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CHAPTER 8 Liwayway Vinzons-Chato v.

Fortune Tobacco FACTS: This is a case for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code filed by Fortune against Liwayway as CIR. On June 10, 1993, the legislature enacted RA 7654, which provided that locally manufactured cigarettes which are currently classified and taxed at 55% shall be charged an ad valorem tax of 55% provided that the maximum tax shall not be less than Five Pesos per pack. Prior to effectivity of RA 7654, Liwayway issued a rule, reclassifying Champion, Hope, and More (all manufactured by Fortune) as locally manufactured cigarettes bearing foreign brand subject to the 55% ad valorem tax. Thus, when RA 7654 was passed, these cigarette brands were already covered. In a case filed against Liwayway with the RTC, Fortune contended that the issuance of the rule violated its constitutional right against deprivation of property without due process of law and the right to equal protection of the laws. For her part, Liwayway contended in her motion to dismiss that respondent has no cause of action against her because she issued RMC 3793 in the performance of her official function and within the scope of her authority. She claimed that she acted merely as an agent of the Republic and therefore the latter is the one responsible for her acts. She also contended that the complaint states no cause of action for lack of allegation of malice or bad faith. The order denying the motion to dismiss was elevated to the CA, who dismissed the case on the ground that under Article 32, liability may arise even if the defendant did not act with malice or bad faith. Hence this appeal. ISSUES: Whether or not a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private capacity for acts done in connection with the discharge of the functions of his/her office Whether or not Article 32, NCC, should be applied instead of Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code HELD: On the first issue, the general rule is that a public officer is not liable for damages which a person may suffer arising from the just performance of his official duties and within the scope of his assigned tasks. An officer who acts within his authority to administer the affairs of the office which he/she heads is not liable for damages that may have been caused to another, as it would virtually be a charge against the Republic, which is not amenable to judgment for monetary claims without its consent. However, a public officer is by law not immune from damages in his/her personal capacity for acts done in bad faith which, being outside the scope of his authority, are no longer protected by the mantle of immunity for official actions. Specifically, under Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code, civil liability may arise where there is bad faith, malice, or gross negligence on the part of a superior public officer. And, under Sec. 39 of the same Book, civil liability may arise where the subordinate public officers act is characterized by willfulness or negligence. In Cojuangco, Jr. V. CA, a public officer who directly or indirectly violates the constitutional rights of another, may be validly sued for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code even if his acts were not so tainted with malice or bad faith. Thus, the rule in this jurisdiction is that a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private capacity for acts done in the course of the performance of the functions of the office, where said public officer: (1) acted with malice, bad faith, or negligence; or (2) where the public officer violated a constitutional right of the plaintiff. On the second issue, SC ruled that the decisive provision is Article 32, it being a special law, which prevails over a general law (the Administrative

Code). Article 32 was patterned after the tort in American law. A tort is a wrong, a tortious act which has been defined as the commission or omission of an act by one, without right, whereby another receives some injury, directly or indirectly, in person, property or reputation. There are cases in which it has been stated that civil liability in tort is determined by the conduct and not by the mental state of the tortfeasor, and there are circumstances under which the motive of the defendant has been rendered immaterial. The reason sometimes given for the rule is that otherwise, the mental attitude of the alleged wrongdoer, and not the act itself, would determine whether the act was wrongful. Presence of good motive, or rather, the absence of an evil motive, does not render lawful an act which is otherwise an invasion of anothers legal right; that is, liability in tort in not precluded by the fact that defendant acted without evil intent. ALBERTO V. REYES, ET AL. v. RURAL BANK OF SAN MIGUEL (BULACAN), INC.ET. AL,. G.R. No. 154499, February 27, 2004 Facts: In a letter dated May 19,1999, addressed to then BSP Governor Singson, RBSMI charge the petitioner with violation of RA No. 6713 ( code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees). The Monetary Board (MB) of the BSP created an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the matter. The ensuing investigation disclosed that sometime in September 1996, RBSMI, which had a history of major violations/exceptions dating back to 1995, underwent periodic examination by the BSP. The examination team headed by Principio noted serious 20 exceptions/violations and deficiencies of RBSMI. Through Resolution No. 96, the MB required RBSMI to submit within 15 days a written explanation with respect to the findings of the examiner. It also directed the Department of Rural Banks DRB), to verify, monitor and report to the Deputy Governor, Supervision and Examination Sector (SES) on the findings noted, until the same shall have been corrected. Meanwhile on June 13,1997, the MB approved Resolution No. 724 ordering RBSMI to correct the major exceptions noted within 30 days from receipt of the advice, and to remit to the BSP the amount of P2,538,483.00 as fines and penalties for incurring deficiencies in reserves against deposit liabilities. More than a year after, however, the RBSMI asked for a reconsideration of MB Resolution No. 724 insofar as the imposition of fine amounting to P P2,538,483.00.On January 21, 1999, the MB adopted Resolution No. 71, authorizing the conditional reversal of sixty of the dispute on the findings on reserve deficiency. Subsequently, on April 7, 1999, the MB approved the interim reversal of the entire amount of the penalty pending the outcome of the study on the legal and factual basis for the imposition of the penalty. The above incidents, particularly the alleged brokering by Reyes and the petitioners unsupported recommendation to impose a penalty of P2,538,483.00 for legal reserve deficiency, prompted the respondent to file the letter-complaint charging the petitioners with unprofessionalism. In the Decision if March 14,2003, this Court found Deputy Governor Reyes and Director Domo-ong liable for violation of the standards of professionalism prescribed by RA 6713in that they used the distressed financial condition of respondent RBSMI as the subject of a case study in one of the BSP seminars and did the brokering of the sale of RBSMI. The Court modified the decision of the CA by reducing the penalty imposed from the a fine equivalent to six monthssalary to a fine of 2 months salary for Reyes and one month salary for Domo-ong. The court exonerated petitioner Proncipio of the Administrative charges. The exoneration is subject to RBSMIs Motion for Partial Reconsideration. Issue: Whether or not the Superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence or misfeasance of his subordinate officer. Held: The immunity of public officers from liability for nonfeasance, negligence or omissions of duty of their official subordinate and even for the latters misfeasance or positive wrong rests, according to MECHEM, upon obvious considerations of public policy, the necessities of the public service and the perplexities and embarrassments of a contrary doctrine. These official subordinates are themselves public officers though of an inferior grade, and therefore directly liable in the cases in which any public officer is liable, for their own misdeeds or defaults.

