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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

(Case Digests)
OMBUDSMAN v. ANDUTAN
G.R. No. 164679, 27July 2011
FACTS: Pursuant to the Memorandum directing all non-career officials or those
occupying political positions to vacate their positions, Andutan resigned from the DOF
as the former Deputy Director of the One-Stop Shop Tax Credit and Duty Drawback
Center of the DOF. Subsequently, Andutan, et al. was criminally charged by the Fact
Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) of the Ombudsman with Estafa through
Falsification of Public Documents, and violations RA 3019. As government employees,
Andutan et al. were likewise administratively charged of Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty,
Falsification of Official Documents and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the
Service.

The Ombudsman found the respondents guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty. Having been
separated from the service, Andutan was imposed the penalty of forfeiture of all leaves,
retirement and other benefits and privileges, and perpetual disqualification from
reinstatement and re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government,
including government owned and controlled agencies or corporations.
The CA annulled and set aside the decision of the Ombudsman, ruling that the latter
should not have considered the administrative complaints because: first, Section 20 of
R.A. 6770 provides that the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary investigation
of any administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that x x x [t]he
complaint was filed after one year from the occurrence of the act or omission
complained of; and second, the administrative case was filed after Andutans forced
resignation
ISSUES:
(1) Whether Section 20(5) of R.A. 6770 prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an
administrative investigation a year after the act was committed.

(2) Whether the Ombudsman has authority to institute an administrative complaint


against a government employee who had already resigned.
HELD:
(1) No. Well-entrenched is the rule that administrative offenses do not prescribe.
Administrative offenses by their very nature pertain to the character of public officers
and employees. In disciplining public officers and employees, the object sought is not
the punishment of the officer or employee but the improvement of the public service
and the preservation of the publics faith and confidence in our government. Clearly,
Section 20 of R.A. 6770 does not prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an
administrative investigation after the lapse of one year, reckoned from the time the
alleged act was committed. Without doubt, even if the administrative case was filed
beyond the one (1) year period stated in Section 20(5), the Ombudsman was well within
its discretion to conduct the administrative investigation.
(2) No. The Ombudsman can no longer institute an administrative case against Andutan
because the latter was not a public servant at the time the case was filed. It is irrelevant,
according to the Ombudsman, that Andutan had already resigned prior to the filing of
the administrative case since the operative fact that determines its jurisdiction is the
commission of an offense while in the public service. The SC observed that indeed it has
held in the past that a public officials resignation does not render moot an
administrative case that was filed prior to the officials resignation. However, the facts of
those cases are not entirely applicable to the present case. In the past cases, the Court
found that the public officials subject of the administrative cases resigned, either to
prevent the continuation of a case already filed or to pre-empt the imminent filing of
one. Here, neither situation obtains. First, Andutans resignation was neither his choice
nor of his own doing; he was forced to resign. Second, Andutan resigned from his DOF
post on July 1, 1998, while the administrative case was filed on September 1, 1999,
exactly one year and two months after his resignation. What is clear from the records is
that Andutan was forced to resign more than a year before the Ombudsman filed the
administrative case against him. If the SC agreed with the interpretation of the
Ombudsman, any official even if he has been separated from the service for a long
time may still be subject to the disciplinary authority of his superiors, ad infinitum.

