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SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 145972. March 23, 2004]



IGNACIA BALICAS, petitioner, vs. FACT-FINDING & INTELLIGENCE BUREAU (FFIB),
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, respondent.

D E C I S I O N

QUISUMBING, J.:

1hls peLlLlon for revlew on cerLlorarl assalls Lhe CourL of Appeals' declslon[1] daLed
AugusL 23, 2000 and resoluLlon[2] of november 13, 2000 ln CA-C.8. S no. 36386, whlch
afflrmed Lhe Cmbudsman's declslon[3] dlsmlsslng peLlLloner from governmenL servlce
for gross neglecL of duLy ln connecLlon wlLh Lhe Lragedy aL Lhe Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon ln
AnLlpolo ClLy on AugusL 3, 1999.

1he anLecedenL facLs as summarlzed ln Lhe Cmbudsman's declslon are as follows:

8ased on Lhe evldence adduced by Lhe complalnanL, Lhe followlng ls Lhe chronologlcal
serles of evenLs whlch led Lo Lhe developmenL of Lhe CPS (Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon):

AugusL 28, 1990 - hll[as CorporaLlon, whose prlmary purposes, among oLhers are: Lo
own, develop, subdlvlde, markeL and provlde low-cosL houslng for Lhe poor, was
reglsLered wlLh Lhe SecurlLles and Lxchange Commlsslon (SLC).

lebruary 19, 1991 - Lhen ClLy Mayor uanlel S. Carcla, endorsed Lo Lhe Pouslng and Land
use 8egulaLory 8oard (PLu88) Lhe proposed CPS.

1hereafLer, or on 07 March 1991, based on Lhe favorable recommendaLlons of Mayor
Carcla, respondenL 1An, lssued Lhe rellmlnary Approval and LocaLlonal Clearance
(ALC) for Lhe developmenL of CPS.

Cn !uly 3, 1991, Lhen PLu88 Commlssloner respondenL 1unCALAn lssued
uevelopmenL ermlL no. 91-0216 for land developmenL only" for Lhe enLlre land area
of 12.1034 hecLares covered by 1C1 no. 33083 (now 1C1 208837) and wlLh 1,003
saleable loLs/unlLs wlLh pro[ecL classlflcaLlon 8.. 220 Model A-Soclallzed Pouslng (p. 96,
8ecords), wlLh several condlLlons for lLs developmenL.

1hree (3) days LhereafLer or on !uly 8, 1991, respondenL !ASA8LnC, allowed/granLed Lhe
levellng/earLh-movlng operaLlons of Lhe developmenL pro[ecL of Lhe area sub[ecL Lo
cerLaln condlLlons.

Cn november 18, 1991, Lhen PLu88 Commlssloner AMAuC 8. uLLC8lA lssued
CerLlflcaLe of 8eglsLraLlon no. 91-11-0376 ln favor of CPS, wlLh Llcense Lo Sell no. 91-
11-0392 for Lhe 1,007 loLs/unlLs ln Lhe subdlvlslon.

LvenLually, on uecember 10, 1991, respondenL CLLlSCC lssued Small Scale Mlnlng
ermlL (SSM) no. lv-316 Lo hll[as Lo exLracL and remove 10,000 cu. meLers of fllllng
maLerlals from Lhe area where Lhe CPS ls locaLed.

1hereafLer, or on !anuary 12, 1994, hll[as applled for a Small Scale Mlnlng ermlL
(SSM) under .u. 1899 wlLh Lhe 8lzal rovlnclal CovernmenL Lo exLracL and remove
30,000 meLrlc Lons of fllllng maLerlals per annum on CPS' 2.8 hecLares.

1hus, on !anuary 17, 1994, respondenL MACnC, lnformed LLlLZL8 l. 8Cu8lCuLZ of
hll[as LhaL CPS ls wlLhln Lhe LlS SysLem and as such musL secure LCC from Lhe uLn8.
hll[as was accordlngly lnformed of Lhe maLLer such LhaL lL applled for Lhe lssuance of
LCC from Lhe uLn8-8eglon lv, on lebruary 3, 1994.

