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Civil Service Commission and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation v. Rafael M.

Salas
G.R. No. 123708

June 19, 1997

Regalado, J.:
Facts:
Respondent Salas was appointed by the PAGCOR Chairman as Internal Security Staff (ISS)
member and assigned to the casino at the Manila Pavilion Hotel. However, his employment was
terminated by the Board of Directors of PAGCOR on December 3, 1991, allegedly for loss of confidence,
after a covert investigation conducted by the Intelligence Division of PAGCOR. The summary of
intelligence information claimed that respondent was allegedly engaged in proxy betting as detailed in the
affidavits purportedly executed by two customers of PAGCOR who claimed that they were used as
gunners on different occasions by respondent. The two polygraph tests taken by the latter also yielded
corroborative and unfavorable results.
Respondent submitted a letter of appeal to the Chairman and the Board of Directors of PAGCOR,
requesting reinvestigation of the case since he was not given an opportunity to be heard, but the same was
denied. On February 17, 1992, he appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) which denied
the appeal on the ground that, as a confidential employee, respondent was not dismissed from the service
but his term of office merely expired. On appeal, the CSC issued Resolution No. 92-1283 which affirmed
the decision of the MSPB.
The Court of Appeals rendered its questioned decision with the finding that herein respondent
Salas is not a confidential employee, hence he may not be dismissed on the ground of loss of confidence.
In so ruling, the appellate court applied the "proximity rule" enunciated in the case of Grio, et al. vs.
Civil Service Commission, et al.
Issue:
Whether Section 16 of the PD No. 1869 has been superseded and repealed by Section 2(1), Article IX-B
of the 1987 Constitution?
Held: The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.
The Court of Appeals opined that the provisions of Section 16 of Presidential Decree No. 1869 may no
longer be applied in the case at bar because the same is deemed to have been repealed in its entirety by
Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution. This is not completely correct. On this point, we
approve the more logical interpretation advanced by the CSC to the effect that "Section 16 of PD 1869
insofar as it exempts PAGCOR positions from the provisions of Civil Service Law and Rules has been
amended, modified or deemed repealed by the 1987 Constitution and Executive Order No. 292
(Administrative Code of 1987)".
However, the same cannot be said with respect to the last portion of Section 16 which provides that "all
employees of the casino and related services shall be classified as 'confidential appointees.'" While such
executive declaration emanated merely from the provisions of Section 2, Rule XX of the implementing
rules of the Civil Service Act of 1959, the power to declare a position as policy-determining, primarily

confidential or highly technical as defined therein has subsequently been codified and incorporated in
Section 12(9), Book V of Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987. This later
enactment only serves to bolster the validity of the categorization made under Section 16 of Presidential
Decree No. 1869. Be that as it may, such classification is not absolute and all-encompassing.
Thus, the aforecited case was decided on the uncontested assumption that the private respondent therein
was a confidential employee, for the simple reason that the propriety of Section 16 of Presidential Decree
No. 1869 was never controverted nor raised as an issue therein.
That decree was mentioned merely in connection with its provision that PAGCOR employees hold
confidential positions. Evidently, therefore, it cannot be considered as controlling in the case at bar. Even
the fact that a statute has been accepted as valid in cases where its validity was not challenged does not
preclude the court from later passing upon its constitutionality in an appropriate cause where that question
is squarely and properly raised. Such circumstances merely reinforce the presumption of constitutionality
of the law.
The Court of Appeal set aside Resolution No. 92-1283 of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and
ordered the reinstatement of herein private respondent Rafael M. Salas with full back wages for having
been illegally dismissed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), but without
prejudice to the filing of administrative charges against him if warranted.

Tecson v. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 123046

November 16, 1999

Quisumbing, J.:
Facts:
Petitioner was, at the time of the commission of the offense charged in the Information, the
Municipal Mayor of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
Private complainant before the Sandiganbayan, Mrs. Salvacion Luzana, is a resident of Poblacion,
Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. She is a neighbor of the petitioner. She claims to be a housewife who
occasionally dabbles in farming.
In the last week of September 1989, upon the offer of Tecson, he and Mrs. Luzana agreed to engage
in an investment business. They would sell tickets at P100.00 each which after 30 days would earn
P200.00 or more. She would buy appliances and cosmetics at a discount, with the use of the proceeds of
the sales of tickets, and resell them. No other details were disclosed on how the business would operate,
and Tecson does not appear to have contributed any monetary consideration to the capital. On September
27, 1989, they began selling tickets.
Tecson also acted as agent selling tickets. He got on that day early in the morning two booklets of
tickets, for which he signed the covers of the booklets to acknowledge receipt. Before noon of the same
day he returned after having already sold 40 tickets in the amount of P4,000.00, bringing with him a
Mayors Permit in the name of Mrs. Luzana for their business called LD Assurance Privileges. He asked
for a cash advance of P4,000.00 which he would use during the fiesta on September 29, 1989, and he
would not release the Mayors Permit unless the cash advance was given him. Mrs. Luzana reluctantly
acceded, saying that it was not the due date yet, so he was getting the cash advances on his share. Tecson
signed for the cash advance.
Private respondent secured a Business Permit in accordance with the instructions of Tecson. The
permit was in her name but the same was for the operation of Prosperidad Investment and SubDealership, the new name of the business. In the session of the Sangguniang Bayan of Prosperidad,
Agusan del Sur on October 17, 1989 presided over by Tecson, Resolution No. 100 was passed revoking
the business permit at the instance of the Provincial Director of the Department of Trade and Industry.
With the revocation of her business permit, private complainant below filed an administrative case
against petitioner, for violation of Section 3 [c], R.A. No. 3019 and Section 60 of B.P. Blg. 337 (then
Local Government Code) with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The complaint
was docketed as Adm. Case No. SP-90-01 and referred to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del
Sur for appropriate action.

Not content with having instituted administrative proceedings, private complainant below also filed a
civil case against petitioner for damages with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, of Prosperidad, Agusan
del Sur. This action was docketed as Civil Case No. 716.
A complaint was likewise filed with the Ombudsman for violation of R.A. No. 3019, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. This complaint was docketed as OMB Case No. 3-802919. It was subsequently referred to the Sandiganbayan, which took jurisdiction.
The Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan Del Sur dismissed the administrative complaint. A
compromise agreement was entered by the litigants in the trial court. The Sandiganbayan issued an order
for the petitioner herein arrest and rendered decision convicting petitioner guilty for violation of R.A. No.
3019. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration however, the respondent court denied the same.
Hence, this instant petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan exonerating the accused serves as a
bar by prior judgment to the decision of the Sandiganbayan
Ruling: No. Petition is denied.
Petitioners theory has no leg to stand on. First, it must be pointed out that res judicata is a
doctrine of civil law. It thus has no bearing in the criminal proceedings before the
Sandiganbayan. Second, it is a basic principle of the law on public officers that a public official or
employee is under a three-fold responsibility for violation of duty or for a wrongful act or omission. This
simply means that a public officer may be held civilly, criminally, and administratively liable for a
wrongful doing. Thus, if such violation or wrongful act results in damages to an individual, the public
officer may be held civilly liable to reimburse the injured party. If the law violated attaches a penal
sanction, the erring officer may be punished criminally. Finally, such violation may also lead to
suspension, removal from office, or otheradministrative sanctions. This administrative liability is separate
and distinct from the penal and civil liabilities. Thus, the dismissal of an administrative case does not
necessarily bar the filing of a criminal prosecution for the same or similar acts, which were the subject of
the administrative complaint. We conclude, therefore, that the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
of Agusan del Sur exonerating petitioner in Administrative Case No. SP 90-01 is no bar to the criminal
prosecution before the Sandiganbayan.
As to the amicable settlement in Civil Case No. 716 with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, of
Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, it is settled that a complaint for misconduct, malfeasance or misfeasance
against a public officer or employee cannot just be withdrawn at any time by the complainant. This is
because there is a need to maintain the faith and confidence of the people in the government and its
agencies and instrumentalities. The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that the order of the trial court
dismissing Civil Case No. 716 did not bar the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan.