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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
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 120704   March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 120704. March 3, 1997.]

    HON. BARTOLOME C. CARALE, Chairman, National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), HON. IRENEA A. CENIZA, Presiding Commissioner, Fourth Division, NLRC, and HON. REYNOSO A. BELARMINO, Executive Labor Arbiter, Regional Arbitration Branch, Region VII, Petitioners, v. HON. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Cebu City, and FERDINAND V. PONTEJOS, Respondents.

    The Solicitor General, for Petitioners.

    Sinajon Teleron Esparagoza Padilla and Uy for Private Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; ELABORATED. — Observance of the mandate regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies is a sound practice and policy. It ensures an orderly procedure which favors a preliminary sifting process, particularly with respect to matters peculiarly within the competence of the administrative agency, avoidance of interference with functions of the administrative agency by withholding judicial action until the administrative process had run its course, and prevention of attempts to swamp the courts by a resort to them in the first instance. The underlying principle of the rule rests on the presumption that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter, will decide the same correctly. There are both legal and practical reasons for this principle. The administrative process is intended to provide less expensive and more speedy solutions to disputes. Where the enabling statute indicates a procedure for administrative review, and provides a system of administrative appeal, or reconsideration the courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, will not entertain a case unless the available administrative remedies have been resorted to and the appropriate authorities have been given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum. Accordingly, the party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief, but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter by itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court.

    2. ID.; ID.; EXCEPTIONS; NOT PRESENT IN THE CASE AT BAR. — In the instant case, Pontejos did not attempt to seek administrative relief, which was both available and sufficient. Initially, he could have asked for reconsideration of the detail order, failing which, he could have gone directly to the CSC, through the MSPB. But nothing in the complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-16671 convinces us that Pontejos ever thought of pursuing the available administrative remedies. Neither do we find sufficient basis for his invocation of the exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. What he offered were nothing but vague and general averments that could best qualify as motherhood statements. Further, they were unsupported by allegations of fact or law which would prima facie bring his case within any of the accepted exceptions to the rule, namely: (1) where the question is purely legal, (2) where judicial intervention is urgent, (3) when its application may cause great and irreparable damage, (4) where the controverted acts violate due process, (5) failure of a high government official from whom relief is sought to act on the matter, and (6) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot.

    3. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION; COMMITTED WHEN APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION GRANTED WITHOUT NOTICE. — The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction without any notice of hearing. The rule on preliminary injunction plainly provides that it cannot be granted without notice to the defendant.


    D E C I S I O N


    DAVIDE, JR., J.:


    Did respondent Judge Pampio A. Abarintos commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he: (1) denied the petitioners’ motions to dismiss the complaint filed by respondent Ferdinand V. Pontejos (hereinafter PONTEJOS) to declare null and void an Administrative Order of petitioner Carale, as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) (hereinafter CARALE), detailing Pontejos to the Fourth Division of the NLRC in Cebu City; and the motion to reconsider the order of denial; and then (2) granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction?

    This is the key issue raised in this petition.

    The relevant factual antecedents summarized in the petition are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    9. Private respondent Pontejos was issued an original and permanent appointment dated January 10, 1989 as "Labor and Employment Development Officer (RAB VII)" in the National Labor Relations Commission with a salary of P36,864.00 per annum under Title No. 211-10 of the Appropriations Act R.A. 6642. In 1992, the aforesaid position was reclassified as "Labor Arbitration Associate" with compensation of P99,000.00 per annum or rank at salary grade 22, retroactive to June 30, 1989. Private respondent holds this position up to the present . . .

    10. On 03 October 1994, petitioner Chairman of the NLRC, issued Administrative Order No. 10-03 series of 1994, detailing/reassigning private respondent to the NLRC, Fourth Division, Cebu City, effective October 17, 1994. Said Order reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 10-03

    (Series of 1994)

    In the interest of the service, Mr. Ferdinand Pontejos, Labor Arbitration Branch No. VII, is hereby detailed to the Fourth Division, Cebu City, effective October 17, 1994, until further orders from the undersigned.

    Mr. Pontejos is directed to wind up his pending work and thereafter report to the Presiding Commissioner Irene E. Ceniza for instruction regarding his new assignment.

    Manila, October 3, 1994.

    (SGD) BARTOLOME S. CARALE

    Chairman

    11. Similar personnel actions, prior to and after Pontejos’ reassignment to NLRC, Cebu City, were also effected by petitioner Carale pursuant to his exercise of administrative authority and supervision over all NLRC officials and employees . . .

