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ADMIN LAW FULL TEXT Philippines is the plain, speedy and adequate and Natural Resources the case, docketed as
remedy available to the petitioner. DANR case No. 1549. On 28 February 1958 the
C. EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
REMEDIES APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First
modified the opinion of the Director of Lands
Instance of Agusan.
1. No. L-16537. June 29, 1962.
x x x in the sense that Delfin C. Fuertes should
FRANCISCO C. CALO, petitioner-appellant, vs. reimburse Francisco G. Calo of the difference
DELFIN C. FUERTES, DIRECTOR OF LANDS and The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. between the value of the improvements the
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL latter introduced on the land in controversy and
Calo, Calo & Calo for petitioner-appellant. the value of the consequential benefits derived
RESOURCES, respondents-appellees.
Ismael B. Sanchez and Jalandoni & Jamir for by him therefrom within thirty (30) days from
Appeal; Appeal bond filed after 30-day period advice by the Director of Lands who is hereby
respondent-appellee Delfin C. Fuertes.
to appeal.Although the notice of appeal was directed to determine the aforementioned
filed within the reglementary period, the appeal Solicitor General for respondent-appellee difference within sixty (60) days from receipt of
has not been perfected where the appeal bond Director of Lands and Secretary of Agriculture a copy of this decision.
was filed on the 31st day after notice of and Natural Resources.
judgment. Still dissatisfied with the above opinion,
PADILLA, J.: Francisco C. Calo asked the Secretary of
Administrative Law; Exhaustion of Agriculture and Natural Resources to reconsider
administrative remedies; Withdrawal of appeal, In Bureau of Lands Claim No. 224 (N), Lot No.
143-A, Cadastral Case No. 84, Butuan City, it but the latter denied a reconsideration
effect of.In an administrative case, appeal to thereof. Hence, on 1 August 1958 Francisco C.
the President of the Philippines is the last step entitled Francisco C. Calo, claimant-contestant,
vs. H.A. No. 86871 (E-40476) Delfin C. Fuertes, Calo appealed to the President of the
that the aggrieved party should take. The Philippines (Annex A to Answer, p. 54, rec. of
withdrawal of the appeal taken to the President applicant-respondent, the Director of Lands
rendered on 12 April 1956 an opinion denying case No. 55), but on 8 August 1958 he withdrew
is tantamount to not appealing at all thereto. it before the President of the Philippines could
Such withdrawal is fatal. and dismissing former's claim and contest
against the Homestead Application No. 86871 act thereon (Annex A to memorandum of the
Same; When certiorari and prohibition will (E-40476) of Delfin C. Fuertes, ordering him to petitioner, p. 64, rec. of case No. 55).
lie.A civil action for certiorari and prohibition vacate the premises within sixty days from On 22 August 1958 Francisco C. Calo filed in the
under Rule 67 of the Rules of Court lies only receipt of a copy of the opinion, and stating that Court of First Instance of Agusan a petition for
when there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, upon finality thereof homestead patent would writs of certiorari and prohibition with
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of be issued to Delfin C. Fuertes. His request for preliminary injunction praying that the
law. In the instant case, appeal from an opinion reconsideration having been denied by the enforcement of the opinions of the Director of
or order by the Secretary of Agriculture and Director of Lands on 25 January 1957, Francisco Lands andthe Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources to the President of the C. Calo brought to the Secretary of Agriculture Natural Re-
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sources be enjoined; that if a bond be needed This appeal has not been perfected within the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
for the purpose he was willing to file it; that reglementary period, as provided for in section to the President of the Philippines is the plain,
after hearing the injunction be made final and 17, Rule 41, for although the notice of appeal speedy and adequate remedy available to the
permanent; that the respondent Delfin C. was filed on 31 August 1959 (p. 77, record of petitioner.1
Fuertes pay him P18,000 as damages and case No. 55) or on the 13th day from the receipt
The judgment appealed from already had
attorney's fees and costs of the suit; that he be of case No. 55 the appeal bond was filed on 18
become final and cannot be reviewed. The
declared the owner entitled to possess the September 1959 (p. 78, record of case No. 55)
appeal is dismissed, with costs against the
parcel of land subject of the litigation; and for or on the 31st day after notice of judgment.
petitioner-appellant. Calo vs. Fuertes, 5 SCRA
any other just and equitable relief (special civil This is enough to dispose of the case.
397, No. L-16537 June 29, 1962
case No. 55).
At any rate, the appellant's contention that, as
On 24 December 1958 the respondent Delfin C. the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Fuertes filed an answer and, on 27 December Resources is the alter ego of the President and A. CERTIORARI
1958, an amended answer to the petition; on his acts or decisions are also those of the latter,
29 December 1958 and 3 January 1959 the he need not appeal from the decision or 7. No. L-74687. November 12, 1987.*
respondent Secretary of Agriculture and Natural opinion of the former to the latter, and that, ANTONIO DE LEON, petitioner, vs. HEIRS OF
Resources and the Director of Lands, such being the case, after he had appealed to GREGORIO REYES, OFFICE OF THE
respectively, filed their answers. After a the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS,
preliminary hearing as provided for in section 5, Resources from the decision or opinion of the thru MANUEL LAZARO, (now OFFICE OF THE
Rule 8, of the Rules of Court, on 31 July 1959 Director of Lands he had exhausted all the EXECUTIVE SECRETARY), respondents.
the court rendered judgment, the dispositive administrative remedies, is untenable.
part of which is- Evidence; Administrative Agencies; Authority of
The withdrawal of the appeal taken to the Administrative superiors to reverse findings of
WHEREFORE, for failure to state a cause of President of the Philippines is tantamount to subordinates must be exercised sparingly and
action, for lack of jurisdiction and for not not appealing at all thereto. Such withdrawal is only upon clear showing of error.While there
exhausting all the administrative remedies fatal, because the appeal to the President is the is no disputing the authority of administrative
available to the petitioner in the ordinary last step he should take in an administrative superiors to reverse the findings of their
course of law, the Court resolves to dismiss as it case. subordinates, this power must be exercised
hereby dismisses the herein petition with costs sparingly and only upon a clear showing of
Furthermore, a special civil action for certiorari
against petitioner. error. Lacking such flaw, the decision of the
and prohibition under Rule 67 of the Rules of
The petitioner appealed, but as only a question Court lies only when "there is no appeal, nor lower administrative officials should be
of law is raised, the Court of Appeals certified any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the sustained, if only because they have closer
the appeal to this Court. ordinary course of law." In the case at bar, access to the problem sought to be resolved
appeal from an opinion or order by the and have the direct opportunity to question the
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parties and their witnesses and to assess the absence of showing that such decision was Gregorio Reyes on December 21, 1967, and the
evidence first-hand. rendered in consequence of fraud, imposition, other for free patent filed by petitioner Antonio
or mistake. de Leon on September 23, 1968. Both are based
Same; Same; Same; Review of decisions of
on the claim of actual possession. To resolve
Administrative officials by their superiors to be Same; Same; Certiorari; Remedy of Certiorari
the conflict, the Bureau of Lands conducted an
valid must not be whimsical, arbitrary or devoid applies to administrative decisions up to the
investigation and after hearing ruled against
of substantial basis.While, as previously highest level and includes the decision at bar
Gregorio Reyes,1 who appealed to the Ministry
remarked, the decisions of administrative even if rendered by authority of the
of Natural Resources. The decision of the
officials are subject to review by their superiors, President.The writ of certiorari is available in
Bureau of Lands was there set aside by the
such review, to be valid, must not be whimsical this case. If all administrative decisions were
assistant secretary for legal affairs,2 but he was
or arbitrary or devoid of substantial basis. There conclusive upon us in any event, there would
himself, on motion for reconsideration,
is no question that the public respondent, have been no reason at all to offer this
reversed by the Minister.3 The private
acting on behalf of the President, can reverse extraordinary remedy to litigants who
respondents** then elevated the case to the
the decisions of a department head although otherwise would have been deprived of this
Office of the President, where they were
the former is lower in rank than the Cabinet only and last resort to the courts of justice. This
sustained.4 The subsequent motion for
member. But that is not the point. The point is remedy applies to administrative decisions up
reconsideration of the petitioner was denied.5
that, although the power is conceded, it must to the highest level and includes the decision at
be exercised, like all powers, within the limits of bar even if rendered by authority of the This petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
the law, if substantive rights are to be protected President. The sacramental phrase does not Rules of Court was originally dismissed, and the
and justice is to be upheld. remove these decisions from the certiorari first motion for reconsideration was denied. We
jurisdiction of the Court or inhibit us from held that the issues raised were mainly factual
Same; Same; Same; Same; Findings and
reversing them when warranted by a clear and there was no showing that the findings
conclusions of the Director of the Bureau of
showing of a grave abuse of discretion. thereon were not supported by substantial
Lands and approved by the Secretary of
evidence. Upon the filing with leave of a second
Agriculture upon a question of fact are PETITION to review the decision of the
motion for reconsideration, the Court decided
conclusive and not subject to review.The Presidential Assistant for Legal Affairs.
to take a harder look at the case, set aside the
public respondent, in setting aside the decision
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. earlier dismissal of the petition and gave due
of the Bureau of Lands, as affirmed by the
course thereto, requiring the parties to file
Ministry of Natural Resources, disregarded the CRUZ, J.: memoranda.6
long line of decisions holding that the findings
and conclusions of the Director of the Bureau of The land in dispute is located in Sta. Quiteria, As a matter of law and policy, this Court does
Lands and approved by the Secretary of Caloocan City, and has an area of 13,956 square not review the factual findings of administrative
Agriculture upon a question of fact are meters. It is the subject of two separate bodies as long as there is substantial evidence
conclusive and not subject to review, in the applications, one for sale filed by the late to support them. Only in exceptional cases do

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we deviate from this discipline, which is based The public respondent also noted that it was Catalina.11 Another report, filed this time by
on a proper respect for the decisions of a only on December 3, 1968, that the petitioner Land Investigator Romeo Salvado, found that
coordinate department and a just recognition of had declared the said land for taxation the petitioners possession was discontinued
its expertise on matters coming under its direct purposes, retroactive to 1965. This was deemed only in 1969 when Gregorio Reyes forced
jurisdiction. After the thorough study of the an indication that the petitioner was not really himself into the land in dispute and with the aid
pleadings filed by the parties, and of the in possession thereof as he claimed and had of armed men bulldozed the trees and plants
antecedent proceedings, we find that this is one filed the declaration only to support his free thereon. The petitioner complained to the
occasion for such deviation. The Court feels that patent application.9 Bureau of Lands, which issued a status quo
there is justification to review the decision here order on May 4, 1970. Nevertheless, Reyes
To bolster these findings, the private
questioned on the challenge that it was issued ignored the same and in violation of the order
respondents submit that the land in dispute
with grave abuse of discretion by the public and the Public Land Act, leased the land to Hi-
was part of the lot from the Piedad Estate
respondent. Protein Corporation, which introduced its own
which had been sold on July 16,1931, to the
improvements on the property.12
The reversal was made by then Presidential Bartolome spouses and that this portion had
Assistant for Legal Affairs Manuel M. Lazaro on merely been inadvertently omitted in the While there is no disputing the authority of
December 19, 1985. The petitioners motion for technical description of the said lot. Even so, it administrative superiors to reverse the findings
reconsideration was subsequently denied on was occupied by the Bartolomes (including of their subordinates, this power must be
April 29, 1986, on the ground that there was Gregorio Reyes and his wife, who was a exercised sparingly and only upon a clear
no strong and cogent reason to warrant the daughter of the Bartolomes) along with the rest showing of error. Lacking such flaw, the
reversal or modification of the decision. of the lot since its purchase in the aforesaid decision of the lower administrative officials
year.10 should be sustained, if only because they have
The questioned decision was based on the
closer access to the problem sought to be
reports made by Land Investigator Pablo Conversely, the petitioner points to the finding
resolved and have the direct opportunity to
Bautista on November 7, 1967, and December of the Bureau of Lands, as affirmed by the
question the parties and their witnesses and to
21, 1967, as corroborated by Land Surveyor Ministry of Natural Resources, that his father,
assess the evidence first-hand.
Medardo Habal after his survey of the disputed Simeon de Leon, had been in possession of the
land on November 29, 1967. Bautista found that disputed land since 1925 and until his death in The hearing officer of the Bureau of Lands, who
the private respondent had been in possession 1950. His possession was then continued by the made the initial investigation in the case at bar,
of the land in question since 1950, had planted petitioner. According to Land Investigator Jose had such an opportunity. It was Jose B. Isidro
it to fruit trees and seasonal crops, and that no B. Isidro, who inspected the land on October 30, who conducted the hearings to resolve the
other person was occupying it.7 Habal, for his 1968, it was planted by the petitioner and his conflicting claims of possession of the petitioner
part, said that no one else was claiming the father to fruit-bearing trees, and there were and Gregorio Reyes, examined them and their
land, nobody had protested his survey, and that two nipa huts thereon, one belonging to the witnesses and inspected the disputed property.
there was no house on the said property.8 petitioner and the other to his daughter, His report of December 5,1968, was in favor of

