2012 - Mark Anthony N. Manuel

Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
G.R. No. L-45685
November 16, 1937
FACTS: This case involves the constitutionality of the old probation law. Respondent Cu Unjieng
was convicted by the trial court in Manila. He filed for reconsideration which was elevated to the SC
and the SC remanded the appeal to the lower court for a new trial. While awaiting new trial, he
appealed for probation under the provisions of Act No. 4221. Judge Tuason of the Manila CFI
directed the appeal to the Insular Probation Office. The IPO denied the application. However, Judge
Vera upon another request by petitioner allowed the petition to be set for hearing. The City
Prosecutor countered alleging that Vera has no power to place Cu Unjieng under probation because
it is in violation of Sec. 11 Act No. 4221, which grants provincial boards the power to provide a
system of probation to convicted person. Nowhere in the law is stated that it is applicable to a cities
like Manila as it is only indicated therein that only provinces are covered. And even if Manila is
covered by the law, it is unconstitutional because it is violative of the equal protection clause of the
constitution. It also avers that the said law provides absolute discretion to provincial boards, thus it
constitutes undue delegation of power.
ISSUE: Whether or not Act 4221 or the old probation law is an undue delegation of legislative
power on the ground that there is no standard set by congress for its implementation.
HELD: Yes. There is undue delegation of power because there is no standard provided by Congress
on how provincial boards must act in carrying out a system of probation. The provincial boards are
given absolute discretion which is violative of the constitution and the doctrine of the non
delegability of power. Further, it is a violation of equity so protected by the constitution. The
challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows: This Act shall apply only in
those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation
officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said probation officer shall be
appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office. This
only means that only provinces that can provide appropriation for a probation officer may have a
system of probation within their locality. This would mean to say that convicts in provinces where
no probation officer is instituted may not avail of their right to probation.
G.R. No. L-2044
August 26, 1949
FACTS: This case involves Commonwealth Act 671, otherwise known as AN ACT DECLARING A
EMERGENCY or simply the Emergency Powers Act. Antonio Araneta is being charged for violation
of EO 62 which regulates rentals for houses and lots for residential buildings. Judge Rafael
Dinglasan is the judge hearing the case. Araneta appealed seeking to prohibit Dinglasan and the
Fiscal from proceeding with the case. He avers that EO 62, issued by virtue of CA No. 671, is null and
void as the effect of CA No. 671 granting emergency power to the president has already ceased.
Three other cases were consolidated with the case of Araneta. These are: 1.) L-3055, an appeal by
Leon Ma. Guerrero, a shoe exporter, against EO 192 which controls exports in the Philippines; 2.) L3054 filed by Eulogio Rodriguez to prohibit the treasury from disbursing funds pursuant to EO 225;
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
and 3.)L-3056 filed by Antonio Barredo attacking EO 226 that appropriates funds to hold the
national elections. All the petitioners aver that CA 671 ceased to have any force and effect hence all
E0s passed pursuant to it had likewise ceased.
ISSUE: Whether or not CA 671 has already ceased when Congress has met in session?
HELD: Yes. CA 671 became inoperative ex proprio vigore when Congress met in regular session on
May 25, 1946, and that Executive Orders Nos. 62, 192, 225 and 226 were issued without authority
of law. In setting the first regular session of Congress instead of the first special session which
preceded it as the point of expiration of the Act, the SC is giving effect to the purpose and intention
of the National Assembly. In a special session, the Congress may "consider general legislation or
only such subjects as he (President) may designate." Such acts were to be good only up to the
corresponding dates of adjournment of the following sessions of the Legislature, "unless sooner
amended or repealed by the National Assembly." Even if war continues to rage on, new legislation
must be made and approved in order to continue the EPAs, otherwise it is lifted upon reconvening
or upon early repeal.
Article VI of the Constitution provides that any law passed by virtue thereof should be "for a limited
period." "Limited" has been defined to mean "restricted; bounded; prescribed; confined within
positive bounds; restrictive in duration, extent or scope." It is to be presumed that Commonwealth
Act No. 671 was approved with this limitation in view. The opposite theory would make the law
repugnant to the Constitution, and is contrary to the principle that the legislature is deemed to have
full knowledge of the constitutional scope of its powers. The assertion that new legislation is
needed to repeal the act would not be in harmony with the Constitution either. If a new and
different law were necessary to terminate the delegation, the period for the delegation, it has been
correctly pointed out, would be unlimited, indefinite, negative and uncertain; "that which was
intended to meet a temporary emergency may become permanent law."
G.R. No. L-6266
February 2, 1953
FACTS: Eulogio Rodriguez, et. al. seek to invalidate Executive Orders 545 and 546 issued in 1952,
the first appropriating the sum of P37,850,500 for urgent and essential public works, and the
second setting aside the sum of P11,367,600 for relief in the provinces and cities visited by
typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, volcanic action and other calamities. These EOs were
issued pursuant to Commonwealth Act 671. Note that prior to Araneta vs. Dinglasan, Congress
passed House Bill 727 intending to revoke CA 671 but the same was vetoed by the President due to
the Korean War and his perception that war is still subsisting as a fact.
ISSUE: Whether or not the EOs issued issued have no force and effect on the ground that they are
violative of the principle of separation of power.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
HELD: Yes, the EOs are invalid. As similarly decided in the Araneta case, the EOs issued in pursuant
to CA 671 shall be rendered ineffective. The president did not invoke any actual emergencies or
calamities emanating from the last world war for which CA 671 has been intended. Without such
invocation, the veto of the president cannot be of merit for the emergency he feared cannot be
attributed to the war contemplated in CA 671.
Even if the president vetoed the repealing bill the intent of Congress must be given due weight. For
it would be absurd to contend otherwise. For “while Congress might delegate its power by a simple
majority, it might not be able to recall them except by two-third vote. In other words, it would be
easier for Congress to delegate its powers than to take them back. This is not right and is not, and
ought not to be the law.” Act No. 671 may be likened to an ordinary contract of agency, whereby
the consent of the agent is necessary only in the sense that he cannot be compelled to accept the
trust, in the same way that the principal cannot be forced to keep the relation in eternity or at the
will of the agent. Neither can it be suggested that the agency created under the Act is coupled with
G.R. No. L-14078
March 7, 1919
FACTS: The provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 wherein non-Christian
inhabitants (uncivilized tribes) will be directed to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied
public lands. It is resolved that under section 2077 of the Administrative Code, 800 hectares of
public land in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be selected as a site for the permanent settlement
of Mangyanes in Mindoro. Further, Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on this
reservation providing that said homestead applications are previously recommended by the
provincial governor.
In that case, pursuant to Section 2145 of the Revised Administrative Code, all the Mangyans in the
townships of Naujan and Pola and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in the
districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan, were ordered to take up their habitation on the
site of Tigbao, Naujan Lake. Also, that any Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shall
upon conviction be imprisoned not exceed in sixty days, in accordance with section 2759 of the
revised Administrative Code.
Said resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro were claimed as necessary measures for the
protection of the Mangyanes of Mindoro and the protection of public forests in which they roam,
and to introduce civilized customs among them.
It appeared that Rubi and those living in his rancheria have not fixed their dwelling within
the reservation of Tigbao and are liable to be punished.
It is alleged that the Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial
officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on
the reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held
under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away from
the reservation.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 2145 of the Revised Administrative Code is unconstitutional on the
ground that it is an undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial government?
HELD: No, Section 2145 of the RAC is not unconstitutional. The legislature merely conferred upon
the provincial governor, with the approval of the provincial board and the Department Head,
discretionary authority as to the execution of the law. The true distinction therefore is between the
delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be,
and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance
of the law. The first cannot be done; to the later no valid objection can be made.
Also, the Supreme Court explained that an exception to the general rule of non-delegation of
legislative power sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central legislative body to
delegate legislative powers to local authorities. The Philippine Legislature has here conferred
authority upon the Province of Mindoro, to be exercised by the provincial governor and the
provincial board.
G.R. No. L-10202
March 27, 1917
FACTS: The Municipality of Cardona alleged that section 1 of Act No. 1748; entitled "An Act
authorizing the adjustment of provincial and municipal boundaries and authorizing the change of
capitals of provinces and subprovinces, as may be necessary from time to time to serve the public
convenience and interest," is in violation of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, in that it delegates
legislative powers to the Governor-General, whereas the Act of Congress referred to lodges those
powers in the Philippine Legislature.
ISSUE: Whether or not Act No. 1748 is "unconstitutional" on the ground that it confers on the
Governor-General legislative authority?
HELD: No, it is not unconstitutional. The delegation of the power referred to on the GovernorGeneral does not involve an abdication of legislative functions on the part of the legislature with
regard to the particular subject-matter with which it authorizes the Governor-General to deal. It is
simply a transference of certain details with respect to provinces, municipalities, and townships,
many of them newly created, and all of them subject to more or less rapid change both in
development and centers of population, the proper regulation of which might require not only
prompt action but action of such a detailed character as not to permit the legislative body, as such,
to take it efficiently. We find no provision of the Act applicable so far as it touches this case which is
in violation of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
G.R. No. 47065
June 26, 1940
FACTS: Pangasinan Transportation Company Inc. (PTI) has been engaged for 20 years in the
business of transporting passengers in Pangasinan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija through TPU buses in
accordance with the terms and conditions of the certificates of public convenience issued by the
Public Utility Commission (later called Public Service Commission). The company applied for an
authorization to operate ten additional Brockway trucks on the ground that they were needed to
comply with the terms and conditions of its existing certificates and as a result of the application of
the Eight Hour Labor Law. PSC agreed to grant the authorization, but with two conditions as
provided for by section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 454: First, that the certificates of authorization
issued to it would be valid only for a period of 25 years counted from the date of promulgation; and
second, that the company may be acquired by the Philippine Commonwealth with proper payment
of the cost price of its equipment, taking into account reasonable depreciation to be fixed by the
Commission at the time of it acquisition. PTI did not agree with the conditions, and instead asked
the Supreme Court to declare Commonwealth Act No. 454.
