Doctrine of Exhaustion of Admninistrative Remedies

Paat vs. CA (GR 111107)

This doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. Hence, it is disregarded

(1) when there is a violation of due process,

(2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question,

(3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,

(4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned,

(5) when there is irreparable injury,

(6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter,

(7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable,

(8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim,

(9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings,

(10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, and

(11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.

Addition HIlls Mandaluyong Civic and Social Organization, Inc. vs. MEGAWORLD (GR 175039)

We have consistently declared that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a cornerstone of our judicial system. The thrust of the rule is that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective competence. The rationale for this doctrine is obvious. It entails lesser expenses and provides for the speedier resolution of controversies. Comity and convenience also impel courts of justice to shy away from a dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed.

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It does not escape the attention of the Court that in its Reply, petitioner admitted that it had a pending complaint with the HLURB involving private respondents the Development Permit, the Certificate of Registration and License to Sell Condominium Units, aside from complaints with the Building Official of the Municipality (now City) of Mandaluyong and the MMDA, when it instituted its action with the trial court.

As discussed earlier, a litigant cannot go around the authority of the concerned administrative agency and directly seek redress from the courts. Thus, when the law provides for a remedy against a certain action of an administrative board, body, or officer, relief to the courts can be made only after exhausting all remedies provided therein. It is settled that the non-observance of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies results in lack of cause of action, which is one of the grounds in the Rules of Court justifying the dismissal of the complaint.

Go vs. DISTINCTION PROPERTIES DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION INC. (GR 194024)

The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a cornerstone of our judicial system. The thrust of the rule is that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective competence. It has been held, however, that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies and the doctrine of primary jurisdiction are not ironclad rules.

In the case of Republic of the Philippines v. Lacap, the Court enumerated the numerous exceptions to these rules, namely: (a) where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the doctrine; (b) where the challenged administrative act is patently illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction; (c) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant; (d) where the amount involved is relatively so small as to make the rule impractical and oppressive; (e) where the question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice; (f) where judicial intervention is urgent; (g) where the application of the doctrine may cause great and irreparable damage; (h) where the controverted acts violate due process; (i) where the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot; (j) where there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy; (k) where strong public interest is involved; and (l) in quo warranto proceedings.

Castro vs. Sec. Gloria (GR 132174)

The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies calls for resort first to the appropriate administrative authorities in the resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the same may be elevated to the courts of justice for review. It is settled that non-observance of the doctrine results in lack of a cause of action, which is one of the grounds allowed by the Rules of Court for the dismissal of the complaint.

 

 

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Doctrine of Primary Administrative Jurisdiction

NESTLE PHILS. vs. UNIWIDE Sales (GR 174674)

Under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, courts will not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.

Fabia vs. CA (GR 132684)

RESOLUTION

In light of the amendment brought about by RA 8799, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction no longer precludes the simultaneous filing of the criminal case with the corporate/civil case.

In cases involving specialized disputes, the practice has been to refer the same to an administrative agency of special competence in observance of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. The Court has ratiocinated that it cannot or will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered.

Samar II Electronic Cooperative vs. Seludo, Jr. (GR 173840)

It may not be amiss to reiterate the prevailing rule that the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special competence of an administrative agency. In such a case, the court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may suspend the judicial process pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the parties would not be unfairly disadvantaged, dismiss the case without prejudice.

Corollary to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. The Court, in a long line of cases, has held that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the courts, it is a pre-condition that he avail himself of all administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can be resorted to by giving the administrative officer every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy must be exhausted first before the courts power of judicial review can be sought. The premature resort to the court is fatal to ones cause of action. Accordingly, absent any finding of waiver or estoppel, the case may be dismissed for lack of cause of action.

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The doctrines of primary jurisdiction and exhaustion of administrative remedies are subject to certain exceptions, to wit:

(a) where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the doctrine; (b) where the challenged administrative act is patently illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction;

(c) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant;

(d) where the amount involved is relatively so small as to make the rule impractical and oppressive;

(e) where the question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice;

(f) where judicial intervention is urgent;

(g) where the application of the doctrine may cause great and irreparable damage;

(h) where the controverted acts violate due process;

(i) where the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot;

(j) where there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy;

(k) where strong public interest is involved; and (l) in quo warranto proceedings.

Meaning and Application of Stare Decisis Doctrine

ART. 8 of the Civil code states:

Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

This article is the legal anchor of the doctrine of stare decisis in the Philippines.

Ting vs. Velez-Ting (GR 166562)

The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence by lower courts to doctrinal rules established by this Court in its final decisions. It is based on the principle that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument. Basically, it is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issues, necessary for two simple reasons: economy and stability. In our jurisdiction, the principle is entrenched in Article 8 of the Civil Code.

Ty vs.Banco Filipino (GR 188302)

G.R. No. 137533, as reiterated in G.R. Nos. 130088, 131469, 155171, 155201 and 166608, is binding and applicable to the present case following the salutary doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere, which means “to adhere to precedents, and not to unsettle things which are established.” Under the doctrine, when this Court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where facts are substantially the same; regardless of whether the parties and property are the same.  The doctrine of stare decisis is based upon the legal principle or rule involved and not upon the judgment, which results therefrom. In this particular sense, stare decisis differs from res judicata, which is based upon the judgment.

Lazatin vs. Desierto (GR 147097)

The doctrine has assumed such value in our judicial system that the Court has ruled that [a]bandonment thereof must be based only on strong and compelling reasons, otherwise, the becoming virtue of predictability which is expected from this Court would be immeasurably affected and the public’s confidence in the stability of the solemn pronouncements diminished. Verily, only upon showing that circumstances attendant in a particular case override the great benefits derived by our judicial system from the doctrine of stare decisis, can the courts be justified in setting aside the same.

Regalian Doctrine

Aranda vs. RP ( GR 172331)

Under the Regalian doctrine which is embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, all lands of the public domain belong to the State, which is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. All lands not appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Unless public land is shown to have been reclassified or alienated to a private person by the State, it remains part of the inalienable public domain. To overcome this presumption, incontrovertible evidence must be established that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable.(GR: 172331)

To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable, an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order; an administrative action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or a statute.  The applicant may also secure a certification from the Government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable.

GR : 167707

Our present land law traces its roots to the Regalian Doctrine. Upon the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, ownership of all lands, territories and possessions in the Philippines passed to the Spanish Crown. The Regalian doctrine was first introduced in the Philippines through the Laws of the Indies and the Royal Cedulas, which laid the foundation that all lands that were not acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the public domain.

The Laws of the Indies was followed by the Ley Hipotecaria or the Mortgage Law of 1893. The Spanish Mortgage Law provided for the systematic registration of titles and deeds as well as possessory claims.

The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all lands of the public domain belong to the State, that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land and charged with the conservation of such patrimony.The doctrine has been consistently adopted under the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions.

All lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Thus, all lands that have not been acquired from the government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of the inalienable public domain.Necessarily, it is up to the State to determine if lands of the public domain will be disposed of for private ownership. The government, as the agent of the state, is possessed of the plenary power as the persona in law to determine who shall be the favored recipients of public lands, as well as under what terms they may be granted such privilege, not excluding the placing of obstacles in the way of their exercise of what otherwise would be ordinary acts of ownership.

Heirs of Mario Malabanan vs. Republic of the Philippines (GR: 179987)

Critical to the position taken in this Dissent is the reading of the hierarchy of laws that govern public lands to fully understand and appreciate the grounds for dissent.

In the area of public law, foremost in this hierarchy is the Philippine Constitution, whose Article XII (entitled National Economy and Patrimony) establishes and fully embraces the regalian doctrine as a first and overriding principle This doctrine postulates that all lands belong to the State, and that no public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant, express or implied, from the State.

Public lands suitable for agricultural purposes can be disposed of only as follows and not otherwise:

  1.   For homestead settlement;
  2.   By sale;
  3.   By lease;
  4.   By confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title;
  5.   By judicial legalization;
  6.   By administrative legalization (free patent)

Prescription is essentially a civil law term and is not mentioned as one of the modes of acquiring alienable public land under the PLA, (Significantly, the PLA under its Section 48 provides for its system of how possession can ripen into ownership; the PLA does not refer to this as acquisitive prescription but as basis for confirmation of title.) Section 14(2) of the PRD, however, specifies that [t]hose who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provisions of existing laws as among those who may apply for land registration. Thus, prescription was introduced into the land registration scheme (the PRD), but not into the special law governing lands of the public domain (the PLA).

GR Nos. 152613, 152628,152619-20, 152870-71 (En Banc)

Due to the pressing concerns in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area brought about by unregulated small to medium-scale mining operations causing ecological, health and peace and order problems, the President, on 25 November 2002, issued Proclamation No. 297, which declared the area as a mineral reservation and as an environmentally critical area.

This executive fiat was aimed at preventing the further dissipation of the natural environment and rationalizing the mining operations in the area in order to attain an orderly balance between socio-economic growth and environmental protection.

The area being a mineral reservation, the Executive Department has full control over it pursuant to Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7942. It can either directly undertake the exploration, development and utilization of the minerals found therein, or it can enter into agreements with qualified entities.

Since the Executive Department now has control over the exploration, development and utilization of the resources in the disputed area, SEMs exploration permit, assuming that it is still valid, has been effectively withdrawn. The exercise of such power through Proclamation No. 297 is in accord with jura regalia, where the State exercises its sovereign power as owner of lands of the public domain and the mineral deposits found within. Thus, Article XII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution emphasizes:

SEC. 2. All lands of the public domain, water, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or product-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.

Furthermore, said proclamation cannot be denounced as offensive to the fundamental law because the State is sanctioned to do so in the exercise of its police power. The issues on health and peace and order, as well the decadence of the forest resources brought about by unregulated mining in the area, are matters of national interest.

Republic of the Philippines vs Naguiat (GR: 134209)

 

Under Section 6 of the Public Land Act, the prerogative of classifying or reclassifying lands of the public domain, i.e., from forest or mineral to agricultural and vice versa, belongs to the Executive Branch of the government and not the court.Needless to stress, the onus to overturn, by incontrovertible evidence, the presumption that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable or disposable rests with the applicant.

Here, respondent never presented the required certification from the proper government agency or official proclamation reclassifying the land applied for as alienable and disposable. Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot be assumed. It calls for proof. Aside from tax receipts, respondent submitted in evidence the survey map and technical descriptions of the lands, which, needless to state, provided no information respecting the classification of the property. As the Court has held, however, these documents are not sufficient to overcome the presumption that the land sought to be registered forms part of the public domain.