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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. 1010! "ul# !0$ 1%%!
"UAN ANTON&O$ ANNA ROSAR&O an' "OSE A()ONSO$ all su*na+e' OPOSA$ +ino*s$ an' *ep*esente' b#
thei* pa*ents ANTON&O an' R&,A(&NA OPOSA$ ROBERTA N&CO(E SA-&UA$ +ino*$ *ep*esente' b# he*
pa*ents CA(.&N an' ROBERTA SA-&UA$ CAR(O$ AMAN-A SA(U- an' PATR&S/A$ all su*na+e' )(ORES$
+ino*s an' *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents ENR&CO an' N&-A )(ORES$ G&AN&NA -&TA R. )ORTUN$ +ino*$
*ep*esente' b# he* pa*ents S&GR&- an' -O(ORES )ORTUN$ GEORGE && an' MA. CONCEPC&ON$ all
su*na+e' M&SA$ +ino*s an' *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents GEORGE an' M0RA M&SA$ BEN"AM&N A(AN ..
PES&GAN$ +ino*$ *ep*esente' b# his pa*ents ANTON&O an' A(&CE PES&GAN$ "O.&E MAR&E A()ARO$
+ino*$ *ep*esente' b# he* pa*ents "OSE an' MAR&A .&O(ETA A()ARO$ MAR&A CONCEPC&ON T. CASTRO$
+ino*$ *ep*esente' b# he* pa*ents )RE-EN&( an' "ANE CASTRO$ "O/ANNA -ESAMPARA-O$
+ino*$ *ep*esente' b# he* pa*ents "OSE an' ANGE(A -ESAMPRA-O$ CAR(O "OA1U&N T. NAR.ASA$
+ino*$ *ep*esente' b# his pa*ents GREGOR&O && an' CR&ST&NE C/AR&T0 NAR.ASA$ MA. MARGAR&TA$
"ESUS &GNAC&O$ MA. ANGE(A an' MAR&E GABR&E((E$ all su*na+e' SAEN,$ +ino*s$ *ep*esente' b#
thei* pa*ents ROBERTO an' AURORA SAEN,$ 2R&ST&NE$ MAR0 E((EN$ MA0$ GO(-A MART/E an'
-A.&- &AN$ all su*na+e' 2&NG$ +ino*s$ *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents MAR&O an' /A0-EE 2&NG$ -A.&-$
)RANC&SCO an' T/ERESE .&CTOR&A$ all su*na+e' EN-R&GA$ +ino*s$ *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents
BA(TA,AR an' TERES&TA EN-R&GA$ "OSE MA. an' REG&NA MA.$ all su*na+e' ABA0A$ +ino*s$
*ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents ANTON&O an' MAR&CA ABA0A$ MAR&(&N$ MAR&O$ "R. an' MAR&ETTE$ all
su*na+e' CAR-AMA$ +ino*s$ *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents MAR&O an' (&NA CAR-AMA$ C(AR&SSA$ ANN
MAR&E$ NAGE($ an' &MEE (0N$ all su*na+e' OPOSA$ +ino*s an' *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents R&CAR-O
an' MAR&SSA OPOSA$ P/&(&P "OSEP/$ STEP/EN "O/N an' &SA&A/ "AMES$ all su*na+e' 1U&P&T$
+ino*s$ *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents "OSE MA3 an' .&(M& 1U&P&T$ BUG/A4 C&E(O$ CR&SANTO$ ANNA$
-AN&E( an' )RANC&SCO$ all su*na+e' B&BA($ +ino*s$ *ep*esente' b# thei* pa*ents )RANC&SCO$ "R. an'
M&(AGROS B&BA($ an' T/E P/&(&PP&NE ECO(OG&CA( NET4OR2$ &NC.$ petitione*s$
5s.
T/E /ONORAB(E )U(GENC&O S. )ACTORAN$ "R.$ in his capacit# as the Sec*eta*# of the -epa*t+ent of
En5i*on+ent an' Natu*al Resou*ces$ an' T/E /ONORAB(E ER&BERTO U. ROSAR&O$ P*esi'in6 "u'6e of
the RTC$ Ma7ati$ B*anch 88$ *espon'ents.
Oposa (a9 Office fo* petitione*s.
The Solicito* Gene*al fo* *espon'ents.

-A.&-E$ "R.$ ".:
&n a b*oa'e* sense$ this petition bea*s upon the *i6ht of )ilipinos to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#
9hich the petitione*s '*a+aticall# associate 9ith the t9in concepts of ;inte*<6ene*ational *esponsibilit#;
an' ;inte*<6ene*ational =ustice.; Specificall#$ it touches on the issue of 9hethe* the sai' petitione*s ha5e a
cause of action to ;p*e5ent the +isapp*op*iation o* i+pai*+ent; of Philippine *ainfo*ests an' ;a**est the
unabate' he+o**ha6e of the count*#>s 5ital life suppo*t s#ste+s an' continue' *ape of Mothe* Ea*th.;
The cont*o5e*s# has its 6enesis in Ci5il Case No. %0<?? 9hich 9as file' befo*e B*anch 88 @Ma7ati$ Met*o
ManilaA of the Re6ional T*ial Cou*t @RTCA$ National Capital "u'icial Re6ion. The p*incipal plaintiffs the*ein$
no9 the p*incipal petitione*s$ a*e all +ino*s 'ul# *ep*esente' an' =oine' b# thei* *especti5e pa*ents.
&+plea'e' as an a''itional plaintiff is the Philippine Ecolo6ical Net9o*7$ &nc. @PEN&A$ a 'o+estic$ non<
stoc7 an' non<p*ofit co*po*ation o*6aniBe' fo* the pu*pose of$ inte* alia$ en6a6in6 in conce*te' action
6ea*e' fo* the p*otection of ou* en5i*on+ent an' natu*al *esou*ces. The o*i6inal 'efen'ant 9as the
/ono*able )ul6encio S. )acto*an$ "*.$ then Sec*eta*# of the -epa*t+ent of En5i*on+ent an' Natu*al
Resou*ces @-ENRA. /is substitution in this petition b# the ne9 Sec*eta*#$ the /ono*able An6el C. Alcala$
9as subseCuentl# o*'e*e' upon p*ope* +otion b# the petitione*s. 1 The co+plaint D 9as institute' as a
taEpa#e*s> class suit ! an' alle6es that the plaintiffs ;a*e all citiBens of the Republic of the Philippines$
taEpa#e*s$ an' entitle' to the full benefit$ use an' en=o#+ent of the natu*al *esou*ce t*easu*e that is the
count*#>s 5i*6in t*opical fo*ests.; The sa+e 9as file' fo* the+sel5es an' othe*s 9ho a*e eCuall#
conce*ne' about the p*ese*5ation of sai' *esou*ce but a*e ;so nu+e*ous that it is i+p*acticable to b*in6
the+ all befo*e the Cou*t.; The +ino*s fu*the* asse5e*ate that the# ;*ep*esent thei* 6ene*ation as 9ell as
6ene*ations #et unbo*n.; F ConseCuentl#$ it is p*a#e' fo* that =u'6+ent be *en'e*e':
. . . o*'e*in6 'efen'ant$ his a6ents$ *ep*esentati5es an' othe* pe*sons actin6 in his behalf to G
@1A Cancel all eEistin6 ti+be* license a6*ee+ents in the count*#H
@DA Cease an' 'esist f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6 o* app*o5in6 ne9 ti+be* license
a6*ee+ents.
