Constitutional Law Chapter II – Due Process

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

CHAPTER II— DUE PROCESS

Section 1—NO PERSON SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY OR PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, NOR SHALL ANY PERSON BE DENIED EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.

Kinds of Due Process:

a.            substantive due process—requires the intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the person to life, liberty or property. In short, it is to determine whether it has a valid governmental objective like for the interest of the public as against mere particular class.

b.            Procedural due process—one which hears before it condemns as pointed out by Daniel Webster.

Due process is a law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial (Per Daniel Webster in the DARTMOUTH COLLEGE CASE)

1.            Requisites of “judicial due process”.

a.            BANCO ESPANOL VS. PALANCA, 37 Phil. 921

Requisites:

1.            There must be an impartial court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and decide the matter before it;

2.            Jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or over the property subject of the proceedings;

3.            The defendant must be given the opportunity to be heard;

4.            Judgment must be rendered only after lawful hearing.

a. GALMAN VS. PAMARAN (the 1st case)

b.            IMELDA MARCOS VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, October 6, 1998

IMELDA R. MARCOS VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, G.R. No. 126995, October 6, 1998

Purisima, J.

Facts:

1.            On  June 8, 1984, IMELDA MARCOS and JOSE DANS, as Chairman and  Vice Chairman of the Light Railway Transit Authority (LRTA) entered into a Lease Contract with the Philippine General Hospital Foundation (PGHFI) involving an LRTA property  in Pasay City for P102,760.00 per month for 25 years;

2.            On June 27,1984, the PGHFI subleased the said property for P734,000.00 per month to the Transnational Construction Corporation represented by one Ignacio Jumenez;

3.            After   petitioner’s husband was deposed as President of the Philippines, she and Dans were charged of alleged violation of Section 3 [g] of RA 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Sandiganbayan;

4.            After trial , the First Division of the Sandiganbayan failed to comply with the legal requirement that all the 3 justices must be unanimous in its Decision because Justice Garchitorena and Justice Jose Balajadia voted for the conviction of both accused while Justice Narciso Atienza voted to acquit them;

5.            Thereafter, Justice Garchitorena as Presiding Justice issued Administrative Order No. 288-93 constituting a Special Division of  five and designating Justices Augusto Amores and Cipriano del Rosario;

6.            On September 21, 1993, Justice Amores wrote Justice Garchitorena that he be given 15 days his Manifestation. On the same date, however, Justice Garchitorena   dissolved the division of 5 allegedly because he and Justice Balajadia had agreed to the opinion of Justice del Rosario;

7.            On September 24, 1993, a Decision was rendered convicting the  petitioner and Dans of violation of Sec. 3 [g] of RA 3019;

8.            On June 29, 1998, the Third Division of the Supreme Court by a vote of 3-2 affirmed the conviction of the petitioner but acquitted DANS;

9.            Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration and at the same time prayed that her Motion be heard by the Supreme Court en banc claiming that her right to  due process of law, both  substantive and procedural, was violated:

a.             as a result of the fact that she was convicted as a result of the alleged disparity of the rentals agreed upon with PGHFI and the subsequent sub-lease contract between PGHFI and Transnational Construction Corporation; and

b.            the First Division convicted her after Justice Garchitorena  dissolved the Special Division of 5 after a lunch in a Quezon City restaurant where they agreed to convict her in one case and acquit her in her other cases. The said meeting was attended by another  justice who is not a member of the First Division or the Special Division in violation of the Rules of the Sandiganbayan which requires that sessions of the court shall be done only in its principal office in Manila and that only justices belonging to the division should join the deliberations.

Held:

The petitioner is hereby acquitted.

1. The great disparity between the rental price of the lease agreement signed by the petitioner (P102,760.00 per month)  and the sub-lease rental (P734,000.00 per month) does not necessarily render the monthly rate of P102,760.00 manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government in the absence of any evidence using rentals of adjacent properties showing that the rentals in the property subject of the lease agreement  is indeed very low. NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER WAS PRESENTED BY THE PROSECUTION REGARDING THE RENTAL RATE OF ADJACENT PROPERTIES.. As such,  the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the petitioner   reasonable doubt.

