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ANG TIBAY VS CIR controversy and certified by the Secretary of labor as existing

Facts: and proper to be by the Secretary of Labor as existing and

proper to be dealth with by the Court for the sake of public
Teodoro Toribio owns and operates AngTibay, a leather interest. (Section 4, ibid.) It shall, before hearing the dispute
company which supplies the Philippine Army. Due to alleged and in the course of such hearing, endeavor to reconcile the
shortage of leather, Toribio caused the lay off of a number of parties and induce them to settle the dispute by amicable
his employees. However, the National Labor Union, Inc. (NLU) agreement. (Paragraph 2, section 4, ibid.)
questioned the validity of said lay off as it averred that the When directed by the President of the Philippines, it shall
said employees laid off were members of NLU while no investigate and study all industries established in a
members of the rival labor union National Workers designated locality, with a view to determinating the
Brotherhood (NWB) were laid off. NLU claims that NWB is a necessity and fairness of fixing and adopting for such industry
company dominated union and Toribio was merely busting or locality a minimum wage or share of laborers or tenants, or
NLU. a maximum "canon" or rental to be paid by the "inquilinos" or
The case reached the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) where tenants or less to landowners. (Section 5, ibid.) In fine, it may
Toribio and NWB won. Eventually, NLU went to the Supreme appeal to voluntary arbitration in the settlement of industrial
Court invoking its right for a new trial on the ground of newly disputes; may employ mediation or conciliation for that
discovered evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with NLU. purpose, or recur to the more effective system of official
The Solicitor General, arguing for the CIR, filed a motion for investigation and compulsory arbitration in order to
reconsideration. determine specific controversies between labor and capital
industry and in agriculture. There is in reality here a mingling
Issue: of executive and judicial functions, which is a departure from
the rigid doctrine of the separation of governmental powers.
Whether or not the CIR has the power to decide the present

Held: Facts:

The Court of Industrial Relations is a special court whose The petitioners filed a case of syndicated estafa against Celso
functions are specifically stated in the law of its creation Delos Angeles and his associates in the Legacy Group of
(Commonwealth Act No. 103). It is more an administrative Companies (Legacy Group) after the petitioners were
than a part of the integrated judicial system of the nation. It is defrauded in the Legacy Group's "buy back agreement" that
not intended to be a mere receptive organ of the earned them check payments that were dishonoured.
Government. Unlike a court of justice which is essentially Thereafter, the DOJ Secretary issued Department Order 182
passive, acting only when its jurisdiction is invoked and which directs all prosecutors in the country to forward all
deciding only cases that are presented to it by the parties cases already filed against Celso Delos Angeles, Jr. and his
litigant, the function of the Court of Industrial Relations, as associates to the secretariat of DOJ in Manila for appropriate
will appear from perusal of its organic law, is more active, action except cases filed in CDO. Because of such DOJ orders,
affirmative and dynamic. It not only exercises judicial or the complaint of petitioners was forwarded to the secretariat
quasi-judicial functions in the determination of disputes of the Special Panel of the DOJ in Manila. Aggrieved, Spouses
between employers and employees but its functions in the Dacudao filed this petition for certiorari, prohibition and
determination of disputes between employers and mandamus assailing to the respondent Secretary of justice
employees but its functions are far more comprehensive and grave abuse of discretion in issuing the department Order and
expensive. It has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines, to the Memorandum, which according to the violated their right
consider, investigate, decide, and settle any question, matter to due process, right to equal protection of the law and right
controversy or dispute arising between, and/or affecting to speedy disposition of the cases. The petitioners opined
employers and employees or laborers, and regulate the that orders were unconstitutional or exempting from
relations between them, subject to, and in accordance with, coverage cases already filed and pending at the Prosecutor’s
the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 103 (section 1). Office of Cagayan De Oro City. They contended that the
It shall take cognizance or purposes of prevention, assailed issuances should cover only future cases against
arbitration, decision and settlement, of any industrial or Delos Angeles, Jr., et al, not those already being investigated.
agricultural dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or They maintained that DO 182 was issued in violation of the
lockout, arising from differences as regards wages, shares or prohibition against passing laws with retroactive effect.
compensation, hours of labor or conditions of tenancy or
employment, between landlords and tenants or farm- Issue:
laborers, provided that the number of employees, laborers or
tenants of farm-laborers involved exceeds thirty, and such Whether or the issuance of DO No. 182 is valid?
industrial or agricultural dispute is submitted to the Court by
the Secretary of Labor or by any or both of the parties to the
Held: Commission, now respondent NTC. However, pursuant to
Yes. Administrative regulations enacted by administrative Executive Order No. 196 issued on June 17, 1987, petitioner
agencies to implement and interpret the law which they are was placed under the jurisdiction, control and regulation of
entrusted to enforce have the force of law and are entitled to respondent NTC including all its facilities and services and the
respect. Such rules and regulations partake of the nature of a fixing of rates. Implementing said Executive Order No. 196,
statute and are just as binding as if they have been written in respondents required petitioner to apply for the requisite
the statute itself. As such, they have the force and effect of certificate of public convenience and necessity covering its
law and enjoy the presumption of constitutionality and facilities and the services it renders, as well as the
legality until they are set aside with finality in an appropriate corresponding authority to charge rates therefor.
case by a competent court.15
DO No. 182 was issued pursuant to Department Order No. 84 Issue:
that the Secretary of Justice had promulgated to govern the
performance of the mandate of the DOJ to "administer the Whether or Not E.O. 546 is invalid
criminal justice system in accordance with the accepted
processes thereof"16 as expressed in Republic Act No. 10071 Held:
(Prosecution Service Act of 2010) and Section 3, Chapter I,
Title III and Section 1, Chapter I, Title III of Book IV of Yes. In the case at bar, the applicable statutory provision is
Executive Order 292 (Administrative Code of 1987). Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act which provides:
To overcome this strong presumption of validity of the Section 16. Proceedings of the Commission, upon notice and
questioned issuances, it became incumbent upon petitioners hearing the Commission shall have power, upon proper notice
to prove their unconstitutionality and invalidity, either by and hearing in accordance with the rules and provisions of
showing that the Administrative Code of 1987 did not this Act, subject to the limitations and exceptions mentioned
authorize the Secretary of Justice to issue DO No. 182, or by and saving provisions to the contrary:
demonstrating that DO No. 182 exceeded the bounds of the (c) To fix and determine individual or joint rates, ... which shall
Administrative Code of 1987 and other pertinent laws. They be imposed, observed and followed thereafter by any public
did not do so. They must further show that the performance service; ...
