan v. U.S., 304 U.S. 1, 58 S. Ct. evidence to support a finding or delegate to such board or public
probative force. Mere
773, 999, 82 Law. ed. 1129, "the conclusion (City of Manila vs. official such powers and functions as
uncorroborated hearsay or rumor
liberty and property of the citizen Agustin, G.R. No. 45844, the said Court of Industrial Relations
does not constitute substantial
shall be protected by the rudimentary promulgated November 29, 1937, may deem necessary, but such
evidence. (Consolidated Edison Co.
requirements of fair play. XXXVI O. G. 1335), but the delegation shall not affect the
v. National Labor Relations Board,
evidence must be "substantial."

exercise of the Court itself of any of upon which to predicate, in a interest of justice would be better SECOND DIVISION
its powers. (Section 10, ibid.) national way, a conclusion of law. served if the movant is given
opportunity to present at the hearing
the documents referred to in his
G.R. No. L-56180 October 16, 1986
motion and such other evidence as
(6) The Court of Industrial Relations This result, however, does not now
may be relevant to the main issue
or any of its judges, therefore, must preclude the concession of a new
involved. The legislation which
act on its or his own independent trial prayed for the by respondent
created the Court of Industrial ATENEO DE MANILA
consideration of the law and facts of National Labor Union, Inc., it is
Relations and under which it acts is UNIVERSITY, petitioner,
the controversy, and not simply alleged that "the supposed lack of
new. The failure to grasp the
accept the views of a subordinate in material claimed by Toribio Teodoro vs.
fundamental issue involved is not
arriving at a decision. It may be that was but a scheme adopted to
entirely attributable to the parties
the volume of work is such that it is systematically discharged all the COURT OF APPEALS, and
adversely affected by the result.
literally Relations personally to members of the National Labor SPOUSES ROMEO G. GUANZON
Accordingly, the motion for a new
decide all controversies coming Union Inc., from work" and this and TERESITA REGALADO,
trial should be and the same is
before them. In the United States the avernment is desired to be proved by respondents.
hereby granted, and the entire record
difficulty is solved with the the petitioner with the "records of the
of this case shall be remanded to the
enactment of statutory authority Bureau of Customs and the Books of
Court of Industrial Relations, with
authorizing examiners or other Accounts of native dealers in
instruction that it reopen the case, Ernesto P. Pangalangan for
subordinates to render final decision, leather"; that "the National Workers
receive all such evidence as may be petitioner.
with the right to appeal to board or Brotherhood Union of Ang Tibay is
relevant and otherwise proceed in
commission, but in our case there is a company or employer union
accordance with the requirements set
no such statutory authority. dominated by Toribio Teodoro, the
forth hereinabove. So ordered.
existence and functions of which are Mirano, Mirano & Associates for
illegal." Petitioner further alleges private respondents.
under oath that the exhibits attached
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations
to the petition to prove his
should, in all controversial questions,
substantial avernments" are so
render its decision in such a manner
inaccessible to the respondents that
that the parties to the proceeding can
even within the exercise of due
know the various issues involved, GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
diligence they could not be expected
and the reasons for the decision
to have obtained them and offered as
rendered. The performance of this
evidence in the Court of Industrial
duty is inseparable from the
Relations", and that the documents In a letter-complaint dated December
authority conferred upon it.
attached to the petition "are of such 13, 1967 addressed to Rev. William
far reaching importance and effect Welsh S.J., Dean of Men, Dean of
that their admission would Resident Students, and Chairman of
In the right of the foregoing necessarily mean the modification the Board of Discipline, College of
fundamental principles, it is and reversal of the judgment Arts and Sciences, Ateneo de
sufficient to observe here that, except rendered herein." We have Manila, Carmelita Mateo, a waitress
as to the alleged agreement between considered the reply of Ang Tibay in the cafeteria of Cervini Hall inside
the Ang Tibay and the National and its arguments against the the university campus charged Juan
Worker's Brotherhood (appendix A), petition. By and large, after Ramon Guanzon, son of private
the record is barren and does not considerable discussions, we have respondents Romeo Guanzon and
satisfy the thirst for a factual basis come to the conclusion that the Teresita Regalado, and a boarder and

first year student of the university incident. On the basis of the After due trial, the lower court found A SERIOUS AND GRAVE ERROR
with unbecoming conduct committed investigation results, Juan Ramon for the Guanzons and ordered the OF LAW IN RULING THAT
on December 12, 1967 at about 5:15 was dismissed from the university. university to pay them P92.00 as PRIVATE RESPONDENTS WERE
in the evening at the Cervini Hall's actual damages; P50,000.00 as moral NOT AFFORDED DUE PROCESS
cafeteria, as follows: damages; P5,000.00 as attorney's IN THE DISCIPLINE CASE
fees and to pay the costs of the suit. AGAINST THEIR SON, JUAN
The dismissal of Juan Ramon
triggered off the filing of a complaint
xxx xxx xxx for damages by his parents against
the university in the then Court of Upon appeal to the Court of Appeals
First Instance of Negros Occidental by the university, the trial court's TWO
at Bacolod City. The complaint decision was initially reversed and
Mr. Guanzon, a boarder at Cervini
states that Juan Ramon was expelled set aside. The complaint was
who I think comes from Bacolod,
from school without giving him a dismissed.
was asking for "siopao." I was at the THE RESOLUTION OF THE
fair trial in violation of his right to
counter and I told him that the DIVISION OF FIVE
due process and that they are
"siopao" had still to be heated and ERRONEOUSLY RULED THAT
prominent and well known residents
asked him to wait for a while. Then However, upon motion for THE RESORT TO JUDICIAL
of Bacolod City, with the
Mr. Guanzon started mumbling bad reconsideration filed by the REMEDY BY PRIVATE
unceremonious expulsion of their
words directed to me, in the hearing Guanzons, the appellate court RESPONDENTS DID NOT
son causing them actual, moral, and
presence of other boarders. I asked reversed its decision and set it aside VIOLATE THE RULE ON
exemplary damages as well as
him to stop cursing, and he told me through a special division of five. In FINALITY OF
attorney's fees.
that was none of my business. Since the resolution issued by the appellate ADMINISTRATION ACTION OR
he seemed impatient, I was going to court, the lower court's decision was EXHAUSTION OF
give back his money without any reinstated. The motion for ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.
contempt. (sic) He retorted that he In its answer, the university denied reconsideration had to be referred to
did not like to accept the money. He the material allegations of the a special division of five in view of
got madder and started to curse complaint and justified the dismissal the failure to reach unanimity on the
again. Then he threatened to strike of Juan Ramon on the ground that resolution of the motion, the vote of
me with his fist. I tried to avoid this. his unbecoming behavior is contrary the regular division having become 2
But then he actually struck me in my to good morals, proper decorum, and to 1.
left temple. Before he could strike civility, that such behavior subjected THE FINDING AND
again, his fellow boarders held him him as a student to the university's CONCLUSIONS OF THE
and Dr. Bella and Leyes coaxed him disciplinary regulations' action and RESOLUTION OF THE DIVISION
The petitioner now asks us to review
to stop; I got hold of a bottle so I sanction and that the university has OF FIVE ARE TAINTED WITH
and reverse the resolution of the
could dodge him. It was then that Fr. the sole prerogative and authority at GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION,
division of five on the following
Campbell arrived. The incident was any time to drop from the school a OR ARE CONFLICTING, OR
hidden from Fr. Campbell by the student found to be undesirable in CONTRARY TO THE EVIDENCE
boarders. I could not tell him myself order to preserve and maintain its IN THE CASE.
as I had gone into the kitchen crying integrity and discipline so
because I was hurt. indispensable for its existence as an ONE
institution of learning.
In reversing its own decision, the
appellate court relied heavily on the
The university conducted an THE RESOLUTION OF THE findings of the Director of Private
investigation of the slapping DIVISION OF FIVE COMMITTED Schools affirmed by the Minister of

