Chapter 6 Case Digest

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Paras v. Comelec (Resolution) GR 123169, Facts: Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the 1994 barangay election. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of the barangay, which was approved by the Comelec. Petition signing was scheduled on 14 October 1995, where at least 29.30% of the registered voters signed the petition, well above the 25% requirement provided by law. The Comelec also set the reca
  Paras v. Comelec (Resolution) GR 123169 , Facts: Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the 1994 barangay election. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of the barangay, which was approved by the Comelec. Petition signing was scheduled on 14 October 1995, where at least 29.30% of the registered voters signed the petition, well above the 25% requirement provided by law. The Comelec also set the recall election on 13 November 1995, but which was deferred to 16 December 1995 due to the petitioner’s opposition. To prevent the holding of the recall election, petitioner filed before the RTC Cabanatuan City a petition for injunction (Special Proceeding Civil Action 2254-AF), with the trial court issuing a restraining order. After conducting a summary hearing, the trial court lifted the restraining order, dismissed the petition and required petitioner and his counsel to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for misrepresenting that the barangay recall election was without Comelec approval. In a resolution dated 5 January 1996, the Comelec, for the third time, re-scheduled the recall election on 13 January 1996; hence, the instant petition for certiorari with urgent prayer for injunction. The petitioner contends that no recall can take place within one year preceding a regular local election, the Sangguniang Kabataan elections slated on the first Monday of May 1996. He cited Associated Labor Union v. Letrondo-Montejo to support the argument, the Court in which case considered the SK election as a regular local election. Issue: Whether the Sangguniang Kabataan election is to be construed as a regular local election in a recall proceeding Held: It is a rule in statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. Further, the spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute must be read according to its spirit and intent. The too literal interpretation of the law leads to absurdity which the Court cannot countenance. A too-literal reading of the law constrict rather than fulfill its purpose and defeat the intention of its authors. That intention is usually found not in “the letter that killeth but in the spirit that vivifieth”. In the present case, Paragraph (b) of Section 74 construed together with paragraph (a) merely designates the period when such elective local official may be subject of a recall election. The Sangguniang Kabataan elections cannot be considered a regular election, as this would render inutile the recall provision of the Local Government Code. It would be more in keeping with the intent of the recall provision of the Code to construe regular local election as one referring to an election where the office held by the local elective official sought to be recalled will be contested and be filled by the electorate. The Supreme Court, however, has to dismiss the petition for having become moot and academic, as the next regular elections involving the barangay office concerned were seven months away. Thus, the Temporary Restraining Order issued on 12 January 1996, enjoining the recall election, was made permanent. TALUSAN V. TAYAG 04 Apr. 2001 Facts: The RTC, acting as a land registration court, ruled on the validity of the auction sale of the subject parcel of land. X believes the RTC has no jurisdiction to resolve this issue and instituted a separate action to annul the auction sale. Issue: Does the RTC, acting as a land registration court, have jurisdiction to resolve the said issue? Held: Yes. Land registration courts, as such, can now hear and decide even controversial and contentious cases, as well as those invoking substantial issues. The court now has the authority to act not only on applications for srcinal registration, but also on all petitions filed after the srcinal registration of title. Coupled with this authority is the power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions. National Tobacco Administration v. COA Issue: whether educational assistance given to individuals prior to the enactment of RA 6758 should be continued to be received? RULING: Yes. Proper interpretation of section12 RA 6758 depends on the combination of first and second paragraph. First sentence states th at “such other additional compensation not otherwise specified as may be determined by the DBM shall be deemed included in the standardized salary rates herein prescribed.” The second sentence states “such other additional compensation,  whether in cash or in kind, being received by incumbents only as of July 1, 1989 not integrated into the standard shall continue to be authorize d.”   