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QUASHA VS. SEC 2.

WON resolution of the issues w/o a full blown hearing on the merits deprived
G.R. No. L-47536 / MAY 31, 1978 / TEEHANKEE, J./ADMIN-Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies/JMB petitioner of due process – YES
NATURE Resolution  The questions raised by petitioner in his pending complaints with respondent
PETITIONERS William H. Quasha commission warrant “a full­blown trial on the merits” after which the main issues may
RESPONDENTS Securities and Exchange Commission and Manila Polo Club Inc. be duly adjudicated as contended by him, and since respondents likewise concur in this
stand, the case will be remanded to respondent commission for such trial and
SUMMARY. The SEC Hearing Officer denied the application of Quasha for injunctive relief, determination on the merits, (e.g. Assuming that the club may properly be converted
to restrain the sale of proprietary shares of Manila Polo Club, on December 22, 1977 (at the into a proprietary club, should a relatively new member not proportionally pay more for
height of the Christmas holidays) and a few days before the deadline given by the Club to its a proprietary share than others who have been supporting the club (and previously paid
members in buying such shares. Quasha, without appealing to the SEC En Banc, raised the special assessments for 10, 20, or 30 years?)
case to the SC. The SC held that the filing of the petition was proper, since the appeal to the  The temporary restraining order issued by the Court shall be lifted, subject to the
SEC En Banc was not a remedy plain, speedy, and adequate enough. condition advanced by respondent commission that should the questioned
DOCTRINE. The filing of an appeal to the SEC En Banc within 30 days is not a plain, speedy amendments be annulled after trial on the merits of the case before it, “all payments
and adequate remedy, when the denial of the Hearing Officer was rendered just a few days made pursuant to the nullified conversion into a proprietary club would be refunded to
before the deadline of the event sought to be enjoined and during the height of the the members” who purchased the proprietary shares. In fairness to petitioner and
Christmas holidays. others similarly situated, as well as all others who did not or were not able to purchase
the questioned proprietary shares before the original December 28, 1977 deadline,
FACTS. respondent club is ordered to grant them an extended period of at least two (2) weeks
 Quasha filed complaints with the SEC against the filing of Manila Polo Club’s (MPC) after notice within which to purchase the proprietary shares, whether under protest (in
Amended Articles of Incorporation and Amended By-Laws converting it into a petitioner’s case) or not, subject of course as in the case of the previous purchasers to
proprietary club, alleging that such amendments would enable the members to the final outcome and determination of the case pending before respondent
appropriate the club’s property and use it as their contribution to the ‘new’ club, commission.
essentially negating the accrued contributions of past and present members’ (including
his) money, time, effort and foresight for a paltry proprietary membership fee (plus DECISION.
they allegedly had not been adopted by the required two-thirds vote). Case remanded to respondent commission for a full trial and hearing and determination on
 Manila Polo fixed December 28, 1977 the deadline for purchasing proprietary shares. the merits and restraining order lifted immediately.
 SEC through a hearing officer denied such injunctive relief for lack of merit only on
December 22, 1977. NOTES.
 Hence this petition with prayer for a restraining order enjoining MPC from selling
proprietary shares (the latter later issued by the Court on Dec. 27, 1977). The limited time in this case is an exception to the requirement of exhaustion of
 The SEC raised as an issue the fact that Quasha failed to exhaust all administrative administrative remedies. Time was of the essence.
remedies before the filing of this petition, alleging that Quasha should have first
appealed with the SEC en banc.

ISSUES & RATIO.


1. WON petitioner failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing with the
court – NO

Time was of the essence, and so appeal to the SEC en banc was not a plain, speedy,
and and adequate remedy.
 In view of the extremely limited time, with the commission’s hearing officer having
issued his questioned order denying injunctive relief only on December 22, 1977 at the
height of the Christmas holidays with just a few days before the scheduled deadline of
December 28, 1977, petitioner properly filed the present petition directly with this Court
without going through the prescribed procedure of filing an appeal with respondent
Commission en banc within the 30-day reglementary period since such recourse was
obviously not a plain, speedy and adequate remedy.
REPUBLIC v. SANDIGANBAYAN Rule 9, expressly authorizes the filing of such motion at any stage of the proceedings
G.R. No. 112708-09 / MAR 29, 1996 / REYES, J.B.L., J. / ADMIN-JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE when it is based upon failure to state a cause of action.
DECISIONS-EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES / RPNICOLAS These principles, at first impression, appear to favor the PCGG. Sections 5 and 6 of the
NATURE: Petition for Review of decision of Sandiganbayan PCGG Rules and Regulations indeed provide an administrative mechanism for persons
PETITIONERS: Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) or entities contesting the sequestration orders issued against them.
RESPONDENTS: Sandiganbayan, Sipalay Trading Corp. and Allied Banking Corp. Section 5. - Who may contest - The person against whom a writ of sequestration or
freeze or hold order is directed may request the lifting thereof in writing, either
SUMMARY. PCGG issued sequestration orders against Sipalay Trading Corp. and Allied personally or through counsel within 5 days from the receipt of the writ of order.
Banking Corp. Two separate petitions were filed by Sipalay and Allied before the SC Section 6. - Procedure for Review of writ or order - After due hearing or motu propio for
assailing the sequestration orders. It was referred to the Sandiganbayan. PCGG filed a good cause shown, the Commission may lift the writ or order unconditionally or subject
motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. to such condition as it may deem necessary, taking into consideration the evidence and
Sandiganbayan denied the motion and voided orders against Sipalay and Allied. circumstances of the case. The resolution of the Commission may be appealed by the
party concerned to the Office of the President of the Philippines within15 days from
DOCTRINE. A direct action in court without prior exhaustion of administrative remedies, receipt thereof.
when required, is premature, warranting its dismissal on a motion to dismiss grounded Neither an initial request before the PCGG for the lifting of the sequestration orders nor
on lack of cause of action. The only effect of noncompliance with this rule is that it will an appeal to the Office of the President was made by Sipalay and Allied before they
deprive the complainant of a cause of action, which is a ground for a motion to dismiss. filed their respective petitions in court. The PCGG’s motion to dismiss was anchored on
If not invoked at the proper time, this ground is deemed waived and the court can take lack of cause of action, albeit filed beyond the period to answer.
cognizance of the case and try it. However, the peculiarities of this case preclude the rightful application of the principles
aforestated. The Sipalay and Allied petitions were both filed on the third quarter of
FACTS. 1986, while the PCGG decided to file its motion to dismiss only in the middle of 1993.
 Petitioner PCGG issued separate sequestration orders against Sipalay Trading Nearly 7 years came to pass in between that so much has already transpired in the
Corporation and Allied Banking Corporation, allegedly part of Lucio Tan’s ill-gotten proceedings during the interregnum. Sipalay and Allied had rested their cases, and the
wealth. PCGG had finished presenting all its witnesses, not to mention other various motions
 2 separate petitions were filed by Sipalay and Allied before the SC assailing the and incidents already disposed of by the Sandiganbayan, with special attention to the
sequestration orders. The SC referred the cases to the Sandiganbayan for proper numerous postponements granted the PCGG for presentation of its evidence which
disposition. prevented an earlier termination of the proceedings. The motion to dismiss came only
 The petitions were jointly heard. The Sandiganbayan ordered the submission by PCGG at the penultimate stage of the proceedings where the remaining task left for the PCGG
of its formal evidence in writing, but the latter instead filed a Motion to Dismiss. This was to file its written formal offer of evidence as required by the Sandiganbayan.
motion to dismiss came nearly 7 years after Sipalay and Allied originally filed their Failure to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not affect
petitions before the SC. The ground was Sipalay’s and Allied’s alleged failure to the jurisdiction of the Court. We have repeatedly stressed this in a long line of decisions.
exhaust administrative remedies. The only effect of non-compliance with this rule is that it will deprive the complainant
 The PCGG argued that Sipalay and Allied should have first appealed the sequestration of a cause of action, which is a ground for a motion to dismiss. If not invoked at the
orders to the Office of the President before challenging them in court, invoking the proper time, this ground is deemed waived and the court can take cognizance of the
PCGG Rules and Regulations. case and try it.
 The Sandiganbayan denied the motion and voided the orders issued against Sipalay The length of time the PCGG allowed to drift away and its decision to file its motion to
and Allied. dismiss only at the homestretch of the trial hardly qualify as “proper time.” Such tarried
maneuver made the PCGG guilty of estoppel by laches - “Laches has been defined as
ISSUES & RATIO. the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that
1. WON Sandiganbayan’s denial of PCGG’s motion to dismiss is proper. –YES which by exercising due diligence could nor should have been done earlier; it is
Hardly can it be disputed that a direct action in court without prior exhaustion of negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a
administrative remedies, when required, is premature, warranting its dismissal on a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to
motion to dismiss grounded on lack of cause of action. The Court approves of the filing assert it.”
of a motion to dismiss based upon failure to state a cause of action at any stage of the With its undenied belated action, 7 years in the making at that, it is only proper to
proceedings. presume with conclusiveness that the PCGG has abandoned or declined to assert what
As a general rule, a motion to dismiss is interposed before the defendant pleads (Sec 1 it bewailed as the Sipalay and Allied petitions’ lack of cause of action. “Proper time”
Rule 16 Rules of Court). However, there is no rule or law prohibiting the defendant from cannot mean nor sanction an unexplained and unreasonable length of time such as 7
filing a motion to dismiss after an answer had been filed. On the contrary, Section 2 of years. The leniency extended by the Rules (Rule 9, Section 2, Rules of Court) and by
jurisprudence in allowing a motion to dismiss based on lack of cause of action filed
after the answer or at any stage of the proceedings cannot be invoked to cover-up and
validate the onset of laches - or the failure to do something which should be done or to
claim or enforce a right at a proper time which, in this case, was one of the PCGG’s
follies. Indeed, in matters of timeliness, “indecent waste” is just as reprehensible as
“indecent haste.”
Another equally forceful reason warranting the denial of the PCGG’s motion to dismiss
is that this case falls under two recognized exceptions to the general rule of prior
exhaustion of administrative remedies, and the Sandiganbayan’s brief but lucid
disquisition on one exception merits this Court’s approval.
“The rule on non-exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply to petitioners’
case. This rule, which is based on sound public policy and practical considerations, is not
inflexible. It is subject to many exceptions, to wit: (i) where there is estoppel on the part
of the party invoking the doctrine; (ii) where the challenged administrative act is
patently illegal amounting to lack of jurisdiction; (iii) where there is unreasonable delay
or official inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant; and (iv) where the
question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to be decided by the courts of
justice. x x x there was no absolute necessity of appealing respondent PCGG’s
resolution to the Office of the President, as purportedly required by Section 6 of the
PCGG Rules and Regulations, inasmuch as respondent PCGG seemed to have exhibited
indifference towards petitioners’ pleas for the lifting of the sequestration and search
and seizure orders. Official inaction or unreasonable delay, as heretofore intimated, is
one of the exceptions to the rule on non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. Hence,
under the circumstance, petitioners may not be faulted for seeking relief directly from
the courts.”
The other exception is the first in the enumeration, i.e., “where there is estoppel on the
part of the party invoking the doctrine,” consisting in the PCGG’s being guilty of
estoppel by laches which has just been discussed in great length. In answer therefore to
the first key issue, this Court rules in the affirmative. The denial of the PCGG’s motion
to dismiss was in order.

