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2008-02-26

OPOSA vs. FACTORAN

FACTS:
The petitioners, all minors, sought the help of the Supreme Court to order the respondent, then Secretary of DENR, to cancel all existing Timber License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new TLAs. They alleged that the massive commercial logging in the country is causing vast abuses on rainforest.
They furthered the rights of their generation and the rights of the generations yet unborn to a balanced and healthful ecology.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners have a locus standi.

Held:
Locus standi means the right of the litigant to act or to be heard.

The SC decided in the affirmative.

Under Section 16, Article II of the 1987 constitution, it states that:
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.
Petitioners, minors assert that they represent their generation as well as generation yet unborn. We find no difficulty in ruling that they can, for themselves, for others of their generation and for the succeeding generations, file a class suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded considers the “rhythm and harmony of nature”. Nature means the created world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the country’s forest, mineral, land, waters fisheries, wildlife, off- shore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations.
Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minor’s assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.
This landmark case has been ruled as a class suit because the subject matter of the complaint is of common and general interest, not just for several but for ALL CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES.

Bottom line:
These minors have fought for our rights up to the highest level of legal remedy. These minors thought of our interest and right. These minors battled for our sons and daughters and those yet to come. These minors were concern for us to live in a balanced and healthful ecology. Sadly, we, who are learned and with discernment, are oblivious. Until when do we learn our lesson?
Remember, we have an "INTERGENERATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY" to our future generations.

10 REACTION:

ginabeloved said...

This should not be the proper digest of this case, but I made it this way to highlight the environmental significance of the case. I admire the petitioners.

I Love Philippines Too said...

Wow! I love this! This is actually the same presentation we do when we have presented BIR rulings before...

It made me realize that it's not only the rainforest are going away. It seems that our and the future generations have nothing left.. why? Because we are with "negative balance"/... Just see our utang, sa interest pa lang, di na tayo nakakahinga!

What else? Aside from the forests, the rivers are all dirty!

What else? Ang daming basura sa paligid... And more?

Almost all the paders around are so "MAPANGHI!"...

Want more? Well, we don't need to go further... just look over your shoulder and you'd and see one!

Anino said...

Sa aking palagay, ang relihiyon ay isang importanteng salik. Sa katoliko at Kristiyanismo, may paniniwalang lahat ng hayop at halaman na nasa ibabaw ng lupa at nasa tubig ay sa TAO.

I Love Philippines Too said...

Ha? ANo yan anino... Haaayy.. It's really difficult to be Ilongga ah! i really have difficulty sa Filipino/tagalog.. especially when it comes from you anino...ang lalalim... and what is "lagalag"? You know ang dami mong alam. I know agree si Gina sa akin kasi she also asked you one time for the meaning of a word. And by the way, mukhang sure na ang panalo natin.. malaki na ang advance mo as of now (Feb 29 sa italy, 12:48 AM)...hmmm..sana manalo kana. Boto pa din ako ng boto kasi offline ako during the day.

I Love Philippines! said...

Hello friend! Saturday na dito, actually just woke up. What are talking about? Don't worry, no tampo tampo..hehehe.. I know that it's month-end and as you have told me you have some accounting jobs sometimes so I got it.. hahaha.. Work muna, no problem for me, kasi nga I am busy too.. Actually, i am trying to post the tags now...

Uhhmm.. will e-mail you soon, ayos?

Lawstude said...

hello. i remember that landmark case. thanks for digesting it. take care.

University of Makati Chorale said...

hi, nice site. care for ex link? tnx godbless

lily may francisco said...

law stude: thanx a lot! what a great digest.god bless! ill pray for gods guidance in ur everyday life.ingat lagi

jef said...

you have to admire the guy (Atty. Oposa) despite the impossibility and cost of litigation, not to mention that he is against the government, he pursued it with the utmost dedication & commitment to make a difference in this present chaotic world of ours.

adrian arugay said...

1. The part that recognizes the standing of "Generations yet unborn" to sue is obiter. The petitioners would have standing anyway.

2. The disposition merely remanded the case to the lower court so that petitioners may amend their complaint to implead the grantees of TLAs.

Decision is so bereft of logic. It's sad that the court shamelessly jumps into policy making, a sphere that properly belongs to the legislature and the executive.

(just found this blogpost on the interwebs when i googled the oposa case. :P )

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