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poli ti cal law

ust law law re vi e w, vol lvi i , no. 1, november 2012
the Local Government Code reads: For purposes of the Revised Penal Code,
the punong barangay, sangguniang barangay members, and members of the lupong
tagapamayapa in each barangay shall be deemed as persons in authority in their
jurisdictions, while other barangay offcials and members who may be designated
by law or ordinance and charged with the maintenance of public order, protection
and security of life and property, or the maintenance of a desirable and balanced
environment, and any barangay member who comes to the aid of persons in
authority, shall be deemed agents of persons in authority.

By virtue of the above provisions, the police offcers, as well as the barangay
tanods were acting as agents of a person in authority during the conduct of the
search. Thus, the search conducted was unreasonable and the confscated items
are inadmissible in evidence.
G.R. No. 180989, 7 February 2012, EN BANC (Sereno, J.)
There is nothing in the Constitution that requires the Commission on Audit to conduct
a pre-audit of all government transactions and for all government agencies.
Petitioner Gualberto Dela Llana, as a taxpayer, wrote to the Commission
on Audit (COA) regarding the recommendation of the Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Food that the Department of Agriculture set up an internal
pre-audit service. The COA replied to Dela Llana informing him of the prior
issuance of Circular No. 89-299 which provides that whenever the circumstances
warrant, the COA may reinstitute pre-audit or adopt such other control measures
as necessary and appropriate to protect the funds and property of an agency.
Dela Llana fled a petition for certiorari alleging that the pre-audit duty on
the part of the COA cannot be lifted by a mere circular, considering that the pre-
audit is a constitutional mandate enshrined in Section 2 of Article IX-D of the
1987 Constitution.
1. Whether or not the petition for certiorari fled by Dela Llana is proper
2. Whether or not it is the constitutional duty of COA to conduct a pre-
recent j uri sprudence
ust law law re vi e w, vol lvi i , no. 1, november 2012
audit before the consummation of government transaction
The petition for certiorari fled by Dela Llana is not proper
Dela Llana is correct in that decisions and orders of the COA are reviewable
by the Court via a petition for certiorari. However, these refer to decisions and
orders which were rendered by the COA in its quasi-judicial capacity. Circular No.
89-299 was promulgated by the COA under its quasi-legislative or rule-making
powers. Hence, Circular No. 89-299 is not reviewable by certiorari.
Nonetheless, the Court has in the past seen ft to step in and resolve
petitions despite their being the subject of an improper remedy, in view of the
public importance of the issues raised therein. In this case, Dela Llana averred
that the conduct of pre-audit by the COA could have prevented the occurrence
of the numerous alleged irregularities in government transactions that involved
substantial amounts of public money. This is a serious allegation of a grave
defciency in observing a constitutional duty if proven correct. The Court can use
its authority to set aside errors of practice or technicalities of procedure, including
the aforementioned technical defects of the petition, and resolve the merits of a
case with such serious allegations of constitutional breach.
It is not the constitutional duty of the COA to conduct a pre-audit
Dela Llana claimed that the constitutional duty of COA includes the
duty to conduct pre-audit. A pre-audit is an examination of fnancial transactions
before their consumption or payment. It seeks to determine whether the
following conditions are present: (1) the proposed expenditure complies with an
appropriation law or other specifc statutory authority; (2) suffcient funds are
available for the purpose; (3) the proposed expenditure is not unreasonable or
extravagant, and the unexpended balance of appropriations to which it will be
charged is suffcient to cover the entire amount of the expenditure; and (4) the
transaction is approved by the proper authority and the claim is duly supported
by authentic underlying evidence. It could, among others, identify government
agency transactions that are suspicious on their face prior to their implementation
and prior to the disbursement of funds.
Dela Llanas allegations fnd no support in the Section 2 of Article IX-D
of the 1987 Constitution. There is nothing in the said provision that requires the
poli ti cal law
ust law law re vi e w, vol lvi i , no. 1, november 2012
COA to conduct a pre-audit of all government transactions and for all government
agencies. The only clear reference to a pre-audit requirement is found in Section 2,
paragraph 1, which provides that a post-audit is mandated for certain government
or private entities with state subsidy or equity and only when the internal control
system of an audited entity is inadequate. In such a situation, the COA may adopt
measures, including a temporary or special pre-audit, to correct the defciencies.
Hence, the conduct of a pre-audit is not a mandatory duty that this Court
may compel the COA to perform. This discretion on its part is in line with the
constitutional pronouncement that the COA has the exclusive authority to defne
the scope of its audit and examination. When the language of the law is clear
and explicit, there is no room for interpretation, only application. Neither can the
scope of the provision be unduly enlarged by this Court.
G.R. No. 169903, 29 February 2012, SECOND DIVISION (Brion, J.)
The compensation to be paid should not be less than the market value of the property
although the taking was not done in LBPs traditional exercise of the power of eminent domain.

Honeycomb Farms Corp. (HFC) voluntarily offered their two parcels of
land to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for P 10,480,000.00 and P
21,165.00. The Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) used the guidelines set forth
in DAR Administrative Order (AO) No. 3 series of 1991 in fxing the value of
these lands. HFC rejected the valuation. The voluntary offer to sell was referred
to the DAR adjudication Board. The Regional adjudicator fxed the value of
landholdings at P 5,324,529.00.
HFC fled a case with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) acting as Special
Agrarian Court against the DAR Secretary and LBP, praying to compensate HFC
for its landholdings amounting to P 12,440,000.00. In its amended complaint,
HFC increased the valuation to P 20,000,000.00. LBP, on the other hand, revalued
one of the lands to P 1,373,244.78, which was formerly fxed at P 2,527,749.60;
and the other to P 1,513,097.57, which was previously fxed at P 2,796,800.00. The
RTC made its own valuation when the Board of Commissioners could not agree
on the common valuation. The RTC took judicial notice of the fact that a portion
of 10 hectares of that land is a commercial land because it is near the commercial