DECISION.
The petition is dismissed.
PAAT V CA his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before court’s judicial power can
G.R. No. 111107/ January 10, 1997/ Torres, Jr., J../ADMIN – Express Conferment of Judicial Review/Miggy be sought. The premature invocation of court’s intervention is fatal to one’s cause of action.
NATURE PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals Accordingly, absent any finding of waiver or estoppel the case is susceptible of dismissal for
PETITIONERS Paat and Layugan of DENR lack of cause of action. This doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not
RESPONDENTS CA and Spouses De Guzman without its practical and legal reasons, for one thing, availment of administrative remedy
SUMMARY. The truck of de Guzman was seized for failure to produce the required entails lesser expenses and provides for a speedier disposition of controversies.
documents for the forest products found in the truck. The spouses de Guzman filed a letter
of reconsideration which went to the Secretary of DENR. Pending resolution, however, they The principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies as tested by a battery of cases is not
filed a suit for replevin in the court. SC held that the principle of exhaustion of administrative an ironclad rule. This doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the
remedies was not observed. peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. Hence, it is
DOCTRINE. Before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court, it is a disregarded (1) when there is a violation of due process, (2) when the issue involved is purely
pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processes a legal question, (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or
afforded him. 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
FACTS. secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed
 The truck of Victoria de Guzman was seized by the DENR because the driver could not approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be
produce the required documents for the forest products found concealed in the truck. unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject
o The truck was on its way from Cagayan to Bulacan matter is a private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain,
 Jovito Layugan, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency
in Aritao, Cagayan, issued an order of confiscation of the truck and gave the owner 15 of judicial intervention
days within which to submit an explanation why the truck should not be forfeited.
 Spouses failed to submit an explanation so Regional Executive Director Rogelio In the case at hand, the controversy was pending before the Secretary of DENR. private
Baggayan of DENR ordered the forfeiture of the truck, pursuant to Section 68-A of respondents clearly recognize the presence of an administrative forum to which they seek to
Presidential Decree No. 705 as amended by Executive Order No. 277. avail, as they did avail, in the resolution of their case. By appealing to him, they
 The spouses de Guzman filed a letter of reconsideration which went to the Secretary of acknowledged the existence of an adequate and plain remedy still available and open to
DENR after Baggayan denied this. them in the ordinary course of the law. Thus, they cannot now, without violating the
 Pending resolution however of the appeal, a suit for replevin was filed by the private principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies, seek the court’s intervention by filing an
respondents against petitioner Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan in RTC action for replevin for the grant of their relief during the pendency of an administrative
Cagayan proceedings.
 RTC Cagayan issued a writ ordering the return of the truck
 Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan filed a motion to dismiss with the trial court Moreover, it is important to point out that the enforcement of forestry laws, rules and
contending that private respondents had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust regulations and the protection, development and management of forest lands fall within the
administrative remedies. They averred that the truck was under administrative seizure primary and special responsibilities of the Department of Environment and Natural
proceedings pursuant to Section 68-A of P.D. 705, as amended by E.O. 277. Resources. By the very nature of its function, the DENR should be given a free hand
 Spouses de Guzman claimed that the case is an exception upon the justification that (1) unperturbed by judicial intrusion to determine a controversy which is well within its
due process was violated because they were not given the chance to be heard, and (2) jurisdiction. The assumption by the trial court, therefore, of the replevin suit filed by private
the seizure and forfeiture was unlawful on the grounds: (a) that the Secretary of DENR respondents constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the domain of the administrative
and his representatives have no authority to confiscate and forfeit conveyances utilized agency’s prerogative. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to
in transporting illegal forest products, and (b) that the truck as admitted by petitioners arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is
was not used in the commission of the crime initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence
o RTC: denied the motion to dismiss; MR likewise denied
o CA: sustained RTC decision 3. WON private respondents’ arguments are valid. – NO.
ISSUES & RATIO. Re: violation of due process: Due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing, but
2. WON administrative remedies have been exhausted – NO simply an opportunity or right to be heard. In administrative proceedings moreover,
Before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied; administrative process
should have availed of all the means of administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial sense. Private respondents were
remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the undisputedly given the opportunity to present their side when they filed a letter of
administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within reconsideration
Re: illegality of the confiscation: Sec 68-A of PD 705 authorizes the the Department Head or
his duly authorized representative, to order the confiscation of any forest products illegally
cut, gathered, removed, or possessed or abandoned, and all conveyances used either by
land, water or air in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance
with pertinent laws, regulations and policies on the matter. The phrase “to dispose of the
same” is broad enough to cover the act of forfeiting conveyances in favor of the
government.

