ISSUE: Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction to declare a statute unconstitutional without notice to the Solicitor General where the parties have agreed to submit such issue for the resolution of the Trial Court. Whether PD 579 and subsequent issuance
FACTS: The Mirasols are sugarland owners and planters.Philippine National Bank (PNB) financed the Mirasols' sugar production venture FROM 1973-1975 under a crop loan financing scheme. The Mirasols signed Credit Agreements, a Chattel Mortgage on Standing Crops, and a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of PNB. The Chattel Mortgage empowered PNB to negotiate and sell the latter'ssugar and to apply the proceeds to the payment of their obligations to it.President Marcos issued PD 579 in November, 1974 authorizing Philippine Exchange Co., Inc. (PHILEX) to purchase sugar allocated for export and authorized PNB to finance PHILEX's purchases. The decree directed that whatever profit PHILEX might realize was to be remitted to the government. Believing that the proceeds were more than enough to pay their obligations, petitioners asked PNB for an accounting of the proceeds which it ignored. Petitioners continued to avail of other loans from PNB and to make unfunded withdrawals from their accounts with said bank. PNB asked petitioners to settle their due and demandable accounts. As a result, petitioners, conveyed to PNB real properties by way of dacion en pago still leaving an unpaid amount. PNB proceeded to extra judicially foreclose the mortgaged properties. PNB still had a deficiency claim. Petitioners continued to ask PNB to account for the proceeds, insisting that said proceeds, if properly liquidated, could offset their outstanding obligations. PNB remained adamant in its stance that under P.D. No. 579, there was nothing to account since under said law, all earnings from the export sales of sugar pertained to the National Government. On August 9, 1979, the Mirasols filed a suit for accounting, specific performance, and damages against PNB.
RATIO DECIDENDI: It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree, or executive order. The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all regional trial courts The purpose of the mandatory notice in Rule 64, Section 3 is to enable the Solicitor General to decide whether or not his intervention in the action assailing the validity of a law or treaty is necessary. To deny the Solicitor General such notice would be tantamount to depriving him of his day in court. We must stress that, contrary to petitioners' stand, the mandatory notice requirement is not limited to actions involving declaratory relief and similar remedies. The rule itself provides that such notice is required in "any action" and not just actions involving declaratory relief. Where there is no ambiguity in the words used in the rule, there is no room for construction. In all actions assailing the validity of a statute, treaty, presidential decree, order, or proclamation, notice to the Solicitor General is mandatory. Petitioners contend that P.D. No. 579 and its implementing issuances are void for violating the due process clause and the prohibition against the taking of private property without just compensation. Petitioners now ask this Court to exercise its power of judicial review. Jurisprudence has laid down the following requisites for the exercise of this power: First, there must be before the Court an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial review. Second, the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. Third, the person challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge. Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity, and lastly, the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case