Education and the findings of the Intermediate Appellate Court, 135 The Court of Appeals ruled that Juan
lower Court to the effect that due SCRA 620; Republic v. Court of Ramon Guanzon was not accorded
process of law was not observed by Appeals, 132 SCRA 514; Carolina due process. We fail to see what, in Third, on December 14, 1967, Mr.
the petitioner when it dismissed the Industries, Inc. v. CMS Stock the records, made the respondent Guanzon was fully informed of the
private respondents' son Juan Brokerage, Inc., 97 SCRA 734; and court reverse its earlier and correct accusation against him when Fr.
Ramon. The resolution invoked the Bacayo v. Genato, 135 SCRA 668). finding that there was due process. Welsh read the letter-complaint of
rule that findings of facts by Carmelita Mateo and he admitted the
administrative officers in matters truth of the charge. (tsn., pp. 38-39,
falling within their competence will May 9, 1970; Exh. 4).
A similar rule applies to The original decision, penned by
not generally be reviewed by the
administrative agencies. then Associate and now Presiding
courts, as well as the principle that
Justice Emilio A. Gancayco reviews
findings of facts of the trial court are Fourth, Fr. Welsh also sent separate
the facts on record to show that the
entitled to great weight and should letters to Rev. Antonio Cuna,
procedures in the expulsion case
not be disturbed on appeal. By reason of their special knowledge Student Counselor of the College of
were fair, open, exhaustive, and
and expertise gained from the Arts and Sciences dated December
handling of specific matters falling 18, 1967 and Rev. James Culligan,
under their respective jurisdictions, Director of Guidance of the College
The conclusions of the Court of
we ordinarily accord respect if not of Arts and Sciences dated
Appeals in its split decision are not
finality to factual findings of The decision states: December 18, 1967 seeking any
sustained by the facts on record.
administrative tribunals. However, information for guidance in the
there are exceptions to this rule and action of the Board of Discipline
judicial power asserts itself regarding the case of Mr. Guanzon.
First, after the slapping incident
The statement regarding the finality whenever the factual findings are not (Exhs. 10-11)
which happened on December 12,
given to factual findings of trial supported by evidence; where the
1967, Fr. Welsh in his capacity as
courts and administrative tribunals is findings are vitiated by fraud,
Chairman of the Board of Discipline
correct if treated as a general imposition, or collusion; where the
upon receipt of the letter-complaint Fifth, notice of the meeting of the
principle. The general principle, procedure which led to the factual
(Exh. 2) of Carmelita Mateo Board of Discipline set on December
however, is subject to well findings is irregular; when palpable
conducted a preliminary inquiry by 19, 1967 was posted at the Bulletin
established exceptions. errors are committed; or when a
interviewing the companions and Board of the College of Arts and
grave abuse of discretion,
friends of Juan Ramon Guanzon who Sciences and also at Dormitory Halls
arbitrariness, or capriciousness is
were also at the cafeteria. They (tsn., pp. 21-22, July 21, 1970) The
manifest. (International Hardwood
We disregard the factual findings of confirmed the incident in question. Secretary of the Dean of Discipline
and Veneer Co., of the Philippines v.
trial courts when-(l) the conclusion is (Exhs. 5, 6, 7 and 9). personally notified Mr. Guanzon of
Leogardo, 117 SCRA 967; Baguio
a finding grounded on speculations, the meeting of the Board on
Country Club Corporation v.
surmises, and conjectures; (2) the December 19, 1967, he was told to
National Labor Relations
inferences made are manifestly seek the help of his guardians,
Commission, 118 SCRA 557; Second, Fr. Welsh, finding that there
mistaken, absurd, or impossible; (3) parents and friends including the
Sichangco v. Commissioner of was probable cause against Mr.
there is a grave abuse of discretion; student counsellors in the residence
Immigration, 94 SCRA 61; and Guanzon, prepared a memorandum
(4) there is a misapprehension of halls and College of Arts and
Eusebio v. Sociedad Agricola de to the members of the Board of
facts; and (5) the court, in arriving at Sciences. (tsn., p. 18, July 21, 1970)
Balarin, 16 SCRA 569). Discipline dated December 16, 1967
its findings, went beyond the issues
(Exh. 8) and delivered a copy each to
of the case and the same are contrary
Fr. Francisco Perez, Dr. Amada
to the admissions of the parties or the
Capawan, Mr. Piccio and Dr. Reyes.
evidence presented. (Gomez v.

