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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Merida vs People june 12 2008.............................................................................2 Provident tree farms vs Batario mar 28 1994.......................................................3 People vs CFI feb 13 1992.....................................................................................4 Lagua vs Cusi april 15 1988..................................................................................5 Mustang Lumber vs CA june 18, 1996...................................................................5 Tigoy vs CA june 26, 2006.....................................................................................6 People vs Que dec 17, 1996..................................................................................8 calub vs CA april 27, 2000.....................................................................................9 factoran vs CA dec 13, 1999.................................................................................9 paat vs CA jan 10, 1997......................................................................................10 Alvarez vs PICOP dec 3, 2009..............................................................................11 ALvarez vs PICOP nov 29, 2006 ............................................................................................................................11 DY vs CA March 9, 1999 (304 SCRA 331)............................................................12 PICOP vs Base metals dec 6, 2006......................................................................12 asaphil vs tuason april 25, 2006..........................................................................13 didapho earth savers vs gozun mar 30, 2006.....................................................14 republic vs rosemoor mar 30, 2004.....................................................................15 labugal vs ramos jan 27, 2004............................................................................16 labugal vs ramos dec 1, 2004.............................................................................17 Metro Iloilo Water vs CA mar 31, 2005................................................................18 BF Northwest vs IAC may 29, 1987.....................................................................19 Amistoso vs Ong june 29, 2004...........................................................................20 Loney vs people feb 10, 2006.............................................................................21 Alexandria Condo vs LLDA sept 11, 2009............................................................22

Joseph Plazo Environment Digests LLDA vs CA dec 7, 1995.......................................................................................23 Tano vs Socrates aug 1, 1997.............................................................................24 Hizon vs CA dec 13, 1996....................................................................................25 Province of Rizal vs Executive Secretary dec 13, 2005.......................................26 Baguio City vs Masweng feb 4, 2009...................................................................27 Province of North Cotabato vs GRP Peace Panel oct 14, 2008............................27 Bangus Fry Fisherfolk vs Lanzanas july 10, 2003................................................29

Merida vs People june 12 2008


DOCTRINE In People v. Merida (G.R. No. 158182, June 12, 2008), the Supreme Court ruled that cutting a tree in private land for timber without a permit from the DENR was punishable under this provision. FACTS The government hailed Petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Romblon, Romblon, Branch 81 (trial court) with violation of Section 68 of PD 705, as amended, for "cut[ting], gather[ing], collect[ing] and remov[ing]" a lone narra tree inside a private land in Mayod, Ipil, Magdiwang, Romblon (Mayod Property) over which private complainant Oscar M. Tansiongco (Tansiongco) claims ownership The RTC handed judgment rapidly. In its Decision dated 24 November 2000, the trial court found petitioner guilty as charged, sentenced him to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal and ordered the seized lumber forfeited in Tansiongco's favor.[12] The trial court dismissed petitioner's defense of denial in view of his repeated extrajudicial admissions that he cut the narra tree in the Mayod Property with Calix's permission. With this finding and petitioner's lack of DENR permit to cut the tree, the trial court held petitioner liable for violation of Section 68 of PD 705, as amended. ISSUE w/n sec 28 of PD 705 prohibiting the cutting gathering and collecting of timber and other forest products apply to Petitioner . HELD Petitioner is Liable for Cutting Timber in Private Property Without Permit Section 68, as amended, one of the 12 acts[25] penalized under PD 705, provides: SECTION 68. Cutting, Gathering and/or Collecting Timber, or Other Forest Products Without License. Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, ortimber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations, shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code: Provided, That in the case of partnerships, associations, or corporations, the officers who ordered the cutting, gathering, collection or possession shall be liable, and if such officers are aliens, they shall, in addition to the penalty, be deported without further proceedings on the part of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation. The court shall further order the confiscation in favor of the government of the timber or any forest products cut, gathered, collected, removed, or possessed as well as the machinery, equipment, implements and tools illegally used in the area where the timber or forest products are found. (Emphasis supplied)

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Section 68 penalizes three categories of acts: (1) the cutting, gathering, collecting, or removing of timber or other forest products from any forest land without any authority; (2) the cutting, gathering, collecting, or removing of timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authority;[26] and (3) the possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents

Provident tree farms vs Batario mar 28 1994


DOCTRINE: Cases before the BOC must be fully fleshed out before it prior to elevating the issues to a regular court in keeping with the exhaustion of administrative remedies.
FACTS In the extrant case, PTFI seeks to set aside the 8 February 1990 order of respondent court and prays for the continuation of the hearing in Civil Case No. 89-48836. PTFI claims that what was brought before the trial court was a civil case for injunction, i.e., "restraining the entry of safety matches into the country . . . for the purpose of securing compliance with Sec. 36 (l) of the Forestry Code and for damages, "to seek redress of its right which has been clearly violated by the importation of safety matches . . . . (which) is a denial to the petitioner of the protection and incentive granted it by Section 36 (l) of the Forestry Code . . . ." Naturally, PTFI asserts the inapplicability of the procedures outlined in R.A. No. 1125 relative to incidents before the Court of Tax Appeals because the instant action is not a protest case where the aggrieved party is not an importer. It then argues that since it could not avail of the remedies afforded by the Tariff and Customs Code, resort to the courts is warranted, citing Commissioner of Customs v. Alikpala. Petitioner asserts his complaint on a statutory privilege or incentive granted under Sec. 36, par. (l), of the Revised Forestry Code. The only subject of this incentive is a ban against importation of wood, wood products or wood-derivated products which is to be enforced by the Bureau of Customs since it has, under the Tariff and Customs Code, the exclusive original jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture cases and, in fact, it is the duty of the Collector of Customs to exercise jurisdiction over prohibited importations. The enforcement of the importation ban under Sec. 36, par. (l), of the Revised Forestry Code is within the exclusive realm of the Bureau of Customs, and direct recourse of petitioner to the Regional Trial Court to compel the Commissioner of Customs to enforce the ban is devoid of any legal basis. Now it follows that to allow the regular court to direct the Commissioner to impound the imported matches, as petitioner insisted, is clearly an interference with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs over seizure and forfeiture cases. An order of a judge to impound, seize or forfeit must inevitably be based on his determination and declaration of the invalidity of the importation, hence, an usurpation of the prerogative and an encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs. In other words, the reliefs directed against the Bureau of Customs as well as the prayer for injunction against importation of matches by private respondent AJIC may not be granted without the court arrogating upon itself the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs. ISSUE w/n the BOC holds jurisdiction in the matter of wood product importation HELD

Petitioners position is inconceivable! The claim of petitioner that no procedure is outlined for the enforcement of the import ban under the Tariff and Customs Code, if true, does not at all diminish the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs over the subject matter. The enforcement of statutory rights is not foreclosed by the absence of a statutory procedure. The Commissioner of Customs has the power to "promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to enforce the provisions of this (Tariff and Customs) Code . . . subject to the approval of the Secretary of Finance." Moreover, it has been held that ". . . . (w)here the statute does not require any particular method of procedure to be followed by an administrative agency, the agency may adopt any reasonable method to carry out its functions." But over and above the foregoing, PTFI's correspondence with the Bureau of Customs contesting the legality of match importations may already take the nature of an administrative proceeding the pendency of which would preclude the court from interfering with it under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

People vs CFI feb 13 1992


DOCTRINE: Mere possession of lumber is punishable; ownership is not an element of the crime. FACTS
Charges were levied against private respondents for the crime of qualified theft of logs, defined and punished under Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines, in an information which read: That on or about the 28th, 29th and 30th days of July 1976, at Barangay Mahabang Lalim, Municipality of General Nakar, Province of Quezon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Godofredo Arrozal and Luis Flores, together with twenty (20) other John Does whose identities are still unknown, the first-named accused being the administrator of the Infanta Logging Corporation, with intent to gain, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously enter the privately-owned land of one Felicitacion Pujalte, titled in the name of her deceased father, Macario Prudente, under Original Certificate of Title No. 6026, and once inside, illegally cut, gather, take, steal and carry away therefrom, without the consent of the said owner and without any authority under a license agreement, lease license or permit, sixty (60) logs of different species, consisting of about 541.48 cubic meters, with total value of FIFTY THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIVE PESOS and FIFTY TWO CENTAVOS (P50,205.52) including government charges, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the aforesaid amount. On the first issue, the People alleged that, contrary to the allegation of the private respondents and the opinion of the trial court, the information substantially alleged all the elements of the crime of qualified theft of logs as described in Section 68 of P.D. 705. While it was admitted that the information did not precisely allege that the taking of the logs in question was "without the consent of the state," nevertheless, said information expressly stated that the accused "illegally cut, gather, take, steal and carry away therefrom, without the consent of said owner and without any authority under a license agreement, lease, lease, license or permit, sixty (60) logs of different species. . . ." Since only the state can grant the lease, license, license agreement or permit for utilization of forest resources, including timber, then the allegation in the information that the asportation of the logs was "without any authority" under a license agreement, lease, license or permit, is tantamount to alleging that the taking of the logs was without the consent of the state. ISSUE W/N the theft of logs was committed in contravention of PD 705 HELD The SCs agrees with the petitioner. Sec. 68. Cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other products without license. Any person who shall cut, gather, collect or remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public lands, or from private lands, without any authority under a license agreement, lease, license or permit, shall be guilty of qualified theft as defined and punished under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. . . . When an accused invokes in a motion to quash the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense (Rule 117, Sec. 2 [a] Rules of Court), the sufficiency of the Information hinges on the question of whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically admitted, meet the essential elements of the offense defined in the law (People v. Segovia, 103 Phil. 1162 [1958]; People v. Abad, L-55132, August 30, 1988, 165 SCRA 57). The elements of the crime of qualified theft of logs are: 1) That the accused cut, gathered, collected or removed timber or other forest products; 2) that the timber or other forest products cut, gathered, collected or removed belongs to the government or to any private individual; and 3) that the cutting, gathering, collecting or removing was without authority under a license agreement, lease, license, or permit granted by the state. Ownership is not an essential element of the offense as defined in Section 60 of P.D. No. 705. Thus, the failure of the information to allege the true owner of the forest products is not material; it was sufficient that it alleged that the taking was without any authority or license from the government. The trial court erred in dismissing the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter because the information was filed not pursuant to the complaint of any forest officer as prescribed in Section 80 of P.D. 705 The SC thereby granted the position and reversed the trial courts order of dismissing the information

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Lagua vs Cusi april 15 1988


DOCTRINE:
It is beyond the power and authority of the Bureau of Forest Development to determine the unlawful closure of a passage way, much less award or deny the payment of damages based on such closure. Not every activity inside a forest area is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forest Development FACTS In a vigorous complaint, the petitioners, alleged, among others: In Paragraph 5(a): a) On 1 January 1976, Atty. Ernesto Nombrado, legal counsel for defendants, issued a memorandum to the Chief Security Guard of Defendant East coast directing the latter to prevent the passage of Plaintiff Laguas' hauling trucks loaded with logs for the Japanese vessel (there were no other trucks hauling logs at that time) on the national highway loading towards where the vessel was berthed. In compliance with this directive, the security force of Defendant Eastcoast closed the road to the use by plaintiffs trucks and other equipments and effectively prevented their passage thereof while the vehicles and trucks The private respondents filed a motion to dismiss on two grounds, namely: (1) lack of jurisdiction, and (2) lack of cause of action. The private respondents extended that as the acts complained of by the petitioners arose out of the legitimate exercise of respondent Eastcoast Development Enterprises, Inc., rights as a timber licensee, more particularly in the use of its logging roads, therefore, the resolution of this question is properly and legally within the Bureau of Forest Development, citing as authority Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 705. The private respondents also argued that petitioner Daylinda Laguas has no capacity to sue as her name was not registered as an "agent" or "dealer" of logs in the Bureau of Forestry. ISSUE w/n the petition for mandamus may be entertained by the trial court. Yes. The petition for mandamus will be treated as a petition for certiorari in the interest of justice. The petitioners maintain that since their action is for damages, the regular courts have jurisdiction over the same. According to them, the respondent court had no basis for holding that the Bureau of Forestry Development must first determine that the closure of a logging road is illegal before an action for damages can be instituted. P.D. No. 705 upon which the respondent court based its order does not vest any power in the Bureau of Forest Development to determine whether or not the closure of a logging road is legal or illegal and to make such determination a pre-requisite before an action for damages may be maintained. Moreover, the complaint instituted by the petitioners is clearly for damages based on the alleged illegal closure of the logging road. Whether or not such closure was illegal is a matter to be established on the part of the petitioners and a matter to be disproved by the private respondents. This should appropriately be threshed out in a judicial proceeding. It is beyond the power and authority of the Bureau of Forest Development to determine the unlawful closure of a passage way, much less award or deny the payment of damages based on such closure. Not every activity inside a forest area is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forest Development. Anent the legal capacity to sue of the petitioners, spouses Laguas, we affirm the trial court's ruling that since they were mere agents of petitioners Achanzar and Donga and were suing in their own behalf, they did not have the capacity to sue for damages. They are not the real parties in interest. However, the complaint can still be maintained. It cannot be dismissed because the real parties in interest, Achanzar and Donga were also plaintiffs. Thus, the trial court should have ordered only the dropping of the names of the spouses Laguas pursuant to Section 11, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court but not the dismissal of the complaint.

Mustang Lumber vs CA june 18, 1996


DOCTRINE: Possession of lumber is not a crime under PD 705. Timber is the punishable act FACTS

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

The authorities got wind of a suspicious stockpile of narra flitches, shorts, and slabs that were seen inside the lumberyard of the petitioner in Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Readily, the SAID organized a team of foresters and policemen and sent it to conduct surveillance at the said lumberyard. During the sting operation, the team members saw coming out from the lumberyard the petitioner's truck, with Plate No. CCK-322, loaded with lauan and almaciga lumber of assorted sizes and dimensions. Since the driver could not produce the required invoices and transport documents, the team seized the truck together with its cargo and impounded them at the DENR compound at Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. The team was not able to gain entry into the premises because of the refusal of the owner. On 23 April 1990, Secretary Factoran issued an order suspending immediately the petitioner's lumber-dealer's permit No. NRD-4-0925900469 and directing the petitioner to explain in writing within fifteen days why its lumber-dealer's permit should not be cancelled. On the same date, counsel for the petitioner sent another letter to Robles informing the latter that the petitioner had already secured the required documents and was ready to submit them. None, however, was submitted.[ In resolving the said case, the trial court held that the warrantless search and seizure on 1 April 1990 of the petitioner's truck, which was moving out from the petitioner's lumberyard in Valenzuela, Metro Manila, loaded with large volumes of lumber without covering document showing the legitimacy of its source or origin did not offend the constitutional mandate that search and seizure must be supported by a valid warrant. The situation fell under one of the settled and accepted exceptions where warrantless search and seizure is justified, viz., a search of a moving vehicle The trial court, however, set aside Secretary Factoran's order of 3 May 1990 ordering the confiscation of the seized articles in favor of the Government for the reason that since the articles were seized pursuant to the search warrant issued by Executive Judge Osorio they should have been returned to him in compliance with the directive in the warrant. On 7 July 1991, accused Ri Chuy Po filed in the CRIMINAL CASE a Motion to Quash and/or to Suspend Proceedings based on the following grounds: (a) the information does not charge an offense, for possession of lumber, as opposed to timber, is not penalized in Section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as amended, and even granting arguendo that lumber falls within the purview of the said section, the same may not be used in evidence against him for they were taken by virtue of an illegal seizure; and (b) Civil Case No. 90-53648 of Branch 35 of the RTC of Manila, the FIRST CIVIL CASE, then pending before the Court of Appeals, which involves the legality of the seizure, raises a prejudicial question ISSUE: Whether the complaint charges an offense HELD No. The petitioner proposed to quash the information in Criminal Case No. 324-V-91 on the ground that it does not charge an offense. Respondent Judge granted the motion reasoning that the subject matter of the information in the CRIMINAL CASE is LUMBER, which is neither "timber" nor "other forest product" under Section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as amended, and hence, possession thereof without the required legal documents is not prohibited and penalized under the said section. Under paragraph (a), Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, an information may be quashed on the ground that the facts alleged therein do not constitute an offense. It has been said that "the test for the correctness of this ground is the sufficiency of the averments in the information, that is, whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically admitted, constitute the elements of the offense, and matters aliunde will not be considered." Anent the sufficiency of the information, Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court requires, inter alia, that the information state the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense.

Tigoy vs CA june 26, 2006


DOCTRINE In offenses considered as mala prohibita or when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special law such as in the present case, the commission of the prohibited act is the crime itself. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law, and that it is done knowingly and consciously. FACTS Nestor Ong, who had been engaged in the trucking business in Iligan City since 1986, introduced by his friend Gamad Muntod to Lolong Bertodazo who revealed a desire to rent the trucks of Ong to transport construction materials from Larapan, Lanao del Norte to Dipolog City

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

In the evening of October 3, 1993, Ong allegedly ordered Nestor Sumagang and petitioner Rodolfo Tigoy who had been employed by him as truck drivers for two ears, to bring the two trucks to Lolong Bertodazo in Larapan, Lanao del Norte which is about fifteen (15) minutes away from Iligan City. He instructed the two drivers to leave the trucks in Larapan for the loading of the construction materials by Lolong Bertodazo, and to go back at dawn for the trip to Dipolog City. Thus, after meeting with Bertodazo, Sumagang and petitioner Tigoy allegedly went home to return to Larapan at four oclock in the morning the next day. When they arrived, the trucks had been laden with bags of cement and were half-covered with canvas. That same morning of October 4, 1993, Senior Inspector Rico Lacay Tome (then Deputy Chief of Police of Ozamis City), while escorting Provincial Director Dionisio Coloma at the ICC Arts Center in Ozamis City, along with the members of the Special Operation Group, received a dispatch from the 466th PNP Company situated at Barangay Bongbong, Ozamis City, informing him that two trucks, a blue and green loaded with cement, that were going towards Ozamis City did not stop at the checkpoint. Upon receiving the report, Tome, along with PO2 Peter Paul Nuqui and PO3 Bienvenido Real, boarded their patrol vehicle, a mini cruiser jeep, to intercept the two trucks at Lilian Terminal, Ozamis City. At the Lilian Terminal, PO2 Nuqui, who was the only one in uniform among the police officers, flagged down the two trucks but the same just sped away and proceeded towards the direction of Oroquieta City. Aboard their patrol vehicle, they chased the trucks and overtook the same at Barangay Manabay. They blocked the road with their vehicle causing the two trucks to stop. The police chief hassled the driver who had alighted from the green truck why he did not stop at the checkpoint but the latter did not answer. When he inquired what was loaded in the truck, the driver replied that there is "S.O.P," which means grease money in street parlance. This raised the suspicion of Tome that the trucks were loaded with "hot items." Immediately thereafter, an Information was filed against Nestor Ong, Sumagang, Lolong Bertodazo and petitioner Tigoy for possession of forest products without legal permit ISSUE: W/n knowledge was necessary to incur liability for the violation of the timber law HELD: No. The crime is mala prohibita Stated otherwise, the core issue presented is whether or not petitioner Tigoy is guilty of conspiracy in possessing or transporting lumber without the necessary permit in violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. Section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as amended by E.O. No. 277, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines, provides: Section 68. Cutting, Gathering and/or Collecting Timber or Other Forest Products Without License. Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations, shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. . . . There are two ways of violating Section 68 of the above Code: 1) by cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest products without a license; and, 2) by possessing timber or other forest products without the required legal documents. Petitioner was charged with and convicted of transporting lumber without a permit which is punishable under Section 68 of the Code. He, Sumagang and the rest of their companions were apprehended by the police officersin flagrante delicto as they were transporting the subject lumber from Larapan to Dipolog City. Petitioner maintains that he could not have conspired with Lolong Bertodazo as he did not know about the unlicensed lumber in the trucks. He believed that what he was transporting were bags of cement in view of the contract between Ong and Bertodazo. Also, he was not around when Bertodazo loaded the trucks with the lumber hidden under the bags of cement. When finally accosted, one of the drivers, whom witness Tome identified as the driver of the green truck, Sumagang, but who actually was Tigoy (as he was the driver of the green truck and who came to the road block first, being the lead driver) offered "S.O.P." which to witness Tome meant that the trucks were carrying "hot items." Why would the drivers refuse to stop when required? Did they fear inspection of their cargo? Why would "S.O.P." (which in street parlance is grease money) be offered to facilitate the passage of the trucks? The only logical answer to all these questions is that the drivers knew that they were carrying contraband lumber. This Court believes that the drivers had knowledge of the fact that they were transporting and were in possession of undocumented lumber in violation of law. In offenses considered as mala prohibita or when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special law such as in the present case, the commission of the prohibited act is the crime itself. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law, and that it is done knowingly and consciously. Direct proof of previous agreement to commit an offense is not necessary to prove conspiracy. Conspiracy may be proven by circumstantial evidence. It may be deduced from the mode, method and manner by which the offense is perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. It is not even required that the participants have an agreement for an appreciable period to commence it

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

People vs Que dec 17, 1996


DOCTRINE
In the first offense, one can raise as a defense the legality of said acts. However, in the second offense, mere possession without proper documentation consummates the crime.

Provincial Task Force got wind that a that a ten-wheeler truck bearing plate number PAD-548 loaded with illegally cut lumber will pass through Ilocos Norte. Acting on said information, members of the PTF went on patrol several times within the vicinity of General Segundo Avenue in Laoag City. On March 8, 1994, SPO1 Corpuz, together with SPO1 Zaldy Asuncion and SPO1 Elmer Patoc went on patrol around the area. At about 1:00 in the morning, they posted themselves at the corner of General Segundo Avenue and Rizal Street. Thirty minutes later, they saw a ten-wheeler truck with plate number PAD-548 pass by. They followed the truck and apprehended it at the Marcos Bridge. On June 23, 1994, accused-appellant was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Laoag with violation of Section 68 of P.D. 705 as amended by E.O. 277. The Information alleged: That on or about the 8th day of March, 1994, in the City of Laoag, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being then the owner of an I(s)uzu Ten Wheeler Truck bearing Plate No. PAD-548, with intent of gain, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in possession, control and custody 258 pieces of various sizes of Forest Products Chainsawn lumber (Species of Tanguile) with a total volume of 3,729.3 bd. ft. or equivalent to 8.79 cubic meters valued in the total amount of P93,232.50 atP25.00/bd. ft., necessary permit, license or authority to do so from the proper authorities Accused-appellant denied the charge against him. He claimed that he acquired the 258 pieces of tanguile lumber from a legal source. During the trial, he presented the private land timber permits (PLTP) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to Enrica Cayosa[13] and Elpidio Sabal.[14] The PLTP authorizes its holder to cut, gather and dispose timber from the forest area covered by the permit. He alleged that the tanguile lumber came from the forest area covered by th PLTPs of Cayosa and Sabal and that they were given to him by Cayosa and Sabal as payment for his hauling services ISSUE: Whether or not Appellants activities consist an offense HELD YES. Possession of the lumber without the necessary permit is a violation of the RFC. When the police apprehended Que, he failed to present documentary evidence to prove that he has the permit to possess and transport the lumber. All he had was the permit for the coconut slabs. He even concealed the lumber so as to avoid it from being seen upon first inspection of the load. Under the circumstances, there is no doubt that the accused was aware that he needed documents to possess and transport the lumber, but could not secure one and therefore, concealed such by placing it in such a manner that it could not be seen by merely looking at the cargo. There are 2 ways of violating Sec. 68 of the Revised Forestry Code: a. b. By cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest products without a license; and By possessing timber or other forest products without the required legal documents.

