Saturday, August 24, 2019

Administrative cases are independent from criminal actions for the same acts or omissions

See -


The two cases are independent from each other. In the case Flores vs People of the Philippines (GR 222861, April 23, 2018), the Supreme Court, through Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, stated that:

“It is hornbook doctrine in administrative law that administrative cases are independent from criminal actions for the same acts or omissions. Thus, an absolution from a criminal charge is not a bar to an administrative prosecution, or vice versa. Given the differences in the quantum of evidence required, the procedures actually observed, the sanctions imposed, as well as the objective of the two proceedings, the findings and conclusions in one should not necessarily be binding on the other. Hence, the exoneration in the administrative case is not a bar to a criminal prosecution for the same or similar acts which were the subject of the administrative complaint or vice versa.

“x x x.

“In the case at bar, the administrative case for grave misconduct filed against petitioner and the present case for simple robbery are separate and distinct cases, and are independent from each other. The administrative and criminal proceedings may involve similar facts but each requires a different quantum of evidence. In addition, the administrative proceeding conducted was before the PNP Internal Affairs Service and was summary in nature. In contrast, in the instant criminal case, the Regional Trial Court conducted a full-blown trial and the prosecution was required to proffer proof beyond reasonable doubt to secure petitioner’s conviction.

Furthermore, the proceedings included witnesses who were key figures in the events leading to petitioner’s arrest. Witnesses of both parties were cross examined by their respective counsels creating a clearer picture of what transpired, which allowed the trial judge to have a better appreciation of the attendant facts and determination of whether the prosecution proved the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.”

Applying the above-cited decision in your situation, the administrative case arising from the same act, which you filed against the respondent, is distinct from the criminal case. Thus, the dismissal of the administrative case does not affect the prosecution of the criminal case. The procedure in the administrative case is summary in nature and the quantum of proof required is substantial evidence, whereas, in the criminal case, proof beyond reasonable doubt is necessary.