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G.R. Nos.

142801-802 July 10, 2001


BUKLOD NG KAWANING EIIB, CESAR POSADA, REMEDIOS G. PRINCESA, BENJAMIN KHO, BENIGNO MANGA, LULU MENDOZA,
petitioners, vs. HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RONALDO B. ZAMORA, HON. SECRETARY JOSE PARDO, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE,
HON. SECRETARY BENJAMIN DIOKNO, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HON. SECRETARY ARTEMIO TUQUERO,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, respondents.
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:
In this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, petitioners Buklod Ng Kawaning EIIB, Cesar Posada, Remedios Princesa, Benjamin Kho,
Benigno Manga and Lulu Mendoza, for themselves and in behalf of others with whom they share a common or general interest, seek the nullification
of Executive Order No. 1911 and Executive Order No. 2232 on the ground that they were issued by the Office of the President with grave abuse of
discretion and in violation of their constitutional right to security of tenure.
The facts are undisputed:
On June 30, 1987, former President Corazon C. Aquino, issued Executive Order No. 127 3 establishing the Economic Intelligence and Investigation
Bureau (EIIB) as part of the structural organization of the Ministry of Finance. 4 The EIIB was designated to perform the following functions:
"(a) Receive, gather and evaluate intelligence reports and information and evidence on the nature, modes and extent of illegal activities
affecting the national economy, such as, but not limited to, economic sabotage, smuggling, tax evasion, and dollar-salting, investigate the
same and aid in the prosecution of cases;
(b) Coordinate with external agencies in monitoring the financial and economic activities of persons or entities, whether domestic or
foreign, which may adversely affect national financial interest with the goal of regulating, controlling or preventing said activities;
(c) Provide all intelligence units of operating Bureaus or Offices under the Ministry with the general framework and guidelines in the
conduct of intelligence and investigating works;
(d) Supervise, monitor and coordinate all the intelligence and investigation operations of the operating Bureaus and Offices under the
Ministry;
(e) Investigate, hear and file, upon clearance by the Minister, anti-graft and corruption cases against personnel of the Ministry and its
constituents units;
(f) Perform such other appropriate functions as may be assigned by the Minister or his deputies." 5
In a desire to achieve harmony of efforts and to prevent possible conflicts among agencies in the course of their anti-smuggling operations, President
Aquino issued Memorandum Order No. 225 on March 17, 1989, providing, among others, that the EIIB "shall be the agency of primary responsibility
for anti-smuggling operations in all land areas and inland waters and waterways outside the areas of sole jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs."6
Eleven years after, or on January 7, 2000, President Joseph Estrada issued Executive Order No. 191 entitled "Deactivation of the Economic
Intelligence and Investigation Bureau."7 Motivated by the fact that "the designated functions of the EIIB are also being performed by the other
existing agencies of the government" and that "there is a need to constantly monitor the overlapping of functions" among these agencies, former
President Estrada ordered the deactivation of EIIB and the transfer of its functions to the Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of
Investigation.
Meanwhile, President Estrada issued Executive Order No. 1968 creating the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Task Force "Aduana."9
Then the day feared by the EIIB employees came. On March 29, 2000, President Estrada issued Executive Order No. 223 10 providing that all EIIB
personnel occupying positions specified therein shall be deemed separated from the service effective April 30, 2000, pursuant to a bona fide
reorganization resulting to abolition, redundancy, merger, division, or consolidation of positions. 11
Agonizing over the loss of their employment, petitioners now come before this Court invoking our power of judicial review of Executive Order Nos.
191 and 223. They anchor their petition on the following arguments:
"A
Executive Order Nos. 191 and 223 should be annulled as they are unconstitutional for being violative of Section 2(3), Article IX-B
of the Philippine Constitution and/or for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
B.
The abolition of the EIIB is a hoax. Similarly, if Executive Order Nos. 191 and 223 are considered to effect a reorganization of the
EIIB, such reorganization was made in bad faith.
C.
The President has no authority to abolish the EIIB."
Petitioners contend that the issuance of the afore-mentioned executive orders is: (a) a violation of their right to security of tenure; (b) tainted with bad
faith as they were not actually intended to make the bureaucracy more efficient but to give way to Task Force "Aduana," the functions of which are
essentially and substantially the same as that of EIIB; and (c) a usurpation of the power of Congress to decide whether or not to abolish the EIIB.
Arguing in behalf of respondents, the Solicitor General maintains that: (a) the President enjoys the totality of the executive power provided under
Sections 1 and 7, Article VII of the Constitution, thus, he has the authority to issue Executive Order Nos. 191 and 223; (b) the said executive orders
were issued in the interest of national economy, to avoid duplicity of work and to streamline the functions of the bureaucracy; and (c) the EIIB was
not "abolished," it was only "deactivated."
The petition is bereft of merit.
Despite the presence of some procedural flaws in the instant petition, such as, petitioners' disregard of the hierarchy of courts and the nonexhaustion of administrative remedies, we deem it necessary to address the issues. It is in the interest of the State that questions relating to the
status and existence of a public office be settled without delay. We are not without precedent. In Dario v. Mison,12 we liberally decreed:
"The Court disregards the questions raised as to procedure, failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the standing of certain parties to
sue, for two reasons, `[b]ecause of the demands of public interest, including the need for stability in the public service,' and
because of the serious implications of these cases on the administration of the Philippine civil service and the rights of public servants."
At first glance, it seems that the resolution of this case hinges on the question - Does the "deactivation" of EIIB constitute "abolition" of an office?
However, after coming to terms with the prevailing law and jurisprudence, we are certain that the ultimate queries should be a) Does the President
have the authority to reorganize the executive department? and, b) How should the reorganization be carried out?
Surely, there exists a distinction between the words "deactivate" and "abolish." To "deactivate" means to render inactive or ineffective or to break up
by discharging or reassigning personnel,13 while to "abolish" means to do away with, to annul, abrogate or destroy completely. 14 In essence, abolition
denotes an intention to do away with the office wholly and permanently.15 Thus, while in abolition, the office ceases to exist, the same is not true in
deactivation where the office continues to exist, albeit remaining dormant or inoperative. Be that as it may, deactivation and abolition are both
reorganization measures.
The Solicitor General only invokes the above distinctions on the mistaken assumption that the President has no power to abolish an office.
The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged with the legislature. 16 This proceeds from the legal precept that
the power to create includes the power to destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by statute, or by authority of law. 17 Thus,
except where the office was created by the Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the same legislature that brought it into existence. 18

The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive department are concerned, the President's power of control
may justify him to inactivate the functions of a particular office, 19 or certain laws may grant him the broad authority to carry out reorganization
measures.20 The case in point is Larin v. Executive Secretary.21 In this case, it was argued that there is no law which empowers the President to
reorganize the BIR. In decreeing otherwise, this Court sustained the following legal basis, thus:
"Initially, it is argued that there is no law yet which empowers the President to issue E.O. No. 132 or to reorganize the BIR.
We do not agree.
xxx xxx
Section 48 of R.A. 7645 provides that:
'Sec. 48. Scaling Down and Phase Out of Activities of Agencies Within the Executive Branch. The heads of departments, bureaus and
offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their respective activities which are no longer essential in the delivery of public services
and which may be scaled down, phased out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations. X x x. Actual scaling down, phasing
out or abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose by the Office of the President.'
Said provision clearly mentions the acts of "scaling down, phasing out and abolition" of offices only and does not cover the creation of
offices or transfer of functions. Nevertheless, the act of creating and decentralizing is included in the subsequent provision of Section 62
which provides that:
'Sec. 62. Unauthorized organizational charges. - Unless otherwise created by law or directed by the President of the Philippines, no
organizational unit or changes in key positions in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective organization structures
and be funded from appropriations by this Act.' (italics ours)
The foregoing provision evidently shows that the President is authorized to effect organizational changes including the creation
of offices in the department or agency concerned.
xxx xxx
Another legal basis of E.O. No. 132 is Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which states:
'Sec. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall exercise such other powers and functions vested
in the President which are provided for under the laws and which are not specifically enumerated above or which are not delegated by the
President in accordance with law.' (italic ours)
This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law then gives him the power to
reorganize? It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly grant the
President of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, which includes the power to group,
consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and
activities and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of these two decrees are unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution
clearly provides that "all laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not
inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. So far, there is yet no law amending or
repealing said decrees." (Emphasis supplied)
Now, let us take a look at the assailed executive order.
In the whereas clause of E.O. No. 191, former President Estrada anchored his authority to deactivate EIIB on Section 77 of Republic Act 8745 (FY
1999 General Appropriations Act), a provision similar to Section 62 of R.A. 7645 quoted in Larin, thus;
"Sec. 77. Organized Changes. Unless otherwise provided by law or directed by the President of the Philippines, no changes in key
positions or organizational units in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective organizational structures and funded
from appropriations provided by this Act."
We adhere to the precedent or ruling in Larin that this provision recognizes the authority of the President to effect organizational changes in the
department or agency under the executive structure. Such a ruling further finds support in Section 78 of Republic Act No. 8760. 22 Under this law, the
heads of departments, bureaus, offices and agencies and other entities in the Executive Branch are directed (a) to conduct a comprehensive review
of their respective mandates, missions, objectives, functions, programs, projects, activities and systems and procedures; (b) identify activities which
are no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased-out or abolished; and (c) adopt measures that will
result in the streamlined organization and improved overall performance of their respective agencies. 23 Section 78 ends up with the mandate that the
actual streamlining and productivity improvement in agency organization and operation shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for
the purpose by the Office of the President.24 The law has spoken clearly. We are left only with the duty to sustain.
But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to reorganize any department or agency in the executive branch does not have to end
here. We must not lose sight of the very source of the power that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under Section 31, Book III of
Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987), "the President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and
in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the
Office of the President." For this purpose, he may transfer the functions of other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the President. In
Canonizado v. Aguirre,25 we ruled that reorganization "involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by
reason of economy or redundancy of functions." It takes place when there is an alteration of the existing structure of government offices or units
therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility between them. The EIIB is a bureau attached to the Department of Finance. 26 It falls
under the Office of the President. Hence, it is subject to the President's continuing authority to reorganize.
It having been duly established that the President has the authority to carry out reorganization in any branch or agency of the executive department,
what is then left for us to resolve is whether or not the reorganization is valid. In this jurisdiction, reorganizations have been regarded as valid
provided they are pursued in good faith. Reorganization is carried out in 'good faith' if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more
efficient.27 Pertinently, Republic Act No. 665628 provides for the circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of
civil service employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a) where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new
staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is
created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a
classification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original
offices, and (e) where the removal violates the order of separation. 29
Petitioners claim that the deactivation of EIIB was done in bad faith because four days after its deactivation, President Estrada created the Task
Force Aduana.
We are not convinced.
An examination of the pertinent Executive Orders30 shows that the deactivation of EIIB and the creation of Task Force Aduana were done in good
faith. It was not for the purpose of removing the EIIB employees, but to achieve the ultimate purpose of E.O. No. 191, which is economy. While Task
Force Aduana was created to take the place of EIIB, its creation does not entail expense to the government.
Firstly, there is no employment of new personnel to man the Task Force. E.O. No. 196 provides that the technical, administrative and
special staffs of EIIB are to be composed of people who are already in the public service, they being employees of other existing
agencies. Their tenure with the Task Force would only be temporary, i.e., only when the agency where they belong is called upon to assist