Sixth, despite notice of the Board of The Board of Discipline was made informed about the December 19,
Discipline on December 19, 1967, up of distinguished members of the 1967 meeting of the Board of
Mr. Guanzon did not care to inform Ninth, Mr. Romeo Guanzon, father faculty-Fr. Francisco Perez, Biology Discipline, he was asked to seek
his parents or guardian knowing of Juan Ramon Guanzon arranged Department Chairman; Dr. Amando advice and assistance from his
fully well the seriousness of the for full and complete refund of his Capawan, a Chemistry professor; guardian and/or parents.
offense he had committed and tuition fee for the entire second Assistant Dean Piccio of the College;
instead he spoke for himself and semester of the school year 1967-68. and Dr. Reyes of the same College.
admitted to have slapped Carmelita Juan Ramon was never out of school. There is nothing in the records to
He was admitted at the De la Salle In the natural course of things, Juan
Mateo. He then asked that he be cast any doubt on their competence
College of Bacolod City and later Ramon is assumed to have reported
excused as he wanted to catch the and impartiality insofar as this
transferred to another Jesuit School. this serious matter to his parents. The
boat for Bacolod City for the disciplinary investigation is
fact that he chose to remain silent
Christmas vacation. concerned.
and did not inform them about his
case, not even when he went home to
From the above proceedings that Bacolod City for his Christmas
Seventh, the decision of the Board of transpired it can not be said that Juan Juan Ramon himself appeared before vacation, was not the fault of the
Discipline was unanimous in Ramon Guanzon was denied due the Board of Discipline. He admitted petitioner university.
dropping from the rolls of students proems of law. On the contrary, we the slapping incident, then begged to
Mr. Guanzon (Exh. 12) which was find that he was given the full be excused so he could catch the
elevated to the office of the Dean of opportunity to be heard to be fully boat for Bacolod City. Juan Ramon,
informed of the charge against him Moreover, notwithstanding the non-
Arts and Sciences, Rev. Joseph A. therefore, was given notice of the
and to be confronted of the witnesses participation of the private
Galdon, who after a review of the proceedings; he actually appeared to
face to face. And since he chose to respondents, the university, as stated
case found no ground to reverse the present his side; the investigating
remain silent and did not bother to earlier, undertook a fair and
decision of the Board of Discipline. board acted fairly and objectively;
inform his parents or guardian about objective investigation of the
(Exh. 13) The case was finally and all requisites of administrative
the disciplinary action taken against slapping incident.
elevated to the President of the due process were met.
Ateneo University who sustained the him by the defendant university,
decision of the Board of Discipline neither he nor his parents should find
(Exh. 21-A, p. 6) A motion for reason to complain. Due process in administrative
We do not share the appellate court's
reconsideration was filed by the proceedings also requires
view that there was no due process
President of the Student Council in consideration of the evidence
because the private respondents, the
behalf of Mr. Guanzon (Exh. 15) but xxx xxx xxx presented and the existence of
parents of Juan Ramon were not
the same was denied by the President evidence to support the decision
given any notice of the proceedings.
of the University. (Halili v. Court of Industrial
Relations, 136 SCRA 112).
When the letter-complaint was read
to Juan Ramon, he admitted the Juan Ramon, who at the time was 18
Eighth, when the decision of the altercation with the waitress and his years of age, was already a college
Board of Discipline was about to be slapping her on the face. Rev. Welsh While it may be true that Carmelita
student, intelligent and mature
carried out, Mr. Guanzon voluntarily did not stop with the admission. He Mateo was not entirely blameless for
enough to know his responsibilities.
applied for honorable dismissal. He interviewed Eric Tagle, Danny Go, what happened to her because she
In fact, in the interview with Rev.
went around to the officials of the Roberto Beriber, and Jose Reyes, also shouted at Juan Ramon and tried
Welsh, he even asked if he would be
university to obtain his clearance and friends of Juan Ramon who were to hit him with a cardboard box top,
expelled because of the incident. He
this was approved on January 8, present during the incident. this did not justify Juan Ramon's
was fully cognizant of the gravity of
1968. (Exh. 3, tsn., p. 58, May 6, slapping her in the face. The
the offense he committed. When
1970) evidence clearly shows that the

altercation started with Juan Ramon's university one of the provisions of pursuant to the law on damages college authorities deferred any
utterance of the offensive language which is as follows: under the title provided in the Civil Code. The undue action until a definitive
"bilat ni bay," an Ilongo phrase "Dining Room"-"The kitchen help jurisdiction to try the case belongs to decision had been rendered. The
which means sex organ of a woman. and server should always be treated the civil courts. whole procedure of the disciplinary
It was but normal on the part of with civility." Miss Mateo was process was set up to protect the
Mateo to react to the nasty remark. employed as a waitress and precisely privacy of the student involved.
Moreover, Roberto Beriber, a friend because of her service to boarders, There is absolutely no indication ot
There was no need to await action
of Juan Ramon who was present not to mention her sex, she deserved malice,. fraud, and improper or
from Malacañang.
during the incident told Rev. Welsh more respect and gracious treatment. willful motives or conduct on the
during the investigation of the case part of the Ateneo de Manila
that Juan Ramon made threatening University in this case.
gestures at Mateo prompting her to This brings us to the final issue
The petitioner is correct in stating
pick up a cardboard box top which which is whether or not the private
that there was a serious error of law
she threw at Juan Ramon. The respondents are entitled to damages.
in the appellate court's ruling on due WHEREFORE, the instant petition is
incident was in public thus adding to There is no basis for the recovery of
process. hereby GRANTED. The appellate
the humiliation of Carmelita Mateo. damages. Juan Ramon was afforded
court's resolution dated January 26,
There was "unbecoming conduct" due process of law. The penalty is
1981 is REVERSED and SET
and pursuant to the Rules of based on reasonable rules and
ASIDE. The appellate court's
Discipline and Code of Ethics of the The petitioner raises the issue of regulations applicable to all students
decision dated March 15, 1979 is
university, specifically under the "exhaustion of administrative guilty of the same offense. He never
1967-1969 Catalog containing the remedies" in view of its pending was out of school. Before the
rules and academic regulations appeal from the decision of the decision could be implemented, Juan
(Exhibit 19), this offense constituted Ministry of Education to the Ramon asked for an honorable
a ground for dismissal from the President of the Philippines. It argues dismissal which was granted. He SO ORDERED.
college. The action of the petitioner that the private respondents' then enrolled at the De la Salle
is sanctioned by law. Section 107 of complaint for recovery of damages University of Bacolod City and later
the Manual of Regulations for filed in the lower court was transferred to another Jesuit school
Private Schools recognizes violation premature. Moreover, his full and complete
of disciplinary regulations as valid tuition fees for the second semester
ground for refusing re-enrollment of were refunded through the
a student (Tangonan v. Pano, 137 representation of Mr. Romeo
SCRA 245). The issue raised in court was
Guanzon, Juan Ramon's father.
whether or not the private
respondents can recover damages as
a result of the dismissal of their son
Before Juan Ramon was admitted to from the petitioner university. This is It is unfortunate of the parents
enroll, he received (1) the College of a purely legal question and nothing suffered some embarrassment
Arts and Sciences Handbook of an administrative nature is to or because of the incident. However,
containing the general regulations of can be done. (Gonzales v. their predicament arose from the
the school and the 1967-1969 catalog Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230; Tapales v. misconduct of their own son who, in
of the College of Arts and Sciences University of the Philippines, 7 the exuberance of youth and
containing the disciplinary rules and SCRA 553; Limoico v. Board of unfortunate loss of self control, did
academic regulations and (2) a copy Administrators, (PVA), 133 SCRA something which he must have, later,
of the Rules and Regulations of the 43; Malabanan v. Ramonte, 129 regretted. There was no bad faith on
Cervini-Elizo Halls of the petitioner SCRA 359). The case was brought the part of the university. In fact, the

