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Arrow Transportation Corp -vsBoard of Transportation and Sultan Rent-A-Car, Inc. GR No.

L-9655, 21 March 1975 63 SCR 193 FACTS Petitioner Arrow and private respondent Sultan are both domestic corporations. Petitioner is a holder of a Certificate of Public Convenience to operate a public utility bus. Private respondent applied for the issuance of a CPC to operate a similar service. Without the required publication, public respondent Board granted a provisional permit to operate. Petitioner moved for reconsideration and cancellation of the provisional permit. Before resolution of the motion, petitioner filed for herein petition arguing that there must be publication before a provisional permit can be issued, with reference made to PD 101, which authorized the Board to grant provisional permits when warranted. ISSUE Whether or not the issuance of the provisional permit was legal. HELD The Court held in the affirmative. For a provisional permit to operate a public utility, an ex parte hearing would suffice. The decisive consideration is the existence of public need. That was shown in this case, respondent Board, on the basis of demonstrable data, being satisfied of the pressing necessity for the grant of the provisional permit sought.

[G.R. No. 134625. August 31, 1999]


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES BOARD OF REGENTS, CHANCELLOR ROGER POSADAS, DR. EMERLINDA ROMAN, DEAN CONSUELO PAZ, DR. ISAGANI MEDINA, DR. MARIA SERENA DIOKNO, DR. OLIVIA CAOILI, DR. FRANCISCO NEMENZO II, DEAN PACIFICO AGABIN, CARMELITA GUNO, and MARICHU LAMBINO, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and AROKIASWAMY WILLIAM MARGARET CELINE, respondents. DECISION MENDOZA, J.: For review before the Court is the decision of the Court of Appealsi[1] in CA-G.R. SP No. 42788, dated December 16, 1997, which granted private respondents application for a writ of mandatory injunction, and its resolution, dated July 13, 1998, denying petitioners motion for reconsideration. The antecedent facts are as follows:

Private respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine is a citizen of India and holder of a Philippine visitors visa. Sometime in April 1988, she enrolled in the doctoral program in Anthropology of the University of the Philippines College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) in Diliman, Quezon City. After completing the units of course work required in her doctoral program, private respondent went on a two-year leave of absence to work as Tamil Programme Producer of the Vatican Radio in the Vatican and as General Office Assistant at the International Right to Life Federation in Rome. She returned to the Philippines in July 1991 to work on her dissertation entitled, Tamil Influences in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. On December 22, 1992, Dr. Realidad S. Rolda, chairperson of the U.P. Department of Anthropology, wrote a letter to Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, CSSP Associate Dean and Graduate Program Director, certifying that private respondent had finished her dissertation and was ready for her oral defense. Dr. Rolda suggested that the oral defense be held on January 6, 1993 but, in a letter, dated February 2, 1993, Dr. Serena Diokno rescheduled it on February 5, 1993. Named as members of the dissertation panel were Drs. E. Arsenio Manuel, Serafin Quiason, Sri Skandarajah, Noel Teodoro, and Isagani Medina, the last included as the deans representative. After going over private respondents dissertation, Dr. Medina informed CSSP Dean Consuelo Joaquin-Paz that there was a portion in private respondents dissertation that was lifted, without proper acknowledgment, from Balfours Cyclopaedia of India and Eastern and Southern Asia (1967), volume I, pp. 392-401 (3 v., Edward Balfour 1885 reprint) and from John Edyes article entitled Description of the Various Classes of Vessels Constructed and Employed by the Natives of the Coasts of Coromandel, Malabar, and the Island of Ceylon for their Coasting Navigation in the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland Journal, volume I, pp. 114 (1833).ii[2] Nonetheless, private respondent was allowed to defend her dissertation on February 5, 1993. Four (4) out of the five (5) panelists gave private respondent a passing mark for her oral defense by affixing their signatures on the approval form. These were Drs. Manuel, Quiason, Skandarajah, and Teodoro. Dr. Quiason added the following qualification to his signature: Ms. Arokiaswamy must incorporate the suggestions I made during the successful defense of her Ph.D. thesis.iii[3] Dr. Medina did not sign the approval form but added the following comment: Pipirmahan ko ang pagsang-ayon/di pagsang-ayon kapag nakita ko na ang mga revisions ng dissertation.iv[4] Dr. Teodoro added the following note to his signature: Kailangang isagawa ang mga mahahalagang pagbabago at ipakita sa panel ang bound copies.v[5]