the Task Force. Since their employment with the Task force is only by way of detail or assignment, they retain their employment with the
existing agencies. And should the need for them cease, they would be sent back to the agency concerned.
Secondly, the thrust of E.O. No. 196 is to have a small group of military men under the direct control and supervision of the President as base of the
government's anti-smuggling campaign. Such a smaller base has the necessary powers 1) to enlist the assistance of any department, bureau, or
office and to use their respective personnel, facilities and resources; and 2) "to select and recruit personnel from within the PSG and ISAFP for
assignment to the Task Force." Obviously, the idea is to encourage the utilization of personnel, facilities and resources of the already
existing departments, agencies, bureaus, etc., instead of maintaining an independent office with a whole set of personnel and facilities.
The EIIB had proven itself burdensome for the government because it maintained separate offices in every region in the Philippines.
And thirdly, it is evident from the yearly budget appropriation of the government that the creation of the Task Force Aduana was especially intended
to lessen EIIB's expenses. Tracing from the yearly General Appropriations Act, it appears that the allotted amount for the EIIB's general
administration, support, and operations for the year 1995, was P128,031,000;31 for 1996, P182,156,000;32 for 1998, P219,889,000;33 and, for 1999,
P238,743,000.34 These amounts were far above the P50,000,00035 allocation to the Task Force Aduana for the year 2000.
While basically, the functions of the EIIB have devolved upon the Task Force Aduana, we find the latter to have additional new powers. The Task
Force Aduana, being composed of elements from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines
(ISAFP),36 has the essential power to effect searches, seizures and arrests. The EIIB did not have this power. The Task Force Aduana has the power
to enlist the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or controlled
corporations; and to use their personnel, facilities and resources. Again, the EIIB did not have this power. And, the Task Force Aduana has the
additional authority to conduct investigation of cases involving ill-gotten wealth. This was not expressly granted to the EIIB.1wphi1.nt
Consequently, it cannot be said that there is a feigned reorganization. In Blaquera v. Civil Sevice Commission, 37 we ruled that a reorganization in
good faith is one designed to trim the fat off the bureaucracy and institute economy and greater efficiency in its operation.
Lastly, we hold that petitioners' right to security of tenure is not violated. Nothing is better settled in our law than that the abolition of an office within
the competence of a legitimate body if done in good faith suffers from no infirmity. Valid abolition of offices is neither removal nor separation of the
incumbents.38 In the instructive words laid down by this Court in Dario v. Mison,39 through Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento:
Reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. As a general rule, a reorganization
is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. In that event, no dismissal (in case
of dismissal) or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. And in that case, security of tenure would
not be a Chinese wall. Be that as it may, if the 'abolition,' which is nothing else but a separation or removal, is done for political reasons or
purposely to defeat security of tenure, otherwise not in good faith, no valid 'abolition' takes and whatever 'abolition' is done, is void ab initio.
There is an invalid 'abolition' as where there is merely a change of nomenclature of positions, or where claims of economy are belied by
the existence of ample funds.
Indeed, there is no such thing as an absolute right to hold office. Except constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary
and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary. 40
While we cast a commiserating look upon the plight of all the EIIB employees whose lives perhaps are now torn with uncertainties, we cannot ignore
the unfortunate reality that our government is also battling the impact of a plummeting economy. Unless the government is given the chance to
recuperate by instituting economy and efficiency in its system, the EIIB will not be the last agency to suffer the impact. We cannot frustrate valid
measures which are designed to rebuild the executive department.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. No costs. SO ORDERED.
Footnotes
1

"Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau"


"Supplementing Executive Order No. 191 on the Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and for Other
Matters"
3
"Reorganizing the Ministry of Finance" Approved on January 30, 1987.
4
"SEC. 7. Structural Organization. The Ministry, aside from the Ministry Proper comprising the Office of the Minister, the Offices of the
Deputy and Assistant Ministers, the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and the Services, shall consist of the Operation
Groups and their constituent units, and Regional Office."
NOTE: The precursor of EIIB was the Anti-Smuggling Action Center (ASAC) created by former President Marcos on February
24, 1966 through E.O. No. 11. By virtue of E.O. No. 220 (March 1, 1970), the ASAC was transferred from the Office of the
President to the Department of National Defense. On March 16, 1971, ASAC was placed under the direct control and
supervision of the Secretary of Finance by E.O. No. 303. On June 11, 1978, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No.
1458 creating the Finance Department Intelligence and Investigation Bureau.
5
Section 26 of E.O. No. 127.
6
Section 2 of Memorandum No. 225.
7
Done on January 7, 2000;
"Section 1. Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau. The Economic Intelligence and
Investigation Bureau (EIIIB) under the Department of Finance is hereby deactivated."
8
Done on January 12, 2000. "Creating the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Task Force "Aduana" to Investigate and Prosecute Crimes
Involving Large-Scale Smuggling and Other Frauds Upon Customs, Other Economic Crimes and Providing Measures to Expedite Seizure
Proceedings."
9
"SECTION 1. Creation of Task Force.- There is hereby created a Presidential Anti-Smuggling Task Force hereinafter called "Task Force
Aduana," under the control and supervision of the Office of the President principally to combat smuggling, unlawful importations and other
frauds upon customs committed in large scale or by organized and syndicated groups."
xxx xxx
"SEC. 3. Powers and Functions. The Task force shall have the following powers and functions:
1. To prepare and implement appropriate and effective measures to prevent and suppress large-scale smuggling and other
prohibited and unlawful importations;
2. To effect searches, seizures and arrests, and for the Task Force Commander to file administrative and criminal cases
conformably with the provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended, pertinent provisions of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended and the Rules of Criminal Procedure;
3. To conduct intelligence and counter-intelligence on smuggling and other unlawful importations, including the monitoring of
situations, circumstances, activities of individual, groups and entities who are involved in smuggling activities;
4. To select and recruit personnel from within the PSG and ISAFP for assignment to the Task Force with the conformity of the
office or agency concerned;
2

