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Judicial Review

POWER OF THE COURTS


KULANI Olaguer v Domingo 359 SCRA 78 Midzmar Kulani
FACTS: As a government corporation, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation(NHMFC)
provides home financing to people in the lower income bracket. Under its authority, the Community Mortgage
Program (CMP) was introduced to assist residents of blighted areas to own the lots they occupy or the lots
where they shall be relocated through low income financing. Petitioners are all career service professionals of
NHMFC, while respondents are officers of COA. Upon request of Pajaron (GM of Gonzales Construction
Co), Home Insurance Guaranty Corporation (HIGC) conducted an appraisal of the property in Angeles City
for community mortgage purposes. It found that the land is valued at P60/sqm or P600K/ha. Sapang Palay
Community Development Foundation (SPCDFI), serving as a link between community-based orgs and
NHMFC, applied with the latter for a Purchase Commitment Line of P91M to cover various CMP projects,
including an applicationfor a P34M loan by AMAKO, a sub-federation of SPCDFI. However,
this application was not acted upon due to incomplete requirements. Nelson Concepcion, as President of
SPCDFI, applied with NHMFC for accreditation as originator of land and housing projects through a Purchase
Commitment Line, which embraced several project sites including the land in Angeles City (AMAKO
Project). Meanwhile, Task Force on CMP was created within the NHMFC, where Olaguer was appointed as
its head, Salvador as its Executive Assistance and Fuentes as its Unit Head, Documentation and Processing
Unit to act upon the loan applications in connection with community mortgage purposes. AMAKO submitted
another application for accreditation with the NHMFC with an increase in the loan from P34M to P36.8M.
APED (Accreditation and Project Evaluation Department) of NHMFC recommended the approval of the
AMAKO Project and the grant of a loan of P36.8M. Consequently, the NHMFC Board approved the
recommendation. Thereafter, the CMP Task Force (Olaguer et al) conducted an investigation of AMAKO,
where it found several problems regarding the site—non-existence of right of way, lack of public
transportation, charging of beneficiaries beyond the actual cost incurred, land being an interior lot. NHMFC
resident auditor, Razon (another respondent), conducted an audit and disallowed in the audit the loan of
AMAKO (however, the loan was already released by NHMFC) due to non-compliance with
the requirements/documents to be submitted and irregular and excessive expenditures. Moreover, he found
the petitioners, as officers of NHMFC, liable for the release of the loan.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondents (COA officers, NHMFC resident) gravely abused their discretion in
affirming the audit disallowance where petitioner, as officers of NHMFC, were found liable for the loan of
P36.8M to SPCDFI-AMAKO.
Ruling: The Court affirms the ruling of respondent Commission on Audit. As to the other claims raised by
petitioners, suffice it to state that in this jurisdiction, courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed
to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the
special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. With all the more reason should this rule hold
when, as in the instant case, the findings of respondent Razon have been affirmed and reaffirmed along the
administrative heirarchy. Respondent Commission on Audits exercise of its general audit power is among the
constitutional mechanisms that give life to the check and balance system inherent in a republican form of
government such as ours.
LATIP Malabagulo v COMELEC 346 SCRA 699 Jordanna Latip Sali
Facts: Petitioner and private respondent were both candidates for the Punong Barangay in Brgy. 172,
Kalookan City, during the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections. Private respondent was proclaimed as the duly
elected Punong Barangay. Dissatisfied with the results of the canvass, petitioner filed an election protest with
the MTC Kalookan praying for the revision of the ballots and other election documents.
Petitioner contended that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in invalidating 57 ballots cast in favor
or Malabaguio which do not bear the signature of the chairman of the board of inspections, thus, utterly
disregarded the fundamental and statutory rule in the appreciation of ballots that absence of the signature of
the chairmen of the bei at the back of the ballots does not invalidate it.

Ruling: In invalidating the 57 ballots, the COMELEC relied on several laws which basically said that the
signatures of the particular authorities are needed to validate the ballots. However, the Court ruled that “It is
correct to postulate that administrative findings of facts are accorded great respect, and even finality when
supported by substantial evidence. Nevertheless, when it can be shown that administrative bodies grossly
misappreciated evidence of such nature as to compel a contrary conclusion, this Court has not hesitated to
reverse their factual findings. Factual findings of administrative agencies are not infallible and will be set
aside when they fail the test of arbitrariness.”