Under the Admin Code of 1987, which provides that head of a department or a superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence, misfeasance of his subordinates, unless he has actually authorized by written order the specific act or misconduct complained of. ANTONIO G. PRINCIPE, petitioner, vs. FACT-FINDING & INTELLIGENCE, BUREAU (FFIB), OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, respondents. The case is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals[1] affirming the Ombudsmans dismissal of petitioner from the government service for gross neglect of duty in connection with the collapse of the housing project at the Cherry Hills Subdivision, Antipolo City, on August 3, 1999. The Facts

Consequently, on April 28, 1994, upon recommendation of respondent TOLENTINO, Philjas application for ECC was approved by respondent PRINCIPE, then Regional Executive Director, DENR under ECC-137-RI-21294. A Mining Field Report for SSMP dated May 10, 1994 was submitted pursuant to the inspection report prepared by respondents CAYETANO, FELICIANO, HILADO and BURGOS, based on their inspection conducted on April 25 to 29, 1994. The report recommended, among others, that the proposed extraction of materials would pose no adverse effect to the environment. Records further disclosed that on August 10, 1994, respondent BALICAS monitored the implementation of the CHS Project Development to check compliance with the terms and conditions in the ECC. Again, on August 23, 1995, she conducted another monitoring on the project for the same purpose. In both instances, she noted that the project was still in the construction stage hence, compliance with the stipulated conditions could not be fully assessed, and therefore, a follow-up monitoring inspection was the last one conducted by the DENR. On September 24, 1994, GOV. CASIMIRO I. YNARES, JR., approved the SSMP applied for by Philjas under SSMP No. RZL-012, allowing Philjas to extract and remove 50,000 metric tons of filling materials from the area for a period of two (2) years from date of its issue until September 6, 1996.[2] On November 15, 1999, the Ombudsman rendered a decision finding petitioner Principe administratively liable for gross neglect of duty and imposing upon him the penalty of dismissal from office. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: x x x the following respondents are hereby found GUILTY as charged and meted the respective penalties provided under Section 22, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules, Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, viz,: 1. xxx

The facts, as found by the Court of Appeals, are as follows: August 28, 1990- Philjas Corporation, whose primary purposes, among others are: to own, develop, subdivide, market and provide low-cost housing for the poor, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). February 19, 1991 - then City Mayor Daniel S. Garcia, endorsed to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) the proposed CHS. Thereafter, or on 07 March 1991, based on the favorable recommendation of Mayor Garcia, respondent TAN, issued the Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearance (PALC) for the development of CHS. On July 5, 1991, then HLURB Commissioner respondent TUNGPALAN issued Development Permit No. 91-0216 for land development only for the entire land area of 12.1034 hectares covered by TCT No. 35083 (now TCT 208837) and with 1,003 saleable lots/units with project classification B. P. 220 Model A-Socialized Housing (p. 96, Records), with several conditions for its development. Three (3) days thereafter or on July 8, 1991, respondent JASARENO, allowed/granted the leveling/earth-moving operations of the development project of the area subject to certain conditions. On November 18, 1991, then HLURB Commissioner AMADO B. DELORIA issued Certificate of Registration No. 91-11-0576 in favor of CHS, with License to Sell No. 91-11-0592 for the 1,007 lots/units in the subdivision. Eventually, on December 10, 1991, respondent POLLISCO issued Small Scale Mining Permit (SSMP) No. IV-316 to Philjas to extract and remove 10,000 cu. meters of filling materials from the area where the CHS is located. Thereafter, or on January 12, 1994, Philjas applied for a Small Scale Mining Permit (SSMP) under P. D. 1899 with the Rizal Provincial Government to extract and remove 50,000 metric tons of filling materials per annum on CHS 2.8 hectares. Thus, on January 17, 1994, respondent MAGNO, informed ELIEZER I. RODRIGUEZ of Philjas that CHS is within the EIS System and as such must secure ECC from the DENR. Philjas was accordingly informed of the matter such that it applied for the issuance of ECC from the DENR-Region IV, on February 3, 1994. On March 12, 1994, an Inspection Report allegedly prepared by respondent BALICAS, attested by respondent RUTAQUIO and approved by respondent TOLENTINO re: field evaluation to the issuance of ECC, was submitted.

