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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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1279 March 1, 2001 - ALICIA GONZALES-DECANO v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1282 March 1, 2001 - SOFRONIO DAYOT v. RODOLFO B. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 112092 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT NUÑEZ

  • G.R. No. 123069 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO SASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126019 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CALDONA

  • G.R. No. 131637 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO PERALTA

  • G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NARDO

  • G.R. No. 134330 March 1, 2001 - ENRIQUE M. BELO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NATIONAL BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135667-70 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO

  • G.R. No. 138666 March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 140511 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALTAZAR AMION

  • G.R. No. 142313 March 1, 2001 - MANUEL CHU, SR., ET AL. v. BENELDA ESTATE DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142527 March 1, 2001 - ARSENIO ALVAREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144678 March 1, 2001 - JAVIER E. ZACATE v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146710-15 & 146738 March 2, 2001 - JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113236 March 5, 2001 - FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113265 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 118680 March 5, 2001 - MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123788 March 5, 2001 - DOMINADOR DE GUZMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124686 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROQUE ELLADO

  • G.R. No. 127158 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO HERIDA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132353 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO IBO

  • G.R. No. 126557 March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN

  • G.R. No. 138646 March 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOMER CABANSAY

  • G.R. No. 139518 March 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE L. PUZON v. STA. LUCIA REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT

  • G.R. Nos. 140249 & 140363 March 6, 2001 - DANILO S. YAP v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140884 March 6, 2001 - GELACIO P. GEMENTIZA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143823 March 6, 2001 - JENNIFER ABRAHAM v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126168 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAMUDIO

  • G.R. No. 129594 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNNIFER LAURENTE

  • G.R. No. 135945 March 7, 2001 - UNITED RESIDENTS OF DOMINICAN HILL v. COMM. ON THE SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS

  • G.R. No. 136173 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ICALLA

  • G.R. Nos. 137481-83 & 138455 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO SALADINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139962-66 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO MANGOMPIT

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1297 March 7, 2001 - JOSEFINA BANGCO v. RODOLFO S. GATDULA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329 March 8, 2001 - HERMINIA BORJA-MANZANO v. ROQUE R SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 122611 March 8, 2001 - NAPOLEON H. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125901 March 8, 2001 - EDGARDO A. TIJING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130378 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL MATARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134279 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY ROGER AUSTRIA

  • G.R. Nos. 135234-38 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO GUNTANG

  • G.R. No. 137649 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLADARES

  • G.R. No. 138137 March 8, 2001 - PERLA S. ZULUETA v. ASIA BREWERY

  • G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001 - REGINA FRANCISCO, ET AL v. AIDA FRANCISCO-ALFONSO

  • G.R. No. 140479 March 8, 2001 - ROSENCOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. PATERNO INQUING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140713 March 8, 2001 - ROSA YAP PARAS, ET AL. v. ISMAEL O. BALDADO

  • G.R. No. 112115 March 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140619-24 March 9, 2001 - BENEDICTO E. KUIZON, ET AL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 126099 March 12, 2001 - ROBERTO MITO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128372 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REMEGIO DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO OYANIB

  • G.R. No. 131889 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA O. GOCHAN, ET AL. v. RICHARD G. YOUNG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136738 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN VALEZ

  • G.R. No. 137306 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA AVISADO, ET AL. v. AMOR RUMBAUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140011-16 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTAQUIO MORATA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1464 March 13, 2001 - SALVADOR O. BOOC v. MALAYO B. BANTUAS

  • G.R. No. 103073 March 13, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131530 March 13, 2001 - Y REALTY CORP. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136594 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL CANIEZO

  • G.R. No. 139405 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO F. PACIFICADOR

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1530 March 14, 2001 - EDGARDO ALDAY, ET AL. v. ESCOLASTICO U. CRUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 116001 & 123943 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO GO

  • G.R. No. 130209 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY LAVAPIE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130515 & 147090 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANSELMO BARING

  • G.R. Nos. 134451-52 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO FRETA

  • G.R. No. 137036 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERNANDO DE MESA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138045 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETTA PATUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139300 March 14, 2001 - AMIGO MANUFACTURING v. CLUETT PEABODY CO.

