Monday, April 09, 2012

Arimao vs. Taher

Facts: Petitioner was appointed as Director II, Bureau of Non-formal Education, DECS-ARMM.. Thereafter, on 17 July 1995, respondent was appointed Education Supervisor II. Petitioner’s appointment was eventually disapproved by the Civil Service Commission-Field Office (CSC-FO), Cotabato City, for failure to meet the experience required for the position. On 02 May 1996, the CSC, through Resolution No. 96- 3101, affirmed the findings of the CSC-FO and ordered petitioner to be reverted to her former position of Education Supervisor II. The TESDA-ARMM allowed that she and respondent are reporting to the same position. In the interim, petitioner applied for and was granted by the DECS-ARMM an academic scholarship to a period of one year with pay. However, after the expiration of her study leave, she failed to report to his office so Secretary of ARMM declared he to have been r Absent Without Leave (AWOL) and directed that she be dropped from the payroll. However, ARMM Governor ordered her reinstatement. Respondent then filed petition for prohibition against the governor. 

Issues: 

(1) Whether or not the Regional Governor has a right to reinstate petitioner despite the AWOL order against petitioner. 

(2) Whether or not there is violation of doctrine of exhaustion for filing prohibition before the court. 

(3) Whether or nor the AWOL order against petitioner validated respondent’s occupancy of the position of Education Supervisor II. 

Held: 

(1) No. Under Republic Act No. 6734, executive power in the ARMM is vested in the Regional Governor, who has control of all the regional executive commissions, boards, bureaus and offices, and exercises general supervision over the local government units within the Autonomous Region However, by ordering the reinstatement of petitioner to her former position based upon an outdated CSC Resolution, despite the AWOL order and her being dropped from the rolls, ARMM Regional Governor Misuari acted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Likewise, with the finality of the AWOL order and her (petitioner) having been dropped from the rolls, petitioner legally lost her right to the position of Education Supervisor II. 

(2) No. In the instant case, the legal question of whether a memorandum of the ARMM Governor, ordering the reinstatement of an employee declared AWOL and dropped from the rolls, was issued in excess of jurisdiction is a legal question which should be resolved by the courts. For the same reason that the issues to be resolved in this case are purely legal in nature, respondent need not abide by the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Besides, to allow the matter to remain with the Office of the ARMM Governor for resolution would be self-defeating and useless and cause unnecessary delay since it was the same office which gave the conflicting issuances on petitioner’s reinstatement. 

(3)  No. All the same, however, respondent cannot continue her unauthorized occupancy, notwithstanding the fact that the position of Education Supervisor II has been vacant since 1999. Absent any showing that she has been reappointed to the position after petitioner was declared AWOL and dropped from the rolls, respondent cannot lay a valid claim thereto

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