5. Antonio G. Principe - Penalty of Dismissal from the Service for Gross Neglect of Duty. SO ORDERED.[3] On January 4, 2000, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review assailing the decision of the Ombudsman.[4] On August 25, 2000, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision denying the petition and affirming the decision of the Ombudsman.[5] Hence, this appeal.[6] The Issue

The issue raised is whether the Ombudsman may dismiss petitioner from the service on an administrative charge for gross neglect of duty, initiated, investigated and decided by the Ombudsman himself without substantial evidence to support his finding of gross neglect of duty because the duty to monitor and inspect the project was not vested in petitioner. The Court's Ruling

Republic Act No. 6770, Section 15, prescribed the powers of the Ombudsman, as follows: Section 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman

shall have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases; (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any officer or employee of the Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties; (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith; or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21[7] of this Act: Provided, That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said officer; (4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as it may provide in its rules of procedure, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action; (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents; (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence: Provided, further, that any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balance, fair and true; (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government, and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency; (8) Administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry, including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records; (9) Punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein; (10) Delegate to the Deputies, or its investigators or representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise or performance of the powers, functions, and duties herein or hereinafter provided; (11) Investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of illgotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25, 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein.[8] The Ombudsman without taking into consideration the lawfully mandated duties and functions attached to petitioners position, immediately concluded that as the signing and approving authority of the ECC issued to PHILJAS, it was incumbent upon petitioner to conduct actual

monitoring and enforce strict compliance with the terms and conditions of the ECC. The applicable administrative orders provide that the function of monitoring environmental programs, projects and activities in the region is lodged with the Regional Technical Director, not with the Regional Executive Director, the position occupied by petitioner. Under DAO 381990, the following were the functions attached to the office of petitioner, to wit: I. REGULATORY MATTERS D. REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 1. Forest Management 2. Land Management 3. Mines and Geo-Sciences Development 4. Environmental Management 4.1 Issues authority to construct and permit to operate pollution control equipment/devices including the collection of corresponding fees/charges. 4.2 Issues accreditation of pollution control office of industrial firms and local government entities. 4.3 Hears/gathers evidences or facts on pollution cases as delegated by the Pollution Adjudication Board. 4.4. Approves plans and issues permit for mine tailings disposal, including environmental rehabilitation plans.[9] Clearly, there is no mention of the responsibility of a regional executive director to monitor projects. More apropos is the description of the functions of a regional technical director, to wit: E. REGIONAL TECHNICAL DIRECTOR 1. Forest Management 2. Land Management 3. Mines and Geo-Sciences Development 4. Environmental Management 4.1 Issues clearance certificate to vehicles which have passed the smoke-belching test. 4.2 Issues pollution clearance and temporary permit to operate pollution control devices including the collection of corresponding fees/charges. 4.3 Conducts monitoring and investigation of pollution sources and control facilities.

4.4 Supervises, coordinates and monitors the implementation of environmental programs, projects and activities in the region.[10] [emphasis supplied] Furthermore, monitoring is defined in DAO No. 21, Series of 1992, as the activity designed to gauge the level of compliance with the conditions stipulated in the ECC,[11] and in the EIS[12] or PD[13] submitted.[14] This is the function of the PENR and CENR offices as mandated in DAO No. 37, Series of 1996.[15] Particularly, it provided that: Section 10. Compliance Monitoring b. Monitoring of compliance with the proponents ECC issued pursuant to an IEE,[16] and applicable laws, rules and regulations, shall be undertaken by the concerned PENRO and CENRO with support from the Regional Office and/or EMB whenever necessary. Hence, how could petitioner be guilty of neglecting a duty, which is not even his to begin with? Administrative liability could not be based on the fact that petitioner was the person who signed and approved the ECC, without proof of actual act or omission constituting neglect of duty. In the absence of substantial evidence of gross neglect of petitioner, administrative liability could not be based on the principle of command responsibility.[17] The negligence of petitioners subordinates is not tantamount to his own negligence. It was not within the mandated responsibilities of petitioner to conduct actual monitoring of projects. The principles governing public officers under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 clearly provide that a head of a department or a superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence, or misfeasance of his subordinates, unless he has actually authorized by written order the specific act or misconduct complained of.[18] The investigation conducted by the Ombudsman refers to the tragic incident in Cherry Hills Subdivision, Antipolo Rizal, where several families lost lives and homes. Despite the fact that what was involved was a housing and land development project, petitioner, as the Regional Executive Director for Region IV, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was found negligent because he was the one who signed and approved the ECC. As heretofore stated, the responsibility of monitoring housing and land development projects is not lodged with the office of petitioner. The Administrative Code of 1987 spelled out the mandate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the agency that has authority over petitioner, which reads: Section 1. Declaration of Policy.- (1) The State shall ensure for the benefit of the Filipino people, the full exploration and development as well as the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the countrys forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other natural resources, consistent with the necessity of maintaining a sound ecological balance and protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment and the objective of making the exploration, development and utilization of such natural resources equitably accessible to the different segments of the present as well as future generations. (2) The State shall likewise recognize and apply a true value system that takes into account social and environmental cost implications relative to the utilization, development and conservation of our natural resources. Section 2. Mandate.- (1) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of the foregoing policy. (2) It shall, subject to law and higher authority, be in charge of carrying out the States constitutional mandate to control and supervise the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the countrys

natural resources.[19] However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 90,[20] the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, which became the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), is the sole regulatory body for housing and land development.[21] The Fallo

WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals.[22] In lieu thereof, the Court annuls the decision of the Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-09-661, dated December 1, 1999, dismissing the petitioner from the government service, and orders his reinstatement with back pay and without loss of seniority. No costs. SO ORDERED. Conducto vs Monzon Date: July 2, 1998 Complainant: Jesus Conducto Respondent: Judge Iluminado Monzon Ponente: Davide Jr Facts: Complainant filed a complaint with the Sangguniang Panlungsod of San Pablo City against Benjamin Maghirang, the barangay chairman of Barangay III-E of San Pablo City, for abuse of authority, serious irregularity and violation of law as Maghirang appointed his sister-in-law, Mrs. Florian Maghirang, to the position of barangay secretary in violation of Section 394 of the LGC. At the same time, complainant filed a complaint for violation of Article 244 RPC with the Office of the City Prosecutor against Maghirang, which was, however, dismissed on the ground that Maghirangs sister-inlaw was appointed before the effectivity of the LGC, which prohibits a punong barangay from appointing a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as barangay secretary. The order of dismissal was submitted to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. Complainant obtained an Opinion from Dir. Jacob Montesa of the DILG declaring the appointment of Maghirang void. The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman dismissed the case but ordered Maghirang to replace his sister in law as barangay secretary. Later, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman granted the MR and ordered the filing of an information for unlawful appointment against Maghirang. With prior leave from the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, the City Prosecutor filed, in Criminal Case No. 26240, a motion for the suspension of Maghirang pursuant to Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019. The judge denied the motion and ruled that since Maghirang was reelected as barangay chairman, the offenses committed during the previous term are not causes for removal. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) recommended that the judge liable for ignorance of the law and that he be reprimanded with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely. The OCA said that it is well settled in Section 13 of RA 3019 that the court suspends any public officer against whom a valid information was filed against him. Issue: WON the judge was grossly ignorant of the law Held: Yes

Ratio: All things considered, while concededly, respondent Judge manifested his ignorance of the law in denying complainants Motion for Suspension of Brgy. Chairman Maghirang, there was nothing shown however to indicate that he acted in bad faith or with malice. Be that as it may, it would also do well to note that good faith and lack of malicious intent cannot completely free respondent from liability. The findings and conclusions of the Office of the Court Administrator are in order. However, the penalty recommended, i.e., reprimand, is too light, in view of the fact that despite his claim that he has been continuously keeping abreast of legal and jurisprudential development [sic] in law ever since he passed the Bar Examinations in 1995, respondent, wittingly or otherwise, failed to recall that as early as

1967 in Ingco v. Sanchez this Court explicitly ruled that the re-election of a public official extinguishes only the administrative, but not the criminal, liability incurred by him during his previous term of office, thus: The ruling, therefore, that -- when the people have elected a man to his office it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct if he had been guilty of any -- refers only to an action for removal from office and does not apply to a criminal case, because a crime is a public wrong more atrocious in character than mere misfeasance or malfeasance committed by a public officer in the discharge of his duties, and is injurious not only to a person or group of persons but to the State as a whole. This must be the reason why Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, which enumerates the grounds for extinction of criminal liability, does not include reelection to office as one of them, at least insofar as a public officer is concerned. Also, under the Constitution, it is only the President who may grant the pardon of a criminal offense. There is a whale of a difference between the two cases. The basis of the investigation which has been commenced here, and which is sought to be restrained, is a criminal accusation the object of which is to cause the indictment and punishment of petitioner-appellant as a private citizen; whereas in the cases cited, the subject of the investigation was an administrative charge against the officers therein involved and its object was merely to cause his suspension or removal from public office. While the criminal cases involves the character of the mayor as a private citizen and the People of the Philippines as a community is a party to the case, an administrative case involves only his actuations as a public officer as [they] affect the populace of the municipality where he serves. Then on 20 June 1969, in Luciano v. The Provincial Governor, et al.,[20] this Court likewise categorically declared that criminal liabilities incurred by an elective public official during his previous term of office were not extinguished by his re-election, and that Pascual v. Provincial Governor and Lizares v. Hechanova referred only to administrative liabilities committed during the previous term of an elective official. Petitioner's reliance on the loose language used in Pascual vs. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija that "each term is separate from other terms and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor" is misplaced. The Court has in subsequent cases made it clear that the Pascual ruling (which dealt with administrative liability) applies exclusively to administrative and not to criminal liability and sanctions. Thus, in Ingco vs. Sanchez the Court ruled that the reelection of a public officer for a new term does not in any manner wipe out the criminal liability incurred by him in a previous term. Punishment for a crime is a vindication for an offense against the State and the body politic. The small segment of the national electorate that constitutes the electorate of the municipality of Antipolo has no power to condone a crime against the public justice of the State and the entire body politic. Reelection to public office is not provided for in Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code as a mode of extinguishing criminal liability incurred by a public officer prior to his reelection. On the contrary, Article 9 of the Anti-Graft Act imposes as one of the penalties in case of conviction perpetual disqualification from public office and Article 30 of the Revised Penal Code declares that such penalty of perpetual disqualification entails "the deprivation of the public offices and employments which the offender may have held, even if conferred by popular election." It is manifest then, that such condonation of an officer's fault or misconduct during a previous expired term by virtue of his reelection to office for a new term can be deemed to apply only to his administrative and not to his criminal guilt. As succinctly stated in then Solicitor General (now Associate Justice) Felix Q. Antonio's memorandum for the State, "to hold that petitioner's reelection erased his criminal liability would in effect transfer the determination of the criminal culpability of an erring official from the court to which it was lodged by law into the changing and transient whim and caprice of the electorate. This cannot be so, for while his constituents may condone the misdeed of a corrupt official by returning him back to office, a criminal action initiated against the latter can only be heard and tried by a court of justice, his nefarious act having been committed against the very State whose laws he had sworn to faithfully obey and uphold. A contrary rule would erode the very system upon which our government is based, which is one of laws and not of men." While diligence in keeping up-to-date with the decisions of this Court is a commendable virtue of judges -- and, of course, members of the Bar -- comprehending the decisions is a different matter, for it is in that area where ones competence may then be put to the test and proven. Thus, it has been said that a judge is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative

that he be conversant with basic legal principles and aware of well-settled and authoritative doctrines.[23] He should strive for excellence, exceeded only by his passion for truth, to the end that he be the personification of justice and the Rule of Law. Needless to state, respondent was, in this instance, wanting in the desired level of mastery of a revered doctrine on a simple issue.

Farolan v Solmac Mktg Comp Farolan (acting commissioner of customs) and Parayno (acting chief of Customs Intelligence) has not released the shipment of OPP film waste/scrap for making fibers and films. Customs claim that the products is of higher class considered as polypropylene film which is restricted by LOI. BOI is in conflict in their opinion. Solmac sued Farolan and Parayno claims not releasing it is not done in good faith. RTC: damages in their private capacity. But Farolan not liable, first name is different, must be Ramon not Damian. GOOD FAITH refers to a state of the mind which is manifested by the acts of the individual concerned. It consists of the honest intention to abstain from taking an unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of another. Good faith is always presumed and it is upon who alleges the contrary that the burden of proof lies. Mistakes concededly committed by public officers are not actionable absent any clear showing that they were motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to bad faith. CHAPTER 9 Canonizado v. Aguirre FACTS: Petitioners were incumbent commissioners of the National Police Commission when Republic Act. No. 8851, otherwise known as the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, took effect. Section 8 of Republic Act. No. 8851 provided that the terms of office of the incumbent commissioners were deemed expired. Petitioners claimed that this violated their security of tenure. HELD: Petitioners are members of the civil service. Republic Act No. 8551 did not expressly abolish the positions of petitioners. Under RA No. 6975, the National Police Commission was under the Department of Interior and Local Government, while under Republic Act. No. 8551 it is made an agency attached to the Department of Interior and Local Government. The organizational structure and the composition of the National Police Commission remain essentially the same except for the addition of the Chief of PNP as ex-officio member. The powers and duties of the National Police Commission remain basically unchanged. No bona fide reorganization of the NPC having been mandated by Congress and insofar as RA 8851 declares the office of the petitioner as expired resulting in their separation from office, it is tantamount to removing civil service employees from office without legal cause therefore, it must be struck down for being constitutionally infirm. Estrada v. Desierto Facts: This is a petition to question the legitimacy of Gloria MacapagalArroyos assumption of the presidency of the Philippines, filed by her immediate predecessor Joseph Estrada.

What actually happened: o May 11, 1998: Estrada wins the presidency with an overwhelming lead. Arroyo is elected as VicePresident. o October 4, 2000: Ilocos Sur governor Luis Chavit Singson starts publicly accusing Estrada and his family of receiving jueteng payoffs. o October 5, 2000: Echoes of Singsons accusations resound in both the Senate and House of Representatives, mainly through opposition members / members of the Minority. o October 11-November, 2000: Several advisers resign, including Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Arroyo. Estradas allies in the Majority defect to the other camp. Past presidents and Archbishop Cardinal Sin call for Estradas resignation.

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November 13, 2000: House Speaker Manuel Villar transmits the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. November 20, 2000: the Impeachment Process formally starts, with 21 Senators as judges, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. presiding. December 7, 2000-January 11, 2001: the Impeachment trial proper. Presentation of evidence. On January 11, 11 senators vote against the opening of the second envelope, which allegedly contains evidence to prove that Estrada indeed kept a secret bank account worth 3.3 billion pesos under the name Jose Velarde. These 11 outnumbered the 10 senators who wanted to have the envelope opened. January 17, 2001: Public prosecutors resign, and the impeachment proceedings, postponed indefinitely. January 18, 2001: Hundreds of people march to EDSA in a mass movement calling for Estradas resignation (dubbed the EDSA II Movement). January 19, 2001: the Military withdraws support from Estrada, and more members of the Executive branch resign. Estrada agrees to holding a snap election for President where he would not be a candidate. January 20, 2001: Estradas and Arroyos advisers start negotiations on a peaceful and orderly transfer of power, only to be cut short by Arroyos oathtaking as the 14th President of the Philippines. That same day, Estrada and his family leave Malacaang. Estrada releases a statement which said that he was leaving Malacaang for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. He also sends a letter to both chambers of Congress saying that he [is] unable to exercise the powers and duties of [his] office. January 22, 2001: Congress issues a Resolution recognizing and expressing support for the Arroyo presidency. Other countries expressed the same. February 6, 2001: Sen. Teofisto Guingona is nominated by Arroyo to be her Vice-President February 7, 2001: Senate passed Resolution No. 83 terminating the Impeachment Court.


