CASE 2012-0019: JELBERT B. GALICTO VS. H.E. PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES; ATTY. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY; AND FLORENCIO B. ABAD, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT (G.R. NO. 193978, 28 FEBRUARY 2012, BRION, J.) SUBJECT/S: SINCE EO IS NOT JUDICIAL, CERTIORARI IS WRONG REMEDY; LOCUS STANDI; WHO IS REAL PARTY IN INTEREST; WHAT IS COMPETENT EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY; DEFECTIVE JURAT NOT FATAL; WHAT IS A MOOT CASE. (BRIEF TITLE: GALICTO VS. AQUINO).
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DISMISSED. No costs.
Republic of the Philippines
|JELBERT B. GALICTO,
- versus -
H.E. PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, in his capacity as President of the Republic of the Philippines; ATTY. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary; and FLORENCIO B. ABAD, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management,
|G.R. No. 193978
February 28, 2012
R E S O L U T I O N
Before us is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to nullify and enjoin the implementation of Executive Order No. (EO) 7 issued by the Office of the President onSeptember 8, 2010. Petitioner Jelbert B. Galicto asserts that EO 7 is unconstitutional for having been issued beyond the powers of the President and for being in breach of existing laws.
The petitioner is a Filipino citizen and an employee of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). He is currently holding the position of Court Attorney IV and is assigned at the PhilHealth Regional Office CARAGA.
Respondent Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is the President of the Republic of the Philippines(Pres. Aquino); he issued EO 7 and has the duty of implementing it. Respondent Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. is the incumbent Executive Secretary and, as the alter ego of Pres. Aquino, is tasked with the implementation of EO 7. Respondent Florencio B. Abad is the incumbent Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) charged with the implementation of EO 7.
The Antecedent Facts
On July 26, 2010, Pres. Aquino made public in his first State of the Nation Address the alleged excessive allowances, bonuses and other benefits of Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System – a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) which has been unable to meet its standing obligations. Subsequently, the Senate of the Philippines (Senate), through the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, conducted an inquiry in aid of legislation on the reported excessive salaries, allowances, and other benefits of GOCCs and government financial institutions (GFIs).
Based on its findings that “officials and governing boards of various [GOCCs] and [GFIs] x x x have been granting themselves unwarranted allowances, bonuses, incentives, stock options, and other benefits [as well as other] irregular and abusive practices,” the Senate issued Senate Resolution No. 17 “urging the President to order the immediate suspension of the unusually large and apparently excessive allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks of members of the governing boards of [GOCCs] and [GFIs].”
Heeding the call of Congress, Pres. Aquino, on September 8, 2010, issued EO 7, entitled “Directing the Rationalization of the Compensation and Position Classification System in the [GOCCs] and [GFIs], and for Other Purposes.” EO 7 provided for the guiding principles and framework to establish a fixed compensation and position classification system for GOCCs and GFIs. A Task Force was also created to review all remunerations of GOCC and GFI employees and officers, while GOCCs and GFIs were ordered to submit to the Task Force information regarding their compensation. Finally, EO 7 ordered (1) a moratorium on the increases in the salaries and other forms of compensation, except salary adjustments under EO 8011 and EO 900, of all GOCC and GFI employees for an indefinite period to be set by the President, and (2) a suspension of all allowances, bonuses and incentives of members of the Board of Directors/Trustees until December 31, 2010.
EO 7 was published on September 10, 2010. It took effect on September 25, 2010 and precluded the Board of Directors, Trustees and/or Officers of GOCCs from granting and releasing bonuses and allowances to members of the board of directors, and from increasing salary rates of and granting new or additional benefits and allowances to their employees.
The petitioner claims that as a PhilHealth employee, he is affected by the implementation of EO 7, which was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, based on the following arguments:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 IS NULL AND VOID FOR LACK OF LEGAL BASIS DUE TO THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS:
A. P.D. 985 IS NOT APPLICABLE AS BASIS FOR EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY GRANTED THE POWER TO FIX COMPENSATION LONG AFTER SUCH POWER HAS BEEN REVOKED BY P.D. 1597 AND R.A. 6758.
B. THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS DO NOT NEED TO HAVE ITS COMPENSATION PLANS, RATES AND POLICIES REVIEWED BY THE DBM AND APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE P.D. 1597 REQUIRES ONLY THE GOCCs TO REPORT TO THE OFFICE TO THE PRESIDENT THEIR COMPENSATION PLANS AND RATES BUT THE SAME DOES NOT GIVE THE PRESIDENT THE POWER OF CONTROL OVER THE FISCAL POWER OF THE GOCCs.
C. J.R. NO. 4, [SERIES] 2009 IS NOT APPLICABLE AS LEGAL BASIS BECAUSE IT HAD NOT RIPENED INTO X X X LAW, THE SAME NOT HAVING BEEN PUBLISHED.
D. ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT J.R. NO. 1, S. 2004 (sic) AND J.R. 4, S. 2009 ARE VALID, STILL THEY ARE NOT APPLICABLE AS LEGAL BASIS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT LAWS WHICH MAY VALIDLY DELEGATE POWER TO THE PRESIDENT TO SUSPEND THE POWER OF THE BOARD TO FIX COMPENSATION.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 IS INVALID FOR DIVESTING THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF [THE] GOCCS OF THEIR POWER TO FIX THE COMPENSATION, A POWER WHICH IS A LEGISLATIVE GRANT AND WHICH COULD NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED BY AN EXECUTIVE FIAT.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 IS BY SUBSTANCE A LAW, WHICH IS A DEROGATION OF CONGRESSIONAL PREROGATIVE AND IS THEREFORE UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
THE ACTS OF SUSPENDING AND IMPOSING MORATORIUM ARE ULTRA VIRES ACTS BECAUSE J.R. NO. 4 DOES NOT EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT TO EXERCISE SUCH POWERS.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 IS AN INVALID ISSUANCE BECAUSE IT HAS NO SUFFICIENT STANDARDS AND IS THEREFORE ARBITRARY, UNREASONABLE AND A VIOLATION OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 INVOLVES THE DETERMINATION AND DISCRETION AS TO WHAT THE LAW SHALL BE AND IS THEREFORE INVALID FOR ITS USURPATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER.
CONSISTENT WITH THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN PIMENTEL V. AGUIRRE CASE, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7 IS ONLY DIRECTORY AND NOT MANDATORY.
The Case for the Respondents
On December 13, 2010, the respondents filed their Comment. They pointed out the following procedural defects as grounds for the petition’s dismissal: (1) the petitioner lacks locus standi; (2) the petitioner failed to attach a board resolution or secretary’s certificate authorizing him to question EO 7 in behalf of PhilHealth; (3) the petitioner’s signature does not indicate his PTR Number, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Compliance Number and Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Number; (4) the jurat of the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping failed to indicate a valid identification card as provided under A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC; (5) the President should be dropped as a party respondent as he is immune from suit; and (6) certiorari is not applicable to this case.
The respondents also raised substantive defenses to support the validity of EO 7. They claim that the President exercises control over the governing boards of the GOCCs and GFIs; thus, he can fix their compensation packages. In addition, EO 7 was issued in accordance with law for the purpose of controlling the grant of excessive salaries, allowances, incentives and other benefits to GOCC and GFI employees. They also advocate the validity of Joint Resolution (J.R.) No. 4, which they point to as the authority for issuing EO 7.
Meanwhile, on June 6, 2011, Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10149, otherwise known as the “GOCC Governance Act of 2011.” Section 11 of RA 10149 expressly authorizes the President to fix the compensation framework of GOCCs and GFIs.
The Court’s Ruling
We resolve to DISMISS the petition for its patent formal and procedural infirmities, and for having been mooted by subsequent events.
- A. Certiorari is not the proper remedy.
Under the Rules of Court, petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition are availed of to question judicial, quasi-judicial and mandatory acts. Since the issuance of an EO is not judicial, quasi-judicial or a mandatory act, a petition for certiorari and prohibition is an incorrect remedy; instead a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), is the proper recourse to assail the validity of EO 7:
Section 1. Who may file petition. Any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, whose rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or any other governmental regulation may, before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction or validity arising, and for a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder. (Emphases ours.)
Liga ng mga Barangay National v. City Mayor of Manila is a case in point. In Liga, we dismissed the petition for certiorari to set aside an EO issued by a City Mayor and insisted that a petition for declaratory relief should have been filed with the RTC. We painstakingly ruled:
After due deliberation on the pleadings filed, we resolve to dismiss this petition for certiorari.
First, the respondents neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial capacity nor arrogated unto themselves any judicial or quasi-judicial prerogatives. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is a special civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
Section 1, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
SECTION 1. Petition for certiorari. — When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
Elsewise stated, for a writ of certiorari to issue, the following requisites must concur: (1) it must be directed against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) the tribunal, board, or officer must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting [to] lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
A respondent is said to be exercising judicial function where he has the power to determine what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties are, and then undertakes to determine these questions and adjudicate upon the rights of the parties.
Quasi-judicial function, on the other hand, is “a term which applies to the actions, discretion, etc., of public administrative officers or bodies … required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature.”
Before a tribunal, board, or officer may exercise judicial or quasi-judicial acts, it is necessary that there be a law that gives rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse claims to such rights are made, and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought before a tribunal, board, or officer clothed with power and authority to determine the law and adjudicate the respective rights of the contending parties.
The respondents do not fall within the ambit of tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the enactment by the City Council of Manila of the assailed ordinance and the issuance by respondent Mayor of the questioned executive order were done in the exercise of legislative and executive functions, respectively, and not of judicial or quasi-judicial functions. On this score alone, certiorari will not lie.
Second, although the instant petition is styled as a petition for certiorari, in essence, it seeks the declaration by this Court of the unconstitutionality or illegality of the questioned ordinance and executive order. It, thus, partakes of the nature of a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has only appellate, not original, jurisdiction. Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution provides:
Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question. (Italics supplied).
As such, this petition must necessar[ily] fail, as this Court does not have original jurisdiction over a petition for declaratory relief even if only questions of law are involved.
Likewise, in Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti Terrorism Council, we similarly dismissed the petitions for certiorari and prohibition challenging the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9372, otherwise known as the “Human Security Act of 2007,” since the respondents therein (members of the Anti-Terrorism Council) did not exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
While we have recognized in the past that we can exercise the discretion and rulemaking authority we are granted under the Constitution, and set aside procedural considerations to permit parties to bring a suit before us at the first instance through certiorari and/or prohibition, this liberal policy remains to be an exception to the general rule, and thus, has its limits. In Concepcion v. Commission on Elections (COMELEC), we emphasized the importance of availing of the proper remedies and cautioned against the wrongful use of certiorari in order to assail the quasi-legislative acts of the COMELEC, especially by the wrong party. In ruling that liberality and the transcendental doctrine cannot trump blatant disregard of procedural rules, and considering that the petitioner had other available remedies (such as a petition for declaratory relief with the appropriate RTC under the terms of Rule 63 of the Rules of Court), as in this case, we categorically ruled:
The petitioner’s unusual approaches and use of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court do not appear to us to be the result of any error in reading Rule 65, given the way the petition was crafted. Rather, it was a backdoor approach to achieve what the petitioner could not directly do in his individual capacity under Rule 65. It was, at the very least, an attempted bypass of other available, albeit lengthier, modes of review that the Rules of Court provide. While we stop short of concluding that the petitioner’s approaches constitute an abuse of process through a manipulative reading and application of the Rules of Court, we nevertheless resolve that the petition should be dismissed for its blatant violation of the Rules. The transgressions alleged in a petition, however weighty they may sound, cannot be justifications for blatantly disregarding the rules of procedure, particularly when remedial measures were available under these same rules to achieve the petitioner’s objectives. For our part, we cannot and should not – in the name of liberality and the “transcendental importance” doctrine – entertain these types of petitions. As we held in the very recent case of Lozano, et al. vs. Nograles, albeit from a different perspective, our liberal approach has its limits and should not be abused. [emphasis supplied]
- B. Petitioner lacks locus standi.
