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Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) v NHC (1989)

NHC is a 100% GOCC. Its shareholders are GSIS, SSS, DBP, NIDC and PHHC
o TUPAS is a labor org with an NHC chapter

TUPAS filed for the conduct of a cert election with the Dept of Labor to determine the exclusive bargaining
representative of NHC workers
o This petition was dismissed, because NHC as a GOCC, its employees are prohibited to form/join/assist
any labor org for purposes of collective bargaining (Sec 1 Rule II Book V, IRR of LC)

TUPAS is before the SC seeking the reversal of the dismissal and prays that a certification election be held
among the rank and file employees of NHC SC RULES IN THEIR FAVOR

The employees of the public sector comprise the largest bloc of workers in our national work force.
Governmental bureaucracy is continually being reorganized to cope with the growing complexity of the
problems and needs of political and administrative governance. As the increase in the number of government
employees grows space, the need to enhance their welfare correspondingly becomes more imperative. While it
may be assumed that the Government is exerting efforts to advance the interests of its employees, it is quite
understandable that the employees themselves should actively seek arrangements where by they can
participate more meaningfully in management and employment relationships. There is, thus, a proliferation of
unions or employees' organizations, each seeking concomitant representational recognition.

in a former case of illegal dismissal involving the same respondent corporation, 7 We had ruled that the
employees of NHC and of other government owned or controlled corporations were governed by civil service
laws, rules and regulations pursuant to the 1973 Constitution which provided that "the civil service embraces
every branch, agency, subdivision and instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or
controlled corporations."

to allow subsidiary corporations to be excluded from the civil service laws would be to permit the
circumvention or emasculation of the above-quoted constitutional provision. As perceptively analyzed therein,
"(i)t would be possible for a regular ministry of government to create a host of subsidiary corporations under
the Corporation Code funded by a willing legislature. A government-owned corporation could create several
subsidiary corporations. These subsidiary corporation rations would enjoy the best of two worlds. Their officials
and employees would be privileged individuals, free from the strict accountability required by the Civil Service
Decree and the regulations of the Commission on Audit. Their incomes would not be subject to the competitive
restraints of the open market nor to the terms and conditions of civil service employment."

The workers or employees of NHC undoubtedly have the right to form unions or employees' organizations. The
right to unionize or to form organizations is now explicitly recognized and granted to employees in both the
governmental and the private sectors. The Bill of Rights provides that "(t)he right of the people, including
those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations or societies for purposes not
contrary to law shall not be abridged"

This guarantee is reiterated in the second paragraph of Section 3, Article XIII, on Social Justice and Human
Rights, which mandates that the State "shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective
bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with
law ...."

Specifically with respect to government employees, the right to unionize is recognized in Paragraph (5),
Section 2, Article IX B 12 which provides that "(t)he right to self-organization shall not be denied to government
employees."

The government is in a sense the repository of the national sovereignty and, in that respect, it must be held in
reverence if not in awe. It symbolizes the unity of the nation, but it does perform a mundane task as well. It is
an employer in every sense of the word except that terms and conditions of work are set forth through a Civil
Service Commission. The government is the biggest employer in the Philippines. There is an employeremployee relationship and we all know that the accumulated grievances of several decades are now beginning
to explode in our faces among government workers who feel that the rights afforded by the Labor Code, for
example, to workers in the private sector have been effectively denied to workers in government in what looks
like a grotesque, (sic) a caricature of the equal protection of the laws.

There is, therefore, no impediment to the holding of a certification election among the workers of NHC for it is
clear that they are covered by the Labor Code, the NHC being a government-owned and/or controlled
corporation without an original charter. Statutory implementation of the last cited section of the Constitution is
found in Article 244 of the Labor Code, as amended by Executive Order No. 111, thus:
o ... Right of employees in the public service Employees of the government corporations established
under the Corporation Code shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively with their
respective employers. All other employees in the civil service shall have the right to form associations
for purposes not contrary to law.

For employees in corporations and entities covered by the Labor Code, the determination of the exclusive
bargaining representative is particularly governed by Articles 255 to 259 of said Code. Article 256 provides for
the procedure when there is a representation issue in organized establishments, while Article 257 covers
unorganized establishments. These Labor Code provisions are fleshed out by Rules V to VII, Book V of the
Omnibus Implementing Rules.

With respect to other civil servants, that is, employees of all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and
agencies of the government including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters and
who are, therefore, covered by the civil service laws, the guidelines for the exercise of their right to organize is

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provided for under Executive Order No. 180. Chapter IV thereof, consisting of Sections 9 to 12, regulates the
determination of the "sole and exclusive employees representative"; Under Section 12, "where there are two or
more duly registered employees' organizations in the appropriate organization unit, the Bureau of Labor
Relations shall, upon petition order the conduct of certification election and shall certify the winner as the
exclusive representative of the rank-and-file employees in said organizational unit."
o the civil service now covers only government owned or controlled corporations with original or
legislative charters, that is those created by an act of Congress or by special law, and not those
incorporated under and pursuant to a general legislation
SSS Employees Association v CA (1989)

SSS filed a complaint for damages with a writ of prelim inj before the RTC of QC because the officers and
members of the SSS-EA staged an illegal strike and barricaded the entrances to the SSS building,
o
preventing non-striking employees from reporting for work
o and SSS members from transacting business with the SSS

The Public Sector-Labor Management Council of SSS ordered the strikers to return to work but they refused

Prelim inj for enjoining the strike and for ordering the strikers to return to work

Reason for strike: failure of SSS to act on the unions demands re: CBA, payment of accrued overtime pay,
night differential pay, and holiday pay, conversion of temp/contractuals into regular and permanent employees

ISSUES:
o Can the RTC enjoin the SSS Employees Assoc from striking? SC SAYS YES
o Can it order the striking employees to return to work? SC SAYS YES
o Do the employees of SSS have the right to strike in the first place? SC SAYS NO

The position of the petitioners is that the Regional Trial Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case initiated by
the SSS and to issue the restraining order and the writ of preliminary injunction, as jurisdiction lay with the
Department of Labor and Employment or the National Labor Relations Commission, since the case involves a
labor dispute.

SSS argues that its employees are covered by civil service laws, not the LC, and thus, they have no right to
strike

CA ruled for SSS, saying that SSS employees have no right to strike since they are covered by civil service laws

The 1987 Constitution, in the Article on Social Justice and Human Rights, provides that the State "shall
guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful
concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law" [Art. XIII, Sec. 31]

while there is no question that the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, it is
silent as to whether such recognition also includes the right to strike.
o the scope of the civil service is "all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the
Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters," that
"[t]he right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees" [Art. IX(B), Sec. 2(l) and
(50)]
o the Bill of Rights also provides that "[tlhe right of the people, including those employed in the public
and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not
abridged" [Art. III, Sec. 8]

the Labor Code is silent as to whether or not government employees may strike, for such are excluded from its
coverage. But then the Civil Service Decree [P.D. No. 807], is equally silent on the matter

On June 1, 1987, to implement the constitutional guarantee of the right of government employees to organize,
the President issued E.O. No. 180 which provides guidelines for the exercise of the right to organize of
government employees. In Section 14 thereof, it is provided that "[t]he Civil Service law and rules governing
concerted activities and strikes in the government service shall be observed, subject to any legislation that
may be enacted by Congress."
o The President was apparently referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1987 of the Civil Service
Commission under date April 21, 1987 which, "prior to the enactment by Congress of applicable laws
concerning strike by government employees ... enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all
government officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and
other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service."

SSS EMPLOYEES CANNOT STRIKE


o Considering that under the 1987 Constitution "[t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions,
instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled
corporations with original charters" [Art. IX(B), Sec. .2(l) see also Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 where the
employees in the civil service are denominated as "government employees"] and that the SSS is one
such government-controlled corporation with an original charter, having been created under R.A. No.
1161, its employees are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's
memorandum prohibiting strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the SSS
was illegal.