of the DOJ’s functions under the Administrative Code of 1987 There is no reason to assume that the aforesaid provision
and other pertinent laws did not call for the impositions laid does not apply to respondent NTC, there being no limiting,
down by the assailed issuances. That was not true here, for excepting, or saving provisions to the contrary in Executive
DO No 182 did not deprive petitioners in any degree of their Orders Nos. 546 and 196.
right to seek redress for the alleged wrong done against them It is thus clear that with regard to rate-fixing, respondent has
by the Legacy Group. Instead, the issuances were designed to no authority to make such order without first giving
assist petitioners and others like them expedite the petitioner a hearing, whether the order be temporary or
prosecution, if warranted under the law, of all those permanent, and it is immaterial whether the same is made
responsible for the wrong through the creation of the special upon a complaint, a summary investigation, or upon the
panel of state prosecutors and prosecution attorneys in order commission's own motion as in the present case. That such a
to conduct a nationwide and comprehensive preliminary hearing is required is evident in respondents' order of
investigation and prosecution of the cases. Thereby, the September 16, 1987 in NTC Case No. 87-94 which granted
Secretary of Justice did not act arbitrarily or oppressively PHILCOMSAT a provisional authority "to continue operating
against petitioners. its existing facilities, to render the services it presently offers,
and to charge the rates as reduced by them "under the
PHILCOMSAT VS. ALCUAZ condition that "(s)ubject to hearing and the final
consideration of the merit of this application, the Commission
Facts: may modify, revise or amend the rates ..." 12
While it may be true that for purposes of rate-fixing
The petition before us seeks to annul and set aside an Order 1 respondents may have other sources of information or data,
issued by respondent Commissioner Jose Luis Alcuaz of the still, since a hearing is essential, respondent NTC should act
National Telecommunications Commission. solely on the basis of the evidence before it and not on
Herein petitioner is engaged in providing for services knowledge or information otherwise acquired by it but which
involving telecommunications. Charging rates for certain is not offered in evidence or, even if so adduced, petitioner
specified lines that were reduced by order of herein was given no opportunity to controvert.
respondent Jose Alcuaz Commissioner of the National Again, the order requires the new reduced rates to be made
Telecommunications Commission. The rates were ordered to effective on a specified date. It becomes a final legislative act
be reduced by fifteen percent (15%) due to Executive Order as to the period during which it has to remain in force
No. 546 which granted the NTC the power to fix rates. Said pending the final determination of the case. 13An order of
order was issued without prior notice and hearing. respondent NTC prescribing reduced rates, even for a
Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 5514, petitioner was temporary period, could be unjust, unreasonable or even
exempt from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service confiscatory, especially if the rates are unreasonably low,
since the utility permanently loses its just revenue during the which are areas already assigned to petitioner TTPI under a
prescribed period. In fact, such order is in effect final insofar prior and subsisting PA is valid
as the revenue during the period covered by the order is
concerned. Upon a showing, therefore, that the order Held:
requiring a reduced rate is confiscatory, and will unduly
deprive petitioner of a reasonable return upon its property, a Yes. The power of the NTC to grant a provisional authority has
declaration of its nullity becomes inductible, which brings us long been settled. As the regulatory agency of the national
to the issue on substantive due process. government with jurisdiction over all telecommunications
entities, it is clothed with authority and given ample
EASTERN TELECOM VS ICC discretion to grant a provisional permit or authority. [11] It also
has the authority to issue Certificates of Public Convenience
Facts: and Necessity (CPCN) for the installation, operation, and
maintenance of communications facilities and services, radio
Taking advantage of the opportunities brought about by the communications systems, telephone and telegraph systems,
passage of these laws, several IGF operators applied for including the authority to determine the areas of operations
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity CPCN to of applicants for telecommunications services.[12] In this
install, operate and maintain local exchange carrier services in regard, the NTC is clothed with sufficient discretion to act on
certain areas. Respondent International Communication matters solely within its competence.[13]
Corporation, now known as Bayan Telecommunications In granting ICC the PA to operate a local exchange carrier
Corporation or Bayantel, applied for and was given by the service in the Manila and Navotas areas, the NTC took into
NTC a Provisional Authority (PA ) on March 3,1995, to install, consideration ICCs financial and technical resources and
operate and provide local exchange service in Quezon City, found them to be adequate. The NTC also noted ICCs
Malabon and Valenzuela, Metro Manila, and the entire Bicol performance in complying with its rollout obligations under
region. Meanwhile, petitioner Telecommunications the previous PA granted to it, thus:
Technologies Philippines, Inc. (TTPI), as an affiliate of With the proven track record of herein applicant as one of the
petitioner Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. pacesetters in carrying out its landlines commitment in its
(ETPI),was granted by the NTC a PA on September 25, 1996, assigned areas, applicant can best respond to public demand
to install, operate and maintain a local exchangeservice in the for faster installation of telephone lines in Manila and
Provinces of Batanes, Cagayan Valley, Isabela, Kalinga- Navotas.