The COMELEC has already promulgated a new set of rules which states that the failure to authenticate the
ballots shall not invalidate them. Rather, the Board of Election Inspectors shall merely note such failure in the
minutes and declare the failure to authenticate the ballots as an election offense. “Consequently, the absence
of the Chairmen's signature at the back of the ballot should not be a reason to invalidate the 57 ballots which
are genuine. Hence, all votes indicated in these ballots must be counted in favor of the petitioner because the
intent of the voters to vote for him is crystal.”

MANGUBAT Matienzo v Allera 162 SCRA 7


Facts: Petitioners and private respondents are taxicab operators in Metro Manila. The respondents, however,
admit to operate colorum or kabit taxis, thus, they applied for legalization of their unauthorized excess taxis
citing PD 101. Respondent Board set such applications for hearing and granted provisional authority to
operate. Petitioners argue that the Board cannot do this as the six month period in the Transitory Provision has
lapsed and has become functus officio.

Issue: Whether the Board has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petitions for legalization and awarding
special permits to the private respondents

Ruling: Section 1, PD 101, shows a grant of powers to the respondent Board to issue provisional permits as
a step towards the legalization of colorum taxicab operations without the alleged time limitation. There is
nothing in Section 4, cited by the petitioners, to suggest the expiration of such powers six (6) months after
promulgation of the Decree. There is no impediment to the Board's exercise of jurisdiction under its broad
powers under the Public Service Act to issue certificates of public convenience to achieve the avowed purpose
of PD 101.

As a rule, where the jurisdiction of the BOT to take cognizance of an application for legalization is settled,
the Court enjoins the exercise thereof only when there is fraud, abuse of discretion or error of law.
Furthermore, the court does not interfere, as a rule, with administrative action prior to its completion or finality
. It is only after judicial review is no longer premature that we ascertain in proper cases whether the
administrative findings are not in violation of law, whether they are free from fraud or imposition and whether
they find substantial support from the evidence.
SAPHIE Macailing v Andrada
Facts: A dispute over 4 parcels of land in Cotabato arose between plaintiffs, settlers thereon occupying four
hectares each, and Andrada (later substituted by his heirs), sales applicant of a bigger parcel which includes
the lands occupied by plaintiffs. The District Land Officer of Cotabato decided in plaintiffs' favor, excluded
the four parcels of land claimed by plaintiffs. The Director of Lands, however, reversed, declared that the
portions adjudged to the four plaintiffs "shall be restored to the heirs of Andrada."

Appeal was taken to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SANR), reversing the decision by
awarding to plaintiffs the lands they claimed. Defendants sought reconsideration to which the Secretary
denied. Defendants moved once more to reconsider but the Secretary rejected the reconsideration, and ruled
that his judgment in the case "had long become final and executory." Consequently, the said Office has no
more jurisdiction to entertain the said motion.

Defendants appealed to the Office of the President. In a letter-decision, Assistant Executive Secretary Quema,
by authority of the President, reversed the decision of the Secretary and declared that the lands involved
"should be restored to the heirs of Andrada to be included in their individual applications."

Plaintiffs filed a suit before the CFI in Cotabato raising the issue of finality of the decision of the Secretary.

Issue: Whether the decision of SANR is final and executory; whether the CFI has jurisdiction over the case

Ruling: The decision has become final and executory. Rule of res judicata which forbids the reopening of a
matter once judicially determined by competent authority applies as well to the judicial and quasi-judicial acts
of administrative officers and boards acting within their jurisdiction as to the judgments of courts having
general judicial powers. The Court held that the decision of the Assistant Executive Secretary reversing the
decision of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources is null and void and of no effect.

Mere silence of a statute on availability of judicial review does not necessarily imply that it is unavailable

The pertinent statutory provision, Section 44 (h) of the Judiciary Act of 1948, reads: "Courts of First Instance
shall have original jurisdiction ... (h) Said court and their judges, or any of them, shall have the power to issue
writ of injunction, mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto and habeas corpus in their respective
provinces and district in the manner provided in the Rules of Court." Complementary thereto is Section 4,
Rule 65, Rules of Court, 4 providing that: "The petition may be filed ... if it relates to the acts or omissions of
an inferior court, or of a corporation, board, officer or person, in a Court of First instance having jurisdiction
thereof."

