Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > October 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. L-40244 October 31, 1984 - JULIANA Z. LIMOICO v. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-40244. October 31, 1984.]

JULIANA Z. LIMOICO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS, PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE, Defendant-Appellant.

Marcos J. Rotea for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Solicitor General, for Defendant-Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; NOT APPLICABLE WHERE QUESTION IN DISPUTE IS PURELY LEGAL. — The principle requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies is not applicable where the question in dispute is purely a legal one. (Gonzales v. Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230 [1963]) This doctrine was reaffirmed in Begosa v. Chairman of the Philippine Veterans Administration, 32 SCRA 466 (1970), in Teoxon v. Members of the Board of Administrators, Philippine Veterans Administration, 33 SCRA 585 (1970); and in Del Mar v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 50 SCRA 340 (1973). In the case at bar, the parties had stipulated on the facts; no oral or documentary evidence was presented; and the question before the lower Court was solely one of law.

2. ID.; PHILIPPINE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION; REVISED RULES AND REGULATIONS ON VETERANS BENEFITS; PROSPECTIVE OPERATION. — True, Section 10, Regulation No. 1, PVA Revised Rules and Regulations on Veterans Benefits does provide for payment of pension awards only upon approval of a claim. These rules were promulgated pursuant to Sections 6 and 7 of Republic Act No. 65, ("Section 6. Republic Act No. 65. It shall be the duty of the Board to pass upon the merits and qualifications of persons applying for the rights and/or privileges extended by this Act, pursuant to such rules it may adopt to ensure the speedy fulfillment of its aims and purposes.") and Section 11 of Republic Act No. 2664 ("Section 11. Republic Act No. 2664. Policies, rules and regulations. — Subject to existing laws, the Administration shall have the power to promulgate and issue rules and regulations as may be found necessary to govern its operations and to carry out the aims and purposes of this Act and all other laws to be administered by the Administration"). However, it is of significance that those rules were non-existent at the time plaintiff-appellee filed her claim in 1958, at which time it was Republic Act No. 65, enacted on October 18, 1946, that governed. The Rules were promulgated only in 1960 after the enactment of Republic Act No. 2664 on June 18, 1960, or twelve years after Republic Act No. 65 took effect. Like the laws from which they derive their existence, those rules and regulations should not be given retroactive effect unless the contrary is provided. (See Article 4, Civil Code)

3. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; PENSION LAWS OF WAR VETERANS; SHOULD BE CONSTRUED IN FAVOR OF CLAIMANTS; CASE AT BAR. — An established axiom ordains the construction of pension laws of war veterans in favor of those seeking their benefits (Del Mar v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 51 SCRA 340 [1973]). Plaintiff’s claim was valid and meritorious as of the date of its filing on April 23 1958. In fairness and good conscience, payments to her should commence from said date (See Begosa v. Chairman, PVA, supra) and not from the date of approval of her claim in 1972 or fourteen (14) years later. The alleged length of time that plaintiff took to submit the required supporting papers, should not prejudice her considering that more often than not, the majority of claimants for pension benefits are of low educational attainment and hail from distant provinces. The conclusion arrived at is but in keeping with the well-known spirit motivating our pension laws, that is, to assist the families of those who have died in defense of their country.


D E C I S I O N


MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:


This case was decided by the then Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XIV, on the basis of the Stipulation of Facts submitted by the parties as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"x       x       x

"1. Petitioner is the legal widow of the late veteran, Pablo Limoico, who died in the battle field of Bataan during the last World War II;

"2. That the respondent is an agency of the Government charged with the administration of different laws providing various benefits in favor of Filipino veterans, their widows, orphans and parents;

"3. On April 23, 1958, petitioner filed an application for pension benefits under section 10 of RA 65 and was docketed under Claim No. D-23855;

"4. After due investigation and verification, said claim was approved on May 24, 1972 because it was only around that date when petitioner was able to complete her supporting papers, awarding her a monthly pension of P100 in accordance with RA 4117 amending section 10 of RA 65.

"5. After the approval of petitioner’s application, she has been receiving continuously the said amount up to the present without questioning the action of the Board not until she filed this case in court on October 19, 1973;

x       x       x"

Plaintiff’s complaint was one for Specific Performance wherein she prayed that defendant be ordered to make the effectivity of her pension commence from the date she filed her application and not from the date of approval.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

Defendant, through the Solicitor General, interposed the defense of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies, and that pursuant to rules and regulations of defendant, payment of pension awards should commence only upon approval of the claim.

The judgment of the Trial Court ordered defendant

". . . to pay petitioner a monthly pension of P50.00 from April 23, 1958 to be increased to P100.00 a month from date of effectivity of RA 4117. No pronouncement as to costs."cralaw virtua1aw library

Defendant’s plea for reconsideration having been denied, it elevated the case on appeal to the then Court of Appeals, which certified the same to this instance as involving a pure question of law.

The issues are whether the lower Court erred in holding that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply in this case, and in ordering that payment of the pension award shall commence upon approval of the claim.

Defendant’s appeal must fail. This Court has held that the principle requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies is not applicable where the question in dispute is purely a legal one. 1 This doctrine was reaffirmed in Begosa v. Chairman of the Philippine Veterans Administration, 32 SCRA 466 (1970), in Teoxon v. Members of the Board of Administrators, Philippine Veterans Administration, 33 SCRA 585 (1970); and in Del Mar v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 51 SCRA 340 (1973). In the case at bar, the parties had stipulated on the facts; no oral or documentary evidence was presented; and the question before the lower Court was solely one of law.