    12. On 24 October 1994, private respondent filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City against herein petitioners for Illegal Transfer Tantamount To Removal Without Cause In Gross Violation Of The Security Of Tenure Afforded Under The Constitution And In Utter Disregard Of The Civil Service Rules and Regulations, Republic Act 6715, with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Preliminary Mandatory Injunction with Damages. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-16671 . . .

    13. Motions to dismiss dated November 8, 1994 and November 15, 1994, were respectively filed by petitioner Ceniza and Carale, arguing that it is the Civil Service Commission which has exclusive jurisdiction over any question concerning personnel movement . . .

    14. A Supplemental Motion to Dismiss dated November 21, 1994 was filed by petitioner Belarmino arguing that the questioned administrative order is in the nature of a detail and the civil service employee who is not satisfied with or aggrieved by such detail may appeal the matter before the Civil Service Commission . . .

    15. On December 20, 1994, respondent judge issued the first questioned order denying petitioners’ Motions to Dismiss holding that alleged non-exhaustion of administrative remedies before "where the surrounding circumstances of the matter before this Court indicate an urgency of judicial intervention." . .

    16. In the same Order, respondent judge also granted the prayer for preliminary injunction restraining petitioners from implementing the transfer order . . .

    17. A motion for reconsideration dated January 9, 1995 was filed by petitioner Belarmino which was denied in the second questioned order dated February 7, 1995 . . .

    18. On 06 March 1995, Jeoffrey S. Joaquino, Clerk of Court VII, pursuant to respondent judge’s order dated December 20, 1994, issued a writ of injunction enjoining herein petitioners from unduly interfering with and/or obstructing private respondent Pontejos’ lawful discharge of his duties and functions as such Labor Arbitration Associate, until further orders from respondent judge. The writ of injunction was received by petitioner Carale on March 21, 1995 . . . 1

    Pontejos’ complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-16671 suggested that the uncordial relationship between himself, as president of the Unified Employees Union of the NLRC, RAB VII, and Chairman of the NLRC-RAB-VII Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and petitioners Presiding Commissioner Ceniza and Executive Labor Arbiter Belarmino, against whom the petitioner had earlier filed a petition for certiorari with this Court and a complaint for harassment and intimidation, respectively, had something to do with his detail to the Fourth Division of the NLRC. Pontejos alleged as there was no position of Labor Arbitration Associate in that Division, the detail order "was maliciously resorted to as a scheme to lure [him] away from his permanent position," thereby violating his security of tenure; and described it as "an act of vindictiveness" against him and was "patently illegal, malicious, arbitrary and an exercise of grave abuse of discretion in excess of jurisdiction." 2 To justify his direct resort to the court, Pontejos alleged that" [t]here is no other available and speedy remedy in order to protect [his] interest than to resort to this Honorable Court; that the urgency of judicial intervention is an exception to the rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies, 3 not to mention the fact that the administrative act in question is patently illegal." 4 To support his application for a writ of "preliminary injunction and/or restraining [order]," Pontejos alleged that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    11. [He] is entitled to the relief demanded and the whole or part of such relief consists in RESTRAINING OR PREVENTING the defendants, their agents and all persons acting for or in their behalf, from enforcing and implementing the questioned Administrative Order No. 10-03, Series of 1994;

    12. The commission of the continuance of the acts complained of during the litigation or the non-performance thereof, could probably work grave injustice to the plaintiff . . . so that the defendants . . . must be enjoined by a restraining order from implementing and/or enforcing the . . . questioned Administrative Order;

    13. [He] is willing to post a bond executed to the defendants enjoined, in an amount to be fixed by the court, to the effect that [he] will pay to such party all damages which they [sic], may sustain by reason of the injunction if the court should finally decide that the plaintiff is not entitled thereto. 5

    Pontejos further asserted that the petitioners had acted with "gross and evident bad faith," and by their conduct, "have violated all forms of good human conduct and dealings and did not exhibit any degree of good faith, honesty and propriety," as a consequence of which he "has suffered mental anxiety, sleepless nights, wounded feelings and moral shock" ; and had "displayed" "anti-social" acts and conduct, "contrary to the tenets [sic] enunciated in the Preliminary Title in Human relations found in Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code of the Philippines." On account thereof, he prayed for the award of P100,000.00 as moral damages; P50,000.00 as exemplary damages; P30,000.00 as attorney’s fees; and P5,000.00 as litigation expenses. 6chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In the challenged order of 20 December 1994, the trial court, in dismissing the petitioners’ motions to dismiss, ruled that the only effect of non-compliance with the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies "is that it will deprive the complainant of a cause of action" ; it does not affect the jurisdiction of the court. Since "the factual allegations of the complaint satisfactorily meet" the test of sufficiency of the complaint insofar as cause of action is concerned, the complaint was not dismissible.

