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CSC vs DBM Case Digest


482 SCRA 233 (2005), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)
Automatic release of approved annual appropriations to Civil Service
Commission, a constitutional commission which is vested with fiscal
autonomy, should thus be construed to mean that no condition to fund
releases to it may be imposed.
FACTS: The total funds appropriated by General Appropriations Act of 2002 (GAA)
for Civil Service Commission (CSC) was P285,660,790.44. CSC complains that the
total funds released by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was only
P279,853,398.14, thereby leaving an unreleased balance of P5,807,392.30.
CSC contends that the funds were intentionally withheld by DBM on the ground of
their no report, no release policy. Hence, CSC filed a petition for mandamus
seeking to compel the DBM to release the balance of its budget for fiscal year 2002.
At the same time, it seeks a determination by this Court of the extent of the
constitutional concept of fiscal autonomy.
ISSUE: Whether or not DBMs policy, no report, no release is constitutional
HELD: DBMs act of withholding the subject funds from CSC due to revenue shortfall
is hereby declared unconstitutional.
The no report, no release policy may not be validly enforced against offices vested
with fiscal autonomy is not disputed. Indeed, such policy cannot be enforced against
offices possessing fiscal autonomy without violating Article IX (A), Section 5 of the
Constitution, which provides that the Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy and
that their approved appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
The Court held in the case of, Batangas v. Romulo, automatic release in Section
6, Article X of the Constitution is defined as an automatic manner; without
thought or conscious intention. Being automatic, thus, connotes something
mechanical, spontaneous and perfunctory. As such the LGUs are not required to
perform any act to receive the just share accruing to them from the national
By parity of construction, automatic release of approved annual appropriations to
petitioner, a constitutional commission which is vested with fiscal autonomy, should
thus be construed to mean that no condition to fund releases to it may be imposed.
This conclusion is consistent with the Resolution of this Court which effectively

prohibited the enforcement of a no report, no release policy against the Judiciary

which has also been granted fiscal autonomy by the Constitution.
Furthermore, the Constitution grants the enjoyment of fiscal autonomy only to the
Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, of which petitioner is one, and the
Ombudsman. To hold that the CSC may be subjected to withholding or reduction of
funds in the event of a revenue shortfall would, to that extent, place CSC and the
other entities vested with fiscal autonomy on equal footing with all others which are
not granted the same autonomy, thereby reducing to naught the distinction
established by the Constitution.

Aruelo v. CA
G.R. No. 107852 October 20, 1993
Quiason, J.
Aruelo claims that in election contests, the COMELEC Rules of Procedure
gives the respondent therein only five days from receipt of summons within which
to file his answer to the petition (Part VI, Rule 35, Sec. 7) and that this five-day
period had lapsed when Gatchalian filed his answer. According to him, the filing of
motions to dismiss and motions for bill of particulars is prohibited by Section 1, Rule
13, Part III of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure; hence, the filing of said pleadings
did not suspend the running of the five-day period, or give Gatchalian a new fiveday period to file his answer.
whether the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction when it allowed respondent Gatchalian to file his
pleading beyond the five-day period prescribed in Section 1, Rule 13, Part III of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure
No. Petitioner filed the election protest with the Regional Trial Court,
whose proceedings are governed by the Revised Rules of Court.
Section 1, Rule 13, Part III of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure is not applicable to
proceedings before the regular courts. As expressly mandated by Section 2, Rule 1,
Part I of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the filing of motions to dismiss and bill of
particulars, shall apply only to proceedings brought before the COMELEC. Section 2,
Rule 1, Part I provides:

Sec. 2. Applicability These rules, except Part VI, shall apply to all actions and
proceedings brought before the Commission. Part VI shall apply to election contests
and quo warranto cases cognizable by courts of general or limited jurisdiction.
It must be noted that nowhere in Part VI of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure is it
provided that motions to dismiss and bill of particulars are not allowed in election
protests or quo warranto cases pending before the regular courts.
Constitutionally speaking, the COMELEC cannot adopt a rule prohibiting the filing of
certain pleadings in the regular courts. The power to promulgate rules concerning
pleadings, practice and procedure in all courts is vested on the Supreme Court
(Constitution, Art VIII, Sec. 5 [5]).

G.R. No. 80519-21 December 17,1987
Per Curiam
whether or not the 2-1 Decision reached by the First Division of COMELEC
is valid under Section 7, Article IX-A of the Constitution despite Section 5 of
COMELEC Resolution No. 1669 which reads as follows:
A case being heard by it shall be decided with the unanimous concurrence of all
three Commissioners and its decision shall be considered a decision of the
Commission. If this required number is not obtained, as when there is a dissenting
opinion, the case may be appealed to the Commission en banc, in which case the
vote of the majority thereof shall be the decision of the Commission. ...
Yes. The 2-1 decision rendered by the First Division was a valid decision
under Article IX-A, Section 7 of the Constitution. Furthermore, the three members
who voted to affirm the First Division constituted a majority of the five members
who deliberated and voted thereon en banc and their decision is also valid under
the aforecited constitutional provision. Hence, the proclamation of Cua on the basis
of the two aforecited decisions was a valid act that entitles him now to assume his
seat in the House of Representatives.


