You are on page 1of 24

would result in the impairment of contracts which is

prohibited by the Constitution.

Oposa vs. Factoran Case Digest (G.R. No. 101083, July
30, 1993) Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special
civil action for certiorari and asked the court to rescind
FACTS: and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that
The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly the respondent RTC Judge gravely abused his
represented and joined by their parents. The first discretion in dismissing the action.
complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class suit at the
Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the Regional ISSUES:
Trial Court, National capital Judicial Region against
defendant (respondent) Secretary of the Department of (1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.
Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). (2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political
Plaintiffs alleged that they are entitled to the full issue.
benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource (3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs
treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests. result in the impairment of contracts.
They further asseverate that they represent their
generation as well as generations yet unborn and RULING:
asserted that continued deforestation have caused a
distortion and disturbance of the ecological balance First Issue: Cause of Action.
and have resulted in a host of environmental
tragedies. Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege
in their complaint a specific legal right violated by the
Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided
the respondent, his agents, representatives and other by law. The Court did not agree with this. The
persons acting in his behalf to cancel all existing complaint focuses on one fundamental legal right -- the
Timber License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to right to a balanced and healthful ecology which is
cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the
renewing or approving new TLAs. Constitution. The said right carries with it the duty to
refrain from impairing the environment and implies,
Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss among many other things, the judicious management
on the ground that the complaint had no cause of and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of
action against him and that it raises a political E.O. 192 expressly mandates the DENR to be the
question. primary government agency responsible for the
governing and supervising the exploration, utilization,
The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, development and conservation of the country's natural
further ruling that granting of the relief prayed for resources. The policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also
substantially re-stated in Title XIV Book IV of the
Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is
Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives an instrument by which the state regulates the
which will serve as the bases for policy formation, and utilization and disposition of forest resources to the
have defined the powers and functions of the DENR. end that public welfare is promoted. It is not a contract
Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they within the purview of the due process clause thus, the
represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is as non-impairment clause cannot be invoked. It can be
clear as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said validly withdraw whenever dictated by public interest
right. or public welfare as in this case. The granting of
license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it
A denial or violation of that right by the other who has property or property rights.
the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect
or respect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-
Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, impairment of obligations of contract is limit by the
which they claim was done with grave abuse of exercise by the police power of the State, in the
discretion, violated their right to a balance and interest of public health, safety, moral and general
healthful ecology. Hence, the full protection thereof welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause must
requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or yield to the police power of the State.
The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, hereby GRANTED and the RTC decision is SET
the Court finds it to be adequate enough to show, ASIDE.
prima facie, the claimed violation of their rights.

CASE: Resident Marine Mammals of the Protected

Second Issue: Political Issue. Seascape Tañon Strait v. Secretary Angelo Reyes in
his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Energy,
Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the
constitution provides for the expanded jurisdiction
vested upon the Supreme Court. It allows the Court to FACTS
rule upon even on the wisdom of the decision of the
Executive and Legislature and to declare their acts as  On 13 June 2002, the Government of the
invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction because it is Philippines, acting through the Department of
tainted with grave abuse of discretion. Energy (DOE) entered into a Geophysical
Survey and Exploration Contract-102 (GSEC-
102) with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co.,
Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause. Ltd. (JAPEX).
 The studies included surface geology, sample  On 6 March 2007, DENR-EMB Region VII
analysis, and reprocessing of seismic and granted an ECC to DOE and JAPEX for the
magnetic data. Geophysical and satellite offshore oil and gas exploration project in Tañon
surveys as well as oil and gas sampling in Strait.
Tañon Strait was conducted.  From 16 November 2007 to 8 February 2008,
 On 12 December 2004, DOE and JAPEX JAPEX drilled an exploratory well with a depth
converted GSEC-102 to Service Contract No. 46 of 3,150 meters near Pinamungajan town.
(SC-46) for the exploration, development, and  On 17 December 2007, two separate original
production of petroleum resources in a block petitions were filed commonly seeking that the
covering approximately 2,850 sqm. offshore the implementation of SC-46 be enjoined for
Tañon Strait. violation of the 1987 Constitution.
 From 9-18 May 2005, JAPEX conducted seismic  The petitioners in G.R. No. 180771 are the
surveys in and around Tañon Strait, including a “Resident Marine Mammals” which inhibit the
multi-channel sub-bottom profiling covering waters in and around the Tañon Strait, joined
approximately 751 kms. to determine the area’s by “Stewards” Gloria Estenzo Ramos and Rose-
underwater composition. Liza Eisma-Osorio as their legal guardians and
 During the 2nd sub-phase of the project, JAPEX friends seeking their protection. Also impleaded
committed to drill one exploration well. Since as unwilling co-petitioner is former President
the same was to be drilled in the marine waters Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In G.R. No. 181527,
of Aloguisan and Pinamungajan where the the petitioners are the Central Visayas
Tañon Strait was declared a protected seascape Fisherfolk Development Center (FIDEC), a non-
in 1988, JAPEX agreed to comply with the stock, non-profit, non-governmental
Environmental Impact Assessment organization established for the welfare of the
requirements under Presidential Decree No. marginal fisherfolk in Region VII and
1586 (PD 1586), entitled “Establishing an representatives of the subsistence fisherfolk of
Environmental Impact Statement System, the municipalities of Aloguinsan and
Including Other Environmental Management Pinamungajan, Cebu. Their contentions are:
Related Measures and For Other Purposes.” - A study made after the seismic survey
 On 31 January 2007, the Protected Area showed that there is a drastic reduce in
Management Board (PAMB) of the Tañon Strait fish catch by 50-70% attributable to the
issued Resolution No. 2007-01 where it adopted destruction of the “payao” or the artificial
the Initial Environmental Examination reef.
commissioned by JAPEX, and favourably - The ECC obtained by the respondents is
recommended the approval of the latter’s invalid because there is no public
application for an Environmental Compliance consultations and discussions prior to its
Certificate (ECC). issuance.
- SC-46 is null and void for having violated
Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 1. No. The Court makes clear that the “moot and
Constitution, considering that there is no academic” principle is not a magic formula that
general law prescribing the standard or can automatically dissuade the courts in
uniform terms, conditions, and resolving a case. Despite the termination of SC-
requirements for service contracts 46, the Court deems it necessary to resolve the
involving oil exploration and extraction consolidated petitions as it falls within the
- FIDEC alleges that it was barred from exceptions. Both petitioners allege that SC-46 is
entering and fishing within a 7-kilometer violative of the Constitution, the environmental
radius from the point where the oilrig was and livelihood issues raised undoubtedly affect
located, an area grated than the 1.5- the public’s interest, and the respondents’
kilometer radius exclusion zone stated in contested actions are capable of repetition.
the Initial Environmental Examination
 The respondents in both petitions are: the late 2. Yes. In our jurisdiction, locus standi in
Angelo T. Reyes, DOE Secretary; Jose L. environmental cases has been given a more
Atienza, DENR Secretary; Leonardo Sibbaluca, liberalized approach. The Rules of Procedure for
DENR-Region VII Director and Chairman of Environmental Cases allow for a “citizen suit,”
Tañon Strait PAMB; JAPEX, a Japanese and permit any Filipino citizen to file an action
company; and Supply Oilfield Services, Inc. before our courts for violation of our
(SOS) as the alleged Philippine agent of JAPEX. environmental laws on the principle that
Their counter-allegations are: humans are stewards of nature:
- The “Resident Marine Mammals” and
“Stewards” have no legal standing to file “Section 5. Citizen suit. – Any
the petition. Filipino citizen in representation of
- SC-46 is constitutional. others, including minors or
- The ECC was legally issued. generations yet unborn, may file an
- The case is moot and academic since SC- action to enforce rights or
46 is mutually terminated on 21 June obligations under environmental
2008. laws. Upon the filing of a citizen
suit, the court shall issue an order
ISSUES which shall contain a brief
description of the cause of action
1. WON the case is moot and academic and the reliefs prayed for,
2. WON Petitioners have a legal standing requiring all interested parties to
3. WON SC-46 is unconstitutional manifest their interest to intervene
in the case within fifteen (15) days
RULING from notice thereof. The plaintiff
may publish the order once in a 3. Yes. Section 2, Article XII of the 1987
newspaper of general circulation in Constitution provides in part:
the Philippines or furnish all
affected baragngays copies of said “The President may enter into
order. agreement with foreign-owned
corporations involving either
Citizen suits filed under R.A. No. technical or financial assistance for
8749 and R.A. No. 9003 shall be large-scale exploration,
governed by their respective development, and utilization of
provisions. (Emphasis supplied)” minerals, petroleum, and other
mineral oils according to the
Although the petition was filed in 2007, general terms and conditions
years before the effectivity of the Rules of provided by law, based on real
Procedure for Environmental Cases, it has been contributions to the economic
consistently held that rules of procedure may be growth and general welfare of the
retroactively applied to actions pending and country. In such agreements, the
undetermined at the time of their passage and State shall promote the
will not violate any right of a person who may development and use of local
feel that he is adversely affected, inasmuch as scientific and technical resources.
there is no vested rights in rules of procedure.
The President shall notify the
Moreover, even before the Rules of Congress of every contract entered
Procedure for Environmental Cases became into in accordance with this
effective, the SC had already taken a permissive provision, within thirty days from
position on the issue of locus standi in its execution.” (Emphases supplied)
environmental cases. In Oposa, the SC allowed
the suit to be brought in the name of The disposition, exploration,
generations yet unborn “based on the concept of development, exploitation, and utilization of
intergenerational responsibility insofar as the indigenous petroleum in the Philippines are
right to a balanced and healthful ecology is governed by Presidential Decree No. 87 (PD 87)
concerned.” or the Oil Exploration and Development Act of
1972. Although the Court finds that PD 87 is
It is also worth noting that the Stewards sufficient to satisfy the requirement of a general
in the present case are joined as real parties in law, the absence of the two other conditions,
the Petition and not just in representation of the that the President be a signatory to SC-46, and
named cetacean species. that the Congress be notified of such contract,
renders it null and void.
determine the effects of such activity on its
SC-46 appears to have been entered into ecological system.
and signed by the DOE through its then
Secretary Vicente S. Perez, Jr. Moreover, public Public respondents admitted that JAPEX
respondents have neither shown nor alleged only started to secure an ECC prior to the 2nd
that Congress was subsequently notified of the sub-phase of SC-46, which required the drilling
execution of such contract. of the exploration well. This means that no
environmental impact evaluation was done
Service contracts involving the when the seismic surveys were conducted.
exploitation, development, and utilization of our Unless the seismic surveys are part of the
natural resources are of paramount interest to management plan of the Tañon Strait, such
the present and future generations. Hence, surveys were done in violation of Section 12 of
safeguards were out in place to insure that the NIPAS Act and Section 4 of Presidential Decree
guidelines set by law are meticulously observed No. 1586.
and likewise eradicate the corruption that may
easily penetrate departments and agencies by While PD 87 may serve as the general
ensuring that the President has authorized or law upon which a service contract for petroleum
approved of the service contracts herself. exploration and extraction may be authorized,
the exploitation and utilization of this energy
Even under the provisions of PD 87, it is resource in the present case may be allowed
required that the Petroleum Board, now the only through a law passed by Congress, since
DOE, obtain the President’s approval for the the Tañon Strait is a NIPAS area. Since there is
execution of any contract under said statute. no such law specifically allowing oil exploration
and/or extraction in the Tañon Strait, no energy
The SC likewise ruled on the legality of resource exploitation and utilization may be
SC-46 vis-à-vis other pertinent laws to serve as done in said protected seascape.
a guide for the Government when executing
Under Proclamation No. 2146, the Tañon
Strait is an environmentally critical area,
having been declared as a protected area in FACTS:
1998; therefore, any activity outside the scope of Respondents filed a complaint before the RTC against
its management plan may only be implemented several government agencies, among them the
pursuant to an ECC secured after undergoing petitioners, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and
an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) to protection of the Manila Bay. The complaint alleged
that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen
way below the allowable standards set by law, them cannot escape their obligation to future
specifically PD 1152. Respondents, as plaintiffs, generations of Filipinos to keep the waters of the
prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible.
Bay and submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan Issue 2:
of action for the purpose. Yes, petitioners may be compelled.
RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents, The MMDA’s duty in the area of solid waste disposal is
ordering the defendant-government agencies to clean set forth not only in the Environment Code (PD 1152)
up and rehabilitate Manila Bay. and RA 9003, but in its charter as well. This duty of
Petitioners, before the CA, argued that PD 1152 putting up a proper waste disposal system cannot be
relates only to the cleaning of specific pollution characterised as discretionary, for, as earlier stated,
incidents and do not cover cleaning in general. Apart discretion presupposes the power or right given by law
from raising concerns about the lack of funds, to public functionaries to act officially according to
petitioners also asserted that the cleaning of the their judgment or conscience.
Manila Bay is not a ministerial act, which can be A perusal of other petitioners’ respective charters
compelled by mandamus. would yield to the conclusion that these government
The CA denied petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the agencies are enjoined, as a matter of statutory
Decision of the RTC in toto. Hence, this petition. obligation, to perform certain functions relating
ISSUES: directly or indirectly to the cleanup, rehabilitation,
Does PD 1152 include a cleanup in general or is it protection, and preservation of the Manila Bay. They
limited only to the cleanup of specific pollution are precluded from choosing not to perform these
incidents? duties.
Whether or not petitioners may be compelled by The petition is DENIED.
mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila


Issue 1: G.R. NO. 122156. February 3, 1997
PD 1152 does not in any way state that the MANILA PRINCE HOTEL petitioner,
government agencies concerned ought to confine vs.
themselves to the containment, removal, and cleaning GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM,
operations when a specific pollution incident occurs. MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON
The underlying duty to upgrade the quality of water is PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE
not conditional on the occurrence of any pollution GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL,
incident. respondents.
Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal
provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up
the bay, they and the men and women representing Facts:
The controversy arose when respondent Government Whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion on
Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the the part of the respondents in refusing the matching
privatization program of the Philippine Government, bid of the petitioner.
decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of
the issued and outstanding shares of respondent
Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC). The winning bidder, Rulings:
or the eventual “strategic partner,” will provide In the resolution of the case, the Court held that:
management expertise or an international It is a self-executing provision.
marketing/reservation system, and financial support to Since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount
strengthen the profitability and performance of the and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in
Manila Hotel. every statute and contract. A provision which lays
In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II
(2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing.
Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes
offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares operative without the aid of supplementary or
at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient
firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which rule by means of which the right it grants may be
bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, enjoyed or protected, is self-executing.
or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Prior to the A constitutional provision is self-executing if the
declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder, nature and extent of the right conferred and the
petitioner Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so
and sent a manager’s check as bid security, which that they can be determined by an examination and
GSIS refused to accept. construction of its terms, and there is no language
Apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature
the matching bid and that the sale may be for action. Unless it is expressly provided that a
consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner filed a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional
petition before the Court. mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of
the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional
Issues: provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead
Whether or not Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the of self-executing, the legislature would have the power
1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision. to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the
Whether or not the Manila Hotel forms part of the fundamental law.
national patrimony. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a
Whether or not the submission of matching bid is mandatory, positive command which is complete in
premature itself and which needs no further guidelines or
implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From
its very words the provision does not require any
legislation to put it in operation. It is per sejudicially disassociated from the hotel and the land on which the
enforceable. When our Constitution mandates that in hotel edifice stands.
the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions It is not premature.
covering national economy and patrimony, the State In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the
shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it means highest bid in a public bidding concerning the grant of
just that – qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. And rights, privileges and concessions covering the national
when our Constitution declares that a right exists in economy and patrimony, thereby exceeding the bid of a
certain specified circumstances an action may be Filipino, there is no question that the Filipino will
maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the have to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign
absence of any legislation on the subject; consequently, entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign
if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such firm the award should go to the Filipino. It must be so
constitutional right, such right enforces itself by its if the Court is to give life and meaning to the Filipino
own inherent potency and puissance, and from which First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. For,
all legislations must take their bearings. Where there while this may neither be expressly stated nor
is a right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium. contemplated in the bidding rules, the constitutional
The Court agree. fiat is omnipresent to be simply disregarded. To ignore
In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony it would be to sanction a perilous skirting of the basic
pertains to heritage. When the Constitution speaks of law.
national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural The Court does not discount the apprehension that
resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could this policy may discourage foreign investors. But the
have very well used the term natural resources, but Constitution and laws of the Philippines are
also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. understood to be always open to public scrutiny. These
It also refers to Filipino’s intelligence in arts, sciences are given factors which investors must consider when
and letters. In the present case, Manila Hotel has venturing into business in a foreign jurisdiction. Any
become a landmark, a living testimonial of Philippine person therefore desiring to do business in the
heritage. While it was restrictively an American hotel Philippines or with any of its agencies or
when it first opened in 1912, a concourse for the elite, instrumentalities is presumed to know his rights and
it has since then become the venue of various obligations under the Constitution and the laws of the
significant events which have shaped Philippine forum.
history. There was grave abuse of discretion.
Verily, Manila Hotel has become part of our national To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners
economy and patrimony. For sure, 51% of the equity of when there is a Filipino group willing to match the bid
the MHC comes within the purview of the of the foreign group is to insist that government be
constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and treated as any other ordinary market player, and
controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns bound by its mistakes or gross errors of judgement,
the 51% will have actual control and management of regardless of the consequences to the Filipino people.
the hotel. In this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be The miscomprehension of the Constitution is
regrettable. Thus, the Court would rather remedy the POLLUTION ADJUDICATION BOARD
indiscretion while there is still an opportunity to do so VS. COURT OF APPEAL AND SOLAR
than let the government develop the habit of forgetting TEXTILE FINISHING CORP.
that the Constitution lays down the basic conditions
and parameters for its actions.
Since petitioner has already matched the bid price Respondent Solar assailed the Ex parte Cease and
tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to the bidding Desist Order by petitioner Pollution Adjudication
rules, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but Board on the ground that the former was denied due
to award to petitioner the block of shares of MHC and process and that the degree of threat required for the
to execute the necessary agreements and documents to
said Order is remiss. Petitioner reasoned that under
effect the sale in accordance not only with the bidding
guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as PD No.984 Section 7(a), the Board has the legal
well. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the authority to issue ex parte orders to suspend the
corresponding documents with petitioner as provided operations of an establishment when there is prima
in the bidding rules after the latter has matched the facie evidence that such establishment is discharging
bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave effluents or wastewater, the pollution level of which
abuse of discretion.
exceeds the maximum permissible standards set by
the NPCC.
Hence, respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE
The Court ruled in favor of petitioner.
COUNSEL are directed to CEASE and DESIST from
selling 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel
Corporation to RENONG BERHAD, and to ACCEPT The Court held that the Board may issue the ex parte
the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE cease and desist order upon prima facie evidence that
HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% the respondent corporation has waste discharge
of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation
beyond the allowable standards set by the NPCC
at P44.00 per share and thereafter to execute the
necessary agreements and documents to effect the (Sec5, Effluent Regulations of 1982 and Sec7(a),PD
sale, to issue the necessary clearances and to do such 984). If it has not yet been subject to the allowable
other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the standard, the Board may still issue ex parte cease and
purpose. desist order upon prima facie evidence that the
effluent pose an "immediate threat to life, public
health, safety or welfare, or to animal or plant life. The
court held that the Board, as the government entity
tasked to determine whether the effluents of a License to Sell No. 91-11-0592 for the 1,007 lots/units
particular industrial establishment comply with or in the subdivision. Eventually, on December 10, 1991,
respondent POLLISCO issued Small Scale Mining
violate applicable anti-pollution statutory and
Permit (SSMP) No. IV-316 to Philjas to extract and
regulatory provisions, has the authority to issue the remove 10,000 cu. meters of filling materials from the
order as it may see fit. This is, after all, allowed by law area where the CHS is located. Thereafter, or
to address relevant pollution issues as an immediate on January 12, 1994, Philjas applied for a Small Scale
recourse. Mining Permit (SSMP) under P. D. 1899 with
the Rizal Provincial Government to extract and
PRINCIPE VS. FFIB remove 50,000 metric tons of filling materials per
annum on CHS 2.8 hectares. Thus, on January 17,
FACTS: August 28, 1990- Philjas Corporation, whose 1994, respondent MAGNO, informed ELIEZER I.
primary purposes, among others are: to own, develop, RODRIGUEZ of Philjas that CHS is within the EIS
subdivide, market and provide low-cost housing for the System and as such must secure ECC from the
poor, was registered with the Securities and Exchange DENR.Philjas was accordingly informed of the matter
Commission (SEC). February 19, 1991 - then City such that it applied for the issuance of ECC from the
Mayor Daniel S. Garcia, endorsed to the Housing and DENR-Region IV, on February 3, 1994. On March 12,
Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) the proposed 1994, an Inspection Report allegedly prepared by
CHS. Thereafter, or on 07 March 1991, based on the respondent BALICAS, attested by respondent
favorable recommendation of Mayor Garcia, RUTAQUIO and approved by respondent
respondent TAN, issued the Preliminary Approval TOLENTINO re: field evaluation to the issuance of
and Locational Clearance (PALC) for the development ECC, was submitted.
of CHS. On July 5, 1991, then HLURB Commissioner Consequently, on April 28, 1994, upon
respondent TUNGPALAN issued Development Permit recommendation of respondent
No. 91-0216 for land development only for the entire TOLENTINO, Philjasapplication for ECC was
land area of 12.1034 hectares covered by TCT No. approved by respondent PRINCIPE, then Regional
35083 (now TCT 208837) and with 1,003 saleable Executive Director, DENR under ECC-137-RI-212-94.
lots/units with project classification B. P. 220 Model A- A Mining Field Report for SSMP dated May 10,
Socialized Housing (p. 96, Records), with several 1994 was submitted pursuant to the inspection report
conditions for its development. Three (3) days prepared by respondents CAYETANO, FELICIANO,
thereafter or on July 8, 1991, respondent JASARENO, HILADO and BURGOS, based on their inspection
allowed/granted the leveling/earth-moving operations conducted on April 25 to 29, 1994. The report
of the development project of the area subject to recommended, among others, that the proposed
certain conditions. extraction of materials would pose no adverse effect to
On November 18, 1991, then HLURB Commissioner the environment.
AMADO B. DELORIA issued Certificate of Records further disclosed that on August 10, 1994,
Registration No. 91-11-0576 in favor of CHS, with respondent BALICAS monitored the implementation
of the CHS Project Development to check compliance HELD: As heretofore stated, the responsibility of
with the terms and conditions in the ECC. Again, monitoring housing and land development projects is
on August 23, 1995, she conducted another monitoring not lodged with the office of petitioner. The
on the project for the same purpose. In both instances, Administrative Code of 1987 spelled out the mandate
she noted that the project was still in the construction of the Department of Environment and Natural
stage hence, compliance with the stipulated conditions Resources, the agency that has authority over
could not be fully assessed, and therefore, a follow-up petitioner, which reads:
monitoring inspection was the last one conducted by Section 1. Declaration of Policy.- (1) The State shall
the DENR. ensure for the benefit of the Filipino people, the full
On September 24, 1994, GOV. CASIMIRO I. YNARES, exploration and development as well as the judicious
JR., approved the SSMP applied for by Philjas under disposition, utilization, management, renewal and
SSMP No. RZL-012, allowing Philjas to extract and conservation of the country’s forest, mineral, land,
remove 50,000 metric tons of filling materials from the waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other
area for a period of two (2) years from date of its natural resources, consistent with the necessity of
issue until September 6, 1996. On November 15, 1999, maintaining a sound ecological balance and protecting
the Ombudsman rendered a decision finding and enhancing the quality of the environment and the
petitioner Principe administratively liable for gross objective of making the exploration, development and
neglect of duty and imposing upon him the penalty of utilization of such natural resources equitably
dismissal from office. The dispositive portion of the accessible to the different segments of the present as
decision reads: well as future generations.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the following (2) The State shall likewise recognize and apply a true
respondents are hereby found GUILTY as charged and value system that takes into account social and
meted the respective penalties provided under Section environmental cost implications relative to the
22, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules, Implementing utilization, development and conservation of our
Book V of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known natural resources.
as the Administrative Code of 1987, viz,: Section 2. Mandate.- (1) The Department of
Antonio G. Principe - Penalty of Dismissal from the Environment and Natural Resources shall be
Service for Gross Neglect of Duty. primarily responsible for the implementation of the
foregoing policy.
ISSUE: WON the Ombudsman may dismiss petitioner (2) It shall, subject to law and higher authority, be in
from the service on an administrative charge for gross charge of carrying out the State’s constitutional
neglect of duty, initiated, investigated and decided by mandate to control and supervise the exploration,
the Ombudsman himself without substantial evidence development, utilization, and conservation of the
to support his finding of gross neglect of duty because country’s natural resources.
the duty to monitor and inspect the project was not However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 90, the
vested in petitioner. Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, which
became the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
(HLURB), is the sole regulatory body for housing and that under an administrative seizure the owner
land development. retains the physical possession of the seized articles.
Only an inventory of the articles is taken and signed
MUSTANG LUMBER vs. COURT OF APPEALS by the owner or his representative. The owner is
prohibited from disposing them until further orders.
Facts: Petitioner was duly registered as a lumber On 10 April 1990, counsel for the petitioner sent a
dealer with the Bureau of Forest Development. The letter to the Chief of SAID Robles requesting an
Special Actions and Investigation Division of the extension of fifteen days to produce the required
DENR were informed that a huge stockpile of narra documents covering the seized articles because some of
flitches, shorts, and slabs were seen inside the them, particularly the certificate of lumber origin,
lumberyard of the petitioner. The SAID organized a were allegedly in the Province of Quirino. Robles
team of foresters and policemen and sent it to conduct denied the petition. Subsequently, the Sec. of DENR
surveillance. In the course thereof, the team members Factoran issued an order confiscating the woods seized
saw coming out from the lumberyard the petitioner's in the truck of the petitioner as well as those found in
truck loaded with lauan and almaciga lumber of their lumberyard.
assorted sizes and dimensions. Since the driver could
not produce the required invoices and transport Issue: Whether or not that a lumber cannot be
documents, the team seized the truck together with its considered a timber and that petitioner should not be
cargo and impounded them at the DENR compound. held for illegal logging.
The team was not able to gain entry into the premises
because of the refusal of the owner. The team was able Held: The foregoing disquisitions should not, in any
to secure a search warrant. By virtue thereof, the team manner, be construed as an affirmance of the
seized on that date from the petitioner's lumberyard respondent Judge's conclusion that lumber is excluded
four truckloads of narra shorts, trimmings, and slabs; from the coverage of Section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as
a negligible number of narra lumber; and amended, and thus possession thereof without the
approximately 200,000 board feet of lumber and shorts required legal documents is not a crime. On the
of various species including almaciga and supa. On 4 contrary, the SC rules that such possession is
April 1990, the team returned to the premises of the penalized in the said section because lumber is
petitioner's lumberyard and placed under included in the term timber. The Revised Forestry
administrative seizure the remaining stockpile of Code contains no definition of either timber or lumber.
almaciga, supa, and lauan lumber with a total volume While the former is included in forest products as
of 311,000 board feet because the petitioner failed to defined in paragraph (q) of Section 3, the latter is
produce upon demand the corresponding certificate of found in paragraph (aa) of the same section in the
lumber origin, auxiliary invoices, tally sheets, and definition of "Processing plant," which reads:
delivery receipts from the source of the invoices Processing plant is any mechanical set-up, machine or
covering the lumber to prove the legitimacy of their combination of machine used for the processing of logs
source and origin. Parenthetically, it may be stated and other forest raw materials into lumber, veneer,
plywood, wall bond, block board, paper board, pulp, Records further disclosed that on August 10, 1994,
paper or other finished wood products. This simply respondent BALICAS monitored the implementation
means that lumber is a processed log or processed of the CHS Project Development to check compliance
forest raw material. Clearly, the Code uses the term with the terms and conditions in the ECC. Again, on
lumber in its ordinary or common usage. In the 1993 August 23, 1995, she conducted another monitoring on
copyright edition of Webster's Third New International the project for the same purpose. In both instances,
Dictionary, lumber is defined, inter alia, as "timber or she noted that the project was still in the construction
logs after being prepared for the market." Simply put, stage hence, compliance with the stipulated conditions
lumber is a processed log or timber. It is settled that in could not be fully assessed, and therefore, a follow-up
the absence of legislative intent to the contrary, words monitoring is proper. It appeared from the records that
and phrases used in a statute should be given their this August 23, 1995 monitoring inspection was the
plain, ordinary, and common usage meaning. And last one conducted by the DENR. On September 24,
insofar as possession of timber without the required 1994, GOV. CASIMIRO I. YNARES, JR., approved the
legal documents is concerned, Section 68 of P.D. No. SSMP applied for by Philjas under SSMP No. RZL-
705, as amended, makes no distinction between raw or 012, allowing Philjas to extract and remove 50,000
processed timber. metric tons of filling materials from the area for a
period of two (2) years from date of its issue until
September 6, 1996.[4]
BALICAS VS. FFIB Immediately after the tragic incident on August 3,
1999, a fact-finding investigation was conducted by the
FACTS: On March 12, 1994, an Inspection Report Office of the Ombudsman through its Fact-Finding
allegedly prepared by respondent BALICAS, attested and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB), which duly filed an
by respondent RUTAQUIO and approved by administrative complaint with the Office of the
respondent TOLENTINO re: field evaluation to the Ombudsman against several officials of the Housing
issuance of ECC, was submitted. Consequently, on and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB),
April 28, 1994, upon recommendations of respondent Department of Environment and Natural Resources
TOLENTINO, Philjas application for ECC was (DENR), and the local government of Antipolo.
approved by respondent PRINCIPE, then Regional The charge against petitioner involved a supposed
Executive Director, DENR under ECC-137-R1-212- failure on her part to monitor and inspect the
94. A Mining Field Report for SSMP dated May 10, development of Cherry Hills Subdivision, which was
1994 was submitted pursuant to the inspection report assumed to be her duty as DENR senior
prepared by respondents CAYETANO, FELICIANO, environmental management specialist assigned in the
HILADO and BURGOS, based on their inspection province of Rizal.
conducted on April 25 to 29, 1994. The report For her part, petitioner belied allegations that
recommended, among others, that the proposed monitoring was not conducted, claiming that she
extraction of materials would pose no adverse effect to monitored the development of Cherry Hills
the environment. Subdivision as evidenced by three (3) monitoring
reports dated March 12, 1994, August 10, 1994 and Petitioner seasonably filed a petition for review of the
August 23, 1995. She averred that she also conducted Ombudsmans decision with the Court of Appeals. In
subsequent compliance monitoring of the terms and its decision dated August 25, 2000, the Court of
conditions of Philjas Environmental Compliance Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit and
Certificate (ECC) on May 19, 1997 and noted no affirmed the appealed decision. It found that the
violation thereon. She further claimed good faith and landslide was a preventable occurrence and that
exercise of due diligence, insisting that the tragedy petitioner was guilty of gross negligence in failing to
was a fortuitous event. She reasoned that the collapse closely monitor Philjas compliance with the conditions
did not occur in Cherry Hills, but in the adjacent of the ECC given the known inherent instability of the
mountain eastern side of the subdivision. ground where the subdivision was developed. The
On November 15, 1999, the Office of the Ombudsman appellate court likewise denied petitioner’s motion for
rendered a decision imposing upon petitioner the reconsideration in its resolution dated November 13,
supreme penalty of dismissal from office for gross 2000.
neglect of duty finding: Petitioner now comes to this Court for review
RESPONDENT BALICAS on certiorari, under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil
Records show that she monitored and inspected the Procedure, of the appellate court’s decision. She alleges
CHS [Cherry Hills Subdivision] only thrice (3), to wit: that the Court of Appeals committed serious errors of
1. Inspection Report dated 12 March 1994 law in affirming the Ombudsmans conclusion that:
2. Monitoring Report dated 10 August 1994 1 There was gross negligence on the part of
3. Monitoring Report dated 23 August 1995 petitioner Balicas in the performance of her
Verily, with this scant frequency, how can respondent official duties as Senior Environmental
Balicas sweepingly claim that there was no violation of Management Specialist (SEMS) of the
ECC compliance and that she had done what is Provincial Environment and Natural Resources
necessary in accordance with the regular performance Office (PENRO) Province of Rizal, DENR
of her duties. She herself recognized the fact that the Region IV; and the alleged gross neglect of duty
collapsed area is not the subdivision in question but of petitioner warranted the imposition of the
the adjacent mountain eastern side of the CHS. It is extreme penalty of dismissal from the service.
incumbent upon her to establish the same in her 2. The landslide which caused the death of
monitoring and inspection reports and make objective several residents of the subdivision and the
recommendations re: it’s possible adverse effect to the destruction of property is not a fortuitous event
environment and to the residents of the CHS and and therefore preventible.[6]
nearby areas. Her defense that the position of the CHS
shows the impossibility of checking the would-be ISSUES: WON the Court of Appeals committed
adverse effect clearly established her serious errors of law in: (1) holding petitioner guilty of
incompetence. No expert mind is needed to know that gross neglect of duty and (2) imposing upon her the
mountains cause landslide and erosion. Cherry Hills extreme penalty of dismissal from office.
Subdivision is a living witness to this.[5]
HELD: In order to ascertain if there had been gross public for appropriate referral to the regional
neglect of duty, we have to look at the lawfully office;
prescribed duties of petitioner. Unfortunately, DENR 2. comment on the project description,
regulations are silent on the specific duties of a senior determine if the project fall within the
environmental management specialist. Internal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
regulations merely speak of the functions of the System[8] and submit the same to the regional
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office office; and
(PENRO) to which petitioner directly reports. 3. implement programs and projects related to
Nonetheless, petitioner relies on a letter[7] dated environmental management within the
December 13, 1999 from the chief of personnel, DENR PENRO. [9]

Region IV, which defines the duties of a senior In addition, the PENRO is likewise tasked to monitor
environmental management specialist as follows: the project proponents compliance with the conditions
1. Conducts investigation of pollution sources or stipulated in the ECC, with support from the DENR
complaints; regional office and the Environmental Management
2. Review[s] plans and specifications of Bureau.[10] The primary purpose of compliance
proposes (sic) or existing treatment plants and monitoring is to ensure the judicious implementation
pollution abatement structures and devices to of sound and standard environmental quality during
determine their efficiency and suitability for the development stage of a particular
the kind of pollutants to be removed and to project.Specifically, it aims to:
recommend issuance or denial of permits; 1. monitor project compliance with the
3. Conducts follow-up inspection of construction conditions set in the ECC;
of pollution abatement/work and structures to 2. monitor compliance with the Environmental
oversee compliance with approved plans and Management Plan (EMP) and applicable laws,
specifications; rules and regulations; and
4. Recommends remedial measures for the 3. provide a basis for timely decision-making
prevention, abatement and control of pollution; and effective planning and management of
5. Prepares technical reports on pollution environmental measures through the
investigation and related activities; and monitoring of actual project impacts vis--vis
6. Performs related work as assigned. predicted impacts in the EIS.[11]
It is readily apparent that no monitoring duty Based on the foregoing, the monitoring duties of the
whatsoever is mentioned in the said letter. The PENRO mainly deal with broad environmental
PENRO, on the other hand, is mandated to: concerns, particularly pollution abatement. This
1. conduct surveillance and inspection of general monitoring duty is applicable to all types of
pollution sources and control facilities and physical developments that may adversely impact on
undertake/initiate measures relative to the environment, whether housing projects, industrial
pollution-related complaints of the general sites, recreational facilities, or scientific undertakings.
However, a more specific monitoring duty is imposed dated December 1, 1999, dismissing Principe from the
on the HLURB as the sole regulatory body for housing government service. We ordered his reinstatement
and land development. It is mandated to encourage with back pay and without loss of seniority. The
greater private sector participation in low-cost housing rationale for our decision in Principe bears reiteration:
through (1) liberalization of development standards, the responsibility of monitoring housing and land
(2) simplification of regulations and (3) development projects is not lodged with the DENR, but
decentralization of approvals for permits and with the HLURB as the sole regulatory body for
licenses.[12] housing and land development. Thus, we must stress
P.D. No. 1586[13] prescribes the following duties on the that we find no legal basis to hold petitioner, who is an
HLURB (then Ministry of Human Settlements) in officer of DENR, liable for gross neglect of the duty
connection with environmentally critical projects pertaining to another agency, the HLURB. It was
requiring an ECC: grave error for the appellate court to sustain the
SECTION 4. Presidential Proclamation of Ombudsman’s ruling that she should be dismissed
Environmentally Critical Areas and Projects. The from the service. The reinstatement of petitioner is
President of the Philippines may, on his own initiative clearly called for.
or upon recommendation of the National Environment
Protection Council, by proclamation declare certain
projects, undertakings or areas in the country as
environmentally critical. No person, partnership or
corporation shall undertake or operate any such
declared environmentally critical project or area
without first securing an Environmental Compliance
Certificate issued by the President or his duly
authorized representative. For the proper Laguna Lake Development Authority vs CA
management of said critical project or area, the Natural Resources and Environmental Laws; Statutory
President may by his proclamation reorganize such Construction
government offices, agencies, institutions, corporations
or instrumentalities including the re-alignment of GR No. 120865-71; Dec. 7 1995
government personnel, and their specific functions and
responsibilities. FACTS:
In the related case of Principe v. Fact-Finding and The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was
Intelligence Bureau,[14] this Court found Antonio created through Republic Act No. 4850. It was granted, inter
Principe, regional executive director for DENR Region alia, exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use of all
IV who approved Philjas application for ECC, not surface water for any project or activity in or affecting the
liable for gross neglect of duty. The Court reversed the said region including navigation, construction, and operation
decision of the Court of Appeals and thereby annulled of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like.
the decision of the Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-09-661,
Then came RA 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.
The municipalities in the Laguna Lake region interpreted its Tano vs Socrates GR 110249 21 August 1997
provisions to mean that the newly passed law gave municipal
governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing Facts: On 15 December 1992 the Sanguniang
privileges within their municipal waters. Panglungsod of Puerto Princesa enacted Ordinance No
15-92 to establish a “closed season” for the species of
Who should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and fish or aquatic animals covered therein for a period of
its environs insofar as the issuance of permits for fishing five years; and on 22 January 1993 acting Mayor
privileges is concerned, the LLDA or the towns and Amado Lucero issued Order No 23 to protect the coral
municipalities comprising the region? in the marine waters of the City of Puerto Princesa
and the Province of Palawan from further destruction
LLDA has jurisdiction over such matters because the charter due to illegal fishing activities. The petitioners,
of the LLDA prevails over the Local Government Code of invoked the Court for certiorari contending both
1991. The said charter constitutes a special law, while the ordinances for depriving them of due process of law,
latter is a general law. It is basic in statutory construction their livelihood, and unduly restricted them from the
that the enactment of a later legislation which is a general
law, cannot be construed to have repealed a special law. The practice of their trade, in violation of Section 2, Article
special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law XII and Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987
in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary Constitution.
conclusion. Issue: Whether or not Ordinance 15-92 enacted by
In addition, the charter of the LLDA embodies a valid
Sanguniang Panglungsod and Order No 23 by Acting
exercise of police power for the purpose of protecting and
developing the Laguna Lake region, as opposed to the Local Mayor Lucero are within the limits of police power?
Government Code, which grants powers to municipalities to Decision: Petition dismissed and TRO lifted.
issue fishing permits for revenue purposes. Ordinance 15-92 and Order No 23 are valid. The
relationship then between the activities barred by
Thus it has to be concluded that the charter of the LLDA should
prevail over the Local Government Code of 1991 on matters Ordinance No. 15-92 of the City of Puerto Princesa and
affecting Laguna de Bay. the prohibited acts provided in Ordinance No. 2, Series
of 1993 of the Province of Palawan, on one hand, and
the use of sodium cyanide, on the other, is painfully
obvious. In sum, the public purpose and
reasonableness of the Ordinances may not then be
the DENR has no choice but to issue the Certificate of
Non-Coverage. It becomes its ministerial duty, the
Republic of the Philippines v. The City of Davao performance of which can be compelled by writ
of mandamus, such as that issued by the trial court in
FACTS: the case at bar.

Respondent filed an application for a Certificate of

Non-Coverage (CNC) for its proposed project, the TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPERS, INC v. CA
Davao City Artica Sports Dome, with the G.R. No. 94759, Jan. 21, 1991, 201 SCRA
Environmental Management Bureau however, was
denied on the ground that the proposed project was FACTS:
within an environmentally critical area; that the City
of Davao must first undergo the environmental impact Technology Developers, a corporation engaged in the
assessment (EIA) process to secure an Environmental manufacture and export ofcharcoal briquette, received
Compliance Certificate (ECC). Respondent then filed a a letter from acting mayor Pablo Cruz: 1) ordering the
petition for mandamus with the Regional Trial Court full cessation of its plant in Guyong, Sta. Maria,
(RTC), and the latter ruled in favor of respondent. Bulacan until further order, and 2) requesting its
Plant Manager to bring before the office of the mayor
ISSUE: its buildingpermit, mayor's permit, and Region III--
WON the LGU’s are excluded from the coverage of PD Pollution of Environment and Natural Resources Anti-
1586, one which requires an environmental impact Pollution Permit.
assessment (EIA) process to secure an Environmental
Compliance Certificate (ECC) Technology Developers undertook to comply with the
request to produce the required documents. It sought
HELD: to secure the Region III-Pollution of Environment and
No.Section 4 of PD 1586 provides that "no person, Natural Resources Anti-Pollution Permit although
partnership or corporation shall undertake or operate prior to the operation of the plant, a
any such declared environmentally critical project or Temporary Permit to Operate Air
area without first securing an Environmental Pollution Installation was issued to it. Petitioners also
Compliance Certificate issued by the President or his sent its representatives to the office of the mayor to
duly authorized representative." We note that LGU’s secure a mayor’s permit but were not entertained.
are juridical persons.
HOWEVER, after consideration of the evidence finding Eventually, the acting mayor ordered that the plant
Artica Sports Dome is not within an environmentally premises be padlocked, effectively causing the
critical area neither being a critical project. The said stoppage of operation. This was done without previous
project is not classified as environmentally critical, or and reasonable notice.
within an environmentally critical area. Consequently,
Technology Developers then instituted an action for
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with HELD:
preliminary injunction against the acting mayor with
Bulacan RTC, alleging that the closure order was YES. The following circumstances militate against the
issued in grave abuse of discretion. maintenance of the writ of preliminary injunction
sought by petitioner:
The RTC found that the issuance of the writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction was proper, 1. No mayor's permit had been secured. While it is
ordering the acting mayor to immediately revoke true that the matter of determining whether there is a
his closure order and allow Technology Developers to pollution of the environment that requires control if
resume its normal business operations until the case not prohibition of the operation of a business is
has been adjudicated on the merits. essentially addressed to the Environmental
Management Bureau of the Department of
Upon MR, the Provincial Prosecutor presented Environment and Natural Resources, it must be
evidence as to the allegation that "Due to the recognized that the mayor of a town has as much
manufacturing process and nature of raw materials responsibility to protect its inhabitants from pollution,
used, the fumes coming from the factory may contain and by virtue of his police power, he may deny
particulate matters which are hazardous to the health the application for a permit to operate a business or
of the people. As such, the company otherwise close the same unless appropriate measures
should cease operating until such a time that the are taken to control and/or avoid injury to the health of
proper air pollution device is installed and the residents of the community from the emissions in
operational." the operation of the business.

Reassessing the evidence, the RTC set aside its order 2. The Acting Mayor called the attention of petitioner
granted the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. to the pollution emitted by the fumes of its plant
The CA denied Technology Developer's petition for whose offensive odor "not only pollute the air in the
certiorari for lack of merit. locality but also affect the health of the residents in
the area," so that petitioner was ordered to stop its
operation until further orders.

3. This action of the Acting Mayor was in response to

the complaint of the residents of Barangay Guyong,
ISSUE: Sta. Maria, Bulacan, directed to the Provincial
Governor through channels.
W/N the acting mayor had a legal ground for ordering
the stoppage of Technology Developer 4. The closure order of the Acting Mayor was issued
only after an investigation was made by Marivic Guina
who in her report observed that the fumes emitted by
the plant goes directly to the surrounding houses and Petition denied.
that no proper air pollutiondevice has been installed.
5. Petitioner failed to produce a building permit from
the municipality of Sta. Maria, but instead presented a FACTS: On 30 June 1997, Regional Executive Director
building permit issued by an official of Makati on Antonio G. Principe (RED Principe) of Region IV,
March 6, 1987. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR), issued an Environmental Clearance
6. While petitioner was able to present a Certificate (ECC) in favor of respondent National
temporary permit to operate by the then National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). The ECC authorized
Pollution Control Commission on December 15, 1987, NAPOCOR to construct a temporary mooring facility
the permit was good only up to May 25, 1988. in Minolo Cove, Sitio Minolo, Barangay San Isidro,
Petitioner had not exerted any effort to extend or Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The Sangguniang
validate its permit much less to install any device to Bayan of Puerto Galera has declared Minolo Cove, a
control the pollution and prevent any hazard to the mangrove area and breeding ground for bangus fry, an
health of the residents of the community. eco-tourist zone. The mooring facility would serve as
the temporary docking site of NAPOCORs power
Court takes note of the plea of petitioner focusing on barge, which, due to turbulent waters at its former
its huge investment in this dollar-earning industry. It mooring site in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, required
must be stressed however, that concomitant with the relocation to a safer site like Minolo Cove. The 14.4
need to promote investment and contribute to the megawatts power barge would provide the main source
growth of the economy is the equally essential of power for the entire province of Oriental Mindoro
imperative of protecting the health, nay the very lives pending the construction of a land-based power plant
of the people, from the deleterious effect of the in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. The ECC for the
pollution of the environment. mooring facility was valid for two years counted from
its date of issuance or until 30 June 1999. Petitioners,
claiming to be fisherfolks from Minolo, San Isidro,
● The well-known rule is that the matter of issuance of Puerto Galera, sought reconsideration of the ECC
a writ of preliminary injunction is addressed to the issuance. RED Principe, however, denied petitioners
sound judicial discretion of the trial court and its plea on 15 July 1997. On 21 July 1997, petitioners
action shall not be disturbed on appeal unless it is filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of
demonstrated that it acted without jurisdiction or Manila, Branch 7, for the cancellation of the ECC and
in excess of jurisdiction or otherwise, in grave abuse of for the issuance of a writ of injunction to stop the
its discretion. By the same token the court that issued construction of the mooring facility. Impleaded as
such a preliminary relief may recall or dissolve the defendants were the following: (1) NAPOCOR, (2) RED
writ as the circumstances may warrant. Principe, (3) DENR Region IV Technical Director for
Environment Oscar Dominguez, (4) Oriental Mindoro its terms. In its order of 7 November 1997, the trial
Electric Cooperative (ORMECO), which is engaged in court granted the motion and dismissed petitioner’s
the distribution of electricity in Oriental Mindoro, and complaint.
(5) certain officials of Puerto Galera. Petitioners
subsequently amended their complaint to include as ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in dismissing
additional defendants the elective officials of Oriental petitioner’s complaint for lack of cause of action and
Mindoro represented by then Governor Rodolfo G. lack of jurisdiction.
Valencia.Petitioners further prayed for the demolition
of mooring structures that respondents had already HELD: The Ruling of the Court: The petition has no
built. merit. Presidential Decree No. 1605 (PD No.
On 28 July 1997, prior to the filing of the amended 1605),[23] as amended by Presidential Decrees Nos.
complaint, the trial court issued a 20-day temporary 1605-A and 1805, declares as ecologically threatened
restraining order enjoining the construction of the zone the coves and waters embraced by Puerto Galera
mooring facility. However, the trial court lifted the Bay as protected by Medio Island. This decree provides
same on 6 August 1997 on NAPOCORs manifestation in part:
that the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro Section 1. Any provision of law to the contrary
was the one undertaking the construction of the notwithstanding, the construction of marinas, hotels,
mooring facility. restaurants, other commercial structures; commercial
On 28 August 1997, before filing their answers, or semi-commercial wharfs [sic]; commercial docking
respondents ORMECO and the provincial officials of within the enclosed coves of Puerto Galera; the
Oriental Mindoro moved to dismiss the destruction of its mangrove stands; the devastation of
complaint. These respondents claimed that petitioners its corals and coastline by large barges, motorboats,
failed to exhaust administrative remedies, rendering tugboat propellers, and any form of destruction by
the complaint without cause of action. They also other human activities are hereby prohibited.
asserted that the Manila RTC has no jurisdiction to Section 2. x x x
enjoin the construction of the mooring facility in No permit for the construction of any wharf, marina,
Oriental Mindoro, which lies outside the Manila RTCs hotel, restaurants and other commercial structures in
territorial jurisdiction. Petitioners opposed the motion Puerto Galera shall be issued without prior approval of
on the ground that there was no need to exhaust the Office of the President upon the recommendation
administrative remedies. They argued that the of the Philippine Tourism Authority. (Emphasis
issuance of the ECC was in patent violation of supplied)
Presidential Decree No. 1605,[8] Sections 26 and 27 of NAPOCOR claims that since Minolo Cove lies outside
Republic Act No. 7160,[9] and the provisions of DENR of Puerto Galera Bay as protected by Medio
Department Administrative Order No. 96-37 (DAO 96- Island,[24] PD No. 1605 does not apply to this
37) on the documentation of ECC case. However, petitioners assert that Minolo Cove is
applications. Petitioners also claimed that the one of the enclosed coves of Puerto Galera[25]and thus
implementation of the ECC was in patent violation of protected under PD No. 1605. This is a question of fact
that the DENR Secretary should have first resolved. In depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land,
any event, there is no dispute that NAPOCOR will use rangeland, or forest cover and extinction of animal or
the mooring facility for its power barge that will plant species, to consult with the local government
supply 14.4 megawatts of electricity to the entire units, non-governmental organizations, and other
province of Oriental Mindoro, including Puerto sectors concerned and explain the goals and objectives
Galera. The mooring facility is obviously a of the project or program, its impact upon the people
government-owned public infrastructure intended to and the community in terms of environmental or
serve a basic need of the people of Oriental ecological balance, and the measures that will be
Mindoro. The mooring facility is not a commercial undertaken to prevent or minimize the adverse effects
structure; commercial or semi-commercial wharf or thereof.
commercial docking as contemplated in Section 1 of PD
No. 1605. Therefore, the issuance of the ECC does not Section 27. Prior Consultations Required. - No project
violate PD No. 1605 which applies only to commercial or program shall be implemented by government
structures like wharves, marinas, hotels and authorities unless the consultations mentioned in
restaurants. Section x x x 26 hereof are complied with, and prior
approval of the sanggunian concerned is
Sections 26 and 27 of RA No. 7160 obtained: Provided, That occupants in areas where
Congress introduced Sections 26 and 27 in the Local such projects are to be implemented shall not be
Government Code to emphasize the legislative concern evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been
for the maintenance of a sound ecology and clean provided, in accordance with the provisions of the
environment.[26] These provisions require every Constitution.
national government agency or government-owned In Lina, Jr. v. Pao,[27] the Court interpreted these
and controlled corporation to hold prior consultations provisions in this manner:
with the local government unit concerned and to Section 27 of the Code should be read in conjunction
secure the prior approval of its sanggunian before with Section 26 thereof x x x.
implementing any project or program that may cause Thus, the projects and programs mentioned in Section
pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable 27 should be interpreted to mean projects and
resources, loss of cropland, rangeland, or forest cover programs whose effects are among those enumerated
and extinction of animal or plant species. Sections 26 in Sections 26 and 27, to wit, those that: (1) may cause
and 27 respectively provide: pollution; (2) may bring about climatic change; (3) may
cause the depletion of non-renewable resources; (4)
Section 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in may result in loss of crop land, rangeland, or forest
the Maintenance of EcologicalBalance. - It shall be the cover; (5) may eradicate certain animal or plant
duty of every national agency or government-owned or species; and (6) other projects or programs that may
controlled corporation authorized or involved in the call for the eviction of a particular group of people
planning and implementation of any project or residing in the locality where these will be
program that may cause pollution, climatic change, implemented.
Again, Sections 26 and 27 do not apply to this case
because as petitioners admit,[28] the mooring facility
itself is not environmentally critical and hence does
not belong to any of the six types of projects mentioned
in the law. There is no statutory requirement for the
concerned sanggunian to approve the construction of
the mooring facility. It is another matter if the
operation of the power barge is at issue. As an
environmentally critical project that causes pollution,
the operation of the power barge needs the prior
approval of the concerned sanggunian. However, what
is before this Court is only the construction of the
mooring facility, not the operation of the power
barge. Thus, the issuance of the ECC does not violate
Sections 26 and 27 of RA No. 7160.