[G.R. No. 154664.November 13, 2002]




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated 13 NOV 2002.

G.R. No. 154664(Placido O. Urbanes vs. Jose M. Gerochi and Eduardo B. Gomez.)


At bar is a petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner assailing the resolution of the Court of Appeals denying the motion for reconsideration of its earlier decision dismissing petitioner's appeal, thus:

The Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision of this Court is DENIED for lack of merit. The cited case of Fabian v. Desierto is unequivocal in pronouncing that it is only the decision of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases which is appealable to this Court under Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The decision appealed to this Court was rendered by the Ombudsman in the exercise of his criminal prosecutory functions. Consequently, this Court has no jurisdiction.


SO ORDERED. [1] cralaw

Petitioner is the proprietor of Catalina Security Agency, which was among the participants in the bidding conducted by the National Food Authority (NFA) for the contracts for security services for Areas IV and V of the NFA complex.

Respondents Joemarie D. Gerochi and Eduardo B. Gomez were the former Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture and acting Administrator, and Deputy Administrator and Chairman of the Prequalification Bids and Awards Committee of the NFA, respectively.

Apparently displeased with the outcome of the bidding of the security service contracts which were awarded to Metroguard Security and Protective Agency of the Philippines (Metroguard) and Davao Security and Investigation Agency Inc. (Davao Security), petitioner wrote a letter to the NFA addressed to respondent Gerochi requesting copies of the Security Management Plans of Metroguard and Davao Security.

In a letter dated June 24, 1996, respondent Gomez denied petitioner's request on the ground that the consent of the two security agencies must first be obtained before the NFA can release a copy of said plan.

Aggrieved by the denial of his request, petitioner filed an administrative complaint against the two respondents before the Civil Service Commission.

In addition to the administrative complaint, petitioner filed a letter-complaint with the resident Ombudsman of the Department of Agriculture charging respondents with the violation of Section 3(f) of R.A. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.


The complaint was docketed as OMB-0-96-2832 and assigned to a Graft Investigation Officer of the Office of the Ombudsman who thereafter directed the respondents to file their respective counter-affidavits.

On June 27, 1997, the Civil Service Commission dismissed the administrative case against private respondents.

On November 3, 1998, the Ombudsman dismissed the criminal charges. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it too proved to be fruitless.

Unperturbed, petitioner again asked the Ombudsman to conduct an administrative investigation against the two respondents. This was likewise denied.

Undaunted, petitioner sought recourse before the Court of Appeals seeking the review of the resolution of the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman which dismissed the criminal charges against the two respondents.

On February 28, 2002, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. On August 14, 2002, petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied in the above assailed resolution.

Thus, the instant petition.

In Fabian vs. Desierto, [2] cralaw the Court categorically declared thus:

As a consequence of our ratiocination that Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770 should be struck down as unconstitutional, and in line with the regulatory philosophy adopted in appeals from quasi-judicial agencies in the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under the provisions of Rule 43.

On the other hand, Section 14 of RA 6770 which remains to be valid provides:

Sec. 14. Restrictions. - x x x No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman except the Supreme Court on pure questions of law.

Thus, it is clear from the foregoing that decisions and resolutions of the Office of the Ombudsman in the exercise of its criminal prosecutory function remains to be reviewable by the Supreme Court on pure questions of law.

The Court has likewise ruled that where the finding of the Ombudsman as to the existence of probable cause is tainted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. [3] cralaw

Accordingly, the Court finds no reversible error committed by the Court of Appeals in its assailed decision and resolution.

WHEREFORE , the petition is hereby denied due course.



Very truly yours,

Clerk of Court



[1] cralaw Rollo, p. 7.

[2] cralaw 295 SCRA 493 [1998].

[3] cralaw Tirol, Jr . vs. del Rosario, 317 SCRA 779 (1999).

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