In a letter, dated March 5, 1993 and addressed to her thesis adviser, Dr. Manuel, private respondent requested a meeting with the panel members, especially Dr. Medina, to discuss the amendments suggested by the panel members during the oral defense. The meeting was held at the deans office with Dean Paz, private respondent, and a majority of the defense panel present.vi[6] During the meeting, Dean Paz remarked that a majority vote of the panel members was sufficient for a student to pass, notwithstanding the failure to obtain the consent of the Deans representative. On March 24, 1993, the CSSP College Faculty Assembly approved private respondents graduation pending submission of final copies of her dissertation. In April 1993, private respondent submitted copies of her supposedly revised dissertation to Drs. Manuel, Skandarajah, and Quiason, who expressed their assent to the dissertation. Petitioners maintain, however, that private respondent did not incorporate the revisions suggested by the panel members in the final copies of her dissertation. Private respondent left a copy of her dissertation in Dr. Teodoros office on April 15, 1993 and proceeded to submit her dissertation to the CSSP without the approvals of Dr. Medina and Dr. Teodoro, relying on Dean Pazs March 5, 1993 statement. Dr. Teodoro later indicated his disapproval, while Dr. Medina did not sign the approval form.vii[7] Dean Paz then accepted private respondents dissertation in partial fulfillment of the course requirements for the doctorate degree in Anthropology. In a letter to Dean Paz, dated April 17, 1993, private respondent expressed concern over matters related to her dissertation. She sought to explain why the signature of Dr. Medina was not affixed to the revision approval form. Private respondent said that since she already had the approval of a majority of the panel members, she no longer showed her dissertation to Dr. Medina nor tried to obtain the latters signature on the revision approval form. She likewise expressed her disappointment over the CSSP administration and charged Drs. Diokno and Medina with maliciously working for the disapproval of her dissertation, and further warned Dean Paz against encouraging perfidious acts against her. On April 17, 1993, the University Council met to approve the list of candidates for graduation for the second semester of school year 1992-1993. The list, which was endorsed to the Board of Regents for final approval, included private respondents name. On April 21, 1993, Dean Paz sent a letter to Dr. Milagros Ibe, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, requesting the exclusion of private respondents name from the list of candidates for graduation, pending clarification of the problems regarding her dissertation. Her letter reads:viii[8] Abril 21, 1993

Dr. Milagros Ibe Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Quezon Hall, Diliman, Q.C. Mahal na Dr. Ibe, Mahigpit ko pong hinihiling na hwag munang isama ang pangalan ni Ms. Arokiaswam[y] William Margaret Celine sa listahan ng mga bibigyan ng degri na Ph.D. (Anthropology) ngayon[g] semester, dahil sa mga malubhang bintang nya sa ilang myembro ng panel para sa oral defense ng disertasyon nya at sa mga akusasyon ng ilan sa mga ito sa kanya. Naniniwala po kami na dapat mailinaw muna ang ilang bagay bago makonfer ang degri kay Ms. Arokiaswam[y]. Kelangan po ito para mapangalagaan ang istandard ng pinakamataas na degree ng Unibersidad. (Sgd.) CONSUELO JOAQUIN-PAZ, Ph.D. Dekano Apparently, however, Dean Pazs letter did not reach the Board of Regents on time, because the next day, April 22, 1993, the Board approved the University Councils recommendation for the graduation of qualified students, including private respondent. Two days later, on April 24, 1993, private respondent graduated with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology. On the other hand, Dean Paz also wrote a letter to private respondent, dated April 21, 1993, that she would not be granted an academic clearance unless she substantiated the accusations contained in her letter dated April 17, 1993. In her letter, dated April 27, 1993, private respondent claimed that Dr. Medinas unfavorable attitude towards her dissertation was a reaction to her failure to include him and Dr. Francisco in the list of panel members; that she made the revisions proposed by Drs. Medina and Teodoro in the revised draft of her dissertation; and that Dr. Diokno was guilty of harassment. In a letter addressed to Dean Paz, dated May 1, 1993, Dr. Medina formally charged private respondent with plagiarism and recommended that the doctorate granted to her be withdrawn.ix[9] On May 13, 1993, Dean Paz formed an ad hoc committee, composed of faculty members from various disciplines and chaired by Dr. Eva Duka-Ventura, to investigate the plagiarism charge against private respondent. Meanwhile, she recommended to U.P. Diliman Chancellor, Dr. Emerlinda Roman, that the Ph.D. degree conferred on private respondent be withdrawn.x[10]

In a letter, dated June 7, 1993, Dean Paz informed private respondent of the charges against her.xi[11] On June 15, 1993, the Ventura Committee submitted a report to Dean Paz, finding at least ninety (90) instances or portions in private respondents thesis which were lifted from sources without proper or due acknowledgment. On July 28, 1993, the CSSP College Assembly unanimously approved the recommendation to withdraw private respondents doctorate degree and forwarded its recommendation to the University Council. The University Council, in turn, approved and endorsed the same recommendation to the Board of Regents on August 16, 1993. On September 6, 1993, the Board of Regents deferred action on the recommendation to study the legal implications of its approval.xii[12] Meanwhile, in a letter, dated September 23, 1993, U.P. Diliman Chancellor Emerlinda Roman summoned private respondent to a meeting on the same day and asked her to submit her written explanation to the charges against her. During the meeting, Chancellor Roman informed private respondent of the charges and provided her a copy of the findings of the investigating committee.xiii[13] Private respondent, on the other hand, submitted her written explanation in a letter dated September 25, 1993. Another meeting was held on October 8, 1993 between Chancellor Roman and private respondent to discuss her answer to the charges. A third meeting was scheduled on October 27, 1993 but private respondent did not attend it, alleging that the Board of Regents had already decided her case before she could be fully heard. On October 11, 1993, private respondent wrote to Dr. Emil Q. Javier, U.P. President, alleging that some members of the U.P. administration were playing politics in her case.xiv[14] She sent another letter, dated December 14, 1993, to Dr. Armand Fabella, Chairman of the Board of Regents, complaining that she had not been afforded due process and claiming that U.P. could no longer withdraw her degree since her dissertation had already been accepted by the CSSP.xv[15] Meanwhile, the U.P. Office of Legal Services justified the position of the University Council in its report to the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents, in its February 1, 1994 and March 24, 1994 meetings, further deferred action thereon. On July 11, 1994, private respondent sent a letter to the Board of Regents requesting a reinvestigation of her case. She stressed that under the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline, it was the student disciplinary tribunal which had jurisdiction to decide cases of dishonesty and that the withdrawal of a degree already conferred was not one of the authorized penalties which the student disciplinary tribunal could impose.