  • G.R. No. 102985 March 15, 2001 - RUBEN BRAGA CURAZA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133480 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE AGUILUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 135201-02 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 141616 March 15, 2001 - CITY OF QUEZON v. LEXBER INCORPORATED

  • G.R. No. 116847 March 16, 2001 - MANUFACTURERS BUILDING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128083 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. HILARIO

  • G.R. No. 128922 March 16, 2001 - ELEUTERIA B. ALIABO, ET AL. v. ROGELIO L. CARAMPATAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129070 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELLIE CABAIS

  • G.R. No. 131544 March 16, 2001 - EPG CONSTRUCTION CO., ET AL. v. GREGORIO R. VIGILAR

  • G.R. No. 135047 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO CACHOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137282 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALIPAR

  • G.R. Nos. 137753-56 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NILO ARDON

  • A.M. No. 01-1463 March 20, 2001 - EVELYN ACUÑA v. RODOLFO A. ALCANTARA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1306 March 20, 2001 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. P-97-1241 March 20, 2001 - DINNA CASTILLO v. ZENAIDA C. BUENCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 105965-70 March 20, 2001 - GEORGE UY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108991 March 20, 2001 - WILLIAM ALAIN MIAILHE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130663 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ANGELES STA. TERESA

  • G.R. Nos. 136862-63 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 139413-15 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENDRICO GALAS

  • G.R. No. 140356 March 20, 2001 - DOLORES FAJARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140919 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE

  • G.R. No. 142476 March 20, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 144074 March 20, 2001 - MEDINA INVESTIGATION & SECURITY CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127772 March 22, 2001 - ROBERTO P. ALMARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133815-17 March 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO LIAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134972 March 22, 2001 - ERNESTO CATUNGAL, ET AL. v. DORIS HAO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1469 March 26, 2001 - ROEL O. PARAS v. MYRNA F. LOFRANCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1624 March 26, 2001 - REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO. 28

  • A.M. No. 99-731-RTJ March 26, 2001 - HILARIO DE GUZMAN v. DEODORO J. SISON

  • G.R. Nos. 102407-08 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO LUCERO

  • G.R. No. 121608 March 26, 2001 - FLEISCHER COMPANY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121902 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALTER MELENCION

  • G.R. No. 125865 March 26, 2001 - JEFFREY LIANG v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129916 March 26, 2001 - MAGELLAN CAPITAL MNGT. CORP., ET AL. v. ROLANDO M. ZOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131638-39 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORETO MEDENILLA

  • G.R. No. 131653 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO GONZALES v. NLRC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 133475 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO MONTEJO

  • G.R. No. 134903 March 26, 2001 - UNICRAFT INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136790 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL GALVEZ

  • G.R. No. 137268 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUTIQUIA CARMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137590 March 26, 2001 - FLORENCE MALCAMPO-SIN v. PHILIPP T. SIN

  • G.R. No. 137739 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO B. TAN v. PHIL. BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137889 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142950 March 26, 2001 - EQUITABLE PCI BANK v. ROSITA KU

  • G.R. Nos. 147066 & 147179 March 26, 2001 - AKBAYAN - Youth, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-7-09-CA March 27, 2001 - IN RE: DEMETRIO G. DEMETRIA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1473 March 27, 2001 - GLORIA O. BENITEZ v. MEDEL P. ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 123149 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO CABUG

  • G.R. No. 131588 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLENN DE LOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 137762-65 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO BARES

  • G.R. No. 137989 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SONNY MATIONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1357 March 28, 2001 - MONFORT HERMANOS AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. ROLANDO V. RAMIREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1574 March 28, 2001 - GORGONIO S. NOVA v. SANCHO DAMES II

  • G.R. No. 100701 March 28, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101442 March 28, 2001 - JOSE ANGELES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 110012 March 28, 2001 - ANASTACIO VICTORIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112314 March 28, 2001 - VICENTE R. MADARANG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117964 March 28, 2001 - PLACIDO O. URBANES, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122216 March 28, 2001 - ALJEM’S CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126751 March 28, 2001 - SAFIC ALCAN & CIE v. IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL CO.