EN BANC point at issue in this case but the Petitioners' claim of lack of due
authority of the school regarding process cannot prosper in view of
CORTES, J.: admission of students, save as a their failure to specifically deny
matter of compassionate equity — respondent's affirmative defenses
when any of the petitioners would, at that "they were given all the chances
Petitioners urge the Court en banc to the least, qualify for re-enrollment, to air their grievances on February 9,
review and reverse the doctrine laid this petition is hereby DISMISSED. 10, 16, and 18, 1988, and also on
G.R. No. 89317 May 20, 1990 down in Alcuaz, et al. v. Philippine February 22, 1988 during which they
School of Business Administration, were represented by Atty. Jose L.
et al., G.R. No. 76353, May 2, 1988, Lapak" and that on February 22,
SO ORDERED. [Rollo, p. 12-A.]
161 SCRA 7, to the effect that a 1988, the date of the resumption of
ARIEL NON, REX MAGANA, classes at Mabini College, petitioners
ALVIN AGURA, NORMANDY college student, once admitted by the
school, is considered enrolled only continued their rally picketing, even
OCCIANO, JORGE DAYAON, though without any renewal permit,
for one semester and, hence, may be A motion for reconsideration was
LOURDES BANARES, physically coercing students not to
refused readmission after the filed, but this was denied by the trial
BARTOLOME IBASCO, attend their classes, thereby
semester is over, as the contract court on February 24, 1989 in this
EMMANUEL BARBA, SONNY disrupting the scheduled classes and
between the student and the school is wise:
MORENO, GIOVANI PALMA, depriving a great majority of
JOSELITO VILLALON, LUIS deemed terminated.
students of their right to be present in
SANTOS, and DANIEL TORRES, their classes.
petitioners, Perhaps many will agree with the
Petitioners, students in private critical comment of Joaquin G.
vs. Bernas S.J., and that really there
respondent Mabini Colleges, Inc. in
Daet, Camarines Norte, were not must be a better way of treating Against this backdrop, it must be
HON. SANCHO DANES II, in his noted that the petitioners waived
allowed to re-enroll by the school for students and teachers than the
capacity as the Presiding Judge of their privilege to be admitted for re-
the academic year 1988-1989 for manner ruled (not suggested) by the
5th Regional Trial Court, Br. 38, enrollment with respondent college
leading or participating in student Supreme Court, the Termination of
Daet, Camarines Norte; and when they adopted, signed, and used
mass actions against the school in the Contract at the end of the semester,
MABINI COLLEGES, INC., its enrollment form for the first
preceding semester. The subject of that is.
represented by its president semester of school year 1988-89.
ROMULO ADEVA and by the the protests is not, however, made
clear in the pleadings. Said form specifically states that:
chairman of the Board of Trustees,
JUSTO LUKBAN, respondents. But applicable rule in the case is that
enunciated by the Supreme Court in
Petitioners filed a petition in the the case of Sophia Alcuaz, et al. vs. The Mabini College reserves the
court a quo seeking their readmission Philippine School of Business right to deny admission of students
Antonio A. Ayo Jr. and Soliman M. whose scholarship and attendance
or re-enrollment to the school, but Administration, Quezon City Branch
Santos, Jr., for petitioners are unsatisfactory and to require
the trial court dismissed the petition (PSBA), et al., G.R. No. 76353, May
in an order dated August 8, 1988; the 2, 1988; that of the termination at the withdrawal of students whose
dispositive portion of which reads: end of the semester, reason for the conduct discredits the institution
Pedro A. Venida Agustin A. Ferrer critical comments of Joaquin G. and/or whose activities unduly
and Gil F. Echaro for private Bernas and Doods Santos, who both disrupts or interfere with the efficient
respondents. do not agree with the ruling. operation of the college. Students,
WHEREFORE, premises considered, therefore, are required to behave in
and the fact that the ruling in the accord with the Mabini College code
Alcuaz vs. PSBA is exactly on the of conduct and discipline.

enrolled or reenrolled, respondent back to the Supreme Court that he is enrolling for the entire
Mabini College is free to admit or considering that only pure questions semester. Likewise, it is provided in
In addition, for the same semester, not admit the petitioners for re- of law were raised. the Manual, that the "written
petitioners duly signed pledges enrollment in view of the academic contracts" required for college
which among others uniformly reads: freedom enjoyed by the school in teachers are for "one semester." It is
accordance with the Supreme Court thus evident that after the close of
The case was assigned to the Third
rulings in the cases of Garcia vs. the first semester, the PSBA-QC no
Division of the Court, which then
In consideration of my admission to Faculty [Admission Committee] longer has any existing contract
transferred it to the Court en banc on
the Mabini College and of my (G.R. No. 40779, November 28, either with the students or with the
August 21, 1989 considering that the
privileges as student of this 1975) and Tangonon vs. Pano, et al. intervening teachers. Such being the
issues raised are jurisdictional. On
institution, I hereby pledge/ promise (L-45157, June 27, 1985). case, the charge of denial of due
September 14, 1989, the Court en
under oath to abide and comply with process is untenable. It is a time-
banc accepted the case and required
all the rules and regulations laid honored principle that contracts are
respondents to comment.
down by competent authorities in the respected as the law between the
WHEREFORE, premises and
College Department or School in contracting parties (Henson vs.
jurisprudence considered, and for
which I am enrolled. Specifically: Intermediate Appellate Court, et al.,
lack of merit, the motion for
Respondents filed their comment on G.R. No. 72456, February 19, 1987,
reconsideration of the order of this
November 13, 1989. Petitioners were citing: Castro vs. Court of Appeals,
Court dated August 8, 1988 is hereby
required to reply. As reply, they filed 99 SCRA 722; Escano vs. Court of
xxx xxx xxx DENIED.
a pleading entitled "Counter- Appeals, 100 SCRA 197). The
Comment," to which respondents contract having been terminated,
filed a rejoinder entitled "Reply to there is no more contract to speak of.
3. I will respect my Alma SO ORDERED. [Rollo pp. 15-16.] Counter-Comment To this The school cannot be compelled to
Matter the Mabini College, which I petitioners filed a "Rejoinder to enter into another contract with said
represent and see to it that I conduct Reply." students and teachers. "The courts,
myself in such a manner that the be they the original trial court or the
Hence, petitioners filed the instant appellate court, have no power to
college wig not be put to a bad light; petition for certiorari with prayer for make contracts for the parties.'
preliminary mandatory injunction. The issues having been joined, the (Henson vs. Intermediate Appellate
case was deemed submitted. Court, et al., supra). [At 161 SCRA
xxx xxx xxx 17-18; Emphasis supplied.]
The case was originally assigned to
the Second Division of the Court, At the heart of the controversy is the
9. I will not release false or which resolved on April 10, 1989 to doctrine encapsuled in the following In Alcuaz, the Second Division of
unauthorized announcement which refer the case to the Court of Appeals excerpt from Alcuaz: the Court dismissed the petition filed
tend to cause confusion or disrupt the for proper determination and by the students, who were barred
normal appreciation of the college. disposition. The Court of Appeals from re-enrolling after they led mass
ordered respondents to comment on assemblies and put up barricades, but
It is beyond dispute that a student
the petition and set the application it added that "in the light of
once admitted by the school is
for issuance of a writ of preliminary compassionate equity, students who
Moreover, a clear legal right must considered enrolled for one semester.
mandatory injunction for hearing. were, in view of the absence of
first be established for a petition for It is provided in Paragraph 137
After considering the comment and academic deficiencies, scheduled to
mandamus to prosper (Sec. 3, Rule Manual of Regulations for Private
hearing the injunction application, graduate during the school year
65). It being a mere privilege and not Schools, that when a college student
the Court of Appeals resolved on when this petition was filed, should
a legal right for a student to be registers in a school, it is understood
May 22, 1989 to certify the case