In the first offense, one can raise as a defense the legality of said acts. However, in the second offense, mere possession without proper documentation consummates the crime.

Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

calub vs CA april 27, 2000


DOCTRINE:
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is basic. Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum. FACTS: Petitioners, who were officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources seized two motor vehicles for transporting illegally cut lumber. On January 28, 1992, the Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Team of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the DENR apprehended two (2) motor vehicles, described as follows: Constancio Abuganda and Pio Gabon, the drivers of the vehicles, failed to present proper documents and/or licenses. Thus, the apprehending team seized and impounded the vehicles and its load of lumber at the DENR-PENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources) Office in Catbalogan..[4]Seizure receipts were issued but the drivers refused to accept the receipts..[5] Felipe Calub, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, then filed before the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Samar, a criminal complaint against Abuganda, in Criminal Case No. 3795, for violation of Section 68 [78), Presidential Decree 705 as amended by Executive Order 277, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code The owner and the driver filed a case against them for the recovery of the possession of the motor vehicle. ISSUE: w/n replevin and damages lies against the officers of the DENR HELD: YES. The vehicle is in custodia legis. The RFC authorizes the DENR to seize all conveyances used in the commission of an offense in violation of Sec. 78. Since the provision makes mere possession of lumber without the necessary documentation illegal, the act committed by Abuganda, was a crime in itself. There was prima facie violation of Sec. 78, as the ones in possession of the lumber were not able to present a permit for such. Thus, a warrantless seizure of the involved vehicles and its load was allowed under Sec. 78-A and Sec. 89 of the RFC. Since there was a prima facie violation of such, and the seizure was in accordance with law, the subject vehicles can be validly deemed in custodia legis. Thus, such could not be an action for replevin as it is property lawfully taken by virtue of a legal process.

factoran vs CA dec 13, 1999


DOCTRINE The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is basic. Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum On August 9, 1988, two (2) police officers of the Marikina Police Station, Sub-Station III, intercepted a six-wheeler truck, with Plate No. NJT-881, carrying 4,000 board feet of narra lumber as it was cruising along the Marcos Highway. They apprehended the truck driver, private respondent Jesus Sy, and brought the truck and its cargo to the Personnel Investigation Committee/Special Actions and Investigation Division (PIC/SAID) of the DENR Office in Quezon City. There, petitioner Atty. Vicente Robles of the PIC/SAID investigated them, and discovered the following discrepancies in the documentation of the narra lumber. which are in violation of Bureau of Forestry Development (BFD) Circular No. 10. The said BFD Circular requires possession or transportation of lumber to be supported by the following documents: (1) Certificate of Lumber Origin (CLO) which shall be issued only by the District Forester, or in his absence, the Assistant District Forester; (2) Sales Invoice; (3) Delivery Receipt; and (4) Tally Sheets.[4] Such omission is punishable under Sec. 68 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 705 otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code.[5] Thus, petitioner Atty. Robles issued a temporary seizure order and seizure receipt for the narra lumber and the six-wheeler truck. On March 30, 1989, the Court of Appeals granted petitioners temporary relief in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO). On September 11, 1989, the Court of Appeals converted the TRO into a writ of preliminary injunction upon filing by petitioners of a bond in the amount of P180,000.00.[19]

Joseph Plazo
ISSUE:

Environment Digests

w/n the court injuction on the DENR lies, considering that exhaustion of administrative remedies were not followed HELD: NO. All actions and decisions of the Director are subject to review, motu propio or upon appeal of any person aggrieved thereby, by the Department Head whose decision shall be final and executory after the lapse of thirty (30) days from receipt by the aggrieved party of said decision unless appealed to the President x x x. The decision of the Department Head may not be reviewed by the courts except through a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is basic. Courts, for reasons of law, comity and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum.

paat vs CA jan 10, 1997


DOCTRINE
Exhaustion of the remedies in the administrative forum, being a condition precedent prior to ones recourse to the courts and more importantly, being an element of private respondents right of action, is too significant to be waylaid by the lower court. FACTS The controversy started when the truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman while on its way to Bulacan from San Jose, Baggao, Cagayan, was seized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest products found concealed in the truck. The truck was confistcated Pending resolution however of the appeal, a suit for replevin, docketed was filed by the private respondents against petitioner Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan. The Court issued a writ ordering the return of the truck to private respondents. Petitioner Layugan and Executive Director Baggayan filed a motion to dismiss with the trial court contending that private respondents had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Invoking the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally entertain the suit for replevin because the truck was under administrative seizure proceedings pursuant to Section 68-A of P.D. 705, as amended by E.O. 277. Private respondents resisted to avoid the operation of this principle asserting that the instant case falls within the exception of the doctrine upon the justification that (1) due process was violated because they were not given the chance to be heard, and (2) the seizure and forfeiture was unlawful on the grounds: (a) that the Secretary of DENR and his representatives have no authority to confiscate and forfeit conveyances utilized in transporting illegal forest products, and (b) that the truck as admitted by petitioners was not used in the commission of the crime. ISSUE: w/n Replevin lies in a case where the Doctrine of Administrative Exhaustion was not followed HELD: No. A crime was committed and the tools of the crime are under custodia legis. With the introduction of Executive Order No. 277 amending Section 68 of P.D. 705, the act of cutting, gathering, collecting, removing, or possessing forest products without authority constitutes a distinct offense independent now from the crime of theft under Articles 309 From the foregoing disquisition, it is clear that a suit for replevin can not be sustained against the petitioners for the subject truck taken and retained by them for administrative forfeiture proceedings in pursuant to Section 68-A of the P. D. 705, as amended. Dismissal of the replevin suit for lack of cause of action in view of the private respondents failure to exhaust administrative remedies should have been the proper course of action by the lower court instead of assuming jurisdiction over the case and consequently issuing the writ ordering the return of the truck. Exhaustion of the remedies in the administrative forum, being a condition precedent prior to ones recourse to the courts and more importantly, being an element of private respondents right of action, is too significant to be waylaid by the lower court.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Alvarez vs PICOP dec 3, 2009


DOCTRINE A timber license is not a contract within the purviewof the non-impairment clause FACTS PICOP filed with the DENR an application to have its Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. 43converted into an IFMA.PICOP filed before the (RTC) City a Petition for Mandamus against then DENR Sec Alvarez for unlawfully refusing and/or neglecting to sign and execute the IFMA contract of PICOP even as thelatter has complied with all the legal requirements for the automatic conversion of TLA No. 43, asamended, into an IFMA.The cause of action of PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) in its Petition for Mandamus with the trialcourt is clear: the government is bound by contract, a 1969 Document signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos, to enter into an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) with PICOP. ISSUE Whether the 1969 Document is a contract recognized under the non-impairment clause by which thegovernment may be bound (for the issuance of the IFMA) HELD NO. A timber license is not a contract within the purviewof the non-impairment clause is edifying. Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment clause, which reads: "SEC. 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed." cannot be invoked.The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual undertaking assuringPICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Such an interpretation wouldresult in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources in the area.

ALvarez vs PICOP nov 29, 2006


DOCTRINE Timber licenses concerning the harvesting of timber in the countrys forests cannot be considered contracts that would bind the Government regardless of changes in policy and the demands of public interest and welfare. FACTS PICOPs predecessor, Bislig Bay Lumber Co., Inc. (BBLCI) was granted Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. 43. TLA No. 43, as amended, expired on 26 April 1977. It was renewed on 7 October 1977 for another 25 years to "terminate on April 25, 2002. On 25 November 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 297, "EXCLUDING A CERTAIN AREA FROM THE OPERATION OF PROCLAMATION NO. 369 DATED FEBRUARY 27, 1931, AND DECLARING THE SAME AS MINERAL RESERVATION AND AS ENVIRONMENTALLY CRITICAL AREA." The excluded area consists of 8,100 hectares, more or less, which formed part of PICOPs expired TLA No. 43, subject of its application for IFMA conversion. On 21 January 2003, PICOP filed a Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of the aforesaid presidential proclamation as well as its implementing DENR Administrative Order. In said NULLITY CASE, the RTC issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining respondents therein from implementing the questioned issuances. The DENR Secretary and her co-respondents in said case filed on 6 February 2003 an Omnibus Motion (1) To Dissolve the Temporary Restraining Order dated 3 February 2003; and (2) To Dismiss ISSUE

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Joseph Plazo
Whether or not the presidential warranty was a contract HELD: NO

Environment Digests

PICOPs ground for the issuance of a writ of mandamus is the supposed contract entered into by the government in the form of a Presidential Warranty, dated 29 July 1969 issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to PICOP. The DENR Secretary refutes this claim, and alleges that the RTC and the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the Presidential Warranty a valid and subsisting contract under the Constitutions Non-Impairment Clause. The SC disagrees. Such licenses concerning the harvesting of timber in the countrys forests cannot be considered contracts that would bind the Government regardless of changes in policy and the demands of public interest and welfare.

DY vs CA March 9, 1999 (304 SCRA 331)


DOCTRINE
The rule is that a party must exhaust all administrative remedies before he can resort to the courts. FACTS On the evening of 1998, two trucks with Plate Nos. KAK-542 and KBL-214 and loaded with lumber approached the checkpoint. Both were flagged down by the operatives affiliated with the government. Forester Resurreccion Maxilom of the DENR issued atemporary seizure order and a seizure receipt for the two vehicles andtheir cargo consisting of several pieces of lumber . On October 20, 1993, more than two months after the lumber had been forfeited, petitioner,claiming to be the owner of the lumber, filed a suit for replevin in theRegional Trial Court for its recovery. The nextday, October 21, 1993, the trial court issued a preliminary writ of replevin. HELD: The appeal is without merit. The rule is that a party must exhaust all administrative remedies before he can resort to the courts. In a long lineof cases, we have consistently held that before a party may be allowed toseek the intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should haveavailed himself of all the means afforded by the administrative processes.Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned everyopportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdictionthen such remedy should be exhausted first before a court's judicial power can be sought. The premature invocation of a court's interventionis fatal to one's cause of action. Accordingly, absent any finding of waiver or estoppel, the case is susceptible of dismissal for lack of cause of action

PICOP vs Base metals dec 6, 2006


DOCTRINE The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual undertaking assuring PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Such an interpretation would result in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources in the area. FACTS Central Mindanao Mining and Development Corporation entered into a Mines Operating Agreement with Banahaw Mining and Development Corporation Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Banahaw Mining filed applications for Mining Lease Contracts over the mining claims with the Bureau of Mines. On April 29, 1988, Banahaw Mining was issued a Mines Temporary Permit authorizing it to extract and dispose of precious minerals found within its mining claims

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Since a portion of Banahaw Mining's mining claims was located in petitioner PICOP's logging concession in Agusan del Sur, Banahaw Mining and petitioner PICOP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, whereby, in mutual recognition of each other's right to the area concerned, petitioner PICOP allowed Banahaw Mining an access/right of way to its mining claims Banahaw Mining thereafter converted its mining claims to applications for Mineral Production Sharing Agreements. While the MPSA were pending, Banahaw Mining, on December 18, 1996, decided to sell/assign its rights and interests over thirty-seven mining claims in favor of private respondent Base Metals Mineral Resources Corporation (Base Metals for brevity). The transfer included mining claims held by Banahaw Mining in its own right as claim owner, as well as those covered by its mining operating agreement with CMMCI. Upon being informed of the development, CMMCI, as claim owner, immediately approved the assignment made by Banahaw Mining in favor of private respondent Base Metals, thereby recognizing private respondent Base Metals as the new operator of its claims On November 18, 1997, petitioner PICOP filed with the Mines Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB), Caraga Regional Office No. XIII an Adverse Claim and/or Opposition to private respondent Base Metals' application on the following grounds: I. THE APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION AND ISSUANCE OF THE MPSA OF BASE METALS WILL VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE AGAINST IMPAIRMENT OF OBLIGATION IN A CONTRACT The Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the MAB, ruling that the Presidential Warranty of September 25, 1968 issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos merely confirmed the timber license granted to PICOP and warranted the latter's peaceful and adequate possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. It was only given upon the request of the Board of Investments to establish the boundaries of PICOP's timber license agreement. The Presidential Warranty did not convert PICOP's timber license into a contract because it did not create any obligation on the part of the government in favor of PICOP. Thus, the non-impairment clause finds no application. Neither did the Presidential Warranty grant PICOP the exclusive possession, occupation and exploration of the concession areas covered. If that were so, the government would have effectively surrendered its police power to control and supervise the exploration, development and utilization of the country's natural resources. ISSUE: w/n the impairment of contracts apply? HELD No. The guaranty is merely a collateral inducement An examination of the Presidential Warranty at once reveals that it simply reassures PICOP of the government's commitment to uphold the terms and conditions of its timber license and guarantees PICOP's peaceful and adequate possession and enjoyment of the areas which are the basic sources of raw materials for its wood processing complex. The warranty covers only the right to cut, collect, and remove timber in its concession area, and does not extend to the utilization of other resources, such as mineral resources, occurring within the concession. The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual undertaking assuring PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Such an interpretation would result in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources in the area.

asaphil vs tuason april 25, 2006


DOCTRINE
The allegations in Tuasons complaint do not make out a case for a mining dispute or controversy within the jurisdiction of the DENR. The controversy falls squarely in the cognizance of the courts

FACTS
Respondent Vicente Tuason, Jr. entered into a Contract for Sale and Purchase of Perlite Ore with Induplex, Inc., wherein Induplex agreed to buy all the perlite ore that may be found and mined in Tuasons mining claim located in Taysa, Daraga, Albay. In exchange, Induplex will assist Tuason in securing and perfecting his right over the mining claim. Thereafter, Tuason executed on May 29, 1976, an Agreement to Operate Mining Claims in favor of petitioner Asaphil Construction and Development Corporation. Later on, Tuason filed with the Bureau of Mines, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), a complaint against Asaphil and Induplex for declaration of nullity of the two contracts, namely, the Contract for Sale and Purchase of Perlite Ore, and the Agreement to Operate Mining Claims. Tuason alleged in his complaint that the stockholders of Induplex formed and organized Ibalon Mineral

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Resources, Inc. (Ibalon), an entity whose purpose is to mine any and all kinds of minerals, and has in fact been mining, extracting and utilizing the perlite ore in Ibalons mining claim; that this is in violation of the condition imposed by the Board of Investments (BOI) on Induplex in its Joint Venture Agreement The DENR, through the Regional Executive Director, found merit in Induplexs arguments and dismissed the complaint. ISSUE: Does the DENR have jurisdiction to rule on the claim? HELD With regard to the issue of jurisdiction, the DENR Regional Executive Director opined that the DENR does not have jurisdiction over the case, while the MAB ruled that the DENR has jurisdiction. The Court upholds the finding of the DENR Regional Executive Director that the DENR does not have jurisdiction over Tuasons complaint. At the time of the filing of the complaint, the jurisdiction of the DENR over mining disputes and controversies is governed by P.D. No. 1281, entitled "Revising Commonwealth Act No. 136, Creating the Bureau of Mines, and for Other Purposes." Particularly, P.D. No. 1281 vests the Bureau of Minesof the DENR with jurisdictional supervision and control over all holders of mining claims or applicants for and/or grantees of mining licenses, permits, leases and/or operators thereof, including mining service contracts and service contractors insofar as their mining activities are concerned. Under Section 7 of P.D. No. 1281, the Bureau of Mines also has quasi-judicial powers over cases involving the following: (a) a mining property subject of different agreements entered into by the claim holder thereof with several mining operators; (b) complaints from claimowners that the mining property subject of an operating agreement has not been placed into actual operations within the period stipulated therein; and (c) cancellation and/or enforcement of mining contracts due to the refusal of the claimowner/operator to abide by the terms and conditions thereof. The allegations in Tuasons complaint do not make out a case for a mining dispute or controversy within the jurisdiction of the DENR. While the Agreement to Operate Mining Claims is a mining contract, the ground upon which the contract is sought to be annulled is not due to Asaphils refusal to abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement, but due to Induplexs alleged violation of the condition imposed by the BOI in its Joint Venture Agreement with Grefco, Inc.. Also, Tuason sought the nullity of the Contract for Sale and Purchase of Perlite Ore, based on the same alleged violation. Obviously, this raises a judicial question, which is proper for determination by the regular courts. A judicial question is raised when the determination of the question involves the exercise of a judicial function; that is, the question involves the determination of what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties are with respect to the matter in controversy

didapho earth savers vs gozun mar 30, 2006


DOCTRINE
In the case at bar, Didipio failed to show that the law is invalid. There is taking involved and just compensation is provided for.

FACTS
After the EDSA Revolution, Cory swiftly rolled out EO 279 w/c empowered DENR to stipulate with foreign companies when it comes to either technical or financial large scale exploration or mining. Nine years later, Ramos signed into law RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act. In 1994, Ramos already signed an FTAA with Arimco Mining Co, an Australian company. The FTAA authorized AMC (later CAMC) to explore 37,000 ha of land in Quirino and N. Vizcaya including Brgy Didipio. After the passage of the law, DENR rolled out its implementing RRs. Didipio petitioned to have the law and the RR to be annulled as it is unconstitutional and it constitutes unlawful taking of property. In seeking to nullify Rep. Act No. 7942 and its implementing rules DAO 96-40 as unconstitutional, petitioners set their sight on Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO 96-40 which they claim allow the unlawful and unjust taking of private property for private purpose in contradiction with Section 9, Article III of the 1987 Constitution mandating that private property shall not be taken except for public use and the corresponding payment of just compensation. They assert that public respondent DENR, through the Mining Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, cannot, on its own, permit entry into a private property and allow taking of land without payment of just compensation. Despite petitioners assertion, public respondents argue that Section 76 is not a taking provision but a valid exercise of the police power and by virtue of which, the state may prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order, safety and general welfare of the people. This government regulation involves the adjustment of rights for the public good and that this adjustment curtails some potential for the use or economic exploitation of private property. Public respondents concluded that to require compensation in all

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Joseph Plazo
such circumstances would compel the government to regulate by purchase.

Environment Digests

ISSUE: Whether or not RA 7942 and the DENR RRs are valid. HELD: The SC that the RRs are indeed valid. The SC noted the requisites of eminent domain. They are; (1) (2) (3) (4) the expropriator must enter a private property; the entry must be for more than a momentary period. the entry must be under warrant or color of legal authority; the property must be devoted to public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected;

(5) the utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of beneficial enjoyment of the property. In the case at bar, Didipio failed to show that the law is invalid. There is taking involved but it is not w/o just compensation. Sec 76 of RA 7942 provides for just compensation as well as section 107 of the DENR RR. To wit, Section 76. xxx Provided, that any damage to the property of the surface owner, occupant, or concessionaire as a consequence of such operations shall be properly compensated as may be provided for in the implementing rules and regulations. Section 107. Compensation of the Surface Owner and Occupant- Any damage done to the property of the surface owners, occupant, or concessionaire thereof as a consequence of the mining operations or as a result of the construction or installation of the infrastructure mentioned in 104 above shall be properly and justly compensated. Further, mining is a public policy and the government can invoke eminent domain to exercise entry, acquisition and use of private lands.

republic vs rosemoor mar 30, 2004


DOCTRINE
Proclamation 84, which merely restored the area excluded from the Biak-na-Bato national park by canceling respondents license, is clearly not penal in character and neither is it ex post facto.

FACTS
Petitioner Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporation (spearheaded by four individuals) after having been granted permission to prospect for marble deposits in the mountains of Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan, succeeded in discovering marble deposits of high quality and in commercial quantities in Mount Mabio which forms part of the Biak-na-Bato mountain range. Rosemor thereafter applied with the Bureau of Mines, now Mines and Geosciences Bureau, for the issuance of the corresponding license to exploit said marble deposits. Within that same year, License No. 33 was issued by the Bureau of Mines in favor of the herein petitioners. It is largely unfortunate that thereafter, Respondent Ernesto Maceda cancelled the petitioners license stating that their license had illegally been issued, because it violated Section 69 of PD 463; and that there was no more public interest served by the continued existence or renewal of the license. The latter reason was confirmed by the language of Proclamation No. 84. According to this law, public interest would be served by reverting the parcel of land that was excluded by Proclamation No. 2204 to the former status of that land as part of the Biak-na-Bato national park. Issue: Whether or not Presidential Proclamation No. 84 is valid. Held: Yes. Proclamation No. 84 is not a bill of attainder; that is, a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial." Its declaration that QLP No. 33 is a patent nullity is certainly not a declaration of guilt. Neither is the cancellation of the license a punishment within the purview of the constitutional proscription against bills of attainder. There is no merit in the argument that the proclamation is an ex post facto law. It is settled that an ex post facto law is limited in its scope only to matters criminal in nature. Proclamation 84, which merely restored the area excluded from the Biak-na-Bato national park by canceling respondents license, is clearly not penal in character.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Also at the time President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 84 on March 9, 1987, she was still validly exercising legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution of 1986. Section 1 of Article II of Proclamation No. 3, which promulgated the Provisional Constitution, granted her legislative power until a legislature is elected and convened under a new Constitution. The grant of such power is also explicitly recognized and provided for in Section 6 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution.

labugal vs ramos jan 27, 2004


DOCTRINE
Although counsel for respondents claim that technical is a very broad term that may cover the management and operation of such activities, it is still clear from the deliberation of the Constitutional Commission that they intended to limit the utilization of the natural resources for the sole enjoyment of the Filipinos.

