You are on page 1of 11


Locus Standi
The OSG also attacks the legal personality of the petitioners to file their respective
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and
petitions. It contends that the "as applied challenge" lodged by the petitioners cannot
Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by Congress on December
prosper as the assailed law has yet to be enforced and applied against them, 111 and
21, 2012.
the government has yet to distribute reproductive health devices that are abortive.112
Challengers from various sectors of society are questioning the constitutionality of the
Locus standi or legal standing is defined as a personal and substantial interest in a
said Act. The petitioners are assailing the constitutionality of RH Law on the following
case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
challenged governmental act.113
Transcendental Importance
1. The RH Law violates the right to life of the unborn.
2. The RH Law violates the right to health and the right to protection against
hazardous products. Notwithstanding, the Court leans on the doctrine that "the rule on standing is a matter
3. The RH Law violates the right to religious freedom. of procedure, hence, can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens,
4. The RH Law violates the constitutional provision on involuntary servitude. taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the
5. The RH Law violates the right to equal protection of the law. matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to society, or of
6. The RH Law violates the right to free speech. paramount public interest."116
7. The RH Law is “void-for-vagueness” in violation of the due process clause
of the Constitution.
8. The RH Law intrudes into the zone of privacy of one’s family protected by In view of the seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents, not only to the public,
the Constitution but also to the bench and bar, the issues raised must be resolved for the guidance of
all. After all, the RH Law drastically affects the constitutional provisions on the right to
PROCEDURAL: Whether the Court may exercise its power of judicial review over the life and health, the freedom of religion and expression and other constitutional rights.
controversy. Mindful of all these and the fact that the issues of contraception and reproductive
1. Power of Judicial Review health have already caused deep division among a broad spectrum of society, the
2. Actual Case or Controversy Court entertains no doubt that the petitions raise issues of transcendental importance
3. Facial Challenge warranting immediate court adjudication. More importantly, considering that it is the
4. Locus Standi right to life of the mother and the unborn which is primarily at issue, the Court need not
5. Declaratory Relief wait for a life to be taken away before taking action.
6. One Subject/One Title Rule
The Court cannot, and should not, exercise judicial restraint at this time when rights
ISSUE: Whether the Court may exercise its power of judicial review over the enshrined in the Constitution are being imperilled to be violated. To do so, when the
controversy. life of either the mother or her child is at stake, would lead to irreparable
HELD: YES Declaratory Relief

Actual Case or Controversy

Proponents of the RH Law submit that the subj ect petitions do not present any actual The respondents also assail the petitions because they are essentially petitions for
case or controversy because the RH Law has yet to be implemented.97 They claim that declaratory relief over which the Court has no original jurisdiction.120 Suffice it to state
the questions raised by the petitions are not yet concrete and ripe for adjudication that most of the petitions are praying for injunctive reliefs and so the Court would just
since no one has been charged with violating any of its provisions and that there is no consider them as petitions for prohibition under Rule 65, over which it has original
showing that any of the petitioners' rights has been adversely affected by its operation. jurisdiction. Where the case has far-reaching implications and prays for injunctive
reliefs, the Court may consider them as petitions for prohibition under Rule 65.121
One Subject-One Title
An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is
appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision
of the court would amount to an advisory opinion.99 The rule is that courts do not sit to The petitioners also question the constitutionality of the RH Law, claiming that it
adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest, however intellectually violates Section 26(1 ), Article VI of the Constitution,122 prescribing the one subject-one
challenging. The controversy must be justiciable-definite and concrete, touching on the title rule. According to them, being one for reproductive health with responsible
legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. In other words, the pleadings parenthood, the assailed legislation violates the constitutional standards of due
must show an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right, on the one hand, and a process by concealing its true intent - to act as a population control measure.123
denial thereof, on the other; that is, it must concern a real, tangible and not merely a
theoretical question or issue. There ought to be an actual and substantial controversy Be that as it may, the RH Law does not violate the one subject/one bill rule. In
admitting of specific relief through a decree conclusive in nature, as distinguished from Benjamin E. Cawaling, Jr. v. The Commission on Elections and Rep. Francis Joseph
an opinion advising what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of facts.100 G Escudero, it was written:

Corollary to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of It is well-settled that the "one title-one subject" rule does not require the Congress to
ripeness.101 A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had employ in the title of the enactment language of such precision as to mirror, fully index
a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. For a case to be considered ripe or catalogue all the contents and the minute details therein. The rule is sufficiently
for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something has then been accomplished or complied with if the title is comprehensive enough as to include the general object
performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture, and the which the statute seeks to effect, and where, as here, the persons interested are
petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to himself as informed of the nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its
a result of the challenged action. He must show that he has sustained or is operation. Moreover, this Court has invariably adopted a liberal rather than technical
immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act construction of the rule "so as not to cripple or impede legislation." [Emphases
complained of102 supplied]
In this case, a textual analysis of the various provisions of the law shows that both
In this case, the Court is of the view that an actual case or controversy exists and that "reproductive health" and "responsible parenthood" are interrelated and germane to
the same is ripe for judicial determination. Considering that the RH Law and its the overriding objective to control the population growth.
implementing rules have already taken effect and that budgetary measures to carry
out the law have already been passed, it is evident that the subject petitions present a LOZANO VS NOGRALES
justiciable controversy. As stated earlier, when an action of the legislative branch is
seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it not only becomes a right, but FACTS:
also a duty of the Judiciary to settle the dispute.104
The two petitions, filed by their respective petitioners in their capacities as concerned
citizens and taxpayers, prayed for the nullification of House Resolution No. 1109
Moreover, the petitioners have shown that the case is so because medical entitled A Resolution Calling upon the Members of Congress to Convene for the
practitioners or medical providers are in danger of being criminally prosecuted under Purpose of Considering Proposals to Amend or Revise the Constitution, Upon a
the RH Law for vague violations thereof, particularly public health officers who are Three-fourths Vote of All the Members of Congress.
threatened to be dismissed from the service with forfeiture of retirement and other
benefits. They must, at least, be heard on the matter NOW. ISSUE:
Whether petitions present a justiciable controversy.
Facial Challenge
The OSG also assails the propriety of the facial challenge lodged by the subject
petitions, contending that the RH Law cannot be challenged "on its face" as it is not a HELD: NO
speech regulating measure.
Consequently, considering that the foregoing petitions have seriously alleged that the In the present case, the fitness of petitioners case for the exercise of
constitutional human rights to life, speech and religion and other fundamental rights judicial review is grossly lacking. In the first place, petitioners have not sufficiently
mentioned above have been violated by the assailed legislation, the Court has proven any adverse injury or hardship from the act complained of. In the second place,
authority to take cognizance of these kindred petitions and to determine if the RH Law House Resolution No. 1109 only resolved that the House of Representatives shall
can indeed pass constitutional scrutiny. To dismiss these petitions on the simple convene at a future time for the purpose of proposing amendments or revisions to the
expedient that there exist no actual case or controversy, would diminish this Court as a Constitution. No actual convention has yet transpired and no rules of procedure have
reactive branch of government, acting only when the Fundamental Law has been yet been adopted. More importantly, no proposal has yet been made, and hence, no
transgressed, to the detriment of the Filipino people. usurpation of power or gross abuse of discretion has yet taken place. In short, House
Resolution No. 1109 involves a quintessential example of an uncertain governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its
contingent future event that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not jurisdiction, not that it erred or had a different view.[49]
occur at all. The House has not yet performed a positive act that would warrant
an intervention from this Court. Petitioners position disregards, or at least waters down, Rules 7 and 88 of
Yet another requisite rooted in the very nature of judicial power is locus standi or the HRET Rules. If the Court will dictate to the HRET on how to proceed with these
standing to sue. Thus, generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when he can election protest proceedings, the Tribunal will no longer have exclusive
demonstrate that (1) he has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury control,direction and supervision of all matters pertaining to its own functions and
because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly operation. It will constitute an intrusion into the HRETs domain and a curtailment of
traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by the the HRETs power to act of its own accord on its own evaluation of the evidentiary
remedy being sought.[13] In the cases at bar, petitioners have not shown the elemental weight and effect of the result of the initial revision.
injury in fact that would endow them with the standing to sue. Locus standi requires a
personal stake in the outcome of a controversy for significant reasons. It assures We are not declaring any winner here. We do not have the authority to do
adverseness and sharpens the presentation of issues for the illumination of the so. We are merely remanding the case to the HRET so that revision proceedings may
Court in resolving difficult constitutional questions.[14] The lack of petitioners promptly continue, precisely to determine the true will of the electorate in the
personal stake in this case is no more evident than in Lozanos three-page petition that 2ndlegislative district of Taguig City for the 2007-2010 congressional term.
is devoid of any legal or jurisprudential basis.
Neither can the lack of locus standi be cured by the claim of petitioners that they
are instituting the cases at bar as taxpayers and concerned citizens. A taxpayers KALIPUNAN NG DAMAY ANG MAHIBIRAP vs. JESSIE ROBREDO
suit requires that the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of
public funds derived from taxation.[15] It is undisputed that there has been no FACTS:
allocation or disbursement of public funds in this case as of yet. To be sure,
standing as a citizen has been upheld by this Court in cases where a petitioner is able
petitioners are occupying parcels of land owned by and located in the cities of San
to craft an issue of transcendental importance or when paramount public interest is
Juan, Navotas and Quezon. These LGUs sent the petitioners notices of eviction and
involved.[16] While the Court recognizes the potential far-reaching implications of the
demolition pursuant to Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 in order to give way to the
issue at hand, the possible consequence of House Resolution No. 1109 is
implementation and construction of infrastructure projects2 in the areas illegally
yet unrealized and does not infuse petitioners with locus standi under the
occupied by the petitioners. Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 authorize evictions and
transcendental importance doctrine.
demolitions without any court order when: (1) persons or entities occupy danger areas
such as esteros, railroad tracks, garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways,
and other public places suchas sidewalks, roads, parks, and playgrounds; and (2)
persons or entities occupy areas where government infrastructure projects with
available funding are about to be implemented. petitioners directly filed a petition for
Petitioner Henry Jun Dueas, Jr. and private respondent Angelito Jett P. Reyes were
prohibition and mandamus before the Court, seeking to compel the Secretary of
rival candidates for the position of congressman in the 2nd legislative district of Taguig
Interior and Local Government, et al. (the public respondents)to first secure an eviction
City. After the canvass of the votes, petitioner was proclaimed the winner. private
and/or demolition order from the court prior to their implementation of Section 28 (a)
respondent filed an election protest before HRET prayed for a revision/recount in
and (b) of RA 7279. The petitioners justify their direct recourse before this Court by
170 of the 732 precincts, he alleged that he was cheated in the protested precincts
generally averring that they have no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
through insidious and well-orchestrated electoral frauds and anomalies which resulted
ordinary course of law. They also posit that the respondents gravely abused their
in the systematic reduction of his votes and the corresponding increase in petitioners
discretion in implementing Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 which are patently
votes. HRET issued another order directing petitioner to augment his cash deposit in
unconstitutional. They likewise insist that they stand to be directly injured by the
the amount of P320,000 to cover the expenses of the revision of ballots in the
respondents’ threats of evictions and demolitions. In the alternative, they contend that
remaining 75% counter-protested precincts. Instead of complying with the order,
the transcendental public importance of the issues raised in this case clothes them
petitioner filed an urgent motion to withdraw/abandon the remaining 75% counter-
with legal standing.
protested precincts. This was denied by the HRET. In issuing Resolution No. 08-353
dated November 27, 2008, HRET invoked Rule 88 of the HRET Rules and settled
jurisprudence, ruling that it had the discretion either to dismiss the protest or counter-
protest, or to continue with the revision if necessitated by reasonable and sufficient
(1) Whether the petition should be dismissed for serious procedural defects; and
grounds affecting the validity of the election. This was with the end in view of
ascertaining the true choice of the electorate. It was the HRETs position that the mere
filing of a motion to withdraw/abandon the unrevised precincts did not automatically (a) Whether the petitioners violated the principle of hierarchy
divest the HRET of its jurisdiction over the same. of courts;

