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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-11394 September 9, 1958 - MANUEL S. ARANETA v. JUAN ARREGLADO

    104 Phil 529

  • G.R. No. L-11181 September 17, 1958 - U.P. RECREATION CLUB, INC. v. ALTO SURETY & INSURANCE CO., ET AL.

    104 Phil 534

  • G.R. No. L-11587 September 17, 1958 - BACOLOD-MURCIA MILLING CO., INC. v. EULALIO DE LEON, ET AL.

    104 Phil 544

  • G.R. No. L-11813 September 17, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAIME SANTOS

    104 Phil 551

  • G.R. No. L-12129 September 17, 1958 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

    104 Phil 562

  • G.R. No. L-10654 September 23, 1958 - RAMON C. ROSALES, ET AL. v. MATEO V. TUPAZ, ET AL.

    104 Phil 570

  • G.R. No. L-12380 September 23, 1958 - APOLINARIO VALERIO v. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ET AL.

    104 Phil 572

  • G.R. No. L-10666 September 24, 1958 - LIM HOA TING v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

    104 Phil 573

  • G.R. No. L-11983 September 24, 1958 - ALFONSO ESGUERRA v. CECILIA MUÑOZ PALMA, ET AL.

    104 Phil 582

  • G.R. No. L-12536 September 24, 1958 - CONCEPCION G. BRIONES, ET AL. v. SERGIO OSMEÑA, ETC., ET AL.

    104 Phil 588

  • G.R. No. L-11786 September 26, 1958 - HARRY LYONS v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    104 Phil 593

  • G.R. No. L-7731 September 29, 1958 - CENTRAL AZUCARERA DON PEDRO v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

    104 Phil 598

  • G.R. No. L-11573 September 29, 1958 - VICENTE JAUCIAN v. PEDRO F. CALLOS

    104 Phil 603

  • G.R. No. L-11595 September 29, 1958 - DOMINGO DOCTOR v. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, ET AL.

    104 Phil 609

  • G.R. No. L-11727 September 29, 1958 - GENATO COMMERCIAL CORPORATION v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS, ET AL.

    104 Phil 615

  • G.R. No. L-9733 September 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO MASILUNGAN

    104 Phil 621

  • G.R. No. L-10055 September 30, 1958 - PAZ SCHULTZ v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    104 Phil 636

  • G.R. No. L-10327 September 30, 1958 - UNITED EMPLOYEES WELFARE ASSOCIATION v. ISAAC PERAL BOWLINC ALLEYS

    104 Phil 640

  • G.R. No. L-10522 September 30, 1958 - J. M. TUASON & COMPANY v. RAMON VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

    104 Phil 643

  • G.R. No. L-10881 September 30, 1958 - EULOGIO DEL ROSARIO v. PRIMITIVO ABAD, ET AL.

    104 Phil 648

  • G.R. No. L-11092 September 30, 1958 - CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

    104 Phil 653

  • G.R. No. L-11153 September 30, 1958 - LEONARDO GARCIA v. FRANCISCO BONIFACIO and SIMPLICIO PEÑA

    104 Phil 656

  • G.R. No. L-11353 September 30, 1958 - MIGUEL FLORENDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ILOCOS SUR, ET AL.

    104 Phil 661

  • G.R. Nos. L-12011-14 September 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO GATCHALIAN

    104 Phil 664

  • G.R. No. L-12560 September 30, 1958 - JOSE ROBLES v. ZAMBALES CHROMITE MINING COMPANY, ET AL.

    104 Phil 688

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. L-12536   September 24, 1958 - CONCEPCION G. BRIONES, ET AL. v. SERGIO OSMEÑA, ETC., ET AL. <br /><br />104 Phil 588

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-12536. September 24, 1958.]

    CONCEPCION G. BRIONES accompanied by her husband DEMOCRITO R. BRIONES, and FAUSTINO O. ROSAGARAN, Petitioners-Appellees, v. SERGIO OSMEÑA, JR., Mayor of Cebu City, ETC., ET AL., Respondents-Appellants.

    City Fiscal and Quirico del Mar for Appellants.

    Albino, Albino & Pacquiao for Appellees.


