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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 119645. August 22, 1996.]

SPO3 NOEL CABADA and SPO3 RODOLFO G. DE GUZMAN, Petitioners, v. HON. RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government & Chairman, National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM); HON. ALEXIS CANONIZADO, Commissioner, NAPOLCOM, Manila; Chairman LEODEGARIO ALFARO, Regional Appellate Board VIII; Regional Director EDMUNDO LAVILLA LARROZA Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Command VIII; and MARIO VALDEZ, Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION; APPEALS THERETO FROM DECISIONS OF A BUREAU OR OFFICE MAY INITIALLY BE FILED BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. — Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990 specifically provides that if a RAB fails to decide an appeal within the reglementary period of sixty days, the appealed decision becomes final and executory without, however, prejudice to the right of the aggrieved party to appeal to the Secretary of the DILG. The said provision is, however, silent as regards the availability of an appeal from a decision rendered by a RAB within the reglementary period. This gap in Section 45 cannot be construed to prohibit appeals from decisions of the RAB rendered within the reglementary period, for while the epigraph of the section is worded Finality of Disciplinary Action, there is nothing therein that explicitly bars any further appeal. Complementary laws on discipline of government officials and employees must then be inquired into considering that in conformity with the mandate of the Constitution that the PNP must be national in scope and civilian in character, it is now a part, as a bureau, of the reorganized DILG. As such, if falls within the definition of the civil service in Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the Constitution. For this reason, Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 provides. The Civil Service Law referred to in Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 is Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292). Section 47 of Chapter 6 thereof provides, inter alia, that in cases where the decision rendered by a bureau or office is appealable to the Commission, the same may initially be appealed to the department and finally to the Commission.

2. ID; DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT OF 1990; APPEALS FROM DECISIONS OF THE NATIONAL APPELLATE BOARD AND THE REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD; MUST BE FILED BEFORE THE SECRETARY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. — Only the Secretary of the DILG can act thereon, one way or the other. The NAPOLCOM did not have authority over the appeal and the petition for review, and just because both mentioned the Secretary of the DILG as Chairman or Presiding Officer of the NAPOLCOM did not bring them within the jurisdiction of the NAPOLCOM. The latter does not have such jurisdiction because Section 14 of the DILG Act of 1990 pertinently provides the NAPOLCOM exercises appellate jurisdiction only on the following cases and THROUGH (a) the NAB in personnel disciplinary actions involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed by the Chief of the PNP, and (b) the RAB in administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits. It has no appellate jurisdiction over decisions rendered by the NAB and the RAB. Consequently, the NAPOLCOM did not have the power or authority to issue, through Commissioner Alexis Canonizado, the 24 March 1995 decision denying due course to the appeal and petition for review filed by petitioners Cabada and De Guzman, respectively, for lack of jurisdiction because of Section 5, Rule III of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-006 and Section 23, Rule IV of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-002. The reference to these rules suggest that the NAPOLCOM believes it has jurisdiction over appeals from decisions of the RAB if the latter has not decided the appeal within the reglementary period of sixty days. Such a suggestion is flawed because it would allow a ridiculous situation where the NAPOLCOM vests upon itself an appellate jurisdiction from a decision rendered by it in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction through the RAB, per Section 14(k) of the DILG Act of 1990. Moreover, Commissioner Canonizado cannot, singly, act for the NAPOLCOM because it is a collegial body composed of a Chairman and four Commissioners, pursuant to Section 13 of the DILG Act of 1990.

3. ID; EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; NOT APPLICABLE IF THE DECISION IN QUESTION IS A PATENT NULLITY. — The plea of the Office or the Solicitor General that the instant action is premature for non-exhaustion of administrative remedies is thus untenable. We would have sustained it if the Secretary of the DILG was the one who denied due course to or dismissed the appeal of petitioner Cabada and the petition for review of petitioner De Guzman. By then, pursuant to Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990; Section 47, Chapter 6, Subtitle A, Title I Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987; and Sections 31 and 32 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292, the appeal would have to be filed with the CSC. And futile would be the petitioners claim in their Reply to the Comment of the OSG that their case falls within the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of Administrative remedies.

4. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS, CERTIORARI; FILING OF A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION MAY BE DISPENSED WITH IF THE QUESTIONED DECISION IS A PATENT NULLITY. — In light of the foregoing, the petitioners could properly invoke our original jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to annual and set aside the NAPOLCOM’s decision of 24 March 1995. It being a patent nullity, the filing of a motion its reconsideration before the institution of this special civil action may be dispensed with.

5. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; EVERY STATUTE MUST BE SO CONSTRUED AND HARMONIZED WITH OTHER STATUTES AS TO FORM A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF JURISPRUDENCE. — In view then of the aforementioned gap in Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990, the provisions of the Civil Law and the rules and regulations implementing it must be taken into account in light of the maxim interpretare concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi or every statutes must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. As thus construed and harmonized, it follows that if a RAB fails to decide an appealed case within sixty days from receipt of the notice of appeal, the appealed decision is deemed final and executory, and the aggrieved party may forthwith appeal therefrom to the Secretary of the DILG. Likewise, if the RAB has decided the appeal within the sixty-day period, its decision may still be appealed to the Secretary of the DILG.


D E C I S I O N


DAVIDE, JR., J.:


This is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court 1 to set aside the decision (in the form of a letter) of 24 March 1995 2 of public respondent National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), which denied due course for lack of jurisdiction the appeal and the petition for review filed by petitioners SPO3 Noel Cabada and SPO3 Rodolfo G. de Guzman, respectively. Challenged in the said appeal and petition for review were the decision of 15 August 1994 3 and resolution of 25 October 1994 4 of the Regional Appellate Board of the Eighth Regional Command (RAB 8), which affirmed their dismissal from the service.

The pleadings and annexes filed by the parties disclose the following factual and procedural backdrop of this case:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

On 29 October 1993, a complaint against the petitioners for Grave Misconduct, Arbitrary Detention, and Dishonesty was filed with the Office of the Commission on Human Rights in Tacloban City by private respondent Mario Valdez. 5 The complaint was referred to the Philippine National Police Eight Regional Command (PNP-RECOM 8) which, after the conducting its own investigation, filed an administrative charge of Grave Misconduct against the petitioners and instituted summary dismissal proceedings.

On 7 April 1994, the Regional Director of PNP-RECOM 8 handed down a decision 6 finding the petitioners guilty of grave misconduct and ordering their dismissal from the police service. Pursuant to this decision, Special Order No. 174, dated 23 April 1994, 7 was issued ordering, among other things, the dismissal of the petitioners from the service.

The petitioners claimed that they were not formally furnished with a copy of the decision and that they were able to secure a copy thereof "thru their own effort and initiative" only on 13 June 1994. 8 However, they received a copy of Special Order No. 174 on 26 April 1994.

Although they insist that the basis of the appeal before RAB 8 was Special Order No. 174, 9 petitioner Cabada stated under oath in his Appeal 10 filed with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that he in fact seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Regional Director of PNP-RECOM 8, who, however, failed or refused to act on the said motion, and that he asked that the said motion be treated as an appeal to the RAB.

In its decision of 15 August 1994, 11 the RAB 8 affirmed the decision of the Regional Director. In its resolution of 25 October 1994, 12 it denied the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration of its decision. The petitioners received a copy of this resolution on 26 January 1995.

Petitioners Cabada and De Guzman then filed with the Honorable Secretary of the DILG and Chairman of the NAPOLCOM their "Appeal" 13 dated 5 February 1995 and "Petition for Review" 14 dated 4 February 1995, respectively.

In its decision of 24 March 1995, the NAPOLCOM, through Commissioner Alexis Canonizado, denied due course to the petitioners’ appeal and petition for review for lack of jurisdiction "it appearing . . . that both the Decision and the Resolution of the Regional Appellate Board had long become final and executory and there being no showing that the RAB failed to decide respondents’ appeal within the reglementary period of sixty (60) days." 15 In support thereof, the NAPOLCOM cited Section 23, Rule IV of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-002 and Section 5, Rule III of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-006, which provide as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Section 23. Effect of Failure to Decide Appeal. — Failure of the Regional Appellate Board to decide the appeal within the reglementary period shall render the decision final and executory without prejudice, however, to the filing of an appeal by either party with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

x       x       x


Section 5. Finality of Decision/Resolution. — The decision of the Regional Appellate Board on an appealed case shall become final and executory after ten (10) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the appellant, if no Motion for Reconsideration is filed within said period.

A motion for Reconsideration may be filed by either party from a Decision rendered by the Regional Appellate Board on an appealed case, provided that the same is filed within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of the decision in question. However, only one (1) Motion for Reconsideration may be allowed.

Hence, the instant petition.

