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“(1) REGULATIONS, FACT-FINDING, AND PROCEDURES FAMILIAR TO JUDGES One inevitable risk for judges encountering procedural questions is that they will tend to respond in terms of what they know as judges. One way to understand the Supreme Court's opinion in Vermont Yankee might be that the Court feared the D.C. Circuit had imported adjudicatory sensibilities into [agency] rulemaking.”—
Strauss, Rakoff, Farina & Metzger, Administrative Law, 11th Ed., Foundation 2011, pg. 132
How postmodern of you, textbook authors. We should all bow down and worship you now; it’s clear that you understand the world slightly better than anyone else.
“[I]t is not only rational but also realistic and efficient for USCIS to rely on the records of the Immigration Court when calculating how many days have run on an applicant's asylum clock. . . . This system is efficient; it prevents the duplication of work; and it decreases the risk of inconsistent calculations. ”—
Gjondrekaj v. Napolitano
2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90233 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 2, 2011)
“The acts of Congress give great power . . . It is a power to be administered, not arbitrarily and secretly, but fairly and openly, under the restraints of the tradition and principles of free government applicable where the fundamental rights of men are involved, regardless of their origin or race. It is the province of the courts, in proceedings for review, within the limits amply defined in the cases cited, to prevent abuse of this extraordinary power . . . ”—
Kwock Jan Fat v. White
253 U.S. 454, 464, 40 S. Ct. 566, 570, 64 L. Ed. 1010 (1920)
Fifteen minutes until quitting time and I’m dutifully working on a memo for my boss. Researching complex technical statutory and regulatory provisions. Making structural inferences about exhaustion of agency review. Cross referencing various subsections to make sure I get everything just right.
It’s like… I’m really doing Administrative Law. Professionally. For money.
I think I love it?
“Public law, that is, Criminal Law, Administrative Law and Constitutional Law, as defined by Justice Michael Kirby, is the mark of a civilised and democratic nation. To me, public law is entirely about the control of government action, and thus fundamental to the maintenance of the principle that harks back to the very origins of our British Common Law system, keeping the ‘King’s peace’. Without public law, there is no place or recognition given to The People without whom, there is no democracy, and in fact, no modern Australia. I have always seen myself first and foremost, as a lawyer for The People – not just for the Little Guy, but the whole demos; a lawyer whose main aim is to help maintain balance in a democratic society. As I see it, without a properly functioning system of public law, Australia – the idea and the place – as it is today, could not exist. I hate to think of what the alternatives might be, but there are plenty of examples around the world, and throughout history, to choose from if we want an insight into what life might be like without a properly functioning public law. There is little doubt in my mind that society would degenerate into the Hobbesian hell where human life is ‘nasty, brutal, and short’. Public Law then, stands as the Leviathan – and while it is initiated and often manipulated by governments, it remains beyond government. Public law is not for the benefit of the government, but for the benefit of society, of which the government is one (but essential) part.”—Indrani Bandyopadhyay, Solicitor, Intellectual Disability Rights Service and Benjamin & Leonardo Criminal Defence Lawyers. (2009). Law Society of New South Wales’ Career Guide to Public Law and Government, 35-36.
“Public failure, in contrast, occurs when instruments of the state cannot satisfy public needs and deliver services effectively. This failure occurs not necessarily because the state is the inappropriate agent to solve a particular problem (although there are plenty of areas in which state service is inefficient and counterproductive); it may occur when the public sector has been intentionally dismantled, degraded, or underfunded, while expectations for its performance remain high.”—
Siva Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything, as reviewed by Concurring Opinions.
The review also includes a brief observation about “market failure” as a rationale for government intervention: “Progressives often cite “market failure” as a reason for regulation. But the term itself has a hidden laissez-faire bias, implying that markets generally succeed and that intervention is extraordinary.”
*And yes, I’m trying to start writing actual blog posts again. The grime ain’t dyin’ though.
This afternoon at 6:00pm I have a four hour final exam on Administrative Law. This, my friends, is what you call a BEAST exam. I mean this course has been kicking my ass all summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the subject-matter and enjoy how brutal and stern the professor is, but I just know I will need two Heinekens and one shot of tequila after tonight. Even the sample MS [multi-state] questions are difficult. Wish me luck! I need to find a four leaf clover before 6 o’clock…
“Certiorari, as provided in Rule 65, is the single greatest loophole in our legal system.”—
My Administrative Law professor, on Rule 65, which provides for petitions for certiorari on the ground of grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
“You can practically ‘grave abuse’ anything. I can ‘grave abuse’ this ballpen if I wanted to.”
Because my brain is in the purgatorial state of being on the verge of tasting the sweet summer break, with just one final exam left, while spontaneously, and without reason, looking back on all the lectures and exams of the semester. On a Saturday night. Great.
Administrative Law – Generally embraces all the law that controls or is intended to control the administrative operations of government
Administrative Functions – those which involve the regulartion and control over the conduct and affair of individuals for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence
4 kinds of Administrative Law
a) Statutes setting up administrative authorities;
b) The body of doctrines and decisions dealing with the creation, operation and effect of determinations and regulations of such administrative authorities;
c) Rules, Regulations, or Orders of such administrative authorities in pursuance of the purposes for which administrative authorities were created or endowed; and
d) determinations decisions and orders of such administrative authorities in the settlement of controversies arising in their particular field
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines à the corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government is exercised including the various arms through which political authority is made effective
Included in government are
a) Agencies: refers to any of the various units of government including a department, bureau, office, instrumentality or GOCC
b) Instrumentality: any agency of the Nat’l Gov’t not integrated within the department framework vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy (usually through a charter)
Administrative agencies, boards and commissions are public offices
Refers to the right, authority, and duty created an conferred by law, by which, for a given period either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the appointing power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of gov’t to be exercised by that individual for the benefit of the public
May refer to either a) a functional unit of gov’t (i.e. dep’t or bureau) or b) position held or occupied by individual persons, whose functions are defined by law or regulation
It is a public trust
It is created by
à all admin agencies not created by the Consti are created by statues or those in (c)
ex NEDA, ConCom, Comelec, CoA, CSC, Ombudsman, CHR, Nat’l Police Commission
c) Officer or tribunal the power to create offices is delegated by the legislature
Power to create includes the power to reorganize and to abolish
Reasons for the creation of administrative agencies
1) To unclog court dockets. To relieve courts of the burden of resoling controversies, specialized agencies have been created to hear and decide particular cases
2) To meet the complexities of modern society. As problems of modern society multiply, which can hardly be met by the legislature, administrative agencies are established to promptly cope up with such problems (Calalang v. Williams)
3) To help in the regulations of ramified activities in a developing country
4) To entrust to specialized agencies in specific field with their special knowledge, experience, and capability the task of dealing with problems thereof as they have the experience, expertise and power of dispatch to provide solutions
Common tasks of Admin bodies: perform administrative, regulatory, investigative, quasi-legislative and quasi judicial finctions or any combination thereof
May be classified as follows
Agencies created to function wherein the government is:
a) offering some gratuity, grant or special privileges
b) seeking to carry on governmental functions
Agencies set up to function in situations where the gov’t is:
a) performing some business service for the public
b) seeking to regulate business affected with public interest
c) seeking under police power to regulate private business and individuals
d) seeking to adjust individual controversies because of strong social policy involved
e)seeking to conduct investigations and gather evidence for info, recommendation or prosecution of crimes
II. Powers of Administrative Agencies
A. In general
Doctrine of Separation of Powers – prohibits the delegation of legislative power, the vesting of judicial officers with non-judicial functions, as well as the investing of non-judicial officers with judicial powers
Calalang v Wiliams: The doctrine of separation of powers is not an iron-clad restriction against delegation of powers. The principle has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern governments. Accordinglyu, w/ the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of gv’t regulations and the increased difficulty of administering the laws, the rigidity of separation of powers has been relaxed by permitting the delegation of powers by the legislature and the vesting of a large amount of discretion in administrative and executive agencies and officials in the execution of laws and promulgation of rules and regulation; and the adjudication of claims and disputes calculated to promote public interest
Administrative Agencies have powers administrative and ministerial in character as well as quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial power.
Quasi-legislative powers eneble the promulgation of IRR’s
Quasi-judicial power enable enforcement
In determining whether an admin agency has certain powers, inquiry should be from the law itself and the authority given should be liberally construed in light of the purpose for which it was created, and that which is incidentally necessary to a full implementation of the legislative intent should be upheld as being germane to the law
B. Express and Implied Powers
Public officials posses powers (not rights)
There must be a grant of authority whether express or implied; in the absence thereof, what they do as public officials lacks validity and must be set aside
Grant of authority is not presumed
A public official exercises power within the law that grants it. Government is an agency through which the will of the state is expressed and enforced
B. Grant of Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction to hear and decide cases which involve the exercise of adjudicatory power, is only conferred by the Constitution or statute
Admin agency cannot grant itself jurisdiction, when the eneabling statute does not so confer (Taule v. Santos)
Jurisdiction may also be impled (GTEB v. CA: the power to adjudicate an entity’s entitlement to export allocations is necessarily implied from GTEB’s power to suspend or cancel quota allocations)
The grant of judicial/quasi-judicial powers carries with it all the necessary and incidental powers to employ all writs, processes and other means essential to make its jurisdiction effective
Also grants them power to promulgate procedure on how parties may invoke its jurisdiction and seek relief
C. Ministerial and Discretionary Powers
Ministerial duty – one which is so clear as to leave no room for the exercise of discretion in its performance; requires no exercise of discretion or judgment
Discretion is the faculty conferred upon an official by which he may decide question either way and still be right (given that there is no arbitrariness or grave abuse of discretion)
A power or right conferered by law of acting officially, under certain circumstances, uncontrolled by the judgment of others
If a law imposes upon a public officer a duty and gives him the right to decide how or when the public duty shall be performed, such is discretionary
If Ministerial -> mandamus may lie to compel performance; if Discretionary, a petition for certiorari may lie where there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
D. Mandatory and Permissive Duties and Powers
Mandatory Statute -> commands either positively that something be done, or performed in a particular way, or negatively that something be not done, leaving the person concerned no choice but to obey. Contains words of command and prohibition. Strict compliance under pain of sanction
Directory Statute -> permissive or discretionary in nature and merely outlines the act to be done. Usually confers discretion upon a person. Non-performance or irregular performance will not result into sanctions or vitiate the acts
Tanada v Cuenco: In determining whether a statute is mandatory or directory, the primary object is to determine its legislative intent. Consideration must be given to the entire statute, its object, purpose, legislative history, and the consequence of construing it one way or the other, and it must be construed in connection with other related statutes.
