You are on page 1of 4

Admin Law | 2014-2015 | Room 406

Presumption of good faith & regularity


Illegal Shipment; Public Officer in good faith, not
actionable
Farolan v Solmac Mktg., G.R. No. 83589, 313-91
FACTS:
A shipment of Solmac Marketing arrived. What
was authorized by the Board of Investment(BOI)
was polyethelyne but oriented polypropylene the
importation of which was restricted, if not
prohibited, under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No.
658-B. Farolan and Parayno in their private
capacities despite the finding of bad faith. They
were held liable to pay damages by CA. Whether
or not the petitioners acted in good faith in not
immediately
releasing
the
questioned
importation, or, simply, can they be held liable, in
their personal and private capacities, for
damages to the private respondent.
RULING:
It can be seen from all the foregoing that even
the highest officers (Chairman Ongpin, ViceChairman Tordesillas, and Governor Zayco) of the
BOI themselves were not in agreement as to
what proper course to take on the subject of the
various importations of Oriented Polypropylene
(OPP) and Polypropylene (PP) withheld by the
Bureau
of
Customs.
The
conflicting
recommendations of the BOI on this score
prompted the petitioners to seek final clarification
from the former with regard to its policy on these
importations. This resulted in the inevitable delay
in the release of the Clojus shipment, one of the
several of such importations. The confusion over
the disposition of this particular importation
obviates bad faith. Thus the trial court's finding
that the petitioners acted in good faith in not
immediately releasing the Clojus shipment
pending a definitive policy of the BOI on this
matter is correct. It is supported by substantial
evidence on record, independent of the
presumption of good faith, which as stated
earlier, was not successfully rebutted.
Nonetheless, it is the duty of the Court to see to
it that public officers are not hampered in the
performance of their duties or in making
decisions for fear of personal liability for
damages due to honest mistake. Whatever
damage they may have caused as a result of
such an erroneous interpretation, if any at all, is
in
the
nature
of
a damnum
absque
injuria. 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. 21 After
all, "even under the law of public officers, the
acts of the petitioners are protected by the
presumption of good faith.
In the same vein, the presumption, disputable
though it may be, that an official duty has been
regularly performed 23 applies in favor of the
petitioners.
Omnia
praesumuntur
rite
et
solemniter esse acta. (All things are presumed to
be correctly and solemnly done.) It was private
respondent's burden to overcome this juris
tantum presumption. We are not persuaded that
it has been able to do so.
Tuzon v CA, G.R. No. 90107, August 21,
1992
Compelling Donation
FACTS:
A resolution was passed requiring thresher
operators to donate 1% of all the palay threshed
to help finance the continuation of the
construction of the Sports and Nutrition Center
Building.
Jurado applied for permit however it was denied
because of his refusal to pay the 1%.
The only issue that has to be resolved in this case
is whether or not the petitioners are liable in
damages to the private respondent for having
withheld from him the mayors permit and license
because of his refusal to comply with Resolution
No. 9.
RULING:
The private respondent anchors his claim for
damages on Article 27 of the New Civil Code. In
the present case, it has not even been alleged
that the Mayor Tuzons refusal to act on the
private respondents application was an attempt
to compel him to resort to bribery to obtain
approval of his application. It cannot be said
either that the mayor and the municipal treasurer
were motivated by personal spite or were grossly
negligent in refusing to issue the permit and
license to Jurado.
The Court is convinced that the petitioners acted
within the scope of their authority and in
consonance with their honest interpretation of
the resolution in question. We agree that it was
not for them to rule on its validity. In the absence
of a judicial decision declaring it invalid, its
legality would have to be presumed (in fact, both
the trial court and the appellate court said there
was nothing wrong with it). As executive officials
of the municipality, they had the duty to enforce
it as long as it had not been repealed by the
Sangguniang Bayan or annulled by the courts.