be allowed to re-enroll and to with the Second Division's dismissal Thus, although respondent judge Sec. 4. No law shall be passed
graduate in due time." [At 161 of the students petition, a definitive believed himself bound by the ruling abridging the freedom of speech, of
SCRA 22.] Mr. Justice Sarmiento ruling on the issue could not have in Alcuaz [Order dated August 8, expression, or of the press, or the
dissented from the majority opinion. been made because no timely motion 1988; Rollo, pp. 1212-A], he actually right of the people peaceably to
for reconsideration was filed by the viewed the issue as a conflict assemble and petition the
students. (As stated above, the between students' rights and the government for redress of
motion for reconsideration was filed school's power to discipline them, to grievances. [Art. III.]
A motion for reconsideration was
by the dismissed teachers.) wit:
filed by the dismissed teachers in
Alcuaz. The students did not move
for reconsideration. The Court en This guarantee is not peculiar to the
banc, to which the case had been Be that as it may, the reassessment of Students should not be denied their 1987 Constitution. A similar
transferred, denied the motion for the doctrine laid down in Alcuaz, constitutional and statutory right to provision was found in the 1973
reconsideration in a Resolution dated insofar as it allowed schools to bar education, and there is such denial Constitution, as amended [Art. VI,
September 29, 1989, but added as an the readmission or re-enrollment of when students are expelled or barred sec. 9], the 1935 Constitution, as
obiter dictum: students on the ground of from enrollment for the exercise of amended [Art. III, sec. 81, the
termination of contract, shall be their right to free speech and Philippine Autonomy Act (Jones
made in this case where the issue is peaceable assembly and/or subjected Law) [Sec. 3, para. 13], and the
squarely raised by petitioners to disciplinary action without abiding Philippine Bill of 1902 [Sec. 15,
In conclusion, We wish to reiterate
[Petition, p. 4; Rollo, p. 5]. with the requirements of due process. para. 13]. Thus, as early as 1907, the
that while We value the right of
Also, it is understandable for student Court in People v. Apurado, 7 Phil.
students to complete their education
leaders to let loose extremely critical 422, upheld the right to speech and
in the school or university of their
and, at times, vitriolic language assembly to overturn a conviction for
choice, and while We fully respect Initially, the case at bar must be put
against school authorities during a sedition. It said:
their right to resort to rallies and in the proper perspective. This is not
student rally.
demonstrations for the redress of a simple case of a school refusing
their grievances and as part of their readmission or re-enrollment of
freedom of speech and their right to returning students. Undisputed is the Section 5 of the Act No. 292 is as
assemble, still such rallies, fact that the refusal to readmit or re- But the right of students is no license follows:
demonstrations, and assemblies must enroll petitioners was decided upon and not without limit . . . [Order of
always be conducted peacefully, and and implemented by school February 24, 1989; Rollo, p. 13.]
without resort to intimidation, authorities as a reaction to student
All persons who rise publicly and
coercion, or violence. Academic mass actions directed against the
tumultuously in order to attain by
freedom in all its forms, demands the school. Petitioners are students of
1. The Student Does Not force or outside of legal methods any
full display of discipline. To hold respondent school who, after leading
Shed His Constitutionally Protected of the following objects are guilty of
otherwise would be to subvert and participating in student protests,
Rights at the Schoolgate. sedition:
freedom into degenerate license. were denied readmission or re-
enrollment for the next semester.
This is a case that focuses on the
right to speech and assembly as Central to the democratic tradition xxx xxx xxx
The majority's failure to expressly
exercised by students vis-a-vis the which we cherish is the recognition
repudiate the "termination of
right of school officials to discipline and protection of the rights of free
contract" doctrine enunciated in the
them. speech and assembly. Thus, our
decision provoked several dissents 2. To prevent the Insular
Constitution provides:
on that issue. Although seven (7) Government, or any provincial or
members of the Court * disagreed municipal government or any public