Re: truck not being used in committing crime: confiscation of forest products by the ‘court’
in a criminal action has long been provided for in Section 68. If as private respondents insist,
the power of confiscation cannot be exercised except only through the court under Section
68, then Section 68-A would have no purpose at all. Moreover, petitioners did not eliminate
the possibility that the truck was being used in the commission of another crime, that is, the
breach of Section 68 of P.D. 705 as amended by E.O 277 (Cutting, gathering and/or collecting
timber or other forest products without license shall be punished with the penalties imposed
under Articles 309 and 310 of the RPC).

DECISION.
Petition Granted
LOPEZ vs. CITY OF MANILA  Despite the amendment brought about by Manila Ordinance No. 7905, the
G.R. No. 127139 / FEB 19, 1999 / QUISIMBING, J. / ADMIN – EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE controversy proceeded.
REMEDIES / RCTMAINES
 The RTC dismissed the case for failure of the petitioner to exhaust
NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of a RTC decision
PETITIONERS Jaime Lopez administrative remedies.
RESPONDENTS City of Manila and Hon. Benjamin Vega (RTC Judge)
ISSUES & RATIO.
SUMMARY. RA 7160 or the Local Government Code (passed in 1992) required city assessors 4. WON the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies may be dispensed with
to conduct a general revision of real property every 3 years. However, it was not enforced in in this case – NO.
Manila until 1995 when an ordinance implementing the same was enacted. After As a general rule, where the law provides for the remedies against the action of an
implementation, Lopez’ tax for land and improvements increased. Lopez then filed a administrative board, body, or officer, relief to courts can be sought only after
complaint to declare the ordinance null and void for being unjust, excessive and exhausting all remedies provided. There are only a few exceptions and this case
confiscatory. Manila moved for the dismissal of the case because of the failure of Lopez of does not fall in any of them.
exhausting administrative remedies. The SC denied the petition because the case does not
fall under the exceptions of the said doctrine. The reason rests upon the presumption that the administrative body, if given the
DOCTRINE. Where the law provides for the remedies against the action of an administrative chance to correct its mistake or error, may amend its decision on a given matter and
board, body, or officer, relief to courts can be sough only after exhausting all remedies decide it properly. Therefore, where a remedy is available within the administrative
provided, the reason resting upon the presumption that the administrative body, if given the machinery, this should be resorted to before resort can be made to the courts, not only
chance to correct its mistake or error, may amend its decision on a given matter and decide to give the administrative agency the opportunity to decide the matter by itself
it properly. correctly, but also to prevent unnecessary and premature resort to courts.