Cn March 12, 1994, an lnspecLlon 8eporL allegedly prepared by respondenL 8ALlCAS,
aLLesLed by respondenL 8u1ACulC and approved by respondenL 1CLLn1lnC re: fleld
evaluaLlon Lo Lhe lssuance of LCC, was submlLLed.

ConsequenLly, on Aprll 28, 1994, upon recommendaLlons of respondenL 1CLLn1lnC,
hll[as' appllcaLlon for LCC was approved by respondenL 8lnClL, Lhen 8eglonal
LxecuLlve ulrecLor, uLn8 under LCC-137-81-212-94.

A Mlnlng lleld 8eporL for SSM daLed May 10, 1994 was submlLLed pursuanL Lo Lhe
lnspecLlon reporL prepared by respondenLs CA?L1AnC, lLLlClAnC, PlLAuC and
8u8CCS, based on Lhelr lnspecLlon conducLed on Aprll 23 Lo 29, 1994. 1he reporL
recommended, among oLhers, LhaL Lhe proposed exLracLlon of maLerlals would pose no
adverse effecL Lo Lhe envlronmenL.

8ecords furLher dlsclosed LhaL on AugusL 10, 1994, respondenL 8ALlCAS monlLored Lhe
lmplemenLaLlon of Lhe CPS ro[ecL uevelopmenL Lo check compllance wlLh Lhe Lerms
and condlLlons ln Lhe LCC. Agaln, on AugusL 23, 1993, she conducLed anoLher
monlLorlng on Lhe pro[ecL for Lhe same purpose. ln boLh lnsLances, she noLed LhaL Lhe
pro[ecL was sLlll ln Lhe consLrucLlon sLage hence, compllance wlLh Lhe sLlpulaLed
condlLlons could noL be fully assessed, and Lherefore, a follow-up monlLorlng ls proper.
lL appeared from Lhe records LhaL Lhls AugusL 23, 1993 monlLorlng lnspecLlon was Lhe
lasL one conducLed by Lhe uLn8.

Cn SepLember 24, 1994, CCv. CASlMl8C l. ?nA8LS, !8., approved Lhe SSM applled for
by hll[as under SSM no. 8ZL-012, allowlng hll[as Lo exLracL and remove 30,000 meLrlc
Lons of fllllng maLerlals from Lhe area for a perlod of Lwo (2) years from daLe of lLs lssue
unLll SepLember 6, 1996.[4]

lmmedlaLely afLer Lhe Lraglc lncldenL on AugusL 3, 1999, a facL-flndlng lnvesLlgaLlon was
conducLed by Lhe Cfflce of Lhe Cmbudsman Lhrough lLs lacL-llndlng and lnLelllgence
8ureau (lll8), whlch duly flled an admlnlsLraLlve complalnL wlLh Lhe Cfflce of Lhe
Cmbudsman agalnsL several offlclals of Lhe Pouslng and Land use 8egulaLory 8oard
(PLu88), ueparLmenL of LnvlronmenL and naLural 8esources (uLn8), and Lhe local
governmenL of AnLlpolo.

1he charge agalnsL peLlLloner lnvolved a supposed fallure on her parL Lo monlLor and
lnspecL Lhe developmenL of Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon, whlch was assumed Lo be her duLy
as uLn8 senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL asslgned ln Lhe provlnce of 8lzal.

lor her parL, peLlLloner belled allegaLlons LhaL monlLorlng was noL conducLed, clalmlng
LhaL she monlLored Lhe developmenL of Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon as evldenced by Lhree
(3) monlLorlng reporLs daLed March 12, 1994, AugusL 10, 1994 and AugusL 23, 1993. She
averred LhaL she also conducLed subsequenL compllance monlLorlng of Lhe Lerms and
condlLlons of hll[as' LnvlronmenLal Compllance CerLlflcaLe (LCC) on May 19, 1997 and
noLed no vlolaLlon Lhereon. She furLher clalmed good falLh and exerclse of due
dlllgence, lnslsLlng LhaL Lhe Lragedy was a forLulLous evenL. She reasoned LhaL Lhe
collapse dld noL occur ln Cherry Pllls, buL ln Lhe ad[acenL mounLaln easLern slde of Lhe
subdlvlslon.

