DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, INC., G.R. No. 127980
EMMANUEL SALES, RONALD
HOLMES, JUDE DELA TORRE,
QUEBENGCO, AGNES YUHICO
and JAMES YAP, YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,
- versus - VELASCO, JR.,** and
THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON.
WILFREDO D. REYES, in his capacity
as Presiding Judge of Branch 36,
Regional Trial Court of Manila, THE
COMMISSION ON HIGHER
EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT
OF EDUCATION CULTURE
SPORTS, ALVIN AGUILAR, JAMES
PAUL BUNGUBUNG, RICHARD
REVERENTE and ROBERTO Promulgated:
Respondents. December 19, 2007
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
D E C I S I O N
REYES, R.T., J.:
NAGTATAGIS sa kasong ito ang karapatang mag-aral ng apat na estudyante na nasangkot sa away ng dalawang fraternity at ang karapatang akademiko ng isang pamantasan.
PRIVATE respondents Alvin Aguilar,
James Paul Bungubung, Richard Reverente and Roberto Valdes, Jr. are members of
Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity who were expelled by the De La Salle University (DLSU)
and College of Saint Benilde (
this Petition for Certiorari,
Prohibition and Mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court are the following:
(1) Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated
x x x From the
testimonies of the complaining witnesses, it appears that one week prior to
After this incident, a meeting was conducted between the two heads of the fraternity through the intercession of the Student Council. The Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity was asking for an apology. Kailangan ng apology in the words of respondent Aguilar. But no apology was made.
Then, 5 members of the Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity went to the tambayan of the Domino Lux Fraternity in the campus. Among them were respondents Bungubung, Reverente and Papio. They were looking for a person whose description matched James Yap. According to them, this person supposedly nambastos ng brod. As they could not find Mr. Yap, one of them remarked Paano ba iyan. Pasensiya na lang.
Ten minutes before his next class at , Mr. James Yap went out of the campus using the
Engineering Gate to buy candies across
Mr. Yap could not recognize the other members of the group who attacked him. With respect to respondent Papio, Mr. Yap said hindi ko nakita ang mukha niya, hindi ko nakita sumuntok siya. What Mr. Yap saw was a long haired guy also running with the group.
Two guards escorted Mr. Yap inside the
campus. At this point, Mr. Dennis
Pascual was at the Engineering Gate. Mr. Pascual accompanied
Mr. Ericson Cano, who was supposed to hitch a
ride with Dennis Pascual, saw him under the clock in
they were along
Mr. Pascual was left behind. After respondent Reverente first kicked him, Mr. Pascual was ganged-upon by the rest. He was able to run, but the group was able to catch up with him. His shirt was torn and he was hit at the back of his head with a lead pipe. Respondent Lee who was chasing Cano and Perez, then returned to Mr. Pascual.
Pascual identified respondents Reverente and Lee, as among those who hit
him. Although Mr. Pascual did not see
respondent Valdes hit him, he identified respondent
In fact, Mr. Cano saw respondent Valdes near Mr. Pascual. He was almost near the corner of Leon Guinto and Estrada; while respondent Pascual who managed to run was stopped at the end of Dagonoy along Leon Guinto. Respondent Valdes shouted: Mga putang-ina niyo. Respondent Reverente hit Mr. Pascual for the last time. Apparently being satisfied with their handiwork, the group left. The victims, Cano, Perez and Pascual proceeded to a friends house and waited for almost two hours, or at around in the evening before they returned to the campus to have their wounds treated. Apparently, there were three cars roaming the vicinity.
The mauling incidents were a result of a fraternity war. The victims, namely: petitioner James Yap and Dennis Pascual, Ericson Cano, and Michael Perez, are members of the Domino Lux Fraternity, while the alleged assailants, private respondents Alvin Aguilar, James Paul Bungubung, Richard Reverente and Roberto Valdes, Jr. are members of Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, a rival fraternity.