ISSUE: Whether or not Commonwealth Act No. 454 is unconstitutional for being undue delegation
of legislative power on the ground that without limitation, guide or rule except the unfettered
discretion and judgment of the Commission, constitute a complete and total abdication by the
Legislature of its functions in the premises, and for that reason, the Act, in so far as those powers
are concerned.
HELD: No, the law is not unconstitutional. The law is made subject to a sufficient standard that the
PSC must strictly follow. Inasmuch as the period to be fixed by the Commission under section 15 is
inseparable from the certificate itself, said period cannot be disregarded by the Commission in
determining the question whether the issuance of the certificate will promote the public interests in
a proper and suitable manner. Conversely, in determining "a definite period of time," the
Commission will be guided by "public interests," the only limitation to its power being that said
period shall not exceed fifty years (sec. 16 (a), Commonwealth Act No. 146; Constitution, Art. XIII,
sec. 8.) The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that "public interest" furnishes a sufficient standard.
G.R. No. 47800, December 2, 1940
FACTS: The National Traffic Commission recommended to the Director of Public Works and to the
Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from
passing along Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas Street, from
7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the
railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one
year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Commonwealth Act 548 authorized said Director of Public Works, with the approval of the
Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate
and control the use of and traffic on national roads.
ISSUE: Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works infringe
upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being
and economic security of all the people.
HELD: There is no undue delegation of legislative power. Commonwealth Act 548 does not confer
legislative powers to the Director of Public Works. The authority conferred upon them and under
which they promulgated the rules and regulations now complained of is not to determine what
public policy demands but merely to carry out the legislative policy laid down by the National
Assembly in said Act, to wit, “to promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on, roads and
streets designated as national roads by acts of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the
President of the Philippines” and to close them temporarily to any or all classes of traffic “whenever
the condition of the road or the traffic makes such action necessary or advisable in the public
convenience and interest.”
The delegated power, if at all, therefore, is not the determination of what the law shall be, but
merely the ascertainment of the facts and circumstances upon which the application of said law is
to be predicated.
To promulgate rules and regulations on the use of national roads and to determine when and how
long a national road should be closed to traffic, in view of the condition of the road or the traffic
thereon and the requirements of public convenience and interest, is an administrative function
which cannot be directly discharged by the National Assembly.
G.R. No. L-4043
May 26, 1952
FACTS: Cenon Cervantes, Manager of the National Abaca and Other Fibers Corporation (NAFCO)
receiving P15,000 salary a year, assailed the decision of the Auditor General denying his claim for
quarters allowance. By a resolution of the Board of Directors of NAFCO, Cervantes was granted
quarters allowance of not exceeding P400 a month effective the first of August, 1949. The
resolution was disapproved by the Control Committee of the Government Enterprises on strength
of the recommendation of the NAFCO auditor, concurred in by the Auditor General, because of the
following reasons: (1) that quarters allowance constituted additional compensation prohibited by
the charter of the NAFCO, which fixes the salary of the general manager thereof at the sum not to
exceed P15,000 a year, and (2) that the precarious financial condition of the corporation did not
warrant the granting of such allowance.
The President promulgated Executive Order No. 93 creating the Government Enterprises Council
creating the Control Committee of the Government Enterprises pursuant to Republic Act No. 51
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
approved by Congress authorizing the President of the Philippines, among other things, to effect
such reforms and changes in government owned and controlled corporations for the purpose of
promoting simplicity, economy and efficiency in their operation.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 51 is unconstitutional on the ground that it is an undue delegation of
legislative power.
HELD: No. The rule is that so long as the Legislature "lays down a policy and a standard is
established by the statute" there is no undue delegation. (11 Am. Jur. 957). Republic Act No. 51 in
authorizing the President of the Philippines, among others, to make reforms and changes in
government-controlled corporations, lays down a standard and policy that the purpose shall be to
meet the exigencies attendant upon the establishment of the free and independent government of
the Philippines and to promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in their operations. The standard
was set and the policy fixed. The President had to carry the mandate. This he did by promulgating
the executive order in question which, tested by the rule above cited, does not constitute an undue
delegation of legislative power.
G.R. No. L-23825 December 24, 1965
FACTS: President Diosdado Macapagal, purporting to act pursuant to Section 68 of the Revised
Administrative Code, issued Executive Orders Nos. 93 to 121, 124 and 126 to 129; creating thirtythree (33) municipalities. petitioner Emmanuel Pelaez, as Vice President of the Philippines and as
taxpayer, questioned the said EOs and petitioned the court to restrain the Auditor General and his
representatives and agents, from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in
implementation of said executive orders and/or any disbursement by said municipalities.
Petitioner alleges that said executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that said Section 68
has been impliedly repealed by Republic Act No. 2370 and constitutes an undue delegation of
legislative power.
ISSUE: Whether or not the creation of the 33 municipalities is null and void on the ground that the
President has no power to create municipalities.
HELD: Yes, the creation of the 33 municipalities is null and void as the power to create municipal
corporations is solely legislative in nature. Although Congress may delegate to another branch of
the Government the power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a
law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law:
(a) be complete in itself — it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or
implemented by the delegate — and
(b) fix a standard — the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable — to
which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate would in effect, make or formulate
such policy, which is the essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there
would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within
or beyond the scope of his authority. Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power, not
only to make the law, but, also — and this is worse — to unmake it, by adopting measures
inconsistent with the end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus nullifying the principle
of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances, and, consequently, undermining the
very foundation of our Republican system.
Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well settled requirements for a
valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any
policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it give a standard
sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to.
G.R. No. L-19850
January 30, 1964
FACTS: This is an original action for certiorari to annul an order of respondent Public Service
Commission ordering the reduction of rates of Vigan Electric Light Co. PSC averred that Vigan
Electric making a net operating profit in excess of the allowable return of 12% on its invested
capital, and that it is in the public interest and in consonance with Section 3 of Republic Act No.
3043 that reduction of its rates to the extent of its excess revenue be put into effect immediately.
Vigan Electric contended that the reduction of rate is unconstitutional because it has been ordered
without notice and hearing, thus issued without due process of law. In defense, PSC maintains that
rate-fixing is a legislative function; that legislative or rule-making powers may constitutionally be
exercised without previous notice of hearing; and that the decision in Ang Tibay vs. Court of
Industrial Relations (69 Phil., 635) — in which we held that such notice and hearing are essential to
the validity of a decision of the Public Service Commission — is not in point because, unlike the
order complained of — which respondent claims to be legislative in nature — the Ang Tibay case
referred to a proceeding involving the exercise of judicial functions.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Congress validly delegated legislative power to the PSC?
HELD: No. Congress has not delegated, and cannot delegate legislative powers to the Public Service
Commission. Consistently with the principle of separation of powers, which underlies our
constitutional system, legislative powers may not be delegated except to local governments, and
only to matters purely of local concern. However, Congress may delegate to administrative agencies
of the government the power to supply the details in the execution or enforcement of a policy laid
down by it which is complete in itself. Such law is not deemed complete unless it lays down a
standard or pattern sufficiently fixed or determinate, or, at least, determinable without requiring
another legislation, to guide the administrative body concerned in the performance of its duty to
implement or enforce said Policy. Otherwise, there would be no reasonable means to ascertain
whether or not said body has acted within the scope of its authority, and, as a consequence, the
power of legislation would eventually be exercised by a branch of the Government other than that
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
in which it is lodged by the Constitution, in violation, not only of the allocation of powers therein
made, but, also, of the principle of separation of powers.
Although the rule-making power and even the power to fix rates — when such rules and/or rates
are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the Philippines — may partake of a
legislative character, such is not the nature of the order complained of. Indeed, the same applies
exclusively to petitioner herein. What is more, it is predicated upon the finding of fact — based
upon a report submitted by the General Auditing Office — that petitioner is making a profit of more
than 12% of its invested capital, which is denied by petitioner. Obviously, the latter is entitled to
cross-examine the maker of said report, and to introduce evidence to disprove the contents thereof
and/or explain or complement the same, as well as to refute the conclusion drawn therefrom by the
respondent. In other words, in making said finding of fact, respondent performed a
functionpartaking of a quasi-judicial character the valid exercise of which demands previous notice
and hearing.
III. Creation, Establishment and Abolition of Administrative Agencies
G.R. No. 192935
December 7, 2010
FACTS: At the dawn of his administration, President Benigno Aquino III on July 30, 2010, signed
Executive Order No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission).
Petitioner Louis Biraogo in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer and petitioners Edcel C. Lagman,
Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitioners-legislators) as
incumbent members of the House of Representatives, assail Executive Order No. 1 for being
violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it
usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate
funds therefor.
The Executive Secretary avers that the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) is a mere ad hoc body
formed under the Office of the President with the primary task to investigate reports of graft and
corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices
and accessories during the previous administration, and thereafter to submit its finding and
recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. Though it has been described as
an "independent collegial body," it is essentially an entity within the Office of the President Proper
and subject to his control. Doubtless, it constitutes a public office, as an ad hoc body is one. To
accomplish its task, the PTC has all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9,
Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987. It is not, however, a quasi-judicial body as it cannot
adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it
can do is gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It
may have subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their
arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause
exists as to warrant the filing of an information in our courts of law. Needless to state, it cannot
impose criminal, civil or administrative penalties or sanctions.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 1 creating the Philippine Truth Commission violates the separation of
powers as it arrogates the power of the Congress to create a public office and appropriate funds for
its operation.
HELD: No. The creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the
Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.
Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the allocation of power in the three principal branches
of government is a grant of all powers inherent in them. The President’s power to conduct
investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws – in this case, fundamental laws
on public accountability and transparency – is inherent in the President’s powers as the Chief
Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct investigations and to create bodies to
execute this power is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in statutes does not mean that
he is bereft of such authority.
It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the laws,
for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers inhere in
such positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the
Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President.
It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of
law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations.
On these premises, the SC holds the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations
on the exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally
considered as within the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot
be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words,
executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated.