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the petitioners. Notably, not even the private 12, 1983, that Reyes had violated the status quo and the improvements on the land as
respondents impugn his integrity and order of the Bureau of Lands and recommended ascertained by the investigator during his ocular
impartiality and in fact even cite him to support that he be held civilly and criminally liable. His inspection on October 30, 1968 were clearly
their own position that de Leon had abandoned report was totally ignored. indicated on the sketch drawn at the back
the property by selling it in 1968 and 1969.13 thereof consisting of ten guava trees, two
Besides invoking the reports of Isidro and
guyabano trees, fifty atis trees, two star apple
By contrast, the motives of both Bautista and Salvado, the petitioner presented two witnesses
trees, three tieza trees, several bamboo
Habal have been questioned by the petitioner, who both testified that he and his father had
grooves, patola, camote patch, a nipa house
and for good reason. The record shows that it been in continuous possession of the land in
owned by the applicants daughter Catalina de
was Bautista who advised Gregorio Reyes to file dispute, raising fruit-bearing trees there. Pastor
Leon. In a desperate bid to obliterate traces of
his sales application,14 and by some Buenaventura swore he was born in Sta.
improvements by Antonio de Leon, respondent
happenstance, it was also Bautista who was Quiteria in 1917 and Ricardo Javier claimed he
bulldozed and destroyed them, and in their
assigned to investigate the same. It is also not transferred to the place in 1938, and both were
stead replaced them with his improvements, to
denied that Habal was retained by Reyes to positive that the de Leon father and son were
give it a semblance that it was he who is in
conduct the survey of the land in dispute, occupying the disputed property until it was
actual possession of the land. Forthwith,
presumably for a corresponding bulldozed in 1969.16 Giving credence to this
Antonio de Leon lodged a complaint before the
compensation.15 Given such circumstances, we evidence, the Bureau of Lands in its decision
barrio captain and wrote this office to inform
find it not unreasonable to suppose, and even declared:
that on June 30, 1969, Gregorio Reyes, in
expect, that the reports of these two individuals
Evidence for the protestant (herein petitioner) company with a number of armed men and
would be, as in fact they were, favorable to
bears heavily upon the facts that he has been in with a bulldozer forcibly entered the land
Reyes.
actual and physical control of the property since covered by his Free Patent Application No. (III-l)
It is worth noting that in his decision reversing 1925 through his predecessor-in-interest 4649. Once inside the premises his (Gregorio
the Ministry of Natural Resources, the public Simeon de Leon. The preliminary investigation Reyes) men destroyed many of his (Antonio de
respondent merely rejected the report of Isidro report submitted by Land Investigator Jose Leon) improvements.17
and opted in favor of the reports of Bautista Isidro relative to his free patent application as
The private respondents allegation that the
and Habal, but without saying why except to to the fact of possession confirmed the
petitioner had sold the land in question was
note that Bautistas report was earlier. No testimonies of his witnesses, who are long time
never established. Their counsel tried hard
effort was made to explain away their apparent residents and native-born of the barrio where
enough to draw an admission to this effect but
bias as directly challenged by the petitioner. the land is situated. The final investigation
all he got from the petitioner was a consistent
The reports were simply and completely report on the application stated, among others,
denial.18 It was never proved that the alleged
accepted to sustain the private respondents that the cultivation and occupation of the land
deeds of sale were authentic and had been
stand. There was also no mention of Land in question by Antonio de Leon has been
signed by the petitioner, who said he could
Investigator Salvado, who reported on August continuous, notorious and exclusive since 1925,
never manage to write his full name, which was
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the signature on the instruments. The alleged We are satisfied from an examination of the private respondents themselves when they
vendees were never presented at the hearing. evidence of record that the petitioner, as his argued that the petitioners possession of the
The private respondents also did not offer the father before him, was in continuous possession land was only tolerated. This was an implicit
testimony of a handwriting expert to prove the of the disputed land from 1925 and raised fruit- admission that the petitioner was actually
genuineness of the signature on the challenged bearing trees therein. In 1969, Reyes forcibly occupying the land at the time they said they
deeds of sale. There was also a supposed ousted de Leon from the said property and had no possession of it. Moreover, the public
affidavit of de Leons daughter Catalina destroyed the trees and structures on the said respondent did not consider the other official
affirming that her hut had not been bulldozed property. Thereafter, despite the order of the reports submitted by Isidro and Salvado and
by Gregorio Reyes but had been destroyed Bureau of Lands requiring the parties to just dismissed them out of hand
during a typhoon, but this too has no maintain the status quo pending the resolution notwithstanding that these were the very bases
evidentiary value. As the alleged affiant was of their dispute, Reyes leased the property to used by the Bureau of Lands in deciding for the
never presented and could not be examined on the Hi-Protein Corporation, which itself petitioner.
the said sworn statement, it must be rejected as introduced improvements on the land.
The public respondent, in setting aside the
hearsay.
While, as previously remarked, the decisions of decision of the Bureau of Lands, as affirmed by
The Minister also found that the tax administrative officials are subject to review by the Ministry of Natural Resources, disregarded
declarations made by Gregorio Reyes referred their superiors, such review, to be valid, must the long line of decisions holding that the
not to the land in dispute but to the lot not be whimsical or arbitrary or devoid of findings and conclusions of the Director of the
purchased from the Piedad Estate by the substantial basis. There is no question that the Bureau of Lands and approved by the Secretary
Bartolome spouses, his parents-in-law.19 The public respondent, acting on behalf of the of Agriculture upon a question of fact are
private respondents argument that the President, can reverse the decisions of a conclusive and not subject to review, in the
disputed land was part of the said lot is department head although the former is lower absence of showing that such decision was
weakened by the fact that Reyes filed a sales in rank than the Cabinet member. But that is rendered in consequence of fraud, imposition,
application therefor and so impliedly admitted not the point. The point is that, although the or mistake.20
it was public land. Then there is Reyes power is conceded, it must be exercised, like all
The writ of certiorari is available in this case. If
assertion that the Bartolomes had merely powers, within the limits of the law, if
all administrative decisions were conclusive
allowed or tolerated de Leons occupation of substantive rights are to be protected and
upon us in any event, there would have been no
the land because he was their relative. This justice is to be upheld.
reason at all to offer this extraordinary remedy
claim, if true at all, would only disprove the
Our finding is that such power was not properly to litigants who otherwise would have been
reports made by Bautista and Habal that no one
exercised in this case, to the prejudice of the deprived of this only and last resort to the
but Reyes was at the time of their inspection
petitioner. The basis of the reversal, to wit, the courts of justice. This remedy applies to
occupying the land.
reports of Bautista and Habal, have been administrative decisions up to the highest level
discredited for partiality and refuted by the and includes the decision at bar even if

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rendered by authority of the President. The 3. CASIMIRO BAYANI, petitioner and appellant, admission into the territory of the United States
sacramental phrase does not remove these vs. THE INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, have the right to be represented by an attorney
decisions from the certiorari jurisdiction of the respondent and appellee. if they so desire. They have a right to present
Court or inhibit us from reversing them when witnesses in support of their request to enter.
1.ALIENS; ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS;
warranted by a clear showing of a grave abuse Their attorney has the right to present
RIGHT TO A FULL, FREE AND FAIR HEARING.
of discretion. whatsoever pertinent and material questions
While the hearings before the board of special
which he may desire to such witnesses, as will
The petition is granted. The writ must issue. inquiry, of the department of customs, are
demonstrate or will tend to demonstrate the
summary, in that no special pleadings, etc., are,
It bears emphasis that whereas the petitioner is right to such alien to enter the country. The
required, they are nevertheless judicial in
a humble farmer applying for a free patent over burden of proving his right to enter the territory
character, and the persons whose rights are
the only land he and his father before him have of the United States is upon the immigrant who
inquired into by it are entitled to a full, free, and
tilled all these many years, the private seeks that privilege. To sustain that burden he
fair hearing just as in any other cases where the
respondents are subdivision owners who really has a right to call and present witnesses. To that
rights of individuals are being determined.
do not need the disputed property as much as end either he or his attorney should be
While the decisions of the customs
the petitioner. We are elated that the facts and permitted to ask such pertinent and material
administrative officers are final upon the
the law of this case have tilted in favor of the questions as will tend to support his contention.
question of the right of an alien to enter the
party with less privileges in life and thus given A. denial of any of these rights is not authorized
territory of the United States, unless there has
meaning to the constitutional ideal of a more in law, and amounts to an unfair and unjust
been an abuse of the power and discretion in
equitable distribution among our people of the hearing. It is the duty of the board of special
them vested, the courts will not hesitate to
bounties of the earth. inquiry to make an effort to arrive at the truth
review the decision of such officers whenever it
by hearing all of the witnesses and to permit
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Presidential is alleged and proved that they have abused the
them, without intimidation, to state all of the
Assistant for Legal Affairs dated December 19, power and discretion conferred upon them, or
facts, and to answer all of the pertinent
1985, and the Order of the Deputy Executive where they have acted in open violation of the
questions put to them, either by the attorney or
Secretary dated April 29,1986, are SET ASIDE law. The essential thing in such investigations,
by the board.
and the Order of the Minister of Natural as well as in all other judicial or quasi-judicial
Resources dated March 8,1985, is REINSTATED, proceedings, is that there shall have been an APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First
with costs against the private respondents. It is honest effort to arrive at the truth by methods Instance of Manila. Del Rosario, J.
so ordered. De Leon vs. Heirs of Gregorio Reyes, sufficiently fair and reasonable to amount to
The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.
155 SCRA 584, No. L-74687 November 12, 1987 due process of law.
Chas. E. Tenney for appellant.
E. Habeas Corpus 2.ID.; ID.; RIGHT TO HAVE ATTORNEYS; RIGHT
OF ATTORNEY TO PRESENT QUESTIONS Acting Attorney-General Paredes for appellee.
DIRECTLY TO THE WITNESS.Aliens seeking