The Director of the DLSU Discipline Office sent separate notices to private respondents Aguilar, Bungubung and Valdes, Jr. and Reverente informing them of the complaints and requiring them to answer. Private respondents filed their respective answers.
appeared that students from DLSU and
Please be informed that a joint and expanded Discipline Board had been constituted to hear and deliberate the charge against you for violation of CHED Order No. 4 arising from the written complaints of James Yap, Dennis C. Pascual, and Ericson Y. Cano.
are directed to appear at the hearing of the Board scheduled on
Your failure to appear at the scheduled hearing or your failure to submit the list of witnesses and the sworn statement of their proposed testimony will be considered a waiver on your part to present evidence and as an admission of the principal act complained of.
For your strict compliance.
proceedings before the Board on April 19 and 28, 1995, private respondents
interposed the common defense of alibi, summarized by the DLSU-
First, in the case of
Thus, attempting to
corroborate the alibi of respondent Bungubung, Mr. Carillo said that he arrived
at La Salle at 4:56 p.m.; picked-up respondent at 5:02 p.m.; took the Roxas
Blvd. route towards respondents house in BF Paraaque (on a Wednesday in
Baclaran); and arrived at the house at 6:15 p.m. Respondent Bungubung was dropped-off in his
house, and taking the same route back, Mr. Carillo arrived at the
x x x x
Secondly, respondent Valdes
said that he was with his friends at McDonalds Taft just before
Two witnesses, a certain
Sharon Sia and the girlfriend of respondent Valdes, a certain Jorgette Aquino,
attempted to corroborate
x x x x
Third, respondent Reverente
told that (sic) the Board that he was at his home at of
Respondent Reverente submitted an affidavit, unsigned by the workers listed there, supposedly attesting to the fact that he paid the workers at the date and time in question.
x x x x
Fourth, respondent Aguilar
solemnly sw[ore] that [he] left DLSU at for
considering all the foregoing, the Board finds respondents ALVIN AGUILAR
(AB-BSM/9152105), JAMES PAUL BUNGUBUNG (AB-PSM/9234403), ALVIN
In the case of respondent MALVIN A. PAPIO (AB-MGT/9251227), the Board acquits him of the charge.
respondents separately moved for reconsideration
before the Office of the Senior Vice-President for Internal Operations of
DLSU. The motions were all denied in a
private respondent Aguilar filed an ex
parte motion to amend his petition to correct an allegation in paragraph
of his original petition. Respondent
Judge amended the
On the other hand, private respondents Bungubung and Reverente, and later, Valdes, filed petitions-in-intervention in Civil Case No. 95-74122. Respondent Judge also issued corresponding temporary restraining orders to compel petitioner DLSU to admit said private respondents.
For this purpose, respondent, its agents, representatives or any and all other persons acting for and in its behalf is/are restrained and enjoined from
Implementing and enforcing the Resolution dated
2. Barring the enrolment of petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention in the courses offered at respondent De La Salle University and to immediately allow them to enroll and complete their respective courses/degrees until their graduation thereat in accordance with the standards set by the latter.
WHEREFORE, the ancillary remedy prayed for is granted. Respondent, its agents, representatives, or any and all persons acting for and its behalf are hereby restrained and enjoyed from:
Implementing and enforcing the Resolution dated
2. Barring the enrollment of petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention in the courses offered at respondent (De La Salle University) and to forthwith allow all said petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention to enroll and complete their respective courses/degrees until their graduation thereat.
Writ of Preliminary Injunction shall take effect upon petitioner and
petitioners-in-intervention posting an injunctive bond in the amount of
executed in favor of respondent to the effect that petitioner and
petitioners-in-intervention will pay to respondent all damages that the latter
may suffer by reason of the injunction if the Court will finally decide that
petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention are not entitled thereto.
The motion to dismiss and the supplement thereto is denied for lack of merit. Respondents are directed to file their Answer to the Petition not later than fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.
