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Francisco vs. House of Representeatives G.R. No.

160261
FACTS: Within a period of 1 year, 2 impeachment proceedings were filed against Supreme Court Chief
Justice Hilario Davide. The justiciable controversy in this case was the constitutionality of the subsequent
filing of a second complaint to controvert the rules of impeachment provided for by law.

ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives is constitutional, and whether the resolution thereof is a
political question h; as resulted in a political crisis.
HELD: Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were
approved by the House of Representativesare unconstitutional. Consequently, the second impeachment
complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of the
Constitution.
REASONING:In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy, this Court is ever mindful of
the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative, executive or
judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of
that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people.

At the same time, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by the
Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without
destroying their indispensable co-equality. There exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the
exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances.
Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat
another." Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that
insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it bythe Constitution.
The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus when a proposal
reached the floor proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be
necessary to initiate impeachment proceedings," this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the
ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a
complaint does.
Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the
impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the
members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section
3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment
complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period.
The Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main
issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the
constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where
it had none, nor indiscriminately turnjusticiable issues out of decidedly political questions. Because it is not at
all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the
government.

GEORGE UY, PETITIONER, VS. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, THE HON. OMBUDSMAN AND THE HON.
ROGER C. BERBANO, SR., SPECIAL PROSECUTION OFFICER III, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR, RESPONDENTS. [ G.R. Nos. 105965-70, March 20, 2001 ]
FACTS: In Uy vs Sandiganbayan [G.R. Nos. 105965-70. August 9, 1999], petitioner Uy, who was Deputy
Comptroller of the Philippine navy and designated as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Comptrollership was
charged with estafa through falsification of official documents and violation of RA 3019. The petitioner filed a
motion to quash, arguing that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the offense charged and that the
Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor had no authority to file the offense.
The court ruled that :
1.
It is the court-martial, not the Sandiganbayan, which has jurisdiction to try petitioner since he was a
regular officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and fell squarely under Article 2 of the Articles of War
mentioned in Section 1(b) of P.D. 1850, Providing for the trial by courts-martial of members of the Integrated
National Police and further defining the jurisdiction of courts-martial over members of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines
2.
As to the violations of Republic Act No. 3019, the petitioner does not fall within the rank requirement
stated in Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, thus, exclusive jurisdiction over petitioner is vested in the
regular courts , as amended by R.A. No. 8249, which states that In cases where none of the accused are
occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade 27 or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No.
6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in
the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as
the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as
amended.
In this connection, it is the prosecutor, not the Ombudsman, who has the authority to file the corresponding
information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers
only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.
In February 20, 2000, a motion for clarification which in fact appeared to be a partial motion for
reconsideration was filed by the Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor filed, which was denied.
The instant case is a Motion for Further Clarification filed by Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto of the Court's
ruling in its decision dated August 9, 1999 and resolution dated February 22, 2000.
ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecutory power of the Ombudsman extends only to cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and that the Ombudsman has no authority to prosecute cases falling within the jurisdiction of
regular courts.
RULING: No. The Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute
all criminal cases involving public officers and employees, not only those within the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan, but those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well. The power to investigate and to
prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act or omission of
any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.
The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable
by regular courts. It has been held that the clause "any illegal act or omission of any public official" is broad

enough to embrace all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public officers
and employees during their tenure of office.
The exercise by the Ombudsman of his primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is
not incompatible with the discharge of his duty to investigate and prosecute other offenses committed by
public officers and employees. The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers and employees is
one of the most important functions of the Ombudsman. In passing RA 6770, the Congress deliberately
endowed the Ombudsman with such power to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in
ensuring accountability in public office.
Even a perusal of the law (PD 1630) originally creating the Office of the Ombudsman then (to be known as
the Tanodbayan), and the amendatory laws issued subsequent thereto will show that, at its inception, the
Office of the Ombudsman was already vested with the power to investigate and prosecute civil and criminal
cases before the Sandiganbayan and even the regular courts.

G.R. No. 180236 : January 17, 2012


GEMMA P. CABALIT, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT-REGION VII, Respondent.,
FILADELFO S. APIT, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA) LEGAL AND ADJUDICATION, REGION
VII, RESPONDENT., LEONARDO G. OLAIVAR, IN HIS CAPACITY AS TRANSPORTATION REGULATION
OFFICER AND OFFICER-IN-CHARGE OF LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE, JAGNA, PROVINCE OF
BOHOL, Petitioner, vs. HON. PRIMO C. MIRO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN
FOR VISAYAS, EDGARDO G. CANTON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS GRAFT INVESTIGATOR OFFICER, ATTY.
ROY L. URSAL, IN HIS CAPACITY AS REGIONAL CLUSTER DIRECTOR, COMMISSION ON AUDIT,
CEBU CITY, Respondents.
VILLARAMA, JR.,J.:
FACTS:
Philippine Star News, a local newspaper in Cebu City, reported that employees of the LTO in Jagna, Bohol,
are shortchanging the government by tampering with their income reports.Accordingly, Regional Director
Ildefonso T. Deloria of the Commission on Audit (COA) directed State Auditors Teodocio D. Cabalit and
Emmanuel L. Coloma of the Provincial Revenue Audit Group to conduct a fact-finding investigation. A
widespread tampering of official receipts of Motor Vehicle Registration during the years 1998, 1999, 2000
and 2001 was then discovered by the investigators.
In a Joint Evaluation Report, Graft Investigators Pio R. Dargantes and Virginia Palanca-Santiago found
grounds to conduct a preliminary investigation.Hence, a formal charge for dishonesty was filed against
Olaivar, Cabalit, Apit and Alabat before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.
Olaivar, Cabalit, Apit and Alabat submitted separate counter-affidavits, all essentially denying knowledge and
responsibility for the anomalies.
Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas rendered judgment finding petitioners liable for dishonesty for tampering
the official receipts to make it appear that they collected lesser amounts than they actually collected.

Petitioners sought reconsideration of the decision, but their motions were denied by the Ombudsman.Thus,
they separately sought recourse from the CA.
CA promulgated the assailed Decision DISMISSING the instant consolidated petitions.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a violation of the right to due process when the hearing officer at the Office
of the Ombudsman-Visayas adopted the procedure under A.O. No. 17 notwithstanding the fact that the said
amendatory order took effect after the hearings had started? Whether or not Cabalit, Apit and Olaivar are
administratively liable?
HELD: Court of Appeals decision is sustained.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: due process; ombudsman
Suffice to say, petitioners were not denied due process of law when the investigating lawyer proceeded to
resolve the case based on the affidavits and other evidence on record. Section 5(b)(1) Rule 3, of t heRules of
Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, as amended by A.O. No. 17, plainly provides that the hearing
officer may issue an order directing the parties to file, within ten days from receipt of the order, their
respective verified position papers on the basis of which, along with the attachments thereto, the hearing
officer may consider the case submitted for decision. It is only when the hearing officer determines that
based on the evidence, there is a need to conduct clarificatory hearings or formal investigations under
Section 5(b)(2) and Section 5(b)(3) that such further proceedings will be conducted. But the determination of
the necessity for further proceedings rests on the sound discretion of the hearing officer. As the petitioners
have utterly failed to show any cogent reason why the hearing officer's determination should be overturned,
the determination will not be disturbed by this Court. We likewise find no merit in their contention that the new
procedures under A.O. No. 17, which took effect while the case was already undergoing trial before the
hearing officer, should not have been applied.
Since petitioners have been afforded the right to be heard and to defend themselves, they cannot rightfully
complain that they were denied due process of law. Well to remember, due process, as a constitutional
precept, does not always and in all situations require a trial-type proceeding. It is satisfied when a person is
notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. In administrative
proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the
accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process. More often, this opportunity is
conferred through written pleadings that the parties submit to present their charges and defenses.But as long
as a party is given the opportunity to defend his or her interests in due course, said party is not denied due
process.
REMEDIAL LAW: ombudsman
Now, superior courts are not triers of facts. When the findings of fact of the Ombudsman are supported by
substantial evidence, it should be considered as conclusive. This Court recognizes the expertise and
independence of the Ombudsman and will avoid interfering with its findings absent a finding of grave abuse
of discretion. Hence, being supported by substantial evidence, we find no reason to disturb the factual
findings of the Ombudsman which are affirmed by the CA.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: public officers; neglect of duty

Neglect of duty implies only the failure to give proper attention to a task expected of an employee arising from
either carelessness or indifference.However, the facts of this case show more than a failure to mind one's
task. Rather, they manifest that Olaivar committed acts of dishonesty, which is defined as the concealment or
distortion of truth in a matter of fact relevant to one's office or connected with the performance of his duty. It
implies a disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty,
probity, or integrity in principle.Hence, the CA should have found Olaivar liable for dishonesty.
Under Section 52, Rule IV of theUniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, dishonesty, like
gross neglect of duty, is classified as a grave offense punishable by dismissal even if committed for the first
time.Under Section 58,such penalty likewise carries with it the accessory penalties of cancellation of civil
service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from re-employment in the government
service.
The duty and privilege of the Ombudsman to act as protector of the people against the illegal and unjust acts
of those who are in the public service emanate from no less than the 1987 Constitution. Section 12 of Article
XI thereof states:
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.
In the exercise of his duties, the Ombudsman is given full administrative disciplinary authority. His power is
not limited merely to receiving, processing complaints, or recommending penalties. He is to conduct
investigations, hold hearings, summon witnesses and require production of evidence and place respondents
under preventive suspension. This includes the power to impose the penalty of removal, suspension,
demotion, fine, or censure of a public officer or employee.
The provisions in R.A. No. 6770 taken together reveal the manifest intent of the lawmakers to bestow on the
Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority. These provisions cover the entire gamut of
administrative adjudication which entails the authority to,inter alia, receive complaints, conduct investigations,
hold hearings in accordance with its rules of procedure, summon witnesses and require the production of
documents, place under preventive suspension public officers and employees pending an investigation,
determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring public officers or employees as warranted by the
evidence, and, necessarily, impose the said penalty.Thus, it is settled that the Office of the Ombudsman can
directly impose administrative sanctions.
DENIED.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs. ULDARICO P. ANDUTAN, JR.


G.R. No. 164679. July 27, 2011.