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JOHNSON, J.: and not adapted to discover the real merits of such a hearing as the law contemplates and
the petitioner's rights; that the board failed to assures immigrants. It is recommended that the
present questions and refused to permit the record be remanded to the immigration officials
It appears from the record that the appellant attorney for the appellant to present questions with instructions to grant this applicant a new
arrived at Manila, on the 21st day of August, which would bring to light the real, material, hearing.
1917, on the steamship Loongsang and and important facts justifying his right to enter
"Respectfully submitted."
requested permission to enter the Philippine the Philippine Islands; that the Court of First
Islands upon the ground that he was a citizen Instance failed to find from the record that the While the hearings before the board of special
thereof, having been born in said Islands. His board of special inquiry had abused its inquiry are summary in that no special
right to enter was inquired into by a board of authority, power and discretion in refusing the pleadings, etc., are required, they are,
special inquiry. At the conclusion of said inquiry appellant permission to land in the Philippine nevertheless, judicial in character, and the
his request to enter was denied. An appeal was Islands, and that the decision of said board was persons tried by such a board are entitled to a
taken to the Collector of Customs and the arbitrary, frivolous and capricious and was not full, free, and fair hearing just as in any other
decision of the board of special inquiry was by sustained by the evidence. cases where the rights of individuals are being
him confirmed. Thereupon a writ of habeas inquired into. Such individuals have the right to
In reply to said alleged errors the Attorney-
corpus was petitioned for in the Court of First be represented by an attorney, if they so desire.
General, Quintin Paredes, admits that appellant
Instance of Manila. At the conclusion of the They have a right to present witnesses to
has not been accorded a free, full, and fair
hearing on said petition the writ was denied support their request to enter. Their attorney
hearing and recommended that he be given a
and the present appeal was perfected. has a right to present whatever pertinent
new trial. The Attorney-General in his brief said:
questions he may desire to such witnesses, as
The appellant now alleges that he has not been
"The issue raised by this appeal is whether the will demonstrate or will tend to show the right
given a full, free, and fair hearing before the
record shows abuse of discretion and authority of the immigrant to enter the country. (Edwards
board of special inquiry, and that the order
on the part of the board of special inquiry which vs. McCoy, 22 Phil. Rep., 598; Ang Eng Chong
denying him the right to enter the Philippine
heard this case. Counsel for appellant directs vs. Collector of Customs, 23 Phil. Rep., 614; Go
Islands should be set aside and that he should
attention to some very illadvised action on the Kiam vs. Collector of Customs, R. G. No. 7099;1
be granted a new trial on the merits. The
part of members of the board in their Loo Bun Hian vs. Collector of Customs, R. G. No.
appellant now alleges that the record of the
examination of the witnesses in this case. The 7074;1 Lim Yiong vs. Collector of Customs, 36
proceedings before the board of special inquiry
misstatement of material facts to witnesses Phil. Rep., 424; Ex parte Lam Pui, 217 Fed. Rep.,
shows that said board had abused its authority
(rec., pp. 10 and 12) and the barring of a 456; Jouras vs. Allen, 222 Fed. Rep., 756; U. S.
in not giving him a full, free, and fair hearing;
witness before she had concluded her vs. Ruiz, 23 Fed. Rep., 431 [?]; Ex parte Petkos,
that it appears from the record that the said
testimony (rec., p. 12) unquestionably are 212 Fed. Rep., 275; Ex parte Ung King leng, 213
hearing was in great part made up of leading
serious irregularities. And in the opinion of the Fed. Rep., 119; Lim Ching vs. Collector of
and misleading questions and untrue
undersigned, this petitioner was not accorded Customs, 33 Phil. Rep., 186; Ex parte Gregory,
statements, calculated to confuse the witnesses
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210 Fed. Rep., 680; Louie Dai vs. U. S., 238 Fed. not technically judicial, nor are the proceedings the board was rendered incapacitated to
Rep., 68, 74; Ex parte Lee Dung Moo, 230 Fed. defined by any particular rules or statutes, properly and judicially weigh and consider the
Rep., 746; Ex parte Tom Toy Tin, 230 Fed. Rep., nevertheless, the board is required, under the evidence impartially. Where the record itself
747; Ex parte Chin Loy You, 223 Fed. Rep., 883; procedure which it adopts, to give the discloses the fact that the evidence is weighed
Ex parte Wong Foo, 230 Fed, Rep., 534.) immigrant or the alien an opportunity to show in the spirit of hostility there cannot be that
by proof that his request should be granted. impartial, f free, f full and f fair hearing
The decisions of the customs administrative
(Edwards vs. McCoy, 22 Phil. Rep., 598.) contemplated by the law. (Ex parte Tom Toy
officers are final in cases like the present, unless
Tin, 230 Fed. Rep., 747; Jouras vs. Allen, 222
there has been an abuse of the power and It appears from the record that all of the
Fed. Rep., 756.)
discretion vested in them. The courts, however, witnesses presented by the appellant were
do not hesitate to review the decision of such people of humble origin and very ignorant. They It is the duty of the board to make an effort to
administrative officers whenever it is alleged were not accustomed, perhaps, to scenes of arrive at the truth by hearing all of the
and shown that they have grossly abused the judicial proceedings. They were therefore, witnesses and to permit them, without
power and discretion conferred upon them, or naturally, under the strain born of timidity and intimidation, to state all of the facts and to
where they acted in open violation of the law. known ignorance. For that reason they were answer all of the pertinent questions put to
(Ko Poco vs. McCoy, 10 Phil. Rep., 442; Chin easily excited and intimidated. The board them either by their attorney or by the board.
Yow vs. U. S., 208 U. S. 8, 11; U. S. vs. Ju Toy, should have allayed their fears and put them, as (Ex parte Chin Loy You, 223 Fed. Rep., 833.)
198 U. S., 253; Ex parte Lung Foot, 174 Fed. far as possible, at their ease, at least to the
The essential thing in investigations like the
Rep., 70; Lorenzo vs. McCoy, 15 Phil. Rep., 559; point of indicating to them that they were
present as well as all other judicial or quasi-
Lim Yiong vs. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil. under the protection, so long as they obey the
judicial proceedings is that there shall have
Rep., 424.) law, of judicial authority. This the board did not
been an honest effort to arrive at the truth by
do. Upon the contrary the board, with the
An alien seeking to enter territory of the United methods sufficiently fair and reasonable to
evident intent to confuse and to unduly excite
States, even though the hearing is summary, is amount to due process of law.
the witnesses, made statements to them which
entitled to a free, full, and fair hearing before
were positively untrue and unsupported by any The burden of proving his right to enter the
he is denied the right to enter. The right to a
part of the record. And not only that, but the territory of the United States is upon the
hearing includes the right to have the evidence
board actually intimidated one important immigrant who seeks that privilege. To sustain
considered by the board. He is not only entitled
witness, apparently without reason, by that burden he has a right to call and present
to have the evidence which he presents
informing her that she could give no further witnesses. To that end either he or his attorney
considered, but he is entitled to present all of
testimony in that case and that she was should be permitted to ask such pertinent and
the evidence which he has and which is
therefore forever barred from testifying before material questions as will tend to support his
germane to the question of his right to enter.
it. The entire examination by the board from contention. A denial of any of these rights is not
While the board of special inquiry is not
the beginning to the end, of all of the witnesses, authorized in law and amounts to an unfair and
technically a judicial body and the procedure is
was made in a spirit of hostility. For that reason unjust hearing. If witnesses are presented by
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the board to dispute or to overcome the proof Administrative Proceedings; Labor; Evidence. NARVASA, J.:
adduced by the immigrant then, of course, the In administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings,
latter, either by himself or by his attorney, has a proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required
perfect right to test the credibility of such as basis for a judgment of the legality of an Any lawyer worth his salt knows that quanta of
witnesses by a proper crossexamination. (Ex employers dismissal of an employee, nor even proof and adjective rules vary depending on
parte Ung King leng, 213 Fed. Rep., 119.) preponderance of evidence, substantial whether the cases to which they are meant to
evidence being sufficient. Particularly as regards apply are criminal, civil or administrative in
After a careful examination of the record we are
proceedings of the precise nature in question, character. In criminal actions, proof beyond
persuaded that the recommendation of the
the Labor Code provides thatx x the rules of reasonable doubt is required for conviction;1 in
Attorney-General should be adopted. It is,
evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity civil actions and proceedings, preponderance of
therefore, hereby ordered and decreed that the
shall not be controlling and it is the spirit and evidence, as support for a judgment;2 and in
record be returned to the court whence it came
intention of this Code that the Commission and administrative cases, substantial evidence, as
with directions that the judgment appealed
its members and the Labor Arbiters shall use basis for adjudication.3 In criminal and civil
from be reversed and that an order be issued
every and all reasonable means to ascertain the actions, application of the Rules of Court is
directing and commanding the board of special
facts in each case speedily and objectively and called for, with more or less strictness. In
inquiry to give to the appellant a rehearing as
without regard to the technicalities of law or administrative proceedings, however, the
speedily as the f facts and circumstances will
procedure, all in the interest of due process. x technical rules of pleading and procedure, and
permit, and without any findings as to costs, So
x And this Court has ruled that the ground for of evidence, are not strictly adhered to; they
ordered Bayani vs. Collector of Customs., 37
an employers dismissal of an employee need generally apply only suppletorily;4 indeed, in
Phil. 468, No. 13283 January 23, 1918
agrarian disputes application of the Rules of
be established only by substantial
Court is actually prohibited.5
evidence, it not being required that the
formers evidence be of such degree as 5 The Revised Rules of Procedure of the
is required in criminal cases, i.e., proof Department of Agrarian Reform
B. Question of Fact beyond reasonable doubt. Adjudication Board provides that:
5. G.R. No. 60054. July 2, 1991.* PETITION for review from the judgment Unless adopted herein or by resolution
of the National Labor Relations of the board, the provisions of the Rules
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, petitioner, Commission. of Court do not Quite incredibly, these
vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS familiar and elementary propositions
COMMISSION, LABOR ARBITER ANDRES The facts are stated in the opinion of were disregarded in the judgment a
LOMABAO, and JOSE M. MASAYA, the Court. quo. The error is serious and must be,
respondents. Benjamin R. Reonal for petitioner. as it is here, corrected.
Eugenio C. Lindo for private The facts are fairly simple and quickly
respondent. recounted.
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The case originated from the discovery preliminary questions by the Repuyan testified on the fact of the
by Meralco employees that a person by investigator, Masaya stated for the undenied and indisputable installation
the name of Antonio Sanchez was record that he had received the letter of the illegal electrical connection at the
consuming electricity at the house accusing him of misconduct, that he residence of Antonio Sanchez (his
occupied by him at No. 2048 Amparo had a copy of the code of discipline and description of the manner of its
Street, Sta. Ana, Manila, although he understood the nature of the precise accomplishment being substantially the
had himself neither applied with charge against him, and that he did not same as Masayas own), and also, the
Meralco for electric service nor made need to be assisted by a lawyer or a disclosures made to him by Sanchezs
the requisite deposit in connection representative of his Union because, in househelpers and the owner of the
therewith.6 It was learned that his own words, ang sasabihin ko house, supra.
electricity was being supplied to naman dito ay pawang katotohanan After the investigation, and on the basis
Sanchezs house through a clandestine lamang. Thereafter, Masaya deposed of the results thereof, Meralco filed
and illicit connection to a Meralco that he had indeed installed the with the Ministry of Labor and
service line (shunting the meter base connection in question in the following Employment an application for
and tapping its service drop direct to manner, again expressed in his own clearance to terminate Masayas
the service wire); and household words: Nilagyan ko ng shunt o kaputol services,8 serving copy on the latter.
helpers of Sanchez and the owner of ng alambre ang kanilang meter base at Meralco also placed Masaya under
the house, a Mr. Castaeda, informed ang koneksiyon nito ay kinabit ko sa preventive suspension.9
the Meralco investigator that it was a malapit na service wire; and that for A week later, Masaya filed a complaint
Meralco employee, Jose Masaya, who that job, he had received P200 from for illegal dismissal against Meralco.
had made the unauthorized electric Antonio Sanchez. At the close of his After issues were joined on the
service connection. testimony, he also sought forgiveness complaint for illegal dismissal as well as
The Meralco Legal Department for the offense, viz.: the application for clearance, and trial
thereupon sent Jose Masaya a letter Nais ko po sanang ihingi ng had thereon, Labor Arbiter Andres M.
charging him with a violation of the kapatawaran sa kumpanya ang mga Lomabao rendered a decision in
Company Code on Employee Discipline, nagawa kong pagkakamali. Anim po ang Masayas favor,10 disposing as follows:
and thereafter conducted a formal aking mga anak at kung sakaling ako ay WHEREFORE, respondent Manila
investigation of the matter.7 Those who matanggal sa kompanya dahil sa Electric Company is hereby ordered to
gave testimony at that investigation pagkakamaling iyon, sila po ay walang pay complainant JOSE M. MASAYA his
were Jose Masaya himself, and Renato aasahan kung hindi ako lamang. Kayat backwages corresponding to the period
Repuyan, Meralco field investigator. ipinakikiusap ko sa inyo na ipaabot December 8, 1978 up to April 30, 1980
Prior to being interrogated about the ninyo sa kompanya ang aking and separation pay of five (5) and a half
illegal connection and in response to pagmamakaawa. months salary in lieu of reinstatement.