The Ombudsman has to stop the investigation since he had already developed a bias against him (Estrada) from the barrage of prejudicial publicity on his guilt. Respondents Argument: The cases pose a political question ( the legitimacy of the Arroyo administration ) and are therefore out of the Courts jurisdiction, especially since Arroyo became president through people power, and has already been recognized as such by other governments. They compare the present case with Aquinos revolutionary government (Lawyers League for a Better Philippines v. Aquino).

Issue: Whether or not Estrada is merely a President on leave, which makes Arroyo just an Acting President. (Whether Estrada resigned from his position) Held: Estrada resigned from his position. There are two elements that must be present to consider someone to have resigned: first, the intent to resign, and second, the act/s of relinquishment. Both elements were evident in Estradas actuations before he left Malacaang, and so he must be considered to have resigned. o Using the Totality Test (i.e., the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing material relevance on the issue), the Court found that Estradas acts to be tantamount to his resignation. For intent: the Court mainly used Angaras Diary, Final Days of Joseph Ejercito Estrada, in order to intuit Estradas intent. The Diary, which was published in a major publication, described Estradas acts following the massive withdrawal of support by former Estrada allies. Here, Estrada is quoted to have proposed a snap election of which he would not be a part. He was also shown to have conceded to the idea that he had to resign. For acts of relinquishment: the Court enumerated five. a. Estrada acknowledged Arroyos oathtaking as President of the Republic. b. He said he was leaving the seat of presidency for the sake of peace but did not say that he would return or that he was leaving only temporarily. He did not specify what kind of inability it was that prevented him from discharging his presidential duties at that time. c. He thanked the people for the opportunity to serve them. The Court took this as a past opportunity. d. He also said he was ready for any future challenge, and the Court took to mean a future challenge after occupying the [presidency]. e. He called on his supporters to join efforts at reconciliation and solidarity. The Court said that these would not be possible if Estrada refuses to give up the presidency. Estrada also argues that he could not have resigned as a matter of law, since Section 12 of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) prohibits the resignation or retirement of any public officer

What the parties to this case did: o February 5, 2001: Estrada files a petition for prohibition with a prayer for a writ or preliminary injunction to enjoin Ombudsman Desierto from continuing the probe on the criminal cases filed against him (OMB Case No. 0-00-1629, 1754-1758), supposedly until his term as President is over. February 6, 2001: Estrada files another petition, this time a quo warranto petition, against Arroyo. He wanted to be confirmed as the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines and Arroyo only as temporary / acting president until he is able to resume his duties. February 24, 2001: Respondents file their replies to Estradas consolidated petitions. 1. Petitioners Arguments: He has not resigned as President yet, and so Arroyos presidency was void since the position was not vacant at the time she was sworn in. He is only temporarily unable to fulfill his duties as President, and that he is merely on leave. Given the above arguments, Estrada is still President, especially since he was never impeached, and he thus enjoys Presidential Immunity from all kinds of suit.

pending a criminal or administrative investigation for any case filed against him under RA 3019 or the Revised Penal Codes provisions on bribery. The Court interpreted this provision according to the intent of the lawmakers, and that is that the provision was included supposedly to prevent the act of resignation or retirement from being used as a protective shield to stop the investigation of a pending criminal or administrative case against him and to prevent his prosecution under [RA 3019] Estrada therefore cannot invoke this provision to violate the very practice it was supposed to prevent. TOMAS N. JOSON III, petitioner, vs. NARCISO S. NARIO, LUIS T. SANTOS, in his capacity as Secretary of Local Governments, and SENDON O. DELIZO, in his capacity as Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 26, at Cabanatuan City, respondents. Whether or not the office of Vice-Governor of Nueva Ecija was rendered vacant by the voluntary resignation of the person duly elected thereto during the 1988 local elections, is the principal issue involved in this special civil action of certiorari. The position is now contested by said ViceGovernor, Narciso Nario who withdrew his resignation a few days after tendering it and the petitioner Tomas Joson III, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan member who obtained the highest number of votes in the same local elections of 1988, and who, upon Nario's resignation, assumed the position of Vice-Governor. The controversy originated from the indefinite sick leave that the incumbent Governor of Nueva Ecija, Eduardo L. Joson, had to take on December 7, 1989, thus creating a temporary vacancy in his Office. As Vice Governor, Nario took over as Acting Governor pursuant to the Local Government Code (B.P. Blg. 337). 1 But as fate would have it, Nario himself fell ill shortly afterwards, and so executed a "waiver" of his "right" to the office of Governor reading as follows: 2 December 18, 1989 Effective December 19,1989, I hereby expressly waive my right to assume the position of Acting Governor of Nueva Ecija in favor of Senior Board Member Tomas N. Joson III. s/t/ NARCISO S. NARIO Vice-Governor Joson forthwith took his oath as Acting Governor, on December 19, 1989. 3 Four (4) days later, apparently feeling that his illness had worsened, Nario sent a letter to the Secretary of local Governments tendering his resignation as Vice- Governor of Nueva Ecija. 4 His letter reads as follows: December 22, 1989 Hon. Luis T. Santos Sir: For reasons of poor health, I hereby respectfully tender my voluntary resignation as Vice-Governor of Nueva Ecija effective after the close of office hours today, December 22, 1989. Very truly yours, s/t/ NARCISO S. NARIO Vice-Governor The following day, Acting Governor Joson took his oath of office as ViceGovernor of Nueva Ecija. 5 Then on December 26, 1989, he sent an official communication (a 1st indorsement) to Secretary Santos: (a) forwarding the resignation of Vice-Governor Nario, and (b) advising of his assumption of the office of Vice-Governor "pursuant to the provisions of Section 49 (1)

