No. L-77372. April 29, 1988
MAIN TOPIC – Academic Freedom
In 1986, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) issued Resolution No. 105 as part of its “Additional Instructions to Examinees,” to all those applying for admission to take the licensure examinations in accountancy. The resolution embodied the following pertinent provisions:
“No examinee shall attend any review class, briefing, conference or the like conducted by, or shall receive any hand-out, review material, or any tip from any school, college or university, or any review center or the like or any reviewer, lecturer, instructor official or employee of any of the aforementioned or similar institutions during the three days immediately preceding every examination day including the examination day.
“Any examinee violating this instruction shall be subject to the sanctions prescribed by Sec. 8, Art. III of the Rules and Regulations of the Commission.”
Petitioners, all reviewees preparing to take the licensure examinations in accountancy, filed in their own behalf and in behalf of all others similarly situated like them, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXXII, a complaint for injunction with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against respondent PRC to restrain the latter from enforcing the above-mentioned resolution and to declare the same unconstitutional.
(1) Whether or not Resolution No. 105 infringes on the examinees’ right to liberty guaranteed by the Constitution?
(2) Whether or not Resolution No. 105 violates the academic freedom of the schools concerned?
(1) YES. Resolution No. 105 is not only unreasonable and arbitrary, it also infringes on the examinees’ right to liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Respondent PRC has no authority to dictate on the reviewees as to how they should prepare themselves for the licensure examinations. They cannot be restrained from taking all the lawful steps needed to assure the fulfillment of their ambition to become public accountants. They have every right to make use of their faculties in attaining success in their endeavors. They should be allowed to enjoy their freedom to acquire useful knowledge that will promote their personal growth.
(2) YES. Resolution No. 105 violates the academic freedom of the schools concerned. PRC cannot interfere with the conduct of review that review schools and centers believe would best enable their enrollees to meet the standards required before becoming a full-fledged public accountant. Unless the means or methods of instruction are clearly found to be inefficient, impractical, or riddled with corruption, review schools and centers may not be stopped from helping out their students.
The enforcement of Resolution No. 105 is not a guarantee that the alleged leakages in the licensure examinations will be eradicated or at least minimized. Making the examinees suffer by depriving them of legitimate means of review or preparation on those last three precious days—when they should be refreshing themselves with all that they have learned in the review classes and preparing their mental and psychological make-up for the examination day itself—would be like uprooting the tree to get ride of a rotten branch.
In the light of the above, We hereby REVERSE and SET ASIDE, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 10591 and another judgment is hereby rendered declaring Resolution No. 105 null and void and of no force and effect for being unconstitutional. This decision is immediately executory. No costs.