Lex Rex Ph

Ombudsman v. CA and Binay Jr. Digest

GR 217126-27, 10 Nov 2015

Facts

Ombudsman Conchita issued a preventive suspension order (PSO) against Binay Jr. et al of Plunder and violation RA 3019 in connection with the Makati Parking Building.

Binay filed a petition for certiorari (PFC) before CA seeking to nullify the PSO and praying for TRO/WPI issuance against the Ombudsman. CA granted Binay’s petition on the grounds of condonation doctrine, et al.

Ombudsman Conchita filed before SC assailing the jurisdiction of the CA to grant TRO because Section 14 of the Ombudsman Act of 1997 (RA 6770), paragraph 2: “No court shall hear any appeal… against the decision of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.”

Issue

Does CA has subject matter jurisdiction over Binay’s petition for certiorari?

Ruling

Yes. Ombudsman Conchita’s quoted provision under the Ombudsman Act (RA 6770) is unconstitutional because it increases the SC’s jurisdiction without its consent. Similar to Fabian v. Desierton, which invalidated Section 27 Paragraph 4.

Section 14 Par 2, RA 6770 limits the remedy against “decision or findings” of the Ombudsman to a Rule 45 appeal, thus unconstitutional.

Constitutional questions not raised in the regular and orderly procedure are ordinarily rejected, but the Court ex mero motu (out of mere impulse) may take cognizance of a case with the lack of jurisdiction at any point.

The Court has ruled after Fabian that petitions for certiorari against unappealable issuances of the Ombudsman should be filed before→the CA, and not directly before the Supreme Court. In this case, Binay filed the Rule 65 petition for certiorari correctly before CA.

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