of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337." 6 Having in the meantime discovered, after undergoing further medical examination, that his illness was not as serious as originally feared, and having thus been convinced of his physical fitness to resume work, Nario wrote to Secretary Santos on January 2, 1990, withdrawing his "Letters of resignation as Vice-Governor of Nueva Ecija and waiver as Acting Governor," and requesting that they be considered "as without legal force and effect." 7 Secretary Santos acted promptly on Nario's letter. On January 3, 1990, he sent Nario two (2) communications. The first, 8 after noting the contents of Nario's letter of January 2, 1990, advised him that . . . for all legal intents and purposes, we consider you as the Vice Governor of the Province of Nueva Ecija, and as such, you shall discharge the powers, duties and functions appurtenant thereto and such other as may be prescribe by law. The second contained the following designation and directive: 9 In view of the temporary incapacity of the Provincial Governor of Nueva Ecija, Hon. Eduardo L. Joson, on account of physical cause, pursuant to the provisions of Section 52 of the Local Government Code I (BP Blg. 337), you, as vice governor, are hereby designated as acting provincial governor of Nueva Ecija and, as such, shall exercise the powers, duties and functions of the office during the period prescribed by law. On the same day, January 3, 1990, Nario took his oath as Acting Provincial Governor before Secretary Santos, after which the latter wrote a third letter, this time addressed to petitioner Joson as "First Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member." 10 The letter reads as follows: In view of the assumption of office of Provincial Governor of Nueva Ecija by Vice-Governor Narciso S. Nario, you are hereby directed to cease and desist from discharging any and all powers, duties, and functions appertaining to the office of Provincial Governor. It further appears that on the same day, January 3, 1990, Secretary Santos also sent a telegram to the Provincial Commander of Nueva Ecija of the following tenor: 11 I HAVE TODAY DESIGNATED VICE GOVERNOR NARCISO NARIO AS ACTING GOVERNOR OF NUEVA ECIJA DUE TO TEMPORARY INCAPACITY OF GOVERNOR EDUARDO JOSON AND I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR ASSISTANCE IN EFFECTING HIS ORDERLY AND PEACEFUL ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE. THANK YOU. Joson reacted by filing with the Regional Trial Court at Cabanatuan City, on January 4, 1990, a petition for "prohibition and injunction, with prayer for restraining order docketed as Civil Case No. 746-AF. 12 He succeeded in obtaining on the same day a "status quo order" from the Executive Judge, Hon. Sendon Delizo. 13 Hearing was set on January 12, 1990. Oppositions were presented in due course by the Solicitor General, in representation of Secretary Luis T. Santos, 14 and by the lawyers of Acting Governor Nario. 15 Thereafter, and after conducting a hearing on January 12, 1990 as scheduled' 16 Judge Delizo rendered judgment on January 15, 1990, dismissing Joson's petition and lifting the temporary restraining order issued earlier. 17 In his Decision, His Honor, citing Punsalan v. Mendoza, 140 SCRA 153, ruled that "(i)n our jurisdiction acceptance is necessary for resignation of public office to be operative and effective, otherwise, the officer is subject to penal provisions of Art. 238 of the Revised Penal Code;" and, invoking Rosales v. Court of Appeals, 165 SCRA 344, further declared that "petitioner (Joson) in instituting the present action had deviated (from) the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, thereby rendered (rendering) this action pre-mature." On January 17, 1990, Joson filed with this Court a petition for review on

