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August-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 93117 August 1, 1995 - LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION v. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-92-836 August 2, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JESUS V. MATAS

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  • G.R. No. 88326 August 3, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM A. FULINARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102422 August 3, 1995 - ANTONIO CATATISTA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113290-91 August 3, 1995 - PEDRO O. PALMERIA, SR. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113521-31 August 3, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO D. ESPINOZA

  • G.R. No. 93628 August 4, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDITHA S. DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 97535 August 4, 1995 - MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. LA CAMPANA FOOD PRODUCTS, INC.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-93-983 August 7, 1995 - GUILLERMA DE LOS SANTOS-REYES v. JUDGE CAMILO O. MONTESA

  • G.R. No. 106784 August 7, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLITO SALODAGA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. P-93-800 & P-93-800-A August 9, 1995 - RTC MAKATI MOVEMENT AGAINST GRAFT AND CORRUPTION v. INOCENCIO E. DUMLAO

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  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-92-880 August 11, 1995 - CENTRUM AGRI-BUSINESS REALTY CORPORATION v. BETHEL KATALBAS-MOSCARDON

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1243 August 11, 1995 - ANTONIO P. CHIN v. TITO G. GUSTILO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 76801 August 11, 1995 - LOPEZ REALTY, INC., ET AL. v. FLORENTINA FONTECHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94979 August 11, 1995 - ALFONSO GABALDON CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97484 August 11, 1995 - SANTIAGO B. SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111289 August 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113793 August 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. GANZAGAN, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-931 August 14, 1995 - VICENTE G. RUDAS v. LEONILA R. ACEDO

  • G.R. No. 99840 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. FEDERICO

  • G.R. No. 107994 August 14, 1995 - PHIL. AGRICULTURAL COMM’L. AND IND’L. WORKERS UNION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 108084 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO SABAL

  • G.R. No. 109696 August 14, 1995 - THELMA P. OLEA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113219 August 14, 1995 - ANICETO G. MATEO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113652 August 14, 1995 - VICTORIANO A. CORMERO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113782-84 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO C. ALIVIADO

  • G.R. No. 114051 August 14, 1995 - DAVID INES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114692 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABNER MALUNES

  • G.R. No. 115022 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO D. REYES

  • G.R. No. 117014 August 14, 1995 - HONORIO SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118118 August 14, 1995 - ALFREDO GUIEB v. LUIS M. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 119617 August 14, 1995 - B. STA RITA AND CO., INC., ET. AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91852 August 15, 1995 - TALISAY-SILAY MILLING CO., INC., ET AL. v. ASOCIACION DE AGRICULTORES DE TALISAY-SILAY, INC.

  • G.R. No. 100686 August 15, 1995 - PEPSI COLA DISTRIBUTORS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 111359 August 15, 1995 - CALTEX REGULAR EMPLOYEES v. CALTEX (PHILIPPINES), INC.

  • G.R. No. 110034 August 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AVELINO GAZMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113995 August 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAMALIEL T. PAYAWAL

  • G.R. No. 93728 August 21, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL HERRERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107534 August 21, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL I. CABINTOY

  • G.R. No. 111091 August 21, 1995 - CLARO J. PRECLARO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117246 August 21, 1995 - BENIGNO MANUEL, ET AL. v. NICODEMO T. FERRER

  • G.R. No. 119891 August 21, 1995 - BEN STA. RITA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1108 August 23, 1995 - MARIANETTE VILLAREAL v. ROLANDO T. RARAMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-87-104 August 23, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JOSE M. ESTACION, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1270 August 23, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. RENATO A. FUENTES

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-3-89-RTC August 23, 1995 - IN RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE RTC BRANCH 16

  • G.R. No. 79968 August 23, 1995 - PETER RODRIGUEZ v. PROJECT 6 MARKET SERVICE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88278 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONALD BALLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 101690 August 23, 1995 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 105455 August 23, 1995 - EXCELSA INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110401 August 23, 1995 - EDGARDO GUEVARA, ET AL. v. HERMINIO I. BENITO

  • G.R. Nos. 113513-14 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY CONTE

  • G.R. Nos. 114061 & 113842 August 23, 1995 - KOREAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114841-42 August 23, 1995 - ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC COMPANY OF MANILA, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114920 August 23, 1995 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 115987 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO REOVEROS