On July 28, 1994, the Board of Regents decided to release private respondents transcript of grades without annotation although it showed that private respondent passed her dissertation with 12 units of credit. On August 17, 1994, Chancellor Roger Posadas issued Administrative Order No. 94-94 constituting a special committee composed of senior faculty members from the U.P. units outside Diliman to review the University Councils recommendation to withdraw private respondents degree. With the approval of the Board of Regents and the U.P. Diliman Executive Committee, Posadas created a five-man committee, chaired by Dr. Paulino B. Zafaralla, with members selected from a list of nominees screened by Dr. Emerenciana Arcellana, then a member of the Board of Regents. On August 31, 1994, the members of the Zafaralla committee and private respondent met at U.P. Los Baos. Meanwhile, on August 23, 1994, the U.P. Diliman Registrar released to private respondent a copy of her transcript of grades and certificate of graduation. In a letter to Chancellor Posadas, dated September 1, 1994, private respondent requested that the Zafaralla committee be provided with copies of the U.P. Charter (Act No. 1870), the U.P. Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline, her letter-response to Chancellor Roman, dated September 25, 1993, as well as all her other communications. On September 19, 1994, Chancellor Posadas obtained the Zafaralla Committees report, signed by its chairman, recommending the withdrawal of private respondents doctorate degree. The report stated:xvi[16] After going through all the pertinent documents of the case and interviewing Ms. Arokiaswamy William, the following facts were established: 1. There is overwhelming evidence of massive lifting from a published source word for word and, at times, paragraph by paragraph without any acknowledgment of the source, even by a mere quotation mark. At least 22 counts of such documented liftings were identified by the Committee. These form part of the approximately ninety (90) instances found by the Committee created by the Dean of the College and subsequently verified as correct by the Special Committee. These instances involved the following forms of intellectual dishonesty: direct lifting/copying without acknowledgment, full/partial lifting with improper documentation and substitution of terms or words (e.g., Tamil in place of Sanskrit, Tamilization in place of Indianization) from an acknowledged source in support of her thesis (attached herewith is a copy of the documents for reference); and 2. Ms. Arokiaswamy William herself admits of being guilty of the allegation of plagiarism. Fact is, she informed the Special Committee that she had been admitting having lifted several portions in her dissertation from various sources since the beginning. In view of the overwhelming proof of massive lifting and also on the admission of Ms. Arokiaswamy William that she indeed plagiarized, the Committee strongly supports the

recommendation of the U.P. Diliman Council to withdraw the doctoral degree of Ms. Margaret Celine Arokiaswamy William. On the basis of the report, the University Council, on September 24, 1994, recommended to the Board of Regents that private respondent be barred in the future from admission to the University either as a student or as an employee. On January 4, 1995, the secretary of the Board of Regents sent private respondent the following letter:xvii[17] 4 January 1995 Ms. Margaret Celine Arokiaswamy William Department of Anthropology College of Social Sciences and Philosophy U.P. Diliman, Quezon City Dear Ms. Arokiaswamy William: This is to officially inform you about the action taken by the Board of Regents at its 1081st and 1082nd meetings held last 17 November and 16 December 1994 regarding your case, the excerpts from the minutes of which are attached herewith. Please be informed that the members present at the 1081st BOR meeting on 17 November 1994 resolved, by a majority decision, to withdraw your Ph.D. degree as recommended by the U.P. Diliman University Council and as concurred with by the External Review Panel composed of senior faculty from U.P. Los Baos and U.P. Manila. These faculty members were chosen by lot from names submitted by the University Councils of U.P. Los Baos and U.P. Manila. In reply to your 14 December 1994 letter requesting that you be given a good lawyer by the Board, the Board, at its 1082nd meeting on 16 December 1994, suggested that you direct your request to the Office of Legal Aid, College of Law, U.P. Diliman. Sincerely yours, (Sgd.) VIVENCIO R. JOSE Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents On January 18, 1995, private respondent wrote a letter to Commissioner Sedfrey Ordoez, Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, asking the commissions intervention.xviii[18] In a letter, dated February 14, 1995, to Secretary Ricardo Gloria, Chairman of the Board of Regents, she asked for a reinvestigation of her case. She also sought an audience with the Board

of Regents and/or the U.P. President, which request was denied by President Javier, in a letter dated June 2, 1995. On August 10, 1995, private respondent then filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and damages, which was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-95-24690 and assigned to Branch 81 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.xix[19] She alleged that petitioners had unlawfully withdrawn her degree without justification and without affording her procedural due process. She prayed that petitioners be ordered to restore her degree and to pay her P500,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages and P1,500,000.00 as compensation for lost earnings. On August 6, 1996, the trial court, Branch 227, rendered a decision dismissing the petition for mandamus for lack of merit.xx[20] Private respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals, which on December 16, 1997, reversed the lower court. The dispositive portion of the appellate courts decision reads:xxi[21] WHEREFORE, the decision of the court a quo is hereby reversed and set aside. Respondents are ordered to restore to petitioner her degree of Ph.D. in Anthropology. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Hence, this petition. Petitioners contend: I THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN GRANTING THE WRIT OF MANDAMUS AND ORDERING PETITIONERS TO RESTORE RESPONDENTS DOCTORAL DEGREE. II THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN HOLDING THAT THE DOCTORAL DEGREE GIVEN RESPONDENT BY U.P. CANNOT BE RECALLED WITHOUT VIOLATING HER RIGHT TO ENJOYMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TO JUSTICE AND EQUITY. III THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN DEPRIVING PETITIONERS OF THEIR RIGHT TO SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS.xxii[22] Petitioners argue that private respondent failed to show that she had been unlawfully excluded from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which she is entitled so as to justify the issuance of the writ of mandamus. They also contend that she failed to prove that the restoration

