560 Phil. 357
Accordingly, therefore, the petition is hereby granted. The Director-General of the Philippine National Police is hereby directed to immediately issue absorption orders to the petitioners.On appeal, the CA, in the assailed June 18, 2003 Decision, reversed the ruling of the trial court and ruled that a writ of mandamus could not be issued because petitioners had not established with distinct clarity their right to be absorbed into the PNP. The CA disposed of the appeal as follows:
Resolution No. 99-061 is declared void ab initio.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED. The decision of the trial court dated November 15, 2001 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.The appellate court later denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration in the likewise assailed January 15, 2004 Resolution.
The petition has no merit.I
WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONERS HAVE A CLEAR LEGAL RIGHT TO BE ABSORBED IN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE.II.
WHETHER OR NOT RESOLUTION NO. 99-061 IS VOID FOR BEING VIOLATIVE OF THE PROVISIONS OF R.A. 7965 AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RESOLUTIONS NO. 98-037 AND 98-105.III.
WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONERS HAVE A CAUSE OF ACTION FOR MANDAMUS TO COMPEL THE RESPONDENT TO ABSORB THE PETITIONERS IN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE.
In order that a writ of mandamus may aptly issue, it is essential that, on the one hand, petitioner has a clear legal right to the claim that is sought and that, on the other hand, respondent has an imperative duty to perform that which is demanded of him. Mandamus will not issue to enforce a right, or to compel compliance with a duty, which is questionable or over which a substantial doubt exists. The principal function of the writ of mandamus is to command and to expedite, not to inquire and to adjudicate. Thus, it is neither the office nor the aim of the writ to secure a legal right but to implement that which is already established. Unless the right to relief sought is unclouded, mandamus will not issue.Viewed in light of the said guideposts, the PNP Chief's issuance of the orders for the absorption of herein petitioners in the police force is not compellable by a writ of mandamus precisely because the same does not involve a performance of a ministerial duty. Let it be noted that petitioners were discharged from the PC service, subsequently cleared of the charges against them, applied for reinstatement but their applications were not acted upon until the integration of the PC into the PNP in 1990 when R.A. No. 6975 was enacted. Thus, we no longer speak of the reinstatement of the petitioners to the service because the Philippine Constabulary no longer exists, but of their employment in the PNP which is, as we held in Gloria v. De Guzman, technically an issuance of a new appointment. The power to appoint is essentially discretionary to be performed by the officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. Consequently, it cannot be the subject of an application for a writ of mandamus.
Section 31. Appointment of PNP Officers and Members.--The appointment of the officers and members of the PNP shall be effected in the following manner:Even if, for the sake of argument, petitioners can derive a right from NAPOLCOM Resolution Nos. 98-037 and 98-105, still their right collapses and their mandamus petition becomes moot with the issuance by NAPOLCOM of Resolution No. 99-061 recalling the approval of their absorption. The trial court should then have immediately dismissed the mandamus petition when the OSG submitted a copy of Resolution No. 99-061 because well-settled is the rule that courts will not resolve a moot question.
(a) Police Officer I to Senior Police Officer IV.--Appointed by the PNP regional director for regional personnel or by the Chief of the PNP for the national headquarters personnel and attested by the Civil Service Commission.x x x
 Id. at 49-52. Resolution No. 98-105 pertinently reads:x x xRESOLUTION NO. 98-037
AMENDING NAPOLCOM RESOLUTIONS NOS. 97-111 AND 97-112, WHICH ESTABLISHED GUIDELINES IN THE DISPOSITION OF PETITIONS OF FORMER PC-INP PERSONNEL WHO ARE SEEKING REAPPOINTMENT IN THE PNP
WHEREAS, Resolution No. 97-111 provides, inter alia, that ex-PC personnel who were acquitted/exonerated from the criminal/administrative case for which they were earlier discharged or separated from the military service, (sic) shall be reemployed in the PNP if they are qualified under Sec. 30 of RA 6975 as implemented by existing pertinent rules and regulations relative thereto: Provided, however, that formal concurrence of the CSC shall be sought in the projected move of the NAPOLCOM to allow grant of (1) exemption from age requirement for new applicant under Sec. 30 (j) of RA 6975; (2) [t]estimonial eligibility; and (3) accreditation of service training, length of service and other relevant experiences to compensate for deficiency in formal education;
