Republic of the Philippines
G.R. Nos. L-45682 and 45683             August 25, 1938
DAGUPAN ICE PLANT CO., INC., petitioner,
CONSUELO A. DE LUCERO and GERARDA L. GONZALES-TABORA, respondents.
Mabanag, Primicias, Abad & Mencias for petitioner.
B. Francisco for respondents.
ABAD SANTOS, J.:
This controversy grew out of two cases heard and decided together by the Public Service Commission.
Case No. 48684 was an application for approval by the commission of the sale made by the respondent Consuelo A. de Lucero in favor of the other respondent Gerarda L. Gonzales-Tabora of a certificate of public convenience for the operation of an ice plant and the sale of the ice thus produced in, to quote from the record, "the municipalities of Bauang, Damortis, Aringay, Caba, and Naguilian of the Province of La Union and in Baguio, Mountain Province."
Case No. 49216 was entitled "escrito de oposicion y contra solicitud", wherein the petitioner Dagupan Ice Plant Co., Inc., opposed the application above mentioned and at the same time applied for authority to sell ice in the territory covered by the certificate of public convenience involved in said case No. 48684, the cancellation of which was also asked by the petitioner. To this petition the respondents duly objected.
At the hearing, evidence was presented showing that the respondent Gerarda L. Gonzales-Tabora is a citizen of the Philippines and financially able to operate an ice plant. On the other hand, the petitioner announced that he had witnesses ready to prove that the respondent Consuelo A. de Lucero had abandoned the operation of the ice plant originally erected by her in the municipality of Bauang, Province of La Union. To this proffer of proof, the respondents objected on the ground that the evidence sought to be introduced was immaterial and irrelevant, since the only question presented for determination by the commission was whether the purchaser of the certificate had financial capacity to undertake the operation of the ice plant, and whether the sale of the certificate would promote public convenience. The objection was sustained by the commission, and this is one of the errors assigned here by the petitioner. 1ªvvphïl.nët
Considering that the two cases, No. 48684 and No. 49216, were being heard jointly, and that one of the objects sought in the second case was the cancellation of the certificate involved in the first, we are of opinion that the commission erred in sustaining the objection. While the evidence was irrelevant in the first case, it was clearly relevant to the issues involved in the second. But the error is not a reversible one. The commission declared in the challenged decision that the alleged abandonment was known and sanctioned by it. The commission can take cognizance of the facts disclosed by its own records. (Manila Yellow Taxicab Co. vs. Araullo, 34 Off. Gaz., 241; Sambrano vs. Northern Luzon Transportation Co., 35 Off. Gaz., 2271.)
Upon the basis of its own records, the commission held that the barrio of Damortis is included in the territory covered by the certificate of public convenience issued to the respondent Consuelo A. de Lucero. We cannot say that the decision of the commission in this respect is not reasonably supported by the evidence before it; and the jurisdiction of this court to modify or set aside a decision of the commission is limited to cases where it clearly appears that there was no evidence before the commission reasonably to support such decision, or that the commission acted without jurisdiction. (Calabia vs. Orlanes & Banaag Transportation Co., 55 Phil., 659.)
Having reached the conclusion that there was no abandonment of service by the respondent Consuelo A. de Lucero such as would justify the cancellation or forfeiture of her certificate of public convenience, the commission was empowered, under section 33 of Commonwealth Act No. 146, to decree that its decision take effect immediately.
It result that the challenged decision should stand and remain in full force and effect. It is so ordered, with costs against the petitioner.
Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz and Concepcion, JJ., concur.
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