Quasi-Judicial Powers of Sanggunian
Section 1. DEFINITION OF TERMS. – For purposes of this Ordinance the following terms are hereby defined as:
- QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER – refers to incidental power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to hear and determine controversies outside of its legislative duty or power, as the power to hear and determine or ascertain facts and decide cases by the application of the rules of the law in the enforcement and administration of justice. It is different from the investigation in aid of legislation. It is exercised by the Sangguniang Panlungsod thru its Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights whose findings and decisions shall be concurred by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc.
- COMMITTEE – refers to the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
- VERIFIED COMPLAINT – refers to a verified written statement under oath by a person who has personal knowledge of the facts complained of therein, alleging the complainants’ cause of action against any elective barangay official and shall include the names and addresses of the parties to the case.
- SUBPOENA – is an order of the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights requiring a certain individual to appear and testify before it, in which case it is known as subpoena ad testificandum. It may also require a certain individual to appear before the said committee to produce relevant material documents, in which case it is known as subpoena duces tecum.
- DUE PROCESS – is that which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial. It requires notice and opportunity to be heard before judgment is rendered.
- SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE – refers to such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support as conclusion.
- DISCIPLINARY ACTION – is a mode of correction or punishment for certain unlawful conduct, behavior or actuations of elective barangay officials in connection with the performance of their powers, functions and duties, as prescribed by law, or in relation to their public office, based on grounds specified therein.
- ABUSE OF AUTHORITY – exercise use of power or authority unbefitting of a public official; acts committed in excess of one’s power or authority as conferred on him/her by law or outside of one’s duties and functions. It includes the use of such discretion in such a way as to deprive a person of his/her right or of the remedy to protect or enforce such right.
- CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION – a deliberate or willfull or intentional violation of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
- DISHONESTY – concealment of truth in a matter of fact relevant to one’s office or connected with the performance of his/her duties.
- OPPRESSION – means an act of cruelty, severity, unlawful exaction, domination or excessive use of authority.
- MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE – means maladministration or willful, intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the office. It is a transgression of some established and definite rule of conduct, more particularly unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the public officer. Misconduct, whether involving dishonesty, oppression or any form of misdeeds must comprehend a wrongful intention and not a mere error of judgment. It must be a misconduct that effects the performance of duties as a public officer and not as a private individual.
- GROSS NEGLECT OF DUTY- there is gross neglect of duty when the omission or refusal, without sufficient excuse, to perform an act or duty, when it was the officer’s legal obligation to perform, is flagrant and palpable.
- DERELICTION OF DUTY – means deliberate, conscious or willful neglect of duty.
- DISLOYALTY TO THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES – an act seeking to remove allegiance from the Republic of the Philippines such as for instance, rebellion or insurrection.
- ACTS INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE – these are acts considered immoral in themselves as contra distinguished from acts which are considered wrong because they are prohibited by law.
- PUBLIC OFFICIAL – is any person who, by direct provision of law, popular election or appointment by competent authority, takes part in the performance of public functions in the government as an employee, agent or subordinate official, or any rank or class.
- PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION – is a disciplinary sanction imposed by the City Mayor upon the recommendation of the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights and concurred by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc. It is a temporary withdrawal or separation from office of the elective barangay official, who is the subject of the administrative complaint, after the issues in the said complaint has been joined when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and evidence. This should not be construed as a penalty.
- PUNITIVE SUSPENSION – is a penalty recommended by the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights, concurred by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc and enforced by the City Mayor. It is a temporary withdrawal or separation from office of the elective barangay official, who is the subject of an administrative complaint, after the investigation of his/her case.
- CENSURE- means severe disapproval, criticism or condemnation of an official action of an elective barangay official.
- REPRIMAND – is almost synonymous with censure. It is a formal and public censure, or severe reproof, administered to a respondent elective barangay official by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc.
Section 2. COVERAGE. – These rules shall apply only to administrative complaint against any elective barangay official that may be filed with the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Section 3. LEGAL BASIS OF THE QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD. – the quasi-judicial power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is based on Section 61 (c) which provides that a complaint against any elective barangay official shall be filed before the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan concerned whose decision shall be final and executory, and Section 67 (Administrative Appeals) which provides that the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities may be appealed to the Office of the President.