The Office of the Solicitor General seeks to dismiss this petition on the ground of prematurity because the petitioners failed to exhaust administrative remedies; they should have instead appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) pursuant to Section 47, Chapter 6, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292), which vests upon the CSC appellate jurisdiction over disciplinary cases of government personnel where the penalty imposed is, inter alia, dismissal from office. The said provision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Section 47. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. — (1) The Commission shall decide upon appeal all administrative disciplinary cases involving the imposition of a penalty of suspension for more than thirty days, or fine in an amount exceeding thirty days salary, demotion in rank or salary or transfer, or removal or dismissal from office. . . .

(2) The Secretaries . . . shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. . . . In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission, the same may be initially appealed to the Department and finally to the Commission and pending appeal, the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal, in which case, the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned.

The Office of the Solicitor General opines that this provision covers PNP personnel, like the petitioners; consequently, they should have appealed to the CSC. It also advances the view that the instant petition should have been filed with the proper forum, the Regional Trial Court.

The core issues that present themselves for our determination are whether

(1) the NAPOLCOM committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course, for lack of jurisdiction, the petitioners’ appeal from and petition for review of the decision and resolution of the RAB 8; and

(2) this special civil action was prematurely filed for failure of the petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies.

I


Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990 16 provides for the finality of disciplinary actions against members of the PNP as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

SEC. 45. Finality of Disciplinary Action. — The disciplinary action imposed upon a member of the PNP shall be final and executory: Provided, That a disciplinary action imposed by the regional director or by the PLEB involving demotion or dismissal from the service may be appealed to the regional appellate board within ten (10) days from receipt of the copy of the notice of decision: Provided, further, That the disciplinary action imposed by the Chief of the PNP involving demotion or dismissal may be appealed to the National Appellate Board within ten (10) days from receipt thereof: Provided furthermore, That, the regional or National Appellate Board, as the case may be, shall decide the appeal within sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice of appeal: Provided, finally, That failure of the regional appellate board to act on the appeal within said period shall render the decision final and executory without prejudice, however, to the filing of an appeal by either party with the Secretary. (Emphasis supplied)

The last proviso of this section is restated in Section 23, Rule IV of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-002. And Section 3, Rule III of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 92-006 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Section 3. Period Within Which to Decide Appealed Cases; Finality of RAB/NAB Decisions. — The NAPOLCOM appellate board concerned shall decide the appealed cases within sixty (60) days from receipt of the entire records of the case from the PNP summary dismissal authority. However, failure of the NAPOLCOM Regional Appellate Board (RAB) to act on the appeal within said period renders the decision final and executory without prejudice to the filing of an appeal by the respondent-appellant with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The decision rendered by the NAPOLCOM National Appellate Board (NAB) disposing an appealed case shall be final and executory unless a timely Motion for Reconsideration is filed within ten (10) days from receipt thereof, in which case, it shall become final and executory upon receipt by the respondent-appellant of the resolution of the aforesaid board denying, modifying or affirming the decision.

Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990 specifically provides that if a RAB fails to decide an appeal within the reglementary period of sixty days, the appealed decision becomes final and executory without, however, prejudice to the right of the aggrieved party to appeal to the Secretary of the DILG. The said provision is, however, silent as regards the availability of an appeal from a decision rendered by a RAB within the reglementary period.

This gap in Section 45 cannot be construed to prohibit appeals from decisions of the RAB rendered within the reglementary period, for while the epigraph of the section is worded Finality of Disciplinary Action, there is nothing therein that explicitly bars any further appeal. Complementary laws on discipline of government officials and employees must then be inquired into considering that in conformity with the mandate of the Constitution that the PNP must be national in scope and civilian in character, 17 it is now a part, as a bureau, of the reorganized DILG. 18 As such, it falls within the definition of the civil service in Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the Constitution. 19 For this reason, Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

SEC. 91. Application of Civil Service Laws. — The Civil Service Law and its implementing rules and regulations shall apply to all personnel of the Department.

The Civil Service Law referred to in Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 is Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292). Section 47 of Chapter 6 thereof provides, inter alia, that in cases where the decision rendered by a bureau or office is appealable to the Commission, the same may initially be appealed to the department and finally to the Commission.

The rules and regulations implementing the Civil Service Law referred to in Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 is the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 known as the Administrative Code of 1987 promulgated by the CSC. Section 31 and 32, Rule XIV of the said Rules provide as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

SEC. 31. Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, the Commission shall have the final authority to pass upon the removal, separation and suspension of all officers and employees in the civil service and upon all matters relating to the conduct, discipline and efficiency of such officers and employees.