    SYLLABUS


    1. PUBLIC OFFICERS; ABOLITION OF OFFICE; RIGHT CANNOT BE EXERCISED IN VIOLATION OF CIVIL SERVICE LAW. — While abolition of the office does not imply removal of the incumbent, the rule is true only where the abolition is made in good faith; the right to abolish can not be used to cover the discharge of employees in violation of the civil service law nor can it be exercised for personal or political reasons. (Gacho, Et. Al. v. Osmeña, Et Al., 103 Phil., 837.)


    D E C I S I O N


    REYES, J.B.L., J.:


    This is an action for mandamus with damages, to declare the abolition of petitioners’ positions void and to order the respondent City Mayor to reinstate them to their former positions.

    Petitioner Concepcion G. Briones is a first grade civil service eligible. On March 4, 1937, she was appointed Clerk-Stenographer in the Office of the City Treasurer of Cebu and on August 5, 1937, she was transferred to the Office of the City Mayor, in the same capacity as Clerk-Stenographer, but with permanent status, since then she remained in service continuously, receiving repeated promotions and increases in salary.

    Petitioner Faustino O. Rosagaran, on the other hand, is a second grade civil service eligible. He was employed in the Office of the City Mayor of Cebu since July, 1940, and promoted to Administrative Officer. In 1955, he was publicly declared and adjudged "Model Employee." (Annex "G", records, p. 22).

    On January 5, 1956, the Municipal Board of the City of Cebu, acting upon the request of the respondent City Mayor embodied in his letter, dated January 4, 1956, passed Resolution No. 21, series of 1956, creating 35 positions in the City Mayor’s office, and appropriating therefor the necessary amount for salaries for six months, the amounts of P28,000 for office equipment, P2,000 for office supplies and an additional amount of P10,000 for the City Mayor’s discretionary fund.

    The new positions were:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Private Secretary at P255 a month P1,530.00

    Assistant Private Secretary at P215 a month P1,290.00

    Two (2) Confidential Assistants at P200 each per month P2,400.00

    Two (2) Liaison Officers at P250 each per month P3,000.00

    One Driver at P175 per month P1,050.00

    One Driver at P120 per month P 720.00

    One Janitor at P120 per month P 720.00

    Two (2) Laborers at P120 each per month P1,440.00

    Two (2) Stenographers at P150 each per month P1,800.00

    One Receptionist at P130 per month P 780.00

    Public Relations Officer at P300 per month P1,800.00

    Two Assistant Public Relations Officers at P150 each per

    month P1,800.00

    One Stenographer at P150 per month P 900.00

    One Laborer at P120 per month P 720.00

    One Janitor at P120 per month P 720.00

    Chief, Complaints and Investigation Division at P300 per

    month P1,800.00

    Two (2) Legal Assistants at P200 each per month P2,400.00

    One Laborer at P120 per month P 720.00

    One Janitor at P120 per month P 720.00

    Three (3) Informers at P150 each per month P2,700.00

    Seven (7) Informers at P120 each per month P5,040.00

    —————

    Total P34,050.00

    —————

    On February 14, 1956, the Municipal Board in its Resolution No. 187, series of 1956, approved Ordinance No. 192, abolishing 15 positions in the City Mayor’s office and 17 positions in the Office of the Municipal Board, or a total of 32 positions in both offices. Among the positions abolished in the Office of the City Mayor were those occupied by petitioners. (Exh. "H", pp. 23-24). The Ordinance was approved by the City Mayor on February 20, 1956.

    Pursuant to said Ordinance No. 192, the City Mayor, on February 23, 1956, wrote separate letters to petitioners notifying them of the abolition of their positions and advising them of the termination of their services "effective at the close of business hours on March 15, 1956." (Exhs. I and I-1, Records, pp. 25-26). In reply thereto, petitioners Briones and Rosagaran, respectively, wrote in March 1956, separate letters to the respondent City Mayor (1) acknowledging receipt his letters of separation, (2) protesting the abolition of their positions, and (3) informing him that they will not relinquish their positions "until otherwise determined by higher competent authorities or courts." (Exhs. J and J-1, Records, pp. 27-28).

    As the respondent City Mayor persisted in terminating their services, added to the fact that the respondents City Treasurer and City Auditor refused to pay their salaries after March 16, 1956, petitioners filed the instant petition for reinstatement, back salaries, moral damages and attorney’s fees.

