Republic of the Philippines
CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS M a n I l a
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC.
– versus –
LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF THE PROVINCE OF SAMAR,
CBAA CASE NO. V-13 In Re:
TD Nos. 1608-0661, 0662, 0663, 0656 & 0659.
LBAA Case No. 1
– and –
MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF STA. RITA, SAMAR,
R E S O L U T I O N
This is an appeal filed by Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc.
(RCPI, for brevity), with the Visayas Field Office of this Board on January 22,
1998, from a decision of the appellee Local Board on December 16, 1997 in
LBAA Case No. 1.
An examination of the said decision reveals that the same is signed by
Engr. Leo Dacaynos, Provincial Assessor of Samar as Member and Atty. Leo
C. Latorre, Jr., Provincial Prosecutor and ex-officio Registrar of Deeds of
Samar, as acting Chairman.
The composition or organization of the Local Board of each city or
province and the powers, duties, and functions of the chairman and members
thereof are embodied in Section 227 of RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local
Government Code of 1991, which provides:
“SEC. 227. Organization, Powers, Duties and Functions of the Local Board of Assessment Appeals. – (a) The Board of Assessment Appeals of the province or city shall be composed of the Registrar of Deeds, as Chairman, the provincial or city prosecutor and the provincial or city engineer, as members who shall serve as such in an ex officio capacity without additional compensation.
Reference: Book IX, pp. 214-216
“(b) The chairman of the Board shall have the power to designate any employee of the province or city to serve as secretary to the Board also without additional compensation.
“(c) The chairman and members of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the province or city shall assume their respective positions without need of further appointment or special designation immediately upon the effectivity of this Code. They shall take an oath or affirmation of office in the prescribed form.
“(d) In the provinces or cities without a provincial or city engineer, the district engineer shall serve as member of the Board. In the absence of the Registrar of Deeds, or the provincial or city prosecutor, or the provincial or city engineer, or the district engineer, the persons performing their duties, whether in an acting capacity or as a duly designated officer-in-charge, shall automatically become the chairman, or member, respectively, as the case may be.”
The law is clear enough; and nowhere in it is the provincial assessor
mentioned as a member of the Local Board of Assessment Appeals. Besides
which, the provincial assessor is the proper respondent in this case, he being
the authority who approves assessment in the area of his jurisdiction as he
must have approved in this case of the questioned assessments. To allow him
to pass in judgment his own actions would be violative of the fundamental
principle of fair play. Fairness, after all, is what justice really is. Accordingly, the
decision appealed from is a total nullity.
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED for being based
on a void decision; and the Registrar of Deeds of Samar, as Chairman of the
Local Board of Assessment Appeals, is hereby ORDERED to immediately
organize the said board in accordance with law and, thereafter, to hear LBAA
Case No. 1 on the merits.
Manila, Philippines, March 16, 1998.
(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member
(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Reference: Book IX, pp. 214-216