G.R. No. 136374, 9 February 2000
During a spot audit conducted by a team of auditors from the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) headquarters, a cash shortage was discovered in the funds of its Bohol chapter. The chapter administrator, Francisca S. Baluyot, was held accountable for the shortage. Thereafter, private respondent Paul E. Holganza, as a member of the board of directors of the Bohol chapter, filed an affidavit-complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman charging petitioner of malversation.
Public respondent issued an Order requiring petitioner to file her counter-affidavit to the charges of malversation, with a warning that her failure to comply would be construed as a waiver on her part to refute the charges, and that the case would be resolved based on the evidence on record. Petitioner filed her counter-affidavit, raising principally the defense that public respondent had no jurisdiction over the controversy. She argued that the Ombudsman had authority only over government-owned or controlled corporations, which the PNRC was not.
Whether the PNRC is a private voluntary organization.
No. The Court ruled that the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) is a government owned and controlled corporation, with an original charter under Republic Act No. 95, as amended. The test to determine whether a corporation is government owned or controlled, or private in nature is simple. Is it created by its own charter for the exercise of a public function, or by incorporation under the general corporation law? Those with special charters are government corporations subject to its provisions, and its employees are under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, and are compulsory members of the Government Service Insurance System.
The PNRC was not “impliedly converted to a private corporation” simply because its charter was amended to vest in it the authority to secure loans, be exempted from payment of all duties, taxes, fees and other charges of all kinds on all importations and purchases for its exclusive use, on donations for its disaster relief work and other services and in its benefits and fund raising drives, and be allotted one lottery draw a year by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the support of its disaster relief operation in addition to its existing lottery draws for blood program.”
*Case digest by Teonilo M. Bagalanon Jr., JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020