2. The court notes likewise the bias and prejudice of Presiding Justice Garchitorena against the petitioner as shown by his  leading, misleading and baseless hypothetical questions of said justice to RAMON F. CUERVO, witness for the petitioner. Said justice asked 179 questions to the witness as against the prosecutor who cross-examined the witness which was 73. Said number of questions could no longer be described as “clarificatory questions”. Another ground therefore for the acquittal of the petitioner is that she was denied IMPARTIAL TRIAL before the Sandiganbayan. This is one reason why the case could no longer be remanded to the Sandiganbayan especially so that the other Sandiganbayan Justices in the Special Division of 5 have retired. There is therefore no compelling reason why the case should still be remanded to the lower court when all the evidence are already with the Supreme Court.

(NOTE: The vote was 9-5 for Acquittal. CJ Narvasa, Justices Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, and Panganiban voted for conviction while Justice Vitug was the only Justice who voted for the return of the case to the Sandiganbayan “to allow the corrections of the perceived ‘irregularities’ in the proceedings below.)

c.            DBP VS. CA, January 29, 1999

d.            MATUGUINA VS. CA, 263 SCRA 490

e.            PEOPLE VS. CA, 262 SCRA 452

f.             JAVIER VS. COMELEC, 144 SCRA 194

 

                  JAVIER VS. COMELEC

       G.R. No.L- 68379-812, September 22, 1986

FACTS:

1.   The petitioner Evelio Javier and the private respondent Arturo Pacificador were candidates in Antique for the Batasang Pambansa election in May 1984;

2.   Alleging serious anomalies in the conduct of the elections and the canvass of the election returns, Javier went to the COMELEC to prevent the impending proclamation of his rival;

3.   On May 18, 1984, the Second Division of the COMELEC directed the provincial board of canvassers to proceed with the canvass but to suspend the proclamation of the winning candidate until further orders;

4.   On June 7, 1984, the same Second Division ordered the board to immediately convene and to proclaim the winner without prejudice to the outcome of the petition filed by Javier with the COMELEC;

5.   On certiorari with the S.C. the proclamation made by the Board of Canvasser was set aside as premature, having been made before the lapse of the 5 – day period of appeal, which the petitioner seasonably made;

6.   On July 23, 1984 the Second Division itself proclaimed Pacificador the elected assemblyman of Antique.

ISSUE:

Was the Second Division of the COMELEC, authorized to promulgate its decision of July 23, 1984 proclaiming Pacificador the winner in the election ?

APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSITUTION:

The applicable provisions of the 1973 Constitution are Art. XII-C, secs. 2 and 3, which provide:

“Section 2. Be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of all members of the Batasang Pambansa and elective provincial and city officials.”

“Section 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in three divisions. All election casesa may be heard and decided by divisions except contests involving members of the Batasang Pambansa, which shall be heard and decided en banc. Unless otherwise provided by law, all election cases shall be decided within ninety days from the date of their submission for decision.”

CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES:

Petitioner:

The proclamation made by the Second Division is invalid because all contests involving members of the Batasang Pambansa come under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections en banc.

Respondents:

Only “contests” need to be heard and decided en banc, all other cases can be – in fact, should be – filed with and decided only by any of the three divisions.

There is a difference between “contests” and “cases” and also a difference between “pre-proclamation controversies” and “election protests”. The pre-proclamation controversy between the petitioner and the private respondent was not yet a contest at the time and therefore could be validly heard by a mere division of the Commission on elections, consonant with Sec. 3. The issue at that stage was still administrative and could be resolved by a division.

