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Title9. Philippine Ports Authority v Nasipit Arrastre
TagsVirtue Certiorari Writ Injunction Restraining Order
File Size93.1 KB
Total Pages4
Document Text Contents
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PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY - versus - NASIPIT
INTEGRATED ARRASTRE AND STEVEDORING SERVICES, INC.

G.R. No. 174136. December 23, 2008

REYES, R.T., J.:

FACTS:

Petitioner NIASSI is a domestic corporation duly organized and
existing under Philippine laws with office address at Talisay, Nasipit,
Agusan del Norte. It has been operating in the stevedoring business for at
least 15 years. The PPA, through its Pre-Qualification, Bids, and Awards
Committee (PBAC) accepted bids for a ten-year contract for cargo handling
services at the Port of Nasipit. Per PBAC Resolution No. 005-2000, NIASSI
was declared as the winning bidder.


The contract, however, was never executed. Instead, PPA issued several
hold-over permits to enable NIASSI to legally operate its cargo handling
services at the Nasipit port. Yet, barely two months after, PPA revoked the
hold-over authority entrusted to NIASSI. Through a letter, PPA informed the
stevedoring company that it would take over the management and operations
of the cargo handling services at the port of Nasipit. Upon takeover, the PPA,
through its Port Services-Special Take-over Unit, directly undertook
operations at the Nasipit Port. However, this composite group continued to
utilize NIASSIs manpower and equipment.

At the onset of the PPA takeover, NIASSI filed a petition for injunction with
prayer for writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order
against PPA. It later amended its petition to mandamus with prayer for the
writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and/or temporary restraining order.
The amended petition sought to compel PPA to execute or cause the final
execution of the cargo handling contract with NIASSI. It likewise prayed
for the return of the management and operations of the cargo handling
services at the Nasipit port to NIASSI.

The RTC issued a resolution granting the petition and issuance of Writ of
Preliminary Injunction was granted. On MR the writ was dissolved. NIASSI
filed a petition for certiorari with the CA under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules
of Court.[37] It alleged that the RTC gravely abused its discretion when it
dissolved the writ of preliminary injunction it earlier issued and did so
without the benefit of a hearing.[38] It also pointed out that the second
resolution contained orders that were immediately executory which was
contrary to law and prejudicial to its interests. The CA decided in favor of
NIASSI.

ISSUE:

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WHETHER the issuance of the Writ of Preliminary Injunction Proper.

RULING:

The appellate court committed no reversible error in setting aside
the RTC resolution.

Too, the RTC failed to observe the procedural requirements when it
dissolved the preliminary mandatory injunction without the benefit of a
hearing. Section 6, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court states:


The application for injunction or restraining order may be denied,
upon a showing of its insufficiency. The injunction or restraining
order may also be denied, or, if granted, may be dissolved on other
grounds upon affidavits of the party or person enjoined, which may be
opposed by the applicant also by affidavits. It may further be denied,
or, if granted, may be dissolved, if it appears after hearing that
although the applicant is entitled to the injunction or restraining order,
the issuance or continuance thereof, as the case may be, would cause
irreparable damage to the party or person enjoined while the applicant
can be fully compensated for such damages as he may suffer, and the
former files a bond in an amount fixed by the court conditioned that
he will pay all damages which the applicant may suffer by the denial
or the dissolution of the injunction or restraining order. If it appears
that the extent of the preliminary injunction or restraining order
granted is too great, it may be modified. (Underscoring supplied)



The provision is clear. A hearing is indispensable before an injunction or
restraining order may be dissolved. It is during the hearing that a
determination may be made whether or not the continuance of an injunction
would cause irreparable damage to the party or person enjoined.


The observation of the CA in this regard is worth stressing:

In the course of Our examination of the records, We took note of the
procedural lapses committed by respondent judge when he granted the
respondents motion for reconsideration.


In the first place, contrary to the procedure laid down in Section 6 (supra),
the respondent judge did not require the filing of respondents affidavit nor
allow petitioner to submit a counter-affidavit opposing the dissolution of the
writ in question. Likewise, no hearing was conducted to enable the
respondent judge to determine whether the continuance of the writ of
injunction may cause irreparable damage to the respondent. And while it

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may conceded that the court a quo set the hearing on respondents motion for
reconsideration on 01 April 2005, the same was reset to 06 April 2005 for
the purpose of receiving evidence on the new allegations that respondent
failed to present at the hearing on the application for injunction. We have
gone over the minutes of the proceedings held before the court a
quo but there is nothing in the records to show that a hearing was ever
conducted on 06 April 2005 or at anytime thereafter to determine the
grounds for nullification of the order granting the writ application
and the propriety of dissolving the writ previously issued by the court a
quo. Such fatal omission notwithstanding, the respondent judge
gratuitously issued the resolution granting the motion for
reconsideration that resulted in the dissolution of the mandatory
injunction.


Needless to state. The respondent judge gravely abused his discretion
when he dissolved the subject Writ without conducting a hearing to
assess the prevailing circumstances and without requiring the respondents
to file a counter-bond as required in Section 6 of Rule 58 of the Rules of
Civil Procedure. (Emphasis supplied)



The records are bereft of any order which required PPA to submit an
affidavit in support of the injunction relief it sought. Neither was NIASSI
given any chance to oppose the petition through a counter-affidavit. More
importantly, no hearing was conducted to determine whether the writ of
injunction earlier issued, indeed, caused irreparable damage to PPA.


The fact that NIASSI has been deprived due process, taken together with the
circumstance that the resulting orders were immediately executory, perforce
takes this case outside the purview of the rule requiring a previous motion
for reconsideration. The deprivation of NIASSIs right to due process taints
the proceedings against it. The courts order which was immediately
executory renders the matter as one of extreme urgency. The situation easily
falls under one of the recognized exceptions to the rule that a motion for
reconsideration should first be availed of before filing a petition
for certiorari.


Be that as it may, when the rules of procedure are rigid and strict in
application, resulting in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than
promote justice, the Court is empowered to suspend them.


It would be in the interest of justice to reinstate the preliminary mandatory
injunction the RTC has earlier issued in favor of NIASSI. The stevedoring

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