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beyond reasonable doubt the existence installing electrical connection let alone
The Arbiter was of the view that the of the crime, failing which, deprive him of his right to labor.
record of the investigation conducted complainant-appellee must be absolved There are two evident errors
by Meralco should not be accorded from responsibility. The alleged invalidating the Commissions
credence; that Meralcos contention admission of complainant-appellee conclusions.
that Masaya had surreptitiously during the investigation conducted by The first is that contrary to the
effected the direct connection of x x the legal department of Commissions view, Masaya was in
electric service was not credible, respondentappellant does not, if at all, truth asked if he wished to be assisted
because Masaya was employed as a prove beyond reasonable doubt the by a lawyer or a representative of his
bill collector, not as a lineman collector, criminal act allegedly committed by Union, and his response was in the
hence, he does not know how to install complainant-appellee in the absence of negative because, in his own words,
electrical connection; and that the any showing that he was given the ang sasabihin ko naman dito ay
money received by Masaya from opportunity to be heard by counsel or pawang katotohanan lamang
Sanchez (P200 or P250) was not in at least, a representative to confront his The second is that in administrative or
consideration of any clandestine accuser. quasi-judicial proceedings, proof
connection but was accepted as There is implicit concession that under beyond reasonable doubt is not
representation expenses in following the substantial evidence rule, the required as basis for a judgment of the
up Mr. Sanchez application for evidence would be adequate to make legality of an employers dismissal of an
installation of electric facilities x x with out a case of gross misconduct on the employee, nor even preponderance of
the Engineers Office at the City Hall of part of Masaya; however, the evidence, substantial evidence being
Manila.11 Commission theorizes that an sufficient.14 Particularly as regards
On appeal by Meralco, the National adjudgment to this effect was proceedings of the precise nature in
Labor Relations Commission affirmed precluded by the doctrine of proof question, the Labor Code provides that
the Arbiters decision.12 In the beyond reasonable doubt, applicable 15
Commissions considered view13 exceptionally to Masayas case. Echoing x x the rules of evidence prevailing in
x x while it is true that in the Commissions views, the public courts of law or equity shall not be
administrative proceedings, substantial respondents comment points out that controlling and it is the spirit and
evidence only is required, the instant since there is no causal connection intention of this Code that the
case is an exception for the reason that between private respondents duties to Commission and its members and the
respondent-appellant in this case is the crime imputed to him, mere Labor Arbiters shall use every and all
charging complainant-appellee of a substantial evidence is insufficient to reasonable means to ascertain the facts
criminal offense, and, therefore, it is hold private respondent guilty of in each case speedily and objectively
incumbent upon the former to prove and without regard to the technicalities

