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Demetria v Alba

G.R. No. 71977, February 27, 1987

Petitioners filed as concerned citizens of this country, as members of the National
Assembly/Batasan Pambansa representing their millions of constituents, as parties with
general interest common to all the people of the Philippines, and as taxpayers whose
vital interests may be affected by the outcome of the relief’s prayed for. The petitioners
assail the constitutionality of the first paragraph of Sec. 44 of PD 1177 or the Budget
Reform Decree of 1977 with a petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary
The contents of PD 1177 particularly that of the first paragraph of section 44 extends the
privilege of the president to discriminately transfer funds from one department, bureau,
office or agency of the Executive Department of any program, project or activity of any
department, bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved
after its enactment.

Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi and fulfill the requisites for suing as
taxpayers and concerned citizens.

The petitioners comply with the legal standing both as concerned citizens and taxpayers.
As concerned citizens, the petitioners bring the suit in quest of law and justice. The issue
cries out to be solved as justice demands not only for the vindication of the outraged
right but also for the guidance of the bench and bar, and as a restraint upon the future.
Furthermore, the petitioner has standing to sue as taxpayer. In the determination of the
degree of interest essential to give the requisite standing to attack the constitutionality of
a statute, the general rule is that not only persons individually affected, but also
taxpayers. They have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditures of moneys
raised by taxation and may therefore question the constitutionality of statutes requiring
expenditure of public moneys.
The Supreme Court granted the instant petition. Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of
Presidential Decree No. 1177 was also declared null and void for being unconstitutional.