Applying due process in administrative proceedings

Due process of law has two aspects: substantive and procedural due process. In order that a particular act may not be impugned as violative of the due process clause, there must be compliance with both the substantive and the procedural requirements thereof.[1]Substantive due process refers to the intrinsic validity of a law that interferes with the rights of a person to his property.[2] Procedural due process, on the other hand, means compliance with the procedures or steps, even periods, prescribed by the statute, in conformity with the standard of fair play and without arbitrariness on the part of those who are called upon to administer it.[3]

Although administrative procedural rules are less stringent and often applied more liberally, administrative proceedings are not exempt from basic and fundamental procedural principles, such as the right to due process in investigations and hearings.[4]

In Ang Tibay v. CIR,[5] the Supreme Court laid down the cardinal rights of parties in administrative proceedings, as follows:
1) The right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one's case and submit evidence in support thereof;

2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented;

3) The decision must have something to support itself;

4) The evidence must be substantial;

5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected;

6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision; and

7) The board or body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.[6]

[1] Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 461 Phil. 598 (2003).

[2] Ynot v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L-74457, March 20, 1987, 148 SCRA 659.

[3] Tatad v. Sandiganbayan, 242 Phil. 563, 575-576 (1988).

[4] Montoya v. Varilla, 595 Phil. 507, 520 (2008); Civil Service Commission v. Lucas, 361 Phil. 486, 491 (1999).

[5] 69 Phil. 635 (1940).

[6] As cited and paraphrased in Solid Homes v. Laserna, 574 Phil. 69, 83 (2008).