official, from freely exercising its or those who took part therein to the Tinker v. Des Moines Community critical of the University authorities
his duties or the due execution of any severest and most unmerited School District, "shed their and using megaphones in the
judicial or administrative order. punishment, if the purposes which constitutional rights to freedom of process. There was, as a result,
they sought to attain did not happen speech or expression at the disturbance of the classes being held.
to be pleasing to the prosecuting schoolhouse gate." While therefore, Also, the non-academic employees,
authorities. If instances of disorderly the authority of educational within hearing distance, stopped
But this law must not be interpreted
conduct occur on such occasions, the institutions over the conduct of their work because of the noise
so as to abridge "the freedom of
guilty individuals should be sought students must be recognized, it created. They were asked to explain
speech" or "the right of the people
out and punished therefor, but the cannot go so far as to be violative of on the same day why they should not
peaceably to assemble and petition
utmost discretion must be exercise in constitutional safeguards. [At pp. be held liable for holding an illegal
the Government for redress of
drawing the line between disorderly 367-368.] assembly. Then on September 9,
grievances" guaranteed by the
and seditious conduct and between 1982, they were informed through a
express provisions of section 5 of
an essentially peaceable assembly memorandum that they were under
"the Philippine Bill."
and a tumultuous uprising. [At pp. preventive suspension for their
The facts in Malabanan are only too
424, 426.] failure to explain the holding of an
familiar in the genre of cases
illegal assembly in front of the Life
involving student mass actions:
xxx xxx xxx Science Building. The validity
thereof was challenged by petitioners
That the protection to the cognate
both before the Court of First
rights of speech and assembly
. . . Petitioners were officers of the Instance of Rizal in a petition for
It is rather to be expected that more guaranteed by the Constitution is
Supreme Student Council of mandamus with damages against
or less disorder will mark the public similarly available to students is
respondent [Gregorio Araneta] private respondents and before the
assembly of the people to protest well-settled in our jurisdiction. In the
University. They sought and were Ministry of Education, Culture, and
against grievances whether real or leading case of Malabanan v.
granted by the school authorities a Sports. On October 20, 1982,
imaginary, because on such Ramento, G.R. No. 62270, May 21,
permit to hold a meeting from 8:00 respondent Ramento, as Director of
occasions feeling is always wrought 1984, 129 SCRA 359, the Court,
A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on August 27, the National Capital Region, found
to a high pitch of excitement, and the speaking through Mr. Chief Justice
1982. Pursuant to such permit, along petitioners guilty of the charge of
greater the grievance and the more Fernando in an en banc decision,
with other students, they held a having violated par. 146(c) of the
intense the feeling, the less perfect, declared:
general assembly at the Veterinary Manual for Private Schools more
as a rule, will be the disciplinary specifically their holding of an
Medicine and Animal Science
control of the leaders over their illegal assembly which was
(VMAS) the place indicated in such
irresponsible followers. But if the characterized by the violation of the
xxx xxx xxx permit, not in the basketball court as
prosecution be permitted to seize permit granted resulting in the
therein stated but at the respond floor
upon every instance of such disturbance of classes and oral
lobby. At such gathering they
disorderly conduct by individual defamation. The penalty was
manifested in vehement and vigorous
members of a crowd as an excuse to 4. Petitioners invoke their suspension for one academic year. . .
language their opposition to the
characterize the assembly as a rights to peaceable assembly and free . [At pp. 363-364.]
proposed merger of the Institute of
seditious and tumultuous rising speech. They are entitled to do so.
Animal Science with the Institute of
against the authorities, then the right They enjoy like the rest of the
Agriculture. At 10:30 A.M., the
to assemble and to petition for citizens the freedom to express their
same day, they marched toward the
redress of grievances would become views and communicate their The Court found the penalty imposed
Life Science building and continued
a delusion and a snare and the thoughts to those disposed to listen on the students too severe and
their rally. It was outside the area
attempt to exercise it on the most in gatherings such as was held in this reduced it to a one-week suspension.
covered by their permit. They
righteous occasion and in the most case. They do not, to borrow from
continued their demonstration,
peaceable manner would expose all the opinion of Justice Fortas in
giving utterance to language severely

The rule laid down in Malabanan Malabanan, when it echoed Tinker v. requires observance of procedural
was applied with equal force in three Des Moines Community School due process. Thus:
other en banc decisions of the Court. In Arreza v. Gregorio Araneta District, 393 US 503, 514: "But
University Foundation, G.R. No. conduct by the student, in class or
62297, June 19, 1985, 137 SCRA 94, out of it, which for any reason —
a case arising from almost the same . . . There are withal minimum
whether it stems from time, place, or
In Villar v. Technological Institute of facts as those in Malabanan, the standards which must be met to
type of behavior — materially
the Philippines, G.R. No. 69198, Court rejected "the infliction of the satisfy the demands of procedural
disrupts classwork or involves
April 17, 1985, 135 SCRA 706, the highly- disproportionate penalty of due process; and these are, that (1)
substantial disorder or invasion of
Court reiterated that the exercise of denial of enrollment and the the students must be informed in
the rights of others is, of course, not
the freedom of assembly could not consequent failure of senior students writing of the nature and cause of
immunized by the constitutional
be a basis for barring students from to graduate, if in the exercise of the any accusation against them; (2) they
guarantee of freedom of speech."
enrolling. It enjoined the school and cognate rights of free speech and shall have the right to answer the
its officials from acts of surveillance, peaceable assembly, improper charges against them, with the
blacklisting, suspension and refusal conduct could be attributed to them. assistance of counsel, if desired; (3)
to re-enroll. But the Court allowed [At p. 98]. Thus, in Malabanan, the Court said: they shall be informed of the
the non-enrollment of students who evidence against them; (4) they shall
clearly incurred marked academic have the right to adduce evidence in
deficiency, with the following their own behalf; and (5) the
In Guzman v. National University, xxx xxx xxx
caveat: evidence must be duly considered by
G.R. No. 68288, July 11, 1986, 142 the investigating committee or
SCRA 699, respondent school was official designated by the school
directed to allow the petitioning 8. It does not follow, authorities to hear and decide the
xxx xxx xxx students to re-enroll or otherwise however, that petitioners can be case. [At pp. 706-707].
continue with their respective totally absolved for the events that
courses, without prejudice to any transpired. Admittedly, there was a
4. The academic freedom disciplinary proceedings that may be violation of the terms of the permit.
conducted in connection with their Moreover, the penalty imposed must
enjoyed by ''institutions of higher The rally was held at a place other
participation in the protests that led be proportionate to the offense
learning" includes the right to set than that specified, in the second
to the stoppage of classes. committed. As stated in Malabanan,
academic standards to determine floor lobby, rather than the
"[i]f the concept of proportionality
under what circumstances failing basketball court, of the (VMAS)
between the offense committed and
grades suffice for the expulsion of building of the University.
sanction imposed is not followed, an
students. Once it has done so, 2. Permissible Limitations on Moreover, it was continued longer
element of arbitrariness intrudes."
however, that standard should be Student Exercise of Constitutional than the period allowed. According
[At p. 371].
followed meticulously. It cannot be Rights Within the School. to the decision of respondent
utilized to discriminate against those Ramento, the "concerted activity
students who exercise their [referring to such assembly went on
constitutional rights to peaceable until 5:30 p.m." Private respondents 3. Circumventing Established
assembly and free speech. If it does While the highest regard must be could thus, take disciplinary action. . Doctrine.
so, then there is a legitimate afforded the exercise of the rights to . . [ At pp. 370-371].
grievance by the students thus free speech and assembly, this
prejudiced, their right to the equal should not be taken to mean that
school authorities are virtually Malabanan was decided by the Court
protection clause being disregarded.
powerless to discipline students. This But, as stated in Guzman, the in 1984. Since then, student mass
[At p. 711.]
was made clear by the Court in imposition of disciplinary sanctions actions have escalated not only
because of political events that