The core issue for our determination is whether the HRET committed grave abuse of (b) Whether the petitioners correctly availed themselves of a
discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in issuing Resolution petition for prohibition and mandamus;

HELD: The petition has no merit. (2) Whether Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 are violative of Sections 1 and 6, Article
3 of the 1987 Constitution.
Petitioner argues mainly that private respondent as protestant in the election protest at
the HRET had the burden of proving his cause. Failing to do so, the protest should
have been dismissed promptly and not unduly prolonged. HELD:

The petition has no merit. (1a)The petitioners violated the principle of hierarchy of courts when they directly filed
the petition before the Court.
We base our decision not only on the constitutional authority of the HRET as
the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications[36] of its The petitioners have unduly disregarded the hierarchy of courts by coming directly to
members but also on the limitation of the Courts power of judicial review. the Court withtheir petition for prohibition and mandamus. The petitioners appear to
have forgotten that the Supreme Court is a court of last resort, not a court offirst
The Court itself has delineated the parameters of its power of instance. The hierarchy of courts should serve as a general determinant of the
review in cases involving the HRET appropriate forum for Rule 65 petitions. By directly filing Rule 65 petitions before us,
the petitioners have unduly taxed the Court’s time and attention which are better
... so long as the Constitution grants the HRET the power to devoted to matters within our exclusive jurisdiction. Worse, the petitioners only
be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, contributed to the overcrowding of the Court's docket.
returns and qualifications of members of the House of
Representatives, any final action taken by the HRET on a
matter within its jurisdiction shall, as a rule, not be reviewed
by this Court . the power granted to the Electoral Tribunal (1b) The petitioners wrongly availed themselves of a petition for prohibition and
x x x excludes the exercise of any authority on the part of mandamus.
this Court that would in any wise restrict it or curtail it or
even affect the same.[37] (emphasis supplied) The petitioners seem to have forgotten that a writ of prohibition only lies against the
tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person’s exercise of judicial, quasi-judicial or
Guided by this basic principle, the Court will neither assume a power that belongs ministerial functions.14 We issue a writ of prohibition to afford the aggrieved party a
exclusively to the HRET nor substitute its own judgment for that of the Tribunal. relief against the respondent’s usurpation or grave abuse of jurisdiction or power.15

The acts complained of in this case pertain to the HRETs exercise of its
discretion, an exercise which was well within the bounds of its authority. On the other hand, a petition for mandamus is merely directed against the tribunal,
corporation, board, officer, or person who unlawfully neglects the performance of an
At the risk of unduly encroaching on the exclusive prerogative of the act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station or who
HRET as the sole judge of election contests involving its members, the Court cannot unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which
substitute its own sense or judgment for that of the HRET on the issues of such other is entitled.16 Thus, a writ of mandamus will only issue to compel an officer
whether the evidence presented during the initial revision could affect the to perform a ministerial duty. It will not control a public officer’s exercise of discretion
officially proclaimed results and whether the continuation of the revision as where the law imposes upon him the duty to exercisehis judgment in reference to
proceedings could lead to a determination of the true will of the any manner in which he is required to actprecisely because it is his judgment that is to
electorate. Regrettably, that is what petitioner actually wants the Court to do. But in be exercised, not that of the court.17
the exercise of its checking function, the Court should merely test whether or not the
In the present case, the petitioners seek to prohibit the respondents from implementing COMELEC GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT PREMISED ITS
Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 without a prior court order of eviction and/or RESOLUTION ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS AND FAILED TO CONSIDER
demolition. RA7279 clearly shows that the acts complained of are beyond the scope of CERTAIN RELEVANT FACTS THAT WOULD JUSTIFY A DIFFERENT
a petition for prohibition and mandamus. The use of the permissive word "may" implies CONCLUSION.
that the public respondents have discretion when their duty to execute evictions and/or
demolitions shall be performed. Where the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free
from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
It is succinct that courts will not substitute the finding of probable cause by the
COMELEC in the absence of grave abuse of discretion. The abuse of discretion must
Consequently, the time when the public respondents shall carry out evictions and/or
be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual
demolitions under Section 28 (a), (b), and (c) of RA 7279 is merely discretionary, and
refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law as
not ministerial, judicial or quasi-judicial. The duty is discretionary if the law imposes a
where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of
duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide when the duty shall be
passion or hostility.

According to the COMELEC En Banc, the investigating officer, in the case at bar, held
In contrast, a ministerial duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given
that there was sufficient cause for the filing of criminal charges against petitioners, and
state of facts,in a prescribedmanner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority,
found no reason to depart therefrom. Without question, on May 9 and 11 of 2001,
without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety
petitioners applied for registration as new voters with the Office of the Election Officer
of the act done.19
of Burauen, Leyte, notwithstanding the existence of petitioners’ registration records as
registered voters of Precinct No. 4419-A of Barangay Bagong Lipunan ng Crame,
On the other hand, both judicial and quasi-judicial functions involve the determination District IV, Quezon City. The directive by the COMELEC which affirmed the
of what the law is, and what the legal rights of the contending parties are, with respect Resolution55 of 28 November 2000 of Investigating Officer Atty. Tangaro-Casingal
tothe matter in controversy and, on the basis thereof and the facts obtaining, the does not appear to be wanting in factual basis, such that a reasonably prudent man
adjudication of their respective rights. would conclude that there exists probable cause to hold petitioners for trial.

(2) The resolution of the constitutionality of Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 is not This power to prosecute necessarily involves the power to determine who shall be
the lis mota of the case. prosecuted, and the corollary right to decide whom not to prosecute.57 Evidently, must
this power to prosecute also include the right to determine under which laws
prosecution will be pursued. The courts cannot dictate the prosecution nor usurp its
Even if we treat the present petition as one for certiorari since it assails the
discretionary powers. As a rule, courts cannot interfere with the prosecutor’s discretion
constitutionality of Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279, the petition must necessarily fail
and control of the criminal prosecution.58 Its rationale cannot be doubted. For the
for failure to show the essential requisites that would warrant the Court’s exercise of
business of a court of justice is to be an impartial tribunal, and not to get involved with
judicial review. It is a rule firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence that the courts will not
the success or failure of the prosecution to prosecute.59 Every now and then, the
determine the constitutionality of a law unless the following requisites are present: (1)
prosecution may err in the selection of its strategies, but such errors are not for neutral
the existence of an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights
courts to rectify, any more than courts should correct the blunders of the defense.60
susceptible of judicial determination; (2) the existence of personal and substantial
interest on the part of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) recourse to
judicial review is made at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the resolution of the DAVID VS ARROYO
constitutional question must be necessary to the decision of the case.21
This means that the petitioner who claims the unconstitutionality of a law has the
burden of showing first that the case cannot be resolved unless the disposition of the
On February 24, 2006, President Arroyo issued PP No. 1017 declaring a state of
constitutional question that he raised is unavoidable. If there is some other ground
emergency. On the same day, PGMA issued G.O. No. 5 implementing PP1017,
upon which the court may rest its judgment, that course will be adopted and the
directing the members of the AFP and PNP "to immediately carry out the necessary
question of constitutionality should be avoided.22 Thus, to justify the nullification ofa
and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and
law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, and not one
lawless violence."
that is doubtful, speculative or argumentative.23