“One of the reasons for the doctrine of exhaustion is the separation of powers which
FACTS.
enjoins upon the judiciary a becoming policy of non-interference with matters coming
 Section 219 of Ra 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires the primarily within the competence of other department. x x x
conduct of the general revision of real property.
 The revision of real property assessments prescribed therein was not yet There are a number of instances when the doctrine may be dispensed with and judicial
enforced in the City of Manila. Upon receipt of Memorandum Circular No. action validly resorted to immediately. Among these exceptional cases are:
04-95 from the Bureau of Local Government Finance relating to the failure (1) when the question raised is purely legal,
of most of the cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, including (2) when the administrative body is in estoppel;
the City of Manila, to conduct the general revision of real property and (3) when the act complained of is patently illegal;
after obtaining the necessary funds from the City Council, the City (4) when there is urgent need for judicial intervention;
(5) when the claim involved is small;
Assessor began the process of general revision based on the updated fair
(6) when irreparable damage will be suffered;
market values of the real properties. (7) when there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy;
 The City Assessor’s Office submitted the proposed schedule of fair market (8) when strong public interest is involved;
values to the City Council for its appropriate action. The council then (9) when the subject of controversy is private land; and
enacted Manila Ordinance No. 7894 which was approved. (10) in quo-warranto proceeding.
 With the implementation of the ordinance, the tax on the land owned by
the Lopez was increased by 580% and 250% in the improvements in his The instant petition does not fall within any of the exceptions above-mentioned.
property. Hence he filed a special proceeding for the declaration of nullity
Doctrine of administrative remedies, Taxation –
of the City of Manila Ordinance No. 7894 for being “unjust, excessive,
Courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of
oppressive or confiscatory.” government agencies entrusted with the regulations of activities coming under the
 Manila Ordinance No. 7905 took effect thereafter, reducing by fifty special technical knowledge and training of such agencies; the question of WON a tax is
percent (50%) the assessment levels for the computation of tax due. The excessive, oppressive or confiscatory is essentially a question of fact.
new ordinance amended the assessment levels provided by Section 74,
paragraph (A) of Manila Ordinance No. 7794. DECISION.
 Lopez’ tax increase was then reduced to only 155% and 82%, respectively. Petition DENIED.
NOTE.
From the C2016 Reviewer:
Remedies available in this case:
(1) Petition to the Secretary of Justice, assailing the validity of the ordinance,
(2) Appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals after paying in protest, assailing the
propriety of the assessment.
GARCIA v. CA respondent (Garcia in this case) shall not be counted n the period of suspension (Sec.
GR No. 100579/ JUNE 6, 2001/ VITUG, J./ ADMIN – Exhaustion of administrative remedies/RLAurellano 42, PD 807)
NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA  After receiving the above resolution, Garcia filed a petition for certiorari, mandamus and
PETITIONERS Leandro Garcia prohibition with a writ of preliminary injunction in the RTC
RESPONDENTS CA, Philippine Coconut Authority Governing Board, and Josefel Grajeda o TC granted the writ of preliminary injunction, enjoining the PCA Board from
implementing the above resolution
SUMMARY. Petitioner Garcia is charged by an Investigation Committee of the Philippine  Garcia subsequently filed a motion with the TC praying for a creation of a new
Coconut Authority (PCA) of bad things. He was preventively suspended. Garcia’s counsel investigating committee, and that the current Investigation Committee be prevented
kept asking hearings to be moved, not attending hearings, asking for extensions, ganyan. from conducting further proceedings.
PCA Board resolved that the time that Garcia wasted will not be counted in the period of o After receiving evidence, TC issued a 20-day TRO on the proceedings of the
preventive suspension (max 90 days as per PCA rules). Garcia goes to RTC to contest the Investigation Committee, but did NOT order the creation of a new Investigation
order. RTC grants, CA reverses. SC upholds CA: administrative remedies not exhausted. Committee
DOCTRINE. Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, recourse through  6 days after the expiration of the 20-day TRO, Investigation Committee (respondent
court action cannot prosper until after all such administrative remedies would have first Grajeda is head) submitted a resolution to the PCA Board finding Garcia guilty, and
been exhausted. The doctrine does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority the he be meted the penalty of forced resignation
to resolve, or interfere in, a controversy the jurisdiction over which is lodged initially with an o PCA Board approved and adopted this resolution
administrative body, like the PCA Board and its Investigation Committee, of special  MOAR injunctions filed by Garcia to stop the implementation of the above resolution
competence o TC issued another 20-day TRO until question of WON Garcia had been deprived of due
process is resolved. Hearing was scheduled to receive evidence
FACTS. o On the day of the hearing, the PCA Board sought reconsideration of the TRO, as the
 The Philippine Coconut Authority Governing Board (PCA Board) passed Resolution no. resolution sought to be enjoined had already been implemented
109-88 (resolution)  TC issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the PCA Board from implementing
o The resolution created an Investigation Committee which would look into a complaint the resolution that found Garcia guilty, and forcing him to resign as a penalty
against petitioner Garcia, for irregularities he committed  PCA Board appealed the above writ, as well as the other write of preliminary injunction to
 Garcia is the administrator of PCA the CA
o The PCA Board changed the composition of the Investigation Committee twice  CA: Appeal granted, TC writs set aside
 Investigation Committee found prima facie evidence against Garcia after formal hearings.
They recommended 1) filing of formal charges against Garcia; and 2) that Garcia be placed ISSUES & RATIO.
in preventive suspension upon filing of the formal charge 5. WON the TC gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writs of preliminary injunction
 PCA Board subsequently fiiled an administrative complaint against Garcia for dishonesty, – YES, as Garcia’s recourse to the TC was premature and precipitate
falsification, grave misconduct, and violation of RA 3019. Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, recourse through court
o Garcia was also placed under preventive suspension action cannot prosper until after all such administrative remedies would have first been
 Garcia’s counsel asked for stenographic notes, and requested a period of 15 days within exhausted. The doctrine does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority to
receipt of the notes to file his answer. Another 30 day extension was given. resolve, or interfere in, a controversy the jurisdiction over which is lodged initially with an
 Meanwhile, hearings were set, and Garcia was notified. Garcia’s counsel requested for a administrative body, like the PCA Board and its Investigation Committee, of special
resetting of the hearing, stating that he was not available. On the day of the hearing itself competence
however, he submitted Garcia’s answer.
o On the second rescheduled day of hearing, Garcia’s counsel moved to create a new Records show that Garcia filed the petition with the TC while the investigation was still
investigating committee to hear the case. ongoing. Even after a decision by the PCA Board had been rendered, Garcia would still
 This motion was denied have recourse by appealing to the CSC.
o Garcia’s counsel did not attend anymore hearings despite due notice
 The PCA Board then, resolved that the period of delay resulting from requests for Garcia contends: the resolution of the Investigation Committee fnding Garia guilty was
extensions of time, postponement of scheduled hearing, and other related requests shall issued with GAD because the TC’s resolution of the prayer for a creation of new
not be counted in computing the period for preventive suspension (Resolution 046-89) committee+injunction was still pending
o Same resolution advised Garcia that his resumption of office shall require prior notice
of reinstatement
o Note that under CSC rules, preventive suspension can only last for 90 days, but any
delay in the disposition of the case due to the fault, negligence, or petition of
Court says: it was shown that the TC miscalculated the expiration of the first 20-day TRO.1 The observance of the mandate regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies is a sound
Thus, when the Investigation Committee issued the resolution finding Garcia guilty, there practice and policy which should not be ignored. The doctrine insures an orderly procedure
was no longer any legal restraint from proceeding with the investigation. and withholds judicial interference until the administrative process would have been allowed
to duly run its course. Even comity dictates that unless the available administrative remedies
When an adequate remedy may be had within the Executive Department of the have been resorted to and appropriate authorities given an opportunity to act and correct
government, but nevertheless, a litigant fails or refuses to avail himself of the same, the the errors committed in the administrative forum, judicial recourse must be held to be
judiciary shall decline to interfere. inappropriate and impermissible.