Likewise, if the act committed by the public official is indeed inimical to the interests of
the State, other legal mechanisms are available to redress the same.
ALVAREZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 192591, June 29, 2011
FACTS: Petitioner Efren L. Alvarez was the Mayor of the Municipality of Muoz, Nueva
Ecija. In July 1995, the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Muoz invited the President of the
Australian-Professional, Inc. (API) in connection with the municipal governments plan
to construct a four-storey shopping mall (Wag-wag Shopping Mall). Subsequently, it
approved the adoption of the project under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)
arrangement in the amount of P240 million.
An Invitation for proposals was published in Pinoy tabloid. The Pre-qualification, Bids
and Awards Committee (PBAC) recommended the approval of the proposal submitted
by the lone bidder, which is the API. Later, Mayor Alvarez entered into a Memorandum
of Agreement (MOA) with API for the project whereby API undertook to finish the
construction within 730 calendar days.
On 10 August 2006, Mayor Alvarez was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation
of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The
information was based on the fact that he gave the Australian-Professional Incorporated
(API) unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference, by awarding to the latter the
contract for the construction of Wag-Wag Shopping Mall in the amount of Php
240,000,000.00 , notwithstanding the fact that API was and is not a duly-licensed
construction company as per records of the Philippine Construction Accreditation
Board (PCAB).
ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner violated R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act
RULING: YES. The Court has clarified that the use of the disjunctive word or connotes
that either act of (a) causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government;
and (b) giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference,
qualifies as a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended. The use of the
disjunctive or connotes that the two modes need not be present at the same time. In
other words, the presence of one would suffice for conviction. In other words, Sec. 3,
par. (e), RA 3019, provides as one of its elements that the public officer should have
acted by causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or by giving

any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
functions. The use of the disjunctive term or connotes that either act qualifies as a
violation of Sec. 3, par. (e), as two (2) different modes of committing the offense. This
does not, however, indicate that each mode constitutes a distinct offense, but rather, that
an accused may be charged under either mode or under both.

PAERA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 181626, 30 May 2011
FACTS: Santiago Paera is the Punong Barangay of Mampas, Bacong, Negros Oriental,
and as such, he allocated his constituents use of communal water coming from a
communal tank by limiting distribution to the residents of Mampas, Bacong. The tank
sits on a land located in the neighboring barangay of Mampas, Valencia and owned by
Vicente Darong who is the father of Indalecio Darong. Despite petitioners scheme,
Indalecio continued drawing water from the tank. On 7 April 1999, Paera reminded
Indalecio of the water distribution scheme and cut Indalecios access. The next day, Paera
inspected the tank after constituents complained of water supply interruption. He
discovered a tap from the main line which he promptly disconnected. To stem the flow
of water from the ensuing leak, Paera, using a borrowed bolo, fashioned a wooden plug.
It was at this point when Indalecio arrived.

Criminal information of Grave Threats was filed against Paera. The prosecution argued
that Paera picked-up his bolo and charged towards Indalecio, shouting I will kill you!
Indalecio ran for safety, passing along the way his wife, Diosetea Darong who had
followed him to the water tank. Upon seeing Paera, Diosetea inquired what the matter
was. Instead of replying, petitioner shouted I dont spare anyone, even if you are a woman,
I will kill you! As Paera chased Indalecio, he passed Vicente, and, recognizing the latter,
repeatedly thrust his bolo towards him, shouting Even if you are old, I will crack open
your skull!
In his defense, Paera prays for the dismissal of the case for being innocent and having
acted in defense of the property of strangers and in lawful performance of duty justifying circumstances under Paragraphs 3 and 5, Article 11 of the Revised Penal
Code.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Justifying Circumstance under Paragraph 5, Article 11 of