Apayao, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao,Quirino, the cities of Manila The grant of this application is, therefore, a fitting recognition
and Caloocan, and the Municipality of Navotas, Metro that should be accorded to any deserving applicant, such as
Manila.It appears, however, that before TTPI was able to fully herein applicant ICC whose remarkable performance in terms
accomplish its rollout obligation, ICC applied for and was of public service as mandated by Executive Order 109 and
given a PA by the NTC on November 10, 1997, to install, Republic Act No. 7925 has persuaded this Commission to affix
operate and maintain a local exchange service in Manila and the stamp of its approval.[14]
Navotas, two areas which were already covered by TTPI The Court will not interfere with these findings of the NTC, as
under its PA dated September 25, 1996. Aggrieved, these are matters that are addressed to its sound discretion,
petitioners filed a petition for review with the Court of being the government agency entrusted with the regulation
Appeals with application for a temporary restraining order of activities coming under its special and technical
and a writ of preliminary injunction, docketed as CA-G.R. SP forte.[15] Moreover, the exercise of administrative discretion is
No. 46047, arguing that the NTC committed grave abuse a policy decision and a matter that can best be discharged by
of discretion in granting a provisional authority to respondent the government agency concerned, and not by the courts.[16]
ICC to operate in areas already assigned to TTPI. On April 30, Petitioner insists compliance with the service area scheme
1998, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for review (SAS) mandated by DOTC Dept. Circular No. 91-260, to wit:
on the ground that the NTC did not commit any grave abuse The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) shall
of discretion in granting the PA to TTPI. It sustained the NTC's define the boundaries of local exchange areas, and shall
finding that ICC is "legally and financially competent and its henceforth authorize only one franchised Local Exchange
network plan technically feasible." The Court of Appeals also Carrier (LEC) to provide LEC service within such areas.
ruled that there was no violation of the equal protection The Court is not persuaded. Said department circular was
clause because the PA granted to ICC and TTPI were given issued by the DOTC in 1991, before the advent of E.O. No.
under different situations and there is no point of comparison 109 and R.A. No. 7925. When E.O. No. 109 was promulgated
between the two. in 1993, and R.A. No. 7925 enacted in 1995, the service area
scheme was noticeably omitted therefrom. Instead, E.O. No.
Issue: 109 and R.A. No. 7925 adopted a policy of healthy
competition among the local exchange carrier service
Whether or not the order of the NTC granting a PA to providers.
Respondent to operate LEC services in Manila and Navotas The need to formulate new policies is dictated by
evolving goals and demands in telecommunications services.
Thus, E.O. No. 109 acknowledges that there is a need to the charge against De Guzman was forwarded to the
promulgate new policy directives to meet the targets of Investigation Security and Law Enforcement Staff (ISLES).
Government through the National Telecommunications However, the ISLES, through a Memorandum, Director Reyes
Development Plan (NTDP) of the Department of recommended that De Guzman be exonerated from the
Transportation and Communications (DOTC), specifically: (1) charges against him due to lack of merit. The said
to ensure the orderly development of the recommendation was later approved by DOTC Asst. Secretary
telecommunications sector through the provision of service Jardiniano.
to all areas of the country; (2) to satisfy the unserviced
demand for telephones; and (3) to provide healthy RA 7354 or the Postal Service Act of 1992, was passed.
competition among authorized service providers. Likewise, Pursuant thereto, the Postal Services Office under the DOTC
one of the national policies and objectives of R.A. No. 7925 is was abolished, and all its powers, duties, and rights were
to foster the improvement and expansion of transferred to the PPC.Likewise, officials and employees of
telecommunications services in the country through a healthy the Postal Services Office were absorbed by the PPC.
competitive environment, in which telecommunications
carriers are free to make business decisions and to interact Subsequently, De Guzman, who had by then become Chief
with one another in providing telecommunications services, Postal Service Officer, was formally charged and later on
with the end in view of encouraging their financial viability found guilty byPPC, for the same acts of dishonesty, gross
while maintaining affordable rates.[17] violation of regulations, and conduct grossly prejudicial to the
best interest of the service, and the Anti-graft law thereby
Recently, in Pilipino Telephone Corporation vs. dismissing him from service.
NTC,[18] the Court had occasion to rule on a case akin to the
present dispute, involving the same respondent ICC, and the He filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. A
Pilipino Telephone Corporation (Piltel). In the Piltel case, ICC second MR was filed which was resolved in his favour
applied for a provisional authority to operate a local exchange although he was found guilty of the charges, since the
service in areas already covered by Piltel, which includes complainant was the PPC, which had its own charter and was
Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, Davao del Sur, South no longer under the DOTC. Thus, the ISLES Memorandum
Cotabato and Saranggani. Piltel opposed ICCs application but which endorsed his exoneration and dismissal of the
the NTC denied it, and granted ICCs application. The Court of complaints against him was merely recommendatory. As
Appeals dismissed Piltels petition for review, and such, the filing of the formal charge was an obvious rejection
on certiorari before this Court, we affirmed the dismissal. The of said recommendation.
Court found that the NTC did not commit any grave abuse of
discretion when it granted the ICC a provisional authority to De Guzmans motion for reconsideration was denied initially
operate in areas covered by Piltel. We held: but the motion was, at the same time, considered as an
We will not disturb the factual findings of the NTC on the appeal to the PPC Board of Directors. Thus, in a Resolution
technical and financial capability of the ICC to undertake the dated May 10, 2005, PG Rama pointed out that, being the
proposed project. We generally accord great weight and even third MR filed by De Guzman, the same was in gross violation
finality to factual findings of administrative bodies such as the of the rules of procedure recognized by the PPC, as well as of
NTC, if substantial evidence supports the findings as in this the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which both allowed only
case. The exception to this rule is when the administrative one (1) such motion to be entertained.It was further held
agency arbitrarily disregarded evidence before it or thatresjudicatawas unavailing as the decision exonerating De
misapprehended evidence to such an extent as to compel a Guzman was ―only a ruling after a fact-finding investigation.
contrary conclusion had it properly appreciated the evidence. Hence, the same could not be considered as a dismissal on
PILTEL gravely failed to show that this exception applies to the merits but rather, a dismissal made by an investigative
the instant case. Moreover, the exercise of administrative body which was not clothed with judicial or quasi-judicial
discretion, such as the issuance of a PA, is a policy decision power.
and a matter that the NTC can best discharge, not the courts.
Meanwhile, before the issuance of the Resolution dated May
PPC VS CA 10, 2005, De Guzman elevated his case on March 12, 2005 to
the CA via a special civil action for certiorari and mandamus.
OnJune 10, 2005, De Guzman appealedthe Resolution dated
De Guzman was charged for dishonesty and conduct grossly May 10, 2005 before the PPC Board. Almost a year later, the
prejudicial to the best interest as Postal Inspector at the Board issued a Resolution denying the appeal and affirming
Postal Services Office and eventually was relieved from his with finality his dismissal from service. The motion for
post reconsideration subsequently filed was likewise denied.

Since the Postal Services Office was then a line-agency of the OnApril 4, 2006, the CA reversed the PPC Resolutions. It held
Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), that the revival of the case against De Guzman constituted
grave abuse of discretion considering the clear and employees of government branches, subdivisions,
unequivocal content of the Memorandum duly signed by instrumentalities, and agencies, including government-owned
Asec. Jardiniano that the complaint against De Guzman was or controlled corporations with original charters, and, as
already dismissed. such, is the sole arbiter of controversies relating to the civil
service.40 The PPC, created under RA7354, is a government-
Aggrieved, PPC moved for reconsideration which was, owned and controlled corporation with an original charter.
however, denied hence, the instant petition. Thus, being an employee of the PPC, De Guzman should have,
after availing of the remedy of appeal before the PPC Board,
Meanwhile, on July 26, 2006, De Guzman filed an appeal of sought further recourse before the CSC. Records, however,
the PPC Boards Resolutions with the CSCwhich was, however, disclose that while De Guzman filed on June 10, 2005 a notice
dismissed. of appeal41 to the PPC Board and subsequently appealed the
latter’s ruling to the CSC on July 26, 2006, the sewere all after
Issue: he challenged the PPC Resolution dated November 23, 2004
(wherein he was adjudged guilty of the charges against him
Whether De Guzman unjustifiably failed to exhaust the and consequently dismissed from the service) in a petition
administrative remedies available to him for certiorari and mandamus before the CA(docketed as CA-
G.R. SP No. 88891). That the subject of De Guzman’s appeal
Held: to the Board was not the Resolution dated November 23,
2004 but the Resolution dated May 10, 2005 denying the
The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative motion for reconsideration of the first - mentioned resolution
remedies is that the courts must allow the administrative is of no moment. In Alma Jose v. Javellana,42 the Court ruled
agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their that an appeal from an order denying a motion for
responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective reconsideration of a final order or judgment is effectively an
competence. It is presumed that an administrative agency, if appeal from the final order or judgment itself.43 Thus, finding
afforded an opportunity to pass upon a matter, will decide no cogent explanation on De Guzman’s end or any justifiable
the same correctly, or correct any previous error committed reason for his premature resort to a petition for certiorari and
in its forum. Furthermore, reasons of law, comity and mandamus before the CA, the Court holds that he failed to
convenience prevent the courts from entertaining cases adhere to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies
proper for determination by administrative agencies. Hence, which should have warranted the dismissal of said petition
premature resort to the courts necessarily becomes fatal to
the cause of action of the petitioner.38PPC claims that De OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN VS RODRIGUEZ
Guzman failed to subscribe to the rule on exhaustion of
administrative remedies since he opted to file a premature Facts:
certiorari case before the CA instead of filing an appeal with
the PPC Board, or of an appeal to the CSC, which are On 26 August 2003, the Ombudsman in Visayas received a
adequate remedies under the law.39 complaint[4] for abuse of authority, dishonesty, oppression,
The Court agrees with PPC’s submission. misconduct in office, and neglect of duty against Rolson
Under Section 21(d) of RA7354, the removal by the Rodriguez, punong barangay in Brgy. Sto. Rosario,
Postmaster General of PPC officials and employees below the Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. On 1 September 2003,
rank of Assistant Postmaster General may be appealed to the the sangguniang bayan of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental,
Board of the PPC, viz.: through vice-mayor Jose G. Yulo, received a similar
Sec.21.Powers and Functions of the Postmaster General. — as complaint[5] against Rodriguez for abuse of authority,
the Chief Executive Officer, the Postmaster General shall have dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, and neglect of
the following powers and functions: duty.
(d) to appoint, promote, assign, reassign, transfer and remove
personnel below the ranks of Assistant Postmaster General: In its 8 September 2003 notice,[6] the municipal vice-mayor
Provided, That in the case of removal of officials and required Rodriguez to submit his answer within 15 days from
employees, the same may be appealed to the Board; receipt of the notice. On 23 September 2003, Rodriguez filed
This remedy of appeal to the Board is reiterated in Section a motion to dismiss[7] the case filed in the sangguniang
2(a), Rule II of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures of the bayan on the ground that the allegations in the complaint
PPC, which provides further that the decision of the Board is, were without factual basis and did not constitute any
in turn, appeal able to the CSC, viz.: violation of law. In a compliance[8] dated 22 October 2003,
Section2. DISCIPLINARY JURISDICTION. – (a) The Board of Rodriguez alleged complainants violated the rule against
Directors shall decide upon appeal the decision of the forum shopping.
Postmaster General removing officials and employees from
the service. (R.A. 7354, Sec. 21 (d)). The decision of the Board Meanwhile, in its 10 September 2003 order,[9] the
of Directors is appeal able to the Civil Service Commission. It Ombudsman required Rodriguez to file his answer. Rodriguez
is well-established that the CSC has jurisdiction over all filed on 24 October 2003 a motion to dismiss[10] the case filed
in the Ombudsman on the grounds of litis pendentia and Rodriguez filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for review
forum shopping. He alleged that the sangguniang bayan had with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order.
already acquired jurisdiction over his person as early as 8
September 2003. In its 8 May 2006 Decision,[25] the Court of Appeals set aside
for lack of jurisdiction the Decision of the Ombudsman and
The municipal vice-mayor set the case for hearing on 3 directed the sangguniang bayan to proceed with the hearing
October 2003.[11] Since complainants had no counsel, the on the administrative case. The appellate court reasoned that
hearing was reset to a later date. When the case was called the sangguniang bayan had acquired primary jurisdiction
again for hearing, complainants counsel manifested that over the person of Rodriguez to the exclusion of the
complainants would like to withdraw the administrative Ombudsman.
