Damages, Remedies, Evidence, Protected Areas, Wildlife, Administrative, Forests, Standing

In this case, the plaintiff is the proponent of a water resource development and utilization project in Barangay Jimilia-an which would involve the tapping and purifying of water from the Loboc River. The plaintiff filed a petition for mandamus and damages requiring that the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) issued him a Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC). Indeed, the EMB had refused to deliver a CNC and alleged that because the project was located within an environmentally critical area, an Initial Environmental Examination is required.

The plaintiff brought the case in front of the court of first instance. The judge of the court of first instance reviewed the evidence provided by the parties, especially the certificates showing that the area where the planned project was an environmentally critical area due to its seismic specificities. The Court considered that the EMB was the only one who could decide if a region was environmentally critical area. As a result, the court dismissed the petition.

The plaintiff sought an appeal in front of the Supreme Court. The judges of the supreme court held that there was no evidence showing that the plaintiff satisfactorily complied with the requirement to submit the Certificate of Non- Coverage and that the 1981 Presidential Proclamation No. 2146 provided that the tapping of water are considered to be critical for the environment. Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal.