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Human Rights Law Case Digest: Opposa


V. Factoran (1993)
G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993
Lessons Applicable: right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthful ecology ,inter-generational
responsibility, inter-generational justice
Laws Applicable:
FACTS:

Petitioners Minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents against original
defendant Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., [Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR)] which he holds in trust for the benefit of plaintiff minors and succeeding

generations
petition to prevent the misappropriation or impairment" of Philippine rainforests and "arrest
the unabated hemorrhage of the country's vital life support systems and continued rape of
Mother Earth - granted timber license agreements ('TLA's') to various corporations to cut the
aggregate area of 3.89 million hectares for commercial logging purposes thus, at the present
rate of deforestation, i.e. about 200,000 hectares per annum or 25 hectares per hour, the

Philippines will be bereft of forest resources after the end of this ensuing decade, if not earlier.
clear and constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology and are entitled to

protection by the State in its capacity as the parens patriae


Philippine Environmental Policy which, in pertinent part, states that it is the policy of the
State: (a) to create, develop, maintain and improve conditions under which man and nature can
thrive in productive and enjoyable harmony with each other;(b) to fulfill the social, economic and
other requirements of present and future generations of Filipinos and;
(c) to ensure the attainment of an environmental quality that is conductive to a life of dignity and
well-being. (P.D. 1151, 6 June 1977)

Constitutional policy of the State to:

a. effect "a more equitable distribution of

opportunities, income and wealth" and "make full and efficient use of natural resources (sic)."
(Section 1, Article XII of the Constitution);
b. "protect the nation's marine wealth." (Section 2, ibid);

c. "conserve and promote the nation's cultural heritage and resources (sic)" (Section 14,
Article XIV, id.);
d. "protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord

with the rhythm and harmony of nature." (Section 16, Article II, id.)
Secretary Factoran, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint based on 2 grounds,
namely: (1) the plaintiffs have no cause of action against him and (2) the issue raised by the
plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the legislative or executive branches of
Government - granted further ruling that the granting of the relief prayed for would result in the

impairment of contracts which is prohibited by the fundamental law of the land.


Special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 to set aside dismissal order
ISSUE:

1. whether or not the minors have locus standi - yes

2. W/N the TLA should be cancelled

HELD:Petition is granted
2. Yes. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the

Declaration of Principles and State Policies (NOT Bill of Rights), it does not follow that it is less

important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter.
Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns
nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation-the advancement of which may even

be said to predate all governments and constitutions.


As a matter of fact, these basic rights need NOT even be written in the

Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind.
Explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter because of the well-founded
fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are
mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing
importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and
advance the second, the day would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the

present generation, but also for those to come.


The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative

duty to refrain from impairing the environment.


even before the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, specific statutes already
paid special attention to the "environmental right" of the present and future generations [June
1977: P.D. No. 1151 (PhilippineEnvironmental Policy) and P.D. No. 1152 (Philippine Environment
Code)]

Both E.O. NO. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 have set the
objectives which will serve as the bases for policy formulation, and have defined the powers and

functions of the DENR.


the non-impairment clause must yield to the police power of the state

all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not a

contract, property or a property right protested by the due process clause of the Constitution.
A timber license is an instrument by which the State regulates the utilization
and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. A timber license is
not a contract within the purview of the due process clause; it is only a license or privilege, which

can be validly withdrawn whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case
the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of contract is
limited by the exercise of the police power of the State, in the interest of public health, safety,

moral and general welfare


Equally fundamental with the private right is that of the public to regulate it in

the common interest.


With respect to renewal, the holder is NOT entitled to it as a matter of right.

Labels: 1993, Case Digest, environmental law, G.R. No. 101083, human rights, human
rights law,human rights law case digest, July 30, opposo v factoran

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. 101083 July 30,


1993
EN BANC
G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993
JUAN ANTONIO, ANNA ROSARIO and JOSE ALFONSO, all surnamed OPOSA, minors, and
represented by their parents ANTONIO and RIZALINA OPOSA, ROBERTA NICOLE SADIUA, minor,
represented by her parents CALVIN and ROBERTA SADIUA, CARLO, AMANDA SALUD and
PATRISHA, all surnamed FLORES, minors and represented by their parents ENRICO and NIDA
FLORES, GIANINA DITA R. FORTUN, minor, represented by her parents SIGRID and DOLORES
FORTUN, GEORGE II and MA. CONCEPCION, all surnamed MISA, minors and represented by
their parents GEORGE and MYRA MISA, BENJAMIN ALAN V. PESIGAN, minor, represented by his
parents ANTONIO and ALICE PESIGAN, JOVIE MARIE ALFARO, minor, represented by her parents
JOSE and MARIA VIOLETA ALFARO, MARIA CONCEPCION T. CASTRO, minor, represented by
her parents FREDENIL and JANE CASTRO, JOHANNA DESAMPARADO,
minor, represented by her parents JOSE and ANGELA DESAMPRADO, CARLO JOAQUIN T.
NARVASA, minor, represented by his parents GREGORIO II and CRISTINE CHARITY NARVASA,
MA. MARGARITA, JESUS IGNACIO, MA. ANGELA and MARIE GABRIELLE, all surnamed SAENZ,
minors, represented by their parents ROBERTO and AURORA SAENZ, KRISTINE, MARY ELLEN,
MAY, GOLDA MARTHE and DAVIDIAN, all surnamed KING, minors, represented by their parents
MARIO and HAYDEE KING, DAVID, FRANCISCO and THERESE VICTORIA, all surnamed
ENDRIGA, minors, represented by their parents BALTAZAR and TERESITA ENDRIGA, JOSE MA.

and REGINA MA., all surnamed ABAYA, minors, represented by their parents ANTONIO and
MARICA ABAYA, MARILIN, MARIO, JR. and MARIETTE, all surnamed CARDAMA, minors,
represented by their parents MARIO and LINA CARDAMA, CLARISSA, ANN MARIE, NAGEL, and
IMEE LYN, all surnamed OPOSA, minors and represented by their parents RICARDO and
MARISSA OPOSA, PHILIP JOSEPH, STEPHEN JOHN and ISAIAH JAMES, all surnamed QUIPIT,
minors, represented by their parents JOSE MAX and VILMI QUIPIT, BUGHAW CIELO, CRISANTO,
ANNA, DANIEL and FRANCISCO, all surnamed BIBAL, minors, represented by their parents
FRANCISCO, JR. and MILAGROS BIBAL, and THE PHILIPPINE ECOLOGICAL NETWORK, INC.,
petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR., in his capacity as the Secretary of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and THE HONORABLE ERIBERTO U.
ROSARIO, Presiding Judge of the RTC, Makati, Branch 66, respondents.
Oposa Law Office for petitioners.
The Solicitor General for respondents.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:


In a broader sense, this petition bears upon the right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthful
ecology which the petitioners dramatically associate with the twin concepts of "inter-generational
responsibility" and "inter-generational justice." Specifically, it touches on the issue of whether the
said petitioners have a cause of action to "prevent the misappropriation or impairment" of Philippine
rainforests and "arrest the unabated hemorrhage of the country's vital life support systems and
continued rape of Mother Earth."
The controversy has its genesis in Civil Case No. 90-77 which was filed before Branch 66 (Makati,
Metro Manila) of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), National Capital Judicial Region. The principal
plaintiffs therein, now the principal petitioners, are all minors duly represented and joined by their
respective parents. Impleaded as an additional plaintiff is the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc.
(PENI), a domestic, non-stock and non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of, inter alia,
engaging in concerted action geared for the protection of our environment and natural resources.
The original defendant was the Honorable Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., then Secretary of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). His substitution in this petition by the
new Secretary, the Honorable Angel C. Alcala, was subsequently ordered upon proper motion by the
petitioners. 1 The complaint 2 was instituted as a taxpayers' class suit 3 and alleges that the

plaintiffs "are all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, taxpayers, and entitled to the full benefit,
use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests." The
same was filed for themselves and others who are equally concerned about the preservation of said
resource but are "so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the Court." The minors
further asseverate that they "represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn." 4
Consequently, it is prayed for that judgment be rendered:
. . . ordering defendant, his agents, representatives and other persons acting in his behalf to
(1) Cancel all existing timber license agreements in the country;
(2) Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber
license agreements.
and granting the plaintiffs ". . . such other reliefs just and equitable under the premises." 5
The complaint starts off with the general averments that the Philippine archipelago of 7,100
islands has a land area of thirty million (30,000,000) hectares and is endowed with rich, lush and
verdant rainforests in which varied, rare and unique species of flora and fauna may be found; these
rainforests contain a genetic, biological and chemical pool which is irreplaceable; they are also the
habitat of indigenous Philippine cultures which have existed, endured and flourished since time
immemorial; scientific evidence reveals that in order to maintain a balanced and healthful ecology,
the country's land area should be utilized on the basis of a ratio of fifty-four per cent (54%) for forest
cover and forty-six per cent (46%) for agricultural, residential, industrial, commercial and other uses;
the distortion and disturbance of this balance as a consequence of deforestation have resulted in a
host of environmental tragedies, such as (a) water shortages resulting from drying up of the water
table, otherwise known as the "aquifer," as well as of rivers, brooks and streams, (b) salinization of
the water table as a result of the intrusion therein of salt water, incontrovertible examples of which
may be found in the island of Cebu and the Municipality of Bacoor, Cavite, (c) massive erosion and
the consequential loss of soil fertility and agricultural productivity, with the volume of soil eroded
estimated at one billion (1,000,000,000) cubic meters per annum approximately the size of the
entire island of Catanduanes, (d) the endangering and extinction of the country's unique, rare and
varied flora and fauna, (e) the disturbance and dislocation of cultural communities, including the
disappearance of the Filipino's indigenous cultures, (f) the siltation of rivers and seabeds and
consequential destruction of corals and other aquatic life leading to a critical reduction in marine
resource productivity, (g) recurrent spells of drought as is presently experienced by the entire
country, (h) increasing velocity of typhoon winds which result from the absence of windbreakers, (i)
the floodings of lowlands and agricultural plains arising from the absence of the absorbent
mechanism of forests, (j) the siltation and shortening of the lifespan of multi-billion peso dams

constructed and operated for the purpose of supplying water for domestic uses, irrigation and the
generation of electric power, and (k) the reduction of the earth's capacity to process carbon dioxide
gases which has led to perplexing and catastrophic climatic changes such as the phenomenon of
global warming, otherwise known as the "greenhouse effect."
Plaintiffs further assert that the adverse and detrimental consequences of continued and
deforestation are so capable of unquestionable demonstration that the same may be submitted as a
matter of judicial notice. This notwithstanding, they expressed their intention to present expert
witnesses as well as documentary, photographic and film evidence in the course of the trial.
As their cause of action, they specifically allege that:
CAUSE OF ACTION
7. Plaintiffs replead by reference the foregoing allegations.
8. Twenty-five (25) years ago, the Philippines had some sixteen (16) million hectares of rainforests
constituting roughly 53% of the country's land mass.
9. Satellite images taken in 1987 reveal that there remained no more than 1.2 million hectares of
said rainforests or four per cent (4.0%) of the country's land area.
10. More recent surveys reveal that a mere 850,000 hectares of virgin old-growth rainforests are
left, barely 2.8% of the entire land mass of the Philippine archipelago and about 3.0 million hectares
of immature and uneconomical secondary growth forests.
11. Public records reveal that the defendant's, predecessors have granted timber license
agreements ('TLA's') to various corporations to cut the aggregate area of 3.89 million hectares for
commercial logging purposes.
A copy of the TLA holders and the corresponding areas covered is hereto attached as Annex "A".
12. At the present rate of deforestation, i.e. about 200,000 hectares per annum or 25 hectares per
hour nighttime, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays included the Philippines will be bereft of
forest resources after the end of this ensuing decade, if not earlier.
13. The adverse effects, disastrous consequences, serious injury and irreparable damage of this
continued trend of deforestation to the plaintiff minor's generation and to generations yet unborn are
evident and incontrovertible. As a matter of fact, the environmental damages enumerated in

paragraph 6 hereof are already being felt, experienced and suffered by the generation of plaintiff
adults.
14. The continued allowance by defendant of TLA holders to cut and deforest the remaining forest
stands will work great damage and irreparable injury to plaintiffs especially plaintiff minors and
their successors who may never see, use, benefit from and enjoy this rare and unique natural
resource treasure.
This act of defendant constitutes a misappropriation and/or impairment of the natural resource
property he holds in trust for the benefit of plaintiff minors and succeeding generations.
15. Plaintiffs have a clear and constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology and are
entitled to protection by the State in its capacity as the parens patriae.
16. Plaintiff have exhausted all administrative remedies with the defendant's office. On March 2,
1990, plaintiffs served upon defendant a final demand to cancel all logging permits in the country.
A copy of the plaintiffs' letter dated March 1, 1990 is hereto attached as Annex "B".
17. Defendant, however, fails and refuses to cancel the existing TLA's to the continuing serious
damage and extreme prejudice of plaintiffs.
18. The continued failure and refusal by defendant to cancel the TLA's is an act violative of the
rights of plaintiffs, especially plaintiff minors who may be left with a country that is desertified (sic),
bare, barren and devoid of the wonderful flora, fauna and indigenous cultures which the Philippines
had been abundantly blessed with.
19. Defendant's refusal to cancel the aforementioned TLA's is manifestly contrary to the public
policy enunciated in the Philippine Environmental Policy which, in pertinent part, states that it is the
policy of the State
(a) to create, develop, maintain and improve conditions under which man and nature can thrive in
productive and enjoyable harmony with each other;
(b) to fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of
Filipinos and;
(c) to ensure the attainment of an environmental quality that is conductive to a life of dignity and
well-being. (P.D. 1151, 6 June 1977)

20. Furthermore, defendant's continued refusal to cancel the aforementioned TLA's is


contradictory to the Constitutional policy of the State to
a. effect "a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income and wealth" and "make full and
efficient use of natural resources (sic)." (Section 1, Article XII of the Constitution);
b. "protect the nation's marine wealth." (Section 2, ibid);
c. "conserve and promote the nation's cultural heritage and resources (sic)" (Section 14, Article
XIV, id.);
d. "protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with
the rhythm and harmony of nature." (Section 16, Article II, id.)
21. Finally, defendant's act is contrary to the highest law of humankind the natural law and
violative of plaintiffs' right to self-preservation and perpetuation.
22. There is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in law other than the instant action to
arrest the unabated hemorrhage of the country's vital life support systems and continued rape of
Mother Earth. 6
On 22 June 1990, the original defendant, Secretary Factoran, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss the
complaint based on two (2) grounds, namely: (1) the plaintiffs have no cause of action against him
and (2) the issue raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the
legislative or executive branches of Government. In their 12 July 1990 Opposition to the Motion, the
petitioners maintain that (1) the complaint shows a clear and unmistakable cause of action, (2) the
motion is dilatory and (3) the action presents a justiciable question as it involves the defendant's
abuse of discretion.
On 18 July 1991, respondent Judge issued an order granting the aforementioned motion to
dismiss. 7 In the said order, not only was the defendant's claim that the complaint states no cause
of action against him and that it raises a political question sustained, the respondent Judge further
ruled that the granting of the relief prayed for would result in the impairment of contracts which is
prohibited by the fundamental law of the land.
Plaintiffs thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules
of Court and ask this Court to rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the
respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action. Again, the parents of the

plaintiffs-minors not only represent their children, but have also joined the latter in this case. 8
On 14 May 1992, We resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties to submit
their respective Memoranda after the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Comment in behalf
of the respondents and the petitioners filed a reply thereto.
Petitioners contend that the complaint clearly and unmistakably states a cause of action as it
contains sufficient allegations concerning their right to a sound environment based on Articles 19, 20
and 21 of the Civil Code (Human Relations), Section 4 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 192 creating
the DENR, Section 3 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1151 (Philippine Environmental Policy),
Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution recognizing the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology, the concept of generational genocide in Criminal Law and the concept of man's
inalienable right to self-preservation and self-perpetuation embodied in natural law. Petitioners
likewise rely on the respondent's correlative obligation per Section 4 of E.O. No. 192, to safeguard
the people's right to a healthful environment.
It is further claimed that the issue of the respondent Secretary's alleged grave abuse of discretion
in granting Timber License Agreements (TLAs) to cover more areas for logging than what is
available involves a judicial question.
Anent the invocation by the respondent Judge of the Constitution's non-impairment clause,
petitioners maintain that the same does not apply in this case because TLAs are not contracts. They
likewise submit that even if TLAs may be considered protected by the said clause, it is well settled
that they may still be revoked by the State when the public interest so requires.
On the other hand, the respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a
specific legal right violated by the respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by law. They
see nothing in the complaint but vague and nebulous allegations concerning an "environmental right"
which supposedly entitles the petitioners to the "protection by the state in its capacity as parens
patriae." Such allegations, according to them, do not reveal a valid cause of action. They then
reiterate the theory that the question of whether logging should be permitted in the country is a
political question which should be properly addressed to the executive or legislative branches of
Government. They therefore assert that the petitioners' resources is not to file an action to court, but
to lobby before Congress for the passage of a bill that would ban logging totally.
As to the matter of the cancellation of the TLAs, respondents submit that the same cannot be
done by the State without due process of law. Once issued, a TLA remains effective for a certain
period of time usually for twenty-five (25) years. During its effectivity, the same can neither be
revised nor cancelled unless the holder has been found, after due notice and hearing, to have

violated the terms of the agreement or other forestry laws and regulations. Petitioners' proposition to
have all the TLAs indiscriminately cancelled without the requisite hearing would be violative of the
requirements of due process.
Before going any further, We must first focus on some procedural matters. Petitioners instituted
Civil Case No. 90-777 as a class suit. The original defendant and the present respondents did not
take issue with this matter. Nevertheless, We hereby rule that the said civil case is indeed a class
suit. The subject matter of the complaint is of common and general interest not just to several, but to
all citizens of the Philippines. Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes
impracticable, if not totally impossible, to bring all of them before the court. We likewise declare that
the plaintiffs therein are numerous and representative enough to ensure the full protection of all
concerned interests. Hence, all the requisites for the filing of a valid class suit under Section 12, Rule
3 of the Revised Rules of Court are present both in the said civil case and in the instant petition, the
latter being but an incident to the former.
This case, however, has a special and novel element. Petitioners minors assert that they
represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn. We find no difficulty in ruling that they
can, for themselves, for others of their generation and for the succeeding generations, file a class
suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is
concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers
the "rhythm and harmony of nature." Nature means the created world in its entirety. 9 Such rhythm
and harmony indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management,
renewal and conservation of the country's forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore
areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be
equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations. 10 Needless to say, every
generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full
enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minors' assertion of their
right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to
ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.
The locus standi of the petitioners having thus been addressed, We shall now proceed to the
merits of the petition.
After a careful perusal of the complaint in question and a meticulous consideration and evaluation
of the issues raised and arguments adduced by the parties, We do not hesitate to find for the
petitioners and rule against the respondent Judge's challenged order for having been issued with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The pertinent portions of the said order
reads as follows:

xxx xxx xxx


After a careful and circumspect evaluation of the Complaint, the Court cannot help but agree with
the defendant. For although we believe that plaintiffs have but the noblest of all intentions, it (sic) fell
short of alleging, with sufficient definiteness, a specific legal right they are seeking to enforce and
protect, or a specific legal wrong they are seeking to prevent and redress (Sec. 1, Rule 2, RRC).
Furthermore, the Court notes that the Complaint is replete with vague assumptions and vague
conclusions based on unverified data. In fine, plaintiffs fail to state a cause of action in its Complaint
against the herein defendant.
Furthermore, the Court firmly believes that the matter before it, being impressed with political color
and involving a matter of public policy, may not be taken cognizance of by this Court without doing
violence to the sacred principle of "Separation of Powers" of the 3 co-equal branches of the
Government.
The Court is likewise of the impression that it cannot, no matter how we stretch our jurisdiction,
grant the reliefs prayed for by the plaintiffs, i.e., to cancel all existing timber license agreements in
the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving
new timber license agreements. For to do otherwise would amount to "impairment of contracts"
abhored (sic) by the fundamental law. 11
We do not agree with the trial court's conclusions that the plaintiffs failed to allege with sufficient
definiteness a specific legal right involved or a specific legal wrong committed, and that the
complaint is replete with vague assumptions and conclusions based on unverified data. A reading of
the complaint itself belies these conclusions.
The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and
healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly
incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides:
Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful
ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
This right unites with the right to health which is provided for in the preceding section of the same
article:
Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health
consciousness among them.

While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of
Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less
important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a
different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and selfperpetuation aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may even
be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not
even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If
they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of
its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as
state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing
upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day
would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for
those to come generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of
sustaining life.
The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from
impairing the environment. During the debates on this right in one of the plenary sessions of the
1986 Constitutional Commission, the following exchange transpired between Commissioner Wilfrido
Villacorta and Commissioner Adolfo Azcuna who sponsored the section in question:
MR. VILLACORTA:
Does this section mandate the State to provide sanctions against all forms of pollution air,
water and noise pollution?
MR. AZCUNA:
Yes, Madam President. The right to healthful (sic) environment necessarily carries with it the
correlative duty of not impairing the same and, therefore, sanctions may be provided for impairment
of environmental balance. 12
The said right implies, among many other things, the judicious management and conservation of
the country's forests.
Without such forests, the ecological or environmental balance would be irreversiby disrupted.
Conformably with the enunciated right to a balanced and healthful ecology and the right to health,
as well as the other related provisions of the Constitution concerning the conservation, development

and utilization of the country's natural resources, 13 then President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated
on 10 June 1987 E.O. No. 192, 14 Section 4 of which expressly mandates that the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources "shall be the primary government agency responsible for the
conservation, management, development and proper use of the country's environment and natural
resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral, resources, including those in reservation
and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all
natural resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits
derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos." Section 3
thereof makes the following statement of policy:
Sec. 3. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to ensure the
sustainable use, development, management, renewal, and conservation of the country's forest,
mineral, land, off-shore areas and other natural resources, including the protection and
enhancement of the quality of the environment, and equitable access of the different segments of
the population to the development and the use of the country's natural resources, not only for the
present generation but for future generations as well. It is also the policy of the state to recognize
and apply a true value system including social and environmental cost implications relative to their
utilization, development and conservation of our natural resources.
This policy declaration is substantially re-stated it Title XIV, Book IV of the Administrative Code of
1987, 15 specifically in Section 1 thereof which reads:
Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. (1) The State shall ensure, for the benefit of the Filipino people,
the full exploration and development as well as the judicious disposition, utilization, management,
renewal and conservation of the country's forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore
areas and other natural resources, consistent with the necessity of maintaining a sound ecological
balance and protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment and the objective of making the
exploration, development and utilization of such natural resources equitably accessible to the
different segments of the present as well as future generations.
(2) The State shall likewise recognize and apply a true value system that takes into account social
and environmental cost implications relative to the utilization, development and conservation of our
natural resources.
The above provision stresses "the necessity of maintaining a sound ecological balance and
protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment." Section 2 of the same Title, on the other
hand, specifically speaks of the mandate of the DENR; however, it makes particular reference to the
fact of the agency's being subject to law and higher authority. Said section provides:

Sec. 2. Mandate. (1) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall be primarily
responsible for the implementation of the foregoing policy.
(2) It shall, subject to law and higher authority, be in charge of carrying out the State's
constitutional mandate to control and supervise the exploration, development, utilization, and
conservation of the country's natural resources.
Both E.O. NO. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives which will serve
as the bases for policy formulation, and have defined the powers and functions of the DENR.
It may, however, be recalled that even before the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, specific
statutes already paid special attention to the "environmental right" of the present and future
generations. On 6 June 1977, P.D. No. 1151 (Philippine Environmental Policy) and P.D. No. 1152
(Philippine Environment Code) were issued. The former "declared a continuing policy of the State (a)
to create, develop, maintain and improve conditions under which man and nature can thrive in
productive and enjoyable harmony with each other, (b) to fulfill the social, economic and other
requirements of present and future generations of Filipinos, and (c) to insure the attainment of an
environmental quality that is conducive to a life of dignity and well-being." 16 As its goal, it speaks of
the "responsibilities of each generation as trustee and guardian of the environment for succeeding
generations." 17 The latter statute, on the other hand, gave flesh to the said policy.
Thus, the right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology
is as clear as the DENR's duty under its mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under
E.O. No. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 to protect and advance the said right.
A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the corelative duty or obligation to respect or
protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLAs,
which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and
healthful ecology; hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed
or granted.
A cause of action is defined as:
. . . an act or omission of one party in violation of the legal right or rights of the other; and its
essential elements are legal right of the plaintiff, correlative obligation of the defendant, and act or
omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right. 18
It is settled in this jurisdiction that in a motion to dismiss based on the ground that the complaint
fails to state a cause of action, 19 the question submitted to the court for resolution involves the

sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint itself. No other matter should be considered;
furthermore, the truth of falsity of the said allegations is beside the point for the truth thereof is
deemed hypothetically admitted. The only issue to be resolved in such a case is: admitting such
alleged facts to be true, may the court render a valid judgment in accordance with the prayer in the
complaint? 20 In Militante vs. Edrosolano, 21 this Court laid down the rule that the judiciary should
"exercise the utmost care and circumspection in passing upon a motion to dismiss on the ground of
the absence thereof [cause of action] lest, by its failure to manifest a correct appreciation of the facts
alleged and deemed hypothetically admitted, what the law grants or recognizes is effectively
nullified. If that happens, there is a blot on the legal order. The law itself stands in disrepute."
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, We find the statements under the
introductory affirmative allegations, as well as the specific averments under the sub-heading CAUSE
OF ACTION, to be adequate enough to show, prima facie, the claimed violation of their rights. On
the basis thereof, they may thus be granted, wholly or partly, the reliefs prayed for. It bears stressing,
however, that insofar as the cancellation of the TLAs is concerned, there is the need to implead, as
party defendants, the grantees thereof for they are indispensable parties.
The foregoing considered, Civil Case No. 90-777 be said to raise a political question. Policy
formulation or determination by the executive or legislative branches of Government is not squarely
put in issue. What is principally involved is the enforcement of a right vis-a-vis policies already
formulated and expressed in legislation. It must, nonetheless, be emphasized that the political
question doctrine is no longer, the insurmountable obstacle to the exercise of judicial power or the
impenetrable shield that protects executive and legislative actions from judicial inquiry or review. The
second paragraph of section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution states that:
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 whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government.
Commenting on this provision in his book, Philippine Political Law, 22 Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz,
a distinguished member of this Court, says:
The first part of the authority represents the traditional concept of judicial power, involving the
settlement of conflicting rights as conferred as law. The second part of the authority represents a
broadening of judicial power to enable the courts of justice to review what was before forbidden
territory, to wit, the discretion of the political departments of the government.
As worded, the new provision vests in the judiciary, and particularly the Supreme Court, the power

to rule upon even the wisdom of the decisions of the executive and the legislature and to declare
their acts invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction because tainted with grave abuse of discretion. The
catch, of course, is the meaning of "grave abuse of discretion," which is a very elastic phrase that
can expand or contract according to the disposition of the judiciary.
In Daza vs. Singson, 23 Mr. Justice Cruz, now speaking for this Court, noted:
In the case now before us, the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive.
The reason is that, even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us was political in
nature, we would still not be precluded from revolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred
upon us that now covers, in proper cases, even the political question. Article VII, Section 1, of the
Constitution clearly provides: . . .
The last ground invoked by the trial court in dismissing the complaint is the non-impairment of
contracts clause found in the Constitution. The court a quo declared that:
The Court is likewise of the impression that it cannot, no matter how we stretch our jurisdiction,
grant the reliefs prayed for by the plaintiffs, i.e., to cancel all existing timber license agreements in
the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving
new timber license agreements. For to do otherwise would amount to "impairment of contracts"
abhored (sic) by the fundamental law. 24
We are not persuaded at all; on the contrary, We are amazed, if not shocked, by such a sweeping
pronouncement. In the first place, the respondent Secretary did not, for obvious reasons, even
invoke in his motion to dismiss the non-impairment clause. If he had done so, he would have acted
with utmost infidelity to the Government by providing undue and unwarranted benefits and
advantages to the timber license holders because he would have forever bound the Government to
strictly respect the said licenses according to their terms and conditions regardless of changes in
policy and the demands of public interest and welfare. He was aware that as correctly pointed out by
the petitioners, into every timber license must be read Section 20 of the Forestry Reform Code (P.D.
No. 705) which provides:
. . . Provided, That when the national interest so requires, the President may amend, modify,
replace or rescind any contract, concession, permit, licenses or any other form of privilege granted
herein . . .
Needless to say, all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not a
contract, property or a property right protested by the due process clause of the Constitution. In Tan
vs. Director of Forestry, 25 this Court held:

. . . A timber license is an instrument by which the State regulates the utilization and disposition of
forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. A timber license is not a contract within
the purview of the due process clause; it is only a license or privilege, which can be validly
withdrawn whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case.
A license is merely a permit or privilege to do what otherwise would be unlawful, and is not a
contract between the authority, federal, state, or municipal, granting it and the person to whom it is
granted; neither is it property or a property right, nor does it create a vested right; nor is it taxation
(37 C.J. 168). Thus, this Court held that the granting of license does not create irrevocable rights,
neither is it property or property rights (People vs. Ong Tin, 54 O.G. 7576).
We reiterated this pronouncement in Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Co., Inc. vs. Deputy Executive
Secretary: 26
. . . Timber licenses, permits and license agreements are the principal instruments by which the
State regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is
promoted. And it can hardly be gainsaid that they merely evidence a privilege granted by the State to
qualified entities, and do not vest in the latter a permanent or irrevocable right to the particular
concession area and the forest products therein. They may be validly amended, modified, replaced
or rescinded by the Chief Executive when national interests so require. Thus, they are not deemed
contracts within the purview of the due process of law clause [See Sections 3(ee) and 20 of Pres.
Decree No. 705, as amended. Also, Tan v. Director of Forestry, G.R. No. L-24548, October 27, 1983,
125 SCRA 302].
Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment clause, which reads:
Sec. 10. No law impairing, the obligation of contracts shall be passed. 27
cannot be invoked.
In the second place, even if it is to be assumed that the same are contracts, the instant case does
not involve a law or even an executive issuance declaring the cancellation or modification of existing
timber licenses. Hence, the non-impairment clause cannot as yet be invoked. Nevertheless, granting
further that a law has actually been passed mandating cancellations or modifications, the same
cannot still be stigmatized as a violation of the non-impairment clause. This is because by its very
nature and purpose, such as law could have only been passed in the exercise of the police power of
the state for the purpose of advancing the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology,
promoting their health and enhancing the general welfare. In Abe vs. Foster Wheeler

Corp. 28 this Court stated:


The freedom of contract, under our system of government, is not meant to be absolute. The same
is understood to be subject to reasonable legislative regulation aimed at the promotion of public
health, moral, safety and welfare. In other words, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of
obligations of contract is limited by the exercise of the police power of the State, in the interest of
public health, safety, moral and general welfare.
The reason for this is emphatically set forth in Nebia vs. New York, 29 quoted in Philippine
American Life Insurance Co. vs. Auditor General, 30 to wit:
Under our form of government the use of property and the making of contracts are normally
matters of private and not of public concern. The general rule is that both shall be free of
governmental interference. But neither property rights nor contract rights are absolute; for
government cannot exist if the citizen may at will use his property to the detriment of his fellows, or
exercise his freedom of contract to work them harm. Equally fundamental with the private right is that
of the public to regulate it in the common interest.
In short, the non-impairment clause must yield to the police power of the state. 31
Finally, it is difficult to imagine, as the trial court did, how the non-impairment clause could apply
with respect to the prayer to enjoin the respondent Secretary from receiving, accepting, processing,
renewing or approving new timber licenses for, save in cases of renewal, no contract would have as
of yet existed in the other instances. Moreover, with respect to renewal, the holder is not entitled to it
as a matter of right.
WHEREFORE, being impressed with merit, the instant Petition is hereby GRANTED, and the
challenged Order of respondent Judge of 18 July 1991 dismissing Civil Case No. 90-777 is hereby
set aside. The petitioners may therefore amend their complaint to implead as defendants the holders
or grantees of the questioned timber license agreements.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Cruz, Padilla, Bidin, Grio-Aquino, Regalado, Romero, Nocon, Bellosillo, Melo and Quiason, JJ.,
concur.
Narvasa, C.J., Puno and Vitug, JJ., took no part.

