Alcuaz vs. PSBA, 161 SCRA 7 (1988) G.R. No. 76353, May 2, 1988

Fact: Petitioners are all bona fide students of the Respondents, while respondents, are the Philippine School of Business Administration (hereinafter referred to as PSBA) Quezon City.  As early as March 22, 1986, the students of the respondent school and the respondent PSBA, Q.C. had already agreed on certain matters which would govern their activities within the school. In spite of the above-stated agreement, petitioners felt the need to hold dialogues. Among others they demanded the negotiation of a new agreement, which demand was turned down by the school, resulting in mass assemblies and barricades of school entrances. “Subsequently dialogues proved futile.” Finally, petitioners received uniform letters from respondents giving them 3 days to explain why the school should not take / mete out any administrative sanction on their direct participation and/or conspiring with others in the commission of tumultuous and anarchic acts which was answered by the counsel for the students in a reply letter. During the regular enrollment period, petitioners and other students similarly situated were allegedly blacklisted and denied admission for the second semester. President of the Student Council filed a complaint with the Director of the MECS against the PSBA for barring the enrollment of the Student Council Officers and student leaders. Simultaneously on the same date, the student council wrote the President, Board of Trustees, requesting for a written statement of the school’s decision regarding their enrollment. Another demand letter was made by Counsel for the students Atty. Alan Romulo Yap, also to the President, Board of Trustees, to enroll his clients within forty-eight (48) hours. All these notwithstanding, no relief appeared to be forthcoming, hence this petition. Respondents filed their manifestation and motion stating that pursuant to this court’s order the school authorities created a special investigating committee to conduct an investigation, which submitted a report with recommendations. Respondents adopted the recommendations of the Committee and prayed that the case be dismissed for having become moot. In the resolution the motion of petitioners to compel respondents to readmit or re-enroll herein petitioners was denied except in the case of three (3) student petitioners cleared by the investigating committee and who had been recommended to be readmitted or re-enrolled. The Court further resolved to require respondent school to show cause why it should not be adjudged in contempt for refusing to reinstate the intervenors-faculty members in the interim which the Respondents filed the manifestation informing this Court that they did not refuse to reinstate the intervenors/faculty members; that they were in fact actually reinstated in compliance with the Court’s temporary mandatory order. Hence, the motion for contempt should be dismissed. Adrian Avilado Antazo

Issue: Whether there has been deprivation of due process for petitioners who have been barred from re-enrollment and for intervenors teachers whose services have been terminated as faculty members, on account of their participation in the demonstration or protest charged by respondents as “anarchic” rallies, and a violation of their constitutional rights of expression and assembly. Adrian Avilado Antazo

Held: No,  According to the minimum standards laid down by the Court to meet the demands of procedural due process are:Adrian Avilado Antazo

(1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them;Adrian Avilado Antazo

(2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with the assistance of counsel, if desired:Adrian Avilado Antazo

(3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them;Adrian Avilado Antazo

(4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf and

(5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.

First, both students and teachers were given three (3) days from receipts of letter to explain in writing why the school should not take / mete out any administrative sanction on them in view of their participation in the commission of tumultuous and anarchic acts on the dates stated.

Second, The records show that a letter was sent by Atty. Alan Rollo Yap, in behalf of all PSBA students to the President of the School Mr. Juan D. Lim, explaining why said students are not guilty of the charges filed against them. Similarly, a faculty member of the PSBA filed as answer in a letter to the same President of the school, where he denied the charges against him.Adrian Avilado Antazo

Third to fifth was conducted in the investigation conducted by the committee.  which after careful scrutiny of the Report and Recommendation of the Special Investigating Committee shows it does not fall under any of the above exceptions. On the contrary, it is readily apparent that the investigation conducted was fair, open, exhaustive and adequate. Accordingly, there appears to be no cogent reason to disturb the finding of said committee and as manifested by the respondents, the report of said committee has virtually rendered this petition moot and academic.Adrian Avilado Antazo

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