Sub-issue: WON this case is an exception to the principle of exhaustion of


administrative remedies (as contended by Garcia) – NO
There is no question that the petitioner Committee and PCA Board acted in the exercise
of their jurisdiction in conducting the administrative investigation of private respondent
Garcia. Under Civil Service Law and Rules exclusive original jurisdiction is lodged in the
administrative agency, and appeal is available to the Commission on Civil Service. The rule
is that where a law has delineated the procedure by which administrative appeal or
remedy could be effected, the same should be followed before recourse to judicial action
can be initiated

MPSTA vs. Laguio, Jr: The petitioners’ obvious remedy was NOT to halt the administrative
proceedings but, on the contrary, to take part, assert and vindicate their rights therein,
see those proceedings through to judgment and if adjudged guilty, appeal to the Civil
Service Commission

6. WON administrative due process was violated by the PCA Board - NO, Garcia was
afforded ample opportunity to submit his case
He filed an answer to the administrative complaint - there is no question that petitioner
was accorded the right to confront his witnesses. He was also able to present his defense
and his refusal to attend the scheduled hearings, despite due notice, was at his own peril.
The essence of due process to him was that opportunity to be heard.

Garcia contends: PCA Board’s hearing to determine a prima facie case against him was no
required

Court says: There is nothing in the law which prohibits the conduct of a formal hearing or
investigation

Garcia complains: Investigation Committee biased against meee :’(

Court rolls eyes: Investigation Committee composition changed twice already. Garcia was
accommodated to the fullest. In addition, documentary evidence submitted by PCA Board
were not questioned by Garcia before the TC, CA, or here, the SC.

