MENDOZA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT G.R. No. 195395, September 10, 2013

Fact: Petitioner Mendoza is the general manager of Talisay Water District in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. The Water District was formed pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 198, otherwise known as the “Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973.” The Commission on Audit disallowed a total amount of P3 80,208.00 which Mendoza received as part of his salary as the Water District’s general manager from 2005 to 2006. The Commission found that petitioner Mendoza’s salary as general manager “was not in consonance with the rate prescribed under the Salary Standardization Law  On July 6, 2009, the Commission on Audit issued the “Notice of Finality of COA Decision”  informing petitioner Mendoza of the finality of the Notice of Disallowance/s. The Commission then instructed the Talisay Water District cashier to withhold petitioner Mendoza’s salaries. Petitioner Mendoza filed his Motion for Reconsideration of the “Notice of Finality of COA Decision.” He assailed the finality of the Notice of Disallowance/s, arguing that he had not personally received a copy of this. This deprived him of the opportunity to answer the Notice immediately. The Commission on Audit denied petitioner Mendoza’s Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit. Petitioner Mendoza filed Petition to set aside the Commission on Audit’s Decision.

Issue: Whether the Petitioner was afforded due process even if he did not personally received the notice of Disallowance.

Held: The Notice of Disallowance/s became final and executory. Petitioner Mendoza was afforded due process despite his claim that he had never personally received a copy of the Notice of Disallowance/s. He was able to file the Motion for Reconsideration. The Commission gave due course to the Motion and ruled on the merits. Petitioner Mendoza, therefore, has been duly afforded an opportunity to explain his side and seek a reconsideration of the ruling he assails, which is the “essence of administrative due process.”

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