said order, private respondent Aguilar was refused enrollment by petitioner
DLSU when he attempted to enroll on
IS HEREBY ORDERED by the undersigned of the REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA that
until further orders, you the said DE LA SALLE University as well as your
subordinates, agents, representatives, employees and any other person assisting
or acting for or on your behalf, to immediately desist from implementing the
THAT THE REQUEST OF THE DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY (DLSU),
FURTHER, THAT THE COMMISSION DIRECT THE DLSU TO IMMEDIATELY EFFECT THE
REINSTATEMENT OF MR. AGUILAR
directive of CHED, petitioner DLSU again prevented private respondent Aguilar
from enrolling and/or attending his classes, prompting his lawyer to write
several demand letters
to petitioner DLSU. In view of the
refusal of petitioner DLSU to enroll private respondent Aguilar, CHED wrote a
Acting on the above-mentioned request of Mr. Aguilar through counsel enjoining De La Salle University (DLSU) to comply with CHED Resolution 181-96 (Re: Expulsion Case of Alvin Aguilar, et al. v. DLSU) directing DLSU to reinstate Mr. Aguilar and finding the urgent request as meritorious, there being no other plain and speedy remedy available, considering the set deadline for enrollment this current TRIMESTER, and in order to prevent further prejudice to his rights as a student of the institution, DLSU, through the proper school authorities, is hereby directed to allow Mr. Alvin Aguilar to provisionally enroll, pending the Commissions Resolution of the instant Motion for Reconsideration filed by DLSU.
Notwithstanding the said directive, petitioner DLSU, through petitioner Quebengco, still refused to allow private respondent Aguilar to enroll. Thus, private respondent Aguilars counsel wrote another demand letter to petitioner DLSU.
THE FOREGOING CONSIDERED, dismissal of herein petition is hereby directed.
It is obvious to Us that CHED Resolution No. 181-96 is immediately executory in character, the pendency of a Motion for Reconsideration notwithstanding.
After considering the Opposition and for lack of merit, the Motion for Reconsideration is hereby denied.
In light of the foregoing, petitioner Aguilars urgent motion to reiterate writ of preliminary injunction is hereby granted, and respondents motion to dismiss is denied.
writ of preliminary injunction dated
Let a copy of this Order and the writ be served personally by the Courts sheriff upon the respondents at petitioners expense.
private respondent Aguilar was allowed to conditionally enroll in petitioner
DLSU, subject to the continued effectivity of the writ of preliminary
We are tasked to resolve the following issues:
1. Whether it is the DECS or the CHED which has legal authority to review decisions of institutions of higher learning that impose disciplinary action on their students found violating disciplinary rules.
2. Whether or not petitioner DLSU is within its rights in expelling private respondents.
2.a Were private respondents accorded due process of law?
2.b Can petitioner DLSU invoke its right to academic freedom?
2.c Was the guilt of private respondents proven by substantial evidence?
3. Whether or not the penalty imposed by DLSU on private respondents is proportionate to their misdeed.
Prefatorily, there is merit in the observation of petitioners that while CHED Resolution No. 181-96 disapproved the expulsion of other private respondents, it nonetheless authorized their exclusion from petitioner DLSU. However, because of the dismissal of the CA case, petitioner DLSU is now faced with the spectacle of having two different directives from the CHED and the respondent Judge CHED ordering the exclusion of private respondents Bungubung, Reverente, and Valdes, Jr., and the Judge ordering petitioner DLSU to allow them to enroll and complete their degree courses until their graduation.
This is the reason We opt to decide the whole case on the merits, brushing aside technicalities, in order to settle the substantial issues involved. This Court has the power to take cognizance of the petition at bar due to compelling reasons, and the nature and importance of the issues raised warrant the immediate exercise of Our jurisdiction. This is in consonance with our case law now accorded near-religious reverence that rules of procedure are but tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice, such that when its rigid application tends to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, this Court has the duty to suspend their operation.
I. It is the CHED, not DECS, which has the
power of supervision and review over
disciplinary cases decided by institutions
of higher learning.
Ang CHED, hindi ang DECS, ang may kapangyarihan ng pagsubaybay at pagrepaso sa mga desisyong pandisiplina ng mga institusyon ng mas mataas na pag-aaral.
Petitioners posit that the jurisdiction and duty to review student expulsion cases, even those involving students in secondary and tertiary levels, is vested in the DECS not in the CHED. In support of their stance, petitioners cite Sections 4, 15(2) & (3), 54, 57(3) and 70 of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 232, otherwise known as the Education Act of 1982.