FACTS
1987: Pres. Aquino issued EO 279 whereby she authorized DENR to accept, consider and evaluate proposals from foreignownedcorporations or foreign investors for contracts or agreements involving either technical or financial assistancefor large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, which, upon appropriate recommendationof the Secretary, the President may execute with the foreign proponent. In entering into such proposals, the President shall consider the real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country that will be realized, as well as the development and use of local scientific and technical resources that will be promoted by the proposed contract or agreement. Until Congress shall determine otherwise, large-scalemining, for purpose of this Section, shall mean those proposals for contracts or agreements for mineralr esources exploration, development, and utilization involving a committed capital investment in a single miningunit project of at least Fifty Million Dollars in United States Currency (US $50,000,000. 00) The timeline illustrates: March 1995 RA 7942 signed into law March 1995 Government entered FTAA with WMCP 99,387 hectares of land in South Cotabato, SultanKudarat, Davao del Sur and North Cotabato . April 1995 30 days after publication on 10 March 1995, RA 7942 took effect December 1996 DENR Secretary Victor Ramos issued DAO 96-40 January 1997 counsels for petitioner sent letter to Ramos demanding DENR to stop implementing RA7942 and DAO 96-40. No response, thus this petition for Mandamus and Prohibition with prayer of TRO and preliminary injunction(denied) claiming that petitioner Ramos acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing the assailed Constitutionality of RA 7942 of DENR Administrative Order 96-40 and of the Financial and TechnicalAssistance Agreement entered into on 30 March 1995 between the Republic of the Philippines and WMC(Philippines) , Inc.. January 2001 Manifestation of respondents that WMCP is no longer foreign-owned as WMC has sold100% of its equity to Filipino company Sagittarius Mines, Inc. which is 60% owned by Filipinos or Filipino-owned corporations. WMCP is renamed as Tampakan Mineral Resources Corporation. 18 December 2001 DENR approved the transfer and registration of FTAA to Sagittarius from WMCP. Supreme Court said that this manifestation and transfer does not render the issue moot since the question of validity of the FTAA will affect even that held by Sagittarius. Issue/s Whether or not Petitioners have standing. Whether or Not EO 279 is an invalid law having been issued two days before President Aquinos legislative powers expired with the convening of Regular Congress and having thus took effect after which. Whether or Not RA 7942 and DAO 96-40 are unconstitutional and consequently the FTAA entered pursuant to aboves tated laws is invalid HELD Preliminary Issue: Petitioners have standing since they are residents of the land covered by the FTAA. Sincethe petition if for mandamus and prohibition and the issue is of constitutionality of a statute, the Supreme is no longer concerned whether or not petitioners are real parties of interest to the contract/agreement. EO 279 is valid and whether or not the laws effectivity date lies beyond the expiration of the Presidents legislative power is irrelevant since it was still enacted when the president held such power. It does not runcounter to EO 200 requiring laws to have 15 days after

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

publication requirement before its effectivity since EO200 also provides unless it is otherwise provided, EO 279 having stated its own effectivity as shall take effectimmediately. In addition, the 15-day post-publication requirement was for the information of the public anddoes not in any way affect the date of enactment and is not a ground for invalidation. EO 279 nonetheless waspublished on the Official Gazette on 3 August 1987. The 1987 Constitution provides The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, or utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions providedby law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In suchagreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources Some interesting notes: 1) State may directly undertake such activities (2) State may enter into co-production, joint-venture or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens or qualified corporations (60% Filipino owned (3) Congress may allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens (4) For the large-scale exploration, development, or utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils,the President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporation for technical or financial assistance. The framers of this Constitution expressly omitted the phrase service contracts that was provided for in the1973 Constitution which allowed foreign companies to manage and operate mining activities and replaced itwith technical or financial assistance only. RA 7942, DAO 96-40, and the FTAA between the government and WMCP allows for the management andoperation of the foreign-owned corporation for the large-scale exploration, development, or utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils. Although counsel for respondents claim that technical is a very broad term that may cover the management and operation of such activities, it is still clear from the deliberation of the Constitutional Commission that they intended to limit the utilization of the natural resources for the sole enjoyment of the Filipinos. Ultimate decision. Petition Granted. Certain provisions of RA 7942 are declared null and void. So are all provisions of Departmentof Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 96-40, s. 1996 which are not in conformity withthis Decision, and the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement between the Government of the Republicof the Philippines and WMC Philippines, Inc

labugal vs ramos dec 1, 2004


DOCTRINE
Under the doctrine of separation of powers and due respect for co-equal and coordinate branches of government, the Court must restrain itself from intruding into policy matters and must allow the President and Congress maximum discretion in using the resources of our country and in securing the assistance of foreign groups to eradicate the grinding poverty of our people and answer their cry for viable employment opportunities in the country.

FACTS
The extant case involves a Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus before the Court which challenges the constitutionality of (1) Republic Act 7942 (The Philippine Mining Act of 1995); (2) its Implementing Rules and Regulations (DENR Administrative Order [DAO] 96-40); and (3) the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) dated 30 March 1995, executed by the government with Western Mining Corporation (Philippines), Inc. (WMCP). Before February, the Court released its Decision, granting the Petition and declaring the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 96-40, as well as of the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP, mainly on the finding that FTAAs are service contracts prohibited by the 1987 Constitution. The Decision struck down the subject FTAA for being similar to service contracts,which, though permitted under the 1973 Constitution, were subsequently denounced for being antithetical to the principle of sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the Filipino nation. The landmark decision drew strength from several legal scholars and authors who had criticized service contracts for, inter alia, vesting in the foreign contractor exclusive management and control of the enterprise, including operation of the field in the event petroleum was discovered; control of production, expansion and development; nearly unfettered control over the disposition and sale of the products discovered/extracted; effective ownership of the natural resource at the point of extraction; and beneficial ownership of our economic resources. According to the Decision, the 1987 Constitution (Section 2 of Article XII) effectively banned such service contracts. Subsequently, Ramos several government officials filed a motion for reconsideration.

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Joseph Plazo
Issue:

Environment Digests

Whether or not the Court has a role in the exercise of the power of control over the EDU of our natural resources? Held: Most certainly not. The Chief Executive is the official constitutionally mandated to enter into agreements with foreign owned corporations. On the other hand, Congress may review the action of the President once it is notified of every contract entered into in accordance with this [constitutional] provision within thirty days from its execution. In contrast to this express mandate of the President and Congress in the exploration, development and utilization (EDU) of natural resources, Article XII of the Constitution is silent on the role of the judiciary. However, should the President and/or Congress gravely abuse their discretion in this regard, the courts may -- in a proper case -- exercise their residual duty under Article VIII. Clearly then, the judiciary should not inordinately interfere in the exercise of this presidential power of control over the EDU of our natural resources. Under the doctrine of separation of powers and due respect for co-equal and coordinate branches of government, the Court must restrain itself from intruding into policy matters and must allow the President and Congress maximum discretion in using the resources of our country and in securing the assistance of foreign groups to eradicate the grinding poverty of our people and answer their cry for viable employment opportunities in the country. The judiciary is loath to interfere with the due exercise by coequal branches of government of their official functions. As aptly spelled out seven decades ago by Justice George Malcolm, Just as the Supreme Court, as the guardian of constitutional rights, should not sanction usurpations by any other department of government, so should it as strictly confine its own sphere of influence to the powers expressly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act. Let the development of the mining industry be the responsibility of the political branches of government. And let not the Court interfere inordinately and unnecessarily. The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the land. It is the repository of all the aspirations and hopes of all the people.

Metro Iloilo Water vs CA mar 31, 2005


DOCTRINE The instant case certainly calls for the application and interpretation of pertinent laws and jurisprudence in order to determine whether private respondents actions violate petitioners rights as a water district and justify an injunction. This issue does not so much provide occasion to invoke the special knowledge and expertise of the Water Council as it necessitates judicial intervention FACTS Petitioner is a water district organized under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 198 . It was granted by the Local Water Utilities Administration Conditional Certificate of Conformance No. 71. Its service areas encompass the entire territorial areas of Iloilo City etc. Sometime between April and May of 1993, petitioner filed nine (9) individual yet identical petitions for injunction with prayer for preliminary injunction and / or temporary restraining order against herein private respondents the pertinent portions of which read: 4. That pursuant to the provisions of section 31 (a) of P.D. 198, as amended, the petitioner as a Water District was authorized to adopt laws and regulations governing the drilling, maintenance and operation of wells within its boundaries for purposes other than single family domestic use on overlying land, with then provision that any well operated in violation of such regulations shall be deemed an interference with the waters of the district; Private respondents invoked the lack of jurisdiction of the trial court, contending that the cases were within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the National Water Resources Council (Water Council) under Presidential Decree No. 1067, otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines (Water Code). In addition, private respondents Emma Nava and Rebecca Berlin denied having extracted or withdrawn water from the ground, much less sold the same Additionally, he alleged the petitioners rules and regulations were not published in the Official Gazette and hence petitioner had no cause of action. Meanwhile, private respondent Gerry Luzuriaga claimed that he was not the real party in interest, but Shoemart, Inc. which has the control and possession of the property where the alleged withdrawal of ground water was taking place. The trial court dismissed the petitions, ruling that the controversy was within the original jurisdiction of the Water Council, involving, as it did, the appropriation, exploitation, and utilization of water, and factual issues which were within the Water Councils competence. In addition, the trial court held that petitioner failed to exhaust administrative remedies under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction. MR denied shortly thereafter. ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court may entertain the positions

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Joseph Plazo
HELD

Environment Digests

Petitioner anchors its claim on Section 31 (now 32) of PD 198, as amended, which reads: Sec. 32. Protection of waters and Facilities of District. A district shall have the right to : (a) Commence, maintain, intervene in, defend and compromise actions or proceedings to prevent interference with or deterioration of water quality or the natural flow of any surface, stream or ground water supply which may be used or useful for any purpose of the district or be a common benefit to the lands or its inhabitants. The ground water within a district is necessary to the performance of the districts powers and such districts hereby authorized to adopt rules and regulations subject to the approval of the National Water Resources Council governing the drilling, maintenance and operation of wells within its boundaries for purposes other than a singled family domestic use on overlying land. Any well operated on violation of such regulations shall be deemed in interference with the waters of the district. (c) Prohibit any person, firm or corporation from vending, selling, or otherwise disposing of water for public purposes within the service area of the district where district facilities are available to provide such service, or fix terms and conditions by permit for such sale or disposition of water. By virtue of the above provisions, petitioner states that as a water district, it has the right to prevent interference with the water of the district; and to enforce such right, it is given remedies of commencing, maintaining, or intervening in, defending or entering into appropriate actions or proceedings. In asserting the jurisdiction of the regular courts over its petitions and the propriety of its filing of the petitions before the trial court, petitioner invokes the ruling of the Court inAmistoso v. Ong,[28] as reiterated in Santos v. Court of Appeals,[29] that where the issue involved is not the settlement of a water rights dispute, but the enjoyment of a right to water use for which a permit was already granted, the regular court has jurisdiction and not the Water Council. A judicial question is raised when the determination of the questions involves the exercise of a judicial function, i.e., the question involves the determination of what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties are with respect to the matter in controversy. As opposed to a moot question or one properly decided by the executive or legislative branch, a judicial question is properly addressed to the courts. The instant case certainly calls for the application and interpretation of pertinent laws and jurisprudence in order to determine whether private respondents actions violate petitioners rights as a water district and justify an injunction. This issue does not so much provide occasion to invoke the special knowledge and expertise of the Water Council as it necessitates judicial intervention. While initially it may appear that there is a dimension to the petitions which pertains to the sphere of the Water Council, i.e., the appropriation of water which the Water Code defines as the acquisition of rights over the use of waters or the taking or diverting of waters from a natural source in the manner and for any purpose allowed by law, in reality the matter is at most merely collateral to the main thrust of the petitions. The petitions having raised a judicial question, it follows that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, on the basis of which the petitions were dismissed by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, does not even come to play. The petition is remanded to the trial court.

BF Northwest vs IAC may 29, 1987


DOCTRINE All the more so, there exists appellate jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over NWRC decisions covers in such broad and all embracing grounds as grave abuse of discretion, questions of law, and questions of fact and law FACTS The core issue for resolution is: which Court has jurisdiction over actions to annul Orders, Resolutions and/or Decisions of the National Water Resources Council (NWRC) relative to water rates the Regional Trial Court or the Court of Appeals? Consider the timeline: In 1973, BF Homes, Inc. filed a petition for a certificate of public convenience and for authority to charge water rates before the then Board of Power and Waterworks On October 24, 1983, NWRC in its Resolution No. 22-A, series of 1983, granted a Certificate of Public Convenience to respondent BF Homes, Inc., for the operation and maintenance of waterworks system at the BF Homes Subdivision in Paranaque, Metro Manila. On November 21, 1983 and December 16, 1983, NWRC issued two other orders increasing the water rates in view of the increase in the costs of electricity. ... BF Northwest Homeowners Association, Inc., , filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and mandamus before the Regional Trial Court in Makati, Rizal, Branch 143, to enjoin BF Homes, Inc. (HOMES, for short) from collecting from ASSOCIATION members the adjusted water rates for being arbitrary and unreasonable and praying that HOMES be ordered to refund monies it had collected from consumers over and above the old water rates.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Regional Trial Court Judge Zoilo Aguinaldo denied the Motion to Dismiss filed by HOMES and upheld his jurisdiction to entertain the suit. Two similar suits followed and were likewise ruled in adverse favor.

ISSUE: Whether or not the examination is impressed with merit HELD: The re-examination sought is impressed with merit. The National Water Resources Council (NWRC) was created by P.D. No. 424 on March 28, 1974 and was vested with the general power to coordinate and integrate water resources development, and among others, to formulate and promulgate rules and regulations for the exploitation and optimum utilization of water resources, including the imposition on water appropriators of such fees or charges as may be deemed necessary by the Council for water resources development. P.D. No. 1067, which enacted the Water Code of the Philippines, Identified the NWRC as the administrative agency for the enforcement of its provisions and was "authorized to impose and collect reasonable fees or charges for water resources development from water appropriators" (Art. 83). The provisions of said statute pertinent to this case read: Art. 87. The Council or its duly authorized representatives, in the exercise of its power to investigate and decide cases brought to its cognizance, shall have the power to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses by subpoena and the production of relevant documents by subpoena duces tecum. Non-compliance or violation of such orders of subpoena and subpoena duces tecum shall be punished in the same manner as indirect contempt of an inferior court upon application by the aggrieved party with the proper Court of First Instance in accordance with the provision of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. Art. 89. The decisions of the Council on water rights controversies may be appealed to the Court of First Instance of the province where the subject matter of the controversy is situated within fifteen (15) days from the date the party appealing receives a copy of the decision, on any of the following grounds: (1) grave abuse of discretion; (2) question of law; and (3) questions of fact and law. (Emphasis supplied). Plainly, the NWRC is ranked with "inferior courts," which, under the Interim Rules and Guidelines promulgated by this Court on January 11, 1983, are listed as the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. Explicit as well is the proviso that NWRC decisions on water rights controversies are appealable to the Court of First Instance. In the light of those specific provisions, we find no room for the pronouncement of the Appellate Court in the "SP 02778 Decision" that the NWRC is at par with the Regional Trial Court. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that jurisdiction over actions for annulment of NWRC decisions lies with the Regional Trial Courts, particularly. All the more so, there exists appellate jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over NWRC decisions covers in such broad and all embracing grounds as grave abuse of discretion, questions of law, and questions of fact and law (Art. 89, P.D. No. 1067. This conclusion is also in keeping with the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, which vests Regional Trial Courts with original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari. prohibition, mandamus, etc

Amistoso vs Ong june 29, 2004


DOCTRINE That right is now a vested one and may no longer be litigated as to bring petitioner's case within the jurisdiction of the National Water Resources Council. To resurrect that issue right to the use of invistigation water from Silmod River will be violative of the rule on res judicata which also applies with equal vigor and effect to quasi judicial decisions. FACTS On 1981 petitioner as plaintiff, filed before the then Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, a complaint for Recognition of Basement with Preliminary Injunction and Damages. The complaint alleged, that plaintiff (now petitioner) and defendant Epifania Neri, (one of the herein private respondents) are the owners of adjoining parcels of agricultural land ; that an irrigation canal traverses the land of defendant Neri through which irrigation water from the Silmod River passes and flows to the land of the petitioner for the latter's beneficial use and that respondent Neri, owner of the land on which said irrigatrion canal exists and Senecio Ong, the cultivator of the said property, despite repeated demands refused to recognize the rights and title of the petitioner to the beneficial use of the water passing through the aforesaid irrigation canal and to have petitioner's rights and/or claims annotated on the Certificate of Title of respondent Neri . . . . Hence, the filing of the said complaint. In their Answer, private respondents denied the existence of any right on the part of the petitioner to the use of the canal mentioned in the complaint nor any contract, much less any deed or encumbrance on their property and assert that they have not performed any act

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

prejudicial to the petitioner that will warrant the filing of the complaint against them. By way of affirmative and special defenses, private respondents alleged that petitioner's complaint states no cause of action and that the Court has no jurisdiction over the same. Failing to obtain a favorable reconsideration of the Order of dismissal, petitioner now comes before SC through the instant petition contending: That the case at bar is not to settle any water dispute between the parties but a complaint which calls purely for a determination of the right of the plaintiff to have an established right amounting to an easement annotated on the certificate of title of the defendant, hence the question is judicial which may be taken cognizance of by the respondent court; Acting on private respondent's motion, respondent Judge dismissed petitioner's complaint for lack of jurisdiction in an Order dated January 14, 1981. The pertinent portion of that Order reads as follows: ... The basis of the motion to dismiss are the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 424 and the Water Code known as Presidential Decree No. 1067. In opposing the motion to dismiss, plaintiff contends that the present action does not involve water dispute and that since the present action was filed before the court prior to the effectivity of the Presidential Decree No. 424, it is the old law on the matter that should be applied. These contentions of the plaintiff are without merit. Failing to obtain a favorable reconsideration of the Order of dismissal, petitioner now comes before SC through the instant petition contending: (1) That the case at bar is not to settle any water dispute between the parties but a complaint which calls purely for a determination of the right of the plaintiff to have an established right amounting to an easement annotated on the certificate of title of the defendant, hence the question is judicial which may be taken cognizance of by the respondent court; ISSUE: Whether or not the Court had jurisdiction: HELD: Private respondents' insistence that what is involved in the instant case is the right to use, exploit and convey water is controverted by the "STIPULATION OF FACTS" entered into between them and the petitioner in the court below which was approved in an Order dated February 20, 1975, the pertinent portion of which reads as follows: From the foregoing stipulations, private respondents admit that petitioner, then plaintiff, has an approved Water Rights Grant issued by the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications. Private respondents, however, contend that the said grant does not pertain to the beneficial use of irrigation water from Silmod River. The records, however, do not show any other irrigation water going to petitioner's property passing thru respondents' lot aside from that coming from the Silmod River. Respondents' controversion of petitioner's right to irrigation water specifically from Silmod River is undoubtedly a lame denial. The grant contradicts the erroneous findings of the respondent Judge, and incontrovertibly entitles petitioner to the beneficial use of water from Silmod River. That right is now a vested one and may no longer be litigated as to bring petitioner's case within the jurisdiction of the National Water Resources Council. To resurrect that issue right to the use of invistigation water from Silmod River will be violative of the rule on res judicata which also applies with equal vigor and effect to quasi judicial decisions.

Loney vs people feb 10, 2006


DOCTRINE In People vs.Doriquez, the court held that two or more offenses arising form the same act are not the same. And so, double jeopardy is not an issue because not all its elements are present. FACTS Foreigners John Eric Loney, Steven Paul Reid and Pedro B. Hernandez are the Pres.and CEO, Senior Manager, and Resident Manager for Mining Operations, respectively, of Marcopper Mining Corp., had been storing tailings (mine waste) from its operations in a pit in Mt. Tapian, Marinduque. On March 24, 1994, tailings gushed out of or near the tunnels end. In a few days, Mt. Tapianpit had discharged millions of tons of tailings in to the Boac and Makalupnit rivers.I Sometime August 1996, the DOJ separately charged petitioners in the MTC of Boac,Marinduque with violation National Pollution Decree of 1976 and Art. 365 of the RPC for Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Damage to Property.In the Consolidated Order of MTC, granting partial reconsideration to its Joint Orderquashing the information for violation of PD 1067 and PD 984.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

The MTC maintained the Informations for violation of RA 7942 and Art. 365 of the RPC. Petitioners subsequently filed a petition for certiorari with the RTC assailing that the portion of the Consolidated Order maintaining the Informations for violation of RA 7942. Petitioners then filed for certiorari with the Court of Appeals alleging that Br. 94 acted withgrave abuse of discretion because 1.the Informations for violation of PD 1067, PD 984, RA7942 and the Art. 365 of the RPC proceeded from are based on a single act or incident of polluting the rivers thru dumping of mine tailings, and the charge for violation of Art 365 of the RPC absorbs the other charges since the element of lack of necessary or adequate protection, negligence, recklessness and imprudence is common among them, 2. The duplicitous nature of the Informations contravenes the ruling in People v. Relova. The Court of Appeals affirmed lower court ruling. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not all the charges filed against petitioners except one should be quashed for duplicity of charges and only the charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property should stand 2. whether or not Br. 94s ruling, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, contravenes People v. Relova. HELD NO MERIT. The redundancy of charges simply means a single complaint or information charges more than one offense, as Sec. 13 of Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure. As early as the start of the last century, the court ruled that a single act or incident might offend against two or more entirely distinct and unrelated provisions of law thus justifying the prosecution of the accused for more than one offense and the only limit is the Constitutional prohibition that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishing for the same offense. In People vs.Doriquez, the court held that two or more offenses arising form the same act are not the same. And so, double jeopardy is not an issue because not all its elements are present. On petitioners claim that the charges for violation of Art. 365 of the RPC absorbsthe charges for violation of PD 1067, PD 984 and RA 7942, suffice it to say that a mala in sefelony (such as Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Damage in Property) cannot absorb malaprohibita crimes (such as those violating PD 1067, PD 984 and RA 7942). What makes the former felony is criminal intent (dolo) or negligence (culpa) and what makes the latter crimes are the special laws enacting them.Petitioners reiterate their contention in that their prosecution contravenes ruling inPeople vs. Relova.

Alexandria Condo vs LLDA sept 11, 2009


DOCTRINE TACC has an administrative recourse before the DENR Secretary which it should have first pursued before filing a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals FACTS On 2 September 1987, the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission issued a Development Permit to Phil Realty to develop Cluster A of the project. In the Development Permit, PhilRealty was required to submit its condominium plans to the Building Official of Pasig City. A building permit was issued Shortly after Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) advised TACC that its wastewater did not meet government effluent standards provided in Sections 68 and 69 of the 1978 National Pollution Control Commission Rules and Regulations (NPCC) as amended by Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 34. LLDA informed TACC that it must put up its own Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) for its effluent discharge to meet government standards. In a Notice of Violation dated 6 May 1999, LLDA directed TACC to submit corrective measures to abate or control its water effluents discharged into the Laguna de Bay. LLDA likewise imposed upon TACC a daily fine of P1,000 from 26 March 1999 until full cessation of pollutive wastewater discharge. TACC filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order. The Court of Appeals sustained LLDAs contention that the petition for certiorari was prematurely filed. The Court of Appeals ruled that the proper remedy should have been to resort to an administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary prior to judicial action. ISSUE Whether the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding TACCs exhaustive efforts in complying with the governments standards on effluent discharge;

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Joseph Plazo
HELD

Environment Digests

The Court of Appeals ruled that due to the transfer of LLDA to the DENR under Executive Order No. 149[10] (EO 149), TACC should have first resorted to an administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary prior to filing a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. The doctrine of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies requires that resort be first made with the administrative authorities in the resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the controversy may be elevated to a court of justice for review. A premature invocation of a courts intervention renders the complaint without cause of action and dismissible. EO 149 transferred LLDA from the Office of the President to the DENR for policy and program coordination and/or administrative supervision x x x.[13] Under EO 149, DENR only has administrative power over LLDA. Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs.[14] However, Executive Order No. 192 (EO 192), which reorganized the DENR, mandates the DENR to promulgate rules and regulations for the control of water, air and land pollution and to promulgate ambient and effluent standards for water and air quality including the allowable levels of other pollutants and radiations. EO 192 created the Pollution Adjudication Board under the Office of the DENR Secretary which assumed the powers and functions of the NPCC with respect to the adjudication of pollution cases, including NPCCs function to serve as arbitrator for the determination of reparation, or restitution of the damages and losses resulting from pollution. Hence, TACC has an administrative recourse before the DENR Secretary which it should have first pursued before filing a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.

LLDA vs CA dec 7, 1995


DOCTRINE Section 4 (k) of RA 4850, the provisions of PD 813, and Section 2 of EO 927, specifically provide that the LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use or all surface water for any projectsor activities in or affecting the said region, including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like. FACTS Congress enacted RA 4850 creating the "Laguna Lake Development Authority." This agency was supposed to accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake. To effectively perform the role of the Authority under RA 4850, the Chief Executive issued EO 927further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the Authority and named and enumerated the towns, cities and provinces encompassed by the term "Laguna de Bay Region". Also, pertinent to the i ssues in this case are the following provisions of EO 927 which include in particular the sharing of fees: Sec 2: xxx the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permit for the use of all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting thesaid region including navigation, construction, and operation of fish pens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like. SEC. 3. Collection of Fees. The Authority is hereby empowered to collect fees for the use of the lake water and its tributaries for all beneficial purposes including but not limited to fisheries, recreation, municipal, industrial, agricultural, navigation, irrigation, and waste disposal purpose; Provided, that therates of the fees to be collected, and the sharing with other government agencies and political subdivisions, if necessary, shall be subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Authority's Board, except fish pen fee, which will be shared in the following manner: 20percent of the fee shall go to the lakeshore local governments, 5 percent shall go to the Project Development Fund which shall be administered by aCouncil and the remaining 75 percent shall constitute the share of LLDA. Then came Republic Act No. 7160. The municipalities in the Laguna Lake Region interpreted the provisions of this law to mean that the newly passed law gave municipal governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters because R.A. 7160 provides: "Sec. 149. Fishery Rentals; Fees and Charges (a) Municipalities shall have the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters andimpose rental fees or charges therefor in accordance with the provisions of this Section. Municipal governments thereupon assumed the authority to issue fishing privileges and fish pen permits. Big fish pen operators took advantage of the occasion to establish fish pens and fishcages to the consternation of the Authority. Unregulated fish pens and fishcages occupied almost one-third the entirelake water surface area, increasing the occupation drastically from 7,000 ha in 1990 to almost 21,000 hain 1995. The Mayor's permit to construct fishpens and fishcages were all undertaken in violation of the policies adopted by the Authority on fishpen zoning and the Laguna Lake carrying capacity. In view of the foregoing circumstances, the Authority served notice to the general public that: 1. All fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay Region, which were not registered or to which no application forregistration and/or permit has been filed with Laguna Lake Development Authority as of March 31, 1993 are hereby declared outrightly as illegal.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

One month, thereafter, the Authority sent notices to the concerned owners of the illegally constructed fishpens, fishcages and other aquaculture structures advising them to dismantle the irrespective structures within 10 days from receipt thereof, otherwise, demolition shall be effected. The fishpen owners filed injunction cases against the LLDA. The LLDA filed motions to dismiss thecases against it on jurisdictional grounds. The motions to dismiss were denied. Meanwhile, TRO/writs of preliminary mandatory injunction were issued enjoining the LLDA from demolishing the fishpens andsimilar structures in question. Hence, the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction. The CA dismissed the LLDAs consolidated petitions. It ruled that (A) LLDA is not among those quasi-judicial agencies of government appealable only to the Court of Appeals; (B) the LLDA charter does vest LLDA with quasi-judicial functions insofar as fishpens are concerned; (C) the provisions of the LLDA charter insofar asfishing privileges in Laguna de Bay are concerned had been repealed by the Local Government Code of 1991; (D) in view of the aforesaid repeal, the power to grant permits devolved to respective localgovernment units concerned. ISSUE Which agency of the Government - the LLDA or the towns and municipalities comprising the region- should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of permits for fishery privileges is concerned? Held: LLDA Section 4 (k) of RA 4850, the provisions of PD 813, and Section 2 of EO 927, specifically provide that the LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use or all surface water for any projectsor activities in or affecting the said region, including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like. On the other hand, RA 7160 has granted to the municipalities theexclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in municipal waters. The Sangguniang Bayan may grant f ishery privileges to erect fish corrals, oyster, mussels or other aquatic beds or bangus fry area within adefinite zone of the municipal waters. The provisions of RA7160 do not necessarily repeal the laws creating the LLDA and granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region. The Local Government Code of 1991 does not contain any express provision which categoricallyexpressly repeal the charter of the Authority. It has to be conceded that there was no intent on the part of the legislature to repeal Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendments. The repeal of laws should be made clear and expressed.It has to be conceded that the charter of the LLDA constitutes a special law. RA 7160 is a general law.

Tano vs Socrates aug 1, 1997


DOCTRINE There is absolutely no showing that any of the petitioners qualifies as a subsistence or marginal fisherman. The Law is valid and applies to the same FACTS On December 15, 1992, the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City enacted Ordinance No. 15-92 which took effect on January 1, 1993 entitled: AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1, 1998 AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF To implement said city ordinance, then Acting City Mayor Amado L. Lucero issued Office Order No. 23, Series of 1993 dated January 22, 1993 which reads as follows: In the interest of public service and for purposes of City Ordinance No. PD426-14-74, otherwise known as AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING ANY PERSON ENGAGED OR INTENDING TO ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS, TRADE, OCCUPATION, CALLING OR PROFESSION OR HAVING IN HIS POSSESSION ANY OF THE ARTICLES FOR WHICH A PERMIT IS REQUIRED TO BE HAD, TO OBTAIN FIRST A MAYORS PERMIT and City Ordinance No. 15-92, AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1, 1998, you are hereby authorized and directed to check or conduct necessary inspections on cargoes containing live fish and lobster being shipped out from the Puerto Princesa Airport, Puerto Princesa Wharf or at any port within the jurisdiction of the City to any point of destinations [sic] either via aircraft or seacraft. The purpose of the inspection is to ascertain whether the shipper possessed the required Mayors Permit issued by this Office and the shipment is covered by invoice or clearance issued by the local office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and as to compliance with all other existing rules and regulations on the matter.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

In their comment public respondents Governor Socrates and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan defended the validity of Ordinance No.2, Series of 1993, as a valid exercise of the Provincial Governments power under the general welfare clause They claimed that in the exercise of such powers, the Province of Palawan had the right and responsibilty to insure that the remaining coral reefs, where fish dwells [sic], within its territory remain healthy for the future generation. The Ordinance, they further asserted, covered only live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms which were enumerated in the ordinance. Aforementioned respondents likewise maintained that there was no violation of due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. As to the former, public hearings were conducted before the enactment of the Ordinance which, undoubtedly, had a lawful purpose and employed reasonable means; while as to the latter, a substantial distinction existed between a fisherman who catches live fish with the intention of selling it live, and a fisherman who catches live fish with no intention at all of selling it live, i.e., the former uses sodium cyanide while the latter does not. Further, the Ordinance applied equally to all those belonging to one class. On 1993, petitioners filed an Urgent Plea for the Immediate Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order claiming that despite the pendency of this case, Branch 50 of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan was bent on proceeding with Criminal Case No. 11223 against petitioners Danilo Tano, Alfredo Tano, Eulogio Tremocha, Romualdo Tano, Baldomero Tano, Andres Lemihan and Angel de Mesa for violation of Ordinance No. 2 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan. ISSUE Whether or not the TRO is proper HELD Notwithstanding the foregoing procedural obstacles against the first set of petitioners, the SC opted to resolve this case on its merits considering that the lifetime of the challenged Ordinances is about to end. Ordinance No. 15-92 of the City of Puerto Princesa is effective only up to 1 January 1998, while Ordinance No. 2 of the Province of Palawan, enacted on 19 February 1993, is effective for only five (5) years. Besides, these Ordinances were undoubtedly enacted in the exercise of powers under the new LGC relative to the protection and preservation of the environment and are thus novel and of paramount importance. No further delay then may be allowed in the resolution of the issues raised. It is of course settled that laws (including ordinances enacted by local government units) enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. After a scrunity of the challenged Ordinances and the provisions of the Constitution petitioners claim to have been violated, the SC found petitioners contentions baseless and so hold that the former do not suffer from any infirmity, both under the Constitution and applicable laws. There is absolutely no showing that any of the petitioners qualifies as a subsistence or marginal fisherman. In their petition, petitioner Airline Shippers Association of Palawan is described as a private association composed of Marine Merchants; petitioners Robert Lim and Virginia Lim, as merchants; while the rest of the petitioners claim to be fishermen, without any qualification, however, as to their status. Since the Constitution does not specifically provide a definition of the terms subsistence or marginal fishermen, they should be construed in their general and ordinary sense. A marginal fisherman is an individual engaged in fishing whose margin of return or reward in his harvest of fish as measured by existing price levels is barely sufficient to yield a profit or cover the cost of gathering the fish, while a subsistence fisherman is one whose catch yields but the irreducible minimum for his livelihood.Nothing in the record supports a finding that any petitioner falls within these definitions.

Hizon vs CA dec 13, 1996


DOCTRINE The authorities found nothing on the boat that would have indicated any form of illegal fishing. All the documents of the boat and the fishermen were in order. It was only after the fish specimens were tested, albeit under suspicious circumstances, that petitioners were charged with illegal fishing with the use of poisonous substances. FACTS Accused crew members and fishermen of F/B Robinson owned by First Fishermen Fishing Industries, Inc., caught fish with use of obnoxious or poisonous substance (sodium cyanide), of more or less one (1) ton of assorted live fishes which were illegally caught thru the use of obnoxious/poisonous substance (sodium cyanide). Petitioners were arraigned and they pled not guilty to the charge. As defense, they claimed that they are legitimate fishermen of the First Fishermen Industries, Inc., a domestic corporation licensed to engage in fishing. They alleged that they catch fish by the hook and line method and that they had used this method for one month and a half in the waters of Cuyo Island. n July 9, 1993, the trial court found the thirty one petitioners guilty. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition ISSUE:

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Joseph Plazo
whether or not the conviction was proper HELD Not Guilty.

Environment Digests

Petitioners were charged with illegal fishing penalized under sections 33 and 38 of P.D. 704 which provide as follows: Sec. 33. Illegal fishing, illegal possession of explosives intended for illegal fishing; dealing in illegally caught fish or fishery/aquatic products. -- It shall be unlawful for any person to catch, take or gather or cause to be caught, taken or gathered fish or fishery/aquatic products in Philippine waters with the use of explosives, obnoxious or poisonous substance, or by the use of electricity as defined in paragraphs (l), (m) and (d), respectively, of section 3 hereof: Provided, That mere possession of such explosives with intent to use the same for illegal fishing as herein defined shall be punishable as hereinafter provided: Provided, That the Secretary may, upon recommendation of the Director and subject to such safeguards and conditions he deems necessary, allow for research, educational or scientific purposes only, the use of explosives, obnoxious or poisonous substance or electricity to catch, take or gather fish or fishery/aquatic products in the specified area: Provided, further, That the use of chemicals to eradicate predators in fishponds in accordance with accepted scientific fishery practices without causing deleterious effects in neighboring waters shall not be construed as the use of obnoxious or poisonous substance within the meaning of this section: Provided, finally, That the use of mechanical bombs for killing whales, crocodiles, sharks or other large dangerous fishes, may be allowed, subject to the approval of the Secretary. The prosecution failed to explain the contradictory findings on the fish samples and this omission raises a reasonable doubt that the one ton of fishes in the cage were caught with the use of sodium cyanide. Apparently, the members of the PNP Maritime Command and the Task Force Bantay Dagat were the ones engaged in an illegal fishing expedition. This method of fishing needs approximately two hundred (200) fishermen to execute. What the apprehending officers instead discovered were twenty eight (28) fishermen in their discovered were twenty eight (28) fishermen in their sampans fishing by hook and line. The authorities found nothing on the boat that would have indicated any form of illegal fishing. All the documents of the boat and the fishermen were in order. It was only after the fish specimens were tested, albeit under suspicious circumstances, that petitioners were charged with illegal fishing with the use of poisonous substances.

Province of Rizal vs Executive Secretary dec 13, 2005


DOCTRINE: The law and the facts indicate that a mere MOA does not guarantee the dumpsites permanent closure. An order for closure is in order. FACTS Garbage was on the rise. At the height of the garbage crisis plaguing Metro Manila and its environs, parts of the Marikina Watershed Reservation were set aside by the Office of the President, through Proclamation No. 635 dated 28 August 1995, for use as a sanitary landfill and similar waste disposal applications. In fact, this site, extending to more or less 18 hectares, had already been in operation since 19 February 1990 for the solid wastes of Quezon City, Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pateros, Pasig, and Taguig. A petition filed by the Province of Rizal, the municipality of San Mateo, and various concerned citizens for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 41330, denying, for lack of cause of action, the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for a temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction assailing the legality and constitutionality of Proclamation No. 635. A case to the CA for the closure of the landfill stalled. ISSUE Whether or not the landfill is contrary to law HELD: SC held that the San Mateo Landfill will remain permanently closed. Although the petitioners may be deemed to have waived or abandoned the issues raised in their previous pleadings but not included in the

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

memorandum,certain events we shall relate below have inclined us to address some of the more pertinent issues raised in the petition for the guidance of the herein respondents, and pursuant to our symbolic function to educate the bench and bar. The law and the facts indicate that a mere MOA does not guarantee the dumpsites permanent closure. The rally and barricade staged by the people of Antipolo on 28 January 1999, with the full support of all the mayors of Rizal Province caused the MMDA to agree that it would abandon the dumpsite after six months. In return, the municipal mayors allowed the use of the dumpsite until 20 July 1999. Were it not for the TRO, then President Estradas instructions would have been lawfully carried out, for as we observed in Oposa v. Factoran, the freedom of contract is not absolute.

Baguio City vs Masweng feb 4, 2009


DOCTRINE Even if respondents had established ownership of the land, they cannot simply put up fences or build structures thereon without complying with applicable laws, rules and regulations FACTS Respondents Joseph Jude Carantes, Rose Carantes and the heirs of Maximino Carantes are in possession of a 30,368-square meter parcel of land . On June 20, 1997, they obtained Certificate of Ancestral Land. On the strength of said CALC, respondents secured a building permit from the Building Official of Baguio City, Teodoro G. Barrozo. Before long, they fenced the premises and began constructing a residential building thereon. Soon, respondents received a letterdated February 9, 1999 from Digna D. Torres, the Zone Administrator of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), informing them that the house they built had overlapped PEZAs territorial boundary. Torres advised respondents to demolish the same within sixty (60) days from notice. Otherwise, PEZA would undertake its demolition at respondents expense. Without answering PEZAs letter, respondents filed a petition for injunction, with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction before the RTC of Baguio City. By Order dated April 8, 1999, the RTC of Baguio City issued a TRO, which enjoined PEZA to cease and desist from threatening respondents with the demolition of their house before respondents prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction can be heard. On September 19, 2001, the RTC likewise issued an Order, which directed the parties to maintain the status quo pending resolution of the case The trial court ruled that respondents are entitled to possess, occupy and cultivate the subject lots on the basis of their CALC. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC ruling. In the assailed Decision dated October 26, 2007, the appellate court echoed the trial courts declaration that the subject lots have been set aside from the lands of the public domain. ISSUE: WHether the Petitioner or the City Engineer has the power to issue permits HELD SC ruled in the negative. Respondents being holders of a mere CALC, their right to possess the subject land is limited to occupation in relation to cultivation. Unlike No. 1,[26] Par. 1, Section 1, Article VII of the same DENR DAO, which expressly allows ancestral domain claimants to reside peacefully within the domain, nothing in Section 2 grants ancestral land claimants a similar right, much less the right to build permanent structures on ancestral lands an act of ownership that pertains to one (1) who has a recognized right by virtue of a Certificate of Ancestral Land Title. On this score alone, respondents action for injunction must fail. Even if respondents had established ownership of the land, they cannot simply put up fences or build structures thereon without complying with applicable laws, rules and regulations

Province of North Cotabato vs GRP Peace Panel oct 14, 2008


DOCTRINE The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined.

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Joseph Plazo
FACTS

Environment Digests

the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF, through the Chairpersons of their respective peace negotiating panels, were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Consummation of the MOA-AD between the GRP and the MILF did not take place, however, for upon motion of petitioners, specifically those who filed their cases before the scheduled signing of the MOA-AD, this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the GRP from signing the same. Mid 2008, the Province of North Cotabato and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piol filed a petition, docketed as G.R. No. 183591, for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments, and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD, pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOA-AD and the holding of a public consultation thereon. Supplementarily, petitioners pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. ISSUES 1. Whether the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication; 2. Whether by signing the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be BINDING itself a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law; b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA; c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997), particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION, RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)[;] If in the affirmative, whether the Executive Branch has the authority to so bind the Government of the Republic of the Philippines; HELD The power of judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies. Courts decline to issue advisory opinions or to resolve hypothetical or feigned problems, or mere academic questions. The limitation of the power of judicial review to actual cases and controversies defines the role assigned to the judiciary in a tripartite allocation of power, to assure that the courts will not intrude into areas committed to the other branches of government. As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance, the Court grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance adopted in David v. Macapagal-Arroyo. That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public concern faces no serious challenge. In fact, respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of public concern. In previous cases, the Court found that the regularity of real estate transactions entered in the Register of Deeds, the need for adequate notice to the public of the various laws, the civil service eligibility of a public employee, the proper management of GSIS funds allegedly used to grant loans to public officials, the recovery of the Marcoses' alleged illgotten wealth, and the identity of party-list nominees, among others, are matters of public concern. Undoubtedly, the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern, involving as it does the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public at large. In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence. The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 is declared contrary to law and the Constitution.

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Joseph Plazo

Environment Digests

Bangus Fry Fisherfolk vs Lanzanas july 10, 2003


DOCTRINE The jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts to issue injunctive writs is limited to acts committed or about to be committed within their judicial region. Moreover, Presidential Decree No. 1818 (PD No.1818) prohibited courts from issuing injunctive writs against government infrastructure projects FACTS On 30 June 1997, Department of Environment and NaturalResources (DENR), issued an Environmental Clearance in favor of respondent National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). The Sangguniang Bayan of Puerto Galera has declared MinoloCove, a mangrove area and breeding ground for bangus fry,an eco-tourist zone. Petitioners, claiming to be fisher folks from Minolo, San Isidro,Puerto Galera, sought reconsideration of the ECC issuance.Director Principe, however, denied petitioners plea on 15 July1997. On 21 July 1997, petitioners filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 7, for the cancellation of the ECC and for the issuance of a writ of injunction to stop the construction of the mooring facility. On 28 August 1997, before filing their answers, respondents moved to dismiss the complaint. These respondents claimed that petitioners failed to exhaust administrative remedies, rendering the complaint without cause of action. They also asserted that the Manila RTC has no jurisdiction to enjoin theconstruction of the mooring facility in Oriental Mindoro, which lies outside the Manila RTCs territorial jurisdiction. ISSUE Whether or not the writ of preliminary injunction is proper Held: The jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts to issue injunctive writs is limited to acts committed or about to be committed within their judicial region. Moreover, Presidential Decree No. 1818 (PD No.1818) prohibited courts from issuing injunctive writs against government infrastructure projects like the mooring facility in the present case. Republic Act No. 8975 (RA No. 8975), which took effect on 26 November 2000, superseded PD No. 1818 and delineates more clearly the coverage of the prohibition, reserves the power to issue such writs exclusively with this Court, and provides penalties for its violation. Section 1. No court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order, preliminary injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction in any case, dispute, or controversy involving gan infrastructure project, or a mining, fishery, forest or other natural resource development project of the government, or any public utilityoperated by the government, including among others public utilities for the transport of the goods or commodities, stevedoring and arrastre contracts, to prohibit any person or persons, entity or governmental official from proceeding with, or continuing theexecution or implementation of any such project, or the operation of such public utility, or pursuing any lawful activity necessary for such execution, implementation or operation. Obviously, neither the Manila RTC nor the Oriental Mindoro RTC canissue an injunctive writ to stop the construction of the mooring facility. Only this Court can do so under PD No. 1818 and later under RA No. 8975. Thus, the question of whether the Manila RTC has jurisdiction over the complaint considering that its injunctive writ is not enforceable in Oriental Mindoro is academic.

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