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Rule 66: Quo Warranto

A. Concept
A quo warranto is a prerogative writ by which the government calls on a person to show by what warrant he holds public office or exercises public franchise. It is a proceeding to determine the right to use or exercise a franchise or office, and to oust the holder from the claim to the office or franchise if his claim is not well-founded. Quo Warranto and Mandamus In QW, there is a usurpation of public office by another; usurper assumes the office. In mandamus, there is an ousting from the office of another; the ouster does not assume the office. In QW, the right to office of the occupant is not clear and so this right becomes the subject of the action in mandamus, the right or legal duty is clear, and so the purpose of the action is to enforce this right. Quo Warranto and Prohibition Quo warranto is the proper remedy to determine the proper title or authority to an office, that is, by what right a person holds office. But prohibition is the proper remedy to determine title when there is no private claimant to the office, and the OSG or fiscal cannot be expected to institute quo warranto proceedings. (But this case is unusual) In NP v. Bautista, 85 Phil 101 (1949), the SG was appointed to the COMELEC. This was questioned by the NP, it could not bring quo warranto because the NP was not claiming title to the position. Neither could the SG be expected to file the action against himself. And so it held that the proper remedy was prohibition. In Aquino v. COMELEC, 62 SCRA 275 (1975), Aquino questioned the right of President Marcos to continue in office. He could not file quo warranto because he was not claiming to be entitled to the office, but neither could he expect the SG to file the case. So prohibition was the right remedy. Quo Warranto and Election Contests 1. As to Basis Quo Warranto: That the occupant of the office is disqualified from holding the office because of ineligibility or disloyalty. Election contest: That the person holding office is not entitled to the office because of irregularities in the conduct of elections. 2. As to effect QW: If the petitioner succeeds, the respondent will be ousted, but the petitioner will not assume the office. EC: If the protestant succeeds, he will assume the office if he had obtained a plurality of the valid votes. Quo Warranto proceedings in elective and appointive office

1. As to issue Elective: The eligibility of the respondent. Appointive: The validity of the appointment. 2. As to effect Elective: The occupant declared ineligible or disloyal will be unseated, but the petitioner will not be declared the rightful occupant of the office. Appointive: The court will oust the person illegally appointed, and order the seating of the person legally appointed and entitled to the office.

B. Commencement of Action
There are three ways to commence a special civil action for quo warranto: 1. By the Solicitor General or fiscal, when directed by the President, or when he has good reason to believe in the merit of the case. Here, he must commence the action. (66.3) 2. By an individual, in his own name, who clams to be entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another. 3. By the Solicitor General or fiscal, upon request of another person, with permission of the court after giving the defendant a chance to oppose and requiring so indemnity. (This covers cases when the individual does not claim to be entitled to the office and so could not-prosecute the case in his own but at the same time could not convince the fiscal of the merit of his case. So the fiscal asks the permission of the court) (66.4 & 5). When commenced by a private individual, the plaintiff must have a real interest in the outcome of the case in that his right to the office or position has been unlawfully usurped from him. Thus, in Lumontad v. Cuenco, 41 O.G. 894 (1945), the quo warranto action filed by Lumagdad against Senator Cuenco questioning his right to continue holding office was dismissed, because Lumaglad did not claim to be entitled to the office. What he should have done was ask the fiscal to prosecute the case for him. In Garcia V. Perez, 99 SCRA 628 (1980), the action filed by petitioners who claimed preferential right to be entitled to the office was dismissed, a claim for entitlement itself. If there is no private individual who is entitled to be installed, then the quo warranto action must be filed by the Republic only. If there is a rightful claim to an office, the OSG can still file the action, at the relating of the private, individual. Quo warranto can also be filed by one claiming to be a legal director or officer of the corporation. The action is filed with the SEC.

C. Against Whom Commenced, and for What Grounds, and Procedures

An action for quo warranto can be brought against an individual for the usurpation of office or franchise, or against a corporation to question its continued right to exist. 1. Quo Warranto against individuals a. Grounds An action for the usurpation of office or franchise may be brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines against: a.1) A person, who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds-or exercises a public office, or franchise, or an office in a corporation created by authority of law; b.1) A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provisions of law, works a forfeiture of his office; c.1) An association of persons who act as a corporation within the Philippines without being legally incorporated, or without lawful authority to act. b. Jurisdiction and Venue The action may be brought in the SC, RTC of the province in which the defendant or one of them resides. But when the SG commences the action it may be brought in Manila or the SC. It may now be brought in the CA (66.8, as amended by BP 129) c. Complaint When the action is against a person for usurping an office, position, or franchise, the complaint shall set forth the name of the person who claims to be entitled thereto, if any, with an averment of his right to the same and that the defendant is unlawfully in posession thereof. All the persons who claim to be entitled to the office, post or franchise may be made parties, and their respective rights to such determined in the same action. (66.7) d. Judgment where usurpation found When the defendant is found guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising an office, position, right, privilege, or franchise, judgment shall be rendered that: d.1. Such defendant be ousted and altogether excluded therefrom; and d.2 The plaintiff or relator (private complainant against one to be made respondent) recover his costs. d.3. Such further determination of the respective rights in and to the office, position, right, privilege or franchise of all parties to the action as justice requires. (66.10). e. Rights of persons adjudged entitled to office If judgment be rendered in favor of the person averred in the complaint to be entitled to the office, he may, after taking the oath of office and executing bond, take upon himself the execution of the office, and may immediately demand all books and papers relating to the office, refusal or neglect to will make defendant guilty of contempt.