FACTS:
Pursuant to the Memorandum directing all non-career officials or those occupying political positions to vacate
their positions, Andutan resigned from the DOF as the former Deputy Director of the One-Stop Shop Tax
Credit and Duty Drawback Center of the DOF. Subsequently, Andutan, et al. was criminally charged by the
Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) of the Ombudsman with Estafa through Falsification of Public

Documents, and violations RA 3019. As government employees, Andutan et al. were likewise
administratively charged of Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, Falsification of Official Documents and Conduct
Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. The criminal and administrative charges arose from anomalies
in the illegal transfer of Tax Credit Certificates (TCCs) to Steel Asia, among others. The Ombudsman found
the respondents guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty. Having been separated from the service, Andutan was
imposed the penalty of forfeiture of all leaves, retirement and other benefits and privileges, and perpetual
disqualification from reinstatement and/or reemployment in any branch or instrumentality of the government,
including government owned and controlled agencies or corporations. The CA annulled and set aside the
decision of the Ombudsman, ruling that the latter should not have considered the administrative complaints
because: first, Section 20 of R.A. 6770 provides that the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary
investigation of any administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that x x x [t]he complaint was
filed after one year from the occurrence of the act or omission complained of; and second, the administrative
case was filed after Andutans forced resignation

ISSUES:
1. Whether Section 20(5) of R.A. 6770 prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an administrative
investigation a year after the act was committed.
2. Whether the Ombudsman has authority to institute an administrative complaint against a government
employee who had already resigned.

HELD:
1. No. Well-entrenched is the rule that administrative offenses do not prescribe. Administrative offenses by
their very nature pertain to the character of public officers and employees. In disciplining public officers and
employees, the object sought is not the punishment of the officer or employee but the improvement of the
public service and the preservation of the publics faith and confidence in our government. Clearly, Section
20 of R.A. 6770 does not prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an administrative investigation after the
lapse of one year, reckoned from the time the alleged act was committed. Without doubt, even if the
administrative case was filed beyond the one (1) year period stated in Section 20(5), the Ombudsman was
well within its discretion to conduct the administrative investigation.

2. No. The Ombudsman can no longer institute an administrative case against Andutan because the latter
was not a public servant at the time the case was filed. It is irrelevant, according to the Ombudsman, that
Andutan had already resigned prior to the filing of the administrative case since the operative fact that
determines its jurisdiction is the commission of an offense while in the public service. The SC observed that
indeed it has held in the past that a public officials resignation does not render moot an administrative case
that was filed prior to the officials resignation. However, the facts of those cases are not entirely applicable to
the present case. In the past cases, the Court found that the public officials subject of the administrative
cases resigned, either to prevent the continuation of a case already filed or to pre-empt the imminent filing
of one. Here, neither situation obtains. First, Andutans resignation was neither his choice nor of his own
doing; he was forced to resign. Second, Andutan resigned from his DOF post on July 1, 1998, while the
administrative case was filed on September 1, 1999, exactly one year and two months after his resignation.
What is clear from the records is that Andutan was forced to resign more than a year before the Ombudsman
filed the administrative case against him. If the SC agreed with the interpretation of the Ombudsman, any
official even if he has been separated from the service for a long time may still be subject to the

disciplinary authority of his superiors, ad infinitum. Likewise, if the act committed by the public official is
indeed inimical to the interests of the State, other legal mechanisms are available to redress the same.

EFREN O. LOQUIAS, ANTONIO V. DIN, JR., ANGELITO L. MARTINEZ II, LOVELYN J. BIADOR,
GREGORIO FACIOL, JR., petitioners, vs. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, and DR. JOSE PEPITO H.
DALOGDOG, DR. AURORA BEATRIZ A. ROMANO, MA. TERESITA C. ABASTAR, JESSICA S. ALLAN, MA.
TERESA ANIVERSARIO, respondents.
RESOLUTION
GONZAGA-REYES, J.:
Before this Court is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 assailing the Resolution dated June 29, 1998
charging herein petitioners for violation of Section 3, paragraph e of R.A. No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act) which was issued by the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao and approved by
Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto, and the Memorandum dated June 11, 1999 wherein Ombudsman Desierto
disapproved the recommendation of the Special Prosecutor dismissing Criminal Case No. 24852.
The antecedent facts are as follows: In a sworn complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao,
private respondents Dr. Jose Pepito H. Dalogdog, Dr. Aurora Beatriz A. Romano, Maria Teresita C. Abastar,
Jessica S. Allan and Maria Teresa Aniversario charged herein petitioners Efren O. Loquias, Antonio V. Din,
Jr., Angelito I. Martinez II, Lovelyn J. Biador and Gregorio Faciol, Jr. with violation of Republic Act No. 3019
for their alleged failure to give the salary increases and benefits provided in Section 20 of the Magna Carta of
Public Health Workers (R.A. 7305) and Local Budget Circulars Nos. 54, 54-A, 56, 60 and 64 for the health
personnel of the local government of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur. Herein private respondents were
officers of the Association of Municipal Health Office Personnel of Zamboanga del Sur who instituted the said
complaint in behalf of the 490 members of the said Association. Petitioners Efren Loquias and Antonio Din,
Jr. are the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, respectively, of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur while petitioners Angelito
Martinez II, Lovelyn Biador and Gregorio Faciol, Jr. are members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the said
municipality.
Docketed as Case No. OMB-MIN-98-0022, herein public respondent Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto
approved on September 4, 1999 the Resolution dated June 29, 1998 of Graft Investigation Officer II Jovito A.
Coresis, Jr. of the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao finding "probable cause to conclude that the crime of
violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 has been committed by respondents Mayor, Vice-Mayor, members of
the Sangguniang Bayan and Budget Officer of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur" and that accordingly, the
appropriate Information be filed with the Sandiganbayan.[if !supportFootnotes][1][endif] The case was
docketed as Criminal Case No. 24852.
On March 15, 1999, petitioners filed a Motion for Reinvestigation with prayer to defer arraignment and pretrial alleging that they recognize the salary increases of the health personnel as a mandatory statutory
obligation but the salary increases could not be implemented because of lack of funds and the municipality
had incurred overdrafts. They further argue that the failure to give salary increases and other Magna Carta
benefits were due to circumstances beyond their control and not due to any manifest partiality, evident bad
faith or gross inexcusable negligence on their part.[if !supportFootnotes][2][endif]
In the Memorandum dated June 11, 1999, Special Prosecution Officer I Jacqueline J. Ongpauco-Cortel
recommended the dismissal of the case which recommendation was approved by Deputy Special Prosecutor
Robert E. Kallos and concurred in by Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo. This recommendation was,
however, disapproved by Ombudsman Desierto on June 18, 1999 stating in his handwriting that "(T)he crime
had obviously been committed, per OMB Mindanao findings, long before the payment granting that the
accused latters claim/allegation is true."[if !supportFootnotes][3][endif]
Meanwhile, petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated June 14, 1999 of the Resolution of the Office
of the Ombudsman-Mindanao dated June 29, 1998 alleging that there is no probable cause in holding that

they violated Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. They allege that the joint affidavits of
waiver executed by private complainants have made the case of the prosecution against the accused "too
weak which could not even create a probable cause."[if !supportFootnotes][4][endif] Petitioners further allege
that the order disapproving the dismissal of the case constitutes a denial of their motion for reconsideration.[if
!supportFootnotes][5][endif]
Alleging that the order disapproving the dismissal of the case constituted denial of the motion for
reconsideration,[if !supportFootnotes][6][endif] petitioners filed the present petition assailing the Resolution
dated June 29, 1998 and the Memorandum dated June 11, 1999 raising the following assignment of errors:
"I.
THE HONORABLE OMBUDSMAN WITH DUE RESPECT, COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN APPROVING THE RESOLUTION
CHARGING THE PETITIONERS FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION 3 PAR. (E) OF R.A. 3019 ISSUED AND
APPROVED BY OMBUDSMAN FOR MINDANAO.
II.
THE HONORABLE OMBUDSMAN WITH DUE RESPECT, COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN DISAPPROVING THE MEMORANDUM
RECOMMENDING THE DISMISSAL OF THE CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST THE PETITIONER(S) ISSUED
BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, CONCURRED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR BUT DISAPPROVED BY THE
OMBUDSMAN."
Petitioners contend that they recognize the salary increases of the health personnel as a mandatory statutory
obligation but the same could not be implemented due to lack of funds and the Municipality incurred an
overdraft. They further argue that petitioners Loquias, Din, Martinez, Faciol and Biador were not yet elected
as local officials during the year 1994; hence, they cannot be held liable for non-payment of salary increases
as mandated by the local budget circular which took effect in the year 1994 before their election.
In its Comment,[if !supportFootnotes][7][endif] the Office of the Ombudsman, through the Solicitor General,
alleges that the petition does not comply with Section 5, Rule 7 as the Verification and the Certification on
Non-Forum Shopping were signed only by petitioner Antonio Din and not by all the petitioners and there is no
showing that petitioner Din was authorized by his co-petitioners to represent them in this case; that the
petition raise factual issues; and that the municipality had sufficient funds to grant the statutory salary
increases and benefits.
In their Reply,[if !supportFootnotes][8][endif] petitioners contend that there was substantial compliance with
Section 5, Rule 7 notwithstanding the fact that only one of the petitioners signed the verification and
certification on forum shopping; and that the petition does not call for an examination of the probative value
of the evidence presented.
At the outset, it is noted that the Verification and Certification was signed by Antonio Din, Jr., one of the
petitioners in the instant case. We agree with the Solicitor General that the petition is defective. Section 5,
Rule 7 expressly provides that it is the plaintiff or principal party who shall certify under oath that he has not
commenced any action involving the same issues in any court, etc.[if !supportFootnotes][9][endif] Only
petitioner Din, the Vice-Mayor of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, signed the certification. There is no
showing that he was authorized by his co-petitioners to represent the latter and to sign the certification. It
cannot likewise be presumed that petitioner Din knew, to the best of his knowledge, whether his copetitioners had the same or similar actions or claims filed or pending. We find that substantial compliance will
not suffice in a matter involving strict observance by the rules. The attestation contained in the certification on
non-forum shopping requires personal knowledge by the party who executed the same. Petitioners must
show reasonable cause for failure to personally sign the certification. Utter disregard of the rules cannot justly
be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction.[if !supportFootnotes][10][endif]
Moreover, petitioners question the act of the Ombudsman in disapproving the resolution recommending the
dismissal of the criminal case. We have ruled that this Court will not interfere with the Ombudsmans exercise
of his constitutionally mandated investigatory and prosecutory powers. Otherwise stated, it is beyond the