SEC. 32. The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty (30) days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty (30) days’ salary. In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission, the same may be initially appealed to the department, then to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and finally to the Commission and pending appeal, the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal, in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned.

Under Section 7 of E.O. No. 262, 20 the Secretary of the DILG has the power of supervision and control of his Department. His powers and functions thereunder are recognized and affirmed in Section 10 of the DILG Act of 1990. 21

In view then of the aforementioned gap in Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990, the provisions of the Civil Service Law and the rules and regulations implementing it must be taken into account in light of the maxim interpretare concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi or every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. 22

As thus construed and harmonized, it follows that if a RAB fails to decide an appealed case within sixty days from receipt of the notice of appeal, the appealed decision is deemed final and executory, and the aggrieved party may forthwith appeal therefrom to the Secretary of the DILG. Likewise, if the RAB has decided the appeal within the sixty-day period, its decision may still be appealed to the Secretary of the DILG.

In the instant case, Cabada’s appeal was addressed to "the Honorable Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government . . . as Chairman and Presiding Officer of the National Police Commission," 23 while De Guzman’s petition for review was addressed to "the Honorable Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Chairman, National Police Commission, Makati City, Metro Manila." 24

We consider the appeal and the petition for review as appeals to the Secretary of the DILG under Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990.

Only the Secretary of the DILG can act thereon, one way or the other. The NAPOLCOM did not have authority over the appeal and the petition for review, and just because both mentioned the Secretary of the DILG as Chairman or Presiding Officer of the NAPOLCOM did not bring them within the jurisdiction of the NAPOLCOM. The latter does not have such jurisdiction because Section 14 of the DILG Act of 1990 pertinently provides as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

SEC. 14. Powers and Functions of the Commission. — . . .

x       x       x


(j) Affirm, reverse or modify, through the National Appellate Board, personnel disciplinary action involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed upon members of the Philippine National Police by the Chief of the Philippine National Police;

(k) Exercise appellate jurisdiction through the regional appellate boards over administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits. . . .

This section clearly shows that the NAPOLCOM exercises appellate jurisdiction only on the following cases and THROUGH (a) the NAB in personnel disciplinary actions involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed by the Chief of the PNP, and (b) the RAB in administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits. It has no appellate jurisdiction over decisions rendered by the NAB and the RAB.

Consequently, the NAPOLCOM did not have the power or authority to issue, through Commissioner Alexis Canonizado, the 24 March 1995 decision denying due course to the appeal and petition for review filed by petitioners Cabada and De Guzman, respectively, for lack of jurisdiction because of Section 5, Rule III of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-006 and Section 23, Rule IV of NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 91-002. The reference to these rules suggest that the NAPOLCOM believes it has jurisdiction over appeals from decisions of the RAB if the latter has not decided the appeal within the reglementary period of sixty days. Such a suggestion is flawed because it would allow a ridiculous situation where the NAPOLCOM vests upon itself an appellate jurisdiction from a decision rendered by it in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction through the RAB, per Section 14(k) of the DILG Act of 1990. Moreover, Commissioner Canonizado cannot, singly, act for the NAPOLCOM because it is a collegial body composed of a Chairman and four Commissioners, pursuant to Section 13 of the DILG Act of 1990.

In light of the foregoing, the petitioners could properly invoke our original jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to annual and set aside the NAPOLCOM’s decision of 24 March 1995. It being a patent nullity, the filing of a motion for its reconsideration before the institution of this special civil action may be dispensed with.25cralaw:red

II


The plea of the Office of the Solicitor General that the instant action is premature for non-exhaustion of administrative remedies is thus untenable. We would have sustained it if the Secretary of the DILG was the one who denied due course to or dismissed the appeal of petitioner Cabada and the petition for review of petitioner De Guzman. By then, pursuant to Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990; Section 47, Chapter 6, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987; and Section 31 and 32 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292, the appeal would have to be filed with the CSC. And futile would be the petitioners claim in their Reply to the Comment of the OSG that their case falls within the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies.

