Home of ChanRobles Virtual Law Library

 

Home of Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

www.chanrobles.com

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-7926. May 21, 1955. ]

OSCAR OLEGARIO, Petitioner-Appellee, v. ARSENIO H. LACSON, Mayor of the City of Manila, Respondent-Appellant.

De Santos, Herrera & Delfino for Appellee.

City Fiscal Eugenio Angeles and Assistant City Fiscal Eulogio S. Serrano for Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. PUBLIC OFFICERS; REMOVAL; DETECTIVES OR SECRET SERVICE AGENTS. — Executive Order No. 264, series of 1940, has been repealed by Republic Act 557 in so far as it may be in conflict with the latter, and that permanent detectives or secret service agents may now be removed only as provided by said Act.

2. ID.; DISMISSAL; DETECTIVE’S APPOINTMENT WHEN NOT TEMPORARY. — Unless it is shown that a detective’s appointment is temporary, he may not be dismissed except in accordance with Republic Act No. 557.


D E C I S I O N


REYES, J.B.L., J.:


This appeal is taken by the Mayor of the City of Manila from a decision of the Court of First Instance in its case No. 17153, for mandamus, wherein the Court orders the reinstatement to service of detective Oscar Olegario, dismissed by the Mayor for lack of confidence on July 19, 1952. The lower Court held that the dismissal was illegal, for lack of the investigation and hearing provided for by Republic Act No. 557.

It is contended for the appellant Mayor that (1) the position of detective in the Manila Police Department is confidential in nature, having been so declared by Executive Order No. 264, Series of 1940, and that Republic Act 557 did not repeal or affect said Executive Order; and (2) that appellee Oscar Olegario not being a Civil Service eligible, his appointment, in 1947, should be viewed as merely temporary under sec. 682 of the Revised Administrative Code, and, therefore, he was subject to summary dismissal at the expiration of three months.

The first issue tendered by the appellant has been thoroughly considered and resolved in previous decisions of this Court. In Mission v. Del Rosario (94 Phil., 483), this Court held that Executive Order No. 264, Series of 1940, upon which appellant now relies, has been repealed by Rep. Act 557, in so far as it may be in conflict with the latter, and that detectives or secret service agents may now be removed only as provided in said Act. This ruling was applied to similar offices in other localities (Abella v. Rodriguez, 95 Phil., 289; Palamine v. Zagado, 94 Phil., 494), and we see no reason for not upholding it with respect to detectives or secret service agents of the Manila Police Department.

With regard to the appellee’s lack of civil service qualifications, it is to be remarked that such lack does not necessarily mean that his appointment was temporary in character, considering that when appellee was appointed, Executive Order No. 264 was as yet in force, and under its terms, positions of secret agent or detective were excepted from civil service requirements. The records of the case at bar, in fact, show that appellee Olegario’s appointment was not temporary in character (Exhs. E to H).

We have held in Uy v. Rodriguez, 95 Phil., 490, that unless it is shown that a detective’s appointment was temporary, he may not be dismissed except in accordance with Rep. Act No. 557, and that ruling is decisive of this case.

"The question raised in this special civil action has already been decided squarely by us in the cases of Palarmine, Et. Al. v. Zapada, Et Al., G. R. No. L-6901, promulgated March 15, 1954; Mission, Et Al., v. Del Rosario No. L-6754, promulgated February 25, 1954; and Abella v. Rodriguez, G. R. No. L-6867, promulgated June 29, 1954. In said cases, we have held that a member of the detective force of Cebu City is a member of the police department of said city and may not be removed except in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 557.

The statement submitted by the petitioner shows that he is not a civil service eligible, but neither does it appear from the record that his appointment as member of the detective force was temporary in character or for periods of three months merely, and that he had been reappointed every three months until his separation. These circumstances, in addition to the fact that he was promoted as senior detective inspector, show that his appointment is not in a temporary capacity. He may not therefore, be dismissed or removed except in accordance with the provisions of existing law."cralaw virtua1aw library

The difference between the present case and those involved in Orais v. Ribo, 1 49 Off. Gaz. (12) 5386; Paña v. Medina, 2 50 Off. Gaz. (1) 146, and Manigbas v. De Guzman, 3 G.R. No. L-6137, invoked by appellant, lies in that the present appellee was not appointed under sec. 682 of the Administrative Code, but under the exceptional provisions of Executive Order No. 264, and Commonwealth Act No. 698, and Commonwealth Act No. 698, in force before Republic Act 557 was enacted. Hence, said section 682 is inapplicable to him. The repeal of C. A. 698 by Republic Act 271 after he was appointed, could not retract to the prejudice of the appellee.

As to the allegation that appellee’s appointment was improper because he had not qualified under examinations of the police Merit and Trial Board, the presumption of regularity has not been overcome; and the fact that the Administrative Officer of the Board is the one who attested his various promotions (Exhs. F and G) is strong evidence that he possessed the requisite qualifications.

The decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the Appellant.

Pablo, Bengzon, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. 93 Phil., 895.

2. 94 Phil., 103.

3. 94 Phil., 254.

Top of Page