Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1954 > April 1954 Decisions > G.R. No. L-6134 April 23, 1954 - RUBEN VALERO, ET AL. v. ISABEL FOLLANTE

094 Phil 789:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-6134. April 23, 1954.]

RUBEN VALERO and ESTRELLA A. DE VALERO, Petitioners, v. ISABEL FOLLANTE, Respondent.

Chan & Ampil, for Petitioners.

C. F. Pariñas and R. G. Velasco for Respondent.


SYLLABUS


1. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION; CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE; FINANCIAL ABILITY OF OPERATOR. — The financial ability of an applicant to operate a public utility is one of the most important considerations that should be taken into account in the approval or denial of an application to engage in such operation. Where an applicant is not financially capable of operating the ice plant applied for, and she is but a dummy of a Chinaman who was the real party behind her application, under Sec. 29 of the Public Service Act as well as the Constitution of the Philippines, application should be denied.

2. ID.; RULES OF PROCEDURE; COMMISSION NOT BOUND BY THE TECHNICAL RULES OF EVIDENCE. — All hearings and investigations before the Public Service Commission shall be governed by the rules adopted by it, and in the conduct thereof the Commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of legal evidence. The only thing required is that the parties be given proper notice and hearing in accordance with the rules (Sec. 16, Public Service Act), except in cases where the Commission can act without previous hearing (sec. 17, Id.) . The Commission cannot be said to have acted improperly if it receives additional evidence where in its opinion such evidence is necessary to enable it to reach an enlightened decision of the controversy.


D E C I S I O N


BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:


On July 25, 1951, Isabel Follante filed with the Public Service Commission a petition to operate an ice plant in the municipality of Candon, Province of Ilocos Sur and its environments. Ruben Valero and Estrella A. de Valero filed an opposition alleging, among other things, that the Public Service Commission has already granted the oppositors authority to operate an ice plant with 5-ton daily capacity in the municipality of San Fernando, La Union, with right to sell ice in the municipalities of San Juan, San Gabriel, Bacnotan, Balaoan, Luna, Bangar and Sudipen, all in the Province of La Union, and in the municipalities of Tagudin, Sevilla, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Candon, Santiago, San Esteban, Sta. Maria and Narvacan, all in the Province of Ilocos Sur. They also alleged that the service they were rendering in the territory covered by their authority was adequate and satisfactory and that public convenience and necessity did not require the operation of another ice plant in the municipality of Candon and its environs. They finally alleged that to grant the petition would only promote unfair and ruinous competition and that petitioner was not financially capable of maintaining an adequate and sufficient operation of a new ice plant as set forth in her petition.

The petition was heard in due time and a decision was rendered on December 27, 1951 granting to petitioner the authority applied for. Both on motion for reconsideration, and after a rehearing was held, the Public Service Commission set aside its former decision and revoked the authority granted to petitioner in an order issued on June 3, 1952. The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, and without any further hearing, another order was issued as follows: Commissioner Paredes voted to deny the motion and to reaffirm the order issued on June 3, 1952. But Commissioners Ocampo and Prieto voted to grant the motion and to reaffirm the original decision rendered on December 27, 1951. The oppositors moved to have this order reconsidered, but their motion was denied. Hence, this petition for review.

It should be recalled that the petition for authority to operate an ice plant in the municipality of Candon, Province of Ilocos Sur, and its environs, was originally granted in a decision rendered on December 27, 1951, but on motion for reconsideration, said decision was set aside in an order issued on June 3, 1952. It should be noted that, in connection with said motion for reconsideration, the Commission granted the parties an opportunity to present additional evidence to substantiate the new facts alleged in the motion for reconsideration. And in connection with the new evidence presented, the Commission made the following findings of fact:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The Commission has carefully gone over the additional evidence presented as well as the evidence adduced during the original hearing, and finds that the fact has been established that the applicant is not financially capable of operating the ice plant applied for, and that she is but a mere dummy of a Chinaman by the name of Tan Tai alias Noo Wah, the owner of a restaurant in Candon, Ilocos Sur, and husband of Cresencia Follante, a very close relative of the applicant. The Commission also finds that, with respect to her financial capacity, applicant misrepresented the facts to this Commission as evidenced by her statement to the effect, calculated, no doubt, to impress the Commission regarding for solvency, that she had deposited P35,000 in the Philippine National Bank branch in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, prior to the date of the original hearing, when the truth is, as admitted by her during the hearing on the motion for reconsideration, that no such amount was ever deposited. The Commission is not disposed to believe the statements made by this applicant during the rehearing, that she pledged and mortgaged personal and real property in order to raise funds for the operation of the ice plant applied for, as this is in direct conflict with her previous testimony to the effect that she had already in her possession P35,000 ready for the use and for the purchase of the necessary equipment to install and operate the ice plant in question. The financial ability of an applicant to operate a public utility is one of the most important considerations that should be taken into account in the approval or denial of an application to engage in such operation.

"In view of the above, particularly of the fact that applicant is a mere dummy of an alien who has tried to circumvent the provisions of the Public Service Act as well as of the Constitution of the Philippines, the Commission finds it its duty to revoke the decision sought to be reconsidered and to set the same aside."cralaw virtua1aw library

Note also that the above order was written by Commissioner Paredes and was concurred in by Commissioner Prieto. Commissioner Ocampo was then on leave. Later, however, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, and on the strength of the same evidence, and without any further hearing, Commissioner Paredes, who received the additional evidence, and penned the order, issued an order on August 21, 1952, reiterating his previous findings and denying the motion; but this time Commissioner Ocampo dissented, and his dissenting opinion was concurred in by Commissioner Prieto. Since their dissenting opinions carried two negative votes, they became the opinion of the majority. This is the opinion which is now being impugned by the oppositors in the present petition for review.

The reasons expressed by Commissioner Ocampo in his dissenting opinion are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The order revoking the decision which granted to the applicant a certificate of public convenience is based on the additional evidence which oppositors produced during the rehearing. This evidence consists of the testimony of Ruben L. Valero, one of the oppositors but said evidence does not provide a sufficient basis for the revocation of the certificate granted to the applicant. This evidence purports to prove that applicant is a dummy of a Chinese national and that she is not financially qualified to install and operate the plant. The testimony of Valero on these points is clearly hearsay and at time even double hearsay - told to Valero by someone to whom it was told. There is no reliable direct evidence proving these allegations of financial incapacity or that applicant is a mere dummy. On the other hand there is the rebuttal evidence of applicant that she had accumulated about P20,000 which is the money she used to install her plant and we do not see that this testimony is in any way unbelievable."cralaw virtua1aw library

As already stated, Commissioner Prieto concurred in the dissenting opinion of Commissioner Ocampo, but apparently his reasons for dissenting are based on a matter of procedure more than on the reasons set forth by Commissioner Ocampo in his dissenting opinion. Commissioner Prieto expressed the opinion that the oppositors should not have been allowed to present evidence on the lack of financial capacity of the applicant and on the fact that she was a mere dummy of a Chinaman who was the real party behind her application for the simple reason that those are new facts which were not alleged either in the written opposition, or in the motion for reconsideration filed by oppositors, and because of this transgression of an important rule of procedure, he believed that those new facts cannot serve as basis for setting aside the original decision rendered on December 27, 1951. It would seem therefore that Commissioner Prieto is of the opinion that the findings made by Commissioner Paredes in his order of June 3, 1952, which was concurred in by him, to the effect that petitioner was not financially capable and was a mere dummy of a Chinaman are correct, but that the reason for reversing his previous stand is that those facts cannot be taken into account because they are not among the issues raised in the pleadings filed by the oppositors. We may therefore say that, in substance, these findings bear the approval and support of the vote of two commissioners.

As regards the matter of procedure brought out by Commissioner Prieto, we may say that, while the stand he has taken is in line with ordinary rule of procedure, the same need not be strictly adhered to by the Commission, nor should the latter be strictly bound by it, for the law creating the Commission has invested it with ample power to conduct its hearings and investigations without being trammeled by the ordinary rules of court. Thus, Section 29 of the Public Service Act provides that "All hearings and investigations before the Commission shall be governed by the rules adopted by the Commission, and in the conduct thereof the Commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of legal evidence." The only thing required is that the parties be given proper notice and hearing in accordance with the rules (section 16), except in cases where the Commission can act without previous hearing (section 17). So that, in our opinion, the Commission cannot be said to have acted improperly in receiving the additional evidence if in its opinion such evidence is necessary to enable it to reach an enlightened decision of the controversy. And having reached this conclusion, we are of the opinion that the real decision of the Commission on the merits is that rendered on June 3, 1952 which bears the affirmative vote of two commissioners.

Wherefore, the dissenting opinions of Commissioners Ocampo and Prieto dated August 28, 1952 are hereby set aside and the decision of Commissioners Paredes and Prieto dated June 3, 1952 is hereby maintained, as reaffirmed in the order of Commissioner Paredes dated August 21, 1952, without pronouncement as to costs.

Pablo, Bengzon, Reyes, Jugo, Labrador, Concepcion and Diokno, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com





April-1954 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-5477 April 12, 1954 - QUING v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    094 Phil 736

  • G.R. No. L-5943 April 12, 1954 - CO SAN v. CELEDONIO AGRAVA, ET AL.

    094 Phil 739

  • G.R. No. L-6029 April 12, 1954 - YU CHONG TIAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    094 Phil 742

  • G.R. No. L-6095 April 12, 1954 - DAVID v. CARLOS SISON

    094 Phil 747

  • G.R. No. L-6525 April 12, 1954 - MARTA BANCLOS DE ESPARAGOZA, ET AL. v. BIENVENIDO TAN, ET AL.