“Locus standi or legal standing has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question on standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.” This requirement of standing relates to the constitutional mandate that this Court settle only actual cases or controversies.
Thus, as a general rule, a party is allowed to “raise a constitutional question” when (1) he can show that he will personally suffer some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.
Jurisprudence defines interest as “material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. By real interest is meant a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.”
To support his claim that he has locus standi to file the present petition, the petitioner contends that as an employee of PhilHealth, he “stands to be prejudiced by [EO] 7, which suspends or imposes a moratorium on the grants of salary increases or new or increased benefits to officers and employees of GOCC[s] and x x x curtail[s] the prerogative of those officers who are to fix and determine his compensation.” The petitioner also claims that he has standing as a member of the bar in good standing who has an interest in ensuring that laws and orders of the Philippine government are legally and validly issued and implemented.
The respondents meanwhile argue that the petitioner is not a real party-in-interest since future increases in salaries and other benefits are merely contingent events or expectancies. The petitioner, too, is not asserting a public right for which he is entitled to seek judicial protection. Section 9 of EO 7 reads:
Section 9. Moratorium on Increases in Salaries, Allowances, Incentives and Other Benefits. –Moratorium on increases in the rates of salaries, and the grant of new increases in the rates of allowances, incentives and other benefits, except salary adjustments pursuant to Executive Order No. 8011 dated June 17, 2009 and Executive Order No. 900 dated June 23, 2010, are hereby imposed until specifically authorized by the President. [emphasis ours]
In the present case, we are not convinced that the petitioner has demonstrated that he has a personal stake or material interest in the outcome of the case because his interest, if any, is speculative and based on a mere expectancy. In this case, the curtailment of future increases in his salaries and other benefits cannot but be characterized as contingent events or expectancies. To be sure, he has no vested rights to salary increases and, therefore, the absence of such right deprives the petitioner of legal standing to assail EO 7.
It has been held that as to the element of injury, such aspect is not something that just anybody with some grievance or pain may assert. It has to be direct and substantial to make it worth the court’s time, as well as the effort of inquiry into the constitutionality of the acts of another department of government. If the asserted injury is more imagined than real, or is merely superficial and insubstantial, then the courts may end up being importuned to decide a matter that does not really justify such an excursion into constitutional adjudication. The rationale for this constitutional requirement of locus standi is by no means trifle. Not only does it assure the vigorous adversary presentation of the case; more importantly, it must suffice to warrant the Judiciary’s overruling the determination of a coordinate, democratically elected organ of government, such as the President, and the clear approval by Congress, in this case. Indeed, the rationale goes to the very essence of representative democracies.
Neither can the lack of locus standi be cured by the petitioner’s claim that he is instituting the present petition as a member of the bar in good standing who has an interest in ensuring that laws and orders of the Philippine government are legally and validly issued. This supposed interest has been branded by the Court in Integrated Bar of the Phils. (IBP) v. Hon. Zamora, “as too general an interest which is shared by other groups and [by] the whole citizenry.” Thus, the Court ruled in IBP that the mere invocation by the IBP of its duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more, while undoubtedly true, is not sufficient to clothe it with standing in that case. The Court made a similar ruling in Prof. David v. Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo and held that the petitioners therein, who are national officers of the IBP, have no legal standing, having failed to allege any direct or potential injury which the IBP, as an institution, or its members may suffer as a consequence of the issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 and General Order No. 5.
