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Miranda v.

Carreon (11 April 2003, Sandoval-Gutierrez)


Procedural
Issue 1
WON Miranda has legal standing to file the petition
Petitioner: As a taxpayer, he has legal interest to file the present petition
Respondents: Since Miranda ceased to be the mayor, he no longer has legal personality to
file the present petition
Held: NO
Ratio:

Section 17, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, provides:
Sec. 17. Death or separation of a party who is a public officer. When a public
officer is a party in an action in his official capacity and during its pendency dies,
resigns or otherwise ceases to hold office, the action may be continued and
maintained by or against his successor if, within thirty (30) days after the successor
takes office or such time as may be granted by the Court, it is satisfactorily shown by
any party that there is substantial need for continuing or maintaining it and the
successor adopts or continues or threatens to adopt or continue the action of his
predecessor.

So, when Miranda ceased to be mayor of Santiago City, the action may be continued
and maintained by his successor, Mayor Amelita Navarro, if there is substantial need
to do so.

Mayor Navarro, however, found no substantial need to continue and maintain the
action of her predecessor in light of the CSC Resolution declaring that respondents
services were illegally terminated by former Mayor Jose Miranda. In fact, she filed
with the Court of Appeals aMotion to Withdraw the Motion for Reconsideration
which was filed by Miranda and she reinstated the respondents.

As for Mirandas standing as taxpayer, the same is untenable. Section 2, Rule 3 of the
same Rules provides:

Section 2. Parties in interest. - A real party in interest is the party who stands to be
benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of
the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.
Even as a taxpayer, petitioner does not stand to be benefited or injured by the
judgment of the suit. It bears stressing that a taxpayers suit refers to a case
where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds
from taxation. The present case involves illegal termination and not illegal
disbursement of public funds.

Substantive

Issue 1
WON respondents services were illegally terminated by then Mayor Miranda
Petitioner: No
Respondents: They were not actually evaluated on their performance. But assuming there
was indeed such an evaluation, it should have been done by their immediate supervisors,
not by those appointed by former Mayor Jose Miranda.
Held: YES
Ratio:

Under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, a government officer or employee


may be removed from the service on two (2) grounds: (1) unsatisfactory conduct and
(2) want of capacity.
The Civil Service Law (Presidential Decree No. 807, as amended) provides specific
grounds for dismissing a government officer or employee from the service. Among
these grounds are inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official
duties.

Respondents were dismissed on the ground of poor performance. Poor performance


falls within the concept of inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of
official duties which are grounds for dismissing a government official or employee
from the service.

But inefficiency or incompetence can only be determined after the passage of


sufficient time, hence, the probationary period of six (6) months for the respondents.
It is improbable that Mayor Jose Miranda could finally determine the performance of
respondents for only the first three months of the probationary period.

The Respondents were also denied due process when they were not informed in
writing regarding the status of their performance, neither were they warned that they
will be dismissed from the service should they fail to improve their performance as
required in Item 2.2 (b), Section VI of the Omnibus Guidelines on Appointments and
Other Personnel Actions (CSC Memorandum Circular No. 38, Series of 1993, as
amended by CSC Memorandum Circular No. 12, Series of 1994).

Furthermore, the contention that the only reason behind the respondents arbitrary
dismissal was Mayor Jose Mirandas perception that they were not loyal to him, being
appointees of then Acting Mayor Navarro appears to be true considering that all
those who were accepted and screened by the PSPB during the incumbency of Acting
Mayor Navarro were rated to have performed poorly by an audit team whose three
members were personally picked by Mayor Jose Miranda.