  • G.R. No. 116132-33 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AURELIO U. DELOVINO

  • G.R. No. 121234 August 23, 1995 - HUBERT J. P. WEBB v. RAUL E. DE LEON

  • Adm. Matter No. P-92-768 August 28, 1995 - CASIANO WENCESLAO v. RESTITUTO MADRAZO

  • G.R. No. 104664 August 28, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELYBOY O. SO

  • G.R. No. 111386 August 28, 1995 - METAL FORMING CORPORATION v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

  • G.R. No. 115407 August 28, 1995 - MIGUEL P. PANDERANGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118531 August 28, 1995 - JULIANA D. DEL ROSARIO v. JOB MADAYAG

  • G.R. No. 107762 August 29, 1995 - ALBERTO S. ACENAS II v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113161 August 29, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOMA O. GOCE

  • G.R. No. 96125 August 31, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMBROSIO RONQUILLO

  • G.R. No. 111017 August 31, 1995 - BLISS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 115022   August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO D. REYES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 115022. August 14, 1995.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioners, v. HON. WILFREDO D. REYES, Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 36, Manila and BUENAVENTURA C. MANIEGO, Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. POLITICAL LAW; ELECTION LAW; BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 881; PROHIBITION AGAINST TRANSFER OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE CIVIL SERVICE DURING THE ELECTION PERIOD; ELEMENTS THEREOF. — It ought to be immediately obvious that Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 does not per se outlaw the transfer of a government officer or employee during the election period. To be sure, the transfer or detail of a public officer or employee is a prerogative of the appointing authority. It is necessary to meet the exigencies of public service sometimes too difficult to perceive and predict. Without this inherent prerogative, the appointing authority may not be able to cope with emergencies to the detriment of public service. Clearly then, the transfer or detail of a government officer or employee will not be penalized by Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 if done to promote efficiency in the government service. Hence, Section 2 of Resolution No. 2333 provides that the COMELEC has to pass upon the reason for the proposed transfer or detail, viz: "Any request for authority to make or cause any transfer or detail of any officer or employee in the civil service, including public school teachers, shall be submitted in writing to the Commission indicating therein the office and place to which the officer or employee is proposed to be transferred or detailed, and stating the reason therefor. Prescinding from this predicate, two (2) elements must be established to prove a violation of Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881, viz: (1) The fact of transfer or detail of public officer or employee within the election period as fixed by the COMELEC, and (2) the transfer or detail was effected without prior approval of the COMELEC in accordance with its implementing rules and regulations.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. — In the case at bench, respondent Maniego transferred Ebio, then the Customs Operation Chief, MICP to the Office of the Deputy Collector of Customs for Operations as Special Assistant on January 14, 1992. On this date, January 14, 1992, the election period for the May 11, 1992 synchronized elections had already been fixed to commence January 12, 1992 until June 10, 1992. As aforestated, this election period had been determined by the COMELEC in its Resolution No. 2314 dated November 20, 1991 and Resolution No. 2328 dated January 2, 1992. Nonetheless, it was only in Resolution No. 2333 which took effect on January 15, 1992 that COMELEC promulgated the necessary rules on how to get its approval on the transfer or detail of public officers or employees during the election period. Before the effectivity of these rules, it cannot be said that Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881. a penal provision, was already enforceable. Needless to state, respondent Maniego could not be charged with failing to secure the approval of the COMELEC when he transferred Ebio on January 14, 1992 as on that day, the rules of the COMELEC on the subject were yet inexistent.


    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court to annul and set aside the orders dated September 23, 1993 and January 25, 1994 of Respondent. Judge Wilfredo D. Reyes, Regional Trial Court, Branch 36 Manila in Criminal Case No. 93-120275.

    The facts reveal that respondent Buenaventura C. Maniego, Collector of Customs, Collection District II, Bureau of Customs, Manila International Container Port (MICP), issued MICP Customs Personnel Order No. 21-92 dated January 10, 1992 assigning Jovencio D Ebio, Customs Operation Chief, MICP to the Office of the Deputy Collector of Customs for operations as Special Assistant. 1 The actual transfer of Ebio was made on January 14, 1992.