Hence, even if the action done is not within the jurisdiction of the CFI, "The Preliminary injunction that may
be granted by a court of first instance under said Section 2 [Rule 58] is, in its application, co-extensive with
the territorial boundaries of the province or district in which the said court sits. Therefore, CFI has jurisdiction
over the said case.

YAP JOSE VS. ARROYO GR. NO. 78435 (unsigned resolution)


The resolution in Jose v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 78435, (unsigned resolution dated August 11, 1987) is cited to
justify the termination without cause of the services of public officers and employees.
In this case, the Court of Appeals states that the provisions of Section 16, Art. XVIII of the Constitution
explicitly "authorize the removal of career civil service employees not for cause but as a result of the
reorganization pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 and the reorganization following the
ratification of this Constitution.'"
Points:
1. The Arroyo v. Jose ruling is obiter dictum because Leonardo Jose's petition was "clearly premature,
speculative, and purely anticipatory." There was no reorganization yet.
2. Arroyo v. Jose is an unsigned resolution where the nuances of the Court's pronouncements cannot possibly
be ventilated as in a full-blown decision like Palma- Fernandez; and
3. Palma-Fernandez Case is a later ruling which, in case of an inconsistency (actually more imagined than
real), supersedes the earlier dictum.

Doctrines
PRIMARY JURISDICTION
EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

ALBA Brett v IAC 191 SCRA 687


FACTS: June Prill Brett was given the preferential right to explore, exploit, develop and lease the area covered
by her MAMAKAR mining claims in Benguet. This decision was appealed by the Guilles to then Ministry of
Natural Resources. Minister Pena dismissed the appeal. When a MR was filed, the case was already final and
executory. Notwithstanding its finality, the Minister reversed itself and made the original decision void ab
initio. Brett sought the reconsideration of the decision and prayed for a status quo order to the Secretary for
Legal Affairs of the Office of the Minister of Natural Resources. The latter issued the status quo order and
directed the respondents to answer the motion within 5 days from receipt of the order. However, none of the
respondents complied therewith.

With the MR still unresolved, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for
preliminary injunction in the SC contending that the Minister acted with GADALEJ. It was remanded to the
CA for determination, which denied the petition for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. While pending
litigation in the SC, Brett wrote a letter to the new Minister, Ernesto Maceda praying for the reinstatement of
the original decision made by his predecessor. Maceda granted petitioner's prayer. Upon notification to the
Guilles of said decision, they filed before the SC to declare such decision null and void, being without
jurisdiction. They also filed the same with the CA. They likewise made an appeal to the Office of the President.
The CA reconsidered its decision dismissing the petition holding that petitioner failed to exhaust
administrative remedies and for which the petition and the writ for PI must be dismissed invoking PD 605*.

Hence, Brett filed this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 to annul the decision of CA contending
that the case at bar is an instance where resort to administrative remedies was no longer necessary and
advisable since it is one where the recognized exceptions to the doctrine come into play. She manifestly refers
to, among the other exceptions; Minister Peña’s alleged patent lack of jurisdiction in reversing his previous
decision which she claims had already become final and executory. Concerning respondent court’s invocation
of PD No. 605, she submits that the same does not authorize the courts to shed or abdicate their inherent
judicial authority.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent court erred in dismissing petitioner’s original action for certiorari on the
ground of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies

RULING: Yes, while it is true that in our jurisdiction, unless otherwise provided by law or required by public
interest, before bringing an action in or resorting to the courts of justice, all remedies of administrative
character affecting or determinative of the controversy at that level should first be exhausted by the aggrieved
party. However, the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is not a hard and fast rule. Among the
exceptions is when the assailed act, order or decision is patently illegal or was performed or issued without
jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction.

In the case at bar, Minister Peña gravely abused his discretion in reversing his original decision which
precisely prompted petitioner to forthwith invoke the jurisdiction of the courts. It constituted as an exceptions
which would justify his’ resort to the special civil action for certiorari in lieu of the appeal to the OP.
Consequently, Brett’s failure to appeal to the OP from the decision of Minister Peña cannot also be considered
a violation of the rule as the latter is the alter ego of the President and, under the doctrine of qualified political
agency, his action is deemed to be that of the President.

