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G.R. No.

188296: May 30, 2011


BRGY. CAPTAIN BEDA
SYSTEM, Respondents.

TORRECAMPO, Petitioner, v. METROPOLITAN

WATERWORKS

AND

SEWAGE

The Facts
March 2009, MWSS issued Resolution and allowed DPWH to use the 60 Meter Right-of-Way for preliminary studies in the
implementation of the C-5 Road Extension Project.
Torrecampo's constituents approached him to report that personnel and heavy equipment from the DPWH entered a portion of
their Barangay (Matandang Balara) to implement the C-5 Road Extension Project. Torrecampo alleged that if the MWSS and the
DPWH are allowed to continue and complete the C-5 Road Extension Project, 3 aqueducts of the MWSS supplying water to 8
million Metro Manila residents will be put at great risk. He insisted that the RIPADA area is a better alternative.
Torrecampo filed petition for injunction with prayer for issuance of TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction. He filed case inhis
capacity as taxpayer and in behalf of his brgy constituents and 8 M Metro Manila residents.
Petitioner contended irreparable injury would result should the petition be denied, the constitutional right to health would be
violated (under Sec 15, Art II, 187 Consti), and that the petition was filed directly with the SC because lower courts are
prohibited from issuing restraining orders and injunctions against government infrastructure projects pursuant to R.A 8975
(this act prohibits lower courts from issuing TROs).
This Court required respondents to comment. A status quo order was issued. The hearing regarding the urgent application for exparte temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction was set.
Asst. Solicitor General Panga, for respondent DPWH, asserts that petitioner's case does not fall under an exception and thus
should have followed the principle of hierarchy of courts.
Atty. Agra for respondent MWSS finds as premature the filing of the petition for injunction as there is yet no road expansion
project to be implemented, the project has yet to pass prior review by the MWSS, DPWH entry is only to conduct soil tests;
under the premises, there is yet no justiciable controversy.
The Court then required all parties to submit their memoranda, further, the status quo order was lifted since no grave injustice or
irreparable injury would arise.

ISSUE: WON respondents should be enjoined from commencing with and implementing the C-5 Road Extension Project.
RULING: The petition must fail.
HELD:
WON respondents should be enjoined from commencing with and implementing the C-5 Road Extension Project.
Torrecampo argues that
NO
The MWSS seeks the dismissal of
(1) he has the legal standing to file
Torrecampos petition
the present suit
Torrecampo is not entitled to injunction.
on the following grounds e.g.:
(2) only the Supreme Court may issue a
(1) the petition does not present a
restraining order and/or writ of
Torrecampo seeks judicial review of a
justiciable matter that requires the Court
preliminary injunction
question of Executive policy, a matter
to exercise its power of judicial review;
against government projects, according
outside the Court's jurisdiction.
(2) the petition failed to allege
to the exception in Section 3 of R.A.
Torrecampos right that warrants the
8975
1 - Torrecampo wants the Court to
issuance of an injunction under R.A.
(3) the present suit is not
determine whether the Tandang Sora
8975
premature
area is a better alternative to the
(3) Torrecampo failed to
RIPADA area for the C-5 Road
exhaust administrative remedies.
Extension Project.
Some of DPWHs arguments:
2 - He asserts the right of 8 M
(5) the petition cannot be a valid class
residents of MM to clean and potable
suit because Torrecampo failed to show
water is greatly put at risk.
proof that he represents
the interest of eight million residents of
The issues are dependent upon the
Metro Manila;
wisdom, not legality, of a
(6) the petition is not a valid taxpayers
particular measure.
suit as there is yet no project to speak of;
This is handled by the Executive (as
this involves the implementation of laws,
not the interpretation of laws), not the
Judiciary.
-These are not justiciable questions, but
political questions.
NOTE
The exception to this rule applies when
there is grave abuse of discretion. --- In
this case, however, the DPWH still has
to conduct the proper study to determine
whether a road can be safely constructed
on land beneath which runs the
aqueducts. Without such study, the
MWSS, which owns the land, cannot
decide whether to allow the DPWH to
construct the road. Absent such DPWH
study and MWSS decision, no grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction can be alleged against or
attributed to respondents warranting the
exercise of this Court's extraordinary
certiorari power.