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Sanitary/Plumbing Permit acknowledging the fixtures to be installed

but without indicating the System of Disposal including a Waste


FIRST DIVISION
Water Treatment Plan. On 15 December 1988, Architect Perez issued
a Certificate of Final Inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy for
Buildings A-1 to A-3.
THE ALEXANDRA CONDOMINIUM G.R. No. 169228
CORPORATION, PhilRealty undertook the same process for Clusters B, C, D, and
Petitioner, Present: E. Building Permits and Certificates of Final Inspection and Occupancy
PUNO, C.J., Chairperson, were issued for these clusters from 1991 to 1993. On 31 December
1993, upon completion of Buildings E-1 and E-2, PhilRealty formally
CARPIO,
turned over the project to TACC. However, PhilRealty did not turn
- versus - CORONA, over the as-built plans for the perimeter drainage layout, the
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, and foundation, and the electrical and plumbing layout of the
BERSAMIN, JJ. project. Thereafter, TACC managed the project through Century
Properties Management Corporation.
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT Promulgated:
AUTHORITY, On 24 June 1998, Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)
Respondent. September 11, 2009 advised TACC that its wastewater did not meet government effluent
standards provided in Sections 68 and 69 of the 1978 National
x--------------------------------------------------x
Pollution Control Commission Rules and Regulations (NPCC) as
amended by Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR)
Administrative Order No. 34.[3] LLDA informed TACC that it must put
DECISION up its own Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) for its effluent discharge to
meet government standards.
CARPIO, J.:
Since a sewage treatment plant would cost approximately P15 million
to put up, TACC experimented with a proposed solution from Larutan
The Case
Resources Development Corporation, which treated the septic vault
water with biological enzymes. Still, TACCs water discharge failed to
Before the Court is a petition for review assailing the 26 April 2005 meet the government standards.
Decision[1] and 1 August 2005 Resolution[2] of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. SP No. 82409.
On 26 March 1999, LLDAs Environmental Division collected samples
of TACCs wastewater. In a report dated 6 April 1999, LLDA found two
The Antecedent Facts determinants in TACCs samples: (1) Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
and (2) Oil/Grease (OG). LLDA found that TACCs samples failed to
Philippine Realty and Holdings, Inc. (PhilRealty) developed, meet government standards of 150 for COD and 5 for OG.
established, and constructed The Alexandra Condominium Complex
from 1987 to 1993. In a Deed of Conveyance dated 18 April 1988, In a Notice of Violation[4] dated 6 May 1999, LLDA directed TACC to
PhilRealty transferred to The Alexandra Condominium Corporation submit corrective measures to abate or control its water effluents
(TACC) a parcel of land with an area of 9,876 square meters located discharged into the Laguna de Bay. LLDA likewise imposed upon TACC
at 29 Meralco Avenue, Pasig City as well as all the common areas of a daily fine of P1,000 from 26 March 1999 until full cessation of
the project. The land was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. pollutive wastewater discharge.
64355.
TACC entered into an agreement with World Chem Marketing for the
The condominium project consists of the following phases: construction of the STP for P7,550,000. The construction was
completed by the second week of October 2001.
(a) Cluster A - 3 Five Storey Buildings; A-1, A-2 and A-3;
(b) Cluster B - 2 Eleven Storey Buildings; B-1 and B-2; In an Order dated 19 July 1999, LLDA stated that the daily penalty was
(c) Cluster C - 2 Seven Storey Buildings; C-1 and C-2; imposed upon TACC for the pollutive wastewater discharge, and to
condone the penalty would be tantamount to tolerating the pollution
(d) Cluster D - 2 Fourteen Storey Buildings; D-a and D-2; and
of the river bodies and the Laguna de Bay which is contrary to LLDAs
(e) Cluster E 2 Eleven Storey Buildings; E-1 and E-2. mandate.

On 2 September 1987, the Human Settlements Regulatory On 1 April 2002, TACC requested LLDA to dismiss the water pollution
Commission issued a Development Permit to PhilRealty to develop case against it because of the favorable analysis undertaken by the
Cluster A of the project. In the Development Permit, PhilRealty was LLDAs Pollution Control Division on 28 February 2002. LLDA
required to submit its condominium plans to the Building Official of conducted a hearing on 26 April 2002. In its position paper filed on 15
Pasig City. Architect Walter R. Perez (Architect Perez), then Building May 2002, TACC requested LLDA to condone the imposition of the
Official of Pasig City, reviewed the Site Development and Location penalty of P1,000 per day since March 1999 in recognition of the
Plan as well as the Sanitary/Plumbing Plans and Specifications of the remedial and corrective measures it undertook to comply with
project. On 24 September 1987, Architect Perez issued a Building government standards.
Permit. On 30 September 1987, Architect Perez issued a
On 4 September 2003, LLDA issued an Order requiring TACC to pay a 1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding TACCs
fine of P1,062,000 representing the penalty from 26 March 1999 to exhaustive efforts in complying with the governments standards on
20 February 2002. effluent discharge; and

TACC filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals with a 2. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the petition
prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order. for certiorari was prematurely filed.

The Ruling of this Court

The Decision of the Court of Appeals The petition has no merit.

In its 26 April 2005 Decision, the Court of Appeals resolved the Non-Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
petition as follows:
The Court of Appeals ruled that due to the transfer of LLDA to the
WHEREFORE, premises considered, instant petition is DENR under Executive Order No. 149[10] (EO 149), TACC should have
DISMISSED. Accordingly, the prayer for temporary restraining order is first resorted to an administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary
DENIED. prior to filing a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.

SO ORDERED.[5] The doctrine of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies requires


that resort be first made with the administrative authorities in the
resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the
controversy may be elevated to a court of justice for review.[11] A
The Court of Appeals sustained LLDAs contention that the petition for
premature invocation of a courts intervention renders the complaint
certiorari was prematurely filed. LLDA pointed out that TACC failed to
without cause of action and dismissible.[12]
file a motion for reconsideration of the 4 September 2003 Order
before filing the petition before the Court of Appeals. The Court of
Appeals also ruled that before a party is allowed to seek the courts EO 149 transferred LLDA from the Office of the President to the
intervention, he should have availed of all the means of DENR for policy and program coordination and/or administrative
administrative processes afforded him. The Court of Appeals ruled supervision x x x.[13] Under EO 149, DENR only has administrative
that the proper remedy should have been to resort to an power over LLDA. Administrative power is concerned with the work
administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary prior to judicial of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper
action. The Court of Appeals noted LLDAs allegation of TACCs offer to governmental organs.[14]
compromise, which LLDA countered with an advice to address the
offer to the Commission on Audit (COA). Hence, the Court of Appeals However, Executive Order No. 192[15] (EO 192), which reorganized the
found that TACC had not abandoned its administrative remedies DENR, mandates the DENR to promulgate rules and regulations for
despite simultaneous resort to judicial action. the control of water, air and land pollution and to promulgate
ambient and effluent standards for water and air quality including the
The Court of Appeals ruled that under Republic Act No. 4850[6] (RA allowable levels of other pollutants and radiations.[16] EO 192 created
4850), as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813,[7] LLDA shall be the Pollution Adjudication Board[17] under the Office of the DENR
compensated for the damages to the water and aquatic resources of Secretary which assumed the powers and functions of the NPCC with
Laguna de Bay resulting from failure to meet established water and respect to the adjudication of pollution cases, including NPCCs
effluent quality standards. The Court of Appeals ruled that under function to [s]erve as arbitrator for the determination of reparation,
Section 4 of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983,[8] LLDA is or restitution of the damages and losses resulting from
mandated to make, alter or modify orders requiring the pollution.[18] Hence, TACC has an administrative recourse before the
discontinuation of pollution specifying the conditions and the time DENR Secretary which it should have first pursued before filing a
within which such discontinuance must be accomplished. Further, the petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.
Court of Appeals ruled that Presidential Decree No. 984[9] provides for
penalties for violation or non-compliance with any order, decision or Powers of the LLDA to Impose Penalty
regulation of the Commission for the control or abatement of
pollution.
RA 4850 specifically mandates LLDA to carry out and make effective
the declared national policy of promoting and accelerating the
TACC filed a motion for reconsideration. In its 1 August 2005 development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the
Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied the motion. surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo,
Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan with due regard and adequate
Hence, the petition before this Court. provisions for environmental management and control, preservation
of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the
prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and
The Issues
pollution.[19] LLDA, by virtue of its special charter, has the
TACC raises the following issues in its memorandum: responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the Laguna Lake region
from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the
discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas.[20]
Under Section 4-A of RA 4850, as amended, LLDA is entitled to provided the LLDA would agree to reduce the penalty to P500,000. In
compensation for damages resulting from failure to meet established a letter dated 22 September 2004,[24] LLDA referred the offer to its
water and effluent quality standards, thus: resident auditor Antonio M. Malit (Auditor Malit) on the ground that
only the COA had the authority to compromise settlement of
Sec. 4-A. Compensation for damages to the water and aquatic obligations to the State. In a letter dated 23 September 2004, Auditor
resources of Laguna de Bay and its tributaries resulting from failure to Malit informed LLDA that the power to compromise claims is vested
meet established water and effluent quality standards and from such exclusively in the COA pursuant to Section 36 of Presidential Decree
other wrongful act or omission of a person, private or public, juridical No. 1445.[25] Auditor Malit stated that the request for compromise
or otherwise, punishable under the law shall be awarded to the should be addressed to COA. However, since the amount of the
Authority to be earmarked for water quality control and penalty sought to be condoned is P1,062,000, the authority to
management. compromise such claim is vested exclusively in Congress pursuant to
Section 20 (1), Chapter IV, Subtitle B, Title I, Book V of the
Administrative Code of 1987. This remedy is not administrative but
legislative, and need not be resorted to before filing a judicial action.
In the present case, TACC does not challenge LLDAs authority to
impose the fine. However, TACC argues that since it had already
Moreover, the Court cannot sustain the Court of Appeals finding that
exhausted efforts and substantially spent to comply with established
there was a pending offer to compromise when the petition for
effluent quality standards, the daily penalty imposed by the LLDA is
certiorari was filed before it. There is nothing in the records that
an unwarranted financial burden to its unit owners and should thus
indicates that TACC withdrew its offer of compromise.At the same
be condoned. TACC further argues that the non-compliance with
time, there is also nothing to indicate that TACC submitted a
government standards was due to the omission and fault of
compromise offer to COA, as Auditor Malit had advised. Hence, it is
PhilRealty.
not proven that this petition was simultaneously availed of with the
offer to compromise.
TACCs arguments have no merit.
Failure to File a Motion for Reconsideration
PhilRealty formally turned over the project to TACC on 31 December
1993. Thereafter, TACC managed the project. It was almost five years
For a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to
after, or on 24 June 1998, when LLDA advised TACC that its
prosper, TACC must show that (1) the LLDA acted without or in excess
wastewater did not meet government effluent standards. It is clear
of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
that the responsibility to comply with government standards lies with
or excess of jurisdiction and (2) there is no appeal or a plain, speedy
TACC. If, as claimed by TACC, the non-compliance was due to the
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
omission and fault of PhilRealty, TACCs recourse is to file an action, if
warranted, against PhilRealty in a proper court. TACC cannot escape
its liability to LLDA by shifting the blame to PhilRealty. Hence, the The plain and adequate remedy referred to in Section 1 of Rule 65 is
LLDA did not abuse its discretion in issuing its 4 September 2003 a motion for reconsideration of the assailed decision.[26] The purpose
Order. of this requirement is to enable the court or agency to rectify its
mistakes without the intervention of a higher court.[27] To dispense
with this requirement, there must be a concrete, compelling, and
Condonation of Penalty and Pending Offer to Compromise
valid reason for the failure to comply with the
requirement.[28] Petitioner may not arrogate to itself the
As regards the condonation of the penalty, the power to compromise determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary
claims is vested exclusively in the COA or Congress pursuant or not.[29]
to Section 20 (1), Chapter IV, Subtitle B, Title I, Book V of Executive
Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987) which provides:
In the present case, TACC did not file a motion for reconsideration of
Section 20. Power to Compromise Claims. - (1) When the interest of the 4 September 2003 Order. TACC also failed to show sufficient
the Government so requires, the Commission may compromise or compelling and valid reason to dispense with the requirement of filing
release in whole or in part, any settled claim or liability to any a motion for reconsideration. Hence, we agree with the Court of
government agency not exceeding ten thousand pesos arising out of Appeals that the petition for certiorari was prematurely filed before
any matter or case before it or within its jurisdiction, and with the it.
written approval of the President, it may likewise compromise or
release any similar claim or liability not exceeding one hundred
thousand pesos. In case the claim or liability exceeds one hundred Finally, TACC wants the Court to review the mandate of LLDA to help
thousand pesos, the application for relief therefrom shall be transform it from a regulatory agency into a developmental and
submitted, through the Commission and the President, with their promotional agency. However, we agree with LLDA that such a review
recommendations, to the Congress[.] x x x of LLDAs charter is not within the jurisdiction of this Court.

In a letter dated 5 May 2004,[21] TACC manifested its offer to WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 26 April 2005
compromise by paying a reduced fine of P500,000. In its response Decision and 1 August 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-
dated 8 July 2004,[22] LLDA stated that the proposal would be G.R. SP No. 82409.
forwarded to LLDAs Board of Directors although it is necessary that
the case be withdrawn from the court. In a letter dated 11 September SO ORDERED.
2004,[23] TACC stated that in a regular meeting held on 6 September
2004, the members of TACCs Board of Directors unanimously agreed
to withdraw the petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals,
Republic of the Philippines conviction that of Elementary Principal I. The Division of City Schools,
SUPREME COURT Gingoog City, Region X, Department of Education and Culture, did not
Manila act on petitioner's request. Hence, the present petition.
FIRST DIVISION We believe otherwise. There is here a justiciable controversy.
G.R. No. 87687 December 26, 1989 Petitioner claims he must be restored to the same position he was in
before he was convicted on a mere technical error and for which he
ISABELO T. SABELLO, petitioner,
was given an absolute pardon.
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND This is not a hypothetical or abstract dispute. It is not academic or
SPORTS, respondents. moot for, to our mind, there is a definite and concrete controversy
touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal relations.
This is a real and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief
GANCAYCO, J.: through a court decree that is conclusive in character. The case does
In this petition filed by a non-lawyer by reason of alleged poverty, We not call for a mere opinion or advise, but for affirmative relief .
are called upon to decide a unique issue of which shall be given more As a general rule, the question of whether or not petitioner should be
importance the legal technicalities of the law or the fundamental reappointed to his former position is a matter of discretion of the
principles of justice and fairness. appointing authority, but under the circumstances of this case, if the
The facts are not in dispute, as follows: petitioner had been unfairly deprived of' what is rightfully his, the
Sabello, was the Elementary School Principal of Talisay and also the discretion is qualified by the requirements of giving justice to the
Assistant Principal of the Talisay Barangay High School of the Division petitioner. It is no longer a matter of discretion on the part of the
of Gingoog City. The barangay high school was in deficit at that time appointing power, but discretion tempered with fairness and justice.
due to the fact that the students could hardly pay for their monthly As to the argument that the Department of Education, Culture and
tuition fees. Since at that time also, the President of the Philippines Sports cannot be sued, the only answer is that its officials can be sued
who was earnestly campaining was giving aid in the amount of P for alleged grave errors in their official acts. Again, We ignore
2,000.00 for each barrio, the barrio council through proper technicality by considering this a suit against the officials of this
resolutions alloted the amount of P 840.00 to cover up for the salaries government agency.
of the high school teachers, with the honest thought in mind that the Taking into consideration that this petition is filed by a non-lawyer,
barrio high school was a barrio project and as such therefore, was who claims that poverty denies him the services of a lawyer, We also
entitled to its share of the RICD fund in question. The only part that set aside the requirement of exhaustion of administrative remedies
the herein petitioner played was his being authorized by the said and resolved to go direct to the merits of the petition.
barrio council to withdraw the above amount and which was In Monsanto vs. Factoran, Jr., 3 this Court held that the absolute
subsequently deposited in the City Treasurer's Office in the name of disqualification from office or ineligibility from public office forms
the Talisay Barrio High School. That was a grave error on the part of part of the punishment prescribed under the penal code and that
the herein petitioner as it involves the very intricacies in the pardon frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities
disbursement of government funds and of its technicalities. Thus, the and restores him to all his civil rights. Although such pardon restores
herein petitioner, together with the barrio captain, were charged of his eligibility to a public office it does not entitle him to automatic
the violation of Republic Act 3019, and both were convicted to suffer reinstatement. He should apply for reappointment to said office.
a sentence of one year and disqualification to hold public office. The
In the present case after his absolute pardon, petitioner was
herein petitioner appealed his case to the Court of appeals, Manila.
reinstated to the service as a classroom teacher by the Department of
The Court of appeals modified the decision by eliminating the
Education, Culture and Sports.
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency in the payment of one-
half of the amount being involved. The herein petitioner, being As there are no circumstances that would warrant the diminution in
financially battered, could no longer hire a lawyer to proceed to the his rank, justice and equity dictate that he be returned to his former
highest court of the land. position of Elementary School Principal I and not to that of a mere
classroom teacher.
Finally, the herein petitioner was granted an ABSOLUTE PARDON by
the President of the Republic of the Philippines, restoring him to 'full However, the Court cannot grant his prayer for backwages from
civil and political rights.' With this instrument on hand, the herein September 1, 1971 to November 23, 1982 since in Monsanto 4 this
petitioner applied for reinstatement to the government service, only Court said he is not entitled to automatic reinstatement. Petitioner
to be reinstated to the wrong position of a mere classroom teacher was lawfully separated from the government service upon his
and not to his former position as Elementary School Principal I.1 conviction for an offense. Thus, although his reinstatement had been
duly authorized, it did not thereby entitle him to backwages. Such
Petitioner now prays to this Court for the following relief:
right is afforded only to those who have been illegally dismissed and
1. (that he be) Reinstated to his former position as were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise acquitted of the
Elementary School Principal I; charge against them.
2. His government services be made continuous since In the same light, the Court cannot decree that his government
September 10, 1948 which is his original appointment until service be made continuous from September 10, 1948 to the present
the present time; when it is not. At any rate when he reaches the compulsory age of
3. (that he be) Given his back salaries corresponding to the retirement, he shall get the appropriate retirement benefits as an
period from September 1, 1971 to November 23,1982; Elementary School Principal I and not as a mere classroom teacher.
4. That all his service credits duly earned be restored; WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED in that the Secretary of the
5. And, that all other rights and privileges not mentioned Department of Education, Culture and Sports and/or his duly
herein shall also be granted. (Petition, p. 2) 2 authorized representative is hereby directed to appoint petitioner to
the position of Elementary School Principal I or it equivalent, without
The Solicitor General comments that there is no justiciable
pronouncement as to cost. This decision is immediately executory.
controversy in this case because the issue involved is whether or not
petitioner merits reappointment to the position he held prior to his SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, Cruz, Griño-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines education graduate committee, Dean Sta. Maria neither included in
SUPREME COURT the agenda nor consulted the faculty about the students' demands on
Manila "foreign language proficiency examination" and on "research and
EN BANC thesis writing pressures". They have brought out the fact that many
members of the faculty shared the students' grievances on the
absence of definite standards and procedures on academic work,
G.R. No. L-30773 February 18, 1970 including teaching load, administrative and committee assignments,
FELIXBERTO C. STA. MARIA, petitioner, faculty evaluation, and favoritism and discrimination.
vs. On July 16, 1969, Adelaida E. Masuhud, President of the UP Graduate
SALVADOR P. LOPEZ, THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY Education Student Organization., led a group who visited President
OF THE PHILIPPINES, and NEMESIO CERALDE, respondents. Lopez and submitted to him a progress report on the students'
V.E. del Rosario and Associates and Atienza, Tabora & del Rosario for demands taken up with Sta. Maria since March 26, 1969. She
petitioner. acknowledged that the dean had granted ten demands7 but deplored
Office of the Solicitor General Felix V. Makasiar, Solicitor Bernardo P. the fact that the dean had ignored the following; submission to the
Pardo and Special Counsel Perfecto V. Fernandez for respondents faculty for decision, of the demand for abolition of foreign language
Salvador Lopez, et al. requirements and comprehensive examinations; fixing the criteria for
Crispin D. Baizas for respondent Nemesio Ceralde. selection, admission, appointment and promotion of faculty
members; formulation of clear-cut policies on thesis advising, faculty
teaching load, and faculty membership on standing committees; and
SANCHEZ, J.: appointment of a permanent director for the Graduate Education
Directly under attack in this an original action for certiorari, Studies of the SPED Program. She thus stated: "I appreciate the efforts
prohibition and mandamus is the validity of the transfer of petitioner of the Dean in acting On some of our demands. However, the Dean
Felixberto C. Sta.Maria from his post of Dean, College of Education, has failed to take further action on the demands that have far
University of the Philippines (UP), to the Office of respondent UP reaching implications for the students, faculty and the College as a
President Salvador P. Lopez, there to become Special Assistant in whole. As a consequence problems, confusion and demoralization of
charge of public information and relations. students and faculty have cropped up anew in the college."
Petitioner, a professor of English and Comparative Literature The students threatened to boycott their classes the next day, July 17.
(formerly Dean of the UP College in Baguio), was elected Dean of the President Lopez asked that they desist, suggested that they instead
College of Education on May 5, 1967 by the Board of Regents, on attend a student-faculty meeting the next day in his office.
nomination of the UP President. His appointment as such Dean was But on July 17, the Education Graduate Student Organization
for a five year term, "effective May 16, 1967 until May 17, 1972, boycotted their classes just the same. The President met the striking
unless sooner terminated, with all the rights and privileges as well as students' representatives and the faculty members of the College of
the duties and obligations attached to the position in accordance with Education. Charges of favoritism were allegedly hurled by some of the
the rules and regulations of the University and the Constitution and faculty members against Sta. Maria. On the other hand, the dean
laws of the Republic of the Philippines. offered to sit down with the students.The latter, however, refused to
The issues in this case can be better understood if framed in its proper enter into a dialogue unless he (the dean) were first ousted.
setting, viz: In a separate development, the faculty members of the College of
As far back as February 11, 1969, the graduate and undergraduate Education convened in the afternoon of July 22. They resolved,
students of the UP College of Education presented to President amongst others, to recognize the right of a college dean to his position
Salvador P. Lopez a number of demands having a bearing on the from which he cannot be removed unless for cause (44 in favor, 2
general academic program1 and the physical plant and services,2 with abstained), and not to endorse the students' demand for the forced
a cluster of special demands.3 In response, President Lopez created a resignation of Sta. Maria (36 in favor, 5 against, 3 abstained).
committee composed of eight graduate students, two undergraduate The boycott fever infected other colleges. On July 22, 1969, the newly
students, and four faculty members. This committee met 9 times with installed members of the UP Student Council voted to support the
Dean Sta. Maria in February and March 1969. On March 17, 1969, education students' strike. The next day, July 23, the main avenues
Dean Sta. Maria gave President Lopez a written summary of the leading to the university gates were barricaded, buses denied
dialogues he had with the committee and enumerated in connection entrance, and students cajoled into joining the strike. It was thus on
with the demands, the steps taken,4 the steps being taken5 and the that day that all academic activity in the university came to a
steps ito be taken in consultation with the faculty.6 He also complete stand still. In the morning of July 23, at 10:00 o'clock, the
recommended to the UP President the following: a more adequate UP President called a meeting of the faculty of the College of
budget responsive to the needs of the college, taking into account its Education. Those present gave him a vote of confidence (40 in favor,
expanding graduate program; improvement of the library service in 7 abstained) to resolve the issue on hand as he sees fit.
terms of a better book collection and more adequate space and
Armed with the vote of confidence of the education faculty, on the
reading rooms, particularly for graduate students; appointment of
same day, July 23, 1969, President Lopez issued the transfer order
more faculty members on the senior level to handle the large
herein challenged, Administrative Order 77. That order, addressed to
graduate program, and to meet the acute need for more graduate
Dean Sta. Maria, reads:
advisers, critics, and committee members; improvement of the water
system of the college; improvement of the physical plant of the By special authority vested in me by the Board of Regents and
college, including its classrooms, offices, toilets, sidewalks and pursuant to the Civil Service Law and the University Code, you are
surrounding landscape; and construction of a graduate students' hereby transferred from the College of Education to the Office of the
dormitory. President as Special Assistant8 with the rank of Dean, without
reduction in salary, in the interest of the service.
But the students were not to be appeased. For, Dean Sta. Maria,
according to them, did not act on some of their demands. This transfer involves your administrative position only and in no way
Respondents herein have stressed that in the meetings of the affects your status as professor of the University.
This order shall take effect immediately. Court on July 31, 1969 against respondents Salvador P. Lopez, the
Simultaneously, President Lopez appointed ad interim Professor Board of Regents and Nemesio R. Ceralde.
Nemesio R. Ceralde as "acting Dean of the College of Education, The case is now ripe for decision.
without additional compensation, effective July 23, 1969". 1. Discussion of the issues herein involved necessarily has to start with
President Lopez was to explain in a press statement of July 23, 1969 the examination of the terms of employment, the covenant which
that he "cannot permit the continued disruption of the academic life binds petitioner with the university. The contract, it bears repeating,
of the institution"; that the transfer order was made "[i]n the interest stipulates that the dean's five-year term is qualified by the clause:
of the service" and "as an emergency measure" because the meetings "unless sooner terminated, with all the rights and privileges as well as
with the faculty, students, Sta. Maria and the UP President had the duties and obligations attached to the position in accordance with
"proved fruitless in the face ofthe refusal of the College of Education the rules and regulations of the University and the Constitution and
students to discuss any further their demands unless and until Dean laws of the Republic of the Philippines." The authority for this
Sta. Maria resigns his position"; and that, therefore, "the complete appointment is found in Article 79 of the university code providing
shut-down of classes in the Diliman campus has compelled" him to that "[t]he term of office of all deans ... shall be five years from the
"transfer Dean Sta. Maria to other duties". date of their appointment without prejudice to reappointment and
Having received the transfer order on the same day, July 23, Sta. until their successors shall have been appointed.
Maria forthwith wrote a letter, which he himself hand carried to We first look into the meaning of the phrase "unless sooner
President Lopez, requesting that "(a) a formal investigation be terminated" embodied in the contract of employment. Right at the
conducted by the Board of Regents on the circumstances which led to start, it would seem to us that the term "unless sooner terminated"
the promulgation of the above order, and on the basis thereof; and cannot be equated or tied up with some such terms as "terminable at
(b) said order be reconsidered and set aside forbeing manifestly will", or "removable at pleasure".
unjust, unfair, unconstitutional, and contrary to law, and, therefore, A number of reasons there are why petitioner may not be removed at
null and void." pleasure before the expiry of his term. First. Petitioner's contract of
The next day, July 24, Sta. Maria announced to the education students employment has a fixed term of five years. It is not an appointment in
and faculty, through Memorandum 17, that the transfer order "is now an acting capacity.9 Nor is petitioner's designation that of an officer-
the subject of a pending request for reconsideration ... and, for this in-charge as it is known in administrative practice. Second. Nothing in
reason, its effectivity is necessarily suspended", and that he shall the rules and regulations of the university or its charter would
continue "to be the Dean ... pursuant to his appointment as such for indicate that a college dean appointed with a term can be separated
the period from January 1, 1968 to May 15, 1972." without cause. On the contrary, reason there is to be believe that the
On July 25, 1969, the education faculty signed a "Declaration of university policy points quite to the contrary. An instance is the
Concern" stating, amongst others, that when they gave President resolution of the Board of Regents of June 14, 1961, fixing the term of
Lopez a vote of confidence, they "did so in the belief and confidence office of the UP President. It was there stated that "uncertainty of
that he ... will uphold the democratic processes in the solution of the tenure and frequency of change in the incumbent of the position are
problem and will respect the fundamental rights of the individual." not for the best interests of the University." This concept is self-
Similar declarations of concern came from the faculties of law, evident. Third. Again, there is nothing either in the UP charter or code
medicine, arts and sciences, and nursing. empowering the UP President or the Board of Regents to insert such
At President Lopez' request, a special meeting of the Board of Regents a clause — unless sooner
was held on July 25, 1969. President Lopez there reported Dean Sta. terminated — as would authorize dismissal at will. Fourth. As this
Maria's transfer and Professor Ceralde's ad interim appointment as Court, in Lacson vs. Roque, 92 Phil. 456, 463, ruled, "strict
Acting Dean of the College of Education. He told the board that construction of law relating to suspension and removal, is the
because of "failure of leadership in the College of Education, a crisis universal rule." Petitioner, with a definite term of employment, may
of confidence emerged in that institution"; that the ultimate result not thus be removed except for cause. The reasons being that the
was the boycott of classes by the students "starting on July 17, 1969 removal was not expressly declared to be exercisable at pleasure or
in protest against the inaction of Dean Sta. Maria on their demands at will; and that the fixity of the term of office gives rise to the
submitted months ago"; and that this situation impelled him to issue inference that he may be removed from office only for misbehavior
Administrative Order 77 "as demanded by the prevailing crisis." as to which he shall be entitled to notice and hearing. As was well
pointed out in Lacson vs. Roque, "[a]n inferential authority to remove
The board confirmed Dean Sta. Maria's transfer and Professor
at pleasure can not be deduced, since the existence of a defined
Ceralde's appointment, considered as premature Sta. Maria's
term, ipso factonegatives such an inference and implies a contrary
Memorandum 17 heretofore mentioned, but gave due course to his
presumption, i.e., that the incumbent shall hold office to the end of
plea for reconsideration and granted him a chance to be heard at the
his term subject to removal for cause." 10
next board meeting on July 29, 1969.
The foregoing paves the way for the consideration of what we believe
In the said meeting of July 29, Sta. Maria did not personally appear.
is the overriding question: Was Sta. Maria removed?
He sent his counsel who manifested that Sta. Maria was not
recognizing the board's jurisdiction unless, without further hearing, 2. Respondents stand on the premise that Sta. Maria was not
the board first revoke the transfer order. The board resolved: "... to removed; he was just temporarily assigned to another position.
take cognizance and consider as a new petition of Dean Sta. Maria, We may well start with the statement that a dean of a UP college
submitted through counsel, his declaration that the efficacy of the holds a non-competitive or unclassified civil service position. 11 As
President's Administrative Order No. 77 transferring him should first such, and upon the provisions of his contract of employment, he is
be suspended by the Board and held in abeyance as a prerequisite f protected by constitutional and statutory provisions on security of
or the hearing being prayed for. In this connection, Dean Sta. Maria term. 12 He cannot be removed during the term except for cause and
will be asked to file a Memorandum with the Board in support of his after prior hearing and investigation. 13 Which requisites are also
new petition." embodied in the university charter 14 and in the university code." 15
The foregoing had been the developments when Sta. Maria filed the But is there really need for a formal prior hearing? No need,
present petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus in this respondents say. For, the Civil Service Law requires prior hearing only
in cases of removal, dismissal or suspension. Sta. Maria, respondents
underscore, was not suspended, dismissed or removed; he was That the university is vested with corporate powers exercised by the
merely transferred to another position without reduction in salary or board of regents and the President is a proposition which is not open
rank in the interest of public service. 16 Respondents proceed to aver to question. 38 The board, upon recommendation of the President, is
that the transfer was neither disciplinary nor punitive. 17 A promotion, clothed with authority to hire and fire after investigation and
so they claim, because in the new position he would be an officer of hearing. 39 The President, on the other hand, may fill vacancies
the university not just of one college; 18 he would enjoy a rank at par temporarily, 40 transfer faculty members 41 from one department to
with senior college deans; 19 and that he would be in line for one of another, 42 and make arrangements to meet emergencies occurring
the vice-presidencies of the university. 20 Respondents also say that between board meetings so that the work of the university may not
such transfer was an emergency measure to stave off a crisis that suffer. 43
gripped the campus — the paralyzing disruption of classes. 21 They To be stressed at this point, however, is that the appointment of Sta.
emphasize that there was an urgent and genuine need for petitioner's Maria is that of "Dean, College of Education, University of the
talents and services in the newly created Public Affairs and University Philippines." He is not merely a dean "in the university". His
Relations Office. appointment is to a specific position; and, more importantly, to a
Quite interesting it is to inquire whether Dean Sta. Maria was specific station.
transferred, promoted, demoted, or removed without his consent. A line of distinction must be drawn between the office of dean and
3. A transfer is a "movement from one position to another which is of that of professor, say, of English and Comparative Literature. A
equivalent rank, level or salary, without break in professor in the latter capacity may be assigned to handle classes
service." 22 Promotion is the "advancement from one position to from one college to another or to any other unit in the university
another with an increase in duties and responsibilities as authorized where English is offered. He may even be transferred from graduate
by law, and usually accompanied by an increase in salary." 23 school to undergraduate classes. He cannot complain if such was
A transfer that results in promotion or demotion, advancement or done without his consent. He has no fixed station. 44 As for him, it can
reduction 24 or a transfer that aims to "lure the employee away from always be argued that the interests of the service are paramount.
his permanent position", cannot be done without the employee's But a college dean holding an appointment with a fixed term stands
consent. 25 For that would constitute removal from office. Indeed, no on a different plane. He cannot, without his consent, be transferred
permanent unless the officer or employee is transfer can take place before the end of his term. He cannot be asked to give up his post.
unless the officer of the employee is first removed from the position Nor may he be appointed as dean of another college. Much less can
held, and then appointed to another position. 26 he be transferred to another position even if it be dignified with a
When an officer is reduced in rank or grade and suffers a big cut in dean's rank. 45
pay, he is demoted; 27 and when he is demoted, he is removed from 6. We now come to the problem of whether or not petitioners
office. 28 But a demotion means something more than a reduction in transfer from the College of Education to the Office of the President
salary: there may be a demotion in the type of position though the as special assistant with the rank of dean without reduction in salary
salary may remain the same. 29 A transfer that aims by indirect was permanent. Facts there are which would show that far from being
method to terminate services or to force resignation also is a temporary measure, petitioner's transfer was in fact a removal.
removal. 30 Respondent university president himself admitted that the transfer
4. Concededly transfers there are which do not amount to removal. order was an ad interim appointment. That the transfer was a
Some such transfers can be effected without the need for charges removal has been confirmed by the UP President's reference to Sta.
being preferred, without trial or hearing, and even without the Maria's deanship of the College of Education as his "former position".
consent of the employee. This plainly indicates that Sta. Maria ceased to be dean of the college.
The clue to such transfers may be found in the "nature of the Thus:
appointment." 31 Where the appointment does not indicate a specific The validity of Dean Sta. Maria's designation or appointment as
station, an employee may be transferred or reassigned provided the Special Assistant to the President rests upon two acts:
transfer affects no substantial change in title, rank and salary. Thus, (a) The transfer order of July 23, 1969, which operates as an ad
one who is appointed "principal in the Bureau of Public Schools" and interim appointment under Art. 44(e) of the Revised U.P. Code; and
is designated to head a pilot school may be transferred to the post of (b) The confirmation on such appointment by the Board of Regents in
principal of another school. 32 its special meeting on July 25, 1969. 46
And the rule that outlaws unconsented transfers as anathema to And again:
security of tenure applies only to an officer who is appointed — not
The position of Special Assistant to the President with the rank of
merely assigned — to a particular station. 33 Such a rule does not
Dean carries equal, if not higher, rank than the position of Dean of the
prescribe a transfer carried out under a specific statute that
College of Education. As Special Assistant to the President, Dean Sta.
empowers the head of an agency to periodically reassign the
Maria has become an officer of the University while in
employees and officers in order to improve the service of the
his former position, he was merely an officer of the college in the
agency. 34 The use of approved techniques or methods in personnel
University. 47
management to harness the abilities of employees to promote
optimum public service cannot be objected to. 35 Neither does Not that the foregoing stand alone. The reasons advanced by
illegality attach to the transfer or reassignment of an officer pending respondents to justify such transfer are quite revealing. They pictured
the determination of an administrative Charge against him; 36 or to Sta. Maria as a bungling administrator, incompetent, inefficient,
the transfer of an employee from his assigned station to the main unworthy, a miscast. They averred that he did not act on the petitions