Indeed, the Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. As
stated above, the powers of the President are not limited to those specific powers under the
Constitution. One of the recognized powers of the President granted pursuant to this
constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to create ad hoc committees. This flows from the
obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been faithfully executed.
On the charge that Executive Order No. 1 transgresses the power of Congress to appropriate funds
for the operation of a public office, suffice it to say that there will be no appropriation but only an
allotment or allocations of existing funds already appropriated. Accordingly, there is no usurpation
on the part of the Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. Further, there is no need
to specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the commission because, in the words of
the Solicitor General, "whatever funds the Congress has provided for the Office of the President will
be the very source of the funds for the commission." Moreover, since the amount that would be
allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations, there is no
impropriety in the funding.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Note: However, Executive Order No. 1 was declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative
of the equal protection clause of the Constitution because it does not apply equally to all members
of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object.
G.R. No. L-27811 November 17, 1967
FACTS: Jose Magallanes was a permittee and actual occupant of a 1,103-hectare pasture land
situated in Tamlangon, Bansalan, of Davao. He ceded his rights and interests to a portion (392,7569
hectares) of the public land to the Lacson-Magallanes Co. Such ceded portion was officially released
from the forest zone as pasture land and declared agricultural land.
Meanwhile, Jose Paño and nineteen other claimants applied for the purchase of ninety hectares of
the released area. In turn, Lacson-Magallanes filed its own sales application covering the entire
released area. This was protested by Jose Paño and his nineteen companions upon the averment
that they are actual occupants of the part thereof covered by their own sales application. The
Director of Lands, following an investigation of the conflict, dismissed the claim of Jose Paño and his
companions. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources also dismissed the appeal of Paño.
The case was elevated to the President of the Philippines. Executive Secretary Juan Pajo, "[b]y
authority of the President" decided the controversy, modified the decision of the Director of Lands
as affirmed by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and (1) declared that "it would
be for the public interest that appellants, who are mostly landless farmers who depend on the land
for their existence, be allocated that portion on which they have made improvements;" and (2)
directed that the controverted land should be subdivided into lots of convenient sizes and allocated
to actual occupants, without prejudice to the corporation's right to reimbursement for the cost of
surveying this portion."
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the Executive Secretary herein is an undue delegation of
power on the ground that the Constitution does not contain any provision whereby the presidential
power of control may be delegated to the Executive Secretary.
HELD: No. The Chief Executive may delegate to his Executive Secretary acts which the Constitution
does not command that he perform in person. The President is not expected to perform in person
all the multifarious executive and administrative functions. The Office of the Executive Secretary is
an auxiliary unit which assists the President. The rule which has thus gained recognition is that
"under our constitutional setup the Executive Secretary who acts for and in behalf and by authority
of the President has an undisputed jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or even reverse any order" that
the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, including the Director of Lands, may issue.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
IV. Powers and functions of administrative agencies.
G.R. Nos. L-32370 & 32767 April 20, 1983
FACTS: Sierra Madre Trust (SMT) filed two adverse claims over 12 separate lode mineral claims
with the Bureau of Mines. On July 26, 1962, the SMTfiled with the Bureau of Mines an Adverse
Claim against LLA No. V-7872 of the Jusan Trust Mining Company over six (6) lode mineral claims,
all situated in Sitio Maghanay, Barrio Abaca Municipality of Dupax, Province of Nueva Vizcaya. The
adverse claim prayed that the claims of respondent Jusan Trust Mining Company (JTMC) be denied
and declared null, void, and illegal as the said lode minerals claims covered by LLA No. V-7872
(Amd) encroached and overlapped the eleven (11) lode mineral claims of SMT.
SMT also filed an adverse claim against J and S Partnership (JSP) over another six (6) lode mineral
situated in Sitio Gatid, Barrio of Abaca Municipality of Dupax, Province of Nueva Vizcaya on July 26,
1966, claiming that they encroached and overlapped the thirteen (13) lode mineral claims of SMT.
These two (2) adverse claims were jointly heard in the Bureau of Mines, and also jointly considered
in the appeal in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Director of Mines and
the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources dismissed the claims. They said that there exists
no conflict or overlapping between the SMT's and JTMC's and JSP’s mining claims.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of administrative bodies, the Bureau of Mines and Department
of Agriculture and Natural Resources, must be overturned?
HELD: No. The officers of the Executive Department tasked with administering the Mining Law
have found that there is neither encroachment nor overlapping in respect of the claims involved.
Accordingly, whatever may be the answers to the questions will not materially serve the interests
of the petitioner. In closing it is useful to remind litigation prone individuals that the interpretation
by officers of laws which are entrusted to their administration is entitled to great respect.' In his
decision, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources said: "This Office is in conformity with
the findings of the Director of Mines that the mining claims of the appellees were validly located,
surveyed and registered.
TOBIAS, in his capacity as General Manager of the National Housing Authority, THE HON.
JACOBO C. CLAVE, in his capacity as Presidential Executive Assistant and VIRGILIO A. YUSON
G.R. No. L-50444 August 31, 1987
FACTS: Jose Hernando acquired prospective and beneficial ownership over Lot. No. 15, Block IV of
the Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, from the petitioner Antipolo Realty
Corporation under a Contract to Sell. On 28 August 1974, Hernando transferred his rights over the
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
said lot to private respondent Virgilio Yuson, embodied in a Deed of Assignment and Substitution of
Obligor. However, for failure of Antipolo Realty to develop the subdivision project in accordance
with its undertaking under Clause 17 of the Contract to Sell (subdivision beautification), Mr. Yuson
paid only the arrearages pertaining to the period up to, and including, the month of August 1972
and stopped all monthly installment payments falling due thereafter.
On 14 October 1976, the president of Antipolo Realty sent a notice to private respondent Yuson
advising that the required improvements in the subdivision had already been completed, and
requesting resumption of payment of the monthly installments on Lot No. 15. For his part, Mr.
Yuson replied that he would conform with the request as soon as he was able to verify the truth of
the representation in the notice. In a second letter dated 27 November 1976, Antipolo Realty
reiterated its request, citing the decision rendered by the National Housing Authority (NHA) on 25
October 1976 in Case No. 252 (entitled "Jose B. Viado Jr., complainant vs. Conrado S. Reyes,
respondent") declaring Antipolo Realty to have "substantially complied with its commitment to the
lot buyers pursuant to the Contract to Sell. A formal demand was made for full and immediate
payment of the amount of P16,994.73, representing installments which, Antipolo Realty alleged,
had accrued during the period while the improvements were being completed — i.e., between
September 1972 and October 1976.
Yuson refused to pay the September 1972-October 1976 monthly installments but agreed to pay
the post October 1976 installments. Antipolo Realty responded by rescinding the Contract to Sell,
and claiming the forfeiture of all installment payments previously made by Mr. Yuson. Yuson
brought his dispute with Antipolo Realty before NHA. Antipolo Realty filed a motion to dismiss,
which NHA denied. After hearing, the NHA rendered a decision on 9 March 1978 ordering the
reinstatement of the Contract to Sell. A motion for reconsideration of Antipolo Realty was also denied.
ISSUE: Whether or not in hearing the complaint of Yuson and in ordering the reinstatement of the
Contract to Sell between the parties NHA assumed the performance of judicial or quasi-judicial
functions which it was not authorized to perform.
HELD: No. It is by now commonplace learning that many administrative agencies exercise and
perform adjudicatory powers and functions, though to a limited extent only. Limited delegation of
judicial or quasi-judicial authority to administrative agencies (e.g., the Securities and Exchange
Commission and the National Labor Relations Commission) is well recognized in our
jurisdiction, basically because the need for special competence and experience has been recognized
as essential in the resolution of questions of complex or specialized character and because of a
companion recognition that the dockets of our regular courts have remained crowded and clogged.
The Court held that under the law creating NHA it is empowered to regulate the real estate trade
and business involving … specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by
buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or
The Court held that under the "sense-making and expeditious doctrine of primary jurisdiction . . . the
courts cannot or will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction
of an administrative tribunal where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative
discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with
the purposes of the regulatory statute administered."
G.R. No. 161811
April 12, 2006
FACTS: The Bureau of Lands awarded on May 13, 1966 to Narcisa A. Placino a parcel of land
identified as Lot No. 10 (the lot) located at Saint Anthony Road, Dominican-Mirador Barangay,
Baguio City. Francisco Niño, who has been occupying the lot, contested the award by filing a
Petition Protest on December 23, 1975 before the Bureau of Lands. The Director of Lands dismissed
the Petition Protest by Order of November 11, 1976. Niño appealed the dismissal all the way to the
Supreme Court but he did not succeed.
The decision of the Director of Lands having become final and executory, the then-Executive
Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Autonomous Region
(DENR-CAR), on petition of Narcisa, issued an Order of Execution directing the Community
Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Officer to enforce the decision "by ordering
Petitioner Niño and those acting in his behalf to refrain from continuously occupying the area and
remove whatever improvements they may have introduced thereto." Attempts to enforce the Order
of Execution failed, prompting Narcisa to file a complaint for ejectment before the Baguio City
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC).
Narcisa’s counsel, Atty. Edilberto Claravall, later petitioned the DENR-CAR for the issuance of a
Special Order authorizing the City Sheriff of Baguio, the City Police Station, and the Demolition
Team of the City Government to demolish or remove the improvements on the lot introduced by
Niño. The DENR-CAR denied the petition, citing lack of jurisdiction over the City Sheriff of Baguio,
the City Police Station, and the Demolition Team of the City Government but on July 16, 1997, the
Demolition Team of Baguio City headed by Engineer Orlando Genove and the Baguio City Police, on
orders of then Baguio City Police Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Donato Bacquian, started demolishing the
houses of Niño and his herein co-respondents.
Niño and his wife Josefina Niño thereupon filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer
for Temporary Restraining Order before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baguio City. The RTC
denied the petition. However the Court of Appeals granted the petition on appeal. Mayor Mauricio
Domogan thru the Demolition Team and City Engineer’s Office are ordered to cease and desist from
enforcing the amended order of executionissued by Oscar N. Hamada, Regional Executive Director
of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, concerning the demolition or removal
of the structures made by petitioners until private respondent applied for a special order
abovementioned with the proper court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the enforcement of the Amended Order of Execution needs a hearing and
court order which Sec. 10(d) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court requires despite the fact that an the
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
administrative agency which is clothed with quasi-judicial functions issued the Amended Order of
HELD: Yes. In general, the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative
agency may exercise is defined in the enabling act of such agency. In other words, the extent to
which an administrative entity may exercise such powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the
provisions of the statute creating or empowering such agency. There is, however, no explicit
provision granting the Bureau of Lands (now the Land Management Bureau) or the DENR (which
exercises control over the Land Management Bureau) the authority to issue an order of demolition
— which the Amended Order of Execution, in substance, is.
While the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands is confined to the determination of the respective
rights of rival claimants to public lands or to cases which involve the disposition of public lands, the
power to determine who has the actual, physical possession or occupation or the better right of
possession over public lands remains with the courts.
G.R. No. 162070 October 19, 2005
FACTS: The case at bar involves a land in Aroroy, Masbate, inherited by respondents which has
been devoted exclusively to cow and calf breeding. On October 26, 1987, pursuant to the then
existing agrarian reform program of the government, respondents made a voluntary offer to sell
(VOS) their landholdings to petitioner DAR to avail of certain incentives under the law.
A new agrarian law, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law (CARL) of 1988, took effect. It included in its coverage farms used for raising livestock,
poultry and swine. However, the Supreme Court in an en banc decision in the case of Luz Farms v.
Secretary of DAR, ruled that lands devoted to livestock and poultry-raising are not included in the
definition of agricultural land.
In view of the Luz Farms ruling, respondents filed with petitioner DAR a formal request to
withdraw their VOS as their landholding was devoted exclusively to cattle-raising and thus
exempted from the coverage of the CARL. Instead of granting the request, DAR issued A.O. No. 9,
series of 1993, which provided that only portions of private agricultural lands used for the raising
of livestock, poultry and swine as of June 15, 1988 shall be excluded from the coverage of the CARL.
In determining the area of land to be excluded, the A.O. fixed the following retention limits, viz: 1:1
animal-land ratio (i.e., 1 hectare of land per 1 head of animal shall be retained by the landowner),
and a ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock infrastructure for every 21 heads of cattle shall likewise
be excluded from the operations of the CARL.
Invoking its rule-making power under Section 49 of the CARL, petitioner submits that it issued DAR
A.O. No. 9 to limit the area of livestock farm that may be retained by a landowner pursuant to its
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
mandate to place all public and private agricultural lands under the coverage of agrarian reform.
Petitioner also contends that the A.O. seeks to remedy reports that some unscrupulous landowners
have converted their agricultural farms to livestock farms in order to evade their coverage in the
agrarian reform program.
DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order7 partially granting the application of respondents
for exemption from the coverage of CARL. Applying the retention limits outlined in the DAR A.O. No.
9, petitioner exempted 1,209 hectares of respondents’ land for grazing purposes, and a maximum of
102.5635 hectares for infrastructure. Petitioner ordered the rest of respondents’ landholding to be
segregated and placed under Compulsory Acquisition. Sutton’s move for reconsideration was
denied. The Office of the President also denied the request. However, the Court of Appeals declared
the AO No. 9 unconstitutional.
ISSUE: Whether or not DAR has exceeded its power in issuing the assailed A.O. regulating livestock
farms which have been exempted by the Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform.
HELD: Yes. The A.O. sought to regulate livestock farms by including them in the coverage of
agrarian reform and prescribing a maximum retention limit for their ownership. However, the
deliberations of the 1987 Constitutional Commission show a clear intent to exclude, inter alia, all
lands exclusively devoted to livestock, swine and poultry- raising. The Court clarified in the Luz
Farms case that livestock, swine and poultry-raising are industrial activities and do not fall within
the definition of "agriculture" or "agricultural activity."
The fundamental rule in administrative law is that, to be valid, administrative rules and
regulations must be issued by authority of a law and must not contravene the provisions of the
Constitution. The rule-making power of an administrative agency may not be used to abridge the
authority given to it by Congress or by the Constitution. Nor can it be used to enlarge the power of
the administrative agency beyond the scope intended. Constitutional and statutory provisions
control with respect to what rules and regulations may be promulgated by administrative agencies
and the scope of their regulations.
Administrative agencies are endowed with powers legislative in nature, i.e., the power to make
rules and regulations. They have been granted by Congress with the authority to issue rules to
regulate the implementation of a law entrusted to them. Delegated rule-making has become a
practical necessity in modern governance due to the increasing complexity and variety of public
functions. However, while administrative rules and regulations have the force and effect of law,
they are not immune from judicial review. They may be properly challenged before the courts to
ensure that they do not violate the Constitution and no grave abuse of administrative discretion is
committed by the administrative body concerned.
A.C. No. 4634 September 24, 1997
FACTS: On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus Cabarrus, Jr. filed an administrative complaint for
disbarment against Atty. Jose Antonio Bernas for alleged violations of Article 172 of the Revised
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Penal Code and Code of Professional Responsibility. Cabarrus alleged that Bernas and his client
Ramon B. Pascual, Jr. caused the preparation and filing of a criminal complaint for falsification of a
public document on April 11, 1996, (three days before the filing of the aforecited Civil Case) at the
AOED of the National Bureau of Investigation in violation of the ‘non-forum shopping’ rule by the
Supreme Court. The gravaman of the affidavit complaint of the respondent is forgery, the same legal
issue in Civil Case No. 65646.
Cabarrus contended that Atty. Bernas should be disbarred for having instigated, abetted and
facilitated the perversion and subversion of truth in the said verification and certification of nonforum shopping. Contrary to Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, Canon 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility for Lawyers.
In his Comment, Bernas averred that he has not committed forum shopping because the criminal
action is not an action that involves the same issue as those in a civil action and both suits can exist
without constituting forum shopping so long as the civil aspect has not been prosecuted in the
criminal case. He emphasized that forum shopping only exists when identical reliefs are issued by
the same parties in multiple fora.
ISSUE: Whether or not the filing a complaint before the National Bureau of Investigations when
another action has already been filed in another court constitutes forum shopping as it is one of the
courts, tribunals and agencies referred to under Circular No. 28-91, Revised Circular No. 28-91 and
Administrative Circular No. 04-94.
HELD: No. The courts, tribunals and agencies referred to under Circular No. 28-91, Revised Circular
No. 28-91 and Administrative Circular No. 04-94 are those vested with judicial powers or quasijudicial powers and those who not only hear and determine controversies between adverse parties,
but to make binding orders or judgments. As succinctly put it by R.A. 157, the NBI is not performing
judicial or quasi-judicial functions. The NBI cannot therefore be among those forums contemplated
by the Circular that can entertain an action or proceeding, or even grant any relief, declaratory or
The functions of the National Bureau of Investigations are merely investigatory and informational
in nature. It has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers and is incapable of granting any relief to a
party. It cannot even determine probable cause. It is an investigative agency whose findings are
merely recommendatory. It undertakes investigation of crimes upon its own initiative and as public
welfare may require. It renders assistance when requested in the investigation or detection of
crimes which precisely what Atty. Bernas sought in order to prosecute those persons responsible
for defrauding his client.
Requirements for enforcement of administrative issuances
G.R. No. 148579
February 5, 2007
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
FACTS: GMA Network, Inc. operates and manages the UHF television station, EMC Channel 27. On
January 7, 2000, MTRCB issued an order of suspension against the network for airing "Muro Ami:
The Making" without first securing a permit from it as provided in Section 7 of PD 1986. The
penalty of suspension was based on Memorandum Circular 98-17 dated December 15, 1998 which
provided for the penalties for exhibiting a program without a valid permit from the MTRCB.
GMA moved for reconsideration of the suspension order and, at the same time, informed MTRCB
that Channel 27 had complied with the suspension order by going off the air since midnight of
January 11, 2000. It also filed a letter-protest which was merely "noted" by the MTRCB thereby, in
effect, denying both the motion for reconsideration and letter-protest. GMA then filed with the CA a
petition for certiorari which was dismissed. The January 7, 2000 suspension order issued by
MTRCB was affirmed in toto.
ISSUE: Whether Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 was enforceable and binding on GMA.
HELD: No. While MTRCB had jurisdiction over the subject program, Memorandum Circular 98-17,
which was the basis of the suspension order, was not binding on petitioner. The Administrative
Code of 1987, particularly Section 3 thereof, expressly requires each agency to file with the Office of
the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the University of the Philippines Law Center three
certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Administrative issuances which are not published or
filed with the ONAR are ineffective and may not be enforced.
Memorandum Circular No. 98-17, which provides for the penalties for the first, second and third
offenses for exhibiting programs without valid permit to exhibit, has not been registered with the
ONAR as of January 27, 2000. Hence, the same is yet to be effective. It is thus unenforceable since it
has not been filed in the ONAR. Consequently, petitioner was not bound by said circular and should
not have been meted the sanction provided thereunder.
Note: The Supreme Court held that "Muro Ami: The Making" is not exempted from the MTRCB’s
power of review. The only exemptions are (1) television programs imprinted or exhibited by the
Philippine Government and/or departments and agencies, and (2) newsreels.
HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, HON. JOAQUIN
VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President, MELQUIADES P. DE LA
G.R. No. L-63915
December 29, 1986
FACTS: This case is a move for reconsideration/clarification of the first Tanada vs. Tuvera case.
Due process was invoked by the petitioners in demanding the disclosure of a number of
presidential decrees which they claimed had not been published as required by law. The
government argued that while publication was necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
"otherwise provided," as when the decrees themselves declared that they were to become effective
immediately upon their approval. In the decision of this case on April 24, 1985, the Court affirmed
the necessity for the publication of some of these decrees, declaring in the dispositive portion as
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all
unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published,
they shall have no binding force and effect.