Section 4. NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS. – the proceedings that may be conducted by the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights shall be governed by this Ordinance and the pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160). It is summary in nature and shall not be bound by the rules on evidence which may be applied suppletorily. It is a must, however, that due process of law must be observed.
Section 5. GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS. – An elective barangay official may be censured, reprimanded, suspended, or removed from office after due notice and hearing on any of the following grounds:
- disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines;
- culpable violation of the Constitution;
- dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty;
- commission of any offense involving moral turpitude, or an offense punishable by at least six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years imprisonment;
- abuse of authority;
- unauthorized absence for fifteen (15) consecutive working days, in the case of the Punong Barangay, and four (4) consecutive sessions for the other members of the Sangguniang Barangay;
- application for, or acquisition of, foreign citizenship or residence or the status of an immigrant of another country; and
- such other ground as may be provided by R.A. 7160; R.A. 6713; R.A. 3019; Administrative Order of 1987; Revised Penal Code and all other general and special laws.
An elective barangay official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated above by order of the proper court or by the City Mayor and recommended by the Sangguniang Panlungsod as the disciplining authority whichever first acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of the other.
Section 6. AUTHORITY OF THE COMMITTEE ON BLUE RIBBON, JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS TO HEAR AND DECIDE THE CASE. –
(a) The Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights is hereby authorized to conduct investigation on complaint against any elective barangay official. It can hear and decide it. Its findings and decision, however, shall be with the concurrence of the majority of all the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc.
(b) The findings and decision of the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights shall be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod on its regular session for concurrence, and a resolution concurring said findings and decision shall be calendared for this purpose.
Section 7. FORM AND FILING OF ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT AND RULES OF PROCEDURE IN THE CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATION. –
(a) A verified complaint with the copies of the affidavits of witnesses and other supporting documents against any elective barangay official may be filed by any person or entity before the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The complainant shall furnish the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) thru its office in the City a copy of the complaint. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, thru its Presiding Officer, shall forward it to the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights;
(b) Within seven (7) days after the administrative complaint is filed, the committee shall notify the respondent about it. Attached to the notice is a copy of the verified complaint. The notice shall require the respondent to file his/her answer with the copy of the witnesses and supporting documents within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof;
(c) The unreasonable failure of the respondent to file his/her verified answer with the copies of the witnesses and other supporting documents within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the notice for him/her to file his/her answer shall be considered a waiver of his/her right to present evidence in his/her behalf.
(d) The committee shall commence the investigation within ten (10) days from the date of receipt of the answer of respondent. Should there be no answer, the investigation shall proceed without the evidence and presence of the respondent. If the investigation is suspended within the period of ninety (90) days immediately prior to any local election, the same shall resume after said period;
(e) The investigation shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from the start thereof, after which it shall be decided within thirty (30) days;
(f) The complainant shall be the first one to present his/her evidence. This shall be followed by the presentation of the evidence of the respondent. Any witness who may be presented in the proceedings shall be under oath. Any part may ask the committee for the issuance of a subpoena adtestificandum for a witness to appear and testify in the proceedings. If the complainant fails or refuses to present his/her evidence, the complaint shall be dismissed. If the respondent fails or refuses to present his/her evidence, the case shall be decided on the basis of the evidence presented by the complainant;
(g) Only the original or certified true copy of a document shall be admitted as documentary evidence. Any party to the administrative case may ask the committee to issue a subpoena duces tecum for the production of relevant document;
(h) Any party who asks the Committee for the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum or subpoena duces tecum shall first show to the committee the relevance and materiality of the testimony of the person to testify and/or of the document he/she wishes to be produced;
(i) In case of disobedience of any subpoena of the committee, the said committee may seek, thru a proper petition, the aid of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in General Santos City to cite the disobedient person in indirect contempt of court.
Section 8. VENUE. – The place of the investigation shall be only in General Santos City and must be within the legislative building of the General Santos City should there be any, or within the building where the Sangguniang Panlungsod is housed.
Section 9. That parties to the administrative case shall be accorded the opportunity to appear in person or by counsel.