Revised Penal Code is applicable.
HELD: NO. The justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty or exercise of office under
the 5th paragraph of Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code lies upon proof that the
offense committed was the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or
the lawful exercise of office. Arguably, Punong Brgy. Paera acted in the performance of
his duty to ensure delivery of basic services when he barred the Darongs access to the
communal water tank. Nevertheless, he exceeded the bounds of his office when he
successively chased the Darongs with a bladed weapon, threatening harm on their
persons, for violating his order. A number of options constituting lawful and due
discharge of his office lay before himand his resort to any of them would have spared
him from criminal liability. His failure to do so places his actions outside of the ambit of
criminally immune official conduct. Paera ought to know that no amount of concern for
the delivery of services justifies use by local elective officials of violence or threats of
violence.
TUBOLA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 154042
FACTS: Petitioner Tubola was the cashier of the National Irrigation Administration
(NIA)-Aganan, Sta. Barbara River Irrigation System in Iloilo City. On November 8, 1982,
Commission on Audit (COA) State Auditing Examiners Yvonne Gotera and Theresita
Cajita conducted an audit examination of Tubolas account which indicated a shortage
of P93,051.88. Gotera and Cajita sent a Deman Letter dated November 23, 1982 to Tubola
directing him to account for the shortage, but he refused to receive the letter.
Subsequently, he was charged of committing Malversation of public funds before the
Sandiganbayan.
In his defense, Tubola argued that his task of keeping the collected irrigation fees was
temporarily assigned to one Editha Valeria because he was also handling the payroll of
around 2,000 employees. Tubola further declared that no accounting of the collected fees
was undertaken since he trusted Valeria, who directly remitted them to the bank, after
he signed the statement of collection without reading the contents thereof. According to
Tubola he being the superior of Valeria, he had to rely on her honesty and competence
in the performance of her duties.

ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner Tubola is guilty of Malversation of public funds.


HELD: YES. The elements of malversation of public funds are thus:
1. That the offender is a public officer;
2. That he had the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his
office;
3. That those funds or property were public funds or property for which he was
accountable; and
4. That he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented or, through abandonment
or negligence, permitted another person to take them.
All the above-mentioned elements are present in this case. Petitioner Tubola was a
public officer he occupied the position of cashier at the NIA. By reason of his position,
he was tasked to regularly handle irrigation fees, which are indubitably public funds
pertaining to the NIA, and to remit them to the depositary bank.
As established by the prosecution, petitioner was the one who remitted irrigation fees
collected inclusive, so that even if the Court were to credit petitioners allegation that
Valeria had actually taken over his function of collecting the irrigation fees, the
collections were still, in fact by his admission, turned over to him.

PP vs. CAPUNO
G.R No. 185715
FACTS: The prosecution charged the appellant Erlinda Capuno with violation of
Section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165. It presented PO1 Jose Gordon Antonio and PO1
Fortunato Jiro III as witnesses during the Trial. The former narrated that on July 21,
2002, he was at the Rodriguez Police Station when a civilian informant arrived and
reported that a woman was openly selling dangerous drugs on Manggahan Street,
Barangay Burgos, Montalban Rizal. Upon receiving the information, police officers
planned an entrapment operation wherein they were able to arrest the Appellant
Capuno. On the other hand, PO1 Jiro testified that on July 21, 2002, he was at the Police
Station when a confidential asset called and informed the police that he saw one alias

Erlinda selling illegal drugs. The police then planned a buy-bust operation proceeded
to Manahan Street.

However, the defense presented a different version of events. Appellant Capuno


testified that around 11:00 am of July 21, 2002, she was sleeping at home with her
daughter when two persons who introduced themselves as police officers, entered and
searched her house. When they found nothing in her house, she, along with her
daughter, were invited at the municipal hall of Montalban. Capuno claimed that the
prosecution witnesses were not credible due to their conflicting statements regarding
the place of the buy-bust operation. As the records bore, PO1 Antonio stated that they
conducted the entrapment operation on Manggahan Street; PO1 Jiro testified that it was
held on Manahan Street. Capuno further argued that the prosecution failed to prove her
guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
ISSUE: Whether or not the police officers complied with required procedure on the
seizure and custody of drugs
HELD: NO. The required procedure on the seizure and custody of drugs is embodied in
Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, which states:
1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically
inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the
person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department
of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the
copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereo.
This procedure, however, was not shown to have been complied by the members of the
buy-bust team, and nothing on record suggests that they had extended reasonable
efforts to comply with the said statutory requirement in handling the evidence. In fact,
upon confiscation of the drug, immediately brought the appellant and the seized
specimen to the police station. No physical inventory and photograph of the seized
items were taken in the presence of the appellant or her counsel, a representative from
the media and the DOJ, and an elective official.