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SPOUSES MIRASOL v. CA, PNB, PHILEX February 1, 2001 G.R.

128448 Requisites of Judicial Review (Very Lis Mota) Suit for accounting, specific performance and damages re: sugar crop FACTS: The Spouses Mirasol are sugarland owners and planters. PNB financed their sugar production from years 1973-1977 under several crop loan financing schemes. As security, the Spouses signed Credit Agreements, Chattel Mortgage and Real Estate Mortgage which empowered PNB as attorney-in-fact to negotiate and sell sugar in domestic and foreign markets. In 1974, Marcos, exercising his law-making powers under Martial Law issued PD 579 authorizing PHILEX to purchase sugar for export to US & other foreign markets; authorizing PNB to finance PHILEX s purchases; and directing the profit to be remitted to a special fund of national government. Spouses then believed that proceeds are enough to pay the loan; hence, they asked PNB for an accounting of proceeds of the sale of export sugar. PNB ignored the request, while the Spouses continued to avail of the crop loan. Thereafter, PNB asked Spouses to settle the accounts but the Spouses failed to do the same. As a consequence, PNB foreclosed some of the properties and auctioned off the others, however, PNB still had a deficiency claim. Spouses reiterated their request for an accounting since if such were properly liquidated, it could offset their obligations with the bank but again PNB failed to heed the same. ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to declare PD 579 unconstitutional without notice to Solicitor General. Whether or not the petitioners can ask the Court to exercise its power of judicial review. HELD: The RTC ruled in favor of Spouses ordering respondents to pay jointly and severally the unliquidated cost and declaring PD 579 null and void for being unconstitutional. The same decision was modified since it did not nullify the mortgage contracts. Spouses appealed to CA. CA reversed the decision declaring foreclosure valid and ordering an accounting of sugar account of Spouses. Spouses moved for MR, but it was denied. Hence, this petition. The SC held that the RTCs have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a Statute, PD or EO affirming CAs decision. The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, PD, order, instruction, ordinance or regulation not only in the SC but in all inferior courts.

The SC held that the case was instituted primarily for accounting and specific performance and it can be resolved without having to rule on the constitutionality of PD 579. The governing law on this matter should be the law on agency. The requisites of judicial review are: actual case or controversy; ripe for adjudication; locus standi; raised at earliest opportunity; and issue of constitutionality is the very lis mota of the case. Hence, the last requisite that the constitutionality of the law must be the very lis mota of the case is absent. Thus, the SC cannot rule on the constitutionality of PD 579.

DEAN JOYA, et. al. v. PCGG, Executive Secretary Macaraig, Chairman Caparas August 24, 1993 G.R. No. 96541 Requisites of Judicial Review (Locus Standi) Petition re: 82 paintings and 18th & 19th century silverware FACTS: In 1990, Chairman Caparas of PCGG wrote to Pres. Corazon Aquino requesting her for authority to sign consignment agreement between Republic of the Philippines through PCGG and Christies of New York concerning the sale of 82 Italian Old Masters Paintings and antique silverware seized from Malacanang and Metropolitan Museum of Manila alleged to be part of the ill gotten wealth of late President Marcos, his relatives and cronies. Thereafter, Pres. Cory through Exec. Sec. Macaraig authorized the consignment agreement allowing Christies of New York to auction off the art pieces for and in behalf of the RP. COA then questioned the authority of PCGG to enter into such agreement and that the art pieces were historical relics and had cultural significance. PCGG defended the agreement. Also, the Director of the National Museum then said that the items did not fall within the classification of protected cultural properties and did not specifically qualify as part of Filipino cultural heritage. The sale at public auction proceeded as scheduled and the proceeds were turned over to the Bureau of Treasury. Hence, this petition for prohibition to enjoin respondents from holding the auction sale. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners have legal standing to sue as taxpayers. Whether or not the paintings and silverware are part of the cultural treasure of the nation which is under the protection of the State pursuant to 1987 Consitution HELD: The SC dismissed the petition and held that it failed to comply with all the legal requisites for it to exercise its power of judicial review over this case. According to the SC, the most important are the first 2 requisites. First, the Court can

only exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought by a party who has legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal question. "Legal standing" means a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The term "interest" is material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. The interest of the party plaintiff must be personal and not one based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some third and unrelated party. Second, a taxpayers suit can prosper only if governmental acts being questioned involve disbursement of public funds. Petitioners are not challenging any expenditure of public funds but the disposition of what they allege to be public properties. The paintings and the silverware were acquired from private sources (foundation or corporation or its members) and not with public money. The confiscation by the Aquino administration must not be understood that the ownership of these has automatically passed on to the government without due process and just compensation. The certification of the Director of National Museum was given credence by the Court, hence, the art pieces are not classified as important cultural properties and national cultural treasures. Also, the case has become moot and academic since the sale pushed through, there being no actual case or controversy. DR. BONDOC v. Reps. PINEDA, PALACOL, CAMASURA, et. al., HRET September 26, 1991 G.R. No. 97710 Power of Judicial Review over decisions of the House FACTS: In the local and congressional elections in Pampanga, Pineda of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) and Bondoc of Nacionalista Party (NP) were rival candidates for the position of 4th District Representative. When the votes were canvassed, Pineda won by 3,300 votes over Bondoc. Thereafter, Pineda was proclaimed winner in the election. Bondoc then filed a protest in the HRET composed of 9 members: 3 SC Justices and 6 from HR (based on proportional representation from all political parties). After revision of the ballots, Bondoc won by a margin of 23 votes. LDP members in the HRET insisted on a recount of ballots thereby delaying by at least 4 months. Such re-examination resulted in increasing Bondocs lead to 107 votes. Cong. Camasura voted with the SC Justices and Cong. Cerilles to proclaim Bondoc the winner. It was revealed that there was a 5-4 vote (the vote of Camasura led to the proclamation of Bondoc).

On the eve of Bondocs proclamation, Cong. Cojuanco informed Camasura by letter that the LDP Davao Del Sur Chapter had already expelled him and another Congressman based on these reasons: for helping to organize the Partido Pilipino of Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, and for inviting LDP members in Davao del Sur to join said political party; and that as those acts are "not only inimical, uncalled for, unethical and immoral, but also a complete betrayal to (sic) the cause and objectives, and loyalty to LDP. In view of the notice it had received, the Tribunal had voted to withdraw the nomination and rescind the election of Camasura to the HRET. Without Camasuras vote, the decision lacks the concurrence of 5 members and cannot be validly promulgated. The other 3 Assoc. Justices asked for their relief from membership in the HRET since such undermined the independence of the Tribunal but was declined by the Court. Pineda asserts that the HRETs expulsion of Congressman Camasura from the LDP, is "purely a party affair" of the LDP and the decision to rescind his membership in the House Electoral Tribunal is the sole prerogative of the House of Representatives, hence, it is a purely political question beyond the reach of judicial review. ISSUE: Whether or not the House is empowered by the Constitution to interfere with the disposition of election contest in the HRET based on reorganizing the representation of the majority party. HELD: The SC held that the resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal for disloyalty to the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista Party's candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment of the constitutional prerogative of the House Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc. Disloyalty to party is not a valid cause for termination of HRET membership and his expulsion violates his right to security of tenure. No party or coalition of parties can dominate the legislative component in the Tribunal and that members-legislators sit in the Tribunal no longer as representatives of their respective political parties but as impartial judges. The HRET must be independent, impartial and non-partisan. Bondoc is duly promulgated as the winner. Costs against Pineda.