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ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW

ADMINISTRATIVE DUE PROCESS


While [Admin. Agencies are] free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements, they cannot entirely ignore
or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in trials and investigations of an
administrative character [Ang Tibay v. CIR (1940)]

A decision rendered without due process is void ab initio and may be attacked at any time directly or collaterally by
means of a separate action or proceeding where it is invoked. [Garcia v. Molina (2010)]

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process lies simply in the opportunity to explain ones side or to
seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. What is proscribed is the absolute lack of notice or
hearing. [Office of the Ombudsman v. Coronel (2006)]

Due process does not require that actual taking of testimony be before the same officer who will decide the case. As
long as a party is not deprived of his right to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof, and the
decision is supported by the evidence in the record, there is no question that the requirements of due process and fair
trial are fully met [American Tobacco Co. v. Director of Patents(1975)]

The right to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted merely
to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees,
with the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government service [Lumiqued v. Exevea (1997)]

Presence of a party at a trial is not always the essence of due process. All that the law requires to satisfy adherence to
this constitutional precept is that the parties be given notice of the trial, an opportunity to be heard. Where the
defendant failed to appear on the date set for the trial, of which he was previously notified, he is deemed to have
forfeited his right to be heard in his defense [Asprec v. Itchon (1966)]

ANG TIBAY VS. CIR - Cardinal Primary Rights


(1) Right to a hearing (Includes the right of a party to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof)
(2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented
(3) Decision must be supported by evidence.
(4) Evidence must be substantial.
Quantum of Proof: Substantial Evidence
The amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion
[Sec. 5, Rule 133, Rules of Court]
(5) Decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing or at least contained in the record and
disclosed to the parties affected
(6) Independent consideration of judge (Must not simply accept the views of a subordinate)
(7) Decision rendered in such a manner as to let the parties know the various issues involved and the reasons for the
decision rendered.

All that the law requires is the element of fairness; that the parties be given notice of trial and
(1) An opportunity to be heard
(2) In administrative proceedings, an opportunity to seek reconsideration
(3) Anopportunitytoexplainonesside

Any defect in the observance of due process is cured by the filing of a motion for reconsideration, and that denial of
due process cannot be successfully invoked by a party who was afforded the opportunity to be heard [Vivo v.
PAGCOR (2013)]

Is a trial necessary?NO. Holding of an adversarial trial is discretionary. Parties cannot demand it as a matter of
right. [Vinta Maritime Co., Inc. v. NLRC (1978)].
BUT the right of a party to confront and cross- examine opposing witness is a fundamental right which is part of
due process. If without his fault, this right is violated, he is entitled to have the direct examination stricken off the
record. [Bachrach Motor Co., Inc. v. CIR (1978)]

While the right to cross-examine is a vital element of procedural due process, the right does not necessarily require
an actual cross examination but merely an opportunity to exercise this right if desired by the party entitled to it.
[Gannapao v. CSC (2011)]

Admin. Code, Bk. VII, Sec. 14. Section 14. Decision. - Every decision rendered by the agency in a contested case
shall be in writing and shall state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. The agency shall
decide each case within thirty (30) days following its submission. The parties shall be notified of the decision
personally or by registered mail addressed to their counsel of record, if any, or to them.

Due process is violated when:


(1) There is failure to sufficiently explain the reason for the decision rendered; or
(2) If not supported by substantial evidence;
(3) And imputation of a violation and imposition of a fine despite absence of due notice and hearing.
[Globe Telecom v. NTC (2004)]

Notice and Hearing under the Admin. Code:


Required in the following instances:
(1) Contested cases [Admin. Code, Bk. VII, Sec. 3]
(2) Insofar as practicable, to certain licensing procedures, involving grant, renewal, denial or cancellation
of a license; i.e. when the grant, renewal, denial or cancellation of a license is required to be preceded by
notice and hearing [Sec. 17(1)]
(3) All licensing procedures, when a license is withdrawn, suspended, revoked or annulled [Sec. 17(2)]

Exception (to #3 only): Notice and hearing not required in cases of (a) willful violation of
pertinent laws, rules and regulations or (b) when public security, health, or safety require
otherwise. [Sec. 17(2)]

Administrative Appeal and Review


Different kinds of administrative appeal and review: [De Leon]
(1) That which inheres in the relation of administrative superior to administrative subordinate where
determinations are made at lower levels of the same administrative system;
(2) That embraced in statutes which provide for a determination to be made by a particular officer of body
subject to appeal, review, or redetermination by another officer or body in the same agency or in the same
administrative system;
(3) That in which the statute attempts to make a court a part of the administrative scheme by providing in
terms or effect that the court, on review of the action of an administrative agency, shall exercise powers of
such extent that they differ from ordinary judicial functions and involve a trial de novo of matters of fact or
discretion and application of the independent judgment of the court;
(4) That in which the statute provides that an order made by a division of a Commission or Board has the
same force and effect as if made by the Commission subject to a rehearing by the full Commission, for the
rehearing is practically an appeal to another administrative tribunal;
(5) That in which the statute provides for an appeal to an officer on an intermediate level with subsequent
appeal to the head of the department or agency; and
(6) That embraced in statutes which provide for appeal at the highest level, namely, the President.

NOTE: Under the Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency [see Villena v. Secretary of Interior (1939)], a decision of
the department head generally need not be appealed to the Office of the President, since the department head (e.g.
Secretary) is the alter ego of the President, and the formers acts are presumably the Presidents. However, the
doctrine does not apply when (a) the act is repudiated by the President, or (b) the act is required (by law) to be
performed specifically by the department head.
Administrative Res Judicata
APPLICABLE WHEN:
The doctrine of res judicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings and not to the exercise of
purely administrative functions. Administrative proceedings are non-litigious and summary in nature;
hence, res judicata does not apply. [Nasipit Lumber Co. v. NLRC (1989)]

Requisites:
. (1) The former judgment must be final;
. (2) It must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties;
. (3) It must be a judgment on the merits; and
. (4) There must be identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action [Ipekdijan Merchandising v. CTA (1963)]

When the administrative proceedings take on an adversary character, the doctrine ofres judicata certainly applies.
[Heirs of Maximino Derla v. Heirs of Catalina Derla Vda. De Hipolito, (Apr. 13, 2011)]

EFFECT:
Decisions and orders of administrative bodies rendered pursuant to their quasi-judicial authority have, upon their
finality, the force and effect of a final judgment within the purview of the doctrine of res judicata, which forbids the
reopening of matters once judicially determined by competent authorities.

General Rule: Res judicata does not apply in administrative adjudication relative to citizenship

Exception: for res judicata to be applied in cases of citizenship, the following must be present:
(1) A person's citizenship must be raised as a material issue in a controversy where said person is a party;
(2) The Solicitor General or his authorized representative took active part in the resolution thereof;
(3) the finding or citizenship is affirmed by SC [Board of Commissioners v. De la Rosa (1991)]

Res judicata may not be invoked in labor relations proceedings because they are non- litigious and summary in
nature. [Nasipit Lumber Co., Inc. v. NLRC (1989)]

The basis of administrative liability differs from criminal liability. The purpose of administrative proceedings is
mainly to protect the public service, based on the time- honored principle that a public office is a public trust. On the
other hand, the purpose of the criminal prosecution is the punishment of crime. [Ferrer v. Sandiganbayan (2008)]

Judicial Recourse and Review


General Rule:
Judicial review may be granted or withheld as Congress chooses, except when the Constitution requires or allows it.
Thus, a law may provide that the decision of an administrative agency shall be final and not reviewable and it would
still not offend due process.

XPN:
xxx Judicial review is proper in case of lack of jurisdiction, grave abuse of discretion, error of law, fraud or
collusion. [San Miguel Corp. v. NLRC (1975)]

Rationale:
(1) There is an underlying power of the courts to scrutinize the acts of such agencies on questions of law and
jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by statute;
(2) The purpose of judicial review is to keep the administrative agency within its jurisdiction and protect the
substantial rights of the parties;
(3) It is that part of the checks and balances which restricts the separation of powers and forestalls arbitrary and
unjust adjudications. [St. Martins Funeral Homes v. NLRC (1998)]

Extent of Judicial Review


(1) Questions of Law- suchas
(a) Constitutionality of the law creating the agency and granting it powers
(b) Validity of agency action if these transcend limits established by law
(c) Correctness of interpretation or application of the law

(2) Questions of Fact


General Rule: Findings of fact by the agency are final when supported by substantial evidence.
Exceptions:
1. Specifically allowed otherwise by law
2. Fraud, imposition, or mistake other error of judgment in evaluating the evidence [Ortua v. Singson Encarnacion
(1934)]
3. Error in appreciation of pleadings and interpretation of the documentary evidence presented by the parties [Tan
Tiong Teck v. SEC (1940)]
4. Decision of the agency was rendered by an almost divided agency and that the division was precisely on the facts
as borne out by the evidence [Gonzales v. Victory Labor Union (1969)]
(3) Questions of Discretion - when a matter has been committed to agency discretion, courts are reluctant to disturb
agency action on it. But a party may get a court to intervene against arbitrary action and grave abuse of discretion
[Cortes]

DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION


General Rule: Courts will not intervene if the question to be resolved is one which requires the expertise of
administrative agencies and the legislative intent on the matter is to have uniformity in the rulings. [ Panama
Refining Co. v. Ryan (1935, US Supreme Court decision)]
Requisites:
(1) An administrative body and a regular court have concurrent and original jurisdiction
(2) Question to be resolved requires expertise of administrative agency
(3) Legislative intent on the matter is to have uniformity in rulings
(4) Administrative agency is performing a quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function (not rule-making or quasi-
legislative function [Smart v. NTC (2003)]
WHEN THE DOCTRINE IS INAPPLICABLE:
(1) If the agency has exclusive (original) jurisdiction (i.e. Doctrine of Exhaustion would apply);
(2) When the issue is not within the competence of the administrative body to act on (e.g. pure questions of law, over
which the expertise is with the courts);
- Regular courts have jurisdiction in cases where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule or
regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative function [Smart v. NTC
(2003)]
(3) When the issue involved is clearly a factual question that does not require specialized skills and knowledge for
resolution to justify the exercise of primary jurisdiction.

EFFECT:
While no prejudicial question strictly arises where one is a civil case and the other is an administrative proceeding,
in the interest of good order, it behooves the court to suspend its action on the cases before it pending the final
outcome of the administrative proceedings [Vidad v. RTC (1993)]
All the proceedings of the court in violation of the doctrine and all orders and decisions rendered thereby are null
and void [Province of Aklan v. Jody King Construction and Development Corp. (2013)]
NOTE:
The court may raise the issue of primary jurisdiction sua sponte and its invocation cannot be waived by the failure of
the parties
to argue it as the doctrine exists for the proper distribution of power between judicial
and administrative bodies and not for the convenience of the parties [Euro-Med
Laboratories Phil., Inc. v. Province of Batangas
(2006)]

DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES


General Rule: Where the law has delineated the procedure by which administrative appeal or remedy could be
effected, the same should be followed before recourse to judicial action can be initiated. [Pascual v. Provincial
Board (1959)]
Requisites:
. (1) The administrative agency is performing a quasi-judicial function;
. (2) Judicialreviewisavailable;and
. (3) Thecourtactsinitsappellatejurisdiction.