On May 25, 1982 an accident occurred at the Malaya Thermal Plant of the National
Power Corporation (NPC). Based on the accident report, tube leaks were confirmed

at 2:30 am. The tubes were drained and prepared for repair by maintenance
personnel. By 8:45 am the system was declared safe for repair. From that time on
until 11:10 work ensued, until the plug from the leaking tube gave way. The leaking
tube spew hot steam and water, injuring two personnel making the repairs. One of
the men injured was a contractual janitor employed by OP Landritos General
Services (OPLGS), NPCs janitorial contractor. His hospitalization expenses
amounted to P50,802.26. NPC initially advanced the amount, but later on
reimbursed itself by deducting the amount, on a staggered basis, from OPLGSs
billings to NPC. Subsequently OPLGS requested for a refund of the said amount.
NPCs Legal Services Division Chief, Orocio, found negligence on their part (quasidelict), he therefore recommended the reimbursement to OPLGS of the said
amount. But later on it was disallowed by the COA. COA made certain officers of
NPC liable for the disallowance (approving authority, chief accountant, etc),
including Orocio.
Is Orocio personally liable for the disallowance considering that he was merely
performing his function?
NO. Under Sec 103 of the Govt Auditing Code, expenditures of govt funds or uses
of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability
of the official or employee found directly responsible therefore. In the instant case,
though it was petitioner who rendered the opinion relied upon for the disbursement,
it cannot be said that he was directly responsible therefore. His was only a legal
opinion which the governing board of the NPC or any of its authorized officials could
adopt or reject. The Court added that although Orocio was performing his official
functions only, he could still be made liable if it was found that he acted with malice
and in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority. But whether petitioner acted
in such way could only be determined through a proper hearing to be conducted by
the COA. Since it was not done, it will be in violation of Orocios right to due process
if he was made liable therefore.

REYES v. RTC OF MAKATI (Brion, J., 2008) 1GR

Zenith Insurance Corp. and Rodrigo Reyes filed a derivative suit against his
brother Oscar to obtain an accounting of the funds and assets of the
corporation that were arbitrarily and fraudulently appropriated by Oscar for
Oscar moved to declare the complaint as a nuisance and harassment suit and
should be dismissed according to the Interim Rules of Procedure for IntraCorporate Controversies.
RTC of Makati, designated as a special commercial court: denied the
motion and declared that the complaint is a proper derivative suit.

Oscar went to the CA on a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus

and prayed that the RTC Order be annulled and set aside and that the trial
court be prohibited from continuing with the proceedings.
CA: affirmed the RTC Order and denied the petition.
Oscar now comes before the SC on appeal through a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
(1) WON charges of fraud were properly supported by the required factual
allegations. (2) WON the defect can be cured by a bill of particulars.
(1) NO. (2) NO.
(1) While the complaint contained allegations of fraud purportedly committed by
Oscar, these allegations are not particular enough to bring the controversy within
the special commercial court's jurisdiction; they are not statements of ultimate
facts, but are mere conclusions of law: how and why the alleged appropriation of
shares can be characterized as "illegal and fraudulent" were not explained nor
elaborated on.
Allegations of deceit, machination, false pretenses, misrepresentation, and
threats are largely conclusions of law that, without supporting statements of
the facts to which the allegations of fraud refer, do not sufficiently state an
effective cause of action. (2) In ordinary cases, the failure to specifically
allege the fraudulent acts does not constitute a ground for dismissal since
such defect can be cured by a bill of particulars. In cases governed by the
Interim Rules of Procedure on Intra-Corporate Controversies, however, a bill
of particulars is a prohibited pleading. It is essential, therefore, for the
complaint to show on its face what are claimed to be the fraudulent corporate
acts if the complainant wishes to invoke the court's special commercial
Twice in the course of this case, Rodrigo had been given the opportunity to
study the propriety of amending or withdrawing the complaint, but he
consistently refused. The court's function in resolving issues of jurisdiction is
limited to the review of the allegations of the complaint and, on the basis of
these allegations, to the determination of whether they are of such nature
and subject that they fall within the terms of the law defining the court's

Case Digest on ABS-CBN v. Comelec 323 SCRA

November 10, 2010
FACTS: Comelec approved Resolution 98-1419 on April 21, 1998 which prohibited
the conduct of exit polls. Petitioners questioned the validity of the resolution by
filing a petition for certiorari in the SC. Solicitor General argued that case should be

dismissed for failure to exhaust all available remedies by failure to file a motion for
reconsideration before the Comelec.
HELD: Considering that the resolution was issued only 20 days before the election
and that the petitioners got a copy of it only on May 4, 1998, there was hardly any
opportunity to move for reconsideration and to obtain and swift resolution in time
for the May 11 elections. The petition also involves transcendental constitutional
issues therefore, direct resort to SC is justified.