Alliance of Govt Workers v Minister of L&E: GR: terms and conditions of govt employment (including political
subdivisions and instrumentalities) are governed by law

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Since the terms and conditions of government employment are fixed by law, government workers
cannot use the same weapons employed by workers in the private sector to secure concessions from
their employers
o The principle behind labor unionism in private industry is that industrial peace cannot be secured
through compulsion by law. Relations between private employers and their employees rest on an
essentially voluntary basis. Subject to the minimum requirements of wage laws and other labor and
welfare legislation, the terms and conditions of employment in the unionized private sector are settled
through the process of collective bargaining
o In government employment, however, it is the legislature and, where properly given delegated power,
the administrative heads of government which fix the terms and conditions of employment. And this is
effected through statutes or administrative circulars, rules, and regulations, not through collective
bargaining agreements
E.O. No. 180, which provides guidelines for the exercise of the right to organize of government employees,
while clinging to the same philosophy, has, however, relaxed the rule to allow negotiation where the terms and
conditions of employment involved are not among those fixed by law.
o SECTION 13.
Terms and conditions of employment or improvements thereof, except those that are
fixed by law, may be the subject of negotiations between duly recognized employees' organizations
and appropriate government authorities.
Government employees may, therefore, through their unions or associations, either petition the Congress for
the betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which are within the ambit of legislation or
negotiate with the appropriate government agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law.
If there be any unresolved grievances, the dispute may be referred to the Public Sector Labor - Management
Council for appropriate action.
employees in the civil service may not resort to strikes, walk-outs and other temporary work stoppages, like
workers in the private sector, to pressure the Govemment to accede to their demands.
o Sec. 4, Rule III of the Rules and Regulations to Govern the Exercise of the Right of GovernmentEmployees to Self- Organization: "[t]he terms and conditions of employment in the government,
including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof and government- owned and controlled
corporations with original charters are governed by law and employees therein shall not strike for the
purpose of securing changes thereof."
o (THE PROVISION ABOVE ACTUALLY TOOK EFFECT AFTER THIS PRESENT CASE)
The strike staged by the employees of the SSS belonging to petitioner union being prohibited by law, an
injunction may be issued to restrain it.
The Labor Code itself provides that terms and conditions of employment of government employees shall be
governed by the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations [Art. 276]. More importantly, E.O. No. 180 vests the
Public Sector Labor - Management Council with jurisdiction over unresolved labor disputes involving
government employees [Sec. 16]. Clearly, the NLRC has no jurisdiction over the dispute
o

Bangalisan et al v CA, CSC, DECS Secretary (1989)

The many petitioners were among 800 public school teachers who staged mass actions to dramatize their
grievances concerning, in the main, the alleged failure of the public authorities to implement in a just and
correct manner certain laws and measures intended for their material benefit

The DECS Sec issued a return to work order, Bangalisan et al did not comply
o The Sec charged them with grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty (inter alia) and were
preventively suspended
o They were found guilty of the charges and dismissed from service later became 9 month suspension
for some of them

The petitioners went to CSC but they were not satisfied with the rulings ( 6 month suspension without pay for
some but not all)
o One of the petitioners, Mariano, was found guilty only of violation of reasonable office rules and
regulations (failed to inform the school and file for a leave of absence) and was only reprimanded

Mariano was absent because he went to attend his grandmothers wake

CA dismissed their petition, and so they went to the SC

It is the settled rule in this jurisdiction that employees in the public service may not engage in strikes. While
the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, they are prohibited from staging
strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary
stoppage or disruption of public services. The right of government employees to organize is limited only to the
formation of unions or associations, without including the right to strike

BANGALISANS ARGUMENT: they were not on strike but were merely exercising their constitutional right
peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances NO

Manila Public School Teachers Assoc v Laguio Jr. : these mass actions were to all intents and purposes a
strike; they constituted a concerted and unauthorized stoppage of, or absence from, work which it was the
teachers duty to perform, undertaken for essentially economic reasons.

It is an undisputed fact that there was a work stoppage and that petitioners purpose was to realize their
demands by withholding their services. The fact that the conventional term strike was not used by the

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Lopez,

striking employees to describe their common course of action is inconsequential, since the substance of the
situation, and not its appearance, will be deemed to be controlling
The ability to strike is not essential to the right of association. In the absence of statute, public employees do
not have the right to engage in concerted work stoppages for any purpose
herein petitioners, except Mariano, are being penalized not because they exercised their right of peaceable
assembly and petition for redress of grievances but because of their successive unauthorized and unilateral
absences which produced adverse effects upon their students for whose education they are responsible.
suspension of public services, however temporary, will inevitably derail services to the public, which is one of
the reasons why the right to strike is denied government employees. It may be conceded that the petitioners
had valid grievances and noble intentions in staging the mass actions, but that will not justify their absences
to the prejudice of innocent school children. Their righteous indignation does not legalize an illegal work
stoppage.
even in the absence of express statutory prohibition like Memorandum Circular No. 6, public employees are
denied the right to strike or engage in a work stoppage against a public employer. The right of the sovereign to
prohibit strikes or work stoppages by public employees was clearly recognized at common law. Indeed, it is
frequently declared that modern rules which prohibit such strikes, either by statute or by judicial decision,
simply incorporate or reassert the common law rule
To grant employees of the public sector the right to strike, there must be a clear and direct legislative authority
therefor. In the absence of any express legislation allowing government employees to strike, recognizing their
right to do so, or regulating the exercise of the right, employees in the public service may not engage in
strikes, walkouts and temporary work stoppages like workers in the private sector.
Section 51 of Executive Order No. 292 provides that (t)he proper disciplining authority may preventively
suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge
against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in the
performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would
warrant his removal from the service.
o it is the nature of the charge against an officer or employee which determines whether he may be
placed under preventive suspension
As to the immediate execution of the decision of the Secretary against petitioners, the same is authorized by
Section 47, paragraph (2), of Executive Order No. 292, thus: The Secretaries and heads of agencies and
instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters
involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Their decisions shall be
final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not
exceeding thirty days salary.
Petitioners claim of denial of due process must also fail. The records of this case clearly show that they were
given opportunity to refute the charges against them but they failed to avail themselves of the same.
The denial of salary to an employee during the period of his suspension, if he should later be found guilty, is
proper because he had given ground for his suspension. It does not impair his constitutional rights because
the Constitution itself allows suspension for cause as provided by law and the law provides that an employee
may be suspended pending an investigation or by way of penalty
o the general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he has not
rendered any service. As he works, he shall earn. Since petitioners 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
such salaries
Domiguez, Arceo, Acefedo v CA and Manapat (1992)
Lopez = Mayor of Manila
Domiguez = Budget Officer
Arceo = Chair of Committee for Retirement Gratuity and Terminal Leave Pay
Acevedo = City treasurer
Manapat = retired Chief of the Legal Division of the Municipal Board of Manila
o retired under the provisions of R.A. No. 1616, as amended, having then rendered twenty (20) years of
service to petitioner City of Manila and received the amount of P24,479.02 representing his full
retirement benefit.
He was later reemployed as Secretary of the Manila Board of Tax Assessment Appeals. He was sec until he
reached the retirement age of 65 years.
o The city extended his service pd for 6 more months
o During this additional period of service, i.e., on 1 July 1989, the Salary Standardization Law (R.A. No.
6758) took effect and increased Manapat's monthly salary from P3,993.33 to P11,385.00.
Upon expiration of private respondent Manapat's six (6)-month extended period of service, he filed with the
Government Service Insurance System ("GSIS") an application for retirement under R.A. No. 1616, as
amended. This application was approved by the GSIS on 6 April 1990, initially on the basis of his previous
salary of P3,993.33 per month; on that basis, he was entitled to a total retirement gratuity of P179,274.04, less
the amount of P24,479.02 previously received as retirement pay when he first retired on 29 February 1972,
making a net balance of P154,795.02.

