Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition

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Herein respondent Roberto Mabalot filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or restraining order,[1] against petitioner and LTFRB Chairman Lantin, praying among others that Memorandum Order No. 96-735 be declared “illegal and without effect.” the lower court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining petitioner from implementing Memorandum Order No. 96-735. Secretary Lagdameo issued the assailed Department Order No. 97-1025.  Respondent filed a Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Petition assailing the validity of Department Order No. 97-1025. ISSUE:

Whether or not a transfer of the powers and functions of the LTFRB Regional Office to a DOTC Regional Office or the establishment of the latter as an LTFRB Regional Office is unconstitutional” RULING:

This Court upholds Memorandum Order No. 96-735 and Department Order No. 97-1025 as legal and valid administrative issuances by the DOTC Secretary. Contrary to the opinion of the lower court, the President - through his duly constituted political agent and alter ego, the DOTC Secretary in the present case - may legally and validly decree the reorganization of the Department, particularly the establishment of DOTC-CAR as the LTFRB Regional Office at the Cordillera Administrative Region, with the concomitant transfer and performance of public functions and responsibilities appurtenant to a regional office of the LTFRB. At this point, it is apropos to reiterate the elementary rule in administrative law and the law on public officers that a public office may be created through any of the following modes, to wit, either (1) by the Constitution (fundamental law), (2) by law (statute duly enacted by Congress), or (3) by authority of law.[5] In the instant case, the creation and establishment of LTFRB-CAR Regional Office was made pursuant to the...
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