Admin Law | 2014-2015 | Room 406


. . . As a rule, a public officer, whether judicial,
quasi-judicial or executive, is not personally
liable to one injured in consequence of an act
performed within the scope of his official
authority, and in line of his official duty.
. . . It has been held that an erroneous
interpretation of an ordinance does not constitute
nor does it amount to bad faith that would entitle
an aggrieved party to an award for damages.
(Philippine Match Co. Ltd. v. City of Cebu, 81
SCRA 99).
Racing gone wrong!!!
Phil. Racing Club v Bonifacio, G.R. No. L11910, 9-31-60
FACTS:
In a race held at the Sta. Ana Hippodrome
belonging to the Philippine Racing Club, Inc. on
July 23, 1950, the competing horses went off to a
faulty start. They decided to cancel it and had
their decision announced to the public. In the
meantime, while the investigation was going on,
the holders of the winning the tickets were able
to cash the same at the ticket windows. The
result was that while the club paid the dividends
on the winning tickets it had to refund to the
holders of the losing ones the sum of P5,032.00.
RTC: made them liable; CA: reversed RTC
Decision
RULING:
Hence, there are two groups of officials who act
in every race whose functions are different from
the other: the board of judges and the board of
stewards. The judges determine who the winners
are, their decision being final and irrevocable; the
stewards, on the other hand, are given the power
to annul any race if in their opinion there is a bad
start or some good reasons exist justifying it.
And over these officials we have the Commission
on Races which is charged with the duty to
supervise their action and the performance of
their duties in connection with the races.
The functions of these groups of officials should
not be confused. They are clearly delimited in the
rules and regulations adopted for the purpose. As
we have seen, the board of judges was created to
decide the race and its decision is final and
unappealable. This means that the public has no
other recourse than to abide by it even if it
believes it to be erroneous. No other authority
can change or reverse its decision. But the
functions of the board of stewards are somewhat
different. They have nothing to do with the
decision of the race. That function exclusively

devolves upon the judges. Its functions are


merely to see that the race be regular, or that the
horses start properly, otherwise it may declare
the race annulled or ineffective. But this is
addressed to its discretion. Once such discretion
is exercised, no other authority can interfere. Its
decision is also final.
We are, therefore, of the opinion that the action
taken by the Commission on Races cancelling or
annulling the race held on July 23, 1950 for the
reason that there was a faulty start on the part of
some horses was in excess of the authority
granted to it by law. It is true, as already stated,
that the Commission on Races has the
supervision over all horse races and over all race
officials and employees having connection with
their operations, but such power of supervision
cannot be extended to functions which belong to
other officials as delimited by law. As defined by
this Court, supervision only means overseeing or
the power or authority to see that subordinate
officers perform their duties. It is different from
control which includes the power to alter, nullify
or set aside what a subordinate officer may do in
the performance of his duties, as well as to
substitute the judgment of the superior for that
of his subordinate (Mondano vs. Silvosa, 97 Phil.,
143; 51 Off. Gaz., [6] 2884). This power of
control has been withheld from the Commission.
However, considering that respondents have
acted in their official capacity in the honest belief
that they had such power as in fact they acted on
the matter only after an on the spot
investigation, we hold that they cannot be held
liable for damages. In this sense, the decision of
the Court of Appeals should be affirmed.
Acts in Line of Duty or under Color of Authority.
As a rule, a public officer, whether judicial,
quasi-judicial, or executive, is not personally
liable to one injured as a consequence of an act
performed within the scope of his official
authority, and in the line of his official duty. In
order that acts may be done within the scope of
official authority, it is not necessary that they be
prescribed by statute, or even that they be
specifically directed or requested by a superior
officer, but it is sufficient if they are done by an
officer in relation to matters committed by law to
his control or supervision, or that they have more
or less connection with such matters, or that
they have more or less connection with such
matters, or that they are governed by a lawful
requirement of the department under whose
authority the officer is acting.
xxx
xxx
xxx

Admin Law | 2014-2015 | Room 406


Error or Mistake in Exercise of Authority.
Where an officer is invested with discretion and is
empowered to exercise his judgment in matters
brought before him, he is sometimes called a
quasi-judicial officer, and when so acting he is
actually given immunity from liability to persons
who may be injured as the result of an erroneous
or mistaken decision, however erroneous
judgment may be, provided the acts complained
of are done within the scope of the officer's
authority, and without wilfulness, malice, or
corruption. (43 Am. Jur., pp. 85-86.).
Test to determine if offense was committed
in relation to the office
Crisostomo v Sandiganbayan,
152389, 4-14-05

G.R.

No.

February 14!
Died in the hands of a jailguard
FACTS:
On 19 October 1993, Crisostomo, a member of
the Philippine National Police and a jail guard at
the Solano Municipal Jail was charged with the
murder of Renato Suba (Renato), a detention
prisoner at the Solano Municipal Jail. The
Information alleged that Crisostomo conspired
with all inmates at the Solano Municipal Jail, in
murdering Renato.
RULING:
The Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction to try the
case. However, the prosecution failed to prove
Crisostomo and Calingayans guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. Thus, we acquit Crisostomo
and Calingayan.
Since the crime was committed on 14 February
1989, the applicable provision of law is Section 4
of PD 1606, as amended by Presidential Decree
No. 1861 (PD 1861), which took effect on 23
March 1983.
Crisostomo was charged with murder, the penalty
for which is reclusion temporal in its maximum
period to death, a penalty within the jurisdiction
of the Sandiganbayan.
Thus, the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over
this case will stand or fall on this test: Does the
Information allege a close or intimate connection
between the offense charged and Crisostomos
public office?
The Information passes the test.
The Information alleged that Crisostomo a public
officer, being then a member of the Philippine
National Police (PNP) stationed at Solano Police
Station and a jailer thereat, taking advantage of