of her degree is a ministerial duty of U.P. or that the withdrawal of the degree violated her right to the enjoyment of intellectual property. On the other hand, private respondent, unassisted by counsel, argue that petitioners acted arbitrarily and with grave abuse of discretion in withdrawing her degree even prior to verifying the truth of the plagiarism charge against her; and that as her answer to the charges had not been forwarded to the members of the investigating committees, she was deprived of the opportunity to comment or refute their findings. In addition, private respondent maintains that petitioners are estopped from withdrawing her doctorate degree; that petitioners acted contrary to 9 of the U.P. Charter and the U.P. Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline of the University, which according to her, does not authorize the withdrawal of a degree as a penalty for erring students; and that only the college committee or the student disciplinary tribunal may decide disciplinary cases, whose report must be signed by a majority of its members. We find petitioners contention to be meritorious. Mandamus is a writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person to do the act required to be done when it or he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, there being no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.xxiii[23] In University of the Philippines Board of Regents v. Ligot-Telan,xxiv[24] this Court ruled that the writ was not available to restrain U.P. from the exercise of its academic freedom. In that case, a student who was found guilty of dishonesty and ordered suspended for one year by the Board of Regents, filed a petition for mandamus and obtained from the lower court a temporary restraining order stopping U.P. from carrying out the order of suspension. In setting aside the TRO and ordering the lower court to dismiss the students petition, this Court said: [T]he lower court gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction of May 29, 1993. The issuance of the said writ was based on the lower courts finding that the implementation of the disciplinary sanction of suspension on Nadal would work injustice to the petitioner as it would delay him in finishing his course, and consequently, in getting a decent and good paying job. Sadly, such a ruling considers only the situation of Nadal without taking into account the circumstances, clearly of his own making, which led him into such a predicament. More importantly, it has completely disregarded the overriding issue of academic freedom which provides more than ample justification for the imposition of a disciplinary sanction upon an erring student of an institution of higher learning. From the foregoing arguments, it is clear that the lower court should have restrained itself from assuming jurisdiction over the petition filed by Nadal. Mandamus is never issued in doubtful cases, a showing of a clear and certain right on the part of the petitioner being required. It is of no avail against an official or government agency whose duty requires the exercise of discretion or judgment.xxv[25]

In this case, the trial court dismissed private respondents petition precisely on grounds of academic freedom but the Court of Appeals reversed holding that private respondent was denied due process. It said: It is worthy to note that during the proceedings taken by the College Assembly culminating in its recommendation to the University Council for the withdrawal of petitioners Ph.D. degree, petitioner was not given the chance to be heard until after the withdrawal of the degree was consummated. Petitioners subsequent letters to the U.P. President proved unavailing.xxvi[26] As the foregoing narration of facts in this case shows, however, various committees had been formed to investigate the charge that private respondent had committed plagiarism and, in all the investigations held, she was heard in her defense. Indeed, if any criticism may be made of the university proceedings before private respondent was finally stripped of her degree, it is that there were too many committee and individual investigations conducted, although all resulted in a finding that private respondent committed dishonesty in submitting her doctoral dissertation on the basis of which she was conferred the Ph.D. degree. Indeed, in administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain ones side of a controversy or a chance to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.xxvii[27] A party who has availed of the opportunity to present his position cannot tenably claim to have been denied due process.xxviii[28] In this case, private respondent was informed in writing of the charges against herxxix[29] and afforded opportunities to refute them. She was asked to submit her written explanation, which she forwarded on September 25, 1993.xxx[30] Private respondent then met with the U.P. chancellor and the members of the Zafaralla committee to discuss her case. In addition, she sent several letters to the U.P. authorities explaining her position.xxxi[31] It is not tenable for private respondent to argue that she was entitled to have an audience before the Board of Regents. Due process in an administrative context does not require trial-type proceedings similar to those in the courts of justice.xxxii[32] It is noteworthy that the U.P. Rules do not require the attendance of persons whose cases are included as items on the agenda of the Board of Regents.xxxiii[33] Nor indeed was private respondent entitled to be furnished a copy of the report of the Zafaralla committee as part of her right to due process. In Ateneo de Manila University v. Capulong,xxxiv[34] we held: Respondent students may not use the argument that since they were not accorded the opportunity to see and examine the written statements which became the basis of petitioners February 14, 1991 order, they were denied procedural due process. Granting that they were denied such opportunity, the same may not be said to detract from the observance of due process, for disciplinary cases involving students need not necessarily include the right to cross examination. An administrative proceeding conducted to investigate students participation in a hazing activity need not be clothed with the attributes of a judicial proceeding. . .

