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Kilosbayan v. Guingona, Jr G.R. No.

113375, May 5, 1994 Ponente: Davide, Jr Petitioner: A non-stock domestic corporation composed of civic-spirited citizens, pastors, priests, nuns, and lay leaders who are committed to the cause of truth, justice and national renewal represented by its BOT; Sen Webb and Tanada; and Rep. J Arroyo in their capacities as taxpayers, and concerned citizens/members of congress. Respondent: Guingona Jr.

FACTS: This is a special civil action for prohibition and injunction, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction which seeks to prohibit and restrain the implementation of the Contract of Lease executed by the PCSO and the Philippine Gaming Management Corporation in connection with the on-line lottery system, also know as lotto. Petitioners strongly opposed the setting up of the on-line lottery system on the basis of serious moral and ethical considerations. It submitted that said contract of lease violated Section 1 of R. A. No. 1169, as amended by B. P. Blg. 42. Respondents contended, among others, that, the contract does not violate the Foreign Investment Act of 1991; that the issues of wisdom, morality and propriety of acts of the executive department are beyond the ambit of judicial reviews; and that the petitioners have no standing to maintain the instant suit.

ISSUES: 1. Whether or not petitioners have the legal standing to file the instant petition. 2. Whether or not the contract of lease is legal and valid. HELD: As to the preliminary issue, the Court resolved to set aside the procedural technicality in view of the importance of the issues raised. The Court adopted the liberal policy on locus standi to allow the ordinary taxpayers, members of Congress, and even association of planters, and non-profit civic organizations to initiate and prosecute actions to question the validity or constitutionality of laws, acts, decisions, or rulings of various government agencies or instrumentalities. When the subject in issue is transcendental interest to the public, te court entertains the suit even if those suing do not have a personal and direct interest sucha that they are stand to suffer harm. As to the substantive issue, the Court agrees with the petitioners whether the contract in question is one of lease or whether the PGMC is merely an independent contractor should not be decided on the basis of the title or designation of the contract but by the intent of the parties, which may be gathered from the provisions of the contract itself. Animus homini est anima scripti. The intention of the party is the soul of the instrument. Therefore the instant petition is granted and the challenged Contract of Lease is hereby declared contrary to law and invalid. NOTE: The Green Book says that 4 months later, a second Kilosbayan case was heard and the decision to the former was reversed. Please read page 976 of green book.