Rationale:
(1) Legal reason: The law prescribes a procedure.
(2) Practical reason: To give the agency a chance to correct its own errors and prevent unnecessary and premature
resort to the courts
(3) Reasons of comity: Expedience, courtesy, convenience.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF REMEDIES:


(1) Purely legal questions. [Castro v. Secretary (2001)]
(2) There is grave doubt as to the availability of the administrative remedy [Pascual v. Provincial Board (1959)]
(3) Steps to be taken are merely matters of form. [Pascual v. Provincial Board (1959)]
(4) Administrative remedy not exclusive but merely cumulative or concurrent to a judicial remedy. [ Pascual v.
Provincial Board (1959)]
(5) There are circumstances indicating urgency of judicial intervention [DAR v. Apex Investment (2003)]
(6) Rule does not provide plain, speedy, adequate remedy [Information Technology Foundation v. COMELEC
(2004)]
(7) Resort to exhaustion will only be oppressive and patently unreasonable. [Cipriano v. Marcelino (1972)]
(8) Where the administrative remedy is only permissive or voluntary and not a prerequisite to the institution of
judicial proceedings. [Corpus v.Cuaderno, Sr. (1962)]
(9) Application of the doctrine will only cause great and irreparable damage which cannot be prevented except by
taking the appropriate court action. [De Lara, Jr. v. Cloribel (1965)]
(10) When it involves the rule-making or quasi-legislative functions of an administrative agency [Smart v. NTC
(2003)]
(11) Administrative agency is in estoppel. [Republic v.Sandiganbayan (1996)]
(12) Doctrine of qualified political agency (respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the
President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter) [Demaisip v. CA 1959); Pagara v. CA (1996)]
(13) Subject of controversy is private land in land case proceedings. [Soto v. Jareno (1986)]
(14)Violation of due process. [Pagara v. CA (1996)]
(15)Where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant [Republic
v. Sandiganbayan (1996)]
(16)Administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. [DAR v. Apex Investment
(2003)]
(17) Resort to administrative remedy will amount to a nullification of a claim [Paat v. CA (1997); Alzate v. Aldana,
(1960)]
(18)No administrative review provided for by law [Estrada v. CA (2004)]
(19) Issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies rendered moot [see enumeration in Estrada v. CA (2004)]
(20) When the claim involved is small
(21) When strong public interest is involved
(22)In quo warranto proceedings [see enumeration in Lopez v. City of Manila (1996)]
(23)Law expressly provides for a different review procedure. [Samahang Magbubukid v. CA (1999)]

Note: The exceptions may be condensed into three:


(1) Grave abuse of discretion;
(2) Purequestionoflaw;or
(3) No other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy.
However, the long list has been developed by jurisprudence. It is prudent to cite it over the shortened list.

FAILURE TO EXHAUST:

A direct action in court without prior exhaustion of administrative remedies, when required, is premature, warranting
its dismissal on a motion to dismiss grounded on lack of cause of action.
Failure to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not affect the Courts jurisdiction.
If not invoked at the proper time, this ground is deemed waived and the court can take cognizance of the case and try
it [Republic v. Sandiganbayan (1996)]

PRIMARY ADMINISTRATIVE EXHAUSTION OF


JURISDICTION ADMINISTRATIVE
REMEDIES
Court Jurisdiction Concurrent Original Appellate
Ground for Non-Exercise of The court yields to the jurisdiction Exhaustion of administrative
Jurisdiction of the administrative agency remedy a condition precedent.
because of its specialized
knowledge or expertise.
Court Action Suspend Judicial Action Dismiss

DOCTRINE OF FINALITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION


Courts will not interfere with the act of an administrative agency before it has reached finality or it has been
completed.
Rationale: Without a final order or decision, the power has not been fully and finally exercised.
Prohibition is not the proper remedy [when] the enabling law itself, which is B.P. Blg. 325, has specifically tasked
the Cabinet to review and approve any proposed revisions of rates of fees and charges. Petitioners should have
availed of this easy and accessible remedy instead of immediately resorting to the judicial process. [Paredes v. CA
(1996)]