Petition vs. Ched’s rule on SWU junked

THE Court of Appeals has junked the petition seeking to reverse the resolutions of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) that recognized Southwestern University-Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine (SWU-MHAM) to operate a medical program.

The CA Manila’s 19th Division dismissed outright the petition for review filed by SWU Inc. since a similar petition was lodged before the Office of the President.
“We accord high esteem to the Office of the President’s primary jurisdiction over the instant case,” read the CA resolution penned by Associate Justice Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles.

The SWU filed the petition before the Office of the President seeking to overturn Ched Resolutions 323-2014, which authorized SWU-MHAM to operate its medical program, and 812-2014, which ordered SWU-College of Medicine to cease and desist from accepting medicine students.

Resolutions

The Office of the President has held off the effect of two Ched resolutions until further notice.

In the resolution, the CA dismissed the SWU’s petition for review since it was prematurely filed.

The appeals court recognized the jurisdiction of the Office of the President to take cognizance of appeals from an administrative agency performing a quasi-judicial function like Ched.

Appeal

Republic Act 7722 (Higher Education Act of 1994) does not provide for a mode of appeal of the orders or resolutions rendered by the agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions.

Thus, the orders or resolutions shall be appealed to the Office of the President pursuant to Section 1 of the Administrative Order 22.

“Only after administrative remedies are exhausted that a party may then resort to a judicial recourse. More importantly, we accord high esteem to the Office of the President’s primary jurisdiction over the instant case,” the CA resolution read.

Loggerheads

The SWU College of Medicine on Urgello St. and the SWU-MHAM, which operates a campus at the Redemptorist Plaza, are at loggerheads over the management of the medical program.

In May this year, education conglomerate Phinma acquired 56.83 percent or 17,201 shares in SWU, for P1.9 billion.

Phinma Corp. intends to “build on this tradition of the Aznar family, SWU’s founders, and will expand the university’s reach and reputation.”

Since 2004, Phinma has acquired four other educational institutions: Phinma Araullo University and Phinma University of Pangasinan in the north, and Phinma University of Iloilo and Phinma Cagayan de Oro College in the south.

In June this year, Ched issued a cease-and-desist order against SWU-CM for lack of permit from the commission to operate a medical program. The commission said it is only recognizing SWU-MHAM to offer its medical program. 

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