office, effected in good faith and in the interest of the service and grievances of graduate students; that he caused widespread
pursuant to Section 82 of the Civil Service Act. 37 dissatisfaction amongst faculty members and students because of his
"inaction", his "lack of sincerity and candor in dealing" with them, that
5. The next point of inquiry is whether or not Administrative Order 77
he was guilty of "inflexible arrogant attitude and actuation" as dean;
would stand the test of validity vis-a-vis the principles just
that he miserably failed to avert a boycott that was caused by a "crisis
enunciated.
of confidence" and "failure of leadership" in his college; that he
abandoned his post when he was most needed; that he refused to
accept solutions even as he failed to advance his own to mitigate the condemn. 51 Fidelity to this cardinal principle must have impelled
crisis; that in sum, he was a miscast in the College of Education. 48 Of Congress, just recently, to clarify the authority to transfer subordinate
course, these are merely charges. But they collectively reflect the officers and employees, an authority so often misused and abused to
thinking of respondents toward petitioner. In the picture thus ride roughshod over hapless civil servants. As amended, the Civil
presented, it would not be unreasonable to say that Sta. Maria's Service Law provides that "if the employee believes that there is no
transfer was with the character of permanence to take him away from justification for the transfer, he may appeal his case ... and pending
his duties and responsibilities as dean, in all of which allegedly he was his appeal and decision thereon, his transfer shall be held in
a failure. abeyance." This was intended to fortify the protective wall built
And if more were needed to show that the transfer of Sta. Maria was around the employee's right to security of tenure, to guard against
permanent, there is the fact that Nemesio Ceralde was appointed "ad unbridled encroachments masquerading in the "interest of the
interim" acting dean of the College of Education. And, Ceralde's service". And, to think that this amendment came just a few days after
appointment was confirmed by the Board of Regents on July 25, 1969. Sta. Maria was transferred without prior hearing.
Again, there is respondent's averment that petitioner's new position The current climate of activism of the young people, recognized to be
as special assistant to the President could be a stepping-stone to a worldwide, whether on or off campus, is a phenomenon in this
higher position — that of Vice Presidency of the university. Were his country that commands attention. Demonstrations and boycotts
appointment but temporary, there would be no occasion to say that which are manifestations of such activism are constitutionally
he could be elevated to another position of a higher category. protected. But there are limits. A fundamental precondition to the
More than this, the transfer was a demotion. A demotion, exercise of such rights, we perceive, is that the activity should not
because: First, Deanship in a university, being an academic position impair the rights of others whose roots are as deep and as equally
which requires learning, ability and scholarship, is more exalted than protected by iron-clad guarantees. A high regard to a man's dignity is
that of a special assistant who merely assists the President, as the title the hallmark of our law.
indicates. The special assistant does not make authoritative The students demanded Sta. Maria's ouster. The President of the
decisions. Second. The position of dean is a line position where the university acceded to their demand. But Sta. Maria's right to be
holder makes authoritative decisions in his own name and removed only, in the words of the law, "after due process" was
responsibility. A special assistant does not rise above the level of staff disregarded. That Sta. Maria's right alone was impaired is not
position. Third. The position of dean is created by law, the university justification for the action taken against him. Unless, of course, justice
charter, and cannot be abolished even by the Board of Regents. That be-replaced by collective action as the test for validity. And, unless we
of special assistant, upon the other hand, is not so provided by law; it admit that arbitrariness is permissible if it comes from an impersonal
was a creation of the university president. multitude.
It will not avail respondents any to say that Sta. Maria retained "the Nor may it be assumed that emergency could justify disregard of
rank of Dean". In actual administrative practice, the terms "with rank constitutional rights. It would seem pertinent to observe that a
of" dean is meaningless. He is no dean at all. He of course, basks, in fundamental charter is for all times and for all conditions. Eloquent
the trappings of the dean. A palliative it could have been intended to are these passages from the declaration of concern from the College
be. But actually he is a dean without a college. of Law faculty:
7. Respondents nonetheless insist that the "interest of the service" is We, the faculty of the College of Law, University of the Philippines,
the primary reason for the transfer. They say that there was an urgent view with the utmost concern the removal of Felixberto Sta. Maria
need to bring the academic life of the university back to normal and from his position as Dean of the College of Education by the President
Sta. Maria's transfer was the only feasible solution. They point to the of the University of the Philippines.
need for petitioner's services in the Office of Public Affairs and As members of the academic community that is the University, as
University Relations purportedly "to improve the relations of the members of the Philippine Bar, and as citizens of our Republic, we
University with its various constituencies." They cling to the principle speak out in protest against this violation of the Rule of Law in our
of "least sacrifice. 49 They urge that only three options were left to the midst and the clear disregard of the fundamental rights of one of our
university, namely: to keep Sta. Maria at all costs and risk an indefinite colleagues.
paralysis of the university life; to give due course to the charges filed A member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines, pleading
against Sta. Maria, preventively suspend him during the investigation, for his day in court, asking to be heard in his defense, desirous to
and after hearing dismiss him if the evidence so warrants; and to confront his accusers, and appealing for a hearing by a disinterested
transfer him as a non-disciplinary measure in the interest of the body, has been summarily condemned without trial. He has been
service. Respondents claim that the first option was out of the punished without evidence formally presented. He has been stripped
question. The reason they give is that the university could not afford of his powers and prerogatives as Dean, in violation of that most basic
an indefinite disruption of academic life. To respondents, the second and fundamental right — that no person shall be deprived of his life,
was feasible but distasteful — the administration was in no mood to liberty or property without due process of law and in accordance with
prejudice Sta. Maria through a proceeding that would reflect on his the regularly established procedures.
record. So the university administration opted for the third method,
Our concern has nothing to do with the merits of the case against
a solution said to be the most convenient and expeditious and based
Felixberto Sta. Maria. We protest the procedure that was followed in
on the principle of "least sacrifice".
disregard of due process. Under a legal system like ours, there are
Implicit in the university's stand is that Dean Sta. Maria had to be established procedures to settle disputes. The arbitrary rule of one or
uprooted from his position as a price to buy the peace of the students the mob rule of the many are alien to our free institutions. Under
and induce them to return to their classes. Such could have been an existing university rules and practice, charges against students, no
easy way to climb out of difficulties. But transfer could be but a ploy matter how minor, are formally investigated. Why should a dean be
to cover dismissal. And dismissal cannot be justified on grounds of entitled to less?
expediency. Appropriately to be remembered here is that due process
We are aware that the action against Dean Sta. Maria was
is associated with the sporting idea of fair play; 50 it shuns oppression
denominated a transfer to other duties in the University without
and eschews unfair dealing; it obeys the dictates of justice and is ruled
reduction in rank or salary. This thin veneer of legalism, this
by reason. The Scriptures no less remind us to hear before we
transparent attempt to follow the letter but not the spirit of the
Constitution, the University Charter, the U.P. Revised Code, the Civil to deal in small offerings. 59 In all these cases, the courts have
Service Law, and the Civil Service Rules and Regulations deceives no uniformly ruled that due process does not require judicial inquiry as a
one. Who can, in good conscience, honestly say that Dean Sta. Maria condition to the exercise of administrative discretion. "It is sufficient,
has not been reduced in rank, privileges and prerogatives? Who can where only property rights are concerned, that there is at some stage
discount his moral anguish and suffering? an opportunity for a hearing and a judicial determination." 60
The vote of confidence given by the faculty of the College of Education We can go on citing cases where regulatory agencies, in a manner of
notwithstanding, the President of the University remains bound by speaking, shoot first before asking questions without offending
and can act only in consonance with, the Rule of Law. against due process. But it is pointless to cite them here, much less
We agree with the President that there should be no disruption of the rely upon them to support Sta. Maria's unconsented transfer. For
academic life of the community. Like him, we want peace, but not at central to those cases is that they involve the exercise of regulatory
any price. Peace secured at the expense of Constitutional principles is authority pursuant to a delegated police power. The reason these
no peace at all; and the peace just now obtained is no more than a agencies are given such summary powers is that they come to grip
transitory lull, a precarious interlude that could lead to even more with issues that are mostly scientific and technical, issues that are
serious disorders and disregard of fundamental rights. "perhaps not readily reducible to the simple question-and-answer
We also regard with alarm this action against Dean Sta. Maria because method so dearly beloved by lawyers." 61 Hence, in place of formal
of its consequences on the morale of the faculty. The exercise of hearing they resort to inspection, examination and testing —
independent judgment in the performance of academic techniques regarded as sufficient substitutes upon which to base an
responsibilities is imperilled where the force of numbers can replace administrative action. 62 Whether poultry is putrid, or drug is harmful,
the rational solution to a controversy. or a ship is unseaworthy, are matters better left to scientific analysis
or technical inspection without the need of a formal hearing. Based
Believing that the action taken against Dean Sta. Maria is not
on such examination and inspection, summary orders for
irreversible, we submit to the President of the University this
condemnation or confiscation may follow.
declaration of concern, urging him to reconsider his action. 52
But the UP President's decision to summarily take the deanship away
8. The argument that the transfer of Sta. Maria was made in the
from Sta. Maria cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be cast in the
interest of public service has dwindled in strength on the face of the
same type of administrative actions that regulatory agencies exercise
circumstances. Of course, the university is under compulsion to bring
under a delegated police power. The UP President's action here is
normalcy to the campus, to end the boycott of classes. The decision
unlike that, for instance, of the Central Bank in removing the officers
to transfer could really refract the temper of the times. We do say,
of a floundering bank in order to take over its management. 63 Not
however, that emotion or muscle need not displace reason.
even the so-called emergency situation in the campus could be
Nor do we believe it too difficult for the authorities to hew to the line invoked to firm up his summary action. Seemingly, the decision to
drawn by the due process clause, to cause charges to be formalized, transfer Sta. Maria was dictated by the howling protest of
Sta. Maria suspended, and given a fair chance to defend himself. This demonstrating students who wanted to muscle in their demands for
procedure does not necessarily bring about humiliation. On the curriculum changes. But precisely, it is in situations such as this that
contrary, it exudes the spirit of fairness. one should be on guard lest reason and justice be overwhelmed by
The baneful effects of Sta. Maria's transfer were easily and promptly excitement and passion.
felt. The professors in different faculties were alarmed. Obviously 10. Again, respondents cite the so called "crisis of confidence" and
they felt that to compel a professor to give up his constitutional right "failure of leadership" in the College of Education. Allegedly, these
is beyond tolerance. A declaration of concern was expressed not only factors caused the student boycott which UP tried to avert by the
by the faculty of the College of Law as aforesaid but also the Colleges expedient of banishing Sta. Maria from, and effectively depriving him
of Education, Arts and Sciences, Medicine and PGH School of Nursing, of his deanship, of the College of Education.
all of the UP.
The boycott, we are made to understand, was called because Sta.
More than these, such transfer undermined the integrity of UP. The Maria resisted the pressures exerted by the graduate students. He
university buckled under strain, yielded where it should have upheld refused to give in to their demands demands that sought to eliminate
its commitment to the rule of law. Peace may not be secured at the or influence the direction of curricular requirements, specifically
expense of consecrate constitutional principles. A contrary rule could those which pertain to foreign languages and comprehensive
lead to more serious disorders. examinations. The graduate students, it is alleged, considered these
9. Respondents urge that "the traditional concepts and requirements requirements as "obsolete vestiges of colonial education, ... activities
of due press could not be made to apply to every kind of which do not in any way add to the learning activity of the student." 64
administrative action, without the consequent inefficiency and Of course, students are entitled to petition school administrators for
frustration of legislative purpose." They argue that certain types of change in curriculum, faculty, and school regulations. 65 Elders should
administrative action may be taken without prior hearing and still listen to what they say, and respond to their plea for university
satisfy the requirements of due process. The existence of a public instructions that have relevance in their education. 66
emergency, they insist, would suffice to justify summary action. To
This is a fast changing age of ferment and activism. Every day new
prop up their stand, respondents cite such summary administrative
discoveries change man's life, morals, and attitude. The university
actions as distraint of a delinquent taxpayer's property; 53 abatement
therefore cannot remain aloof to the contemporary scene. 67 Perhaps
of a nuisance per sep; 54 cancellation of a passport of one who
the Wilsonian description of the ideal University as a place where
absconds to another country to evade criminal prosecution. 55
"calm science" sits "not knowing that the world passes", a place
No question that a summary administrative action is appropriate in where past and present are discussed "with knowledge and without
the cases cited. Examples can be multiplied. Thus, without providing passion", a place "slow to take excitement" and unlike the world
for a prior hearing, a bank conservator may seize a distressed outside "in its self-possession ..." 68 would now appear to be
bank; 56 the Food and Drug Administrator may confiscate harmful anachronistic.
drugs whose labels are allegedly misleading; 57 the Civil Aeronautics
The students are "probably right in much of what they say, however
Board may suspend a letter of registration; 58 and the Securities and
wrong their prescriptions for righting matters." 69When they protest
Exchange Commission may suspend the license of a securities dealer
whether against the college administration or against the
Establishment, they should be accorded the full scope of the in the university council, composed of the President of the university
constitutional protection to free speech and assembly. 70 On the and all faculty members from assistant professor to full
other hand, any decision or action to give in to their demands professor. 75 The Dean may only recommend proposals affecting
must not be dictated solely by their "readiness ... to shout down and courses of study." 76
in other ways to stifle the free expression of opinion of those with But Dean Sta. Maria had not been remiss in his duties. Truth to tell,
whom they disagree." 71 Otherwise, the probability exists that a the students admit that Dean Sta. Maria was not after all
minority group of students may succeed in their attempt to impose, unreasonably inflexible, intransigent He sympathetically listened to
by disruptive action, their views or their will on the majority. What them, and broadly satisfied those demands that were within his
indeed is deplorable is "when we are confronted only with violence power as Dean to give, short of compromising the academic standards
for violences sake, and with attempts to frighten or intimidate an of the university. indeed, the President of the Education Graduate
administration into doing things for which it can itself see neither the Student Organization appreciated the Dean's efforts to meet some of
rationale nor the electoral mandate; when we are offered, as the only our demands". But Dean Sta. Maria could go no further. He went
argument for change, the fact that a number of people are along with the students as far as the limits of his power and discretion
themselves very angry and excited; and when we are presented with would allow him to go. Only the University Council and the Board of
a violent objection to what exists, unaccompanied by any constructive Regents could recast the academic requirements in the way the
concept of what, ideally, ought to exist in its place." 72 students wanted them to be. If so, why did they not act on the issue
Compelling is the need to adhere to the traditional democratic to avert the crisis? But perhaps the university administration would
processes and procedures to secure action and redress. Decisions that not want to risk the downgrading of the university's academic
are prodded by ultimatums and tantrums are generally regarded with standards.
apprehension. The editor of the Philippine Collegian, writing the valedictory
It was in the face of student revolt that the university officials buckled editorial, said:
under and gave in to the students' protest against the continued We criticized an administration which seemed to sway to the tune of
presence of Dean Sta. Maria in the College of Education. student power as a sheer force. The administration cannot act only
11. And yet, a close look into the so-called unfulfilled demands — because of a show of might; it must have reasons for any act. And it
abolition of foreign language and comprehensive examination — must make these reasons known, acting because of them without
would reveal that. Dean Sta. Maria could not have unilaterally granted waiting for the prodding of power.
them. No decision of the President should be forced by emergency, or
On the foreign language requirement, the students manifested that it consideration of expediency. If emergency, or expediency, or the fear
is — of student power muscle are the only reasons for a decision, then the
... absurd and obsolete. Foreign students fulfill this requirement by an decision should not be taken at all.
examination in their language. Many of us take Spanish for the sake On the other hand, if a decision is impending, and is going to be taken
of completing the requirements. We understand that these anyway, then the decision-makers should not wait to be forced into
requirements in other universities equip the students for his research. the decision by an emergency situation. They should decide, and avert
So if a student is doing research on Spanish laws governing the that situation which is so costly in terms of class hours and the
educational system and would need to use Spanish, therefore he has integrity of the decision. And then, in terms of the reaction of the
to have a reading knowledge of Spanish. Such is not the case with us. people involved by that dubiously-taken decision.
We demand that this requirement be abolished in the graduate's Because we cannot allow it to appear that the University is being ruled
level. 73 by the considerations of expediency, or by the dictates of emergency.
On the comprehensive examination requirements, the students say: The University must be guided by things less base and more basic. It
... The present practice is by subject, excluding the cognates. must be ruled by reason, by justice, by the search for truth. This
Graduate students believe that they are taking another final should always be made clear, and always be respected. The University
examination in a subject they have already passed. We question the can be neither a self-designed social instrument nor an institution
absence of policy as to who should give comprehensive examination. ruled by force. It is there, if anywhere, that we must be true to
We demand that the College consider the use of qualifying reason. 77
examination aside from the Dean's proposed admissions test. 74 It is because of all the foregoing that we are left under no doubt that
These requirements, we believe, are aimed at the development of the petitioner Felixberto Sta. Maria is entitled to be restored to his
student's depth of insight and breadth of view. This, after all, is an end position as Dean of the College of Education.
that a university education strives to attain. Foreign languages, should 12. Just as we are about to draw this opinion to a close, our attention
be conceded, widen a man's world. Spanish, in particular, is one of the is drawn to the alleged non exhaustion of administrative remedies. A
links to our past. We can but surmise that Dean Sta. Maria had cogent sufficient answer would be that Dean Sta. Maria asked that he be
reasons to sidetrack the demands. It is within the realm of restored to his position pending investigation of any charge against
probabilities that the dean wanted to preserve the high standards of him. But the board refused. Instead, it confirmed the ad
professional scholarship in the college. Perhaps he was loathe to turn interimappointment of respondent Prof. Nemesio Ceralde as "acting
his college into a factory for half-baked graduates. The University of Dean" in place of Sta. Maria. Virtually the door was closed. Nothing
the Philippines, we must remember, has set a standard and was left for Sta. Maria to do but go to Court. 78
established a tradition for learning and leadership. Of course, Sta. Maria stood pat on his right to keep his position as
Consider, too, the fact that the education students are the future Dean. This is perfectly understandable. Hindsight now reveals that
mentors of the youth. Necessarily, they are expected to come through further pursuit of administrative remedy before the Board of Regents
college with as thorough and extensive preparation as possible if they would be but an act of supererogation At any rate, there is no
are to serve as educational leaders and models for scholarship. compelling reason to resort to this remedy.79 Here, the claimed right
On top of all, Dean Sta. Maria cannot single-handy do away with these is the constitutionally protected due process. Mandamus will lie. 80
requirements. The responsibility for fixing the academic requisites for FOR THE REASONS GIVEN, the writ of certiorari and prohibition
graduation and the receiving of a degree is lodged not in the dean but prayed for is hereby granted; the transfer of petitioner Felixberto C.
Sta. Maria from his position as Dean of the College of Education, not a judge — else why give him the rank of an officer which he
University of the Philippines, to the position of Special Assistant to the already is?2
President, University of the Philippines, as well as the ad In the second place, the issuance of an ad interim appointment to the
interim appointment of Prof. Nemesio Ceralde "as acting Dean" of the respondent Nemesio Ceralde as Acting Dean of the U.P. College of
College of Education, University of the Philippines, are hereby set Education underscores the fact that the petitioner had ceased to be
aside and declared null and void; the writ of mandamus prayed for is the dean of the college. It meant, simply, that the respondent Ceralde
hereby granted, and the President and the Board of Regents of the was appointed dean vice the petitioner. For unless the position of
University of the Philippines are hereby ordered to restore said Dean of the College of Education was vacant there could be no
petitioner Felixberto C. Sta. Maria to his position of Dean, College of appointment to it. Could it be considered vacant if the petitioner had
Education, University of the Philippines. merely been temporarily detailed to the Office of the President of the
No costs. So ordered. University?
Dizon, Zaldivar, Teehankee, JJ., concur. And finally, that the petitioner was appointed to a new position and
Concepcion, C.J., Makalintal, and Reyes, J.B.L., JJ., took no part. not merely detailed thereto was confirmed by the respondent Lopez's
own counsel who, at the hearing on July 29, 1969 before the Board of
Regents of the University, admitted that the transfer order
constituted an ad interim appointment of the petitioner as Special
Assistant to the U.P. President.3
Separate Opinions There are other overriding circumstances, already pointed out in the
opinion of the Court, which completely negate the respondents' claim
CASTRO, J., concurring: that the petitioner was not removed from his post but merely
As the sole question posed in this case is whether the petitioner temporarily assigned to another office, but I think the best and final
Felixberto C. Sta. Maria was removed from his position as Dean of the refutation of the respondents' pretense is to be found in the press
College of Education of the University of the Philippines, I deem it statement given by the respondent Lopez himself on the same day
appropriate to begin this concurrence with the text of the transfer (July 23, 1969) he issued the transfer order. The statement reads in
order issued by the respondent Salvador P. Lopez on July 23, 1969: . part:
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES After long and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion
Quezon City that as President of the University I cannot permit the continued
disruption of the academic life of the institution. In the interest of the
Office of the President
service, therefore, and availing myself of the authority vested in me
July 23, 1969 by law, I have issued an order transferring Dean Felixberto C. Sta.
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 77 Maria of the College of Education to other duties in the University,
TO: Dean Felixberto C. Sta. Maria without reduction in rank or salary, pursuant to the Civil Service Law
College of Education and the University Code. ...
SUBJECT: TRANSFER TO THE OFFICE OF THE In an effort to persuade the students to return to their classes pending
PRESIDENT negotiation of their demands, the Administration has called a series
By special authority vested in me by the Board of Regents and of meetings between the faculty, the students, Dean Sta. Maria and
pursuant to the Civil Service Law and the University Code, you are the President of the University. These meetings, however, proved
hereby transferred from the College of Education to the Office of the fruitless in the face ,of the refusal of the College of Education students
President as Special Assistant with the rank of Dean, without to discuss any further their demands unless and until Dean Sta. Maria
reduction in salary, in the interest of the service. resigns his position. ...
This transfer involves your administrative position only and in no way [T]he complete shut-down of classes in the Diliman campus has
affects your status as professor of the University. compelled me, much to my regret, to take the decision to transfer
This order shall take effect immediately. Dean Sta. Maria to other duties. In taking this difficult decision, I was
encouraged by the vote of confidence which was unanimously
(Sgd.) Salvador P. Lopez
adopted by the faculty of the College of Education this morning, in
President
any decision which the President might take in the best interest of the
To me the meaning of this order is unmistakable: Sta. Maria was University.4
relieved as Dean of the U.P. College of Education and was assigned to
Again, in a press release issued the following day, July 25, 1969, he
the Office of the President as a Special Assistant "with the rank of
emphasized:
Dean." That was how the action of the respondent Lopez was
understood by certain thoughtful and knowledgeable elements of the I proposed to the striking students that Dean Sta. Maria be not made
University of the Philippines.1 Now the respondents would minimize to resign under pressure but that he should remain in his post until
it as no more than a mere "temporary transfer" or, more accurately, the endof the semester. They turned this down.
a detail, which does not involve removal in the constitutional sense of In the circumstances, I decided that the only course left open to me
the petitioner from the deanship of the College of Education. in order to keep the University open was to transfer Dean Sta. Maria
