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[SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG VALENZUELA CITY v. SK CHAIRPERSON PEDERASYON PRESIDENT JANINE ALEXANDRA R. CARLOS](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c109d6?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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DIVISION

[ GR No. 255453, Nov 24, 2021 ]

SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG VALENZUELA CITY v. SK CHAIRPERSON PEDERASYON PRESIDENT JANINE ALEXANDRA R. CARLOS +

RESOLUTION



THIRD DIVISION

[ G.R. No. 255453, November 24, 2021 ]

SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG VALENZUELA CITY (CITY COUNCIL OF VALENZUELA CITY) AND VICE MAYOR LORENA C. NATIVIDAD-BORJA, CITY COUNCILOR LAILANIE P. NOLASCO, CITY COUNCILOR RAMON L. ENCARNACION, CITY COUNCILOR MARLON PAULO C. ALEJANDRINO, CITY COUNCILOR RICARDO RICARR C. ENRIQUEZ, CITY COUNCILOR KIMBERLY ANN D.V. GALANG, CITY COUNCILOR ANTONIO R. ESPIRITU, CITY COUNCILOR KRISTIAN ROME T. SY, CITY COUNCILOR ROVIN ANDREW M. FELICIANO, CITY COUNCILOR JOSEPH WILLIAM D. LEE, CITY COUNCILOR JENNIFER PINGREE, CITY COUNCILOR MARIA CECILIA V. MAYO, CITY COUNCILOR CRISSHA M. PINEDA, IN THEIR CAPACITY AS MEMBERS OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF VALENZUELA CITY, SK CHAIRPERSON CHIQUI MARIE N. CARREON, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE NEWLY INSTALLED FEDERATION PRESIDENT BY VIRTUE OF THE ASSAILED RESOLUTION, PETITIONERS, VS. SK CHAIRPERSON PEDERASYON PRESIDENT JANINE ALEXANDRA R. CARLOS (EX-OFFICIO MEMBER OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF VALENZUELA CITY), RESPONDENTS.

[G.R. No. 255543]

SK CHAIRPERSON OF BRGY. MARULAS AND PEDERASYON PRESIDENT JANINE ALEXANDRA R. CARLOS (EX-OFFICIO MEMBER OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF VALENZUELA CITY), PETITIONERS, VS. SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG VALENZUELA CITY (CITY COUNCIL OF VALENZUELA CITY) IN THE PERSONS OF VICE MAYOR LORENA C. NATIVIDAD-BORJA, CITY COUNCILOR LAILANIE P. NOLASCO, CITY COUNCILOR RAMON L. ENCARNACION, CITY COUNCILOR MARLON PAULO C. ALEJANDRINO, CITY COUNCILOR RICARDO RICARR C. ENRIQUEZ, CITY COUNCILOR KIMBERLY ANN D.V. GALANG, CITY COUNCILOR ANTONIO R. ESPIRITU, CITY COUNCILOR KRISTIAN ROME T. SY, CITY COUNCILOR ROVIN ANDREW M. FELICIANO, CITY COUNCILOR JOSEPH WILLIAM D. LEE, CITY COUNCILOR JENNIFER PINGREE­-ESPLANA, CITY COUNCILOR CRISSHA M. PINEDA, IN THEIR CAPACITY AS MEMBERS OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF VALENZUELA CITY, SK CHAIRPERSON COLEEN JOANNE DE VERA, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE NEWLY INSTALLED FEDERATION PRESIDENT BY VIRTUE OF THE ASSAILED DECISION. COURT OF APPEALS FORMER 14TH DIVISION, RESPONDENTS.

D E C I S I O N

CARANDANG, J.:

Before this Court are consolidated Petitions for Review on Certiorari[1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court (Rules), assailing the Decision[2] dated June 19, 2019 in CA-G.R. SP No. 160131, the Decision[3] dated June 30, 2020 in CA-G.R. SP No. 162895, and the Consolidated Resolution[4] dated January 13, 2021 of the Court of Appeals (CA).

Facts of the Case

Janine Alexandra R. Carlos, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairperson of Brgy. Marulas, was elected on May 22, 2018. She is also the elected president of the Pederasyon ng mga SK of Valenzuela City (SK Federation) and an ex-officio member of its Sangguniang Panlungsod. During her tenure, the SK Federation observed that she had been remiss in her duties as SK Federation President due to her unjustified absences and uncooperative behavior. It was noted that even after the lapse of several months from the time she assumed office, the SK Federation was unable to start with its projects, programs, or activities because of her absence.[5]

Consequently, in a Resolution[6] dated September 29, 2018, 31 of the 33 members of the SK Federation approved the installation and recognition of SK Federation's Vice President, Chiqui Marie N. Carreon (Carreon), as the new president of the SK Federation. Thereafter, on October 1, 2018, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela City approved Resolution No. 1169[7] series of 2018, recognizing the decision of SK Federation to install Carreon as its new SK Federation president. Hence, Carlos filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), insisting that her removal as SK Federation President and the assumption by Carreon as the new SK Federation President effectively removed her without due process. She added that the SK Federation has no power to pass a resolution to remove her without complying with the provisions of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and National Youth Commission (NYC) Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2017-01,[8] which purportedly mandated that the complaint be lodged with the Office of the President (OP).[9]

Meanwhile, on October 16, 2018, Enrico Mauhay (Mauhay) and Reniel Montanez (Montanez) filed a joint administrative complaint before the Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretariat of Valenzuela City against Carlos. They alleged that despite having assumed office as the SK chairperson for more than three months, Carlos failed to formulate and submit to concerned officials the comprehensive barangay youth development plan and the annual barangay youth investment program pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10742 or the SK Reform Act of 2015.[10]

In her Answer, Carlos argued that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela has no jurisdiction to hear, investigate, or discipline her. Since she was holding the concurrent positions of SK chairperson, SK federation President, and ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela City, she maintained that her removal must be governed by the Local Government Code (LGC).[11]

Ruling of the Sangguniang Panlungsod

On January 21, 2019, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela City rendered its Decision[12] the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, after due deliberations, the Sangguniang Panlungsod acting as a Quasi-Judicial Body finds respondent SK CHAIRMAN JANINE ALEXANDRA R. CARLOS, guilty for Violation of Section 18 (d) RA 10742 or Failure to formulate the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan and the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Program or approve the annual budget within the prescribed period of time without justifiable reason and hereby meted out the penalty of REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. This decision is FINAL and EXECUTORY.

SO ORDERED.[13] (Emphasis and underscoring in the original)
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court

In a Resolution[14] dated February 18, 2019, the RTC dismissed the petition of Carlos for lack of jurisdiction.[15] The RTC ruled that the proper remedy to assail the action of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is an appeal to the OP pursuant to Section 35 and 38 of JMC No. 2017-01 within 30 days from receipt of the decision.[16]

The RTC noted that Carlos herself admitted that she learned of the decision to remove her on October 1, 2018 because she was present during the Sanggunian session when it was taken up. She filed a motion for reconsideration on October 5, 2018 before the Sanggunian but it did not act on it. Hence, on December 3, 2018, she filed a petition for certiorari. The RTC ruled that since there is no provision in JMC No. 2017-01 for the filing of a motion for reconsideration from a decision of the Sanggunian, the petitioner had until November 30, 2018 to appeal to the OP and she failed to do so. Thus, it was held that Carlos' can no longer appeal the assailed decision of the Sanggunian.[17]

Thereafter, Carlos filed two separate appeals to the CA docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. SP No. 162895. In the former case, Carlos assailed her removal as the SK Federation President while in the latter case, she questioned her removal as the SK Chairperson of Brgy. Marulas.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals (in CA-G.R. SP No. 160131)

On June 19, 2019, the CA rendered its Decision,[18] the dispositive portion of which states:
FOR THESE REASONS, the appeal is GRANTED. The Regional Trial Court's Decision dated February 18, 2019 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution No. 1169 series of 2018 is declared VOID for having been rendered without jurisdiction.

SO ORDERED.[19] (Emphasis in the original)
In reversing the RTC, the CA held that it is the OP that has the authority to remove an SK federation president, who is also an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The CA explained that Section 32 of JMC No. 2017-01 is clear that the OP has jurisdiction over any complaint for disciplinary action, suspension, and removal against the president of the SK Federation in a highly urbanized city. With respect to officers other than the president, the complaint must be filed before the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The CA pointed out that the assailed resolution of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is void for want of jurisdiction because Carlos is an SK Federation President of Valenzuela City, a highly urbanized city. Thus, the CA ruled that Carlos can avail of the remedy of certiorari to set aside the void resolution that cannot be perpetuated by a simple reference to the principle of immutability of final judgment.[20]

Ruling of the Court of Appeals (in CA-G.R. SP No. 162895)