HELD:

a.   The S.C. decided to resolve the case even if the Batasang Pambansa had already been abolished by the Aquino government, and even if Javier had already died in the meantime. This was because of its desire for this case to serve as a guidance for the future. Thus it said: “The Supreme Court is not only the highest arbiter of legal questions but also the conscience of the government. The citizen comes to us in quest of law but we must also give him justice. The two are not always the same. There are times when we cannot grant the latter because the issue has been settled and decision is no longer possible according to law. But there are also times when although the dispute has disappeared, as in this case, it nevertheless cries out to be resolved. Justice demands that we act, then, not only for the vindication of the outraged right, though gone, but also for the guidance of and as a restraint upon the future.”

b.   The S.C. held on the main issue that in making the COMELEC the sole judge of all contests involving the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the Batasang Pambansa and elective provincial and city officials, the Constitution intended to give it full authority to hear and decide these cases from beginning to end and on all matter related thereto, including those arising before the proclamation of the winners.

The decision rendered by the Second Division alone was therefore set aside as violative of the Constitution. The case should have been decided en banc.

c.   Pre-proclamation controversies became known and designated as such only because of Sec. 175 of the 1978 Election Code. The 1973 Constitution could not have therefore been intended to have divided contests between pre and post proclamation when that Constitution was written in 1973.

d.   The word “contests” should not be given a restrictive meaning; on the contrary, it should receive the widest possible scope conformably to the rule that the words used in the Constitution should be interpreted liberally. As employed in the 1973 Constitution, the term should be understood as referring to any matter involving the title or claim of title to an elective office, made before or after the proclamation of the winner, whether or not the contestant is claiming the office in dispute.

e.   There was also a denial of due process. One of the members of the Second Division, Commissioner Jose Opinion was a law partner of Pacificador. He denied the motion to disqualify him from hearing the case. The Court has repeatedly and consistently demanded “the cold neutrality of an impartial judge” as the indispensable imperative of due process. To bolster that requirement we have held that the judge must not only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial as an added assurance to the parties that his decision will be just.

FELICIANO and MELENCIO-HERRERA, concurring:

All election contests involving members of the Batasang Pambansa must be decided by the Commission on Elections en banc  under Secs. 2 and 3 of Art. XII-C of the 1973 Constitution. These sections do not distinguish between “pre-proclamation” and “post-proclamation” contests nor between “cases” and “contests”.

g.            AZUL VS. CASTRO, 133 SCRA 271

h.            PADERANGA VS. AZURA, 136 SCRA 266

i.             DAVID VS. AQUILIZAN, 94 SCRA 707

j.             LORENZANA VS. CAYETANO, 78 SCRA 485 (respondent was not a party to the ejectment case) so to enforce the decision on her violates her right to due process of law

k.            ZAMBALES CHROMITE MINING VS. CA, 94 SCRA 261

l.             ANZALDO VS. CLAVE, 119 SCRA 353

m.          SINGSON VS. NLRC, 273 SCRA 258

n.            ANZALDO VS. CLAVE, 119 SCRA 353

o.            MAYOR ALONTE VS. JUDGE SAVELLANO, 287 SCRA 245

 

MAYOR BAYANI ALONTE VS. JUDGE SAVELLANO, 287 SCRA 245

Vitug, J.

Mayor Alonte of Binan, Laguna was charged of rape before Branch 25, RTC of Laguna. However, as a result of a petition for a transfer of venue filed by the prosecution and granted by the SC, his case was transferred to RTC Branch 53, Manila, presided over by the respondent judge.

After the petitioner’s arraignment, the prosecution submitted an AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE signed by the private complainant JUVIE-LYN PUNONGBAYAN where she prayed for the withdrawal of the case because she is no longer interested in pursuing the same with no intention of re-filing the said case in the future.

Pending resolution of the said motion to withdraw, the petitioner filed a motion for bail. The same was not resolved despite several motions filed by the petitioner to resolve the same.

On December 17, 1997, counsel for the petitioner, ATTY. PHILIP SIGFRID FORTUN, received a notice from the respondent judge notifying him of the promulgation of the decision in this case despite the fact that the prosecution and the defense have not presented their evidence in court.

On December 18, 1997, the respondent judge issued a Decision convicting the petitioner of rape and sentenced to suffer a penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner was denied his right to due process of law.