complaint filed in the sangguniang bayan. On 29 October
2003, complainants filed a motion[12] to withdraw the Issue:
complaint lodged in the sangguniang bayan on the ground
that they wanted to prioritize the complaint filed in the Whether or not the Ombudsman has acquired jurisdiction
Ombudsman. Rodriguez filed a comment[13] praying that the over the case
complaint be dismissed on the ground of forum shopping, not
on the ground complainants stated. In their Held:
opposition,[14]complainants admitted they violated the rule
against forum shopping and claimed they filed the complaint Paragraph 1, Section 13 of Article XI of the Constitution
in the sangguniang bayan without the assistance of counsel. provides:
In his 4 November 2003 Resolution,[15] the municipal vice-
mayor dismissed the case filed in the sangguniang bayan. Sec. 13. The Ombudsman shall have the
following powers, functions, and duties:
In its 29 January 2004 order,[16] the Ombudsman directed
both parties to file their respective verified position papers. (1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint
Rodriguez moved for reconsideration of the order citing the by any person, any act or omission of
pendency of his motion to dismiss.[17] In its 11 March 2004 any public official, employee, office, or
order,[18] the Ombudsman stated that a motion to dismiss agency, when such act or omission
was a prohibited pleading under Section 5 (g) Rule III of appears to be illegal, unjust, improper,
Administrative Order No. 17. The Ombudsman reiterated its or inefficient.
order for Rodriguez to file his position paper.
Section 15 of Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the
In his position paper, Rodriguez insisted that the sangguniang Ombudsman Act of 1989, states:
bayan still continued to exercise jurisdiction over the
complaint filed against him. He claimed he had not received Sec. 15. Powers, Functions, and Duties. The
any resolution or decision dismissing the complaint filed in Ombudsman shall have the following
the sangguniang bayan. In reply,[19] complainants maintained powers, functions, and duties:
there was no more complaint pending in the sangguniang
bayan since the latter had granted their motion to withdraw (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or
the complaint. In a rejoinder,[20] Rodriguez averred that on complaint by any person, any act or
the sangguniang bayan resolution dismissing the case filed omission of any public officer or employee,
against him was not valid because only the vice-mayor signed office or agency, when such act or omission
it. appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or
inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over
cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and,
In its 21 September 2004 Decision,[21] the Ombudsman found in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it
Rodriguez guilty of dishonesty and oppression. It imposed on may take over, at any stage, from any
Rodriguez the penalty of dismissal from the service with investigatory agency of Government, the
forfeiture of all benefits, disqualification to hold public office, investigations of such cases.
and forfeiture of civil service eligibilities. Rodriguez filed a The primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman to investigate any
motion for reconsideration.[22] In its 12 January 2005 act or omission of a public officer or employee applies only in
Order,[23] the Ombudsman denied the motion for cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. In cases cognizable
reconsideration. In its 8 March 2005 Order,[24] the by regular courts, the Ombudsman has concurrent
Ombudsman directed the mayor of Binalbagan, Negros jurisdiction with other investigative agencies of
Occidental to implement the penalty of dismissal against government.[27] Republic Act No. 8249, otherwise known as
Rodriguez. An Act Further Defining the Jurisdiction of
the Sandiganbayan, limits the cases that are cognizable by
the Sandiganbayan to public officials occupying positions
corresponding to salary grade 27 and damages and attorneys fees with the Regional Trial Court of
higher. The Sandiganbayanhas no jurisdiction over private Davao del Sur, Branch 19, against petitioners, the developers
respondent who, as punong barangay, is occupying a position of low-cost housing units like Emily Homes
corresponding to salary grade 14 under Republic Act No. Subdivision.Respondents alleged that petitioners used
6758, otherwise known as the Compensation and Position substandard materials in the construction of their houses, like
Classification Act of 1989.[28] coco lumber and termite-infested door jambs. Petitioners
furthermore allegedly did not adhere to the house plan
Under Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local specifications because the ceiling lines were sagging and
Government Code, the sangguniang there were deviations from the plumb line of the mullions,
panlungsod or sangguniang bayan has disciplinary authority door jams (sic) and concrete columns.[3]Respondents asked
over any elective barangay official, to wit: petitioners to repair their defective housing units but
petitioners failed to do so. Respondents had to repair their
SEC. 61. Form and Filing of Administrative defective housing units using their own funds. Hence, they
Complaints. A verified complaint against prayed for actual and moral damages arising from petitioners
any erring elective official shall be prepared breach of the contract plus exemplary damages and attorneys
as follows: fees.
On December 11, 1998, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss
(c) A complaint against any the complaint, claiming that it was the Housing and Land Use
elective barangay official shall be filed Regulatory Board (HLURB) and not the trial court which had
before the sangguniang jurisdiction over the case. They also cited the defective
panlungsod or sangguniang certification on non-forum shopping which was signed only by
bayan concerned whose decision shall be the president of EHSHA and not by all its members; such
final and executory. defect allegedly warranted the dismissal of the
complaint. The trial court denied petitioners motion to
Clearly, the Ombudsman has concurrent jurisdiction with dismiss on the ground that the case fell within its jurisdiction,
the sangguniang bayan over administrative cases against not with the HLURB, and that respondents certificate of non-
elective barangay officials occupying positions below salary forum shopping substantially complied with Rule 7, Section 5
grade 27, such as private respondent in this case. of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It also denied petitioners
motion for reconsideration.
