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Preliminary Injunction [Rule 58]

Philippine Economic Zone Authority vs. Joseph Carates, GR 181274, 23 June 2010
[preliminary injunction; requisites

Facts:
Respondents Joseph Jude Carantes, Rose Carantes and the heirs of MaximinoCarantes
are in possession of a 30,368-square meter parcel of land located in Loakan Road, Baguio
City. On June 20, 1997, they obtained Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) No.
CAR-CALC-0224 over the land from the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR). On the strength of said CALC, respondents secured a building
permit5 and a fencing permit6 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 letter7 dated 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 Order8 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, 9 which directed
the parties to maintain the status quo pending resolution of the case.
On October 2, 2001, the RTC granted respondents petition and ordered the issuance of a
writ of injunction against PEZA,

Issue: Whether the requisites of a valid injunction were present.

Held:

Actions; Injunction; As a main action, injunction seeks to permanently enjoin the defendant
through a final injunction issued by the court and contained in the judgment.Injunction is
a judicial writ, process or proceeding whereby a party is directed either to do a particular
act, in which case it is called a mandatory injunction or to refrain from doing a particular
act, in which case it is called a prohibitory injunction. As a main action, injunction seeks to

permanently enjoin the defendant through a final injunction issued by the court and
contained in the judgment. Section 9, Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as
amended, provides, SEC. 9. When final injunction granted.If after the trial of the action it
appears that the applicant is entitled to have the act or acts complained of permanently
enjoined, the court shall grant a final injunction perpetually restraining the party or person
enjoined from the commission or continuance of the act or acts or confirming the
preliminary mandatory injunction. Two (2) requisites must concur for injunction to issue:
(1) there must be a right to be protected and (2) the acts against which the injunction is to
be directed are violative of said right. Particularly, in actions involving realty, preliminary
injunction will lie only after the plaintiff has fully established his title or right thereto by a
proper action for the purpose. To authorize a temporary injunction, the complainant must
make out at least a prima facie showing of a right to the final relief. Preliminary injunction
will not issue to protect a right not inesse. These principles are equally relevant to actions
seeking permanent injunction.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Fernando Pampanga vs. Eduardo Soriano, Jr, GR
153829, 17 August 2011 [Important requisites for issuance of writ
Facts:The Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Fernando, Pampanga, represented by Rev.
PacianoAniceto claimed that it is the owner of a vast tract of land located near the Catholic Church at
Macabebe, Pampanga and covered by a title. The RCA alleged that several individuals unlawfully
occupied the subject land and refused to vacate despite repeated demands. Having no other recourse,
the RCA filed an ejectment case before the MCTC against the alleged intruders. On the other hand,
defendants countered that the RCA has no cause of action against them because its title is spurious.
They contended that the subject land belonged to the State, but they have already acquired the same by
acquisitive prescription as they and their predecessors-in-interest have been in continuous possession of
the land for more than 30 years.
After considering the pleadings submitted by the parties, the MCTC rendered decision in favor of the
RCA. The trial court held that the title in the name of the RCA remains valid and binding against the whole
world until it is declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Defendants appealed to RTC. However, the appeal was dismissed because of their failure to file the
appeal memorandum. When defendants elevated the case to the CA, their petition for certiorari was not
given due course for failure to file the same within the extended period. Hence, the decision ejecting the
defendants from the premises became final. During the pendency of the ejectment case at the MCTC,
some of the defendants alleged that title in the name of RCA is spurious and fake. Before filing its
Answer, the RCA moved to dismiss the case on grounds of noncompliance with a condition precedent,
laches, and for being a collateral attack on its title. RTC denied the motion to dismiss and hence, this
present petition for review on certiorari.
Issue: Whether or not there is a need to enjoin the sheriff from enforcing the writ of execution as it would
cause grave and irreparable damage to defendants in the ejectment case.
Held: No. Section 3 of Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, enumerates the
grounds for the issuance of preliminary injunction. (a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded,
and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or
acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or
perpetually (b) That the commission, continuance or nonperformance of the act or acts complained of

during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant or (c) That a party, court, agency or a
person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or
acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding,
and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
In this case, the defendants in the ejectment case possess no such legal rights that merit the protection of
the courts through the writ of preliminary injunction. The MCTC has already rendered a decision in favor
of the RCA and ordered the defendants therein to vacate the premises. Their appeal to the RTC was
dismissed and the decision has become final. Evidently, their right to possess the property in question
has already been declared inferior or inexistent in relation to the right of the RCA in the MCTC decision
which has already become final and executor.
CBC vs. Spouses Ciriaco, GR 170038, 11 July 2012 [strong arm of equity]

