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Cornejo vs.

Gabriel (Topic: Article 203, RPC – Public Notes:


Officers)
Power to suspend temporarily may be exercised without
One Liner: A public office is not a property within the notice to the person suspended.
sense of the constitutional guaranties of due process of
Notice and hearing are not prerequisites to the
law, but is a public trust or agency.
suspension of a public officer under a statute which does
Facts: Petitioner Cornejo was suspended as Municipal not provide for such notice and hearing.
President, amid investigations by the Respondents
The basic idea of government in the Philippine Islands,
(Provincial Governor and the Provincial Board), without
as in the United States, is that of a popular
the benefit of notice and hearing. He now seeks to
representative government, the officers being mere
restrain the latter from continuing with the
agents and not rulers of the people, one where no man
investigation, and to issue for his reinstatement.
or set of men has a proprietary or contractual right to
The Provincial Governor has filed an answer, in which an office, but where every officer accepts office
he alleges that numerous complaints have been pursuant to the provisions of the law and holds the
received by him against the conduct of Cornejo; that he office as a trust for the people whom he represents.
came to the conclusion that the Municipal President
should be temporarily suspended, and that an
investigation is now being conducted by the Provincial
Board.

Dom: The Provincial Governor has the power to


reprimand or temporarily suspend a Municipal
President.

Petitioner has argued that he has been deprived of an


office, to which he was elected by popular vote, without
having an opportunity to be heard in his own defense.
The respondents reply that all that the provincial
governor and the provincial board have done in this
case is to comply with the requirement of the law which
they are sworn to enforce.

Ruling: Suspension without notice and hearing is valid.

Ordinarily, a public official should not be removed from


office without notice, charges, a trial, and an
opportunity for explanation. While a day in court is a
matter of right in judicial proceedings, in administrative
proceedings - it is otherwise since they rest upon
different principles. In certain proceedings of an
administrative character the right to a notice and
hearing are not essential to due process of law.

Due process is violated only if an office is considered


property. However, a public office is not property
within the constitutional guaranties of due process. It is
a public trust or agency. As public officers are mere
agents and not rulers of the people, no man has a
proprietary or contractual right to an office. Every
officer accepts office pursuant to law and holds office as
a trust for the people whom he represents.
Abeja vs. Tanada (G.R. 112283, not 110272) (Topic: Ruling:
Article 203, RPC – Public Officers)
1) No.
One Liner: Public office being personal, the death of a
By insisting that the counter-protested precincts should
public officer terminates his right to occupy the
be revised only if it is shown after the revision of the
contested office and extinguishes his counterclaim for
protested precincts that petitioner, his opponent, leads
damages.
by at least one (1) vote, private respondent is adopting
Facts: Petitioner Abeja and private respondent Rosauro a self-serving rule without legal sanction calculated to
Radovan were contenders for the office of municipal unduly prolong the litigation.
mayor in the national election.
There is no rule in election protests cases which states
Private respondent was credited with 6,215 votes as that a protestant (Abeja) must first show that she won
against petitioner's 5,951 votes. in the precincts she is contesting before evidence on the
protestee’s (Radovan) counter-protest can be had. This
Petitioner filed an election contest covering twenty-two
will render the protestant’s case to be at the mercy of
(22) precincts. Private respondent filed an Answer with
the protestee who can just prolong the case until his
a Counter-Protest of the results in thirty-six (36)
term is over.
precincts.
2) No.
During the pre-trial, private respondent's counsel filed a
motion praying that the 36 counter-protested precincts The substitution of the deceased Rosauro Radovan's
be revised only if it is shown after completion of the widow, Ediltrudes Radovan, on the ground that private
revision of the 22 protested precincts that petitioner respondent had a counter-claim for damages was
leads by a margin of at least one (1) vote. erroneous.

The revision of the ballots of the 22 precincts were Public office is personal to the incumbent and is not a
completed so Abeja filed a motion that a judgment be property which passes to his heirs. The heirs may no
rendered based on the results from the 22 precincts. longer prosecute the deceased protestee's counter-
The first judge did not rule on the motion. After, claim for damages against the protestant for that was
Radovan died. Radovan was then substituted by the extinguished when death terminated his right to occupy
vice mayor (Conrado de Rama) and Radovan’s wife, the contested office.
Ediltrudes. Ediltrudes substituted his deceased husband
insofar as the latter’s counterclaim for damages is
concerned.

Federico Tañada, the judge who succeeded the first


judge, ruled that the motion is premature because the
36 precincts are not yet revised. He posits that the 36
precincts may only be revised if there is at least one
point lead by Abeja (as agreed).

Dom: wa ko kasabot unsa ning revise2

Issues:

WON private respondents should be allowed to proceed


with the revision of the 36 precincts subject of the
counter-protest.

WON the substitution was proper [Main Topic]