Separate Opinions

FELICIANO, J., concurring


I join in the result reached by my distinguished brother in the Court, Davide, Jr., J., in this case
which, to my mind, is one of the most important cases decided by this Court in the last few years.
The seminal principles laid down in this decision are likely to influence profoundly the direction and
course of the protection and management of the environment, which of course embraces the
utilization of all the natural resources in the territorial base of our polity. I have therefore sought to
clarify, basically to myself, what the Court appears to be saying.
The Court explicitly states that petitioners have the locus standi necessary to sustain the bringing
and, maintenance of this suit (Decision, pp. 11-12). Locus standi is not a function of petitioners' claim
that their suit is properly regarded as a class suit. I understand locus standi to refer to the legal
interest which a plaintiff must have in the subject matter of the suit. Because of the very broadness
of the concept of "class" here involved membership in this "class" appears to embrace everyone
living in the country whether now or in the
future it appears to me that everyone who may be expected to benefit from the course of action
petitioners seek to require public respondents to take, is vested with the necessary locus standi. The
Court may be seen therefore to be recognizing a beneficiaries' right of action in the field of
environmental protection, as against both the public administrative agency directly concerned and
the private persons or entities operating in the field or sector of activity involved. Whether such
beneficiaries' right of action may be found under any and all circumstances, or whether some failure
to act, in the first instance, on the part of the governmental agency concerned must be shown ("prior
exhaustion of administrative remedies"), is not discussed in the decision and presumably is left for
future determination in an appropriate case.
The Court has also declared that the complaint has alleged and focused upon "one specific
fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful ecology" (Decision, p. 14). There is
no question that "the right to a balanced and healthful ecology" is "fundamental" and that,

accordingly, it has been "constitutionalized." But although it is fundamental in character, I suggest,


with very great respect, that it cannot be characterized as "specific," without doing excessive
violence to language. It is in fact very difficult to fashion language more comprehensive in scope and
generalized in character than a right to "a balanced and healthful ecology." The list of particular
claims which can be subsumed under this rubic appears to be entirely open-ended: prevention and
control of emission of toxic fumes and smoke from factories and motor vehicles; of discharge of oil,
chemical effluents, garbage and raw sewage into rivers, inland and coastal waters by vessels, oil
rigs, factories, mines and whole communities; of dumping of organic and inorganic wastes on open
land, streets and thoroughfares; failure to rehabilitate land after strip-mining or open-pit mining;
kaingin or slash-and-burn farming; destruction of fisheries, coral reefs and other living sea resources
through the use of dynamite or cyanide and other chemicals; contamination of ground water
resources; loss of certain species of fauna and flora; and so on. The other statements pointed out by
the Court: Section 3, Executive Order No. 192 dated 10 June 1987; Section 1, Title XIV, Book IV of
the 1987 Administrative Code; and P.D. No. 1151, dated 6 June 1977 all appear to be
formulations of policy, as general and abstract as the constitutional statements of basic policy in
Article II, Section 16 ("the right to a balanced and healthful ecology") and 15 ("the right to health").
P.D. No. 1152, also dated 6 June 1977, entitled "The Philippine Environment Code," is, upon the
other hand, a compendious collection of more "specific environment management policies" and
"environment quality standards" (fourth "Whereas" clause, Preamble) relating to an extremely wide
range of topics:
(a) air quality management;
(b) water quality management;
(c) land use management;
(d) natural resources management and conservation embracing:
(i) fisheries and aquatic resources;
(ii) wild life;
(iii) forestry and soil conservation;
(iv) flood control and natural calamities;
(v) energy development;

(vi) conservation and utilization of surface and ground water


(vii) mineral resources
Two (2) points are worth making in this connection. Firstly, neither petitioners nor the Court has
identified the particular provision or provisions (if any) of the Philippine Environment Code which give
rise to a specific legal right which petitioners are seeking to enforce. Secondly, the Philippine
Environment Code identifies with notable care the particular government agency charged with the
formulation and implementation of guidelines and programs dealing with each of the headings and
sub-headings mentioned above. The Philippine Environment Code does not, in other words, appear
to contemplate action on the part of private persons who are beneficiaries of implementation of that
Code.
As a matter of logic, by finding petitioners' cause of action as anchored on a legal right comprised
in the constitutional statements above noted, the Court is in effect saying that Section 15 (and
Section 16) of Article II of the Constitution are self-executing and judicially enforceable even in their
present form. The implications of this doctrine will have to be explored in future cases; those
implications are too large and far-reaching in nature even to be hinted at here.
My suggestion is simply that petitioners must, before the trial court, show a more specific legal
right a right cast in language of a significantly lower order of generality than Article II (15) of the
Constitution that is or may be violated by the actions, or failures to act, imputed to the public
respondent by petitioners so that the trial court can validly render judgment granting all or part of the
relief prayed for. To my mind, the Court should be understood as simply saying that such a more
specific legal right or rights may well exist in our corpus of law, considering the general policy
principles found in the Constitution and the existence of the Philippine Environment Code, and that
the trial court should have given petitioners an effective opportunity so to demonstrate, instead of
aborting the proceedings on a motion to dismiss.
It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action
be a specific, operable legal right, rather than a constitutional or statutory policy, for at least two (2)
reasons. One is that unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given
specification in operational terms, defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently
and effectively; in other words, there are due process dimensions to this matter.
The second is a broader-gauge consideration where a specific violation of law or applicable
regulation is not alleged or proved, petitioners can be expected to fall back on the expanded
conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution

which reads:
Section 1. . . .
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 whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government. (Emphasis supplied)
When substantive standards as general as "the right to a balanced and healthy ecology" and "the
right to health" are combined with remedial standards as broad ranging as "a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction," the result will be, it is respectfully submitted, to
propel courts into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. At least in respect of
the vast area of environmental protection and management, our courts have no claim to special
technical competence and experience and professional qualification. Where no specific, operable
norms and standards are shown to exist, then the policy making departments the legislative and
executive departments must be given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and promulgate
those norms and standards, and to implement them before the courts should intervene.
My learned brother Davide, Jr., J., rightly insists that the timber companies, whose concession
agreements or TLA's petitioners demand public respondents should cancel, must be impleaded in
the proceedings below. It might be asked that, if petitioners' entitlement to the relief demanded is not
dependent upon proof of breach by the timber companies of one or more of the specific terms and
conditions of their concession agreements (and this, petitioners implicitly assume), what will those
companies litigate about? The answer I suggest is that they may seek to dispute the existence of the
specific legal right petitioners should allege, as well as the reality of the claimed factual nexus
between petitioners' specific legal rights and the claimed wrongful acts or failures to act of public
respondent administrative agency. They may also controvert the appropriateness of the remedy or
remedies demanded by petitioners, under all the circumstances which exist.
I vote to grant the Petition for Certiorari because the protection of the environment, including the
forest cover of our territory, is of extreme importance for the country. The doctrines set out in the
Court's decision issued today should, however, be subjected to closer examination.

# Separate Opinions

FELICIANO, J., concurring


I join in the result reached by my distinguished brother in the Court, Davide, Jr., J., in this case
which, to my mind, is one of the most important cases decided by this Court in the last few years.
The seminal principles laid down in this decision are likely to influence profoundly the direction and
course of the protection and management of the environment, which of course embraces the
utilization of all the natural resources in the territorial base of our polity. I have therefore sought to
clarify, basically to myself, what the Court appears to be saying.
The Court explicitly states that petitioners have the locus standi necessary to sustain the bringing
and, maintenance of this suit (Decision, pp. 11-12). Locus standi is not a function of petitioners' claim
that their suit is properly regarded as a class suit. I understand locus standi to refer to the legal
interest which a plaintiff must have in the subject matter of the suit. Because of the very broadness
of the concept of "class" here involved membership in this "class" appears to embrace everyone
living in the country whether now or in the
future it appears to me that everyone who may be expected to benefit from the course of action
petitioners seek to require public respondents to take, is vested with the necessary locus standi. The
Court may be seen therefore to be recognizing a beneficiaries' right of action in the field of
environmental protection, as against both the public administrative agency directly concerned and
the private persons or entities operating in the field or sector of activity involved. Whether such
beneficiaries' right of action may be found under any and all circumstances, or whether some failure
to act, in the first instance, on the part of the governmental agency concerned must be shown ("prior
exhaustion of administrative remedies"), is not discussed in the decision and presumably is left for
future determination in an appropriate case.
The Court has also declared that the complaint has alleged and focused upon "one specific
fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful ecology" (Decision, p. 14). There is
no question that "the right to a balanced and healthful ecology" is "fundamental" and that,
accordingly, it has been "constitutionalized." But although it is fundamental in character, I suggest,
with very great respect, that it cannot be characterized as "specific," without doing excessive
violence to language. It is in fact very difficult to fashion language more comprehensive in scope and
generalized in character than a right to "a balanced and healthful ecology." The list of particular
claims which can be subsumed under this rubic appears to be entirely open-ended: prevention and
control of emission of toxic fumes and smoke from factories and motor vehicles; of discharge of oil,
chemical effluents, garbage and raw sewage into rivers, inland and coastal waters by vessels, oil
rigs, factories, mines and whole communities; of dumping of organic and inorganic wastes on open
land, streets and thoroughfares; failure to rehabilitate land after strip-mining or open-pit mining;
kaingin or slash-and-burn farming; destruction of fisheries, coral reefs and other living sea resources

through the use of dynamite or cyanide and other chemicals; contamination of ground water
resources; loss of certain species of fauna and flora; and so on. The other statements pointed out by
the Court: Section 3, Executive Order No. 192 dated 10 June 1987; Section 1, Title XIV, Book IV of
the 1987 Administrative Code; and P.D. No. 1151, dated 6 June 1977 all appear to be
formulations of policy, as general and abstract as the constitutional statements of basic policy in
Article II, Section 16 ("the right to a balanced and healthful ecology") and 15 ("the right to health").
P.D. No. 1152, also dated 6 June 1977, entitled "The Philippine Environment Code," is, upon the
other hand, a compendious collection of more "specific environment management policies" and
"environment quality standards" (fourth "Whereas" clause, Preamble) relating to an extremely wide
range of topics:
(a) air quality management;
(b) water quality management;
(c) land use management;
(d) natural resources management and conservation embracing:
(i) fisheries and aquatic resources;
(ii) wild life;
(iii) forestry and soil conservation;
(iv) flood control and natural calamities;
(v) energy development;
(vi) conservation and utilization of surface and ground water
(vii) mineral resources
Two (2) points are worth making in this connection. Firstly, neither petitioners nor the Court has
identified the particular provision or provisions (if any) of the Philippine Environment Code which give
rise to a specific legal right which petitioners are seeking to enforce. Secondly, the Philippine
Environment Code identifies with notable care the particular government agency charged with the
formulation and implementation of guidelines and programs dealing with each of the headings and

sub-headings mentioned above. The Philippine Environment Code does not, in other words, appear
to contemplate action on the part of private persons who are beneficiaries of implementation of that
Code.
As a matter of logic, by finding petitioners' cause of action as anchored on a legal right comprised
in the constitutional statements above noted, the Court is in effect saying that Section 15 (and
Section 16) of Article II of the Constitution are self-executing and judicially enforceable even in their
present form. The implications of this doctrine will have to be explored in future cases; those
implications are too large and far-reaching in nature even to be hinted at here.
My suggestion is simply that petitioners must, before the trial court, show a more specific legal
right a right cast in language of a significantly lower order of generality than Article II (15) of the
Constitution that is or may be violated by the actions, or failures to act, imputed to the public
respondent by petitioners so that the trial court can validly render judgment granting all or part of the
relief prayed for. To my mind, the Court should be understood as simply saying that such a more
specific legal right or rights may well exist in our corpus of law, considering the general policy
principles found in the Constitution and the existence of the Philippine Environment Code, and that
the trial court should have given petitioners an effective opportunity so to demonstrate, instead of
aborting the proceedings on a motion to dismiss.
It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action
be a specific, operable legal right, rather than a constitutional or statutory policy, for at least two (2)
reasons. One is that unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given
specification in operational terms, defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently
and effectively; in other words, there are due process dimensions to this matter.
The second is a broader-gauge consideration where a specific violation of law or applicable
regulation is not alleged or proved, petitioners can be expected to fall back on the expanded
conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution
which reads:
Section 1. . . .
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 whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government. (Emphasis supplied)
When substantive standards as general as "the right to a balanced and healthy ecology" and "the

right to health" are combined with remedial standards as broad ranging as "a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction," the result will be, it is respectfully submitted, to
propel courts into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. At least in respect of
the vast area of environmental protection and management, our courts have no claim to special
technical competence and experience and professional qualification. Where no specific, operable
norms and standards are shown to exist, then the policy making departments the legislative and
executive departments must be given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and promulgate
those norms and standards, and to implement them before the courts should intervene.
My learned brother Davide, Jr., J., rightly insists that the timber companies, whose concession
agreements or TLA's petitioners demand public respondents should cancel, must be impleaded in
the proceedings below. It might be asked that, if petitioners' entitlement to the relief demanded is not
dependent upon proof of breach by the timber companies of one or more of the specific terms and
conditions of their concession agreements (and this, petitioners implicitly assume), what will those
companies litigate about? The answer I suggest is that they may seek to dispute the existence of the
specific legal right petitioners should allege, as well as the reality of the claimed factual nexus
between petitioners' specific legal rights and the claimed wrongful acts or failures to act of public
respondent administrative agency. They may also controvert the appropriateness of the remedy or
remedies demanded by petitioners, under all the circumstances which exist.
I vote to grant the Petition for Certiorari because the protection of the environment, including the
forest cover of our territory, is of extreme importance for the country. The doctrines set out in the
Court's decision issued today should, however, be subjected to closer examination.
Labels: 1993, environmental law, G.R. No. 101083, human rights, human rights law, July
30, oposo v factoran, transcendental importance

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. 173915 February


22, 2010
FIRST DIVISION
IRENE SANTE AND REYNALDO SANTE v. HON. EDILBERTO T. CLARAVALL, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge of Branch 60, Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, and VITA N. KALASHIAN,
G.R. No. 173915 February 22, 2010
DECISION
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:

Before this Court is a petition for certiorari[1] under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, as amended, filed by petitioners Irene and Reynaldo Sante assailing the Decision[2]
dated January 31, 2006 and the Resolution[3] dated June 23, 2006 of the Seventeenth Division of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 87563. The assailed decision affirmed the orders of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baguio City, Branch 60, denying their motion to dismiss the complaint
for damages filed by respondent Vita Kalashian against them.
The facts, culled from the records, are as follows:
On April 5, 2004, respondent filed before the RTC of Baguio City a complaint for damages[4]
against petitioners. In her complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 5794-R, respondent alleged that
while she was inside the Police Station of Natividad, Pangasinan, and in the presence of other
persons and police officers, petitioner Irene Sante uttered words, which when translated in English
are as follows, How many rounds of sex did you have last night with your boss, Bert? You fuckin
bitch! Bert refers to Albert Gacusan, respondents friend and one (1) of her hired personal security
guards detained at the said station and who is a suspect in the killing of petitioners close relative.
Petitioners also allegedly went around Natividad, Pangasinan telling people that she is protecting
and cuddling the suspects in the aforesaid killing. Thus, respondent prayed that petitioners be held
liable to pay moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00; P50,000.00 as exemplary damages;
P50,000.00 attorneys fees; P20,000.00 litigation expenses; and costs of suit.
Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss[5] on the ground that it was the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities (MTCC) and not the RTC of Baguio, that had jurisdiction over the case. They argued that the
amount of the claim for moral damages was not more than the jurisdictional amount of P300,000.00,
because the claim for exemplary damages should be excluded in computing the total claim.
On June 24, 2004,[6] the trial court denied the motion to dismiss citing our ruling in MoversBaseco Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. Cyborg Leasing Corporation.[7] The trial court held that the
total claim of respondent amounted to P420,000.00 which was above the jurisdictional amount for
MTCCs outside Metro Manila. The trial court also later issued Orders on July 7, 2004[8] and July 19,
2004,[9] respectively reiterating its denial of the motion to dismiss and denying petitioners motion for
reconsideration.
Aggrieved, petitioners filed on August 2, 2004, a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition,[10]
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 85465, before the Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, on July 14, 2004,
respondent and her husband filed an Amended Complaint[11] increasing the claim for moral
damages from P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss with Answer Ad
Cautelam and Counterclaim, but the trial court denied their motion in an Order[12] dated September
17, 2004.

Hence, petitioners again filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition[13] before the Court of
Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 87563, claiming that the trial court committed grave abuse of
discretion in allowing the amendment of the complaint to increase the amount of moral damages
from P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00. The case was raffled to the Seventeenth Division of the Court
of Appeals.
On January 23, 2006, the Court of Appeals, Seventh Division, promulgated a decision in CAG.R. SP No. 85465, as follows:
WHEREFORE, finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of [the] Regional Trial Court of
Baguio, Branch 60, in rendering the assailed Orders dated June 24, 2004 and July [19], 2004 in Civil
Case No. 5794-R the instant petition for certiorari is GRANTED. The assailed Orders are
hereby

ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Civil Case No. 5794-R for damages is ordered

DISMISSED for lack of

jurisdiction.