Held:

In order that an accused in a criminal proceedings is deemed to have been given the right to due process of law, the following requisites must be complied with before a decision is rendered:

1.            the court or tribunal trying the case is clothed with jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter before it;

2.            that jurisdiction was lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused;

3.            that the accused is given the opportunity to be heard; and

4.            that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing (PEOPLE VS. DAPITAN, 197 SCRA 378)

The act of the respondent judge in rendering a decision without even giving the petitioner the right to adduce evidence in his behalf is a gross violation of his right to due process of law.  The Decision rendered is NULL AND VOID for want of due process.

p.            DBP VS. CA, January 29, 1999

2.            Procedural due process before administrative bodies

a.            TIBAY VS. CIR, 69 Phil. 635

          Requisites:

a.            the right to a hearing which includes the right to present evidence;

b.            the tribunal must consider the evidence presented;

c.            the decision must have something to support itself;

d.            the evidence must be substantial;

e.            the decision must be based on the evidence presented during the hearing;

f.             the tribunal or body must act on its own independent consideration of the law or facts;

g.            the board or body shall in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceedings can know the various issues involved.

b.            AMERICAN TOBACCO VS. DIRECTOR,  67 SCRA 287

c.            MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY VS. NLRC, 263 SCRA 531

d.            DELGADO VS. CA, November 10, 1986

If an accused was represented by a non-lawyer during the trial (though he thought that he was a lawyer), his right to due process was violated and therefore entitled to a new trial.

3.            Procedural due process in disciplinary actions against students

Academic freedom; due process in disciplinary actions involving students

DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY VS. COURT OF APPEALS, HON.WILFREDO D. REYES, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 36, Regional Trial Court of Manila, THE COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CULTURE AND SPORTS, ALVIN AGUILAR, JAMES PAUL BUNGUBUNG, RICHARD REVERENTE and ROBERTO VALDES, JR., G.R. No. 127980,  December 19, 2007

REYES, R.T., J.:

THE FACTS:

PRIVATE respondents Alvin Aguilar, James Paul Bungubung, Richard Reverente and Roberto Valdes, Jr. are members of Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity who were expelled by the De La Salle University (DLSU) and College of Saint Benilde (CSB)[1][1] Joint Discipline Board because of their involvement in an offensive action causing injuries to petitioner James Yap and three other student members of Domino Lux Fraternity.

On  March 29, 1995,   James Yap was eating his dinner alone in Manang’s Restaurant near La Salle, when he overheard two men bad-mouthing and apparently angry at Domino Lux.  He ignored the comments of the two. When he arrived at his boarding house, he mentioned the remarks to his two other brods while watching television. These two brods had earlier finished eating their dinner at Manang’s. Then, the three, together with four other persons went back to Manang’s and confronted the two who were still in the restaurant.  By admission of respondent Bungubung in his testimony, one of the two was a member of the Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity.  There was no rumble or physical violence then.

After this incident, a meeting was conducted between the two heads of the fraternity through the intercession of the Student Council.  The Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity was asking for an apology.  “Kailangan ng apology” in the words of respondent Aguilar.  But no apology was made.

On March 25, 1995, Ten minutes before his next class at 6:00 p.m.,   James Yap went out of the campus using the Engineering Gate to buy candies across Taft Avenue.  As he was about to re-cross Taft Avenue, he heard heavy footsteps at his back.  Eight to ten guys were running towards him.  He panicked.  He did not know what to do.  Then, respondent Bungubung punched him in the head with something heavy in his hands – “parang knuckles.”  Respondents Reverente and Lee were behind Yap, punching him.  Respondents Bungubung and Valdes who were in front of him, were also punching him.  As he was lying on the street, respondent Aguilar kicked him.  People shouted; guards arrived; and the group of attackers left. Yap could not recognize the other members of the group who attacked him.  With respect to respondent Papio, Mr. Yap said “hindi ko nakita ang mukha niya, hindi ko nakita sumuntok siya.”  What Mr. Yap saw was a long haired guy also running with the group.