The subject of the contention is Article 2 of the Civil Code providing as follows:
ART. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in
the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after
such publication.
a.) Whether or not the legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or
on any other date, without its previous publication.
b.) Whether or not the publication requirement covers all laws, including presidential decrees,
executive orders, administrative rules and regulations.
a.) No. The clause "unless it is otherwise provided" refers to the date of effectivity and not to
the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted. Publication is
indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion provide that the usual
fifteen-day period shall be shortened or extended. An example, as pointed out by the
present Chief Justice in his separate concurrence in the original decision,is the Civil Code
which did not become effective after fifteen days from its publication in the Official Gazette
but "one year after such publication."
The general rule did not apply because it was "otherwise provided."
b.) Yes. The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for
strictly speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not
apply to them directly. We hold therefore that all statutes, including those of local
application and private laws, shall be published as a condition for their effectivity, which
shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the
Covered by this rule are:
1. Presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the President in the exercise of
legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by the legislature or, at present,
directly conferred by the Constitution.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
2. Administrative rules and regulations if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing
law pursuant also to a valid delegation.
3. Charter of a city notwithstanding that it applies to only a portion of the national territory
and directly affects only the inhabitants of that place.
4. All presidential decrees must be published, including even, say, those naming a public place
after a favored individual or exempting him from certain prohibitions or requirements.
5. The circulars issued by the Monetary Board must be published if they are meant not merely
to interpret but to "fill in the details" of the Central Bank Act which that body is supposed to
Not covered are:
1. Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the
personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published.
2. The so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules
or guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties.
3. Instructions issued by, say, the Minister of Social Welfare on the case studies to be made in
petitions for adoption or the rules laid down by the head of a government agency on the
assignments or workload of his personnel or the wearing of office uniforms.
A. Limitation on the conferment of quasi-judicial power
G.R. No. L-15138
July 31, 1961
FACTS: These appeals present one identical question of law, namely, the validity of Reorganization
Plan No. 20-A, prepared and submitted by the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission
under the authority of Republic Act No. 997, as amended by Republic Act No. 1241, insofar as it
confers jurisdiction to the Regional Offices of the Department of Labor created in said Plan to
decide claims of laborers for wages, overtime and separation pay, etc.
In G.R. No. L-15138, Manuel Gonzales filed with Regional Office No. 3 of the Department of Labor, in
Manila, a complaint against Bill Miller (owner and manager of Miller Motors) claiming to be a driver
of Miller from December 1, 1956 to October 31, 1957, on which latter date he was allegedly
arbitrarily dismissed, without being paid separation pay. He prayed for judgment for the amount
due him as separation pay plus damages. Upon receipt of said complaint, Chief Hearing Officer
Atanacio Mardo of Regional Office No. 3 of the Department of Labor required Miller to file an
In G.R. No. L-16781, Cresencio Estano filed with Regional Office No. 3 of the Department of Labor, a
complaint (RO 3 Ls. Case No. 874) against Chin Hua Trading Co. and/or Lao Kang Suy and Ke Bon
Chiong, as Manager and Assistant Manager thereof, respectively, claiming to have been their driver
from June 17, 1947 to June 4, 1955, for which service he was not paid overtime pay (for work in
excess of 8 hours and for Sundays and legal holidays) and vacation leave pay. He prayed for
judgment for the amount due him, plus attorney's fees.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
In G.R. No. L-15377, appellant Numeriana Raganas filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu a
complaint (Civil Case No. R-5535) against appellees Sen Bee Trading Company, Macario Tan and
Sergio Tan, claiming that she was employed by appellees as a seamstress from June 5, 1952 to
January 11, 1958, for which service she was underpaid and was not given overtime, as well as
vacation and sick leave pay. She prayed for judgment on the amount due her for the same plus
In G.R. No. L-16660, Vicente B. Romero filed with Regional Officer No. 2 of the Department of Labor a
complaint (Wage Case No. 196-W) against Sia Seng, for recovery of alleged unpaid wages, overtime
and separation pay. Sia Seng, filed an answer.
In G.R. No. L-17056, Mariano Pabillare instituted in Regional Office No. 3 of the Department of Labor
a complaint (IS-2168) against petitioner Fred Wilson & Co., Inc., alleging that petitioner engaged his
services as Chief Mechanic, Air conditioning Department, from October 1947 to February 19, 1959,
when he was summarily dismissed without cause and without sufficient notice and separation pay.
The petitioners questioned the authority of the regional offices to take cognizance of the subject
matter involved in their cases as provided for by paragraph 25 of Article VI of Reorganization Plan
No. 20-A, which provided that:
25. Each regional office shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases falling under the
Workmen's Compensation law, and cases affecting all money claims arising from violations of labor
standards on working conditions including but not restrictive to: unpaid wages, underpayment,
overtime, separation pay and maternity leave of employees and laborers; and unpaid wages,
overtime, separation pay, vacation pay and payment for medical services of domestic help.
Whether or not the jurisdiction to take cognizance of cases affecting money claims such as those
sought to be enforced in these proceedings, is a new conferment of power to the Department of
Labor not theretofore exercised by it.
It is true that in Republic Act No. 1241, amending Section 4 of Republic Act 997, which created the
Government Survey and Reorganization Commission, the latter was empowered —
(2) To abolish departments, offices, agencies, or functions which may not be necessary, or create
those which way be necessary for the efficient conduct of the government service, activities, and
functions. (Emphasis supplied.)
But these "functions" which could thus be created, obviously refer merely to administrative, not
judicial functions. For the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission was created to carry
out the reorganization of the Executive Branch of the National Government (See Section 3 of R.A. No.
997, as amended by R.A. No. 1241), which plainly did not include the creation of courts. And the
Constitution expressly provides that "the Judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and
in such inferior courts as may be established by law.(Sec. 1, Art. VII of the Constitution). Thus,
judicial power rests exclusively in the judiciary. It may be conceded that the legislature may confer
on administrative boards or bodies quasi-judicial powers involving the exercise of judgment and
discretion, as incident to the performance of administrative functions. But in so doing, the
legislature must state its intention in express terms that would leave no doubt, as even such quasi21
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
judicial prerogatives must be limited, if they are to be valid, only to those incidental to or in
connection with the performance of jurisdiction over a matter exclusively vested in the courts.
If a statute itself actually passed by the Congress must be clear in its terms when clothing
administrative bodies with quasi-judicial functions, then certainly such conferment can not be
implied from a mere grant of power to a body such as the Government Survey and Reorganization
Commission to create "functions" in connection with the reorganization of the Executive Branch of
the Government.
B. Jurisdiction
G.R. No. L-43653 November 29, 1977
FACTS: These are two cases involving complaints of inconvenience or injuries brought about by the
failure of the RCPI to transmit telegrams informing complainants of the deaths of close relatives
which according to them constitute breach of contractual obligation through negligence under the
Civil Code.
In one case, Diego Morales claims that while he was in Manila his daughter sent him a telegram on
October 15, 1974 from Santiago, Isabela, informing him of the death of his wife, Mrs. Diego T.
Morales. The telegram sent thru the petitioner RCPI however never reached him. He had to be
informed personally about the death of his wife and so to catch up with the burial of his wife, he had
to take the trip by airplane to Isabela. In its answer petitioner RCPI claims that the telegram sent by
respondent was transmitted from Santiago, lsabela to its Message Center at Cubao, Quezon City but
when it was relayed from Cubao, the radio signal became intermittent making the copy received at
Sta. Cruz, Manila unreadable and unintelligible. Because of the failure of the RCPI to transmit said
telegram to him, respondent allegedly suffered inconvenience and additional expenses and prays
for damages.
Meanwhile in another case, Pacifico Innocencio claim that on July 13, 1975 Lourdes Innocencio sent
a telegram from Paniqui, Tarlac, thru the facilities of the petitioner RCPI to him at Barrio Lomot,
Cavinti, Laguna for the Purpose of informing him about the death of their father. The telegram was
never received by Pacifico Innocencio. Inspite of the non-receipt and/or non-delivery of the
message sent to said address, the sender (Lourdes Innocencio has not been notified about its nondelivery, As a consequence Pacifica Innocencio was not able to attend the internment of their father
at Moncada, Tarlac. Because of the failure of RCPI to deliver to him said telegram he allegedly was
"shocked when he learned about the death of their father when he visited his hometown Moncada
Tarlac on August 14, 1975," and thus suffered mental anguish and personal inconveniences.
Likewise, he prays for damages.
Whether or not the Board of Communications has jurisdiction to entertain and take cognizance of
complaints for injury caused by breach of contractual obligation arising from negligence covered by
Article 1170 of the Civil Code and injury caused by quasi delict or tort liability under Article 2176 of
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
the Civil Code which according to it should be ventilated in the proper courts of justice and not in
the Board of Communications.
No. The Board of Communications, "being a creature of the legislature and not a court, can exercise
only such jurisdiction and powers as are expressly or by necessary implication,. conferred upon it
by statute". The functions of the Public Service Commission, now Board of Communications, are
limited and administrative in nature and it has only jurisdiction and power as are expressly or by
necessary implication conferred upon it by statute. As successor in interest of the Public Service
Commission, the Board of Communications exercises the same powers jurisdiction and functions as
that provided for in the Public Service Act for the Public Service Commission.
One of these powers as provided under Section 129 of the Public Service Act governing the
organization of the Specialized Regulatory Board, is to issue certificate of public convenience. But
this power to issue certificate of public convenience does not carry with it the power of supervision
and control over matters not related to the issuance of certificate of public convenience or in the
performance therewith in a manner suitable to promote public interest.
There can be no justification then for the Public Service Commission (now the Board of
Communications as successor in interest) imposing the fines in these two petitions. The law cannot
be any clearer . The only power it possessed over radio companies as noted was to fix rates It could
not take to task a radio company for an negligence or misfeasance. It was not vested with such
authority. That it did then in these two petitions lacked the impress of validity.
In the face of the provision itself, it is rather apparent that the Public Service Commission lacked the
required power to proceed against petitioner. There is nothing in Section 21 thereof which
empowers it to impose a fine that calls for a different conclusion.
