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Automotive Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA) vs.

G.R. No. 157509, January 18, 2005

The Automotive Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA) and its Affiliated Unions filed a
petition for Supreme Court to exercise its power of judicial review to declare Executive
Order No. 185 unconstitutional.
The petitioners contended that EO 185 violated their rights and interests as labor unions
and as taxpayers. By the said EO, the administrative supervision over the National Labor
Relations Commission (NLRC), its regional branches and all its personnel including the
executive labor arbiters and labor arbiters was transferred from the NLRC Chairperson
to the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
Claiming that the issues does not pose an actual case or controversy, respondents
contend that the petitioners have not specifically cited how EO No. 185 has prejudiced or
threatened to prejudice their rights and existence as labor unions and as taxpayers.
Furthermore, they argued that the petitioners lacked legal standing to challenge the
validity of said EO, not even in their capacity as taxpayers, considering that labor unions
are exempt from paying taxes.

Whether or not petitioners have legal standing to assail the validity of EO 185.

Ration Decidendi:
Legal standing or locus standi is defined as a "personal and substantial interest in the
case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
governmental act that is being challenged." Since petitioners have not shown that they
have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any personal injury due to EO No. 185, it
cannot be said that the aforementioned EO will prejudice their rights and interests. Only
NLRC personnel, the subject of the Secretary of Labor’s disciplinary authority, have a
direct and specific interest in this issue.
In their capacity as taxpayers, petitioners also do not have legal standing on this issue
since there is no mention of an established disbursement of public funds in
contravention of law or the Constitution.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. The challenging of EO 185’s
constitutionality have to wait for the proper party in a proper case before the court may
intervene and entertain.