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the GSIS adjusted Manapat's approved application for retirement to conform with his last standardized monthly
salary of P11,385.00. This adjustment resulted in a total collectible retirement pay or gratuity of P486,634.84
for Manapat
GSIS Board of Tax Assessment Appeals Chair of Committee of Retirement Gratuity (Arceo)
o The chair did not act on the retirement gratuity claim upon the ground that it was existing policy of the
City of Manila that an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five (65)
years must retire under R.A. No. 660 and not under the provisions of R.A. No. 1616, as amended
Manapat appealed the action of the Chairman of the Committee to the City Budget Officer. The latter officer
replied by informing Manapat that his claim for retirement pay was forwarded to the then Mayor of the City of
Manila, petitioner Gemiliano Lopez, Jr., as well as to the City Legal Officer for legal advice.
the City Legal Officer of the City of Manila rendered a written opinion to the effect that the City, as employer,
had discretionary authority to allow or disallow a claim to retire under R.A. No. 1616, as amended, considering
that retirement under that law was optional and payment of retirement benefits thereunder was subject to the
availability of funds
o Mayor Lopez did not grant the adjustment due to financial constraints
Manapat went to RTC for mandamus, but RTC dismissed. CA reversed RTC and ordered Lopez and the other
officials to pay Manapats retirement claim
ISSUES
o (1) Whether a government employee, who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years,
may opt to retire under R.A. No. 1616 as amended or, alternatively, is entitled only to retirement
benefits under the mandatory retirement clause of R.A. No. 660; and
o (2) Whether the City of Manila as employer may be compelled to pay the retirement benefits of its
employees under R.A. No. 1616, notwithstanding lack of available funds for that purpose.
SC: We are aware of the very practical considerations which underlie the respective positions taken by
petitioners and private respondent.
o Petitioners are insisting that private respondent Manapat retire under the provisions of R.A. No. 660
because, under those provisions, the GSIS is bound to pay the retirement benefits properly accruing to
Manapat,
o while it is the City of Manila as employer which is liable for the retirement gratuity appertaining under
R.A. No. 1616 as amended to Manapat.
o Upon the other hand, Manapat wishes to retire under the provisions of R.A. No. 1616 as amended
because the amount of the gratuity under that law will be significantly higher than the gratuity which
would be payable under the terms of R.A. No. 660.
Both R.A. No. 660 and R.A. No. 1616 were amendments to Commonwealth Act ("C.A.") No. 186, otherwise
known as the Government Service Insurance System Charter.
Petitioners do not dispute the fact that private respondent Manapat had, at the time of his second retirement
on 27 December 1989, rendered a total of thirty-five (35) years of government service, with the result that he
had complied with the requirement for retirement under each and every one of the four (4) modes of
retirement provided in Section 12 of C.A. No. 186 as amended, quoted above, to wit:
o Section 12(a) 30 years of government service and attainment of age 57 years;
o 12(b) 30 years of government service "regardless of age;"
o 12(c) 20 years of government service "regardless of age;" and
o 12(e) 15 years of government service and attainment of age 65 years.
Petitioners, however, insist that a government employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of
sixty-five (65) years, with at least fifteen (15) years of service in the government, has no choice save to retire
under the provisions of Section 12(e) of C.A. No. 186 as amended (i.e., R.A. No. 660), retirement thereunder
being "automatic and compulsory." SC DISAGREES
SC supports CA, which held that Section 12(e) of C.A.. No. 186 as amended "cannot and should not be
construed as limiting the mode of retirement of [a] government employee who was has reached the age of 65
years
While Section 12(e) of C.A. No. 186 as amended provides that "[r]etirement shall be automatic and compulsory
at the age of 65 years," there is nothing in the statute to suggest that a government employee who, like
private respondent Manapat, happens to satisfy the requirements not only of Section 12(e). but also Section
12(a), 12(b) and 12(c), must necessarily retire under Section 12(e).
We find it very difficult to understand why a government employee who reaches the compulsory retirement
age of sixty-five (65) but who has served a total, not of fifteen (15) years (the minimum required under 12[e])
but rather thirty-five (35) years (i.e., more than the years of service specified under 12[a], 12[b] and 12[c]),
should be regarded as deprived of the right to retire under 12(c) (i.e., R.A. No. 1616 as amended), where the
required number of years of services is only twenty (20).
Lopez theory is incompatible with the goal of RA 1616, which is to create an added incentive for qualified
government employees to remain in the service of government
Section 12(c) is applicable in respect of private respondent Manapat who had complied with the requirement of
that subsection of at least twenty (20) years of service. The benefits of Section 12(c) are, under its express
terms, available to anyone who shall have rendered at least twenty (20) years of service, "regardless of [the]
age" reached by the retiree at the time of his retirement.

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The enactment of Republic Act No. 1616 is exactly intended to provide for two [2] other modes of retirement,
and these are:
o (1) retirement after rendering a total service of thirty (30) years, regardless of age;
o (2) retirement after rendering at least twenty (20) years of service, regardless of age;
It is crystal clear, therefore, that a retiree, regardless of age, that is, whether or not he is 65 [sixty-five] years
at the time of his retirement, for as long as he has rendered at least twenty (20) years of service or has
rendered a total service of thirty (30) years, can retire under the provisions of Republic Act No.1616.
the phrase "regardless of age" found in Section 12(c) becomes particularly meaningful when it is recalled that
Section 12(e), which declares that "retirement shall be automatic and compulsory at age 65," nonetheless
gives an employee who has already reached sixty-five (65) years of age the option to remain in the
government service in order to complete the 15-year minimum service requirement
We consider, therefore, and so hold that an employee who shall have satisfied the requirements for retirement
under more than one (1) subsection of Section 12 of C.A. No. 186 as amended is entitled to choose the
subsection (whose requirement he has complied with and) under which he shall retire. The option of retiring
under Section 12(c) or Section 12(e), in the circumstances of this case, belongs to private respondent Manapat
and not to his employer, the City of Manila.
That option cannot be taken away from the retiree by the employer, which is precisely what petitioners
purported to do through the medium of the "policy" of restricting the options open to a retiree who has
reached the age of sixty-five (65) to retirement under Section 12(e) even though such retiree simultaneously
satisfies the requisites of retirement under some other subsection or subsections of Section 12. To sustain the
petitioners' alleged "policy" would in effect constitute an amendment of the terms of the applicable statute
something which neither this Court nor petitioners are authorized to do.
The application for retirement of Manapat having been approved and adjusted under the provisions of Section
12(c), C.A. No. 186 as amended, it became ministerial on the part of petitioner City of Manila as employer of
Manapat to provide the funds necessary to pay the latter's lawfully accrued retirement gratuity. We expressly
reject the argument of petitioners that the funding of private respondent's retirement gratuity under Section
12(c) is "discretionary" on the part of such employer. YES, EVEN IF THE CITY HAS NO MONEY
Section 12(c), C.A. No. 186 as amended, in fact effectively dispenses with the need for enacting an ordinance
specifically appropriating private respondent Manapat's retirement pay, or inserting an appropriate item to
that effect in a General Appropriation Ordinance of the City of Manila. For Section 12(c) provides in part as
follows:
o This gratuity is payable by the employer or officer concerned which is hereby authorized to provide the
necessary appropriation or pay the same from any unexpended items of appropriations or savings of
its appropriations
Section 12(c) itself furnishes statutory authority to petitioners to pay Manapat's claim out of any savings the
City of Manila may have from its other appropriations

People v Jalosjos (2000)

Jalosjos was a congressman who was convicted for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness (pending appeal)

He is before the SC in this case asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman
(attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings) despite having been convicted of a non-bailable
offence

Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated
persons in general?

The primary argument of the movant is the "mandate of sovereign will." He states that the sovereign
electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as their representative in Congress. Having
been re-elected by his constituents, he has the duty to perform the functions of a Congressman. He calls this a
covenant with his constituents made possible by the intervention of the State. He adds that it cannot be
defeated by insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases

True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In the exercise of suffrage, a free people
expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of its benefits. However, inspite of its
importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law.

all top officials of Government-executive, legislative, and judicial are subject to the majesty of law. There is an
unfortunate misimpression in the public mind that election or appointment to high government office, by itself,
frees the official from the common restraints of general law. Privilege has to be granted by law, not inferred
from the duties of a position. In fact, the higher the rank, the greater is the requirement of obedience rather
than exemption.

The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, the latter
customarily addressed as Congressmen, arises from a provision of the Constitution. The history of the
provision shows that the privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an
exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be
extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations.

The present Constitution adheres to the same restrictive rule minus the obligation of Congress to surrender the
subject Congressman to the custody of the law. The requirement that he should be attending sessions or
committee meetings has also been removed. For relatively minor offenses, it is enough that Congress is in
session.

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the accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11,
Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if
the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime
punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional
foundations.
Jalosjos reliance on Aguinaldo v Santos is misplaced:
o The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do
otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When a people have
elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with the knowledge of his life and
character, and that they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It
is not for the Court, by reason of such fault or misconduct, to practically overrule the will of the people.
the Aguinaldo case involves the administrative removal of a public officer for acts done prior to his present
term of office. It does not apply to imprisonment arising from the enforcement of criminal law. Moreover, in the
same way that preventive suspension is not removal, confinement pending appeal is not removal. He remains
a congressman unless expelled by Congress or, otherwise, disqualified.
One rationale behind confinement, whether pending appeal or after final conviction, is public self-defense.
Society must protect itself. It also serves as an example and warning to others.
What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing accused-appellant to attend
congressional sessions and committee meetings for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him a
free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates
accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the
correction system
Martinez v Morfe: When it comes to freedom from arrest, however, it would amount to the creation of a
privileged class, without justification in reason, if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense, they
would be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the
same. There is likely to be no dissent from the proposition that a legislator or a delegate can perform his
functions efficiently and well, without the need for any transgression of the criminal law. Should such an
unfortunate event come to pass, he is to be treated like any other citizen considering that there is a strong
public interest in seeing to it that crime should not go unpunished.
Jalosjos doesnt need to be a free man in order to fulfill his congressmans duties: No less than accusedappellant himself admits that like any other member of the House of Representatives "[h]e is provided with a
congressional office situated at Room N-214, North Wing Building, House of Representatives Complex, Batasan
Hills, Quezon City, manned by a full complement of staff paid for by Congress. Through [an] inter-department
coordination, he is also provided with an office at the Administration Building, New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa
City, where he attends to his constituents." Accused-appellant further admits that while under detention, he
has filed several bills and resolutions. It also appears that he has been receiving his salaries and other
monetary benefits. Succinctly stated, accused-appellant has been discharging his mandate as a member of the
House of Representative consistent with the restraints upon one who is presently under detention. Being a
detainee, accused-appellant should not even have been allowed by the prison authorities at the National
Pentientiary to perform these acts.
The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a
person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accusedappellant asserts that the duty to legislate ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accusedappellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the
Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of
one or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the
President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a
function depends on the need for its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most compelling
under the law of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a particular
affliction. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer must maintain peace and
order. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others
who are validly restrained by law.
election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement. The
functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners
interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane
to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class
"imprisonment" in its general sense, is the restraint of ones liberty. As a punishment, it is restraint by
judgment of a court or lawful tribunal, and is personal to the accused. The term refers to the restraint on the
personal liberty of another; any prevention of his movements from place to place, or of his free action
according to his own pleasure and will. Imprisonment is the detention of another against his will depriving him
of his power of locomotion and it "[is] something more than mere loss of freedom. It includes the notion of
restraint within limits defined by wall or any exterior barrier."