C. Rules of Procedures
G.R. No. 147525, February 26, 2007
FACTS: A complaint for ejectment was filed against Bonifacio Espinoza by Maria V. Quibuloy, as coowner and administratrix of three parcels of land, alleging that Espinoza had reneged on his
obligations as tenant to pay the rent and till the subject landholding.
Instead of answering the complaint, Espinoza moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. He
cited Section 1, Rule III of the 1989 Rules of Procedure of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (1989 DARAB Rules), providing for conciliation proceedings before
the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council (BARC) prior to initiating the case. He contended that
presentation of a certification from the BARC, attesting that the dispute had been submitted to it for
mediation or conciliation without any success of settlement, was a jurisdictional requirement. On
that note, he concluded that the provincial adjudicator could not take cognizance of the agrarian
dispute due to Quibuloy’s failure to present the required certificate.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
The provincial adjudicator set the case for hearing but neither Espinoza nor his counsel attended
the hearing. Thus, Quibuloy was allowed to present her evidence ex-parte. Thereafter, the dispute
was ordered submitted for decision.
Just before the decision was rendered, Espinoza filed his answer assailing Quibuloy’s personality to
bring suit. Petitioner also offered unsubstantiated denials of Quibuloy’s charges. As his defense, he
denied allegations of non-payment of rents and non-tillage of the land for lack of knowledge and
information to form a belief as to the veracity thereof.
The provincial adjudicator was sufficiently convinced that Quibuloy’s allegations were true and
correct. Accordingly, he decided the case against Espinoza.
Whether or not DARAB is bound by technical rules followed in courts of law.
No. Administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions are not bound by technical rules
followed in courts of law. The adjudicator is given enough latitude, subject to the essential
requirements of administrative due process, to be able to expeditiously ascertain the facts of the
agrarian dispute.
While there may have been a technical lapse on the part of the adjudicator in disposing of the
motion to dismiss, the assailed acts of the adjudicator did not amount to a grave abuse of discretion
justifying a writ of certiorari. Considering the technical flexibility afforded to agrarian adjudicators,
the order may easily be construed as a denial of the motion to dismiss. What would have been the
prudent recourse under the rules was to submit an answer immediately, participate in the hearing
and appeal an adverse decision. Sadly, petitioner failed to do any of these. It is now too late for him
to dispute the adjudicator’s decision.
The 1989 DARAB Rules exempted parties residing in non-adjoining barangays from presenting the
BARC certification. Since it is undisputed that Quibuloy resided in San Nicolas
1st, Lubao, Pampanga while petitioner stayed in San Agustin, Lubao, Pampanga, the former was not
required to present the BARC certification before the adjudicator taking cognizance of the agrarian
dispute. Needless to say, the provincial adjudicator did not err in entertaining the dispute
notwithstanding the absence of the BARC certification.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
D. Privilege against self-incrimination
ROGER CHAVEZ, petitioner,
G.R. No. L-29169
August 19, 1968
FACTS: An information was filed against Chavez together with other accused for qualified theft of a
motor vehicle for stealing a Thunderbird car together with accessories.
During the trial, Fiscal Grecia (prosecution) called Chavez to become the first witness for the
prosecution. The counsel of the accused opposed, saying that said order will violate his client’s right
against self-incrimination.
Fiscal Grecia contended that Chavez will only be an ordinary witness not a state witness, thus the
trial court judge favored Fiscal Grecia on the grounds that (1) the right of the prosecution to ask
anybody to act as witness on the witness stand including the accused (2) If there should be any
question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to interpose his objection and the
court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the answer of this witness to the question
would incriminate him. (3) Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness
to answer questions which would incriminate him.
After the trial the court freed all the defendants except Chavez. His testimony was used by the lower
court to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and even branded him as a “self – confessed
The testimony of Chavez that was used against him is as follows:
He saw Lee driving the car and asked if it is for sale. Lee answered yes. Chavez met
Sumilang and informed him about the car. The two went to Asistio and made a plan to
capitalize on Romeo Vasquez' reputation as a wealthy movie star, introduce him as a buyer
to someone who was selling a car and, after the deed of sale is signed, by trickery to run
away with the car. Asistio would then register it, sell it to a third person for a profit. Chavez
known to be a car agent was included in the plan. He furnished the name of Johnson Lee
who was selling his Thunderbird. Chavez arranged the meeting with Lee. They agreed on
the price and went to Dy Sunk which is the registered owner of the car. Deed of sale was
drawn and signed by Sumilang. At Eugene's, a man approached Sumilang with a note which
stated that the money was ready at the Dalisay Theater. Sumilang then wrote on the same
note that the money should be brought to the restaurant. At the same time he requested Lee
to exhibit the deed of sale of the car to the note bearer. The two Chinese were left alone in
the restaurant. The two Chinese could not locate Sumilang and Chavez. They went out to the
place where the Thunderbird was parked, found that it was gone. They then immediately
reported its loss to the police. Much later, the NBI recovered the already repainted car and
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
impounded it. Chavez, Sumilang and Asistio converged that same day at Barrio Fiesta, a
restaurant at Highway 54 near the Balintawak monument in Caloocan. There, Asistio
handed to Sumilang P1,000.00 cash and a golf set worth P800.00 as the latter's share in the
transaction. On the 14th of November, the registration of the car was transferred in the
name of Sumilang in Cavite City, and three days later, in the name of Asistio in Caloocan.
Whether or not the constitutional right of Chavez against self – incrimination was violated by the
trial court.
Yes. During the trial, the petitioner declined to be a witness but the judge had impliedly forced him
by saying that the prosecution has the right and that his testimony will not be used against him.
Chavez was enveloped by a coercive force; they deprived him of his will to resist; they foreclosed
choice. With all these, we have no hesitancy in saying that petitioner was forced to testify to
incriminate himself, in full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. It cannot be said now
that he has waived his right. He did not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense; he did
not offer himself as a witness; on the contrary, he claimed the right upon being called to testify.
The Court also said that there is no waiver of the privilege of the said right on the part of the
accused. "To be effective, a waiver must be certain and unequivocal, and intelligently,
understandably, and willingly made; such waiver following only where liberty of choice has been
fully accorded. After a claim a witness cannot properly be held to have waived his privilege on
vague and uncertain evidence.
G.R. Nos. 71208-09 August 30, 1985
FACTS: In order to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing and to allow a
free, unlimited and exhaustive investigation of all aspects of the killing of Sen Aquino at MIA, PD
1886 was promulgated creating an ad hoc Fact Finding Board aka the Agrava Board. The board
conducted public hearings wherein various witnesses appeared and testified and/or produced
documentary and other evidence either in obedience to a subpoena or in response to an invitation
issued by the board. Among those who testified and produced evidence before the board are the
respondents in this petition.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Galman, et. al. contended that their individual testimonies before said board should not be admitted
in evidence and prayed that the same be rejected as evidence for the prosecution. However, said
prayer was denied by the Sandiganbayan contending that their testimonies could not be excluded
because the immunity was not available to them because of their failure to invoke their right
against self-incrimination before the ad hoc Fact Finding Board.
Whether or not the right against self incrimination extends to testimonies given before the Agrava
board, thus the testimonies given by the respondents who did not invoke their rights against selfincrimination before the Agrava Board is inadmissible in evidence.
Yes. The privilege has consistently been held to extend to all proceedings sanctioned by law and to
all cases in which punishment is sought to be visited upon a witness, whether a party or not. If in a
mere forfeiture case where only property rights were involved, "the right not to be compelled to be
a witness against himself" is secured in favor of the defendant, then with more reason it cannot be
denied to a person facing investigation before a Fact Finding Board where his life and liberty, by
reason of the statements to be given by him, hang on the balance.
The deletion of the phrase "in a criminal case" connotes no other import except to make said
provision also applicable to cases other than criminal. Decidedly then, the right "not to be
compelled to testify against himself" applies to the herein private respondents notwithstanding that
the proceedings before the Agrava Board is not, in its strictest sense, a criminal case.
Immunity Statutes:
1. One which grants “Use Immunity” - prohibits use of witness' compelled testimony and its fruits in
any manner in connection with the criminal prosecution of the witness.
2. One which grants “Transactional Immunity” - grants immunity to the witness from prosecution
for an offense to which his compelled testimony relates.
It is beyond dispute that said law belongs to the first type of immunity statutes (Use Immunity). It
grants merely immunity from use of any statement given before the Board, but not immunity from
prosecution by reason or on the basis thereof. Merely testifying and/or producing evidence do not
render the witness immuned from prosecution notwithstanding his invocation of the right against
self-incrimination. He is merely saved from the use against him of such statement and nothing
more. Stated otherwise, he still runs the risk of being prosecuted even if he sets up his right against
self-incrimination. The dictates of fair play, which is the hallmark of due process, demands that
private respondents should have been informed of their rights to remain silent and warned that any
and all statements to be given by them may be used against them. This, they were denied, under the
pretense that they are not entitled to it and that the Board has no obligation to so inform them.
The provision on self incrimination renders inadmissible any confession obtained in violation
thereof. As herein earlier discussed, this exclusionary rule applies not only to confessions but also
to admissions, whether made by a witness in any proceeding or by an accused in a criminal
proceeding or any person under investigation for the commission of an offense.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
The Board is in truth and in fact, and to all legal intents and purposes, an entity charged, not only
with the function of determining the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing, but more
importantly, the determination of the person or persons criminally responsible therefore so that
they may be brought before the bar of justice.
The investigation therefor is also geared, as any other similar investigation of its sort, to the
ascertainment and/or determination of the culprit or culprits, their consequent prosecution and
ultimately, their conviction.
In the course of receiving evidence, persons summoned to testify will include not merely plain
witnesses but also those suspected as authors and co-participants in the tragic killing. And when
suspects are summoned and called to testify and/or produce evidence, the situation is one where
the person testifying or producing evidence is undergoing investigation for the commission of an
offense and not merely in order to shed light on the facts and surrounding circumstances of the
assassination, but more importantly, to determine the character and extent of his participation
This notwithstanding, Presidential Decree No. 1886 denied them the right to remain silent. They
were compelled to testify or be witnesses against themselves. Section 5 of P.D. 1886 leave them no
choice. They have to take the witness stand, testify or produce evidence, under pain of contempt if
they failed or refused to do so. The jeopardy of being placed behind prison bars even before
conviction dangled before their very eyes. Similarly, they cannot invoke the right not to be a witness
against themselves, both of which are sacrosantly enshrined and protected by our fundamental law.
Both these constitutional rights to remain silent and not to be compelled to be a witness against
himself) were right away totally foreclosed by P.D. 1886. And yet when they so testified and
produced evidence as ordered, they were not immune from prosecution by reason of the testimony
given by them.
G.R. No. 89914 November 20, 1991
FACTS: The Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG), assisted by the Solicitor General, filed with the Sandiganbayan Civil Case No.
0035 (PCGG Case No. 35) entitled "Republic of the Philippines vs. Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez, et
al.", for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages.
The complaint said Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez and Juliette Gomez Romualdez, acting by
themselves and/or in unlawful concert with Defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos,
and taking undue advantage of their relationship, influence and connection with the latter
Defendant spouses, engaged in devices, schemes and strategems to unjustly enrich themselves.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Conflicting reports on the disposition by the PCGG of the Romualdez corporations were carried in
various newspapers. Other newspapersdeclared that shortly after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, the
Romualdez companies were sold for P5 million, without PCGG approval, to a holding company
controlled by Romualdez, and that Ricardo Lopa, the President’s brother-in-law, had effectively
taken over the firm.
While the said case was pending in court, then Senate Minority Floor Leader Senator Juan Ponce
Enrile asked the Senate to look into the matter of the alleged acquisition of the Lopa Group of the
properties of Kokoy Romualdez which is a subject of sequestration by the PCGG. Senator Enrile
cited probable violations of Republic Act No. 3019 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Section 5.
The Senate was referred to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
The petitioners representing Ricardo Lopa who passed away prior the decision of the court issued
this petition for prohibition and an issuance a temporary restraining order and/or injuctive relief
enjoin the Blue Ribbon committee of compelling them to appear before them.
Whether or not petitioners may be compelled by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to appear,
testify and produce evidence before it.
No. The questioned inquiry is not in aid of legislation and, if pursued, would be violative of the
principle of separation of powers between the legislative and the judicial departments of
government, ordained by the Constitution.
The Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both Houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in
aid of legislation. But the power of both Houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation
is not absolute or unlimited. As provided under Art. VI, Sec. 21, the investigation must be “in aid of
legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure” and that “the rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.” It follows then that the rights of
persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, including the right to due process and the right
not to be compelled to testify against one’s self.
The speech of Senator Enrile contained no suggestion of contemplated legislation; he merely called
upon the Senate to look into a possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The
purpose of the inquiry was to find out whether or not the relatives of President Aquino, particularly
Lopa, had violated the law in connection with the alleged sale of 36 or 39 corporations belonging to
Romualdez to the Lopa group. There appears to be, therefore, no intended legislation involved. This
matter appears to be more within the province of the courts rather than of the legislature.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
A. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
G.R. No. 154243
December 22, 2007
FACTS: Sometime in 1997, a certain Delia Buño (Buño) filed with the Office of the Inspector General
of the PNP an administrative complaint for abuse of authority/harassment against P/Senior
Inspector Jose J. Asayo. The latter allegedly obstructed police officers from arresting his brother
Lamberto Asayo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Buño's son.
The complaint was referred to the Inspector General for pre-charge investigation. When
summoned, Asayo did not appear but filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that it was the People's Law
Enforcement Board (PLEB) which had jurisdiction over the case.
On September 23, 1998, the Inspector General submitted a report to the PNP Chief recommending
the commencement of summary dismissal proceedings against Asayo. Upon approval of said
recommendation, the administrative complaint was referred to the PNP Legal Service for summary
hearing. Asayo was asked by the hearing officer if he wanted to cross-examine Buño and her
witnesses but he declined and instead agreed to submit the case for resolution based on the
On December 28, 1998, the hearing officer recommended that Asayo be dismissed from police
service for grave misconduct. On January 22, 1999, the PNP Chief, then Deputy Director General
Roberto Lastimoso, rendered a decision dismissing respondent from police service. Respondent
filed a motion for reconsideration of the PNP Chief's Decision but withdrew the same and instead
filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction with the Regional Trial Court of Manila (RTC).
The RTC granted his petition but the CA nullified such decision.
Whether or not Asayo failed to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to the filing of case in
No. Asayo rightfully invoked the jurisdiction of the courts without first going through all the
administrative remedies because the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies admits of
exceptions, such as when the issue involved is a purely legal question. The only issue presented by
respondent in his petition for certiorari and prohibition before the RTC was whether or not the PNP
Chief had jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint filed by a private citizen against him. Said
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
issue being a purely legal one, the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies did not apply
to the case.
NOTE: However, as to the question of whether the PNP Chief had jurisdiction to act on a private
citizen's complaint against respondent, the Court finds merit in petitioners' position. The PNP Chief
and regional directors are vested with the power to summarily dismiss erring PNP members if any
of the causes for summary dismissal enumerated in Section 42 is attendant. Thus, the power to
dismiss PNP members is not only the prerogative of PLEB but concurrently exercised by the PNP
Chief and regional directors.
B. Scope of Judicial Review
G.R. No. 141314. November 15, 2002
FACTS: On December 23, 1993, MERALCO filed with the ERB an application for the revision of its
rate schedules. The application reflected an average increase of 21 centavos per kilowatthour
(kwh) in its distribution charge. The application also included a prayer for provisional approval of
the increase pursuant to Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act and Section 8 of Executive Order No.
On January 28, 1994, the ERB issued an Order granting a provisional increase of P0.184 per kwh,
subject to the following condition:
In the event, however, that the Board finds, after hearing and submission by the Commission on
Audit of an audit report on the books and records of the applicant that the latter is entitled to a
lesser increase in rates, all excess amounts collected from the applicants customers as a result of
this Order shall either be refunded to them or correspondingly credited in their favor for
application to electric bills covering future consumptions.
In the same Order, the ERB requested the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct an audit and
examination of the books and other records of account of the applicant for such period of time,
which in no case shall be less than 12 consecutive months, as it may deem appropriate and to
submit a copy thereof to the ERB immediately upon completion.
On February 11, 1997, the COA submitted its Audit Report SAO No. 95-07 (the COA Report) which
contained, among others, the recommendation not to include income taxes paid by MERALCO as
part of its operating expenses for purposes of rate determination and the use of the net average
investment method for the computation of the proportionate value of the properties used by
MERALCO during the test year for the determination of the rate base.3
Subsequently, the ERB rendered its decision adopting the above recommendations and authorized
MERALCO to implement a rate adjustment in the average amount of P0.017 per kwh, effective with
respect to MERALCOs billing cycles beginning February 1994. The ERB further ordered that the
provisional relief in the amount of P0.184 per kilowatthour granted under the Boards Order dated
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
January 28, 1994 is hereby superseded and modified and the excess average amount of P0.167 per
kilowatthour starting with [MERALCOs] billing cycles beginning February 1994 until its billing
cycles beginning February 1998, be refunded to [MERALCOs] customers or correspondingly
credited in their favor for future consumption.
The ERB held that income tax should not be treated as operating expense as this should be borne by
the stockholders who are recipients of the income or profits realized from the operation of their
business hence, should not be passed on to the consumers. Further, in applying the net average
investment method, the ERB adopted the recommendation of COA that in computing the rate base,
only the proportionate value of the property should be included, determined in accordance with the
number of months the same was actually used in service during the test year.
Whether or not findings and conclusions of the ERB on the rate that can be charged by MERALCO to
the public should be respected.
Yes. Settled jurisprudence holds that factual findings of administrative bodies on technical matters
within their area of expertise should be accorded not only respect but even finality if they are
supported by substantial evidence even if not overwhelming or preponderant.
Courts should "refrain from substituting their discretion on the weight of the evidence for the
discretion of administrative agency on questions of fact and will only reverse or modify such orders
of the Public Service Commission when it really appears that the evidence is insufficient to support
their conclusions."
In the cases at bar, findings and conclusions of the ERB on the rate that can be charged by
MERALCO to the public should be respected. The function of the court, in exercising its power of
judicial review, is to determine whether under the facts and circumstances, the final order entered
by the administrative agency is unlawful or unreasonable.20 Thus, to the extent that the
administrative agency has not been arbitrary or capricious in the exercise of its power, the timehonored principle is that courts should not interfere. The principle of separation of powers dictates
that courts should hesitate to review the acts of administrative officers except in clear cases of
grave abuse of discretion.
G.R. No. L-9185
December 27, 1958
FACTS: This is a petition for review of a decision of the Public Service Commission granting to
Laguna Transportation Company three additional round trips from Pagsanjan, Laguna to Manila
and another three additional round trips from Batangas Piers to Manila.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
The application for increase was opposed by Laguna Tayabas Bus Company and Batangas
Transportation Company on the ground that they have already a bus service from Pagsanjan to
Manila with buses starting from Pagsanjan as well as coming from the municipalities of Paete and
Sta. Maria, and vice-versa, which is more than sufficient to satisfy the needs of the residents of
Pagsanjan as well as of intermediate municipalities; and that the Batangas Transportation Company
has likewise a bus service from Batangas Piers to Manila and vice-versa, which is also sufficient to
take care of the present volume of traffic.
The Commission granted the applications. The evidence presented by the applicant, according to the
Commission, shows "that passengers at Pagsanjan have a hard time in getting accommodation at
Pagsanjan as the buses coming from Sta. Maria, Paete or other points farther south, are already filled up
upon reaching Pagsanjan; that the residents of Pagsanjan desire to start at Pagsanjan very early in the
morning so that they can arrive at Manila and transact their business early, and then return on the same
day to Pagsanjan; that the buses of the applicant are already full of passengers and freight upon starting
from Pagsanjan, so that the passengers are forced to wait for other trips for one hour or more.
Whether or not the findings of the Commission regarding the need for additional trips can be
No. It is well-settled that "Where after a full hearing the Public Utility Commissioner makes finding
of fact, and there is a material conflict in the evidence, such findings will not be disturbed where
they are reasonably supported by testimony" (Inchausti Steamship Co. vs. Public Utility
Commissioner, 44 Phil., 363). It was also held that "Whether public necessity and convenience
warrant the putting up of additional services on the part of the appellee, is a question of fact which
the Public Service Commission has found in the affirmative. This finding, being supported by
sufficient evidence, should not be disturbed" (Raymundo Transportation Co. vs. Cervo, 91 Phil.,
The Court "will refrain from substituting their discretion on the weight of the evidence for the
discretion of the Public Service Commission on questions of fact and will only reverse or modify
such orders of the Public Service Commission when it really appears that the evidence is
insufficient to support their conclusions" (Manila Yellow Taxicab Co. and Acro Taxicab Co. vs.
Danon, 58 Phil., 75; See also Padua vs. Ocampo, et al., G. R. No. L-7579, September 17, 1955).
Question Subject to Judicial Review
G.R. No. 166197
February 27, 2007
FACTS: Metrobank is a creditor bank of respondent corporations, collectively known as the ASB
Group of Companies, owner and developer of condominium and real estate projects. The loans were
secured by real estate mortgages.
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
ASB Group of Companies filed with the SEC a Petition For Rehabilitation With Prayer For
Suspension Of Actions And Proceedings Against Petitioners, pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.)
No. 902-A, as amended. ASB Group of Companies submitted to the SEC for its approval a
Rehabilitation Plan, to which Metrobank objected, specifically as to the arrangement concerning the
mode of payment by respondents ASB Realty Corporation and ASB Development Corporation of
their loan obligations.
Under the plan, ASB will dacion the bank's equity in St. Francis Square and apply the excess dacion
value on its BSA Twin Tower loan. Further, Makati Hope, Buendia cor. Malugay, 21 Annapolis
(which is expected to be released by PNB) and # 28 & 23 Eisenhower St., will be dacioned to
Metrobank, the excess of which will also be applied to Metrobank's exposure on BSA Twin Towers.
In return, State Condominium will be freed up and placed in the ASB creditors' asset pool. Further,
Metrobank shall also undertake the completion of BSA Twin Towers.
The SEC Hearing Panel, finding petitioner bank’s objections unreasonable, approved the
Rehabilitation Plan. Metrobank then filed with the SEC En Banc a Petition for Certiorari, alleging
that the SEC Hearing Panel, in approving the Rehabilitation Plan, committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and praying for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin its implementation.
Subsequently, the ASB Group of Companies filed their Opposition to the petition, to which
petitioner bank filed its Reply. SEC En Banc denied petitioner bank’s Petition for Certiorari and
affirmed the SEC Hearing Panel’s approval of the plan.
Whether or not the decision of the SEC En Banc absent any showing of arbitrariness can still be
disturbed by a judicial review.
No. The SEC En Banc found that the SEC Hearing Panel "acted within its legal authority in resolving
this case. Neither it overstepped its lawful authority nor acted whimsically in approving the
Rehabilitation Plan. Hence, it cannot be faulted of grave abuse of discretion. The Court said that it
found no reason to disturb such finding, it being a fundamental rule that factual findings of quasijudicial agencies, like the SEC, which have acquired expertise as their jurisdiction is confined to
special matters such as the subject of this case, are generally accorded great respect and even
finality, absent any showing that they arbitrarily disregarded evidence or misapprehended
evidence to such an extent as to compel a contrary conclusion if such evidence had been properly
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Appeal to the Office of the President
G.R. No. 154377 : December 8, 2003
FACTS: On 21 May 1999, Land Car filed with the Regional Office of the Land Transportation
Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Region XII, a verified application to operate a public
utility bus service from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro City via Butuan City.
Bachelor Express and Vallacar Transit, themselves grantees of certificates of public convenience,
opposed petitioners application alleging that the route applied for was sufficiently being served by
them, and that cutthroat competition would only result if petitioners application were to be
favorably acted upon.
On 29 October 1999, the LTFRB rendered its decision granting petitioners application and directing
the issuance of the corresponding Certificate of Public Convenience. Bachelor and Vallacar then
appealed to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication
(DOTC), where in the DOTC Secretary reversed the decision of the LTFRB. After denial of MR, the
respondents thereupon moved for the immediate implementation by the LTFRB of the decision of
the DOTC Secretary. On 03 October 2000, the LTFRB granted respondents motion and directed
petitioner to cease and desist from operating its buses along the contested route.
On 07 October 2000, Land Car filed a letter-appeal to the Office of the President seeking to set aside
the resolution and order of the DOTC Secretary. It then likewise filed before the Court of Appeals a
petition for certiorari questioning the same resolution and order of the DOTC Secretary subject of
the letter-appeal addressed to the Office of the President. Upon advice of its new counsel, however,
petitioner filed a notice of withdrawal of its petition for certiorari pending with the appellate court.
The CA dismissed the said petition.
On 20 October 2000, the Office of the President issued a memorandum directing that the execution
of the resolution and order of the DOTC Secretary, be meanwhile stayed.
On 15 January 2001, respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari under Rule
65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, docketed C.A.-G.R. SP No. 62619, assailing the
Memorandum Order of the Office of the President. Respondents argued that the Office of the
President had no jurisdiction to issue the assailed order in the absence of any law providing for an
appeal from the DOTC to the Office of the President.
Whether or not the Office of the President has the power to review the final determination of
matters of the DOTC.
Yes. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies empowers the Office of the President to
review any determination or disposition of a department head. The doctrine allows, indeed
requires, an administrative decision to first be appealed to the administrative superiors up to the
highest level before it may be elevated to a court of justice for review. Thus, if a remedy within the
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
administrative machinery can still be had by giving the administrative officer concerned every
opportunity to decide on the matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy should be
priorly exhausted before the courts judicial power is invoked.
The CA correctly ruled that the action of a department head bears only the implied approval of the
President, and the latter is not precluded from exercising the power to review the decision of the
former pursuant to the Presidents power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and
The Office of the President validly acquired jurisdiction over the case upon the filing therewith of
the appeal by herein petitioner, and said jurisdiction is not lost by the subsequent recourse by the
petitioner of the certiorari proceedings before the Court of Appeals. Jurisdiction which has attached
in the first instance continues until the final resolution of the case. Incongruently, the appellate
court, while recognizing to be valid the exercise of jurisdiction by the Office of the President,
ordered the dismissal of the appeal pending with the said office based on forum shopping.
G.R. No. 169277
February 9, 2007
FACTS: Dr. Vicente K. Uy, Wellington K. Ong, Jaime Chua, and Daniel Sy, among others, are owners
of a 349.9996-ha parcel of land located in Barangay Camaflora, Barrio of San Andres, Municipality
of San Narciso, Province of Quezon. The property is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)
No. 160988.
Sometime in 1993, some 44 farmers who occupied portions of the property filed petitions in the
DAR, seeking to be declared as owners- beneficiaries. The DAR issued a Notice of Coverage under
the CARP over the property. For his part, respondent, in behalf of the co-owners, filed an
Application for Exclusion in the form of a letter, through Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO)
Durante L. Ubeda. To substantiate his request to exclude their landholding from CARP coverage
under the Luz Farms ruling, respondent declared that their property had been exclusively used for
livestock-raising for several years prior to June 15, 1988. The Provincial Task Force on Exclusion
led by Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) Belen T. Babalcon conducted an ocular
inspection of the property and an actual “headcount” was conducted.
PARO Durante L. Ubeda recommended the exclusion from CARP coverage a total of 219.50 has: 134
has. for cattle-grazing, 28 has. for horse and carabao grazing, 12.5 has. for infrastructure and 45 has.
for retention of nine landowners.
The applicants, through Uy, wrote a letter to DAR Region IV Director Percival C. Dalugdug
requesting for a reinvestigation of the Report of PARO Ubeda. Dir. Daludug affirmed the findings of
Ubeda. The applicants then appealed the order to the DAR Secretary. The DAR partially granted the
appeal only with respect with the 219.50 hectares.
The applicants appealed the order to the OP via an Appeal with Prayer for Status Quo/Stay of
Execution. The President, through then Deputy Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona rendered a
Case Digests in Administrative Law by Mark Anthony N. Manuel
decision dismissing the appeal for lack of merit, saying that private agricultural lands or portions
thereof exclusively, directly and actually used for livestock, poultry and swine raising as of 15 June
1988 shall be excluded from the coverage of CARP. Corona said By simple reading, it is obvious that
the livestock, poultry and swine, in order to be included in the computation of the area to be
exempted from CARP coverage, should have been existing in the area sought to be exempted at the
time of the effectivity of RA 6657, which is June 15, 1988.
However, on October 5, 1998, then Chief Presidential Legal Adviser Harriet Demetriou submitted
the following Memorandum to the President, advising the latter to exclude the land in question
completely. A second motion for reconsideration was filed and the OP acted upon the said MR.
Whether or not the OP is empowered to entertain the second motion for reconsideration filed
before it.
Yes. It is settled that rules of procedure are, as a matter of course, construed liberally in
proceedings before administrative bodies. Thus, technical rules of procedure imposed in judicial
proceedings are unavailing in cases before administrative bodies. Administrative bodies are not
bound by the technical niceties of law and procedure and the rules obtaining in the courts of law.
Rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very rigid and technical manner, as they are used only
to help secure and not to override substantial justice.
The SC ruled that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies empowers the OP to review
any determination or disposition of a department head. In fact, the doctrine requires an
administrative decision to first be appealed to the administrative superiors up to the highest level
before it may be elevated to a court of justice for review. Thus, if a remedy within the
administrative machinery can still be had by giving the administrative officer concerned every
opportunity to decide on the matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy should be
priorly exhausted before the court's judicial power is invoked.