certiorari basically praying for judgment 1) reversing the decision of respondent Judge dated January 15, 1990; 2) declaring illegal and without force and effect, Nario's withdrawal of his voluntary resignation and sustaining Joson's assumption of the positions of Vice-Governor and Acting Governor of Nueva Ecija; 3) declaring null and void the designation of Nario as Acting Governor of Nueva Ecija made by Secretary Santos on January 3, 1990. The petitioner would have this Court adopt his theory that "since the Local Government Code does not provide as to when the voluntary resignations of Vice-Governors shall become effective" unlike the case of a sanggunian member whose resignation takes effect and operates as a vacation of his position only upon acceptance of the resignation "by the sanggunian concerned"Nario's resignation "should be construed to be effective on the date specified in the resignation, without need of acceptance." 18 He adverts to the omission of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code to 44 provide the mechanism for the resignation of a Vice-Governor attributing this "to the fact that the Code clearly provides for succession in case of resignation (of a vicegovernor)," i.e., in who obtained "the member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the largest number of votes in the last elections shall ipso jure succeed to the office of the Vice-Governor," a clear indication, in his view, that acceptance of the latter's resignation "is no longer necessary." Petitioner further claims that Nario's acts, coupled with his awareness of the assumption by Joson of the office of Vice-Governor, clearly establish "his intention to totally abandon said office," and constitute an "absolute relinquishment" thereof. 19 The petitioner also submits that his case falls within one of the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies, i.e., it involves "a purely legal question." The decided weight of authority is that "apart from legal provision, . . . mere presentation of resignation does not work a vacancy, and a resignation is not complete until accepted by proper authority;" 20 ". . . and until acceptance by proper authority the tender or offer to resign is revocable," unless other-wise provided by statute." 21 This is not to say that a public officer may not resign. Mechem says that he "'may certainly resign, I but without acceptance his resignation is nothing, and he remains in office.' He is, therefore, so far as the rights of third persons are concerned, not only still clothed with authority, but is subject to the burdens of the office, and he may be compelled to perform the duties, and is liable for their non-performance, as before." 22 The rule rests on "the obvious dictates of public policy," Mechem states, stressing that 23 . . . "As civil officers are appointed for the purpose of exercising the functions and carrying on the operations of the government, and maintaining public order, a political organization would seem to be imperfect which should allow the depositories of its power to throw off their responsibilities at their own pleasure. This certainly was not the doctrine of the common law. In England, a person elected to a municipal office was obliged to accept it and perform its duties, and be subjected himself to a penalty by refusal. An office was regarded as a burden which the appointee was bound, in the interest of the community and of good government, to bear. And from this it followed of course that, after an office was conferred and assumed, it could not be laid down without the consent of the appointing power. So it is said by Chief Justice Ruffin of North Carolina, "It is not true that an office is held at will of either party. It is held at the will of both. . . . The public has a right to the services of all citizens, and may demand them in all civil departments as well as in the military. Hence, there are on our statute books several acts to compel men to service in offices. Every man is obliged, upon a general principle, after entering his office, to discharge the duties of it while he continues in office, and he can not lay it down until the public, or those to whom authority is confided, are satisfied that the office

is in a proper state to be left, and the officer discharged. "In our jurisprudence," this Court has held, "acceptance is necessary for resignation of a public officer to be operative and effective, otherwise the officer is subject to the penal provisions of Article 238 of the Revised Penal Code which states that: ART. 238. Abandonment of office or position. Any public officer who, before the acceptance of his resignation shall abandon his office to the detriment of the public service shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor. If such office shall have been abandoned in order to evade the discharge of duties of preventing, prosecuting, or punishing any of the crimes falling within Title One and Chapter One of Title Three of Book Two of this code, the offender shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum or medium periods, and by arresto mayor if the purpose of abandonment is to evade the duty of preventing, prosecuting or punishing any other crime. Clearly, a public officer cannot abandon his office or position before his resignation is accepted, but the incumbent official would not be in a position to determine the acceptance of his resignation unless he has been duly notified therefor. It must be noted that respondent Court of Appeals underscored the undeniable fact that while the President's letter of acceptance was dated October 6, 1972, it was completely processed only on October 20, 1972 and officially received by Judge Ruiz on October 21, 1972. Thus, respondent Court's holding that even if there were strict interpretation as to when Judge Ruiz ceased to be a member of the Judiciary although petitioners maintain that the date of his cessation from office is October 6, 1972, still, his acts before the official notification of acceptance of his resignation are those of a de facto officer, and, therefore, valid, is correct." 24 In another case, this Court affirmed the same doctrine, commented on by Mechem and others, supra, that "without acceptance . . . (an officer's) resignation is nothing, and he remains in office; . . . (and that) "as far as the rights of third persons are concerned, not only (is he) still clothed with authority but (he) is subject to the burdens of the office, . . . may be compelled to perform the duties, and is liable for their non-performance . . ." In Punsalan v. Mendoza, supra, the Court held implicitly but no less clearly that the effectivity of a public official's resignation depends not on such much on its terms, e.g., effective at the pleasure of the President," or at a particular time or on the happening of a particular contingency, but as a legal proposition, on acceptance thereof by the proper authority. For, quite obviously, such appropriate authority can disregard the terms of the official's resignation, and as easily reject it as accept it; and obviously, too, "(a)bandonment by the incumbent of his office before acceptance of his resignation is punishable under the Revised Penal Code." The respondent Judge was thus correct in refusing to issue the writ of prohibition sued for by petitioner Joson. It was not within the power of respondent Nario to dictate the time of the effectiveness of his resignation, or otherwise impose conditions thereon. That was the prerogative of the Secretary of Local Governments, as the proper authority to act thereon. It was well within the Secretary's power and discretion to accept or reject the resignation. Nario therefore continued as Vice-Governor despite his tender of resignation and despite his absence from office for a few days on account of sickness. Never having lost the office of Vice-Governor, it was also lawful and logical for him to assume the position of Acting Governor, temporarily vacant due to the infirmity of the incumbent, as he eventually did on instructions of the Secretary of Local Governments. The conclusion thus reached makes unnecessary the Court's ruling on any other point. WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED, and the judgment thereby challenged is AFFIRMED, with costs against the petitioner. IT IS SO ORDERED.