In this case, in granting the writ of mandamus, the Court of Appeals held: First. Petitioner graduated from the U.P. with a doctorate degree in Anthropology. After graduation, the contact between U.P. and petitioner ceased. Petitioner is no longer within the ambit of the disciplinary powers of the U.P. As a graduate, she is entitled to the right and enjoyment of the degree she has earned. To recall the degree, after conferment, is not only arbitrary, unreasonable, and an act of abuse, but a flagrant violation of petitioners right of enjoyment to intellectual property. Second. Respondents aver that petitioners graduation was a mistake. Unfortunately this mistake was arrived at after almost a year after graduation. Considering that the members of the thesis panel, the College Faculty Assembly, and the U.P. Council are all men and women of the highest intellectual acumen and integrity, as respondents themselves aver, suspicion is aroused that the alleged mistake might not be the cause of withdrawal but some other hidden agenda which respondents do not wish to reveal. At any rate, We cannot countenance the plight the petitioner finds herself enmeshed in as a consequence of the acts complained of. Justice and equity demand that this be rectified by restoring the degree conferred to her after her compliance with the academic and other related requirements. Art. XIV, 5 (2) of the Constitution provides that [a]cademic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning. This is nothing new. The 1935 Constitutionxxxv[35] and the 1973 Constitutionxxxvi[36] likewise provided for the academic freedom or, more precisely, for the institutional autonomy of universities and institutions of higher learning. As pointed out by this Court in Garcia v. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology,xxxvii[37] it is a freedom granted to institutions of higher learning which is thus given a wide sphere of authority certainly extending to the choice of students. If such institution of higher learning can decide who can and who cannot study in it, it certainly can also determine on whom it can confer the honor and distinction of being its graduates. Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus conferred. This freedom of a university does not terminate upon the graduation of a student, as the Court of Appeals held. For it is precisely the graduation of such a student that is in question. It is noteworthy that the investigation of private respondents case began before her graduation. If she was able to join the graduation ceremonies on April 24, 1993, it was because of too many investigations conducted before the Board of Regents finally decided she should not have been allowed to graduate. Wide indeed is the sphere of autonomy granted to institutions of higher learning, for the constitutional grant of academic freedom, to quote again from Garcia v. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, is not to be construed in a niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion.

Under the U.P. Charter, the Board of Regents is the highest governing body of the University of the Philippines.xxxviii[38] It has the power to confer degrees upon the recommendation of the University Council.xxxix[39] It follows that if the conferment of a degree is founded on error or fraud, the Board of Regents is also empowered, subject to the observance of due process, to withdraw what it has granted without violating a students rights. An institution of higher learning cannot be powerless if it discovers that an academic degree it has conferred is not rightfully deserved. Nothing can be more objectionable than bestowing a universitys highest academic degree upon an individual who has obtained the same through fraud or deceit. The pursuit of academic excellence is the universitys concern. It should be empowered, as an act of self-defense, to take measures to protect itself from serious threats to its integrity. While it is true that the students are entitled to the right to pursue their education, the USC as an educational institution is also entitled to pursue its academic freedom and in the process has the concomitant right to see to it that this freedom is not jeopardized.xl[40] In the case at bar, the Board of Regents determined, after due investigation conducted by a committee composed of faculty members from different U.P. units, that private respondent committed no less than ninety (90) instances of intellectual dishonesty in her dissertation. The Board of Regents decision to withdraw private respondents doctorate was based on documents on record including her admission that she committed the offense.xli[41] On the other hand, private respondent was afforded the opportunity to be heard and explain her side but failed to refute the charges of plagiarism against her. Her only claim is that her responses to the charges against her were not considered by the Board of Regents before it rendered its decision. However, this claim was not proven. Accordingly, we must presume regularity in the performance of official duties in the absence of proof to the contrary.xlii[42] Very much the opposite of the position of the Court of Appeals that, since private respondent was no longer a student of the U.P., the latter was no longer within the ambit of disciplinary powers of the U.P., is private respondents contention that it is the Student Disciplinary Tribunal which had jurisdiction over her case because the charge is dishonesty. Private respondent invokes 5 of the U.P. Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline which provides: Jurisdiction. All cases involving discipline of students under these rules shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the student disciplinary tribunal, except the following cases which shall fall under the jurisdiction of the appropriate college or unit; (a) Violation of college or unit rules and regulations by students of the college, or

(b) Misconduct committed by students of the college or unit within its classrooms or premises or in the course of an official activity; Provided, that regional units of the University shall have original jurisdiction over all cases involving students of such units.

Private respondent argues that under 25 (a) of the said Rules and Regulations, dishonesty in relation to ones studies (i.e., plagiarism) may be punished only with suspension for at least one (1) year. As the above-quoted provision of 5 of the Rules and Regulations indicates, the jurisdiction of the student disciplinary tribunal extends only to disciplinary actions. In this case, U.P. does not seek to discipline private respondent. Indeed, as the appellate court observed, private respondent is no longer within the ambit of disciplinary powers of the U.P. Private respondent cannot even be punished since, as she claims, the penalty for acts of dishonesty in administrative disciplinary proceedings is suspension from the University for at least one year. What U.P., through the Board of Regents, seeks to do is to protect its academic integrity by withdrawing from private respondent an academic degree she obtained through fraud. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and the petition for mandamus is hereby DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. Bellosillo, (Chairman), Quisumbing, and Buena, JJ., concur.