Words of permissive character may be given a mandatory significance in order to effect the legislative intent, and, when the terms of a statute are such that they cannot be made effective to the extent of giving each and all of them some reasonable operation, without construing the statute as mandatory, such construction should be given. On the other hand, mandatory language may be deemed directory whenever the legislative purpose can be best carried out by such contruction (read further p. 19 of Agpalo)
Tests to determine nature of statute
A. Does the statute prescribe a result in addition to, or apart from, what it requires? Will 3rd parties suffer as a consequence of what the person charged by the statute to do within a prescribed limit fails to do?;Does the law gives a person no alternative choice? Is what the statute prescribe a matter of substance and not of from? Will there be more injury to the public by a disregard of what the law provides? If YES mandatory, if no directory
No statute is considered mandatory if it will cause hardship or injustice to the public who is not at fault, nor will it be construed as such if it leads to impossible or mischievous consequences.
E. Errors in Exercise of Powers
Government not bound by errors of public officers -> it can do no wrong, it only authorizes legal acts. Its officers and agents do wrong or commit unauthorized acts. State is not bound by its agents wrong acts or stopped by mistakes of its officers
USA v. Reyes: An officer sued in his personal capacity for acts done beyond the scope of his authority or for unlawful or tortuous acts while discharging official function , cannot invoke the doctrine of state immunity from suit. The doctrine of state immunity cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice
Presumption is that officials performed their duties with regularity and good faith; even mistakes committed by such officers are not actionable as long as it is shown that they were not motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to bad faith
III. Power of Control, supervision and Investigation
A. President as Chief Executive and Administrative Officer
President is granted by the Consti powers of control, supervision and investigation. The administrative power of the president is implied from his executive power
Marcos v. Manglapus (see p. 25 of Agapalo) à executive powers are not only those powers enumerated in the Constitution; it includes those which are neither legislative or judicial.
President’s power of control
Carpio v. Executive Secretary: President’s power of control means his power to modify, nullify or set aside what a subordinate had done in the the performance of his duties and to substitute his judgment with the latter. It is the very heart of the meaning of Chief Executive. Presidential power of control extends to all executive officers from cabinet secretary to lowliest clerk.
The totality of executive power is vested in the president by the Consti. The President is the Executive of the Government and no other.
Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency: All executive and admin orgs are adjuncts of the president and except in cases where the Chief Executive is personally required by the Consti or law to act in person his officers are his alter egos and the acts of such secretaries of departments performed and promulgated in the regular course of business are, unless disapproved by the Chief Executive, acts of the Chief Exec.
Acts of a dep’t sec are presumed to be acts of the President
Such acts, by authority of the president, are not subject to review by the courts in view of the principle of separation of powers absent any showing that there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction (Malayan Integrated Industries v. CA)
Limitation on the Power of Control
1) Abolition or creation of an executive office
2) suspension or removal of career executive officials or employees without due process of law (Larin v. Executive Secretary)
3) Setting aside, modifying or supplanting decisions of quasi-judicial agencies, including the Office of the President on cases that have become final pursuant to law or to the IRR of the law
N.B. Ang-angco v. Castillo: Power of control applies to acts of a subordinate and not to the official who performs the acts. He may not, by power of control, suspend or remove officials without due process of law except those who serve at his pleasure (i.e. cabinet secretaries)
President does not have blanket authority to remove any officer or employee of government, his power must still be subject to the law that may be passes (in case at bar Civil Service Act was such a law)
President’s power of supervision
Constitutional provision that the “President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices” implies that he may not have the power of control over agencies which are not categorized as executive departments, bureaus and offices, unless the law creating them provides that he shall have such power. In absence of such law the president may only have the power of supervision
Taule v. Santos: Presidential power over local governments is limited by the Constitution to ensure that local affairs are administered according to law…(it) permits the Chief Executive to wield no more authority than checking whether said local gov’t or officers thereof perform their duties as provided by statutory enactments. Hence , the president cannot interefere with local governments so long as the same or its officers act within the scope of authority.
Supervisory power à power of mere oversight over an inferior body; to monitor such body
Philippine Gamefowl Commission v. IAC: Supervision is a lesser power than control, it does not allow the superior to annul the acts of the subordinate. If correction is necessary it must be through exercising control over the subordinate or through the courts of justice if the subordinate does not motu proprio corrects himself
A department secretary has supervision and control over all bureaus and offices under him but does not extend to the agencies attached to such department
Administrative supervision is limited to:
1) Generally oversee the operations of such agencies and insure that they are managed effectively, efficiently and economically but without interference with day-to-day activities;
2) Require the submission of reports and cause the conduct of management audit, performance evaluation and inspection to determine compliance with policies, standards and guidelines of the department;
3) Take such action as may be necessary for the proper performance of official functions, including rectification of violations, abuses and other forms of mal-administration;
4) Review and pass upon budget proposals of such agencies but not increase them
B. Power to Reorganize
Larin v. Executive Secretary: Reorganization is valid provided it is in good faith.
Eugenio v. CSC: An instrumentality may only reorganize those that are directly under it, an office created by law may be abolished only by the legislature.
C. Power of Investigation
Investigatory powers may be for fact finding, information gathering, prosecution, or in regulation of entitities or things under their jurisdiction. The enabling act defines the extent of such investigatory powers.
Investigation require a) notice and b) hearing
Carino v. CHR: Fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom facts of a controversy is not a judicial function
Investigate à to examine explore inquire delve or probe into, research on, or study
IV. Quasi-Legislative Power
A. In general
People v. Maceren: Administrative agents are clothed with rule-making powers because the lawmaking body finds it impracticable, if not impossible, to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and complex situations that may be encountered in enforcing the law. All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the defects and purposes of the law and that it should conform to the standards that the law prescribes.
