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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 100579   June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 100579. June 6, 2001.]

    LEANDRO P. GARCIA, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY GOVERNING BOARD, and JOSEFEL P. GRAJEDA, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    The instant petition is one of the old cases recently re-raffled, pursuant to A.M. No. 00-9-03-SC, dated 27 February 2001, to the herein ponente. The case involves a petition for review of the decision, dated 17 September 1990, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 20384, entitled "Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Et Al., v. Honorable Pedro Santiago, Et Al.," setting aside the orders, dated 29 June 1989 and 25 September 1989, of the Regional Trial Court ("RTC") of Quezon City, Branch 101, in Civil Case No. Q-89-2695 and the subsequent resolution of 16 May 1991 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On 18 October 1988, the PCA Governing Board (the "Board" for brevity) passed Resolution No. 109-88, creating an "Investigation Committee" which would look into the complaint made by one Antonio Pua against petitioner, then administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority, for supposed irregularities committed by him. On 07 February 1989, the Board passed its Resolution No. 011-89, amending Resolution No. 109-88, that changed the composition of the members of the Investigation Committee. 1 On 14 February 1989, further changes were made on the composition of the Investigation Committee. 2

    On 28 February 1989, the Investigation Committee, after conducting formal hearings on the charges against petitioner by complainant Antonio Pua, submitted its findings which, among other things, stated thusly:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "After a cursory perusal of the records on hand and the testimonies of all aforenamed witnesses, this Board finds:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. A prima facie case against respondent Garcia with respect to the first issue. Complainant Pua presented the original copy of the certification dated July 24, 1987 in favor of Westmont, the genuineness and due execution of which respondent does not dispute as in fact said document is being adopted as part of his defense. Photocopy of the same is hereto attached and made a part hereof as Annex ‘A’. Director Joaquin Roces likewise presented to the Committee a photocopy of another certification also dated July 24, 1987 in favor of Westmont which, as testified to under oath, he secured from the Board of Foreign Trade. Director Roces further testified that he actually saw the original of this latter document at the Board of Foreign Trade in Taiwan on 21 February 1989 — the day he had this photocopied; that this was the very document his Office authenticated on 17 August 1987; that he is certain that what he saw was the original copy of the authenticated certificate taking into account the signature of respondent Garcia (of which he is familiar) affixed therein in blue ink, the seal on the left bottom portion, the heading of PCA with the distinct color of yellow. Photocopy of the document is hereto attached as part hereof and marked as Annex ‘B’.

    "2. A prima facie case against respondent Garcia as regards the second issue in view of the categorical testimony of Mr. Jesus Cabalza that he (Cabalza) and Director Rodriguez met only on July 27, 1987 or thereafter — thereby negating the claim of respondent Garcia that it was Director Rodriguez who designated I.Q. as importer on suggestion of Mr. Cabalza when the two allegedly met in his (Garcia) office on 24 July 1987 — the day the certification in favor of Westmont was first issued.

    "x       x       x

    "In view of the foregoing, this Committee recommends:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. That formal charges be filed against Administrator Leandro Garcia for dishonesty, falsification of official document, grave misconduct and violation of RA 3019, Sec. 3e, f and j.

    "2. That respondent Garcia be placed under preventive suspension upon the filing of the formal charge until such time that the case shall have been terminated and a decision on the case has become final and executory." 3

    On 01 March 1989, the PCA, through its then Acting Board Chairman, Apolonio B. Bautista, filed an administrative complaint, docketed Special PCA Administrative Case No. 01-89, against herein petitioner Leandro P. Garcia for dishonesty, falsification of official documents, grave misconduct and violation of Republic Act No. 3019 in connection with his grant of export quota for "fresh young coconuts" or "buko."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The Board, pursuant to its Resolution No. 021-89 of 28 February 1989, placed petitioner under preventive suspension effective upon receipt, or on 06 March 1989, of notice thereof.

    On 08 March 1989, Petitioner, through counsel, requested a period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of the transcript of stenographic notes of the preliminary investigation within which to file his answer. On 30 March 1989, Petitioner, through counsel, again requested a further extension of thirty (30) days within which to submit his answer. Both requests for extension were granted; the grant, however, of the second request carried the caveat that no further extension would be given.