The mauling incidents were a result of a fraternity war.  The victims, namely: petitioner James Yap and Dennis Pascual, Ericson Cano, and Michael Perez, are members of the “Domino Lux Fraternity,” while the alleged assailants, private respondents Alvin Aguilar, James Paul Bungubung, Richard Reverente and Roberto Valdes, Jr. are members of “Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity,” a rival fraternity.

The next day, March 30, 1995, petitioner Yap lodged a complaint[2][7] with the Discipline Board of DLSU charging private respondents with “direct assault.”  Similar complaints[3][8] were also filed by Dennis Pascual and Ericson Cano against Alvin Lee and private respondents Valdes and Reverente.  Thus, cases entitled “De La Salle University and College of St. Benilde v. Alvin Aguilar (AB-BSM/9152105), James Paul Bungubung (AB-PSM/9234403), Robert R. Valdes, Jr. (BS-BS-APM/9235086), Alvin Lee (EDD/9462325), Richard Reverente (AB-MGT/9153837) and Malvin A. Papio (AB-MGT/9251227)” were docketed as Discipline Case No. 9495-3-25121.

The Director of the DLSU Discipline Office sent separate notices to private respondents Aguilar, Bungubung and Valdes, Jr. and Reverente informing them of the complaints and requiring them to answer. Private respondents filed their respective answers.[4][9]

Said notices  issued by De La Salle Discipline Board uniformly stated as follows:

Please be informed that a joint and expanded Discipline Board had been constituted to hear and deliberate the charge against you for violation of CHED Order No. 4 arising from the written complaints of James Yap, Dennis C. Pascual, and Ericson Y. Cano.

You are directed to appear at the hearing of the Board scheduled on April 19, 1995 at 9:00 a.m. at the Bro. Connon Hall for you and your witnesses to give testimony and present evidence in your behalf.  You may be assisted by a lawyer when you give your testimony or those of your witnesses.

On or before April 18, 1995, you are further directed to provide the Board, through the Discipline Office, with a list of your witnesses as well as the sworn statement of their proposed testimony.

Your failure to appear at the scheduled hearing or your failure to submit the list of witnesses and the sworn statement of their proposed testimony will be considered a waiver on your part to present evidence and as an admission of the principal act complained of.

During the proceedings before the Board on April 19 and 28, 1995, private respondents interposed the common defense of alibi. No full-blown hearing was conducted nor the students allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them.

On May 3, 1995, the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board issued a Resolution[5][18] finding private respondents guilty.  They were meted the supreme penalty of automatic expulsion,[6][19] pursuant to CHED Order No. 4.[7][20]  The dispositive part of the resolution reads:

WHEREFORE, considering all the foregoing, the Board finds respondents ALVIN AGUILAR (AB-BSM/9152105), JAMES PAUL BUNGUBUNG (AB-PSM/9234403), ALVIN LEE (EDD/94623250) and RICHARD V. REVERENTE (AB-MGT/9153837) guilty of having violated CHED Order No. 4 and thereby orders their automatic expulsion.

In the case of respondent MALVIN A. PAPIO (AB-MGT/9251227), the Board acquits him of the charge.

I  S S U E 

Were private respondents accorded due process of law because there was no full-blown hearing nor were they allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them?

H E L D:

Private respondents’ right to due process of law  was not violated.

In administrative cases, such as investigations of students found violating school discipline, “[t]here are withal minimum standards which must be met before to satisfy the demands of procedural due process and these are: that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them and with the assistance if counsel, if desired;       (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.”[8][66]

Where a party was afforded an opportunity to participate in the proceedings but failed to do so, he cannot complain of deprivation of due process.[9][67]  Notice and hearing is the bulwark of administrative due process, the right to which is among the primary rights that must be respected even in administrative proceedings.[10][68]  The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.[11][69]  So long as the party is given the opportunity to advocate her cause or defend her interest in due course, it cannot be said that there was denial of due process.[12][70]

A formal trial-type hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process – it is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be based.[13][71]  “To be heard” does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence in court – one may also be heard through pleadings and where the opportunity to be heard through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of due process.[14][72]

Private respondents were duly informed in writing of the charges against them by the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board through petitioner Sales.  They were given the opportunity to answer the charges against them as they, in fact, submitted their respective answers.  They were also informed of the evidence presented against them as they attended all the hearings before the Board.  Moreover, private respondents were given the right to adduce evidence on their behalf and they did.  Lastly, the Discipline Board considered all the pieces of evidence submitted to it by all the parties before rendering its resolution in Discipline Case No. 9495-3-25121.

Private respondents cannot claim that they were denied due process when they were not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them.  This argument was already rejected in Guzman v. National University[15][73] where this Court held that “x x x the imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due process.  And it bears stressing that due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of justice.  The proceedings in student discipline cases may be summary; and cross examination is not, x x x an essential part thereof.”

GUZMAN VS. NU, 142 SCRA 706

 

                 GUZMAN VS. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

                 G.R. No. L-68288, July 11, 1986

FACTS:

Petitioners who are students of the National University were barred from enrolment. The school claims that their scholastic standing is poor and that they have been involved in activities that have disrupted classes and had conducted mass actions without the required permits.

HELD:

a.   It is apparent that despite the accusations of alleged violations hurled by the school against the petitioners, the fact is that it had never conducted proceedings of any sort to determine whether or not petitioners-students had indeed led or participated “in activities within the university premises, conducted without prior permit from school authorities, that disturbed or disrupted classes therein”.

Also apparent is the omission of respondents to cite any duly published rule of theirs by which students may be expelled or refused re-enrollment for poor scholastic standing.

b.   Under the Education Act of 1982, students have the right “to freely choose their field of study subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation, EXCEPT in case of academic deficiency, or violation of disciplinary regulations.”

The petitioner were denied of this right, and were being disciplined without due process, in violation of the admonition in the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools that “no penalty shall be imposed upon any student except for cause as defined in *** (the) Manuel and/or in the school rules and regulations as duly promulgated and only after due investigation shall have been conducted. It has already been held in Berina vs. Philippine Maritime Institute, 117 SCRA 581, that it is illegal of a school to impose sanctions on students without conducting due investigation.

c.   Of course, all schools have the power to adopt and enforce its rules. In fact the maintenance of good school discipline is a duty specifically enjoined on every private school. The Manual of Regulations for Private Schools provides that:

“* * The school rules governing discipline and the corresponding sanctions therefor must be clearly specified and defined in writing and made known to the students and/or their parents or guardians. Schools shall have the authority and prerogative to promulgate such rules and regulations as they may deem necessary from time to time effective as of the date  of their promulgation unless otherwise specified.”

d.   The imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due process. Due process in disciplinary cases involving students:

a. need not entail proceedings and hearing similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in court of justice;

b. the proceedings may be summary;

c. cross-examination is not an essential part thereof.

But the S.C. said that the following minimum standards must be met to satisfy the demands of procedural due process:

1.   the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them;

     2.   they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with the assistance of counsel;

     3.   they shall be informed of the evidence against them;

     4.   they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf;

     5.   the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.

a.            BERINA VS. PMI, September 30, 1982

Due process in the dismissal of employees

   Requisites of Due Process before the NLRC

1.            Notice; and

2.            Hearing

a.            MGG  Marine Services vs. NLRC, 259 SCRA 664

b.            Philippine Savings Bank vs. NLRC, 261 SCRA 409

c.            RAYCOR AIR CONTROL VS. NLRC, 261 SCRA 589

d.            WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES VS. NLRC, 263 SCRA 174

e.            SAMILLANO VS. NLRC, 265 SCRA 788

f.             STOLT-NIELSEN VS. NLRC, 264 SCRA 307

g.            GARCIA VS. NLRC, 264 SCRA 261

4.            Effect of a Motion for Reconsideration to violation of the right to due process

a.            CASUELA VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, 276 SCRA 635

b.            CORDENILLO VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, 276 SCRA 652

5.            In administrative proceedings, does due process require that a party be assisted by counsel and be able to cross-examine the witnesses?

