Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1966 > January 1966 Decisions > G.R. No. L-21565 January 31, 1966 ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO v. CITY MAYOR, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-21565. January 31, 1966.]

ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO, Petitioner-Appellant, v. THE CITY MAYOR, ET AL., Respondents-Appellees.

E. M. Almario for the petitioner and Appellant.

Mariano V. Ampil, Jr. for respondents and appellees.


SYLLABUS


1. MANDAMUS; WHO CAN MAINTAIN ACTION; CASE AT BAR. — A petition for mandamus can only be initiated by a person who feels aggrieved by, among others, any person who unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office and has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law by which he could obtain relief. In the case at bar, there is no pretense that petitioner is an applicant for any stall or booth in the particular market of Pasay City which is the subject of the controversy, nor is he the representative of any such applicant, stallholder, or any association of persons who are deprived of their right to occupy stalls in said market. His interest is only that of a citizen at large. Verily, he is not the real party in interest who has the capacity, right or personality to institute the present action.


D E C I S I O N


BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:


On January 21, 1963, Enrique M. Almario filed before the Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition praying that judgment be rendered commanding respondent officials to eject their co-respondents from the stalls they are occupying in the Pasay public market. He claims that as a Filipino citizen he is charged with the public duty to procure the enforcement of the law providing for the nationalization of public markets contemplated in Republic Act No. 37 which respondent officials neglected to implement by issuing permits to their co-respondents who, being aliens, should not be allowed to occupy said stalls to the prejudice of the Filipinos.

Respondents filed separately a motion to dismiss alleging, among other grounds, that petitioner is not the real party in interest who could file the present petition for mandamus, and in the event that he is, he has not exhausted all the administrative remedies that the law provides before he could bring the matter to court.

On April 18, 1963, the court a quo dismissed the petition ruling that petitioner does not have the legal capacity, right, or personality to file the same. Hence the present appeal.

Under Section 3, Rule 67, of the Rules of Court, a petition for mandamus can only be initiated by a person who feels aggrieved by, among others, any person who unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office and has no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law by which he could obtain relief, and in the course thereof he may pray that judgment be rendered commanding said person to do the act requested to be done to protect the rights of petitioner. The law, therefore, is clear that in order that an action for mandamus may be maintained the petitioner should be the "person aggrieved" within its scope and meaning. Is petitioner an aggrieved person within the meaning of this specific provision?

The answer must necessarily be in the negative for there is no pretense that petitioner is an applicant for any stall or booth in the particular market of Pasay City which is the subject of the controversy, nor is he the representative of any such applicant, stallholder, or any association of persons who are deprived of their right to occupy stalls in said market. Verily, he is not the real party in interest who has the capacity, right or personality to institute the present action. As this Court has well said in an analogous case, "the petitioner does not have any special or individual interest in the subject matter of the action which would enable us to say that he is entitled to the writ as a matter of right. His interest is only that of a citizen at large coupled with the fact that in his capacity as president of the Association of Engineers it is his duty to safeguard the interests of the members of his association" (Costas v. Aldanese, 45 Phil., 345).

Another flaw we find in the claim of petitioner is that he has not exhausted all the administrative remedies that the law provides before he could bring the matter to court which in itself nullifies the validity of his petition. Thus, pursuant to Republic Act No. 37, the Secretary of Finance issued Departmental Order No. 32 dated November 29, 1946, which was later amended on March 20, 1947, Section 8 of which provides that any applicant who is not satisfied with the adjudication that may be made by the city or municipal treasurer or the market committee of the stalls applied for in a particular public market may appeal from such adjudication to the Secretary of Finance whose decision should be final. There is no showing that petitioner has pursued such remedy. This flaw makes this petition premature.

Wherefore, the order appealed from is affirmed. No costs.

Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar and Sanchez, JJ., concur.

Barrera, J., took no part.




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