The lawmaking body cannot possibly provide for all the details in the enforcement of a particular statute. The grant of the rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of the principle of separation of powers and is an exception to the nondeleption of legislative, powers. Administrative regulations or “subordinate legislation calculated to promote the public interest are necessary because of “the growing complexity of modem life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulations, and the increased difficulty of administering the law”.
The rule-making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceeding to carry into effect the law as it his been enacted. The power cannot be extended to amending or expanding the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute.
Rules that subvert the statute cannot be sanctioned. Where the legislature has delegated to executive or administrative officers and boards authority to promulgate rules to carry out an express legislative purpose, the rules of administrative officers and boards, which have the effect of extending, or which conflict with the authority granting statute, do not represent a valid precise of the rule-making power but constitute an attempt by an administrative body to.
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the law itself cannot be extended. An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress. In a prosecution for a violation of an administrative order, it must clearly appear that the order is one which falls within the scope of the authority conferred upon the administrative body, and the order will be scrutinized with special care.
Smart v. NTC: The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate, which are the product of a delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law, should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. It is required that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law, and be not in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the standards prescribed by law. They must conform to and be consistent with the provisions of the enabling statute in order for such rule or regulation to be valid. Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules and regulations may be promulgated by an administrative body, as well as with respect to what fields are subject to regulation by it. It may not make rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a statute, particularly the statute it is administering or which created it, or which are in derogation of, or defeat, the purpose of a statute. In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative order, the former must prevail
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, the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same.
Central Bank v. Cloribel: Procedural due process (of notice and hearing) is not requiredin the formulation and issuance of general rules and regulation as distinguished from the rendering of determinations and decisions in adjudicatory proceedings. Nor is procedural due process required where there is no interference with life, liberty, or a vested property right.
B. Delegation of Legislative Power
Panama Refining Co. v Ryan: The Legislature, to prevent its being a pure delegation of legislative power, must enjoin upon the agent a certain course of procedure and certain rules of decision in the performance of its function. When the President is invested with legislative authority as the delegate of Congress in carrying out a declared policy, he necessarily acts under the constitutional restriction applicable to such a delegation.
A.L.A Schechter v. Mistretta: Congress is not permitted by the Constitution to abdicate, or to transfer to others, the essential legislative functions with which it is vested. Congress may leave to selected instrumentalities the making of subordinate rules within prescribed limits, and the determination of facts to which the policy, as declared by Congress, is to apply; but it must itself lay down the policies and establish standards.
Mistretta v. U.S.: “Intelligible Principle Test” à As long as the act by Congress includes an intelligible principle to which the delegate is directed to conform, the legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.
Eastern Shipping v. POEA:
2 Tests of Valid Delegation
1) Completeness test - the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it.
2) Sufficient standard test - there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot.
Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. The delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its non-delegation the exception.
Power of Subordinate Legislation: With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in statute by “filling in” the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide.
People v. Vera:
Exceptions to the rule that legislative power may not be delegated
1) Delegation of legislative powers to local authorities
2) such agencies as Congress may select
3) to the people at large
3) to those whom the Constitution itself delegates such legislative powers
Test of Undue Delegation
Whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature BUT to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards.
As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it.
The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made. A great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the expression of what may be termed legislative policy but in the elaboration and execution thereof.
While the legislature may suspend a law, or the execution or operation of a law, a law may not be suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for particular localities.
Ynot v. IAC
There is substantive due process, when the following requisites are complied:
1. Lawful subject - it must appear that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require such interference; and
2. Lawful means - that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.
Pelaez v. Auditor General: The authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature. In the language of other courts, it is “strictly a legislative function” or solely and exclusively the exercise of legislative power.” Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself - it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate and (b) fix a standard - the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions.
“Public welfare” and “public interest,” are sufficient standards for a valid delegation of the authority to execute the law. The question of whether or not “public interest” demands the exercise of such power is not one of fact, it is “purely a legislative question ” or a political question.
Edu v. Ericta:
It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of separation of powers that Congress may not delegate its legislative power to the two other branches of the government, subject to the exception that local governments may over local affairs participate in its exercise. What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its term and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature.
To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power the inquiry must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done, who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority.
A distinction has rightfully been made between delegation of power to make the laws which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, which constitutionally may not be done, and delegation of authority or discretion as to its execution to exercised under and in pursuance of the law, to which no valid objection call be made. The Constitution is thus not to be regarded as denying the legislature the necessary resources of flexibility and practicability.
To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lay down fundamental policy. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. It is the criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, the executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations.
The standard may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole.
Sol Gen v. MMDA
Local political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power from the national legislature (except only that the power to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself). They are mere agents vested with what is called the power of subordinate legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local government unit cannot contravene but must obey at all times the will of the principal.
To test the validity of said acts the principles governing municipal corporations was applied, for a municipal ordinance to be valid the following requisites should be complied:
1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
5) must not be unreasonable; and
6) must be general and consistent with public policy.
MMDA v. Garin:
Police power, as an inherent attribute of sovereignty, is the power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same.
Having been lodged primarily in the National Legislature, it cannot be exercised by any group or body of individuals not possessing legislative power. The Legislature, however, may delegate this power to the president and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or LGUs. Once delegated, the agents can exercise only such legislative powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking body.
Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in the Local Government Code of 1991. (In case at bar MMDA is not a political unit of government.)
Beltran v. Sec. of Health
In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the Legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of the administrative body or any other appointee or delegate of the Legislature. Except as to matters of detail that may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards, an act of the Legislature, as a general rule, is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it.
The non-impairment clause of the Constitution must yield to the loftier purposes targeted by the government. The right granted by this provision must submit to the demands and necessities of the State’s power of regulation. Furthermore, the freedom to contract is not absolute; all contracts and all rights are subject to the police power of the State and not only may regulations which affect them be established by the State, but all such regulations must be subject to change from time to time, as the general well-being of the community may require, or as the circumstances may change, or as experience may demonstrate the necessity.
C. Ascertainment of Facts
Lovina v. Moreno: The mere fact that an officer is required by law to inquire the existence of certain facts and to apply the law thereto in order to determine what his official conduct shall be and the fact that these acts may affect private, rights do not constitute an exercise of judicial powers. Accordingly, a statute may give to non-judicial officers the power to declare the existence of facts which call into operation its provisions, and similarly may grant to commissioners and other subordinate officer, power to ascertain and determine appropriate facts as a basis for procedure in the enforcement of particular laws.
D. Rate Fixing
PhilComSat v. Alcuaz: An instrumentality in the exercise of its rate-fixing power, is limited by the requirements of public safety, public interest, reasonable feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly more than satisfy the requirements of a valid delegation of legislative power. Such rate fixing must apply generally to a member of a specific class.
Rate-fixing, even though temporary, is not exempt from the statutory procedural requirements of notice and hearing, as well as the requirement of reasonableness.
E. Rule Making and Administrative Interpretation
Tayug Rural v. Central Bank: Limitations to the rule-making power of administrative agencies. When Congress authorizes promulgation of administrative rules and regulations to implement given legislation, all that is required is that the regulation be not in contradiction with it, but conform to the standards that the law prescribes
“A rule is binding on the courts so long as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and its scope is within the statute granted by the legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with the policy stated therein or its innate wisdom ….” On the other hand, “administrative interpretation of the law is at best merely advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what the law means.”
In case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said law, the basic law prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law. Except for constitutional officials who can trace their competence to act to the fundamental law itself, a public official must locate in the statute relied upon a grant of power before he can exercise it. Department zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute. Hence an administrative agency cannot impose a penalty not so provided in the law authorizing the promulgation of the rules and regulations, much less one that is applied retroactively.
Nestle v. CA: Construction given to a statute by an administrative agency charged with the interpretation and application of that statute is entitled to great respect and should be accorded great weight by the courts, unless such construction is clearly shown to be in sharp conflict with the governing statute or the Constitution and other laws.
The principle that the contemporaneous construction of a statute by the executive officers of the government, whose duty is to execute it, is entitled to great respect, and should ordinarily control the construction of the statute by the courts, is so firmly embedded in our jurisdiction that no authorities need be cited to support it. Reason: emergence of the multifarious needs of a modern or modernizing society and the establishment of diverse administrative agencies for addressing and satisfying those needs; it also relates to accumulation of experience and growth of specialized capabilities by the administrative agency charged with implementing a particular statute,
Executive officials are presumed to have familiarized themselves with all the considerations pertinent to the meaning and purpose of the law, and to have formed an independent, conscientious and competent expert opinion thereon. The courts give much weight to contemporaneous construction because of the respect due the government agency or officials charged with the implementation of the law, their competence, expertness, experience and informed judgment, and the fact that they frequently are the drafters of the law they interpret
PHAP v. Duque: Constitution enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nonetheless reserves to the government the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare… free enterprise does not call for the removal of protective regulations. It must be clearly explained and proven by competent evidence just exactly how such protective regulation would result in the restraint of trade.
Lupangco v. CA: It is an axiom in administrative law that administrative authorities should not act arbitrarily and capriciously in the issuance of rules and regulations. To be valid, such rules and regulations must be reasonable and fairly adapted to the end in view.
F. Effectivity of Rules
Tanada v. Tuvera: that publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the public of the contents of the laws. Publication in a mere supplement of the Official Gazette cannot satisfy the publication requirement. This is not even substantial compliance. The publication of laws must be made in the Official Gazette and not elsewhere, as a requirement for their effectivity after fifteen days from such publication or after a different period provided by the legislature.
(see: Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided… and Art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided.)
V. Quasi-Judicial Power
A. In general
Quasi-judicial à defined as a term applied to the actions or discretions of public administrative officers or bodies required to investigate facts, hold hearings and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action, and to exercise discretion in a judicial nature
An organ of gov’t other than a court and other than a legislature, which exercises adjudicative power affecting the rights of private persons
It has been held that it is incapable of exact definition
Santiago Jr. v. Bautista: For a body or office to act in a quasi-judicial function it is sufficient that the officers act judicially in making their decisions, whatever may be their public character (in case at bar: school board is not quasi-judicial)
Quasi-judicial agencies, in exercise of their quasi-judicial power, perform functions similar to those of courts of justice. This means that an administrative agency, clothed with quasi-judicial power and in the exercise thereof, receives evidence, ascertain the facts therefrom, determines what the law is and what legal rights of the parties are, and on the basis of all these decides the controversy and renders judgment thereon.
Jurisdiction à Power or capacity conferred by the Constitution or by law to a court or tribunal to entertain, hear and determine certain controversies and render judgment thereon.
à determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action.
To be valid, the quasi-judicial prerogatives must be limited to only those incidental to, or in connection with, the performance of administrative duties which do not amount to conferment of jurisdiction over a matter exclusively vested in the courts
Azarcon v. CA: It is axiomatic in our constitutional framework, which mandates a limited government, that its branches and administrative agencies exercise only that power delegated to them as “defined either in the Constitution or in legislation or in both.” Thus, although the “appointing power is the exclusive prerogative of the President, x x x” the quantum of powers possessed by an administrative agency forming part of the executive branch will still be limited to that “conferred expressly or by necessary or fair implication” in its enabling act. Hence, “(a)n administrative officer, it has been held, has only such powers as are expressly granted to him and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof.” Corollarily, implied powers “are those which are necessarily included in, and are therefore of lesser degree than the power granted. It cannot extend to other matters not embraced therein, nor are not incidental thereto.” For to so extend the statutory grant of power “would be an encroachment on powers expressly lodged in Congress by our Constitution.”
