Rule 65 Case Notes

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RULE 65 – Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus

A.1. Definition and Purpose of Certiorari Araullo v. Aquino, G.R No. 209287, 1 July 2014

FACTS: This is a consolidated petition for the Constitutionality of the DAP.

All the petitions are filed under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, and include applications for the issuance of writs of preliminary prohibitory injunction or temporary restraining orders. The respondents aver that the special civil actions of certiorari and prohibition are not proper actions for directly assailing the constitutionality and validity of the DAP, NBC No. 541, and the other executive issuances implementing the DAP

RULING:The sole office of the writ of certiorari isthe correction of errors of jurisdiction, which includes the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In this regard, mere abuse of discretion is not enough to warrant the issuance of the writ. The abuse of discretion must be grave, which means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion or lersonal hostility, or that therespondent judge, tribunal or board evaded positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in

contemplation of law, such as when the judge ortribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or

whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.

Petitions for certiorari and prohibition are qpropriate remedies to raise Constitutional issues and to review and or prohibit or nullify the acts of legislative and executive offiials. Triplex Enterprises, Inc v. PNB-Republic Bank, G.R. No. 151007, July 17, 2006 FACTS: Petitioner sought to annul the sale of two parcels of land situated in Tagaytay City by PNB-Republic Bank to Solid Builders, Inc. and to compel PNB-Republic Bank to award instead the sale to it as the highest bidder. Petitioner's claim was rejected by PNB-Republic Bank due to the sale of the properties to Solid Builders, Inc.

Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the court a quo's refusal to admit its evidence but it was denied in an order dated February 26, 1999. The order disallowed the presentation and admission in evidence of any testimony referring to the December 7, 1994 opinion of the OGCC. The prohibition was based on the ground that the testimony was in violation of the rule on privileged communication between attorney and client,

i.e., the OGCC and PNB-Republic Bank.

Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. However, the appellate court dismissed the petition. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Petitioner claims that the Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that the trial court did not commit grave abuse of discretion in disallowing the presentation and admission in evidence of Roque's testimony. RULING: The petition has no merit.

Certiorari as a special civil action is proper when any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, and there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy at law. The writ may be issued only where it is convincingly proved that the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion, or an act too patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a duty, or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or act in contemplation of law, or that the trial court exercised its power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility.

While certiorari may be maintained as an appropriate remedy to assail an interlocutory order in cases where the tribunal has issued an order without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, it does not lie

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to correct every controversial interlocutory ruling.

Here, petitioner assails the order of the trial court disallowing the admission in evidence of the testimony of Roque on the opinion of the OGCC. By that fact alone, no grave abuse of discretion could be imputed to the trial court. Furthermore, the said order was not an error of jurisdiction. Even assuming that it was erroneous, the mistake was an error in judgment not correctable by the writ of certiorari. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.

A.2. Definition and Purpose of Prohibition

David v. Rivera, G.R. Nos. 139913 & 140159, January 16, 2004

FACTS: Claiming to be the owner of an eighteen thousand (18,000)- square meter portion (hereafter, "subject land") of Lot No. 38-B,1 a five (5)-hectare lot situated at MacArthur Highway, Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga, herein respondent Agustin Rivera filed on May 10, 1994 a Complaint 2 for "Maintenance of Peaceful Possession with Prayer for Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction" before the Provincial Adjudication Board (PARAB) of San Fernando, Pampanga against petitioners heirs of Spouses Cristino and Consolacion David. The respondent averred that the petitioners had been harassing him for the purpose of making him vacate the subject land although it had already been given to him sometime in 1957 by the parents of the petitioners as "disturbance compensation", in consideration of his renunciation of his tenurial rights over the original eighteen (18)-hectare farmholding.

For their part, the petitioners filed a Complaint for ejectment before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Mabalacat and Magalang, Pampanga. They alleged that the respondent was occupying the subject land without paying rentals therefor. The petitioners also averred that they need the subject land for their personal use but the

respondent refused to vacate it despite repeated demands.

On September 28, 1995, the MCTC rendered its Decision ordering the respondent to vacate the subject land. The court found that there was a dearth of evidence supportive of the respondent‘s claim that the land is agricultural or that it is devoted to agricultural production. Further, it ruled that the petitioners as the registered owners have a better right to possession of the subject land.

Without appealing the MCTC Decision but within the period to appeal, the respondent filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City a Petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order, seeking the nullification of the MCTC Decision. The thrust of the petition was that the MCTC had no jurisdiction as the issue before it was agrarian in nature.

On February 25, 1998, the RTC issued an Order14 denying the motion to dismiss. The court ruled that the motion, which was filed after the presentation of the plaintiff‘s evidence, partakes of a demurrer to evidence which under Section 1, Rule 33 of the Rules of Court, 15 may be granted only upon a showing that the plaintiff has shown no right to the relief prayed for. Noting that "the evidence presented by the petitioner establishes an issue which is addressed to [the] court for resolution. . . whether or not the respondent court

had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case filed before it", the RTC ruled that the denial of the motion to dismiss is proper. The petitioners moved for reconsideration16 but was denied in an Order17 dated June 23, 1998.

ISSUE: whether the denial of the motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence was afflicted with grave abuse of discretion.

RULING: The SC upheld the CA’s Decision. With the facts doubtlessly presenting a question of jurisdiction, it follows that the respondent has availed of the proper, speedy

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and adequate remedy which is the special civil action of prohibition. It is a settled rule that prohibition is the

proper remedy to afford relief against usurpation of jurisdiction or power by an inferior court, or when, in the exercise of jurisdiction in handling matters clearly within its cognizance the inferior court transgresses the bounds prescribed to it by the law, or where there is no adequate remedy available in the ordinary course of law by which such relief can be obtained. The purpose of a writ of prohibition is to keep a lower court within the limits of its jurisdiction in order to maintain the administration of justice in orderly channels. Also noteworthy is the fact that the petition for prohibition was filed within the reglementary period to appeal; hence, it cannot be claimed that the same was used as substitute for a lost appeal.

It should be pointed out that the petitioners elevated to the appellate court the Order of the RTC denying their motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence. A demurrer to evidence is an objection by one party to the adequacy of the evidence of his adversary to make out a case. Otherwise stated, the party demurring challenges the sufficiency of the whole evidence to sustain a verdict. In this case, the trial court ruled that respondent‘s evidence in support of his application for a writ of prohibition was sufficient to require the presentation of petitioners‘ contravening proof. The RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in so ruling. The Court of Appeals is therefore correct in upholding the lower court‘s denial of the petitioners‘ motion to dismiss.

Esquivel v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 137237, September 17, 2002

FACTS: In their respective complaint affidavits, filed before the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), Third Regional Office, Camp Olivas, San Fernando, Pampanga, Eduardo and Catacutan charged herein petitioners Antonio Prospero Esquivel, municipal mayor of Jaen and his brother, Mark Anthony "Eboy" Esquivel, barangay captain of

barangay Apo, Jaen, with alleged illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, maltreatment, attempted murder, and grave threats. Also included in the charges were SPO1 Reynaldo Espiritu, SPO2 Nestor Villa Almayda, and LTO Officer Aurelio Diaz. PO2 Eduardo and SPO1 Catacutan likewise accused P/S

Insp. Bienvenido C. Padua and SPO3 Inocencio P. Bautista of the Jaen Municipal Police Force of dereliction of duty.

The initial investigation conducted by the PNP-CIDG showed that at about 12:30 p.m. of March 14, 1998, PO2 Eduardo was about to eat lunch at his parents‘ house at Sta. Monica Village, Dampulan, Jaen, Nueva Ecija, when petitioners arrived. SPO1 Espiritu, SPO2 Almayda, LTO Officer Diaz, and several unidentified persons accompanied them. Without further ado, petitioners disarmed PO2 Eduardo of his Cal. 45 service pistol, which was covered by a Memorandum Receipt and COMELEC Gun Ban Exemption. They then forced him to board petitioners’ vehicle and brought him to the Municipal Hall.

Petitioners argue that the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to consider the exculpatory evidence in their favor, namely, the admission of PO2 Eduardo that he was in good physical condition when he left the police station in Jaen, Nueva Ecija. With such admission, PO2 Duardo is now estopped from claiming that he was injured since it is conclusive evidence against him and need not be proven in any other proceeding. Public respondents, represented by the Office of the Ombudsman through the OSP, counter that petitioners raise a factual issue which is not a proper subject of a certiorari action. They further postulate that this is the very same defense advanced by petitioners in the charges against them and being evidentiary in nature, its resolution can only be threshed out in a full-blown trial.

ISSUE: WON Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offenses and committed grave abuse of discretion.

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 Being an extraordinary remedy, prohibition cannot be resorted to when the ordinary and usual remedies provided by law are adequate and available. Prohibition is granted only where no other remedy is available or sufficient to afford redress. That the petitioners have another and complete remedy at law, through an appeal or otherwise, is generally held sufficient reason for denying the issuance of the writ. In this case, petitioners were not devoid of a remedy in the ordinary course of law. They could have filed a motion to quash the information at the first instance but they did not. They have only themselves to blame for this procedural lapse as they have not shown any adequate excuse for their failure to do so. Petitioners did make a belated oral motion for time to file a motion to quash the information, during their much delayed arraignment, but its denial is not a proper subject for certiorari or prohibition as said denial is merely an interlocutory order.

A writ of prohibition will not be issued against an inferior court unless the attention of the court whose proceedings are sought to be stayed has been called to the alleged lack or excess of jurisdiction. The foundation of this rule is the respect and consideration due to the lower court and the expediency of preventing unnecessary litigation; it cannot be presumed that the lower court would not properly rule on a jurisdictional objection if it were properly presented to it. The records show that petitioners only raised the issue of the alleged lack of jurisdiction by the Sandiganbayan before this Court.

A.3. Mandamus

Militante v. CA, G.R. No. 107040, April 12, 2000

FACTS: Petitioner Pilo Militante is the registered owner of three (3) contiguous parcels of land with an aggregate area of 1,590 square meters in Balintawak, Caloocan City. The three parcels are covered by TCT

Nos. 53066-A, 53067 and 53068, all derived from TCT No. 71357 issued by the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City. Twenty-four (24) squatter families live in these lots. In 1975, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 13152 expropriating forty (40) hectares of land in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City.

The NHA called the squatters for a dialogue "to look into the possibility of amicably settling the eviction problem and/or to find out why a clearance should be issued or not for the removal/demolition of all the illegal structures in the said property." The squatters did not attend the meeting. In view of their failure to attend, Joaquin Castano, Acting Division Manager, Resettlement Division, NHA, wrote a memorandum to the Department Manager, Resettlement Department, NHA, recommending the issuance of a demolition clearance. Respondent Annabelle Carangdang, NHA Project Manager in Bagong Barrio, refused to implement the clearance to eject the squatters on petitioner's land. At the conference of February 13, 1991, Carangdang claimed that petitioner‘s land had already been declared expropriated by P.D. 1315. Petitioner then filed with the respondent Court of Appeals a "Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus with Declaration as Inexistent and Unconstitutional Presidential Decree No. 1315" against the NHA and Carangdang.

ISSUE: WON Carangdang can be compelled to effect the directive/ memorandum of relocation/ resettlement subjecting the said 24 squatter families from unlawfully occupying petitioner‘s subject property without declaring PD 1315 as void and unconstitutional.

RULING:

In the case at bar, petitioner does not pray that respondent Carangdang should be ordered to desist from relocating the squatters. What petitioner challenges is respondent Carangdang's refusal to implement the demolition clearance issued by

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her administrative superiors. The remedy for a refusal to discharge a legal duty is mandamus, not prohibition.

Second. The petitioner is not also entitled to a writ of mandamus. Mandamus is a writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board, or person to do the act required to be done when it or he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, there being no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

It is incumbent upon petitioner to show that he has a well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant of the writ of mandamus. He failed to discharge this burden. The records show that there is no direct order from the NHA General Manager addressed to respondent Carangdang to evict the squatters and demolish their shanties on the subject property. The NHA demolition clearance issued by General Tobias on January 21, 1982 was addressed to Mayor Asistio, the mayor of Caloocan City. The clearance's revalidation by NHA General Manager Monico Jacob was likewise addressed to Mayor Asistio.

B. Distinguished From Each Other

Pamana vs Court of Appeals (Certiorari

vs Prohibition)

CERTIORARI

Against whom directed? directed only against a tribunal, board or officer

exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

It is not available as a remedy for the correction of acts performed by a sheriff during the execution process, which acts are neither judicial nor

quasi-judicial but

are purely ministerial

functions.

As to purpose aimed at "annulling or

modifying" a proceeding

Enriques vs Macadaeg (Prohibtion vs

Mandamus)

PROHIBITION

Case Type a case where a judge is proceeding in defiance of the Rules of Court by refusing to dismiss an action which would not be maintained in his court. The remedy in such case is prohibition.

C. Certiorari and appeal; distinguished Madrigal Transport v. Lapanday Holdings Corp., G.R. No. 156067, August 11, 2004 FACTS: Petitioner filed for VoluntaryInsolvency. Subsequently, it filed a Complaint for damages against respondents for breach of their joint venture agreement.

The insolvency court then declared petitioner respondent. With that, respondents filed their Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a cause of Action which was granted by the court. The court ruled that the petitioner lost the right to institute the Complaint for Damages because the exclusive right to prosecute the actions belonged to the court-appointed assignee.

Petitioner filed for an MR but was denied and subsequently filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA.

The CA took the case as an exception to the general rule that certiorari will not apply when appeal is available but later on dismissed upon respondent’s MR.

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 The special civil action for certiorari and appeal are two different remedies that are mutually exclusive; they are not alternative or successive. Where appeal is available, certiorari will not prosper, even if the ground therefor is grave abuse of discretion. Basic is the rule that certiorari is not a substitute for the lapsed remedy of appeal.

Appeal and Certiorari

Distinguished

As to the Purpose Correction of Errors of Jurisdiction

As to the Manner of Filing Higher courts exercises its appellate jurisdiction and power of review

As to the Subject Matter Only judgments or final orders and those that the Rules of Court so declare are

appealable

As to the Period of Filing Ordinary appeals = within 15 days from the notice of judgment or final order appealed from

Petition for Review = within 15 days from the notice of denial of the decision, or of the petitioners timely filed motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration

Appeal by Certiorari = 15 days from the notice of judgment or final order, or of the denial of the petitioners motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration.

As to the Need for a Motion

for Reconsideration MR is necessary

D. Certiorari under Rule 45 and 65; distinguished

Aquino vs Court of Appeals (Certiorari under Rule 65 and 45 distinguished)

Rule 65 - Certiorari Rule 45 - Certiorari In a petition for certiorari under Rule 65,

only jurisdictional issues may be raised, as when a court or tribunal has acted "without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction." The extraordinary writ of certiorari cannot legally

be used for any other purpose.

In a special civil action for certiorari, the Court cannot correct errors of fact which the

lower court or tribunal may have committed.

A party desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment or final order or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Regional Trial Court or other courts whenever authorized by law, may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari. The petition shall raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth.

E. Prohibition distinguished from injunction

Prohibition

Prohibition is a special civil action seeking a judgment commanding a tribunal, corporation, board, or officer to desist from further proceeding in the action because it has no jurisdiction, is acting in excess of jurisdiction or has gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction (Sec.2, Rule 65, Rules of Court).

Preliminary injunction is an order granted at any stage of an action or proceeding prior to the judgment or final order (not final and executory), requiring a party or a court, agency or a person to refrain from a particular act or acts. It may also require the performance of a particular act or acts, in which case it shall be known as a preliminary mandatory injunction (sec.1, Rule 58).

F. Prohibition vis-à-vis quo warranto Topacio v. Ong, G.R. No. 179895, December 18, 2008

FACTS: Ferdinand Topacio (petitioner) via the present petition for certiorari and prohibition seeks, in the main, to prevent Justice Gregory Ong (Ong) from further exercising the powers, duties and responsibilities of a Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.

Petitioner points out that natural-born citizenship is also a qualification for

appointment as member of the Sandiganbayan and that Ong has failed to meet the citizenship requirement from the time of his appointment as such in October 1998.

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Ong, on the other hand, states that Kilosbayan

Foundation v. Ermitadid not annul or declare

null his appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court, but merely enjoined him from accepting his appointment, and that there is no definitive pronouncement therein that he is not a

natural-born Filipino. He informs that he, nonetheless, voluntarily relinquished the appointment to the Supreme Court out of judicial statesmanship.

RULING:

Prohibition

The writ of prohibition, even when directed against persons acting as judges or other judicial officers, cannot be treated as a substitute for quo warranto or be rightfully called upon to perform any of the functions of the writ. If there is a court, judge or officer de facto, the title to the office and the right to act cannot be questioned by prohibition. If an intruder takes possession of a judicial office, the person dispossessed cannot obtain relief through a writ of prohibition commanding the alleged intruder to cease from performing judicial acts, since in its very nature prohibition is an improper remedy by which to determine the title to an office.

A quo warranto proceeding is the proper legal remedy to determine the right or title to the contested public office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment. It is brought against the person who is alleged to have usurped, intruded into, or unlawfully held or exercised the public office, and may be commenced by the Solicitor General or a public prosecutor, as the case may be, or by any person claiming to be entitled to the public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another.

G. Mandamus distinguished from injunction

Morabe v. Brown, G.R. No. L-6018, May 31, 1954

FACTS: Morabe, the chief of the Wage Administration Service, filed a petition for the reinstatement of Pablo S. Afuang by the

respondent William Brown. The petition alleged that respondent had dismissed Afuang

because in an investigation conducted by the petitioner of charges against the respondent that the latter paid his employees beyond the time fixed in Republic Act No. 602, the said Afuang was one of the complainants; that the respondent discharged the said employee in violation of section 13 of said Act.

The petitioner likewise prayed that a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction issue for his

reinstatement. The court issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.

The Court of First Instance rendered judgment finding that the dismissal from the service of Afuang is unlawful and violates section 13 of the Minimum Wage Law, because the fact that he testified at the investigation is not a valid ground for his dismissal from the service. The court, however, refused to grant an order for the reinstatement of said Afuang on the ground that this remedy, which it considers as an injunction, is available only against acts about to be committed or actually being committed, and not against past acts; that injunction is preventive in nature only; and that as the law has already been violated, the remedy now available is for the prosecution of the employer for the violation of the Minimum Wage Law, and not for the reinstatement of Afuang.

RULING:

 The action ofthe petitioner is not an action of injunction but one of mandamus, because it seeks theperformance of a legal duty, the reinstatement of Pablo S. Afuang.

 The writ known as preliminary mandatory injunction is also a mandamus, though merely provisional in character.

 In the case at bar, Pablo S. Afuang was entitled to continue in the service of respondent, because his act is expressly provided to be no ground or reason for an employee's dismissal. Section 13 of Republic Act No. 602 states that "it shall be unlawfulfor any person to discharge or in any other manner to discriminate against any employeebecause such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted anyproceeding under or related to this Act, ...." Pablo S. Afuang was, therefore, unlawfullydeprived of his right or privilege to continue in the service of the respondent, because hisdismissal was unlawful or illegal. Having been deprived of such right or

privilege, it iswithin the competence of courts to compel the respondent to admit him back to hisservice.

H. Mandamus distinguished from quo warranto

Mandamus

The action of the petitioner is not an action of injunction but one of mandamus, because it seeks the performance of a legal duty, the

An injunction, is available only against acts about to be committed or actually being committed, and

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reinstatement of Pablo S. Afuang. The writ known as preliminary mandatory injunction is also amandamus, though merely provisional in character.

that injunction is only

K. Jurisdiction and exercise of jurisdiction distinguished

Herrera v. Barretto, GR No. 8692, September 10, 1913

FACTS: Joaquin filed for a Petition for

Mandamus compelling Herrera (the municipal president of Caloocan) to issue cockpit license in his favor.

Pending the proceedings, Joaquin asked that the court issue a mandatory injunction directed to Herrera requiring him to issue a provisional license under which he might conduct his cockpit during the pendency of the action. The court issued an order ex parte granting Joaquin’s relief without notice of the defendant.

Herrera instituted a Petition for Certiorari against the judge of the CFI Hon. Barretto) who issued the mandatory injunction.

RULING:

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a cause —the right to act in a case. The power to hear and determine.

The decision of all other questions arising in the case where there is jurisdiction of the person and subject matter.

The authority to decide a cause at all It does not depend either upon the regularity

of the exercise of that power or upon the rightfulness of the decisions made.

Depends either upon the regularity of the exercise of that power or upon the

rightfulness of the decisions made.

L. Error of jurisdiction and error of judgment distinguished

Microsoft Corp. v. Best Deal Computer Center Corp., G.R. No. 148029,

September 24, 2002

FACTS:Petitioner filed a complaint for Injunction and Damages with Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and the Provisional Measure ofPreservation of Evidence against Best Deal Computer Center Corporation, Perfect Deal Corporation and Marcos C. Yuen doing business as Perfect Byte Computer Center. It alleged that defendants without authority or license copied,

reproduced, distributed, installed and/or

loaded software programs owned by Microsoft into computer units sold by them to their customers in violation of its intellectual property rights.

The trial court denied petitioner’s application for an ex parte order for a temporary

restraining order. Petitioner’s MR was likewise denied.

Hence, this petition for certiorari. Petitioner allegedly resorted to the instant recourse because it had no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. It automatically invoked the jurisdiction of this Court supposedly because of the

importance of the issue involved. RULING: The sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of

jurisdiction including the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and does notinclude correction of public respondent's evaluation of the evidence and factual findings thereon.

Error of Jurisdiction

For certiorari to lie, it must be shown that the tribunal, board or officer exercising

judicial functions acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and that there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of amending or nullifying the proceeding.

The sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdictionincluding the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and does not include correction of public respondent's evaluation of the evidence and factual findings thereon.

-error committed in the exercise ofjurisdiction.

The petition for certiorari must be based on

jurisdictional grounds because as long as the respondent acted with jurisdiction, any

error committed by him or it in the exercisethereof will amount to nothing more than an error of judgment which may be reviewed or corrected only by appeal. Even an abuse of discretion is not sufficient by itself to justify the issuance of a writ of certiorari.

M. Conclusiveness of court’s finding as to its jurisdiction

Campos v. Wislizenus, GR No. 12083, November 27, 1916

FACTS: Respondent Teodoro Aldanese was declared elected to the position of municipal president of Sibonga, Province of Cebu. petitioner filed a protest against such election.

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The court dismissed the protest on the ground that the court acquired no jurisdiction of the proceedings because no service of the protest had been made on the respondent Teodoro Aldanese in the manner requires by law RULING: The general rule is that, where the jurisdiction of the court depends upon the existence of facts, and the court judicially considers and adjudicates the question of its jurisdiction, and decides that the fact exist which are necessary to give it jurisdiction of the case, the finding is conclusive and cannot be controverted in a collateral proceeding.

The rule applies to a case where the proper service of notice on the candidates voted for was challenged and the court determined upon the facts presented, after hearing the allegations of the parties and their arguments based thereon, that service had not been made as required by law. Such a determination involves a mixed question of law and fact; and it is a rule, as stated in the case cited, that, where the jurisdiction of the court depends upon the determination of a question of fact and that question has been determined by the court after a hearing, that determination is conclusive and cannot be attacked collaterally. In the case before us evidence as to the fact of service was introduced by the petitioner and the sufficiency of that evidence was

challenged by the respondent. The petitioner did not take advantage of the opportunity given him by the challenge to present other and further evidence in relation to the service but stood squarely upon the facts already presented and accepted a decision of the court thereon. Under such circumstances there was nothing left for the court to do except to decide the question upon the facts as they were. The court did so; and although to say so is unnecessary to a decision of this case, we are of the opinion that its finding on the facts as they existed of record at the time was well founded.

O. Without jurisdiction; lack of

jurisdiction; excess of jurisdiction; grave Abad Santos v. Province of Tarlac, GR No. L-46330, April 22, 1939

FACTS: In an action instituted by the Province of Tarlac for the condemnation of certain

parcels of land for the construction of the Capas-Murcia diversion road, a compromise was entered into between said province and the petitioners herein for the payment to the latter of the agreed value of their lands. The respondent judge approved the compromise in a partial decision rendered by him on

September 27, 1937, and ordered the parties to comply with the conditions therein set forth. On October 2, 1937, the provincial fiscal, in behalf of the Province of Tarlac, moved for the reconsideration of the decision on the ground that in giving his assent to the compromise, he acted under the mistaken belief that the prices fixed therein had been approved by the

appraisal committee of the provincial government, composed of the provincial treasurer, district engineer and provincial auditor, and that the Province of Tarlac, at the time of the compromise, had no longer any authority to expropriate the lands, because in virtue of Executive Order No. 71, the Capas-Murcia Diversion road was declared a national highway under the authority of the

Commonwealth of the Philippines. The

respondent judge acceded to his motion and, setting aside it decision, ordered the reopening of the case and authorized the substitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines for the Province of Tarlac as party plaintiff, in

accordance with the petition of the Solicitor-General to that effect. Hence, this petition. Petitioners contend that the respondent judge was without power to set aside his partial decision which was founded upon a compromise duly approved by him. RULING:

WITHOUT JURISDICTION- means that the court acted with absolute lack of authority

LACK OF JURISDICTION- An act of a court or tribunal may only be considered as in grave abuse of discretion when it is performed in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.

 EXCESS OF JURISDICTION - when the court transcends its power or acts without any statutory authority.

 GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION-implies such capricious and whimsical

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exercise of judgment as to be equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction; in other words, power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility; and such exercise is so patent or so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal either to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. P. Excess of jurisdiction distinguished from lack of jurisdiction

Leung Ben v. O’Brien, 38 Phil 182

FACTS: O’Brien instituted an action for the recovery of the sum of 15,000.00 which have been lost by the latter to the defendant in a series of gambling, banking and percentage games. In his verified complaint, O’Brien asked for an attachment against the property of Leung Ben on the ground that the latter was about to depart the Phils. with intent to defraud his creditors.

Leung Ben moved to quash the attachment which was dismissed by the CFI. With such dismissal, he filed a Petition for Certiorari against O’Brien and the judges of the CFI (City of Manila)

Leung Ben’s contention: The statutory action to recover money lost at gaming is not a ground that would warrant the issuance of an attachment. Hence, the Court of First Instance actedin excess of its jurisdiction in granting the writ of attachment.

RULING:

 When a court issues a writ of attachment for whichthere is no statutory authority, it is acting irregularly and in excess of its

jurisdiction, in the sense necessary to justify the Supreme Court in granting relief by the writ of certiorari.

 In applying this proposition it is of course necessary to take account of the difference between a ground of

attachment based on the nature of the action and aground of attachment based on the acts or the conditions of the defendant. Every complaint must

show a cause of action some sort; and when the statue declares that the attachment may issue in an action arising upon contract, the express or implied, it announces a criterion which may be determined from an inspection of the language of the complaint. The determination of this question is purely a matter of law. On the other hand, when the stature declares that an attachment may be issued when the defendant is about to depart from the Islands, a criterion is announced which is wholly foreign to the cause of action; and the determination of it may involve a disputed question of fact which must be decided by the court. In making this determination, the court obviously acts within its powers; and it would be idle to suppose that the writ of certiorari would be available to reverse the action of a Court of First Instance in

determining the sufficiency of the proof on such a disputed point, and in

granting or refusing the attachment accordingly.

 Conclusion: the cause of action stated in the complaints in the court below is based on a contract, express or implied and is therefore of such nature that the court had authority to issue writ of attachment. The application for the writ of certiorari must therefore be denied and the proceedings dismissed. Herrera v. Barretto, GR No. 8692, September 10, 1913

FACTS: Joaquin filed for a Petition for

Mandamus compelling Herrera (the municipal president of Caloocan) to issue cockpit license in his favor.

Pending the proceedings, Joaquin asked that the court issue a mandatory injunction directed to Herrera requiring him to issue a provisional license under which he might conduct his cockpit during the pendency of the action. The court issued an order ex parte granting Joaquin’s relief without notice of the defendant.

Herrera instituted a Petition for Certiorari against the judge of the CFI Hon. Barretto) who issued the mandatory injunction.

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RULING:

R. Erroneous exercise of jurisdiction Napa v. Weissenhagen, GR No. L-9698, January 6, 1915

FACTS:The petition stems from an action for the summary recovery of the possession of land under section 80 and following sections of the Code of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff in the case at bar being the defendant there and the defendants Julian Larong and

HermenegildoBayla being the plaintiffs.

The court ruled in favor of plaintiff and ordered delivery of possession. An appeal was taken. A Motion to Dismiss the appeal was filed on the ground that it had not been perfected within the time required by law. The court granted the Motion and dismissed the appeal. Hence, this petition for certiorari. RULING:

 The writ of certiorari in so far as it was a method by which mere errors of an inferior court could be corrected no longer exists. Its place is now taken by the appeal. So long as the inferior court maintains jurisdiction, its errors can be corrected only by that method (APPEAL). The writ in this country has been confined to the correction of defects of jurisdiction solely and cannot be legally used for any other purpose.

 If the judgment of the justice's court was void, it was nevertheless appealable, although the losing party might have been able to rid himself of it by other means. Having been appealed, it stands upon substantially the same footing in the appellate court, so far as the appeal itself is concerned, as any other judgment of a justice's court and the jurisdiction of the appellate court in that appeal is as full and complete as it is any other. T. Plain, speedy, adequate remedy – Definition

San Pedro v. Hon. Aspala, G.R. No. 164560, July 22, 2009

FACTS: Private respondents, heirs of spouses Apolonio and Valeriana Dionisio filed a

Complaint against herein petitioners and Wood Crest Residents Association, Inc., for Accion

Reivindicatoria, Quieting of Title and Damages,

with Prayer for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction.

Private respondents alleged that subject property located in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, with an assessed value of P32,100.00, was titled in the name of spouses Apolonio and Valeriana Dionisio; but petitioners, with malice and evident bad faith, claimed that they were the owners of a parcel of land that

encompasses and covers subject property. Private respondents had allegedly been

prevented from entering, possessing and using subject property.

Petitioners, for their part, filed a Motion to Dismiss said complaint on the ground that the MeTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, as the subject of litigation was incapable of pecuniary estimation.

The MeTC denied the motion to dismiss, ruling that, under Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, as amended, the MeTC had exclusive original jurisdiction over actions involving title to or possession of real property of small value. Petitioners assailed the aforementioned Order by filing a petition for certiorari with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 87. However, in its Decision dated March 10, 2003, the RTC dismissed the petition, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the MeTC Presiding Judge.

Petitioners then filed with the Court of Appeals another petition for certiorari, insisting that both the MeTC and RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by not ordering the dismissal of the complaint for Accion Reivindicatoria, for lack of jurisdiction over the same.

RULING:

 A "plain" and "adequate remedy" is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed order or resolution, the filing of which is an indispensable condition to the filing of a special civil action for certiorari. This is to give the lower court the opportunity to correct itself.

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If petitioner had an adequate remedy, namely, a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, a special civil action for certiorari was, therefore, not the correct remedy. (CAMUTIN VS SPOUSES POTENTE)

There are, of course, exceptions to the foregoing rule, to wit (SIM VS NLRC): (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court;

(c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable;

(d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless;

(e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief;

(f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process;

(h) where the proceeding was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and

(i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or public interest is involved.

Camutin v. Spouses Potente, G.R. No. 181642, January 29, 2009

FACTS: Petitioners were the registered owners of parcels of land covered by TCT Nos.

1117266, 1117267 and 1117268 in their names issued by the Register of Deeds of Cavite. Petitioners, who reside abroad, discovered upon coming back to the Philippines in 1998 that the house and

warehouse of respondents Spouses Norberto and Pascuala Potente were erected on the subject lots. Thereupon, respondents agreed to pay petitioners a P1,000.00 monthly rental starting 1 January 1998 for the use of the lots. They also agreed that should the properties be sold, respondents would have the right of first refusal and should respondents be unable to purchase the properties, they would peacefully vacate the premises.

However, respondents failed and refused to pay the agreed rentals. Neither were they able to purchase the lots. Consequently, petitioners sold a portion of the lots to a third party who had it fenced.

Petitioners thus come before this Court, arguing that the RTC erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari and that the MTC likewise erred in suspending the proceedings in the case for unlawful detainer until the final resolution of Civil Case No. TMSCA-0023-06 before the RTC. They allege that the MTC erroneously interpreted the barangay

agreement differently from the clear testimony of the Barangay Chairperson and acted

capriciously and whimsically in ordering the case archived without basis. Consequently, it was only proper for them to file the petition for certiorari before the RTC, which should have exercised its authority over the MTC and corrected the error that the inferior court had committed instead of dismissing their petition. Petitioners thus prayed that the RTCs order be annulled and declared null and void.

RULING: Certiorari is an extraordinary remedy available only when there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. While a petition for certiorari is not allowed against any

interlocutory order issued by the court in the unlawful detainer or ejectment case, in the case at bar, the filing of a petition for certiorari challenging the MTCs Orders dated 5 June 2007 and 16 August 2007 cannot be deemed a dilatory remedy resorted to by petitioners. On the contrary, sustaining the MTCs orders would unnecessarily and unfairly delay the unlawful detainer case, a result contrary to the rules objective of speedy disposition of cases. Petitioners could also not appeal from the orders of the MTC because these only ordered the indefinite suspension and archiving of the case. The case was not resolved on the merits so there is actually no decision from which petitioners can appeal. Thus, the RTC could have validly ruled on the petition for certiorari

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instead of dismissing it on the ground that it is a prohibited pleading.

Sim v. NLRC, G.R. No. 157376, October 2, 2007

FACTS: Corazon Sim (petitioner) filed a case for illegal dismissal with the Labor Arbiter, alleging that she was initially employed by Equitable PCI-Bank (respondent) in 1990 as Italian Remittance Marketing Consultant to the Frankfurt Representative Office. Eventually, she was promoted to Manager position, until September 1999, when she received a letter from Remegio David -- the Senior Officer, European Head of PCIBank, and Managing Director of PCIB- Europe -- informing her that she was being dismissed due to loss of trust and confidence based on alleged

mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.

Respondent denied any employer-employee relationship between them, and sought the dismissal of the complaint.

The Labor Arbiter dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction and/or lack of merit because labor relations system in the Philippines has no extra-territorial jurisdiction.

On appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the Labor Arbiter's Decision and dismissed petitioner's appeal for lack of merit.

Without filing a motion for reconsideration with the NLRC, petitioner went to the Court of Appeals (CA) via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

the CA dismissed the petition due to petitioner's non-filing of a motion for

reconsideration with the NLRC. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was

nonetheless denied by the CA.

Hence, the present recourse under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

RULING:

General Rule: Under Rule 65, the remedy of filing a special civil action for

certiorari is available only when there is

no appeal; or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A plain and adequate remedy is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed order or resolution, the filing of which is an indispensable condition to the filing of a special civil action for certiorari.

Exceptions:

(a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction;

(b) where the questions raised in the

certiorari proceedings have been duly

raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable;

(d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless;

(e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief;

(f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable;

(g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process;

(h) where the proceeding was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and

(i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or public interest is involved. U. Prohibition against accomplished acts

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Alcantara et al. v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169813, September 5, 2006

FACTS: On October 13, 2005, lawyers Samson S. Alcantara, Ed Vincent S. Albano, and Rene B. Gorospe, herein petitioners, filed with this Court the instant petition for prohibition in their capacity as Filipino citizens and taxpayers. They alleged that under Article XVII of the Constitution, President Macapagal- Arroyo has no authority to participate in the process to amend or revise the Constitution. Likewise, she has no power to create a Consultative Commission to study and propose amendments and allocate public funds for its operations.

RULING: From the foregoing, it is evident that the writ of prohibition is one which commands the person to whom it is directed not to do something which he is about to do. If the thing is already done, it is obvious that the writ of prohibition cannot undo it, for that would require an affirmative act, and the only effect of a writ of prohibition is to suspend all action, and to prevent any further proceeding in the prohibited direction.[4] In other words, prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain future action. Prohibition, as a rule, does not lie to restrain an act that is already afait accompli. The Consultative Commission has been dissolved. Consequently, we find no more reason to resolve the constitutional issues raised by petitioners.

W. Ministerial Acts

The Special Audit Team, Commission on Audit v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 174788, 11 April 2013

FACTS: RULING:

Pefianco v. Moral, G.R. No. 132248, January 19, 2000

FACTS: Former DECS Secretary Ricardo T. Gloria filed a complaint against respondent Maria Luisa C. Moral, then Chief Librarian, Catalog Division, of the National Library for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The complaint charged respondent Moral with the pilferage of some historical documents from the vaults of the Filipiniana and Asian Division (FAD) of the National Library which were under her control and supervision as Division Chief and keeping in her possession, without legal authority and justification, some forty-one (41) items of historical documents which were missing from the FAD vaults of the National Library.

Secretary Gloria issued a resolution finding respondent "guilty of the administrative offenses of dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, for the commission of pilferage of historical documents of the national library, to the prejudice of the national library in

particular, and the country in general." She was ordered dismissed from the government service with prejudice to reinstatement and forfeiture of all her retirement benefits and other remunerations.

Respondent filed a Petition for the Production of the DECS Investigation Committee Report purportedly to "guide [her] on whatever action would be most appropriate to take under the circumstances." Her petition was, however, denied.

Respondent moved for reconsideration but the motion was merely "noted". Respondent did not appeal the Resolution dated 30 September 1996 dismissing her from the service. Instead, she instituted an action for mandamus and injunction before the regular courts against Secretary Gloria praying that she be furnished a copy of the DECS Investigation Committee Report and that the DECS Secretary be

enjoined from enforcing the order of dismissal until she received a copy of the said report. RULING:

Mandamus is employed to compel the

performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective.

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 "Purely ministerial" are acts to be performed in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner in obedience to the mandate of legal authority without regard to the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. While the discretion of a Constitutional Commission cannot be controlled by

mandamus . . . . the court can decide

whether the duty is discretionary or ministerial

It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective. It does not lie to require anyone to fulfill a discretionary duty. It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that petitioner should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the respondent to perform the act required.

In her petition for mandamus, respondent miserably failed to

demonstrate that she has a clear legal right to the DECS Investigation

Committee Report and that it is the ministerial duty of petitioner DECS Secretary to furnish her with a copy thereof. Consequently, she is not entitled to the writ prayed for.

 In fine, the trial court's Order of 23 April 1997 denying petitioner's motion to dismiss is not a mere error of judgment as the Court of Appeals held, but a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction because, to capsulize, the Order is a patent nullity for failure to comply with the provisions of the rules requiring that a resolution on a motion to dismiss should clearly and distinctly state the reasons therefor; and, respondent is clearly not entitled to the writ of mandamus as she did not appeal the DECS resolution dismissing her from service, and there is no law or rule which imposes a ministerial duty on petitioner to furnish respondent with a copy of the

investigation report, hence her petition clearly lacked a cause of action. In such instance, while the trial court's order is merely interlocutory and nonappealable, certiorari is the proper remedy to annul the same since it is rendered with grave abuse of discretion.

Pimentel, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al., G.R. No. 158088, July 6, 2005 FACTS: This is a petition for mandamus filed by petitioners to compel the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to the Senate of the Philippines for its concurrence in accordance with Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

The Statute was opened for signature by all states in Rome on July 17, 1998 and had remained open for signature until December 31, 2000 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Philippines signed the Statute on December 28, 2000 through Charge d

Affairs Enrique A. Manalo of the Philippine

Mission to the United Nations. Its provisions, however, require that it be subject to

ratification, acceptance or approval of the signatory states.

Petitioners filed the instant petition to compel the respondents the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed text of the treaty to the Senate of the Philippines for ratification. It is the theory of the petitioners that

ratification of a treaty, under both domestic law and international law, is a function of the Senate. Hence, it is the duty of the executive department to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute to the Senate to allow it to exercise its discretion with respect to

ratification of treaties. Moreover, petitioners submit that the Philippines has a ministerial duty to ratify the Rome Statute under treaty law and customary international law.

RULING: It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of the

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President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not be taken lightly, such decision is within the competence of the President alone, which cannot be encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties. The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate.

X. Mandamus to direct exercise of judgment in a particular way

Hipos, Sr. v. Judge Bay, G.R. Nos. 174813-15, March 17, 2009

FACTS: Two Informations for the crime of rape and one Information for the crime of acts of lasciviousness were filed against petitioners and two others.

Private complainants AAA and BBB filed a Motion for Reinvestigation asking Judge Bay to order the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to study if the proper Informations had been filed against petitioners and their co-accused. Judge Bay granted the Motion and ordered a

reinvestigation of the cases.

Petitioners filed their Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case[s] before the City Prosecutor. They claimed that there was no probable cause to hold them liable for the crimes charged.

On 10 August 2004, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution on the

reinvestigation affirming the Informations filed against petitioners and their co-accused. Assistant City Prosecutor Lamberto C. de Vera, treating the Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case as an appeal of the 10 August 2004 Resolution, reversed the Resolution dated 10 August 2004, holding that there was lack of probable cause. On the same date, the City

Prosecutor filed a Motion to Withdraw Informations before Judge Bay.

Judge Bay denied the Motion to Withdraw Informations in an Order of even date. Without moving for a reconsideration of the above assailed Order, petitioners filed the present Petition for Mandamus.

RULING:There is indeed an exception to the rule that matters involving judgment and discretion are beyond the reach of a writ of mandamus, for such writ may be issued to compel action in those matters, when refused. However, mandamus is never available to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of either. In other words, while a judge refusing to act on a Motion to Withdraw Informations can be compelled by mandamus to act on the same, he cannot be compelled to act in a certain way, i.e., to grant or deny such Motion. In the case at bar, Judge Bay did not refuse to act on the Motion to Withdraw Informations; he had already acted on it by denying the same. Accordingly, mandamus is not available anymore. If petitioners believed that Judge Bay committed grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of such Order denying the Motion to Withdraw Informations, the proper remedy of petitioners should have been to file a Petition for Certiorari against the assailed Order of Judge Bay.

Y. Mandamus to enforce contractual obligations

COMELEC v. Judge Quijano-Padilla, G. R. No. 151992, September 18, 2002

FACTS: PHOTOKINA filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 215, Quezon City a petition for mandamus, prohibition and damages (with prayer for temporary restraining order, preliminary prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction) against the COMELEC and all its Commissioners, docketed as Special Civil Action No. Q- 01- 45405. PHOTOKINA alleged three causes of action: first, the deliberate refusal of the COMELEC and its Commissioners to formalize the contract rendered nugatory the perfected

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contract between them; second, in announcing that the VRIS Project has been junked and that he has plans to re-engineer the COMELEC’s entire modernization program, Chairman Benipayo committed grave abuse of discretion; and third, the COMELEC’s failure to perform its duty under the contract has caused PHOTOKINA to incur damages since it has spent substantial time and resources in the preparation of the bid and the draft contract.

RULING:

 PHOTOKINA, though the winning bidder, cannot compel the COMELEC to formalize the contract. Since PHOTOKINA’s bid is beyond the amount appropriated by Congress for the VRIS Project, the proposed contract is not binding upon the COMELEC and is considered void; and that in issuing the questioned preliminary writs of mandatory and prohibitory injunction and in not dismissing Special Civil Action No. Q-01-45405, respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion. Petitioners cannot be compelled by a writ of mandamus to discharge a duty that involves the exercise of judgment and discretion, especially where disbursement of public funds is concerned.

 No rule of law is better settled than that mandamus does not lie to enforce the performance of contractual obligations. As early as 1924, Justice Street, in Quiogue vs. Romualdez, already set forth the justification of

this rule, thus:

“Upon the facts above stated we are of the opinion that the writ of mandamus is not the appropriate, or even an admissible remedy. It is manifest that whatever rights the petitioner may have, upon the facts stated, are derived from her contract with the city; and no rule of law is better settled than that mandamus never lies to enforce the performance of private contracts. x xx The petitioner’s remedy, if any she has, is by an original action in the Court of First Instance to compel the city to pay the

agreed price or to pay damages for the breach of contract.”

Z. Continuing Mandamus

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, et al. v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay, G.R. Nos. 171947-48, December 18, 2008

Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila Bay Can be Compelled by Mandamus.

 Petitioners maintain that the MMDA’s duty to take measures and maintain adequate solid waste and liquid disposal systems necessarily involves policy evaluation and the exercise of judgment on the part of the agency concerned. They argue that the MMDA, in carrying out its mandate, has to make decisions, including choosing where a landfill should be located by undertaking feasibility studies and cost estimates, all of which entail the exercise of discretion.

Respondents, on the other hand, counter that the statutory command is clear and that petitioners’ duty to comply with and act according to the clear mandate of the law does not require the exercise of discretion. According to respondents, petitioners, the MMDA in particular, are without discretion, for example, to choose which bodies of water they are to clean up, or which discharge or spill they are to contain. By the same token, respondents maintain that petitioners are bereft of discretion on whether or not to alleviate the problem of solid and liquid waste disposal; in other words, it is the MMDA’s ministerial duty to attend to such services.

The Supreme Court agreed with the respondents.

First off, the petitioners’ obligation to perform their duties as defined by law, on one hand, and how they are to carry out such duties, on the other, are two different concepts.

The cleanup and/or restoration of the Manila Bay is only an aspect and the

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