G.R. No. 190220, November 27, 2012

EN BANC

[ G.R. No. 190220, November 27, 2012 ]

JOSE MACARIO LAUREL IV, PHILIPPINE AMBASSADORS' FOUNDATION, INC. AND AQUILINO PIMENTEL, JR. V. MARGARITO F. TEVES AS SECRETARY OF FINANCE, ALBERTO G. ROMULO, AS SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ET AL.

Sirs/Mesdames:

Please take notice that the Court en banc issued a Resolution dated NOVEMBER 27, 2012, which reads as follows: "G.R. No. 190220 (Jose Macario Laurel IV, Philippine Ambassadors' Foundation, Inc. and Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. v. Margarito F. Teves as Secretary of Finance, Alberto G. Romulo, as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, et al.). — On 24 July 2012, the Court issued a Resolution ordering the parties to move in the premises by informing the Court of the status of the planned disposition of the Fujimi property, particularly indicating whether respondents planned to proceed with the negotiated development, and whether petitioners were still interested in pursuing the case.Petitioners submitted their Compliance on 31 August 2012. They informed the Court that they "will no longer pursue the instant case or oppose a decision by the respondents to proceed with negotiation for the development of [the] Fujimi property WITH THE REQUEST that petitioner Jose Macario Laurel IV and petitioner Aquilino Pimentel Jr. would be appointed as permanent members of the negotiating panel."

On 21 September 2012, respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), requested additional time to file their Compliance, explaining that the Bids and Awards Committee on Philippine Properties in Japan (BAC-JAPAN) has recently convened for the express purpose of addressing the 24 July 2012 Resolution. On 22 October 2012, the OSG filed their Compliance. They notified the Court that they were no longer proceeding with the negotiated procurement of the Fujimi property, without prejudice to the future disposition of the property through other modes of procurement.

With these developments, the instant Petition praying for the nullification of the public bidding to lease and develop the Fujimi property has been rendered moot and academic. It is well-settled that courts will only resolve petitions involving justiciable controversies and must necessarily decline jurisdiction over moot cases. This Court will therefore abstain from expressing its opinion in a case where no legal relief is needed or called for.[1] None of the jurisprudentially recognized exceptions[2] is applicable to the present case.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is DISMISSED for having been rendered moot and academic."

Brion, J., on leave.
Reyes and Perlas-Bernabe, JJ., on official leave.

Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL
Clerk of Court


[1] Korea Exchange Bank v. Gonzales, 529 Phil. 690, 701 (2006).

[2] Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved; third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review." David v. Arroyo, 522 Phil. 705, 754 (2006).

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