I find myself hard put to give the disputed order the meaning now to other duties, in the same rank and salary, as provided by the Civil
ascribed to it by the respondents. In the first place, if the petitioner Service Law and the University Code.
was not removed as dean of the College of Education, I do not see I deeply regret that I have had to take this difficult decision, but I had
why it was necessary to invest him the "rank of Dean." Was he not nochoice. As President Truman once said, "The buck stops here," and
already a dean of a college? To say that as Special Assistant to the I must add, 'the U.P. is greater and more important than any man.5
University President the petitioner would have "the rank of Dean" is These statements made right on the heels of the issuance of the
to say that he was not actually a Dean, in the same way that to say disputed order, rather than the later statements of the respondent
that one has the rank of a judge is to say, albeit impliedly, that one is Lopez, reveal, I believe, the true nature of the petitioner's relief. They
demonstrate beyond cavil that the petitioner's head was the price
demanded by the striking students and that the petitioner's head was replaced by a new social consciousness, its emphasis on liberty
precisely and exactly the price paid in exchange for peace on the nevertheless contains an element of validity that transcends its
campus. For if the intended result of the action taken in this case was excessive individualism. 14 Perhaps it would be closer to the truth to
no more than a mere "detail" of the petitioner, then it hardly say that the community requires liberty as much as does the
deserved the characterization as "this difficult decision" which the individual and the individual requires community more than
U.P. President "with deep regret" had to take, "encouraged" by the bourgeois thought comprehended. 15 As Dr. Niebuhr explains:
thought that he had the vote of confidence of the colleges faculty. The man who searches after both meaning and fulfillments beyond
It may indeed be that the position of Special Assistant to the President the ambiguous fulfillments and frustrations of history exists in a
of the University is of a higher category than that of a college dean height of spirit which no historical process can completely contain.
and that for that reason the petitioner was not demoted. But to view This height is not irrelevant to the life of the community, because new
the matter from this angle of vision is to miss completely the point at richness and a higher possibility of justice come to the community
issue, namely, that the transfer of an employee from one post in the from this height of awareness. But the height is destroyed by any
civil service to another, if objected to by him, can be justified only if community which seeks prematurely to cut off this pinnacle of
there be some cause recognized by law. individuality in the interest of the community's peace and order. 16
Is not this what this Court meant when it ruled that the unconsented And what was the community interest involved here? If it was that of
transfer of a civil service employee, no matter how well-intended, as the community of students who massed in front of the University
a promotion, is "equivalent to a removal," and, if made without prior administration building, then it was obviously in their interest that the
hearing, is violativeof the Constitution?6 As this Court noted: strike continued until the respondent Lopez yielded to their demand.
But in justice to the President and the Commission on Appointments, If, on the other hand, it was that of the community of students who
let it be stated once again that it would seem that the transfer of the very much wanted to attend classes but were prevented from doing
petitioner to Tarlac was not meant and intended as a punishment, a so, or that of the community of professors and other scholars who
disciplinary measure or demotion. It was really a promotion, at least could not get inside the classrooms because they were barred by the
at the time the appointment was made. Only, that later, due to a demonstrating students, then the protection of their rights is to be
change in the category of Oriental Negros as a province, the transfer found in some solution of a police character and not in the summary
was no longer a promotion in salary. And yet the respondent and the removal of the petitioner. The issue would always thus narrow down
Solicitor General insisted on the transfer despite the refusal of the to the vindication of a principle: the rational solution of any
petitioner to accept his new appointment.7 controversy.
The rule in Lacson is now embodied in statute: Of more than passing relevance are these sentiments 17 articulated by
[A] transfer from one position to another without reduction in rank or Dr. Sidney Hook of the Department of Philosophy of the New York
salary shall not be considered disciplinary when made in the interest University, a thoughtful commentator on the contemporary
of public service, in which case the employee concerned shall be university scene: "Due process in the academic community is reliant
informed of the reasons therefor. If the employee believes that there upon the process of nationality it cannot bethe same as due process
is no justification for the transfer, he may appeal his case to the in the political community as far as the mechanisms of determining
Commission on Civil Service through the Department Head. Pending the outcome of rational activity. For what controls the nature
appeal and decision thereof, his transfer shall be held in abeyance. ...8 anddirection of due process in the academic community is derived
from its educational goal — the effective pursuit, discovery,
This statutory provision reflects the view that because by nature a
publication, and teachingof the truth. In the political community all
transfer (as distinguished from a mere detail) involves a removal from
men are equal as citizens not only as participants in, and contributors
one position and an appointment to another, there must first be a
to, the political process, but as voters and decision-makers on the
hearing. And so, while the respondents Lopez and U.P. Board of
primary level. Not so in the academic community. What qualifies a
Regents might not be expected to follow the precise procedure for
man to enjoy equal human or political rights does not qualify him to
transfer as outlined in the amendment to the statute, since this did
teach equally with others or even to study equally on every level.
not take effect until August 4, 1969 (a few days after the petitioner's
There is an authoritative, not authoritarian, aspect of the process of
relief), -they were, to my mind, nevertheless bound toobserve those
teaching and learning that depends not upon the person or power of
"canons of decency and fairness"9 of which the due process clause is
the teacher, but upon the authority of his knowledge, the cogency of
the "summarized constitutional guarantee of respect." 10 And due
his method,. the scope and depth of his experience. But whatever the
process of law requires at the very least that there be notice and
differences in the power of making decisions flowing from legitimate
hearing, 11 lest the summary transfer of a civil service employee
differences in educational authority, there is an equality of learners,
offend "a sense of justice." 12
whether of teachers or students, in the rational processes by which
Is to uphold the petitioner's right to a hearing to overlook the larger knowledge is won, methods developed, and experience enriched."
interests of society, to exalt the individual at the expense of the
And on the rule of reason in a liberal educational regimen, Professor
community? Is it, nineteenth-century bourgeois thinking, so wanting
Hook gives us pause with his incisive observations: "In a liberal
in relevance as to be regarded as outmoded or obsolete in an age of
educational regimen, everything is subject to the rule of reason, and
mass demonstrations and confrontations?
all are equals as questioners and participants. Whoever interferes
The respondent Lopez justifies his action in terms of what he with academic due process either by violence or threat of violence
conceives to be the interest of the community that is the University places himself outside the academic community, and incurs the
which had been completely shut down by student boycott. As he sanctions appropriate to the gravity of his offensesfrom censure to
stressed, "the U.P. is greater and more important than any man." suspension to expulsion. The peculiar deficiency of the ritualistic
But the respect due the integrity of the individual is by no means liberal educational establishments is the failure to meet violations of
antithetical to the interests of society. On the contrary, one reinforces rational due process with appropriate sanctions or to meet them in a
the other, as the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr has so beautifully timely and intelligent manner. There is a tendency to close an eye to
brought out in his book, "The Children of Light and the Children of expressions of lawless behavior on the part of students who, in the
Darkness." 13 While bourgeois democracy, with its enshrining of the name of freedom, deprive their fellow students of the freedom to
individual at the center stage of society, has now generally been pursue their fell studies. It is as if the liberal administration sought to
appease the challenge to its continued existence by treating such was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions
incidents as if they had never happened. ... There is no panacea that can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government."
can be applied to all situations. It is not a question of a hard line or a Petitioner, if he could show that no deference was paid to his
soft line, but of an intelligent line. It is easy to give advice from constitutional right to due process, could thus seek judicial relief, the
hindsight, to be wise and cocksure after the event. But it is always courts being duty bound to maintain inviolate the provisions of the
helpful for the faculty to promulgate in advance fair guidelines for fundamental law.
action, so that students will know what to expect. In general, no Nor is such a remedy precluded by petitioner pursuing a course of
negotiations should be conducted under the threat of coercion, or conduct which apparently had given cause for grave dissatisfaction on
when administrators or faculty are held captive." the part of the student body. Much less could the expression of
FERNANDO, J., concurring: discontent on the part of the student body, immoderate in character,
There is much in the exhaustive opinion of Justice Sanchez, impressive giving rise to what could plausibly be looked upon from the
for its grasp of the law and breadth of scholarship, that commends standpoint of the University administration as an emergency call for
itself for acceptance. Nonetheless, I feel called upon to express my the application of a different principle. It is precisely under such
concurrence separately as for me the question at issue could be circumstances that the paramount character of the Constitution must
viewed from a narrower perspective. It could also be said, and this is be accorded due recognition. As so forcefully stressed by former Chief
not intended by way of criticism, that the opinion of the Court could Hughes: "Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not
have accorded a more explicit recognition of the complexity of the increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions
problems that sorely beset the President of the University of the imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was
Philippines and thus result in greater understanding and sympathy for adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the
his efforts to arrive at a correct and just solution. As the question Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States
before us is one of power, however, even the best of motive cannot were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered
be a substitute. Not only must the objective sought to be attained be by emergency."6
within the law, but the means employed must not suffer from a legal It is to the credit of the opinion of Justice Sanchez that while being
infirmity. To be more specific, in the case before us, I am unable to fully cognizant of the amplitude of the constitutional right on the part
reach a conclusion other than that procedural due process had not of the students to assembly and petition, it reminds them of the limits
been observed in the removal of petitioner. thereof. The beneficial results that could be expected of student
The view I take of the matter is thus in conformity with that expressed activism, expressed at times with more vehemence than the occasion
in the opinion of the Court. Considering all the circumstances would call for, might not come to pass if the boundaries of legally
discussed with the fullness of detail by Justice Sanchez, the steps permissible conduct are overstepped. It would seem to me that the
taken by the University administration, even if susceptible to the sense of maturity and the spirit of calm deliberation that should
interpretation that they were equivocal at most, had not been purged permeate an academic atmosphere should be antidotes to what at
of the taint of unfairness thus calling into operation the protection times may be the impatience and exuberance of the young carried to
afforded by the due process guaranty. There should be by this time excess. The words of Justice Frankfurter come to mind: "It must never
no need to stress the obvious that insofar as security of tenure and be forgotten, however, that the Bill of Rights was the child of the
the right to the perquisites are concerned, a public office is indeed Enlightenment. Back of the guaranty of free speech lay faith in the
property of which the occupant cannot be deprived save in power of an appeal to reason by all the peaceful means for gaining
accordance with its dictates.1 Nonetheless, to erase any lingering access to the mind. It was in order to avert force and explosions due
doubts on the matter, there is nothing inappropriate in reaffirming to restrictions upon rational modes of communication that the
such a principle. Nor is there anything incompatible with the principle guaranty of free speech was given a generous scope. But utterance in
thus reiterated with the fundamental postulate that a public office is a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason
preeminently a public trust,the exercise of the authority thus and become part of an instrument of force. Such utterance was not
conferred being conditioned on the official having uppermost in mind meant to be sheltered by the Constitution ."7
what is best for public welfare. To the possible objection that there is an air of unreality to the
Necessarily then in accordance with the security of tenure preceding observation as the University administration was
guarranty2 of the Constitution and its statutory implementation confronted not by what ought to have been but what in fact was, it
under the Civil Service Act,3 this Court has been committed to the suffices to answer that even then deference to the rule of law was not
principle that a public official may secure judicial redress for any thereby rendered impossible. It is to be admitted that it was much
suspension or removal contrary to such mandateso explicitly more difficult under the circumstances, but that of itself certainly
announced, irrespective of the motives that may have inspired such a could not justify its disregard. This is not to say that there was such an
move, if thereby the ground for such disciplinary action is untenable intent. Far from it. It must be conceded that on the facts as shown,
or the procedure followed is irregular. A host of decisions attests to there was no thought on the part of the University authorities to
such a long, unbroken, impressive course of adjudication. 4 The trample on the rights of petitioner. Their motive, as had been noted,
decision reached by us in this case is therefore solidly buttressed in was to solve the impasse with the best interests of the entire
authoritative pronouncements. It is well that it is so. Whatever University constituency uppermost. Nonetheless, the purest of
inconvenience may thus be visited on attempts concededly taken in motives, to repeat, does not warrant a deviation from what the law
the utmost good faith to resolve a critical impasse is more than offset prescribes.
by adherence to the rule of law. Nor could reliance be had on the clause that did confer on the
The Constitution, being the supreme law, its supremacy must be University administration the power to put an end to petitioner's
upheld, its mandates deemed controlling. There is no justification for continuance in his position as Dean. While the term was fixed at five
any of its commands being disregarded Or set at naught. As so years, it could be "sooner terminated." In entire good faith then, it
eloquently put in Ex parte Milligan:5 "The Constitution ... is a law for could be interpreted as permitting what was done. If that were all,
rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the then no due process question would have arisen. Such was not the
shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all case though. Charges, not trivial in character, were in fact lodged
circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, against petitioner. To put an end to his term then without giving him
a hearing was to condemn him, considering that apparently t ere was why the majority should insist on completely striking down the order
no indication that such a thing was previously contemplated, until the in question. Precedents there are where the court in passing upon
attitude of the students did assume such belligerent posture. It is one acts questioned as merely in excess of authority has sanctioned them
thing to inform an official that for the best interest of the service, and only to the extent that they could be construed consistently within
without reflection on his actuations, a new man should be placed at the limits of legitimate authority and the fundamental law of the land.
the helm. It is an entirely different matter, if subjected as he was to I consider it as a prudent measure of public administration that in the
accusations reflecting on his performance as such official, he is face of the student demands, which I am afraid this court is not in a
summarily relieved without the formal hearing to which due process position to pass upon with the same competence as the Board of
entitles him. It is on this precise ground that I vote for the granting of Regents and the university authorities can, it is legally possible to
the petition and concur in the result reached by the Court. detail petitioner in the position given to him under the order, without
BARREDO, J., concurring and dissenting: removing him as Dean of the College of Education, only f or such
In view of the fact that Mr. Justice Sanchez, the writer of the main duration as may be needed, which must be as speedily as possible, by
opinion is due to retire and it is best that the decision in this case be the Board of Regents to clear up the matter of the demand of the
promulgated before he leaves this Court, I am constrained to express students.
briefly now my views on the issues before Us, reserving my right to In the deliberations, the majority pointed out that no formal charges
make a more extended opinion later should I find it necessary to do have been filed against petitioner. For the purposes, I have indicated,
so. I believe that as a consequence of the principle and policy embodied
On the basis of the main facts related in the main opinion, I agree that in Section 32, no such charges are needed, considering the urgency of
respondents Lopez and Board of Regents acted beyond the scope of the circumstances. Otherwise stated, if a permanent transfer can be
their authority in permanently transferring petitioner from his made in the interest of the service, provided there is no reduction in
position as Dean of the College of Education to that of Special rank and salary, without the need of any charges being filed and any
Assistant in the Office of the President, even with rank of dean and formal investigation undertaken, it should follow that a temporary
without reduction of salary, for the simple reason that such a transfer, detail may also be legally made to the same end. Moreover, I do not
taking all attendant circumstances into account, did not comply with find in the position taken by petitioner in his last letter to respondent
the requirements of Section 32 of the Civil Service Act of 1959, Board of Regents that he is raising this point. What he wants is only a
invoked by said respondents, if only because, as the majority holds, formal investigation. I believe the Board is willing to do that, but
the position of Special Assistant in the Office of the President, even petitioner wants to be returned first to his position before any
with empty trappings of a deanship without any particular college to investigation is started. My answer is, it is right that he should be
be dean of, cannot be considered as not a reduction in rank, even if restored his rank and position as Dean of the College of Education,
there be some element of interest of the service in :the cause thereof. but in the interest of the service and for broader considerations
In this concept, I vote that the order of transfer in question should be arising from the unusual situation obtaining which calls for a little less
stricken down as repugnant to the Constitution, that petitioner is still of legalism and formalism, he should be amenable to being
the Dean of the College of Education of the University of the provisionally detailed elsewhere, with the double advantage that he
Philippines and thatthe appointment of respondent Ceralde, even in is removed as I said, temporarily, from the vortex of controversy, and
an ad interim capacity has no legal basis and is, therefore, void. at the same time his acknowledged special qualifications can be made
Parenthetically, this is not to admit that petitioner has never had an use of by the university in another aspect of its functions, to the
opportunity to be heard, for conferences, meetings, dialogues, long enhancement of the purposes for which it exists. This is certainly less
and deliberative, there had been many times for months — it is only than being suspended, which, under the circumstances stated in the
that We are not satisfied that such chances as petitioner might have main opinion and in the pleadings of respondents, not effectively
had to air his views on those occasions conform precisely with the rebutted, in my view, by petitioner, would have been legally possible,
requirements of due process. had formal charges been filed against him under Section 34 of the Civil
Service Act.1
I find it difficult, however, to agree that Dean Santamaria be returned
to the vortex of controversy and thereby bring back the University to Before closing, I wish to emphasize that nothing said above favorable
the chaotic condition obtaining at the time the questioned order was to respondents' position is intended to condone, much less
issued, unless, in the meantime, prudence and sobriety have regained encourage, mob rule. In fact, my considered view is that this case can
their hold and the fire of excessive student activism has already be and ought to be decided without taking into account, speaking in
sufficiently cooled down because they have come to understand the the language of civilists when referring to contracts, as a
inimical consequences of anything done to excess. If the majority consideration, rather than as a mere reason or motive, the urgency of
position of completely setting aside the said order appears to be placating the students' intransigent attitude, and that what should
somehow justified, it is only because in the face of riotous situation concern Us only is whether or not there was enough substantial basis
the authorities were lost in confusion as to how to meet the problem in the demands of the students to warrant remedial measures by the
at hand. To my mind, the crisis of leadership was not a monopoly of university authorities within the confines of the constitution and the
the petitioner, it pervaded even the higher strata of the university settled principles of free, speech vis-a-vis the interest of the service
hierarchy. To be more precise, it is not clear to me what exactly is the and the accomplishment of the ends of university education which is
position of the respondents. If they are serious in invoking Section 32 exactly what the students are there for. Stated differently, with or
abovementioned, then it must be admitted that the ordered transfer without student riots if the demands of the demonstrators were
is permanent, and since as We view it, the requisites of the law for flimsy and capricious, the respondents should have firmly stood their
such a transfer have not been met, the petitioner is right in ground. On the other hand, with or without such show of force, the
contending that he is still the Dean of the College of Education. On university administration has the power and, indeed, the duty to take
the other hand, all throughout the pleadings of the respondents, adequate legal steps to meet the situation with emergency measures
iterations and reiterations are made of the emergency and temporary that will pave the way for ultimate permanent solutions more or less
character of the transfer, to meet a crisis that could result in the acceptable to all reasonable men.
complete paralyzation of the activities in the University. Is this the real I would also add that the security of tenure consecrated in the
nature of the measure taken? If this is true, then I find no valid reason constitution should not be construed as placing the government in a
position as if it owed all officers and employees their respective I find myself hard put to give the disputed order the meaning now
positions. On the other hand, under this constitutional mantle, ascribed to it by the respondents. In the first place, if the petitioner
persons in the government service are not mere beasts of burden, was not removed as dean of the College of Education, I do not see
much less inanimate pawns on a chessboard to be moved at will by why it was necessary to invest him the "rank of Dean." Was he not
their administrators. I feel very strongly that public service or already a dean of a college? To say that as Special Assistant to the
employment in the government is not just a means of living — it University President the petitioner would have "the rank of Dean" is
carries with it a sense of mission, a tinge of patriotism and a to say that he was not actually a Dean, in the same way that to say
considerable degree of the spirit of sacrifice readily to be offered in that one has the rank of a judge is to say, albeit impliedly, that one is
the altar of the commonwealth as long as there is no trampling of not a judge — else why give him the rank of an officer which he
human dignity. I recognize no primacy in any of the rights enshrined already is?2
in the constitution — rather, I hold that it is the inescapable peculiar In the second place, the issuance of an ad interim appointment to the
function and duty of the courts to determine in appropriate instances, respondent Nemesio Ceralde as Acting Dean of the U.P. College of
given God's light, where one ends and where only the other begins. Education underscores the fact that the petitioner had ceased to be
In conclusion, I hold that the order in question should be construed the dean of the college. It meant, simply, that the respondent Ceralde
as a mere temporary measure that does not in any manner minimize was appointed dean vice the petitioner. For unless the position of
the status of petitioner as Dean of the College of Education and as Dean of the College of Education was vacant there could be no
merely a temporary detail of said petitioner to the Office of the appointment to it. Could it be considered vacant if the petitioner had
President until the Board of Regents has acted on his petition filed merely been temporarily detailed to the Office of the President of the
therewith, action on which he impeded by somehow prematurely University?
coming to this Court. I vote that the petition be denied and the And finally, that the petitioner was appointed to a new position and
transfer order in question upheld only in the character and nature not merely detailed thereto was confirmed by the respondent Lopez's
explained in this opinion, that is, as a temporary detail, without own counsel who, at the hearing on July 29, 1969 before the Board of
removing petitioner as Dean of the College of Education. Regents of the University, admitted that the transfer order
Villamor, J., concurs. constituted an ad interim appointment of the petitioner as Special
Assistant to the U.P. President.3
There are other overriding circumstances, already pointed out in the
Separate Opinions opinion of the Court, which completely negate the respondents' claim
that the petitioner was not removed from his post but merely
CASTRO, J., concurring:
temporarily assigned to another office, but I think the best and final
As the sole question posed in this case is whether the petitioner refutation of the respondents' pretense is to be found in the press
Felixberto C. Sta. Maria was removed from his position as Dean of the statement given by the respondent Lopez himself on the same day
College of Education of the University of the Philippines, I deem it (July 23, 1969) he issued the transfer order. The statement reads in
appropriate to begin this concurrence with the text of the transfer part:
order issued by the respondent Salvador P. Lopez on July 23, 1969: .
After long and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES that as President of the University I cannot permit the continued
Quezon City disruption of the academic life of the institution. In the interest of the
Office of the President service, therefore, and availing myself of the authority vested in me
July 23, 1969 by law, I have issued an order transferring Dean Felixberto C. Sta.
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 77 Maria of the College of Education to other duties in the University,
without reduction in rank or salary, pursuant to the Civil Service Law
TO: Dean Felixberto C. Sta. Maria
and the University Code. ...
College of Education
In an effort to persuade the students to return to their classes pending
SUBJECT: TRANSFER TO THE OFFICE OF THE
negotiation of their demands, the Administration has called a series
PRESIDENT
of meetings between the faculty, the students, Dean Sta. Maria and
By special authority vested in me by the Board of Regents and the President of the University. These meetings, however, proved
pursuant to the Civil Service Law and the University Code, you are fruitless in the face ,of the refusal of the College of Education students
hereby transferred from the College of Education to the Office of the to discuss any further their demands unless and until Dean Sta. Maria
President as Special Assistant with the rank of Dean, without resigns his position. ...
reduction in salary, in the interest of the service.
[T]he complete shut-down of classes in the Diliman campus has
This transfer involves your administrative position only and in no way compelled me, much to my regret, to take the decision to transfer
affects your status as professor of the University. Dean Sta. Maria to other duties. In taking this difficult decision, I was
This order shall take effect immediately. encouraged by the vote of confidence which was unanimously
(Sgd.) Salvador P. Lopez adopted by the faculty of the College of Education this morning, in
President any decision which the President might take in the best interest of the
To me the meaning of this order is unmistakable: Sta. Maria was University.4
relieved as Dean of the U.P. College of Education and was assigned to Again, in a press release issued the following day, July 25, 1969, he
the Office of the President as a Special Assistant "with the rank of emphasized:
Dean." That was how the action of the respondent Lopez was I proposed to the striking students that Dean Sta. Maria be not made
understood by certain thoughtful and knowledgeable elements of the to resign under pressure but that he should remain in his post until
University of the Philippines.1 Now the respondents would minimize the endof the semester. They turned this down.
it as no more than a mere "temporary transfer" or, more accurately, In the circumstances, I decided that the only course left open to me
a detail, which does not involve removal in the constitutional sense of in order to keep the University open was to transfer Dean Sta. Maria
the petitioner from the deanship of the College of Education.
to other duties, in the same rank and salary, as provided by the Civil The respondent Lopez justifies his action in terms of what he
Service Law and the University Code. conceives to be the interest of the community that is the University
I deeply regret that I have had to take this difficult decision, but I had which had been completely shut down by student boycott. As he
nochoice. As President Truman once said, "The buck stops here," and stressed, "the U.P. is greater and more important than any man."
I must add, 'the U.P. is greater and more important than any man. 5 But the respect due the integrity of the individual is by no means
These statements made right on the heels of the issuance of the antithetical to the interests of society. On the contrary, one reinforces
disputed order, rather than the later statements of the respondent the other, as the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr has so beautifully
Lopez, reveal, I believe, the true nature of the petitioner's relief. They brought out in his book, "The Children of Light and the Children of
demonstrate beyond cavil that the petitioner's head was the price Darkness." 13 While bourgeois democracy, with its enshrining of the
demanded by the striking students and that the petitioner's head was individual at the center stage of society, has now generally been
precisely and exactly the price paid in exchange for peace on the replaced by a new social consciousness, its emphasis on liberty
campus. For if the intended result of the action taken in this case was nevertheless contains an element of validity that transcends its
no more than a mere "detail" of the petitioner, then it hardly excessive individualism. 14 Perhaps it would be closer to the truth to
deserved the characterization as "this difficult decision" which the say that the community requires liberty as much as does the
U.P. President "with deep regret" had to take, "encouraged" by the individual and the individual requires community more than
thought that he had the vote of confidence of the colleges faculty. bourgeois thought comprehended. 15 As Dr. Niebuhr explains:
It may indeed be that the position of Special Assistant to the President The man who searches after both meaning and fulfillments beyond
of the University is of a higher category than that of a college dean the ambiguous fulfillments and frustrations of history exists in a
and that for that reason the petitioner was not demoted. But to view height of spirit which no historical process can completely contain.
the matter from this angle of vision is to miss completely the point at This height is not irrelevant to the life of the community, because new
issue, namely, that the transfer of an employee from one post in the richness and a higher possibility of justice come to the community
civil service to another, if objected to by him, can be justified only if from this height of awareness. But the height is destroyed by any
there be some cause recognized by law. community which seeks prematurely to cut off this pinnacle of
Is not this what this Court meant when it ruled that the unconsented individuality in the interest of the community's peace and order. 16
transfer of a civil service employee, no matter how well-intended, as And what was the community interest involved here? If it was that of
a promotion, is "equivalent to a removal," and, if made without prior the community of students who massed in front of the University
hearing, is violativeof the Constitution?6 As this Court noted: administration building, then it was obviously in their interest that the
But in justice to the President and the Commission on Appointments, strike continued until the respondent Lopez yielded to their demand.
let it be stated once again that it would seem that the transfer of the If, on the other hand, it was that of the community of students who
petitioner to Tarlac was not meant and intended as a punishment, a very much wanted to attend classes but were prevented from doing
disciplinary measure or demotion. It was really a promotion, at least so, or that of the community of professors and other scholars who
at the time the appointment was made. Only, that later, due to a could not get inside the classrooms because they were barred by the
change in the category of Oriental Negros as a province, the transfer demonstrating students, then the protection of their rights is to be
was no longer a promotion in salary. And yet the respondent and the found in some solution of a police character and not in the summary
Solicitor General insisted on the transfer despite the refusal of the removal of the petitioner. The issue would always thus narrow down
petitioner to accept his new appointment.7 to the vindication of a principle: the rational solution of any
controversy.
The rule in Lacson is now embodied in statute:
Of more than passing relevance are these sentiments 17 articulated by
[A] transfer from one position to another without reduction in rank or
Dr. Sidney Hook of the Department of Philosophy of the New York
salary shall not be considered disciplinary when made in the interest
University, a thoughtful commentator on the contemporary
of public service, in which case the employee concerned shall be
university scene: "Due process in the academic community is reliant
informed of the reasons therefor. If the employee believes that there
upon the process of nationality it cannot bethe same as due process
is no justification for the transfer, he may appeal his case to the
in the political community as far as the mechanisms of determining
Commission on Civil Service through the Department Head. Pending
the outcome of rational activity. For what controls the nature
appeal and decision thereof, his transfer shall be held in abeyance. ...8
anddirection of due process in the academic community is derived
This statutory provision reflects the view that because by nature a from its educational goal — the effective pursuit, discovery,
transfer (as distinguished from a mere detail) involves a removal from publication, and teachingof the truth. In the political community all
one position and an appointment to another, there must first be a men are equal as citizens not only as participants in, and contributors
hearing. And so, while the respondents Lopez and U.P. Board of to, the political process, but as voters and decision-makers on the
Regents might not be expected to follow the precise procedure for primary level. Not so in the academic community. What qualifies a
transfer as outlined in the amendment to the statute, since this did man to enjoy equal human or political rights does not qualify him to
not take effect until August 4, 1969 (a few days after the petitioner's teach equally with others or even to study equally on every level.
relief), -they were, to my mind, nevertheless bound toobserve those There is an authoritative, not authoritarian, aspect of the process of
"canons of decency and fairness"9of which the due process clause is teaching and learning that depends not upon the person or power of
the "summarized constitutional guarantee of respect." 10 And due the teacher, but upon the authority of his knowledge, the cogency of
process of law requires at the very least that there be notice and his method,. the scope and depth of his experience. But whatever the
hearing, 11 lest the summary transfer of a civil service employee differences in the power of making decisions flowing from legitimate
offend "a sense of justice." 12 differences in educational authority, there is an equality of learners,
Is to uphold the petitioner's right to a hearing to overlook the larger whether of teachers or students, in the rational processes by which
interests of society, to exalt the individual at the expense of the knowledge is won, methods developed, and experience enriched."
community? Is it, nineteenth-century bourgeois thinking, so wanting And on the rule of reason in a liberal educational regimen, Professor
in relevance as to be regarded as outmoded or obsolete in an age of Hook gives us pause with his incisive observations: "In a liberal
mass demonstrations and confrontations? educational regimen, everything is subject to the rule of reason, and
all are equals as questioners and participants. Whoever interferes
with academic due process either by violence or threat of violence inconvenience may thus be visited on attempts concededly taken in
places himself outside the academic community, and incurs the the utmost good faith to resolve a critical impasse is more than offset
sanctions appropriate to the gravity of his offensesfrom censure to by adherence to the rule of law.
suspension to expulsion. The peculiar deficiency of the ritualistic The Constitution, being the supreme law, its supremacy must be
liberal educational establishments is the failure to meet violations of upheld, its mandates deemed controlling. There is no justification for
rational due process with appropriate sanctions or to meet them in a any of its commands being disregarded Or set at naught. As so
timely and intelligent manner. There is a tendency to close an eye to eloquently put in Ex parte Milligan:5 "The Constitution ... is a law for
expressions of lawless behavior on the part of students who, in the rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the
name of freedom, deprive their fellow students of the freedom to shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all
pursue their fell studies. It is as if the liberal administration sought to circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences,
appease the challenge to its continued existence by treating such was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions
incidents as if they had never happened. ... There is no panacea that can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government."
can be applied to all situations. It is not a question of a hard line or a Petitioner, if he could show that no deference was paid to his
soft line, but of an intelligent line. It is easy to give advice from constitutional right to due process, could thus seek judicial relief, the
hindsight, to be wise and cocksure after the event. But it is always courts being duty bound to maintain inviolate the provisions of the
helpful for the faculty to promulgate in advance fair guidelines for fundamental law.
action, so that students will know what to expect. In general, no Nor is such a remedy precluded by petitioner pursuing a course of
negotiations should be conducted under the threat of coercion, or conduct which apparently had given cause for grave dissatisfaction on
when administrators or faculty are held captive." the part of the student body. Much less could the expression of
FERNANDO, J., concurring: discontent on the part of the student body, immoderate in character,
There is much in the exhaustive opinion of Justice Sanchez, impressive giving rise to what could plausibly be looked upon from the
for its grasp of the law and breadth of scholarship, that commends standpoint of the University administration as an emergency call for
itself for acceptance. Nonetheless, I feel called upon to express my the application of a different principle. It is precisely under such
concurrence separately as for me the question at issue could be circumstances that the paramount character of the Constitution must
viewed from a narrower perspective. It could also be said, and this is be accorded due recognition. As so forcefully stressed by former Chief
not intended by way of criticism, that the opinion of the Court could Hughes: "Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not
have accorded a more explicit recognition of the complexity of the increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions
problems that sorely beset the President of the University of the imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was
Philippines and thus result in greater understanding and sympathy for adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the
his efforts to arrive at a correct and just solution. As the question Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States
before us is one of power, however, even the best of motive cannot were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered
be a substitute. Not only must the objective sought to be attained be by emergency."6
within the law, but the means employed must not suffer from a legal It is to the credit of the opinion of Justice Sanchez that while being
infirmity. To be more specific, in the case before us, I am unable to fully cognizant of the amplitude of the constitutional right on the part
reach a conclusion other than that procedural due process had not of the students to assembly and petition, it reminds them of the limits
been observed in the removal of petitioner. thereof. The beneficial results that could be expected of student
The view I take of the matter is thus in conformity with that expressed activism, expressed at times with more vehemence than the occasion
in the opinion of the Court. Considering all the circumstances would call for, might not come to pass if the boundaries of legally
discussed with the fullness of detail by Justice Sanchez, the steps permissible conduct are overstepped. It would seem to me that the
taken by the University administration, even if susceptible to the sense of maturity and the spirit of calm deliberation that should
interpretation that they were equivocal at most, had not been purged permeate an academic atmosphere should be antidotes to what at
of the taint of unfairness thus calling into operation the protection times may be the impatience and exuberance of the young carried to
afforded by the due process guaranty. There should be by this time excess. The words of Justice Frankfurter come to mind: "It must never
no need to stress the obvious that insofar as security of tenure and be forgotten, however, that the Bill of Rights was the child of the
the right to the perquisites are concerned, a public office is indeed Enlightenment. Back of the guaranty of free speech lay faith in the
property of which the occupant cannot be deprived save in power of an appeal to reason by all the peaceful means for gaining
accordance with its dictates.1 Nonetheless, to erase any lingering access to the mind. It was in order to avert force and explosions due
doubts on the matter, there is nothing inappropriate in reaffirming to restrictions upon rational modes of communication that the
such a principle. Nor is there anything incompatible with the principle guaranty of free speech was given a generous scope. But utterance in
thus reiterated with the fundamental postulate that a public office is a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason
preeminently a public trust,the exercise of the authority thus and become part of an instrument of force. Such utterance was not
conferred being conditioned on the official having uppermost in mind meant to be sheltered by the Constitution ."7
what is best for public welfare. To the possible objection that there is an air of unreality to the
Necessarily then in accordance with the security of tenure preceding observation as the University administration was
guarranty2 of the Constitution and its statutory implementation confronted not by what ought to have been but what in fact was, it
under the Civil Service Act,3 this Court has been committed to the suffices to answer that even then deference to the rule of law was not
principle that a public official may secure judicial redress for any thereby rendered impossible. It is to be admitted that it was much
suspension or removal contrary to such mandateso explicitly more difficult under the circumstances, but that of itself certainly
announced, irrespective of the motives that may have inspired such a could not justify its disregard. This is not to say that there was such an
move, if thereby the ground for such disciplinary action is untenable intent. Far from it. It must be conceded that on the facts as shown,
or the procedure followed is irregular. A host of decisions attests to there was no thought on the part of the University authorities to
such a long, unbroken, impressive course of adjudication.4 The trample on the rights of petitioner. Their motive, as had been noted,
decision reached by us in this case is therefore solidly buttressed in was to solve the impasse with the best interests of the entire
authoritative pronouncements. It is well that it is so. Whatever University constituency uppermost. Nonetheless, the purest of
motives, to repeat, does not warrant a deviation from what the law position of the respondents. If they are serious in invoking Section 32
prescribes. abovementioned, then it must be admitted that the ordered transfer
Nor could reliance be had on the clause that did confer on the is permanent, and since as We view it, the requisites of the law for
University administration the power to put an end to petitioner's such a transfer have not been met, the petitioner is right in
continuance in his position as Dean. While the term was fixed at five contending that he is still the Dean of the College of Education. On
years, it could be "sooner terminated." In entire good faith then, it the other hand, all throughout the pleadings of the respondents,
could be interpreted as permitting what was done. If that were all, iterations and reiterations are made of the emergency and temporary
then no due process question would have arisen. Such was not the character of the transfer, to meet a crisis that could result in the
case though. Charges, not trivial in character, were in fact lodged complete paralyzation of the activities in the University. Is this the real
against petitioner. To put an end to his term then without giving him nature of the measure taken? If this is true, then I find no valid reason
a hearing was to condemn him, considering that apparently t ere was why the majority should insist on completely striking down the order
no indication that such a thing was previously contemplated, until the in question. Precedents there are where the court in passing upon
attitude of the students did assume such belligerent posture. It is one acts questioned as merely in excess of authority has sanctioned them
thing to inform an official that for the best interest of the service, and only to the extent that they could be construed consistently within
without reflection on his actuations, a new man should be placed at the limits of legitimate authority and the fundamental law of the land.
the helm. It is an entirely different matter, if subjected as he was to I consider it as a prudent measure of public administration that in the
accusations reflecting on his performance as such official, he is face of the student demands, which I am afraid this court is not in a
summarily relieved without the formal hearing to which due process position to pass upon with the same competence as the Board of
entitles him. It is on this precise ground that I vote for the granting of Regents and the university authorities can, it is legally possible to
the petition and concur in the result reached by the Court. detail petitioner in the position given to him under the order, without
BARREDO, J., concurring and dissenting: removing him as Dean of the College of Education, only f or such
duration as may be needed, which must be as speedily as possible, by
In view of the fact that Mr. Justice Sanchez, the writer of the main
the Board of Regents to clear up the matter of the demand of the
opinion is due to retire and it is best that the decision in this case be
students.
promulgated before he leaves this Court, I am constrained to express
briefly now my views on the issues before Us, reserving my right to In the deliberations, the majority pointed out that no formal charges
make a more extended opinion later should I find it necessary to do have been filed against petitioner. For the purposes, I have indicated,
so. I believe that as a consequence of the principle and policy embodied
in Section 32, no such charges are needed, considering the urgency of
On the basis of the main facts related in the main opinion, I agree that
the circumstances. Otherwise stated, if a permanent transfer can be
respondents Lopez and Board of Regents acted beyond the scope of
made in the interest of the service, provided there is no reduction in
their authority in permanently transferring petitioner from his
rank and salary, without the need of any charges being filed and any
position as Dean of the College of Education to that of Special
formal investigation undertaken, it should follow that a temporary
Assistant in the Office of the President, even with rank of dean and
detail may also be legally made to the same end. Moreover, I do not
without reduction of salary, for the simple reason that such a transfer,
find in the position taken by petitioner in his last letter to respondent
taking all attendant circumstances into account, did not comply with
Board of Regents that he is raising this point. What he wants is only a
the requirements of Section 32 of the Civil Service Act of 1959,
formal investigation. I believe the Board is willing to do that, but
invoked by said respondents, if only because, as the majority holds,
petitioner wants to be returned first to his position before any
the position of Special Assistant in the Office of the President, even
investigation is started. My answer is, it is right that he should be
with empty trappings of a deanship without any particular college to
restored his rank and position as Dean of the College of Education,
be dean of, cannot be considered as not a reduction in rank, even if
but in the interest of the service and for broader considerations
there be some element of interest of the service in :the cause thereof.
arising from the unusual situation obtaining which calls for a little less
In this concept, I vote that the order of transfer in question should be
of legalism and formalism, he should be amenable to being
stricken down as repugnant to the Constitution, that petitioner is still
provisionally detailed elsewhere, with the double advantage that he
the Dean of the College of Education of the University of the
is removed as I said, temporarily, from the vortex of controversy, and
Philippines and thatthe appointment of respondent Ceralde, even in
at the same time his acknowledged special qualifications can be made
an ad interim capacity has no legal basis and is, therefore, void.
use of by the university in another aspect of its functions, to the
Parenthetically, this is not to admit that petitioner has never had an
enhancement of the purposes for which it exists. This is certainly less
opportunity to be heard, for conferences, meetings, dialogues, long
than being suspended, which, under the circumstances stated in the
and deliberative, there had been many times for months — it is only
main opinion and in the pleadings of respondents, not effectively
that We are not satisfied that such chances as petitioner might have
rebutted, in my view, by petitioner, would have been legally possible,
had to air his views on those occasions conform precisely with the
had formal charges been filed against him under Section 34 of the Civil
requirements of due process.
Service Act.1
I find it difficult, however, to agree that Dean Santamaria be returned
Before closing, I wish to emphasize that nothing said above favorable
to the vortex of controversy and thereby bring back the University to
to respondents' position is intended to condone, much less
the chaotic condition obtaining at the time the questioned order was
encourage, mob rule. In fact, my considered view is that this case can
issued, unless, in the meantime, prudence and sobriety have regained
be and ought to be decided without taking into account, speaking in
their hold and the fire of excessive student activism has already
the language of civilists when referring to contracts, as a
sufficiently cooled down because they have come to understand the
consideration, rather than as a mere reason or motive, the urgency of
inimical consequences of anything done to excess. If the majority
placating the students' intransigent attitude, and that what should
position of completely setting aside the said order appears to be
concern Us only is whether or not there was enough substantial basis
somehow justified, it is only because in the face of riotous situation
in the demands of the students to warrant remedial measures by the
the authorities were lost in confusion as to how to meet the problem
university authorities within the confines of the constitution and the
at hand. To my mind, the crisis of leadership was not a monopoly of
settled principles of free, speech vis-a-vis the interest of the service
the petitioner, it pervaded even the higher strata of the university
and the accomplishment of the ends of university education which is
hierarchy. To be more precise, it is not clear to me what exactly is the
exactly what the students are there for. Stated differently, with or
without student riots if the demands of the demonstrators were
flimsy and capricious, the respondents should have firmly stood their
ground. On the other hand, with or without such show of force, the
university administration has the power and, indeed, the duty to take
adequate legal steps to meet the situation with emergency measures
that will pave the way for ultimate permanent solutions more or less
acceptable to all reasonable men.
I would also add that the security of tenure consecrated in the
constitution should not be construed as placing the government in a
position as if it owed all officers and employees their respective
positions. On the other hand, under this constitutional mantle,
persons in the government service are not mere beasts of burden,
much less inanimate pawns on a chessboard to be moved at will by
their administrators. I feel very strongly that public service or
employment in the government is not just a means of living — it
carries with it a sense of mission, a tinge of patriotism and a
considerable degree of the spirit of sacrifice readily to be offered in
the altar of the commonwealth as long as there is no trampling of
human dignity. I recognize no primacy in any of the rights enshrined
in the constitution — rather, I hold that it is the inescapable peculiar
function and duty of the courts to determine in appropriate instances,
given God's light, where one ends and where only the other begins.
In conclusion, I hold that the order in question should be construed
as a mere temporary measure that does not in any manner minimize
the status of petitioner as Dean of the College of Education and as
merely a temporary detail of said petitioner to the Office of the
President until the Board of Regents has acted on his petition filed
therewith, action on which he impeded by somehow prematurely
coming to this Court. I vote that the petition be denied and the
transfer order in question upheld only in the character and nature
explained in this opinion, that is, as a temporary detail, without
removing petitioner as Dean of the College of Education.
Villamor, J., concurs.
NACHURA, J.:
Before the Court are two consolidated petitions filed by Winston F.
Republic of the Philippines Garcia (petitioner) in his capacity as President and General Manager
Supreme Court of the Government Service Insurance System, or GSIS, against
respondents Mario I. Molina (Molina) and Albert M. Velasco
Manila
(Velasco). In G.R. No. 157383, petitioner assails the Court of Appeals
(CA) Decision[1] dated January 2, 2003 and Resolution[2] dated March
EN BANC 5, 2003 in CA-G.R. SP No. 73170. In G.R. No. 174137, petitioner assails
[3]dated December 7, 2005 and Resolution [4] dated
WINSTON F. GARCIA, in his capacity as President and General Manager of theG.R.
CANo.
Decision
157383
GSIS, August 10, 2006 in CA-G.R. SP No. 75973.
Petitioner,
- versus - The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as follows:

MARIO I. MOLINA and ALBERT M. VELASCO, Respondents Molina and Velasco, both Attorney V of the GSIS,
Respondents. received two separate Memoranda[5] dated May 23, 2002 from
petitioner charging them with grave misconduct.

x--------------------------------------------------x
Specifically, Molina was charged for allegedly committing the
following acts: 1) directly and continuously helping some alleged
WINSTON F. GARCIA, in his capacity as President and General Manager of disgruntled employees to conduct concerted protest actions and/or
the Government Service Insurance System, illegal assemblies against the management and the GSIS President
Petitioner, and General
G.R. Manager; 2) leading the concerted protest activities held
No. 174137
in the morning of May 22, 2002 during office hours within the GSIS
compound; and 3) continuously performing said activities despite
Present:
warning from his immediate superiors. [6] In addition to the charge for
grave misconduct for performing the same acts as Molina, Velasco
wasCORONA,
accusedC.J.,
of performing acts in violation of the Rules on Office
Decorum
CARPIO,for leaving his office without informing his supervisor of his
whereabouts;
CARPIO MORALES,and gross insubordination for persistently disregarding
petitioners instructions that Velasco should report to the petitioners
VELASCO, JR.,*
- versus - office.[7] These acts, according to petitioner, were committed in open
NACHURA,
betrayal of the confidential nature of their positions and in outright
LEONARDO-DE
defiance CASTRO,
of the Rules and Regulations on Public Sector Unionism. In
theBRION,
same Memoranda, petitioner required respondents to submit
their verified answer within seventy two (72) hours. Considering the
PERALTA,
gravity of the charges against them, petitioner ordered the preventive
BERSAMIN,
suspension of respondents for ninety (90) days without pay, effective
DEL CASTILLO,
immediately.[8] The following day, a committee was constituted to
ABAD, the charges against respondents.
investigate
MARIO I. MOLINA and ALBERT M. VELASCO, VILLARAMA, JR.,
Respondents.
In PEREZ, and [9] dated May 27, 2002, respondents denied the
their Answer
MENDOZA,
charges JJ. them. Instead, they averred that petitioner was
against
motivated by vindictiveness and bad faith in charging them falsely.
They likewise opposed their preventive suspension for lack of factual
Promulgated:
and legal basis. They strongly expressed their opposition to petitioner
acting as complainant, prosecutor and judge.
August 10, 2010

