When is MANDAMUS a remedy?

Henares, Jr. v. LTFRB: A writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to use CNG is unavailing. Mandamus is available only to compel the doing of an act specifically enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that mandates the respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor vehicles to use CNG. At most the LTFRB has been tasked by E.O. No. 290 in par. 4.5 (ii), Section 4 “to grant preferential and exclusive Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) or franchises to operators of NGVs based on the results of the DOTC surveys”

Mandamus applies as a remedy only where petitioner’s right is founded clearly in law and not when it is doubtful.The writ will not be granted where its issuance would be unavailing, nugatory, or useless. If the law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not ministerial.

Philippine Coconut v. Primex Coco: There is no doubt that under E.O. No. 826, Administrative Order No. 003, Series of 1981, and Administrative Order No. 002, Series of 1991, petitioner is vested with discretion on whether or not to grant an application for the establishment of a new plant, the expansion of capacity, the relocation or upgrading of efficiencies of such desiccated coconut processing plant. Relative to the renewal of a certificate of registration, petitioner may refuse a registration unless the applicant has complied with the procedural and substantive requirements for renewal. However, once the requirements are complied with, the renewal of registration becomes a ministerial function of petitioner.Antolin v. Domondon: For a writ of mandamus to issue, the applicant must have a well-defined, clear, and certain legal right to the thing demanded. The corresponding duty of the respondent to perform the required act must be equally clear. No such clarity exists here; neither does petitioner’s right to demand a revision of her examination results. And despite petitioner’s assertions that she has not made any demand for re-correction, the most cursory perusal of her Second Amended Petition and her prayer that the respondents “make the appropriate revisions on the results of her examination” belies this claim.

FGU Insurance Corp. v. RTC: A writ of mandamus lies to compel a judge to issue a writ of execution when the judgment had already become final and executory and the prevailing party is entitled to the same as a matter of right.

MMDA v. Concerned Citizens of Manila Bay: The duty being enjoined in mandamus must be one according to the terms defined in the law itself. Thus, the recognized rule is that, in the performance of an official duty or act involving discretion, the corresponding official can only be directed by mandamus to act, but not to act one way or the other. This is the end of any participation by the Court, if it is authorized to participate at all.

Froilan Dejuras v. Villar: Established is the procedural law precept that a writ of mandamus generally lies to compel the performance of a ministerial duty, but not the performance of an official act or duty which necessarily involves the exercise of judgment. Thus, when the act sought to be performed involves the exercise of discretion, the respondent may only be directed by mandamus to act but not to act in one way or the other. It is, nonetheless, also available to compel action, when refused, in matters involving judgment and discretion, but not to direct the exercise of judgment in a particular manner. However, this rule admits of exceptions. Mandamus is the proper remedy in cases where there is gross abuse of discretion, manifest injustice, or palpable excess of authority.

Read the following cases:

Henares, Jr. vs. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, G.R. No. 158290, October 23, 2006;
Philippine Coconut Authority vs. Primex Coco Products, Inc., G.R. No. 163088, July 20, 2006;
Antolin vs. Domondon, G.R. No. 165036, July 5, 2010;
FGU Insurance Corp. vs. Regional Trial Court of Makati City, G.R. No. 161282, 2011 February 23, 2011;
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority vs. Concerned Residents Of Manila Bay, G.R. Nos. 171947-48, 2011 February 15, 2011; and
Froilan Dejuras vs. Villa, G.R. No. 173428, November 22, 2010.