C. Administrative Procedure
Consti empowers quasi-judicial agencies to issue their own rules of procedure, it shall remain effective unless disapproved by the SC (or modified/altered subject to its constitutional rule-making power).
Rules of Court are suppletory to rules of procedure of such agencies
First Lepanto v. CA: Rules of procedure issued by quasi-judicial bodies must not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Substantive law creates substantive rights. The term “substantive rights” includes those which one enjoys under the legal system. Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulate rights or duties which give rise to a cause of action.
Technical rules of procedure and of evidence prevailing in courts of law are not controlling in administrative proceedings
The evidence required to support a decision in a contested case in an administrative proceeding is only substantial evidence (lowest quantum of evidence in the hierarchy of evidence). It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, and its absence is not shown by stressing that there is a contrary evidence on record, direct or circumstantial; it is more than a scintilla but may be somewhat less than preponderance.
B. Due Process in Quasi-Judicial Proceedings
1) Substantive Due Proces – requires that the law itself is fair, reasonable, and just
2) Procedural Due Process – refers to the methodor manner by which the law in enforced
THE ESSENCE of due process is the opportunity to be heard
Ang Tibay v. CIR: Cardinal Primary Requirements of Due Process in Administrative Proceedings:
(1) The right to a hearing, which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. The liberty and property of the citizen shall be protected by the rudimentary requirements of fair play.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence presented.
(3) Decision must have something to support itself
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion, but the evidence must be substantial.It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Mere uncorroborated hearsay or rumor does not constitute substantial evidence.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. Only by confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence disclosed to the parties, can the latter be protected in their right to know and meet the case against them. It should not, however, detract from their duty actively to see that the law is enforced, and for that purpose, to use the authorized legal methods of securing evidence and informing itself of facts material and relevant to the controversy. Boards of inquiry may be appointed for the purpose of investigating and determining the facts in any given case, but their report and decision are only advisory.
(6) The tribunal or body of any of its judges, must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. (Every litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of a judge)
(7) The tribunal should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reasons for the decision rendered.
(8) officer or tribunal conducting the investigation must be vested with competent jurisdiction
Air Manila v. Balatbat:
Administrative due process is recognized to include
(a) the right to notice, be it actual or constructive, of the institution of the proceedings that may affect a person’s legal rights;
(b) reasonable opportunity to appear and defend his rights, introduce witnesses and relevant evidence in his favor,
(c) a tribunal so constituted as to give him reasonable assurance of honesty and impartiality, and one of competent Jurisdiction; and
(d) a finding or decision by that tribunal supported by substantial evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the records or disclosed to the parties affected.
Vinta Maritime Co. Inc. v NLRC: Due Process does not require a trial type proceeding. It is sufficient that there is notice and the parties were heard
BUT in Mabuhay Textile Mills v. Ongpin: In quasi-judicial proceedings, where it appears that there are issues of fact which cannot be decided w/out a trial of the case on the merits, one must be held. The rule is where an adjudicative fact is at issue, a trial-type hearing ought to be held.
Prior Notice and Hearing
As a rule prior notice and hearing are necessary only where the law requires.
As a general rule, where what is exercised is police power duly delegated to an admin officer, or when what is sought to be prevented or achieved requires immediate action for the public good or interest, prior notice or hearing is not necessary for the validity of the action taken, so long as the aggrieved party is subsequently accorded hearing on the action taken, by the administrative agency setting the case for hearing or upon motion or petition by the aggrieved party.
Notice and Hearing in Rate Fixing
PhilComSat v. Alcuaz: the issuance of a fixing rate order, which is issued by an admin agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power, requires notice and hearing.
A party who has been notified of the hearing but failed to attend the same or refrained from participating in the agency proceedings cannot complain that he has been denied due process.
E. Cease and Desist Orders
Pollution Adjudication Board v. CA: Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in certain situations ( In case at the relevant pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police power.
It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests like those here involved, through the exercise of police power.
F. Right to Counsel
Lumiqued v. Exevea: While investigations conducted by an administrative body may at times be akin to a criminal proceeding, the fact remains that under existing laws, a party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel, irrespective of the nature of the charges and of the respondent’s capacity to represent himself and no duty rests on such a body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel
(The right to counsel in an administrative proceeding is not a due process requirement)
G. Decision, Appeal and Judicial Review
Sec. 14 Book VII of the 1987 Administrative Code provides that the “agency shall decide each case within 30 days following its submission”
The 30 day period is construed as directory so that jurisdiction is not lost or if decision is rendered after the 30 day period
Quasi-judicial bodies are not courts of justice. However, such fact does not excuse them from the requirement that their decisions should clearly and distinctly express the facts and the law on which they are based
The law requires that every agency shall publish and make available for public inspection all decisions or final orders in the adjudication of contested cases. Decisions become binding upon promulgations (i.e. delivery of the decisionto the clerk of court for filing and publication)
Gen Rule: Final decisions are not reviewable (based on public policy that cases must end some time)
Exceptions: when there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
If rules provide for reconsideration a MR may be made only once. If the rules provide for appeals, a final decision may be rendered by the superior office and review, reverse or modify the subordinate office.