*Presidential Decree No. 605

"SECTION 1. No court of the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order, preliminary
injunction or preliminary mandatory injunction in any case involving or growing out of the issuance, approval
or disapproval, revocation or suspension of, or any action whatsoever by the proper administrative official or
body on concessions, licenses, permits, patents or public grants of any kind in connection with the disposition,
exploitation, utilization, exploration and/or development of the natural resources of the Philippines."

RIPENESS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW

ALDENESE Smart v NTC 408 SCRA 678


Facts: Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers, the National Telecommunications Commission
(NTC) issued on June 16, 2000 Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000, promulgating rules and regulations on
the billing of telecommunications services. Among its pertinent provisions are the following:

(1) The billing statements shall be received by the subscriber of the telephone service not later than 30 days
from the end of each billing cycle. In case the statement is received beyond this period, the subscriber shall
have a specified grace period within which to pay the bill and the public telecommunications entity (PTEs)
shall not be allowed to disconnect the service within the grace period.

(2) There shall be no charge for calls that are diverted to a voice mailbox, voice prompt, recorded message or
similar facility excluding the customers own equipment.

(3) PTEs shall verify the identification and address of each purchaser of prepaid SIM cards. Prepaid call cards
and SIM cards shall be valid for at least 2 years from the date of first use. Holders of prepaid SIM cards shall
be given 45 days from the date the prepaid SIM card is fully consumed but not beyond 2 years and 45 days
from date of first use to replenish the SIM card, otherwise the SIM card shall be rendered invalid. The validity
of an invalid SIM card, however, shall be installed upon request of the customer at no additional charge except
the presentation of a valid prepaid call card.

Petitioners Islacom and Piltel alleged, inter alia, that the NTC has no jurisdiction to regulate the sale of
consumer goods such as the prepaid call cards since such jurisdiction belongs to the Department of Trade and
Industry under the Consumer Act of the Philippines; that the Billing Circular is oppressive, confiscatory and
violative of the constitutional prohibition against deprivation of property without due process of law.

Issue: Whether the NTC has jurisdiction to regulate the sale of consumer goods such as prepaid cards.

Ruling: The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate, which are the product of a
delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law, should
be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. It is
required that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law, and be not in contradiction to,
but in conformity with, the standards prescribed by law.

Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules and regulations may be promulgated
by an administrative body, as well as with respect to what fields are subject to regulation by it. It may not
make rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a statute,
particularly the statute it is administering or which created it, or which are in derogation of, or defeat, the
purpose of a statute. In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative order, the former must prevail.

AVILA Honasan v Panel of Investigating Prosecutors 427 SCRA 48


FACTS: Senator Gringo Honasan was charged with the crime of coup d’etat before DOJ. , Capt. Gerardo
Gambala, for and in behalf of the military rebels occupying Oakwood, made a public statement aired on nation
television, stating their withdrawal of support to the chain of command of the AFP and the Government of
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and they are willing to risk their lives in order to achieve the National
Recovery Agenda of Sen. Honasan, which they believe is the only program that would solve the ills of society.
Subpoena was issued for preliminary investigation.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Clarification questioning DOJ's jurisdiction over the case, asserting that
since the imputed acts were committed in relation to his public office, it is the Office of the Ombudsman, not
the DOJ, that has the jurisdiction to conduct the corresponding preliminary investigation; that should the
charge be filed in court, it is the Sandiganbayan, not the regular courts, that can legally take cognizance of the
case considering that he belongs to the group of public officials with Salary Grade 31.He is directed to file a
counter-affidavit, but instead Senator Gregorio B. Honasan II filed the herein petition for certiorari under
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against the DOJ Panel and its members, CIDG-PNP-P/Director Eduardo
Matillano and Ombudsman Simeon V. Marcelo, attributing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the DOJ
Panel in issuing the aforequoted Order on the ground that the DOJ has no jurisdiction to conduct the
preliminary investigation.

Honasan’s contention: Ombudsman and not DOJ has the jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigation
over all public officials, including him as he is a senator. Since, Honasan is charged with coup d’etat in relation
to his office. As according the Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, it confers to the Ombudsman the power to
investigate moto proprio, or by complaint of any person, any act or omission that appears to be illegal, unjust,
improper, or inefficient. Petitioner rationalizes that the 1987 Administrative Code and the Ombudsman Act
of 1989 cannot prevail over the Constitution.