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of law or procedure, all in the interest 1) the reality of the illegal electrical subsequent assertion before the Arbiter
of due process. x x connection; that he had been starved into signing
2) the written communication to the typewritten record of the
And this Court has ruled that the Masaya that he was accused of that administrative investigation containing
ground for an employers dismissal of illegal connection and he would be said admissions is not persuasive, and
an employee need be established only subjected to a formal investigation was not in fact accepted by the Arbiter
by substantial evidence, it not being thereon; or the Commission.
required that the formers evidence be 3) Masayas acknowledgment that, The Court is satisfied that the evidence
of such degree as is required in criminal having a copy of the companys code of sufficiently proves the commission by
cases, i.e., proof beyond reasonable discipline, he understood the nature of Masaya of an act of dishonesty against
doubt.16 It is absolutely of no the accusation against him, and his his employer, specifically described in
consequence that the misconduct with declining to be assisted by a lawyer or a the Meralco Code on Employee
which an employee may be charged representative of his Union because, Discipline as follows:
also constitutes a criminal offense: according to him, ang sasabihin ko SECTION 7. Dishonesty.
theft, embezzlement, assault on naman dito ay pawang katotohanan xxxxx
another employee or company officer, lamang; 3) Directly or indirectly tampering with
arson, malicious mischief, etc. The 4) his voluntary admission that it was he electric meters or metering installation
proceedings being administrative, the who had made the illegal electrical of the Company or the installation of
quantum of proof is governed by the connection, describing the manner by any device, with the purpose of
substantial evidence rule and not, as which he had made it, and that he had defrauding the Company.
the respondent Commission seems to received P250.00 from the occupant of Such an offense is obviously of so
imagine, by the rule governing the house, Antonio Sanchez; and serious a character as to merit the
judgments in criminal actions. 5) his plea to the company for penalty of dismissal from employment.
It was thus serious error, and grave forgiveness for having made the illegal The Labor Code pronounces fraud or
abuse of discretion for the Labor Arbiter connection. willful breach by the employee of the
and the respondent Commission, for There is on record, too, testimony trust reposed in him by his employer or
the reasons given, to reject and exclude regarding identification of Masaya by duly authorized representative, or
from consideration the express Antonio Sanchez servants and by serious misconduct on the part of the
admissions made by Masaya during the Castaeda, the owner of the house employee to be lawful ground to
administrative investigation conducted occupied by Sanchez. There is, finally, terminate employment. And this Court
by Meralco. nothing in the record to demonstrate has held that the dismissal of a
The Court cannot close its eyes to the that Masayas admissions were made dishonest employee is as much in the
following facts of record, to wit: otherwise than voluntarily; his interests of labor as it is of

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management. The labor force in any Rights to have no jurisdiction on make findings of fact as regards claimed
company is protected and the workers adjudicatory powers over certain human rights violations involving civil
security of tenure strengthened when specific type of cases like alleged and political rights. But fact-finding is
pilferage of equipment, goods and human rights violations involving civil or not adjudication, and cannot be likened
products which endangers the viability political rights.The threshold question to the judicial function of a court of
of an employer and, therefore, the is whether or not the Commission on justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency
workers continued employment is Human Rights has the power under the or official. The function of receiving
minimized or eliminated and Constitution to do so; whether or not, evidence and ascertaining therefrom
consequently labor-management like a court of justice, or even a quasi- the facts of a controversy is not a
relations based on mutual trust and judicial agency, it has jurisdiction or judicial function, properly speaking. To
confidence are promoted.17 adjudicatory powers over, or the power be considered such, the faculty of
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari to try and decide, or hear and receiving evidence and making factual
is GRANTED determine, certain specific type of conclusion in a controversy must be
cases, like alleged human rights accompanied by the authority of
Jurisdiction violations in volving civil or political applying the law to those factual
rights. The Court declares the conclusions to the end that the
6. G.R. No. 96681. December 2,1991.* Commission on Human Rights to have controversy may be decided or
HON. ISIDRO CARIO, in his capacity as no such power; and that it was not determined authoritatively, finally and
Secretary of the Department of meant by the fundamental law to be definitively, subject to such appeals or
Education, Culture 6, Sports, DR. another court or quasijudicial agency in modes of review as may be provided by
ERLINDA LOLARGA, in her capacity as this country, or duplicate much less law. This function, to repeat, the
Superintendent of City Schools of take over the functions of the latter. Commission does not have.
Manila, petitioners, vs. THE Same; Same; Same; Same; The most Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, that may be conceded to the Constitution clearly and categorically
GRACIANO BUDOY, JULIETA BABARAN, Commission in the way of adjudicative grants to the Commission the power to
ELSA IBABAO, HELEN LUPO, AMPARO power is that it may investigate, i.e., investigate all forms of human rights
GONZALES, LUZ DEL CASTILLO, ELSA receive evidence and make findings of violations invoking civil and political
REYES and APOLINARIO ESBER, fact as regards claimed human rights rights.As should at once be observed,
respondents. violations involving civil and political only the first of the enumerated powers
rights.The most that may be and functions bears any resemblance to
Constitutional Law; Jurisdiction; conceded to the Commission. in the adjudication or adjudgment. The
Commission on Human Rights; Court way of adjudicative power is that it may Constitution clearly and categorically
declares the Commission on Human investigate, i.e., receive evidence and grants to the Commission the power to

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investigate all forms of human rights terms have well understood and quite under the Civil Service Law, and also,
violations involving civil and political distinct meanings. within the appellate jurisdiction of the
rights. It can exercise that power on its Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Civil Service Commission.
own initiative or on complaint of any The Commission on Human Rights SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION of certiorari and
person. It may exercise that power having merely the power to investigate prohibition to review the order of the
pursuant to such rules of procedure as cannot and should not try and resolve Commission on Human Rights.
it may adopt and, in cases of violations on the merits the matters involved in
of said rules, cite for contempt in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90 The facts are stated in the opinion of
accordance with the Rules of Court. In 775.Hence it is that the Commission the Court.
the course of any investigation on Human Rights, having merely the NARVASA, J.:
conducted by it or under its authority, it power to investigate, cannot and
may grant immunity from prosecution should not try and resolve on the The issue raised in the special civil
to any person whose testimony or merits (adjudicate) the matters action of certiorari and prohibition at
whose possession of documents or involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case bar, instituted by the Solicitor General,
other evidence is necessary or No. 90775, as it has announced it may be formulated as follows: where
convenient to determine the truth. It means to do; and it cannot do so even if the relief sought from the Commission
may also request the assistance of any there be a claim that in the on Human Rights by a party in a case
department, bureau, office, or agency administrative disciplinary proceedings consists of the review and reversal or
in the performance of its functions, in against the teachers in question, modification of a decision or order
the conduct of its investigation or in initiated and conducted by the DECS, issued by a court of justice or
extending such remedy as may be their human rights, or civil or political government agency or official
required by its findings. rights had been transgressed. exercising quasi-judicial functions, may
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; the Commission take cognizance
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It Same; The matters are undoubtedly 486
cannot try and decide cases (or hear and clearly within the original
and determine causes) as courts of jurisdiction of the Secretary of 486
justice or even quasi-judicial bodies Education and also within the appellate SUPREME COURT REPORTS
do.But it cannot try and decide cases jurisdiction of the Civil Service ANNOTATED
(or hear and determine causes) as Commission.These are matters Cario vs. Commission on Human Rights
courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial undoubtedly and clearly within the of the case and grant that relief? Stated
bodies do. To investigate is not to original jurisdiction of the Secretary of otherwise, where a particular subject-
adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the Education, being within the scope of matter is placed by law within the
popular or the technical sense, these the disciplinary powers granted to him jurisdiction of a court or other