DECISION.
Petition denied. Decision and reso of CA affirmed

NOTES

1issued July 26, TC thought it would expire Sept. 11, but actually expired Aug 15, like wtf TC can you
count
 CA: Granted Apex’s petition. Acquisition null and void ab initio.
DAR v. APEX INVESTMENT
G.R. No. 149422/ APR 10, 2003 / SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J./ADMIN-JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ADMIN ISSUES & RATIO.
DECISIONS-EXHAUSTION OF ADMIN REMEDIES/CUSTODIO 7. WON Apex violated the principle of exhaustion of remedies– NO.
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a relative one and is flexible
NATURE Petition for Review on Certiorari depending on the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings
PETITIONERS Department of Agrarian Reform of a case. Among others, it is disregarded where, as in this case, (a) there are
RESPONDENTS Apex Investment & Financing Corp (now SM Investment Corp) circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention; and (b) the administrative
SUMMARY. Some Apex-owned lots were subjected to compulsory acquisition without its action is patently illegal and amounts to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
knowledge, as notices were sent to its old office address. When Apex found out, it filed a
Protest but PARO did not immediately act on it and waited a year before forwarding the Records show that PARO did not take immediate action on the Protest and it took more
same to DAR. DAR, on the other hand, merely required the submission of additional than a year to forward the same to DAR. DAR has only required Apex to submit from time
evidence. Meanwhile, the TCTs were already cancelled and transferred to the Republic and to time supporting documents. Meanwhile PARO had already caused the cancellation of
to a farmer-beneficiary. DAR answered that there was failure to exhaust administrative the titles. Obviously, petitioner might continue to alienate respondent's lots during the
remedies but the SC held that: pendency of its protest.
DOCTRINE. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a relative one and is
flexible depending on the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial In Natalia Realty v DAR, the court held that given the official indifference which, under the
settings of a case. Among others, it is disregarded where a) there are circumstances circumstances could have continued forever, the landowners had to act to assert and
indicating the urgency of judicial intervention; and b) the administrative action is patently protect their interest. They need not wait until the DAR acted on their protests.
illegal and amounts to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
8. WON Apex was deprived of due process– YES.
Section 16 of the law provides that for acquisition purposes, DAR must send notice to the
FACTS. owners by personal delivery or registered mail and post the same in a conspicuous place.
 Apex (now SM Investments Corp) owns several lots in Dasmariñas, Cavite. The Municipal
Agrarian Reform Office of Dasma (MARO) initiated compulsory acquisition proceedings In Roxas v CA, the court held that for a valid implementation 2 notices are required: 1)
over those lots pursuant to RA 6657 (CARL). Notice of Coverage and invitation to preliminary conference and 2) Notice of Acquisition.
 1994: MARO sent a Notice of Coverage and Notice of Acquisition to respondent’s office. They are steps designed to comply with the requirements of administrative due process.
However, Apex denied having received the same since it was no longer holding office
there. The implementation of CARL is an exercise of the State’s police power and the power of
 1997: Apex learned of the compulsory acquisition proceedings from the Dec 11, 1998 issue eminent domain. To the extent of the retention limits to the landowners police power.
of the Balita. DAR sent Apex a Notice of Land Valuation and Acquisition dated July 24, To the extent that owners are deprived of lands eminent domain.
1977, offering to pay P229K as compensation.
 1998: Apex filed with PARO a Protest rejecting the offer and contending that the lands are DAR does not dispute that Apex did not receive the Notices. DAR alleged that it could not
not covered because they were classified as residential even prior to the effectivity of the effect personal service because of the change in juridical name. Still, there was no
law. Apex also filed a supplemental protest with a) Certification issued by the Regional showing of service by registered mail. The signature on the receipt was illegible.
Irrigation Manager stating that the lots are not covered by any irrigation project and b)
Certification by Municipal Engineer attesting that the lots are within the residential zone. It is thus safe to conclude that respondent was not notified of the compulsory acquisition
 Feb 1999 (more than a year after the filing of the Protest): PARO forwarded to DAR the proceedings. Clearly, respondent was deprived of its right to procedural due process. It is
protest together with the records of the acquisition proceedings. elementary that before a person can be deprived of his property, he should be informed of
the claim against him and the theory on which such claim is premised.
 June 1999: DAR required Apex to submit TCTs and certification from HLURB, such was
received on June 21. However, Apex learned that on June 24, the Registry of Deeds
9. WON the lands are residential– INCONCLUSIVE.
cancelled one of its titles and issued another in the name of the Republic and another one
This factual issue was never determined below, thus the court cannot conclude
was already in the name of a farmer beneficiary, Angel Umali.
 This prompted Apex to file with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition praying
that the compulsory acquisition proceedings over its landholdings be declared void and DECISION.
that the TCT issued to Umali be cancelled. AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that DAR is to conduct appropriate proceedings to
 DAR alleged that Apex failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing its determine WON the lands are residential.
petition. Hence, the same should be dismissed.
ACUZAR v. JOROLAN injunction and TRO.
G.R. No. 151908/ August 12, 2003 / YNARES -SANTIAGO, J./EXHAUSTION OF ADMIN REMEDIES
/MMMANALO
 They alleged that the NTC has no jurisdiction to regulate the sale of
NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of CA decision consumer goods such as the prepaid call cards since such jurisdiction
PETITIONERS SMART Communications Inc. belongs to the DTI under the Consumer Act of the Philippines; that the
RESPONDENTS National Telecommunications Commission Billing Circular is oppressive, confiscatory and violative of the
SUMMARY. NTC issued memorandum circulars which gave benefits to telco consumers. The constitutional prohibition against deprivation of property without due
telco companies countered by filing a TRO against the NTC. Also,the telcos went straight to process of law; that the Circular will result in the impairment of the
the courts to question the validity of the memorandum circulars. The state questioned their viability of the prepaid cellular service by unduly prolonging the validity
choice of appeal by invoking the doctrine of primary jurisdiction and the exhaustion of and expiration of the prepaid SIM and call cards; and that the
administrative remedies. On appeal to the SC, the latter held in favor of the telcos on the
requirements of identification of prepaid card buyers and call balance
ground that the aforementioned doctrines do not apply when questioning an act done by an
announcement are unreasonable.
agency in a quasi judicial function. Hence, the petitioners were correct in filing the case
immediately with the trial court.  The RTC issued a TRO enjoining the NTC from implementing the Billing
Circular and the Oct. 2000 Memorandum. In the meantime, NTC and its
DOCTRINE. In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation co-defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of
issued by an administrative agency, a party need not exhaust administrative petitioners’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies. NTC's motion was
remedies before going to court. This principle applies only where the act of the denied and the RTC issued a writ of prelim. injunction, enjoining NTC from
administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial implementing the assailed MC and Memo while the case was pending.
function, and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-  The NTC filed before the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition, which
legislative power. was granted. The CA annulled the RTC's orders. The CA ruled that the NTC
and not the regular courts has jurisdiction over the case, that the
FACTS. petitioners have failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
 Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers, NTC issued on June 16,  The petitioners appealed with the SC, arguing that the CA's ruling is
2000 Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000, promulgating rules and erroneous because the doctrines of primary jurisdiction and exhaustion of
regulations on the billing of telecommunications services and thus admin remedies do not apply since the present case is for legal
provided benefits for mobile consumers such as grace periods for payment nullification of a purely administrative regulation and involves only
of bills, prompt delivery of bills, free voicemail calls, a 2-year expiry date questions of law. They argue that the second aforementioned doctrine
for sim cards, lower billing rates, and a 2 year expiry period for sim cards if does not apply when the administrative action is complete and effective,
unused. where there is no other remedy, and the petitioner stands to suffer grave
 The Memorandum Circular was published in a newspaper of general and irreparable injury. The petitioners further pointed out that they had in
circulation and the benefits provided to consumers took effect 90 days fact exhausted all admin remedies available to them.
after the effectivity.
 On August 30, 2000, the NTC issued a Memorandum to all cellular mobile ISSUES and RATIO:
telephone service (CMTS) operators which contained measures to 1. WON the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies applies? NO
minimize if not totally eliminate the incidence of stealing of cellular phone In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an
units. It ordered CMTS to comply with measures such as strict security administrative agency, a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before
measures in the application for postpaid plans. going to court. This principle applies only where the act of the administrative
 This was followed by another Memorandum dated October 6, 2000 agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function, and
addressed to all public telecommunications entities, which reminded them not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative
of the period of validity of prepaid cards and the billing unit pursuant to power.
the Billing Circular.
Even assuming arguendo that the principle applies in this case, the records
 On October 20, 2000, Islacom and Piltel filed an action against the NTC reveal that petitioners sufficiently complied with this requirement. Even during
and its commissioners before the RTC for declaration of nullity of the
the drafting and deliberation stages leading to the issuance of the Billing Circular,
memorandums, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
petitioners were able to register their protests to the proposed billing guidelines. in the complaint do not entail highly technical matters. Rather, what is required of
They submitted their respective position papers setting forth their objections the judge who will resolve this issue is a basic familiarity with the workings of the
and submitting proposed schemes for the billing circular. After the same was cellular telephone service, including prepaid SIM and call cards – and this is
issued, petitioners wrote successive letters asking for the circular's suspension judicially known to be within the knowledge of a good percentage of our
and reconsideration. These letters were not acted upon until October 6, 2000, population – and expertise in fundamental principles of civil law and the
when respondent NTC issued the second assailed Memorandum implementing Constitution
certain provisions of the Billing Circular. This was taken by petitioners as a clear
denial of the requests contained in their previous letters, thus prompting them RULING: CA decision reversed and set aside. RTC decision reinstated. Case
to seek judicial relief. remanded to RTC for further proceedings.