    On 20 April 1989, the Investigation Committee scheduled hearings on the administrative case for 04, 05, 09, 10, 17, 18, 26 May and 01 and 02 June 1989. Petitioner was duly notified of these settings. On 03 May 1989, petitioner’s counsel, Atty. Narciso Tadeo, requested a resetting of the hearings on the ground that he was not available. On the same date, however, he submitted petitioner’s answer. The Investigation Committee granted Atty. Tadeo’s request for postponement, and it reset the hearings to 09, 15, 18, 19, 26 May, then 05 and 06 June 1989.

    On 09 May 1989, neither petitioner nor his counsel appeared. The Investigation Committee received, instead, a letter from petitioner’s counsel, through one Asteria Felicen, informing the committee that Atty. Tadeo was physically indisposed and could not attend that day’s hearing. At the scheduled hearing on 15 May 1989, Atty. Tadeo appeared without petitioner. Again, he moved for the deferment of the proceedings pending resolution of a motion, which he meanwhile filed, requesting the Board to create a new investigating committee to hear his case. The request was denied. Atty. Tadeo forthwith left and did not participate in the day’s scheduled hearing. Similarly, at the scheduled hearings on 18 May 1989 and subsequent dates, neither petitioner nor counsel appeared despite notice.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On 30 May 1989, the Board issued Resolution No. 046-89, the dispositive portions of which read:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "RESOLVED, that consistent with the pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 807, the recommendation of the Board Investigation Committee that the period of delay in the disposition of the case resulting from the petitions/requests for extension of time, postponement/cancellation of the scheduled hearings and related requests filed by the counsel of respondent Administrator Leandro P. Garcia, shall not be counted in computing the period of preventive suspension, be and is hereby approved;

    "RESOLVED FURTHER, that Administrator Leandro P. Garcia who is under preventive suspension, shall be advised that his re-assumption of office as Administrator of PCA shall require prior notice of reinstatement as may be issued by the Governing Board." 4

    On 07 June 1989, following receipt of the above resolution, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition, with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction, docketed Civil Case No. Q-89-2625, wherein petitioner sought to enjoin —

    (a) Public respondent Josefel P. Grajeda and his committee from proceeding with the hearing of the administrative charges against him;

    (b) The Board and all persons acting in its behalf from implementing its Resolution No. 046-89; and

    (c) The Board and persons acting in its behalf to defer its action/decision on the charges against petitioner pending hearing on the merits of his petition.

    On 09 June 1989, the trial court issued a status quo order enjoining the Board and all persons acting in its behalf from "implementing its Resolution No. 046-89 extending petitioner’s preventive suspension."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On 29 June 1989, after respondents had submitted their opposition and after a hearing on the incidents relative to petitioner’s petition, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the PCA Governing Board from implementing its Resolution No. 046-89.

    "The decisive question therefore is whether the postponements sought by petitioner before the PCA Board is devoid of merit and merely intended to delay the proceedings before that body. This question hinges around the provisions of PD No. 807, Civil Service Law, particularly Sec. 42, which states that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "x       x       x

    "The ultimate justice springs from the heart and mind of a judge. It is he who determines from conflicting evidence what are the facts of a case; what and how the laws are to be interpreted and applied. Thus, it can not be lightly brushed aside that when a party raises the question of impartiality of a judge, as in this case the investigating committee headed by respondent Josefel P. Grajeda, that it only unduly and unnecessarily delays a case.

    "Moreover, for the petitioner to continue being suspended after the reglementary 90-day suspension would tantamount to already penalizing him even when the charges against him are yet being heard. The constitutional mandate and statutory juris tantum is that a person is presumed innocent until his guilt is proved." 5

    Subsequently, petitioner filed a motion, dated 04 July 1989, praying for the creation of a new investigating committee and that, pending resolution thereof, the Investigation Committee be prevented from conducting further proceedings.

    On 14 July 1989, the trial court issued an order to the following effect:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "After an exhaustive discussion on petitioner’s prayer for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order, the Court, in respect to the Investigating Committee of the PCA, will not grant the same but rather evidence of petitioner will be received on whether a temporary restraining order shall issue.