Cn november 13, 1999, Lhe Cfflce of Lhe Cmbudsman rendered a declslon lmposlng
upon peLlLloner Lhe supreme penalLy of dlsmlssal from offlce for gross neglecL of duLy
flndlng:

8LSCnuLn1 8ALlCAS

8ecords show LhaL she monlLored and lnspecLed Lhe CPS [Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon] only
Lhrlce (3), Lo wlL:

1. lnspecLlon 8eporL daLed 12 March 1994

2. MonlLorlng 8eporL daLed 10 AugusL 1994

3. MonlLorlng 8eporL daLed 23 AugusL 1993

verlly, wlLh Lhls scanL frequency, how can respondenL 8allcas sweeplngly clalm LhaL
Lhere was no vlolaLlon of LCC compllance and LhaL she had done whaL ls necessary ln
accordance wlLh Lhe regular performance of her duLles. She herself recognlzed Lhe facL
LhaL Lhe collapsed area ls noL Lhe subdlvlslon ln quesLlon buL Lhe ad[acenL mounLaln
easLern slde of Lhe CPS." lL ls lncumbenL upon her Lo esLabllsh Lhe same ln her
monlLorlng and lnspecLlon reporLs and make ob[ecLlve recommendaLlons re: lLs posslble
adverse effecL Lo Lhe envlronmenL and Lo Lhe resldenLs of Lhe CPS and nearby areas.
Per defense LhaL Lhe poslLlon of Lhe CPS shows Lhe lmposslblllLy of checklng Lhe would-
be adverse effecL clearly esLabllshed her lncompeLence. no experL mlnd ls needed Lo
know LhaL mounLalns cause landsllde and eroslon. Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon ls a llvlng
wlLness Lo Lhls.[3]

eLlLloner seasonably flled a peLlLlon for revlew of Lhe Cmbudsman's declslon wlLh Lhe
CourL of Appeals. ln lLs declslon daLed AugusL 23, 2000, Lhe CourL of Appeals dlsmlssed
Lhe peLlLlon for lack of merlL and afflrmed Lhe appealed declslon. lL found LhaL Lhe
landsllde was a prevenLable occurrence and LhaL peLlLloner was gullLy of gross
negllgence ln falllng Lo closely monlLor hll[as' compllance wlLh Lhe condlLlons of Lhe
LCC glven Lhe known lnherenL lnsLablllLy of Lhe ground where Lhe subdlvlslon was
developed. 1he appellaLe courL llkewlse denled peLlLloner's moLlon for reconslderaLlon
ln lLs resoluLlon daLed november 13, 2000.

eLlLloner now comes Lo Lhls CourL for revlew on cerLlorarl, under 8ule 43 of Lhe 8ules
of Clvll rocedure, of Lhe appellaLe courL's declslon. She alleges LhaL Lhe CourL of
Appeals commlLLed serlous errors of law ln afflrmlng Lhe Cmbudsman's concluslon LhaL:

1 1here was gross negllgence on Lhe parL of peLlLloner 8allcas ln Lhe performance of
her offlclal duLles as Senlor LnvlronmenLal ManagemenL SpeclallsL (SLMS) of Lhe
rovlnclal LnvlronmenL and naLural 8esources Cfflce (Ln8C) rovlnce of 8lzal, uLn8
8eglon lv, and Lhe alleged gross neglecL of duLy of peLlLloner warranLed Lhe lmposlLlon
of Lhe exLreme penalLy of dlsmlssal from Lhe servlce.