Section 10. MOTION TO DISMISS NOT ALLOWED; EXCEPTION – except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, no motion to dismiss shall be entertained.
Section 11. QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE. – The quantum (amount) of evidence to sustain culpability of the respondent must be substantial.
Section 12. PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION. – Preventive Suspension may be imposed by the City Mayor upon the recommendation of the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights as concurred by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc. It may be recommended by the committee subject to following guidelines:
(a) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issue of the case are joined, when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is a great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and evidence;
(b) Any single preventive suspension of elective barangay official shall not extend beyond sixty (60) days;
(c) In the event that several administrative cases are filed against an elective barangay official, he/she cannot be placed under preventive suspension for more than ninety (90) days within a single year on the same ground or grounds existing and known at the time of the first suspension;
(d) Upon the expiration of the preventive suspension, the suspended elective barangay official shall be deemed reinstated in office without prejudice to the continuation of the proceedings against him/her, which shall be terminated and decided within one hundred twenty (120) days from the start thereof. If the delay in the proceedings is due to respondent’s fault, neglect or request, other than the appeal duly filed, the duration of such delay shall be counted in computing the time of the termination of the case;
(e) Any abuse in the exercise of the power of preventive suspension shall be considered as abuse of authority;
(f) The respondent elective official shall receive no compensation during his/her preventive suspension. Upon exoneration and reinstatement, however, he/she shall be paid his/her full compensation including other emoluments accruing during his/her said period of suspension.
Section 13. FORM, SUBSTANCE AND NOTICE OF DECISION. –
(a) Within thirty (30) days after the end of the investigation, the committee shall render a decision in writing stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the reasons for such decision. The same shall be concurred by the majority of the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod in a regular session. After the concurrence, copies of the decision shall be furnished the parties;
(b) The decision shall clearly state the penalty/sanction which may be censure, reprimand, suspension or removal from office;
(c) To enforce a sanction/penalty of censure, it is enough that it is stated in the decision, copy furnished the parties;
(d) To enforce a sanction/penalty of reprimand, the respondent must be required to appear before the committee where he/she should be reprimanded only after the decision has become final and executory, that is, it is not appealed within the reglementary period, or appealed but the penalty has been affirmed;
(e) Only the City Mayor can enforce the sanction/penalty of suspension (punitive suspension) from office or removal from office;
(f) The penalty of suspension shall not exceed the unexpired term of the respondent or a period of six (6) months for every administrative offense;
(g) The penalty of suspension (punitive suspension) shall not be a bar to the candidacy of the respondent so suspended as long as he/she meets the qualifications required for the office;
(h) During the period of the punitive suspension, respondent so suspended shall not receive any compensation. Upon the expiration of the period of such suspension, he/she shall resume receiving compensation attached to his/her position; and
(i) The penalty of removal from office shall be considered a bar to the candidacy of the respondent so removed from any elective position.
Section 14. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION NOT ALLOWED. – No motion for reconsideration of any order or decision of the Sangguniang Panlungsod relative to the administrative case of the parties shall be allowed. The immediate and proper remedy of the parties is to appeal as herein provided and as provided in the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160).
Section 15. APPEAL. –
(a) Either party or both parties to the case may, within thirty (30) days from receipt of the decision, appeal the said decision to the Office of the President. The decision of the Office of the President shall be final and executory.
(b) If no appeal is made within thirty (30) days from receipt of the decision, the decision shall become final and executory.
(c) The appeal must be filed with the Office of the President by personal filing or by registered mail. In case of filing by mail, the date of mailing shall be considered the date of filing. The appellant shall furnish a copy each of the appeal with the appellee, the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Department of Interior and Local Government through its office in General Santos City.
Section 16. EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL. –
(a) An appeal shall not prevent the decision from becoming final and executory. The respondent shall be considered as having placed under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal. In the event the appeal results in exoneration, he/she shall be paid his/her compensation and such other emoluments accruing during the pendency of the appeal.
(b) Notwithstanding the immediate preceding paragraph, the penalty of censure or reprimand shall not be enforced during the pendency of the appeal.