  • G.R. No. 126959 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERVANDO SATURNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136965 March 28, 2001 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDINA ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 137660 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 137932 March 28, 2001 - CHIANG YIA MIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138474 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FORTUNATO BALANO

  • G.R. Nos. 139571-72 March 28, 2001 - ROGER N. ABARDO v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 140153 March 28, 2001 - ANTONIO DOCENA, ET AL. v. RICARDO P. LAPESURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141307 March 28, 2001 - PURTO J. NAVARRO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142007 March 28, 2001 - MANUEL C. FELIX v. ENERTECH SYSTEMS INDUSTRIES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143173 March 28, 2001 - PEDRO ONG, ET AL. v. SOCORRO PAREL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144169 March 28, 2001 - KHE HONG CHENG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131836 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELITA SINCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137564 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DOMENDED

  • G.R. No. 137648 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 140311 March 30, 2001 - DENNIS T. GABIONZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

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    G.R. No. 126557   March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 126557. March 6, 2001.]

    RAMON ALBERT, Petitioner, v. CELSO D. GANGAN, in his capacity as Chairman, Commission on Audit, ROGELIO ESPIRITU, in his capacity as Commissioner, Commission on Audit, SOFRONIO URSAL, in his capacity as Commissioner, Commission on Audit, EMMA M. ESPINA, in her capacity as Director, Commission on Audit, and LAKAMBINI RAZON, in her capacity as Then Resident Auditor for National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    BUENA, J.:


    This petition for certiorari seeks to nullify Commission on Audit (COA) Decision No. 2700 dated February 19, 1993, finding petitioner, then President of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), liable for the amount of P36,796,711.55 covering the payment of the loan proceeds for the lot acquired by the Alyansang Maka-Maralitang Asosasyon at Kapatirang Organisasyon (AMAKO) which was disallowed in audit.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts are undisputed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The Housing and Urban Development Coordination Council (HUDCC) together with the Presidential Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP), NHMFC, and Home Insurance Guarantee Corporation (HIGC) formed an inter-agency committee to conceptualize and prepare the guidelines and procedures for the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), 1 a sub-program of the Unified Home Lending Program (UHLP). The CMP is an innovative scheme in mortgage financing where an undivided tract of land may be acquired by several beneficiaries through the concept of community ownership. It was adopted to assist residents of blighted or depressed areas to initially own the lots they occupy, and, eventually, to build a decent house thereon to the extent of their affordability within the concept of low-cost-home financing and after due compensation to the landowner. The beneficiaries of the financing shall then form or establish an association, or cooperative, duly registered with appropriate governmental agencies and accredited with the PCUP. Under the financing procedure of the CMP, an application of an association for a loan is coursed through duly accredited originators, such as the National Housing Authority (NHA), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). 2

    On August 20, 1988, the NHMFC Board issued Resolution No. 419, Series of 1988, approved the CMP. 3

    On December 19, 1988, Carlos P. Doble, then Vice President of HIGC, issued an appraisal policy for the CMP which was concurred in by the HIGC President, Federico Gonzales, herein petitioner, NHMFC OIC/EVP, and HUDC Teodoro Katigbak. 4 On the same date, Doble likewise issued to HIGC Technical Service Department personnel the Appraisal Policy for the CMP. 5

    On April 12, 1989, the NHMFC board issued Resolution No. 546, Series of 1989, approving the amended/expanded guidelines for CMP. 6

    On April 4, 1989, the Sapang Palay Community Development Foundation Inc., (Foundation) applied for accreditation with the NHMFC as originator of land and housing project through a Purchase Commitment Line. The application consists of sixteen (16) project sites situated in different parts of the country. Among these is the AMAKO Project which was submitted for accreditation to the NHMFC by Nelson Concepcion, President of the Foundation. The AMAKO project refers to seventy-three (73) hectares of land located at Sta. Catalina, Angeles City, which was offered by Severino H. Gonzales, Jr. Construction, Co, Inc. (SHGCCI), through its shareholder, Engineer Ceres Pajaron, to the members of AMAKO. Mr. Concepcion who was also the concurrent head of the PCUP’s Housing and Settlement Division, delivered on September 7, 1989, to the CMP Unit — then under Mortgage Takeout Department (MROD)-NHMFC — the project documents of AMAKO for pre-evaluation which were returned to the Foundation on September 22, 1989 by the CMP unit.

    On October 4, 1989, Mr. Concepcion submitted an application for Purchase Commitment Line in the amount of P36,794,250.00, specifically for the AMAKO project together with an Information Sheet of the Foundation, the AMAKO project profile, and the Department of Agrarian Reform certification dated December 4, 1988. On the same day, Mr. Generozo Cruz, Foundation Vice President and PCUP Director, redelivered the documents to the CMP unit to discuss the Foundation’s proposal on the AMAKO project.

    On October 5, 1989, the Officer-in-charge of the Credit and Collection Group, NHMFC, recommended to petitioner the grant of an additional line in favor of Sapang Palay Community Development Foundation, Inc., in the total amount of P36,8000,000.00 7 — approved by the NHMFC Credit Committee on October 13, 1989 — subject, however, to the approval of the NHMFC Board.

    On December 14, 1989, the NHMFC, upon the recommendation of the CMP Task Force, together with the Certification of Mortgage Examinations, 8 issued a Letter of Guaranty in favor of SHGCCI. 9 Thereafter, the disbursement voucher (No. 89F2-5732) was prepared by the CMP Task Force in favor of SHGCCI. 10 Mr. Rogelio Olaguer, head of the CMP Task Force, likewise inspected the project site and assured petitioner that the project is above board and in accordance with the NHMFC-CMP guidelines. With this assurance, petitioner approved the payment to the SHGCCI. Thus, on January 4, 1990, the amount of P36,796,711.55 under Philippine National Bank - Land Bank of the Philippines Check No. 362994, was released to Engineer Severino A. Gonzales, Jr. of the SHGCCI. 11

    Sometime in June 1990, petitioner instructed the Community Mortgage Management Office (CMMO) to conduct a routine inspection of the AMAKO Project. Upon verification, it was discovered that the AMAKO project was three (3) months in arrears in their amortization. As a consequence, Petitioner, sometime in July 1990, tasked the Committee on Evaluation of Originating Institutions to investigate the originators with respect to their compliance with corporate circulars, other rules and regulations issued by NHMFC regarding its lending programs. One of the originators investigated was the Foundation which was instrumental in the granting of the loan to the AMAKO Project. 12

    On September 3, 1990, the COA Resident Auditor of NHMFC disallowed the loan granted to the AMAKO Project for the following reasons: (a) non-submission of documentary requirements/non-complying or defective documents as required under NHMFC Corporate Circular No. CMP-001; and (b) irregular/excessive expenditures per COA Circular No. 85-55A dated September 8, 1985. The Auditor determined the following officers of NHMFC, as personally liable, viz.: petitioner as President; Fermin T. Arzaga, OIC, Finance, Corpan & Computer Services Group; Roger Olaguer, Head, CMP Task Force; Vivien Noble, Deputy Head, CMP Task Force; Ernesto Salvador, Executive Asst. CMP Task Force; Cynthia O. Alas, Div. Chief II, Budget and Irma Fuentes, COD, CMMO. 13

    On September 18, 1990, petitioner filed with the Ombudsman a letter-complaint against his subordinate employees who appeared to be responsible for the fraud with respect to the AMAKO loan transaction. 14 However, said complaint was withdrawn by petitioner’s successor, Acting President Florentino Mauricio, and re-filed with the Civil Service Commission on August 5, 1991. Petitioner also filed a civil case for sum of money, annulment, damages and attorney’s fees with preliminary attachment, against SHGCCI, AMAKO, Sapang Palay & Development Foundation, Inc., and other persons responsible for the misrepresentation, tortious and fraudulent acts in connection with the loan granted to AMAKO project. 15 The complaint was subsequently amended to include Rogelio Olaguer, Ernesto S. Salvador and Vivien Noble, who are employees of NHMFC, and Eugenio M. Cunanan, Jr. of HIGC. 16

    On October 19, 1990, petitioner requested for the lifting of the disallowance on the loan grant to AMAKO 17 which was denied on October 25, 1990. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration which was elevated to the COA Corporate Audit Office pursuant to Section 65 of PD 1445. 18