David, et al. assailed PP 1017 on the grounds that (1) it encroaches on the emergency
We carefully read the petitions and we conclude that they fail to compellingly show the
powers of Congress; (2) it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requirements for
necessity of examining the constitutionality of Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 in the
the imposition of martial law; and (3) it violates the constitutional guarantees of
light of Sections 1 and 6, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution.24 In Magkalas v.
freedom of the press, of speech and of assembly. They alleged “direct injury” resulting
NHA,25 this Court had already ruled on the validity of evictions and demolitions without
from “illegal arrest” and “unlawful search” committed by police operatives pursuant to
any court order. In that case, we affirmed the validity ofSection 2 of Presidential
PP 1017.
Decree No. 1472 which authorizes the NHA to summarily eject all informal settlers’
colonies on government resettlement projects as well as any illegal occupant in any
homelot, apartment or dwelling unit owned or administered by the NHA. In that case, During the hearing, the Solicitor General argued that the issuance of PP 1017 and GO
we held that Caridad Magkalas’ illegal possession of the property should not hinder 5 have factual basis, and contended that the intent of the Constitution is to give full
the NHA’s development of Bagong Barrio Urban Bliss Project. We further stated that discretionary powers to the President in determining the necessity of calling out the
demolitions and evictions may be validly carried out even without a judicial order in the armed forces. The petitioners did not contend the facts stated b the Solicitor General.
following instances: (1) when the property involved is an expropriated property xxx
pursuant to Section 1 of P.D. No. 1315;

We note that Section 10, Article13 of the 1987 Constitution provides that urban or rural
poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwelling demolished, except in accordance 1. Whether or not the PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 is constitutional.
with law and in a just and humane manner. Paragraph 1, Section 28 of RA 7279 2. Whether the issuance of PP 1021 renders the petitions moot and
allows summary evictions and demolition in cases where persons or entities occupy academic.
danger areas and when persons or entities occupy areas where government 3. Whether petitioners in 171485 (Escudero et al.), G.R. Nos.
infrastructure projects with available funding are about to be implemented. 171400 (ALGI), 171483 (KMU et al.), 171489 (Cadiz et al.),
and 171424 (Legarda) have legal standing.



Respondent Dennis Garay, along with Angelino Apostol filed a Complaint-

Affidavit with the COMELEC charging petitioners with violation of of the Omnibus I- Moot and Academic Principle
Election Code. Respondent deposed that: petitioners are of legal ages and residents
of Quezon City; on 9 May 2000 and 11 May 2000, petitioners Romualdez, applied for An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal right, an opposite legal claims
registration as new voters with the Office of the Election Officer of Burauen, Leyte. In susceptible of judicial resolution. It is definite and concrete, touching the legal
their sworn applications, petitioners made false and untruthful representations in by relations of parties having adverse legal interest a real and substantial controversy
indicating therein that they are residents of Leyte, when in truth and in fact, they were admitting of specific relief.
and still are residents and registered voters of Quezon City and that petitioners,
knowing fully well said truth, intentionally and willfully, did not fill the blank spaces in
said applications corresponding to the length of time which they have resided in A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by
Burauen, Leyte. , COMELEC Investigating Officer, issued a Resolution, recommending virtue of supervening events,[26] so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical
to the COMELEC Law Department (Investigation and Prosecution Division), the filing use or value.[27] Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case[28]or dismiss it on
of the appropriate Information against petitioners. ground of mootness.

ISSUE: The Court holds that President Arroyo's issuance of PP 1021 did not render the
present petitions moot and academic. During the eight (8) days that PP 1017 was
operative, the police officers, according to petitioners, committed illegal acts in over privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest without prior
implementing it. Are PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 constitutional or valid? Do they legislation.
justify these alleged illegal acts? These are the vital issues that must be resolved in
the present petitions. It must be stressed that an unconstitutional act is not a law, it G.O. No. 5 is CONSTITUTIONAL since it provides a standard by which
confers no rights, it imposes no duties, it affords no protection; it is in legal the AFP and the PNP should implement PP 1017, i.e. whatever is Ònecessary and
contemplation, inoperative. appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of lawless
violence.Ó Considering that Òacts of terrorismÓ have not yet been defined and
The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically made punishable by the Legislature, such portion of G.O. No. 5 is
dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
academic, if:

The warrantless arrest of Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas; the

1. there is a grave violation of the Constitution; dispersal and warrantless arrest of the KMU and NAFLU-KMU members during their
2. the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public rallies, in the absence of proof that these petitioners were committing acts constituting
interest is involved; lawless violence, invasion or rebellion and violating BP 880; the imposition of
3. when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, as well as the
principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its articles for
4. the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. publication and other materials, are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
All the foregoing exceptions are present here and justify this Court's assumption of ASSOCIATION OF FLOOD VICTIMS VS COMELEC
jurisdiction over the instant petitions. Petitioners alleged that the issuance of PP 1017
and G.O. No. 5 violates the Constitution. There is no question that the issues being FACTS:
raised affect the public's interest, involving as they do the people's basic rights to Supreme Court affirmed COMELEC Resolution cancelling the certificate of registration
freedom of expression, of assembly and of the press. Moreover, the Court has the of the Alliance of Barangay Concerns (ABC) Party-List which won in the party-list
duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional precepts, doctrines or rules. It elections in the 2010 national elections. petitioners Association of Flood Victims and
has the symbolic function of educating the bench and the bar, and in the present Jaime Aguilar Hernandez (Hernandez) filed with this Court a special civil action for
petitions, the military and the police, on the extent of the protection given by certiorari and/or mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Petitioners assert
constitutional guarantees. [35] And lastly, respondents' contested actions are capable that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued Minute
of repetition. the party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continues to be Resolution
prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of its issuance. Certainly, the petitions are ISSUE: whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Minute
subject to judicial review. Resolution

II- Legal Standing

Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given HELD: We dismiss the petition. Petitioners do not have legal capacity to sue.
question.' In private suits, standing is governed by the 'real-parties-in interest' rule as
contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It In their petition, it is stated that petitioner Association of Flood Victims "is a non-profit
provides that 'every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the and non-partisan organization in the process of formal incorporation, the primary
real party in interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in interest' is 'the party who stands purpose of which is for the benefit of the common or general interest of many flood
to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the victims who are so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as parties," and that
avails of the suit.' petitioner Hernandez "is a Tax Payer and the Lead Convenor of the Association of
Flood Victims."3 Clearly, petitioner Association of Flood Victims, which is still in the
The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff process of incorporation, cannot be considered a juridical person or an entity
who asserts a 'public right' in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a authorized by law, which can be a party to a civil action.4
representative of the general public.

Petitioner Association of Flood Victims is an unincorporated association not endowed

Thus, the Court has adopted a rule that even where the petitioners have failed to show with a distinct personality of its own. An unincorporated association, in the absence of
direct injury, they have been allowed to sue under the principle of transcendental an enabling law, has no juridical personality and thus, cannot sue in the name of the
importance. association.5 Such unincorporated association is not a legal entity distinct from its
By way of summary, the following rules may be culled from the cases members. If an association, like petitioner Association of Flood Victims, has no juridical
decided by this Court. Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be personality, then all members of the association must be made parties in the civil
accorded standing to sue, provided that the following requirements are met: action.6 In this case, other than his bare allegation that he is the lead convenor of the
Association of Flood Victims, petitioner Hernandez showed no proof that he was
(1) the cases involve constitutional issues; authorized by said association. Aside from petitioner Hernandez, no other member
was made signatory to the petition. Only petitioner Hernandez signed the Verification
(2) for taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal and Sworn Certification Against Forum Shopping,7stating that he caused the
disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is preparation of the petition. There was no accompanying document showing that the
unconstitutional; other members of the Association of Flood Victims authorized petitioner Hernandez to
represent them and the association in the petition.
(3) for voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in
the validity of the election law in question; More so in this case where there is no showing that petitioner Hernandez is validly
authorized to represent petitioner Association of Flood Victims.
(4) for concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the
issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be Since petitioner Association of Flood Victims has no legal capacity to sue, petitioner
settled early; and Hernandez, who is filing this petition as a representative of the Association of Flood
Victims, is likewise devoid of legal personality to bring an action in
(5) for legislators, there must be a claim that the official court.1âwphi1 Neither can petitioner Hernandez sue as a taxpayer because he failed
action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as to show that there was illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation10 or that public
legislators. funds are wasted through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.11

Besides, petitioners have no locus standi or legal standing. Locus standi or legal
It must always be borne in mind that the question of locus standi is but standing is defined as:
corollary to the bigger question of proper exercise of judicial power. This is the
underlying legal tenet of the liberality doctrine on legal standing. It cannot be doubted
that the validity of PP No. 1017 and G.O. No. 5 is a judicial question which is of x x x a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained
paramount importance to the Filipino people. To paraphrase Justice Laurel, the or will sustain a direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being
whole of Philippine society now waits with bated breath the ruling of this Court on this challenged. The term "interest" means a material interest, an. interest in issue affected
very critical matter. The petitions thus call for the application of the Òtranscendental by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere
importance doctrine, a relaxation of the standing requirements for the petitioners in incidental interest. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such
the PP 1017 cases. personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete
adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends
This Court holds that all the petitioners herein have locus standi. for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.12

WHEREFORE, the Petitions are partly granted. The Court rules that PP In this case, petitioners failed to allege personal or substantial interest . in the
1017 is CONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it constitutes a call by President Gloria questioned governmental act which is the issuance of COMELEC Minute Resolution
Macapagal-Arroyo on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence. However, No. 12-0859, which confirmed the re-computation of the allocation of seats of the
the provisions of PP 1017 commanding the AFP to enforce laws not related to lawless Party-List System of Representation in the House of Representatives in the 10 May
violence, as well as decrees promulgated by the President, are 2010 Automated National and Local Elections. Petitioner Association of Flood Victims
declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. In addition, the provision in PP 1017 declaring is not even a party-list candidate in the 10 May 2010 elections, and thus, could not
national emergency under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution have been directly affected by COMELEC Minute Resolution No. 12-0859.
is CONSTITUTIONAL, but such declaration does not authorize the President to take
RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS OF THE PROTECTED SEASCAPE TAÑON Court must refer to a material interest that is not merely a curiosity about or an
STRAIT VS REYES "interest in the question involved." The interest must be present and substantial. It is
not a mere expectancy or a future, contingent interest.