Decisions by a division of a collegial body may only be reversed en banc
Fortich v. Corona: If a case has already been decided by the division and the losing party files a MR, the failure of the division to resolve the motion because of a tie in the voting does not leave the case undecided. There is still the decision which must stand in view of the failure of the members of the division to muster the necessary vote for its reconsideration. Quite plainly, if the voting results in a tie, the motion for reconsideration is lost. The assailed decision is not reconsidered and must therefore be deemed affirmed.
VI. Distinction Between Rule-Making and Adjudication
Rules and regulations of general applicability issued by the administrative body to implement its purely administrative policies and functions
The determination of rights, privileges and duties by an administrative agency resulting in a decision affecting a particular person
Power to prescribe rules and regulations
Power to hear and decide cases
Does not require notice and hearing
Requires notice and hearing
Action to challenge rules and regulations issued by an administrative agency to implement the law à file with the RTC
To question a decision of an administrative body in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power àfile with the Court of Appeals
VII. Primary Jurisdiction and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
A. Primary Jurisdiction
Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction à requires that a plaintiff should first seek relief in an administrative proceeding before he seeks a remedy in court.
Where the claim is originally cognizable in the court and its enforcement requires resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the competence of an administrative agency, the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such claim to the administrative agency for its views. The court cannot or will not determine a controversy involving questions within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal:
1) where the question demands administrative determination requiring special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal;
2) where the question requires determination of technical and intricate issues of fact; and
3) where uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered
Villaflor v. CA: In cases where the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is clearly applicable, the court cannot arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy, the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence.
A plaintiff should first seek relief in an administrative proceeding before he seeks relief from the court, even though the matter is properly cognizable by the court. If the case has already been filed in the court , the latter should suspend the judicial proceedings until the matter shall have been threshed out by the administrative agency which has been vested with authority to resolve the same.
B. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies à Recourse through court action cannot prosper until all the remedies have been exhausted at the administrative level. When an adequate remedy has been provided within the executive department of the government, but nevertheless, a litigant fails or refuses to avail himself of the same, the court will decline to interfere.
It calls for resort first to the appropriate administrative authorities in the resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the same may be elevated to the courts of justice for review
The failure to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not affect the jurisdiction of the court. Non-compliance will deprive the complainant of a cause of action, which is a ground for a motion to dismiss (or may be used as a defense raised in the answer)
Reasoning: Administrative authorities are in a better position to resolve questions addressed to their particular expertise and that errors committed by subordinates in their resolution may be rectified by their superiors if given a chance to do so.
Exception to the rule on Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies (may also be applied to Primary Jurisdiction)
Paat v. CA
1) When public interest requires immediate court resolution
2) Administrative act is a nullity
3) Administrative remedy is not adequate
4) Where judicial relief is required to prevent violence
5) Where agency acted with no jurisdiction
6) There is yet no administrative order
7) Where there is estoppel
8) Where there is urgency or irreparable damage
9) Where qualified political agency doctrine applies
10) Where issue is purely legal
11) Where administrative remedy is permissive
12) Where doctrine will result in nullification of claim
13) In quo warranto cases
14) Where there is no law requiring remedies
15) Where agency has no jurisdiction
Difference of Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction and Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction
Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
Applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts, the judicial process being suspended pending referral of certain issues to the administrative agency for its views.
Applies where a claim is cognizable in the first instance by the administrative agency alone, judicial interference being withheld until the administrative process has run its course and the agency action is ripe for review
VII. Judicial Review
A. In general
Review à a re-consideration or re-examination for purposes of correction
Judicial Review à re-examination or determination by the courts in the exercise of their judicial power in an appropriate case instituted by a party aggrieved thereby as to whether the questioned act, rule or decision has been validly or invalidly issued or whether the same should be nullified, affirmed or modified.
Purpose: to keep the admin agency within its jurisdiction and protect substantive rights of parties affected by its act, rule or decision.
Methods of Judicial Review
1) Ordinary Civil Action
3) Petition for Review
4) Petition for Writ of Certiorari
5) Petition for Prohibition
6) Petition for Mandamus
Mode of judicial review depends on what the admin agency does
If quasi-legislative à usually ordinary civil action in RTC; certiorari if act assailed Is grave abuse of discretion with regards to its lawmaking powers
If quasi judicial à usually Appeal, Review, Certiorari
B. Limitations on Judicial Review
Purely administrative and discretionary functions may not be interfered by the courts. In general, courts have no supervising power over the proceeding and actions of the administrative departments of the government
EXCEPTION: when there is grave abuse of discretion equivalent to capricious whimsical exercise of judgment; OR where power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice or personal hostility amounting to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtul refusal to perfom the duty enjoined
In considering a legislative rule, a court may make three inquiries
i) Whether the rule is within the delegated authority of the admin agency
ii) Whether it is reasonable
iii) Whether it was issued pursuant to proper procedure
A court when confronted with an interpretative rule (i.e. a decision by admin agency) may:
i) give the force of law to the rule;
ii) in the opposite, it may substitute its judgment; or
iii) give some intermediate degree of weight to the interpretative rule
Finding of facts of an administrative agency must be respected and the SC should not be tasked to weigh once more the evidence submitted before the administrative body.
EXCEPTION: when finding is not supported by substantial evidence
Final decisions are beyond judicial review. Administrative proceedings must end sometime, just as public policy demands that finality be written on judicial controversies.
C. Petition for Review (Rule 43 of ROC)
Mode of appeal from the decisions or final orders of an agency exercising quasi-judicial functions.