2. 1he landsllde whlch caused Lhe deaLh of several resldenLs of Lhe subdlvlslon and Lhe
desLrucLlon of properLy ls noL a forLulLous evenL and Lherefore prevenLlble.[6]

1he maln lssues are wheLher or noL Lhe CourL of Appeals commlLLed serlous errors of
law ln: (1) holdlng peLlLloner gullLy of gross neglecL of duLy and (2) lmposlng upon her
Lhe exLreme penalLy of dlsmlssal from offlce.

ln order Lo ascerLaln lf Lhere had been gross neglecL of duLy, we have Lo look aL Lhe
lawfully prescrlbed duLles of peLlLloner. unforLunaLely, uLn8 regulaLlons are sllenL on
Lhe speclflc duLles of a senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL. lnLernal
regulaLlons merely speak of Lhe funcLlons of Lhe rovlnclal LnvlronmenL and naLural
8esources Cfflce (Ln8C) Lo whlch peLlLloner dlrecLly reporLs.

noneLheless, peLlLloner relles on a leLLer[7] daLed uecember 13, 1999 from Lhe chlef of
personnel, uLn8 8eglon lv, whlch deflnes Lhe duLles of a senlor envlronmenLal
managemenL speclallsL as follows:

1. ConducLs lnvesLlgaLlon of polluLlon sources or complalnLs,

2. 8evlew[s] plans and speclflcaLlons of proposes (slc) or exlsLlng LreaLmenL planLs and
polluLlon abaLemenL sLrucLures and devlces Lo deLermlne Lhelr efflclency and sulLablllLy
for Lhe klnd of polluLanLs Lo be removed and Lo recommend lssuance or denlal of
permlLs,

3. ConducLs follow-up lnspecLlon of consLrucLlon of polluLlon abaLemenL/work and
sLrucLures Lo oversee compllance wlLh approved plans and speclflcaLlons,

4. 8ecommends remedlal measures for Lhe prevenLlon, abaLemenL and conLrol of
polluLlon,

3. repares Lechnlcal reporLs on polluLlon lnvesLlgaLlon and relaLed acLlvlLles, and

6. erforms relaLed work as asslgned.

lL ls readlly apparenL LhaL no monlLorlng duLy whaLsoever ls menLloned ln Lhe sald leLLer.
1he Ln8C, on Lhe oLher hand, ls mandaLed Lo:

1. conducL survelllance and lnspecLlon of polluLlon sources and conLrol faclllLles and
underLake/lnlLlaLe measures relaLlve Lo polluLlon-relaLed complalnLs of Lhe general
publlc for approprlaLe referral Lo Lhe reglonal offlce,

2. commenL on Lhe pro[ecL descrlpLlon, deLermlne lf Lhe pro[ecL fall wlLhln Lhe
LnvlronmenLal lmpacL SLaLemenL (LlS) SysLem[8] and submlL Lhe same Lo Lhe reglonal
offlce, and

3. lmplemenL programs and pro[ecLs relaLed Lo envlronmenLal managemenL wlLhln Lhe
Ln8C.[9]

ln addlLlon, Lhe Ln8C ls llkewlse Lasked Lo monlLor Lhe pro[ecL proponenL's compllance
wlLh Lhe condlLlons sLlpulaLed ln Lhe LCC, wlLh supporL from Lhe uLn8 reglonal offlce
and Lhe LnvlronmenLal ManagemenL 8ureau.[10] 1he prlmary purpose of compllance
monlLorlng ls Lo ensure Lhe [udlclous lmplemenLaLlon of sound and sLandard
envlronmenLal quallLy durlng Lhe developmenL sLage of a parLlcular pro[ecL. Speclflcally,
lL alms Lo:

1. monlLor pro[ecL compllance wlLh Lhe condlLlons seL ln Lhe LCC,

2. monlLor compllance wlLh Lhe LnvlronmenLal ManagemenL lan (LM) and appllcable
laws, rules and regulaLlons, and

