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Alcuaz v.

PSBA 161 SCRA 7


No. L-76353. May 2, 1988.*
SOPHIA ALCUAZ, MA. CECILIA ALINDAYU, BERNADETTE ANG, IRNA ANONAS, MA. REMEDIOS
BALTAZAR, CORAZON BUNDOC, JOHN CARMONA, ANNA SHIELA DIOSO, RAFAEL
ENCARNACION, ET AL., petitioners, vs. PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION,
Quezon City Branch (PSBA), DR. JUAN D. LIM, in his capacity as President and Chairman of
Board of Trustees of PSBA, ATTY. BENJAMIN P. PAULINO, etc., et al., respondents.
Constitutional Law; Contracts; Courts; Due Process; The charge of denial of due process is untenable
since the PSBA-Q.C. no longer has any existing contract either with the students or with the intervening
teachers; Courts have no power to make contracts for the parties.It is beyond dispute that a student
once admitted by the school is consid-ered enrolled for one semester, It is provided in Paragraph 137
Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, that when a college student registers in a school, it is
understood that he is enrolling for the entire semester. Likewise, it is provided in the Manual, that the
written contracts required for college teachers are for one semester. It is thus evident that after the
close of the first semester, the PSBA-QC no longer has any existing contract either with the students or
with the intervening teachers. Such being the case, the charge of denial of due process is untenable. It is
a time-honored principle that contracts are respected as the law between the contracting parties
(Henson vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al., G.R. No. 72456, February 19, 1987, citing: Castro vs.
Court of Appeals, 99 SCRA 722; Escano vs. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 197). The contract having been
terminated, there is no more contract to speak of. The school cannot be compelled to enter into another
contract with said students and teachers. The courts, be they the original trial court or the appellate
court, have no power to make contracts for the parties. (Henson vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al.,
supra).
Same; Same; Same; Same; Mininum standards to meet the demands of procedural due process.Under
similar circumstances where students have been refused re-enrollment but without allegation of
termination of contracts as in the instant case, this Court has stressed, 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. Such proceedings may be summary and cross-examination is not
even an essential part thereof. Accordingly, the minimum standards laid down by the Court to meet the
demands of procedural due process are: (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, 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 bear and
decide the case (Guzman vs. National University, 142 SCRA 706707 [1986]).
Same; Same; Same; Same; Academic Freedom, defined; Right of the school to refuse re-enrollment of
students for academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations.The right of the school to
refuse re-enrollment of students for academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations has
always been recognized by this Court (Tangonan vs. Pao, 137 SCRA 246 [1985]; Ateneo de Manila
University vs. CA, 145 SCRA 100 [1986]). Thus, the Court has ruled that the schools refusal is sanctioned
by law. Sec. 107 of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools considers academic delinquency and
violation of disciplinary regulations as valid grounds for refusing reenrollment of students. The opposite
view would do violence to the academic freedom enjoyed by the school and enshrined under the
Constitution. More specifically, academic freedom is defined by the Court as follows: This institutional
academic freedom includes not only the freedom of professionally qualified persons to inquire, discover,
publish and teach the truth as they see it in the field of their competence subject to no control or
authority except of rational methods by which truths and conclusions are sought and established in their
disciplines, but also the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims and objectives, and how
best to attain them the grant being to institutions of higher learningfree from outside coercion or
interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. (Tangonan vs.
Pao, supra).

Same; Same; Same; Exceptions to the rule that the court accords respect to factual findings of
administrative tribunals.It is well settled that by reason of their special knowledge and expertise gained
from the handling of specific matters falling under their respective jurisdictions, the Court ordinarily
accords respect if not finality to factual findings of administrative tribunals, unless the factual findings
are not supported by evidence; where the findings are vitiated by fraud, imposition or collusion; where
the procedure which led to the factual findings is irregular; when palpable errors are committed; or when
a grave abuse of discretion, arbitrariness, or capriciousness is manifest. (Ateneo de Manila University vs.
Court of Appeals, 145 SCRA 106 (1986); citing: International Hardwood and Veneer Co. of the Philippines
vs. Leonardo, 117 SCRA 967; Baguio Country Club Corporation vs. National Labor Relations Commission,
118 SCRA 557; Sichangco vs. Commissioner of Immigration, 94 SCRA 61 and Eusebio vs. Sociedad
Agricola de Balarin, 16 SCRA 569.)
Same; Contempt, defined; Motion to cite respondents in contempt, untenable; Reasons.Contempt of
court has been defined as a defiance of the authority, justice or dignity of the court; such conduct as
tends to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect or to interfere with or prejudice
parties litigant or their witnesses during litigation. (Halili vs. Court of Industrial Relations, 136 SCRA 57
[1985]). In the case at bar, there appears to be no defiance of authority by the mere filing by
respondents of a motion for reconsideration of the resolution of November 12, 1986. In fact respondent
school explained that the intervenors were actually reinstated as such faculty members after the
issuance of the temporary mandatory injunction. Thus, in the compliance submitted by said school on
November 20,1986, it manifested that without prejudice to the investigation to be conducted by the
school authorities, x x x and in order that dislocations may not result with respect to the academic
activities of the students and the distribution of teaching loads among the teachers, the respondent
school has created new classes for the petitioners and the intervening teachers beginning November
20,1986. [Alcuaz vs. PSBA, QC Branch, 161 SCRA 7(1988)]
PARAS, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari and prohibition with motion for preliminary
mandatory injunction seeking to nullify the