"x x x.
The threshold issue for resolution is whether or not petitioner has legal standing to file the instant petition for review on certiorari assailing the CA ruling which reversed petitioner's decision.
However, the government party that can appeal is not the disciplining authority or tribunal which previously heard the case and imposed the penalty of demotion or dismissal from the service. The government party appealing must be the one that is prosecuting the administrative case against the respondent. Otherwise, an anomalous situation will result where the disciplining authority or tribunal hearing the case, instead of being impartial and detached, becomes an active participant in prosecuting the respondent. Thus, in Mathay, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, decided after Dacoycoy, the Court declared:
It is an established doctrine that judges should detach themselves from cases where their decisions are appealed to a higher court for review. The raison d'etre for such a doctrine is the fact that judges are not active combatants in such proceeding and must leave the opposing parties to contend their individual positions and the appellate court to decide the issues without the judges' active participation. When judges actively participate in the appeal of their judgment, they, in a way, cease to be judicial and have become adversarial instead.
In Pleyto v. Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), the Court applied this doctrine when it held that the CA erred in granting the Motion to Intervene filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, to wit:
PNB v. Garcia, Jr. is not on all fours with the present case. First, herein respondent was not exonerated of the administrative charge of dishonesty, gross misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, but was found guilty thereof by petitioner and was meted the penalty of dismissal. Thus, it was the respondent who filed the petition with the CA as the party aggrieved by petitioner's decision. Second, the PCSO, which is supposedly the party aggrieved in the CA decision, did not file any petition, but it was the petitioner - the administrative agency - which rendered the decision reversed by the CA. Third, PNB v. Garcia must be read together with Mathay, Jr. v. CA andNational Appellate Board of the National Police Commission v. Mamauag wherein we qualified our declaration in CSC v. Dacoycoy which was cited in PNB v. Garcia that the government party that can appeal the decision in administrative cases must be the party prosecuting the case and not the disciplining authority or tribunal which heard the administrative case.