Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > May 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. L-39557 May 3, 1984 - ROMULO A. SALES v. ISMAEL MATHAY, SR., ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-39557. May 3, 1984.]

ROMULO A. SALES, Petitioner, v. ISMAEL MATHAY, SR., as Auditor General, EPI REY PANGRAMUYEN, as Commissioner of Civil Service, DAVID CONSUNJI, as Acting Secretary of Department of Public Works and Communications and FELIZARDO TANABE, as Postmaster General, Respondents.

The Solicitor General for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; PUBLIC OFFICERS; SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE; PAYMENT OF BACK SALARIES DURING THE PERIOD OF SUSPENSION NOT ALLOWED; CASE OF VILLAMOR V. LACSON. — Whether petitioner should be entitled to the payment of his back salary during the period of his suspension must be answered in the negative to conform to the ruling in the case of Villamor v. Lacson, 120 Phil. 1213. Therein, the Court held: ". . . It will be noted that the modified decision did not exonerate the petitioners. And if we take into account the fact that they did not work during the period for which they are now claiming salaries, there can be no legal or equitable basis to order the payment of their salaries. The general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he has not rendered any service. As you work, so shall you earn. And even if we consider the punishment as suspension, before a public official or employee is entitled to payment of salaries withheld, it should be shown that the suspension was unjustified or that the employee was innocent of the charges proffered against him, which is not the case in the instant proceedings."cralaw virtua1aw library

2. REMEDIAL LAW; MANDAMUS; AVAILABLE ONLY WHEN PETITIONER’S RIGHT IS CLEAR. — For mandamus to lie, the legal right of the petitioner must be well-defined, clear and certain, otherwise the petition for the issuance of such writ, will be denied. Petitioners have not shown that they are entitled to the salaries, as a matter of right." (Villamor v. Lacson, 120 Phil. 1213 [1964])


D E C I S I O N


FERNANDO, J.:


This proceeding for mandamus against respondent Auditor General Ismael Mathay, Sr., the then Auditor General, 1 now retired, arose from the denial of a claim for back salaries of petitioner Romulo Sales, appointed Clerk II in the Bureau of Posts, previously designated Acting Postmaster of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, who was found short of P992.46 in his account on March 21, 1963 and of P1,000.00 on May 24, 1963. The amount in question covers the period from February 9, 1966 to August 15, 1971, during which time he was under suspension. It was on the latter date that he received a resolution of the then Commissioner of Civil Service reducing what was originally the penalty of dismissal to six months suspension, finding petitioner guilty at most of gross neglect of duty.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

The first letter of respondent Mathay, Sr., dated October 15, 1973, denying the claim, follows: "In reply to your letter, dated March 6, 1973, requesting payment of back salaries during the period that you were allegedly prevented to work as Postal Clerk II in the Pinamalayan Post Office, Oriental Mindoro, for the period from February 9, 1966 to August 15, 1971, please find enclosed a copy of the 4th Indorsement, dated September 18, 1973, of the Acting Undersecretary of Public Works, which is self-explanatory. Accordingly, this Office is not inclined to allow payment of your salary corresponding to the period you were out of the service." 2 The second letter from the same respondent reads thus: "In connection with your letter of October 20, 1973 followed up by your letters of October 22 and 31, 1973, we wish to inform that after considering the fact and circumstances of your case in conjunction with your arguments and the decisions of the Supreme Court you cited, we are of the opinion that your claim for back salaries from February 9, 1966 to August 15, 1971, may not be authorized for the reason that you have not shown that your suspension for the period covered by your claim is unjustified; that you have not rendered service for said period; and that you were not exonerated of the administrative charges against you. Furthermore, the Commissioner of Civil Service in his decision of July 20, 1971, did not expressly order the payment of your back salary. Indeed, in his latest decision (1st Indorsement, dated January 9, 1973, copy attached), the Commissioner of Civil Service denied your claim for payment of back salaries. In view hereof, this Office finds no legal basis for allowing your claim, and, therefore, reiterates its decision embodied in a letter, dated October 15, 1973, to you." 3 Hence this petition.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

Respondents were required to comment. Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza filed the Comment, later considered as the answer, as petition was given due course. There was no dispute as to the above facts. After the filing of the memoranda by both parties, the case was deemed submitted for decision.

This petition for mandamus to review the actuation of respondent Mathay, Sr. lacks merit.