Cabada v. Alunan III  Issue: whether or not an appeal lies from the decision of regional appellate board (RAB) imposing disciplinary action against a member of the PNP under Sec. 45 of RA 6975 regarding finality of disciplinary action The court held that the “gap” in the law which is silent on filing appeals from decisions of the RAB rendered within the regl ementary period should be construed and harmonized with other statutes, i.e. Sec 2(1), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution because the PNP is part, as a bureau, of the reorganized DILG, as to form a unified system of jurisprudence Statcon: if RAB fails to decide an appealed case within 60 days from receipt of the notice of appeal, the appealed decision is deemed final and executory, and the aggrieved party may forthwith appeal therefrom to the Secretary of DILG. Likewise, if the RAB has decided the appeal within 60-day reglementary period, its decision may still be appealed to the Secretary of DILG Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA Issue: Whether the reclaimed land is patrimonial or public dominion. RULING: to say that the land is patrimonial will render nugatory and a surplusage the p hrase of the law to the effect that the City of Manila “is hereby authorized to lease or sell”  A sale of public dominion needs a legislative authorization, while a patrimonial land does not. Lapid vs CA Facts: Gov.Manuel Lapid & 5 other government officials were charged with alleged dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for allegedly having conspired among themselves in demanding & collecting from various quarrying operators in Pampanga a control fee, control slip, or monitoring fee of P120 per truckload of sand, gravel or other quarry material, without a duly enacted provincial ordinance authorizing the collection thereof and without issuing receipts for such collection. The Ombudsman rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty for misconduct, which meted out the penalty of 1yr suspension without pay pursuant to Sec.25(2) of RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989). The DILG implemented the said Ombudsman decision. Proceeding from the premise that the Ombudsman decision had not yet become final, petitioner argued that writs of prohibition & mandamus may be issued against the DILG for prematurely implementing the assailed decision. Issue: WON the Ombudsman’s Decision finding petitioner administratively liable for misconduct & imposing upon him a penalty of 1yr suspension without pay is immediately executory pending appeal. Held: Sec.27 of RA 6770 provides that “Any order, directive or decision imposing the penalty of public censure or reprimand, suspen sion of not more than one month’s salary shall be final and unappealable.”  The Rules of Produce of the Office of the Ombudsman likewise contains a similar provision. Section 7, Rule III of the said Ru les provides: “where the respondent is absolved of the charge and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine not equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision shall become final after the expiration of 10 days from receipt thereof by the respondent, unless a motion for reconsideration or petition for certiorari, shall have been filed by him as prescribed in Section 27of R.A. 6770.”   The punishment imposed upon petitioner is not among those listed as final and unappealable. The legal maxim “inclusion unius est exclusio alterus” finds application. The express mention of the t hings included excludes those that are not included. The clear import of these statements taken together is that all other decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman which impose penalties not enumerated in the said section are not final, unappealable and immediately executory. An appeal timely filed, such as the one filed in the instant case, will stay the immediate implementation of the decision.  A judgment becomes “final and executory” by operation of law. The fact that the Ombudsman Act gives parties the right to appeal from its decisions should generally carry with it the stay of these decisions pending appeal. Otherwise, the essential nature of these judgments as being appealable would be rendered nugatory. The general rule is that judgments by lower courts or tribunals become executory only after it has become final and executory, execution pending appeal being an exception to this general rule. There is no general legal principle that mandates that all decisions of quasi-judicial agencies are immediately executory. Where the legislature has seen fit to declare that the decision of the quasi-judicial agency is immediately final and executory pending appeal, the law expressly so provides. Sec. 12 of Rule 43 should therefore be interpreted as mandating that the appeal will not stay the award, judgment,final order or resolution unless the law directs order or resolution unless the law directs otherwise. Petitioner was charged administratively before the Ombudsman and accordingly the provisions of the Ombudsman Act should apply in his case. It is a principle in statutory construction that where there are two statutes that apply to a particular case, that which was specially designed for the said case must prevail over the other. Considering however, that petitioner was charged under the Ombudsman Act, it is this law alone which should govern his case. It is suffice to note that the Ombudsman rules of procedure, Administrative Order No. 07, mandate that decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman where the penalty imposed is other than public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month salary or fine equivalent to one month salary are still appealable and hence, not final and executory. Vda de Urbano v GSIS (2001) Facts In 1971, petitioners mortgaged their 200 sqm property in Q.C. to Gsis to secure a housing loan. Since they were unable to pay the loan, GSIS foreclosed the mortgage in 1988. GSIS bid 154k on the property and emerged as the highest bidder. In 1984, the petitioners tried to reclaim their property. They wrote to the GSIS Acquired Assets Department signifying their intent to reclaim. On October 16, GSIS told them to pay the redemption price of 154k in full before Nov 18, 1984. The petitioners asked for more time to recover the property while the Acquired Assets Dpeartment subsequently told them to pay 174k in cash with an extension of 30 days to the November date. Failure to do so