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DOMINGO v CARAGUE456 SCRA 450 FACTS: Petitioners Eufemio C. Domingo, Celso C. Gangan, Pascasio S.

Banaria are retired Chairmen, while Sofronio B. Ursal, and Alberto P. Cruz are retired Commissioners of COA. All claim to maintain a deep-seated abiding interest in the affairs of COA, especially in its Organizational Restructuring Plan,as concerned taxpayers.- The other petitioners are incumbent officers or employees of COA. These petitioners claim that they were unceremoniously divested of theirdesignations/ranks upon implementation of theCOA Organizational Restructuring Plan without just cause and without due process, in violation of Civil Service Law. Moreover, they were deprived of their respective Representation and TransportationA l l o w a n c e s ( R A T A ) , t h u s c a u s i n g t h e m u n d u e financial prejudice.Petitioners now invoke this Courts judicial powert o s t r i k e d o w n t h e C O A O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Restructuring Plan for being unconstitutional orillegal.- Petitioners invoke our ruling in Chavez Public E s t a t e s A u t h o r i t y , A g a n , J r . v . P h i l i p p i n e I n t e r n a t i o n a l A i r T e r m i n a l s C o . , I n c . , and I n f o r m a t i o n T e c h n o l o g y F o u n d a t i o n o f t h e Philippines v. Commission on Elections that wherethe subject matter of a case is a matter of publicconcern and imbued with public interest, then thisfact alone gives them legal standing to institute the instant petition. Petitioners contend that theCOA Organizational Restructuring Plan is not just amere reorganization but a revamp or overhaul of the COA, with a spillover effect upon its auditperformance. This will have an impact upon therest of the government bodies subject to its auditsupervision, thus, should be treated as a matter of transcendental importance. .

ISSUE WON petitioners have standing to sue. HELD No, petitioners have not shown any direct and personal interest in the COA Organizational Restructuring Plan. There is no indication that they have sustained or are in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its implementation. In fact, they admitted that they do not seek any affirmative relief nor impute anyi m p r o p e r o r i m p r o v i d e n t

a c t a g a i n s t t h e r e s p o n d e n t s a n d a r e n o t m o t i v a t e d b y a n y desire to seek affirmative relief from COA or from respondents that would redound to their personal benefit or gain. Clearly, they do not have any legal standing to file the instant suit.-

In Chavez we ruled that the petitioner has legal standing since he is a taxpayer and his purpose infiling the petition is to compel the Public Estate Authority (PEA) to perform its constitutional dutieswith respect to: (a) the right of the citizens toinformation on matters of public concern; and (b)t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n intended to insure the equitable distribution of a l i e n a b l e l a n d s o f t h e p u b l i c d o m a i n a m o n g Filipino citizens. The thrust of the first is to compelPEA to disclose publicly information on the sale of G o v e r n m e n t l a n d s w o r t h b i l l i o n s o f p e s o s , a s mandated by the Constitution and statutory law. The thrust of the second is to prevent PEA from alienating hundreds of hectares of alienable landsof the public domain, thereby compelling it tocomply with a constitutional duty to the nation. We held that these matters are of transcendentalpublic importance.-

In AganJr. we held that petitioners have legalstanding as they have a direct and substantia nterest to protect. By the implementation of thePIATCO contracts, they stand to lose their sourceof livelihood, a property right zealously protectedby the Constitution. Such financial prejudice ontheir part is sufficient to confer upon them therequisite locus standi

In Information Technology Foundation t h e r e were two reasons why petitioners standing wasr e c o g n i z e d . F i r s t , t h e n a t i o n s p o l i t i c a l a n d economic future virtually hangs in the balance,p e n d i n g t h e o u t c o m e o f t h e 2 0 0 4 e l e c t i o n s . Accordingly, the award for the automation of theelectoral process was a matter of public concern,imbued with public interest. Second, the individualpetitioners, as taxpayers, asserted a materiali n t e r e s t i n s e e i n g t o i t t h a t p u b l i c f u n d s a r e properly used.- There was also no demotion to speak of. UnderS e c t i o n 1 1 , R u l e V I I o f t h e O m n i b u s R u l e s Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1 9 8 7 , a d e m o t i o n i s t h e m o v e m e n t f r o m o n e position to another involving the issuance of ana p p o i n t m e n t w i t h d i m i n u t i o n i n d u t i e s , responsibilities, status, or rank which may or maynot involve reduction in salary. A demotion byassigning an employee to a lower position in thes a m e s e r v i c e w h i c h h a s a l o w e r r a t e o f compensation is tantamount to removal, if nocause is shown for it. Here, there have been non e w a p p o i n t m e n t s i s s u e d t o M a t i b , P a c p a c o , S a n c h e z , a n d S i p i -

A n u n d e r t h e C O A Organizational Restructuring Plan. Thus, theirc o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e y h a v e b e e n d e m o t e d i s baseless.- Moreover, the change in their status from COAauditors (receiving monthly RATA) to COA auditors(receiving only reimbursable RATA) cannot beattributed to the COA Organizational RestructuringPlan but to the implementation of the Audit TeamApproach (ATAP).