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TitleDatDigest Antolin v. Domondon
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Hazel Ma. C. Antolin v. Abelardo T. Domondon, Jose A. Gangan, and Violeta J. Josef

GR No. 1655036 July 5, 2010

Petitioner Hazel Antolin took the 1997 CPA Board Exams but failed, receiving failing

grades from four out of seven subjects. Convinced that she deserved to pass, she wrote to
respondent Abelardo Domondon, Acting Chairman of the Board of Accountancy, and requested
that her answer sheets be re-corrected. Her answer sheets were shown but these consisted merely
of shaded marks. She requested for copies of the questionnaire, their respective answer keys, and
an explanation of the grading system used in each subject. Respondent denied the request.

WON Antolin has a right to obtain copies of the examination papers.

Primarily, petitioner filed a petition for mandamus with damages against the Board of

Accountancy and its members before the Manila RTC, praying that the court would order the
board to furnish her with copies of the examination papers and other documents and materials.
She later amended her petition, pleading a cause of action for the access of the documents
requested for. However, the RTC dismissed the petition on the ground that the petition had
already become moot and academic since she already passed the 1998 CPA Board Exams.
However, an omnibus order of the trial court reconsidered her case. The CA, however, ruled that
(i) the PRC regulation preventing her from gaining access to said documents were valid
limitations on petitioner’s right to information and access to government documents; (ii) that the
examination documents were not of public concern; (iii) it was not the function of the
respondents to review and reassess the answers to exam questions of a failing examinee; (iv) the
case was moot and academic as petitioner already passed the 1998 CPA Board Exams; (v) that
petitioner failed to exhaust administrative remedies, having not elevated the matter to the PRC
before seeking judicial intervention. Petitioner insists she has the Constitutional right to gain
access to said examination documents, that she did not need to exhaust administrative remedies
since no recourse to the PRC was available as only a pure question of law is involved in the case
and that her petition was not rendered moot and academic when she passed the 1998 CPA Board

Respondent primarily denied the request of petitioner on two grounds: first, the PRC

rules only permitted access to the petitioner’s answer sheet and that reconsideration of rating
shall be effected only on grounds of mechanical error in grading the answer sheets or
malfeasance; secondly, he clarified that the Board was precluded from releasing the exam papers
as such act were considered unprofessional by the PRC resolution. The Board did not find any
mechanical error in the grading of petitioner’s test papers. Nonetheless, the petitioner elevated
the case to the RTC wherein respondents argue that petitioner was not entitled for the relief
sought, among others. They also filed to dismiss the petition on damages since (1) petitioner
failed to exhaust administrative remedies, (2) the petition stated no cause of action as there was
no ministerial duty to release the information demanded, (3) and the constitutional right to

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