5. To enlist the assistance of any department, bureau, office or agency or instrumentality of the government, including
government-owned or controlled corporations to carry out its functions, including the use of their respective personnel, facilities
and resources;
6. To conduct investigation of ill-gotten wealth of all persons including government officials involved in smuggling activities, in
coordination with other government agencies.
7. To conduct verification with the Bureau of Customs of all documents pertaining to payment of duties and taxes of all imported
articles.
8. To suppress and prevent all other economic frauds as may be directed by the President.
9. To perform such functions and carry out such activities as may be directed by the President."
10
"Supplementing Executive Order No. 191 on the Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and for Other
Matters."
11
Section 3 of E.O. No. 223.
12
176 SCRA 84 (1989)
13
Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1986 ed. p. 579.
14
Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd ed., p. 5
15
Rivera, Law of Public Administration, First Edition, p. 634; Guerrero v. Arizabal, 186 SCRA 108 (1990)
16
In Eugenio v. Civil Service Commission, 243 SCRA 196 (1995), the Court ruled:
"Except for such offices as are created by the Constitution, the creation of a public offices is primarily a legislative function. In so
far as the legislative power in this respect is not restricted by constitutional provisions, it is supreme, and the legislature may
decide for itself what offices are suitable, necessary, or convenient. When in the exigencies of government it is necessary to
create and define duties, the legislative department has the discretion to determine whether additional offices shall be created, or
whether these duties shall be attached to and become ex-officio duties of existing offices. An office created by the legislature is
wholly within the power of that body, and it may prescribe the mode of filling the office and the powers and duties of the
incumbent, and, if it sees fit, abolish the office."
Mendoza v. Quisumbing 186 SCRA 108 (1990); Cruz v. Primicias, 23 SCRA 998 (1968) De Leon, Administrative Law: Text and
Cases, 1998 Ed., p. 24
17
Cruz, The Law of Public Officers, 1999 Ed., p. 4.
18
Ibid., p. 199
19
Martin, Philippine Political Law, p. 276
20
Larin v. Executive Secretary, 280 SCRA 713 (1997)
21
ibid.
22
General Appropriation Act FY 2000, signed into law on February 16, 2000.
23
Section 78 of Republic Act No. 8760.
Section 16, Article XVIII, 1987 Constitution provides:
"Sec. 16. Career civil service employees from the separated from the service not for cause but as a result of the reorganization
pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 and the reorganization following the ratification of this Constitution
shall be entitled to appropriate separation pay and to retirement and other benefits accruing to them under the laws of general
application in force at the time of their separation. In lieu thereof, at the option of the employees, they may be considered for
employment in the Government or in any of its subdivision, instrumentalities, or agencies, including government owned or
controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. This provision also applies to career officers whose resignation, tendered in line
with the existing policy, had been accepted."
24
Ibid.
25
323 SCRA 312 (2000).
26
Section 17, Title II, Book IV, E.O. No. 292.
27
Department of Trade and Industry v. Chairman and Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission 227 SCRA 198 (1993); Dario v.
Mison, supra.; Mendoza v. Quisumbing, supra.
28
"An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization"Approved on June 10, 1988" (84 Official Gazette No. 24, p. S-1)
29
Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656.
30
E.O. No. 196; Section 17, Chapter 4, Title II, Book IV, E.O. No. 292, and Section 7 and Section 26, E.O. No. 127.
31
R.A. No. 7845, 1995 General Appropriation Act
32
R.A. No. 8174, 1996 General Appropriation Act
33
R.A. No. 8522, 1998 General Appropriation Act
34
R.A. No. 8745, 1999 General Appropriation Act
35
Section 10, E.O. No. 196.
36
Section 2 of E.O. No. 196.
37
226 SCRA 278 (1993).
38
Mendoza v. Quisumbing, supra. De la Llana v. Alba, supra.
39
supra.
40
National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration v. Civil Service Commission, supra.

G.R. No. 112745 October 16, 1997


AQUILINO T. LARIN, petitioner,
vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, SECRETARY OF FINANCE, COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AND THE
COMMITTEE CREATED TO INVESTIGATE THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT AGAINST AQUILINO T. LARIN, COMPOSED OF FRUMENCIO
A. LAGUSTAN, JOSE B. ALEJANDRINO AND JAIME M. MAZA, respondents.

TORRES, JR., J.:


Challenged in this petition is the validity of petitioner's removal from service as Assistant Commissioner of the Excise Tax Service of the Bureau of
Internal Revenue. Incidentally, he questions Memorandum Order No. 164 issued by the Office of the President, which provides for the creation of "A
Committee to Investigate the Administrative Complaint Against Aquilino T. Larin, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue" as well as the
investigation made in pursuance thereto, and Administrative Order No. 101 dated December 2, 1993 which found him guilty of grave misconduct in
the administrative charge and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal from office.
Likewise, petitioner seeks to assail the legality of Executive Order No. 132, issued by President Ramos on October 26, 1993, which provides for the
"Streamlining of the Bureau of Internal Revenue," and of its implementing rules issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, namely: a) Administrative
Order No. 4-93, which provides for the "Organizational Structure and Statement of General Functions of Offices in the National Office" and b)
Administrative Order No. 5-93, which provides for "Redefining the Areas of Jurisdiction and Renumbering of Regional And District Offices."
The antecedent facts of the instant case as succinctly related by the Solicitor General are as follows:
On September 18, 1992, 1 a decision was rendered by the Sandiganbayan convicting herein petitioner Aquilino T. Larin, Revenue Specific Tax
Officer, then Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and his co-accused (except Justino E. Galban, Jr.) of the crimes of violation
of Section 268 (4) of the National Internal Revenue Code and Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 in Criminal Cases Nos. 14208-14209, entitled "People of the
Philippines, Plaintiff vs. Aquilino T. Larin, Teodoro T. Pareno, Justino E. Galban, Jr. and Potenciana N. Evangelista, Accused," the dispositive portion
of the judgment reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is now rendered in Criminal Cases Nos. 14208 and 14209 convicting accused Assistant Commissioner
for Specific Tax AQUILINO T. LARIN, Chief of the Alcohol Tax Division TEODORO P. PARENO, and Chief of the Revenue
Accounting Division POTENCIANA M. EVANGELISTA:
xxx xxx xxx
SO ORDERED.
The fact of petitioner's conviction was reported to the President of the Philippines by the then Acting Finance Secretary Leong through a
memorandum dated June 4, 1993. The memorandum states, inter alia:
This is a report in the case of Assistant Commissioner AQUILINO T. LARIN of the Excise Tax Service, Bureau of Internal
Revenue, a presidential appointee, one of those convicted in Criminal Case Nos. 14208-14209, entitled "People of the
Philippines vs. Aquilino T. Larin, et. al." referred to the Department of Finance by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
The cases against Pareno and Evangelista are being acted upon by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as they are non-presidential
appointees.
xxx xxx xxx
It is clear from the foregoing that Mr. Larin has been found beyond reasonable doubt to have committed acts constituting grave
misconduct. Under the Civil Service Laws and Rules which require only preponderance of evidence, grave misconduct is
punishable by dismissal.
Acting by authority of the President, Sr. Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo A. Quisumbing issued Memorandum Order No. 164 dated August 25,
1993 which provides for the creation of an Executive Committee to investigate the administrative charge against herein petitioner Aquilino T. Larin. It
states thus:
A Committee is hereby created to investigate the administrative complaint filed against Aquilino T. Larin, Assistant Commissioner,
Bureau of Internal Revenue, to be composed of:
Atty. Frumencio A. Lagustan Chairman
Assistant Executive Secretary for Legislation

Mr. Jose B. Alejandro Member


Presidential Assistant
Atty. Jaime M. Maza Member
Assistant Commissioner for Inspector Services
Bureau of Internal Revenue
The Committee shall have all the powers and prerogatives of (an) investigating committee under the Administrative Code of 1987
including the power to summon witnesses, administer oath or take testimony or evidence relevant to the investigation by
subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena duces tecum.
xxx xxx xxx
The Committee shall convene immediately, conduct the investigation in the most expeditious manner, and terminate the same as
soon as practicable from its first scheduled date of hearing.
xxx xxx xxx
Consequently, the Committee directed the petitioner to respond to the administrative charge leveled against him through a letter dated September
17, 1993, thus:
Presidential Memorandum Order No. 164 dated August 25, 1993, a xerox copy of which is hereto attached for your ready
reference, created an Investigation Committee to look into the charges against you which are also the subject of the Criminal
Cases No. 14208 and 14209 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Aquilino T . Larin, et. al.
The Committee has in its possession a certified true copy of the Decision of the Sandiganbayan in the above-mentioned cases.
Pursuant to Presidential Memorandum Order No. 164, you are hereby directed to file your position paper on the aforementioned
charges within seven (7) days from receipt hereof . . . .
Failure to file the required position paper shall be considered as a waiver on your part to submit such paper or to be heard, in
which case, the Committee shall deem the case submitted on the basis of the documents and records at hand.
In compliance, petitioner submitted a letter dated September 30, 1993 which was addressed to Atty. Frumencio A. Lagustan, the Chairman of the
Investigating Committee. In said latter, he asserts that,
The case being sub-judice, I may not, therefore, comment on the merits of the issues involved for fear of being cited in contempt
of Court. This position paper is thus limited to furnishing the Committee pertinent documents submitted with the Supreme Court
and other tribunal which took cognizance of the case in the past, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
The foregoing documents readily show that am not administratively liable or criminally culpable of the charges leveled against
me, and that the aforesaid cases are mere persecutions caused to be filed and are being orchestrated by taxpayers who were
prejudiced by multi-million peso assessments I caused to be issued against them in my official capacity as Assistant
Commissioner, Excise Tax Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
In the same letter, petitioner claims that the administrative complaint against him is already barred: a) on jurisdictional ground as the Office of the
Ombudsman had already taken cognizance of the case and had caused the filing only of the criminal charges against him, b) by res judicata, c) by
double jeopardy, and d) because to proceed with the case would be redundant, oppressive and a plain persecution against him.
Meanwhile, the President issued the challenged Executive Order No. 132 dated October 26, 1993 which mandates for the streamlining of the Bureau
of Internal Revenue. Under said order, some positions and functions are either abolished, renamed, decentralized or transferred to other offices,
while other offices are also created. The Excise Tax Service or the Specific Tax Service, of which petitioner was the Assistant Commissioner, was
one of those offices that was abolished by said executive order.
The corresponding implementing rules of Executive Order No. 132, namely, Revenue Administrative Orders Nos. 4-93 and 5-93, were subsequently
issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
On October 27, 1993, or one day after the promulgation of Executive Order No. 132, the President appointed the following as BIR Assistant
Commissioners:
1. Bernardo A. Frianeza