The human petitioners implead themselves in a representative capacity "as legal The petition asks whether private respondent Joseph Ejercito Estrada is covered by
guardians of the lesser life-forms and as responsible stewards of God's the ban on the President from any reelection. Private respondent was elected
Creations."1 They use Oposa v. Factoran, Jr.2 as basis for their claim, asserting their President of the Republic of the Philippines in the general elections held on May 11,
right to enforce international and domestic environmental laws enacted for their benefit 1998. He sought the presidency again in the general elections held on May 10, 2010.
under the concept of stipulation pour autrui.3 As the representatives of Resident Petitioner Atty. Evillo C. Pormento opposed private respondents candidacy and filed a
Marine Mammals, the human petitioners assert that they have the obligation to build petition for disqualification. However, his petition was denied by COMELEC. Hence,
awareness among the affected residents of Tañon Strait as well as to protect the this petition.
environment, especially in light of the government's failure, as primary steward, to do
its duty under the doctrine of public trust.4 ISSUE: : Whether [t]he President shall not be eligible for any reelection

The human petitioners want us to create substantive and procedural rights for animals Private respondent was not elected President the second time he
through their allegation that they can speak for them. Obviously, we are asked to ran. Since the issue on the proper interpretation of the phrase any reelection will be
accept the premises that (a) they were chosen by the Resident Marine Mammals of premised on a persons second (whether immediate or not) election as President, there
Tañon Strait; (b) they were chosen by a representative group of all the species of the is no case or controversy to be resolved in this case. No live conflict of legal rights
Resident Marine Mammals; (c) they were able to communicate with them; and (d) they exists.[6] There is in this case no definite, concrete, real or substantial controversy that
received clear consent from their animal principals that they would wish to use human touches on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests.[7] No specific
legal institutions to pursue their interests. relief may conclusively be decreed upon by this Court in this case that will benefit any
of the parties herein.[8] As such, one of the essential requisites for the exercise of the
In the alternative, they want us to accept through judicial notice that there is a power of judicial review, the existence of an actual case or controversy, is sorely
relationship of guardianship between them and all the resident mammals in the lacking in this case.
affected ecology. As a rule, this Court may only adjudicate actual, ongoing
controversies.[9] The Court is not empowered to decide moot questions or abstract
propositions, or to declare principles or rules of law which cannot affect the result as to
the thing in issue in the case before it.[10] In other words, when a case is moot, it
becomes non-justiciable.[11]
An action is considered moot when it no longer presents a justiciable
controversy because the issues involved have become academic or dead or when the
whether animals have legal standing before courts matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to judicial
intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the parties. There is
HELD: nothing for the court to resolve as the determination thereof has been overtaken by
subsequent events.[12]

There is no valid reason in law or the practical requirements of this case to implead GARCIA VS DRILON
and feign representation on behalf of animals. To have done so betrays a very
anthropocentric view of environmental advocacy. There is no way that we, humans, FACTS:
can claim to speak for animals let alone present that they would wish to use our court Garcia filed, for herself and in behalf of her minor children before the RTC for the
system, which is designed to ensure that humans seriously carry their responsibility issuance of a (TPO) against her husband, Jesus C. Garcia (petitioner), pursuant to
including ensuring a viable ecology for themselves, which of course includes R.A. 9262. She claimed to be a victim of physical abuse; emotional, psychological, and
compassion for all living things. economic violence as a result of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner, with threats
of deprivation of custody of her children and of financial support. RTC issued TPO.
petitioner filed before the CA a petition for prohibition challenging (1) the
Our rules on standing are sufficient and need not be further relaxed. constitutionality of R.A. 9262 for being violative of the due process and the equal
protection clauses, and (2) the validity of the modified TPO issued in the civil case for
Perhaps it is time to revisit the ruling in Oposa v. Factoran. being "an unwanted product of an invalid law."


That case was significant in that, at that time, there was need to call attention to UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT ALLOWS AN UNDUE DELEGATION OF
environmental concerns in light of emerging international legal principles. While JUDICIAL POWER TO THE BARANGAY OFFICIALS
"intergenerational responsibility" is a noble principle, it should not be used to obtain
judgments that would preclude future generations from making their own assessment HELD:
based on their actual concerns. The present generation must restrain itself from There is no undue delegation of judicial power to barangay officials.Petitioner
assuming that it can speak best for those who will exist at a different time, under a contends that protection orders involve the exercise of judicial power which, under the
different set of circumstances. In essence, the unbridled resort to representative suit Constitution, is placed upon the "Supreme Court and such other lower courts as may
will inevitably result in preventing future generations from protecting their own rights be established by law" and, thus, protests the delegation of power to barangay officials
and pursuing their own interests and decisions. It reduces the autonomy of our to issue protection orders.
children and our children 's children. Even before they are born, we again restricted
their ability to make their own arguments.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine
It is my opinion that, at best, the use of the Oposa doctrine in environmental cases whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
should be allowed only when of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.112 On the
other hand, executive power "is generally defined as the power to enforce and
a) there is a clear legal basis for the representative suit; administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and
enforcing their due observance."113

b) there are actual concerns based squarely upon an existing legal right;
As clearly delimited by the aforequoted provision, the BPO issued by the Punong
Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad, merely orders
c) there is no possibility of any countervailing interests existing within the population the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and
represented or those that are yet to be born; and (2) threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm. Such function of the
Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his duty under
d) there is an absolute necessity for such standing because there is a threat of the Local Government Code to "enforce all laws and ordinances," and to "maintain
catastrophe so imminent that an immediate protective measure is necessary. public order in the barangay."114

Better still, in the light of its costs and risks, we abandon the precedent all We have held that "(t)he mere fact that an officer is required by law to inquire into the
together.23 (Emphasis in the original) existence of certain facts and to apply the law thereto in order to determine what his
official conduct shall be and the fact that these acts may affect private rights do not
constitute an exercise of judicial powers."115
Similarly, in Paje:
In the same manner as the public prosecutor ascertains through a preliminary inquiry
A person cannot invoke the court's jurisdiction if he or she has no right or interest to or proceeding "whether there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been
protect. He or she who invokes the court's jurisdiction must be the "owner of the right committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof," the Punong Barangay must
sought to be enforced." In other words, he or she must have a cause of action. An determine reasonable ground to believe that an imminent danger of violence against
action may be dismissed on the ground of lack of cause of action if the person who the woman and her children exists or is about to recur that would necessitate the
instituted it is not the real party in interest.24 The term "interest" under the Rules of issuance of a BPO. The preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is,
concededly, an executive, not a judicial, function. The same holds true with the residents of Manila, have the required personal interest to seek relief from this Court to
issuance of a BPO. protect such right.

We need not even belabor the issue raised by petitioner that since barangay officials (2) Respondents’ submission holds true in ordinary civil proceedings. When this Court
and other law enforcement agencies are required to extend assistance to victims of exercises its constitutional power of judicial review, however, we have, by tradition,
violence and abuse, it would be very unlikely that they would remain objective and viewed the writs of certiorari and prohibition as proper remedial vehicles to test the
impartial, and that the chances of acquittal are nil. As already stated, assistance by constitutionality of statutes, and indeed, of acts of other branches of
barangay officials and other law enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty to government. Issues of constitutional import x x x carry such relevance in the life
enforce the law and to maintain peace and order. of this nation that the Court inevitably finds itself constrained to take
cognizance of the case and pass upon the issues raised, noncompliance with
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY vs.ALFREDO S. LIM the letter of procedural rules notwithstanding. The statute sought to be reviewed
here is one such law.
Challenged in these consolidated petitions2 is the validity of Ordinance No. 8187.
Requisites of judicial review

In SJS vs Mayor Atienza, the Court has so ruled that the Pandacan oil depots should
For a valid exercise of the power of judicial review, the following requisites shall
leave, and declared Ordinance 8027 issued by Mayor Atienza (classified subject lands
concur: (1) the existence of a legal controversy; (2) legal standing to sue of the party
from industrial to commercial) as constitutional. Herein petitioners now seek the
raising the constitutional question; (3) a plea that judicial review be exercised at the
nullification of Ordinance No. 8187 issued by Mayor Lim (allowing the continued stay
earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case.
of the oil depots), which contains provisions contrary to those embodied in Ordinance
No. 8027. Allegations of violation of the right to health and the right to a healthful and
balanced environment are also included. Only the first two requisites are put in issue in these cases.

As to who may file a petition for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, Petron posits that On the matter of the existence of a legal controversy, we reject the contention that the
petitioners are not among the "persons aggrieved" contemplated under Sections 1 to 3 petitions consist of bare allegations based on speculations, surmises, conjectures and
of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. hypothetical grounds.

Chevron argues that petitioners, whether as "citizens," taxpayers," or legislators," lack The Court declared Ordinance No. 8027 valid and constitutional and ordered its
the legal standing to assail the validity and constitutionality of Ordinance No. 8187. It implementation. With the passing of the new ordinance containing the contrary
further claims that petitioners failed to show that they have suffered any injury and/or provisions, it cannot be any clearer that here lies an actual case or controversy for
threatened injury as a result of the act complained of. judicial review. The allegation on this, alone, is sufficient for the purpose.

Shell also points out that the petitions cannot be considered taxpayers’ suit, for then, The second requisite has already been exhaustively discussed.
there should be a claim that public funds were illegally disbursed and that petitioners
have sufficient interest concerning the prevention of illegal expenditure of public
money. In G.R. No. 187916, Shell maintains that the petitioners failed to show their REPUBLIC vs CA
personal interest in the case and/or to establish that they may represent the general
sentiments of the constituents of the City of Manila so as to be treated as a class suit.
Even the minors, it argues, are not numerous and representative enough for the FACTS:
petition to be treated as a class suit. Asto the city councilors who joined the petitioners
in assailing the validity of Ordinance No. 8187, Shell posits that they cannot invoke the Republic of the Philippines has sought the expropriation of certain portions of land
ruling in Prof. David v. Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo, where the Court held that legislators owned by the private respondents for the widening and concreting (PJHL) road.
may question the constitutionality of a statute, if and when it infringes upon their Private respondents, however, demand that the just compensation for the property
prerogatives as legislators, because of the absence of the allegation that the assailed should be based on fair market value and not that set by Presidential Decree No. 76,
ordinance indeed infringes upon their prerogatives. as amended, which fixes payment on the basis of the assessment by the assessor or
the declared valuation by the owner, whichever is lower.

In praying for the dismissal of the petition on preliminary grounds, respondents seek a In EPZA vs. Dulay this Court held the determination of just compensation in eminent
strict observance of the offices of the writs of certiorari and prohibition, noting that the domain to be a judicial function and it thereby declared Presidential Decree No. 76, as
writs cannot issue absent any showing of grave abuse of discretion in the well as related decrees, including Presidential Decree No. 1533, to the contrary extent,
exercise of judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial powers on the part of as unconstitutional and as an impermissible encroachment of judicial prerogatives.
respondents and resulting prejudice on the part of petitioners.

ISSUE: The petition for review, despite the aforesaid pronouncement by this Court, has been
given due course upon the pleas of the Solicitor General to have us address the
following concerns:
whether or not the enactment of the assailed Ordinance allowing the continued stay of
the oil companies in the depots is, indeed, invalid and unconstitutional. EFFECT OF JUDICIAL DECLARATION OF PD 1533 AS
1. Whether petitioners have local standing CASE WHERE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PD 1533 NOT

ISSUE: what is the effect of judicial declaration of PD 1533 as unconstitutional and
void? up to when retroactively? effect on a pending appealed case?
(1)At the outset, let it be emphasized that the Court, in G.R. No. 156052, has already
pronounced that the matter of whether or not the oil depots should remain in the HELD:
Pandacan area is of transcendental importance to the residents of Manila.
Instruction is the brief treatise made by Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz, whose words we
Put otherwise, there can be no valid objection to this Court’s discretion to waive one or quote —
some procedural requirements if only to remove any impediment to address and
There are two views on the effects of a declaration of the
resolve the serious constitutional question raised in these petitions of transcendental
unconstitutionality of a statute.
importance, the same having far reaching implications insofar as the safety and
general welfare of the residents of Manila, and even its neighboring communities, are The first is the orthodox view. Under this rule, as announced
concerned. in Norton v. Shelby, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it
confers no right; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection;
"Legal standing" or locus standihas been defined as a personal and substantial it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, inoperative,
interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a as if it had not been passed. It is therefore stricken from the
result of the governmental act that is being challenged, alleging more than a statute books and considered never to have existed at all. Not
generalized grievance. x x x This Court, however, has adopted a liberal attitude on the only the parties but all persons are bound by the declaration
locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft anissue of of unconstitutionality, which means that no one may
transcendental significance to the people, as when the issues raised are of paramount thereafter invoke it nor may the courts be permitted to apply it
importance to the public. Thus, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public in subsequent cases. It is, in other words, a total nullity.
right, the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal The second or modern view is less stringent. Under this view,
interest. the court in passing upon the question of constitutionality
does not annul or repeal the statute if it finds it in conflict with
In like manner, the preservation of the life, security and safety of the people is the Constitution. It simply refuses to recognize it and
indisputably a right of utmost importance to the public. Certainly, the petitioners, as determines the rights of the parties just as if such statute had
no existence. The court may give its reasons for ignoring or
disregarding the law, but the decision affects the parties only
and there is no judgment against the statute. The opinion or Special courts are judicial tribunals exercising limited jurisdiction over particular
reasons of the court may operate as a precedent for the or specialized categories of actions. They are the Court of Tax Appeals, the
determination of other similar cases, but it does not strike the Sandiganbayan, and the Sharia Courts.[30]
statute from the statute books; it does not repeal, supersede,
revoke, or annul the statute. The parties to the suit are Under Article VIII, Section 5 (5) of the Constitution Rules of procedure
concluded by the judgment, but no one else is bound. of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved
by the Supreme Court.
The orthodox view is expressed in Article 7 of the Civil Code,
providing that "when the courts declare a law to be The law creating the Sandiganbayan, P.D. No. 1606[34] is clear on this
inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void issue.[35] It provides:
and the latter shall govern. . . . 4
Sec. 6. Maximum period for termination of cases As far as practicable, the
trial of cases before the Sandiganbayan once commenced shall be
The strict view considers a legislative enactment which is declared unconstitutional as continuous until terminated and the judgment shall be rendered within
being, for all legal intents and purposes, a total nullity, and it is deemed as if had never three (3) months from the date the case was submitted for decision.
existed. Here, of course, we refer to the law itself being per se repugnant to the
Constitution. It is not always the case, however, that a law is constitutionally faulty per On September 18, 1984, the Sandiganbayan promulgated its own
se. Thus, it may well be valid in its general import. but invalid in its application to rules,[36] thus:[37]
certain factual situations. To exemplify, an otherwise valid law may be held
unconstitutional only insofar as it is allowed to operate retrospectively such as, in Sec. 3 Maximum Period to Decide Cases The judgment or final order of a
pertinent cases, when it vitiates contractually vested rights. To that extent, its division of the Sandiganbayan shall be rendered within three (3) months
retroactive application may be so declared invalid as impairing the obligations of from the date the case was submitted for decision (underscoring ours).
contracts. 5

A judicial declaration of invalidity, it is also true, may not necessarily obliterate all the Given the clarity of the rule that does not distinguish, we hold that the three (3) month
effects and consequences of a void act occurring prior to such a declaration. Thus, in period, not the twelve (12) month period, to decide cases applies to the
our decisions on the moratorium laws, 6 we have been constrained to recognize Sandiganbayan.
the interim effects of said laws prior to their declaration of unconstitutionality, but there
we have likewise been unable to simply ignore strong considerations of equity and fair
play. So also, even as a practical matter, a situation that may aptly be described as fait
accompli may no longer be open for further inquiry, let alone to be unsettled by a
subsequent declaration of nullity of a governing statute. In Re: Letters of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza re: G.R. No. 178083 Flight Attendants
and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) v. Philippine Airlines, Inc.
The instant controversy, however, is too far distant away from any of the above (PAL), et al.
exceptional cases. To this day, the controversy between the petitioner and the private
respondents on the issue of just compensation is still unresolved, partly attributable to FACTS:
the instant petition that has prevented the finality of the decision appealed from. The On July 22, 2008, the Courts Third Division ruled to grant the petition for review
fact of the matter is that the expropriation cases, involved in this instance, were still on certiorari filed by the FASAP, finding PAL guilty of illegal dismissal. The July 22,
pending appeal when the EPZA ruling was rendered and forthwith invoked by said 2008 Decision was penned by Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago who was joined by
parties. the other four Members of the Third Division. Justice Leonardo-De Castro was
included to replace Justice Ruben Reyes who had inhibited himself from the case
In fine, we hold that the appellate court in this particular case committed no error in its because he concurred in the Court of Appeals (CA) decision assailed by FASAP
appealed decision. before the Court. Then Associate Justice Renato Corona was originally designated to
replace Justice Ruben Reyes, but he likewise inhibited himself from participation on
RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN. June July 14, 2008 due to his previous efforts in settling the controversy when he was
still in Malacaan. Under Administrative Circular (AC) No. 84-2007, one additional
Member needed be drawn from the rest of the Court to replace the inhibiting Member.
FACTS: In this manner, Justice Leonardo-De Castro came to participate in the July 22, 2008
IBP, through its National President, Arthur D. Lim, transmitted to the Court a
Resolution addressing the problem of delays in cases pending before the The Special Third Division denied the MR of PAL with finality on October 2, 2009. The
Sandiganbayan. Special Third Division missed Justice Austria-Martinez (who was among those who
signed the July 22, 2008 Decision) due to her intervening retirement on April 30,
ISSUE: What is the reglementary period within which the Sandiganbayan must 2009. Justice Leonardo-De Castro also did not participate in resolving the 1st MR,
decide/resolve cases falling within its jurisdiction? despite having voted on the July 22, 2008 Decision, because of her own subsequent
inhibition on July 28, 2009.
On November 3, 2009, PAL asked for leave of court to file (a) an MR of the October 2,
Period To Decide/Resolve Cases.-- There are two views. The first view is that from 2009 Resolution, and (b) a 2nd MR of the July 22, 2008 Decision. However, on
the time a case is submitted for decision or resolution, the Sandiganbayan has twelve November 11, 2009, the case was raffled, not to a Member of the Third Division that
(12) months to decide or resolve it.[20] The second view is that as a court with trial issued the July 22, 2008 Decision or to a Member of the Special Third Division that
function, the Sandiganbayan has three (3) months to decide the case from the date of rendered the October 2, 2009 Resolution, but to Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr. who
submission for decision.[21] was then a Member of the newly-constituted regular Third Division.