Section 1. There shall be defined the powers of the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc or through its committee to conduct investigation in aid of legislation, to wit:
- to gather documents –
- to subject the case to a committee hearing
- to cross examine the parties and hear their testimonies
- to recommend for the passage of certain legislative measure in relation to the case/complaint submitted
Section 2. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this ordinance the following terms are defined as follows;
- Sangguniang Panlungsod En Banc – refers to this Sanggunian at least with majority of all its members assembled as one whole body;
- Committee – means any of the regular committees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or any of the special committees that it may create;
- Adversarial Complaint is a complaint wherein the complainant is claiming for awards either monetary or otherwise or is asking that the respondent be sanctioned for the acts complained of;
- Investigation in Aid of Legislation means an inquiry the purpose of which is to determine whether or not there is a need to pass legislative measures to correct the acts subject of the said inquiry.
Section 3. Coverage. – This ordinance shall govern the conduct of investigation in aid of legislation that may be conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc or through its committees on non-adversarial complaints or matters which in its own initiative be inquired into for the purpose of possible adoption of some measures which are believed to be beneficial to the constituents of General Santos City in particular or the people of the country in general. Adversarial matters or matters which are still pending for litigation and/or investigation with the court, Office of the Ombudsman and/or other agencies of the government shall not be a subject of investigation in aid of legislation.
Section 4. Authority. – No investigation in aid of legislation shall be conducted without the prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc through a Resolution to that effect.
Section 5. PROCEDURE –
A. INVESTIGATION UPON OWN INITIATIVE
- Any member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod may introduce/sponsor a resolution calling for an investigation in aid of legislation by the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc or through its committees on the subject matter of the resolution;
- In case of an en banc investigation, the same shall be presided by the Vice-Mayor or in his/her absence or valid inhibition, by the President Pro Tempore, or in the absence of valid inhibitions of both Vice Mayor and President Pro Tempore, by any member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod who is chosen by the majority of the members present;
- In case of investigation by one committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the same shall be presided by the chairman of the committee concerned. If there are two (2) or more committees tasked to conduct joint investigation, the members of the said committees shall choose from among their respective chairmen present to preside the hearing. In the absence or valid inhibitions of all the vice-chairmen, the members present shall choose from among themselves to do the presiding.
B. UPON COMPLAINT
- Should there be complaint filed with the Sangguniang Panlungsod by any person or entity asking for an investigation in aid of legislation of a particular matter/controversy, the same shall be referred by the Vice-Mayor to the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights to determine whether or not the complaint is adversarial or is still pending for investigation with the court, Office of the Ombudsman and/or other agencies of the government.
- Should the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights find that the complaint is adversarial or the subject matter therein is still pending with the court, Office of the Ombudsman and/or other agencies of the government, the same shall be returned to the complainant with the explanation of the reason of the return. Should it find that the complaint is non-adversarial or still pending for investigation with the court, Office of the Ombudsman and/or any other agencies of the government, the Committee on Blue Ribbon, Justice and Human Rights shall sponsor a resolution calling for an investigation in aid of legislation on matters subject of the complaint. If the resolution is approved by the majority of the members present of the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc, the committee or committees concerned shall proceed with the investigation. If the said resolution is not approved by the majority of the members present en banc, the investigation shall not proceed. Instead, the complaint shall be returned to the complainant with explanation stating therein the fact that the resolution has been disapproved.
- The complaint must be verified and attached to it are the affidavits/sworn statements of witness or witnesses, otherwise, it shall be returned to the complainant with the explanation that it is not verified and without the attachment of the affidavits/sworn statements of the witnesses.
Section 6. INHIBITION. – Any member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod shall inhibit himself/herself from participating in the investigation only on the grounds of:
- conflict of interest
- pecuniary interest
Section 7. RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS. – All proceedings of the investigation in aid of legislation shall be reflected in its minutes.
Section 8. COMMITTEE REPORT. – If the investigation in aid of legislation is done through any of the committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the committee concerned shall submit a report of its proceedings to the Sangguniang Panlungsod en banc for approval.
Section 9. EVIDENCE. –
- The technical rules on evidence shall not apply in an investigation in aid of legislation. However, the Rules of Court shall have suppletory application;
- The investigating body shall consider only such evidence that may be submitted during the investigation. It may consist of documentary or testimonial evidence;
- Only witnesses with affidavits/sworn statements shall be allowed to testify;
- All witnesses shall testify under oath;
- All statements/testimonies given by any witness during the investigation shall be considered privileged communication.
Official Website of Sangguniang Panlungsod
Section 1. Short Title. – This Ordinance shall be known for short as “The SP Website Institutionalization Ordinance of 2012.”
Section 2. Statement of Policy. – This Sanggunian recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation-building and the need on the part of local government units to participate fully in all forms of productive activities and developments currently taking place within the field of information and communications technology in order to cause and propel economic growth, along with the primary obligation of this Sanggunian to provide a secure legal framework to govern the existence and usage of its website for the purpose of protecting the integrity of electronic documents virtually stored thereat, and as well published thereby, including its transmission and communication so as to boost public trust and reliance therewith.
Section 3. General Provision. – The official Website of the Office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, City of General Santos, launched by virtue of Resolution No. 575, series of 2011, with duly registered Internet Protocol (IP) address: www.spgensantos.ph, is hereby institutionalized to be the only officially sanctioned on-line databank and interactive media of the 16th Sanggunian and all other Sangguniang Panlungsod of the city to come thereafter towards pursuing interactive governance.
Section 4. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Ordinance the following terms shall be understood to mean as:
- Interactive Governance or I-Governance – refers to any program administered by the public sector which gives emphasis on solving societal problems and creating societal opportunities through a virtual system of facilitated, free, spontaneous, and open interaction among the civil, public and private sectors via the internet, and which provides various internet activities, i.e., electronic mailing, blogging, uploading, downloading, and such other similar internetmarketing protocols aimed at promoting better and closer relationships among the sectors involved.
- Interactive Media – refers to the system of information technology being made available and accessible to the public, civil, and private sectors as open and free on-line network for them to be able to reciprocally communicate, disseminate or provide services and as well access significant information instantaneously through the internet.
- On-Line Databank – refers to the system of information technology which is being utilized to serve as virtual repository of electronically encoded files consisting of various records and other sorts of information kept by a person or entity, which could be accessible at the instance of any concerned public, civil, or private sector user, via the internet, wherever such user may be located, anywhere in the world.
Section 5. Designation of Website Administrator. –
(a) In order to ensure the integrity of all electronic documents, signatures, and other various data uploaded and kept in store at the SP Website, there shall be designated for the office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod a Website Administrator who shall be directly responsible in proficiently supervising the efficient, effective, and continued operation, maintenance, and management thereof.
(b) Such Website Administrator shall come from among the staff of the sanggunian who are currently occupying any plantilla position with Salary Grade Fifteen (15) or higher, and who possesses as many qualifications and expertise in the fields of information technology system or computer science, law, commerce and trade, editorship, planning and management, engineering, and such other relevant fields of studies, and must be highly proficient in both written and oral English communication.
(c) Such Website Administrator shall be chiefly responsible to promote the neutrality and integrity of all electronic documents stored and published at the SP website and, thus, ensure that all publications posted or caused to be posted thereat by any staff or member of the sanggunian generally adhere to the basic rules of grammar, and to ensure, further, that all electronic records which are to be made accessible from the website are nothing less than the exact facsimiles of the original.
(d) Designation of an employee as Website Administrator shall be duly caused by a memorandum issued for by the city vice-mayor, thereby stating therein with particularity the designee’s functions as such including all other incidental responsibilities that said designee may be authorized to perform pursuant to this Ordinance.
(e) The designated Website Administrator shall be made to take hold of and place under his or her official custody and accountability all office computer hardware and software equipment and supplies, i.e., servers, workstations, routers, cables, CD installers, kits, operations manuals, computer tools, etc., which are being utilized in the efficient, effective, and continued operation, maintenance, and management of the SP Website.
(f) The designated Website Administrator shall be made to receive orders directly from the Office of the City Vice-Mayor in all matters concerning the efficient and effective operation, maintenance, and management of the SP Website.
Section 6. Funding. The Sangguniang Panlungsod shall see to it that funds appropriate and necessary for the efficient, effective, and continued operation, maintenance, and management of the SP website are appropriated in the city’s Annual Budget for each Fiscal Year.