2. Dominador L. Galura
3. Jaime D. Gonzales
4. Lilia C. Guillermo
5. Rizalina S. Magalona
6. Victorino C. Mamalateo
7. Jaime M. Maza
8. Antonio N. Pangilinan
9. Melchor S. Ramos
10. Joel L. Tan-Torres
Consequently, the President, in the assailed Administrative Order No. 101 dated December 2, 1993, found petitioner guilty of grave misconduct in
the administrative charge and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal with forfeiture of his leave credits and retirement benefits including
disqualification for reappointment in the government service.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed directly with this Court the instant petition on December 13, 1993 to question basically his alleged unlawful removal from
office.
On April 17, 1996 and while the instant petition is pending, this Court set aside the conviction of petitioner in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209.
In his petition, petitioner challenged the authority of the President to dismiss him from office. He argued that in so far as presidential appointees who
are Career Executive Service Officers are concerned, the President exercises only the power of control not the power to remove. He also averred
that the administrative investigation conducted under Memorandum Order No. 164 is void as it violated his right to due process. According to him,
the letter of the Committee dated September 17, 1993 and his position paper dated September 30, 1993 are not sufficient for purposes of complying
with the requirements of due process. He alleged that he was not informed of the administrative charges leveled against him nor was he given official
notice of his dismissal.
Petitioner likewise claimed that he was removed as a result of the reorganization made by the Executive Department in the BIR pursuant to
Executive Order No. 132. Thus, he assailed said Executive Order No. 132 and its implementing rules, namely, Revenue Administrative Orders 4-93
and 5-93 for being ultra vires. He claimed that there is yet no law enacted by Congress which authorizes the reorganization by the Executive
Department of executive agencies, particularly the Bureau of Internal Revenue. He said that the reorganization sought to be effected by the
Executive Department on the basis of E.O. No. 132 is tainted with bad faith in apparent violation of Section 2 of R.A. 6656, otherwise known as the
Act Protecting the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization.
On the other hand. respondents contended that since petitioner is a presidential appointee, he falls under the disciplining authority of the President.
They also contended that E.O. No. 132 and its implementing rules were validly issued pursuant to Sections 48 and 62 of Republic Act No. 7645.
Apart from this, the other legal bases of E.O. No. 132 as stated in its preamble are Section 63 of E.O. No. 127 (Reorganizing the Ministry of
Finance), and Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987. In addition, it is clear that in Section 11 of
R.A. No. 6656 future reorganization is expressly contemplated and nothing in said law that prohibits subsequent reorganization through an executive
order. Significantly, respondents clarified that petitioner was not dismissed by virtue of EO 132. Respondents claimed that he was removed from
office because he was found guilty of grave misconduct in the administrative cases filed against him.
The ultimate issue to be resolved in the instant case falls on the determination of the validity of petitioner's dismissal from office. Incidentally, in order
to resolve this matter, it is imperative that We consider these questions: a) Who has the power to discipline the petitioner?, b) Were the proceedings
taken pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 164 in accord with due process?, c) What is the effect of petitioner's acquittal in the criminal case to his
administrative charge?, d) Does the President have the power to reorganize the BIR or to issue the questioned E.O. NO. 132?, and e) Is the
reorganization of BIR pursuant to E.O. No. 132 tainted with bad faith?
At the outset, it is worthy to note that the position of Assistant Commissioner of the BIR is part of the Career Executive Service. 2 Under the law, 3
Career Executive Service officers, namely, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director,
Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service
Board, are all appointed by the President. Concededly, petitioner was appointed as Assistant Commissioner in January, 1987 by then President
Aquino. Thus, petitioner is a presidential appointee who belongs to career service of the Civil Service. Being a presidential appointee, he comes
under the direct disciplining authority of the President. This is in line with the well settled principle that the "power to remove is inherent in the power
to appoint" conferred to the President by Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, it is ineluctably clear that Memorandum Order No. 164,
which created a committee to investigate the administrative charge against petitioner, was issued pursuant to the power of removal of the President.
This power of removal, however, is not an absolute one which accepts no reservation. It must be pointed out that petitioner is a career service officer.

Under the Administrative Code of 1987, career service is characterized by the existence of security of tenure, as contra-distinguished from noncareer service whose tenure is co-terminus with that of the appointing authority or subject to his pleasure, or limited to a period specified by law or to
the duration of a particular project for which purpose the employment was made. As a career service officer, petitioner enjoys the right to security of
tenure. No less than the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right of security of tenure of the employees of the civil service. Specifically, Section 36 of
P.D. No. 807, as amended, otherwise known as Civil Service Decree of the Philippines, is emphatic that career service officers and employees who
enjoy security of tenure may be removed only for any of the causes enumerated in said law. In other words, the fact that petitioner is a presidential
appointee does not give the appointing authority the license to remove him at will or at his pleasure for it is an admitted fact that he is likewise a
career service officer who under the law is the recipient of tenurial protection, thus, may only be removed for a cause and in accordance with
procedural due process.
Was petitioner then removed from office for a legal cause under a valid proceeding?
Although the proceedings taken complied with the requirements of procedural due process, this Court, however, considers that petitioner was not
dismissed for a valid cause.
It should be noted that what precipitated the creation of the investigative committee to look into the administrative charge against petitioner is his
conviction by the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209. As admitted by the respondents, the administrative case against
petitioner is based on the Sandiganbayan Decision of September 18, 1992. Thus, in the Administrative Order No. 101 issued by Senior Deputy
Executive Secretary Quisumbing which found petitioner guilty of grave misconduct, it clearly states that:
This pertains to the administrative charge against Assistant Commissioner Aquilino T. Larin of the Bureau of Internal Revenue,
for grave misconduct by virtue of a Memorandum signed by Acting Secretary Leong of the Department of Finance, on the basis
of a decision handed down by the Hon. Sandiganbayan convicting Larin, et. al. in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209. 4
In a nutshell, the criminal cases against petitioner refer to his alleged violation of Section 268 (4) of the National Internal Revenue Code and of
Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 as a consequence of his act of favorably recommending the grant of tax credit to Tanduay Distillery, Inc.. The pertinent
portion of the judgment of the Sandiganbayan reads:
As above pointed out, the accused had conspired in knowingly preparing false memoranda and certification in order to effect a
fraud upon taxes due to the government. By their separate acts which had resulted in an appropriate tax credit of
P180,701,682.00 in favor of Tanduay. The government had been defrauded of a tax revenue for the full amount, if one is to
look at the availments or utilization thereof (Exhibits "AA" to "AA- 31-a"), or for a substantial portion thereof (P73,000,000.00) if
we are to rely on the letter of Deputy Commissioner Eufracio D. Santos (Exhibits "21" for all the accused).
As pointed out above, the confluence of acts and omissions committed by accused Larin, Pareno and Evangelista adequately
prove conspiracy among them for no other purpose than to bring about a tax credit which Tanduay did not deserve. These
misrepresentations as to how much Tanduay had paid in ad valorem taxes obviously constituted a fraud of tax revenue of the
government . . . . 5
However, it must be stressed at this juncture that the conviction of petitioner by the Sandiganbayan was set aside by this Court in our decision
promulgated on April 17, 1996 in G.R. Nos. 108037-38 and 107119-20. We specifically ruled in no uncertain terms that: a) petitioner can not be held
negligent in relying on the certification of a co-equal unit in the BIR, b) it is not incumbent upon Larin to go beyond the certification made by the
Revenue Accounting Division that Tanduay Distillery, Inc. had paid the ad valorem taxes, c) there is nothing irregular or anything false in Larin's
marginal note on the memorandum addressed to Pareno, the Chief of Alcohol Tax Division who was also one of the accused, but eventually
acquitted, in the said criminal cases, and d) there is no proof of actual agreement between the accused, including petitioner, to commit the illegal
acts charged. We are emphatic in our resolution in said cases that there is nothing "illegal with the acts committed by the petitioner(s)." We also
declare that "there is no showing that petitioner(s) had acted irregularly, or performed acts outside of his (their) official functions." Significantly, these
acts which. We categorically declare to be not unlawful and improper in G.R. Nos. 108037-38 and G.R. Nos. 107119-20 are the very same acts for
which petitioner is held to be administratively responsible. Any charge of malfeasance or misfeasance on the part of the petitioner is clearly belied by
our conclusion in said cases. In the light of this decisive pronouncement, We see no reason for the administrative charge to continue it must, thus,
be dismissed.
We are not unaware of the rule that since administrative cases are independent from criminal actions for the same act or omission, the dismissal or
acquittal of the criminal charge does not foreclose the institution of administrative action nor carry with it the relief from administrative liability. 6
However, the circumstantial setting of the instant case sets it miles apart from the foregoing rule and placed it well within the exception. Corollarily,
where the very basis of the administrative case against petitioner is his conviction in the criminal action which was later on set aside by this Court
upon a categorical and clear finding that the acts for which he was administratively held liable are not unlawful and irregular, the acquittal of the
petitioner in the criminal case necessarily entails the dismissal of the administrative action against him, because in such a case, there is no more
basis nor justifiable reason to maintain the administrative suit.
On the aspect of procedural due process, suffice it to say that petitioner was given every chance to present his side. The rule is well settled that the
essence of due process in administrative proceedings is that a party be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence
he may have in support of his defense. 7 The records clearly show that on October 1, 1993 petitioner submitted his letter-response dated September
30, 1993 to the administrative charge filed against him. Aside from his letter, he also submitted various documents attached as annexes to his letter,

all of which are evidences supporting his defense. Prior to this, he received a letter dated September 17, 1993 from the Investigation Committee
requiring him to explain his side concerning the charge. It can not therefore be argued that petitioner was denied of due process.
Let us now examine Executive Order No. 132.
As stated earlier, with the issuance of Executive Order No. 132, some of the positions and offices, including the office of Excise Tax Services of
which petitioner was the Assistant Commissioner, were abolished or otherwise decentralized. Consequently, the President released the list of
appointed Assistant Commissioners of the BIR. Apparently, petitioner was not included.
We do not agree.
Under its preamble, E.O. No. 132 lays down the legal bases of its issuance, namely: a) Section 48 and 62 of R.A. No. 7645, b) Section 63 of E.O.
No. 127, and c) Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292.
Section 48 of R.A. 7645 provides that:
Sec. 48. Scaling Down and Phase Out of Activities of Agencies Within the Executive Branch. The heads of departments,
bureaus and offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their respective activities which are no longer essential in the
delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations.
. . . Actual scaling down, phasing out or abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the
purpose by the Office of the President. (emphasis ours)
Said provision clearly mentions the acts of "scaling down, phasing out and abolition" of offices only and does not cover the creation of offices or
transfer of functions. Nevertheless, the act of creating and decentralizing is included in the subsequent provision of Section 62, which provides that:
Sec. 62. Unauthorized organizational charges. Unless otherwise created by law or directed by the President of the
Philippines, no organizational unit of charges in key positions in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective
organization structures and be funded from appropriations by this Act. (emphasis ours)
The foregoing provision evidently shows that the President is authorized to effect organizational charges including the creation of offices in the
department or agency concerned.
The contention of petitioner that the two provisions are riders deserves scant consideration. Well settled is the rule that every law has in its favor the
presumption of constitutionality. 8 Unless and until a specific provision of the law is declared invalid and unconstitutional, the same is valid and biding
for all intents and purposes.
Another legal basis of E.O. No. 132 is Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which states:
Sec. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall exercise such other powers and
functions vested in the President which are provided for under the laws and which are not specifically enumerated above or
which are not delegated by the President in accordance with law. (emphasis ours)
This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law then which gives him the power to reorganize? It is
Presidential Decree No. 1772 9 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly grant the President of the Philippines the
continuing authority to reorganize the national government, which includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices,
to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of these two
decrees are unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that "all laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions
and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked." 10 So far, there is
yet no law amending or repealing said decrees. Significantly, the Constitution itself recognizes future reorganizations in the government as what is
revealed in Section 16 of Article XVIII, thus:
Sec. 16. Career civil service employees separated from service not for cause but as a result of the . . . reorganization following
the ratification of this Constitution shall be entitled to appropriate separation pay . . .
However, We can not consider E.O. No. 127 signed on January 30, 1987 as a legal basis for the reorganization of the BIR. E.O. No. 127 should be
related to the second paragraph of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 6656.
Section 11 provides inter alia:
xxx xxx xxx
In the case of the 1987 reorganization of the executive branch, all departments and agencies which are authorized by executive
orders promulgated by the President to reorganize shall have ninety days from the approval of this act within which to implement
their respective reorganization plans in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (emphasis ours)

Executive Order No. 127 was part of the 1987 reorganization contemplated under said provision. Obviously, it had become stale by virtue of the
expiration of the ninety day deadline period. It can not thus be used as a proper basis for the reorganization of the BIR. Nevertheless, as shown
earlier, there are other legal bases to sustain the authority of the President to issue the questioned E.O. NO. 132.
While the President's power to reorganize can not be denied, this does not mean however that the reorganization itself is properly made in
accordance with law. Well-settled is the rule that reorganization is regarded as valid provided it is pursued in good faith. Thus, in Dario vs. Mison, this
Court has had the occasion to clarify that:
As a general rule, a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more
efficient. In that event no dismissal or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. And in that case the
security of tenure would not be a Chinese wall. Be that as it may, if the abolition which is nothing else but a separation or
removal, is done for political reasons or purposely to defeat security of tenure, or otherwise not in good faith, no valid abolition
takes place and whatever abolition is done is void ab initio. There is an invalid abolition as where there is merely a change of
nomenclature of positions or where claims of economy are belied by the existence of ample funds. 11
In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Section 2 of R. A. No. 6656 lists down the circumstances evidencing bad faith in the removal of employees
as a result of the reorganization, thus:
Sec. 2. No officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing.
A valid cause for removal exists when, pursuant to a bona fide reorganization, a position has been abolished or rendered
redundant or there is a need to merge, divide, or consolidate positions in order to meet the exigencies of the service, or other
lawful causes allowed by the Civil Service Law. The existence of any or some of the following circumstances may be considered
as evidence of bad faith in the removals made as a result of the reorganization, giving rise to a claim for reinstatement or
reappointment by an aggrieved party:
a) Where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency
concerned;
b) Where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is created;
c) Where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment, performance and merit;
d) Where there is a reclassification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform
substantially the same functions as the original offices;
e) Where the removal violates the order of separation provided in Section 3 hereof.
A reading of some of the provisions of the questioned E.O. No. 132 clearly leads us to an inescapable conclusion that there are circumstances
considered as evidences of bad faith in the reorganization of the BIR.
Section 1.1.2 of said executive order provides that:
1.1.2 The Intelligence and Investigation Office and the Inspection Service are abolished. An Intelligence and Investigation
Service is
hereby created to absorb the same functions of the abolished office and service. . . . (emphasis ours)
This provision is a clear illustration of the circumstance mentioned in Section 2 (b) of R.A. No. 6656 that an office is abolished and another one
performing substantially the same function is created.
Another circumstance is the creation of services and divisions in the BIR resulting to a significant increase in the number of positions in the said
bureau as contemplated in paragraph (a) of Section 2 of R.A. No. 6656. Under Section 1.3 of E.O. No. 132, the Information Systems Group has two
newly created Systems Services. Aside from this, six new divisions are also created. Under Section 1.2.1, three more divisions of the Assessment
Service are formed. With these newly created offices, there is no doubt that a significant increase of positions will correspondingly follow.
Furthermore, it is perceivable that the non-reappointment of the petitioner as Assistant Commissioner violates Section 4 of R.A. No. 6656. Under
said provision, officers holding permanent appointments are given preference for appointment to the new positions in the approved staffing pattern
comparable to their former positions or in case there are not enough comparable positions to positions next lower in rank. It is undeniable that
petitioner is a career executive officer who is holding a permanent position. Hence, he should have been given preference for appointment in the
position of Assistant Commissioner. As claimed by petitioner, Antonio Pangilinan who was one of those appointed as Assistant Commissioner, "is an
outsider of sorts to the Bureau, not having been an incumbent officer of the Bureau at the time of the reorganization." We should not lose sight of the
second paragraph of Section 4 of R.A. No. 6656 which explicitly states that no new employees shall be taken in until all permanent officers shall
have been appointed for permanent position.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is granted, and petitioner is hereby reinstated to his position as Assistant Commissioner without loss of
seniority rights and shall be entitled to full backwages from the time of his separation from service until actual reinstatement unless, in the
meanwhile, he would have reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five years in which case, he shall be deemed to have retired at such age
and entitled thereafter to the corresponding retirement benefits.
SO ORDERED.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1275 April 11, 1978


REORGANIZING THE PROSECUTION STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE OFFICES OF THE PROVINCIAL
AND CITY FISCALS, REGIONALIZING THE PROSECUTION SERVICE, AND CREATING THE NATIONAL PROSECUTION
SERVICE
WHEREAS, to improve the quality of prosecution services, it becomes imperative, in the public interest, to reorganize and restructure
the entire prosecution system, in line with the general reorganization of the executive branch of the government which is a priority
measure of the Administration;
WHEREAS, there is a need to regionalize the prosecution service in line with the government policy of decentralization, to rationalize
the allocation of prosecution positions and functions in accordance with the requirements of the service, and to upgrade the salaries
of all prosecutors, and of provincial and city fiscals;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the
Constitution, do hereby order and decree the following:
Section 1. Creation of the National Prosecution Service; Supervision and Control of the Secretary of Justice. There is hereby created
and established a National Prosecution Service under the supervision and control of the Secretary of Justice, to be composed of the
Prosecution Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Justice and such number of Regional State Prosecution Offices, and Provincial and
City Fiscal's Offices as are hereinafter provided, which shall be primarily responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all cases
involving violations of penal laws.
The power of supervision and control vested in the Secretary of Justice includes the authority to act directly on any matter within the
jurisdiction of the Prosecution Staff, the Regional State Prosecution Office or the Office of the Provincial or City Fiscal and to review,
modify or revoke any decision or action of the Chief of said staff or office.
Section 2. The prosecution Staff: Functions. There shall be a Prosecution Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Justice, which shall
perform the following functions under the control of the Secretary of Justice:
(a) Investigate administrative charges against fiscals and other prosecution officers;
(b) Conduct the investigation and prosecution of all crimes;
(c) Prepare legal opinions on queries involving violations of the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws; and
(d) Review appeals from the resolutions of fiscals and other prosecuting officers in connection with criminal cases handled
by them.
Section 3. Prosecution Staff; Organization, Qualifications, Appointment. The Prosecution Staff shall be composed of prosecuting
officers in such number as hereinbelow determined. It shall be headed by a Chief State Prosecutor who shall be assisted by three
Assistants Chief State Prosecutors.
The Chief State Prosecutor, the three Assistants Chief State Prosecutors; and the members of the Prosecution Staff shall be selected
from among qualified and professionally trained members of the legal profession who are of proven integrity and competence and
have been in the actual practice of the legal profession for at least five (5) years prior to their appointment or have held during like
period, any position requiring the qualifications of a lawyer.
They shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
Section 4. Prosecution Staff: Composition and Salaries. The composition of the Prosecution Staff shall be as follows:
One Chief State Prosecutor;
Three Assistant Chief State Prosecutors;
Six Senior State Prosecutors;
Six Senior State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
Ten State Prosecutors;
Ten State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
Six State Prosecutors;
In addition, there shall be in the Office of the Secretary of Justice, six Prosecution Attorneys, who shall be members of the bar, to be
appointed by the Secretary of Justice, and who shall assist the Prosecution Staff in the performance of its functions as hereinabove
provided.
Section 5. Compensation. The compensation of the Prosecution Staff and Prosecution Attorneys shall be approved by the President
upon recommendation of the Commissioner of the Budget and pursuant to P.D. No. 985.
Section 6. The Regional State Prosecution Office: Regions. There shall be an office, to be known as the Regional Prosecution Office
in each of the following regions:

Region I

Region II

Region III

Region IV-A

Region V

Region VI

Region VII

Region VIII

Region IX-A

Region IX-B

Region X

Region XI

Region XII

Cente
r

San Fernando, La Union

Area

Abra, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mt. Province, Pangasinan and the cities
of Baguio, Dagupan, Laoag and San Carlos.

Cente
r

Tuguegarao, Cagayan

Area

Batanes, Cagayan Ifugao, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino.

Cente
r

San Fernando, Pampanga

Area

Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales and the cities of Angeles,
Cabanatuan, Olongapo, Palayan and San Jose

Cente
r

Pasig, Metro Manila

Area

Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Occidental, Palawan,


Quezon, Rizal, Romblon, Aurora Sub-Province and the cities of Batangas, Cavite, Lipa,
Lucena, Puerto Princesa, San Pablo, Tagaytay and Trece Martires

Cente
r

Legaspi City

Area

Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon and the cities of
Legaspi, Naga and Iriga

Cente
r

Iloilo City

Area

Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Cadiz,
Iloilo, La Carlota, Roxas, San Carlos and Silay

Cente
r

Cebu City

Area

Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor and the cities of Bais, Canlaon, Cebu, Danao,
Dumaguete, Lapu-Lapu, andaue, Tagbilaran and Toledo

Cente
r

Tacloban City

Area

Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar; Southern Leyte, Western Samar; Biliran SubProvince and the cities of Calbayog, Ormoc and Tacloban

Cente
r

Jolo

Area

Basilan, Sulu and Taw-Tawi

Cente
r

Zamboanga City

Area

Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian
and Zamboanga

Cente
r

Cagayan de Oro City

Area

Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin Misamis Occidental, Misamis
Oriental, Surigao del Norte, and the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Guingoog, Ozamis,
Oroquieta, Surigao and Tangub

Cente
r

Davao City

Area

Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur and the
cities of Davao and General Santos

Cente
r

Cotabato City

Area

Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan, Kudarat and the

cities of Cotabato, Iligan and Marawi


For purposes of this regionalization, Region IV comprising the cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan, as well as all the
municipalities comprised within the Metropolitan Manila Area under P.D. No. 824, shall be placed directly under the administrative
supervision of the Chief State Prosecutor.
Section 7. The Regional State prosecution Office: Staffing, Appointment, Qualification and Salaries. Each State Prosecution Office
shall be headed by a Regional State Prosecutor, who shall be assisted by an Assistant Regional State Prosecutor, and three State
Prosecutors, all of whom shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
The Regional State Prosecutors and the Assistant Regional State Prosecutors shall have the same qualifications as those provided in
section 3 hereof for members of the Prosecution Staff.
They shall receive the same salaries provided for the Assistant Chief Prosecutors and the higher ranking Senior State Prosecutors,
respectively, in section 5 hereof.
The three State Prosecutors shall have the same qualifications and shall receive the same salaries provided for the highest ranking
State Prosecutors in sections 3 and 5 hereof.
The salaries herein fixed for the Regional State Prosecutors, the Assistant Regional State Prosecutors, and the three State
Prosecutors as well as those of the subordinate personnel of the Regional State Prosecution Office shall be paid entirely out of
national funds and included in the annual appropriations of the Department of Justice.
Section 8. The Regional State prosecution Office: Functions of Regional State Prosecutor. The Regional State Prosecutor shall,
under the control of the Secretary of Justice, have the following functions:
(a) Implement policies, plans, programs, memoranda, orders, circulars and rules and regulations of the Department of
Justice relative to the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases in his region.
(b) Exercise immediate administrative supervision over all provincial and city fiscals and other prosecuting officers of
provinces and cities comprised within his region.
(c) Prosecute any case arising within the region.
(d) With respect to his regional office and the offices of the provincial and city fiscals within his region, he shall:
1. Appoint such member of subordinate officers and employees as may be necessary; and approve transfers of
subordinate personnel within the jurisdiction of the regional office.
2. Investigate administrative complaints against fiscals and other prosecuting officers within his region and submit
his recommendation thereon to the Secretary of Justice who shall, after review thereof, submit the appropriate
recommendation to the Office of the President: Provided, that where the Secretary of Justice finds insufficient
grounds for the filing of charges, he may render a decision of dismissal thereof.
3. Investigate administrative complaints against subordinate personnel of the region and submit his
recommendations thereon to the Secretary of Justice who shall have the authority to render decision thereon.
4. Approve requests for sick, vacation and maternity leaves of absence with or without pay, for a period not
exceeding one year; for overtime services; for permission to exercise their profession or to engage in business
outside of office hours; for official travel within the region for periods not exceeding thirty days; and for benefits
under Section 699 of the Revised Administrative Code.
5. Prepare the budget for the region for approval of the Secretary of Justice and administer the same.
6. Negotiate and conclude for services or for furnishing supplies, materials and equipment for amount not
exceeding P50,000.00 for each quarter.
(e) Coordinate with regional offices of other departments, with bureaus/agencies under the Department of Justice, and with
local governments and police units in the region.
Section 9. Offices of Provincial Fiscals and City Fiscals; Staffing. There shall be in each province and each sub-province; one
provincial fiscal and such number of assistant provincial fiscals as may hereinafter be provided for.
There shall be in each city one city fiscal and such number of assistant city fiscals as may hereinafter be provided.
Section 10. Provincial Fiscals and City Fiscals and their Assistants: Qualifications and Appointment. No person shall be eligible for
appointment to the position of provincial fiscal city fiscal, assistant provincial fiscal or assistant city fiscal unless he possesses the
same qualifications as members of the Prosecution Staff as provided in Section 3 hereof.
Provincial and city fiscals and their assistants shall be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
Section 11. Provincial Fiscals and City Fiscals; Duties and Functions. The provincial fiscal or the city fiscal shall:
(a) Be the law officer of the province or city, as the case may be. He shall have charge of the prosecution of all crimes,
misdemeanors and violations of city or municipal ordinances in the courts of such province or city and shall therein
discharge all the duties incident to the institution of criminal prosecutions.
(b) Investigate and/or cause to be investigated all charges of crimes, misdemeanors and violations of all penal laws and
ordinances within their respective jurisdictions and have the necessary information or complaint prepared or made against
the persons accused. In the conduct of such investigations he or his assistants shall receive the sworn statements or take
oral evidence of witnesses summoned by subpoena for the purpose.
(c) Investigate commissions of criminal acts and take an active part in the gathering of relevant evidence. For this purpose,
the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine Constabulary and other offices and agencies of the government shall
extend to him the necessary assistance.
(d) Any provision of Republic Act No. 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act, and Republic Act No. 5185, also
known as The Decentralization Act, to the contrary notwithstanding, the provincial or city fiscal may, concurrently with the
Municipal Attorney or with the Provincial Attorney/City Legal Officer, whose positions are provided for in the abovementioned Act, act as legal adviser the various municipalities, and municipal districts of the province, or the provincial or
city government and its officers or of the city. As such he shall, when so requested, submit his opinion in writing upon any
legal question submitted to him by any such officer or body pertinent to the duties thereof.
(e) Assist the Solicitor General, when so deputized in the public interest, in the performance of any function or in the
discharge of any duty incumbent upon the latter, within the territorial jurisdiction of the former, in which cases, he shall be
under the control and supervision of the Solicitor General with regard to the conduct of the proceedings assigned to him
and render reports thereon.
Section 12. Offices of the Provincial Fiscal: Their Number in Each Province/Sub-Province. There shall be in each of the following
provinces and sub-provinces the corresponding number of provincial fiscals and their assistants:
(a) Rizal:

One Provincial Fiscal


One First Assistant
Ten Second Assistants
Ten Third Assistants
Fourteen Fourth Assistants
Fourteen Assistants
(b) Cebu:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Four Second Assistants
Four Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
Eight Assistants
(c) Pangasinan:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Three Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
Seven Assistants
(d) Quezon:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Two Third Assistants
Four Fourth Assistants
Five Assistants
(e) Leyte; Negros Occidental:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Four Third Assistants
Five Fourth Assistants
(f) Bulacan; Nueva Ecija:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Four Third Assistants
Four Fourth Assistants
(g) Iloilo:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Four Second Assistants
Five Third Assistants
(h) Pampanga; Batangas; Ilocos Norte; Ilocos Sur; Laguna; Albay; Davao del Sur; Camarines Sur:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Four Third Assistants
(i) Cagayan; Isabela; Negros Oriental; La Union; Misamis Oriental; Cavite; Zamboanga del Sur:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Three Third Assistants
(j) Benguet; Tarlac; Northern Samar; Bohol; Capiz; Zamboanga del Norte; Palawan:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Two Third Assistants
(k) Western Samar; Zambales; Sorsogon; Masbate; Surigao del Norte; Surigao del Sur; Misamis Occidental; Camarines
Norte; Aklan; Davao del Norte; Davao Oriental; Eastern Samar; Bukidnon; Lanao del Norte; Nueva Vizcaya:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
(l) South Cotabato; Bataan; Antique; Agusan del Norte; Abra North Cotabato; Mindoro Oriental; Mindoro Occidental;
Catanduanes; Kalinga Apayao; Lanao del Sur; Southern Leyte; Maguindanao; Sulu:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
One Second Assistant
(m) Agusan del Sur; Romblon; Marinduque; Camiguin; Quirino; Mountain Province; Ifugao; Siquijor; Batanes; SultanKudarat; Tawi-Tawi; Basilan: One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant
(n) Sub-Provinces of Aurora; Biliran; Guimaras:
One Provincial Fiscal
One First Assistant

Section 13. Offices of the City Fiscal: Their Number in Each City. There shall be in each of the following cities the corresponding
number of city fiscals and their assistants:
(a) Manila:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Twenty-Four Second Assistants
Thirty Third Assistants
Thirty Fourth Assistants
Forty Assistants
(b) Quezon City:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Twenty Two Second Assistants
Twenty Two Third Assistants
Twenty Two Forth Assistants
Twenty Two Assistants
(c) Pasay City:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Six Second Assistants
Six third Assistants
Eight Fourth Assistants
Eight Assistants
(d) Caloocan City:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Five Second Assistants
Six Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
Six Assistants
(e) Dagupan:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Four Second Assistants
Five Third Assistants
Five Fourth Assistants
Five Assistants
(f) City of Cebu:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Four Second Assistants
Six Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
(g) City of Davao:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Six Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
(h) City of Iloilo:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Five Third Assistants
Five Fourth Assistants
(i) Olongapo:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
Three Third Assistants
Six Fourth Assistants
(j) Bacolod; Baguio:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Two Third Assistants
Four Fourth Assistants
(k) Lucena:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Four Third Assistants
(l) San Pablo; Cabanatuan; Angeles; Legaspi; Cagayan de Oro:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant

Two Second Assistants


Three Third Assistants
(m) Naga; Dumaguete; Tacloban; Tagbilaran:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
Two Third Assistants
(n) Laoag; Cavite City; Batangas City; Roxas City; Dipolog; Zamboanga City; Pagadian:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Three Second Assistants
(o) Butuan; Surigao City; General Santos; Oroquieta; Ozamis:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Two Second Assistants
(p) San Jose; Puerto Princesa; Lipa; Iriga; San Carlos; (Neg. Occ.); Ormoc; Mandaue; Iligan; Marawi; Cotabato City:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
One Second Assistant
(q) San Carlos (Pangasinan); Tagaytay; Trece Martires; Cadiz; Silay; Calbayog; Danao; Lapu-Lapu; Toledo; Palayan; Bago;
La Carlota; Bais; Canlaon; Gingoog; Tangub; Dapitan:
One City Fiscal
One First Assistant
Section 14. Offices of Provincial and City Fiscals: Salaries. The annual salaries of Provincial and City Fiscals and their Assistants
shall be as approved by the President upon recommendation of the Commissioner of the Budget and pursuant to P.D. No. 985.
The salaries of provincial and city fiscals and their assistants shall be paid entirely out of national funds and included in the annual
appropriations of the Department of Justice. This is without prejudice to the grant of allowances to the above-mentioned fiscals by
their respective local governments, in amounts not exceeding twenty-five percent (25%) of their basic salaries.
The salaries of clerks, stenographers and other subordinate employees in the offices of the provincial and city fiscals shall be paid by
the province or city where they are assigned.
Section 15. Special Counsels. Whenever the exigencies of the service require the creation of positions of additional counsel to assist
provincial and city fiscals in the discharge of their duties, positions of Special Counsels may be created by any province or city,
subject to the approval of the Secretary of Justice, and with salaries chargeable against provincial or city funds. The Secretary of
Justice shall appoint said Special Counsels, upon recommendation of the provincial or city fiscal and regional state prosecutors
concerned, either on permanent or temporary basis.
Special Counsel shall be appointed from members of the bar and shall be allowed not more than the salary rate provided in this
Decree for the lowest rank or grade of assistant fiscal in the province or city where assigned.
Section 16. Office, Space, Maintenance and Other Incidental Expenses. Pending the construction of regional government centers in
each of the administrative regions as provided in the Integrated Reorganization plan, the Budget Commission and other departments
or agencies concerned are hereby directed to provide the Department of Justice such technical assistance and establish suitable
building sites and office spaces for the Regional State Prosecution Offices created herein. Rental costs and all other expenses
incidental to the maintenance of the Regional State Prosecution Offices shall be paid out of national funds.
The provincial and city governments shall be responsible for providing adequate office spaces for the offices of their respective
provincial or city fiscals and all expenses incidental to the maintenance of said offices, including rental payments, shall be paid by the
province or city concerned.
Section 17. Transitory Provisions: Abolition of Existing Prosecution and Fiscals Offices and Positions. After the approval of this
Decree, the President shall issue the necessary letter/s of implementation specifying the details of the reorganization provided herein.
All existing prosecution offices and positions in the Department of Justice and the Offices of the Provincial and City Fiscals throughout
the country as well as all positions of district state prosecutors and special counsels shall cease to exist from the date specified in the
letter of implementation issued by the President pursuant to the preceding paragraph. Their pertinent functions, applicable
appropriations, records, equipment, property and such clerical and subordinate personnel as may be necessary shall be transferred
to the appropriate staff or offices created above.
Section 18. Transitory Provisions: Incumbents; Vacation of Offices. The provision of the second paragraph of the preceding section
notwithstanding, all officials in the prosecution service whose appointments are by this Decree vested in the President shall continue
in office until, and shall vacate the same only upon, the appointment and qualification of the officials to whom their powers, functions,
and responsibilities substantially pertain: Provided, however, That with respect to the incumbent district state prosecutors, each of
them shall continue in office until the appointment and qualification of the Regional State Prosecutor of the region to which his district
pertains.
An incumbent who is appointed by the President to a similar or equivalent position created in this Decree shall be allowed to receive
either the salary rate authorized for the position or his present salary whichever is higher.
Section 19. Transitory Provisions: Payment of Gratuity. All officers and employees who may be separated or removed from the
service by reason of the reorganization authorized herein shall be granted a gratuity at a rate equivalent to one month's salary for
every year of continuous satisfactory service rendered, or the equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of the
highest salary received: Provided, That any such officer or employee already entitled to gratuity or pension under existing law shall
have the option to select between said gratuity or pension and the gratuity provided for in this Decree.
The officers and employees referred to in the preceding paragraph shall not lose their civil service eligibilities and their names shall
be entered in a preferential re-employment list so as to facilitate their reappointment to appropriate positions created pursuant to this
Decree.
Section 20. Appropriation. There is hereby appropriated initially the sum of THIRTY-ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
PESOS (31,500.00) from the funds of the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated for the organization and operational
expenses of the National Prosecution Service for a period of one year from the issuance of this Decree. Henceforth the said amount
shall be added to the annual budget of the Department of Justice.
Section 21. Repeal. All acts, laws, decrees, executive orders, letters of instructions and regulations or any part thereof which are
consistent with any of the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed and/or modified accordingly.
Section 22. Separability Clause. If for any reason, any section or provision of this Decree is declared to be unconstitutional or invalid,

the other sections or provisions of this Decree which are not affected thereby shall continue in full force and effect.
Section 23. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of April, in the Year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-eight.

G.R. No. 116049 March 20, 1995


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioners, vs. HON. EUSTAQUIO Z. GACOTT, JR., Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 47, Puerto Princesa City,
ARNE STROM and GRACE REYES, respondents.