unfurled but also because of the Private Schools, which provides that already paid the pertinent tuition and entire period he is expected to
constantly raging controversy over "[w]hen a student registers in a other school fees in full or for any complete his course without
increases in tuition fees. But the school, it is understood that he is length of time longer than one month prejudice to his right to transfer.
over-eager hands of some school enrolling . . . for the entire semester may be charged ten per cent of the
authorities were not effectively tied for collegiate courses," which the total amount due for the term if he
down by the ruling in Malabanan. Court in Alcuaz construed as withdraws within the first week of
This "presumption" has been
Instead of suspending or expelling authority for schools to refuse classes, or twenty per cent if within
translated into a right in Batas
student leaders who fell into disfavor enrollment to a student on the ground the second week of classes,
Pambansa Blg. 232, the "Education
with school authorities, a new that his contract, which has a term of regardless of whether or not he has
Act of 1982." Section 9 of this act
variation of the same stratagem was one semester, has already expired. actually attended classes. The
adopted by the latter: refusing the student may be charged all the
students readmission or re- school fees in full if he withdraws
enrollment on grounds not related to, anytime after the second week of
The "termination of contract" theory
their alleged misconduct of "illegal classes. However, if the transfer or Sec. 9. Rights of Students in School.
does not even find support in the
assembly" in leading or participating withdrawal is due to a justifiable — In addition to other rights, and
Manual. Paragraph 137 merely
in student mass actions directed reason, the student shall be charged subject to the limitations prescribed
clarifies that a college student enrolls
against the school. Thus, the spate of the pertinent fees only up to and by law and regulations, students and
for the entire semester. It serves to
expulsions or exclusions due to including the last month of pupils in all schools shall enjoy the
protect schools wherein tuition fees
"academic deficiency." attendance. following rights:
are collected and paid on an
installment basis, i.e. collection and
payment of the downpayment upon
4. The Nature of the Contract enrollment and the balance before Clearly, in no way may Paragraph xxx xxx xxx
Between a School and its Student. examinations. Thus, even if a student 137 be construed to mean that the
does not complete the semester for student shall be enrolled for only one
which he was enrolled, but has semester, and that after that semester
stayed on for more than two weeks, is over his re-enrollment is 2. The right to freely choose
The Court, in Alcuaz, anchored its their field of study subject to existing
he may be required to pay his tuition dependent solely on the sound
decision on the "termination of curricula and to continue their course
fees for the whole semester before he discretion of the school. On the
contract" theory. But it must be therein up to graduation, except in
is given his credentials for transfer. contrary, the Manual recognizes the
repeatedly emphasized that the cases of academic deficiency, or
This is the import of Paragraph 137, right of the student to be enrolled in
contract between the school and the violation of disciplinary regulations.
subsumed under Section VII on his course for the entire period he is
student is not an ordinary contract. It
Tuition and Other Fees, which in its expected to complete it. Thus,
is imbued with public interest,
totality provides: Paragraph 107 states:
considering the high priority given
by the Constitution to education and xxx xxx xxx
the grant to the State of supervisory
and regulatory powers over all 137. When a student registers in Every student has the right to enrol
educational institutions [See Art. a school, it is understood that he is in any school, college or university 5. Academic Freedom Not a
XIV, secs. 1-2, 4(1)]. enrolling for the entire school year upon meeting its specific Ground for Denying Students'
for elementary and secondary requirement and reasonable Rights.
courses, and for the entire semester regulation: Provided, that except in
for collegiate courses. A student who the case of academic delinquency
Respondent school cannot justify its
transfers or otherwise withdraws, in and violation of disciplinary
actions by relying on Paragraph 137 Respondent judge, in his order dated
writing, within two weeks after the regulation, the student is presumed to
of the Manual of Regulations for February 24, 1989, stated that
beginning of classes and who has be qualified for enrolment for the

"respondent Mabini College is free a violation of their right to equal discretion of university authorities.
to admit or not admit the petitioners protection [At p. 711] (Emphasis supplied.)
for re-enrollment in view of the The Court finds no cogent basis for
academic freedom enjoyed by the the protestations of petitioners that
school" [Rollo, p. 16]. To support they were deprived of due process of
6. Capitol Medical Center law and that the investigation 7. The Instant Case.
this conclusion, he cited the cases of
and Licup. conducted was far from impartial
Garcia v. The Faculty Admission
Committee, Loyola School of and fair. On the contrary, what
Theology, G.R. No. L-40779, appear from the record is that the To justify the school's action,
November 28, 1975, 68 SCRA 277, In support of the action taken by charges against petitioners were respondents, in their Comment dated
and Tangonan v. Pano, G.R. No. L- respondent judge, private adequately established in an November 12, 1989, quoting from
45157, June 27, 1985, 137 SCRA respondents cite the recent cases of appropriate investigation. The their answer filed in the trial court,
245, where the Court emphasized the Capitol Medical Center, Inc. v. Court imputation of bias and partiality is allege that of the thirteen (13)
institutions' discretion on the of Appeals, G.R. No. 82499, October not supported by the record. . . . petitioners eight (8) have incurred
admission and enrollment of students 13, 1989, and Licup v. University of failing grades, to wit:
as a major component of the San Carlos, G.R. No. 85839, October
academic freedom guaranteed to 19, 1989, both decided by the First Moreover, Licup, far from adopting
institutions of higher learning. Division of the Court. the "termination of contract" theory a) Ariel Non has not only
in Alcuaz, impliedly rejected it, to failed in four (4) subjects but also
wit: failed to cause the submission of
These cases involve different facts We find the issues raised and Form 137 which is a pre-requisite to
and issues. In Garcia, the issue was resolved in these two decisions his re- enrollment and to his
whether a female lay student has a dissimilar from the issues in the While it is true that the students are continuing as a student of Mabini;
clear legal right to compel a present case. entitled to the right to pursue their
seminary for the priesthood to admit education, the USC as an educational
her for theological studies leading to institution is also entitled to pursue
a degree. In Tangonan, the issue was b) Rex Magana not only has
In Capitol Medical Center, the Court its academic freedom and in the failed in one (1) subject but also has
whether a nursing student, who was process has the concommitant right
admitted on probation and who has upheld the decision of the school incomplete grades in four (4)
authorities to close down the school to see to it that this freedom is not subjects as well as no grades in two
failed in her nursing subjects, may jeopardized.
compel her school to readmit her for because of problems emanating from (2) subjects;
enrollment. a labor dispute between the school
and its faculty. The Court ruled that
the students had no clear legal right True, an institution of learning has a c) Elvin Agura failed in two
to demand the reopening of the contractual obligation to afford its
Moreover, respondent judge loses (2) subjects and has three (3)
school. students a fair opportunity to
sight of the Court's unequivocal incomplete grades;
complete the course they seek to
statement in Villar that the right of pursue. However, when a student
an institution of higher learning to commits a serious breach of
set academic standards cannot be On the other hand, in Licup the issue
discipline or fails to maintain the d) Emmanuel Barba has
utilized to discriminate against resolved was whether or not the
required academic standard, he failed in one (1) subject, and has to
students who exercise their students were afforded procedural
forfeits his contractual right; and the still take CMT 1 1 to 22. He is
constitutional rights to speech and due process before disciplinary
court should not review the already enrolled at Ago Foundation;
assembly, for otherwise there win be action was taken against them. Thus,
the Court stated:

