G. R. No. 123561
July 31, 1997
E C I S I O N
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CULTURE AND
for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 seeks to set aside the 27 November 1995 and 22 January 1996
of the Court of Appeals dismissing the petition for certiorari of Delia
R. Nerves filed pursuant to Art. IX-A, Sec. 7, of the Constitution, and
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, for being an inappropriate remedy or
mode of appeal.
R. Nerves, a teacher of Torres
High School, was among the twenty  public school teachers who were
administratively charged and subsequently dismissed by then Secretary
D. Carino of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports [DECS] for
allegedly participating in the mass action/illegal strike of teachers
19-21 September 1990 at Liwasang Bonifacio and for defying a
Order issued by DECS, which acts constituted grave misconduct, gross
of duty, gross violation of Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations,
to perform official duty, gross insubordination, conduct prejudicial to
the best interest of the service, and absence without official leave
in violation of P. D. No. 807 otherwise known as The Civil Service
of the Philippines.
appealed the DECS Decision to
the Merit Systems Protection Board [MSPB] and later, "after a
procedure," to the Civil Service Commission [CSC]. The CSC set aside
Decision and rendered a new one the dispositive portion of which reads
WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby finds
R. Nerves guilty of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the
for which she is meted the penalty of six  months suspension.
the period of time that she has been out of the service, the penalty of
suspension is already deemed served. Accordingly, she is automatically
reinstated in the service without back salaries.
the CSC Decision to the Court of
Appeals in a 26-page petition filed on 21 November 1995 stating, among
However, in a
Resolution dated 27 November 1995,
the Court of Appeals summarily dismissed the petition:
The instant petition for certiorari filed
21 November 1995 is hereby ordered dismissed outright for being the
or inappropriate mode of appeal. [par. 4, Supreme Court Circular No.
dated 9 March 1990].
Under Supreme Court Revised
No. 1-95 [Revised Circular No. 1-91] appeals from judgments or final
or resolutions of the Civil Service Commission is by petition for
[par. 1 and 5, supra]. Petition for certiorari dismissed.
On 22 January
1996 the motion for reconsideration
of the resolution was denied.
Hence the instant petition.
The issue before
Us is whether respondent Court
of Appeals was correct in dismissing outright the petition of 21
1995. Revised Administrative Circular 1-95 [Revised Circular No.
1-91] prescribing the rules governing appeals to the Court of Appeals
judgments or final orders of the Court of Tax Appeals and
agencies pertinently provides:
(4) Period to appeal.- The
shall be taken within fifteen  days from notice of the award,
final order, or from the date of its last publication, if publication
required by law for its effectivity, or of the denial of petitioner's
for new trial or reconsideration filed in due time after judgment.
(5) How appeal taken.-
be taken by filing a verified petition for review in seven  legible
copies with the Court of Appeals, a copy of which shall be served on
adverse party and on the court or agency a quo. Proof of
of the petition on the adverse party and on the court or agency a quo
be attached to the petition. The original copy of the petition intended
for the Court of Appeals shall be indicated as such by the petitioner.
Upon filing the petition for review,
shall pay to the Clerk of Court of the Court of Appeals the docketing
other lawful fees and deposit the sum of P500.00 for costs
(6) Contents of the
petition for review shall (a) state the full names of the parties to
case, without impleading the lower courts or agencies either as
or respondents; (b) contain a concise statement of the facts and issues
involved and the grounds relied upon for the review; (c) be accompanied
by a clearly legible duplicate original or a certified true copy of the
award, judgment, final order or resolution appealed from, together with
certified true copies of such material portions of the record as are
to therein and other supporting papers; and, (d) contain a sworn
against forum shopping as provided in Revised Circular No. 28-91. The
shall state the specific material dates showing that it was filed
the period fixed herein.
(7) Effect of failure to comply
- The failure of petitioner to comply with the foregoing
regarding the payment of the docket and other lawful fees, the deposit
for costs, proof of service of the petition, and the contents of and
documents which should accompany the petition shall be sufficient
for the dismissal thereof.
under Circular 2-90 which lays down the
guidelines in appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court:
(4) Erroneous appeal. - An appeal
to either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals by the wrong or
mode shall be dismissed.
