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G.R. No. L-33237 April 15, 1988

GREGORIO T. CRESPO, in His Cp!i"# s $#or o% C&io, N'() E!i*, petitioner,
PRO+INCIAL ,OAR- O. N/E+A ECI0A n1 PE-RO T. 23COCO, respondents.
Bernardo P. Abesamis for petitioner.
Cecilio F. Wycoco for respondents.

Petitioner was the elected Municipal Mayor of Caiao, Nueva Eci!a, in the local elections of "#$%. On
&' (anuary "#%", an ad)inistrative co)plaint was filed a*ainst hi) y private respondent, Pedro +.
,ycoco for harass)ent, ause of authority and oppression.
-s re.uired, petitioner filed a written
e/planation as to why he should not e dealt with ad)inistrdatively, with the Provincial 0oard of Nueve
Eci!a, in accordance with Section ', 1epulic -ct No. '"2'.
On "' 3eruary "#%", without notifyin* petitioner or his counsel, pulic respondent Provincial 0oard
conducted a hearin* of the aforecited ad)inistrative case. Durin* the hearin*, private respondent
Pedro +. ,ycoco was allowed to present evidence, testi)onial and docu)entary, ex parte, and on
the asis of the evidence presented, the respondent Provincial 0oard passed 1esolution No. '"
preventively suspendin* petitioner fro) his office as )unicipal )ayor of Caiao, Nueva Eci!a.
In this petition for certiorari, prohiition and in!unction with prayer for preli)inary in!unction, petitioner
see4s to annul and set aside 1esolution No. '" of pulic respondent Provincial 0oard, preventively
suspendin* hi) fro) office and to en!oin pulic respondent fro) enforcin* and5or i)ple)entin* the
order of preventive suspension and fro) proceedin* further with the ad)inistrative case.
-ccordin* to petitioner, the order of preventive suspension e)odied in 1esolution No. '" issued y
the Provincial 0oard is aritrary, hi*h6handed, atrocious, shoc4in* and *rossly violative of Section '
of 1epulic -ct No. '"2' which re.uires a hearin* and investi*ation of the truth or falsity of char*es
efore preventive suspension is allowed. In issuin* the order of preventive suspension, the
respondent Provincial 0oard, petitioner adds, has *rossly violated the funda)ental and ele)entary
principles of due process.
On 7 May "#%", this Court issued a preli)inary in!unction.
,e a*ree with the petitioner that he was
denied due process y respondent Provincial 0oard.
In Callanta vs. Carnation Philippines, Inc.
this Court held8
It is a principle in -)erican !urisprudence which, undoutedly, is well6reco*ni9ed in
this !urisdiction that one:s e)ploy)ent, profession, trade or callin* is a ;property
ri*ht,; and the wron*ful interference therewith is an actionale wron*. +he ri*ht is
considered to e property within the protection of a constitutional *uaranty of due
process of law.
<ndoutedly, the order of preventive suspension was issued without *ivin* the petitioner a chance to
e heard. +o controvert the clai) of petitioner that he was not fully notified of the scheduled hearin*,
respondent Provincial 0oard, in its Me)orandu), contends that ;-tty. 0ernardo M. -esa)is,
counsel for the petitioner )ayor )ade 4nown y a re.uest in writin*, sent to the Secretary of the
Provincial 0oard his desire to e *iven opportunity to ar*ue the e/planation of the said petitioner
)ayor at the usual ti)e of the respondent 0oard:s )eetin*, ut unfortunately, inspire of the ti)e
allowed for the counsel for the petitioner )ayor to appear as re.uested y hi), he failed to appeal.;
+he contention of the Provincial 0oard cannot stand alone in the asence of proof or evidence to
support it. Moreover, in the proceedin*s held on "' 3eruary "#%", nothin* therein can e *athered
that, in issuin* the assailed order, the written e/planation su)itted y petitioner was ta4en into
account. +he assailed order was issued )ainly on the asis of the evidence presented ex parte y
respondent ,ycoco.
In Azul vs. Castro,
this Court said8
3ro) the earliest inception of instutional *overn)ent in our country, the concepts of
notice and hearin* have een funda)ental. - fair and enli*htened syste) of !ustice
would e i)possile without the ri*ht to notice and to e oard. +he e)phasis on
sustantive due process and other recent ra)ifications of the due process clause
so)eti)es leads ench and ar to overloo4 or for*et that due process was initially
concerned with fair procedure. Every law student early learns in law school definition
su)itted y counsel Mr. ,ester in rustees of !artmouth Colle"e v. Wood#ard =>
,heat. '"2? that due process is the e.uivalent of law of the land which )eans ;+he
*eneral law@ a law which hears efore it conde)ns, which proceedin* upon in.uiry
and renders !ud*)ent only after trial ... that every citi9en shall hold his life, lierty,
property, and i))unities under the protection of the *eneral rules which *overn
- sportin* opportunity to e heard and the rendition of !ud*)ent only after a lawful
hearin* y a coldly neutral and i)partial !ud*e are essential ele)ents of procedural
due process.
,e had occasion to e)phasi9e in $antia"o v. $antos =$7 SC1- 7#&?, which, unli4e
the case efore us now, was only a su))ary action for e!ect)ent that8
In an adversary proceedin*, fairness and prudence dictate that a
!ud*)ent, ased only on plaintiffs evidence adduced ex parte and
rendered without hearin* defendant:s evidence, should e avoided as
)uch as possile. In order that ias )ay not e i)puted to the !ud*e,
he should have the patience and circu)spection to *ive the opposin*
party a chance to present his evidence even if he thin4s that the
oppositor:s proof )i*ht not e ade.uate to overthrow the case for the
plaintiff. - display of petulance and i)patience in the conduct of the
trial is a nor) of conduct which is inconsistent with the ;cold neutrality
of an i)partial !ud*e;.
+he petition, however, has eco)e )oot and acade)ic. 1ecords do not show that in the last local
elections held on "2 (anuary "#22, petitioner was elected to any pulic office.
,AE1E3O1E, the petition is DISMISSED. +he preli)inary in!unction issued y this Court on 7 May
"#%" is BI3+ED. No costs.
%ap, &elencio'(errera, Paras and $armiento, ))., concur.

" -nne/ 1ollo, pp. ""6"&.
& -nne/ 0, 1ollo, pp. "%6"#.
7 -nne/ E, 1ollo, pp. &767&.
> Petition, pp. 76'.
' 1ollo, p. $%.
$ ">' SC1- &$2.
% Ibid, pp. &%26&%#.
2 Me)orandu) for the 1espondent Provincial 0oard, p. >.
# "77 SC1- &%".
"C Ibid., p. &%$.