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AR

CASE NO. 12
INVESTIGATORY POWERS
Ruperto v. Torres 100 Phil. 1098

DOCTRINE: The test of determining whether an administrative body is exercising judicial functions or merely investigatory
functions: Adjudication signifies the exercise of power and authority to adjudicate upon the rights and obligations of
the parties before it. Hence, if the only purpose for investigation is to evaluate evidence submitted before it based on the facts
and circumstances presented to it, and if the agency is not authorized to make a final pronouncement affecting the parties, then
there is an absence of judicial discretion and judgment.

NATURE OF THE CASE: Appeal by certiorari from the judgment of the CFI-Manila.

FACTS: A complaint was filed against Ruperto, Assistant Fiscal to the City of Manila, before the Integrity Board, of which Torres
is the Chairman, charging him with
(1) disloyalty to service,
(2) partiality,
(3) favoritism,
(4) violation of his oath of office and
(5) acquisition of a big real-estate beyond his income received from the government.

The Board found after hearing that the charges of prosecution were sufficiently established and concluded that petitioner had
made use of his public office to serve and favor his friends and to prosecute the enemies of the latter, instead of observing
absolute impartiality and fairness in the performance of his official duties.

In view of its findings, the Board recommended that petitioner-appellee be reprimanded with the warning that any repetition
of any misconduct on his part will be more severely dealt with.

The Integrity Board was created by EO No. 318 dated May 25, 1950. The duties and functions of the Integrity Board are to
"proceed to a thorough and complete investigation of any specific case of graft, corruption, dereliction of duty or
irregularity in office and to submit to the President the record of such investigation together with its findings and
recommendation."

On December 30, 1953, the Integrity Board was superseded by the Presidential Complaints and Action Commission, with
the same powers, duties and functions as the Integrity Board. The first assignment of error made in the appeal is that certiorari
does not lie against the Integrity Board as it exercises only investigatory and advisory powers.

ISSUE: Was the defunct Integrity Board or its successor, Presidential Complaints and Action Commission, a board exercising
judicial functions?

RULING: NO.
Board's function is limited to conducting investigations and making findings.
The board neither adjudicates upon nor determines the rights and interests or duties of parties; it is limited to investigating the
facts and making findings in respect thereto. After an investigation by the Integrity Board, the officer that ultimately passes upon
and adjudicates the rights of the parties is the President, not the Integrity Board.

While it is true that the Integrity Board in performing its duties and exercising its functions may exercise what is known as
judicial discretion, because it evaluates the evidence submitted to it on the facts and circumstances presented, such judicial
discretion is only for the purpose of evaluation and for the determination of disputed facts.

Test of judicial functions.


Not every function wherein judgment and discretion are exercised is a judicial function. The test of a judicial function is not the
exercise of judicial discretion, but the power and authority to adjudicate upon the rights and obligations of the parties before it.
As the Board lacks the power and authority to adjudicate upon the matters submitted to it for investigation and make final
pronouncement thereon affecting the parties, the second requisite for the availability of the action of certiorari is wanting.