The facts in the present case are analogous to those in Laxina,
Sr. v. Ombudsman,[29] which likewise involved identical Issue:
administrative complaints filed in both the Ombudsman and
the sangguniang panlungsod against a punong barangay for Whether or not HLURB had jurisdiction over respondent’s
grave misconduct. The Court held therein that the rule complaint
against forum shopping applied only to judicial cases or
proceedings, not to administrative cases.[30] Thus, even if Held:
complainants filed in the Ombudsman and the sangguniang Yes. It is the HLURB, not the trial court, which had jurisdiction
bayan identical complaints against private respondent, they over respondents complaint. The HLURB[8] is the government
did not violate the rule against forum shopping because their agency empowered to regulate the real estate trade and
complaint was in the nature of an administrative case. business, having exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
cases involving:
In administrative cases involving the concurrent jurisdiction (a) unsound real estate business practices;
of two or more disciplining authorities, the body in which the (b) claims involving refunds and any other
complaint is filed first, and which opts to take cognizance of claims filed by subdivision lot or
the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of other condominium unit buyers against the
tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction.[31] In this case, project owner, developer, dealer,
since the complaint was filed first in the Ombudsman, and the broker or salesman;
Ombudsman opted to assume jurisdiction over the complaint, (c) and cases involving specific performance of
the Ombudsmans exercise of jurisdiction is to the exclusion of contractual and statutory obligations
the sangguniang bayanexercising concurrent jurisdiction. filed by buyers of subdivision lots or
condominium units against the owner,
developer, dealer, broker or
HLC Construction vs EMILY HOMES HOMEOWENERS ASSOC salesman.[9]
In this case, respondents complaint was for the
Facts: reimbursement of expenses incurred in repairing their
Respondents Emily Homes Subdivision Homeowners defective housing units constructed by petitioners. Clearly,
Association (EHSHA) and the 150 individual members thereof the HLURB had jurisdiction to hear it. In the case of Arranza
filed on October 21, 1998 a civil action for breach of contract, vs. B.F Homes, Inc.,[10] this Court ruled that:
the HLURB has jurisdiction over complaints arising from administrative case OMB-C-A-0379-J, issued the Order placing
contracts between the subdivision developer and the lot buyer respondent Valera under preventive suspension for six
or those aimed at compelling the subdivision developer to months without pay. In the said order, petitioner Special
comply with its contractual and statutory obligations to make Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio found that respondent Valera
the subdivision a better place to live in.[11] entered into the compromise agreement with Steel Asia
The fact that the subject matter of the complaint involved Manufacturing Corp. in Civil Case No. 01-102504 without
defective housing units did not remove the complaint from being duly authorized to do so by the Commissioner of
the HLURBs jurisdiction. The delivery of habitable houses was Customs and without the approval of the Secretary of Finance
petitioners responsibility under their contract with in violation of Section 2316[10] of the TCCP.
respondents. The trial court should have granted the motion
to dismiss filed by petitioners so that the issues therein could The petitioners vigorously maintain that no grave abuse of
be expeditiously heard and resolved by the HLURB. discretion attended the issuance by petitioner Special
Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio of the March 17, 2004 Order placing
OMBUDSMAN VS VALERA respondent Valera under preventive
suspension because the Ombudsman, in directing petitioner
Facts: Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio to act in his place and stead
insofar as OMB-C-A-03-0379-J was concerned, fully clothed
Respondent Valera was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the latter with delegated authority to act thereon. Since
the Bureau of Customs by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo under Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770, the Ombudsman may
on July 13, 2001. He took his oath of office on August 3, 2001 preventively suspend respondent Valera in the subject
and assumed his post on August 7, 2001. He is in charge of administrative case, it follows that with the delegation of his
the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group. authority to petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio, he
had full authority to preventively suspend respondent Valera.
On August 20, 2003, the Office of the Ombudsman received Petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio, upon finding that
the Sworn Complaint dated July 28, 2003 filed by then all the elements for preventive suspension in Section 24 of
Director Eduardo S. Matillano of the Philippine National R.A. No. 6770 are present, accordingly placed respondent
Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP- Valera under preventive suspension for six months without
CIDG). In the said sworn complaint, Director Matillano pay in connection with the subject administrative case.
charged respondent Valera with criminal offenses involving
violation of various provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. The petitioners defend the validity of the Ombudsmans
3019,[2] the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), delegation of his authority to petitioner Special Prosecutor
Executive Order No. 38,[3] Executive Order No. 298[4] and R.A. Villa-Ignacio with respect to the administrative case OMB-C-
No. 6713[5] as well as administrative offenses of Grave A-03-0379-J contending that: a) the authority to preventively
Misconduct and Serious Irregularity in the Performance of suspend is not insusceptible to delegation to an alter ego of
Duty. Likewise subject of the same sworn complaint was the Ombudsman; b) the petitioner Special Prosecutor
respondent Valeras brother-in-law Ariel Manongdo for possessed the necessary qualifications and competence to
violation of Section 4 of R.A. No. 3019. exercise the delegated functions; c) no law or rule was
violated with the said delegation.[18]
At about the same time as the filing of the complaint against
respondent Valera, Director Matillano also filed charges Nothing in Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770 allegedly prohibits the
against other officials of the Department of Public Works and delegation by the Ombudsman of his authority to
Highways (DPWH) and Bureau of Customs. The Philippine preventively suspend to his alter ego. The petitioners point
Daily Inquirer featured a news article on them with the out that under R.A. No. 6770, the Special
title More govt execs flunk lifestyle check.[8] Prosecutor, like the Deputy Ombudsmen, heads a major
office in the Office of the Ombudsman;[19] he is appointed in
Prior to Director Matillanos sworn complaint, criminal and the same manner as the Deputy Ombudsmen;[20] he shares
administrative charges were also filed with the Office of the the same qualifications[21] and enjoys the same rank and
Ombudsman by Atty. Adolfo Casareo against respondent privilege as the latter.[22] As such, the Special Prosecutor, like
Valera. The complaint of Atty. Casareo contained similar any of the other Deputy Ombudsmen, has the competence
allegations as those in the complaint of Director Matillano in and capability to preventively suspend any officer or
that respondent Valera, without being duly authorized by the employee under the authority of the Ombudsman.
Commissioner of Customs, entered into a compromise
agreement with Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. in Civil Case The petitioners invoke, in particular, Section 11(4)(c) of R.A.
No. 01-102504 to the prejudice of the government. No. 6770:
Sec. 11. Structural Organization.

