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Dumlao v COMELEC Petition, it would have required only a little more of effort on petitioner Dumlao, to

have filed separate suits, in the interest of orderly procedure.


Facts:
Petitioner Dumlao is a former Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, who has filed his ACTUAL CASE AND CONTROVERSY: It is basic that the power of judicial review is
certificate of candidacy for said position of Governor in the forthcoming limited to the determination of actual cases and controversies. Dumlao assails the
elections of January 30, 1980. He specifically questions the constitutionality constitutionality of the BP 52, as being contrary to the equal protection clause
of section 4 of BP Blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to the equal guaranteed by the Constitution, and seeks to prohibit respondent COMELEC from
protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution. implementing said provision. Yet, Dumlao has not been adversely affected by the
S4 -Any retired elective provincial, city of municipal official who has received payment application of that provision. No petition seeking Dumlao's disqualification has been
of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law and who shall have filed before the COMELEC. This is a question posed in a hypothetical issue, and in
been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to effect, a petition for an advisory opinion from this Court to be rendered without the
be elected, shall not be qualified to run for the same elective local office from which he benefit of a detailed factual record. Petitioner Dumlao's case is clearly within the
has retired. primary jurisdiction of respondent COMELEC.
He claimed that the aforecited provision was directed insidiously against
him, and that the classification provided therein is based on "purely arbitrary PROPER PARTY: The long-standing rule has been that "the person who impugns the
grounds and, therefore, class legislation. validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such
His colleague Igot, assailed the same law for the prohibition for candidacy of that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement" In
a person who was convicted of a crime given that there was judgment for the case of petitioners Igot and Salapantan, it was only during the hearing, not in their
conviction and the prima facie nature of the filing of charges for the Petition, that Igot is said to be a candidate for Councilor. Even then, it cannot be
commission of such crimes. He also questioned the accreditation of some denied that neither one has been convicted nor charged with acts of disloyalty to the
political parties by respondent COMELEC, as authorized by BP 53, on the State, nor disqualified from being candidates for local elective positions. Neither one
ground that it is contrary to section 9(1), Art. XII(C) of the Constitution, which of them has been called to have been adversely affected by the operation of the
provides that a "bona fide candidate for any public office shall be free from statutory provisions they assail as unconstitutional There is a generated grievance.
any form of harassment and discrimination." Apart from this, they also They have no personal or substantial interest at stake. In the absence of any litigate
attacked the term of office and the election period. These were Sec 7 of BP interest, they can claim no locus standi in seeking judicial redress.
51, Sec 4; Sec 6, and Sec 1 of BP 52.
It is true that petitioners Igot and Salapantan have instituted this case as a taxpayer's
Issue: WON petitioners have legal standing to sue. NO. suit, and that the rule enunciated in People vs. Vera, above stated, has been relaxed
in Pascual vs. The Secretary of Public Works, thus: ... it is well settled that the validity
Ratio: Dumalo sued as a candidate while Igot sued as a taxpayer. of a statute may be contested only by one who will sustain a direct injury in
In order to determine judicial review, three requisites are present: consequence of its enforcement. Yet, there are many decisions nullifying at the
a. actual case and controversy instance of taxpayers, laws providing for the disbursement of public funds, upon the
b. proper party theory that "the expenditure of public funds, by an officer of the State for the purpose
c. existence of a constitutional question of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds,"
which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer.
a. Dumlao has not yet been affected by the statute. No petition has yet been filed for his
disqualification. It was only a hypothetical question. However, the statutory provisions questioned in this case, namely, sec. 7, BP Blg. 51,
b. Did they sustain direct injury as a result of the enforcement? No one has yet been adversely and sections 4, 1, and 6 BP Blg. 52, do not directly involve the disbursement of public
affected by the operation of the statutes.
funds. While, concededly, the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public
c. They are actually no cause of action. It follows that the necessity for resolving the issue of
constitutionality is absent and procedural regularity would require that his suit be dismissed. moneys, nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is
"being extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protections against
However, they relaxed the procedural standard due to the public interest involved and abuses of legislative power" or that there is a misapplication of such funds by
the imminent elections. respondent COMELEC, or that public money is being deflected to any improper
purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain respondent from wasting public funds
PROCEDURAL ASPECT: Dumlao's interest is alien to that of Igot and Salapantan. through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. Besides, the institution
Dumlao does not join petitioners Igot and Salapantan in the burden of their complaint, of a taxpayer's suit, per se is no assurance of judicial review.
nor do the latter join Dumlao in his. The respectively contest completely different
Retirement from government service may or may not be a reasonable disqualification
statutory provisions. Petitioner Dumlao has joined this suit in his individual capacity as
for elective local officials.
a candidate. The action of petitioners Igot and Salapantan is more in the nature of a
taxpayer's suit. Although petitioners plead nine constraints as the reason of their joint But, in the case of a 65-year old elective local official, who has retired from a
provincial, city or municipal office, there is reason to disqualify him from running for the
same office from which he had retired, as provided for in the challenged provision.