DOJ’s contention: DOJ has the jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigation pursuant to the Revised
Administrative Code. And Coup d’etat is not directly related to his public office as a senator. Thus, the
jurisdiction of the DOJ is a statutory grant and is not derived from provisions of the joint circular.

Ombudsman’s contention: DOJ has the jurisdiction because coup d’etat falls under the Sandiganbayan only if
it’s committed in relation to office. Thus, Joint Circulat need not be published because it is merely an internal
arrangement between DOJ and Ombudsman and it neither regulates nor penalizes conduct of persons.

ISSUE: Whether the Ombudsman’s primary jurisdiction precludes the DOJ to conduct preliminary
investigation.

RULING: No. While it may be true that the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute any
illegal act or omission of any public official, the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate is merely a
primary and not an exclusive authority, thus:
The Ombudsman is indeed empowered under Section 15, paragraph (1) of RA 6770 to investigate and
prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official. However as we held only two years ago in the case
of Aguinaldo vs. Domagas, this authority "is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent
authority in respect of the offense charged."
Petitioners finally assert that the information and amended information filed in this case needed the
approval of the Ombudsman. It is not disputed that the information and amended information here did not
have the approval of the Ombudsman. However, we do not believe that such approval was necessary at all. In
Deloso v. Domingo, 191 SCRA 545 (1990), the Court held that the Ombudsman has authority to investigate
charges of illegal acts or omissions on the part of any public official, i.e., any crime imputed to a public
official. It must, however, be pointed out that the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate "any [illegal] act
or omission of any public official" (191 SCRA 550) is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or
concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged, i.e., the crime of sedition. Thus, the non-involvement
of the office of the Ombudsman in the present case does not have any adverse legal consequence upon the
authority of the panel of prosecutors to file and prosecute the information or amended information.
In other words the provision of the law has opened up the authority to conduct preliminary
investigation of offenses cognizable by the Sandiganbayan to all investigatory agencies of the government
duly authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation under Section 2, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure with the only qualification that the Ombudsman may take over at any stage of such investigation
in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction.

BAIDDIN Crisostomo v SEC 179 SCRA 146]