WHEREAS, Resolution No. 97-112 provides that ex-PC personnel who were granted amnesty under Proclamations Nos. 347, 348, 723 and 724 shall be reemployed in the PNP if they are qualified under Sec. 30 of RA 6975 as implemented by existing pertinent rules and regulations relative thereto: Provided, however, That formal concurrence of the CSC shall be sought in the projected move of the NAPOLCOM to allow grant of (1) exemption from age requirement for new applicant under Sec. 30 (j) of RA 6975; (2) testimonial eligibility; and (3) accreditation of service and other relevant experiences to compensate for deficiency in formal education;
WHEREAS, the Secretary, DILG and Chairman, (sic) National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) in a letter, dated August 20, 1997, addressed to the Chairman, (sic) Civil Service Commission (CSC) requested for the concurrence of the (CSC) (sic) on the aforementioned resolutions;
WHEREAS, a dialogue relative thereto was subsequently held at the PNP Conference Room on December 8, 1997 between the Civil Service Commission (CSC) headed by Assistant Commissioner Adelina Sarmiento and the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Police Director EDGAR C. GALVANTE wherein it was agreed upon, on recommendation of the CSC, that the absorption process under R.A. No. 6975 shall be applied in the implementation of the aforementioned NAPOLCOM Resolutions, the effectivity of which shall however be upon the promulgation of this Resolution;
NOW THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, as it does (sic) hereby RESOLVED, to consider as ABSORBED into the Philippine National Police (PNP) upon the promulgation of this Resolution the following members of the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC): (a) who were discharged by virtue of pending administrative or criminal cases but who were later acquitted or their cases dismissed (sic) and have filed (sic) petitions for reinstatement but which were not acted upon by the PNP; (b) who were already absorbed (sic) and had in fact rendered (sic) duty but whose absorptions were later revoked or cancelled unless such absorptions were found to be fraudulent; (c) whose Expiration of Term of Enlistment (ETE) had expired before the effectivity of R.A. 6975 on January 2, 1991 and have applied (sic) for reenlistment but whose applications have not yet been acted upon.
It is further RESOLVED, as it is hereby RESOLVED to direct the Chief, PNP to submit within thirty (30) days from the date of this Resolution a list of all those who have qualified for confirmation and approval of this Commission.
ADOPTED this 27 (sic) day of January 1998 at (sic) the City of Makati, Philippines.xxx
 Id. at 51-52.x x x
RESOLUTION NO. 98-105
APPROVAL AND CONFIRMATION OF THE ABSORPTION INTO THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE (PNP) OF EX-PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY (PC) OFFICERS CONTAINED IN THE LIST ENDORSED BY DIRECTOR EDGAR C. GALVANTE ON JANUARY 12, 1998.
WHEREAS, under the resolutory portion of Resolution No. 98-037, the Chief, PNP, was directed to submit within thirty (30) days from the promulgation thereof (January 27, 1998) the list of those who have qualified thereunder for approval and confirmation of the Commission;
WHEREAS, the thirty (30)-day period (sic) has already expired on February 27, 1998 but to date, no such list was submitted;
WHEREAS, on January 12, 1998 (prior to the promulgation of Resolution No. 98-037), Director Edgar C. Galvante of DPRM, PNP, endorsed to this Commission the appeal of ex-Philippine Constabulary (PC) officers (sic) ex-TSG Genaro C. Sanchez and 125 others;
WHEREAS, in the Memorandum to the Chief, PNP dated March 27, 1998, this Commission, through Commissioner Rogelio A. Pureza, in No. (6) thereof, specifically stated inter alia, (sic) x x x, you are directed to immediately transmit the list of all those ex-PC to be absorbed into the PNP, while the list headed by ex-TSG GENARO C. SANCHEZ and 125 others, having been previously forwarded by the PBP DPRM since 12 January 1998 x x x, shall be considered as having been resubmitted for confirmation and approval of the Commission en banc."
NOW THEREFORE, the One Hundred Twenty-Six (126) ex-PC members contained in the list headed by ex-TSG GENARO C. SANCHEZ, hereto attached and made integral part hereof, as previously endorsed by Director Edgar C. Galvante, DPRM, PNP, is hereby considered resubmitted for absorption into the PNP, and their qualification and absorption into the PNP are hereby APPROVED and CONFIRMED effective 27 January 1998.
ADOPTED this 3rd day of April, in the year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight.x x x
 Id. at 55.x x x
Please give this priority/immediate action and furnish this office copies of implementing orders.
- As discussed with you over the telephone, there is an imperative necessity to implement NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 98-105 dated 03 April 1998 concerning the absorption of 126 Ex-PC personnel as previously recommended by the PNP which was confirmed and approved by this Commission.
- However, it was pointed out that some PNP Reinstatement Board records are missing and could not yet be retrieved. Hence, we agreed that those with PNP Board Resolutions would have to be initially issued absorption orders, while the others would have to be acted upon later.
- Hence, attached are (sic) the initial list of forty-five (45) personnel with their individual/group Resolutions for issuance of appropriate absorption orders.x x x