    "By agreement, the reception of such evidence on the incident is scheduled on July 20, 1989, at 8:30 A.M. Parties are notified of this order in open Court." 6

    At the scheduled hearing on 20 July 1989, petitioner submitted various documents in support of his motion. PCA and Josefel P. Grageda submitted their comment thereon on 25 July 1989.

    On 26 July 1989, the trial court issued an order enjoining the Investigation Committee from further conducting investigation "within a period of twenty (20) days from receipt (of the order) and until (after) respondents (would have been) heard," and setting the reception of respondents’ evidence on 03 August 1989 at 8:30 in the morning.

    On 08 August 1989, respondents filed their Submission of Evidence (With Ex-parte Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order).

    On 21 August 1989, the Grageda Investigation Committee submitted to the Board its resolution finding petitioner guilty as charged and so recommended the penalty of forced resignation. Acting thereon, on 25 August 1989, the Board passed Resolution No. 070-89, adopting and approving the Committee’s recommendation and imposing, effective 31 August 1989, the penalty of forced resignation on petitioner.

    On 28 August 1989, petitioner filed a supplemental petition with the trial court praying for a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the Board from Implementing Resolution No. 070-89 and, after hearing on the merits, to annul the resolution of the Investigation Committee of 21 August 1989, as well as PCA Board Resolution No. 070-89, and to order the Board to create a new investigating body to hear the formal charges against him.

    Respondents filed their comment on the supplemental petition on 02 September 1989.

    On 11 September 1989, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order stopping respondent Board from implementing its resolution of 21 August 1989 for a period of twenty (20) days from receipt thereof until the question of whether or not the issue of petitioners alleged deprivation of due process would have been resolved. The same order set the reception of respondents’ evidence on 19 September 1989. At the scheduled hearing on 19 September 1989, respondents sought a reconsideration of the court order, on the ground, among other things, that the resolution sought to be enjoined had, in fact, been already implemented.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On 25 September 1989, the trial court issued an order directing the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the PCA Governing Board from enforcing its Resolution No. 070-89. The Board moved for a reconsideration of the order, as well as the writ of preliminary injunction of 02 October 1989, which the trial court denied in its order of 14 December 1989.

    Respondents elevated the aforesaid orders to this Court via a petition, docketed G.R. No. 92435, for certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order. In its resolution of 27 March 1990, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of the trial court’s questioned orders and referred the case to respondent Court of Appeals, therein docketed CA-G.R. SP No. 20384, for proper disposition.

    On 17 September 1990, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision, its dispositive portion reading —

    "WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted, and the assailed Orders of June 29, 1989 and September 25, 1989 granting the writ of preliminary injunction in favor of respondent Garcia are hereby SET ASIDE." 7

    Petitioner moved for reconsideration; the appellate court denied the motion in its resolution of 16 May 1991.

    Hence, the instant petition, petitioner submitting that the Court of Appeals committed the following errors, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DECLARING THAT RTC JUDGE PEDRO SANTIAGO COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION BY HIS ISSUANCE OF THE QUESTIONED ORDERS;

    "2. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DISREGARDING RESPONDENT PCA’S VIOLATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE DUE PROCESS;

    "3. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING RESPONDENT PCA’S PATENT ILLEGAL ACTS AS EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRINCIPLE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES." 8

    The petition is not meritorious. Particularly, the Court finds no cogent reason for deviating from the rule on the primacy of administrative jurisdiction.

    The records would show that petitioner filed the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with the trial court even while the administrative investigation was yet ongoing. Petitioner’s immediate recourse to the trial court was premature and precipitate. From the decision of the PCA Board, once rendered, an administrative remedy of appeal to the Civil Service Commission would still be available to him.

    Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, recourse through court action, cannot prosper until after all such administrative remedies would have first been exhausted. The doctrine does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve, or interfere in, a controversy the jurisdiction over which is lodged initially with an administrative body, like the PCA Board and its Investigation Committee, of special competence. 9 The rule is an element of petitioner’s right of action, and it is too significant a mandate to be just waylaid by the courts.