e) Joselito Villalon has b) Their academic the context of the Court's decision in
incomplete grades in nine (9) deficiencies, if any, do not warrant Villar.
subjects; non- readmission. (The Answer Clearly, the five (5) students who did
indicates only 8 of the 13 as with not incur failing marks, namely,
deficiencies.) Normandy Occiano, Lourdes
Banares, Bartolome Ibasco, Sonny Then, as to the students who incurred
f) Luis Santos has failed in Moreno and Giovani Palma, were several failing grades, namely, Ariel
one (1) subject; refused re-enrollment without just Non, Joselito Villalon, George
c) Their breach of discipline, cause and, hence, should be allowed (Jorge) Dayaon, and Daniel Torres, it
if any, was not serious. to re-enroll. is not clear from respondents'
enumeration whether the failures
g) George Dayaon has failed
were incurred in only one semester
in four (4) subjects and has to
or through the course of several
remove the incomplete grade in one d) The improper conduct On the other hand, it does not appear semesters of study in the school.
(1) subject; attributed to them was during the that the petitioners were afforded due Neither are the academic standards
exercise of the cognate rights of free process, in the manner expressed in of respondent school, from which we
speech and peaceable assembly, Guzman, before they were refused can gauge whether or not these
particularly a February 1988 student re-enrollment. In fact, it would
h) Daniel Torres has failed in students are academically deficient,
rally. (The crux of the matter, as appear from the pleadings that the
five (5) subjects, has to remove alleged by respondents. Thus, while
shown even in the Answer.) decision to refuse them re-enrollment
incomplete grades in five (5) more the prerogative of schools to set
objects and has no grade in one (1) because of failing grades was a mere academic standards is recognized,
subject. [Rollo, p. 79.] afterthought. It is not denied that we cannot affirm respondent school's
e) There was no due what incurred the ire of the school action as to petitioners Non,
investigation that could serve as authorities was the student mass Villalon, Dayaon and Torres because
basis for disciplinary action. (In actions conducted in February 1988 of insufficient information.
Petitioners have not denied this, but and which were led and/or
effect, admitted in the Answer; even
have countered this allegation as participated in by petitioners.
Alcuaz required due process.)
follows: Certainly, excluding students
because of failing grades when the With regard to petitioner Emmanuel
cause for the action taken against Barba who respondents claim has
f) Respondents admit them undeniably related to possible enrolled in Ago Foundation, such
xxx xxx xxx
students with worse deficiencies — a breaches of discipline not only is a fact alone, if true, will not bar him
clear case of discrimination against denial of due process but also from seeking readmission in
petitioners for their role in the constitutes a violation of the basic respondent school.
(11) Petitioners were and are student rally. (An equal protection tenets of fair play.
prepared to show, among others, question.)
that: However, these should not be taken
Moreover, of the eight (8) students to mean that no disciplinary action
g) Respondent school is their with failing grades, some have only could have been taken against
a) Three of the 13 of them choice institution near their places of one or two failures, namely, Rex petitioners for breach of discipline if
were graduating. (Admitted in the residence which they can afford to Magana, Elvin Agura, Emmanuel the facts had so warranted. In line
Answer.) pay for tertiary education, of which Barba, and Luis Santos. Certainly, with the Court's ruling in Malabanan,
they have already lost one-and-a-half their failures cannot be considered petitioners could have been subjected
school-years — in itself punishment marked academic deficiency within to disciplinary proceedings in
enough. [Rollo, p. 86]. connection with the February 1988

mass actions. But the penalty that
could have been imposed must be
commensurate to the offense WHEREFORE, the petition is
committed and, as set forth in GRANTED. The orders of
Guzman, it must be imposed only respondent judge dated August 8,
after the requirements of procedural 1988 and February 24, 1989 are
due process have been complied hereby ANNULLED. Respondent
with. This is explicit from the Mabini College is ORDERED to
Manual of Regulations for Private readmit and to allow the re-
Schools, which provides in enrollment of petitioners, if they are
Paragraph 145 that "[n]o penalty still so minded, without prejudice to
shall be imposed upon any student, its taking the appropriate action as to
except for cause as defined in this petitioners Ariel Non, Joselito
Manual and/or in the school's rules Villalon, George (Jorge) Dayaon and
and regulations duly promulgated Daniel Torres, if it is shown by their
and only after due investigation shall records (Form 137) that they have
have been conducted." failed to satisfy the school's
prescribed academic standards.

But this matter of disciplinary

proceedings and the imposition of SO ORDERED.
administrative sanctions have
become moot and academic.
Petitioners, who have been refused
readmission or re-enrollment and
who have been effectively excluded
from respondent school for four (4)
semesters, have already been more
than sufficiently penalized for any
breach of discipline they might have
committed when they led and
participated in the mass actions that,
according to respondents, resulted in
the disruption of classes. To still
subject them to disciplinary
proceedings would serve no useful
purpose and would only further
aggravate the strained relations
between petitioners and the officials
of respondent school which
necessarily resulted from the heated
legal battle here, in the Court of
Appeals and before the trial court.