ambit of this Court to review the exercise of discretion of the Ombudsman in prosecuting or dismissing a
complaint filed before it. Such initiative and independence are inherent in the Ombudsman who, beholden to
no one, acts as the champion of the people and preserver of the integrity of the public service.[if !
supportFootnotes][11][endif] In Venus vs. Desierto,[if !supportFootnotes][12][endif] this Court stated that it
ordinarily does not determine whether there exists reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been
committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof and, thereafter, to file the corresponding
information with the appropriate courts. As held in the Ocampo case:
"x x x The rule is based not only upon respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the
Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman but upon practicality as well. Otherwise, the functions of the
courts will be grievously hampered by innumerable petitions assailing the dismissal of investigatory
proceedings conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman with regard to complaints filed before it, in much the
same way that the courts would be extremely swamped if they could be compelled to review the exercise of
discretion on the part of the fiscals or prosecuting attorneys each time they decide to file an information in
court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant."[if !supportFootnotes][13][endif]
With respect to the joint affidavits of waiver allegedly executed by private complainants for the purpose of
requesting the Special Prosecutor to move for the dismissal of the criminal case,[if !supportFootnotes][14]
[endif] this Court ruled in Alba vs. Nitorreda[if !supportFootnotes][15][endif] that a joint affidavit of desistance
is not binding on the Office of the Ombudsman and cannot prevail over the provision of law which
categorically allows the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute on its own any act or
omission of a public officer or employee, office or agency which appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or
inefficient.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Ombudsman vs
CSC
Case
Digest
G.R. No. 162215, July 30, 2007
FACTS:
The qualification standards set for Director II positions in the Central Administrative Service and Finance and
Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman pursuant to Civil Service Commission Memorandum
Circular No. 1 dated January 24, 1997 are as follows:
Education : Bachelors degree
Experience : 3 years of supervisory experience
Training : None required.
Eligibility : Career Service Executive Eligibility (CSEE)/Career Executive Service (CES)
However, in the case of Khem N. Inok vs. Civil Service Commission (G.R. No. 148782, July 2, 2002 ), the
Supreme Court held that the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, the Office of the Ombudsman and
the Commission on Human Rights are not covered by the CES governed by the Career Executive Service
Board. Said Decision effectively granted the petition of Mr. Inok for security of tenure as Director III of the
Commission on Audit despite the absence of a CES eligibility.
Thus, Ombudsman Simeon V. Marcelo wrote a letter dated July 28, 2003 to the Civil Service Commission
(CSC), requesting the approval of the amendment of qualification standards for Director II positions in the
Central Administrative Service and Finance and Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman, as
follows:
Education : Bachelors degree
Experience : 3 years of supervisory experience
Training : None required.

Eligibility : Career Service Professional/Relevant Eligibility for Second Level Position


CSC issued Opinion No. 44, s. 2004 disapproving the request on the ground that Director II position, being
third level eligibility, is covered by the Career Executive Service. The Commission argued that, as the central
personnel agency of the government, it is mandated by the Constitution to administer all levels in the civil
service, including that of the third level.
The Office of the Ombudsman, thus, filed a petition for certiorari seeking to set aside and nullify CSC Opinion
No. 44, s. 2004. The Office of the Ombudsman asserts that its specific, exclusive and discretionary
constitutional and statutory power as an independent constitutional body to administer and supervise its own
officials and personnel, including the authority to administer competitive examinations and prescribe
reasonable qualification standards for its own officials, cannot be curtailed by the general power of the CSC
to administer the civil service system. Any unwarranted and unreasonable restriction on its discretionary
authority, such as what the CSC did when it issued Opinion No. 44, s. 2004, is constitutionally and legally
infirm.
ISSUES:
Whether or not the Director II positions in the Central Administrative Service and the Finance and
Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman are covered by the Career Executive Service
HELD:
No. Book V, Title I, Subtitle A, Chapter 2, Section 7 of EO 292, otherwise known as The Administrative Code
of 1987, provides:
SECTION 7. Career Service. The Career Service shall be characterized by (1) entrance based on merit
and fitness to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination, or based on highly technical
qualifications; (2) opportunity for advancement to higher career positions; and (3) security of tenure.
The Career Service shall include:
(1) Open Career positions for appointment to which prior qualification in an appropriate examination is
required;
(2) Closed Career positions which are scientific, or highly technical in nature; these include the faculty and
academic staff of state colleges and universities, and scientific and technical positions in scientific or
research institutions which shall establish and maintain their own merit systems;
(3) Positions in the Career Executive Service; namely, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director,
Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and
other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service Board, all of whom are
appointed by the President;
x x x x x x x x x (emphasis supplied)
Thus, the CES covers presidential appointees only.
Under the Constitution, the Ombudsman is the appointing authority for all officials and employees of the
Office of the Ombudsman, except the Deputy Ombudsmen. Thus, a person occupying the position of Director
II in the Central Administrative Service or Finance and Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman
is appointed by the Ombudsman, not by the President. As such, he is neither embraced in the CES nor does
he need to possess CES eligibility.
To classify the positions of Director II in the Central Administrative Service and the Finance and Management
Service of the Office of the Ombudsman as covered by the CES and require appointees thereto to acquire
CES or CSE eligibility before acquiring security of tenure will lead to unconstitutional and unlawful
consequences. It will result either in (1) vesting the appointing power for said position in the President, in
violation of the Constitution or (2) including in the CES a position not held by a presidential appointee,
contrary to the Administrative Code.
Section 6, Article XI of the Constitution provides:
Sec. 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.
This is complemented by Sec. 11 of RA 6770, otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989.

Under the Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent body. As a guaranty of this
independence, the Ombudsman has the power to appoint all officials and employees of the Office of the
Ombudsman, except his deputies. This power necessarily includes the power of setting, prescribing and
administering the standards for the officials and personnel of the Office.
To further ensure its independence, the Ombudsman has been vested with the power of administrative
control and supervision of the Office. This includes the authority to organize such directorates for
administration and allied services as may be necessary for the effective discharge of the functions of the
Office, as well as to prescribe and approve its position structure and staffing pattern. Necessarily, it also
includes the authority to determine and establish the qualifications, duties, functions and responsibilities of
the various directorates and allied services of the Office. This must be so if the constitutional intent to
establish an independent Office of the Ombudsman is to remain meaningful and significant.
Qualification standards are used as guides in appointment and other personnel actions, in determining
training needs and as aid in the inspection and audit of the personnel work programs. They are intimately
connected to the power to appoint as well as to the power of administrative supervision. Thus, as a corollary
to the Ombudsmans appointing and supervisory powers, he possesses the authority to establish reasonable
qualification standards for the personnel of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Since the responsibility for the establishment, administration and maintenance of qualification standards lies
with the concerned department or agency, the role of the CSC is limited to assisting the department or
agency with respect to these qualification standards and approving them. The CSC cannot substitute its own
standards for those of the department or agency, specially in a case like this in which an independent
constitutional body is involved.
Petition GRANTED and Opinion No. 44, s. 2004 SET ASIDE. (Ombudsman vs Civil Service
Commisison, G.R. No. 162215, July 30, 2007).

JOSE C. MIRANDA vs. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. NO. 154098. July 27, 2005.

FACTS:
The Ombudsman placed petitioner Jose C. Miranda then the mayor of Santiago City, Isabela, under
preventive suspension for six months from 25 July 1997 to 25 January 1998 for alleged violations of Republic
Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and
Employees. Subsequently, then Vice Mayor Amelita S. Navarro filed a Complaint with the Office of the
Ombudsman. Vice Mayor Navarro contended that Mayor Miranda committed the felony of usurpation of
authority or official functions. Mayor Miranda asserted that he reassumed office on the advice of his lawyer
and in good faith. He also averred that, on the day he reassumed office, he received a memorandum from
DILG Undersecretary Manuel Sanchez instructing him to vacate his office and he immediately complied with
the same. Notably, Mayor Mirandas counter-affidavit also stated that he left the mayoralty post after
coercion by the Philippine National Police.

ISSUE:
Whether or not good faith may be invoked by the petitioner.

HELD:
The court is not a bit persuaded by the posture of the petitioner that he reassumed office under an honest
belief that he was no longer under preventive suspension. Petitioners pretense cannot stand scrutiny.

Petitioners own affidavit states.Petitioners excuse for violating the order of preventive suspension is too
flimsy to merit even a side-glance. He alleged that he merely followed the advice of his lawyer. If petitioner
and his counsel had an iota of respect for the rule of law, they should have assailed the validity of the order of
suspension in court instead of taking the law into their own hands.

G.R. No. 172218


November 26, 2014
FELICIANO B. DUYON, substituted by his children: MAXIMA R. DUYON-ORSAME, EFREN R. DUYON,
NOVILYN R. DUYON, ELIZABETH R. DUYON-SIBUMA, MODESTO R. DUYON, ERROL R. DUYON, and
DIVINA R. DUYON-VINLUAN, Petitioners,
vs.
THE FORMER SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS and ELEONOR P. BUNAGCABACUNGAN, Respondents.
DECISION
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
Challenged in this petition for certiorari is the September 16, 2005 Decision1 and April 6, 2006 Resolution2
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 86630.
Herein petitioner Feliciano B. Duyon (Duyon), on August 27, 1979, was issued Certificate of Land Transfer
(CL T) No. 0-0052243 over the 6,358-square meter parcel of land (subject land) he had been tilling since
1957. The subject land was denominated as Lot 20 of Lot 797 under subdivision plan PSD-03-012599 dated
January 7, 1987.4
Apparently, the same parcel of land was also covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) E.P. No. 440975
under Emancipation Patent No. A-347307, which had been issued to herein private respondent Eleonor P.
Bunag-Cabacungan (Bunag-Cabacungan) on June 6, 1989.
Sometime in November 2002, Duyon discovered the double registration and filed a complaint-affidavit6 for
misconduct or abuse of authority, docketed as OMB-L-A-03-0111-A (administrative aspect of the case) and
for violation of Republic Act No. 3019 and Falsification of Public Documents under Article 171 of the Revised
Penal Code, docketed as OMBL-C-03-0125-A (criminal aspect of the case) against Bunag-Cabacungan, who
was an employee of the Municipal Agriculture Office of Nueva Ecija under the Department of Agriculture, and
her husband, Eutiquio Cabacungan (Cabacungan), who then worked at the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR), for allegedly taking advantage of their official positions to cause the issuance of the TCT in favor of
Bunag-Cabacungan. Duyon further asseverated that Bunag-Cabacungan misrepresented herself in her
application with the DAR by stating therein that she was single despite having been married to Cabacungan
since 1979.7
Explaining their side, Cabacungan and Bunag-Cabacungan, in their Joint Counter-Affidavit,8 denied Duyon's
accusations and alleged that he was never deprived possession of the subject land. They claimed that an
error had been made in the issuance of the Emancipation Patent, such was not their fault, and that the DAR
Office in Nueva Ecija had already requested for its correction. Moreover, they argued, the lot Bunag
Cabacungan applied for had a bigger land area at 18,257 square meters than the 6,358-square meter
subject land of Duyon.
Finding that the Cabacungan spouses flaunted unlawful behavior and intentional neglect, the Office of the
Deputy Ombudsman (OMB) for Luzon, on December 11, 2003, issued its Decision9 in OMB-L-A-03-0111-A,
finding the spouses guilty of simple misconduct, to wit: WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully
recommended that the respondents Eutiquio Cabacungan and Eleonor P. Bunag-Cabacungan be meted a
penalty of suspension of SIX (6) MONTHS WITHOUT PAY for Simple Misconduct. Respondents are sternly
warned that repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.10

The same OMB for Luzon recommended in OMB-L-C-03-0125-A, the filing of an Information for Violation of
Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 against the Cabacungan spouses in its Resolution dated December
11, 2003 for causing undue injury to Duyon by evident bad faith.11
However, acting on the Motions for Reconsideration filed by the Cabacungan spouses and the Partial Motion
for Reconsideration filed by Duyon, the OMB for Luzon, in a Joint Order12 dated August 27, 2004, modified
its December 11, 2003 Decision and Resolution by dismissing the charges filed against Cabacungan, and
reducing the suspension imposed against Bunag-Cabacungan. The dispositive portion of the Joint Order
reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is most respectfully recommended that the Resolution and
Decision both dated 11 [December] 2003 be MODIFIED as follows: The criminal as well as the administrative
case filed against respondent Eutiquio Cabacungan are hereby DISMISSED for insufficiency and lack of
substantial evidence, respectively. The recommendation for the filing of an information for violation of Section
3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 against respondent Eleonor Bunag-Cabacungan is AFFIRMED. The penalty of
six (6) months suspension imposed upon Eleonor Bunag[-Cabacungan] is hereby REDUCED to three (3)
months suspension from office without pay.
The Provincial Prosecutor of Nueva Ecija is hereby ordered to file the hereto attached information against
respondent Eleonor Bunag Cabacungan before the proper court.13 Accordingly, Bunag-Cabacungan filed a
Petition for Review on Ceriorari14 before the Court of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 8663 0, seeking
the reversal of the December 11, 2003 Decision and August 27, 2004 Joint Order with respect to the
administrative aspect of the case; while Duyon filed his own Petition for Certiorari before the Court of
Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 87325, assailing the Joint Order dated August 27, 2004 and a motion
to consolidate CA-G.R. SP No. 87325 with CA-G.R. SP No. 86630.
In a Resolution15 dated January 27, 2005, the Court of Appeals resolved Duyon's petition for certiorari and
his motion to consolidate the aforementioned cases, as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby DISMISS the petition for petitioner's failure to avail of the
proper mode of appeal (with respect to the administrative disciplinary aspect of the case) and for lack of
jurisdiction (with respect to the criminal asftect of the case), and DENY as well petitioner's Motion for
Consolidation.16
Laying down the grounds for its dismissal of the petition for certiorari and denial of the motion for
consolidation, the Court of Appeals held:
Our examination of the present petition shows that it is, on its face, fatally defective so that a consolidation
with a pending related case is legally inappropriate.
The defect in the present petition is rooted in the petitioner's use of a petition for certiorari as a remedy
against the assailed order. Under current case law, all appeals from decisions of the Ombudsman in
administrative disciplinary cases shall be taken to this Court under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court; on the
other hand, decisions of the Ombudsman in criminal cases are unappealable. However, where the findings of
the Ombudsman on the existence of probable cause (in criminal cases) are tainted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the aggrieved party may file before the Supreme Court
a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.17 (Citations omitted.)
Duy on filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' Resolution, claiming that a Petition for
Certiorari would best serve him.18
Verily, the Court of Appeals denied such motion for lack of merit on August 12, 2005.19 Emphasizing the
grounds for such denial, the Court of Appeals held:
The petitioner completely misses our point. We dismissed the petition not because of strict adherence to the
rules of court on matters of appeal but because of jurisdictional grounds. Jurisprudence dictates that all
appeals from decisions of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases shall be taken to this Court
under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. The Rules only allow fifteen (15) days from notice of the award, decision
or order within which to file a petition for review. The petitioner filed this petition for certiorari sixty (60) days
from receipt of the assailed order. Thus, the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman (as to the

administrative aspect of the case) was already final at the time this petition was filed. As a final decision, the
Ombudsman's decision on the administrative aspect of the case is no longer within the scope of the power of
review of any court in the absence of grounds for review affecting jurisdiction. This ground for dismissal is a
substantive ground rather than mere technicality. The Honorable Supreme Court in its Circular No. 2-90
specifically commands that, "an appeal taken to the Court of Appeals by the wrong or inappropriate mode
shall be dismissed. "
We cannot entertain the criminal aspect of the case for lack of jurisdiction. By law, decisions of the
Ombudsman in criminal cases are unappealable. However, where the findings of the Ombudsman on the
existence of probable cause (in criminal cases) are tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction, the remedy i s a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 filed, not with us, but before the
Honorable Supreme Court.20
(Citations omitted.)
However, notwithstanding that the issue raised in Bunag Cabacungan's petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 86630
was limited to the administrative aspect of the case, the Court of Appeals promulgated a contrary decision
dated September 16, 2005, which reversed and set aside the assailed Decision and Joint Order and
dismissed Duyon's complaint against Bunag-Cabacungan for violation of Section 3( e) of Republic Act No.
3019.
In resolving the criminal aspect of the case, the Court of Appeals found that the elements of Section 3( e) of
Republic Act No. 3019 were not present in the case, given the evidence on record. Thus, it held that "no
probable cause exists to warrant the filing of charges against [BunagCabacungan]."21 The Court of Appeals
added that there was nothing to show that Bunag-Cabacungan, an employee of the Department of
Agriculture, had acted in conspiracy with the officers or officials of the DAR, the office responsible for the
issuance of the Emancipation Patent. Moreover, the Court of Appeals said, while Duyon alleged undue injury,
he nevertheless failed to present proof of such on him or to the Govemment.22
The fallo of the Court of Appeals decision, reads:
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed decision dated December 11, 2003 and the joint
order dated August 27, 2004 are hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The complaint of respondent
Feliciano Duyon against petitioner Eleonor Bunag-Cabacungan for violation of Section 3(e), R.A. No. 3019 is
accordingly DISMISSED.23
Duyon filed a Motion for Reconsideration24 on October 10, 2005, which the Court of Appeals denied for lack
of merit in its Resolution25 dated April 6, 2005.26
Issues
Now before us is a petition for certiorari, filed by Duyon, questioning the aforementioned decision and
resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 86630, which reversed and set aside the OMB for
Luzon's December 11, 2003 Decision, which found Bunag-Cabacungan and her husband, Cabacungan,
guilty of simple misconduct; and August 27, 2004 Joint Order, which modified the December 11, 2003
Decision (for Simple Misconduct) and December 11, 2003 Resolution (for violation of Section 3[e] of
Republic Act No. 3019) by: 1) reducing the administrative penalty on Bunag-Cabacungan; 2) affirming the
recommendation of filing an information for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 against her;
and 3) dismissing both administrative and criminal charges against Bunag-Cabacungan's husband,
Cabacungan. The following are the issues presented for our resolution:
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN
ACTING UPON AND DISMISSING THE CRIMINAL ASPECT OF THE CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THE
CLEAR IMPORT OF THE FABIAN CASE THAT IT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE DECISIONS OF
THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN WITH RESPECT TO CRIMINAL CASES.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN REVERSING THE OMBUDSMAN'S
DECISION WITH RESPECT TO ITS FINDINGS OF PROBABLE CAUSE.27 Duyon28 argues that the Court
of Appeals acted with grave abuse of discretion as it has no power to review the criminal aspect of
Ombudsman cases, which was also the subject of the August 27, 2004 OMB for Luzon Joint Order. Duyon

contends that although Bunag-Cabacungan correctly filed a Petition for Review before the Court of Appeals,
such review should have been limited only to the administrative aspect covered by the OMB for Luzon's
Decision of December 11, 2003.29
To reiterate his point, Duyon cited and attached the Resolutions of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
87325, wherein the Court of Appeals, in resolving his petition for certiorari, elaborated on the remedies the
parties to an Ombudsman case may take with regard to both its administrative and criminal aspects.
Bunag-Cabacungan, in her Comment,30 avers that the Court of Appeals has now appellate jurisdiction to
review orders and decisions of the Ombudsman regardless of its nature by reason of Section 7 of
Administrative Order No. 17, dated September 15, 2003, amending Section 7, Rule III, Administrative Order
No. 07 dated April 10, 1990 of the implementing rules of the Office of the Ombudsman. Bunag-Cabacungan
argues that the phrase "in all other cases" in the amendment does not categorically limit the cases that can
be appealed to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43, in contrast to the explicit provision in the old rule, that
only appropriate administrative cases can be appealed to the Supreme Court via a petition for certiorari.31
Hence, Bunag-Cabacungan contends that the Court of Appeals correctly reversed and set aside both the
OMB for Luzon's December 11, 2003 Decision on the administrative charge against Bunag-Cabacungan and
her husband and the August 27, 2004 Joint Order on both the administrative and criminal charges against
Bunag-Cabacungan.
Court of Appeals' Jurisdiction Over the Criminal Aspect of the Case
Duyon was correct in his insistence that the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over the criminal aspect of
an Ombudsman case. "The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over orders, directives and decisions of the
Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases only. It cannot, therefore, review the orders,
directives or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases."32
In Kuizon v. Hon. Desierto33 this Court clarified:
The appellate court correctly ruled that its jurisdiction extends only to decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative cases. In the Fabian case, we ruled that appeals from decisions of the Office
of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under Rule
43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It bears stressing that when we declared Section 27 of Republic Act
No. 6770 as unconstitutional, we categorically stated that said provision is involved only whenever an appeal
by certiorari under Rule 45 is taken from a decision in an administrative disciplinary action. It cannot be taken
into account where an original action for certiorari under Rule 65 is resorted to as a remedy for judicial
review, such as from an incident in a criminal action. (Citations omitted.)
Bunag-Cabacungan's argument that the Court of Appeals now has appellate jurisdiction to review both the
administrative and criminal aspects of orders and decisions of the Ombudsman because of the September
15, 2003 amendment to Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 of the Office of the Ombudsman deserves no
merit at all.
Section 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07, as amended by Administrative Order No. 17, reads:
SEC. 7. Finality and execution of decision. - Where the respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of
conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one
month, or a fine equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final, executory and unappealable. In
all other cases, the decision may be appealed to the Court of Appeals on a verified petition for review under
the requirements and conditions set forth in Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, within fifteen (15) days from
receipt of the written Notice of the Decision or Order denying the Motion for Reconsideration. (Emphasis
supplied.)
Bunag-Cabacungan's contention that the phrase "in all other cases" has removed the distinction between
administrative and criminal cases of the Ombudsman is ludicrous. It must be stressed that the above-quoted
Section 7 is provided under Rule III, which deals with the procedure in administrative cases. When
Administrative Order No. 07 was amended by Administrative Order No. 17, Section 7 was retained in Rule III.
It is another rule, Rule II, which provides for the procedure in criminal cases. Thus, the phrase "in all other

