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G.R. No. 160031; Dec. 18, 2008
Petitioner is a political party and respondent is then the Secretary of Interior and Local
Government. Sometime in 2002, Petitioner filed a petition for Declaratory Relief against
respondent praying for the proper construction of Sec. 90 of R.A. No. 7160 (LGC). The pertinent
provision provides that Sec. 90 Practice of Profession. xxx (a) All governors, city and municipal
mayors are prohibited from practicing their profession or engaging in any occupation other than
the exercise of their functions as local chief executives. Petitioner points out that, actors, who
were elected as public officials, should be disallowed to appear in movies and TV programs for it
will give them undue advantage over their political opponents and considerably reduce the time
that they must devote to their constituents. Petitioner further impleaded respondents Mayor
Vilma Santos (Lipa), Pampanga Gov. Lito Lapid and Paranaque Mayor Joey Marquez.
Respondent DILG thru the Sol. Gen. moved for the dismissal on the grounds that (1) it
had no legal standing as it was not the party affected by the statute; (2) not the real party in
interest; (3) no judicial controversy; (4) no need for construction of said provision; (5) there is
already a breach of the statute alleged in the petition; and (5) declaratory relief is not the proper
remedy. RTC dismissed the petition for Declaratory Relief. Petitioner filed a petition for review
on Certiorari. Petitioner alleges that it has locus standi as being a registered political party
composed of citizens having legal interest to be informed and enlightened WON public officials
can appear in TV shows during their tenure. SC agreed that petitioner has locus standi.
ISSUE: WON petition for Declaratory Relief should prosper.
SC found the dismissal by the RTC proper for being an inappropriate remedy for
enforcing compliance of said Sec. 90 of R.A. 7160 or LGC. An action for declaratory relief
should be filed by a person interested under a deed, a will, a contract or other written instrument,
and whose rights are affected by a statute, an executive order, a regulation or an ordinance. The
purpose of the remedy is to interpret or to determine the validity of the written instrument and to
seek a judicial declaration of the parties rights or duties thereunder. For the action to prosper, it
must be shown that (1) there is a justiciable controversy; (2) the controversy is between
persons whose interests are adverse; (3) the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in
the controversy; and (4) the issue is ripe for judicial determination. In the case at bar, SC
said that petitioner failed to allege the ULTIMATE FACTS which satisfy these requisites.
Moreover, as admitted by petitioner, the said provision (Sec. 90, LGC) to which interpretation is
sought HAS ALREADY BEEN BREACHED, therefore DR cannot be availed of.