Republic of the Philippines
[G.R. No. L-9657. November 29, 1956.]
LEOPOLDO T. BACANI and MATEO A. MATOTO, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
NATIONAL COCONUT CORPORATION, ET AL., Defendants, NATIONAL COCONUT CORPORATION and BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS, Defendants-Appellants.
D E C I S I O N
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
Plaintiffs herein are court stenographers assigned in Branch VI of the Court of First Instance of Manila. During the pendency of Civil Case No. 2293 of said court, entitled Francisco Sycip vs. National Coconut Corporation, Assistant Corporate Counsel Federico Alikpala, counsel for Defendant, requested said stenographers for copies of the transcript of the stenographic notes taken by them during the hearing. Plaintiffs complied with the request by delivering to Counsel Alikpala the needed transcript containing 714 pages and thereafter submitted to him their bills for the payment of their fees. The National Coconut Corporation paid the amount of P564 to Leopoldo T. Bacani and P150 to Mateo A. Matoto for said transcript at the rate of P1 per page.
Upon inspecting the books of this corporation, the Auditor General disallowed the payment of these fees and sought the recovery of the amounts paid. On January 19, 1953, the Auditor General required the Plaintiffs to reimburse said amounts on the strength of a circular of the Department of Justice wherein the opinion was expressed that the National Coconut Corporation, being a government entity, was exempt from the payment of the fees in question. On February 6, 1954, the Auditor General issued an order directing the Cashier of the Department of Justice to deduct from the salary of Leopoldo T. Bacani the amount of P25 every payday and from the salary of Mateo A. Matoto the amount of P10 every payday beginning March 30, 1954. To prevent deduction of these fees from their salaries and secure a judicial ruling that the National Coconut Corporation is not a government entity within the purview of section 16, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, this action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila.