University tug-of-war resolved


THE Court of Appeals (CA) has junked a case born of a tug-of-war between Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Board of Regents (PLM Board) and its former president, former Justice secretary Artemio Tuquero.

It declared moot a petition filed by the retired Tuquero seeking to nullify the September 5, 2014 board resolution issued by the PLM Board that placed him under preventive suspension for 90 days.

In a decision penned by Associate Justice Danton Bueser and concurred in by Associate Justices Apo-linario Bruselas Jr. and Victoria Isabel Paredes, the CA’s Special 14th Division dismissed Tuquero’s petition.

According to the court, “the petition has been rendered moot and academic by virtue of petitioner’s resignation, which has been expressly accepted by the appointing authority.”

On July 3, 2013, Tuquero was appointed as a member of the PLM Board by Mayor Joseph Estrada and his appointment was confirmed by the City Council of Manila. He was thereafter elected as presi-dent.

On July 19, 2013, however, the board held a special meeting where a letter-complaint filed by one Dr. Gilmore Solidum, Associate Professor IV, accusing Tuquero of grave misconduct, immorality, incapac-ity, incompetence and dishonesty, was discussed.

The PLM Board later passed a resolution placing Tuquero under preventive suspension.

On September 10, 2014, the former Justice chief filed a petition with the appellate court alleging that the board acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it issued the resolution. He claimed that the board has no power or authority, under the PLM Charter, to suspend or remove the president.

In its September 22, 2015 ruling, the CA noted that on September 12, 2014, Tuquero submitted his resignation as member of the PLM Board of Regents and was accepted by Estrada, thereby mooting the issue.

Hence, it said, “No useful purpose would be served by passing on the merits of the petition because any ruling could hardly be of any practical or useful purpose in the premises.”

“It is settled rule that a court will not determine a moot question or an abstract proposition, nor [will]express an opinion in case which no practical relief can be granted,” the court added.


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