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Oposa v. Factoran, Jr G.R. No.

101083 July 30, 1993 FACTS: The petitioners, all minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents, filed a petition to cancel all existing timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber license agreements. This case is filed not only on the appellants right as taxpayers, but they are also suing in behalf of succeeding generations based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility in so far as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Together with the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), the petitioners presented scientific evidence that deforestation have resulted in a host of environmental tragedies. One of these is the reduction of the earths capacity to process carbon dioxide, otherwise known as the greenhouse effect. Continued issuance by the defendant of TLAs to cut and deforest the remaining forest stands will work great damage and irreparable injury to the plaintiffs. Appellants have exhausted all administrative remedies with the defendants office regarding the plea to cancel the said TLAs. The defendant, however, fails and refuses to cancel existing TLAs. ISSUES: Admitting that all facts presented are true, whether or not the court can render a valid judgement in accordance to the prayer of the complaints 3 Whether or not the TLAs may be revoked despite the respondents standing that these cancellation of these TLAs are against the non-impairment clause of the Constitution HELD: The petitioners have locus standi (legal standing) on the case as a taxpayers (class) suit. The subject matter of complaint is of common and general interest to all the citizens of the Philippines. The court found difficulty in ruling that the appellants can, for themselves, and for others file a class suit. The right of the petitioners to a balanced and healthful ecology has been clearly stated. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. The granting of the TLAs, as the petitioners claim to be done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and healthful ecology hence, the full protection thereof requires that no TLAs should be renewed or granted. The appellants have also submitted a document with the sub-header CAUSE OF ACTION which is adequate enough to show, prima facie, the violation of their rights. On this basis, these actions must therefore be granted, wholly or partially. Despite the Constitutions non-impairment clause, TLAs are not contracts, rather licenses; thus, the said clause cannot be invoked. Even if these are protected by the said clause, these can be revoked if the public interest so required as stated in Section 20 of the Forestry Reform Code (P.D. No. 705). Furthermore, Section 16 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that: The State shall protect the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the government. The said right is also clear as the DENRs duty under its mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under Executive Order No. 192 and the Admini

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Whether or not the petitioners have legal standing on the said case