General contends that petitioner Nerves
failed to fully comply with Revised Administrative Circular 1-95
what was filed with the Court of Appeals was, in form and substance, a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court and not a
for review, and that no less than petitioner herself stated in par. 1
her petition: "This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
of Court," and the fact that it was qualified by par. 2 quoted above
not automatically convert it to a petition for review in compliance
Revised Administrative Circular 1-95.
A cursory reading
of the records shows the following
factual backdrop: (a) The petition was filed on 21 November 1995 or
15 days from notice of the denial of petitioner's motion for
by the Civil Service Commission, which was on 6 November 1995; (b) The
petition was verified,
with proof of service of a copy thereof on the adverse party [DECS] and
the court or agency a quo [Civil Service Commission].
The original copy of the petition intended for the Court of Appeals was
indicated as such by petitioner;
(c) Upon filing the petition, petitioner paid to the Court of Appeals
docketing and other lawful fees and deposited the sum of P500 for
and, (d) The petition stated the full names of the parties to the case,
contained a concise statement of the facts and issues involved and the
grounds relied upon for the review, accompanied by clearly legible
copies of the resolutions of the Civil Service Commission that were
to be set aside, stated the material dates and contained the required
the foregoing, we hold that the
petition filed by Nerves with the Court of Appeals substantially
with Revised Administrative Circular 1-95. That it was erroneously
as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is
a minor procedural lapse, not fatal to the appeal. Although it is
in par. 1 of her petition it is one "for certiorari filed pursuant to
IX-A, Section 7 of the Constitution of the Philippines," and,
"under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court." The same par. 1 is explained by
par. 2 which states that, "But per Supreme Court Revised Administrative
Circular No. 1-95 (Revised Circular No. 1-91) petitioner is filing the
instant petition with this Honorable Court (Court of Appeals) instead
the Supreme Court." It must be emphasized that as long as there is
compliance with Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95, the petition
should be given due course. Moreover, the circular must be so
and applied as to attain, not defeat, the ultimate purpose of all rules
of procedure which is to achieve substantial justice as
the appeal on its face appears
to be impressed with merit. Hence, the Court of Appeals should have
the insubstantial defects of the petition including the fact that
the Civil Service Commission was impleaded as party respondent not
required in par. 6 (a) of Revised Administrative Circular 1-95 in
order to do justice to the parties concerned. There is indeed nothing
about procedural rules, which should be liberally construed in order to
promote their object and assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy
inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding.
As it has been said, where the rigid application of the rules would
or bar the vindication of a legitimate grievance, the courts are
in exempting a particular case from the operation of the rules.cralaw
Besides, We have
already ruled in A-One Feeds,
Inc., v. Court of Appeals:
Litigations should, as much as possible,
on the merits and not on technicality. Dismissal of appeals purely on
grounds is frowned upon and the rules of procedure ought not to be
in a very rigid, technical sense, for they are adopted to help secure,
not override, substantial justice and thereby defeat their very aims.
has been the constant ruling of this Court, every party litigant should
be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just
of his cause, free from the constraints of technicalities.
Petition is GRANTED. The assailed
Resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 27 November 1995 and 22
1996 are hereby SET ASIDE. The Court of Appeals is directed to
the 21 November 1995 petition. No costs.
Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Melo,
Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ., concur.
Kapunan, Hermosisima, Jr. and
Torres, Jr., JJ., are on leave.cralaw
Rollo, p. 33; Annex "C."
Id., p. 59; Annex "A."
Id., p. 29; Annex "C."
Id., p. 28; Annex "B."
Id., p. 27; Annex "A."
Memorandum of the Solicitor General, pp. 5-8.
Rollo, p. 55; Annex "C."
Id., pp. 56-57.
Records, pp. 1-29.
Gabionza v. Court of Appeals, G. R. No. 112547, 18 July 1994, 234 SCRA
Rule 1, Sec. 2, Rules of Court.
Blanco v. Bernabe, 63 Phil. 124 .
No. L-35560, 30 October 1980, 100 SCRA 590, 594.