UP Board of Regents v. Rasul G.R. No. 91551, 16 August 1991 Facts: Private respondent Dr. Felipe Estrella, Jr., was appointed by the petitioner Board of Regents as Director of the Philippine General Hospital, to take effect 1 September 1986 until 30 April 1992. Barely 2 weeks after assuming the presidency of UP, petitioner Jose Abueva submitted a memorandum to the Board of Regents to reorganize the UP Manila including the Philippine General Hospital recommending that certain key positions of UP Manila including that of Dr. Felipe Estrella, Jr., be declared vacant. The Board of Regents approved the reorganization plan and a Nomination Committee was formed. Dr. Felipe Estrella, Jr., filed a petition for injunction with the RTC. The RTC granted the petition. Petitioners appealed to the SC arguing that public respondent Judge Rasul erred in not holding that Dr. Felipe Estrella, Jr., has to exhaust administrative remedies before he can bring suit against the UP Board of Regents, et. al. Held: Anent the issue regarding respondent Estrella's failure to exhaust all administrative remedies, this case has special circumstances that made it fall under the jurisprudentially accepted exceptions to the rule. As the facts show, respondent Dr. Estrella was about to be replaced by the Nomination Committee. He must have believed that airing his protest with the Board of Regents would only be fruitless and that unless he goes to the courts, irreparable damage or injury on his part will be caused by the implementation of the proposed reorganization.

Vda. de Tan vs. Veterans Backpay Commission [G.R. No. L-12944. March 30, 1959]
Post under case digests, Political Law at Tuesday, March 06, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind

Facts: Maria Natividad vda. de Tan is the widow of Tan Chiat Bee alias Lian Lay who died in the service April 4, 1945 in the battle at Ipo Dam, Rizal Province, Philippines. He was duly recognized as a guerrilla veteran and certified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Natividad filed an application for back pay under the provisions Republic Act No. 897. Although initially the VBC allowed aliens to recover backpay, it revoked its previous stands and ruled that aliens are not entitled to back pay. Issues: (1) Whether or not a petition for mandamus is proper to correct the acts of the commission. (2) Whether or not it is necessary in the case at bar that Natividad should have exhausted all administrative remedies, i.e. before the president. Held: (1) Yes. The discretion of the Veterans Backpay Commission is limited to the facts of the case; that is, in evaluating the evidence whether or not claimant is a member of a guerrilla force duly recognized by the United States Army. It has no power to adjudicate or determine rights after such facts are established. Having been satisfied that the deceased was an officer or a

guerrilla outfit duly recognized by the United States Army and forming part of the Philippine Army, it becomes the ministerial duty of the Commission to give due course to his widow's application. For this reason, mandamus lies against the Commission. (2) No. The respondent Commission is in estoppel to invoke the rule on the exhaustion of administrative remedies, considering that in its resolution, it declared that the opinions of the Secretary of Justice were "advisory in nature, which may either be accepted or ignored by the office seeking the opinion, and any aggrieved party has the court for recourse", thereby leading the petitioner to conclude that only a final judicial ruling in her favor would be accepted by the Commission.
CORPUS VS. CUADERNOFACTS: Marino Corpus, Special Assistant to the Governor of the Central Bank, was administrativelycharged with dishonesty, incompetence, neglect of duty and violation of the internal regulations of the office.He was suspended by the Mnetary Board desoie the recommendation of the investigating committee that hebe reinstated and there was no basis for actions against Corpus. The Board considered him resigned as of the date of his suspension. Corpus moved for reconsideration but was denied. He filed the petition to CFI of Manila which favored him and declared the Resolution of the Board as null and void. He was awardedP5,000 as attorneys fees. Both Petitioner and respondent appealed the judgment. Petitioner was appealingthe amount awarded to him contending that it was lower than what he has spent for attorneys fees. Whilethe respondent claimed that an officer holding highly technical position may be removed at any time for lackof confidence by the appointing power who was Governor Cuaderno.ISSUE: Is the lack of confidence by the appointing power be a ground for removing an employee or a publicofficer?HELD: The Constitution distinguishes the primarily confidential from the highly technical employees, and tothe latter the loss of confidence as a ground for removal is not applicable. No public officer or employee inthe Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for a cause provided by law.Pertaining to the petitioners claim for damages, the agreement between a client and his lawyer as toattorneys fees cannot bind the other party who was a stranger to the fee contract. While the Civil Codeallows a party to recover reasonable counsel fees by way of damages, such fees must lie primarily in thediscretion of the trial court.Decision appealed affirmed by the Supreme Court
1. MADRIGAL v LECAROZ

FACTS Public respondents, Gov. Lecaroz et. Al., abolished Petitioner Madrigals position as a permanent construction capataz in the office of the provincial Engr. Due to lack funds of the province and the position was not essential. Petitioner appealed to the CSC where it was held that the removal of petitioner from service was illegal. Petitioner then sent a letter to the Provincial Board for the implementation of the CSC resolution but the Board refused to execute arguing that the position was already abolished and instead ordered the appropriation of back salaries. Petitioner then filed a petition in the CFI praying for the relief of mandamus and damages against public respondents for the restoration of his abolished position, reinstatement and payment of back salaries plus damages. CFI dismissed the case on the ground of laches because 4 years and 20 days elapsed before the action for mandamus on the ground of illegal dismissal was made. (Note: the case was filed only after 4 years and 20 days because, petitioner availed of remedies in the CSC first) ISSUE W/N the action lodged before the CFI is barred by laches. (to state it differently, W/N an action for mandamus just like quo warranto is considered abandoned if not filed within a year when the cause of action accrues despite the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.) HELD YES. The fatal drawback of petitioners cause is that he came to the court out of time. A cause of action arising from illegal dismissal should be instituted before the courts within one year from its accrual. Although the law speaks only of quo warranto, it is also applicable to an action for mandamus with the intent of effecting a reinstatement because by reason of public policy, there should be a limit to the period to interpose such action since title of public office should not be subjected to continued uncertainty. This one year period is not interrupted by the prosecution of any administrative remedy. The argument that administrative remedies should be exhausted first before any action before the judicial bodies is misplaced in this case. It is fundamental that if the issue involves only pure questions of law, the doctrine of exhaustion does not apply since it cannot be resolved with finality by the administrative body. In the present case, only pure question of law is involved w/n the abolition of petitioners position was in accordance with law. Thus, petitioner should have done away with the administrative remedies.