FACTS: Crisostomo is a minority stockholder of the United Doctors Medical Center. He is also the director
and legal counsel of UDMC. The said hospital was unable to pay its P55 million debt incurred from the
Development Bank of the Philippines hence it faced foreclosure. In order to avoid foreclosure, Crisostomo
and some others were able to convince Japanese doctors to invest in the hospital which the latter eventually
did, investing P57 million in said hospital. As it had been agreed that upon the Japanese doctors’ acquisition
of the controlling interest in UDMC, the corporation would be reorganized, a special stockholders' meeting
and board of directors' meeting were scheduled to be held on August 20, 1988. However, on the eve of the
meetings, Sixto Crisostomo, supposedly acting for himself, filed SEC Case No. 3420, to stop the holding of
the stockholder's and board of directors' meetings.
Two weeks later, on September 2, 1988, Crisostomo filed Civil Case No. 88-1823 in the Regional Trial
Court of Makati, Metro Manila, where he also sought a preliminary injunction and the Identical reliefs prayed
for by him in SEC Case No. 3420. It was dismissed by the trial court for lack of jurisdiction and is pending
appeal in the Court of Appeals.
On September 13, 1988, the hearing officer, Esteves, granted the application for a writ of preliminary
injunction enjoining the respondents... from holding the special meeting of the stockholders. The private
respondents' motion for reconsideration of this order was denied. The respondents appealed by certiorari to
the SEC en banc which set aside the preliminary injunction issued by Esteves.
Sixto Crisostomo sought a review of the SEC's en banc resolution in the Court of Appeals, which the
latter dismissed and lifted the temporary restraining order that it had issued against the SEC's resolution.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals required the private respondents to
comment but it denied the petitioner's motion to reinstate the writ of preliminary injunction,
On motion of the private respondents, the SEC en banc issued an order on June 27, 1989 directing the
secretary of UDMC to call a special stockholders' meeting to elect a new board of directors and officers of the
corporation . Petitioner asked the SEC to recall that order on account of his pending motion for reconsideration
in the Court of Appeals. The motion was opposed by the private respondents. On July 21, 1989, the SEC
denied petitioner's motion . Whereupon, he filed this petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for
preliminary injunction alleging that the SEC en banc abused its discretion in setting aside Esteves' orders.
The public and private respondents, in their comments on the petition, asked that the petition be dismissed
and that the petitioner be cited for contempt for forum-shopping.
ISSUES: 1) whether the SEC en banc erred in reversing the orders of the hearing officer, Esteves; 2)
Whether or not Crisostomo is guilty of forum shopping.
RULING: We find no merit in the petition. The first allegation that the SEC en banc erred in reversing the
orders of the hearing officer, Esteves, is the same ground raised by the petitioner in CA-G.R. No. SP 17435.
The issue is frivolous for the authority of the SEC en banc to review, revise, reverse, or affirm orders of its
hearing officers is too elementary to warrant any debate.
The SEC's orders dated June 27, 1989 and July 21, 1989 (directing the secretary of UDMC to call a
stockholders' meeting, etc.) are not premature, despite the petitioner's then pending motion for reconsideration
of the decision of the Court of Appeals. The lifting by the Court of Appeals of its writ of preliminary injunction
in CA-G.R. SP No. 17435 cleared the way for the implementation by the SEC's en banc resolution in SEC EB
Case No. 191. The SEC need not wait for the Court of Appeals to resolve the petitioner's motion for
reconsideration for a judgment decreeing the dissolution of a preliminary injunction is immediately executory.
It "shall not be stayed after its rendition and before an appeal is taken or during the pendency of an appeal."
(Sec. 4, Rule 39, Rules of Court)
On the issue of forum-shopping, records show that Crisostomo had two actions pending in the Court of
Appeals when he filed the petition for certiorari in this Court; 1) his appeal from the decision of the Regional
Trial Court of Makati, dismissing his complaint for annulment of the Memorandum of Agreement between
UDMC and the Japanese investors; and 2) his petition for certiorari to review the SEC's en banc resolution
upholding those transactions and ordering the holding of a stockholders meeting. Notwithstanding the
pendency of those two cases in the Court of Appeals, Crisostomo filed this petition for certiorari 1 and
prohibition where he raises the same issues that he raised in the Court of Appeals.
Additionally, in his petition for review he prays this Court to giant "all the reliefs" prayed for. Here is a
clear case of forum-shopping.
There is forum-shopping whenever as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a
favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another. The principle applies not only with
respect to suits filed in the courts but also in connection with litigations commenced in the courts while
an administrative proceeding is pending, as in this case, in order to defeat administrative processes and in
anticipation of an unfavorable administrative ruling and a favorable court ruling. This is specially so, as
in this case, where the court in which the second suit was brought, has no jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, these petitions are dismissed for lack of merit. The temporary restraining order which this
Court issued is hereby lifted. The Court of Appeals is ordered to immediately dismiss CA-G.R. CV No. 20285.
The petitioner and his counsel are censured for engaging in forum-shopping. The petitioner is further ordered
to pay double costs in this instance.

DALIS Estrada v CA 462 SCRA 117


Facts: Petitioners, as concerned citizens and taxpayers, filed before the RTC of Olongapo City, a complaint
for Injunction and Damages with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against
Bacnotan Cement Corp. (BCC), Wawandue Fishing Port, Inc. (WFPI), Jeffrey Khong Hun as President of
WFPI, Manuel Molina as Mayor of Subic, Zambales, and Ricardo Serrano as Regional Director of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The complaint alleges that: WFPI and the Municipality of Subic entered into an illegal lease contract, which
in turn became the basis of a sub-lease in favor of BCC; the sub-lease between WFPI and BCC is a violation
of the first lease because the cement plant, which BCC intended to operate in Wawandue, Subic, Zambales,
is not related to the fish port business of WFPI; and BCCs cement plant is a nuisance because it will cause
pollution, endanger the health, life and limb of the residents and deprive them of the full use and enjoyment
of their properties

Defendants filed separate motions to dismiss. They alleged that the complaint states no cause of action. BCC,
in its motion, added that: the plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies before going to court; that
the complaint was premature; and that the RTC has no jurisdiction on the matter. Respondent Serrano of the
DENR also filed a motion to dismiss stating that there was no cause of action insofar as he is concerned since
there was nothing in the complaint that shows any dereliction of duty on his part.