We note that while the petition raises vital constitutional and statutory questions concerning the power of the President to fix the compensation packages of GOCCs and GFIs with possible implications on their officials and employees, the same cannot “infuse” or give the petitioner locus standi under the transcendental importance or paramount public interest doctrine. In Velarde v. Social Justice Society, we held that even if the Court could have exempted the case from the stringent locus standi requirement, such heroic effort would be futile because the transcendental issue could not be resolved any way, due to procedural infirmities and shortcomings, as in the present case. In other words, giving due course to the present petition which is saddled with formal and procedural infirmities explained above in this Resolution, cannot but be an exercise in futility that does not merit the Court’s liberality. As we emphasized in Lozano v. Nograles, “while the Court has taken an increasingly liberal approach to the rule of locus standi, evolving from the stringent requirements of ‘personal injury’ to the broader ‘transcendental importance’ doctrine, such liberality is not to be abused.”
Finally, since the petitioner has failed to demonstrate a material and personal interest in the issue in dispute, he cannot also be considered to have filed the present case as a representative of PhilHealth. In this regard, we cannot ignore or excuse the blatant failure of the petitioner to provide a Board Resolution or a Secretary’s Certificate from PhilHealth to act as its representative.
- C. The petition has a defective
The respondents claim that the petition should be dismissed for failing to comply with Section 3, Rule 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires the party or the counsel representing him to sign the pleading and indicate an address that should not be a post office box. The petition also allegedly violated the Supreme Court En Banc Resolution dated November 12, 2001, requiring counsels to indicate in their pleadings their Roll of Attorneys Number, their PTR Number and their IBP Official Receipt or Lifetime Member Number; otherwise, the pleadings would be considered unsigned and dismissible. Bar Matter No. 1922 likewise states that a counsel should note down his MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Exemption in the pleading, but the petitioner had failed to do so.
We do not see any violation of Section 3, Rule 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure as the petition bears the petitioner’s signature and office address. The present suit was brought before this Court by the petitioner himself as a party litigant and not through counsel. Therefore, the requirements under the Supreme Court En Banc Resolution datedNovember 12, 2001 and Bar Matter No. 1922 do not apply. In Bar Matter No. 1132, April 1, 2003, we clarified that a party who is not a lawyer is not precluded from signing his own pleadings as this is allowed by the Rules of Court; the purpose of requiring a counsel to indicate his IBP Number and PTR Number is merely to protect the public from bogus lawyers. A similar construction should be given to Bar Matter No. 1922, which requires lawyers to indicate their MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Exemption; otherwise, the provision that allows parties to sign their own pleadings will be negated.
However, the point raised by the respondents regarding the petitioner’s defective jurat is correct. Indeed, A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC, dated February 19, 2008, calls for a current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph and signature of the individual as competent evidence of identity. Nevertheless, we hasten to clarify that the defective jurat in the Verification/Certification of Non-Forum Shopping is not a fatal defect, as we held in In-N-Out Burger, Inc. v. Sehwani, Incorporated. The verification is only a formal, not a jurisdictional, requirement that the Court may waive.
- D. The petition has been mooted
by supervening events.
Because of the transitory nature of EO 7, it has been pointed out that the present case has already been rendered moot by these supervening events: (1) the lapse on December 31, 2010 of Section 10 of EO 7 that suspended the allowances and bonuses of the directors and trustees of GOCCs and GFIs; and (2) the enactment of R.A. No. 10149 amending the provisions in the charters of GOCCs and GFIs empowering their board of directors/trustees to determine their own compensation system, in favor of the grant of authority to the President to perform this act.
With the enactment of the GOCC Governance Act of 2011, the President is now authorized to fix the compensation framework of GOCCs and GFIs. The pertinent provisions read:
Section 5. Creation of the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations. — There is hereby created an advisory, monitoring, and oversight body with authority to formulate, implement and coordinate policies to be known as the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or-Controlled Corporations, hereinafter referred to as the GCG, which shall be attached to the Office of the President. The GCG shall have the following powers and functions:
x x x x
h) Conduct compensation studies, develop and recommend to the President a competitive compensation and remuneration system which shall attract and retain talent, at the same time allowing the GOCC to be financially sound and sustainable;
x x x x
Section 8. Coverage of the Compensation and Position Classification System. — The GCG, after conducting a compensation study, shall develop a Compensation and Position Classification System which shall apply to all officers and employees of the GOCCs whether under the Salary Standardization Law or exempt therefrom and shall consist of classes of positions grouped into such categories as the GCG may determine, subject to approval of the President.
Section 9. Position Titles and Salary Grades. — All positions in the Positions Classification System, as determined by the GCG and as approved by the President, shall be allocated to their proper position titles and salary grades in accordance with an Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades of the Compensation and Position Classification System, which shall be prepared by the GCG and approved by the President.
x x x x
[N]o GOCC shall be exempt from the coverage of the Compensation and Position Classification System developed by the GCG under this Act.
As may be gleaned from these provisions, the new law amended R.A. No. 7875 and other laws that enabled certain GOCCs and GFIs to fix their own compensation frameworks; the law now authorizes the President to fix the compensation and position classification system for all GOCCs and GFIs, as well as other entities covered by the law. This means that, the President can now reissue an EO containing these same provisions without any legal constraints.
A moot case is “one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value.” “[A]n action is considered ‘moot’ when it no longer presents a justiciable controversy because the issues involved have become academic or dead[,] or when the matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to judicial intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the parties x x x. Simply stated, there is nothing for the x x x court to resolve as [its] determination x x x has been overtaken by subsequent events.”
This is the present situation here. Congress, thru R.A. No. 10149, has expressly empowered the President to establish the compensation systems of GOCCs and GFIs. For the Court to still rule upon the supposed unconstitutionality of EO 7 will merely be an academic exercise. Any further discussion of the constitutionality of EO 7 serves no useful purpose since such issue is moot in its face in light of the enactment of R.A. No. 10149. In the words of the eminent constitutional law expert, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., “the Court normally [will not] entertain a petition touching on an issue that has become moot because x x x there would [be] no longer x x x a ‘flesh and blood’ case for the Court to resolve.”
All told, in view of the supervening events rendering the petition moot, as well as its patent formal and procedural infirmities, we no longer see any reason for the Court to resolve the other issues raised in the certiorari petition.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DISMISSED. No costs.
ARTURO D. BRION
RENATO C. CORONA
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
ROBERTO A. ABAD
MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO BIENVENIDO L. REYES
Associate Justice Associate Justice
ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.
RENATO C. CORONA
* On Official Leave.
** On Leave.
 Rollo, pp. 3-72.
 Id. at 13.
 Id. at 83.
 Id. at 13-14.
 Id. at 154.
 Id. at 158-159.
 The Senate Committee found that: “(a) the representatives of the Social Security Commission (SSC) to the Board of Directors of Philex Mining earned, in addition to their bonuses, some P55 million by way of stock options; (b) three SSC representatives in the Board of Directors of the Union Bank earned P46 million in bonuses in 2009, or around P15 million each; (c) the MWSS, despite incurring a loss of P3.5 billion in 2008, declared a bonus of P5 million to its board chairman in 2009 and granted 25 bonuses in one year; and (d) GOCCs have failed to comply with the requirement of R.A. No. 7656 to remit 50% of its net earnings to the national government.” (Id. at 342).
 Id. at 18-24. Section 9 of EO 7 states:
Section 9. Moratorium on Increases in Salaries, Allowances, Incentives and Other Benefits. – Moratorium on increases in the rates of salaries, and the grant of new increases in the rates of allowances, incentives and other benefits, except salary adjustments pursuant to Executive Order No. 8011 dated June 17, 2009 and Executive Order No. 900 dated June 23, 2010, are hereby imposed until specifically authorized by the President.
 Section 10 of EO 7 provides:
Section 10. Suspension of All Allowances, Bonuses and Incentives for Members of the Board of Directors/Trustees. – The grant of allowances, bonuses, incentives, and other perks to members of the board of directors/trustees of GOCCs and GFIs, except reasonable per diems, is hereby suspended untilDecember 31, 2010, pending the issuance of new policies and guidelines on the compensation of these board members.
 Rollo, p. 24.
 Id. at 10-12.
 Comment, pp. 39-62.
 Id. at 63-140.
 AN ACT TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL VIABILITY AND FISCAL DISCIPLINE IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR -CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS AND TO STRENGTHEN THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN ITS GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT TO MAKE THEM MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
 465 Phil. 529 (2004).
 We are aware of our ruling in Pimentel, Jr. v. Hon. Aguirre, 391 Phil. 84 (2000), where we gave due course to a petition for certiorari and prohibition to assail an “Administrative Order issued by the President.” Pimentel, however, has no bearing in the present case since the propriety of the petition or the non-observance of the hierarchy-of-courts rule was not an issue therein.
 Supra note 16, at 540-542.
 G.R. Nos. 178552, 178554, 178581, 178890, 179157 and 179461,October 5, 2010, 632 SCRA 146.
 CONSTITUTION, Article VIII, Section 5(5).
 See Pimentel, Jr. v. Hon. Aguirre, supra note 16. We similarly glossed over the erroneous remedies the petitioners used in Rivera v. Hon. Espiritu, 425 Phil. 169 (2002), Macalintal v. Commission on Elections, 435 Phil. 586 (2003), and Kapisanan ng mga Kawani ng Energy Regulatory Board v. Barin, G.R. No. 150974, June 29, 2007, 526 SCRA 1 recognizing that the procedural errors were overshadowed by the public interest involved and the crucial constitutional questions that the Court needed to resolve.
 G.R. No. 178624,June 30, 2009, 591 SCRA 420.
 Id. at 437.
 Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti Terrorism Council, supra note 19, at 167, citing Anak Mindanao Party-List Group v. The Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 166052,August 29, 2007, 531 SCRA 583, 591.
 Lozano v. Nograles, G.R. Nos. 187883 & 187910,June 16, 2009, 589 SCRA 356, 361.
 Tolentino v. Commission on Elections, 465 Phil. 385, 402 (2004).
 Stefan Tito Miñoza v. Hon. Cesar Tomas Lopez, etc., et al., G.R. No. 170914,April 13, 2011.
 Rollo, pp. 15-16.
 Id. at 179.
 See Rene B. Gorospe, Songs, Singers and Shadows: Revisiting Locus Standi In Light Of The People Power Provisions Of The 1987 Constitution, UST LAW REVIEW, Vol. LI, AY 2006-2007, pp. 15-16, citing Montecillo v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 131954, June 28, 2001, 360 SCRA 99, 104; Tomas Claudio Memorial College, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 124262, October 12, 1999, 316 SCRA 502, 508; and Tañada v. Angara, G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997, 272 SCRA 18 , 79.
 Id. at 10-11, citing then Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno’s Dissenting Opinion in Kilosbayan v. Guingona, Jr., at 232 SCRA 110 (1994), at 169.
 392 Phil. 618 (2000).
 Id. at 633.
 522 Phil. 705 (2006).
 Id. at 764. The Court in these two above-cited cases, however, brushed aside therein petitioners’ lack of locus standi in view of transcendental issues raised in these cases.
 G.R. No. 159357,April 28, 2004, 428 SCRA 283.
 Rene B. Gorospe, Songs, Singers and Shadows: Revisiting Locus Standi In Light Of The People Power Provisions Of The 1987 Constitution, UST LAW REVIEW, supra note 30, at 53, citing Velarde v. Social Justice Society, id. at 298.
 Supra note 25.
 Id. at 362.
 Rollo, pp. 183-190.
 G.R. No. 179127,December 24, 2008, 575 SCRA 535, 555.
 Funa v. Ermita, G.R. No. 184740,February 11, 2010, 612 SCRA 308, 319.
 Santiago v. CA, 348 Phil. 792, 800 (1998).
 See J. Brion Concurring and Dissenting Opinion in Province of North Cotabato v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain (GRP), G.R. Nos. 183591, 183752, 183893, 183951, & 183962, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA 402, 703.