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Legal Responsibilities in Education Case Digests

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I.
PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992
Facts:
On 30 August 1985, while on the second-floor premises of the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA),
then a 3rd year Commerce student, Carlitos Bautista died due to stabbing.
The parents of the deceased filed a suit in RTC Manila Branch 47, for damages against the said PSBA and its
corporate officers. It was established that his assailants were not members of the school's academic community but
were elements from outside the school.
Private respondent sought to adjudge the school authorities liable for the victim's untimely demise due to their alleged
negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and methods before, during and after the attack on
the victim.
Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they are presumably sued
under Article 2180 in conjunction with Art 2176 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them,
as jurisprudence on the subject is to the effect that academic institutions, such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of
the rule in the said article.
The RTC denied the now-petitioners’ motion to dismiss. Likewise, the appellate court resolved to deny the their motion
for reconsideration.
Issue:
Whether or not PSBA is liable for the death of the student based on quasi-delict
Held:
No. Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation between the PSBA and Carlitos
Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict do not really govern. A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations arising from
quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by
contract, whether express or implied. However, this impression has not prevented this Court from determining the
existence of a tort even when there obtains a contract.
Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, establishes the rule in in loco parentis. Article 2180
provides that the damage should have been caused or inflicted by pupils or students of the educational institution
sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or students while in its custody. However, this material situation does
not exist in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not students of the PSBA, for
whose acts the school could be made liable. But it does not necessarily follow that PSBA is absolved form liability.
When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is established a contract between them, resulting
in bilateral obligations which both parties are bound to comply with.
For its part, the school undertakes to provide the student with an education that would presumably suffice to equip him
with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or a profession. This includes ensuring the safety of the
students while in the school premises. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's academic
requirements and observe its rules and regulations.
In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet, no finding that the contract between the
school and Bautista had been breached thru the former's negligence in providing proper security measures. This would
be for the trial court to determine. And, even if there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a
breach of contractual obligation only.
II.
DIOSDADO GUZMAN, ET. AL
vs.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
G.R. No. L-68288 July 11, 1986
Facts:
Petitioners Guzman, Urbiztondo and Ramacula,students of respondent National University (NU), sought relief from this
Court for the said university’s "continued and persistent refusal to allow them to enrol”.
On the part of the university, they justified barring them from enrolment alleging that the said students: (1) spearheaded
illegal mass actions within the university premises; (2) that such mass actions were violative of school policies; (3) that
due to their mass actions, Guzman et al incurred bad grades; (4)that Guzman, et al hated NU anyway so why should
they be allowed to enroll; (5) that it is in the best interest of both parties for the students not to be enrolled.
Issue:
Whether or not the petitioners were denied due process by the school
HELD:
Yes. Guzman, et al were deprived of due process. In the first place, NU never showed which school policies or duly
published rules did Guzman et al violate upon which they may be expelled from. NU failed to show that it conducted
any sort of proceedings (not necessarily a trial-type one) to determine Guzman et al’s liability or alleged participation in
the said mass actions.
Under the Education Act of 1982, Guzman et al, as students, have the right among others “to freely choose their field of
study subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation, except in case of academic
deficiency, or violation of disciplinary regulations.” Guzman et al were being denied this right, or being disciplined,
without due process, in violation of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools which provides that “no penalty shall
be imposed upon any student except for cause as defined in the Manual and/or in the school rules and regulations as
duly promulgated and only after due investigation shall have been conducted.”
The imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due process. Thel minimum standards
which must be met to satisfy the demands of procedural due process are that: (1) the students must be informed in
writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges
against them, with the assistance of counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4)
they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the
investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.
III.
RHONDA AVE S. VIVARES
vs.
ST. THERESA'S COLLEGE
G.R. No. 202666
September 29, 2014
Facts:
Involved in the case are minors and graduating high school students of St. Theresa’s College in Cebu City. Around
January 2012, while changing into their swimsuits for a beach party they were about to attend, senior students Julia
and Julienne, along with several others, took digital pictures of themselves clad only in their undergarments.
Sometime after, Ms. Escudero, a computer teacher at STC’s high school department, learned from her students
regarding the said pictures wherein the said senior students were clad only in brassieres. Using the school’s
computers, the students of Ms.Escudero logged in to their respective personal Facebook accounts and showed her
photos of the identified students, which include: (a) Julia and Julienne drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes
inside a bar; and (b) Julia and Julienne along the streets of Cebu wearing articles of clothing that show virtually the
entirety of their black brassieres.
Also, Escudero’s students claimed that there were times when access to or the availability of the identified students’
photos was not confined to the girls’ Facebook friends, but were, in fact, viewable by any Facebook user.
After the investigation conducted by the school, Julia, Julienne and other students involved were barred from joining
the commencement exercises for violating school rules as proscribe in the Student Handbook .
