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Constitutional Law 1

Acena vs. Civil Service Commission


193 SCRA 623

FACTS:

This is a petition for certiorari to annul the resolution of the Civil Service Commission which set
aside the order of the Merit Systems Protection Board declaring the herein petitioner as the
legitimate Administrative Officer of Rizal Technological Colleges. Acena was assigned as Admin.
Officer by then President of Rizal Technological Colleges and was subsequently promoted as
Associate Professor on temporary status pending his compliance to obtain a Master’s Degree
while assuming the position of Acting Admin Officer at the same time. The Board of Trustees
designated Ricardo Salvador as Acting Admin Officer and pursuant to the same, the new
College President Dr. Estolas revoked the designation of the petitioner as acting Admin Officer.
Petitioner sent a letter to the CSC stating his desire to keep his appointment as Admin Officer
instead of Associate Professor. Thus the latter’s appointment was withdrawn. He also filed a
complaint for injunction of damages to Dr. Estolas assailing the validity of his dismissal from his
position as violation of security of tenure. He filed another complaint for illegal termination
against Dr. Estolas before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The CSC opined that
Acena is still the Admin Officer since his appointment as Asso. Prof. was withdrawn. Dr. Estolas
filed petition for review to the Office of the President. The Presidential Staff Director referred the
complaint back to the CSC. In the dispositive portion of its resolution, the CSC finds the action
of Dr. Estolas valid and set aside the previous opinion made by the CSC and the order of the
MSPB. The petitioner files a petition for certiorari against the CSC decision on jurisdictional
issue.

ISSUE:

WON the CSC acted in grave abuse of discretion.

RULING:

The court held that respondent Estolas filed a petition for review beyond the prescriptive period
of 15 days where the decision of the MSPB can be made appealable with the CSC. Beyond this
reglementary period, the decision of the MSPB renders to be final and executory. The petition
was also filed at the wrong forum (to the office of the Pres.) The court finds the CSC to have an
excess of jurisdiction of entertaining the petition and made a reversible error of setting aside the
MSPB order which has long become final and executory. The court granted the petition of the
petitioner while setting aside the decision of the CSC.