Writ preserving the status quo

A writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO are injunctive reliefs and preservative remedies for the protection of substantive rights and interests. An application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or TRO may be granted upon the filing of a verified application showing facts entitling the applicant to the relief demanded.[1] The purpose of injunction is to prevent threatened or continuous irremediable injury to some of the parties before their claims can be thoroughly studied and educated. Its sole aim is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the case is heard fully.[2]

The status quo is the last actual, peaceable and uncontested situation which precedes a controversy.[3] The status quo should be that existing at the time of the filing of the case. A preliminary injunction should not establish new relations between the parties, but merely maintain or re-establish the pre-existing relationship between them.

Pertinent are the provisions of Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, enumerates the grounds for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, to wit:

SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. — A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established:

(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;

(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or

(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.

Thus, to be entitled to the injunctive writ, petitioners must show that (1) there exists a clear and unmistakable right to be protected; (2) this right is directly threatened by an act sought to be enjoined; (3) the invasion of the right is material and substantial; and (4) there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious and irreparable damage.[4]

As such, a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued only upon clear showing of an actual existing right to be protected during the pendency of the principal action. The requisites of a valid injunction are the existence of the right and its actual or threatened violations. Thus, to be entitled to an injunctive writ, the right to be protected and the violation against the right must be shown.[5]

[1] Australian Professional Realty, Inc. v. Municipality of Padre Garcia Batangas Province, G. R. No. 183367, 14 March 2012, 668 SCRA 253, 260-261.

[2] Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Spouses Santiago, 548 Phil. 314, 329 (2007).

[3] Rualo v. Pitargue, 490 Phil. 28, 47 (2005).

[4] Australian Professional Realty, Inc. v. Municipality of Padre Garcia Batangas Province, supra note 1 at 261.

[5] TML Gasquet Industries, Inc. v. BPI family Savings Bank, Inc., G.R. No, 188768, 7 January 2013, 688 SCRA 50, 58.