Article VIII, Section 15 (1) and (2), of the 1987 Constitution provides: In raffling the case to Justice Velasco, the Raffle Committee considered the above-
quoted rule inapplicable because of the express excepting qualification provided under
"Sec. 15. (1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution A.M. No. 99-8-09-SC that states:
must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of
submission to the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, [t]hese rules shall not apply to motions for reconsideration of decisions or
twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other resolutions already denied with finality. [underscoring ours]
lower courts.
Stated otherwise, when the original ponente of a case retires, motions filed after the
case has been denied with finality may be resolved by any Member of the Court to
(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon whom the case shall be raffled, not necessarily by a Member of the same Division that
the filing of the last pleading, brief or memorandum required by the Rules of decided or resolved the case. Presumably, the logic behind the rule is that no further
Court or by the court itself.[22] change can be made involving the merits of the case, as judgment has reached finality
and is thus irreversible, based on the Rules of Court provision that [n]o second MR of
The above provision does not apply to the Sandiganbayan. The provision a judgment or final resolution by the same party shall be entertained.
refers to regular courts of lower collegiate level that in the present hierarchy applies
only to the Court of Appeals.[23]

The Sandiganbayan is a special court of the same level as the Court of ISSUE: whether the general rule under A.M. No. 99-8-09-SC (which was then still in
Appeals and possessing all the inherent powers of a court of justice,[24] with functions effect) should have applied so that the case should have been transferred to the
of a trial court.[25] remaining Members of the Division that ruled on the merits of the case. In other
words, with the re-opening of the case for review on the merits, the application of the
Thus, the Sandiganbayan is not a regular court but a special one.[26] The excepting qualification under A.M. No. 99-8-09-SC that the Raffle Committee cited lost
Sandiganbayan was originally empowered to promulgate its own rules of its efficacy, as the rulings of the Court were no longer final for having been opened for
procedure.[27] However, on March 30, 1995, Congress repealed the Sandiganbayans further review.
power to promulgate its own rules of procedure[28] and instead prescribed that the
Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court shall apply to all cases and HELD:
proceedings filed with the Sandiganbayan.[29] Applying these rules by reconciling the two provisions under consideration, Section 3,
Rule 8 of the IRSC should be read as the general rule applicable to the inhibition of a
Member-in-Charge. This general rule should, however, yield where the inhibition
occurs at the late stage of the case when a decision or signed resolution is assailed Filing/Docket Fees, on the basis of Section 13, Republic Act No. 6395 (An Act
through an MR. At that point, when the situation calls for the review of the merits of the Revising the Charter of the National Power Corporation).
decision or the signed resolution made by a ponente (or writer of the assailed ruling), On October 27, 2009, however, the Court issued A.M. No. 05-10-20-SC
Section 3, Rule 8 no longer applies and must yield to Section 7, Rule 2 of the IRSC stating that:
which contemplates a situation when the ponente is no longer available, and calls for The Court Resolved, upon recommendation of the Committee on the
the referral of the case for raffle among the remaining Members of the Division who Revision of the Rules of Court, to DENY the request of the National Power
acted on the decision or on the signed resolution. This latter provision should rightly Corporation (NPC) for exemption from the payment of filing fees pursuant
apply as it gives those who intimately know the facts and merits of the case, through to Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6395, The request appears to run
their previous participation and deliberations, the chance to take a look at the decision counter to Section 5(5), Article VIII of the Constitution, in the rule-making
or resolution produced with their participation. power of the Supreme Court over the rules on pleading, practice and
procedure in all courts, which includes the sole power to fix the filing fees
To reiterate, Section 3, Rule 8 of the IRSC is the general rule on inhibition, but it must of cases in courts.
yield to the more specific Section 7, Rule 2 of the IRSC where the obtaining situation is
for the review on the merits of an already issued decision or resolution and ISSUE: the subject letter of NPC for clarification as to its exemption from the payment
the ponente or writer is no longer available to act on the matter. On this basis, of filing fees and court fees.
the ponente, on the merits of the case on review, should be chosen from the remaining
participating Justices, namely, Justices Peralta and Bersamin.


Section 22 of Rule 141 reads:
Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (petitioner) is a credit cooperative
Sec. 22. Government exempt. The Republic of
organized under Republic Act No. 6938 (RA 6938), or the Cooperative Code of the
the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities are exempt
Philippines. Article 62(6) of RA 6938 exempts cooperatives:
from paying the legal fees provided in this rule. Local
government units and government-owned or controlled
from the payment of all court and sheriff's fees payable to the Philippine
corporations with or without independent charters
Government for and in connection with all actions brought under this
are not exempt from paying such fees. (emphasis supplied)
Code, or where such action is brought by the Cooperative Development
Authority before the court, to enforce the payment of obligations
contracted in favor of the cooperative. Section 70 of Republic Act No. 9136 (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001), on
privatization of NPC assets, expressly states that the NPC shall remain as a national
Petitioner, as mortgagee, filed Regional Trial Court a petition to extrajudicially government-owned and controlled corporation.
foreclose a mortgage. Under Section 7(c) of Rule 141, petitions for extrajudicial
foreclosure are subject to legal fees based on the value of the mortgagees claim.
Invoking Article 62 (6) of RA 6938, petitioner sought exemption from payment of the Thus, NPC is not exempt from payment of filing fees.
In re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS) from Payment of Legal Fees.In said case, the Court,
ISSUE: The question is whether petitioners application for extrajudicial foreclosure is citing Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice,[1] stressed that the 1987 Constitution took
exempt from legal fees under Article 62(6) of RA 6938. away the power of Congress to repeal, alter or supplement rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure; and that the power to promulgate these rules is no longer
HELD: shared by the Court with Congress and the Executive, thus:
Petitions for Extrajudicial Foreclosure
Outside of the Ambit of Article 62(6) of RA 6938 Since the payment of legal fees is a vital component of the
The scope of the legal fees exemption Article 62(6) of RA 6938 grants to cooperatives rules promulgated by this Court concerning pleading, practice
is limited to two types of actions, namely: (1) actions brought under RA 6938; and (2) and procedure, it cannot be validly annulled, changed or
actions brought by the Cooperative Development Authority to enforce the payment of modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of this
obligations contracted in favor of cooperatives. Courts institutional independence, the power to promulgate
The Power of the Legislature rules of pleading, practice and procedure is now the Courts
vis a vis the Power of the Supreme Court exclusive domain. That power is no longer shared by this
to Enact Judicial Rules Court with Congress, much less the Executive.
Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice[17] that this Courts power to promulgate The 1987 Constitution molded an
judicial rules is no longer shared by this Court with Congress: even stronger and more independent judiciary. Among
others, it enhanced the rule making power of this
The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger Court. Its Section 5(5), Article VIII provides:
and more independent judiciary. Among others, it enhanced
the rule making power of this Court [under] Section 5(5), xxxxxxxxx
Article VIII[18] x x x .
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the
The rule making power of this Court was following powers.
expanded. This Court for the first time was given the power to
promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement xxxxxxxxx
of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the
first time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of (5) Promulgate rules
special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. But most importantly, concerning the protection and
the 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress to enforcement of constitutional
repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all
practice and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules courts, the admission to the practice of law,
of pleading, practice and procedure is no longer shared by the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
this Court with Congress, more so with the Executive. x x x underprivileged.Such rules shall provide a
x (Italicization in the original; boldfacing supplied) simplified and inexpensive procedure for the
speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform
Reaffirming Echegarays construction of Section 5(5), the Court described for all courts of the same grade, and shall not
its exclusive power to promulgate rules on pleading, practice and procedure as one of diminish, increase, or modify substantive
the safeguards of this Courts institutional independence: rights. Rules of procedure of special courts
and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain
[T]he payment of legal fees is a vital component effective unless disapproved by the
of the rules promulgated by this Court concerning pleading, Supreme Court.
practice and procedure, it cannot be validly annulled,
changed or modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards
of this Courts institutional independence, the power
to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is
now the Courts exclusive domain.[20] x x x (Emphasis



FACTS: The National Power Corporation (NPC) seeks clarification from the Court on
whether or not it is exempt from the payment of filing fees, appeal bonds and
supersedeas bonds. On December 6, 2005, the Court issued A.M. No. 05-10-20-
SC, In re: Exemption of the National Power Corporation from the Payment of
RE REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE/CLARIFICATION ON SECTION 7, RULE III OF RA By way of a long standing tradition, partly based on the intention to reward long and
10154 faithful service, the sale to the retired Justices of specifically designated properties that
they used during their incumbency has been recognized both as a privilege and a
FACTS: benefit. This has become an established practice within the Judiciary that even the
Before the Court is a Memorandum from the Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief COA has previously recognized.32 The En Banc Resolution also deems the grant of
Administrative Officer, Office of AdministrativeServices of the Supreme Court the privilege as a form of additional retirement benefit that the Court can grant its
requesting guidance/clarification on the applicability to the Judiciary of Section 7, Rule officials and employees in the exercise of its power of administrative supervision.
III of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. (RA) 10154 1 which Under this administrative authority, the Court has the power to administer the
states: Judiciary’s internal affairs, and this includes the authority to handle and manage the
retirement applications and entitlements of its personnel as provided by law and by its
own grants.33
Section 7. Notice of Pendency of Case. The retiring employee shall seek
Clearance of Pendency/Non-Pendency of Administrative Case from
his/her employer agency, Civil Service Commission (CSC), Office of the Thus, under the guarantees of the Judiciary’s fiscal autonomy and its independence,
Ombudsman, or in case of presidential appointees, from the Office of the the Chief Justice and the Court En Banc determine and decide the who, what, where,
President. when and how of the privileges and benefits they extend to justices, judges, court
officials and court personnel within the parameters of the Court’s granted power; they
ISSUE: Whether the requirement of seeking a Clearance of Pendency/Non-Pendency determine the terms, conditions and restrictions of the grant as grantor.
of Administrative Case from the Civil Service Commission embodied in Section 7, Rule
III of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10154 is applicable
HELD: No. Section 6, Article VIII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution exclusively vests
in the Court administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel. As such, it
oversees the court personnel’s compliance with all laws and takes the proper
This case involves the proposed bills abolishing the Judiciary Development Fund1 and
administrative action against them for any violation thereof.4 As an adjunct thereto, it
replacing it with the "Judiciary Support Fund." Funds collected from the proposed
keeps in its custody records pertaining to the administrative cases of retiring court
Judiciary Support Fund shall be remitted to the national treasury and Congress shall
determine how the funds will be used. Petitioner Rolly Mijares (Mijares) prays for the
issuance of a writ of mandamus in order to compel this court to exercise its judicial
In view of the foregoing, the Court rules that the subject provision – which requires independence and fiscal autonomy against the perceived hostility of Congress.
retiring government employees to secure a prior clearance of pendency/non-pendency
of administrative case/s from, among others, the CSC – should not be made to apply
to employees of the Judiciary. To deem it otherwise would disregard the Court’s
ISSUE: whether petitioner Rolly Mijares has sufficiently shown grounds for this court to
constitutionally-enshrined power of administrative supervision over its personnel.
grant the petition and issue a writ of mandamus. Petitioner argues that Congress
Besides, retiring court personnel are already required to secure a prior clearance of
"gravely abused its discretion with a blatant usurpation of judicial independence and
the pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s from the Court which makes the
fiscal autonomy of the Supreme Court."
CSC clearance a superfluous and non-expeditious requirement contrary to the
declared state policy of RA 10154.