1. On the above facts, the question posed is whether petitioner should be entitled to the payment of his back salary from February 9, 1966 to August 15, 1971. The answer must be in the negative. That is to conform to the ruling in the case of Villamor v. Lacson. 4 The pertinent excerpt, in the ponencia of Justice Paredes, follows: "It will be noted also that the modified decision did not exonerate the petitioners. And if we take into account the fact that they did not work during the period for which they are now claiming salaries, there can be no legal or equitable basis to order the payment of their salaries. The general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he has not rendered any service. As you work, so shall you earn. And even if we consider the punishment as suspension, before a public official or employee is entitled to payment of salaries withheld, it should be shown that the suspension was unjustified or that the employee was innocent of the charges proffered against him (F.B. Reyes v. J. Hernandez, 71 Phil., 397), which is not the case in the instant proceedings." 5

2. The next paragraph of the above ponencia of Justice Paredes is equally conclusive on the matter of why the decision reached by respondent Mathay, Sr. cannot be reversed. Thus: "The action at bar is one of mandamus. For mandamus to lie, the legal right of the petitioner must be well defined, clear and certain, otherwise the petition for the issuance of such writ, will be denied (III Moran’s Comments on the Rules of Court, 1963 Ed. 172). Petitioners have not shown that they are entitled to the salaries, as a matter of right." 6

WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed for lack of merit.

Makasiar, Aquino, Guerrero and Abad Santos, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, Jr., De Castro and Escolin, JJ., took no part.

Endnotes:



1. Joined with him as respondents were the then Commissioner of Civil Service Epi Rey Pangramuyen, the then Acting Secretary of Department of Public Works and Communications David Consunji and the then Postmaster General Felizardo Tanabe.

2. Letter of respondent Mathay, Sr., dated October 15, 1973.

3. Letter of respondent Mathay, Sr., dated May 6, 1974.

4. 120 Phil. 1213 (1964).

5. Ibid, 1219. Cf. Austria v. Auditor General, L-21918, January 24, 1967, 19 SCRA 79; Avila v. Gimenez, L-24615, February 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 321; Yarcia v. City of Baguio, L-27562, May 29, 1970, 33 SCRA 419.

6. Ibid.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





May-1984 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-39557 May 3, 1984 - ROMULO A. SALES v. ISMAEL MATHAY, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45862-64 May 11, 1984 - WENCESLAO GREGORIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45870 May 11, 1984 - MARGARET MAXEY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.xx

  • G.R. Nos. 51549-51 May 11, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO ERVAS

  • G.R. No. 59762 May 11, 1984 - FILOMENO CATORCE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38141 May 16, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANKISIO ARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 50350 May 15, 1984 - ROSA MARIA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 51513 May 15, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICIANO GOROSPE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-31653 May 18, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO P. ORTILLA

  • G.R. No. L-32865 May 18, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO BENARABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-27636 May 19, 1984 - PEDRO A. BERNAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56385 May 19, 1984 - RENATO U. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59760 May 19, 1984 - BENIGNO C. GASCON v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60544 May 19, 1984 - ARSENIO FLORENDO, JR., ET AL. v. PERPETUA D. COLOMA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 1432 May 21, 1984 - GEORGE MARTIN, ET AL. v. JUAN MORENO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38736 May 21, 1984 - FELIPE G. TAC-AN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 44810-12 May 21, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO P. SEDA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-47118 May 21, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN LAGANZON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60471 May 21, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO TAYAPAD

  • G.R. No. 62270 May 21, 1984 - CRISPIN MALABANAN, ET AL. v. ANASTACIO D. RAMENTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 63796-97 May 21, 1984 - LA CHEMISE LACOSTE, S. A. v. OSCAR C. FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 64112 May 21, 1984 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. OTILIO ABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-27342 May 24, 1984 - CO BUN CHUN v. OVERSEAS BANK OF MANILA

  • G.R. No. 57617 May 24, 1984 - FORTUNE HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-40436 May 25, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO TALARO

  • G.R. No. 62871 May 25, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICITO TAWAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30771 May 28, 1984 - LIAM LAW v. OLYMPIC SAWMILL CO., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34241 May 28, 1984 - RICARDO P. PRESBITERO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37945 May 28, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 53915 May 28, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE MORENO

  • G.R. No. 58172 May 28, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO N. GARDON

  • G.R. No. 61487 May 28, 1984 - KHOSROW MINUCHEHR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 65377 May 28, 1984 - MOLAVE MOTOR SALES, INC. v. CRISPIN C. LARON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 66327 May 28, 1984 - JOSE CRUZ v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 51291 May 29, 1984 - FRANCISCO CUIZON, ET AL. v. JOSE R. RAMOLETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 51578 May 29, 1984 - NEW FRONTIER MINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 54553 May 29, 1984 - RONQUILLO PERATER, ET AL. v. EULALIO ROSETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56483 May 29, 1984 - SOSTENES CAMPILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 54919 May 30, 1984 - POLLY CAYETANO v. TOMAS T. LEONIDAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30485 May 31, 1984 - BENJAMIN H. AQUINO v. HERMINIO C. MARIANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35465 May 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. KARUNSIANG GUIAPAR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-39999 May 31, 1984 - ROY PADILLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 63451 May 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ESPIRITU