Laguna CATV vs. Maraan


27 Mar

LAGUNA CATV NETWORK, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. ALEX E. MARAAN, Regional Director, Region IV, Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE), ENRICO SAGMIT, Acting Deputy Sheriff, DOLE Region IV, PEDRO IGNACIO, DIOMEDES CASTRO, FE ESPERANZA CANDILLA, RUBEN LAMINA, JR., JOEL PERSIUNCULA, ALVINO PRUDENTE, JOEL RAYMUNDO, REGIE ROCERO, LINDA RODRIGUEZ, JOHN SELUDO, ALBERTO REYES, and ANACLETA VALOIS, respondents. G.R. No. 139492 November 19, 2002

FACTS:

Private respondents filed with the DOLE Region IV separate complaints for underpayment of wages and non-payment of other employee benefits against their employer, Laguna CATV. Private respondents filed their separate complaints pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7730. DOLE Region IV conducted an inspection within the premises of Laguna CATV and found that the latter violated the laws on payment of wages and other benefits. Thereupon, DOLE Region IV requested Laguna CATV to correct its violations but the latter refused, prompting the Regional Director to set the case for summary investigation. Thereafter, he issued an Order directing Laguna CATV to pay the concerned employees the sum of P261,009.19 representing their unpaid claims. Forthwith, Laguna CATV filed a motion for reconsideration. In view of Laguna CATVs failure to comply with the Order directing it to pay the unpaid claims of its employees, DOLE Regional Director Maraan issued a writ of execution ordering the Sheriff to collect in cash from Laguna CATV the amount specified in the writ or, in lieu thereof, to attach its goods and chattels or those of its owner, Dr. Bernardino Bailon. Laguna CATV and Dr. Bailon filed a motion to quash the writ of execution, notice of levy and sale on execution and garnishment of bank deposits. Regional Director Maraan issued an Order denying the motion to quash the writ of execution, stating that Laguna CATV failed to perfect its appeal because it did not comply with the mandatory requirement of posting a bond equivalent to the monetary award of P261,009.19; and that the writ of execution should be considered as an overt denial of Laguna CATVs motion for reconsideration. Instead of appealing to the Secretary of Labor, Laguna CATV filed with the CA a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review. Laguna CATV was of the view that an appeal to the Secretary of Labor would be an exercise in futility considering that the said appeal will be filed with the Regional Office and it will surely be disapproved. The CA denied Laguna CATVs motion for extension and dismissing the case. The Appellate Court found, among others, that it failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Laguna CATV filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated July 22, 1999. Hence, it filed a petition for review on certiorari to the SC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Laguna CATV failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

RULING:

The SC ruled that Laguna CATV failed to exhaust all administrative remedies. As provided under Article 128 of the Labor Code, as amended, an order issued by the duly authorized representative of the Secretary of Labor may be appealed to the latter.

Thus, petitioner should have first appealed to the Secretary of Labor instead of filing with the Court of Appeals a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review. Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum. The SC, in a long line of cases, has consistently held that if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy should be exhausted first before the courts judicial power can be sought. The party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court. The underlying principle of the rule rests on the presumption that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter will decide the same correctly. Therefore, petitioner should have completed the administrative process by appealing the questioned Orders to the Secretary of Labor.

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Teotico vs. Baer


27 Mar

JOSEFINA TEOTICO (ALSO KNOWN AS BABY SANTANA), Petitioner, vs. ROSARIO D. BAER, Respondent. G.R. No. 147464 June 8, 2006

FACTS:

Respondent filed before the HLURB an amended complaint for specific performance, damages and attorneys fees against petitioner as the administratrix of the estate of her late husband. Petitioner allegedly refused to execute an absolute deed of sale in respondents favor despite complete payment of a residential lot located in Rizal which was sold to her by the petitioners husband, who died during the pendency of the case.

The HLURB rendered judgment by default against petitioner for her failure to file her answer to the complaint despite the proper service of summons. The HLURB issued a writ of execution of its decision but petitioner refused to comply with it. In her opposition to respondents motion for execution and satisfaction of decision, petitioner argued that the HLURB decision was null and void because respondent allegedly failed to prove petitioner was appointed as the administratrix of the estate of her late husband. The HLURB, however, denied petitioners opposition for being dilatory and without merit. Petitioner went up to the Court of Appeals via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. However, the CA dismissed the petition on the ground of failure to exhaust all administrative remedies. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the decision of the CA alleging that the 30-day period for filing a petition for review before the HLURB and to appeal to the Office of the President, had already elapsed when she learned of the judgment of default rendered against her. She further argued that she immediately went to the CA because there was an urgent need for judicial intervention due to the patent nullity of the HLURB judgment. The CA denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. Hence, petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to the SC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

RULING:

Yes. The HLURB is the sole regulatory body for housing and land development. It is charged with encouraging greater private sector participation in low-cost housing through liberalization of development standards, simplification of regulations and decentralization of approvals for permits and licenses. The HLURB has established rules of procedure in the adjudication of the cases before it. Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, recourse through court action cannot prosper until after all such administrative remedies have first been exhausted. If remedy is available within the administrative machinery, this should be resorted to before resort can be made to courts. It is settled that non-observance of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies results in lack of cause of action, which is one of the grounds in the Rules of Court justifying the dismissal of the complaint. Here, petitioner failed to exhaust her administrative remedies when she directly elevated to the CA the HLURB arbiters decision without appealing it first to the Board and then later, the Office of the President.

