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or QUASI-JUDICIAL POWERS preliminary investigation to determine whether or not prima facie

evidence exists to justify haling the respondent to court, and yet,
1. The Presidential Anti-Dollar Salting Task Force v. CA | while it makes that determination, it cannot be said to be acting as
Sarmiento, J. a quasi-court. For it is the courts, ultimately, that pass judgment on
GR No. 83578, March 16, 1989 the accused, not the fiscal.

Facts: On March 12, 1985, State Prosecutor Rosales, who is If the PADS Task Force is not, hence, a quasi-judicial body, it
assigned with the PADS Task Force issued search warrants against cannot be said to be co-equal or coordinate with the RTC. There is
the petitioners. Atty. Gatmaytan of the Bureau of Customs and a nothing in its enabling statutes that would demonstrate its
deputized member of the PADS Task Force filed the application for standing at par with the said court. Because of subsequent
the issuance of said search warrants. Attached to the said amendments, including the abolition of various specials courts,
application is the affidavit of Castro who is an operative and jurisdiction over quasi-judicial bodies has to be, consequently,
investigator of the PADS Task Force. The respondents filed with determined by the corresponding amendatory statutes. As a rule,
the RTC a petition to enjoin the implementation of the search where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain
warrants in question. The RTC declared the assailed search administrative bodies to the CA, it means that such bodies are co-
warrants to be null and void and ordered petitioner to return and equal with the RTC, in terms of rank and stature, and logically,
surrender immediately all the personal properties and documents beyond the control of the latter.
seized by them by virtue of the said search warrants.
Reconsideration was filed but was denied. The petitioner then We agree that the PADS Task Force exercises, or was meant to
filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, which exercise, prosecutorial powers, and on that ground, it cannot be
decided in favor of petitioner. Respondent sought reconsideration said to be a neutral and detached "judge" to determine the
and the Court of Appeals reversed itself. existence of probable cause for purposes of arrest or search.
"Responsibility", as used by the Constitution, to mean not only skill
Issue: WoN PADS Task Force has been granted under PD 1936 and competence but more significantly, neutrality and
judicial or quasi-judicial jurisdiction. independence comparable to the impartiality presumed of a
judicial officer. A prosecutor can in no manner be said to be
Held: NO. A perusal of the PADS Task Force's organic act, PD No. possessed of the latter qualities. Unlike a magistrate, a prosecutor
1936, as amended by PD No. 2002, convinces the Court that the is naturally interested in the success of his case. Although his office
Task Force was not meant to exercise quasi-judicial functions, that "is to see that justice is done and not necessarily to secure the
is, to try and decide claims and execute its judgments. As the conviction of the person accused," he stands, invariably, as the
President's arm called upon to combat the vice of "dollar salting" accused's adversary and his accuser. To permit him to issue search
or the blackmarketing and salting of foreign exchange, it is tasked warrants and indeed, warrants of arrest, is to make him both judge
alone by the Decree to handle the prosecution of such activities, and jury in his own right, when he is neither. That makes, to our
but nothing more. Its undertaking is simply to determine whether mind and to that extent, PD No. 1936 as amended by PD No. 2002,
or not probable cause exists to warrant the filing of charges with unconstitutional.
the proper court, meaning to say, to conduct an inquiry
preliminary to a judicial recourse, and to recommend action "of A quasi-judicial body has been defined as "an organ of government
appropriate authorities". It is like a fiscal's office that conducts a other than a court and other than a legislature, which affects the
rights of private parties through either adjudication or rule
making." The most common types of such bodies have been listed Held: NONE. The committee on rating of students for honor whose
as follows: actions are questioned in this case exercised neither judicial nor
(1) Agencies created to function in situations wherein the quasi-judicial functions in the performance of its assigned task.
government is offering some gratuity, grant, or special privilege; There is nothing on record about any rule of law that provides that
(2) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the when teachers sit down to assess the individual merits of their
government is seeking to carry on certain government functions; pupils for purpose of rating them for honors, such function
(3) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the involves the determination of what the law is and that they are
government is performing some business service for the public; therefore automatically vested with judicial or quasi-judicial
(4) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the functions.
government is seeking to regulate business affected with public
interest; (5) Agencies set up to function in situations wherein the Before a tribunal, board, or officer may exercise judicial or quasi-
government is seeking under the police power to regulate private judicial acts, it is necessary that there be a law that gives rise to
business and individuals; and (6) Agencies set up to function in some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse
situations wherein the government is seeking to adjust individual claims to such rights are made, and the controversy ensuing
controversies because of some strong social policy involved. therefrom is brought, in turn, before the tribunal, board or officer
clothed with power and authority to determine what the law is
2. Santiago Jr. v. Bautista | Barredo, J. and thereupon adjudicate the respective rights of the contending
GR No. L-25024, March 30, 1970 parties.