BIDIN, J.:
This special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the order dated March 18, 1994 of respondent judge, the Hon. Eustaquio Z. Gacott, Jr. of the
Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa City, Branch 47, granting the Motion to Quash filed by the accused, now herein respondents Arne Strom and
Grace A. Reyes in Criminal Case No. 11529 of said court.
On February 2, 1994, a complaint (Criminal Case No. 11529) for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law (C.A. No. 108) was filed by Asst. City Prosecutor
Perfecto E. Pe against respondents Strom and Reyes. The accused filed a Motion to Quash/Dismiss the criminal case contending that since the
power to prosecute is vested exclusively in the Anti-Dummy Board under Republic Act No. 1130, the City Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa has no
power or authority to file the same. The prosecution filed an opposition pointing out that the Anti-Dummy Board has already been abolished by Letter
of Implementation No. 2, Series of 1972. Despite such opposition, however, respondent judge granted the motion espousing the position that the
Letter Of Implementation relied upon by the City Fiscal is not the "law" contemplated in Article 7 of the New Civil Code which can repeal another law
such as R.A. 1130. Thus, respondent judge in the assailed order of March 18, 1994 held as follows:
WHEREFORE in the light of all the foregoing facts and consideration, as the City Prosecutor has no power or authority to file and
prosecute this case for reasons amply discussed above, the Court hereby orders this case quashed in the interest of justice,
without costs (Rollo, p, 27).
The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration but respondent judge denied the same in an order dated April 12,1994, the pertinent portions of
which are quoted hereunder:
. . . . It may be ignorance of the law to insist that the law, Republic Act 1130 was repealed or amended by Letter of Instruction
(sic) No. 2, Series of 1972 as what the City Prosecutor has harped all along. A Letter of Instruction (sic) is not law by any
standard and neither has it the force and effect of law. A contrary contention would be violative of Article 7 of the New Civil Code
which provides that laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and of the Rules of Statutory Construction.
Besides, penal statutes are strictly construed against the State and liberally in favor of the accused. The rules in all criminal
prosecutions is that all counts are resolved in favor of the accused. In the case at bar, the court seriously doubts that the City

Prosecutor has the power or the authority to investigate violations of the Anti-Dummy Law and to file and to prosecute cases of
this kind before our courts, as that is lodged with the Anti-Dummy Board under R. A. 1130.
WHEREFORE, premises considered the Motion for Reconsideration mentioned above is, hereby denied for sheer lack of merit,
and the Order dated March 18, 1994 quashing this case is maintained (Rollo, p.5).
Hence, the present petition.
After the filing of the comments by respondents, this Court gave due course to the petition, in a resolution dated October 24, 1994.
The only issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not respondent judge in granting the Motion to Quash gravely abused his discretion as to
warrant the issuance of a writ of certiorari as prayed for by petitioners herein.
In resolving this issue, it must be recalled that immediately after the proclamation of martial law, the late President Ferdinand Marcos issued
Presidential Decree No. 1 to reorganize the entire Executive Branch of the National Government. To carry out the intent of P.D. No. 1, various Letters
of Implementation were issued from time to time. It was in the course of this reorganization that Letter of Implementation No. 2, Series of 1972 was
issued for the purpose of reorganizing certain agencies in the Department of Justice. One such agency was the Anti-Dummy Board which was
abolished by the aforesaid LOI, to wit:
Anti-Dummy Board
1. The investigation function of the Anti-Dummy Board shall be absorbed by the National Bureau of Investigation, and its
prosecution function by the Prosecution Staff in the Department of Justice and the various provincial and City Fiscals. Its
corresponding appropriation, records, equipment, property, and subordinate personnel are transferred to the National Bureau of
Investigation and the Prosecution Staff in the Department of Justice.
2. The services of the present members of the Anti-Dummy Board are hereby terminated.
3. The Anti-Dummy Board shall cease to exist as of the date hereof.
Done in the City of Manila, this 29th day of September in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two. (emphasis
supplied)
Later, P.D. No. 1275 was issued which reorganized the entire prosecution system of the government with the creation of the National Prosecution
Service (NPS) under the Supervision and control of the Secretary of Justice, tasked with the investigation and prosecution of all violations of penal
laws, including violation of C.A. No, 108, the Anti-Dummy Law.
In his Comment on the petition, respondent judge insists that the dismissal of the case is supported by the law and existing jurisprudence . Inasmuch
as the City Prosecutor relied mainly on LOI No. 2 which according to respondent judge, is not even a law, the Anti-Dummy Board cannot be
considered as having been effectively abolished.
We reverse.
The error committed by respondent judge in dismissing the case is quite obvious in the light of P.D. No. 1, LOI No. 2 and P.D. No. 1275
aforementioned. The intent to abolish the Anti-Dummy Board could not have been expressed more clearly than in the aforequoted LOI. Even
assuming that the City Fiscal of Puerto Princesa failed to cite P.D. No. 1 in his opposition to the Motion to Quash, a mere perusal of the text of LOI
No. 2 would have immediately apprised the respondent judge of the fact that LOI No. 2 was issued in implementation of P.D. No. 1. Paragraph 1 of
LOI No. 2 reads:
Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1 dated September 23, 1972, Reorganizing the Executive Branch of the National
Government, the following agencies of the Department of Justice are hereby reorganized or activated in accordance with the
applicable provisions of the Integrated Reorganization Plan and the following instructions: . . . (emphasis supplied).
Obviously, respondent judge did not even bother to read the text of the cited LOI; otherwise, he would have readily acknowledged the validity of the
argument advanced by the prosecution. As correctly observed by the Solicitor General, Presidential Decrees, such as P.D No. 1, issued by the
former President Marcos under his martial law powers have the same force and effect as the laws enacted by Congress. As held by the Supreme
Court in the case of Aquino vs. Comelec, (62 SCRA 275 [1975]), all proclamations, orders, decrees, instructions and acts promulgated, issued, or
done by the former President are part of the law of the land, and shall remain valid, legal, binding, and effective, unless modified, revoked or
superseded by subsequent proclamations, orders, decrees, instructions, or other acts of the President. LOI No. 2 is one such legal order issued by
former President Marcos in the exercise of his martial law powers to implement P.D. No. 1. Inasmuch as neither P.D. No. 1 nor LOI No. 2 has been
expressly impliedly revised, revoked, or repealed, both continue to have the force and effect of law. (Rollo, pp. 7-8).
Indeed, Section 3, Article XVII of the Constitution explicitly ordains:

Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions, and other executive
issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed, or revoked.
But even more glaring than respondent judge's utter inexcusable neglect to check the citations of the prosecution is the mistaken belief that the duty
to inform the court on the applicable law to a particular case devolves solely upon the Prosecution or whoever may be the advocate before the court.
Respondent judge should be reminded that courts are duty bound to take judicial notice of all the laws of the 1 and (Sec. 1, Rule 129 Rules of Court).
Being the trier of facts, judges are presumed to be well-informed of the existing laws, recent enactments and jurisprudence, in keeping with their
sworn duty as members of the bar (and bench) to keep abreast of legal developments. As provided in the Code of Professional Responsibility:
CANON 5 A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal developments, participate in continuing legal education programs, support
efforts to achieve high standards in law schools as well as in the practical training of law students and assist in disseminating in
formation regarding the law and jurisprudence.
CANON 6 These canons shall apply to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official tasks.
The Court is fully aware that not every error or mistake of a judge in the performance of his duties is subject to censure. But where, as in the present
case, the error could have been entirely avoided were it not for public respondent's irresponsibility in the performance of his duties, it is but proper
that respondent judge be reprimanded and his order of dismissal set aside for grave ignorance of the law. For, respondent judge's error is not a
simple error in judgment but one amounting to gross ignorance of the law which could easily undermine the public's perception of the court's
competence.
The responsibility to keep abreast with the changes in the law espoused in Canon 5 above is applicable with equal force to counsel far private
respondents, Atty. Elvira T. Bermejo who first raised the issue at hand before the trial court. By insisting upon the authority of an already abolished
Anti-Dummy Board, counsel displayed blatant irresponsibility, not to mention ignorance of the law, she should be reminded that "The law, (it is not to
be forgotten), is a progressive science. There is less than full compliance with the demands of professional competence, if a member of a bar does
not keep himself abreast of the trend of authoritative pronouncements" (Bautista v. Rebueno, 81 SCRA 535 [1978], emphasis supplied).
Equally deplorable is the terse half-paged pleading entitled Comment filed in behalf of private respondents by the same counsel Atty. Elvira T.
Bermejo, before this Court, wherein she alleges:
1. That private respondents ARNE STROM AND GRACE REYES was (sic) properly represented by the undersigned attorney;
2. That private respondents ARNE STROM AND GRACE REYES has (sic) nothing to do with the decision of HON. EUSTAQUIO
Z. GACOTT, JR.
WHEREFORE upon premises considered it is most respectfully prayed of this Court that said certiorari (sic) be dismissed."
(Rollo, p. 33)
It need not be emphasized that the order of dismissal of the criminal case against private respondents arose out of the resolution of the Motion to
Quash/Dismiss filed by private respondents themselves, through counsel Bermejo, on the ground of lack of authority of the City Fiscal to prosecute.
In other words, such dismissal was not ordered by respondent judge motu proprio but rather, as prayed for by, and on motion of, private respondents
through said counsel. It is quite disturbing, therefore, for counsel to brazenly deny before this Court that private respondents had "nothing to do" with
the assailed resolution, the issuance of which was based on their very own pleading.
Moreover, counsel did not even bother to defend the position of private respondents before this Court by restating in the Comment, their arguments
before the trial court, being content instead with the short allegations aforequoted. These acts are indicative of counsel's incompetence and lack of
respect which this Court cannot countenance.
Undoubtedly, counsel for private respondents failed to observe the responsibility imposed upon members of the bar to keep abreast with the
developments of the law under Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as to exercise candor, fairness and good faith before the
court as prescribed by Canon 10 of the same Code, for which omissions, she should likewise be reprimanded.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the order of respondent judge dated March 18, 1999 dismissing Criminal Case No. 11529 is hereby
ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE and the aforesaid criminal case is REINSTATED. Respondent judge is hereby REPRIMANDED AND FINED in the
amount of P10,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or a similar offense shall merit serious
consequences. Atty. Elvira T. Bermejo is likewise REPRIMANDED AND FINED P10,000.00 for ignorance of the law and for her failure to observe
candor, fairness and good faith before this Court, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or a similar offense will be dealt with more
severely by this Court. Let a copy of this decision be spread on the personal records of Judge Eustaquio Z. Gacott, Jr. and Atty. Elvira T. Bermejo.
SO ORDERED.