cases" still refers to administrative cases, not criminal cases, where the sanctions imposed are different from
those enumerated in Section 7.
It is important to note that the petition filed by Bunag-Cabacungan in CA-G.R. SP No. 86630 assailed only
the "administrative decision" rendered against her by the OMB for Luzon. Quoted hereunder is the pertinent
portion of her petition:
Believing that she is innocent of the administrative charges against her, your petitioner interposes this instant
petition for the review of the administrative decision against her by the Office of the Ombudsman and the
denial of her motion for reconsideration thereof.34 (Emphases ours.)
Moreover, the lone issue she submitted to the Court of Appeals for its consideration reads:
THE HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN COMMITTED A GRAVE ERROR AND ABUSE OF
AUTHORITY IN HOLDING COMPLAINANT GUILTY OF SIMPLE MISCONDUCT FOR THE MISTAKE
COMMITTED BY ANOTHER [PERSON] IN THE ISSUANCE UNDER HER NAME OF EMANCIPATION
PATENT No. A-347307.35
Furthermore, her arguments all throughout her petition for review before the Court of Appeals centered on
how she should not have been found guilty of simple misconduct by the OMB for Luzon. Even the
jurisprudence she cited in support of her arguments pertained to "misconduct in office." The same is true with
Duyon's Comment,36 which focused on why Bunag-Cabacungan should be judged guilty of misconduct.
Duyon actually argued for a more severe administrative punishment and prayed as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, it is most respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court to
MODIFY the Decision dated December 11, 2003 and the Joint Order dated August 27, 2004 imposing upon
[Bunag-Cabacungan] and her husband the penalty of DISMISSAL from the government service for gross
misconduct. Alternatively, should the Honorable Court find the punishment to be too harsh, it is humbly asked
that they be punished for conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service punishable to a
maximum period of one (1) year suspension, without pay, in accordance with Executive Order No. 292.37
In light of the foregoing, it is apparent that in the case before us, the Court of Appeals went beyond its
jurisdiction by touching on the criminal aspect of the Decision and Joint Order of the OMB for Luzon in OMBL-A-03-0111-A and OMB-L-C-03-0125-A. As such, the Court of Appeals' ruling on the criminal aspect of the
aforementioned cases is void.38
On the Administrative Aspect of the Case at bar
Considering that the petition for review filed by Bunag-Cabacungan in CA-G.R. SP No. 86630 deals with the
administrative aspect of the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman and the herein petition for certiorari
filed by Duyon seeks the dismissal of the said petition for review, and to expedite the decision in this case,
this Court shall pass upon the aforesaid issue raised particularly as to whether or not the Court of Appeals
committed grave abuse of discretion in reversing and setting aside the OMB for Luzon Decision dated
December 11, 2003 and Joint Order dated August 27, 2004, both of which imposed, among others,
administrative sanctions on respondent Bunag-Cabacungan.
A petition for certiorari is governed by Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which reads:
Section 1. Petition for certiorari.-When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the
facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such
tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
For certiorari to prosper, the following requisites must concur: (1) the writ is directed against a tribunal, a
board or any officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, board or officer has acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law.39

This Court has defined grave abuse of discretion as such "capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as
is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, or [an] exercise of power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of
passion or personal hostility, or an exercise of judgment so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a
positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined, or to act in a manner not at all in
contemplation of law."40
The Court of Appeals granted Bunag-Cabacungan's petition and reversed and set aside both the December
11, 2003 Decision and the August 27, 2004 Joint Order of the OMB for Luzon. Since the December 11, 2003
Decision strictly dealt with the administrative charge against Bunag-Cabacungan, and the August 27, 2004
Joint Order resolved also said administrative charge aside from the criminal charge against respondent
Bunag-Cabacungan, the Court of Appeals in effect also dismissed the said administrative charge.
The Court, shall, resolve the issue raised by the petition in this case, specially Duyon's prayer for this Court
to order the denial of the petition for review filed by Bunag-Cabacungan before the Court of Appeals, relying
upon the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals, which are pertinent to the resolution of the administrative
charge against respondent Bunag Cabacungan.
The Court of Appeals found the following facts to have been established:
As pointed out by [Bunag-Cabacungan], she is an employee of the Department of Agriculture and not the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which office was responsible for the issuance of the subject
emancipation patent. No evidence was presented to show that she acted in conspiracy with the officers or
officials of the DAR or that they acted with manifest partiality, bad faith or inexcusable negligence. It must be
noted that the charges against [Bunag-Cabacungan]'s husband Eutiquio Cabacungan, who could have
provided some link between the DAR and [Bunag-Cabacungan], were dismissed by the Office of the
Ombudsman for lack of evidence. Other than the fact of misrepresenting herself as single in the application
form and her alleged failure to rectify the error committed in the title, no specific allegations were made
regarding her actual or direct participation in the erroneous issuance of the same. Neither was it specifically
shown that she committed the alleged prohibited acts in the performance of her official duties or public
functions. Likewise, while undue injury was alleged by x x x Feliciano Duyon, he nevertheless failed to
present proof of such actual injury or damage to him or to the govemment.41 (Empahsis ours.)
Bunag-Cabacungan and her husband were charged with misconduct for allegedly taking advantage of their
official positions to cause the issuance of the emancipation patent in the name of respondent
BunagCabacungan and failing to rectify the erroneous issuance of the said emancipation patent, as well as
the wrongful use of respondent's maiden name in her application for such emancipation patent. Misconduct
in office has a specific legal meaning in our jurisdiction. Misconduct is "a transgression of some established
and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer."42
Moreover, "to be considered as 'misconduct,' the act must have a 'direct relation to and be connected with the
performance of his official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful, intentional neglect or failure
to discharge the duties of the office. "'43
As the Court of Appeals has determined, there were no specific allegations regarding Bunag-Cabacungan's
actual or direct participation in the erroneous issuance of the emancipation patent, nor was it specifically
shown that she committed prohibited acts in the performance of her official duties or public functions. The
Court of Appeals also found no evidence to establish that she acted in conspiracy with the officials of the
DAR, which was the government office responsible for the issuance of the emancipation patent. Thus, the
charge for misconduct in office against respondent BunagCabacungan has no merit.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED.
1. The September 16, 2005 Decision and April 6, 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
86630 are hereby SET ASIDE in so far as the said Court of Appeals Decision and Resolution ordered the
dismissal of the complaint filed by petitioner Feliciano B. Duyon against respondent Eleanor Bunag
Cabacungan in OMB-L-C-03-0125-A (for Violation of Section 3[e] of Republic Act No. 3019) for lack of
jurisdiction; and

2. The September 16, 2005 Decision and April 6, 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
86630 are hereby AFFIRMED in so far as the said Court of Appeals Decision and Resolution reversed and
set aside the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon's December 11, 2003 Decision and August 27,
2004 Joint Order, which imposed the administrative penalty of suspension on respondent Eleanor BunagCabacungan in OMB-LA-03-0111-A for Simple Misconduct.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. Nos. 140619-24. March 9, 2001]


BENEDICTO E. KUIZON, JOSELITO RANIERO J. DAAN AND ROSALINA T. TOLIBAS, petitioners, vs.
HON. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, in his capacity as OMBUDSMAN and the HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH
DIVISION), respondents.
DECISION
PUNO, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by incumbent Municipal Mayor of
Bato, Leyte, Benedicto E. Kuizon, Joselito Raniero J. Daan and Rosalina T. Tolibas to set aside the approval
by the respondent Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto of the Memorandum dated May 17, 1999 of Paul Elmer
M. Clemente of the Office of the Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Ombudsman, recommending the
prosecution of herein petitioners.
The cases subject of this petition emanated from a complaint[if !supportFootnotes][1][endif] filed on
December 8, 1995 by one Melanio Saporas with the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas (OMB-Visayas)
against petitioner Benedicto Kuizon for Nepotism and Malversation Thru Falsification of Public Documents in
connection with the forging of signatures of some casual laborers of Bato, Leyte in the payroll slips of the
municipality and the drawing of their salaries on different dates. The case was docketed as OMB-VIS-CRIM95-0646.
Attached to Saporas' complaint is the affidavit of one Zacarias Kuizon who claimed to have been formerly
hired by petitioner Kuizon as a laborer at Bato, Leyte. Petitioner Kuizon allegedly had already dispensed with
the services of Zacarias for the month of February, 1995 but the latter's signature was forged in the payroll
for the said month and somebody took his salary in the amount of P890.00 for that period.[if !
supportFootnotes][2][endif]
In an Evaluation Report dated December 19, 1995, June L. Iway, Graft Investigation Officer I of the OMBVisayas, recommended that petitioners Rosalina T. Tolibas and Joselito Raniero J. Daan,
Paymaster/Municipal Treasurer and Timekeeper, respectively, should be included in the complaint as
respondents.
In an Order dated December 19, 1995, petitioners were ordered to file their counter-affidavits. On February
20, 1996, petitioners submitted their Answer with Special Affirmative Defenses,[if !supportFootnotes][3][endif]
attaching therewith the counter-affidavits of petitioners Daan and Tolibas[if !supportFootnotes][4][endif] as
well as the affidavits of several witnesses[if !supportFootnotes][5][endif] to rebut the accusations of Saporas
and Zacarias Kuizon.
Meanwhile on November 15, 1995, Saporas filed another complaint against petitioners with the Office of the
Ombudsman, Manila docketed as OMB-2-96-0049. The complaint was referred to the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for the Visayas in an Indorsement dated January 29, 1996. On March 21, 1996, petitioners
were required to file their respective counter-affidavits. On April 22, 1996, petitioner Kuizon, assisted by Atty.
Leo Giron, filed his counter-affidavit,[if !supportFootnotes][6][endif] attaching therewith the counter-affidavits
of petitioners Tolibas and Daan. OMB-Visayas granted petitioners' Motion for Consolidation of Cases and
Setting of Hearing of the two (2) complaints.
On May 28, 1996, complainant Saporas submitted the affidavits of Ceferino Cedejana[if !supportFootnotes]
[7][endif] and Concordio Cedejana[if !supportFootnotes][8][endif] in support of his allegations in OMB-2-96-

