Kilosbayan v. Morato, G.R. No. 118910, 16 November 1995
TOPIC: Self-Executory and Mandatory Provisions
Petitioners seek reconsideration of our decision in this case. They insist that the decision in the first case has already settled (1) whether petitioner Kilosbayan, Inc. has a standing to sue and (2) whether under its charter (R.A. No. 1169, as amended) the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office can enter into any form of association or collaboration with any party in operating an on-line lottery. Consequently, petitioners contend, these questions can no longer be reopened.
It is argued that, in any case, a reexamination of the two questions is barred because the PCSO and the Philippine Gaming Management Corporation made a ” formal commitment not to ask for a reconsideration of the Decision in the first lotto case and instead submit a new agreement that would be in conformity with the PCSO Charter (R.A. No. 1169, as amended) and with the Decision of the Supreme Court in the first Kilosbayan case against on-line, hitech lotto.”
To be sure, a new contract was entered into which the majority of the Court finds has been purged of the features which made the first contract objectionable. Moreover, what the PCSO said in its manifestation in the first case was the following:
- They are no longer filing a motion for reconsideration of the Decision of this Honorable Court dated May 5, 1994, a copy of which was received on May 6, 1994.
- Respondents PCSO and PGMC are presently negotiating a new lease agreement consistent with the authority of PCSO under its charter (R.A. No. 1169, as amended by B.P. Blg. 42) and conformable with the pronouncements of this Honorable Court in its Decision of May 5, 1995.
The PGMC made substantially the same manifestation as the PCSO.
WON the constitutional principles invoked by the petitioners are self-executing.
Art. II, §5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
Id., §12. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.
Id., §13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.
Id., §17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
As already stated, however, these provisions are not self-executing. They do not confer rights which can be enforced in the courts but only provide guidelines for legislative or executive action. By authorizing the holding of lottery for charity, Congress has in effect determined that consistently with these policies and principles of the Constitution, the PCSO may be given this authority. That is why we said with respect to the opening by the PAGCOR of a casino in Cagayan de Oro, “the morality of gambling is not a justiciable issue. Gambling is not illegal per se. . . . It is left to Congress to deal with the activity as it sees fit.” (Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp., Inc., 234 SCRA 255, 268 ).
It is noteworthy that petitioners do not question the validity of the law allowing lotteries. It is the contract entered into by the PCSO and the PGMC which they are assailing. This case, therefore, does not raise issues of constitutionality but only of contract law, which petitioners, not being privies to the agreement, cannot raise. Nor does Kilosbayan’s status as a people’s organization give it the requisite personality to question the validity of the contract in this case. The Constitution provides that “the State shall respect the role of independent people’s organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means,” that their right to “effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged.” (Art. XIII, §§ 15- 16)
These provisions have not changed the traditional rule that only real parties in interest or those with standing, as the case may be, may invoke the judicial power. The jurisdiction of this Court, even in cases involving constitutional questions, is limited by the “case and controversy” requirement of Art. VIII, §5. This requirement lies at the very heart of the judicial function. It is what differentiates decision-making in the courts from decision-making in the political departments of the government and bars the bringing of suits by just any party.
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