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G.R. No.

L-5279 October 31, 1955

PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, ETC., petitioner,
vs.
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION and the BOARD OF TEXTBOOKS, respondents.

Manuel C. Briones, Vicente G. Sinco, Manuel V. Gallego and Enrique M. Fernando for
petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General Pompeyo Diaz and Assistant Solicitor General Francisco
Carreon for respondents.

FACTS:

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities made a petition that Acts
No. 2706 otherwise known as the “Act making the Inspection and Recognition of private
schools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction” and was
amended by Act No. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional
on the grounds that 1) the act deprives the owner of the school and colleges as well as
teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of Law; 2) it will also
deprive the parents of their Natural Rights and duty to rear their children for civic
efficiency and 3) its provisions conferred on the Secretary of Education unlimited
powers and discretion to prescribe rules and standards constitute towards unlawful
delegation of Legislative powers.
Section 1 of Act No. 2706

“It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Public Instruction to maintain a general standard of efficiency in all private
schools and colleges of the Philippines so that the same shall furnish adequate instruction to the public, in
accordance with the class and grade of instruction given in them, and for this purpose said Secretary or his duly
authorized representative shall have authority to advise, inspect, and regulate said schools and colleges in order to
determine the efficiency of instruction given in the same,”

The petitioner also complain that securing a permit to the Secretary of Education
before opening a school is not originally included in the original Act 2706. And in
support to the first proposition of the petitioners they contended that the Constitution
guaranteed the right of a citizen to own and operate a school and any law requiring
previous governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise the said
right On the other hand, the defendant Legal Representative submitted a memorandum
contending that 1) the matters presented no justiciable controversy exhibiting
unavoidable necessity of deciding the constitutional question; 2) Petitioners are in
estoppels to challenge the validity of the said act and 3) the Act is constitutionally valid.
Thus, the petition for prohibition was dismissed by the court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Act No. 2706 as amended by Act no. 3075 and Commonwealth Act no.
180 may be declared void and unconstitutional?
RATIO DECIDENTI:

The Petitioner suffered no wrong under the terms of law and needs no relief in
the form they seek to obtain. Moreover, there is no justiciable controversy presented
before the court. It is an established principle that to entitle a private individual
immediately in danger of sustaining a direct injury and it is not sufficient that he has
merely invoke the judicial power to determined the validity of executive and legislative
action he must show that he has sustained common interest to all members of the
public. Furthermore, the power of the courts to declare a law unconstitutional arises only
when the interest of litigant require the use of judicial authority for their protection
against actual interference. As such, Judicial Power is limited to the decision of actual
cases and controversies and the authority to pass on the validity of statutes is incidental
to the decisions of such cases where conflicting claims under the constitution and under
the legislative act assailed as contrary to the constitution but it is legitimate only in the
last resort and it must be necessary to determined a real and vital controversy between
litigants. Thus, actions like this are brought for a positive purpose to obtain actual
positive relief and the court does not sit to adjudicate a mere academic question to
satisfy scholarly interest therein. The court however, finds the defendant position to be
sufficiently sustained and state that the petitioner remedy is to challenge the regulation
not to invalidate the law because it needs no argument to show that abuse by officials
entrusted with the execution of the statute does not per se demonstrate the
unconstitutionality of such statute. On this phase of the litigation the court conclude that
there has been no undue delegation of legislative power even if the petitioners
appended a list of circulars and memoranda issued by the Department of Education
they fail to indicate which of such official documents was constitutionally objectionable
for being capricious or pain nuisance. Therefore, the court denied the petition for
prohibition.