On March 17, 2004, pursuant to Memorandum OMB-C-C-02- (4) The Office of the Special
0568 , petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio, in the Prosecutor shall, under the supervision and
control and upon the authority of the Ombudsman from the case, the delay in the transmittal of the
Ombudsman, have the following powers: case records and the amount of time that it took petitioner
Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio to study the recommendation
of the PIAB-A and the divergent recommendation of the
(c) To perform such other Assistant Ombudsman for Preliminary Investigation,
duties assigned to it by the Adjudication and Monitoring Office (PAMO).
Moreover, even if the PIAB-A recommended against placing
respondent Valera under preventive suspension, petitioner
By this provision, the Ombudsman may allegedly validly Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio was not bound to adopt the
delegate to the Special Prosecutor such other functions that same. With respect to respondent Valeras counter-affidavit,
he cannot, otherwise, perform by himself and that he (the the petitioners insist that the same failed to rebut the strong
Ombudsman) is not obliged to always make such delegation evidence against him; hence, justifying his preventive
to the Overall Deputy Ombudsman. In the exercise of quasi- suspension.
judicial functions, there is no law which mandates that the
Ombudsman can only inhibit himself in favor of the Deputy Respondent ValeRA argues that the power to preventively
Ombudsmen. suspend any officer or employee under the authority of the
Ombudsman pending investigation is exclusively vested on
The petitioners assert that the evidence of respondent the Ombudsman or his Deputy pursuant to Section 24 of R.A.
Valeras guilt for serious administrative infractions is strong. No. 6770. Since the Special Prosecutor is not named therein
According to them, the facts that have so far been established as vested with the said power, then petitioner Special
show that respondent Valera entered into the compromise Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio has no authority to issue a preventive
agreement with Steel Manufacturing Asia Corp. to unduly suspension.
shield and promote its interests and to the prejudice of the
government. It is allegedly suspicious that he (respondent Issue
Valera) simply allowed the said company to redeem the
spurious tax credit certificates with a 30-month staggered Whether or not petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio has
payment when sufficient properties of the said company had the authority to place respondent Valera under preventive
already been attached to satisfy not only the P37 million suspension in connection with the administrative case OMB-
principal amount of taxes owed by the said company but the C-A-03-0379-J pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.
penalty charges and damages as well. He further unjustifiably
exonerated the said companys officers of any criminal Held:
wrongdoing when they are conclusively liable for the
procurement of these spurious tax credit certificates. Further, The Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsmen, as they are
respondent Valera was never authorized by the Customs expressly named in Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770, have been
Commissioner to enter into such compromise agreement nor granted the power to preventively suspend as the same
was it approved by the Secretary of Finance as required by inheres in their mandate under the Constitution:
Section 2316 of the TCCP. Neither was it approved by the Sec. 12. The Ombudsman and his Deputies,
President of the Philippines as further required by E.O. No. as protectors of the people, shall act
38. Respondent Valera thus committed an act of promptly on complaints filed in any form or
misrepresentation when he signed the compromise manner against public officials or
agreement under the clause By authority of the employees of the Government, or any
Commissioner. subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or
The petitioners posit that conclusively at the given stage controlled corporations, and shall, in
respondent Valera appeared to have committed Grave appropriate cases, notify the complainants
Misconduct and Dishonesty to warrant his preventive of the action taken and the result
suspension. They also aver that the evidence strongly show thereof.[42]
that respondent Valera obtained employment for his brother-
in-law, Ariel Manongdo, with Cactus Cargo Systems, Inc., a While R.A. No. 6770 accords the Special Prosecutor the same
customs brokerage firm whose business principally involves rank as that of the Deputy Ombudsmen, Section 24 thereof
dealing on a regular basis with the Bureau of Customs, in expressly grants only to the Ombudsman and the Deputy
contravention of R.A. No. 6713 and R.A. No. 3019. Ombudsmen the power to place under preventive suspension
government officials and employees under their authority
To refute the appellate courts statement that there was pending an administrative investigation.[43]
inordinate delay in the issuance of the March 17, 2004 Order
of preventive suspension, the petitioners explain that the However, if the Ombudsman delegates his authority to
same was due to, among others, the inhibition of the conduct administrative investigation to the Special Prosecutor
and the latter finds that the preventive suspension of the investigation is lodged only with the Ombudsman or the
public official or employee subject thereof is warranted, the Deputy Ombudsmen.
Special Prosecutor may recommend to the Ombudsman to
place the said public officer or employee under preventive Consequently, petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio had
suspension. no authority to issue the March 17, 2004 Order placing
respondent Valera under preventive suspension for six
Pertinently, the investigation of OMB-C-A-03-0379-J was months without pay in connection with the administrative
initially conducted by the PIAB-A, a panel composed of two case OMB-C-A-03-0379-J. The appellate court thus correctly
Special Prosecution Officers III[44] and Graft Investigation and nullified and set aside the said assailed order.
