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RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS v.

SECRETARY ANGELO REYES, SECRETARY


JOSE L. ATIENZA, LEONARDO R. SIBBALUCA, DIRECTOR MALCOLM J,
SARMIENTO JR., ANDRES M. BOJOS, JAPAN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION CO,.
LTD (JAPEX)

GR No. 180771

______________consolidated with________________

CENTRAL VISAYAS FISHERFOLK DEVELOPMENT CENTER (FIDEC) v.


SECRETARY ANGELO REYES, SECRETARY JOSE L. ATIENZA, LEONARDO R.
SIBBALUCA, DIRECTOR MALCOLM J, SARMIENTO JR., ANDRES M. BOJOS,
JAPAN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION CO,. LTD (JAPEX)

G.R. No. 181527

FACTS:

SUMMARY

Petitioners G.R. No. 180771, collectively known as the Resident Marine Mammals
(includes dolphins, porpoises, and other cetacean species which inhabit the waters in and
around the Tañon Strait.) They are joined by their legal, representation Gloria Estenzo
Ramos and Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio (a.k.a the Stewards).

Petitioners in G.R. No. 181527 are the Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center
(FIDEC), Cerilo D. Engarcial (Engarcial), Ramon Yanong (Yanong) and Francisco Labid
(Labid), in their personal capacities and as representatives of the subsistence fisherfolk of
the municipalities of Aloguinsan and Pinamungajan, Cebu.

Both petitions were filed under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, concerning Service
Contract Number 46. or SC-46 which allowed JAPEX for the exploration, development,
and exploitation of petroleum Resources within Tanaon. The petitioners claim that the oil
exploration activities are taking a toll on the environment and that their continued seismic
activity has slowly affected the fish yield of the fisherfolk. Also, the reduced fishing
activity is also attributed to the destruction of their “payao” or artificial reef. The
petitioners also claim that the ECC claimed is not a valid one for it did not go through the
proper procedure of consulting those affected by their exploration.

The Public Respondents claim that they have followed proper procedure and has not
violated any provision of the 1987 constitution. The ECC was issued in accordance with
existing laws and regulations. They further contend that the issues
raised in these petitions have been rendered moot and academic by the fact that SC-46
had been mutually terminated by the parties thereto effective June 21, 2008.
The court rules that SC-46 is null and void for it did not follow proper procedure. It is
true that although they followed a part of Section 14 of the NIPAS about the exceptions
regarding the exploration, development, and exploitation of petroleum Resources, they
were still unable to comply with the proper procedure of under taking the Environmental
Impact Assesment (EIA). (see held for explantion of proper contract procedure)

Important Dates:

1. June 12, 2002 Phil Gov’t, acting through DOE entered a Geophysical Survey and
Exploration contract with JAPEX (later formally converted into a service contract
or SC-46) Exploration of 2,850 sq. km offshore Tańon Strait.
2. March 26, 2007 EMB granted an ECC to JAPEX
3. After the issuance of the ECC a few months later drilling started and continued on
until February 8, 2008

ADDED FACTS FOR RECIT PURPOSES (just in case mag tanong to check if you guys
read the original):

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was called upon by the petitioners to be an unwilling co-
petitioner on grounds that she is personally impleaded in this suit as an unwilling co-
petitioner by reason of her express declaration and undertaking under the recently signed
ASEAN Charter to protect Your Petitioners’ habitat, among others. This was rejected by
the court citing that impleading the former President as an unwilling co-petitioner, for an
act she made in the performance of the functions of her office, is contrary to the public
policy against embroiling the President in suits.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not the Resident Marine Mammals have Locus standi;


2. Whether or not the SC-46 is constitutional

Held:
1. Yes, Resident Marine Mammals have locus standi. Section 5 of the Rules of
Procedure for Environmental Cases allows a "citizen suit," and permits any
Filipino citizen to file an action for violations of our environmental laws on the
principle that humans are stewards of nature5. The need to give the Resident
Marine Mammals legal standing has been eliminated by our Rules, which allow
any Filipino citizen, as a steward of nature, to bring a suit to enforce our
environmental laws. The Stewards are joined as parties in the case and not just in
representation of the named cetacean species. The Stewards, Ramos and Eisma-
Osorio, having shown that there may be possible violations of laws concerning
the habitat of the Resident Marine Mammals, are therefore declared to possess the
legal standing to file this petition.
No, SC-46 is unconstitutional. Paragraph 4, Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution
requires that the President himself enter into any service contract for the exploration of
petroleum with foreign-owned corporations. SC-46 was entered and signed only by the
DOE6. For Paragraph 5, neither is it shown nor alleged that Congress was subsequently
notified of the execution of such contract. The absence of the two conditions, that (1) the
President be a signatory to SC-46, and that (2) Congress be notified of such contract,
renders it null and void.