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SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION

INTERPLEADER (62)

Pasricha vs. Don Luis


Petitioners did not pay rentals because ostensibly they did not know to whom payment should be
made. However, this did not justify their failure to pay, because if such were the case, they were
not without any remedy. They should have availed of the provisions of the Civil Code of the
Philippines on the consignation of payment and of the Rules of Court on interpleader. An action
for interpleader is proper when the lessee does not know to whom payment of rentals should be
made due to conflicting claims on the property (or on the right to collect). The remedy is afforded
not to protect a person against double liability but to protect him against double vexation in respect
of one liability. Notably, instead of availing of the above remedies, petitioners opted to refrain
from making payments.
INTERPLEADER is proper whenever conflicting claims upon the same subject matter are or may
be made against a person who claims no interest whatever in the subject matter, or an interest in
whole or in part is not disputed by claimants, he may bring an action against conflicting claimants
to compel them to interplead and litigate their several claims among themselves.
Otherwise stated, an action for interpleader is proper when the lessee does not know to whom
payment of rentals should be made due to conflicting claims on the property (or the right to collect).
The remedy is afforded not to protect a person against double liability but to protect him against
double vexation in respect of one liability.
Lui Enterprises vs. Zuellig Pharma
An interpleader complaint may be filed by a lessee against those who have conflicting claims over
the rent due for the property leased. This remedy is for the lessee to protect him or her from "double
vexation in respect of one liability." He or she may file the interpleader case to extinguish his or
her obligation to pay rent, remove him or her from the adverse claimantsdispute, and compel the
parties with conflicting claims to litigate among themselves.
In this case, Zuellig Pharma filed the interpleader case to extinguish its obligation to pay rent. Its
purpose in filing the interpleader case "was not defeated" when the Makati trial court declared Lui
Enterprises in default.
At any rate, an adverse claimant in an interpleader case may be declared in default. Under Rule
62, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, a claimant who fails to answer within the
required period may, on motion, be declared in default. The consequence of the default is that the
court may "render judgment barring [the defaulted claimant] from any claim in respect to the
subject matter."138 The Rules would not have allowed claimants in interpleader cases to be
declared in default if it would "ironically defeat the very purpose of the suit."
DECLARATORY RELIEF (63)

Reyes vs. Ortiz


Petitioners filed a declaratory relief against an order made by a lower court in violation of an order
made by RTC suspending ejectment cases. In a recent ruling of this Court, it was emphasized that
a petition for declaratory relief cannot properly have a court decision as its subject matter
for the simple reason that the Rules of Court already provide for the ways by which an ambiguous
or doubtful decision may be corrected or clarified without need of resorting to the expedient
prescribed by Rule 66 [now Rule 64].
The proper remedy that petitioner Erlinda Reyes could have utilized from the denial of
her motion to suspend proceedings in the Caloocan City MeTC was to file a motion for
reconsideration and, if it is denied, to file a petition for certiorari before the RTC pursuant
to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, petitioner Matienzo should have filed
a special civil action on certiorari also under Rule 65 with the Court of Appeals from the
denial of her motion by the Caloocan City RTC.The necessity of filing the petition to the
RTC in the case of Erlinda Reyes and to the Court of Appeals in the case of Matienzo is
dictated by the principle of the hierarchy of courts.

Bereft of merit too is petitioners argument that the Caloocan City MeTC cannot disregard the
injunction order of the Quezon City RTC hearing the Annulment/Reversion case. The established
rule is that a pending civil action for ownership such as annulment of title shall not ipso
facto suspend an ejectment proceeding. The Court explained that the rationale for this is that in an
ejectment case, the issue is possession, while in an annulment case the issue is ownership. In fact,
an ejectment case can be tried apart from an annulment case.

Republic vs. Roque


Case law states that the following are the REQUISITES FOR AN ACTION FOR
DECLARATORY RELIEF: first, the subject matter of the controversy must be a deed, will,
contract or other written instrument, statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance; second,
the terms of said documents and the validity thereof are doubtful and require judicial construction;
third, there must have been no breach of the documents in question; fourth, there must be an
actual justiciable controversy or the ripening seeds of one between persons whose interests are
adverse; fifth, the issue must be ripe for judicial determination; and sixth, adequate relief is not
available through other means or other forms of action or proceeding8.

Based on a judicious review of the records, the Court observes that while the first,9 second,10
and third11 requirements appear to exist in this case, the fourth, fifth, and sixth requirements,
however, remain wanting.
As to the fourth requisite, there is serious doubt that an actual justiciable controversy or the
ripening seeds of one exists in this case.

Pertinently, a justiciable controversy refers to an existing case or controversy that is appropriate


or ripe for judicial determination, not one that is conjectural or merely anticipatory.12 Corollary
thereto, by ripening seeds it is meant, not that sufficient accrued facts may be dispensed with,
but that a dispute may be tried at its inception before it has accumulated the asperity, distemper,
animosity, passion, and violence of a full blown battle that looms ahead. The concept describes a
state of facts indicating imminent and inevitable litigation provided that the issue is not settled and
stabilized by tranquilizing declaration.13

A perusal of private respondents petition for declaratory relief would show that they have failed
to demonstrate how they are left to sustain or are in immediate danger to sustain some direct injury
as a result of the enforcement of the assailed provisions of RA 9372. Not far removed from the
factual milieu in the Southern Hemisphere cases, private respondents only assert general interests
as citizens, and taxpayers and infractions which the government could prospectively commit if the
enforcement of the said law would remain untrammelled. As their petition would disclose, private
respondents fear of prosecution was solely based on remarks of certain government officials
which were addressed to the general public.14 They, however, failed to show how these remarks
tended towards any prosecutorial or governmental action geared towards the implementation of
RA 9372 against them. In other words, there was no particular, real or imminent threat to any of
them.

REVIEW OF COMELEC or COA JUDGEMENT (64)

Querubin vs. Comelec


The case does not stem from an election controversy involving the election, qualification, or the
returns of an elective office. Rather, it pertains to the propriety of the polling commission's conduct
of the procurement process, and its initial finding that Smartmatic JV is eligible to participate
therein. Specifically, it arose from the electoral commission's exercise of Sec. 12 of RA 8436,
otherwise known as the Automated Elections Law, as amended by RA 9369,55 which authorized
the COMELEC "to procure, in accordance with existing laws, by purchase, lease, rent or other
forms of acquisition, supplies, equipment, materials, software, facilities, and other services,
from local or foreign sources free from taxes and import duties, subject to accounting and
auditing rules and regulation."
In arguing for the propriety of the remedial vehicle chosen, petitioners claim that under Rule 64,
Sec. 2 of the Rules of Court, "[a] judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on
Elections x x x may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on certiorari
under Rule 65."50 They postulate that the June 29, 2015 Decision of the COMELEC en
banc declaring Smartmatic JV as the eligible bidder with the lowest calculated responsive bid is a
"judgment" within the contemplation of the rule, and is, therefore, a proper subject of a Rule 64
petition.

a. Rule 64 does not cover rulings of the COMELEC in the exercise of its administrative powers
Though the provision appears unambiguous and unequivocal, the Court has consistently held that
the phrase "decision, order, or ruling" of constitutional commissions, the COMELEC included,
that may be brought directly to the Supreme Court on certiorari is not all-encompassing, and that
it only relates to those rendered in the commissions' exercise of adjudicatory or quasi-judicial
powers.51 In the case of the COMELEC, this would limit the provision's coverage to the decisions,
orders, or rulings issued pursuant to its authority to be the sole judge of generally all controversies
and contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of elective offices.
JURISDICTION: Thus, under Sec. 58, the proper remedy to question the ruling of the head of the
procuring entity is through a Rule 65 petition for certiorari with the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
The term "procuring entity" is defined under the RA 9184 as "any branch, department, office,
agency, or instrumentality of the government, including state universities and colleges,
government-owned and/or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and local
government units procuring Goods, Consulting Services and Infrastructure Projects."64 This
statutory definition makes no distinction as to whether or not the procuring entity is a constitutional
commission under Article IX of the Constitution. It is broad enough to include the COMELEC
within the contemplation of the term. Hence, under the law, grievances relating to the COMELEC
rulings in protests over the conduct of its project procurement should then be addressed to the
RTC.

