Tag Archives: case digests

Laguna CATV vs. Maraan

27 Mar

LAGUNA CATV NETWORK, INC., petitioner,

vs.

HON. ALEX E. MARAAN, Regional Director, Region IV, Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE), ENRICO SAGMIT, Acting Deputy Sheriff, DOLE Region IV, PEDRO IGNACIO, DIOMEDES CASTRO, FE ESPERANZA CANDILLA, RUBEN LAMINA, JR., JOEL PERSIUNCULA, ALVINO PRUDENTE, JOEL RAYMUNDO, REGIE ROCERO, LINDA RODRIGUEZ, JOHN SELUDO, ALBERTO REYES, and ANACLETA VALOIS, respondents.

G.R. No. 139492             November 19, 2002

 

FACTS:

  • Private respondents filed with the DOLE Region IV separate complaints for underpayment of wages and non-payment of other employee benefits against their employer, Laguna CATV.
  • Private respondents filed their separate complaints pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7730.
  • DOLE Region IV conducted an inspection within the premises of Laguna CATV and found that the latter violated the laws on payment of wages and other benefits.
  • Thereupon, DOLE Region IV requested Laguna CATV to correct its violations but the latter refused, prompting the Regional Director to set the case for summary investigation.
  • Thereafter, he issued an Order directing Laguna CATV to pay the concerned employees the sum of P261,009.19 representing their unpaid claims.
  • Forthwith, Laguna CATV filed a motion for reconsideration.
  • In view of Laguna CATV’s failure to comply with the Order directing it to pay the unpaid claims of its employees, DOLE Regional Director Maraan issued a writ of execution ordering the Sheriff to collect in cash from Laguna CATV the amount specified in the writ or, in lieu thereof, to attach its goods and chattels or those of its owner, Dr. Bernardino Bailon.
  • Laguna CATV and Dr. Bailon filed a motion to quash the writ of execution, notice of levy and sale on execution and garnishment of bank deposits.
  • Regional Director Maraan issued an Order denying the motion to quash the writ of execution, stating that Laguna CATV failed to perfect its appeal because it did not comply with the mandatory requirement of posting a bond equivalent to the monetary award of P261,009.19; and that the writ of execution should be considered as an “overt denial” of Laguna CATV’s motion for reconsideration.
  • Instead of appealing to the Secretary of Labor, Laguna CATV filed with the CA a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review.
  • Laguna CATV was of the view that an appeal to the Secretary of Labor “would be an exercise in futility considering that the said appeal will be filed with the Regional Office and it will surely be disapproved.”
  • The CA denied Laguna CATV’s motion for extension and dismissing the case.
  • The Appellate Court found, among others, that it failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
  • Laguna CATV filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated July 22, 1999.
  • Hence, it filed a petition for review on certiorari to the SC.

 

ISSUE:

  • Whether or not Laguna CATV failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

 

RULING:

  • The SC ruled that Laguna CATV failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.
  • As provided under Article 128 of the Labor Code, as amended, an order issued by the duly authorized representative of the Secretary of Labor may be appealed to the latter.
  • Thus, petitioner should have first appealed to the Secretary of Labor instead of filing with the Court of Appeals a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review.
  • Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum.
  • The SC, in a long line of cases, has consistently held that if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy should be exhausted first before the court’s judicial power can be sought.
  • The party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the court.
  • The underlying principle of the rule rests on the presumption that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter will decide the same correctly.
  • Therefore, petitioner should have completed the administrative process by appealing the questioned Orders to the Secretary of Labor.

 

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Teotico vs. Baer

27 Mar

JOSEFINA TEOTICO (ALSO KNOWN AS BABY SANTANA), Petitioner,

vs.

ROSARIO D. BAER, Respondent.

G.R. No. 147464             June 8, 2006

 

FACTS:

  • Respondent filed before the HLURB an amended complaint for specific performance, damages and attorney’s fees against petitioner as the administratrix of the estate of her late husband.
  • Petitioner allegedly refused to execute an absolute deed of sale in respondent’s favor despite complete payment of a residential lot located in Rizal which was sold to her by the petitioner’s husband, who died during the pendency of the case.
  • The HLURB rendered judgment by default against petitioner for her failure to file her answer to the complaint despite the proper service of summons.
  • The HLURB issued a writ of execution of its decision but petitioner refused to comply with it.
  • In her opposition to respondent’s motion for execution and satisfaction of decision, petitioner argued that the HLURB decision was null and void because respondent allegedly failed to prove petitioner was appointed as the administratrix of the estate of her late husband.
  • The HLURB, however, denied petitioner’s opposition for being “dilatory and without merit.”
  • Petitioner went up to the Court of Appeals via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
  • However, the CA dismissed the petition on the ground of failure to exhaust all administrative remedies.
  • Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the decision of the CA alleging that the 30-day period for filing a petition for review before the HLURB and to appeal to the Office of the President, had already elapsed when she learned of the judgment of default rendered against her.
  • She further argued that she immediately went to the CA because there was an urgent need for judicial intervention due to the patent nullity of the HLURB judgment.
  • The CA denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
  • Hence, petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to the SC.