According to them, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7722 did not transfer to the CHED the DECS power of supervision/review over expulsion cases involving institutions of higher learning. They say that unlike B.P. Blg. 232, R.A. No. 7722 makes no reference to the right and duty of learning institutions to develop moral character and instill discipline among its students. The clear concern of R.A. No. 7722 in the creation of the CHED was academic, i.e., the formulation, recommendation, setting, and development of academic plans, programs and standards for institutions of higher learning. The enumeration of CHEDs powers and functions under Section 8 does not include supervisory/review powers in student disciplinary cases. The reference in Section 3 to CHEDs coverage of institutions of higher education is limited to the powers and functions specified in Section 8. The Bureau of Higher Education, which the CHED has replaced and whose functions and responsibilities it has taken over, never had any authority over student disciplinary cases.
We cannot agree.
Section 3 of the said law, which paved the way for the creation of the CHED, provides:
Section 3. Creation of the Commission on Higher Education. In pursuance of the abovementioned policies, the Commission on Higher Education is hereby created, hereinafter referred to as Commission.
The Commission shall be independent and separate from the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) and attached to the office of the President for administrative purposes only. Its coverage shall be both public and private institutions of higher education as well as degree-granting programs in all post secondary educational institutions, public and private.
The powers and functions of the CHED are enumerated in Section 8 of R.A. No. 7722. They include the following:
Sec. 8. Powers and functions of the Commission. The Commission shall have the following powers and functions:
x x x x
n) promulgate such rules and regulations and exercise such other powers and functions as may be necessary to carry out effectively the purpose and objectives of this Act; and
o) perform such other functions as may be necessary for its effective operations and for the continued enhancement of growth or development of higher education.
Clearly, there is no merit in the contention of petitioners that R.A. No. 7722 did not transfer to the CHED the DECS power of supervision/review over expulsion cases involving institutions of higher learning.
First, the foregoing provisions are all-embracing. They make no reservations of powers to the DECS insofar as institutions of higher learning are concerned. They show that the authority and supervision over all public and private institutions of higher education, as well as degree-granting programs in all post-secondary educational institutions, public and private, belong to the CHED, not the DECS.
Second, to rule that it is the DECS which has authority to decide disciplinary cases involving students on the tertiary level would render nugatory the coverage of the CHED, which is both public and private institutions of higher education as well as degree granting programs in all post secondary educational institutions, public and private. That would be absurd.
It is of public knowledge that petitioner DLSU is a private educational institution which offers tertiary degree programs. Hence, it is under the CHED authority.
Third, the policy of R.A. No. 7722 is not only the protection, fostering and promotion of the right of all citizens to affordable quality education at all levels and the taking of appropriate steps to ensure that education shall be accessible to all. The law is likewise concerned with ensuring and protecting academic freedom and with promoting its exercise and observance for the continued intellectual growth of students, the advancement of learning and research, the development of responsible and effective leadership, the education of high-level and middle-level professionals, and the enrichment of our historical and cultural heritage.
It is thus safe to assume that when Congress passed R.A. No. 7722, its members were aware that disciplinary cases involving students on the tertiary level would continue to arise in the future, which would call for the invocation and exercise of institutions of higher learning of their right to academic freedom.
Fourth, petitioner DLSU cited no authority
in its bare claim that the Bureau of Higher Education, which CHED replaced,
never had authority over student disciplinary cases. In fact, the
responsibilities of other
government entities having functions similar to those of the CHED were transferred to the CHED.
Section 77 of the MRPS on the process of review in student discipline cases should therefore be read in conjunction with the provisions of R.A. No. 7722.
Fifth, Section 18 of R.A. No. 7722 is very clear in stating that [j]urisdiction over DECS-supervised or chartered state-supported post-secondary degree-granting vocational and tertiary institutions shall be transferred to the Commission [On Higher Education]. This provision does not limit or distinguish that what is being transferred to the CHED is merely the formulation, recommendation, setting and development of academic plans, programs and standards for institutions of higher learning, as what petitioners would have us believe as the only concerns of R.A. No. 7722. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemus: Where the law does not distinguish, neither should we.
To Our mind, this provision, if not an explicit grant of jurisdiction to the CHED, necessarily includes the transfer to the CHED of any jurisdiction which the DECS might have possessed by virtue of B.P. Blg. 232 or any other law or rule for that matter.