RTC issued an order denying respondents motions to dismiss and granting the prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction. Defendants’ motion for reconsiderations was also denied. They went to the CA.

CA reversed the decision of RTC and denied the subsequent motion for reconsideration of the petitioners due
to non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. CA ruled that DENR and not the RTC has the jurisdiction over
the case.

Issue: Whether petitioner’s claim is correct when they alleged that their case is an exception to the “non-
exhaustion of administrative remedies” rule
Ruling: SC denied the petition. They affirmed the CA’s ruling. While the doctrine of exhaustion of
administrative remedies is flexible and may be disregarded in certain instances, such as:
(1) when there is a violation of due process,
(2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question,
(3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,
(4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned,
(5) when there is irreparable injury,
(6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President
bears [sic] the implied and assumed approval of the latter,
(7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable,
(8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim,
(9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings,
(10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy,
(11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention,
(12) when no administrative review is provided by law,
(13) where the rule of qualified political agency applies, and
(14) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot.

The instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptional circumstances. The Court of Appeals
correctly found that the petitioners failed to exhaust administrative remedies before going to court which
renders their complaint dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of action.

DECIN Sunville Timber Products v Abad GR No. 85502


Non-observance of the doctrine although not jurisdictional results in lack of a cause of action which is one of
the grounds allowed in the Rules of Court for the dismissal of the complaint. One of the reasons for the
doctrine of exhaustion is the separation of powers which enjoins upon the Judiciary a becoming policy of non-
interference with matters coming primarily within the competence of the other departments. Exceptional cases
when the doctrine may be dispensed with and judicial action validly resorted to immediately.
FACTS: The petitioner was granted a Timber License Agreement (TLA), authorizing it to cut, remove and
utilize timber within the concession area covering 29,500 hectares of forest land in Zamboanga del Sur, for a
period of ten years. The herein private respondents filed a petition with the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources for the cancellation of the TLA on the ground of serious violations of its conditions and
the provisions of forestry laws and regulations.

The same charges were subsequently made, also by the herein private respondents, in a complaint for
injunction with damages against the petitioner in the Regional Trial Court of Pagadian City.

The petitioner moved to dismiss this case on three grounds, to wit: 1) the court had no jurisdiction over the
complaint; 2) the plaintiffs had not yet exhausted administrative remedies; and 3) the injunction sought was
expressly prohibited by section 1 of PD 605.

Judge Alfonso G. Abad denied the motion to dismiss and the motion for reconsideration. The petitioner then
elevated the matter to the respondent Court of Appeals, which sustained the trial court in a and in its resolution
the motion for reconsideration.

The Court of Appeals held that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not without
exception and pointed to the several instances approved by this Court where it could be dispensed with. The
respondent court found that in the case before it, the applicable exception was the urgent need for judicial
intervention.

The petitioner is now before the Court, contending that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
was not correctly applied and that the declaration of the unconstitutionality of Section 1 of PD 605 was
improper.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is a need to exhaust all administrative remedies

RULING: No; Even if it be assumed that the forestry laws do not expressly require prior resort to
administrative remedies, the reasons for the doctrine above given, if nothing else, would suffice to still require
its observance. Even if such reasons were disregarded, there would still be the explicit language of pertinent
laws vesting in the DENR the power and function "to regulate the development, disposition, extraction,
exploration and use of the country's forests" and "to exercise exclusive jurisdiction" in the "management and
disposition of all lands of the public domain," and in the Forest Management Bureau (formerly the Bureau of
Forest Development) the responsibility for the enforcement of the forestry laws aid regulations here claimed
to have been violated. This comprehensive conferment clearly implies at the very least that the DENR should
be allowed to rule in the first instance on any controversy coming under its express powers before the courts
of justice may intervene.

NOTE: The Court enumerate a number of instances when the doctrine may be dispensed with and judicial
action may validly resorted immediately. These exceptional cases are:

1) when the question raised is purely legal;


2) when the administrative body is in estoppel;
3) when the act complained of is patently illegal;
4) when there is urgent need for judicial intervention;
5) when the claim involved is small;
6) when irreparable damage will be suffered;
7) when there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy;
8) when strong public interest is involved;
9) when the subject of the controversy is private land; and
10) in quo warranto proceedings.