    The Court seconds the appellate court in its observation that the trial court, indeed, gravely abused its discretion in issuing its assailed orders. Thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The records show that on July 26, 1989, the court issued a temporary restraining order restraining Grajeda and his committee from further conducting an investigation of the petitioner. The temporary restraining order was good for 20 days. On August 21, 1989, respondent Grajeda and his committee finalized their resolution in Special Case No. 01-89, finding petitioner guilty of the charges filed against him; the committee’s recommendation was approved by the Board on August 25, 1989. The petitioner sought a temporary restraining order to enjoin the respondents from implementing the said Board Resolution, which was granted by the court in its order dated September 11, 1989, which also set for September 19, 1989, the reception of respondents’ evidence or explanation why a preliminary injunction should not issue. The court directed the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction in its order dated September 25, 1989, wherein respondent judge stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The question before this Court is whether due process was violated by respondents in the course of arriving at their resolution. The power of the Court on this question is explicit in Art. VIII, Sec. 1 of the Constitution that, ‘Judicial power includes whether or not these has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.’chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    ‘The factual synopsis of the incidents are: On July 26, 1989 the Court issued a TRO, ‘restraining the respondent Josefel P. Grajeda and his Investigating Committee from further conducting an investigation of herein petitioner within 20 days from receipt hereof. Respondents received this Order on July 25, 1989. The evidence of the respondents was scheduled for reception on August 3, 1989.

    ‘On August 3, 1989, respondents manifested that their evidence are documentary and they were given until August 7, 1989 to submit the same and petitioner was given until August 11, 1989 to submit his comment as the 20-day TRO would expire on September 18, 1989. Respondents submitted their documentary exhibits on August 8, 1989 and mailed the same to petitioner. What with the mail service, petitioner received respondents’ evidence only on August 21, 1989. There was no more time for the petitioner to comment; there was also no more time for the Court to resolve and worse, the TRO already expired on September 18, 1989.

    ‘It was within these interregnum periods when the above incident was pending before this Court that respondent Grajeda and his Investigating Committee issued on August 21, 1989 their resolution finding petitioner guilty of dishonesty, etc. and imposing a penalty of Forced Resignation and the respondent PCA Board approved said resolution on August 25, 1989. This is now the subject of petitioners supplemental Petition.

    ‘There is much to be asked on the question of due process of law on the proceedings in the investigation conducted by Respondent. WAS THE PETITIONER ACCORDED HIS RIGHT TO CONFRONT HIS WITNESSES; WAS HE ABLE TO PRESENT HIS DEFENSE?

    ‘These were not answered by the Respondent. Instead, they claim that their resolution has already been implemented. The resolution seemed to be hurriedly arrived at. It was done at a time when the case was still before the Court. Respondents’ claim that their resolution was already implemented cannot defeat the paramount constitutional mandate that due process should be accorded the petitioner.’

    "We agree with the Solicitor-General that the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he issued a writ of preliminary injunction on September 25, 1989 despite the fact that the temporary restraining order dated July 26, 1989 bearing on the same subject matter had long become functus oficio.

    "The temporary restraining order issued on July 26, 1989, which enjoined the petitioners from proceeding with the administrative case involving private respondent, had a limited life of twenty days (Section 5, BP Blg. 224) and automatically expired on August 15, 1989, not September 18, 1989, as found by the respondent judge. When the Grajeda committee submitted their Resolution to the Board on August 21, 1989, and the Board approved the same in its Resolution No. 0070-89, dated August 25, 1989, there was no longer any legal restraint from proceeding with the investigation. Accordingly, the allegation of [respondent] Garcia that the investigating Committee committed grave abuse of discretion in finalizing and submitting its resolution to the PCA Board while the courts resolution on the prayer for preliminary injunction against the said Committee was pending is without merit. To say that the Committee and the Board cannot act despite the lapse of the restraining order and before the preliminary injunction is heard and granted, is to extend the life of the temporary restraining order beyond its statutory life.