    On May 4, 1992, Ebio filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a letter-complaint protesting his transfer. Ebio claimed that his new assignment violated COMELEC Resolution No. 2333 and Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881, the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibit the transfer of any employee in the civil service 120 days before the May 11, 1992 synchronized national and local elections.

    After a preliminary investigation, the COMELEC filed on May 6, 1995 an information with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 36, Manila charging respondent Maniego with a violation of Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg 881 committee as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about January 14, 1992 which was within the election period of the May 11, 1992 synchronized elections and within the effectivity of the ban on transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, a public official, being the Collector of Customs VI, Manila International Container Port, Bureau of Customs, by taking advantage of his position and abuse of authority, did, then and there, willfully and unlawfully, transfer Jovencio D. Ebio, Chief of the Piers and Inspection Division, Manila International Container Port, Bureau of Customs, to Special Assistant in the office of the Deputy Collector for Operations, of the same office, without a prior written authority from the Commission on Elections." 2

    Before the arraignment, respondent Maniego moved to quash the information on the ground that the facts alleged do not constitute an offense. He contended that the transfer of Ebio on January 14, 1992 did not violate B.P. Blg. 881 because on that date the act was not yet punishable as an election offense. It purportedly became punishable only on January 15, 1992, the date of effectivity of COMELEC Resolution No. 2333 implementing Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881. Petitioner, through the COMELEC, opposed the motion to quash.

    On September 23, 1993, the trial court granted private respondent’s motion to quash and dismissed Criminal Case No. 93-120275. 3 Petitioner moved to reconsider but the same was denied on January 25, 1995. 4 Petitioner forthwith elevated the case to this Court on a pure question of law.

    We affirm.

    The basic law supposed to have been violated by respondent Maniego is Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SECTION 261. Prohibited acts. — The following shall be guilty of any election offense:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    (h) Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service. — Any public official who makes or causes any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including public school teachers, within the election period except upon prior approval of the Commission." (Emphasis supplied).

    The Constitution has fixed the election period for all elections to commence ninety (90) days before the day of election and end thirty (30) days thereafter, unless otherwise fixed in special cases by the COMELEC. 5 For the May 11, 1992 synchronized national and local elections, the COMELEC fixed a longer election period of one hundred twenty (120) days before the scheduled elections and thirty (30) days thereafter. It issued Resolution No. 2314 on September 23, 1991 primarily adopting therein a calendar of activities. In the process, it designated January 12 1992 to June 10, 1992 as the election period, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "RESOLUTION NO. 2314

    Pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881), and Republic Act No. 7166, the Commission on Elections has RESOLVE to adopt, as it hereby adopts, the following calendar of activities for the May 11, 1992 elections:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Date/Period Activities

    November 28, 1991 — Start of the period of nomination

    and selection of official

    candidates for President, Vice-

    President and Senators (165

    days, SEC. 6, R.A. 7166)

    January 2, 1992 — Last day for appointment of members

    of boards of election inspectors (Sec.

    164, OEC)

    (Subject to appointments which may

    be extended later on account of lack of

    public school teachers and

    disqualifications due to relationship to

    candidates.)

    January 12, 1992 — ELECTION PERIOD

    (Sunday) to (120 days, per Res. No. ___)

    June 10, 1992

    (Wednesday) Bans on carrying of firearms,

    suspension of elective local officials,

    organization of strike forces, etc.

    (Sec. 261, OEC)." 6

    x       x       x


    On January 2, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2328 for the sole and specific purpose of fixing for the said elections the election period from January 12, 1992 to June 10, 1992. 7 This Resolution was published in the January 5, 1992 issue of the Manila Times and the January 6, 1992 issue of the Philippine Times Journal. 8

    On January 2, 1992, the COMELEC also passed Resolution No. 2333 which promulgated the necessary rules to enforce Section 261 of B.P. Blg. 881. We quote its pertinent portions:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "RESOLUTION NO 2333

    WHEREAS, the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 261. Prohibited acts. — The following shall be guilty of an election offense:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    (h) Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service. — Any public, official who makes or causes any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including public school teachers, within the election period except upon prior approval of the Commission.

    x       x       x


    WHEREAS, to enforce effectively the foregoing provisions, there is need to promulgate the necessary rules for the guidance of all concerned;

    NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the power vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Acts No. 6646 and 7166 and other election laws, the Commission has RESOLVED to promulgate, as it hereby promulgates, the following rules to implement the provisions of Sec. 261, subsections (g), (h) and (x) of the Omnibus Election Code.

