Special Civil Actions Initiated by Petition: Quo Warranto (Rule 66)

Topacio vs. Hon. Ong SandiganBayan (GR 179895)

A quo warranto proceeding is the proper legal remedy to determine the right or title to the contested public office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment. It is brought against the person who is alleged to have usurped, intruded into, or unlawfully held or exercised the public office, and may be commenced by the Solicitor General or a public prosecutor, as the case may be, or by any person claiming to be entitled to the public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another.

Nothing is more settled than the principle, which goes back to the 1905 case of Acosta v. Flor, reiterated in the recent 2008 case of Feliciano v. Villasin, that for a quo warranto petition to be successful, the private person suing must show a clear right to the contested office. In fact, not even a mere preferential right to be appointed thereto can lend a modicum of legal ground to proceed with the action.

In the present case, petitioner presented no sufficient proof of a clear and indubitable franchise to the office of an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan. He in fact concedes that he was never entitled to assume the office of an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.

Calleja vs. Panday (GR 168696)

Therefore, actions of quo warranto against persons who usurp an office in a corporation, which were formerly cognizable by the Securities and Exchange Commission under PD 902-A, have been transferred to the courts of general jurisdiction. But, this does not change the fact that Rule 66 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure does not apply to quo warranto cases against persons who usurp an office in a private corporation.

Defensor-Santiago vs. Guingona (GR 134577)

A quo warranto proceeding is the proper legal remedy to determine the right or title to the contested public office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment. The action may be brought by the solicitor general or a public prosecutor or any person claiming to be entitled to the public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another. The action shall be brought against the person who allegedly usurped, intruded into or is unlawfully holding or exercising such office.

In order for a quo warranto proceeding to be successful, the person suing must show that he or she has a clear right to the contested office or to use or exercise the functions of the office allegedly usurped or unlawfully held by the respondent. In this case, petitioners present no sufficient proof of a clear and indubitable franchise to the office of the Senate minority leader.

Dumayas vs. Comelec (GR 141952-53)

The allegations contained in Betitas petition before the regular court do not present any proper issue for either an election protest or a quo warranto case under the Omnibus Election Code. Spl. Civil Action No. 98-141 appears to be in the nature of an action for usurpation of public office brought by Betita to assert his right to the position of Mayor pursuant to the rules on succession of local government officials contained in the Local Government Code. Although said petition is also denominated as a quo warranto petition under Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, it is different in nature from the quo warranto provided for in the Omnibus Election Code where the only issue proper for determination is either disloyalty or ineligibility of respondent therein. Neither can it be considered as an election protest since what was put forth as an issue in said petition was petitioners alleged unlawful assumption of the office of Mayor by virtue of his alleged illegal proclamation as the winning candidate in the election.

Liban vs. Gordon (GR 175352)

Quo warranto is generally commenced by the Government as the proper party plaintiff. However, under Section 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, an individual may commence such an action if he claims to be entitled to the public office allegedly usurped by another, in which case he can bring the action in his own name. The person instituting quo warranto proceedings in his own behalf must claim and be able to show that he is entitled to the office in dispute, otherwise the action may be dismissed at any stage.  In the present case, petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the Senate office of respondent. Clearly, petitioners have no standing to file the present petition.

Even if the Court disregards the infirmities of the petition and treats it as a taxpayers suit, the petition would still fail on the merits.

 

 

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Author: Born2drinkStuff

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