    In the challenged resolution of 7 February 1995 denying the petitioners’ motion to reconsider the order of 20 December 1994, the trial court further held that the case before it fell within one of the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies, namely, where the question to be settled "is whether the controverted act of respondent Commissioner Carale was performed with grave abuse of discretion." 7

    In this special civil action for certiorari, the petitioners assert that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO REVIEW THE VALIDITY OF THE TRANSFER ORDER ISSUED BY PETITIONER CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION SINCE THE CONTROVERSY IS WITHIN THE ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.

    II


    THE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST PETITIONERS AS IT CONSTITUTES A SUIT AGAINST THE STATE WITHOUT ITS CONSENT.

    III


    THE PETITIONERS WERE NOT REPRESENTED IN THE TRIAL COURT BY THEIR STATUTORY COUNSEL, THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, HENCE THE PROCEEDINGS HAD THEREIN IS A NULLITY.

    As to the first ground, the petitioners maintain that being a permanent civil service employee, Pontejos is subject to civil service laws and regulations pursuant to Subsection 1 (1), Section 8-B, Article IX-A of the Constitution. His grievance concerning Carale’s administrative order detailing him to the Fourth Division of the NLRC should have been raised in an appropriate complaint before the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB) created under P.D. No. 1409, whose functions, pursuant to Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 93-2387, have been transferred directly to the CSC itself. The petitioners further claim that there is no factual or legal basis indicative of the urgency of judicial intervention to justify the trial court’s assumption of jurisdiction over this case and to order the issuance of the questioned writ of preliminary injunction.

    Anent the second ground, the petitioners, citing Veterans Manpower and Protective Service, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 8 submit that Pontejos’ complaint, which asked for a writ of injunction and damages, is in effect a suit against the State without its consent, hence, the petitioners, who are all public officials, are immune from such suit.

    In support of the third ground, the petitioners alleged that all throughout the proceedings before the trial court, the petitioners were not represented "by their statutory counsel, the Solicitor General," whose authority is mandated under P.D. No. 478, "the magna carta of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)." 9 Consequently, the questioned orders and the writ of preliminary injunction were invalid.

    In the 26 July 1995 resolution, we required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining order, effective as of the said date, which enjoined the respondents from enforcing the orders of 20 December 1994 and 7 February 1995 issued in Civil Case No. CEB-16671.

    We resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. However, only Pontejos complied, the Office of the Solicitor General failing to despite two extensions of time. We denied on 20 November 1996 its third motion for extension of time to file its Memorandum.

    We find merit in the petition, but not necessarily on strength of the grounds raised.

    The primary issue in this special civil action, as stated in the opening paragraph of this ponencia, is whether the respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he denied the motions to dismiss and the motion for reconsideration, and granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the petitioners from implementing or enforcing Carale’s Administrative Order 10-03, Series of 1994.

    I


    The motions to dismiss separately filed in the trial court by petitioners Carale and Presiding Commissioner Ceniza were principally anchored on lack of jurisdiction due to the failure of Pontejos to exhaust administrative remedies. Obviously, the petitioners failed to appreciate that non-exhaustion of administrative remedies is not jurisdictional. It only renders the action premature, i.e., the claimed cause of action is not ripe for judicial determination and for that reason a party has no cause of action to ventilate in court. 10 Their motions to dismiss must then be understood to be based on: (a) lack of jurisdiction; and (b) lack of cause of action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

    Observance of the mandate regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies is a sound practice and policy. It ensures an orderly procedure which favors a preliminary sifting process, particularly with respect to matters peculiarly within the competence of the administrative agency, avoidance of interference with functions of the administrative agency by withholding judicial action until the administrative process had run its course, and prevention of attempts to swamp the courts by a resort to them in the first instance. 11 The underlying principle of the rule rests on the presumption that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter, will decide the same correctly. 12 There are both legal and practical reasons for this principle. The administrative process is intended to provide less expensive and more speedy solutions to disputes. Where the enabling statute indicates a procedure for administrative review, and provides a system of administrative appeal, or reconsideration, the courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, will not entertain a case unless the available administrative remedies have been resorted to and the appropriate authorities have been given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum. 13