IIa. Private respondents were accorded
due process of law.
Ang mga private respondents ay nabigyan ng tamang proseso ng batas.
Process Clause in Article
In administrative cases, such as investigations of students found violating school discipline, [t]here are withal minimum standards which must be met before to satisfy the demands of procedural due process and these are: that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them and with the assistance if counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.
party was afforded an opportunity to participate in the proceedings but failed
to do so, he cannot complain of deprivation of due process. Notice and hearing is the bulwark of
administrative due process,
the right to which is among the primary rights that must be respected even in administrative proceedings. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. So long as the party is given the opportunity to advocate her cause or defend her interest in due course, it cannot be said that there was denial of due process.
A formal trial-type hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process it is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be based. To be heard does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence in court one may also be heard through pleadings and where the opportunity to be heard through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of due process.
respondents were duly informed in writing of the charges against them by the
Private respondents cannot claim that they were denied due process when they were not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them. This argument was already rejected in Guzman v. National University where this Court held that x x x the imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due process. And it bears stressing that due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of justice. The proceedings in student discipline cases may be summary; and cross examination is not, x x x an essential part thereof.
IIb. Petitioner DLSU, as an institution of
higher learning, possesses academic
freedom which includes determination
of who to admit for study.
Ang petitioner DLSU, bilang institusyon ng mas mataas na pag-aaral, ay nagtataglay ng kalayaang akademiko na sakop ang karapatang pumili ng mga mag-aaral dito.
It cannot be gainsaid that the school has an interest in teaching the student discipline, a necessary, if not indispensable, value in any field of learning. By instilling discipline, the school teaches discipline. Accordingly, the right to discipline the student likewise finds basis in the freedom what to teach. Indeed, while it is categorically stated under the Education Act of 1982 that students have a right to freely choose their field of study, subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation, such right is subject to the established academic and disciplinary standards laid down by the academic institution. Petitioner DLSU, therefore, can very well exercise its academic freedom, which includes its free choice of students for admission to its school.
IIc. The guilt of private respondents
Bungubung, Reverente and Valdes,
Jr. was proven by substantial evidence.
Ang pagkakasala ng private respondents na sina Bungubung, Reverente at Valdes, Jr. ay napatunayan ng ebidensiyang substansyal.
As has been stated earlier, private respondents interposed the common defense of alibi. However, in order that alibi may succeed as a defense, the accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence (a) his presence at another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense and (b) the physical impossibility of his presence at the scene of the crime.
On the other hand, the defense of alibi may not be successfully invoked where the identity of the assailant has been established by witnesses. Positive identification of accused where categorical and consistent, without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying, should prevail over the alibi and denial of appellants whose testimonies are not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. Well-settled is the rule that denial and alibi, being weak defenses, cannot overcome the positive testimonies of the offended parties.
Courts reject alibi when there are credible eyewitnesses to the crime who can positively identify the accused. Alibi is an inherently weak defense and courts must receive it with caution because one can easily fabricate an alibi. Jurisprudence holds that denial, like alibi, is inherently weak and crumbles in light of positive declarations of truthful witnesses who testified on affirmative matters that accused were at the scene of the crime and were the victims assailants. As between categorical testimonies that ring of truth on one hand and a bare denial on the other, the former must prevail. Alibi is the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to disprove, and it is for this reason that it cannot prevail over the positive identification of accused by the witnesses.
The required proof in administrative cases, such as in student discipline cases, is neither proof beyond reasonable doubt nor preponderance of evidence but only substantial evidence. According to Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations, it means such reasonable evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
the foregoing, We reject the alibi of private respondents Bungubung, Valdes
Jr., and Reverente. They were unable to show convincingly that they were not at
the scene of the crime on
We hark back to this Courts pronouncement affirming the expulsion of several students found guilty of hazing:
No one can be so myopic as to doubt that the immediate reinstatement of respondent students who have been investigated and found guilty by the Disciplinary Board to have violated petitioner universitys disciplinary rules and standards will certainly undermine the authority of the administration of the school. This we would be most loathe to do.