Borromeo v Civil Service Commisssion (1991)

Borromeo = then-soon-to-retire CSC chair (retirement date: April 1, 1986)

He sent a letter to COA asking for an opinion re: w/n the money value of retired Constitutional Commission
members should include the allowances received at the time of retirement

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CSC Chair recommended approval of Borromeos request of terminal leave = salary + COLA and RATA (aka
allowances)
COA agreed, based on the allowed amounts for the other COA Commissioners
DBM denied the payment of Borromeos salary + allowances
Faced with the DBM refusal to release the corresponding allotment, the CSC yielded to DBM instead of
asserting its initial determination. It issued Resolution No. 90-514 dated May 30, 1990 wherein the Commission
deemed it proper not to rule on the issue on "ethical considerations" and "compulsions of delicadeza" and
advised the petitioner to file an action for declaratory relief (sic) on the issue with the Supreme Court.
Should Borromeos terminal leave pay be computed on the basis of highest monthly salary + cost of living
allowance (COLA) and representation and transportation allowance (RATA)
o Or on the basis of highest monthly salary without COLA and RATA?
The respondent CSC's stance, that it is the body empowered to determine the legality of claims on leave
matters, to the exclusion of COA, is not well-taken. While the implementation and enforcement of leave
benefits are matters within the functions of the CSC as the central personnel agency of the government, the
duty to examine accounts and expenditures relating to leave benefits properly pertains to the COA. Where
government expenditures or use of funds is involved, the CSC cannot claims an exclusive domain simply
because leave matters are also involved.
The petitioner anchors his claim on the Memorandum Order issued by President Marcos on November 20,
1980.
o 2.
The money value of the terminal leave shall be paid as computed on the basis of the highest
monthly salary including allowance received at the time of the retirement.
The petitioner also invokes Administrative Order No. 44 dated December 13, 1979, extending to the Chairman
and members of the Constitutional Commissions the same benefits enjoyed by retiring members of the
Judiciary in the matter of rationalized rate of allowances and liberalized computation of retirement benefits and
accumulated leave credits.
o The Solicitor General, acting on behalf of the CSC and Secretary of Budget and Management, advances
the argument that there is no provision in Administrative Order No. 444, or in any other law, which
expressly authorizes the inclusion of allowances in the computation of the money value of the
petitioner's accumulated leaves.
It is clear from RA 91 0 as amended that the five-year gratuity is based on highest monthly salary plus
transportation, living and representation allowance. Should the computation of terminal leave pay, which is
given on the same occasion of retirement and which arises from the same considerations of government
gratitude that for most retirees is based on a lifetime of service, be accorded similar treatment?
o The Solicitor General stresses that under Section 286 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended
by Republic Act No. 1081 and Executive Order No. 1077, the computation of the money value of the
terminal leave pay is based only on monthly basic salary.
Since terminal leave is applied for by an officer or employee who has already severed his connection with his
employer and who is no longer working, then it follows that the terminal leave pay, which is the cash value of
his accumulated leave credits, should not be treated as compensation for services rendered at that time It can
not be viewed as salary for purposes which would reduce it. (supra) There can thus be no "commutation of
salary" when a government retiree applies for terminal leave because he is not receiving it as salary. What he
applies for is a "commutation of leave credits." It is an accumulation of credits intended for old age or
separation from the service. Hence, Section 286 of the Revised Administrative Code is not applicable. It cannot
be construed as limiting the basis of the computation of terminal leave pay to monthly salary only.
In the light of the reasons which impelled the law to include COLA and RATA in computing retirement benefits
of certain officials, we rule that terminal leave payments must also be governed by the same principle. COLA
and RATA should be included in computing the terminal leave credits when the officials retire or the official
relationship is lawfully terminated.
A different law, R.A. 910 as amended, governs the petitioner. In the case of members of the Judiciary and
Constitutional Commissions, the basis in computing the retirement gratuity is the highest monthly salary plus
the highest monthly aggregate of transportation, living and representation allowance (COLA and RATA). The
same rule of uniformity which we applied in Paredes v. Acting Chairman for those retiring under CA 186 as
amended should also apply for those who retire under R.A. 910 as amended. The rate used in computing
retirement gratuities also applies in the computation of terminal leave credits.
It is axiomatic that retirement laws are liberally construed and administered in favor of the persons intended to
be benefited. All doubts as to the intent of the law should be resolved in favor of the retiree to achieve its
humanitarian purposes.
Although terminal leave pay is not synonymous with, and is not a part of, the five-year lump sum gratuity
provided under RA 910 as amended and Administrative Order No. 444, the former may, in a broad sense,
partake of the nature of a gratuity rather than actual salary. A gratuity is that paid to the beneficiary for past
services rendered purely out of generosity of the giver or grantor.
Since terminal leave pay may also be considered a gratuity, then applying the rule on liberal interpretation of
retirement laws, the basis for its computation in the case of members of the Judiciary and Constitutional
Commissions must be the same as that used in computing the 5-year lump sum gratuity under RA 910 as
amended and Administrative Order No. 444.

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If, for example a member of the CSC has an accumulated leave credit of one month and, in the two months
immediately prior to retiring, consumes his accumulated leaves by going on fifteen days' vacation leave twice,
there is no dispute that he will be paid two months' salary plus COLA and RATA for this two-month period,
although no work has been rendered by him. If, on the other hand, he chooses to work until the last day of
employment and upon retirement, applies for the commutation of his accumulated leave credit of one month,
following the proposition of the Solicitor General, he will receive terminal leave pay equivalent only to one
month's salary, without COLA and RATA. In the latter case, why should he be penalized for faithfully working
continuously and not consuming his leave credits until his last working day? Why should the basis for the
commutation of leave credits be different just because he chose to avail himself of his leave benefits
immediately before and not immediately after retirement? Surely this disparity in consequence could not have
been intended by our lawmakers.
There is more reason now to include COLA in the computation of terminal leave pay. Section 12 of Republic Act
6758, known as the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, mandated the integration of COLA
to the basic salary and, therefore, to the retirement pay of all employees. While it is true that RA 6758 took
effect only on July 1, 1989, long after petitioner had already retired on April 1, 1986, his COLA should
nevertheless have been included in computing terminal leave pay for the same reasons stated above.

Vital-Gozon v Court of Appeals and de la Fuente (1992)

Cory Aquino reorganized various offices of the Ministry of Health. Some were abolished, and transfers of
personnel occurred

Dr. de la Fuente was Chief of the Clinics of the National Childrens Hospital during the reorg

He received notice from the DOH that he would be reappointed Med Specialist II (a demotion by 2 ranks from
his post as chief)
o He filed a protest with the DOH and later before the CSC
o Meanwhile, the duties and responsibilities of the Chief of Clinics were turned over to Dr. Merencilla

CSC ruled for Dr. DLF. He then sent 2 letters to Dr. Vital-Gozon, the Med Center Chief of the NCH, demanding
implementation of the CSC decision in his favor

Three months having elapsed without any word from Vital-Gozon or anyone in her behalf, or any indication
whatever that the CSC Resolution of August 9, 1988 would be obeyed, and apprehensive that the funds to
cover the salaries and allowances otherwise due him would revert to the General Fund, Dr. de al Fuente
repaired to the Civil Service Commission and asked it to enforce its judgment. He was however "told to file in
court a petition for mandamus because of the belief that the Commission had no coercive powers unlike a
court to enforce its final decisions/resolutions.

He went to CA and filed mandamus (and later supplementd/amended it with a quo warranto petition)
o Dr. VG et al did not Answer, so CA resolved the matter on the basis of their allegations and their
annexes

CA ruled for Dr. DLF:


o The question of whether petitioner may be divested of his position as Chief of Clinics by the expedient
of having him appointed to another, lower position is no longer an issue. It ceased to be such when the
resolution in CSC Case No. 4 became final. The said resolution is explicit in its mandate; petitioner was
declared the lawful and de jure Chief of Clinics (Chief of the Medical Professional Staff) of the National
Children's Hospital
o CA denied Dr. DLFs prayer for damages though. Mandamus is not the proper avenue for a claim of
damages

Dr. DLF filed for a motion for execution, which was issued by the CA. However, NCH still did not comply with
the judgment in favor of Dr. DLF

On August 9, 1989, Gozon as "Medical Center Chief," sent a letter to Associate Justice Pedro A. Ramirez,
advising that under Hospital Special Order No. 31 dated August 3, 1989, de la Fuente had been directed to
assume the position of Chief of the Medical Professional Staff, and that a voucher for the payment of his
allowances had been prepared and was being processed.

on September 27, 1989, the Court of Appeals promulgated another Resolution, this time resolving de la
Fuente's motion for reconsideration of June 29, 1989. It modified the Decision of June 9, 1989 by (a) deleting its
last paragraph (disallowing the claim of damages, supra), (b) consequently describing and treating it as a
"PARTIAL DECISION," and (c) scheduling "further proceedings for the purpose of receiving evidence (of
damages)," since said question "cannot be resolved by mere reference to the pleadings." This was done in
reliance on Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, invoked by de la Fuente

At about this time, yet another lawyer, Atty. Pedro F. Martinez entered his appearance for Isabelita Gozon. At
his instance, the Court gave him an "opportunity to . . . file a motion for reconsideration" of the Resolution of
September 27, 1989. That motion he filed by registered mail on November 10, 1989. His basic contentions
were (a) that the decision of June 9, 1989 could no longer be altered, having become final and executory and
having in fact been executed, and (b) that under BP 129, the Appellate Court had no jurisdiction over the
question of damages in a mandamus action.