SO ORDERED.[14]
The Court of Appeals held that the case clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the MTCC as the
allegations show that plaintiff was seeking to recover moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00,
which amount was well within the jurisdictional amount of the MTCC. The Court of Appeals added
that the totality of claim rule used for determining which court had jurisdiction could not be applied to
the instant case because plaintiffs claim for exemplary damages was not a separate and distinct
cause of action from her claim of moral damages, but merely incidental to it. Thus, the prayer for
exemplary damages should be excluded in computing the total amount of the claim.
On January 31, 2006, the Court of Appeals, this time in CA-G.R. SP No. 87563, rendered a
decision affirming the September 17, 2004 Order of the RTC denying petitioners Motion to Dismiss
Ad Cautelam. In the said decision, the appellate court held that the total or aggregate amount
demanded in the complaint constitutes the basis of jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals did not find
merit in petitioners posture that the claims for exemplary damages and attorneys fees are merely
incidental to the main cause and should not be included in the computation of the total claim.
The Court of Appeals additionally ruled that respondent can amend her complaint by
increasing the amount of moral damages from P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00, on the ground that
the trial court has jurisdiction over the original complaint and respondent is entitled to amend her
complaint as a matter of right under the Rules.

Unable to accept the decision, petitioners are now before us raising the following issues:
I.
WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR
IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION ON THE PART OF THE (FORMER) SEVENTEENTH DIVISION OF
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS WHEN IT RESOLVED THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT OF BAGUIO CITY BRANCH 60 HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF
THE CASE FOR DAMAGES AMOUNTING TO P300,000.00;
II.
WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF THE
HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF BAGUIO BRANCH
60 FOR ALLOWING THE COMPLAINANT TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT (INCREASING THE
AMOUNT OF DAMAGES TO 1,000,000.00 TO CONFER JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT
MATTER OF THE CASE DESPITE THE PENDENCY OF A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI FILED AT
THE COURT OF APPEALS, SEVENTH DIVISION, DOCKETED AS CA G.R. NO. 85465.[15]
In essence, the basic issues for our resolution are:
1)

Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over the case? and

2)

Did the RTC commit grave abuse of discretion in allowing the amendment of the

complaint?
Petitioners insist that the complaint falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTCC. They
maintain that the claim for moral damages, in the amount of P300,000.00 in the original complaint, is
the main action. The exemplary damages being discretionary should not be included in the
computation of the jurisdictional amount. And having no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case, the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it allowed the amendment of the complaint
to increase the claim for moral damages in order to confer jurisdiction.
In her Comment,[16] respondent averred that the nature of her complaint is for recovery of
damages. As such, the totality of the claim for damages, including the exemplary damages as well
as the other damages alleged and prayed in the complaint, such as attorneys fees and litigation
expenses, should be included in determining jurisdiction. The total claim being P420,000.00, the
RTC has jurisdiction over the complaint.

We deny the petition, which although denominated as a petition for certiorari, we treat as a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 in view of the issues raised.
Section 19(8) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,[17] as amended by Republic Act No. 7691,[18]
states:
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction:
xxxx
(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind,
attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds
One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, where the
demand, exclusive of the abovementioned items exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos
(P200,000.00).
Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7691 further provides:
SEC. 5. After five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, the jurisdictional amounts
mentioned in Sec. 19(3), (4), and (8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by
this Act, shall be adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00). Five (5) years thereafter,
such jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted further to Three hundred thousand pesos
(P300,000.00): Provided, however, That in the case of Metro

Manila, the abovementioned

jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted after five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act to Four
hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00).
Relatedly, Supreme Court Circular No. 21-99 was issued declaring that the first adjustment in
jurisdictional amount of first level courts outside of Metro Manila from P100,000.00 to P200,000.00
took effect on March 20, 1999. Meanwhile, the second adjustment from P200,000.00 to
P300,000.00 became effective on February 22, 2004 in accordance with OCA Circular No. 65-2004
issued by the Office of the Court Administrator on May 13, 2004.
Based on the foregoing, there is no question that at the time of the filing of the complaint on
April 5, 2004, the MTCCs jurisdictional amount has been adjusted to P300,000.00.
But where damages is the main cause of action, should the amount of moral damages prayed
for in the complaint be the sole basis for determining which court has jurisdiction or should the total

amount of all the damages claimed regardless of kind and nature, such as exemplary damages,
nominal damages, and attorneys fees, etc., be used?
In this regard, Administrative Circular No. 09-94[19] is instructive:
xxxx
2. The exclusion of the term damages of whatever kind in determining the jurisdictional
amount under Section 19 (8) and Section 33 (1) of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691,
applies to cases where the damages are merely incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of
action. However, in cases where the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or one of the
causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the
court. (Emphasis ours.)
In the instant case, the complaint filed in Civil Case No. 5794-R is for the recovery of
damages for the alleged malicious acts of petitioners. The complaint principally sought an award of
moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorneys fees and litigation expenses, for the alleged
shame and injury suffered by respondent by reason of petitioners utterance while they were at a
police station in Pangasinan. It is settled that jurisdiction is conferred by law based on the facts
alleged in the complaint since the latter comprises a concise statement of the ultimate facts
constituting the plaintiffs causes of action.[20] It is clear, based on the allegations of the complaint,
that respondents main action is for damages. Hence, the other forms of damages being claimed by
respondent, e.g., exemplary damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses, are not merely
incidental to or consequences of the main action but constitute the primary relief prayed for in the
complaint.
In Mendoza v. Soriano,[21] it was held that in cases where the claim for damages is the main
cause of action, or one of the causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be considered in
determining the jurisdiction of the court. In the said case, the respondents claim of P929,000.06 in
damages and P25,000 attorneys fees plus P500 per court appearance was held to represent the
monetary equivalent for compensation of the alleged injury. The Court therein held that the total
amount of monetary claims including the claims for damages was the basis to determine the
jurisdictional amount.
Also, in Iniego v. Purganan,[22] the Court has held:
The amount of damages claimed is within the jurisdiction

of the RTC, since it is the claim

for all kinds of damages that is the basis of determining the jurisdiction of courts, whether the claims
for damages arise from the same or from different causes of action.

xxxx
Considering that the total amount of damages claimed was P420,000.00, the Court of
Appeals was correct in ruling that the RTC had jurisdiction over the case.
Lastly, we find no error, much less grave abuse of discretion, on the part of the Court of
Appeals in affirming the RTCs order allowing the amendment of the original complaint from
P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 despite the pendency of a petition for certiorari filed before the Court
of Appeals. While it is a basic jurisprudential principle that an amendment cannot be allowed when
the court has no jurisdiction over the original complaint and the purpose of the amendment is to
confer jurisdiction on the court,[23] here, the RTC clearly had jurisdiction over the original complaint
and amendment of the complaint was then still a matter of right.[24]
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, for lack of merit. The Decision and Resolution of the Court
of Appeals dated January 31, 2006 and June 23, 2006, respectively, are AFFIRMED. The Regional
Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 60 is DIRECTED to continue with the trial proceedings in Civil
Case No. 5794-R with deliberate dispatch.
Labels: 2010, criminal procedure, February 22, G.R. No. 173915, jurisdiction, remedial
law, sante v. claravall

Crim Pro: GSIS V. CA G.R. No. 183905


January 19, 2009
G.R. No. 183905 January 19, 2009
Lessons Applicable: RTC v. SEC, contemplation of an election controversy properly within the
jurisdiction of the regular courts
Laws Applicable:
FACTS:

In view of the resignation of Camilo Quiason, the position of corporate secretary of Meralco

became vacant.
The board of directors of Meralco designated Jose Vitug to act as corporate secretary for the
annual meeting. However, when the proxy validation began, the proceedings were presided over
by respondent Anthony Rosete, assistant corporate secretary and in-house chief legal counsel of

Meralco.
GSIS filed a complaint seeking the declaration of certain proxies as invalid

GSIS filed a Notice with the RTC manifesting the dismissal of the complaint. On the same

day, GSIS filed an Urgent Petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking
to restrain Rosete from recognizing, counting and tabulating, directly or indirectly, notionally or
actually or in whatever way, form, manner or means, or otherwise honoring the shares covered
by the proxies in favor of any officer representing MERALCO Management" and to annul and

declare invalid said proxies.


SEC issued a Show Cause Order

Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with prohibition with the Court of Appeals

CA: complaint filed by GSIS in the SEC is hereby DISMISSED due to SECs lack of
jurisdiction

ISSUE:
1. W/N SEC can be private respondents
2. W/N it is a validation of the proxy within the SEC's jurisdiction (as opposed to Intra-Corporate
Controversies within the RTC'S jurisdiction)
HELD: EXPUNGED for lack of capacity of the petitioner to bring forth the suit
1. NO

Rule 65 does recognize that the SEC and its officers should have been designated as public

respondents in the petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals. Yet their involvement in
the instant petition is not as original party-litigants, but as the quasi-judicial agency and officers
exercising the adjudicative functions over the dispute between the two contending factions within
Meralco. From the onset, neither the SEC nor Martinez or Guevarra has been considered as a
real party-in-interest. Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that every
action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest, that is the party
who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the
avails of the suit. It would be facetious to assume that the SEC had any real interest or stake in
the intra-corporate dispute within Meralco. At this point, only one petition remainsthe petition

for certiorari filed by GSIS in G.R. No. 183905.


Under Section 4.6 that the ability to delegate functions to a single commissioner does not
extend to the exercise of the review or appellate authority of the SEC. The issuance of the CDO
is an act of the SEC itself done in the exercise of its original jurisdiction to review actual cases or
controversies. If it has not been clear to the SEC before, it should be clear now that its power to
issue a CDO can not, under the SRC, be delegated to an individual commissioner.

2. NO.

Jurisdiction is conferred by no other source but law. Both sides have relied upon provisions
of Rep. Act No. 8799, otherwise known as the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), its
implementing rules (Amended Implementing Rules or AIRR-SRC), and other related rules to

support their competing contentions that either the SEC or the trial courts has exclusive original

jurisdiction over the dispute.


the distinction between proxy solicitation and proxy validation cannot be dismissed
offhand. The right of a stockholder to vote by proxy is generally established by the
Corporation Code, but it is the SRC which specifically regulates the form and use of proxies,

more particularly the procedure of proxy solicitation, primarily through Section 20.
The investigatory power of the SEC established by Section 53.1 is central to its regulatory
authority, most crucial to the public interest especially as it may pertain to corporations with
publicly traded shares. For that reason, we are not keen on pursuing private respondents
insistence that the GSIS complaint be viewed as rooted in an intra-corporate controversy solely
within the jurisdiction of the trial courts to decide. It is possible that an intra-corporate
controversy may animate a disgruntled shareholder to complain to the SEC a corporations
violations of SEC rules and regulations, but that motive alone should not be sufficient to deprive
the SEC of its investigatory and regulatory powers, especially so since such powers are

exercisable on a motu proprio basis.


Note that Section 6 is immediately preceded by Section 5, which originally conferred on the
SEC original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving controversies in the
election or appointments of directors, trustees, officers or managers of such corporations,
partnerships or associations. Thus, such power of the SEC then was incidental or ancillary to
the exercise of such jurisdiction. The cases referred to in Section 5 were transferred from the
jurisdiction of the SEC to the regular courts with the passage of the SRC, specifically Section
5.2. Thus, the SECs power to pass upon the validity of proxies in relation to election
controversies has effectively been withdrawn, tied as it is to its abrogated jurisdictional powers.
Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the linchpin in deciding the question is whether or not
the cause of action of GSIS before the SEC is intimately tied to an election controversy, as

defined under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A.


Under the circumstances, we do not see it feasible for GSIS to posit that its challenge to the
solicitation or validation of proxies bore no relation at all to the scheduled election of the board of
directors of Meralco during the annual meeting. GSIS very well knew that the controversy falls
within the contemplation of an election controversy properly within the jurisdiction of the regular
courts. Otherwise, it would have never filed its original petition with the RTC of Pasay. GSIS may
have withdrawn its petition with the RTC on a new assessment made in good faith that the
controversy falls within the jurisdiction of the SEC, yet the reality is that the reassessment is
precisely wrong as a matter of law.

Labels: 2009, criminal procedure, G.R. No. 183905, GSIS v. CA, January
19, jurisdiction, remedial law,rtc, securities and exchange commission

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. 183905 January


16, 2009 G.R. No. 184275
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 183905 January 16, 2009
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS) V. THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS (TFH DIVISION), ANTHONY V. ROSETE, MANUEL M, LOPEZ, FELIPE 3. ALFONSO,
JESUS P. FRANCISCO, CHRISTIAN S. MONSOD, ELPIDIO L. IBANEZ AND FRANCIS GILES B.
PUNO
G.R. No. 184275
Tinga, J.:
These are the undisputed facts.
The annual stockholders meeting (annual meeting) of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) was
scheduled on 27 May 2008.[1] In connection with the annual meeting, proxies[2] were required to be
submitted on or before 17 May 2008, and the proxy validation was slated for five days later, or 22
May.[3]
In view of the resignation of Camilo Quiason,[4] the position of corporate secretary of Meralco
became vacant.[5] On 15 May 2008, the board of directors of Meralco designated Jose Vitug[6] to
act as corporate secretary for the annual meeting.[7] However, when the proxy validation began on
22 May, the proceedings were presided over by respondent Anthony Rosete (Rosete), assistant
corporate secretary and in-house chief legal counsel of Meralco.[8] Private respondents nonetheless
argue that Rosete was the acting corporate secretary of Meralco.[9] Petitioner Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS), a major shareholder in Meralco, was distressed over the proxy validation
proceedings, and the resulting certification of proxies in favor of the Meralco management.[10]
On 23 May 2008, GSIS filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay City, docketed
as R-PSY-08-05777-C4 seeking the declaration of certain proxies as invalid.[11] Three days
later, on 26 May, GSIS filed a Notice with the RTC manifesting the dismissal of the complaint.[12] On
the same day, GSIS filed an Urgent Petition[13] with the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) seeking to restrain Rosete from recognizing, counting and tabulating, directly or indirectly,
notionally or actually or in whatever way, form, manner or means, or otherwise honoring the shares
covered by the proxies in favor of respondents Manuel Lopez,[14] Felipe Alfonso,[15] Jesus

Francisco,[16] Oscar Lopez, Christian Monsod,[17] Elpidio Ibaez,[18] Francisco Giles-Puno[19] or


any officer representing MERALCO Management, and to annul and declare invalid said proxies.[20]
GSIS also prayed for the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to restrain the use of said
proxies during the annual meeting scheduled for the following day.[21] A CDO[22] to that effect
signed by SEC Commissioner Jesus Martinez was issued on 26 May 2008, the same day the
complaint was filed. During the annual meeting held on the following day, Rosete announced that the
meeting would push through, expressing the opinion that the CDO is null and void.[23]
On 28 May 2008, the SEC issued a Show Cause Order (SCO)[24] against private respondents,
ordering them to appear before the Commission on 30 May 2008 and explain why they should not
be cited in contempt. On 29 May 2008, respondents filed a petition for certiorari with prohibition[25]
with the Court of Appeals, praying that the CDO and the SCO be annulled. The petition was
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 103692.
Many developments involving the Court of Appeals handling of CA-G.R. SP No. 103692 and the
conduct of several of its individual justices are recounted in our Resolution dated 9 September 2008
in A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA (Re: Letter Of Presiding Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr. On CA-G.R. SP
No. 103692).[26] On 23 July 2008, the Court of Appeals Eighth Division promulgated a decision in
the case with the following dispositive portion:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the May 26, 2008 complaint filed by GSIS in the SEC is
hereby DISMISSED due to SECs lack of jurisdiction, due to forum shopping by respondent GSIS,
and due to splitting of causes of action by respondent GSIS. Consequently, the SECs undated
cease and desist order and the SECs May 28, 2008 show cause order are hereby DECLARED
VOID AB INITIO and without legal effect and their implementation are hereby permanently
restrained.
The May 26, 2008 complaint filed by GSIS in the SEC is hereby barred from being
considered, out of equitable considerations, as an election contest in the RTC, because the
prescriptive period of 15 days from the May 27, 2008 Meralco election to file an election contest in
the RTC had already run its course, pursuant to Sec. 3, Rule 6 of the interim Rules of Procedure
Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies under R.A. No. 8799, due to deliberate act of GSIS in filing
a complaint in the SEC instead of the RTC.
Let seventeen (17) copies of this decision be officially TRANSMITTED to the Office of the
Chief Justice and three (3) copies to the Office of the Court Administrator:
(1)
of law,

for sanction by the Supreme Court against the GSIS LAW OFFICE for unauthorized practice

(2)

for sanction and discipline by the Supreme Court of GSIS lawyers led by Atty. Estrella

Elamparo-Tayag, Atty. Marcial C. Pimentel, Atty. Enrique L. Tandan III, and other GSIS lawyers for
violation of Sec. 27 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court, pursuant to Santayana v. Alampay,
A.C. No. 5878, March 21, 2005 454 SCRA 1, and pursuant to Land Bank of the Philippines v.
Raymunda Martinez, G.R. No. 169008, August 14, 2007:
(a)

for violating express provisions of law and defying public policy in deliberately displacing

the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) from its duty as the exclusive lawyer of
GSIS, a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), by admittedly filing and defending
cases as well as appearing as counsel for GSIS, without authority to do so, the authority belonging
exclusively to the OGCC;
(b)

for violating the lawyers oath for failing in their duty to act as faithful officers of the court by

engaging in forum shopping;