LUMIQUED VS. EXENEA, 282 SCRA 125

          There is no law, whether the Civil Service Act or the Administrative Code of 1987, which provides that a respondent in an administrative case should be assisted by counsel in order that the proceedings therein is considered valid. Not only, that, petitioner herein was given the opportunity several times to engage the services of a lawyer to assist him but he confidently informed the investigators that he could protect himself.

Administrative Due Process

ATTY. ROMEO ERECE VS. LYN MACALINGAY, ET AL., G.R. No. 166809, April 22, 2008

THE FACTS:

Petitioner is the Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region I, whose office is located in San Fernando City, La Union.  Respondent employees of the CHR Region I filed an Affidavit-Complaint dated October 2, 1998 against petitioner alleging that he denied them the use of the office vehicle assigned to petitioner, that petitioner still claimed transportation allowance even if he was using the said vehicle, and that he certified that he did not use any government vehicle, when in fact he did, in order to collect transportation allowance.

Respondent filed his answer denying  the allegations against him.

After a fact-finding investigation, the CSC Proper in CSC Resolution No. 99-1360 dated July 1, 1999 charged petitioner with Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct for using a government vehicle in spite of his receipt of the monthly transportation allowance and for certifying that he did not use any government vehicle, when in fact, he did, in order to receive the transportation allowance.

Pertinent portions of the formal charge read:

1.       That despite the regular receipt of Erece of his monthly Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) in the amount of P4,000.00, he still prioritizes himself in the use of the office vehicle (Tamaraw FX) in spite of the directive from the Central Office that he cannot use the service vehicle for official purposes and at the same time receive his transportation allowance;

2.       That Erece did not comply with the directive of the Central Office addressed to all Regional Human Rights Directors, as follows: ‘to regularize your receipt of the transportation allowance component of the RATA to which you are entitled monthly, you are hereby directed to immediately transfer to any of your staff, preferably one of your lawyers, the memorandum receipt of the vehicle(s) now still in your name;’

3.       That he certified in his monthly liquidation of his RATA that he did not use any government vehicle for the corresponding month, which is not true because he is the regular user of the government vehicle issued to CHR-Region I.

The foregoing facts and circumstances indicate that government service has been prejudiced by the acts of Erece.

WHEREFORE, Romeo L. Erece is hereby formally charged with Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct.  Accordingly, he is given five (5) days from receipt hereof to submit his Answer under oath and affidavits of his witnesses, if any, to the Civil Service Commission-Cordillera Administrative Region (CSC-CAR).  On his Answer, he should indicate whether he elects a formal investigation or waives his right thereto.  Any Motion to Dismiss, request for clarification or Bills of Particulars shall not be entertained by the Commission.  Any of these pleadings interposed by the respondent shall be considered as an Answer and shall be evaluated as such.  Likewise, he is advised of his right to the assistance of counsel of his choice.[16][4]

After a formal investigation of the case, the CSC issued Resolution No. 020124, dated January 24. 2002, finding petitioner guilty of dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and penalizing him with dismissal from the service.

Petitioner filed a petition for review of the CSC Resolution with the CA.

In the Decision promulgated on January 7, 2005, the CA upheld the CSC Resolution, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED and the assailed Resolutions of the Civil Service Commission are hereby AFFIRMED.[17][5]

Hence, this petition.

I S S U E:

Petitioner raised the issue of violation of his right to due process because he was denied the right to cross-examine the respondents on their affidavit-complaint.

H e l d:

Petitioner contends that he was denied due process as he was not afforded the right to cross-examine his accusers and their witnesses.  He stated that at his instance, in order to prevent delay in the disposition of the case, he was allowed to present evidence first to support the allegations in his Counter-Affidavit.  After he rested his case, respondents did not present their evidence, but moved to submit their position paper and formal offer of evidence, which motion was granted by the CSC over his (petitioner’s) objection.   Respondents then submitted their Position Paper and Formal Offer of Exhibits.