Facts:
On March 11, 1996, Spouses Harry and Esther Ciriaco (respondents) obtained a
P1,500,000.00 loan4 from the petitioner, secured by a real estate mortgage 5 over their 526square meter land in La Trinidad, Benguet, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T21710.6
When the respondents defaulted in the payment of their loan, the petitioner extrajudicially
foreclosed7 the mortgaged property and sold it at public auction where the petitioner emerged
as the highest bidder. The Sheriff executed a Certificate of Sale8 in the petitioners favor on
March 11, 1998. The Register of Deeds annotated the Certificate of Sale on TCT No. T-21710
on March 24, 1998.9
On March 23, 1999, a day before the expiration of the redemption period, the respondents filed
a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La Trinidad, Benguet, Branch 8, for Injunction
to enjoin the consolidation of title in the petitioners favor, assailing the redemption price of the
foreclosed property.10
On July 26, 1999, the RTC dismissed the complaint for being moot due to the consolidation of
title in the petitioners favor on March 31, 1999, "without prejudice to the filing of an appropriate
action."11
On August 17, 1999, the respondents filed a complaint with the RTC of La Trinidad, Benguet,
Branch 63, for Cancellation of Consolidation of Ownership over a Real Property, Specific
Performance, and Damages.12 They again questioned the redemption price of the foreclosed
property.
On September 23, 1999, the petitioner filed its Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim, denying
the allegations of the respondents complaint.13
On March 16, 2000, the respondents filed an Omnibus Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint
and to Admit Attached Amended Complaint as well as Motion for Hearing on the Issuance of a
Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), with a notice of
hearing on the omnibus motion scheduled on March 22, 2000.14 The respondents sought to
amend the complaint to allege further that fraud attended the consolidation of title in the
petitioners favor and to include a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction

and/or TRO to enjoin the petitioner from disposing of the foreclosed property or taking
possession thereof.
At the March 22, 2000 hearing, the RTC gave the petitioner ten (10) days within which to file its
comment to the respondents omnibus motion, and set the hearing on the omnibus motion on
April 24, 2000.15
The petitioner subsequently filed its Opposition to the omnibus motion,16 arguing that the
respondents further allegation of fraud changes the theory of the case which is not allowed, and
that the respondents failed to show that they have a clear right in esse that should be protected
by an injunctive relief.
At the April 24, 2000 hearing on the omnibus motion, the RTC gave the respondents ten (10)
days to file their comment to the petitioners opposition, and gave the petitioner ten (10) days to
file its reply to the respondents comment.17 The respondents did not file a reply to the
petitioners opposition.
Issue:
Whether the CA erred in finding that the RTC did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in
granting the respondents application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or
TRO.
RULING:
We find merit in the petition.
A preliminary injunction is an order granted at any stage of an action prior to the judgment or
final order requiring a party or a court, agency or a person to refrain from a particular act or
acts.27 It is the "strong arm of equity,"28an extraordinary peremptory remedy that must be used
with extreme caution,29 affecting as it does the respective rights of the parties.30
Sections 3 and 5, Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure on preliminary injunction,
pertinent to this case, provide the requirements for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction or a TRO:
SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. - A preliminary injunction may be
granted when it is established:
(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such
relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained
of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or
perpetually;
(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained
of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or
(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do,
or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights

of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render
the judgment ineffectual.
SEC. 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice; exception. - No preliminary injunction
shall be granted without hearing and prior notice to the party or persons sought to be enjoined.
If it shall appear from facts shown by affidavits or by the verified application that great or
irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter can be heard on notice, the
court to which the application for preliminary injunction was made, may issue ex parte a
temporary restraining order to be effective only for a period of twenty (20) days from service on
the party or person sought to be enjoined, except as herein provided. Within the twenty-day
period, the court must order said party or person to show cause at a specified time and place,
why the injunction should not be granted. The court shall also determine, within the same
period, whether or not the preliminary injunction shall be granted, and accordingly issue the
corresponding order.
However, subject to the provisions of the preceding sections, if the matter is of extreme urgency
and the applicant will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury, the executive judge of a
multiple-sala court or the presiding judge of a single-sala court may issue ex parte a temporary
restraining order effective for only seventy-two (72) hours from issuance but shall immediately
comply with the provisions of the next preceding section as to service of summons and the
documents to be served therewith. Thereafter, within the aforesaid seventy-two (72) hours, the
judge before whom the case is pending shall conduct a summary hearing to determine whether
the temporary restraining order shall be extended until the application for preliminary injunction
can be heard. In no case shall the total period of effectivity of the temporary restraining order
exceed twenty (20) days, including the original seventy-two hours provided herein.31
From the provisions, it appears clearly that before a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued,
a clear showing must be made that there exists a right to be protected and that the acts against
which the writ is to be directed are violative of an established right. 32 The holding of a hearing,
where both parties can introduce evidence and present their side, is also required before the
courts may issue a TRO or an injunctive writ.33
Generally, an RTC's decision to grant or to deny injunctive relief will not be set aside on appeal,
unless the trial court abused its discretion. In granting or denying injunctive relief, a court
abuses its discretion when it lacks jurisdiction; fails to consider and make a record of the factors
relevant to its determination; relies on clearly erroneous factual findings; considers clearly
irrelevant or improper factors; clearly gives too much weight to one factor; relies on erroneous
conclusions of law or equity; or misapplies its factual or legal conclusions.34
In this case, we find that the RTC abbreviated the proceedings and precipitately granted the
respondents application for injunctive relief. The RTC did not conduct a hearing for reception of
a "sampling" of the parties respective evidence to give it an idea of the justification for its
issuance pending the decision of the case on the merits.35 It failed to make any factual finding to
support the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction since it did not conduct any hearing on
the application for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction or TRO. The RTC conducted
the March 22, 2000 and April 24, 2000 hearings on the respondents omnibus motion only
whether to admit the amended complaint and whether to hold a hearing on the respondents
application for a writ of preliminary injunction.1wphi1

In fact, a perusal of the August 1, 2000 order shows that the RTC granted the respondents
application for a writ of preliminary injunction based only on the respondents unsubstantiated
allegations, thus:
Going now to the application for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining
order, the plaintiffs aver that a writ should issue forbidding the defendant bank from taking
possession of the subject property and disposing of the same beyond recovery by them tending
to make any favorable judgment in their favor ineffective.
The Complaint alleges that had defendant bank not committed fraud, plaintiffs could have
redeemed the property subject matter hereof. Furthermore, considering that the redemption
price of the property foreclosed appears to have been bloated, thereby making it difficult for
plaintiffs to redeem their property, to deny the application would in effect be condoning the act of
the defendant bank in imposing interests and penalty charges which plaintiffs claim as not
having been agreed upon by them.
In view of the foregoing, plaintiffs are entitled to prove their claim of fraud and their claim that
the interests and penalty charges imposed by the bank have no factual basis.36
Clearly, the respondents right to injunctive relief has not been clearly and unmistakably
demonstrated. The respondents have not presented evidence, testimonial or documentary,
other than the bare allegations contained in their pleadings, to support their claim of fraud that
brings about the irreparable injury sought to be avoided by their application for injunctive relief.
Thus, the RTCs grant of the writ of preliminary injunction in favor of the respondents, despite
the lack of any evidence of a clear and unmistakable right on their part, constitutes grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Every court should remember that an injunction is a limitation upon the freedom of the
defendants action and should not be granted lightly or precipitately. It should be granted only
when the court is fully satisfied that the law permits it and the emergency demands it;37 no
power exists whose exercise is more delicate, which requires greater caution and deliberation,
or is more dangerous in a doubtful case, that the issuance of an injunction.
Dolmar Real Estate Development, GR 172990, 27 February 2008 [Status quo ante]
Spouses Philip and Nancy Young, respondents, filed with the RTC a complaint for specific
performance and damages against petitioners. The complaint also prayed that a TRO and a preliminary
injunction be issued ordering petitioners to cease and desist from further violating the provisions of the
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the Shareholders' Agreement executed by the parties; comply
with their obligations and duties stipulated in the said agreements by restoring to respondents-spouses
Young their authority to manage the corporation
RTC issued a 72-hour restraining Order preventing the holding of the Board of Directors' meeting
4
on June 3, 2005.
After a summary hearing, the trial court issued the TRO prayed for by respondents-spouses Young and
set the hearing on the prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction on June 21, 2005. The trial court likewise
5
approved the bond in the amount of P100,000.00 posted by said respondents. On October 14, 2005, the
trial court issued a status quo ante order, meaning the situation of the contending parties prior to
December 13, 2004, must be maintained

