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Republic v. CA (1991) EN BANC G.R.

90482 Ponente: Davide Nature: Appeal by certiorari of the decision of the CA Petitioners: Republic (acting through the Sugar Regulatory Administration), Republic Planters Bank Respondents: RTC Judge, RTC Deputy Sheriffs, Reyes, Treyes and Fudolin Quick Summary: SRA, an administrative body, cannot represent the Republic of the Philippines because EO 18 did not give it the powers to do so. Facts: May 16, 1986 (EO 18 took effect May 28, 1986) Republic Planters Bank (RPB) filed a complaint in the RTC for sum of money/delivery of personal property with restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against Philippine Sugar Commission (PHILSUCOM) and the National Sugar Trading Corporation (NASUTRA) They asked the court to order PHILSUCOM and NASUTRA to render a faithful account of different bank accounts being held; to render a faithful inventory of all the sugar stocks for the crop year 8485; to remit dollar accounts held; to deliver sugar stocks of crop year 84-85; pay interests and penalties for accounts covered by unpaid sugar quedans, damages, attorneys fees and cost of the suit Before PHILSUCOM and NASUTRA could answer, a compromise agreement was submitted and was approved by the lower court Three orders were issued o First order dismissed separate petitions for relief from judgment filed by different sugar associations (National Federation of Sugar Cane Planters, Sugar Central Inc, Independent Sugar Planters) o Second order granted a second motion to resolve a pending motion for issuance of a writ of execution and allowed the issuance of an alias writ of execution o Third order required officers of the RPB to appear before the court to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for defying the alias writ of execution CA denied the petition for the nullification of the orders because o RPB accepted the appointment as Trustee whose obligation is to pay received benefits by way of trustees fees and cannot question the right of private respondents to attorneys fees o SRA may not lawfully bring action on behalf of the Republic because EO 18 says that PHILSUCOM remains a judicial entity for 3 years for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits against it. o Petition should have been filed through the OSG and not through the OGCC; SRA cannot lawfully represent the Government because it may only perform powers and functions as may be authorized by the laws which created them SC required respondents to comment and issued TRO directing respondent Judge to desist and refrain from further proceeding in the civil case SC was informed that the Judge was ordering the implementation of an alias writ of execution Issue/Held: Did the CA err in holding that neither OGCC nor SRA can represent the Government in an action before it? NO Ratio: Sol Gen says: o SRA has no legal personality to file the instant petition under the name of the Republic because under EO 18, it is not vested with the legal capacity to sue. o EO 18 abolished PHILSUCOM but its juridical personality was to continue for three years for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits. o CA committed no reversible error Private respondents says: o Almost same with Sol Gen

RPB GOCC engaged in the banking business. Petitioners have no legal personality to initiate petition because SRA is not a party in the case before the TC (since it was filed against PHILSUCOM and NASUTRA). o It cannot be presumed that SRA had substituted PHILSUCOM and NASUTRA in the case as both continue to legally exist for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits in liquidation of its affairs SC says: CA correctly ruled that SRA may not lawfully bring an action on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and that the OGCC does not have the authority to represent the petitioner in this case. o EO abolished PHILSUCOM and created SRA but PHILSUCOM was allowed to continue as a juridical entity for 3 years for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits by or against itunder the supervision of the SRA o Sec 3, EO 18 does not specifically include the power to represent the Republic nor the power to sue and be sued. o Sec 4, EO 18 specific functions does not include the power to represent the Republic o CHARTER DOES NOT GRANT THE SRA THE POWER TO REPRESENT REPUBLIC IN SUITS FILED BY OR AGAINST IT. SC says SRA is an administrative agency o Administrative agency only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law and those that are necessarily implied in the exercise; government body charged with administering and implementing particular legislation o Power to represent the Republic withheld from SRA so it cannot institute the instant petition. OGCC also cannot represent SRA or Republic o OGCC is the principal law office of all GOCCs including subsidiaries; the president may not allow it to act as lawyer for a specified GOCC or subsidiary. o Since SRA is neither a GOCC or a subsidiary, OGCC does not have the authority to represent it o o