On May 28, 2002, respondents filed with the Civil Service Commission
(CSC) an Urgent Petition to Lift Preventive Suspension Order.[10] They
contended that the acts they allegedly committed were arbitrarily
characterized as grave misconduct. Consistent with their stand that
petitioner could not act as the complainant, prosecutor and judge at
the same time, respondents filed with the CSC a Petition to Transfer
Investigation to This Commission.[11]

Meanwhile, the GSIS hearing officer directed petitioners to submit to


the jurisdiction of the investigating committee and required them to
appear at the scheduled hearing.[12]
x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x
Despite their urgent motions, the CSC failed to resolve respondents
DECISION motions to lift preventive suspension order and to transfer the case
from the GSIS to the CSC.
Transfer Investigation to the Commission through Resolution No. 03-
On October 10, 2002, respondents filed with the CA a special civil 0278,[17] the dispositive portion of which reads:
action for certiotari and prohibition with prayer for Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO).[13] The case was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby rules that:
73170. Respondents sought the annulment and setting aside of
petitioners order directing the former to submit to the jurisdiction of
1. The Urgent Petition to Lift the Order of Preventive
the committee created to hear and investigate the administrative
Suspension is hereby DENIED for having become moot and academic.
case filed against them. They likewise prayed that petitioner (and the
committee) be prohibited from conducting the scheduled hearing and 2. The Petition to Transfer Investigation to the
from taking any action on the aforesaid administrative case against Commission is likewise DENIED for lack of merit. Accordingly, GSIS
respondents. President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia is directed to
continue the conduct of the formal investigation of the charges
against respondents-petitioners Albert Velasco and Mario I.
On January 2, 2003, the CA rendered a decision[14] in favor of Molina.[18]
respondents, the dispositive portion of which reads:

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby GRANTED. Public respondents


As to the lifting of the order of preventive suspension, the CSC
are hereby PERPETUALLY RESTRAINED from hearing and
considered the issue moot and academic considering that the period
investigating the administrative case against petitioners, without
had lapsed and respondents had been allowed to resume their
prejudice to pursuing the same with the Civil Service Commission or
specific functions. This notwithstanding, the CSC opted to discuss the
any other agency of government as may be allowed for (sic) by law.
matter by way of obiter dictum. Without making a definitive
conclusion as to the effect thereof in the case against respondents,
SO ORDERED.[15] the CSC declared that a preliminary investigation is a pre-requisite
condition to the issuance of a formal charge.[19]

The CA treated the petition as one raising an issue of gnawing fear, On the requested transfer of the investigation from the GSIS to the
and thus agreed with respondents that the investigation be made not CSC, the latter denied the same for lack of merit. The Commission
by the GSIS but by the CSC to ensure that the hearing is conducted concluded that the fact that the GSIS acted as the complainant and
before an impartial and disinterested tribunal. prosecutor and eventually the judge does not mean that impartiality
in the resolution of the case will no longer be served.[20]
Aggrieved, petitioner comes before the Court in this petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, raising the Aggrieved, respondents appealed to the CA through a Petition for
following issues: Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court.[21] The case was docketed
as CA-G.R. SP NO. 75973.
I.
WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY On December 7, 2005, the CA rendered a Decision[22] in favor of
ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PETITIONERS ABUSED THEIR AUTHORITY respondents, the dispositive portion of which reads:
AND HAVE BEEN PARTIAL IN REGARD TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE CASES
AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS; AND IN PERPETUALLY RESTRAINING PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The formal
THE PETITIONERS FROM HEARING AND INVESTIGATING THE charges filed by the President and General Manager of the GSIS
ADMINISTRATIVE CASES FILED AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS SOLELY against petitioners, and necessarily, the order of preventive
ON THE BASIS OF THE TOTALLY UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS OF THE suspension emanating therefrom, are declared NULL AND VOID. The
RESPONDENTS THAT THE PETITIONERS ARE PARTIAL AGAINST THEM. GSIS is hereby directed to pay petitioners back salaries pertaining to
the period during which they were unlawfully suspended. No
II. pronouncement as to costs.
WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY
ERRED IN FAILING TO APPRECIATE AND APPLY THE PRINCIPLE OF SO ORDERED.[23]
EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES AND THE RULE ON NON
FORUM SHOPPING IN PERPETUALLY RESTRAINING THE PETITIONERS
FROM HEARING AND INVESTIGATING THE ADMINISTRATIVE CASES
The CA declared null and void respondents formal charges for lack of
AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS.
the requisite preliminary investigation. In view thereof, the CA
disagreed with the CSC that the question on the propriety of the
III. preventive suspension order had become moot and academic.
WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY Rather, it concluded that the same is likewise void having emanated
ERRED IN RENDERING A DECISION WHICH IS CONTRARY TO AND from the void formal charges. Consequently, the CA found that
COMPLETELY DISREGARDS APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE AND WHICH, respondents were entitled to back salaries during the time of their
IN VIOLATION OF THE RULES OF COURT, DOES NOT CLEARLY STATE illegal preventive suspension.
THE FACTS AND THE LAW ON WHICH IT IS BASED.[16]
Hence, the present petition raising the following issues:

In the meantime, on February 27, 2003, the CSC resolved respondents I.