2. Whether the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies? NO Notes:


In like manner, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the
administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function. Thus, in On the difference between quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers.
cases involving specialized disputes, the practice has been to refer the same to
an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and
primary jurisdiction. The courts will not determine a controversy involving a quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory powers. Quasi-legislative or rule-
question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in
the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal, where the delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the
question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers.
special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal to
determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of an
essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered. The administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory
doctrine applies where the claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes power. This is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the
into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid
which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special competence down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. The
of an administrative body; in such case, the judicial process is suspended pending administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power when it performs in a judicial
referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view. manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative nature, where
the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the
However, where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule or performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. In carrying out
regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi- their quasi-judicial functions, the administrative officers or bodies are required to
legislative function, the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same. investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence,
Pursuant to the Constitution, the determination of whether a specific rule or set of and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of
rules issued by an administrative agency contravenes the law or the constitution is discretion in a judicial nature.
within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. This is within the scope of judicial
power, which includes the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate
action the validity of the acts of the political departments.

In the case at bar, the assailed NTC orders were issued pursuant to the NTC's
quasi-legislative or rule-making power. As such, petitioners were justified in
invoking the judicial power of the RTC to assail the constitutionality and
validity of the said issuances. Petitioners averred that the Circular contravened
Civil Code provisions on sales and violated the constitutional prohibition against
the deprivation of property without due process of law. These are within the
competence of the trial judge. Contrary to the finding of the CA, the issues raised