Prosecution Officers II.[45] The said investigating panel
submitted to the Ombudsman the Memorandum dated Considering the finding that petitioner Special Prosecutor
November 5, 2003 which contained its initial findings stating Villa-Ignacio had no authority to issue the March 17, 2004
in part thus: preventive suspension order, the resolution of the issue of
whether or not the evidence of respondent Valeras guilt is
After a careful evaluation of the complaint, it strong to warrant his preventive suspension need not be
appears that the evidence of guilt in the case under passed upon at this point. Anent respondent Valeras alleged
review, in the context of Sec. 24, R.A. 6770, are not non-compliance with the rule on non-forum shopping when
strong enough to warrant the imposition of he filed the petition for certiorari with the appellate court,
preventive suspension of respondent Atty. Gil A. suffice it to state that the appellate court correctly
Valera. The evidence on record fall short of the overlooked this procedural lapse. The merits of respondent
quantum of evidence necessary to establish the Valeras case are special circumstances or compelling reasons
necessary weight to preventively suspend him. which justified the appellate courts relaxing the rule requiring
However, the Investigating Panel finds enough basis certification on non-forum shopping.[49]
to proceed with the administrative investigation of
this case.[46]
It appears in the signatory page of the said memorandum
that the findings and recommendation therein were reviewed Facts:
by the Director[47] of the PIAB-A. Further, the memorandum
was, likewise, reviewed by the Assistant On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus Cabarrus, Jr. filed and
Ombudsman,[48] Preliminary Investigation, Adjudication and administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Jose
Monitoring Office (PAMO) with the notation recommending Antonio Bernas for alleged violations of Article 172 of the
disapproval. This demonstrates that in the conduct of Revised Penal Code and Code of professional Resposibility. In
administrative investigation, the PIAB-A exercises merely his complaint-affidavit [1] dated August 12, 1996, complainant
recommendatory powers particularly with respect to whether alleged as follows:
to place the public official or employee subject thereof under A.That on April 16, 1996, respondent Ramon B. Pascual, Jr.,
preventive suspension. subscribe under oath before Marie Lourdes T. Sia Bernas, a
notary public in Makati City, wife of lawyer jose Antonio
Ombudsman Marcelo designated the Special Prosecutor to Bernas, a verification and certification of non-forum shopping
conduct the administrative investigation. In the course which was appended to a complaint for reconveyance of
thereof, petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio found that property and damages, denominated as Civil Case No. 65646,
the preventive suspension of respondent Valera was filed before the Regional Trial Court in National Capital
warranted under Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770. However, since Region, RTC, which case was raffled to RTC Branch 159 in
under the said provision only the Ombudsman or his Deputy Pasig City. A photocopy of said complaint is hereto attached
may exercise the power of preventive suspension, petitioner and marked as Annexex (sic) A, A-1, A-3, A-4, A-5 and A-6;
Special Prosecutor Villa- B.That as basis for the instant complaint for falsification of
Ignacio could only recommend to the Ombudsman or, in this public document, I am hereto quoting verbatim, the test (sic)
case because of the latters inhibition, to the designated of Annex A-6, the verification and certification of non-forum
Deputy Ombudsman to place respondent Valera under shopping which states:
preventive suspension. Ramon B. Pascual, Jr., under oath, depose and states:
He is the plaintiff in this case, and certify that he cause the
Stated differently, with respect to the conduct of preparation of the foregoing pleading, the content of which
administrative investigation, the Special Prosecutors are true to his personal knowledge and that he has not
authority, insofar as preventive suspension is concerned, is commenced any other action or proceeding involving the
akin to that of the PIAB-A, i.e., recommendatory in nature. It same issues in any court, including the Supreme Court, the
bears stressing that the power to place a public officer or Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency. If he should
employee under preventive suspension pending an learn that a similar action of (sic) proceeding has been filed or
is pending before the Supreme Court or any other Tribunal
agency, he undertake to report to (sic) that the fact within methods of crime investigation and detection in
Five (5) days from the notice to this notice (sic) to this order to insure greater efficiency in the discharge of
Honorable Court. Underscoring supplied. their duties;
In his Comment, [2] respondents Jose Antonio Bernas (g) To establish and maintain an up-to-date scientific crime
avers that he has not committed forum shopping because the laboratory and to conduct researches inn
criminal action is not an action that involves the same issue as furtherance of scientific knowledge in criminal
those in the civil action and both suits can exist without investigation;
constituting forum shopping so long as the civil aspect has (h) To perform such other related function as the secretary of
not yet been prosecuted in the criminal case. He emphasized Justice may assign from time to time.
that forum shopping only exist when identical reliefs are Explicitly, the function of the National Bureau of
issued by the same parties in multiple fora. Investigations are merely investigatory and informational in
In his Supplemental Comment,[3] respondent further nature. It has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers and is
contends that neither he or his client Pascual has commenced incapable of granting any relief to a party. It cannot even
any criminal action. Pascual merely requested the NBI to determine probable cause. It is an investigative agency whose
assist in the investigation or prosecution, and left it to the NBI findings are merely recommendatory. It undertakes
to determine whether the filing of an endorsement to the investigation of crimes upon its own initiative and as public
prosecutor, who would determine probable caused, would be welfare may require. It renders assistance when requested in
appropriate. It was only upon request of the NBI the he the investigation or detection of crimes which precisely what
assisted Ramon Pascual in drafting an affidavit-complaint for Atty. Bernas sought in order to prosecute those person
falsification of public documents against responsible for defrauding his client.
complainant. Likewise, respondent by counsel reiterates that The courts, tribunal and agencies referred to under
the letter transmitted to the NBI cannot constitute an action Circular No. 28-91, revised Circular No. 28-91 and
or proceeding because the NBIs functions are merely Administrative Circular No. 04-94 are those vested with
investigatory and informational in nature. NBI has no judicial powers or quasi-judicial powers and those who not
prosecutorial functions or quasi-judicial power and is only hear and determine controversies between adverse
incapable of granting relief or remedy. The NBI cannot be an parties, but to make binding orders or judgments. As
agency contemplated by the circular. succinctly put it by R.A. 157, the NBI is not performing judicial
Issue: or quasi-judicial functions. The NBI cannot therefore be
Whether or not the NBI has no prosecutorial functions or among those forums contemplated by the Circular that can
quasi-judicial power and is incapable of granting relief or entertain an action or proceeding, or even grant any relief,
remedy declaratory or otherwi

Section 1. There is hereby created a Bureau of Investigation
under the Department of Justice which shall have the
following functions:
(a) To undertake investigation of crimes and other offenses
against the laws of the Philippines, upon its initiative
and as public interest may require;
(b) To render assistance, whenever properly requested in the
investigation or detection of crimes and other
(c) To act as a national clearing house of criminal and other
infromations for the benefit and use of the
prosecuting and law-enforcement entities of the
Philippines, identification records of all person
without criminal convictions, records of identifying
marks, characteristics, and ownership or possession
of all firearms as well as bullets fired therefrom;
(d) To give technical aid to all prosecuting and law-
enforcement officers and entities of the Government
as well as the courts that may request its services;
(e) To extend its services, whenever properly requested in the
investigation of cases of administrative or civil
nature in which the Government is interested;
(f) To undertake the instruction and training of representative
number of city and municipal peace officers at the
request of their respective superiors along effective