3. provlde a basls for Llmely declslon-maklng and effecLlve plannlng and managemenL of
envlronmenLal measures Lhrough Lhe monlLorlng of acLual pro[ecL lmpacLs vls-a-vls
predlcLed lmpacLs ln Lhe LlS.[11]

8ased on Lhe foregolng, Lhe monlLorlng duLles of Lhe Ln8C malnly deal wlLh broad
envlronmenLal concerns, parLlcularly polluLlon abaLemenL. 1hls general monlLorlng duLy
ls appllcable Lo all Lypes of physlcal developmenLs LhaL may adversely lmpacL on Lhe
envlronmenL, wheLher houslng pro[ecLs, lndusLrlal slLes, recreaLlonal faclllLles, or
sclenLlflc underLaklngs.

Powever, a more speclflc monlLorlng duLy ls lmposed on Lhe PLu88 as Lhe sole
regulaLory body for houslng and land developmenL. lL ls mandaLed Lo encourage greaLer
prlvaLe secLor parLlclpaLlon ln low-cosL houslng Lhrough (1) llberallzaLlon of
developmenL sLandards, (2) slmpllflcaLlon of regulaLlons and (3) decenLrallzaLlon of
approvals for permlLs and llcenses.[12]

.u. no. 1386[13] prescrlbes Lhe followlng duLles on Lhe PLu88 (Lhen MlnlsLry of Puman
SeLLlemenLs) ln connecLlon wlLh envlronmenLally crlLlcal pro[ecLs requlrlng an LCC:

SLC1lCn 4. resldenLlal roclamaLlon of LnvlronmenLally CrlLlcal Areas and ro[ecLs. -
1he resldenL of Lhe hlllpplnes may, on hls own lnlLlaLlve or upon recommendaLlon of
Lhe naLlonal LnvlronmenL roLecLlon Councll, by proclamaLlon declare cerLaln pro[ecLs,
underLaklngs or areas ln Lhe counLry as envlronmenLally crlLlcal. no person, parLnershlp
or corporaLlon shall underLake or operaLe any such declared envlronmenLally crlLlcal
pro[ecL or area wlLhouL flrsL securlng an LnvlronmenLal Compllance CerLlflcaLe lssued by
Lhe resldenL or hls duly auLhorlzed represenLaLlve. lor Lhe proper managemenL of sald
crlLlcal pro[ecL or area, Lhe resldenL may by hls proclamaLlon reorganlze such
governmenL offlces, agencles, lnsLlLuLlons, corporaLlons or lnsLrumenLallLles lncludlng
Lhe re-allgnmenL of governmenL personnel, and Lhelr speclflc funcLlons and
responslblllLles.

lor Lhe same purpose as above, Lhe MlnlsLry of Puman SeLLlemenLs [now PLu88] shall:
(a) prepare Lhe proper land or waLer use paLLern for sald crlLlcal pro[ecL(s) or area(s), (b)
esLabllsh amblenL envlronmenLal quallLy sLandards, (c) develop a program of
envlronmenLal enhancemenL or proLecLlve measures agalnsL calamlLous facLors such as
earLhquake, floods, waLer eroslon and oLhers, and (d) perform such oLher funcLlons as
may be dlrecLed by Lhe resldenL from Llme Lo Llme. (Lmphasls ours.)

1he legal duLy Lo monlLor houslng pro[ecLs, llke Lhe Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon, agalnsL
calamlLles such as landslldes due Lo conLlnuous raln, ls clearly placed on Lhe PLu88, noL
on Lhe peLlLloner as Ln8C senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL. ln facL, Lhe
law lmposes no clear and dlrecL duLy on peLlLloner Lo perform such narrowly deflned
monlLorlng funcLlon.

ln Lhe relaLed case of rlnclpe v. lacL-llndlng and lnLelllgence 8ureau,[14] Lhls CourL
found AnLonlo rlnclpe, reglonal execuLlve dlrecLor for uLn8 8eglon lv who approved
hll[as' appllcaLlon for LCC, noL llable for gross neglecL of duLy. 1he CourL reversed Lhe
declslon of Lhe CourL of Appeals and Lhereby annulled Lhe declslon of Lhe Cmbudsman
ln CM8-AuM-09-661, daLed uecember 1, 1999, dlsmlsslng rlnclpe from Lhe
governmenL servlce. We ordered hls relnsLaLemenL wlLh back pay and wlLhouL loss of
senlorlLy.[13]

1he raLlonale for our declslon ln rlnclpe bears relLeraLlon: Lhe responslblllLy of
monlLorlng houslng and land developmenL pro[ecLs ls noL lodged wlLh Lhe uLn8, buL
wlLh Lhe PLu88 as Lhe sole regulaLory body for houslng and land developmenL. 1hus,
we musL sLress LhaL we flnd no legal basls Lo hold peLlLloner, who ls an offlcer of uLn8,
llable for gross neglecL of Lhe duLy perLalnlng Lo anoLher agency, Lhe PLu88. lL was
grave error for Lhe appellaLe courL Lo susLaln Lhe Cmbudsman's rullng LhaL she should
be dlsmlssed from Lhe servlce. 1he relnsLaLemenL of peLlLloner ls clearly called for.

WPL8LlC8L, Lhe peLlLlon ls hereby C8An1Lu. 1he CourL of Appeals' declslon afflrmlng
Lhe Cmbudsman's dlsmlssal of peLlLloner lCnAClA 8ALlCAS from offlce ls 8LvL8SLu and
SL1 ASluL, and peLlLloner's 8LlnS1A1LMLn1 Lo her poslLlon wlLh back pay and wlLhouL
loss of senlorlLy rlghLs ls hereby ordered.

SC C8uL8Lu.

uno, (Chalrman), AusLrla-MarLlnez, Calle[o, Sr., and 1lnga, !!., concur.

[1] 8ollo, pp. 30-38. enned by AssoclaLe !usLlce Pllarlon L. Aqulno, wlLh AssoclaLe !usLlces
8uenavenLura !. Cuerrero and Mercedes Cozo-uadole concurrlng.

[2] ld. aL 39.

[3] CA 8ollo, pp. 26-79.

[4] 8ollo, pp. 30-32.

[3] CA 8ollo, pp. 70-71.

[6] 8ollo, p. 16.

[7] CA 8ollo, p. 416.

[8] resldenLlal uecree no. 1386 deflnes Lhe LlS sysLem as:

SLC1lCn 2. LnvlronmenLal lmpacL SLaLemenL SysLem. - 1here ls hereby esLabllshed an LnvlronmenLal
lmpacL SLaLemenL SysLem founded and based on Lhe envlronmenLal lmpacL sLaLemenL requlred,
under SecLlon 4 of resldenLlal uecree no. 1131, of all agencles and lnsLrumenLallLles of Lhe naLlonal
governmenL, lncludlng governmenL-owned or conLrolled corporaLlons, as well as prlvaLe corporaLlons,
flrms and enLlLles, for every proposed pro[ecL and underLaklng whlch slgnlflcanLly affecL Lhe quallLy of
Lhe envlronmenL.

[9] 8evlsed 8egulaLlons on Lhe uellneaLlon of luncLlons and uelegaLlon of AuLhorlLles ursuanL Lo
LxecuLlve Crder no. 192. uLn8 AdmlnlsLraLlve Crder no. 38-90.

[10] uLn8 AdmlnlsLraLlve Crder no. 96-37.

[11] rocedural Manual for uLn8 AdmlnlsLraLlve Crder no. 96-37.

[12] LxecuLlve Crder no. 90, daLed uecember 17, 1986.

[13] CLherwlse known as Lhe LnvlronmenLal lmpacL SLaLemenL SysLem law, whlch Look effecL on !une
11, 1978.