    On February 19, 1993, the COA rendered Decision No. 2700, finding petitioner as among the persons liable for the amount representing the payment of the loan proceeds obtained by AMAKO. COA disallowed the plan payment because it found the payment irregular and an excessive expenditure, and held petitioner primarily liable pursuant to Section 103 of P.D. 1445. 19

    Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the above-mentioned decision was denied on August 29, 1996 per COA Decision No. 96-484, 20 excerpts of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "x       x       x

    "In a motion for reconsideration dated April 6, 1993, Mr. Albert, thru Counsel, contended that he (Mr. Albert) cannot and should not be held personally liable for the amount of the loan as he acted only in the performance of his official duties and that there was no clear showing of bad faith, malice or gross negligence on his part.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "This Commission finds the explanation or justification devoid of merit. It is significant to note that Mr. Albert himself was the final approving authority of the transaction in question and that the officers/employees who processed the same were directly under his supervision. The CMP Task Force created in his very own office provides a situation where he could have conclusively determined the validity of a transaction involving such large amount as P36,796,711.55.

    "Likewise, this Commission cannot with expediency exculpate Mr. Albert from liability by accepting his claim of good faith and exercise of due diligence, otherwise this principle would be rendered worthless. Good faith and exercise of due diligence are disputable presumptions, and these presumptions are overcome by evidence of specific acts constituting an offense, as where there exists the fact that loss of government funds resulted from official action. Besides, Section 3 (9) of R.A. 3019 (Anti-Graft Law) declares to be unlawful the act of ‘entering, in behalf of the Government, into contract or transaction manifestly or grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.’"

    Aggrieved, petitioner now comes to this Court contending that he cannot be held personally liable for the amount of P36,796,711.55 representing the loan proceeds to AMAKO, because the questioned COA decisions do not have any findings that he has knowingly participated in the alleged fraudulent transaction. He claims that there is no clear showing that he acted in bad faith, with malice, or gross negligence when he approved the loan transaction. The approval of the loan was based on the certification of the duly authorized officers of the Community Mortgage Program Task Force.

    While the petition is pending, NHMFC filed a petition for extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage against AMAKO which was represented by its president, Mr. Mario J. Mamawan, before the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City docketed as FC Case No. 98-10.

    On March 31, 1998, the property was sold at public auction with NHMFC as the highest bidder. A Certificate of Sale was subsequently issued in favor of NHMFC. 21

    The AMAKO property was then published and offered for sale three times in April 1999, and once in May 1999, but with no bidder. The property was then offered under the negotiated sale of rights over foreclosed property offer of which was published in June 1999.

    In response to the published offer, VIVE EAGLE LAND, INC. (VIVE) offered to purchase the property for P40,000,000.00.

    On October 21, 1999, the Board of Directors of the NHMFC approved the sale 22 in favor of VIVE per its Resolution No. 2998 Series of 1999. 23 The sale was confirmed on November 18, 1999. 24

    We find the petition meritorious.

    The mere fact that a public officer is the head of an agency does not necessarily mean that he is the party ultimately liable in case of disallowance of expenses for questionable transactions of his agency. Petitioner, as head of the agency, cannot be held personally liable for the disallowance simply because he was the final approving authority of the transaction in question and that the officers/employees who processed the same were directly under his supervision. 25 Though not impossible, it would be improbable for him to check all the details and conduct physical inspection and verification of the application of AMAKO considering the voluminous paperwork attendant to his office. He has to rely mainly on the certifications, recommendations and memoranda of his subordinates in approving the loan. The processing, review and evaluation of the loan application passed through the responsible and authorized officers of the CMP Task Force. As admitted by the Director of the Corporate Audit Office, Emma M. Espina, the officers of the CMP Task Force erred in discharging these assigned duties. 26 Moreover, the high appraisal of the subject property cannot be attributed to herein petitioner because the valuation of the said property is undertaken by the HIGC, 27 an entity separate and distinct from the NHMFC and over which petitioner exercises no control or supervision.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    We have consistently held that every person who signs or initials documents in the course of transit through standard operating procedures does not automatically become a conspirator in a crime which transpired at a stage where he had no participation. His knowledge of the conspiracy and his active and knowing participation therein must be proved by positive evidence. The fact that such officer signs or initials a voucher as it is going the rounds does not necessarily follow that the said person becomes part of a conspiracy in an illegal scheme. The guilt beyond reasonable doubt of each supposed conspirator must be established. 28 Thus, in Pareño v. Sandiganbayan 29 we held that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It is rather apparent that under the Sandiganbayan’s decision, a department secretary, bureau chief, commission chairman, agency head, department head or chief of office would be equally culpable of every crime arising from transactions or held guilty of conspiracy simply because he was the last of a long line of officials or employees who acted upon or affixed their signatures to a transaction. We cannot allow this because guilt must be premised on a more knowing personal and deliberate participation of each individual who is charged with others as part of a conspiracy. There must be more convincing proof which in this case is wanting." (Emphasis Supplied)

