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ARTICLE IXCONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION A. COMMON PROVISIONS Section 1.

The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit. Section 2. No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any business which, in any way, may be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall he be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. Section 3. The salary of the Chairman and the Commissioners shall be fixed by law and shall not be decreased during their tenure. Section 4. The Constitutional Commissions shall appoint their officials and employees in accordance with law. Section 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. Section 6. Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules, however, shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Section 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. Section 8. Each Commission shall perform such other functions as may be provided by law. B. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Section 1. The civil service shall be administered by the Civil Service Commission composed of a Chairman and two Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, with proven capacity for public administration, and must not have been candidates for any elective positio n in the elections immediately preceding their appointment. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. Section 2. The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. Appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined, as far as practicable, and, except to positions which are policy-determining, primarily confidential, or highly technical, by competitive examination. No officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign. The right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees. Temporary employees of the Government shall be given such protection as may be provided by law. Section 3. The Civil Service Commission, as the central personnel agency of the Government, shall establish a career service and adop t measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness, and courtesy in the civil service. It shall strengthen the merit and rewards system, integrate all human resources development programs for all levels and ranks, and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability. It shall submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on its personnel programs. Section 4. All public officers and employees shall take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution. Section 5. The Congress shall provide for the standardization of compensation of government officials and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, taking into account the nature of the responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for, their positions. Section 6. No candidate who has lost in any election, shall within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any Government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries. Section 7. No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure. Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including Government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. Section 8. No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor accept without the consent of the Congress, any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign government. Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation. C. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Section 1. There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirtyfive years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective positions in the immediate ly preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall. Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable. Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters. Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. Register, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of government; and accredit citizens' arms of the Commission on Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign government shall likewise be refused registration. Financial contributions from foreign governments and their agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or candidates related to elections, constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of their registration with the Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be prescribed by law. File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investiga te and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices. Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidacies. Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplina ry action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to, its directive, order, or decision. Submit to the President and the Congress, a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall. Section 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre- proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc. Section 4. The Commission may, during the election period, supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities, media of communication or information, all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the Government or any subdiv ision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity, time, and space ,and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. Section 5. No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws, rules, and regulations shall be granted by the President without the favorable recommendation of the Commission. Section 6. A free and open party system shall be allowed to evolve according to the free choice of the people, subject to the provisions of this Article.

Section 7. No votes cast in favor of a political party, organization, or coalition shall be valid, except for those registered under the party-list system as provided in this Constitution. Section 8. Political parties, or organizations or coalitions registered under the party-list system, shall not be represented in the voters' registration boards, boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, or other similar bodies. However, they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with law. Section 9. Unless otherwise fixed by the Commission in special cases, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days thereafter. Section 10. Bona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. Section 11. Funds certified by the Commission as necessary to defray the expenses for holding regular and special elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referenda, and recalls, shall be provided in the regular or special appropriations and, once approved, shall be released automatically upon certification by the Chairman of the Commission D. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT Section 1. There shall be a Commission on Audit composed of a Chairman and two Commissioners, who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, Certified Public Accountants with not less than ten years of auditing experience, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the elections immediately preceding their appointment. At no time shall all Members of the Commission belong to the same profession. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one Commissioner for five years, and the other Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. Section 2. The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, and on a post- audit basis: constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution; autonomous state colleges and universities; other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the Government, which are required by law or the granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto. The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures or uses of government funds and properties. Section 3. No law shall be passed exempting any entity of the Government or its subsidiaries in any guise whatever, or any investment of public funds, from the jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. Section 4. The Commission shall submit to the President and the Congress, within the time fixed by law, an annual report covering the financial condition and operation of the Government, its subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and non-governmental entities subject to its audit, and recommend measures necessary to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It shall submit such other reports as may be required by law. ARTICLE XIACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS Section 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. Section 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. Section 3. The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law. The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Section 4. The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law. Section 5. There is hereby created the independent Office of the Ombudsman, composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan, one overall Deputy and at least one Deputy each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed. Section 6. The officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, other than the Deputies, shall be appointed by the Ombudsman, according to the Civil Service Law. Section 7. The existing Tanodbayan shall hereafter be known as the Office of the Special Prosecutor. It shall continue to function and exercise its powers as now or hereafter may be provided by law, except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman created under this Constitution. Section 8. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines, and at the time of their appointment, at least forty years old, of recognized probity and independence, and members of the Philippine Bar, and must not have been candidates for any elective office in the immediately preceding election. The Ombudsman must have, for ten years or more, been a judge or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. During their tenure, they shall be subject to the same disqualifications and prohibitions as provided for in Section 2 of Article 1X-A of this Constitution. Section 9. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least six nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, and from a list of three nominees for every vacancy thereafter. Such appointments shall require no confirmation. All vacancies shall be filled within three months after they occur. Section 10. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have the rank of Chairman and Members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions, and they shall receive the same salary which shall not be decreased during their term of office. Section 11. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall serve for a term of seven years without reappointment. They shall not be qualified to run for any office in the election immediately succeeding their cessation from office. Section 12. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. Section 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties: Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient. Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith. Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action.

Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents. Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law. Section 14. The Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Its approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. Section 15. The right of the State to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees, from them or from their nominees or transferees, s hall not be barred by prescription, laches, or estoppel. Section 16. No loan, guaranty, or other form of financial accommodation for any business purpose may be granted, directly or indirectly, by any government-owned or controlled bank or financial institution to the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman, or to any firm or entity in which they have controlling interest, during their tenure. Section 17. A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a dec laration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law. Section 18. Public officers and employees owe the State and this Constitution allegiance at all times and any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law. Republic Act No. 6770 November 17, 1989 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:: Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as "The Ombudsman Act of 1989". Section 2. Declaration of Policy. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives. Section 3. Office of the Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman shall include the Office of the Overall Deputy, the Office of the Deputy for Luzon, the Office of the Deputy for the Visayas, the Office of the Deputy for Mindanao, the Office of the Deputy for the Armed Forces, and the Office of the Special Prosecutor. T he President may appoint other Deputies as the necessity for it may arise, as recommended by the Ombudsman. Section 4. Appointment. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor, shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least twenty-one (21) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, and from a list of three (3) nominees for each vacancy thereafter, which shall be filled within three (3) months a fter it occurs, each of which list shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation. In the organization of the Office of the Ombudsman for filling up of positions therein, regional, cultural or ethnic considerations shall be taken into account to the end that the Office shall be as much as possible representative of the regional, ethnic and cultural make-up of the Filipino nation. Section 5. Qualifications. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor, shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines, at least forty (40) years old, of recognized probity and independence, members of the Philippine Bar, and must not have been candidates for any elective national or local office in the immediately preceding election whether regular or special. The Ombudsman must have, for ten (10) years or more, been a judge or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. Section 6. Rank and Salary. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have the same ranks, salaries and privileges as the Chairman and members, respectively, of a Constitutional Commission. Their salaries shall not be decreased during their term of office. The members of the prosecution, investigation and legal staff of the Office of the Ombudsman shall receive salaries which shall not be less than those given to comparable positions in any office in the Government. Section 7. Term of Office. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor, shall serve for a term of seven (7) years without reappointment. Section 8. Removal; Filling of Vacancy. (1) In accordance with the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution, the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. (2) A Deputy or the Special Prosecutor, may be removed from office by the President for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman, and after due process. (3) In case of vacancy in the Office of the Ombudsman due to death, resignation, removal or permanent disability of the incumbent Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy shall serve as Acting Ombudsman in a concurrent capacity until a new Ombudsman shall have been appointed for a full term.n case the Overall Deputy cannot assume the role of Acting Ombudsman, the President may designate any of the Deputies, or the Special Prosecutor, as Acting Ombudsman. (4) In case of temporary absence or disability of the Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy shall perform the duties of the Ombudsman until the Ombudsman returns or is able to perform his duties. Section 9. Prohibitions and Disqualifications. The Ombudsman, his Deputies and the Special Prosecutor shall not, during their tenure, hold any other office or employment. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office. They shall not be qualified to run for any office in the election immediately following their cessation from office. They shall not be allowed to appear or practice before the Ombudsman for two (2) years following their cessation from office. No spouse or relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree and no law, business or professional partner or associate of the Ombudsman, his Deputies or Special Prosecutor within one (1) year preceding the appointment may appear as counsel or agent on any matter pending before the Office of the Ombudsman or transact business directly or indirectly therewith. This disqualification shall apply during the tenure of the official concerned. This disqualification likewise extends to the law, business or professional firm for the same period. Section 10. Disclosure of Relationship. It shall be the duty of the Ombudsman, his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor to make under oath, to the best of their knowledge and/or information, a public disclosure of the identities of, and their relationship with the persons referred to in the preceding section. The disclosure shall be filed with the Office of the President and the Office of the Ombudsman before the appointee assumes office and every year thereafter. The disclosures made pursuant to this section shall form part of the public records and shall be available to any person or entity upon request. Section 11. Structural Organization. The authority and responsibility for the exercise of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman and for the discharge of its powers and functions shall be vested in the Ombudsman, who shall have supervision and control of the said office. (1) The Office of the Ombudsman may organize such directorates for administration and allied services as may be necessary for the effective discharge of its functions. Those appointed as directors or heads shall have the rank and salary of line bureau directors. (2) The Office of the Overall Deputy shall oversee and administer the operations of the different offices under the Office of Ombudsman.t shall likewise perform such other functions and duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman. (3) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be composed of the Special Prosecutor and his prosecution staff. The Office of the Special Prosecutor sha ll be an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman and shall be under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. (4) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall, under the supervision and control and upon the authority of the Ombudsman, have the following powers: (a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan; (b) To enter into plea bargaining agreements; and (c) To perform such other duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman. The Special Prosecutor shall have the rank and salary of a Deputy Ombudsman. (5) The position structure and staffing pattern of the Office of the Ombudsman, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor, shall be approved and prescribed by the Ombudsman. The Ombu dsman shall appoint all officers and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, including those of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, in accordance with the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations. Section 12. Official Stations. The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy, the Deputy for Luzon, and the Deputy for the Armed Forces shall hold office in Metropolita n Manila; the Deputy for the Visayas, in Cebu City; and the Deputy for Mindanao, in Davao City. The Ombudsman may transfer their stations within their respective geographical regions, as public interest may require. Section 13. Mandate. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government , or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service by the Government to the people. Section 14. Restrictions. No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman. No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law. Section 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust,

improper or inefficient.t has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory age ncy of Government, the investigation of such cases; (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any officer or employee of the Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties; (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglect to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith; or enforce its disciplinary authority as provide d in Section 21 of this Act: provided, that the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said officer; (4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as it may provide in its rules of procedure, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action; (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents; (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence: provided, that the Ombudsman under its rules and regulations may determine what cases may not be made public: provided, further, that any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balanced, fair and true; (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government, and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency; (8) Administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry, including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records; (9) Punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein; (10) Delegate to the Deputies, or its investigators or representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise or performance of the powers, functions, and duties herein or hereinafter provided; (11) Investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25, 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein. The Ombudsman shall give priority to complaints filed against high ranking government officials and/or those occupying supervisory positions, complaints involving grave offenses as well as complaints involving large sums of money and/or properties. Section 16. Applicability. The provisions of this Act shall apply to all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance, and non-feasance that have been committed by any officer or employee as mentioned in Section 13 hereof, during his tenure of office. Section 17. Immunities. In all hearings, inquiries, and proceedings of the Ombudsman, including preliminary investigations of offenses, nor person subpoenaed to testify as a witness shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and/or other records on the ground t hat the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him, may tend to incriminate him or subject him to prosecution: provided, that no person shall be prosecuted criminally for or on account of any matter concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed the privilege against self-incrimination, to testify and produce evidence, documentary or otherwise. Under such terms and conditions as it may determine, taking into account the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court, the Ombudsman may grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession and production of documents or other evidence may be necessary to determine the truth in any hearing, inquiry or proceeding being conducted by the Ombudsman or under its authority, in the performance or in the furtherance of its constitutional functions and statutory objectives. The immunity granted under this and the immediately preceding paragraph shall not exempt the witness from criminal prosecution for perjury or false testimony nor shall he be exempt from demotion or removal from office. Any refusal to appear or testify pursuant to the foregoing provisions shall be subject to punishment for contempt and removal of the immunity from criminal prosecution. Section 18. Rules of Procedure. (1) The Office of the Ombudsman shall promulgate its rules of procedure for the effective exercise or performance of its powers, functions, and duties. (2) The rules of procedure shall include a provision whereby the Rules of Court are made suppletory. (3) The rules shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in three (3) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, one of which is printed in the national language. Section 19. Administrative Complaints. The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating, but not limited to acts or omissions which: (1) Are contrary to law or regulation; (2) Are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discriminatory; (3) Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency's functions, though in accordance with law; (4) Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts; (5) Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose; or (6) Are otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification. Section 20. Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary investigation of any administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that: (1) The complainant has an adequate remedy in another judicial or quasi-judicial body; (2) The complaint pertains to a matter outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman; (3) The complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith; (4) The complainant has no sufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the grievance; or (5) The complaint was filed after one (1) year from the occurrence of the act or omission complained of. Section 21. Official Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government an d its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. Section 22. Investigatory Power. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the power to investigate any serious misconduct in office allegedly committed by officials removable by impeachment, for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment, if warranted. In all cases of conspiracy between an officer or employee of the government and a private person, the Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have jurisdiction to include such private person in the investigation and proceed against such private person as the evidence may warrant. The officer or employee and the private person shall be tried jointly and shall be subject to the same penalties and liabilities. Section 23. Formal Investigation. (1) Administrative investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman shall be in accordance with its rules of procedure and consistent with due process. (2) At its option, the Office of the Ombudsman may refer certain complaints to the proper disciplinary authority for the inst itution of appropriate administrative proceedings against erring public officers or employees, which shall be determined within the period prescribed in the civil service law. Any delay without just cause in acting on any referral made by the Office of the Ombudsman shall be a ground for administrative action against the officers or employees to whom such referrals are addressed and shall constitute a graft offense punishable by a fine of not exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00). (3) In any investigation under this Act the Ombudsman may: (a) enter and inspect the premises of any office, agency, commission or tribunal; (b) examine and have access to any book, record, file, document or paper; and (c) hold private hearings with both the complaining individual and the official concerned. Section 24. Preventives Suspension. The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the c harges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six (6) months, without pay, except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. Section 25. Penalties. (1) In administrative proceedings under Presidential Decree No. 807, the penalties and rules provided therein shall be applied. (2) In other administrative proceedings, the penalty ranging from suspension without pay for one (1) year to dismissal with forfeiture of benefits or a fine ranging from Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to twice the amount malversed, illegally taken or lost, or both at the discretion of the Ombudsman, taking into consideration circumstances that mitigate or aggravate the liability of the officer or employee found guilty of the complaint or charges. Section 26. Inquiries. (1) The Office of the Ombudsman shall inquire into acts or omissions of a public officer, employee, office or agency which, f rom the reports or complaints it has received, the Ombudsman or his Deputies consider to be: (a) contrary to law or regulation; (b) unreasonable, unfair, oppressive, irregular or inconsistent with the general course of the operations and functions of a public officer, employee, office or agency; (c) an error in the application or interpretation of law, rules or regulations, or a gross or palpable error in the appreciation of facts;

(d) based on improper motives or corrupt considerations; (e) unclear or inadequately explained when reasons should have been revealed; or (f) inefficient performed or otherwise objectionable. (2) The Officer of the Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any source in whatever form concerning an official act or omis sion.t shall act on the complaint immediately and if it finds the same entirely baseless, it shall dismiss the same and inform the complainant of such dismissal citing the reasons therefor.f it finds a reasonable ground to investigate further, it shall first furnish the respondent public officer or employee with a summary of the complaint and require him to submit a written answer within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt thereof.f the answer is found satisfactory, it shall dismiss the case. (3) When the complaint consists in delay or refusal to perform a duty required by law, or when urgent action is necessary to protect or preserve the rights of the complainant, the Office of the Ombudsman shall take steps or measures and issue such orders directing the officer, employee, office or agency concerned to: (a) expedite the performance of duty; (b) cease or desist from the performance of a prejudicial act; (c) correct the omission; (d) explain fully the administrative act in question; or (e) take any other steps as may be necessary under the circumstances to protect and preserve the rights of the complainant. (4) Any delay or refusal to comply with the referral or directive of the Ombudsman or any of his Deputies, shall constitute a ground for administrative disciplinary action against the officer or employee to whom it was addressed. Section 27. Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. (1) All provisionary orders of the Office of the Ombudsman are immediately effective and executory. A motion for reconsideration of any order, directive or decision of the Office of the Ombudsman must be filed within five (5) days after receipt of written notice and shall be entertained only on any of the following grounds: (1) New evidence has been discovered which materially affects the order, directive or decision; (2) Errors of law or irregularities have been committed prejudicial to the interest of the movant. The motion for reconsideration shall be resolved within three (3) days from filing: provided, that only one motion for reconsideration shall be entertained. Findings of fact by the Officer of the Ombudsman when supported by substantial evidence are conclusive. Any order, directive or decision imposing the penalty of public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one (1) month's salary shall be final and unappealable. In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives, or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of the written notice of the order, directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The above rules may be amended or modified by the Office of the Ombudsman as the interest of justice may require. Section 28. Investigation in Municipalities, Cities and Provinces. The Office of the Ombudsman may establish offices in municipalities, cities and provinces outside Metropolitan Manila, under the immediate supervision of the Deputies for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, where necessary as determined by the Ombudsman. The investigation of complaints may be assigned to the regional or sectoral deputy concerned or to a special investigator who shall proceed in accordance with the rules or special instructions or directives of the Office of the Ombudsman. Pending investigation the deputy or investigator may issue orders and provisional remedies which are immediately executory subject to review by the Ombudsman. Within three (3) days after concluding the investigation, the deputy or investigator shall transmit, together with the entire records of the case, his report and conclusions to the Office of the Ombudsman. Within five (5) days after receipt of said report, the Ombudsman shall render the appropriate order, directive or decision. Section 29. Change of Unjust Laws. If the Ombudsman believes that a law or regulation is unfair or unjust, he shall recommend to the President and to Congress the necessary changes therein or the repeal thereof. Section 30. Transmittal/Publication of Decision. In every case where the Ombudsman has reached a decision, conclusion or recommendation adverse to a public official or agency , he shall transmit his decision, conclusion, recommendation or suggestion to the head of the department, agency or instrumentality, or of the province, city or municipality concerned for such immediate action as may be necessary. When transmitting his adverse decision, conclusion or recommendation, he shall, unless excused by the agency or official affected, include the substance of any statement the public agency or official may have made to him by way of explaining past difficulties with or present rejection of the Ombudsman's proposals. Section 31. Designation of Investigators and Prosecutors. The Ombudsman may utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate or deputize any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those designated or deputized to assist him herein provided shall be under his supervision and control. The Ombudsman and his investigators and prosecutors, whether regular members of his staff or designated by him as herein provided, shall have authority to administer oaths, to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, to summon and compel witnesses to appear and testify under oath before them and/or bring books, documents and other things under their control, and to secure the attendance or presence of any absent or recalcitrant witness through application before the Sandiganbayan or before any inferior or superior court having jurisdiction of the place where the witness or evidence is found. Section 32. Rights and Duties of Witness. (1) A person required by the Ombudsman to provide the information shall be paid the same fees and travel allowances as are extended to witnesses whose attendance has been required in the trial courts. Upon request of the witness, the Ombudsman shall also furnish him such security for his person and his family as may be warranted by the circumstances. For this purpose, the Ombudsman may, at its expense, call upon any police or constabulary unit to provide the said security. (2) A person who, with or without service or compulsory process, provides oral or documentary information requested by the Ombudsman shall be accorded the same privileges and immunities as are extended to witnesses in the courts, and shall likewise be entitled to the assistance of counsel while being questioned. (3) If a person refuses to respond to the Ombudsman's or his Deputy's subpoena, or refuses to be examined, or engages in obstructive conduct, the Ombudsman or his Deputy shall issue an order directing the person to appear before him to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt. The contempt proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Rules of Court. Section 33. Duty to Render Assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman. Any officer or employee of any department, bureau or office, subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local governments, when required by the Ombudsman, his Deputy or the Special Prosecutor shall render assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman. Section 34. Annual Report. The Office of the Ombudsman shall render an annual report of its activities and performance to the President and to Congress to be submitted within thirty (30) days from the start of the regular session of Congress. Section 35. Malicious Prosecution. Any person who, actuated by malice or gross bad faith, files a completely unwarranted or false complaint against any governme nt official or employee shall be subject to a penalty of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months imprisonment and a fine not exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00). Section 36. Penalties for Obstruction. Any person who willfully obstructs or hinders the proper exercise of the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman or who willfully misleads or attempts to mislead the Ombudsman, his Deputies and the Special Prosecutor in replying to their inquiries shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00). Section 37. Franking Privilege. All official mail matters and telegrams of the Ombudsman addressed for delivery within the Philippines shall be received, transmitted, and delivered free of charge: provided, that such mail matters when addressed to private persons or nongovernment offices shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) grams. All mail matters and telegrams sent through government telegraph facilities containing complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman shall be transmitted free of charge, provided that the telegram shall contain not more than one hundred fifty (150) words. Section 38. Fiscal Autonomy. The Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Office of the Ombudsman may not be reduced below the amount appropriated for the previous years and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released. Section 39. Appropriations. The appropriation for the Office of the Special Prosecutor in the current General Appropriations Act is hereby transferred to the Office of the Ombudsman. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Section 40. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act is held unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and binding. Section 41. Repealing Clause. All laws, presidential decrees, letters of instructions, executive orders, rules and regulations insofar as they are inconsistent with this Act, a re hereby repealed or amended as the case may be. Section 42. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in three (3) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. Approved: November 17, 1989. MANUEL M. LEYSON JR., Petitioner, vs. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, TIRSO ANTIPORDA, Chairman, UCPB and CIIF Oil Mills, and OSCAR A. TORRALBA, President, CIIF Oil Mills, respondents. ALEX D E C I S I O N chanrobles virtual law library BELLOSILLO, J.: chanrobles virtual law library On 7 February 1996 International Towage and Transport Corporation (ITTC), a domestic corporation engaged in the lighterage or shipping business, entered into a one (1)-year contract with Legaspi Oil Company, Inc. (LEGASPI OIL), Granexport Manufacturing Corporation (GRANEXPORT) and United Coconut Chemicals, Inc. (UNITED COCONUT), comprising the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) companies, for the transport of coconut oil in bulk through MT Transasia. The majority shareholdings of these CIIF companies are owned by the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) as administrator of the CIIF. Under the terms of the contract, either party could terminate the agreement provided a three (3)-month advance notice was given to the other party. However, in August 1996, or prior to the expiration of the contract, the CIIF companies with their new President, respondent Oscar A. Torralba, terminated the contract without the requisite advance notice. The CIIF companies engaged the

services of another vessel, MT Marilag, operated by Southwest Maritime Corporation. miso chanrobles virtual law library On 11 March 1997 petitioner Manuel M. Leyson Jr., Executive Vice President of ITTC, filed with public respondent Office of the Ombudsman a grievance case against respondent Oscar A. Torralba. The following is a summary of the irregularities and corrupt practices allegedly committed by respondent Torralba: (a) breach of contract - unilateral cancellation of valid and existing contract; (b) bad faith falsification of documents and reports to stop the operation of MT Transasia; (c) manipulation - influenced their insurance to disqualify MT Transasia; (d) unreasonable denial of requirement imposed; (e) double standards and inconsistent in favor of MT Marilag; (f) engaged and entered into a contract with Southwest Maritime Corp. which is not the owner of MT Marilag, where liabilities were waived and whose paid-up capital is only P250,000.00; and, (g) overpricing in the freight rate causing losses of millions of pesos to Cocochem.[1] chanrobles virtual law library On 2 January 1998 petitioner charged respondent Tirso Antiporda, Chairman of UCPB and CIIF Oil Mills, and respondent Oscar A. Torralba with violation of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act also before the Ombudsman anchored on the aforementioned alleged irregularities and corrupt practices. spped chanrobles virtual law library On 30 January 1998 public respondent dismissed the complaint based on its finding that The case is a simple case of breach of contract with damages which should have been filed in the regular court. This Office has no jurisdiction to determine the legality or validity of the termination of the contract entered into by CIIF and ITTC. Besides the entities involved are private corporations (over) which this Office has no jurisdiction.[2] chanrobles virtual law library On 4 June 1998 reconsideration of the dismissal of the complaint was denied. The Ombudsman was unswayed in his finding that the present controversy involved breach of contrac t as he also took into account the circumstance that petitioner had already filed a collection case before the Regional Trial Court of Manila-Br. 15, docketed as Civil Case No. 97-83354. Moreover, the Ombudsman found that the filing of the motion for reconsideration on 31 March 1998 was beyond the inextendible period of five (5) days from notice of the assailed resolution on 19 March 1998.[3] miso chanrobles virtual law library Petitioner now imputes grave abuse of discretion on public respondent in dismissing his complaint. He submits that inasmuch as Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) v. PCGG[4] and Republic v. Sandiganbayan[5] have declared that the coconut levy funds are public funds then, conformably with Quimpo v. Tanodbayan,[6] corporations formed and organized from those funds or whose controlling stocks are from those funds should be regarded as government owned and/or controlled corporations. As in the present case, since the funding or controlling interest of the companies being headed by private respondents was given or owned by the CIIF as shown in the certification of their Corporate Secretary,[7] it follows that they are government owned and/or controlled corporations. Corollarily, petitioner asserts that respondents Antiporda and Torralba are public officers subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. Sdaadsc chanrobles virtual law library Petitioner alleges next that public respondent's conclusion that his complaint refers to a breach of contract is whimsical, capricious and irresponsible amounting to a total disregard of its main point, i. e., whether private respondents violated The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when they entered into a contract with Southwest Maritime Corporation which was grossly disadvantageous to the government in general and to the CIIF in particular. Petitioner admits that his motion for reconsideration was filed out of time. Nonetheless, he advances that public respondent should have relaxed its rules in the paramount interest of justice; after all, the delay was just a matter of days and he, a layman not aware of technicalities, personally filed the complaint. Rtcspped chanrobles virtual law library Private respondents counter that the CIIF companies were duly organized and are existing by virtue of the Corporation Code. Their stockholders are private individuals and entities. In addition, private respondents contend that they are not public officers as defined under The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act but are private executives appointed by the Boards of Directors of the CIIF companies. They asseverate that petitioner's motion for reconsideration was filed through the expert assistance of a learned counsel. They then charge petitioner with forum shopping since he had similarly filed a case for collection of a sum of money plus damages before the trial court. chanrobles virtual law library The Office of the Solicitor General maintains that the Ombudsman approved the recommendation of the investigating officer to dismiss the complaint because he sincerely believed there was no sufficient basis for the criminal indictment of private respondents. spped chanrobles virtual law library We find no grave abuse of discretion committed by the Ombudsman. COCOFED v. PCGG referred to in Republic v. Sandiganbayan reviewed the history of the coconut levy funds. I These funds actually have four (4) general classes: (a) the Coconut Investment Fund created under R. A. No. 6260;[8] (b) the Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund created under P. D. No. 276;[9] (c) the Coconut Industry Development Fund created under P. D. No. 582;[10] and, (d) the Coconut Industry Stabilization Fund created under P. D. No. 1841.[11] chanrobles virtual law library The various laws relating to the coconut industry were codified in 1976. On 21 October of that year, P. D. No. 961[12] was promulgated. On 11 June 1978 it was amended by P. D. No. 1468[13] by inserting a new provision authorizing the use of the balance of the Coconut Industry Development Fund for the acquisition of "shares of stocks in corporations organized for the purpose of engaging in the establishment and operation of industries x x x commercial activities and other allied business undertakings relating to coconut and other palm oil indust(ries)."[14] From this fund thus created, or the CIIF, shares of stock in what have come to be known as the "CIIF companies" were purchased. miso chanrobles virtual law library We then stated in COCOFED that the coconut levy funds were raised by the State's police and taxing powers such that the utilization and proper management thereof were certainly the concern of the Government. These funds have a public character and are clearly affected with public interest. chanrobles virtual law library Quimpo v. Tanodbayan involved the issue as to whether PETROPHIL was a government owned or controlled corporation the employees of which fell within the jurisdictional purview of the Tanodbayan for purposes of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. We upheld the jurisdiction of the Tanodbayan on the ratiocination that While it may be that PETROPHIL was not originally "created" as a government-owned or controlled corporation, after it was acquired by PNOC, which is a governmentowned or controlled corporation, PETROPHIL became a subsidiary of PNOC and thus shed-off its private status. It is now funded and owned by the government as, in fact, it was acquired to perform functions related to government programs and policies on oil, a vital commodity in the economic life of the nation. It was acquired not temporarily but as a permanent adjunct to perform essential government or government-related functions, as the marketing arm of the PNOC to assist the latter in selling and distributing oil and petroleum products to assure and maintain an adequate and stable domestic supply. Korte chanrobles virtual law library But these jurisprudential rules invoked by petitioner in support of his claim that the CIIF companies are government owned and/or controlled corporations are incomplete without resorting to the definition of "government owned or controlled corporation" contained in par. (13), Sec. 2, Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code of 1987, i. e., any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the Government directly or through its instrumentalities either wholly, or, where applicable as in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) percent of its capital stock. The definition mentions three (3) requisites, namely, first, any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation; second, vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature; and, third, owned by the Government directly or through its instrumentalities either wholly, or, where applicable as in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) percent of its capital stock. Sclaw chanrobles virtual law library In the present case, all three (3) corporations comprising the CIIF companies were organized as stock corporations. The UCPB-CIIF owns 44.10% of the shares of LEGASPI OIL, 91.24% of the shares of GRANEXPORT, and 92.85% of the shares of UNITED COCONUT.[15] Obviously, the below 51% shares of stock in LEGASPI OIL removes this firm from the definition of a government owned or controlled corporation. Our concern has thus been limited to GRANEXPORT and UNITED COCONUT as we go back to the second requisite. Unfortunately, it is in this regard that petitioner failed to substantiate his contentions. There is no showing that GRANEXPORT and/ or UNITED COCONUT was vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature unlike PETROPHIL in Quimpo. The Court thus concludes that the CIIF companies are, as found by public respondent, private corporations not within the scope of its jurisdiction. Sclex chanrobles virtual law library With the foregoing conclusion, we find it unnecessary to resolve the other issues raised by petitioner. chanrobles virtual law library A brief note on private respondents' charge of forum shopping. Executive Secretary v. Gordon[16] is instructive that forum shopping consists of filing multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment. It is readily apparent that the present charge will not prosper because the cause of action herein, i. e., violation of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, is different from the cause of action in the case pending before the trial court which is collection of a sum of money plus damages. miso chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE , the petition is DISMISSED. The Resolution of public respondent Office of the Ombudsman of 30 January 1998 which dismissed the complaint of petitioner Manuel M. Leyson Jr., as well as its Order of 4 June 1998 denying his motion for reconsideration, is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. chanrobles virtual law library SO ORDERED.apd * ** ISMAEL G. KHAN, JR. and WENCESLAO L. MALABANAN, petitioners, vs.OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN (VISAYAS), ROSAURO F. TORRALBA and CELESTINO BANDALA , respondents. DECISION CORONA, J.: This petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court addresses the issue of whether public respondents Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) and the Ombudsman have jurisdiction over petitioners Ismael G. Khan, Jr. and Wenceslao L. Malabanan, former officers of Philippine Airlines (PAL), for violation of Republic Act No. (RA) 3019 1 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). In February 1989, private respondents Rosauro Torralba and Celestino Bandala charged petitioners before the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) for violation of RA 3019. In their complaint, private respondents accused petitioners of using their positions in PAL to secure a contract for Synergy Services Corporation, a corporation engaged in hauling and janitorial services in which they were shareholders. Petitioners filed an omnibus motion to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds: (1) the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over them since PAL was a private entity and (2) they were not public officers, hence, outside the application of RA 3019. In a resolution dated July 13, 1989,2 the Deputy Ombudsman3 denied petitioners' omnibus motion to dismiss. On petitioners' first argument, he ruled that, although PAL was originally organized as a private corporation, its controlling stock was later acquired by the government through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).4 Therefore, it became a government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) as enunciated in Quimpo v. Tanodbayan.5 On the second argument, the Deputy Ombudsman held that petitioners were public officers within the definition of RA 3019, Section 2 (b). Under that provision, public officers included "elective, appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the classified or unclassified or exempt service receiving compensation, even nominal, from the Government." The dispositive portion of the Deputy Ombudsman's order read: WHEREFORE, finding no merit to [petitioners'] OMNIBUS MOTION TO DISMISS, the same is hereby DENIED and petitioners are hereby ordered to submit their answer within ten (10) days from receipt

hereof.

xxx xxx xxx Petitioners appealed the order to the Ombudsman. There, they raised the same issues. Treating the appeal as a motion for reconsideration, the Ombudsman dismissed it on February 22, 1996. He held 7 that petitioners were officers of a GOCC, hence, he had jurisdiction over them. He also affirmed the Deputy Ombudsman's ruling that Quimpo was applicable to petitioners' case. In this petition for certiorari, with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order, petitioners assail the orders dated July 13, 1989 and February 22, 1996 of the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) and the Ombudsman, respectively. They claim that public respondents acted without jurisdiction and/or grave abuse of discretion in proceeding with the investigation of the case against them although they 8 were officers of a private corporation and not "public officers." In support of their petition, petitioners argue that: (1) the Ombudsman's jurisdiction only covers GOCCs with original charters and these do not include PAL, a private entity created under the general corporation law; (2) Quimpo does not apply to the case at bar and (3) RA 3019 only concerns "public officers," thus, they cannot be investigated or prosecuted under that law. We find merit in petitioners' arguments and hold that public respondents do not have the authority to prosecute them for violation of RA 3019. JURISDICTION OF THE OMBUDSMAN OVER GOCCSIS CONFINED ONLY TO THOSE WITH ORIGINAL CHARTERS The 1987 Constitution states the powers and functions of the Office of the Ombudsman. Specifically, Article XI, Section 13(2) provides: Sec. 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties: xxx xxx xxx (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or ins trumentality thereof, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. (italics supplied) xxx xxx xxx Based on the foregoing provision, the Office of the Ombudsman exercises jurisdiction over public officials/ employees of GOCCs with original charters. This being so, it can only investigate and prosecute acts or omissions of the officials/employees of government corporations. Therefore, although the government later on acquired the controlling interest in PAL, the fact remains that the latter did not have an "original charter" and its officers/employees could not be investigated and/or prosecuted by the Ombudsman. In Juco v. National Labor Relations Commission,9 we ruled that the phrase "with original charter" means "chartered by special law as distinguished from corporations organized under the Corporation Code." PAL, being originally a private corporation seeded by private capital and created under the general corporation law, does not fall within the jurisdictional powers of the Ombudsman under Article XI, Section 13(2) of the Constitution. Consequently, the latter is devoid of authority to investigate or prosecute petitioners. Quimpo Not Applicableto the Case at Bar Quimpo10 is not applicable to the case at bar. In that case, Felicito Quimpo charged in 1984 two officers of PETROPHIL in the Tanodbayan (now Ombudsman) for violation of RA 3019. Thes e officers sought the dismissal of the case on the ground that the Tanodbayan had no jurisdiction over them as officers/employees of a private company. The Court declared that the Tanodbayan had jurisdiction over them because PETROPHIL ceased to be a private entity when Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC) acquired its shares. In hindsight, although Quimpo appears, on first impression, relevant to this case (like PETROPHIL, PAL's shares were also acquired by the government), closer scrutiny reveals that it is not actually on all fours with the facts here. In Quimpo, the government acquired PETROPHIL to "perform functions related to government programs and policies on oil."11 The fact that the purpose in acquiring PETROPHIL was for it to undertake governmental functions related to oil was decisive in sustaining the Tanodbayan's jurisdiction over it. This was certainly not the case with PAL. The records indicate that the government acquired the controlling interest in the airline as a result of the conversion into equity of its unpaid loans in GSIS. No governmental functions at all were involved. Furthermore, Quimpo was decided prior to the 1987 Constitution. In fact, it was the 1973 Constitution which the Court relied on in concluding that the Tanodbayan had jurisdiction over PETROPHIL's accused officers. Particularly, the Court cited Article XIII, Section 6: SEC. 6. The Batasang Pambansa shall create an office of the Ombudsman, to be known as the Tanodbayan, which shall receive and investigate complaints relative to public office, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, make appropriate recommendations, and in case of failure of justice as defined by law, file and prosecute the corresponding criminal, civil, or administrative case before the proper court or body. (italics supplied) The term "government-owned or controlled corporations" in the 1973 Constitution was qualified by the 1987 Constitution to refer only to those with original charters.12 Petitioners, as then Officers ofPAL, were not Public Officers Neither the 1987 Constitution nor RA 6670 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989) defines who "public officers" are. Instead, its varied definitions and concepts are found in different statutes13 and jurisprudence.14 Usually quoted in our decisions is Mechem, a recognized authority on the subject. In the 2002 case of Laurel v. Desierto,15 the Court extensively quoted his exposition on the term "public officers": A public office is the right, authority and duty, created and conferred by law, by which, for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. The individual so invested is a public officer. The characteristics of a public office, according to Mechem, include the delegation of sovereign functions, its creation by law and not by contract, an oath, salary, continuance of the position, scope of duties, and the designation of the position as an office. xxx xxx xxx Mechem describes the delegation to the individual of the sovereign functions of government as "[t]he most important characteristic" in determining whether a position is a public office or not. The most important characteristic which distinguishes an office from an employment or contract is that the creation and conferring of an office involves a delegation to the individual of some of the sovereign functions of government to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public; that some portion of the sovereignt y of the country, either legislative, executive, or judicial, attaches, for the time being, to be exercised for the public benefit. Unless the powers conferred are of this nature, the individual is not a public officer.16 (italics supplied) From the foregoing, it can be reasonably inferred that "public officers" are those endowed with the exercise of sovereign executive, legislative or judicial functions.17 The explication of the term is also consistent with the Court's pronouncement in Quimpo that, in the case of officers/employees in GOCCs, they are deemed "public officers" if their corporations are tasked to carry out governmental functions. In any event, PAL has since reverted to private ownership and we find it pointless to scrutinize the implications of a legal issue that technically no longer exists. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. Public respondents Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) and Office of the Ombudsman are restrained from proceeding with the investigation or prosecution of the complaint against petitioners for violation of RA 3019. Accordingly, their assailed orders of July 13, 1989 and February 22, 1996, respectively, are SET ASIDE and ANNULLED. Lastismosa vs. Vazquez MENDOZA, J.: This case requires us to determine the extent to which the Ombudsman may call upon government prosecutors for assistance in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases cognizable by his office and the conditions under which he may do so. Petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa is First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. Because she and the Provincial Prosecutor refused, or at any rate failed, to file a criminal charge as ordered by the Ombudsman, an administrative complaint for grave misconduct, insubordination, gross neglect of duty and maliciously refraining from prosecuting crime was filed against her and the Provincial Prosecutor and a charge for indirect contempt was brought against them, both in the Office of the Ombudsman. In the meantime the two were placed under preventive suspension. This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioner to set aside the orders of the Ombudsman with respect to the two proceedings. The background of this case is as follows: On February 18, 1993 Jessica Villacarlos Dayon, public health nurse of Santa Fe, Cebu, filed a criminal complaint for frustrated rape and an administrative complaint for immoral acts, abuse of authority and grave misconduct against the Municipal Mayor of Santa Fe, Rogelio Ilustrisimo. 1 The cases were filed with the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas where they were docketed as OMB-VIS-(CRIM)-930140 and OMB-VIS-(ADM)-93-0036, respectively. The complaint was assigned to a graft investigation officer who, after an investigation, found no prima facie evidence and accordingly recommended the dismissal of the complaint. After reviewing the matter, however, the Ombudsman, Hon. Conrado Vasquez, disapproved the recommendation and instead directed that Mayor Ilustrisimo be charged with attempted rape in the Regional Trial Court. 2 Accordingly, in a letter dated May 17, 1994, the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas, respondent Arturo C. Mojica, referred the case to Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar for the "filing of appropriate information with the Regional Trial Court of Danao City, . . ." 3 The case was eventually assigned to herein petitioner, First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Gloria G. Lastimosa. It appears that petitioner conducted a preliminary investigation on the basis of which she found that only acts of lasciviousness had been committed. 4 With the approval of Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar, she filed on July 4, 1994 an information for acts of lasciviousness against Mayor Ilustrisimo with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Santa Fe. 5 In two letters written to the Provincial Prosecutor on July 11, 1994 and July 22, 1994, Deputy Ombudsman Mojica inquired as to any action taken on the previous referral of the case, more specifically the directive of the Ombudsman to charge Mayor Ilustrisimo with attempted rape. 6 As no case for attempted rape had been filed by the Prosecutor's Office, Deputy Ombudsman Mojica ordered on July 27, 1994 Pro vincial Prosecutor Kintanar and petitioner Lastimosa to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt for "refusing and failing to obey the lawful directives" of the Office of the Ombudsman. 7 For this purpose a hearing was set on August 1, 1994. Petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor were given until August 3, 1994 within which to submit their answer. 8 An answer 9 was timely filed by them and hearings were thereupon conducted. It appears that earlier, on July 22, 1994, two cases had been filed against the two prosecutors with the Office of the Ombudsman for Visayas by Julian Menchavez, a resident of Santa Fe, Cebu. One was an administrative complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 6713 and P.D. No. 807 (the Civil Service Law) 10 and another one was a criminal complaint for violation of 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 and

Art. 208 of the Revised Penal Code. The complaints were based on the alleged refusal of petitioner and Kintanar to obey the orders of the Ombudsman to charge Mayor Ilustrisimo with attempted rape. In the administrative case (OMB-VIS-(ADM)-94-0189) respondent Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Mojica issued an order on August 15, 1994, placing petitioner Gloria G. Lastimo sa and Provincial 12 Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months, pursuant to Rule III, 9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman (Administrative Order No. 7), in relation to 24 of R.A. No. 6770. The order was approved by Ombudsman Conrado M. Vasquez on August 16, 1994 and on August 18, 1994 Acting Secretary of Justice Ramon J. Liwag designated Eduardo Concepcion of Region VII as Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. 13 On the other hand, the Graft Investigation Officer II, Edgardo G. Canton, issued orders in the two cases, directing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar to submit their counter affidavits and controverting evidence. On September 6, 1994, petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa filed the present petition for certiorari and prohibition to set aside the following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman and Department of Justice: (a) Letter dated May 17, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Arturo C. Mojica and related orders, referring to the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor the records of OMB-VIS-CRIM-93-0140, entitled Jessica V. Dayon vs. Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo, "for filing of the appropriate action (for Attempted Rape) with the Regional Trial Court of Danao City. (b) Order dated July 27, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman Mojica and related orders directing petitioner and Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar to explain in writing within three (3) days from receipt why they should not be punished for indirect Contempt of the Office of the Ombudsman "for refusing and failing . . . to file the appropriate Information for Attempted Rape against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. (c) The 1st Indorsement dated August 9, 1994 of Acting Justice Secretary Ramon J. Liwag, ordering the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to comply with the directive of the Office of the Ombudsman that a charge for attempted rape be filed against respondent Mayor Ilustrisimo in recognition of the authority of said Office. (d) Order dated August 15, 1994 of Deputy Ombudsman Mojica, duly approved by Ombudsman Conrado Vasquez, and related orders in OMB-VIS-(ADM)-94-0189, entitled Julian Menchavez vs. Oliveros Kintanar and Gloria Lastimosa, placing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months, without pay. (e) The 1st Indorsement dated August 18, 1994 of Acting Justice Secretary Liwag directing Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Eduardo O. Concepcion (Region VII) to implement the letter dated August 15, 1994 of Ombudsman Vasquez, together with the Order dated August 15, 1994, placing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension. (f) Department Order No. 259 issued by Acting Secretary Liwag on August 18, 1994, designating Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Concepcion Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu. Petitioner raises a number of issues which will be discussed not necessarily in the order they are stated in the petition. I. The pivotal question in this case is whether the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to call on the Provincial Prosecutor to assist it in the prosecution of the case for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo. Lastimosa claims that the Office of the Ombudsman and the prosecutor's office have concurrent authority to inves tigate public officers or employees and that when the former first took cognizance of the case against Mayor Ilustrisimo, it did so to the exclusion of the latter. It then became the duty of the Ombudsman's office, according to petitioner, to finish the preliminary investigation by filing the information in court instead of asking the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to do so. Petitioner contends that the preparation and filing of the information were part and parcel of the preliminary investigation assumed by the Office of the Ombudsman and the filing of information in court could not be delegated by it to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. Petitioner defends her actuations in conducting a preliminary investigation as having been made necessary by the insistence of the Ombudsman to delegate the filing of the case to her office. In any event, petitioner contends, the Office of the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the case against the mayor because the crime involved (rape) was not committed in relation to a public office. For this reason it is argued that the Office of the Ombudsman has no authority to place her and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar under preventive suspension for refusing to follow his orders and to cite them for indirect contempt for such refusal. Petitioner's contention has no merit. The office of the Ombudsman has the power to "investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient." 14 This power has been held to include the investigation and prosecution of any crime committed by a public official regardless of whether the acts or omissions complained of are related to, or connected with, o r arise from, the performance of his official duty 15 It is enough that the act or omission was committed by a public official. Hence, the crime of rape, when committed by a public official like a municipal mayor, is within the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute. In the existence of his power, the Ombudsman is authorized to call on prosecutors for assistance. 31 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6770) provides: Designation of Investigators and Prosecutors. The Ombudsman may utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate of deputize any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those designated or deputized to assist him as herein provided shall be under his supervision and control. (Emphasis added) It was on the basis of this provision that Ombudsman Conrado Vasquez and Deputy Ombudsman Arturo C. Mojica ordered the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu to file an information for attempted rape against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrismo. It does not matter that the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor had already conducted the preliminary investigation and all that remained to be done was for the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to file the corresponding case in court. Even if the preliminary investigation had been given over to the Provincial Prosecutor to conduct, his determination of the nature of the offense to be charged would still be subject to the approval of the Office of the Ombudsman. This is because under 31 of the Ombudsman's Act, when a prosecutor is deputized, he comes under the "supervision and control" of the Ombudsman which means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to direct, review, approve, reverse or modify his (prosecutor's) decision. 16 Petitioner cannot legally act on her own and refuse to prepare and file the information as directed by the Ombudsman. II. The records show that despite repeated orders of the Ombudsman, petitioner refused to file an information for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo, insisting that after investigating the complaint in the case she found that he had committed only acts of lasciviousness. 15(g) of the Ombudsman Act gives the Office of the Ombudsman the power to "punish for contempt, in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein." There is no merit in the argument that petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar cannot be held liable for contempt because their refusal arose out of an administrative, rather than judicial, proceeding before the Office of the Ombudsman. As petitioner herself says in another context, the preliminary investigation of a case, of which the filing of an information is a part, is quasi judicial in character. Whether petitioner's refusal to follow the Ombudsman's orders constitutes a defiance, disobedience or resistance of a lawful process, order or command of the Ombudsman thus making her liable for indirect contempt under Rule 71, 3 of the Rules of Court is for respondents to determine after appropriate hearing. At this point it is important only to note the existence of the contempt power of the Ombudsman as a means of enforcing his lawful orders. III. Neither is there any doubt as to the power of the Ombudsman to discipline petitioner should it be found that she is guilty of grave misconduct, insubordination and/or neglect of duty, nor of the Ombudsman's power to place her in the meantime under preventive suspension. The pertinent provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 state: 21. Officials Subject To Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. 22. Preventive Suspension. The Ombudsman or his Deputy may suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay, except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. A. Petitioner contends that her suspension is invalid because the order was issued without giving her and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar the opportunity to refute the charges against them and because, at any rate, the evidence against them is not strong as required by 24. The contention is without merit. Prior notice and hearing is a not required, such suspension not being a penalty but only a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. As held in Nera v. Garcia: 17 In connection with the suspension of petitioner before he could file his answer to the administrative complaint, suffice it to say that the suspension was not a punishment or penalty for the acts of dishonesty and misconduct in office, but only as a preventive measure. Suspension is a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. If after such investigation, the charges are established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his removal, then he is removed or dismissed. This is the penalty. There is, therefore, nothing improper in suspending an officer pending his investigation and before the opportunity to prove his innocence. (Emphasis added). It is true that, under 24 of the Ombudsman's Act, to justify the preventive suspension of a public official, the evidence against him should be strong, and any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. As held in Buenaseda v. Flavier, 18 however, whether the evidence of guilt is strong is left to the determination of the Ombudsman by taking into account the evidence before him. A preliminary hearing as in bail petitions in cases involving capital offenses is not required. In rejecting a similar argument as that made by petitioner in this case, this Court said in that case: The import of the Nera decision is that the disciplining authority is given the discretion to decide when the evidence of guilt is strong. This fact is bolstered by Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770, which expressly

11

left such determination of guilt to the "judgment" of the Ombudsman on the basis of the administrative complaint. . . . In this case, respondent Deputy Ombudsman Mojica justified the preventive suspension of petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar on the following grounds: A careful assessment of the facts and circumstances of the herein cases and the records pertaining thereto against respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] clearly leads to the conclusion that the evidence on record of guilt is strong and the charges involved offenses of grave misconduct, gross neglec t of duty and dishonesty which will warrant respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] removal from the service. Moreover, considering the unabashed attitude of respondents in openly announcing various false pretexts and alibis to justify their stubborn disregard for the lawful directives of the Ombudsman as their official position in their pleadings filed in OMB-VIS-0-94-0478 and in print and broadcast media, the probability is strong that public service more particularly in the prosecution of cases referred by the Office of the Ombudsman to the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's office will be disrupted and prejudiced and the records of said cases even be tampered with if respondents [Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar and herein petitioner] are allowed to stay in the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office during the pendency of these proceedings. Indeed respondent Deputy Ombudsman Mojica had personal knowledge of the facts justifying the preventive suspension of petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor since the acts alleged in the administrative complaint against them were done in the course of their official transaction with the Office of the Ombudsman. The administrative complaint against petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor Kintanar was filed in connection with their designation as deputies of the ombudsman in the prosecution of a criminal case ag ainst Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo. Respondent Deputy Ombudsman did not have to go far to verify the matters alleged in determine whether the evidence of guilt of petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor was strong for the purpose of placing them under preventive suspension. Given the attitude displayed by petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor toward the criminal case against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrisimo, their preventive suspension is justified to the end that the proper 20 prosecution of that case may not be hampered. In addition, because the charges against the two prosecutors involve grave misconduct, insubordination and neglect of duty and these charges, if proven, can lead to a dismissal from public office, the Ombudsman was justified in ordering their preventive suspension. B. Petitioner questions her preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay and contends that it should only be for ninety (90) days on the basis of cases decided by this Court. Petitioner is in error. She is referring to cases where the law is either silent or expressly limits the period of suspension to ninety (90) days. With respect to the first situation, we ruled in the c ase of Gonzaga v. Sandiganbayan 21 that To the extent that there may be cases of indefinite suspension imposed either under Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019, or Section 42 of Pres. Decree 807, it is best for the guidance of all concerned that this Court set forth the rules on the period of preventive suspension under the aforementioned laws, as follows: 1. Preventive suspension under Section 13, Rep. Act 3019 as amended shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days, from issuances thereof, and this applies to all public officers, (as defined in Section 2(b) of Rep. Act 3019) who are validly charged under said Act. 2. Preventive suspension under Section 42 of Pres. Decree 807 shall apply to all officers or employees whose positions are embraced in the Civil Service, as provided under Sections 3 and 4 of said Pres. Decree 807, and shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days from issuance, except where there is delay in the disposition of the case, which is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of delay shall both be counted in computing the period of suspension herein stated; provided that if the person suspended is a presidential appointee, the continuance of his suspension shall be for a reasonable time as the circumstances of the case may warrant. On the other hand, petitioner and the Provincial Prosecutor were placed under preventive suspension pursuant to 24 of the Ombudsman Act which expressly provides that "the preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay." Their preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay is thus according to law. C. Nor is there merit in petitioner's claim that the contempt charge should first be resolved before any action in the administrative complaint case can be taken because the contempt case involves a prejudicial question. There is simply no basis for this contention. The two cases arose out of the same act or omission and may proceed hand in hand, or one can be heard before the other. Whatever order is followed will not really matter. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the Motion to Lift Order of Preventive Suspension is DENIED. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, Davide, Jr., Bellosillo, Melo, Quiason, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan and Francisco, JJ., concur. Romero, J., is on leave.

19

Separate Opinions REGALADO, J., concurring: I concur and welcome this opportunity to make some observations on the matter of the power of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend petitioner for six (6) months without pay, and which petitioner assails in the case at bar. It would, of course, be a handy expedient to just refer petitioner to the provisions of Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770 w hich expressly grants that authority to respondent Ombudsman. Conveniently, we would merely need to remind petitioner that for this Court to limit such authority to suspend to a lesser period would, in effect, be constitutive of judicial legislation. But I will go a little further by essaying the rationale for such conferment of a more extended authority to the Ombudsman on the issue of preventive suspension, vis-a-vis the provisions on preventive suspension in other enactments, and thereby dispel lingering doubts or misgivings thereon. It is true that the Civil Service Decree allows a maximum preventive suspension of only ninety (90) days. 1 However, a comparison of the grounds therefor 2 with those provided for in the Ombudsman Act 3 will readily show that there is in the latter the added requirement that the evidence of guilt is strong and the additional ground that "the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him." Further, in the aforecited Section 41 of the Civil Service Decree, preventive suspension may be imposed on the mere simple showing that the charge involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, neglect in the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service: whereas in Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770, it is required that such charges must be supported by strong evidence of guilt in order to justify preventive suspension. On the other hand, the still shorter period of sixty (60) days prescribed in the Local Government Code of 1991 4 as the maximum period for the preventive suspension of local elective officials is justifiable and deemed sufficient not only because the respondent involved is elected by the people, but more precisely because such preventive suspension may only be ordered "after the issues are joined." That means that before the order of suspension is issued, all the preliminary requirements and exchanges had been completed and the respondent had already filed his counter-affidavits to the affidavits of the complainant and the latter's witnesses. At that stage, the case is ready for resolution if the parties would not opt for a formal hearing. The preparatory procedures before such stage is reached undoubtedly necessitate and consume a lot of time. Yet, it will be noted that those preliminary steps are included in the case of the period of preventive suspension ordered even before issues are joined, as in preventive suspension by the Ombudsman pursuant to the aforecited Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770. They conceivably include the service of the subpoena or order for the respondent to file his counter-affidavits, the usual resort to motions for extension of time to comply with the same, the improvident recourse to the Supreme Court to suspend, annul or otherwise delay the proceedings, as well as the filing and resolution of motions to dismiss or for a bill of particulars or for the inhibition of the investigating officer, the denial of which motions is often also brought all over again to this Court on petitions for certiorari. An illustration of how the proceedings can be delayed by such procedural maneuvers is afforded by the case of Buenaseda, et al. vs. Flavier, et al., 5 the decision in which was ultimately promulgated by this Court on September 21, 1993. The petitioners therein questioned through repeated resourceful submissions the order of preventive suspension issued by the Ombudsman on January 7, 1992 and it took more than twenty (20) months before said order could eventually be reviewed on the merits and finally sustained by the Supreme Court. That is not all. Even after the formal hearing is scheduled, respondents can easily resort to the same dilatory tactics usually employed by an accused in regular court trials in criminal actions. Such stratagems can obviously result in the continued occupancy by the respondent of his office and, in the language of the law, could "prejudice the case filed against him." The longer period of six (6) months for preventive suspension under Republic Act No. 6770 was evidently induced by a desire to more meaningfully emphasize and implement the authority of the Office of the Ombudsman over public officials and employees in order to serve as a deterrent against illegal, unjust, improper and i nefficient conduct on their part. As the agency mandated by the Constitution to undertake such task, it was invested with the corresponding authority to enable it to perform its mission. This intention is easily deducible from the pertinent constitutional provisions creating said office and from the express provisions of Republic Act No. 6770. Significantly, it is the only body authorized to investigate even officials removable by impeachment. 6 For purposes of the present case, therefore, and specifically on the issue subject of this concurring opinion, it would be advisable to recall what we said in Buenaseda, to wit: The purpose of RA No. 6770 is to give the Ombudsman such powers as he may need to perform efficiently the task committed to him by the Constitution. Such being the case, said statute, particularly its provisions dealing with procedure, should be given such interpretation that will effectuate the purposes and objective of the Constitution. Any interpretation that will hamper the work of the Ombudsman should be avoided. A statute granting powers to an agency created by the Constitution should be liberally construed for the advancement of the purposes and objectives for Department of which it was created (Cf. Department of Public Utilities v. Arkansas Louisiana Gas, Co., 200 Ark. 983, 142 S.W. [2d] 213 [1940]; Wallace v. Feehan, 206 Ind. 522, 190 N.E. 438 [1934]). On the foregoing considerations, which are much a matter of judicial and legislative experience, it is puerile for petitioner to impugn the expanded authority of preventive suspension as now granted by law to the Ombudsman. In fact, in certain situations, the maximum allowable period may even prove too short to subserve the intended purpose of the law. Separate Opinions

REGALADO, J., concurring: I concur and welcome this opportunity to make some observations on the matter of the power of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend petitioner for six (6) months without pay, and which petitioner assails in the case at bar. It would, of course, be a handy expedient to just refer petitioner to the provisions of Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770 which expressly grants that authority to respondent Ombudsman. Conveniently, we would merely need to remind petitioner that for this Court to limit such authority to suspend to a lesser period would, in effect, be constitutive of judicial legislation. But I will go a little further by essaying the rationale for such conferment of a more extended authority to the Ombudsman on the issue of preventive suspension, vis-a-vis the provisions on preventive suspension in other enactments, and thereby dispel lingering doubts or misgivings thereon. 1 2 It is true that the Civil Service Decree allows a maximum preventive suspension of only ninety (90) days. However, a comparison of the grounds therefor with those provided for in the Ombudsman Act 3 will readily show that there is in the latter the added requirement that the evidence of guilt is strong and the additional ground that "the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him." Further, in the aforecited Section 41 of the Civil Service Decree, preventive suspension may be imposed on the mere simple showing that the charge involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, neglect in the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service: whereas in Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770, it is required that such charges must be supported by strong evidence of guilt in order to justify preventive suspension. 4 On the other hand, the still shorter period of sixty (60) days prescribed in the Local Government Code of 1991 as the maximum period for the preventive suspension of local elective officials is justifiable and deemed sufficient not only because the respondent involved is elected by the people, but more precisely because such preventive suspension may only be ordered "after the issues are joined." That means that before the order of suspension is issued, all the preliminary requirements and exchanges had been completed and the respondent had already filed his counter-affidavits to the affidavits of the complainant and the latter's witnesses. At that stage, the case is ready for resolution if the parties would not opt for a formal hearing. The preparatory procedures before such stage is reached undoubtedly necessitate and consume a lot of time. Yet, it will be noted that those preliminary steps are included in the case of the period of preventive suspension ordered even before issues are joined, as in preventive suspension by the Ombudsman pursuant to the aforecited Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770. They conceivably include the service of the subpoena or order for the respondent to file his counter-affidavits, the usual resort to motions for extension of time to comply with the same, the improvident recourse to the Supreme Court to suspend, annul or otherwise delay the proceedings, as well as the filing and resolution of motions to dismiss or for a bill of particulars or for the inhibition of the investigating officer, the denial of which motions is often also brought all over again to this Court on petitions for certiorari. An illustration of how the proceedings can be delayed by such procedural maneuvers is afforded by the case of Buenaseda, et al. vs. Flavier, et al., 5 the decision in which was ultimately promulgated by this Court on September 21, 1993. The petitioners therein questioned through repeated resourceful submissions the order of preventive suspension issued by the Ombudsman on January 7, 1992 and it took more than twenty (20) months before said order could eventually be reviewed on the merits and finally sustained by the Supreme Court. That is not all. Even after the formal hearing is scheduled, respondents can easily resort to the same dilatory tactics usually employed by an accused in regular court trials in criminal actions. Such stratagems can obviously result in the continued occupancy by the respondent of his office and, in the language of the law, could "prejudice the case filed against him." The longer period of six (6) months for preventive suspension under Republic Act No. 6770 was evidently induced by a desire to more meaningfully emphasize and implement the authority of the Office of the Ombudsman over public officials and employees in order to serve as a deterrent against illegal, unjust, improper and inefficient conduct on their part. As the agency mandated by the Constitution to undertake such task, it was invested with the corresponding authority to enable it to perform its mission. This intention is easily deducible from the pertinent constitutional provisions creating said office and from the express provisions of Republic Act No. 6770. Significantly, it is the only body authorized to investigate even officials removable by impeachment. 6 For purposes of the present case, therefore, and specifically on the issue subject of this concurring opinion, it would be advisable to recall what we said in Buenaseda, to wit: The purpose of RA No. 6770 is to give the Ombudsman such powers as he may need to perform efficiently the task committed to him by the Constitution. Such being the case, said statute, particularly its provisions dealing with procedure, should be given such interpretation that will effectuate the purposes and objective of the Constitution. Any interpretation that will hamper the work of the Ombudsman should be avoided. A statute granting powers to an agency created by the Constitution should be liberally construed for the advancement of the purposes and objectives for Department of which it was created (Cf. Department of Public Utilities v. Arkansas Louisiana Gas, Co., 200 Ark. 983, 142 S.W. [2d] 213 [1940]; Wallace v. Feehan, 206 Ind. 522, 190 N.E. 438 [1934]). On the foregoing considerations, which are much a matter of judicial and legislative experience, it is puerile for petitioner to impugn the expanded authority of preventive suspension as now granted by law to the Ombudsman. In fact, in certain situations, the maximum allowable period may even prove too short to subserve the intended purpose of the law. Villavert vs. Disierto BELLOSILLO, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, in relation to Sec. 27 of RA 6770[1] (The Ombudsman Act of 1989), seeking the annulment of the Memorandum[2] of the Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas dated 17 July 1997, in Adm. Case No. OMB-VIS-ADM-95-0088, approved by the Ombudsman, which recommended the dismissal of petitioner from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Cebu, as well as the Order[3] dated 30 January 1998 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration. Petitioner Douglas R. Villavert is a Sales & Promotion Supervisor of PCSO Cebu Branch responsible for the sale and disposal of PCSO sweepstakes tickets withdrawn by him, which are already considered sold. As Villavert is not expected to sell all withdrawn tickets on his own, he is allowed by the PCSO to consign tickets to ticket outlets and/or to engage the help of sales agents, usually sidewalk peddlers and hawkers. From 20 March to 12 June 1994, or for two (2) months of weekly draws, petitioner Villavert incurred a total of P997,373.60 worth of unpaid PCSO tickets. On 13 October 1994 he wrote the Chairman and Acting General Manager of PCSO, Manuel L. Morato, proposing to settle his unpaid ticket accounts.[4] His proposal involved the payment of P50,000.00 in cash as down payment; payment of the remaining amount in equal monthly installments of P5,000.00; application of all his per diems and commissions to his account as they became due; and, sale of fifty (50) booklets or more per draw.[5] On 11 January 1995 Lorna H. Muez, COA State Auditor III, wrote petitioner demanding the immediate settlement of the latters past due ticket accounts with PCSO in the total amount of P997,373.60 with interest at the rate of fourteen percent (14%) per annum. Muez also required petitioner to submit within seventy-two (72) hours a written explanation for the delay.[6] In response, petitioner informed Muez that he had already submitted a proposal for the settlement of his past due accounts and that pending its approval he had already made a total payment of P23,920.68. Meanwhile, on 26 January 1995 the PCSO Board of Directors[7] approved Resolution No. 059, Series of 1995, which adopted the recommendation of the Management Committee to reinstate sales supervisors Rene de Guia and Luis Renolla, Jr., and rehabilitate their accounts. By reason of the Resolution, OIC Manager of the Sales Department, Carlos M. Castillo, requested Chairman Morato to give petitioner the same terms and conditions given to de Guia and Renolla, Jr. On 20 February 1995 Santos M. Alquizalas, COA Director IV, recommended to the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Arturo C. Mojica that the shortage in the ticket accounts of petitioner should be properly treated under Art. 217[8] of the Revised Penal Code, Sec. 3 of RA 3019,[9] and RA 6713.[10] Taken as a letter-complaint, it was docketed as Adm. Case No. OMB-VIS-ADM-95-0088. On 27 February 1995 petitioner submitted an amended proposal of settlement for his accounts: a down payment of ten percent (10%) of the total unpaid account or P97,345.29, and the balance to be paid on equal monthly installments equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the down payment or P9,734.52. Petitioner likewise bound himself from then on to purchase all his tickets in cash; to have a ticket quota of no less than fifty (50) booklets for the small draws, and twenty-five (25) booklets for the big draws; and, not to be entitled to his salary for the month if he failed to meet his quota in any draw within that month. The amended proposal was favorably indorsed and recommended for approval by Regional Manager of PCSO-Cebu, William H. Medici, and by PCSO OIC-Manager of the Sales Department, Carlos M. Castillo.[11] On 19 April 1995 petitioner filed his counter-affidavit where he explained the circumstances which led him to incur subject unpaid ticket accounts. He emphasized his proposal to settle his liability and underscored the favorable indorsement of the Regional Manager of PCSO Cebu as well as by the PCSO OIC-Manager of the Sales Department.[12] On 4 June 1996 petitioner filed a Manifestation[13] with respondent Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas informing the latter of the approval by PCSO Chairman and Acting General Manager of his amended proposal for settlement. However, in an Order dated 14 August 1996 respondent Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas required petitioner to secure further approval from the PCSO Board of Directors.[14] In compliance, petitioner submitted inter alia a copy of the Affidavit of Desistance[15] executed by the Regional Director of PCSO-Cebu manifesting the disinterest of the PCSO in further prosecuting the case against petitioner. On 20 December 1996 the PCSO Board of Directors approved petitioners proposed settlement of 13 Octo ber 1994 in its Resolution No. 1491, Series of 1996.[16] Graft Investigation Officer II Edgemelo C. Rosales, after due consideration of the evidence submitted by petitioner, rendered a resolution recommending the dismissal of Adm. Case No. OMB-VIS-ADM95-0088 in view of: (a) the approval of petitioners proposal of settlement by the PCSO Chairman-Acting General Manager; (b) the findings that petitioner did not mismanage his responsibilities in the sale of sweepstakes tickets; and, (c) the Affidavit of Desistance executed by the PCSO through its authorized representative. Despite the recommendation, however, the Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas through Director Virginia Palanca-Santiago issued a Memorandum dated 17 July 1997 finding petitioner "liable for administrative sanction for Grave Misconduct and / or Dishonesty." Consequently, petitioner was recommended for dismissal from the public service with all the accessory penalties provided under Memorandum Circular No. 30, Series of 1989, of the Civil Service Commission.[17] On 7 November 1997 respondent Ombudsman approved the Memorandum. On 4 December 1997 petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas in an Order dated 30 January 1998 and approved by the Ombudsman on 3 April 1998. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, in relation to Sec. 27 of RA 6770. This petition for review was filed on 18 June 1998. Thereafter, on 16 September 1998 we promulgated Fabian v. Desierto[18] where the basis for the filing of this petition before this Court, i.e., Sec. 27, RA 6770,[19] insofar as it allows appeals to the Supreme Court in administrative disciplinary cases, was declared invalid, thus depriving this Court of jurisdiction. In Fabian, Sec. 27 of RA 6770, which authorizes an appeal to this Court from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases, was declared violative of the proscription in Sec. 30, Art. VI, of the Constitution[20] against a law which increases the appellate jurisdiction of this Court without its advice and consent. In addition, the Court noted that Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure precludes appeals from quasi-judicial agencies, like the Office of the Ombudsman, to the Supreme Court. Consequently, appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43, as reiterated in the subsequent case of Namuhe v. Ombudsman.[21] In both Fabian and Namuhe, the petitions were referred to the Court of Appeals for final disposition and considered as petitions for review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. On 9 February 1999 this Court promulgated A.M. No. 99-2-02-SC thus In light of the decision in Fabian v. Ombudsman (G.R. No. 129742, 16 September 1998), any appeal by way of petition for review from a decision or final resolution or

10

order of the Ombudsman in administrative cases, or special civil action relative to such decision, resolution or order filed with the Court after 15 March 1999 shall no longer be referred to the Court of Appeals, but must be forthwith DENIED or DISMISSED, respectively. As the instant petition was filed prior to 15 March 1999, its referral for final disposition to the Court of Appeals is still in order. ACCORDINGLY, let this case be REFERRED to the Court of Appeals as a petition for review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure to be disposed of in accordance with law. LACSON VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY [301 SCRA 298; G.R. NO. 128096; 20 JAN 1999] Monday, February 02, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: Eleven persons believed to be members of the Kuratong Baleleng gang, an organized crime syndicate involved in bank robberies, were slain by elements of the Anti-Bank Robbery and Intelligence Task Group (ABRITG). Among those included in the ABRITG were petitioners and petitioner-intervenors. Acting on a media expose of SPO2 Eduardo delos Reyes, a member of the Criminal Investigation Command, that what actually transpired was a summary execution and not a shoot-out between the Kuratong Baleleng gang members and the ABRITG, Ombudsman Aniano Desierto formed a panel of investigators to investigate the said incident. Said panel found the incident as a legitimate police operation. However, a review board modified the panels finding and recommended the indictment for multiple murder against tw enty-six respondents including herein petitioner, charged as principal, and herein petitioner-intervenors, charged as accessories. After a reinvestigation, the Ombudsman filed amended informations before the Sandiganbayan, where petitioner was charged only as an accessory. The accused filed separate motions questioning the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, asserting that under the amended informations, the cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 2 of R.A. 7975. They contend that the said law limited the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to cases where one or ore of the principal accused are government officals with Salary Grade 27 or higher, or PNP officials with rank of Chief Superintendent or higher. Thus, they did not qualify under said requisites. However, pending resolution of their motions, R.A. 8249 was approved amending the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan by deleting the word principal from the phrase principal accused in Section 2 of R.A. 7975. Petitioner questions the constitutionality of Section 4 of R.A. 8249, including Section 7 which provides that the said law shall apply to all cases pending in any court over which trial has not begun as of the approval hereof.

Issues: (1) Whether or not Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 violate the petitioners right to due process and the equal protection clause of the Constitution as the provisions seemed to have been introduced for the Sandiganbayan to continue to acquire jurisdiction over the Kuratong Baleleng case. (2) Whether or not said statute may be considered as an ex-post facto statute. (3) Whether or not the multiple murder of the alleged members of the Kuratong Baleleng was committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers which is essential to the determination whether the case falls within the Sandiganbayans or Regional Trial Courts jurisdiction.

Held: Petitioner and intervenors posture that Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 violate their right to equal protection of the law is too shallow to deserve merit. No concrete evidence and convincing argument were presented to warrant such a declaration. Every classification made by the law is presumed reasonable and the party who challenges the law must present proof of arbitrariness. The classification is reasonable and not arbitrary when the following concur: (1) it must rest on substantial distinction; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class; all of which are present in this case. Paragraph a of Section 4 provides that it shall apply to all cases involving certain public officials and under the transitory provision in Section 7, to all cases pending in any court. Contrary to petitioner and intervenors argument, the law is not particularly directed only to the Kuratong Baleleng cases. The transitory provision does not only cover cases which are in the Sandiganbayan but also in a ny court. There is nothing ex post facto in R.A. 8249. Ex post facto law, generally, provides retroactive effect of penal laws. R.A. 8249 is not a penal law. It is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature which prohibit certain acts and establish penalties for their violations or those that define crimes and provide for their punishment. R.A. 7975, as regards the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction, its mode of appeal and other procedural matters, has been declared by the Court as not a penal law, but clearly a procedural statute, one which prescribes rules of procedure by which courts applying laws of all kinds can properly administer justice. Not being a penal law, the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. In People vs. Montejo, it was held that an offense is said to have been committed in relation to the office if it is intimately connected with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official functions. Such intimate relation must be alleged in the information which is essential in de termining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. However, upon examination of the amended information, there was no specific allegation of facts that the shooting of the victim by the said principal accused was intimately related to the discharge of their official duties as police officers. Likewise, the amended information does not indicate that the said accused arrested and investigated the victim and then killed the latter while in their custody. The stringent requirement that the charge set forth with such particularity as will reasonably indicate the exact offense which the accused is alleged to have committed in relation to his office was not established. Consequently, for failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not the Sandiganbayan. Macalino vs SAndiganbayan DECISION PARDO, J.: The case is a petition for certiorari[1] assailing the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan to take cognizance of two criminal cases[2] against petitioner and his wife Liwayway S. Tan, contending that he is not a public officer within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.[3] On September 16, 1992, the Special Prosecutor, Office of the Ombudsman, with the approval of the Ombudsman, filed with the Sandiganbayan two informations against petitioner and Liwayway S. Tan charging them with estafa through falsification of official documents (Criminal Case No. 18022) and frustrate d estafa through falsification of mercantile documents (Criminal Case No. 19268), as follows: CRIMINAL CASE NO. 18022 That on or about the 15th day of March, 1989 and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in the Municipality of Mandaluyon g, Metro Manila, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, FELICITO S. MACALINO, being then the Assistant Manager of the Treasury Division and the Head of the Loans Administration & Insurance Section of the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), a government-controlled corporation with offices at EDSA corner Reliance St., Mandaluyong, and hence, a public officer, while in the performance of his official functions, taking advantage of his position, committing the offense in relation to his office and conspiring and confederating with his spouse LIWAYWAY S. TAN, being then the owner of Wacker Marketing, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and by means of deceit defraud the Philippine National Construction Corporation in the following manner: in preparing the application with the Philippine National Bank, Buendia Branch for the issuance of a demand draft in the amount of NINE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO & 11/100 PESOS (P983,682.11), Philippine Currency, in favor of Bankers Trust Company, accused FELICITO S. MACALINO superimposed the name Wacker Marketing as payee to make it appear that the demand draft was payable to it, when in truth and in fact and as the accused very well knew, it was the Bankers Trust Company which was the real payee as indicated in Check Voucher No. 3-800-89 and PNB Check No. B236746 supporting said application for demand draft; subsequently accused FELICITO S. MACALINO likewise inserted into the letter of PNCC to PNB Buendia Branch the words payable to Wacker Marketing to make it appear that the demand drafts to be picked up by the designated messenger were payable to Wacker Marketing when in truth and in fact the real payee was Bankers Trust Company; and as a result of such acts of falsification, PNB Buendia issued 19 demand drafts for P50,000.00 each and another demand draft for P33,682.11, all, payable to Wacker Marketing, which were subsequently delivered to accused Felicitor S. Macalino and which accused LIWAYWAY S. TAN thereafter exchanged with PNB Balanga Branch for 19 checks at P50,000.00 each and another for P33,682.11 and all of which she later deposited into Account No. 0042-0282-6 of Wacker Marketing at Philtrust Cubao, thereby causing pecuniary damage and prejudice to Philippine National Construction Corporation in the amount of P983,682.11. CONTRARY TO LAW.

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Manila, Philippines, August 24, 1992.[4] CRIMINAL CASE NO. 19268 That on or about the 4th day of April, 1990, and subsequently thereafter, in the Municipality of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, FELICITO S. MACALINO, being then the Assistant Manager of the Treasury Division and the Head of the Loans Administration and Insurance Section of the Philippine National Construction Corporation, a government-controlled corporation with offices at EDSA corner Reliance St., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, and hence, a public officer, while in the performance of his official functions, taking advantage of his position, committing the offense in relation to his office, and conspiring and confederating with his spouse LIWAYWAY S. TAN, being then the owner of Wacker Marketing, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and by means of deceit defraud the Philippine National Construction Corporation in the following manner: after receiving Check Voucher No. 04-422-90 covering the partial payment by PNCC of the sinking fund to International Corporate Bank (Interbank) as well as Check No. 552312 for TWO MILLION TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P2,250,000.00), Philippine Currency, payable to Interbank for the purpose, accused FELICITO S. MACALINO falsified PNB Check No. 552312 by altering the payee indicated therein to make it appear that the aforesaid check was payable to Wacker Marketing instead of Interbank and further falsified the schedule of check disbursements sent to PNB Buendia by making it appear therein that the payee of Check No. 552312 was Wacker Marketing when in truth and in fact and as the accused very well knew, it was Interbank which was the real payee; accused LIWAYWAY S. TAN thereafter deposited Check No. 552312 into Account No. 0042-0282-6 of Wacker Marketing at Philtrust Cubao and Wacker Marketing subsequently issued Philtrust Check No. 148039 for P100,000.00 in favor of accused FELICITO S. MACALINO; which acts of falsification performed by the accused would have defrauded the Philippine National Construction Corporation of P2,250,000.00 had not PNB Buendia ordered the dishonor of Check No. 552312 after noting the alteration/erasures thereon, thereby failing to produce the felony by reason of causes independent of the will of the accused. CONTRARY TO LAW. Manila, Philippines, May 28, 1993.[5] Upon arraignment on November 9, 1992, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charges. Hence, trial proceeded.[6] However, during the initial presentation of evidence for the defense, petitioner moved for leave to file a motion to dismiss on the ground that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over him since he is not a public officer because the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), formerly the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP), is not a governmentowned or controlled corporation with original charter.[7] The People of the Philippines opposed the motion.[8] On August 5, 1999, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a resolution denying petitioners motion to dismiss for lack of merit. [9] Hence, this petition.[10] The Issue The sole issue raised is whether petitioner, an employee of the PNCC, is a public officer within the coverage of R. A. No. 3019, as amended. The Courts Ruling Petitioner contends that an employee of the PNCC is not a public officer as defined under Republic Act No. 3019, as follows: Sec. 2. (a) xxx xxx xxx. (b) Public officer includes elective and appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the unclassified or classified or exempted service receiving compensation, even nominal, from the government as defined in the preceding paragraph. We agree. To resolve the issue, we resort to the 1987 Constitution. Article XI, on the Accountability of Public Officers, provides: Section 12. The Ombudsman and his deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations x x x. Section 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties: 1. Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper and inefficient. x x x 2. Direct, upon complaint or at its instance, any public official or employee of the government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the p erformance of duties. (underscoring supplied) Further, Article IX-B, Section 2 (1) of the 1987 Constitution provides: The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including governme nt-owned and controlled corporations with original charters. (underscoring supplied) Republic Act No. 6770 provides: Section 15. Powers, Functions and Duties -The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties: 1. Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. x x x. 2. Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any officer or employ ee of the Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. Inasmuch as the PNCC has no original charter as it was incorporated under the general law on corporations, it follows inevitably that petitioner is not a public officer within the coverage of R. A. No. 3019, as amended. Thus, the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over him. The only instance when the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over a private individual is when the complaint charges him either as a co-principal, accomplice or accessory of a public officer who has been charged with a crime within the jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan.[11] The cases[12] cited by respondent People of the Philippines are inapplicable because they were decided under the provisions of the 1973 Constitution which included as public officers, officials and employees of corporations owned and controlled by the government though organized and existing under the general corporation law. The 1987 Constitution excluded such corporations. The crimes charged against petitioner were committed in 1989 and 1990.[13] The criminal actions were instituted in 1992. It is well-settled that the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is determined by the law in force at the institution of the action.[14] The Fallo IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court GRANTS the petition. The Court SETS ASIDE the order dated July 29, 1999 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases Nos. 18022 and 19268 and ORDERS the DISMISSAL of the two (2) cases against petitioner and his wife. No costs. SO ORDERED. UP vs. Regino CRUZ, J.: Private respondent Angel Pamplina, a mimeograph operator at the University of the Philippines School of Economics, was dismissed on June 22, 1982, after he was found guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct for causing the leakage of final examination questions in Economics 106 under Prof. Solita Monsod. 1 His appeal was denied by the UP Board of Regents, prompting him to seek relief from the Merit Systems Board (MSB), created under Presidential Decree No. 1409. Under Section 5(l) thereof, the MSB has the power to "hear and decide administrative cases involving officers and employees of the civil service." 2 The University of the Philippines filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the MSB. UP relied heavily on the case of University of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, where it was held that administrative matters involving the discipline of UP employees properly fall under the Jurisdiction of the state university and the UP Board of Regents. The motion was denied. Thereafter, in its decision dated July 5, 1985, the MSB exonerated Pamplina and ordered his reinstatement with back wages. 3 UP, represented by its Office of Legal Services, moved for reconsideration, but this was denied on January l0, 1986. UP then appealed to the Civil Service Commission, which on November 4, 1987, issued Resolution No. 87-428, sustaining the MSB. 4 The motion for reconsideration was denied on April 13, 1988. On June 10, 1988, the petitioners, through their new counsel of record, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a second motion for reconsideration. This was also denied on August 31, 1988, on the basis of Section 39(b) of PD 807, providing in part that "only one petition for reconsideration shall be entertained" by the Civil Service Commission. Pamplina filed a "Manifestation and Motion for Execution of Judgment" of the Commission, copy of which was received by the Office of the Solicitor General on October 4, 1988. 5 This was opposed by the petitioners, but in an order dated November 7, 1988, the Commission granted the motion. Nevertheless, Pamplina was still not reinstated. UP claimed that the resolutions of the Commission had not yet become final and executory. Pamplina's reaction was to file a petition for a writ of mandamus on November 11, 1988. Judge Teodoro P. Regino of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City granted the petition on April 27, 1989. The respondents (herein petitioners) were ordered to immediately reinstate Pamplina "to his former position as mimeograph operator without change of status as permanent employee with back wages from June 22, 1982, up to his reinstatement, plus salaries for the period of his preventive suspension covering December 15, 1981 to March 15, 1982." 6 On June 19, 1989, the present petition for certiorari was filed with this Court to seek the annulment of the decision of the trial court and the orders of the Commission directing the reinstatement of Pamplina. The petitioners also pray that the decision of the UP President and Board of Regents ordering Pamplina's dismissal be upheld. UP contends that under its charter, to wit, Act 1870, enacted on June 18, 1906, it enjoys not only academic freedom but also institutional autonomy. Section 6(e) of the said Act grants the UP Board of Regents the power "to appoint, on recommendation of the president of the university, professors, instructors, lecturers, and other employees of the university, to fix their compensation and to remove them for cause after an investigation and hearing shall have been had." Pamplina was dismissed by virtue of this provision.

