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G.R. No.

127882 December 1, 2004 La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Association vs Ramos Facts: La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Association (to be referred to as PET) filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus challenging the constitutionality of 1) RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995; 2) its implementing rules and regulations (DENR Administrative Order DAO 96-40); and 3) the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), dated March 30, 1995, executed by the government with Western Mining Corporation Phil, Inc. (WMCP) On Jan. 27, 2004, the court en banc granted the petition declaring the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 96-40 as well as the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP. FTAAs were found to be service contracts prohibited in the 1987 Constitution, and though permitted in the 1973 Constitution, we said to contradict the principle of sovereignty over natural resources because FTAA allows foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources. Accdg. to the initial decision, Sec. 2 Art 12 of the 1987 Constitution effectively bans such service contracts. Ramos et al. filed separate Motions for Reconsideration Resolution of March 9, 2004: the Court requires petitioners to comment on the motions for reconsideration Resolution of June 8, 2004: the Court set the case for oral argument on June 29, 2004 Later on June 29, 2004, the Court noted the Manifestation and Motion filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on behalf of public respondents, that it was joining and adopting the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Inc.s (CMP) Motion for reconsideration. Intervenors, petitioners, public respondents and private respondent filed their respective memoranda. WMCP submitted as well while the OSG submitted copies of more FTAAs entered into by the government short version: La Bugal files petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 7942, DAO 96-40 and the FTAA executed by government and WMCP. Court grants petition, declaring unconstitutionality. Respondents file for reconsideration Petitioners file response Case commences, debate continues Issue: Whether or not the Court has a role in the exercise of power of control over the exploration, development and utilization (EDU) of our natural resources Held: Court grants motion for reconsideration, reversing the Jan 27, 2004 decision, dismissing petition, issuing new judgment, stating RA 7942, DAO 96-40 and FTAA are constitutional, except for sections 7.8 and 7.9 of the FTAA for being contrary to public policy and grossly disadvantageous to the government Ratio: The President is the official constitutionally mandated to enter into agreements with foreign owned corporations. Congress may review the actions of the president. Artile 12 of the 1987 constitution does not mention the role o the judiciary. Should the president and/or congress gravely abuse their discretion in

this regard, the courts may exercise their duty. In this case, the judiciary should not interfere in the exercise of this presidential power. Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the court must refrain from intruding into policy matters. The development of the mining industry is the responsibility of the political branches of government. The Court sympathizes with the plight of the La Bugal-BLaan and other tribal groups and commends their efforts to uplift their communities. However, the Court cannot justify the invalidation of RA 7942 along with DAO 96-40 which is constitutional, or the nullification of the FTAA contract which is legal and binding. It is not unconstitutional to allow a wide degree of discretion to the President. (note: ito ay pagkakaintindi ko lang..political question ata tong issue na to so it is not for judicial review)