First Lepanto v. CA: A statute providing that the decision of a specific quasi-judicial body is appealable directly to the SC,if enacted without the advice and concurrence of the SC is not effective, and that the appeal therefrom must be taken to the CA under Rule 43
Sec. 1 of Rule 43 is not an exhaustive list on agencies where this mode may be used, the legislative may make agencies and rules that can use this mode
Rule 43 may be used to review question of fact, law or mixed questions of fact and law
Questions of fact à when the doubt or difference arises to the truth or falsehood of alleged facts, or when the query necessarily invites calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of witnesses, existence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, their relation to each other and to the whole and the probabilities of the situation.
Questions of law à there is a question of law when there is doubt or difference of opinion as to what the law is on a certain state of facts and which does not call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties.
D. Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus
Certiorari: a special civil action directed against any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial function which is alleged in a verified petition in the proper court to have acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion , there being no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling or modifying the proceeding.
Questions of fact cannot be raised
Purpose: annul or modify the questioned act or ruling ; to prevent unlawful and oppressive exercise of legal authority; and to provide for a fair and orderly administration of justice
Elements of Certiorari
1) Directed against a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions
2) The tribunal, board or officer has acted w/out or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
3) There is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
Prohibition: a preventive remedy; its function is to restrain the doing of some act about to be done NOT to provide a remedy for actsw already accomplished. It is a remedy to prevent a tribunal, board or officer from usurping or exercising a jurisdiction or power which the law does not vest in any of them.
Mandamus: literally “to command” it is the proper remedy if it can be shown that there is neglect on the part of a tribunal or officer in the performance of an act, which specifically the law enjoins as a futy or an unlawful exclusion of a party from the use and enjoyment of a right he is entitled.
Mandamus lies in any of the ff:
1) against any tribunal which unlawfully neglects the performance of an act whuch the law specifically enjoins as a duty
2) in case any corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station
3) in case any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office which such other is legally entitled
4) There is neither appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
*Mandamus may lie to compel the doing of a ministerial act or the exercise of discretion NOT the discretion itself
Requisite: a clear legal right (founded upon law) to the thing demanded
Common requisites of Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus
1) Petition must be verified
2) filed within 60 day from notice of judgment
3) Jurisdiction to issue writ
4) Public agency should be joined as a respondent
5) full names and actual addresses of all the petitioners and respondents, concise statement of the matters involved, factual background of the case, and the grounds relied upon for the relief prayed for.
6) Non-forum shopping certification
E. Appeal by Certiorari
See Section 45 of ROC
A petition for review on certiorari or an appeal to the SC is not a matter of right but a matter of sound discretion. Petition must raise only questions of law distinctly set forth and discussed
When petition may be given due course
1) When the court a quo has decided a question of substance, not therefore determined by the SC, or has decided it in a way probably not in accord with law or with the applicable decisions of the SC
2) when the court a quo has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings , or so far sanctioned such departure by a lower court, as to call for an exercise of the power of supervision.
IX. Right to Information
Legaspi v. CSC: Constitution provides the guarantee of adopting policy of full public disclosure subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law as in regulation in the manner of examining the public records by the government agency in custody thereof. But the constitutional guarantee to information on matters of public concern is not absolute. Under the Constitution, access to official records, papers, etc., are “subject to limitations as may be provided by law” (Art. III, Sec. 7, second sentence). The law may therefore exempt certain types of information from public scrutiny, such as those affecting national security.
All appointments in the Civil Service Commission are made according to merit and fitness while a public office is a public trust. Public employees therefore are accountable to the people even as to their eligibilities to their positions in the government. The information on the result of the CSC eligibility examination is released to the public therefore the request of petitioner is one that is not unusual or unreasonable. The public, through any citizen, has the right to verify the civil eligibilities of any person occupying government positions.
Valmonte v. Belmonte: Although citizens are afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, are entitled to “access to official records,” the Constitution does not accord them a right to compel custodians of official records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire information on matters of public concern.
Chavez v. PCGG: The “information” and the “transactions” referred to in the subject provisions of the Constitution have as yet no defined scope and extent. There are no specific laws prescribing the exact limitations within which the right may be exercised or the correlative state duty may be obliged. However, the following are some of the recognized restrictions:
(1) national security matters and intelligence information- there is a governmental privilege against public disclosure with respect to state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other national security matters. But where there is no need to protect such state secrets, the privilege may not be invoked to withhold documents and other information, provided that they are examined “in strict confidence” and given “scrupulous protection.”
(2) trade secrets and banking transactions-trade or industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code 27 and other related laws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act 28)are also exempted from compulsory disclosure
(3) criminal matters- Also excluded are classified law enforcement matters, such as those relating to the apprehension, the prosecution and the detention of criminals, which courts neither may nor inquire into prior to such arrest, detention and prosecution. Efforts at effective law enforcement would be seriously jeopardized by free public access to, for example, police information regarding rescue operations, the whereabouts of fugitives, or leads on covert criminal activities.
(4) other confidential information.
The provisions of the Constitution seek to promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government, as well as to provide the people sufficient information to exercise effectively other constitutional rights. These twin provisions are essential to the exercise of freedom of expression. If the government does not disclose its official acts, transactions and decisions to citizens, whatever citizens say, even if expressed without any restraint, will be speculative and amount to nothing. These provisions are also essential to hold public officials “at all time x x x accountable to the people,” for unless citizens have the proper information, they cannot hold public officials accountable for anything. Armed with the right information, citizens can participate in public discussions leading to the formulation of government policies and their effective implementation. An informed citizenry is essential to the existence and proper functioning of any democracy.