[14] C.8. no. 143973, 23 !anuary 2002, 374 SC8A 460.

[13] ld. aL 470.


























8ALlCAS vs. lll8, ClllCL Cl 1PL CM8uuSMAn

C. 8. no. 143972

March 23, 2004

lAC1S: ln Lhe developmenL of Lhe Cherry Pllls Subdlvlslon (CPS), hll[as applled for Lhe
lssuance of LCC from Lhe uLn8-8eglon lv

8espondenL 8ALlCAS, Ln8C senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL, monlLored Lhe
lmplemenLaLlon of Lhe CPS ro[ecL uevelopmenL Lo check compllance wlLh Lhe Lerms and
condlLlons ln Lhe LCC. She conducLed anoLher monlLorlng on Lhe pro[ecL for Lhe same
purpose. ln boLh lnsLances, she noLed LhaL Lhe pro[ecL was sLlll ln Lhe consLrucLlon sLage
hence, compllance wlLh Lhe sLlpulaLed condlLlons could noL be fully assessed, and Lherefore,
a follow-up monlLorlng ls proper. lL appeared from Lhe records LhaL Lhls AugusL 23, 1993
monlLorlng lnspecLlon was Lhe lasL one conducLed by Lhe uLn8.

lmmedlaLely afLer Lhe Lraglc lncldenL on AugusL 3, 1999, a facL-flndlng lnvesLlgaLlon was
conducLed by Lhe Cfflce of Lhe Cmbudsman Lhrough lLs lacL-llndlng and lnLelllgence 8ureau
(lll8), whlch duly flled an admlnlsLraLlve complalnL wlLh Lhe Cfflce of Lhe Cmbudsman
agalnsL several offlclals of Lhe Pouslng and Land use 8egulaLory 8oard (PLu88), ueparLmenL
of LnvlronmenL and naLural 8esources (uLn8), and Lhe local governmenL of AnLlpolo.

1he charge agalnsL peLlLloner lnvolved a supposed fallure on her parL Lo monlLor and lnspecL
Lhe developmenL of CPS, whlch was assumed Lo be her duLy as uLn8 senlor envlronmenLal
managemenL speclallsL asslgned ln Lhe provlnce of 8lzal.

lor her parL, peLlLloner belled allegaLlons LhaL monlLorlng was noL conducLed, clalmlng LhaL
she monlLored Lhe developmenL of CPS as evldenced by 3 monlLorlng reporLs .She furLher
clalmed good falLh and exerclse of due dlllgence, lnslsLlng LhaL Lhe Lragedy was a forLulLous
evenL. She reasoned LhaL Lhe collapse dld noL occur ln Cherry Pllls, buL ln Lhe ad[acenL
mounLaln easLern slde of Lhe subdlvlslon.

1he Cfflce of Lhe Cmbudsman rendered a declslon lmposlng upon peLlLloner Lhe supreme
penalLy of dlsmlssal from offlce for gross neglecL of duLy.

eLlLloner seasonably flled a peLlLlon for revlew of Lhe Cmbudsmans declslon wlLh Lhe CA.
1he CourL of Appeals dlsmlssed Lhe peLlLlon for lack of merlL and afflrmed Lhe appealed
declslon. lL found LhaL Lhe landsllde was a prevenLable occurrence and LhaL peLlLloner was
gullLy of gross negllgence ln falllng Lo closely monlLor hll[as compllance wlLh Lhe condlLlons
of Lhe LCC glven Lhe known lnherenL lnsLablllLy of Lhe ground where Lhe subdlvlslon was
developed. 1he appellaLe courL llkewlse denled peLlLloners moLlon for reconslderaLlon.

