[G.R. No. 146528.February 6, 2001]
SORIANO, et al. vs. JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a
resolution of this Court dated FEB 6 2001.
G.R. No. 146528(Jaime N. Soriano, Philip Emmanuel C. Penaflor,
Cesar B. Chavez, Sal G. Dumabok, Samuel Julius B. Garcia, Sandra P. Torresyap,
Cherrie B. Belmonte, Mario S. Araos, Rodylyn Tingzon-Manzano, Fidelino A.
Austria, Angelito M. Villanueva, Isabelo M. Banez III, Paul Y. Chua and Cesar
C. Villariba, all officers and members of the Movement for National Security
Advancement (MNSA), vs. Joseph Ejercito Estrada.)
G.R. No. 146549 (In the Matter of the Declaration of her
Excellency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the constitutionally instituted 14th
President of the Republic of the Philippines; Eduardo B. Inlayo, petitioner.)
G.R. No. 146579 (Concerned
Citizens for effective and responsible Government, Inc.; SulongBayan Movement
Foundation, Inc.; Institute of Continuing Legal Studies and Education Inc.;
Eliseo P. Ocampo; Editha A. Santos; and Armando A. Ricarte, Jr., petitioners.)
G.R. No. 146631 (Oliver O. Lozano vs. Gloria
These cases pertain to the
oath-taking on 20 January 2001 of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
as President of the Philippines.The
Court ordered these consolidation because they involve the same subject matter.
In G.R. No. 146528,
petitioners Jaime N. Soriano, et al.,
ask the Court to enjoin Joseph Ejercito Estrada "from exercising the powers and
authority of the President under the Constitution" and "to yield the Presidency
to his constitutional successor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo."
In G.R. No. 146549,
petitioner Eduardo Inlayo prays that the Court declare that "the occupation of
the office of [the President] of the Philippines by Vice President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo is constitutional and legal with the full support of the
Filipino people and other foreign countries."
In G.R. No. 146579,
petitioner ask the Court to issue a "definitive ruling on whether or not Joseph
Estrada is still the President" and is "exempt from all criminal suits."
In G.R. No. 146631,
petitioner Oliver Lozano prays "that the proclamation and oath-taking of Madame
Arroyo" be declared null and void or that she be "declared acting President and
President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, President-on-leave."
All four Petitions are
plainly without merit.
First, the four Petitions are essentially for declaratory relief,
over which the Supreme Court had no original jurisdiction. 1
Remotigue v. Osmeņa, 21 SCRA 837
; Rural Bank of Olongapo, Inc. v. Commissioner of Land Registration, 102
SCRA 794 ; Sundiang v. Estrada and the Philippine Senate, G.R. No.
146131, 16 January 2001.Under
Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, this special civil action falls under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts and is not within the
original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 2 Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister
of Labor and Employment, 124 SCRA 1 .
Although the Petition in
G.R. No. 146528 is captioned as a "Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus," it
fails to allege, much less show, lack or excess jurisdiction, or grave abuse of
jurisdiction on the part of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person
whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, which
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court requires to be alleged and proved before the
extraordinary writ of prohibition may be issued.Neither have petitioner sufficiently alleged, much less shown,
that respondent or anyone else unlawfully neglects the performance of an act
which the law specifically enjoins as a duty, to entitle them to the writ of mandamus.In any case, petitioners themselves admit
that their plea is really one for declaratory relief, (par. 6.1. of Petition)
and that they "fully understand the well-settled doctrine that this Honorable
Court is bereft of jurisdiction to entertain cases for declaratory relief."
Second, petitioners have no legal standing to file the suits.They have not shown any direct and personal
injury as a result of President Arroyo's oath-taking. 3
See Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato, 246
SCRA 540, 562-563 ; Miranda v. Aguirre 314 SCRA 603 .Specifically, Petitioner Lozano's alleged
interest as a taxpayer is far too detached from the ultimate objective of his
Petition, i.e., to nullify the
oath-taking of Arroyo and declare Estrada as "President-on-leave." The other
petitioners have not even alleged, not to say shown, any prima facie
legal interest to qualify them as proper parties.Kibitzers, however well-meaning, have no locus standi.
Third, none of the Petitioners can be treated as actions for quo warranto.Under Rule 66 of the rules of Court, a plea for quo warranto may be commenced by (1) the
solicitor general, (2) a public prosecutor, or (3) a person claiming to be
entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised
by another.None of the petitioners
qualify in law to commence the action.Their Petitioner do not even remotely allege that they are.
At bottom, the Court
stands by its Resolution in A.M. No. 01-1-05-SC, promulgated on 22 January
2001, which reads as follows:
A.M. No. 01-1-05-SC. - In
re: Request of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to take her Oath of
Office as President of the Republic of the Philippines before the ChiefJustice. - Acting on the urgent request of
Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be sworn in as President of the
Republic of the Philippines, addressed to the Chief Justice and confirmed by a
letter to the Court, dated January 20, 2001, which request was treated as an
administrative matter, the Court resolved unanimously to CONFIRM the
authority given by the twelve (12) members of the Court then present to the
Chief Justice on January 20, 2001 to administer the Oath of Office to Vice
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Philippines, at noon of
January 20, 2001.
This Resolution is without prejudice to
the disposition of any justiciable case which may be filed by a proper party.
Clearly, the herein
Petitions have miserably failed to present justiciable controversies brought by
the proper parties to deserve further considerations by this Court.The appropriate case for the resolution of
the issues raised by petitioners may be G.R. Nos. 146710-15 entitled H.E.
Joseph E. Estrada vs. Honorable Aniano Desierto, etc., et al., filed on 05
WHEREFORE, the Petitions at bar are DISMISSED for utter lack of
LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
Clerk of Court
(Sgd.) MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Clerk of Court