Petition to Lift Order of Preventive Suspension and Petition to
WHETHER THE RESPONDENTS WERE FULLY ACCORDED THE
REQUISITE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, WERE IN FACT HEARD AND The civil service encompasses all branches and agencies of the
BEING HEARD, AND WHETHER THE CONDUCT OF PRELIMINARY Government, including government-owned or controlled
INVESTIGATION IN ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS IS AN ESSENTIAL corporations (GOCCs) with original charters, like the GSIS, or those
REQUISITE TO THE CONDUCT OF ADJUDICATION. created by special law. As such, the employees are part of the civil
service system and are subject to the law and to the circulars, rules
and regulations issued by the CSC on discipline, attendance and
general terms and conditions of employment.[25] The CSC has
jurisdiction to hear and decide disciplinary cases against erring
II.
employees. In addition, Section 37 (b) of Presidential Decree No. 807
WHETHER THE RESPONDENTS WAIVED THEIR RIGHT TO PRELIMINARY or the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines also gives the heads of
INVESTIGATION. departments, agencies and instrumentalities, provinces, cities and
municipalities the authority to investigate and decide matters
III. involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under
WHETHER PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS REQUIRED IN their jurisdiction. As for the GSIS, Section 45, Republic Act (R.A.) 8291
INDICTMENTS IN FLAGRANTI, AS HERE. otherwise known as the GSIS Act of 1997, specifies its disciplining
authority, viz:

IV.
WHETHER THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS LACKED SECTION 45. Powers and Duties of the President and General
JURISDICTION, AS THE ALLEGED LACK OF PRELIMNARY Manager. The President and General Manager of the GSIS shall among
INVESTIGATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN RAISED BEFORE THE GSIS AND, others, execute and administer the policies and resolutions approved
THEREAFTER, BEFORE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, UNDER THE by the Board and direct and supervise the administration and
PRINCIPLE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; THE GSIS operations of the GSIS. The President and General Manager, subject
HAVING ACQUIRED JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSONS OF THE to the approval of the Board, shall appoint the personnel of the GSIS,
RESPONDENTS, TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHERS. remove, suspend or otherwise discipline them for cause, in
accordance with existing Civil Service rules and regulations, and
prescribe their duties and qualifications to the end that only
V. competent persons may be employed.
WHETHER THE ALLEGED LACK OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS A
NON-ISSUE.

By this legal provision, petitioner, as President and General Manager


VI.
of GSIS, is vested the authority and responsibility to remove, suspend
WHETHER THE PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION ORDERS ISSUED AGAINST or otherwise discipline GSIS personnel for cause.[26]
RESPONDENTS MOLINA AND VELASCO ARE VALID, WELL-FOUNDED
AND DULY RECOGNIZED BY LAW.
However, despite the authority conferred on him by law, such power
is not without limitations for it must be exercised in accordance with
VII. Civil Service rules. The Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the
WHETHER PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION IS A PENALTY AND, THUS, MAY Civil Service lays down the procedure to be observed in issuing a
NOT BE IMPOSED WITHOUT BEING PRECEDED BY A HEARING. formal charge against an erring employee, to wit:

VIII. First, the complaint. A complaint against a civil service official or


WHETHER THE RESPONDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF BACK employee shall not be given due course unless it is in writing and
SALARIES PERTAINING TO THE PERIOD OF THEIR PREVENTIVE subscribed and sworn to by the complainant. However, in cases
SUSPENSION. initiated by the proper disciplining authority, the complaint need not
be under oath.[27] Except when otherwise provided for by law, an
IX. administrative complaint may be filed at anytime with the
Commission, proper heads of departments, agencies, provinces,
WHETHER THE INSTITUTION OF THE RESPONDENTS PETITION BEFORE
cities, municipalities and other instrumentalities.[28]
THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WAS ENTIRELY PREMATURE.

Second, the Counter-Affidavit/Comment. Upon receipt of a


X.
complaint which is sufficient in form and substance, the disciplining
WHETHER THE MISAPPREHENSIONS OF THE RESPONDENTS AS authority shall require the person complained of to submit Counter-
REGARDS THE PARTIALITY OF THE GSIS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING Affidavit/Comment under oath within three days from receipt.[29]
THE CHARGES AGAINST THEM IS BLATANTLY WITHOUT FACTUAL
BASIS.
Third, Preliminary Investigation. A Preliminary investigation involves
the ex parte examination of records and documents submitted by the
XI. complainant and the person complained of, as well as documents
WHETHER RESPONDENTS OBVIOUS ACT OF FORUM SHOPPING readily available from other government offices. During said
SHOULD BE COUNTENANCED BY THIS HONORABLE COURT.[24] investigation, the parties are given the opportunity to submit
affidavits and counter-affidavits. Failure of the person complained of
to submit his counter-affidavit shall be considered as a waiver
The petitions are without merit. thereof.[30]
as the gravity of the charges. We, therefore, conclude that
Fourth, Investigation Report. Within five (5) days from the respondents were denied due process of law. Not even the fact that
termination of the preliminary investigation, the investigating officer the charges against them are serious and evidence of their guilt is in
shall submit the investigation report and the complete records of the the opinion of their superior strong can compensate for the
case to the disciplining authority.[31] procedural shortcut undertaken by petitioner which is evident in the
record of this case.[34] The filing by petitioner of formal charges
against the respondents without complying with the mandated
Fifth, Formal Charge. If a prima facie case is established during the preliminary investigation or at least give the respondents the
investigation, a formal charge shall be issued by the disciplining opportunity to comment violated the latter's right to due process.
authority. A formal investigation shall follow. In the absence of a Hence, the formal charges are void ab initio and may be assailed
prima facie case, the complaint shall be dismissed.[32] directly or indirectly at anytime.[35]

The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic


It is undisputed that the Memoranda separately issued to constitutional rights, courts are ousted from their jurisdiction. The
respondents were the formal charges against them. These formal violation of a party's right to due process raises a serious jurisdictional
charges contained brief statements of material or relevant facts, a issue which cannot be glossed over or disregarded at will. Where the
directive to answer the charges within seventy two (72) hours from denial of the fundamental right to due process is apparent, a decision
receipt thereof, an advice that they had the right to a formal rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction. This
investigation and a notice that they are entitled to be assisted by a rule is equally true in quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings,
counsel of their choice.[33] for the constitutional guarantee that no man shall be deprived of life,
liberty, or property without due process is unqualified by the type of
It is likewise undisputed that the formal charges were issued without proceedings (whether judicial or administrative) where he stands to
preliminary or fact-finding investigation. Petitioner explained that no lose the same.[36]
such investigation was conducted because the CSC rules did not
specifically provide that it is a pre-requisite to the issuance of a formal Although administrative procedural rules are less stringent and often
charge. He likewise claimed that preliminary investigation was not applied more liberally, administrative proceedings are not exempt
required in indictments in flagranti as in this case. from basic and fundamental procedural principles, such as the right
to due process in investigations and hearings.[37] In particular, due
We disagree. process in administrative proceedings has been recognized to include
the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice to the
institution of proceedings which may affect a respondent's legal
Indeed, the CSC Rules does not specifically provide that a formal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the
charge without the requisite preliminary investigation is null and void. assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in one's
However, as clearly outlined above, upon receipt of a complaint which favor, and to defend one's rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent
is sufficient in form and substance, the disciplining authority shall jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged
require the person complained of to submit a Counter- administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as
Affidavit/Comment under oath within three days from receipt. The impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by
use of the word shall quite obviously indicates that it is mandatory for substantial evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing
the disciplining authority to conduct a preliminary investigation or at or contained in the records or made known to the parties affected. [38]
least respondent should be given the opportunity to comment and
explain his side. As can be gleaned from the procedure set forth
above, this is done prior to the issuance of the formal charge and the Petitioner contends that respondents waived their right to
comment required therein is different from the answer that may later preliminary investigation as they failed to raise it before the GSIS.
be filed by respondents. Contrary to petitioners claim, no exception is
provided for in the CSC Rules. Not even an indictment in flagranti as Again, we do not agree.
claimed by petitioner.
It is well-settled that a decision rendered without due process is
This is true even if the complainant is the disciplining authority void ab initio and may be attacked at anytime directly or collaterally
himself, as in the present case. To comply with such requirement, he by means of a separate action, or by resisting such decision in any
could have issued a memorandum requiring respondents to explain action or proceeding where it is invoked.[39]Moreover, while
why no disciplinary action should be taken against them instead of respondents failed to raise before the GSIS the lack of preliminary
immediately issuing formal charges. With respondents comments, investigation, records show that in their Urgent Motion to Resolve
petitioner would have properly evaluated both sides of the (their Motion to Lift Preventive Suspension Order) filed with the CSC,
controversy before making a conclusion that there was a prima facie respondents questioned the validity of their preventive suspension
case against respondents, leading to the issuance of the questioned and the formal charges against them for lack of preliminary
formal charges. It is noteworthy that the very acts subject of the investigation.[40] There is, thus, no waiver to speak of.
administrative cases stemmed from an event that took place the day
before the formal charges were issued. It appears, therefore, that the In the procedure adopted by petitioner, respondents were
formal charges were issued after the sole determination by the preventively suspended in the same formal charges issued by the
petitioner as the disciplining authority that there was a prima facie former without the latter knowing that there were pending
case against respondents. administrative cases against them. It is true that prior notice and
hearing are not required in the issuance of a preventive suspension
To condone this would give the disciplining authority an unrestricted order.[41] However, considering that respondents were preventively
power to judge by himself the nature of the act complained of as well
suspended in the same formal charges that we now declare null and
void, then their preventive suspension is likewise null and void.
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN MARIANO C. DE
Lastly, the CA committed no reversible error in ordering the payment Associate Justice Associate Justice
of back salaries during the period of respondents preventive
suspension. As the administrative proceedings involved in this case
are void, no delinquency or misconduct may be imputed to
respondents and the preventive suspension meted them is baseless.
Consequently, respondents should be awarded their salaries during ROBERTO A. ABAD MARTIN S. VILL
the period of their unjustified suspension. [42] In granting their back Associate Justice
salaries, we are simply repairing the damage that was unduly caused
respondents, and unless we can turn back the hands of time, we can
do so only by restoring to them that which is physically feasible to do
under the circumstances.[43] The principle of no work, no pay does not
apply where the employee himself was unlawfully forced out JOSE of PORTUGAL PEREZ JOSE CATRAL M
job.[44] Associate Justice Associate Justice

In view of the foregoing disquisition, we find no necessity to discuss


the other issues raised by petitioner.
CERTIFICATION
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition in G.R. No. 157383
is DENIED while the petition in G.R. No. 174137 is DISMISSED, for lack
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that
of merit.
the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion
SO ORDERED. of the Court.

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA


Associate Justice RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice

WE CONCUR:
* On Official Leave
[1] Penned by Associate Justice Eubolo G. Verzola, with Associate
Justices Candido V. Rivera and Amelita G. Tolentino,
RENATO C. CORONA concurring; rollo (G.R. No. 157383), pp. 37-40.
[2] Penned by Associate Justice Eubolo G. Verzola, with Associate
Chief Justice
Justices Marina L. Buzon and Amelita G. Tolentino, concurring; id. at
41.
[3] Penned by Associate Justice Danilo B. Pine, with Associate Justices

Marina L. Buzon and Vicente S.E. Veloso, concurring; rollo (G.R. No.
ANTONIO T. CARPIO CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
174137), pp. 69-78.
ssociate Justice Associate Justice
[4] Penned by Associate Justice Marina L. Buzon, with Associate

Justices Renato C. Dacudao and Vicente S.E. Veloso, concurring; id. at


80-83.
[5] Id. at 85-89.

[6] Id. at 85-86.

[7] Id. at 87-88.


On Official Leave)
[8] Id. at 86 and 89.
RESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR. TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
[9] Id. at 90-101.
Associate Justice Associate Justice
[10] Id. at 102-114.

[11] Id. at 119-122.

[12] Embodied in two Orders dated July 30, 2002 and September 24,

2002; id. at 145 and 161.


[13] Id. at 127-144.
RTURO D. BRION
[14] Supra note 1.
Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
[15] Rollo (G.R. No. 157383), p. 40.
Associate Justice
[16] Id. at 127-128.
[17] Id. at 42-51.
[18] Id. at 51.
[19] Id. at 48-50.

[20] Id. at 50.

[21] Rollo (G.R. No. 174137) pp. 232-248.

[22] Supra Note 3.

[23] Rollo (G.R. No. 174137) pp. 77-78.

[24] Id. at 509-512.

[25] Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) v. Kapisanan ng mga

Manggagawa sa GSIS, G.R. No. 170132, December 6, 2006, 510 SCRA


622, 629-630.
[26] Id. at 637.

[27] Section 8, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.
[28] Section 9, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.
[29] Section 11, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.
[30] Section 12, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.
[31] Section 14, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.
[32] Section 15, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil

Service.

[33]
Section 16, Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil
Service.

[34] Pat. Go v. NPC, 338 Phil 162, 171 (1997).


[35] Engr. Rubio, Jr. v. Hon. Paras, 495 Phil 629, 643 (2005).

[36] Montoya v. Varilla, G.R. No. 180146, December 18, 2008, 574
SCRA 831, 843.
[37] Id. at 841; Civil Service Commission v. Lucas, 361 Phil 486, 491

(1999).
[38] Montoya v. Varilla, supra ar 841-842; Fabella v. CA, 346 Phil 940,

952-953 (1997).
[39] Engr. Rubio, Jr. v. Hon. Paras, supra at 643.

[40] Rollo (G.R. No. 174137), p. 117.

[41] Carabeo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 178000 and 178003,

December 4, 2009, 607 SCRA 394.


[42] Fabella v. CA, supra at 958.

[43] Neeland v. Villanueva, Jr., 416 Phil 580, 594.

[44] Id. at 596.