Petitioner submits that although he was allowed to present evidence first, it should not be construed as a waiver of his right to cross-examine the complainants.  Although the order of presentation of evidence was not in conformity with the procedure, still petitioner should not be deemed to have lost his right to cross-examine his accusers and their witnesses.  This may be allowed only if he expressly waived said right.

The Court agrees with the CA that petitioner was not denied due process when he failed to cross-examine the complainants and their witnesses since he was given the opportunity to be heard and present his evidence. In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain one’s side.[18][6]

Velez v. De Vera[19][7]   held:

Due process of law in administrative cases is not identical with “judicial process” for a trial in court is not always essential to due process.  While a day in court is a matter of right in judicial proceedings, it is otherwise in administrative proceedings since they rest upon different principles.  The due process clause guarantees no particular form of procedure and its requirements are not technical.  Thus, in certain proceedings of administrative character, the right to a notice or hearing are not essential to due process of law.  The constitutional requirement of due process is met by a fair hearing before a regularly established administrative agency or tribunal. It is not essential that hearings be had before the making of a determination if thereafter, there is available trial and tribunal before which all objections and defenses to the making of such determination may be raised and considered.  One adequate hearing is all that due process requires. . . .

The right to cross-examine is not an indispensable aspect of due process.  Nor is an actual hearing always essential. . . . [20][8]

The dismissal of the petitioner from the government is valid.

Reference:

Constitutional Law Reviewer by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan (2008)

College of Law

University of the Cordilleras


[1][1]  College of Saint Benilde is an educational institution which is part of the De La Salle System.

[2][7]  Id. at 127.

[3][8]  Id. at 128-129.

[4][9]  Id. at 130-133.

[5][18] Id. at 139-150.

[6][19] Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (1992), Sec. 77(c) provides that expulsion is “an extreme penalty of an erring pupil or student consisting of his exclusion from admission to any public or private school in the Philippines and which requires the prior approval of the Secretary.  The penalty may be imposed for acts or offenses constituting gross misconduct, dishonesty, hazing, carrying deadly weapons, immorality, selling and/or possession of prohibited drugs such as marijuana, drug dependency, drunkenness, hooliganism, vandalism, and other serious school offenses such as assaulting a pupil or student or school personnel, instigating or leading illegal strikes or similar concerned activities resulting in the stoppage of classes, preventing or threatening any pupil or student or school personnel from entering the school premises or attending classes or discharging their duties, forging or tampering with school records or school forms, and securing or using forged school records, forms and documents.”

[7][20] Rollo, pp. 151-153.

[8][66] Guzman v. National University, G.R. No. L-68288, July 11, 1986, 142 SCRA 699, 706-707.

[9][67] Bautista v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 157219, May 28, 2004, 430 SCRA 353.

[10][68] Globe Telecom, Inc. v. National Telecommunications Commission, G.R. No. 143964, July 26, 2004, 435 SCRA 110.

[11][69] Valiao v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 146621, July 30, 2004, 435 SCRA 543.

[12][70] Barza v. Dinglasan, Jr., G.R. No. 136350, October 25, 2004, 441 SCRA 277.

[13][71] Seastar Marine Services, Inc. v. Bul-an, Jr., G.R. No. 142609, November 25, 2004, 444 SCRA 140.

[14][72] Batul v. Bayron, G.R. Nos. 157687 & 158959, February 26, 2004, 424 SCRA 26.

[15][73] Supra note 66, at 706.

[16][4]     Id. at 35-36.

[17][5]     Id. at 34.

[18][6]     Velez v. De Vera, A.C. No. 6697, July 25, 2006, 496 SCRA 345.

[19][7]     Id. at  387-388.

[20][8]     Emphasis supplied.

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About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on May 10, 2011, in Constitutional Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. wow..cool..thanks really 🙂

  2. You’re welcome 🙂

  3. thank you……………………

  4. Felma H. Omalay

    What are the exceptions of due process? please, I need help.

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