In an attempt to nullify the adverse dispositions of the Court of Appeals and obtain "the ultimate and
corollary relief of dismissing respondent de la Fuente's claim for damages" the Solicitor General's Office had
instituted the special civil action of certiorari at bar. It contends that the Court of Appeals is not legally
competent to take cognizance of and decide the question of damages in a mandamus suit.

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SC: Dr. VG was aware of the events that occurred, except she did not act. Neither she nor the Health officials
concerned accorded said acts and events any importance. She never bothered to find out what was being
done to contest or negate de la Fuente's petitions and actions, notwithstanding that as time went by, de la
Fuente's efforts were being met with success.
o Nothing in the record even remotely suggests that Vital-Gozon merits relief from the final and
executory Resolution of the Civil Service Commission. This Court will not disturb that Resolution. It is
satisfied that no procedural or substantive errors taint that Resolution, or its becoming final and
executory.
Now, final and executory judgments are enforced by writ of execution and not by another, separate action,
whether of mandamus or otherwise. Hence, execution of the Civil Service Commission's decision of August 9,
1988 should have been ordered and effected by the Commission itself, when de la Fuente filed a motion
therefor. It declined to do so, however, on the alleged ground, as de la Fuente claims he was told, that it "had
no coercive powers unlike a court to enforce its final decisions/resolutions." That proposition,
communicated to de la Fuente, of the Commission's supposed lack of coercive power to enforce its final
judgments, is incorrect. It is inconsistent with previous acts of the Commission of actually directing execution
of its decisions and resolutions, which this Court has sanctioned in several cases; and it is not in truth a correct
assessment of its powers under the Constitution and the relevant laws.
Since it cannot but be assumed that in formulating, and incorporating in BP 129, the provision governing the
jurisdiction of the Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals, the Batasang Pambansa was fully
cognizant of the relevant provisions of the Rules of Court just cited, as well as the rule against multiplicity of
actions, it follows that in conferring on the Court of Appeals original jurisdiction over the special civil action of
mandamus, among others, as well as over the issuance of auxiliary writs or processes, the Batasang Pambansa
clearly intended that said Court should exercise all the powers then possessed by it under the Rules of Court in
relation to said action of mandamus and auxiliary writs, including the adjudication of damages to the petitioner
in the action in appropriate cases.
(T)he Office of the Solicitor General is not authorized to represent a public official at any stage of
acriminal case. . . .
o This observation should apply as well to a public official who is haled to court on a civil suit for
damages arising from a felony allegedly committed by him (Article 100, Revised Penal Code). Any
pecuniary liability he may be held to account for on the occasion of such civil suit is for his own
account. The State is not liable for the same. A fortiori, the Office of the Solicitor General likewise has
no authority to represent him in such a civil suit for damages.
o It being quite evident that Dr. Vital-Gozon is not here charged with a crime, or civilly prosecuted for
damages arising from a crime, there is no legal obstacle to her being represented by the Office of the
Solicitor General.
In this case, the amended judgment of the Court of Appeals is clearly divisible, satisfaction of which may be
"split up." One part has reference to the enforcement of the final and executory judgment of the Civil Service
Commission, that de la Fuente should be reinstated to the position of Chief of Clinics (now Chief of Medical
Professional Staff) without loss of seniority rights and that he be paid his back salaries and all monetary
benefits due him from the date of his illegal demotion. This part is no longer issuable, and has not in truth
been controverted by Gozon herself. The other part has reference to the damages which de la Fuente contends
he suffered as a result of the unjustified refusal of Gozon and her co-parties to comply with the final and
executory judgment of the Civil Service Commission, and which the Appellate Tribunal has allowed him to
prove. Obviously, the second part cannot possibly affect the first. Whether de la Fuente succeeds or fails in his
bid to recover damages against Gozon, et al.because of their refusal to obey the judgment of the Civil Service
Commission, is a contingency that cannot affect the unalterable enforceability of that judgment. Similarly, the
enforcement of the Commission's judgment (already accomplished by writ of execution of the Court of Appeals
issued at de la Fuente's instance) cannot influence in any manner the question whether or not there was
culpable refusal on the part of Gozon, et al. to comply with said judgment when first required so to do, and
whether de la Fuente did in fact suffer compensable injury thereby.
It bears stressing that the juridical situation in which de la Fuente finds himself is not of his making. It is a
consequence of circumstances not attributable to any fault on his part, i.e., the unwarranted refusal or neglect
of his superiors to obey the executory judgment of the Civil Service Commission; the erroneous refusal of the
Commission to execute its own decision which made necessary, in de la Fuente's view, the filing of
a mandamus action in the Court of Appeals; the initial refusal of the latter Court to acknowledge his right to
damages in connection with themandamus suit; and ultimately, the change of view by the Court of Appeals, on
de la Fuente's motion, as regards its competence to take cognizance of the matter of damages in relation to
the mandamus proceeding.
It was therefore correct for the Court of Appeals, albeit by implication, to treat its judgment as divisible, or
capable of being enforced by parts, and to consider de la Fuente as not having been placed in estoppel to
pursue his claim for damages by seeking and obtaining authority for a partial execution of the judgment. De la
Fuente not being in estoppel, it follows that his motion for reconsideration, timely filed, was not deemed
abandoned or waived by the partial execution of the judgment, and jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals to
amend the judgment was retained and not lost. It follows, too, that since no motion for reconsideration was
filed against, or appeal attempted to be taken from, the Resolution of the Court of Appeals amending its
original judgment, within the time prescribed therefor by law, said amendatory resolution has long since

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become final and immutable, particularly in so far as it holds itself competent to take cognizance of the matter
of damages and authorizes the reception of evidence on de la Fuente's claim therefor.
Mancenido v CA (2000)

Mancenido (teacher) with his co-teachers filed for mandamus and damages with RTC Camarines Norte against
the provincial board of CamN

RTC ruled for Mancenido and denied the provincial boards MR

The provincial board filed a petition for mandamus, prohibition and injunction before the CA and prayed that
their notice of appeal be given due course and the trial court be prohibited from enforcing the partial execution
of its judgment. This was granted.

Mancenido et al now approach the SC

Issues
o (1) Whether a private counsel may represent municipal officials sued in their official capacities; and
o (2) Whether a Notice of Appeal filed through private counsel and with notice to petitioners and not to
their counsel is valid.

petitioners contend that Atty. Jose Lapak could not represent the respondents Provincial Treasurer and
Provincial School Board, because both are instrumentalities of the National Government and may be
represented only by the Office of the Solicitor General pursuant to Section 35, Chapter 12, Title 3, Book 4 of
the Administrative Code of 1987. Only the Provincial Prosecutor of Camarines Norte may represent the
Provincial Governor and the Provincial Board in accordance with Section 481 [1], par. B of the Local
Government Code of 1991.

Petitioners also pray that the Notice of Appeal filed by respondents dated February 18, 1994, be deemed a
mere scrap of paper. They claim that it was filed by a lawyer not authorized to do so. Even granting that Atty.
Lapak could represent respondents in filing the Notice of Appeal, they add, it was not properly served since its
copy was sent to petitioners and not to their counsel of record. They conclude that this error is fatal to their
appeal.

SC IS NOT IMPRESSED. SORRY MANCENIDO.

The Court has previously ruled on the representation of a local government unit by a private attorney. In
Municipality of Bocaue v. Manotok, 93 Phil, 173 (1953), and succeeding cases, we held that only when the
provincial fiscal is disqualified may the municipal council be authorized to hire the services of a special
attorney. We reiterated this in De Guia v. Auditor General, 44 SCRA 169 (1972)..[6] In Enriquez, Sr. v. Gimenez,
107 Phil 932 (1960), we enumerated the instances when the provincial public prosecutor is disqualified from
representing a particular municipality, i.e., when the jurisdiction of a case involving the municipality lies with
the Supreme Court, when the municipality is a party adverse to the provincial government or to some other
municipality in the same province, and when in a case involving the municipality, the provincial prosecutor, his
spouse, or his child is involved as a creditor, heir, legatee, or otherwise.