    "The respondent court admits that the merits of the questioned Resolutions of August 21, 1989 and August 25, 1989 are not in issue, as ‘the question is within the ambit of respondents’ authority and if petitioner is not in accord therewith, his proper recourse is an appeal before the Civil Service’." 10

    This Court has also said in a number of cases 11 that —

    "When an adequate remedy may be had within the Executive Department of the government, but nevertheless, a litigant fails or refuses to avail himself of the same, the judiciary shall decline to interfere. This traditional attitude of the courts is based not only on convenience but likewise on respect: convenience of the party litigants and respect for a coequal office in the government. If a remedy is available within the administrative machinery, this should be resorted to before resort can be made to (the) courts." 12

    Petitioner would insist that the Grageda Investigation Committee defied the restraining order ("TRO") issued by the trial court when it submitted to the Board on 21 August 1989 its resolution finding petitioner guilty of the administrative charges and recommending the penalty of forced resignation, later adopted and approved by the Board in its Resolution No. 070-89 on 25 August 1989. There was no such defiance. The trial court issued the TRO on 26 July 1989, and it became functus oficio after 15 August 1989. Thus, when the Grageda Investigation Committee submitted its recommendation to the Board on 21 August 1989, which the latter adopted and approved on 25 August 1989 in its Resolution No. 070-89, respondents were no longer under any legal restraint.

    The second issue of alleged violation by the PCA of administrative due process must also be dealt with against petitioner. The factual scenario of the case, heretofore narrated, would indicate that petitioner was afforded ample opportunity to submit his case at the administrative level. He filed an answer to the administrative complaint and his refusal to attend the scheduled hearings, despite due notice, was at his own peril. The essence of due process to him was that opportunity to be heard. 13

    The Court quotes with approval the ruling of the Court of Appeals, rejecting petitioner’s claim of denial of due process, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Exhibits ‘9’ and ‘10’ in particular will show that the committee reluctantly granted Garcia’s requests for postponement in view of his ‘right to due process and in the interest of substantial justice’. There is no question that petitioner was accorded the right to confront his witnesses; and that he was able to present his defense. Respondent Garcia actually filed his answer but he refused to attend the scheduled hearings on the case despite due notice when the Grajeda Committee refused his request for the creation of a new committee that would hear his case. As enunciated in Tajonera v. Lamaroza (110 SCRA 438), what due process abhors is the absolute lack of an opportunity to be heard, a vice We cannot impute to the proceedings before the Committee. Respondent was given full opportunity to be heard on his defense, and his failure to appear before the committee was due to his own desistance." 14

    Petitioner imputes violation by the PCA of administrative due process for having conducted a hearing to determine a "prima facie case" against him when no such hearing is required. The proceedings, he asseverates, reflects PCA’s departure from the administrative procedures set forth in Section 38, paragraph (b) of P.D. 807, which provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SECTION 38. Procedure in Administrative Cases Against Non-Presidential Appointees. — (a) Administrative proceedings may be commenced against a subordinate officer or employee by the head of department or office of equivalent rank, or head of local government, or chiefs of agencies, or regional directors, or upon sworn, written complaint of any other persons.

    "(b) In the case of a complaint filed by any other persons, the complainant shall submit sworn statements covering his testimony and those of his witnesses together with his documentary evidence. If on the basis of such papers a prima facie case is found not to exist, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case. If a prima facie case exists, he shall notify the respondent in writing, of the charges against the latter, to which shall be attached copies of the complaint, sworn statements and other documents submitted, and the respondent shall be allowed not less than seventy-two hours after receipt of the complaint to answer the charges in writing under oath, together with supporting sworn statements and documents, in which he shall indicate whether or not he elects a formal investigation if his answer is not considered satisfactorily. If the answer is found satisfactory, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner’s stance is patently bereft of merit. There is nothing in the law which prohibits the conduct of a formal hearing or investigation to ascertain whether or not a "prima facie case indeed exists to warrant the filing of a formal administrative charges."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Nor could petitioner rightly claim that the Investigation Committee was biased against him. It should be noted that the composition of the Investigation Committee was repeatedly changed, per PCA Board Resolution No. 039-89, No. 109-88, No. 011-89 and No. 017-89, all because of petitioner’s claim of partiality. The PCA demonstrated its objectivity in proceeding with the investigation by accommodating petitioner to the fullest. An endless request for the recomposition of the Committee would be to unduly prolong the investigation and the PCA should not be faulted when it finally denied the subsequent like requests of petitioner.

