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G.R. No. 134625
August 31, 1999
313 SCRA 404

FACTS: Respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine enrolled in the doctoral program in
Anthropology of the UP CSSP Diliman. She already completed the units of course work required and finished
her dissertation and was ready for oral defense.

After going over her dissertation, Dr. Medina informed CSSP Dean Paz that she committed plagiarism.
However, respondent was allowed to defend her dissertation. Four out of the five panelists gave a passing
mark except Dr. Medina.

UP held meeting against her case and some of the panels indicated disapproval. Hence, she expressed her
disappointments over the CSSP administration and warned Dean Paz. However, Dean Paz request the
exclusion of Celine’s name from the list of candidates for graduation but it did not reach the Board of
Regents on time, hence Celine graduated.

Dr. Medina formally charged private respondent with plagiarism and recommended that the doctorate
granted to her be withdrawn. Dean Paz informed private respondent of the charges against her.

CSSP College Assembly unanimously approved the recommendation to withdraw private respondent's
doctorate degree.

The Board sent her a letter indicating that they resolved to withdraw her Doctorate Degree recommended
by the University Council.

She sought an audience with the Board of Regents and/or the U.P. President, which request was denied by

Hence, Celine then filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction and damages, alleging that petitioners had unlawfully withdrawn her degree without justification
and without affording her procedural due process.

ISSUE: Whether or not Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine was deprived of her right to substantive due

RULING: No. Respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine was indeed heard several times.

Several committees and meetings had been formed to investigate the charge that private respondent had
committed plagiarism and she was heard in her defense.

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain one's side of
a controversy or a chance seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A party who has
availed of the opportunity to present his position cannot tenably claim to have been denied due process.

In the case at bar, Celine was informed in writing of the charges against her and given opportunities to
answer them. She was asked to submit her written explanation which she submitted. She, as well, met with
the U.P. chancellor and the members of the Zafaralla committee to discuss her case. In addition, she sent
several letters to the U.P. authorities explaining her position.

It is not tenable for private respondent to argue that she was entitled to have an audience before the Board
of Regents. Due process in an administrative context does not require trial-type proceedings similar to
those in the courts of justice. It is noteworthy that the U.P. Rules do not require the attendance of persons
whose cases are included as items on the agenda of the Board of Regents.

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