an' 6*antin6 the plaintiffs ;. . . such othe* *eliefs =ust an' eCuitable un'e* the p*e+ises.; I
The co+plaint sta*ts off 9ith the 6ene*al a5e*+ents that the Philippine a*chipela6o of ?$100 islan's has a
lan' a*ea of thi*t# +illion @!0$000$000A hecta*es an' is en'o9e' 9ith *ich$ lush an' 5e*'ant *ainfo*ests in
9hich 5a*ie'$ *a*e an' uniCue species of flo*a an' fauna +a# be foun'H these *ainfo*ests contain a
6enetic$ biolo6ical an' che+ical pool 9hich is i**eplaceableH the# a*e also the habitat of in'i6enous
Philippine cultu*es 9hich ha5e eEiste'$ en'u*e' an' flou*ishe' since ti+e i++e+o*ialH scientific
e5i'ence *e5eals that in o*'e* to +aintain a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#$ the count*#>s lan' a*ea
shoul' be utiliBe' on the basis of a *atio of fift#<fou* pe* cent @IFJA fo* fo*est co5e* an' fo*t#<siE pe* cent
@F8JA fo* a6*icultu*al$ *esi'ential$ in'ust*ial$ co++e*cial an' othe* usesH the 'isto*tion an' 'istu*bance of
this balance as a conseCuence of 'efo*estation ha5e *esulte' in a host of en5i*on+ental t*a6e'ies$ such
as @aA 9ate* sho*ta6es *esultin6 f*o+ '*#in6 up of the 9ate* table$ othe*9ise 7no9n as the ;aCuife*$; as
9ell as of *i5e*s$ b*oo7s an' st*ea+s$ @bA saliniBation of the 9ate* table as a *esult of the int*usion the*ein
of salt 9ate*$ incont*o5e*tible eEa+ples of 9hich +a# be foun' in the islan' of Cebu an' the Municipalit#
of Bacoo*$ Ca5ite$ @cA +assi5e e*osion an' the conseCuential loss of soil fe*tilit# an' a6*icultu*al
p*o'ucti5it#$ 9ith the 5olu+e of soil e*o'e' esti+ate' at one billion @1$000$000$000A cubic +ete*s pe*
annu+ G app*oEi+atel# the siBe of the enti*e islan' of Catan'uanes$ @'A the en'an6e*in6 an' eEtinction
of the count*#>s uniCue$ *a*e an' 5a*ie' flo*a an' fauna$ @eA the 'istu*bance an' 'islocation of cultu*al
co++unities$ inclu'in6 the 'isappea*ance of the )ilipino>s in'i6enous cultu*es$ @fA the siltation of *i5e*s
an' seabe's an' conseCuential 'est*uction of co*als an' othe* aCuatic life lea'in6 to a c*itical *e'uction
in +a*ine *esou*ce p*o'ucti5it#$ @6A *ecu**ent spells of '*ou6ht as is p*esentl# eEpe*ience' b# the enti*e
count*#$ @hA inc*easin6 5elocit# of t#phoon 9in's 9hich *esult f*o+ the absence of 9in'b*ea7e*s$ @iA the
floo'in6s of lo9lan's an' a6*icultu*al plains a*isin6 f*o+ the absence of the abso*bent +echanis+ of
fo*ests$ @=A the siltation an' sho*tenin6 of the lifespan of +ulti<billion peso 'a+s const*ucte' an'
ope*ate' fo* the pu*pose of suppl#in6 9ate* fo* 'o+estic uses$ i**i6ation an' the 6ene*ation of elect*ic
po9e*$ an' @7A the *e'uction of the ea*th>s capacit# to p*ocess ca*bon 'ioEi'e 6ases 9hich has le' to
pe*pleEin6 an' catast*ophic cli+atic chan6es such as the pheno+enon of 6lobal 9a*+in6$ othe*9ise
7no9n as the ;6*eenhouse effect.;
Plaintiffs fu*the* asse*t that the a'5e*se an' 'et*i+ental conseCuences of continue' an' 'efo*estation
a*e so capable of unCuestionable 'e+onst*ation that the sa+e +a# be sub+itte' as a +atte* of =u'icial
notice. This not9ithstan'in6$ the# eEp*esse' thei* intention to p*esent eEpe*t 9itnesses as 9ell as
'ocu+enta*#$ photo6*aphic an' fil+ e5i'ence in the cou*se of the t*ial.
As thei* cause of action$ the# specificall# alle6e that:
CAUSE O) ACT&ON
?. Plaintiffs *eplea' b# *efe*ence the fo*e6oin6 alle6ations.
. T9ent#<fi5e @DIA #ea*s a6o$ the Philippines ha' so+e siEteen @18A +illion hecta*es of *ainfo*ests
constitutin6 *ou6hl# I!J of the count*#>s lan' +ass.
%. Satellite i+a6es ta7en in 1%? *e5eal that the*e *e+aine' no +o*e than 1.D +illion hecta*es of sai'
*ainfo*ests o* fou* pe* cent @F.0JA of the count*#>s lan' a*ea.
10. Mo*e *ecent su*5e#s *e5eal that a +e*e I0$000 hecta*es of 5i*6in ol'<6*o9th *ainfo*ests a*e left$
ba*el# D.J of the enti*e lan' +ass of the Philippine a*chipela6o an' about !.0 +illion hecta*es of
i++atu*e an' unecono+ical secon'a*# 6*o9th fo*ests.
11. Public *eco*'s *e5eal that the 'efen'ant>s$ p*e'ecesso*s ha5e 6*ante' ti+be* license a6*ee+ents
@>T(A>s>A to 5a*ious co*po*ations to cut the a66*e6ate a*ea of !.% +illion hecta*es fo* co++e*cial lo66in6
pu*poses.
A cop# of the T(A hol'e*s an' the co**espon'in6 a*eas co5e*e' is he*eto attache' as AnneE ;A;.
1D. At the p*esent *ate of 'efo*estation$ i.e. about D00$000 hecta*es pe* annu+ o* DI hecta*es pe* hou* G
ni6htti+e$ Satu*'a#s$ Sun'a#s an' holi'a#s inclu'e' G the Philippines 9ill be be*eft of fo*est *esou*ces
afte* the en' of this ensuin6 'eca'e$ if not ea*lie*.
1!. The a'5e*se effects$ 'isast*ous conseCuences$ se*ious in=u*# an' i**epa*able 'a+a6e of this
continue' t*en' of 'efo*estation to the plaintiff +ino*>s 6ene*ation an' to 6ene*ations #et unbo*n a*e
e5i'ent an' incont*o5e*tible. As a +atte* of fact$ the en5i*on+ental 'a+a6es enu+e*ate' in pa*a6*aph 8
he*eof a*e al*ea'# bein6 felt$ eEpe*ience' an' suffe*e' b# the 6ene*ation of plaintiff a'ults.
1F. The continue' allo9ance b# 'efen'ant of T(A hol'e*s to cut an' 'efo*est the *e+ainin6 fo*est stan's
9ill 9o*7 6*eat 'a+a6e an' i**epa*able in=u*# to plaintiffs G especiall# plaintiff +ino*s an' thei*
successo*s G 9ho +a# ne5e* see$ use$ benefit f*o+ an' en=o# this *a*e an' uniCue natu*al *esou*ce
t*easu*e.
This act of 'efen'ant constitutes a +isapp*op*iation an'Ko* i+pai*+ent of the natu*al *esou*ce p*ope*t#
he hol's in t*ust fo* the benefit of plaintiff +ino*s an' succee'in6 6ene*ations.
1I. Plaintiffs ha5e a clea* an' constitutional *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# an' a*e entitle' to
p*otection b# the State in its capacit# as the pa*ens pat*iae.
18. Plaintiff ha5e eEhauste' all a'+inist*ati5e *e+e'ies 9ith the 'efen'ant>s office. On Ma*ch D$ 1%%0$
plaintiffs se*5e' upon 'efen'ant a final 'e+an' to cancel all lo66in6 pe*+its in the count*#.
A cop# of the plaintiffs> lette* 'ate' Ma*ch 1$ 1%%0 is he*eto attache' as AnneE ;B;.
1?. -efen'ant$ ho9e5e*$ fails an' *efuses to cancel the eEistin6 T(A>s to the continuin6 se*ious 'a+a6e
an' eEt*e+e p*e=u'ice of plaintiffs.
1. The continue' failu*e an' *efusal b# 'efen'ant to cancel the T(A>s is an act 5iolati5e of the *i6hts of
plaintiffs$ especiall# plaintiff +ino*s 9ho +a# be left 9ith a count*# that is 'ese*tifie' @sicA$ ba*e$ ba**en
an' 'e5oi' of the 9on'e*ful flo*a$ fauna an' in'i6enous cultu*es 9hich the Philippines ha' been
abun'antl# blesse' 9ith.
1%. -efen'ant>s *efusal to cancel the afo*e+entione' T(A>s is +anifestl# cont*a*# to the public polic#
enunciate' in the Philippine En5i*on+ental Polic# 9hich$ in pe*tinent pa*t$ states that it is the polic# of
the State G
@aA to c*eate$ 'e5elop$ +aintain an' i+p*o5e con'itions un'e* 9hich +an an' natu*e can th*i5e in
p*o'ucti5e an' en=o#able ha*+on# 9ith each othe*H
@bA to fulfill the social$ econo+ic an' othe* *eCui*e+ents of p*esent an' futu*e 6ene*ations of )ilipinos
an'H
@cA to ensu*e the attain+ent of an en5i*on+ental Cualit# that is con'ucti5e to a life of 'i6nit# an' 9ell<
bein6. @P.-. 11I1$ 8 "une 1%??A
D0. )u*the*+o*e$ 'efen'ant>s continue' *efusal to cancel the afo*e+entione' T(A>s is cont*a'icto*# to the
Constitutional polic# of the State to G
a. effect ;a +o*e eCuitable 'ist*ibution of oppo*tunities$ inco+e an' 9ealth; an' ;+a7e full an' efficient
use of natu*al *esou*ces @sicA.; @Section 1$ A*ticle 3&& of the ConstitutionAH
b. ;p*otect the nation>s +a*ine 9ealth.; @Section D$ ibi'AH
c. ;conse*5e an' p*o+ote the nation>s cultu*al he*ita6e an' *esou*ces @sicA; @Section 1F$ A*ticle 3&.$ i'.AH
'. ;p*otect an' a'5ance the *i6ht of the people to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# in acco*' 9ith the
*h#th+ an' ha*+on# of natu*e.; @Section 18$ A*ticle &&$ i'.A
D1. )inall#$ 'efen'ant>s act is cont*a*# to the hi6hest la9 of hu+an7in' G the natu*al la9 G an' 5iolati5e
of plaintiffs> *i6ht to self<p*ese*5ation an' pe*petuation.
DD. The*e is no othe* plain$ spee'# an' a'eCuate *e+e'# in la9 othe* than the instant action to a**est the
unabate' he+o**ha6e of the count*#>s 5ital life suppo*t s#ste+s an' continue' *ape of Mothe* Ea*th. 8
On DD "une 1%%0$ the o*i6inal 'efen'ant$ Sec*eta*# )acto*an$ "*.$ file' a Motion to -is+iss the co+plaint
base' on t9o @DA 6*oun's$ na+el#: @1A the plaintiffs ha5e no cause of action a6ainst hi+ an' @DA the issue
*aise' b# the plaintiffs is a political Cuestion 9hich p*ope*l# pe*tains to the le6islati5e o* eEecuti5e
b*anches of Go5e*n+ent. &n thei* 1D "ul# 1%%0 Opposition to the Motion$ the petitione*s +aintain that @1A
the co+plaint sho9s a clea* an' un+ista7able cause of action$ @DA the +otion is 'ilato*# an' @!A the action
p*esents a =usticiable Cuestion as it in5ol5es the 'efen'ant>s abuse of 'isc*etion.
On 1 "ul# 1%%1$ *espon'ent "u'6e issue' an o*'e* 6*antin6 the afo*e+entione' +otion to 'is+iss. ? &n
the sai' o*'e*$ not onl# 9as the 'efen'ant>s clai+ G that the co+plaint states no cause of action a6ainst
hi+ an' that it *aises a political Cuestion G sustaine'$ the *espon'ent "u'6e fu*the* *ule' that the
6*antin6 of the *elief p*a#e' fo* 9oul' *esult in the i+pai*+ent of cont*acts 9hich is p*ohibite' b# the
fun'a+ental la9 of the lan'.
Plaintiffs thus file' the instant special ci5il action fo* ce*tio*a*i un'e* Rule 8I of the Re5ise' Rules of
Cou*t an' as7 this Cou*t to *escin' an' set asi'e the 'is+issal o*'e* on the 6*oun' that the *espon'ent
"u'6e 6*a5el# abuse' his 'isc*etion in 'is+issin6 the action. A6ain$ the pa*ents of the plaintiffs<+ino*s
not onl# *ep*esent thei* chil'*en$ but ha5e also =oine' the latte* in this case.
On 1F Ma# 1%%D$ 4e *esol5e' to 6i5e 'ue cou*se to the petition an' *eCui*e' the pa*ties to sub+it thei*
*especti5e Me+o*an'a afte* the Office of the Solicito* Gene*al @OSGA file' a Co++ent in behalf of the
*espon'ents an' the petitione*s file' a *epl# the*eto.
Petitione*s conten' that the co+plaint clea*l# an' un+ista7abl# states a cause of action as it contains
sufficient alle6ations conce*nin6 thei* *i6ht to a soun' en5i*on+ent base' on A*ticles 1%$ D0 an' D1 of the
Ci5il Co'e @/u+an RelationsA$ Section F of EEecuti5e O*'e* @E.O.A No. 1%D c*eatin6 the -ENR$ Section ! of
P*esi'ential -ec*ee @P.-.A No. 11I1 @Philippine En5i*on+ental Polic#A$ Section 18$ A*ticle && of the 1%?
Constitution *eco6niBin6 the *i6ht of the people to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#$ the concept of
6ene*ational 6enoci'e in C*i+inal (a9 an' the concept of +an>s inalienable *i6ht to self<p*ese*5ation an'
self<pe*petuation e+bo'ie' in natu*al la9. Petitione*s li7e9ise *el# on the *espon'ent>s co**elati5e
obli6ation pe* Section F of E.O. No. 1%D$ to safe6ua*' the people>s *i6ht to a healthful en5i*on+ent.
&t is fu*the* clai+e' that the issue of the *espon'ent Sec*eta*#>s alle6e' 6*a5e abuse of 'isc*etion in
6*antin6 Ti+be* (icense A6*ee+ents @T(AsA to co5e* +o*e a*eas fo* lo66in6 than 9hat is a5ailable
in5ol5es a =u'icial Cuestion.
Anent the in5ocation b# the *espon'ent "u'6e of the Constitution>s non<i+pai*+ent clause$ petitione*s
+aintain that the sa+e 'oes not appl# in this case because T(As a*e not cont*acts. The# li7e9ise sub+it
that e5en if T(As +a# be consi'e*e' p*otecte' b# the sai' clause$ it is 9ell settle' that the# +a# still be
*e5o7e' b# the State 9hen the public inte*est so *eCui*es.
On the othe* han'$ the *espon'ents a5e* that the petitione*s faile' to alle6e in thei* co+plaint a specific
le6al *i6ht 5iolate' b# the *espon'ent Sec*eta*# fo* 9hich an# *elief is p*o5i'e' b# la9. The# see nothin6
in the co+plaint but 5a6ue an' nebulous alle6ations conce*nin6 an ;en5i*on+ental *i6ht; 9hich
suppose'l# entitles the petitione*s to the ;p*otection b# the state in its capacit# as pa*ens pat*iae.; Such
alle6ations$ acco*'in6 to the+$ 'o not *e5eal a 5ali' cause of action. The# then *eite*ate the theo*# that
the Cuestion of 9hethe* lo66in6 shoul' be pe*+itte' in the count*# is a political Cuestion 9hich shoul' be
p*ope*l# a''*esse' to the eEecuti5e o* le6islati5e b*anches of Go5e*n+ent. The# the*efo*e asse*t that the
petitione*s> *esou*ces is not to file an action to cou*t$ but to lobb# befo*e Con6*ess fo* the passa6e of a
bill that 9oul' ban lo66in6 totall#.
As to the +atte* of the cancellation of the T(As$ *espon'ents sub+it that the sa+e cannot be 'one b# the
State 9ithout 'ue p*ocess of la9. Once issue'$ a T(A *e+ains effecti5e fo* a ce*tain pe*io' of ti+e G
usuall# fo* t9ent#<fi5e @DIA #ea*s. -u*in6 its effecti5it#$ the sa+e can neithe* be *e5ise' no* cancelle'
unless the hol'e* has been foun'$ afte* 'ue notice an' hea*in6$ to ha5e 5iolate' the te*+s of the
a6*ee+ent o* othe* fo*est*# la9s an' *e6ulations. Petitione*s> p*oposition to ha5e all the T(As
in'isc*i+inatel# cancelle' 9ithout the *eCuisite hea*in6 9oul' be 5iolati5e of the *eCui*e+ents of 'ue
p*ocess.
Befo*e 6oin6 an# fu*the*$ 4e +ust fi*st focus on so+e p*oce'u*al +atte*s. Petitione*s institute' Ci5il
Case No. %0<??? as a class suit. The o*i6inal 'efen'ant an' the p*esent *espon'ents 'i' not ta7e issue
9ith this +atte*. Ne5e*theless$ 4e he*eb# *ule that the sai' ci5il case is in'ee' a class suit. The sub=ect
+atte* of the co+plaint is of co++on an' 6ene*al inte*est not =ust to se5e*al$ but to all citiBens of the
Philippines. ConseCuentl#$ since the pa*ties a*e so nu+e*ous$ it$ beco+es i+p*acticable$ if not totall#
i+possible$ to b*in6 all of the+ befo*e the cou*t. 4e li7e9ise 'ecla*e that the plaintiffs the*ein a*e
nu+e*ous an' *ep*esentati5e enou6h to ensu*e the full p*otection of all conce*ne' inte*ests. /ence$ all
the *eCuisites fo* the filin6 of a 5ali' class suit un'e* Section 1D$ Rule ! of the Re5ise' Rules of Cou*t a*e
p*esent both in the sai' ci5il case an' in the instant petition$ the latte* bein6 but an inci'ent to the fo*+e*.
This case$ ho9e5e*$ has a special an' no5el ele+ent. Petitione*s +ino*s asse*t that the# *ep*esent thei*
6ene*ation as 9ell as 6ene*ations #et unbo*n. 4e fin' no 'ifficult# in *ulin6 that the# can$ fo* the+sel5es$
fo* othe*s of thei* 6ene*ation an' fo* the succee'in6 6ene*ations$ file a class suit. Thei* pe*sonalit# to sue
in behalf of the succee'in6 6ene*ations can onl# be base' on the concept of inte*6ene*ational
*esponsibilit# insofa* as the *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# is conce*ne'. Such a *i6ht$ as
he*einafte* eEpoun'e'$ consi'e*s
the ;*h#th+ an' ha*+on# of natu*e.; Natu*e +eans the c*eate' 9o*l' in its enti*et#. % Such *h#th+ an'
ha*+on# in'ispensabl# inclu'e$ inte* alia$ the =u'icious 'isposition$ utiliBation$ +ana6e+ent$ *ene9al an'
conse*5ation of the count*#>s fo*est$ +ine*al$ lan'$ 9ate*s$ fishe*ies$ 9il'life$ off<sho*e a*eas an' othe*
natu*al *esou*ces to the en' that thei* eEplo*ation$ 'e5elop+ent an' utiliBation be eCuitabl# accessible to
the p*esent as 9ell as futu*e 6ene*ations. 10 Nee'less to sa#$ e5e*# 6ene*ation has a *esponsibilit# to the
neEt to p*ese*5e that *h#th+ an' ha*+on# fo* the full en=o#+ent of a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#. Put
a little 'iffe*entl#$ the +ino*s> asse*tion of thei* *i6ht to a soun' en5i*on+ent constitutes$ at the sa+e
ti+e$ the pe*fo*+ance of thei* obli6ation to ensu*e the p*otection of that *i6ht fo* the 6ene*ations to co+e.
The locus stan'i of the petitione*s ha5in6 thus been a''*esse'$ 4e shall no9 p*ocee' to the +e*its of the
petition.
Afte* a ca*eful pe*usal of the co+plaint in Cuestion an' a +eticulous consi'e*ation an' e5aluation of the
issues *aise' an' a*6u+ents a''uce' b# the pa*ties$ 4e 'o not hesitate to fin' fo* the petitione*s an'
*ule a6ainst the *espon'ent "u'6e>s challen6e' o*'e* fo* ha5in6 been issue' 9ith 6*a5e abuse of
'isc*etion a+ountin6 to lac7 of =u*is'iction. The pe*tinent po*tions of the sai' o*'e* *ea's as follo9s:
EEE EEE EEE
Afte* a ca*eful an' ci*cu+spect e5aluation of the Co+plaint$ the Cou*t cannot help but a6*ee 9ith the
'efen'ant. )o* althou6h 9e belie5e that plaintiffs ha5e but the noblest of all intentions$ it @sicA fell sho*t of
alle6in6$ 9ith sufficient 'efiniteness$ a specific le6al *i6ht the# a*e see7in6 to enfo*ce an' p*otect$ o* a
specific le6al 9*on6 the# a*e see7in6 to p*e5ent an' *e'*ess @Sec. 1$ Rule D$ RRCA. )u*the*+o*e$ the Cou*t
notes that the Co+plaint is *eplete 9ith 5a6ue assu+ptions an' 5a6ue conclusions base' on un5e*ifie'
'ata. &n fine$ plaintiffs fail to state a cause of action in its Co+plaint a6ainst the he*ein 'efen'ant.
)u*the*+o*e$ the Cou*t fi*+l# belie5es that the +atte* befo*e it$ bein6 i+p*esse' 9ith political colo* an'
in5ol5in6 a +atte* of public polic#$ +a# not be ta7en co6niBance of b# this Cou*t 9ithout 'oin6 5iolence
to the sac*e' p*inciple of ;Sepa*ation of Po9e*s; of the th*ee @!A co<eCual b*anches of the Go5e*n+ent.
The Cou*t is li7e9ise of the i+p*ession that it cannot$ no +atte* ho9 9e st*etch ou* =u*is'iction$ 6*ant the
*eliefs p*a#e' fo* b# the plaintiffs$ i.e.$ to cancel all eEistin6 ti+be* license a6*ee+ents in the count*# an'
to cease an' 'esist f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6 o* app*o5in6 ne9 ti+be* license
a6*ee+ents. )o* to 'o othe*9ise 9oul' a+ount to ;i+pai*+ent of cont*acts; abho*e' @sicA b# the
fun'a+ental la9. 11
4e 'o not a6*ee 9ith the t*ial cou*t>s conclusions that the plaintiffs faile' to alle6e 9ith sufficient
'efiniteness a specific le6al *i6ht in5ol5e' o* a specific le6al 9*on6 co++itte'$ an' that the co+plaint is
*eplete 9ith 5a6ue assu+ptions an' conclusions base' on un5e*ifie' 'ata. A *ea'in6 of the co+plaint
itself belies these conclusions.
The co+plaint focuses on one specific fun'a+ental le6al *i6ht G the *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful
ecolo6# 9hich$ fo* the fi*st ti+e in ou* nation>s constitutional histo*#$ is sole+nl# inco*po*ate' in the
fun'a+ental la9. Section 18$ A*ticle && of the 1%? Constitution eEplicitl# p*o5i'es:
Sec. 18. The State shall p*otect an' a'5ance the *i6ht of the people to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# in
acco*' 9ith the *h#th+ an' ha*+on# of natu*e.
This *i6ht unites 9ith the *i6ht to health 9hich is p*o5i'e' fo* in the p*ece'in6 section of the sa+e a*ticle:
Sec. 1I. The State shall p*otect an' p*o+ote the *i6ht to health of the people an' instill health
consciousness a+on6 the+.
4hile the *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# is to be foun' un'e* the -ecla*ation of P*inciples an'
State Policies an' not un'e* the Bill of Ri6hts$ it 'oes not follo9 that it is less i+po*tant than an# of the
ci5il an' political *i6hts enu+e*ate' in the latte*. Such a *i6ht belon6s to a 'iffe*ent cate6o*# of *i6hts
alto6ethe* fo* it conce*ns nothin6 less than self<p*ese*5ation an' self<pe*petuation G aptl# an' fittin6l#
st*esse' b# the petitione*s G the a'5ance+ent of 9hich +a# e5en be sai' to p*e'ate all 6o5e*n+ents an'
constitutions. As a +atte* of fact$ these basic *i6hts nee' not e5en be 9*itten in the Constitution fo* the#
a*e assu+e' to eEist f*o+ the inception of hu+an7in'. &f the# a*e no9 eEplicitl# +entione' in the
fun'a+ental cha*te*$ it is because of the 9ell<foun'e' fea* of its f*a+e*s that unless the *i6hts to a
balance' an' healthful ecolo6# an' to health a*e +an'ate' as state policies b# the Constitution itself$
the*eb# hi6hli6htin6 thei* continuin6 i+po*tance an' i+posin6 upon the state a sole+n obli6ation to
p*ese*5e the fi*st an' p*otect an' a'5ance the secon'$ the 'a# 9oul' not be too fa* 9hen all else 9oul'
be lost not onl# fo* the p*esent 6ene*ation$ but also fo* those to co+e G 6ene*ations 9hich stan' to
inhe*it nothin6 but pa*che' ea*th incapable of sustainin6 life.
The *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# ca**ies 9ith it the co**elati5e 'ut# to *ef*ain f*o+ i+pai*in6
the en5i*on+ent. -u*in6 the 'ebates on this *i6ht in one of the plena*# sessions of the 1%8
Constitutional Co++ission$ the follo9in6 eEchan6e t*anspi*e' bet9een Co++issione* 4ilf*i'o .illaco*ta
an' Co++issione* A'olfo ABcuna 9ho sponso*e' the section in Cuestion:
MR. .&((ACORTA:
-oes this section +an'ate the State to p*o5i'e sanctions a6ainst all fo*+s of pollution G ai*$ 9ate* an'
noise pollutionL
MR. A,CUNA:
0es$ Ma'a+ P*esi'ent. The *i6ht to healthful @sicA en5i*on+ent necessa*il# ca**ies 9ith it the co**elati5e
'ut# of not i+pai*in6 the sa+e an'$ the*efo*e$ sanctions +a# be p*o5i'e' fo* i+pai*+ent of
en5i*on+ental balance. 1D
The sai' *i6ht i+plies$ a+on6 +an# othe* thin6s$ the =u'icious +ana6e+ent an' conse*5ation of the
count*#>s fo*ests.
4ithout such fo*ests$ the ecolo6ical o* en5i*on+ental balance 9oul' be i**e5e*sib# 'is*upte'.
Confo*+abl# 9ith the enunciate' *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# an' the *i6ht to health$ as 9ell
as the othe* *elate' p*o5isions of the Constitution conce*nin6 the conse*5ation$ 'e5elop+ent an'
utiliBation of the count*#>s natu*al *esou*ces$ 1! then P*esi'ent Co*aBon C. ACuino p*o+ul6ate' on 10
"une 1%? E.O. No. 1%D$ 1F Section F of 9hich eEp*essl# +an'ates that the -epa*t+ent of En5i*on+ent
an' Natu*al Resou*ces ;shall be the p*i+a*# 6o5e*n+ent a6enc# *esponsible fo* the conse*5ation$
+ana6e+ent$ 'e5elop+ent an' p*ope* use of the count*#>s en5i*on+ent an' natu*al *esou*ces$
specificall# fo*est an' 6*aBin6 lan's$ +ine*al$ *esou*ces$ inclu'in6 those in *ese*5ation an' 9ate*she'
a*eas$ an' lan's of the public 'o+ain$ as 9ell as the licensin6 an' *e6ulation of all natu*al *esou*ces as
+a# be p*o5i'e' fo* b# la9 in o*'e* to ensu*e eCuitable sha*in6 of the benefits 'e*i5e' the*ef*o+ fo* the
9elfa*e of the p*esent an' futu*e 6ene*ations of )ilipinos.; Section ! the*eof +a7es the follo9in6
state+ent of polic#:
Sec. !. -ecla*ation of Polic#. G &t is he*eb# 'ecla*e' the polic# of the State to ensu*e the sustainable use$
'e5elop+ent$ +ana6e+ent$ *ene9al$ an' conse*5ation of the count*#>s fo*est$ +ine*al$ lan'$ off<sho*e
a*eas an' othe* natu*al *esou*ces$ inclu'in6 the p*otection an' enhance+ent of the Cualit# of the
en5i*on+ent$ an' eCuitable access of the 'iffe*ent se6+ents of the population to the 'e5elop+ent an'
the use of the count*#>s natu*al *esou*ces$ not onl# fo* the p*esent 6ene*ation but fo* futu*e 6ene*ations
as 9ell. &t is also the polic# of the state to *eco6niBe an' appl# a t*ue 5alue s#ste+ inclu'in6 social an'
en5i*on+ental cost i+plications *elati5e to thei* utiliBation$ 'e5elop+ent an' conse*5ation of ou* natu*al
*esou*ces.
This polic# 'ecla*ation is substantiall# *e<state' it Title 3&.$ Boo7 &. of the A'+inist*ati5e Co'e of 1%?$ 1I
specificall# in Section 1 the*eof 9hich *ea's:
Sec. 1. -ecla*ation of Polic#. G @1A The State shall ensu*e$ fo* the benefit of the )ilipino people$ the full
eEplo*ation an' 'e5elop+ent as 9ell as the =u'icious 'isposition$ utiliBation$ +ana6e+ent$ *ene9al an'
conse*5ation of the count*#>s fo*est$ +ine*al$ lan'$ 9ate*s$ fishe*ies$ 9il'life$ off<sho*e a*eas an' othe*
natu*al *esou*ces$ consistent 9ith the necessit# of +aintainin6 a soun' ecolo6ical balance an' p*otectin6
an' enhancin6 the Cualit# of the en5i*on+ent an' the ob=ecti5e of +a7in6 the eEplo*ation$ 'e5elop+ent
an' utiliBation of such natu*al *esou*ces eCuitabl# accessible to the 'iffe*ent se6+ents of the p*esent as
9ell as futu*e 6ene*ations.
@DA The State shall li7e9ise *eco6niBe an' appl# a t*ue 5alue s#ste+ that ta7es into account social an'
en5i*on+ental cost i+plications *elati5e to the utiliBation$ 'e5elop+ent an' conse*5ation of ou* natu*al
*esou*ces.
The abo5e p*o5ision st*esses ;the necessit# of +aintainin6 a soun' ecolo6ical balance an' p*otectin6
an' enhancin6 the Cualit# of the en5i*on+ent.; Section D of the sa+e Title$ on the othe* han'$ specificall#
spea7s of the +an'ate of the -ENRH ho9e5e*$ it +a7es pa*ticula* *efe*ence to the fact of the a6enc#>s
bein6 sub=ect to la9 an' hi6he* autho*it#. Sai' section p*o5i'es:
Sec. D. Man'ate. G @1A The -epa*t+ent of En5i*on+ent an' Natu*al Resou*ces shall be p*i+a*il#
*esponsible fo* the i+ple+entation of the fo*e6oin6 polic#.
@DA &t shall$ sub=ect to la9 an' hi6he* autho*it#$ be in cha*6e of ca**#in6 out the State>s constitutional
+an'ate to cont*ol an' supe*5ise the eEplo*ation$ 'e5elop+ent$ utiliBation$ an' conse*5ation of the
count*#>s natu*al *esou*ces.
Both E.O. NO. 1%D an' the A'+inist*ati5e Co'e of 1%? ha5e set the ob=ecti5es 9hich 9ill se*5e as the
bases fo* polic# fo*+ulation$ an' ha5e 'efine' the po9e*s an' functions of the -ENR.
&t +a#$ ho9e5e*$ be *ecalle' that e5en befo*e the *atification of the 1%? Constitution$ specific statutes
al*ea'# pai' special attention to the ;en5i*on+ental *i6ht; of the p*esent an' futu*e 6ene*ations. On 8
"une 1%??$ P.-. No. 11I1 @Philippine En5i*on+ental Polic#A an' P.-. No. 11ID @Philippine En5i*on+ent
Co'eA 9e*e issue'. The fo*+e* ;'ecla*e' a continuin6 polic# of the State @aA to c*eate$ 'e5elop$ +aintain
an' i+p*o5e con'itions un'e* 9hich +an an' natu*e can th*i5e in p*o'ucti5e an' en=o#able ha*+on# 9ith
each othe*$ @bA to fulfill the social$ econo+ic an' othe* *eCui*e+ents of p*esent an' futu*e 6ene*ations of
)ilipinos$ an' @cA to insu*e the attain+ent of an en5i*on+ental Cualit# that is con'uci5e to a life of 'i6nit#
an' 9ell<bein6.; 18 As its 6oal$ it spea7s of the ;*esponsibilities of each 6ene*ation as t*ustee an'
6ua*'ian of the en5i*on+ent fo* succee'in6 6ene*ations.; 1? The latte* statute$ on the othe* han'$ 6a5e
flesh to the sai' polic#.
Thus$ the *i6ht of the petitione*s @an' all those the# *ep*esentA to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# is as
clea* as the -ENR>s 'ut# G un'e* its +an'ate an' b# 5i*tue of its po9e*s an' functions un'e* E.O. No.
1%D an' the A'+inist*ati5e Co'e of 1%? G to p*otect an' a'5ance the sai' *i6ht.
A 'enial o* 5iolation of that *i6ht b# the othe* 9ho has the co*elati5e 'ut# o* obli6ation to *espect o*
p*otect the sa+e 6i5es *ise to a cause of action. Petitione*s +aintain that the 6*antin6 of the T(As$ 9hich
the# clai+ 9as 'one 9ith 6*a5e abuse of 'isc*etion$ 5iolate' thei* *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful
ecolo6#H hence$ the full p*otection the*eof *eCui*es that no fu*the* T(As shoul' be *ene9e' o* 6*ante'.
A cause of action is 'efine' as:
. . . an act o* o+ission of one pa*t# in 5iolation of the le6al *i6ht o* *i6hts of the othe*H an' its essential
ele+ents a*e le6al *i6ht of the plaintiff$ co**elati5e obli6ation of the 'efen'ant$ an' act o* o+ission of the
'efen'ant in 5iolation of sai' le6al *i6ht. 1
&t is settle' in this =u*is'iction that in a +otion to 'is+iss base' on the 6*oun' that the co+plaint fails to
state a cause of action$ 1% the Cuestion sub+itte' to the cou*t fo* *esolution in5ol5es the sufficienc# of
the facts alle6e' in the co+plaint itself. No othe* +atte* shoul' be consi'e*e'H fu*the*+o*e$ the t*uth of
falsit# of the sai' alle6ations is besi'e the point fo* the t*uth the*eof is 'ee+e' h#potheticall# a'+itte'.
The onl# issue to be *esol5e' in such a case is: a'+ittin6 such alle6e' facts to be t*ue$ +a# the cou*t
*en'e* a 5ali' =u'6+ent in acco*'ance 9ith the p*a#e* in the co+plaintL D0 &n Militante 5s. E'*osolano$ D1
this Cou*t lai' 'o9n the *ule that the =u'icia*# shoul' ;eEe*cise the ut+ost ca*e an' ci*cu+spection in
passin6 upon a +otion to 'is+iss on the 6*oun' of the absence the*eof Mcause of actionN lest$ b# its
failu*e to +anifest a co**ect app*eciation of the facts alle6e' an' 'ee+e' h#potheticall# a'+itte'$ 9hat
the la9 6*ants o* *eco6niBes is effecti5el# nullifie'. &f that happens$ the*e is a blot on the le6al o*'e*. The
la9 itself stan's in 'is*epute.;
Afte* ca*eful eEa+ination of the petitione*s> co+plaint$ 4e fin' the state+ents un'e* the int*o'ucto*#
affi*+ati5e alle6ations$ as 9ell as the specific a5e*+ents un'e* the sub<hea'in6 CAUSE O) ACT&ON$ to be
a'eCuate enou6h to sho9$ p*i+a facie$ the clai+e' 5iolation of thei* *i6hts. On the basis the*eof$ the# +a#
thus be 6*ante'$ 9holl# o* pa*tl#$ the *eliefs p*a#e' fo*. &t bea*s st*essin6$ ho9e5e*$ that insofa* as the
cancellation of the T(As is conce*ne'$ the*e is the nee' to i+plea'$ as pa*t# 'efen'ants$ the 6*antees
the*eof fo* the# a*e in'ispensable pa*ties.
The fo*e6oin6 consi'e*e'$ Ci5il Case No. %0<??? be sai' to *aise a political Cuestion. Polic# fo*+ulation o*
'ete*+ination b# the eEecuti5e o* le6islati5e b*anches of Go5e*n+ent is not sCua*el# put in issue. 4hat is
p*incipall# in5ol5e' is the enfo*ce+ent of a *i6ht 5is<a<5is policies al*ea'# fo*+ulate' an' eEp*esse' in
le6islation. &t +ust$ nonetheless$ be e+phasiBe' that the political Cuestion 'oct*ine is no lon6e*$ the
insu*+ountable obstacle to the eEe*cise of =u'icial po9e* o* the i+penet*able shiel' that p*otects
eEecuti5e an' le6islati5e actions f*o+ =u'icial inCui*# o* *e5ie9. The secon' pa*a6*aph of section 1$
A*ticle .&&& of the Constitution states that:
"u'icial po9e* inclu'es the 'ut# of the cou*ts of =ustice to settle actual cont*o5e*sies in5ol5in6 *i6hts
9hich a*e le6all# 'e+an'able an' enfo*ceable$ an' to 'ete*+ine 9hethe* o* not the*e has been a 6*a5e
abuse of 'isc*etion a+ountin6 to lac7 o* eEcess of =u*is'iction on the pa*t of an# b*anch o*
inst*u+entalit# of the Go5e*n+ent.
Co++entin6 on this p*o5ision in his boo7$ Philippine Political (a9$ DD M*. "ustice &sa6ani A. C*uB$ a
'istin6uishe' +e+be* of this Cou*t$ sa#s:
The fi*st pa*t of the autho*it# *ep*esents the t*a'itional concept of =u'icial po9e*$ in5ol5in6 the settle+ent
of conflictin6 *i6hts as confe**e' as la9. The secon' pa*t of the autho*it# *ep*esents a b*oa'enin6 of
=u'icial po9e* to enable the cou*ts of =ustice to *e5ie9 9hat 9as befo*e fo*bi''en te**ito*#$ to 9it$ the
'isc*etion of the political 'epa*t+ents of the 6o5e*n+ent.
As 9o*'e'$ the ne9 p*o5ision 5ests in the =u'icia*#$ an' pa*ticula*l# the Sup*e+e Cou*t$ the po9e* to *ule
upon e5en the 9is'o+ of the 'ecisions of the eEecuti5e an' the le6islatu*e an' to 'ecla*e thei* acts
in5ali' fo* lac7 o* eEcess of =u*is'iction because tainte' 9ith 6*a5e abuse of 'isc*etion. The catch$ of
cou*se$ is the +eanin6 of ;6*a5e abuse of 'isc*etion$; 9hich is a 5e*# elastic ph*ase that can eEpan' o*
cont*act acco*'in6 to the 'isposition of the =u'icia*#.
&n -aBa 5s. Sin6son$ D! M*. "ustice C*uB$ no9 spea7in6 fo* this Cou*t$ note':
&n the case no9 befo*e us$ the =u*is'ictional ob=ection beco+es e5en less tenable an' 'ecisi5e. The
*eason is that$ e5en if 9e 9e*e to assu+e that the issue p*esente' befo*e us 9as political in natu*e$ 9e
9oul' still not be p*eclu'e' f*o+ *e5ol5in6 it un'e* the eEpan'e' =u*is'iction confe**e' upon us that no9
co5e*s$ in p*ope* cases$ e5en the political Cuestion. A*ticle .&&$ Section 1$ of the Constitution clea*l#
p*o5i'es: . . .
The last 6*oun' in5o7e' b# the t*ial cou*t in 'is+issin6 the co+plaint is the non<i+pai*+ent of cont*acts
clause foun' in the Constitution. The cou*t a Cuo 'ecla*e' that:
The Cou*t is li7e9ise of the i+p*ession that it cannot$ no +atte* ho9 9e st*etch ou* =u*is'iction$ 6*ant the
*eliefs p*a#e' fo* b# the plaintiffs$ i.e.$ to cancel all eEistin6 ti+be* license a6*ee+ents in the count*# an'
to cease an' 'esist f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6 o* app*o5in6 ne9 ti+be* license
a6*ee+ents. )o* to 'o othe*9ise 9oul' a+ount to ;i+pai*+ent of cont*acts; abho*e' @sicA b# the
fun'a+ental la9. DF
4e a*e not pe*sua'e' at allH on the cont*a*#$ 4e a*e a+aBe'$ if not shoc7e'$ b# such a s9eepin6
p*onounce+ent. &n the fi*st place$ the *espon'ent Sec*eta*# 'i' not$ fo* ob5ious *easons$ e5en in5o7e in
his +otion to 'is+iss the non<i+pai*+ent clause. &f he ha' 'one so$ he 9oul' ha5e acte' 9ith ut+ost
infi'elit# to the Go5e*n+ent b# p*o5i'in6 un'ue an' un9a**ante' benefits an' a'5anta6es to the ti+be*
license hol'e*s because he 9oul' ha5e fo*e5e* boun' the Go5e*n+ent to st*ictl# *espect the sai'
licenses acco*'in6 to thei* te*+s an' con'itions *e6a*'less of chan6es in polic# an' the 'e+an's of
public inte*est an' 9elfa*e. /e 9as a9a*e that as co**ectl# pointe' out b# the petitione*s$ into e5e*#
ti+be* license +ust be *ea' Section D0 of the )o*est*# Refo*+ Co'e @P.-. No. ?0IA 9hich p*o5i'es:
. . . P*o5i'e'$ That 9hen the national inte*est so *eCui*es$ the P*esi'ent +a# a+en'$ +o'if#$ *eplace o*
*escin' an# cont*act$ concession$ pe*+it$ licenses o* an# othe* fo*+ of p*i5ile6e 6*ante' he*ein . . .
Nee'less to sa#$ all licenses +a# thus be *e5o7e' o* *escin'e' b# eEecuti5e action. &t is not a cont*act$
p*ope*t# o* a p*ope*t# *i6ht p*oteste' b# the 'ue p*ocess clause of the Constitution. &n Tan 5s. -i*ecto* of
)o*est*#$ DI this Cou*t hel':
. . . A ti+be* license is an inst*u+ent b# 9hich the State *e6ulates the utiliBation an' 'isposition of fo*est
*esou*ces to the en' that public 9elfa*e is p*o+ote'. A ti+be* license is not a cont*act 9ithin the pu*5ie9
of the 'ue p*ocess clauseH it is onl# a license o* p*i5ile6e$ 9hich can be 5ali'l# 9ith'*a9n 9hene5e*
'ictate' b# public inte*est o* public 9elfa*e as in this case.
A license is +e*el# a pe*+it o* p*i5ile6e to 'o 9hat othe*9ise 9oul' be unla9ful$ an' is not a cont*act
bet9een the autho*it#$ fe'e*al$ state$ o* +unicipal$ 6*antin6 it an' the pe*son to 9ho+ it is 6*ante'H
neithe* is it p*ope*t# o* a p*ope*t# *i6ht$ no* 'oes it c*eate a 5este' *i6htH no* is it taEation @!? C.". 18A.
Thus$ this Cou*t hel' that the 6*antin6 of license 'oes not c*eate i**e5ocable *i6hts$ neithe* is it p*ope*t#
o* p*ope*t# *i6hts @People 5s. On6 Tin$ IF O.G. ?I?8A.
4e *eite*ate' this p*onounce+ent in )elipe 0s+ael$ "*. O Co.$ &nc. 5s. -eput# EEecuti5e Sec*eta*#: D8
. . . Ti+be* licenses$ pe*+its an' license a6*ee+ents a*e the p*incipal inst*u+ents b# 9hich the State
*e6ulates the utiliBation an' 'isposition of fo*est *esou*ces to the en' that public 9elfa*e is p*o+ote'.
An' it can ha*'l# be 6ainsai' that the# +e*el# e5i'ence a p*i5ile6e 6*ante' b# the State to Cualifie'
entities$ an' 'o not 5est in the latte* a pe*+anent o* i**e5ocable *i6ht to the pa*ticula* concession a*ea
an' the fo*est p*o'ucts the*ein. The# +a# be 5ali'l# a+en'e'$ +o'ifie'$ *eplace' o* *escin'e' b# the
Chief EEecuti5e 9hen national inte*ests so *eCui*e. Thus$ the# a*e not 'ee+e' cont*acts 9ithin the
pu*5ie9 of the 'ue p*ocess of la9 clause MSee Sections !@eeA an' D0 of P*es. -ec*ee No. ?0I$ as a+en'e'.
Also$ Tan 5. -i*ecto* of )o*est*#$ G.R. No. (<DFIF$ Octobe* D?$ 1%!$ 1DI SCRA !0DN.
Since ti+be* licenses a*e not cont*acts$ the non<i+pai*+ent clause$ 9hich *ea's:
Sec. 10. No la9 i+pai*in6$ the obli6ation of cont*acts shall be passe'. D?
cannot be in5o7e'.
&n the secon' place$ e5en if it is to be assu+e' that the sa+e a*e cont*acts$ the instant case 'oes not
in5ol5e a la9 o* e5en an eEecuti5e issuance 'ecla*in6 the cancellation o* +o'ification of eEistin6 ti+be*
licenses. /ence$ the non<i+pai*+ent clause cannot as #et be in5o7e'. Ne5e*theless$ 6*antin6 fu*the* that
a la9 has actuall# been passe' +an'atin6 cancellations o* +o'ifications$ the sa+e cannot still be
sti6+atiBe' as a 5iolation of the non<i+pai*+ent clause. This is because b# its 5e*# natu*e an' pu*pose$
such as la9 coul' ha5e onl# been passe' in the eEe*cise of the police po9e* of the state fo* the pu*pose
of a'5ancin6 the *i6ht of the people to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#$ p*o+otin6 thei* health an'
enhancin6 the 6ene*al 9elfa*e. &n Abe 5s. )oste* 4heele*
Co*p. D this Cou*t state':
The f*ee'o+ of cont*act$ un'e* ou* s#ste+ of 6o5e*n+ent$ is not +eant to be absolute. The sa+e is
un'e*stoo' to be sub=ect to *easonable le6islati5e *e6ulation ai+e' at the p*o+otion of public health$
+o*al$ safet# an' 9elfa*e. &n othe* 9o*'s$ the constitutional 6ua*ant# of non<i+pai*+ent of obli6ations of
cont*act is li+ite' b# the eEe*cise of the police po9e* of the State$ in the inte*est of public health$ safet#$
+o*al an' 6ene*al 9elfa*e.
The *eason fo* this is e+phaticall# set fo*th in Nebia 5s. Ne9 0o*7$ D% Cuote' in Philippine A+e*ican (ife
&nsu*ance Co. 5s. Au'ito* Gene*al$ !0 to 9it:
Un'e* ou* fo*+ of 6o5e*n+ent the use of p*ope*t# an' the +a7in6 of cont*acts a*e no*+all# +atte*s of
p*i5ate an' not of public conce*n. The 6ene*al *ule is that both shall be f*ee of 6o5e*n+ental inte*fe*ence.
But neithe* p*ope*t# *i6hts no* cont*act *i6hts a*e absoluteH fo* 6o5e*n+ent cannot eEist if the citiBen +a#
at 9ill use his p*ope*t# to the 'et*i+ent of his fello9s$ o* eEe*cise his f*ee'o+ of cont*act to 9o*7 the+
ha*+. ECuall# fun'a+ental 9ith the p*i5ate *i6ht is that of the public to *e6ulate it in the co++on inte*est.
&n sho*t$ the non<i+pai*+ent clause +ust #iel' to the police po9e* of the state. !1
)inall#$ it is 'ifficult to i+a6ine$ as the t*ial cou*t 'i'$ ho9 the non<i+pai*+ent clause coul' appl# 9ith
*espect to the p*a#e* to en=oin the *espon'ent Sec*eta*# f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6
o* app*o5in6 ne9 ti+be* licenses fo*$ sa5e in cases of *ene9al$ no cont*act 9oul' ha5e as of #et eEiste'
in the othe* instances. Mo*eo5e*$ 9ith *espect to *ene9al$ the hol'e* is not entitle' to it as a +atte* of
*i6ht.
4/ERE)ORE$ bein6 i+p*esse' 9ith +e*it$ the instant Petition is he*eb# GRANTE-$ an' the challen6e'
O*'e* of *espon'ent "u'6e of 1 "ul# 1%%1 'is+issin6 Ci5il Case No. %0<??? is he*eb# set asi'e. The
petitione*s +a# the*efo*e a+en' thei* co+plaint to i+plea' as 'efen'ants the hol'e*s o* 6*antees of the
Cuestione' ti+be* license a6*ee+ents.
No p*onounce+ent as to costs.
SO OR-ERE-.
CASE -&GEST
OPOSA 5s. )ACTORAN
G.R. No. 1010!. "ul# !0$ 1%%!.
)ACTS:
The petitione*s$ all +ino*s$ sou6ht the help of the Sup*e+e Cou*t to o*'e* the *espon'ent$ then Sec*eta*#
of -ENR$ to cancel all eEistin6 Ti+be* (icense A6*ee+ent @T(AA in the count*# an' to cease an' 'esist
f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6 o* app*o5in6 ne9 T(As. The# alle6e' that the +assi5e
co++e*cial lo66in6 in the count*# is causin6 5ast abuses on *ain<fo*est.The# fu*the* asse*te' that the
*i6hts of thei* 6ene*ation an' the *i6hts of the 6ene*ations #et unbo*n to a balance' an' healthful
ecolo6#. Plaintiffs fu*the* asse*t that the a'5e*se an' 'et*i+ental conseCuences of continue' an'
'efo*estation a*e so capable of unCuestionable 'e+onst*ation that the sa+e +a# be sub+itte' as a
+atte* of =u'icial notice. This not9ithstan'in6$ the# eEp*esse' thei* intention to p*esent eEpe*t 9itnesses
as 9ell as 'ocu+enta*#$ photo6*aphic an' fil+ e5i'ence in the cou*se of the t*ial.
&SSUE:
4hethe* o* not the petitione*s ha5e a locus stan'i.
/E(-:
The SC 'eci'e' in the affi*+ati5e. (ocus stan'i +eans the *i6ht of the liti6ant to act o* to be hea*'.Un'e*
Section 18$ A*ticle && of the 1%? constitution$ it states that: The state shall p*otect an' a'5ance the *i6ht of
the people to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# in acco*' 9ith the *h#th+ an' ha*+on# of natu*e.
Petitione*s$ +ino*s asse*t that the# *ep*esent thei* 6ene*ation as 9ell as 6ene*ation #et unbo*n. 4e fin'
no 'ifficult# in *ulin6 that the# can$ fo* the+sel5es$ fo* othe*s of thei* 6ene*ation an' fo* the succee'in6
6ene*ations$ file a class suit. Thei* pe*sonalit# to sue in behalf of the succee'in6 6ene*ations can onl# be
base' on the concept of inte*6ene*ational *esponsibilit# insofa* as the *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful
ecolo6# is conce*ne'. Such a *i6ht$ as he*einafte* eEpoun'e' consi'e*s the P*h#th+ an' ha*+on# of
natu*eQ. Natu*e +eans the c*eate' 9o*l' in its enti*et#. Such *h#th+ an' ha*+on# in'ispensabl# inclu'e$
inte* alia$ the =u'icious 'isposition$ utiliBation$ +ana6e+ent$ *ene9al an' conse*5ation of the count*#Rs
fo*est$ +ine*al$ lan'$ 9ate*s fishe*ies$ 9il'life$ off< sho*e a*eas an' othe* natu*al *esou*ces to the en' that
thei* eEplo*ation$ 'e5elop+ent an' utiliBation be eCuitabl# accessible to the p*esent as 9ell as futu*e
6ene*ations. Nee'less to sa#$ e5e*# 6ene*ation has a *esponsibilit# to the neEt to p*ese*5e that *h#th+
an' ha*+on# fo* the full en=o#+ent of a balance' an' healthful ecolo6#. Put a little 'iffe*entl#$ the +ino*Rs
asse*tion of thei* *i6ht to a soun' en5i*on+ent constitutes$ at the sa+e ti+e$ the pe*fo*+ance of thei*
obli6ation to ensu*e the p*otection of that *i6ht fo* the 6ene*ations to co+e. This lan'+a*7 case has been
*ule' as a class suit because the sub=ect +atte* of the co+plaint is of co++on an' 6ene*al inte*est$ not
=ust fo* se5e*al but fo* A(( C&T&,ENS O) T/E P/&(&PP&NES.
Oposa 5s. )acto*an$ G.R. 1010!
)act:
A cause of action to ;p*e5ent the +isapp*op*iation o* i+pai*+ent; of Philippine *ainfo*ests an' ;a**est
the unabate' he+o**ha6e of the count*#>s 5ital life suppo*t s#ste+s an' continue' *ape of Mothe* Ea*th.;
The co+plaintD 9as institute' as a taEpa#e*s> class suit ! an' alle6es that the plaintiffs ;a*e all citiBens of
the Republic of the Philippines$ taEpa#e*s$ an' entitle' to the full benefit$ use an' en=o#+ent of the
natu*al *esou*ce t*easu*e that is the count*#>s 5i*6in t*opical fo*ests.; The sa+e 9as file' fo* the+sel5es
an' othe*s 9ho a*e eCuall# conce*ne' about the p*ese*5ation of sai' *esou*ce but a*e ;so nu+e*ous that
it is i+p*acticable to b*in6 the+ all befo*e the Cou*t.; The +ino*s fu*the* asse5e*ate that the# ;*ep*esent
thei* 6ene*ation as 9ell as 6ene*ations #et unbo*n.; FConseCuentl#$ it is p*a#e' fo* that =u'6+ent be
*en'e*e':
1N Cancel all eEistin6 ti+be* license a6*ee+ents in the count*#H
DN Cease an' 'esist f*o+ *ecei5in6$ acceptin6$ p*ocessin6$ *ene9in6 o* app*o5in6 ne9 ti+be* license
a6*ee+ents.
Plaintiffs fu*the* asse*t that the a'5e*se an' 'et*i+ental conseCuences of continue' an' 'efo*estation
a*e so capable of unCuestionable 'e+onst*ation that the sa+e +a# be sub+itte' as a +atte* of =u'icial
notice.
&ssue: 4hethe* o* not petitione*s ha5e a cause of actionL
/E(-: 0ES
petitione*s ha5e a cause of action. The case at ba* is of co++on inte*est to all )ilipinos. The *i6ht to a
balance' an' health# ecolo6# ca**ies 9ith it the co**elati5e 'ut# to *ef*ain f*o+ i+pai*in6 the
en5i*on+ent. The sai' *i6ht i+plies the =u'icious +ana6e+ent of the count*#Rs fo*ests. This *i6ht is also
the +an'ate of the 6o5e*n+ent th*ou6h -ENR. A 'enial o* 5iolation of that *i6ht b# the othe* 9ho has the
co**elati5e 'ut# o* obli6ation to *espect o* p*otect the sa+e 6i5es *ise to a cause of action. All licenses
+a# thus be *e5o7e' o* *escin'e' b# eEecuti5e action.
The *i6ht to a balance' an' healthful ecolo6# ca**ies 9ith it the co**elati5e 'ut# to *ef*ain f*o+ i+pai*in6
the en5i*on+ent

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