Facts: Appellant Teodoro Santiago, Jr. was a pupil in Grade Six at 3.
Sero Elementary School in Cotabato City. As the school year 1964-
1965 was then about to end, the "Committee On The Rating Of 4. Smart v. NTC | Ynares-Santiago, J.
Students For Honor" was constituted by the teachers concerned at GR No. 151908, August 12, 2003
said school for the purpose of selecting the "honor students" of its
graduating class. The committee deliberated and finally adjudged Facts: Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers, NTC
Socorro Medina, Patricia Ligat and Teodoro C. Santiago, Jr. as issued on June 16, 2000 Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000,
first, second and third honors, respectively. Three days before that promulgating rules and regulations on the billing of
date, the "third placer" Santiago, Jr., represented by his mother, telecommunications services. On August 30, 2000, the NTC issued
and with his father as counsel, sought the invalidation of the a Memorandum to all cellular mobile telephone service (CMTS)
"ranking of honor students" thus made, by instituting the a civil operators which contained measures to minimize if not totally
case in the CFI of Cotabato, against the committee members along eliminate the incidence of stealing of cellular phone units. This was
with the District Supervisor and the Academic Supervisor of the followed by another Memorandum dated October 6, 2000
place for grave abuse of official discretion and irregularities. addressed to all public telecommunications entities, reminding
that the validity of all prepaid cards sold on October 7, 2000 and
Issue: Is the Committee of Teachers in the performance of its beyond shall be valid for at least 2 years from the date of first use
assigned task on rating students for honor exercising judicial or pursiant to the MC 13-6-2000.
quasi-judicial functions?
On October 20, 2000, petitioners filed with the RTC an action for the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty,
declaration of nullity of NTCs MCs for lack of jurisdiction to international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,
regulate the sale of consumer goods such as the prepaid call cards instruction, ordinance, or regulation in the courts, including the
since such jurisidction belongs to DTI, that the Billing Circular is regional trial courts. This is within the scope of judicial power,
oppresive, confiscatory and violative of the constitutional which includes the authority of the courts to determine in an
prohibition against deprivation of property without due process of appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political
law; that the Circular will result in the impairment of the viability departments. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of
of the prepaid cellular service by unduly prolonging the validity justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
and expiration of the prepaid SIM and call cards; and that the legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or
requirements of identification of prepaid card buyers and call not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
balance announcement are unreasonable. In the meantime, NTC or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of petitioners instrumentality of the Government.
failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The RTC ruled in favor
of the petitioners thus, NTC filed a special civil action for certiorati Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative or rule-making
and prohibition with the Court of Appeals, which was granted. powers and quasi- judicial or administrative adjudicatory powers.
Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules
Issue: WoN petitioners failed to exhause administrative remedies. and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is
within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-
Held: NO. In the case at bar, the issuance by the NTC of delegability and separability of powers.
Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000 and its Memorandum dated
October 6, 2000 was pursuant to its quasi-legislative or rule- Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power
making power. As such, petitioners were justified in invoking the of an administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative
judicial power of the Regional Trial Court to assail the adjudicatory power. This is the power to hear and determine
constitutionality and validity of the said issuances. In questioning questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to
the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law
administrative agency, a party need not exhaust administrative itself in enforcing and administering the same law. The
remedies before going to court. This principle applies only where administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power when it
the act of the administrative agency concerned was performed performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an
pursuant to its quasi-judicial function, and not when the assailed executive or administrative nature, where the power to act in such
act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative power. manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the
performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to
Where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule it. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions, the administrative
or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the
performance of its quasi-legislative function, the regular courts existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence, and draw
have jurisdiction to pass upon the same. The determination of conclusions from them as basis for their official action and
whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative exercise of discretion in a judicial nature.
agency contravenes the law or the constitution is within the
jurisdiction of the regular courts. Indeed, the Constitution vests
The rules and regulations that administrative agencies proceeding before the court. It applies where the claim is
promulgate, which are the product of a delegated legislative power originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever
to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which,
of law, should be within the scope of the statutory authority under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special
granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. It is competence of an administrative body; in such case, the judicial
required that the regulation be germane to the objects and process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the
purposes of the law, and be not in contradiction to, but in administrative body for its view.
conformity with, the standards prescribed by law. They must
conform to and be consistent with the provisions of the enabling 5. Antipolo Realty Corporation v. NHA | Feliciano, J.
statute in order for such rule or regulation to be valid. GR No. L-50444, August 31, 1987
Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to
what rules and regulations may be promulgated by an Facts: By virtue of a Contract to Sell dated 18 August 1970, Jose
administrative body, as well as with respect to what fields are Hernando acquired prospective and beneficial ownership over Lot.
subject to regulation by it. It may not make rules and regulations No. 15, Block IV of the Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo,
which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a Rizal, from the petitioner. On 28 August 1974, Mr. Hernando
statute, particularly the statute it is administering or which transferred his rights over said lot to private respondent Yuson.
created it, or which are in derogation of, or defeat, the purpose of a The transfer was embodied in a Deed of Assignment and
statute. In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative Substitution of Obligor (Delegacion), executed with the consent of
order, the former must prevail. petitioner, in which Mr. Yuson assumed the performance of the
vendee's obligations under the original contract, including
In like manner, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only payment of his predecessor's installments in arrears. However, for
where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or failure of petitioner to develop the subdivision project in
adjudicatory function. Thus, in cases involving specialized accordance with its undertaking under Clause 17 of the Contract to
disputes, the practice has been to refer the same to an Sell, Mr. Yuson paid only the arrearages pertaining to the period
administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the up to, and including, the month of August 1972 and stopped all
doctrine of primary jurisdiction. The courts will not determine a monthly installment payments falling due thereafter.
controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction
of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that Antipolo Realty sent a notice to private respondent Yuson advising
question by the administrative tribunal, where the question that the required improvements in the subdivision had already
demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring been completed, and requesting resumption of payment of the
the special knowledge, experience and services of the monthly installments on Lot No. 15. Another letter was sent
administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate reiterating its request that Mr. Yuson resume payment of his
matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply monthly installments, citing the decision rendered by the
with the premises of the regulatory statute administered. The declaring Antipolo Realty to have "substantially complied with its
objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is to guide a court commitment to the lot buyers pursuant to the Contract to Sell,
in determining whether it should refrain from exercising its executed by and between the lot buyers and the respondent." In
jurisdiction until after an administrative agency has determined addition, a formal demand was made for full and immediate
some question or some aspect of some question arising in the payment of the installments which, Antipolo Realty alleged, had
accrued during the period while the improvements were being latter was not deprived of due process, for what the fundamental
completed. law abhors is not the absence of previous notice but rather the
absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. In the instant case,
Mr. Yuson refused to pay the September 1972 - October 1976 petitioner was given ample opportunity to present its side and to
monthly installments but agreed to pay the post October 1976 be heard on a motion for reconsideration as well, and not just on a
installments. Antipolo Realty responded by rescinding the motion to dismiss; the claim of denial of due process must hence
Contract to Sell, and claiming the forfeiture of all installment sound even more hollow.
payments previously made by Mr. Yuson. Aggrieved by the
rescission of the Contract to Sell, Mr. Yuson brought his dispute It is by now commonplace learning that many administrative
with Antipolo Realty before public respondent NHA through a agencies exercise and perform adjudicatory powers and functions,
letter-complaint. NHA decided in favor of Mr. Yuson. Motion for though to a limited extent only. Limited delegation of judicial or
reconsideration was filed by petitioner but was denied thus, it quasi-judicial authority to administrative agencies is well
filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and recognized in our jurisdiction, basically because the need for
prohibition. special competence and experience has been recognized as
essential in the resolution of questions of complex or specialized
Issues: (1) WoN NHA is authorized to perform judicial or quasi- character and because of a companion recognition that the dockets
judicial functions. (2) WON petitioner was denied due process. of our regular courts have remained crowded and clogged.

Held: (1) YES. The extent to which the NHA has been vested with In general, the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which
quasi-judicial authority must be determined by referring to the an administrative agency may exercise is defined in the enabling
terms of PD No. 957, known as "The Subdivision and act of such agency. In other words, the extent to which an
Condominium Buyers' Decree." PD No. 1344 clarified and spelled administrative entity may exercise such powers depends largely, if
out the quasi-judicial dimensions of the grant of regulatory not wholly, on the provisions of the statute creating or
authority to the NHA. There is, in any case, no question that under empowering such agency. There is no question that a statute may
PD No. 957, the NHA was legally empowered to determine and vest exclusive original jurisdiction in an administrative agency
protect the rights of contracting parties under the law over certain disputes and controversies falling within the agency's
administered by it and under the respective agreements, as well as special expertise. The very definition of an administrative agency
to ensure that their obligations thereunder are faithfully includes its being vested with quasi-judicial powers. The ever
performed. increasing variety of powers and functions given to administrative
agencies recognizes the need for the active intervention of
(2) NO. Petitioner's assertion that it had been denied the right to administrative agencies in matters calling for technical knowledge
due process lacks substance. The record shows that a copy of the and speed in countless controversies which cannot possibly be
order denying the Motion to Dismiss and scheduling the hearing of handled by regular courts. In the exercise of such powers, the
the complaint for the morning of 6 March 1978, was duly served agency concerned must commonly interpret and apply contracts
on counsel for petitioner, as evidenced by the annotation and determine the rights of private parties under such contracts.
appearing at the bottom of said copy indicating that such service One thrust of the multiplication of administrative agencies is that
had been effected. But even if it be assumed, arguendo, that such the interpretation of contracts and the determination of private
notice had not been served on the petitioner, nevertheless the
rights thereunder is no longer a uniquely judicial function,
exercisable only by our regular courts.

The Court held that under the 'sense-making and expeditious
doctrine of primary jurisdiction, the courts cannot or will not
determine a controversy involving a question which is within the
jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal, where the question
demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring
the special knowledge, experience, and services of the
administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate
matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply
with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered.'

In this era of clogged court dockets, the need for specialized
administrative boards or commissions with the special knowledge,
experience and capability to hear and determine promptly
disputes on technical matters or essentially factual matters,
subject to judicial review in case of grave abuse of discretion, has
become well nigh indispensable. Thus, the Court noted that
'between the power lodged in an administrative body and a court,
the unmistakable trend has been to refer it to the former.
Increasingly, this Court has been committed to the view that
unless the law speaks clearly and unequivocably, the choice should
fall on an administrative agency.