Republic of the Philippines
us is a petition for certiorari (with
an application for a temporary restraining order [TRO] and a writ of
assailing the Resolution dated
On October 14, 2005, the trial court issued an Order directing inter alia that: (1) the status quo ante, meaning the situation of the contending parties prior to December 13, 2004, must be maintained; (2) there is a need to observe the four-director quorum and consensus rules; (3) it is necessary to observe the rule on counter-signature by spouses Young on the checks issued by Festive Foods International, Inc. and in banking transactions of the corporation; and (4) the parties shall mutually comply with their respective duties and responsibilities under the MOA and Shareholders Agreement. The dispositive portion of the Order reads:
FOREGOING CONSIDERED and in the interest of justice and equity, the court hereby declares a status quo ante and the temporary restraining order bond shall remain in full force for the purpose stated therein.
The Sheriff of this Court is hereby designated to enforce compliance thereof.
Petitioners then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assailing the status quo ante Order for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
On November 15, 2005, the appellate court issued a Resolution dismissing the petition for being fatally defective as it does not contain the certification of non-forum shopping; its verification merely refers to an answer with counterclaim and not to the petition itself; and the material portions of the record referred to in the petition are not attached to the said petition.
However, upon petitioners filing of a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Admit Attached Amended Petition (with an application for a TRO and a writ of preliminary injunction) dated November 21, 2005, the appellate court, in its Resolution dated December 7, 2005, granted the motion and reinstated the case.
is a petition x x x to
nullify the Order of the RTC x x x
which declared a status quo among the
parties to mutually observe and comply with their respective duties under their
MOA and Shareholders Agreement during the pendency of the case before it. The case is one for specific performance
filed by the private respondents to compel the petitioners to comply with their
obligations under the said agreements. Dolmar has filed an application for preliminary injunction
with us to enjoin the respondents from implementing the Order of
lower courts assailed Order of
SO ORDERED. (Underscoring supplied)
filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied for lack of merit in a
Hence, the instant petition.
Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals, in issuing the assailed Resolutions, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. They bewail the appellate courts simplistic manner of resolving their application for a TRO or a writ of preliminary injunction by simply stating that the respondent appellate court found no compelling reason to interfere with the prevailing state of affairs as ordered by the trial court. None of the grounds mentioned in Section 3 of Rule 58 for the issuance of a preliminary injunction exists. On the other hand, the Resolution denying their motion for reconsideration simply stated that the said motion lacked merit.
In their comment, respondents countered that the petition be denied for lack of merit.
The petition must fail.
The sole object of a writ of preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory, is to preserve the status quo and prevent further injury on the applicant until the merits of the main case can be heard. The status quo is the last actual peaceable uncontested status which preceded the controversy. The injunctive writ may only be resorted to by a litigant for the preservation and protection of his rights or interests during the pendency of the principal action. The grant or denial of an application for a writ of preliminary injunction rests upon the sound discretion of the issuing court.
For grave abuse of discretion to exist as a valid ground for the nullification of the grant or denial of the injunctive writ, as contemplated by Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, there must be capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction, or where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion, prejudice or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.
Here, the appellate court upheld the trial courts exercise of sound discretion in issuing the status quo ante Order because it found no compelling reason to interfere with the prevailing state of affairs as ordered by the trial court. It further ruled that petitioners failed to establish the existence of any of the grounds mentioned in Section 3 of Rule 58 to justify the issuance of the injunctive writ, namely, that they have a clear and unmistakable right to be entitled to the relief demanded, and that the acts sought to be enjoined would probably work injustice to them during the pendency of the case.
We find nothing capricious, whimsical or arbitrary in the Court of Appeals challenged Resolution denying petitioners application for a writ of preliminary injunction. We are not impressed by petitioners contention that it is too simplistic or insufficient as it does not contain a full discussion of its findings and the applicable rule or law in support of its conclusion. It bears stressing that there is no definite or stringent rule on how a Resolution denying an application for a TRO or a writ of preliminary injunction is framed. The manner the Resolution was written did not diminish the legal significance of the denial so decreed by the appellate court. What is clear from the challenged Resolution is that the Court of Appeals stated the proper basis for its ruling.
In United Coconut Planters Bank v. United Alloy Philippines Corporation, we held:
An order granting a preliminary injunction, whether mandatory or prohibitory, is interlocutory and unappealable. However, it may be challenged by a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Being preliminary, such an order need not strictly follow Section 5 of Rule 51 requiring that every decision of final resolution of the Court in appealed cases shall clearly and distinctly state the findings of fact and conclusions of law on which it is based x x x.
x x x
x x x, the Resolution issued below was merely interlocutory, not a final resolution or decision disposing of the case. It was based on a preliminary determination of the status quo and petitioners entitlement to the Writ.
x x x. After a hearing on an application for a writ of preliminary injunction, the findings of fact and the opinions of a court have an interlocutory nature, and vital facts that may not have been presented during the trial. Thus, the Rules as regards the form of decisions are not applicable to that of resolutions disposing of application for an injunctive writ.
Note that even this Court issues status quo or temporary restraining orders without narrating at length the complete facts and applicable laws required by the Rules on the issuance of decisions and final orders. x x x. (Underscoring supplied)
we cannot disturb the sound discretion exercised by the Court of Appeals sustaining
the trial courts status quo ante Order, unless there is a patent abuse
of discretion, which is not present here.
As this Court stated in Land Bank of the
Significantly, the rule is well-entrenched that the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction rests upon the sound discretion of the trial court. It bears reiterating that Section 4 of Rule 58 gives generous latitude to the trial courts in this regard for the reason that conflicting claims in an application for a provisional writ more often that not involve a factual determination which is not the function of the appellate courts. Hence, the exercise of sound judicial discretion by the trial court in injunctive matters must not be interfered with except when there is manifest abuse, which is wanting in the present case. cralaw
In fine, the Court of Appeals, in issuing the assailed Resolutions, did not act with grave abuse of discretion.
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the instant petition for lack of merit. Costs against petitioners.
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.
cralawREYNATO S. PUNO
 cralawFiled under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended.
 cralawPenned by Associate Justice Mario L. Guaria III, and concurred in by Associate Justice Roberto A. Barrios (deceased) and Associate Justice Santiago Javier Ranada (retired); rollo, pp. 48-49.
 cralawPetition, id., p. 22.
 cralawPetition, id., p. 23.
 cralawPetition, id., p. 25.
 cralawUnited Coconut Planters Bank v. United Alloy Philippines Corporation, G.R. No. 152238, January 28, 2005, 449 SCRA 473, citing Capitol Medical Center v. Court of Appeals, 178 SCRA 493 (1989).
 cralawLand Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 129368, August 25, 2003, 409 SCRA 455, citing De Baron v. Court of Appeals, 368 SCRA 407 (2001).
 cralawSupra, footnote 12.
 cralawG.R. No. 136114,
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