    The rationale behind this ruling is best enunciated in the early case of Arias v. Sandiganbayan 30 where we emphatically ruled:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "We would be setting a bad precedent if a head of office plagued by all too common problems - dishonest or negligent subordinates, overwork, multiple assignments or positions, or plain incompetence - is suddenly swept into a conspiracy conviction simply because he did not personally examine every single detail, painstakingly trace every step from inception and investigate the motives of every person involved in a transaction before annexing his signature as the final approving authority.

    x       x       x


    "We can, in retrospect, argue that Arias should have probed records, inspected documents, received procedures and questioned persons. It is doubtful if any auditor for a fairly sized office could personally do all these things in all vouchers presented for his signature. The Court would be asking for the impossible. All heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the good faith of those who prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations. If a department secretary entertains important visitors, the auditor is not ordinarily expected to call the restaurant about the amount of the bill, question each guest whether he was present at the luncheon, inquire whether the correct amount of food was served, and otherwise personally look into the reimbursement voucher’s accuracy, propriety and sufficiency. There has to be some added reason why he should examine each voucher in such detail. Any executive head of even small government agencies or commissions can attest to the volume of papers that must be signed. There are hundreds of documents, letters, memoranda, vouchers, and supporting papers that routinely pass through his hands. The number in bigger offices or departments is even more appalling.

    "There should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction." (Emphasis Supplied)

    Additionally, the assailed decision failed to mention petitioner’s direct participation in the fraudulent scheme. It merely held that petitioner be immediately and primarily held responsible for the disallowance, for the simple reason that, as the approving officer, any transaction presented to him for approval is subject to his discretion. His reliance on the supposed review and evaluation done by his subordinates is also discretionary on his part. The COA concluded that whatever misrepresentation and/or abuse in the performance of their duties made by the subordinates make petitioner, as head of the agency, also liable, considering that these people acted on his behalf and with his approval. 31 Such reasoning is non-sequitur.

    Section 103 of Presidential Decree No. 1445, 32 which was the basis of petitioner’s liability for the disallowance, expressly provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SECTION 103. General liability for unauthorized expenditures. — expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefor." (Emphasis ours)

    Under the said provision, an official or employee shall be personally liable for unauthorized expenditures if the following requisites are present, to wit: (a) there must be an expenditure of government funds or use of government property; (b) the expenditure is in violation of law or regulation; and (c) the official is found directly responsible therefor.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    There is no evidence on record to show that petitioner had knowledge of the fraudulent scheme perpetrated by some employees of the NHMFC. In fact, petitioner immediately filed a complaint before the Ombudsman against the subordinate employees who appeared to be responsible for the fraud. He also directed the filing of a civil case against the originator and other persons responsible for misrepresentation. All these acts are indicative that he had no knowledge of the fraudulent scheme perpetrated by certain officials or employees of his agency. No less than Lakambini Q. Razon, State Auditor IV of the Commission on Audit, in her letter dated January 8, 1991 to the Director of the Corporate Audit Office, wrote that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In the said memorandum, we informed Mr. Albert that we had considered his participation in the AMAKO transaction, but we cannot lift his liability as head of the Corporation pursuant to the provisions of Section 2, P.D. 1445 and Section 32 of the Manual on Certificate of Settlement and Balances. This prompted Mr. Albert to request for reconsideration on the action taken by this Office on the appeal submitted previously.