(c)

for violating express provisions of law most especially those on jurisdiction which are

mandatory; and
(d)

for violating Sec. 3, Rule 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure by deliberately splitting

causes of action in order to file multiple complaints: (i) in the RTC of Pasay City and (ii) in the SEC,
in order to ensure a favorable order.[27]
The promulgation of the said decision provoked a searing controversy, as detailed in our Resolution
in A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA. Nonetheless, the appellate courts decision spawned three different actions
docketed with their own case numbers before this Court. One of them, G.R. No. 183933, was
initiated by a Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed by the Office of the
Solicitor General (OSG) in behalf of the SEC, Commissioner Martinez in his capacity as officer-incharge of the SEC, and Hubert Guevarra in his capacity as Director of the Compliance and
Enforcement Department of the SEC.[28] However, the OSG did not follow through with the filing of
the petition for review adverted to; thus, on 19 January 2009, the Court resolved to declare G.R. No.
183933 closed and terminated.[29]
The two remaining cases before us are docketed as G.R. No. 183905 and 184275. G.R. No. 183905
pertains to a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by GSIS, against the Court of Appeals, and
respondents Rosete, Lopez, Alfonso, Francisco, Monsod, Ibaez and Puno, all of whom serve in
different corporate capacities with Meralco or First Philippines Holdings Corporation, a major
stockholder of Meralco and an affiliate of the Lopez Group of Companies. This petition seeks of the
Court to declare the 23 July 2008 decision of the Court of Appeals null and void, affirm the SECs

jurisdiction over the petition filed before it by GSIS, and pronounce that the CDO and the SCO
orders are valid. This petition was filed in behalf of GSIS by the GSIS Law Office; it was signed by
the Chief Legal Counsel and Assistant Legal Counsel of GSIS, and three self-identified Attorney[s],
presumably holding lawyer positions in GSIS.[30]
The OSG also filed the other petition, docketed as G.R. No. 184275. It identifies as its petitioners the
SEC, Commissioner Martinez in his capacity as OIC of the SEC, and Hubert Guevarra in his
capacity as Director of the Compliance and Enforcement Department of the SEC the same
petitioners in the aborted petition for review initially docketed as G.R. No. 183933. Unlike what was
adverted to in the motion for extension filed by the same petitioners in G.R. No. 183933, the petition
in G.R. No. 184275 is one for certiorari under Rule 65 as indicated on page 3 thereof,[31] and not a
petition for review. Interestingly, save for the first page which leaves the docket number blank, all 86
pages of this petition for certiorari carry a header wrongly identifying the pleading as the non-existent
petition for review under G.R. No. 183933. This petition seeks the reversal of the assailed decision
of the Court of Appeals, the recognition of the jurisdiction of the SEC over the petition of GSIS, and
the affirmation of the CDO and SCO.
II.
Private respondents seek the expunction of the petition filed by the SEC in G.R. No. 184275. We
agree that the petitioners therein, namely: the SEC, Commissioner Marquez and Guevarra, are not
real parties-in-interest to the dispute and thus bereft of capacity to file the petition. By way of simple
illustration, to argue otherwise is to say that the trial court judge, the National Labor Relations
Commission, or any quasi-judicial agency has the right to seek the review of an appellate court
decision reversing any of their rulings. That prospect, as any serious student of remedial law knows,
is zero.
The Court, through the Resolution of the Third Division dated 2 September 2008, had resolved to
treat the petition in G.R. No. 184275 as a petition for review on certiorari, but withheld giving due
course to it.[32] Under Section 1 of Rule 45, which governs appeals by certiorari, the right to file the
appeal is restricted to a party, meaning that only the real parties-in-interest who litigated the petition
for certiorari before the Court of Appeals are entitled to appeal the same under Rule 45. The SEC
and its two officers may have been designated as respondents in the petition for certiorari filed with
the Court of Appeals, but under Section 5 of Rule 65 they are not entitled to be classified as real
parties-in-interest. Under the provision, the judge, court, quasi-judicial agency, tribunal, corporation,
board, officer or person to whom grave abuse of discretion is imputed (the SEC and its two officers
in this case) are denominated only as public respondents. The provision further states that public
respondents shall not appear in or file an answer or comment to the petition or any pleading
therein.[33] Justice Regalado explains:

[R]ule 65 involves an original special civil action specifically directed against the person, court,
agency or party a quo which had committed not only a mistake of judgment but an error of
jurisdiction, hence should be made public respondents in that action brought to nullify their invalid
acts. It shall, however be the duty of the party litigant, whether in an appeal under Rule 45 or in a
special civil action in Rule 65, to defend in his behalf and the party whose adjudication is assailed,
as he is the one interested in sustaining the correctness of the disposition or the validity of the
proceedings.
xxx The party interested in sustaining the proceedings in the lower court must be joined as a corespondent and he has the duty to defend in his own behalf and in behalf of the court which
rendered the questioned order. While there is nothing in the Rules that prohibit the presiding judge of
the court involved from filing his own answer and defending his questioned order, the Supreme Court
has reminded judges of the lower courts to refrain from doing so unless ordered by the Supreme
Court.[[34]] The judicial norm or mode of conduct to be observed in trial and appellate courts is now
prescribed in the second paragraph of this section.
xxx
A person not a party to the proceedings in the trial court or in the Court of Appeals cannot maintain
an action for certiorari in the Supreme Court to have the judgment reviewed.[35]
Rule 65 does recognize that the SEC and its officers should have been designated as public
respondents in the petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals. Yet their involvement in the
instant petition is not as original party-litigants, but as the quasi-judicial agency and officers
exercising the adjudicative functions over the dispute between the two contending factions within
Meralco. From the onset, neither the SEC nor Martinez or Guevarra has been considered as a real
party-in-interest. Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that every action
must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest, that is the party who
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
suit. It would be facetious to assume that the SEC had any real interest or stake in the intracorporate dispute within Meralco.
We find our ruling in Hon. Santiago v. Court of Appeals[36] quite apposite to the question at hand.
Petitioner therein, a trial court judge, had presided over an expropriation case. The litigants had
arrived at an amicable settlement, but the judge refused to approve the same, even declaring it
invalid. The matter was elevated to the Court of Appeals, which promptly reversed the trial court and
approved the amicable settlement. The judge took the extraordinary step of filing in his own behalf a
petition for review on certiorari with this Court, assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals which

had reversed him. In disallowing the judges petition, the Court explained:
While the issue in the Court of Appeals and that raised by petitioner now is whether the latter abused
his discretion in nullifying the deeds of sale and in proceeding with the expropriation proceeding, that
question is eclipsed by the concern of whether Judge Pedro T. Santiago may file this petition at all.
And the answer must be in the negative, Section 1 of Rule 45 allows a party to appeal by certiorari
from a judgment of the Court of Appeals by filing with this Court a petition for review on certiorari. But
petitioner judge was not a party either in the expropriation proceeding or in the certiorari proceeding
in the Court of Appeals. His being named as respondent in the Court of Appeals was merely to
comply with the rule that in original petitions for certiorari, the court or the judge, in his capacity as
such, should be named as party respondent because the question in such a proceeding is the
jurisdiction of the court itself (See Mayol v. Blanco, 61 Phil. 547 [19351, cited in Comments on the
Rules of Court, Moran, Vol. II, 1979 ed., p. 471). "In special proceedings, the judge whose order is
under attack is merely a nominal party; wherefore, a judge in his official capacity, should not be
made to appear as a party seeking reversal of a decision that is unfavorable to the action taken by
him. A decent regard for the judicial hierarchy bars a judge from suing against the adverse opinion of
a higher court,. . . ." (Alcasid v. Samson, 102 Phil. 785, 740 [1957])
ACCORDINGLY, this petition is DENIED for lack of legal capacity to sue by the petitioner.[37]
Justice Isagani Cruz added, in a Concurring Opinion in Santiago: The judge is not an active
combatant in such proceeding and must leave it to the parties themselves to argue their respective
positions and for the appellate court to rule on the matter without his participation.[38]
Note that in Santiago, the Court recognized the good faith of the judge, who perceived the amicable
settlement as a manifestly iniquitous and illegal contract.[39] The SEC could have similarly felt in
good faith that the assailed Court of Appeals decision had unduly impaired its prerogatives or
caused some degree of hurt to it. Yet assuming that there are rights or prerogatives peculiar to the
SEC itself that the appellate court had countermanded, these can be vindicated in the petition for
certiorari filed by GSIS, whose legal capacity to challenge the Court of Appeals decision is without
question. There simply is no plausible reason for this Court to deviate from a time-honored rule that
preserves the purity of our judicial and quasi-judicial offices to accommodate the SECs distrust and
resentment of the appellate courts decision. The expunction of the petition in G.R. No. 184275 is
accordingly in order.
At this point, only one petition remainsthe petition for certiorari filed by GSIS in G.R. No.
183905. Casting off the uncritical and unimportant aspects, the two main issues for adjudication are
as follows: (1) whether the SEC has jurisdiction over the petition filed by GSIS against private
respondents; and (2) whether the CDO and SCO issued by the SEC are valid.

II.
It is our resolute inclination that this case, which raises interesting questions of law, be
decided solely on the merits, without regard to the personalities involved or the well-reported drama
preceding the petition. To that end, the Court has taken note of reports in the media that GSIS and
the Lopez group have taken positive steps to divest or significantly reduce their respective interests
in Meralco.[40] These are developments that certainly ease the tension surrounding this case, not to
mention reason enough for the two groups to make an internal reassessment of their respective
positions and interests in relation to this case. Still, the key legal questions raised in the petition do
not depend at all on the identity of any of the parties, and would obtain the same denouement even if
this case was lodged by unknowns as petitioners against similarly obscure respondents.
With the objective to resolve the key questions of law raised in the petition, some of the issues
raised diminish as peripheral. For example, petitioners raise arguments tied to the behavior of
individual justices of the Court of Appeals, particularly former Justice Vicente Roxas, in relation to
this case as it was pending before the appellate court. The Court takes cognizance of our Resolution
in A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA dated 9 September 2008, which duly recited the various anomalous or
unbecoming acts in relation to this case performed by two of the justices who decided the case in
behalf of the Court of Appealsformer Justice Roxas (the ponente) and Justice Bienvenido L.
Reyes (the Chairman of the 8th Division) as well as three other members of the Court of Appeals.
At the same time, the consensus of the Court as it deliberated on A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA was to
reserve comment or conclusion on the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals, in recognition of
the reality that however stigmatized the actions and motivations of Justice Roxas are, the decision is
still the product of the Court of Appeals as a collegial judicial body, and not of one or some rogue
justices. The penalties levied by the Court on these appellate court justices, in our estimation,
redress the unwholesome acts which they had committed. At the same time, given the jurisprudential
importance of the questions of law raised in the petition, any result reached without squarely
addressing such questions would be unsatisfactory, perhaps derelict even.
III.
We now examine whether the SEC has jurisdiction over the petition filed by GSIS. To recall,
SEC has sought to enjoin the use and annul the validation, of the proxies issued in favor of several
of the private respondents, particularly in connection with the annual meeting.
A.
Jurisdiction is conferred by no other source but law. Both sides have relied upon provisions of

Rep. Act No. 8799, otherwise known as the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), its implementing
rules (Amended Implementing Rules or AIRR-SRC), and other related rules to support their
competing contentions that either the SEC or the trial courts has exclusive original jurisdiction over
the dispute.
GSIS primarily anchors its argument on two correlated provisions of the SRC. These are
Section 53.1 and Section 20.1, which we cite:
SEC. 53. Investigations, Injunctions and Prosecution of Offenses . - 53.1. The Commission may, in
its discretion, make such investigations as it deems necessary to determine whether any person has
violated or is about to violate any provision of this Code, any rule, regulation or order thereunder, or
any rule of an Exchange, registered securities association, clearing agency, other self-regulatory
organization, and may require or permit any person to file with it a statement in writing, under oath or
otherwise, as the Commission shall determine, as to all facts and circumstances concerning the
matter to be investigated. The Commission may publish information concerning any such violations,
and to investigate any fact, condition, practice or matter which it may deem necessary or proper to
aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this Code, in the prescribing of rules and regulations
thereunder, or in securing information to serve as a basis for recommending further legislation
concerning the matters to which this Code relates: xxx (emphasis supplied)
SEC. 20. Proxy Solicitations. 20.1. Proxies must be issued and proxy solicitation must be made in
accordance with rules and regulations to be issued by the Commission;
The argument, stripped of extravagance, is that since proxy solicitations following Section 20.1 have
to be made in accordance with rules and regulations issued by the SEC, it is the SEC under Section
53.1 that has the jurisdiction to investigate alleged violations of the rules on proxy solicitations. The
GSIS petition invoked AIRR-AIRR-SRC Rule 20, otherwise known as The Proxy Rule, which
enumerates the requirements as to form of proxy and delivery of information to security holders.
According to GSIS, the information statement Meralco had filed with the SEC in connection with the
annual meeting did not contain any proxy form as required under AIRR-SRC Rule 20.
On the other hand, private respondents argue before us that under Section 5.2 of the SRC, the
SECs jurisdiction over all cases enumerated in Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A was
transferred to the courts of general jurisdiction or the appropriate regional trial court. The two
particular classes of cases in the enumeration under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A
which private respondents especially refer to are as follows:
xxx

(2) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate, partnership, or association relations, between and
among stockholders, members, or associates; or association of which they are stockholders,
members, or associates, respectively;

3) Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers or managers of


corporations, partnerships, or associations;
xxx

In addition, private respondents cite the Interim Rules on Intra-Corporate Controversies (Interim
Rules) promulgated by this Court in 2001, most pertinently, Section 2 of Rule 6 (on Election
Contests), which defines election contests as follows:

SEC. 2. Definition. An election contest refers to any controversy or dispute involving title or claim to
any elective office in a stock or nonstock corporation, the validation of proxies, the manner and
validity of elections and the qualifications of candidates, including the proclamation of winners, to the
office of director, trustee or other officer directly elected by the stockholders in a close corporation or
by members of a nonstock corporation where the articles of incorporation or bylaws so provide.
(emphasis supplied)

The correct answer is not clear-cut, but there is one. In private respondents favor, the
provisions of law they cite pertain directly and exclusively to the statutory jurisdiction of trial courts
acquired by virtue of the transfer of jurisdiction following the passage of the SRC. In contrast, the
SRC provisions relied upon by GSIS do not immediately or directly establish that bodys jurisdiction
over the petition, since it necessitates the linkage of Section 20 to Section 53.1 of the SRC before
the point can bear on us.
On the other hand, the distinction between proxy solicitation and proxy validation cannot
be dismissed offhand. The right of a stockholder to vote by proxy is generally established

by the Corporation Code,[41] but it is the SRC which specifically regulates the form and use of
proxies, more particularly the procedure of proxy solicitation, primarily through Section 20.[42] AIRRSRC Rule 20 defines the terms solicit and solicitation:
The terms solicit and solicitation include:
A.

any request for a proxy whether or not accompanied by or included in a form of proxy

B.

any request to execute or not to execute, or to revoke, a proxy; or

C.

the furnishing of a form of proxy or other communication to security holders under

circumstance reasonably calculated to result in the procurement, withholding or revocation of a


proxy.

It is plain that proxy solicitation is a procedure that antecedes proxy validation. The former involves
the securing and submission of proxies, while the latter concerns the validation of such secured and
submitted proxies. GSIS raises the sensible point that there was no election yet at the time it filed its
petition with the SEC, hence no proper election contest or controversy yet over which the regular
courts may have jurisdiction. And the point ties its cause of action to alleged irregularities in the
proxy solicitation procedure, a process that precedes either the validation of proxies or the annual
meeting itself.
Under Section 20.1, the solicitation of proxies must be in accordance with rules and regulations
issued by the SEC, such as AIRR-SRC Rule 4. And by virtue of Section 53.1, the SEC has the
discretion to make such investigations as it deems necessary to determine whether any person has
violated any rule issued by it, such as AIRR-SRC Rule 4. The investigatory power of the SEC
established by Section 53.1 is central to its regulatory authority, most crucial to the public interest
especially as it may pertain to corporations with publicly traded shares. For that reason, we are not
keen on pursuing private respondents insistence that the GSIS complaint be viewed as rooted in an
intra-corporate controversy solely within the jurisdiction of the trial courts to decide. It is possible that
an intra-corporate controversy may animate a disgruntled shareholder to complain to the SEC a
corporations violations of SEC rules and regulations, but that motive alone should not be sufficient
to deprive the SEC of its investigatory and regulatory powers, especially so since such powers are
exercisable on a motu proprio basis.
At the same time, Meralco raises the substantial point that nothing in the SRC empowers the SEC to
annul or invalidate improper proxies issued in contravention of Section 20. It cites that the penalties

defined by the SEC itself for violation of Section 20 or AIRR-SRC Rule 20 are limited to a
reprimand/warning for the first offense, and pecuniary fines for succeeding offenses.[43] Indeed, if
the SEC does not have the power to invalidate proxies solicited in violation of its promulgated rules,
serious questions may be raised whether it has the power to adjudicate claims of violation in the first
place, since the relief it may extend does not directly redress the cause of action of the complainant
seeking the exclusion of the proxies.
There is an interesting point, which neither party raises, and it concerns Section 6(g) of Presidential
Decree No. 902-A, which states:
SEC. 6. In order to effectively exercise such jurisdiction, the Commission shall possess the following
powers:
xxx
(g) To pass upon the validity of the issuance and use of proxies and voting trust agreements for
absent stockholders or members;
xxx
As promulgated then, the provision would confer on the SEC the power to adjudicate
controversies relating not only to proxy solicitation, but also to proxy validation. Should the
proposition hold true up to the present, the position of GSIS would have merit, especially since
Section 6 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A was not expressly repealed or abrogated by the SRC.
[44]
Yet a closer reading of the provision indicates that such power of the SEC then was incidental or
ancillary to the exercise of such jurisdiction. Note that Section 6 is immediately preceded by
Section 5, which originally conferred on the SEC original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
decide cases involving controversies in the election or appointments of directors, trustees, officers
or managers of such corporations, partnerships or associations. The cases referred to in Section 5
were transferred from the jurisdiction of the SEC to the regular courts with the passage of the SRC,
specifically Section 5.2. Thus, the SECs power to pass upon the validity of proxies in relation to
election controversies has effectively been withdrawn, tied as it is to its abrogated jurisdictional
powers.
Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the linchpin in deciding the question is whether or not the
cause of action of GSIS before the SEC is intimately tied to an election controversy, as defined
under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A. To answer that, we need to properly ascertain

the scope of the power of trial courts to resolve controversies in corporate elections.
B.
Shares of stock in corporations may be divided into voting shares and non-voting shares,
which are generally issued as preferred or redeemable shares.[45] Voting rights are exercised
during regular or special meetings of stockholders; regular meetings to be held annually on a fixed
date, while special meetings may be held at any time necessary or as provided in the by-laws, upon
due notice.[46] The Corporation Code provides for a whole range of matters which can be voted
upon by stockholders, including a limited set on which even non-voting stockholders are entitled to
vote on.[47] On any of these matters which may be voted upon by stockholders, the proxy device is
generally available.[48]

Under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, in relation to the SRC, the jurisdiction of
the regular trial courts with respect to election-related controversies is specifically confined to
controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers or managers of
corporations, partnerships, or associations. Evidently, the jurisdiction of the regular courts over socalled election contests or controversies under Section 5(c) does not extend to every potential
subject that may be voted on by shareholders, but only to the election of directors or trustees, in
which stockholders are authorized to participate under Section 24 of the Corporation Code.[49]
This qualification allows for a useful distinction that gives due effect to the statutory right of the SEC
to regulate proxy solicitation, and the statutory jurisdiction of regular courts over election contests or
controversies. The power of the SEC to investigate violations of its rules on proxy solicitation is
unquestioned when proxies are obtained to vote on matters unrelated to the cases enumerated
under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A. However, when proxies are solicited in relation to
the election of corporate directors, the resulting controversy, even if it ostensibly raised the violation
of the SEC rules on proxy solicitation, should be properly seen as an election controversy within the
original and exclusive jurisdiction of the trial courts by virtue of Section 5.2 of the SRC in relation to
Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A.
The conferment of original and exclusive jurisdiction on the regular courts over such
controversies in the election of corporate directors must be seen as intended to confine to one body
the adjudication of all related claims and controversy arising from the election of such directors. For
that reason, the aforequoted Section 2, Rule 6 of the Interim Rules broadly defines the term election
contest as encompassing all plausible incidents arising from the election of corporate directors,
including: (1) any controversy or dispute involving title or claim to any elective office in a stock or

nonstock corporation, (2) the validation of proxies, (3) the manner and validity of elections and (4)
the qualifications of candidates, including the proclamation of winners. If all matters anteceding the
holding of such election which affect its manner and conduct, such as the proxy solicitation process,
are deemed within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC, then the prospect of
overlapping and competing jurisdictions between that body and the regular courts becomes
frighteningly real. From the language of Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, it is
indubitable that controversies as to the qualification of voting shares, or the validity of votes cast in
favor of a candidate for election to the board of directors are properly cognizable and adjudicable by
the regular courts exercising original and exclusive jurisdiction over election cases. Questions
relating to the proper solicitation of proxies used in such election are indisputably related to such
issues, yet if the position of GSIS were to be upheld, they would be resolved by the SEC and not the
regular courts, even if they fall within controversies in the election of directors.
The Court recognizes that GSISs position flirts with the abhorrent evil of split jurisdiction,[50]
allowing as it does both the SEC and the regular courts to assert jurisdiction over the same
controversies surrounding an election contest. Should the argument of GSIS be sustained, we would
be perpetually confronted with the spectacle of election controversies being heard and adjudicated
by both the SEC and the regular courts, made possible through a mere allegation that the
anteceding proxy solicitation process was errant, but the competing cases filed with one objective in
mind to affect the outcome of the election of the board of directors. There is no definitive statutory
provision that expressly mandates so untidy a framework, and we are disinclined to construe the
SRC in such a manner as to pave the way for the splitting of jurisdiction.
Unlike either Section 20.1 or Section 53.1, which merely alludes to the rule-making or
investigatory power of the SEC, Section 5 of Pres. Decree No. 902-A sets forth a definitive rule on
jurisdiction, expressly granting as it does original and exclusive jurisdiction first to the SEC, and
now to the regular courts. The fact that the jurisdiction of the regular courts under Section 5(c) is
confined to the voting on election of officers, and not on all matters which may be voted upon by
stockholders, elucidates that the power of the SEC to regulate proxies remains extant and could very
well be exercised when stockholders vote on matters other than the election of directors.

That the proxy challenge raised by GSIS relates to the election of the directors of Meralco is
undisputed. The controversy was engendered by the looming annual meeting, during which the
stockholders of Meralco were to elect the directors of the corporation. GSIS very well knew of that
fact. On 17 March 2008, the Meralco board of directors adopted a board resolution stating:
RESOLVED that the board of directors of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO)

delegate, as it hereby delegates to the Nomination & Governance Committee the authority to
approve and adopt appropriate rules on: (1) nomination of candidates for election to the board of
directors; (2) appreciation of ballots during the election of members of the board of directors; and (3)
validation of proxies for regular or special meetings of the stockholders.[51]
In addition, the Information Statement/Proxy form filed by First Philippine Holdings
Corporation with the SEC pursuant to Section 20 of the SRC, states:
REASON FOR SOLICITATION OF VOTES
The Solicitor is soliciting proxies from stockholders of the Company for the purpose of
electing the directors named under the subject headed Directors in this Statement as well as to vote
the matters in the agenda of the meeting as provided for in the Information Statement of the
Company. All of the nominees are current directors of the Company.[52]

Under the circumstances, we do not see it feasible for GSIS to posit that its challenge to the
solicitation or validation of proxies bore no relation at all to the scheduled election of the board of
directors of Meralco during the annual meeting. GSIS very well knew that the controversy falls within
the contemplation of an election controversy properly within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.
Otherwise, it would have never filed its original petition with the RTC of Pasay. GSIS may have
withdrawn its petition with the RTC on a new assessment made in good faith that the controversy
falls within the jurisdiction of the SEC, yet the reality is that the reassessment is precisely wrong as a
matter of law.
IV.
The lack of jurisdiction of the SEC over the subject matter of GSISs petition necessarily invalidates
the CDO and SDO issued by that body. However, especially with respect to the CDO, there is need
for this Court to squarely rule on the question pertaining to its validity, if only for jurisprudential value
and for the guidance of the SEC.
To recount the facts surrounding the issuance of the CDO, GSIS filed its petition with the SEC on 26
May 2008. The CDO, six (6) pages in all with three (3) pages devoted to the tenability of granting the
injunctive relief, was issued on the very same day, 26 May 2008, without notice or hearing. The CDO
bore the signature of Commissioner Jesus Martinez, identified therein as Officer-in-Charge, and
nobody elses.

The provisions of the SRC relevant to the issuance of a CDO are as follows:

SEC. 5. Powers and Functions of the Commission.- 5.1. The Commission shall act with transparency
and shall have the powers and functions provided by this Code, Presidential Decree No. 902-A, the
Corporation Code, the Investment Houses Law, the Financing Company Act and other existing laws.
Pursuant thereto the Commission shall have, among others, the following powers and functions:

xxx

(i) Issue cease and desist orders to prevent fraud or injury to the investing public;

xxx

[SEC.] 53.3. Whenever it shall appear to the Commission that any person has engaged or is about
to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of any provision of this Code, any rule,
regulation or order thereunder, or any rule of an Exchange, registered securities association,
clearing agency or other self-regulatory organization, it may issue an order to such person to desist
from committing such act or practice: Provided, however, That the Commission shall not charge any
person with violation of the rules of an Exchange or other self regulatory organization unless it
appears to the Commission that such Exchange or other self-regulatory organization is unable or
unwilling to take action against such person. After finding that such person has engaged in any such
act or practice and that there is a reasonable likelihood of continuing, further or future violations by
such person, the Commission may issue ex-parte a cease and desist order for a maximum period of
ten (10) days, enjoining the violation and compelling compliance with such provision. The
Commission may transmit such evidence as may be available concerning any violation of any
provision of this Code, or any rule, regulation or order thereunder, to the Department of Justice,
which may institute the appropriate criminal proceedings under this Code.

SEC. 64. Cease and Desist Order. 64.1. The Commission, after proper investigation or
verification, motu proprio, or upon verified complaint by any aggrieved party, may issue a cease and
desist order without the necessity of a prior hearing if in its judgment the act or practice, unless
restrained, will operate as a fraud on investors or is otherwise likely to cause grave or irreparable
injury or prejudice to the investing public.

64.2. Until the Commission issues a cease and desist order, the fact that an investigation has been
initiated or that a complaint has been filed, including the contents of the complaint, shall be
confidential. Upon issuance of a cease and desist order, the Commission shall make public such
order and a copy thereof shall be immediately furnished to each person subject to the order.

64.3. Any person against whom a cease and desist order was issued may, within five (5) days from
receipt of the order, file a formal request for a lifting thereof. Said request shall be set for hearing by
the Commission not later than fifteen (15) days from its filing and the resolution thereof shall be
made not later than ten (10) days from the termination of the hearing. If the Commission fails to
resolve the request within the time herein prescribed, the cease and desist order shall automatically
be lifted.

There are three distinct bases for the issuance by the SEC of the CDO. The first, allocated by
Section 5(i), is predicated on a necessity to prevent fraud or injury to the investing public. No other
requisite or detail is tied to this CDO authorized under Section 5(i).

The second basis, found in Section 53.3, involves a determination by the SEC that any
person has engaged or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of any
provision of this Code, any rule, regulation or order thereunder, or any rule of an Exchange,
registered securities association, clearing agency or other self-regulatory organization. The
provision additionally requires a finding that there is a reasonable likelihood of continuing [or
engaging in] further or future violations by such person. The maximum duration of the CDO issued
under Section 53.3 is ten (10) days.

The third basis for the issuance of a CDO is Section 64. This CDO is founded on a
determination of an act or practice, which unless restrained, will operate as a fraud on investors or
is otherwise likely to cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public. Section
64.1 plainly provides three segregate instances upon which the SEC may issue the CDO under this
provision: (1) after proper investigation or verification, (2) motu proprio, or (3) upon verified complaint
by any aggrieved party. While no lifetime is expressly specified for the CDO under Section 64, the
respondent to the CDO may file a formal request for the lifting thereof, which the SEC must hear
within fifteen (15) days from filing and decide within ten (10) days from the hearing.

It appears that the CDO under Section 5(i) is similar to the CDO under Section 64.1. Both
require a common finding of a need to prevent fraud or injury to the investing public. At the same
time, no mention is made whether the CDO defined under Section 5(i) may be issued ex-parte, while
the CDO under Section 64.1 requires grave and irreparable injury, language absent in Section 5(i).
Notwithstanding the similarities between Section 5(i) and Section 64.1, it remains clear that the CDO
issued under Section 53.3 is a distinct creation from that under Section 64.

The Court of Appeals cited the CDO as having been issued in violation of the constitutional
provision on due process, which requires both prior notice and prior hearing.[53] Yet interestingly, the
CDO as contemplated in Section 53.3 or in Section 64, may be issued ex-parte (under Section
53.3) or without necessity of hearing (under Section 64.1). Nothing in these provisions impose a
requisite hearing before the CDO may be issued thereunder. Nonetheless, there are identifiable
requisite actions on the part of the SEC that must be undertaken before the CDO may be issued
either under Section 53.3 or Section 64. In the case of Section 53.3, the SEC must make two

findings: (1) that such person has engaged in any such act or practice, and (2) that there is a
reasonable likelihood of continuing, (or engaging in) further or future violations by such person. In
the case of Section 64, the SEC must adjudge that the act, unless restrained, will operate as a fraud
on investors or is otherwise likely to cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing
public.

Noticeably, the CDO is not precisely clear whether it was issued on the basis of Section 5.1, Section
53.3 or Section 64 of the SRC. The CDO actually refers and cites all three provisions, yet it is
apparent that a singular CDO could not be founded on Section 5.1, Section 53.3 and Section 64
collectively. At the very least, the CDO under Section 53.3 and under Section 64 have their
respective requisites and terms.

GSIS was similarly cagey in its petition before the SEC, it demurring to state whether it was seeking
the CDO under Section 5.1, Section 53.3, or Section 64. Considering that injunctive relief generally
avails upon the showing of a clear legal right to such relief, the inability or unwillingness to lay bare
the precise statutory basis for the prayer for injunction is an obvious impediment to a successful
application. Nonetheless, the error of the SEC in granting the CDO without stating which kind of
CDO it was issuing is more unpardonable, as it is an act that contravenes due process of law.

We have particularly required, in administrative proceedings, that the body or tribunal in all
controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can
know the various issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.[54] This requirement is
vital, as its fulfillment would afford the adverse party the opportunity to interpose a reasoned and
intelligent appeal that is responsive to the grounds cited against it. The CDO extended by the SEC
fails to provide the needed reasonable clarity of the rationale behind its issuance.

The subject CDO first refers to Section 64, citing its provisions, then stating: [p]rescinding from the
aforequoted, there can be no doubt whatsoever that the Commission is in fact mandated to take up,
if expeditiously, any verified complaint praying for the provisional remedy of a cease and desist
order.[55] The CDO then discusses the nature of the right of GSIS to obtain the CDO, as well as

the urgent and paramount necessity to prevent serious damage because the stockholders meeting
is scheduled on May 28, 2008 x x x Had the CDO stopped there, the unequivocal impression would
have been that the order is based on Section 64.

But the CDO goes on to cite Section 5.1, quoting paragraphs (i) and (n) in full, ratiocinating that
under these provisions, the SEC had the power to issue cease and desist orders to prevent fraud or
injury to the public and such other measures necessary to carry out the Commissions role as
regulator.[56] Immediately thence, the CDO cites Section 53.3 as providing that whenever it shall
appear to the Commission that nay person has engaged or is about to engage in any act or practice
constituting a violation of any provision, any rule, regulation or order thereunder, the Commission
may issue ex-parte a cease and desist order for a maximum period of ten (10) days, enjoining the
violation and compelling compliance therewith.[57]

The citation in the CDO of Section 5.1, Section 53.3 and Section 64 together may leave the
impression that it is grounded on all three provisions, and that may very well have been the intention
of the SEC. Assuming that is so, it is legally impermissible for the SEC to have utilized both Section
53.3 and Section 64 as basis for the CDO at the same time. The CDO under Section 53.3 is
premised on distinctly different requisites than the CDO under Section 64. Even more crucially, the
lifetime of the CDO under Section 53.3 is confined to a definite span of ten (10) days, which is not
the case with the CDO under Section 64. This CDO under Section 64 may be the object of a formal
request for lifting within five (5) days from its issuance, a remedy not expressly afforded to the CDO
under Section 53.3.

Any respondent to a CDO which cites both Section 53.3 and Section 64 would not have an intelligent
or adequate basis to respond to the same. Such respondent would not know whether the CDO
would have a determinate lifespan of ten (10) days, as in Section 53.3, or would necessitate a formal
request for lifting within five (5) days, as required under Section 64.1. This lack of clarity is to the
obvious prejudice of the respondent, and is in clear defiance of the constitutional right to due
process of law. Indeed, the veritable mlange that the assailed CDO is, with its jumbled mixture of
premises and conclusions, the antithesis of due process.

Had the CDO issued by the SEC expressed the length of its term, perhaps greater clarity would
have been offered on what Section of the SRC it is based. However, the CDO is precisely silent as to
its lifetime, thereby precluding much needed clarification. In view of the statutory differences among
the three CDOs under the SRC, it is essential that the SEC, in issuing such injunctive relief, identify
the exact provision of the SRC on which the CDO is founded. Only by doing so could the adversely
affected party be able to properly evaluate whatever his responses under the law.

To make matters worse for the SEC, the fact that the CDO was signed, much less apparently
deliberated upon, by only by one commissioner likewise renders the order fatally infirm.
The SEC is a collegial body composed of a Chairperson and four (4) Commissioners.[58] In order to
constitute a quorum to conduct business, the presence of at least three (3) Commissioners is
required.[59] In the leading case of GMCR v. Bell,[60] we definitively explained the nature of a
collegial body, and how the act of one member of such body, even if the head, could not be
considered as that of the entire body itself. Thus:
We hereby declare that the NTC is a collegial body requiring a majority vote out of the three
members of the commission in order to validly decide a case or any incident therein. Corollarily, the
vote alone of the chairman of the commission, as in this case, the vote of Commissioner Kintanar,
absent the required concurring vote coming from the rest of the membership of the commission to at
least arrive at a majority decision, is not sufficient to legally render an NTC order, resolution or
decision.
Simply put, Commissioner Kintanar is not the National Telecommunications Commission. He alone
does not speak for and in behalf of the NTC. The NTC acts through a three-man body, and the three
members of the commission each has one vote to cast in every deliberation concerning a case or
any incident therein that is subject to the jurisdiction of the NTC. When we consider the historical
milieu in which the NTC evolved into the quasi-judicial agency it is now under Executive Order No.
146 which organized the NTC as a three-man commission and expose the illegality of all
memorandum circulars negating the collegial nature of the NTC under Executive Order No. 146, we
are left with only one logical conclusion: the NTC is a collegial body and was a collegial body even
during the time when it was acting as a one-man regime.[61]
We can adopt a virtually word-for-word observation with respect to former Commissioner
Martinez and the SEC. Simply put, Commissioner Martinez is not the SEC. He alone does not speak
for and in behalf of the SEC. The SEC acts through a five-person body, and the five members of the
commission each has one vote to cast in every deliberation concerning a case or any incident
therein that is subject to the jurisdiction of the SEC.

GSIS attempts to defend former Commissioner Martinezs action, but its argument is without
merit. It cites SEC Order No. 169, Series of 2008, whereby Martinez was designated as Officer-inCharge of the Commission for the duration of the official travel of the Chairperson to Paris, France,
to attend the 33rd Annual Conference of the [IOSCO] from May 26-30, 2008.[62] As officer-incharge (OIC), Martinez was authorized to sign all documents and papers and perform all other acts
and deeds as may be necessary in the day-to-day operation of the Commission.
It is clear that Martinez was designated as OIC because of the official travel of only one member,
Chairperson Fe Barin. Martinez was not commissioned to act as the SEC itself. At most, he was to
act in place of Chairperson Barin in the exercise of her duties as Chairperson of the SEC. Under
Section 4.3 of the SRC, the Chairperson is the chief executive officer of the SEC, and thus
empowered to execute and administer the policies, decisions, orders and resolutions approved by
the Commission, as well as to have the

general executive direction and supervision of the work and operation of the Commission.[63] It is in
relation to the exercise of these duties of the Chairperson, and not to the functions of the
Commission, that Martinez was authorized to sign all documents and papers and perform all other
acts and deeds as may be necessary in the day-to-day operation of the Commission.
GSIS likewise cites, as authority for Martinezs unilateral issuance of the CDO, Section 4.6 of the
SRC, which states that the SEC may, for purposes of efficiency, delegate any of its functions to any
department or office of the Commission, an individual Commissioner or staff member of the
Commission except its review or appellate authority and its power to adopt, alter and supplement
any rule or regulation. Reliance on this provision is inappropriate. First, there is no convincing
demonstration that the SEC had delegated to Martinez the authority to issue the CDO. The SEC
Order designating Martinez as OIC only authorized him to exercise the functions of the absent
Chairperson, and not of the Commission. If the Order is read as enabling Martinez to issue the CDO
in behalf of the Commission, it would be akin to conceding that the SEC Chairperson, acting alone,
can issue the CDO in behalf of the SEC itself. That again contravenes our holding in GMCR v. Bell.
In addition, it is clear under Section 4.6 that the ability to delegate functions to a single commissioner
does not extend to the exercise of the review or appellate authority of the SEC. The issuance of the
CDO is an act of the SEC itself done in the exercise of its original jurisdiction to review actual cases
or controversies. If it has not been clear to the SEC before, it should be clear now that its power to
issue a CDO can not, under the SRC, be delegated to an individual commissioner.

V.
In the end, even assuming that the events narrated in our Resolution in A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA
constitute sufficient basis to nullify the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals, still it remains clear
that the reliefs GSIS seeks of this Court have no basis in law. Notwithstanding the black mark that
stains the appellate courts decision, the first paragraph of its fallo, to the extent that it dismissed the
complaint of GSIS with the SEC for lack of jurisdiction and consequently nullified the CDO and SDO,
defies unbiased scrutiny and deserves affirmation.

A.

In its dispositive portion, the Court of Appeals likewise pronounced that the complaint filed by
GSIS with the SEC should be barred from being considered as an election contest in the RTC,
given that the fifteen (15) day prescriptive period to file an election contest with the RTC, under
Section 3, Rule 6 of the Interim Rules, had already run its course.[64] Yet no such relief was
requested by private respondents in their petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals[65].
Without disputing the legal predicates surrounding this pronouncement, we note that its tenor, if not
the text, unduly suggests an unwholesome pre-emptive strike. Given our observations in A.M. No.
08-8-11-CA of the undue interest exhibited by the author of the appellate court decision, such
declaration is best deleted. Nonetheless, we do trust that any court or tribunal that may be
confronted with that premise adverted to by the Court of Appeals would know how to properly treat
the same.

B.

Finally, we turn to the sanction on the lawyers of GSIS imposed by the Court of Appeals.
Nonetheless, we find that as a matter of law the sanctions are unwarranted. The charter of
GSIS[66] is unique among government owned or controlled corporations with original charter in that

it allocates a role for its internal legal counsel that is in conjunction with or complementary to the
Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), which is the statutory legal counsel for
GOCCs. Section 47 of GSIS charter reads:
SEC. 47. Legal Counsel.The Government Corporate Counsel shall be the legal adviser
and consultant of GSIS, but GSIS may assign to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel
(OGCC) cases for legal action or trial, issues for legal opinions, preparation and review of
contracts/agreements and others, as GSIS may decide or determine from time to time: Provided,
however, That the present legal services group in GSIS shall serve as its in-house legal counsel.
The GSIS may, subject to approval by the proper court, deputize any personnel of the legal service
group to act as special sheriff in the enforcement of writs and processes issued by the court, quasijudicial agencies or administrative bodies in cases involving GSIS.[67]
The designation of the OGCC as the legal counsel for GOCCs is set forth by statute, initially
by Rep. Act No. 3838, then reiterated by the Administrative Code of 1987.[68] Given that the
designation is statutory in nature, there is no impediment for Congress to impose a different role for
the OGCC with respect to particular GOCCs it may charter. Congress appears to have done so with
respect to GSIS, designating the OGCC as a legal adviser and consultant, rather than as counsel
to GSIS. Further, the law clearly vests unto GSIS the discretion, rather than the duty, to assign cases
to the OGCC for legal action, while designating the present legal services group of GSIS as inhouse legal counsel. This situates GSIS differently from the Land Bank of the Philippines, whose
own in-house lawyers have persistently argued before this Court to no avail on their alleged right to
file petitions before us instead of the OGCC.[69] Nothing in the Land Bank charter[70] vested it
with the discretion to choose when to assign cases to the OGCC, notwithstanding the establishment
of its own Legal Department.[71]
Congress is not bound to retain the OGCC as the primary or exclusive legal counsel of GSIS even if
it performs such a role for other GOCCs. To bind Congress to perform in that manner would be akin
to elevating the OGCCs statutory role to irrepealable status, and it is basic that Congress is barred
from passing irrepealable laws.[72]

C.
We close by acknowledging that the surrounding circumstances behind these petitions are
unfortunate, given the events as narrated in A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA. While due punishment has been
meted on the errant magistrates, the corporate world may very well be reminded that the members
of the judiciary are not to be viewed or treated asmere pawns or puppets in the internecine fights

businessmen and their associates wage against other businessmen in the quest for corporate
dominance. In the end, the petitions did afford this Court to clarify consequential points of law, points
rooted in principles which will endure long after the names of the participants in these cases have
been forgotten.

WHEREFORE, the petition in G.R. No. 184275 is EXPUNGED for lack of capacity of the
petitioner to bring forth the suit.
The petition in G.R. No. 183905 is DISMISSED for lack of merit except that the second and
third paragraphs of the fallo of the assailed decision dated 23 July 2008 of the Court of Appeals,
including subparagraphs (1), (2), 2(a), 2(b), 2(c) and 2(d) under the second paragraph, are hereby
DELETED.

No pronouncements as to costs.

SO ORDERED.
Labels: 2009, criminal procedure, G.R. No. 183905, January
19, jurisdiction, jurisprudence, rtc,securities and exchange commission
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theft (2) Fuentes v CA (1) Fule v CA (1) Fully Paid Shares (1) G. R. No. 160188 (1) G. R. No. 116320 (1) G. R.
No. 160188 (1) G. R. No. 164317 (1) G. R. No. 164317 February 6 (2) G.R. 79050-51 (1) G.R. No
48196 (2) G.R. No. 146635 (2) G.R. No. 166862(1) G.R. No. 168100 November 20 (1) G.R. No. 101083 (2) G.R.
No. 101163 (2) G.R. No. 101503 (2) G.R. No. 102253 (2) G.r. No. 102342 (2) G.R. No. 102383 (2) G.R. No.
103119 (2) G.R. No. 103379 (2) G.R. No. 103554 (1) G.R. No. 103577 (1) G.R. No. 104376 (1) G.R. No. 104376
February 23 (1)G.R. No. 105562 (2) G.R. No. 105774 (2) G.R. No. 105836 (2) G.R. No. 106720 (1) G.R. No.
107062 (2) G.R. No. 107382 (1) G.R. No. 107382/G.R. No. 107612 (1) G.R. No. 107508 (2) G.R. No.
107518 (2) G.R. No. 107612 (1) G.R. No. 108017 (2) G.R. No. 108581 (1) G.R. No. 109491 (1) G.R. No.
111584 (2) G.R. No. 111692 (2) G.R. No. 112160 (3) G.R. No. 112212 (2) G.R. No. 112287 (1) G.R. No.
112287

December

12 (1) G.R.

No.

112392(2) G.R.

No.

112573 (2) G.R.

No.

113213 (1) G.R.

No.

113578 (2) G.R. No. 113725 (1) G.R. No. 113899 (1) G.R. No. 114061 (3) G.R. No. 114118(2) G.R. No.
115024 (1) G.R. No. 115117 (2) G.R. No. 115156 (2) G.R. No. 115278 (2) G.R. No. 116320 (1) G.R. No.
116736 (2) G.R. No. 117660 (2)G.R. No. 118325 (2) G.R. No. 118342 (1) G.R. No. 118357 (2) G.R. No.
119176 (2) G.R. No. 120135 (2) G.R. No. 120262 (2) G.R. No. 120554 (2) G.R. No. 120706 (2) G.R. No.
120988 (2) G.R. No. 121315 (2) G.R. No. 121413 (2) G.R. No. 121479 (1) G.R. No. 121828 (2) G.R. No.
121998 (2) G.R. No. 122099 (2) G.R. No. 122191 (2) G.R. No. 122494 (2) G.R. No. 122880 (1) G.R. No.
123031 (2) G.R. No. 123404 (2) G.R. No. 123486 (1) G.R. No. 124050 (2) G.R. No. 124062 (2) G.R. No.
124099 (1) G.R. No. 124354 (2) G.R. No. 124371 (2) G.R. No. 124520 (2) G.R. No. 125678 (2) G.R. No.
125835 (1) G.R. No. 125851 (2) G.R. No. 125865 (2) G.R. No. 126204 (2) G.R. No. 126297 (3) G.R. No.
126405 (1) G.R.

No.

126518 (2) G.R.

No.

126670

December

2 (2) G.R.

No.

127326 (2) G.R.

No.

127823 (2) G.R. No. 128286 (2) G.R. No. 128604 (1) G.R. No. 128690 (2) G.R. No. 128721 (2)G.R. No.
129433 (2) G.R. No. 129459 (2) G.R. No. 129584 (2) G.R. No. 129792 (2) G.R. No. 129910 (2) G.R. No.
130030 (2) G.R. No. 130421 (2) G.R. No. 131166 (1) G.R. No. 131621 (1) G.R. No. 132403 (2) G.R. No.
132419 (2) G.R. No. 133179 (2) G.R. No. 133632 (2) G.R. No. 134784 (2) G.R. No. 136448 (1) G.R. No. 136448
November 3 (1) G.R. No. 136729 (2) G.R. No. 137775 (1) G.R. No. 138033 (2) G.R. No. 138074 (2) G.R. No.
138322 (1)G.R. No. 138510 (2) G.R. No. 138569 (2) G.R. No. 138739 (2) G.R. No. 139325 (2) G.R. No.
139465 (1) G.R. NO. 139802 (2) G.R. No. 140006-10 (2)G.R. No. 140047 (2) G.R. No. 140698 (3) G.R. No.
140707 (2) G.R. No. 142616 (2) G.R. No. 143838 (2) G.R. No. 144476 (2) G.R. No. 145804(3) G.R. No.
146511 (2) G.R. NO. 146779 (2) G.R. No. 147746 (2) G.R. No. 147839 (2) G.R. No. 148211 (2) G.R. No.
148444 (1) G.R. No. 148496 (1)G.R. No. 148560 (2) G.R. No. 148571 (1) G.R. No. 149038 (2) G.R. No. 151445
April 11 (1) G.R. No. 151445 April 11 (1) G.R. No. 151969 (2) G.R. No. 152133 (2) G.R. No. 153675 (1) G.R.
No. 153898 October 18 (2) G.R. No. 154127 (2) G.R. No. 154469 (2) G.R. No. 154514 (1) G.R. No.
154740 (2)G.R. No. 15566 (1) G.R. No. 155791 (2) G.R. No. 156167 (2) G.R. No. 156207 (2) G.R. No.
156294 (2) G.R. No. 157216 (2) G.R. No. 157309 (2) G.R. No. 157451 (1) G.R. No. 157547 (2) G.R. No.
157833 (1) G.R. No. 157906 (3) G.R. No. 157977 (1) G.R. No. 158262 (2) G.R. No. 158312 (2) G.R. No.

159747 (1) G.R. No. 161886 (1) G.R. No. 162230 (2) G.R. No. 1641 (1) G.R. No. 165300 (1) G.R. No.
165483 (2) G.R. No. 165546 (2) G.R. No. 165842 (2) G.R. No. 165993 (2) G.R. No. 166245 (2) G.R. No.
166326 (2) G.R. No. 166405 (2) G.R. No. 166479 (2) G.R. No. 167330 (2) g.r. no. 167571 (1) G.R. No. 168100
November 20 (1) G.R. No. 168115 (2) G.R. No. 168274 (2) G.R. No. 168402 (2) G.R. No. 170325 (2) G.R. No.
170984 (2)G.R. No. 171052 (2) G.R. No. 172896 (2) G.R. No. 172966 (2) G.R. No. 173915 (1) G.R. No.
174489 (1) G.R. No. 176831 (1) G.R. No. 178523 (2) G.R. No. 17958 (2) G.R. No. 179859 (1) G.R. No.
181132 (2) G.R. No. 183526 (1) G.R. No. 183905 (2) G.R. No. 20341 (2) G.R. No. 23703 (2) G.R. No.
34774 (2) G.R. No. 44119 (2) G.R. No. 48541 (2) G.R. No. 6659 (2) G.R. No. 71871 (1) G.R. No. 72110 (2) G.R.
No. 72593 (2) G.R. No. 73886 (2) G.R. No. 74695 (1) G.R. No. 74761 (2) G.R. No. 74886 (2) G.R. No.
75605 (2) G.R. No. 76452 (2) G.R. No. 76788 (2) G.R. No. 80294-95 (1) G.R. No. 80447(2) G.R. No.
81322 (2) G.R. No. 83122 (2) G.R. No. 84197 (1) G.R. No. 84197 July 28 (2) G.R. No. 85141 (3) G.R. No.
88724 (2) G.R.

No.

88866(2) G.R.

92244 (2) G.R.