0049. Both Ceferino and Concordio made virtually similar allegations as those made by Zacarias except the
amounts representing their salaries for the month of February, 1995 which are P2,136.00 and P1,157.00,
respectively.
Petitioners filed a Motion to Exclude the Affidavits of Ceferino and Concordio[if !supportFootnotes][9][endif]
which was denied in an Order dated July 8, 1996. They filed their supplemental counter-affidavit on July 26,
1996 in compliance with the order requiring them to do so. On separate dates, petitioners filed their Joint
Position Paper[if !supportFootnotes][10][endif] and Joint Supplemental Memorandum.[if !supportFootnotes]
[11][endif]
On June 20, 1997, OMB-Visayas thru Graft Investigation Officer I Samuel Malazarte issued a Resolution[if !
supportFootnotes][12][endif] in OMB-VIS-CRIM-95-0646 and OMB-2-96-0049 recommending the filing of the
Informations for Malversation and Falsification of Public/Official Document on two (2) counts each against all
the petitioners before the Sandiganbayan. GIO Malazarte recommended however the dismissal of the
complaint for nepotism against petitioner Kuizon. The pertinent portion of the said Resolution states:
"While complainant's witnesses, Zacarias Kuizon, is shown to have used two different signatures in signing
documents, such as those found on a Joint Affidavit and an Affidavit (Annexes "1" and "2", respectively, of
respondent Mayor's Counter-Affidavit), yet there is no proof shown that the aforesaid witness has affixed on
any other document a signature similar, if not exactly the same, as the questioned signature purportedly that
of the same witness appearing on the above-mentioned Time Book and Payroll for the period February 16 to
28, 1995. It is likewise not shown that complainants' two other witnesses, Ceferino Cedejana and Concordio
Cedejana, has [sic] signed on any other document signatures similar, if not the same, as the questioned
signature(s) appearing on the Time Book and payroll for the periods February 1 to 15, 1995 and February 16
to 28, 1995, in the case of Ceferino Cedejana, and February 1 to 15, 1995, in the case of Concordio
Cedejana. Indeed, a person may use two or more signatures. But in a case as this, where the complainant,
or his witnesses, specifically denied the particular signatures in question and imputed authorship of the
falsifications thereof against the respondents, who otherwise claimed that said questioned signatures belong
to the complainant's witnesses, it is incumbent upon the latter to disprove the denial by solid evidence, such
as a finding of a handwriting examiner/expert - considering that they (respondents) are in possession of the
original documents bearing the allegedly falsified/forged signatures. No such kind of evidence, however, was
adduced.
The respondents relied heavily for corroboration on the testimonies of witnesses who, at one time or another,
were co-workers/laborers of complainant's witnesses in the above-mentioned construction of [a] new
Municipal Hall Building of Bato, Leyte. But owing to a high possibility that said respondents' witnesses were
coaxed, influenced, or pressured into signing the affidavits and to so testify, considering the circumstances of
their work and place of residence, the undersigned cannot give full credence to the testimonies of said
respondents' witnesses as against the complainant's witnesses' specific denial of ownership of the
questioned signatures, for the purpose of this preliminary investigation.
From the claims of respondents Joselito Raniero J. Daan and Rosalina T. Tolibas that they personally know
the aforenamed complainant's witnesses and had called their names, made them sign on the payroll[s] in
question in their (respondents') presence and gave them their corresponding salaries, a clear inference can
be drawn that there was collusion or connivance of the aforesaid respondents which is made more manifest
by their respective certifications on the questioned Time Book and Payrolls for the periods February 1 to 15,
1995, and February 16 to 28, 1995. And the respondent Mayor Benedicto E. Kuizon's certification on the
same questioned payrolls and his statement that he knows for a fact that the complainant's witnesses have
actually worked during the questioned period of February 1995 serve to complete the conspiracy."[if !
supportFootnotes][13][endif]
The Resolution was approved by the respondent Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto on September 5, 1997.
Petitioners learned that four (4) Informations dated June 20, 1997 were filed against them on September 16,
1997 with the Sandiganbayan[if !supportFootnotes][14][endif] by the Office of the Ombudsman.[if !
supportFootnotes][15][endif] The cases were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 24167[if !supportFootnotes]

[16][endif] and 24169[if !supportFootnotes][17][endif] for Falsification of Public/Official Document and


Criminal Case Nos. 24168[if !supportFootnotes][18][endif] and 24170[if !supportFootnotes][19][endif] for
Malversation of Public Funds.
On October 22, 1996, Saporas filed with the OMB-Visayas another Affidavit-Complaint[if !supportFootnotes]
[20][endif] for Malversation of Public Funds Thru Falsification of Public Documents and violation of R.A. No.
3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against herein petitioners and three
others, namely, Municipal Treasurer Lolita S. Regana, Municipal Accountant Ofelia F. Boroy and Budget
Officer Glafica R. Suico for alleged connivance in including in the payrolls for the construction of the
municipal building of Bato, Leyte, names of workers whose services were already terminated, making it
appear that they still worked and received salaries even after their termination from service. The affidavits of
Andres Soso Pague[if !supportFootnotes][21][endif] and Danilo Cortes[if !supportFootnotes][22][endif] were
attached to the said complaint which was docketed as OMB-VIS-CRIM-96-1173 and OMB-VIS-ADM-960474.
Only petitioner Daan filed his counter-affidavit in OMB-VIS-CRIM-96-1173.[if !supportFootnotes][23][endif]
Petitioners Kuizon and Tolibas as well as the three (3) other respondents therein, namely, Regana, Boroy
and Suico filed an Answer/Counter-Affidavits/Manifestation in OMB-VIS-ADM-96-0474[if !supportFootnotes]
[24][endif] as shown in the caption of their pleading. Attached therewith were the affidavits of petitioners'
witnesses Felipe Cortez[if !supportFootnotes][25][endif], Melquiades Jupista, Alberto Gerongco, Noel
Umapas,[if !supportFootnotes][26][endif] Jhonny Mario, Ricardo Garao, Savino Kuizon,[if !supportFootnotes]
[27][endif] Domingo Echevarre,[if !supportFootnotes][28][endif] Alfonso Tabale, Alberto Gerongco, Romeo
Marino, Vicente Marino[if !supportFootnotes][29][endif] and Marciano Bohol.[if !supportFootnotes][30][endif]
On July 28, 1997, OMB-Visayas thru Graft Investigation Officer I Venerando Ralph P. Santiago, Jr. issued a
Resolution[if !supportFootnotes][31][endif] in OMB-VIS-CRIM-96-1173 finding sufficient grounds to hold
petitioners for trial for Malversation of Public Funds and Falsification of Public Documents. The Resolution
reads in part, thus:
"Joselito Rainero (sic) K. (sic) Daan, the lone respondent who filed his counter-affidavit, claimed that Danilo
S. Cortez and Andres S. Pague, personally signed the payrolls. If these were true, then Messrs. Cortez and
Pague must have worked during those times indicated in the payrolls when their names appeared. But
according to them they worked only for less than one month, and this allegation was not controverted by the
respondents - even by the answering respondent. How could they have claimed their salaries without working
for these?
The claim of respondent Daan is even belied by the copies of the payrolls attached to the complaint. A
scrutiny between the signatures of Danilo S. Cortez and Andres S. Pague in their affidavits and those in the
payrolls reveals a striking difference, especially that of Danilo S. Cortez in the payrolls for the months of
November and December, 1995 (pp. 22, 24 & 28, record). This dissimilarity of signatures of Messrs. Cortez
and Pague in their affidavits and in the payrolls is sufficient to form a well founded belief that the latter
documents had been forged and their salaries were maliciously appropriated by the respondents for their
personal use. And the Forgery and Malversation could only be committed by the persons who prepared and
approved the payrolls, namely: Benedicto E. Kuizon, Joselito Rainero (sic) K. (sic) Daan and Rosalinda T.
Tolibas. This is not a farfetched conclusion because respondents Kuizon and Daan certified that the persons
whose names appeared in the payrolls had rendered their services, while respondent Tolibas certified that he
had paid in cash to the persons whose names appeared on the payrolls, the amount set opposite their
names, they having presented themselves, established their identity and affixed their signatures or thumb
marks on the space provided therefor.
This Office also finds that the falsification was committed to conceal the malversation, the payrolls having
been used by the above-named respondents as supporting documents to liquidate the cash advances they
had received for the payment of the salaries of the workers."[if !supportFootnotes][32][endif]
The Resolution was approved by the respondent Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto on September 19, 1997.