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The Civil Service Law (PD 807) expressly vests in the Commission appellate jurisdiction in administrative disciplinary cases involving members of the Civil Service. Section 9(j) mandates that the Commission shall have the power to "hear and decide administrative disciplinary cases instituted directly with it in accordance with Section 37 or brought to it on appeal." And Section 37(a), provides that, "The Commission shall decide upon appeal all administrative disciplinary cases involving the imposititon of a penalty of suspension for more than thirty (30) days, or fine in an amount exceeding thirty days' salary, demotion in rank or salary or transfer, removal or dismissal from office." (Emphasis supplied) 7 Under the 1972 Constitution, all government-owned or controlled corporations, regardless of the manner of their creation, were considered part of the Civil Service. Under the 1967 Constitution only government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters fall within the scope of the Civil Service pursuant to Article IX-B, Section 2(l), which states: The Civil Service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. As a mere government-owned or controlled corporation, UP was clearly a part of the Civil Service under the 1973 Constitution and now continues to be so because it was created by a special law and has an original charter. As a component of the Civil Service, UP is therefore governed by PD 607 and administrative cases involving the discipline of its employees come under the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. Coming now to the petition itself, we note that the petitioners received a copy of the resolution denying their motion for reconsideration on April 22, 1968. In Article IX-A, Section 7, of the 1987 Constitution, which was already in effect at that time, it is provided that: . . . Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. This provision was reproduced almost verbatim in Section 28 of the Administrative Code of 1987. The petitioners therefore had thirty days from April 22, 1988, or until May 22, 1988, within which to elevate their case to this Court. They did not do so and instead filed a second motion for reconsideration, which was not allowed under Article IX, Section 39(b) of PD 807. On top of this, the second motion for reconsideration was filed only on June 10, 1988, or 19 days beyond the 30-day 8 reglementary period. In this connection, it is stressed that where a motion for reconsideration of a decision, order or ruling of any Constitutional Commission is denied, the 30-day reglementary period does not begin anew. The petitioner has only the balance of that period (after deducting the time elapsed before the motion was filed) to come to this Court on certiorari. The assailed orders having become final and executory, Pamplina had every right to seek mandamus to compel their execution. Respondent Judge Regino was quite correct when he issued the questioned writ. 9 The case cited repeatedly by the petitioners, viz., University of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, cannot apply to the present controversy. The reason is that at the time it was promulgated on January 28, 1971, PD 807 had not yet been enacted. PD 807 took affect only in 1975. In ruling in that case "that the President and Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines possess full and final authority in the disciplining, suspension and removal of the civil service employees of the University, including those of the Philippine General Hospital, independently of the Commissioner of Civil Service and the Civil Service Board of Appeals," Justice J.B.L. Reyes relied on the Civil Service Law of 1959, which then empowered the Civil Service Commission: Except as otherwise provided by law, to have final authority to pass upon the removal, separation and suspension of all permanent officers and employees in the competitive or classified service and upon all matters relating to the conduct, discipline, and efficiency of such officers and employees; and to prebcribe standards, guidelines and regulations governing the administration of discipline; (Emphasis supplied) Article V, Section 9(j), of PD 807 simply gives the Commission the power to "har and decide administrative disciplinary cases instituted directly with it in accordance with Section 37 or brought to it on appeal," without the qualifiying phrase appearing in the above-quoted provision. The petitioners cannot invoke that phrase to justify the special power they claim under Act 1870. WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is DISMISSED and the assailed decision of respondent Judge Teodoro P. Regino dated April 27, 1989, and the challenged orders of t he Civil Service Commission, are AFIRMED, with costs against the petitioners. It is so ordered. Juco vs. NLRC This is a petition for certiorari to set aside the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) dated March 14, 1991, which reversed the Decision dated May 21, 1990 of Labor Arbiter Manuel R. Caday, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner Benjamin C. Juco was hired as a project engineer of respondent National Housing Corporation (NHC) from November 16, 1970 to May 14, 1975. On May 14, 1975, he was separated from the service for having been implicated in a crime of theft and/or malversation of public funds. On March 25, 1977, petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against the NHC with the Department of Labor. On September 17, 1977, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing the complaint on the ground that the NLRC had no jurisdiction over the case.[1] Petitioner then elevated the case to the NLRC which rendered a decision on December 28, 1982, reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter.[2] Dissatisfied with the decision of the NLRC, respondent NHC appealed before this Court and on January 17, 1985, we rendered a decision, the dispositive portion thereof reads as follows: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The questioned decision of the respondent National Labor Relations Commission is SET ASIDE. The decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the case before it for lack of jurisdiction is REINSTATED.[3] On January 6, 1989, petitioner filed with the Civil Service Commission a complaint for illegal dismissal, with preliminary mandatory injunction.[4] On February 6, 1989, respondent NHC moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the Civil Service Commission has no jurisdiction over the case.[5] On April 11, 1989, the Civil Service Commission issued an order dismissing the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. It ratiocinated that: The Board finds the comment and/or motion to dismiss meritorious. It was not disputed that NHC is a government corporation without an original charter but organized/created under the Corporate Code. Article IX, Section 2 (1) of the 1987 Constitution provides: The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the government, including government owned and controlled corporations with original charters. (underscoring supplied) From the aforequoted constitutional provision, it is clear that respondent NHC is not within the scope of the civil service and is therefore beyond the jurisdiction of this board. Moreover, it is pertinent to state that the 1987 Constitution was ratified and became effective on February 2, 1987. WHEREFORE, for lack of jurisdiction, the instant complaint is hereby dismissed.[6] On April 28, 1989, petitioner filed with respondent NLRC a complaint for illegal dismissal with preliminary mandatory injunction against respondent NHC.[7] On May 21, 1990, respondent NLRC thru Labor Arbiter Manuel R. Caday ruled that petitioner was illegally dismissed from his employment by respondent as there was evidence in the record that the criminal case against him was purely fabricated, prompting the trial court to dismiss the charges against him. Hence, he concluded that the dismissal was illegal as it was devoid of basis, legal or factual. He further ruled that the complaint is not barred by prescription considering that the period from which to reckon the reglementary period of four years should be from the date of the receipt of the decision of the Civil Service Commission promulgated on April 11, 1989. He also ratiocinated that: It appears x x x complainant filed the complaint for illegal dismissal with the Civil Service Commission on January 6, 1989 and the same was dismissed on April 11, 1989 after which on April 28, 1989, this case was filed by the complainant. Prior to that, this case was ruled upon by the Supreme Court on January 17, 1985 which enjoined the complainant to go to the Civil Service Commission which in fact, complainant did. Under the circumstances, there is merit on the contention that the running of the reglementary period of four (4) years was suspended with the filing of the complaint with the said Commission. Verily, it was not the fault of the respondent for failing to file the complaint as alleged by the respondent but due to, in the words of the complainant, a legal knot that has to be untangled.[8] Thereafter, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which reads: "Premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered declaring the dismissal of the complainant as illegal and ordering the respondent to immediately reinstate him to his former position without loss of seniority rights with full back wages inclusive of allowance and to his other benefits or equivalent computed from the time it is withheld from him when he was dismissed on March 27, 1977, until actually reinstated.[9] On June 1, 1990, respondent NHC filed its appeal before the NLRC and on March 14, 1991, the NLRC promulgated a decision which reversed the decision of Labor Arbiter Manuel R. Caday on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.[10] The primordial issue that confronts us is whether or not public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that petitioner is not governed by the Labor Code. Under the laws then in force, employees of government-owned and /or controlled corporations were governed by the Civil Service Law and not by the Labor Code. Hence, Article 277 of the Labor Code (PD 442) then provided: "The terms and conditions of employment of all government employees, including employees of government-owned and controlled corporations shall be governed by the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations x x x. The 1973 Constitution, Article II-B, Section 1(1), on the other hand provided: The Civil Service embraces every branch, agency, subdivision and instrumentality of the government, including government -owned or controlled corporations. Although we had earlier ruled in National Housing Corporation v. Juco,[11] that employees of government-owned and/or controlled corporations, whether created by special law or formed as subsidiaries under the general Corporation Law, are governed by the Civil Service Law and not by the Labor Code, this ruling has been supplanted by the 1987 Constitution. Thus, the said Constitution now provides: The civil service embraces all branches, subdivision, instrumentalities, and agencies of th e Government, including government owned or controlled corporations with original charter. (Article IX-B,

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Section 2[1]) In National Service Corporation (NASECO) v. National Labor Relations Commission,[12] we had the occasion to apply the present Constitution in deciding whether or not the employees of NASECO are covered by the Civil Service Law or the Labor Code notwithstanding that the case arose at the time when the 1973 Constitution was still in effect. We ruled that the NLRC has jurisdiction over the employees of NASECO on the ground that it is the 1987 Constitution that governs because it is the Constitution in place at the time of the decision. Furthermore, we ruled that the new phrase with original charter means that government-owned and controlled corporations refer to corporations chartered by special law as distinguished from corporations organized under the Corporation Code. Thus, NASECO which had been organized under the general incorporation stature and a subsidiary of the National Investment Development Corporation, which in turn was a subsidiary of the Philippine National Bank, is excluded from the purview of the Civil Service Commission. We see no cogent reason to depart from the ruling in the aforesaid case. In the case at bench, the National Housing Corporation is a government owned corporation organized in 1959 in accordance with Executive Order No. 399, otherwise known as the Uniform Charter of Government Corporation, dated January 1, 1959. Its shares of stock are and have been one hundred percent (100%) owned by the Government from its incorporation under Act 145 9, the former corporation law. The government entities that own its shares of stock are the Government Service Insurance System, the Social Security System, the Development Bank of the Philippines, the National Investment and Development Corporation and the Peoples Homesite and Housing Corporation. [13] Considering the fact that the NHA had been incorporated under act 1459, the former corporation law, it is but correct to say that it is a government-owned or controlled corporation whose employees are subject to the provisions of the Labor Code. This observation is reiterated in recent case of Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) v. National Housing Corporation,[14] where we held that the NHA is now within the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment, it being a government-owned and/or controlled corporation without an original charter. Furthermore, we also held that the workers or employees of the NHC (now NHA) undoubtedly have the right to form unions or employees organization and that there is no impediment to the holding of a certification el ection among them as they are covered by the Labor Code. Thus, the NLRC erred in dismissing petitioners complaint for lack of jurisdiction because the rule now is that the Civil Service now covers only government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.[15] Having been incorporated under the Corporation Law, its relations with its personnel are governed by the Labor Code and come under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Commission. One final point. Petitioners have been tossed from one forum to another for a simple illegal dismissal case. It is but apt that we put an end to his dilemma in the interest of justice. WHEREFORE, the decision of the NLRC in NLRC NCR-04-02036089 dated March 14, 1991 is hereby REVERSED and the Decision of the Labor Arbiter dated May 21, 1990 is REINSTATED. SO ORDERED. Summary: Feliciano vs. Commission on Audit (GR 147402, 14 January 2004)

Feliciano vs. Commission on Audit [GR 147402, 14 January 2004] En Banc, Carpio (J): 13 concur Facts: A Special Audit Team from Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. VIII audited the accounts of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD). Subsequently, LMWD received a letter from COA dated 19 July 1999 requesting payment of auditing fees. As General Manager of LMWD, Engr. Ranulfo C. Feliciano sent a reply dated 12 October 1999 informing COAs Regional Director t hat the water district could not pay the auditing fees. Feliciano cited as basis for his action Sections 6 and 20 of PD 198, as wel l as Section 18 of RA 6758. The Regional Director referred Felicianos reply to the COA Chairman on 18 October 1999. On 19 October 1999, Feliciano wrote COA through the Regional Director asking for refund of all auditing fees LMWD previously paid to COA. On 16 March 2000, Feliciano received COA Chairman Celso D. Gangans Resolution dated 3 January 2000 denying Felicianos request for COA to ceas e all audit services, and to stop charging auditing fees, to LMWD. The COA also denied Felicianos request for COA to refund all auditing fees previously paid by LMWD. Feliciano filed a motion for reconsideration on 31 March 2000, which COA denied on 30 January 2001. On 13 March 2001, Felicaino filed the petition for certiorari. Issue: Whether a Local Water District ( LWD) is a government-owned or controlled corporation. Held: The Constitution recognizes two classes of corporations. The first refers to private corporations created under a general law. The second refers to government-owned or controlled corporations created by special charters. The Constitution emphatically prohibits the creation of private corporations except by a general law applicable to all citizens. The purpose of this constitutional provision is to ban private corporations created by special charters, which historically gave certain individuals, families or groups special privileges denied to other citizens. In short, Congress cannot enact a law creating a private corporation with a special charter. Such legislation would be unconstitutional. Private corporations may exist only under a general law. If the corporation is private, it must necessarily exist under a general law. Stated differently, only corporations created under a general law can qualify as private corporations. Under existing laws, that general law is the Corporation Code, except that the Cooperative Code governs the incorporation of cooperatives. The Constitution authorizes Congress to create government-owned or controlled corporations through special charters. Since private corporations cannot have special charters, it follows that Congress can create corporations with special charters only if such corporations are government-owned or controlled. Obviously, LWDs are not private corporations because they are not created under the Corporation Code. LWDs are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Section 14 of the Corporation Code states that *A+ll corporations organized under this code shall file with the Securities and Exchange Commission articles of incorporatio n x x x. LWDs have no articles of incorporation, no incorporators and no stockholders or members. There are no stockholders or members to elect the board directors of LWDs as in the case of all corporations registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The local mayor or the provincial governor appoints the directors of LWDs for a fixed term of office. LWDs exist by virtue of PD 198, which constitutes their special charter. Since under the Constitution only government-owned or controlled corporations may have special charters, LWDs can validly exist only if they are government-owned or controlled. To claim that LWDs are private corporations with a special charter is to admit that their existence is constitutionally infirm. Unlike private corporations, which derive their legal existence and power from the Corporation Code, LWDs derive their legal existence and power from PD 198.

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