Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Status quo ante - Fil Metals Corp vs Sec of DTI : 157498 : July 15, 2005 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision

See - Fil Metals Corp vs Sec of DTI : 157498 : July 15, 2005 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision

"x x x.

After a careful consideration of the submission by the parties, we are convinced that petitioners herein have established a strong case for the unconstitutionality of Rep. Act No. 8800 sufficient for the grant of a preliminary injunction. Note, however, that a writ of preliminary injunction is issued merely to preserve the status quo ante.[16] Its sole objective is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully.   It is generally availed of to prevent actual or threatened acts, until the merits of the case can be disposed of.[17]
Respondents tenaciously argue that Rep. Act No. 8800 enjoys the presumption of validity and constitutionality until proven otherwise. True, but for the purpose of issuing a provisional remedy, strictly speaking, this contention lacks relevance. Obviously, a law need not be declared unconstitutional first before a preliminary injunction against its enforcement may be granted.[18]Needless to stress, the moment a law is nullified for being unconstitutional, it ceases to exist. Thus, a writ of injunction would then become superfluous.
Only two requisites are necessary for a preliminary injunction to issue: (1) the existence of a right to be protected and (2) the facts, against which the injunction is to be directed violate said right.[19] While a clear showing of the right is necessary, its existence need not be conclusively established. In fact, the evidence required to justify the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction need not be conclusive or complete.  The evidence need only give the court an idea of the justification for the preliminary injunction, pending the decision of the case on the merits. Thus, to be entitled to the writ, petitioners are only required to show that they have an ostensible right to the final relief prayed for in their complaint.[20]
In this case, petitioners have demonstrated a clear right threatened by the questioned safeguard measures. Being in a business heavily dependent on importation of steel, they would be severely damaged once safeguard measures are applied against steel imports. Petitioners have shown, to the satisfaction of the trial court and this Court that any increase in tariffs or quantitative restriction on imports will force them to close down their respective businesses and lay off their employees.
This, to us, is sufficient to entitle petitioners to a preliminary injunction. We thus hold that the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court order granting the writ of preliminary injunction.
x x x."