    x       x       x


    SECTION 2. Request for authority of the Commission. — Any request for authority to make or cause any transfer or detail of any officer or employee in the civil service, including public school teachers, shall be submitted in writing to the Commission indicating therein the office and place to which the officer or employee is proposed to be transferred or detailed, and stating the reason therefor.

    x       x       x


    SECTION 6. Effectivity. — This resolution shall take effect on the seventh day after its publication in two (2) newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.

    x       x       x


    Resolution No. 2333 was published in the January 8, 1992 issues of Malaya and the Manila Standard. Hence, it took effect on January 15, 1992, the seventh day after its publication.

    It is undeniable that the transfer of complainant Ebio on January 14, 1992 was made during the election period. The question, however, is whether this transfer ipso facto makes respondent Maniego liable for an election offense under Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881.

    We rule in the negative.

    We start with the constitutional injunction that no officer or employee in the civil service shall engage directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign. 9 This prohibition is reiterated in the Administrative Code of 1987. 10 Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 implements this constitutional prohibition.

    It ought to be immediately obvious that Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 does not per se outlaw the transfer of a government officer or employee during the election period. To be sure, the transfer or detail of a public officer or employee is a prerogative of the appointing authority. 11 It is necessary to meet the exigencies of public service sometimes too difficult to perceive and predict. Without this inherent prerogative, the appointing authority may not be able to cope with emergencies to the detriment of public service. Clearly then, the transfer or detail of a government officer or employee will not be penalized by Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 if done to promote efficiency in the government service. Hence, Section 2 of Resolution No. 2333 provides that the COMELEC has to pass upon the reason for the proposed transfer or detail, viz: "Any request for authority to make or cause any transfer or detail of any officer or employee in the civil service, including public school teachers, shall be submitted in writing to the Commission indicating therein the office and place to which the officer or employee is proposed to be transferred or detailed, and stating the reason therefor." 12

    Prescinding from this predicate, two (2) elements must be established to prove a violation of Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881, viz: (1) The fact of transfer or detail of public officer or employee within the election period as fixed by the COMELEC, and (2) the transfer or detail was effected without prior approval of the COMELEC in accordance with its implementing rules and regulation.

    In the case at bench, respondent Maniego transferred Ebio, then the Customs Operation Chief, MICP to the Office of the Deputy Collector of Customs for Operations as Special Assistant on January 14, 1992. On this date, January 14, 1992, the election period for the May 11, 1992 synchronized elections had already been fixed to commence January 12, 1992 until June 10, 1992. As aforestated, this election period had been determined by the COMELEC in its Resolution No. 2314 dated November 20, 1991 and Resolution No. 2328 dated January 2, 1992. Nonetheless, it was only in Resolution No. 2333 which took effect on January 15, 1992 that COMELEC promulgated the necessary rules on how to get its approval on the transfer or detail of public officers or employees during the election period. Before the effectivity of these rules, it cannot be said that Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881. a penal provision, was already enforceable. Needless to state, respondent Maniego could not be charged with failing to secure the approval of the COMELEC when he transferred Ebio on January 14, 1992 as on that day, the rules of the COMELEC on the subject were yet inexistent.

    IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is dismissed and the orders dated September 23, 1993 and January 25 1995 of the respondent judge in Criminal Case No. 93-120275 are affirmed.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Regalado, Mendoza and Francisco, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, p 10.

    2. Records p. 3.

    3. Rollo, pp. 19-28; Records, pp. 146-153.

    4. Rollo, pp. 27-28; Records, pp. 186-187.

    5. Constitution of the Philippines, Article IX-C, Section 9; B.P. Blg. 881, Sec. 3; R.A. 7166, Sec. 5.

    6. Rollo, p. 29.

    7. Rollo, pp. 32-33.

    8. Rollo. pp. 21, 38.

    9. Constitution of the Philippines. Art. IX-B, Sec. 2 (4).

    10. Bk. V Title I-A Chapter 7, Sec. 55.

    11. E.O. No. 292, Administrative Code of 1987, Bk. V Title I-A, Chapter 5, Sec. 26.

    12. Rollo, p. 35.

    G.R. No. 115022   August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO D. REYES


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