    "Considering the reasons given and circumstances surrounding the case, we believe that the President cannot determine the irregularities committed in this transaction. As a matter of fact, an administrative case was filed by the President of NHMFC against several officials of the Corporation and other government agencies to the office of the Ombudsman on October 1,1990. . . ." 33

    The actions taken by petitioner involved the very functions he had to discharge in the performance of official duties. He cannot, therefore, be held civilly liable for such acts unless there is a clear showing of bad faith, malice or gross negligence. 34 Inasmuch as no evidence was presented to show that petitioner acted in bad faith and with gross negligence in the performance of his official duty, he is presumed to have acted in the regular performance of his official duty. Similarly, it is a basic tenet of due process that the decision of a government agency must state the facts and the law on which the decision is based. The COA decision merely stated conclusions of law. Facts and circumstances, as well as the why’s, the what’s and the how’s of the disallowance, were patently missing, inaccurate or incomplete. The COA cannot just perform its constitutional function of disallowing expenditures of government funds at sheer discretion. There has to be factual basis why the expenditure is alleged to be fraudulent or why was there a misrepresentation. Liability depends upon the wrong committed and not solely by reason of being the head of a government agency. The COA even mentioned the anti-graft law which imputes liability for a grossly disadvantageous contract entered into by a government functionary. But as to why and how the disbursement of funds in this case was considered disadvantageous must be duly supported by findings of facts.

    Consequently, respondent COA committed a grave abuse of its discretion when it held petitioner personally liable for the subject disallowance.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision and Resolution of the respondent Commission on Audit are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, insofar as they refer to petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr. and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Office Order No. 09, Series of 1988 dated August 31, 1988. Annex "C."cralaw virtua1aw library

    2. Annex "E", p. 34, Rollo.

    3. Annex "D" p 33, Ibid.

    4. Annex "G" p 42, Ibid.

    5. Annex "H", pp. 43-44, Ibid.

    6. Annexes "I" and "J", pp. 45-48, Ibid.

    7. Annex "K", pp. 49-52, Record.

    8. Annex "M", p. 55, Rollo.

    9. Annex "L", p. 54, Ibid.

    10. Annex "N", p. 56, Ibid.

    11. p. 57, Ibid.

    12. Annex "O", pp. 60-63, Ibid.

    13. Annex "P", pp. 64-66, Ibid.

    14. Annex "Q", pp. 67-75, Ibid.

    15. Annex "S", pp. 80-92, Rollo.

    16. Annex ‘T’, pp. 93-94, Ibid.

    17. Annex "U", pp. 115-118, Ibid.

    18. Annex "V", pp. 119-120, Ibid.

    19. Annex "A", p. 23, Ibid.

    20. Annex "B", pp. 27-29, Ibid.

    21. Annex "A" of Manifestation, pp. 962-963, Rollo.

    22. Annex "D" of Manifestation, pp. 969-974, Rollo.

    23. Annex "B" of Manifestation, pp. 964-966, Ibid.

    24. Resolution No. 3018, Series of 1999 Confirmation of Deed of Sale of Rights, Interests and Participation of NHMFC and VIVE EAGLE LAND INC. over Foreclosed AMAKO Property, Annex "C" of Manifestation, pp. 967-968, Rollo.

    25. See COA Decision.

    26 Memorandum for the Director, Legal Division, COA from Emma M. Espina, Director Corporate Audit Office, p. 150, Records.

    27. NHMFC Corporate Circular No. CMP 001, Section 9 —

    "Appraisal of the property shall be undertaken by the Home Insurance and Guarantee Corporation (HIGC). No appraisal fees shall be paid either by the originator or the Community Association/Cooperative. An appraisal fee however, shall be paid by the NHMFC directly to HIGC based on Community Mortgages taken out."cralaw virtua1aw library

    28. Gomez v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 135 SCRA 620 [1985]; Macadangdang v. Sandiganbayan, 170 SCRA 308, 326 [1989].

    29. 256 SCRA 242, 272 [1996].

    30. 180 SCRA 309, 315-316 [1989].

    31. COA Decision No. 96-484, pp. 2-3.

    32. Ordaining and Instituting a Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

    33. Records, pp. 286-287.

    34. Paragraph (1), Section 38, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987.

    G.R. No. 126557   March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN




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