Upon verification, the petitioners learned that two (2) Informations[if !supportFootnotes][33][endif] both dated
July 28, 1997 were filed against them in September, 1997 by the Office of the Ombudsman with the
Sandiganbayan.[if !supportFootnotes][34][endif] The cases were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 24195 for
Malversation of Public Funds and 24196 for Falsification of Public Documents.
Petitioners filed two (2) separate Motions for Reinvestigation[if !supportFootnotes][35][endif] both dated
October 4, 1997 in Criminal Case Nos. 24167 to 24170 and Criminal Case Nos. 24195 to 24196. Petitioners
likewise filed a Motion for Consolidation of Criminal Case Nos. 24195 and 24196 with the four (4) other cases
which was granted by the Sandiganbayan (Third Division) in its Order[if !supportFootnotes][36][endif] dated
October 30, 1997.
In an Order dated November 24, 1997,[if !supportFootnotes][37][endif] the Sandiganbayan (Fourth Division)
granted the two (2) Motions for Reinvestigation filed by the petitioners. On June 10, 1999, Special
Prosecution Officer II Lemuel M. De Guzman filed a Manifestation[if !supportFootnotes][38][endif] with the
Sandiganbayan which reads as follows:
"1. In a Memorandum dated August 19, 1998, a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made an
integral part hereof as Annex "A", the undersigned terminated action on the two (2) Motions for
Reconsideration dated October 4, 1997 filed by all the accused as well as the Counter-Affidavit dated
February 7, 1998 filed by accused Benedicto E. Kuizon in the above-captioned cases and recommended the
exclusion of accused Mayor Benedicto E. Kuizon as party-accused therein and to remand the case to the
regular court for the prosecution of accused Joselito Ramiero (sic) K. (sic) Daan and Rosalina T. Tolibas.
2. On September 8, 1998, the Honorable Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo required Special
Prosecution Officer Norberto B. Ruiz to take a second look into the undersigned's memorandum. In another
Memorandum dated November 16, 1998, a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made [an]
integral part hereof as Annex "B", Prosecutor Ruiz recommended the affirmation of the previous
memorandum, which the Honorable Special Prosecutor concurred in.
3. On May 7, 1999, before acting on the cases, the Honorable Ombudsman referred the records thereof to
the Office of the Chief Legal Counsel (OCLC) '(F)or review considering that OSP seeks to reverse the
Ombudsman's findings.'
4. In a Memorandum dated May 17, 1999, a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made [an]
integral part hereof as Annex "C", OCLC recommended the continued prosecution of all the accused 'there
being no cogent grounds to warrant a reversal of the finding of probable cause by OMB-Visayas.' This
memorandum was approved by the Honorable Ombudsman on June 1, 1999 and, accordingly, the
undersigned's memorandum was disapproved with the following marginal note: 'Prosecution of all the
accused shall proceed as recommended by OCLC.'"[if !supportFootnotes][39][endif]
Thereafter, the Sandiganbayan set the criminal cases for hearing on August 16, 18 to 20, 1999. Petitioner
Daan filed with the Sandiganbayan an Urgent Motion for Reinvestigation and to Defer Arraignment[if !
supportFootnotes][40][endif] dated August 12, 1999. In an Order dated August 16, 1999, the motion was
denied by the Sandiganbayan.[if !supportFootnotes][41][endif] Petitioners were arraigned on the same date
and they all pleaded "not guilty" to the crimes charged.[if !supportFootnotes][42][endif] The pre-trial and the
trial on the merits were then set upon agreement of the parties.
On September 6, 1999, petitioners filed a petition before the Court of Appeals captioned "Benedicto E.
Kuizon, et al. vs. Hon. Aniano A. Desierto, et al." and docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 54898, assailing the
approval by the respondent Aniano A. Desierto of the Memorandum of his Legal Counsel which
recommended the continued prosecution of the petitioners. The Court of Appeals issued a temporary
restraining order in a Resolution dated September 17, 1999. On even date, petitioners filed a Motion for
Suspension of Proceedings and/or Postponement with the Sandiganbayan.
On October 19, 1999, the Court of Appeals promulgated a Resolution[if !supportFootnotes][43][endif] which
states:

"Per the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Teresita G. Fabian vs. Aniano A. Desierto, G.R. No.
129742, September 16, 1998, the jurisdiction of this Court extends only to decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative cases. The cases involved in the instant petition are criminal cases.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DENIED DUE COURSE and accordingly DISMISSED, for lack of
jurisdiction."[if !supportFootnotes][44][endif]
On November 4, 1999, petitioners filed the instant petition based on the following grounds:
"A. The Office of the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when
it deprived herein petitioners of the opportunity to file motions for reconsideration of the resolutions of the
Office of Ombudsman-Visayas (Annexes "G" and "M" hereof);[if !supportFootnotes][45][endif]
B. The Honorable Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction when he approved the Memorandum of Legal Counsel Paul Elmer M. Clemente (Annex "C",
Manifestation of Special Prosecution Officer Lemuel De Guzman) despite the fact that no reinvestigation was
conducted with respect to herein petitioners Joselito Raniero J. Daan and Rosalina T. Tolibas;[if !
supportFootnotes][46][endif]
C. The Honorable Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction when he approved the Memorandum of Legal Counsel Paul Elmer M. Clemente (Annex "C",
Manifestation of Special (sic) Prosecution Lemuel De Guzman to the Sandiganbayan) reinstating the
prosecution of the criminal cases as against petitioner Benedicto Kuizon;[if !supportFootnotes][47][endif] and
D. The Honorable Sandiganbayan, with due respect, also committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of jurisdiction in proceeding with the trial of the cases against herein petitioners."[if !supportFootnotes]
[48][endif]
On December 1, 1999, this Court issued a Status Quo Order.
We will first dispose of the procedural issues raised by the parties. Respondent alleges that the petition was
filed out of time considering that more than sixty (60) days had elapsed from the time respondent
Sandiganbayan's Order dated August 16, 1999 denying petitioners' Motion to Defer Arraignment and
petitioner Daan's Urgent Motion for Reinvestigation and to Defer Arraignment was rendered. The erroneous
filing by the petitioners of their petition with the Court of Appeals did not allegedly toll the running of the
period to file the same with this Court.[if !supportFootnotes][49][endif] In reply thereto, petitioners submit that
the 60-day period should not be strictly applied to them considering that they originally filed their petition with
the Court of Appeals within the prescribed period. They maintain that the Court of Appeals has concurrent
jurisdiction with this Court on special civil actions for certiorari under Rule 65 applying the doctrine in St.
Martin Funeral Homes vs. National Labor Relations Commission.[if !supportFootnotes][50][endif] Petitioners
now raise the issue as to which court has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 questioning
resolutions or orders of the Office of the Ombudsman in criminal cases.[if !supportFootnotes][51][endif]
In dismissing petitioners' petition for lack of jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals cited the case of Fabian vs.
Desierto.[if !supportFootnotes][52][endif] The appellate court correctly ruled that its jurisdiction extends only
to decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases.[if !supportFootnotes][53][endif] In the
Fabian case, we ruled that appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative
disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure. It bears stressing that when we declared Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770[if !
supportFootnotes][54][endif] as unconstitutional, we categorically stated that said provision is involved only
whenever an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 is taken from a decision in an administrative disciplinary
action. It cannot be taken into account where an original action for certiorari under Rule 65 is resorted to as a
remedy for judicial review, such as from an incident in a criminal action.[if !supportFootnotes][55][endif] In
fine, we hold that the present petition should have been filed with this Court.
It follows that the instant petition was filed late. A petition for certiorari should be filed not later than sixty (60)
days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution sought to be assailed.[if !supportFootnotes][56][endif]
The present petition was filed with this Court only on November 24, 1999 which is more than sixty (60) days

from the time petitioners were notified of the adverse resolutions issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The erroneous filing of the petition with the Court of Appeals did not toll the running of the period.
But even on its merit, the petition cannot succeed. Petitioners primarily invoke denial of due process. They
contend that they were not accorded the opportunity to file a Motion for Reconsideration since they were not
furnished copies of the adverse Resolutions issued by the OMB-Visayas prior to their approval by the
respondent Ombudsman Desierto. The Office of the Ombudsman allegedly railroaded the preliminary
investigation of the cases in violation of Sections 6 and 7 of Administrative Order No. 07, as amended by
Administrative Order No. 09 which provides that:
"Sec. 6. Notice to parties. - The parties shall be served with a copy of the resolution as finally approved by
the Ombudsman or by the proper Deputy Ombudsman.
Sec. 7. Motion for Reconsideration. (a) Only one motion for reconsideration or reinvestigation of an approved order or resolution shall be allowed,
the same to be filed within five (5) days from notice thereof with the Office of the Ombudsman, or the Deputy
Ombudsman as the case may be.
(b) x x x x x x x x x."
Section 6 of the aforequoted provision speaks of two (2) approving authorities with respect to resolutions
issued by the Office of the Ombudsman. Hence, the phrase "as finally approved by the Ombudsman or by
the proper Deputy Ombudsman."
As succinctly discussed in the respondent's Comment, it is the procedure in the Office of the Ombudsman
that any Memorandum and/or Resolution of any criminal case pending before its Office which involves high
ranking officials under R.A. 8249[if !supportFootnotes][57][endif] should have the approval of the
Ombudsman before the same may be released and considered the official action of the Office of the
Ombudsman. Since petitioner Kuizon falls under the category of high ranking officials under R. A. 8249 who
is charged with conspiracy with the other two (2) petitioners, the Resolutions dated June 20, 1997 and July
28, 1997 need the approval of the Honorable Ombudsman.[if !supportFootnotes][58][endif] This finds support
in Sec. 4 (g), Rule II of Administrative Order No. 07 which provides:
"Sec. 4. Procedure. - The preliminary investigations of cases falling under the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan and Regional Trial Courts shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in Section 3, Rule
112 of the Rules of Court, subject to the following provisions:
xxxxxxxxx
(g) Upon the termination of the preliminary investigation, the investigation officer shall forward the records of
the case together with his resolution to the designated authorities for their appropriate action thereon.
No information may be filed and no complaint may be dismissed without the written authority or approval of
the Ombudsman in cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, or of the proper Deputy
Ombudsman in all other cases." (emphasis supplied)
Prescinding from the foregoing discussions, the resolutions which must be furnished to the petitioners refer to
those approved by the respondent Ombudsman. Respondent alleges that copies of the challenged
Resolutions as approved by the Honorable Ombudsman on different dates[if !supportFootnotes][59][endif]
were sent to the parties by registered mail on September 12, 1997 and September 24, 1997, respectively.[if !
supportFootnotes][60][endif] Petitioners deny having received copies of these resolutions.
The issue is not of momentous legal significance for non-compliance with Sections 6 and 7 of Administrative
Order No. 7 does not affect the validity of the Informations filed with the Sandiganbayan. In the case of
Pecho vs. Sandiganbayan,[if !supportFootnotes][61][endif] we held:
"Equally devoid of merit is the alleged non-compliance with Sections 6 and 7, Rule II of the Rules of
Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty
on the part of the investigating Prosecutor was not rebutted. Moreover, the failure to furnish the respondent
with a copy of an adverse resolution pursuant to Section 6 which reads:
'SEC. 6. Notice to parties. - The parties shall be served with a copy of the resolution as finally approved by
the Ombudsman or by the proper Deputy Ombudsman.'