More importantly, it will seriously impair petitioner universitys academic freedom which has been enshrined in the 1935, 1973 and the present 1987 Constitution.
Certainly, private respondents Bungubung, Reverente and Valdes, Jr. do not deserve to claim a venerable institution as their own, for they may foreseeably cast a malevolent influence on the students currently enrolled, as well as those who come after them. It must be borne in mind that universities are established, not merely to develop the intellect and skills of the studentry, but to inculcate lofty values, ideals and attitudes; nay, the development, or flowering if you will, of the total man.
for private respondent Aguilar, however, We are inclined to give credence to
his alibi that he was at
TO WHOM THIS
the undersigned, hereby declare and affirm by way of this Certification that
That the meeting was terminated
at about that evening and
Alvin Aguilar had asked our permission to leave and we saw him leave
certification was duly signed by PO3 Nicanor R. Faustino (Anti-Organized Crime
Alibi is not always undeserving of credit, for there are times when accused has no other possible defense for what could really be the truth as to his whereabouts at the crucial time, and such defense may, in fact, tilt the scales of justice in his favor.
on private respondents is disproportionate
to their misdeed.
Ang parusang expulsion na ipinataw ng DLSU sa private respondents ay hindi angkop sa kanilang pagkakasala.
It is true that schools have the power to instill discipline in their students as subsumed in their academic freedom and that the establishment of rules governing university-student relations, particularly those pertaining to student discipline, may be regarded as vital, not merely to the smooth and efficient operation of the institution, but to its very survival. This power, however, does not give them the untrammeled discretion to impose a penalty which is not commensurate with the gravity of the misdeed. If the concept of proportionality between the offense committed and the sanction imposed is not followed, an element of arbitrariness intrudes. That would give rise to a due process question.
We agree with respondent CHED that under the circumstances, the penalty of expulsion is grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the acts committed by private respondents Bungubung, Reverente, and Valdes, Jr. Each of the two mauling incidents lasted only for few seconds and the victims did not suffer any serious injury. Disciplinary measures especially where they involve suspension, dismissal or expulsion, cut significantly into the future of a student. They attach to him for life and become a mortgage of his future, hardly redeemable in certain cases. Officials of colleges and universities must be anxious to protect it, conscious of the fact that, appropriately construed, a disciplinary action should be treated as an educational tool rather than a punitive measure.
Accordingly, We affirm the penalty of exclusion only, not expulsion, imposed on them by the CHED. As such, pursuant to Section 77(b) of the MRPS, petitioner DLSU may exclude or drop the names of the said private respondents from its rolls for being undesirable, and transfer credentials immediately issued.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Court of Appeals Resolutions dated
Petitioner DLSU is ordered to issue a certificate of completion/graduation in favor of private respondent Aguilar. On the other hand, it may exclude or drop the names of private respondents Bungubung, Reverente, and Valdes, Jr. from its rolls, and their transfer credentials immediately issued.
RUBEN T. REYES
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice Associate Justice
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairpersons Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.
REYNATO S. PUNO
* Vice Associate Justice Ma. Alicia
Austria-Martinez, per Raffle dated
Vice Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura, per Raffle dated
 Rollo, pp. 107-111. Penned by Associate Justice Bernardo LL. Salas, with Associate Justices Gloria C. Paras and Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez (now a member of this Court), concurring.
 The composition of the DLSU-
 Rollo, pp. 134-137.
Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (1992), Sec. 77(c) provides that expulsion is an extreme penalty of an
erring pupil or student consisting of his exclusion from admission to any
public or private school in the
 Rollo, pp. 151-153.
 Private respondent (petitioner there) Aguilar claimed that, through inadvertence, his petition erroneously alleged that he was being prevented from enrolling for the second term of SY 1995, when, in truth, he was being barred/prohibited from enrolling for the first term of SY 1995-1996.
 Rollo, pp. 206-207.
 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (1992), Sec. 77(b) provides that exclusion is a penalty in which the school is allowed to exclude or drop the name of the erring pupil or student from the school rolls for being undesirable, and transfer credentials immediately issued.
 Rollo, pp. 125-126.
 See Del Mar v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, 400 Phil.
307, 326-327 (2000), citing Fortich v.