IT IS SETTLED THAT AN LGU CANNOT BE REPRESENTED BY A PRIVATE ATTORNEY. BUT CAN A LOCAL
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL BE REPRESENTED BY A PRIVATE ATTY?
o Alinsug v RTC: rule: in resolving whether a local government official may secure the services of private
counsel in an action filed against him in his official capacity, the nature of the action and the relief
sought are to be considered

The present case had its origins in Civil Case No. 5864 filed before the RTC of Camarines Norte, Branch 38, for
mandamus and damages. Notwithstanding the fact that the trial court granted mandamus, petitioners
appealed to the Court of Appeals since the trial court did not award damages. In view of the damages sought
which, if granted, could result in personal liability, respondents could not be deemed to have been improperly
represented by private counsel. No error may thus be attributed to the appellate court when it recognized the
right of respondents to be represented by private counsel

Pursuant to the aforecited Rules, service of notice when a party is represented by counsel should be made
upon counsel, and not upon the party. The purpose of the rule is to maintain a uniform procedure calculated to
place in competent hands the prosecution of a party's case. .

We find, however, that no error was committed by the Court of Appeals when it ordered the trial court (a) to
elevate the original record of Civil Case No. 5864 and (b) to desist from any further proceedings in said case.
Petitioners did appeal the decision of the trial court to the appellate court within the reglementary period to
perfect an appeal. Once a written notice of appeal is filed, appeal is perfected and the trial court loses
jurisdiction over the case, both over the record and subject of the case
Santos v CA and MMA (2000), SUPRA WOOHOO (see digests 09 compilation, Rabe-Santos)
Cena v CSC (1992)

Cena is a Registrar of the Reg of Deeds of Malabon

Issue: May a government employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but who has
rendered 11 years, 9 months and 6 days of government service, be allowed to continue in the service to
complete the 15-year service requirement to enable him to retire with the benefits of an old-age pension under
Section 11 par. (b) of the Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977? YES

Cena = Legal Officer II Supervising Staff Officer (Office of Cong of Caloocan) Reg of Deeds of Malabon
until he reached the retirement age of 65

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Before reaching his 65th birthday, he requested the Secretary of Justice, through Administrator Teodoro
G. Bonifacio of the Land Registration Authority (LRA), that he be allowed to extend his service to
complete the 15-year service requirement to enable him to retire with full benefits of old-age pension
under Section 11, par. (b) of P.D. 1146.
CSC denied request, but later allowed a 1 year extension based on CSC Memo Circ 27 (allows extension of
maximum 1 year)
Petitioner contends that reliance of the Commission on par. (1) of Memorandum Circular No. 27 allowing an
extension of service of a compulsory retiree for a period not exceeding one (1) year is both erroneous and
contrary to the "benevolent and munificent intentions" of Section 11 of P.D. 1146. Petitioner points out that
par. (b), Section 11 of P.D. No. 1146 does not limit nor specify the maximum number of years the retiree may
avail of to complete the 15 years of service.
The Solicitor-General agrees with petitioner Cena. He argues that the questioned provision being generally
worded, Section 11 par. (b), P.D. 1146 has general application, thus respondent CSC has no authority to limit
through CSC Memorandum Circular No. 27 the privilege under said section to government employees who lack
just one year to complete the 15-year service requirement.
The Civil Service Commission, however, contends that since public respondent CSC is the central personnel
agency of the government, it is vested with the power and authority, among others, to grant or allow extension
of service beyond retirement age pursuant to Section 14 par. (14), Chapter 3, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of
Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987)
o In interpreting Section 11 par. (b) of P.D. 1146, public respondent CSC contends that the phrase
"Provided, That if he has less than fifteen years of service, he shall be allowed to continue in the
service to complete the fifteen years", is qualified by the clause: "Unless the service is extended by
appropriate authorities," which means that the extension of service must be first authorized by the
Commission, as the appropriate authority referred to in Section 11, par. (b), P.D. 1146, before the
service of a compulsory retiree (one who has already reached age of 65 years with at least 15 years of
service) can be extended.
SC rules for Cena
Section 12, par. (14), Chapter 3, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (November 24,
1987) cannot be interpreted to authorize the Civil Service Commission to limit to only one (1) year the
extension of service of an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 without having
completed 15 years of service, when said limitation his no relation to or connection with the provision of the
law supposed to be carried into effect.
As a law of general application, the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot authorize the modification of an
express provision of a special law (Revised Government Service Insurance of 1977). Otherwise, the intent and
purpose of the provisions on retirement and pension of the Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977
(P.D. 1146) would be rendered nugatory and meaningless.
Section 11 paragraph (b) of the Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977 expressly provides, thus:
o Sec. 11. Conditions for Old-Age Pension. (a) Old-age pension shall be paid to a member who:
o
(b) Unless the service is extended by appropriate authorities, retirement shall be compulsory for an
employee of sixty-five years of age with at least fifteen years of service: Provided, That if he has less
than fifteen years of service, he shall be allowed to continue in the service to complete the fifteen
years.
Being remedial in character, a statute creating a pension or establishing retirement plan should be liberally
construed and administered in favor of the persons intended to be benefited thereby. The liberal approach
aims to achieve the humanitarian purposes of the law in order that the efficiency, security and well-being of
government employees may be enhanced
Abad Santos v Auditor General: a pension partakes of the nature of "retained wages" of the retiree for a double
purpose: (1) to entice competent men and women to enter the government service, and (2) permit them to
retire from the service with relative security, not only for those who have retained their vigor, but more so for
those who have been incapacitated by illness or accident.
We have applied the liberal approach in interpreting statutes creating pension or establishing retirement plans
in cases involving officials of the Judiciary who lacked the age and service requirement for retirement. We see
no cogent reason to rule otherwise in the case of ordinary employees of the Executive Branch, as in the case of
petitioner Cena, who has reached 65 but opted to avail of the statutory privilege under Section 11 par. (b) of
P.D. 1146 to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement in order to avail of old-age
pension.
the Court pointed out in Re: Gregorio G. Pineda, Adm. Matter No. 2076-RET., July 13, 1990, and its six (6)
companion cases, 187 SCRA 469, that when the Court allows seeming exceptions to fixed rules for certain
retired Judges or Justices, there are ample reasons behind each grant of an exception. The crediting of
accumulated leaves to make up for lack of required age or length of service is not done indiscriminately. It is
always on case to case basis.
There is thus no justifiable reason in not allowing ordinary employees in the Executive Branch on a case to
case basis, to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement to avail of the old-age
pension under Section 11 of P.D. 1146. By limiting the extension of service to only one (1) year would defeat
the beneficial intendment of the retirement provisions of P.D. 1146.
o

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The governing retirement law in the instant case is P.D. 1146 otherwise known as the "Revised Government
Service Insurance Act of 1977." The rule on limiting to only one (1) year the extension of service of an
employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but has less than 15 years of service
under Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27 s. 1990, cannot likewise be accorded validity because it has
no relation to or connection with any provision of P.D. 1146 supposed to be carried into effect. The rule was an
addition to or extension of the law, not merely a mode of carrying it into effect. The Civil Service Commission
has no power to supply perceived omissions in P.D. 1146.
ection 12 par. (b) of P.D. 1146 does not apply to the case of herein Cena, because he opted to continue in the
service to complete the 15-year service requirement pursuant to Section 11 par. (b) of P.D. 1146. The
completion of the 15-year service requirement under Section 11 par. (b) partakes the nature of a privilege
given to an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but has less than 15 years
of service. If said employee opted to avail of said privilege, he is entitled to the benefits of the old-age pension.
On the other hand, if the said employee opted to retire upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 65
years although he has less than 15 years of service, he is entitled to the benefits provided for under Section 12
of P.D. 1146 i.e. a cash equivalent to 100% of his average monthly compensation for every year of service.
he right under Section 11, par. (b) is open to all employees similarly situated, so it does not offend the
constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law. There is nothing absurd or inequitable in rewarding an
employee for completion of the 15-year service beyond the retirement age. If he would be better off than the
one who has served for 14 years but who is separated from the service at the age of 64, it would be only just
and proper as he would have worked for the whole period of 15 years as required by law for entitlement of the
old-age pension. Indeed, a longer service should merit a greater reward. Besides, his entitlement to the oldage pension is conditioned upon such completion. Thus, if the service is not completed due to death or
incapacity, he would be entitled to the benefit under Section 12, par. (b), i.e. cash equivalent to 100% of his
average monthly compensation for every year of service.

Romero, dissent

to interpret the law as meaning that the age limit and the fifteen-year length of service should concur before a
government employee is allowed the old-age pension may well give rise to a situation wherein a person who
enters government service a year before reaching age sixty-five would have to wait until he is seventy-nine
years old to be entitled to the old-age pension provided for in P.D. No. 1146, which is an absurdity. Hence, to
give substance to the real signification of the law, the proviso in Sec. 11 (b) which states that a government
employee who has "less than fifteen years of service, . . . shall be allowed to continue in the service to
complete the fifteen years," should contemplate a situation wherein the employee has only a minimal period of
time left to complete the fifteen-year period. What this minimal period is, the Civil Service Commission has
correctly declared to be "not exceeding one year." Otherwise, the government may well be saddled with a
corps of civil servants that may be regarded graphically as liabilities instead of assets.

