In Re: Rodolfo Manzano

Facts:
Judge Manzano filed a petition allowing him to accept the appointment by Ilocos Sur Governor Rodolfo Farinas as the member of Ilocos Norte provincial Committee on Justice created pursuant to a Presidential Order. He petitioned that his membership in the Committee will not in any way amount to an abandonment to his present position as Executive Judge of Branch XIX, RTC, 1st Judicial region and as a member of judiciary.

Issue:
What is an administrative agency? Where does it draw the line insofar as administrative functions are concerned?

Ruling:
The petition is denied. The Constitution prohibits the designation of members of the Judiciary to any agency performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative functions (Sec.12, Art.VIII, 1987 Constitution).

Quasi-Judicial has a fairly clear meaning and Judges can confidently refrain from participating in the work of any Administrative Agency which adjudicates disputes & controversies involving the rights of parties within its jurisdiction.

Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct & affairs 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.

“Administrative functions” as used in Sec. 12 refers to the Government’s executive machinery and its performance of governmental acts. It refers to the management actions, determinations, and orders of executive officials as they administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an element of positive action, of supervision or control.

In the dissenting opinion of Justice Gutierrez:
Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct and affairs 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 “we can readily see that membership in the Provincial or City Committee on Justice would not involve any regulation or control over the conduct and affairs of individuals. Neither will the Committee on Justice promulgate rules and regulations nor exercise any quasi-legislative functions. Its work is purely advisory. A member of the judiciary joining any study group which concentrates on the administration of justice as long as the group merely deliberates on problems involving the speedy disposition of cases particularly those involving the poor and needy litigants-or detainees, pools the expertise and experiences of the members, and limits itself to recommendations which may be adopted or rejected by those who have the power to legislate or administer the particular function involved in their implementation.

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