Corona, G.R. No. 131457,
 Id., citing Ramos v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
 Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 (1982), Sec. 4 provides educational institutions shall aim to inculcate love of country, teach the duties of citizenship, and develop moral character, personal discipline, and scientific, technological, and vocational efficiency.
 Id., Sec. 15(2) & (3) essentially states that students have the obligation to [u]phold the academic integrity of the school, endeavor to achieve academic excellence and abide by the rules and regulations governing his academic responsibilities and moral integrity, and [p]romote and maintain the peace and tranquility of the school by observing the rules of discipline, and by exerting efforts to attain harmonious relationships with fellow students, the teaching and academic staff and other school personnel.
 Republic Act No. 7722
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. The State shall protect, foster and promote the right of all citizens to affordable quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to ensure that education shall be accessible to all. The state shall likewise ensure and protect academic freedom and shall promote its exercise and observance for the continuing intellectual growth, the advancement of learning and research, the development of responsible and effective leadership, the education of high level and middle-level professionals, and the enrichment of our historical and cultural heritage.
State-supported institutions of higher learning shall gear their programs to national, regional or local development plans. Finally, all institutions of higher learning shall exemplify through their physical and natural surroundings the dignity and beauty of, as well as their pride in, the intellectual and scholarly life.
Sec. 18. Transitory Provisions. Such personnel, properties, assets and liabilities, functions and responsibilities of the Bureau of Higher Education, including those for higher and tertiary education and degree granting vocational and technical programs in the regional offices, under the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, and other government entities having functions similar to those of the Commission are hereby transferred to the Commission.
 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (1992), Sec. 77 aside from defining the penalties of suspension, exclusion and expulsion, also provides for the process of review over student discipline cases. Thus, the decision of the school on every case involving the penalty of suspension which exceeds twenty (20%) percent of the prescribed school days for a school year or term shall be forwarded to the Regional Office [i.e., any of the regional offices of the DECS which has jurisdiction over the school or institution concerned] concerned within ten days from the termination of the investigation of each case for its information. On the other hand, the decision of the school on every case involving the penalty of exclusion from the rolls, together with all the pertinent papers therefor, shall be filed in the school for a period of one year in order for the Department [i.e., the DECS] the opportunity to review the case in the event an appeal is taken by the party concerned. Lastly, the decision of the school on every case involving the penalty of expulsion, together with the supporting papers shall be forwarded to the Regional Office concerned within ten days from the termination of the investigation of each case.
 Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 158693,
 People v. Besonia, 446 Phil. 822 (2004).
 Guzman v.
 Bautista v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 157219,
 Globe Telecom, Inc. v. National Telecommunications Commission, G.R.
 Valiao v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
 Barza v. Dinglasan, Jr., G.R. No.
 Seastar Marine Services, Inc. v. Bul-an, Jr., G.R. No. 142609,
 Batul v. Bayron, G.R. Nos. 157687 & 158959,
 Supra note 66, at 706.
 Miriam College Foundation, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals, 401 Phil. 431, 455-456 (2000), citing Tangonan v. Pao, G.R. No. L-45157,
 Regino v. Pangasinan Colleges of Science and Technology, G.R. No.
 Miriam College Foundation, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, supra note 74, at 285.
Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 (effective
 People v. Obrique, 465 Phil. 221 (2004).
 People v.
 People v. Abes, 465 Phil. 165 (2004).
 People v. Arevalo, Jr., 466 Phil. 419 (2004).
 People v. Sumalinog, Jr., 466 Phil. 467 (2004).
 People v. Orilla, 467 Phil. 253 (2004).
 People v.
Tagana, G.R. No. 133027,
 People v.
 69 Phil. 635 (1940).
 Ateneo de Manila University v. Capulong, G.R.
 See id. at 664.
 Rollo, p. 138.
 See People v. Estoya, G.R. No. 153538,
 People v. Peruelo, G.R. No. L-50631,
 People v. Manambit, 338 Phil. 57, 96
(1997), citing People v. Maongco, G.R.
 See note 87, at 663-664.
 Malabanan v. Ramento, 214 Phil. 319, 330 (1984).
 Rollo, p. 515.
 See note 38.
 See note 19.