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VILLENA VS SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Posted by kaye lee on 10:39 PM


G.R. No. L-46570 April 21 1939

FACTS:
Division of Investigation of the DOJ, upon the request of the Secretary of the Interior, conducted an inquiry into the
conduct of the Villena, mayor of Makati, Rizal, as a result of which the latter was found to have committed bribery,
extortion, malicious abuse of authority ad unauthorized practice of the law profession. The respondent
recommended the suspension of Villena to the President of the Philippines, in which it was verbally granted. The
Secretary then suspended Villena from office. Villena filed a petition for preliminary injunction against the Sec. to
restrain him and his agents from proceeding with the investigation.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Secretary of the Interior has jurisdiction or authority to suspend and order investigation over
Villena.

RULING:
The Secretary of Interior has the power to order investigation and to suspend Mayor Villena. As to the power to
order investigation, it was provided in Section 79 (C) of RAC that Department of Interior was given the authority to
supervise bureaus and offices under its jurisdiction. This was interpreted in relation to Section 86 of the same Code
which granted the said Department of executive supervision over administration of provinces, municipalities and
other political subdivisions. This supervision covers the power to order investigation because supervision “implies
authority to inquire into facts and conditions in order to render power real and effective.”However, unlike this power
to order investigation, the power to suspend a mayor was not provided in any law. There was no express grant of
authority to the Secretary of Interior to suspend a Mayor. Nevertheless, Section 2188 of the Administrative Code
granted the provincial governor the power of suspension. Yet this did not mean that the grant precluded the
Secretary of Interior.

The Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency which provides that “the acts of the department secretaries, performed
and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the President,
presumptively the acts of the President.” The power to suspend may be exercised by the President. It follows that the
heads of the Department under her may also exercise the same, unless the law required the President to act
personally or that situation demanded him so, because the heads of the departments are assistants and agents of the
President.