Petitioners who are parents of the involved students, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Data before the RTC which was
subsequently dismissed.
Issues:
Whether or not petitioners can validly invoke the right to informational privacy on Facebook
Held:
No. The Petition for the Writ of Habeas Data was improper for the case at bar. Relevant to the course topic is the
discussion of the Court regarding cyber responsibility. Notwithstanding that the privacy setting of their children’s
Facebook accounts was set at "Friends Only, without any evidence to corroborate the minors’ statement that the
images were visible only to the five of them, and without their challenging Escudero’s claim that the other students were
able to view the photos, their statements are, at best, self-serving, thus deserving scant consideration.
It is well to note that not one of petitioners disputed Escudero’s sworn account that her students, who are the minors’
Facebook “friends,” showed her the photos using their own Facebook accounts. This only goes to show that no special
means to be able to view the allegedly private posts were ever resorted to by Escudero’s students, and that it is
reasonable to assume, therefore, that the photos were, in reality, viewable either by (1) their Facebook friends, or (2) by
the public at large.
Considering that the default setting for Facebook posts is “Public,” it can be surmised that the photographs in question
were viewable to everyone on Facebook, absent any proof that petitioners’ children positively limited the disclosure of
the photograph. If such were the case, they cannot invoke the protection attached to the right to informational privacy.
IV.
ALBERTO PAT-OG, SR., Petitioner,
vs.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, Respondent.
G.R. No. 198755
June 5, 2013
Facts:
On September 13, 2003, Robert Bang-on (Bang-on), then a 14-year old second year high school student of the
Antadao National High School in Sagada, Mountain Province, filed an affidavit-complaint against Pat-og, a third year
high school teacher of the same school, before the Civil Service Commission-Cordillera Administrative Region
(CSC-CAR).
On the morning of August 26, 2003, Bang-on attended his class at the basketball court of the school, where Pat-og and
his third year students were also holding a separate class; that he and some of his classmates joined Pat-og’s third
year students who were practicing basketball shots; that Pat-og later instructed them to form two lines; that thinking that
three lines were to be formed, he stayed in between the two lines; that Pat-og then held his right arm and punched his
stomach without warning for failing to follow instructions; and that as a result, he suffered stomach pain for several days
and was confined in a hospital from September 10-12, 2003, as evidenced by a medico-legal certificate, which stated
that he sustained a contusion hematoma in the hypogastric area.
CSC-CAR found the existence of a prima facie case for misconduct and formally charged Pat-og.
While the proceedings of the administrative case were ongoing, the RTC rendered its judgment in the criminal case and
found Pat-og guilty of the offense of slight physical injury. Likewise, petitioner was later found guilty administratively.
The CA affirmed the resolutions of the CSC.
Issue:
Whether or not the Civil Service Commission has jurisdiction over the instant case
Held:
Yes. Jurisdiction is defined as the power and authority of a court, tribunal or body to hear, try, and decide a case. The
petitioner’s argument that the administrative case against him can only proceed under Sec 9 of R.A. No. 4670 is
misplaced.
In Puse v. Santos-Puse, it was held that the CSC, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Board of Professional
Teachers-Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) have concurrent jurisdiction over administrative cases against
public school teachers.
Under Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, the CSC is the body charged with the establishment and administration of a
career civil service which embraces all branches and agencies of the government. Further, Executive Order (E.O.) No.
292 (the Administrative Code of 1987) and Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 807 (the Civil Service Decree of the
Philippines) expressly provide that the CSC has the power to hear and decide administrative disciplinary cases
instituted with it or brought to it on appeal. Thus, the CSC, as the central personnel agency of the government, has the
inherent power to supervise and discipline all members of the civil service, including public school teachers.
Indeed, under Section 9 of R.A. No. 4670, the jurisdiction over administrative cases of public school teachers is lodged
with the investigating committee constituted therein. Also, under Section 23 of R.A. No. 7836 (the Philippine Teachers
Professionalization Act of 1994), the Board of Professional Teachers is given the power, after due notice and hearing,
to suspend or revoke the certificate of registration of a professional teacher for causes enumerated therein.
Concurrent jurisdiction is that which is possessed over the same parties or subject matter at the same time by two or
more separate tribunals. When the law bestows upon a government body the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases
involving specific matters, it is to be presumed that such jurisdiction is exclusive unless it be proved that another body is
likewise vested with the same jurisdiction, in which case, both bodies have concurrent jurisdiction over the matter.
Where concurrent jurisdiction exists in several tribunals, the body that first takes cognizance of the complaint shall
exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others. In this case, it was CSC which first acquired jurisdiction over the
case because the complaint was filed before it. Thus, it had the authority to proceed and decide the case to the
exclusion of the DepEd and the Board of Professional Teachers.
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