Mitra vs. Comelec


Based on these considerations, we cannot accept the COMELECs position that patently confuses
the mode of review in election cases under Rules 64 and 65 of the Rules of Court, with the appellate
review that Rule 45 of the same Rules provides.
We likewise reject the COMELEC and the private respondents proposition that the Court erred
in exercising its limited certiorari jurisdiction. Although the COMELEC is admittedly the final
arbiter of all factual issues as the Constitution11 and the Rules of Court12 provide, we stress that
in the presence of grave abuse of discretion, our constitutional duty is to intervene and not to shy
away from intervention simply because a specialized agency has been given the authority to
resolve the factual issues.
As we emphasized in our Decision, we have in the past recognized exceptions to the general rule
that the Court ordinarily does not review in a certiorari case the COMELECs appreciation and
evaluation of evidence. One such exception is when the COMELECs appreciation and evaluation
of evidence go beyond the limits of its discretion to the point of being grossly unreasonable. In
this situation, we are duty bound under the Constitution to intervene and correct COMELEC errors
that, because of the attendant grave abuse of discretion, have mutated into errors of jurisdiction.
Our Decision clearly pointed out Mitras submissions and arguments on grave abuse of discretion,
namely, that the COMELEC failed to appreciate that the case is a cancellation of a COC
proceeding and that the critical issue is the presence of deliberate false material representation to
deceive the electorate. In fact, Mitras petition plainly argued that the COMELECs grave abuse
of discretion was patent when it failed to consider that the ground to deny a COC is deliberate false
representation. We completely addressed this issue and, in the process, analyzed the reasoning in
the assailed COMELEC decision. At every step, we found that the COMELEC committed grave
abuse of discretion in the appreciation of the evidence.

Saligumba vs. COA


The court dismissed the petition as it held that the power of the Supreme Court to review COA
decisions refers to money matters and not to administrative cases involving the discipline of its
personnel and even assuming that it does have jurisdiction to review decisions on administrative
matters as mentioned above, the court can not do so on factual issues since its power to review is
limited to legal issues only.

CERTIORARI (65)
Tan vs. Antazo
The pivotal issue in this case is the correctness of a special civil action for certiorari before the
Court of Appeals as a remedy against the Decision and Resolution of the Regional Trial Court.
A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is a pleading limited to correction of
errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Its
principal office is to keep the inferior court within the parameters of its jurisdiction or to prevent
it from committing such a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It
may issue only when the following requirements are alleged in and established by the petition: (1)
that the writ is directed against a tribunal, a board or any officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions; (2) that such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or
with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) that there is no
appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.4
Only the first requisite is here present. Petitioner correctly impleaded the trial court judge in her
certiorari petition.
Regarding to the second requisite, it is well-settled that a petition for certiorari against a court
which has jurisdiction over a case will prosper only if grave abuse of discretion is manifested. The
burden is on the part of the petitioner to prove not merely reversible error, but grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondent issuing
the impugned order. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough; it must be grave. The term grave
abuse of discretion is defined as a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment so patent and
gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined
by law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because of passion or
hostility.5
Anent the third requisite, a writ of certiorari will not issue where the remedy of appeal is available
to the aggrieved party. The party aggrieved by a decision of the Court of Appeals is proscribed
from assailing the decision or final order of said court via Rule 65 of the Rules of Court because
such recourse is proper only if the party has no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the course
of law.8 Furthermore, certiorari cannot be availed of as a substitute for the lost remedy of an
ordinary appeal.

Cawad vs. Abad


Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 by the officers and
members (PPHAI) assailing the validity of Joint Circular No. 11 of the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) and the Department of Health (DOH) as well the Civil Service Commission
(CSC).
Thus, on the one hand, certiorari as a special civil action is available only if: (1) it is directed
against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) the tribunal,
board, or officer acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.11
On the other hand, prohibition is available only if: (1) it is directed against a tribunal, corporation,
board, officer, or person exercising functions, judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial; (2) the
tribunal, corporation, board or person acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any
other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.12 Based on the foregoing,
this Court has consistently reiterated that petitions for certiorari and prohibition may be invoked
only against tribunals, corporations, boards, officers, or persons exercising judicial, quasi-judicial
or ministerial functions, and not against their exercise of legislative or quasi-legislative
functions.13
Judicial functions involve the power to determine what the law is and what the legal rights of the
parties are, and then undertaking to determine these questions and adjudicate upon the rights of
the parties.14 Quasi judicial functions apply to the actions and discretion of public administrative
officers or bodies required to investigate facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them as
a basis for their official action, in their exercise of discretion of a judicial nature.15 Ministerial
functions are those which an officer or tribunal performs in the context of a given set of facts, in a
prescribed manner and without regard to the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or
impropriety of the act done.16
Before a tribunal, board, or officer may exercise judicial or quasi-judicial acts, it is necessary that
there be a law that gives rise to some specific rights under which adverse claims are made, and the
controversy ensuing therefrom is brought before a tribunal, board, or officer clothed with authority
to determine the law and adjudicate the respective rights of the contending parties.17 In this case,
respondents did not act in any judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial capacity in their issuance of
the assailed joint circulars. In issuing and implementing the subject circulars, respondents were
not called upon to adjudicate the rights of contending parties to exercise, in any manner, discretion
of a judicial nature. The issuance and enforcement by the Secretaries of the DBM, CSC and DOH
of the questioned joint circulars were done in the exercise of their quasi-legislative and
administrative functions. It was in the nature of subordinate legislation, promulgated by them in
their exercise of delegated power. Quasi-legislative power is exercised by administrative agencies
through the promulgation of rules and regulations within the confines of the granting statute and
the doctrine of non-delegation of powers from the separation of the branches of the government.18
Based on the foregoing, certiorari and prohibition do not lie against herein respondents' issuances.
It is beyond the province of certiorari to declare the aforesaid administrative issuances illegal
because petitions for certiorari seek solely to correct defects in jurisdiction, and not to correct just
any error committed by a court, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions
unless such court, board, or officer thereby acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or with such
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.19
It is likewise beyond the territory of a writ of prohibition since generally, the purpose of the same
is to keep a lower court within the limits of its jurisdiction in order to maintain the administration
of justice in orderly channels. It affords relief against usurpation of jurisdiction by an inferior court,
or when, in the exercise of jurisdiction, the inferior court transgresses the bounds prescribed by
the law, or where there is no adequate remedy available in the ordinary course of law.20

PROHIBITION (65)

Belmonte vs. Ombudsman


For a party to be entitled to a writ of prohibition, he must establish the following requisites: (a) it
must be directed against a tribunal, corporation, board or person exercising functions, judicial or
ministerial; (b) the tribunal, corporation, board or person has acted without or in excess of its
jurisdiction, or with grave ab use of discretion; and (c) there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy,
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.10 A cursory reading of the records of the case
readily reveals the absence of the second and third requisites.
First, the Court does not find that public respondent gravely abused its discretion in issuing the
subject Decision. Grave abuse of discretion is a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment so
patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty
enjoined by law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because of
passion or hostility. Petitioners, in this case, must prove that public respondent committed not
merely reversible error, but grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Mere abuse of discretion is not enough; it must be grave.
Second, petitioners filed the instant action when they clearly had some other plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A remedy is considered plain, speedy and adequate
if it will promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the judgment or rule, order or
resolution of the lower court or agency.
Strict observance of the policy of judicial hierarchy demands that where the issuance of the
extraordinary writs is also within the competence of the CA or the RTC, the special action for the
obtainment of such writ must be presented to either court.