It must, however, be noted that since the Constitution only accords the Judiciary
The petition does not comply with the requisites of judicial review.
administrative supervision over its personnel, a different treatment of the clearance
requirement obtains with respect to criminal cases. As such, a clearance requirement
which pertains to criminal cases may be imposed by the appropriate government No actual case or controversy
agency, i.e., the Office of the Ombudsman,6 on retiring court personnel as it is a matter petitioner is asking this court to stop Congress from passing laws that will abolish the
beyond the ambit of the Judiciary’s power of administrative supervision. Judiciary Development Fund. This court has explained that the filing of bills is within
the legislative power of Congress and is "not subject to judicial restraint. A proposed
bill produces no legal effects until it is passed into law. Under the Constitution, the
RE COA OPINION ON THE COMPUTATION OF THE APPRAISED VALUE OF THE judiciary is mandated to interpret laws. It cannot speculate on the constitutionality or
PROPERTIES PURCHASED BY THE RETIRED CHIEF/ASSOCIATE JUSTICES OF unconstitutionality of a bill that Congress may or may not pass. It cannot rule on mere
THE SUPREME COURT speculations or issues that are not ripe for judicial determination.36 The petition,
therefore, does not present any actual case or controversy that is ripe for this court’s
FACTS: determination.

Memoranda from Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer, Office of
The judiciary is the weakest branch of government. It is true that courts have power to
Administrative Services essentially ask the Court to determine the proper formula to be
declare what law is given a set of facts, but it does not have an army to enforce its
used in computing the appraisal value that a retired Chief Justice and several
writs. Courts do not have the power of the purse. "Except for a constitutional provision
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court have to pay to acquire the government
that requires that the budget of the judiciary should not go below the appropriation for
properties they used during their tenure. This issue has its roots in COA Opinionwhich
the previous year, it is beholden to the Congress depending on how low the budget is."
found that an underpayment resulted when five (5) retired Supreme Court justices
purchased from the Supreme Court the personal properties assigned to them during
their incumbency in the Court. Despite being the third co-equal branch of the government, the judiciary enjoys less
than 1% of the total budget for the national government. Specifically, it was a mere
0.82% in 2014,51 0.85% in 2013, 0.83% in 2012,53 and 0.83% in 2011.

The entire budget for the judiciary, however, does not only come from the national
government. The Constitution grants fiscal autonomy to the judiciary to maintain its
independence.61 In Bengzon v. Drilon:62
The Judiciary’s fiscal autonomy is realized through the actions of the Chief Justice, as
its head, and of the Supreme Court En Banc, in the exercise of administrative control
The Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman must have the
and supervision of the courts and its personnel. As the Court En Banc’s Resolution
independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The
(dated March 23, 2004) in A.M. No. 03-12-01 reflects, the fiscal autonomy of the
imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional
Judiciary serves as the basis in allowing the sale of the Judiciary’s properties to retiring
offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to
Justices of the Supreme Court and the appellate courts:
fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate of the Constitution but
especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence and separation of
WHEREAS, by the constitutional mandate of fiscal autonomy as defined in Bengzon v. powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based.63
Drilon (G.R. No. 103524, 15 April 1992, 208 SCRA 133, 150) the Judiciary has "full
flexibility to allocate and utilize (its) resources with the wisdom and dispatch that (its)
Courts, therefore, must also be accountable with their own budget. The Judiciary
needs require";
Development Fund, used to augment the expenses of the judiciary, is regularly
accounted for by this court on a quarterly basis. The financial reports are readily
WHEREAS, the long-established tradition and practice of Justices or Members of available at the Supreme Court website.64 These funds, however, are still not enough
appellate courts of purchasing for sentimental reasons at retirement government to meet the expenses of lower courts and guarantee credible compensation for their
properties they used during their tenure has been recognized as a privilege enjoyed personnel. The reality is that halls of justice exist because we rely on the generosity of
only by such government officials; and local government units that provide additional subsidy to our judges.65 If not, the
budget for the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of halls of justice is with the
Department of Justice.66
WHEREAS, the exercise of such privilege needs regulation to the end that respect for
sentiments that a retiring Justice attaches to properties he or she officially used during
his or her tenure should be in consonance with the need for restraint in the utilization As a result, our fiscal autonomy and judicial independence are often undermined by
and disposition of government resources. low levels of budgetary outlay, the lack of provision for maintenance and operating
expenses, and the reliance on local government units and the Department of Justice.
(1) the assailed policy requiring five years of experience as judges of first-level courts
VILLANUEVA V. JBC before they can qualify as applicant to the Regional Trial Court, and (2) other special
guidelines that the Judicial and Bar Council is or will be implementing.
On 2012, the petitioner was appointed as the Presiding Judge of MTC. On 2013, he SISON-BARIAS V. JUDGE RUBIA and EILEEN A. PECAÑA, DATA ENCODER II
applied for RTC Judge. JBC informed the petitioner that he was not included in the list
of candidates. The decision not to include his name in the list of applicants was upheld FACTS:
due to the JBC’s long-standing policy of opening the chance for promotion to second-
level courts to, among others, incumbent judges who have served in their current
position for at least five years, and since the petitioner has been a judge only for more
Complainant Sison-Barias is involved in three cases pending before the sala of
than a year, he was excluded from the list.
respondent Judge Marino Rubia. Complainant alleged that there was delay in the
publication of the notice in the petition for issuance of letters of administration filed.
In his petition, he argued that: (1) the Constitution already prescribed the qualifications
She then asked respondent Pecaña, the Data Encoder to check the status of the
of an RTC judge, and the JBC could add no more; (2) the JBC’s five-year requirement
publication of the notice. Pecaña asked for complainant’s number so that she could
violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution; and (3) the
inform her of any development in the case. Complainant called respondent Pecaña
JBC’s five-year requirement violates the constitutional provision on Social Justice and
who informed her that respondent Judge Rubia wanted to talk to her. Complainant
Human Rights for Equal Opportunity of Employment.
agreed to meet with respondent Judge Rubia over dinner, on the condition that
respondent Pecaña would be present as well. Over dinner, respondent Judge Rubia
allegedly asked her questions. These details, according to complainant, were never
whether or not the policy of JBC requiring five years of service as judges of first-level
discussed in the pleadings or in the course of the trial. Thus, she inferred that
courts before they can qualify as applicant to second-level courts is constitutional.
respondent Judge Rubia had been talking to the opposing counsel regarding these
matters outside of the court proceedings. Complainant enumerated occasions that
alleged manifest partiality on the part of respondent Judge Rubia. Among others,
Complainant alleged that respondent Judge Rubia refused to issue Orders that would
The writ of mandamus does not issue to control or review the exercise of discretion or have allowed her to comply with her duties as the special administrator of her late
to compel a course of conduct, which, it quickly seems to us, was what the petitioner husband’s estate. She alleged that respondent Judge Rubia failed to require a timely
would have the JBC do in his favor. The function of the JBC to select and recommend filing of the pre-trial brief on the part of opposing parties and despite their
nominees for vacant judicial positions is discretionary, not ministerial. More so, the noncompliance on four (4) separate pre-trials that were postponed, they were not
petitioner cannot claim any legal right to be included in the list of nominees for judicial declared in default. In her comment, respondent Pecaña did not deny meeting
vacancies. Possession of the constitutional and statutory qualifications for appointment complainant. However, she claimed that the alleged meeting between complainant
to the judiciary may not be used to legally demand that one’s name be included in the and respondent Judge Rubia was merely a chance encounter. Complainant allegedly
list of candidates for a judicial vacancy. One’s inclusion in the list of the candidates asked her help because her lawyers instructed her to bribe Judge Rubia. Respondent
depends on the discretion of the JBC, thus: Pecaña only said that respondent Judge Rubia does not accept money and that he is
financially stable.
The fact that an individual possesses the constitutional and statutory qualifications for
appointment to the Judiciary does not create an entitlement or expectation that his or
her name be included in the list of candidates for a judicial vacancy. By submitting an
ISSUE: The issue in this case is whether respondents Judge Rubia and Pecaña
application or accepting a recommendation, one submits to the authority of the JBC to
should be held administratively liable.
subject the former to the search, screening, and selection process, and to use its
discretion in deciding whether or not one should be included in the list. Indeed,
assuming that if one has the legal right to be included in the list of candidates simply
because he or she possesses the constitutional and statutory qualifications, then the
There was clearly no reason for respondent Pecaña to go out of her way to greet
application process would then be reduced to a mere mechanical function of the JBC;
respondent Judge Rubia. In fact, after allegedly being repeatedly reminded that court
and the search, screening, and selection process would not only be unnecessary, but
employees should not have any dealings with litigants, respondent Pecaña should not
also improper. However, this is clearly not the constitutional intent. One’s inclusion in
have gone out to greet respondent Judge Rubia since she was dining with a litigant.
the list of candidates is subject to the discretion of the JBC over the selection of
nominees for a particular judicial post. Such candidate’s inclusion is not, therefore, a
legally demandable right, but simply a privilege the conferment of which is subject to The odds that complainant and respondent Pecaña would meet respondent Judge
the JBC’s sound discretion. Rubia by pure coincidence are highly improbable. Granted, chance meetings between
persons may take place, but a chance meeting between a litigant in the company of a
Moreover, petitioner is essentially seeking a promotional appointment, that is, a court employee who acceded to assisting the litigant in a case and the judge deciding
promotion from a first-level court to a second level court. There is no law, however, that case is outside the realm of common experience. The odds of such an occurrence
that grants him the right to a promotion to second-level courts. are, indeed, one in a million. The sheer improbability of such an occurrence already
puts into question the truth of respondents’ allegations.
Respondent Pecaña’s actions constitute a clear violation of the requirement that all
Clearly, to be included as an applicant to second-level judge is not properly
court personnel uphold integrity and prudence in all their actions.
compellable by mandamus inasmuch as it involves the exercise of sound discretion by
the JBC.
The totality of the actions of respondent Judge Rubia is a clear manifestation of a lack
of integrity and impartiality essential to a judge.
Here, the assailed JBC policy does not fall within the administrative rules and
regulations exempted from the publication requirement. The assailed policy involves a
qualification standard by which the JBC shall determine proven competence of an
applicant. It is not an internal regulation, because if it were, it would regulate and affect A judge is the visible representation of the law. Thus, he must behave, at all times, in
only the members of the JBC and their staff. Notably, the selection process involves a such a manner that his conduct, official or otherwise, can withstand the most
call to lawyers who meet the qualifications in the Constitution and are willing to serve searching public scrutiny. The ethical principles and sense of propriety of a judge are
in the Judiciary to apply to these vacant positions. Thus, it is but a natural essential to the preservation of the people's faith in the judicial system.154
consequence thereof that potential applicants be informed of the requirements to the
judicial positions, so that they would be able to prepare for and comply with them.
Because of the meeting, and the subsequent orders issued after the meeting,
respondent Judge Rubia violated the notions of propriety required of his office.
The express declaration of these guidelines in JBC-009, which have been duly Respondents have relentlessly stood by their position that the meeting was a chance
published on the website of the JBC and in a newspaper of general circulation encounter, and, thus, no impropriety could be attributed to the meeting itself.
suggests that the JBC is aware that these are not mere internal rules, but are rules
implementing the Constitution that should be published. Thus, if the JBC were so-
minded to add special guidelines for determining competence of applicants for RTC Respondent Judge Rubia’s actions belittled the integrity required of judges in all their
judges, then it could and should have amended its rules and published the same. This, dealings inside and outside the courts. For these actions, respondent Judge Rubia
the JBC did not do as JBC-009 and its amendatory rule do not have special guidelines now lost the requisite integrity, impartiality, and propriety fundamental to his office. He
for applicants to the RTC. cannot be allowed to remain a member of the judiciary.

Moreover, jurisprudence has held that rules implementing a statute should be Respondents in this case failed to subscribe to the highest moral fiber mandated of the
published. Thus, by analogy, publication is also required for the five-year requirement judiciary and its personnel. Their actions tainted their office and besmirched its
because it seeks to implement a constitutional provision requiring proven competence integrity. In effect, both respondents are guilty of gross misconduct. This court defined
from members of the judiciary. Nonetheless, the JBC’s failure to publish the assailed misconduct as "a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more
policy has not prejudiced the petitioner’s private interest. At the risk of being repetitive, particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer." 155 In Camus v.
the petitioner has no legal right to be included in the list of nominees for judicial The Civil Service Board of Appeals,156 this court held that "[m]isconduct has been
vacancies since the possession of the constitutional and statutory qualifications for defined as ‘wrong or improper conduct’ and ‘gross’ has been held to mean ‘flagrant;
appointment to the Judiciary may not be used to legally demand that one’s name be shameful’. . . . This Court once held that the word misconduct implies a wrongful
included in the list of candidates for a judicial vacancy. One’s inclusion in the shortlist intention and not a mere error of judgment."157
is strictly within the discretion of the JBC.
Both respondents are indeed guilty of gross misconduct. However, respondent Judge
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DISMISSED. The Court, however, Rubia is also guilty of conduct unbecoming of a judge for violating Canons 2, 3, and 4
DIRECTS that the Judicial and Bar Council comply with the publication requirement of of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
. WHEREFORE, the court resolved tore docket the case as a regular administrative
matter. Respondent Judge Marino Rubia is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with ISSUE: Whether the incumbent President have the power and authority to appoint
corresponding forfeiture of all retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits, and during the election ban the successor of Chief Justice Puno when he vacates the
disqualified from reinstatement or appointment in any public office, including position of Chief Justice on his retirement on May 17, 2010?
government owned or -controlled corporations. Respondent Eileen Pecaña is
SUSPENDED for one (1) year for gross misconduct. This decision is immediately
executory. Respondent Judge Rubia is further ordered to cease and desist from
discharging the functions of his office upon receipt of this decision. HELD:

IN RE LETTER OF JUDGE DIAZ Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply
to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court
or to other appointments to the Judiciary

Judge Diaz is an applicant for judgeship in one of the vacant RTC Branches in Metro Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict.
Manila. He was told by the JBC to seek judicial clemency.
In Alvarez V. Diaz, Judge Diaz was found guilty of gross ignorance of the The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides:
law when he granted the following motions: (1) a motion for execution which was
fatally defective for lack of notice to the defendant and (2) a motion for demolition Section 15. Two months immediately before the next
without notice and hearing. His action on the motion for demolition also made him presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a
liable for grave abuse of authority.[3] He was fined P20,000.[4] President or Acting President shall not make
appointments, except temporary appointments to executive
Section 5, Rule 4 of the Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council provides: positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice
public service or endanger public safety.
SEC. 5. Disqualification. The following are
disqualified from being nominated for appointment to any
judicial post or as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman: The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states:

1. Those with pending criminal or Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be
regular administrative cases; composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices.
2. Those with pending criminal cases in It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five,
foreign courts or tribunals; and or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety
3. Those who have been convicted in days from the occurrence thereof.
any criminal case; or in an
administrative case, where the As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and,
penalty imposed is at least a fine among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution in the President. The
of more than P10,000, unless he presidential power of appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Article.
has been granted judicial
clemency. [5] (emphasis supplied) Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial Department and defines the duties and
Under the said provision, Judge Diaz is disqualified from being nominated qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among others. Section 4(1) and
for appointment to any judicial post, until and unless his request for judicial clemency Section 9 of this Article are the provisions specifically providing for the appointment of
is granted. Supreme Court Justices.

ISSUE: Whether Judge Diaz should be granted judicial clemency. Section 15, Article VII does not apply as well to all other appointments in
the Judiciary.

HELD: There is no question that one of the reasons underlying the adoption of
Clemency, as an act of mercy removing any disqualification, should be Section 15 as part of Article VII was to eliminate midnight appointments from being
balanced with the preservation of public confidence in the courts. The Court will grant made by an outgoing Chief Executive in the mold of the appointments dealt with in the
it only if there is a showing that it is merited. Proof of reformation and a showing of leading case of Aytona v. Castillo.[75] In fact, in Valenzuela, the Court so observed,
potential and promise are indispensable.[11] stating that:

In the exercise of its constitutional power of administrative supervision xxx it appears that Section 15, Article VII is directed
over all courts and all personnel thereof,[12] the Court lays down the following against two types of appointments: (1) those made for buying
guidelines in resolving requests for judicial clemency: votes and (2) those made for partisan considerations. The
first refers to those appointments made within the two months
1. There must be proof of remorse and reformation.[13] These shall include preceding a Presidential election and are similar to those
but should not be limited to certifications or testimonials of which are declared election offenses in the Omnibus Election
the officer(s) or chapter(s) of the Integrated Bar of the Code, viz.:
Philippines, judges or judges associations and prominent
members of the community with proven integrity and probity. Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII, we
A subsequent finding of guilt in an administrative case for the have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to
same or similar misconduct will give rise to a strong appointments made in the Executive Department.
presumption of non-reformation.
2. Sufficient time must have lapsed from the imposition of the penalty[14] to
ensure a period of reformation.
3. The age of the person asking for clemency must show that he still has
productive years ahead of him that can be put to good use by
giving him a chance to redeem himself.[15]
4. There must be a showing of promise[16] (such as intellectual aptitude,
learning or legal acumen or contribution to legal scholarship
and the development of the legal system or administrative
and other relevant skills), as well as potential for public
5. There must be other relevant factors and circumstances that may justify

In this case, Judge Diaz expressed sincere repentance for his past
malfeasance. He humbly accepted the verdict of this Court in Alvarez. Three years
have elapsed since the promulgation of Alvarez. It is sufficient to ensure that he has
learned his lesson and that he has reformed. His 12 years of service in the judiciary
may be taken as proof of his dedication to the institution. Thus, the Court may now
open the door of further opportunities in the judiciary for him.


These cases trace their genesis to the controversy that has arisen from
the forthcoming compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010, or
seven days after the presidential election. Under Section 4(1), in relation to Section 9,
Article VIII, that vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence
thereof from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council
for every vacancy.