In its Decision[21] dated June 30, 2020, the CA affirmed the Decision of the RTC. The CA upheld the validity of the removal of Carlos, explaining that R.A. No. 10742 must govern the removal of an SK official as it is a special and more recent law and should be considered an exception to the Local Government Code (LGC). The CA found that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela duly complied with its promulgated rules and the provisions of R.A. No. 10742 on the removal of Carlos as the SK chairperson of Brgy. Marulas. She was afforded due process and every opportunity to contest the administrative complaint filed against her yet she chose not to participate in the proceedings. The ground relied upon in removing her from her position (i.e. undue failure to formulate the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan and the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Program within the prescribed three month period) is one of the valid grounds for removal under R.A. No. 10742 and she failed to offer any valid excuse for the omission.[22]

In a Resolution[23] dated December 3, 2020, the cases docketed as CA­GR. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. SP No. 162895 were consolidated.[24]

Thereafter, the CA rendered its Consolidated Resolution[25] dated January 13, 2021, the dispositive portion of which states:
ACCORDINGLY, the respective Motions for Reconsideration in CA-G.R. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. SP No. 162895 are DENIED.

Let a copy of this Resolution be FURNISHED to all the parties concerned, former ponente of CA-G.R. SP No. 162895 (Justice Ramon R. Garcia), the Raffle Committee, the Judicial Records Division (Special Cases Section), the Information and Statistical Data Division, the Management and Audit Division, and the Division Clerks of Court of the Seventeenth and Eight Divisions of this Court.
SO ORDERED.[26] (Emphasis in the original)
The CA denied the respective Motions for Reconsideration in CA­G.R. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. No. SP No. 162895.[27] The CA noted that the decisions in both cases recognized that JMC No. 2017-01 only provides for the removal of any officer in an SK Federation of which Carlos was a president. It does not apply to acts or omissions relative to the duties of any SK official whose removal is covered by the provisions of R.A. No. 10742.[28]

In reconciling the seemingly conflicting decisions of the CA in CA­-G.R. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. No. SP No. 162895, it was ruled that since under R.A. No. 10742, the SK Federation shall be composed of the SK chairpersons of barangays in a city, such as Valenzuela, and among them shall be elected a president, upon Carlos' removal as an SK chairperson, she was also effectively removed from her position as the city's SK federation president. Hence, Carlos remained as Valenzuela City's SK federation president prior to her sanctioned removal as SK chairperson of Brgy. Marulas on January 21, 2019. After said date, she ceased to be an SK chairperson, an SK federation president, and an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela, City.[29]

In G.R. No. 255453, the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Valenzuela and its members maintain that the SK Reform Act and JMC No. 2017-01 are silent on non-disciplinary issues involving loss of trust and confidence and/ or absence of leadership in the Pederasyon. As such, they suggest that they should be given leeway and autonomy to act accordingly.[30] They also argue that the Sangguniang Panlungsod is not precluded from acknowledging an action pre-determined by the Pederasyon, especially on matters pertaining to the organization's leadership, in view of Section 22 of the SK Reform Act mandating the Pederasyon President's ex officio membership to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.[31]

Meanwhile, in G.R. No. 255543, Carlos argues that the SK Reform Act did not remove SK Chairpersons from the coverage of Section 60 of the LGC, which conferred the authority to remove elective local officials upon the proper court. The Sangguniang Panlungsod has no authority to remove a duly elected public official.[32] Carlos adds that under Section 16 of the SK Reform Act, the SK chairperson is entitled to the same privileges as the officers of the Sangguniang Barangay, which means that they may only be removed by judicial action.[33] She points out that under the implementing rules of the SK Reform Act, the power to remove an SK chairperson must be in compliance with LGC and that the Sangguniang Panlungsod does not have its own implementing rules and procedures in the manner and procedure of removal of SK elected officials.[34] Assuming, without admitting, that the Sangguniang Panlungsod has authority to remove her, she insists that it gravely abused its discretion when it did not consider the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan and the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Plan she attached to her answer to the administrative complaint against her, which should have been considered substantial compliance.[35]

Upon recommendation of the Division Clerk of Court, the two petitions were consolidated.

Issues

The issues to be resolved in these consolidated petitions are:

1. Whether the Sangguniang Panlungsod of a highly-urbanized city may remove an SK federation president from office;
2. Whether the Sangguniang Panlungsod of a highly-urbanized city may remove an SK chairperson from office without court intervention; and
3. Whether the removal from office of an SK chairperson by the Sangguniang Panlungsod also constitutes the removal of the same officer as the SK federation president.

Ruling of the Court

The concerned Sanggunian cannot remove from office an SK Federation President.
 

