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Administrative Procedure: Due Process Form and Promulgation of Judgment

G.R. No. 166051 Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Laserna (8 April 2008)
Chico-Nazario, J.

DOCTRINE
The constitutional mandate providing that no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and law on which it is based is not applicable in administrative
proceedings. As long as the constitutional requirement of due process is satisfied, the rights of the
parties in administrative proceedings are not violated.

FACTS
1. Evelina Laserna and Gloria Calipe (respondents), represented by their atty-in-fact, Proceso Cruz,
entered into a Contract to Sell as buyers with Solid Homes, Inc. (petitioner SHI) for a parcel of land
in LGV.
a. The contract price was to be paid in the ff. manner: (1) downpayment to be paid upon signing
of the contract; and (2) the remaining balance was payable for three years in monthly
installments.
2. When the respondents had allegedly paid 90% of the purchase price, they demanded the execution
and delivery of the Deed of Sale and the TCT of the subject property upon the final payment of the
balance; but SHI did not comply.
3. Respondents filed a Complaint for Delivery of Title and Execution of Deed of Sale with
Damages before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
a. SHI alleged that the respondents have no cause of action against it because they have failed
to show that they complied with their obligation under the Contract to Sell since the purchase
price has not yet been paid in full.
4. HLURB Arbiter denied respondents prayer but directed SHI to execute and deliver the DoS and
TCT the moment the purchase price is fully settled by the respondents.
5. SHI appealed the Decision to the HLURB Board of Commissioners.
6. HLURB-BOC modified Arbiters decision directed respondents to pay balance within 30 days of
finality of their decision, and for SHI to execute and deliver the DoS and TCT upon full payment.
7. SHI appealed the Decision to the Office of the President.
a. OP affirmed in toto the HLURB-BOC Decision. It merely adopted by reference the findings
of fact and conclusions of law in the said decision.
b. SHI moved for reconsideration. OP demied.
8. SHI elevated the case to the CA alleging that OP erred in merely adopting by reference the
findings and conclusions of the HLURB-BOC.
a. CA denied SHI petition. Hence this petition.

ISSUE with HOLDING


1. (IMPT ISSUE) W/N OP Decision goes against the constitutional mandate under Sec. 14, Art.
VIII which provides that No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein
clearly and distinctly the facts and law on which it is based NO
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a. Such constitutional mandate does not preclude the validity of memorandum decisions,
which adopt by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law in the decisions of inferior
tribunals.
i. The Court has held that memorandum decisions comply with the constitutional
mandate and has sanctioned their use on the grounds of expediency, practicality,
convenience, and docket status of our courts.
ii. Thus, incorporation by reference is allowed if only to avoid the cumbersome
reproduction of the decision of the lower courts in the decision of the higher court.
b. In Francisco v. Permskul, the Court laid down the conditions for the validity of
memorandum decisions:
i. It must provide for direct access to the facts and the law being adopted, which must
be contained in a statement attached to the decision;
ii. It should actually embody the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the lower court
in an annex attached to and made an indispensable part of the decision;
iii. The proximity of the annexed statement should suggest that a proper examination
has been undertaken of the facts and the law where the decision is based; and
iv. This may only be resorted to in cases where the facts are in the main accepted by
both parties and easily determinable by the judge and there are no doctrinal
complications involved that will require an extended discussion of the laws involved.
c. The constitutional mandate need not apply to decisions rendered in administrative
proceedings.
i. Art. VIII is titled Judiciary, so all the provisions under it only concern the judicial
branch of government.
ii. As long as the constitutional requirement of due process is satisfied, the rights of the
parties in administrative proceedings are not violated.
1. Ang Tibay v. CIR laid down the cardinal rights of parties in administrative
proceedings.1
2. There is no requirement in Ang Tibay that the decision must express clearly
and distinctly the facts and law on which it is based. As long as it is grounded
on evidence and sufficiently informs the parties of the factual and legal bases,
the due process requirement is satisfied.
iii. Assuming that the constitutional mandate applies in this case, OP Decision satisfies
the conditions set in Permskul. (See 1.b. above)
1. OP readily made available the HLURB-BOC decision it adopted because it was
attached as an annex to the OP decision;

11) The right to a hearing, which includes the right to present ones case and submit evidence in support thereof.
2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented.
3) The decision must have something to support itself.
4) The evidence must be substantial.
5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and
disclosed to the parties affected.
6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the
controversy and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
7) The board or body should, in all controversial question, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the
proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.
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2. The findings of fact and conclusions of law of the HLURB-BOC have been
made an indispensable part of the decision: the attachment allowed the parties
to determine the facts and the law which the decision was based on, and what
issues can be appealed to the proper tribunal;
3. The OP Decision categorically stated that it conducted a careful study and
thorough evaluation of the records of the present case and that it was fully
convinced with the findings of the HLURB-BOC; and
4. The facts of the present case were not contested by the parties and it can be
easily determined by the hearing officer or tribunal; and since this case is a
simple action for specific performance with damages, there are neither doctrinal
complications involved in this case that will require an extended discussion of
the laws involved.
2. W/N complaint filed with HLURB was without cause of action and should have been
dismissed NO
a. Section 7 of the 1987 HLURB Rules of Procedure: Dismissal of the Complaint or
Opposition. The Housing and Land Use Arbiter (HLA) to whom a complaint or opposition
is assigned may immediately dismiss the same for lack of jurisdiction or cause of action.
i. The use of the word "may" instead of "shall," means that the dismissal of a complaint
or opposition filed before the HLURB Arbiter on the ground of lack of jurisdiction or
cause of action is simply permissive and not directive.
ii. The HLURB Arbiter has the discretion of whether to dismiss immediately the complaint
or opposition filed before him for lack of jurisdiction or cause of action, or to still
proceed with the hearing of the case for presentation of evidence.
b. Even if the respondents have no right to demand the execution and delivery of the DoS and
the TCT because they have not yet paid the full purchase price of the land, it was still within
the HLURB Arbiters discretion to proceed hearing the respondents complaint in pursuit of a
judicious, speedy and inexpensive determination of the parties claims and defenses.
c. During the hearing conducted by HLURB Arbiter, it became apparent that respondents
cause of action against petitioner is not limited to the non-execution and non-delivery by
petitioner of the DoS and TCT; but also the wrongful rescission by the petitioner of the
Contract to Sell. Thus, there is ample basis for HLURB Arbiter not to dismiss respondents
complaint against petitioner and continue hearing and resolving the case.
d. Since petitioner did not rescind the Contract to Sell it executed with the respondents by a
notarial act, the said Contract still stands.
i. Both parties must comply with their obligations under the said Contract.
ii. Respondents must first pay the balance of the purchase price of the subject property,
after which, the petitioner must execute and deliver the necessary Deed of Sale and
TCT of said property.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is hereby DENIED.

DIGESTER: Liana
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