She has failed to convince the SC that her case is one of those exempted from the application of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

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Flores vs. Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pampanga


27 Mar

Mayor EDGARDO G. FLORES, petitioner vs. SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF PAMPANGA, GOVERNOR MANUEL M. LAPID OF PAMPANGA, MUNICIPAL COUNCILORS VANZALON F. TIZON, ROMULO N. MANDAP, EDGARDO P. YAMBAO, JEROME M. TONGOL, MARCIANO L. SACDALAN, and RICKY Y. NARCISO, respondents. G.R. No. 159022 February 23, 2005

FACTS:

An administrative complaint for dishonesty and gross misconduct against then Mayor Flores of Minalin, Pampanga, was filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the same province. The complainants were the municipal councilors of Minalin. The administrative complaint against petitioner alleged that on August 1, 2001, he executed Purchase Request No. 1 for the acquisition of a communication equipment amounting to P293,000.00 without any Resolution or Ordinance enacted by the Sangguniang Bayan of Minalin. The winning bidder was one Kai Electronics. The communication equipment delivered by Kai Electronics was overpriced by more than 100%. Respondent Sangguniang Panlalawigan issued an Order recommending to Governor Manuel Lapid of Pampanga, that petitioner be preventively suspended from office for a period of sixty (60) days. Without seeking a reconsideration of the Order of respondent Sangguniang Panlalawigan, petitioner sent a letter to respondent Governor Lapid requesting him to veto the same. Also, without waiting for respondent Governor Lapids action on his letter, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari. The CA denied and dismissed the petition for lack of merit.

In ruling against the petitioner, the Court of Appeals held that he failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before going to court. Moreover, respondent Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pampanga did not gravely abuse its discretion when it issued the challenged Order considering that the allegation of overpricing is supported by documentary evidence. Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration, but this was denied by the CA. Hence, petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari to the SC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

RULING:

Yes. Section 61 (b) of R.A. No. 7160 (the LGC of 1991) partly provides: A complaint against any elective official of a municipality shall be filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan whose decision may be appealed to the Office of the President. After receiving the Order of respondent Sangguniang Panlalawigan preventively suspending him from office, petitioner should have filed a motion for reconsideration in order to give the latter the opportunity to correct itself if there was any error on its part. Such motion is a condition sine qua non before filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. Section 1 of the same Rule requires that petitioner must not only show that respondentSangguniang Panlalawigan, in issuing the questioned Order, acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, but that there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The SC have held that the plain and adequate remedy referred to in Section 1 of Rule 65 is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed Order or Resolution. The SC also added that petitioner, before filing with the CA his petition for certiorari, should have waited for respondent Governor Lapids action on the recommendation of respondentSangguniang Panlalawigan. It is a well-settled rule that where, as here, the petitioner has available remedies within the administrative machinery against the action of an administrative board, body, or officer, the intervention of the courts can be resorted to by him only after having exhausted all such remedies. The rationale of this rule rests upon the presumption that the administrative body, if given the chance to correct its mistake or error, may amend its decision on a given matter and decide it properly. The strict application of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies will also prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court.

LUMIQUED VS EXEVEA 282 SCRA 125 FACTS: Lumiqued was the Regional Director of DAR-CAR. He was charged by Zamudio, the Regional Cashier, for dishonesty due to questionable gas expenses under his office. It was alleged that he was falsifying gas receipts for reimbursements and that he had an unliquidated cash advance worth P116,000.00. Zamudio also complained that she was unjustly removed by Lumiqued two weeks after she filed the two complaints. The issue was referred to the DOJ. Committee hearings on the complaints were conducted on July 3 and 10, 1992, but Lumiqued was not assisted by counsel. On the second hearing date, he moved for its resetting to July 17, 1992, to enable him to employ the services of counsel. The committee granted the motion, but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel appeared on the date he himself had chosen, so the committee deemed the case submitted for resolution. The Investigating Committee recommended the dismissal of Lumiqued. DOJ Sec Drilon adopted the recommendation. Fidel Ramos issued AO 52 dismissing Lumiqued. ISSUE: Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted by counsel during an administrative inquiry? HELD: The SC ruled against Lumiqued. The right to counsel, which cannot be waived unless the waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel, is a right afforded a suspect or an accused during custodial investigation. It is not an absolute right and may, thus, be invoked or rejected in a criminal proceeding and, with more reason, in an administrative inquiry. In the case at bar, petitioners invoke the right of an accused in criminal proceedings to have competent and independent counsel of his own choice. Lumiqued, however, was not accused of any crime in the proceedings below. The investigation conducted by the committee created by Department Order No. 145 was for the purpose of determining if he could be held administratively liable under the law for the complaints filed against him. The right to counsel is not indispensable to due process unless required by the Constitution or the law. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a non-criminal proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel and that, without such representation, he shall not be bound by such proceedings. The assistance of lawyers, while desirable, is not indispensable. The legal profession was not engrafted in the due process clause such that without the participation of its

members, the safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. The ordinary citizen is not that helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer at his side. In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain one's side. Whatever irregularity attended the proceedings conducted by the committee was cured by Lumiqued's appeal and his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration.