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Oposa vs. Factoran, Jr.

G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993


FACTS:
-The principal plaintiffs/petitioners are all minors represented and joined by their parents.
-The defendant is Hon. Fulgencio S. Factoran, then Secretary Department of Environment
and Natural Resources(DENR)
-The minors asseverate that they represent their generation as well as generation yet
unborn.
- It prayed for:
(1) cancel all existing timber license agreements in the country;
(2) cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving
new timber license agreements.
-they assert that the adverse and detrimental consequences of continued deforestation
violated their right to balanced and healthful ecology.

-the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that
(1) no cause of action
(2) the issue is a political question which pertains to the legislative or executive
branches

-RTC granted the motion to dismiss causing the plaintiffs to file a special civil action for
certiorari

ISSUE:
WON the plaintiffs have a cause of action
WON the issue is a political question
WON it violates the non-impairment of contracts

RULE:
Article 2 Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a
balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

E.O. No. 192* Section 4. Mandates the DENR shall be the primary government agency
responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the
countrys environmental and natural resources

RATIO:
The complaint has a cause of action. The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental
right stated in Article 2 Section 16. The said right carries with it the duty to protect the
environment. Since DENR is mandated to protect the environment, a violation of that duty
gives rise to a cause of action.

It is not a political question because what is involved is the enforcement of a right and
also the judiciary also has the power to determine whether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the government. (handing out licenses in this case? Not sure)

No. it doesnt violate the non-impairment of contracts.

Section 20 of the Forestry Reform Code


Provided, That when national interest so requires, the President may amend, modify,
replace or rescind any contract, concession, permit, licenses or any other

Moreover, the non-impairment of contracts is limited by the police power of the state in the
interest of public health, safety, moral and general welfare.

HELD: Petition granted and petitioners may amend their complaint to implead as
defendants the holders or grantees of the questioned timber license agreements

*EO 192 PROVIDING FOR THE REORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF


ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, RENAMING IT AS THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES June 10, 1987