Lapid vs CA
June 29, 2000
Gov.Manuel Lapid & 5 other government officials were charged with alleged dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for allegedly conspiring in demanding & collecting additional fees from various quarrying operators in Pampanga without a duly enacted provincial ordinance authorizing the collection thereof and without issuing receipts for such collection.
The Ombudsman found petitioner guilty for misconduct, which meted out the penalty of 1yr suspension without pay pursuant to Sec.25(2) of RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989). The DILG implemented the said Ombudsman decision.
Proceeding from the premise that they Ombudsman decision had not yet become final, petitioner argued that writs of prohibition & mandamus may be issued against the DILG for prematurely implementing the assailed decision.
WON the Ombudsman’s Decision finding petitioner administratively liable for misconduct & imposing upon him a penalty of 1yr suspension without pay is immediately executory pending appeal.
Sec.27 of RA 6770 provides that “Any order, directive or decision imposing the penalty of public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month’s salary shall be final and unappealable.”
Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Produce of the Office of the Ombudsman provides: “…in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine not equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision shall become final after the expiration of 10 days from receipt thereof by the respondent, unless a motion for reconsideration or petition for certiorari, shall have been filed by him as prescribed in Section 27of R.A. 6770.”
The punishment imposed upon petitioner is not among those listed as final and unappealable. The legal maxim “inclusion unius est exclusio alterus” finds application (the express mention of the things included excludes those that are not included). The clear import of these statements taken together is that all other decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman which impose penalties not enumerated in the said section are not final, unappealable and immediately executory.
A judgment becomes “final and executory” by operation of law. The fact that the Ombudsman Act gives parties the right to appeal from its decisions should generally carry with it the stay of these decisions pending appeal. Otherwise, the essential nature of these judgments as being appealable would be rendered nugatory.
The general rule is that judgments by lower courts or tribunals become executory only after it has become final and executory, execution pending appeal being an exception to this general rule.
There is no general legal principle that mandates that all decisions of quasi-judicial agencies are immediately executory.
Where the legislature has seen fit to declare that the decision of the quasi-judicial agency is immediately final and executory pending appeal, the law expressly so provides.
Sec. 12 of Rule 43 should therefore be interpreted as mandating that the appeal will not stay the award, judgment,final order or resolution unless the law directs otherwise.
Petitioner was charged administratively before the Ombudsman and accordingly the provisions of the Ombudsman Act should apply in his case.
It is a principle in statutory construction that where there are two statutes that apply to a particular case, that which was specially designed for the said case must prevail over the other. Considering that petitioner was charged under the Ombudsman Act, it is this law alone which should govern his case.
It is suffice to note that the Ombudsman rules of procedure, Administrative Order No. 07, mandate that decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman where the penalty imposed is other than public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month salary or fine equivalent to one month salary are still appealable and hence, not final and executory.