his public position and thus committing the


offense in relation to his office conspired,
confederated and connived with his co-accused
who are inmates of the Solano Municipal Jail to
kill Renato, a detention prisoner.
If the victim were not a prisoner, the Information
would have to state particularly the intimate
relationship between the offense charged and the
accused public officers office to vest jurisdiction
on the Sandiganbayan. This is not the case here.
The law restrains the liberty of a prisoner and
puts him under the custody and watchful eyes of
his jail guard. Again, the two-fold duties of a jail
guard are to insure the safe custody and proper
confinement of persons detained in the jail. The
law restricts access to a prisoner.
However,
because of the very nature of the work of a jail
guard, he has access to the prisoner.
Crisostomo, as the jail guard, could not have
conspired with the inmates to murder the
detention prisoner in his cell if Crisostomo were
not a jailer.
The
Information
accused
Crisostomo
of
murdering a detention prisoner, a crime that
collides directly with Crisostomos office as a jail
guard who has the duty to insure the safe
custody of the prisoner. Crisostomos purported
act of killing a detention prisoner, while irregular
and contrary to Crisostomos duties, was
committed while he was performing his official
functions. The Information sufficiently apprised
Crisostomo that he stood accused of committing
the crime in relation to his office, a case that is
cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, not the
Regional Trial Court. There was no prejudice to
Crisostomos substantive rights.
Esteban v Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 14664669, 3-11-05
Judges everyday kiss
FACTS:
That on or about the 5th day of August 1997 in
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused, JUDGE ROGELIO M.
ESTEBAN, a public officer, being then the
Presiding Judge of Branch 1 of the Municipal Trial
Court in Cabanatuan City, who after having been
rejected by the private complainant, Ana May V.
Simbajon, of his sexual demands or solicitations
to be his girlfriend and to enter his room daily for
a kiss as a condition for the signing of
complainants permanent appointment as a
bookbinder in his Court, thus in relation to his
office or position as such, with lewd design and

Admin Law | 2014-2015 | Room 406


malicious desire, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully
and
feloniously
grab
private
complainant, kiss her all over her face and touch
her right breast against her will and consent, to
her damage and detriment.
Petitioner argued that the Sandiganbayan did not
have jurisdiction.
RULING:
Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as
amended by Republic Act No. 8249,[10] reads in
part:
SEC. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases
involving:
xxx
b. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or
complexed with other crime committed by the
public officials and employees mentioned in
subsection a of this section in relation to their
office.
In People v. Montejo,[11] we ruled that an
offense is said to have been committed in relation
to the office if the offense is intimately
connected with the office of the offender and
perpetrated while he was in the performance of
his official functions.
This intimate relation
between the offense charged and the discharge
of official duties must be alleged in the
Information.[12] This is in accordance with the
rule that the factor that characterizes the charge
is the actual recital of the facts in the complaint
or information.[13] Hence, where the information
is wanting in specific factual averments to show
the intimate relationship/connection between the
offense charged and the discharge of official
functions, the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction
over the case.[14]

Under Supreme Court Circular No. 7 dated April


27, 1987,[15] petitioner, as presiding judge of
MTCC, Branch 1, Cabanatuan City, is vested with
the power to recommend the appointment of Ana
May Simbajon as bookbinder. As alleged in the
Amended Informations in Criminal Cases Nos.
24703-04, she was constrained to approach
petitioner on June 25, 1997 as she needed his
recommendation. But he imposed a condition
before extending such recommendation - she
should be his girlfriend and must report daily to
his office for a kiss. There can be no doubt,
therefore, that petitioner used his official position
in committing the acts complained of. While it is
true, as petitioner argues, that public office is not
an element of the crime of acts of lasciviousness,
defined and penalized under Article 336 of the
Revised Penal Code, nonetheless, he could not
have committed the crimes charged were it not
for the fact that as the Presiding Judge of the
MTCC, Branch I, Cabanatuan City, he has the
authority to recommend the appointment of Ana
May as bookbinder. In other words, the crimes
allegedly committed are intimately connected
with his office.
Three-fold Liability Rule
San Luis v CA, G.R. No. 80160, June 26,
1989
Chavez v Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 91391,
Jan. 24, 1991
Domingo v Rayala,
February 18, 2008

G.R.

No.

155831,

Office of the President v Cataquiz, G.R. No.


183445, September 14, 2011