 

ISSUE:

  • Whether or not petitioner failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

 

RULING:

  • Yes.
  • The HLURB is the sole regulatory body for housing and land development.
  • It is charged with encouraging greater private sector participation in low-cost housing through liberalization of development standards, simplification of regulations and decentralization of approvals for permits and licenses.
  • The HLURB has established rules of procedure in the adjudication of the cases before it.
  • Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, recourse through court action cannot prosper until after all such administrative remedies have first been exhausted.
  • If remedy is available within the administrative machinery, this should be resorted to before resort can be made to courts.
  • It is settled that non-observance of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies results in lack of cause of action, which is one of the grounds in the Rules of Court justifying the dismissal of the complaint.
  • Here, petitioner failed to exhaust her administrative remedies when she directly elevated to the CA the HLURB arbiter’s decision without appealing it first to the Board and then later, the Office of the President.
  • She has failed to convince the SC that her case is one of those exempted from the application of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

 

Fua, Jr. vs. COA

27 Mar

GOVERNOR ORLANDO A. FUA, JR.,* IN REPRESENTATION OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF SIQUIJOR and ALL ITS OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES, Petitioners,

vs.

THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT and ELIZABETH S. ZOSA, DIRECTOR IV, LEGAL AND ADJUDICATION OFFICE-LOCAL COMMISSION OF AUDIT, QUEZON CTY, PHILIPPINES,Respondents.

G.R. No. 175803              December 4, 2009

 

FACTS:

  • The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Siquijor adopted Resolution No. 2003-247 segregating the sum of P8,600,000.00 as payment for the grant of extra Christmas bonus at P20,000.00 each to all its officials and employees.
  • Thereafter, Resolution No. 2003-239 was adopted requesting President GMA for an authority to the Provincial Government of Siquijor to grant such bonus.
  • Petitioner wrote a letter to the President reiterating said request.
  • On said letter, the President then wrote a marginal note reading, NO OBJECTION.
  • The provincial government, relying on the aforementioned resolutions and the President’s marginal note, then proceeded to release the extra Christmas bonus to its officials and employees.
  • However, a post-audit was conducted by Ms. Eufemia C. Jaugan, Audit Team Leader (ATL), Province of Siquijor, and thereafter, she issued Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) Nos. 2004-011 and 2004-022, respectively.
  • In AOM Nos. 2004-011 and 2004-022, Ms. Jaugan questioned the legality of the payment of said bonuses, citing Section 4.1 of Budget Circular No. 2003-7 limiting the grant of Extra Christmas Bonus to P5,000.00, and Section 325 (a) of the Local Government Code imposing a 55% limitation on Personal Services expenditures.
  • AOM Nos. 2004-011 and 2004-022 were then reviewed by Atty. Roy L. Ursal, Regional Cluster Director, Legal and Adjudication Sector, COA Region VII.
  • Atty. Ursal disallowed the payments and issued Notices of Disallowance.
  • Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Regional Cluster Director.
  • From said denial, petitioner appealed to the Commission on Audit-Legal and Adjudication Office (COA-LAO-Local).
  • However, the COA-LAO-Local issued a Decision affirming the Regional Cluster Director’s Notice of Disallowance.
  • Aggrieved by the foregoing Decision of the COA-LAO-Local, petitioner filed a Petition forCertiorari, under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

 

ISSUE:

  • Whether or not petitioner failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

 

RULING:

  • Yes.
  • By immediately filing the present petition for certiorari, petitioner failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to him.
  • Rule VI, Sec. 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure of the COA states that: “The party aggrieved by a final order or decision of the Director may appeal to the Commission Proper.”
  • The Commission Proper, which is the tribunal possessing special knowledge, experience and tools to determine technical and intricate matters of fact involved in the conduct of the audit, would still be the best body to determine whether the marginal note of No Objection on petitioner’s letter-request to the President is indeed authentic and tantamount to the required approval.
  • It was absolutely necessary for petitioner to allege in the petition, and adduce evidence to prove, that any other existing remedy is not speedy or adequate.
  • Thus, since petitioner could have appealed the Decision of the Director to the Commission Proper under the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure of the COA, he is definitely not entitled to a writ of certiorari, because there was some other speedy and adequate remedy available to him.
  • Petitioner having failed to pursue an appeal with the Commission Proper, the Decision issued by the COA-LAO-Local has become final and executory.
  • Consequently, the Decision of the COA-LAO-Local can no longer be altered or modified.