    Parenthetically, evidence submitted by respondents consisted almost exclusively of documentary evidence, the authenticity of which had not been questioned by petitioner before the trial court or before the Court of Appeals, nor even at this stage of the proceedings.

    Petitioner, lastly, would fault the Court of Appeals for not viewing the instant case as an exception from the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

    As already foretold, the conduct of administrative disciplinary cases are outlined in the Civil Service Law or P.D. 807 vesting it in the heads of agencies subject to appeal to the Civil Service Commission under the circumstances outlined in the law. The Court is in complete agreement in its observation that —

    ". . . There is no question that the petitioner Committee and PCA Board acted in the exercise of their jurisdiction in conducting the administrative investigation of private respondent Garcia. Under Civil Service Law and Rules exclusive original jurisdiction is lodged in the administrative agency, and appeal is available to the Commission on Civil Service. The rule is that where a law has delineated the procedure by which administrative appeal or remedy could be effected, the same should be followed before recourse to judicial action can be initiated (Pascual v. Provincial Board, 106 Phil. 466 and several other cases). While there are recognized exceptions to this rule (Cortes, Philippine Administrative Law, pp. 394-395), We find none of the reasons for excepting this case from the rule." 15

    In MPSTA v. Laguio, Jr., 16 this Court has laid down the proper recourse in cases of this nature; thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . The petitioners’ obvious remedy was NOT to halt the administrative proceedings but, on the contrary, to take part, assert and vindicate their rights therein, see those proceedings through to judgment and if adjudged guilty, appeal to the Civil Service Commission." 17

    PCA Board Resolution No. 046-89 has expressed that "the period of delay in the disposition of the case, resulting from petitioners requests for extension of time, postponement/cancellation of the scheduled hearings and related requests filed by counsel of respondent Administrator Leandro P. Garcia, shall not be counted in computing the period of preventive suspension." This holding accords with the provisions of Section 42 of P.D. 807; thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SECTION 42. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. — When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In the case at bar, petitioner cannot deny that he has been able to effectively, if not deliberately, delayed the resolution of the administrative case against him due to his repeated requests for extension of time to file answer and his inexcusable refusal to attend the scheduled hearings thereon despite due notice. Petitioner’s invocation that his failure to exhaust administrative remedies should be EXCEPTED by the fact that irreparable damage would ensue upon his overdue suspension and illegal ouster from office cannot thus be countenanced.

    The observance of the mandate regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies is a sound practice and policy which should not be ignored. The doctrine insures an orderly procedure and withholds judicial interference until the administrative process would have been allowed to duly run its course. Even comity dictates that unless the available administrative remedies have been resorted to and appropriate authorities given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum, judicial recourse must be held to be inappropriate and impermissible. 18

    WHEREFORE, the petition for review is DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals, dated 17 September 1990 and its resolution of 16 May 1991 are AFFIRMED. No costs.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Melo, Panganiban, Gonzaga-Reyes and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Annex C, Petition, Rollo, p. 35.

    2. See Annex D, Petition, Rollo, p. 36.

    3. Rollo, pp. 38-39.

    4. Records, p. 19.

    5. Rollo, pp. 62-63.

    6. Records, p. 114.

    7. Rollo, p. 106.

    8. Rollo, p. 149.

    9. Paat v. Court of Appeals, 266 SCRA 167.

    10. Rollo, pp. 100-102.

    11. Paat v. Court of Appeals, 266 SCRA 167; Tan v. Director of Forestry, 125 SCRA 302; Abe-abe v. Manta, 90 SCRA 524.

    12. At pp. 531-532, Vol. 90 SCRA.

    13. Ramoran v. Jardine CMG Life Insurance Co., Inc., 326 SCRA 208.

    14. Rollo, p. 105.

    15. Rollo, pp. 105-106.

    16. 200 SCRA 323.

    17. At p. 335.

    18. Carale v. Abarintos, 269 SCRA 132.

    G.R. No. 100579   June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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