The second assigned error is neither persuasive. True, Section 10, Regulation No. 1, PVA Revised Rules and Regulations on Veterans Benefits does provide for payment of pension awards only upon approval of a claim. These rules were promulgated pursuant to Sections 6 and 7 of Republic Act No. 65, 2 and Section 11 of Republic Act No. 2664. 3 However, it is of significance that those rules were non-existent at the time plaintiff-appellee filed her claim in 1958, at which time it was Republic Act No. 65, enacted on October 18, 1946, that governed. The Rules were promulgated only in 1960 after the enactment of Republic Act No. 2664 on June 18, 1960, or twelve years after Republic Act No. 65 took effect. Like the laws from which they derive their existence, those rules and regulations should not be given retroactive effect unless the contrary is provided. 4

Furthermore, an established axiom ordains the construction of pension laws of war veterans in favor of those seeking their benefits. 5 Plaintiff’s claim was valid and meritorious as of the date of its filing on April 23, 1958. In fairness and good conscience, payments to her should commence from said date 6 and not from the date of approval of her claim in 1972 or fourteen (14) years later. The alleged length of time that plaintiff took to submit the required supporting papers, should not prejudice her considering that more often than not, the majority of claimants for pension benefits are of low educational attainment and hail from distant provinces. The conclusion arrived at is but in keeping with the well-known spirit motivating our pension laws, that is, to assist the families of those who have died in defense of their country.chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed in toto. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, Plana, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr. and De la Fuente, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Gonzales v. Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230 (1963).

2. "Republic Act No. 65.

"Section 6. It shall be the duty of the Board to pass upon the merits and qualifications of persons applying for the rights and or privileges extended by this Act, pursuant to such rules it may adopt to ensure the speedy fulfillment of its aims and purposes."cralaw virtua1aw library

"Section 7 . . . The Board shall adopt with the approval of the Secretary of National Defense such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

3. "Republic Act No. 2664.

"Section 11. Policies, rules and regulations. Subject to existing laws, the Administration shall have the power to promulgate and issue rules and regulations as may be found necessary to govern it operations and to carry out the aims and purposes of this Act and all other laws to be administered by the Administration."cralaw virtua1aw library

4. See Article 4, Civil Code.

5. Del Mar v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 51 SCRA 340 (1973).

6. See Begosa v. Chairman, PVA, supra.




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





October-1984 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-28377 October 1, 1984 - IN RE: UY TONG v. MARIO R. SILVA

  • B.M. No. 139 October 11, 1984 - PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR. v. ELMO S. ABAD

  • G.R. No. L-35605 October 11, 1984 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. JUDGE OF BRANCH III OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-31139 October 12, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO MORAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34857 October 12, 1984 - AGAPITO PAREDES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43792 October 12, 1984 - PEDRO BALDEBRIN v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-61647 October 12, 1984 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-62243 October 12, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REGINO VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-28673 October 23, 1984 - SAMAR MINING COMPANY, INC. v. NORDEUTSCHER LLOYD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30310 October 23, 1984 - SATURNINO MEDIJA v. ERNESTO PATCHO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-31300-01 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY A. ENRIQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-31861 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO RAMOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-32216 October 23, 1984 - NATIONAL MINES & ALLIED WORKER’S UNION v. GABRIEL V. VALERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-33442 October 23, 1984 - JOVITA QUISMUNDO v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34654 October 23, 1984 - BENJAMIN TUPAS, ET AL. v. DANIEL DAMASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36513 October 23, 1984 - RAMON ALBORES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-38346-47 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEOFILO DIOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43349 October 23, 1984 - REMUS VILLAVIEJA v. MARINDUQUE MINING AND INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-44455 October 23, 1984 - JACOBO I. GARCIA v. JUAN F. ECHIVERRI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45087 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PROCESO Q. ABALLE

  • G.R. No. L-52348 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SECULLES

  • G.R. No. L-52415 October 23, 1984 - INSULAR BANK OF ASIA AND AMERICA EMPLOYEES’ UNION v. AMADO G. INCIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56218 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO PADILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56856 October 23, 1984 - HENRY BACUS, ET AL. v. BLAS OPLE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-57738 October 23, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GORGONIO RESANO

  • G.R. No. L-59980 October 23, 1984 - BERLIN TAGUBA, ET AL. v. MARIA PERALTA VDA. DE DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-62439 October 23, 1984 - GREGORY JAMES POZAR v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. L-33841 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLAVIANO G. PUDA

  • G.R. No. L-38988 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL DALUSAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-39025 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO YURONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-39949 October 31, 1984 - MANUEL H. SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-40244 October 31, 1984 - JULIANA Z. LIMOICO v. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS

  • G.R. No. L-41569 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SALVADOR C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-44486 October 31, 1984 - ALEXIS C. GANDIONCO v. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 53568 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE SALIG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56011 October 31, 1984 - ELMER PEREGRINA, ET AL. v. DOMINGO D. PANIS

  • G.R. No. 56540 October 31, 1984 - COSME LACUESTA v. BARANGAY CASABAAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 58426 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO VALENCIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59956 October 31, 1984 - ISABELO MORAN, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 61215 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR MANCAO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 61873 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELIAS BORROMEO

  • G.R. No. 64316 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE RAMIREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 64923 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUIRINO CIELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 65349 October 31, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO M. ADRIANO

  • G.R. No. 66070 October 31, 1984 - EQUITABLE BANKING CORPORATION v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 66321 October 31, 1984 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 67422-24 October 31, 1984 - FERNANDO VALDEZ v. GREGORIO U. AQUILIZAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 68043 October 31, 1984 - PALOMO BUILDING TENANTS ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.