Petitioners then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 assailing
the status quo ante Order for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction.
8

CA issued a Resolution dismissing the petition for being "fatally defective" as it does not contain the
certification of non-forum shopping; its verification merely refers to an answer with counterclaim and not to
the petition itself; and the material portions of the record referred to in the petition are not attached to the
said petition.
Petitioners' filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Admit Attached Amended Petition with an
application for a TRO and a writ of preliminary injunction.
Finding no compelling reason to interfere with the prevailing state of affairs as ordered by the trial
court ,CA issued a Resolution denying petitioners' application for a writ of preliminary injunction since
none of the grounds mentioned in Section 3 of Rule 58 for the issuance of a preliminary injunction
exists.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied for lack of merit.Hence, the instant
petitioncontending that the Court of Appeals, in issuing the assailed Resolutions, acted with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. They bewail the appellate court's simplistic
manner of resolving their application for a TRO or a writ of preliminary injunction by "simply stating that
the respondent appellate court 'found no compelling reason to interfere with the prevailing state of affairs
as ordered by the trial court. None of the grounds mentioned in Section 3 of Rule 58 for the issuance of a
preliminary injunction exists
ISSUE:
Whether or not CA committed grave abuse of discretion
HELD:
The sole object of a writ of preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory, is to preserve
the status quoand prevent further injury on the applicant until the merits of the main case can be heard.
The status quo is the last actual peaceable uncontested status which preceded the controversy. The
injunctive writ may only be resorted to by a litigant for the preservation and protection of his rights or
interests during the pendency of the principal action. The grant or denial of an application for a writ of
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preliminary injunction rests upon the sound discretion of the issuing court.
In the case at bar, We find nothing capricious, whimsical or arbitrary in the Court of Appeals' challenged
Resolution denying petitioners' application for a writ of preliminary injunction. We are not impressed by
petitioners' contention that it is too simplistic or insufficient as it does not contain a full discussion of its
findings and the applicable rule or law in support of its conclusion. It bears stressing that there is no
definite or stringent rule on how a Resolution denying an application for a TRO or a writ of preliminary
injunction is framed. The manner the Resolution was written did not diminish the legal significance of the
denial so decreed by the appellate court. What is clear from the challenged Resolution is that the Court of
Appeals stated the proper basis for its ruling.
Being preliminary, such an order need not strictly follow Section 5 of Rule 51 requiring that
"every decision of final resolution of the Court in appealed cases shall clearly and distinctly state
the findings of fact and conclusions of law on which it is based

Hernandez vs. Napocor, GR 145328, 23 March 2006 [Injunction against government


infrastructure project]
Facts:
NAPOCOR began the construction of 29 decagon-shaped steel poles or towers with a height of
53.4 meters to support overhead high tension cables in connection with its 230 Kilovolt Sucat-AranetaBalintawak Power Transmission Project. Petitioners later on found out about the adverse effect of the
said structure on their health. The illnesses range from cancer to leukemia. Petitioners brought their woes
to Rep. Fuentabella Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, wherein NAPOCOR was asked to
shed light on the petitioners problem. The petitioners and NAPOCOR held negotiations but it reached an
impasse. Thus, petitioners filed for complaint for damages with prayer for the issuance of TRO and/or Writ
of Preliminary Injunction against NAPOCOR and for its relocation to Lawton Avenue. They alleged that
the construction has hazardous effects on their health due to the exposure electromagnetic radiation.
Judge Ibay then issued the said TRO. NAPOCOR on the other hand filed for certiorari and TRO assailing
the said order. They anchored their petition to Presidential Decree No. 1818 (1981), "Prohibiting Courts
from Issuing Restraining Orders or Preliminary Injunctions in Cases Involving Infrastructure and Natural
Resource Development Projects of, and Public Utilities Operated by, the Government,". Sec. 1 of the PD
provides that No court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order, preliminary
injunction or preliminary order, preliminary mandatory injunction in any case, dispute or controversy
involving an infrastructure project. Petitioners however contends that Presidential Decree No. 1818 could
not be construed to apply to cases of extreme urgency as in the present case when no less than the
rights of the petitioners to health and safety hangs on the balance.

Issue: WON the trial court may issue a TRO and injunction to enjoin the construction and operation of the
29 decagon-shaped steel poles or towers by the NAPOCOR, notwithstanding Presidential Decree No.
1818.

Held: YES.

In Garcia vs Burgos, the SC held that PD 1818 was held to prohibit courts from issuing an
injunction against any infrastructure project in order not to disrupt or hamper the pursuit of essential
government projects or frustrate the economic development effort of the nation. This rule however is not
absolute.

Prohibition extends only to the issuance of injunctions or restraining orders against administrative acts in
controversies involving facts or the exercise of discretion in technical cases. On issues clearly outside this
dimension and involving questions of law, this Court declared that courts could not be prevented from
exercising their power to restrain or prohibit administrative acts.

In the case at bar, petitioners sought the issuance of a preliminary injunction on the ground that the
NAPOCOR Project impinged on their right to health as enshrined in Article II, Section 15 of the 1987

Constitution, which provides:


Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill consciousness
among them.
Moreover, The rule on preliminary injunction merely requires that unless restrained, the act complained of
will probably violate his rights and tend to render the judgment ineffectual.

Hernandez vs. Albano, et al, GR L-19272, 25 January 1967 [Injunction on CC to afford


protection of constitutional rights]
This case has its roots in a complaint lodged with the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila, by
respondent Delfin Albano, quondam Congressman for the lone district of Isabela, against petitioner Jaime
Hernandez, then the Secretary of Finance and Presiding Officer of the Monetary Board of the Central
1
Bank for violation of Article 216 of the Revised Penal Code, Commonwealth Act 626 or Republic Act
2
265. The complaint revolves around petitioner's alleged shareholdings in the University of the East, Bicol
Electric Co., Rural Bank of Nueva Caceres, DMG inc., and University of Nueva Caceres and the claim
that said corporations obtained dollar allocations from the Central Bank, through the Monetary Board,
during petitioner's incumbency as presiding officer thereof. The charges involved were docketed in the
City Fiscal's Office.
At the joint investigation of the foregoing charges before respondent Carlos C. Gonzales, the
investigating Fiscal, complainant moved to exclude therefrom the alleged violation of Article 216 of the
Revised Penal Code because the applicability of this statute was in issue of Solidum, et al. vs.
Hernandez, L-16570, at the time pending before this Court, but which had since been resolved by us
February 28, 1963 adversely to Hernandez. Fiscal Gonzales granted the motion.
Then, petitioner sought the dismissal of the remaining charges upon the averment that (a)
violation of Article VII, Section 11, subsection (2) of the Constitution, punishable under Commonwealth
Act 626, should be prosecuted at the domicile of the private enterprises affected there by; and that (b)
violation of Section 13 of Republic Act 265 is not criminal in nature. Dismissal was denied;
reconsideration thereof failed.
To restrain the respondent Fiscals from continuing the investigation, petitioner went to the Court
3
of First Instance of Manila on certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for preliminary injunction. The
decision dated October 13, 1961, reached upon a stipulation of facts, dismissed the petition, with costs.
Petitioner appealed.
ISSUE:
WON the prosecuting arm of the City of Manila should be restrained from proceeding with the
investigation of the charges leveled against the petitioner:
HELD:
No. By statute, the prosecuting officer of the City of Manila and his assistants are empowered to
investigate crimes committed within the city's territorial jurisdiction. Not a mere privilege, it is the sworn
duty of a Fiscal to conduct an investigation of a criminal charge filed with his office. The power to
investigate postulates the other obligation on the part of the Fiscal to investigate promptly and file the

case of as speedily. Public interest the protection of society so demands. Agreeably to the
foregoing, a rule now of long standing and frequent application was formulated that ordinarily
4
criminal prosecution may not be blocked by court prohibition or injunction. Really, if at every turn
investigation of a crime will be halted by a court order, the administration of criminal justice will meet with
5
an undue setback. Indeed, the investigative power of the Fiscal may suffer such a tremendous shrinkage
that it may end up in hollow sound rather than as a part and parcel of the machinery of criminal justice.
We are not to be understood, however, as saying that the heavy hand of a prosecutor may not be
shackled under all circumstances. The rule is not an invariable one. Extreme cases may, and actually
do, exist where relief in equity may be availed of to stop a purported enforcement of a criminal law where
it is necessary (a) for the orderly administration of justice; (b) to prevent the use of the strong arm of the
6
law in an oppressive and vindictive manner; (c) to avoid multiplicity of actions; (d) to afford adequate
7
protection to constitutional rights; and (e) in proper cases, because the statute relied upon is
unconstitutional, or was "held invalid."
Judgment affirmed.
Fortun vs. Labang, et.al. GR L-38383, 27 May 1981, 104 SCRA 607 [Injunction on CC to
avoid oppression, multiplicity of suits and for orderly administration of justice]

FACTS:
Petitioner Judge was accused by a member of the bar and a former employee in a letter
complaint of a possible irregularity in his claim for gasoline allowance, originally considered by
them sufficing to hold him liable administratively and later on, criminally as well. Five of the nine
members of the Board of Directors of the provincial chapter of the Integrated Bar endorsed such
administrative and criminal charges to the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines. After four months, such letter-complaint with the affidavit was endorsed to the City
Fiscal, respondent Rufino O. Labang. Then came these crucial allegations: On February 16,
1974, respondent City Fiscal, acting with precipitate haste and without exercising the utmost
care and prudence which the case required, considering the seriousness of the charge and the
sensitive nature of petitioner's office, peremptorily gave due course to said complaint and its
supporting papers by immediately issuing a subpoena requiring petitioner to file and serve his
answer or counter-affidavits and other supporting papers thereto. On the morning of February
18, 1974, just as petitioner was about to ascend the rostrum to start the session in his Court,
said subpoena was served upon him in a jampacked courtroom, filled with practitioners and
spectators who were not there for any case but to witness the reaction of petitioner to the
service of said subpoena, in further disregard of the spirit behind Section 6 of Rule 140, Revised
Rules of Court, on the confidentiality of proceedings against judges. Petitioner Judge contested
the legality of the issuance of said subpoena and asked for the dismissal of the complaint, but
he was unsuccessful. Petitioner then brought the case before the Supreme Court which issued
a temporary restraining order, and, in the same resolution of March 25, 1974, require comment
from the respondents. Only respondent City Fiscal filed a comment on May 6, 1974. There was
no explicit denial of certain allegations indicative of the hostility manifested towards petitioner
Judge. Respondent then requested the lifting of the restraining order which the Supreme Court
found to be lacking to justify the same.

ISSUE:
W/N criminal prosecutions may be restrained or stayed by injunction, preliminary or final

HOLDING:
The remedy of prohibition is somewhat sui generis, and is one more or less of legal
discretion, and is intended to prevent the oppressive exercise of legal authority. Such
categorical enunciation of one of the most highly valued principles of equity ought to have
cautioned respondent City Fiscal against, in the language of then President of the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines, retired Justice J. B. L. Reyes, acting with "unseemly haste." This is one
occasion then that calls for the exercise of the equitable powers of this Court to repudiate what
was clearly an "oppressive exercise of legal authority."
The Supreme Court pointed out that there was a violation of the cardinal principles of
fairness and due process that underlie the Rule of Law. Petitioner-Judge was not heard; he was
denied the opportunity to defend himself against the accusation. There was, on the part of
private respondents then, a failure to abide by a Resolution of the Integrated Bar stressing that
precisely integration could shield "the judiciary which traditionally cannot defend itself except
within its own forum, from the assaults that politics and self- interest may level at it, and assist it
to maintain its integrity impartiality and independence. A greater sense of responsibility, not to
say a more adequate grasp of the cardinal requirements of due process as well as of the
applicable procedural rules, ought to have been displayed by private respondents. Moreover,
they did not even make any effort to dispute the accuracy of the imputation of being disgruntled
members of the bar with a record of losing cases. That apparently was the motive for their
accusation. They paid no attention to the norm of conduct that lawyers should observe as
officers of the Court. The then officers of the Integrated Bar, included as private respondents,
have an even greater responsibility. Clearly, they were recreant to the trust reposed on them.
The penalty of censure is imposed on each and everyone of the private respondents.
WHEREFORE, the writ of prohibition is granted restraining respondent City Fiscal or any
one acting in his place from enforcing the subpoena. The writ of certiorari is likewise granted
annulling the order of February 22, 1974 issued by respondent City Fiscal denying the motion to
dismiss filed by petitioner. The complaint against petitioner is dismissed. The restraining order is
hereby made permanent.
De Leon vs. Mabanag, 70 Phil 202 [Injunction on CC when there is pre-judicial question
which is sub-judice