forfeited the reclamation of the property and sold in a public bidding. The petitioners wrote again requesting for remortgage through repurchase of the property. The Gsis AAD declined. The petitioners wrote to the Board for an approval to file a loan worth 240,000 with the GSIS real estate department to repurchase their foreclosed property. Despite attempts from Vice Governor Mathay to adjust to a more liberal arrangement for the petitioners, the the petitioners were unable to pay. GSIS then issued a TCT in its favor. The respondent De La Cruz entered the picture and offered to purchase the property for 250,000 spot cash. Without knowledge of the rival offer, the petitioners then offered a 50,000 downpayment with the 124k balance to be paid in 5 years. He also enclosed 10k in check as earnest money. The Board informed them that it had adopted reolution 881 that declined their offer to repurchase. At the same time, GSIS negotiated with Dela Cruz for the purchase of the property. They accepted her offer of purchase. A new TCT was issued to her. The petitioners, on the other hand, had their loan request rescinded because a certificate of award or sale was not issued in favor of the applicant. Moreover, the applicant, Urbano the petitioner, was 81 years old and no longer a member of the GSIS. It wasn’t given due cons ideration. Having learned about the transaction with dela Cruz, the petitioners requested the formal investigation with the GSIS regarding the sale. Not satisfied, they filed a case with the RTC of QC branch 102. The petition was dismissed. The same view was upheld by the court of appeals. Hence this petition.  Issues: 1. Do petitioners have a right to repurchase the subject property? 2. Does GSIS have a duty to dispose of the subject property through public bidding? 3. Was Gsis in bad faith in dealing with petitioners? Ruling: Petition Dismissed Ratio: 1. No Charter of the GSIS was PD 1146 which stipulated the power of the GSIS to acquire, utilize, and dispose of real or personal properties in the Philippines or elsewhere. It was amended by PD 1981 which gave the GSIS the power to compromise or release any claim or settled liability to the system. SC- The laws granted the GSIS Board the power to exercise discretion in determining the terms and condition of financial accommodations to its members with the dual purpose of making the GSIS more responsive to the needs of GSIS members. The laws also stipulated that the Board could exercise discretion on whether to accept or reject petitioner’s offer to repurchase the subject property taking into account the dual purpose enunciated in the whereas clause of PD 1981 which made the GSIS more responsive to the needs of its members. With regard to the Board’s exercise of discretion, in Natino v IAC, the Court also held that repurchase of foreclosed proper ty after redemption period imposes no such obligation on the purchaser (the board in this case) to re-sell the property since the property belongs to him (the board as well) The board’s denial of petitioner’s request to purchase the subject property was not based on whim but on a factual assessment  of the financial capacity of the petitioners to make good their repeated offers to purchase the subject property. Based on the circumstances, the petitioners were repeatedly unable to fulfill their obligations to pay. In the comments of the AAD manager, the observation was that the petitioners lacked the capacity to pay up. The petitioners are not entitled to a request for repurchase as a matter of right. The Board exercised its discretion in accordance with law in denying their requests and the GSIS can’t be faulted for their failure to repurchase as it acted under the petitioner’s application under Operation Pabahay. The sale to respondent can’t be annulled on such invoked “right”.  2. No. The agreement with de la Cruz was valid. Pets.- aver that Sec. 79 of PD 1445 and the COA Circular 86-264 mandated the GSIS to dispose of the assets through public bidding and only upon its failure, through a public sale. GSIS contended that SEC 79 of PD 1445 did not apply because it covered unserviceable govt property and not acquired assets. SC- Gsis was right. Why? The provision (SEC 79) applies only to unserviceable govt property or those no longer needed. The house was obviously not unserviceable. And it was still used by petitioners. With regard to COA Circular 86- 264 or the “General guidelines on the divestment or disposal of assets of government owned corporations” the law stipulated that it availed of an exception to the requirement of disposition through public bidding and such exception applied to sales of merchandise held for sale in the regular course of business. The Court read it in relation to Coa circular 89- 296 which provided for “Audit Guidelines on the Disposal of Property and other Assets of Government Agencies”, which also did not apply the public bidding disposal requirement to merchandise or inventory held for sale in the regular course of business nor to the disposal by gov’t financia l institutions of foreclosed assets or collaterals acquired in the regular course of business and not transferred to the Govt under proclamation no 50. The modes of disposal included Public auction and sale thru negotiation. Doctrine: With regard to these 2 laws, the Court held the question whether the subject property was covered by the said Circular or falls under its exception. It held that 89-296 was to be interpreted with 86-264 in adherence with stat con wherein statutes that relate to the same thing ought to be taken in consideration in construing any one of them, and it is an established rule of law that all acts in pari material are to be taken together as if they were one law.
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