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Meralco v. PSC, 11 SCRA 317 (1986)
b. for revision and reduction of its residential meter rate.
Whether or not the informal hearing serves the purpose of “proper notice and hearing” in administrative cases.
The record shows that no hearing was held. On 22 June 1956, parties appeared before "Attorney Vivencio L. Peralta, Technical Assistant, and Chief, Finance and Rate Division, Public Service Commission, who was duly authorized to receive the evidence of the parties", and the record shows that the hearing held before the said Commissioner was merely an informal hearing because, using his own words, "I said at the beginning that this is only preliminary because I want that the parties could come to some kind of understanding." Meralco has not been given its day in court. The decision of 27 December 1957 was not promulgated "upon proper notice and hearing", as required by law, and that therefore it can not serve as a legal basis for requiring the Meralco to put in effect the reductions ordered in the decision. It is the cardinal right of a party in trials and administrative proceedings to be heard, which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof and to have such evidence presented considered by the tribunal. Even if the Commission is not bound by the rules of judicial proceedings, it must how its head to the constitutional mandate that no person shall be deprived of right without due process of law, which binds not only the government of the Republic, but also each and everyone of its branches, agencies, etc.
WHEREFORE, We set aside the decision of the respondent Public Service Commission of December 27, 1957 and the order of March 3, 1958, and remand the records of the above entitled cases to the Commission for further proceedings, and to render judgment accordingly. No costs.