In view of all the foregoing, a discussion on the other issues raised by the petitioners relating to the merits of the case and on the issue of due process is unnecessary.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is GRANTED. The decision (in the form of a letter) of the National Police Commission of 24 March 1995 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government is DIRECTED to RESOLVE with reasonable dispatch the appeal and petition for review of petitioners SPO3 NOEL CABADA and SPO3 RODOLFO G. DE GUZMAN, respectively, from the decision of 15 August 1994 and resolution of 25 October 1994 of the Regional Appellate Board, Eighth Regional Command, if the same were filed on time.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Melo, Francisco, Jr. and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Mistakenly designated by the petitioners as a "Petition for Review by Certiorari under Rule 65. Rules of Court."cralaw virtua1aw library

2. Annex "A" of Petition; Rollo, 33-34. Per NAPOLCOM Commissioner Alexis C. Canonizado.

3. Annex "C," Id.; Id., 65-70. Per RAB Chairman Atty. Leodegario J. Alfaro; P/Sr. Supt. Antonio G. Dadula, Deputy Regional Director for Administration; and Regional State Prosecutor Francisco Q. Aurillo, Jr..

4. Annex "F," Petition; Rollo, 74-76. Per P/Sr. Supt. Antonio G. Dadula and Regional State Prosecutor Francisco Q. Aurillo, Jr., with RAB Chairman Atty. Leodegario J. Alfaro, dissenting.

5. The private respondent also instituted three criminal cases against the petitioners, viz., (1) for arbitrary detention; (2) for violation of R.A. No. 7438 (An Act Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation As Well As the Duties of the Arresting, Detaining, and Investigating Officers and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof); and (3) for robbery. The first was docketed as Criminal Case No. 94-05-15 in Branch 1 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Tacloban City, but was dismissed on 10 August 1994 upon motion of the petitioners who invoked their right to speedy trial, considering the private respondent’s non-appearance during the previous setting and the difficulty met by the sheriff in serving the subpoena upon the latter (Annex "M" of Petition; Rollo, 89, per Judge Marino S. Buban). The second was docketed as Criminal Case No. 94-05-278 in Branch 7 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City, but was dismissed on 5 October 1994 upon a finding by the trial court that the constitutional rights of the private respondent during custodial investigation were not violated by the petitions (Annex "N," Id., Id., 90-91; per Judge Pedro S. Espina). The third was docketed as Criminal Case No. 95-08-309 in Branch 8 of the RTC of Tacloban City which was provisionally dismissed on 7 December 1995 upon motion of the petitioners who invoked their right to speedy trial (Annex "A" of the petitioners’ Memorandum; Id., 158; per Judge Mateo M. Leanda).

6. Annex "D" of Petition; Id., 71-72.

7. Annex "E," Id.; Id., 73.

8. Petitioners’ Memorandum, 8; Rollo, 154.

9. Paragraph 12 of Petition; Id., 17.

10. Annex "B-1," Id.; Id., 51. It may also be pointed out that in its decision of 15 August 1994 (supra note 3), RAB 8 stated that the appeal interposed by the petitioners is based on the following grounds: (a) errors of law and irregularities have been committed during the investigation prejudicial to their rights; (b) the findings of facts are not supported by substantial evidence; and (c) the denial of their motion for reconsideration is contrary to law and jurisprudence. This shows that the petitioners appealed from the decision of the Regional Director of PNP-RECOM 8 and not from Special Order No. 174, and that the motion for its reconsideration was denied.

11. Supra note 3.

12. Supra note 4.

13. Annex "B-1" of Petition; Rollo, 51.

14. Annex "B," Id.; Id., 35.

15. Annex "A." Petitioner; Rollo, 33-34.

16. R.A. No. 6975.

17. Section 6, Article XVI, 1987 Constitution.

18. Section 6, DILG Act of 1990, provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Section 6. Organization. — The Department shall consist of the Department Proper, the existing bureaus and the offices of the Department of Local Government, the National Police Commission, the Philippine Public Safety College, and the following bureaus: the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

19. It provides as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Section 2. (1) The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.

20. Entitled "Reorganizing the Department of Local Government and for Other Purposes," issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on 25 July 1987.

21. The said section reads in part as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Sec. 10. Specific Powers and Functions of the Secretary. — In addition to his powers and functions as provided in Executive Order No. 262, the Secretary as Department head shall have the following powers and functions . . . .

22. Republic v. Asuncion, 231 SCRA 211, 232 [1994], citing RUBEN E. AGPALO, Statutory Construction 192 [2nd ed., 1990].

23. Rollo, 51.

24. Id., 35.

25. See FLORENZ D. REGALADO, Remedial Law Compendium, vol. I [1988] 460, citing cases.

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