Garces v CA
Lucita Garces was appointed Election Registrar of Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte on
July 27, 1986. She was to replace respondent Election Registrar Claudio
Concepcion, who, in turn, was transferred to Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.
Both appointments were to take effect upon assumption of office. Concepcion,
however, refused to transfer post as he did not request for it. Garces was directed
by the Office of Assistant Director for Operations to assume the Gutalac post. But
she was not able to do so because of a Memorandum issued by respondent
Provincial Election Supervisor Salvador Empeynado that prohibited her from
assuming office as the same is not vacant.
Garces received a letter from the Acting Manager, Finance Service Department, with
an enclosed check to cover for the expenses on construction of polling booths. It
was addressed Mrs. Lucita Garces E.R. Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte which
Garces interpreted to mean as superseding the deferment order. Meanwhile, since
Concepcion continued occupying the Gutalac office, the COMELEC en banc
cancelled his appointment to Liloy.
Garces filed before the RTC a petition for mandamus with preliminary prohibitory
and mandatory injunction and damages against Empeynado and Concepcion.
Meantime, the COMELEC en banc resolved to recognize respondent Concepcion as
the Election Registrar of Gutalac and ordered that the appointments of Garces be
Empeynado moved to dismiss the petition for mandamus alleging that the same
was rendered moot and academic by the said COMELEC Resolution, and that the
case is cognizable only by the COMELEC under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A of the 1987
Constitution. Empeynado argues that the matter should be raised only
on certiorari before the Supreme Court and not before the RTC, else the latter court
becomes a reviewer of an en banc COMELEC resolution contrary to Sec. 7, Art. IX-A.
RTC dismissed the petition for mandamus on two grounds, viz., (1) that quo
warranto is the proper remedy, and (2) that the cases or matters referred under
the constitution pertain only to those involving the conduct of elections.
CA affirmed the RTCs dismissal of the case.
Whether or not the case is cognizable by the Supreme Court?

No. The case is cognizable in the RTC.
Sec. 7, Art. IX-A of the Constitution provides:
Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members
any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its
submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for
decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum
required by the rules of the commission or by the commission itself. Unless
otherwise provided by this constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of
each commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the
aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.
This provision is inapplicable as there was no case or matter filed before the
COMELEC. On the contrary, it was the COMELECs resolution that triggered this
The case or matter referred to by the constitution must be something within the
jurisdiction of the COMELEC, i.e., it must pertain to an election dispute. The settled
rule is that decision, rulings, order of the COMELEC that may be brought to the
Supreme Court on certiorari under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A are those that relate to the
COMELECs exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers involving
elective regional, provincial and city officials.
In this case, what is being assailed is the COMELECs choice of an appointee to
occupy the Gutalac Post which is an administrative duty done for the operational
set-up of an agency. The controversy involves an appointive, not an elective,
official. Hardly can this matter call for the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme
To rule otherwise would surely burden the Court with trivial administrative questions
that are best ventilated before the RTC, a court which the law vests with the power
to exercise original jurisdiction over all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of
any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
*Petition denied

Case Digest on Ambil v. COMELEC G.R. No. 143398

(October 25, 2000)
November 10, 2010
FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for the position of
Governor, Eastern Samar during the May 11, 1998 elections. The Provincial Board of
Canvassers proclaimed petitioner as the duly elected Governor. Private respondent
filed an election protest with the COMELEC, which was assigned to the First Division.
Commissioner X prepared and signed a proposed resolution in the case.
Commissioner Y dissented, while Commissioner Z wanted to see both positions first
before giving her decision. On 2/15/00, Commissioner X retired and was replaced.
On 2/24/00, petitioner and respondent received a purported resolution in favor of
private respondent promulgated on 2/14/00 and signed by Commissioners X, Y, and

Z. The First Division later declared that the parties should ignore the resolution
since it was not yet promulgated. The Division later set a date for promulgation of a
resolution of the case, and said that the aggrieved party could then challenge it
through a Motion for Reconsideration before the Commission en banc or through a
certiorari case before the SC. The petitioner filed this case to annul the order for
the promulgation of the resolution and to direct the First Division to deliberate anew
on the case.
HELD: The SC dismissed the case for prematurity. It ruled that it has no power to
review via certiorari, an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of
the Commission on Elections. The instant case does not fall under any of the
recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with a motion for
reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition. In truth, the exceptions do not apply
to election cases where a motion for reconsideration is mandatory by Constitutional
fiat to elevate the case to the Comelec en banc, whose final decision is what is
reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court.
The SC declared the resolution signed by Commissioner X as void for various
reasons. First, one who is no longer a member of the Commission at the time the
final decision or resolution is promulgated cannot validly take part in that resolution
or decision. Second, the Clerk of the 1st Division denied the release or
promulgation of the resolution on 2/14/00 resolution. Third, the 1st Division even
later said that the parties should ignore the resolution since it was not yet
promulgated. Lastly, Commissioner Z could not have affixed her signature on the
resolution, since on the same date an order was issued where she said that she still
wanted to see both positions before making her decision.