    094 Phil 749

  • G.R. No. L-6570 April 12, 1954 - JUAN PLANAS and SOFIA VERDON v. MADRIGAL & CO., ET AL.

    094 Phil 754

  • G.R. No. L-6206 April 13, 1954 - AURELIO G. GAVIERES v. EMILIO SANCHEZ, ET AL.

    094 Phil 760

  • G.R. No. L-5257 April 14, 1954 - ARSENIO ALGARIN, ET AL. v. FRANCISCO NAVARRO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 764

  • G.R. No. L-6089 April 20, 1954 - VICENTE YLANAN v. AQUILINO O. MERCADO

    094 Phil 769

  • G.R. No. L-6201 April 20, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE A. LIVARA

    094 Phil 771

  • G.R. No. L-6307 April 20, 1954 - FELICIANO MANALANG, ET AL. v. GERCIA CANLAS, ET AL.

    094 Phil 776

  • G.R. No. L-6339 April 20, 1954 - MANUEL LARA, ET AL. v. PETRONILO DEL ROSARIO, JR.

    094 Phil 778

  • G.R. No. L-5897 April 23, 1954 - KING MAU WU v. FRANCISCO SYCIP

    094 Phil 784

  • G.R. No. L-6134 April 23, 1954 - RUBEN VALERO, ET AL. v. ISABEL FOLLANTE

    094 Phil 789

  • G.R. No. L-6459 April 23, 1954 - CONSOLACION C. VDA. DE VERZOSA v. BONIFACIO RIGONAN, ET AL.

    094 Phil 794

  • G.R. No. L-6855 April 23, 1954 - LAZARO R. BIEN v. PEDRO BERAQUIT

    094 Phil 798

  • G.R. No. L-6003 April 26, 1954 - RAMON R. DIZON ET AL. v. SIMEON OCAMPO ET AL.

    094 Phil 803

  • G.R. No. L-6063 April 26, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEON AQUINO

    094 Phil 805

  • G.R. No. L-6118 April 26, 1954 - LARRY J. JOHNSON v. HOWARD M. TURNER, ET AL.

    094 Phil 807

  • G.R. No. L-5137 April 27, 1954 - E. E. ELSER, INC., ET AL. v. DE LA RAMA STEAMSHIP CO. INC., ET AL.

    094 Phil 812

  • G.R. No. L-5631 April 27, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX GARCIA

    094 Phil 814

  • G.R. No. L-6691 April 27, 1954 - GAUDENCIO DAY, ET AL. v. GERARDO P. TIOSECO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 816

  • G.R. No. L-5387 April 29, 1954 - CLYDE E. MCGEE v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    094 Phil 820

  • G.R. No. L-5478 April 29, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN JISTIADO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 825

  • G.R. No. L-5547 April 29, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO MANANTAN, ET AL.

    094 Phil 831

  • G.R. No. L-5867 April 29, 1954 - RUPERTO SY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    094 Phil 836

  • G.R. No. L-6061 April 29, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARMEN LICOP

    094 Phil 839

  • G.R. No. L-6291 April 29, 1954 - SAN PEDRO BUS LINE, ET AL. v. NICOLAS NAVARRO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 846

  • G.R. No. L-6323 April 29, 1954 - BASILIA COLOMA VDA. DE VALDEZ v. CONSTANTE L. FARIÑAS, ET AL.

    094 Phil 850

  • G.R. No. L-6498 April 29, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZENAIDA FLORES

    094 Phil 855

  • G.R. No. L-6822 April 29, 1954 - OSCAR VENTANILLA v. HONORABLE L. PASICOLAN

    094 Phil 859

  • G.R. No. L-7071 April 29, 1954 - PEDRO CRISOLO v. HIGINO B. MACADAEG, ET AL.

    094 Phil 862

  • G.R. No. L-3659 April 30, 1954 - PHIL. OPERATIONS, INC. v. AUDITOR GENERAL, ET AL.

    094 Phil 868

  • G.R. Nos. L-5304 to L-5324 April 30, 1954 - SMITH BELL & CO., LTD., ET AL. v. AMERICAN PRES. LINES, ET AL.

    094 Phil 879

  • G.R. No. L-5663 April 30, 1954 - PEDRO TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    094 Phil 882

  • G.R. No. L-5848 April 30, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SY PIO

    094 Phil 885

  • G.R. No. L-6155 April 30, 1954 - JOSE SON v. CEBU AUTOBUS CO.

    094 Phil 892

  • G.R. No. L-6216 April 30, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMANDO AUSTRIA

    094 Phil 897

  • G.R. No. L-6898 April 30, 1954 - LUIS MANALANG v. AURELIO QUITORIANO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 903