Executive Secretary vs Court of Appeals 429 SCRA 781
Republic Act 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995) took effect on 15 July 1995. Prior to its effectivity, Asian Recruitment Council Philippine Chapter Inc (ARCO-Phil) filed petition for declaratory relief. The alleged that:
Section 6, subsections (a) to (m) is unconstitutional because licensed and authorized recruitment agencies are placed on equal footing with illegal recruiters. It contended that while the Labor Code distinguished between recruiters who are holders of licenses and non-holders thereof in the imposition of penalties, Rep. Act No. 8042 does not make any distinction.
The penalties in Section 7(a) and (b) being based on an invalid classification are, therefore, repugnant to the equal protection clause, besides being excessive; hence, such penalties are violative of Section 19(1), Article III of the Constitution.
In their answer to the petition, they contend that ARCO-Phil has no legal standing, it being a non-stock, non-profit organization; hence, not the real party-in-interest as petitioner in the action. It is service-oriented while the recruitment agencies it purports to represent are profit-oriented.
Issue: Whether or not ARCO-Phil has legal standing to assail Republic Act 8042?
Decision: The modern view is that an association has standing to complain of injuries to its members. This view fuses the legal identity of an association with that of its members. An association has standing to file suit for its workers despite its lack of direct interest if its members are affected by the action. An organization has standing to assert the concerns of its constituents. However, the respondent has no locus standi to file the petition for and in behalf of unskilled workers. We note that it even failed to implead any unskilled workers in its petition.
"Locus standi" (place of standing) - the right of the party to appear and be heard before court, or the right of a party to commence an action.