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EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-8759. May 25, 1956.]


SEVERINO UNABIA, Petitioner-Appellee, vs. THE HONORABLE CITY MAYOR,
CITY TREASURER, CITY AUDITOR and the CITY ENGINEER, RespondentsAppellants.
FACTS:
Petitioner was a foreman, Group Disposal, Office of the City Health Officer, Cebu
City, at P3.90 per day. On June 16, 1953, the City Mayor removed him from the
service and his place was taken by Perfecto Abellana, and latter by Pedro E.
Gonzales. Before June 16, 1953, the Group Disposal Division, including personnel,
was transferred from the City Health Department to the Office of the City Engineer.
In April, 1954, Petitioner sought to be reinstated but his petition was not heeded by
the Respondents.
On the basis of the above facts, the Court of First Instance of Cebu held
that Petitioner is a person in the Philippine Civil Service, pertaining to the
unclassified service (section 670, Revised Administrative Code as amended), and his
removal from his position is a violation of section 694 of the Revised Administrative
Code and section 4 of Art XII of the Constitution.
It is also contended that the use of capitals in the words Civil Service in section 1
and 4 of Article XII of the Constitution and the use of small letters for the same
words, civil service, in section 670, Revised Administrative Code, indicates that
only those pertaining to the classified service are protected in the above-mentioned
sections of the Constitution.
ISSUE: Whether the use of capital in the words "Civil Service" in the Constitution
and the use of small letters for the "civil service" in the Revised Administrative code
indicates that the protection only pertains to the classified service.
DECISION:
We see no validity in this argument. Capital C and S in the words Civil Service
were used in the Constitution to indicate the group. No capitals are used in the
similar provisions of the Code to indicate the system. We see no difference between
the use of capitals in the former and of small letters in the latter. There is no reason
for excluding persons in the unclassified service from the benefits extended to those
belonging to the classified service. Both are expressly declared to belong to the Civil
Service;
chan Hence,

Hence, the same rights and privileges should be accorded to both. Persons in the
unclassified service are so designated because the nature of their work and
qualifications are not subject to classification, which is not true of those appointed
to the classified service. This cannot be a valid reason for denying privileges to the
former that are granted the latter.
As the removal of Petitioner was made without investigation and without cause, said
removal is null and void and Petitioner is entitled to be reinstated to the position
from which he was removed. (Lacson vs. Romero, 84 Phil., 740, 47 Off. Gaz. [4],
1778).

There is, however, an additional objection to the reinstatement raised in the


memorandum submitted by the attorneys for the Respondents in lieu of oral
argument. This is the fact that asPetitioner was removed on June 16, 1953 and only
filed his petition on July 1, 1954, or after a delay of one year and 15
days, Petitioner should no longer be allowed to claim the remedy, he being
considered as having abandoned his office.