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government agency or official for classes as a last call for the government days to answer the charges. They were
purposes of trial and adjudgment, may to negotiate the granting of demands also preventively suspended for ninety
the Commission on Human Rights take had elicited no response from the (90) days pursuant to Section 41 of P.D.
cognizance of the same subject-matter Secretary of Education. The mass 807' and temporarily replaced
for the same purposes of hearing and actions consisted in staying away from (unmarked CHR Exhibits, Annexes F, G,
adjudication? their classes, converging at the H). An investigation committee was
The facts narrated in the petition are Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in consequently formed to hear the
not denied by the respondents and are peaceable assemblies, etc. Through charges in accordance with P.D. 807."5
hence taken as substantially correct for their representatives, the teachers 3. In the administrative case docketed
purposes of ruling on the legal participating in the mass actions were as Case No. DECS 90082 in which CHR
questions posed in the present action. served with an order of the Secretary of complainants Graciano Budoy, Jr.,
These facts,1 together with others Education to return to work in 24 hours Julieta Babaran, Luz del Castillo,
involved in related cases recently or face dismissal, and a memorandum Apolinario Esber were, among others,
resolved by this Court,2 or otherwise directing the DECS officials concerned named respondents,6 the latter filed
undisputed on the record, are to initiate dismissal proceedings against separate answers, opted for a formal
hereunder set forth. those who did not comply and to hire investigation, and also moved for
1. On September 17, 1990, a Monday their replacements. Those directives suspension of the administrative
and a class day, some 800 public school notwithstanding, the mass actions proceedings pending resolution by xx
teachers, among them members of the continued into the week, with more (the Supreme) Court of their application
Manila Public School Teachers teachers joining in the days that for issuance of an injunctive
Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of followed.3 writ/temporary restraining order. But
Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook Among those who took part in the when their motion for suspension was
what they described as mass concerted mass actions were the denied by Order dated November 8,
concerted actions to dramatize and eight (8) private respondents herein, 1990 of the Investigating Committee,
highlight their plight resulting from the teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High which later also denied their motion for
alleged failure of the public authorities School, Manila, who had agreed to reconsideration orally made at the
to act upon grievances that had time support the non-political demands of hearing of November 14,1990, the
and again been brought to the latters the MPSTA.4 respondents led by their counsel staged
attention. According to them they had 2. For failure to heed the return-to- a walkout signifying their intent to
decided to undertake said mass work order, the CHR complainants boycott the entire proceedings."7 The
concerted actions after the protest (private respondents) were case eventually resulted in a Decision of
rally staged at the DECS premises on administratively charged on the basis of Secretary Cario dated December 17,
September 14, 1990 without disrupting the principals report and given five (5) 1990, rendered after evaluation of the

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evidence as well as the answers, they suddenly learned of their Commission thereafter issued an
affidavits and documents submitted by replacements as teachers, allegedly Order13 reciting these facts and making
the respondents, decreeing dismissal without notice and consequently for the following disposition:
from the service of Apolinario Esber and reasons completely unknown to To be properly apprised of the real
the suspension for nine (9) months of them.10 facts of the case and be accordingly
Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo.8 6. Their complaintsand those of other guided in its investigation and
4. In the meantime, the MPSTA filed a teachers also ordered suspended by resolution of the matter, considering
petition for certiorari before the the xx (DECS)," all numbering forty-two that these forty two teachers are now
Regional Trial Court of Manila against (42)were docketed as Striking suspended and deprived of their wages,
petitioner (Cario), which was Teachers CHR Case No. 90775." In which they need very badly, Secretary
dismissed (unmarked CHR Exhibit, connection therewith the Commission Isidro Cario, of the Department of
Annex I). Later, the MPSTA went to the scheduled a dialogue on October Education, Culture and Sports, Dr.
Supreme Court (on certiorari, in an 11,1990, and sent a subpoena to Erlinda Lolarga, school superintendent
attempt to nullify said dismissal, Secretary Cario requiring his of Manila and the Principal of Ramon
grounded on the) alleged violation of attendance therein.11 Magsaysay High School, Manila, are
the striking teachers right to due hereby enjoined to appear and
process and peaceable assembly On the day of the dialogue, although enlighten the Commission en banc on
docketed as G.R. No. 95445, supra. The it said that it was not certain whether October 19,1990 at 11:00 A.M. and to
ACT also filed a similar petition before he (Sec. Cario) received the subpoena bring with them any and all documents
the Supreme Court xx docketed as G.R. which was served at his office, xx (the) relevant to the allegations aforestated
No. 95590."9 Both petitions in this Commission, with the Chairman herein to assist the Commission in this
Court were filed in behalf of the teacher presiding, and Commissioners Hesiquio matter. Otherwise, the Commission will
associations, a few named individuals, R. Mallilin and Narciso C. Monteiro, resolve the complaint on the basis of
and other teacher-members so proceeded to hear the case; it heard complainants evidence.
numerous similarly situated or other the complainants counsel (a) explain x x x.
similarly situated public school teachers that his clients had been denied due 7. Through the Office of the Solicitor
too numerous to be impleaded. process and suspended without formal General, Secretary Cario sought and
5. In the meantime, too, the respondent notice, and unjustly, since they did not was granted leave to file a motion to
teachers submitted sworn statements join the mass leave, and (b) expatiate dismiss the case. His motion to dismiss
dated September 27, 1990 to the on the grievances which were the was submitted on November 14, 1990
Commission on Human Rights to cause of the mass leave of MPSTA alleging as grounds therefor, that the
complain that while they were teachers, (and) with which causes they complaint states no cause of action and
participating in peaceful mass actions, (CHR complainants) sympathize."12 The

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that the CHR has no jurisdiction over Lolarga to submit their counter- 90775) on the merits. It intends, in
the case."14 affidavits within ten (10) days x x (after other words, to try and decide or hear
8. Pending determination by the which) the Commission shall proceed to and determine, i.e., exercise jurisdiction
Commission of the motion to dismiss, hear and resolve the case on the merits over the following general issues:
judgments affecting the striking with or without respondents counter 1) whether or not the striking teachers
teachers were promulgated in two (2) affidavit."18 It held that the striking were denied due process, and just
cases, as aforestated, viz.: teachers were denied due process of cause exists for the imposition of
________________ law; x x they should not have been administrative disciplinary sanctions on
a) The Decision dated December 17, replaced without a chance to reply to them by their superiors; and
1990 of Education Secretary Cario in the administrative charges; there had 2) whether or not the grievances which
Case No. DECS 90082, decreeing been a violation of their civil and were the cause of the mass leave of
dismissal from the service of Apolinario political rights which the Commission MPSTA teachers, (and) with which
Esber and the suspension for nine (9) was empowered to investigate; and causes they (CHR complainants)
months of Babaran, Budoy and del while expressing its utmost respect to sympathize, justify their mass action or
Castillo;15 and the Supreme Court xx the facts before strike.
b) The joint Resolution of this Court xx (it) are different from those in the The Commission evidently intends to
dated August 6, 1991 in G.R. Nos. 95445 case decided by the Supreme Court itself adjudicate, that is to say,
and 95590 dismissing the petitions (the reference being ummistakably to determine with character of finality and
without prejudice to any appeals, if this Courts joint Resolution of August definiteness, the same issues which
still timely, that the individual 6,1991 in G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, have been passed upon and decided by
petitioners may take to the Civil Service supra). the Secretary of Education, Culture 6,
Commission on the matters complained It is to invalidate and set aside this Sports, subject to appeal to the Civil
of,"16 and inter alia ruling that it was Order of December 28, 1990 that the Service Commission, this Court having
prima facie lawful for petitioner Cario Solicitor General, in behalf of petitioner in fact, as aforementioned, declared
to issue return-to-work orders, file Cario, has commenced the present that the teachers affected may take
administrative charges against action of certiorari and prohibition. appeals to the Civil Service Commission
recalcitrants, preventively suspend The Commission on Human Rights has on said matters, if still timely.
them, and issue decision on those made clear its position that it does not The threshold question is whether or
charges."17 feel bound by this Courts joint not the Commission on Human Rights
9. In an Order dated December Resolution in G.R. Nos. 95445 and has the power under the Constitution
28,1990, respondent Commission 95590, supra. It has also made plain its to do so; whether or not, like a court of
denied Sec. Carios motion to dismiss intention to hear and resolve the case justice,19 or even a quasi-judicial
and required him and Superintendent (i.e., Striking Teachers HRC Case No. agency,20 it has jurisdiction or

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adjudicatory powers over, or the power controversy may be decided or human rights have been violated or
to try and decide, or hear and determined authoritatively, finally and need protection;
determine, certain specific definitively, subject to such appeals or (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails,
type of cases, like alleged human rights modes of review as may be provided by prisons, or detention facilities;
violations involving civil or political law.21 This function, to repeat, the (5) Establish a continuing program of
rights. Commission does not have. 22 research, education, and information to
The Court declares the Commission on The proposition is made clear by the enhance respect for the primacy of
Human Rights to have no such power; constitutional provisions specifying the human rights;
and that it was not meant by the powers of the Commission on Human (6) Recommend to the Congress
fundamental law to be another court or Rights. The Commission was created by effective measures to promote human
quasi-judicial agency in this country, or the 1987 Constitution as an rights and to provide for compensation
duplicate much less take over the independent office.23 Upon its to victims of violations of human rights,
functions of the latter. constitution, it succeeded and or their families;
The most that may be conceded to the superseded the Presidential Committee (7) Monitor the Philippine
Commission in the way of adjudicative on Human Rights existing at the time of Governments compliance with
power is that it may investigate, i.e., the effectivity of the Constitution,24 Its international treaty obligations on
receive evidence and make findings of powers and functions are the human rights;
fact as regards claimed human rights following:25 (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to
violations involving civil and political "(1) Investigate, on its own or on any person whose testimony or whose
rights. But fact-finding is not complaint by any party, all forms of possession of documents or other
adjudication, and cannot be likened to human rights violations involving civil evidence is necessary or convenient to
the judicial function of a court of and political rights; determine the truth in any investigation
justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and conducted by it or under its authority;
or official. The function of receiving rules of procedure, and cite for (9) Request the assistance of any
evidence and ascertaining therefrom contempt for violations thereof in department, bureau, office, or agency
the facts of a controversy is not a accordance with the Rules of Court; in the performance of its functions;
judicial function, properly speaking. To (10) Appoint its officers and employees
be considered such, the faculty of (3) Provide appropriate legal measures in accordance with law; and
receiving evidence and making factual for the protection of human rights of all (11) Perform such other duties and
conclusions in a controversy must be persons within the Philippines, as well functions as may be provided by law.
accompanied by the authority of as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide As should at once be observed, only the
applying the law to those factual for preventive measures and legal aid first of the enumerated powers and
conclusions to the end that the services to the underprivileged whose functions bears any resemblance to

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ADMIN LAW FT | Lizzette dela Pena

adjudication or adjudgment. The Investigate commonly understood, facts concerning a certain matter or
Constitution clearly and categorically means to examine, explore, inquire or matters."29
grants to the Commission the power to delve or probe into, research on, study. Adjudicate, commonly or popularly
investigate all forms of human rights The dictionary definition of understood, means to adjudge,
violations involving civil and political investigate is to observe or study arbitrate, judge, decide, determine,
rights. It can exercise that power on its closely: inquire into systematically: to resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary
own initiative or on complaint of any search or inquire into: xx to subject to defines the term as to settle finally
person. It may exercise that power an official probe x x: to conduct an (the rights and duties of the parties to a
pursuant to such rules of procedure as official inquiry."27 The purpose of court case) on the merits of issues
it may adopt and, in cases of violations investigation, of course, is to discover, raised: xx to pass judgment on: settle
of said rules, cite for contempt in to find out, to learn, obtain information. judicially: xx act as judge."30 And
accordance with the Rules of Court. In Nowhere included or intimated is the adjudge means to decide or rule
the course of any investigation notion of settling, deciding or resolving upon as a judge or with judicial or
conducted by it or under its authority, it a controversy involved in the facts quasi-judicial powers: xx to award or
may grant immunity from prosecution inquired into by application of the law grant judicially in a case of controversy
to any person whose testimony or to the facts established by the inquiry. xx."31
whose possession of documents or The legal meaning of investigate is In the legal sense, adjudicate means:
other evidence is necessary or essentially the same: "(t)o follow up To settle in the exercise of judicial
convenient to determine the truth. It step by step by patient inquiry or authority. To determine finally.
may also request the assistance of any observation, To trace or track; to search Synonymous with adjudge in its
department, bureau, office, or agency into; to examine and inquire into with strictest sense; and adjudge means:
in the performance of its functions, in care and accuracy; to find out by careful To pass on judicially, to decide, settle
the conduct of its investigation or in inquisition; examination; the taking of or decree, or to sentence or condemn.
extending such remedy as evidence; a legal inquiry;"28 to xx Implies a judicial determination of a
may be required by its findings.26 inquire; to make an investigation, fact, and the entry of a judgment."32
But it cannot try and decide cases (or investigation being in turn described Hence it is that the Commission on
hear and determine causes) as courts of as "(a)n administrative function, the Human Rights, having merely the power
justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. exercise of which ordinarily does not to investigate, cannot and should not
To investigate is not to adjudicate or require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. try and resolve on the merits
adjudge. Whether in the popular or the 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or (adjudicate) the matters involved in
technical sense, these terms have well otherwise, for the discovery and Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90775,
understood and quite distinct collection of as it has announced it means to do; and
meanings. it cannot do so even if there be a claim

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ADMIN LAW FT | Lizzette dela Pena

that in the administrative disciplinary jurisdiction of the Civil Service things. It has no business intruding into
proceedings against the teachers in Commission. the jurisdiction and functions of the
question, initiated and conducted by Indeed, the Secretary of Education has, Education Secretary or the Civil Service
the DECS, their as above narrated, already taken Commission. It has no business going
human rights, or civil or political rights cognizance of the issues and resolved over the same ground traversed by the
had been transgressed. More them,33 and it appears that appeals latter and making its own judgment on
particularly, the Commission has no have been seasonably taken by the the questions involved. This would
power to resolve on the merits the aggrieved parties to the Civil Service accord success to what may well have
question of (a) whether or not the mass Commission; and even this Court itself been the complaining teachers strategy
concerted actions engaged in by the has had occasion to pass upon said to abort, frustrate or negate the
teachers constitute a strike and are issues.34 judgment of the Education Secretary in
prohibited or otherwise restricted by Now, it is quite obvious that whether or the administrative cases against them
law; (b) whether or not the act of not the conclusions reached by the which they anticipated would be
carrying on and taking part in those Secretary of Education in disciplinary adverse to them.
actions, and the failure of the teachers cases are correct and are adequately This cannot be done. It will not be
to discontinue those actions and return based on substantial evidence; whether permitted to be done.
to their classes despite the order to this or not the proceedings themselves are In any event, the investigation by the
effect by the Secretary of Education, void or defective in not having accorded Commission on Human Rights would
constitute infractions of relevant rules the respondents due process; and serve no useful purpose. If its
and regulations warranting whether or not the Secretary of investigation should result in
administrative disciplinary sanctions, or Education had in truth committed conclusions contrary to those reached
are justified by the grievances human rights violations involving civil by Secretary Cario, it would have no
complained of by them; and (c) what and political rights, are matters which power anyway to reverse the
where the particular acts done by each may be passed upon and determined Secretarys conclusions. Reversal
individual teacher and what sanctions, through a motion for reconsideration thereof can only by done by the Civil
if any, may properly be imposed for said addressed to the Secretary of Education Service Commission and lastly by this
acts or omissions, himself, and in the event of an adverse Court. The only thing the Commission
These are matters undoubtedly and verdict, may be reviewed by the Civil can do, if it concludes that Secretary
clearly within the original jurisdiction of Service Commission and eventually by Cario was in error, is to refer the
the Secretary of Education, being within the Supreme Court. matter to the appropriate Government
the scope of the disciplinary powers agency or tribunal for assistance; that
granted to him under the Civil Service The Commission on Human Rights would be the Civil Service
Law, and also, within the appellate simply has no place in this scheme of Commission.35 It cannot arrogate unto

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itself the appellate jurisdiction of the


Civil Service Commission.
WHEREFORE, the petition is granted;
the Order of December 29,1990 is
ANNULLED and SET ASIDE, and the
respondent Commission on Human
Rights and the Chairman and Members
thereof are prohibited to hear and
resolve the case (i.e., Striking Teachers
HRC Case No. 90775) on the merits.
SO ORDERED. Cario vs. Commission on
Human Rights, 204 SCRA 483, G.R. No.
96681 December 2, 1991

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