1hls peLlLlon for revlew on cerLlorarl

lSSuL: WCn 8allcas ls gullLy of gross neglecL of duLy

PLLu: Lhe peLlLlon ls hereby C8An1Lu, 1he CA declslon afflrmlng Lhe Cmbudsmans dlsmlssal
of peLlLloner lCnAClA 8ALlCAS from offlce ls 8LvL8SLu and SL1 ASluL, and peLlLloners
8LlnS1A1LMLn1 Lo her poslLlon wlLh back pay and wlLhouL loss of senlorlLy rlghLs ls hereby
ordered.

nC

ln order Lo ascerLaln lf Lhere had been gross neglecL of duLy, we have Lo look aL Lhe lawfully
prescrlbed duLles of peLlLloner. unforLunaLely, uLn8 regulaLlons are sllenL on Lhe speclflc
duLles of a senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL. lnLernal regulaLlons merely speak
of Lhe funcLlons of Lhe rovlnclal LnvlronmenL and naLural 8esources Cfflce (Ln8C) Lo
whlch peLlLloner dlrecLly reporLs.

1Lhe monlLorlng duLles of Lhe Ln8C malnly deal wlLh broad envlronmenLal concerns,
parLlcularly polluLlon abaLemenL. 1hls general monlLorlng duLy ls appllcable Lo all Lypes of
physlcal developmenLs LhaL may adversely lmpacL on Lhe envlronmenL, wheLher houslng
pro[ecLs, lndusLrlal slLes, recreaLlonal faclllLles, or sclenLlflc underLaklngs.

Powever, a more speclflc monlLorlng duLy ls lmposed on Lhe PLu88 as Lhe sole regulaLory
body for houslng and land developmenL.

.u. no. 1386 prescrlbes Lhe followlng duLles on Lhe PLu88 (Lhen MlnlsLry of Puman
SeLLlemenLs) ln connecLlon wlLh envlronmenLally crlLlcal pro[ecLs requlrlng an LCC:

SLC1lCn 4. resldenLlal roclamaLlon of LnvlronmenLally CrlLlcal Areas and ro[ecLs. 1he
resldenL of Lhe hlllpplnes may, on hls own lnlLlaLlve or upon recommendaLlon of Lhe
naLlonal LnvlronmenL roLecLlon Councll, by proclamaLlon declare cerLaln pro[ecLs,
underLaklngs or areas ln Lhe counLry as envlronmenLally crlLlcal. no person, parLnershlp or
corporaLlon shall underLake or operaLe any such declared envlronmenLally crlLlcal pro[ecL or
area wlLhouL flrsL securlng an LnvlronmenLal Compllance CerLlflcaLe lssued by Lhe resldenL
or hls duly auLhorlzed represenLaLlve. lor Lhe proper managemenL of sald crlLlcal pro[ecL or
area, Lhe resldenL may by hls proclamaLlon reorganlze such governmenL offlces, agencles,
lnsLlLuLlons, corporaLlons or lnsLrumenLallLles lncludlng Lhe re-allgnmenL of governmenL
personnel, and Lhelr speclflc funcLlons and responslblllLles.

lor Lhe same purpose as above, Lhe MlnlsLry of Puman SeLLlemenLs [now PLu88] shall:

(a) prepare Lhe proper land or waLer use paLLern for sald crlLlcal pro[ecL(s) or area(s),

(b) esLabllsh amblenL envlronmenLal quallLy sLandards,

(c) develop a program of envlronmenLal enhancemenL or proLecLlve measures agalnsL
calamlLous facLors such as earLhquake, floods, waLer eroslon and oLhers, and

(d) perform such oLher funcLlons as may be dlrecLed by Lhe resldenL from Llme Lo Llme.

1he legal duLy Lo monlLor houslng pro[ecLs, llke Lhe CP, agalnsL calamlLles such as
landslldes due Lo conLlnuous raln, ls clearly placed on Lhe PLu88, noL on Lhe peLlLloner as
Ln8C senlor envlronmenLal managemenL speclallsL. ln facL, Lhe law lmposes no clear and
dlrecL duLy on peLlLloner Lo perform such narrowly deflned monlLorlng funcLlon.