    The Court of First Instance of Cebú decided in favor of the petitioners and declared the abolition of their offices null and void for lack of approval of the Department Head, as required by the Circular of April 3, 1954 and by Executive Order No. 506, series of 1934; consequently, it rendered judgment against defendants ordering them to reinstate the two petitioners to their former positions and to pay their back salaries as well as the costs of the suit. From this judgment the respondents appealed.

    Appellants contend that the provisions of Executive Order No. 506, Series of 1934, as reiterated in the Provincial Circular of April 3, 1954, requiring previous approval of the Department Head concerned before abolition of positions by local legislative bodies can take effect, is no longer operative since the Commonwealth, in view of the fact that the Constitution vests in the President of the Philippines (Art. VII, section 10 (1) only general supervision, and not control, over local governments. This contention is sustained by the recent doctrines of this Court, particularly Rodriguez v. Montinola (94 Phil., 964; 50 Off. Gaz., [10] 4820) and Dominguez v. Pascual (101 Phil., 31).

    The case of Pulutan v. Dizon, 99 Phil., 168; 52 Off. Gaz., 3047, invoked by the trial court, is of no application since that case referred to police officers, whose removal or suspension is governed by entirely different laws (Executive Order No. 175, Series 1938, and Republic Act 557). Moreover, in the Pulutan case, the validity and constitutionality of the Provincial Circular and of Executive Order No. 506, supra, was not in issue.

    Nevertheless, in our opinion, the decision appealed from should be sustained, but on different grounds. Our review of the evidence on record convinced us that the reasons given for the abolition of the positions of the appellees (alleged to be economy and efficiency) are untrue, and constitute a mere subterfuge for the removal without cause of the said appellees, in violation of the security of Civil Service tenures as provided by the Constitution.

    Considering that the appellees have served in the office of the Mayor of Cebu, since Commonwealth days, before the war; that their efficiency and merit has been attested by repeated and constant promotions and increases in salary; that petitioner Rosagaran was even proclaimed "Model Employee" as recently as 1955; and that just a short time before the abolition of their positions, the respondents had created for the same office of the City Mayor no less than 35 new positions calling for an outlay of P68,100 per annum, almost P6,000 a month, the excuse of promoting efficiency and economy is most transparent and unimpressive. A decent respect for the Civil Service provisions of our Constitution dictates that civil service eligibles, like petitioners herein who have rendered long and honorable service, should not be sacrificed in favor of non-eligibles given positions of recent creation, nor should they be left at the mercy of political changes. In Pulutan v. Dizon (supra) we said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It is evident that the mayor could not legally remove the petitioner without cause, for being a member of the Civil Service, his tenure of office is protected by Section 4, Article XII of the Constitution, which says:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law.’

    The Committee on Civil Service of the Constitutional Convention, in recommending said provision said:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘. . . The merit system will be ineffective if no safeguards are placed around the separation and removal of the public employees. The Committees’ report requires that removal shall be made only for cause’ and in the manner provided by law. This means that there should be bona fide reasons and action may be taken only after the employee shall have been given a fair hearing. This affords to public employees reasonable security of tenure." (Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, 1949 Ed., p. 567)

    This Court has always upheld these salutary principles. In our recent decision in Gacho, Et. Al. v. Osmeña, etc. Et. Al., 94 Phil., 208, we ruled that while abolition of the office does not imply removal of the incumbent, the rule is true only where the abolition is made in good faith; that the right to abolish can not be used to discharge employees in violation of the civil service law nor can it be exercised for personal or political reasons. That ruling is conclusive on the case now before us.

    Appellants (respondents below) aver that the petition for mandamus should have been dismissed because the appellees have not exhausted the available administrative remedies. The Stipulation of Facts, however, expressly admitted paragraph 18 of the petition, alleging "that all administrative remedies have been exhausted by the petitioners for the speedy and ample protection of their rights." (Records, p. 53). The assignment of error is not only groundless but improper.

    The decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs against respondents in both instances. So ordered.

    Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.

    G.R. No. L-12536   September 24, 1958 - CONCEPCION G. BRIONES, ET AL. v. SERGIO OSMEÑA, ETC., ET AL. <br /><br />104 Phil 588


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