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ARCETA v.

MANGROBANG
Petitioners: Ofelia V. Arceta/ Gloria S. Dy
Respondents: Judge Ma. Celestina Mangrobang (MeTC-Navotas)/ Judge Edwin B. Ramizo
(MeTC- Caloocan)
Petition: Special Civil Actions in the Supreme Court. Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus.
Facts:
City Prosecutor of Navotas charged Ofelia Arceta for violating BP22. In the Information, it was
alleged that on September 16, 1998, Arceta issued a check to OSCAR R. CASTRO. The check
was drawn against the Region Bank in the amount of P740, 000. It was dated December 21,
1998 and payable to Cash. The check was subsequently dishonoured because of insufficient
funds. Arceta failed to pay the amount or at least make arrangement for full payment within five
banking days from the receipt of notice. During the proceeding in the trial court, Arceta did not
move to dismiss the charge against her or that the Information be quashed on the ground that
BP22 was unconstitutional. Arceta pleaded not guilty when arraigned.
On the other hand, the City Prosecutor of Caloocan also filed a charge sheet against Gloria Dy
for violation of BP 22 (Bouncing Checks Law). According to the charge, Dy issued a check to
ANITA CHUA during the month of January, 2000. The check was drawn against Prudential
Bank in the amount of P2, 500, 000. The check was subsequently dishonoured because the
account was already closed. Dy failed to pay the complainant despite the notice.
Issue:
Whether or not the Bouncing Checks Law (BP 22) is unconstitutional.
Held:
Dismissed for utter lack of merit.
Ratio:
The court may settle disputes on the constitutionality of a certain legislative act only if the
following requisites are present: 1. An actual or appropriate case and controversy exists; 2.
A personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; 3. The
exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; 4. The constitutional
question raised is the very lis mota of the case.
Rule 65, Sec. 1 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure states that in a special civil action of
certiorati the only question that may be raised is whether or not the respondent has acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. A special civil action
for certiorari will only prosper if a grave abuse of discretion is manifested. Yet the petitioners did
not allege in their petition that respondent judges exercised grave abuse of discretion.
Petitions for a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus do not qualify as the actual or
appropriate cases contemplated by the rules as the first requisite for the exercise of this
Courts power of Judicial Review. Petitioners do not have sufficient cause of action.
The petitioners ignored the hierarchy of courts when they raised the issue directly to the
Supreme Court. Seeking judicial review at the earliest opportunity does not mean to elevate
the matter immediately to the SC. It should have been raised in the proceedings in the trial
court. The petitioners should have moved to dismiss the case on the ground of
unconstitutionality of BP 22.
Every law has in its favour the presumption of constitutionality, and to justify nullification, there
must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution and not one that is doubtful,
speculative or argumentative.