No. 92288 (3) G.R. No. 93048 (2) G.R. No. 93073 (2) G.R. No. 93397 (2) G.R. No.

93695 (2) G.R.

No.

94071 (2) G.R.

No.

No.

89802 (2) G.R.

95322 (2) G.R.

No.

No.

89880 (2) G.R.

95529 (2) G.R.

No.

No.

92087 (1) G.R.

95546 (1) G.R.

No.

No.

95582 (3) G.R. No. 95641(2) G.R. No. 95696 (2) G.R. No. 95696. March 3 (2) G.R. No. 97336 (2) G.R. No.
97626 (2) G.R. No. 97753 (2) G.R. No. 99301 (2) G.R. No. L-12189 (2)G.R. No. L-12190 (1) G.R. No. L12191 (2) G.R. No. L-12219 (2) G.R. No. L-12736 (2) G.R. No. L-12858 (2) G.R. No. L-12907 (2) G.R. No. L13005 (1)G.R. No. L-14003 (1) G.R. No. L-14074 (1) G.R. No. L-14300 (2) G.R. No. L-14441 (1) G.R. No. L14441 December 17 (1) G.R. No. L-14986 (2) G.R. No. L-15126 (2) G.R. No. L-15184 (2) G.R. No. L15894 (2) G.R. No. L-15895 (2) G.R. No. L-16138 (2) G.R. No. L-16215 (2) G.R. No. L-16567 (2) G.R. No. L1669 (2) G.R. No. L-16749 (1) G.R. No. L-17312 (1) G.R. No. L-17474 (2) G.R. No. L-17845 (2) G.R. No. L18216 (2) G.R. No. L-18287 (2) G.R. No. L-18657 (2) G.R. No. L-18924 (2) G.R. No. L-18965 (3) G.R. No. L18979 (1) G.R. No. L-19189 (2) G.R. No. L-19550 (2) G.R. No. L-20081 (2)G.R. No. L-20357 (1) G.R. No. L20434 (2) G.R. No. L-20850 (2) G.R. No. L-20853 (2) G.R. No. L-21278 (2) G.R. No. L-21291 (2) G.R. No. L21380 (2)G.R. No. L-21462 (2) G.R. No. L-21500 (2) G.R. No. L-21574 (2) G.R. No. L-21642 (2) G.R. No. L22042 (2) G.R. No. L-2227 (2) G.R. No. L-22375 (1)G.R. No. L-22554 (2) G.R. No. L-22595 (1) G.R. No. L22796 (2) G.R. No. L-2294 (2) G.R. No. L-23145 (1) G.R. No. L-23145 November 29 (2) G.R. No. L23241 (2) G.R. No. L-23276 (2) G.R. No. L-23678 (2) G.R. No. L-24803 (2) G.R. No. L-24978 (2) G.R. No. L25317 (2) G.R. No. L-25845 (2) G.R. No. L-25920 (2) G.R. No. L-2662 (2) G.R. No. L-26743 (2) G.R. No. L26767 (2) G.R. No. L-27155 (2) G.R. No. L-28093 (2) G.R. No. L-28120 (2) G.R. No. L-2855 (2) G.R. No. L2861 (2) G.R. No. L-28673 (2) G.R. No. L-28946 (1) G.R. No. L-29276 (2) G.R. No. L-29432 (2) G.R. No. L30389 (2) G.R. No. L-30896 (1) G.R. No. L-31195 (2) G.R. No. L-32213 (1) G.R. No. L-32611 (2) G.R. No. L33171 (2) G.R. No. L-3362 (1) G.R. No. L-33722 (2) G.R. No. L-34539 (2) G.R. No. L-34539 July 14 (1) G.R. No.
L-3497 (1) G.R. No. L-35095 (2) G.R. No. L-35262 (2) G.R. No. L-35283 (2) G.R. No. L-36481-2 (2)G.R. No. L37750 (2) G.R. No. L-38037 (2) G.R. No. L-38338 (1) G.R. No. L-38613 (2) G.R. No. L-38684 (2) G.R. No. L38816 (2) G.R. No. L-39050 (2)G.R. No. L-39247 (2) G.R. No. L-39419 (2) G.R. No. L-40207 (1) G.R. No. L4067 (1) G.R. No. L-40796 (2) G.R. No. L-4170 (1) G.R. No. L-4197 (2)G.R. No. L-42462 (2) G.R. No. L4254 (2) G.R. No. L-43191 (2) G.R. No. L-43596 (1) G.R. No. L-44059 (2) G.R. No. L-44837 (1) G.R. No. L45637 (2)G.R. No. L-46061 (2) G.R. No. L-4611 (1) G.R. No. L-46558 (2) G.R. No. L-4722 (2) G.R. No. L-

47722 (2) G.R. No. L-47739 (2) G.R. No. L-48006(3) G.R. No. L-4818 (2) G.R. No. L-48195 (2) G.R. No. L48250 (2) G.R. No. L-48321 (1) G.R. No. L-48757 (3) G.R. No. L-48796 (2) G.R. No. L-49101 (2) G.R. No. L49188 (2) G.R. No. L-49390 (2) G.R. No. L-4963 (1) G.R. No. L-4977 (2) G.R. No. L-50373 (2) G.R. No. L50959 (2) G.R. No. L-51806 (2) G.R. No. L-51832 (2) G.R. No. L-5270 (2) G.R. No. L-5272 (4) G.R. No. L5377 (1) G.R. No. L-54216 (2) G.R. No. L-55079 (2) G.R. No. L-55397 (2) G.R. No. L-56169 June 26 (1) G.R. No.
L-56487 (2) G.R. No. L-56655 (2) G.R. No. L-5715 (2) G.R. No. L-58509 (1) G.R. No. L-58867 (2)G.R. No. L5887 (2) G.R. No. L-59825 (2) G.R. No. L-59919 (2) G.R. No. L-60502 (2) G.R. No. L-6055 (2) G.R. No. L6114 (2) G.R. No. L-62943 (2)G.R. No. L-6442 (1) G.R. No. L-67626 (2) G.R. No. L-67835 (2) G.R. No. L6801 (1) G.R. No. L-69044 (1) G.R. No. L-7188 (1) G.R. No. L-7664 (2) G.R. No. L-7667 (2) G.R. No. L7760 (2) G.R. No. L-7991 (2) G.R. No. L-8110 (2) G.R. No. L-81827 (3) G.R. No. L-8385 (2) G.R. No. L8451 (2) G.R. No. L-8527 (1) G.R. No. L-8844 (2) G.R. No. L-9356 (2) G.R. No. L-9374 (2) G.R. No. L9401 (2) G.R.

No.

L-9671 (1) G.R.

No.113558 (1) G.R.

No.148496 (1) G.R.

No.L-17312 (1) G.R.

No.L-

4611 (1) G.R. Nos. 105965-70 (1) G.R. Nos. 113255-56 (2) G.R. Nos. 128833 (1) G.R. Nos. L-21353 and L21354 (2) G.R. Nos. L-25836-37 (2) G.R. Nos. L-28324-5 (2) G.R.No. 113899 (1) G.R.No. 115024 (2) G.R.No.
118367 (1) G.R.No.

131166 (1)G.R.No.

137775 (1) G.R.No.

154514 (1) G.R.No.

159747 (1) G.R.No.

L-

22375 (1) G.R.No. L-9671 (1) G.R.No.113558 (1) G.R.Nos. 128833 (1) gaap (2)Gaisano Cagayan v Insurance
Company

of

North

America (1) gallardo

gatchalian (1) Garcia

Hongkong

Fire

morales (1) gan

Marine

Insurance

yap (1) Ganzon

Co (1) garcia

v.

CA (2) garcia

lacuesta (1) Garcia

v
v.

Llamas (2) Garcia Recio v Recio (1) Garcia Recio vs Recio (1) Gashem Shookat Baksh v CA (1) Gatbonton
v.

NLRC

and

Mapua (2) Gatchalian

Indorser (3)general

power

of

Delim (1) Gelano

v.

appointment (2) General

CA (2) Gempesaw

Principles

on

v.

CA (2) General

Insurance (4) General

Provisions (2) generally accepted international law (2) Gercio v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (1) German
Garcia v The Hon Mariano M Florido et al (1) gil v murciano (1) gilchrist v cuddy (1) golden notes (1)Gonzales
v. RCBC (2) Good Father of a Family (3) GR 138322 (1) GR No. 139465 (1) GR No. L-26001 (2) Gr. No.
113213 (1) GR.

NO.

148571(1) GR.

NO.

153675 (1) GR.

NO.

157977 (1) grammar (2) grammar

rules (2) grammatical error (2) grand union supermarket v jose espino (1)grandfather rule (2) Great Asian
Sales Center Corp. v. CA (2) Great Eastern Life Ins. Co. v. Hongkong Shanghai Bank (2) Great Pacific Life
Assurance Corp v CA (1) GSIS v. CA (1) guide (1) guingon v Del Monte (1) Gulf Resorts Inc v Philippine
Charter Insurance Corp (1) Gullas v. PNB (2)he or she (1) Heirs of Borlado v Vda De Bulan (1) Heirs of Loreto
C. Maramag v Maramag (1) heirs of pdro tayag v hon fernando alcantara (1) Hi Cement Corp. v. Insular
Bank (1) Hi-Cement

Corp.

v.

Insular

Bank (1) him

or

her (1) Holder

in

Due

Course (2) honasan

case (1) Honasan v The Panel of Investigating Prosecutor (1) hong kong v. hon olalia jr (1) Hong Kong v. Hon.
Olalia Jr. (1) human rights (11)

human rights law (13)human rights law case digest (7) icasiano v

icasiano (1) Ilano v. CA (2) illegal provision in a will (1) illegitimate children (1) imelda marcos (1)immediate
cause of which was the peril insured against (1) importance of accounting (1) in contemplation of
death (2) In Re Mario v Chanliongco (1)in re will of riosa (1) Inc (4) Inc v Home Insurance (2) Inc v. CA (2) Inc
v.

Register

of

tax (2) Incomplete

Deeds

of

Manila (2) Inc.

v.

CA (2) incapable

instruments (2) indeterminate

sentence

of

pecuniary

estimation (1) income

law (4) insanity (1) installment

law (1) Insular Drugs v. PNB (2) insular life assurance co v ebrado (1)

insurance (134)

sales

insurance

act (1) insurance

agent (1) Insurance

code (5) insurance

Broker (1)

reviewer (2) insurance

law

insurance

case

notes (3) insurance

digest (72)
notes

insurance

outline (3) Insurance

reviewer (1) Insured Outlives Policy (1) Integrated Packing v CA (1) intent (2) interest (1) Interference with
Contractual Relations (2) International Corp. Bank v. CA (2) international law (1) international law vs
municipal

law (1) International

taxation (2) interpretation

of

treaties (1) intod

v.

ca (2)intoxication (1) Introduction to Negotiable Instruments (6) Invalid Designation (4) IPL (2) IPL
case digest (2) Irrevocable Designation (2)Isaac v AL Ammen Trans Co (1) j marketing v Sia (1) jaboneta v
gustilo (1) Jai-Alai Corp. of the Phil. v. BPI (2) Jan 18 (1) Jan. 18 (1) January 11 (2)January 15 (3) January
16 (1) January 18 (2) January 19 (5) January 21 (4) January 22 (5) January 23 (2) January 25 (2) January

28(7) January 29 (9) January 30 (10) January 31 (13) January 5 (2) jarco marketing v ca (1) Joaquinita
P Capili v Sps Dominador and Rosalita Cardana (1) judge fernando vil pamintuan (1) Judicial Construction
Cannot Alter Terms (1) judicial declaration of presumptive death (1) July 11 (2) July 13 (1) July 14 (7) July
16 (1) July 17 (2) July 18 (2) July 19 (6) July 20 (2) July 21 (2) July 23 (2) July 24 (2) July 26 (2) July 27 (2) July

28 (3)July 29 (2) july 3 (2) July 30 (9) July 31 (10) July 5 (2) July 6 (2) July 8 (3) June 11 (2) June
12 (2) June 16 (2) June 19 (4) June 2 (2) june 20 (3) June 21 (2) June 22 (4) June 25 (2) June 26 (2) June

27 (4) June

28 (2) June

Doctor (660)

29 (3) June

jurisdiction (6)

30 (5) June

5 (4) June

Juris

6 (2) June

jurisprudence (407)

8 (5)

Jurisprudence:

G.R.

No.

153468 (2) kalaw v relova (1)kapunan (1) Kierulf v CA (1) Kinds (1) kinds of damage (1) Korean Airlines Co.
LTd v. CA (2) kuroda v jalandoni (2) labor (4) labor law (4) labor relations (2) Lambert v. Fox (2) Lampano v.
Jose (1)

Land Titles and Deeds (14) Land Titles and Deeds Case Digest (7) Land Titles and

Deeds Notes (5) Land Titles and Deeds Notes Outline (1) lanters products inc v ca (1) last clear
chance (6) law (4) law

reviewer (1) law

laughs (1) lawyers

code (1) lawyers

pledge (1) Lazatin

Twano (1) Lee

updates (1) legitimation(2) lethal

code
v.

reviewer
of

political

professional

CA (2) legal

responsibility (1)lawyers

effect (3) legal

ethics (1) Liabilities (1) Liabilities

Parties (2) Liabilities of person who did not sign (1)

law (2) laws (2) lawyer (2) lawyer

did

oath (1) lawyers

ethics (1) legal


not

jokes (2) legal

sign (1) Liabilities

of

liabilities of the parties (17) Liability for

Torts (4) liability of an agent (2) liability of insurer for suicide and accidental death (1) Liang v.
People (2) Lim v. Executive Secretary (2) litonjua v montilla (1) llorente v ca (1) Llorente vs CA (1) Lopez v
Del Rosario and Quiogue (1) Lopez v Pan

American (1) loss(1) loss caused by negligence of the

insurance (1) LRTA v. Navidad (2) Magellan Mfg Marketing Corp v CA (1) Makati Sports Club Inc v. Cecile
Cheng(2) mala in se (2) Malayan Insurance v CA (1) Malayan Insurance Co v Arnaldo (1) malice (3) malum
prohibitum (2) Manila Lighter Transportation Inc. v. CA (2) Manila Metal Container Corp. v. PNB (1) Manuel v.
People (2) Marcelo Macalinao v Eddie Medecielo Ong (1) March 1 (3) March 13 (2)March 14 (5) March

15 (4) March
24 (2) March

16 (3) March
26 (4)March

18 (2) March

27 (6) March

19 (8) March
28 (7) March

2 (2) March

20 (3) March

22 (2) March

3 (4) March

30 (9) March

31 (7) March

7 (2) March 9 (4) Marcos v. Judge Fernando Vil. Pamintuan(1) Maria Benita A. Dulay v The Court of
Appeals (1) marinduque

workmens (1) marriage (2) marriage

certificate (1) master

of

business

and

administration (1) Maulini v. Serrano (2) May 1 (2) May 16 (2) May 18 (5) May 19 (4) may 20 (4) May

23 (2) May 25 (2) May 26 (2) May 28 (1)May 29 (3) may 30 (3) May 31 (6) May 6 (2) May 8 (2) May
9 (2) MBA (5) MBA Notes (4) me or I (1) measure of indemnity (1) measure of insurable interest (1) mejoff

v.

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19 (5) October

of

3 (5) November

8 (2) nso (1) nso

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2 (2) October

13 (2) October

21 (4) October

of

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23 (4) October

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San

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Co

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Co (1) sc (1) sc 173 (1) sec 12 (1) sec 13 (1) sec 1314 (1) Sec 17 (1) sec 177 of the insurance code (1) Sec
18 (1) Sec 189 (1)sec 28 (1) sec 77 (2) sec 84 (1) Sec. 1 - 8 (1) Sec. 17 - 23 (1) Sec. 21 (1) Sec. 24 29 (1) Sec.

3 (4) Sec. 30-50 (1) Sec. 39 (2) Sec. 51-59 (1)Sec. 9 - 16 (1) Sec. of Justice v. Hon.

Lantion (2) Sec.39 (2)

SECOND

DIVISION (46) second

part (1) secondarily

liable (1) secs

24

to

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2002 (1) september (1) September

24

12 (2) September

14 (2) September

21 (5) September

22 (2) September

1 (4) September

15 (5) September
23 (2) September

11(4) September

17 (2) September

18 (2) September

24 (1) September

26 (4) September

27 (2) September 28 (6) September 29 (2) september 30 (4) September 4 (2)September 5 (4) Sharuff
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autrui (3) Stipulations Cannot Be Segregated (2) Stock and Transfer Book (2) Stockholders of F. Guanzon
and

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Co (1) tax

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principle (1) The

digest (5) Tayag

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v.

Declaration

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on

Human

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of

THIRD DIVISION (36) third part (1) tinga (1) Tiong v. Ting (2) To whom insurance

proceeds payable (1) top 10 (1) torts (4)

case digest (79)


Bank

case

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