Moreover, encouraging the retention of employees well beyond the age of sixty-five years would, in effect,
swell the numbers of the qualified but unemployed many who, even now, face the bleak prospect of being
edged out of the labor market by those who can but offer to the government and the people their diminishing
physical and mental vitality.
Grino-Aquino, dissent

After a careful consideration of related provisions of the retirement laws, I submit that inasmuch as P.D. No.
1146 is silent on the matter, the Civil Service Commission, pursuant to the authority granted to it in the
Administrative Code of 1987, "to take appropriate action on . . . all personnel matters in the Civil Service,
including extension of service beyond retirement age" (paragraph 14, Section 12, Chapter 3, Subtitle A, Title I,
Book V), appropriately promulgated Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, limiting the extension of
service to "not exceeding one year."

I believe that Section 11, paragraph (b) of P.D. 1146 contemplates a borderline situation where a compulsory
retiree on his 65th birthday has completed more than 14, but less than 15, years of government service, or a
few months short of the 15-year requirement which would enable him to collect an old-age pension. Pursuant
to the beneficent objectives of our retirement laws, said retiree may be granted an extension of not more than
one year to enable him to complete 15 years of government service and receive full retirement benefits
including old-age pension which, otherwise, he would not be entitled to receive. Such extension will enable him
to retire after his 65th birthday, but before he attains 66 years of age, hence, still within the mandatory
retirement age of 65 years fixed by law, for as a matter of fact, one is 65 years old upon reaching his 65th
birthday until the eve of his 66th.

Since Cena, on his 65th birthday, had rendered service to the government for a total of only 11 years, 9
months and 6 days, he is not entitled to an extension of his service to complete 15 years for it would illegally
and unreasonably stretch his retirement age beyond his 68th birthday, or long after he shall have ceased to be
65 years old.

The petitioner's theory that a compulsory retiree (one who is 65 years old) should be allowed an extension of
his service for any number of years to complete the 15-year-service requirement under Section 11(b), P.D.
1146, can produce absurd and inequitable results. An employee who has rendered only 3 years of government
service at the age of 65 can have his service extended for 12 years and finally retire at the age of 77 and
receive a life pension, while one who has served for 14 years, but whose service is terminated by death or

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incapacity at the age of 64, will only receive a cash gratuity equivalent to one month pay for every year of
service in the government, without a life pension, under "Section 12, paragraph (b), P.D. No. 1146.
Worth pondering also are the points raised by the Civil Service Commission that extending the service of
compulsory retirees for longer than one (1) year would: (1) give a premium to late-comers in the government
service and in effect discriminate against those who enter the service at a younger age; (2) delay the
promotion of the latter and of next-in-rank employees; and (3) prejudice the chances for employment of
qualified young civil service applicants who have already passed the various government examinations but
must wait for jobs to be vacated by "extendees" who have long passed the mandatory retirement age but are
enjoying extension of their government service to complete 15 years so they may qualify for old-age pension.

Rabor v CSC (1995)

This case modifies the Cena doctrine!

Rabor = Utility Worker in the Office of the Mayor of Davao (entered service at 55)

Pagatpatan, a Davao city official, advised Rabor to apply for retirement because he has reached the age of 68
years, with 13 years and 1 month of government service
o Rabor responded to this advice by exhibiting a "Certificate of Membership" 2 issued by the
Government Service Insurance System ("GSIS") and dated 12 May 1988. At the bottom of this
"Certificate of Membership" is a typewritten statement of the following tenor: "Service extended to
comply 15 years service reqts." This statement is followed by a non-legible initial with the following
date "2/28/91."

CSC said Rabors extension of services = contrary to Memo Circ 65, therefore non-extendible:
o Officials and employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years shall not be
retained the service, except for extremely meritorious reasons in which case the retention shall not
exceed six (6) months.

Rabor sent a letter to the CSC asking for extension of services until completion of the 15 year service provision
(around 2 years) DENIED

Rabor sought reconsideration, invoking the Cena case (see previous digest)
o his request was once more denied by Mayor Duterte in a letter to petitioner dated 19 May 1993. In this
letter, Mayor Duterte pointed out that, under Cena grant of the extension of service was discretionary
on the part of the City Mayor, but that he could not grant the extension requested.
o Much as we desire to extend you an appointment but circumstances are that we can no longer do so.
As you are already nearing your 70th birthday may no longer be able to perform the duties attached to
your position. Moreover, the position you had vacated was already filled up

While Section 11 (b) appeared cast in verbally unqualified terms, there were (and still are) two (2)
administrative issuances which prescribe limitations on the extension of service that may be granted to an
employee who has reached sixty-five (65) years of age.
o CSC Circ 27: 1. Any request for the extension of service of compulsory retirees to complete the fifteen
(15) years service requirement for retirement shall be allowed only to permanent appointees in the
career service who are regular members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and
shall be granted for a period not exceeding one (1) year.

2.
Any request for the extension of service of compulsory retiree to complete the fifteen
(15) years service requirement for retirement who entered the government service at 57 years
of age or over upon prior grant of authority to appoint him or her, shall no longer be granted.

3.
Any request for the extension of service to complete the fifteen (15) years service
requirement of retirement shall be filled not later than three (3) years prior to the date of
compulsory retirement.

4.
Any request for the extension of service of a compulsory retiree who meets the
minimum number of years of service for retirement purposes may be granted for six (6)
months only with no further extension.
o Memo Circ 65, Office of the President: the pertinent provision of Memorandum Circular No. 163 or on
the retention in the service of officials or employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age
of 65 years, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Officials or employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years shall not
be retained in the service, except for extremely meritorious reasons in which case the
retention shall not exceed six (6) months.

IN THE CENA CASE, Medialdea, J. resolved the challenges posed by the above two (2) administrative
regulations by, firstly, considering as invalid Civil Service Memorandum No. 27 and, secondly, by interpreting
the Office of the President's Memorandum Circular No. 65 as inapplicable to the case of Gaudencio T. Cena.

in striking down Civil Service Commission Memorandum No. 27, the Cena case took a very narrow view on the
question of what subordinate rule-making by an administrative agency is permissible and valid.

Clearly, therefore, Cena when it required a considerably higher degree of detail in the statute to be
implemented, went against prevailing doctrine. It seems clear that if the governing or enabling statute is quite
detailed and specific to begin with, there would be very little need (or occasion) for implementing
administrative regulations. It is, however, precisely the inability of legislative bodies to anticipate all (or many)
possible detailed situations in respect of any relatively complex subject matter, that makes subordinate,
delegated rule-making by administrative agencies so important and unavoidable. All that may be reasonably;

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demanded is a showing that the delegated legislation consisting of administrative regulations are germane to
the general purposes projected by the governing or enabling statute. This is the test that is appropriately
applied in respect of Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, and to this test we now turn.
We consider that the enabling statute that should appropriately be examined is the present Civil Service law
found in Book V, Title I, Subtitle A, of Executive Order No. 292 dated 25 July 1987, otherwise known as the
Administrative Code of 1987 and not alone P.D. No. 1146, otherwise known as the "Revised Government
Service Insurance Act of 1977." For the matter of extension of service of retirees who have reached sixty-five
(65) years of age is an area that is covered by both statutes and not alone by Section 11 (b) of P.D. 1146. This
is crystal clear from examination of many provisions of the present civil service law.
It was on the bases of the above quoted provisions of the 1987 Administrative Code that the Civil Service
Commission promulgated its Memorandum Circular No. 27. In doing so, the Commission was acting as "the
central personnel agency of the government empowered to promulgate policies, standards and guidelines for
efficient, responsive and effective personnel administration in the government." 23 It was also discharging its
function of "administering the retirement program for government officials and employees" and of
"evaluat[ing] qualifications for retirement."
In addition, the Civil Service Commission is charged by the 1987 Administrative Code with providing leadership
and assistance "in the development and retention of qualified and efficient work force in the Civil Service"
(Section 16 [10]) and with the "enforcement of the constitutional and statutory provisions, relative to
retirement and the regulation for the effective implementation of the retirement of government officials and
employees" (Section 16 [14]).
We find it very difficult to suppose that the limitation of permissible extensions of service after an employee
has reached sixty-five (65) years of age has no reasonable relationship or is not germane to the foregoing
provisions of the present Civil Service Law. The physiological and psychological processes associated with
ageing in human beings are in fact related to the efficiency and quality of the service that may be expected
from individual persons.
SEE THE GRINO-AQUINO DISSENT IN THE CENA CASE!
Cena laid heavy stress on the interest of retirees or would be retirees, something that is, in itself, quite
appropriate. At the same time, however, we are bound to note that there should be countervailing stress on
the interests of the employer agency and of other government employees as a whole. The results flowing from
the striking down of the limitation established in Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27 may well be
"absurd and inequitable," as suggested by Mme. Justice Grio-Aquino in her dissenting opinion. An employee
who has rendered only three (3) years of government service at age sixty-five (65) can have his service
extended for twelve (12) years and finally retire at the age of seventy-seven (77). This reduces the significance
of the general principle of compulsory retirement at age sixty-five (65) very close to the vanishing point.
The very real difficulties posed by the Cena doctrine for rational personnel administration and management in
the Civil Service, are aggravated when Cena is considered together with the case of Toledo v. Civil Service
Commission
o prohibited the appointment of persons fifty-seven (57) years old or above in government service
without prior approval of the Civil Service Commission. Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 5,
Series of 1983 provided that a person fifty-seven (57) years of age may be appointed to the Civil
Service provided that the exigencies of the government service so required and provided that the
appointee possesses special qualifications not possessed by other officers or employees in the Civil
Service and that the vacancy cannot be filled by promotion of qualified officers or employees of the
Civil Service.
THE OLD MUST GIVE WAY TO THE NEW: When one combines the doctrine of Toledo with the ruling in Cena, very
strange results follow. Under these combined doctrines, a person sixty-four (64) years of age may be
appointed to the government service and one (1) year later may demand extension of his service for the next
fourteen (14) years; he would retire at age seventy-nine (79). The net effect is thus that the general statutory
policy of compulsory retirement at sixty-five (65) years is heavily eroded and effectively becomes
unenforceable. That general statutory policy may be seen to embody the notion that there should be a certain
minimum turn-over in the government service and that opportunities for government service should be
distributed as broadly as possible, specially to younger people, considering that the bulk of our population is
below thirty (30) years of age. That same general policy also reflects the life expectancy of our people which is
still significantly lower than the life expectancy of, e.g., people in Northern and Western Europe, North America
and Japan.
Cena doctrine modified
o Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, more specifically paragraph (1) thereof, is
hereby declared valid and effective.
o Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146 must, accordingly, be read together with Memorandum Circular No. 27.
o the head of the government agency concerned is vested with discretionary authority to allow or
disallow extension of the service of an official or employee who has reached sixty-five (65) years of
age without completing fifteen (15) years of government service, conformably with Memo Circ 27

GSIS v COA (2004)

2 consolidated cases

In 2002, SC decided on the 2 cases (partial grant)


o In the first case, it reversed the disallowance of the COA of certain fringe benefits for GSIS employees

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o It ordered the refund of such fringe benefits in favor of the respondents in the second case
The benefits included were:
o Longevity pay
o Childrens allowance and management contribution to the Provident Fund
o Premiums for group personal accident insurance
SC affirmed COA disallowance of loyalty and service cash award + housing allowance in excess of the COAapproved amount
o The GSIS deducted the amounts corresponding to these benefits from the employees retirement
benefits
The employees (who are all GSIS retirees) filed a motion for amendatory and clarificatory judgment, saying
that SC did not categorically resolve the issue of w/n the GSIS may deduct any amount from their retirement
benefits based on RA 8291, Sec 39
o According to respondents, said provision of law clearly states that no amount whatsoever could be
legally deducted from retirement benefits, even those amounts representing COA disallowances. They
posit that we should have ordered refund not only of benefits allowed in the first petition, but all
amounts claimed, regardless of whether or not these were allowed by the COA. These include items
which were correctly disallowed by the COA in the first petition, as well as disallowed benefits under
the second petition. The latter consists of initial payment of productivity bonus, accelerated
implementation of the new salary schedule effective August 1, 1995, 1995 mid-year financial
assistance and increase in clothing, rice and meal allowances. Respondents further insist that we
should have awarded damages in their favor, citing the GSIS alleged bad faith in making the
deductions.
GSIS posited that the other benefits not passed upon in the main judgment should be understood by
respondents as having been impliedly denied by this Court.
the principal issue pending before the Board does not involve any factual question, as it concerns only the
correct application of the last paragraph of Section 39, RA 8291. The parties agreed that the lone issue is
whether COA disallowances could be legally deducted from retirement benefits on the ground that these were
respondents monetary liabilities to the GSIS under the said provision. There is no dispute that the amounts
deducted by GSIS represented COA disallowances. Thus, the only question left for the Board to decide is
whether the deductions are allowed under RA 8291.
The last paragraph of Section 39, RA 8291 specifically provides:
o SEC. 39. Exemption from Tax, Legal Process and Lien.o The funds and/or the properties referred to herein as well as the benefits, sums or monies
corresponding to the benefits under this Act shall be exempt from attachment, garnishment, execution,
levy or other processes issued by the courts, quasi-judicial agencies or administrative bodies including
Commission on Audit (COA) disallowances and from all financial obligations of the members, including
his pecuniary accountability arising from or caused or occasioned by his exercise or performance of his
official functions or duties, or incurred relative to or in connection with his position or work except
when his monetary liability, contractual or otherwise, is in favor of the GSIS.
It is clear from the above provision that COA disallowances cannot be deducted from benefits under RA 8291,
as the same are explicitly made exempt by law from such deductions. Retirement benefits cannot be
diminished by COA disallowances in view of the clear mandate of the foregoing provision. It is a basic rule in
statutory construction that if a statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal
meaning and applied without interpretation. This is what is known as plain-meaning rule or verba legis.
Accordingly, the GSIS interpretation of Section 39 that COA disallowances have become monetary liabilities of
respondents to the GSIS and therefore fall under the exception stated in the law is wrong. No interpretation of
the said provision is necessary given the clear language of the statute. A meaning that does not appear nor is
intended or reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be placed therein by construction
That retirement pay accruing to a public officer may not be withheld and applied to his indebtedness to the
government has been settled in several cases. Cruz v Tantuico
o we are of the opinion that the exemption should be liberally construed in favor of the pensioner.
Pension in this case is a bounty flowing from the graciousness of the Government intended to reward
past services and, at the same time, to provide the pensioner with the means with which to support
himself and his family. Unless otherwise clearly provided, the pension should inure wholly to the
benefit of the pensioner. It is true that the withholding and application of the amount involved was had
under section 624 of the Administrative Code and not by any judicial process, but if the gratuity could
not be attached or levied upon execution in view of the prohibition of section 3 of Act No. 4051, the
appropriation thereof by administrative action, if allowed, would lead to the same prohibited result and
enable the respondents to do indirectly what they cannot do directly under section 3 of Act No. 4051
The policy of exempting retirement benefits from attachment, levy and execution, as well as unwarranted
deductions, has been embodied in a long line of retirement statutes.
The latest GSIS enactment, RA 8291, provides for a more detailed and wider range of exemptions under
Section 39. Aside from exempting benefits from judicial processes, it likewise unconditionally exempts benefits
from quasi-judicial and administrative processes, including COA disallowances, as well as all financial
obligations of the member. The latter includes any pecuniary accountability of the member which arose out of

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the exercise or performance of his official functions or duties or incurred relative to his position or work. The
only exception to such pecuniary accountability is when the same is in favor of the GSIS.
Thus, monetary liability in favor of GSIS refers to indebtedness of the member to the System other than
those which fall under the categories of pecuniary accountabilities exempted under the law. Such liability may
include unpaid social insurance premiums and balances on loans obtained by the retiree from the System,
which do not arise in the performance of his duties and are not incurred relative to his work. The general
policy, as reflected in our retirement laws and jurisprudence, is to exempt benefits from all legal processes or
liens, but not from outstanding obligations of the member to the System. This is to ensure maintenance of the
GSIS fund reserves in order to guarantee fulfillment of all its obligations under RA 8291.
Anent the benefits which were improperly disallowed, the same rightfully belong to respondents without
qualification. As for benefits which were justifiably disallowed by the COA, the same were erroneously granted
to and received by respondents who now have the obligation to return the same to the System.
It cannot be denied that respondents were recipients of benefits that were properly disallowed by the
COA. These COA disallowances would otherwise have been deducted from their salaries, were it not for the
fact that respondents retired before such deductions could be effected. The GSIS can no longer recover these
amounts by any administrative means due to the specific exemption of retirement benefits from COA
disallowances. Respondents resultantly retained benefits to which they were not legally entitled which, in turn,
gave rise to an obligation on their part to return the amounts under the principle of solutio indebiti.
In the instant case, the confusion about the increase and payment of benefits to GSIS employees and
executives, as well as its subsequent disallowance by the COA, arose on account of the application of RA 6758
or the Salary Standardization Law and its implementing rules, CCC No. 10. The complexity in the application of
these laws is manifested by the several cases that have reached the Court since its passage in 1989. The
application of RA 6758 was made even more difficult when its implementing rules were nullified for nonpublication. Consequently, the delivery of benefits to respondents under an erroneous interpretation of RA
6758 gave rise to an actionable obligation for them to return the same.
While the GSIS cannot directly proceed against respondents retirement benefits, it can nonetheless seek
restoration of the amounts by means of a proper court action for its recovery. Respondents themselves submit
that this should be the case, although any judgment rendered therein cannot be enforced against retirement
benefits due to the exemption provided in Section 39 of RA 8291. However, there is no prohibition against
enforcing a final monetary judgment against respondents other assets and properties. This is only fair and
consistent with basic principles of due process.