Section 32 of JMC No. 01-17 outlines the procedure to be observed in initiating a complaint against an SK federation officer:
SECTION 32. Form and Filing of Complaints. - A verified complaint against any Pederasyon Officer shall be initiated only by any officer or member of the concerned Pederasyon and shall be filed before the following:
 
a. Office of the President, in the case of the Panlalawigan, Panlungsod/Bayan Pederasyon Presidents who are ex­officio members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Panlungsod (HUC, ICC or Component City), and the Pederasyon President of Pateros, NCR, respectively; or

x x x x (Emphasis, italics, and underscoring in the original)
It is clearly provided in the quoted provision that the OP has jurisdiction over the administrative complaint against Carlos as the SK federation president of Valenzuela City. Therefore, Carlos is correct in arguing that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela City acted without jurisdiction in approving Resolution No. 1169 series of 2018, which effectively removed her as SK Federation President and installed Carreon as her replacement.
 
The concerned Sanggunian may remove from office an elected SK official based on any of the grounds enumerated in Section 18, Rule 10742.
 

While the Court finds that Carlos' removal as SK federation president by the Sangguniang Panlungsod was without jurisdiction, her removal as SK chairperson of Brgy. Marulas is consistent with prevailing laws and rules.

Prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 10742, the grounds and manner of suspending or removing an elected official, including elected SK officials, were found in Section 60 of the LGC, which provides:
Section 60. Grounds for Disciplinary Actions. - An elective local official may be disciplined, suspended, or removed from office on any of the following grounds:

(a) Disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines;
(b) Culpable violation of the Constitution;
(c) Dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty;
(d) Commission of any offense involving moral turpitude or an offense punishable by at least prision mayor;
(e) Abuse of authority;
(f) Unauthorized absence for fifteen (15) consecutive working days, except in the case of members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, sangguniang bayan, and sangguniang barangay;
(g) Application for, or acquisition of, foreign citizenship or residence or the status of an immigrant of another country; and
(h) Such other grounds as may be provided in this Code and other laws.

An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated above by order of the proper court.[36] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
However, the quoted provision must be harmonized with the repealing clause in Section 38 of R.A No. 10742 which provides:
Section 36. Repealing Clause. - Sections 329, 423-439 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as "The Local Government Code of 1991"; Section 10 (O) of Republic Act No. 8044, otherwise known as "Youth In Nation­Building Act"; Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act No. 9340, entitled "An Act Amending Republic Act No. 9164, Resetting the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, and for Other Purposes"; all other laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, letters of instruction, rules and regulations or portions thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.[37] (Emphasis supplied)
While Section 60 of the LGC was not expressly mentioned in the repealing clause of R.A. No. 10742, it is clear that the Congress intended to repeal or modify it to the extent applicable to SK officials to make it consistent with the provisions of the SK Reform Act. Therefore, the provision in the LGC mandating intervention by the proper court before removing an elected official is superseded by R.A. No. 10742 insofar as SK officials are concerned.

Fallowing the enactment of the SK Reform Act in 2015, suspension and removal of SK officials may now be carried out by the concerned Sanggunian without court action. Section 18 of R.A. No. 10742 states:
Section 18. Suspension and Removal from Office. - Any elected official of the Sangguniang Kabataan may, after due process, be suspended for not more than six (6) months or removed from office by majority vote of all members of the Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlungsod which has jurisdiction in the barangay of the concerned Sangguniang Kabataan official which shall be final and executory, on any of the following grounds:

x x x x

(d) Failure to formulate the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan and the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Program, or approve the annual budget within the prescribed period of time without justifiable reason;

x x x x (Emphases supplied)
Based on the import of the quoted provision replicated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations, jurisdiction over disciplinary action based on any of the enumerated grounds is with the Sanggunian that has jurisdiction over the concerned SK official.

It is a hornbook doctrine that jurisdiction is conferred by law.[38] Applying the statutory construction maxim of verba legis or the "plain­-meaning" rule, it is clear that in R.A. No. 10742, the original jurisdiction to resolve administrative complaints on the basis of the enumerated grounds in Section 18 is vested in the concerned Sanggunian.
 
The removal of Carlos as SK chairperson of Brgy. Marula necessarily resulted in her removal as the SK federation president of Valenzuela City.
 

To clarify, JMC No. 2017-01 only provides for the removal of any officer in an SK Federation of which Carlos was president. It does not apply to acts or omissions relative to the duties of any SK official whose removal is covered by the provisions of R.A. No. 10742.[39] The mechanism for the removal from office of an SK Federation officer is found in Sections 32 to 38 of JMC No. 2017-01.

Section 21 of R.A. No. 10742 provides:
Section 21. Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan. - (a) There shall be an organization of the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan to be known as follows:

x x x x

(2) In cities, the Panlungsod na Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan which shall be composed of the Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons of barangays in the city; and

x x x x

(b) The Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan shall, at all levels, elect from among themselves a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary and such other officers as they may deem necessary. The concerned Local Government Operations Officer, in coordination with the election officer, shall facilitate the conduct of the elections which shall be held within fifteen (15) days from the Sangguniang Kabataan elections in case of the Pambayan and Panlungsod na Pederasyon, and within thirty (30) days in case of the Panlalawigang Pederasyon.

(c) The manner of election, suspension and removal of the officers of the Pederasyon at all levels and the term of office of the other officers of the Pederasyon shall be governed by the guidelines to be jointly issued by the DILG, the COMELEC and the Commission within sixty (60) days upon the effectivity of this Act.[40]
Based on the quoted provision, the SK Federation shall be composed of the SK chairpersons of barangays in cities, such as Valenzuela, and among them shall be elected a president. Upon Carlos' removal as an SK chairperson, she was also effectively removed from her position as the city's SK federation president. As correctly ruled by the CA, Carlos remained as Valenzuela City's SK federation president prior to her sanctioned removal as SK chairperson of Brgy. Marulas on January 21, 2019. After said date, she ceased to be an SK chairperson, an SK federation president, and an ex­officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Valenzuela, City.

Accordingly, the petition for certiorari Carlos initiated in the RTC to challenge her removal as SK federation president has been rendered moot by her valid removal as SK Chairperson of Brgy. Marulas, Valenzuela City through the Sangguniang Panlungsod because only SK Chairpersons may be elected as SK Federation President.

WHEREFORE, the consolidated Petitions for Review on Certiorari are DENIED. The Consolidated Resolution dated January 13, 2021 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 160131 and CA-G.R. SP No. 162895 is AFFIRMED. The Petition for Writ of Certiorari with Urgent Application for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction Carlos filed in the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City, Branch 284 docketed as Civil Case No. 206-V-18 is DISMISSED for being MOOT and ACADEMIC.

SO ORDERED.

Leonen, Zalameda, Rosario, and Marquez, JJ., concur.


[1] Rollo [G.R. No. 255543], pp. 3-24; rollo [G.R. No. 255453] pp. 127-143.

[2] Penned by Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez (now a Member of this Court), with the concurrence of Associate Justices Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles and Tita Marilyn B. Payoyo-Villordon; rollo [G.R. No. 255453], pp. 41-47.

[3] Penned by Associate Justice Ramon R. Garcia, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Maria Elisa Sempio-Diy and Carlito B. Calpatura; rollo [G.R. No. 255543), pp. 30-42.

[4] Penned by Associate Justice Tita Marilyn B. Payoyo-Villordon, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Pablito A. Perez and Louis P. Acosta; id. at 45-49.

[5] Rollo [G.R. No. 255453], pp. 6-7.

[6] Id. at 109-111.

[7] Id. at 107-109.

[8] Guidelines on the Conduct of Sangguiang Kabataan (SK) Pederasyon Election; and Rules Governing Terms of Office, Suspension and Removal of all SK Pederasyon Officers.

[9] Rollo [G.R. No. 255543], p. 32.

[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] Id. at 51-59.

[13] Id. at 58.

[14] Penned by Presiding Judge Arthur B. Melicor; rollo [G.R. No. 255453], pp. 112-116.

[15] Id. at 116.

[16] Id. at 114-116.

[17] Id.

[18] Supra note 2.

[19] Rollo [G.R. No. 255453], p. 47.

[20] Id. at 46.

[21] Supra note 3.

[22] Rollo [G.R. No. 255543], pp. 41-42.

[23] Rollo [G.R. No. 255453], pp. 158-161.

[24] Id. at 160.

[25] Supra note 4.

[26] Rollo [G.R. No. 255543], pp. 48-49.

[27] Id. at 53.

[28] Id. at 46.

[29] Id. at 48.

[30] Id. at 11-16.

[31] Id. at 16-23.

[32] Id. at 14-18.

[33] Id. at 18-19.

[34] Id. at 19-21.

[35] Id. at 21-23.

[36] Section 60, Republic Act No. 7160.

[37] Section 36, Republic Act No. 10742.

[38] Salvador v. Patricia, Inc., 799 Phil. 116, 126 (2016).

[39] Rollo (G.R. No. 255543), p. 46.

[40] Section 21, Republic Act No. 10742.


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