does not affect the validity of an information thereafter filed even if a copy of the resolution upon which the
information is based was not served upon the respondent. The contention that the provision is mandatory in
order to allow the respondent to avail of the 15-day period to file a motion for reconsideration or
reinvestigation is not persuasive for under Section 7 of the said Rule, such motion may, nevertheless, be filed
and acted upon by the Ombudsman if so directed by the court where the information was filed. Finally, just as
in the case of lack of or irregularity in the conduct of the preliminary investigation, a party, like the petitioner
herein, should have seasonably questioned the procedural error at any time before he entered his plea to the
charge. His failure to do so amounted to a waiver or abandonment of what he believed was his right under
Sections 6 and 7, Rule II of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman."[if !supportFootnotes]
[62][endif] (emphasis supplied)
Petitioners further allege that the OMB-Visayas resolved the case in OMB-CRIM-96-1173 solely on the basis
of the complaint of Saporas and the affidavits of Cortes and Pague. Petitioners' Answer/ Counter-Affidavits/
Manifestation were allegedly ignored.[if !supportFootnotes][63][endif] The contention is belied by the records
of the case. Petitioners were all required to file their counter-affidavits but only petitioner Daan complied.
Petitioners (except Daan) must perforce suffer the consequences of their inaction.
Petitioners also claim that their Answer/Counter-Affidavits/Manifestation was intended for both the
administrative as well as the criminal complaints. The records reveal otherwise. The docket number in the
said pleading's caption which states "OMB-VIS-ADM-96-0474" indicates that it is for the administrative case
only. The fault lies with the petitioners when they indicated therein an incomplete docket number. It is their
duty to see to it that all the entries in their pleading including its caption are accurate. If indeed the petitioners
committed an oversight in placing the wrong or incomplete docket number in their pleading, they should have
filed the proper motion or manifestation to correct the purported inaccuracies. It is not the obligation of the
Office of the Ombudsman to supply or supplant any deficiency found in the litigants' pleadings.
The essence of due process is reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit evidence in support of one's
defense.[if !supportFootnotes][64][endif] What the law proscribes is lack of opportunity to be heard.[if !
supportFootnotes][65][endif] The facts show that preliminary investigations were conducted prior to the filing
of the Informations. Petitioners filed their Answer with Special Affirmative Defenses in OMB-VIS-CRIM-950646. Petitioner Kuizon filed his Counter-Affidavit together with the attached affidavits of petitioners Tolibas
and Daan in OMB-2-96-0049. When petitioners learned that four (4) Informations were filed against them,
they filed a Motion for Reinvestigation which the Sandiganbayan granted. It is clear therefore that petitioners
were not deprived of due process.
We now come to the issue raised by petitioners Daan and Tolibas that there was no reinvestigation
conducted on them. It appears from the records that the Office of the Special Prosecutor who was authorized
to conduct the reinvestigation of the cases did not notify petitioners Daan and Tolibas of the proceedings.
Only petitioner Kuizon filed his counter-affidavit which was solely considered by Special Prosecutor Lemuel
de Guzman in his Memorandum.[if !supportFootnotes][66][endif] Be that as it may, we rule against the
petitioners. The procedural defect was waived by petitioners when they entered their plea of "not guilty" to the
informations. The settled rule is that when an accused pleads to the charge, he is deemed to have waived
the right to preliminary investigation and the right to question any irregularity that surrounds it.[if !
supportFootnotes][67][endif] The invalidity or absence of a preliminary investigation does not affect the
jurisdiction of the court which may have taken cognizance of the information nor impair the validity of the
information or otherwise render it defective.[if !supportFootnotes][68][endif]
The petitioners further asseverate that respondent Desierto gravely abused his discretion when he simply
approved the recommendation of the Legal Counsel recommending the filing of informations in court despite
the clear absence of reasonable justification.[if !supportFootnotes][69][endif] We reject petitioners' claim.
What is involved is merely a review and affirmation by the respondent Ombudsman of the findings made by
the investigating prosecutor. He need not restate the facts and elaborate on the applicable law. In Cruz, Jr.
vs. People,[if !supportFootnotes][70][endif] we held:

"It may seem that the ratio decidendi of the Ombudsman's order may be wanting but this is not a case of a
total absence of factual and legal bases nor a failure to appreciate the evidence presented. What is actually
involved here is merely a review of the conclusion arrived at by the investigating prosecutor as a result of his
study and analysis of the complaint, counter-affidavits, and the evidence submitted by the parties during the
preliminiary investigation. The Ombudsman here is not conducting anew another investigation but is merely
determining the propriety and correctness of the recommendation given by the investigating prosecutor, that
is, whether probable cause actually exists or not, on the basis of the findings of the latter. Verily, it is
discretionary upon the Ombudsman if he will rely mainly on the findings of fact of the investigating prosecutor
in making a review of the latter's report and recommendation, as the Ombudsman can very well make his
own findings of fact. There is nothing to prevent him from acting one way or the other. x x x"[if !
supportFootnotes][71][endif]
In case of conflict in the conclusions of the Ombudsman and the special prosecutor, it is self-evident that the
former's decision shall prevail since the Office of the Special Prosecutor is under the supervision and control
of the Ombudsman.[if !supportFootnotes][72][endif] The action of the respondent Ombudsman in
disapproving the findings of Special Prosecutor De Guzman and approving that of Legal Counsel Clemente
does not per se constitute grave abuse of discretion.
Petitioners Daan and Tolibas also claim that their evidence consisting of the affidavit of Pague will show that
there is no probable cause to indict them. The contention lacks merit. We reiterate the rule of long standing
that in the absence of grave abuse of discretion, this Court will not interfere with the exercise by the
Ombudsman of his constitutionally mandated investigatory and prosecutory powers.[if !supportFootnotes][73]
[endif] His findings of probable cause are entitled to great respect. The rationale behind the said rule has
been aptly discussed in Ocampo, IV vs. Ombudsman,[if !supportFootnotes][74][endif] thus:
"The rule is based not only upon respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the
Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman but upon practicality as well. Otherwise, the functions of the
courts will be grievously hampered by innumerable petitions assailing the dismissal of investigatory
proceedings conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman with regard to complaints filed before it, in much the
same way that the courts would be extremely swamped if they could be compelled to review the exercise of
discretion on the part of the fiscals or prosecuting attorneys each time they decide to file an information in
court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant."[if !supportFootnotes][75][endif]
Equally unmeritorious is the petitioners' claim that the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in
proceeding with the trial of their cases. The Sandiganbayan granted petitioners' motion for reinvestigation. It
correctly denied petitioner Daan's subsequent Motion for Reinvestigation and to Defer Arraignment in view of
the respondent Ombudsman's final action to proceed with the prosecution of the cases. Jurisdiction has been
acquired by the Sandiganbayan over the person of the petitioners as they appeared at the arraignment and
pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the Sandiganbayan is hereby ORDERED to proceed with the
trial of the cases at bar with dispatch. Costs against petitioners.
SO ORDERED.

Estrada vs Desierto G.R. No. 146710-15; Estrada vs Arroyo G.R. No. 146738, March 2 2001
[Immunity from Suit; Resignation of the President; Justiciable controversy]
FACTS:
It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal gambling, and other
forms of corruption were made against Estrada before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. On November 13,
2000, Estrada was impeached by the Hor and, on December 7, impeachment proceedings were begun in the

Senate during which more serious allegations of graft and corruption against Estrada were made and were
only stopped on January 16, 2001 when 11 senators, sympathetic to the President, succeeded in
suppressing damaging evidence against Estrada. As a result, the impeachment trial was thrown into an
uproar as the entire prosecution panel walked out and Senate President Pimentel resigned after casting his
vote against Estrada.
On January 19, PNP and the AFP also withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd at EDSA
Shrine. Estrada called for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with congressional and local
elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this election. On January 20, SC declared that
the seat of presidency was vacant, saying that Estrada constructively resigned his post. At noon, Arroyo
took her oath of office in the presence of the crowd at EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his family
later left Malacaang Palace. Erap, after his fall, filed petition for prohibition with prayer for WPI. It sought to
enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in cases filed against him not
until his term as president ends. He also prayed for judgment confirming Estrada to be the lawful and
incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his
office.
ISSUE(S):
1. WoN the petition presents a justiciable controversy.
2. WoN Estrada resigned as President.
3. WoN Arroyo is only an acting President.
4. WoN the President enjoys immunity from suit.
5. WoN the prosecution of Estrada should be enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.
RULING:
1. Political questions- "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in
their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative
or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality
of a particular measure."
Legal distinction between EDSA People Power I EDSA People Power II:
EDSA I
EDSA II
exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government.
exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for
redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President.
extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of
judicial review
intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice
President as President are subject to judicial review.
presented a political question;
involves legal questions.
The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal issues for resolution require the proper
interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution: Sec 1 of Art II, and Sec 8 of Art VII, and the
allocation of governmental powers under Sec 11 of Art VII. The issues likewise call for a ruling on the scope
of presidential immunity from suit. They also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against
prejudicial publicity.

2. Elements of valid resignation: (a)an intent to resign and (b) acts of relinquishment. Both were present
when President Estrada left the Palace.
Totality of prior contemporaneous posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing material relevant
issuesPresident Estrada is deemed to have resigned constructive resignation.
SC declared that the resignation of President Estrada could not be doubted as confirmed by his leaving
Malacaan Palace. In the press release containing his final statement:
1. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President;
2. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process
(he did not say that he was leaving due to any kind of disability and that he was going to reassume the
Presidency as soon as the disability disappears);
3. He expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them as President (without doubt
referring to the past opportunity);
4. He assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come in the same service of the
country;
5. He called on his supporters to join him in promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and
solidarity.
Intent to resignmust be accompanied by act of relinquishmentact or omission before, during and after
January 20, 2001.
3. The Congress passed House Resolution No. 176 expressly stating its support to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
as President of the Republic of the Philippines and subsequently passed H.R. 178 confirms the nomination
of Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. As Vice President. Senate passed HR No. 83 declaring the Impeachment Courts
as Functius Officio and has been terminated. It is clear is that both houses of Congress recognized Arroyo as
the President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of Estrada is no longer
temporary as the Congress has clearly rejected his claim of inability.
The Court therefore cannot exercise its judicial power for this is political in nature and addressed solely to
Congress by constitutional fiat. In fine, even if Estrada can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot
successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern
temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that Arroyo is the de jure,
president made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.
4. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and graft and
corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which carries the death
penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. He cannot cite any decision
of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity
from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts
illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.
5. No. Case law will tell us that a right to a fair trial and the free press are incompatible. Also, since our
justice system does not use the jury system, the judge, who is a learned and legally enlightened individual,
cannot be easily manipulated by mere publicity. The Court also said that Estrada did not present enough
evidence to show that the publicity given the trial has influenced the judge so as to render the judge unable
to perform. Finally, the Court said that the cases against Estrada were still undergoing preliminary
investigation, so the publicity of the case would really have no permanent effect on the judge and that the
prosecutor should be more concerned with justice and less with prosecution.

Categories: Constitutional Law 1, Estrada vs Arroyo Case Digest, Estrada vs Desierto Case Digest