Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies

"x x x.
True, the general rule is that there be no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law when filing a petition for mandamus.71 Moreover, the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies requires that a party "exhaust all administrative remedies to give the administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter and to prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the courts."72 The Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Casesin the Civil Service,73 then effective when Dr. Benito was appointed, states:

Section 71. Complaint or Appeal to the Commission. – Other personnel actions, such as, but not limited to, separation from the service due to unsatisfactory conduct or wantof capacity during probationary period, dropping from the rolls due toAbsence Without Official Leave (AWOL), physically and mentally unfit, and unsatisfactory or poor performance, action on appointments (disapproval, invalidation, recall, and revocation), reassignment, transfer, detail, secondment, demotion, or termination of services, may be brought to the Commission, by way of an appeal.

Section 72. When and Where to File.– A decision or ruling of a department or agency may be appealed within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof by the party adversely affected to the Civil Service Regional Office and finally, to the Commission Proper within the same period.

A motion for reconsideration may be filed with the same office which rendered the decision or ruling within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. (Emphasis supplied)

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies. A party may directly resort to judicial remedies if any of the following is present:

1. when there is a violation of due process;
2. when the issue involved ispurely a legal question;
3. when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess ofjurisdiction;
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 bear 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 providea plain, speedy and adequate remedy; and
11. when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.74

In this case, the facts are undisputed. Respondent Dr. Benito is not career executive service eligible. The question is whether the position for which he was appointed requires career executive service eligibility. This is a purely legal question which is an exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies.
All told, respondent Dr. Benito did not err in filing a petition for mandamus with the trial court.

x x x."

G.R. No. 181760, October 14, 2014
ATTY. ANACLETO B. BUENA, JR., MNSA, in his capacity as Regional Director of Regional Office No. XVI, Civil Service Commission, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City, Petitioner, vs. DR. SANGCAD D. BENITO, Respondent.