    Accordingly, the party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief, but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter by itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court. 14

    In the instant case, Pontejos did not attempt to seek administrative relief, which was both available and sufficient. Initially, he could have asked for reconsideration of the detail order, failing which, he could have gone directly to the CSC, through the MSPB, which is empowered to:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (2) Hear and decide cases brought before it by offices and employees who feel aggrieved by the determination of appointing authorities involving . . . transfer, detail, reassignment and other personnel actions, as well as complaints against any officers in the government arising from personnel actions of these officers or from violations of the merit system . . . 15

    Nothing in the complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-16671 convinces us that Pontejos ever thought of pursuing the available administrative remedies. Neither do we find sufficient basis for his invocation of the exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. What he offered were nothing but vague and general averments that could best qualify as motherhood statements. Further, they were unsupported by allegations of fact or law which would prima facie bring his case within any of the accepted exceptions to the rule, namely: (1) where the question is purely legal, (2) where judicial intervention is urgent, (3) when its application may cause great and irreparable damage, (4) where the controverted acts violate due process, (5) failure of a high government official from whom relief is sought to act on the matter, and (6) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot. 16

    II


    We do not likewise hesitate to rule that the respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction without any notice of hearing. The rule on preliminary injunction plainly provides that it cannot be granted without notice to the defendant. Section 5, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court states, in part, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice. — No preliminary injunction shall be granted without notice to the defendant. If it shall appear from the facts shown by affidavits or by verified complaint that great or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter could be heard on notice, the judge to whom the application for preliminary injunction was made, may issue a restraining order to be effective only for a period of twenty days from date of issuance. Within the said twenty-day period, the judge must cause an order to be served on the defendant, requiring him to show cause, at a specified time and place, why the injunction should not be granted, and determine within the same period whether or not the preliminary injunction shall be granted and shall accordingly issue the corresponding order . . . (Emphasis supplied)

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed orders of 20 December 1994 and 7 February 1995 in Civil Case No. CEB-16671 of Branch 22 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, entitled "Ferdinand V . Pontejos v. Hon. Bartolome C. Carale, Et Al.," are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and respondent Judge Pampio A. Abarintos is hereby directed to forthwith issue an order DISMISSING the said case.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Melo, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, 6-9.

    2. Id., 53-55.

    3. Citing Aquino v. Luntok, 184 SCRA 177 [1990].

    4. Citing Silliman University v. Benarao, 182 SCRA 573 [1990]; Rollo, 56.

    5. Id., 56-57.

    6. Rollo, 57-58.

    7. Id., 30.

    8. 214 SCRA 287 [1992].

    9. Section 8 thereof provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 1. Functions and Organization. — (1) The office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. When authorized by the President or head of the office concerned, it shall also represent government owned or controlled corporations. The Office of the Solicitor General shall constitute the law office of the Government and, as such, shall discharge duties requiring the service of a lawyer.

    x       x       x


    The same powers and functions are provided in Section 35, Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the Administrative of 1987.

    10. Pestanas v. Dyogi, 81 SCRA 574, 581 [1978]; Aboitiz & Co. v. Collector of Customs, 83 SCRA 265, 272 [1978]; Abe-abe v. Manta, 90 SCRA 524, 531 [1979].

    11. Antonio v. Tanco, 65 SCRA 448, 454 [1975]; Abe-abe v. Manta, supra note 10, at 532.

    12. De los Santos v. Limbaga, 4 SCRA 224, 226 [1962].

    13. IRENE R. CORTES, Philippine Administrative Law, Cases and Materials [Rev. 2nd Ed., 1984] 394; Teotico v. Agda, 197 SCRA 675, 693 [1991].

    14. Cruz v. Del Rosario, 9 SCRA 755, 758 [1963]; Ledesma v. Opinion, 14 SCRA 973, 976 [1965]; Manuel v. Jimenez, 17 SCRA 55, 57 [1966].

    15. Section 5, P.D. No. 1409. Personnel action is an action denoting the movement or progress of personnel in the civil service and includes appointment through certification, re-employment, detail, reassignment, demotion and separation (Section 26, Chapter 5, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V, E.O. No. 292 [Administrative Code of 1987]).

    16. See SEVERIANO S. TABIOS, Annotation on Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies as a Ground for Motion To Dismiss, 165 SCRA 352, 357-362 [1988].

    G.R. No. 120704   March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.




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