MANDAMUS (65)

De Lima vs. Reyes


A writ of prohibition, on the other hand, is directed against "the proceedings of any tribunal,
corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial
functions."61 The Department of Justice is not a court of law and its officers do not perform quasi-
judicial functions. The Secretary of Justice's review of the resolutions of prosecutors is also not a
ministerial function.
An act is considered ministerial if "an officer or tribunal performs in the context of a given set of
facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard for the exercise of his or its own judgment, upon
the propriety or impropriety of the act done."62 In contrast, an act is considered discretionary "[i]f
the law imposes a duty upon a public officer, and gives him the right to decide how or when the
duty shall be performed."63 Considering that "full discretionary authority has been delegated to
the executive branch in the determination of probable cause during a preliminary investigation,"64
the functions of the prosecutors and the Secretary of Justice are not ministerial.
However, even when an administrative agency does not perform a judicial, quasi-judicial, or
ministerial function, the Constitution mandates the exercise of judicial review when there is an
allegation of grave abuse of discretion.65 In Auto Prominence Corporation v. Winterkorn:66
In ascertaining whether the Secretary of Justice committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in his determination of the existence of probable cause, the party
seeking the writ of certiorari must be able to establish that the Secretary of Justice exercised his
executive power in an arbitrary and despotic manner, by reason of passion or personal hostility,
and the abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as would amount to an evasion or to a
unilateral refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law. Grave abuse of
discretion is not enough; it must amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Excess of jurisdiction
signifies that he had jurisdiction over the case, but (he) transcended the same or acted without
authority.67
De Castro vs. JBC
Writ of mandamus does not lie against the JBC
May the JBC be compelled to submit the list of nominees to the President?
Mandamus shall issue when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects
the performance of an act that the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust,
or station.86 It is proper when the act against which it is directed is one addressed to the discretion
of the tribunal or officer. Mandamus is not available to direct the exercise of a judgment or
discretion in a particular way.87
For mandamus to lie, the following requisites must be complied with: (a) the plaintiff has a clear
legal right to the act demanded; (b) it must be the duty of the defendant to perform the act, because
it is mandated by law; (c) the defendant unlawfully neglects the performance of the duty enjoined
by law; (d) the act to be performed is ministerial, not discretionary; and (e) there is no appeal or
any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
The duty of the JBC to submit a list of nominees before the start of the President's mandatory 90-
day period to appoint is ministerial, but its selection of the candidates whose names will be in the
list to be submitted to the President lies within the discretion of the JBC. The object of the petitions
for mandamus herein should only refer to the duty to submit to the President the list of nominees
for every vacancy in the Judiciary, because in order to constitute unlawful neglect of duty, there
must be an unjustified delay in performing that duty.88 For mandamus to lie against the JBC,
therefore, there should be an unexplained delay on its part in recommending nominees to the
Judiciary, that is, in submitting the list to the President.
The distinction between a ministerial act and a discretionary one has been delineated in the
following manner:
The distinction between a ministerial and discretionary act is well delineated. A purely
ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts,
in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to
or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If
the law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when
the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not ministerial. The duty is
ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires neither the exercise of official
discretion or judgment.89
Accordingly, we find no sufficient grounds to grant the petitions for mandamus and to issue a writ
of mandamus against the JBC. The actions for that purpose are premature, because it is clear that
the JBC still has until May 17, 2010, at the latest, within which to submit the list of nominees to
the President to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Puno.
QUO WARRANTO (66)

De Castro vs. Castro


Even assuming that petitioners direct resort to this Court is permissible, the Petition must still be
dismissed for lack of merit.
"A petition for quo warranto is a proceeding to determine the right of a person to use or exercise a
franchise or an office and to oust the holder from the enjoyment, thereof, if the claim is not well-
founded, or if his right to enjoy the privilege has been forfeited."21 Where the action is filed by a
private person, in his own name, he must prove that he is entitled to the controverted position,
otherwise, respondent has a right to the undisturbed possession of the office.22
The controversy arose from the issuance of OP Memorandum Circular Nos. 1 and 2, which applies
to all non-CESOs occupying CES positions in all agencies of the executive branch. Petitioner,
being a non-CESO, avers that he is not covered by these OP memoranda considering that the
AGMO of the MMDA is a non-CES position.
In order to settle the controversy, there is a need to determine the nature of the contentious position
of AGMO of the MMDA.
Likewise, it is inconsequential that petitioner was allegedly replaced by another non-CESO
eligible. In a quo warranto proceeding, the person suing must show that he has a clear right to the
office allegedly held unlawfully by another. Absent a showing of that right, the lack of
qualification or eligibility of the supposed usurper is immaterial.41

Divinagracia vs. CBS


The special civil action of quo warranto is a prerogative writ by which the Government can call
upon any person to show by what warrant he holds a public office or exercises a public
franchise.64 It is settled that "[t]he determination of the right to the exercise of a franchise, or
whether the right to enjoy such privilege has been forfeited by non-user, is more properly the
subject of the prerogative writ of quo warranto, the right to assert which, as a rule, belongs to the
State upon complaint or otherwise, the reason being that the abuse of a franchise is a public
wrong and not a private injury."65 A forfeiture of a franchise will have to be declared in a direct
proceeding for the purpose brought by the State because a franchise is granted by law and its
unlawful exercise is primarily a concern of Government.66 Quo warranto is specifically available
as a remedy if it is thought that a government corporation has offended against its corporate charter
or misused its franchise.67
The Court of Appeals correctly noted that in PLDT v. NTC,68 the Court had cited quo warranto as
the appropriate recourse with respect to an allegation by petitioner therein that a rival
telecommunications competitor had failed to construct its radio system within the ten (10) years
from approval of its franchise, as mandated by its legislative franchise.69 It is beyond dispute
that quo warranto exists as an available and appropriate remedy against the wrong imputed on
private respondents.
Petitioners argue that since their prayer involves the cancellation of the provisional authority and
CPCs, and not the legislative franchise, then quo warranto fails as a remedy. The argument is
artificial. The authority of the franchisee to engage in broadcast operations is derived in the
legislative mandate. To cancel the provisional authority or the CPC is, in effect, to cancel the
franchise or otherwise prevent its exercise. By law, the NTC is incapacitated to frustrate such
mandate by unduly withholding or canceling the provisional authority or the CPC for reasons other
than the orderly administration of the frequencies in the radio spectrum.
What should occur instead is the converse. If the courts conclude that private respondents have
violated the terms of their franchise and thus issue the writs of quo warranto against them, then
the NTC is obliged to cancel any existing licenses and CPCs since these permits draw strength
from the possession of a valid franchise. If the point has not already been made clear, then licenses
issued by the NTC such as CPCs and provisional authorities are junior to the legislative franchise
enacted by Congress. The licensing authority of the NTC is not on equal footing with the
franchising authority of the State through Congress. The issuance of licenses by the NTC
implements the legislative franchises established by Congress, in the same manner that the
executive branch implements the laws of Congress rather than creates its own laws. And similar
to the inability of the executive branch to prevent the implementation of laws by Congress, the
NTC cannot, without clear and proper delegation by Congress, prevent the exercise of a legislative
franchise by withholding or canceling the licenses of the franchisee.

EXPROPRIATION (67)

Barangay Sindalan vs CA
Petitioner imputes errors to the CA for (1) allegedly violating its power of eminent domain, (2)
finding that the expropriation of the property is not for public use but for a privately owned
subdivision, (3) finding that there was no payment of just compensation, and (4) failing to accord
respect to the findings of the trial court. Stated briefly, the main issue in this case is whether the
proposed exercise of the power of eminent domain would be for a public purpose.
The exercise of the power of eminent domain is constrained by two constitutional provisions: (1)
that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation under Article III
(Bill of Rights), Section 9 and (2) that no person shall be deprived of his/her life, liberty, or
property without due process of law under Art. III, Sec. 1.
However, there is no precise meaning of "public use" and the term is susceptible of myriad
meanings depending on diverse situations. The limited meaning attached to "public use" is "use
by the public" or "public employment," that "a duty must devolve on the person or corporation
holding property appropriated by right of eminent domain to furnish the public with the use
intended, and that there must be a right on the part of the public, or some portion of it, or some
public or quasi-public agency on behalf of the public, to use the property after it is
condemned."12 The more generally accepted view sees "public use" as "public advantage,
convenience, or benefit, and that anything which tends to enlarge the resources, increase the
industrial energies, and promote the productive power of any considerable number of the
inhabitants of a section of the state, or which leads to the growth of towns and the creation of new
resources for the employment of capital and labor, [which] contributes to the general welfare and
the prosperity of the whole community."13 In this jurisdiction, "public use" is defined as "whatever
is beneficially employed for the community."14
It is settled that the public nature of the prospective exercise of expropriation cannot depend on
the "numerical count of those to be served or the smallness or largeness of the community to be
benefited."15 The number of people is not determinative of whether or not it constitutes public use,
provided the use is exercisable in common and is not limited to particular individuals.16 Thus, the
first essential requirement for a valid exercise of eminent domain is for the expropriator to prove
that the expropriation is for a public use. In Municipality of Bian v. Garcia, this Court explicated
that expropriation ends with an order of condemnation declaring "that the plaintiff has a lawful
right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the
complaint, upon the payment of just compensation."17

Vda. De Ouano vs. Republic


In light of these premises, we now expressly hold that the taking of private property, consequent
to the Governments exercise of its power of eminent domain, is always subject to the condition
that the property be devoted to the specific public purpose for which it was taken. Corollarily, if
this particular purpose or intent is not initiated or not at all pursued, and is peremptorily abandoned,
then the former owners, if they so desire, may seek the reversion of the property, subject to the
return of the amount of just compensation received. In such a case, the exercise of the power of
eminent domain has become improper for lack of the required factual justification.
Given the foregoing disquisitions, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the
litigated lands in question to the Ouanos and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also
dictate that the Ouanos and Inocian return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for
the expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default,
which in this case should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance
obligation.43 They must likewise pay MCIAA the necessary expenses it might have incurred in
sustaining their respective lots and the monetary value of its services in managing the lots in
question to the extent that they, as private owners, were benefited thereby.

Republic vs. Unson


Determination of just compensation
is a judicial function
In Republic v. Asia Pacific Integrated Steel Corporation,38 the Court defined just compensation
"as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. The
measure is not the takers gain, but the owners loss. The word just is used to intensify the
meaning of the word compensation and to convey thereby the idea that the equivalent to be
rendered for the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample. Such just-ness of
the compensation can only be attained by using reliable and actual data as bases in fixing the value
of the condemned property. Trial courts are required to be more circumspect in its evaluation of
just compensation due the property owner, considering that eminent domain cases involve the
expenditure of public funds."39
The Court further stated in National Power Corporation v. Tuazon, 40 that "[t]he determination of
just compensation in expropriation cases is a function addressed to the discretion of the courts, and
may not be usurped by any other branch or official of the government. This judicial function has
constitutional raison dtre; Article III of the 1987 Constitution mandates that no private property
shall be taken for public use without payment of just compensation." 41 Legislative enactments, as
well as executive issuances, fixing or providing for the method of computing just compensation
are tantamount to impermissible encroachment on judicial prerogatives. They are not binding on
courts and, at best, are treated as mere guidelines in ascertaining the amount of just compensation.42

JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE (68)

Robles vs. Yapcinco


The dispute involves the ownership of a judicially-foreclosed parcel of land sold at a public
auction, but which sale was not judicially confirmed. On one side is the petitioner, the successor
in interest of the purchaser in the public auction, and, on the other, the heirs of the mortgagor, who
never manifested interest in redeeming the property from the time of the foreclosure.
The petitioner did not tender any explanation for the failure of Apolinario Cruz to secure the
judicialconfirmation of the sale. He reminds only that Apolinario Cruz and his successors-in-
interest and representatives have been in actual, notorious, publicand uninterrupted possession of
the property from the time of his purchase at the foreclosure sale until the present.
The effect of the failure of Apolinario Cruz to obtain the judicial confirmation was only to prevent
the title to the property from being transferred to him. For sure, such failure did not give riseto any
right in favor of the mortgagor or the respondents as his successors-in-interest to take back the
property already validly sold through public auction. Nor did such failure invalidate the foreclosure
proceedings. To maintain otherwise would render nugatory the judicial foreclosure and foreclosure
sale, thus unduly disturbing judicial stability. The non-transfer of the title notwithstanding,
Apolinario Cruz as the purchaser should not be deprived of the property purchased at the
foreclosure sale. With the respondents having been fully aware of the mortgage, and being legally
bound by the judicial foreclosure and consequent public sale, and in view of the unquestioned
possession by Apolinario Cruz and his successors-in-interest (including the petitioner) from the
time of the foreclosure sale until the present, the respondents could not assert any better right to
the property. It would be the height of inequity to still permit them to regain the property on the
basis alone of the lack of judicial confirmation of the sale. After all, under the applicable rule
earlier cited, the judicial confirmation operated only "to divest the rights of all the parties to the
action and to vest their rights in the purchaser, subject to such rights of redemption as may be
allowed by law."

JUDICIAL PARTITION (69)

Oribello vs. CA
Before going further, it is relevant to relive the nature of the remedy of judicial partition. The
proceeding under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court is a judicial controversy between persons who,
being co-owners or coparceners of common property, seek to secure a division or partition thereof
among themselves, giving to each one of them the part corresponding to him.18 The object of
partition is to enable those who own property as joint tenants, or coparceners, or tenants in common
to put an end to the joint tenancy so as to vest in each a sole estate in specific property or an
allotment in the lands or tenements.19 According to American jurisprudence:20

The right of compulsory partition, in the case of coparceners was the gift of the common law, but
in the case of joint tenants and tenants in common it was first given by statutes. The common law,
having established this right in favor of coparceners, because their relationship being created by
it, and not by an act or choice of their own, as in the case of joint tenants and tenants in common,
thought it reasonable that it should endure no longer than the parties should be pleased with it; but
at the same time deemed it expedient as well as just, that they should not be placed in worse
condition by the partition, than if they had continued to enjoy their respective interests in the lands
or property without a division. x x x [T]herefore, after the partition a warranty was annexed by the
common law to each part, so that, if any one should be impleaded, she might vouch her sisters, or
those who had been her coparceners at the time of the partition, or their heirs, and by this means
also have their aid to deraign the warranty paramount, if any existed, annexed to the purchase of
their ancestor. (citations omitted)ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
To accord with the nature of the remedy of judicial partition, there are two stages defined under
Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. The first relates to the determination of the rights of the parties to
the property held in common. The second concerns the physical segregation of each party's just
share in the property held in common. The second stage need not be gone into should the parties
agree on the physical partition.
FORCIBLE ENTRY/UNLAWFUL DETAINER (70)
Panganiban vs. Pilipinas Shell Petrolium
An action for unlawful detainer is filed by a person from whom possession of any land or building
is unlawfully withheld by another after the expiration or termination of the latter's right to hold
possession under a contract, express or implied. 25 Clearly, the interpretation of a provision in the
SLDA as to when the SLDA would expire is the key issue that would determine petitioner's right
to possess the gasoline service station. When the primary issue to be resolved is physical
possession, the issue should be threshed out in the ejectment suit, and not in any other case such
as an action for declaratory relief to avoid multiplicity of suits.
Petitioner erroneously believes that the unlawful detainer case should have been dismissed because
private respondent was already guilty of laches when it filed the ejectment suit 269 days from July
31, 1995, the date private respondent claims the SLDA expired. A complaint for unlawful detainer
should be filed within one year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession
occurs. 28 When the action is to terminate the lease because of the expiration of its term, it is upon
the expiration of the term of the lease that the lessee is already considered to be unlawfully
withholding the property. 29 The expiration of the term of the lease immediately gives rise to a
cause of action for unlawful detainer. 30 In such a case, a demand to vacate is no longer
necessary. 31Private respondent therefore shall one year or 365 days from July 31, 1995 to file the
case for unlawful detainer. Laches definitely had not yet set in when private respondent filed the
unlawful detainer case 269 days after the expiration of the SLDA. Private respondent did not sleep
on its right when it filed the unlawful detainer case well within the prescriptive period for filing
the action.